HC Deb 13 April 1824 vol 11 cc408-9
Dr. Phillimore

rose to move for leave to bring in a bill to amend the laws regarding the Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials of Roman Catholics in England. After stating the great inconveniences to which the Roman Catholics were subject, as the law and usage at present stood, the hon. and learned gentleman proceeded to observe, that the remedy which he had to propose was a short and simple one. It was, first, that the bans of marriage should be published precisely as they were at present in a Protestant church; secondly, that licences should be issued as at present from Protestant authorities; thirdly, that the fees should be paid as at present to the Protestant clergyman; but, fourthly, that the ceremony should be performed by a Roman Catholic priest. With respect to the registration of the births of Roman Catholics, as there were some doubts whether the present act warranted the registry of persons who had not received a certificate of baptism from a minister of the church of England, it appeared to be extremely proper, that all such doubts should be removed, and that it should be either declared or enacted, that the certificate of baptism of a Roman Catholic priest should be quite sufficient for the purpose. The hon. and learned gentleman concluded by moving for leave to bring in the bill.

The Solicitor General

would not oppose the motion for leave to bring in the bill, but contended that the present law on the subject did not require alteration.

Mr. Monck

said, there was great public inconvenience in the present state of the law, on account of the number of poor Irish Roman Catholic children thrown upon some of the parishes, because, though born in Popish wedlock, they were not held by law legitimate.

Mr. D. Gilbert

said, it was an unnecessary hardship to require the Roman Catholics to be married in the Protestant churches. He thought that something might be done to legalize their marriages, after publication of bans in the Protestant church.—Leave given to bring in a bill.