HL Deb 11 June 1844 vol 75 cc484-521
The Earl of Powis

presented petitions for the repeal of so much of the Act of the 6th and 7th William IV. as relates to the Union of the Sees of St. Asaph and Bangor, from the minister and inhabitants of the parish of Alnwick, in Northumberland; the rector, freeholders, and other inhabitants of the parish of Llangyniew, Montgomeryshire, the minister and congregation of the Welsh Metropolitan Church, Ely Place, Holborn; and the town of Tonbridge in the county of Kent, and its vicinity. His Lordship then said, that in rising to propose the second reading of the Bill of which he had given notice, he could hardly perhaps have had a more favourable opportunity of conveying to their Lordships the great interest which was felt throughout the length and breadth of the land upon the subject matter of this Motion, than that which had been accidentally afforded to him by the petitions which he had just had the honour to bring before the House, all of which he had received within the last four-and-twenty hours. Never, since he entered into public life, had he fell greater anxiety than he did now to discharge the duty which he owed to those who had intrusted him with their petitions. He could assure their Lordships, nobody could feel more sensibly the difficulty which any individual Peer had to encounter, who had to introduce to their Lordships' notice an important Church Question, and to find that he was to be opposed to two noble Lords of the greatest weight and consequence in the country, and to whose opinions the House was accustomed on such topics to defer. He need hardly say, that one of those to whom he alluded, was his noble and illustrious Friend near him (the Duke of Wellington). To him, upon any occasion, it was most painful for him to be opposed. The other was the most Rev. Prelate who presided over the Church (the Archbishop of Canterbury), and whose conduct and character had gained for him the esteem and respect of all classes, even of those who had the misfortune to differ from him in opinion. He must therefore entreat their Lordships to extend to him upon this occasion that indulgence which he had before experienced at their hands, and to believe that he had not brought forward the mea- sure he now pressed upon them without the most urgent desire and full concurrence of that part of the country with which he was connected. It was his duty to satisfy their Lordships, that he did not appear before them inconsiderately or without good grounds. With this view he would draw the attention of their Lordships to two documents which he held in his hand; both urging him to persevere in his efforts, and to apply again to the House to avert the union of the two sees. The one was an address from the Dean and Chapter of Bangor, the other an address from the Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph, signed also by other clergy of the diocese assembled at the meeting of the Church Societies at St. Asaph. The latter document he would take the liberty of reading to their Lordships, as it would serve to show the sentiments of the clergy of North Wales, and to prove that they regarded the matter with no common feelings. The other was from the Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph, urging him to persevere in his efforts, which proved that they regarded the matter with no common feelings. The following would show their sentiments:— May it please your Lordship,—We, the undersigned, the Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph, beg respectfully to express our grateful sense of your exertions in behalf of the primitive constitution of the Church in North Wales. The impending measure, which threatens to deprive us of our ancient Bishoprics, has been deprecated by Welchmen of every description and with every variety of motive. Men of the world have exclaimed against the practical loss to our country; men of antiquarian and national feeling have protested earnestly against a breach in those institutions hallowed by historical reminiscences which are a people's best inheritance; while the Clergy and others, who have learned to consider the constitution of the Church as a blessing and a sacred thing, have seen, with feelings too painful to be expressed, her very rulers and friends demolishing the ancient bulwarks and withdrawing the shepherd from the flock. Nor should it be forgotten that we have to contend against unusual difficulties of language and of prejudice; that we have been labouring for many years to stem an overwhelming tide of dissent; and when we looked to our English brethren for sympathy, if not for assistance in the arduous struggle, they began to destroy the very bulwarks and defences that remained to us. Under these circumstances, it was reserved for your Lordship to come forward and express the almost unanimous opinion of your country, and of a large part of the Church throughout England, in deprecation of such a measure; it was your good fortune to convince those open to conviction by the weight of your arguments, and to conciliate those most opposed to the temper in which they were urged. We beg your Lordship to believe we are not unmindful of those services; nor can we refrain from associating in your claims upon our gratitude the Viscount Clive, the heir, we trust, of your virtues as well as of your rank, who has given such early and such decided proofs of his attachment to our country and our Church. Permit us to hope that, should this measure be persevered in from mere compliance with what is expedient for the moment, you will again come forward to defend the precious relics of our national glory, our Apostolic Church, and her ancestral altars; and may your exertions be crowned with that Divine blessing which, we trust, from the sacredness of the cause, it is not presumptuous to expect. But whatever may be the result, our admiration, our good wishes, our prayers, for your continuance in every good work, are most justly your due; and it can never be a matter of regret for you to have linked your own name and that of your family to the history of the British Church, and to have interwoven them at the same time in the best affections of your countrymen. Given under our Chapter Seal, The same feeling pervaded the whole of North Wales, and it was not limited to the higher Clergy alone. All equally partook of it. In the course of the present Session he had received petitions from every county in North Wales, as well as from two counties, Pembroke and Cardigan, in South Wales, and from Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Hants, Kent, York, and Northumberland; sufficient, in his opinion, to manifest in a striking manner, the feeling that pervaded the Clergy throughout England. He would now proceed to state the grounds on which he ventured to claim their Lordships' attention to the Bill for Repealing the Union of the two Sees of North Wales. He was not asking them to take any unprecedented step. Soon after the passing of the Act of 6 and 7 Will. IV., it was found desirable to repeal so much of it as related to the union of the See of Sodor and Man with the Bishopric of Carlisle. The passing of this measure so soon after the enactment which it was to repeal, and before that enactment had taken effect, proves that in that case the Act was not considered infallible. Why should not their Lordships now grant to the inhabitants of North Wales, what they had accorded to the inhabitants of the Isle of Man, when by so doing they would be consulting the wishes of the Clergy and laity in all parts of the Empire? Since last year he had received fresh information, founded upon the actual working of the Act in another Diocese, in which its provisions had been carried into execution—information which gave him additional grounds for pressing this Motion upon their Lordships' attention. The case to which he alluded was that of the Dioceses of Gloucester and Bristol, which had been united by the 6 and 7 Will. IV. Remarks were made in their Lordships' House last year, which conveyed to the united Dioceses information, that persons high in authority amongst their Lordships, believed that the Legislature had united the Sees of Gloucester and Bristol with the almost unanimous consent of the Church; that no complaint had been made of any evil arising from their union; and that the government of the Church was there carried on to the general satisfaction of the inhabitants. The reverse of this was so decidedly the case as respected the feeling of the Clergy of the united Dioceses, that they immediately resolved to address the Lord Bishop of the Dioceses, through the medium of the Rev. R. W. Huntley, who had been their Proctor in convocation, in the following terms:— We feel it to be an imperative duty to express in some way, our decided dissent from these statements; we therefore request you, as one of our Proctors in convocation, to take the earliest opportunity of waiting upon the Lord Bishop of these Dioceses, associating with yourself such of the Clergy as you may think convenient, and of stating respectfully to his Lordship, that this union has never had our consent, and that we believe it to be disadvantageous to the Church in these Dioceses, notwithstanding his Lordship's constant, laborious, and self-denying exertions, to encounter the heavy additional responsibilities imposed upon him, by which he has deserved the affection and gratitude of the Church in general; and for which, we also beg of you to express to him particularly our most dutiful thanks and lasting obligations. But in order fully to convey to their Lordships the extent to which the feelings thus expressed prevailed in the Dioceses, it would be well to add the following postscript, from a letter of Mr. Huntley's, dated August 10th, 1843. I ought possibly to add that of the Clergy, who in their letters to me, from various reasons decline to sign the circular, the whole with the exception of about three, consider the union of the sees to have been disadvantageous. He would now call their Lordships' attention to the Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the causes of the disturbances in South Wales, and he would remind their Lordships, that those Commissioners ascribed as the principal cause the inefficiency of the Church in that part of the country. It had been stated that the poorer Clergy took no interest in the matter, and were quite indifferent whether the sees were united or not. He should endeavour to obviate that objection by reading an extract from a Petition from an obscure Chapelry, which appeared to him to express powerfully and well the sentiments universally entertained by the Clergy throughout North Wales. It was from the Minister and inhabitants of the Chapelry of Nerquis, in the parish of Mold, in Flintshire. The extract which he wished to read was the following:— That your Petitioners finally deprecate the intended union as an act of spoliation of a portion of God's vineyard; and, therefore, though they acknowledge the great need of an Episcopal See at Manchester, they humbly but earnestly pray your right hon. House to Repeal so much of the Statute 6 and 7 of his late Majesty as provides for it, by means of such union; a provision which, while it contemplates a good at Manchester, loses sight of the evil consequence to North Wales; is founded on human expediency, not on holy principle; and, looking on one side to the honour of God, casts off, on the other, the fear of His anger, for dishonouring and crippling His Church. Having these reasons, then, for offering himself to the notice of the House, it became now his duty to allude to some Parliamentary grounds which he thought existed why their Lordships should accede to his Motion. It was objected to him last year that he had used somewhat strong expressions in describing the Act which had resulted from the recommendations of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners as unconstitutional. He should endeavour to avoid that objection upon the present occasion, but he would remind their Lordships, that both that House and the other House of Parliament had been in the habit of paying the greatest possible deference and attention to all cases where individual interests were concerned. If a small portion of land were taken away from an individual for the sake of making a turnpike-road or a railway, or a canal, notice was to be given in such a way as to enable the owner of that land to be fully possessed of the intentions of the speculators, and when the measure by which such an individual would be affected was introduced into either House of Parliament, every protection that could be given to him was conferred upon him by the Legislature. The Standing Orders of both Houses of Parliament were framed with a view to this object. The detailed progress of a Bill through each House of Parliament gives repeated opportunities to any of Her Majesty's subjects who may be aggrieved by its provisions, of having their objections considered, and their complaints, if just, rectified. But what was the case in this instance? The Act had undoubtedly passed which gave the Commissioners the power, with the sanction of the Crown, of uniting the Dioceses of St. Asaph and Bangor. This power was executed without any knowledge of what was going on (until the case was decided upon) on the part of those most interested in the subject—the inhabitants of North Wales. This was not a question whether half an acre or an acre of private property should be applied to a public work—it was a question affecting the religious principles of the inhabitants of North Wales. These were unprotected by the usual guards of Parliamentary proceedings. The decree had issued from the private chamber of the Commissioners, which deprived North Wales of its Bishopric; unknown in the principality, till it appeared with the force of law—and that, it was intimated, was to be irrevocable. He (Earl Powis) avowed, that he looked upon that Act and its consequences as being altogether so unusual, that he conceived he was fully entitled to request their Lordships to accede to the prayer of the numerous Petitions which he had presented upon the subject, and to remember the hardship that was imposed upon one Bishop, in consequence of the difficulty of travelling and attending to the spiritual interests of the whole of the mountainous country comprised in the six counties of North Wales. He was aware that the Union of Sees had taken place before, and he was aware that such an union was in some cases justifiable. He held in his hand a statement of one of the right Rev. Commissioners, on those cases which had occurred where the Union of Sees was justifiable—a statement which in his opinion must produce upon their Lordships the same effect which it had produced upon his own mind, viz., that this was not one of those cases in which such a union was either justifiable or necessary. It was the portion of a speech addressed to their Lordships upon the subject of the Irish Church by the most Rev. Prelate (the Archbishop of Canterbury), and was, he (Earl Powis) said, equally applicable to and conclusive in the present instance:— I will advert very shortly to the proposal for reducing the number of the Bishops. It is said that Bishoprics have been frequently united and frequently disjoined, and that when the Sees are inconsiderable, they may be very properly united together. I am not inclined to contest either of those positions; but one circumstance is left out of consideration, which is this-—that in former times the union of Bishoprics was frequently made ex necessitatis causâ, because the revenue of one Bishopric was insufficient to maintain the Bishop: therefore, they were united, and the right still exists to grant Sees in commendam. They were united for the mere purposes of property. But your Lordships cannot fairly raise upon so small a basis such a sweeping measure as the one now before you, more especially in a country where the Bishops are the principle residents, and who, living under those moral restraints which persons so high in the Church must always observe, cannot fail to be most useful in their several districts. It had been said that there was a certain degree of inconsistency in his calling upon Parliament so soon to repeal an Act which it had so lately passed. Upon that subject, however, he would beg to read an extract from another Archiepiscopal authority, one of the ablest logicians of the day, the Archbishop of Dublin, in a letter to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In referring to the charge of inconsistency and vacillation which was urged against those who proposed an Amendment to a recently enacted law, his Grace wrote— I can conceive an objection being raised by some of those who supported, and by some even of those who did not support, that bill, that 'since it is passed, it is better to let matters alone, and that it would argue inconsistency and vacillation to alter without paramount necessity a recently enacted law.' This is what may perhaps occur to some minds at a first hasty glance; but further consideration will show, that the inconsistency would be on the opposite side. Any one indeed who should have voted for diminishing the number of Bishoprics as thinking that a good in itself would of course be inconsistent in voting for the re-establishment of one. But those who assented to it professedly on the ground that though an evil it was necessary, in order to avoid a much greater evil, would be inconsistent if they did not gladly avail themselves of the opportunity of re-establishing a Bishopric without incurring the apprehended evil. A minister who imposes war taxes, not on the ground of taxes being a good in themselves, but to meet a pressing necessity, would be considered inconsistent, not if he removed those taxes when the necessity had ceased, but if he continued them. But even if there would be inconsistency he would ask their Lordships to bear in mind that it would be by no means limited to the repeal of this Act. Greater inconsistencies had before occurred. What could be greater inconsistency than this?—they objected to clergymen holding a plurality of livings—they took steps to put an end to that occurrence, and how did they follow it up? Why, by uniting two Bishoprics in such a manner as to make every clergyman in the country aware, that the principle which they universally acted upon with regard to the parochial clergy, was to be violated whenever it suited their purpose in the case of a Bishop. By their union of these two Bishoprics they got a certain income which they would take out of the Principality and apply to other purposes in a different part of the Kingdom, and he certainly could not see that that in any degree added to the merit of the case. Bishop Bedell, when endeavouring to persuade his clergy to renounce their pluralities, took a course so opposite to that which Parliament and the Commissioners had sanctioned in the proceedings to which he was objecting, that it might not be un-instructive to their Lordships if he should set before them the manner in which that exemplary Prelate dealt with the subject, by precept and example. Burnet in his life of Bedell, Bishop of Kilmore gives the following account of the course taken by him and its results; and to let them see that he would not lay a heavy burthen on them, in which he would not bear his own share, he resolved to part with one of his Bishoprics. For though Ardagh was considered as a ruined See, and had long gone as an accessary to Kilmore, and continues to be so still; yet since they were really two different Sees, he thought he could not decently oblige his Clergy to renounce their Pluralities, unless he set them an example, and he renounced his own, even after he had been at a considerable charge in recovering the Patrimony of Ardagh, and though he was sufficiently able to discharge the duty of both these Sees, they being contiguous and small; and though the Revenue of both did not exceed a com- petency, yet he would not seem to be guilty of that which he so severely condemned in others: and therefore, he resigned Ardagh to Dr. Richardson, and so was now only Bishop of Kilmore. The Authority of this example and efficacy of his discourse, made such an impression on his clergy that they all relinquished their Pluralities. The Arguments that arise out of interest are generally much stronger than those of mere speculation, how well so ever it be made out, and therefore, this concurrence that he met with from his Clergy in so sensible a point, was a great encouragement to him to go on in his other designs. There seemed to be a finger of God in it, for he had no authority to compel them to it, and he had managed the minds of his Clergy so gently in this matter, that their compliance was not extorted, but both free and unanimous. For, one only excepted, they all submitted to it; and he being Dean exchanged his deanery with another, for he was ashamed to live in the Diocese, where he would not submit to such terms, after both the bishop himself, and all his clergy had agreed to them. He would take the liberty of alluding to one circumstance more, though it was not necessary to strengthen his case. The population of North Wales was not so large, it was true, as that of some other benefices; but it was increasing in a very rapid degree. The district of North Wales in 1801, when the Population Act passed, contained about 250,000 souls; and in 1841 the population of the six counties of North Wales was 396,000; an increase of more than half, and this increase was going on progressively. The district over which this population extended comprehended 3,000 square miles. If population alone was taken as a guide, it was not possible that justice could be done to Wales. There was a great difference between having 10,000 persons located in one parish, and 10,000 persons located in ten different and widely-extended parishes; it was impossible that the same Ecclesiastical staff could discharge their duties of inspection. He knew that the activity of the Welsh Clergy might do a great deal, but they would lose the benefit of Episcopal superintendence; they would want that willing hand which contributed to schools and maintained religious institutions, and that willing head which afforded advice, countenance, and authority to their proceedings, and in depriving them of this, their Lordships would be inflicting on the Principality an evil which would be severely felt. In conclusion, he left the matter in their Lordships' hands. By the Bill of last year, Parliament had given some assistance to the Principality in canonries; that increase of Ecclesiastical endowments had not been conceded by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, but was owing to the favourable consideration given to the prayers of his countrymen by his right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for the Home Department. He regretted that this subject had not been taken up by one who possessed more weight than himself, and who was more capable of doing justice to it; but he had undertaken to bring it before their Lordships because he felt its great importance, and the difficulties under which the Welsh Clergy would labour, unless their Lordships and the other House of Parliament gave a favourable consideration to their prayer. He left the matter in their Lordships' hands, with the earnest hope that their Lordships would listen to the petitions of the numerous bodies which had addressed them, and in the firm conviction that no measure would pass this House which would give more satisfaction. He moved that the Bill be read a second time.

The Duke of Wellington

I assure my noble Friend that it is with the utmost pain I find myself under the necessity of again offering myself to your Lordships, in order to reply to the able speech which he has made to you on this subject—a subject so interesting to him and to those persons whose cause he has so ably advocated; but I beg leave to remind your Lordships that the Motion of my noble Friend is one for the second reading of a Bill to repeal an Act of Parliament passed no less than eight years ago. The arguments of my noble Friend, and the documents he has read, and the various petitions he has presented to you, of which my noble Friend has stated the substance, would have been all very proper and ought to have been taken into consideration eight years ago, when the Act passed which my noble Friend now calls upon you to repeal; but since that Act passed various measures have been carried into execution, which that Act authorized and enjoined; and I think my noble Friend should have done a little more than move to bring in a Bill to repeal the Act in question; he should have provided means and machinery for carrying into execution the objects which that Act had in view, and which will no longer exist when this Bill shall become law and that Act is repealed. Now, I beg to recall to your Lordships' recollection what the Act is which it is the object of this Bill to repeal, in what manner it passed, and the object of it. Early in the year 1835 a Commission was issued, called the Ecclesiastical Commission, for the purpose of revising the Revenues and Property of the Church, and the extent of the Dioceses—in short, all those circumstances with relation to the Church which could have a tendency, by alteration and amendment, to improve the action of the Church, and render it, if possible, more beneficial to the country, and to a greater degree an object of veneration of the people. In the course of a reasonable time after this Commission passed the Great Seal, the first Report was made, I believe on the 17th of March, 1835, and that Report is the one which proposed the union of the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor. That Report was no secret; it was laid on the Table of both Houses of Parliament; it was notorious to the whole world; it was discussed by the public in the same way that such questions are discussed in this country, and there can be no doubt that all the objects of that Report were notorious throughout the country. It happened, that in the discussion of that Report, and of the measures recommended in it, the Bishops of those very dioceses were present—I don't mean when the measures were adopted and carried into execution by Act of Parliament — that was the Report by which the recommendation of the union of the two sees was first made, and the transfer of benefices in commendam to increase the revenues of small livings; but I say that the Report, as involving the principle of the union of the two sees, was adopted with the knowledge of the Bishops of the two sees. This Report recommending the union of the two sees was made, as I said, in March, 1835, and in the Session of 1836 a Bill was introduced to carry into execution the objects of that Report (and there were also other Reports), which Bill was as little opposed in either House of Parliament as any Bill, I believe, that was ever introduced. I remember, having a seat in the House at the time, sitting then on the other side, that I supported the Bill, and it was gene- rally supported in this House. The Bill was brought in by the late Ministers, and it was generally supported in Parliament, and received the approbation of Parliament, and it passed in August, 1836. Under this Bill, Her Majesty in Council was authorised to make arrangements to carry into execution the measures recommended in those Reports, and Her Majesty accordingly, by her Order in Council, advised by the noble Lords sitting opposite, did give directions to carry into execution the measures recommended in the Reports or authorized by Parliament, and provided means for the establishment of a Bishopric of Ripon and a Bishopric of Manchester, as recommended by the Report, for equalising the salaries and emoluments of the different sees, for providing incomes for the dioceses of Manchester and Ripon, for providing a sufficient income for the dioceses of Llandaff and St. David's, in Wales, and for the various measures which the different Reports had advised to be carried into execution. This Order in Council is dated in 1838, six years ago, and at this time, Her Majesty having issued these Orders, which have been carried into execution, and regularly registered, as required by the Act of Parliament, my noble Friend comes down with a Bill to repeal the Act which is the foundation of all these measures and gives the means of carrying into execution that Order in Council which Her Majesty had authorised and indeed required to issue three years previous to her having issued that Order in Council. Now, my noble Friend has argued this question as if the matter was now in our power, and nothing had been done; as if your Lordships had now to consider whether or not the sees should or should not be united; but I say, if my noble Friend comes forward with a Bill to repeal the Act of 1836, on which the Order in Council of 1838 was founded, he ought at least in his Bill to have provided all the means and machinery for carrying into execution those measures for which Her Majesty's Order in Council under the authority of the Act, had made provision. On this point my noble Friend has been silent, and his Bill is entirely silent. But the Act of Parliament and the Order in Council go further, and provide not only pecuniary means, but also for that which is a very important point to enter into your Lordships' consideration — I mean the political situation of these two Bishops, the Bishop of Ripon and the Bishop of Manchester. The Act provides that two new Bishops shall be appointed, and that two of those who had formerly seats in this House should be withdrawn, and this is provided for by the union of the sees of Bristol and Gloucester, and St. Asaph and Bangor, leaving the same number of Bishops in the House as before the Act. I think my noble Friend has not adverted to this. Here is a Bill to repeal the Act of 1836, and he should see how far his measure will go—that it will make an organic change in the constitution of this House, in the number of spiritual Peers. But the Bill of my noble Friend contains no provision on this point; no provision for the manner in which the Bishops shall be called to take seats in the House; no provision for rotation, supposing one is to be always absent from the House; no provision for any of those points which must occur to every one who reflects upon the consequences of having more Bishops than heretofore in the House. Considering the necessity there is of attending to all these points, and how necessary it is that they should be brought under the consideration of your Lordships, before you give your assent to this measure, and the difficulty in which you will place Her Majesty in Council if you agree to the second reading of this Bill until my noble Friend shall open to you what he proposes to do upon all these points. I think the motion for the second reading should be suspended until you hear in what mode my noble Friend intends to provide for these objects. I move that the Bill be read a second time this day six months.

The Bishop of Bangor

said, he was sorry to find himself opposed upon this question to the most rev. Primate, for whom he felt so great a respect and attachment; but he must upon this occasion do his duty and oppose the wishes, not only of the most Rev. Primate, but of Her Majesty's Government. He thought that the noble Duke's speech would have the effect of inducing their Lordships to think that the measure proposed by the noble Earl was intended to repeal all the measures carried by Parliament for the regulation of the different Bishoprics of the kingdom. But the noble Earl did not intend to interfere either with the principle or the force and order of that Act; all they wished to repeal was so much of the Act as pro- vided for the future union of the dioceses of St. Asaph and Bangor; with the other parts of the Bill they had nothing to do; they did not interfere with the general principles or the general machinery of that Act. He had hoped that both the most Rev. Primate and Her Majesty's Government would have taken this matter into their earnest consideration, and have come to a different conclusion; that they would have been themselves the persons to bring forward such a measure as this, and that it would have received their Lordships' support. The measure of uniting two independent dioceses, older than that of Canterbury and other dioceses—of abolishing two ancient sees and forming one new one, was repugnant to all religious feeling and contrary to the practice of the best ages. The desire of the Church in these times was not to unite dioceses, but to form new ones out of those which were too extensive. This feeling was not extinguished in the great body of the Church of England, if not of the laity. It could not fail to be in the recollection of the House that a great number of petitions had been presented to Parliament on the subject of the measure then before their Lordships; they would also remember that those petitions proved the existence not only of a strong feeling amongst the clergy respecting the union of those dioceses, but a very strong feeling amongst the laity also. Men, whether lay or clerical, appeared to be decidedly opposed to the measure of union, or rather, he should have said, to the extinction of both sees, and the formation of a new diocese. In expressing their hostility to that extinction, they were acting upon the principles in which they had, to a man, been brought up. They had been brought up as members of the Church of England, they would continue to be members of the Church of England; and, influenced by the feelings which always governed the members of that body, they declared their opposition to the Bill which went to effect the union. The noble Duke had gone over the whole history of the Act of 1836 as well as the Reports of the Commissioners, and their Lordships would probably see from what the noble Duke had said, and be able at the same time to infer from their own recollection of the facts, that at the time when the measure was first laid before Parliament it would have been vain for any one to think that he could, with any hope of success, throw impedi- ments in the way of that Bill. Those who now opposed the measure felt as strongly then, and were as numerous then, as they were at present, but they had not then the same confidence in their own strength which they felt at present, and at that time they withdrew from the contest, lest their efforts should be encountered with ridicule and contempt. In considering the Bill now before their Lordships it was material they should bear in mind that, whether it were carried or rejected, it was a measure which would not interfere with the general purposes which the Commissioners had in view. He need scarcely repeat to their Lordships that he objected to the continuance of the union, for it appeared to him that nothing but a strongly apparent necessity could justify its maintenance. It was true that so long as he and his right Rev. Friend existed, no complete union of the sees could take place; but supposing that even up to the period of their decease the union were not prevented, still he had no doubt that the noble Earl would be prepared to stand forward and press this measure—he trusted to a successful issue. In the mean time, so long as health and strength remained to him, he was determined to avail himself of every opportunity that offered to urge upon the attention of Parliament the considerations which opposed themselves to the existence of this union. The diocese to which he now belonged was one over which he had presided for a period of fourteen years, and he sincerely hoped that the evils by which it was now threatened might be averted. Assuming that the union were carried into effect, he should say that whether the future Bishop fixed his residence at Bangor or at St. Asaph, one portion or the other of the diocese would sustain a great loss. The clergy residing in one part of the diocese must lose the frequent opportunities which they now enjoyed of communicating with their Bishop, and even in a temporal point of view the removal of the Bishop must be regarded as a great evil. It was removing from the district one who might be considered in the light of a country gentleman of considerable property, and it necessarily directed that which would have been his expenditure into a different channel. As to the new Bishopric, he did not deny the necessity of creating it, and he had no doubt that funds would be found for the purpose. In his opinion the necessity for a Bishop of Manchester created no necessity for extinguishing the ancient dioceses of St. Asaph and Bangor. He knew it had been said that twenty-six or twenty-seven Prelates having seats in that House were quite sufficient to represent the Church of England; but he begged to remind their Lordships, that at a time when the Temporal Peers were by no means so numerous as at present, the Lords Spiritual, including the Mitred Abbots, were not less than forty in number, who had seats in the House. After the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII., he created six additional Bishoprics. The diocese of Westminster had been abolished, and he professed himself at a loss to understand why Manchester should not be called into existence in lieu of Westminster. He begged the House to consider that a strong, holy, and most religious feeling penetrated all classes in England with respect to this question. The continuance of those sees was an object dear to the affections of the people of Wales—even those not friendly to the Church were of one mind in reprobating the measure which went to unite the sees; they regarded it as injurious to their national feelings. He hoped then that the House would have due regard to the deep and solemn sentiments with which the people viewed this question. They did not ask themselves whether or not dioceses should be regulated by square miles or even by population statistics; they did not admit that dioceses ought to be circumscribed by arbitrary circles—that they were matters of arithmetic, or of pounds, shillings, and pence. There was a deeper and a stronger feeling than that of mere pecuniary considerations; and he hoped their Lordships would do him justice to remember that he had no personal interest in the result.

The Archbishop of Canterbury

said, that he was aware that a feeling in favour of the Bill prevailed, not only in North Wales, but generally throughout England and Wales. But as to the arrangement being an insult to the people of Wales there was not the least ground for considering it in that light. The new diocese could not be created without the proposed union, and however great the respect which he entertained for antiquity, he could not he insensible to the claims of 2,000,000 of men as opposed to those of 350,000. The supposed injury to North Wales had been strongly spoken of, but in his opinion no injury whatever would be effected by the recommendations of the Commissioners —there would in fact be no extinction of any Bishopric, but a combination of two dioceses, with a view to the formation of another Bishopric where it was more wanted. With the aids that were now available there would be nothing to prevent the due administration of the united dioceses by one Bishop. Under the new arrangement, although there would be only one Bishop for St. Asaph and Bangor, yet he would be assisted by four Archdeacons, two for each diocese, and with this assistance, and the aid of rural Deans he submitted that 260 livings, and a population of 400,000 souls, might be fitly managed by a single Bishop. From his experience, he thought that by perfecting the establishment of Archdeacons and rural Deans, and improving the means already available, they would do better for the Church than by the multiplication of Bishoprics. He knew that an increase of the number of Bishoprics was desired by many friends of the Church, but as at present advised he did not see the expediency of such a measure, and he thought the advantage was questionable. He trusted that he had said enough to justify himself and the rest of the Commission for having originally proposed and since supported this measure; and he should refrain from troubling the House further.

The Bishop of St. David's

said he did not think that the question had been placed as yet on the right, the true, or, at all events, the strongest footing; important elements had been left out of consideration. He looked upon the mode in which the question had been dealt with as a specimen of the manner in which Welsh questions affecting the interests and the feelings of the Principality had been usually disposed of by the Government and Parliament. The consideration of the disregard that had been shown to Wales, he could assure their Lordships from his own knowledge, had formed a ground of dissatisfaction and discontent throughout that part of the Principality with which he was acquainted, and he believed he might say throughout the whole of it. That this was not a delusion he was firmly convinced; in his opinion, there was a great deal of ground for it. He considered the present state of South Wales, that state which bad resulted from the disturbances which took place there last year, as an instance of the disregard with which Wales bad been treated; because he knew that previous to the breaking out of those disturbances, strong representations had been made to the Government of the danger of the increasing evil; but those representations had been disregarded. He did not mean to charge the right hon. Baronet, at the head of the Home Department, with want of courtesy; all had been done with the right hon. Baronet's usual amenity of manner; but substantially, disregard was shown to those representations. One point to which he would speak with reference to his own diocese was the want of efficiency in the Establishment, arising from lack of funds. In that diocese a great want had been felt of the means of training young men for the Church. A college, as many of their Lordships knew, had been founded to meet this deficiency, chiefly out of the savings of the parochial clergy. The institution had attained some degree of efficiency, and to some extent fulfilled the purposes of the founders, but it still far from adequately dealt with the evil. It might, indeed, be set forth as an example of the apathy of Government to matters connected with the Principality. Something, it was true, was given annually, but not more than one-tenth of what was voted for the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth. Application had been made for an increase of the allowance to the Welsh College, but the Government had refused to increase the grant, and no step of any kind had been taken by them on behalf of the institution, or to remedy the defect he had referred to. In his opinion not only the Government and Parliament, but the nation at large, were in the habit of estimating too lightly the importance of that portion of the community. It had been forgotten, and at the same time this had also been forgotten, that that remnant of a once powerful people were separated by but a narrow channel from 7,000,000 of people who claimed a common origin with them, and who had not always been in the most composed state, or possessed with feelings of full satisfaction with the Government of this country. He considered this arrangement of these dioceses as a specimen of the treatment to which the Principality of Wales had been subjected, and which he had been endeavouring to illustrate. A most remarkable miscalculation and over-sight had been committed with reference to this measure—it had been based upon a miscalculation altogether—if the question had been considered in its proper light they would not at that moment be discussing it. This See of Bangor which was to be sup- pressed, or extinguished, or, if they would, merged in the other See of St. Asaph, had been treated as if it were one of twenty-six—it ought to have been considered as one of four. Had this fact been properly attended to, he was of opinion that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners would have endeavoured to discover some other mode of settling the question. He wished to know where they intended to stop in the application of the principle they were then discussing? Should their Lordships consent to this measure they would be asked to extend it further. The population of this country was continually on the increase, and another Bishopric in the West of England might be required. If the creation of a Bishop for Manchester made it necessary to abolish the Bishopric of Bangor by uniting that diocese with the diocese of St. Asaph, and they wanted to make a Bishop of Leeds, would their Lordships consent to the consolidation of the Bishoprics of St. David and Llandaff? The simple question for them to consider was whether any step which they had yet taken was to be viewed as irrevocable? He thought that some of their Lordships would think that such was the case. He trusted that the possibility of being charged with that bugbear "inconsistency" would not prevent that House from pursuing any course which might be thought just in reference to the matter under consideration. There was always room for an honourable retreat. With reference to the Bishopric of Manchester, there could exist only one feeling among their Lordships—every one felt that the establishment of that Bishopric was most desirable—every individual would like to see the creation of the Bishopric, instead of its being a matter of speculation. The only point of regret in connection with it was, that it should be purchased at such a price. That Bishopric, when erected, would he, not a monument of the glory, strength, and liberal spirit of the English Church, as it ought to have been, but a memorial of its degradation. If the future Bishop of Manchester ever took his seat in that House—should he be a man of right feeling, and considered the steps which had been taken in order to seat him in that House—he could not avoid having emotions of a very uncomfortable character, especially when he felt that he was filling an usurped place, and had displaced one who ought to be there. He did not think that they had gone too far not to be able to retrace their steps. But his belief was, that this measure had originated in an oversight, from inadvertency, and from considerable ignorance of the real state of the Principality of Wales. But if it should now be consummated, it would have been so in the light of day, with the clearest knowledge, and with all the facts, and statements, and arguments which ought to have prevented, and which would, in his opinion, have prevented, if they had been laid before the parties, this Bill being proposed. Still, although he thought reason, sound policy, and wisdom, were on the side of the noble Earl's Motion, he could not, when he saw the kind of opposition that appeared to be enlisted against it, but feel a very deep misgiving as to its success. There was, however, another kind of opposition, perhaps more formidable, but which every one must respect, whatever might be its cause—an opposition connected with qualities and actions which all must admire —for every one must admire the glorious characteristic of an English soldier, which had given rise to the saying that he never knew what it was to be beaten—one might easily conceive that the noble Duke, who had contributed so much by his illustrious actions to perpetuate that quality, that he, the hero of so many fields, would not consent to be foiled even on this matter; but he (the Bishop of St. David's) would take the liberty of saying, that if the noble Duke succeeded on this occasion, it would not be one of his most glorious or useful victories; but, on the contrary, it would be another example of the melancholy truth, that it was much easier for the greatest and best of men to commit an error, than to acknowledge it.

The Bishop of Lincoln

next addressed the House, but in a very subdued tone of voice. The right rev. Prelate was understood to say, that it was impossible not to be struck with the disproportion and inequality which existed between the extent of some of the Episcopal Dioceses and the population of these diocesan districts. With reference to what had fallen from the preceding speakers on the subject of the new Bishop having a seat in the House of Lords, he would observe, that the hon. Member for Bridport (Mr. Warburton), who was no mean authority on this matter, had said that it was essential to the union between Church and State, that the Bishops should have a seat in the highest branch of the Legislature. He (the Bishop of Lincoln) did not mean to give a decided opinion on that subject, but it might become a question whether, if they created a new Bishop without entitling him to a seat in the House of Peers, they might not be adopting a course likely to weaken that union.

The Earl of Winchilsea

said, it was with deep regret that be found himself on this occasion opposed to the noble Duke and to two right rev. Prelates, for whose high character and position he entertained the warmest estimation; but he could honestly say, that he never gave more cordial and warm support to any motion than that which he was prepared to give to the proposition of his noble Friend, who, by his honest, zealous, and patriotic conduct, in bringing; forward this subject, had gained for himself, most justly, the esteem and respect of all who were connected with the Principality of Wales, and he (Lord Winchilsea) would also add, of all who were desirous to promote the religious interests of that part of the country. He regretted most deeply —with all deference to the judgment of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners—that, when they felt the imperious necessity of establishing another Bishopric, they had not boldly asserted the urgent necessity of the case, and that they had not endeavoured, while granting this great boon, to avoid inflicting a serious injury. Could any one contend that the destruction of this ancient Bishopric in North Wales, would not do great violence to the feelings of the people of that district. Was it politic, he would ask, on the part of the Legislature, to treat their wishes and feelings with indifference? He thought they ought to take into consideration the condition of Wales and the comparative poverty of the great majority of the parochial clergy of the Principality. Was it no inconvenience to a poor clergyman, that if he wished to take the advice or opinion of his Bishop, he must travel thirty, forty, or fifty miles further than he would have had to go if the two Bishroprics of St. Asaph and Bangor were retained intact? He believed, that if the feeling of the people of England could be ascertained, it would be found decidedly favourable to the establishment of a Bishropric of Manchester; and that they were also desirous that the Bishop of that place should have a seat in that House, and this being the case, why should they not at once act upon principle, and create one at once, instead of waiting twenty, thirty, or, perhaps, even forty years. Although the Motion of his noble Friend might not be successful on this occasion, he had only to persevere, and at a future time his efforts would be crowned with success.

The Bishop of London

said he agreed in opinion with the noble Earl who had just sat down, that if an appeal could properly he made to the people of this country, it would he found that they were desirous that a Bishopric of Manchester should be created, and that the Bishop of that diocese should possess a seat in that House. But he (the Bishop of London) must say that, before they acceded to the Motion of the noble Earl, they ought to have some further guarantee for the erection of a Bishopric of Manchester. If he could he assured of the creation of such a Bishopric, with the proper dignity of a place in that House, he would at once abandon the position which, as one of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, he now felt called upon to maintain; but he could not consent to relinquish the security they had already obtained for the establishment of that Bishopric until they obtained some other equally valid security. The motives which had induced him to support the recommendation of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners on this subject had been stated so clearly and intelligibly by his right rev. Friend, whose Colleague he then was, that it was unnecessary for him to detain the House by entering into any explanation on that point. He had felt that the only means of attaining an object which he considered essential to the well-being of the Church—the provision of Episcopal superintendence of that vast district of which Manchester was the capital—was by the union of the two Bishoprics of St. Asaph and Bangor. At the period to which he was alluding it was considered that there was no prospect of obtaining by any other means the establishment of a new Bishopric, the holder of it having a seat in that House; and he had conceived that the appointment of a Bishop without a seat in the House of Lords would have been a step fraught with danger to the present constitution of the Church. This consideration still operated upon his mind, and induced him to withhold his assent from the proposal of the noble Earl—unless, indeed, he could be satisfied that if the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor were not united, a new Bishopric would be created, and that the Bishop would have a seat in the House of Lords. He was not prepared to say that he was absolutely convinced a Bishopric might not safely be created, the holder of which might, for a time at least, remain without a seat in that House; but on the other hand, he was not satisfied that such an experiment would be unattended with danger. He thought the right rev. Prelate who had addressed their Lordships with such great eloquence and effect, had censured somewhat severely the conduct of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. He hoped the right rev. Prelate did not mean to question the motives and intentions of the Commissioners, whatever might have been the wisdom of the course they had pursued. The Commissioners had taken every means to ascertain the effects, advantageous or disadvantageous, which might be expected to result to the Church from the adoption of their recommendation. They had been assisted in those inquiries by a gentleman of the principality of great experience and intelligence; the matter had been repeatedly-discussed; and, though the learned and excellent gentleman to whom he alluded had expressed some doubt, in the first instance, as to the propriety of the union of the two sees, he eventually came to the conclusion that this was the least objectionable mode of proceeding. He had himself communicated privately with several intelligent persons connected with North Wales, and it was considered by them that the business of the united sees of St. Asaph and Bangor might be transacted by one Bishop, with the aid of a competent number of Archdeacons and rural Deans. It had been charged against the Ecclesiastical Commissioners that many of their recommendations had been made in the grossest ignorance. Now, why did not those who made this charge come forward at the time and give the Commissioners that information which they possessed? It was not only competent for them at the time to have come forward to give evidence, but it was their bounden duty to do so. As the Commissioners had been offered no such evidence, they were bound to support the measure which had been brought into Parliament at that time, for the purpose of carrying the recommendations of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners into effect. It was true, he admitted, that now a different state of feeling prevailed, not only in the Principality, but throughout the country at large. He admitted that a strong and deep feeling prevailed throughout the great body of the clergy in favour of the measure proposed by the noble Earl; such a feeling did not prevail when the Commissioners made their recommendation, a duty which they had discharged at the time with great reluctance. He hoped, that on account of those recommendations, their Lordships would not accuse him, and the other Bishops with whom he acted, of being influenced by any love for the suppression of Bishoprics, of the union of Sees, for they had only consented to that proposal, because they believed that greater good would be done to the Church by adopting that proposition than by any other plan which they could adopt. He admitted the feeling that now prevailed amongst the great body of the clergy on this subject, but, until he saw what provision was made for a Bishopric of Manchester, he would not consent to forego that security which their Lordships and the other House of Parliament had given towards obtaining that object. If their Lordships rejected the Motion of the noble Earl, and adhered to the recommendation of the Commissioners, which their Lordships had themselves assisted to carry into law, still there would be grave questions connected with the Bishops of England to be considered. They would have to consider, so far from settling this question, whether it might not be necessary to establish new Bishoprics. Before he concluded, he wished to make one remark. He hoped the right rev. Prelate, (the Bishop of St. David's) would excuse him if he said that, in speaking of the mode in which the Celt was treated by the Saxon subjects as they were the subjects of one Crown, and members of the same Church, he thought that it was not wise to use language of a kind not calculated to promote that good feeling which it was desirable should subsist amongst all the different parts of the kingdom. He hoped that, in considering for the Church of the Principality they would consider them as members of the Church of England, and they would agree to no measure that was not calculated to promote their true interests. He (the Bishop of London) felt it be his duty to resist the Motion of his noble Friend.

The Bishop of St. David's

said, in explanation, that it had not been his intention, in the observations he had made, to charge the Ecclesiastical Commissioners with anything like injustice, or a denial of justice. As to the other point to which the right rev. Prelate, who had just sat down, had alluded, his (the Bishop of St. David's) statements were purely of a historical nature. He had merely repeated what had been said by others—statements which had appeared in print, and had been matter of public notoriety.

Lord Vivian

was understood to say, that he believed there was a very strong feeling in the country against the establishment of a new Bishopric; but he did not think that, among the laity at least, there was much objection to the junction of the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor.

The Bishop of Exeter

said, that it was quite evident from the speech of the right Rev. Prelate (the Bishop of London), that he thought the union of the Sees of St. Asaph and Bangor would be in itself an evil, and that he would be rejoiced if he found that he could relieve the people of Wales from the threatened mischief, and yet be assured of the means of establishing a sufficiently endowed and dignified Bishopric at Manchester. Now he thought that as the right Rev. Prelate seemed to entertain these opinions, he might be expected to give his support to this stage of the present Measure. Supposing this Bill was allowed to go into Committee it would be part of the duty of that Committee to devise means for securing provision for the See of Manchester, and if in Committee the right Rev. Prelate failed in securing that provision, then he might surely and consistently, refuse to vote for the next reading of the Bill. He had been rejoiced to hear the observations of the right Rev. Prelate, because he was the first speaker who had given him any hope that the proposal of the noble Earl would eventually be successful. Even although strong arguments might have been adduced against that proposal, he still had hope; for strong arguments urged against a principle which he believed to be just, and sound, and wise, never would induce him to despair of the ultimate success of that principle. He continued to entertain a hope, even when able and wise men used good arguments against a good measure, that they would themselves be convinced by hearing better and stronger arguments:—but when he heard no argument which, as he conceived, deserved the name of argument, urged against a Measure which in his conscience he believed to be just and necessary — when he found wise and good men say, "We will not assent to this proposal; we insist upon its being cast out, and we have power to enforce our determination," then he did despair for a time, but only for a time; for, where a cause had justice and wisdom on its side it was sure to be ulti- mately triumphant. He must not, however be supposed to intimate that those who had addressed their Lordships in this strain were incapable, in a good cause, of urging the best and soundest arguments; but he conceived that, in the present case, their cause was radically bad, and not a syllable deserving of the name of argument had been adduced against the proposal of the noble Earl. What bad been the language of the noble Duke (the Duke of Wellington), whose political sagacity and plain good English sense always contrived to get at the bottom of any question and to find the soundest reasons for supporting any Measure which he thought it their Lordships' duty to adopt. If he had not at the time noted down the words of the noble Duke, he could scarcely have believed that he would have made such a statement. The noble Duke said, that the House must remember, if they agreed to the Motion of the noble Earl, that they sanctioned a Bill the object of which was to repeal an Act of Parliament eight years old. What, was this anything very new in the history of British legislation—was it so monstrous a thing for Parliament to be called upon to repeal an Act which had been in existence for such a time? But he would ask their Lordships if the Bill of his noble Friend was a Measure for the repeal of an Act of Parliament? He must say, he thought the noble Duke was labouring under some most extraordinary hallucination. Why, this Bill, if it were passed, would, it was true, touch a small portion of an Act of Parliament; but it related to but an infinitesimal portion of that Act. He could not adequately describe the insignificance of the fraction which would be struck off the Act by this Measure. Now, he wished their Lordships to recollect what that Act was, and what was its nature. It was not the result of deep, grave, and serious deliberation upon the great variety of important questions which would be affected by its provisions. No; it rested upon different grounds. In the preamble it recited a long report from the Commissioners, containing he did not know how many recommendations of different natures, which were, it was said, "expedient to be adopted." These were the grounds on which it was brought forward—the expediency of adopting certain recommendations of the Commissioners. Was it true he asked their Lordships, to say, that the wisdom and forethought of Parliament had been exercised in deciding upon these 50 or 100 recommendations? Did their Lordships really think that these grounds were adequate to sustain such a Measure as the present? If some noble Lord, or if he himself as one opposed to the Measure, had risen in his place and asked their Lordships whether they were prepared on the instant to adopt a whole string of propositions, every one of which required grave and mature consideration, how would the question have been answered? Supposing that he had further asked the House, were they prepared to consider and remedy the inconveniences which might arise from the hasty adoption of these recommendations, would he have been told that they could not do so, and that their powers were circumscribed? Why, he should have laughed had such an answer been given to him. But, apart from this, let their Lordships look how this Act of Parliament had been dealt with, and let them consider if it had been treated as a thing so sacred that they should shrink from touching it. Why, scarcely two years had passed since one most important proposition, relating to the Bishopric of Man had been introduced, and the noble Duke had not been quite correct in his statements on that subject. Much greater changes had since taken place, in giving to the Commissioners power to carry into effect those most important alterations. Parliament should, however, use its most deliberate opinion. Indeed, it had done so on one point already, for when in Committee he had taken the liberty of moving an Amendment which would have the effect of changing in a great measure the nature of the Commission, which composed as it was of persons sitting merely at the pleasure of the Crown, he considered a monstrous innovation;—it had been his fortune, as it might be again on the present occasion, to be in a minority. Since that time, however, he had had the great gratification of seeing the Government, both Houses of Parliament and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners adopting the course he had ventured to recommend. That gave him much confidence, and he felt that experience was with him, when he said that good measures no matter how much opposed or how long resisted, must ultimately be successful. The present question might be deferred for one, or for two, or for three years, but that was merely a consideration of time. He lamented that his right rev. Friend in his able speech should have thought fit to allude to the strong feeling excited on this subject, and to consider it as not connected with the real merits of the case; and more than that, to state that there was more of strong feeling than of argument with the noble Lord. However, that no doubt was his right rev. Friend's conviction, and he did justice to himself in stating it, though he (the Bishop of Exeter) could not share it with him. The right rev. Prelate had no right to ask the House to refuse to read that Bill a second time for the reasons he had assigned and from what his Lordship had stated in his opening speech, he hoped for his vote on that side of the question. He would now state to the most rev. Prelate who had preceded him, and he hoped he was free from all feeling of presumption in differing from the arguments advanced by him in his speech to their Lordships. That most rev. prelate had said that more feeling than reason had prevailed in the discussion, and he (the Bishop of Exeter) certainly thought that on one side that was true, though he would not then compare the weight of argument on either side; but further he had said — and he confessed it gave him much pain, and would have given him much more if he could have believed that the most rev. Prelate had uttered the sentiment as the result of his sincere and deliberate conviction—he had said, that it would be no real injury to North Wales to be deprived of a Bishop, if well supplied with archdeacons. He (the Bishop of Exeter) would sincerely grieve, if he could for one moment believe that his most rev. Friend entertained that view of the case, but he believed that in uttering that opinion, the mind of the most rev. Prelate had been influenced not by argument, but by something more powerful even with the best of us, and under the influence of which men were but too apt to say that which upon deliberate reflection they were sorry for. That rev. Prelate was, he was sure, the last man in that House to say that it would not be a very great evil to deprive any portion of the realm which had a Bishop at present of his fostering care and guidance. He (the Bishop of Exeter) would ask their Lordships if it were any reason to deprive one part of the kingdom of the benefit of a Bishop's superintendence, because another portion of it was without that blessing? If it were true that that superintendence was a great benefit, why were the people of St. Asaph and Bangor to be deprived of it? As well might they say, looking to the distribution of rank in dif- ferent counties in England—"We will take some of those Staffordshire or Kentish Earls or Dukes, who are so numerous, and transplant them into Lancashire where they are so few." That method of reasoning would be quite as just in one case as the other. On the same grounds they had an efficacious way of equalizing charities, for instance, in which some counties were very rich, and others very poor, and according to this principle nothing was more easy, for they had only to say, "We will take of such and such Surrey charities and give them to Westmoreland," and the thing was done. But there had been something further in the most rev. Prelate's speech which he had heard with great pain. The most rev. Prelate had spoken of the multiplication of Bishops as a great evil in itself. [The Archbishop of Canterbury was understood to dissent.] Well, then, he rejoiced to hear that it was not to be regarded as an evil, and would omit further reference to what he conceived had been the right rev. Prelate's sentiments upon this subject. There was, however, another passage in that speech which he had heard with much pain, and that was where the most rev. Prelate said, that Bishops should not be brought into collision with their clergy upon small matters, which should be left to the Archdeacons and Deans, but only on questions of importance. Now, he was sure the most rev. Prelate would not say that Bishops were to be regarded merely as criminal officers. [The Archbishop of Canterbury was understood to deny that he had made use of the expression attributed to him.] He did not wish to speak to order when he considered who the individual was whom he addressed, but he had taken down the words alluded to, and however he might have mistaken, he certainly had not misrepresented them. He rejoiced that the most rev. Prelate did not adopt that sentiment, and he knew that no one had ever sat in that House who was a better example of what a Bishop should be than was his Grace, and he appealed from the Prelate hastily addressing their Lordships in that House, to the Bishop administering and presiding over the affairs of his Diocese. He appealed from his arguments to his works. He heartily rejoiced that he had mistaken his Grace's meaning. The office of a Bishop was to support, to assist, to advise his Clergy, to encourage and superintend them in their work, to partake with them the odium or measures which they, unassisted, might not always like to adopt—to warn them gently when going wrong — to correct and point out their errors; but when wilfully following up a course of wrong, to punish and rebuke them. His most rev. Friend, in justification of his intended vote, said that he saw no means of obtaining a seat in that House for the Bishop of Manchester. That must be the only difficulty, for they were told, that as to the revenue there could be no impediment, and that whenever a Bishop of Manchester might be appointed, there the funds would be ready for his disposal and maintenance. Now, as to a seat in that House, he certainly did not wish to undervalue it, and was sure that the rev. Prelate who had laid such stress upon it in his argument did not regard it too much, but he looked upon it chiefly as a pledge of the union between Church and State. For his own part, he did not think there would be much injury done by the introduction of another Prelate in that House, and he did not think that there was a Member of it who would not cheerfully see a twenty-seventh Bishop added to their number. Supposing, however, they did not think so, and that the other House of Parliament would not agree to such a proposition, he, for one, was not at all anxious on the subject, except for the precedent, for if there was once the example of a Bishop without a seat, it might become more general. If the country were so little alive to the advantages derived from the presence of the Bishops in that House (and he was perfectly certain that they sat there with the good will of the country), and if the general opinion of the people continued so long and permanently, he would not wish to see right rev. Prelates sitting there one moment longer, nor could they, if that opinion prevailed, sit there with advantage either to the Church or the country. They sat there, however, because the country felt that they ought to sit there; and he would tell their Lordships if the time should ever come when the great body of the people were convinced that there should not be a House of Lords, they might rest assured that the House of Lords would not long exist. He was not at all frightened at this bugbear of a Bishop without a seat in Parliament. Great—enormously great —as were the advantages accruing to the State by the presence of the right rev. Prelates in that House, as an acknowledgment of the Great Being through whom "Princes decree justice," as advisers and counsellors at the discussion of religious questions or matters relating to Church Government—great as were the advantages to the rev. Prelates themselves of seats in that House, whereby their minds were liberalized, and they were the better enabled to administer and govern their dioceses —great as were all these reciprocal advantages, he considered them as utterly nothing when compared to the vast, the paramount necessity, of having a due number of Bishops for all religious purposes of the Church. Until there were Bishops enough, he thought they should not be afraid of adding to their number, because, perchance, it might endanger their seats in that House. He heartily thanked the noble Earl for having brought forward that Motion, and he ventured to conjure him, if he should be defeated (as from the authority of those opposed to him he feared he would) to press this question upon the House another and another year, again and again, until he should have succeeded in extorting that consent from their Lordships, which wisdom, justice, and piety, so imperatively demanded.

The Duke of Wellington

explained that he had reminded their Lordships that this Bill would not only repeal the union of the two sees, but also that part of the Act of Parliament upon which the Orders in Council had been founded.

The Archbishop of Canterbury

also wished to explain what he had said upon two points adverted to by the right rev. Prelate. First, he was represented to have said that no injury would be done to North Wales, because several Archdeacons would be appointed; what he did say was, that he thought in a diocese containing a limited number of parishes, and a limited population like that of North Wales, one Bishop with the assistance of four Archdeacons, was fully competent to the management of the affairs of the Church. As to the other point, he thought he should have reason to complain of the right rev. Prelate, but that if any misapprehension as to his meaning could exist, he ought rather to be obliged for the opportunity of giving this explanation. He was stated to have said, that he considered the multiplication of Bishops an evil; now he said nothing of the sort. What he said was this, that it was not expedient that Bishops should be brought into collision with the Clergy upon every trifling matter; and that his experience had proved to him that in the management of a diocese it was much better that the Bishop should not interfere in a variety of small matters, which the Clergy themselves could much more efficiently arrange.

The Bishop of Salisbury

said, that he was glad that the course of the debate would spare him the necessity of entering at any length upon details which had been already so ably treated by those who had previously addressed their Lordships' House. Indeed, he would have been content to give a silent vote, but that the circumstances in which he was himself placed made him approach the subject with something of a peculiar and personal interest. For the question before the House was one relating to the union of two Bishoprics, and upon that subject he had the result of some experience of his own to offer to their Lordships' consideration. He had most reluctantly, most unwillingly, most entirely contrary, not only to his own feelings but to his own better judgment, been induced, at the instance of those to whom he thought such deference was due, and by a supposed state of necessity in the Church for which he was told no other remedy could be devised, to undertake the care of another diocese (the Bishopric of Bath and Wells), in addition to that which was more properly committed to his charge. Whatever might be the case with other unions, to which reference had been made, but upon which subject he did not wish to enter, he could assert that the union in which he was concerned was satisfactory to no man. To himself it was a burden which distracted his attention from his own more proper duties—which overweighed his spirits and destroyed his energies—a burden from which he most heartily desired to be free, and respecting which he had in vain petitioned for such relief. The members of the Church in his own diocese might justly complain that there was diverted from them a portion of that care and over sight which they otherwise would have, whilst the Clergy and members of the Church in the diocese so unwisely placed under his charge deeply felt, as he knew, that they were deprived of the care and oversight of a Bishop of their own, resident amongst them, and able to attend to their interests in a manner which he could not do. After such experience, he could not refrain from earnestly pressing on their Lordships not to persist in carrying into effect the union of other dioceses, which would, in all probability, be alike burdensome to him upon whom the duties of the office devolved, and unsatisfactory to the members of the Church in both dioceses. In reference to the subject matter immediately before their Lordships, he greatly regretted to find they were met by an opposition which would most probably be fatal to the Motion which the noble Earl had so ably brought forward. Nevertheless he did not regret, far from it, that it had been brought forward, and that this subject had been again discussed, for each time it was considered some progress was made, and the way was further opened for the ultimate accomplishment of their wishes. When this measure was first brought forward the only ground then advanced for the union of the sees he did not say the only ground in the minds of the proposers of the measure; but the only ground which they openly declared was the necessity of thereby obtaining funds for the endowment of a Bishop of Manchester. He could not but consider it as one great step that that which was originally the sole ground and necessity, was now, he believed, finally and for ever disposed of; for, after the discussion of that evening, he did not believe that they would ever hear again, from those who were acquainted with the facts, that there was any necessity for a diversion of the funds from the Bishoprics of North Wales in order to enable them to endow a Bishop of Manchester. He had last year stated to their Lordships a principle on this subject which he thought a just one, and to which he still adhered. It was this: that when the question was that of raising the Collegiate Church of Manchester from its present condition into that of an Episcopal See, the proper quarter to look to for funds for that purpose was the property of the Collegiate Church itself, so far as it would go. He still adhered to that principle; and he believed that an inquiry into the revenues of the Collegiate Church at Manchester would show that no inconsiderable portion of the funds required might fairly be derived from that source; though, owing to the incorrectness of the returns made by the late Warden to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, he was not in a condition to show what the amount of these revenues were, or what proportion could rightly be deemed applicable to the endowment of the proposed Bishopric. But, even if there were nothing whatever to come from that quarter, it had been stated, and justly, that there were in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners themselves funds for the endowment of a Bishop of Man- Chester, without any reference to the Bishoprics of North Wales; and he would put this in a point of view which seemed to him to he not without some importance. Their Lordships were aware that the Act of his late Majesty, to which reference had been made, established certain charges upon the more largely endowed sees in order to provide certain payments to be made to those of more slender endowments, which charges were calculated upon a septennial return of the revenues of those sees up to the year 1835. But the Act further provided that the revenues of all the Bishoprics should be subject to a septennial revision, and the charges and payments altered according to each successive return. The period had now arrived for making a second return, and if that return were complete, it would be a very important element in taking into account what means were, or in progress of time would be, in the bands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for the endowment of this or other Bishoprics. Those returns had not yet all been made; but he had examined those of fifteen of the twenty-six sees, and though they were not yet revised, and therefore might be subject to error, still he would mention to their Lordships that of those fifteen sees he found that only four fell short of the amount at which they were estimated seven years ago, and that by no very great amount, whilst the other eleven all exceeded, and some considerably, the Return then made; so that he might venture to say that the Returns of those fifteen sees when the new scale of charges and payments took effect, would place in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners a surplus beyond that which they already had of not less than 10,000l. a year; and he had no reason to suppose but that when the Returns of the other nine sees were taken into consideration, that amount would be rather increased than diminished. Now, what were the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to do with those funds? They were not at liberty to apply them to any purpose they pleased— to the augmentation of small livings, for instance—but they were by the Act specifically limited to the augmentation of poor Bishoprics. If their Lordships rejected this Motion they would place the matter in this position—they would in effect say, "You shall not use these funds for that purpose, but they shall remain idle, because we are determined that the revenues of the Bishopric of Manchester shall be derived from the poor mountains of North Wales." Even if there were not the funds elsewhere, the inhabitants of North Wales might justly object to the taxing their poverty to fill up the wealth of another district. And therefore in any case, he thought that the noble Earl and those who acted with him, members of the Church in the dioceses of North Wales, would be perfectly justified in refusing to listen to that argument. But to those who took a more general view of the subject, it was doubtless of great importance to know that if the revenues of North Wales were spared, means might be found in other quarters of supplying the deficiency. The further point of a seat in their Lordships' House was doubtless one of great importance. The noble Earl last year, and again this year, had made a proposition on that subject, and, though he did not say it was certainly the best proposition, still it was one to which he was quite willing to give his assent if he were told that the question lay between a Bishopric of Manchester being established under such an arrangement as that, or the indefinite, or at least very distant postponement of that measure, until the period should arrive which was marked out by the act now sought to be repealed. The immediate establishment of that Bishopric was the object he had at heart. The other point, of the exact manner in which it might be endowed, or the arrangements which might be made as to a seat in that House, were questions of detail, and as such he was willing to leave them open for consideration. But the other question was one upon which his opinion was decided. It was his opinion, that if they would enable the Church to discharge—as he was sure they wished it should—the sacred duties intrusted to it,—if they would enable the clergy to watch over the flock committed to their care, and to lead back those who had gone astray,—it must be by bringing the system of the Church in its integrity to bear upon those who now, in too many instances knew it, but in name. And in order to this, it was most needful to put forward the Bishops in close connexion with the people, as a visible centre of unity, governing and guiding and counselling with those committed to their charge; not to establish them as remote powers, unseen and little known, and therefore too often exercising but a small portion of the influence which should properly attach to their sacred office. That was what he considered was the great and real question which should he brought before their Lordships' House, and which he wished to see engage the attention of the Executive Government. That was the question which the universal voice of the Church was pressing upon their notice. It might be that that voice made but little impression upon their ears on account of the feebleness of the organ by which it was expressed; it might be that the Government might refuse to recognise it, because it had not come to them through those channels which they were alone accustomed to consider as authorised, to speak the sentiments of the Church; but, however, that might be, he would venture to say that the real opinion of the Church was in this matter expressed by the noble Earl, and those who with him advocated the repeal of this measure. Of all the petitions that had been presented to their Lordships, had there been one unfavourable to the Motion now before the House? He entreated their Lordships to remark the manner in which his right rev. Brethren would record their votes that evening. There were five of them who stood upon this subject,—he would not say committed, for he would not use a term which in any degree might be considered as invidious— but who as having been included in that Commission, on the recommendation of which that Act was founded which it was now proposed to repeal, stood in a position somewhat different from the rest of the right rev. Prelates. He indeed would that they could see how with the change of circumstances, there was room for the change of opinion too; and he had observed some strong indications that at no very distant period such would be the case. But he entreated them to consider the votes of those who were altogether free upon this question; and to judge from them what was the opinion on this subject of those who had at least the best opportunity of forming a judgment respecting it, and were under the most sacred obligations to consider the question in no light or careless spirit. Did they think it was without much pain and reluctance that his right rev. Brethren and himself stood forward upon this occasion in opposition to those whom they were generally accustomed to follow, with no ordinary deference? Did they think that they would take this course, but that they were compelled to do so by a strong conviction of their duty? Whatever might be the re- sult of this Motion—and he could not but fear that the strong influence of the noble Duke and the Government might decide the votes of the majority of their Lordships—he was reluctant to believe that the Government would long continue to refuse to entertain the proposition of the noble Earl. He was reluctant to believe this, because he was sure that such a course would greatly tend to shock the feelings, to disappoint the hopes, and to shake the confidence of those who were disposed to look with a better hope to the present Administration. Greatly would the Church rejoice to see the rulers of the country rise to a sense of the deep responsibility which was cast upon them, and at least allow that church fully to develope, by her own means, her own resources, and effect that which could be done without throwing any additional burthen upon the public. Greatly would the Church rejoice to see the responsible advisers of the Crown strong, not only in administrative ability—not only in financial resource—not only in the support of either House of Parliament, but strong too in those higher qualities which were best calculated to engender the confidence, to conciliate the feelings, and to command the respect of a Christian people. The Church would, he repeated, greatly rejoice in seeing an Administration strong in that faith, which could look for a blessing upon righteous endeavours in that hope, which could animate to meet difficulties for great objects; and in that enlarged Charity for the souls of men which could see it to be the Statesman's noblest prerogative to aid in the maintenance of true religion, and which would recognise in the efficiency and influence of the Church of Christ, the only sure foundation alike of social order, as of eternal peace.

The Earl of Harrowby

When acting on that Commission he had seen good reason to concur in many of the arguments which had been urged in favour of the union of the two sees, and had thought that, if such a union were to be adopted at all, those were the two upon which the operation might be most safely attempted. When, however, impressions against the arrangement continued so strongly after the lapse of eight years, in the Church as well as without, he felt that it was impossible not to vote for the second reading. He believed that some other arrangement might be given as to the institution of the Bishopric of Manchester. At any rate, if the Bill was read a second time that night, the opinion of the country might be obtained, and he had no doubt that some arrangement might be made to provide sufficient funds for the creation of the Bishopric of Manchester, without the suppression of the two ancient Bishoprics, the continuance of which was an object of much anxiety, not only to the inhabitants of the Principality, but to those of many other parts of the country.

House divided: — Content 49; Not-Content 37; Majority 12.

Bill read a second time.

House adjourned.