What you say, was my understanding of what a curate was.
I had interpreted it as or at least assumed that Curates had been ordained in Holy Orders,
and were simply awaiting for the chance through patronage to be promoted to a Parish of
It is probably that those in Perpetual Curacies were ordained priests, as the incumbent
would to all intents and purposes be the equivalent of a Vicar or Rector.
There however numerous references in Deeds and Wills, and many Wills of Individuals styled
as Clerks in the 16 and 17 hundreds who do not appear in the Diocesan Records.
I may be wrong, but believe on my interpretation of the evidence I have found, that the
Incumbents employed individuals to act as their assistants, and paid them out of their own
Stipend. This appears to have been a private arrangement, as their names do not appear in
Diocesan Records, or as having attended University, which seems to have automatically
qualified them for priesthood.
What functions they could or could not perform on behalf of the incumbent, is another
Message Received: Sep 30 2013, 08:32 PM
From: "Lynne Ingalls"
To: rdafis(a)fsmail.net, "Dyfdd List [Dyfdd List]"
Subject: Re: [Dyfed] Curates
The Dictionary of Genealogy (which everyone should have) says, "until the
seventeenth century the term 'curate' was often synonymous with
but latterly it has applied almost exclusively to an assistant parish
priest, paid a salary or stipend and removable by the incumbent or bishop.
A Perpetual Curate is one in charge of a parish church where the tithes have
been impropriated and there is no endowed vicarage."
The dictionary then says, "see Church of England hierarchy," which isn't in
the dictionary. Maybe you could Google it.
Lynne in Tucson
From: RHODRI DAFIS
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2013 11:37 AM
To: Dyfdd List [Dyfdd List]
Subject: [Dyfed] Curates
This may sound a stupid question, but I am confused by who was termed a
Curate, and how the definition changed between say 1700 and the present day.
I was under the impression that a Curate was always a Clerk in Holy Orders,
ordained by the Bishop, but I appear to be mistaken.
Can anyone enlighten me?
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