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January 1, 2007 | Copyright

coarb (O.Ir. comarbae, ‘heir’, ‘successor’), a distinctive office of the later medieval church among the Gaelic Irish. In this period coarb appears interchangeable with erenach, denoting the episcopally nominated lay guardian of a parish church and headman of the family in hereditary occupation of church lands. The coarb, however, often had charge of a church which had held comparatively high rank in pre‐Norman Ireland, or one still possessed of relatively extensive termon lands. Comarbae, often …

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