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CLERESTORY—CLERGY, BENEFIT OF

hours of the night as well as of the day. In the clepsydra or hydraulic clock of Ctesibius of Alexandria, made about 135 B.C., the movement of water-wheels caused the gradual rise of a little figure, which pointed out the hours with a little stick on an index attached to the machine. The clepsydra is said to have been known to the Egyptians. There was one in the Tower of the Winds at Athens; and the turret on the south side of the tower is supposed to have contained the cistern which supplied the water.

See Marquardt, Das Privatleben der Römer, i. (2nd ed., 1886), p. 792; G. Bilfinger, Die Zeitmesser der antiken Völker (1886), and Die antiken Stundenangaben (1888).


CLERESTORY, or Clearstory (Ital. chiaro piano, Fr. clairevoie, claire étage, Ger. Lichtgaden), in architecture, the upper storey of the nave of a church, the walls of which rise above the aisles and are pierced with windows (“clere” being simply “clear,” in the sense of “lighted”). Sometimes these windows are very small, being mere quatrefoils or spherical triangles. In large buildings, however, they are important objects, both for beauty and utility. The windows of the clerestories of Norman work, even in large churches, are of less importance than in the later styles. In Early English they became larger; and in the Decorated they are more important still, being lengthened as the triforium diminishes. In Perpendicular work the latter often disappears altogether, and in many later churches, as at Taunton, and many churches in Norfolk and Suffolk, the clerestories are close ranges of windows. The term is equally applicable to the Egyptian temples, where the lighting of the hall of columns was obtained over the stone roofs of the adjoining aisles, through slits pierced in vertical slabs of stone. The Romans also in their baths and palaces employed the same method, and probably derived it from the Greeks; in the palaces at Crete, however, light-wells would seem to have been employed.


CLERFAYT (or Clairfayt), FRANÇOIS SEBASTIEN CHARLES JOSEPH DE CROIX, Count of (1733–1798), Austrian field marshal, entered the Austrian army in 1753. In the Seven Years’ War he greatly distinguished himself, earning rapid promotion, and receiving the decoration of the order of Maria Theresa. At the conclusion of the peace, though still under thirty, he was already a colonel. During the outbreak of the Netherlands in 1787, he was, as a Walloon by birth, subjected to great pressure to induce him to abandon Joseph II., but he resisted all overtures, and in the following year went to the Turkish war in the rank of lieutenant field marshal. In an independent command Clerfayt achieved great success, defeating the Turks at Mehadia and Calafat. In 1792, as one of the most distinguished of the emperor’s generals, he received the command of the Austrian contingent in the duke of Brunswick’s army, and at Croix-sous-Bois his corps inflicted a reverse on the troops of the French revolution. In the Netherlands, to which quarter he was transferred after Jemappes, he opened the campaign of 1793 with the victory of Aldenhoven and the relief of Maestricht, and on March 18th mainly brought about the complete defeat of Dumouriez at Neerwinden. Later in the year, however, his victorious career was checked by the reverse at Wattignies, and in 1794 he was unsuccessful in West Flanders against Pichegru. In the course of the campaign Clerfayt succeeded the duke of Saxe-Coburg in the supreme command, but was quite unable to make head against the French, and had to recross the Rhine. In 1795, now field marshal, he commanded on the middle Rhine against Jourdan, and this time the fortune of war changed. Jourdan was beaten at Höchst and Mainz brilliantly relieved. But the field marshal’s action in concluding an armistice with the French not being approved by Thugut, he resigned the command, and became a member of the Aulic Council in Vienna. He died in 1798. A brave and skilful soldier, Clerfayt perhaps achieved more than any other Austrian commander (except the archduke Charles) in the hopeless struggle of small dynastic armies against a “nation in arms.”

See von Vivenot, Thugut, Clerfayt, und Würmser (Vienna, 1869).


CLERGY (M.E. clergie, O. Fr. clergie, from Low Lat. form clericia [Skeat], by assimilation with O. Fr. clergié, Fr. clergé, from Low Lat. clericatus), a collective term signifying in English strictly the body of “clerks,” i.e. men in holy orders (see Clerk). The word has, however, undergone sundry modifications of meaning. Its M.E. senses of “clerkship” and “learning” have long since fallen obsolete. On the other hand, in modern times there has been an increasing tendency to depart from its strict application to technical “clerks,” and to widen it out so as to embrace all varieties of ordained Christian ministers. While, however, it is now not unusual to speak of “the Nonconformist clergy,” the word “clergyman” is still, at least in the United Kingdom, used of the clergy of the Established Church in contradistinction to “minister.” As applied to the Roman Catholic Church the word embraces the whole hierarchy, whether its clerici be in holy orders or merely in minor orders. The term has also been sometimes loosely used to include the members of the regular orders; but this use is improper, since monks and friars, as such, have at no time been clerici. The use of the word “clergy” as a plural, though the New English Dictionary quotes the high authority of Cardinal Newman for it, is less rare than wrong; in the case cited “Some hundred Clergy” should have been “Some hundred of the Clergy.”

In distinction to the “clergy” we find the “laity” (Gr. λάος, people), the great body of “faithful people” which, in nearly every various conception of the Christian Church, stands in relation to the clergy as a flock of sheep to its pastor. This distinction was of early growth, and developed, with the increasing power of the hierarchy, during the middle ages into a very lively opposition (see Order, Holy; Church History; Papacy; Investitures). The extreme claim of the great medieval popes, that the priest, as “ruler over spiritual things,” was as much superior to temporal rulers as the soul is to the body (see Innocent III.), led logically to the vast privileges and immunities enjoyed by the clergy during the middle ages. In those countries where the Reformation triumphed, this triumph represented the victory of the civil over the clerical powers in the long contest. The victory was, however, by no means complete. The Presbyterian model was, for instance, as sacerdotal in its essence as the Catholic; Milton complained with justice that “new presbyter is but old priest writ large,” and declared that “the Title of Clergy St Peter gave to all God’s people,” its later restriction being a papal and prelatical usurpation (i.e. i Peter v. 3, for κλῆρος and κλήρων).

Clerical immunities, of course, differed largely at different times and in different countries, the extent of them having been gradually curtailed from a period a little earlier than the close of the middle ages. They consisted mainly in exemption from public burdens, both as regarded person and pocket, and in immunity from lay jurisdiction. This last enormous privilege, which became one of the main and most efficient instruments of the subjection of Europe to clerical tyranny, extended to matters both civil and criminal; though, as Bingham shows, it did not (always and everywhere) prevail in cases of heinous crime (Origines Eccles. bk. v.).

This diversity of jurisdiction, and subjection of the clergy only to the sentences of judges bribed by their esprit de corps to judge leniently, led to the adoption of a scale of punishments for the offences of clerks avowedly much lighter than that which was inflicted for the same crimes on laymen; and this in turn led to the survival in England, long after the Reformation, of the curious legal fiction of benefit of clergy (see below), used to mitigate the extreme harshness of the criminal law.


CLERGY, BENEFIT OF, an obsolete but once very important feature in English criminal law. Benefit of clergy began with the claim on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities in the 12th century that every clericus should be exempt from the jurisdiction of the temporal courts and be subject to the spiritual courts alone. The issue of the conflict was that the common law courts abandoned the extreme punishment of death assigned to some offences when the person convicted was a clericus, and the church was obliged to accept the compromise and let a secondary punishment be inflicted. The term “clerk” or clericus always included a large number of persons in what