Unlike the advocate, however, the vice-dominus was at the outset an ecclesiastic, who acted as the bishop's lieutenant (locum tenens) or vicar. But the causes that changed the character of the advocatus operated also in the case of the vidame.
With the crystallization of the feudal system in the 12th century the office of vidame, like that of avoué, had become an hereditary fief. As a title, however, it was much less common and also less dignified than that of avoué. The advocati were often great barons who added their function of protector of an abbey to their own temporal sovereignty; whereas the vidames were usually petty nobles, who exercised their office in strict subordination to the bishop.
The vidames usually took their title from the see they represented, but not infrequently they styled themselves, not after their official fief, but after their private seigneuries. Thus the vidame de Picquigny was the representative of the bishop of Amiens, the vidame de Gerberoy of the bishop of Beauvais (since King Philip Augustus himself was a pair de France, i.e., peer of the realm).
In many sees there were no vidames, their function being exercised by viscounts or chatelains. With the growth of the central power and of that of the municipalities the vidames gradually lost all importance, and the title became merely honorary.
Richard Ehrlich's Beverage Report: Real-World Drinking Your Own Dining-Room Can Be Just as Instructive about Wonderful Wines as the Tasting-Room
Jan 31, 1999; YOU might assume that people who write about drinks learn most by going on tastings and winery visits. You'd probably be right....