Chicheley had been careful enough to obtain " Papal provisions " for himself, his pluralities, his bishopric and archbishopric.
The system of pluralities carried with it, as a necessary consequence, systematic non-residence on the part of many incumbents, and delegation of their spiritual duties in respect of their cures of souls to assistant curates.
The evils attendant on this system were found to be so great that the Pluralities Act 1838 was passed to abridge the holding of benefices in plurality, and it was enacted that no person should hold under any circumstances more than two benefices, and this privilege was made subject to the restriction that his benefices were within ten statute miles of each other.
By the Pluralities Act 1850, the restriction was further narrowed, so that no spiritual person could hold two benefices except the churches of such benefices were within three miles of each other by the nearest road, and the annual value of one of such benefices did not exceed £loo.
The Pluralities Acts Amendment Act 1885, however, enacted that, by dispensation from the archbishop, two benefices could be held together, the churches of which are within four miles of each other, and the annual value of one of which does not exceed £200.
Innocent was one of the best Avignon popes and filled with reforming zeal; he revoked the reservations and commendations of his predecessor and prohibited pluralities; urged upon the higher clergy the duty of residence in their sees, and diminished the luxury of the papal court.
The question of pluralities began to be agitated in 1813, and gave rise to a long struggle, in which Dr Thomas Chalmers took a notable part, and which terminated in the regulation that a university chair or principalship should not be held along with a parish which was not close to the university seat.
The Great Schism of 1811 marks in fact the lowest point to which the fortunes of the once powerful and popular Church in Wales had sunk; - in 1811 there were only English-speaking prelates to be found, whilst the abuses of non-residence, pluralities and even nepotism were rampant everywhere.
Parliament met in November 1529 and passed many acts against clerical exactions, mortuaries, probate dues and Attack on pluralities, which evoked a passionate protest from the church Bishop Fisher: Now, with the Commons, he cried inparlia- in the House of Lords, is nothing but Down with meat, the Church.
He remained at Cranbrook until 1643, when, Parliament deciding against pluralities of ecclesiastical offices, he chose the very inferior living of Southwick, Hants, as between the one and the other.