HL Deb 06 June 1842 vol 63 c1237
Lord Camoys

presented petitions from Roman Catholics in Manchester and other towns, on the subject of the grievances with respect to which several petitions had been already presented. The petition from Manchester was signed by 8,000 persons, and might have had the signatures of 50,000 if exertions had been made to procure them. He understood, that the number of Roman Catholics in the town of Manchester was not less than from 70,000 to 80,000, and that, including those of surrounding districts, they would amount to 100,000. He did not mention this by way of any boast of the numbers, but in order to call the attention of their Lordships, particularly the Members of the Government, to one subject of which the petitioners complained. Most of these were very poor persons, and of course many of them became inhabitants of union workhouses, and as the clause relating to the religious instruction of inmates, now stood, the guardians would have it in their power to deprive them of the benefit of religious instruction according to their own form of worship. He did not ask that Catholic chaplains should be appointed to workhouses; but he hoped, that attention might be given to the framing of this clause before it was too late; and that it should not be left in the power of hostile guardians to frustrate the intentions of the Legislature.

The petitions were laid on the Table.

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