presented a Petition from certain tithe-payers, of Lea, in the Queen's County, praying, that the system of compulsory payment might be abolished, and the temporalities of the Church appropriated to the support of the poor.
§ Mr. Henry Grattan
said, that the manner in which ecclesiastical dues were gathered in Ireland was most oppressive. He knew that, in the neighbourhood of Lea, tithes were rigidly levied; although rents had not been paid for a year and a half. He knew the incumbent to whom allusion had been made. He was an absentee, and had a vote for Dublin, and he had always been honoured by the reverend gentleman's opposition. It was an undoubted fact, that he annually received 984l. English currency, while his curate received 69l. 4s. 7½d.
§ Mr. Ruthven
had been requested to support the prayer of this petition. The charge was of a gross nature: for it appeared, that a fraudulent arrangement had been effected by the clergyman, to the great injury of the people of the parish, and which reflected much discredit on him, but he feared the House could not relieve the sufferers.
§ Petition to be printed.