Peculiar (Fr. peculier, i.e. private) is in English ecclesiastical law a particular parish or church having jurisdiction within itself, and which is not subject to the ordinary of the diocese in which it is locally situated, but has an ordinary of its own. There are various kinds of peculiars:
1. Royal peculiars, subject only to the king. The king's chapel is a royal peculiar, reserved to the immediate government of the king himself.
2. Archbishops' peculiars, exclusive of the jurisdiction of bishops and archdeacons. The archbishop has many such peculiars, it being an ancient privilege of the see of Canterbury that whenever any manors or advowsons belong to it, they forthwith become exempt from the ordinary, and are peculiars to that see.
3. Bishops' peculiars, exclusive of the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese in- which they are situated.
4. Peculiars of bishops in their own diocese, exclusive of archidiaconal jurisdiction.
5. Peculiars of deans, deans and chapters, prebendaries, and the like, which are places wherein, by ancient compositions, the bishops have parted with their jurisdiction. Under the statute 1 George I and II, c. 10, all donatives (which are in their nature peculiars) receiving augmentation from queen Anne's bounty are thenceforth to become subject to the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese. SEE DONATIVE.