HC Deb 11 February 1840 vol 52 cc88-116
Mr. T. Duncombe

said, that towards the close of the last Session of Parliament, he had called the attention of the House to the case of John Thorogood, who was confined in her Majesty's gaol of Chelmsford, under the authority of the Consistorial Court of the Bishop of London, for the non-payment of 5s. 6d. church-rates. On that occasion, after the House had heard the case, it came to this resolution:— That it appears by certain papers laid before this House, that John Thorogood, a Protestant Dissenter, has been confined in her Majesty's county gaol of Essex since the 16th day of January last, for neglecting to appear in the Consistorial Court of the Bishop of London, for the non-payment of 5s. 6d., being the amount of church-rate assessed upon him for the parish of Chelmsford; and it is the opinion of this House, that it will be the duty of the Legislature, at the earliest possible period of the next Session of Parliament, to make such alterations in the existing laws for levying church-rates, as shall prevent the recurrence of a like violence being ever again inflicted upon the religious scruples of that portion of her Majesty's subjects who conscientiously dissent from the rites or doctrines of the Established Church. It was with a view of giving a practical effect to this resolution, and, in order that it should not be a dead letter, that he begged now to call the attention of the House to this extraordinary case. Mr. Thorogood had now been a prisoner in Chelmsford gaol for the non-payment of 5s. 6d. during the last thirteen months. He believed, that a more charitable, a more kind, or a more humane man, did not exist than this person, who was a Dissenter. If it was a fault for an individual to differ from others in political feeling, or in religigious creed, such certainly he believed were the crimes of Mr. Thorogood. Those who had any concern in the election of the Members for Essex well knew that person was a political partisan, but against his disposition or his moral character not one word could be offered, In now submitting this case to the notice of the House he need not occupy its time in going into any of those disputed points with regard to the laws respecting church-rates, or against the powers or jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts, which every one he thought would admit were blots upon the free institutions of the country; but that to which he wished particularly to draw attention was the case of Mr. Thorogood, and he should also submit to the House a measure which he considered would afford a remedy for that individual, as well as others who might be similarly situated. He believed, that those persons who objected to the payment of the church-rates were of two classes—those who belonged to the Established Church itself, and thought that the revenues of the Church were amply sufficient to pay its expenses; and those who, being Dissenters, had conscientious objections to contribute to the ornaments of a worship which was not their own. To the source of the evils which were complained of, he proposed to go, and if he could to stop it, and he should conclude his present address by asking for leave to bring in a bill to effect that object. The provisions of the bill were extremely simple, but he thought that they could be proved to be most just. He proposed, in the first instance, that so far as regarded Mr. Thorogood himself, he should be forthwith discharged from confinement; and that all persons, who should hereafter be proved conscientiously to dissent from the rites or doctrines of the Church of England, should not be subjected to imprisonment for refusal to pay, or nonpayment of the rates. But he should require, in order to give the right to Dissenters to be absolved from the payment of those rates, that individuals claiming to be exempted should make a declaration, that they did conscientiously dissent from the rites and doctrines of the Church, and he believed, that this was a course to which no Dissenter would for one moment object. He would read the form of the declaration which he proposed should be made. The provisions of the bill were, that the person should go before a magistrate in the district of the county in which he lived, and should then make this solemn declaration:— I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am not of the communion of the Church of England, as by law established, but I do dissent there from; and I do solemnly de- clare that on that account I object to the payment of Church-rates; that I do not do so from any pecuniary or interested motives, but for the sake of my conscience only. This declaration having been made, it would become the duty of the magistrates to grant a certificate, and the party being in possession of that certificate might for the space of three years, plead it in bar to any action, suit, citation, or summons, brought on account of the non-payment of church-rates. This being done, he thought it was but fair that the individuals making such declarations should take no part at all in any proceedings of any vestry meeting convened for the purpose of making a church-rate, or, indeed, referring to any question at all connected with the Established Church, and he believed that this was a condition to which the Dissenters themselves would submit. They had no objection whatever to be disqualified, and all they wished was to be left alone in the exercise of their own religious feelings, in return for which they would not interfere in ecclesiastical affairs, which, in point of fact, did not in the least interest them. He had adopted this provision in obedience to a suggestion made in a most able article which appeared in the October number of the Edinburgh Review. It was there said The Government has made various attempts to avert these calamities; but opposed, sometimes by Churchmen, sometimes by Dissenters, their efforts have been of no avail. Vestries continue to be scenes of discord more discreditable than the worst of popular elections in the worst of times. There is but one remedy, and that remedy is justice. The Churches belong to the establishment. The worship celebrated within their walls is for members of the establishment. Let vestries for Church-rates be attended by none but members of the establishment; and let the Church-rate they impose be assessed on none but members of the establishment. As a Church establishment and endowed by law, in subordination to the state for all her civil rights, the Church will continue to possess her lands, rents, and other legal emoluments; while the repair of her Churches and the expense of her worship will be defrayed by members of her own communion. The indecent contentions that disgrace our present vestries will be prevented. Rectors will have no longer occasion to stuff their ears with cotton, as some of them do at present, before they venture into the vestry-room. Dissenters will have no pretext to intrude themselves into meetings where the subject of discussion is a Church-rate from which they are exempted; and, if any of them were to show himself there his presence at the vestry ought to subject him to his quota of the tax. Now, he believed that scarcely any one who had at all attended to the subject would defend or support the disgraceful scenes which were occasioned by the existing law. He would give an instance to the House which had occurred at Margate about four months ago. In the month of October a church-rate was called for, and he would read to the House a report of the transactions attending that meeting as it appeared in the newspapers:— The excitement to-day in this town by far surpasses anything ever before witnessed in Margate; everything in the shape of business is at a complete stand-still. The advocates for the rate are exerting themselves with their whole might; every Cobbite is doing all that money and influence can accomplish. The various workmen of the leading men of this party are sent into the Church to vote in dozens; many of them forget their instructions, and upon arriving at the poll table can give no other answer than that they vote for Mr. Cobb, Mr. Rammell, or Mr. Somebody else, upon that side; after being turned from the table for being too stupid to give an answer, they receive a fresh lesson, return, and vote. At the close of the day's poll the numbers were:—For the rate 345, against it 300; majority 45. Saturday morning: Up to two o'clock p.m. the advocates for the rate gained upon the non-raters; at this hour, however, the inhabitants became conscious, for the first time, of defeat; and, vexed beyond measure at the overbearing behaviour of the Cobbites, rose en masse and proceeded to the Church in such numbers that, at four o'clock, the rev. Vicar declared that the majority against the rate was 50. During the evening the greatest joy was manifested throughout the town; bands of music played; guns were fired; and satisfaction was visible in the countenance of nine-tenths of the inhabitants. He would ask any one whether that was a species of proceeding at all to be approved of? It could not surely be said that the wealth of the Church would be diminished by the exemption of the few Dissenters who would make the declaration which he had pointed out. Every one knew that that wealth was far beyond that of any national Church in the world—nay more, that the Ministers of the establishment of England received more than the Clergy of any Christian Church in the world. Then surely it would not be said that conscience had nothing to do with the question. They could not suppose that Mr. Thorogood, who had suffered imprisonment for 13 months, had any motive or object in the world, except those which were presented by his conscience, for re- fusing to contribute to the wealth of that Church from which he dissented, and he hoped that he should not hear in that House, at all events, the consciences of the Dissenters thrown into ridicule, If the question of conscience was to be discussed, where was that, he asked, of the Rector of Chelmsford, under whose authority and sanction this individual was imprisoned? He could not understand of what materials his conscience was composed, who day after day would call upon his congregation to supplicate mercy from the Almighty upon all prisoners and captives, and could yet be the cause of a captivity like this. But he hoped that it was not necessary for him any longer to detain the House, because he did not think that any opposition would be offered to the motion which he intended to submit to its consideration. He knew that all those Dissenters as well as Churchmen, by whom its provisions had been seen, had given them their approbation, and he trusted that her Majesty's Ministers, when they had also inquired into them, would take this great and important question out of the hands of so humble an individual as himself; but if he were disappointed in this expectation, he should feel it to be his duty, however incompetent he might be, to endeavour to take the measure through its various stages in the House—believing, as he did, that it was founded in justice, and that he should thereby contribute to the happiness and good order of society. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving for leave to bring in a bill to relieve from the payment of Church-rates that portion of her Majesty's subjects who conscientiously dissent from the rites or doctrines of the Established Church.

Mr. Gillon

, in seconding the motion, could not help expressing his abhorrence and disgust at the atrocities perpetrated in the course of the collection of Church-rates, for, with whatever respect the Established Church might be viewed in that House, there were great numbers of people in this country who felt a great repugnance to it. In the country to which he himself belonged, there was no passage in their history to which the people referred with so much exultation as to the battles which they waged, not against Popery, but against the tyrannical intrusion of Prelacy into the Church of Scotland. He thought, that a demand for Church-rates came with a very ill grace from the Church of England, when they considered what a wealthy Church it was. They talked about Church extension, but if they wanted it, let them spare something out of their own funds to advance the cause of religion, without corning to others. He hoped, that they would get rid of Church-rates altogether. Mr. Thorogood had nobly led the way, and he trusted that, grave as his sufferings were, he would not be weary of well-doing. He trusted, that Mr. Thorogood would not consent to be released from gaol until an act of the Legislature had put an end to Church-rates. Upon these grounds he seconded the motion.

Lord John Russell

observed, that there were various questions which were raised by the motion of the hon. Gentleman. The first question was that which was connected with the case of Mr. John Thorogood, and he thought that his case hardly deserved the character given of it by the hon. Gentleman—namely, that Mr. Thorogood was a person suffering conscientiously in a cause which was entitled to the consideration and the support of Parliament. It appeared from the petition of Mr. Thorogood himself, that he had been summoned to appear before the Ecclesiastical Court of London, and that he had refused to pay the Church-rates demanded of him, because he did not choose to appear before a court constituted on rules equally repulsive to constitutional principles and to common sense. Now, he was very sorry to find that any persons should suffer themselves to be imprisoned on grounds like these. He owned he did not think that every and any individual in the country was entitled to say before what court he would or would not appear, whether the demand for which he was sued was made valid by an Act of Parliament or by the common law, and that he himself should be the judge, according to his own views, principles, and opinions, whether he was justified in refusing to pay obedience to the summons of that court. For this reason he thought that it was not a fair representation of the case to state that this man had been detained in prison about thirteen months for his refusal to pay a church-rate of 5s. 6d. It clearly appeared, that Mr. Thorogood was determined to assert a right of not paying obedience to the legal courts before which he was summoned, and to place his defiance on record in contradiction to the law of the land. Now, he did not think that Parliament could be fairly called on, whatever might be its feeling with respect to the propriety of Church-rates, to give a remedy to a party because that party had suffered imprisonment on the grounds which he had mentioned. The petitioner stated, and stated truly, that he was charged with no moral crime, and that the only allegation against him was, that he had neglected to obey the summons of a court. That was just what he said; the petitioner was not charged with any moral crime, but he thought the House of Commons would not say that the summons of a court was to be neglected, and that Mr. Thorogood or any other subject might disobey it with impunity. He did therefore confess, that much as he had beard of the case of Mr. Thorogood, and believing him to be sincere in the principles which he professed, he did not think the case was one which called for the interference of Parliament. No doubt Mr. Thorogood was impelled by conscientious motives; but what was he impelled by his conscientious motives to do? Why, they led him to assert the principle of voluntary payments; and he stated, that he believed the existence of a State Church to be repugnant to the principles of the Holy Scriptures, and detrimental to the cause of religion. He thought he ought not to contribute to its support, and, therefore, he refused voluntarily to pay Church-rates. It might be Mr. Thorogood's conscientious opinion that religion ought not to be supported by the State, but so long as we acknowledged the law by which a State religion was established, so long that law ought to be enforced. But he went further than that: he thought that the Established Church of England was founded on just, and wise, and sound principles. He was not prepared, therefore, to agree with Mr. Thorogood in his theoretical opinions; but even if he could agree with him in his abstract opinions, still he thought that it would not become Parliament to decide, that those who disobeyed the law should not pay the penalty of their disobedience. Thus much, then, for the first question raised by the motion of the hon. Gentleman. There was a further question which it brought forward, and that was the question of church-rates in general,—a subject on which he had at various times stated his opinions. He certainly did think that the question of church-rates was an unnecessary and vexatious source of animosity, and that any method by which the griev- ance which they occasioned might be either diminished or taken away would be a benefit to the Established Church and to the religious establishments of the country. It was with that view that he had more than once assisted in proposing measures which he thought likely to remove that grievance. The first proposal was to abolish Church-rates, and to charge the deficit on the public funds of the country. That proposition was objected to on the part of the Dissenters, who showed that they objected to the charge altogether, and that they would be likely to combine for the repeal of any law which fixed the payment of Church-rates on the public purse. If that proposal therefore had been accepted, the same contest would have been carried on between the Church and the Dissenters, with this difference, that the battle would have been fought upon new ground, instead of upon the ancient law of the country. There was another proposal which had been made by Lord Monteagle, when Chancellor of the Exchequer—that the Church-rates should be made up by an improved system in the management of the Church-lands. That proposition was objected to on the other side of the House, and by the Church of England, and it was consequently, found impossible to carry it into effect. These two measures, then, having failed, he did not see the way to effect a settlement of the question, or by what measure they could altogether, take away the grievance of Church-rates. He thought, that the same jealousy which prevailed betwixt the Church and Dissenters would show itself, not only on the question of Church-rates, but upon all measures which related to the abolition of the Church-rates. He thought there was no measure which could be brought forward for the settlement of this question, which would not be considered as intended to give unfair advantage to one party or the other. This unfortunate feeling of jealousy would prevent the success of any plan which might be proposed. He came next to the plan of the hon. Gentleman, which was this—that a certain portion of the people—that portion of her Majesty's subjects who conscientiously dissented from the rites and doctrines of the Established Church—should be relieved from Church-rates; and the hon. Gentleman proposed, that the mode of testing who were, and who were not, conscientious Dissenters, should be a declaration made to that effect by the parties so tested. He must say, that such a mode would be to him quite unsatisfactory. The hon. Gentleman would ask certain persons to declare that they objected to Church-rates on conscientious grounds. In that plan there was in the first place an obvious temptation to fraud, by giving a pecuniary benefit to those who should make the required declaration. He could well understand that persons who would not take the oaths which were designed for members of the Established Church, or those for Protestants generally, should have the same civil benefits as those of their fellow-subjects from, whom they differed in theological opinions, by making some form of declaration instead. But the object of that arrangement was to give the persons who would be otherwise excluded, equal advantages with the other subjects of the realm; it was saying to them, "This is the oath of the Established Church; but the stringency of that oath shall not deprive you of the benefits which the members of the Established Church enjoy;"—or, "This is the oath for Protestants; but you being Roman Catholics shall not be called upon to take it, but you shall make another prescribed declaration, in order that you may be admitted, not to greater, but to the same benefits as those enjoyed by others." The meaning of that was plain, obvious, and satisfactory; there was no temptation to false representation. But in the case before the House the benefit sought to be conferred by the plan of the hon. Gentleman was greater than that which the members of the establishment enjoyed. It was not a plan for admitting others to the possession of the same advantage with them. It was, in fact, saying to the members of the Established Church, "You must pay rates to the churches; you must pay for the repairs of the church; but if you conscientiously dissent, if you do not belong to that Established Church, if you make that declaration, you shall be free from the claim." Therefore with regard to the 5s. 6d. which every man in the parish might be called on to pay, a John Thorogood, being a conscientious Dissenter, was to be exempt from its payment. That was obviously unfair. And moreover it would work mischievously. A member of the Established Church, perhaps a very lukewarm and almost an indifferent member, seeing those who professedly belonged to the Establishment were each called Upon to pay 5s. 6d. a-year towards its support, and that the Dissenter, being a conscien- tious objector to church establishments, was relieved from that burden, he would be immediately tempted to make the required declaration to relieve himself also. No doubt his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilkenny, would bring forward some very ingenious and convincing arguments in answer to that observation. But if they said, as they must say, that they meant to maintain the Established Church, and if the laws of the country maintained the Established Church, how could they at the same time set up a law by which a bribe was to be offered to any persons who chose to make a certain declaration, by which they could relieve themselves from their obligation to pay rates in support of the Church? It was impossible to ascertain who those were that conscientiously dissented from the Established Church, and those who might be indifferent to it, by the plan proposed by hon. Gentlemen. But there were other objections to this measure. There was the great and paramount principle, that they ought not, in a measure of this kind, to distinguish between those who were members and those who were not members of the Established Church, when a burden was to be imposed, whether tithes or any other charge, upon the whole of the subjects of the land. The principle on which alone they could maintain the Established Church was, that it was for the common good, and that was a principle which entitled them to ask for that burden to be laid upon all. He owned that he should be sorry to see those times return when those who preached the gospel were obliged to look to the voluntary support and contributions of their flocks. He should be sorry if the lines of Dr. Johnson, with respect to the drama, should become applicable to the ministers of religion— The drama's laws the drama's patrons give, For those who live to please must please to live. He should regret if the circumstances of the Church were to render it necessary to turn those lines thus— The pulpit's laws the pulpit's patrons give, For those who live to please must please to live. He did not think that those who had to maintain the doctrines of the Church from the pulpits of the establishment of this country ought to be left to look to the voluntary contributions of the people for their support, or that they, should be supported only because they were popular, eloquent, or plausible preachers. Disagreeing, therefore, with the petition and the remedy which the hon. Member proposed; he could not assent to the motion. But he would state what, and what only, he was prepared to do at the present time. He had already stated, that if he could furnish a complete and absolute remedy for what he believed to be the cause of the dissensions and disputes between the Church and the different religious sects of this country, he would be most anxious to do so, being convinced that it would not only be advantageous to the establishment, but to the cause of Christianity generally; because when he heard so much of those who were opposing the doctrines of Christianity by infidel opinions and sentiments subversive of all morality, he could not but think it most desirable to end those dissensions and heart burnings which, while on the one hand they diverted the ministers of the gospel from their duty, and prevented them from giving their whole time to preaching its truths, on the other afforded much matter for reproach and scandal against the ministers of the gospel, not only from the open and avowed enemies of religion, but from others who were not influenced by extreme notions on theological subjects. All that be was at present prepared to do was, to provide that some bill should be introduced to Parliament, proposing that the remedy for non-payment of Church-rates should, in the first place, not be by summons to the ecclesiastical courts. He did not think those were the proper places in which the remedy should be sought, because he considered the payment of Church-rates entirely a civil payment, and that the ecclesiastical courts were not therefore the proper tribunals to interpose, but ought to be excluded from enforcing the payment of Church-rates. He thought also, that as it was a civil payment, the remedy ought not to be against the person, but against the goods. He was, therefore, ready to give his assent to any bill by which the remedy should be entirely confined to the civil courts, and be against the goods, and not the person. That was usually the way, he believed, in which the payment of tithes was enforced, and he thought Church-rates ought to be recovered in the same manner. With these sentiments, therefore, while he declared that he was quite ready to introduce a bill which would not take away Church-rates, but prevent the recurrence of a case like that which had just been brought under the notice of the House, he must say that he was not prepared to agree to any measure which would tend to weaken the Established Church. He must therefore oppose the measure of the hon. Gentleman, because it was not founded on sound principles, and, if adopted, it would lead, he believed, to very dangerous consequences.

Mr. Hume

regretted, that the noble Lord had come to such a conclusion, after having so fully stated the grounds of the grievances of the Dissenters, and that he should contemplate the continuance of that evil which he admitted ought for the sake of the Church to be remedied. He must also say he was very much surprised to hear the noble Lord state he had no sympathy for the sufferings of John Thorogood. Did the noble Lord mean to say, that a person who, for conscientious motives, was placed in a worse situation than that of many persons guilty of atrocious crimes, because not subjected to a longer imprisonment than that to which John Thorogood had been subjected, and whose character was admitted to be of the most exemplary kind, was not worthy of sympathy? What was the position the noble Lord placed himself in? He declared, that he had no sympathy for that individual, and he did not make any distinction between a criminal imprisoned for the most atrocious crimes, and this person who had suffered his imprisonment for conscience sake. The noble Lord had read portions of the petition—he wished the noble Lord had read that passage in which the petitioner said, that he approached that hon. House complaining of a cruel and unjust law. Did the noble Lord deny, that the law was cruel and unjust? [Lord J. Russell—yes.] Then why did the noble Lord concur with the present Earl Spencer, when Lord Althorp, in bringing in a bill to abolish Church-rates? and why, by his own admission, had he been a party to two proposals to alter the law, if he did not think it wrong? Why did the noble Lord propose a plan for transferring the burden of Church-rates to the consolidated fund? That measure was opposed by the Dissenters, no doubt, but why? Because it was not a measure that would have removed the burden, but merely renewed it in another shape. It was very well for the Dissenters and for the country, that they did not accede to that pro position, for had they done so millions would have been added to the consoli- dated fund by this time. Did the noble Lord believe, that the people of England, one half of whom were Dissenters, would go on permitting their property to be seized, and their persons imprisoned, for a tax to maintain the fabric of the Church, already so amply, so liberally endowed by Parliament? It was against paying any tax of the kind that Thorogood and the Dissenters were standing up. The noble Lord did not think John Thorogood entitled to any sympathy. He (Mr. Hume) could tell the noble Lord, that he had the sympathy of the millions out of that House. No great cause had ever been carried without its martyrs: and John Thorogood had been, and would be a martyr in this cause. He had been willing to sacrifice his own comfort and liberty, in order to bring before the notice of that House and the country this unjust law. And the noble Lord, forsooth, was opposed to the plan of his hon. Friend to allow Dissenters to declare their conscientious opposition to the payment of Church-rates and to avoid payment. He said, that it would be holding out a pecuniary bribe to members of the Church to subscribe such a declaration. What! did the noble Lord mean to say, that any man worthy to be called a member of the Established Church would, for the sake of half a crown, or 5s., or 5s. 6d., be induced to take a false oath? Why, on what a slippery footing did the noble Lord place the belief of the members of the Establishment! He really could not help smiling at the position assumed by the noble Lord. The noble Lord wished to maintain the Established Church; yet he told the House, that he had no confidence in the members of that Church, for he believed, that they would give up their faith for the sake of one shilling or five shillings. Was the noble Lord really sincere in putting the permanency of the Established Church on such a footing? What relief did the noble Lord propose to afford to the Dissenters? Why, he said, in these times, when infidel opinions threatened to overturn established opinions, and remove every thing that could tend to promote the respect of the people for the Church, he could not introduce a measure, such as would give satisfaction to one party without exciting the opposition of the other. If it was desirable to preserve the respect of the people for the Church, why did he not remove this fruitful source of discon- tent towards the Church? To change the mode of proceeding from the ecclesiastical to the civil courts—was that to do away with the Church-rate? Did the noble Lord really believe, that the people would allow that impost to continue, or that they would be satisfied with such a compromise as this? The words of the petitioner were that he believed "the existence of a state church to be repugnant to the principles of the Holy Scriptures, and detrimental to the cause of religion; he thinks he ought not to contribute to its support, and he, therefore, refuses voluntarily to pay church-rates." Was John Thorogood the only man now opposing the laws and institutions of the country in regard to the church? What were one-half of the clergy of Scotland doing at the present time? They laughed at the authority of the court of session, and they defied the House of Lords. They claimed to act on conscientious scruples—they threw all other considerations on one side—and they were still determined to resist the intrusion of any person presented by the patrons of livings, and, therefore, as much entitled to those livings as the church were to church-rates. Why did not the noble Lord grapple with these persons? Because John Thorogood was a poor shoemaker, the noble Lord had no sympathy for him, but he did entertain sympathy for the clergy in Scotland. He would tell the House the reason why. John Thorogood was a single and simple individual, but the Scottish clergy formed a powerful party who were tearing the country up. Indeed, proceedings were going on which were disgraceful to the country. He maintained that those proceedings were doing as much hurt to the church as ever John Frost had done to the state. Their language was as violent, and their proceedings were in defiance of the law. What more had John Frost done, or any of the leaders of the Chartists? They had not done so much in openly defying the law, and exhorting thousands to defy it, as these persons had done. He repeated that the noble Lord sympathised with the Scotch clergy because they were powerful, but he did not sympathise with John Thorogood, because he was poor and humble. The noble Lord abolished church-rates in Ireland—why? Because he could not help it. It was now seventeen years since he presented a petition signed by all classes in Ireland, against church-rates. Yet the amount of those rates were not more than 76,000l. per annum. All the arguments used by the noble Lord when introducing the measure for releasing the Roman Catholics from the payment of church-rates, were equally applicable to the present question. Then it was necessary to allay discontent, so it was necessary to allay discontent now. Individuals were imprisoned then—they were imprisoned now. Did the noble Lord mean to say, that he would give relief to Ireland, and refuse it to England? or was it rather that he waited till a little compulsion obliged him to do justice. Relief was refused to Ireland until compulsion was resorted to, and perhaps it would be necessary to resort to compulsion now. Did he mean to oppose the question until it came to the extremity to which it had come in Ireland, or did he mean to give up the principle altogether? The noble Lord talked of being the friend of religious liberty, yet he allowed persecution to take place under his own eyes. He talked of public opinion, and yet set it at defiance, although manifested in petitions presented to this House, and at meetings all over the country. He maintained that the whole public career of the noble Lord had been marked by his advocacy of the very principles which on the present occasion he had failed to support. He was not going to refer to any particular debate in which the noble Lord had spoken against the imposition of church-rates, because he had only to refer to every debate in which the subject had arisen, and in which the noble Lord had taken part. There was not one opinion of the noble Lord that was not in favour of the motion of the hon. Gentleman, Why have recourse to such a paltry, pettifogging, half-and-half measure, while seìzures of beds, chairs, tables, pots and pans, were going on every day under our eyes? He had a list of seizures which had been recently made at Birmingham for church-rates of the most trifling articles, such as blinds and old chairs and tables, all carried into the market-place and sold, in order to assist in maintaining this already rich Church. He entreated the noble Lord not to trifle any longer with this subject. He must either be acting contrary to his recorded opinions, or he must have changed them. But of this he could assure the noble Lord—whatever he might think of a Church Establishment, the course that was now being taken, of persecuting individuals for opinion's sake, would do, and was doing, more to assist the efforts of those who desired to shake the institutions of the country than he was aware of. If the noble Lord wished to make a satisfactory settlement of the matter, let him bring in a bill to settle the charge of church-rates on church property, as he promised, as it was really disgraceful that such a rich Church should impose this burden on persons who dissented from it. He would ask why the noble Lord did not bring in the bill on this subject that he promised? Was it because he had been in a majority of five when he made his proposition? If it was a good and sound measure, he might rely upon it that discussion would soon increase that majority. They had seen many other questions carried in the first instance by as small a majority as this, which were soon afterwards successful. He could only tell the noble Lord that the excuse that he had made that night would be regarded as an insult by many. He deeply regretted the course the noble Lord had thought proper to take; but he trusted that the House would interfere to see an end put to a state of things such as that under which similar persecution could take place.

Mr. Banies

did not think that some of the observations of his noble Friend in reference to the individual referred to in this case could be justified. Tie noble Lord had assumed that John Thorogood had declared that he would not obey the law; whereas, in point of fact, he was made liable to the severe penalty of it. He also thought that viewing the case in another light, John Thorogood had not been very fairly dealt with; that person said that he thought it a great hardship that he should be sent to prison for non-pay-merit of a church-rate, while persons in such places as Leeds, Manchester, Leicester, and Nottingham were allowed to escape not only without imprisonment, but with impunity, though they refused to pay these rates. Was not the noble Lord aware, that the inhabitants of Sheffield had not paid any church-rates for twenty years? In his view, if any principle of fairness was to be acted upon, the Church should have dealt with the inhabitants of Sheffield as it had dealt with John Thorogood. But no, they did not do so, and they only proceeded against the latter because they knew that he could not defend himself. At Man- chester and other places, when an attempt was made to raise church-rates, the inhabitants were called together, and on the proposition being made to raise a church-rate, it was uniformly met by some person getting up and proposing that the consideration of the subject should be postponed for twelve months. This motion, was always carried, and no church-rate could be levied or enforced, and no person, therefore, could be imprisoned for the non-payment of it. This was the case in the large towns; but, because John Thorogood lived in a small place, where the ecclesiastical laws could be executed against those who dissented from the Church, he had been imprisoned. Was this equal justice? was this a state of things which they should allow to continue? John Thorogood complained of another part of the law; he said, you pass a law to exonerate the Quakers from imprisonment for the non-payment of church-rates: why then should you excuse them and punish me? [Lord John Russell: You can make a levy on the goods of Quakers.] But not imprison them. Why, then, have one law for the Quaker, and another for the Independent? [Lord John Russell: I have attempted to alter the law.] He admitted that; but could not help feeling, that it was rather hard on John Thorogood, that he should be imprisoned for thirteen months for acting upon a conscientious scruple, while others for entertaining similar conscientious objections, were altogether exonerated from such treatment. Again, in Ireland, had not the Legislature exonerated the whole country, not only from imprisonment for not paying church-rates, but from the payment at all of such imposts? The noble Lord said, if this motion was adopted, it would be putting the Church on the voluntary principle; but had they not adopted this principle in Ireland, where all classes were exempted from this payment. The noble Lord said, that the Law was uniform, but the analogy which he drew failed completely in the case of England and Ireland. What John Thorogood complained of was not that you did not send others to prison, but that he was dealt with as they did not deal with others of her Majesty's subjects. Was it not high time that the complaints produced before this House on the subject should lead to a change? The law was in such a state, that he was satisfied, that no Member in that House would conscientiously declare, that he thought that it should remain in its present position. In Notting- ham, Leeds, Leicester, and other large places, the clergy allowed the law to be disregarded, but here they sent a man to gaol for contumacy, and were thus hurrying him to a premature grave. He had within the last few days received a letter from John Thorogood, a short extract from which he would read to the House, in order that the noble Lord might not labour under any misapprehension as to the circumstances under which this unfortunate man was imprisoned. He had had occasion to send him a small sum of money which had been collected for his benefit at Ackworth, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and in acknowledging the remittance, he made these observations:— He hoped that the efforts of his friends in Parliament might be successful who were exerting themselves to pass a law to relieve those who conscientiously objected to an Establishment. He did not require that you should merely liberate him, without passing a general law, but that the recurrence of what he was suffering should be prevented. He did not complain of the ecclesiastical courts. He knew that they were bound to administer the law as it stood; but he complained of the inequality of the law, and that it should be rigorously enforced in one place while it was disregarded in others. He proceeded to say— The blessings of the gospel were purchased without money or price; and he was ready to prove, that he had paid more, according to his means, towards the erection of places of public worship than any four of his persecutors. He added— Be so good as to convey my thanks to my friends, who have administered to my temporal necessities; I feel that I shall not require such aid long, as my health is giving way under my imprisonment in a damp prison. When the rector of Chelmsford said, at least twice a-day, according to the ritual, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them who trespass against us," could he ever pass the gaol in which this unfortunate man was imprisoned without his heart accusing him of his proceedings in this matter; in the case of a man who felt that he could not pay the small sum of 5s. 6d. without violating his conscience, and who was daily sinking under his imprisonment, and would probably in a few months have an end put to his sufferings by death? This was a subject well worthy of the attention of a House of Commons. A right rev. Prelate in another place, had recently dwelt much on the spread of Socialism, and had said a great deal respecting the mischief that was likely to result from it; but he was sure that the case of John Thorogood would do much more injury to the Church as an Establishment, than the doctrines of the Socialists, as the feeling was daily becoming stronger, that the treatment that he had experienced was contrary to Christian faith and practice. They had been told by the noble Lord, that if the motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury was carried, it would be holding out a premium to dissent. This was only an objection similar to those that had been urged against all measures to relieve Dissenters from their disabilities, or for the abolition of church-rates. It was, however, an objection which he trusted would not have any weight in that House, and he would remind his noble Friend, that it had been urged against the measures of Lord Spencer and the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, both of whom introduced plans for the abolition of church-rate. The plan now proposed might be liable to objection, but this objection was not applicable to the Dissenters but could only be urged against the Members of the Church. The Dissenters might conscientiously say, that they were Dissenters, and, therefore, should be exempted from the payment of these rates as the bill proposed, but a Churchman could not truly make that declaration to relieve himself from the payment of church-rates. For his own part he did not believe, that any Churchman would, for a few shillings, or for the purpose of escaping the payment of this rate, violate the obligations of his conscience. He did not believe, that for the attainment of such a miserable object any conscientious person would say that he was a Dissenter if he was a Churchman. He repeated, that he did not believe, that any Churchman would be guilty of such conduct, and he was convinced, that no Dissenter would violate his conscience to save a few shillings; he therefore did not think, that this was an objection of much weight. At the same time it was a matter that might be worth considering, and if it should be thought necessary, provision might be made to guard against such frauds in the bill of his hon. Friend. The hon. Member for the University of Oxford, in arguing on this subject on a former occasion, laid down two positions; he contended, in the first place, that church-rates were a contribution on lands and houses, and did not fall upon per- sons; and, in the second place, that the members of the Established Church of England were possessed of thirty-nine fortieths of all the property in this country, and that therefore under the present arrangement, the Dissenters were only called upon to pay one-fortieth part of the amount of church-rates collected. Taking this as the proportion, of 300,000l. a-year, the whole amount of church-rates paid by the Dissenters would only be about 7,500l. Now he would ask the hon. Baronet whether he thought, that the whole nation should be agitated from one end to the other that the Dissenters might be compelled against their conscience to pay 7,500l. a-year church-rates? If this statement was correct, which he (Mr. Baines) did not admit, was it worth while, on the part of the Church, to persist in enforcing church-rates? He would implore the House, and he did not do so in any spirit of sectarianism, but in a Christian feeling, to consider well what was likely to be the result of their proceedings; and he would ask whether it would not be beneficial to the cause of religion, independent of any sectarian opinions, to get rid of these constant contests between the different religious sects, and thus bring them to act together in such a spirit of unison as to promote the best interests of religion generally? If they could settle this question they would confer the greatest benefit on the country; and he knew no mode in which this could be done which was liable to so few objections, as that proposed by his hon. Friend, the Member for Finsbury. He thought that by some slight modification of the plan of his hon. Friend, a system might be hit upon by which the present grounds of complaint, might be got rid of and that thus the best interests of religion might be promoted. It was said of old, "See how these Christians love each other!" but now, in consequence of these contests, the enemies of religion had too much reason to say, "See how these Christians hate each other!" He was most anxious for the settlement of this question; be, therefore, trusted that the House would agree to the present proposition, which was likely to attain that object.

Sir R. Inglis

concurred in much that had fallen from the noble Lord opposite in his argument against the motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury. He should not be doing justice to his own feelings if he did not take upon himself his share of responsibility in opposing this motion after the speech of the noble Lord. That speech was cheered by the habitual supporters of the noble Lord, but cheered in irony. He was, indeed, surprised at the observations made by the hon. Gentlemen opposite respecting the noble Lord, to whom the dissenters of England owed more than to any living man for his exertions in their behalf. Disagreeing as he had done throughout his political life with the noble Lord, he felt bound to admit, that by the dissenters, at least, the noble Lord ought to have his advice received with perfect confidence. The noble Lord said that in the case of John Thorogood he could not consent to any proposal for his liberation when his imprisonment arose from his refusal to obey the law, and when he was aware of the consequences of his proceedings. The case, however, was even stronger than the noble Lord represented it, and the House did not seem to be apprised of the circumstances under which John Thorogood appeared before the court, and was imprisoned. In the course of last autumn a letter appeared in the newspapers, which was written by this person, and was dated Chelmsford Gaol, November 23. It commeneed with stating, that a memorial appeared in the papers addressed to Lord Normanby, which contained a paragraph which gave an entirely different ground for his refusal to appear to the citation issued against him from that which was the true one. The letter was addressed to the editor of the Sun newspaper, and the part to which he more particularly referred commenced thus:— The paragraph to which I refer is in the following words: 'That he did not appear to such citation because of the expenses that would attend upon such a proceeding.' Sir, it was certainly urged by the gentleman whom I saw at the Patriot office, the secretary of the Church rate Abolition Society, that it would be an enormous expense; but that which alone prompted me to give up my intention to appear and contest the lawfulness of the rate, was the assurance made to me that if I did not appear, more good would be effected to the cause of religious liberty, which I have at heart, than would be effected by my appearance to question the legality of the rate. In addition to this, Mr. Boykett assured me, to use his own words, that they would move heaven and earth in the cause if I should be committed. You, sir, who deserve the best thanks of the friends of religious freedom for what yon have done in the cause, can tell that if it had not been for yourself alone at one time, and a small number of disinterested friends in the country, and more especially my untiring and unsolicited friend, John Child's, Esq., of Bungay, I should have been left in this place forgotten and neg- lected. I am thankful to every friend who has Shown their concern for me; but, sir, I feel that it is the cause of God, and cannot let any erroneous impressions go forth. And I trust, through my extreme sufferings, that another blow may be given to the ecclesiastical oppression, which shall make such trials as mine unknown to succeeding generations. Sir, I forgive my persecutors, as well as those who, by giving me false counsel, have led me into greater difficulty and suffering. It appeared, then, that John Thorogood was urged on to proceed in the way in which he did against his first intention, and that he had been made the tool of the "Grievance Gathering Society," the officers of which no doubt thought this was an admirable subject for speeches, both within the House and out of it. They accordingly involved this unhappy wight in all his difficulties, and at length got him into prison and left him there unnoticed. In point of fact, then, although this Mr. Boykett presented the memorial to Lord Normanby, it was by him that John Thorogood was involved in his present difficulties, and was sent to prison. He agreed with the noble Lord in thinking that by adopting the proposition of the hon. Member for Finsbury they would be holding out a bonus to dissent; but it was not merely on this ground that he opposed the motion. He would not enter into the question how far all property was the creature of law; but this he would say, that all property was held subject to law subject to all such modifications and impositions as the supreme authority might from time to time direct, without any reference to the opinions of individual proprietors. On the present subject he was convinced that any measure which tended to diminish or take away any of the property of the Church, and, above all, any of this nature, would tend to destroy the nationality of the Church, and therefore lessen its influence. As long as the law said that all property should be liable to this charge, all persons should be as much compelled to pay it as any contribution which the wisdom of the Legislature might impose upon property for the purpose of the state. He was satisfied that it would not be just to allow the exception from this or any other law in the manner proposed. Holding, therefore, these opinions, he was not prepared to agree to the motion of the hon. Member for Fins-bury, He would not consent to such a proposition, as it might have the effect of changing the whole tenure of property as regarded the Church. The hon. Members for Finsbury and Kilkenny talked of the scandal of Church rates, and asked whether the House was prepared to allow these constant contests to take place. In answer to this he should repeat now what he had stated several times before, namely, that there were not more than fifty out of the 13,000 parishes in England and Wales in which these contests were carried on. It was not necessary on the present occasion for him to enter further into the general question of Church rates, or whether the amount raised on the dissenters were as small as the hon. Member for Leeds allowed it to be, or whether the hon. Member for Kilkenny were correct when he said that the dissenters amounted to half the population of England, but should satisfy himself with adding, that as long as the present system of Church rates formed a part of the law, so long was every person bound to submit to it; and the adopting the proposition of the hon. Member for Finsbury would be neither more nor less than giving a systematic premium to those who felt disposed to dissent from the Church. He, therefore, should join with the noble Lord in giving his vote against this motion.

Sir S. Lushington

said, he should take the liberty of communicating to the House some little information connected with the case of Thorogood, which, notwithstanding the petitions presented on the subject, was necessary to a proper and complete elucidation of the matter before the House. By an Act of Parliament passed some time before the proceedings in this case, the ecclesiastical courts were deprived of any jurisdiction whatever in church-rate causes where the amount was, in the first instance, under 10l. Those courts could take no cognizance of sums lower in amount. Now, let the House mark the consequence. If, when the church-wardens proceeded against Thorogood, he had appeared, and by appearing acknowledged the mere legality of the demand, and said he was liable, then the claim of the church-wardens would have been dismissed with costs. Hence it was clear, that Mr. Thorogood was the means of bringing himself into the ecclesiastical courts. He had been summoned before two magistrates; they might, if permitted by Mr. Thorogood to adjudicate upon the matter, have levied the amount by distress; and if the defendant then thought himself aggrieved, he might bring the matter by appeal before the quarter ses- sions. When the question came before the court over which he had the honour to preside, a suspicion arose in his mind, that Thorogood must have been previously brought before two magistrates; he had caused some inquiries to be made upon the subject, and he had obtained a copy of a notice served upon the magistrates of Essex by Thorogood, which, with the permission of the House, he should read:— To her Majesty's justices of the peace, acting in and for the county of Essex, and particularly to such as act in and for the division of Chelmsford, in the said county.—I, the undersigned John Thorogood, of Chelmsford, in the county of Essex, shoemaker, do hereby give you notice, that I dispute the validity of the last church-rate made, or alleged to be made, for the parish of Chelmsford, in this county of Essex; and I further give you notice, that my reasons for disputing the validity of the same are amongst others as follows:—1. That the rate was granted upon certain accounts for the year preceding, several items of which were illegally charged, and ought not to have been paid. 2. That the said rate was in reality granted for, and expended in, payment of money spent or contracted for by the preceding churchwardens, or otherwise for their reimburse, meat. 3. That no proper estimates for the prospective expenditure were produced at the vestry meeting at which the said rate was granted. 4. That the said rate was improperly and unequally assessed upon the various occupiers of property in the parish of Chelmsford. And I hereby give you notice, that it is my bonâ fide intention to dispute the validity of the said rate in the proper Ecclesiastical Court. And I also give you notice, in consideration of the premises, to forbear giving judgment upon the complaint against me of Thomas Moss, one of the churchwardens of Chelmsford aforesaid, to answer which I have been summoned before you. Dated this 9th day of November, 1838. JOHN THOROGOOD. Thus the House must see, that Thorogood brought himself within the jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Court, and no power on earth short of his own free will could have produced that effect. He had been cited before that court, and he refused to appear; he voluntarily placed himself in contempt. In such circumstances the court must assert its own jurisdiction. The cause might have been one between husband and wife, where the validity of their marriage was the question in dispute. It might have related to a will, in which the defendant had the will in his pocket and 100,000l. also. How could the court, in such circumstances, avoid committing a party guilty of a contempt? They could not of their own mere motion purge the contempt: the courts were not at liberty to judge whether parties confined for contempt had at any given period endured too great or too small an amount of imprisonment, and therefore he would repeat, that the court had in a case like this nothing to do with consequences which the parties brought upon themselves voluntarily and with full knowledge. An hon. Member near him had said, that the rector of the parish could not pass the gaol in which Thorogood was confined without painfully feeling the injury which he had caused to that individual. Why, the rector had nothing to do with the matter. The rector had no power to institute or to stop proceedings, for the whole affair lay with the churchwardens. It was a mistake to suppose, that the mere circumstance of the practice in Chelmsford and in Sheffield not being the same made the law different in the one place from that which it was in the other. The expences usually defrayed by church-rates might be voluntarily provided for in any parish, but that would not alter the existing condition of the law. So much for general observations upon the question to which the case of Thorogood gave rise; but the House was also called upon to pronounce an opinion with respect to the remedy proposed upon the present occasion. He agreed with his noble Friend near him, that these rates were a source of great injury to the Church; that they occasioned much strife and animosity; and it would afford him great pleasure to see those causes of discontent removed; he should most willingly support any rational measure for redressing the grievance, but he must say, it did not appear to him, that the proposition of his hon. Friend, the Member for Finsbury, would fully accomplish that object, and it was at the same time, as he thought, open to this objection, that it would introduce a test similar to that which rendered the Corporation and Test Acts so exceptionable. They were told, that they might safely appeal to the consciences of Dissenters—that for 5s. 6d. no man would represent himself to be a Dissenter when he really was a member of the Church of England. But let the House recollect, that 5s. 6d. was not the maximum amount of church-rates paid by individuals. Some might pay 5l.—nay, some large farmers might be liable for 50l., and that too at a period of distress. Would any one say, that such a temptation ought to be thrown in the way of any man? The principle was in itself absurd and iniquitous. A man might make the declaration required under the proposed bill, he might still retain his pew in the Church, he might use it and lock it, and might throw upon his neighbours the burden of paying church-rates. He had great confidence in the body of the Dissenters. He had the honour of representing a greater number of Dissenters probably, and more respectable than were contained within any constituency in the kingdom. He thought, that when his constituents fully comprehended the provisions and probable effect of the bill now sought to be introduced, it would not be acceptable to them. He felt persuaded it was one which would not receive their sanction; but even at the hazard of their displeasure he could not bring himself to consent to such a measure. He did not mean to say, that the recommendations of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners would afford a full and sufficient remedy for the grievance; it would, however, greatly tend towards its diminution; but if any really good measure were proposed which any rational Member would say deserved support, he should put in his claim to be one amongst the supporters of such a measure.

Mr. Hawes

could not agree with his right hon. Friend in the reasons which he had given for supporting the noble Lord on the Treasury Bench. His right hon. Friend ought at least to vote for the introduction of the bill. It was alleged that such a bill would have the effect of introducing a new test, but that would not be a test of a man's belief, but his dissent from a particular system, and that, as he apprehended, made a very material difference. Whatever weight there might be in the objection of his right hon. Friend, there was nothing in it which could not be obviated in committee: for example, no one need be recognized as a Dissenter who did not produce evidence of subscribing to and attending some place of worship other than one belonging to the Established Church. He had a strong objection to the recommendation of the Commissioners, for he conceived that its effect would be altogether to change the nature of Church-rates. At present Church-rates were in some degree a voluntary contribution; their amount was decided by a majority of the parishioners assembled in vestry. Now, he conceived that every friend of religious liberty must be opposed to converting Church-rates into a statutable impost. The commissioners recommended that the Church-rates should be taken out of the poor-rates, and that the churchwardens should have the same powers and means of recovery as overseers, which would certainly amount to making it a statutable tax. As to the case of Thorogood, he did think that it had a very close bearing upon the measure before the House, and he thought that the imprisonment of that individual would do serious damage to the interests of the Church. The more sympathy existed on his behalf, the greater the injury which the Church would sustain. The recommendation was a very old one, and almost every public man who had spoken on the subject had acknowledged the absolute necessity of settling the question. Many plans had been suggested to remedy the evil; but hon. Gentlemen opposite had resisted them all, with the exception of one, and that was precisely the one which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners had recommended, and to which reference had been so frequently made during this discussion.

Mr. Wynne Ellis

said, this was a question of the utmost importance, and could not be overrated; but he believed that the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, had not given it due consideration. Much did he regret that the noble Lord was not inclined to allow this bill to be introduced, for he thought that in a short time it would be impossible to collect the Church-rates in any large town, and the feeling against them would grow stronger every day. Let the House consider the obligations the country was under to the Dissenting body, especially in providing instruction and spiritual consolation to the lower classes. In England and Wales there were not less than 8,000 Dissenting places of worship, with congregations, consisting of, at least, 250,000 persons. It was erroneous to suppose that the Dissenters had any feeling against the Church; their objection was not to the Church, but to the payment of Church-rates, and they justly thought that some means ought to be adopted to relieve them from what they considered a most obnoxious tax.

Mr. Mildmay

wished, to make an ob- serration in reference to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Leeds, with respect to the rector of Chelmsford. That hon. Member said, he could not conceive how the rector of Chelmsford could ever kneel down and pray to be forgiven his trespasses whilst John Thorogood remained a prisoner for not paying Church-rates. If that meant anything it meant that he could not pray to be forgiven his trespasses when he did not forgive the prioner. The hon. Member had no right to bolster up a case by such trumpery means as that. He was inclined to suspect, when he heard language of that kind used. He did not wish to use an offensive monosyllable' which it had occurred to him might apply to it. If the hon. Member meant that the rector of Chelmsford could riot kneel down and ask forgiveness whilst Thorogood was in prison, it looked like a Wish to produce a most unfair impression.

Mr. Baines

explained. He did not wish to bolster up his case, nor did it require it. If he mistook, in thinking that the rector had any connection with the churchwardens in the prosecution, he had not the slighest objection to correct the impression which be had formed.

Mr. T. Duncombe,

in reply, observed, that from I he speech of the right hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets, it might be imagined that John Thorogood cited John Thorogood before the Ecclesiastical Court, whereas he was cited to appear by the right hon. and learned Member himself. The hon. Member read the Citation, and went on to say, that Thorogood not appearing to that citation, the punishment was inflicted by the right hon. Member himself upon Thorogood. The right hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for the Tower Hamlets, would vote for any rational measure which should be brought in by a Member of the House. The right hon. and learned Gentleman also stated, that he did not think that this measure would meet the approbation of the leading Dissenters. Now, he had consulted some of the leading members of the Dissenting body with respect to this measure, and they all concurred in thinking that it was not Only just in principle, bat would be found simple and easy in Operation. He Was not surprised at the right Hon. Member for the University of Oxford resisting this measure; but he did not think it ought to meet the opposition which had been presented to it. The House had come to a resolution, that it was desirable to prevent the recurrence of cases such as had been adverted to, and he did not see how, unless they were prepared to stultify themselves, they could refuse to permit the introduction of such a measure as this. At all events, he was Satisfied that those who supported this measure would have public opinion and the opinion of the Dissenters on their side.

The House divided on the motion;—Ayes 62; Noes 117;—Majority 55.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. O'Connell, D.
Aglionby, Major O'Conor Don
Baines, E. Oswald, J.
Barnard, E. G. Pattison, J.
Bewes, T. Pechell, Captain
Blake, W. J. Pryme, G.
Bridgeman, H. Roche, W.
Brotherton, J. Salwey, Colonel
Butler, hon. Colonel Smith, B.
Callaghan, D. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Collier, J. Strickland, Sir G.
Collins, W. Strutt, E.
Dennistoun, J. Style, Sir C.
Duke, Sir J. Tancred, H. W.
Ewart, W. Thornely, T.
Gillon, W. D. Turner, E.
Greg, R. H. Vigors, N. A.
Greig, D. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Hall, Sir B. Wakley, T.
Hastie, A. Walker, R.
Hawes, B. Wallace, R.
Heathcoat, J. Warburton, H.
Hector, C. J. Ward, H. G.
Horsman, E. Wemyss, Captain
Hume, J. Williams, W.
Humphery, J. Williams, W. A.
Hutton, R. Wood, Sir M.
Jervis, S. Wood, B.
Lushington, C. Yates, J. A.
Molesworth, Sir W.
Muskett, G. A. TELLERS.
O'Brien, W. S. Duncombe, T.
O'Callaghan, hon. C. Ellis, W.
List of the NOES.
Acland, T. D. Clive, hon. R. H.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Colquhoun, J. C.
Baker, E. Conolly, E.
Baring, rt. hon. F.T. Corry, hon. H.
Bell, M. Courtenay, P.
Bentinck, Lord G. Crawley, S.
Blair, J. Dalmeny, Lord
Blennerhassett, A. Darby, G.
Boiling, W. D'Israeli, B.
Burdett, Sir F. Dottin, A. R.
Cantilupe, Viscount Duncombe, hon. W.
Chapman, A. Du Pre, G.
Clay, W. Egerton, W. T.
Clerk, Sir G. Eliot, Lord
Elliot, hon. J. E. Mackenzie, T.
Ellis, J. Mackenzie, W. F.
Follett, Sir W. Maule, hon. F.
Fort, J. Mildmay, P. St. J.
Fremantle, Sir T. Morpeth, Viscount
French, F. Nicholl, J.
Freshfield, J. W Packe, C. W.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Palmer, G.
Gordon, R. Parker, R. T.
Gore, O. W. Parnell, rt. hon. Sir H.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Perceval, Colonel
Grattan, J. Pigot, D. R.
Greene, T. Pinney, W.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Polhill, F.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C. Pringle, A.
Grimsditch, T. Protheroe, E.
Halford, H. Pusey, P.
Harcourt, G. G. Rae, rt. hon. Sir W.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Rich, H.
Herbert, hon. S. Richards, R.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Russell, Lord J.
Hinde, J. H. Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A.
Hobhouse,rt.hon.SirJ. Scarlett, hon. J.Y.
Hodges, T. L. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Holmes, W. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Hope, hon. C. Sheppard T.
Hope, G. W. Sinclair, Sir G.
Hotham, Lord Smith, A.
Hughes, W. B. Somerset, Lord G.
Ingestrie, Viscount Stanley, E.
Ingham, R. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Stuart, W. V.
Irton, S. Sugden, rt. hon. Sir E.
Irving, J. Surrey, Earl of
Johnstone, H. Sutton,hon.J.H.T.M.
Kemble, H. Teignmouth, Lord
Knatchbull, right hon. SirE. Trench, Sir F.
Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Labouchere,rt. hon.H. Tufnell, H.
Law, hon. C. E. Vere, Sir C. B
Liddell, hon. H. T. Wood, Colonel T.
Lockhart, A. M. Wyse, T.
Lowther, J. H.
Lushington, rt. hon. S. TELLERS.
Lygon, hon. General Parker, J.
Macaulay, rt. hon. T. B. Stanley, E. J.