Peter-s-pence meaning

pētərz
A tax of one penny per household paid in medieval England to the Papal See.
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An annual voluntary contribution made by Roman Catholics toward the expenses of the Holy See.
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An annual tax, orig. of one penny, paid to the papal see by certain English property owners before the Reformation.
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An annual voluntary donation made by Catholics everywhere to the papal see.
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Origin of peter-s-pence

  • Middle English Peteres pens pl. of Peteres peni Peteres genitive of Peter Saint Peter (from the tradition that Saint Peter founded the papacy) peni penny penny1

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition