About Livings

In this exhibition we will look at one of King’s College’s ‘livings’ and arguably its best known rector.

Until the twentieth century, the College’s main source of income was through rent. As well as owning land, the College often owned manorial rights. One such right was patronage, or advowson (though some advowsons are not tied to manors), which meant that the College, as lay Rector, could collect tithes and it also allowed the College to recommend a member of the Anglican clergy to be vicar at a vacant benefice, or ‘living’. The tithes, and often a house and glebe lands (lands associated with the benefice) were usually passed directly to the vicar. The making of such an appointment was referred to as a presentation.

For most of its history King’s College had about 27 advowsons and the list didn’t change much. The image below shows the list of advowsons in 1800.