In English ecclesiastical la . Very ancient officers of tlie church, almost grown out of use, until about the middle of the present century, about which time they were generally revived, whose deaneries are as an ecclesiastical division of the diocese or archdeaconry. They are deputies of the bishop, planted all round his diocese, to inspect tlie conduct of the parochial clergy, to inquire into and report dilapidations, and to examine candidates for confirmation, armed in minuter matters with an inferior degree of judicial and coercive authority. Wharton.
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