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impropriations. Impropriation was the assignment of a benefice to a lay proprietor, as distinct from appropriation to a monastery. In either case medieval benefices were served by poorly paid vicars or curates, while the rectors, who received the income, were often licensed, privileged absentee pluralists, yet valuable members of the community as royal civil servants. When the monasteries were dissolved, many appropriated monastic benefices were impropriated, causing Matthew Parker, for instance, great difficulty as primate in curbing Elizabeth's rapacious courtiers. Lay impropriators, as Tenison noted (1713), were known for seeking cheap and often indifferent curates. An effective Whig 1830s reform insisted on incumbents being resident.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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