Conge d'elire a French term, signifying leave to choose. It is used in England to denote the king's writ or license to the dean and chapter of the diocese to choose a bishop in the time of vacancy of the see. Prior to the reign of Edward I the kings of England used to invest bishops with the ring and staff, in virtue of their donative right. Henry I so far ceded this right as to give a conge d' elire to deans and chapters for the election of bishops. Henry VIII added "letters missive," nominating the person whom he required them to elect. under pain of praemunire; and Edward VI (1 Edw. VI, c. 1:2) abolished elections by writ of conge d'elire, but they were revived by queen Elizabeth. The conge d'elire is now a mere form, as the nominee of the crown is invariably chosen by the dean and chapter.