HC Deb 22 June 1846 vol 87 cc809-11

I wish to ask the right hon. Baronet at the head of Her Majesty's Government whether, when he made a recent appointment to the deanery of Windsor, considering the various Acts which within the last ten years have been passed for the repression of non-residence and pluralities amongst the clergy, and more especially considering the Act of the 3rd and 4th of Victoria, for carrying into effect the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners respecting deans and deaneries, as well as heads of colleges and professors in our universities—I ask the right hon. Baronet whether he has considered those clauses by which all future deans were compelled to reside on their deaneries for eight months in the year at the very least; and while they are thus fixed to their deanaries, heads of colleges and professors are sought to be attached to their several duties and universities, by being relieved from those outlying canonries, as of Worcester and others, which were attached to them as part of their salaries, having canonries of Ely or Christ Church, which are part and parcel of the two universities, substituted for them. And, in the same spirit, heads of colleges were relieved from the charge of certain livings which were attached to them, receiving at the same time, compensation; and likewise several deans were, in the same anti-pluralist spirit, relieved from livings that had been attached to them. I ask the right hon. Baronet, whether he has considered that this process was specially applied to the two pieces of preferment concerning which I am inquiring, namely, that the headship of Magdalene College was relieved from the care of souls of the living of Ellington; that by an Order in Council the advowson of it was directed to be sold, the proceeds duly invested, and the interest paid from time to time to the master of Magdalene for the time being, manifestly thereby intimating that the master should have more time and opportunity to devote to his college duties; and the deanery of Windsor was in like manner relieved from the cure of souls, thereby implying that the dean should attend to his duties as dean, and that each of these dignitaries should, devote the whole of his attention to his high office. To fulfil the terms of his appointments, Dr. Grenville ought to reside six months of the year at his college, and to be in residence at the deanery in Windsor for eight months. I should be glad to know from the right hon. Baronet by what process the hon. and very rev. gentleman is to compress fourteen months' residence into one year? I must also ask whether either the college of which he is the master, or the Church itself, must not suffer by this arrangement? While fully subscribing to the merits of the hon. and very rev. gentleman, I wish it to be understood that my remarks are directed against the system.


said, that the hon. Gentleman had asked him a question with by far the most complicated preamble, and, although it was contained in one sentence, by far the longest sentence he had ever heard. He did not think it at all desirable when questions were asked to introduce a great mass of argument; it necessarily justified argument in reply. The period to introduce an argument was, when the hon. Gentleman made his Motion. He protested against the course of the hon. Member, and should content himself merely with answering the question. The law prescribed what preferment should be held by deans. A dean could not hold any other cathedral preferment; but there was no disqualification as to a dean holding the headship of a college. Being acquainted with the character of the present Dean of Windsor, he had recommended him to Her Majesty, and Her Majesty had sanctioned the appointment. He did not make any stipulation as to the resignation of other preferments to which he was entitled by law. If the tenure of the preferment were incompatible with the deanery of Windsor, then the statutes of the college would afford a remedy. The visitor of the college would determine whether or no the tenure of the two were incompatible. If they were, proper steps would be taken that the dean might vacate the appointment. But he had no reason to believe otherwise than that the two appointments were perfectly compatible.