HL Deb 21 February 1831 vol 2 cc730-45
Lord King rose

to bring on the motion of which he had given notice, relative to | the report made by the Archbishop of Dublin to the Lord Lieutenant and Privy Council of Ireland, to obtain their sanction to the great Union of Wicklow. In doing so it was not his intention to enter into the many abuses, with regard to unions, which were so characteristic of the Irish Church, and by which so many parishes were combined into one grand benefice, though it was an admitted evil, and though it served, above all other things, to bring into contrast the poverty of the people, and the great—nay, overgrown—wealth of! the Church Establishment of Ireland. If any friend of the Church Establishment of Ireland were asked the reason why so large a portion of the public revenue should be set apart for the maintenance of the professors of a religion which was in so decided a minority as to its followers, he would undoubtedly answer, that one great advantage derivable from it was, that it secured the residence of a number of gentlemen of education, fit for the civil Magistracy. But that object was in a great degree defeated by the system of which he had then to give a particular instance, and by which as many as eight or ten parishes were united into one living. The design was altogether counteracted by the practice, and he thought he could show a return which would not a little astonish their Lordships on this subject. Oat of 2,450 parishes, so many were united, that no more than 700 Clergymen were resident in the whole country. Their Lordships would sec, that not one-third of the whole number of these gentlemen of education, who might be employed to do so much good, and to enlighten the community, were called into existence. He would also show that 1,701 parishes were consolidated into 517 unions. These, he supposed, were the Irish Consols, and that the remaining 749 were the few which were allowed to rest in single blessedness. The union of these parishes continued only during the life of the incumbent, and they could not be again united, after the lapse of his life, without the authority of the Bishop; and the Bishop who exercised that authority was obliged to give his reasons for so doing, by a report to the Lord Lieutenant and Privy Council, within a certain time. The union in question was not as enormous as some that he could mention; it contained six parishes, while there were others which contained twelve or thirteen, each of which might be called the magnum bonum or summum bonum of the Irish Church. In the diocess of Clonfert, for instance, according to the returns laid on their Lordships' table in 1824, there was not a single case of a parish being held separately. There was nothing but unions in that diocese, and every benefice in it was a union. In the diocese, the ancient custom of quarta pars prevailed; that is, the Bishop received the fourth part of all the tithes. And here he might say, that this custom boro out what he had advanced before—namely, that the tithes were originally divided into four parts, one being for the Bishop, one for the Church, one for the Poor, and one for the Incumbent. The Bishop in this diocese, taking this fourth part, found it more easy and advantageous to collect it from a few wealthy persons than from many who held small and divided livings, and, therefore, the Bishop had no wish to disunite the benefices. In another diocese, that of Killaloe, in 136 parishes there were but forty four shepherds. This should be called the ne plus ultra of ecclesiastical arrangement. In the diocese of Dublin there were but sixty single parishes, and ninety-seven parishes formed into twenty-five unions, though it might naturally be supposed, that in the metropolitan diocese there should be more Protestants than in distant places. He now came to the case in question—namely, the union of Wicklow; and he would first call their Lordships' attention to the Act of Parliament, the 7th and 8th of George 4th, by which it was enacted, that when any Archbishop or Bishop in Ireland should unite any parishes, he should report the same, with his reasons for so doing, to the Lord Lieutenant and Privy Council, within fourteen days; and unless such union shall be approved of by the Lord Lieutenant, it shall be void. The report which the Archbishop of Dublin made, related to the vicarage of Wicklow, to the vicarage and rectory of Drumkey, and to the vicarage of Kilpole, with their appurtenances. But first he must state, that the Archbishop of Dublin stood in the situation of Bishop of the diocese, and patron of the living of Wicklow. To that Report he had various objections to make; and he thought the best way of stating them, so that their Lordships might understand them, would be, by placing the contradiction which he had to give immediately after the assertions of the Report which he believed to be incorrect. The first contradiction, then, was, that whereas it was said in the Report, that the vicarage of Wicklow was to be united with others, he was informed that there was no such parish or vicarage as Wicklow known either to the inhabitants, or to the collector of the county cess. He laid a stress on that, because he understood that one of the main points to be urged in answer to him was, that Wicklow belonged to the Prebendary of St. Patrick's, Dublin; but the weakness of that reply would be manifest when it was made known, that the town of Wicklow stood in the two parishes of Drumkey and Kilpole. The Archbishop of Dublin said, the parishes which he united were contiguous to each other, and that the yearly income of the incumbent amounted to 787l. from the parish of Wicklow, 63l. from Drum-key, and 591. from Kilpole, making together 909l. The contradiction to that statement was, that the demand of Archdeacon Magee, when he attended a meeting of the parishioners of the whole union, for the purpose of entering into a composition of tithes, was to a much larger amount, and the real value of these parishes to the incumbent was to be gathered from his estimate. One parish, Rathnew, he estimated at 610l.; Killiskey, 6101.; Drum-key, 289l.; Glanelly, 511l.; Kilcommon, 176l.; Kilpole, 571. There were some additional shillings in each item, which he had not enumerated, making the whole income from these parishes 2,255l.; and this was independent of the tithes of two properties, in the two first parishes with the owners of which the Archdeacon was at law. If to that sum the value of the glebe land, containing eighty statute acres, was added, the annual profit might be very fairly taken at 2,500l. He hoped the House would understand that this was no estimate made by him, or by those who opposed the union; but it was the valuation made by the Archdeacon himself, and on which the demand made by him on his parishioners, for the commutation of his tithes, was grounded. The Report then went on to state, that the whole union contained 17,200 acres, and that a great part of it was mountain, marsh, and barren heath, the population being scanty: but the contradiction to this statement alleged, that the union, according to a paper in the possession of the Archdeacon, contained 36,000 statute acres, and that it was thirteen miles in length, and from eight to nine miles wide—and that, as to the population being scanty, it was very great, especially near the town, which contained between 3,000 and 4,000 inhabitants. On the whole, the union contained not less than 13,000 inhabitants, of whom a considerable proportion were Protestants. The next assertion in the Report was, that the churches in the union of Wicklow were convenient to each other, and to every part of it; and that, from the most remote part of the parish to the centre, the distance was not more than a mile. To that the contradiction was, that a part of Drumkey, called the Three-mile Water, which was the name of a hamlet, was at least four English miles from the centre of the town of Wicklow. It was next said, that the glebe land of the union was but seven acres, three roods, and three perches; while, in fact, there were forty acres of glebe land near the town of Wicklow. The Report next charged, that the parishes of Drumkey and Kilpole were not able to support an incumbent; but that was contradicted by the valuation of the Archdeacon, who estimated them at 395l., an income much above the average standard which the right rev. Bishop struck on a former night. Their Lordships would understand, that this Report was made about a year since to the then Lord Lieutenant, Hugh, Duke of Northumberland, and he hoped their Lordships would admit, that he had brought a full and sufficient contradiction to it before them. It would appear, that within the union there were three excellent churches, and that the rectorial tithes alone amounted to 1,600l., and with the glebe land, to 1,800l. a year. Indeed, the Archdeacon said, he would not take less than that for them. And he put it to their Lordships, as that sum was double the amount allowed to be united by the order of the Privy Council, if it would not have been proper that the union should have been divided. The fortunate holder, he need not remind their Lordships, of all these good things, was the son of the Archbishop of Dublin, who was, in addition, Rector of St. John's, Dublin, a Prebend of Christ Church, and Archdeacon of the Diocese of Clonfert. Perhaps it might be said, that the last incumbent enjoyed, with the tithes of these parishes, another living which the present incumbent did not possess; but it should be recollected, that if the Archbishop had not given this benefice to one son, he had given it to another, and, therefore, it was still in the family. He abstained from entering into the church-yard brawls, and from a description of the quarrels between the Rector and his parishioners, when he bad them go to a place, which was not Heaven. This was for the purpose of making them pay their tithes, and he believed he did make them pay them. So that they, whatever other names they might deserve, were certainly not liable to the reproach which a Monk applied to some people of old—Pessima est gens; decimas non solvunt. They did pay their tithes. He wished to avoid other topics, in order that he might confine his charge as strictly as possible to his objection to the Archbishop's report. The defence, he understood, that would be set up was, that the vicarage of Wicklow belonged to a stall at St. Patrick's— that it was held as it were in commendam with St. Patrick's. This was excellent, and he could now more than ever understand why one good reason was worth nineteen bad ones. He would, however, ask their Lordships, no matter how completely the matter was settled by those to whom the good things fell, if the parish- ioners were to go for nothing, and if there was to be no consideration for their feelings and wants? This was a union which the House would see must be disunited, and he would willingly leave the case in the hands of the Irish Government, if it should think proper to take it up. He hoped it would do so, if it were only for the honour of the Irish Church; but, if it did not, he should feel himself called upon to move an Address to the King, praying his Majesty to dissolve the Union. He now moved, "That the Report for uniting Episcopally the Parishes referred to, be laid before the House."

The Archbishop of Cashel

said, that the Bishops were not enabled to dissolve some of these unions, because they had existed from time immemorial. The application to the Privy Council must be made before parishes could be united, and the Report in question did not refer to the parish of Wicklow, but to parishes adjacent. The tithes of the parish of Wicklow, though not called by that name, extended over a considerable district, which contained four chapelries and two churches. They altogether made up what was called the parish of Wicklow, and of the tithes, of which two-thirds were appropriated to the prebendary of Wicklow, in the parish of St. Patrick. There had certainly been a very material difference between the valuation put on this property by the right rev. Prelate and the noble Baron who made the Motion, but, when the charges to which these livings were subject were taken into consideration, and deducted, it would be found that the two estimates of their value were nearly the same. As to the small parishes alluded to, it was material for their Lordships to be informed, that, being separated from each other, and not contiguous, it was contrary to the established rule in such cases that they should be episcopally united.

Lord Farnham

felt himself called upon imperatively to utter his sentiments on an occasion when the conduct of a most rev. Prelate was under discussion, who yielded to none on that episcopal bench for extent of learning, or for solid piety, and whose publications in the elucidation of Christian doctrine, and the grounds of our common faith, though they might form no part of the noble Baron's library who this evening believed it his duty to impeach the conduct of that most rev. Prelate, would be found to contain the ablest ar- guments in favour of, and 'strongest support to, the doctrines of the Established Church. Much as he had been occasionally led to the contemplation of parliamentary exaggeration, he had never before imagined it possible that such a tissue of gross misrepresentation and unfounded assertion could have so completely disguised the real facts of a case, or have been accumulated for the purpose of creating an unfair and unfavourable impression with respect to the character of an eminently learned and distinguished ornament of his sacred profession. He did not charge the noble Baron with making those misrepresentations, or creating those unfounded aspersions; it was the noble Baron's informants he impeached. The noble Baron, like himself, must take his information from whence he could procure it. They were, therefore, at issue merely upon facts—facts which had been supplied to them; but of which they neither of them could pretend to be eye-witnesses. He wished first to state the preferments by Archdeacon Magee, which were, the prebend of Wicklow, consisting of the rectorial tithes of the four chapelries of Rathnew, Killiskey, Glanelly, and Kilcommon; this was a perfect sinecure;—the vicarage of Wicklow, the emoluments consisting in the vicarial tithes of the same chapelries; the rectory and vicarage of Drumkey, and the vicarage of Kilpole. The prebend of Wicklow might or not be held in conjunction with the other preferments but it could not be united with them into one episcopal union; and the union of the vicarage of Wicklow with the parishes of Drum-key and Kilpole was exclusively the subject of the Archbishop of Dublin's report. The whole of these preferments were held for forty years by the late Dr. Dealtry, who had been, in the latter part of his life, considerably in debt, and, a sequestration having issued, the living had been in the hands of a sequestrator. It was, perhaps, known to most noble Lords, that the sequestrator was paid for his trouble in collecting the tithes of parishes under sequestration by a percentage on the amount: he was, therefore, not likely, if required to give in a statement of the value of them, to make an under-valuation. It was considered, therefore, that nothing could be less open to objection than to consult one who had been, as sequestrator, in the receipt of the income of the living for several years past. It had never been the practice, on the falling in of such vacancies, for the Bishop to send a surveyor to value the property in every individual living The sequestrator was, therefore, in this case, applied to by the Archbishop, as it appeared that he could have no interest to make a representation that the tithes were really less than they were. The noble Baron had stated, that the income was imperfectly estimated, and that the Archdeacon estimated the amount as high as 2,250l., but said, he was content to receive 1,600l. It was said, the rectorial tithes of the Wicklow union were equal to 1,000l. a year; the other small vicarages were taken at about 600l. a year. In looking at the value of these tithes, it should be recollected, however, it was not all revenue, for it was subject to various encumbrances; of which one encumbrance was the percent age of the collection by the sequestrator, amounting to 10l. percent, which, at 600l. a year, would amount to 60l.; there were also on them a charge for four Curates, receiving 100l. a year each; making the total charge 460l. a year: so that the incumbent would receive out of these parishes a clear income of 140l. a year. This simple statement alone would overturn the whole of the misrepresentations of the noble Baron. And it was only over these vicarages that the Lord Lieutenant in Council could have any control. So far he thought he had totally disproved the statement made by the noble Baron, as respected the valuation of those vicarages. He felt, however, that, in disproving this, there was but little effected. What he deeply regretted was, that this attack upon the most rev. Prelate's conduct, with respect to Church-property, was only a development of part of a system of which the foundations were laid but too deep to bring our Church into contempt and disrepute, and finally to subdue and break down the Establishment itself. Here, fortunately, the baneful spirit evaporated in speeches; but the case was far different in Ireland, for there the same spirit was beginning to manifest itself in acts and conduct highly dangerous, and of a very unequivocal character. He had no hesitation in saying, that in Ireland there was a conspiracy against the Established Church; and that this was, in many instances, attributable to the interference of the Catholic Priests in Ireland, he had been furnished with documents to prove. Such practices and acts as were, described to originate with them, upon affidavits he held in his hand, must finally end in violence; and the destruction of the lawful property of the Church. That the subversion of Church property in Ireland would be followed by a similar subversion of it in England, no man of any observation could doubt; and unquestionably it would occur in both countries, unless the practices he had alluded to were stopped by the strong hand of the Government. He would proceed to read the affidavits which deposed to these facts. The party making the first affidavit was of a most respectable class in society; he should refrain from giving his name, from prudent motives, but any noble Lord might examine the affidavit if he pleased. It was well known in the neighbourhood of Kilkenny that there had been a voluntary agreement, between the clergy and the landholders to apportion their tithes under the Tithe Commutation Act. The consent of the parishioners was unanimous, and they had, until the last six months, cheerfully paid the commutation. The documents he alluded to were, doubtless, already before Government. If he misstated their effect, he, no doubt, should be corrected by the noble Secretary for the Home Department. In the parish of Grieg, in the county of Kilkenny, the rev. George Alcock had, about five years since, agreed to take 720l. as his commutation, which even under the Tithe Commutation Act, itself a relief, would have amounted to 980l. a year, and which was thought so inadequate by the Bishop, that he with difficulty assented to the arrangement. The parishioners were contented with the arrangement, and they and their clergyman lived on the best terms: they cheerfully paid their tithes, and he was contented with much less than his legal dues. In this state of things, a new Catholic Priest came into the parish; a clever man, and one who would not do any thing in ignorance—a relative, too, of the celebrated Doctor Doyle, bearing himself the name of Martin Doyle. Shortly after his coming, he called together a meeting of the parishioners in the Court House, on a Sunday, which, it was expressly said, was convened for the purpose of defeating Mr. Alcock in the collection of his tithes in the parish. The rev. gentleman addressed the meeting to that effect, and, after making use of language highly inciting, told the numerous assemblage, that if they were not righted of this abuse of tithes, they must proceed to right themselves. On the 27th of November last, another similar meeting was announced. The rev. gentleman again addressed them in the same way, and in the same inflammatory language: he exhorted them to resist the payment of tithes if distrained, he told them to treat it with indifference—he would bail out their cattle. When the sale was advertised they should be all there, to the number of above a thousand—"And let me see," said he, "who will dare to bid for the cattle distrained—he shall be hunted through the country." To this harangue the people answered, according to the deponent, who was present on the occasion, "We will be there, and our slicks shall be there too." These persons were appointed to collect subscript ions to carry on these measures, and they all separated denouncing with threats all who should dare bid at any sale of goods distrained for tithes. Soon after, this same Mr. Doyle, hearing that the lay-impropriator of a parish about twenty miles off had distrained some cattle for his tithes, accepted a dinner there, at which the impropriator of the tithes was present. The result of the meeting was, that, on the same day that was fixed for the sale of the cattle impounded, the people were collected in the neighbourhood, under pretence of meeting for a bull-bait. The gentleman who had distrained was so far intimidated by this assemblage, that he withdrew his claim for the tithes; at least, he did not think himself able to enforce it, and the beasts were delivered up in triumph to their owners, out of the pound, by the people.

Lord Teynham

rose to order. He submitted that the. noble Lord was out of order in introducing matter wholly irrelevant to the question under consideration. Besides, it was not a fair, creditable, or honourable, course thus to impeach the character of the Catholic Clergy, who were not there to defend themselves.

Lord Farnham, in resuming, said, he could not believe that he was out of order; for, if allowed, he should be enabled, he believed, to prove all these facts at the bar of the House. He would mention another case. The rev. Mr. Vigors deposed to a tumultuous meeting in his parish, where, after the parish Priest had lec- tured the people on their right to have their tithes reduced, he described, as a great hardship, the case of a man, against whom proceedings had been taken at law for five years' arrears of tithes. A thousand people, armed with slicks and hurlies, appeared to enforce the lecture, carrying a standard, and led on by, amongst others, a Lieutenant Woodcock late of the fourth Dragoons. The deposition of the hon. and rev. Dean Bernard stated, that a similar attempt had been made in January, 1830, at Wells, to resist the payment of his tithes. He had lowered the amount of his tithes, which was at first favourably received, but after a little while, the tumultuous assemblages which had begun in other places extended to the parish of Wells, and he could now get no tithes whatever. The whole tenor of these depositions proved that there was now in active operation a systematic conspiracy to resist the payment of tithes. Since this commotion had taken place in these districts, it was a fact that the clergy there had never received one farthing of tithes. He was satisfied that the noble Marquis (now Lord Lieutenant of Ireland) was well disposed to contribute every effort in his power to enforce the law of the land in this respect. But he would ask their Lordships, if they clearly perceived, as he did, the operation that was in process—namely, that of preventing by intimidation the collection of that species of property or income in the different parishes of Ireland—for the preventing of all bidding at a sale, when a distress for tithes had been levied, was, in effect, to prevent all chance of collecting tithe?—he would ask their Lordships if they allowed this, what was the next property which would be assailed? Would it not be that of their Lordships themselves, and would the priests not denounce the payers of rent to their landlords as they now denounced the payment of tithes to the Clergymen? The evil called loudly for a remedy, if remedy there was any. For himself he hardly knew or could conceive how the law could be altered so as effectually to reach an evil which placed itself above, all law, and defied legal process. He had read a report of a late agitating meet ins in Ireland, at which a person named Shell (not the Barrister of that name so well known), declared, that if there was not Repeal of the Union they would neither pay rent, tithes, nor taxes. Let the distrainer for tithes be told, your legal process is vain; and how long would it be ere the same language would be applied to the distrainer for rent, who, if he distrain, cannot sell? Who, if this evil were suffered to take root, could tell where it might end? Who could stop it if it were permitted once to take place unpunished? This evil, now in its beginning, might alone account for the violence and outrage which had lately occurred in Ireland. If it were permitted to go on, it must end in the total uselessness, and consequent ruin, of all property in that island. The noble Lord, in conclusion, apologised for having so long intruded on their time; but he confessed he felt it a duty he owed to the Church of Ireland, when he perceived its vital interests were at stake, and its character attempted—he hoped vainly— to be impeached. At the same time that be made these observations, which he thought were justified by the occasion, he professed he was perfectly disposed to permit the documents moved for to be furnished. Indeed, he was disposed even to go into Committee upon the subject generally, being perfectly satisfied that all that he and the noble Baron were at issue upon was facts, and that the more the conduct of that reverend Prelate who was accused was inquired into the more he would be found deserving of honours.

Viscount Melbourne

was inclined to go so far with the noble Lord as to presume that attempts had been made to resist the rights, and injure the interests, of the Established Chinch in Ireland; but there was so much feeling of an angry nature, so much violence and animosity, mixed up in the discussion which took place on this, and almost every subject connected with Ireland, that it particularly behoved their Lordships to enter into the consideration of such topics with great temper and moderation—so as to excite hopes that they might be able to remove the blemishes and defects visible in her condition, without exposing her to the too often experienced effects of irritation. Had he been apprised by the noble Lord that he meant to go so far into particulars, he should have endeavoured to meet the subject with more official information. It was, perhaps, true, that he had seen in the Home Office the depositions alluded to. Possibly there were departures in some of the Ca- tholic Clergy from the path of conciliation and sacerdotal duty; but he must say, he had received very authentic information, that there were instances in which their conduct had been happily characterised by a different proceeding. It was true, that things assumed a very different tinge and hue from the medium through which they were represented to the eye, but they sometimes experienced the same influence from the eye itself to which they were represented. He had heard of cases in which it had been owing to the interference of the Roman Catholic Clergy that the tithe had been collected. The noble Lord had only done justice to the gallant Marquis at the head of the Irish Government for his promptitude to enforce the existing laws in Ireland, and support the rights of the Irish Church. He knew not what was the measure of redress the noble Lord would fain suggest to the Lord Lieutenant; but if he was possessed of any remedy for the evils which existed, and would only state it to that noble Lord, he might calculate with certainty on its being attended to with promptitude. As to the papers moved for, he should make no opposition to their production.

The Earl of Wicklow

felt some satisfaction in the Motion, first, because it would throw some light on the state of that Church, for which he entertained much solicitude; next, for the respect he bore to the eminent character and piety of the most reverend Prelate whose conduct was its subject; and, lastly, from somewhat of an ill-natured feeling of satisfaction, in the anticipation that the first shaft of the noble Baron's malice winged against the Irish Church, was destined to fail. He felt convinced,— it was in his mind, a matter of complete certainty, — that the high Church dignitary concerned would not have sent in a false return of the value of the different livings to the Lord Lieutenant. He had also seen the printed statement in favour of the most reverend Prelate, soon after the noble Baron had given notice of his Motion. He was glad that he had seen it, for it was highly satisfactory; and the promptitude with which it had been made out was highly creditable to the person who prepared and brought it forward. The Archbishop, however, did make inquiries. He took the estimate of Mr. Revell, a gentleman long acquainted with the Union, and the col- lector of its tithes, who valued them at something above 900l.; and he also took the opinion of Mr. Fletcher, who declared the living to be worth 1,500l. He admitted, nevertheless, that the Archbishop, who was at the moment in a very infirm state of health, had not, perhaps, made all the inquiries which he should have made, but he believed, that no attempt at imposition had been practised by any party. It was said, that the Union should be separated; but the Privy Council had no power to do that. The Union was composed of four chapelries, each worth about 200l. a year, and the only part of it over which the Privy Council had any power, were two small livings, worth together about 122l., which, he contended, could not be beneficially separated from the chapelries. The noble Lord concluded by expressing his conviction, that among the many improvements at present going on in Ireland —and many were wanted still—the most important was the great change which had taken place in the conduct of the clergy of the Established Church. He believed, that there were not at the present moment, in any country of the world, a more zealous, moral, or efficient body of religious teachers, and he was satisfied that it was their most earnest endeavour, as well as their greatest pleasure, to promote the well-being and happiness of those intrusted to their care. The noble Baron (King), who had so long shown his affection for the Church of England, had, from some recent inquiries, thought it better to transfer his attention to the Church of Ireland; but he (Lord Wicklow) was satisfied that a further and better acquaintance with the subject would induce him also to abandon his course of observations with respect to it.

The Earl of Darnley

was glad, that the Motion of the noble Baron had been brought forward, as he considered it a mere preparation for the more comprehensive and extended inquiry into the state of the whole Church of Ireland, which could not he much longer delayed. The noble Earl (Wicklow) might be quite accurate when he said, that the clergymen were zealous and attentive to their duties; but what duties had they to perform, when in many cases they presided over parishes which did not contain more than one or two families of their religious persuasion? He was convinced, that an inquiry could not be much longer delayed, and that it was as necessary, for the peace of Ireland, to inquire into the abuses of the Church, as they had already found it to be, to inquire into the abuses of the State.

Lord Teynham

rose, merely for the purpose of stating why he had interrupted the noble Lord. The charge which had been brought against the Catholic priests was, in his opinion, most undeserved, and he could not let it go forth to the world without contradiction.

The Duke of Northumberland

said, as the circumstance to which the Motion referred had taken place when he was at the head of the Government in Ireland, he found himself called upon to state what share he had in the transaction. He could assure the noble Baron who had moved for the Report, that the union of these parishes had not been acceded to as a matter of course. The statements which were made to the Privy Council were considered satisfactory, otherwise the Council would not have agreed to the measure. He was so far from objecting to the Motion, that he should like to see it granted, in order to facilitate any inquiry that might be judged necessary.

Lord King

would not deny, that some inquiry had been made, but the evidence given rather tended to mislead than otherwise. One fact was, that the sequestrator held land in the parish, and he was not likely to raise the rate of the tithes. The noble Lord (Lord Farnham) said, this was a conspiracy against the Church, and the Catholics were mixed up with it. He could only say, that he did not believe that the Catholics had any such intention, and he was confirmed in this from a letter which he had received from a respectable Catholic gentleman, in which he says, that they had no wish to destroy just rights, or speak lightly of the Church. He (Lord King) might be called a conspirator, but, if he was a conspirator, he was a conspirator, not against the Church, but against the abuses of the Church; and if the noble Lord had alluded to him, he could only say he had mistaken his purpose. He denied that the Union could not be separated. It was an episcopal one, and, like any other, open to separation under the 7th and 8th of George 4th He believed that the defence in this case was an after-thought, and that, if the claim of the Prebendary had been defensible, it could have been stated at the time. A memorial on the subject would soon be presented to the Privy Council; and, therefore, he should abstain from further remarks.

Motion agreed to.

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