A Title which grew from graft and greed, A Pardoner was a Civilian Commissioner hired by The Catholic Church, to collect various alms levied on a Kingdom. These monies were used to further The Churches building Projects. With a noted lack of Ordained Clergy in The Church (based in part on various periods of Plague which decimated Church Staff numbers), The Church turned to Civilian Administrators. Most of these Men were corrupt (at best). As has been previously discussed, the practice of granting Indulgences (Prayer requests for remission of Sin), developed in the 12th Century. Unscrupulous Civilian and Clergy began to charge a fee for certain Indulgences. The more serious the Indulgence (such as remission of time from Purgatory, etc), the more “expensive” it cost. The excess and graft of The Pardoners would be forever immortalized by Geoffrey Chaucer in his “Canterbury Tales”.
Pardoners soon found ways to make more monies for themselves by offering Pardon for certain Indulgences requested. Many of The Poor could ill afford their rates. It is unclear how much monies (if any) actually made it to Church building Projects as well. By the time the use of Pardoners was abolished, the Reformation was firmly on it’s way.