What was their role?

This guide was last updated in 2009

You usually think of Anglican clergymen as acting as the vicar of a parish and, while this was true of some of them, many undertook other roles.

To obtain a “living” (a position as a vicar with property and an income attached) required that a parish was vacant and that they had the right social contacts with the person or organisation that had the right to present the living.

Otherwise, they could spend their working life as a curate (deputy to the vicar and employed by him), a chaplain (acting as clergyman to perhaps a workhouse, hospital, prison or in the armed services), or a schoolmaster. They could also be a tutor at a university (teachers at Oxford and Cambridge had to be ordained clergymen of the Church of England), or a missionary.

Once instituted into a parish, a vicar could not be sacked except for gross misconduct, so it was a job for life with a house and salary thrown in.

Early clergy lists
previous Step
Adding background
next Step
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here