HL Deb 07 July 1851 vol 118 cc285-6

said, he was about to propose a Motion, of which he had not given notice, but it was one to which he thought no objection would be offered, as it appeared to him that the information he sought would aid in preparing for the argument upon the measure which would in a short time occupy the attention of their Lordships. Some years ago the Charitable Bequests Act was passed, relating to bequests which might be made in Ireland to the dignitaries of the Church of Rome. It was known that in the bequests which had been from time to time made on behalf of the clergy, their titles had been used; and as the Bill of the Government affected the validity of those titles, it would be expedient to ascertain whether the bequest would be also invalidated by the use of those titles. He understood that there was a return of the bequests that had been made under that Act, and he would now move for a return of every devise or bequest which had been made under the Act he had referred to, with the names of the testators, and the names and designations of the persons to whom the bequests had been granted since the month of January, 1849. The object he had in view was to put their Lordships in possession of the exact denomination that had been used towards the Roman Catholic prelates, and of the extent to which titles having a territorial character had been recognised in Ireland by the law.


was disposed to doubt whether the noble Duke would, by the means he proposed, ascertain how far any bequest had been received legal sanction. The mere fact of a will having been proved would not be sufficient, unless some law proceedings had been taken thereupon.


understood that questions had arisen in the law courts of Ireland whether a bequest was legal or illegal which had been made to a Roman Catholic bishop under the designation of a territorial title, which was illegal by the existing law. He did not mean to say that decisions had proceeded upon the illegality of the title.


said, that probably the title would be merely considered as the designatio personœ, and if the purpose of the bequest was lawful, there was no doubt that the legacy would take effect, though it might be unlawful to assume the title used.

The Motion was then agreed to.

House adjourned till To-morrow.