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gregations, and in the vicinity Protestant clergymen with enormous incomes, many of the hard-working and deserving clergy were living on inadequate incomes, and were in very distressed circumstances. There were, he believed, in Ireland, 200 livings of less than 1001. yearly value. In order to meet this state of things, it was proposed to abolish the old Board of First Fruits, which had proved wholly inadequate to the purpose of augmenting the poor livings, and to impose an immediate tax upon all benefices to be granted, according to their value. Upon a living under 2001. a year, Government did not intend to impose any tax whatever; from livings between 2001. and 5001. a year, it was intended to deduct 5 per cent; from livings between 5001. and 7001. a year,
per cent; from livings of 7001. and 8001. a year, 7 per cent.; from livings between 8001. and 10001. a year, 10 per cent.; from livings between 10001. and 12001. a year, 12 per cent.; and from all livings above 12001. a year, 15 per cent. This would, it was thought, create a fund of 42,0001. Where an incumbent held more livings than one, he would not pay the tax upon each of them separately, but would pay the same amount of tax as if he held one living of the combined value of all the rest. For instance, if an incumbent held one living of 3001. a year, and another 7001. a year, he should be taxed as if he held a living of 10001. a year, at 10 per cent., and not at 5 per cent. for his living of 3001. a year, and at 7 per cent. for his living of 7001. a year. In this proportion he meant to include the deans and chapters also. Upon the revenues of those bishoprics which were below 40001. a year, he proposed that a tax of 5 per cent. should be imposed; upon those which were between 50001. and 10,0001: a year, a tax of 10 per cent.; upon all between 10,0001. and 15,0001. a year, a tax of 12 per cent.; and that upon all above 15,0001. a year, a tax of 15 per cent. should be imposed. With regard to the Bishop of Derry, ministers had arranged with him, to reduce his income from 12,6591. to 80001. a year; and with regard to the temporalities of the church, he proposed to establish a board, wholly independent of ministers, to carry into effect their arrangements. At their disposal would be placed the sums just mentioned. It was also the intention of this bill that the church cess should be immediately and altogether abolished._The amount of church cess was estimated at 70,0001. a year. The other objects to which this fund would be applied, would be an augmentation of poor livingsthe giving assistance in the building of glebe-houses the dividing of unions, and the building of new churches. But the commissioners would not have power to commence building new churches unless a certain amount of the expense of erecting them was subscribed by private individuals. The commissioners would also have to lay before Parliament a statement of all their proceedings, and of all their expenses. The net amount of the revenues of the primate of Ireland was 14,5001. It was proposed that at the expiration of this incumbency the revenues of that see should be reduced to 10,0001. a year. With respect to deans and chapters, wherever they had no duties to perform, the proposition was to abolish them altogether, or else attach cure of souls to them. With respect to those valuable livings which had no duties attached to them, the commissioners would be empowered, in cases where no duty had been performed for three years up to the present time, to suspend the appointment of ministers. With regard to the number of bishops in Ireland, as compared with the Protestant population, there were at present 22 dioceses in that country-a number, which, after the most deliberate consideration, he thought more than necessary. Ministers therefore considered that they might fairly reduce ten bishops with perfect safety to the establishment. The sees which it was intended to reduce were-Dromore, Clogher, Raphoe, Elphin, Clonfert, Killala, Kildare, Cork, Waterford, and Ossory. In order that the duties of those dioceses should be properly performed, it was proposed to unite Dromore to Down and Connor; Clogher to Armagh ; Raphoe to Derry ; Elphin to Ardagh and Kilmore ; Clonfert to Killaloe ; Killala to Tuam; Kildare to Dublin ; Cork to Cloyne ; Waterford to Cashel; and Ossory to Ferns. There was one other point which required notice. As the law stood at present, bishops in Ireland could grant leases for 21 years, and the fine granted on the renewal of such leases, together with the rent, formed their annual income. The value of a bishop's lease in Ireland was understood to be 12 years' and a half's purchase. In many instances, however, the lease was renewed every year; and it was still in the power of the bishop (and he believed that circumstances of the kind had occurred) to run his life against the tenant, and thus to deprive him of property which his family had possessed for many years. For this, as the law now stood, there was no remedy. The tenant was also placed in such a situation, that if the land were much improved by his industry and by the outlay of his capital, he was liable, on the renewal of his lease, to an increase of fine. In order to remedy this defect, it was proposed, that every tenant who chose, should be enabled to demand from the bishop a lease of his land in perpetuity, at a fixed corn-rent. The proceeds of these leases were to be paid to the State, and to be applicable to any purposes not connected with the Church. The amount, if all purchased at a low rate, would be from 2,500,0001. to 3,200,0001. sterling. He did not say that this was the only measure which the state of the Church required. The commutation of tithes for land, and laws enforcing residence and prohibiting pluralities, were to be the subjects of other bills. His Lordship concluded, amid loud cheers, by moving " That leave be given to bring in a bill to alter and amend the laws relating to the Established Church in Ireland.”
Mr. O'Connell felt extremely grateful to the Noble Lord for the plan which he had brought forward; for though it did not go so far as he could wish, it came recommended to the house by many useful features, and he should most heartily support it.
Sir. R. Inglis strongly opposed the bill. It could not be consented to either by the Sovereign or Parliament, without a violation of their oaths.
Sir F. Burdett thought that the proposed measure, instead of weakening the Church, would restore and strengthen the bonds which united that establishment to the community.
Mr. Goulburn did not object to the distribution of the property of the Church, to provide adequate remuneration for the resident clergy, nor to the diminution of sinecures in the clergy; but he would never consent to the confiscation of Church property.
Sir Robert Peel was prepared to correct such abuses as the holding pluralities, the duties of which could not be satisfactorily discharged by the individuals holding them ; and he likewise thought that the Catholics should be released from the payment of church cess, &c. But when he heard it proposed to reduce ten out of twenty-two of the Bishoprics—a proposition which had been received by the House with acclamation—he was disposed to pause. He also objected to the proposition which gave power to a tenant of a bishop to possess himself in perpetuity of the land which he occupied, by paying six years' purchase of the advanced value of the land.
Mr. Stanley hailed the present measure as a happy omen, not only of the good wishes and kind benevolence manifested towards Ireland on all hands, but also as a proof of the sound sense and calm discretion which, he trusted, they might anticipate from the reformed House of Commons in the discussion of great and important questions.
After an ineffectual attempt at proposing an amendment, by Mr. Ruthven, the motion was agreed to without a division.
Feb. 14.- In the House of Commons this day, on the motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a Select Committee was appointed to inquire into the existing Municipal Corporations of England, Wales, and Ireland. His Lordship observed that the Lord Advocate had a separate measure to propose relative to Scotland.
Mr. Hume moved “ That the utmost attention to economy was at all times a duty, but more especially at present; and that all sinecure offices in the army and navy were unnecessary.” On this motion the house divided. For the motion, 282; against it, 138; majority for Ministers, 144.
Feb. 15.-Earl Grey, in the Lords, brought forward a measure for the Suppression of Disturbances in Ireland, the provisions of which stand in the original bill as follows :
The recital states that a conspiracy exists against property, and the administration of the laws, causing such general alarm as to frustrate the ordinary modes of criminal proceeding; that meetings inconsistent with the public peace had been held; and that the laws were not sufficient to suppress such mischiefs.
Sec. 1. That the Lord Lieutenant may suppress, by order, the meeting of any assembly deemed dangerous to the public safety, or inconsistent with the due administration of the law, and any adjourned or continued meeting of the same. Every meeting so prohibited to be deemed an unlawful assembly, and any person present, guilty of a misdemeanor.
Sec. 2, Empowers two justices, upon being refused admission, to enter by force, any house or place where any prohibited assembly is held, and there read a notice to the persons so assembled, to disperse. Persons so assembled, and not dispersing within a quarter of an hour from the reading of such notice, may be apprehended then or afterwards, and, upon conviction, imprisoned three months for the first offence, and one year for any subsequent offence.
Sec. 3. Persons prosecuted by indictment shall plead forthwith.
Sec. 4. The Lord Lieutenant may issue his proclamation declaring any county, &c., to be disturbed, and such county shall be deemed a proclaimed district.
Sec. 5. Such proclamation shall warn the inhabitants to abstain from seditious and other unlawful assemblies, &c., and to continue within their houses between sunset and sunrise.
Sec. 6. Every county, &c., so proclaimed, shall be a proclaimed district from the publishing of the proclamation.
Sec. 7. All justices, constables, &c., and all commissioned officers of the line, in Ireland, and all persons authorised by the Lord Lieutenant, shall be required to put down and suppress disturbances and outrages in the proclaimed districts, and to search for, arrest, and bring to trial offenders.
Sec. 8. That the Dublin Gazette shall be conclusive evidence of the issuing of the proclamation therein contained.
Sec. 9. That no meeting be allowed in a proclaimed district for petitioning Parliament, or for discussing any alleged grievance, or any matter in church or state, without a previous written notice of ten days, specifying the objects of the meeting, given to the Lord Lieutenant, and his consent obtained, &c.; all meetings, without such notice and consent, to be illegal assemblies, and every person attending to be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Sec. 10. The Lord Lieutenant may appoint commissioned officers of the line for trial of offences within this act.
Sec. 11. That any number of persons so appointed, not more than nine nor less than five, shall be deemed a court-martial for the trial of offences within this act, and shall have the powers of any court-martial, and also the powers of any court of Oyer and Terminer, gaol delivery, or sessions of the peace, and may pass
judgment in like manner as might be done by any court of Oyer and Terminer, &c.
Sec. 12. The Lord Lieutenant shall nominate a serjeant-at-law or King's counsel to act at such court-martial, who shall perform the duties of a judge-advocate, &c.
Sec. 14. The decision of the majority of such court-martial to have the same force as the decision of the whole court.
Sec. 15. Such court-m rtial may issue orders for bringing before them persons charged with offences under this act, or for carrying into effect their sentences; and all justices, sheriffs, &c., shall execute the same.
Sec. 16. Gives power to such court-martial for compelling the attendance of witnesses, and for committing in case of refusal to give evidence.
By sec. 17, any person liable to be prosecuted within any proclaimed district for any offence against 27 Geo. III. c. 15, 50 Geo. III. c. 102, 1 and 2 Wm. IV. c. 44, or 2 and 3 Wm. IV. c. 118, or with any offence against this act, may be tried by such court-martial, who may, in case of conviction, pass judgment as any court of Oyer and Terminer, or gaol delivery, or other court of criminal jurisdiction. Provided that, if the offence be capital, the court-martial shall not try it without the special direction of the Lord Lieutenant; but the court, being so directed, may try such offence, and sentence to transportation for life, or for a term not less than seven years.
Sec. 18. Any magistrate, peace-officer, or other person authorised by the Lord Lieutenant, may commit to prison any one found out of his house in the proclaimed district, from one hour after sunset to sunrise, who may be tried before any such courtmartial, and, if convicted, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
Sec. 19. Any justice, or any person with warrant of justice, accompanied by a commissioned officer or chief constable, may, from one hour after sunset to sunrise, demand admission into any house in a proclaimed district, and if entrance be refused, may enter by force any house from which he suspects the inhabitants are absent, and may search for them, or for arms, weapons, &c.; and all persons absent shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, unless they prove some lawful occasion of absence.
Sec. 20. If, on search, arms are found, and the person inhabiting the house, or having possession of the arms, has been called upon to deliver them up, such person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and punishable by a court-martial, unless he make it appear that the arms were there without his knowledge.
Sec. 21. Any person who disposes of a seditious paper in a proclaimed district, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and liable to imprisonment for not more than twelve months, unless he discover by whom he was employed.
Sec. 22. Any person who shall injure the property or person of