In the case of wealthy bishoprics or abbacies this involved a serious menace to the secular authority.
After the death of Louis the Pious (840) Hincmar supported Charles the Bald, and received from him the abbacies of Notre-Dame at Compiegne and St Germer de Fly.
These lay abbacies were not merely a question of overlordship, but implied the concentration in lay hands of all the rights, immunities and jurisdiction of the foundations, i.e.
In Germany it was decided by the concordat of Constance, in 1418, that bishoprics and abbacies should pay the servitia according to the valuation of the Roman chancery in two half-yearly instalments.
The same process was carried out with regard to abbacies, and indeed with all important places of ecclesiastical preferment.
But-in addition the king kept all wealthy posts, such as bishoprics and abbacies, vacant for years at a time and appropriated the revenue meanwhile.
Henry won much applause at the same time by filling up all the bishoprics and abbacies which his brother had kept so long vacant, by inviting the exiled Anselm to return to England, and by imprisoning Williams odious minister Ranulf Flambard.
He also refused to consecrate Henrys nominees to certain bishoprics and abbacies on the ground that they had not been chosen by free election by their chapters or their monks.
The question of election to bishoprics and abbacies went back to the stage which it had reached in the time of Henry I.; the choice was made in canonical form, by the chapters or the monasteries, but the kings recommendation was a primary factor in that choice.
In 1213; but the principles of the concordat of Worms continued theoretically to regulate the tenure of bishoprics and abbacies until the dissolution of the empire on 1806.