Being the Rector or Vicar of a parish was described as "holding the living". Sometimes when parishes had very small livings, or were very small parishes one person could hold two or three. In the 18th century "livings" were often given by patronage, leading to some scandalous situations where one man could hold the livings of several parishes miles apart, meaning that he drew the money but only visited once a year or something similar. In such cases a curate was often appointed on a pittance and the absent holder pocketed the rest. Very nie for some. The expression "held the livings" could however also just refer to his career, he had moved from one place to another at different dates.