HL Deb 29 June 1865 vol 180 cc918-9

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


said, he had been induced to bring in the Bill by the observations of the right rev. Prelate the Bishop of London a few evenings ago on a subject which he (the Marquess of Westmeath) then brought before their Lordships having reference to popish practices in the Church of England. The light rev. Prelate then admitted the necessity of a change in the law, and stated that he should be willing to give his support to any measure having for its object to remedy the existing evils. At present, if any clergyman were proceeded against for any infraction of the Rubrics, it might be necessary by appeal after appeal to go to the Bishop's Court, then to the Court of Arches, then to the Court of Delegates, and then to the Privy Council—a roundabout process, which either prevented a remedy for the evil, or amerced the Bishop in heavy costs. The result was that many persons were encouraged to disregard the law, in the hope that no notice would be taken of their default. The Bill consisted of three material clauses; the first allowed a reasonable amount of singing, and gave an option to read or sing certain parts of the service. The second repealed so much of one of the Rubrics as enacted— That such ornaments of the Church and of the ministers thereof, at all times of their ministration, shall be retained and be in use as were in this Church of England by the authority of Parliament in the second year of the reign of King Edward the Sixth. The third required the minister of every parish to conform, and gave power to the Bishop to enforce obedience by suspending him, and assigning a portion of his income to a curate to perform the service. He had received a letter from a clergyman, who stated that he was an incumbent of a parish in the London diocese for thirty years, and that he was one of those who agreed in the main with the principles of Dr. Pusey, and was labouring to promote the revival of what he called Catholicism in England. After such a distinct declaration from one of these clergymen their Lordships would see what clergymen holding these views would do if they could, and the necessity there was of such a Bill as this in order to control them.


inquired whether the noble Marquess intended to move the second reading?


expressed a hope that the noble Marquess would not press the second reading of the Bill. The subject was a very important one, and it was undesirable that the opinion of the House should be taken formally upon the Bill at this time of the Session, and under the circumstances in which the measure was brought in. His noble Friend had, no doubt, done justice to himself in bringing forward the Bill; but he must have known that the day he had named for its second reading was one upon which it would be impossible for their Lordships to discuss it. He hoped, therefore, that his noble Friend would not give their Lordships the trouble of expressing an opinion one way or the other upon the measure.


said, he was sure that if, after consulting with the right rev. Bench, the noble Marquess should feel it to be his duty to introduce a Bill on this subject next Session, the House would give it every consideration; but he hoped the noble Marquess would not move the second reading of the Bill now before their Lordships.


said, he would not press their Lordships to read the Bill a second time on this occasion; and moved that the Order for the second reading be discharged.

Motion agreed to.

Bill (by Leave of the House) withdrawn.