The most ancient consistory court belonging to the archbishop of Canterbury for the trial of spiritual causes. It is so called, because it was anciently held in the church of Saint Mary le bow; which church had that appellation from its steeple, which was raised at the top with stone pillars, in the manner of an arch or bow.
The name of a court which is a branch of, and annexed to, the court of arches.
It has jurisdiction over all those parishes dispersed through the province of Canterbury, in the midst of other dioceses. In the other peculiars, the jurisdiction is exercised by commissaries.
There are three sorts of peculiars: 1. Royal peculiars; 2. The second sort are those in which the bishop has no concurrent jurisdiction, and are exempt from his visitation; 3. The third are subject to the bishop's visitation, and liable to his superintendence and jurisdiction.