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|I had the impression this wasn’t too unusual at the time.
Written by amytat
(4/26/2012 3:50 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, the living, penned by Nikki N
One of Shapard’s annotations in P&P says that it wasn’t unusual for a clergy man to hold multiple livings and hire a curate at a low salary to perform the clerical duties in the additional parishes. He goes on to say that the practice had provoked some criticism but was still generally accepted as the norm. (P&P, Vol 2 chapt 7). I realize that’s not Henry’s situation but it speaks to the kind of expectations people would have had.
Also in Mansfield Park (ch25) when Sir Thomas is talking about Edmund living in his parish he says, “Edmund might, in the common phrase, do the duty of Thornton, that is, he might read prayers and preach, without giving up Mansfield Park: he might ride over every Sunday, to a house nominally inhabited, and go through divine service; he might be the clergyman of Thornton Lacey every seventh day, for three or four hours, if that would content him…” I took this to imply that some clergy would be content to do exactly that. Otherwise why would Edmund’s attitude need to be explained? I wonder if living half the time in his parish shows Henry Tilney to fall somewhere in the middle and have a kind of balance between his care for his parish and his family.
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