The former work, Arna Saga Biskups, is imperfect; it is the record of the struggles of church and state over patronage rights and glebes, written c. 1315; it now covers only the years 1269-1291; a great many documents are given in it, after the modern fashion.
The glebes and hospital lands were a fresh power in the hands of the crown, and the subservient Lutheran clergy became the most powerful class in the island, while the system of under-leasing at rackrent and short lease with unsecured tenant right extended over at least a quarter of the better land.
The parliamentary return of 1888 showed the value of the teinds of 876 parishes to be £375,678 and the stipends paid to amount (exclusive of manses and glebes) to £242,330.
The entire endowments of the church, including manses and glebes but not church buildings, is about £3 0,000.
The benefices are almost without exception provided with good residences and glebes, and the tithes, &c., generally afford a comfortable income.