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Intelligence.--Irish Church Establishment,
185 guished persons, that the remuneration two and twenty bishops, and so many was insufficient in some cases, and exces- deans, dignitaries, prebendaries, &c., for sive in others. Bishop Watson was de- the purpose of superintending only 1,289 cidedly of that opinion, and his argument beuefices—the number in Ireland, acon the subject had remained unanswered. cording to the return of 1819? Whether It was Bishop Watson's proposal, that to they looked to England, or to any other increase the incomes of the poor clergy, so country, they would not find any thing that no indiridual should have less than like the same proportion. The House 100l. per annum, a third of the value of were bound in duty to consider whether all prebends should be appropriated as or not the establishment was great; and they fell vacant; and he expressed his if they found that it was too great, they cooviction, that the end would be much were bound in duty to reduce it. Why sooner accomplished by that means ihan had they reduced the army? Because it by any operation of Queeu Anne's Bounty. was more numerous than was requisite, To that proposal no answer had ever been and required more money to keep up made. But he (Mr.Hume) believed, that than the country could afford to bestow. two prehends which had fallen vacant had Why keep up so many bishops and deans been appropriated to the repairs of a and other dignitaries? If it were necescathedral, and it was undoubted that sary to have so many cathedrals, (and there had been other instances of inter- that was a point upon which he did not ference with Church property for similar pretend to be informed,) why would not purposes. There were no fewer than one clergyman, with his curate, be suffi.
five and twenty Acts in the Statute Book, cient for each of them? Why maintain the principal object of which was to pre- fire hundred useless individuals, living in vent the clergy from robbing the Church. idleness, and living on the public? These He had found in Selden, that in his were no times for drones. We wanted time it was by no means uncommon an active community. Every man, of for clergymen to sell tithes, and other whatever station and condition, ought to Church property to laymen for ever. exert himself for the benefit of the counIn what state did the Church establish- try. Under those circumstances, was it ment of Ireland appear to be at present fitting that the public property should be placed ? It was the opinion of various wasted in the support of a useless Church persons who had travelled over Ireland, Establishment ? He had no hesitation in and who had inquired very closely into declaring, on the maturest consideration tbis subject, that if the whole of the po- of all the duties performed by these deans pulation of Ireland, which, according to and chapters in Ireland, that their serthe last census, amounted to 6,800,000, vices might be immediately and entirely were divided into fourteenths, the mem- dispensed with. With regard to the bers of the Established Protestant Church exact amount of Church property in Ire. would be found to be only about one- land, it was a subject og which it was imfourteenth, or 490,000. The Protes- possible to speak with perfect accuracy. tant Presbyterian Dissenters amounted to do the whole he thought he could shew nearly one-fourth of the remainder; and pretty nearly how the fact stood. If the there were about 5,900,000 who were whole surface of Ireland were estimated Catholics. Now let the House consider at fourteen millions of Irish, or eighteen the amount of the money paid to the millions of English acres, there was reaProtestant Establishment in Ireland, and son to believe that the bishops, deans, the condition of the Establishment itself. and chapters possessed a proportion equal As far as he had been able to ascertain to nearly two-elevenths of the whole, culthe present establishment of the Irish tivated and wild. If the whole rental of Church, it was as follows:
Ireland were taken at the amount at
which it had been estimated by Mr. WakeArchbishops and Bishops
field, averaging the rental of one county Deans
with the rental of another; an estimate Dignitaries
which several Irishmen to whom he had Prebendaries
submitted it had declared to be in their Rural Deans
opinion as fair as it was possible to make Vicars Choral
without a particular surveyit would Choristers
appear to be about 14,000,0001. TwoCanons and Stipendiaries 14
elevenths of that sum would be equal to
about 2,500,0001. If the tithes of the 534
1289 henefices were valued at only 5001. Officers of the Consistorial
each, (although in some cases they a.
mounted to 10001, 20001, 30001. and even Courts
40001. and in none less than 5001.) that Could it possibly be necessary to have would give an additional sum of "about
700,0001.' The two sums together made The Honourable Member then read a about 2,200,0001. or 2,300,0001., which Parliamentary Return of 1819, from which was the annual revenue in the hands of it appeared that the total number of the Protestant Church Establishment of incumbents in 1817 was 1309 ; and in Ireland. Now he would ask the House, 1819 they were 1289; of those there were whether it was consistent, that indivi- resident 758, and non-resident as folduals who had so little to do should be lows:-By esemption, 81 ; by dispensaallowed to enjoy so large a share of the tion, 243; without statement of cause, public property? Were those three mil. 157 ; for various reasons, 50; making lions divided among the labourers in the altogether 531 non-residents out of 1289. vineyard? Were they made a fund of in Dublin there were thirty dignitaries remuneration for the pious and assiduous and prebends besides the above without teachers of moral and religious instruc. places of residence. The Mioisters of tion? No such thing; and he believed the Crown were in the habit of talking he would be able to bring this matter
much about their anxiety to support relihome to the feeling of gentlemen, by lay- gion; he gave them credit for their ex. ing on the table, whenever the House pressions as sincere; but if they were so, allowed him, a return of the names and how could they reconcile their professions numbers of the curates in Ireland, with with their practice, when they took no the amount of years they served, and the step to remove such an abuse as that he portion of salary allotted to them. He had pointed out ? He would point out could shew that it was a rare occurrence, an example of the effect of a pious and indeed, that curates were promoted. It resident clergy in the moral condition of was certain that the apportionment of Scotland. He would ask gentlemen to this money was most unequally made, but look to the moral state of that country there was a difficulty in ascertaining the 100 years ago. They would find that the real value. For instance, the Primate, present condition of Ireland was not worse who was Archbishop of Armagh,' was than that of Scotland had been before stated to derive between 15 and 20,0001. the establishment of schools and a resia-year from his see ; but there was be- dent clergy. With this painful and afflict. sides a great deal of land leased out to ing example of Ireland so long before their individuals, and thus many persous were eyes, it was really unpardouable in minis. largely enjoying the property of the church. ters to allow such an abuse to continue to It was very much the practice with the exist. No country, indeed, of Europe was bishops to re-let land, on the small and in a condition so truly barbarous, unless, antiquated rent, to their immediate con- perhaps, Poland, and he doubled if even nexions and friends. Some, indeed, he Poland made an exception. That country was aware, by running their lives against was thus debased and degraded by the the holders, had got possession of vast neglect of Government; the state of the tracts of land. As to the practice of the country was greatly attributable to the bishops in providing for their connexions condition of the Church Establishment. and friends, at the expense of the church, He now called upou the House to take he did not blame them, for that they had such steps as would compel the residence the right, it appeared, to do. It was the of the clergy, and, in the next place, they system that was to be blamed; no man should make an arrangement, that inshould be placed in a situation so tempt. stead of clergymen having 10001. or 20001. ing, and a system that did so, was the or 30001. a year, and living wherever worst plan of legislation that could be. they pleased, while others had but a miBut it was not to be expected that bishops serable pittance that scarcely supported would neglect the opportunity while they existence; where the real duties were had the power. But beyond this, there performed, there should be none whose was another and a most serious mischief income was below 1501. a year, as in the which ought to be corrected Such was Church of Scotland, and that none should the effect of licenses and certain Acts of have above 5001, or 6001. a year. The Parliament, together with the very indul- Church in Ireland was to be considered a gent feeling shewn towards the clergy ou lottery in which benefices and bishoprics all occasions by the government, that a were prizes, and some families were forcoosiderable portion of them had alienated tunate enough to draw a great number of themselves from their benefices, and left such prizes. He understood that the the duty to be performed by resident Bishop of Clogher, he did not mean the curates at a mere pittance, while they late Bishop of Clogher, had gone to who enjoyed the vast salaries were to be Ireland without a shilling, and in the found every where but where duty was course of his apostolic mission, had to be done. It might be satisfactory to ainassed about 300,0001. or 400,0001. the House to know the number of resi- The amount was very large, but it was no dents, compared with the whole number. less notorious. It might not be superfluous
Intelligence.--Irish Church Establishment.
to state as an instance of the dispropor no duty to perform, they should be allowed tionate payment of churchmen in Ireland, to die off. 'He knew a difficulty presented that the landed property of the Arch- itself with respect to the equalization of bishopric of Armagh, if let out on the the benefices in Ireland. But that diffiprinciple that other laws could provide, culty was not so great as it at first apwould amount to 150,0001. a year. This peared. The patronage was no doubt by was in fact a principality, and many Ger- many considered as a vested right, but man principalities had no such revenue. perhaps a better understanding of the He would now state further, why he subject might cause the difficulty to be wished to move for a committee. In the considerably diminished, The Honouryear 1806, the Duke of Bedford required able Member then read a statement of returns by the bishops of the value of the patronage of the parishes in Ireland livings, &c.; a very large volume was as follows:returoed, but so imperfect, that little use could be made of it as to church or state.
In the gift of the Bishops
1,391 Do, of the Crown
293 Several years afterwards the government called for similar returns ; they were laid on the table in 1821; questions were put in lay hands
Total in the Crown and Bishops 1,684 as to the number and state of the parishes, in the University
21 their contiguity, &c.; but the inquiry stopped at the most important point, for Inappropriate and vacant,
and without Churches or the bishops were not asked the amount
95 of their revenues; of the 1200 or 1300 returns required, only 400 were complied Total number of parishes in Ireland 2,248 with. He would not say whether a com- Total number of Benefices in 1818 1,289 mission ought to have been then appointed, By this statement it appeared that the but it was clear that he could not now Crown had the patronage of 1684 parishes. rely upon the returns of the clergy, and He contended that the case was virtually therefore the greatest advantage might be so, for if the Crown did not appoint the derived from the appointment of a com. bishops, the bishops could not make the mittee at present. He then referred to a nomination, and if the bishops did not letter from the Archbishop of Armagh in make the nomination, the Crown would the year 1820, in which that prelate stated of course appoint, so that the patronage the lamentable decay of churches in ruins, was really rested in the Crown, which the destruction of glebes, or the appropri materially lesseved the ditficulty as to the ation of them in the hands of individuals, equalization of benefices by Parliament. from whom they could not now be re
There was one subject remainiug, and covered. Such a state of circumstances, that was with regard to tithes. In his he contended, was a sufficient ground for riew of a commutation of tithes, he did the appointment of a committee, and that not think that an individual who had no was the more necessary on account of the duty to perform, should be in the receipt inaccuracy of the returns of 1819, when of 10001., 20001. or 30001. a year, but of 1289 benefices required, only 400 made what he wished was, that the profits of returns. He now came to a very impor. the superfluous bishoprics and of the tant point of what he had to propose. deans and chapters should form a fund at He would submit that no sees which the direction of Parliament for the probecame vacaut should be filled up until portionate remuneration of the clergy. they were reduced to one archbishopric Also that the holders should commute and four bishoprics. In this he was guid- their tithes at twelve or fourteen years' ed by the Articles of the Union, which purchase, instead of twenty-five, whicha allowed only that number of Irish Spiri- would be giving a fund to the landholders, tual Peers in the House of Lords, and while there were ample funds for the sup. therefore he thought he was safe in taking port of the Establishment. As to the that pumber as a fair criterion. He was lay impropriators, of whom there were certain that number of bishops would be several hundreds, their interests should sufficient to take the charge of between be as good as if they were sold in public 400,000 and 500,000 people ; and that market or by private contract. If no proportion of prelates to the population actual interest were infringed upon, what of the same faith was greater than in any injustice could be done? If an ample other country, except perhaps recently in property could he realized to the Church Spain. One bishop was quite enough to to defray the expenses of its establish, take charge of about 100,000 souls, with ment, why should there be any severe the aid of his inferior clergy. He now pressure upon the landed interest ? He came to a very important point of the wished here to allude to an observation change which he contemplated, and it which had been ofteu set forth, and was, that as the deans and chapters had which had even been urged by some of
the clergy themselves, namely, that they ployed, and the incomes they receive, and were determined to resist any interfe- if so, whether a reduction of the same rence with Church property. Indeed, he should not take place with due regard to understood that the Archbishop of Tuam all existing interests. and some other church dignitaries had “ That the peace and best interests of held meetings, in which they expressed Ireland would be promoted by a commuthemselves decidedly hostile to any such tation of all tithes on such principles as interference. Now he contended, that should be considered just and equitable those Right Reverend personages had no towards the present possessors, whether right whatever to concern themselves lay or clerical. about such matters; they were entirely « That a Select Conimittee be apfor the consideration of ihe State. But pointed to consider in what manner the then the clergy and their supportersmit objects stated in these Resolations can would be degrading, it would destroy the best be carried into effect.” independence of the Church to change a
(To be coutinued.) territorial recompence for a money payment. He confessed that he could hardly
MARCH 18. refrain from smiling when he heard of
Royal Library. such an argument—the independence of THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER the clergy! Why, he would ask, whether (Mr. ROBINSON) called the attention of for the last two hundred years there had the House to the magnificent gift of the ever been in this or any other country, a late King's Library, which his present body of men more subservient to Govern. Majesty had caused it to be signified to ment than the clergy of the Established Parliament that he presented to the Church of that country; and for them to nation. He made some observations upon have the assurance to talk of indepeu- the intimate connexion between the liter. dence, and of resistiug any interference ature and the morals of a country, and with Church property, was astonishing. between the love of literature and the But while he was anxious to do away love of freedom. He stated that the with large church livings, he wished to library now presented to the public was continue an efficient clergy, who would collected by the late King during the perform the sacred functions of their whole course of his long reign, which was office with respectability to themselves, the more honourable to him, as circumwith benefit to the community, lo short, stances in his early life prevented his in a manner to promote religion, mora- applying himself to literary subjects. His lity and Christian knowledge. He did (Mr. Robinson's) opinion was, that Parlinot wish to see them princes of the land, àment could not do better than entrust and acting and looked up to as a body the library to the British Museum. But independent of the State. "He contended it was due to his Majesty's father, and to that the Church formed a part of the his Majesty himself, that the collection State, and ought to be in every instance should be kept separate and distinct from subject to such regulations and improve- all other books. The library itself was ments as should from time to time be the most valuable ever collected by an deemed necessary. From what he had individual ; and if it be placed in the Brialready stated, it appeared to him, that tish Museum, which already possesses an the best mode of proceeding would be by excellent library, and which will soon appoining a select Committee of that receive the accession of the library of the House to inquire into the subject. The late Sir Joseph Banks, the three together Honourable Member then moved the fol- will beyond all question form the finest lowing Resolutions :
library under one roof in the world ; and “ Resolved, That the property of the will, therefore, be an object of which the Church of Ireland at present in posses. country may well be proud. In order to sion of the Bishops, the Deans and Chap- form regulations as to its proper custody, ters of Ireland, is public property; under and abore all, as to the free admission of the controul, and at the disposal of the the public to the benefits to be derived Legislature, for the support of religion from it, he moved that the subject be and for such other purposes as Parlia- referred to a Select Committee. -Sir C. ment in its wisdom may deem beneficial LONG seconded the motion, and said that to the community; due attention being the donation was of the greatest value to paid to the rights of every person now the country, because for its extent it was enjoying any part of that property. the most complete library that ever was
“ That it is expedient to inquire whe. collected. As had been stated by his ther the present Church Establishment right honourable friend, it was accumuof Ireland be not more than commensu- lated by his late Majesty during the whole rate to the services to be performed, both course of his reign, and without any as regards the number of persons em- regard to expense. It had been collected
under the direction of Dr. Johnson, who ioners, who had taken this step from had laid down the plan for its formation, malicious motives. which plan was subsequently followed as closely as possible. He was perfectly sure
MARCH 19. that the union of this library with that of the British Museum, and the library of
Abolition of Slavery. the late Sir Joseph Banks, which although Mr. WILBERFORCE presented a petition stnall, was perfect in one branch of liter. from the Society of Friends for the aboature, would constitute as fine a library lition of Slavery in our West India coloas existed in Europe. He had the grati- nies; making at the same time an excel. ficatiou also to say, that it was his Ma- lent speech upon the inhumanity and jesty's intention to add to the donation impolicy of the slave-system. He repreof the library that of a most interesting sented the abolition of Slavery as the and valuable collection of medals, formed premeditated consequence of the abolition under the saperintendance of his late of the Slave Trade. After the petition Majesty.—'The motion was agreed to, had been read, Mr. F. BUXTON gave and a Select Committee appointed. notice of a motion, on the 22d of April,
relative 10 the abolition of Slavery. Profane Swearing. Dr. PAILLIMORE Moved for and obtained Prosecutions for Blasphemy. leave to bring in a Bill to repeal that part Mr. Hume made a motion, which was of the Act against Profane Swearing, carried, for an “ Account of the number which made it imperative ou the clergy to of individuals prosecuted in England, read the Act four times a year, under a Scotland and Wales, either by indictment, penalty of 51. The reading this Act of
ex officio information or otherwise, for Parliament during divine service was either public Libel, Blasphemy or Sediextremely inconvenient and improper, and tion.” 'He stated that soon after the had fallen deservedly into disrepute. He returns were made, he should submit a was himself acquainted with several in motion on the subject: stances in which clergymen had been compelled to pay the penalty by parish
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