Clergy, Benefit of, is an ancient privilege, by which a person in holy orders may claim to be delivered to his ordinary, to purge himself of felony. It was formerly confined exclusively to the clergy. but has been extended, since the-Reformation, to the laity. Accordingly, by the 1 Edw. VI. c. 12, all Lords of Parliament, and Peers of the Realm, shall be discharged, in all clergyable and other felonies, provided for by the a6t, without being burnt in the hand, or transported - or at most being imprisoned only for one year - in the same man-ner as real clerks convict are. By the same act, all the commons, not in orders, whether male or female, shall, for the first offence, be discharged of the punishment of felonies, within the benefit of clergy, on being burnt in the hand, and suffering a discretionary imprisonment; or, in case of larceny, on being transported for seven years, if the court shall think proper.