Advowson was the right given to a layman or bishop to 'present' a candidate to a benefice. In plainer terms it was the right to name a vicar or rector to a parish post. The right for a layman (usually the lord of a manor) to act as patron to a benefice dates to the 8th century.
At that time laymen began to build parish churches on their land, thus beginning the common medieval and later situation where a parish church can be found directly beside the manor house. Though the right of advowson no longer exists as the right to present a cvandidate to a benefice, it survived to the modern era as a property right accorded to [non-Catholic] British citizens.
Time period(s): Medieval