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1910 New Catholic Dictionary
A layman to whom either a king or someone else in authority assigned an abbey in consideration of services rendered. The estate of the monastery was thus placed in the charge of the lay abbot, who received part of its income. The custom obtained chiefly in the Frankish Empire, from the 8th to the 11th century.
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Entry for 'Lay Abbot'. 1910 New Catholic Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​ncd/​l/lay-abbot.html. 1910.