§ Lord John Russell
said, in pursuance of the notice which he had given, he rose to move for leave to bring in a Bill to carry into effect the recommendations contained in the Fourth Report of the Commissioners of Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues. He wished, before he formally submitted his motion, that the House resolve itself into a Committee, to give, as briefly as he could, a general view of the nature of the measures which were before the House respecting the Established Church. Anxious as he had always been that measures should be taken to correct any defects that might exist in the Established Church, he had always been likewise anxious that every necessary reform in the Church should take place with the goodwill and assent, both of the prelates who were the heads of that Church, and of the great body of the clergy of the Establishment. It was, therefore, with great satisfaction that he had seen the appoint- 14 ment by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, when he was at the head of his Majesty's Councils, of a Commission, including several of the Archbishops and Bishops, and several lay persons, as well as persons holding high situations in the Government. That Commission had been succeeded by another, containing exactly the same persons, with the exception of those holding official situations, who being no longer in his Majesty's service, were replaced by their successors in the different departments of the Government; but with respect to the first and the other Reports of the Commission, those who had now the honour to be his Majesty's servants had been entirely agreed in the framing and promotion of the measures recommended. He hoped likewise to find that the right hon. Baronet who proposed the formation of the original Commission, and was himself a member of it, would not withhold his concurrence from the present motion. Should the right hon. Gentleman not withhold it, Ministers would then be armed with the authority of many of the heads of the Established Church, carrying with them the greater proportion of the clergy, and the leaders of different parties in Parliament, in favour of a plan of temperate, but, he trusted, effectual reform of the Church. He could not forbear to add, because he felt it his duty to state it, that from the first moment he had entered his service, his Majesty had shown the greatest anxiety for the adoption of such measures as might be recommended by the Commission without reference to any patronage or advantage belonging to the Crown, if the sacrifice of that could promote the object, in which his Majesty took deep interest, the welfare and efficiency of the Established Church. He had stated these things, because much as he valued the cause of reform, in general, even such a reform as might be proposed and carried in spite of opposition, he still thought it would be a great additional benefit that any measure of reform should receive the approbation of various parties—that it should be sanctioned by the heads both of the State and of the Church, and be carried into effect without that reluctance and without that feeling of irritation which were consequent, and naturally consequent, on plans of reform which met with objection and resistance before they were sanctioned by Parliament. Having stated thus much respecting the Com- 15 mission, he would now enter into some of the objects which were considered by the Commission, both with reference to the efficiency of the Church Establishment and with respect to the opinion of the country regarding its defects. He trusted that the importance of the subject would lead the House to give it the consideration due to that importance, although it might not be surrounded by that excitement and interest produced by measures of a mere party character, and which met with mere party opposition. One of the first complaints usually made against the Church Establishment was the inequality of its bishoprics, both with respect to duty and revenue. As to duty, the territorial division was most unequal, and the number of benefices also varied in a very great degree. Lincoln had 1,234 benefices, and Norwich 1,021 benefices, while Bangor had only 124, and Ely 149 benefices but the inequality was still more obvious as regarded the amount of revenue. The income of Canterbury was 18,090l., Durham 19,480l., London 13,890l. while the income of Llandaff was 1,170l., Oxford 1,600l., and of Rochester 1,450l. The evils of this glaring difference of income were many and obvious. One of them was, it led to the taking, by the poorer sees, of dignities and benefices in commendam—an expedient resorted to by the Crown, in order to afford the occupants a sufficient income to support their rank in the Church. This, of itself was a real evil; and another (to which attention was formerly much turned, and whether it was or was not a positive evil, it certainly had a great weight in public opinion) was, it gave rise to a suspicion, and possibly accusation against those who held the poorer bishoprics. It was said, and naturally said, by those who had not the means of contradiction, that those prelates who were placed in the poorer bishoprics of 1,600l. or 2,000l. a-year, would be naturally desirous to be translated to sees of higher value, and that thereby, in the first place, their attention was diverted from the care of the see they held, that they did not pay that regard to it which they would have paid had they been fixed in it for life; and in the next place, that the political conduct of the Bishop was affected by his expectant situation. He thought that, in both these respects, the plan of the Commission afforded a remedy, by giving to some sees a larger amount of revenue in proportion to the importance of the duties, and to the expenses to which the 16 occupants might be exposed. With regard to benefices, the numbers would hereafter be much more nearly equalised by the new arrangement. The number retained by Norwich would still be large, viz. 809 benefices; but in other cases they would be reduced much nearer to equality than formerly. As to revenue also, the Bishops would be placed in future much more upon a level, and each would be sufficiently provided for, that it would not be necessary to give to any see dignities or benefices in commendam excepting such as heretofore had been customably and permanently annexed. The proposal of the Commission was, that nine sees should be reduced from 102,860l. to 70,700l. leaving an excess of 32,160l. One see was to be raised from 4,220l. to 5,000l. This was the united see of Gloucester and Bristol. Twelve sees were to be raised to 4,500l. each, or in the whole from 33,560l. to 54,000l. The we new sees of Ripon and Lancaster were fixed at 4,500l. each, or 9,000l. together, and two remained unaltered at 9,700l. The only exceptions to the general average of England were Canterbury, York, and London, where the duties were necessarily heavy; and Durham and Winchester, which required a greater expenditure than other bishoprics. Thus these five archbishoprics and bishoprics would remain objects of translation; and he did not think that any real benefit would result from the proposal of an hon. Gentleman, who had given notice of a motion to the effect that no translations should be permitted. In the first place, there could be only few bishops who could indulge the hope or expectation of translation. The objection hitherto urged, that the occupants of inferior sees continually looked for better bishoprics, was obviated by the small difference between 4,500l. a-year, and 5,000l. a-year. A bishop who had taken possession of his see, who had probably expended a considerable sum upon his establishment, and who had 4,500l. a-year, would not be willing to quit his residence and connexions for an advance in his income of only 500l. or 700l. a-year. It remained to be considered whether it would be for the benefit of the Church that with respect to the archbishoprics and larger bishoprics the Crown should have no power of translation. The fact of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishop of London, both occupying seats on the bench, and having onerous duties to perform, and 17 expensive establishments to keep up, would prevent their situations from being objects of desire to the great majority of the Bishops. A proposal to limit the prerogative of the Crown, would be so injurious that he could not persuade himself that the House would support the plan of the hon. Member, as an amendment to that proposed by the Commissioners. He felt that the plan of the Commissioners, as far as could be rationally expected, was likely to put an end to translation. It was calculated to put an end generally to the existing temptation for Bishops to neglect their dioceses, in the hope of translation, and those filling the inferior bishoprics would be more likely to act independently of political parties, by whom they might otherwise be influenced, for the sake of some preferment. At the same time this plan did not interfere with the prerogative of the Crown. The Crown would still have the power to choose, if it thought proper, a Bishop of an inferior See for full archiepiscopal dignities. He had stated what would be the result with respect to particular bishoprics. There would be a certain number of them, the income of which would be raised to 4,500l. per annum. It seemed to have been first in the contemplation of the Commissioners, and the first Report bore out that view of the subject, to take away some of the revenues of the bishoprics, as the impropriate tithes; and, where it was thought advisable, to apply a part of those revenues to the dioceses from which they were taken, and to make up the deficiency from other sources. The Commissioners, however, after much consideration, came to be of opinion, that they had no more right to interfere with these tithes than with private property, and that it would be better not to make any disturbance of their revenues—not to take away with one hand for the purpose of adding with the other. He thought the Commissioners had come to a wise opinion upon that subject, because if they had taken away those revenues with a view of separating them, or giving them to particular local districts, the consequence would have been that they would have been obliged, from other sources, to seek an increase of revenue; and while, on the one hand, they would be acting for the benefit of certain local interests, and supplying the wants of religious instruction in these places, they would, on the other hand, be taking away 18 revenues which would otherwise have supplied the local wants of other places equally requiring them. Therefore it was thought better to lake the whole of this revenue, which amounted to about 150,000l., and make the arrangement now proposed. The sum required to carry that regulation into effect would be 148,400l., and taking that from the whole sum of 150,340l., an excess of 1,940l. would be left; which would be useful to supply any small deficiencies. Dividing the present income of 150,000l. amongst the Archbishops and Bishops, it would leave the Archbishop of Canterbury, as appeared from the table* he was reading, 15,000l.; the Archbishop of York, 10,000l.; the Bishop of London, 10,000l.; of Durham, 8,000l.; of Winchester, 7,000l.; and the various other Bishops, from 5,500l., the* The following is the Table referred to by the noble Lord in his speech:—
Proposed ARRANGEMENT of EPISCOPAL INCOMES according to third REPORT—Propositions 41 and 42. PROPOSITION 41. Estimated Income. Proposed future Income. Excess. 1. Canterbury 18,090 15,000 3,090 York 10,270 10,000 270 London 13,890 10,000 3,890 Durham 19,480 8,000 11,480 Winchester 10,370 7,000 3,370 Ely 9,400 5,500 3,900 Worcester 6,500 5,000 1,500 Bath and Wells 5,550 5,000 550 St. Asaph 5,500 5,200 4,110 Bangor 3,810 £102,860 £70,700 £32,160 Deficiency. 2. Bristol 2,090 5,000 780 Gloucester 2,130
PROPOSITION 42. 3. Carlisle 3,050 4,500 1,450 Chester 2,900 4,500 1,600 Chichester 3,610 4,500 890 St. David's 2,800 4,500 1,700 Exeter 2,790 4,500 1,710 Hereford 2,650 4,500 1,850 Litchfield 4,350 4,500 150 Lincoln 3,810 4,500 690 Llandaff 1,170 4,500 3,330 Oxford 1,600 4,500 2,900 Peterborough 3,380 4,500 1,120 Rochester 1,450 4,500 3,050 £33,560 £54,000 £20,440 4. Manchester 4,500 4,500 Ripon 4,500 4,500 5. Norwich 4,700 4,700 Unaltered Salisbury 5,000 5,000
19 highest, to 4,500l., the lowest amount of their incomes. He thought that by this arrangement he should provide for these bishoprics in a manner that could not be said to exhibit either extravagance or any undue proportion. He knew it might be stated, that the revenues of an Archbishop of Canterbury, or a Bishop of London, should not be as high as he had proposed it. But he must say, he thought the comparison that had been made as between an Archbishop of Canterbury or a Bishop of London, and persons holding civil and judicial offices, was obviously not a just comparison. Persons filling judicial or civil offices, incurred certain expenses connected with the duties of their office, but there the demand upon their salaries ended. With respect to an Archbishop or Bishop, he was placed, according to the constitution of the Church—and that constitution he did not wish to alter—among persons having a large revenue derived from the property of the country, He was placed in a certain house which required a certain establishment to be maintained, and that there should be observed certain duties of hospitality; he was placed in a situation in which even more was required from him, than from men of the highest rank and great landed property, on account of charity, a large expense being incurred. In all these respects, his situation was totally different from that of a Chief Justice of the King's Bench, or a First Lord of the Treasury, who received an official salary, out of which he paid the expenses consequent on the performance of the duties of his office, and nothing else. It was not the plan of the Church of England, nor did he wish it to be, that its Ministers should be considered mere functionaries, receiving certain stipends from the state, and having nothing but their bare duty to perform in return. Nor did he propose by the present Bill to alter the plan in that respect; and unless Parliament did alter it, they could make no fair comparison between the situation of a Bishop at the head of the Church, and the situation of those holding official stations and receiving stipulated salaries. He came next, after the duties and revenues of the Bishops, to consider the duties and revenues of the cathedral deans and chapters. Several of these dignities were held by Bishops, and the Commissioners thought that objectionable; they thought it took the Bishops away from the performance of the duties of their sees; and they were of opinion 20 also, that the duties of the deans and chapters ought to be substantially performed by persons who should hold the office for that purpose. The Commissioners were further of opinion, that it was not necessary to have so large an establishment as now existed, for the performance of that description of duty. In many of the chapters there were sinecure dignities, the holders of which were not obliged to reside, nor were they called on to perform any service whatever; in some also exceeding by eight or ten, the number in other chapters. At the same time there was in such districts a great want of the means of spiritual instruction. It seemed to the Commissioners, therefore, whatever abstract opinion they might entertain with respect to the utility of such dignities being maintained as rewards for learning and piety in the Church, that they might, with a due regard to the efficiency of the Church, make a considerable reduction in the cathedral deans and chapters. But acting on the principle he had explained of removing the defects and abuses of the Church, and not altering the general form and principles of the establishment, they did not entertain the proposition of doing away with these cathedral dignities altogether. Some Church Reformers had made that proposition, but it did not appear to the Commissioners, nor did it appear to him, that it would be wise to destroy the cathedral establishments. The Commissioners were of opinion, after mature deliberation, that three or four canons were as small a number as would be required by the cathedral duties, but at the same time they had left neither the whole income of these different canons to be appropriated for learned leisure, nor had they wholly destroyed the reward for literary eminence which such situations might properly confer. Their opinion with regard to many of the cathedrals was, that of the canons, some one or more might well perform a duty of great importance to the Church, but which had not hitherto received an adequate remuneration, viz. the duty of Archdeacon. There was no duty which ought to be more adequately remunerated, than that of the archdeacon, and it appeared that there was no better way of obtaining that object, than by providing that one or more of the canons, as occasion might arise, should be destined for the performance of that duty. Much depended on the archdeacons; the bishop derived from them 21 his knowledge of his diocese, and by their superintendence, the churches were kept in that state of repair which was necessary for the performance of divine service. There were other cases in which it was not thought expedient that these canonries should remain; he alluded to those in which the number was unusually large, and in which they were situated in large parishes, where there was no adequate provision for the religious instruction of the people. It was thought, that canonries might, in some instances, be safely appropriated to the performance of those duties; and while a sufficient revenue would be afforded to them, there would be assigned to them, an important parochial duty. Inasmuch, then, as there would be three or four canons left to every cathedral, it could not be said, that the establishment would have withdrawn from it—that being ground which had been frequently com-batted, and he was not one who thought it ought to be surrendered ground—the means of providing for the wants of men of distinguished learning and abilities. There were men to whom one of those canonries, connected with much business and labour, would not be suited, because those most distinguished for learning were frequently not the best men of business, or the best adapted for large and populous parishes. There would be a certain number, then, but it would be a small number of canonries left, in which the only service to be performed would be the cathedral service; and which would not be connected with any other duties. The result of this change with respect to the cathedrals would be, to procure a very large sum for the purposes of parishes which wanted spiritual care, and which had been very much neglected. He would not go into the whole plan of the Commissioners, but he would state the circumstances of some of the parishes in which there was a large population, the spiritual wants of which were inadequately supplied. In the first place, the corporate incomes of the suppressed canonries would be 64,699l.; in the second place, the separate estates of minor canons on the old foundation, would be 17,194l.; in the third place, the estates of the deans and canons of Durham and Ely, 11,777l.; then the separate administrations and sinecure prebends, 26,830l.—making, in the whole, a sum of 120,494l.; to which was to be added a sum of 8,894l., to be 22 derived from sinecure rectories—amounting, altogether, to 129,388l. When the sum left for deans and canons was taken away, there would remain a sum, which, as it should fall in, it was proposed should be applied to the wants of populous parishes, being as nearly as possible, 130,000l.;* and with regard to the application of this sum, regard would be had, in the first place, to the wants and circumstances of the different parishes, belonging to the dioceses from which those revenues might be derived; that was to say, when any sum arising from a prebend shall fall in, and be entirely at the disposal of the Commissioners, due regard should be had to the wants and circumstances of the parish or parishes affording the revenues. In the dioceses of London, Chester, York, Litchfield and Coventry, there were 108 parishes, containing a population of 2,590,000 persons, and there was Church-room for 276,000 only, being only one-ninth of the population. Taking, then, the calculation of the Commissioners—for he would not enter into the question whether this were a right basis of calculation or not—that church-room ought to be provided for at least one-third,—that is 863,333,—there would be still a deficiency of church-room for 587,333 persons. He did not go into the question whether they should provide church accommodation for that exact proportion or not, but he mentioned the statements to show that there were parishes immensely populous, for which no adequate supply of instruction, according to the doctrines of the Church of England had yet been made.
SUMMARY. From To Excess. Defic. 1. Nine Sees to be reduced £102,800 70,700 32,160 2. One See to be raised 4,220 5,000 780 3. Twelve Sees to be raised to £4,500 each 33,560 54,000 20,440 4. Two new Sees at the same 9,000 9,000 5. Two unaltered 9,700 9,700 £150,340 148,400 32,160 30,220 148,400 30,220 £1,940 £1,940 * The noble Lord referred in the text to the following Table,
23 The following is the account which the noble Lord quoted:
Estimated amount of the property and revenues referred to in proposition 56th of the 4th report, from each source respectively. 1. Corporate Incomes of all the suppressed Residentiary Canonries, propositions, 1, 2, 15 (excepting at Chester and Litchfield proposition 16, and in the Welch Cathedrals Propositions 21, 24, 25) £64,699 2. Separate Estates of all Deans and Canons on the old foundation, proposition 17 (excepting where wholly or in part specially appropriated proposition 18, 31) 17,194 3. Separate Estates of Deans and Canons of Durham 11,510, and 11,770 Ely 260 (But see Proposition 36.) 4.Separate Endowments of all sinecure prebends and offices, proposition 30 (excepting those annexed to bishoprics.—3d Report, proposition 50, and those specially appropriated.—4th Report, propositions 22, 26, 31) 26,831 120,494 5.Sinecure Rectories.—Proposition 44 8,894 £129,383
He would exemplify this in another manner, not with respect to the want of church-room, but with regard to the incomes of the clergy in several instances, as they were stated in the returns of the Commissioners, and as they appeared in the pages of their Report.—In the diocese of Chester there was a parish, Motram in Londendale, with a population of 15,536, and the net income of the clergyman was only 219l.; Neeton, in Manchester, was a perpetual curacy, with a population of 11,821, the net income of the curate being 155l. In Oldham, the population was 32,381, the net income of the clergyman, 191l.. In Walton-on-the-Hill there were 46,642 persons, and the income of the clergyman is 294l., of which 100l. is paid to a curate. In Kendal, there was a population of 11,840, the net income of the clergyman being 285l.; and in another parish, Heton Norris, a perpetual curacy, the population
Parishes. Population. Church-rm. London 4 166,000 8,200 21 739,000 66,155 9 232,000 27,327 Chester 38 816,000 97,700 York 20 402,000 48,000 Litchfield & Coventry 16 235,000 29,000 108 2,590,000 276,382 One-ninth.
24 was 11,288, and the clergyman's income 116l.* He need not go on; there were many other similar instances to be found in the Reports of the Commissioners. He thought these were sufficient to show that there were cases in which it might be most advantageous to increase the income of the clergyman, and to provide the means of instruction according to the doctrines of the Church of England. He thought further, he was justified from these facts in saying, that though there was the sum of 130,000l.. proposed to be devoted to the object he had stated, that sum being derived from the cathedral churches, not only must that amount be very soon exhausted, but if it were much larger there would evidently be the means of employing it advantageously in those parishes in which there had grown up an immense population, and in which there was no adequate income for the clergy. What he was now stating, in his opinion, bore very much on the question which had been often mooted in this House and elsewhere, but to which he did not now wish more particularly to allude than to state it; he meant the question as to whether the revenues of the deans and chapters in his country might not be applied to other purposes than those connected with the Church —whether this were not wanted for the Church itself. It appeared to him that this question was settled by the statement 25 He had made, and by the Report of the Commissioners. It was certainly contrary to his opinion, and to the opinion expressed by the Commissioners, that the whole of the revenue of the deans and chapters should be applied as at present; yet such was the deficiency of spiritual instruction in parts of those districts, that they could not, with a due regard to the efficiency of the Church, apply them to other purposes than to supply the spiritual wants of the people. There was another Bill which he would not enter particularly into now, but which formed part of the general scheme—he meant the Bill which had come down from the House of Lords with respect to pluralities and residence. In the Report of the Commissioners were to be found many instances of clergymen who, while there were parishes so inadequately supplied, were holding two or three rectories, and perhaps sinecures amongst them, of the value of 2,800l. and 3,000l. and upwards, and allowing very small sums for the performance of the duties to the curates of the parishes to which they belonged. This had been felt, and must be felt, as a great defect and a crying grievance. It had been an object with the Commissioners, as far as possible, to put an end to these grievances, and to this purpose they proposed that residence should be strictly enforced. The Bill required that each clergyman should be resident on his living for nine months in the year; in case of any special exemption a return was to be made to the King in Council, which would afterwards be laid before Parliament, so that any case of undue indulgence would be immediately known. The Bill would also prohibit persons from holding two livings together, except they were within ten miles of each other. That in effect would, he thought, put an end to pluralities altogether. So far as his examination had gone, he considered he was under the mark when he said that nine-tenths of the pluralities at present existing would be put an end to by a provision of that sort. Nor under this Bill would a person holding a living of 500l. a-year hold another, except under peculiar circumstances. There were some cases in which it might be an advantage for a living poorly endowed, to be held by a clergyman with a large income from another living, if he chose to undertake the poorer one. With respect to the abolition of pluralities, there were some cases of difficulty, such as those in which the livings were so small as not to afford a sufficient remuneration; but he himself 26 did not much apprehend embarrassment here, because in most of those instances there had been curates, the fact being that the living was in itself not so poor, but the greater portion of it was taken by the rectors. With respect to the patronage in the hands of the Crown, he did not entertain the objection to it felt by some. He considered it the means of connecting the State with the Church, and thought it would be a great evil to have a Church totally unconnected with the State. Placing Church patronage in the hands of the Crown afforded the means of uniting the Church with the State, and thus gave an assurance that the Crown would take care of the welfare of the Church on the one hand, and on the other that the Church would not attempt to counteract the general policy of the State; nor did he object to patronage being left in the hands of private individuals. In a country like this persons composing the different classes of society should have their interests, as much as possible, interwoven one with the other. He was further of opinion, that it was advantageous to have a small amount of patronage in the hands of the Bishops, inasmuch as it was the duty of the Bishops to observe and superintend the conduct of the clergy; and one way of enabling them to do so with effect was to give them the power of bestowing rewards, as well as the power of discouraging improper conduct. If a clergyman had conducted satisfactorily the affairs of a small benefice for a great number of years, it might be considered that he had a claim on the Bishop, which would, perhaps, not be attended to so immediately either by the Crown, or by those who possessed private patronage. He considered it right that the Bishops should have the power of attending to cases of this description. With respect to the other classes of preferment in the hands of the deans and chapters, without entering into that question, or throwing blame on any parties, he might say he did not see any particular reason why large numbers should be without the rewards to which they were fairly entitled, while many not only had a stall in one of the cathedrals, but likewise held a benefice. He thought it was fairly proposed by the Commissioners, with a view to augment the livings, that the Bishops in future, in cases where canons did not take the preferment themselves, should have the power of distributing the patronage which had hitherto been in the hands of the dean and chapters. He believed he had now alluded to the principal heads of 27 the scheme proposed by the Church Commissioners. It appeared to him that this was a measure of Reform which, while it was of a temperate character, would cure the evils of which there was abundant reason to complain. If this Bill passed there would exist no longer those immense incomes—there would exist no longer those offensive pluralities—those excessive revenues of the deans and chapters, while there were large districts in which no provision was made for the religious wants of the people. It was his fate, some years ago, to state that, in his opinion, the revenues of the Church of England were not too large, but that they ought to be more equitably distributed. The expression of that opinion brought down upon him the censure of a right reverend Prelate; but he still entertained the same opinion; and he was now supported in his view by the Report of the Commissioners, who declared it to be their opinion that the revenues of the Church might be more equally distributed—distributed in a manner more conducive to the efficiency of the Establishment. In proposing this change, however, they did not propose nor did they think it expedient any more than he did, to diminish the revenues of the Church. He trusted that these Bills would be carried into effect, and he trusted this object would be accomplished without exciting any opposition or any irritation such as similar plans had before excited. He could not conclude without paying the tribute of thanks due to the Archbishop who was at the head of the Commission, and who had shown every disposition to consult public opinion where he thought it just and reasonable. He was persuaded that it was far better to carry into effect a plan in which the high dignitaries of the Church had willingly concurred, and which they had laboriously examined, than it would be for the House to adopt other plans which, whatever merit they might have, would not possess that great, and, in his opinion, supereminent merit, of carrying with it the head of the Church, and the general support of its most valuable and influential friends. His Lordship concluded by moving, that the Chairman leave the Chair.
These statements were principally taken from the following return to which his Lordship referred: CHESTER DIOCESE. Parish Rectory, Vicarage, or Curacy Patron. Impropriator. Population Net Income. Stipend to Curate. £ £ Motram in Londendale Vicarage Bishop of Chester Bishop of Chester 15,536 219 — Neeton, in Manchester Perpetual Curacy Collegiate Church of Manchester 11,821 155 — Oldham Rector of Presswich 32,381 191 — Runcorn 6,360 294 — Shotwick Dean and Chapter of Chester 713 88 — Walton on the Hill Vicarage endowed with Great Tithes. 46,642 294 100 Winwick Rectory 88 3,616 — Whalley Vicarage 3,660 137 — Whittle-le-Woods Perpetual Curacy 2,987 40 — Wood Plumpton Perpetual Curacy 1,710 96 — Lees, in Ashton-under-Lyne Perpetual Curacy 4,387 131 100 Kendal Vicarage 11,840 285 90 Heton Norris Perpetual Curacy Collegiate Church of Manchester 11,238 116 — Holt Perpetual Curacy Dean and Chapter of Winchester 1,015 101 — Douglas, in Eccleston 474 70 — St. Bridget's, Chester Rectory 766 75 —
§ Mr. Charles Lushington
said, that in proposing the amendment of which he had given notice, he should confine himself, to its specific subject, except when it was indispensable to advert to the noble Lord's observations on the general question. The hon. Member then continued as follows: Sir—Before I had the honour of a seat in Parliament I read a speech of a right hon. 28 Gentleman then, as now, a member of the Administration, in which he stated that he never rose to address the House without trepidation. Now, Sir, if that right hon. Gentleman, possessing high official station, eminent talents, ready eloquence, and the well-earned favour of this House, was influenced by such feelings, what must my sensations of anxiety be, enjoying none of those distinctions, scarcely known to the House except by a few silent though uncompromising votes, labouring under the disadvantage of obvious, but to my affection, not ungrateful contrast, and placed in direct collision with the leader of that party with which I usually act, and whose measures as a Minister have, with little deduction, received my support and engaged my cordial admiration? An imperative sense of duty, however, impels me to undertake a task which I fear I shall very inadequately perform, and in the execution of which, therefore, I earnestly seek the indulgence of the House. Neither must I exclude from the catalogue of my difficulties the consciousness that imminent over my head hangs the overflowing indignation of the hon. Baronet, the Member for the University of Oxford; but I console myself with the reflection, that in his strictures there is no gall, and that what he considers to be inconsequent and foolish, is marked by no undue severity of reprobation. At all events he will "judge righteous judgment," and will at least do justice to the integrity of my motives. Undeterred however, Sir, by these discouragements, I venture to express my regret that his Majesty's Commissioners have not thought proper to include in their deliberations the question of abolishing the translation of Bishops from one see to another, because I am conscientiously of opinion that the maintenance of that system is hurtful to the character and interests of the whole body of the clergy, injurious to the efficiency, the purity, and the independence of the Established Church, and destructive of that vital spirit of genuine religion which every sincere Christian must desire to see flourish. When this question was brought forward by the hon. Member for Shoreham, in the year 1833, incidentally in a debate on the Irish Church Reform Bill, he was apprized that that was not a suitable opportunity, and he was referred to the time when a Report on Church Reform should be laid before the House. The proper season for the discussion, therefore, is now arrived. The hon. Member alluded on that occasion to. the condemnation of the practice by one 29 of the ancient Councils of the Church, the Council of Sardica, whose language is very explicit. The President then observed, "This pernicious custom must be rooted out; none have been found to pass from a greater bishopric to a less, therefore they are induced by avarice or ambition." The same council excluded translated Bishops from communion. This discipline was observed for 900 years, and the first departure of any note was that of Pope Formosus, who was also Bishop of Porto, one of whose successors marked his disapprobation of the practice by digging him out of his grave, and a council held soon after forbade this translation to be made a precedent. I should have observed before that the translation of Bishops had been prohibited also by the Council of Nice. Having adopted its creed, we should not disregard its ban against translations. But, Sir, for this assembly we have greater authority than that of the Councils of Sardica and Nice, or than all of the Church councils that ever were congregated.—I mean the authority of this House. In April 1701, a Bill was introduced into the last Parliament of William 3rd, by Sir John Packing-ton, Member for Worcestershire—a Tory and "an undoubted Churchman"—"for the better preservation of the Protestant religion, and for preventing the translation of Bishops from one see to another." This Bill passed the second reading, so that the principle was affirmed, but it was lost in Committee in consequence of the interpolation of irrelevant matter. And now, Sir, in order to show what the feeling of the clergy of that day was with regard to the proposed measure, I entreat the permission of the House to read two or three passages from a letter to, a clergyman in the country from a dignified clergyman in London. It was published in the year 1701, and the copy which I hold in my hand is perhaps the only one extant. After exposing the interpolated clause, he remarks,When Bishops are settled for life upon their bishoprics, they will very probably mind their cures better than otherwise they can be expected to do. While a man lives in restless expectation of an elder brother's death, it will be one of his chiefest concerns to keep up and enlarge, if he can, his interests at Court, and with all great persons related thereto. He must be very courteous and easy in his present see, and mighty tender in his discipline, that he may be sure not to get any ill words from any quarter.He then states,—He must be blind and deaf to the scanda- 30 lous conduct of the clergy, lest the punished should study revenge, and by one means or other throw in a rub at the vacancy; and why should he trouble himself and others with inquiring into matters which he is not likely (or at least hopes not) to stay there long enough to see reformed? He's to keep this flock but till yonder old man goes off the hill; and therefore if there be any giddy or scabbed sheep amongst them, he'll e'en leave them to be dressed by the next comer, and keep his own fingers out of the tar-pot.I beg the House to allow me to read one more extract.The intolerable spoil which is often made upon the temporalities of the poorer bishoprics by their transient incumbents you have well remarked, and I wish it could not justly be farther observed, that those expectants not content to make more than the best of what they have, do often cast a wishful eye too upon what they are in quest of, and push very hard against the 10th commandment, if not break through it. The expecter is very apt to think the old man lives too long, et pater ante diem patrios inquirit in annos; and then how hard is it for a man to have any good blood in his heart for one who outlives his expectations, and keeps him out of the possession of his wishes! And on the other hand how natural is it for the predecessors to look back with more indignation than charity upon him who thus treads on his heels, and is ready to push him off the stage before he comes to the end of it. Indeed, 'tis pity that Bishops should be thus exercising one another's patience; and yet how often is it so? and how often (if the truth were known) has the honest old gentleman at Winchester been wished in his grave! and what fears be there lest his toughness should outlast the King! But 'tis no matter, he has the proverb, and I hope Providence too, on his side, and I do not despair but he may yet live to pass this Bill against translations.Such were the sentiments on Episcopal translation entertained by a dignified clergyman of the Church of England, in 1701. I shall presently advert to the opinion of his successors on the subject. Sir, the House will not fail to observe, that on the occasion of the debate to which I have referred, the preservation of the Protestant religion was identified with the abolition of Episcopal translation. But, Sir, I have no apprehension for the stability of the Protestant Church. I reckon that it is based on a foundation of reason and scriptural authority which no violence can shake, no internal dissensions undermine; that its temporal bulwark is the affection of the people of England; and without intending the remotest reflection on other forms of Christianity which I distinctly and solemnly disclaim, I may in full charity declare my 31 persuasion that against the general cause of Protestant truth neither force nor machinations will be suffered to prevail. Nevertheless, I aver that the prosperity of our section Protestant Church, I mean the Church of England, is endangered by the maintenance, among other abuses, of translations, in defiance of the wishes and judgments of the great mass of the people, and a large majority of the clergy themselves. I never spoke to a clergyman respecting the practice who did not deprecate its existence. Dr. Burton, the late Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford, inquired, "Why is this evil inflicted on the Church?" and he declared that "Lord Henley most justly inveighed against the translation of Bishops, and that he himself had literally not found a clergyman who did not take the same view." Not to multiply instances of Bishops who have refused to be translated, I would just allude to Dr. Wilson, the exemplary Bishop of Sodor and Mau, who would never quit the diocese which his Christian zeal had regenerated and enlightened and we read, in Camden's Remains, of a certain Bishop who had quite a marital attachment to his own see. This is the passage: "John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, when the King would have translated him from that poor bishopric, he refused, saying he would not forsake his poor little old wife; thinking of the 15th Canon of the Nicene Council, "Matrimonium inter Episcopum et Ecclesiam esse contractum." His successors, however, have not been so constant, and have, according to the above view indulged in ecclesiastical polygamy; for, in a recent instance, a prelate had scarcely gained possession of his poor bride of Rochester, when, in the same year, after a tenure of eighty-two days, he deserted her for the wealthier blandishments of merry Carlisle. The predecessor of the present Bishop of Exeter remained scarcely six months in his diocese before he was translated. I do not mention this with any feeling of disrespect towards the excellent prelate in question, but in illustration of the vice of the system which I desire to denounce, without inculpating individuals. Sir, though there are great and obvious objections, in a social point of view, to the removal of Bishops from the dioceses with which they have become acquainted, and where their local knowledge and intimacy with their flock may render them eminently useful, yet is not the actual separation which is so mischievous as the constant state of expec- 32 tation in which the Bishop lives, the subservience and hypocrisy which it is calculated to engender, and the reproach to which it undeniably exposes the order. The noble Lord said, that the Commissioners having increased the emoluments of the poorer sees, had almost equalised the bishoprics, and therefore translations will not so frequently occur; but much disparity yet prevails, and there are still left several great prizes for which the less opulent Bishops may be supposed to contend. But, Sir, observe the fallacy of the noble Lord's assertion, that the evil of translations will be remedied by the present arrangements. It is diminished in appearance, but Episcopal appetency will be fomented with equal in-tenseness, and the spiritual Barons exposed, as hitherto, to political trial and corruption. Examine the new gradation of emoluments as now revised; it forms a regular episcopal gamut. First come the bishoprics with not less than 4,000l. nor more than 5,000l. per annum; then we see
Here are ten goodly pieces of preferment to be contested by the other Bishops, who receive not less than 4,000l., and not more than 5,000l. per annum; so that the Minister of the day has only to intimate to the Bishop of 4,000l. per annum, "If you vote judiciously you will soon reach the 5,000l; Ely, Winchester, Durham, and London will then open on your view, and you may shortly expect to mount the archiepiscopal pinnacle." Sir, there is no exaggeration in this statement; for while the Bishops are constituted as at present, they cannot escape from Ministerial influence, much less from the seductive impulse of self-interest, and, what is worse, from that suspicion and contumely which their variable condition is too certain to invite. I repeat that the system encourages hypocrisy in our section of the Church. For instance, if a metropolitan or the holder of a rich see, die, is their much sincere grief among the expectants? No; but they must simulate sorrow—they must mourn for the old prophet and exclaim "Alas! my brother!" with grief on their brow, and satisfaction in their hearts. They bewail the loss of one so beloved and revered in his diocese where he resided, and set an 33 example such as the men of Bristol covet, full four months in the year, "so known, so honoured in the House of Lords," where he attended the remaining eight—and oh! so dead at last. Thus it is: "Periisse Germanicum nulli jactantius mœrent quam qui maxime lœtantur." Sir, it may be asserted that such duplicity prevails in every department of life where competition is awakened. I admit the fact, but our object should be, desiring to shield our clergy from obloquy and temptation, to remove every inducement to the practice of such disgusting disguise from the holy profession to which they belong. But, Sir, the contrary is the case; Ministers find it convenient to have clerical as well as other dependents, and the interests of religion are postponed and superseded. Sir, it is not my purpose to repeat ribald invective, or to give currency and circulation to irreverent animadversions, but in temperate language to direct the attention of the House to painful truths. Three rich sees lately became vacant. What did people say on the occasion? Did they point out any eminently pious men as well fitted to fill the vaant benefices? No; the expression was (and it cannot be denied that it was almost universal), how fortunate the Ministers are to have such a mortality of bishops at such a crisis! "Dr. A. is a staunch Liberal; he will, of course, have Durham." "Dr. B. is to have one of the vacancies," says a politician to his friend. "Is he a good man?" "An excellent man; he is a most accomplished theologian, an exemplary clergyman, and is truly beloved throughout his district. 'When the eye saw.'" "Ay ay, I understand all that; but is he a good man—is he a good Whig—will he vote for the Irish Corporation Bill?" Another individual was pointed out to me as an excellent bishop for a Conservative! Does it not seem, then, that our bishops are created and promoted, not in primary reference to Christian virtue, but to political effect—not with respect to their merits as Ministers of the Gospel, but to their services as obsequious senators Sir, the whole constitution of our hierarchy and Church polity is defective and unsound and demands, not palliatives, but complete renovation; and my great objection to the noble Lord's Bill is, that it retains every vicious practice in the Establishment, under the specious garb of mitigation. Non-residence is blamed and sanctioned; the principle of pluralities is maintained; 34 the evil of translations is little remedied; the extravagant scale of the incomes of the Archbishops and bishops scarcely reduced; and the crying anomaly of the session of bishops in Parliament is left untouched. But, Sir, the appalling shouts of "Question!' uttered on a recent occasion still ring in my ears, and from deference to the House I must shun that point, though my argument is shackled by its relinquishment. It is satisfactory, however, to reflect that this being no party question, its decision will be governed by higher motives than political considerations, and in submitting my amendment to the sentence of the House, I beg to state that the proposition has not emanated from a spirit of cavil, or from a frivolous love of change, but from the maturity of deliberate and conscientious conviction.
Worcester and Bath £5,000 St. Asaph and Bangor 5,200 Ely 5,500 Winchester 7,000 Durham 8,000 London 10,000 Archbishopric of York 10,000 Archbishopric of Canterbury 15,000
§ Mr. Ewart
seconded the amendment. He most cordially concurred in the views entertained upon this question by his hon. Friend. The noble Lord had spoken of a system of equality being established. He could not see any equality in a system in which the revenues of the bishops so much varied—the differences existing in the incomes of the bishops were, in his opinion, so many steps in the ladder of ambition. If they did away with translations, there would be no longer temptations to ambition in the Church. He objected to this measure, because it provided for the great aristocracy of the Church, instead of providing for the democracy in the Church. They were enlarging the ornaments of the edifice, when they ought to be extending and strengthening the foundation. It was his opinion that the system of patronage, now existing in the church, produced a bad moral effect upon the people. The ambition, too, that prevailed in the Church was likely to shake the confidence of the people in the Established Church. With respect to translations it was to be remarked that the majority of those belonging to the Church were opposed to it and Doctor Burton, of Oxford, declared that he never yet had found a single clergyman who was an advocate for translations. He confessed that he could not consider the measure then submitted to them as a measure of real Church Reform. They ought to look more to the democracy of the Church than they had done—they ought to seek to make them more like the clergy of the Scotch Church—they ought to have them more accustomed to the habits of the people—to live for the 35 people—to work for the lowest, and yet not sever themselves from the highest. He trusted that the Bill would not again come before the House without embodying in it a full measure of reform.
§ Sir Love Parry
could bear testimony, as the Representative of a Cathedral district, that the Bishop of the diocese, although the income of the See did not exceed 3,800l. had expressed his desire not to be translated to any other See. He also knew of another instance, in which a right reverend Prelate had expressed a similar wish, though he was not at liberty to mention the circumstance more particularly. He apprehended no doubt could be entertained that it would be a great advantage, when a Bishop was once appointed to a diocese, that he shuold continue to remain in it. He by no means objected to the principle of the working clergy being better paid than they were at present.
§ Mr. Wason
observed, that if all the patronage now in the hands of the Bishops were placed in the hands of Commissioners, a fund would be provided sufficient to increase small livings and for the building of Churches. He could not see why this ought not to be done. The next presentations to livings in the gift of the bishops could be as well disposed of as those in the gift of the corporations. The bishops said their incomes varied from 4,000l. to 5,000l. a year. For a bishop, he thought, 4,500l. a year ought to be sufficient. The extra 500l. a year would form a surplus, from which spiritual aid might be provided for 136,000 of the King's subjects. He thought they ought not to proceed farther with this Bill. It was, in his opinion, impossible for the House to give to it at this period that attention which the country demanded.
§ Mr. Harland
observed, that the Bill proposed to them was founded on three reports, and they had only two of those reports before them. Under these circumstances, he thought the Bill ought to be postponed to the next Session. The principle of the Bill was, to provide from a surplus, not for the wants of the poorer clergy, but to increase the incomes of the smaller bishoprics. He objected to the Bill on that principle. It was proposed to take a large sum of money from the Diocese of Durham, while it was proved, that in that very diocese, there were 136 livings under 300l. a-year. He hoped the House would not sanction the taking away 10,000l. a-year from the diocese of Dur- 36 ham, until the spiritual wants of the people of that diocese were fully provided for.
§ Mr. Hume
wished to enter his protest against this Bill, at the same time he was not at all desirous to stop; because, so far as it went, it was good. He protested, however, against it as a settlement of the question. It was allowed that the deans and chapters had enormous incomes, and, in connexion with that fact, he thought they were bound to consider how they could deal with the question of Church-rates. Having passed a vote that they would not allow sinecures in the army and navy, he did not know why sinecures should be permitted to continue in the church. As his Majesty's Government had pledged themselves to a reform as to Church-rates, the public expected and hoped they would have the courage to make such a proposition. That House would support them. He recommended them to pursue this course, for there was no subject more important than that of Church rates. He could not take up a newspaper in which a reference was not made to this subject. He thought that no man could for a moment entertain the notion that Church-rates would be voted out of the consolidated fund. Every day the feeling respecting Church-rates was becoming stronger, and he assured his Majesty's Ministers, that neither could Church-rates be paid out of the consolidated fund; nor was it possible to go on with them, as at present. Why not provide for Church-rates out of the sinecures of the Church? He did not wish to take anything away from the Church, but he wished the amount of those sinecures to be applied to the support of the Church. The noble Lord stated, he wished to continue the connexion between Church and State. Unless the noble Lord put an end to Church-rates, questions would be constantly arising which would risk that connexion. It was to be remarked, that the revenues of the bishops were not simply from 4,000l. to 5,000l.; but a bishop, by the patronage in his power, could provide for all his relatives in the male and female line. Great as had been the complaints against the Church of Rome, he believed that in that Church there never had been so much attention paid to the distribution of the property of that Church, as there was at this moment in the Established Church. He could not allow the Bill to pass without entering his protest against it. He believed that if 37 more were not done as to Church reform than what was accomplished in this Bill, the question would continue to agitate the country for a considerable number of years.
§ Sir Robert Peel
said, upon the proposal of the noble Lord to go into Committee, a motion had been made and seconded, to prevent the translation of bishops. The hon. Gentlemen who proposed and seconded the amendment, confined themselves strictly to the merits of the amendment. All the other hon. Members who supported the views of the Mover and Seconded had rather strayed away from the amendment in their remarks. With respect to the see of Durham, as he did not perceive that it had any necessary relation to the question now before the House, he could not discuss it at present. He thought, however, that before the motion was debated further, it would be very convenient to know whether the hon. Member intended to press his motion to a division or not. In case he did, he thought the best form he could take would be as an instruction to the Committee; it would be advisable, however, that the House should be assured upon this point, in order that it might know how to proceed. [Mr. Lushington meant to press his motion to a division.] In that case he should certainly support the Bill of the noble Lord, because he cordially approved, in the main, of the principle upon which it was framed. Throughout the whole of the labours of the commission upon whose report this Bill was founded, political views appeared to have been carefully excluded, in the laudable desire to extend the sphere of usefulness of the Church to the furthest practicable limits, and in so doing to attach the hearts and feelings of the people to the Church establishment of this country. He did not believe that there were any sincere friends of the Church more desirous to clear it from its imperfections, and to promote its usefulness, than the bishops who composed the late Ecclesiastical Commission. The whole conduct of those rev. prelates, showed how desirous they were to give practical efficacy to remedial measures; and as one of their first steps, they unhesitatingly followed the example which had just been set them by the then Ministry, and relinquished a large share of patronage in order that it might be applied to purposes of general utility. The hon. Member for Liverpool, in the course of the present debate, had endeavoured to raise a 38 distinction between what he was pleased to term the aristocracy and the democracy of the Church. The hon. Member seemed to assume, that clergymen in the lower stations of the Church had no interest in the emoluments attached to the higher preferments. That was a position which he (Sir R. Peel) must deny. He maintained, on the contrary, that by upholding the dignity and the emoluments of the higher offices in the Church, they were also defending the interests and the rights of the so-called democracy of churchmen. Let the hon. Member look to the first five names attached as signatures to the report of this Commission. The first name was Dr. Howley, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the second Dr. Harcourt, Archbishop of York, the third Dr. Blomfield, Bishop of London, the fourth was the late Dr. Van Mildert, Bishop of Durham, and the fifth, Dr. Sumner, Bishop of Winchester. When they read the names and recollected the history of those pious men, who had risen by the force of their own merit and great learning to the highest dignities in the Church, could the House require any argument to show that there was no distinction between the democracy and the aristocracy of the Church. By maintaining those high places, he was holding out, he thought, a stimulus to the emulation of the clergy at large, and a reward for distinguished merit or extraordinary service. By that means, too, they were encouraging a very laudable and a cheering spirit of ambition amongst them. No doubt considerable irregularity existed in the emoluments of the different bishoprics; but he apprehended that, from the peculiar usages and customs in different Sees, and the difference in expense attendant upon them, that inequality was less in reality than was generally reported. To put the see of Durham, for instance, on the same footing in point of revenue with the See of Chester, might apparently be to put them upon an equality, but in reality would result in a gross inequality between them. But there was another point of view in which he thought this subject should be considered. It appeared to him, that by allowing of some degree of inequality between the different sees, they would assimilate the Church Establishment in some degree to the other civil institutions of the country, and with an evident advantage to the Church and to the country 39 itself. Certain he was, that the system of unequal division had not been countenanced, either by preceding Governments or the present Government, with any view to influence the bishops in their political conduct by the hope of promotion. The hon. Gentleman spoke against the propriety of holding out an object of ambition to the bishops. Now this involved a question of great importance, which ought not to be hastily decided—namely, whether the bishops ought, or ought not, to be wholly excluded from all participation in political matters, and all share in the management of the civil affairs of the country. For his own part he was free to declare that he believed, that on the whole it was of great advantage to the country that the bishops were permitted, under certain restrictions, to take part in the general affairs of the community. A class of ecclesiastics, totally disconnected from all concern in civil affairs, and altogether removed from politics, would form an infinitely less enlightened, and an infinitely less liberal body of men in every respect; with less capacity for the religious duties of their station, than our present clergy. The hon. Gentleman had further complained, that the Government in power for the time being, always selected their own friends for promotion to a vacant see. Now that appeared to him to be a very natural consequence as long as parties in power had the choice in such matters. Yes, he maintained that it was a very natural, and he did not think a very blameable course of proceeding, at least he felt pretty confident that if his Majesty's present advisers had acted upon a different principle, when occasions offered to them for selection—if, for instance, they had chosen a person to a vacant see who was known to be opposed to their views in politics—the Government would have had to listen to a very severe lecture from their friends. Whilst, therefore, on the one hand, he maintained that these preferments were not made use of as the reward for apostasy, or as inducements for the avowal of a particular set of opinions; on the other hand, it was equally clear to him, that if once the propriety of admitting the bishops at all to participate in the political affairs of the country was admitted, it must be a natural and inevitable consequence that those persons would be selected for promotion to that sphere of political action, who were supposed to be most likely to 40 support, by their voice in the assembly of Parliament the views of those who placed them there. With respect to the Bill now before the House, it was undoubtedly a great measure of reform, and one the more likely to be of permanent utility, because it had, to a great extent, been brought about through the cheerful co-operation of the ecclesiastical body themselves, and because it had been framed with a friendly regard to the safety of the whole Church Establishment. There was no desire on the part of the Church to maintain the system of pluralities; at the same time the necessity which every one must be aware of, of providing for the duties of certain smaller livings, must render it impracticable entirely to abolish pluralities. He believed that the point to which the present Bill went in that particular, was the utmost extent which, with safety to the Church Establishment, could be attempted. The House would observe, that there was to be a surplus raised by the Bill, which was to be applied in aid of the smaller livings; and although this principle might not be carried out to the full extent some hon. Members might wish, he trusted they would not on that account oppose the Bill, the passing of which, he thought, would operate as a great practical advantage both to the Church and to the country at large.
§ Mr. Lennard
complained that the Bill only provided one course of proceeding against a clergyman for non-residence—namely, at the hands of the bishop, or at least through his permission. He hoped that in Committee the Bill would be altered in this particular, so as to give any one who thought proper, the right of proceeding against the clergyman in such case.
§ Sir Robert Inglis
said, that the hon. Member who had seconded the motion had alluded to a Bill which had been introduced in the year 1701 upon the same subject, and which had not passed in consequence of its containing a clause relating to Mayors and Aldermen. It was very true, that this Bill, even with the proposed amendment, would not be open to the same kind of objection. But (to speak seriously), he trusted that it would equally fail. To the Bill itself, indeed, he retained all his objections, though he would not now repeat them; but would confine himself to the single question raised by the amendment. The hon. Mem- 41 bers for Ashburton and Liverpool, had, indeed, in defiance of the precept and example of the right hon. Baronet, gone from the intentions of the noble Lord, by wandering into details which had nothing to do with the question, and which might be better discussed in Committee. With respect to the amendment, the only point now at issue, he must say, that he was opposed to those who were desirous of abolishing translations. Looking at the state of the Church in this country, and its constitutional share of civil power,—looking also at the very different measures of episcopal duty attached to different sees; he thought it not unfitting that prelates should occasionally be tried in inferior dioceses before they were placed in the higher. The principle was, indeed, admitted by the Mover of the amendment, because he himself excepted some sees. He maintained, that upon an estimate made of all the translations which had taken place for a long period, they had been in favour of what had been called the democratical part of the clergy. He might add, that, whoever might be the persons translated, the expense of maintaining such establishments as were necessary for Lambeth, Winchester, Worcester, and Carlisle, with the expenses of episcopal residences, and the expense incurred upon translation, often a whole year's income, would prevent their being too frequent, and happening occasionally, he thought it was not so serious an evil as those which might arise after the abolition of the practice.
§ Mr. Arthur Trevor
should certainly vote against the motion of the hon. Member for Ashburton. At the same time he would add, that for his own part he thought it extremely desirable that all legislation on this subject should he deferred to a future Session, in order to give time to the Members of the House to confer with their constituents on a subject so very important to the whole community. The hon. Member then defended the practice of translations, as a great advantage to the zealous performance of the duties of the Church—provided they were not so frequent as to render the Bishop indifferent to the charge in his hands. When he looked at the duties of the Archbishopric of Canterbury, for instance, he did believe that they were of a nature involving such manifold difficulties and such responsibility, as would render it extremely hazardous, to place that see in the care of any one who had not had the 42 greatest possible quantity of experience that could be acquired. He thought, moreover, that it was a prerogative very properly belonging to the Crown, to reward signal merit and ability by such promotions, and he could never consent to abolish this practice, because he believed that by so doing he should be going a step towards destroying the connexion between Church and State which existed at present, and which he could never consent to see done away with.
§ Viscount Ebrington
did not entertain the same desire to have the Bill postponed as had been evinced by the hon. Member for Ashburton. He would not postpone the advantages that the Bill promised, more especially as they were likely to have the concurrence of the other branch of the Legislature. He thought some alterations might, however, be made in Committee; and although no one entertained stronger opinions of the impropriety of the present disparity in ecclesiastical revenues, he did not think that he could, under any circumstances, go the length of the hon. Member for Ashburton, who so entirely restricted the translation of the bishops as not to allow the elevation from the bench to the Archiepiscopal see.
§ Mr. Fowell Buxton
said his complaint against the Bill before the House was, that it did not go far enough. If a reform of the Church was intended, a more substantial measure was necessary. The right hon. Member for Tam worth had assigned as a reason for supporting the Bill, that it was in conformity with the report of the Commissioners; but he (Mr. Buxton) disapproved of it, because it was not in accordance with that Report. He should be guilty of great injustice if he did not state, that the person who drew the report appeared to be actuated by a desire to effect a reform of the establishment; but what he complained of was, that the most important points brought under notice by the Report were not touched upon in the Bill, and had hardly been alluded to by the noble Lord who brought forward the measure. The first important fact stated in the Report was, that there were 3,500 livings with salaries under 150l. a year, that there were 2,000 livings with salaries under 100l. a year, and 300 livings with salaries under 50l. a year, the incumbents of which were, from poverty, unable adequately to discharge their duties. The Bill proposed to apply no remedy to this state of things. In the second place, very im- 43 portant information was contained in the following passage in the Report of the Commissioners;—"We regret to state that a vast proportion of the people of this country are left destitute of the opportunity of public worship and religious instruction." These appeared to him to be points which merited prompt attention, and the application of an immediate remedy. When it was stated, not by the foes of the Church, but by five of its bishops, that a vast portion of the people were destitute of the opportunity of obtaining religious instruction, a case was made out which required immediate consideration. Not a syllable, however, was contained in the Bill relative to the first point—namely, the small stipends of the working clergy. [Lord John Russell: that will be the subject of another Bill.] He was aware of that, but if that Bill should pass, the working clergy would still be inadequately provided for. Before the House consented to assign the sum of 15,000l. to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 10,000l. to the Bishop of London, and 8,000l. to another Prelate, they ought to assure themselves that they would have money enough left to make the provision which was necessary for the inferior clergy. He did not grudge the Bishops their income, and was sure that no set of men spent their money with so much advantage to the public as they did, indeed in all their dioceses they were liberal beyond their means, and if the plain and simple question presented itself—should their income be reduced? he would vote in the negative. Another question, however, occurred, what was to be done with the working clergy who were admitted to be in a state of destitution? He would not say that the income of 15,000l. a year, proposed to be assigned to the Archbishop of Canterbury, was too much or too little; but he wished the House to take into consideration at the same time, that there were 300 of the working clergy, whose united incomes did not amount to the sum of 15,000l. a year. What was required from clergymen whose income was 2s. 8d. or 2s. 9d. a day? In the first place they were to acquire an expensive education, equal to that required for the very highest order of clergy; then they were to give up the whole of their time to the holy functions of their office; and lastly they were expected, upon this miserable allowance, to keep up the character and appearance of gentlemen. He had recently read the report of a society having the benevolent purpose of affording relief to distressed 44 clergy; and when he noticed with what heartfelt thanks trifling sums of 5l. and 10l. had been received, it convinced him what real objects of commiseration there must be amongst that class of persons. Another report which he had read, and which he was almost ashamed to allude to, called for contributions of cast-off clothes, which it appeared were gratefully received by these meritorious and ill-paid individuals. There was a remarkable passage in the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and which he did not think had been sufficiently met in the present Bill—namely, that there were whole districts throughout the country in a state of total privation of religious instruction. He thought that, as long as such a state of things existed, the House should hesitate before it provided for the dignity, or supported the superfluities, of the Church Establishment, and neglect to do what it could towards supplying what was necessary for the religious instruction of the community. There was the greatest disproportion between the population and stipends of the clergy in various districts throughout the country. Much complaint had lately been made of that clause in the Irish Church Bill by which the income of the clergy of the Church was proportioned to the members connected with it in each parish. Now he ventured to say that if the principle of that clause were adopted with respect to the English Church, the effect would be to double the stipends of upwards of 2,000 individuals. He could not help thinking, that after the obvious defects of this Bill had been pointed out, it would be advisable to limit its operation to a twelvemonth. Another Bill might then be framed by the Government; they taking as their guides and landmarks the two important facts, that there was a vast portion of the population destitute of instruction, and a great proportion of the clergy with scarcely any remuneration whatever. The large incomes of the Bishops should be cut down, in consideration of the wants of the Church; and the main principle of the Irish Church Bill should be applied to the Church of this country—namely an apportionment of stipend in accordance with the duties which were to be performed by the clergy. It was commencing at the wrong end to make a provision for the bishops before all other considerations. The lower order of the clergy should first receive an adequate remuneration, and then the attention of the legislature should be directed to some better 45 regulations for affording spiritual instruction in the large, and at present destitute, districts. He felt the more strongly on this part of the question because he had been told that there were in a district in London with which he was acquainted 70,000 persons, for whom no religious instruction was provided. He had inquired into the truth of this statement, and he ascertained that, making every conceivable allowance, there were 60,000 persons who could by no possibility, and upon no emergency of circumstances, receive any religious instruction. He thought, then, that the desirable objects which he had pointed out might be fully accomplished by the reduction of the incomes of the Bishops, and by private and public subscriptions. As he had already said, he was willing to give the members of the Commission credit for a conscientious conviction that in the reforms which they proposed they were consulting the best interests of the Church; but there was one recommendation made by them to which he could not extend that expression of approval, and of which he felt bound to complain. He alluded to the assignment of salaries to the Deans and Canons. Now, the Dean of Chester was to have 440l. a year, and the Canon 187l.; whilst the Dean of Durham was to be allowed 4,594l. a year, and each of the Canons 2,000l a year. In other words, a Dean of Durham was made worth ten Deans of Chester, and a Canon of Durham equal to a dozen Canons of Chester. It was, in his opinion, very unjustifiable that such anomalies as those to which he had referred should be suffered to exist, whilst there were large districts completely unprovided with spiritual instruction. There was another point to which he wished to address himself. He considered it undoubtedly important that the salaries of the bishops and clergy should be determined upon; but he looked upon it as a matter of still deeper concern to decide who should be appointed to a bishopric or benefice. He did not agree with the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel), that politics ought not to be excluded when the choice of a bishop was to be made. Neither did he think that promotion in the Church ought to depend on connexion with some noble family, or on the political aid which was afforded in some parliamentary struggle, or on the circumstance of an individual happening to be a tutor to some member of the Cabinet; for a man might make an admirable tutor, and yet be a very poor clergyman Or Bishop. None pf these considerations 46 should be made the sole test of a person's qualification for such offices; but the man of most merit produced by the country, whose heart was evidently in his profession, and who showed his trustworthiness by devotion to his duties in the subordinate offices which he might have filled; who, in the state of his parish, of his congregation, and by his exertions in establishing or promoting schools in it, gave evangelical proofs of his zeal and fidelity; such a man deserved, and ought to receive, promotion. He begged in what he had stated not to be understood as alluding to any modern appointments. As to what was said of danger to the Church, his object in giving the suggestion which he had offered, and he hoped the view entertained by the Government, was not to introduce measures of Church reform, which were intended to make Dissenters Churchmen, or to convert Catholics to Protestantism, but to advance the progress of real religion. Ministers, by persevering steadfastly and unflinchingly in such a course, would place the moral stability of the Church in greater security than if they resorted to all the penal enactments which the invention of man ever discovered or put in force for its defence. Though he was willing to believe that the Commissioners desired to effect a reform in the Church, yet he could not shut his eyes to such a fact as that to which he had referred—that there was a bishopric with 15,000l. a year, and that some of the clergy had less than 50l. a year. He warned the Government and the House against the effects of tardy legislation where a grievance existed and called for prompt redress, such a system as that which, by procrastination, had lost America. An insignificant dispute about a few pounds of tea—a mere question of Excise—lost England thirteen provinces; they offered terms and were contemned; next England offered them—and was contemned in turn. Again, with Catholic Emancipation—how easily might Ireland have been conciliated at an earlier period? Subsequently England conceded all the Irish sought—and perhaps more—but again it was "too late." So with Reform—remember East Retford; how much would the legislature not afterwards have given to have been able to retrace that mistaken and ill-judged step of refusing its forfeited franchise to disfranchised Birmingham:—but, again and again, concession came "too late." Were these lessons already forgotten—or were further lessons required in this school of tardy concession? 47 He said be wise in season—and if they would unfortunately determine to delay the real reform of the Church for a much longer period, he greatly feared that the consequence (which he for one did not at all desire) would soon follow—that it would be reformed with a vengeance.
observed that the hon. Member for Weymouth had dwelt much on the necessity of reducing the incomes of the Bishops. He supposed the meaning of his argument to be, that the livings of the Church should have no adequate incomes attached to them. The hon. Gentleman had also omitted to state that 150,000l. had been taken from the higher livings and sinecures of the Church, in order better to provide for the religious instruction of the people. He did not see that there was any tenable ground of objection to this measure, which went a great way to remove all existing evils, and which had received the sanction and approval of the heads of the Church, who had expressed their approbation of its provisions in a spirit which called forth unmixed praise from all. With regard to what had been said by the hon. Gentleman as to the circumstances which were considered, in the hon. Gentleman's opinion, essential to advancement in the Church, he did not hesitate to say that there were no Bishops of any Church, no matter how selected, who were more free from the imputation of having attained to their station through political influence, or who were more remarkable for their attachment to their religious duties than the Bishops of the Church of England. He also challenged the hon. Gentleman to point out a single name in the list of Deans, who, as well as the Bishops, did not owe their elevation to rank or station, to their high attainments, the excellence of their characters as religious men, and the extent of their learning, literary, scientific, and religious. The proposition, however, which filled him with most astonishment, in the observations of the hon. Gentleman, was his recommendation that the operation of the present Bill should be limited to one year. What object could there be in making the experiment of altering all the incomes of those who belonged to the Church, if, at the end of a year, they were again to receive their present incomes? The hon. Gentleman certainly selected a somewhat strange mode of proving the desire which he expressed of giving relief to the distressed population, and supplying the wants of the poorer clergy, by proposing that a 48 measure, and which would in a great degree effect both these objects, should be changed upon the expiration of a year. If he thought that there was another arrangement required for promoting still further than the present Bill the instruction of the destitute classes he would still give his ready assent to the present measure, which had been approved of by the heads of the Church, and which exceeded the expectations of all those whose object was to reform and not destroy the establishment.
§ Mr. Poulter
Sir, I consider that this Bill, if fairly and justly worked out, will be one of the most beneficial ever presented to the Legislature. I have for the Established Church as a body the greatest respect and veneration; if I had not I should be one of the most ungrateful of human beings; my education, my early connexions, lead me to entertain these feelings towards the episcopal institutions of this country, and towards all the ministers of that Establishment; so that, however in other respects hon. Gentlemen who have spoken upon this question may be greatly my superiors, none can claim more integrity of motive than I can. But it is now universally felt, that the extent of some of the emoluments and preferments of the Church are injurious to its true interests, and that it is not required for its true interests that the heads of that Church, its Bishops and Archbishops, should resemble more temporal princes than spiritual overseers. They deserve, and ought to possess, that degree of wealth which on a fair and moderate calculation may be found to be sufficient for supplying all the necessaries, the comforts, and enjoyments of life, and for enabling them to exercise those charities which adorn the dignity of their station. And my hon. Friend on my left, the Member for Weymouth, did not, as the right hon. Member for Cambridge University imputed—very unfairly, I think, to him—my hon. Friend said nothing against episcopal institutions,—he raised no objections to the Bishops,—he has declared himself favourable to those institutions; and all for which he contends is, that while they are fairly and justly provided for—which he desires to see—due regard be also had to the inferior clergy of the Church, in which I entirely concur with him, though there may have been parts of his speech with which I could not equally agree. But though I consider that upon the whole this Bill will operate bene- 49 ficially, there are some conclusions to which the Commissioners have arrived, which if adhered to, will, in my conscience, I believe, do any thing but promote the real interests of the Church. One of the first conclusions to which they have come is, that the whole of the episcopal property of the Church must necessarily be absorbed in providing adequate incomes for the Bishops and Archbishops. Why do I regret this? Because, in contemplating the state of the different dioceses, I see no sort of proportion between the benefices and the population. In the dioceses, for instance, of Norwich and Oxford, the proportion is one benefice to a population of five, six, or seven hundred, while in the dioceses of London and Chester, the ratio is one benefice to a population of five, six, or seven thousand. I see in this statement reason to apprehend, not the future prosperity but the decline and decay of the Establishment in this country; and whether that decline or that prosperity shall really take place, will depend, I believe, mainly upon the manner in which this state of things is dealt with, or suffered to remain. I repeat, you must connect the Established Church of this country with the population; on that connexion depends its decline or prosperity. It is upon this subject especially, if upon no other, that the simple Rule of Three may be made good. The question only is, What is the population? and then according to that population must be the number of your benefices. Upon the subject of religion, as an exception to most others, the poor, the humble, and the destitute, are principally to be considered. But my regret at this recommendation of the Commissioners is considerably increased by another circumstance. I find in the Report that they calculate the value of the revenues of the Church at a three years' average. I can show that such an average will not give you the fair value of that property. For instance, as regards fines, it is notorious that an average of the amount paid in that period of years will by no means give you a fair estimate of their value. I will instance one case, in which the amount paid in fines for three years being 9,400l., the average of course for that period would be 2,000l. Now in one year alone, the very distinguished person to whom I allude, the Archbishop of York, received, 50 in one fine, in this case, the sum of 30,000l., or thereabouts. In another case—that of the Prebend of Langton, Lincolnshire, Dr. Maltby, received, in one fine, the sum of 35,000l. How is it possible that in such cases a three years' average will give the real value of the revenues of the Church? The same remark would apply to other cases to which I will not advert. I return to my former observation, and I ask, can the Commissioners really, conscientiously, say, that it is more for the benefit of the Established Church that the Archbishops and Bishops should have such sums as 15,000l., 10,000l., 8,000l., and 7,000l., than that less sums should be given them, and the remainder appropriated to the religious instruction of populous and unprovided-for districts. I may also observe, that the alteration from a paper currency to a metallic currency should be considered as having improved the value of the episcopal incomes. It appears to me, that the most reasonable mode of effecting the object of the Bill would be to place all the episcopal property in the hands of an ecclesiastical trust, which should receive all the funds of that property, pay the Prelates certain salaries, and retain the surplus in their hands. In this method, by removing the Bishops from any control over the estates, we should prevent the possibility of an old Bishop being imposed upon, by being compelled to take a fine less than the real value of the estate entitled him to; and, on the other hand, we should prevent a young Bishop from receiving more in the way of fine than he had a right to receive. We should also prevent all that jobbing and that bickering between the clergy which are now unhappily so prevalent. I should undoubtedly object to the principle of appropriation as applied to the Church of England; but I do say, that if a petition should be presented, for instance, from the county of Durham, setting forth the great want of a spiritual ministry in that district, and the enormous surplus revenues of the see of Durham, and praying that a portion of those revenues might be set apart for the purpose of extending the benefits of religious instruction to the destitute population of the county, I should be inclined to assent to that prayer. You must make your Church connected with your people. The Church against which you especially protest, understands this 51 principle; and she has always connected herself with the very lowest of the population. You must not be satisfied with raising splendid Grecian or Gothic edifices, ornamental as they are, and honourable to the civilization and the taste of a country,—you must be content to build with brick and wood in this work. You must build churches for the accommodation of the poorer classes; you must give the poorer classes of your population the opportunity of obtaining all the spiritual instruction which your Establishment will afford them. The Dissenters have been created by yourselves. I have often said to a Dissenter, "You owe your very existence to the Established Church." They owe their existence to neglect of the abuses of the Church. For that Church, as I said at the commencement of my speech, I have the greatest respect, but I am bound honestly to state my views as to that which I believe essential to her future prosperity; I will only add, that I think it will be necessary to make some alteration in the Commission. It is impossible that the noble Lord, the Home Secretary, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, can, with all their heavy duties, attend to the deliberations of the Commissioners. Let there be an addition, then, to the Commission, not only of laymen, by the ministers of the Church, the inferior orders of the clergy, as well as Bishops and Archbishops; men who take comprehensive and sensible views, and who, without any wild, innovating notions, will have at heart the true interests of the Church. There is too much talk in this House about friendliness to the Church. I do not question the sincerity of these professions, either on the part of Government or of hon. Gentlemen opposite; but I wish to see more of the enlightened realities of true friendship to the Establishment,—a disposition to carry into their full operation just principles with regard to it. I conclude, Sir, by expressing one principle, which appears to me, as I have before said, essential to the prosperity of the Church: Where your population is, there let your Church be also.
§ Mr. Charles Buller
took the same view of the subject that had been taken by the hon. Member for Weymouth, and maintained that the Bill was miserably deficient as a measure of Church Reform. There was throughout the country, a strong, earnest, and sober desire for the Reform of 52 the Church; and the people would never be satisfied till such a Reform was effected. As to what the hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House called the great prizes of the Church, and lauded as such, they were, in his opinion, great sources of political jobbing. What was the cause of increase of dissent? In what part of England was the greatest proportion of Dissenters to be found? In Cornwall. And why? Because in that county there were the greatest number of non-resident clergy, the working clergy were the worst paid, and the people were driven into dissent because they had not means of religious instruction. Of this he was sure, that when his constituents asked him what had been done by Parliament on the subject of Church Reform, they would be far from satisfied on learning that nothing had been done for the working clergy, for whom they had wished everything; and that everything had been done for the higher clergy, for whom they had not wished for anything. He would most cordially support the proposition which had been made by the hon. Member for Ashburton. As to the Bill, in his opinion, it would be much better to withdraw it; and by the next Session his Majesty's Ministers might, perhaps, be able to prepare a Bill which would prove a real and permanent measure of Reform of the Church of England.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, that undoubtedly the withdrawing of the Bill might lead to this advantageous result, that it would give the hon. Member an opportunity of rendering himself acquainted with the Report of the Commissioners, and the measure founded upon it, which it was evident he had not yet read. If the House were to be guided by the statement of the hon. Gentleman, they would believe that the only object of the Report and the Bill was to place the lower bishoprics on a level in point of emolument with the higher. Now that was not a candid statement. It kept out of sight the fact, that the Bill restored a number of benefices which were at present held in commendam to the working clergy. It enacted also that all that remained after duly providing for the Cathedral services should be applied to the general diffusion of religious instruction. He rejoiced that such a measure, enforcing such a system, had been introduced into Parliament with the consent of the high authorities of the Church. As to the proposition made by the hon. Member for Ashburton, he could not help thinking, that whatever might 53 have been said in favour of that proposition, if the bishoprics had been allowed to remain of very unequal value, all the arguments urged against translations, ceased to apply when a measure was before the House, one of the objects of which was to bring the various bishoprics to as near a state of equality as possible.
§ The House divided on the original question: Ayes 124; Noes 44—Majority 80.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adam, Admiral||Herries, rt. hon. J. C.|
|Arbuthnot, hon. H.||Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Ashley, Lord||Hodges, Thos. Law|
|Barclay, David||Hogg, James Weir|
|Baring, F. T.||Howard, P. H.|
|Baring, F.||Hoy, J. B.|
|Baring, W.||Inglis, Sir R. H., bart.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Jervis, John|
|Bateson, Sir R.||Jones, W.|
|Beckett, Sir J.||Jones, Theobald|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Kearsley, J. H.|
|Bentinck, Lord W.||Knatchbull, Sir E.|
|Blackburne, I.||Knox, hon. J.|
|Brownrigg, J. S.||Labouchere, H.|
|Burton, Henry||Lefevre, C. S.|
|Buxton, T. F.||Lincoln, Earl of|
|Chapman, Aaron||Longfield, R.|
|Chisholm, A.||Lushington, Dr.|
|Corry, hon. H. T. L.||Lygon, hn. Col. H. B.|
|Denison, J.||Mackenzie, J. A. S.|
|Dillwyn, L. Weston||Marsland, Thomas|
|Donkin, Sir Rufane||Maule, hon. Fox|
|Dundas, J. D.||Maunsell, T. P.|
|East, James Buller||Moreton, hon. A. H.|
|Eastnor, Viscount||Mostyn, hon. E. L.|
|Ebrington, Lord||Murray, rt. hon. J.|
|Egerton, Sir P.||Neeld, J.|
|Elley, Sir John||Nicholl, Dr.|
|Elwes, J.||O'Loghlen, M.|
|Estcourt, T. G. B.||Paget, Frederick|
|Estcourt, T. S. B.||Palmer, George|
|Euston, Lord||Parry, Sir L. P.|
|Fergusson, rt. hon. C.||Peel, Sir R., bart|
|Finch, George||Pelham, hon. C.|
|Fitzgibbon, hon. B.||Philips, G. R.|
|Fitzroy, Lord C.||Plumptre, John P.|
|Follett, Sir W. Webb||Plunkett, R.|
|Forbes, W.||Pollock, Sir F.|
|Forster, Charles S.||Praed, Winthrop M.|
|Fremantle, Sir T. W.||Price, S. G.|
|Geary, Sir W. R. P.||Pusey, Philip|
|Gordon, Robert||Rice, rt. hon. T.|
|Goulburn, hon. H.||Rolfe, Sir M. R.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Rooper, J. Bonfoy|
|Grey, Sir George, bt.||Ross, Charles|
|Hale, R. B.||Rushbrooke, Colonel|
|Hamilton, G. A||Russell, Lord John|
|Harcourt, G.||Sandon, Lord|
|Hardy, J.||Sanford, E. A.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Scarlett, hon. R.|
|Hay, Sir A. Leith||Seymour, Lord|
|Henniker, Lord||Sheppard, T.|
|Sibthorp, Colonel.||Tynte, C. J. Keymeys|
|Smith, Robert V.||Vernon, Granville H.|
|Somerset, Lord G.||Walker, C. A.|
|Spry, Sir S.||Walker, Richard|
|Stanley, Lord||Williams, Robert|
|Stormont, Lord||Wodehouse, E.|
|Stuart, Lord Dudley||Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.|
|Talbot, J. Hyacinth||Young, G. F.|
|Trevor, hon. G. R.||Stanley, E. J.|
|Troubridge, Sir E. T.||Steuart, Robert|
|List of the NOES.|
|Attwood, Thomas||Lister, E. C.|
|Bagshaw, John||Marsland, H.|
|Baines, Edward||Morrison, James|
|Blamire, W.||Mullins, F. W.|
|Bowes, John||O'Brien, W. S.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Philips, Mark|
|Brabazon, Sir W.||Potter, Richard|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Poulter, J. S.|
|Brodie, William B.||Pryme, George|
|Brotherton, J.||Robinson, George|
|Buller, Charles||Rundle, J.|
|Fellowes, N.||Thompson, Colonel|
|Ferguson, Sir R.||Tooke, W.|
|Fielden, J.||Tulk, Charles Aug.|
|Goring, Harry Dent||Wakley, Thomas|
|Harland, W. Charles||Wallace, Robert|
|Hastie, A.||Warburton, Henry|
|Hawes, Benjamin||Williams, William|
|Hindley, C.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Horsman, Edward||Wilson, Henry|
|Lawson, Andrew||Lushington, Charles|
|Lennard, Thomas B.||Ewart, William|
§ On the Question being again put, "That the Speaker do leave the Chair."
§ Mr. Arthur Trevor
expressed his regret that he must oppose the motion for the Speaker's leaving the Chair. He felt, however, that he had a duty to discharge towards the inhabitants of that diocese with which he was most connected, and towards the large body of the clergy of that diocese whose petition he had had the honour of presenting to the House. It was highly desirable that due time should be afforded for ample communications with those who were so deeply affected by the measure, and he had the satisfaction to know that in that view of the subject he should be supported by hon. Members who had a deeper interest in the question than he himself bad. He would not enter at large into the subject. It was notorious that the Bill went to abstract a large annual revenue from the see of Durham, and did not confer any local benefit in return. Strongly opposed, therefore, to what he conceived to be an act of gross injustice towards his constituents, he would move, as an amendment, 55 that the Bill be committed on that day six months.
§ Mr. George F. Young
, as the Representative of a populous borough within the diocese of Durham, and one of those Members to whom an appeal had been made, must inform the hon. Member that he was not one on whose support the hon. Member could reckon. He took an enlarged view of the subject, and did not consider that the Bill only affected his constituents, but that it embraced abuses which had been long complained of in the Church Establishment.
§ Mr. Lambton
said, that the Commissioners were not sufficiently aware of the nature of Church property in Durham; in fact the noble Secretary of State, to whom a deputation had gone up, had shown that he was unacquainted with the subject. He therefore was in favour of delay.
§ Sir Hedworth Williamson
entreated the noble Lord to postpone the Bill till another Session; and in the mean time the clergy of the diocese of Durham would give every possible information respecting the spiritual state of that county.
§ Lord John Russell
said, that the question involved the whole principle of Reform. If the House were to say, that the surplus of the see of Durham, the largest which the Church Commissioners were likely to have, should not be applied as they recommended, it would put a stop to the whole measure. Hon. Members had not adverted to the real question, which was simply whether this income should be taken away from the bishopric of Durham, to be applied to other bishoprics.
§ Mr. Potter
wished the House to wait till it was ascertained what the other House of Parliament would do with the Irish Church Bill, and the Dissenters' Marriage Registration Bill, before it proceeded with this Bill.
protested against delay, as the Bill affected the interests of all the members of the Church of England, scattered over different parts of the country. He should, therefore, vote for the House immediately taking the measure into consideration.
§ The House divided on the Motion: Ayes 142; Noes 22—Majority 120.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adam, Sir C.||Baldwin, Dr.|
|Ashley, Lord||Balfour, Thomas|
|Attwood, T.||Baring, F. T.|
|Bagshaw, J.||Baring, W. B.|
|Bainbridge, E. T.||Baring, T.|
|Baines, E.||Barnard, Edw, George|
|Beckett, rt. hon. Sir J.||Lennard, T. B.|
|Benett, J.||Lincoln, Earl of|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Lushington, Dr.|
|Bentinck, Lord W.||Mackenzie, S.|
|Bernal, Ralph||Maher, John|
|Blackburne, I.||Maule, hon. Fox|
|Blake, M. J.||Maunsell, T. P.|
|Blamire, W.||Mostyn, hon. E.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Mullins, F. W.|
|Brodie, W.B.||Neeld, J.|
|Brotherton, J.||Nicholl, Dr.|
|Brownrigg, S.||O'Ferrall, R. M.|
|Chalmers, P.||O'Loghlen, Michael|
|Chapman, A.||Paget, F.|
|Chisholm, A. W.||Palmer, G.|
|Clements, Viscount||Parry, Sir L. P. J.|
|Cockerell, Sir C.||Pechell, Captain|
|Codrington, C. W.||Peel, Sir Robert, bart.|
|Denison, J. E.||Pelham, hon. C. A.|
|D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C.||Pemberton, Thomas|
|Dillwyn, L. W.||Perceval, Colonel|
|Donkin, Sir R.||Plumptre, J. P.|
|East, J. B.||Plunket, hon. R. E.|
|Eaton, R. J.||Poulter, J. S.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Praed, W. M.|
|Elley, Sir John||Pryme, G.|
|Elwes, J. P.||Pryse, P.|
|Estcourt, T. G.||Pusey, P.|
|Estcourt, T. H.||Rippon, C.|
|Feilden, W.||Rolfe, Sir R. M.|
|Ferguson, Sir Rob.||Rooper, J. B.|
|Finch, George||Ross, Charles|
|Fitzgibbon, hon. Col.||Rundle, J.|
|Follett, Sir W.||Rushbrook, Colonel|
|Forster, Charles S.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Fremantle, Sir Thomas||Sandon, Viscount|
|Gladstone, Thomas||Sandford, E. A.|
|Gladstone, W. E.||Scarlett, hon. R.|
|Gordon, R.||Seymour, Lord|
|Goring, H. D.||Sheppard, T.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.||Smith, R. V.|
|Goulburn, Mr. Serg.||Somerset, Lord Geo.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Stormont, Viscount|
|Grey, Sir G.||Stuart, Lord Dudley|
|Hale, R. Blagden||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Harcourt, G, G.||Talbot, J. Hyacinth|
|Hardy, J.||Talfourd, Mr. Serg.|
|Hawes, B.||Thornely, T.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Trewlawney, Sir W.|
|Heneage, E.||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|Henniker, Lord||Tulk, C. A.|
|Herries, rt. hn. J. C.||Vivian, J.|
|Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.||Wakley, T.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Walker, C. A.|
|Horsman, E.||Williams, R.|
|Howard, Philip H.||Williams, W.|
|Jephson, Chas. D. O.||Wilson, Henry|
|Jervis, J.||Wodehouse, E.|
|Jones, W.||Wood, C.|
|Jones, T.||Wood, Alderman|
|Kearsley, J. H.||Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.|
|Knightley, Sir Charles||Young, G. F.|
|Knox, hon. J. J.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||TELLERS.|
|Lawson, A.||Stanley, E. J.|
|Lefevre, C. S.||Steuart, R.|
|Lemon, Sir Charles|
|List of the NOES.|
|Barclay, D.||Morrison, J.|
|Bowes, J.||Potter, R.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Sibthorp, Colonel|
|Buller, C.||Thompson, Alderman|
|Cayley, E. S.||Thompson, Colonel|
|Fielden, J.||Wallace, Robert|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Warburton, H.|
|Harland, W.||Wason, Rigby|
|Hastie, Archibald||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Lushington, C.||Trevor, hon. A.|
|Marsland, Henry||Lambton, H.|
§ On the first Clause (relating to the appointment of Commissioners) being put.
§ Sir Love Parry
eulogised the conduct of the Commissioners, (Ecclesiastical Commissioners), and above all the Archbishop of Canterbury, but contended that sufficient attention had not been paid to the situation of the inhabitants of Wales in the new arrangement of the Welsh dioceses. By the proposed system the Bishop of St. Asaph would be liable to constant charges of non-residence, and would lose a great deal of his influence in his diocese. The great mass of the population of North Wales consisted of Dissenters, but they were friendly to the Church, and they, as well as the ministers of the Church, looked at the proposed change with great jealousy. After these observations, he would conclude with expressing his sincere hope that the House would not alow the see of Bangor to merge into any other, and that no part of the funds belonging to that see shall be withdrawn from it.
§ Mr. Rigby Wason
objected to the power which this clause gave these Commissioners. By this Bill a certain number of individuals would have the whole power of regulating the Established Church; he (Mr. Wason) could not conceive of a British House of Commons consenting to delegate that power, which Parliament ought to keep in its own hands, of legislating for the Established Church, into the hands of these Commissioners. He considered such a delegation of power as most unconstitutional. The other night the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, had objected to the House delegating its functions to Commissioners, and the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) had acceded to his views. Why, then, should he hand over so much power as was given to the Commissioners, in this Bill? Why, did the hon. Member for Durham know, that under this Bill the Commissioners would have the power of 58 saying, "there shall be no Bishopric of Durham?" ["loud cries of no, no,"] Well, let hon. Gentlemen who cried "no" read the 13th Clause,—"And be it enacted that as soon as any such order in council," and everybody knew that this "order in Council" meant nothing more nor less than the order of the Minister of the Day. ["no, no."] That was his (Mr. Wason's) impression.—"Be it enacted that as soon as any such Order in Council shall be so registered, it shall, in all respects, and as to all things therein contained, have and be of the same force and power as if all and every part thereof were included in this Act, any law, statute, charter, patent, usage, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding." These words were about as sweeping as any he had ever read. And he (Mr. Wason) asked the House of Commons, was it right that such powers as these should be delegated to these Commissioners? If the Ministers of the Crown had any project in contemplation which they were afraid the House of Commons would not sanction, he (Mr. Wason) could comprehend very well the necessity for such provisions. As a matter of expediency he could understand it, but certainly it was contrary to all principle, and—except indeed during the last four years, when the country had swarmed with Commissioners—contrary to all precedent, and contrary to all practice. He did strenuously object to giving any Commissioners power which Parliament ought to keep in its own hands.
§ Lord John Russell
said, that the hon. Member's objection would be good if the power of the Commissioners was unlimited, but it was defined and restricted by the 10th Clause to matters of detail. The objection of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, was to Commissioners having power to alter the schedules of the Registration of Births Bill, and thereby being enabled to form any measure they thought fit. In this Bill there was no such power given. And, therefore, though the objection of the hon. Gentleman would be, if founded in truth, a very strong one, it entirely fell to the ground when the 10th Clause was considered.
§ Mr. Wason
contended, that the preamble of the Bill quite counteracted any restrictions on the powers of the Commissioners, which the 10th Clause might be supposed to contain. He would not weary the House by going through the lengthen- 59 ed preamble; but he would remark that it gave the Commissioners power to award such compensation as they might deem just and equitable to those officers connected with the deans and chapters, who might be injured or superseded by the provisions of this Bill. That was a power which he (Mr. Wason) objected to. He also objected to the Bishops having any patronage. He considered patronage as an additional source of emolument to those who held it. What reason again was there given for allowing the Archbishop of Canterbury the sum of 15,000l. a-year,—the Archbishop of York 10,000l. the Bishop of London, 10,000l., &c. The House ought to consider that for every 400l. they gave to these dignitaries annually more than was necessary, they deprived 5,000 persons of spiritual instruction. If there were provisions in the Bill that the Archbishop of Canterbury, for instance should keep so many horses,—and give so many dinners, he (Mr. Wason) could understand the necessity for giving him 15,000l. a-year. But he saw no reason why that prelate should not have 7,000l. only, and the rest be applied to the instruction of the people. Reference was made to the comparisons which were sometimes. instituted between ecclesiastical dignitaries and the legal dignitaries of the country? You gave 8,000l. a-year to the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. Why did you give him so large a sum? Because it was necessary, in order to give satisfaction to the public, and confidence to the Bar, that, from perhaps the most lucrative profession in this country, you should select the best man to occupy the judicial bench; and without a large salary you would not induce him to relinquish his practice. But in the case of the Archbishop of Canterbury the same necessity did not exist: for who would say that the most exemplary pastor among the clergy,—and only such should be selected for the episcopal dignity,—would be thought more of to-morrow, with a salary of 15,000l. than he is to day—with 150l. a-year. He (Mr. Wason) could if necessary go through a variety of other instances in which the Commissioners' powers were left by the preamble, notwithstanding the supposed restriction of the 10th Clause, almost omnipotent; and his objection remained as strong as it was before.
§ The clause was agreed to.
§ Clause 2nd, was also agreed to.
§ On Clause 3rd being proposed,60
§ Mr. Hindley
said, that he considered this clause quite unnecessary, as the object of it was already fully provided for. He moved that the clause be struck out.
§ The Committee divided on the clause: Ayes 79; Noes 21; Majority 58.
§ The clause was agreed to, as were the following clauses to eight inclusive.
§ The House resumed: the Committee to sit again.