A summoner was an officer of an ecclesiastical court, usually that of a bishop or an archdeacon, whose job it was to deliver a summons to an offending member of the diocese. Offenses dealt with by such courts included "sins of immorality, witchcraft, usury, simony, neglect of the sacraments, and withholding tithes or offering".
- Chaucer, Geoffrey (1903). The prologue. Macmillan. p. 91. Retrieved 15 October 2012.