They are engaged principally in educational and eleemosynary work, and the development in such institutions is considerable.
They are important because they played a prominent role in the social life of England, especially as eleemosynary institutions, down to the time of their suppression in 1547 Religious gilds, closely resembling those of England, also flourished on the continent during the middle ages.
At the greatest possible distance from the church, beyond the precinct of the convent, is the eleemosynary department.
Under the Limitation Act of 1833 twenty years of adverse possession of an estate in tithes gave a good title, except as against spiritual or eleemosynary corporations sole whose right to recover tithes was limited, if at all, to a period of two incumbencies and six years afterwards, or sixty years (s.
The commissioner must inspect once each year all penal, correctional and eleemosynary institutions, including public hospitals, jails, poorhouses and corporations and organizations doing charitable work; and the commissioner appears as next friend in cases affecting the property of orphan minors, and has power to investigate complaints against public and private institutions whose charters may be revoked for cause by the commissioner.