Advowson (from advocatus), the right of patronage to a church or ecclesiastical benefice. He who has the advowson is called the patron, from his obligation to defend the rights of the church from oppression and violence. Advowsons are either,
1. Presentative, where the patron presents his clerk to the bishop or other ordinary to be instituted, and the bishop commands the archdeacon to induct him;
2. Collative, where the advowson lies in the ordinary, and within his jurisdiction, in which case no presentation is needed, but the ordinary collates or institutes the clerk and sends him to the proper officer to be inducted;
3. Donative, where the benefice is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary, and visitable by the king only, or some other secular patron, who puts his clerk into possession by virtue of an instrument under his hand and seal, without institution, or induction, or examination by the ordinary. The greater part of the benefices in the Church of England are presentative. They are often put up for sale, much to the disgrace of the Church and the nation. SEE ENGLAND, CHURCH OF.