Appropriation

APPROPRIATION. In pre-Reformation times. Monasteries, and other spiritual corporations, frequently annexed to themselves benefices, placing in them some clergyman, who was called a Vicar, to do the work of the place, for which they allowed him a certain sum out of the income they had appropriated. At the Reformation, the Monasteries, and religious houses were put down, and their property distributed among the favourites of Henry VIII., and so the patronage and major part of the income of these appropriated benefices came into the hands of laymen. Thus, at the present day, a great number of our nobility and landed gentry are drawing large incomes from land, which is, in all right, the property of the Church, while the clergy who do the work of the Church receive a miserable pittance out of what was once their own. Laymen drawing these incomes, "great-tithes," as they are called, are named Lay-Rectors. A benefice in the hands of a layman is termed, not an Appropriation, but an Impropriation.