HC Deb 08 May 1833 vol 17 cc1038-40
Sir Oswald Mosley

stated, he had a Petition to present of rather a novel character, as it related to tithes of a particular parish—the parish of Uttoxeter, in Stafford. Although the tithes (amounting to 1,200l.) were amply sufficient for the purpose of remunerating the incumbent, and although they were vested in the hands of the ecclesiastical body—namely, the Dean and Chapter of Windsor—yet they were some way or other applied to other purposes, and the incumbent, who was the working minister, had only the paltry pittance of 20l. a year, with the Easter dues, which were too small to attend to a parish of 5,000 souls. He was obliged to keep a curate out of his small salary; and, if he had not some little private property of his own, he would not have enough to live upon. The tithes were originally granted to the Dean and Chapter of Windsor, for the moral and religious improvement of the poor of the parish, but instead of being applied to those purposes, the Dean and Chapter had stated they could not tell what use was made of them; and, therefore, the petitioners prayed that an inquiry might be directed, to see they were applied to those purposes for which they were originally intended. The petition was signed by all the respectable inhabitants of the parish. An hon. Member of that House (Mr. Tyrell) was stated to be lay impropriator, and, consequently, the receiver of the greater portion of the tithes.

Mr. Tyrell

explained, that he held the tithes under a lease from the Dean and Chapter of Windsor; that he had received the property by inheritance, and not liking it, had endeavoured more than once to dispose of it for a suitable consideration, but had not been successful. He had now let the tithes, but not till he had made every effort to come to an arrangement with the parish on the subject.

Mr. Edward Buller

called the serious attention of the House to the statements of the petitioners, which were of the greatest importance to the interests of the Church as well as to the public. It was the existence of such things that was shaking the foundations of the Church, which might be a national blessing.

Mr. Cobbett

said, the hon. Member appeared not to be aware, that one-half of the tithes in the kingdom belonged to lay-impropriators. Perhaps he was not aware of that. Such, however, was the fact, and to get rid of the inconveniences arising out of this would be very difficult indeed; too difficult, he feared, for the King's present servants to undertake. With regard to what was said about the Dean and Chapter of Windsor, he (Mr. Cobbett) would only remark, that the Dean and Chapter of Winchester had been accused of similar things; and they had sought to justify themselves by alleging that the Aristocracy had a larger share of the Church property than they had. They did not content themselves merely with general statements, but they also mentioned by name many of these Church cormorants, and they gave the name of one nobleman who was said to receive more of what was called Church property than the whole of the twenty-six Bishops, while his conduct was such, that the inhabitants of one parish had been obliged to sue him at law to make him re- pair the broken windows in the Church. With regard to the tithes of this particular parish, they were as much private property as any other species of property derived from the same source, and he did not believe that the House would act so unjustly as to interfere in the case of Mr. Tyrell, while others were allowed to retain their property.

Petition to be on the Table.