(1.) A mediaeval reader in a parish church in 1127; a temporary assistant in choir to a resident incumbent, without cure of souls. In 1287 he received forty shillings a year, while the chaplain had five marks, and the mass priest was paid fifty shillings. He is called a temporary vicar in 1408.
(2.) In 1362, a curate in a parish church.
(3.) A rector or vicar in 1268; called by John de Athon perpetual curateor perpetual vicar. The temporary parish priests only preached if they had a license. Either of the three meanings of the word can only be ascertained by the context of the passages in which it occurs. Annual chaplains, in 1236, were required not to be removed by the rectors without reasonable cause. In 1305 these stipendiaries, or chaplains, were often maintained by their friends; they attended choir in surplice, and could only celebrate mass, bury, and hear confessions by the permission of the incumbent. SEE CURATE.