Definition for PRO-VI'SOR

PRO-VI'SOR, n. [Fr. proviseur.]

  1. In church affairs, a person appointed by the pope to a benefice before the death of the incumbent, and to the prejudice of the rightful patron. Formerly the pope usurped the right of presenting to church livings, and it was his practice to nominate persons to benefices by anticipation, or before they became vacant; the person thus nominated was called a provisor. In England, this practice was restrained by statutes of Richard II. and Henry IV. More sharp and penal laws were devised against provisors; it being enacted that whoever disturbs any patron in the presentation to a living by virtue of any papal provision, such provisor shall pay fine and ransom to the king at his will, and be imprisoned till he renounces such provision. – Blackstone.
  2. The purveyor, steward or treasurer of a religious house. – Cowel.

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