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Simony

A word meaning the sale of spiritual things. For example, a man might offer money to persuade the bishop to ordain him or he might try to purchase an ecclesiastical benefice. The system of patronage was extremely susceptible to simony and it was probably widespread. The Canons of 1604 stipulated that all ordinands and all those receiving a benefice must swear an oath that they had not achieved their office through simony.