, in rising to call Attention to the continued Disturbances taking place on each succeeding Sunday in the Church of St. Georges-in-the-East, and to move a Resolution that sufficient Power and Energy has not been displayed in putting down the same and bringing its Perpetrators to Punishment said, he believed he should meet with the universal concurrence of their Lordships when he asserted that the proceedings which had taken place Sunday after Sunday at St. George's-in-the-East were not only an abomination in themselves, but a scandal to religion, and a disgrace to a civilized community. Every succeeding Monday they saw in the newspapers accounts that were worse than those that preceded them, as having taken place every Sunday morning and evening preceding, and which, it appeared, the police had not the power to suppress or put down. He need not say that he did not stand before their Lordships as the advocate or champion either of the Rev. Bryan King or of his proceedings. That gentleman's conduct had been, to use the mildest terms, most culpably injudicious. It might be that he had acted in strict conformity to the rubric; but he ought to remember that many things which were sanctioned by the rubrics of the Church had become obsolete, and were opposed to the feelings of the public. It was, he thought, much to be regretted that the Ordinary had not power in all cases of differences arising between an incumbent and his parishioners, either as to the mode of celebrating divine worship or as to the decoration of the church, of pronouncing a decision which should be binding upon both parties. The conduct of the Rev. Bryan King, however, furnished no justification for the disgraceful riots which took place Sunday after Sunday, and which were occasioned not by the regular congregation, who he was informed had all left the church, but by a party of disorderly and reckless persons 1591 whose only object was to indulge in a scandalous pastime. Why, then, were not these riots put down? They would not for a moment be tolerated in any West-end church, in any Dissenting chapel, or even in a theatre, and why should they be allowed to continue in the church of St. George's in-the-East? Had the Secretary of State omitted to direct the chief of the metropolitan police to use every effort to put down these disturbances? or was it the fact the chief of the police, or some members of that body, sympathized with the opponents of the Rev. Bryan King, and were therefore unwilling to exert themselves as they ought to do to put a stop to these rights? An impression appeared to prevail among the police authorities that although they would be justified in taking the strongest steps to check any disorder which might take place outside the walls of the church, they were differently circumstanced as regarded what occurred within the building. Nothing could be more erroneous, and he was at a loss to understand how such an impression could have been created. If it continued to be acted upon a precedent of the most dangerous and fearful kind would be established, and a rabble might assume they had a privileged right to disturb the service in our churches. A representation ought to be made to the Ordinary upon the subject; and if he had not power to pronounce a decision in the matter a measure ought to be introduced into Parliament to confer such authority upon him. Were the churchwardens doing what they ought, or were they not acting under the influence of prejudices entertained against the incumbent and his proceedings, forgetting their immediate duty, which was the maintenance of order in the church? No right-minded person could come to any conclusion other than that these disturbances had risen to such a height that it was absolutely necessary that there should be some decided interference on the part of Her Majesty's Government. If proper directions had not been given to the chief of the police they ought to be immediately communicated to him; because he was convinced that if ten or a dozen determined policemen did their duty these scenes would soon be put down. Several persons had been taken before the magistrate of the Thames Police Office charged with breaking the peace during the performance of Divine service. One of those individuals, who was stated to occupy a 1592 respectable position in society, told the magistrate that if he was sent to prison it would damage his character and ruin him in his business. The magistrate, acting doubtless from the humanest of motives, inflicted on the accused a moderate fine, instead of committing him to gaol for fourteen days. If the respectability of a man's station in life was to have any influence at all in such matters, surely it would justify the infliction of a severer sentence upon him when he was proved to have openly infringed the law. If a decided course had been taken in that case by the magistrate of the Thames Police Office, in all human probability an example of such a description would have put an end to these disorders. Far better that the church should be closed for sonic time to come, than it should be thus desecrated Sunday after Sunday. Surely the Government must see the necessity of remedying the evil, and must be able to remedy it. The fault could not but lie somewhere; whether with the chief of the police, or with the members of his force who were placed upon duty at St. George's-in-the-East on Sunday, he could not presume to determine. Hitherto the police had been little more than ciphers in this matter. These riots, he understood, were not occasioned by the inhabitants of the parish, or by any members of Mr. Bryan King's regular congregation, but by a parcel of mischievous boys and girls, aided by a few miscreants, who went to the church for no other purpose than to have what they thought a good Sunday's "lark." If such a disturbance of public worship was not forcibly checked, a dangerous precedent would be set, which might be imitated, they knew not how soon, in other parts of the country. He trusted, therefore, that Her Majesty's Government would at once interpose to repress this flagrant scandal, and would give such instructions to the Chief Commissioner of Police as would not again be disobeyed. The noble Lord concluded by moving a Resolution—That sufficient Power and Energy have not been displayed in putting down the continued Disturbances which have taken place on each succeeding Sunday in the Church of St. George's-in-the-East, and in bringing the Perpetrators of such outrages to Punishment.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
was understood to say, he was not at all surprised that the noble Lord should have called attention to the subject, but was very much surprised to hear him charging the police with neglect 1593 of duty, and saying that it would be very easy for them to suppress these disturbances. The task was by no means so easy as the noble Lord supposed, and no facts bad been adduced to show that the police bad failed to discharge their duty as far as that was possible. If one or two individuals disturbed a whole congregation, the police would have no difficulty in taking them into custody and bringing them to punishment. But where a considerable portion of the assembly disapproved the mode in which the public worship was conducted, and confined the expression of that disapproval within certain limits, it was not so easy to obtain a conviction against them. The insinuation that the police evince a sympathy with the rioters was entirely unwarranted. The noble Lord said the rioters were unconnected with the parish; but he was informed that that was a mistake, and that a great portion of them did belong to the parish. There was a strong desire on the part of the Home Office that these disturbances should be put down, and instructions had been given to the police to give their best attention to the subject. A small body of police were placed behind the churchwardens to execute whatever orders they might give; while others were stationed in different parts of the church; and the police had orders to take before the magistrates any person guilty of committing any distinct act of disturbance. They were also ordered to take into custody all those against whom any person was found to bring a direct charge. If, however, nobody was found to make a charge, what were the police to do? The noble Lord stated that several individuals had been brought before the magistrates. So they had, and with what result? Why, in every case but one they had been let go.
§ LORD WENSLEYDALE
said, he thought the statute of the 2nd of Queen Mary would be found to apply in the present case. That statute enacted that if any person in any way molested any preacher he might be taken into custody—not by the churchwarden or police officer—but by any one who was present at the proceedings, and brought before a magistrate, and the magistrate might imprison him for three months. He thought the magistrates had acted with too great leniency in the cases brought before them. If the Secretary of State looked to the words of the statute he would find it was clear that it applied to any kind of insult or obstruc- 1594 tion; and he believed that if one or two cases were taken before the magistrates under the statute of Queen Mary these disturbances would soon be disposed of.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
was understood to say that some practical difficulty had been experienced in enforcing the statute referred to by the noble and learned Lord.
THE EARL OF WICKLOW
expressed his regret that proper steps had not been taken to put down these disturbances. He thought that the outrages in this church were of such a gross and infamous nature that it was utterly impossible that they could continue in any civilized country on earth, if the authorities had done their duty; and that they had not done their duty in this case was quite clear. He had been told by persons who were there, that while these outrages were going on in the most violent manner, the police, like so many automata, were standing by as mere spectators, and without taking the slightest notice. It also appeared from the proceedings in the courts of justice, that in every case where an offender had been brought before the magistrate he had been let off without any fine, or with a merely nominal punishment; whereas those gentlemen who, though not at the solicitation or desire of Mr. Bryan King, had attempted to interfere for his protection, and as it appeared they were authorized to do by the Act the noble and learned Lord had quoted, to put out of the Church the persons whom they saw transgressing, were heavily fined. He agreed that such things could not take place in any other church, or in a Dissenting chapel; and it was quite evident, therefore, that there was a prejudice against this unfortunate gentleman. He begged to say that he had no knowledge of Mr. Bryan King, neither did he approve of the course which that gentleman had pursued. Though he had not probably transgressed the law in any respect, yet he admitted that with a congregation like that in question it was exceedingly injudicious for the clergyman to adopt such practices as had been adopted. He held in his hand a letter which Mr. Bryan King had circulated among the Members of that and the other House; it was addressed to the Bishop of the diocese, and he had heard that it had been contradicted. If this letter were true it was most extraordinary, and he could not think that a clergyman would publish such a letter to his diocesan if it were not founded in fact. He said in this letter, in the first place, 1595 that he got the living from the late Bishop of London at the time when the Bishop had published a letter to his clergy requiring them to adopt uniformity of practice in their churches. He continued, that in conformity with the Bishop's order he put certain practices in force, and he did not feel justified in realtering the system because a portion of his parishioners disapproved of the change. Mr. Bryan King also stated that all these disturbances arose in consequence of the appointment of a person as lecturer, licensed by the present Bishop of the diocese. This was the Rev. Hugh Allen, who was an intimate friend of Mr. Spurgeon, and who had assisted Mr. Spurgeon in the establishment of his tabernacle. With regard to this Mr. Allen, there were alleged to be some other circumstances, which might have exposed Mr. King to an action for libel if they had been stated in his printed letter, but which he (the Earl of Wicklow), speaking in their Lordships' House, could mention. It was alleged that Mr. Allen had been obliged to leave another church in consequence of the intention of the authorities of that church to bring him before a court of justice for his improper conduct. He was then appointed to a neighbouring church; but the rector of that church protested and the Bishop refused to give him a licence. He was then elected by the vestry of St. George's, and the Bishop gave him a licence. Mr. Bryan King protested against his appointment, but ineffectually, and he then informed the Bishop of all the circumstances that had led to this gentleman's retirement from his former position; that he was a notorious drunkard and totally unfit for his position; yet notwithstanding this the Bishop gave him a licence. Having the Bishop's licence he took possession of the pulpit and was followed by a large crowd shouting "Bravo, Allen!" The statement might not be true, but Mr. Bryan King stated it to be the fact, and he said that all the disturbances had been in consequence of the conduct of Mr. Allen. He (the Earl of Wicklow) was glad to give the right rev. Prelate an opportunity of contradicting this statement if it were not true. If it were true, then the Rev. Bryan King was justified in his proceedings; and if not true he was a libeller and not fit to retain his present position. All that he (the Earl of Wicklow) required was that justice should be done.
THE BISHOP OF LONDON
said, he was surprised at the course taken by the noble 1596 Earl. He had read, with due attention, the letter to which the noble Earl directed his notice. The noble Earl brought forward a statement that a clergyman who, in a neighbouring diocese, had lately been appointed to a most important living, and who on that occasion of course produced testimonials signed by three beneficed clergymen, upon which he was instituted by the Bishop of the diocese to the charge of that living, was a notorious drunkard. He (the Bishop of London) did not find such a statement in the letter of Mr. King, though he now heard it in the speech of the noble Earl. He felt entitled to request the noble Earl to read the exact words of Mr. King's letter, so that if there was a libel in the statement their Lordships might know whether Mr. King was the libeller, or the noble Earl himself.
THE EARL OF WICKLOW
said, the reason assigned by Mr. King was not in the letter; and why? Because Mr. King believed he could not publish it without being guilty of libel. But did the right rev. Prelate mean to tell him that Mr. King did not inform him of that reason when he requested him to withhold the licence from Mr. Allen? If the right rev. Prelate would say that Mr. King never informed him of those circumstances, he (the Earl of Wicklow) would at once admit that he had been wrong in going so far into the case. But Mr. King's statement was that Mr. Allen had been guilty of such faults that he had been obliged to abandon one church.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
—I do not know whether your Lordships will agree with me, but I really think it is not desirable that this conversation should proceed any further. I must say it is not usual to impugn the character of a clergyman without any notice whatever. Besides, it has really no connection with the case before your Lordships. Whether there be grounds for censure of the authorities or not, cannot depend on the character or conduct of some other clergyman.
THE EARL OF WICKLOW
said, he had been requested by the right rev. Prelate to road the letter; and if the House would allow him to read—
§ EARL GRANVILLE
again appealed to the House as to whether it was desirable that this should go on or not. As far as he understood the matter he thought that 1597 it was a disorderly proceeding and ought not to be allowed to continue.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
thought it most desirable that the discussion, which was of an extremely painful description, and had nothing to do with the matter before their Lordships, should cease. He should now wish to make a few observations with respect to the Motion which was under the consideration of the House. His noble Friend near him was, he thought, perfectly justified in making that Motion inasmuch as—
§ THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE
—The noble and learned Lord rose to a point of order, and I think he will agree with me that it is undesirable that he should—until that point is disposed of, and until some explanation is offered in reply to the charge which has been brought against a particular individual—proceed to discuss the question which has been brought under our notice by the noble Viscount opposite. It would be unfair to allow such a charge to go forth to the public without affording the right rev. Prelate near me the opportunity of showing its injustice as far as possible.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
said, he quite concurred in the propriety of the observations made by the noble Duke. He might add that he was proceeding to address the House with reference to the Resolution of his noble Friend under the impression that their Lordships assented to the expediency of adopting the course which the noble Earl opposite (Earl Granville) had suggested.
THE BISHOP OF LONDON
proceeded: Nothing could be more painful to him than such a discussion as this; but the whole subject was of such a kind that it must be painful. He could quite understand that the noble Earl did not intend himself to bring any charge against this clergyman, but he seemed to have viewed the words in his hand through some extraordinary medium that made them appear to convey a meaning they were not intended to convey. He (the Bishop of London) believed that Mr. Bryan King was totally incapable of saying what the noble Earl had imputed to him. If the House would allow him, he would now state what the noble Earl evidently knew nothing about, namely, the legal steps by which the Rev. Hugh Allen was appointed to the lectureship of St. George's-in-the-East. That was a matter which had not any great connection with the subject at present before their Lordships; but as 1598 the disturbances began about the time that gentleman was appointed, it was well for the public to know in what way he was appointed, Their Lordships were perhaps aware that, as a general rule, no lecturer could be appointed in any parish church without the consent of the Incumbent, and it was the duty of the Bishop not to license such lecturer without such consent. But there was hardly a parish in London that had not its own local act. The peculiar circumstances of this parish arose from the Act of Parliament relating to the parish. As the noble and learned Lord on the woolsack, who had sat as Judge in this case, was aware, the Act of Parliament which regulated the affairs of St, George's-in-the-East made it imperative on the Bishop, without any consent of the rector, to appoint the person who should be nominated by the vestry to fill the office of lecturer. If, therefore, he (the Bishop of London) had refused to institute to the office of lecturer the person who was nominated by the vestry, he would have been liable to be called to account before a court of law. Of course, if an improper person were nominated, it would be his duty, at whatever peril, to resist the appointment of such a person. The gentleman who had been, as he thought, so unfortunately named in this discussion, was nominated by the vestry. He (the Bishop of London) thereupon received from Mr. King a letter, which informed him that in his opinion that gentleman was an unfit person to be appointed to this lectureship, because he believed he had been to a tea-party at which Mr. Spurgeon was present, and also because it was supposed that there were certain reflections as to his moral character which required investigation. Immediately on the receipt of this communication, he (the Bishop of London) informed the gentleman nominated of the charges brought against him so far as they were of a serious character, and told him that he would require most satisfactory evidence that they wore without foundation. On the next day that evidence was produced in the usual shape of testimonials signed by three beneficed clergymen of the diocese, testifying that they had opportunities of observing his conduct for the last three years, and that to their certain knowledge, he was a pious and good man, and a perfectly fit person to be appointed to this lectureship. Then what other course was left to him (the Bishop of London) than that which he pursued? This gentleman, whatever faults might be attri- 1599 buted to him, was a person who had a wonderful faculty of attracting large crowds of persons to bear his preaching. Of all the churches in the East end of London, his own parish church—the church of which at that time he was incumbent—was the one that was most filled, and it was perfectly true that the deserted parish church of St. George's became immediately filled when he was appointed. He (the Bishop of London) did hot know whether that was attributed to this clergyman as any blame; on the contrary, he believed that the persons who went to hear him as lecturer went simply from their admiration of him as a preacher and because they expected now to hear what they thought they had not heard for a long time, such preaching as was likely to do them good. He believed, therefore, that the thousand persons who frequented the church at that afternoon lecture went there with no intention of creating any disturbance, but they went as they had been in the habit of frequenting every church where this gentleman preached,—it might be from mistaken ideas of the truth, or it might not, for he (the Bishop of London) would not enter into that—only because he was what they felt to be a preacher who they thought did them good. It was quite true that on the occasion of the lecturer taking possession of the office to which he had been legally appointed, an attempt was made—and he (the Bishop of London) did not blame the inexperienced curate who performed that act for the absent rector—an attempt was made to put in a protest, which caused some little disturbance. But that question had been brought to a proper and legal conclusion. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Campbell) then Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench, decided the case, and settled that the lecturer was properly appointed, and settled by implication that he (the Bishop of London) had no alternative but to appoint him, and that he was entitled to the use of the church on certain occasions. That was all that he (the Bishop of London) had personally to do with the appointment of Mr. Allen. If the most rev. Prelate (the Archbishop of Canterbury) were now present in the House, he would have spoken of the character Mr. Allen bore when in his diocese. The most rev. Prelate had spoken to him (the Bishop of London) of Mr. Allen, as believing him to be a zealous and good clergyman, exercising a wide influence over the poor, when in the diocese of Chester. 1600 He believed there were others of his right rev. Brethren who would say the same. But really all this had nothing to do with the question now before the House, and he regretted that it had been brought forward in a way which he was sure Mr. King, the writer of that letter, would regret. He might say in that House what he (the Bishop of London) had often said in private—that Mr. Bryan King was a person who would never allow himself, if he possibly could avoid it, to transgress the rules of propriety in speaking of a brother clergyman. As for the miserable state of things in St. George's-in-the-East, he (the Bishop of London) regretted it as much, or more, than any man, for he had more cause to regret it. The only point on which he was now particularly concerned to give any explanation was that which the noble Viscount (Viscount Dungannon) had raised, as to whether the churchwardens had done their duty. He had continually charged them, by word and by letter, to see that they did it; and he had taken steps to find them such assistance, by means of sidesmen, as the law enabled him to provide them with. He had even called upon the clergy belonging to the parish to meet the churchwardens and suggest some course by which the churchwardens might execute their duty. If any complaint against the churchwardens were made, he would be ready either to carry it into the proper Court, or to do what in him lay to induce them to do their duty; but although much abuse had been bandied about on every side, and everything that was done by anybody was wrong in the estimation of everybody else, yet no charge of which he could take cognizance had been brought before him. He believed that this was simply one of those miserable cases to be found in all parts of society, in which, if men would stand on their legal rights, there was no amount of disturbance they might not cause. In the domestic relations, for instance, suppose two persons determined to make themselves as disagreeable as they could, each to the other, without infringing the law, what a state of things would result from it in the family He believed it was the same thing with those most sacred relations between the pastor and his flock; it was possible for a pastor to make himself very disagreeable to his flock without violating the law, and for the flock to make themselves very disagreeable to the pastor; and it was very difficult for those who wished to set them right to 1601 find by what means they could put an end to that disagreeable state of things. He trusted the expression of their Lordships' opinion, that both parties in this miserable contest were most shamefully to blame, and that there was no sympathy for either the one or the other, would have some effect on those persons who were, he believed, both the one and the other, in the wrong. He had said, and he believed, that if the matter was placed in his hands, it could be arranged; but it must be an unconditional surrender to the Ordinary. He must be called in to settle these disturbances; and he hoped he was not thinking too much of himself or his office, when he said he had full confidence that there was so much good feeling among Englishmen that, whenever they had no doubt as to where the authority lay, or as to how far those who exercised the authority were entitled to exercise it, they would be quite ready to give way to it. If the rector of that parish would do what he ought to have done months ago, and say, "I am unable to manage this parish; I beg the Bishop of the diocese to manage it for me," all the mischief might be put an end to.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, the case of "Allen v. King" came before the Court of Queen's Bench when he had the honour of filling the office of Lord Chief Justice. It was contended on the part of the Rev. Bryan King that the Rev. Mr. Allen had no legal right to officiate as lecturer in the church of St. George's-in-the-East without Mr. King's consent. The Court decided that Mr. Bryan King was wrong and Mr. Allen right; but they earnestly recommended the parties to try and come to some amicable arrangement. With regard to his presenting Mr. Allen to the living of St. George's, Southward, he (the Lord Chancellor) wished to state the circumstances under which he had made that appointment. He had been informed that it was of importance that some active and zealous clergyman should be appointed to preside over so populous a parish. He was wholly unacquainted with the rev. Mr. Allen, but that gentleman was recommended to him, along with a great many others, as being a most zealous pastor and a most upright and pious man. He received a great variety of testimonials of a most unexceptionable character stating his fitness for such a charge; but, not contented with these, he applied to the Bishop of London—because he was afraid that Mr. 1602 Allen might have incurred some blame in connection with the controversies at St. George's-in-the-East, for the purpose of ascertaining whether he had done anything in those transactions which affected his character, and rendered him an unfit person to be appointed rector of the parish. The right rev. Prelate in answer testified to him that Mr. Allen's conduct, so far as it had come under his knowledge, had been unexceptionable, and that he was a proper person to receive the appointment. Upon that he (the Lord Chancellor) presented him to the living, and up to that hour he believed he had discharged his duties in a manner calculated to give great satisfaction. With regard to what had fallen from the noble Viscount (Viscount Dungannon), he would ask him on whom did he propose the censure implied in his Resolution should fall in regard to the continuance of the riots at St. George's-in-the-East? It certainly could not fall upon the Bishop of London, nor upon the Home Secretary; and the noble Viscount had not shown any other individual whose duty it was to suppress those outrages who was at all to blame. He hoped, however, that the expression of feeling in deploring these transactions, which the noble Viscount had called forth from all quarters of the House, would satisfy him, and induce him to withdraw his Motion.
THE BISHOP OF CASHEL
rose to bear his strong testimony to the character of the Rev. Mr. Allen, and to his zeal and efficiency as a minister of the Gospel. He had never seen so large and attentive a congregation as that which he witnessed on one occasion at St. Jude's, White-chapel, where that rev. gentleman officiated. The right rev. Prelate was proceeding to complain of the charges which were brought against Mr. Allen, when
§ EARL GRANVILLE
again interposed and expressed a hope that after the statements which had been made by two right rev. Prelates and by the Lord Chancellor, in answer to the charge made against Mr. Allen, their Lordships would not enter further into that collateral subject, but would confine their attention to the Motion which was immediately before them.
THE EARL OF WICKLOW
rose and denied that he wished to throw any imputation upon the gentleman whose character had been so highly spoken to by two right rev. 1603 Prelates. He knew nothing of him whatever; he only quoted the words of a pamphlet which had been circulated throughout the whole country, and in which much stronger words than he had used appeared. And he had asked the Bishop of London whether Mr. Bryan King did not inform him of those particular circumstances. Tie would also now ask the right rev. Prelate whether he did or did not try to ascertain what were the reasons why the rev. gentleman was obliged to relinquish the living of St. Luke's, Old Street?
THE MARQUESS OF CLANRICARDE
rose to order. His noble Friend might offer an explanation of what he had himself stated, but he had no right to reply upon that occasion to the address of the right rev. Prelate.
§ EARL STANHOPE
said, he regretted that the name of Mr. Allen should have been unnecessarily introduced into this discussion. It appeared to him that the character of that rev. gentleman had been completely vindicated by the testimony offered in its favour by the two right rev. Prelates and by the Lord Chancellor. His object, however, in rising, was to advert in a very few words to the unfortunate transactions which had taken place in the parish of St. George's-in-the-East. He entirely agreed in the opinion which had been expressed by several of their Lordships, that both the parties in that dispute were to blame. The outrages committed in the church were utterly indefensible, and such as all must join in condemning. But, on the other hand, he thought it was much to be regretted that Mr. Bryan King, acting, no doubt, from the most conscientious motives, had, by proceeding upon his extreme legal rights, excited an almost universal feeling of dissatisfaction among his parishioners. The outrages arose in a great measure from the employment of ritual observances not essential to Divine worship. Mr. King stated in his letter that the services in his church did not differ in any respect from those observed in the cathedrals. But his church was not a cathedral church, and why should he introduce into a parish church, upon his own authority, a cathedral service? He (Earl Stanhope) was persuaded that the only way of bringing those unhappy differences to a satisfactory settlement would be to leave them to the decision of the Bishop of the diocese. The noble Viscount who brought forward the Motion said he wished to see the Ordinary empowered, by a new Act of 1604 Parliament, to adopt such a course. But why should it not be taken in consequence of an agreement between the parties? He felt persuaded that was the only mode of removing discontent and restoring peace to the parish. Unwilling as the rev. gentleman had hitherto shown himself to yield to any representations, and resolute to maintain his own views at the cost of peace to the parish, he ought merely now at length to feel the necessity and the duty to submit himself to his Bishop's mediation. With regard to the Motion before the House, he would venture respectfully to suggest to the noble Viscount that he should not press it, but that he should rest satisfied with the expression of opinion which had been elicited from their Lordships in the course of that discussion.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
said, he was sure their Lordships must have heard with satisfaction the address of the right rev. Prelate the Bishop of the diocese, and must have concurred in every word he said. But the question before their Lordships was not as to the origin of these unhappy and scandalous disputes, nor were their Lordships called upon to adjust the proportion of blame which ought to attach to the different parties concerned. His noble Friend called upon the House to affirm that sufficient power and energy had not been displayed in putting down these disturbances. Now, he (Lord Chelmsford) might have an impression that if a different course had been pursued the result would have been more effectual; but their Lordships had no evidence of any remissness on the part of the authorities. He could not, without more information than was at present before the House, join in the opinion that the magistrates had not properly discharged their duties, nor could he believe that the police had been remiss or negligent. There was great difficulty in obtaining evidence against the rioters, and it was the want of evidence and the absence of sufficient proof of identity which had occasioned the failure of the charges. Perhaps it would have been better if, instead of sending policemen, detectives in plain clothes had been employed to mix with the congregation. But, on the whole, he could not concur in the opinion that sufficient power and energy had not been displayed by the authorities; and even supposing that their Lordships were convinced of the truth of such a charge, was it desirable that they should adopt a Resolution embodying it? Was it desirable to adopt a Resolution which 1605 was perfectly futile and useless when his noble Friend's object had been entirely answered in the discussion which had been elicited? Under these circumstances, he must join in requesting the noble Viscount to withdraw his Motion.
replied. He hoped that considerable benefit would arise from that discussion. He knew nothing of Mr. Allen, and had not the most distant idea of mixing up the rev. Gentleman's name in it—his sole object was to call attention to what was really a scandal to religion and a disgrace to a civilized country. He believed those riots were caused, not by the inhabitants of the parish, but by people who went to the church for the express purpose of creating disorder, and were glad to avail themselves of the opportunity afforded to their propensities in St. George's-in-the-East. But if his introduction of this question to their Lordships should produce any good effect in showing the rioters that their conduct would not be overlooked in Parliament or by the Government, his purpose would be answered. In the meantime he would withdraw his Motion.
§ Motion (by Leave of the House) withdrawn.