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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Advowson \Ad*vow"son\ (?; 277), n. [OE. avoweisoun, OF. avo["e]son, fr. L. advocatio. Cf. Advocation.] (Eng. Law) The right of presenting to a vacant benefice or living in the church. [Originally, the relation of a patron (advocatus) or protector of a benefice, and thus privileged to nominate or present to it.] [1913 Webster] Note: The benefices of the Church of England are in every case subjects of presentation. They are nearly 12,000 in number; the advowson of more than half of them belongs to private persons, and of the remainder to the crown, bishops, deans and chapters, universities, and colleges. --Amer. Cyc. [1913 Webster]