HC Deb 21 April 1875 vol 223 cc1363-421

Order for Second Reading read.


Mr. Speaker, I rise to invite the attention of the House to a measure which passed its second reading during the last Parliament on four different occasions by very decisive majorities, but which I fear is not likely to fare so well in the House I am now addressing. But however that may be, however foregone may be the conclusion against which I have to struggle, it will nevertheless be my duty to state as briefly as I can, the grounds on which I ask the House to give a favourable consideration to this Bill, whilst I ask at the same time that indulgence which the majority of this House rarely refuse to the advocate of a losing cause. And, Sir, I am the more desirous of making these statements, because I cannot help feeling that, notwithstanding all the discussion and debates on this question, considerable misapprehension exists in the public mind as to the nature and scope of the Bill. Only the other day I heard it described as a Bill to confer on Nonconformists the right of burial in parish churchyards. And yet it will be obvious to everyone who reads the Bill that it confers no right at all to bury in the parish churchyard, and that for the best of reasons—namely, that the parishioners possess that right to the fullest extent already. As I have more than once stated in this House, the right of interment in the parish churchyard is a civil, and not an ecclesiastical right. In other words, it is the right of the parishioner, and not the right of the Churchman. Although the fee-simple of the parish churchyard is vested in the incumbent, that incumbent can no more exclude the Nonconformist parishioner from being interred in the churchyard than he can prevent a parishioner on the same grounds from taking part in any discussion in the parish vestry, or, in a proper case, from receiving parish relief. That right is laid down, and has been confirmed in the Courts of Law. It is laid down in all the text-books, and is recognized in several Acts of Parliament; and so well-known is it as a point of law, that I do not know that it has ever been disputed here. In fact, the most effective arguments against the Bill have assumed rather than denied the proposition. Some time ago the hon. Member for North Northamptonshire (Mr. Stopford-Sackville) argued with some force against the Bill. He admitted that the parish churchyard belonged to the parish; but then he added that the churchyard belonged to the parish in the same sense as the church—that is to say, everyone using both must conform to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England. He put it in this way—the parishioner has the right of using the church for the purpose of getting married; but if he uses it for marriage, it must be according to the rites of the same Church of England; so, if he uses it for the purpose of burial, it must be according to the rites of the same Church. Therefore, if this year you throw open the parish churchyard to the ministrations of Dissenting ministers, you must next year throw open the church to the same ministrations. But before you press that argument further, let me call attention to one essential difference between the two cases. The use of the church is optional, the use of the churchyard is not optional. Take the case put by the hon. Gentleman. If a Nonconformist desires to get married, he has merely to step into the next chapel, and there he can be married with any ceremony he pleases. or if he objects to any religious ceremony, he can step into the Registrar's office, and there can be married in each case as effectually as if the ceremony had been performed in Westminster Abbey. Now, there were, in 1873, 531 public cemeteries in England in which the Legislature has required that a certain part shall be set apart for Nonconformists. Of course, Nonconformists dying in parishes provided with these cemeteries can be buried with any ceremony they please, and to that extent the two cases put by the hon. Member are analogous. But to those parishes the Bill has no application whatever. But I gather from a Return of the hon. Member for West Surrey (Mr. Cubitt), that there are now in England and Wales between 12,000 and 13,000 parishes, containing among them several millions of inhabitants, in which parishes the churchyard is the only place of interment. Any Dissenter dying in one of these parishes, unless he happens to be possessed of a private burying ground of his own, must almost as a matter of necessity be buried with the ceremonies of the Church, which, however beautiful they may seem to us, however beautiful they may be in the abstract, may be, to say the least of it, distasteful to the surviving friends who are assembled around his grave. If, on the other hand, the deceased person happens never to have been baptized, whether from neglect or conscientious scruples on the part of parents, the law requires that he should be buried without any religious ceremony whatever. Now I have previously called attention to the fact that baptism administered by any person, even by a woman, has been held as efficacious as baptism by a clergyman of the Church of England. But if a man dies without being baptized, then his body must be committed to the earth without any ceremony whatever—or to use a phrase very common in my country, more forcible than elegant—it must be buried like a dog. The hon. Member for West Kent (Mr. J. G. Talbot) has actually suggested in a Bill not now before the House this mode of interment as a solution of the whole difficulty. Of course, I cannot deal with the hon. Member's Bill, as it is not before us; but I may perhaps, in passing, be allowed to express my amazement that any three Members of this House should exhibit—I will not say so little knowledge of the feelings of Dissenters—but so little knowledge of human nature as to suppose this canine mode of interment can be accepted as a solution of the difficulty. Sometimes, the case is further aggravated by the refusal of the clergyman to accept what is called Dissenting baptism. A case of this kind occurred lately, and I was glad to hear the Home Secretary say the other night, not only that the refusal was contrary to law, but contrary also to all our ideas of humanity and Christianity. But why the interment of a baptized adult in that contumelious way should be more contrary to our notions of humanity than the burial of an unbaptized child, is what for the life of me I cannot understand. Now, does that state of the law constitute a grievance, or does it not? Sir, I cannot help thinking that if we could get rid of the unfortunate atmosphere of prejudice through which many of us are in the habit of looking at this question, we should have but little difficulty in answering that question. The desire that exists everywhere, that a relative or friend should be committed to the earth with some religious ceremony, and that that ceremony should be not only in accordance with the feelings entertained by the dead man himself, but in accordance with those held by the surviving relatives and friends—is one so natural, so legitimate, so human, that I cannot conceive anyone endowed with the "ordinary feelings of humanity and Christianity" who would not desire to give effect to it. I remember the time when the burial laws of Continental countries were as illiberal as the laws of England now. I remember well the feeling of indignation among the friends of any unfortunate man who happened to die abroad, and was required to be buried as our law requires the unbaptized Dissenter to be buried, and as the Bill of the hon. Member for West Kent would permit all Dissenters to be buried. Do not say that this is merely a sentimental grievance: we all know how severely sentimental grievances press upon men, especially if they are felt at a time when even the most callous of natures are the most accessible to the influence of sentiment. But if this be a grievance—and I think every person in or out of the House will admit it is in the nature of a grievance—then I ask you what do you gain by perpetuating it? That is a question rather difficult to answer. I hope I shall get an answer in the course of this debate. Let me put a case which may happen and which I know has happened. Take the case of a man who through life has lived in open hostility to the Church of England, a man who may never have darkened the door of any church. You cannot compel him to come there while he lives; but the moment the man is dead, the moment the breath is out of his body the law enables you to lay hands upon that man and impose on his remains ministrations from which the man, if alive, might have recoiled. Now is this barren, I had almost said, this odious privilege worth all the ill-feeling and bad blood which the constant and persistent recurrence of this question must generate. Because—and do not let any hon. Member deceive himself- self —it is impossible that this question can be settled in any way but one. It is easy for hon. Gentlemen in this House and writers of newspaper articles to pooh-pooh this question, and say that nobody requires any alteration of the law. I know it is otherwise. I know the feeling in favour of this Bill is so deep and so widely spread, that the country will never rest until the law is altered. Therefore, I ask you again, is this question to be permitted to raise that ill-feeling and bad blood which is year after year extending? I do not wonder that hon. Gentlemen opposite should shrink from answering that question. I do not wonder that they should rather take refuge in the argument that the change which I propose will lead to scandal and abuse. Reverting to that question, I do not think I ought to delay any longer a statement of the changes I have made in the Bill since it was first introduced in 1870. It will be in the recollection of those hon. Gentlemen who had seats in the last Parliament that five years ago—that in the year 1870—I introduced a Bill to amend the Burial Laws, which was almost, with the exception of one or two formal clauses, identical with the one I now hold in my hand. Strange as it may now seem, the opposition to that Bill was very feeble. It was opposed, among others, by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, in a speech marked by fairness and moderation. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, than whom no more fearless or honest man sits in this House, said that although he felt bound to say "no" to the second reading, he should say "no" in a very faint voice indeed. In fact, the objections raised were objections to detail rather than objections to principle, and it was to meet these objections that the then Home Secretary, now Lord Aberdare, carried the Motion for the Bill to be referred to a Select Committee. The Bill was referred to a Select Committee, and I think almost every safeguard that human ingenuity could suggest was introduced into that Bill. But I soon found that not one of these Amendments conciliated a single vote in this House. On the contrary, the Amendments introduced into the Bill in Committee, far from smoothing our path, rather threw difficulties in our way; because everyone of these so-called safeguards served as a sort of peg on which hon. Members wanted to hang other safeguards, and the trouble and the difficulty, in fact I may say the impossibility, of forcing the Bill through Committee was in great measure due to the concessions which I had made. In fact, one side of the House thought the Amendments unnecessary, and the other side thought them useless. Now, believing as I do that every word in an Act of Parliament which is not necessary is mischievous, I have taken it upon myself to strike out all these so-called safeguards, and to bring the Bill back again to the lines of the Bill of 1870; and if you ask me for precautions and safeguards, I say I prefer trusting to the good sense and good feeling of the Nonconformists of England, who are not likely to select the grave of a friend as the place from which to hurl a polemical Philippic at the head of a theological opponent. But we are not without the light of some experience to guide us, because in the year 1868—now nearly seven years ago—a Bill was introduced and carried by the then Member for Limerick (Mr. Monsell), affecting Ireland only, and which applied to Ireland almost exactly the same state of the law which by this Bill I seek to apply to England, the only difference being that in Mr. Monsell's Bill the funeral service was required to be performed by a priest or minister of some denomination. Well, now, I called upon you before, and I call upon you now, to point out if you can, a single instance in which that privilege has been abused in Ireland. And surely it is a poor compliment to your own country to say that Englishmen are not fit to be trusted with a privilege which Irishmen have for seven years exercised without a word of complaint from anybody. If you think otherwise, it is of course open to you to make the Bill more stringent in this respect. You have the command of this question in your hands. My hon. and learned Friend has a most docile majority behind him. Let him, or let the Government, pass this Bill, and then let them introduce into the Bill in Committee every precaution or safeguard they may consider necessary. I am sure they will not meet with any opposition from this side of the House. Meantime, do let us be honest. Oppose this Bill, if you like, on the ground of principle; object, if you please, to the principle of the Bill; but do not let us hear any more of that nonsense about Shakers, Jumpers, and Socialists, which nobody believes, and which will not influence any single man inside or outside of this House. And if you talk about scandals and abuses, I ask you are there no scandals and abuses arising out of the present law? I believe hon. Members have had sent to them this morning 14 illustrations of cases which occurred within last year, showing the necessity for amendment of the burial law. I am not going to refer to them, and I will tell you the reason why. In the first place, it is an ungrateful and ungracious task to attack in this House people who are not present to defend themselves. In the next place, it is almost impossible to test the accuracy of newspaper reports of these cases. I recollect an instance of this kind in 1873 in the case of the Vicar of Leigh, in which I was guilty, of course, not intentionally, of exaggeration. I have already expressed my regret at this, and I beg to repeat that regret now. At the same time, it is impossible to believe that where there is so much smoke there is no fire. None of these recent cases, so far as I am aware, have been contradicted, and only one or two of those which I cited in former speeches have been contradicted, so that, if it were necessary to rest this Bill on the abuses of the present law, such abuses would not be wanting; but the House will understand that I prefer to rest my case on the broad ground of equity and justice rather than on sensational anecdotes. But I wish to call attention to two objections raised against this Bill with which I cannot help feeling some sympathy. It is said in this Bill you are placing the Dissenting minister in a better position than the clergyman. You allow the Dissenting minister to perform any service he pleases over any person, whereas you require the clergyman to road the service of the Church over the most abandoned person whom he consigns to the earth, and who may be the most profligate of his congregation. It is impossible not to feel some sympathy with objections of that kind. But I ask this question—who is it—what is it that imposes these fetters on the clergyman? Why, his own Church and his own rubric! When this Bill was originally drawn, I introduced a clause expressly allowing clergymen to refuse to perform the burial service over a man if they thought it proper to do so. But when I proposed to do that, I was met with this objection—"You are trying to change the rubric. You are invading the province of Convocation, and you will have all the Archbishops and Bishops down upon you." That is a task from which even the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Recorder of London has shrunk; but should my right hon. and learned Friend seek to alter the law in this respect, he will have my entire sympathy and support. There is another objection, with which also I admit I have some sympathy. It is this. It is said that by this Bill you are throwing open churchyards to ministers of all denominations, and at the same time, having abolished church rates, you do not provide a fund outside the Church to keep the churchyard in repair; and it is not fair to the incumbent, who may, under this Bill, be excluded from his own churchyard, to throw upon him the whole expense of keeping the churchyard in repair. Now, I may say this Bill does not touch the fees which the incumbent is entitled to receive. Those fees are not paid for the performing of the service, but for the breaking open of the ground. The incumbent will continue to receive his fees for the breaking of the ground; therefore, it is hardly fair to say that the incumbent receives nothing for keeping the churchyard in repair. At the same time, it may be said that if you make the churchyard the property of the parish, it is only fair that you should throw on the parish the burden of maintaining it. Now, I had in the Bill of 1870 introduced a clause which, I hope, the House will allow me to read. It is as follows:— In order to maintain in decent condition any churchyard or graveyard which shall be for the time being used under this Act, and also for the necessary repair of the walls and other fences thereof, the churchwardens shall once in every year, at its usual Easter meeting, lay be-fore the vestry an account of the moneys expended for the aforesaid purposes during the year then last past; and unless there be some other fund legally chargeable with such costs and expenses, the overseers shall, upon the resolution of the vestry to that effect, out of the rate made for the relief of the poor for the parish or place in which such churchyard or graveyard is situate, repay to the churchwardens the moneys so expended by them. This clause would have met the objec tion raised; but I had hardly read it in this House, when my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Beresford Hope) rose and objected to it, and it found so little favour in the House or out of it, that I was obliged to drop it. When, therefore, I introduced that clause, I was blamed for introducing it; and now, when I omit it, I am blamed for omitting it. Sir, I have gone through several objections urged against the Bill, and I cannot see one of them which is, in my opinion, sufficient to justify the uncompromising and relentless opposition which is year after year offered to this measure. I shall of course be informed, in the progress of this debate, what is the origin of that opposition—what it is that gave such an impetus to the opposition, that it became impossible for me to force it through Committee. What was it that two years ago called together the largest House that ever divided on any private Member's Bill? What was it that induced the Prime Minister himself to come to this House and enter the lists with so humble an individual as myself? Sir, I am loth to believe what I am often told, that the uncompromising opposition to this Bill arises from that spirit of exclusiveness—so unfortunate an attribute of a National Church—which induced an English Bishop to refuse the title of reverend to a Wesleyan minister; that spirit of exclusiveness which induced an English vicar to raise a wall between the burial places of Churchmen and Dissenters—a feeling quite as reasonable as that of the widow in Oliver Goldsmith's story, who objected to the corpse of a person who had died of small pox being laid by the side of her unvaccinated husband. Far rather would I believe that hon. Gentlemen who oppose this Bill à outrance, do so from higher motives and upon broader grounds—that they honestly think that in thus guarding the threshold of the Establishment, they are only doing their duty to the Church—that they honestly believe that in fighting the battle of the churchyard, they are really fighting the battle of the Church. Well, Sir, if that be so, all I can say is, that the champions of the Establishment have been most unfortunate in their choice of a battle-ground. The Church of England must be in a very bad way indeed, if she is driven to do battle for such a privilege as this—if she is driven to exclaim, with the baffled divinity of Greece— Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo. Now, Sir, I wish to be perfectly frank and open with the House on this as on every other question. I believe, rightly or wrongly, that there are influences now at work, not only without but within the Church, which are, slowly it may be, but very surely, preparing the way for the severance of Church and State in England. In that belief I may be right, or I may be wrong; but, whether I am right or whether I am wrong, of this I am perfectly certain—that the passing or rejection of this little measure will not hasten or retard the advent of disestablishment by a single day or a single hour. Your voices, though given in overwhelming preponderance in favour of the rejection of this Bill, will no more avert the disestablishment of the Church of England than the voice of the Danish King could check the rising of the tide. But though the rejection of the Bill cannot avert disestablishment, I will tell you what that rejection can and will do. It will help to embitter still further a struggle which, God knows, is bitter enough already. It will proclaim to the country that death, which heals all other differences, is powerless to heal the differences between Christian and Christian, and, what perhaps is worst of all, it will fasten upon the Church of England the unworthy—I had almost said the odious imputation—an imputation under which no Christian Church should be permitted to lie—of refusing to bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted, and to listen to the prayer of the mourner. The hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by moving the second reading.


seconded the Motion. As a devoted member of the Church, he thought the damage accruing to her interests, occasioned by the scandalous scenes which had occurred, such as that recently in the Cowley case, was out of all proportion to the extent of the grievance. An unburied corpse was allowed to be in a cottage for 11 days; a most shameful riot occurred in the churchyard, and all the odium fell on the Church. It might be said that the admission of Dissenters to churchyards would create new scandals; but even if that were so the injury to the Church would be much less than it suffered at present from such conduct as that of the curate of Cowley and some others, and for this reason, that the odium would be transferred to the Dissenters from the clergyman of the parish. It was time that these scandals were get rid of, for the time of burial was not that for raising polemical controversies. This Bill would remove those scandals, and not create any, and therefore he supported it. They might safely trust the good sense of the people to bury their dead without abusing the privilege conferred on them.

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


, in moving that the Bill be read a second time that day six months, denied that there was any real general grievance to remedy, though there might be an exceptional one. In discussing the measure, they should do as much as possible to avoid promoting the odium theologicum, and his own idea was that they should not do anything which would create a larger breach than existed at present between one denomination and another, but which they would assuredly do if they excited them by such a Bill as the one before the House. He had made the most careful inquiries on the subject, and found that no dissatisfaction whatever existed, and that the different religious denominations were on the best of terms. The Wesleyans and other religious Bodies had, in point of fact, purchased a large number of cemeteries for their sole and separate use. Wesley was himself a Churchman, and in order that his congregation might attend the parish church in the morning, he used to fix his services at such a time as not to interfere with this arrangement. Some time ago there was not so much Dissent, and there was a general desire to be buried where the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep;" but it did not now exist. In fact, the hon. and learned Member who acted as undertaker to his Burials Bill—he could not call him a mute—seemed to have found his grievance at the vanishing point. Churchyards were closed by Orders in Council; cemeteries and burying-grounds were opening in all directions; and the hon. and learned Gentleman's brief was walk ing itself off to the grave. But lawyers did not object to weak cases; the weaker the case the more credit was acquired by a clever attack or defence, and if the hon. and learned Member gained credit in proportion to the weakness of his case, no doubt he would have a high place assigned to him in the Pantheon of lawyers. He (Colonel Leigh) thought the Bill absolutely unnecessary. It had no general support, as was manifest from the few Petitions presented in its favour. If there was a general feeling among the Nonconformists in favour of the Bill, the House would be inundated with Petitions. He denied the existence of any strong feeling of hostility to the Church; he rather believed there was a growing sympathy with the Church, founded on the knowledge of what she had done and was doing. In his own division of the county, a Nonconformist gave the whole of the stone which was wanted to build a new church. There were, however, such beings as resurrectionists of grievances, and he could not but think the present a most unreal, for it was a sentimental grievance. But it served as a cheval de bataille—he might say "a pale horse"—for an attack upon the Church. He saw from a Parliamentary Paper the other day that there were no fewer than 120 sects of religionists in England, and if the Bill passed, he could very well conceive the confusion that would arise in a churchyard from a mob consisting of those who "came to scoff" and did not "remain to pray" at a funeral of a Mormon elder, buried by elders, and attended by 20 or 30 widows, howling in concert or dissonance. Perhaps they might have a number of Communists delivering speeches more marked by blasphemy than religion over the grave of a deceased brother. No doubt cases of scandal had occurred, but these were exceptional cases, and they could not legislate for exceptions. He, however, greatly disapproved of the conduct of Mr. Coley, and was glad he had given up his incumbency, for such conduct did far more harm to the Church than could be done by Dissenters; but such conduct was quite exceptional, and they ought not to be asked to legislate for all exceptions, but to trust to public feeling and indignation to alter the views of such clergymen. As the Queen was the head of the Church as well as the head of the Army, he might say he should not be sorry, where such cases occurred, if Her Majesty caused to be inserted in The Gazette a notice that she had no further need of the services of such ecclesiastical officers. But it was not only Church of England clergymen who objected to the ministers of other persuasions officiating in their churchyards. He would, by permission of the House, read a short account of what happened at a funeral in Dublin a few days since, germane to the subject they were now discussing— In the closing scene there was an element of discord as unexpected as it was suggestive. It had been arranged that the Rev. Mr. Carroll, rector of St. Bride's parish, should road the Burial Service of the Church of England, and he accordingly attended for that purpose. The rev. gentleman is of liberal views, and made no objection to officiating in the cemetery, though it is a Roman Catholic one, very few Protestants being interred in it. When, however, he proceeded to discharge his sacred duty, some of the mob who had obtained admission expressed their dissatisfaction and showed a determination to interrupt if they could not prevent the ceremony. They hooted, and in some few instances pelted him, so that, although he went through a portion of the service, it was altogether divested of its reverent character. The occurrence furnished a strange comment upon the popular demand for religious equality, and the assertion of the principle by the deceased in the agitation which preceded the Irish Church Act. He desired to see the hatchet of war buried, and peace and good-will promoted among mankind, and for that purpose he proposed to bury the Burials Bill, having sent an invitation to the hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire to act as chief mourner. He would accordingly move the rejection of the Bill.

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


I am afraid I shall not be able to compete with my hon. and gallant Friend who has moved the rejection of this Bill in his persevering and successful efforts to dispel the gloom of the subject by agreeable and facetious remarks; but I am very anxious, at least, to compete with him, and I hope considerably to surpass him, in the compression and brevity by which what I have to say shall be characterized. I can perform in a very few minutes the only object I have in rising—that of explaining why I shall very cheerfully support the second reading of the Bill, and why I do not give an entirely silent vote on the subject. If my hon. and learned Friend who has introduced the Bill on the present occasion, under circumstances perhaps less favourable than those of former years, had been content to introduce it with the same provisions as they stood when it was last under discussion, I, for one, would have been content to support him, and that without troubling the House for a single moment. The omission of those provisions, however, makes it only fair and ingenuous on my part to say as to some parts of the questions, that there are difficulties which it appears to me he has not taken sufficiently into view. I would say, in the first place, with regard to certain special cases of difficulty arising from the erroneous views of clergymen as to the state of the law, that I do not found my support of the Bill upon cases of that description. As the hon. and gallant Gentleman has said, they have been exceedingly rare. We pass over many years usually without the occurrence of any case of the kind; and when they do occur, they are usually owing to errors on the part of the clergy in respect to the law. At that we cannot be very much surprised, when we reflect that every clergyman being a public officer, as well as whatever else he may be, it is extremely difficult for him to comprehend exactly the ecclesiastical law, which is full of unsolved problems and anomalies, arising mainly out of its antiquity, notwithstanding the attempt of Parliament to adapt it from time to time to the circumstances of the day. I am bound to say that the Bill of my hon. and learned Friend neither will nor can prevent the recurrence of such cases. The clergyman may still refuse to read the service over an unbaptized person, and with respect to this my hon. and learned Friend would not propose to alter the law as to the one last posthumous act of conformity to the Church. I do not know, indeed, whether it would not be somewhat more likely that a clergyman would be tempted, from any doubt he might entertain, to decline to perform a service he was bound to read, if he could point to the existence of a liberty supplied by the Statute Book of having other services. Therefore, I could not base my support of this Bill on the occurrence of any of those cases; besides which I know no reason, if the clergyman does not perform his legal obligation, why he should not be dealt with like any other person who fails to perform the obligation. It has been said—"Unhappy is the individual who gets into an Ecclesiastical Court." That may be so, but we generally hear the observation made by gentlemen of the legal profession. It is an observation which I do not pretend to dispute; but I am disposed to broaden its scope, and say—" Unhappy is the man who gets into any Court at all, whether secular or ecclesiastical." It is one of the most mournful incidents of the vicissitudes of life. But be that as it may, the simple question in this case is—Is there a grievance? If there is, I think my hon. and learned Friend is entitled to ask us to vote for the second reading of the Bill. I hope it was rather the temptation to a jest which he could not resist, than a very strict view of the case, which induced my hon. and gallant Friend to propose that we should "bury the Burials Bill." That seemed to express an indisposition to move at all in this matter; but let me remind him it is admitted on all hands—it was admitted by the House of Lords, in the shape of a Bill which they sent to the House of Commons the year before last—that it is a distinct and decided grievance to a clergyman and the parties, notwithstanding their concurrent indisposition, that they should be under a legal obligation to have the services of the Church of England performed over the remains of the dead who were not members of that Church. Consequently, so far, at least, there is an undoubted grievance existing at law, and I am by no means disposed—I do not think my hon. and gallant Friend himself or this House would be disposed—to object to an alteration in the law in that respect. That, however, is not a grievance with which this Bill proposes to deal. My hon. and learned Friend has not embodied in his Bill any clause relieving the clergyman from the obligation of reading the Burial Service in cases where he and the parties concur that it should not be so read; but he could not object to the introduction of any such clause. Sir, the Bill proceeds much beyond that, and many are prepared to concur to that extent in the alteration of the law, and yet cannot support the Bill. He says it is a grievance that those who do not belong to the Church of England should be debarred from the privilege of accompanying what the law terms the easement of burial in the churchyard with a religious service on the spot, at the grave. In answer to that, it is said that the performance of the religious services at the grave has not been usually characteristic of the religious bodies of this country, other than the Church of England. Neither the Roman Catholics nor the Nonconformists have been in the habit of using such services; but I am bound not to tie them down in their absence, and I do not think that it is for us members of the Church of England to say it would be at all unseemly or unnatural on their part were they in particular cases, or generally, to adopt the view that it was expedient and becoming to perform some religious service at a grave. The question now is, whether it should be prohibited by law in the churchyards of the Church of England. I am of opinion with my hon. and learned Friend that there is a grievance in the prohibition, and it is because I look upon this Bill as a means of removing that grievance that I think it right to vote for the second reading. When, however, I look at the particular clauses and provisions of the Bill, I own it seems to me that there are several questions which would require consideration in Committee—indeed, it is quite plain to me that they are strictly questions that can only be treated there. The state of our churchyards at the present moment is very different indeed from what it used to be 30, 40, or 50 years ago, partly from increasing wealth in the country, and partly, I cannot help thinking, from greater sensibility of feeling on the part of all classes of the community, particularly in the labouring classes, and this has led to the introduction of proceedings perfectly innocent and even laudable in themselves, which tend to give to the churchyards of this country a character not only of decency, but almost of delicacy in their arrangements, which renders it rather difficult to deal with them in cases where you contemplate or propose to permit or encourage a considerable assemblage of people within their limits. It may be contended that on the occasion of funerals, as at present conducted, no practical difficulty arises; and why should there be a practical difficulty if this Bill become law? The present state of the case is this—the clergyman, who by law is invested with the freehold of the churchyard, is also by virtue of his office guardian of peace and order within its confines. He is the superintendent of all funerals that take place also, and it is his business and duty to call in the aid of the police authorities upon any occasion when the presence of a crowd is expected, the police authorities recognizing this as one of the occasions on which the police are invariably present for the purpose of making the arrangements necessary to prevent damage to the churchyard from inconvenient pressure. I do not for a moment speak of the presence of restraint at those assemblies. Anything of that kind may be safely dismissed from our contemplation. It is a case that would be so rare in recurrence, and so utterly repugnant to the whole feeling of the community, that it should be treated like any other of those exceedingly exceptional cases which cannot be made the subject of practical consideration. At present not only the clergyman personally seems to have to discharge the duties attending funerals, and to take cognizance of all their incidents, but he is also the person upon whom falls the burden and responsibility if any damage of any kind is done. He has to collect the funds by which the churchyard is maintained—a duty which too often falls as a heavy charge upon him, inasmuch as few English families like to assume the responsibility of collecting the pecuniary requirements of our Church. His authority, therefore, is certainly a great security in respect to order at funerals; but there is no person holding a corresponding position in the case of the Roman Catholics and Nonconformists, and it might be thought invidious, and even probably officious, if the clergyman, as a quasi-civil officer, were to assume the responsibility of taking the arrangements in those cases. It therefore appears to me a very serious question, independent of other matters connected with the public peace, of what is really to be done to prevent our churchyards from receiving damage, not from any feeling of misconduct, nor from a desire to do mischief, but as a necessary consequence of the presence of large numbers, who sometimes assembled in crowds for the purpose and with the desire of hearing some eloquent preacher deliver an oration or address in a very limited space, among the rather delicate and fragile nature of the freshly dug soil and newly-deposited flowers on the graves of their fellow-subjects. I, therefore, think it would be necessary in Committee in some manner or other to provide against this difficulty. These are the reservations I wish to make in saying that I should cheerfully and confidently vote for the second reading. The hon. and learned Member said, that he had introduced precautionary provisions in the Bill. I will not say that they are the best, for it very often happens that when you think you do not do good by introducing such provisions, you will often find you have done harm in omitting them. I believe it would be reasonable in the present condition of this country, especially in the present condition of the religious professions, and especially in the present condition of Wales—where there is a large proportion of the population belonging to the Nonconformist Bodies, constituting a case very much resembling, although in a more limited area, the case of Ireland, for which long ago we made special provision—that we should pass the second reading of this Bill, and, with the reservations to which I have just referred, I shall give it a very cheerful and hearty support.


supported the Motion for the rejection of the Bill. At the same time he had always felt that there was a certain amount of grievance in connection with the burial question; and in his opinion, the only difference lay in what that grievance was, and in the remedy proposed. The remedy suggested by the Bill was, however, of so violent a nature that it was far worse than the disease. There were two real grievances, the first being that the friends of a deceased person should be obliged to have one particular service read over the departed, of which they disapproved; and another cause of complaint was, that the clergyman should be called upon to use words which, having regard to the character of the person over whom they were read, were felt to be scarcely justifiable or proper, unless on the ground of excessive charity. He should endeavour to meet those grievances; but he did not think the way to do so was to throw open the churchyards to persons of all religious denominations, some of which had no ministers. He could not agree with his right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich in the "see-saw" manner in which he treated the question; and the very fact that they had now a Bill before them which professed to remove the difficulties, showed only that it would fail in its object because it did not contain any safeguards. There was no security whatever in the Bill. He (Mr. Heygate) had brought in a Bill four years ago on the subject, which, if carried, would, in his opinion, have proved satisfactory. That Bill was read a second time, and the hon. and learned Member who brought in the present Bill had expressed himself then in a very different manner from that in which he had expressed himself on the present occasion. He denied that those who objected to have the service of the Church of England performed in the churchyard had a right to have the service of their own particular communion celebrated there. It seemed to be claimed as a right; but there was no such right, though it was true that every parishioner had the right of being buried in the graveyard. There was an exact analogy, he maintained, between the case of the churchyard and admission to the church itself, and until some reason for drawing a distinction between the two was shown, and some grounds were advanced showing that the proposals of the hon. and learned Gentleman might be granted without its being sought to make them a stepping-stone to the performance of every kind of service, he must continue to oppose such a measure as that under discussion. To prove how great were the facilities other than those afforded in our churchyards for interments, he might point out that in reply to a circular asking for information on the subject, it was stated that out of 6,209 parishes which sent in returns, 1,627 had chapel burial-grounds, 421 public cemeteries, while in 2,140 no Dissenting chapel whatever existed. He hoped his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department would direct his attention to the subject and endeavour to meet the case by applying some remedy, either by increasing the number of cemeteries, or by giving facilities for separate burials. He might mention that no single Conservative Member for England or "Wales had ever supported the Bill; while as to the feeling in its favour, he wished to observe that it had found little or no expression at the last General Election, for while much pressure had been put upon candidates in respect to other questions, such as the income tax, local taxation, and even the Contagious Diseases Bill and the Permissive Bill, the proposal of the hon. and learned Member for Denbigh had been wholly unnoticed. Again, although a measure embodying that proposal had been read a second time by a majority of 63 in 1873, it was carried by the votes of the Scotch and Irish Members, while it should be borne in mind that the majority in its favour in 1870 was 111. He would further observe that the number of Petitions in support of the Bill did not show that any great grievance was felt to exist; and that although three or four years ago, a considerable number had been presented on the question, they came almost entirely from Ireland and Scotland. No case had, therefore, he contended, been made out in favour of the Bill which would warrant the House in passing it, while the scandals alluded to by the hon. Member for Rochester (Mr. Wykeham Martin) would remain untouched by its provisions. He felt bound, he might add, to admit that no such evils as had been predicted had resulted from the operation of the Burials Bill which had some time ago been passed for Ireland, although what occurred at the funeral of Sir John Gray did not show a very satisfactory state of things. In Ireland, however, there were practically only three religious denominations, and therefore there was not that inconvenience that would be likely to arise in a country which comprised so many religious sects as were contained in England. Admitting, however, as he did, that there was a grievance, he thought it might be effectually removed by the Interments in Churchyards Bill, introduced by himself, and which stood for a second reading that day. Believing then that the grievance was extremely small, that it might be met by giving increased facilities, and that the operation of the Bill in this country would be injurious, he should vote against the second reading.


said, he had on the invitation of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Denbigh (Mr. Osborne Morgan) put his name on the back of the Bill, and he therefore wished to say a few words in reference to it. He supported it, first, because the grievance complained of by the Nonconformists was well-founded, and next, because—in the interest of the Church itself—it was desirable that this grievance should be fully and amply remedied. Upon the whole, however, he preferred the Bill brought in by his hon. and learned Friend last year to the present measure, although he had no doubt exercised a wise discretion in leaving the concessions recommended by the Committee of 1870, since they had failed to conciliate the opponents of the Bill, to be inserted, if the House should see fit, at a future stage. It was, in his opinion, unnecessary to extend the Bill to those places which were already provided with cemeteries, and it would be well to make provisions against celebrations of a civil character in the churchyard; but the principle of the Bill, that the Nonconformists had a right to the celebration of interments by ministers of their own religion, had his warm approval. The hon. and gallant Member opposite (Colonel Egerton Leigh), who had moved the rejection of the Bill, had indulged in a number of jokes, the best of which were somewhat misplaced, and which were little calculated, in the hon. and gallant Member's own words, to "bury the hatchet" between Churchmen and Nonconformists. He was surprised to hear the hon. and gallant Member deny the right of Nonconformists to burial in the parish churchyard. The right of parishioners to be interred in the parish churchyard was not an ecclesiastical right, but an indefeasible civil right. There was no exception to that rule, and it not only belonged to Nonconformists and Roman Catholics equally with Churchmen, but a Mahomedan parishioner, if one could be found, would be entitled to be buried in the churchyard of the parish. A clergyman of the Church of England was bound to read the Burial Service in all cases except over persons excommunicated, those who had committed suicide, and those who had not been baptized, but he was obliged to recognize baptism by a Nonconformist minister, and even by a layman. There were two classes of Nonconformists who suffered from the law as to baptized persons—those with whom baptism was not a customary rite, and those who postponed the rite until children had attained to a more mature age. There were only 530 cemeteries in England and Wales, while there were 13,000 parishes not provided with cemeteries; so that the grievance was largely felt by Nonconformists, who had no desire to possess separate churchyards of their own, and who wished the Burial Service to be conducted by their own ministers. Besides that, there was a growing feeling among the clergy themselves, that it was a hardship to be called upon to perform the service over persons not in communion with them. The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Heygate) himself recognized this hardship, because he had brought in a Bill which, although wholly futile in other respects, would relieve the clergy from this disagreeable duty. There were many who believed that the effect of this Bill would be to create polemical discussions in churchyards, and lead to demonstrations of rival sects which might cause a breach of the peace. He, however, agreed with his right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich, that there need be no fear of civil disturbance, if this Bill became law, neither did he think there was any danger of polemical discussions being held in the churchyards. In Scotland and Ireland the law was very much the same as that now proposed for England. In Scotland it was not the custom of the Presbyterians to use any ceremonial rites at the grave. The service was usually performed in the house, and then the corpse was committed to the grave in silence. In Ireland, until quite lately, the law and practice were almost the same as in England. An Act, however, had been passed, which had been accepted as a measure of conciliation by all parties. When that Act was before Parliament, in 1868, the same predictions as to its working which were urged against the present Bill, were freely indulged in. Mr. Lefroy warned the House of the danger of collisions if a Roman Catholic procession had a right to enter a churchyard and perform their own funeral service. In the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Armagh predicted that the Act would lead to nothing but confusion and collision. What, however, had been the result of the Act? The churchyards were the exclusive property of the Church of Ireland, yet ministers of all religions might perform any ceremony they thought fit at the funerals of their flocks; and he had been assured by those best acquainted with the subject, that the Irish Burials Act had worked well, and that no cases whatever of disturbance had ever occurred. He would therefore ask why a measure which had succeeded so well in Ireland should fail in England? But then it was said that this was only the thin end of the wedge, and that, although the Nonconformists only asked for the churchyards now, they would next ask for the churches. Even in Ireland, however, when the Church was disestablished, no demand was made for the churches. Believing that all the measures of conciliation passed during the last 20 years had strengthened the Church—that the grievance was one which affected not only the Nonconformists, but the clergy—he asked the House to accept the Bill as a step in the right direction, and as a measure which would not result in any of the evils that were so confidently predicted.


said, he was sure that the House felt obliged to his hon. and learned Friend opposite (Mr. Osborne Morgan) for the way in which he had advocated the measure. He was sure his hon. and learned Friend had said all that could be said on behalf of his Bill, and he had said it in the ablest manner; and if the principle did not meet with the acceptance of the House, it was because there was something weak in the case, and not on account of any defect in the advocate. The question was most important, yet it lay in an exceedingly narrow compass. It had been represented by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone) and the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) as a Nonconformist grievance, the removal of which they had a right to demand. No doubt, if it were a grievance, and one of sufficient magnitude to call for legislation, it ought to be remedied, always provided that it could be remedied without creating in its turn a grievance of equal or greater magnitude; and the reason why he opposed it was, not because no grievance at all had been made out, but because it would create a much larger grievance than that which it removed. No doubt, every parishioner had a right to be interred in the parish churchyard; yet there was a limit to his right. The churchyard was legally vested in the incumbent, and he held it as a portion of the property belonging to the Established Church, and no parishioner had a right to be buried without the observance of the laws and regulations of that Church. Now, what was the grievance of the Nonconformists? His hon. and learned Friend did not complain that those who died excommunicated, or had committed suicide, or had died unbaptized could not have the Burial Service read over them, and if there was a defect in that direction, it was not, at all events, cured by this Bill. What he complained of was, that Dissenters who had a right to be buried in the churchyard must submit to have the beautiful and exquisite service of the Church read over their deceased relatives, instead of having a service of their own by a minister of their own denomination. It was said that there were persons who objected to the reading over their deceased relatives of that service which of all services was the most solemn and beautiful. That grievance was sought to be remedied; but the remedy proposed did not meet the views of those who were in favour of the present measure. The grievance of which they complained was that a Dissenting minister, or a person who was not a minister at all, was not allowed to road at the funeral of a Dissenter, and in the parish churchyard, any service, deliver any harangue, or perform any rite he might think proper. Well, it had been admitted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich—than whom no one was better informed on such subjects—that, as a rule, the Nonconformists did not wish for any funeral rite to be performed in the churchyards. Then, again, they ought to consider the small number of places there were in which Dissenters had, of necessity, to be buried in the parish churchyard. They had, no doubt, in some rural districts; but in the vast majority of cases, they had burial grounds of their own, and in scarcely any case could they fail to obtain ground for the purpose. Besides that, churchyards in cities and towns were daily being closed, so that every week the grievance was diminishing. But it was said that although the grievance was a small one, it ought to be remedied by legislation, and he admitted that if no evil consequences arose, it ought to be remedied. The Bill, however, placed no restriction upon the ceremony to be performed, and it should not be lost sight of that there were a large number of persons in the country who objected—and fairly objected—to such a provision as that proposed. They were members of the Church of England, of that Church whose property the churchyard was, and might they not very reasonably say that they did not like such services to be performed in the churchyards as might be under the Bill, and which would be a greater offence to them than the fancied grievance complained of was to the Dissenter? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich said, that a grievance existed which ought to be removed, but that it did not exist to anything like the extent which had been asserted, and he went on to say that dangers might have to be encountered which were of no mean or trifling description; and the right hon. Gentleman drew a picture of a quiet churchyard—the burial in it of some Nonconformist who had been a political celebrity, and an eloquent minister from some distant place delivering in the churchyard a funeral oration. What security had the parishioners who were members of the Church of England that that oration would not contain offensive and irritating allusions? But if the Nonconformists were so desirous of having those privileges, why did they formerly so strenuously resist a tax for the maintenance of the churchyards? Forty-three or forty-four years ago the Nonconformists agitated for the abolition of compulsory church rates. They carried on that agitation with the greatest possible vigour and to a successful issue, and when it was suggested as a compromise that while they ought not to be called upon to pay for the maintenance of the structure, they ought for that of the churchyard in which they might bury their dead, they would not listen to the suggestion. It came, therefore, from them with an ill grace to bring forward this measure, and he should oppose it on the ground, as he had before said, that the grievance now sought to be remedied was at best a very slight one, and its removal would create a still greater one in another direction.


I am anxious not to give my vote without a reason, and I am the more anxious to give that reason after the speech we have just heard from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General, which seems to be more that of a lawyer speaking from his brief than of one who is anxious that the Bill should be defeated. I regret that the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel Egerton Leigh) who moved the rejection of the Bill has thought it right to make so many poor jokes upon the subject. Now, in a matter of this sort, which touches the dearest affections of many people, it is not proper that idle and foolish jokes should be indulged in. Let me ask where is the real mischief likely to arise from passing this Bill. We can do no injury to the dead, and nothing we can do will be of service to the dead. The persons injured and affected by the existing state of things are the living, who have to bury the dead. What harm would take place if something of this kind occurred? A Dissenter dies, and he dies in a parish in which he has lived all his life, and his relatives require that he should be buried in that churchyard in which the bones of his ancestors have been laid. That is surely a very natural desire, and there must be a feeling on the part of every right-minded person that the desire should be gratified. Well, suppose the Bill has passed, and the Dissenter is buried there. The Church of England clergyman, not being present, is not injured, because it is the minister of the Dissenter who comes and pronounces over the body such a speech or discourse as he thinks will please the relatives, and do honour to the dead. I want to know what grievance there is there. "Oh," but it was said by the hon. and learned Gentleman, "there is a grievance. There may be a large number of people in that parish who don't like to see a Dissenting minister in a Church of England churchyard, and they show that feeling by opposing this Bill." Now, I regret such a feeling towards one's fellow-creatures. In my opinion it is much to be desired that such people should be taught to have right feeling and to act like Christian men; to feel for people in affliction and seek to soothe their sorrow rather than to entertain narrow-minded prejudice against them. Would it not be more in accordance with Christian feeling that the relatives and friends of the dead should be allowed to be soothed in their sorrow and gratified in their feelings by the one to whom they had been in the habit of looking? Let us get rid of the narrow-mindedness which opposes this Bill. When I heard that it was likely it would be rejected by an overwhelming majority, I asked myself why should the House of Commons be so narrow-minded—what possible advantage can it be to the Church of England to retain in their hands this small power, and what injury can be done to the great body of the Church of England by granting to their fellow-citizens what is now asked? To my mind the first great thing to be done amongst us all is to get rid of this narrow-mindedness about religion. Unfortunately, that subject—the most difficult and most mysterious—has created more heart-burnings and mischief than any other question which agitates mankind; but, as years roll on, I have seen in my days so many changes in religion, and so much setting down of differences and no injury following therefrom, that I cannot help thinking the House of Commons will do well to consider what they are about, and not to cast a slur upon the name and greatness of the great Body to which we all belong.


said, he should oppose the Bill, but not from any disrespect towards the Dissenting Body. He thoroughly respected their conscientious scruples; but he should vote against the Bill, amongst other reasons, because its promoters had made out no case in its favour. After the Disruption of the Church of Scotland, great difficulty was found by those who joined the Free Church in obtaining building ground on which to erect their churches. It was said that immense tracts of land belonged to certain persons who would not give or sell any portion of it for that purpose, and a Bill was threatened to be brought in to compel them. If he had been in Parliament at the time, and that Bill had been brought in, he would assuredly have voted for it. But what was the case here? The hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire (Mr. Osborne Morgan) founded his Bill almost entirely upon the ground that there were only 531 parishes in England in which there were public cemeteries; but that must be wrong, because he used the same figures in 1873. [Mr. OSBORNE MORGAN said, he had used to-day the figures of 1873.] If the number had increased the hon. and learned Member should have told the House so. In 1873, the Home Secretary resisted the Bill, on the ground, amongst others, that greater facilities ought to be given for providing cemeteries. It was to be regretted now that they had not before them some Return or other authentic information to show whether there were not a very large number of churchyards, as he believed there were, in which Dissenters could be buried with as much freedom as the members of the Church of England. The hon. and learned Member further stated that there was an overwhelming preponderance of feeling in favour of the Bill. He (Mr. Forsyth) was astonished at that statement, and would like to ask if any such feeling had been expressed by Petitions, as it would be if it really existed? He had made inquiry at the Petition Office on the subject, and found that while there were 24 Petitions against the Bill, with 511 signatures, there were in its favour three Petitions, under official seals, bearing four signatures only. Sure he was that if Petitions could have been procured—and they were the true index to the feeling of the country—his hon. Friend would have had them and rested his case upon them. There could be no doubt as to the right of every parishioner to be buried in the parish churchyard, subject to having read over his remains the Burial Service of the Church of England. There was a sentimental objection to that condition, and he respected it, but ought not the sentiment of those who were opposed to the Bill to be respected also? They all knew that the parish churchyard was a sacred place, consecrated by prayer offered by a duly authorized Bishop, according to the rights and usages and forms of the Church of England, whose faith was belief in the Trinity; and if Dissenters objected to the Burial Service of the Church of England, surely they ought to allow members of the Church of England to object to services such as a political harangue which might be delivered over the grave of a Dissenter, and which might violate the holiest doc trines of their religion. Under the Bill there might be any service or no service, and that was the substantial objection to the Bill—not the fear of rioting or the destruction of flowers. Another objection was this—that if Dissenters might have their service read in the parish churchyard, those of them who usually read all or a portion of their service in their chapels might claim the right to read it in the church, and if the one claim was conceded how could the other be resisted? The only plausible ground for the Bill had been removed by the abolition of church rates, for Dissenters now were not asked to pay 6d. for the maintenance either of the church or of the churchyard—the necessary funds being subscribed voluntarily by Churchmen. He himself was resident in Berkshire, and paid a voluntary church rate for the sustentation of the fabric in which he worshipped; and he did not think it fair or right that those who did not during their lives take any part in the maintenance of the churchyards should have the right claimed for them, not to be buried there—for that right existed—but to be buried with any ceremony or no ceremony, just as their relatives desired.


AS this question has not been before debated in the present Parliament, perhaps I may be permitted, as a Nonconformist, to explain the precise nature of the grievance of which Nonconformists complain. I am the more anxious to do this, as it seems to me clear from the course of the discussion, and especially from the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General, that considerable misapprehension still exists in the minds of even well-informed persons, such as we may presume him to be. But I must first correct a statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone), and, of course, deriving great weight from his authority, which has been repeated in still stronger terms by the hon. Member for South Leicestershire (Mr. Heygate) and has been assumed by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General as an indisputable fact—namely, that it is not customary among Protestant Dissenters to have a service at the grave, but that silent burial is the rule among them. Perhaps, on this one point, I may venture to place my authority even against that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich. So far as I know, with the exception of Scotland, and perhaps the Presbyterians in England, it is the universal custom of all Bodies of Nonconformists to have service at the grave. A great deal has been said on the point that there is no demand for the Bill. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Marylebone, who has just sat down, has repeated the assertion made by several others, that there have been no Petitions, or very few, presented in its favour. I believe the hon. and learned Gentleman was not a Member of the last Parliament; but when my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Denbighshire first brought forward his measure there was a large number of Petitions, having more than 100,000 signatures. I used to come in myself, almost every day for weeks, with an armful of Petitions which I could scarcely carry. The reason why there are no Petitions now, is that people cannot be always sending Petitions on the same subject. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved the rejection of the Bill referred to a case in which he himself was concerned. As I understood him, when he was once in command in Scotland, one of his men died, and he was allowed to go into a Presbyterian churchyard, and read the service of the Church of England over his body. Did it not occur to the hon. and gallant Gentleman that then a privilege was accorded to him by the Presbyterians of Scotland which his own Church in this country would deny to the Presbyterian or any other Dissenter? The hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General raised the objection that, possibly, some celebrated Dissenting politician might die, and that a political oration would be delivered over his grave, and he says that members of the Church of England would object to such a thing being done in a churchyard that belongs to them. Well, in the first place, the churchyard does not belong to them. It belongs to the parish, and every Dissenter who lives in that parish has as good a right to be buried there as any Member of the Church of England. But I can tell the hon. and learned Gentleman that it is not the habit of Dissenters to turn graveyards into places of political declamation. I wish to correct another prevailing error. It is sometimes supposed that Nonconformists are promoting this Bill, because they have a conscientious and inveterate objection to the Burial Service of the Church of England. Now, I believe that is an entire misapprehension. I doubt whether you would find one in a hundred among them who would object to that service for its own sake, or who would doubt that it is a beautiful and impressive service when used over those to whom it appropriately applies. So far is it otherwise, that they themselves almost invariably employ a large portion of it. I have attended many scores of Dissenting funerals, and always the greater part of the service has been the same as that of the Church of England, and for this obvious reason, that the larger—and hon. Gentlemen opposite will allow me to say—the better part of that service itself consists merely of selections from the Holy Scriptures, selections made, indeed, with admirable judgment and taste, but nothing more. And it is remarkable that the comparatively small portions of the service not taken from the Bible are just those to which not Nonconformists only, but many Churchman have strongly taken exception. But we object to have any form imposed upon us. We are accustomed to greater freedom in our religious exercises. We believe that no form which human ingenuity can devise would be applicable to all the infinite variety of human life and circumstance. We feel—and surely there are occasions when members of the Church of England must also feel—that there is something more than anomalous in having one service over a child of three days old and a man three-score years and ten; over some Christian man or woman who has lived a whole life of devotion to the service of God and humanity, and the notorious profligate who may have died in a drunken orgie. It is not the Nonconformists only who feel this anomaly. There are hundreds of earnest and conscientious clergymen who feel the obligation to the indiscriminate use of this service as a grievous burden on their consciences. If I may venture to say so, without offence—and I am sure I mean none—I believe one of the reasons why the Church of England has lost its hold on large sections of the people, is the unyielding rigidity with which it adheres to forms. Your system is hard, inelastic, unaccommodating. You insist upon putting your own ministers—highly intelligent and educated gentlemen—into a strait-waistcoat of uniformity, and do not give them the slightest power or discretion to vary or alter the services they perform according to the circumstances of the case. Now, I wish in addition to the admirable statement of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Denbighshire (Mr. Osborne Morgan), to say a few words further as to the object of this measure. There are two classes of persons whom we propose to relieve by this Bill. There is one class who are denied all rites of Christian burial in the parochial churchyards. As the House is well aware, there is a large and respectable body of persons in this country who do not think it right to administer baptism to infants, but only to those who can make an intelligent profession of their personal faith. When the children of such persons die, if no burial-place but the churchyard is accessible, they must be buried without any religious service whatever, and this is often felt to be painful and humiliating in a high degree. But there is another and a much larger class, comprising all the Nonconformists of every denomination, who are now forbidden to have their dead buried by their own ministers, and with such religious forms as they prefer. We object to this on two grounds. It seems to us as if the Church took advantage of its position to lay its hand on the Dissenter and claim him as its own when dead, though through life he has conscientiously refused her his allegiance. It is impossible to put this view of the matter more clearly than was done by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich. Speaking in this House in the year 1863, the right hon. Gentleman said— If he (the Dissenter) has access to the churchyard, or has access to it subject exclusively and absolutely to the condition of having the service of the Church read over his remains, I confess I do not think that that is a state of the law which is consistent with those principles of civil and religious freedom on which, for a series of years, our legislation has been based. I do not see that there is sufficient reason, or, indeed, any reason at all, why, after having granted, and most properly granted, to the entire community the power of professing and practising what form of religion they please during life, you should say to themselves, or their relations when they are dead, 'We will at the last lay our hands upon you, and not permit you to enjoy the privilege of being buried in the churchyard, where, perhaps, the ashes of your ancestors repose, or, at any rate, in the place of which you are parishioners, unless you appear there as members of the Church of England; and, as members of that Church, have her service read over your remains.' That appears to me an inconsistency and anomaly in the present state of the law, and is in the nature of a grievance."—[3 Hansard, clxx, 153.] Then, I think, you are casting an ungenerous aspersion on our character in refusing to us this right. Here we are engaged side by side with you in carrying on the great work of Christian civilization. You will acknowledge—indeed, most generous acknowledgments have frequently been made by distinguished members of the Church of England—that but for the labours of the Nonconformists there would be a deplorable destitution of the means of religious instruction among large masses of the people of this country. Some of you do not to hesitate to join with us in various forms of religious and philanthropic enterprize. Yet when we come with our dead to the graveyards, which are the property of the nation, and ask to have them interred by our own ministers, and with such religious services as are most consistent with our consciences and preferences, you meet us with uplifted hands, and exclaim—Procul, O procul, este profani! It has been alleged over and over again in the course of this debate that it is a very small grievance with which this Bill deals. It may be very small to those who inflict the grievance; but it is those who suffer who are the best judges of that matter. It is astonishing with what perfect philosophical calmness and composure we can endure the wrongs and grievances of others. One of the reasons assigned in support of the allegation that this is a small grievance is that there are now so many opportunities for Dissenters to be buried elsewhere without coming to the graveyards attached to the churches of the Church of England. The hon. Member for South Leicestershire, in a former debate, speaking, as he always does on this question, in a kindly and conciliatory spirit, referred to Wales as a part of the country where there are ample graveyards attached to the chapels. He could scarcely have selected a more unfortunate instance in illustration of his argument, because it is just precisely in Wales that a very large proportion of Dissenting chapels have no graveyards attached to them. I hold in my hand some statistical returns, and I have this guarantee for their correctness, that they have been procured from those who represent the various Nonconformist denominations in Wales. In Carnarvonshire the Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, and Baptists have 240 chapels—of these 35 have graveyards, and 205 have none. In Anglesea, there are 147 chapels belonging to the same Bodies—25 have graveyards, and 122 have none. In Flintshire, the Calvinistic Methodists and Independents have 113 chapels—13 of these have graveyards and 100 none. In Merionethshire, the three denominations have 173 chapels—of these 46 have graveyards, and 127 have none. In Denbighshire, the Calvinistic Methodists and Independents have 133 chapels—of these 27 have graveyards, and 106 have none. In Montgomeryshire, the same two denominations have 155 chapels—of these 27 have graveyards, and 128 have none. In Cardiganshire, the Methodists and Independents have 150 chapels—of these 48 have graveyards, and 102 have none. In Carmarthenshire, the three denominations have 225 chapels—of these 149 have graveyards, and 76 have none. In Glamorganshire, the Calvinistic Methodists and Independents have 332 chapels—of these 162 have graveyards, and 170 have none. It is not for me to presume to give advice to the Members of the Church of England; they are the best judges of what is their true policy. But I should have thought that in the interest of their own Church, it would be wise to remove these grievances, which are like a blister on the consciences and feelings of a large portion of the community. Some, I believe, oppose this Bill, because some of us who promote it advocate the disestablishment of the Church. Certainly we do so, and my only wonder is that right hon. Gentlemen proclaim this now, as if they had made some remarkable discovery. Why, we have been engaged any time these 30 years in agitating for disestablishment. But do you imagine that you serve the cause of the Establishment by perpetuating such exclusive and invidious distinctions as these? If I were mindful only of the cause of disestablish- ment, I should say to my hon. and learned Friend—" Pray do not touch this question; leave it alone. These scandals that are occurring continually up and down the country, partly through the fault of the clergy, but much more frequently through the state of the law, are making rapid converts to disestablishment; therefore I should be glad to retain this grievance so far as that object is concerned." But I am anxious to see it removed, because I believe it will tend to allay a great deal of irritation and animosity. I wish that around the graves of those who may have differed in life the battle should no longer rage, especially as we may cherish the consolatory hope that at the very time when we are fighting, as it were, at the tomb, all discord and conflict have ceased for them, as they have entered into what has been beautifully called the all-reconciling world.


said, that the Bill was by no means an honest one, for although it was generally assumed that its object was to confer an extension of the rights of burial upon the Nonconformists, the Bill itself contained no reference to the Nonconformists or to any other Christian community, and, in fact, the title of the Bill ought to have been, "The Burial Service Bill." It had been argued in support of the Bill that whatever divisions might exist between the Dissenters and the Churchmen in life, an end ought to be put to them in death. With that proposition he entirely agreed, and he thought that nothing could reconcile differences in theological views more thoroughly than a uniform service embodying all points on which Protestants were agreed, and excluding all on which they were disagreed being read over the graves of Dissenters and Churchmen alike. The causes of complaints against clergymen were very few and far between, and had been much exaggerated. For instance, the Welsh case to which the hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire had referred in his speech of the 23rd of March, 1870, as having done more to widen the gulf between the Church and the Dissenters, and to weaken the tottering fabric of the Establishment than anything else that had occurred during the last 90 years, was one in which the clergyman, having granted leave as a favour that the body of a person who was not a parishioner should be buried in the graveyard attached to his church, thought that under the circumstances he had right to read the Burial Service at the funeral. The clergyman was the more justified in the course he had taken, inasmuch as the deceased, who was a Methodist minister, had during life always expressed the greatest admiration for the Church of England Burial Service. And yet this was a case that was declared to have been regarded throughout the country as a piece of gross tyranny on the part of the clergyman. For his own part, he should be delighted to see any real grievances under which the Dissenters were labouring fully and completely redressed. Some line, however, must be drawn with regard to the nature of the service permitted to be performed in the churchyards, and it could not be tolerated that the representatives of every extraordinary delusion should be allowed to go through what they chose to regard as religious ceremonies on the occasion of the funeral of any of their followers.


, who claimed to represent the feeling of the majority of Nonconformists said, he might describe himself as a fair specimen of them, without having any crotchets on this subject. The vicar of his own parish was a tenant of his, and one of his best friends. Anyhow, he had been his friend for 35 years, and that was a good deal for a Nonconformist to say. If the House would kindly accept him as a fair specimen, he might add, in answer to the inaccurate remark that Nonconformists did nothing to restore the fabric of the church, that he gave the first subscription towards the restoration of his parish church. The Nonconformists were more or less one-half of the population in England and Wales, so that they were not a mere insignificant handful of people. Not only were they an important section of the community, but they were very loyal subjects of Her Majesty. Having said so much on that point, he would tell the House what his grievance was in common with that of all other Nonconformists. He would have not the slightest objection to the service of the Church of England, even when he was dead himself; but he hoped to be a good man, and then the service would be for him a proper service. What he complained of was, that they would not have the same liberty in death as they now had in life, and that the minister whom he was accustomed to hear was not allowed to conduct the burial service for his friends while he was alive, and for him when he died. That was the secret of the whole grievance. Granting that burial grounds should be regarded as sacred, permission to Dissenting ministers to pronounce the funeral service would do them no harm. As regarded learning, he thought that Nonconformist ministers were equal in that respect to the clergymen of the Church of England; in fact, he believed that the most learned and the greatest preacher that ever lived was a Nonconformist. As a body, they were a very happy people, and acted on the principle of "give and take." The best plan under the circumstances was for the Church of England not to stand strictly upon what she might regard as her legal rights, but to act upon the same principle and give and take and to become liberal in her views. He put it to the Government whether it might not be worth their while to lend their aid towards carrying this Bill, on the understanding that it should be amended in Committee. Such a measure would be carried sooner or later. The law, as it stood, was a positive insult to Nonconformist ministers, and he asked the House to pass the Bill unanimously, if that was not too much to expect. He trusted that they should hear nothing more of the Interments Bill, under which he understood persons would be buried like dogs. He did not wish to interfere with hon. Members opposite, who were all very good in their way; but he warned them that if they passed the Interments Bill, they would find at the next General Election that the power of the Nonconformists was not to be despised.


I have nothing to say against the bonhommie of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardigan, who has just addressed the House; he would have us consider him quite an exception to the ordinary Nonconformist. He tells us that, although he is a Nonconformist, he has actually let some land to the vicar of his parish; he further informed the House that he considers himself a very good man, so that there could be no objection to the Burial Service of the Church of England being read over him. He also told us that the Nonconformists were not apt to provide for their own religious requirements so freely as they ought to do. This brings me to the position in which we stand. What is the fact? The Nonconformists have adduced all the same sentimental arguments they have used in favour of this Bill, when a few years ago they wanted to get rid of Church rates. The argument they then urged was, that it was unjust to make them pay for the maintenance of churchyards which were of no use to them; and now the same persons come forward and tell us that although they pay nothing towards the maintenance of these same churchyards, they claim the use of them on their own terms. Why do they object to the increase of cemeteries? Is it because they fear having to pay heavy fees; and yet they will not provide more ground than they want for their chapel buildings to stand on; they will not provide graveyards for themselves, but claim admission to the churchyards for their ministers to perform services over their dead. I would ask the Representatives of Nonconformists whether they expect us to think this a very modest or moderate request? The hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire (Mr. Osborne Morgan) felt this so strongly that he said, that it would be necessary to re-enact some sort of a Church rate before these claims could be rendered perfectly equitable. But would it not be as well that the hon. and learned Member should bring in his Church Rate Bill before continuing to urge the present proposal? The Representatives of the Nonconformists should at least propose on their behalf, that they should do something for the maintenance of churchyards, before insisting upon this claim to a peculiar use of them. The hon. and learned Member, however, glanced at burial fees, forgetting that they were never applied to the maintenance of churchyards, but that these fees formed part of the income of the clergy. To seize the burial fees and to apply them to the purposes of Church rates would be simply to confiscate part of the income of the clergy. The Representatives of Nonconformity cannot come forward with clean hands to urge the proposals of this Bill, until they bring forward a measure showing their readiness to maintain the churchyards, in the use of which they claim to participate, not as parishioners, because their right as parishioners no one denies, but to participate as Nonconformists, who refuse to accept the parishioners' conditions, but insist on imposing new conditions of their own choosing—namely, the admission of any one belonging to any sect into the churchyard in order to perform any burial service or ceremony he may desire. Then the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil said—" We do not deny that we desire to disestablish the Church, but we assure you that we appear here to support a measure which is totally inconsistent with our primary object." The old saying Fas est ab hoste doceri, is often quoted; but the hon. Member must allow me to accept this advice with very considerable qualification. For what is the fact? The Church of England—and in saying the Church of England, I speak particularly of the laity—have no title to their churchyards, or to the fabrics of their Churches, different in its nature from the titles by which the Nonconformists hold their chapels. No congregation, and this I say in the presence of lawyers, can be distinguished except by the peculiar doctrines and ritual of that congregation; no Church can be known except by its distinctive doctrines and ritual, and without this recognition of doctrine or of ritual no religious body can be identified, and if it cannot be identified it cannot prove any title whatever to property of any kind. That is a position which no lawyer will dispute. Now, what does the principle of this Bill involve? The proposal is, that the churchyard shall no longer be held by any title that can be recognized through the character of the services performed within it; and does it not follow at once that the proposals of this Bill, which I believe to be founded upon a grievance that is greatly exaggerated; does it not follow, that the proposal of this Bill, if adopted, would strike down the title by which the great body of the Church of England, laity as well as clergy, hold their property in the churchyard? It is the habit of the Church of England and I believe it is the habit also of the Nonconformists, to perform a part of the Burial Service in the church or chapel, and a part at the grave. Well, can any one believe, if this Bill were to pass, that the next demand would not be—aye, as soon as the Bill had become law— that Nonconformists should be admitted on equal terms with Churchmen to perform any service they might deem approprate in the Church? Is it not clear that if this Bill passes, that the principle on which the title not only to the churchyard, but to the church is secured to the great body of the Church of England, must lapse? The hon. Gentleman, the Member for Merthyr Tydvil, who always speaks with great authority on the part of the Nonconformists, said, that he quarrels with the services of the Church of England because they exemplify an obsolete uniformity, and that uniformity is an invasion of liberty. Whose liberty is invaded by the uniform performance of the Burial Service? Clearly the liberty of the congregation, the liberty of the laity of the Church of England, is secured, by this uniformity. The hon. Gentleman has told us distinctly that he is not contented with that liberty, because the clergyman, according to the charitable doctrine of the Church of England, is bound to express a hope for the salvation of the departed person, without regard to his character during life; and the hon. Member claimed for the Nonconformist minister, whom he would admit to the churchyard, and claimed for the clergy also, the right to pronounce judgment on the dead. The hon. Member will perhaps recall his words; but it appeared to me so strange a thing to advance in the name of freedom and of toleration, that it sank deep into my mind. A claim put forward on behalf of ministers of religion for liberty to pronounce judgment on the dead, to that I most decidedly object. I adhere to the glorious and charitable doctrine of my Church, and I say that no true Churchman would wish to see any clergyman of the Church of England absolved from the obligation to express on the part of those who are present at, as well as of those who are absent from the funeral, the fervent, but the humble hope, that Almighty God may judge the departed more leniently than men are apt to judge. Let me not be told, then, that the Bill is to be passed in the name of toleration, or of freedom, or of charity. Thus interpreted, the Bill does little credit to the charitable feelings of those who advocate it. For my own part, I should be willing to vote for any Bill to secure the appropriation of proper sites for graveyards for Nonconformists, which should be accessible in every parish. I am prepared to vote for any extension of the means of providing cemeteries, and in that way to meet the religious desires of my Nonconformist fellow-subjects; but I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that behind this Bill there lurks the intention to disestablish the Church of England. Upon that point I think the Nonconformist Conference, which was held two years ago, might be taken as some authority. It met at Manchester in 1872, and the second of its resolutions— Claims equal right for all citizens in national or parochial churches and burial-grounds; and while just regard is had to vested interests, the Conference protest against any exclusive privileges being accorded to any section of the community in the interment of the dead. The House will observe that in that resolution, the Conference coupled a claim to the unrestricted use of the Church with the claim now put forward to the use of the churchyard. Sir, I wish not to violate the great principle of equality before the law, and I say that I am willing to maintain for the Nonconformists an exclusive right in their own chapels and their graveyards; but I would warn them of this. Churchmen may reply to them by saying "If you are about to claim indiscriminately all the graveyards of the Church of England as national property in the sense in which you advance that claim, why should not we churchmen, in our turn, claim an equally free right over your graveyards?" Do you expect that you will escape from the application of this principle of confiscation to what you regard as your own? At the same Conference to which I have referred, another resolution was passed— That no amendment (of the marriage laws) can be satisfactory to Nonconformists which does not provide for the absolute equality of all citizens. Is there not equality already in the laws of marriage? Perfect equality. But what this resolution—taken with that which I have quoted—really means is, that Nonconformists claim that not only the burial services in the churchyards, but that the marriage services in the churches of the Church of England shall be performed in any manner they chose, and by any ministers they chose, and for this they seek opportunity by this Bill. Sir, there are many hon. Members in this House who have not heard this question so often debated as some of us have; and I hope they will excuse me, therefore, for thus bringing before them the fact, that behind this ostensible and sentimental grievance, there lies the intention to deprive the Church of England of her property; and I cannot imagine upon what grounds we of the Church of England, who hold that property upon terms which have existed for centuries, can fairly be expected to yield our title and our right. We are willing to allow our Nonconformist brethren all the use of the churchyard that we can, short of abandoning our title. It is not fair thus to call upon us to concede to them our privileges, for which they have refused to pay; privileges which we do not possess in the use of property, now doubly our own by the passing of the Act which abolished Church rates, but to which until then Nonconformists and Churchmen alike contributed. I oppose this, because it would confer upon Nonconformists privileges which we cannot share, and which they refuse to share with us on equal terms.


said, it had been remarked that hon. Members on that side seemed to suppose that it was some new exclusion against which they were contending; but, for himself, he was quite aware that it was an old exclusion which was now the subject of complaint. It was one of those old exclusions which the hon. Member who had just spoken had vindicated ever since he entered that House, and would probably continue to vindicate as long as he sat there. The hon. Gentleman had alluded to the supposed inconsistency of the hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire (Mr. Osborne Morgan) in proposing such a measure after church rates had been abolished; but supposing the difficulty to be met, as it had been in Ireland, and if afterwards there was any reason to believe that the graveyards were not properly supported by the voluntary subscriptions of Churchmen and Dissenters, he did not believe there would be any practical difficulty in removing any inequality. The hon. Gentleman said the next thing the Dissenters would claim would be the right to enter the churches of the Church of England and hold their services there, and he had quoted resolutions of a Nonconformist Conference in justification of that opinion. It was altogether beside the question to refer to these resolutions. As to the one about the marriage laws, it no doubt meant, not what the hon. Member supposed, but that Dissenting ministers, equally with the clergy of the Church of England, should have the power of registering marriages. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Marylebone (Mr. Forsyth) had asked where were the Petitions in favour of the Bill, and had said that because there were no Petitions—or but few Petitions—there was no feeling in the country on the subject. He believed that the hon. and learned Member was wrong in his assumption, and he believed that the absence of Petitions did not augur favourably for the security of the Church, because the fact was, that many Nonconformists, who like himself were not prepared to destroy the Established Church, began to see that they would not be able to obtain this measure with the Conservative Party in power, until the Church was disestablished; and that they were therefore quietly waiting for that event to take place in order that they might get what they desired, considering that Petitions would be of little avail. He believed there were many Nonconformists, who were not sorry to see this grievance remain, because they felt that in the end, it would strengthen their hands in making an attack upon the Establishment itself. Let them consider the case of Wales. There was in that part of the United Kingdom a population of nearly 1,500,000, and he supposed no one would dispute that the large majority of the population was Nonconformist, and that, at all events, while there was resistance to such a reasonable Bill as the present they were likely to continue Nonconformist. It was all very well to talk of cemeteries, but a large majority of these Welsh Dissenters had as yet only one burial-ground, and that was the parish churchyard, and it was by no means answering the question to say that because there were cemeteries in Liverpool or other places, that people in Wales should not bury their relatives in the parish churchyard, unless they were prepared to agree to certain conditions, especially as all the Welsh had to do was to cross the Channel and go to Ireland, and they would see that in that country the diffi culty had been met. The fact was that 50 years ago the question had been arranged so far as Ireland was concerned by a Tory Government, and he would ask the Prime Minister to see whether he could not take a leaf out of Lord Liverpool's book with reference to this subject. If the present question was one in which party considerations were mixed up, he might say that the best thing which could happen for the Opposition side of the House was that the Bill should be rejected—rejected, moreover, with a simple and positive refusal to entertain any mode of meeting the difficulty. ["No!"] He had no hesitation in saying that, because most likely the constituents of hon. Members opposite would compare the manner in which the question was treated by the Conservative Party now, when they had a majority, with their attitude in regard to it five years ago under different circumstances. On that former occasion the right hon. Gentleman the present Secretary of State for War and the Home Secretary acknowledged the existence of the grievance, and expressed an anxiety to meet it, while unable to approve the particular measure which had been brought forward. But, judging by the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General. Government now met the complaints by a denial that there was a serious grievance, and by saying they saw no way of meeting what grievance did exist. It was quite within the power of the Government, if they did not approve the remedy now proposed, to bring forward a measure of their own, as their Predecessors had done in regard to Ireland; and perhaps it would be worth the while of the Solicitor General to read the eloquent speech delivered in favour of the Irish Bill by Mr. Plunkett, one of the Law Officers of Lord Liverpool's Government. Why could they not carry out in this country the same principle that had been applied to Scotland and Ireland? Objections had been raised as to the probability of there being crowds and disturbances, but surely all difficulties of that kind could be met in England as they had been in Ireland. No one doubted that if the Government took the matter in hand they would be able to find a satisfactory solution of the difficulty. The hon. and learned Member for Marylebone had asked why the feel- ings of members of the Church of England should not be considered as well as those of Nonconformists; but surely the same consideration was not due to the feelings of those who were intolerant of religious services other than those to which they were accustomed, and to the feelings of persons who had either to allow their relations to be buried with a service which they did not approve, or to seek a burial place, at great expense, and, it might be, with great difficulty, in some other place. If it was a question of consulting the feelings of the majority it would probably be found that, in most cases, those feelings were on the side of the Dissenters. He could not think so ill of the men and women of the Church of England as to suppose they would be shocked by the proposed change. Besides, the hon. and learned Member should recollect that in Wales the majority of the people were Nonconformists, and laboured under a peculiar difficulty, owing to the fact that a third, or, at least, a fourth of the whole population were Baptists. Now, so long as any child of a Baptist was unbaptized, there was great risk of the feelings of the family being outraged by the clergyman refusing to allow the child to be buried. Indeed, if the fact came to the knowledge of the clergyman, he was bound by law to refuse burial; and, consequently, if the feelings of the inhabitants were consulted, no such system could be maintained in the Principality for another hour. He contended that, under such circumstances, they had no right to say to the inhabitants of Wales, You must not have your service conducted as you wish if you bury your dead in our graveyards. He believed, however, that the real reason why this measure was opposed was, that there was an idea that the Church Establishment would be endangered if the Bill was carried. He did not, however, believe that the Church would suffer in any way. The real power of the Church was the parochial system, and that system would be considerably weakened if numbers of people were year after year forced to do what was distasteful to them when they wished to bury their dead. In conclusion, he was sure that every attempt to maintain the position of the Church by exclusiveness injured that position, and that its real power would be increased by passing such a Bill as the present, which would tend to remove the natural conviction in the minds of Nonconformists that the opposition to it was an attempt to maintain an exclusiveness which was contrary to the civilization of the age.


said, he was glad to have heard the assurance of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down that, on his part, there was no wish to disturb the present relations between Church and State. He hoped that feeling was shared by a large number of the right hon. and hon. Gentlemen who sat on the same side of the House; for he felt certain that the more the country reflected on the question, the more emphatically it would recognize that the State gained much more from its connection with the Church, than the Church did from its connection with the State. He was glad, however, to find that the debate had been carried on—at least, so long as he had been in the House—without the customary allusions to clergymen, which had been indulged in on former occasions, who had acted injudiciously under the present law through a mistaken sense of what was their duty. He was glad to be able to say this, and he would remind the House that when the question was first brought before them by Sir Morton Peto, it was introduced in a very calm and deliberate manner, the grievance being simply and clearly stated. It was pointed out that by the Canon Law every parishioner had an absolute right to be interred in the churchyard of the parish, according, of course, to the ceremonies and rites of the Church of England; but that that rule was subject to three exceptions, having reference to persons who had been excommunicated, persons who had committed suicide, and persons who were unbaptized. The sole practical grievance related to the last of these exceptional classes. Now, it was well-known that the word "unbaptized," did not refer merely to baptism according to the rites of the Church of England. It applied only to those who had not been baptized at all, and the present head of the Church of England had expressed an authoritative opinion which really took away the only grievance of which Sir Morton Peto had complained. The grievance now complained of was, however, totally different. It was demanded, in point of fact, that those who differed from the Church of England should have greater privileges than those who belonged to it. The Nonconformists claimed as a right to he interred in the parish churchyard by their own minister and according to their own form of burial service. That was a right which did not belong to a member of the Church of England. He was bound to accept the services of the clergyman of the parish, although he might never have seen him, or although he might not like him. Now, it was contended that the Canon Law right of interment possessed by the parishioner rested upon the fact that the churchyards had been provided at the common expense of the parish. That, however, was not the case. Hon. Members who took that view forgot that Church rates had been abolished. Well, the very argument employed in favour of the abolition of Church rates was—" Why make us pay for the support of churches and graveyards which we do not use? "How then was it that they now came forward and made that demand about the graveyards, on the ground that they contributed towards their support. He did not deny that many people conscientiously believed in the grievance adverted to. He, for his own part, had always expressed his willingness to meet that grievance as far as it could be done practically. But he held that the remedy proposed by the Bill would meet the minimum of grievance with the maximum of irritation and annoyance throughout the country. The grievance, moreover, was a lessening one. It had been different in times when there were no cemeteries in the large towns; but now the number of cemeteries was rapidly increasing, and it must be remembered, in addition, that many parish graveyards had of late years been closed. We were wiser in sanitary matters than our ancestors, and the feeling now-a-days was that burial-grounds ought not to be attached to churches. Under these circumstances, the proper remedy for the grievance complained of would be the establishment of more cemeteries. It might be said that the burial-grounds of the Church of England were in a sense national property; but it must be remembered that there had been voluntary gifts of land for burial-grounds to the Church of England, and surely such gifts ought to be placed under no greater disadvan tage than similar gifts for cemeteries? He would only push this argument to the extent of asking whether Nonconformists would like to see the services of the Church of England, or of the Church of Rome, or of the Greek Church performed in their own burial-grounds. He had not heard a single Nonconformist say that he would approve such proceedings. That being so, was it strange that members of the Church of England should feel an objection to the performance of services other than their own in the parish churchyard, and should not some allowance be made to those who felt so? When the Nonconformists needed chapels, or ministers, or schools, there appeared to be no difficulty in providing them. Why, then, was it that not only in Wales, but in richer places, there were so very few burial-grounds attached to their chapels? The simple reason was, that the want of them was not felt. He believed, indeed, that there were not many Nonconformists who objected to the Burial Service of the Church of England. If the present measure was passed, it seemed to him that great annoyance and disturbance would be the inevitable result. It would be impossible to prevent the Nonconformists from making use of the church as well as the graveyard for their services. If a funeral service was conducted in the open air on a wet, stormy day, great discomfort would be suffered by those attending it, and the thing would be regarded as an outrage, and it was certain that as the result of such occurrences, the services would have to be allowed in the church. It had been said that no serious difficulties had been met in Ireland, and hon. Members had maintained that if the Bill was passed, the State Church would last all the longer for it; but did our experience in Ireland altogether bear out this argument? He, for one, did not feel inclined to look to the case of Ireland for any precedent in this matter. It must not be overlooked that the provisions of the Bill did not tend simply to the relief of Dissenters; but that they would practically disturb the whole of our ecclesiastical regulations as to burial. The effect of them would be that a man, whether a Dissenter or a member of the Church of England, would be at liberty to ask any clergyman or minister, or, in fact, anybody— it might be the parish doctor—to conduct a burial service. Therefore, as he had said, they would really inflict under that Bill the maximum annoyance and irritation to relieve the minimum of grievance. He would be the last person to do a single thing that would make the Church of England the Church of a sect, and not the Church of the nation, and he was perfectly willing to meet the grievance, but not in the way pointed out in the Bill. If there was a grievance, let it be remedied in the way pointed out by himself and his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War in a former debate in a previous Session. He asked the House to have some regard for the conscientious feelings of members of the Church of England, and of that hard-working and devoted body of men, her clergy, whom he believed they could not more thoroughly wound and displease than by passing that Bill. The matter was one that touched most strongly the sentiments, feelings, and passions of the clergy of the Church of England, and also of a very large number of her lay members, and therefore, he would most heartily give his vote against the measure.


Sir, I find a difficulty in attempting to address the House for a few minutes on this question, because it seems to me that it neither demands nor admits of much argument. That, I confess, is a strange thing, perhaps, to say after listening to so much argument about it. But there are some questions which come before us, and which, it appears to me, are so simple—I am not speaking now as to the mode, but as to the principle—that I do not know how hon. Members are able to find so many arguments on the one side and on the other. In this case, a good many things are admitted. It is admitted that the parochial burial-ground is intended for the service of all the inhabitants of the parish—that all have a right to use it when their friends come to be buried. Generally, the parochial burial-ground has been created and maintained at the expense of the parish. ["No!"] I know what hon. Members would say; but, at any rate, up to the time of the abolition of church rates, the parochial burial-grounds were provided and supported by the parish. I presume that all the burial-grounds that were in ex- istence before the passing of the Church Rate Abolition Act were established at the cost of the parish, and therefore now are—as they indeed all are by law—the property of the parish. I am sure, moreover, that hon. Gentlemen opposite know that, notwithstanding the repeal of church rates, there are thousands of Dissenters in this country who contribute voluntarily and constantly to the support both of churches and of parochial graveyards. Therefore, I have a right to say that the graveyards for the most part—I believe almost universally—are plots of ground in which the parishioners generally have a pecuniary interest. Well, it will be said that everybody has a right to be buried there, but only on certain conditions; that either he must have the service of the Established Church, or have no service at all, for that, I think, is the argument of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Now, it is quite open to persons to dissent if they like from the service of the Church of England, and about one-half the population of England and Wales have so dissented. They dissent—and I think that is a considerable matter when we are discussing this question—for various reasons. There are many grounds upon which men have dissented from the Church of England, the chief being that they have been brought up in Nonconformist principles by their families, and because all their associations are connected therewith. It is, therefore, quite reasonable to expect and understand that they should prefer at funerals not to have the Church of England Service, but that their own service or ceremonial should be adopted in its place. Well, if they think so, I should like to hear some reasonable argument why their opinions should not be complied with. But, on the other hand, you say that they should have no service at all. Yet you must admit there may be those who, from some cause or other, entirely dislike the Church of England Service, who are still of opinion that it is better to have some service, not for the sake of the dead—for I hope, indeed I believe, that no Nonconformist in this country is so superstitious as to believe in such a thing as that—but for the sake of the living and those who surround the grave. Now, why is it that you impose this test? You say the graveyard is the graveyard of the parish. Well, the body which is brought to the parish graveyard is that of a parishioner whom only last week you held as a fellow-parishioner, and whom you met in your street, on his farm, or in his garden. He is brought to the graveyard, and his friends propose to bury him there. But you say—"No; he shall not come at all, except on certain conditions. First of all, he shall have read over him a service arranged some 200 or 300 years ago"—which I am willing to admit is very impressive and very beautiful; nobody, I think, denies that—but "he shall have this read over him, and nothing else; if he does not have this, he shall have nothing at all." I will not say he shall be buried like a dog. That is an expression founded on a miserable superstition. Why, in that sense, I shall be buried like a dog; and all those with whom I am best acquainted, whom I best love and esteem, shall also be buried like a dog. Nay, more, my own ancestors, who in past time suffered persecution for what is now held to be a righteous cause, have all been buried like dogs—if that phrase be true. Let me ask, then, that if one half the population hold these opinions, why is it that they should have this test imposed upon them? You have abolished tests for holding offices. It is not now necessary that a man should take the Sacrament according to the practice of the Church of England to undertake an office under the Crown. That test, I say, has been swept away. "Why is it, then, when a man, or the body of a man, of one of the parishioners comes to your graveyard gate, and his friends ask that he may be there interred with decency and solemnity, that you say—"No, he shall not enter here and not be buried here,"—even although his family, his parents who have gone before him, and his children who have come after him and prematurely died before him be there—"unless he has the service that we have prescribed, or unless he has no service at all; "and shall thus be buried in a manner of which his friends may not approve? I ask that question of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Why is it that you have abolished the test in so many other instances and that in this instance you adhere to it?—for it is no other than a test. I will take the case of my own sect and try to draw an argument from that. We have no baptism: we do not think it necessary. We have no service—no ordered and stated service—over the dead. We do not think that necessary. But when a funeral occurs in my sect, the body is borne with as much decency and solemnity as in any other sect or in any other case to the grave side. The coffin is laid by the side of the grave. The family and friends and the mourners stand around, and they are given some time—no fixed time; it may be five minutes, or ten, or even longer—for that private and solemn meditation to which the grave invites even the most unthinking and the most frivolous. If anyone there feels it his duty to offer any word of exhortation, he is at liberty to offer it. If he feels that he can bow the knee and offer a prayer to Heaven, not for the dead, but for those who stand around the grave, for comfort for the widow or for succour and fatherly care for the fatherless children, that prayer is offered. Well, but if this were done in one of your graveyards—if, for example, such a thing were done there, and a member of my sect, or a Baptist, an Independent, or a Wesleyan came to be interred in one of your graveyards, and if some God-fearing and good man there spoke some word of exhortation, or on his knees offered a prayer to God, is there one of you on this side of the House or on that, or one of your clergymen, or any thoughtful and Christian man connected with your Church, who would dare in the sight of Heaven to condemn that, or to interfere with it by force of law? Why the proposition as reduced to a simple case like that is monstrous and intolerable, and I believe the time will come when men will never believe that such a thing could have been seriously discussed in the English House of Commons. Well, but what is wanted—I do not mean by the clauses and the details, but by the principle of this Bill? Why, that the Nonconformists of this country—the Independents, the Baptists, the Wesleyans, or the members of my sect—shall be permitted to enter the parochial graveyard and conduct not what is commonly called a service, but the ceremony of a funeral, in the way that I have described my sect as doing? Because, although with respect to us there is no stated and recognized, no written or printed, form, yet what does it signify whether it is written or printed, or is the extempore utterance of a full heart on a solemn occasion of that kind? I say we are doing harm to the Church of England by maintaining this test. I say further, that very great benefit would be conferred on all that Christianity teaches if some such system as that recommended by the Bill were wisely adopted in this country. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Cross) seems to think that a great grievance would arise, that the feelings of the ministers of the Church would be harassed. Well, no doubt, if men have feelings of that kind, nurtured by preference and monopoly, the time will come—it constantly comes—when those feelings will have to subside, or suffer something like discomfort. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) has referred to the opinion of a distinguished lawyer and former Member of this House, some 50 years ago, as to the case of Ireland. What is the case of Scotland at this moment? I was down in Scotland last July, and I recollect particularly visiting a quiet little parish graveyard there at Lochnagar. I noticed a tomb erected in what I thought good taste. From the inscription on it I found it was the tomb of a minister who had been the minister of that parish before the Disruption of 1843. Well, after the Disruption—and the same thing is to be seen in many parishes in Scotland—the minister who seceded became the minister of a Free Church in the very same parish. At the end of his earthly career he is buried alongside of the very minister who succeeded him in the parish in which he was originally settled. In Scotland, I say, they know no difference of this kind. Somebody will get up and say, "Yes, but in Scotland they do not care about these things, because their ground is not"—what do they call it?—"is not consecrated?" But may I tell hon. Gentlemen opposite what is the course which the Church of Scotland takes with regard to the Episcopalian Church in that country? You have Scotch Bishops and Scotch clergy, and Scotchmen who are Episcopalians. Well, they are allowed to be buried in their churchyards, and your own burial service is constantly and regularly read over the bodies of Episcopalians in Presbyterian graveyards in Scotland. Now, I ask you if in Ireland 50 years ago it was thought necessary to abolish the exclusive system—if in Scotland, by the liberality, I say, the Christian liberality and good feeling of the Scotch Presbyterians, Episcopalians are treated so liberally and justly in this matter, why is it that Presbyterians, if you like, in England, and Nonconformists generally, should have to appeal to some 400 Gentlemen in this House—all of whom, I presume, or the great bulk of whom, are members of the Established Church of England—for like toleration, or why it is that you should think it necessary to reject a Bill like this? The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, as I understand him, does not object to the principle of the measure. He would be willing—for I have always noticed in him ever since he has sat in this House a certain liberality, which, I think, is rather in advance of some other feelings that I have seen evinced among his Friends—he, I say, is willing to adopt some principle of this kind, and, if possible, by some means that he thinks would perhaps be less hurtful to the feelings of Churchmen, he would assent to some measure having the effect which this one is intended to produce. I am sorry that in the course of his speech—having made that admission for which I give him credit—he did not indicate to us some mode by which he thought that could be accomplished; because if he could point out to us any reasonable method that would be at all satisfactory to those who appeal to you on this question, I feel sure the hon. and learned Member for Denbighshire would be delighted to give him all the help in his power, and would even withdraw his own measure and adopt the Government Bill, if it succeeded in doing that which the right hon. Gentleman proposes. I have only one other observation to make—I wish to speak to Churchmen on another point that bears on this subject. All the arguments, all the feelings that have been expressed to-day I have heard and seen expressed I think 20 times since I have been in Parliament on the question of church rates. You know how much you prophesied about the ill effect of abolishing church rates, and you also know how little your prophecies have been fulfilled. You know how greatly you feared that your churches would fall into decay, and that churchyards and everything connected with the Established Church would suffer. Well, I believe there never was a time since the Church of England has existed in which your churches and churchyards were kept in such admirable order as they are at this moment. There never was a time when so many old churches were being repaired and rebuilt and so many new ones erected as has been the case since the day when nobody was compelled to subscribe for them. There is no doubt that the voluntary effort of the people—mainly, of course, of Churchmen—has done more for the Church than any law that Parliament could ever discuss or pass. And I would say to Churchmen—perhaps you think I cannot put myself in your position, but I think to some extent I can—I would say to you that if you were to deal with the Nonconformists of this country with more consideration and more condescension, with more of what I call Christian kindness and liberality in regard to matters of this sort, I suspect you would find that the strength of the Church would not be lessened, but increased; that the hostility with which, in many parts of the country, she is regarded would diminish; and that there would be a general subsidence of some of that animosity which must, I am afraid, to some extent prevail where there is a favoured and Established Church. It is a political question, as the church rate was a political question. Churchmen in the country, wherever you meet with them, do not discuss this subject as it is discussed in Parliament. They are more liberal than Parliament. Parliament is pledged. These questions are made questions of Party; and in questions of Party and in Party discussions I am afraid that sometimes common sense, often justice, and very often Christian thought and Christian liberality, are almost entirely forgotten. If we could once get rid of Party discussion, and could consider this matter as men—whether we be Nonconformists or Churchmen—anxious above all things for that kindness—that brotherly kindness and that peace which is inculcated upon us all alike by all the precepts of our common Christianity, I think we should have no difficulty in agreeing by a large majority to the Bill now before us.


said, after the eloquent speech to which the House had just listened, he would waive his right of reply.

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

The House divided:—Ayes 234; Noes 248: Majority 14.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Second Reading put off fox six months.

Acland, Sir T. D. Davies, R.
Adam, rt. hon. W. P. Dilke, Sir C. W.
Allen, W. S. Dillwyn, L. L.
Amory, Sir J. H. Dixon, G.
Anderson, G. Dodds, J.
Antrobus, Sir E. Dodson, rt. hon. J. G.
Ashley, hon. E. M. Downing, M'C.
Backhouse, E. Duff, M. E. G.
Balfour, Sir G. Dundas, J. C.
Barclay, A. C. Earp, T.
Barclay, J. W. Edwards, H.
Bass, A. Egerton, Adm. hon. F.
Bass, M. T. Ellice, E.
Bazley, Sir T. Eyton, P. E.
Beaumont, Major F. Fawcett, H.
Beaumont, W. B. Ferguson, R.
Biddulph, M. Fitzmaurice, Lord E.
Biggar, J. G. Fitzwilliam, hon. C. W. W.
Blennerhassett, R. P.
Bolckow, H. W. F. Fletcher, I.
Brassey, T. Foljambe, F. J. S.
Briggs, W. E. Fordyce, W. D.
Bright, rt. hon. J. Forster, Sir C.
Bristowe, S. B. Forster, rt. hon. W. E.
Brocklehurst, W. C. Fothergill, R.
Brogden, A. French, hon. C.
Brooks, M. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Brown, A. H. Gladstone, W. H.
Browne, G. E. Goldsmid, Sir F.
Burt, T. Goldsmid, J.
Butt, I. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Cameron, C. Gourley, E. T.
Campbell-Bannerman, H. Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Grey, Earl de
Carington, hn. Col. W. Grieve, J. J.
Carter, R. M. Gurney, rt. hon. R.
Cartwright, W. C. Hamilton, Marq. of
Cave, T. Hankey, T.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Harcourt, Sir W. V.
Chadwick, D. Harrison, C.
Childers, rt. hon. H. Harrison, J. F.
Cholmeley, Sir H. Hartington, Marq. of
Clarke, J. C. Havelock, Sir H.
Clifford, C. C. Hayter, A. D.
Clive, G. Herbert, H. A.
Cole, H. T. Herschell, F.
Collins, E. Hill, T. R.
Colman, J. J. Hodgson, K. D.
Corbett, J. Holms, J.
Corry, J. P. Holms, W.
Cotes, C. C. Hopwood, C. H.
Cowan, J. Horsman, rt. hon. E.
Cowen, J. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Crawford, J. S. Hughes, W. B.
Cross, J. K. Ingram, W. J.
Crossley, J. Jackson, H. M.
Dalway, M. R. James, Sir H.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. James, W. H.
Davies, D. Jenkins, D. J.
Johnstone, Sir H. Philips, R. N.
Kay-Shuttleworth, U. J. Playfair, rt. hon. L.
Plimsoll, S.
Kensington, Lord Potter, T. B.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Power, J. O'C.
Lambert, N. G. Power, R.
Laverton, A. Price, W. E.
Lawrence, Sir J. C. Ralli, P.
Lawson, Sir W. Ramsay, J.
Leatham, E. A. Rathbone, W.
Leeman, G. Reed, E. J.
Lefevre, G. J. S. Richard, H.
Leith, J. F. Robertson, H.
Lewis, C. E. Roebuck, J. A.
Lloyd, M. Ronayne, J. P.
Locke, J. Rothschild, N. M. de
Lorne, Marquess of Russell, Lord A.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. St. Aubyn, Sir J.
Lubbock, Sir J. Samuda, J. D'A.
Lush, Dr. Samuelson, B.
Lusk, Sir A. Seely, C.
MacCarthy, J. G. Shaw, R.
Macdonald, A. Shaw, W.
Macduff, Viscount Sherriff, A. C.
Macgregor, D. Simon, Mr. Serjeant
Mackintosh, C. F. Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.
M'Arthur, A. Smith, E.
M'Arthur, W. Smyth, R.
M'Kenna, Sir J. N. Stacpoole, W.
M'Lagan, P. Stafford, Marquess of
M'Laren, D. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Maitland, J. Stevenson, J. C.
Marjoribanks, Sir D. C. Stuart, Colonel
Marling, S. S. Sullivan, A. M.
Martin, P. Swanston, A.
Massey, rt. hon. W. N. Taylor, D.
Matheson, A. Taylor, P. A.
Maxwell, Sir W. S. Temple, rt. hon. W. Cowper-
Milbank, F. A.
Monck, Sir A. E. Tillett, J. H.
Monk, C. J. Torrens, W. T. M'C.
Morley, S. Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-
Mundella, A. J.
Muntz, P. H. Trevelyan, G. O.
Mure, Colonel Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Murphy, N. D. Vivian, A. P.
Nevill, C. W. Vivian, H. H.
Noel, E. Waddy, S. D.
Nolan, Captain Walsh, hon. A.
Norwood, C. M. Walter, J.
O'Brien, Sir P. Waterlow, Sir S. H.
O'Byrne, W. R. Watkin, Sir E. W.
O'Conor Don, The Weguelin, T. M.
O'Gorman, P. Whalley, G. H.
O'Reilly, M. Williams, W.
O'Sullivan, W. H. Wilson, C.
Palmer, C. M. Wilson, Sir M.
Pease, J. W. Yeaman, J.
Peel, A. W. Young, A. W.
Pender, J. TELLERS.
Pennington, F. Martin, P. W.
Perkins, Sir F. Morgan, G. O.
Adderley, rt. hn. Sir C. Bagge, Sir W.
Alexander, Colonel Balfour, A. J.
Allen, Major Baring, T. C.
Allsopp, H. Barrington, Viscount
Arkwright, A. P. Barttelot, Colonel
Arkwright, F. Bates, E.
Arkwright, R. Bateson, Sir T.
Ashbury, J. L. Bathurst, A. A.
Beach, rt. hn. Sir M. H. Gardner, J. T. Agg-
Beach, W. W. B. Garnier, J. C.
Bentinck, G. C. Gibson, E.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Gilpin, Colonel
Beresford, Colonel M. Goddard, A. L.
Birley, H. Gordon, W.
Boord, T. W. Gore, J. R. O.
Bourke, hon. R. Gore, W. R. O.
Bright, R. Gorst, J. E.
Broadley, W. H. H. Grantham, W.
Brooks, W. C. Gregory, G. B.
Bruce, hon. T. Hall, A. W.
Brymer, W. E. Halsey, T. F.
Buckley, Sir E. Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Bulwer, J. R. Hamilton, Lord G.
Burrell, Sir P. Hanbury, R. W.
Butler-Johnstone, H. A. Hardcastle, E.
Buxton, Sir R. J. Hardy, J. S.
Callendor, W. R. Hay, rt. hon. Sir J. C. D.
Cameron, D. Heath, R.
Campbell, C. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Cartwright, F. Hermon, E.
Cawley, C. E. Hervey, Lord A. H.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. Hervey, Lord F.
Chaplin, Colonel E. Hick, J.
Chapman, J. Hildyard, T. B. T.
Charley, W. T. Hill, A. S.
Clifton, T. H. Hodgson, W. N.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W. Hogg, Sir J. M.
Close, M. C. Holford, J. P. G.
Clowes, S. W. Holker, Sir J.
Cobbett, J. M. Holland, Sir H. T.
Cobbold, J. P. Holmesdale, Viscount
Cochrane, A. D. W. R. B. Holt, J. M.
Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Home, Captain
Coope, O. E. Hood, Captain hon. A. W. A. N.
Cordes, T.
Cotton, Alderman Hope, A. J. B. B.
Cross, rt. hon. R. A. Hubbard, rt. hon. J.
Cubitt, G. Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.
Cust, H. C. Isaac, S.
Dalkeith, Earl of Jervis, Colonel
Davenport, W. B. Johnson, J. G.
Deakin, J. H. Jones, J.
Denison, C. B. Kennard, Colonel
Denison, W. E. Kennaway, Sir J. H.
Dick, F. Knight, F. W.
Dickson, Major A. G. Knightley, Sir R.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Knowles, T.
Dyke, W. H. Lacon, Sir E. H. K.
Dyott, Colonel R. Lee, Major V.
Eaton, H. W. Legard, Sir C.
Edmonstone, Admiral Sir W. Legh, W. J.
Lennox, Lord H. G.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Lindsay, Col. R. L.
Egerton, Sir P. H. G. Lloyd,'S.
Egerton, hon. W. Lloyd, T. E.
Elliot, Sir G. Lopes, H. C.
Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H. Lopes, Sir M.
Emlyn, Viscount Lowther, hon. W.
Eslington, Lord Lowther, J.
Estcourt, G. B. Mahon, Viscount
Fellowes, E. Majendie, L. A.
Fielden, J. Makins, Colonel
Finch, G. H. Malcolm, J. W.
FitzGerald, rt. hn. Sir S. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Floyer, J. March, Earl of
Folkestone, Viscount Mellor, T. W.
Forester, C. T. W. Merewether, C. G.
Forsyth, W. Mills, A.
Foster, W. H. Mills, Sir C. H.
Fraser, Sir W. A. Monckton, F.
Gallwey, Sir W. P. Monckton, hon. G.
Mowbray, rt. hn. J. E. Smith, A.
Muncaster, Lord Smith, F. C.
Naghten, Col. A. R. Smith, S. G.
Neville-Grenville, E. Smith, W. H.
Newdegate, C. N. Somerset, Lord H. R. C.
Newport, Viscount Spinks, Mr. Serjeant
Noel, rt, hon. G. J. Stanhope, hon. E.
North, Colonel Stanhope, W. T. W. S.
Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H. Stanley, hon. F.
Starkey, L. E.
Onslow, D. Starkie, J. P. C.
Paget, R. H. Steere, L.
Palk, Sir L. Storer, G.
Parker, Lt.-Col. W. Sturt, H. G.
Pateshall, E. Sykes, C.
Peek, Sir H. W. Talbot, J. G.
Pelly, Sir H. C. Taylor, rt. hon. Col.
Pemberton, E. L. Tennant, R.
Peploe, Major Thynne, Lord H. F.
Percy, Earl Tollemache, W. F.
Phipps, P. Torr, J.
Plunket, hon. D. R. Tremayne, J.
Polhill-Turner, Capt. Turnor, E.
Powell, W. Twells, P.
Praed, C. T. Walker, T. E.
Price, Captain Wallace, Sir R.
Read, C. S. Walpole, hon. F.
Rendlesham, Lord Walpole, rt. hon. S.
Repton, G. W. Welby, W. E.
Ridley, M. W. Wellesley, Captain
Ritchie, C. T. Wells, E.
Rodwell, B. B. H. Wethered, T. O.
Russell, Sir C. Williams, Sir F. M.
Ryder, G. E. Wilmot, Sir H.
Sackville, S. G. S. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Salt, T. Winn, E.
Sanderson, T. K. Wolff, Sir H. D.
Sandford, G. M. W. Woodd, B. T.
Sandon, Viscount Wyndham, hon. P.
Sclater-Booth, rt. hn. G. Wynn, C. W. W.
Scott, Lord H. Yarmouth, Earl of
Scott, M. D. Yorke, hon. E.
Scourfield, J. H. Yorke, J. E.
Shirley, S. E. TELLERS.
Shute, General Heygate, W. U.
Sidebottom, T. H. Leigh, Lt.-Col. E.