moved the second reading of this Bill, which he said had come up from the House of Commons, and had for its object the abolition of the jurisdiction of these courts in certain cases, such as that which had occurred recently, where a poor woman charged with defamation of which she said she had not been but being proceeded against in the Ecclesiastical Court, and being too poor to employ a proctor, was advised to plead guilty, whereupon she was condemned in the costs, and committed to gaol for nonpayment, without hope of release. Although he approved generally of the measure, he thought the second clause, which had a retrospective effect, was somewhat objectionable, and suggested that it should be amended in committee.
THE BISHOP OF EXETER
said, that there were some considerations which he would thereafter present to the noble and learned Lord with respect to the offence of brawling in a church, which offence was so decidedly ecclesiastical in its nature, that he thought it should be dealt with by ecclesiastical tribunals.
§ Bill read 2a and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Monday next.