What does the word shrift mean?

Usage examples for shrift

  1. They were easily induced to believe that the usual Church penances, and ample Church gifts, would suffice for the insult offered to the relics: and,- if they in so grave a case outstripped, in absolution, an authority amply sufficing for all ordinary matters,- Harold, as king, might easily gain from the Pope himself that full pardon and shrift, which as mere earl, against the Prince of the Normans, he would fail of obtaining. – Harold, Complete The Last Of The Saxon Kings by Edward Bulwer-Lytton