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between the Catholics and the the Dissenters might have anDissenters. It appeared to the swered, without being thought to former, that the Dissenters, from violate sound reasoning, that, alwhom as also labouring under though Dissenters, they were political disqualifications they na- Protestants ; that apprehensions of turally looked for sympathy and the influence of foreign spiritual support, had either openly join- supremacy, the conviction of the ed the body of their opponents, or degrading and debasing effects of had manifested only a cold and the Catholic superstition in all the discouraging neutrality, not re- relations of life, and the reasonable flecting, that the liniment applied dread that all its powerful control annually, in the shape of an In- over the minds of its adherents demnity bill, to the sores of the must be, and would be, directed to Dissenters, prevented that constant the overthrow of the Protestant irritation which kept the wounds religion, and of the form of goof the Catholics perpetually green, vernment that gave supremacy to especially under the care of such protestantism—that all these causes rash, and ignorant, and interested, of opposition, whether wellfounded practitioners as the associated or not, were common to all Protesagitators; and that it is never easy tants; and that no inconsistency to rouse men to battle for an ab- could exist in the union of a church stract principle, where no practical man and a dissenter to repel a inconvenience is felt, or supposed common danger. to be felt, from its non-assertion. While the claims of the CathoLord Darnley complained bitterly lics were merely the subject of of their inconsistency in pressing incidental remarks, the condition the abolition of negro slavery, and of the Protestant church in Ireresisting the abolition of Catholie land, the discharge of its duties, disabilities. They form,” said and the management of its funds, his lordship, “a powerful and nu- were frequently made the subjects merous sect in this country, and of more direct discussion. are undoubtedly respectable and In the House of Lords, lord well-meaning: yet, while they Kingston moved for the appointwere urging the government and ment of a committee to inquire parliament to precipitate the eman- into the state of the Protestant cipation of the negroes, they were church in the province of Munster. busily engaged last year, in most He founded his motion upon the unnatiiral connection with the evils which he stated to have High Church party, in induc- arisen from the union of livings, ing their lordships to reject the and the consequent want of churches prayer of the Catholics of Ireland. to which the Protestant people In one breath, these persons called might repair. In the province in upon parliament to precipitate a question his lordship stated, it had measure, the precipitation of which not been uncommon to unite five, it was by no means impossible six, or seven livings in one person ; might compromise the safety of and, in many parishes, if the Prothe colonies, and to deny to Ireland testant inhabitants wished spiritual that emancipation by which alone consolation, or to have the benefit her tranquillity and safety could of religious worship, the nearest be effectually secured." Perhaps clergyman who could advise them, and the nearest church in which church. There was one instance service was performed, was pro- of a parish which contained four bably at a great distance. Î'wo churches ; and to the curates of parishes which contained, the one these churches, the rector paid more eight thousand acres, and the other than he actually derived from the between four and five thousand, whole parish. As the returns on had only one church each. In the the table of the House shewed all latter, the only church to which the unions of parishes that existed the Protestant parishioners could in Ireland, and the authority by resort, was a chapel which had which they had been made, the been built by a private nobleman, motion was unnecessary. The mofor the convenience of his own tion was withdrawn. family; and, in another, you might The want of churches, which it ride twenty-two miles without was the object of this motion to seeing a church at all. It was, he supply, was intimately connected said, a scandalous thing that there with the administration of the fund should be such a want both of formed of the first-fruits of all churches and clergymen in a coun
ecclesiastical benefices. These retry where Protestantism was the venues, being the first year's income established religion; and his only of every benefice, had been originobject was, to prevent, by supplying ally payable to the Pope. On the both, the extinction of that religion Reformation they were vested in throughout the province; for the the Crown ; and the building of Catholics, on their side, were most churches was one of the purposes to active and exemplary in remedying which they had been appropriated similar deficiencies.
by an act of Queen Anne. Sir Lord Harrowby, and the Bishop John Newport brought the manageof Leighlin, answered, that all the ment of this fund, and the inequaliinformation, which such a committee ties and insufficiencies of the system might acquire, was already contain according to which the contribued in the voluminous mass of evi- tions of the clergy to it were redence on the subject collected last gulated, under the notice of the session by the Lords' committee to House of Commons by a series of inquire into the state of Ireland. resolutions declaratory of its nature There could be nodoubt that unions and history, and by a motion for the existed, frequently to an inconveni- appointment of a select committee ent extent. They had been made, to inquire into its condition and some by the episcopacy, some by acts administration. The reasons by of Council, over which the diocesan which he justified his motion were, had no control, and some existed that the first-fruits, where they by prescription; but in many cases were paid at all, continued to be the union had been a matter of im- paid upon the rate of valuation, for perative necessity. The number which there was no authority in of acres in a parish formed no cri- the law, and that thus by far the terion by which the House could greater portion of a fund which be guided : the important element the Crown had sacrificed, and the was the extent of the population. legislature had set apart for public In some cases the parishes were purposes, was allowed to remain in very extensive, and the population the pockets of the clergy, while could not pay the expenses of the new burdens were
parishioners to effect those very could not fail to appear monstrous, objects for which the fund had been that 700,000 Irish acres, making created. It was true, he said, that nearly 1,000,000 English acres, the English act of Queen Anne attached to church benefices in Ireprovided, that the valuation should land, should yield so little towards remain in after years as it then the purposes for which they were was, but the Irish act contained no destined. similar provision, and the omission Mr. Goulburn, and Mr. Dawson, must be considered as having been' opposed the motion, as being, in intentional, especially as a great reality, a covert, and most dangerproportion of church land in Ire- ous, attack upon the property of land had not at that time been the Irish church, and, through it, valued at all. The difference, upon the property, not only of the likewise, between the sums paid in church of England, but of all bodies the two countries, proved that it in the state; and as being derived could never have been intended to from a fallacious interpretation of apply the same rule to both. For the law, warranted neither by seven years, ending in 1824, the history, nor authority, nor expearchbishops and bishops of Ireland diency. No justification of the had contributed no more than 910l.; larger appropriation of ecclesiastical whilst England had contributed funds now proposed could be de5,4191.to the First-fruits' fund, and rived from the practice of the Popes, for tenths, 8,8511., making a total of in whose usurpations the first-fruits 14,2701. The see of Canterbury paid originated; for the Pope had never 2,6801., while the see of Clogher, presumed to ask more than half the value of which was, at least, the income, and that very seldom; 10,0001., contributed only 3501, and even that had always been conThe operation of the tithe-compo- sidered a grievous imposition. Neisition act had proved the inequality ther could any assistance be derived still more completely. In the dio- from the statute 28th Henry 8th. cese of Cloyne, ninety-five livings, That statute merely went to transwhich were all that were valued, fer the first-fruits to the Crown: were estimated at 2581. 12s. Out but an act passed two years before of these ninety-five, there had been had laid it down as a principle, that a composition of tithes in twenty- the annates were to be compounded five only, and the amount of that for; and if the Pope would not take composition was 10,5801. Surely a reasonable sum, he was to be forced it was improper to go forward any todoso. There was nothing in these further in a system so evidently acts to warrantthe notion thatit was unfair While this fund was per- intended to make a new valuation mitted to be so unproductive, no for the purpose of raising the rate, less than 500,0001. or 600,000l. of or imposing the necessity of frequent the public money had been voted revaluations. There had been altogeby Parliament, for the very objects ther, since the time of the Reformato which the first-fruits were in tion, only four valuations. The first tended to be appropriated ; and an- was in the reign of Henry 8th, and nual levies were raised upon the then only a few of the livings were peasantry to build churches a valued. In the reign of James 1st, work which ought to be defrayed there was a second valuation, conout of the proceeds of the fund. It fined, however, to those livings VoL. LXVIII,
which had not been previously which stated the evils complained valued; and in the reigns of Charles of, and pledged the House to 1st and Charles 2nd, there were adopt measures for their removal. subsequent valuations of those live It should never, he said, be forings which had not been previously gotten that the great majority of taken into account. On these latter the persons who paid such rates valuations, it was distinctly en- were Catholics, and that, being so, joined that the livings should not they could not legally interfere in be estimated at their extreme value, the management of them. The but rather by such a rule'as would money raised by them was not only be equitable in reference to the squandered on purposes not warpreceding valuations; and it would ranted by law, but salaries were now be hard indeed if the legis- created and augmented in direct lature were to decide, that those violation of positive enactments. livings should be again valued, and The law provided that the salary made liable for charges for the of the parish-clerk should not building and repairing of churches. exceed 101. ; yet in two-thirds - They could never assent to the of all the parishes of Ireland, it principle that the clergy ought to was double, and triple that amount; build and repair their own churches, and, in one instance, 4301. had been as if churches were for the benefit levied to build a house for that of the clergy alone, or join in a officer and the sexton. Such charges measure which would involve the as these were generally followed clergy in difficulties and distress at up by others equally extravagant the very entrance of their benefices, for organs, and a host of organists and keep them paupers ever after. and attendants on organists, all for
The motion was rejected by a the protestant church, and all paid, majority of 48 to 21.
in a great measure, by the Catholic Sir John Newport was more peasantry. In Dublin, a vestry had successful in endeavouring to in- voted to the parish curate a piece stitute an inquiry into the abuses of plate worth 100 guineas, and which were alleged to exist in the directed that a levy of that sum administration of the parochial should be made. Why call on the rates levied in Ireland for the re- Catholic parishioners to pay 100 ligious service of the protestant guineas to purchase a piece of plate establishment. In the preceding for the Protestant curate ? In the session he had introduced a bill for same parish there were such the remedying of these abuses, and charges as the following the the bill had passed the Commons; salary of the parish-clerk, 50 guibut, in the House of Lords it had -the vestry-clerk, 50 guineas; been deprived, he said, of its most and the salary of the organist had, remedial clause, which gave any in ten years, amounted to 8401. parishioner, who might feel ag- The bellows-blower was paid from grieved by the amount, the ina 10 to 15 guineas a-year;
then equality, or the application of the came the sextons, sextonesses, maid rate, an easy and expeditious mode servants, and a crowd of similar of relief, by appealing to the next claimants, with salaries of 50 quarter sessions.
The measures guineas a-year. In a parish in proposed by that bill he now em- Cork an ingenious mode of inbodied in a series of resolutions creasing the salary of the clerk had
been adopted; for he received an subject," Mr. Goulburn moved an additional salary for singing an- amendment, to the effect that thems he was paid 20 guineas “ leave be given to bring in a bill for teaching the boys to sing, and to consolidate and amend the laws 20 for instructing the girls, so that for regulating the levying and apthe whole amount came, in some plication of church-rates in Ireyears, to 120, and in others, to 143 land.” On a division, the original guineas. A still more extraordi- motion was carried. Mr. Goulnary theory was, that, in some burn's
subsequently parishes, in which bible societies brought in, and passed. had been established, the Catholics In the discussion upon this mowere subjected to a parochial rate tion, Mr. Goulburn stated to the for their support for the support House, that the act of last session, and prosperity of associations con- to facilitate the commutation of fessedly directed against the in- tithes, had come into general operaterests of their own religion. tion, and had already more than
On the part of government it justified the most sanguine hopes was admitted that there were of those with whom it had origimany things connected with the nated. Last session the number of levying and administration of these parishes in which a composition parochial rates which called for re- had taken place, was two-hundred vision; and the motion was resist- and fifty-nine: a short time ago, ed, not so much because it was un- the number was six-hundred and founded orinexpedient, as because it seventy-six, which was nearly was unnecessary, government being one-fourth of the total number of about to introduce immediately, parishes in Ireland. From this it along with other measures founded would be seen, to how great an exon the report of the committee of tent it had already proceeded ; nor last session, a bill to remedy and were its benefits confined to the diminish the evils complained of. particular parishes which had comIf the provisions of that bill pounded, as it was found that the should be reckoned in any respect neighbouring ones partook, in some defective, it would be open to the degree, of the advantages immemover of the present resolutions, diately attending its adoption. In to propose any amendments which fact, its influence was felt throughhe' might deem better suited to out the entire country.
In the effect his
purpose. Mr. Goulburn county of Cork, the number of therefore, requested sir John New- cases at the quarter sessions had port to withdraw his motion, and diminished one-half since the tithe allow leave to be given to bring in composition act had come into operthe bill to which he had referred; ation. but the latter having expressed his The measures, which had been determination, without any wish originated or encouraged by goor intention to embarrass the
pro- vernment in Ireland, for promotceedings of ministers in the mea- ing the education and moral imsures which they contemplated, to provement of the great mass of the persevere in his resolutions, that people, were brought under con“they might appear on the Journals, sideration in the course of voting and act as a spur to the intentions the Irish miscellaneous estimates of his majesty's government on the (20th March.) On the motion for