One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The offence of asserting or maintaining papal jurisdiction in England.
- ‘He had already moved against the clergy with accusations of praemunire and in 1532 forbade the payment of Annates or first fruits to Rome.’
- 1.1count noun A writ charging a sheriff to summon a person accused of this offence.
- ‘In his play the fox priest's punishment imitates the praemunire of all recusants whose ‘substance all be straight confiscate’.’
- ‘The penalties for non-attendance for Catholic recusants were fines of 20 [pounds sterling] for the first month, 40 [pounds sterling] for the second, 100 [pounds sterling] for the third, and the pains of praemunire for the fourth.’
Late Middle English: from medieval Latin, ‘forewarn’, from Latin praemonere, from prae ‘beforehand’ + monere ‘warn’. The term comes from praemunire facias ‘that you warn (a person to appear)’, part of the wording in the writ.
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