Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Canoness, a member of a religious community of women, living together by rule, but not bound by vows. Endowed societies of such women, both "regular" and "secular" (the latter having few or no rules save that of celibacy) existed in Germany in the Middle Ages, and down to the Revolution in parts of France that had once belonged to the German empire. Some became Protestant at the Reformation and still exist under the name of "Stiffen "(endowments) in Germany now. They are often restricted to ladies of noble birth.