HC Deb 03 July 1840 vol 55 cc420-32

House in Committee on the Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues Bill.

On Clause 7,

Lord J. Russell moved to add the word "Ely," so as to include that amongst the cathedrals of which two canonries were to be suppressed.

Mr. Goulburn

objected to the amendment. He could perceive no great difference between the circumstances of Christ Church and those of the cathedral of Ely, and he, therefore, thought, that, as the noble Lord proposed by the bill to give eight prebendal stalls to Christ Church, he had a right to claim that the same number should be given to Ely. If this bill passed it would deprive the canons of Ely of the means they now had for instructing youth, because they would be unable to absent themselves for a sufficient length of time to attend to their duties in the University. The question might naturally be asked, what was the connection between the University of Cambridge and the cathedral of Ely? His answer was, that that connexion was very close, and had existed very long—a bishop of Ely having founded two of the colleges, Jesus and Peters, and made them partakers to a large extent in his patronage by conferring prebends on the masters of the university, over which he presided. From the earliest times there had been only three deans of Ely, who were not masters in the University of Cambridge. The cathedral of Ely had rendered great assistance to the university by providing in this way for professors, and therefore he must entreat the noble Lord to take the case of this cathedral into his consideration, and to place it on the same footing as Christ Church. There was one other point to which he must advert, and that was the inadequate emoluments of the Norrisian professor of divinity. Now, this was a most important affair, because the certificate of the party holding it was necessary before any one could enter into holy orders. The gentleman who held this office was bound to give fifty lectures on the important subject of divinity gratis every year, and what did the Committee think was the salary attached to the situation? Why, it was only 94l. 10s., and, consequently, if it were separated from the cathedral it would be absurd to suppose that any gentleman who possessed either the talents or acquirements essential to the proper discharge of the duties could be got to undertake them. He next came to the regius professor of Hebrew. A stipend of 40l. a year was assigned to him by Henry 8th, but as this amount was subject to certain deductions, the salary, in fact, was only 38l, 10s. It was time that Parliament voted an additional 100l. a year; but was this, he asked, sufficient remuneration for a distinguished scholar in a language which, though generally so uninviting, was most important, to constitute the character of a good divine? The Greek professor was on the same footing as the professor of Hebrew, but he thought he had stated enough to show that the claims of Ely were quite as strong as those of Christ Church.

Lord John Russell

said: I certainly never heard of this proposition until the former requisition of the University of Cambridge had been complied with. We have consented that two of the canonries of Ely shall be allowed to hold professorships, and I can only say, that iris somewhat unreasonable that the first consequence of our acquiescence should be a further demand. The case of Christ Church was peculiar, and it had been shown that it had been endowed for a particular purpose, and had a right to be placed on the same footing as Trinity College, Cambridge, as both were founded for the benefit of learning. This is the reason why we have given eight prebends to Christ Church. There is no analogy, therefore, between Christ Church and Ely; but still we propose to give to Ely six prebends, two canonries, and four professorships. Seeing the considerable endowments which the University of Cambridge possesses, we think them amply sufficient for the objects of that university; but if any thing could be done to benefit the university I should be glad to consider the matter with a view to that end. However, my impression at present is, that the right hon. Gentleman is pushing his demands too far.

Sir R. Inglis

thought, that, on public principles, his right hon. Friend had a right to make the demand which he had advanced. The point to be considered was, not whether, because a small concession had been made, further demands were not to be pressed, but it was in reality whether his right hon. Friend had not established a case to justify that which he now claimed. He could only say that his right hon. Friend should have his support.

Viscount Dungannon

contended, that a strong case for the cathedral of Ely had been made out; and, for his own part, he could not see how these funds could be better applied than in advancing the cause of learning.

The Committee divided on the question that "Ely" be inserted. Ayes 30; Noes 18—Majority 12.

List of the AYES.
Barnard, E. G. Morpeth, Viscount
Bewes, T. Parker, J.
Bowes, J. Rundle, J.
Briscoe, J. I. Russell, Lord J.
Brotherton, J. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Busfeild, W. Stansfield, W. R.
Clay, W. Stewart, J.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Stuart, W. V.
Ellis, W. Talbot, C. R. M.
Finch, F. Verney, Sir H.
Gordon, R. Vigors, N. A.
Hawkins, J. H. Williams, W. A.
Hector, C. J. Wyse, T.
Kemble, H.
Lambton, H. TELLERS.
Lister, E. C. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Mildmay, P. St. John Dalmeny, Lord
List of the NOES.
Acland, T. D. Lincoln, Earl of
Canning, rt. hn. Sir S. Mackenzie, T.
Compton, H. C. Monypenny, T. G.
Estcourt, T. Pemberton, T.
Gladstone, W. E. Pusey, P.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Shaw, rt. hon. F.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Sugden, rt. hon. Sir E.
Jackson, Sergeant Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.
Knatchbull, rt. hon. Sir E. TELLERS.
Dungannon, Viscount
Liddell, hon. H. T. Vernon, G. H.

On the clause being again put,

Mr. Williams Wynn

expressed a wish that additional services should be performed in the several cathedrals of the kingdom. Nothing would grieve him more than to behold those magnificent edifices erected by the piety of our forefathers, desecrated from the high and holy purposes to which they were originally dedicated, and converted into mere places of exhibition of sculpture and works of art. On the other hand, he had no desire to see those noble buildings crowded with curtained and carpetted pews. Still he would suggest that they might be rendered conducive in the highest degree to the purposes of moral and religious instruction among the people. Why should there not be additional services performed, for instance, in Westminster Abbey? Why should not the practice that prevailed almost throughout the continent be adopted here, and a moveable and moveable seats be placed in the aisles of the cathedrals where prayers could be read and sermons preached, as well as in the choir? His belief was, that if there were three services in Westminster Abbey on the Sunday, two in the morning and one in the evening, they would be most fully attended. Of course for this additional service some increase of endowment should be reserved. It was impossible to expect the clergy would perform such additional duties, without some additional compensation. He wished to press this upon the attention of the noble Lord.

Sir R. Inglis

hoped the observations of his right hon. Friend would meet with the noble Lord's attention. To those who were of opinion that an increased Chinch accommodation was required, the suggestion of his right hon. Friend would appear to be one very obvious, and a very just mode of affording that increase. It was well known that in former times prayers were said and sermons preached in the aisles of the cathedrals. He, however, differed from his right hon. Friend in one particular. There might be moveable pews in the cathedrals in the north of France, but he could speak from his own knowledge, that in the south of France the pews in the cathedrals were as fixed and immoveable as they were in England.

Mr. Briscoe

was not aware how far her Majesty's Government possessed the means of carrying into effect the suggestion offered by the right hon. Gentleman; but he felt very strongly that Westminster Abbey might be most usefully and beneficially applied to affording religious instruction to the people. At present free access to the Abbey was not afforded to the public; many persons were constantly refused admittance during the hours of divine service.

Sir Edward Knatchbull

expressed the great satisfaction he felt on hearing the observations made by his right hon. Friend. It was essentially necessary, not only that the services should be repeated in the cathedrals, but that there should be double services in all the parishes of the kingdom where the population exceeded a certain amount. When the Pluralities Bill went up from this House last Session, it contained a clause to that effect; but in the House of Lords the clause was altered, and made the double service depend upon the will of the bishop of the diocese. Whether that power had been satisfactorily exercised by the bishops he knew not, but he thought it was important to urge the necessity of double service being performed in all populous parishes.

Lord John Russell

agreed in very many of the observations made by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Montgomeryshire; but when the right hon. Gentleman proposed that he should make some provision in this bill for the purposes the right hon. Gentleman had suggested, certainly a doubt occurred to him whether he could state any thing to the House that would be satisfactory, or whether he could enter into any engagement upon the subject. It appeared to him to be a matter more dependent upon the ecclesiastical authorities—the dean and chapter in the first instance, and the bishop of the diocese in the second—than upon any provision that could be made by Parliament for the purpose. His own belief was, that were divine service to be performed in the aisles, and especially were sermons to be from time to time preached with power and eloquence to the people there, it might be the means of doing very great good. That was his opinion; but he could only state it as his opinion. There might be objections made to the proposal. He was not aware himself of any; still he certainly felt that he was not in a situation to give any thing like a pledge upon the subject.

Mr. Williams Wynn

paid, that at the time he had the honour of serving as one of the Members of the first Ecclesiastical Commission, he, at a meeting of the commissioners, threw out the same suggestion, and it appeared to him to have Been received with approbation; but it had not since been acted upon. He was aware that it must be a subject of arrangement, and the question to be considered was, whether a certain sum might not be specifically set apart for that duty. The necessity of providing good preachers, having the requisite qualities of eloquence and a full and impressive delivery, must of course be felt. He was perfectly certain—if he might speak of such an inducement when there were far higher ones—that these magnificent buildings would attract the best and ablest preachers, as well as the largest and most respectable congregations.

Clause agreed to.

On Clause 11,

The Earl of Lincoln

, in the absence of his hon. colleague, Colonel Rolleston, moved "That, in the collegiate church of Southwell, the canonries, as vacancies occur, except the canonry. held by the Archdeacon of Nottingham, shall be suppressed, until only four remain and that such canons shall be Residentiaries." Almost all the collegiate churches had been converted into cathedrals; Southwell was one of the few collegiate churches that remained, but he could not see why all the canonries should be entirely suppressed.

Lord John Russell

was about to propose an amendment, directly opposite to that of the noble Lord, since he did not think it necessary with respect to Southwell to keep up any establishment. Its position was altogether anomalous, having no other duties annexed than the duty of the parish of Southwell, and what he would propose was, to suppress the single canonry, which by the bill as it stood was intended to be left, and annexing the living of Southwell to the archdeaconry of Nottingham, to leave it in the same situation as any other single benefice.

Mr. Vernon Harcourt

felt great reluctance in differing from his noble Friend; looking at the sustainment of the beautiful building of the church of Southwell, but referring to the principle of the bill which he had supported, he felt bound to vote for the bill as it stood. The rule acted upon by the Archbishop of York, whilst the county of Nottingham was under his jurisdiction, was, to annex these canonries to the livings of meritorious clergymen. Yet Southwell, however respectable it might be, did not occupy the same situation as cathedrals, and there was nothing in the service which might not be performed by a single clergyman, as in any Other beautiful church, and he must oppose the amendment of his noble Friend.

Sir E. Sugden

also felt obliged to oppose the amendment of his noble Friend.

Sir R. H. Inglis

would have felt more pleasure in voting for the motion of his noble Friend, if he had gone the full length of proposing that the whole of the establishment should be left as it was. Holding, as he did, that it was the duty of the State to provide for the Church, he held that this ought to be done without depriving any portion of the Church of the funds originally intended, and by the law applied to other purposes. Looking at the way in which the Church was interwoven with the State, he thought that they would injure the hold of the Church upon the people, if they did anything to prevent persons of all classes of the community from entering into its ministration. It was most desirable that they should keep in the Church persons from every class, the highest as well as the lowest, by giving to them that distinction and those emoluments, which the piety of our ancestors had afforded for that purpose. And if his principle were correct, it applied as well to the case of Southwell as to any other.

Mr. Vernon

believed that the hon. Baronet's observations did not apply to Southwell, for if it were desirable to keep prizes for a lottery in the church, this could not be the case with the 16l. prizes of Southwell, where if a man put in and gained the prize he gained a loss.

Mr. Goulburn

did not see why the church of Southwell should be deprived of the benefit of the one canon which the commissioners in their last report had recommended.

The Committee divided on the original motion—Ayes 54; Noes 14—Majority, 40.

List of the AYES.
Baring, rt. hn. F. T. Harcourt, G. G.
Blake, W. J. Harland, W. C.
Bowes, J. Hawkins, J. H.
Briscoe, J. I. Hector, C, J.
Brotherton, J. Henniker, Lord
Busfield, W. Hinde, J.H.
Childers, J. W. Hobhouse, T. B.
Dalmeny, Lord. Hodges, T. L.
Evans, W. Hodgson, R.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. James, W.
Fort, J. Kemble, H.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Lambton, H.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Lemon, Sir C.
Grey, rt. hn. Sir G. Lushington, rt. hn. S.
Marshall, W. Teignmouth, Lord.
Mildmay, P. St. J. Tollemach, F. J.
Morpeth, Viscount Turner, E.
Muntz, G. F. Verney, Sir H.
Nicholl, J. Vernon, G. H.
Rice, E. R. Vigors, N. A.
Russell, Lord J. White, A.
Russell, Lord C. Williams, W. A.
Seale, Sir J. H. Wilshere, W.
Sheil, rt. hn. R. L. Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.
Stanley, hon. W. O. Wyse, T.
Stansfield, W. R. C.
Stewart, J. TELLERS.
Stuart, W. V. Clay, W.
Tancred, H. W. Gordon, R.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Law hon. C. E.
Acland, T. D. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Bell, M. Monypenny, T. G.
Clerk, Sir G. Polhill, F.
Compton, H.C. Pusey, P.
Estcourt, T. Sibthorp, Colonel
Inglis, Sir R. H. TELLERS.
Knatchbull, right hon. Sir E. Gladstone, W.
Lincoln, Earl of

Clause agreed to.

On Clause 13,

Mr. Acland

said, that many of the ecclesiastical officers would have their efficiency impaired by the great reductions in their stipends effected by this clause. His (Mr. Acland's) object would be to preserve on the old foundations certain offices in cathedrals which at present exist, with a view to append them as dignities to the rural deans, and for that purpose he should move the omission from the clause of the words "nor to any prebend, dignity, or officer, not residentiary in any cathedral church in England or Wales."

Lord J. Russell

said, the proposal of the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Acland) was inconsistent with the general scope of the bill. Its object was, that the officers of cathedrals should have certain functions and duties to perform, and that was incompatible with the present proposition. He must therefore oppose the amendment.

Mr. Gladstone

regretted the proposal of his hon. Friend had not a more favourable reception from the noble Lord, inasmuch as by the retention of the offices proposed, economical means would be afforded of rewarding with dignities meritorious clergymen.

Dr. Lushington

said, the stipends of the majority of the officers mentioned were so small, that they would not be any reward to those preferred to them. On the grounds that the offices were originally founded on the basis of actual residence, he should feel it his duty to oppose the amendment.

Mr. Estcourt

said, that as it seemed to him these offices might be given as dignities to the rural deans, who would be brought in constant communication with the diocesan, essentially useful offices would be created.

Sir R. H. Inglis

objected to making all the officers of the Church purely stipendiary. Many of these establishments were originally created without any fixed emoluments to the officers, but with merely a common fund from which they were to be provided with daily sustentation. He was strongly opposed to depriving the Church of those offices which were regarded as sources of dignity, and as inducements to the young and enterprising to enter its service; and if, therefore, the House should take away all those estates from which those officers derived their emoluments, they should, at least, leave it those honorary distinctions. If the amendment should not be adopted, he would propose that words to this effect should be introduced into the clause: —" That no appointment shall be made which may confer any title to any estate or emoluments, but that such appointment may be made, provided it does not confer any such title." If they deprive the Church of this internal support, they ought to leave it what on former occasions had been described as objects of such just and legitimate interests to its different members.

The Committee divided on the original question—Ayes 86; Noes 16: Majority 70.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Elliot, hon. J. E.
Arcbbold, R. Erle, W.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Euston, Earl of
Blake, W. J. Evans, W.
Bowes, J. Finch, F.
Briscoe, J. I. Gordon, R.
Broadley, H. Gore, O. W.
Brotherton, J. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Bruges, W. H. L. Greene, T.
Burroughes, H. N. Grey, rt. hn. Sir G.
Busfield, W. Harland, W. C.
Cavendish, hon. G. H. Hawkins, J. H.
Chichester, J. P. B. Hector, C. J.
Clay, W. Henniker, Lord
Clerk, Sir G. Hinde, J. H.
Dashwood, G. H. Hobhouse, T. B.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C.T. Hodges, T. L.
Horsman, E. Rice, E. R.
Hurt, F. Rundle, J.
James, W. Russell, Lord J.
Jervis, J. Russell, Lord C.
Knight, H. G. Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A.
Lambton, H. Salwey, Colonel
Lemon, Sir C. Seale, Sir J. H.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Lushington, C. Smith, J. A.
Lushington, rt. hon. S. Smith, R.
Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B. Stuart, W. V.
Marshall, W. Style, Sir C.
Maule, hon. F. Teignmouth, Lord
Mildmay, P. St. J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Morris, D. Verney, Sir H.
Morrison, J. Vernon, G. H.
Muntz, G. F. Vigors, N. A.
O'Brien, C. White, A.
Owen, Sir J. Williams, W.
Palmerston, Viscount Williams, W. A.
Parker, R. T. Wilshere, W.
Peel, rt. hn. Sir R. Wilmington, Sir T. E.
Philips, M. Wood, G. W.
Philips, G. R. Wyse, T.
Pigot, D. R. TELLERS.
Pryme, G. Parker, J.
Redington, T. N. Tuffnell, H.
List of the NOES.
Bell, M. Mackenzie, T.
Christopher, R. A. Monypenny, T. G.
Compton, H. C. Patten, J. W.
Craig, W. G. Pusey, P.
Dungannon, Viscount Shirley, E. J.
East, J. B. Vere, Sir C. B.
Estcourt, T.
Gladstone, W. E. TELLERS.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Acland, T. D.
Lincoln, Earl of Acland, Sir T. D.

On the clause being again put,

Sir R. H. Inglis

stating, that the proposition which he was about to make, was not intended to disturb the decision to which the Committee had just come, and which would not deprive the general fund of a single shilling, but would preserve the institutions themselves; since, by the previous decision of the Committee, the House had declared that the Church should not have the establishment with money, let them have the establishment without it. He moved, that with respect to the offices comprised in the amendment of his hon. Friend, no future appointment should be made which should confer a title to any estate or emolument, but that such appointments might still be made without conferring any such title.

Amendment negatived.

Clause to stand part of the bill.

On Clause 15,

Sir R. H. Inglis

remarked, that this was the clause by which the deanery of Exeter was to be vested in the Crown. Now, he thought, that this was not a measure which ought to be passed through the House without any discussion. The right to the deanery of Exeter had been litigated down to the present time, and it had at last been ruled by the unanimous decision of the Court of Queen's Bench, that the appointment was vested in the Cathedral church of Exeter.

Lord J. Russell

said, that the proposal to vest the appointment in the Crown, was made by the church commissioners long before the decision pronounced in the Court of Queen's Bench. The Crown had given up by this bill patronage to the extent of 50,000l. a year, and he thought, that the Crown was certainly entitled to the patronage of the deaneries.

The Clause agreed to.

On Clause 18,

Sir R. Inglis

said, the object of the clause was to prevent any person receiving the appointment of canon until he had been six years in priest's orders, and he proposed to introduce an amendment to the effect of excepting in the case of canonries annexed to any professorship or headship, or other office, not being an archdeaconry.

Lord J. Russell

suggested, that this point might be left for discussion in the other House. The clause had been recommended by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

Sir. R. Peel

was disposed to support the general recommendations of the commissioners. At the same time, if there were any matters of detail which were not supported by sound arguments, he thought it not at all improper to disagree with these recommendations. He hoped the Bishops and officers of the Church would make personal merit and qualification the chief grounds upon which to appoint individuals to ecclesiastical duties. He believed the Church of England would owe more security to that principle of selection than to any other measure that could be adopted. He thought the House should not deal with more subordinate points, which could afford no additional security to the Church, but which, on the contrary, would actually diminish it. The restriction would have the effect of excluding many distinguished men; Dr. Pusey, for instance, would be excluded by it.

Dr. Lushington

said, the object of this clause was to secure the appointment of men of experience, and not of men of brilliant talents merely. It would induce men to take orders at an early period of life.

Clause as amended agreed to.

On Clause 21, concerning the average income of deans and chapters,

Mr. Goulburn

objected to the latter part of the clause, which had not been recommended by the commissioners. He could not approve of fixing a money payment to be made to the canons and other dignitaries of the Church. He wished to see them allowed to retain the management of their property. He objected, also, to equalizing the incomes of the canons, and fixing them at so low a sum as 1,000l. He should move to omit all the words after 3,000l.

Lord J. Russell

said, that at present the incomes of the canons were very unequal, some of them extremely small, and others exorbitant, varying from under 200l. to more than 3,000l. He thought it would be a far more fair and satisfactory arrangement to bring them nearer to equality, and could not view 1,000l. as by any means an inadequate sum. The general working of the bill would be such that they would receive a great deal more; a canon of Durham would have 2,000l. Of all the professions in the country, he should say, that the Church was that in which the largest rewards were to be obtained.

Mr. Goulburn

observed, that the clergy were 15,000 in number, and that his proposition went only the length of giving 2,000l. a-year to nine below the rank of Bishop.

Sir H. Verney

said, that on his side of the House they were for giving adequate remuneration to the more meritorious portion of the clergy.

Sir R. H. Inglis

wished to remind the Committee, that they were not dealing With the public revenue, but with the estates of individuals.

Mr. Goulburn

said, that the general feeling of the clergy, as set forth in the petitions which they presented to the House, was decidedly in favour of the principle upon which his amendment was founded.

The Committee divided on the original question:—Ayes 53; Noes 25: Majority 28.

List of the AYES.
Adam, Admiral Pemberton, T.
Baring, rt. hon. F.T. Philips, G. R.
Bowes, J. Pryme, G.
Brotherton, J. Redington, T. N.
Clay, W. Rice, E. R.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hon. C. T. Rundle, J.
Russell, Lord J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Salwey, Colonel
Euston, Earl of Slaney, R.A.
Finch, F. Smith, R. V.
Gordon, R. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Steuart, R.
Harland, W. C. Stuart, Lord J.
Heathcote, Gilb. J. Strickland, Sir G
Heneage, E. Thornely, T.
Hinde, J. H. Verney, Sir H.
Hobhouse, T. B. Vigors, N. A.
Hodges, T. L. Vivian, J. H.
Horsman, E. White, A.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Williams, W.
Jervis, J. Williams, W. A.
Knight, H. G. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Lambton, H. Wood, B.
Lushington, rt. hon. S. Worsley, Lord
Maule, hon. Fox
Morpeth, Viscount TELLERS.
Morris, D. Tufnell, H.
Patten, J. W. Parker, J.
List of the NOES.
Acland, T. D. Holmes, W.
Bell, M. Hughes, W. B.
Bruges, W. H. L. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Burroughes, H. N. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Christopher, R. A. Nicholl, J.
Compton, H. C. Parker, R T.
Darby, G. Pusey, P.
Dungannon, Viscount Rushbrooke, Colonel
East, J. B. Shirley, E. J.
Estcourt, T. Sibthorp, Colonel
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Teignmouth, Lord
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. TELLERS.
Greene, T. Clerk, Sir G.
Hodgson, R. Gladstone, W. E.

House resumed, Committee to sit again.