Lodovico Antonio Muratori.

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First of all, said sir Robert, look
at the consequences of this bill ia

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294] ANNUAL RfiGlStEtl, 1836.

connexion with the church tem-
poralities hill of 1833. Earl Grey
intended by that bill that the amount
of the church cess, which he calcu-
lated at 60,000/., should in future
be applied to another object, namely,
to the augmentation of small livings;
and the Houseof Commons assented
to the principle of this augmenta-
tion, and of 200/. a-year being the
minimum of the clergyman's in-
come ; that is, that when any parish
produced less to the incumbent
than 200/., it should be increased
to that amount. Lord Grey cal-
culated that these augmentations
of small livings would cost
46,000/., that building churches in
parishes where there had been
no churches before, would cost
20,000/. ; and that the building of
new glebe houses would amount
to 10,000/. The total church re-
venue under the Church Tempo-
ralities Bill was admitted to be
about 136,000/. annually ; in ad-
dition to which lord Grey esti-
mated that a fund. of one million
would be raised from the sale of
perpetuities and from the suppres-
sion of bishopricks ; and from this
fund he expected that all the
charges for the augmentation of
small livings, the erection of new
churches, and the building of new
glebes,* would be defrayed. If,
however, lord Grey had made his
calculations^ according to the real
amount of the property of the
church, he would have found, that,
instead of 155,000/., the arrange-
ments provided by the Church
Temporalities Bill would not real-
ise more than 29,157/« annually.
The charge for the future repair of
churches could not be less than
25,000/. ; because from the non-
payment of the church cess for a
long term, the churches generally
were now in a very dilapidated state.

Besides this, there was 34,412/.
cess and other charges, and there
was also the expenses of a board
of commissioners, amounting to
10,000/. more, making in the
whole an annual permanent expen-
diture of 69,412/. The board at
present had an income of only
29,000/.; and they might be said
to have realised a debt. A sum of
80,000/. was expected from the pur-
chase of perpetuities ; but in one
year there was a deficit of 40,000/.,
and no provision was made for the
augmentation of small livings or the
building of new churches or glebes.
The ecclesiastical commissioners
had calculated upon 22,000/. from
the tax on livings ; and supposing
on the whole, the utmost expec-
tations to be realised, and that
an income of 83,000/. was pro-
duced, while the outgoings amount-
ed to 70,000/., when would
there be funds equal to meet the
original purposes, of the bill,
namely the augmentation of small
livings, and the erection of new
churches, and glebes? Never;
a debt must be annually incur-
red ; that debt must go on increas-
ing, till the income of the com-
missioners equalled 41^,383/. This
debt could not he paid off sooner
than the expiration of twenty
years after 1853, or thirty-seven
years and a half from the pre-
sent time. Yet with this debt
saddled for thirty - seven years
on the perpetuity fund and the
five per cent, chargeable on liv-
ings, would the House refuse
its attention to the exposure of
this miserable scheme ? " The bill
destroys all calculations ; it leaves
no hope of a provision for the
clergy ; it postpones indefinitely the
Temporalities Bill, which pro-
vided that small livings were to be ^
augmented^ and new churches and

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new glebes erected, and admitted
that these were legitimate charges
on the ecclesiastical revenues."

Next was to be considered the
effect of the present bill on the
future produce of the tithe— one of
the best examples of what was
termed in mathematics a process of
exhaustion. First, there was a
deduction transferred to the land-
lord, which for the present, he
would assume to be proper : next,
the existing compositions were to be
thrown open : thirdly, the averages,
on whicb these compositions had
been calculated, were to be sup-
planted, by an average of the seven
years preceding the date at which
this bill was to take effect. It was
impossible to ascertain the effect
which the re-opening of the com-
positions might have on the reve^
nue of the church, for it would be
unlimited. All cases were to be
re-opened, on the complaint of a
certain number of persons who
might imagine themselves ag-
grieved. The composition might
have been entered into during the
incumbency of the clergyman's
predecessor ; to himself it might
never have yielded a guinea ; yet,
he was to be laid under the triple
curse of a visit from three barris-
ters, at five guineas a day each,
before whom, while his family was
starving, he was to defend a com-
position from which during four
years he had not drawn a farthing
— regarding which he had no evi-
dence, and no information. The
measure was, in this respect,
fraught with greater injustice than
any measure he could remember to
have been submitted to the legis-
lature ; and it was impossible to
calculate how far it would go in
diminishing the revenues of the
protestant church. The same ef.
feet wou^ follow from the new

average. The act of 1824 provir
ded that the composition entered
into should endure for twenty-one
years, and consequently it was to
last till the year 1845. The bill
of 18S2 went to compel parishes
to enter into composition in cases
where none had already been
made ; but where compositions had
been agreed upon for twenty-one
years, they were not to be disturbed.
Then there was the composition
for seven years, made in 1 833 and
1834. In the face of all these, the
present bill provided a completely
new standard of composition — a
new average — and proposed to force
the application of it upon all par-
ties who had already compounded,
no matter whether they were dis-
posed to receive it or not. The
average proposed was that of the
last seven years, though it was no-
torious, that prices for a great part
of that time had been on the de-
cline and that tithes had not been,
paid. The average, which ended
in the year 1821, was regulated
by the following prices— corn
ll. 15s. 10 Id* the quarter; oats,
13*. lljrf. The average taken by
Lord Stanley in 1831 was — wheat,
1/. 12*. Ojd. the quarter, oats IS*.
The present bill, rejecting all
these, adopted a totally new aver-
age, which was as regarded corn,
1/. 10s. Ijd, the quarter, and oats
11*. 8jd. The operation of this
new average, so far as any approx-
imation to it could be made, would
be, to take away l6 per cent from
the present amount of composition,
in addition to the three-tenths to
be given to the landlord.

Now, continued sir Robert Peel,
look to the result in figures. Take
lOOZ. of tithe composition. First
of all the three-tenths are to be
deducted, reducing it at once to
70/* The effect of the new aver«

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age, which is to be taken on oats
alone, not on wheat, will reduce it
farther by one-sixth, or 11/. 10*.,
leaving to the clergyman for his
100/., no'more than 58/. 10s, Be-
sides all this, the Woods andForests
are to have sixpence in the pound,
or 1/. 9*., leaving to the unfortu-
nate clergyman, with a nominal
100/. tithe composition, not a far-
thing more than 57/. 1*. Next,
take a benefice, where the tithe of
the living by composition is 600/.
a-year. The three-tenths, or 180/.
sweat it down at once to 420/.
One-sixth, as the farther deduction
occasioned by the new average,
reduces it to 350/. Then comes a
farther allowance of 8/. 15*., be-
ing the sixpence in the pound to
the Woods and Forests ; and then
there remained to the clergyman,
out of his 600/. a year, precisely
341/. 5s, But he had farther to
pay, under the Temporalities Bill,
a tax of 2^ per cent, or 8/. 10*.,
bringing down the living of 600/.
a-year to 332/. 15*. The House
might judge of such a man's
position, if, after all this, he had
to pay 75L to a curate, and 70/.
for insuring his life.

Extend this to the effects of
the bill on the whole revenue of
the churoh of Ireland. From that
revenue fell to be excluded two
branches, which lord Morpeth had
erroneously included — tithe re-
ceived by bishops, which was al-
ready carried to the account of the
church temporalities — and deans,
chapters, and vicars choral, be-
cause this branch of church income
was in future to be applied to the
building and repairs of churches.
With these deductions, then, the
gross amount of tithe composition
was 507,367/. This was the whole
amount on which the parochial
dergyof Ireland had to depend

for subsistence. The three-tenths
deducted from this sum would be
1 52,700/. Then, taking the dimi-
nution on account of the average
at the same rate as in the case of
the income of 100/., and of 6OO/.,
it would amount to 57,632/. ; and
sixpence in the pound for collec-
tion to the Woods and Forests,
would be 8,872/. These three sums,
added together, would amount to
219,214/., which, deducted from
the gross sum of 507,367/., would
leave just 288,153/. for the whole
parochial clergy of Ireland. There
might be some small degree of error
in deducting so much as one-sixth
for the charge of average ; but, if
so, it will be amply compensated
in other ways by the results of the
composition. In addition to this
sum of 288,153/. derived from
tithes, it was but fair to take into ac-
count the value of glebe lands.
Lord Morpeth had estimated it
at 65,000/. ; which was probably
somewhat under the truth, and
the fair valuation might be about
76,700/. These, with every other
source of church revenue in Ire-
land, did not exceed 377,679/.

Having ascertained these mat-
ters, the House would now be able
to look out for the surplus which
it resolved to appropriate, before
knowing whether it existed. They
had now the report of the com-
mission, for which they had refused
to wait before coming to that reso-
lution ; and the report demonstrated
that, if ministers were only con-
sistent with themselves, it was im-
possible any surplus could exist -,
they would not even have enough
to carry into effect the views pro-
fessed by themselves. The report
showed, that there were in Ireland
2,505 parishes,forming 1,385 bene-
fices, of which 264 contained fewer
than fifty protestants. Adopting

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then, said sir Robert, the principle
of this bill, that, where there are
fifty or more protestants, provision
shall be made for public worship
according to the rites of the church,
of England, you have 1,121 bene-
fices falling under this description.
Divide among this number of
benefices the whole amount of tithe,
as I have before stated it, and there
will not remain for the clergyman
in each of those 1,121 benefi ces, more
than 2561. income. All who have
ever spoken in this House upon
the subject of the Irish church,
those who, from personal know-
ledge, must be supposed best ac-
quainted with the subject, have
not hesitated to say, that the union
of parishes is one of the greatest
evils in Ireland. Now, there are,
according to the report, 2,505 pa-
rishes, in S60 of which there are
less than fifty protestants. Do I
admit the right or fitness of no
longer having a clergyman in any
of these 860 parishes } No, I do
not. I think such a step must be
fatal to the Irish church. But,
deducting these 860 parishes, there
will still remain 1,545 parishes
having a population of more than
fifty protestants. Now, according
to the principles laid down by
themselves, ministers are bound to
make a provision for a clergyman
in every one of those parishes ; and
what does the house think will be
the amount which can be afforded
to each out of the present church
revenue.^ Not a shilling more
than 188/. a-year. What then be-
comes of the parishes with which,
they were told, the parliament
would be at liberty to deal — which
induced a majority of the House to
concur in a resolution before they
saw the report ? Your report it-
self convicts you of deliberate error.
From that report it appears^ that

there are in Ireland 96 1 benefices
with more than 100 protestants
each ; 1, l65 benefices with a church
in each, and two churches in some
of them J and there are now in
1 reland not less than 1 383 churches.
Wherever there is a church, there
ought to be a clergyman; and,
allowing to each only 220/., so far
from any surplus remaining, there
will be a considerable deficiency.
I will now class the benefices in
connexion with the protestant po-
pulation in each class. There are
670 benefices, with a protestant
population of from 50 to 500 j
there are 209 in which the num-
ber of protestants to each church is
from 500 to 1,000 ; and 242 with
more than 1,000 protestant inhi^
bitants. Though I am not an
advocate for great inequality or
exorbitance of income, I see no
good reason why, in Dublin for
instance, in Cork, or in Belfast,
the income of the living should not
be in some measure proportioned to
the greater labours which the cler-
gyman must necessarily undergo.
If something of this kind be not
done, you will not only degrade the
clergyman, and render him inca-
pable of holding that station in
society which may render his min-
istry efficient, but you will inflict
irreparable injury on the church
itself. Dividing, in this way, the
benefices in which the protestant
population is from 50 to 500, from
500 to 1,000, and from 1,000 to
any number exceeding it, there are,
as I before stated, in the first class,
670 benefices, in the second 209,
and in the third 242. Suppose
you allow to the clerg3rman in each
of the first class of benefices an
income of 200/. a-year ; to each of
those in the second class 300/.;
and to those benefices with a pro-
testant population of 1^000; and

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incumbent. The income of Cullen
was nothing ; but Monkstown af-
forded an income of 248/.^ and
Droman an income of 204/. The
incumbent of Cullen had a congre-
gation of 848 members of the
established churchy and^ with the
proceeds of Monkstown and Dro.
man, he had a nominal income of
450/. Under the temporalities
bill, this would be reduced to 817 L;
but ministers, instead of leaving
the clersjrman of the benefice sub-
ject to the tax of the church tem.
poralities bil], to perform his duties
to his congregation of 848 persons,
with an income of 3171., sequestered
the income of Droman and Monks,
town, and left him without any
thing. There were at least 40
similar instances. The benefice of
Dundalk was one union, consisting
of Dundalk and Castleton, the
former containing 1,430 members
of the established church, the latter
only seventeen. The stipend of
the incumbent was 210/., of which
Castleton fuiiiished 200/. The
present bill sequestered the 200/.
of Castleton, because it did not
contain 50 protestants, and left the
incumbent with a flock of 1,430
persons of the established church,
and a stipend of 10/. a-year.

Sir Robert concluded with pres-
sing upon the House the duty of
not being deten'ed by any false
notions of consistency, founded on
the resolution to which they had
come in ignorance, from now doing
right when the facts were within
their reach, and with urging them
• at least to pursue a decided and
intelligible course. " One of three
courses you must take. You may
assert the right of the established
church to these funds, and promise
that its claims shall be first regard,
ed, and that, till you are satisfied
it has superfluous revenues, you

will do nothing that will lead to
the entertainment of expectations
which cannot be realized. You
may say, that you have already
made reasonable deductions from
the revenues o^ the church, and
that you have thrown the whole
onus of ecclesiastical expenses upon
the protestant clergy. You may
say that you have relieved the
public from the pa3rment of cess,
that you have relieved the occupy-
ing tenant from any payment;
that you have given a bonus of
three-tenths, or, as I have shown,
nearly five-tenths to the landholder ;
and that, therefore, you will now
insist upon the application of the
whole of the remainder of the
ecclesiastical revenues to the inter-
ests of the established church, be.
cause you feel that its means are
far from being abundant. That is
one course ; and certainly it will
have a tendency to settle the minds
of the people, and divert them
from the vague hope of getting
something out of this reserve fund,
and applying it to the purposes
of education, although it could
not be obtained or applied till every
existing interest had been satisfied.
You may take another — certainly
a most unwise and most improvi-
dent course, but one which still
would be manly and clear. You
may say. The Roman Catholic shall
be the established religion of Ire-
land ; we are no longer able to
struggle against the steady current
of the popular party, and therefore
we will go the whole length,
and establish the Roman Catholic
religion at the expense of the Pro-
testant. That is intelligible. That
is a course at least consistent with
the steps you propose to take. There
is another course — the course which
I think you are about to take, and
which is intermediate between thfs

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two. It is neither to recognise the
principle of the Roman Catholic
religion, nor to assert the perma-
nent claims and rights of the Pro-
testant religion. It is to sow the
seeds of a slow and destructive poi-
son, which will, after much expen-
sive litigation — after much haras-
sing discord, and at the expense of
continual bloodshed — lead to the
ultimate extinction of Protestant-
ism in Ireland. If you mean to
maintain the Protestant church —
if you are satisfied that you have
not a surplus, and not more than
will provide for the decent main-
tenance of the ministers, then I say
affirm that principle, and the public
mind will be put out of suspense.
But by the course you propose to
adopt — by simulating protection to,
and really showing alienation from,
the established church — by de-
stroying the independence of the
clergy, and by making them sti-
pendiaries of the government — ^by
holding them out to the public as
individuals who intercept their
rights, who crowd and block up the
avenues of knowledge, and who ap-
propriate to themselves those funds
which ought more properly to be
devoted to the purposes of educa-
tion ; by adopting these steps, I say,
you place the clergy of the estab-
lished church in a position which
cannot be otherwise than deeply
injurious, if not fatal, to the inter-
ests of that church in Ireland,"

Mr. Spring Rice, who attempted
to answer this speech, passed over
unnoticed its whole substance and
object, namely, the demonstration
that, on the intentions announced
by ministers themselves, and the
facts ascertained by the report of
the commissioners, there could be
no surplus of which to dispose;
and that, therefore, there could be
no reason for encumbering with

such a measure provisions for the
collection of the tithe as a fund of
the protestant church. He argued
that the bill, in so far as regarded
that collection — on which no part
of the question turned — was almost
identical with the intended tithe-
bill of the late government, and
would be, at least, equally favour-
able to the clergyman 5 that the
power of opening up compositions
was guarded against abuse by
provisions in the bill, and, if these
were not thought sufficient, others
might be added in the committee ;
antl that if the bill, in the case of
unions, would lead to such conse-
quences as those of which sir
Robert Peel had pointed out in-
stances, this, too, might be cor-
rected in the committee; for, he
admitted, that no honest man could
wish to create a surplus by leaving
incumbents with large flocks and
no stipends. It was true that the
number of members of the estab-
lished <;hurch turned out to be
greater than had sometimes been
represented; they amounted to
852,064; but the House should
look at the manner in which they
were distributed. Of these there
were to be found in the diocese of
Armagh alone, no fewer than
517,000. In the two ecclesiastical
provinces of Armagh and Dublin
there were not less than 694,000
members of the established church
to be found out of 850,000, the
whole number in Ireland. In the
other two ecclesiastical provinces
referred to in the report, there
were only about 160,000 members
of the establishment, while the
number of Roman catholics was
upwards of 3,000,000. These
were certainly elements for the
consideration of the House ; and
the right hon. baronet must either
be prepared to make a new appro«<

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priatdon of church revenues in the
ecclesiastical provinces of Cashel
and Tuara, or he must come to the
determination to take the excess of
revenue which he found in those
provinces, and expend the whole
of it in the other two provinces.
If such a principle were adopted,
then, supposing the population of
Ireland should become entirely
Roman catholic, those who now
advocated the transferring of ec-
clesiastical revenue from one part
of the country to another, would
he obliged, in consistency, to go
the length of asserting that they
were at liberty to withdraw the
whole of the revenues of the
church from Ireland for the pur-
pose of expending them in Eng-
land. The proportion of the
members of the established church
to the whole mass of the popula-
lation in the different ecclesiastical
provinces, stood as follows : — In
Armagh, it was sixteen and a
fraction per cent. ; in Dublin,
fourteen and a fraction ; in Cashel,
four and a fraction ; and in Tuam,
three and a fraction. Notwith-
standing this great difference, the
same provision for religious in-
struction was made in Tuam, where
the number of protestants was in
the proportion of three to 100, as
in Armagh, where the number
was in the proportion of sixteen to
100. In the diocese of Emly, the
population amounted to 98,000
persons. Of these 1,246 persons
were members of the established
church. There were thirty-one
clergymen in the diocese, forty-two
parishes, and seventeen benefices.
There was one benefice with no
member of the established church,
three benefices with less than
twenty members, four with less
than 100 members, and one with
less than 200 members of the es-

tablishment. The average value
of the lithe composition for each
of these livings amounted to 210/1,
making a total amount of annual
revenue for the religious instruc-
tion of 1,246 persons of 7,000/.
Not satisfied with this state of
things, parliament in its bounty,
and the board of first fruits in its
discretion, had been pleased to ex-
pend upon the clergy, and glebe
house within this diocess in gifts,
5,670/., and in loans, 4,300/. In
another case, there were forty-one
benefices in which there was not
a single protestant, either man,
woman, or child, and yet, unless
those benefices should come under
the operation of the clause in the
church temporalities' bill, provi-
sion would be made for religious
instruction in them on the same
scale as if the whole of the in-
habitants were protestants. It had
been said, that if 200/. per annum
were given to every minister re-
siding in his parish, (and less could
not be given) it might be ascer-
tained, by multiplying 200 by the
number of parishes in Ireland,
that no surplus would exist. But
he was not disposed to allow a
clergyman 200/. a year for the
performance of his religious duties
in a parish where there were
scarcely any protestants; and his
view on the subject was shared
by the ecclesiastical commissioners,
who, in such a case, gave a max-
imum stipend of 25/. a year to the
minister of the adjoining parish.
Even if all that had been stated
were true, that was no reason for
dividing the bill into two parts.
The true object was to get rid of
the former resolution of the House.
The House had decided, after long
debates, that the question of ap^
propriation was connected with the
concession of the million embodied

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in the bill. The right hon. baronet
now called on the House to sever
the two propositions, either for no

Online LibraryLodovico Antonio MuratoriThe annual register → online text (page 39 of 116)