Free Online Bible Library | Benefit of Clergy

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Would you do us the favor of answering this two question poll so we can know how to serve you better? You will also be given the opportunity to join our team tasked with how to make better. Thank you.  --Bill Mounce


Benefit of Clergy

One sequel to Becket's* politically disastrous murder was Henry II's concession to all English tonsured clergy and nuns of trial for all criminal offenses, except forest offenses, in a church court instead of in a secular court with its heavier punishments (1176). Edward III (1327-77) included certain lay first offenders who could read-usually the “Neck verse” (Ps. 51:1). Many in later medieval England considered benefit of clergy was open to abuse, and the sixteenth- century English Reformation saw its systematic erosion. Major crimes were excepted: guilty clerics could be imprisoned (and under George I [1714-27] transported). In 1827 the privilege was abolished.

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