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Historical Developments Leading up to the Present Financial Situation

         In the early years of the sixteenth century, the Reformation in

England taking form round the person of King Henry VIII led to the

establishment of what is now known as the Church of England and to the

appropriation by the Crown both of the various payments ('tithes' and

'annuates') which formerly went to Rome, and of various assets formerly

held by religious beneficiaries. Whilst some of the proceeds therefrom

were used for ecclesiastical purposes, the greater bulk were applied

to Henry's more pressing regal needs and the effect on the clergy was

traumatic. So much so that in 1704 Henry's descendant Queen Anne

restored to the Church a substantial proportion of the capital value

formerly expropriated with the injunction that the proceeds therefrom

were to be applied "for the benefit of the poorer clergy"(B25). Thus

was founded a fund that was to become popularly known as 'Queen

Anne's Bounty'
and to continue in existence for over two and a half centuries.

         During the course of these centuries the Church of England evolved

an administrative structure based on the existing small local units

('parishes') and larger regional units ('dioceses'), thus tending away

from the concentration of religious life and thought in monastic and

cathedral units. The parish evolved as, and remains, the principal legal

unit of the whole Church organisation, partly because in many cases a

parish church was established and maintained by a local patron

by so doing was able both to satisfy the religious needs of his own

community and to provide a channel for the exercise in that community

of his own influence. Many such patrons supported their parish church

materially not only during their own lifetime but also by making

testamentary bequests. These bequests took many forms
but for

the purposes of this study we can conveniently regard them as each

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