§ Mr. Sharman Crawford
presented petitions from Tamlaght, Finlagan, and other places in Londonderry, and from Ballymore, Bally-yeaston, and other places in Antrim, praying for the total and immediate extinction of tithes and the regium donum. 485 They came from the Protestant and Presbyterian landholders of those parishes. He would just state some particulars as to those parishes. In Tamlaght and Finlagan, in the county of Londonderry, the Dissenting population was 6,561, while that of the Established Church was only 544, and the tithe composition there amounted to 1,000l. per annum. In the Grange of Kildallagh, the Dissenting population was 880, the Established Church population twenty, and without any church or any service the parishioners paid 73l. to a rector who lived twelve miles distant. In Ballymore, in the county of Antrim, the Dissenting population was 3,427, and the members of the Church Establishment only 122; the average congregation at Church was from four to eight, and the tithe amounted to 331l. In Ballyorton, county of Antrim, the Dissenters were 4,028, and the members of the Established Church fifty and the tithe was 200l. per annum. The petitioners prayed for the abolition of any assessment, whether in the shape of tithe or land-tax, levied on any portion of the community not members of the Established Church for the support of that Establishment. They maintained that all the revenue that was at present levied on Dissenters for that purpose should be looked upon as surplus revenue of the Established Church.
§ Mr. Sergeant Jackson
, while he entirely differed from the petitioners, bore his testimony to the respectability of their character.
§ Sir Robert Bateson
was most anxious for a final settlement of the Tithe Question, but not in the way proposed by the petitioners. He denied that the Presbyterians as a body wished for the abolition of the regium donum. He begged to state that the clergyman who received the 1,000l. a-year referred to was the brother-in-law of Lord Plunkett.
Petition to lie on the Table.