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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Chopchurch \Chop"church`\, n. [See Chop to barter.] (Old Eng. Law) An exchanger or an exchange of benefices. [Cant]


n. (context historical English) An exchanger of benefices; one of a class of secular priests who trafficked in ecclesiastical benefices.


A chop-church, or church-chopper, was a parson who made a practice of exchanging ecclesiastical benefices and other terrenal favors. The term is used in an ancient statute as a lawful trade, or occupation.

An example, where the spelling is 'chopchyrche', occurs as the occupation of John Charles of Bishop's Milford, Wiltshire, as a defendant in a plea of debt, for 40/- (forty shillings) brought by John Wyot, merchant of Salisbury.