One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The doctrine, principles, or practice of the clergy, or of a member of the clergy; frequently with modifying word denoting the quality or style of this. Also: the fact of being a member of the clergy; the position or office of a member of the clergy.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Henry Maurice (?1647–1691), Church of England clergyman. From churchman + -ship.
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