advowson (ad-vow-z<<schwa>>n).Eccles. law. The right of presenting or nominating a
person to a vacant be-nefice in the church. • The person enjoying this right is called the “patron”
(patronus) of the church, and was formerly termed “advocatus,” the advocate or defender, or in
English, the “advowee.” The patron presents the nominee to the bishop (or, occasionally, another
church dignitary). If there is no patron, or if the patron neglects to exercise the right within six
months, the right lapses and a title is given to the ordinary (usu. the bishop) to appoint a cleric to
the church. Cf. PRESENTATION(2); INSTITUTION(5).
“A right of presentation has always been regarded as a valuable object of a sale, a species of
real property which can be transferred and dealt with generally in the same way as a fee simple
estate in lands …. Thus an advowson may be conveyed away in fee simple, fee tail, for life or
years, or the conveyance may be limited to the right of next presentation or of a specified number
of future presentations.” G.C. Cheshire, Modern Law of Real Property 110 (3d ed. 1933).
“An advowson is the perpetual right of presentation to an ecclesiastical living. The owner of
an advowson is known as the patron. When a living becomes vacant, as when a rector or vicar dies
or retires, the patron of the living has a right to nominate the clergyman who shall next hold the
living. Subject to a right of veto on certain specified grounds, the Bishop is bound to institute
(formally appoint) any duly qualified person presented. This is a relic of the days when it was
common for the lord of a manor to build and endow a church and in return have the right of
patronage.” Robert E. Megarry & P.V. Baker, A Manual of the Law of Real Property 414 (4th ed.
advowson appendant (<<schwa>>-pen-d<<schwa>>nt). An advowson annexed to a manor,
and passing as incident to it, whenever the manor is conveyed to another. • The advowson passes
with the manor even if it is not mentioned in the grant.
advowson collative (k<<schwa>>-lay-tiv). An advowson for which there is no separate
presentation to the bishop because the bishop happens to be the patron as well. • In this case, the
one act by which the benefice is conferred is called “collation.”
advowson donative (don-<<schwa>>-tiv ordoh-n<<schwa>>-tiv). An advowson in which the
patron has the right to put a cleric in possession by a mere gift, or deed of donation, without any
presentation to the bishop. • This type of advowson was converted into the advowson presentative
by the Benefices Act of 1898. — Also termed donative advowson.
“An advowson donative is when the king, or any subject by his licence, doth found a church
or chapel, and ordains that it shall be merely in the gift or disposal of the patron; subject to his
visitation only, and not to that of the ordinary; and vested absolutely in the clerk by the patron’s
deed of donation, without presentation, institution, or induction. This is said to have been
anciently the only way of conferring ecclesiastical benefices in England; the method of institution
by the bishop not being established more early than the time of archbishop Becket in the reign of
Henry II.” 2 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 23 (1766).
advowson in gross.An advowson that is separated from the manor and annexed to a person. •
All advowsons that have been separated from their original manors are advowsons in gross.
advowson presentative (pri-zen-t<<schwa>>-tiv). The usual kind of advowson, in which the
patron has the right to make the presentation to the bishop and to demand that the nominee be
instituted, if the bishop finds the nominee canonically qualified.
donative advowson.See advowson donative. [Blacks Law 8th]