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What Is ‘Peter’s Pence’?
Depending on your age, or where you live in the world, you may not even have heard of the term ‘Peter’s Pence’. Perhaps it’s obvious that ‘Peter’ is Saint Peter. Whoever the current pope happens to be, he will also symbolically be associated with Saint Peter - the Rock that the Church is built on. Christians have always supported the Bishop of Rome financially, Peter’s Pence is one of many sources of income that have existed.
It began life as an annual tax of one penny for every house in England, collected at Midsummer, and paid to the Holy See. By the time of King Canute (990-1035 AD) it was already thought of as an ancient practice. This ‘tax’ was all but forgotten about a few centuries later, then revived again in the mid-19th century. This time not just in England (and not just a penny).