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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 31 Dec 2000 09:54:37 -0800
TEXT/PLAIN (76 lines)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 15:26:26 +0200
From: Wendy Jacobson <[log in to unmask]>
To: Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Response: "Corporation preferment" in MED

        David Parker, predictably, puts me to shame!!  His answer on
Corporation Preferment explains what the brief note in my Companion
muddles!!   Thank you David!
PS And a happy New Year to all.
On 29 Dec 00, at 9:51, Patrick McCarthy wrote:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 09:49:53 -0000
From: David Parker <[log in to unmask]>
To: Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re:      Question on "Corporation preferment" in MED

I don't know the history of the appointing of clergymen to livings in
the City of London, but surely this phrase is fairly transparent,
means what it seems to mean, and teaches us something of that
 Mrs Crisparkle's brother-in-law is a clergyman appointed to a living
in a City church by the City Corporation.  I can't recall when
preferment was abolished - some time late in the nineteenth century
probably - but it was a system which entitled grandees to select the
priests for certain churches, and to give them the livings of those
churches - endowment income, tithes, collections etc.  It was most
common in ancient manors where, very often, the lord of the manor was
entitled to appoint the priest to the parish church.  We see a fair
bit of it in Jane Austen's novels.  A free corporation since ancient
times, the City of London of course had no lords of the manor, and
doubtless the Corporation had acquired for itself the right of

David Parker

----- Original Message -----
From: Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2000 5:57 PM
Subject: Question on "Corporation preferment" in MED

> To dear All, with a pesky unanswered question...
>         Let me return to Gail Houston's puzzling inquiry about
> "Corporation preferment" in _Mystery of Edwin Drood_.   In Chapter
> Six Mrs. Crisparkle's sister is said to be "the childless wife of a
> clergyman holding Corporation preferment in London City." Gail asks,
> "Does anyone know what this means?  Does it have to do with the
> legal concept of the "corporation sole" as in the incorporation of
> the concept of kingship (as being an essence beyond individual
> kings) and of the parson?"
>         The knowledgeable author of _The Companion to "The Mystery
>         of
> Edwin Drood"_, Wendy Jacobson, has only a vague idea which she has
> decided not to advance.  My annotated copies of the novel are of no
> help.  Perhaps we need someone who knows the ins-and-outs of Church
> preferment?
> Yours,
> Patrick
> Editor D-L

Wendy S Jacobson
The Department of English
Rhodes University, Grahamstown  6140
Phone: RU - 046.6038407   H - 046.6226497 Fax:   046.622.2264
Email: [log in to unmask]        Web:   www.ru.ac.za/english