Treasurer, Ecclesiastical

Treasurer, Ecclesiastical the keeper of the treasures, e.g. the monuments, sacred vessels, relics, and valuables of a church, cathedral, or religious house. He was known by different names; sacrist, from having charge of the sacristy, cellarer, as providing the eucharistic elements and canonical bread and wine; matricular, as keeper of the inventory; constre in France and Germany; custos and cimeliarch in Italy; and in the Greek scenophylax. The custos had charge of all the contents of the Church, but at length became superintendent of deputies, discharging his personal duties, and at last took the title of treasurer, as having charge of the relics and valuables of the Church. He is the Old-English cyrcward and mediaeval perpetual sacristan, and now represented by the. humbler sexton. Every necessary for the Church and divine service was furnished by him. The old title of custos descended before the 13th century to his church-service.

In order the treasurer usually succeeded the chancellor, and had a stall appointed to himself. His dignity was founded at York in the 11th century; at Chichester, Lichfield, Wells, Hereford, St. Paul's, in the 12th; and at St. David's and Llandaff in the 13th. It has been commonly preserved and exercised since the Reformation, both in English colleges and cathedrals, but has fallen into disuse at York, Lincoln, and Lichfield, and at Exeter, Llandaff, and Amiens is held by the bishop.

The monastic treasurer, or bursar, received all the rents, was auditor of all the officers accounts, paymaster of wages, and of the works done in the abbey. — Lee, Gloss. of Liturg. Terms, s.v.; Walcott, Sac. Archceöl. s.v.

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