E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul.
On December 17th, 1550, the abbey church of St. Peter, Westminster, was advanced to the dignity of a cathedral by letters patent; but ten years later it was joined to the diocese of London again, and many of its estates appropriated to the repairs of St. Pauls Cathedral. (Winkle: Cathedrals.)
Tanquam siquis crucifigeret Paulum ut redimeret Petrum. (Twelfth century.)
It was not desirable to rob St. Peters altar in order to build one to St. Paul.Viglius: Com. Dec. Denarii, i. 9 (1569).