HL Deb 21 March 1828 vol 18 cc1236-51
Lord King

said, that before he proceeded to make the motion of which he had given notice, he begged leave to set right the character of the person from whom he had, on a former occasion, presented a petition. He had understood the right rev. prelate to object to the petitioner, that he was a man of so irritable a temper that it was impossible to agree with him, and that other persons had complained of him so much, that it was impossible the Society could continue to employ him as a missionary. Now, he held in his hand a copy of a memorial which had been sent to the Society in favour of Mr. Griffin: it was signed by fifty-four inhabitants of Bridgetown, where Mr. Griffin had formerly resided, and the first signature was that of a justice of the peace. It expressed the satisfaction of the memorialists with the conduct of Mr. Griffin, and requested that he might be appointed to officiate at a chapel, as the memorialists were fully persuaded that by so doing, the best interests of the church of England, and of religion and virtue would be promoted. It was dated in 1826. He believed there did exist, as was stated, bitter contentions in the colonies, and that they were aggravated by the proceedings of the Society. Nor was it at all unnatural, that it should be so; for a very great proportion of the people there were presbyterians, who had a strong feeling of dislike against the exercise of any kind of patronage in the appointment of clergymen, and who liked to appoint their own ministers. The people had very strong objections to the person who had succeeded Mr. Griffin, and not liking him, they had deserted the church. The Society had aggravated the natural causes for these contentions. He was sorry to give so much trouble to the pure body which he saw opposite; but he was sure their appearance was not without a motive. He did hope, that as the object of his motion would be to inquire into the sums of public money expended in a particular way through the Society for the service of the colonies, and involved a charge of extravagant expenditure, it would not be opposed; but when he saw the noble ex-secretary for the colonies in his place, and supported by that holy alliance behind him, he concluded that his motion was to be opposed. The petitioner stated, that there were many abuses by missionaries, and that the funds furnished by the government were misapplied. He charged the Society with being ignorant of the manner in which the money was disposed of; that there were great abuses in the expenditure in the colonies; and he stated that he had received the offer of a considerable sum of money to induce him not to present his petition, and not to provoke a public discussion. Now, he objected strongly to the government transferring the duty of providing for the expenses of the church of England in the colonies to the Society; and he objected to it on these grounds:—The population of our North American colonies were, most of them, Presbyterians, Baptists, Independents—any thing but members of the church of England. If the funds appropriated for the support of the ministers of religion were disposed of by government, it would in some casts, give a part of them to the religious ministers of the great body of the people; while, as long as those funds were disposed of by the Society, they would all be appropriated to one sect—not to supply the religious wants of the great body of the people, but to maintain in opulence the ministers of the smallest, sect. If the money were disposed of by the government, and not by the Society, it would not be all exclusively appropriated to the church of England. In the present disposal of the grant, no respect whatever was shown to the wants of the colonies; in which nine-tenths of the people were Presbyterians or Dissenters of one kind or another. It was said, that if there were no public grants, the church of England could not be maintained. But how was the Presbyterian church maintained? Why, the people paid for their own ministers by subscription, by letting seats, or by some other means. Was it not. curious, that the members of the church of England were the only sect who would not provide for their own ministers? He could not agree with the statement, the claim rather, that it was the duty of government to provide, by taxing the people of England, for the maintenance of the church of England in the colonies. It might be the duty of the government to provide for the expenses of the church establishment in the colonies; but if such a church establishment were required there, it ought to be provided for at the expense of the colonists themselves. The noble earl, indeed, and Dr. Philpott, might agree in taking this expense from our taxes; they might make common cause in their attack on the public purse; they might say that it was the duty of the government to provide for the maintenance of the members of the church of England in the colonies; but, supposing the United States of America still remained our colonies, would such a claim for them be made? Such a supposition was most preposterous. He would allow the government to apply the resources of the colonies to support a church there, if that were necessary; but he objected to its calling on this country to pay for it. Let the members of the church of England, he would say, provide their own ministers. It was the duty of government to burthen the people as little as possible with taxation, and it might be another duty to provide ministers for the colonies; but we sacrificed one of these duties to the other. The Society had got a very good name. It was the "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel;" and having got this good name, it seemed to be thought that the Society was invested with the attribute of royalty, and could do no wrong. The Society seemed to him to desire that, more than Papal power—that prostration of the will and understanding, which they had once been told best became all Christians. No individual, it seemed, was to touch the ark of the Society's accounts, though it had public money to dispose of. With its own funds the Society might do as it pleased; it might provide ministers for the colonies if it pleased, or the colonies might provide them for themselves; but what he objected to was, the appropriation of the public money, through the Society, for this purpose. Such was not the manner, however, in which the funds of the Society were originally employed. At the origin of the Society they were employed in con- tributing to provide missionaries for distant parts of the country, where the people were poor and wretched, and had not the means of providing themselves with religious instruction. But now the Society paid missionaries 200l. a year who lived in towns. It was not with such views that the Society was established. But now the Society paid missionaries who resided in towns, the inhabitants of which did not require any, and were able and willing to provide ministers for themselves; but if they were to have ministers forced on them—if these ministers were persons whom they did not choose to hear—was it to be expected that they would contribute to support them? The first abuse of which he complained was, that the Society took money raised by taxes in England to pay the church establishment in the colonies. The next abuse was the manner in which this money was employed, in supporting pluralities, such as giving money to persons as missionaries, who held other situations or benefices—a rectory, for example—or who enjoyed a place in a college, having salary, and also other duties to attend to. The third abuse was, that there was no person who was responsible for the disposal of the funds supplied from our taxes. He had heard, the other day, the right rev. prelate say, he was only an individual member of the Society who sometimes took the chair in the absence of his superior; but he disclaimed all responsibility.—[The bishop of London here said, that he took his full share of the responsibility, but not more than any other trustee.] The charge against the Society was, that money was granted by the Society, and no person knew how it was disposed of. The money was granted, and that very responsible person, Mr. Nobody, accounted for it. This was a case, he thought, for inquiry. Their lordships had also been informed, that in the settlement of one of the colonies, one-seventh of the land had been set apart for the church. It was of considerable extent; but they were told that it was now unavailing, and of no value. Was it meant, he would ask, that the church should keep one-seventh of the land, and that we should also burthen ourselves with maintaining the clergy? If it was necessary to provide otherwise for the church, we ought to take back the land. That seventh was scattered through the country, and, as it was not cultivated, it impeded in a sensible degree, the progress of the colony. The land belonging to the church was not cultivated, and it interfered with the cultivation of other land; so that the colony was injured, to provide for the expenses of the church of England. Their lordships had been told, that the practice of the Society was, when a church was built, to make a grant, and perhaps their lordships supposed, that a church meant a building like some of the churches in Regent-street, or like some of Mr. Nash's churches; but he was informed that a church in the colonies, under these circumstances, meant only a mere log-house, a few pieces of timber placed together, sometimes with doors and windows, and sometimes without. He was informed that the practice was this:—As the Society always gave an income for a clergyman when a church was built, some missionary, or some person who wanted a living, went a few miles, twenty or thirty, into the back settlements, where he found a few scattered people and a few small houses, and he induced them to build a log-house, and call it a church; or they put their names to a piece of paper as subscribers to a church, with the understanding that they were never to be called on to pay for it; a wooden frame of rough boards or trees was put together, information was sent to the Society that a church was established in such a place, and that a clergyman was wanted; immediately the zealous missionary received his 200l. a year, and an old missionary received 30l. a year more to visit the new establishment now and then. This was the way, as he understood, that new missionaries were wanted and provided for. The authority of the noble earl, the late Secretary for the Colonies, was very great; but it would not, he hoped, satisfy the Finance Committee, and he doubted if it would satisfy any reasonable man, that the Society ought to receive so large a grant of the public money. The Society even went in extravagance beyond the noble earl. He said 200l. a year was sufficient, but the Society gave 300l. a-year. He objected to the government giving its authority and money to this Society; he objected to the Society, that nobody knew how the money was expended, or was responsible for it; and all these made up, he thought, a case of great abuse, which required to be inquired into. He would therefore move, "That a Committee be appointed to inquire into the Expenditure of the public money granted to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in his Majesty's Colonies of North America."

Earl Bathurst

said, he had formerly stated, that he conceived the allegations of the petition did not justify the appointment of a committee, and he had heard nothing, in what had fallen from the noble lord, to make him alter his opinion. The noble lord had not rested his case solely on the petition. The noble lord said, that the public money distributed by the Society was made over to the Society by the government, in order to provide for the members of the church of England. The noble lord objected to this country being charged with the expense of maintaining the clergy of the church of England in the colonies; and he seemed to think that this was a new principle, first introduced into practice in 1813, when he (lord Bathurst) was Secretary of State for the Colonies. But he must tell the noble lord, so far was this from being a new principle, that ever since 1702 grants have been uniformly made by the government to the Society, for the ministers of the church of England in the North American colonies. Within the last sixteen years those grants had been considerably increased. In 1811, 1812, and 1813, the grants had been 2,600l. a year. Subsequently to that time a great increase had been made; but the arrangement was this:—The government had agreed to pay to each missionary appointed by the Society as much as the Society gave. The Society gave generally 70l. to each missionary, and the government charged itself with an additional 70l. In 1813, in consequence of repeated representations made from the colonies, it was found necessary to increase the allowance. This necessity produced the difference of expense; for the government found that, as two persons were wanted where one only was before requisite, it had to give 140l. when it only gave 70l. before. It was found also, that vacancies could not be filled without difficulty; complaints were at the same time made of the want of clergymen, and, therefore, it was determined to increase the salary to 200l. a year. When this arrangement was made, government had to give 100l. instead of 70l. for each missionary. At the same time, the increase of the population made it necessary that there should be a great augmentation in the number of the minis- ters. Proofs of this necessity were sent from the colonies to this country; and as the number of missionaries increased, their lordships would see that there was also an increase of that sum which the government was called on to advance. Since that time there had been a continual increase of the population, which made a continual increase of the expense necessary. In 1813 the number of missionaries was between thirty and forty; now there were one hundred and four. The noble lord seemed to suppose that this increase had been made for the sake of patronage to the Society or to individuals; but this could not be the case, for there was a great difficulty in obtaining persons to fill the situation. The difficulty was to get any qualified person to accept the office, not to make a selection amongst many. Even with a salary of 200l. a year, the Society found it a very difficult task to procure proper persons as missionaries. The noble lord said, it was the regulation of the Society not to send out a missionary until a church was ready; and that the churches in that country were not like the churches in this. But if it were necessary not to send out missionaries until the churches of that country were built with as much magnificence as the churches here, he was afraid no missionary would ever be sent. The churches there were fit for the purposes of the people; and the great majority of them were not those mere log-huts which the noble lord had described; and whoever supposed they were such, committed a gross mistake. If the noble lord had derived his information from the gentleman whose petition he had presented, it would shew their lordships, as he hoped more fully to satisfy them presently, that no dependence whatever could be placed on his statements. It did not entirely depend on the Society to send out missionaries: application was also made by the population of the colonies: and frequent applications had been made by the governors of our colonies, who represented the urgent necessity of sending out a number of competent persons. With respect to Upper Canada, the population of which had of late so much increased, he had received representations from the lieutenant-governor, which proved the evils inflicted on the colonies by the want of missionaries. He prayed earnestly, that some might be sent out, as the consequence of not having them was, that a number of adventurers from the United States had come into Canada, and made it their business to supply the place of ministers of the Gospel. The lieutenant-governor was of opinion, that policy required, that those who taught his majesty's subjects religion ought to be subjects of his majesty, and not citizens of the United States. He therefore saw no occasion whatever to believe that the expenditure of the Society or the number of missionaries had been unnecessarily increased since 1813. If their lordships considered the great increase of population which had taken place in the colonies since the peace, they would see that the Society would not have discharged its duty had it not increased the number of missionaries. Their lordships had heard no complaints from the colonies against the Society; which was sufficient to make them think the allegations of the petition not founded. But who was the petitioner? He was himself a missionary, who had been employed for five or six years, and had at length' been removed, on the bishop of the diocese representing that he was of so irritable a disposition, that his residence there could no longer be of advantage. The Society had approved of the recommendation and removed the petitioner; and this person, who had been a missionary between five and six years, and who had, during that period, been silent, now asked their lordships to adopt a measure which would instantly discharge one hundred and four missionaries. His petition shewed that he was not fit to discharge the duties he had taken on himself. The noble earl read a letter which the petitioner had written to Mr. Huskisson in January 25, 1828, about six weeks ago. The letter described the natives as treating the English as aliens, bastards, and intruders, denying them all privileges, persecuting them, and ill-treating them in all sorts of ways; stating also, that the persecutors of the English in the colony were sure to be promoted; and concluding by saying, "Hear, Old England, and be astonished!" This letter was such a proof of the temper of the petitioner, that it would prevent, he was sure, their lordships from placing confidence in any of his assertions. The letter was indeed so damning a proof of the character of the petitioner, that he ought, perhaps, to apologize for saying one word more on the subject. The noble lord had formerly stated, when he had spoken of the mismanagement of the Society, that it had encouraged pluralities; and had given, as an instance, the case of a gentleman who had been appointed a missionary at Quebec, and who, not finding that place agree with his health, did not reside there, but went to live at Prince Edward's Island, eight hundred miles distant. The petitioner had said, that he had been removed from Prince Edward's Island in consequence of the complaints he had made of the above person's receiving his salary without doing any thing for it. This was not the fact; and he was removed in consequence of the serious differences which had existed between him and the inhabitants of the island. The first reason of this difference was characteristic of the man and of his general conduct. He had not been many weeks at Prince Edward's Island, when he addressed a letter to the Society, representing that there was a certain missionary in the island who was, and had long been, in the performance of all the duties of a clergyman, but who was not in priest's, but only in deacon's orders. He stated, that he had for thirteen years taken upon himself to officiate as a priest, and even to administer the sacrament, it must have been well known to the petitioner when he made this representation, that severe penalties would lie against any man who acted in the manner stated of this individual. As soon as the Society received this representation, they called upon the clergyman in question for an explanation of what had been alleged against him. The answer which the Society received was perfectly satisfactory; for the clergyman who had been so unjustly accused, sent to the Society his powers of ordination as a priest, which was dated as far back as 1774. The gentleman was at that time eighty years of age. As he had many friends in Prince Edward's Island, and was highly esteemed, it was not to be imagined, that a person bringing so unfounded a charge against this virtuous clergyman could escape censure. He did not mean to assert that Mr. Griffin, when he wrote that letter to the Society, was aware of its untruth. He had heard as a mere report, that the clergyman against whom he thought proper to bring this serious charge was not in priest's orders, and his propensity to believe whatever he heard to the prejudice of any man, induced him to think himself warranted in circulating the scandal, and in making it a ground of applying to the Society upon the subject. No sooner was the petitioner out of this scrape, than he got into another; for it was impossible for him to remain quiet in any situation, or under any circumstances. He went to another island, and there got into a quarrel with the churchwardens. He could not take upon himself to say, whether a missionary had, or had not, a right to examine a churchwarden's accounts; but Mr. Griffin chose to assume such a power, and to make his pretensions a source of discord. A short time after his arrival there he wrote a most violent letter, charging a Mr. Ross with having been a party in a riot, or in an outrage of a criminal nature. In consequence of this, an ex officio information was filed against him by the Attorney-general; and, when the time came for the complainant to make his charges good, he found himself obliged to withdraw them.—He would now call their lordships' attention to a serious and singular charge, which that gentleman had preferred respecting the venerable bishop of Nova Scotia. He had represented that the bishop, a few months after his appointment to that see, had come over to this country, and was residing here, receiving the revenues of his office, and without performing its duties. Let this case be what it might, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel had nothing to do with it; they had no concern whatever in it, and if there were any thing improper in the proceedings, he, (lord B.) and he alone, was to blame. The gentleman to whom he referred was Dr. Stunzer, and he had owed his elevation to the bishopric to causes totally independent of interest. This gentleman had been the rector of St. Paul's, the principal parish of Halifax, for thirty years and upwards, and had given general satisfaction to his parishioners. His integrity of life and amiable disposition had gained him the esteem and good-will of every person. Upon the death of the preceding bishop, a representation came to this country, signed by all the respectable inhabitants, whatever their persuasions, stating that Dr. Stunzer had faithfully served, for thirty years, as a clergyman in that country, and begging that government would recommend his appointment to the vacant bishopric. It did so happen that this gentleman had not what was vulgarly called a patron in this country; or, if he had, he had either forgotten the circumstance, or the patron had forgotten him. He (lord B.) had not received one word in favour of Dr. Stunzer, from any person in this country, whilst he certainly did receive applications in favour of other persons desirous of the appointment. Upon considering all the circumstances of the case, he had submitted his name to his majesty, who wag pleased to direct that a patent should be made out, constituting Dr. Stunzer, bishop of Nova Scotia. He had not been bishop above a year, or a year and a half, when, unfortunately a most destructive fire broke out at Halifax. A fire in that part of the world was infinitely more disastrous than in this, as the merchants, and all acquainted with the place, well knew that the Houses were principally built of wood; and what greatly increased the calamity in question was, its happening in the midst of winter. As soon as accounts of the accident were received, the bishop repaired to the scene of danger; and by his advice, and his personal exertions, he greatly contributed to extinguish, the fire. From his not having been accustomed to manual labour, his great age, and the severity of the exertions he made, this venerable prelate was seized with a severe fit of illness, which ended in a paralytic stroke. His medical advisers strongly persuaded him to repair to this country, as the only possible means of recovering his health. His friends equally persuaded him; and it was the wish of all those inhabitants who venerated his character, and were impressed with a due sense of his long and faithful discharge of his sacred functions. In the following year, Dr. Stunzer had represented to him his desire to go back to Nova Scotia, but that his physicians had told him he might expect fatal consequences from his return to that climate. Similar reports were made for another year, when he (lord Bathust) thought proper to have the case submitted to the late Dr. Baillie, with a desire that he should state, whether, in his opinion, there was any chance of the bishop's recovering his health sufficiently to admit of his return to America. Dr. Baillie, in reply, stated that, in fact, there was no chance. He reported that Dr. Stunzer might possibly, by great care and attention, live some time longer in this country; but as to his health being sufficiently restored to admit of his resuming his functions, it was utterly impossible. It then became his (lord B's.) official duty to examine this gentleman himself, and to explain to him that it was out of his power to return; that all hope of his being restored to health, sufficiently for any such a purpose, was out of the question; and he felt it his duty to recommend him to resign his office. He said to him, that he was well aware that while he was in England, the bishop's commissary was in the discharge of the episcopal functions, and that, therefore, his absence from the colony for a time was not material; but that there were some duties which a bishop could alone perform, such, for example, as Confirmation, and that consequently the long-continued absence of the diocesan from the colony, from any reason whatever was inconvenient, and that he thought it essential that such an inconvenience should be removed. Dr. Stunzer replied, that he was perfectly ready to resign, but that he had sunk his private fortune, and had nothing whatever to live upon. In consequence of this, applications were made to the governments of New Brunswick and of Nova Scotia: out of their funds the first province consented to grant to Dr. Stunzer an allowance of 350l. per annum; whilst Nova Scotia granted 250l., and upon his recommendation, the Society added 200l. per annum more. Many noble lords might possibly think these sums extravagant; but for his part, he was not of that opinion. It must be recollected, that he had had no power, no right, no authority, to require Dr. Stunzer's resignation; and if he had possessed such powers, he had no hesitation in saying that he would not have exercised them without taking care to provide for the individual. He confessed that he was not one of those who possessed that iron sense of duty to put to any man the alternatives of going out to Halifax to die, or to stay at home and starve. Whatever impropriety there might have been in the transaction, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel was wholly and intirely innocent of it: the blame, if any blame did exist, rested exclusively on him. The petitioner was a gentleman who, unfortunately, from an exasperated state of mind, could not be relied upon; and there was no groundwork laid to induce the House to institute the examination which was required. He should, therefore, oppose the motion.

Lord Goderich

said, it would be unnecessary for him, after what had fallen from his noble friend, to trouble their lordships with any extended reasonings upon the subject; but he must say that he thought the rev. gentleman, whose petition was the ground-work of the present motion, was, of all the petitioners whose cases he had had to consider, the most unfortunate in failing to produce any reasoning or any substantial allegations, calculated to obtain the respect or attention of the House. The noble lord had admitted that there was no ground on which he could found his motion, except the assertions of the reverend petitioner; and he had asserted the other night, that he was prepared to rest his case exclusively on that petition. His noble friend on the other side the House had fully shown, that the rev. gentleman had displayed no small measure of the temper in which he was always disposed to treat all persons and all things which did not suit his feelings. Wherever the rev. gentleman went, he seemed determined to get into hot water with somebody. He would, however, wish to make the House believe that he was one of the most mild and inoffensive of human beings, and that he was always the victim of some malignant or cunning conspiracy wherever he went. He had read the petition over, and he must confess, that it appeared to him to contain a good deal of that figure of rhetoric, which was usually known by the designation of rigmarole; and that no part of it was of a nature to require any great degree of attention. But he had in his possession a curious specimen of the temper in which this rev. gentleman was disposed to express himself when his views were thwarted, or when his feelings were under excitement. What he would read to the House was a specimen of his style of epistolary correspondence with those who had the misfortune not to please him; and when the House had heard it, their lordships would not be surprised at the perpetual hot water into which the rev. gentleman seemed plunged. In 1826, this rev. gentleman had taken it into his head to address a letter to the bishop of Nova Scotia, upon a subject which had nothing whatever to do with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, as the bishop's income was not derived from any grant to the Society by the public. He tells the bishop, that the public will judge him to be a man who was so crafty, and so practised in the art of duplicity, that he was acting the part of a madman or a devil. "It will require," he says, "the utmost exertion of your abilities in the art; of dis- simulation to set people against me." Was this the language of a peaceable man, a preacher of the gospel, to his superior? The rev. gentleman continues:—"I must exhort you to repent of your enormous guilt, so contrary to law, reason, justice, and the gospel of Christ. At this time, perhaps, this warning will be in vain, while you are puffed up with worldly pride and ignorance. Tremble at the thunder of the Most High God, with whom there is no respect of persons;—prepare for the thunder." Could the House think of instituting inquiries upon the allegations of such a man?—The case of the rector of Saint Paul's had been adduced as a proof of the mismanagement of the funds of the Society. It was urged, that the rector was at the same time a Missionary. It was to be inferred, from this, that the duties which he had to perform as Missionary were distinct from those of his rectory. But the rectory produced him nothing; for although it had attached to it a glebe land, that glebe yielded nothing; and if the unfortunate rector was not assisted by the Society, he would be left without any remuneration for the discharge of the parochial duties as rector.—Mr. Griffin complained, that the Society was disposed to employ as Missionaries those whom this rev. gentleman is pleased to call natives. One would suppose from the manner in which he treated those people, that they were inhabitants of a savage country. They were, however, fellow subjects, born in that country, and educated at the College of Windsor, in Nova Scotia, and for which the Education Society had granted small sums, for the purpose of inducing young men to be educated as clergymen; and it was the practice of the Society to select such individuals, rather than exercise their patronage by the appointment to the church of persons brought up at home. It was true that many might wish that none should be appointed to missions except persons educated at Oxford and Cambridge; but the views which the Society had taken were more liberal and just. The noble lord had, he thought, totally failed to make out any case which could justify a reference of the petition to a committee.

The Bishop of London

said, he would deny that he had evinced any disposition to shelter the Society from an inquiry into the distribution of its funds. He had never said any thing of the kind. He would now make a few observations respecting what the petitioner had said relative to the 50l. or 100l. offered to him as an inducement not to bring the subject of his petition before the public. He (the bishop) had received a letter from an eminent clergyman of the Established Church, which was conclusive on the subject: he alluded to archdeacon Pott. The archdeacon stated how he came to have any communication with Mr. Griffin, and what was the purport of all that had ever passed between them. The archdeacon had had his attention called to what had been stated in the House of Lords, respecting his having offered 50l. or 100l. to Mr. Griffin, in order to induce him to stop all further proceedings relative to his appeal against the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The archdeacon said, in his letter, that Mr. Griffin came to his house at Kensington, between seven and eight o'clock on Sunday evening, he never having seen him before. He had declined entering into Mr. Griffin's statement, which he had been desirous of making, but he observed to him, that from the intemperate language he had made use of in his letters, every body would feel convinced that the Society did well in getting rid of him. Mr. Griffin then replied, "Was there no door left open for repentance or apology?" The archdeacon rejoined, that there was, if he wished to make one. At the next meeting of the committee of the Society, he related what had passed between him and Mr. Griffin, and he wished that an apology might be accepted by the Society. On the Monday, Mr. Griffin called on him again, when he told him that if he made a proper apology, the committee might recommend his case to the attention of the Society. A hundred pounds were mentioned as the utmost that he could hope to receive from the Society; but it was impressed upon his mind, that whatever sum he did receive, the principal object would be to place him on a better footing with the Society, especially in relation to his future prospects. He added, that if Mr. Griffin imagined that in making the proposal, he was influenced by fear, or any apprehension of exposure, or desire of concealment or suppression of any statement injurious to the Society, he (Mr. Griffin) acted most unfairly towards one who intended all he did merely as a kindness to him. Mr. Griffin made no reply. He never said that his petition was to be presented to the House that evening. The right rev. prelate concluded by observing, that the letter of the archdeacon completely refuted what had been said respecting any desire to induce Mr. Griffin to suppress any charge he might conceive himself able to bring against the Society.

Lord King

said, he had not given any guarantee for the good temper of Mr. Griffin; indeed, he could not have done any thing of the sort, for he had never seen him but once. All he had stated of the rev. gentleman's character was, that he possessed a certificate of the inhabitants of Bridgetown in his favour. The manner in which he had been treated by the House had not evinced the best possible temper on the part of their lordships. The course taken against him was not by any means unprecedented; for whenever a person appealed to the House for redress, or attacked a public body upon public principles, the course of the ministerial bench was, to use every exertion to blacken his character. But much less turned upon the character of the petitioner than the opposite side wished to believe. He (lord King) had said, that the rector of Halifax was an ecclesiastical commissary and a missionary, The noble earl replied, that this assertion was true, but that the rector got nothing from his parish, for his glebe yielded nothing, But this assertion was not correct; for although the rector got nothing from the glebe, he received between four and five hundred pounds a year from his pew rents and other parochial fees. The rectory was, in fact, a valuable church preferment. It was a decided misapplication of the funds of the Society, to bestow any additional gifts on a clergyman in possession of such preferment. The Society was instituted for far different objects; and its real friends would feel sorry if its funds were to be so applied. The right rev. prelate had said, that the Society did not decline the investigation; but the right rev. bishop bad declined it for them, and the result was the same. He begged to say, that he did not rest his motion upon the petition, but upon the ground of what had fallen from the right reverend prelate, that the money of the Society was wasted, by being bestowed upon persons already provided for.

The motion was then put and negatived without a division.