HL Deb 03 June 1867 vol 187 cc1478-88

Amendments reported (according to Order).

Clause 2 (Income of New See).


proposed to raise again the question in reference to the incomes of the new Bishops—for he thought that when they affirmed the Amendment of the right rev. Predate (the Bishop of Oxford), some of their Lordships did not quite understand the point raised. He did not expect that the Bill would have any immediate operation by the institution of the proposed new dioceses, because he did not suppose that the large sum required would be raised by voluntary contributions for that purpose; but yet he should be very glad to have Parliamentary sanction to the opinion that these overgrown dioceses might properly be re-cast; and if the Bill passed, those who were favourable to the principle would have the opportunity of considering what further I measures might be required to carry the object into effect. But, nevertheless, there was a chance of the Bill having some effect; and he should be sorry to see that formidable obstacle which this clause would introduce—for, in effect, it required that £100,000 should be raised for the erection of one of these sees, and it was very unlikely that this would be done. He thought that it was desirable that the salaries of the new Bishops should not be necessarily fixed upon a level with the other Bishops. He desired to see the system of the Church somewhat more free and elastic; and if, with the consent of the Commissioners, the Crown, and Parliament, the income of the new sees should be a few hundreds a year less than that of the older sees, he should see no objection. He quite admitted that the old system of translation was not a desirable one, and without the clause there might be some danger of encouraging it; but he thought that danger was overbalanced by the evils on the other side.

Moved, "To leave out Clause 2."—(Lord Lyttelton.)


believed that the object of the noble Lord was to do away with all restrictions as to salary.


explained that his object was to leave the amount quite open; but the matter would be subject to the consent of the different authorities he had named, which would be required in every case.


said, he had voted in favour of the proposition to fix the amount at £3,000 instead of £4,200; but he was quite ready to agree to strike out that clause.


believed that the system of translation on the Episcopal Bench had led to the grossest scandals, and he was opposed to anything that would tend to revive it. If this clause were struck out, there might be two or three Bishops sitting in Parliament having much lower salaries than other ocupants of the Episcopal Bench, and looking to the Minister of the day for promotion. He thought that such a state of things might produce very injurious effects in reference to the dignity and respectability of the Episcopal Bench and of the Church generally. Rather than run that risk, if this clause were struck out, he should vote against the Bill altogether.


said, there was at present a considerable variety of income among the Bishops; and although he quite agreed as to the scandal of translations, the objection of the noble Earl applied to the present variety of income as much as it would apply under the clause in its present form.


thought it was a very different thing to create three new sees having a much lower scale of salary than the existing Bishops. To that he had the greatest objection.


said, that he was in favour of an increase of the Episcopate, which had been recommended by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners twenty years ago. Considering the duties he had to perform, and the obligation resting on him to maintain a decent hospitality, and to attend in their Lordships' House, a Bishop could scarcely maintain his position upon less than £4,200 a year; and he was sorry to see this attempt to reverse the decision at which their Lordships had already arrived. If Parliament sanctioned the sum of £3,000 a year as the income of a Bishop, he feared that the result would be that thereafter all Bishops' salaries would be reduced to that figure.


thought that £4,200 a year was certainly not more than adequate, and, indeed, his opinion was that the sum was not enough. He was certain that if the House affirmed that £3,000 a year was enough for a Bishop, then, in any future reform of ecclesiastical revenues (and the time was not far distant when such a proposition would be made) he was convinced that the proposition would not be to raise the lower salaries from £3,000 to £4,200, but would be to bring down the incomes of all the Bishops to £3,000. He thought that this would be a very great evil, and he would maintain the interests of the Bishops in this matter.


pointed out that no scheme in respect to the creation of a new Bishopric could be carried into effect without the sanction of Parliament, and it would be for Parliament to decide when any scheme was proposed whether the income assigned was adequate. He should certainly object to putting £3,000 a year into the Bill.


did not wish to express any opinion as to what was a sufficient income for a Bishop; but he thought that it was the duty of Parliament to settle that question, and this clause adopted what Parliament had already decided.

On Question, That the said Clause stand Part of the Bill? their Lordships divided:—Contents 48; Not-Contents 36: Majority 12.

Canterbury, Archp. Sydney, V.
Chelmsford, L. (L. Chancellor.)
Bangor, Bp.
Carlisle, Bp.
Cleveland, D. Chester, Bp.
Devonshire, D. Gloucester and Bristol, Bp.
Grafton, D.
Lichfield, Bp.
Bristol, M. Lincoln, Bp.
Normanby, M. London, Bp.
Oxford, Bp.
Airlie, E. St. David's, Bp.
Bandon, E.
Bathurst, E. Belper, L.
Beauchamp, E. Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)
Camperdown, E.
Clarendon, E. Clermont, L.
De Grey, E. Cranworth, L.
Ellenborough, E. Foley, L. [Teller.]
Grey, E. Lyveden, L.
Kimberley, E. Meredyth, L. (L. Athlumley.)
Lucan, E.
Powis, E. Mostyn, L.
Shaftesbury, E. Overstone, L.
Stanhope, E. Portman, L. [Teller.]
Stradbroke, E. Seaton, L,
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Halifax, V. Taunton, L.
Hardinge, V. Wentworth, L.
Buckingham and Chandos, D. Brancepeth, L. (V. Boyne.)
Marlborough, D. Castlemaine, L.
Churchill, L.
Belmore, E. Churston, L.
Cadogan, E. Digby, L.
Dartrey, E. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Derby, E.
Devon, E. Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)
Eldon, E.
Graham, E. (D. Montrose.) Heytesbury, L.
Lyttelton, L. [Teller.]
Lauderdale, E. Moore, L. (M. Drogheda
Malmesbury, E.
Nelson, E. Northwick, L.
Romney, E. Penhryn, L.
Sommers, E. Raglan, L.
Redesdale, L. [Teller.]
Hawarden, V. Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.)
Llandaff, Bp. Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)
Bagot, L. Walsingham, L.
Bolton, L. Wharncliffe, L.

Clause 9 (Number of Bishops sitting in Parliament not to be increased, struck out, and new clause inserted in lieu thereof.)—(Lord Lyttelton).

Clause 12 (No part of the Common Fund in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to be applied to any of the purposes of this Act).


moved the insertion of the words "until one half of the amount necessary for the endowment of such Bishop shall have been otherwise provided." It was said that the object of the proposal was to endow new bishoprics out of the Common Fund. It was no such thing. The Episcopal Fund was now merged with the Common Fund, and when that fusion took place, it was agreed that the fund so constituted should be liable for the two charges to which the two funds had theretofore been severally liable. The money which was available from the alteration of the episcopal incomes might afford the amount requisite for supplying the incomes of new Bishops, and if the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the Government, and the Parliament thought right to sanction this, there was no reason why the plan should not at all events partly be carried into execution. His proposition was that this should not be done, however, until half of the requisite fund for the endowment of each bishopric was raised by voluntary efforts. The lay mind of England was not, he believed, convinced at the present moment that it was worth while to give money for such an object, and he simply proposed that it should be lawful for the Commissioners to render that aid which as matters now stood they might lawfully render out of the funds at their disposal. He should prefer to see the clause omitted altogether, leaving it to the wisdom of Parliament to deal with the question whenever occasion arose; but if that were not done he should press his Amendment, as tending in some degree to mitigate the operation of what he looked upon as an unjust provision in the Bill.

Moved to add the following words:— Until One Half of the Amount necessary for the Endowment of such Bishop shall have been otherwise provided."—(The Lord Bishop of Oxford.)


thought it should be left to the laity to come forward and provide the whole of the income necessary for the new bishoprics, and that that House should not consent to the adoption of a proposal for appropriating any part of the fund which would be most injurious to the interests of the hardworking clergy of England, who were the most underpaid set of men in the world.


said, he would vote for either the Amendment or for the omission of the clause. He believed the creation of the three additional bishoprics to be not merely expedient but necessary; but he did not believe that the subscriptions necessary for the purpose would be raised. The whole thing, therefore, would be a sham unless they adopted this principle of the Amendment. He desired to establish those and other bishoprics by means of funds of which the far larger portion came from episcopal and capitular estates.

On Question? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 41; Not-Contents 31: Majority 10.

Canterbury, Archp. Chester, Bp.
Chelmsford, L. (L. Chancellor). Ely, Bp.
Gloucester and Bristol, Bp.
Buckingham and Chandos, D. Lichfield, Bp.
Lincoln, Bp.
Marlborough, D. Llandaff, Bp.
London, Bp.
Bath, M. Oxford, Bp.
St. David's, Bp.
Beauchamp, E. [Teller.]
Belmore, E. Bagot, L.
Cadogan, E. Brancepeth, L. (V. Boyne.)
Cardigan, K.
Derby, E. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Devon, E.
Ellenborough, E. Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)
Leven and Melville, E.
Malmesbury, E. Heytesbury, L.
Nelson, E. [Teller.] Hylton, L.
Powis, E. Northwick, L.
Romney, E. Raglan, L.
Stanhope, E. Redesdale, L.
Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)
Hawarden, V.
Walsingham, L.
Bangor, Bp. Wharncliffe, L.
Cleveland, D. Sydney, V.
Devonshire, D. Carlisle, Bp,
Bristol, M. Belper, L.
Normanby, M. Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)
Airlie, E. Churston, L.
Bandon, E. Clermont, L.
Bathurst, E. Cranworth, L.
Camperdown, E. Digby, L.
Clarendon, E. Foley, L.
De Grey, E. Lyttelton, L. [Teller.]
Graham, E. (D. Montrose.) Lyveden, L.
Mostyn, L.
Grey, E. Overstone, L.
Kimberley, E. Portman, L. [Teller.]
Shaftesbury, E. Seaton, L.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Halifax, V. Taunton, L.

thought their Lordships, after the decision which had just been arrived at, ought now to pause. Their legislation would be made more simple and intelligible if it proceeded on the responsibility of the Government. He regarded it as a matter of the highest importance that the creation of a new bishopric should be made on the undivided responsibility of the Government. Moreover, he could not understand the position which these new ecclesiastical officers who were to be designated "Assistant Bishops," were to fill. Unlike ordinary Bishops, who, as soon as they were consecrated, entered into possession of all their powers, when created these would be in a state of suspended animation, having no means of exercising authority except by permission of another, which permission might afterwards be wholly or partially withdrawn, Hence every Bishop would carry about with him his own Prometheus, or to use a more intelligible phrase, would have at his disposal one or more "movable dummies." But was such a provision calculated to maintain the character, and position of the Bench of Bishops? The House had shown its disposition to maintain the efficiency and character of the bench of Bishops; but would that efficiency and character be maintained by creating Assistant Bishops with so small a share of responsibility and power and not a particle of income? The assistants of one Bishop might not be recognised or continued by his successor, and would then have to sink back to the position of rural deans. Hence they might have Bishops to the number of 130, ill paid, and with duties indefinitely defined; would that give increased influence or respectability to the right rev. prelates? He believed the House would do well to take a little more time to consider the subject, and that the noble Lord would do well to confine the provisions of his Bill to the creation of the three new bishoprics and let it go down to the other House in that simple shape.


said, the House appeared to have proceeded very carefully in its legislation hitherto, and he did not see any necessity for adopting the advice of the noble Earl.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 13 (Her Majesty may appoint certain Persons to aid Bishops).


moved the omission of the words "honorary canon" and "rural dean" from the clause, because he thought clergymen of that position should not fill the post of Suffragan Bishop.


said, the noble Lord had completely misapprehended the case in hand; the Assistant Bishops the Bill proposed to create would not act on their own independent authority, but would simply exercise certain temporary functions committed to their charge by the Bishop of the diocese. He, however, repeated his objections to endowing these Assistant Bishops with territorial titles which they would never be able to drop. He thought that they should be selected from the higher grades of the clergy.


hoped their Lordships would not stultify themselves by reversing a decision which they had come to after full discussion on a former occasion.


thought their Lordships should remember that if a rural dean was consecrated by the Archbishop to the office of Suffragan Bishop he would remain a Bishop for ever, his episcopal functions could never be taken from him. He could not help thinking that if these titular Bishops were greatly multiplied, in times of excitement an impetus would be given to the movement in favour of what were called "free churches."


pointed out that the Suffragan Bishop appointed by the Bill would be unable to exercise any episcopal functions except under the authority of the Bishop in whose see he was appointed.


thought that no apprehension need be entertained that the Assistant Bishops would have more power than it was necessary for them to have.


insisted that the Suffragan Bishops could continue to minister in spiritual things.

After some discussion, which was inaudible, Amendment negatived.

On the Motion of the Bishop of LONDON, the words "other dignitaries" were inserted, and—

On Motion, that the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill,


suggested a postponement. It was evident, after the desultory character of the conversation which had just taken place, that the clause had not received sufficient consideration, and moved to leave out the clause.


objected to the postponement suggested by the noble Earl.


thought that it would be advisable to omit the remaining portions of the Bill. The measure was originally intended to give assistance to aged or infirm Bishops, but it had now assumed a magnitude which, he believed, would necessitate its re-consideration.


thought that the subject of the clause was of the greatest importance, and ought not to be disposed of in a hasty manner. He did not object to the appointment of Suffragan Bishops, but he did object to the proposition before the House, for the question was a grave constitutional question, and one which, if touched at all, ought to be dealt with by Her Majesty's Government. There were two schemes before the public for the increase of the episcopate. One was reasonable; it proposed to relieve the over-worked Bishops of Lincoln and London, and possibly of Exeter, by the creation of sees cut off from their too populous dioceses. The other was revolutionary; its aim was the subdivision of all the dioceses of England and Wales into three and four dioceses each, coupled with the election of the Bishops. The latter scheme it was obvious involved of necessity the removal of Bishops from Parliament. The present Bill was for the appointment of Suffragans in any see—and not one only, for the number was unlimited—and while there were at present twenty-four or twenty-six Bishops sitting in the House of Lords, there might under this Bill be 100 Bishops who would have no seats in the House, and would be receiving greatly reduced incomes. He was afraid their Lordships were lending themselves unconsciously to the revolutionary party, to whose plans he had just alluded. He would tell their Lordships what had occurred lately at Leeds. A meeting of the partizans of this scheme had been held. It was first decided that Leeds should be the seat of a new bishopric. The towns of Halifax, Huddersfield and Dewsbury, determined not to be left behind, also came to the conclusion that it would be desirable that they should be the seats of new sees. Then the question arose, what was to become of the Bishop of Ripon? "Make him Archbishop," was the reply. "What," it was next asked, "was to become of the present Primate of England, the Archbishop of York?" The reply was, "Oh, make him Patriarch." This might be ludicrous; but he had been informed that what he had just narrated had actually taken place. He need scarcely point out to their Lordships the necessity of being on their guard against persons holding such extreme opinions. He trusted that the proposition of the noble Earl (the Earl of Ellenborough) would be acceded to, and then the clause would be held over for further consideration.


deprecated the idea that the clause had been hastily prepared, and pointed out that all the terrible consequences it was suggested as likely to arise from the clause would be guarded against by the proviso that the Suffragan Bishops should only be appointed if Her Majesty thought fit.

On Question, That the said Clause stand Part of the Bill? their Lordships divided:—Contents 20; Not-Contents 23: Majority 3.

Canterbury, Archp. Llandaff, Bp.
London, Bp.
Cleveland, D.
Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)
Airlie, E.
Devon, E. Churchill, L.
Grey, E. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Nelson, E. [Teller.]
Romney, E. Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)
Ely, Bp. Heytesbury, L.
Gloucester and Bristol, Bp. Lyttelton, L. [Teller.]
Seaton, L.
Lincoln, Bp. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Chelmsford, L. (L. Chancellor.) Halifax, V.
Carlisle, Bp.
Buckingham and Chandos, D. Chester, Bp.
Lichfield, Bp.
Marlborough, D. Oxford, Bp.
St. David's Bp.
Bristol, M.
Churston, L.
Beauchamp, E. Foley, L. [Teller.]
De Grey, E. Overstone, L.
Ellenborough, E. Portman, L.
Malmesbury, E. Redesdale, L. [Teller.]
Powis, E. Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)
Shaftesbury, E.
Stanhope, E.

Clause struck out.

Then the dependent Clauses 14, 15, 16, 17, struck out.

Bill to be read 3a To-morrow; and to be printed as amended. (No. 129.)

House adjourned at a quarter before Eight o'clock, till To-morrow, half past Ten o'clock.