A living in commendam is a living held by a bishop till an incumbent is appointed. When a clergyman accepts a bishopric he loses all his previous preferment; but in order that these livings may not be uncared for, they are commended by the Crown to the care of the new bishop till they can be properly transferred. Abolished in 1836.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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