Peter's pencePe·ter's pence
- an annual tax, orig. of one penny, paid to the papal see by certain English property owners before the Reformation
- an annual voluntary donation made by Catholics everywhere to the papal see
Also Peter pence
nounRoman Catholic Church
- A tax of one penny per household paid in medieval England to the Papal See.
- An annual voluntary contribution made by Roman Catholics toward the expenses of the Holy See. Also called hearth money.
Origin of Peter's penceMiddle English Peteres pens, pl. of Peteres peni : Peteres, genitive of Peter, Saint Peter (from the tradition that Saint Peter founded the papacy) + peni, penny; see penny1.