Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 September 2021
This chapter explores the history and extent of the jurisdiction of Parliament over the ecclesiastical law of the Church of England and the role of bishops sitting as members of the House of Lords, some of them prominent and controversial. Among the ecclesiastical lawyers were several who served as Members of Parliament. The nineteenth century saw the revival of Convocation, the Church’s own Parliament, and the chapter follows it in its efforts to re-establish itself. The Church owned a great deal of property, and lay property holders had opportunities to exploit their rights to the gift of clerical livings. There were accusations of simony. In both contexts there were property disputes. All this sharpened the long-standing question of the relationship between temporalities which were the proper business of secular law and the spiritualities which were not.