Benefit of clergy
Clergy Cler"gy, n. [OE. clergie, clergi, clerge, OF. clergie, F. clergie (fr. clerc clerc, fr. L. clericus priest) confused with OF. clergi['e], F. clerg['e], fr. LL. clericatus office of priest, monastic life, fr. L. clericus priest, LL. scholar, clerc. Both the Old French words meant clergy, in sense 1, the former having also sense 2. See {Clerk}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The body of men set apart, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the Christian church, in distinction from the laity; in England, usually restricted to the ministers of the Established Church. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

2. Learning; also, a learned profession. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Sophictry . . . rhetoric, and other cleargy. --Guy of Warwick. [1913 Webster]

Put their second sons to learn some clergy. --State Papers (1515). [1913 Webster]

3. The privilege or benefit of clergy. [1913 Webster]

If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]

{Benefit of clergy} (Eng., Law), the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge -- a privilege which was extended to all who could read, such persons being, in the eye of the law, clerici, or clerks. This privilege was abridged and modified by various statutes, and finally abolished in the reign of George IV. (1827).

{Regular clergy}, {Secular clergy} See {Regular}, n., and {Secular}, a. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Benefit of Clergy — • The exemption from the jurisdiction of the secular courts, which in England, in the Middle Ages, was accorded to clergymen Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Benefit of Clergy     Benefit of Clergy …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • benefit of clergy — In old England, the privilege of clergy that allowed them to avoid trial by all courts of the civil government. Dictionary from West s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. benefit of clergy In old Eng …   Law dictionary

  • Benefit of clergy — Benefit Ben e*fit, n. [OE. benefet, benfeet, bienfet, F. bienfait, fr. L. benefactum; bene well (adv. of bonus good) + factum, p. p. of facere to do. See {Bounty}, and {Fact}.] 1. An act of kindness; a favor conferred. [1913 Webster] Bless the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • benefit of clergy — n. 1. the exemption of the medieval clergy from trial or punishment except in a church court 2. an administering or sanctioning by the church [a couple that is married without benefit of clergy] …   English World dictionary

  • benefit of clergy — ► benefit of clergy 1) historical exemption of the English clergy and nuns from the jurisdiction of the ordinary civil courts. 2) ecclesiastical sanction or approval. Main Entry: ↑benefit …   English terms dictionary

  • Benefit of clergy — In English law, the benefit of clergy (Law Latin Privilegium clericale) was originally a provision by which clergymen could claim that they were outside the jurisdiction of the secular courts and be tried instead in an ecclesiastical court under… …   Wikipedia

  • benefit of clergy — noun sanction by a religious rite they are living together without benefit of clergy • Hypernyms: ↑sanction * * * Etymology: translation of Medieval Latin beneficium clericale 1. : the privilege claimed by the medieval church of demanding a trial …   Useful english dictionary

  • Benefit of clergy — One of the issues at the centre of the dispute between Henry II and the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. The benefit released *clergy, criminous clerks , from the power of secular courts regarding various charges of felony and other… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • benefit of clergy — 1. the rites or sanctions of a church. 2. formal marriage: living together without benefit of clergy. 3. the privilege claimed by church authorities to try and punish, by an ecclesiastical court, any member of the clergy accused of a serious… …   Universalium

  • benefit of clergy — ben′efit of cler′gy n. 1) rel the rites or sanctions of a church: living together without benefit of clergy[/ex] 2) rel the medieval privilege of clerics to be tried by ecclesiastic rather than secular courts • Etymology: 1480–90 …   From formal English to slang

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