Sidesmen (properly synod's-men; also called questmen). It was usual for bishops in their visitations to summon some credible persons out, of every parish, whom they examined on oath concerning the condition of the Church. Afterwards, these persons became standing officers, especially in the great cities; and when personal visitations were a little disused, and when it became the custom for the parishioners to repair the body of the church (about the 15th century), these officers were still more necessary. They are chosen every year, according to the customs of the place, and their business is to assist the church-wardens in things relating to the church, and to make presentment of such matters as are punishable by the ecclesiastical laws. Hence they are called questmen. The whole office now generally devolves upon the churchwardens.: Sithcondmen and sithcundmen, were old English terms for sidesmen.

Definition of side

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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