As civil courts they judge in first instance all questions connected with glebes and the erection and repair of churches and manses.
Within the precincts of the cathedral grounds stood the bishop's palace (now in ruins), the houses of the dean and archdeacon (now North and South Colleges), and the manses of the canons.
An act requiring all ministers appointed during the period when patronage was abolished to get presentation from their patrons and institution from their bishops was applied in the west of Scotland in such a way that 300 ministers left their manses.
The churches and manses were frequently of the most miserable description, if not falling to decay.
The parliamentary return of 1888 showed the value of the teinds of 876 parishes to be £375,678 and the stipends paid to amount (exclusive of manses and glebes) to £242,330.