- 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
Peter's pencePe·ter's 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 penny 1.