HL Deb 14 February 1865 vol 177 cc226-7

My Lords, in laying upon the table a Return of all Sales, &c, of Livings, and of the Augmentation of Benefices under the Augmentation Act, which I had the honour to introduce in your Lordships' House, I hope you will pardon me if I occupy your attention for a few moments while I briefly state the nature of this Return. The Return extends from February, 1864, to February, 1865. Since the Act came into operation the total number of advowsons sold is sixty-three, and the total amount of the purchase money £113,129. Of the entire sixty-three advowsons, sixty were scheduled, and three have been sold under the 23rd and 24th sections of the Act. The total sum of money produced by these sales has very greatly exceeded my expectation, and the proceeds have been applied by me, under the Act, for the augmentation of benefices. The sum produced by the three livings sold under the 23rd and 24th sections is £10,520, this amount being a portion of the £113,129, which represents the total amount of money dedicated by means of the Act to the augmentation of small livings. The amounts produced by the sale of the sixty livings which were scheduled are devoted to augmenting those livings solely; but the produce of the sales of the livings under the 23rd and 24th sections is applied to the augmentation of small livings generally in the gift of the Lord Chancellor. The course I have taken with regard to the £10,520 has been this:—I have caused a scheme to be prepared on the plan of augmenting a number of small benefices with £300 each, provided that an equivalent donation shall be provided from other sources; and I am happy to say that I have been able to augment eight with £300, equivalent benefactions having been provided from other sources. Therefore, with respect to these eight livings, there has been a sum of £2,400 applied to their augmentation. I have invited similar donations on similar terms with respect to other small benefices; but up to the present I have not succeeded in securing the augmentation of more than the eight to which I have just referred. The augmentation of these eight livings has reduced the sum of £10,520 by £2,400. Of the remaining sum, £500 has been appropriated for parsonage-houses, equivalent benefactions being provided in this case also. There is a further sum of £5,600 promised conditionally under pending schemes, leaving a balance of £2,020. This is the application which has been made of the pro- duce of sales under the 23rd and 24th sections; and I trust it will prove very beneficial, first of all, in the augmentation of several small livings by the sums contributed under the Act and the equivalent amounts raised from other sources, and afterwards in the still further increase of the incomes of those benefices by still further augmentations, for I may add that those eight livings have been offered to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for further augmentation. The result of the whole measure has been the application to the augmentation of small livings of a sum of £113,129. My Lords, we have received during the last year £57,829. The condition of the money market has rather stopped the sale of livings during the past year, but there is constant inquiry after them, and I have no doubt that the working of the Act will continue to exhibit satisfactory results.


inquired whether the noble and learned Lord could inform the House what the average number of years' purchase had been in the case of the livings which had been sold under the Act?


said, that as the Return did not exhibit that it would be a difficult thing to answer the noble Earl's question on the moment; but he might mention one or two cases which he saw set out in the Return. The first was that of an advowson producing a gross amount of £328 a year, and the outgoings of which were £66. The age of the incumbent was certainly high; it was 90 years. The price obtained was £5,000. In another case the gross amount of income was about £264, and the outgoings £48, leaving rather less than £216; the age of the incumbent was 75, and the purchase money £2,500.