One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A group of members of the clergy, especially one likened to a military unit; the clergy considered collectively.
2historical (With capital initials) (a nickname for) the Church Parliamentary Committee, a group of Conservative Members of Parliament formed in 1892 to oppose disestablishment of the Church of England (now historical).
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Richard Blackmore (1654–1729), physician and writer.
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