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The first year's revenue of a bishopric or benefice, which was paid to the Pope in all countries which acknowledged his primacy. It is probable that the practice was not introduced into England until after 1213, when King John Lackland did homage to the papacy. This and other papal exactions were very unpopular in England. In 1534 the Annates Act became law. Besides prohibiting the payment to Rome, this Act also laid down the regulations for the choice of bishops. To the great disappointment of the clergy, the annates, instead of being abolished, were transferred to the crown. Queen Anne gave them back to the church to subsidize small livings, in a fund established in 1707 called Queen Anne's Bounty. In 1947 the Bounty was combined with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

In France, the Concordat of Bologna in 1516 formalized payment of annates to Rome until the French Revolution. It was vital to the monarchy's ability to control the aristocracy that the King be able to dictate the assignment of sinecures, though as a result the Catholic Church was institutionalized in France much longer than it otherwise would have been -- see French Wars of Religion.

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