Vicar is one who supplies the place of another; Anciently, when a church was appropriated to any of the religious houses, the monks supplied the cure by one of their own brotherhood, and received the .revenues of the Church to their own use. Afterwards, in almost all appropriate churches, it became customary that they should be supplied by a secular clerk, and not a member of their own house, from which fact and duty he received the name of vicarius; and for the maintenance of this vicar about a third part of the tithes was set apart, the rest of the tithes being reserved to the use of those houses. The tithes set apart; for the maintenance of the vicar were called lesser or vicarial tithes, and the others were called great or rectorial tithes. After the religious houses were dissolved, the king became possessed of that share which belonged to the monasteries, who granted them to divers persons, now termed lay impropriators, to whom ordinarily belong the whole of the great tithes. In the Anglican Church the vicar is a clergyman who is the incumbent of a parish under a rector, the former receiving the great tithes, and the latter the lesser tithes. The vicar is superior in rank to the curate, but in France the opposite usage obtains.

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