A benefice or living is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The Roman Empire used the Latin term beneficium as a benefit to an individual from the Empire for services rendered, its use was adopted by the Western Church in the Carolingian Era as a benefit bestowed by the crown or church officials. A benefice from a church is called a precaria such as a stipend and one from a monarch or nobleman is called a fief. A benefice is distinct from an allod, in that an allod is property owned outright, not bestowed by a higher authority. In ancient Rome a benefice was a gift of land for life as a reward for services rendered to the state; the word comes from the Latin noun beneficium, meaning "benefit". In the 8th century, using their position as Mayor of the Palace, Charles Martel, Carloman I and Pepin II usurped a large number of church benefices for distribution to vassals, Carolingians continued this practice as emperors; these estates were held in return for oaths of military assistance, which aided the Carolingians in consolidating and strengthening their power.
Charlemagne continued the late Roman concept of granting benefices in return for military and administrative service to his empire. Thus, the imperial structure was bound together through a series of oaths between the monarch and the recipient of land, he ordered and administered his kingdom and his empire through a series of published statutes called capitularies. The Capitulary of Herstal distinguished between his vassals who were styled casati and non-casati, those subjects who had received a benefice from the hand of the king and those who had not, towards the end of Charlemagne's reign it appears that a royal vassal who had satisfactorily fulfilled his duties could always look forward to the grant of a benefice in some part of the Empire. Once he had received a benefice, he would take up his residence on it. In the year 800 Pope Leo III placed the crown of Holy Roman Emperor on the head of Charlemagne; this act caused great turmoil for future generations, who would afterward argue that the emperor thereby received his position as a benefice from the papacy.
In his March 1075 Dictatus Papae, Pope Gregory VII declared that only the pope could depose an emperor, which implied that he could do so just as a lord might take a benefice away from a vassal. This declaration inflamed Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and furthered the friction caused in the Investiture Conflict; the expanded practice continued through the Middle Ages within the European feudal system. This same customary method became adopted by the Catholic Church; the church's revenue streams came from, amongst other things and profits arising from assets gifted to the church, its endowment, given by believers, be they monarch, lord of the manor or vassal, also upon tithes calculated on the sale of the product of the people's personal labour in the entire parish such as cloth or shoes and the people's profits from specific forms of God-given, natural increase such as crops and in livestock. The Catholic Church granted buildings, grants of land and greater and/or lesser tithes for life but the land was not alienated from the dioceses.
However the Council of Lyons of 566 annexed these grants to the churches. By the time of the Council of Mainz of 813 these grants were known as beneficia. Holding a benefice did not imply a cure of souls although each benefice had a number of spiritual duties attached to it. For providing these duties, a priest would receive "temporalities". Benefices were used for the worldly support of much of its pastoral clergy – clergy gaining rewards for carrying out their duties with rights to certain revenues, the "fruits of their office"; the original donor of the temporalities or his nominee, the patron and his successors in title, held the advowson. Parish priests were charged with the temporal care of their congregation; the community provided for the priest as necessary as organisation improved, by tithe. Some individual institutions within the church accumulated enormous endowments and, with that, temporal power; these endowments sometimes concentrated great wealth in the "dead hand" of the church, so called because it endured beyond any individual's life.
The church was exempt from all taxes. This was in contrast to feudal practice where the nobility would hold land on grant from the king in return for service service in war; this meant that the church over time gained a large share of land in many feudal states and so was a cause of increasing tension between the church and the Crown. The holder of more than one benefice known as a pluralist, could keep the revenue to which he was entitled and pay lesser sums to deputies to carry out the corresponding duties. By a Decree of the Lateran Council of 1215 no clerk could hold two benefices with cure of souls, if a beneficed clerk took a second benefice with cure of souls, he vacated ipso facto his first benefice. Dispensations, could be obtained from Rome; the benefice system was open to abuse. Acquisitive prelates held multiple major benefices; the holding of more than one benefice is termed pluralism. An Engli
Victoria County History
The Victoria History of the Counties of England known as the Victoria County History or the VCH, is an English history project which began in 1899 and was dedicated to Queen Victoria with the aim of creating an encyclopaedic history of each of the historic counties of England. In 2012 the project was rededicated to Queen Elizabeth II in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee year. Since 1933 the project has been coordinated by the Institute of Historical Research in the University of London; the history of the VCH falls into three main phases, defined by different funding regimes: an early phase, 1899–1914, when the project was conceived as a commercial enterprise, progress was rapid. These phases have been characterised by changing attitudes towards the proper scope of English local history; the early volumes were planned on the model of traditional English county histories, with a strong emphasis on manorial descents, the advowsons of parish churches, the local landed gentry: a prospectus of c. 1904 stated that "there is no Englishman to whom does not in some one or other of its features make a direct appeal".
More recent volumes – those published since the 1950s – have been more wide-ranging in their approach, have included systematic coverage of social and economic history, industrial history, population history, educational history, landscape history, religious nonconformity, so on: individual parish histories have grown in length and complexity. From 1902 the joint general editors were William Page. Doubleday resigned in 1904, leaving Page as sole general editor until his death in 1934. In 1932 Page bought the rights to the ailing project for a nominal sum, donating it to the Institute of Historical Research the following year. Page was succeeded as general editor by L. F. Salzman, who remained in post until 1949; the early volumes depended on the efforts of a large number of young research workers female, fresh from degree courses at Oxford, London or the Scottish universities, for whom other employment opportunities were limited: the VCH of this period has been described as "a history for gentlemen researched by ladies".
From 1909 until 1931 Frederick Smith 2nd Viscount Hambleden, was the VCH's major sponsor. In February 2005 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the VCH £3,374,000 to fund the England's Past for Everyone project, which ran from September that year until February 2010; the first VCH volume was published in 1901, publication continued throughout the 20th century, although in some counties it has come to a halt during the First World War and again in the 1970s. Some inactive counties have been reactivated. There are now more than 230 VCH volumes, with around three new volumes published per year; each is published with a red cover, they are therefore sometimes known as "the big red books". When the Institute of Historical Research published a short history of the project to mark the 75th anniversary of taking it over, it was titled The Little Big Red Book. A special edition Jubilee book was published in 2012, A Diamond Jubilee Celebration 1899-2012. A map showing the publication status appears on the VCH website.
From its inception, responsibility for writing the volumes was delegated to local editors for each individual county. The county editors traditionally worked under the direction of a general editor, following a uniform format and style. In general, the histories begin with one or more volumes of general studies of the county as a whole, including major themes, such as religious history, industries, an introduction to and translation of the relevant section of Domesday Book; these volumes are followed by others consisting of detailed historical surveys of each Hundred and Ward, parish by parish. At first, ancient ecclesiastical parishes formed the unit of investigation, but "since the mid-1950s the VCH parish is the civil parish, the modern successor of the ancient parishes or of townships within them. Large towns are dealt with as a whole, since the 1960s, built-up areas of adjoining rural parishes. Under the original plan, each county, in addition to its general and topographical volumes, was to have a genealogical volume containing the pedigrees of county families.
Genealogical volumes were published in a large folio format for Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire, but the research costs were found to be excessive, this side of the project was discontinued. Some of the county histories have been completed. For each of these, the number of volumes published and the date of completion is as follows: Bedfordshire 1914 Berkshire 1927 Buckinghamshire 1928 Cambridgeshire 2002 Hampshire 1914 Hertfordshire 1923 Huntingdonshire 1938 Lancashire 1914 Rutland 1936 Surrey 1914 Warwickshire 1969 Worcestershire 1926 Yorkshire 1925 Yorkshire 1925 For each uncompleted county history on which work is continuing, the number of volumes published and the dates of
In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; the unit rolled out across England in the 1860s. A civil parish can range in size from a large town with a population of about 75,000 to a single village with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. Eight parishes have city status. A civil parish may be known as and confirmed as a town, neighbourhood or community by resolution of its parish council, a right reserved not conferred on other units of English local government. 35% of the English population live in a civil parish. As of 31 December 2015 there were 10,449 parishes in England; the most populous is Weston super Mare and those with cathedral city status are Chichester, Hereford, Ripon, Salisbury and Wells.
On 1 April 2014, Queen's Park became the first civil parish in Greater London. Before 2008 their creation was not permitted within a London borough. Wales was divided into civil parishes until 1974, when they were replaced by communities, which are similar to English parishes in the way they operate. Civil parishes in Scotland were abolished for local government purposes by the Local Government Act 1929, the Scottish equivalent of English civil parishes are community council areas, which were established by the Local Government Act 1973; the Parish system in Europe was established between the 8th and 12th centuries and in England was old by the time of the Conquest. These areas were based on the territory of one or more manors, areas which in some cases derived their bounds from Roman or Iron Age estates. Parish boundaries were conservative, changing little, after 1180'froze' so that boundaries could no longer be changed at all, despite changes to manorial landholdings - though there were some examples of sub-division.
The consistency of these boundaries, up until the 19th century is useful to historians, is of cultural significance in terms of shaping local identities, a factor reinforced by the adoption of parish boundaries unchanged, by successor local government units. There was huge variation in size between parishes, for instance Writtle in Essex was 13,568 acres while neighbouring Shellow Bowells was just 469 acres, Chignall Smealy 476 acres; until the break with Rome, parishes managed ecclesiastical matters, while the manor was the principal unit of local administration and justice. The church replaced the manor court as the rural administrative centre, levied a local tax on produce known as a tithe. In the medieval period, responsibilities such as relief of the poor passed from the Lord of the Manor to the parish's rector, who in practice would delegate tasks among his vestry or the monasteries. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the power to levy a rate to fund relief of the poor was conferred on the parish authorities by the Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601.
Both before and after this optional social change, local charities are well-documented. The parish authorities were consisted of all the ratepayers of the parish; as the number of ratepayers of some parishes grew, it became difficult to convene meetings as an open vestry. In some built up, areas the select vestry took over responsibility from the entire body of ratepayers; this innovation allowed governance by a self-perpetuating elite. The administration of the parish system relied on the monopoly of the established English Church, which for a few years after Henry VIII alternated between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, before settling on the latter on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558. By the 18th century, religious membership was becoming more fractured in some places, due for instance to the progress of Methodism; the legitimacy of the parish vestry came into question and the perceived inefficiency and corruption inherent in the system became a source for concern in some places.
For this reason, during the early 19th century the parish progressively lost its powers to ad hoc boards and other organisations, for example the loss of responsibility for poor relief through the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Sanitary districts covered England in Ireland three years later; the replacement boards were each entitled to levy their own rate in the parish. The church rate ceased to be levied in many parishes and became voluntary from 1868; the ancient parishes diverged into two distinct, nearly overlapping, systems of parishes during the 19th century. The Poor Law Amendment Act 1866 declared all areas that levied a separate rate: C of E ecclesiastical parishes, extra-parochial areas and their analogue, chapelries, to be "civil parishes". To have collected rates this means these beforehand had their own vestries, boards or equivalent bodies; the Church of England parishes, which cover more than 99% of England, became termed "ecclesiastical parishes" and the boundaries of these soon diverged from those of the Ancient Parishes in order to reflect modern circumstances.
After 1921 each ecclesiastical parish has been the responsibility of the parochial church councils. In the late 19th century, most of the ancient irregularities inheri
Salisbury Plain is a chalk plateau in the south western part of central southern England covering 300 square miles. It is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group and lies within the county of Wiltshire, but stretching into Berkshire and Hampshire; the plain is famous for its rich archaeology, including Stonehenge, one of England's best known landmarks. As a result of the establishment of the Defence Training Estate Salisbury Plain, the plain is sparsely populated and is the largest remaining area of calcareous grassland in north-west Europe. Additionally the plain has arable land, a few small areas of beech trees and coniferous woodland, its highest point is Easton Hill. The boundaries of Salisbury Plain have never been defined, there is some difference of opinion as to its exact area; the river valleys surrounding it, other downs and plains beyond them loosely define its boundaries. To the north the scarp of the downs overlooks the Vale of Pewsey, to the north west the Bristol Avon.
The River Wylye runs along the south west, the Bourne runs to the east. The Hampshire Avon runs through the eastern half of the plain and to the south the plain peters out as the river valleys close together before meeting at Salisbury. From here the Avon continues south to the English Channel at Christchurch; the Hampshire Downs and the Berkshire Downs are chalk downland to the east and north of Salisbury Plain, the Dorset Downs is to the south west. In the west and north west the geology is of the clays and limestones of the Blackmore Vale, Avon Vale and Vale of Wardour. Amesbury is considered the largest settlement on the plain, though there are a number of small villages, such as Tilshead and Shrewton in the middle of the plain, as well as various hamlets and army camps; the A303 road runs along the southern area of the plain, while the A345 and the A360 cut across the centre. Salisbury Plain is famous for its archaeology. In the Neolithic period Stone Age people began to settle on the plain, most centred around the causewayed enclosure of Robin Hood's Ball.
Large long barrows like White Barrow and other earthworks were built across the plain. By 2500 BC areas around Durrington Walls and Stonehenge had become a focus for building, the southern part of the plain continued to be settled into the Bronze Age. Around 600 BC Iron Age Hill forts came to be constructed around the boundaries of the plain, including Scratchbury Camp and Battlesbury Camp to the south west, Bratton Camp to the north west, Casterley Camp to the north and Vespasian's Camp to the south, Sidbury Hill to the east. Roman roads are visible features serving a settlement near Old Sarum. Villas are sparse and Anglo-Saxon place names suggest that the plain was a grain-producing imperial estate. In the 6th century Anglo-Saxon incomers built planned settlements in the valleys surrounded by strip lynchets, with the downland left as sheep pasture. To the south is the city of Salisbury, whose 13th and 14th century cathedral is famous for having the tallest spire in the country, the building was, for many centuries, the tallest building in Britain.
The cathedral is evidence of the prosperity the cloth trade brought to the area. In the mid-19th century the wool and cloth industry began to decline, leading to a decline in the population and change in land use from sheep farming to agriculture and military use. Wiltshire became one of the poorest counties in England during this period of decline. There are a number of chalk carvings on the plain, of which the most famous is the Westbury White Horse; the Kennet and Avon Canal was constructed through the Vale of Pewsey. In September 1896, George Kemp and Guglielmo Marconi experimented with wireless telegraphy on Salisbury Plain, achieved good results over a distance of 1.25 miles. Media related to Army Training Estate Salisbury Plain at Wikimedia Commons The military training area covers half of the plain; the army first conducted exercises on the plain in 1898. From that time, the Ministry of Defence bought up large areas of land until the Second World War; the MoD now own 150 square miles of land, making it the largest military training area in the United Kingdom.
Of this, around 39 square miles are permanently closed to the public, access is restricted in other areas. As of 2016, the largest camps and barracks are at Larkhill, Tidworth, Trenchard Lines and Warminster. Several installations have been built and since removed, including a railway line and aerodrome that were constructed next to Stonehenge. In 1943 the village of Imber and the hamlet of Hinton Parva were evacuated to allow training for Operation Overlord to be conducted. Whilst the inhabitants of Hinton Parva were allowed to return at the end of hostilities, Imber village has remained closed, except for an annual church service and some bank holidays; the Royal School of Artillery is based at Larkhill, live firing is conducted on the plain for 340 days of each year. Military personnel from the UK and around the world spend some 600,000-man days on the plain every year; the DTE SP is located close to other military facilities including the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, Boscombe Down airfield and Middle Wallop Army Air Corps Base, where pilots train on the Westland Apache.
20,000 hectares are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Special Areas of Conservation, the entire SP is a Special Protection Area for birds. BFBS Radio broadcasts from studios on Marlborough Road, Bulford, on DAB, FM and satellite
Warminster is a town and civil parish in western Wiltshire, England, by-passed by the A36 and the concurrent A350 between Westbury and Blandford Forum. It has a population of about 17,000; the 11th-century Minster Church of St Denys stands near the River Were, which runs through the town and can be seen running through the town park. The name Warminster first occurs in the early 10th century; the main settlement at Warminster dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period, although there is evidence of pre-historic settlements in the area at the nearby Iron Age hill forts: Battlesbury Camp, Scratchbury Camp and Cley Hill. Two Roman villas have been discovered in the area. By the 10th century, Warminster included a royal manor and an Anglo-Saxon Minster, with the residents associated with the estate; the royal manor was passed to new lords in the 12th century, during which time the township started to grow. During the 13th century, a market was set up at Warminster, by 1377 the town had 304 poll-tax payers, the tenth largest in Wiltshire.
The town's name has evolved over time. The name may be related to the River Were, a tributary of River Wylye which runs through the town, from an Anglo-Saxon minster or monastery, which may have existed in the area of St Denys's Church, although the evidence for this is slight; the river's name, "Were" may be derived from the Old English "worian". During the English Civil War, between 1642 and 1645, the town was the site of a few incidents. A major for the "Roundheads", Henry Wansey, was besieged in Warminster, while a force under Edmund Ludlow entered a skirmish on Warminster Common when trying to relieve him. By 1646, the town had suffered £500 worth of damages by supporting the Roundheads; the market at Warminster was the focus of the town's prosperity, with significant wool and malting trades established by the 16th century and continuing to be the economic backbone of the town until the 19th century. The market included a significant corn trade throughout the period and was regarded as the second largest corn market in the west of England in 1830.
Unlike many markets of the time where farmers would take only samples to market, Warminster's corn market required a sack from each load of corn to be available to customers. The town had a large amount of accommodation for visitors to the market, in 1686 it was ranked fourth for number of places to stay in Wiltshire, with 116 beds. By 1710 there were fifty inns and alehouses in the town; the town was an early adopter of the Turnpikes Act to improve the roads around the town. Unlike many roads improved at the time which would link to towns, Warminster chose to improve seven roads around the town, all under three miles long. Despite the prosperity, one settlement of houses near Warminster Common had a poor reputation. William Daniell wrote in 1781 that people were living in unplastered hovels with earth floors, that piles of filth poisoned the stream bringing typhus and smallpox; the people were considered drunk criminals. Daniell and members of the clergy were keen to help the residents, by 1833 the area was considered clean and respectable.
The town centre was redesigned after 1807 when George Wansey, from a family of clothiers in Warminster, left £1,000 to improve the town, provided his money could be matched by local fundraising. The funding was spent on demolishing houses to widen roads. In 1851, a railway line from Westbury was opened, in 1856 the line was continued to Salisbury; the new railway had a devastating effect on the town's market, which fell away to nothing, the shops and inns lost most of their business, the local industries declined. In 1907, a committee was put together to advertise the town, creating a town guide and advertising in national publications; the committee could not come to an agreement with Lord Bath over the location of a new hotel. Between 1937 and 1961, a significant military presence formed at Warminster, with the addition of camps, a permanent Barracks at Battlesbury, married quarters, a School of Infantry, workshops for vehicle repairs. Warminster falls under two levels of local government, Wiltshire Council and Warminster Town Council.
The latter was established in April 1974, after the reorganisation which removed Warminster Urban District Council, established in 1894. The town is divided into four wards, called Warminster West, Warminster East and Copheap; the first three elect four councillors each, whilst the last elects a single councillor, creating a total of thirteen councillors. Two of the councillors are elected to act as deputy mayor. Warminster falls in the parliamentary constituency of South West Wiltshire. Warminster is located in south-west Wiltshire, near to the Somerset border; the town is surrounded by six hills, providing security for early settlers. The area is made up of chalk, which provides good drainage to the nearby River Wylye, providing plenty of arable and pasturable land near to the village; the Wylye is a tributary of the River Avon. Warminster is close to Selwood Forest; the former hamlets of Bugley and Boreham are now part of Warminster's suburbs. The Domesday survey of 1086 recorded 104 households craftsmen for the royal demesne, but the population had grown by 1377 to 304 poll-tax payers, the tenth largest village in Wiltshire.
In 1665, the population had increa
Saints Cosmas and Damian
Saints Cosmas and Damian were two Arab physicians, reputedly twin brothers, early Christian martyrs. They practiced their profession in the seaport of Aegeae in the Roman province of Syria. Accepting no payment for their services led to them being named Anargyroi. Nothing is known of their lives except that they suffered martyrdom in Syria during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian. According to Christian traditions, the twin brothers became skilled doctors. Saladino d'Ascoli, a 15th century Italian physician, claims that the medieval electuary, a pasty mass consisting of a drug mixed with sugar and water or honey suitable for oral administration, known as opopira, a complex compound medicine used to treat diverse maladies including paralysis, was invented by Cosmas and Damian. During the persecution under Diocletian and Damian were arrested by order of the Prefect of Cilicia, one Lysias, otherwise unknown, who ordered them under torture to recant. However, according to legend they stayed true to their faith, enduring being hung on a cross and shot by arrows and suffered execution by beheading.
Anthimus and Euprepius, their younger brothers, who were inseparable from them throughout life, shared in their martyrdom. The veneration of Cosmas and Damian spread beyond Constantinople; the legends are preserved in Syriac, Georgian and Latin. As early as the 4th century, churches dedicated to the twin saints were established at Jerusalem, in Egypt and in Mesopotamia. Devotion to the two saints spread in both East and West. Theodoret records the division of their reputed relics, their relics, deemed miraculous, were buried in the city of Cyrrus in Syria. Churches were built in their honor by Archbishop Proclus and by Emperor Justinian I, who sumptuously restored the city of Cyrus and dedicated it to the twins, but brought their purported relics to Constantinople. At Rome Pope Felix IV rededicated the Library of Peace as a basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano in the Forum of Vespasian in their honour; the church is still famed for its sixth-century mosaics illustrating the saints. What are said to be their skulls are venerated in the convent of the Clares in Madrid, where they have been since 1581, the gift of Maria, daughter of Emperor Charles V.
They had been removed from Rome to Bremen in the tenth century, thence to Bamberg. Other skulls said to be theirs were discovered in 1334 by Archbishop of Bremen, he "personally'miraculously' retrieved the relics of the holy physicians Cosmas and Damian, which were immured and forgotten in the choir of the Bremen Cathedral. In celebration of the retrieval Archbishop and Chapter arranged a feast at Pentecost 1335, when the relics were translated from the wall to a more dignified place. Grelle claimed the relics were those Archbishop Adaldag brought from Rome in 965; the cathedral master-builder Johann Hemeling made a shrine for the relics, finished around 1420. The shrine,made from carved oak wood covered with gilt and rolled silver is considered an important mediaeval gold work. In 1649 Bremen's Chapter, Lutheran by this time, sold the shrine without the heads to Maximilian I of Bavaria; the two heads came into the possession of the small Roman Catholic community. They were shown from 1934 to 1968 in the Church of St. Johann and in 1994 they were buried in the crypt.
The shrine is now shown in the Jesuit church of St Michael in Munich. At least since 1413 another supposed pair of skulls of the saints has been stored in St Stephens's Cathedral in Vienna. Other relics are claimed by the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice; the martyr twins are invoked in the Canon of the Mass in the prayer known as the Communicantes: "In communion with the whole Church, they venerate above all others the memory of the glorious ever-virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ of blessed Joseph, husband of the Virgin, your blessed Apostles and Martyrs and Paul, James... John and Paul and Damian and all your Saints: grant through their merits and prayers that in all things we may be defended by the help of your protection." They are invoked in the Litany of the Saints, in the older form of the Roman rite, in the Collect for Thursday in the Third Week of Lent, as the station church for this day is Santi Cosma e Damiano. Their feast day in the General Roman Calendar, on September 27, was moved in 1969 to September 26, because September 27 is the dies natalis of Saint Vincent de Paul, now more venerated in the Latin Church.
In Canada it has been moved to Sept. 25. Sts Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and pharmacists and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. In Brazil, the twin saints are regarded as protectors of children, September 27 is commemorated in Rio de Janeiro, by giving children bags of candy with the saints' effigy printed on th