HC Deb 09 May 1814 vol 27 c741
Sir W. Scott

prefaced his motion for leave to bring in a Bill to amend the 43d of the King, cap. 84, relative to the non-residence of the clergy, with a variety of observations, tending to show the insufficiency of the law as it now stood. He particularly dwelt on the impropriety of leaving the enforcement of the law in question to common informers; a singularity from which the regulations of other professions were exempt. In modelling his new Bill, therefore, he should be careful to reject informers altogether; to whose avarice, under all the circumstances of the case, taking into consideration the inexperience and unacquaintance with the law, of many of the clergy, he did not think it would be proper longer to leave them. The Bill would be in a great measure explanatory, removing certain doubts which existed with respect to the present law; for instance, it would remove the doubt which had been started as to the non-liability of clergymen holding pluralities, but residing on one of their benefices. It was evident, that the law could not contemplate a physical impossibility, and this the Bill which he meant to introduce would distinctly establish. It would also dispel the apprehensions which had arisen from the supposition that the penalties might be levied indefinitely with respect to time.

Leave was then granted to bring in the Bill.