Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Annates

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ANNATES. As early as the 6th century it began to

be customary for those who were ordained to ecclesiastical offices to pay a fee or tax to the ordaining authorities ; and this tax at length amounted to a half or the whole of a year s income. When, in course of time, the Roman See had appropriated the right of consecration, the money was paid into the Papal treasury, not, according to the defenders of the system, as a remuneration for the benefice conferred, but as a natural contribution to the maintenance of the Pope and his ecclesiastical government. These annates, or first-fruits, were of different kinds, though the chief features were the same in all. First, When a bishop, archbishop, or abbot received his investiture, he paid to the Pope a year s revenue of his new benefice (servitia com- munia) ; Secondly, If his benefice was one of those " re served " by the Pope, he handed over to the Papal treasury the annates paid to him by those whom he at any time collated to livings in his diocese (annalia, medii fncctus, jus deportuum); Thirdly, According to a bull of Paul II. in 1469, if benefices were united to certain communities, the annates were only to be paid every fifteen years, and not at every presentation (quindenia) ; and, Fourthly, A small addition was made to the servitia communia as a kind of notarial fee (servitia minuta). It must not be supposed that this system ever was worked with absolute uniformity and completeness throughout the various parts of the Papal domain. There were continual disagreements and disputes : the central authorities endeavouring to maintain and extend this most important of their financial schemes, and the subordinate ecclesiastics doing their best to get rid of the impost altogether, or to transmute it into some less objectionable form. The subject frequently became one of national interest, on account of the alarming amount of specie which was thus drained away, and hence numerous enactments exist in regard to it by the various national governments. In England the annates, which had previously been paid for the most part to the arch bishop of Canterbury, were claimed by John XXII. (1316- 1334) for three years, and permanently usurped by his successors till the time of Henry VIII. , when, in 1531, their collection was prohibited. At that time the sum amounted to about 3000 a year. On the completion of the Reformation, the annates were, along with the supremacy, bestowed on the crown; but in February 1704 they were appropriated by Queen Anne to the assistance of the poorer clergy, and thus form what has since been known- as " Queen Anne s bounty." The amount to be paid was originally regulated by a- valuation by the bishop of Norwich in 1254, later by one instituted in 1292, which in turn was superseded by the Liber Regis of 1 5 3 5 . In France, in spite of royal edicts, like those of Charles VI., Charles VII, Louis XL, and Henry II., and even denunciations of the Sorbonne, the custom held its ground till the famous decree of the 4th of August during the Revolution of 1789. In Germany it was decided by the concordat of Constance, in 1418, that bishoprics and abbacies should pay the servitia, according to the valuation of the .Roman chancery in two half-yearly instalments. Those benefices only were to pay the annalia which were rated above 24 gold florins ; and as none were so rated, the annalia fell into disuse. The Basle Council (1431-1443) wished to abolish the servitia, but the concordat of Vienna (1448) confirmed the Constance decision. The Congress of Ems (1786) also declared against them; but they continued to be paid till 1803, when, to indemnify the powers that had sustained territorial loss through the recent wars, a very great amount of ecclesiastical property was secularised. In some parts of Germany, the payment of annates is still made under particular concordats. In Scotland annat or <mn is half a year s stipend allowed by the Act 1C 72, c. 13, to the executors of a minister of the Church of Scot land above what was due to him at the time of his death. This is neither assignable by the clergyman during his

life, nor can it be seized by his creditors.