HC Deb 04 May 1838 vol 42 cc906-34

On the Order of the day for the House resolving itself into a Committee on the Benefices' Plurality Bill having been read,

Mr. Hume

, before the Speaker left the chair, was anxious to state his reasons why he objected to this bill, as it at present stood, and at the same time to move an instruction to the Committee to provide against the appointment in plurality to any person holding any benefice or cathedral preferment. The declared object of the reform which the noble Lord had proposed was, to correct the abuses of the Church, but this bill would not have the effect which every man was anxious to see—namely, an efficient reform of that Establishment. He was satisfied that the Report of the Commissioners of Church Inquiry was, in a great degree, a delusion; for, whilst they held out hopes of a correction of the abuses of non-residence, they proposed only such alterations as would continue the very abuses complained of for a still longer term. He believed, that it was in the power of the Legislature to make such an efficient reform as would furnish the means of obtaining additional religious instruction, of the want of which the House had lately heard so much complaint from hon. Members opposite. Last night, when the noble Lord, her Majesty's Secretary of State, moved for a Committee of Inquiry into the management of Church property, the proposal had been met by an amendment to give special instructions to the Committee to confine the surplus to pay for an increase of religious instruction. The object of those who considered themselves sincere friends of the Church, and who, though they might be friends of an establishment, were not friends of the Establishment as now maintained, was to increase the means of religious instruction of the people, and if this were really the object, he (Mr. Hume) would show, that Parliament ought to take the management of the property of the Church out of the hands of the clergy, who had hitherto been intrusted with the sole management, and had but very inadequately attended to the trust reposed in them. They, as trustees, did not apply the funds of the Church to the objects which they sought, or rather he would say, had not in reality sought, but pretended to seek. The great evils of the present Establishment were Pluralities and the Non-residence of the Clergy, and great inequality of stipends, producing in reality a sinecure Church in many instances. He thought, that every man should agree with him in thinking, that every clergyman should be resident in the parish, and should attend to the discharge of the important duties which were required of him, and that he should be adequately paid for the same. Now, he did not propose to meddle with existing interests, but as the absence of sufficient means for religious instruction, and the want of money to support the fabrics of the churches, were assigned as reasons why the Dissenters should continue to be burthened with the payment of church-rates, this discussion became, in fact, part of the church-rate question, and he would endeavour to show how a remedy might be applied so as to dispense with the call of church-rates. To him (Mr. Hume) as an individual, the remedy might appear to be somewhat tedious, but it would ultimately be effectual, and would, in point of fact, be short as regarded the Church; because what was long in the life of an individual, was short in the history of a nation. He would prove his case by a reference to parliamentary documents which had been laid on the Table of the House, and were in the hands of every Member. In the parliamentary paper of last Session No. 260 of 1837, he found, that the total number of benefices was 10,571; of that number the incumbents were non-resident in 5,425 cases, and the total number of resident clergy was 5,146. The parliamentary paper was very curious, and every Member ought to study it well. He held in his hand an extract from it, which he would refer to. There were non-residents by exemptions, or, in other words, a privilege granted to the incumbents to take the public money without doing any duty in 2,255 cases, and in some dioceses to the number of 325; there were licensed non-residents 1,704; there were also from vacancies, suspensions, sinecures and suspensions 450 absent from duty; and there were 1,016 absent, without licence or exemption, making together of 5,425 non-residents in the number of 10,571 benefices; and thus, notwithstanding the large amount paid to bishops to see that the duties were properly discharged, there were no less than ten per cent. of the whole number, or twenty per cent. on the number of resident clergymen, who were allowed to neglect their duties without licence or excuse! It would be very unfair, however, if he did not state, that, out of the whole number of non-residents, there was a certain number who did duty in the respective parishes in which they lived. That number amounted to 1,646; and, if this were added to the former number of 5,146, it would be found that the total number of resident clergymen doing religious duty in some places, was only 6,792, out of the full number of 10,571.* But what was the reason why all the clergy did not discharge their duty? He knew that it would be said, that it was because in certain places the incumbents' incomes were too small; but, before he gave his own statement, in contradiction to this assertion, he would refer to an authority which was not to be doubted, to the authority of a noble Lord, the father of a noble Lord whom he then saw in his place (Lord Sandon). Twenty-seven years ago the Earl of Harrowby had introduced a bill to remedy the gross abuses which were admitted then to exist with respect to the pay of the curates, which he considered quite insufficient to supply the wants of the incumbents. Lord Harrowby, in introducing that bill, had said, "That unless prompt and efficacious remedies were applied, we were tending towards the most alarming of all situations, in which the religion of the Established Church would not be the religion of the majority of the people, it was, therefore," said his Lordship, "one of the most pressing duties of the Legislature to give the subject full and deliberate consideration." namely—to provide some remedy for non-residence and pluralities. And he (Mr. Hume) believed, that if what had been recommended by that noble Lord had been adopted, the state of the Church would be far different from what it was at present; that instead of finding upwards of 5,425 non-resident clergymen there would not have been 2,000, and that the state of dissent would not be what it now was in this country. The Dissenters were called upon to pay to support the fabrics of the Established Church, when, if her interests had been properly guarded by those who were bound to take charge of them, there would not be that necessity, nor would there now be that want of church room *See Table in following page. and of spiritual instruction of which hon. Gentlemen opposite so loudly complained.

RESIDENTS. St. Asaph. Bangor. Bath & Wells. Bristol. Canterbury. Carlisle. Chester. Chichester. St. David's. Durham. Ely. Exeter. Gloucester. Hereford. Lichfield and Coventry. Lincoln. Landaff. London. Norwich. Oxford. Peterbro'. Rochester. Salisbury. Winchester. Worcester. York. Totals of each Class. Total number of Benefices.
In the Parsonage House 79 41 176 114 140 60 256 117 74 93 49 308 113 99 215 512 41 286 369 83 153 42 183 176 111 322 4212
In the parish within two miles of the Church or Chapel, there being no Parsonage House 13 18 23 12 22 14 186 13 77 23 7 56 24 19 74 45 25 39 58 16 6 8 16 46 6 88 934
Total Residents 92 59 199 126 162 74 442 130 151 116 56 364 137 118 289 557 66 325 427 99 159 50 199 222 117 410 5,146
By Exemption 23 23 110 60 78 26 80 61 111 21 46 106 61 79 99 325 55 120 264 55 52 20 86 55 40 199 2255
By Licence 7 38 29 32 78 19 48 39 52 19 18 77 61 67 62 263 29 109 300 20 51 14 66 56 25 125 1704
Sinecures, Vacancies, Suspensions, &c. 2 44 12 12 2 12 14 18 11 12 23 1 30 60 49 12 11 26 16 24 6 13 14 8 18 450
Without Licence or Exemption 10 6 58 22 8 10 52 19 128 21 18 66 24 28 121 73 31 26 53 15 18 8 36 53 30 82 1016
Total Non Residents 40 69 241 126 176 57 192 133 309 72 94 272 147 204 342 710 127 266 643 106 145 48 201 178 103 424 5425
Total Number of Benefices in each Diocese 132 128 440 252 338 131 634 263 460 188 150 636 284 322 631 1267 193 591 1070 205 304 98 400 400 220 834 10,571
Council Office, 28th April, 1837. E. VILLIERS,
Receiver of Diocesan Returns made to his Majesty in Council.
If the guardians of the Church really wished that the Established Church should be the Church of the would have increased the church accommodation in proportion to the addition made to the numbers of the population, and they might have done so by abolishing sinecures and equalising incomes. In 1812 the population of England and Wales was, in round numbers, 10,300,000; and this year it ought in round numbers to be reckoned at 15,000,000. There had thus been an increase of 4,700,000 in the population, but during the whole of the period which had elapsed since 1812, additional church accommodation was provided only to about one-fifth of the increase, leaving a deficiency of Church accommodation of about two millions and a half. It was through the negligence of the clergy of the Church, therefore, that dissent had increased. It was not proper or consistent with the practice in other cases, that persons who has only a life interest, and were not interested in the revertion, should have the sole management of the property of the Church; in the reversion the puplic, therefore, have a right to see that it was not misapplied. Hence it was that he hailed with pleasure the measure proposed by the noble Lord with respect to Church property; that an inquiry should be instituted not only to ascertain the actual amount of the property of the Church in aggregate, and also in detail; so that if abuses had existed in past time, and as they still continued, we ought to set about applying a remedy to them for the future. Under the present system good management was not to be expected, but as the want of religious instruction had been held up as a reason for charging the Dissenters with the payment of church-rates, he was particularly anxious that every inquiry should be made into the value of the Church property and into its distribution. In 1812 the number of living in the Established Church was the same as they were now, but in 1812 there was only 4,302 places for dissenting worship, whilst in January, 1836, the number of dissenting chapels had increased to 8,490, of which 197 were Presbyterians, 1,850 were Independents, 1,250 were Baptists, Wesleyans and others, making an increase of what existed at the time when the Earl of Harrowby suggested his amendments. In some places dissent had made surprising progress; and the inability of the clergy of the Church of England to teach or preach in Welsh will account for the very great increase of dissent in North and South Wales. He held in his hand a return of dissenting chapels in Wales, and it was curious to mark their rapid and progressive increase in numbers. In 1715, when the Church revenues in Wales were the same as at present, there were only thirty-five dissenting chapels in the whole of Wales. In the year 1810 they had increased to 954, but in 1832 they amounted to 1,428. There were now 829 places of worship for the Church Establishment in the principality, and though there had been a slight increase since 1715, the number might, for convenience sake, be taken to have been the same at that period, so that whilst the number of churches was, in 1715, 829, and the number of dissenting chapels was only thirty-five, there were now 829 churches to 1,428 dissenting places of worship.* And here he might briefly observe on the opinions of an eminent member of the Church of Scotland, and who had been lately delivering lectures in this metropolis on the necessity for an Established Church, to promote religion amongst the people. That eminent divine had said, that the intensity of desire and demand of man for religious instruction was not like his desires for other exigencies, and he had argued that it was, therefore, necessary to force the desire for religious instruction by means of an establishment. Now, he denied the fact; the whole history of man, even in the rudest state of civilization, showed that he would pay attention to religious observances of some kind or another, and he believed, that the desire was shown as much when there was no State establishment as when one existed. Dr. *The following extract from Mr. Jones's History of the Church in Wales, which may be relied on as correct, throws light on the text:—"The Church patronage in South Wales is shared between laymen, the Crown, and sinecurists in England and Wales; hence, under the influence of personal friendship or political connexion the parishes are filled with ministers unsuited to them. The bishops usually take but very little pains to encourage deserving pastors, and often prefer Englishmen to Welsh benefices. Pluralities and absenteeism exist to a great extent. Thus a very small fund is left for the generality of the clergy, who are reduced to abject poverty. Many of them are obliged to keep farms, Situated often in distinct parishes from those Chalmers was a friend of free trade in everything except in his own profession; he was in this respect much like those other Gentlemen who could see great good in free trade in every thing except in their own line, he was a friend to free trade generally, but a free trade in religion he held not to be good. But, he would ask, was non-residence and pluralities a complaint of a recent date. He was not able to cite an older authority in this respect than was contained in the second epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, chapter 3, verse 10, where St. Paul thus writes: "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." And he thought that the clergy ought not to receive their pay unless, according to this authority, they worked. In short, that all sinecures should cease. He believed, that the Church of England, as the true Church, adopted that epistle of St. Paul as their rule of conduct, and they ought, therefore, to attend to hint when he guarded even the Thessalonians against this evil. On this ground it was that he (Mr. Hume) founded his motion against pluralities. But the clergy were like the rich young man described by St. Matthew, chap. 19, v. 20, who asking, "What lack I yet?" was told, "Go, and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me: but when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." (v. 22.) So the churchmen, when they were told to give up pluralities for the good of the people and of religion, they went away sorrowful, because, though they professed their desire to afford additional religious instruction, they had got their possessions, and they could not part with them. But if these authorities were too which they serve. A great many of them serve two or three places of worship every Sunday; in many churches service is performed only once a day, and that at an inconvenient hour. These abuses exist to a less extent in the southern parts of South Wales; but in Cardiganshire, Radnorshire, and Carmarthenshire, this is the general course of things. Of seventy-one parishes in Cardiganshire (including chapels of ease), not more than thirty are held by residents. At the same time the revenues of the Church are squandered in sinecures, which, whatever may be the benefits (real or imaginary) in richer districts, are very unjustifiable under local circumstances. old, he would come to those of a more recent date. Bishop Burnet said, I do not enter on the scandalous practices of non-residence and pluralities which are sheltered by so many colours of law among us; whereas the church of Rome, from whence we had those and many other abuses, has freed herself from this, under which we still labour to our great and just reproach. This is so shameful a profanation of holy things, that it ought to be treated with detestation and horror. But the abuses had been continued notwithstanding this denunciation, and the clergy were under the same embarrassment as the rich young man; they were too fond of their riches, and thought that they ought not to part with them. Having now shown that there was an authority against pluralities in Scripture, he would proceed to point out their practical evils. In the report of the Ecclesiastical Commission, page 40, he found that the Church of England had thirty-seven bishops, and that the number of benefices, including sinecure rectories, amounted to 10,540; that the aggregate annual income of the Church amounted to 3,197,224l.; and that the net income amounted to 3,000,471l. But there were also in every parish, so many fees coming to the clergy for Easter offerings, marriages, burials, &c. that he did not hesitate to say that, instead of the income being three millions—taking also into consideration the additional value which each living was now found to possess since the report of the Commissioners, as shown by the returns under the Tithe Commutation Act—the net income of the Established Church was not less than four millions sterling. In addition to this, the return showed, that there were 5,230 curates, and the House would be pleased to observe what the amount of their stipends was, only 424,693l. paid to curates, being for one-half the number of churches belonging to the Establishment, the revenue of which was four millions sterling. So that 424,693l. only were paid for the discharge of the spiritual duty in one-half of the benefices of the Church Establishment. Was it not, therefore, the abuse and not the want of funds of the Church which really prevented the residence of the clergy and the increase of the religious instruction of the people? The statement he held in his hand of the stipends of these curates would show the small amounts paid to the working clergy, and was well worth the attention of every man who wished to see the labourer paid for his hire. The hon. Member read the following table:—
Abstract of the Stipends of Curates serving Benefices where the Incumbents are Non-Resident—for 1835 (pp. 260 of 1837.)
STIPEND. No. of Curates.
£10 and under £40 103
40 80 1441
80 100 1075
Under £100 2619
100 160 631
160 200 51
£100 and under £200 682
200 250 27
250 340 5
£200 and under £340 32
There are paid from surplice fees 2; seat rents 2; and 47 receives the whole income of living 51
No returns from 40; 4 receive no stipend 44
Summary for non-residents 3438
Summary with and for incumbents 1792
Making the total number 5230
as stated by the Ecclesiastical Commission.
There were, however, 178 benefices from which no return was made; and if the value of these benefices, taken on an average of those from which returns had been received, were added to the others, it would increase the means at the disposal of the clergy. He also held in his hand an extract from some returns which showed, that of benefices under the yearly value of 150l. there were 2,017; between 150l. and 200l. there were 730; between 200l. and 300l. there were 893; and above 300l. no less than 1,335. Actually, therefore, there were 2,958 incumbents in the Church of England with incomes scarcely above what was the minimum of income received by the Scotch clergy. But what was the division of the property of the Church? First, 70,700l. was voted to ten bishops, and that they called a reform; and the House, in its wisdom, had voted 148,400l. for the maintenance of the whole of the twenty-eight bishops and archbishops? and this was what was designated an amendment or reform of the Church. Let the House contrast this vast amount with the state of the curates' incomes. Ten bishops had sums varying from 15,000l. a-year to 5,200l., others had 5,000l., and some 4,500l., but by the return it appeared that there were 5,230 curates, out of which number 3,438 were resident as curates, performing service in livings where the incumbents were not resident, and would the House believe, that no less than 2,619 of them had incomes less than 100l. per annum? It appeared that the incomes of 103 amounted to 10l. and were under 40l., 144 had incomes above 40l. and under 80l., and 1,075 had incomes varying from 80l. to 100l. It seemed as if those members of the Church were left to starve who really did the important duty. Of these, only forty-four received the full amount of their stipend. He was told, that many of the livings were so small that it was necessary to have pluralities, but he found, by the Parliamentary return that there was more pluralities among the wealthy than the poorer livings. There were ninety-eight cases of plurality where the incomes of the two livings were under the sums of 50l. and 200l.; 447 cases between 100l. and 200l.; 352 cases between 150l. and 200l.; and 316 where both livings were under 200l. each, while of cases of plurality where both the livings were above 200l. each there were no fewer than 643. There were, besides, 412 cases in which the plurality was of three livings, fifty-seven of four livings, and three of five livings, making in all 2,268 pluralities. After this statement, it could not be affirmed that the plurality existed principally among the smaller livings. The report of the Ecclesiastical Revenue Commissioners of 1832, states, that 485 clergymen held 1,217 places of preferment, including 1,013 benefices, receiving 654,574l. yearly—an amount equal to the sum paid to all the curates in England and Wales. In addition to that large amount, it would be desirable to know, by the return, what were the incomes of the sinecure or non-resident benefices—2,017 were under 150l. each; 730 were from 150l. to 200l. each; 893 from 200l. to 300l. each; 1,302 above 300l. a-year; and thirty-three the value not returned—making 4,975 where the incumbents are non-resident. The enactments in the bill would legalize pluralities, and leave between 3,000 and 4,000 of those existing; and, therefore, must be considered as an inadequate remedy to the evils now existing. Were poverty, the real cause of pluralism and non-residence, the poorest class of livings would be generally held in plurality; but he had already shown by the returns that there were more pluralities in benefices having 400l. and upwards. So much for the error in that assertion; and unless the House would abolish pluralities, the abuse would continue, as it appeared by a statement carefully prepared, that in the last two years, although pluralities were unpopular, a large number had been made. There had been 557 presentations to livings, singly, by the Crown, bishops and laymen; and 158 pluralities had been made in the same time, and 139 livings had been given to clergymen holding benefices before, making the number of 297 pluralities created in the last two years. He thought the House should abolish pluralities for the future; and as the livings fell in, the amount of their incomes should be equalized, by adding to the poor livings from those which exceed 400l. and 500l. a-year, and this sum would be practicable in a few years by the following statement. There are 4,861 livings under 200l. a-year; and there are 4,606 parishes, without parsonages. To raise all livings to 200l. each, the sum of 407,275l. yearly would be required. There are 2,294 livings, having from 400l. to 7,306l. each, and these would supply 579,700l. yearly, for the smaller livings leaving these 2,294 at 400l. a-year, for smallest parishes and the larger parishes 500l. each. There are 3,281 livings, the incomes of which are between 200l. and 400l. which might remain as they are. The patronage of the Church is almost one-half in the Crown and bishops, and one-half in laymen; and there would be little difficulty in effecting the equalization if it was thought desirable to do so. He strongly blamed the Government for not having set an example to the Church in the distribution of the Crown presentations. As he found, on reference to The Gazette, that within the last two years the Crown had given away no less than forty-nine livings to pluralists, whilst the bishops had given ninety-six, and the deans and chapters forty-eight. By what considerations for the interest of religion and morality, and the welfare of the people had they done so, when they knew the feelings of the people to be adverse to this system? He had hoped to have seen the dignitaries of the Church reform the abuse themselves; but, finding no symptoms of their doing so, it was the duty of the Legislature to interfere and put a stop to the system. The hon. Member concluded by moving, that "it be an instruction to the Committee to provide against the appointment in plurality to any benefice or cathedral preferment from and after the passing of the bill."

Lord John Russell

said, it was not necessary for him to enter at any length into the question which the hon. Member for Kilkenny had brought before the House, and he believed, that he might leave a considerable part of the speech of his hon. Friend, which was an answer to Dr.Chalmers,—very properly to Dr. Chalmers. But the latter part of the speech went to the question of the abolition of all pluralities. That question had been gravely considered by the Church Commissioners, and he would presently read the statement which they had made upon this subject. With regard to the residence of the clergy; he thought they should have their residences on their livings, and thus be enabled to attend diligently to the spiritual want of their parishioners. He thought that principle so unobjectionable, that if it were practicable it should be enforced. But the statement to the Commissioners, in reference to the parishes in England, made upon personal inspection, went to show the necessity of not hastily throwing aside pluralities altogether. It appeared that there were in England and Wales 10,200 benefices. Those returns showed, that amongst them there were 297 under 50l. a-year; 1,629 between 50l. and 100l.; and 1,602 between 100l and 150l.; so that there were 1,926 benefices under 100l., and there were 3,928 under 150l. The Commissioners stated, that in many of these benefices there was no glebe house, and that they did not afford the means of spiritual instruction, except by introducing the clergyman of the neighbouring parish. The Commissioners recommended, that where pluralities were allowed, they should be restricted to narrow limits. The limits which this bill proposed was within ten miles. It would be for the Committee to decide whether that were a proper restriction; whether it were on too large or too narrow a scale; but he did not think, seeing the smallness of many of these livings, that to abolish pluralities altogether would be wise; nor did he think it was an argument for the abolition, that there might be pluralities attached to considerable livings. The bill proposed to limit that practice within ten miles, but some might think that not sufficient, but he believed, that the feeling of most persons in the House was, that it would not be right to abolish pluralities altogether. He should be glad, indeed, if the time had arrived when the income of each living was sufficient to support its clergyman. He did not see how the remedy was to be applied, unless his hon. Friend contended that it should be done by taking away a portion from each parish. That was to say, supposing a living worth 100l., and another of 700l. fell vacant, he would take away the patronage to make up 400l. to each. That might be the course which his hon. Friend would think it right to propose; but, for his own part, he could not undertake the charge of a bill framed on these principles, because he thought, that a proposition of that kind must be most injurious and most unpopular. For instance, if the tithes of particular parishes were taken from those parishes and appropriated to other parishes, it would cause great discontent. He knew, that in many instances great objections had been made to the alienation of tithes to the purposes of equalizing livings. For these reasons, without seeing his way clearly as to how he could carry into effect the proposition which the hon. Gentleman had moved, without entering into the general question of pluralities, he should oppose the instruction of his hon. Friend.

Sir Robert Inglis

said, he had the misfortune, or, as his right hon. Friend behind suggested, the good fortune, of only hearing one part of the speech of the hon. Member for Kilkenny. He would, therefore, confine his reply to that part he had heard. In the first place, the hon. Member had read some returns, and argued that plurality of livings plundered the Church and left the working clergy to starve. Now, he recollected that some time since, when certain returns were ordered in the other House, it appeared that one individual held six livings, the annual income accruing from all of which only amounted to 300l., and if that plurality were to be designated as plunder, he had only to remark, that it was so on a very small scale. With respect to the hon. Member's recommendation of raising small livings by taking away from larger, he must remark that such a principle was neither founded on justice nor on law. A patron of a living had as much right to his income as any gentleman to his private property. Perhaps the sale of advowsons was indefensible, but still it was allowed by law, and if he purchased at Garraway's Coffee-house a large advowson at a high price, whilst another purchased a small one for a trifling sum, did it stand to reason, would it be just, that the incomes of each should be equalized? The next observation of the hon. Gentleman to which he wished to recall the attention of the House, was respecting what he was pleased to call the "begging-box," which was sent round to collect alms for the clergy. Was it possible that this remark was applied to the King's letter, or to the Queen's letter—a circular proclaimed one year on behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel; in another, on behalf of the National Society; and in another year, for the Society for Promoting the Building and Enlarging of Churches? The discussion raised by the hon. Member, ought to have taken place upon the second reading, or on the motion that the Speaker should leave the chair. On a former occasion he had expressed in detail his reasons for opposing the bill. He should for the present content himself with observing, that he was not at all disposed to question the proposition that great advantages would be derived from having in all possible cases a resident clergy. It was equally conceded by parties on both sides of the House, that every clergyman should have a sufficient income. The question then was, could this be considered to be a mode effectual to secure residency in the clergy? He thought it was not such a measure as would effectually secure that desirable object. There was much in the bill which he would not characterize as hostile to the Church, because he did not believe such a spirit actuated the framers of the bill; but there was much in the bill which displayed a suspicion that the great body of the clergy was not prepared to do their duty conscientiously, in respect to residence. The bill evinced a want of confidence in the clergy; accompanied by a desire to vest in the bishops a power which he was not disposed to grant them. In this respect he would observe, that, favourable as he was to general residence, he believed, that constant residence could not be enforced without sacrificing higher objects. For these reasons he should so far give his support to her Majesty's Government as to vote against the instruction moved by the hon. Member for Kilkenny.

Mr. Hawes

observed, that if curates could perform the duties of a church for a small salary, there was no force in the argument that pluralities were necessary for the incumbents. Church property was only trust property, and if the curates discharged the duties of non-resident rectors and vicars, they had the greatest right to the income of the parish. The Commissioners had admitted the principle of the Amendment of his hon. Friend as to the abolition of pluralities, and Dr. Burton of Oxford had also spoken in its favour. The hon. Baronet opposite (Sir H. Inglis) had observed, that it would have been better if this motion had been brought forward at the time of the second reading of the Bill; but, in his opinion, the House would not have been more disposed then than now to advocate the measure. He thought his hon. Friend had done great service by his Amendment, as the proceedings of that night would tend to show who gave countenance to the present system.

Sir H. Verney

opposed the motion, but supported the Bill which he considered would prove a great blessing to the country if some of the clauses were rendered more astringent, but that the Amendment would defeat many of its objects, and be productive of great harm to the country.

The House divided on Mr. Hume's motion—Ayes 37; Noes 107: Majority 70.

List of the AYES.
Baines, E. O'Brien, W. S.
Blewitt, R. J. Pattison, J.
Brotherton, J. Philips, M.
Chalmers, P. Rippon, C.
Chapman, Sir M. L. C. Rundle, J.
Collier, J. Scholefield, J.
Duncombe, T. Stanley, W. O.
Ebrington, Viscount Stansfield, W. R. C.
Grattan, H. Strutt, E.
Harvey, D. W. Style, Sir C.
Hector, C. J. Vigors, N. A.
Hindley, C. Villiers, C. P.
Horsman, E. Warburton, H.
Humphery, J. White, A.
James, W. White, S.
Johnson, General Williams, W.
Leader, J. T. Yates, J. A.
Lushington, C. TELLERS.
Marsland, H. Hume, J.
Muskett, G. A. Hawes, B.
List of the NOES.
Abercromby, hn. G. R. Courtenay, P.
Acland, T. D. Dalmeny, Lord
Ainsworth, P. Dalrymple, Sir A.
Alsager, Captain Davies, Colonel
Attwood, T. Denison, W. J.
Bailey, J., jun. Duncombe, hon. W.
Baring, H. B. Dundas, Captain D.
Baring, hon. W. B. Egerton, W. T.
Bell, M. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Bernal, R. Estcourt, T.
Barnard, E. G. Estcourt, T.
Blackburne, I. Farnham, E. B.
Brownrigg, S. Fergusson, rt. hon. C.
Bruges, W. L. W. Filmer, Sir E.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Busfeild, W. Fremantle, Sir T.
Canning, rt hn. Sir S. Freshfield, J. W.
Chester, H. Gordon, R.
Clive, hon. R. H. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Compton, H. C. Greenaway, C.
Grimsditch, T. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Halford, H. Rich, H.
Harcourt, G. S. Richards, R.
Harland, W. C. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Heathcote, Sir W. Rolleston, L.
Henniker, Lord Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Hodgson, R. Round, C. G.
Hoskins, K. Russell, Lord J.
Howick, Viscount Sandon, Viscount
Hughes, W. B. Sheppard, T.
Ingestrie, Viscount Sibthorp, Colonel
Ingham, R. Sinclair, Sir G.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Somerset, Lord G.
Jackson, Serjeant Stanley, E. J.
Johnstone, H. Stanley, Lord
Kemble, H. Stanley, M.
Kirk, P. Stewart, J.
Knight, H. G. Stuart, R.
Knightly, Sir C. Sturt, H. C.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E.
Law, hon. C. E. Teignmouth, Lord
Lygon, hon. General Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Macleod, R. Vivian, J. H.
Mahon, Viscount Vivian, rt. hon. Sir R.
Maule, hon. F. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Maunsell, T. P. Williams, W. A.
Nicholl, J. Winnington, T. E.
O'Ferrall, R. M. Wood, C.
Packe, C. W. Wood, Sir M.
Parker, R. T. Wood, T.
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. Worsley, Lord
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Young, J.
Perceval, Colonel TELLERS.
Perceval, hon. G. J. Parker, J.
Pusey, P. Verney, Sir H.

House in Committee.

Upon the reading of the second Clause, which after limiting the preferments to be held by spiritual persons, provides "that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent any archdeacon from holding together with his archdeaconry two benefices."

Mr. Charles Lushington

moved that for the word "two" the word "one" be substituted.

The Committee divided—On the original proposition—Ayes 71; Noes 32: Majority 39.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby, hn. G. R. Courtenay, P.
Acland, T. D. Crompton, S.
Baily, J. Dalmeny, Lord
Baring, hon. W. B. Darby, G.
Bennet, J. Dundas, Captain D.
Bramston, T. W. East, J. B.
Brodie, W. B. Egerton, Lord F.
Bruges, W. H. L. Estcourt, T.
Busfeild, W. Fergusson, rt. hon. R. C.
Campbell, Sir J. Freshfield, J. W.
Chester, H. Gaskell, Jas. Milnes
Chetwynd, Major Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Compton, H. C. Greenaway, C.
Grimsditch, T. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Halford, H. Pusey, P.
Harcourt, G. S. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Hawkins, J. H. Rich, H.
Heathcote, Sir W. Round, C. G.
Hobhouse T. B. Russell, Lord J.
Hodgson, R. Sandon, Viscount
Hoskins, K. Sibthorp, Colonel
Hughes, W. B. Sinclair, Sir G.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Stanley, E. J.
Kemble, H. Stanley, Lord
Knight, H. G. Stewart, J.
Knightley, Sir C. Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E.
Law, hon. C. E. Teignmouth, Lord
Liddell, hon. H. T. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Mackenzie, W. F. Vernon, G. H.
Macleod, R. Vivian, J. E.
Maule, hon. F. Williams, W. A.
Morpeth, Viscount Winnington, T. E.
Murray, rt. hon. J. A. Wood, G. W.
Nicholl, J. Wood, T.
O'Ferrall, R. M. TELLERS.
Parker, J. Solicitor-General
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. Wood, T.
List of the NOES.
Baines, E. Rice, E. R.
Bewes, T. Rippon, C.
Blewitt, R. J. Rundle, J.
Bryan, G. Salwey, Colonel
Bulwer, E. L. Stanley, W. O.
Cayley, E. S. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Collier, J. Strutt, E.
Currie, R. Style, Sir C.
Curry, W. Turner, W.
Evans, W. Verney, Sir H.
Hall, B. Vigors, N. A.
Hawes, B. Warburton, H.
Heathcoat, J. Worsley, Lord
Hector, C. J. Yates, J. A.
Hindley, C.
Marshall, W. TELLERS.
Marsland, H. Lushington, C.
Pryme, G. Hume, J.

Clause agreed to.

On Clause 3 which enacts that no spiritual person holding any cathedral preferment, and which shall exceed the yearly value of shall accept or take to hold therewith any benefice exceeding the yearly value of l., being read,

Lord John Russell

moved, that the first blank be filled up with the words one thousand pounds.

Mr. Hume

opposed the proposition, and suggested that the sum should be 500l.

The Committee divided on the original proposition—Ayes 65; Noes 44: Majority 21.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby, hon. G. R. Acland, T. D.
Bailey, J. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Baring, hon. W. B. Kemble, H.
Benett, J. Knight, H. G.
Bramston, T. W. Knightley, Sir C.
Campbell, Sir J. Law, hon. C. E.
Chester, H. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Compton, H. C. Mackenzie, W. F.
Courtenay, P. Macleod, R.
Crawford, W. Maule, hon. F.
Dalmeny, Lord Morpeth, Viscount
Darby, G. Nicholl, J.
Dundas, Captain D. O'Ferrall, R. M.
East, J. B. Parker, J.
Egerton, Lord F. Parnell, rt. hon. Sir H.
Estcourt, T. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Estcourt, T. Pusey, P.
Fergusson, rt. hon. R. C. Round, C. G.
Fort, J. Russell, Lord J.
Freshfield, J. W. Sandon, Viscount
Gaskell, Jas. Milnes Sibthorp, Colonel
Gladstone, W. E. Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E.
Goring, H. D. Surrey, Earl of
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Teignmouth, Lord
Greenaway, C. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Grimsditch, T. Vernon, G. H.
Halford, H. Vivian, J. E.
Harcourt, G. S. Winnington, T. E.
Heathcote, Sir W. Wood, C.
Hobhouse, T. B. Wood, T.
Hoskins, K. Worsley, Lord
Hughes, W. B. TELLERS.
Hurt, F. Solicitor-General
Ingham, R. Rich, H.
List of the NOES.
Barnard, E. G. Marshall, W.
Bewes, T. I. Marsland, H.
Blewitt, R. J. O'Connell, J.
Bridgeman, H. Philpotts, J.
Brodie, W. B. Pryme, G.
Brughes, W. H. L. Rice, E. R.
Bryan, G. Rippon, C.
Bulwer, E. L. Rundle, J.
Busfield, W. Salwey, Colonel
Collier, J. Stanley, W. O.
Crompton, S. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Currie, R. Stewart, J.
Curry, W. Strutt, E.
Dennistoun, J. Style, Sir C.
Evans, W. Turner, W.
Hall, B. Verney, Sir H.
Hawes, B. Vigors, N. A.
Hawkins, J. H. Williams, W.
Heathcoat, J. Williams, W. A.
Hector, C. J. Wood, G. W.
Hindley, C.
Humphery, J. TELLERS.
Hutton, R. Hume, J.
Lushington, C. Warburton, H.
Lord John Russell

moved, that the first blank be filled up with the words five hundred pounds.

Mr. Hawes

moved as an amendment that the words "exceeding the yearly value of l." be struck out.

Mr. Hume

thought, it would be a saving of time if the noble Lord would at once state his idea as to what the amount of a cathedral preferment and a benefice together ought to be. According to the present proposition of the noble Lord, that amount was to be 1,500l.; would the noble Lord state what he considered ought to be the amount of the two benefices to be held by the same individual?

Lord John Russell said

, that at present it was provided, that a person holding a benefice of the value of 500l. should not hold any other exceeding the value of 500l. It had, however, been proposed that, instead of naming the particular value of the two benefices, it should be declared, that the two benefices should not together exceed a particular sum. In that case he should say, that the amount ought to be 1,000l. With respect to cathedral preferments, it was to be assumed, that they were bestowed in the shape of rewards on men of merit and distinction in the Church; he, therefore, did not think the sum of 1,500l. was an extravagant income for such persons to receive.

Mr. Hawes

could not agree with the noble Lord in considering that cathedral preferments were always bestowed on men of distinguished talent and learning. On the contrary, he believed, that much of that preferment was given in consideration of family and political connections wholly without reference to desert.

Mr. Goulburn

agreed with the noble Lord that 1,500l. was by no means an extravagant sum to be enjoyed by persons of merit in the Church. If the hon. Member for Lambeth would for a moment call to mind the names of those members of the Church who had been most eminent as divines, and as authors of works for the promotion and diffusion of sound religious truth, he would discover, that they were the very persons who had in general obtained cathedral preferment, at the same time he admitted that there were many persons who had enjoyed such preferment who were not men of distinguished merit.

The Committee divided on the original Motion—Ayes 77; Noes 47: Majority 30.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby, hn. G.R. Chapman, A.
Acland, T. D. Chester, H.
Adam, Sir C. Codrington, Admiral
Bailey, J. Cole, Viscount
Baring, hon. W. B. Compton, H. C.
Benett, J. Courtenay, P.
Bolling, W. Crawford, W.
Bramston, T. W. Darby, G.
Dundas, Captain D. Law, hon. C. E.
East, J. B. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Egerton, Sir P. Mackenzie, W F.
Egerton, Lord F. Macleod, R.
Estcourt, T. G. B. Maule, hon. F.
Estcourt, T. Melgund, Viscount
Fergusson, rt. hon. R. C. Morpeth, Viscount
Fort, J. Nicholl, J.
Freshfield, J. W. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Gaskell, Jas. Milne Parker, J.
Gladstone, W. E. Parnell, rt. hon. Sir H.
Gordon, R. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Goring, H. D. Round, C. G.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Russell, Lord J.
Greenaway, C. Sandon, Viscount
Grimsditch, T. Sibthorp, Colonel
Halford, H. Sinclair Sir G.
Harcourt, G. S. Stuart, V.
Harland, W. C. Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E.
Heathcote, Sir W. Surrey, Earl of
Hill, Lord A. M Teignmouth, Lord
Hodgson, R. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Hoskins, K. Vernon, G. H.
Houstoun, G. Vivian, J. E.
Hughes, W. B. Wall, C. B.
Hurt, F. Winnington, T. E.
Ingham, R. Wood, C.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Wood, G. W.
Kemble, H. Wood, T.
Knight, H. TELLERS.
Knightley, Sir C. Solicitor-General
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Dalmeny, Lord
List of the NOES.
Archbold, R. Marsland, H.
Barnard, E. G. Palmer, C. F.
Bewes, T. Phillpotts, J.
Blewitt, R. J. Pryme, G.
Bridgeman, H. Rice, E. R.
Brocklehurst, J. Rippon, C.
Brodie, W. B. Rundle, J.
Bruges, W. H. L. Salwey, Colonel
Bryan, G. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Bulwer, W. L. Stewart, J.
Busfield, W. Strutt, E.
Collier, J. Style, Sir C.
Crompton, S. Tancred, H. W.
Curry, W. Turner, W.
Dennistoun, J. Verney, Sir H.
Evans, W. Vgors, N. A.
Hall, B. Walker, R.
Hawkins, J. H. Warburton, H.
Heathcoat, J. Williams, W.
Hector, C. J. Williams, W. A.
Hindley, C. Worsely, Lord
Hutton, R. Yates, J. A.
James, W. TELLER.
Lushington, C. Hume, J.
Marshall, W. Hawes, B.

Clause agreed to.

On Clause 4th, that no clergyman should hold two benefices unless within ten miles of each other,

Mr. Rippon

proposed, that these words should be inserted:—"Unless the income derived from such second benefice be insufficient to remunerate the services of the officiating minister." The hon. Member then continued: So much virtuous indignation has been at various times poured forth by hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House against the practice of holding benefices in plurality, that I am desirous now to test the sincerity of those professions. The noble Lord states, that the present position of the Church Establishment does not allow the abolition of pluralities altogether, but, nevertheless, that it is our duty to restrain them as far as may be attainable. Pluralism is an insult to common sense and common justice; a corrupt perversion and appropriation of the Church revenue from the object for which it was assigned; it is vicious in principle and destructive in practice. I maintain, that every parish which furnishes sufficient income for payment of an officiating minister has a right to the services of a resident pastor, who, receiving the emolument of the benefice, personally discharges its duties; who has a fixed, abiding, permanent interest in the welfare of the flock—whose exertions are not limited to the pulpit, to the mere reading of the liturgy, but who, at all times and seasons, tends his charge; who encourages and warns them; animates and consoles them; adjusts their disputes, and aids them by his counsels; in a word, who watches over and advances their temporal and spiritual prosperity. I also maintain, that money drawn from the labour of a parish, should properly be spent within it; and I denounce that shameless practice which this bill, for the first time, proposes to legalise, of permitting a clergyman to take a second living, to become a mere speculator in spiritual service, a contractor for the supply of religious instruction, by means of a mercenary substitute, which he may provide at the lowest price at which such can be obtained in the Church market, pocketing, for the gratification of his own cupidity, the difference in amount between the contract price and the furnished price—between the price received from the parish and the pittance paid to his hireling jobber. What interest can a needy curate have in the welfare of a parish? He is here to-day and there to-morrow, itinerating from cure to cure as the temptation of better wages leads him. How often do we read in the public papers, "Wanted a title for orders, salary no object." Thus clerical labourers are always abundant, generally necessitous and the pluralist will be enabled to fit up and work his pulpits at the least possible expense. The only case in which a plurality can be necessary, even in the existing state of the Church Establishment, is where the revenue of the benefice is insufficient to purchase the services of an officiating minister, and in such case I would propose that such poor living should be appended to a wealthy living, and the excess of the one might eke out and supply the deficiency of the other; but in this case pluralities would be forced upon the clergy—not sought by them as at present. If you examine the present practice, you will find that the smallest livings are not held in plurality—you will find, that the curate who performs the duty of the second living receives only a part of the income, whilst the pluralist preserves the larger portion of the produce of the benefice for his own enrichment. I ask you to affirm this proposition, that the man who personally ministers to the spiritual wants of the people, shall receive the revenue set apart for reward of such service. I remind you that the Legislature, as trustee of Church property, is bound to take care, that the public purpose for which it was assigned—the religious instruction of the people—be fully provided for. Church patronage, like state patronage, is held in trust for public purposes, and is intrusted to private hands only to be employed for the common good; the sole object for which these endowments were made was, the spiritual welfare of society. Presentation is only rightly exercised by regard to the interests of the many, and there is a condition attaching to Church property, that the receiver shall personally afford religious instruction to those who provide his payment. In the olden time, the monks took the country churches and placed curates within them; their plea was hospitality. In our day, those clergy who may be so fortunate as to possess influence or connection, are it seems, to be permitted to continue this odious practice; the excuse will, doubtless, be dignity. Alas! Sir, a selfish pretence is never wanting when profit is to be obtained. There are now above 2,000 curates performing the duties of livings held in plurality; the salaries paid to these substitutes do not amount, on an average, to 80l. a-year; and, in almost every case, the curate receives only a portion of the income of the living, while he virtually performs the office of its incumbent. Give to him that which fairly belongs to him, the revenue of the benefice. His necessities are as great, his respectability of equal importance with that of the pluralist. Let him who serves the altar take the gift which is placed upon it for reward of such service. Give to every parish that provides a sufficient income for payment of an officiating minister, its own resident beneficed incumbent. Restrict pluralities as far as you are able; do justice to the people to the utmost of your ability; put an end to this trading in the service of God, this prostitution of his worship to the purposes of gain; eject these money-changers from his temple, and permit not, I pray you, this system of sanctified swindling. Consider the usefulness of the Church rather than the gorgeousness of its Establishment, and regard the interests of society rather than the aggrandisement of the clergy. Let us hear no more of pampered pluralists and starving curates, nor longer witness the splendid mockery of religion, with its lowliest and most abject degradation. I now beg leave to move the Amendment of which I have given notice. I have endeavoured to explain the object I have in view, and to expose the grounds upon which I rest my proposition. I have purposely omitted all personal allusions which might serve to illustrate the abuses of the system of which I complain: it has been my desire to avoid every remark which could by possibility excite an irritated feeling. I call upon the noble Lord who commends this Bill for our adoption to show the injustice, the unreasonableness, or the impracticability of the change I propose. I challenge him to prove, that the interests of religion—the one only object for our regard—would be otherwise than advanced by its adoption. I leave the case in the hands of the House; whatever may be their decision, at least I shall enjoy this satisfaction, that I have endeavoured, to the best of my humble ability, to remove that vile stain which defiles and disgraces our national Church Establishment—the holding of benefices in plurality.

Lord J. Russell

was surprised, that the hon. Gentleman had allowed that there should be any exception at all to the rule which he seemed disposed to lay down so absolutely, more especially when he called to mind the very vague mode of discriminating adopted by the hon. Gentleman, that the "income should not be insufficient to remunerate the service of the officiating clergyman." He did not think it a just proposition to abolish pluralities altogether, but he would state shortly the objects at present proposed. At present a clergyman could not hold two benefices unless they were within thirty miles of each other, which was interpreted to mean a circle of forty-five statute miles; and within that distance a dispensation of the Archbishop of Canterbury enabled him to hold benefices in plurality. Now it was proposed by the present Bill to reduce the distance from forty-five to ten miles. By this change there must be a very great diminution in the number of benefices so held, and one much greater than in the arithmetical proportion of forty-five to ten, because a circuit of forty-five miles might comprehend many benefices of this description, whereas there must be but very few within one of ten miles. When, therefore, he said that there would be a diminution of one-fourth in the number of pluralities, he was sure, he was understating the alteration which must take place. But there would also be the greatest possible difference as to the superintendence of the clergyman. At a distance of forty-five miles it was impossible that such superintendence should be actively carried into operation; but it was perfectly easy, not only according to the authorities of the Church, but according to the opinion of every man of common sense and observation, that a clergyman, with the facilities which now existed of passing from one part of the country to the other, could readily perform the duties of his office. He should not quote authorities, but would refer to one person who, though not a clergyman, was a man of great piety and zeal in the affairs of religion. He alluded to Cowper the poet, who, in his letter to Mr. Unwin, dwelt upon the fact of a benefice being offered to him, and added, that considering he held another it would be considered a plurality, only that the second living was but ten miles from the first, and therefore, in his opinion, might be safely and properly held. For these reasons, and from the vagueness of the proposition of the hon. Gentleman, he should oppose his motion.

Lord F. Egerton

wished to ask the noble Lord how the distance of ten miles was to be measured. Was it to be reckoned from the boundaries of either benefice, or from church to church? He thought such a point ought not to be left in doubt by the Legislature, and he was the more induced to call the noble Lord's attention to the circumstance, as in the county which he represented the benefices were very often of very considerable extent.

The Solicitor General

remarked, that there was no doubt, as the law now stood, that the distance could be computed from any part of the one parish to any part of the other, but it would certainly be desirable to adopt the suggestion of the noble Lord, and measure the distance from church to church. He believed, that the parish of Halifax was about seventeen or eighteen miles in extent.

Sir E. Sugden

observed, that the hon. Member for Gateshead had entirely mistaken the place in which he should have introduced his amendment, and that therefore he was a little too late in proposing it. The second clause provided, that more than two benefices should not be held together; then the third clause enacted, that they should not exceed a certain value; and now the fourth clause related to distance; here, however, the hon. Member had introduced the question of value. He submitted, that if the amendment were adopted, the whole operation of the Bill would be destroyed by it. Who was to be the judge of the sufficiency of the remuneration? Was it to be the clergyman or the parishioners, or the hon. Member himself? The amendment was totally inapplicable, and could not be supported.

Mr. Rippon

, in explanation, said, that his only object in moving the amendment was to put an end to jobbing.

Mr. Wallace

begged to express his concurrence in the motion of the hon. Gentleman. The Church of Scotland, he said, particularly called for some measure of the kind. He never knew a clergyman of the Church of Scotland who was not willing to be transferred to a better benefice. [Great laughter.] Gentlemen might laugh, but those clergymen of the Church of Scotland took a solemn oath against removal, and still (he would declare) he never knew one of them refuse to go to a better benefice.

Proposition negatived.

Mr. Pryme

moved, as an amendment to the same clause, that the words "contiguous to" should be adopted in lieu of the words "within the distance of ten statute miles from" in the clause, the object of the amendment being to prevent any spiritual person from holding a benefice with any other benefice, unless immediately adjoining that he already held.

Amendment withdrawn.

On Clause 8 (dispensations not to be allowed),

Mr. W. Gladstone

proposed, that the clause be omitted.

Lord John Russell

could not agree to the proposition of the hon. Member.

Committee divided on the question that the clause stand part of the Bill:—Ayes 138; Noes 16:—Majority 122.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Heathcoat, J.
Anson, hon. Colonel Heron, Sir R.
Archbold, R. Hill, Lord A. M. C.
Baines, E. Hindley, C.
Baring, hon. W. B. Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.
Beamish, F. B. Hollond, R.
Benett, J. Hope, G. W.
Bewes, T. Hoskins, K.
Blewitt, R. J. Houstoun, G.
Blunt, Sir C. Hughes, W. B.
Bramston, T. W. Hume, J.
Bridgeman, H. Hurt, F.
Broadley, H. James, W.
Brocklehurst, J. Jones, J.
Brodie, W. B. Kemble, H.
Brotherton, J. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Bruges, W. H. L. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Bryan, G. Lefevre, C. S.
Bulwer, E. L. Lushington, C.
Busfield, W. Lygon, hon. General
Campbell, Sir J. Marshall, W.
Cavendish, hon. C. Marsland, H.
Cayley, E. S. Melgund, Viscount
Chalmers, P. Mildmay, St. P. J.
Chetwynd, Major Miles, W.
Chute, W. L. W. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Clayton, Sir W. R. Nicholl, J.
Currie, R. O'Brien, C.
Curry, W. Paget, F.
Dalmeny, Lord Palmer, C. F.
Denison, W. J. Palmerston, Viscount
Dennistoun, J. Parker, M.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Pechell, Captain
Duke, Sir J. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Duncombe, T. Philips, M.
Dundas, C. W. D. Philips, G. R.
Dundas, Captain D. Pryme, G.
East, J. B. Pusey, P.
Ebrington, Viscount Rice, E. R.
Egerton, Lord F. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Rich, H.
Erle, W. Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Estcourt, T. Round, C. G.
Fazakerley, J. N. Rumbold, C. E.
Fielden, J. Rundle, J.
Ferguson, R. Russell, Lord J.
Filmer, Sir F. Russell, Lord C.
Freshfield, J. W. Salwey, Colonel
Gaskell, Jas. Milnes Sandon, Viscount
Greenaway, C. Scholefield, J.
Harcourt, G. S. Seymour, Lord
Harland, W. C. Sheppard, T.
Hawes, B. Sinclair, Sir G.
Hawkins, J. H. Smith, R. V.
Hayter, W. G. Stanley, E. J.
Stanley, W. O. Wallace, R.
Stuart, Lord J. Warburton, H.
Strutt, E. White, A.
Style, Sir C. White, S.
Talfourd, Sergeant Wilbraham, G.
Tancred, H. W. Williams, W.
Teignmouth, Lord Williams, W. A.
Thomson, rt. hn. C. P. Wilshere, W.
Troubridge, Sir E. T. Winnington, T. E.
Verner, Colonel Winnington, H. J.
Verney, Sir H. Wood, T.
Vernon, G. H. Wrightson, W. B.
Vigors, N. A. TELLERS.
Vivian, rt. hon. Sir R. Gordon, R.
Walker, R. Parker, J.
List of the NOES.
Acland, T. D. Mackenzie, W. F.
Courtenay, P. Packe, C. W.
Estcourt, T. Perceval, Colonel
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Planta, right hon. J.
Greene, T. Scarlett, hon. R.
Grimsditch, T. Shaw, right hon. F.
Halford, H.
Holmes, W. TELLERS.
Johnstone, H. Gladstone, W. E.
Law, hon. C. E. Inglis, Sir R. H.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 9 being proposed, Mr. Law moved to add the following proviso:— Provided always, and be it enacted, that nothing in this act contained shall be construed to prevent any persons who, at the time of the passing of this act, shall be in the actual possession of two benefices from resigning one of such benefices, and from taking another in lieu thereof (the licence and permission of the archbishop of the province, or of the archbishops of both provinces, if the benefices be situate in both provinces and of the patron or patrons of such benefices, to be signified in writing under the hands of the archbishops and patrons respectively being thereunto first had and obtained.) Provided, also, that the distance, although the same may exceed ten miles between the benefices to be holden together by means of such exchange, be less than the distance between the respective benefices in the possession of such persons at the time of the passing of this act; and that such exchange be subject also to the restrictions as to value to which the future holding of two benefices is rendered liable by the provisions of this act.

Mr. Hume

protested against the proviso as destructive of the principle of the bill.

Lord John Russell

had considered the proposed clause, and conceived that its admission would greatly break in upon the principle of the bill, without on the other hand effecting any advantage.

Sir E. Sugden

did not see, that the amendment struck at any of the provisions which had already passed. If admitted it would be only as an exception, and it might prove advantageous without being of any disadvantage to the general principle of the measure.

Sir R. Inglis

said, that every possible restriction had been imposed by the Act, and there could be no danger in adopting the proposition of his hon. Friend. All that he was anxious for was, to give the incumbents the same privileges which they now enjoyed.

Mr. Hawes

said, that if the suggestions of the right hon. Gentleman were adopted it might have the effect of benefitting a few individuals; but beyond a doubt it would go far towards defeating the spirit of the bill. The clergy might job away, then, to any extent they pleased, so long as the benefices were not within a given distance. He could not accord in those suggestions, feeling as he did so strongly that its inevitable effect would be to protect the grievance which it was intended by the bill to remove. So long as approximation was not insisted on, the jobbing which was so loudly complained of at present might still go on.

Mr. Estcourt

would be happy to give his assent to the amendment of his hon. an learned Friend if his hon. and learned Friend would consent to add the words "value and population." He fully concurred in the motives which actuated his hon. and learned Friend in proposing the amendment. He was of opinion that it was required as a mode of protection to numerous individuals holding benefices, who certaintly deserved much protection and support at the hands of the Members of that House.

Mr. Law

would feel the highest pleasure in adopting the recommendation of his hon. Friend. He was very anxious that his amendment should be, as far as was possible, in accordance with the general clauses of the bill. He had scarcely been fairly dealt with when it was said by some hon. Gentlemen at the other side that his Amendment was opposed to the principle of the Bill. It was not an opposition to the principle to make such an improvement as his Amendment would decidedly produce. Surely, if an Ecclesiastical person held two benefices within a distance allowed by the Bill, and that it were allowed him to contract the distance, it could neither injure the principle nor the operation of the Bill. In speaking of the individuals whose rights he wished to secure by this Amendment a phrase had been used by an hon. Gentleman, which phrase was very ill applied, in- asmuch as the individuals to whose interest he looked in that Amendment were far from those described in that observation. He alluded to the terms jobbers and jobbing. Those individuals were not jobbers, nor had they any feelings in common with those who were described by that term. The hon. Gentleman was too fond of using that word when speaking of the clergy. There could scarcely be a doubt in any mind that it would be a great improvement if this Amendment were carried. If it proved a convenience or an advantage to contract the distance how could it do any injury in the case to which he adverted?

Mr. Hawes

said that the object of the Bill would be defeated in spirit by that Amendment. Where the object was to bring two parishes together, the fact of contracting the distance from a hundred miles to fifty or from fifty to twenty-five miles would not surely produce that effect.

Lord J. Russell

was of opinion that the Amendment would not be in accordance with the intention of the Bill, nor would it produce the good effects which were anticipated by its supporters.

Sir H. Verney

concurred in this opinion: the direct effect of the proviso would be to facilitate the holding of pluralities, which it was precisely the object of the Bill to discourage.

The Committee divided on the question, that the proviso be added:—Ayes 50; Noes 106: Majority 56.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Harcourt, G. S.
Acland, T. D. Henniker, Lord
Bramston, T. W. Hodgson, R.
Bruges, W. H. L. Holmes, W.
Chute, W. L. W. Hope, G. W.
Cole, Lord Hughes, W. B.
Courtenay, P. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Craig, W. G. Lockhart, A. M.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Mackenzie, W. F.
East, J. B. Maunsell, T. P.
Egerton, Sir P. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Egerton, Lord F. Nicholl, J.
Estcourt, T. Parker, M.
Farnham, E. B. Perceval, hon. G. J.
Freshfield, J. W. Planta, rt. hon. J.
Gaskell, Jas. Milnes Round, C. G.
Gladstone, W. E. Scarlett, hon. R.
Glynn, Sir S. R. Sibthorp, Colonel
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Sinclair, Sir G.
Graham, right hon. Sir J. Somerset, Lord G.
Stuart, Lord J.
Granby, Marquess of Sugden, right hon. Sir E.
Grimsditch, T.
Halford, H. Teignmouth, Lord
Tyrell, Sir J. T. TELLERS.
Vernon, G. H. Law, hon. C. E.
Wrightson, W. B. Shaw, hon. F.
List of the NOES.
Alsager, Captain Lefevre, C. S.
Andover, Visct. Lushington, C.
Archbold, R. Marshall, W.
Baines, E. Marsland, H.
Baring, hon. W. B. Melgund, Viscount
Berkeley, hon. H. Milton, Viscount
Bewes, T. Morpeth, Viscount
Blewitt, R. J. Morris, D.
Blunt, Sir C. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Broadley, H. Paget, F.
Brocklehurst, J. Palmer, C. F.
Brodie, W. B. Palmerston, Viscount
Brotherton, J. Pechell, Captain
Bryan, G. Philipps, M.
Busfield, W. Philips, G. R.
Campbell, Sir J. Pryme, G.
Cavendish, hon. C. Pusey, P.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Rice, E. R.
Cayley, E. S. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Chalmers, P. Rich, H.
Chetwynd, Major Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Clayton, Sir W. R. Rumbold, C. E.
Dalmeney, Lord Rundle, J.
Duke, Sir J. Russell, Lord J.
Duncombe, T. Salwey, Colonel
Dundas, C. W. D. Scholefield, J.
Dundas, Captain D. Seale, Colonel
Ebrington, Viscount Seymour, Lord
Erle, W. Sheppard, T.
Evans, W. Smith, R. V.
Fort, J. Spencer, hon. F.
Gordon, R. Stanley, W. O.
Greene, T. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Greenaway, C. Steuart, R.
Harland, W. C. Strutt, E.
Hawes, B. Talfourd, Sergeant
Hawkins, J. H. Tancred, H. W.
Hayter, W. G. Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.
Heathcoat, J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Verney, Sir H.
Hobhouse, right hon. Sir J. Vigors, N. A.
Vivian, rt. hn. Sir R.
Hobhouse, T. B. Wallace, R.
Hollond, R. Warburton, H.
Hoskins, K. Ward, H. G.
Howard, F. J. White, A.
Howick, Viscount Williams, W.
Hume, J. Williams, W. A.
Hurt, F. Wilshere, W.
James, W. Winnington, T. E.
Johnstone, H. Winnington, H. J.
Jones, J. Worsley, Lord
Kemble, H. TELLERS.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Stanley, E. J.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Parker, J.

Original clause agreed to.

The House resumed, the Committee to sit again.

Back to