HC Deb 09 March 1826 vol 14 cc1253-4
Sir John Newport

rose to move for leave to bring in a bill to prevent Episcopal Unions in Ireland, and to restrain the granting of Dispensations. The bill, he observed, would secure to the Irish people the residence of their clergy in the parishes to which they were attached, and would restrain archbishops and bishops from making unions of parishes, for the purpose of providing for some of their friends in the church. The extent to which this power was carried would surprise the House; but he would not now enter into any of the details. There was one instance in which a bishop had united six parishes in one county with one situated in another; so that it was certain the clergyman could not be a resident where he might be most required. He would mention only another case, which was stated last year in the House by the hon. member for Louth; that a parish producing an income of 500l. a-year, had been united to another of 288l., and these two to a third of 271l., and these three to a fourth of 720l., and these four to a fifth, the income of which was not specified, but which was said to be equal in amount to all the others. Was it, he would ask, right that such a power should be allowed to be exercised without restraint? Was it right that church property to such an amount should be accu- mulated in the person of one clergyman, while so many excellent and deserving curates were left without that fail-provision to which they were entitled? The bill which he proposed to introduce would also go to prevent clergymen having the cure of souls, and deriving an income of 300l. a-year and upwards from the living, from holding any other living at the same time; and further it would enact, that any person already holding such living, and being presented to another of higher value, should give up the former. These were the outlines of the bill, which lie hoped the House would give him leave to introduce.

Mr. Goulburn

said, that he had himself prepared a measure on the subject, but he would not object to the introduction of the right hon. baronet's bill. He was glad to find that in some of the points he had the concurrence of the right hon. baronet. But in assenting to the introduction of this bill, he did not wish to be understood as pledging himself to support that part of the measure which related to pluralities.

Leave was given to bring in the bill.