HC Deb 07 June 1888 vol 326 cc1407-8
MR. COMMINS (Roscommon, S.)

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether he is aware that it is provided by 13 Eliz. c. 2— That by colour of bulls and writings certain wicked persons very secretly and most seditiously, in such parts of this Realm where the people for want of good instruction are most weak, simple, and ignorant, and thereby farthest from the good understanding of their duties towards God and the Queen, have, by their lewd and subtle practices and persuasions, so far forth wrought, that sundry simple and ignorant have been contented to be reconciled to the usurped authority of the See of Rome. That for remedy and redress thereof, and to prevent the great mischiefs and inconveniences that may thereon ensue, if any person shall use or put in use within this Realm any bull, writing, or other instrument gotten from the Bishop of Rome, or from any other person or persons authorized or claiming authority by or from the Bishop of Rome. Or shall obtain or get from the said Bishop of Rome, or any of his successors or the See of Rome, any manner of bull, writing, or instrument, written or printed, containing any thing, matter, or cause whatever, or shall publish, or by any means put in use any such bull, writing, or instrument, shall be deemed and adjudged by the authority of this Act to be guilty of high treason, and the offenders therein, their procurers, abettors, and councillors, shall be deemed and adjudged high traitors to the Queen and the Realm; whether he is aware that "The Statute Law Revision Act, 1863," repealed all the remaining portions of this Act, but left these untouched, and whether they are and remain a portion of the Revised Statute Law; and, whether Her Majesty's Government have any intention to introduce a Bill for the repeal of these provisions, which are severe upon Her Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects? The hon. Gentleman also asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he is aware that the 25th Henry VIII., c. 21, amongst other things, provides that— Peter pence had been taken out of the realm by the Bishop of Rome, who was to be blamed therein" (amongst other things) "for his using and beguiling the King's subjects, pretending and persuading to them that he had full power to dispense with all human laws, uses, and customs of all realms in all causes which be called spiritual, in great derogation of the King's Imperial Crown and Authority Royal contrary to right and conscience;" and "That no person or persons in this realm, or of any other of His Majesty's dominions, shall from thenceforth pay any Peter pence, or any other impositions, to the use of the said Bishop or the See of Rome, but that all such Peter pence should from thenceforth clearly surcease and never more be taken, perceived, nor paid to any person or persons in any manner of wise; and that these provisions of this Statute remain unrepealed by "The Statute Law Revision Act, 1863," which repeals other parts of the Act; and, whether Her Majesty's Government are now prepared to bring in a Bill to repeal these provisions of the Statute of Henry VIII.?


Certain portions of the Act of 13 Eliz. c. 2, were repealed by the Act of 1883, as being no longer in force. But the substance of the Act in question was expressly maintained by the Act of 9 & 10 Vict., c. 19; and, therefore, it would not have been right to have repealed the whole Act. There is not, in my opinion, any necessity to introduce a Bill for a repeal, as the Acts do not press upon any portion of Her Majesty's subjects. As regards the 25th Henry VIII., c. 21, the same answer may be given—namely, that it is not, in my opinion, desirable to repeal the whole of the Statute.