Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A law; a church officer who took revenue for conducting service.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    1. A law, rule or ordinance in general, and of the church in particular. An ecclesiastical law or statute.
    —Canon law. A body of ecclesiastical jurisprudence which, in countries where the Roman Catholic church is established, is composed of maxims and rules drawn from patristic sources, oniinances and decrees of general councils, and the decretals and bulls of the popes. In England, according to Blackstone, there is a kind of national canon law, composed of legatine and provincial constitutions enacted in England pnor to the reformation, and adapted to the exigencies of the English church and kingdom. 1 Bl. Comm. 82. The canon law consists partly of certain rules taken out of the Scripture, partly of the writings of the ancient fathers of the church, partly of the ordinances of general and provincial councils, and partly of the decrees of the popes in former ages; and it is contained in two principal parts,
    —the decrees and the decretals. The decrees are ecclesiastical constitutions made by the popes and cardinals. The decretals are canonical epistles written by the pope, or by the pope and cardinals, at the suit of one or more persons, for the ordering and determining of some matter of controversy, and have the authority of a law. As the decrees set out the origin of the canon law, and the rights, dignities, and decrees of ecclesiastical persons, with their manner of election, ordination, etc., so the decretals contain the law to be used in the ecclesiastical courts. Jacob.
    — Canon religiosorum. In ecclesiastical records. A book wherein the religious of every greater convent had a fair transcript of the rules of their order, frequentlv read among hem as their iocal statutes. Kennett, Gloss.; fowell.
    2. A system or aggregation of correlated ules, whether of statutory origin or other-vise, relating to and governing a particuiar lepartment of legal science or a particular )ranch of the substantive law. -Canons of construction. The system of undamental rules and maxims which are rec-gnized as governing the construction or inter-iretation of written instruments.
    —Canons of lescent. The legal rules by which inheritan-es are regulated, and according to which Bl. Comm. 208.
    3. A dignitary of the English church, be-ig a prebendary or member of a cathedral hapten.
    4. In the civil, Spanish, and Mexican law, n annual charge or rent; an emphyteutic jnt.
    5. In old English records, a prestation, ension, or customary payment