HC Deb 30 April 1863 vol 170 cc990-1

said, he rose to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, If any of the five Colonial Bishoprics which have been vacant has been offered to any of the Irish Clergy?


said, that he should, perhaps, best answer the Question of his hon. Friend by describing the present state of those five Sees. They were Gibraltar, Goulburn in Australia, Quebec, Tasmania, and Nassau. With respect to the See of Gibraltar, his noble Friend (the Duke of Newcastle) was in communication with the Archbishop of Canterbury, with whom the appointment virtually rested. With respect to the new See of Goulburn, the appointment had been filled up, and the first. Bishop was in fact nominated by the late Archbishop of Canterbury. With reference to Quebec, he had to state that a Bishop had been elected to that diocese by the synod of the province of Canada. In the case of Tasmania there was no actual vacancy, although one was likely soon to occur; and there was some doubt about the salary when it did occur; but the probability was that it would be found necessary to fill up the vacancy by an appointment to be made in the Colony itself. Finally, with regard to Nassau, the vacancy which had been caused by the death of Dr. Caulfield, who was an Irishman, had already been filled by his noble Friend the Colonial Secretary. The fact that the late Bishop of that diocese was an Irishman showed that there was no bar to the appointment of an Irish clergyman to a Colonial Bishopric. But he could not withhold from his hon. Friend a communication which had reached him within the last few hours. Since the notice of his hon. Friend had been placed on the Paper be had received a communication from a clergyman in Lancashire stating that he had been officiating in that county for the last twenty years, and that it was a singular fact that during the whole of that period there had been no instance of a Lancashire clergyman having been appointed a Colonial Bishop, although Lancashire contained a greater number of Churchmen than all Ireland. However that might be, he could assure his hon. Friend that the noble Duke at the head of the Colonial Office would be most ready and happy, when the opportunity offered, to show his respect for the Irish Church by choosing, if he could, a properly qualified Irish clergyman for a Colonial Bishopric.