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Full text of "Speech of Lord Viscount Morpeth, on the Irish tithe bill, in the House of Commons, on Thursday, June 2, 1836"



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SPEECH OF LORD VIS- 
COUNT MORPETH, ON THE 
IRISH TITHE BILL, IN 
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS 




THE LIBRARY 
OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



SPEECH 



OF 



LORD VISCOUNT MORPETH, 



IRISH TITHE BILL, 



THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, 
On Thursday, June 2, 1836. 



L O N DON- 

l-ttlNTED FOB 

THE PROPRIETOR OF " THE MIRROR OF PARLIAMENT,' 
3, ABINQDON-STKKET, WESTMINSTER. 

1836. 



3/ 

5557 



HOUSE OF COMMONS, 

Thursday, June 2, 1836. 



LORD VISCOUNT MORPETH.— Havin? had but 
too frequent occasions to deliver my sentiments on this 
question, I feel tliat I should have little excuse, and still 
less temptation, for again presenting myself to the House, 
were it not for the desire I have to answer any objections, 
as well as to remove any misapprehensions, which appear 
to me to have arisen in the course of the debate. I do not 
feel myself at all constrained to enter into any controversy 
as to the general principle upon which this, as well as 
every other proposal of appropriation, rests. We make no 
secret of that professing principle — we avow at once that it is 
our intention to act upon it ; and whether the burden, which 
it has been both graphically and rhetorically represented 
to entail upon us, be light or heavy, at least we make no 
complaint of it, and it has not yet broken our backs. It 
is, then, neither the arraignment of our motives nor the 
denunciation of our principle which I I'eel to affect or con- 
cern me at the jiresent moment ; I have merely to deal 
with the objections which have been made to the ma- 
chinery and practical operation of the Bill I have had the 
honour to introduce to the House. I will not even suffer 
myself to be diverted from this track, in order to follow the 
Honourable Member who spoke last into the disquisition 
which Iiis researches into historical lore have enabled him 
to make as to the aniiquity of the Roman Catholic Church 
— a ground on which I frankly own I have always thought 
that church to be the least assailable. I agree with him 
that it is the duty of every State, as it is that of every 
individual, to promote the reading of the Holy Scriptures 
as extensively as possible by every means short of the em- 
ployment of force ; but I hope the Honourable Gentleman 
did not mean to intimate, in his catalogue of names, that 
Fenelon and Bossuet were not among the readers of the 
Bible. 

With respect to the position in which the question 
before us at present stands, it appears that my Noble 
Friend, the Member for North Lancashire, has introduced 
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a scheme count tr to that wliich I have had the honour of 
submitting to the House. I will not now stop to inquire 
whether my Noble Friend is the best and most happily 
constituted individual to be a mediator on this great 
question. I hope he will not, however, take it amiss if, in 
passing, I state that the history of the i)ast shews the in- 
terference and assistance he has hitherto aiforded the 
Irish Established Church to have been more distinguished 
by chivalry than success. In the course of this discussion 
we have had two Messages brought from the other House : 
one by my Noble Friend (Lord Stanley), from the Most 
Reverend and Right Reverend Bench, signifying to us 
that they will consent to the adoption of his scheme ; and 
the other by the Honourable Member for Newark (Mr. 
Gladstone), apparently from the whole of the Upper House, 
taken collectively, signifying their determination not to 
assent to ours. But notwithstanding these august intima- 
tions, I must venture to hint a doubt whether either con- 
stitutional practice or the present complexion of public 
afiairs. tend to make it requisite that such permits should 
be endorsed on the introduction of our goods. Together 
with my Nol)le Friend (Lord John Russell), I state at 
once, that it is neither much of my business or disposition 
to quarrel with the measure of the Noble Lord (Stanley) ; 
there are some points in it which appear to me objection- 
able, but I have no doubt that upon being fairly discussed 
they might be easily obviated, should we be disposed to 
concede the principle which pervades his measure, which 
is, that if any surplus arise, it must be api)ropriated ex- 
clusively for the benefit of those who are within the pale 
of the Church Establishment. My Noble Friend (Lord 
Stanley) and ihose who have adopted his views, have urged 
very little objection to tlie first part of i urBill, which deals 
with the immediate arrangements to be adopted for the 
purpose of effecting a commutation of tithe ; and I feel 
considerably relieved by their abstinence upon this point ; 
because if there is any part of our measHre on which I 
have had a misgiving, it is that by the present situation of 
affairs in Ireland we are inevitably compelled to deal rather 
hardly with the existing clergy of the Established Church 
in that country, in consequence of which I have been in- 
duced to believe that should the question of tithe commu- 
tation be first settled on such an enlaiged principle as 
would be acceptable to the great bulk of the Irish people, 
it might be proper for the Legislature to consider whether 
afterwards it was not in their power to give the clergy re- 
lief by modifying some of the peculiar charges to which 
they are now liable. There is, indeed, one point in which 



thf Ivvo Hills entjniy differ, whereas one contains, and the 
olher omits, any jirovision for the redemption ol' lithe. It 
is a point which must he acknowledged to he beset with 
difficulty : indeed my Noble Friend himself has admitted 
as much. This beinc; the case, and as we have before us 
the complicated task of dealing with the commutation of 
tithe into a rent-charge throuH:hout the whole extent of 
Ireland, I think it will be better to avoid still further em- 
barrassment by adding the quesiicm of redemption ; let it 
be reserved, as is also proposed with respect to English 
tithe, until we have seen the working of the rest of the 
measure without it. 

I will not enter largely into the difficulties which must 
be attendant upon this part of the case, but I will briefly 
intimate that if the rent-charges are redeemed by money 
invested in Government securities at 3^ per cent., an im- 
mense reduction of the clerical revenues must take place ; 
and if by an investment in land, the effect of it will be a 
general rise in the price of land, which would proportion- 
ally bring about the same detrimental reduction in the 
incomes of the clergy. As ray Noble Friend has truly 
said, the value of land in several parts of Ireland is very 
diff'erent ; in the North it is worth twenty-five, twenty- 
eight, and thirty-one years' purchase, which would only 
give the respective values of 4, 3^, and 3 per cent. We 
have each of us one object in common, which is, to provide 
that the clero;y should be a resident clergy ; and if it were 
resolved upon to assign a certain portion of land to the 
clergyman by way of redemption lor the rent-charge, that 
land should be within the bounds of his benefice —another 
condition which would enhance the difficulty of a general 
investment. Again, we wish to relieve the mind of the 
minister of religion as much as possible from the uncei- 
tainty and expense which would thus be attendant upon 
the collection of his income: and with that view we pro- 
vide that a certain amount should be given to him on a 
particular day. If he is converted, into a landowner it is 
impossdMe to predict v\hat may not be the conflicts which 
will take place between him and his tenantry ; moreover, 
he will be exposed to all the casualties of bad seasons, — 
alterations in the market prices ; from all which the Bill I 
have introduced will rescue him now and for ever. It 
thus secures him from the risk of improvident tenant?, 
wiio mitjht deteriorate his land, and throw it upon his 
hands comparatively valueless and unproductive. By the 
scheme of my Noble Frit^nd, persons who are liable to the 
rent-charire may enter into an agreement with the Eccle- 
siastical Commissioners : but these Commissioners, how- 
A 3 



ever competent for their employment they may be, will 
have to deal with those minute and complicated questions 
which have been en' ountereJ by the Board of First Fruits, 
and whiih have been olten found to impede them in 
making the purchases which they were desirous of etlect- 
ing. Sometimes the persons with whom they would have 
to deal would not have the fee-simple of the lands — they 
would frequently meet with leases on lives renewable ibr 
ever, by which clergymen would be frequently exposed to 
much loss ; because, on each renewal, it is customary to 
impose a considerable fine. All these difficulties taken 
into consideration, I do not say might not, in time, be 
obviated and surmounted ; but I think it advisable not to 
embarrass the question with any proposition for redemp- 
tion at present, but reserve it for future consideration, 
should the circumstances of the Church, either in England 
or in Ireland, invite it. 

In passing to that part of the Bill which relates to the 
future distribution of the church property in Ireland, I 
again feel myself relieved by the mitigated tone of oppo- 
sition which 1 thought I perceived in the speech of my 
Noble Friend, when compared with the manner in which 
not only my B.U of last year was treated, but also in com- 
parison with the mode in which the Church Tempoiali'ies 
Bill was treated by my Noble Friend, its author. This allevi- 
ation of attack has not, however, been without its exception, 
because the Honourable Member for Nottinghamshire 
has paid me the compliment to say that the Bill could be 
drawn up by no other than the arch-enemy of mankind. 
However this may be, listening attentively as I have done 
to the speech of my Noble Friend, last night, and to the 
speeches of the Honourable Gen'lemen who followed him, 
I thought that I could discover two prominent points of 
objection : one, the number of real church purposes which 
you must leave uncompleted and still incomplete, before 
you can apjjly your surplus to the purposes of general 
education ; the other, the low averasje amount of income 
assigned to the parochial clergy in Ireland. With respect 
to the first of these objections, certain Returns have been 
moved for by Honourable Gentlemen opposite, which I 
regret that there has not yet been time to pre])are and 
deliver. I know that we have nothing to dread from any 
light thrown upon the subject ; our argumeit— our great 
argument — resting upon the most fundamental maxims 
that atfect or sustain human societies. The rightful tenure 
of property, and the legitimate wants of nations cannot 
be affected nuu-h, either one way or the other, by the nice 
calculations of an estimate, and the ingenious deductions 



of ill! arithmetical balance-sheet; but I contend that 
both on the broad ground of principle, and according to 
the closest deductions of arithmetic, we stand on ground 
equally unassailable. What are the facts of the case? 
The Board of First Fruits in Ireland and the vestry-cess 
were formerly intended by the Legislature to provide, and 
to a great extent they practically did provide, for certain 
ecclesiastical purposes; and that at present the " General 
Fund'' arising under the Church Temporalities Act, is 
made applicable to the following purposes : — 

To provide things necessary for the celebration of Divine Ser- 
vice in the church or chaiiel of every parish. 

To pay all parish clerks' and sextons' salaries. 

To defray the expenses of building, enlarging, or repairing 
churches and chapels. 

To fence and maintain church-yards. 

To augment small livings to 200/. per annum, and to purchase 
house and land for augmented benefices. 

To compensate the lay patrons of any livings that may be di- 
vided under the provisions of the said Act. 

To defray the expenses of the Commissioners : — and 

To provide for the maintenance of curates, heretofore pro- 
vided for by vestry assessments under any Statute, law, or cus- 
tom. 

Now, in lieu of the sources of revenue of the Board of 
First-Fruits, which it merged into another Board, and of 
the vestry-cess, wdich it abolished, the Legislature 
thought fit to assi2;n to the purposes to which these had 
hitherto ministered, certain other ecclesiastical revenues, 
which could not for a long time fulfil the purposes for 
which they were set apart — which could not meet them at 
all in the outset, without the assistance of the public trea- 
sury, but which were calculated to exhibit a considerable 
surplus in the course of time. It must be remembered by 
the House that all this transfer of expenditure and reve- 
nue was independent of the income of the parochial 
clergy, the tithes and the glebes, except so tar as a gradu- 
ated tax on their annual income above a certain amount 
was concerned. Now, does this Bill of ours interfere 
with this ecclesiastical fund? It does, to a certain ex- 
tent, in one item — which is the tax upon clerical income; 
but not so much so as that income is interfered with by 
the present state of things; because at present absolutely 
nothing or next to nothing, is secured from that source. But 
if this Bill does interfere with this one item, does it, on the 
other hand, provide no compensation? The Noble Lord, 
the Member for North Lancashire, stated, last night, that 
the wliole amount of pergonal income which the Commis- 
sioners had at their disposition to meet the permanent ex- 



penditnre of 69,000?., was but 29,000/. It is true, that 
29,000/. is the amount reported to have been at the dispo- 
sal of the Commissioners last year; but the Noble Lord 
omitted to make any mention of what has occurred since 
last Session. Two bishoprics have since fallen in — 
Ossory, to the amount of 3500/., and Cork, to the 
amount of 4300/. — together, 7800/. per annum. More- 
over, the present Bishop of Ferns and Ossory has be- 
come liable to the tax, on succeeding to the temporalities 
of the See of Ferns on the demise of the late Bishop. 
The tax on ecclesiastical benefices, rated by the Commis- 
sioners last year at 750/., has been increased by the Bishop 
of Killaloe becoming also subject to it, and by the several 
livings exceeding 300/. which fell vacant last year. The 
Commissioners, in their Report to the 1st of August last, 
state also, that appointments of clerks to three a'fditional 
benefices, amountmg to an entire sum of 597/., have been 
suspended; and I am correct in stating that, since the 
date of that Report, the sinecure precentorship of El|)hin, 
amounting to 263/., has been also suspended ; and the 
Tithe Bill provides for the suspension of another sinecure 
precentorship, that of Christchurch, to the amount of 
1000/. for the last two years. So that, when all these 
circumstances are cnnsidered, not to speak of the interest 
arising from the temporary investments in stock of the 
moneys already realized from the sales of perpetuities, and 
whiih will be found for the half-year to amount to 1540/., 
the accession of income under these additional sources, 
ibr the present year, may be fairly estimated at 5200/., 
making in all, with the 7800/. mentioned above, for the 
present year, 42,000/. ; but this is exclusive of any moneys 
that may arise from the sale of perpetuities within the 
present year. And when the House hears that no less a 
suai than 1 66, 1 5 I /. has been reahzed from this source alone 
to the 25th of May last, that is to say, withm the last two 
years, for within the first six months the Commission- 
ers sold nothing — while, in their First Report, for the 
year ending August 1835, they state they had only sold 
2365/. — it will scarcely be thought, that the progress of 
this source of income can lie looked upon at present as 
either slow or inconsiderable, and it is not unreasonable 
to calculate on a further accession of annual income within 
the present year from this source of revenue also. 

I will now, with the permission of the House, proceed to 
place clearly before them the real state and prospects of 
the Ecclesiastical Fund, by shewing the amount in the 
hands of the Commissioners, when all the sources of re- 
venue, as contemplated by the Church Temporalities' 



Act, the Amendment Act, and the present Tithe Bill, 
shall have been realized, contrasted with the sources of 
revenue, as estimated by Earl Grey, to arise under the 
Church Temporalities' Act alone, as I'ollows: — 

I. Church Temporalities Act, 3 &4 Will. IV c. 37. 

Revenues as at present contemplated to arise from 

1. Produce of suppressed Sees , . . £50,780 

2. Reduction of the bishopric of Derry, immediate 

and prospective ....•■ 6,160 

3. Future reduction of Armagh See . . . 4,500 

4. Glebe-house loan instalments, repayable for the 

next fifteen years . , . • • 7,500 

5. Tax on continuing bishoprics . . . 4,600 

6. Tax on incumbents of benefices . . . 7,3(iO 

7. Interest at 41. per cent, on 1,050,000/., to arise 

from sale of perpetuities .... 42,000 

N.B. Of the 1,-200,000/. calculated to arise from sale 
of perpetuities by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (but 
estimated by Mr. Finlaison, the Government actuary, 
to amount to 1,507,0.50', there has been realized and 
disbursed by the Commissioners 150,000/.; but the in- 
terest of the residue thereof, amounting to 1,050,000/., 
will, at the rate of 4/. per cent., produce an annual per- 
manent sum, as above specified. 

8. Income of benefices, suspended under the non- 
celebration service clause, for the three years to Febru- 
ary, 1833 ...... Nil. 

II. Act to alter and amend Church Temporalities Act, 

4&5 Will. IV., c. 90. 

9. From 38 dignities, without cure, and 49 prebends, 
without cure of souls, after deducting the expenses of 
collection, and making other abatements, deductions, 

and allowances ...... 8,000 

N.B. This Act provides, that in the case of any per- 
son holding any dignity or office under the rank of an 
archbishopric or bishopric, and not having cure of souls 
in any parish appropriated thereto, the appointment to 
such dignity or office may, on tlie next avoidance, be 

suspended, which is the case of the aforesaid 38 digni- 

ties and 49 prebends ..... X'130,840 

III. The present Tithe Rill. 

10. The 77th clause saves existing interests, but 
vests the property belonging to minor canons and vicars 
choral in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (some of 
which offices are reported by the Revenue Commis- 
sioners to be complete sinecures) ; and alter providing 
for such of these offices as have duties, and are neces- 
sary to be upheld, authorizes the surplus arising from 
such estates, amounting to an entire sum of 22,624/., 
to be carried to the general fund, whicii surplus is esti- 
mated to amount to .... • 4,000 

11 The 79th clause provides that the sinecure tithes 
disappropriated from all dignities (having cure) may, 
instead of being given to the vicars or perpetual 
curates, if otherwise sufficiently endowed, be carried to 

Carried forward . . £134,840 



10 

Brought forward . .£134,840 
the general fund, under the administration of the 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners ; the revenue arising from 
which, after making all necessary deductions, abate- 
ments, and allowances, is estimated to amount to . 4,300 



£139,140 



I. Church Temporalities Act, 3 and 4 Will. IV. ch. 37. 
Revenues as estimated by Earl Grey to arise from — 

1. Produce of suppressed Sees . . . . £50,780 

2. Reduction of the Bishopric of Derry, immediate 

and prospective . . . . . . 6,160 

3. Future reduction of Armagh See . . . 4,.500 

4. Glebe-house loan instalments, repayable for the 

next fifteen years ...... 8,000 

5. Tax on continuing bishoprics . . . 4,600 

6. Tax on incumbents of benefices . . . 41,800 

7. Interest at 41. percent, on 1,000,000/. to arise from 

the sale of perpetuities ..... 40,000 

N. B. — Under the Church Temporalities Act, the 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners have the power of ap- 
plying the principal arising from these sales to meet 
their present exigencies, which precludes the possibi- 
lity of realizing eventually an annual permanent income 
from this source. 

8. Income of benefices suspended under the non- 
celebration-service clause, for the three years to Fe- Nil. 
bruary, 1833. 

11. Act to alter and amend Church Temporalities Act, 
4 and 5 Will. IV. c. 90. 

9. Not provided for under the Church Temporalities 

Act ,,...., Nil 

III. The Present Tithe Bill. 

1 0. Not provided for under the Church Temporalities 

Act ....... Nil 

11. Not provided for under the Church Temporalities 

Act ....... Nil 



£155,840 



Revenues as contemplated to arise from the combined Provisions 
of the Church Temporalities Act, the Amendment Act, and the 
present Tithe Bill, amount to 139, 140/. 

Application of this Revenue. 

The charges which the foregoing fund of 139,140/. is designed 
to meet will be as follow : — 

1. When the churches shall have been put into com- 
plete repair, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners report 
that the future repair of them will require an annual 

sum of ...... . £25,000 

Other expenses formerly defrayed by vestry cess, 
they state, will require .... 35,000 

2. Expenses of the Commission . . . 10,000 

3. Interest on 100,000/. advanced the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners in the way of loan, at 4 per cent. . 4,000 

Carried forward . . £74,000 



11 

Brought forward . , £74,000 

4. Building of churches, as estimated by Earl Grey . 20,000 

5. Buildiiitc of glebe-houses, as estimated by Earl 

Grey . 10,000 

0. To repayment of the loan of 100,000^. by annual 
instalments, for five years, of . . . . 20,000 

£124,000 
There will remain, therefore, to meet deficiences in 
the items as above specified; for the other objects of 
the Commission ; and for the additional clerks which 
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners arc authorized to em- 
ploy to carry the provisions of the Tithe Bill into 
effect, a residue of , . . . . 15,140 

£139,140 



Revenues as contemplated, by Earl Grey, to arise from the [To- 
visions of the Church Temporalities Act alone amount to 
15o,840i. 

Application of this Revenue. 

The charges which the foregoing fund of l.''>5,840/. was designed 
to meet, are stated by Earl Grey to be as follow :— 

1. TheChurch cess,includingtherepairsofchurches, 
estimated at . . • • ■ ■ £60,000 

2. The augmentation of small livings to 2001. each . 46,500 

3. The building of churches, being the average ex- 
penditure of three precedins; years . . . 20,000 

4. The building of glebe-houses, which his Lordship 
considered very necessary, as not one-half of the bene. 

fices were provided therewith .... 10,000 

136,500 
5. The expenses of the Commission, estimated at . 6,000 

142,500 
There remained, therefore, to meet deficiencies, in 
the amounts as above estimated, and for the other 
objects of the Commission, a residue of . • 13,340 

£155,840 

being nearly 2000/. a-year less than we may now calculate 
upon. The characteristic and distinguishing feature be- 
tween the contemplated measures and the provisions of 
the Church Temporalities Act is, that the necessity of 
appropriating 46,500/. for the augmention of small livings, 
as contemplated under the Church Temporalities Act, will 
not arise under the provisions of the proposed Tithe Bill ; 
so that not only a larger residue will remain lor the build- 
ing of churches and glebe-houses, and tlie other objects 
of the Commission, but a provision is made for enabling 
the Commissioners to repay the debt of 100,000/. due by 
them to the public. When I said that the Noble Lord 
opposite dealt rather hardly with his own measure, I feel 



12 

that in one rospect I am bound to defend that measure 
from its Noble Author, as well as the Commissioners who 
act under it from the oblique reprehension of my Noble 
Friend, the Secretary of State ; because it must be re- 
membered that when they began their operations, they 
found an ariear of vestry-cess lor the last three years, 
which had thus accumulated during those halcyon and 
golden days when the Church was under the peculiar caie 
of the Noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire. 

After the statement which I have laid before the House, 
I feel myself in a position to contend that, by the opera- 
tion of the present Tiihe Bill, the financial concerns of 
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the objects contem- 
plated by the Church Temporalities Act, are, to say the 
least of it, in no degree deteriorated or curtniled. My opi- 
nion is, that they will be considerably aided and improved. 
With the purposes of that Act this "Bill in no way inter- 
feres, or interferes only to improve. Indeed, so strict is 
its abstinence from all interference, that, where funds are 
still to be deducted from sinecure dignities, where, by the 
peculiar province of the Ciiurch Temporalities Act, we do 
not propose to carry this new surplus to the Consolidated 
Fund for the purposes of education ; but it is to be carried 
to the account of the Ecclesiastical Fund. If, therefore, 
beyond the pale and province of the Church Temporalities 
Act — as the tithes and glebes of the parochial clergy ever 
have been— the Legislature thinks it can properly deduct 
further surplus revenue, T contend that it is its right, and 
may be its duty, to inquire whether or not more national, 
more equitable, more natural — I will even say, higher 
purposes, cannot be answered in a fresh distribution, than 
those already contemplated and provided for by the Chuich 
Temporalities Act. I say this because I feel that the one 
set of purposes provides only for the wants^and in iheir 
sphere and place most important and most indispensable 
wants I fully admit them to be — of a sect, or, if that terra 
should be thought offensive or misplaced, of a segment of 
the population ; the other set of purposes, without ex- 
cluding that segment, provides for the equally important 
and indispensable wants of the whole people. I confess, 
while upon this topic, that having heard the whole speech 
of my Honourable Friend the" Member for Weymouth 
with peculiar gratification; if there was one part I heard 
with even greater pleasure than any other, it was my Ho- 
nourable Friend's friendly admonition, with respect to the 
mode in which the sytem of general education ought to be 
carried on. I fully agree with him, that it is quite incum- 
bent upon us to take care that the whole plan of national 



13 

education shoulcl be conducted upon neutial and impartial 
principles. I am aware that several charges have been 
advanced against the mode in v^'hich the system has been 
worked. Some of these charges have, on representation 
made to the Board, and consequent investigation, been sa- 
tisfactorily disproved ; there are others for which there 
may have occasionally been some foundation. I believe 
that, where this has arisen, it has probably been in 
a large degree owing to the total withdrawal of Pro- 
testants from the management of the schools, which 
necessarily, in the nature of things, gives them too much 
of a tendency to the feelings and habits of the party who 
thus exclusively concern themselves about them ; but the 
defects I believe to be principally owing to the very inade- 
quate means which the (Commissioners, as yet, have had 
of providing properly-trained teachers for the schools — 
though I believe this to be a source of abuse which is in 
the course of gradual abatement. I have, however, reason 
to think that several of the statements which have been 
put forth, as to the working of the system, are very far 
from well founded. T have heard to-day, upon authority 
on which I can rely, that one-twelfth of the schools in 
Ireland are in the Protestant county of Antrim, and one- 
fourteenth in the Protestant county of Down ; and that in 
these schools a large proportion of the children are either 
Church of England or Presbyterian. This, however, I am 
quite ready to admit, that if the Legislature consents ma- 
terially to enlarge and extend the system ; and if the 
grounds of complaint or suspicion should still exist, then 
it will be quite fair to expect that either the Government 
or the Legislature should institute a searching inquiry 
into the subject. 

The other prominent ground of ol)jection to the Bill, at 
which I have already glanced, appears to be, the alleired 
low average amount of income proposed to be assigned to 
the future parochial clergy of Ireland. Upon this point, 
I will first observe, that I certainly feel that if I could put 
all antecedent and surrounding circumstances entirely 
aside, I could go quite along with, or even exceed, the 
Noble Lord and his friends in their views. I have no 
doubt that I could very creditably, and with great satis- 
faction to myself, divide the whole church revenue of Ire- 
land, nay, twice as much, if it could be found, among the 
clergy of Ireland. As far as my own personal inclinations 
are concerned, I should be sincerely pleased if the whole 
clergy of the Established Church, present and to come— 
men who, for the most part, have hitherto been, and, I 
hope, ever Will continue to be, well- educated, learned, able, 



14 

of refined habits, and of amiable dispositions -just as well 
off as myself in tlie world, which, to say the least, 1 hey 
well deserve to be. But the question i';, does the position 
of the Irish Church permit it to be made this depository 
of easy and abundant comfort ? And then comes the ques- 
tion, do the incomes, proposed by this Bill, fall so very 
far short of those in other contemporary churches ? 

My Noble Friend opposite asked me, whereas there are 
at present 1385 beneiices, how I proposed to reduce them 
to 1250? I find that there are of benefices in Ireland, 
without Protestants, 41 ; benefices with less than 5 Pro- 
testants—when I say Protestants I mean members of the 
Established Church — 20; with less than 10 Protestants, 
23 ; with less than 15 Protestants, 31 : with less than 20 
Protestants, 23 ; with less than 25 Protestants, 27 ; mak- 
ing, in all, 165. Now, in the second class of these bene- 
fices, namely, — with less than 5 Protestants— 1 con- 
tains a sinde Protestant ; 7 contain 2 each : 3 contain 
3 Protestants; and 6 contain only 4. And, with res])ect 
to the remaining classes of benefices, if they be considered 
as consisting, not of individuals, but of famihes, and each 
family to consist of Protestant parents, and two or three 
Protestant children ; the third class of benefices, as afore- 
said, would contain about 2 Protestant families; the 
fourth class, about 3; the fifth class, about 4; and 
the sixth class, about 5, or, at the most, 6 Protestant 
families. Now, if such be the existing state of things in 
Ireland, it is submitted that the necessity will notarise 
of establishing, in every such benefice as aforesaid, a 
church, glebe," glebe-house, and resident minister, for the 
accommodation of two, three, four, five, or even six Pro- 
testant families, varying in number from ten to twenty- 
five Protestants, when, by the annexation of such bene- 
fices, or a pa'-t or parts thereof to the church of an ad- 
joining benefice, as local circumstances may render most 
advisable, and the C(mtiguity of the Protestant inhabi- 
tants may require, the spiritual wants of the Protestants 
may, by such annexation, be more conveniently, and there- 
fore more etfectually, provided for than by the erection of a 
church, and the location of a minister in an extensive 
parish, where the few Protestant families live at a remote 
distance from one another, scattered over a large extent of 
territorial surface, which in Ireland is not unfrequently the 
case ; it being remembered that the question of contiguity, 
and all other local circumstances of the Protestants, con- 
venience of the Church, &c., are proposed by the Bill to 
be referred, in the first instance, to the Ecclesiastical Com- 
missioners for their Report, and afterwards to the Eccle- 



15 

siastical Committee of the Privy Council, for their adjudi- 
cation thereupon ; and this not merely upon the next 
vacancy of each and every benefice, but upon every va 
cancy in future, should ulterior circumstances require the 
bounds and hmits of the benefices to be modified and 
altered. If, therefore, the number of benefices, as at pre- 
sent existing in Ireland, be 1385, and the reasonableness 
of the preceding observations be admitted, there are no 
less than 165 benefices contained in the six classes of 
benefices as aforesaid; so that, if 1385 be reduced by 
165, there will only remain 1220 benefices, for which pro- 
vision will be required to be made by means of a church, 
glebe, glebe-house, and resident minister. But as some of 
the benefices consist of unions of two or more parishes, 
and as the parishes forming those unions may, from their 
extent, require to be erected into two benefices instead of 
one (as is the case at present), the convenience and conti- 
guity of the Protestants to their respective places of 
worship being duly considered, provision has been made 
for the founding of 1250 benefices, conceiving that it may 
be advantageous to subdivide some of the existing bene- 
fices and to erect new ones. The principle of consolidating 
benefices has also been admitted by my Noble Friend in 
his plan. 

The sources of revenue arising from parochial benefices, 
and the application of these revenues to the purposes con- 
templated under the present Tithe Bill, are these : — 
1. Sources. 

Gross. Net. 

£ *. £ s. 

I. Amount of rent-charges . . 358,050 349,098 15 

after deducting 

2§ per cent, for 

expenses of 

collection. 

II. Annual amount of revenue arising 

from parochial glebe lands . . 92,000 86,500 

after deducting 
the reserved 
rents, amount- 
ing to .5500/. 

III. Amount of revenue arising annu- 
ally from ministers' money in twenty 

eight city benefices .... 10,300 9,270 

after deducting 
10/. percent, for 
collection and 
losses from in- 
solvent houses. 



Carried forward . . £460,350 £444,868 15 



16 



Brought forward . £4G0,35() 
IV. Annual amount of the late primate, 
Primate Boulter's bequest, for the 
augmentation of poor livings . . 5,000 



V. Amount of revenue arising annu- 
ally from rents of houses and rent- 
charges in the two provinces of Ar- 
magh and Tuam . . . 945 



VI. Amount of annual stipends pay- 
able, in the way of endowments, by 
lay impropriators and lay corpora- 
tions to the perpetual curates serving 
in these impropriate parishes in the 
aforesaid provinces . 

VII. Amount of the fund called Evans's 
Fund, payable to some of the clergy 
in the diocese of Meath 

VIII. Annual amount of interest arising 
from monies vested in the public 
funds or bequests in the said pro- 
vinces .... 



£444,8C8 15 



5,000 
no deduction ; 
being the inte- 
rest of monies 
vested in the 
public funds. 



897 15 
after deducting 
51. per cent, for 
expense of col- 
lection. 



797 



114 



15 797 15 

5 114 5 



185 10 185 10 



£407,392 10 £451,864 



II. Application of the Revenues. 

To 675 benefices, containing more than 
50 and less than 500 Protestants, to each 
of which may be assigned an income of 
200/., arising from rent-charge, and 45/. 
arising from 30 statute acres of glebe, 
valued at 30.?.* per acre ; thereby mak 
ing the gross income required for be- 
nefices of this class amount to — 

Rent charges £135,000 
Glebe lands 30,375 



Total 165,375 
To 211 benefices, containing more than 
500 and less than 1000 Protestants, to 
each of which may be assigned an in- 
come of 300/. from rent-charge, and 



* The value of the glebe lands is taken at 30s. per statute acre, 
as the glebes to be assigned the clergy will consist wholly of pro- 
fitable land, rent-free, which is about the average acreable value 
of the profitable glebes in Ireland. 



17 

45L from 30 statute acres of glebe, va- 
lued at 30.V.* per acre ; thereby making 
the gross Income required for benefices 
of this class amount to — 

Rent-charges £ 63,300 
Glebe lands 9,495 



Total 72,795 

To 190 benefices, containing more than 
1000 and less than 3000 Protestants, to 
each of which may be assigned an in- 
come of iOOl, from rent-charge, and 
45/. from 30 statute acres of glebe, va- 
lued as before ; thereby making the 
gross income required for benefices of 
this kind amount to 

Rent-charges 76,000 
Glebe lands . 8,550 



Total 84,550 

To 51 benefices, containing more than 
3000 Protestants, to each of which may 
be assigned an income of 500/. from 
rent-charge, and 45/. from 30 statute 
acres of glebe, valued as before ; mak- 
ing the gross income required for be- 
nefices of this kind amount to — 

Rent-charges 25,500 
Glebe lands . 2,295 

Total 27,795 

And if to these be added the 123 bene- 
fices, containing less than 50 Protest- 
ants, to each of which may be assigned 
an income of 100/. from rent-charge, 
and 45/. from 30 statute acres of glebe, 
valued as before ; making the gross in- 
come required for benefices of this 
kind amount to — 

Rent-charges 12,300 

Glebe lands . 5,535 

Total . 17,835 
1250 benefices requiring an entire sum of £ 368,350 368,350 



To 190 curates for benefices, of the third 
class, containing more than 1000 Pro- 
testants, at 75/. per stipend, to be paid 
by the Commissioners of Land Reve- 
nue ; the remaining fourth to be con- 
tributed by the incumbents . 14,250 

To 51 curates for benefices, of the fourth 

B 



99,042 10 83,514 



18 

class, containing more than 3000 Pro- 
testants, at 1^1. per stipend, to be paid 
by the Commissioners of Land Reve- 
nue ; the remaining fourth to be con- 
tributed by the incumbents . . 3,825 



18,075 18,075 



Leaving a residue of gross and net reve- 
nue to the amounts of . . . £80.967 10 £65,439 

thereby making the average income of the 1250 bene- 
fices amount to 294^. 13s. 7d. per annum, suljject only 
to 6d. in the pound, and the tax where the income 
exceeds 300^. a-year. This being the assigned income 
of the Irish clergy, let us now turn to the inquiry into 
the circumstances of the clergy of England ; one striking 
particular of which has been already mentioned by my 
Noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Home De- 
partment. I find by the Return of the English Eccle- 
siastical Commissioners, that the number of benefices 
in England and Wales returned to the Commissioners, 
including sinecure rectories, is 10,540/.; that the aggre- 
gate amount of the gross revenues of the incumbents of 
tliose benefices, in the several dioceses, is 3,197,225/.; 
that the aggregate amount of the net revenues of the in- 
cumbents of the aforesaid benefices, is 3,004,721/.; that 
the annual average for each incumbent upon the total 
gross income returned, is 303/. ; and the annual average 
upon the total net income returned, is only 285/. Thus 
the net income of the English clergy is only 285/., while the 
average income of the Irish clergy under this Bill will be 
294/. 13*. 7d. I neednot state that the duties of the English 
clergy must, under any circumstances, be more extensive 
than those of the Irish. But even this is not a fair view 
of the whole case, because in comparing the average net 
incomes of the English clergy with those of the Irish, under 
this Bill, it should be observed, in order to do equal justice 
in instituting the comparison, that when 285/. is reported 
to be the average net income of the English clergy, no de- 
duction whatever is made from the gross incomes on ac- 
count of the stipends paid to their curates, of which curates 
the Report of the English Commissioners sta'es there are 
5230 employed by the resident and non-resident incum- 
bents, whose stipends amount to a gross sum of 424,695/. ; 
so that if the average net incomes of the English clergy 
be struck, after deducting the stipends paid their curates, 
it will only amount to 244/. 15*. 8^/., instead of 285/., as 
already mentioned ; while the incomes of tlie Irisli clergy 



19 

will, after deducting the proportion of stipend payable to 
the curates by the incumbents, average at 289/. I7s.2d. 
under our proposed Tithe Bill. 

There is another feature, touching the character of the 
revenues of the Eno;lish clergy, as compared with those of 
the Irish clergy, under the proposed Tithe Bill, deserving 
of special notice. The English Commissioners report : — 

That the pew-rents have been treated as ecclesiastical revenue, 
although a variable and uncertain source of income ; that in those 
benefices which of late years came into existence under the 
Church Building Act, or by operation of other causes, the pew- 
rents (which are so variable and uncertain) constitute the sole or 
principal support of the minister ; that the three years* average 
of income to 1831, may be considered as applicable to a continu- 
ing, though a variable income, and liable to reduction by the 
failure or defalcation of some of its sources, or by reduction of 
rent, or by fresh agreements, for the compositions of tithes. 

And they also report : — 

That there are a great many out-goings, which it has been impos- 
sible to take account of in the table, being only occasional, and 
not admitting of an average — such as calls for subscription 
towards drainage and embanking, &c. 

The result, theiefore, is, that the English clergy cannot 
calculate, with any degree of certainty, on the average 
amounts of their incomes, as before stated — owing to one 
source of their revenues— namely, the pew-rents, being 
uncertain and variable in amount, and which, in some 
cases constitute the only source of revenue ; owing also, 
sometimes to a failure of the crops, reduction of rents, or 
fresh agreements for compositions of tithes, which are 
variable; and owing to occasional outgoings, which did 
not admit of any average being taken. In England, there- 
fore, no small degree of uncertainty seems to characterize 
the receipt of clerical income, which many circumstances 
may contribute to reduce even below the average net 
amount, as already stated. But in Ireland how different 
will he the condition of the clergy, from the security and 
certainty which, under the proposed Tithe Bill, will 
attach to the receipt of their incomes in future. From 
and after a certain time in each year, the Irish clergy will 
be entitled to receive from the Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners a warrant expressive of the amount of rent-cliarge 
payable to them ; a day, as convenient as maybe, after 
the 1st of January, in each year, will be appointed and 
notified for discharging these warrants at the Bank of 
Ireland ; and until they shall be discharged, the warrants 
will bear an interest of Irid. per cent, per diem on 
the several sums therein expressed ; and, lastly, the only 

B 2 



20 

deduction, exclusive of the before-mentioned tax on incomes 
exceeding 300/. a-year, to which incumbents of benefices 
.created under this Act will be subject, will be 6d. in the 
pound on the amount contained in the warrants, as it is 
intended, as part of the proposed measure, to exonerate 
the clergy from all other charges and outgoings; such as 
glebe-rents, schoolmasters' salaries, expenses of collection, 
procuration fees, synodals, &c., except the exhibits fees 
payable at visitations. Independently of the excess of 
the average gross and net incomes of the Irish clergy 
under the proposed Bill, over and above those of the Eng- 
lish clergy, if the certainty of the amounts of income, and 
of regular periodical payments of the Irish clergy be alone 
considered, they are of themselves most important advan- 
tages, which cannot be lightly esteemed, and which ought 
not to be underrated in the eye of the clergy, the Legis- 
lature, and the English public. In reference to Scotland, 
I have not been able to procure such precise Returns, as 
to the average incomes of the Scottish clergy, as those 
which I have stated from England, and Wales, and Ire- 
land. I have, however, after making inquiry in various 
quarters, ascertained that the average income of the Scot- 
tish clergy is estimated as varying from 1 70/. at the lowest 
computation, to 240/. a-year at the highest. 

I will now proceed to submit to the House a statement 
of the average of population and number of benefices : — 





Population. 


Number 

of 
Benefices. 


Average of 

Souls to each 

Beuefice. 


England and Wales. — 

Population . . 14,500,000 

Deduct for Dissen- 
ters, &c., one- 
fourth . . . 3,625,000 


10,875,000 

2,500,000 

500,000 
852,064 


10,718 

900 

200 
1,250 


1,014 

2,777 

2,500 
681 


The Bishop of London 
states the number of the 
Established Church as 
three-fourths, Lord Grey 
thought it much less. 

Scotland.— No deduction is 
made 

Presbyterians — Ulster. — (The 
gross number in Ireland is 
64-2,356) 

Established Church in Ireland 



21 

The following will shew the general results of the fore" 
coins: statement :— 







Average to each Benefice. 














of 












Benefices. 


Income. 


Popula- 
tion. 


Acres. 


Scjuare 
Miles. 






£. 








England and Wales , 


10,718 


285 


1014 


3,460 


5 


Scotland , . . 


900 


240 


2777 


21,048 


32| 


Presbyterians of ■> 
Ulster . . . S 


200 


155 


2500 


25,547 


40 


Established Church ^ 
(Ireland) . . .} 


1,250 


294 


681 


16,350» 


25* 



* Lord Stanley stated the average Protestant population to 1250 
benefices to be 700 ; the acres about 10,000, and about 15 square 
miles. Lord Morpeth followed his statement; and the inaccu- 
racy which was remarked upon afterwards by Sir Robert Peel, 
has been here corrected. 

Thus the Irish clergy will, by the proposed Bill, be paid 
better, and have less duty to perform, than the clergy in 
any other part of the empire. It appears, by the Report 
of the Public Instruction Commissioners, that there are in 
Ireland 859,064 members of the Established Church. 
Provision has been made for 1491 incumbents and curates 
of parochial benefices. Rejecting fractions, there will be 
one minister for every 576 Protestant individuals, exclusive 
of Bishops and other dignitaries of the Church ; and sup- 
posing each family to consist only of Protestant parents, 
two Protestant children, and one Protestant servant, there 
will be a minister of the Church for every 115 Protestant 
families. Now, I think that these are very fair and valid 
grounds for arguing that the amount of the income en- 
joyed by the clergy of the Established Church in Ireland, 
considering the far smaller extent of their duties, and the 
comparatively limited number of their flocks, should not 
amount to as much on an average as that of other esta- 
blished churches, where the duties are more onerous, and 
the number of the flocks is greater ; but in my much- 
abused and calumniated Bi'l -in the Bill drawn up by the 
arch enemy of mankind, according to the Honourable 
Member for Nottinghamshire — the amount exceeds the 
average amount in any of the other churches ; while the 
extent of the duty will be less, and there will also be a 
great deal less inequality in the distribution of the income. 
I do not speak of the Catholic clergy of Ireland, because it 
B .3 



22 

is well known to the House that they, hke most other 
Dissenters, receive nothing at all from the State ; but when 
we are fold with so much perseverance of our niggardly 
dealing with the ministers of the Gospel, I think it is not 
quite lair to put out of consideration that to those minis- 
ters of the Gospel who have most of the work on their 
hands, both this side of the House and the other are con- 
tent to assign just nothing at all. 

I do not know whether there are other material points 
which I have not noticed. My Noble Friend stated as a 
great reason for not alienating any surplus from the im- 
mediate uses of the Established Church, that there are 505 
benefices in Ireland without glebes. This Bill will pro- 
vide a glebe for every benetice. He states the number of 
chapels and churches at 1594, and says we are not war- 
ranted in reducing the benefices to 1250. Now this in- 
cludes chapels in cities and towns, and it is known that 
there are only 1777 benefices in Ireland which have 
churches. As regards the arrangement of the benefices, 
a discretion is proposed to he vested by my Noble Friend 
in the Privy Council. We have endeavoured to frame our 
measure so as to make it as little offensive as possible to 
the Protestants of Ireland. We propose to refer all matters 
for decision to the judgment of a Committee of the Privy 
Council, to be appointed not by the Lord-Lieutenant of 
Ireland, but by his Majesty, he being the head of the 
Church, and we have limited the members of that Com- 
mittee to members of the Estabhshed Church ; whereas 
my Noble Friend proposes, in certain cases, to vest the 
same responsibility not in a Committee — not in a selected 
Committee — but in the whole Privy Council ; and that 
Privy Council may at any time consist, not exclusively, as 
our Committee, of members of the Established Church, 
but even of a majority of Koman Catholics. By the way, 
since we are reproached for the investment of so much 
authority in the higher functionaries of the State, one 
would have thought that the recent proceedings of our 
fipponents had shewn they did not entertain so very just a 
ft-eling upon this head. , 

My Noble Friend selected some particular instances to 
shi'w the working of the present ecclesiastical scheme in 
Ireland, by way of sets-off to my instances of last year : 
he described the Fircall Union as consisting of six parishes, 
having a Protestant population of 1115 persons, with five 
clergymen, and a joint income between them of about 
315/. Now, it is true that this union does consist of six 
parishes— that its total [opulation is 1115 persons — that 
there is a vicar and four curates; but instead of the in- 



23 

come being 315/. a-year, the income is no loss than 1800/. 
and upwards ; for, exclusive of the 315/. arising from tithe 
compositions, there are no less than 2039 acres, plantation 
measure, in this union, — namely, 593 acres in Lynally, 
528 acres in Killaghey, 453 acres in Ballyboy, 465 acres 
in Drumcullen and English parishes. But observe that, 
instead of this being a joint income between the five cler- 
gymen, the whole of the revenue is taken by the vicar, 
who is obliged by law to pay a stipend of only 75/. a-year 
to each of his four curates. And what effect will the 
provisions of our Tithe Bill have on this union ? It will 
be competent, if deemed advisable, to erect each of these 
parishes, with the exception of one which has not any 
church, into a separate benefice ; and as each of the four 
benefices will then contain more than fifty and less than 
500 Protestants, to assign to each incumbent an income, 
in rent-charge, to the amount of 200/. per annum ; and, in 
glebe-land, to the amount of 45/.— so that, instead of one 
incumbent swallowing up all the revenues, there will be 
four incumbents, whose joint income may amount to 980/., 
divisible in equal portions ; and which will be an arrange- 
ment far more eligible both for the ministers and the Pro- 
testants than the existing one. 

My Noble Friend described the Archdeaconry of Dubhn 
as consisting of the parishes of St. Peter and St. Kevin, 
having a population of 10,114, and including three per- 
petual curacies, — Rathfarnham, with a population of 890 ; 
St, Mary, Donnybrook, with a population of 3500 ; and 
Tawney, with a population of 895, making a total of 
15,599 members of the Established Church, that is, a be- 
nefice employing sixteen clergymen and eleven churches, 
and yet it is said to be treated as a mere single benefice, 
by myself. Why, it is true that it has been suffered to 
continue as a single benefice up to the present time ; but 
this is one of the very points which the Ecclesiastical 
Committee of the Privy Council will have to take into 
consideration, namely — whether it should be suffered to 
continue a single benefice, or whether a more eligible dis- 
tribution of the component parts of it might not advan- 
tageously be made. The present Bill proposes to correct 
the very abuse which has been suffered to exist up to this 
moment, of which my Noble Friend complains, and to 
do that with the most advantage to the Protestants, due 
regard being had to the ministerial duties of the future 
incumbents, to a.ssign them a proportionate provision. 
The whole emoluments, arising from minister's money, 
tithes and glebe, is now taken by the archdeacon, who 
IS obliged by law to pay to each of these sixteen cu- 



24 

rates a stipend of only 75/. per annum ; not one of these 
curates are perpetual curates, as my Noble Friend con- 
ceives, they are mere stipendary curates, and by them the 
whole duties of this extensive benefice are discharged, 
the archdeacon himself having another benefice in the 
county of Kildare, where I believe, he resides for the 
most part; and with respect to this benefice the Com- 
mittee of Council will have the like power as before, of 
considering whether a more eligible arrangement might 
not l)e made, and of appropriating the income of the 
several incumbents, in regard to the duties which they 
may have to perform. 

Another case which ray Noble Friend cited was the 
town of Belfast, a single parish containing 17,942 Pro- 
testants, while the income derived by the incumbent is 
just 300/. a-year, and no more. Why this, and all other 
city benefices, are the very cases to which the provisions 
of the Tithe Bill so peculiarly apply. Should the remission 
of 30/. per cent, take place, without any other change in 
the constitution of this benefice, the incumbent of Belfast 
would have only 210/. a-year, and yet be obliged to 
support two curates ; and supposing each curate to be 
paid the legal stipend of 75/. a-year, all the incumbent 
would have to himself would be 60/. a-year ; whereas, 
under the provisions of the Tithe Bill, the Committee of 
Council may, and ought to assign him the maximum in- 
come of 500/. rent-charge, and 45/. glebe ; and besides, 
they ought to allow him a stipend of 75/. for each, and as 
many curates as they may consider so large and im- 
portant a Protestant population to require ; so that the 
income of this benefice, instead of being 210/., with two 
curates' stipends to be provided thereout of 75/. each, 
might be made,, under this Bill, worth 695/., — namely, 
545/. to the incumbent, and 75/. to each of his curates, 
the incumbent providing the remaining 25/. to each curate 
out of his own income. 

There is one plea constantly urged against our proceed- 
ings and arguments, the validity of which I do not mean 
to evade — it is, that the force of our own reasonings and 
principles would prevent us from stopping where we are, 
and would compel us to go much further. I never have 
pretended to say that our measure meets the whole case, 
or sounds the entire grievance — all I assert is, that having 
to deal with a condition of affairs, which is involved, com- 
plicated, and disordered, with a state of things established 
by long prescription and practice, surrounded with difficul- 
ties which must be met and overcome, we come forward 
to suggest, not what, according to first principles or by 



25 

strict reasoning, may be right and regular, but that which 
suggests itself to us, under the present circumstances, as 
an available palliative and a reasonable compromise ; 
and for doing this we are met with a loud outcry and an 
angry resistance, and imputations of all improper motives 
and all unworthy subserviency. And thus it is that, in 
self-defence, in vindication of not only our own character, 
of our conduct, but of the far more important principles 
to which we are attached and wedded, that we are forced 
to state the whole case, and to put the plain issue between 
the Irish Church and the people. 1 need do no more 
than refer to those who are the most unfriendly to our 
own views. A writer in the last Quarterly Review is good 
enough to remind me, that we have a Return of 24i pa- 
rishes in Ireland, which shews that the Protestant 
landed property in Ireland amounts to 2,0-23,25 7 acres, 
while the Roman Catholic landed property is but 71,404 
acres ; that the Protestant tithe-composition amounts to 
82,531/. 9*. 10c?., and the Roman Catholic to 2337/. 2.?. 5d. 
So that if these Returns approximate towards the truth, 
the Protestants possess nearly nineteen-twentieths of the 
whole property of the country ; " and notwithstanding the 
lowness of their numbers," modestly continues the re- 
viewer, being, I presume, a Protestant, " they possess, in 
the same proportion, greatness and superiority amongst 
mankind." But leaving the property, and coming to the 
population of Ireland, we find that the whole amount of 
it is 7,943,940 persons, among whom no more than 852,064 
belong to the communion of the Established Church. 
Now for what class of this people, therefore, must it be 
that the State provides spiritual instruction and spiritual 
consolation ? The rule of life, and the hope after death — 
all that is most essential tor the good of mankind — and 
that it is deemed essential the exi'.tence of an Esta- 
blished Church is the best proof. But for wliom does it 
provide these things — I do not say in theory, but in 
practice? it provides them for the property, lor the acres, 
for the mansion houses, for the rich, for the lew ; and it 
provides them not, or provides them so as they cannot be 
of any avail, for the many, for the cabin, for the poor, for the 
people. Can I then wonder. Sir, that such a state of things 
does not prosper? At this moment it produces dissatis- 
faction and disturbance, and places the Church itself in a 
state of pressing, of imminent, and of deadly danger? 
And then it is — when we come forward, wilhng to lend 
our best assistance, to remove the more obvious points of 
weakness,toshorten that length of exposure, the very extent 
of which supplies the chief invitation, and main facility to 



26 

attack the strength of the citadel upon fewer indeed, but 
upon better-ordered, and better garrisoned points, — then it 
is that the cry of treachery is raised, and every exertion made 
to confound the timely warning of the auxiliary with the 
rancorous machinations of the foes. I never have pre- 
tended, on this subject, that should we succeed in carrying 
this, or any similar measure, it would secure universal 
acquiescence, put down all opposition, or entirely lull 
those energies of the Irish people which an Honourable 
Member opposite so much wished to see evoked from 
their present distressing state of leihargy. In nothing so 
liable to change as the public opinion of nations, in nothing 
where the step to be taken is avowedly one of experiment 
and compromise, and especially where we stop short of 
the limits to which we think that, conformalily with the 
premises it might have been carried, or to say it in one 
word, in nothing human can, or dare we, guarantee that 
our proceedings shall be final ; it is enough lor me that 
some such measure appears to be demanded by the sur- 
rounding circumstances of the times, and to offer the best 
chance of settlement to the community, and of preserva- 
tion to the Established Church. I cannot, indeed, hide 
from myself the conviction that I gather from the past 
history of this question, and the state of men's minds in 
Ireland, that the Church can only be maintained there 
in its present extent, and on its present footing, by blood, 
a price far too costly ; forbid it, I should say, lor the 
truths of religion, or for the grounds of truth, I would not 
so blaspheme the memory of confessors and of martyrs ; 
but it is a price too costly, not for religion, but for an esta- 
blishment — not for the spirit, but for the forms of reliLaous 
worship — too costly, moreover, to purchase these decent and 
becoming results of an establishment, the learned leisure 
and refined habits of the clergy— results which no one can 
be less disposed to undervalue or disparage than myself, 
in other circumstances and on a more propitious soil ; but 
situated as the Church of Ireland is — viewing her in her 
most favourable and exalted aspect, and with the eyes at 
present only of a Protestant and a Churchman, as seated 
upon a heiiiht in an unfriendly land, to hold out the beacon 
of Gospel-truth, and to win those whom she considers in 
darkness, in error, and in hostility, without being able to 
breathe a freer air and drink a purer light within her hea- 
ven-built precincts, — while I know that every imjierfec- 
tion must be exposed to the most keen-eyed criticism, and 
that for all superfluous and even all legitimate purposes 
the contributions on which she exists, arising from a po- 
pulation who neither profess her doctrines nor benefit by 



27 

lier services — cannot but be defrayed with grudging and 
reluctance. I say, that lor the success, the credit, and, per- 
haps, existence of a Church thus situated, it is not enough 
that she should put away from her (as to a great extent 
she has already done) the trappings of her altars, or the 
pomp and luxury of her prelates and her ministers, but that 
she cannot hope to retain, either with consistency or with 
safety, more of her present revenues than is sufficient to 
secure the due administration of the offices of piety, and 
to invite to her ministry men who will be attracted and 
constrained to the task by the love of it, and by no other 
motives whatever. The Bill I have introduced to the 
House has it in contemplation, and will I believe be found, 
in its effect, to accomplish these salutary objects, and 
therefore 1 invite a full consideration of it. As I have be- 
fore intimated, I tender it to the House as a palliative of 
serious evils, which the substitute proposed by my Noble 
Friend is not, because it leaves the same evil so long com- 
plained of still in existence ; — I tender it as a compromise 
of the most enormous difficulties, which the substitution 
of my Noble Friend is not, because it makes no compro- 
mise at all, but insists upon retaining the funds of the 
Church exclusively for Church purposes; — I tender it as 
an acknowledgment of the consideration due to the bulk 
of the people of Ireland, which the substitute of my Noble 
Friend cannot be, because it leaves their wants and wishes 
totally out of the question ; — I tender it as what it ought 
to be, as what I hope it is, and as what my Noble Friend 
is equally desirous that his should be, an humble instru- 
ment of subordinately contributing to a zealous and effi- 
cient administration of the Protestant religion, and to the 
still higher objects of general charity, piety, and faith. 



LONDON 

rdnleil for tlie Proprietor of the " Mibbor of I'abliament," 
3, Abingdon Street, Westminster. 



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