HC Deb 07 May 1834 vol 23 cc744-6

Mr. Hardy moved the second reading of this Bill.

Mr. Finch

supported the Bill. He could conceive no law more tyrannical than the present in respect to assemblies for religious worship.

Dr. Lushington

said, that places of worship could be licensed, and preachers also, at a trifling expense; whereas this Bill went to remove all impediments to meetings with the ostensible design of religious worship, but which might be perverted to other purposes. He could hardly conceive a Bill more destructive of the principles on which the Church of England was established. He moved, that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.

Mr. Pease

thought, that, at this time of day, persons ought to be allowed to offer prayers where they pleased.

Mr. Warburton

said, that the Bill was objectionable in form, but he would support the principle of the Bill.

Mr. Hughes Hughes

would not have risen but to defend himself against the attack made by the hon. and learned civilian upon all who supported the Bill. He would not yield to any one, not even to the hon. and learned Member, in devoted and zealous attachment to the Established Church, of which he trusted every act of his since he had had the honour of a seat in that House, would afford a proof. He would then adduce only one fact in illustration of his reason for supporting this Bill, a fact within his own knowledge, and which occurred in a populous parish with which he was connected. The clergyman of the Established Church being in the habit of addressing the inmates of the workhouse every Thursday evening, many persons out of doors sought admission to this service, and were admitted, in "great numbers, for a considerable period, and until a threat was given of an information;" ever since which it had been considered necessary to admit the nineteen persons who first arrived at the workhouse door, and to refuse admission to all beyond that number. He would ask whether this was a state of the law which should be allowed to continue. He could not sit down without offering the humble tribute of his thanks, and in the name of the Established Church too, to his hon. and learned friend, for the introduction of this most necessary measure, which should have his warmest support.

Lord Sandon

thought, that sufficient time had not been given for considering and consulting with members of the Church of England upon the question, and he hoped, therefore, that time would be given by postponing the second reading. He should, therefore, move the adjournment of the debate.

Mr. Hardy

said, that he would willingly postpone the second reading, if there was any new principle in the Bill; but, under the existing laws, teaching and preaching were allowed, yet praying was visited by a penalty of 20l., which was absurd.

Sir Matthew White Ridley

opposed the Bill. He never could give his consent to any measure that would permit laymen, or individuals not regularly ordained, to preach the gospel. In whatever manner, and to whatever extent, the present Bill might be modified, he never could give his assent to its adoption.

Mr. Aglionby

supported the Bill, and observed, that he was at a loss to conceive the possibility of the occurrence of the danger which had apparently been anticipated by the hon. and learned member for the Tower Hamlets. He almost doubted his own senses when he heard the learned Gentleman make that remark, and thought there must be something in the Bill which he could not read.

Mr. Pryme

supported the Bill, and remarked, that he knew an instance of a curate, serving the duties of the Established Church, being placed under considerable personal difficulties from the operation of the existing laws, and the liability to which he was exposed.

The House divided: Ayes 38; Noes 13—Majority 25.

The Bill read a second time.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Hughes, H.
Agnew, Sir A. Hutt, W.
Baines, E. Jervis, J.
Bewes, T. Johnstone, A.
Blake, M. J. Lister, E. C.
Briscoe, J. Lloyd, J.
Brotherton, J. Martin, J.
Buckingham, J. S. Morpeth, Lord
Childers, W. Pease, J.
Curteis, H. Plumptre, J.
Divett, J. Pryme, G.
Dykes, H. B. Seymour, Lord
Evans, W. Talbot, J. H.
Forster, C. Thicknesse, R.
Fenton, J. Verney, Sir H.
Fleetwood, H. Wallace, R.
Greene, W. Warburton, H.
Gully, J. TELLERS.
Halcomb, J. Finch, G.
Harland, W. Hardy, J.