(pence is a pl. of penny). Tax formerly paid in Eng. to the pope; originated in the 8th c.; extended to Scand. countries; attempts to introduce it in other countries were not successful; abolished in Eng. 1534; gen. abandoned as a result of the Reformation. Revived 1860 as a freewill offering to compensate for loss of income from states* of the ch.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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