HC Deb 27 March 1823 vol 8 cc765-6
Mr. Hume,

on the bringing up of the resolutions for addresses for Monuments to the memory of earl St. Vincent and lord Duncan, took occasion to complain of the extortions which continued to be practised at Westminster-abbey. He knew an individual, from the country, who had lately carried his family to view the monuments in that building, and had been charged in no less a sum than 8s. for admission. Such a practice was disgraceful to the country, and had, over and over again, been reprobated in that House. It was absurd to say that government had no power to interfere in the matter. Surely the king, who was at the head of the church, might interfere; and if his majesty had not full power to command, it was hardly probable that a recommendation from such a quarter would be neglected. The House was told of the impossibility of universal admission; but he saw no such impossibility. He could not understand why any class of the community should be excluded from viewing the works for which they had contributed to pay. At all events, if it was necessary to name some admission fee, to prevent the intrusion of idle individuals, the demand for entrance at St. Paul's was confined to a few pence, and why should not the charge at Westminster-abbey be placed upon the, same footing?