Almoner

Almoner is the name given originally to that member of a religious order who had the distribution of the money and other things set apart for alms, which, by canonical law, was to amount to at least a tenth of the revenues of the establishment. Afterward, those ecclesiastics also received this name who were appointed by princes to the same office in their households. The Grand Almoner of France was one of the principal officers of the court and of the kingdom, usually a cardinal, and, in right of his office, commander of all the orders, and also chief director of the great hospital for the blind. Queens, princes, and princesses had also their almoners, and bishops were usually appointed to this office. In England the office of hereditary grand almoner is now a sinecure, his only duty being to distribute the coronation medals among the assembled spectators. The lord high almoner, who is usually a bishop, distributes twice a year the queen's bounty, which consists in giving a silver penny each to as many poor persons as the queen is years of age. SEE ALMS.

Definition of almoner

 
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