The general result of the law previous to the Benefices Act 1898, as gathered from the statutes and decisions, may be exhibited as follows: (1) it was not simony for a layman or spiritual person not purchasing for himself to purchase, while the church was full, as advowson or next presentation, however immediate the prospect of a vacancy; (2) it was not simony for a spiritual person to purchase for himself a life or any greater estate in an advowson, and to present himself thereto; (3) it was not simony to exchange benefices under an agreement that no payment was to be made for dilapidations on either side; (4) it was not simony to make certain assignments of patronage under the Church Building and New Parishes Acts (9 & 10 Vict.
C. 94); (5) it was simony for any person to purchase the next presentation while the church was vacant; (6) it was simony for a spiritual person to purchase for himself the next presentation, though the church be full; (7) it was simony for any person to purchase the next presentation, or in the case of purchase of an advowson the next presentation by the purchaser would be simoniacal if there was any arrangement for causing a vacancy to be made; (8) it was simony for the purchaser of an advowson while the church was vacant to present on the next presentation; (9) it was simony to exchange otherwise than simpliciter; no compensation in money might be made to the person receiving the less valuable benefice.
See also ADVOWSON; GLEBE; INCUMBENT; VICAR; also Phillimore, Eccles.
The earliest use of the word in English appears to have been in the special ecclesiastical sense of the holder of an advowson, the right of presentation to a benefice.
The village and valley belonged of old to the emperor, who in 1234 gave the advowson to the Knights of St Lazarus, by whom it was sold in 1272 to the Austin Canons of Interlaken, on the suppression of whom in 1528 it passed to the state.
Stubbs says of it: "The law of dower, of advowson, of appeal for felonies, is largely amended; the institution of justices of assize is remodelled, and the abuses of manorial jurisdiction repressed; the statute De religiosis, the statutes of Merton and Gloucester, are amended and re-enacted.
ADVOWSON, or ADVOWZEN (through O.
At what period the right of advowson arose is uncertain; it was probably the result of gradual growth.
Consequently where the right of patronage (the right of the patron to present to the bishop the person whom he has nominated to become rector or vicar of the parish to the benefice of which he claims the right of advowson) remains attached to the manor, it is called an advowson appendant, and passes with the estate by inheritance The distinction between nomination to a living and presentation is to be noted.
But where, as is often the case, the right of presentation has been sold by itself, and so separated from the manor, it is called an advowson in gross.
An advowson may also be partly appendant, and partly in gross, e.g.
If an owner granted to another every second presentment, the advowson would be appendant for the grantor's turn and in gross for the grantee's.
In a presentative advowson, the patron presents a clergyman to the bishop, with the petition that he be instituted into the vacant living.
In a collative advowson the bishop is himself the patron, either in his own right or in the right of the proper patron, which has lapsed to him through not being exercised within the statutory period of six months after the vacancy occurred.
In a donative advowson, the sovereign, or any subject by special licence from the sovereign, conferred a benefice by a simple letter of gift, without any reference to the bishop, and without presentation and institution.
Briefly, it prevents the dealing with the right of presentation as a thing apart from the advowson itself; increases the power of the bishops to refuse the presentation of unfit persons, and removes several abuses which had arisen in the transfer of patronage.
An advowson may, however, be sold during a vacancy, though that will not give the right to present to that vacancy; and a clerk may buy an advowson even though it be only an estate for life, and present himself on the next vacancy.
The right of presentation may be exercised by its owner whether he be an infant, executors, trustees, coparceners (who, if they cannot agree, present in turn in order of age) or mortgagee (who must present the nominee of the mortgagor), or a bankrupt (who, although the advowson belongs to his creditors, yet has the right to present to a vacancy).
The true patron can, however, exercise his right to present at the next vacancy, and can reserve the advowson from an usurper at any time within three successive incumbencies so created adversely to his right, or within sixty years.
- Burn, Ecclesiastical Law; Bingham's Origines Ecclesiasticae, or, the Antiquities of the English Church; Mirehouse, On Advowson; Phillimore, Ecclesiastical Law.
A church was built, probably in the iith century, and from 1301 to 1.535 the advowson, tithes, &c., belonged to the abbot of Halesowen.