HC Deb 26 March 1873 vol 215 cc158-217

Order for Second Reading read.


* I rise, Sir, to move the second reading of this Bill; and, under ordinary circumstances, considering that this is the fourth year I have had the honour of moving it in this House, I should have been content to do so without comment; but the presence of an ex-Prime Minister—perhaps I should rather say of a future Prime Minister—to challenge the second reading of the Bill, after three years of unbroken silence, and after his absence from every one of the numerous and critical divisions which took place last year, is, I need not say, an occurrence of no ordinary character. Of course, it is not for me to speculate on the considerations which have induced so consummate a tactician to enter the lists with so unworthy an antagonist, or to impart to this question a party significance which I have always disclaimed. It may be that the right hon. Gentleman, with that keeness of perception which distinguishes him, has discovered that this is one of those "great and burning" questions which demand the interposition of a Parliamentary Divinity. Or it may be that he has resolved that the contest of the Irish University shall be renewed in the churchyard, and that the second great party battle of the Session shall be fought over the grave. It is not for me to grudge the right hon. Gentleman his laudable anxiety to pick up political capital out of the tombs, or to form a rallying ground for his party round the last resting places of the dead. The right hon. Gentleman has ere now come before us as the ill-starred champion of a waning cause, and if his defence of the Burial laws be no better than his defence of some other institutions which have now become matters of history, I shall have no cause for regret. The right hon. Gentleman, though a hard hitter, is a fair fighter, and my earnest hope is that this Bill will be fought out fairly, and will not be got rid of, as it was last year, by a process of midnight strangulation. I should have been almost appalled by the opposition, and by the number of Petitions which have poured in against this Bill, were it not for one consoling fact. It seems to me that the very persons who have got up and signed the Petitions against the Bill have not taken the trouble to read it. The Bill has been denounced as a measure of spoliation and confiscation—no unfamiliar words—cunningly devised for the disestablishment, and not only the disestablishment, but for the disendowment of the Church of England. And yet the Bill touches no part of the revenues of the Church; the Bill touches no part of the property of the Church of England; the Bill invades no right of the Church of England except the barren—I had almost said the odious—right of claiming conformity for a corpse. I do not wish to be misunderstood. No doubt the parish churchyard is in some sense vested in the incumbent. He could resist trespass or intrusion, and his concurrence would be necessary to pass the legal estate in the fee simple. At the same time, these interests are vested in the clergyman not for his own use—not for his own personal occupation, but as a trustee. A trustee for the Church of England? For his own communicants? No such thing. It is vested in him as a trustee for the parish, and that in the largest and, if I may use the word, most secular sense. Every person who has gained a settlement in the parish, be he Jew, infidel, or heretic, has the same right of interment in the graveyard of his parish as the right hon. Gentleman or the most orthodox Churchmen who sit on those benches. The parishioners right to interment in England is a civil, and not an ecclesiastical right. If any Gentleman disputes that, I will refer him to Bishop Gibson's celebrated ecclesiastical treatise, where he will find the law laid down precisely as I have stated it. He will find that the parish church is as much parochial property as the parish vestry-hall or the parish pound. It is quite true that the Compulsory Church Rates Abolition Act, when it abolished church rates, did not provide any means for keeping the churchyard in repair. It always appeared to me that was an omission from that Act, and in the Bill which I originally introduced I provided that means should be supplied for keeping the churchyard and walls in decent repair—that there should be laid before the vestry an account of the expenses; and unless there was some other fund to provide the means, the overseers should, out of the rate made for the relief of the poor, repay to the churchwardens the money so expended by them. Who opposed that clause? Upon the first reading of that Bill the hon. Member for Cambridge, whom I am sorry not to see in his place, resisted the clause, and the clause was thrown out in Select Committee, I think, on the Motion of the hon. Member for Boston. And yet nearly every speech made against this Bill, nearly every article written against it, proceeds upon the supposition that the churchyards are the property of the Church, and that I am seeking to give outsiders rights which they did not possess before. Of course, I do not mean that lawyers take that view—lawyers like my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Lancashire (Mr. Cross), who is far too good a lawyer to put forward any such proposition. The hon. Gentleman put his case in a different way. He says that the churchyard is the property of the parish in the same way as the church in a certain sense is said to be the property of the parish, and he contends that the right of entry implies in each case an obligation to conform to the Church services. But just observe the want of analogy between the two cases. In the first place, it is a question for a man's own consideration whether he will go to church at all. He may go to a neighbouring chapel, or he may remain at home. But, unfortunately, a man has no option as to being buried or not, and in the 12,000 and odd parishes in England in which no other burial-grounds exist, he has no option as to the place in which he will be buried. That I think must be obvious. But the fallacy will become clearer if we ask ourselves upon what test does the right of the clergyman to insist upon reading the burial service depend? Is it communion with the Church? It is no such thing. Is it attendance at church on the part of the deceased? It is no such thing. The ceremony of baptism administered by any minister, by a layman, or even by a woman, gives the clergyman the right to insist on the burial service when he is dead. So that the same rite which enables a minister to say—"This man when alive was a member of my fold, and was sealed under my seal," gives the clergyman power to say"—Death has made him my property: though when living he never darkened the door of my church; he is now my property, and I am entitled to seal him with the seal of conformity." I think that proposition need only be stated to show its absurdity. How did such an absurd law come to pass? The reason is obvious. Dissent at that time was unknown. The parish priest was the spiritual father of his flock, and so far from its being a grievance to have the Church service read over the remains, the direst result of the major excommunication was that the excommunicated man was refused what was then the only mode of Christian burial. But when Dissent sprang up, what so natural, so obvious, as that men should wish that the same minister who attended them in health and in sickness should perform the rites over their graves? Thus it will be seen how a rite which was intended to be the comfort and the consolation of the laity, has become distorted into the prerogative of the priest. Do not think I shall say one word against the beautiful service of the Church of England—the most beautiful, perhaps, of uninspired compositions, and one which I never hear without emotion. I do not say one word against it. What I object to is its being forced upon persons whether they wish it or not. I can well understand that, taking this point of view, the clergy of the Church of England have a right to complain. For observe that on the one side the law enjoins them to read the service over every person who has once been baptised, and is not excommunicated or a felo de se, no matter what his religion or creed; and on the other, it prohibits the use of any religious service at all in the case of a person to whom, from any cause whatever, baptism has not been administered. So that on the one hand a man who leads a life in defiance of the laws of God and man, or who passes suddenly out of the world in some drunken brawl, with all his sins full-blown upon him, is committed to the grave in the sure hope of eternal life, and, as is well said by The Times this morning, he is said to rest in the Lord after his labours, no matter what those labours may have been; while, on the other hand, the unconscious infant who has known no wrong, or the young man or woman who may have led the life of a saint upon earth, may be committed to the ground with all the indignity of silence. Two Petitions signed by clergymen of the Church of England were sent to the Archbishops praying them to endeavour to alter this state of the law—a law which would be intolerable if their own good sense did not induce them to disregard its provisions. But there are others who have shown a determination to uphold the law. I mentioned on a former occasion several instances of clerical outrages—I can call them by no other name—enough to make one's blood curdle. I shall refer now to only one or two instances. One occurred some years ago at Hinderwell, near Guisboro.' A poor woman had been delivered of twins. The medical attendant baptized one of them, but the other died before the rite could be administered. They were put into a coffin together. The fact became known to the clergyman, who had the coffin broken open, and, while the baptized child was decently buried, the other poor, unbaptized child was sent away to be put into an unconsecrated grave. And that was done in strict conformity with the laws of the Church of England. Is not this a cruel outrage? Is it not a scandal to our land, and a disgrace to our country? Not friends alone such obsequies deplore, They make mankind the mourners. Is this an isolated case? Another case of the same kind occurred at Thame three weeks ago. Another at Carlton, in Nottinghamshire, on November 27th. The account which I took from one of the Nottingham papers is too long to read, but I may state it thus: The child of a poor woman died unbaptized through no fault of her own, for she had endeavoured to get a clergyman to baptize it, but the requisite number of persons could not be obtained. The child was not baptized. The friends took the body to the churchyard at the time another funeral was going on in the hope that by these means they might come in for the benefit of a portion of the Church service. But the clergyman was not going to be taken in in that way. He removed to the further side of the grave of the baptized adult, distant by about fifteen or sixteen yards from that of the unbaptized child, and pointedly emphasized the words, in the singular, our "dear departed sister," lest it should be supposed that any part of the burial service could be intended for a schismatic baby. Another case occurred at Leigh, in Kent, which is thus given in The Tunbridge Wells GazetteAt Penshurst station a man was killed and horribly mutilated by the express train running over his body. A widow and twelve children were left to mourn his loss. The case awoke the sympathy of all in the district, if we except the clergyman of the parish church at Leigh. How much he felt may be inferred from the fact that when application was made for interment in the graveyard, he not only refused to read the service over the poor man's body, but forbade the sexton to dig the grave, refused the use of planks and ropes to let down the coffin into the grave, and even closed the gate of the yard against the bearers and mourners at the funeral. The palisading had to be removed to make a way for the procession to the grave. Do you ask what sin this man had committed that made a clergyman refuse him not only the rites of Christian burial, but deny him burial at all, so far as he could, in the parish cemetery? It was that common sin of being a 'meetener,' which is more gross in the eves of some clergymen than being a drunkard or a profligate. The good man was a regular worshipper in the chapel recently erected by Mr. Samuel Morley, M.P., in that village, and a recognized member of the church there. His life, there is every reason to believe, was in harmony with his profession, and he commanded the respect of all who knew him. Such facts as these are more convincing to us country people of the need for the disestablishment of the Episcopal Church than the most conclusive arguments advanced by the Liberation Society. They make a greater impression upon our hearts. We talk about them amongst ourselves, and those of us who are too ignorant to understand the most lucid argument find no difficulty in appreciating the force and application of the fact. Is this a specimen of the light and sweetness which emanate from the parish clergymen of small country villages who are supported out of the nation's exchequer? What a mercy for poor Dissenters that such men do not keep the gates of heaven, or they would exclude our souls from paradise, as they do our bodies from decent Christian burial. I will read one more extract from a letter which I have received from a Baptist member named Mr. Gibson— On Friday last an old gentleman of the name of Viney was interred in the churchyard at Crayford, Kent. The family being attendants on my ministry at the Baptist chapel, Crayford, were desirous that I should conduct a funeral service. This I did in the chapel. The corpse was then taken to the churchyard. On the way there I asked the undertaker if the clergyman was expected, and his reply was that he had not seen nor heard anything of the clergyman. On arrival at the gate of the churchyard no clergyman was to be seen. The corpse was then lowered into the grave, and I, standing in the road outside the churchyard, concluded the service. Word was then brought to the mourners at the grave that the curate was in the church waiting, and that he insisted on the corpse being taken up out of the grave and carried to the church. Some of the family went to him to endeavour to dissuade him from this. The remainder of the family, with myself, took our seats in the mourning coach. The son and son-in-law of the deceased came to us and said that it was no use, the clergyman would have the corpse taken from the grave and taken to the church. The daughters and other members of the family had to suffer the outrage to their feelings of seeing the coffin carried across the churchyard to the church, and then carried back to the grave, the clergyman and the clerk going through the service. When our children die they refuse to read the funeral service when requested to do so. When our adults die they compel us to have the service, however repugnant to our feelings. Now, Sir, I do not know that I need dwell on these grievances any further, for the grievances are really admitted. In fact two Bills have been brought in from the other side of the House for the purpose of remedying them. The first was the Bill of Lord Beauchamp, brought into this House last year by the hon. Member for South-West Lancashire (Mr. Cross). That Bill authorized the burial of Dissenters in the parish burial ground without the Church service, provided that no service was read over them—that is to say they must come in as felones de se, without any service at all. In other words, the hon. Gentleman said in effect to Nonconformists—"Take your choice between being buried like a Churchman or being buried like a dog." ("Oh, oh.") I do not mean to say that my hon. Friend made use of any such expression, but that was the sense in which it struck Dissenters. I am speaking the opinion of almost every Dissenter in the House when I say that a compromise such as that can only be regarded as an insult. Just let me read from an article from The Spectator on that very point— But what should we Churchmen say to such a privation? Is it not of the very essence of funeral rites that at the last look of the coffin, at the solemn moment when the anguish of the last leave-taking is felt, there should be words of prayer and religious hope pronounced? Why, you might just as well propose to refuse Dissenters the right of shaking hands at the moment of parting on the ship or in the train, on the plea that it would be quite good enough for them if they got the outward leave-taking done in their own homes, as propose that they should coldly deposit the corpse, without a word of solemn prayer or hope, in the earth, and so leave it. If you reduce human forms to the minimum which reason, apart from feeling, will justify, you really do away with them altogether. If we Churchmen value, as we do, that part of the service conducted at the grave as of the very essence of the burial service, why not remember that Dissenters are 'of the same flesh and blood,' and are not likely to be content with silent individual prayer and the bare act of interment? The clergymen all feel, and feel most intensely, the grievance to themselves in any sort of displacement from their functions, or in any compulsory mutilation of their own service, but their keen sense of the indignity of being extruded from their rightful place does not seem to help many of them in the least to enter into the indignity which the Dissenters feel at their systematic extrusion from the same offices. Well, Sir, the other Bill was the Bill of the hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Cawley). My hon. Friend by his Bill said, "We will give you every opportunity for having cemeteries of your own." Yes, but at what expense? There are, as it appears from a Return moved for by the hon. Member for West Surrey, only 531 parishes in England provided with public cemeteries, while the whole number of parishes is about 13,000, so that it would be necessary in carrying out his Bill to provide cemeteries for more than 12,000 parishes. I do not know what the cost would be; but I know it must be something in millions. And this enormous cost is to be incurred, and Dissenters are to be deprived of the melancholy consolation of being buried beside their relatives, and England is to be covered over with burial-grounds, some labelled "Church," and the others "Dissent," in order to prove to the world "how these Christians hate one another," and how, even in death, they will be divided. Look at the safeguards. Why, the Bill literally bristles with safeguards? In fact, it is the number of safeguards which it contains which has made it hitherto impossible to carry it through Committee; for, in fact, every safeguard constitutes a peg on which every hon. Member who opposes the Bill wishes to hang another safeguard. The Bill provides that notice may be given to the incumbent that a burial may take place in the churchyard without the services of the Established Church, but that no service shall be performed by a clergyman of the Church of England other than the service of his own Church. That proviso is not of my seeking. I objected to it at first. It was introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope). In fact, in the first instance—and I hope it will be made known outside the House—I had inserted a proviso giving clergymen permission to use a different service. Then comes a clause providing that any service, if not according to the public ritual, shall consist only of prayers, hymns, and extracts from Scripture. I am almost ashamed to have inserted that clause. From what I know of Nonconformist ministers, there is not the slightest reason to suppose that they would make use of a friend's grave for attacking a political opponent. But, perhaps, it is better to err on the side of conciliation. Then the 5th clause provides that all burials shall be conducted decently and solemnly, and that all services shall be religious. The Act does not authorize the burial of any person who, previous to the passing of the Act, had not the right of interment. It gives the largest possible facility for the acquisition of cemeteries by private benefaction, and it provides that in places where there are public cemeteries the Act shall have no application at all. That is the whole of the Bill—a Bill which it is said is to shake the Church of England to its foundations, and which has actually brought up the Leader of the Conservative party into the front of the fray. Hon. Gentlemen may say it is not what is in the Bill; it is what may grow out of the Bill. The churchyard, they say, is the entrance to the church, and if Dissenters get into the churchyard, we shall not be able to keep them out of the church. I have spoken to very little purpose if I have not shown that the case of the churchyard and the case of the church depend upon very different considerations, and surely there can be nothing more illogical than this mode of meeting one issue by raising an entirely different one. Recollect, too, that grievances such as these are the strongest weapons you can put in the hands of those who desire disestablishment. Can you be surprised that men should desire the overthrow of the Establishment if they find that year after year a measure so just, so fair, and so conciliatory, is to be shipwrecked on the rock of ecclesiastical prejudice. It is said that many who support my Bill will also support the Motion of the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Miall), and that, therefore, their objects are the same. That is a curious kind of syllogism. It may amuse the House, but it will not affect the Bill. It may be said that a proof that the feeling of the country is against my Bill is given by the fact of so many Petitions being sent up against it. I think I can throw a little light on the mode in which these Petitions have been got up. There is a family likeness running through everyone of them. They are all turned out of the same manufactory. About a fortnight ago, I received a printed communication from a postmaster near Manchester. It was sent to me, I suppose, because, as I found on opening it, my name was used pretty freely in the course of the communication. It purported to be from an association, and it contained what I must call a most disingenuous statement—a statement that the Bill would allow any member or any number of members of any denomination to officiate at any ceremony whatever, provided the ceremony was "religious, solemn and decent." Now that statement does not allude in any way to the concession I made in restricting the service to hymns, prayers, and portions of Scripture. Indeed, that Amendment is only alluded to in quite a different part of the document, and in much smaller print. Then there is a statement that in towns and many of the rural districts public cemeteries are provided, so that the grievance is greatly diminished, and will soon altogether disappear. But what are the facts? There are 531 parishes provided with public cemeteries. There are upwards of 12,000 not provided with them. I say deliberately, any inference which has been based on such a statement as that in the document I have referred to, has been based on false pretences, and I ask the House to pay no attention to Petitions obtained in that way. Another argument used against this Bill last year was that Dissenters would make use of the funeral service for the purpose of making attacks upon the Church, and for what are called "political orations." How it is possible to combine political orations with hymns, or prayer, or portions of Scripture, I, for my part, am perfectly unable to see. I suppose it will be said that a good deal of political animus may be thrown into hymns and prayers, and even into portions of Scripture. If that argument is used, I reply that we have the best possible answer, and one founded on practical experience. In Ireland—the home of sectarian animosity—in Ireland—where party spirit runs so high that voters have to be escorted to the poll by the military, and theological questions are sometimes settled by the aid of the bludgeon and the blunderbuss—a law far less stringent than the law I ask to introduce has existed for not less than seven years. Time after time I have stood here, and asked hon. Gentlemen opposite the question, "Can you tell me of one single instance in which these Acts have been abused in Ireland?" Time after time I have asked that question, and I have asked it in vain. But it is not only in Ireland that law prevails. In every other civilized country in the world with which I am acquainted different sects are allowed to be buried side by side, with their own service. When I brought in this Bill last year, there were two countries—England and Chili—where these restrictions existed. Now England is the only one, for the Parliament of Valparaiso has removed all barriers. In France, in Spain, in Catholic Switzerland, all sects are allowed to use the parochial churchyards. I do not know whether anyone whom I address has visited the churchyard at Zermatt, in the Canton Valais, the most Catholic canton of Catholic Switzerland, close to the scene of that appalling accident on the Matterhorn which shocked us all so much a few years ago. If so, they will not readily forget the beautiful spot where the dust of our brave but ill-fated young countrymen mingles with the dust of the noble-hearted guide, who gave his life for theirs, and the remains of the Protestant clergyman sleep peacefully beneath the shadow of the Catholic Church. I wonder what would have been said in England if the authorities of the Canton Valais, following the analogy of our cruel laws, had insisted that Mr. Hudson and his companions should be interred with Popish rites. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire winces at that question. And well he may. [Mr. NEWDEGATE: No.] Then he ought to do. The hon. Gentleman knows that in such a case there would have gone up a cry of indignation from every Orange lodge in the kingdom, and that it would have been re-echoed from Exeter Hall to Belfast. Is Catholicism so much more Liberal than Protestantism? Is it to be believed that the Anglican priesthood, who boast themselves to be the most liberal priesthood in Europe, still main- tain restrictions which the poor half-caste bigot on the pampas of South America has consented to put away? But is it the fact that the clergy of the Church of England are opposed to this Bill? The right hon. Gentleman opposite once boasted that he had got angels on his side. Is it true that the clergy are on his side? The whole of the Broad Church clergy are in favour of this Bill. The Church Reform Union, of which my right hon. Friend the Member for South Hampshire (Mr. Cowper-Temple) is the head, and of which the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Salt) is a distinguished member, have approved of this Bill "as a measure of conciliation and compromise." The Church Association, although they do not approve of the Bill of last year, distinctly stated that with some of the provisions which are now introduced they entirely agree. The Dean of Westminster, speaking from that pulpit from which the bigotry of a few fanatics strove—but, thank God, strove in vain—to keep him, spoke in favour of the Bill. The Rev. Llewellyn Davies, one of the most large-hearted of clergymen, has written an article in The Guardian so noble and manly in its tone, that I will ask permission to read it to the House— Allow me a few lines to protest that there are clergymen—I hope not a few—who instead of opposing the Burials Bill, are heartily in favour of it. It seems to me that Christianity and policy would equally urge us to make the innocent concessions proposed by this Bill. Imagine the case of a Dissenting family in a country parish. They have been accustomed to worship together in their own chapel. The father dies, and is to be buried. The chapel has no burying ground. The churchyard has been a sacred spot in the eyes of the family all their lives. The survivors would like much to lay the remains of their dead in the common burial-place of the parish. But they do not wish at such a moment to go through an act of conforming to the Church. A not dishonourable sentiment makes them unwilling to stamp the departed, who has chosen to be a Dissenter, as a Churchman. Would not all humane and Christian feelings dispose us to meet such a case in a kindly spirit. Well, what concessions does the Burials Bill make to the Dissenters? It provides that any minister or member of a religious body or congregation having a registered place of worship, may recite prayers, hymns, and extracts from Holy Scripture at a funeral in a churchyard. No other person may take any part in the service, no use of the church is allowed, and no address may be delivered. It is further provided that the funeral must not be at an 'inconvenient' time, that all burials under the Act shall be conducted in a decent and solemn manner, and that no part of any service shall be other than of a religious character. What harm could so carefully guarded a liberty possibly do to the Church? All that can be said is that it is a concession; it gives up some exclusive rights, and our Church Defence Societies are sounding their war-notes of resistance and defiance. It is actually preferred that Dissenters should he driven to insist, as a point of honour, upon the creation of unconsecrated burial-grounds within reach of every cottage in the land! It is difficult to believe that good Churchmen should be persuaded to favour so impolitic a course, and to do what they can to widen and fix the gulf between rural Nonconformists and the Church. But I am more concerned to remonstrate against the ungracious attitude promoted by our Church defenders. Non defensoribus istis tempus egct. It will be a lamentable thing if the Church is induced to repudiate the large-minded, humane, Christian way of acting which becomes the Church of the nation, and to adopt instead the bristling sectarian habit of mind, the attitude of watchful jealousy about rights, which is natural enough to a militant sect. The Rev. William Freemantle, rector of St. Mary's, Bryanston-square, writes to me even still more strongly. He says— Some one sent me the other day your Burials Bill, wishing me to get up a Petition against it. It is really shameful that when you have fenced in this proposal for a pure act of justice by every needful safeguard, there should be this agitation to resist it. I write to ask, is there likely to be any public meeting, or any means of expressing conviction in favour of the Bill? I would join any movement for the purpose, and I cannot but think that if public expression were given to a sense of justice on the part of a few clergymen, it would be responded to, so that we might not have again to undergo the shame of being supposed to resist the demand of right through jealousy of our supposed privileges. The Rev. Mr. Drake, chaplain to the Queen, the Rev. John Griffith—a name venerated in Wales by Dissenters as well as Churchmen—have written to me to the same effect. Time would fail me were I to read a tithe of the letters I have received from country, as well as from town clergymen, wishing me "God speed" with this work which is to end in the overthrow of their Church. And I have endeavoured to meet them in the same spirit. It was objected when my Bill was brought in, that its provisions were too wide. I consented to insert provisions to remedy that. It was argued that it might be made a pretext for political demonstrations. I inserted a provision that the services should be strictly devotional. The hon. Member for West Kent (Mr. J. G. Talbot) said that was not enough, and proposed an amendment to restrict the services to hymns, prayers, and Scriptural quotations. I accepted the amendment. No sooner had I done so, than the hon. Member began to quarrel with his own amendment. Perhaps it is well it should be so. Perhaps it is better that the question should be fought out on its real issue. ["Hear!"] Yes, it is well that it should be stripped of the miserable sophistries with which three years of bitter controversy have invested it. Let it be understood that this is no longer a question between those who seek to invade and those who seek to defend the sanctity of the grave. It is no longer a question between Churchmen and Dissenters. No; I will tell you what it is. It is a contest between outraged humanity, on the one side—[Laughter]—does any hon. Gentleman mean to say that for clergymen to open a coffin and take out the body of a dead child and fling it into the ground like a dead dog, is not an outrage on humanity?—it is a struggle between outraged humanity on the one side, and that ecclesiastical non possumus as rampant in Canterbury as in Rome—which mistakes obstinacy for strength, and clings with desperate tenacity to the poorest rag of its prejudices lest it should be suspected of the weakness of a just concession. It is the old struggle which the poet of the last century described more than a hundred years ago— While nature melts let superstition rave, This mourns the dead—and that denies a grave.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Osborne Morgan.)


in rising to move that the Bill be read a second time on this day six months, said, I am sorry, Sir, that I must divest this debate of the pomp and ceremony with which the hon. and learned Gentleman has clothed it in imputing to me that, in the course which I have taken, I have been actuated by the highest considerations of party and politics. The truth is, if the House will condescend to recollect what passed last year upon the subject, so far as I am myself concerned, they will see what a slender foundation there is for the conclusion at which in this respect the hon. and learned Gentleman has arrived. I was prevented from being present at the debate on the second reading of the Bill last year.


There were six Amendments on the Paper last year. Was the right hon. Gentleman prevented? ["Order."]


And I took as early an opportunity as I could of publicly announcing that I should ask the sense of the House on the third reading. That was last year. My opinion was and is that the measure is one of great importance. My opinion was and is that it never had been adequately discussed, nor in an adequate meeting of the House; and this year I found myself not only bound by honour, but impelled by feeling, to fulfil the task which I undertook and sought to fulfil last year. The hon. and learned Gentleman complains of the manner in which this Bill was encountered last year, by midnight strangulation. Well, Bills are sometimes met by midnight strangulation, but they are also sometimes assisted by morning manœuvres. Measures may be passed in a very thin House, and by seizing opportunities of hurrying on a decision, which both the House and the country may afterwards regret. Now, Sir, the hon. and learned Gentleman has called our attention, in detail, to the provisions of the Bill. I listened with great attention to his comments upon those provisions, and I confess it appeared to me that he slurred over their contents in a manner which to me was not entirely satisfactory. The Bill is distinguished, I think, by three peculiar circumstances. In the first place, it is an attempt—and an attempt made in the latter part of the 19th century—to invest with exceptional and exclusive privileges certain religious bodies and their ministers. The second remarkable circumstance connected with this Bill is, that they who are exempted from these privileges are no less considerable a portion of the nation than those who are in communion with the Church of England, and no less important a body than the clergy of that Church. And the third remarkable circumstance is, that such a measure should be introduced by an hon. Gentleman who professes to be a Liberal. Now, Sir, notwithstanding the manner in which the hon. and learned Gentleman referred to, and, as it appeared to me, slurred over, the provisions of his Bill, I think he will agree with me that I have not misrepresented its contents when I state that there are distinctions made between the Nonconformist Body and the Church, and that they are all in favour of the Nonconformist Body. In the first place, all Nonconformists will have a right to officiate, with the mere consent of the relations of the deceased; while, on the other hand, the incumbent alone will, as at present, have a right to officiate. In the next place, every Dissenter may under the Bill enter a churchyard and officiate by right, while, on the other hand, no other clergyman but the incumbent can officiate except by permission. The third privilege which it is proposed to grant to Dissenters is this—that all laymen among them may officiate, while no layman may officiate in the Church. The fourth feature of this character is this—that a Dissenter may enter and officiate in any churchyard in his parish, while the right of the clergyman to officiate is confined to the churchyard of his own parish. The fifth privilege granted to Dissenters is, that under the Bill they are practically unlimited in the services they may use, while the clergyman is rigidly tied up to a prescribed service. I am sorry I must trouble the hon. and learned Gentleman with a sixth privilege, which he has provided for Dissenters, but which is not to be assured to the clergyman. The Dissenter has an option, and may leave ungodly and immoral Dissenters to the clergyman—the clergyman is compelled to bury in all cases. Now, I must say, without touching the principles of the measure, to which I will in a moment advert, that it does appear to be a most remarkable circumstance that a Bill—introduced with such a continued burst of eloquence as has distinguished the address of the hon. and learned Gentleman to-day, inspired as all must feel by a conviction of the peculiarly liberal character of the measure—should contain provisions of a character so abstractedly unjust as those to which I have called the attention of the House. [Mr. OSBORNE MORGAN rose to make an explanation, but was met with cries of "Order."] Well, but that is not enough. As if it were not sufficient to point out in so marked and painful a manner the different conditions under the intended law of the Nonconformist and his minister and the Churchman and his clergyman, there is a seventh provision which certainly is not the institution of a now privilege, but which contains an arrangement by which the clergyman is compelled to act as clerk to the Nonconformists, to register all their doings, and thus to occupy the inferior position of recording all their proceedings, which, under this Bill, might at least be eccentric. Now, Sir, I think it would be interesting to try and ascertain the association of ideas and the mental and intellectual process by which the hon. and learned Gentleman, who believes that he is influenced by most liberal opinions, should have arrived at a proposal which is, as I think I have pointed out to the House, so essentially unjust. How did the hon. and learned Gentleman arrive at this proposal? By the common law of this country it would seem that the rights of all parishioners with respect to burial, whether they be Churchmen or Nonconformists, are identical. The Nonconformist has a right to be buried in the parish churchyard on the same conditions that the Churchman has a right to be buried there. The Churchman enjoys no privilege which the Nonconformist does not enjoy. But, then, it is said it is a grievance to the Nonconformist that he cannot be buried in the parish churchyard with the rites of his own communion. Well, the Nonconformist has a right to enter the parish church; but what would be said if the Nonconformist, having exercised that right, rose from his bench or pew and said—"I am hero in the enjoyment of my right, but I object to the Liturgy which you are about to use?" I can find only one reason for the conclusion at which the hon. and learned Gentleman has arrived, and I think I am not misrepresenting him when I say that he himself alleged that reason, and that is—that the fabric of the Church and its consecrated precinct are, in fact, national property. Although not absolutely declared, I infer from the argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman that that is his view on the subject. The nature of Church property is a subject which for generations has occupied the attention of some of the greatest minds this country has produced. Perhaps there is no other subject on which there has been lavished such profound erudition, such deep antiquarian research, and which has excited such a sharp and commanding controversial spirit. Every man who has studied that controversy is fairly entitled to hold opinions of his own on the subject; but whatever may be our conclusions, and however profound may be our convictions with regard to it, it is a subject so vast and so grave, and of necessity so difficult, that we might expect very opposite conclusions to have been arrived at in relation to it. But, Sir, I deny that there is any controversy on this subject between the country and the Nonconformists. Forty years ago the Nonconformists, by means of a new law, acceded to a great increase of electoral power and a corresponding political influence; and they thereupon commenced an agitation—I may almost say "a thirty years' war"—against the levying of rates for the maintenance of the fabric of the Church and of the consecrated precincts of the Church. It is unnecessary for me to remind the House of what is a considerable incident in the history of this country—the agitation conducted against the church rates by the Nonconformist Body. Well, they succeeded at last in their great object. Their case, as it was originally stated, as for years it was sustained with almost matchless energy, with first-rate organization, and with great eloquence, was this—they said, "The Church is a building which really is devoted to the purposes of only a portion of the nation"—a portion which they then called an Ecclesiastical Sect—"the churchyard is a ground consecrated, which we hold to be a superstitious practice, and we believe that it ought not to be maintained; and, therefore, what can be more unjust than that we should be called upon to pay taxes for the maintenance of a fabric that we don't use, and of a churchyard the character of which we don't approve? and, under these circumstances, we call upon Parliament and the country to relieve us from such a grievance and from such an injustice." Their appeal was ultimately successful. After a struggle of, as I said before, thirty years, Parliament acceded to their wishes. Parliament acknowledged that there was a religious grievance, that it was intolerable, that the Nonconformists were not interested in the maintenance of the fabric of the Church or of the churchyard, and relieved them from the payment of the taxes they complained of. With their relief from those taxes the controversy between the country and the Nonconformists as to the character of Church property ceased; and if ever there took place what I believe would be one of the most unfortunate events that ever occurred in this country—I mean the dissevering of the State from its connection with religion—so far as the position of the Nonconformists is concerned, they can make no objection whatever—they are estopped from ever making any objection—to Churchmen taking their sacred edifices and their churchyards. I, with many on this side of the House, and I believe with some on the opposite side, opposed the abolition of church rates. I did so because I did not wish to see a source of revenue necessary to the maintenance of the Church abolished, whereby great embarrassment would arise, and injury would result to the Church fabrics in many parts of England, and especially in the rural districts. Of all taxes which were ever imposed upon the nation, the church rate was the least unbearable. It was imposed for a public, not to say common object, and by a most popular method—namely, by the decision of the majority. But doubtless it was some compensation to us to think, when the abolition of church rates was carried, that it was a public recognition by the State that, whatever might happen hereafter, the churches and the churchyards belonged to Churchmen. Neither did the Nonconformists during that great struggle act without a full knowledge of the consequences that their success would entail. A most eminent member of their body, a very learned lawyer, was so impressed with the folly of their conduct in the position they took up in seeking to relieve themselves from the payment of church rates, on the ground that the churches and churchyards should be maintained by those who used them, and for whose purposes they alone existed, that he in more than one learned work impressed his convictions upon them, and supported those convictions by ample erudition. I refer to Mr. Toulmin Smith, who, although he may not have been a Selden or a Spelman, was a learned legal antiquary. Upon this subject I hold that he took the right view, and that his conclusions upon it were sound. It cannot, therefore, be said that the Nonconformists rushed into the contest with precipitation, or that they were blind to the necessary consequences of their success in seeking for such a long series of years to obtain the abolition of church rates. Having taken up their position, they must abide by its consequences. If the churchyards are national property, let the nation support them. If they are national property, re-impose the church rates, and let the Dissenters pay up all arrears which unquestionably are due to the country. I am perfectly willing myself to rest the whole of my opposition to this measure upon that case. By the abolition of church rates, and by throwing the maintenance of the fabric of the churches and of the churchyards upon Churchmen, the Nonconformists have placed themselves in such a position that they are not justified in interfering with the conditions upon which they are allowed to use churchyards. If I pursue the subject further it is only because I do not wish to avoid any topic which has fairly been brought before the House. I must say in passing that there is not merely a legal inconsistency in the conduct of the Nonconformists in their treatment of the question, but there is a sentimental one which I think ought to be noticed. The Nonconformists originally objected to churchyards because they were consecrated, which they said was an act of superstition; and, no doubt, making every allowance for the great increase in the population of the country, and other circumstances, it is mainly to the energy of the Nonconformists, and to their prejudices against burial in consecrated ground, that the institution of public cemeteries in this country on so large a scale has taken place. But, having established these great public cemeteries, the Nonconformists want to go back to the consecrated grounds; and on what plea? It is a plea that touches every heart—it is that they may be buried in the same locality where their fathers and their relatives have been buried. But they quite appear to forget that in coming back to the consecrated ground they leave the unconsecrated ground of the cemetery which they have used for a generation, and in which also he the remains of their relatives. This appears to me to be an inconsistency on the part of the Nonconformist Body which it is not easy to explain. But, passing on, I wish now to consider the question without reference to what I have urged, and in its more abstract character as a religious grievance. If there be a grievance, the House of Commons ought to con- sider it; and if there be a religious grievance, a wise statesman will not disregard it. But, in the first place, we must satisfy ourselves as to what we are doing. It is no use for an hon. Member to come down here and to tell us stories, which may be true or untrue, which he has read in The Tunbridge Wells Gazette, and to ask us to alter the ancient laws of England upon an authority like that. So far as I could collect from the narrative contained in The Tunbridge Wells Gazette, it relates, if true, to what would only be the act of a foolish clergyman doing something which was essentially illegal; and are we to be asked to change the whole laws of this country because a foolish clergyman does something illegal? If there be a grievance, let us ascertain in the first place what it is, and then let us ascertain its extent. If we are to change the laws of this country on a subject of some magnitude, let us have before us ample and authentic information. If I were to adopt the statement, and if I were to be guided in my vote by the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman I should believe that, out of 13,800 parishes in England, in 12,400 there is no accommodation for the burial of any Dissenter. Is it possible that such is the case? Is it possible that society could exist or civilization could go on if such a fact were correct? In such a matter we ought to have adequate Returns. The hon. and learned Gentleman says he has been four years engaged in the enterprise of changing the law upon burials. He says that during that time I have generally been absent, and always silent. But if I had been here on every occasion and listened with the utmost attention to the hon. and learned Gentleman, so far as I can judge from his speech to-day, I should not have obtained much information on the subject. I came down here to pay the utmost attention to his statement; but, though the hon. and learned Gentleman quoted all sorts of anonymous authorities from The Times down to The Tunbridge Wells Gazette, I have been able to obtain no information whatever of an authentic character. Now, I apprehend if the Nonconformists represented by the hon. and learned Gentleman who has been engaged in an enterprise, which, according to the hon. and learned Gentleman's account, has taken up four years, desired, they might have obtained this in- formation—1. Returns as to the number of Nonconformist burial grounds in each parish; 2. As to the number of public cemeteries with unconsecrated ground in each parish; 3. As to the number of Dissenting chapels in each parish, and in what parishes there are none. If the hon. and learned Gentleman had given that information, we should have been able to arrive at some conclusion. The Returns on the Table of the House in connection with burials are very incomplete and extremely partial in the slight information which they afford, and I think that both sides of the House will agree in this, that we should be able to legislate with much greater satisfaction to ourselves, and I am sure to the country, if we had the information before us which I have indicated in the three Returns I have named. It so happens that there is a body in this country who have endeavoured to make these researches. I am not going to found any argument, so far as the principle of the Bill is concerned, upon these researches, the result of which is in my possession, because they are not complete and they are not official. Therefore, so far as the principle of the Bill is concerned, or any principles involved in it, I base no argument upon them. But these Returns, from the respectable character of the body that instituted the queries, and the official character of the persons who answered them, are extremely valuable. I think they will show that there is upon this subject a great deal of information of which we are ignorant; and, therefore, that it becomes incumbent on Parliament to take steps to obtain complete and official Returns. I place those which I possess before the House with no other view than that. I ask no gentleman to arrive at any conclusion from these Returns; but I ask him respectfully to listen to them. I shall put them very briefly before the House, which I am sure will see that in this matter we are called on to act with that ample information which Parliament should always possess. Now, these Returns were made under the three heads which I have mentioned, and were obtained by the Church Defence Institution—a body which, though there may be many persons who will not agree with it, all will acknowledge to be composed of most respectable persons, animated by a high sense of duty. They have applied themselves to the effort of obtain- ing authentic information, and have addressed three queries, which I have put under the form of Returns, to the rural deans of England—a body between 700 and 800 in number. They have succeeded in obtaining a great many Returns, and the House will regret that they have not obtained more. They have Returns from 6,200 parishes out of 13,800. By these it appears that there are in these 6,200 parishes 8,200 Dissenting chapels with 1,627 burial grounds—that is, one chapel in five has a burial ground. And yet the hon. and learned Gentleman argued the whole case to-day as if there were nothing but churchyards and public cemeteries, which last are of modern institution. But, besides these there are in these parishes 421 public cemeteries with unconsecrated ground, increasing every year with more extended areas, and now averaging one for every 14 parishes. Now, the House will see at once this represents a state of affairs which, so far as the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman is concerned —and we know he has been considering his speech for at least four years—appears to have been completely veiled. The question of Nonconformist graveyards seems never to have occurred to the hon. and learned Gentleman, although we may fairly presume that at this ratio there cannot be less than 4,000 places of Dissenting sepulture in England. But what I think very important in connection with this matter are the Returns from the Principality in which the hon. and learned Gentleman has peculiar interest. I come first to the diocese of Llandaff. There are Returns from 132 parishes in that diocese, showing that there are 103 burying grounds for 238 chapels, the deficiency being supplied by 11 public cemeteries. That is the state of affairs in the diocese of Llandaff, with which if I were a Nonconformist and contemplated my burial I should be tolerably content. In the diocese of St. David's there are 165 parishes with 345 chapels and 209 burial-grounds. In one of the rural deaneries the proportion rises as high as 17 burial-grounds for 18 chapels, and to complete this wealth of burial-grounds there are 16 public cemeteries. We could hardly suppose from the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman that was the state of the Principality with which he is so familiarly acquainted. Unfortunately, the Returns from the other Welsh dioceses are very meagre; but I beg the House to remember what I said, that I am not founding any argument against any principles of the Bill on these Returns. But I think they show that it is our duty to obtain complete and official information. But although the Returns from St. Asaph are meagre, still here is one which is striking, and that is from the rural dean of Welshpool. In the rural deanery of Welshpool there are 14 parishes, containing 59 chapels, 11 Nonconformist burial-grounds, and two public cemeteries. The whole population of these parishes is only 15,000, and deducting, according to Nonconformist principle, one in five for the Church, we have a probable death-rate among Nonconformists of 250 per annum, and as many as 13 graveyards to receive their dead. Now, I do maintain that if these Returns be accurate—and the inquiry was instituted by a body of noblemen and gentlemen whose character is above all reproach, and the Returns made by gentlemen in a high official position—namely, the rural deans of England and Wales—I say if these Returns are accurate, and no one can doubt them—I could almost pledge myself to their accuracy, although the House knows as much about them as I do—the result is entirely contrary to the impression which the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman was intended to produce; and proves that, before we make a change of this character, we should have information to guide the House of Commons and satisfy the country that we were not acting in the dark and according to the transient passion of a minority of the population. Let me refer to one other subject. I confess a conviction has been produced in my mind by the information I have quoted that, if a grievance exists at all, it must be a very minute grievance, and that it does not warrant the vast change which the proposition of the hon. and learned Gentleman involves. But is there even a minute grievance? I wish to discuss the matter with my Nonconformist friends with the utmost fairness. Now, view it in this way. Even if a minute grievance is alleged, it is founded on the abstract assumption that there is a prejudice among Dissenters against the occasional use of a Church Service. Now, that is a pure assumption. I will not appeal to the individual experience of gentlemen on either side of the House; if I did I am sure they would tell me that in their parishes there is not the slightest difficulty in the matter. Dissenters raise no objection, and often even express a wish for the offices of the Church. We know, notwithstanding what the correspondent of The Tunbridge Wells Gazette wrote, that there is generally a feeling of mutual respect and affection between the incumbent of the parish church and the Dissenters; that there are relations of intimacy and confidence between them, and offices are rendered social and even religious of inestimable character. Look at the evidence upon our Table, as to the occasional use by the Dissenters of the offices of the Church of England. Look at the Returns of marriages in England. Observe that 75 per cent of the marriages are solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England. It is perfectly clear that of these 75 per cent a very large proportion must be Nonconformists. We all know that a Dissenter is generally by choice married in Church. Is the Burial Service more calculated to give umbrage to the Nonconformist than the Marriage? Of all Church Services the Burial Service would seem of most general and solemn sympathy. Therefore, I cannot admit that Nonconformists have even a minute grievance to complain of. But I have argued the case with regard to grievance totally irrespective of the principles on which I have objected to this measure. I object to this measure because I think after the Nonconformist Body, by a ceaseless agitation and a persevering energy which does them credit, induced the Parliament of England to free them from the obligation to pay church rates, on the ground that they had no connection with the fabric of the churchyard, all necessary connection between the Church and the churchyard, so far as Dissenters are concerned, ceased; and if they will use them—I wish they would use them more—they must use them, upon every principle of law and equity, on the conditions imposed by those to whom they belong. And now, before sitting down, I would make one remark to my Nonconformist fellow-countrymen on this matter. About 40 years ago an Act was passed in this country—the Reform Act of Lord Grey —which invested the Nonconformist and Dissenting Bodies in this country with great power. Whether it was intended or not it is unnecessary now to consider, but there is no question that they gained a preponderance of electoral and political power under that Act—I must say out of proportion to their population and their wealth—I will not say to their intelligence and public spirit, for they have always been distinguished in those respects. That power which they gained 40 years ago they have used with great energy and with admirable organization. I do not for a moment pretend to say that there have not been many instances in which they have used it wisely. So long as they maintained toleration, so long as they favoured religious liberty, so long as they checked sacerdotal arrogance, they acted according to their traditions, and those traditions are not the least noble in the history of England. But they have changed their position. They now make war, and avowedly make war, upon the ecclesiastical institutions of the country. I think they are in error in pursuing that course. I believe it is not for their own interest. However ambiguous and discursive may be the superficial aspects of the religious life of this country, the English are essentially a religious people; and I am much mistaken if there be not, even among those who may be apparently in careless communion with its rites, a feeling of reverence and affection for the Church. They look upon it instinctively as an institution which vindicates the spiritual nature of man, and as a City of Refuge in the strife and sorrows of existence. I want my Nonconformist friends to remember that another Act of Parliament has been passed affecting the constituencies of England since the Act of 1832. It appeals to the heart of the country. It aims at emancipation from undue sectarian influence; and I do not think that the Nonconformist Body will for the future exercise that undue influence upon the returns to this House which they have now for 40 years employed. I address gentlemen of great acuteness, and, though they may not touch upon the subject themselves, I dare say there is more than one Member present who has, perhaps, the same opinion as myself upon that subject. Let them not be misled by the last General Election. The vast majority arrayed against us was not returned by the new constituencies. It was the traditional and admirable organization of the Dissenters of England that effected the triumph of the right hon. Gentleman. They were animated by a great motive to enthusiasm. They saw before them the destruction of a Church. I do not think that at the next appeal to the people the Nonconformist Body will find that the same result can be obtained. I say not this by way of taunt, certainly not in a spirit of anticipated triumph. I say it because I wish the Nonconformist Body to pause and think, and to feel that for the future it may be better for them, instead of assailing the Church, to find in it a faithful and sound ally. There is a common enemy abroad to all Churches and to all religious bodies. Their opinions rage on the Continent. Their poisonous distillations have entered even into this isle. We see ancient dogmas, thrice refuted, dressed up again in the garb of specious novelty, and again influencing the opinions of men. What I want to see is a cessation of this war between the Nonconformist Body and the Church of England. Let them be allied against the common enemy, and resist the influence of those who, if successful, will degrade man and destroy civilization.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Disraeli.)


said, that if he were a Member of the Liberation Society, he should feel inclined to propose a vote of thanks to the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down for the speech which he had made. He (Mr. Hughes) had never heard a speech more calculated to bring about a separation of Church and State than that of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman objected to the Bill on the ground generally that it invested Dissenters with peculiar privileges allowing them in fact to do what could not be done by Churchmen. But though the measure certainly did not contemplate any but ordained ministers of the Church of England performing the Burial Service of the Church, while it permitted Dissenters to perform their services without qualification, the House should remember that that course was in perfect conformity with the practice and creed of the Church of England, which permitted none but ordained ministers to engage in the offices of the Church, while no such limitation existed in many of the sectarian denominations. Another objection urged by the right hon. Gentleman was, that this was introduced as a Liberal measure. But he denied that during the four years it had been before the House it had been regarded by its supporters as a party measure, and it would have been equally acceptable to those who now supported it, if it had originated with any Gentleman sitting on the Opposition benches. Again, it was objected that the Bill in no way limited the services which might be used. This was not the case, the permitted services being expressly limited to prayer, hymns, and portions of Scripture. But in any case he did not believe that any denominational minister acting under this Bill would say or do anything which could reasonably give offence to any clergyman of the Church of England. If, however, language, which by any interpretation could be regarded as offensive were employed on any such occasions, did the right hon. Gentleman believe that the words would hang about the yew trees, the church porch, or the hedges, ready to fall upon the heads of unsuspecting clergymen? He did not believe, moreover, that any sound objection could be founded upon the argument that Dissenting ministers would bury the good among their congregations, and leave their immoral members to be interred by the clergy of the Church of England. No doubt, in some denominations they thought very much more of election than the Church did, and believed that they could distinguish the tares from the wheat; but it was one of the noblest features of the Church of England that it made no attempt of that kind; and if the Dissenters should leave their immoral dead to be buried by the Church of England clergyman, he (Mr. Hughes) hoped that they would accept the work without attempting to draw any such line. Again, with respect to another of the right hon. Gentleman's objections, that the Church clergy would be compelled to act as clerks to Dissenters. The only case in which, as far as he could see, the clergyman could so act would be when he had to sign the register, a duty for which he would receive his fee, and if even his submission went further it was, or should be, the highest boast of a clergyman of the Church of England that he was servus servorum, ready to act in his sacred capacity for all who came to him. The equality for which the right hon. Gentleman appeared to contend was an equality that would not be acceptable to members of the Church of England. They did not ask for any such equality. Nonconformists might exercise liberty in this respect, but no member of the Church would be likely to complain at the prospect of being buried in accordance with the rites of his own Church. The right hon. Gentleman accused the Dissenters of logical and sentimental inconsistency in this—that they wanted to go back from what they declared some years ago. He (Mr. Hughes), as a Churchman, need not concern himself with this charge of inconsistency, which he left the representatives of Nonconformity to answer; but what he said was, that this Bill embodied what it was a just and right thing to do, and a thing which should be done whatever the conduct of the Dissenters might have been in the matter. It was said that the Nonconformists had really no grievance at all; but, if so, why was this tremendous opposition made to giving what they asked? The right hon. Gentleman had exhorted the Nonconformists not to make war upon the Church; but it should be remembered that in the vast majority of parishes in this country there were no burial-grounds except those of the Church of England, and an appeal such as that made by the right hon. Gentleman should, therefore, be preceded by an attempt on the part of those who made it to do right and justice. What was asked was that the authorized representatives of a religious denomination should be allowed to perform a certain religious service over the graves of their people, who, be it remembered, had just as much right already to sepulture in the national graveyards as Churchmen, and, surely, if the Church of England wished the war with Dissenters to cease, it should begin to do what was right and just in this matter. The opposition to this Bill grieved him, as a Churchman, more than he could express. He had dreamed of the time when the Church would have risen again to the great work and position which, in theory, she still held as the Church of the whole nation, and when she would have opened her arms to receive back those religious bodies who had but slight differences with her. Believing that this state of things would be the best for all parties, it was with peculiar regret that he witnessed the opposition of the great Conservative party to so small and reasonable a concession to the Dissenters as was asked by this Bill.


observed that three years ago he moved the rejection of a similar Bill to this, and since then he had not spoken in the House upon the matter. This being so, he hoped he might be allowed to state briefly his objections to this Bill, and he hoped also that he should say nothing that would in any way hurt the feelings of the Dissenters. It was his sincere wish that the Church of England should long remain the Church of England, not so much for the good of the Church itself, but because it was almost essential for the nation that the Church should be connected with the State, and that the two should be bound together. He would do nothing to make the Church of England a mere sect as distinguished from a national Church. He would shortly allude to the cases of hardship and outrage which the hon. and learned Member had referred to in moving the second reading of this Bill. When they were investigated it seemed that in two of the instances the clergymen were actually breaking the law which they were bound to obey. In the case of "outrage," that was not a Dissenting grievance at all, because there would have been the same hardship if the parents had belonged to the Church. What was complained of was that the clergyman drew a distinction between two children, one having been baptized, and the other not—which was not a matter that applied to Dissenters only, and did not in any way support this Bill. Having got rid of that matter, let them see what the grievance to be remedied really was. In the year 1861 Sir Morton Peto stated the grievance. He said that by the Canon Law of England a clergyman might refuse to bury according to the rites of the Church of England three classes of persons—those who were excommunicated, those who had laid violent hands upon themselves, and persons unbaptized; and he added that those who were specially affected under the latter head were Quakers and Baptists. Now, what was the Canon Law as laid down in Burn's Ecclesiastical Law? It was there said that no minister should refuse to bury according to the Prayer Book; the soil of the churchyard having been laid out and enclosed at the expense of the parish there was a common law right to be buried there, and the clergyman was bound to perform the services established by law. The foundation of this law was that the churchyard having been provided at the expense of the parishioners, they therefore had a right to be interred there, though only according to the rites of the Church of England. The Dissenter's right to use the churchyard for interment was precisely the same as his right to use the inside of the church. In both cases the right was accompanied by the limitation that the services of the Church were to be employed. As to the three exceptions to the right of interment, the first would apply only to those who were formally excommunicated—that is, in these days, to no one at all. The second exception applied only to those who, according to the verdict of a jury, had laid violent hands on themselves. Then came the case of those who were not baptized. The highest authority had said that a clergyman ought not to be curious to inquire into that matter, and the common sense of the country would support him in acting in that way. Further, the Church admitted lay baptism as well as clerical, so that a Dissenter who had been baptized by his own clergyman would be admitted as baptized by the Church. As Sir Morton Peto, therefore, had stated, the grievance was confined to Quakers and Baptists, who refused to baptize until the person was of a mature age. But now a further grievance was alleged, and Dissenters said—"You must allow us to enjoy our common law right of burial without the limitation hitherto annexed to it. You must allow us to bury with the services of the persuasion to which we belong, and by our own minister." Now, did the Dissenters generally in the rural parishes feel this as a grievance, or was it not rather a political grievance? In his opinion, it came from above, and not from below. It was forced upon the country Nonconformists; the Nonconformists did not force it upon the House as a rule. If it were not so, why were the Dissenters so ready to be married in the Church? Another argument pressed by the right hon. Gentleman should not be lost sight of. If the expense of providing a cemetery would be so great as to amount to a bar against the burial of Dissenters, it became material to inquire how many burial-grounds there were in England with unconsecrated ground of which Nonconformists might avail themselves if they chose to do so. He believed it would be found that the number was material; and, if so, the grievance was not so great as it had been represented. There was a third point which ought to be taken into consideration. The cemeteries in England and Wales were increasing in number almost daily. Their number was at present 531, and as a rule they were situated close to the most populous places in the country. Therefore we ought to compare, not the number of cemeteries with the number of parishes, but the number of people for whose interment the cemeteries provided accommodation on the one hand, with the country Nonconformists who required accommodation on the other. Another point ought also to be considered in estimating the magnitude of the grievance which at present existed. Comparing the churchyard accommodation as it existed at present with what it was 50 years ago it would be found that the "life" of churchyards, if he might use the term, was so small that if the Dissenters would only wait for a few years their grievances would practically disappear, as it would become necessary, in consequence of the increase of the population, to provide cemeteries all over the country. There was no Return as to the "life" of existing churchyards; but the Return of the number of churchyards, cemeteries, and other burial-grounds gave some clue to the necessity for fresh accommodation. The first table enumerated all parishes in England and Wales in which any new portion of ground had been consecrated as a churchyard during the last 10 years. In every diocese there had been a vast number of additions to existing churchyards, or fresh churchyards altogether. If this number were multiplied by 5 it would be found that in the course of the next 50 years —remembering, also, that the population was annually increasing—the present grievance would practically have vanished. He had shown that the grievance was at all events a small one; that it applied only to country districts; that it was being rapidly done away with; and that in consequence of the provision of cemeteries it would in a few years practically disappear altogether. The grievance, then, being a minimum, the remedy proposed for it was a maximum. The hon. and learned Gentleman who introduced the Bill (Mr. Osborne Morgan) spoke of it as a very simple and small matter to throw open the churchyards to the Nonconformists, and to allow them to perform their services there; but he (Mr. Cross) called it a very large matter—far too large for the minimum amount of grievance. He could have understood the hon. and learned Gentleman saying that all burial grounds of all kinds should be open to everybody, for that was an intelligible proposition; but why the burial grounds of the Church of England should be thrown open to everybody, while the burial grounds of every other denomination remained closed, he certainly could not understand. One clause of the Bill provided that certain burial grounds might be reserved for members of the Church of England; but this provision would be practically a dead letter, as it required that the person who gave the land must state in writing that it should be devoted to the interment of members of the Church of England only. This proviso would render the clause inoperative, because in file vast majority of eases, the land was subscribed for by a number of people, and not given by one individual. He therefore maintained that the remedy proposed by the Bill afforded no reciprocity, and was founded practically on no principle. An able writer, treating on the subject in the year 1861, remarked that in this matter, as in all matters of difference, the conflicting parties ought to put themselves into one another's position, and proceeded to ask how Dissenters would regard a law which placed their burial-grounds at the mercy of any clergyman who chose to improve the occasion of a funeral by elaborate ceremonies, with symbolical ornaments and rites, or who vigorously protested against those who dissented from the Established Church. This argument was put forward in an article in The Times on the debate on Sir Morton Peto's Motion, and he did not think that great paper, ably written as it was, ever put the matter better and more clearly before the country than it did then. His second objection to the Bill was that its promoters made the remedy too large, infringing there by the consciences of those who differed from them. Hon. Gentlemen opposite might not be able to understand why the clergy of the Church of England objected to the proposal; but it could not be denied that they did object to it. It was the one point of all others on which the vast majority of the clergy of the Church of England entertained the strongest feeling. In redressing a grievance which was so simple, and which could be redressed in a totally different manner care should be taken not to infringe on the rights and consciences of other people. It was all very well to say they must settle this question by itself, and not go to other questions which might follow it; but he wished to have some distinction raised between the churchyard and the Church. To his mind the right of the Nonconformist to the churchyard was the same as the right of he Nonconformist to the Church; he could see no difference in principle, law, or equity; and in that view the Nonconformists might say, when this Bill was passed—"According to our rites and ceremonies we must not only read some portion of the service at the grave, but some part of it most be read in the Church also." It was all very well to say that nothing would be used but sermons and selections from Scripture; but it was difficult to define a prayer, and there would be very little difference among some Nonconformists between a prayer and sermon, so far as the breadth of the subjects on which they touched was concerned. There was another point that he wished tom refer to. A great number of those who supported this Bill did so not because they cared one straw for the grievance which was said to be at its base, but because they thought it would take them one step nearer to the disestablishment of the Church. That being so, Churchmen would be foolish if they did not put it before the country that they had a right to oppose this Bill, because it was put for ward avowedly as a step towards the destruction of the Church which they so much loved and revered. A great deal had been said about the case of Ireland; but hon. Gentlemen who spoke of Ireland had not brought forward the full case of that country. The peculiar circumstances in which the Irish were placed by the Act of George IV. must be borne in mind. By the Act of 9 Will. III. stringent penalties were imposed on all persons who continued to bury in the old grounds belonging to the suppressed monasteries throughout Ireland; but though those penalties were very sever, they were never in any single instance put in force, and such burials continued to be performed. Indeed, the Act was so perpetually broken that it was thought right to repeal it, and accordingly it was repealed by the 5th Geo. IV in 1824. But at that time another practice had sprung up in Ireland, which went on at the same time, and which was perfectly illegal, but which no one took any notice of at all. Then Roman Catholic people of Ireland not only buried in the grounds referred to in the Act of William III., but they also buried constantly in the grounds belonging to the Church of Ireland without any service at all—a thing which they had not the smallest right to do, but from which no inconvenience arose, as no notice was taken of it. The Roman Catholic service was read in the chapel, or at the house of the deceased, and then the body was brought to the churchyard and there interred without any further service. The clergymen of the Established Church wisely abstained from interfering, and consequently peace and harmony prevailed. Under the provisions of the Act 5 Geo. IV. these burials were legally allowed with the permission of the parish clergy. The Roman Catholics and Presbyterians, however, still continued to read their services at home; and it was not till a later period, when certain clergymen had refused their consent to burials in the churchyards, that a compulsory Act was passed. Why could not the English Nonconformists be content with a system which had satisfied the Irish Catholics so long—for the Church of England, he might observe, had always professed its willingness to forego reading her service over Nonconformists? If hon. Members would turn to the speech which he de- livered in that House in 1870, they would see that neither he nor those who shared his opinions had any desire to legalize burials without any religious service, or to put a Dissenter to the choice of "being buried like a Churchman or buried like a dog;" for referring to the Bill introduced by Sir Morton Peto in 1863, he objected that The first clause of the Bill made it imperative that a clergyman should allow a Dissenter to be buried in the churchyard without any service being read over him. To that proposal, he said, he had a great objection, because he should be sorry to see the law positively recognizing interment without any service."—[3 Hansard, cc. 527.] He assumed that a religious service would be performed in the Dissenting chapel before the body of a Nonconformist was conveyed to the churchyard for interment. He would now suggest another remedy for the evil complained of. It was to provide that the bodies of Nonconformists might be buried in churchyards if it were shown that a religious service had been read over them elsewhere. In regard to other cases he would suggest the immediate introduction of a measure to provide cemeteries all over the country. It would certainly be necessary to do so before many more years had elapsed, and it would, in his opinion, be politic not to delay taking such a course until after the feelings of all Churchmen had been irritated by the passage of the present Bill. He was thoroughly convinced that the remark of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) was true, that the battle they had now to fight was not one of Churchman against against Nonconformist, but they would find it absolutely necessary to unite their forces against the ignorance, the vice, and the infidelity which were gradually overspreading the country.


said, he had understood that before he entered the House that his hon. and learned Friend who introduced the Bill (Mr. Osborne Morgan) had read a statement which contained a gross exaggeration, and was calculated to produce a false impression in reference to the clergyman of the parish of Leigh, near Tonbridge. He gave a portion of land to be added to the churchyard of the living, on the clear understanding that it was to be subject to the law and custom of the churchyard of the parish, and therefore that it was not intended to make any claim in reference to Dissenting burials. He did say, in conversation with his friend and neighbour, Mr. May, the rector, that he should be very glad if some arrangement could be made under which they might be laid side by side in that burial ground, feeling that, however strong might be their convictions with regard to the great controversies of the day, they would lie very quietly together when they were interred. The rev. gentleman was, of course, unable to respond to the wish thus expressed; but he expressed his regret that any law should interfere with such an arrangement. Then, again, to allege that the sympathy of the entire parish, with the exception of the clergyman, was excited on behalf of the man who had been killed in the railway accident was the grossest mistake, and to assert that the clergyman had denied the man burial in the parish church was equally untrue. The fact was that burial was not sought on his behalf in the parish church at all. The friends of the deceased wished that there should be a Nonconformist service, and application was made to him (Mr. Morley) for consent that the burial should be performed in the unconsecrated piece of ground adjoining the parish churchyard, and he replied that it could not be done without Mr. May's consent. That consent was, however, readily given, and the matter ended there. As to the statement that it was necessary to enter that piece of ground through his own property, that was done with his consent, and the clergyman had nothing to do with it. It was, he thought, due, not only to himself, but to his friend and neighbour that he should make this statement. It was, however, desirable that some such arrangement as that contemplated by the Bill should be made, as, unless it were, the bodies of Nonconformists dying in the village to which he referred would have to be carried a distance of four miles for burial. There were two points in this Bill which he thought might lead to a satisfactory solution of the question. The first was that every churchyard was excluded which had been created within 50 years, and the second was that the nature of the services performed by Nonconformists would be in strict conformity with the Amendment proposed by the hon. Mem- ber for West Kent (Mr. J. G. Talbot)—namely, confined to prayer, the reading of Scripture, and the singing of a hymn. He had himself been present at the funerals of many Nonconformists, and he had never observed, where they were conducted by clergymen, more solemnity, or anything that was more in accordance with the character of the service, and the event which had led to it than was practised in connection with Nonconformist funerals. He agreed with the hon. Member for South-west Lancashire (Mr. Cross) that there existed more feeling on this subject among the clergy of the Church of England than among the laity. He could testify that many laymen of the Church with whom he had come in contact had expressed a sincere desire that an end should be put to this controversy. There were, he was persuaded, many hon. Members opposite who were of that opinion also, and who believed with him that an arrangement might be made by which facilities would be afforded for the burial of Nonconformists in districts where they were placed at great and serious inconvenience in consequence of the distance to which their dead had to be conveyed for burial. Such an arrangement should, of course, guard against the intrusion of anything which would needlessly offend the feelings—with which he strongly sympathized —of Churchmen on the subject; but, until it was made, the grievance would remain to Nonconformists, and a root of bitterness be allowed to continue, which it was desirable should be plucked up.


desired, as the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Morley) had just done, to correct a misrepresentation—of course an unintentional one—made by the hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire (Mr. Osborne Morgan). He had no wish to enter into the theological part of the question before the House; but it was his duty to clear the character of a person who had been unjustly attacked from imputations which had been made upon it. He had before him the speech delivered by the hon. and learned Member on the 23rd of March, 1870, in which he asserted that at the funeral of the Rev. Henry Rees—one of the brightest ornaments of the Welsh Calvinistic community—the rector of the parish in which his friends desired to bury him "stood upon his strict rights," and confined the service to the singing of a hymn. He could state upon reliable authority that the clergyman in question had not stood upon his strict rights. Had he done so, the Rev. Mr. Rees, not having been a parishioner, could not have been buried in the parish churchyard at all; as, indeed, he could not even had the present Bill passed into law. And he might add that some time before the death of Mr. Rees the vestry of the parish had, in consequence of the crowded state of the churchyard, passed a resolution to the effect that the interment of a stranger should not be permitted, and yet the Rev. Mr. Rees, although not a parishioner, was allowed to be buried there. He quite concurred in what had been stated by the hon. and learned Member as to Mr. Rees's character, and he might inform him that, when attending the funeral of the Rev. Mr. Jones at Carnarvon, Mr. Rees, on being requested to make an address, said he would not mar the effect of the beautiful service they had just heard by adding one word of his own. And, again, when attending the funeral of another clergyman in the year 1867, Mr. Rees refused to comply with a similar request, but, on being pressed, said a few words eulogistic in the highest terms of the funeral service of the Church of England. Professor Tyndall, referring a year or two ago in a lecture at the Royal Institution to a theory which he generally approved, but which he thought had been carried rather too far, said— A man of strong imagination occasionally takes a flight beyond the facts, but without this dynamic heat of heart the stolid inertia of the free-born Briton cannot be overcome; and as long as the heat is employed to warm up the subject without singeing it overmuch—as long as the enthusiast can overcome its mistakes by unequivocal examples of success, so long am I disposed to give it a fair field to work on. Now, the hon. and learned Member in charge of the Bill had apparently wished to warm up his subject by the personal matters which he had introduced, but he had not hit the happy medium of warming without singeing. Much pain was given to a clergyman who had endeavoured to do a kind act by being held up to odium for it. The "Church of England service" was a somewhat fallacious term, for nobody could tell from the service alone to what denomination the deceased had belonged, such was its comprehensive nature. Living among Dissenters, he was anxious to redress every real grievance; but he deprecated the inflammatory statements which had been made; and with regard to the passion for equality on which the Bill was to some extent based, he would quote the remark of Jeremy Bentham, the great apostle of Philosophic Liberalism, that it had its root, not in the benevolent affections, but in the selfish, or, in the selfish combined with the malevolent.


supported the Bill because he believed it was calculated to meet a great requirement by allowing Churchmen and Dissenters to meet together, where their divergence before, whether great or small, had led to considerable bitterness and animosity. He had no sympathy with the ulterior object of disestablishment attributed to some of the advocates of the Bill. He had received a letter from one of his constituents, which he had not had time to verify, stating that his town had been scandalized by the refusal of burial rites for a Nonconformist unbaptized youth, a service being consequently performed in the road, with the coffin placed on two chairs. Those Dissenters with whom the absence of baptism was an integral part of their creed clearly ought not to be put in the same category with suicides. This was not a political question at all —it was purely a matter of grievance to Nonconformists, and as such he should support the present Bill.


said, he regretted that the alterations which had been made in the Bill since last Session were not sufficient to enable him to support it, although he felt strongly the desirability of putting an end to this longstanding controversy. But every overture made from that side of the House towards meeting the difficulty had been contemptuously rejected; and there was abundant evidence to show that the Nonconformists valued this Bill only because it tended to establish the principle, which he hoped would never be sanctioned, that Church property was to be enjoyed equally by all the religious bodies of the country. That was not an ancient right; and it was not sought to remove the conditions upon which that right was founded. His hope of the settlement of this question had been greatly chilled by the course which had been adopted by the hon. Member for Bristol (Mr. Morley). The hon. Member, who represented a large amount of Nonconformist opinion, in 1871, when seconding the Address to the Throne, said— University Tests once abolished, and a fair Burials Bill agreed to, the House will have disposed of the two last of a number of measures, which used to be spoken of as 'Dissenters' grievances.'"—[3 Hansard, cciv. 68.] But the measure for the abolition of University Tests having become law, and a Burials Bill having passed a second reading by a large majority, and appearing to be in a fair way of being passed, the hon. Member had voted in favour of the Motion of the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Miall) for the disestablishment and disendowment of the Church of England. Those who had expected much from the conciliatory language formerly used by the hon. Member were greatly disappointed, and had now no inducement to give up what they regarded as a great principle. The hon. Member for Bradford had himself declared that he approved this Bill, not for its own value, but because it dealt with a branch of a still greater question. Under these circumstances, members of the Church of England could not help feeling that when they had yielded on the subject of churchyards they would immediately be called upon to defend the churches. Many persons formerly in favour of this Bill were now beginning to discover that they had not rightly appreciated the true bearing of the subject. The right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies, in a speech at the Diocesan Conference of his own diocese, explained that he lead voted for this Bill under a misapprehension, without due consideration of the subject; and doubtless many others, on realizing the object of the Bill, would hesitate to give it support. He trusted that in the course of this debate the right hon. Gentleman would express in that House the same opinion he lead expressed in the country. Remarks having been made with regard to the number of Petitions for and against the measure, he wished to observe that while the Petitions against the Bill might have been obtained in overwhelming numbers in the rural districts, where the want of a Dissenters' burial ground must be most felt, those in its favour had all come from large towns, where there were large cemeteries in the neighbourhood; from Wales, where there were ample graveyards attached to the chapels; or from Ireland, where the churchyard had been practically free for years, and where there was no Established Church. When hon. Members opposite said that the fact that these funeral services would be conducted by a Dissenting minister was a sufficient security for the character of the service, they forgot that these services would not be confined to the minister of a denomination. There were many religious bodies who had no recognized minister. The service must, therefore, be left open to be performed by a member of any registered place of worship, and no one could define who was or was not a member of a registered place of worship. It was impossible, therefore, that the House could have any security for the solemn and religious character of the service, and the probability was that if the Bill passed with the securities at present contained in it the House would be compelled next Session to agree to a Bill for amending the Act, and replacing these so-called securities by others more efficient. It would be impossible to have a ritual revised and approved by every religious denomination, nor was there any security with regard to the prayers to be used at the grave side. The fact was, there could not be two masters of the churchyard at the same time. He should be glad to see an amicable settlement of the question; but he hoped the House would never do what was suggested in the Bill, and make every churchyard and every church "the temple of all gods."


said, although he had on several occasions addressed the House on this Bill, and supported its second reading, he was anxious to say a few words again upon the subject. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) in bringing forward the Motion of which he had given so long a Notice for the rejection of the present Bill, said he did not do so specially in a party sense, and he was happy to bear testimony to the moderation of his tone. He congratulated the House upon the fact, because up to this time there had been on the part of the hon. Gentlemen opposite—and he spoke with some authority, having served on two Special Committees on Bills similar to the one before the House—a very great desire, so far as their principles allowed, to meet the wishes of those who were opposed to them in this matter. They had admitted the existence of grievances, and had made many propositions for their removal, as well as suggestions tending to show how that which was unpalatable to them might be made more palatable; and the friends of the Bill had on more than one occasion availed themselves of the suggestions thus made. The present debate had been hitherto conducted in the same spirit, and he trusted he should do nothing to disturb the good temper with which the House had approached the subject. If he had supported this Bill, which, in the opinion of many, made a great inroad upon the rights of the Established Church, and outraged the cherished ideas of persons whose opinions were worthy of all respect, it was because he was satisfied of the reality of the alleged grievances. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cross), in his very temperate and able speech, had denied the reality of any grievances on the part of the Dissenters. Their first I grievance was that on all occasions, when they used the parish burial-ground the funeral service of the Church must necessarily be performed over the person buried. He understood that there existed a readiness on the part of hon. Members opposite to alter the law in this respect, and to enable those who objected to the funeral service of the Church to inter their dead in the churchyard without any service at all. The next grievance, and that which had made itself most felt, was the law which prohibited the clergymen of the Church of England from performing the funeral service over the bodies of unbaptized persons. It was alleged that this was no real grievance, because the same law applied both to Churchmen and Dissenters. That was perfectly true; but the circumstances of the two cases were very different. In the case of members of the Church of England the service was never refused, except in the instance of children who, dying almost immediately after birth, had not been baptized. But with respect to Baptists, who were a numerous sect in this country, the case was entirely different. In their case baptism was not performed until a person had arrived at an adult age, the act being considered one of great religious solemnity and importance. The cases were, therefore, much more numerous where the funeral service had been refused to Dissenters than to Churchmen. He did not understand that hon. Gentlemen opposite supported that state of things. They might object to the sweeping remedy now proposed which got rid of it; but he was as certain as that he stood there that a temperate measure making some alteration in this respect would be supported by the great majority of hon. Gentlemen opposite. He was aware of the conciliatory disposition of Churchmen on this subject, because he had read the Report of the Ritual Commissioners upon the existing hardship of refusing to read the service over unbaptized persons. A proposal was made by the Bishop of Winchester and carried that an alteration should be made in the Ritual, and that a service different in some respects, but sufficient, should be adopted, which should carry with it the consolations of hope and meet the religious feelings of those who stood around the grave. Finding that to be the temper of the members of the Church of England it was greatly to be regretted that no legislative effect had hitherto been given to the desire of those who represented the Church with respect to the funeral service over unbaptized persons. The experience of the two past Sessions showed how difficult it was to deal with questions affecting the Ritual and order of the Church as established by law; but had it been possible to deal with these cases, the hardships put forward by his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Osborne Morgan)—and he was sorry to say not always on the best authority—would have been removed. There remained a third grievance, and the question was whether it was a real grievance. That grievance was that the funeral services could not be performed in parochial churchyards over the graves of Nonconformists by persons of their own religious persuasion. It was said by the opponents of the Bill that Dissenters did not usually object to a clergyman of the Church of England performing the service, and indeed often preferred it. It was a fact that a large number of Dissenters were married in the Church of England, and undoubtedly where the clergyman was popular in his parish, relations of Nonconformists often desired that the funeral service should be read by him; but in other instances clergymen of a controversial disposition were disliked by the Nonconformists, who must in many cases wish the service to be performed by members of their own communion. He put it to hon. Gentlemen opposite whether they would be satisfied, when rendering the last solemn rights to those dear to them, if the service was performed by persons of a different persuasion from their own. He asked them to realize the position of a Dissenter, attached to his own place of worship, and allied by long spiritual intercourse to the minister of his denomination, and say whether it would not be a grievance that the last rites should be rendered to such a man by a minister of a different communion. Under such circumstances, would they not feel a grievance? It was obvious that the feelings of Dissenters must often be hurt by the performance of the service by a minister belonging to a different body. It had been said that cases rarely happened in which the provisions of the Bill in this respect would be required. As to the statistics which had been quoted, it had been remarked that public cemeteries were generally found in very populous neighbourhoods, and that a comparison between the number of parishes and that of cemeteries was therefore no fair criterion of the extent of the grievance. It should also be remembered that a single cemetery often served for a number of parishes, perhaps eight or ten, forming one town. On the other hand, it had been sought to mitigate the hardship by a reference to the large number of cemeteries attached to Nonconformist chapels. Many of these cemeteries, however, were very small, and they were not intended for the reception of Nonconformists generally, but only for those belonging to the special body to whose chapels they were attached. Now, many places, especially in Wales, and probably also populous parishes in the manufacturing districts of England contained many such exclusive cemeteries, and in the absence of a public cemetery the Nonconformist would desire to be buried in the parish churchyard, not in the cemetery attached to the chapel of some Dissenting denomination to which he did not belong. After making every deduction, the cases must be numerous in which there existed only the parish churchyard. The hon. Member for South-West Lancashire (Mr. Cross) had urged that with an increasing population, and with the short life of churchyards, new cemeteries must soon be provided, so that the grievance would disappear. In a vast number of parishes, however, especially those in which the Bill would operate, this was not the case. During the last three decades the population of the agricultural districts had tended to diminish, and no further provision was likely to be necessary. In many cases, too, the additional ground would be granted to the parish churchyards by private donors, and no public cemetery would be provided. Having shown the grievances which existed, he would now consider the objections that had been urged against this Bill. It was feared that disorders might occur; but the hon. and learned Gentleman who introduced the Bill (Mr. Osborne Morgan) had done all in his power to prevent them. He had introduced considerable Amendments into his Bill, and there was clearly much less room for apprehension on this head. One would suppose that upon this point the case of Ireland would be very conclusive. The hon. Member for South-West Lancashire had correctly related the earlier portion of Irish legislation; but he apparently supposed that, though Roman Catholics and Presbyterians had been entitled to burial in churchyards, no services had been performed by ministers of those denominations. Why, however, was the Act of 1868 necessary, which deprived clergymen of the power of refusing to allow such services? Clergymen had been found in Ireland refusing permission in cases where it ought to have been granted, and Parliament accordingly granted Ireland a measure almost identical with this Bill.


explained that he had stated that in consequence of some clergyman foolishly not giving the permission allowed by the Act of George IV., another Act was passed, and he was perfectly accurate in his account.


remarked that it was hardly to be supposed that the existence of a single grievance would have enabled his right hon. Friend the Postmaster General to pass a measure like that in question. A special case might have acquired prominence, but it could not be supposed that Parliament would have sanctioned so large a principle, the demand for the extension of which to England must have been foreseen, had not many instances of the kind been adduced. But the main argument after all—for it was admitted that the service might be performed without disorder and without infringing on the solemnity of the spot—was, that the real danger consisted of the consequences which might ensue from the passing of the Bill. The main objection that had been urged against the Bill was that it was another step towards disestablishing the Church, and the House was asked on this ground to resist a measure which it would otherwise accept. Now, he would remind hon. Gentlemen opposite how often that argument had been employed The hon. Member for South-West Lancashire, who had brought it forward, would be the last man to desire the exclusion of Dissenters from corporations, yet the repeal of the Test and Corporation Act was strenuously resisted as involving the overthrow of the Church of England. Whenever, indeed, any measure affecting the supposed interests of the Church, but really tending to divert much hostility gathering against her, had been proposed, it had always encountered opposition on that ground. The House ought to consider whether the Bill was a just one; and as to the apprehended consequence, no inconsiderable number of Members supporting it were just as opposed as hon. Gentlemen opposite, to disestablishment. The right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) had appealed to both sides of the House to unite against the common enemy, the promoters of infidelity. He (Mr. Bruce) would make a similar appeal on different grounds from those on which the right hon. Gentleman had based his appeal. He (Mr. Bruce) could not but remember that the Church of England lost a great opportunity of conciliation at the time of the Restoration. If the Church of England had then listened to the voice of Lord Falkland, Hales, and Chilling worth, and of leading Protestant champions, as much attached to her as any, many of the evils which had since flowed from a system of exclusion would have been avoided. The spirit of comprehension which animated those men led them to desire liberty on small points for the sake of unity on important points. The Church of England would be far more potent in a league with fellow-Christians against ignorance and infidelity than by keeping up barriers which excited hos- tility and distrust, and invested it with an invidious character. For the reasons he had given he should support the second reading of the Bill.


Sir, I will not detain the House many moments, because I feel after the interest which has been excited in this Bill and the way in which this debate has been conducted, that it would be most unsatisfactory if we were not able to arrive at a decision to-day. I should not have risen had it not been that I wished to say a few words with reference to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman to which we have just listened. The right hon. Gentleman has said, with very great truth, that setting aside a few expressions which perhaps had been rather the production of heated imagination than anything else, the tone and tenor of this debate have been fair and candid, and that those who have taken part in it have shown a desire to meet the difficulty which has been raised in a spirit of temperate and moderate liberality. The right hon. Gentleman has certainly shown us that he, at all events, has been actuated by this spirit in his remarks, for he has told us very candidly that of the grievances of which he has spoken, two, at all events, are easily to be disposed of, while the third really does not amount to very much. With regard to the first of those grievances, I think the right hon. Gentleman said there was—as there certainly is—a general concurrence of opinion that it would be both desirable and possible to get rid of any difficulty from the supposed necessity of reading the Service of the Church of England over the body of every person buried in the churchyard. I believe all persons agree that from that necessity clergymen ought to be relieved. As to the second point, with regard to unbaptized persons, the right hon. Gentleman says very freely that there is a disposition, as has been manifested by the Report of the Ritual Commission, to endeavour to meet that difficulty; but he failed to point out that this Bill does not meet it at all. The sensational grievance which was put forward with so much energy by the hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire (Mr. Osborne Morgan), is not at all touched by the provisions of this Bill, and if we are to expect a remedy in any other direction than that of the common sense and good feeling of the clergy we must look for it apart from this Bill. Therefore to bring that forward as a reason for supporting the measure appears to me to be a very inconclusive mode of reasoning. Then we come to the third grievance, that Nonconformists cannot have the Funeral Service read over their graves by those with whom they have worshipped in their lives. I think the right hon. Gentleman showed that although such a grievance may exist to a limited degree, it is one which has not very wide extent and will probably die out, for there is a large number of cases in which no objection would be made to the service of the Church being read over a Dissenter, and there are increasing facilities for the burial of Nonconformists in the churchyards or cemeteries where no such difficulty would occur. Therefore, the grievance in the hands of the right hon. Gentleman has already been reduced almost to a minimum. Nobody denies that there is a possible grievance in particular cases, and we cannot fail to see that it is desirable to remedy any grievance as far as practicable; but it is clear that the grievances have been exceedingly exaggerated and that the most important of them are not touched by this Bill. If that is the case, what are the objections to the passing of the Bill? The right hon. Gentleman says we must set aside the question of disorder. I do not know that it is quite reasonable to do so, for we are not certain there will be no inconvenience op that account, but we do not lay stress upon it. With regard to the latter point, however, mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman, undoubtedly he does touch the real grievance of the case. The difficulty in dealing with this case is not so much what is in this Bill as what lies behind it. There can be no doubt that the question which alarms a large proportion of the Churchmen of this country is not what they see in the Bill itself as what they believe it must lead to. As my right hon. Friend (Mr. Disraeli) very plainly and powerfully put the matter in the beginning of this debate—the question is—how are you going to draw the distinction between the Church and the churchyard? How are you going to admit, as a matter of right, the Nonconformists into the churchyard and exclude them from the church? How, in fact, are you going to maintain the principle of a National Church, if you make this considerable breach in the system? We are told that this sort of argument has been raised with regard to other measures; but I am not quite sure that in some cases it has not been a sound argument, and that the success of similar measures has not induced further attack. But, putting that aside, let us consider the question as it has been treated by the advocates of this measure. Admitting that the grievance is practically a very small one, and that the cases brought forward and magnified may be dealt with by good sense rather than by an alteration of the law, how are we to explain the very great heat and earnestness with which this measure is pressed? Why, we know that those who are pressing it are doing so, not to get relief for a few persons, but to obtain for the Nonconformist Body generally, a position of what they call Religious Equality in this matter. If this was spoken of as a case of intolerance, I suppose its antithesis would be toleration; but if anybody got up on this side and said—"We are ready to extend toleration to the Nonconformists," with what sort of a reception would he meet? The great body of Nonconformists in this House, and out of it, hold language for which I respect them; but it shows what their scheme is, for they scout the idea of toleration; and say that they want to be put on an equal footing with Churchmen in respect of their use of what they call the National Churches and National Churchyards. I would remind hon. Gentlemen of the tone and tenor of the resolutions passed with regard to this particular Bill by the great Conference of Nonconformists held at the beginning of last year. One distinguished member of that Conference said Nonconformists would accept no compromise of their cherished principles and undoubted rights, and declared that the disestablishment of the Irish Church was an anomaly unless it were followed by the "disestablishment of the Church of England and Wales." Can you be surprised, after such plain speaking on the part of those from whom this movement proceeds, if we decline to look at your Bill as a mere attempt to grapple with an isolated grievance, and ask whether this is not a step in a direction which you have a perfect right to invite us to take, but which we are equally bound to refuse? If you say—"Give up the outwork, which is untenable, for the sake of preserving the citadel," we have a right to reply—"Knowing that you aim at the citadel we refuse to give you admission into the outwork." I am reluctant to trespass upon the time of the House, because I feel the importance of our dividing to-day; but I could not help saying this much, in order that there may be no mistake about the issue on which we are going to divide. This is not a question of intolerance, or of the grievance of particular individuals, or of whether a clergyman has acted in an unfeeling and unkind manner; but of whether we are to maintain the position in which we stand with regard to the National Church, and to the privileges and rights of Churchmen.


said, he had in his hand a Petition from Dissenters and others, praying the House to reject the Bill. These were men who had lived in the same parish for centuries [Laughter.] Well, they were men whose families had lived in the parish for centuries, and their honoured dead lay in the parish churchyard.— Beneath those rugged elms, The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. He did not wish to keep the Dissenters out of the churchyards, but on the contrary, agreed with the clergyman of whom the story was told the other day, that when asked whether he would bury a Dissenter in his parish, replied —"Bless you, I should like to bury them all." He wanted to know how many on the Treasury Bench, which contained some very religious men, were going to vote? He knew the Prime Minister was; but was the right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster General? A rumour was afloat in the Lobby the other day that the right hon. Gentleman wanted to speak on the Irish University Bill, but would not be allowed. ["Question"] The question was how the right hon. Gentleman wanted to vote. How was that hon. Gentleman going to vote who—the wit of the House—(Mr. Osborne) the other day said looked like a Nonconformist? And how would the Under Secretary for the Colonies give his vote, because he had said the other day that he had re-considered the Bill, and did not intend to vote for it. He supposed all the rank and file of the Liberal party intended to support the Bill; but he would venture to give them Punch's advice, and say, in a friendly way—"Don't." He had come up from the country that morning, and he could tell the Liberal party this, that if they supported this Bill the Liberal Churchmen would oppose them at the next Election. He wanted to say one word on behalf of the Church. He entirely denied the truth of the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman who had moved the second reading of the Bill (Mr. Osborne Morgan), when he said that the Broad Church clergy liked it. He never met a clergyman who did like it. At the same time, he admitted that something should be done. He never met a clergyman who refused to allow him to vote for the Bill that passed in "another place." They said something must be done, and they were willing to accede to silent burying. He knew a man of the highest character and intellect who said that if the Bill was passed, the cross he should have to bear would be too heavy for him. [Laughter.] He did not see what there was to laugh at in that. Well, this clergyman said he should have to resign his living and leave the Church. That was the opinion of a very honest rural dean. The question of cemeteries had been raised. He knew something about cemeteries. He had sat next to an hon. and Liberal Member on the Thanksgiving Day who had said to him—"What dogs in the manger those Dissenters are. When we give them cemeteries they won't use them. My respected father was one of the proprietors of Norwood Cemetery, and we have always had good dividends out of it. When Bishop Sumner consecrated it the Dissenters claimed a piece of ground, and we gave it up to them. They have not buried more than six people there, and yet, although we can't purchase any more land, they refuse to let us have theirs at any price, and the consequence is the whole place will be done for in 10 years." Who were the authors of this Bill? Not the Nonconformist Body generally. He would tell the House. It emanated from The Nonconformist newspaper, and was drawn up by the hon. and learned Gentleman who moved the second reading, by the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Miall), and the printer's devil. That poor devil had had a hard time of it lately in assisting to get up Petitions in favour of this Bill. Why, the only man whose signature he did not see to the Petition he held in his hand was a Dissenter in his parish who took in The Nonconformist. He asked the House to reject the Bill. He did not believe hon. Gentlemen opposite knew the opinions of their constituents on it. Let them recollect that there would have to be a General Election between this time and the 10th of December, 1875, and this Division List would be carefully scanned by Liberal Churchmen with a view to see how their representatives gave their votes.


in reply, referred to a matter of which notice had been taken by preceding speakers, and regretted that he had been misled by a paragraph in a newspaper which he had not seen contradicted, to make a statement which was incorrect. The right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) had objected to the Bill on this ground, among others, that an undue advantage was given by it to Dissenters over Churchmen. But such an advantage had never been intended by him, and was entirely owing to the suggestion of the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. B. Hope) and the hon. Member for Boston (Mr. Collins). What the Nonconformists said then and now was that as long as Churchmen retained the exclusive right to the churchyard, so long they were bound to pay for it. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Devonshire (Sir Stafford Northcote) argued that if the House passed the Bill they would make such a breach in the walls that the Church itself would be injured. All he would say to that was this, that the Church of England had good reason to pray to be delivered from such championship.


I should not have troubled the House but for an allusion of the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Mover of the Bill, directly and personally to myself. He said that I and the members of the Orange Societies would be horrified at the idea of being buried by a Roman Catholic priest, and the hon. and learned Gentleman used this as an illustration of the horror, which a Baptist or a Wesleyan must feel at the idea of being buried by a clergyman of the Church of England. I represent many Wesleyans. I know many Baptists. I represent many Wesleyans and many Baptists; and I know that a great number of them feel no horror at the idea of being buried by clergymen of the Church of England. I cannot answer for what might be the feelings of the Orangemen in the case supposed by the hon. and learned Member; but I can answer for myself. I have no wish to be buried before my time in due course of nature; but I certainly had much rather be buried by a Roman Catholic priest than be baptised by a Roman Catholic priest; and it appears to me from the association in which the hon. and learned Member finds himself from the character of those whom I see surrounding the hon. and learned Gentleman, that he is much more likely to be baptised by a Roman Catholic priest than I am. I have observed the anxiety which the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Serjeant Sherlock) who sits next to the hon. and learned Member has manifested for the success of this Bill. He is a Roman Catholic. There has been an unusual activity among the Roman Catholic members from Ireland to-day, and this makes me imagine that they contribute largely to the impetus brought to bear in support of measures of this kind, an impetus which Her Majesty's Government seem unable to control; I believe that this impetus, although the front of the battle is held by a Churchman, nominally representing Dissenters, is chiefly attributable to the exertions of the Roman Catholic Members of the House. The right of using the churchyard is held, not only by the clergy, but by the laity of the Church of England, in trust for the common use of all the inhabitants of each parish, who may choose to avail themselves of it. This property is identified as belonging to the Church of England by the services, which are to be performed therein. The Church of England can only be recognized, whether in her personnel or in her property, by her services. These services are enacted by law, and form part of the title of the Church to her property. I rejoice that the services of the Church are regulated by statute; I rejoice that they exist by law, since this fact constitutes the security to us, the laity, that the Church shall be kept tolerant. The House has before it a proposal to invade this property, to change its conditions, to alter, to abrogate the title under which it is held. Why? Is the answer to be simply—Because it is held by law? Take another case. As the House is aware, there are numerous Conventual and Monastic Institutions growing up in this country, and holding property in defiance of the law. Everyone knows that monasteries are forbidden by the laws of this country, and it was asserted by Roman Catholic witnesses, who were examined before the Select Committee of this House in 1870, that the property held by convents is likewise held contrary to law; and yet this House shrinks from every inquiry into the existence of this property, far more from dealing with it in any way, while in cases of property held in accordance with the law the House has not scrupled to invade the title, by which it is held, and change its appropriation. This is not a solitary instance, this case of the Church of England. There are the Endowed Schools. You have broken up the title of every one of them; so with railway property. There is a Bill before the House to break up the title to railway property. How far, how much farther, I ask is the Liberal majority of this House about to proceed in this course? This course of disturbing every title, which has a legal sanction, whilst the House abstains from even inquiring into the possession of property, which is notoriously held contrary to law. I wish to put that matter as simply before the House as I can; and, in doing so, I thank the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire for his able speech. I am able to confirm the statements he has made with respect to the Nonconformist burial grounds. Some years ago Sir William Jolliffe, then a Member of this House, carried an Act with respect to the Registration of Burials. I moved for Returns under that Act. The order for these Returns has, however, never been complied with fully, but imperfect Returns have been given. These Returns, however, imperfect as they are, bear out the statements of the right hon. Gentleman with regard to the number of burial grounds belonging to the Nonconformists. I am, therefore, in a position to confirm the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, when he says that this House is proceeding upon a supposed grievance, the extent of which they have no means of measuring by authentic information.


said, that as the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) had made a personal allusion to him, he wished to remark, with the utmost candour, that if he thought this was an aggressive measure aimed at the demolition of the Established Church in England he should not give it his support. When the measure of the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Miall) for the disestablishment of that institution was before the House, he voted against it. He did so in the conscientious belief that the Church of England was in an entirely different position from that formerly occupied by the Church of Ireland. The present measure, so far from being aggressive, had been studiously prepared to meet as far as possible the objections urged during the last three or four years against previous measures on the subject. In particular the 6th clause emphatically declared that no person should have a right of burial under the Bill who did not possess such a right at present. The whole question, therefore, was whether the Funeral Service was to be performed by the representative of the religion professed by the deceased person. This has been done in Ireland ever since 1824, and if the same concession were made in this country it would doubtless be attended with the same good results.


who spoke amid loud calls for a division, was understood to say that in the borough which he represented (Southwark) there were many Dissenters, but that no grievance was felt to exist which called for the enactment of this measure.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 280; Noes 217: Majority 63.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Friday.

Adair, H. E. Ayrton, rt. hon. A. S.
Adam, W. P. Aytoun, R. S.
Agar-Ellis, hn. L. G. F. Backhouse, E.
Allen, W. S. Baines, E.
Anderson, G. Baker, R. B. W.
Anstruther, Sir R. Balfour, Sir G.
Antrobus, Sir E. Barclay, A. C.
Armitstead, G. Barclay, J. W.
Bass, A. Edwards, H.
Bass, M. T. Egerton, Admiral hn. F.
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Baxter, rt. hon. W. E. Enfield, Viscount
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Beaumont, H. F. Ewing, H E. Crum-
Beaumont, S. A. Eykyn, R.
Beaumont, W. B. Fawcett, H.
Biddulph, M. Finnie, W.
Blennerhassett, R. P. FitzGerald, right hon.
Blennerhassett, Sir R. Lord O. A.
Bolckow, H. W. F. Fletcher, I.
Bonham-Carter, J. Fordyce, W. D.
Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P. Forster, rt. hon. W. E.
Bowmont, Marquess of Forster, C.
Bowring, E. A. Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P.
Brand, H. R. Fortescue, hon. D. F.
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Bright, rt. hon. J. Fowler, W.
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Bristowe, S. B. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Brogden, A. Gladstone, W. H.
Brown, A. H. Glyn, hon. G. G.
Browne, G. E. Goldsmid, Sir F.
Bruce, Lord C. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Bruce, rt. hon. Lord E. Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Bruce, rt. hon. H. A. Graham, W.
Buckley, N. Grant, Colonel hon. J.
Buller, Sir E. M. Greville, hon. Captain
Bury, Viscount Greville-Nugent, hon.
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Callan, P. Grieve, J. J.
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H. Grove, T. F.
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Cartwright, W. C. Harris, J. D.
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Chadwick, D. Headlam, rt. hon. T. E.
Chambers, Sir T. Henderson, J.
Childers, rt. hon. H. Henley, Lord
Cholmeley, Captain Henry, M.
Clay, J. Herbert, hon. A. E. W.
Clifford, C. C. Herbert, H. A.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Heron, D. C.
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Cowper, hon. H. F. Hodgson, K. D.
Cowper-Temple, right Holland, S.
hon. W. Holms, J.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Horsman, rt. hon. E.
Crawford, R. W. Hoskyns, C. Wren-
Cunliffe, Sir R. A. Howard, hon. C. W. G
Dalglish, R. Howard, J.
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Delahunty, J. Illingworth, A.
Dent, J. D. James, H.
Dickinson, S. S. Jessel, Sir G.
Dilke, Sir C. W. Johnston, A.
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Dodson, rt. hon. J. G. Kensington, Lord
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Duff, M. E. G. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Duff, R. W. Knox, hon. Colonel S.
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Lambert, N. G. Ramsden, Sir J. W.
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Lawrence, W. Reed, C.
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Leatham, E. A. Richards, E. M.
Leeman, G. Roden, W. S.
Lefevre, G. J. S. Rothschild, N. M. de
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Lewis, C. E. Russell, Sir W.
Lewis, H. Rylands, P.
Lewis, J. D. St. Aubyn, Sir J.
Lloyd, Sir T. D. Samuda, J. D'A.
Locke, J. Sartoris, E. J.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Seely, C. (Lincoln)
Lush, Dr. Shaw, R.
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Lyttelton, hon. C. G. Sherlock, D.
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M'Mahon, P. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Martin, P. W. Stapleton, J.
Massey, rt. hon. W. N. Stepney, Sir J.
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Palmer, J. H. White, hon. Col. C.
Parker, C. S. White, J.
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Peel, A. W. Willyams, E. W. B.
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Potter, T. B. TELLERS.
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Price, W. E. Morgan, O.
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Ball, rt. hon. J. T. Hambro, C.
Barnett, H. Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Barrington, Viscount Hamilton, Lord G.
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Bates, E. Hardy, rt. hon. G.
Beach, Sir M. Hicks- Hardy, J.
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Bentinck, G. W. P. Henry, J. S.
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Bingham, Lord
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Bourne, Colonel Heygate, W. U.
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Broadley, W. H. H. Hodgson, W. N.
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Burrell, Sir P. Holmesdale, Viscount
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Cawley, C. E. W. A. N.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. Hope, A. J. B. B.
Chaplin, H. Hornby, E. K.
Charley, W. T. Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.
Child, Sir S. Jackson, R. W.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W. Jenkinson, Sir G. S.
Clowes, S. W. Jervis, Colonel
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Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Knightley, Sir R.
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Corbett, Colonel Laird, J.
Corrance, F. S. Langton, W. G.
Croft, Sir H. G. D. Laslett, W.
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Cubitt, G. Legh, W. J.
Damer, Capt. Dawson- Leigh, E.
Davenport, W. B. Lennox, Lord G. G.
Denison, C. B. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Dick, F. Leslie, J.
Dickson, Major A. G. Liddell, hon. H. G.
Dimsdale, R. Lindsay, hon. Col. C.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Lindsay, Col. R. L.
Dowdeswell, W. E. Lopes, Sir M.
Duncombe, hon. Col. Lowther, hon. W.
Du Pre, C. G. Lowther, J.
Dyott, Colonel R. Mahon, Viscount
Eastwick, E. B. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Egerton, Sir P. G. Manners, Lord G. J.
Egerton, hon. A. F. March, Earl of
Egerton, hon. W. Mellor, T. W.
Elliot, G. Milles, hon. G. W.
Elphinstone, Sir J.D.H. Mills, Sir C. H.
Feilden, H. M. Mitford, W. T.
Fellowes, E. Monckton, hon. G.
Fielden, J. Monckton, F.
Figgins, J. Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R.
Finch, G. H. Morgan, hon. Major
Floyer, J. Morgan, C. O.
Forester, rt. hon. Gen. Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.
Foster, W. H. Muncaster, Lord
Fowler, R. N. Neville-Grenville, R.
Galway, Viscount Newdegate, C. N.
Gilpin, Colonel Newport, Viscount
Goldney, G. Nicholson, W.
Gooch, Sir D. North, Colonel
Gore, J. R. O. Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H.
Gore, W. R. O.
Gray, Colonel Paget, R. H.
Greene, E. Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.
Gregory, G. B. Palk, Sir L.
Parker, Lieut.-Col. W. Sykes, C.
Patten, rt. hon. Col. W. Talbot, hon. Captain
Peek, H. W. Talbot, J. G.
Pell, A. Tipping, W.
Pemberton, E. L. Tollemache, Maj. W. F.
Phipps, C. P. Tomline, G.
Plunket, hon. D. R. Torr, J.
Powell, F. S. Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-
Powell, W. Turner, C.
Raikes, H. C. Turnor, E.
Read, C. S. Wallace, Sir R.
Ridley, M. W. Walpole, hon. F.
Round, J. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Royston, Viscount Walsh, hon. A.
Salt, T. Waterhouse, S.
Sclater-Booth, G. Watney, J.
Scott, Lord H. J. M. D. Welby, W. E.
Scourfield, J. H. Wells, E.
Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir Wethered, T. O.
H. J. Wharton, J. L.
Shirley, S. E. Wheelhouse, W. S. J.
Simonds, W. B. Williams, Sir F. M.
Smith, A. Wilmot, Sir H.
Smith, F. C. Wise, H. C.
Smith, R. Wyndham, hon. P.
Smith, S. G. Wynn, C. W. W.
Smith, W. H. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Stanhope, W. T. W. S. Yarmouth, Earl of
Stanley, hon. F. Yorke, J. R.
Starkie, J. P. C.
Steere, L. TELLERS.
Straight, D. Dyke, W. H.
Sturt, H. G. Winn, R.
Sturt, Lieut.-Col. N.