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CLERK 1 (from A.S. cleric or clerc, w...

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Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 498 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CLERK 1 (from A.S. cleric or clerc, which, with the similar Fr. form, comes direct from the Lat. clericus), in its original sense, as used in the civil law, one who had taken religious orders of whatever rank, whether " holy " or " minor." The word clericus is derived from the Greek KA71ALKbs, " of or pertaining to an inheritance," from KXTjpos, "lot," "allotment," "estate," " inheritance "; but the authorities are by no means agreed in which sense the root is connected with the sense of the derivative, some conceiving that the original idea was that the clergy received the service of God as their lot or portion; others that they were the portion of the Lord; while others again, with more reason as Bingham (Orig. Eccl. lib. i. cap: 5, sec. 9) seems to think, maintain that the word has reference to the choosing by lot, as in early ages was the case of those to whom public offices were to be entrusted. In the primitive times of the church the term canon was used as synonymous with clerk, from the names of all the persons in the service of any church having been inscribed on a roll, or Kavwv, whence they were termed canonici, a fact which shows that the practice of the Roman Catholic Church of including all persons of all ranks in the service of the church, ordained or unordained, in the term clerks, or clergy, is at least in conformity with the practice of antiquity. Thus, too, in English ecclesiastical law, a clerk was any one who had been admitted to the ecclesiastical state, and had taken the tonsure. The application of the word in this sense gradually underwent a change, and " clerk " became more especially the term applied to those in minor orders, while those in " major " or " holy " orders were designated in full " clerks in holy orders," which in English law still remains the designation of clergymen of the Established Church. After the Reformation the word " clerk " 1 Polytechnic Institute, Northampton Square, a branch of the City Polytechnic, has a department devoted to instruction in these trades. CLERMONT-EN-BEAUVAISIS, or CLERMONT-DE-L'OISE, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Oise, on the right bank of the Breche, 41 In. N. of Paris on the Northern railway to Amiens. Pop. (1906) 4014. The hill on which the town is built is surmounted by a keep of the 14th century, the relic of a fortress the site of which is partly occupied by a large penitentiary for women. The church dates from the 14th to the 16th centuries. The hotel-de-ville, built by King Charles IV., who was born at Clermont in 1294,1S the oldest in the north of France. The most attractive feature of the town is the Promenade du Chatellier on the site of the old ramparts. Clermont is the seat of a sub-prefect and has a tribunal of first instance, a communal college and a large lunatic asylum. It manufactures felt and corsets, and carries on a trade in horses, cattle and grain. The town was probably founded during the time of the Norman invasions, and was an important military post during the middle ages. It was several times taken and retaken by the contending parties during the Hundred Years' War, and the Wars of Religion, and in 1615 Henry II., prince of Conde, was besieged and captured there by the marshal d'Ancre.
End of Article: CLERK 1 (from A.S. cleric or clerc, which, with the similar Fr. form, comes direct from the Lat. clericus)
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