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Robbing Peter to pay Paul


On December 17th, 1550, the abbey church of St. Peter, Westminster, was advanced to the dignity of a cathedral by letters patent; but ten years later it was joined to the diocese of London again, and many of its estates appropriated to the repairs of St. Paul’s Cathedral. (Winkle: Cathedrals.)

“Tanquam siquis crucifigeret Paulum ut redimeret Petrum.” (Twelfth century.)

“It was not desirable to rob St. Peter’s altar in order to build one to St. Paul.”—Viglius: Com. Dec. Denarii, i. 9 (1569).

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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