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selves. Thus the name of Prettyman was synonymous with that of pluralist. The name of Sparke too was synonymous with that of pluralist. In fact, the names of half the Bench were synonymes of pluralist. He would take the liberty of reading a letter on this subject, which he had cut out of a newspaper-it was addressed to the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, and was signed Francis Gillett. It was dated from Knight's Farm, Musbury, Devon, and was as follows:
MY LORD,-My duty to myself and my country at the present crisis impels me to intrude on your Lordship's most serious consideration concerning the manner in which you have disposed of some of the Dignities and Benefices belonging to the See of Wells since you succeeded the late worthy and highly respected Bishop, Dr. Beadon; and also on your future Church government.
and all simple plans. The first, which was perhaps the most simple and the best, was to charge the land with a proportion of the rent for the maintenance of the clergy; or he would propose that an amount of rent equal to the annual revenues of the clergy should be paid to them, and they should be entitled to that sum in all times to come. His second plan was to give them a corn-rent equal to the tithes, or to fix a quantity of corn equal to their present tithes, and they always to have the same quantity of corn, or the value of it, acccording to market rate. He was willing too to admit that the quantity of corn should be determined by the actual receipt of the clergy during the last seven years. After ascertaining the amount, he would by this means fix the claims of the clergy for ever. Another and his third plan was to take the whole of the tithes and the church property and sell them, and pay the proceeds into the hands of "On the vacancy in the living of West the Government, who should take upon itself to Camel, your Lordship instituted your son: to provide a due maintenance for the clergy; and this no one objected; a deserving young clerthe overplus, if any (and he was sure there gyman is certainly every way qualified would be a great deal), should go to the pub- for a country rectory; but when he belic; or a part of the overplus might be em- came the Archdeacon, I must say that, taking ployed to provide better for the working his age into consideration, and his title of clergy. One thing, however, was needful," Venerable," I blushed; yes, my Lord, I let it be done as it might, and that was even blushed! Is it consistent, my Lord, to to abolish that most impolitic tax, the tax on see so young a man have rule over so many the gross produce of the land. It was necessary elders of the church? But to proceed :-On to do this, to make property beneficial. To Mr. Beadon's resignation of the Chancellorsecure private property, promote the increase ship, this office also went with the Archdeaof the produce-but tithes curtail the produce conry!-Further, I have been told that at an of the land. It was said that there was no election for a Canon of the Cathedral, the difference between church property and other Chapter did elect some other candidate ; property. But sometimes the clergy said that thinking, no doubt, as I did, that the thing there was a great difference between the church was already overdone with respect to your son; property and other property. The clergy although I hear since he has obtained this knew very well that maxim of law, nullum situation also! tempus, and on that they acted. Nothing they said could bar the right of the church; their claims went back to the days of Richard II., and no other property was on the same footing. This was a difference then between church property and other property, on which the clergy were ready enough to insist when they had any claims. Then they said the church property was different from other property. Now he said that it was. One of the right rev. Prelates yesterday stated, that the Bishops had brought forward a measure, or a Bill, he did not know which, and he wished the right rev. Prelate had been more explicit; but the rev. Prelate said the hierarchy wished for a measure strictly to enforce residence, and that this measure was defeated by the lay impropriators, or the lay owners of adVowsons. They had defeated the measure because they thought it would diminish the value of their advowsons to enforce residence. He knew not what measure was meant, or what object the Bishops had sought to accomplish; but he was disposed to assert, that the non-residence was caused, in a great measure, by the Bishops themselves. The greatest number of non-residents, he believed, was to be found in the parishes of the Bishops them
"These proceedings passed on, but not, I assure your Lordship, without giving me great uneasiness; yet I never should, most probably, have drawn your attention to them, had I not, lastly, and rather recently, seen by the papers that, at the death of that highly respected gentleman, the late Rev. T. H. Whally, the living of Yeovilton was also swallowed up by the same overwhelming flood; or, in plain words, was joined to the Archdeaconry, Chancellorship, Canonry, and Living beforementioned. At the same time it certainly might not have given your Lordship much trouble to have found within your diocese some truly respectable clergymen, advanced in years, with families, and who are not beneficed, to one of whom this small but comfortable rectory might have been a source of the greatest happiness in their latter days. Besides, my Lord, how can you reconcile to yourself the idea of one clergyman holding two benefices or livings, whilst you are so strenuous an enforcer of full duty within your diocese? and surely the duties of the parish, both with respect to the church and poor, must be beyond all comparison better performed by a rector or vicar, as the case may be, than by a poor curate, however deserving.
"I am aware, my Lord, that it is possible if inquiry were made in his parishes, the some-nay, even yourself, for a moment-noble Lord would not find one human being may say it is arrogance in so humble an individual as I am, to trouble your Lordship, in this public way; but as I now state to your Lordship that the greatest dependence of myself and children consists of landed property (however few the acres are), within your Lordship's diocess, and that I have no claim to the emoluments of the church to look up fur, my apprehensions at once will be seen to arise from a firm conviction on my mind of the immediate necessity of a thorough reform in the church-that she might be brought once more to stand on that sacred basis-that only firm foundation on which she stood in the primitive ages."
not disposed to speak highly in his favour. He had been compelled to make this statement, and he hoped it had been satisfactory to their Lordships. (Cheers.) His son was a person of great merit, and he certainly had conferred some favours on him in his diocese; and when the noble Lord stated his preferment, he ought to inquire if the duties were well discharged. He must say that he did not think it possible that the duties could be better discharged than they were discharged by his excellent son, the Archdeacon of Wells. He trusted the noble Lord would be ashamed and sorry for having brought forward such an attack.
The letter had been published in the papers Lord KING felt neither ashamed nor sorry. -he did not vouch for its correctness, but it He had only asked if there were not pluralities bad never been contradicted, he believed, among the bishops, who said they wanted to though he should be glad to hear it contra-put them down, and he found out that it was dicted. Here there was another pluralist, not so. The letter he had read stated that the a layman. The rev. Prelates said they wished rev. Prelate's son was a deserving young to prevent pluralities; and as he had given man, and he had made no attack upon him; them a plan to commute tithes, he would also he had only stated that there were pluralities give them a plan to secure residence. In fact in that gentleman's possession, and he found nothing was more simple. It was only neces- that he was correct. He brought the circumsary to make the fact of non-residence a legal stance forward because others-be meant the receipt for the tithes and the other sinecures. bishops- said that laymen were the cause of That would do the business effectually, far the existence of pluralities in the church. better than all the bishops. He would say no The bishops were not right, therefore, in laymore on presenting his petition, except to re-ing the blame of pluralities on laymen, and it commend the right rev. Prelate, who proposed to bring in a moderate bill, to the words used, he believed, by Mr. Pitt during a great part of the late war, "give up a part to preserve the remainder." The noble Lord concluded by presenting several petitions from parishes in Gloucestershire, praying for the commutation of tithes.
was quite plain, if they had resisted the bill alluded to, the bishops had profited by it.
The Earl of RADNOR said, that it had been asserted by a right rev. Prelate that a bill or measure enforcing residence, and putting an end to pluralities, had been opposed by lay impropriators, and he had been asked when that bill was proposed but he had made no answer. The Bishop of BATH and WELLS did not He understood the right rev. Prelate to say, know that be had given any cause for such an that the bishops were not the cause of nonattack. The fact certainly was that his son residence; that this was not owing to the had two livings, but they were so close to each hierarchy but the lay impropriators. The other that he could well do the duty of both. right rev. Prelate had stated, that on some They were not a walk from each other. In occasion a bill to enforce residence had been his first living he had been a loser, as he had proposed, and that its powers had been curgiven up all his income for the Church. He tailed by the lay impropriators, who had had certainly taken a second living, but he opposed the bill, as injuring the advowsons had also employed a curate in each. In one of which they were the owners. He had he did the duty himself in the morning, and tasked his recollection to find out what bill In the other in the afternoon, while his curate the right rev. Prelate alluded to. He had performed the duty in the other part of the searched, too, those records which were usualday. The first preferment which his son pos-ly preserved of parliamentary proceedings, to sessed was not given by him, but on accouut find out what act the lay impropriators had of his son's merit, by the reverend Prelate opposed, but he regretted that he was disapbehind him. [We could not see which Mem-pointed. He hoped, therefore, that the right ber of the bench the reverend Prelate pointed to.] The other was bestowed on him by the Earl of Eldon, out of respect for his son's character. His son had accepted, at his request, the duties of Chancellor of his Diocese; and he had certainly given him the best thing in his gift, in his diocese. He had brought The Bishop of LONDON was reluctant to him from college for that purpose, where he take part in this discussion, which was the was earning a deal more than the value of his reason why he had not risen to answer the church preferments. He believed, so ex-question put by the noble Baron. There was emplary was his excellent son's conduct, that little occasion, he believed, to do so, because
rev. Prelate would explain what he meant by his assertion last night, that a bill had been brought in to give a right, or power, to the bishops to enforce residence, and that by lay impropriators this bill had been turned from its purpose.
question of tithes, it was necessary to consider other interests thau those of the clergy; and he was sure that most of the Right Rev. Prelates must desire to have their revenues collected by some other means, and not be exposed to the odium and ill blood which now created dissent in their parishes, and ban
their Lordships would, he hoped, recollect great body of the people were of the same what he stated the night before. The noble opinion-that a more estimable body of men Lord had not repeated his words correctly, thau the clergymen of the Church of England and he should only endeavour to re-state could not exist. There was no class of men them. What he said was this. In accounting in the country who distributed so large a part for non-residence, he had not said that the of their revenue in charity, or were so devoted lay impropriators solely were the cause of it, to good works, and no class of men who conbut that it was chiefly owing to lay impropria-ferred so much benefit on the country at large. fions that it was in many cases impossible for If he had sometimes differed from the memthe clergy to reside at their benefices. The bers of the church, it was on questions of relichief part of the property belonging to the gious liberty, in which they thought their church had, in many cases, been taken away security was involved, and which he thought and appropriated by laymen, and the revenue they ought to have conceded for their own left was insufficient to pay the performance safety. Now that no such questions existed, he of the duties of the clergyman, unless by was bound to say that it was most important to uniting more benefices than one. If their uphold the Established Church as it at present Lordships wished to obtain accurate informa-existed in this country. In looking at the tion on the subject of lay impropriations, he would beg leave to recommend to their perusal a book of bishop Kennet, written upwards of a century ago. By what he said last night, he intended no reflections on the lay impropriators, and had no intention of attributing to them any improper motives. He had but an imperfect recollection of the measure for en-ished their parishioners from the parish church. forcing residence, as he was then a young In reference to the measure of the right rev. man, and had not the honour of a seat in their Prelate for the composition of tithes, the noble Lordship's House, nor had he meant to im- Earl recommended that a commutation should pute any-thing improper to those who opposed be at once accomplished, as it would be most that measure. The bill he had alluded to was inconvenient to open up the tithe question the 53d Geo. III. that was brought in by the again at the end of twenty-one years. With Bishops to enforce the residence of the parish respect to residence, he thought, that if that clergy. He had always considered that act, were to be strictly enforced to the injury of the or rather that bill, was intended to invest the exemplary body of curates who had grown Bishops with a greater power to enforce resi-up within the last ten or fifteen years, it would dence and prevent pluralities, as he had al-probably do the church a great injury. To ways understood that the bill was rendered compel residence might deprive these curates less efficient in its progress by the interference of lay holders of advowsons. He did not mean to say, however, that any undue influence had been used by the holders of those advowsons to stop the measure. He must add, that it was not possible for the Bishops always to enforce residence; indeed, in the larger number of benefices, this was impossible without ruin-passing ing the clergymen. As to the patronage, he wished to say that it was his intention, on the first opportunity, to bring in a measure to strengthen the provisions of the 7th of his late Majesty, without which that statute could not be carried into effect.
The Duke of WELLINGTON felt himself called on to say, in justice to the clergy, that during the time he was in office he had occasion to promote the issuing a Commission to inquire into the state of Ecclesiastical affairs, aud the state of the Ecclesiastical Law; and he invariably found that the Right Rev. Prelatas pressed on him the necessity of giving them more power to enforce residence amongst the inferior clergy.
of employment, and substitute for them incumbents who were not so competent to the performance of the duties. His Lordship also eulogised the church establishment, and said that this excellent institution had made the greatest improvements within the last few years. He concluded by apologising for tres
on their Lordships' time; but when they were exposed to hear the church attacked, they would probably put up with the minor inconvenience of having their time taken up, than of allowing such attacks to go abroad unnoticed.
Lord KING wished only to set himself right with his noble Friend. He had not made any attack on the church or on the clergy; he had not said one word against either. He admitted that the great body of the clergy were an exemplary body of men, and he wished to make them more efficient. Pluralities were acknowledged to be an abuse-non-residence was acknowledged to be an abuse, and he wanted to remove these abuses. The same object was proposed by his noble Friend. He The Earl of CARNARVON deprecated in strong was not disposed to take their property from terms the practice of his noble Friend making, the clergy, and had proposed to grant them a night after night, in these times of troubles corn rent equal to their revenue on the average and disturbances, such attacks on the church, of the last seven years. With respect to what He regretted that his noble friend should think it was his duty to make those attacks. He was convinced-and he was sure that the
the right rev. Prelate said of Bishop Kennet, and a book written one hundred years ago, that would give very imperfect information as to
the present time; for since that period, ness doing is unimportant. Barley, Oats, many parliamentary grants had been made Beans, and Peas, may be similarly noticed as to the church. There was Queen Anue's wheat. Flour remains as we last quoted, and Bounty, which bad now been in operation for in other grain there is nothing to notice. many years, and increased the value of many Wheat Vicarages. Wishing to put his right rev. Rye Friends at their ease, as to the petitions he Barley had yet to present, he should imitate the church in old times, which established what } was called "the peace of the church," from Friday to Monday. In presenting petitions, he should follow this example, and should add Wednesday; so that on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, there would be peace to the church from the war of petitions.-Adjourned.
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