The Black Book: An Exposition of Abuses in Church and State, Courts of Law, Municipal Corporations, and Public Companies (1835)

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[Updated: May 18, 2023 ]












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John Wade, The Black Book: An Exposition of Abuses in Church and State, Courts of Law, Municipal Corporations, and Public Companies; With a Précis of the House of Commons, Past, Present, and to Come. A New Edition, greatly enlarged and corrected. By the original Editor. With an Appendix. (London: Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange. MDCCCXXXV (1835).)

John Wade, The Black Book: An Exposition of Abuses in Church and State, Courts of Law, Municipal Corporations, and Public Companies; With a Précis of the House of Commons, Past, Present, and to Come. A New Edition, greatly enlarged and corrected. By the original Editor. With an Appendix. (London: Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange. MDCCCXXXV (1835).)

Editor's Introduction

To make this edition useful to scholars and to make it more readable, I have done the following:

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  9. inserted Greek and Hebrew words as images



CONTENTS. [Abbreviated]



  • Advertisement to the New Edition, p. Page iii
  • Address to the New Edition, p. vii
  • Dedication to the People, p. xi
    • Introduction:—Christianity peculiarly the worship of the people 1
    • Conduct of public men in respect of religious institutions, p. 2
    • Tyburn or Tartarus the needful moral restraint of some persons, p. 3
    • England—the only country to which ecclesiastical reform has not extended, p. 4
    • The un-Christian conduct of the established Clergy—supporters of aristocratic wars—favourable to the African slave-trade—not favourable to education—not given to charity—and communicate little useful knowledge to the people, p. 6
    • Religious opinions determined by education, p. 8
    • Division of the subject, p. 9
      • I.—origin and tenure of church property.
        • Origin and fourfold division of tithes, p. 10
        • New disposition of ecclesiastical property at the Reformation, p. 13
        • Church property proved to be public property from legislative acts 16
        • Eagle’s Legal Argument on tithes, p. 17
        • Tenure of the clergy—same as other public functionaries, p. 18
        • Clergy, tenants-at-will, may be ejected by their parliamentary landlords, p. 19
      • II.—patronage of the church.
        • Dr. Lushington’s error in considering advowsons private property 19
        • Evasion of the laws against simony, p. 20
        • Jews and Infidels may select persons for the Gospel ministry, p. 20
        • Instance of sale advowsons, p. 21
        • Patronage among the bishops, the king, aristocracy, and gentry, p. 21
        • Recommendations of the present bishops to promotion, p. 23
        • Examples of perversion of patronage by bishops Sparke, Sutton, and Pretyman, p. 24
        • Clerical monopoly illustrated by examples, p. 28
        • Number of the clergy and number of preferments shared among them, p. 30
        • Singular division of parochial benefices into pluralities, p. 30
        • More than one-third of incumbents pluralists, p. 31
      • III.—sinecurism.—non-residence.—pluralities.—church discipline.
        • Uncouth habiliments and dress of the clergy, p. 32
        • Duties of the several orders of clergy, p. 33
        • Discoveries of Mr. Wright on church discipline, p. 34
        • Pretexts of the clergy for non-residence, p. 35
        • Parsons’ indemnity bill, p. 39
        • Dr. Johnson’s employment before he received a pension, p. 40
        • Primate Sutton’s principle of church government, p. 41
        • The priestly motto on Lambeth window, p. 41
      • IV.—revenues of the established church.
        • Suggestions for an authentic return of ecclesiastical revenues, p. 42
        • Examples of increase in value of church property, p. 43
        • Quarterly Review’s estimate of church revenues, p. 45
        • Estimate of value of sees from authentic data, p. 47
        • Lectureships, public charities, surplice fees, new churches, and other sources of clerical income, p. 48
        • General Statement of church revenues, from tithe, church fees, &c. 52
        • Revenues of the church monopolized by 7694 individuals, p. 53
        • Impositions practised in repect of poor livings, p. 55
        • Question briefly stated—Bishops, Dignitaries, and Aristocratic Pluralists, chiefly engross church income, p. 56
        • Church of England without Poor Clergy, unless it be curates, p. 58
        • Proportion in which revenues are divided among the several orders of clergy, p. 58
        • Observations on unequal division of ecclesiastical revenues, p. 59
        • Comparative cost of Church of England and other churches, p. 63
      • V.—rapacity of the clergy exemplified.
        • Conduct of the rich clergy in respect of First Fruits, p. 64
        • Rapacious claims of the London clergy, p. 67
        • True policy of the church expounded, p. 70
        • Conduct of the clergy in respect of tithe compositions, p. 71
        • Dean and chapter of Ely’s rapacious claim, p. 71
        • Mode suggested for retaliating on the clergy, p. 72
      • IV.—origin and defects of the church liturgy.
        • Dr. Middleton’s researches in church history, p. 73
        • Similarity of Catholic and Church of England worship, p. 74
        • Opposite conduct of Whigs and Tories in respect of religion, p. 75
        • Defects in the book of Common Prayer, p. 76
        • Church Catechism, p. 77
        • Strange mode of ordaining priests, p. 78
        • Preference of church service to the random out-pourings of the conventicle, p. 79
      • VII.—numbers, wealth, moral and educational efficiency of the dissenters.
        • Dissenters, like Roman slaves, never numbered, p. 79
        • Number of places of worship and attendants, p. 80
        • Comparison of moral and educational efficiency of Separatists and Episcopalians, p. 81
        • A Dissenter’s reasons for the non-payment of tithe, p. 83
        • Tabular statement of religious denominations in England, p. 85
      • VIII.—who would be benefited by ecclesiastical reform?
        • Church reform benefit the many and injure a few, p. 86
        • Unfitness of the Clergy for secular functions, p. 86
        • Unequal extent of benefices, p. 87
        • Tithes should be commuted for an equivalent assessment on landlords 88
        • Opinions of Lord Brougham, Burke, Watson, and Paley, on tithes 89
        • Rights of lay-impropriators examined, p. 91
        • Ought compensation to be allowed for Church Patronage?, p. 91
        • Necessity of religious worship of some kind, p. 92
        • Scotch example of church reformation, p. 93
        • Example of Dissenters and Americans, p. 94
        • Puerile attempts of the Bishops to save the church, p. 95
    • Alphabetic List of Bishops, Dignitaries, and Pluralists of the Church of England, p. 96
    • Valuation of Sees and Dignities in the King’s Book, p. 131
    • Ireland, an illustration of Oligarchical government, p. 138
    • A more revolting spectacle of ecclesiastical abuse than England, p. 139
    • Irish proprietary mistake their true policy, p. 139
    • Extent of acres appertaining to the Irish sees, p. 140
    • Wealth bequeathed to their families by the bishops, p. 142
    • Biographical notice of the late bishop Warburton, p. 143
    • Injurious tendency of Act for composition of tithes, p. 144
    • Pluralities, unions, and extent of benefices, p. 145
    • Statement of sums to be paid in lieu of tithes in several parishes, the names of incumbents and patrons, p. 148
    • Return of parishes which have compounded, and total amount of lay and clerical tithes, p. 152
    • Ministers’ money and church fees, p. 153
    • Estimate of the revenues of the Protestant establishment, p. 154
    • Number of clergy among whom the revenues are divided, p. 154
    • Constitution of the Deans and Collegiate Chapters, p. 155
    • Eight hundred and fifty individuals possess 3195 ecclesiastical offices, p. 157
    • Tabular statement of church patronage, p. 158
    • Non-residence of bishops and parochial clergy, p. 160
    • Oppressiveness of the Tithe System illustrated, p. 163
    • Appointment of tithe committee in the House of Lords, p. 164
    • Proportion of Roman Catholics and Protestants, p. 166
    • State stipends paid to Dissenters—origin of Regium Donum, p. 169
    • Management of the first fruits fund, p. 170
    • Return of promotions in the Irish church, p. 172
    • Intolerance of the church towards Dissenters and Catholics, p. 176
    • Crisis of the Irish church at the close of 1831, p. 179
    • General conclusions on the United Church of England and Ireland 182
    • Delusion practised in respect of the crown revenues, p. 184
    • Origin and history of the crown lands, p. 186
    • Abuses in the management of the landed revenues, p. 189
    • Amount and appropriation of landed revenues, p. 192
    • Expenditure on Regent-street, Charing-cross, Windsor Castle, &c. 193
    • Pickings from palace jobs, p. 193
    • Official statement of income and expenditure of landed revenues, p. 194
    • Estimate of the value of crown lands, p. 195
    • Sale of them recommended, p. 196
    • Droits of the crown and admiralty, p. 197
    • Origin of and examples of application of produce of admiralty droits, p. 197
    • Four-and-a-half per cent. Leeward Island duties, p. 202
    • Expended in parliamentary jobbing—Burke’s pension, p. 203
    • Curious expedient of Tory ministers for raising a jobbing fund, p. 205
    • West-India church establishment, p. 205
    • Scotch hereditary revenues, p. 207
    • Gibraltar duties—duchies of Cornwall—escheats—fines—and penalties, p. 208
    • Statement of produce of hereditary revenues of the crown, p. 210
    • King’s household—its Gothic origin—and expensive establishment 212
    • Departments of the lord chamberlain, lord steward, and master of the horse, p. 213
    • Origin of the privy-purse and court pension-list, p. 215
    • Publication of the court pension-list, p. 216
    • Civil list allowance augmented a quarter of a million in 1820, p. 217
    • Civil lists of George III. and George IV. 218
    • Settlement of civil list of William IV. 219
    • Remarks on the Whig civil list, p. 221
    • Royal debts and expenditure during the two last reigns, p. 221
    • Total expenditure from accession of Geo. III. to the death of Geo. IV. one hundred millions, p. 225
    • The King exempt from taxes—a court and levee, p. 266
    • Policy and character of the two late reigns, p. 228
    • Peculiar death of Geo. IV. and his chief counsellors, p. 234
    • Civil list accounts, p. 235
    • Return of the incomes of the royal family, p. 237
    • Expenditure on Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, p. 238
    • Ancient payments out of English, Scotch, and Irish civil lists, with illustrative notes, p. 239
    • Number and constitution of the king’s privy council, p. 244
    • Sir James Graham’s motion on the emoluments of privy counsellors 245
    • Ambassadors and diplomatic missions, p. 247
    • Consular establishments, p. 250
    • Official returns relative to foreign ministers and consuls, p. 251
    • Salaries and allowances as fixed by the Whig ministry, p. 252
    • Triumphs of knowledge over feudal barbarisms, p. 254
    • Clergy, lords, and commons deviated from original objects of their institution, p. 256
    • Tendency of right of primogeniture and entails, p. 258
    • Objectionable privileges of the peerage, p. 260
    • Injustice of aristocratic taxation, p. 262
    • Incomes of landed interest, the legitimate fund for taxation, p. 265
    • Specimen of partial exemptions from taxes, p. 266
    • Aristocratic game laws—a specimen of late tyranny of the Boroughmongers, p. 268
    • Incomes of the aristocracy, p. 271
    • Anti-property theories of Robert Owen and St. Simon, p. 272
    • Diminutive income of the Peerage compared with that of other classes, p. 275
    • Different classes of society and their respective incomes, p. 277
    • Taxes levied on the industrious orders, p. 278
    • Increase of the peerage, p. 281
    • More prolific than other classes of the community, p. 281
    • Influence of Toryism of late reigns on character of the Peerage, p. 282
    • Votes of the lords on Reform Bill, p. 283
    • Absurdity of hereditary legislation, p. 283
    • Sources of aristocratic monopoly and abuse, p. 284
    • Boasted independence of the Judges considered, p. 286
    • Confused state of statute and common law, p. 287
    • Judges do not understand the law, though the people are expected to comprehend it, p. 288
    • Dunning’s mode of expounding acts of parliaments, p. 289
    • A lawyer’s library described, p. 290
    • Causes of the multiplication of statutes, p. 291
    • Obscure language in which they are drawn—example from sir R. Peel’s acts, p. 293
    • Hodge-podge acts—blunder in the forgery act of sir J. Scarlett, p. 295
    • Legislation, an after-dinner amusement of the house of commons 296
    • Number and emoluments of the professional classes, p. 297
    • Debtor laws chief source of litigation and legal emoluments, p. 299
    • Courts of request, &c. encourage a vicious system of credit, p. 301
    • Summary of Legal Abuses and Defects:
      • Objections against a stipendiary magistracy, p. 303
      • Different laws in different places, p. 304
      • Different laws for different persons, p. 305
      • Absurdities of fines and recoveries, p. 307
      • Defects in agreements for leases and conveyances, p. 308
      • Arrest for debt—its injustice, p. 308
      • Inconsistent liabilities of property for debt, p. 309
      • Insecurity of titles to estates, p. 312
      • Inconsistences of the marriage-laws, p. 312
      • Monstrous costs of law-suits, p. 313
      • Law of debtor and creditor, p. 315
      • List of absurdities in judicial administration, p. 316
      • Oppressions under the excise-laws, p. 321
      • Prospects of legal reform, p. 325
      • Official returns illustrative of law and courts of law, p. 329
      • Working of the insolvent debtors’ act, p. 332
    • Effects of taxes on wages and profits, p. 334
    • Objects of the parliamentary wars waged since 1688, p. 335
    • Short view of each reign, from the accession of William III. 336
    • Increase of debt and taxes consequent on each war since the Revolution, p. 336
    • Cost of war against independence of United States of America, p. 339
    • Cost of the French war from 1793 to 1815, p. 340
    • Conclusions on disastrous policy of the Borough-government, p. 342
    • Feudal system had one advantage, p. 343
    • Funds, exchequer-bills, and navy-bills explained, p. 344
    • Progress and state of the Debt, to the year 1831, p. 346
    • Annual charge entailed on the country by the war of 1793, p. 348
    • Plans for redemption of the debt, p. 349
    • Dead-weight-annuity project, p. 354
    • New suggestions for liquidating the Debt, p. 356
    • Catastrophe of the funding-system, p. 359
    • Examination of question on violation of national faith, p. 360
    • Severe distress consequent of an attack on the funds, p. 360
    • A violation of national faith perpetuate the power of the Oligarchy 362
    • The last resort of the Aristocracy, p. 363
    • General principles of finance and taxation, p. 366
    • Examples of the violation of these principles, p. 368
    • Expense of public offices, p. 371
    • The great “exchequer job”, p. 372
    • Audit-office, p. 374
    • Civil department of the army—Woolwich academy, p. 375
    • Department of the navy and dock-yards, p. 376
    • Increase in peace-establishments, p. 377
    • Expenditure of the Colonies—utility of, p. 379
    • Losses sustained by the colonial system, p. 381
    • Factory system and slave-trade, p. 382
    • Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, p. 383
    • Coronation expenditure—absurdity of the pageant, p. 384
    • II.—workings of taxation.
      • Effect of monopolies in augmenting prices, p. 385
      • Soap duties, p. 385
      • Silk and hemp duties, p. 386
      • Glass, paper, pamphlet, and advertisement duties, p. 386
      • Sea policies, fire insurance, and stamp duties, p. 387
      • Exemption of Ireland from taxation, p. 387
      • Taxes on newspapers, and their influence on the press, p. 388
      • The press, a fourth estate, p. 389
      • Proposal to manage the public journals, p. 390
      • Irresponsible power of the Times newspaper, p. 391
      • Newspaper press not injured by abolition of stamp duties, p. 393
      • Reduction in duties on like discovery of an useful invention, p. 393
    • Political influence of Bank and East India Company, p. 394
    • Origin and progress of the Company, p. 395
    • Decennial settlement of lands in India, p. 398
    • Indian wars and territorial acquisitions, p. 401
    • Population and extent of the Anglo-Indian empire, p. 401
    • Exploits of the Duke of Wellington in India, p. 404
    • Government and patronage of India, p. 405
    • Territorial revenues of India, p. 412
    • Commercial intercourse with the Chinese, p. 413
    • Commercial profits of the Company, p. 414
    • People of England pay the Company’s dividend in the monopoly price of tea, p. 415
    • Thoughts on the renewal of the Company’s charter, p. 418
    • House list—treatment of “East Indians”—colonization—India-press, p. 420
    • Rupture with the Chinese—Select Committee and Messrs. Lindsay & Co. 422
    • The real point of interest between the Company and the people stated, p. 423
    • Extravagant expenditure of Company and necessity of retrenchment, p. 424
    • Facts relative to the India question, p. 425
    • Accounts of the revenues and debts of the Company, p. 426
    • Postscript on East India Company, p. 451
    • A class of politicians with one idea, p. 428
    • Mistaken views of political economists, p. 428
    • Origin and progress of the Bank, p. 430
    • Provisions of the Bank charter, p. 430
    • Compelled to pay in shillings and sixpences, p. 431
    • Issue notes of a low denomination, p. 432
    • Contemporary increase of issues and government advances, p. 432
    • Bank-restriction-act—legal tender—Lord King, p. 433
    • Resumption of cash-payments in 1823, p. 435
    • Mischiefs of irresponsible power of Bank over the circulation, p. 436
    • Sources of Bank profits, and their enormous amount, p. 436
    • Pitt and plunder system the chief source of Bank profits, p. 439
    • Exclusive privileges of the Bank, p. 442
    • Directors have not acted on sound principles of banking, p. 442
    • Thoughts on a New Bank of England, p. 443
    • Terms on which the Bank charter ought to be renewed, p. 444
    • Dividends on Bank Stock, from establishment of Company, p. 445
    • Return of persons convicted of forgery, p. 446
    • Statement of affairs of the Bank, p. 447
    • Annual sums payable to the Bank by the public, p. 448
    • Account of distribution of profits among proprietors, p. 449
    • Returns of circulation of notes in each year since 1792, p. 450
    • Postscript on Bank and East India Company, p. 672
    • Difficulty of fixing the public mind on a new subject, p. 452
    • Corporations do not embody the interests of cities and towns, p. 453
    • Origin of corporations, guilds, and fraternities, p. 454
    • How popular constitution of corporate bodies destroyed, p. 455
    • Customs and institutions of the ancient guilds, p. 456
    • Rise and downfal of Merchant-Tailors Company of Bristol, p. 458
    • Management and revenues of companies of the City of London, p. 460
    • Oppressive and vexatious powers exercised by the City Companies 460
    • corporations of cities and towns.
      • Corporation of City of London, p. 464
      • Corporation of Bristol, p. 467
      • Corporation of Liverpool, p. 468
      • Corporation of Bath, p. 469
      • Corporation of Preston, p. 471
      • Corporation of Lichfield, p. 471
      • Corporation of Stafford, p. 472
      • Corporation of Northampton, p. 472
      • Corporation of Gloucester, p. 473
      • Corporation of Leeds, p. 474
      • Conduct of the corporations of Newcastle and Bristol, p. 474
      • Suggestions for the reform of corporate bodies, p. 475
      • Estate of the City of London, p. 476
      • Dr. Brady’s interpretation of “communitatis”, p. 477
    • Progress through the recesses of the Oligarchy, p. 479
    • Salaries and number of persons employed in the public offices, p. 480
    • One million per annum might be saved by reductions in salaries, p. 481
    • Civil and military pluralities, p. 482
    • Half-pay and superannuations, p. 482
    • Sinecures, reversions, and pensions, p. 484
    • Monstrous legal sinecures in courts of law, p. 485
    • Pension-roll amounts to £805,022 per annum, p. 489
    • Infamous pension-act of 57 Geo. III. 490
    • Unjust principle of granting compensations, p. 491
    • List of “high and efficient public men”, p. 492
    • Pensions to ex-lord-chancellors and judges, p. 493
    • Compensation and retired allowances, p. 493
    • Pensions under bankruptcy court act, p. 494
    • Salaries and pensions exceeding £1000, p. 497
    • Classification of 965 placemen, receiving £2,161,927 per annum, p. 499
    • Sumptuous pickings of lawyers, p. 499
    • Conduct of lawyers in respect of court fees, p. 500
    • Reductions of the Whig ministry, p. 500
    • General statement of annual expenditure of the country in salaries, pensions, sinecures, &c. 502
    • Principles on which government has been carried on by Tory administrations, p. 503
    • Alphabetic list of placemen, pensioners, sinecurists, compensationists, and grantees., p. 505
    • Addendum to Place and Pension list, p. 589
    • i.—progress of the constitution up to the reform bill.
      • Iniquities of the Borough System doomed, and need not further exposure, p. 591
      • Progress of the constitution up to the Reform Bill, p. 592
      • Condition of the people under the Saxons, p. 592
      • Origin and influence of the Middle Orders, p. 593
      • House of Commons began to exercise legislative functions only a short time anterior to the Civil Wars, p. 594
      • Revolution of 1688 did not concede to the industrious orders their share of political power, p. 595
      • Causes of public prosperity subsequent to the Revolution, p. 595
      • Constitutional deductions, p. 597
    • ii.—adequacy of the reform bill to the wants of the nation investigated.
      • Two principles on which the Reform Bill is founded, p. 598
      • Groundless fears of the Alarmists, p. 598
      • Real objects sought by the people, p. 599
      • Previous political changes not altered the status of the Aristocracy 599
      • Absurd apprehensions about levelling doctrines, p. 600
      • Principles which ought to determine the elective qualification, p. 601
      • Universal suffrage, impracticability and mischievousness of, p. 603
      • Ten-pound qualification not a property qualification, p. 605
      • Comparative results of universal and household suffrage, p. 606
    • iii.—practical results from the adoption of the reform bill.
      • Constitutional changes valueless in themselves, p. 606
      • When settled people cease to agitate questions of civil rights, p. 607
      • Practical benefits from parliamentary reform enumerated, p. 608
    • iv.—statistics of representation.
      • Freeholders in England and Wales, p. 609
      • Registered freeholders in Ireland, p. 610
      • Population, electors, houses, &c. of the fifty-six boroughs disfranchised by the Reform Bill, p. ib.
      • Population, electors, &c. of the thirty semi-disfranchised boroughs 611
      • Population, houses, &c. of boroughs not disfranchised, p. 612
      • Welsh boroughs, p. 614
      • Population, houses, &c. of the proposed New Boroughs, p. 615
      • Population, electors, &c. of the Scotch cities and burghs, p. 616
      • Limits of the proposed New Boroughs, p. 617
      • Number of parliaments held in each reign, p. 621
      • List of ancient boroughs, p. 622
      • Progress of representation in different reigns, p. 622
    • v.—retrospective glance at past houses of commons. 623
      • Analysis of the house of commons elected in 1830, p. 626
    • 1. Inns of Court and Chancery, p. 627
    • 2. Trinity College, Dublin, p. 623
    • 3. Return of cities and towns with a population exceeding 10,000, not included in the Reform Bill, p. 636
    • 4. Expenditure of the army, navy, ordnance, &c. 637
    • 5. Sums expended under the head of Civil Contingencies, p. 638
    • 6. Returns of Army and Navy half-pay and retired allowances, p. 640
    • 7. Number of public creditors and amount of their dividends, p. 642
    • 8. Population, free and slaves, imports and exports of the Colonies, p. 643
    • 9. House of Lords, origin and character of, p. 644
    • 10. Borough lords and their Representatives, p. 646
    • 11. Ecclesiastical Patronage of each of the Nobility, and the value of Rectories and Vicarages in their gift, p. 650
    • 12. Return of the amount of church rates, county rates, and highway rates, &c. in each county of England and Wales, p. 668
    • 13. Return of lay and clerical magistrates, p. 669
    • 14. Commissioners of sewers, institution of, and abuses in their administration, p. 670
    • 15. Progress of Population in Great Britain, p. 672
    • 16. Postscript, p. 672
  • Endnotes




“We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
Which Milton held. In everything we are sprung
That Shakspeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Of Earth’s first blood, have titles manifold._____”

Engraved for the Extraordinary Black Book from Originals by Percy Roberts.

published by, effingham wilson, royal exchange. london, 12th march, 1832.




The rapid sale of a large impression of The Black Book has speedily afforded an opportunity for again subjecting it to severe revision, and this it has undergone in every department. Besides improving the arrangement, the Lists of Places, Pensions, and Pluralists have been carefully corrected, and the illustrative notes revised. The reductions in salaries and allowances, the settlement of the Civil List, and other economical arrangements of Ministers, either actually effected, or in contemplation, have been noticed.

Besides correction, many parts have been greatly enlarged, as those on the Church, Legal Sinecures, the Bank of England, and East-India Company; in the former a section has been added on the Numbers, Wealth, and Educational Efficiency of the Dissenters; and in the last have been comprised the chief facts and considerations involved in the approaching renewal of the charters of these two powerful associations. In addition, several new chapters have been introduced on subjects of immediate national interest; one on the Origin and Present State of Corporations in Cities and Towns, and on Companies, Guilds and Fraternities: these form branches of the ancient institutions of the country, and an account of them was essential to the completeness of our work. A chapter has been added on the Principles of Finance, Abuses in the Government Expenditure, and the Workings of Taxation. Also a Précis of the House of Commons, Past, Present, and to Come; with details illustrative of the Reform Bill, and the present state of parties and opinions.


In the Appendix will be found many new articles and tables of value, as those on the Ecclesiastical Patronage of the Nobility—the House of Lords—Inns of Court—Church Rates—Trinity College—Colonial Statistics—Civil Contingencies—Remarks on the Reports on Irish Tithes—Commissioners of Sewers—Lay and Clerical Magistrates, &c.

Notwithstanding our anxiety to be correct, we cannot be sure that in every case we have succeeded. Our work is an assemblage of facts and principles, and it would be wonderful, if, in so great a number, some errors had not escaped vigilance. Of errors of intention we know we are guiltless; of those which have originated in the inaccuracy of the official returns and other sources of information on which we have relied, we cannot be so confident.

All parliamentary and public documents, whatever could throw light on the Ecclesiastical Establishments, the Civil List and Hereditary Revenues, the Courts of Law and Judicial Administration, the Aristocracy, Public Offices, Funding System, Public Revenue, Pensions, Sinecures, and other departments of our work, have been consulted. Our object has been an honest one, and we have sought to attain it by honest means: nothing has been exaggerated, nor has a single fact been wilfully misstated; we needed not the aid of falsehood, our case being strong enough without it, and we refer to the references on our pages to attest the veracity of our sources of intelligence. The statements we have made we shall at all times be ready to defend, but cannot answer for those which have been mistakenly imputed to us. It has unfortunately happened, either from similarity of name or other circumstance, many representations have been placed to our account with which we had nothing in common, and of which any one might be convinced by reference to our publication. In a high quarter we have been most unjustly aspersed: we believe it was unintentional; but, consistently with honour, atonement ought to have been [v] made by open acknowledgement in the same place where the injury was inflicted. Instead of exaggeration we have leaned to an opposite course; whenever we had doubts, from the absence of authentic information, about the correctness of a statement, we omitted it altogether: if, in the statements of the emoluments of individuals, the errors on the side of redundancy were compared with those of deficiency, we know—and many names inscribed on our pages know too—which would preponderate. These, however, are the evils of a day, while the good we have done will be lasting. By the improvement of the Game Laws the Aristocracy have torn out one leaf from our pages; when, in like manner, they have torn out the rest, our labours will cease—and not till then.

The Black Book is the Encyclopedia of English politics for the Georgian era, and will last as long as the abuses it exposes shall endure. It was, originally, brought out in periodical numbers twelve years ago, and laboured under the disadvantages incident to that mode of publication. Defective as the publication was, it excited unusual interest; though ill-arranged, rough in manner, and incorrect in matter, it contained a striking development of Oligarchical abuse, and thus fixed the attention of the public. It was oftentimes reprinted, and upwards of 14,000 copies were sold, almost without the expense of advertisement, or any of those helps from literary notices which are usually deemed essential to give celebrity to the productions of the press. In the edition of last year an endeavour was made to remedy the defects of the first undertaking; in this we flatter ourselves the task has been nearly completed.

The object of the Editor at first was, and now has been, to show the manifold abuses of an unjust and oppressive system; to show the dire calamities it has inflicted on the country, and by what ramifications of influence it has been supported.

Government has been a corporation, and had the same interests and the same principles of action as monopolists. It [vi] has been supported by other corporations; the Church has been one, the Agriculturists another; the Boroughs a third, the East-India Company a fourth, and the Bank of England a fifth: all these, and interests like these, constituted the citadel and out-works of its strength, and the first object of each has been to shun investigation. We have, however, rent the vail; those who before doubted may, if they please, come and see, and be convinced.

In lieu of the old system we are told a new one is in progress of being substituted; intelligence, not patronage, is to form the pivot of public authority: the idea is a grand one,—it is worthy of the age, and we wait in hope to see it practically realized.

In conclusion we must observe that many opinions have been introduced, from which, we doubt not, our readers will dissent; we regret this, but it is unavoidable. Our object has been Truth, not to compromise with error, nor knowingly pander to any prejudice, aristocratic or democratic. We have an aversion to war, foreign and domestic; nor do we love spoliation either on the part of the People or their Rulers. The land is full of miseries; we share them not, neither do we profit by them; but it is the impulse of our nature to wish to see them alleviated. In place of a bad government we wish a good one substituted; for it is not individuals, but the power of the State, directed by intelligence, which must administer to the maladies of a nation. And even wisdom and good intentions, without co-operation on the part of the community, would be unavailing. Public disorders of long standing and extremely complicated require deliberation as well as remedial applications. But while we crave indulgence for an Administration we believe patriotic, it must be an indulgence accompanied with constant watchfulness, and even suspicion, on the part of the People.

March 16th, 1832.





In our Dedication, written about a twelvemonth since, we expressed a want of confidence in the Whig Ministry. In the interval they have gained on our esteem. They mean well, but the difficulties they have to surmount are great. Arrayed against them are all the interests identified with public abuses, and which have so long flourished by the ruin of the country; but they must be compelled to yield. The People are quiescent; it is the quiescence of hope: should doubt prevail, they will rise in their might and scatter the band—the factious band that would interpose its selfish ends between the weal of twenty-four millions of persons.

The People have nobly done their duty, and Ministers must do [viii] theirs. In the words of their chief, they are individually pledged to the Reform Bill; it is the tenure of administration. They know their power; and to have held office so long without the means and determination to accomplish the public wish, would have been basely perfidious,—it would have been treachery to the nation. Their honour is bound up in the Bill—our patriotic Monarch is faithful—the People are unanimous—and it must be carried in all its integrity. Every interest in the empire is abased, shaken, or powerless, except that of Reform, and it must triumph: it is essential to the harmony of the Constitution and the peace of the community.

Hitherto, in their domestic policy, Ministers have claims on the confidence of the public. In Ireland they have endeavoured to substitute national interests and toleration, for the reign of factions and religious feuds. They have not fomented plots, nor sought by new laws to abridge popular liberties. They have entered on the Augean stable of judicial abuses. They have cut down a part of our enormous establishments; they have even touched their own salaries, and meditate further reductions. In the work of economy has consisted their greatest difficulty; it tends to generate opposition and discontent among those who ought to be their servants, and, by impairing future prospects, dilutes the zeal of mercenary supporters; but it has conciliated the esteem of the People.


Abroad they have maintained peace and leaned to the side of constitutional governments. The battle of continental freedom is not yet won. A terrible phalanx is couched in the North and East, which waits only the acquiescence or neutrality of this country to open a new crusade against liberal institutions. While England and France are united, the hordes of Tyrants will not break from their ambush. Englishmen are awake! Feudal pretexts of national rivalry and hereditary hate will not excite hostile feelings towards a nation with which so many interests in common ought to unite them in amicable bonds. They rightly appreciate the Aberdeen school of foreign politics; they will not again suffer the produce of industry to be squandered and future calamities entailed in support of aristocratic wars,—in support of wars to defend Misrule at home and Despotism abroad!

So long as Ministers pursue national objects, they will be supported. They have opposed to them only that delinquent Muster-roll with whose names are associated every lavish grant—every attack on public liberty—every insolence of authority for the last forty years. That they should be vanquished by a set like this, when supported by the People, is impossible. While, however, we seek for them popular aid, it is, we repeat, an aid accompanied with unceasing vigilance. Government is [x] power, and its agents will luxuriate in the enjoyment without strict responsibility. Its inherent tendency is to abuse, not to improvement. Individuals are slow to reform without imperative motives; governments are still more reluctant: they are always prompt to bequeath the redemption of their follies to their successors; while posterity has cause to lament that justice has not been contemporary with guilt.

March 17th, 1832.



To the People our labours may be fitly inscribed—they are the tribunal of last resort,—also the victims of Misrule,—and to them, therefore, may be properly dedicated a record of the abuses from which they have long suffered, and of the means by which they may be alleviated.

All the blessings the nation ought to enjoy have been intercepted,—the rewards of industry, science, and virtue have been dissipated in iniquitous wars abroad—at home, in useless establishments, in Oligarchical luxury, folly, and profusion.

If we wanted proof of misgovernment—of incapacity and turpitude—Ireland affords a frightful example: it is not Mr. O’Connell who causes her agitation; he is only one of the fruits of Tyranny,—an effect, not the cause, of the disorders, which have originated in the neglect of her vast resources, in an unemployed population, an absentee proprietary, and a plundering church. To the wretchedness of Ireland, England is fast approaching, and [xii] just as little from the efforts of individual disturbers. It is not the manufacturing, but the agricultural districts which are now excited; these have always formed the exclusive domain of the Clergy and Aristocracy;—the rural population is exactly what tithes, game-laws, the country magistracy, Church-of-Englandism, and a luxurious and non-resident priesthood have made them. And what do we behold? The people have risen against their pastors and landlords, and have resorted to nightly outrage and revenge—the last resort of the oppressed for wrongs for which neither remedy nor inquiry has been vouchsafed.

We are not of the number of those who inculcate patient submission to undeserved oppression. A favourite toast of Dr. Johnson was, “Success to an insurrection of the Blacks!” Shall we say—Success to the rising of the Whites! We should at once answer yes, did we not think some measures would be speedily adopted to mitigate the bitter privations and avert the further degradation of the labouring classes.

A new era, we are told, is about to commence:—no more liberticide wars—no more squanderings of the produce of industry in sinecures and pensions—and, above all, reform is to be conceded. We wait in patience. Our diseases are manifold and require many remedies, but the last is the initiative of all the rest, involving at once the destruction of partial interests—of monopolies, corn-laws, judicial abuse, unequal taxation,—and giving full weight and expression to the general weal and intelligence. If Ministers are honest, they deserve and will require all the support the People can give them to overturn a system which is the reverse: if they are not, they will be soon passed under the ban of their predecessors, with the additional [xiii] infamy of having deceived by pledges which they never meant to redeem. We have hope, but no confidence.

Public opinion, and not Parliament, is omnipotent; it is that which has effected all the good which has been accomplished, and it is that alone which must effect the remainder. Unfortunately, Government can never be better constituted than it is for the profit of those who share in its administration; they have no interest in change, and their great maxims of rule are,—first, to concede nothing, so long as it can with safety be refused; secondly, to concede as little as possible; and, lastly, only to concede that little when every pretext for delay and postponement has been exhausted. Such are the arcana of those from whom reform is to proceed, and it is unnecessary to suggest the watchfulness, unanimity, and demonstrations by which they must be opposed.

Some of the Ministers are honest—they are all ingenious, and, no doubt, will have an ingenious plan, with many ingenious arguments for its support, concocted for our acceptance,—a plan with many convolutions, cycles, and epicycles—and, perhaps, endeavour to substitute the shadow for the substance! But it will avail them nothing; the balance is deranged, and it must be adjusted by a real increase of democratic power. The remedy, too, must be one of immediate action, not of gradual incorporation; it must not be patch-work—no disfranchising of non-resident voters—the transfer of the right of voting to great towns—the lessening of election expenses—and stuff of that sort. Such tinkering will not merit discussion, and would leave the grievance precisely in its original state.


We have fully stated our views on the subject in the concluding article of our work: by their accomplishment a real reform would be obtained, and all good would follow in their train. Our last wishes are, that the People, to whom we dedicate our labours, will be firm—united—and persevering; and, rely upon it, we are on the eve of as great a social regeneration as the destruction of Feudality, the abasement of Popery, or any other of the memorable epochs which have signalized the progress of nations.

February 1st, 1831.






We thought of submitting some observations on the recent reports of the two Houses of Parliament on Irish tithes, and the resolutions founded upon them, but, in looking over what we have written, we find the subject has been nearly exhausted in our copious articles on the united churches of England and Ireland. If the project of Ministers for converting arrears of tithes in Ireland into debts of the crown, and levying them by government process, be enforced, it concedes at once the important principle in dispute as to the tenure of church property. If an evasion of tithes may be prosecuted by the attorney-general, like an evasion of the excise or revenue laws, then is the income of the church identified with the income of the State, and the clergy admitted to be the stipendiaries of the public. Nothing, however, we apprehend, will ultimately result from the government measure: these are not the times to harden the tithe laws, and convert what has been hitherto treated as a civil delinquency, when committed by a whole body of Christians, into a criminal charge when committed by an entire kingdom. Ministers in this, as other emergencies, will be compelled to succumb to events. Public opinion obviously points to two inevitable conclusions,—first, the abolition of the Irish protestant establishment as a national church; and, secondly, the appropriation of the tithes and ecclesiastical revenue to the wants of society, and not suffering the former to be amalgamated with the rents of the landlords.

The increasing numbers and wealth of Dissenters indicate that the fate of tithes in Ireland involves their fate in England. Such are the conflicting claims of religionists that in all measures of general improvement, whether as respects popular education or parliamentary reform, the Government is embarrassed rather than supported by its alliance with any; and we doubt not the question will soon arise whether it would not be better policy for the State to withdraw its support from the privileged worship, rather than be compelled to adopt the alternative, which will be speedily forced upon its consideration, of granting a common support both to separatists and members of the national church.

In these movements there is nothing to excite alarm; least of all in the prompt extinction of tithe. It is an impolitic and impoverishing impost condemned by Mr. Pitt and every statesman of eminence, and the only miracle is that it has been so long upheld. The attempt to confound rent with tithe is monstrous. One is as much private property as the wages of the operative, and every one, rich or poor, is alike interested in maintaining its inviolability. The difference between them [xxxii] is almost as great as that between useful industry and downright robbery; or the sinecure of lord Ellenborough and the salary of an efficient servant of the public.

The most difficult part of the question is the settlement of existing interests. A substantial difference has always appeared to us to subsist between the claims of the clerical and lay-tithe owner, and we have expressed as much on a former occasion (p. 91). Beyond a life interest we imagine no one would claim a compensation for the clergy, and even for this it would be fair to accept a compromise. It is a plain case of bankruptcy, and in lieu of receiving the full value they must be content with a dividend. If such is their lot, they will not be alone in misfortune. What a sinking in the condition of most classes at this moment, and how many fortunes have been cut from under the possessors within the last twenty years! What fluctuations have been wrought by changes in the currency, the introduction of machinery, and improvements in mercantile law! The clergy cannot expect to be exempt from the vicissitudes of life. They ought, themselves, to practise the precepts of resignation it has been their duty to inculcate in others, and place their affections on treasures more enduring than temporal possessions.

If the occupation of the clergy be gone, it is their own fault, and they have only themselves to blame. Government has always been prompt to lend its aid to support the ecclesiastical establishment; but the days are past when the “arm of flesh” could be put forth to control the religious faith of a nation. The basis of the contract between Church and State is that the latter shall afford protection, on condition the former affords spiritual instruction, to the people. If, however, the people secede from the established communion, or if its ministers, from want of zeal—correct discipline—or soundness of doctrine—fail to make converts of the community over which they are the appointed pastors; why, then, it may be reasonably inferred that as the duties have ceased, or failed to be discharged, the stipends annexed to them ought to cease also; or, at least, the servants of the fallen or abandoned worship ought only to be paid temporary allowances—as was the case with the Catholic clergy at the Reformation—till such time as they can adjust themselves to the altered circumstances of society.

A consideration of a peculiar nature tends to augment the difficulties of this embarrassing subject, and the apprehensions naturally felt by many at the sinking state of the Irish protestant establishment. By the articles of Union the churches of the two kingdoms are united into one episcopal church, under the denomination of “the United Church of England and Ireland.” It was no doubt esteemed good policy in the framers of this great legislative measure to support the weakness of one church by the strength of the other; but in the existing circumstances of the two countries it is likely the English hierarchy will consider it true wisdom to imitate the example of a certain order of the creation, remarkable for prescience of coming calamites, and endeavour to scape from so perilous an alliance!




The Black Book: An Exposition of Abuses in Church and State, Courts of Law, Municipal Corporations, and Public Companies


Religion and the institution of property, the pursuits of science, literature, and commerce have greatly benefited the human race. Christianity is peculiarly the worship of the people: among them it originated, and to the promotion of their welfare its precepts are especially directed. Under the influence of its dogmas the pride of man is rebuked, the prejudices of birth annihilated, and the equal claim to honour and enjoyment of the whole family of mankind impartially admitted.

Men of liberal principles have sometimes shown themselves hostile to the Gospel; forgetting, apparently, that it has been the handmaid of civilization, and that for a long time it mitigated, and, finally, greatly aided in breaking the yoke of feudality. They are shocked at the corruptions of the popular faith, and hastily confound its genuine principles with the intolerance of Bigotry, the oppression of tithes, the ostentation of prelacy, and the delinquencies of its inferior agents, who pervert a humble and consoling dispensation into an engine of pride, gain, and worldliness. In spite, however, of these adulterations, the most careless observer cannot deny the generally beneficial influence of the Christian doctrine, in promoting decorum and equality of civil rights, in spreading a spirit of peace, charity, and universal benevolence.

As education becomes more diffused, the ancillary power of the best of creeds will become less essential to the well-being of society. Religions have mostly had their origin in our depravity and ignorance; they have been the devices of man’s primitive legislators, who sought, by the creations of the imagination, to control the violence of his passions, and satisfy an urgent curiosity concerning the phenomena by which he is surrounded. But the progress of science and sound morals renders superfluous the arts of illusion; inventions, which are suited only to the nursery, or an imperfect civilization, are superseded; and men submitting to the guidance of reason instead of fear, the dominion of truth, unmixed with error, is established on the ruins of priestcraft.


Even now may be remarked the advance of society towards a more dignified and rational organization. The infallibility of popes, the divine right of kings, and the privileges of aristocracy, have lost their influence and authority: they once formed a sort of secular religion, and were among the many delusions by which mankind have been plundered and enslaved. Superstition, too, is gradually fading away by shades; and it is not improbable it may entirely vanish, ceasing to be an object of interest, further than as a singular trait in the moral history of the species. Formerly, all sects were bigots, ready to torture and destroy their fellow-creatures in the vain effort to enforce uniformity of belief; now, the fervour of all is so far attenuated, as to admit not only of dissent, but equality of claim to civil immunities. The next dilution in pious zeal is obvious. Universal toleration is the germ of indifference; and this last the forerunner of an entire oblivion of spiritual faith. Such appears the natural death of ecclesiastical power; it need not to be hastened by the rude and premature assaults of Infidelity, which only shock existing prejudices, without producing conviction: while the priesthood continue to aid the civil magistrate, their authority will be respected; but when, from the diffusion of science, new motives for the practice of virtue and the maintenance of social institutions are generally established, the utility of their functions will cease to be recognized.

Sensible men of all ages have treated with respect the established worship of the people. If so unfortunate as to disbelieve in its divine origin, they at least classed it among the useful institutions necessary to restrain the passions of the multitude. This was the predominant wisdom of the Roman government. Speaking of this great empire, in its most triumphant exaltation, Gibbon says, “The policy of the emperors and the senate, as far as it concerned religion, was happily seconded by the reflections of the enlightened, and by the habits of the superstitious part of their subjects. The various modes of worship which prevailed in the known world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord.” [*] Further on he continues, “Notwithstanding the fashionable irreligion which prevailed in the age of the Antonines, both the interests of priests and the credulity of the people were sufficiently respected. In their writings and conversation, the philosophers asserted the independent dignity of reason; but they resigned their actions to the command of law and custom. Viewing with a smile of pity the various errors of the vulgar, they diligently practised the ceremonies of their fathers, devoutly frequented the temple of the gods, and, sometimes condescending to act a part on the theatre of superstition, they concealed the sentiments of the atheist under the sacerdotal robes. Reasoners of such a temper were scarcely inclined to wrangle about their respective modes of faith or of worship. [3] It was indifferent to them what shape the folly of the multitude might choose to assume; and they approached with the same inward contempt and the same external reverence the altars of the Libyan, the Olympian, or the Capitoline Jupiter.”

Can it be supposed the statesmen and teachers of the nineteenth century are less adroit and sagacious than those of pagan Rome? Can it be supposed those whose minds have been enlightened by foreign travel, who have witnessed the conflict of opposite creeds, and who have escaped the mental bondage of cloisters and colleges in the freedom of general intercourse, are less penetrating than the magnates of the ancient world? Like them too, they will be equally politic in maintaining an outward respect for the errors of the vulgar. In the prevailing worship they recognize an useful auxiliary to civil government; prosecuting no one for dissent, it can as little offend the philosopher as politician; and the topics of all-absorbing interest it holds forth to every class, divert the vast majority from too intense a contemplation of sublunary misfortunes, or from the painful contrast of their privations with the usurpations and advantages of their superiors.

The policy of governing nations by enlightening the few and hoodwinking the many, is of very old standing. It is strongly inculcated by Machiavel in his Prince, and Dugald Stewart remarks, that public men of the present day mostly hold the double-doctrine; [*] that is, they have one set of principles which they openly profess in complacence to the multitude, and another, comprising their real sentiments, which they keep to themselves, or confide to intimate friends. The result of this sinister policy may be constantly remarked in the proceedings of legislative assemblies: in the discussion of questions bearing on the social interests, especially such as involve the principles of government, the theory of morals, or population, there is invariably maintained a conventional latitude, beyond which if any one trespass, it is deemed more creditable to his sincerity than understanding. It is only the vain and superficial who unreservedly assail popular opinions, and prophane with invective and ribaldry the sanctities of religion. Such rash controversialists are ignorant of the points d’appui upon which the welfare and harmony of society depend; and though it may happen that honour, philanthropy, or patriotism be sufficient guarantees for the discharge of social duties by some, there are others whose turpitude can only be restrained by the fear of Tyburn or Tartarus. Hence theological inquiries have lost much of their interest, and are, in fact, placed beyond the pale of discussion. The mysteries of religion are well understood by the intelligent of all classes; it is considered for the good of society that some should “believe and tremble,” while others enjoy, in private, the consciousness of superior light; and to those who impugn and to those who dogmatise in matters of faith, the same indulgence is extended as to well-meaning disputants, who utter, as new discoveries, commonplace or self-evident truths.


Having made these general observations on the utility of religion, considered as a civil institution for the government of mankind during a period of ignorance, we shall proceed to our more immediate object—an exposition of the Established Church of this country.

In our elucidations of this important inquiry, it is not our intention to interfere with the doctrines of the national religion. We have heard that there are more than one hundred different sects of Christians: so it would be highly presumptuous in mere laymen to decide which of these multifarious modes of worship is most consonant to the Scripture. A certain Protestant Archbishop said, “Popery was only a religion of knaves and fools;” therefore, let us hope the Church of England, to which the Right Reverend Prelate belonged, comprises the honest and enlightened. The main purpose of our inquiries, is not the dogmas, but the temporalities of the Church. To us the great possessions of the clergy have long appeared an immense waste, which wanted surveying and enclosing, if not by act of parliament, by the act of the people. Like some of our political institutions, the excellence of our religious establishment has been greatly over-rated; it has been described as the most perfect in Europe; yet we are acquainted with none in which abuses are more prevalent, in which there is so little real piety, and in which the support of public worship is so vexatious and oppressive to the community.

Most countries on the Continent have reformed their church establishments: wherever a large property had accumulated in the hands of the clergy, such property has been applied to the service of the nation; and we are now the only people who have a large mass of ecclesiastical wealth appropriated to the maintenance of an indolent and luxurious priesthood. Even in papal Rome the church property has been sold to pay the national debt; so that far more property belonging to the clergy is to be found in any part of England of equal extent than in the Roman state. The cardinals of Rome, the bishops, canons, abbotts, and abbesses, have no longer princely revenues. A cardinal who formerly had thousands has now only four or five hundred pounds a-year. Residence is strictly enforced, and no such thing as pluralities is known; the new proprietors of the Church estates live on them and improve them to the best advantage. In France, there has been a still greater ecclesiastical reformation. Before the Revolution the clergy formed one fifty-second part of the population. The total number of ecclesiastics, in 1789, was estimated at 460,000, and their revenues at £7,400,000. At present the total number of ecclesiastics of all ranks, Protestant and Catholic, is about 40,000, and their total incomes £1,460,000. [*] Throughout Germany and Italy there have been great reforms in spiritual matters; the property of the church has been sold or taxed for the use of the state, and the enormous incomes of the higher have been more equally shared among the lower order of the clergy. In the Netherlands, the charges for religion, which supply the wants of the [5] whole community, except those of a few Jews, do not, in the whole, exceed £252,000, or 10d. per head per annum, for a population of six millions. [*] Even in Spain, under the most weak and bigotted government, ecclesiastical reform has made progress. A large portion of the produce of tithe is annually appropriated to the exigences of the State, and the policy adopted of late has dispossessed the clergy of their wealth; and this body, formerly so influential, is now lightly esteemed, and very moderately endowed.

Wherever these reforms have been made, they have been productive of the most beneficial effects; they have been favourable to religion and morality, to the real interests of the people, and even to the interests of the great body of the clergy themselves; they have broken the power of an order of men at all times cruel and tyrannical, at all times opposed to reform, to the progress of knowledge, and the most salutary ameliorations; they have diffused a spirit of toleration among all classes, removed the restrictions imposed by selfish bigotry, and opened an impartial career to virtue and talent in all orders; they have spread plenty in the land by unfettering the efforts of capital and industry, paid the debts of nations, and converted the idle and vicious into useful citizens. Wherever these changes have been introduced, they have been gratefully received by the People, and well they might; for with such changes their happiness is identified, liberty and intelligence diffused.

To England, however, the spirit of ecclesiastical improvement has not yet extended; though usually foremost in reform, we are now behind all nations in our ecclesiastical establishment; though the Church of England is ostentatiously styled the reformed Church, it is, in truth, the most unreformed of all the churches. Popery, in temporal matters at least, is a more reformed religion than Church of Englandism. There is no state, however debased by superstition, where the clergy enjoy such prodigious wealth. The revenues of our priesthood exceed the public revenues of either Austria or Prussia. We complain of the poor-rates, of superannuation charges, of the army and navy, of overgrown salaries and enormous sinecures; but what are all these abuses, grievous as they are, to the abuses of our church establishment, to the sinecure wealth of the bishops, dignitaries, and aristocratical rectors and incumbents? It is said, and we believe truly, that the clergymen of the Church of England and Ireland receive, in the year, more money than the clergy of all the rest of the Christian world put together. The clergy of the United Church cost at least seven times more than the whole of the clergy of France, Catholic and Protestant, while in France there is a population of 32,000,000; whereas, of the 24,000,000 of people comprising the population of our islands, less than one-third, or 8,000,000, are hearers of the Established Religion.

Such a system, it is not possible, can endure. While reform and reduction are in progress in other departments, it is not likely the clergy [6] should remain in undisturbed enjoyment of their possessions. To protect them from inquiry, they have neither prescriptive right nor good works to plead. As a body they have not, latterly, been remarkable for their learning, nor some of them for exalted notions of morality. It would be unfair to judge any class from individual examples; but it is impossible to open the newspapers without being struck by the repeated details of clerical delinquency. When there is an instance of magisterial oppression, or flagrant offence, it is almost surprising if some father in God, some very reverend dean, or some other reverend and holy person, be not accused or suspected. In this respect they resemble the clergy of the Church of Rome before the Reformation. It is known that the catholic priesthood in the fourteenth century exceeded all other classes in the licentiousness of their lives, their oppression, and rapacity; it is known, too, that their vices arose from the immense wealth they enjoyed, and that this wealth was the ultimate cause of their downfal.

It is not to the credit of the established clergy, that their names have been associated with the most disastrous measures in the history of the country. To the latest period of the first war against American independence, they were, next to George III. its most obstinate supporters; out of the twenty-six English Bishops, Shipley was the only prelate who voted against the war-faction. [*] To the commencement and protracted duration of the French revolutionary war, they were mainly instrumental; till they sounded the ecclesiastical drum in every parish, there was no disposition to hostilities on the part of the people; it was only by the unfounded alarms they disseminated, respecting the security of property and social institutions, the contest was made popular. In this, too, the episcopal bench was pre-eminent. Watson was the only bishop who ventured to raise his voice against the French crusade, and he, finding his opposition to the court fixed him in the poorest see in the kingdom, in the latter part of his life appeared to waver in his integrity. In supporting measures for restraining the freedom of discussion, and for interdicting to different sects of religionists a free participation in civil immunities, they have mostly been foremost.

Uniformly in the exercise of legislative functions, our spiritual lawmakers have evinced a spirit hostile to improvement, whether political, judicial, or domestic, and shown a tenacious adherence to whatever is barbarous, oppressive, or demoralizing in our public administration. The African slave-trade was accompanied by so many circumstances of cruelty and injustice, that it might have been thought the Bishops would have been the most forward in their endeavours to effect its abolition. Yet the fact is quite the contrary. They constantly supported that infamous traffic, and so marked was their conduct in this respect, that Lord Eldon was led, on one occasion, to declare that the commerce in human bodies could not be so inconsistent with Christianity as some [7] had supposed, otherwise it would never have been so steadily supported by the right reverend prelates. The efforts of Sir Samuel Romilly and others to mitigate the severity of the Criminal Code never received any countenance or support from the Bishops. But the climax of their legislative turpitude consists in their conduct on the first introduction of the Reform Bill. Setting aside the political advantages likely to result from this great measure, one of its obvious consequences was the destruction of the shameless immoralities and gross perjuries committed in parliamentary elections. Yet the Heads of the Church, in their anti-reform speeches, never once adverted to this improvement; their fears appeared chiefly to centre on the ulterior changes in our institutions which might flow from the Bill, and which might involve a sacrifice of their inordinate emoluments, and under this apprehension they voted against the people and reform.

Public education is a subject that appears to have peculiar claims on the attention of the clergy; unless indeed, as instructors of the people, their functions are extremely unimportant, and certainly, in this world, do not entitle them to much remuneration. Yet this is a duty they have generally neglected. Had not a jealousy of the Dissenters roused them into activity, neither the Bell nor Lancaster plans of instruction would have been encouraged by them. A similar feeling appears to have actuated them in the foundation of King’s College, in which their object is not so much the diffusion of knowledge, as the maintenance of their influence, by setting up a rival establishment to the London University. In short, they have generally manifested either indifference or open hostility to the enlightenment of the people, and, in numerous instances of eleemosynary endowments, they have appropriated to their own use the funds bequeathed for popular tuition.

So little connexion is there between the instruction of the people and the Church establishment, that it may be stated as a general rule that the ignorance and degradation of the labouring classes throughout England are uniformly greatest where there are the most clergy, and that the people are most intelligent and independent where there are the fewest clergy. Norfolk and Suffolk, for instance, are pre-eminently parsons’ counties; Norfolk has 731 parishes, and Suffolk 510. Yet it has been publicly affirmed, by those well-informed on the subject, [*] that so far as instruction goes, the peasantry of these two counties are as ignorant as “Indian savages.” The same observation will apply to the southern and midland counties, which have been the chief scene of fires and popular tumults, and where the people have been debased by the maladministration of the poor-laws. Compare the state of these districts with that of the north of England, in which it is generally admitted the people are best instructed and most intelligent, and where, from the great extent of parishes, they can have little intercourse with the parsons. Cumberland has 104 parishes, Durham 75, Northumberland [8] 88, Westmoreland 32, Lancaster 70, West-Riding of Yorkshire 193, Chester 90. It appears that Norfolk alone has a great many more parsons than all these northern counties, containing about one-third of the population of the kingdom. In Lancashire there are only 70 parsons for a million and a half of people; yet so little detriment have they suffered from the paucity of endowed pastors, that barristers generally consider the intelligence of a Lancashire common jury equal to that of a special jury of most counties.

A feeling of charity is the great beauty of Christianity; it is, indeed, the essence of all virtue, for, if real, it imports a sympathy with the privations of others divested of selfish considerations. The rich and prosperous do not need this commiseration; if they are not happy, it is their own fault, resulting from their artificial desires and ill-regulated passions. But the poor, without the means of comfortable subsistence, have scarcely a chance of happiness, though equally entitled with others to share in the enjoyments of life. It is the especial duty of the clergy to mitigate extreme inequalities in the lot of their fellow-creatures. Yet it is seldom their labours are directed to so truly a Christian object; though wallowing in wealth, a large portion of which is the produce of funds originally intended for the destitute and unfortunate, they manifest little sympathy in human wretchedness. As a proof of their ordinary callousness, it may be instanced that, at the numerous public meetings to relieve the severe distress of the Irish, in 1822, not a single Irish bishop attended, when it was notorious the immense sums abstracted by that class from the general produce of the country had been a prominent cause of the miseries of the people.

The clergy might be usefully employed in explaining to popular conviction the causes of the privations of the people, and in enforcing principles more conducive to their comfort and independence. In the agricultural districts, where their authority is least disputed, and where the sufferings of the inhabitants are greatest, such a course might be pursued under peculiar advantages. Their remissness in this respect is less excusable, since they are relieved from cares which formerly engaged anxious attention. In the time of Hoadley, Barrow, and Tillotson, much of the zeal and talent of the church was consumed in theological controversy: the removal of civil disqualifications has tended to assuage the fervour of ecclesiastical disputation, and the clergy have only tithes, not dogmas, to defend. This tendency to religious tranquillity has been also promoted by the indifference of the people, who discovered that little fruit was to be reaped from polemical disquisitions, which, like the researches of metaphysicians, tended to perplex rather than enlighten. Men now derive their religions as they do parochial settlements, either from their parents or birth-place, and seldom, in after life, question the creed, whether sectarian or orthodox, which has been implanted in infancy. The all-subduing influence of early credulity is proverbial. Once place a dogma in the catechism, and it becomes stereotyped for life, and is never again submitted to the ordeal of examination.


By education most have been misled,
So they believe because they so were bred;
The priest continues what the nurse began,
And thus the child imposes on the man!—Hind and Panther.

It is the inefficiency of the clergy as public teachers, the hurtful influence they have exerted on national affairs, and their inertness in the promotion of measures of general utility, that induce men to begrudge the immense revenue expended in their support, and dispose them to a reform in our ecclesiastical establishment. To the Church of England, in the abstract, we have no weighty objection to offer; and should be sorry to see her spiritual functions superseded by those of any other sect by which she is surrounded. Our dislike originates in her extreme oppressiveness on the people, and her unjust dealings towards the most deserving members of her own communion. To the enormous amount of her temporalities, and abuses in their administration, we particularly demur. It is unseemly, we think, and inconsistent with the very principles and purposes of Christianity, to contemplate lofty prelates with £20,000 or £40,000 a-year, elevated on thrones, living sumptuously in splendid palaces, attended by swarms of menials, gorgeously attired, and of priests to wait upon their persons, emulating the proudest nobles, and even taking precedence of them in all the follies of heraldry. Beneath them are crowds of sinecure dignitaries and incumbents, richly provided with worldly goods, the wealthiest not even obliged to reside among their flocks; and those who reside not compelled to do any one act of duty beyond providing and paying a miserable deputy just enough to keep him from starving. Contrasted with the preceding, is a vast body of poor laborious ministers, doing all the work, and receiving less than the pay of a common bricklayer or Irish hodman: but the whole assemblage, both rich and poor, paid so as to be a perpetual burthen upon the people, and to wage, of necessity, a ceaseless strife with those whom they ought to comfort, cherish, and instruct.

These are part of the abuses to which we object, and which we are about to expose; and as we intend our exposition to be complete, it may be proper to state the order in which the several subjects will be treated.

1. We shall inquire into the origin and tenure of Church-property, clearly showing that Church-property is public property, originally intended for, and now available to public uses.

2. We shall inquire into the tenure of patronial immunities; exhibit the present state of Church-patronage, and show, by examples, its abuses and perversion to political and family interests.

3. We shall expose the system of Pluralities, Non-residence, and other abuses in Church Discipline.

4. We shall treat on the enormous Revenues of the Established Clergy, from tithes, church-lands, surplice-fees, public charities, Easter-offerings, rents of pews, and other sources.

5. We shall detail some extraordinary examples of Clerical Rapacity, [10] exemplified in the conduct of the higher clergy, in regard to Queen Ann’s Bounty, and of the Clergy generally, as regards First Fruits, Moduses, and Tithes in London.

6. We shall advert to the history, origin, and defects of the Church Liturgy.

7. We shall compare the Numbers, Wealth, Moral and Educational efficiency of the Protestant Dissenters with the Established Clergy.

8. We shall inquire,—Who would be benefited by a Reform in the Church Establishment?

Lastly, we shall give a statement of the Incomes of the Bishoprics and principal Dignities, and an Alphabetical List of Pluralists in England and Wales, showing the number of livings and other preferments held by each individual, the names of their patrons, their family connexions, and influence.


A late dignitary of the church, the Rev. Dr. Cove, inclines to the idea that the consecration of a tenth part to the clergy was the consequence of “some unrecorded revelation made to Adam;” which, he says, is not only “a most rational, but the most probable solution” of the origin of tithes. To what parish church Adam paid his tithe, this zealous partizan of the establishment has left unascertained; if Adam paid tithe, he must have paid it to himself, or a very near relation,—a practice which, if tolerated in his descendants, would render them less averse from the impost, though it might be far from advantageous to the church establishment.

The only people who can pretend to place the right to tithe on divine authority are the Jews; but such a right, if it ever existed among them, certainly ceased with their theocracy. The Jews of this day pay no tithes for the support of their rabbis; nor, indeed, have any tithes been paid by this nation since the destruction of the Temple and consequent dispersion of the tribe of Levi.

It is so inconsistent with reason, that it may be almost affirmed to be an unquestionable fact, that there never was a religion, either Jew or Gentile, which could legally claim for its maintenance a tenth part of the yearly produce of land and labour. For the clergy to be entitled to a tenth, they ought to form one-tenth of the population; but there never was a mode of worship which required one-tenth of the people to be teachers and ministers. The tribe of Levi had a tenth, because they formed a tenth of the population, and had no other inheritance; but Aaron and his sons had only a tenth of that tenth; so that the clergy received no more than the hundredth part, the remainder being for other uses, for the rest of the Levites, for the poor, the stranger, the widow, the orphan, and the temple.

Christianity contains less authority for tithe than Judaism. Jesus Christ ordained no such burden; and in no part of his history is any compulsory provision for the maintenance of the clergy mentioned. Both our Saviour and his Apostles unceasingly taught poverty and [11] humility to their followers, and contempt of worldly goods. Hear their exhortations: “Carry neither scrip nor shoes; into whatever house ye enter, say, Peace.” “Take no care of what ye shall eat, nor what ye shall drink, nor for your bodies what ye shall put on.” “Beware of covetousness; seek not what ye shall eat, but seek the kingdom of God.” “Give alms; provide yourselves with bags that wax not old, a treasure in Heaven that faileth not.” Again, “Distribute unto the poor, and seek treasures in Heaven.” And, again, “Take care that your hearts be not charged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life.”

In all this there is no authority for tithing, and the fathers of the Church were equally hostile to this species of extortion. The council of Antioch, in the fourth century, allowed the bishops to distribute the goods of the Church, but to have no part to themselves. “Have food and raiment, be therewith content,” says the canon. It was only as real Christianity declined, that tithing began. When the simple worship of Christ was corrupted by the adoption of Jewish and Pagan ceremonies; when the saints and martyrs were put in the room of the heathen deities; when the altars, the bishops, prebends, and other corruptions were introduced; then tithes commenced, to support the innovations on the primitive faith.

It is impossible to ascertain exactly the period when tithes were first introduced into this country. During the first ages of the Church, its ministers were supported by charity, by oblations, and voluntary gifts. According to Blackstone, the first mention of tithes in any written English law is in a constitutional decree made in a synod held A.D. 786, wherein the payment of tithes is generally enjoined. But this was no law, merely a general recommendation, and did not, at first, bind the laity. They are next mentioned in the Fœdus Edwardi et Guthurni, or treaty agreed upon between King Guthrun, the Dane, and Alfred and his son Edward the elder, successive kings of England, about the year 900. Guthrun being a Pagan, it was thought necessary to provide for the subsistence of the Christian clergy under his dominion; accordingly the payment of tithes was enjoined, and a penalty imposed for its non-observance; which law is countenanced by the laws of Athelstan, and this, according to the Commentator, is all that can be traced out with regard to their legal origin. [*] In fact, this inquiry, like all others into the early constitutional history of the country, is involved in darkness and contradiction. We are not even satisfactorily informed of the origin of the civil divisions of the kingdom into counties, hundreds, and parishes. These have been commonly ascribed to Alfred; but the researches of late writers have traced them to a period of much earlier date.

One thing, however, is certain as regards tithes, namely, that in England, in France, and, probably, in all Christian countries, they were divided into four portions: one for the bishop, one for the poor, [12] one for the repair of the church, and one for the priest. A late writer [*] attempts to controvert the fourfold division of parochial tithes; but the fact rests upon such unquestionable authority, that it may be deemed a truth placed beyond dispute. Without digressing into any learned research, it may be observed that the quadrupartite division of tithes is still retained in many parishes in Ireland; a point which appears to have been overlooked by the reviewer. In the Diocesan Returns to Parliament in 1820, the bishop of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh and the bishop of Kildare remarked that in their dioceses is preserved the old episcopal establishment of the quarta pars; that is, a portion of the parochial tithes out of every parish is payable to the bishop.

The right of the poor to share in the tithe is established by the tenor of ancient statutes made to protect them from the consequences of the appropriation of parishes by spiritual corporations. After these appropriations had been effected, the religious houses were wont to depute one of their own body to perform divine service in those parishes of which the societies had become possessed of the tithes. This officiating minister was in reality no more than the curate or vicar of the appropriators, receiving from them an arbitrary stipend. Under this system the poor suffered so much, that the legislature was obliged to interpose, and, accordingly, the 15 Rich. II. c. 6 provides, that in all appropriations of churches the diocesan shall order a competent sum to be distributed among the poor parishioners annually; and that the vicar shall be sufficiently endowed. “It seems,” says Blackstone, “the parishes were frequently sufferers, not only by the want of divine service, but also by withholding those alms for which, among other purposes, the payment of tithes was originally imposed; and, therefore, in this act, a pension is directed to be distributed among the poor parochians as well as a sufficient stipend to the vicar.” []

One or two facts well attested are better than a hundred ingenious deductions and learned conjectures. What we have advanced not only establishes the original fourfold division of parochial tithes, but also the right of the poor to a portion of them. It also incidentally establishes another fact deserving attention, in showing the falsity of those representations made, from time to time, of the charity and hospitality of the abbeys and monasteries. By masses and obits and other sanctimonious pretexts, the monks possessed themselves of a large number of the benefices in the kingdom; instead of applying the revenues of these to the purposes of religion and charity, they perverted them to the enriching of their own fraternities, and a compulsory act of the legislature was necessary to compel them to restore to the poor a portion of their rights, and allow a decent maintenance to the parish priest. The little charity of the religious houses might be inferred from the general principles of human nature without the aid of facts. It is notorious that they had become the abodes of luxury, indolence, and crime. Who would expect from societies so depraved, either charity or hospitality? [13] The rich, the sensual, and vicious, rarely sympathise with indigence. For their own ease, and, as a motive to indifference, they are mostly prompt to calumniate the poor with unjust aspersions, and represent a lively zeal in their welfare, either as undeserved or mistaken benevolence.

The practice of appropriating livings was first introduced by the Normans; and within three hundred years after, the monks had become the proprietors of one-third of all the benefices in the kingdom, and these for the most part the richest. At the dissolution of the religious houses by the 27 and 31 Hen. VIII. these benefices, by the common law, would have been disappropriated, had not a clause been inserted in these statutes to give them to the King in as ample a manner as the abbots, &c. had held the same at the time of their dissolution. Having thus become the proprietor of one-third of the benefices as well as all the plate, revenues and wealth of the abbeys, the manner in which this monarch disposed of the treasure he had acquired accounts for the present state of ecclesiastical property. With a part of it he founded new bishoprics, colleges, and deaneries; large masses of it he gave to courtiers and noblemen; a portion he retained in his own hands, and the remainder applied to the maintenance of the reformed religion. Individuals, corporations, and colleges, who obtained grants from the Crown, obtained, also, all the rights annexed to them; and the present proprietors of the abbey-lands are proprietors of the tithes and benefices formerly attached to these lands. Hence it is so large a portion of the tithes are in the hands of laymen. It is calculated there are 3845 impropriations in England; that is, benefices, in the hands of persons not engaged in the service of religion, but who receive the great tithes, leaving only the vicarial tithes or other minor endowments for the maintenance of the incumbent,

The effect on society of this new disposition of ecclesiastical property has been differently represented by writers. Discontent is inseparable from the reform of every established practice and institution. Those who profit by abuses, and those who are benefited by their removal must view in different lights and hold forth different representations of measures by which they are oppositely affected. With the dissatisfaction of the monastic orders, there can be no surprise; their condition was that of drones forced from the hives in which they had devoured in idleness the fruits of others’ industry; but the dissatisfaction of other classes cannot be so readily explained. Mr. Hallam states that the summary abolition of the religious houses led to the great northern rebellion: [*] it is certain from the popular ballads of the time, this important measure was a subject of regret to the lower orders; and old Harry Jenkins laments that “those days were over in which he used to be invited to the Lord Abbot’s chamber, to feast on a quarter of a yard of roast beef and wassail in a black jack.” Two reasons may be assigned for the existence of this feeling; either it may be ascribed to [14] the cessation of the almsgiving and hospitality of the conventual bodies, or to the general ignorance of the people. The limited extent of the former has been already shown; if the populace could be conciliated by such miserable charity as we have adverted to, their fatuity may be likened to that of the multitude in more recent times, who are often blinded to their just claims by doles of soup or salt fish, or a bonus of 100 guineas out of an enormous civil list. The extreme ignorance of the people was, doubtless, the principal cause of their hostility to the reformation, and disqualified them from duly estimating the advantages likely to ensue from so great a revolution. While the people continue unenlightened, they must always be subject to their superiors, or those who possess influence enough to delude or direct them. The Forty-Shilling freeholders of Ireland were the alternate slaves of aristocratic landlords and fanatic priests, and in the votes they gave at the instigation of each, as well as in the tameness with which they submitted to be disfranchised, they have manifested a like rational view of their ultimate interests. The monks of the time of Henry VIII. were not less omnipotent over the multitude than the priests of Ireland, or those of Spain and Portugal; under the influence of the former the populace sung out whatever note they were directed; and, unquestionably, such views of the tendency of the reformation would be impressed upon them as best accorded with the interests of their spiritual guides.

To this cause we ascribe the popular feeling as regards the dissolution of monastic establishments. The same spirit opposed the opening of turnpike-roads, and the introduction of the cow-pox and machinery. But it is extremely erroneous to maintain that the Reformation was not a great blessing to the country, and tended, most essentially, to better the condition of the working classes. Had popery (such popery we mean as existed at that day) continued the established religion, the present condition of the people would have been no better than that of the degraded rabble who have restored Don Miguel and Don Ferdinand, and whose miseries, in spite of the almsgiving and hospitality of convents, are sufficiently acute to prevent an increase in their numbers. From the general poverty of the Peninsula, and the state of its agriculture, commerce, and population, fettered and oppressed by aristocratic, ecclesiastic, and corporate immunities, we may form an idea of what England would have been without the Reformation. Knowledge was incompatible with the power of the monks, whose influence was founded on the general belief of miracles, the sanctity of relics, and other pious frauds, to which popular illumination would have been fatal. Without, therefore, the excitement produced by their dispersion, and the freedom of discussion with which it was accompanied, the people would have remained intellectually debased; their ignorance was necessary to the ascendancy of those in whose hands they were, and of course they would have been kept in that state, and withheld from the only means by which their condition in society could be ameliorated. If more substantial benefits have not resulted from the Reformation, it may be easily traced to other causes. That great event certainly put [15] the people in possession, by removing the mental incubus of a degrading superstition, of the most powerful instrument, by which they can be obtained.

It is to be regretted that, at the dissolution of the abbeys, the immense revenue at the disposal of the Crown was not appropriated in a manner more advantageous to the community. One of the great evils in our social economy is the unequal division of property—the vast masses in which it is accumulated by entails and rights of primogeniture in the hands of individuals. This evil was aggravated by transferring the endowments of the monks to the aristocracy, and thus was lost a favourable juncture for obtaining better security for the liberties of the people, by a more equal partition of proprietary influence. Instead of wasting the spoils of the church on rapacious courtiers, it might have been appropriated, as in Scotland, to the establishment of a system of parochial education; or, it might have been applied to sustain the dignity of the Crown, or defray the charges of government without burthening the people, or to other undertakings of general and permanent interest. Of the magnitude of the opportunity thrown away, we may form some idea from the almost incredible wealth of the monastic institutions.

Of the annual value of 388 religious houses, we have no estimate; but, computing the value of these in the same proportion, as of the 653 of which we have the returns, the total revenue of the 1041 houses in England and Wales was £273,106:—a prodigious sum in those days, if we consider the relative value of money, and the smallness of the national income. But incredible as this revenue is, it was only the reserved rents of manors and demesnes, without including the tithes of appropriations, fines, heriots, renewals, deodands, &c. which would probably have amounted to twice as much. Upon good authority it is stated the clergy were proprietors of seven-tenths of the whole kingdom; and, out of the three remaining tenths, thus kindly left to king, lords, and commons, were the four numerous orders of mendicants to be maintained, against whom no gate could be shut, to whom no provision could be denied, and from whom no secret could be concealed.

Mr. Cobbett often amuses his readers by exclamations of astonishment, in contemplating the splendid cathedrals of Lincoln, Ely, Canterbury, and Winchester; considering them incontestable evidence of the great wealth and population of the country at the period of their erection. But it would be quite as correct for future generations to refer to Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace as evidence of the general contentment and prosperity of the kingdom under the government of the Boroughmongers. The fact is, it was not necessary either the population or general wealth of the community should be very great to enable the Catholic priesthood to erect those magnificent, but comparatively useless, structures. Pious souls! they had possessed themselves of nearly the whole land and labour of the community, and would have grasped the remainder, had it not been for the interference of the legislature. Such have been the religious propensities of the English, at all times, that [16] the fervour of their piety has oftener required checking than encouraging by their rulers. It was with this view the Mortmain Act was passed, in the reign of Henry VII. which, by prohibiting the bequest of property to the ecclesiastical bodies, prevented the patrimony of almost every family in the kingdom from being engulphed by the cunning and insatiable monks. Had the vast amount of landed property acquired by spiritual corporations, previously to the passing of this statute, remained tied up in their hands, it must have formed an insuperable obstacle to the development of the productive powers of the country, and under such a system neither the riches nor numbers of the people could have greatly augmented.

The statements of church property before the Reformation would appear exaggerated, had we not illustrative proof in the present state of Ireland and other countries. The mere remnant of the estates of the church, now held by the Irish Protestant Establishment, is calculated at two elevenths of the entire soil of the kingdom. In Tuscany, before the French Revolution had partially regenerated the dukedom, the priesthood was found, from inquiries instituted by the grand duke, to enjoy seventeen parts in twenty of the land. In Spain and Portugal, and in France, the monopoly of the church was nearly as great.

But we shall now leave the subject. We could not treat on the origin of church property in this country, without adverting to the changes effected by the Reformation. We shall next advert to the tenure on which the property of the church devolved, and continues to be holden by our Protestant Establishment.

It seems almost a work of supererogation to set about proving that the property of the established church is public property, the bare terms of the proposition apparently involving the demonstration. What can be understood by an established church, but a church endowed by the state, and, if so endowed, subordinate to the state, and for the benefit thereof? This principle has been recognized in every country in Europe. Wherever church property has been interfered with, (and we know none where it has not been interfered with,) it never appears to have been surmised that the state had not only the power but the right to give a new disposition to ecclesiastical endowments, either by appropriating them to the maintenance of a different religion, or to the necessities of the community. In England this power has been distinctly admitted, as appears from the measures adopted at the Reformation: at that period a commission was appointed to investigate the abuses of the church; a return was made of the value of all monasteries and religious houses, of parochial livings, episcopal and cathedral dignities, and every other species of ecclesiastical revenue, and the whole entered in a book, called Liber Regalis, or the King’s Book. This important document has been recently reprinted by the Commissioners of Public Records; it is the only authentic survey of the revenues of the church; and the result was, as before described, an entire new disposition of ecclesiastical property. No claim appears to have been set up that the property was sacred, and in every succeeding period it has been treated [17] in a similar manner. It has been always considered public property, and the government, for the time being, whether a monarchy under a Tudor, or a commonwealth under Cromwell, has always exercised the right of applying it to secular uses, or to the maintenance of whatever form of faith might be in vogue, whether Catholic, Protestant, or Presbyterian.

Down to our own time the same principle has been constantly acted upon by parliament. In the numerous acts of parliament, passed within the last thirty years, for regulating the sale and exchange of parsonage-houses and glebe-lands, of mortgages in cases of buildings and repairs, church property is invariably treated as public property, the ownership of which is vested in the State. Were it not so, the legislature could have no more right to interfere in the disposal of the property of the church than of the property of private individuals. It could have no right to pass the act for prohibiting the sale of spiritual preferment, by making it penal to present to any benefice for money, gift, or reward. It could have no right to pass the act, by which an incumbent is compelled to pay to his curate the whole, or a proportionate part of the income of his benefice. It could have no right to pass the Church-Building Acts, authorizing the division of parishes, glebes, and tithes; nor the various statutes for regulating the discipline of the clergy, by compelling them to reside on their benefices, or refrain from exercising any trade, or taking any farm of more than eighty acres of land. It is never attempted by such legislative interference, to control the conduct and possessions of laymen. The possessor of an estate can sell it to another in his lifetime, or, after his death, bequeath it to posterity; but the clergy have no such power over their possessions. They have at most only a life-interest; and even of that they may be disinherited at the pleasure of their diocesan. The tenure of their property is similar to that by which any public servant holds the office of Secretary of State, or the Chancellorship of the Exchequer.

The church is now as anxious to disown connexion with the state as it formerly was to claim its alliance and protection. With this view ingenious theories, for they are nothing more, have been put forth to prove that ecclesiastical property has not been derived from any public grant or concession. It has been alleged, for instance, that tithes and other profits of ecclesiastical benefices were not derived from the state, but from the bounty of private individuals, by whom such benefices were founded and endowed. This assumption has been refuted by Mr. Eagle in his admirable Legal Argument on Tithes: he has proved by the most incontestable authorities, that parochial tithes formed no part of the original endowment of benefices; that the dowry of churches at the time of their foundation consisted of house and glebe only, and that tithes were subsequently assigned to incumbents by the state. But were it otherwise, and could it be shewn that the gifts of individuals formed part of the endowments of benefices, still the public nature of the purposes to which they were appropriated has made them the property of the public to the exclusion of all other claimants.


Others again attempt to defend the claims of the clergy, upon the principle that they possess corporate rights, and hence contend that though the existing race of bishops, deans, prebendaries, rectors, and vicars might compromise their interests with the state, they could have no power to enter into any arrangement for the future, by which their successors might be deprived of the reversion of church property.

To this it has been answered, that bodies politic and corporate are civil institutions created by the law, and what the law has power to create it has power to abrogate. Therefore if the legislature, in the exercise of its undoubted right to dissolve by the law that which was created by the law, should think fit to put an end to the corporate capacity of the clergy, their right to the tithes and other profits of their benefices would necessarily cease. For they could not claim as individuals that which they had held and enjoyed in their corporate capacity only. Their possessions would revert to the state, from which they had been derived, to be disposed of in the manner best calculated to promote the welfare of the nation.

But it is useless to contend with mere legal fictions, shadows, and assumptions. The entire argument on church tithes may be comprised in a very small compass, and rests on recent and indubitable authority. The tenure of ecclesiastical property was prescribed by the Statutes of Dissolution at the time of the Reformation. The legislature of that day made a new disposition of the possessions of the church, and reserved to itself, and has constantly exercised the power of altering that disposition in future. Any title or claim of the clergy antecedent to these acts is superseded on the well-known principle that posterior abrogate prior laws. If the acts of Henry VIII. be invalid, if the parliament of the sixteenth century be deemed to have exceeded its powers, what would be the consequences? Why precisely those which have been forcibly pointed out by Mr. Eagle. All the grantees, lay and ecclesiastical, of the lands and tithes of the dissolved monasteries would not have a shadow of a legal title, and therefore the Duke of Bedford and every other descendant of the grantees would be liable to be called to account for the past rents and profits accruing from their possessions.

To conclude, the established clergy are a great body of public stipendiaries, engaged for the discharge of specific duties; and their rights and constitution resemble more those of our military establishment than any other department of the national service. Like the army, the clergy have their own laws, and may be tried by their own courts. A regular subordination exists from the lowest to the highest; from the curates, who are privates in the ecclesiastical corps, to the rectors and vicars, who are regimental officers; from thence to the bishops and archbishops, who are generals and field-marshals: there are, also, district generals, inspectors, and quarter-masters-general under the names of archdeacons, deans, and prebendaries. The bishops have their regular staff of commissaries, chaplains, secretaries, and apothecaries. No clergyman can be absent without leave, and is liable to be broken or cashiered for neglect of duty. The king is the supreme head of the [19] Church and the Army; he appoints to all the principal commissions, and in both a plurality of commissions may be holden. Supplies are voted by the parliament for both branches of service; either may be augmented or diminished, or entirely discontinued, as circumstances require. Lastly, the military have the same property in their muskets, barracks, and accoutrements, that the clergy have in their pulpits, tithes, and cathedrals; both may be transferred from the present possessors to others, or sold for the benefit of the community.

Such being the tenure of ecclesiastical immunities, it is mere sophistry to contend that the property of the church is as sacred as any other property. No analogy exists betwixt the rights of individuals, or even of corporations, and the rights of the church, and this view of the subject is confirmed by the history of the church itself, and the example of every European government. If the church ever had an indefeasible claim, it could only have appertained to the catholic church, to which the ecclesiastical revenues were originally granted. But whatever corporate or other rights the catholic church might claim, they were annihilated at the Reformation, and the legislators of that period plainly dealt with the possessions of the clergy, as neither perpetually attached to any particular class of persons, nor to any particular form of worship. They evidently treated church endowments as a sort of waif or estray; and, in assigning them pro tempore to the protestant establishment, they only assigned them on the terms of a tenancy-at-will, subject to such conditions of occupancy, ejectment, forcible entry, &c. as the parliamentary landlords might think expedient from time to time to promulgate.


If the possessions of the clergy are not inviolate, the rights of patrons appear to have a still less substantial guarantee. It has, however, been affirmed by an eminent ecclesiastical judge, Dr. Lushington, [*] that, whatever opinion might be held on the general tenure of ecclesiastical property, there could be no doubt advowsons were strictly private property. As this is a point of great importance, it may be proper, before we give an exposition of the present state of church patronage, shortly to elucidate the nature and origin of patronial immunities. Our observations will, of course, apply solely to the rights of private individuals: of the tenure of the patronage vested in the king, the lord chancellor, the bishops, deans and chapters, there cannot be any difference of opinion; all these exercise their patronage ex officio, and unquestionably the same legislative power which has authority to regulate the functions of these offices, may make regulations as to the disposition of the ecclesiastical patronage appertaining to them.

A patron, as is well known, is one who has the right to present to ecclesiastical preferment. The exercise of this right is called a presentation, and the right itself an advowson. When the Christian [20] religion was first established in England, the sovereign began to build cathedrals, and afterwards, in imitation of him, lords of manors founded churches on part of their demesnes, endowing them with house and glebe, reserving to themselves and heirs a right to present a fit person to the bishop as officiating clergyman. Hence most advowsons were formerly appendant to manors, and the patrons parochial barons: it was only by the corruptions of later ages the lordship of the manor and the patronage of the church were dissevered, and any one, however mean and disreputable, might, by purchase, aspire to the dignity of patron.

Still such presentative right, however valuable it might be as a provision for relatives and friends, was deemed purely an honorary function, from the exercise of which no lucrative benefit ought to accrue to the possessor. For the better security of this principle, severe laws have been enacted to punish patrons who dispose of spiritual preferment from interested motives. If a patron present any person to a benefice for a corrupt consideration, by gift, promise, or reward, the presentation is void, and, for that turn, lapses to the Crown. If a person procure a presentation for money or profit, and is presented, he is disabled from holding the living. Even general bonds given to resign a benefice at the request of a patron, or in favour of some particular person, have been declared a violation of the statutes. [*] Such transactions have been termed simony, from their supposed relation to the offence of Simon Magus, who offered, with money, to buy the Holy Ghost. The design of the Legislature was to prevent the obtrusion of improper persons in the ministry, and guard against the patronage of the Church being perverted to objects of mere lucre in lieu of promoting religion and virtue. For the same salutary end, bishops may refuse to institute the presentee of a patron who is not sufficiently learned, or labours under moral or canonical disqualification.

In practice, however, all these precautions are nugatory, and the laws against simony are as easily evaded as those against usury or the sale of seats in the House of Commons. Preferment in the Church is as regular a subject of sale as commissions in the army; and a patron would as soon think of rewarding an individual for his learning and piety with the gift of a freehold estate as a church living. Hence, the door of the church is open to all, whether they have a call or not, provided they possess a golden key; and, in the Metropolis, offices are openly kept in which spiritual preferment is sold as regularly as offices in the East Indies, medical practice, or any other secular pursuit. Not unfrequently, a cure of souls is brought under the hammer of an auctioneer, and a Jew, who maintains our Saviour was an impostor, may, if he please, purchase the right to select a proper person for the ministry of the Gospel. In short, church patronage is dealt with as a mere commodity, and the produce of tithe and glebe, instead of [21] being employed as the reward of religious zeal and service, is bought, like a life annuity, as a provision and settlement for families. [*]

These abuses must always continue while the law tolerates the sale of advowsons; it is in vain to prohibit the corrupt presentation to an ecclesiastical benefice, if a third person may purchase the right to present, and, under the semblance of a gift, convey the benefice to his employer. But such perversion can in no way strengthen the claims of patrons, and entitle them to set up a mere incorporeal immunity as real property. The history of church patronage, as well as the enactments of the law, are repugnant to the idea of treating church patronage as houses and land. In cases of bankruptcy and insolvency, the assignees can neither sell nor present to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice; this is a personal function which cannot be delegated or assigned like a mere chattel, but must be discharged by the insolvent himself. Were, therefore, the Church reformed to-morrow, and all its ministers placed on an uniform salary of £250 a-year, the patrons of livings could not claim a compensation for the loss of tithe and church estate. They never, either in law or in equity, had a beneficial interest in the Church; their interests were purely honorary and functional: and were the patronage of livings continued to them under a reformed system, however much the value of advowsons might be depreciated in the market, whatever interest they legally possessed would have been abundantly respected.

Having shortly exhibited the origin and tenure of patronial immunities, we shall next explain the present distribution of church patronage, and the mode and purposes for which it is usually employed.

The patronage of the Church is in the king, bishops, deans and chapters, universities, collegiate establishments, aristocracy, and gentry. The king’s patronage is the bishoprics, all the deaneries in England, thirty prebends, twenty-three canonries, the mastership of the Temple, [22] the wardenship of the collegiate church of Manchester, and 1048 livings. The lord chancellor presents to all the livings under the value of £20 in the king’s book, which are about 780; he also presents to six prebendal stalls in Bristol cathedral, and to five in each of the cathedrals of Gloucester, Norwich, and Rochester; the other ministers present to the remaining patronage of the crown. Upwards of 1600 pieces of church-preferment are in the gift of the bishops; more than 600 in the presentation of the two universities; 57 in the colleges of Eton and Winchester: about 1000 in the gifts of cathedrals and collegiate establishments; and the remainder in the gift of the aristocracy and private individuals.

The population-returns of 1821 make the number of parishes and parochial chapelries in England and Wales 10,674; which, divided into rectories and vicarages, exhibit the following classification of parochial patronage:—

In the gift of Rectories. Vicarages.
The crown 558 490
The bishops 592 709
Deans and chapters 190 792
University of Oxford 202 112
University of Cambridge 152 131
Collegiate establishments 39 107
Private individuals 3,444 3,175

In addition, there are 649 chapels not parochial, making the total number of benefices in England and Wales, without allowing for the consolidation of the smaller parishes, 11,342. To this number ought to be added 227 new churches and chapels erected under the authority of the Church-Building-Acts, and which must hereafter greatly augment the patronage and revenues of the established church. All these churches and chapels constitute, by the statutes, so many separate benefices, their ministers are incumbents, and bodies corporate, empowered to take endowments in land or tithes.

The benefices now in the gift of the Crown were reservations, when the manors to which they were appendant were granted away, or were acquired by lapse, or conferred on Henry VIII. and his successors, by act of parliament, at the dissolution of the monasteries to which they belonged. The livings belonging to the bishoprics, the deans and chapters, the universities, and colleges, were the gifts of their munificent founders. Those in the hands of private individuals have come into their possession along with their estates, or they have purchased or inherited the advowson dissevered from manorial rights.

Directly or indirectly the entire patronage of the church may be said to be vested in the Crown. No one is eligible to church-preferment, unless first ordained by the bishop; when eligible, no one can enjoy any benefice unless instituted by a bishop: the bishops, therefore, by ordination and institution, have a double power to exclude obnoxious persons: and the bishops themselves being appointed by the king, the [23] latter has, virtually, the whole patronage of the church, having a veto on all ecclesiastical appointments by the aristocracy, the gentry, cathedrals, and other bodies in which church patronage is vested.

It is easy to conceive how much the power of the Crown is thereby augmented. The clergy, from superior education, from their wealth and sacred profession, possess greater influence than any other order of men, and all the influence they possess is as much subservient to government as the army or navy, or any other branch of public service. Upon every public occasion the consequence of this influence is apparent. There is no question, however unpopular, which may not obtain countenance by the support of the clergy: being everywhere, and having much to lose, and a great deal to expect, they are always active and zealous in devotion to the interests of those on whom their promotion depends. Hence their anxiety to attract notice at county, corporate, and sessional meetings. Whenever a loyal address is to be obtained, a popular petition opposed, or hard measure carried against the poor, it is almost certain some reverend rector, very reverend dean, or venerable archdeacon, will make himself conspicuous.

It has been before remarked that church patronage is a regular article of sale. Besides being sold for money, spiritual preferment is devoted to political objects, and to the emolument of powerful families, chiefly the nobility. Few individuals attain high honour in the church, unless remarkable for their devotion to government; any show of liberality or independence is fatal to ecclesiastical ambition, as may be instanced in the history of a Watson, a Paley, or a Shipley. On the contrary, hostility to reform, subserviency to ministers, and alacrity in supporting them on all occasions, is sure to be rewarded. We do not think the conduct of the Bishops in voting against the reform bill any objection to this imputation. They, doubtless, calculated, as Lord Brougham remarked, on “tripping up the heels” of the Whig Ministers. That they have mostly thriven by subserviency, will be apparent from adverting to the claims to promotion of the individuals rewarded by mitres under Tory administrations. Two of them are generally known as “the Lady’s Bishops,” from the nature of the court influence to which it is supposed they were indebted for their exalted stations. Marsh, one of the most orthodox, was a political pamphleteer, who wrote a book in favour of Pitt’s war; after which he received a pension, then a bishopric. Blomfield owed his first preferment to a noble lord, whom he had pleased by his dexterity in rendering some Greek verses; his subsequent elevation is said to have been purchased by a compromise of principle on the catholic question: he did not vote on the first introduction of the reform bill, divided, probably, by a sense of gratitude to his early patron lord Spencer, and uncertainty as to future events. Dr. Monk is also an eminent haberdasher in “points and particles.” He was raised to the throne of Gloucester, from the deanery of Peterborough and rectory of Fiskerton; and to which elevation it is not unlikely he paved the way by a fulsome dedication of his “Life of Bentley” to his friend and patron, the bishop of London. The tergiversations [24] and subserviency of Dr. Philpotts are too notorious to require description. The archbishop of Canterbury is, as far as we know, without any particular trait of distinction, either in his history or character. He was formerly dean of the Royal Chapel, and tutor to the prince of Orange; he seems a man of great singleness of mind; for in one of his charges to the clergy, he deplores the absence of that “humble docility” and “prostration of the understanding” which formerly rendered the people such apt subjects, either of religious or political knavery. The bishop of Durham is of Dutch extraction, and some years since underwent a severe prosecution for non-residence on a benefice in the City, of which he was then incumbent. Burgess is a protégé of lord Sidmouth, who is now living in retirement on a pension of £3000 a year, granted for “high and efficient” services to church and state. Coplestone is the writer of a satirical squib, called “Hints to a Young Reviewer,” directed against a well-known northern periodical. John Bird Sumner is considered a person of some merit, and has written several articles in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia. Carey, too, who was sub-almoner to George III. is also an author and has published a sermon, preached on the occasion of the famous “Jubilee.” With the exception of Bathurst and Maltby little is known of the rest; they have mostly been indebted for promotion to marriage, or to their connexions with the aristocracy, either by relationship, or from having filled the office of tutor or secretary in their families. In this roll of services, of accident of birth, of situation, and connexion, there is evidently no claim of public service or utility to entitle the bishops to their princely revenues and vast patronage.

One of the greatest abuses in the disposal of patronage is monopoly, in a few individuals, of influence and connexion, sharing among them the most valuable emoluments of the church. In all spiritual offices and dignities, there is a great difference in value, and also in patronage; and the great object of ecclesiastical intrigue is, to secure not only the most valuable, but the greatest number of preferments. Hence arises the present disposition of church property. Scarcely any preferment is held single; the sees, dignities, rectories, and vicarages, being mostly held with other good things, and the most valuable monopolized by the relations and connexions of those who have the disposal of them; namely, the Crown, the Bishops, and Aristocracy. The bishops are frequently archdeacons and deans, rectors, vicars, and curates, besides holding professorships, clerkships, prebends, precentorships, and other offices in cathedrals. Their sons, sons-in-law, brothers, and nephews, are also pushed in to the most valuable preferments in the diocese. We shall give an instance of the manner of serving out the loaves and fishes of the church in particular families, from the example of Sparke, bishop of Ely, who owed his promotion to the circumstance of having been tutor to the duke of Rutland. The exhibition is limited to the two sons and son-in-law of the bishop, without including appointments to distant relatives. In the shiftings, exchanges, resignations, movings about, and heaping up of offices, we have a complete picture of the [25] ecclesiastical evolutions which are constantly being performed in almost every diocese of the kingdom.

1815. The Rev. John Henry Sparke, the eldest son, took his degree of B.A.; he was then about 21; he was immediately appointed by his father to a bishop’s fellowship in Jesus College, Cambridge.
1816. He was appointed steward of all his father’s manorial courts.
1818. He took his degree of M.A., and was presented to a prebendal stall in Ely Cathedral, on the resignation of the Rev. Archdeacon Brown, who had been holding it one year: he was also presented to the sinecure rectory of Littlebury, and in the following month he was presented to the living of Streatham-cum-Thetford, by an exchange with the Rev. Mr. Law for the living of Downham, which last living had been held for three years by the Rev. Mr. Daubeny, the bishop’s nephew, who now resigned it in favour of Mr. Law, and retired to the living of Bexwell.
1819. The Rev. J. H. Sparke had a dispensation granted him from the archbishop of Canterbury, permitting him to hold the living of Cottenham with his other preferments.
1818. The Rev. Henry Fardell, the bishop’s son-in-law, was ordained deacon.
1819. He was presented to a prebendal stall in Ely, the degree of M.A. having been conferred on him by the archbishop of Canterbury.
1821. He was presented to the living of Tyd St Giles.
1822. He was presented to the living of Waterbeach, on the resignation of the Rev. Mr. Mitchell.
1823. He resigned Tyd St. Giles, and was presented to Bexwell, on the resignation of the Rev. Mr. Daubeny, the bishop’s nephew, who was presented to Feltwell; but in a few weeks, when the value of Feltwell was better understood, Mr. Daubeny was required to resign Feltwell and return to Bexwell. This, it is said, he did with great reluctance; he was, however, presented to Tyd as well as Bexwell, and the Rev. Mr. Fardell was then presented to Feltwell.
1824. The Rev. J. Henry Sparke was appointed Chancellor of the diocese, and this year he resigned the prebendal stall he held, and was presented to the one which became vacant by the death of the Rev. Sir H. Bate Dudley; the house and gardens belonging to the latter stall being considered the best in the College.
1826. The Rev. Edward Sparke, the bishop’s youngest son, took his degree of B.A., and was immediately presented by his father to a bishop’s fellowship in St. John’s College, Cambridge, on the resignation of Charles Jenyns, Esq. a friend of the family, who had been holding it three years. He was also appointed Register of the diocese.
1827. The Rev. J. Henry Sparke resigned the livings of Cottenham and Stretham, and was presented to the rich living of Leverington.
1829. The Rev. J. Henry Sparke was presented to Bexwell.
1829. The Rev. Edward Sparke took his degree of M.A. and was presented to a prebendal stall on the resignation of Rev. Ben. Park (another friend of the family) who had been holding it three years.
He was also this year presented to the living of Hogeworthingham, and to the living of Barley.
1830. He resigned Hogeworthingham, and was presented to Connington. This year he resigned Barley also, and was presented to Littleport.
1831. He resigned Connington, and was presented to Feltwell, at the same time he resigned his prebendal stall, and was presented to the one become vacant by the death of the Rev. George King—the rich living of Sutton being in the gift of the possessor of the latter stall.
1831. The Rev. Henry Fardell resigned Feltwell, and was presented to the rich living of Wisbech.

The Rev. J. Henry Sparke now holds the living of Leverington, the sinecure rectory of Littlebury, the living of Bexwell, a prebendal stall in Ely Cathedral, [26] is steward of all his father’s manorial courts, and Chancellor of the diocese. The estimated annual value of the whole, £4,500.

The Rev. Henry Fardell now holds the living of Waterbeach, the vicarage of Wisbech, and a prebendal stall in Ely Cathedral. The estimated annual value of his preferments, £3,700.

The Ref. Edward Sparke holds the consolidated livings of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, Feltwell, the vicarage of Littleport, a prebendal stall in Ely, is Register of the diocese, and Examining Chaplain to his father. The estimated annual value of his appointments not less than £4000.

The bishop’s see of Ely and dependencies, £27,742.

Total income of the Sparke family, £39,942.

In the Ordination-Service a bishop is said to be intrusted with office for “the glory of God, and the edification of the Christian flock.” He is particularly enjoined not to be “covetous,” nor “greedy of filthy lucre,” and he promises to be “faithful in ordaining, sending, and laying hands on others.” How far bishop Sparke has observed these matters, we shall not presume to say; it is obvious, however, that the faithful discharge of the duties of his office does not allow the “sending” of relations and connexions on the service of the church, unless duly and properly qualified. For any thing we know, his sons and son-in-law may be amply qualified for these numerous endowments; indeed, they must be men of extraordinary capabilities, to be able to discharge the duties of so many and important offices.

Bishop Sparke is not the only prelate who has shown regard to the temporal welfare of his family. Other prelates seem to agree with lord Plunket and sir R.Inglis, in considering church property of the nature of private property, which cannot be better employed than in providing handsome marriage portions for their sons and daughters. Several prelates are of too recent elevation to have had time to send off numerous branches into the church; but an example or two from their immediate predecessors on the bench will illustrate the ordinary working of the system. The late archbishop Sutton is an eminent instance of the perversion of ecclesiastical patronage. The Suttons remaining in the church are very numerous; among seven of them are shared sixteen rectories, vicarages, and chapelries, besides preacherships and dignities in cathedrals. Of the eleven daughters of the archbishop, several had the prudence to marry men in holy orders, who soon became amply endowed. Hugh Percy, son of the earl of Beverly, married one daughter; and, in the course of about as many years, was portioned off with eight different preferments, estimated to be worth £10,000 per annum; four of these preferments were given in one year, probably that of the nuptials, and intended as an outfit. This fortunate son-in-law is now bishop of Carlisle, to which see he was translated from Rochester. According to law he ought to have resigned all the preferments he held at the time of being promoted to a bishopric; but somehow he has contrived to retain the most valuable prebend of St. Paul’s, worth £3000 per annum, and also the chancellorship of Sarum. Another daughter of the archbishop married the Rev. James Croft, who is archdeacon of Canterbury, prebendary of Canterbury, curate of Hythe, rector of [27] Cliffe-at-Hone, and rector of Saltwood—all preferments in the gift of the archbishop.

Archbishop Sutton kept a favourable eye towards collaterals as well as those in a direct line. A sister married a Rev. Richard Lockwood, who was presented, in one year, with the three vicarages of Kessingland, Lowestoff, and Potter-Heigham: all these livings are valuable, and in the gift of the bishop of Norwich, and were presented by his grace when he held that see. The archbishop left the Rev. T. M. Sutton and the Rev. Evelyn L. Sutton, chaplains to the House of Commons, and a nephew with several livings; but we cannot state particulars.

The late bishop of Winchester is another instance of a man who provided well for his family out of the revenues of the church. This prelate first held the sea of Lincoln, and changed his name from Pretyman to Tomline, on acceding to a large estate bequeathed by a relation. He had been tutor to the “heaven-born Minister,” to whom he was indebted for his earliest preferments. His children, it will be seen, from the subjoined enumeration, are not left destitute in the world.

G. T. Pretyman:

Chancellor and Canon Residentiary of Lincoln,
Prebendary of Winchester,
Rector of St. Giles, Chalfont,
Rector of Wheat-Hampstead,
Rector of Harpenden.

Richard Pretyman:

Precentor and Canon Residentiary of Lincoln,
Rector of Middleton-Stoney,
Rector of Walgrave,
Vicar of Hannington,Rector of Wroughton.

John Pretyman:

Prebendary of Lincoln,
Rector of Sherrington,
Rector of Winwick.

The younger Pretymans had, also, some nice pickings out of the Mere and Spital charities, the wardenship of which the father got hold of by the exchange of a living in his gift; but as the subject has already been before the public, we refrain from dwelling upon it.

The Sumners, Blomfields, and Marshes are growing thick in the church calendar, but, as before remarked, they have been too recently planted to have yet struck their roots wide and deep in the Lord’s vineyard. The death of a bishop causes a movement in the church, like a change of ministers in the state. Expectations are excited, numerous removes follow, the adherents and connexions of the deceased are got out of the way as fast as possible, and all vacancies filled with the followers of the new diocesan. No regard is apparently paid to “the faithful ordaining, sending, or laying hands on others;” the great object is to secure the dignities, the fat living, the fine living, the noble living to the next of kin. The excessive greediness of filthy [28] lucre has long been the reproach of the episcopal bench, and it is known that former diocesans of London, Durham, Winchester, and Canterbury, have died loaded with the spoils of the church. The wealth they amassed was due to the poor, to God, and the unfortunate of their own order. In the epistle which is read at their consecration, it is required of them that they should “be given to hospitality:” they, likewise, solemnly promise to assist the “indigent, and all strangers who are destitute of help.” But who ever heard of a bishop being generous, of being given to hospitality, or assisting the unfortunate? who ever heard of them employing their immense revenues in any useful work; of their patronage of science, of literature, or the arts? Most of them have been only intent on amassing immense fortunes, and leaving behind them their million or half million, like Jew-jobbers, loan-contractors, and commercial speculators. They live out of the world, consuming, in solitary indulgence, the spoil of the industrious, and without sympathy with the misfortunes and vicissitudes of life. They have no bowels even for the indigent of their own class: in the rich diocese of Durham it is known begging subscriptions are had every year for the poor clergy and their families; and measures introduced into Parliament for the general relief of the inferior clergy have usually failed from the opposition of the higher class of ecclesiastics.

In the disposal of Parochial Patronage there is the same abuse and monopoly as prevail in the higher departments of the church. The most valuable benefices, like the most valuable sees and dignities, fall into the hands of those whose chief claims are their families and connexions. By bringing forward the poor livings, it is usual to make out a favourable case for the parochial clergy; but from the small number of individuals among whom parochial preferments are shared, there are few except the curates entitled to much sympathy. We shall illustrate this point by laying before the reader a list of incumbents, selected almost at random, which will at once show the measureless rapacity that directs the disposal of church-preferment.

Robert Affleck, prebendary of York; rector of Silkston, with Bretton-Monk and Stainbury chapelries; rector of East Mediety; rector of West Mediety, Tresswell; perpetual curate of Thockerington; vicar of Westow.

Henry Anson, vicar of Buxton, with rectory of Oxnead and rectory of Skeyton; rector of Lyng with vicarage of Whitwell.

H. Bathurst, archdeacon of Norwich; rector of North Creake; rector of Oby with rectory of Ashby and rectory of Thurne.

J. W. Beadon, precentor and prebendary of Wells; precentor of Brecon; rector of Farley Chamberl; rector of Christian-Mal.

J. T. Casberd, prebendary of Wells and Llandaff; also, one rectory, four vicarages, and two chapelries.

Charles W. Eyre, prebendary of York; rector of Carlton, in Lindrick; rector of Hooton-Roberts; vicar of Kilnwick-Percy; vicar of Pocklington with the chapelry of Yapham.

John Fisher, archdeacon of Berks; canon-residentiary of Sarum; also, two vicarages and three chapelries.

Dr. Forester, prebendary of Worcester; rector of Broseley; rector of Little Wenlock, with the chapelries of Barrow and Benthall; vicar of St. John’s, Worcester. [29]

Dr. Goddard, archdeacon and prebendary of Lincoln; chaplain to the king; vicar of Bexley; vicar of Louth; rector of St. James, Garlichythe, London.

Dr. Goodall, provost of Eton; canon of Windsor; vicar of Bromham; rector of Hitcham: rector of West Ilsley.

Dr. E. Goodenough, dean of Bath and Wells; prebendary of Westminster; vicar of Carlisle; rector of York; vicar of Wath, All Saints-on-Dearne, with the chapelries of Adwick and Brampton Bierlow.

W. Goodenough, archdeacon of Carlisle; rector of Mareham-le-Fen; rector of Great Salkeld.

Hon. T. de Grey, archdeacon of Surrey; prebendary of Winchester and chaplain to the king; rector of Calbourne; rector of Fawley with the chapelry of Exburg; rector of Merton.

Earl of Guildford, rector of New and Old Alresford, with chapelry of Medstead; rector and precentor of St. Mary, Southampton; master of St. Cross with St. Faith’s.

A. Hamilton, archdeacon of Taunton; prebendary of Wells; chaplain to the King; rector of Loughton; rector of St. Mary-le-Bow, of St. Pancras, and of Allhallows, London.

W. Hett, prebendary and vicar-choral of Lincoln; vicar of Dunholme; rector of Enderby Navis; vicar of St. John’s and rector of St. Paul’s, Lincoln; minister of Greetwell and Nettleham chapelries; rector of Thorpe-on-the Hill.

Hon. H. L. Hobart, dean of Windsor and of Wolverhampton; rector of Haseley; vicar of Nocton; vicar of Wantage.

Dr. Hodgson, dean of Carlisle; vicar of Burgh-on-Sands; vicar of Hillingdon; rector of St. George’s, Hanover-square.

Hon. E. S. Keppel, rector of Quiddenham, with rectory of Snetterton; vicar of St. Mary’s and All Saints, Shottisham; rector of Tittleshall with rectories of Godwick and Wellingham.

Dr. Madan, prebendary and chancellor of Peterborough; chaplain to the King; rector of Ibstock, with chapelries of Dunnington and Hugglescote; rector of Thorpe Constantine.

Herbert Marsh, bishop of Peterborough; rector of Castor, with chapalries of Sutton, St. Michael, and Upton; rector of St. Clement and St. John, Terrington.

Dr. Oldershaw, archdeacon of Norfolk, with perpetual curacy of Coston; vicar of Ludham; vicar of Ranworth, with the vicarage of St. Margaret, Upton; rector of Redenhall with chapelry of Harlestone.

Hon. G. Pellew, dean of Norwich; prebendary of York; and rector of St. Dionis Backchurch, London.

F. D. Perkins, chaplain to the King; vicar of Foleshill; rector of Hatherley-Down; rector of Sow; rector of Stoke; rector of Swayfield; rector of Ham.

Lord Wm. Somerset, prebendary of Bristol; rector of Crickhowel; rector of Llangallock, with ohapelries of Llanelly and Llangenneth.

Lord John Thynne, prebendary of Westminster; rector of Kingston-Deverill; rector of Street, with chapelry of Walton.

Wm. Trivett, vicar of Arlington; rector of Willington; rector of Ashburnham, with rectory of Penshurst; rector of Bradwell.

James Webber, dean of Ripon and prebendary of Westminster; vicar of Kirkham; rector of St. Mary, Westminster.

Fras. Wrangham, archdeacon of York and prebendary of York and Chester; rector of Dodleston; vicar of Hunmanby, wtth chapelry of Fordon; vicar of Muston.

Abundant other examples of equal or greater enormity will be found in the List of Pluralists subjoined to this Article. But nothing, in a small compass, attests more strikingly the abuses in patronage, and the scandalous [30] manner in which offices are heaped on favoured individuals, than a comparison of the whole number of ecclesiastical preferments with the whole number of persons among whom they are divided. This is a test which may be applied with perfect accuracy. The only description of ecclesiastics whose number cannot be ascertained with precision are the curates and the inferior classes connected with cathedral and collegiate churches; the rest may be easily reckoned up from the Clerical Guide, which contains the names of all the episcopal, dignified, and beneficed clergy. From this work we find that the whole number of prelates, dignitaries, rectors, vicars, and perpetual curates, in England and Wales, is only seven-thousand six-hundred and ninety-four. Those who make the established clergy amount to 18,000 must needs include the parish-clerk, sexton, and grave-digger; but these functionaries of the church not being in holy orders, they certainly ought not to be included in the ecclesiastical corps, any more than the groom, valet, or other menials of clergymen. Neither ought curates to be included: they are merely the hired deputies of their principals, without institution or induction, and always subject to removal at the pleasure of the bishop or incumbent. Omitting these classes, we affirm that the whole number of endowed and beneficed clergy is, as we have stated, 7694, and by this diminutive number are the whole preferments of the church monopolized. These preferments are, as we collect from Cove and other sources, as under:—

Sees 26
Chancellorships 26
Deaneries of cathedral and collegiate churches 28
Archdeaconries 61
Prebends and canonries 514
Minor canonries, priest-vicars, vicars-choral, and other dignities and offices, without including lay-offices in cathedrals 330
Rectories, vicarages, and chapelries 11,342
Total 12,327

Thus, there are 12,327 places of preferment divided among 7694 individuals, affording nearly two for each. This extraordinary monopoly of offices accounts for the vast number of pluralists. The whole number of incumbents in England and Wales is 7191; of this number, 2886 hold two or more rectories, vicarages, and chapelries. From data in the last edition of the Clerical Guide, published in 1829, we have drawn up the following classification of parochial patronage, exhibiting the number of individuals and the number of parochial preferments enjoyed by each.


PAROCHIAL PATRONAGE, showing the Number of Individuals, and the Number of Rectories, Vicarages, and Chapelries held by each.
Number of Individuals. Livings held by each. Total Number of Livings.
1 11 11
1 8 8
5 7 35
12 6 72
64 5 320
209 4 836
567 3 1701
2027 2 4054
4305 1 4305
7191 11,342

According to strict ecclesiastical discipline, no minister ought to hold more than one living; [*] and, for the better care of the souls of parishioners, he ought to reside on his benefice. Laws have been made, and are still in force, [] imposing forfeitures and penalties on clergymen who, having one living, accept another, or who absent themselves from their parishes. These laws, however, in practice, like the representation of the people in the lower house of parliament, are little more than the theory of church government. By dispensations and licenses, a clergyman may hold as many livings as he can get, and he need not reside on any of them. Hence it is that considerably more than one-third of the whole number of incumbents are pluralists. Many have five, four, and three livings. Majendie, late Bishop of Bangor, who died in 1830, held no fewer than eleven parochial preferments. These preferments we presume are held by his successor, and what an extraordinary divine he must be to be able to administer his various episcopal and parish duties! In the above classification are not included cathedral dignities, fellowships in the universities, chaplainships, professorships, masterships of grammar-schools, and other offices held by incumbents, and to which members of the Establishment are exclusively eligible. It merely shows the cutting-up of parochial benefices, and it is hardly necessary to add that those who are in possession of the most valuable and greatest number are connected by birth, marriage, politics, or in some other way, with those who have the disposal of them. Indeed, it is impossible to peruse the list of dignitaries and highly-beneficed clergy, without remarking that many of them are “honourable lumber,” who have been turned over to spiritual pursuits from inability to succeed in the [32] more arduous professions of the law, the army, or the navy. In the church, as in the state, those chiefly work for the public who have no other dependence, who are of plebeian extraction, and without support from family interest or aristocratic connexion.


Sinecurism abounds more in our ecclesiastical than civil establishment. In the church almost every thing is done by deputy,—a consequence naturally resulting from her great wealth; for where large salaries are annexed, great duties are seldom discharged. Those with large incomes have various reasons for not burthening themselves with official toil. First, they can afford to pay for a deputy; secondly, they can purchase or influence the connivance of others for neglect of their own duties; thirdly, they have the means for indulgence and recreation, which, consuming much time, leave little leisure for more serious avocations. Hence has arisen sinecurism in both Church and State; presenting the singular spectacle of one class receiving the pay, and another, born under less favorable auspices, doing the work for which the pay is received.

Among the different orders of our ecclesiastical polity, there are none, with the exception of the curates and a few beneficed clergy, who reside and do the duties of their parishes; the remainder being clerical sinecurists, filled with the Holy Ghost, to share in the rich endowments of the church. The bishops are most amply remunerated, and, as is usual in such cases, perform the least service. They employ archdeacons to visit for them; rural deans and others to preach for them; and a vicar-general to issue licenses, hold courts, and perform other drudgery; if otherwise engaged, they employ a brother bishop to ordain for them. They have their own chaplains, commissaries, and secretaries; in short, their work must be light, and chiefly consists in keeping an eye to the next translation, and the falling in of the rich livings. In the Ordination Service, however, they are enjoined strict and abstemious duties. It is there said a bishop must be “blameless,” they are admonished diligently to preach the word, and be conspicuous examples of various Christian virtues.” They are now chiefly known among the people by their grotesque attire. They are the only men (save exquisites) who continue to dress in imitation of the female sex, or take pains to disguise themselves under uncouth habiliments. The shovel, or coal-scuttle hat is particularly distinguishable. It is the remains of the old hat worn by Roman Catholic priests in their days of splendour, and still to be seen on the Continent. Under this chapeau is a bush of false hair, plastered and twisted into a most unnatural size and ridiculous shape, resembling any thing but what we may suppose to have been the fashion among the apostles. To these distinctions may be added the long gaiters and “lady’s maid apron,” from the hips to the knees only, so [33] that the gaiters may not be concealed. These gaiters are of vast importance, importing that the wearers are meek and lowly, and constantly walking about doing good. [*] Nevertheless they often ride in dashing style through the streets, attended by grooms in purple liveries, and some of them are very Nimrods in the country.

Many of the church dignitaries are distinguishable by peculiarities of dress, as the shovel hat and kirtle. Their duties are less onerous than those of the bishops. For instance, what are the duties of the very reverend Dean? he is chiefly known among sextons and monument-builders. Mr. Gordon, in the debate on the Curates’ Salary Bill, said he knew a clergyman who was dignitary in no fewer than six cathedrals. Were there any duties to perform, how could a man discharge the duties of so many different offices, in so many different places, perhaps at the distance of some hundred miles from each other? Archbishop Cranmer, in a letter to Cromwell, in the reign of Henry VIII., denounces the canons and prebendaries as a “superfluous condition.” [] He says, a prebendary is neither a “learner nor a teacher, but a good viander, who wastes his substance in superfluous belly cheer.” If they were a “superfluous condition” under a Popish regime, they must be much more so under a Protestant establishment. The prebends, however, are very valuable, some of them worth £3000 a year, which will be a good reason with many for retaining them as a part of the venerable establishment. What further adds to their value is, that, being benefices not having cure of souls, they may be held with other preferment without a dispensation for plurality.

The Parochial Clergy are, for the most part, a mass of sinecurists. In one respect, Church of Englandism is an improvement on the original simplicity of the gospel, by rendering the discharge of its duties almost a mechanical operation. No long and expensive course of education is requisite to prepare her ministers: all her service is written; no extempore preaching or praying; it requires no mind, merely to be able to read is enough. To perform such a puerile and heartless ceremony, it is not surprising a majority of the clergy conceive it unnecessary to reside on their benefices. Of the violation of the law in this respect, of the penalties incurred by this violation, and of the Bill of Indemnity passed by our immaculate representatives to screen the delinquents, we shall relate an extraordinary example.

It is necessary to premise that, under the 43d Geo. III. c. 84, every spiritual person, possessed of any archdeaconry, deanery, or other dignity or benefice, is required to reside on his preferment; if he absent himself without license from the bishop, or some special cause of exemption, he is subject to penalties varying from one-third to three-fourths of the annual value of his dignity or benefice, recoverable by action of debt by any person suing for the same. This act was passed [34] to amend a statute of Henry VIII. as regards the residence of the clergy; it has been subsequently modified by the 57th Geo. III. c. 99, and was introduced by Sir William Scott, (now Lord Stowell,) and solemnly enacted, in the year 1803, by king, lords, and commons. In the year 1811, Mr. Wright commenced nearly 200 different actions against the incumbents in the dioceses of London, Ely, and Norwich, to recover the penalties under the statute. This gentleman had been secretary to four right reverend bishops—the bishops of London, Norwich, Ely, and some other prelate—and, of course, had enjoyed the most ample opportunities for procuring correct information of the conduct of the clergy. These opportunities appear not to have been neglected. In a series of letters published in the Morning Chronicle, betwixt the 6th November, 1813, and the 11th March, 1814, he favoured the public with many curious disclosures which had come to his knowledge during the discharge of his official duties.

In his letter of November 20th, he says that he has selected from well authenticated documents 10,801 benefices, on which there are only 4,490 incumbents, even said to be resident, so that there are 6,311 confessedly non-resident incumbents; to supply whose places 1,523 resident curates are employed, which leaves 4,788, which are acknowledged to have neither a resident curate nor incumbent. The whole number of curates, whether resident or not, employed to supply the place of non-resident incumbents, is only 3,730, and only 1,793 of these are licensed; whereas, according to the canon and statute law, no person has a right to officiate until he is licensed. In one diocese, he says, one-third of the livings have had duty reduced from twice to once on a Sunday; and in another diocese, one-third of the parsonage-houses were returned in bad repair, as an excuse for the non-residence of our gentlemen pastors. Speaking of the false pretences made use of by the clergy, in order to avoid residing among their parishioners, and the scandalous lives they lead, he says,—

“Now ill-health of the incumbent himself, or his wife, or daughter, is a common pretext, when no other legal cause can be found of avoiding residence. Of twenty-two licenses granted in one diocese for this reason, three only of the persons are in a state of health to warrant it, and the benefices from which they so absent themselves are very valuable. Whether the ministers whom I thus challenge as using false pretences deserve the imputation, will best appear by the mode of life they adopt. Some live in town during the winter; and although night air certainly cannot benefit a valetudinarian, they may be constantly seen at card parties, routs, or the theatres. In summer, enjoying the amusements of fashionable watering places; whilst, too often, their curates, by the parsimonious stipends they afford them, are with a numerous family in a state of the greatest poverty. Others have beneficial schools in the neighbourhood of London. Others are continually to be met with near their residence in more pleasant parts of the country, enjoying the sports of the field, or vigorously endeavouring to detect some poor countryman who may have an unfortunate inclination to taste game! Others may be seen most days driving their own carriage! Some are [35] in debt, and some are Curates near the Fens! and all to observers seem perfectly healthful; yet a certificate from a medical man is deposited with the bishop that they are not so; probably it is six or eight years before when there might have existed a degree of temporary ill-health, but after the cause ceases, the same plea is continued; and a license once granted, is renewed as a matter of course.”—Lett. IV. Jan. 6, 1814.

Thus we see how these reverend gentlemen are employed; not in administering spiritual instruction to the ignorant, comfort to the afflicted, or alms and clothing to the naked. Oh! no; these are ignoble pursuits, the mere theory of the profession. They pretend sickness in order to obtain a license for non-residence, that they may bawl at the card-table, frequent the playhouse, tally-ho, shoot, play at cricket, brandish the coachman’s whip, and bully at fashionable watering-places. Remember, these jovial spirits are all filled with the Holy Ghost,—empowered to forgive or not to forgive sins—have the cure of souls; that their poor curates are starving on a wretched stipend, and that, in the maintenance of both, the industrious are deprived of the fruits of their labour, and the necessary comforts of their families wasted in the profligate and dissipated lives of their parochial ministers.

In Letter V. Jan. 18th, 1814, Mr. Wright gives the following statement, collected, he says, with infinite pains, of the state of the ecclesiastical discipline in the small diocese of Ely, in 1813, compared with the year 1728:—

In 1728. In 1813.
On 140 livings, 70 Resident Incumbents. On the same 140 livings, 45 Resident Incumbents.
Thirty-four who reside near and perform the duty. Seventeen who reside near and perform the duty.
Thirty-one curates who reside in the parish or near it. Thirty-five curates, some of whom reside eight, ten, or twelve miles off.
The population was 56,944 souls. The duty was performed 261 times every Sunday. The population is 82,176 souls. The service is performed about 185 times every Sunday.
And their income £12,719 per annum. And their income is now £61,474 per annum.

This is singular—duty neglected in proportion as it became more important and better paid. The population increased one-half, and the number of times service is performed diminished one-third. The revenues increased almost fivefold, and the number of resident incumbents decreased one-third. What sincere and conscientious labourers in the vineyard of the Lord! How strikingly it confirms the observation that “Religion brought forth wealth, and the daughter devoured the mother.”

“The number of these (says Mr. Wright, Lett. II.) who have neglected their duty in contempt of the law, and in direct violation of solemn oath and bond, are far more than can be contemplated without a considerable degree of alarm.” One vicar obtained a license from a bishop for non-residence on one living, stating that he was going to reside [36] near another in a different part of the kingdom. On inquiring for him at the place where he was supposed to reside, he was gone to a more fashionable part of the country. On another, to ‘encourage him,’ the great tithes were settled, worth near £1200: when he was instituted, he took an oath to reside, which he afterwards neglected to observe. A rector, holding two valuable rectories worth £1200 per annum, to obtain which he gave bond to the archbishop that he would constantly reside on one, and keep a resident curate on the other, himself preaching on the benefice where he did not reside thirteen sermons every year: this worthy son of the church contrived to evade these conditions, and got a poor devil of a curate to do the work of both livings for £84 a year. Another rector holding two livings, one worth £500, the other £400—he lived 200 miles off, and had neither resident nor licensed curate!

On the subject of pluralities and of non-residence together, the Secretary to four bishops says, “In one diocese there are about 216 clergymen, who each hold two livings; 40 who hold three each; 13 who hold four each; 1 who holds five; 1 who holds six, besides dignities and offices: and although many of these thus accounted single benefices are two, three, four, or five parishes consolidated, yet a great part of these pluralists do not reside on any of their preferments.” In Lett. VII. he says, “I will prove that there are pluralists holding more than seven benefices and dignities.”

It might be thought these statements of Mr. Wright were exaggerations or the result of personal pique, had they not been fully supported by the Diocesan Returns laid before the Privy Council, and ordered by the House of Commons to be printed. Prom these returns in the years 1809, 1810, 1811, and 1827, we shall insert an abstract, and then a few explanations: it will shew at once the state of church discipline both at present, and when the Secretary was arrested in his attempt to bring the delinquents to justice.

1809. 1810. 1811. 1827.
1. Resident on other benefices 1240 1846 2059 2163
2. Absent without licence or exemption 672 650 1033 405
3. Exemptions not notified 817 363 155 9
4. Infirmity of incumbent or family 465 389 396 395
5. Want or unfitness of parsonage-house 944 943 1068 1389
6. Incumbents residing in the neighbourhood, and doing duty 565 348 301 815
7. Unenumerated cases confirmed by the Archb. 54 35 26 13
8. Dilapidated churches 23 34 56 39
9. Sinecures 233 70 68 33
10. Livings held by Bishops 26 35 21 10
11. Recent institutions —— 54 33 71
12. Miscellaneous cases 1271 38 51 41
Total open to connivance 6310 4903 5268 5383
Total of non-residents 7358 5840 6311 6120
Total of residents 3836 4421 4490 4413
Total of residents and non-residents together 11,194 10,261 10,801 10,533


The first of these totals contains the twelve preceding classes, in each class of which there is room for connivance on the part of the bishops to whom the returns are made, and of falsehood and evasion on the part of the incumbents. The second total exhibits the whole number of non-residents; and the fourth, the total number of residents and non-residents together, in England and Wales. Hence it appears, that considerably more than one-half of the whole number of incumbents do not reside on their benefices; receive large salaries for nothing; and the little duty that is performed is performed by their curates.

As the Diocesan Returns for 1827 [*] are the latest printed, it may be proper to exhibit more particularly, as follows, the state of church discipline in that year.

Resident in the parsonage-house 3598
Resident within two miles of the church or chapel, there being no parsonage-house 815
Total-residents 4413
Non-residents exempt 2619
Non-residents licensed 2147
Cases which could not be included among licenses or exemptions 1313
Miscellaneous cases 41
Total non-residents 6120
Total number of benefices returned 10,533

Thus, only 3598 incumbents consider the parsonage-houses good enough to reside in; the rest are absentees. According to Mr. Wright, want or unfitness of parsonage-house is a common pretext for obtaining a license for non-residence: in one diocese, he says, one-third of the parsonage-houses were returned in bad repair. In 1827, this aversion of the clergy to their domicile appears to have augmented; in that year 1398, or more than one-eighth of the whole number of parsonage-houses in the kingdom were returned as not fit places for our aristocratic pastors to reside in; or, in other words, as an excuse for a license to desert their parishes, and roam about the country in quest of more lively amusements than churching, christening, and spiritually instructing their parishioners.

Among the clergymen exempt from residence, a large portion consists of those who reside on other benefices; that is, holding more livings than one, they cannot, of course, reside on both. The exemptions also include such privileged persons as chaplains to the nobility; preachers and officers in the royal chapels and inns of court; wardens, provosts, fellows, tutors, and ushers in the universities, colleges, [38] and public schools; the principal and professors of the East-India college; and officers of cathedral and collegiate churches. The duties of many of these offices are such as ought to disqualify the possessors altogether from church preferment. For instance, what reason is there in masters of the Charter-house claiming exemptions; in other words, seeking to hold benefices and dignities in addition to their other offices and duties? Surely the management of a great public foundation, with upwards of 800 scholars, and incomes of near £1000 per annum, afford sufficient both employment and remuneration, without incurring the responsibility of a cure of souls. The same remark applies to the heads of colleges, and the masters and teachers of endowed charities. With so many friendless curates in the country, starving on miserable stipends, there is no need that any class of persons should be overburthened with duties, or corrupted by the aggregation of extravagant salaries.

Of the other cases of non-residence, mentioned in the above table, we shall offer only some brief remarks. The cases of those who plead sickness and infirmity have been sufficiently illustrated by an extract from Mr. Wright, page 34. Sinecures hardly need explaining; they are offices yielding masses of pay without any duty whatever. Livings held by bishops present a curious anomaly; the right reverend prelates commit the very offence of absenteeism, which it is their duty to prevent being committed by the subaltern clergy of their diocese. Lastly, among the miscellaneous cases are included those livings held in sequestration. In these instances, the incumbent being insolvent, possession, at the instance of some creditor, had been taken of the benefice, to raise money for the discharge of his debts. In 1811 the number of livings held by sequestration was seventy-eight; in 1827, forty-eight.

Such is a brief exposition of the state of church discipline, as exhibited by official documents, and the averments of Mr. Wright, when that gentleman commenced his actions against the clergy. We have stated that the number of actions amounted to 200; and had Mr. Wright been allowed to recover, the penalties would have amounted to £80,000. To this sum he had an indisputable claim; a claim as sacred as any person can have to an estate devised by will, or on mortgage, or other legal security; his claim had been guaranteed to him by a solemn act of the legislature. Moreover, this gentleman had been basely treated by the right reverend bishops; and it was partly to indemnify himself for losses sustained in their service, that he endeavoured to recover the penalties to which the clergy had become liable by their connivance and neglect. In Letter I. he says, “At a committee of bishops, after a deliberation of nearly Two Years, it was decided that each bishop should give his secretary an annual sum of money. I have received it from not one of them, except my late lamented patron, the Bishop of London.”——“Commiseration may have been given, (Letter VII.) but it was all I ever received from any one, and that would have been unnecessary, if the sums had been paid which were acknowledged to be my due.”——“Two secretaries have, within the last ten years, fallen victims to depression of mind, arising from a want of sufficient income.”


Most merciful bishops! most Christian bishops! What, not pay your poor secretaries their stipends! drive two of them to despair by your barbarous avarice! Surely you might have spared them the odd hundreds, out your 10, 20, and 40,000 pounds per annum. But you are right reverend fathers, you can lisp about charity, turn up your eyes, talk about treasures in heaven, but your treasures are all in this world; there your hearts are fixed upon translations, pluralities, fat livings, and heavy fines on leases and renewals.

These, however, are private anecdotes betwixt Mr. Wright and his right reverend employers. Let us speak to the public part of the question. It is clear, from what has been said, that Mr. Wright was in possession of valuable information; he had resided in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple, and was intimately acquainted with the secret management of the holy church. The clergy were terribly alarmed at his disclosures: they resorted to every artifice to avert the storm, and save their pockets: clubs were formed among the higher order of ecclesiastics: lies and calumnies of every shape and description were vomited forth to blacken the character of Mr. Wright; he was stigmatized as an “informer,” who, availing himself of his official situation, was in part the cause of and then the betrayer of their guilt. In short, he became exposed to the whole storm of priestly cunning, malignity, and fury. But facts are stubborn things; and this gentleman had secured too firm a hold of his object to lose his grasp by the wiles and malice of the church. Their guilt was unquestionable; there was no chance of escape from the verdict of a jury; but that protection which it was in vain to expect from an English court of justice, they found in the great sanctuary of delinquency, a boroughmongering House of Commons.

On the 17th November, 1813, Bragge Bathurst brought in a bill to stay all legal proceedings against the clergy on account of the penalties they had incurred under the Clergy Residence Act. This bill shortly after passed into a law, almost without opposition. The whigs were silent. Mr. Whitbread and Mr. Brand indeed said something about the absurdity of enacting laws one day, and abrogating them the next; of the injustice of tempting people by rewards, and after they had earned them, interfering to prevent their being granted. But this was all. These gentlemen agreed it was necessary to protect the clergy; and, with the exception of the present Earl of Radnor, we do not find, in Hansard’s History of the Debates, a single individual who raised his voice against the principle of this nefarious transaction. Mr. Wright, too, finding it vain to hope for justice from such a source, ceased his communications to the public relative to the clergy: the Parsons’ Indemnity Bill passed into a law, and the church received a complete white-washing from the State for all its manifold sins and transgressions.

After the passing of the Bank restriction Act, Gagging Bills, Seditious Meeting Bills, Press Restriction Bills, and of the Habeas Corpus Suspension Bills, it can hardly excite surprise that a bill passed [40] to indemnify the clergy. In the latter case, however, there appears something more unprincipled and contemptible than in the former unconstitutional measures. The law imposing the penalties which Mr. Wright sought to recover had only been enacted in 1803: the professed object was to remedy the crying evil of non-residence; and to give greater encouragement to prosecutions, the act provided that the whole of the penalties should be given to the informer. Only eight years elapse, an informer comes forward, relying on the faith of parliament; prosecutions are commenced; when the legislature interferes—in utter contempt of justice and consistency—belying its former professions, violating its pledge, robbing an individual of his reward, and screens the delinquents which its own laws had made liable to punishment. It is impossible for the people to feel any thing but contempt for such a system of legislation. Laws, it is clear, are not made to principles, but to men, and are only terrible to the weak, not to the wicked.

Since the memorable actions of Mr. Wright, nothing has intervened to improve the state of church discipline. An act of parliament, [*] passed some years after, was rather in favour of the clergy than otherwise, by abolishing the oaths formerly exacted of vicars to reside, by augmenting the monitory power of the bishops, and increasing the difficulties in the way of prosecution. Accordingly, the great abuses in ecclesiastical discipline remain unabated. Lord Mountcashell states that, since 1814, the number of incumbents has decreased to the amount of 2,500; [] consequently, there has been a proportionate increase in pluralities. Of the number of resident and non-resident incumbents, the latest returns printed are for the year 1827; [] in that year, we have seen, the returns were from 10,583 benefices in England and Wales, of which benefices 4,413 had resident, and 6,120 non-resident incumbents. Many incumbents who reside on their benefices do no duty; they are only attracted to their parishes by a fine cover for game, an excellent trout-stream, or, perhaps, they seek a quiet retreat, having worn out the better part of their existence in the dissipation of a town life.

Even those who reside and do duty, and are called the working clergy, perform a service requiring so little intellectual exertion, that it hardly merits the remuneration of a tide-waiter. They have scarcely ever occasion to compose and deliver an original sermon. The late Dr. Johnson, before he received his pension, was regularly employed in the manufacture of this description of commodity. The market is now [41] overstocked; we seldom turn over a newspaper without meeting with advertisements for the sale of MS sermons, which, next to manufactures, seem the most abundant of all things. Sometimes parcels are advertised in lithographic type; this type being an imitation of writing, sermons composed in it pass with the congregation for original compositions, and the minister has the credit of propounding a good discourse, the result of the previous week’s hard study and preparation. A lot of sermons of this description would be invaluable, and might be transmitted from father to son, like a freehold estate. If they became stale, they might be sold or exchanged with a neighbouring incumbent: this is a common practice with ministers who wish to indulge their parishioners with novelty; they exchange one old batch of sermons for another, from a different part of the country.

But enough of this. One is at a loss to imagine what the bishops have been doing while the church has been running to seed. These right reverend prelates are expressly appointed to watch over the morals and conduct of the inferior clergy; they are amply endowed, and have numerous corps of officers to assist in the discharge of their episcopal functions. Yet they have been strangely remiss in attention to their subaltern brethren. Translations have tended greatly to produce this apathy; they divest the bishops of a permanent interest in their dioceses, and prevent them becoming intimately acquainted with the character and demeanour of incumbents. Until they attain the summit of prelatical ambition, they consider themselves only birds of passage; in their sees, what they chiefly take an interest in is, to fill up the vacant commissions, and then keep a steady eye on Durham or Winchester.

Under the primacy of the late Archbishop Sutton, energetic measures of reform were not likely to be countenanced; the career of this mild but rapacious prelate was not an inapt exemplar of the favourite priestly motto on the Lambeth arms,—“Unite the meekness of a dove with the subtlety of a serpent.” His grace and his grace’s family shared too largely in the advantages of the existing system to relish innovation. His lordship had profound views of the true policy of our spiritual establishment; was always for yielding a little to keep things quiet, rather than make a noise; knowing that the less was said about the church the more she would shine. Some of the primate’s successors, on the episcopal bench, appear hardly yet so rife in the mysteries of ecclesiastical dominion. A few years since, Marsh, of Peterborough, was tormenting his clergy with some unintelligible points of doctrine, and Bishop Blomfield lately astounded the inhabitants of London and Westminster with a “Letter on the Profanation of the Lord’s Day.” Had the strictures of this right reverend prelate been directed only against the baneful habit of drinking to excess, and other vices which disgrace the Sabbath, they might have passed without animadversion; but when he assails the Sunday press, and those innocent relaxations, conducive only to health and harmless enjoyment, he betrays a puritanism unsuited to the age. His lordship seems to opine a poor man is born only to work and pray, while a lord or a bishop may [42] have his concerts, card-parties, and grand dinners every day, not even excepting the seventh. Such idle cant deceives no one; it only excites contempt or disgust. Men’s professions now pass unheeded; every thing is put into the scale and taken at its intrinsic worth. People quietly ask why should the clergy take ten millions annually out of the produce of land and industry? What services do they render society? Do they instruct the rising generation? No; they teach them little that is useful and a great deal positively injurious. Are they administrators of justice? No; God forbid they should. Are they profound statesmen? Do they often originate or encourage measures for the good of the country? No; they are most miserable politicians, and as to any project for bettering the condition of the great body of the people, they appear not to have a single idea. Well, but they are ministers of religion! Very few of them are so employed, and as to that the Dissenters are not less teachers of their flocks, and they receive no tithes, build their own chapels, and altogether do not cost one-tenth as much as the mere sinecure rectors of the Establishment.


It is impossible to produce a complete and accurate statement of the revenues of the clergy. The bulk of ecclesiastical revenue consists of tithe; but besides tithe, an immense revenue is drawn from other sources. The clergy are almost in entire possession of the revenue of charitable foundations. They hold, exclusively, the professorships, fellowships, tutorships, and masterships of the universities and public schools. Immense landed property is attached to the sees, cathedrals, and collegiate churches. The clergy have also a very considerable income from glebe-lands, surplice-fees, preacherships in the royal chapels, lectureships, town-assessments, Easter-offerings, rents of pews in the new churches, stipends of chapels of ease, chaplainships in the army and navy, chaplainships to embassies, corporate bodies, and commercial companies; besides which they monopolize nearly all profitable offices in public institutions, as trustees, librarians, secretaries, &c.

The bishops, who hold the chief estates of the church, and to whom the parochial clergy, on obtaining licenses for curates and dispensation for plurality, are required by law to state the yearly value of their benefices, could furnish the most valuable information relative to the incomes of the clergy. But even this would be insufficient; nothing would throw complete light on the subject, but every member of the establishment, whether in lay or spiritual capacity, making a return of his income and emoluments. The times, we doubt not, are fast approaching when this defect in public statistics will be supplied, and one of the first objects of a reformed parliament be an inquiry into the amount and distribution of ecclesiastical revenues. Until this period arrive, we are compelled to rely on collateral and inferential evidence. The endowments of the church are nearly as ancient as the first introduction of Christianity into Britain, and we know from the results of recent inquiries [43] into the incomes of grammar-schools and other charitable foundations, which are nearly of cotemporary antiquity, that the increase in the value of ecclesiastical estates must be immense. The returns in Liber Regis are usually relied upon, in estimating the revenues of the church, and, perhaps, with other helps, it is the best authority to which we can resort. Of the vast increase in the value of land since the Valor Ecclesiasticus was obtained, the history of St. Paul’s School affords a striking and appropriate exemplification. The estates of this foundation are situated in various parts of the kingdom; in A. D. 1524, they produced an income of £122:0:11; in the year 1820, the yearly income derived from the same estates was £5252:2:111/2. [*] Here is an increase in value of nearly fifty fold, under the wasteful and negligent management of a city company. The colleges of Eton and Winehester were endowed for the education and maintenance of only seventy poor and indigent scholars; their revenues amount respectively to £10,000 and £14,000 a year. The founder of Hemsworth’s hospital in Yorkshire estimated its revenues not to exceed £70 a year; they are now more than £2000. Leeds’ grammar-school was endowed in the reign of Philip and Mary, for the maintenance of two masters, and the endowments probably calculated to yield £80 a year; they now produce £1595. Birmingham grammar-school has a revenue of near £5000 per annum. The valuation of the rectory of Alresford in the king’s book is only £8 a year; the composition now paid for tithes by the parishioners is £300 per annum, being an increase of more than thirty-seven fold. The rectory of Stanhope, Durham county, Mr. Phillpotts admits to yield an income of £2500; the valuation in Liber Regis is £67:6:8. Ilfracombe, in Devonshire, is returned at £50:4:4: the tithes are leased to a layman, and worth £1000 a year. The tithes of the adjoining parish of Morthoe are also leased out to a layman for £700 or £800, although the valuation in the king’s book is only £19:19:3. Besides affording a curious illustration of the increase in the value of ecclesiastical property, we may observe, in passing, that the two last mentioned parishes are a curious example of the state of church discipline. Ilfracombe is attached to a prebendal stall of Salisbury 120 miles distant; Morthoe belongs to the dean and canons of Exeter; although the tithes are so considerable, the working minister of each parish receives only a stipend of £100 a year. In Morthoe the glebe is also leased out,—the vicar, having no residence, lives five or six miles off, and service is performed once on Sunday, which is all the return the parishioners receive for their tithe-assessment of £800 per annum.

Other facts might be cited to illustrate the increase in the value of church property since the ecclesiastical survey of the sixteenth century; but we consider the examples we have selected from various parts of the kingdom sufficient to afford a criterion of the proportional increase in the revenues of the church. The increase in population, by increasing [44] the number of church-fees, has tended, as well as the increased value of land, to swell the revenues of the church, and no doubt many benefices are worth two hundred fold what they were at the time of the Reformation. The vicarage of Hillingdon, held by the present rector of St. George’s, Hanover-square, is an instance of the vicissitudes in clerical income. This, it appears, from the original record preserved in the archives of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul’s, was a mere trifle, the great tithes of which, in the year 1281, were bestowed on the Bishop of Worcester towards defraying the expenses of his journeys to the metropolis, and for repair of the church, the small tithes being reserved for the maintenance of a vicar, to be appointed by the Bishop of London. That part of the contract relating to the expense of repairs has always been left to be performed by the parishioners, the Right Reverend Prelates of Worcester contenting themselves with receiving their share of the tithes, and reading a sermon to the inhabitants about once in a twelvemonth. These tithes have been of considerable value, and the management of them not a little extraordinary. The practice has been to let them to the highest bidder, by granting a lease of them for three lives, the purchaser paying down, in ready money, about £8000. Even on these terms it is said to have been a profitable bargain; the last speculator in this spiritual traffic was the late Lord Boston, of whom the Bishop demanded the exorbitant sum of £8000, for the insertion of a new life, one of the former having dropt. His lordship neglecting to complete the agreement, the lease was nominally made over to the bishop’s daughter, who gave receipts in her own name for the amount of tithes collected.

Affairs continued in this state until the year 1812, when an act of parliament was obtained for enclosing and exonerating from tithes certain lands in the parish of Hillingdon; which was promptly acted upon, and a distribution of lands took place, by which 765 acres were set apart and appropriated in lieu of rectorial and vicarial tithes for ever. By this arrangement the bishop and vicar have obtained a fine estate in exchange for £16 a year, the valuation of the living in the time of Henry VIII. All parties are more independent of each other—no contention about tithes nor compositions for tithes. The bishop repairs a chapel in lieu of the church; the vicar is an absentee, leaving a curate for the spiritual welfare of the inhabitants; and the only parties who have sustained any loss are the poor, in being deprived of the rights of common which their forefathers enjoyed.

Leaving these incidental illustrations of church property, let us endeavour to ascertain, upon some general principle, the amount of the revenues of the clergy. The estimates, by individuals, of ecclesiastical revenues are mostly limited to a valuation of tithe and the landed estates of the church. Of the unfairness of this mode of proceeding we shall hereafter speak; at present we shall submit to the reader two estimates of the revenues of the church, drawn up on very different principles, and by parties who entertain very different views of the state of our ecclesiastical establishment. The first statement is from the third edition of [45] a work, entitled “Remarks on the Consumption of Public Wealth by the Clergy.”

Estimate of the Revenues and Property of the Established Church in England and Wales.
Annual value of the gross produce of the land of England and Wales £150,000,000
One-third of the land of England and Wales not subject to tithe for the clergy, being either tithe-free or lay-impropriations 50,000,000
Leaving the amount on which tithes for the clergy are levied 100,000,000
Supposing the clergy to levy one-sixteenth, they get 6,250,000
Tithes 6,250,000
Estates of the bishops and ecclesiastical corporations 1,000,000
Assessments in towns, on houses, &c. 250,000
Chapels of ease stipends 100,000
Total £7,600,000
From the Quarterly Review, No. 58.
Total number of acres in England and Wales 37,094,400
Deduct waste land, about one-seventh 5,299,200
Number of acres in tillage 31,795,200
Abbey-land, or land exempt by modus from tithe, one-tenth 3,179,520
Number of acres actually subject to tithes 28,615,680

This number, divided by 10,693, the number of parishes, gives 2,676 tithable acres to each parish.

In the Patronage of the Crown, the Bishops, Deans and Chapters, the Universities and Collegiate Establishments.
1733 Rectories, containing 4,637,508 acres, at 3s. 6d. £ 811,563
2341 Vicarages, containing 6,264,516 acres, at 1s. 3d. 391,532
Annual value of Public Livings 1,203,095
In the Gift of private Patrons.
3444 Rectories, containing 9,216,144 acres, at 3s. 6d. 1,612,825
2175 Vicarages, containing 5,820,300 acres, at 1s. 3d. 363,768
1000 Perpetual curacies, averaging £75 each 75,000
649 Benefices, not parochial, averaging £50 each 32,450
Annual value of Private Benefices 2,084,043
8000 Glebes, at £20 each 160,000
Total income of parochial clergy 3,447,138
Income of bishoprics 150,000
Income of deans and chapters 275,000
Total revenue of the Established Clergy £3,872,138


We shall first solicit attention to the estimate from the Quarterly Review, which is such an unfair and misleading representation of the revenues of the clergy, that we ought almost to apologize to the reader for laying it before him. Arthur Young, who is no bad authority in these matters, says the revenue of the church was five millions in 1790, and how greatly it must since have augmented from the vast increase in population and produce. Notwithstanding the evasions and omissions under the Property-Tax, the returns for 1812 [*] make the tithe of that year amount to £4,700,000, and, allowing for the increase in produce and fall in prices, it is not likely a less sum would be returned at present. During the war, the tithe was usually estimated at one-third of the rent; it is not much less now, but, suppose it only one-fourth, and the rental of England and Wales £31,795,200, or one pound for every acre in tillage; then the whole amount of tithe collected is £7,948,200; from which, if we deduct one-third for lay-tithes and land exempt from tithe, the church-tithes alone amount to £5,297,200.

Upon whatever principle we test the statement in the Quarterly Review, its erroneousness is apparent. The reviewer supposes the rectorial tithes to average only 3s. 6d. per acre, and the vicarial tithes only 1s. 3d. Both these sums are assuredly too low. The vicarage tithes, in consequence of the turnip-husbandry and other improvements in agriculture, are often more valuable than the parsonage. The returns to the circular inquiries by the Board of Agriculture make the tithe throughout the kingdom, in 1790, average, per acre, 4s. 01/4d.; in 1803, 5s. 31/2d.; in 1813, 7s. 91/2d. Adopting the rate of tithe of 1803, and taking, with the reviewer, the land in tillage at 31,795,200 acres, the whole amount of tithes collected is £10,267,200; from which, if we deduct, as before, one-third for lay-tithes and tithe-free land, the amount of church-tithes is £6,844,800 per annum.

Again: the reviewer greatly misrepresents the proportion between rectories and vicarages. It is well known to every one the impropriate livings barely equal one-third of the whole number. Yet the reviewer makes the number of vicarages 4516; whereas, according to Archdeacon Plymley, there are only 3687 vicarages in England and Wales. [] But it suited the sinister purpose of the writer to exaggerate the number of vicarages, in order to calculate the tithes of so many parishes at only 1s. 3d. per acre.

The estimate of the income of the Bishoprics at £150,000 is greatly below the truth. The revenues of the four sees of Winchester, Durham, Canterbury, and London alone exceed that sum. A vast deal of mystery is always maintained about the incomes of the bishops; but the public has incidentally been put in possession of some certain data on this point. In 1829, the late Archbishop Sutton applied for a private act of parliament [47] to raise a loan of £37,000, to assist in altering and improving Lambeth-palace; when it came out that the revenue of the see of this poor member of the “college of fishermen” was only £32,000 per annum. This is the representation of his own officer, Doctor Lushington. Mr. A. Baring stated that the revenue of the see of London would, by the falling in of leases, shortly amount to £100,000 a year. [*] The Bishop of London, in reply to this, alleged that his income, allowing for casualties, did not amount to one-seventh of that sum. His lordship, of course, meant his fixed income, and did not include fines for the renewal of leases, nor the value of his parks, palace, and mansions. We can assure this right reverend prelate that the public never, in truth, thought his income, or that of his Grace of Canterbury, was so extravagantly high as on their own showing they appear to be. The see of Winchester is supposed to be worth £50,000 per annum. In one year the bishop of this diocese received upwards of £15,000 in fines for the renewal of leases.

But let us ascertain the total income of all the sees. In Liber Regis, the King’s book, we have an anthentic return of the value of the bishoprics in the reign of Henry VIII. As this return was to be the foundation of the future payment of first fruits and tenths, we may be sure it was not too much. However, in these returns, the See of Canterbury is valued at £2682: 12: 2 per annum; the See of London at £1000. This was at a time when a labourer’s wages were only a penny a day. Now, it appears, from the admissions of Doctor Lushington and the Bishop of London, that the present incomes of these sees are £32,000 and £14,444 a-year. So that one see has increased in value twelve and the other more than fourteen-fold. The other bishoprics have, no doubt, increased in a similar proportion. Hence, as the incomes of the twenty-six sees in Liber Regis amount to £22,855 a-year, their present value cannot be less than thirteen times that sum, or £297,115, instead of £150,000, as stated in the Quarterly Review. This does not include the dignities and rectories annexed to the sees, or held in commendam, nor the parks and palaces, the mansions, villas, warrens, fines for renewals, heriots, and other manorial rights, enjoyed by the bishops, and which would make their incomes equal to, at least, half-a-million per annum.

The revenues of the Deans and Chapters may be approximated to on the same principle. Their incomes, like those of the bishops, arise principally from lands and manors, and certain payments in money. In the King’s Book, the deans and chapters are valued at £38,000 a-year; consequently, they do not amount, at present, to less than £494,000 per annum, instead of £275,000. But the returns in the Valor Ecclesiasticus are far from complete; several deaneries, prebends, and other offices are omitted; it follows, our estimate is far below the annual worth of the ecclesiastical corporations.


The Reviewer considers each glebe to be worth only £20 a-year; but, when he is desirous of illustrating the penury of the church by comparing its endowments with those of the Church of Scotland, he values the glebes of the latter at £30 per annum. The writer omits to estimate the value of the parsonage-houses: they must be worth something, as they save rent to the incumbents or their curates.

But enough of the estimate in the Quarterly Review. The principles and purposes of this publication are so notorious that every one is on his guard against receiving, implicitly, any representations relative to the church from so suspicious a source. The first statement, from the “Remarks,” &c. contains some inaccuracies and omissions which we shall endeavour to supply. Before, however, we submit a complete view of the revenues of the church, it will be proper shortly to advert to some items of ecclesiastical emolument usually omitted in inquiries of this nature.

Besides tithe and the landed estates of the church, there are, as before remarked, various other sources from which the clergy derive very considerable advantages. Of these, the first we shall notice are Public Charities. The inquiries by the Royal Commissioners, so far as they have proceeded, tend to confirm the accuracy of Lord Brougham’s estimate of the revenues of charitable foundations at nearly two millions a-year. From the tenure of charitable endowments, the clergy have almost entire possession of this immense fund. In England and Wales, according to the returns under the Gilbert Act, there are 3898 school charities, of which the clergy enjoy the exclusive emolument; and, in the remaining charities, they largely participate as trustees, visitors, or other capacity. The pious credulity of our ancestors induced them to place implicit reliance on the clergy, little foreseeing how their confidence would be abused. Three-fourths of charitable property, at least, were thus placed at the mercy of ecclesiastics. It is certain that, in the inquiries recently instituted into charitable foundations, the worst abuses have been found under their management. The school of Pocklington, in Yorkshire, was a flagrant instance, in which a member of the established church was receiving a snug income of nine hundred pounds a-year for teaching one scholar. A right reverend prelate, who had been left in trust, and his family, had appropriated the funds of the Mere and Spital charities. The grammar-schools in almost every town have become mere sinecures, seldom having more than two or three foundation-scholars; and the buildings piously intended for the gratuitous accommodation of poor scholars, have been perverted into boarding and pay schools for the emolument of their clerical masters. Bristol and Bath, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Ripon, and Preston, are striking examples of this sort of abuse and perversion. In the principal foundations in the metropolis and neighbourhood, in the Charter-house, Christ’s Hospital, the great schools of Westminster, St. Paul’s, Harrow, Rugby, and the Gresham Lectures, they derive great advantages as wardens, visitors, provosts, high masters, senior masters, ushers, lecturers, and assistants. Many of [49] these offices are held by pluralists, who are, also, dignitaries, and yield salaries of £800 a-year, besides allowances for house-rent, vegetables, and linen, and large pensions of one thousand a-year, or so, on retirement. The present head-master of the Charter-house, and the late and present head-master of St. Paul’s School, are examples of this sort of monopoly. In the colleges of Eton and Winchester, again, the established clergy have a nice patrimony. The government of these foundations is vested in a certain number of reverend fellows, and a provost, who is a reverend also. The value of a fellowship, including allowances for coals, candles, and gown, is about £1000 a-year; and a provostship, in good years, has netted £2500 per annum; [*] besides which, the fellows generally help themselves to a good fat living or two, which are in the gift of the colleges. Again, the established clergy have exclusive possession of the revenues of the Universities, to the exclusion of dissenters, and all persons of delicate consciences, who are scrupulous about taking oaths, and subscribing to articles of faith they neither believe nor understand. [] The value of a university fellowship is generally less than a fellowship at Eton or Winchester; though the incomes of some of the fellows are handsome enough to induce them to prefer celibacy and college residence to a benefice in the country: add to which the professorships and tutorships, which, bringing the possessors in contact with the youth of the aristocracy and gentry, lead to livings and dignities. Numerous livings are also in the gift of the Universities, as well as in the other foundations we have mentioned, believe some of the offices in the Universities are incompatible with church-preferment.

From these details we may conclude the established clergy share largely in the revenues of Public Charities; supposing the college and school charities average only £175 each, they will produce £682,150 a-year.

Church or Surplice Fees, as they are commonly called, form another abundant source of revenue to the clergy. Originally, surplice-fees were paid only by the rich, and were intended for charity: what was formerly a voluntary gift has been converted into a demand, and, [50] instead of the poor receiving these donations, they are pocketed by the clergy, and poor as well as rich are now compelled to pay fees on burials, marriages, churchings, and christenings. The total sums netted from this source we have no means of estimating correctly. In London, church-fees are supposed to be equal to one-third of the priest’s salary. Besides the regular fee, it is usual, on the burial of opulent people, to get a compliment of a guinea or more for hat-band and gloves: at marriages, five guineas; at christenings, a guinea. In Ireland, the surplice-fees, aided by a few voluntary gifts, form the only maintenance of the catholic priesthood: and, in this country, the total revenue derived from fees and gratuities, is little short of one million a-year. The late Rev. Dr. Cove, whose estimate of church property is seldom more than one-half of its real amount, calculates the annual value of the glebe and surplice-fees of each parish, on an average, at £40 a-year, making, according to him, a tax upon the population of half a million per annum.

Easter-Offerings, Oblations, &c. form a third source of ecclesiastical emolument. These Offerings, or Dues, as they are sometimes called, are certain customary payments at Easter and all church-festivals, to which every inhabitant-housekeeper is liable. Their amount varies in different parts of the country. In the North, they commonly pay sixpence in lieu of an offering-hen; a shilling in lieu of an offering-goose or turkey; one penny, called smoke-penny; one penny-halfpenny for every person or communicant above the age of sixteen, and so on. We have no means of judging the annual value of these good things. All that we can say is, that in some parts they are very pertinaciously levied, and considered by the established clergy as part of their “ancient rights.” [*] Probably, the value of Easter-offerings may be taken at £100,000 a-year.

The Lectureships, in towns and populous places, are another branch of clerical income. Where there is no endowment for a lectureship, the parishioners, if they desire a novelty of this sort, in addition to the ordinary routine of church-service, provide one at their own charge. The value of a lectureship, of course, varies with the number and liberality of the subscribers. No person can officiate as a lecturer unless approved by the incumbent and diocesan. Frequent squabbles arise from this cause; the parishioners choosing a popular preacher, who, from a miserable feeling of jealousy, is not approved by the less gifted incumbent. The lectureships are generally held with other preferments. Their total value may be stated at £60,000 per annum.

The next branch of revenue we shall notice are Chaplainships and those public offices which the Clergy may be said to hold ex officio, and to which they have always the preference. The value of chaplainships to the nobility, to ambassadors, public bodies, and commercial companies, must be considerable; but of the value of these, and of the [51] places held by the clergy in public institutions, it is hardly possible to estimate. Suppose £10,000 a-year.

Beside all these sources of ecclesiastical revenue, another and onerous burthen is imposed on the people by the New Churches erected under the authority of the Commissioners appointed for that purpose. The sum of £1,367,400 in Exchequer-bills has been already issued in aid of the voluntary contributions towards this undertaking. [*] The salaries of the secretary, surveyors, office-keepers, and other underlings of this commission cost the country more than £5,000 a-year. One hundred and nine churches and chapels have been completed, and one hundred and five more are in different stages of progress: what is the whole number intended to be erected, or the total expense, nobody can tell, for the Commissioners have been recently incorporated, and in all probability their pious labours will be protracted for ages to come. Had the rich clergy contributed their just share to the First Fruits Fund, there would have been no necessity for imposing this additional tax on the public. But the first outlay is far from being the worst part of this extraordinary proceeding. All those new churches and chapels will have to be kept in repair by rates levied on the parishioners—dissenters as well as churchmen, and this, though many have opposed their erection as unnecessary. Then there are the stipends of ministers, clerks, beadles, pew-openers, and though last, not least, the guzzlings and feedings of sextons, churchwardens, and chapelwardens to be provided for; for though the patronage of the new churches is given to the patron or incumbent of the mother-church, yet the salaries of the minister and other officials, instead of being deducted from the income of the rector or vicar, are to be raised by a charge for the rents of pews. Only think of this novel device for augmenting the revenues of the ecclesiastical order! Notwithstanding the immense sums levied for the maintenance of the established religion, and though the frequenters of the new churches are actually compelled to pay tithes to the incumbents of their parishes, yet they are obliged to contribute an additional sum in pew rents to enjoy the benefit of the national communion, and if they desire a third service on Sundays, they must contribute additional for that too. [] How much the revenues of the clergy will be ultimately increased from this source, we have not the means of estimating. The incomes settled on some of the new ministers by the Commissioners are very considerable; that of the minister of St. Peter’s, Pimlico, is £900 a year; and those of the rectors of the three new churches in the parish of St. Mary-le-bone are £350 per annum each. Suppose the annual charge of each new church £450 per annum, it will shortly add to the other permanent revenues of the church a yearly sum of £94,050.


We shall now collect the different items and exhibit a general statement of the revenues of the Established Clergy. The sum put down for tithe is church-tithe only, after deducting the tithe of lay-impropriations, and allowing for abbey-land and land exempt by modus from tithe. The church-rates are a heavy burden on the people, but being levied at uncertain intervals, for the repair of churches and chapels, they do not form a part of the personal income of the clergy, and are omitted.

Revenues of the Established Clergy of England and Wales.
Church-tithe £6,884,800
Incomes of the bishoprics 297,115*
Estates of the deans and chapters 494,000
Glebes and parsonage-houses 250,000
Perpetual curacies £75 each 75,000
Benefices not parochial £250 each 32,450
Church-fees on burials, marriages, christenings, &c. 500,000
Oblations, offerings, and compositions for offerings at the four great festivals 80,000
College and school foundations 682,150
Lectureships in towns and populous places 60,000
Chaplainships and offices in public institutions 10,000
New churches and chapels 94,050
Total Revenues of the Established Clergy £9,459,565

We are confident several of these sources of emolument are rather under-rated. Perhaps it may be alleged that some items do not properly appertain to ecclesiastical income—that they are the rewards pro opera et labore extra-officially discharged by the clergy. But what would be said if, in stating the emoluments of the Duke of Wellington, we limited ourselves to his military pay, without also including his pensions, sinecures, and civil appointments? The sums placed to the account of the clergy are received by them either as ministers of religion, or from holding situations to which they have been promoted in consequence of being members of the Established Church. There are several sums annually raised on the people which we have omitted, but which, in strictness, ought to be placed to the account of the clergy. Large sums are constantly being voted by Parliament for building churches in Scotland, as well as in England; more than £21,000 has been granted for building churches and bishops’ palaces in the West Indies; £1,600,000 has been granted for the aid of the poor clergy, as they are called, and who have been also favoured by their livings [53] being exonerated from the land-tax; nearly a million has been granted for building houses and purchasing glebes for the clergy in Ireland; upwards of £16,000 a-year is voted to a society for propagating Church of Englandism in foreign parts; [*] and more than £9,000 is granted to some other Society for Discountenancing Vice,—a duty which one would think especially merged in the functions of our established pastors. All these sums have been omitted; they certainly tend to augment the burthen imposed on the public by the Church: but as it is to be hoped they do not all form permanent branches of ecclesiastical charge, they are excluded from our estimate of clerical income.

The next consideration is the Number of Persons among whom the revenues of the Church are divided. It has been already shown that the number of prelates, dignitaries, and incumbents, is only 7,694, and by this diminutive phalanx is the entire revenue of £9,459,565 monopolized, affording an average income of £1,228 to each individual. Except the clergy, there is no class or order of men whose incomes average an amount like this. The average pay of officers in the army or navy will bear no comparison with that of the Clergy. Take the legal classes—the most gainful of all professions; add together the incomes of the lord-chancellor, the judges, the barristers, conveyancers, proctors, special-pleaders, and every other grade of that multitudinous craft—the pettifogger of most limited practice included—and divide the total by the number of individuals, and it will yield no average income like that of dignitaries, rectors, and vicars. Still less will the fees and gains of the medical classes—the physician, surgeon, and apothecary—bear a comparison with the Church. The pensions, salaries, and perquisites of employés in the civil department of government are justly deemed extravagant; but compare the united incomes of these with ecclesiastics, from the first lord of the treasury to the humblest official in the Stamp Office, and the difference is enormous. The Church is a monstrous, overgrown Crœsus in the State, and the amount of its revenues incredible, unbearable, and out of proportion with every other service and class in society.

An average estimate of the incomes of the Clergy, however, affords no insight into the mode in which the enormous revenues of the church are squandered among its members. Next to pluralists, the greatest abuse in the establishment results from the unequal amount of income possessed by individuals of the same rank in the ecclesiastical order, and the unequal burthen of duties imposed upon them. The incomes of some bishops, as those of Llandaff, St. Asaph, and Bangor, barely [54] equal that of a clerk of the Treasury, or of rectors and vicars whose conduct they are appointed to superintend; while the incomes of others exceed those of the highest functionaries in the land. Yet we are told, by Mr. Burke, that the revenues of the higher order of ecclesiastics are to enable them to rear their “mitred fronts in courts and palaces to reprove presumptuous vice.” But if one bishop requires a large revenue to support his dignity in high places, so does another. Among the archdeacons is like inequality, their incomes varying from £200 to £2000 a-year. And among the dignitaries and members of cathedral and collegiate establishments is similar disproportion. Many of the deaneries, as those of Westminster, Windsor, St. Paul’s, Salisbury, Lincoln, Exeter, and Wells, are very valuable, yielding, probably, to their possessors, incomes of £10,000, £8,000, £5,000, £2,000, £1,900, and 1,500 respectively. The prebendaries and canonries vary in amount from £250 to £2,000 a-year. Some of the precentorships are worth not less than £900 a-year; and many of the chancellorships, treasurerships, succentorships, and we know not how many other official ships, afford snug incomes of £400, £500, and £800 per annum. The minor canons some of them have £250; the vicars-choral £350; the priest-vicars, the chanters, and sub-chanters, and a hundred more popish names and offices, are all amply, though unequally, remunerated for their services.

In the incomes of the parochial clergy there is similar diversity and injustice. Many rectories, as before observed, are more valuable than bishoprics, having incomes from £8,000 to £10,000 a-year. The same may be said of the vicarages, being possessed of large glebes or large endowments, and sometimes both. While, again, it cannot be denied that there are some rectories, and in particular vicarages, whose tithes are in the hands of laymen, and without even a parsonage-house. In some instances, the deficiency of income has been so great, that it has been found necessary to unite the incomes of two or three parishes to produce an adequate maintenance to the officiating minister, who, in the care of so many churches, cannot have time to officiate at any of them properly; and thus, no doubt, are many souls lost which might be saved; some, straying into the fold of sectarianism, become jacobins and dissenters, to the great injury of the mother church, and the eternal reproach of the right reverend bishops, the very reverend deans, the venerable archdeacons, and other reverend dignitaries, who waste, in the pomp, vanities, and luxuries of the world, the sums which ought to be appropriated to the augmentation of these poor livings.

The penury of one part of the church is not less objectionable than the bloated and sinecure opulence of another. [*] At the establishment of [55] Queen Anne’s bounty, in the beginning of the last century, there were 5597 livings (above one-half of the whole number) whose incomes did not exceed £50 per annum. The Diocesan Returns in 1809 gave the following classifications of poor livings under £150 per annum:—

£ Livings.
Not exceeding 10 12
——— 20 72
——— 30 191
——— 40 353
——— 50 433
——— 60 407
——— 70 376
——— 80 319
——— 90 309
——— 100 315
——— 110 283
——— 120 307
——— 130 246
——— 140 205
——— 150 170
Total 3998

It is by grouping these poor livings with the rich ones, and averaging the whole, that a plausible case is often attempted to be made out in favour of the clergy. One writer, for instance, whose statement has been often quoted, makes the average income of each living in England and Wales only £303 per annum. [*] The Rev. Dr. Cove, adopting different principles of calculation, makes the average income of the parochial clergy only £255 each. [] Both these estimates, it is apparent from what has been advanced, are very wide of the truth. There are 11,342 benefices, and only 7,191 incumbents; and these incumbents engross the entire revenue of the parochial clergy arising from tithe and other sources. Turning to the statement at page 52, and deducting from the total revenues of the established clergy the incomes of the bishoprics and ecclesiastical corporations, it will be found that the parochial clergy alone have a total revenue of £8,668,450, which, divided by the number of benefices and the number of incumbents, gives £764 for the average value of each benefice, and £1,205 for the [56] average income of each incumbent. From this enormous income, the paltry stipends of £40 or £60 a-year, paid by some of the beneficed clergy to their curates, are, of course, to be deducted.

The representation which the Quarterly Review, and other misleading publications, is desirous of impressing on the public is, that there are about 10 or 11,000 benefices, held by about as many individuals—rectors, vicars, and perpetual curates—whose average income is the very moderate sum of £255 or £303 each. Such a statement, if true, would render the amount of the revenues of the clergy, and the distribution of these revenues, very little objectionable indeed. But we will soon show this is all mystification and delusion.

The real situation of the Parochial Clergy is this: in England and Wales there are 5098 rectories, 3687 vicarages, and 2970 churches neither rectorial nor vicarial; in all, 11,755 churches. [*] These churches are contained in 10,674 parishes and parochial chapelries; and, probably, after a due allowance for the consolidation of some of the smaller parishes, form about as many parochial benefices. Now, the whole of these 10,674 benefices are in the hands of 7191 incumbents; there are 2886 individuals with 7037 livings; 517 with 1701 livings; 209 with 836 livings; 64 with 320 livings. Look again, at page 31, and the whole mystery of parochial monopoly is solved. Or let any one look into the Clerical Guide, and he will find nearly one-half the whole number of incumbents are pluralists. Some are rectors at one place, vicars at another, and curates at another; some hold three or four rectories, besides vicarages and chapelries; some hold two vicarages, a chapelry, and a rectory; in short, they are held in every possible combination. But what does the secretary to four bishops, Mr. Wright, the “Informer,” as the late Bragge Bathurst termed him, say on this subject: in one diocese the majority of the clergy held three livings, some five, and some six, besides dignities, and “yet a great part of them did not reside upon any of their preferments.”

This is exactly the way in which the property of the church is monopolized. Some persons imagine that there are as many rectors as rectories, vicars as vicarages, prebendaries as prebends, deans as deaneries, &c. No such thing: the 26 bishops, 700 dignitaries, and about 4000 non-resident incumbents, principally belonging to the Aristocracy, enjoy nearly the whole ecclesiastical revenues, amounting to more than nine millions, and averaging upwards of £2000 a-year.

And for what service? what duties do they perform? what benefit do the people derive from their labours? The bishops ordain the priests; sometimes visit their dioceses; sometimes preach; and this we believe is the extent of their performances, and which, in our opinion, amount to very little. As to the venerable, very reverend, and worshipful dignitaries, they perform still less. Let any one visit the cathedral or collegiate churches; go into St. Paul’s, Westminster Abbey, or York [57] Minster, for instance; and observe what is doing in those places. No service is performed which interests the public. Persons may be found admiring the stone and mortar; but the vicars-choral, the priest-vicars, the chanters, or sub-chanters, or fifth or sixth canons, are very little regarded; and as to the dignitaries themselves, why they are never to be seen; many of them probably reside some hundred miles off, in more pleasant parts of the country, enjoying the amusements of the chase, or whiling away their time at card-tables or watering-places. Then, as to the non-resident incumbents, it must be admitted they are sinecurists, whose duty is performed, and for which they receive the salary, by deputy. Thus, it appears, that these three classes, without performing any duties of importance, absorb almost the entire revenues of the church.

The labouring bees in the established church are the curates, who receive a very small share of its emoluments. In a parliamentary paper, ordered to be printed on the 28th of May, 1830, containing the diocesan returns relative to the number and stipends of curates in England and Wales, we find that, for the year 1827, out of 4254 individuals of that class, there were 1639 with salaries not exceeding £60, and only eighty-four out of the whole number with salaries exceeding £160. There were fifty-nine curates with incomes between £20 and £30, and six with incomes between £10 and £20. There were 1393 curates resident in the glebe houses, and 805 more resident in their parishes. So that, either for want of parsonage-houses, or other cause, a vast number of parishes had neither resident curate nor incumbent. Supposing the stipends of the curates average £75 a-year, which is higher than the bishops, under the 55 Geo. III., have in many cases authority to raise them, their share of the church-revenues amounts only to £319,050. Yet it is this useful and meritorious order which performs nearly the whole service of the national religion.

To the curates we may add the possessors of the poor livings, as a portion of the clergy who really discharge some duties for their emoluments. These livings may be considered the mere offal, or waste land of the church, on which those who have neither rotten boroughs nor family influence, are allowed to graze. Their incomes not being sufficient to allow for the maintenance of a curate, many of the incumbents reside on their benefices and perform the duties of their parishes. But even this class is not in the indigent state some persons are apt to imagine. The returns we have cited of the value of poor livings in 1809, were considered, at the time, a gross imposition on the public and parliament. In consequence, however, of these returns, true or false, the incomes of the poor clergy have subsequently been greatly augmented. Besides Queen Anne’s bounty, £100,000 has been voted annually by parliament; the benefactions in money, by private individuals, amount to upwards of £300,000; other benefactions, in houses for the residence of ministers, in lands, tithes, and rent-charges, are very considerable: to which we may add the advantages small benefices have derived from being exonerated from the land tax, and from the [58] increase in population, and in the value of tithes from agricultural improvements.

Another point necessary to be borne in mind, in considering the situation of the poor clergy, as they are called, is, that they are, like the non-resident aristocratical incumbents, nearly all pluralists. Few, indeed, only hold one living; and, probably, the whole 3998 livings under £150, are held by 1500 or 2000 individuals. That this is the case, is evident, from the returns made to the Commissioners appointed to exonerate small benefices from the land-tax, and which are now lying before us. In these returns for 1820 we find 2137 livings, or other ecclesiastical benefices of less than £150 in clear yearly value, had been exonerated from the land-tax. [*] Of 419 benefices exonerated from the land-tax in 1814, there were only ninety-two with incomes of less than £100 each, held without other preferment. [] Hence we conclude that the poor clergy, whose incomes Dr. Cove made about £80, have, from pluralities, consolidation, and the other advantages mentioned, incomes of at least £150 each, and that, with the exception of curates, there are few poor clergy in England.

We have now afforded the reader, without exaggeration or distortion of facts, a complete and intelligible view of the total amount and disposition of the immense revenues of the Established Clergy. The chief points to be borne in mind are the diminutive number of the beneficed clergy, their sinecurism, and relative efficiency in the discharge of religious duties, and the monstrous inequality in their incomes. These points will best appear from the succinct statement we subjoin.

Statement, showing the Mode in which the Revenues of the Church, amounting to £9,459,565, are divided among the different Orders of Clergy.
Class. Average income of each individual. Total incomes.
EPISCOPAL CLERGY, { 2 Archbishops £26,465 £52,930
{ 24 Bishops 10,174 244,185
DIGNITARIES, &c. { 28 Deans 1580 44,250
{ 61 Archdeacons 739 45,126
{ 26 Chancellors 494 12,844
{ 514 Prebendaries and Canons 545 280,130
{ 330 Precentors, Succentors, Vicars-General, Minor Canons, Priest-Vicars, Vicars-Choral, & other Members of Cathedral and Collegiate Churches } 338 111,650
Carried forward £791,085
Brought forward £791,085
PAROCHIAL CLERGY, { 2886 Aristocratic Pluralists, mostly non-resident, and holding two, three, four, or more livings, in all 7037 livings, averaging each, tithes, glebes, church-fees, &c. £764 } 1863 5,379,430
{ 4305 Incumbents, holding one living each, and about one-half resident on their benefices } 764 3,289,020
{ 4254 Curates, licensed and unlicensed, whose average stipends of about £75 per annum, amounting together to £319,050, are included in the incomes of the pluralists and other incumbents.
Total £9,459,565


The above statement affords room for important remarks, in order to distinguish the over from the under paid, and the useful and meritorious from the mere sinecurists, in our ecclesiastical polity.

Every thing in this country is formed upon an aristocratic scale. Because some noblemen have enormous incomes, ergo the bishops must have enormous incomes, to be fit and meet associates for them. Thus, one extravagance in society generates another to keep it in countenance; because we have a king who costs a million a year, we must have lords with a quarter of a million, and bishops with fifty thousand a year; and as a consequence of all this, a labourer’s wages cannot be more than 10d. a day—he must live on oatmeal and potatoes, and have the penny roll not bigger than his thumb. But why should the income of a bishopric so far exceed that of the highest offices in the civil department of government? Burke’s argument is not consistent. A Secretary of State has to show his “front in courts and palaces,” as well as a bishop; he is in constant intercourse with dukes and princes, [60] yet his salary does not exceed £6000 a year. The bishops have their private fortunes as well as others, and there is no just reason why their official incomes should be so disproportionate to that of a lord of the Treasury, or Chancellor of the Exchequer.

An Archdeacon is considered the deputy of the bishop, and assists in the discharge of the spiritual duties of his diocese. As such, we think the deputy ought to be paid out of the income of his principal, and the revenues of the archdeaconries applied to a fund to be raised, in lieu of tithes. Many bishops are not overburthened with duty, and have little need of assistants. One bishop of the United Church, it is well known, spent all his time in Italy, where he dissipated the revenues of an immensely rich see. Some English bishops do not reside in their dioceses. We knew a bishop who resided, within the last eight years, not more than a mile from St. James’s Palace; he lived till he sunk into a state of dotage and imbecility; he was in fact left to the care of a wet-nurse, who treated him like an infant: we never heard the church sustained any injury from the suspended services of this right reverend prelate, and he, or some one for him, continued, till his death, to receive the revenues of his see.

The Dean and Chapter, consisting of canons and prebendaries, are considered the council of the bishop. This is about as much of a farce as O’Connell’s great crucifix in Merrion-Square, or the virtues of relics and holy water. It is notorious, the bishop and his chapter are oftener at open loggerheads, than sitting in harmonious conclave to devise measures for the good of the Church. The bishop of St. David’s is his own dean, and so endeavours to avoid such unseemly dissensions by being part council to himself. One of the most important offices of the dean and chapter, is to elect the bishop; that is choose the appointee of some court favourite, and in the exercise of which franchise, they discharge as virtual functions as the electors of Cockermouth or Ripon, who adopt the nominees of Earl Lonsdale and Miss Lawrence. The deaneries, prebends, canonries, and other cathedral dignities, are in fact honorary offices of great value; they are endowed with vast estates, numerous manors, and other good things, and have valuable livings in their gift; all of which advantages are so much public income idly squandered. We have before adverted to the sinecure nature of these appointments before the Reformation, and, as a further proof that they are offices without duties, we may mention that nominations to them are sometimes suspended. In 1797, when the cathedral of Lichfield was about being repaired, an act of parliament was obtained to defray the expense, by sequestrating the revenues of two vacant prebends. If the duties of these two offices could be suspended for an indefinite term, they might for perpetuity, and the revenues of all similar situations appropriated to the establishment of a fund in lieu of tithes, for the maintenance of the Working Clergy.

Next in order come the Aristocratic Pluralists. These are so many clerical sinecurists who receive immense incomes, without rendering any service to the community. They are mere men of the world, [61] whose element is the race-course, the ball-room, and billiard-table. They seldom see their parishes: their residence is in London, at Paris, Naples, or Florence. If they visit their benefices, it is not in the capacity of pastor, but of surveyor or tax-gatherer, who comes to spy out improvements, to watch the increase of stock and extension of tillage, and see how many hundreds more he can squeeze out of the fruits of the industry and capital of the impoverished farmer. The poor parishioner, who contributes his ill-spared tithe to the vicious indulgence of these spiritual locusts, is neither directed by their example, instructed by their precepts, nor benefited by their expenditure.

From the preceding table, it is evident that about 2152 incumbents, [*] and 4254 curates, discharge nearly the entire duties of the established religion; that their average income is £301, which is more than the average income of the Scotch clergy; more than the income of the dissenting clergy in England, and the catholic clergy in Ireland; that, therefore, £1,974,503, the total revenue of these classes, constitutes nearly the whole expenditure the national worship requires for its maintenance and the discharge of its spiritual functions.

It is further evident that the Bishops, Dignitaries, and Non-resident incumbents, amounting to 6,025 individuals, receive £7,485,062 per annum, or seven-ninths of the revenues of the church; that these classes hold either merely honorary appointments, discharge no duties, or are greatly overpaid; that, in consequence, by abolishing non-residence, stalls, and other sinecures, and by reducing the salaries of the higher clergy to a level with those of appointments in the State, or to a level with those of the best paid clergy in Europe, several millions of public income might be saved, to be applied either to the establishment of a fund for the maintenance of the operative clergy, in lieu of tithe and other ecclesiastical imposts; or, it might be applied, as a great portion of it was originally intended, as a provision for the maintenance of the poor; or, as a substitute for those public taxes whose pressure on “the springs and sources of industry” tends to produce national poverty and embarrassment.

Further, it is clear, from an impartial inquiry into the origin and tenure of church property, that it has been always considered public property; that it was dealt with as such in the reign of Henry VIII., and by parliament in the reigns of George III. and IV., and the same policy has been pursued towards ecclesiastical possessions in every European state: that, in consequence, the legislature, after making a provision for the life interests of the present possessors of the church revenues, as was done at the time of the Reformation, [] is authorized by [62] precedent and the example of other nations; and may, without injustice or inhumanity, adopt such measures for introducing a new disposition of clerical endowments, as is most conducive to the general interests of the community.

Lastly, it appears, on the authority of the ablest writers on ecclesiastical polity, that a religious establishment of any kind is no part of Christianity—it is only the means of inculcating it; that a church establishment is founded solely on its utility; [*] that the public endowment of any church implies, it is intended to be subordinate and auxiliary to the public good; that the endowments of the Church of England were not originally granted for the support of a particular sect of religionists, but the general support and diffusion of the Gospel: that, in consequence, our episcopalian establishment is not an essential part of religion, but a mean of social advantage, and its policy and duration ought to be determined solely by its bearing on the public interest; and, that, on any future interference with the revenues of the church, the two most important considerations are—first, that if appropriated to the maintenance of religion at all, they ought to be appropriated to the maintenance of the teachers of Christianity generally, without distinction of creed; and, secondly, that the amount and proportion in which they are so appropriated, ought to be determined by one sole object—the only true end of religion, government, law, and every social institution—namely, the general prosperity and happiness of the People.

We cannot, perhaps, more appropriately conclude this section than by a comparative estimate of the cost of Church of Englandism and of Christianity in other countries. England affords the only grand monument of ecclesiastical wealth remaining to shew the intellectual bondage of men in times of superstition, before the more general diffusion of knowledge and education. Except in this country, the people have every where cast off the prejudice impressed upon them during the dark ages, that it was necessary to yield up a large portion of their property and the fruits of their industry, to be consumed by a numerous body of idle and luxurious ecclesiastics. Abroad those clergymen are only respected and supported who zealously labour in their ministry, and are the real spiritual pastors of the people. Formerly clergymen were almost the only persons who knew how to read and write; they took an active part in the administration of the laws, and were in universal request as secretaries and clerks. This was some excuse for their number and endowments. But these days are past, and the subjoined comparison will show that the churches of the Roman Catholic faith present as singular a contrast with their ancient endowments as with the present enormity of Church of England opulence.


Comparative Expense of Church of Englandism and of Christianity in all other Countries of the World.
Name of the Nation. Number of Hearers. Expenditure on the Clergy, per Million of Hearers. Total Amount of the Expenditure in each Nation.
France 32,000,000 £62,000 £2,000,000
United States 9,600,000 60,000 576,000
Spain 11,000,000 100,000 1,100,000
Portugal 3,000,000 100,000 300,000
Hungary, Catholics 4,000,000 80,000 320,000
Calvinists 1,050,000 60,000 63,000
Lutherans 650,000, 40,000 26,000
Italy 19,391,000 40,000 776,000
Austria 18,918,000 50,000 950,000
Switzerland 1,720,000 50,000 87,000
Prussia 10,536,000 50,000 527,000
German Small States 12,763,000 60,000 765,000
Holland 2,000,000 80,000 160,000
Netherlands 6,000,000 42,000 252,000
Denmark 1,700,000 70,000 119,000
Sweden 3,400,000 70,000 238,000
Russia, Greek Church 34,000,000 15,000 510,000
Catholics and Lutherans. 8,000,000 50,000 400,000
Christians in Turkey 6,000,000 30,000 180,000
South America 15,000,000 30,000 450,000
Christians dispersed elsewhere 3,000,000 50,000 150,000
The Clergy of 203,728,000 people receive 9,949,000
England and Wales 6,500,000 1,455,316 9,459,565

Hence, it appears, the administration of Church of Englandism to 6,500,000 hearers costs nearly as much as the administration of all other forms of Christianity in all parts of the world to 203,728,000 hearers.

Of the different forms of Christianity the Romish is the most expensive. A Roman Catholic clergyman cannot go through the duties of his ministry well for more than 1000 persons. The masses, auricular confessions, attendance on the sick, and other observances, make his duties more laborious than those of a Protestant clergyman with double the number of hearers: add to which, the cost of wax lights, scenery, and other accompaniments peculiar to Catholic worship. Notwithstanding these extra outgoings, we find that the administration of the Episcopalian Reformed Religion in England to one million of hearers, costs the people fourteen times more than the administration of Popery to the same number of hearers in Spain or Portugal, and more than forty times the administration of Popery in France.

Dissenters, like churchmen, are compelled to contribute to the support of the ministers and churches of the established religion, besides having to maintain, by voluntary payments, their own pastors and [64] places of worship. In France all religions are maintained by the state, without distinction; all persons have access to the universities and public schools: in England, only one religion is maintained by the state; and all dissenters from the national worship are excluded from the universities and colleges, and from the masterships of grammar-schools, and other public foundations, endowed by our common ancestors, for the general promotion of piety and learning.

Dr. Paley, a writer of great eminence, and whose principal work has been adopted as a text-book at Oxford and Cambridge, has shown that it is the policy of every government which endows a particular form of religion, to make choice of that religion which is followed and believed in by a majority of the people. This principle, however, is not acted upon in this country. Notwithstanding the immense endowments of the established clergy, their gradation of rank, and protection by the state, it seems that, owing to laxity of discipline, want of zeal, defects in the Liturgy, or other causes, the adherents of the privileged worship constitute a minority of the nation.

England and Ireland are the only countries in the world where a tenth of the produce is claimed by the clergy. In Popish Italy the ecclesiastical tithe is only a fortieth, and is taken in kind. A prosecution by a clergyman for tithe is nearly unknown; whereas, in the United Kingdom, tithe causes, often forming the most costly and intricate source of litigation, are of frequent occurrence. In France the expense of all religions, Protestant and Catholic, is defrayed out of the taxes, like other branches of the public service. In the United States of America all the different modes of worship are maintained by their respective followers.

The monstrous excess in the pay of the English clergy appears from comparing their average income, with the incomes of the clergy of equal rank in other countries. In France an archbishop has only £1041 a-year; a bishop £625; an archdeacon £166; a canon or prebend £100; a rector £48; a curate £31. In Rome the income of a cardinal, the next in dignity to the pope, is £400 to 500 a-year; of a rector of a parish £30; of a curate £17: compare these stipends with the enormous incomes of the English clergy; and, making allowance for difference in the expence of living in the respective countries, the disparity in ecclesiastical remuneration appears incredible.


Though the avocations of the clergy are professedly of a spiritual nature, no class has manifested so greedy an appetite for temporal advantages and enjoyments. They have been like the daughters of the horse-leech, their cry has constantly been give! give! A brief notice of the application of First Fruits and Tenths, and, subsequently, of parliamentary grants to the augmentation of ecclesiastical revenues, will show as much rapacity on the part of the clergy and as wasteful expenditure of public money on the church as was ever exhibited in the darkest ages of monkish superstition.


First Fruits, as is well known, are the first year’s whole profit or value of any spiritual preferment. The Tenths are the tenth part of the annual value of each living. Both first-fruits and tenths were formerly paid to the pope. The first-fruits were paid to his Holiness on promotion to any new benefice, and the tenths were an annual incometax of ten per cent. out of the revenue of the clergy. As the clergy would, when it was contrary to law, persist in the payment of these foreign exactions, Henry VIII. determined, on the dissolution of the monasteries, to keep them to the yoke to which they had voluntarily subjected themselves, and annexed the revenue arising from first-fruits and tenths to the crown; excepting, however, from the payment of first-fruits, all vicarages under ten pounds, and rectories under ten marks per annum.

According to the valuation in the King’s Book, the first-fruits and tenths were paid, as the 1st of Elizabeth has it, to “the great aid, relief, and supportation of the inestimable charges of the Crown:” and so continued till the 2d year of queen Anne, 1703, when an act passed giving to a corporation, which was to be erected for the augmentation of small livings, the whole of the first fruits and tenths. This is what is called Queen Anne’s Bounty, and amounted to about £14,000 per annum: it has been subsequently increased by an annual grant of £100,000 from parliament and the benefactions of individuals. By another act of the queen, the bishops are required, by oaths of witnesses, to ascertain the clear improved yearly value of every benefice with incomes not exceeding £50 per annum, and certify the same to the exchequer, in order to be discharged from the payment of first-fruits: and all above that value to contribute, by the payment of first-fruits and tenths, to the augmentation of the former.

The object of the queen in establishing this fund was to relieve the poor clergy; the real and only effect has been to relieve the rich clergy from a charge to which by law they were liable. In the 26th Henry VIII. a provision was made for revising, from time to time, the valuations under which the first-fruits and tenths were paid. It is probable the clergy of 1703 were apprehensive, as the nation was then engaged in an expensive war, that such a revision might be made; and in persuading the pious queen to renounce a portion of the hereditary revenue for the sake of “her poor clergy,” they artfully contrived to insert a clause (the last in the act) by which the payment of first-fruits and tenths was made perpetual at the original rate of valuation!

The cunning of the rich clergy in thus shifting from themselves the burthen of contributing to the relief of their poorer brethren, is only to be matched in degree by the folly shown in the application of the diminished revenue which this trick of theirs still left for the improvement of small livings. At the time when the Bounty-Fund was established, there were, according to the returns, 5597 livings in England and Wales with incomes not exceeding £50, and which the slow operation of the fund, aided by parliament, would not raise to £150 in two centuries. Under such circumstances any rational being would [66] suppose the governors and the legislature, by whom the disposal of the fund was superintended, would have made some inquiry into the condition of these livings. Some of them were of very small extent and scarcely any population; and might, therefore, have been advantageously united with one another or with other parishes. In others, the number of hearers was very great, and the parishes so large, they might have been advantageously subdivided. No attention was paid to these different circumstances. The governors of the bounty proceeded bountifully: they distributed a part of their money, in sums of £200, on any poor living to which any private person would give an equal sum; the rest, and greater part, they distributed by lot, letting each poor living take an equal chance for a £200 prize, without any regard to persons or urgency of claim. After this the story of Bridoye deciding suits-at-law by dice, after making up a fair pile of paper on each side, appears no longer an extravaganza. Up to the year 1815 the governors had made in this way 7323 augmentations of £200; but with benefices, as with men, fortune is not proportioned to desert or necessity. Some of the least populous parishes had a wonderful run of luck. In the diocese of Chichester, for instance, the rectory of Hardham, which, in 1811, contained eighty-nine inhabitants, has received six augmentations by lot, or £1200. The vicarage of Loddington, with forty-eight people, has had six augmentations,—£1200. In the diocese of Salisbury, Bremilham drew a prize; it contained fourteen people. Pertwood drew another; it had but twelve people. Calstone had £1000, including a benefaction of £200; its population was nineteen. In the diocese of Winchester, St. Swithin’s, with twenty-four people, has received £800; and £200 has been expended on Ewhurst, which has seven people, and the living returned worth £99. In the diocese of York, Butterwick, with sixty-two people, has had five prizes,—£1000; while Armley, with 2941 people, and Allendale, with 3884, have only gained one each. Even in cities, where the scattered condition of the population could afford no pretext against the union of parishes, the same random plan of augmentations has been pursued. In Winchester separate augmentations have been given to seven parishes, the population of which, all united, would have amounted only to 2376, and would, consequently, have formed a very manageable and rather small town parish. In short, the whole of the returns [*] teem with instances of extravagance, and clearly demonstrate this clerical little-go has been managed for a very different purpose than relieving the penury of part of the establishment. Indeed it is supposed that the church looks upon the poverty of some of her members as sturdy beggars look upon their sores, considering them a valuable adjunct for exciting an ill-judged compassion for the whole body, and securing impunity in idleness and over-feeding.

Had it not been for the fraudulent substraction of the higher clergy from the burthen of contributing to the relief of their poor brethren, [67] there would have been no need of resorting to eleemosynary aid from parliament. If the first-fruits and tenths had been paid, subsequently to the gift of Queen Anne, according to the rate which the law provided, that is, according to the real value of the benefices, instead of a million and a half, at least thirty millions would have been received from those taxes; [*] a sum not only quite sufficient to have removed the poverty of all the poor livings in the kingdom, but to have established schools in every parish, and left a surplus beside for building additional churches, or any other useful purpose.

The funds at present in the hands of the governors are very considerable: not long since these faithful trustees for the benefit of the poor clergy advanced a loan for the repair of the palace of the rich archdiocese of Canterbury; and it is said they have come to a resolution to discourage as much as possible the purchase of lands, and to make certain annual allowances to clergymen with small livings from the dividend of the stock. By this latter proceeding the heads of the church have themselves begun to pay the clergy out of the public funds; affording an example, from high authority, of the practicability of this mode of paying the clergy generally.

In the course of the augmentations no security has been taken against non-residence or plurality. The governors have gone on increasing the income of two small livings, in order to make each of them capable of supporting a resident clergyman, while, after as well as before the augmentation, one incumbent may hold them together—reside on neither—and allow only a small part of the accumulated income to a curate, who performs the duties of both.

Rapacity and finesse appear inseparable traits in the character of the clergy at all times; and the recent conduct of our spiritual guides in the metropolis is a worthy counterpart to that of the clergy in the time of Queen Anne. The situation of the clergy of the City of London is different from that of the clergy in other parts of the kingdom. In the reign of Henry VIII. continual altercations took place between the citizens and their pastors relative to tithes and ecclesiastical dues. To put an end to these unseemly disputes, the 37th Henry VIII. established a commission, at the head of which was the archbishop, with full power to give to their decrees the force of law, if they were enrolled in the Court of Chancery before March, 1545. By a decree of this commission the tithe of houses and buildings is fixed at the rate of 2s. 9d. for every 20s. yearly rent, and 2d. for each of the family for the four yearly offerings. Great disputes, however, have arisen between the inhabitants and tithe-holders respecting the validity of this decree; for it appears, on the authority of Tomline and Raithby, that it never was enrolled agreeably to the obligation of the act. The clergy, however, have continued to urge their claim to 2s. 9d. in the pound, which they modestly term their “ancient rights,” and would, doubtless, yield a [68] very handsome remuneration. An assessment of 1s. in the pound, as stated by the City tithe-committee, would, in the smallest and poorest parishes, yield an income of £500 a-year; and an assessment of 2s. 9d. would raise the lowest living to £1400 a-year. To this exorbitant pretension the clergy have long looked with extreme desire, beholding the increasing wealth and population of the City with feelings similar to those ascribed by Milton to Satan, when contemplating, with malign eye, the happiness of our first parents in the garden of Eden.

Though the decree emanating from the 37th Henry VIII. was of doubtful validity, it has formed the principle on which the assessment has been raised for the maintenance of the city clergy. The clergy, indeed, do not generally exact the 2s. 9d. but content themselves with 2s. 1s. 9d. or 1s. or, in short, any thing they can obtain,—insisting, however, at the same time, on their extreme forbearance in thus generously foregoing their “ancient rights.” Even the 37th Henry did not intend to vest in the clergy the 2s. 9d. for their exclusive maintenance, but also for relieving the poor and repairing the edifice of the church. This they have always kept out of sight: the parishioners apparently acquiesced in their pretended rights; and it was only owing to the ill-timed rapacity of the Fire-Act Clergy which led to the explosion of their unfounded claims. Of the proceedings of the Fire-Act Clergy it may be worth while to give some account.

After the 37th Henry VIII. the clergy in the city were maintained by a certain pound-rate levied on the rental of buildings in their respective parishes. This practice continued till the great fire laid the major part of the city in ashes, burning down or damaging eighty-five parish-churches. After this catastrophe, the legislature enacted that some of the parishes destroyed should be united; that only fifty-one churches should be rebuilt; and that the ministers of those churches should, in lieu of their former allowance, receive certain fixed sums, levied by an equal pound-rate on the houses. This was the 22d and 23d Charles II. termed the Fire-Act. The clergy subject to the provisions of this act were perfectly satisfied, till the effects of the fire began to disappear, the rents of the houses to rise, and the city to get rich again. Then it was our reverend gentlemen became discontented: they saw, with grudging eyes, the increasing wealth of the capital, of which their fixed stipends would not allow them to participate; they talked unceasingly of their former pound-rate, of their “ancient rights,” and at length determined, in good earnest, to apply to parliament.

This was in 1804, and, in consequence, parliament made valuable additions to their salaries; the lowest incomes were raised to £200 a-year, and many of the larger parishes, nearly, if not quite, to £600 a-year, exclusive of surplice-fees and other valuable emoluments. Such augmentation, to all reasonable men, appeared quite sufficient: not so to the clergy. In 1817 they applied for a further augmentation. This application was refused. In 1818 they came forward a third time, with their famous petition of the 4th February, filled with grievous lamentations about the loss of their “ancient rights.” The bubble now burst. [69] Parliament, disgusted with the rapacity of these “sturdy beggars,” determined to refer their petition to a committee. It was soon discovered their “ancient rights” had no foundation; [*] that they never were entitled to 2s. 9d. on the rental, or any part of it; that with the 37th Henry VIII. which they had foisted into their petition, they had nothing to do, except it were to exhibit the craving and rapacious spirit which actuated them.

Various other disclosures were made. Of the thirty-five poor clergymen who had signed the petition, none of them, on an average, was receiving less than £500 a-year. Twenty-five out of the number were pluralists, and not a few of them the fattest pluralists of the profession. Some of the incumbents received annually £1200, £1500, and even £2000, while they did not pay their curates more than £60, £70, or £80 a-year. [] Instead of residing in the parsonage-house, among the parishioners, the parsonage-houses of many were let to the merchants and manufacturers for counting-houses and warehouses, for which they [70] received exorbitant rents of £200 or £300 a-year. Some of them were archdeacons, royal chaplains, or honourable and very reverend deans; some canons at St. Paul’s, some were precentors, prebendaries, and held other dignified situations in cathedral and collegiate churches. Had they not been the most unreasonable and rapacious men breathing, there is little doubt but they would have considered the emoluments arising from their numerous preferments sufficient. But the wealth of India would not satisfy the cravings of spiritual men. Some of them were mean enough to lay in wait for the members going to the House while their petition was pending, and beseech them to support their claims for an increase in their stipends. It reminds us of the monks of St. Swithin’s. These gluttons had thirteen dishes a day. Hume relates that they threw themselves prostrate in the mire before Henry II. and, with doleful lamentations, complained that the Bishop of Winchester had cut off three dishes a day. “How many has he left?” said the King. “Ten,” replied the disconsolate monks. “I myself,” said Henry, “have only three, and I enjoin the Bishop to reduce you to the same number.”

The emoluments of the metropolitan clergy generally exceed those of the provincial clergy. The practice of uniting parishes, which is allowed by 37th Henry VIII. c. 21, when churches are not more than one mile apart, and under the value of £6, has been carried to a great extent in London. The City alone reckons 108 parishes, which have been formed into no more than seventy-eight benefices, having alternate patrons. Some of these livings are very valuable. For instance, the rectory of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, held by the dean of Hereford, and in the alternate gift of the King and Bishop of London, is worth £2500 a-year. The rectory of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, held by the Rev. Mr. Beresford, and in the patronage of the Duke of Buccleugh, is probably worth £3500. In Westminster, the rectory of St. George’s, Hanover-square, held by the Dean of Carlisle, and in the gift of the Bishop of London, is worth, at least, £4000 per annum. The living of St. Giles’s, held by the Rev. J. E. Tyler, and in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, is another valuable rectory. We could enumerate others, but these must suffice.

In considering the incomes of the metropolitan clergy, it must be remembered that they have many other sources of emolument besides their benefices. St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster-Abbey have many valuable dignities, equal in value to good livings, and which are principally shared among the London ecclesiastics. Then there are the appointments in the royal chapels, public libraries and museums, and the salaries they receive as ushers, masters, &c. in the numerous and wealthy charitable foundations, and which altogether must make their incomes immense.

From this representation of the situation of the clergy of the metropolis, it is clearly their wisest course to follow the policy of primate Sutton, and keep quiet. They should constantly bear in mind the fable of the dog with a piece of flesh, and not endanger what they [71] possess by grasping at too much. But, somehow, the clergy ordinarily evince so little general knowledge, and are so blindly intent on immediate gain, that they usually adopt the most contracted and mistaken views of their permanent interests. Their conduct in respect of compositions for tithes strikingly exemplifies these traits in the clerical character. In order to render this part of the subject intelligible, it will be necessary to premise a few explanations.

A real composition for tithes is when an agreement is made between the landlord and parson, with the consent of the ordinary and patron, that certain land shall be discharged from the payment of tithes, by reason of some land, or other recompense, given to the incumbent in lieu thereof. Such agreements were anciently very frequent, till, by the 13th Elizabeth, it was provided that no composition for tithes should be valid for a longer term than three lives, or twenty-one years. This tended greatly to restrain compositions, and they are now rarely heard of, unless by authority of parliament. To establish the validity of these agreements previously entered into, it is necessary to produce the deed itself, executed between the commencement of the reign of Richard the First and the restraining act of Elizabeth, or such evidence from whence, independent of mere usage, it may be inferred that the deed once existed. Now this is often impossible. Time, as Lord Ellenborough once said, is a greedy devourer of patents and parchments, as of other things, and, probably, in the lapse of 240 years, the deed has been lost or destroyed, or other circumstances utterly preclude the production of the necessary proof. Clergymen, however, have often been found greedy enough to avail themselves of this strange peculiarity in the law, and suddenly claim the tithes from land that had been exonerated for centuries, and for which there could be no doubt a composition had been once granted. This was done, not many years since, by some sinecure priests of the cathedral of Exeter. We well remember the case of Dr. Peplow Ward, the rector of Cottenham. This was a real composition traced so far back as the middle of the sixteenth century; [*] the parson claimed his tithes, and kept the land too, given in lieu of them, because the unfortunate owner could not produce the deed of conveyance.

A recent instance of clerical rapacity has been evinced by the dean and chapter of Ely, and was brought before parliament in the session of 1831, [] by the owners of Lakenheath-fen, a district of 5000 acres. The fen-owners claim exemption from tithe by prescription; and the property has been purchased, made the subject of wills, family settlements, and contracts, as tithe-free land. But the legal maxim is, that the elapse of no time bars the claim of the church, and the petitioners are bound to prove an uninterrupted exemption from the payment of [72] tithe for nearly 650 years. The dean and chapter of Ely, who possess the rectory and vicarage of Lakenheath, have availed themselves of this difficulty, to revive their claim of tithe over the fen. For nineteen years have the owners of the fen-land been harassed by their spiritual oppressors; they have already expended £5000 in litigation, and more law is now threatened them; the dean and chapter having granted a concurrent lease of the rectory to Mr. Evans, their solicitor and agent, who has renewed the persecution for the tithe of the fen.

A modus, or accustomed rate of payment for tithe, no more than a composition, is never allowed to stand after the clergyman wishes to terminate it, unless it can be proved to have existed prior to A.D. 1189. Day after day rank moduses, as they are called, though they have continued from time out of mind, yet bear evidence of not having existed before the return of King Richard from the Holy Land, are set at naught. Why our legal sages should have adopted this antiquated era for the bounds of legal memory, and to which, for the validity of a custom or prescription, it is necessary to trace an uninterrupted observance, no one can divine, unless it arise from the obvious interest they have in involving every rule regarding the rights of persons and property in the greatest possible obscurity and contradiction. The parsons, however, avail themselves of this dictum, and set aside every customary payment for tithe they do not like, which cannot be proved to have continued, without interruption, from the twelfth century. Hence no modus for hops, turkeys, or other thing introduced into England since that period, is valid. The keenness with which, on various occasions, the clergy have litigated these points is astonishing; and their conduct, both as regards compositions, first fruits, and tithes in London, shows the inherent rapacity of the order, and that there is no stratagem to which they will not resort, in order to avoid payments to which they are justly liable, or to fasten on the public some of their own dormant pretensions. They cannot, therefore, expect any indulgence, nor complain if a similar measure of justice be dealt to them. One mode of retaliation would be to insist on the payment of first fruits and tenths, according to the present value of benefices, whereby the condition of the inferior clergy would be improved out of the redundant incomes of the rich ecclesiastics.

But quite as equitable and a more effective blow might be dealt the priesthood, by the poor insisting on their old common law right to one-third of the tithes of benefices. If the clergy will persist in reviving worn-out claims, why should the people suffer their own just rights to remain in abeyance? That the poor are entitled to one-third of the tithes has been unanswerably proved by Ruggles and Eagle. No time has elapsed to defeat the claims of the poor any more than the claims of the Church. There stands their right, guaranteed to them by the old common law of the land, sanctioned by centuries of uninterrupted usage, and never repealed by any statute of the realm.



New religions are seldom genuine. Like new constitutions of government, they are mostly established by being incorporated with preexisting opinions and institutions. This observation will appear evident from an advertance to the origin and history of the Church Liturgy, by which will be seen the successive gradations of Paganism, Popery, and Protestantism, through which it has emerged and been transmuted.

Dr. Middleton, an eloquent and learned divine of the Church of England, was the first to lead the way in this inquiry. In his celebrated letter from Rome, he exhibits, in a very perspicuous manner, the great conformity between Paganism and Popery, and proves that the religion of the present Romans is entirely derived from that of their heathen ancestors:—in the use of incense, holy water, tapers and lamps, in their worship; in the practice of pomps and processions, penance, pretended miracles, and pious frauds; in the making of votive gifts and offerings, and erecting rural shrines; in the orders of their priesthood, nuns, monks, and begging friars, and in the use of boys clothed in sacred habits, to attend the officiating priest: all of which he has shown to have been practised by the Pagans, and by the Papists, in imitation of them. But here Dr. Middleton stopped in his comparison, unaware, apparently, that in his zeal to depreciate a rival church, he had furnished weapons of no ordinary temper, with which that to which he belonged might be assailed.

This task has been executed in the well-known work of De Laune, in his Plea for the Nonconformists, where he has exhibited learning and ability not inferior to Dr. Middleton. He shows that in the several particulars of kneeling at the Sacrament, the use of the surplice, the sign of the cross, the rite of confirmation, the use of sponsors in the baptism of infants, of a liturgy or form of prayer, and of altars, the observance of fasts and festivals, the ceremony of marriage, bowing at the name of Jesus, and towards the east, the authority of episcopacy, and the dedication of churches to saints; the church of England symbolizes not with primitive Christianity, but with the idolatrous forms of Popery. Such resemblance ceases to be matter of surprise, when it is known, on the authority of Calderwood, that the English service was put together out of three Romish channels: viz. 1. The breviary, out of which the common prayers are taken; 2. The ritual, or book of rites, out of which the administration of the sacraments, burial, matrimony, and the visitation of the sick, are taken; and, 3. The mass-book, out of which the consecration of the Lord’s supper, collects, epistles, and gospels are taken.

The Rubric, or Service-book of Henry VIII.’s time, was no other than the Romish liturgy, partly translated into English. In the reign of Edward VI. the whole was rendered into the vernacular tongue, but otherwise was little altered. This fact was distinctly avowed by the proclamation of the king and council made at the rebellion of some enthusiasts [74] in the West of England, who had been excited thereto by the priests; it is thus: “As for the service in the English tongue, it perchance seems to you a new service, and, yet, indeed, it is no other but the old, the self-same words in English; for nothing is altered but to speak with knowledge that which was spoken with ignorance, only a few things taken out, so fond, that it had been a shame to have heard them in English.” [*] Between that period and the reign of James I. it is true that some alterations were effected, but notwithstanding we find that monarch thus speaking of the same service. “As for our neighbour Kirk of England, their service is an evil said mass in English; they want nothing of the mass, but the liftings.” [] It is allowed, that after this period there were some other alterations made in the service, but we find that Charles II. in his preface to the Common Prayer, annexed to the Act of Uniformity, thus expresses his opinion: “the main body and essentials of it (as well in the chiefest materials as in the frame and order thereof) have still continued the same unto this day, notwithstanding all vain attempts and impetuous assaults made against it.” Now the obvious inference from these testimonies is, that the service of the Church of England, with little alteration, is the same as that of the Church of Rome. But, to show more satisfactorily the resemblance between the two churches, we shall insert the following comparison from an ingenious and elaborate publication, entitled “The Church Establishment founded in Error:” []

“The breviary and calendar of the Church of Rome divides the year into fasts, vigils, feasts, and working days. The same division is adopted by the Church of England, with this exception, that there are less of the former; but of those that are observed they stand in the same order, and are evidently borrowed from the calendar of the Roman Church. Their feasts are divided into moveable and fixed; so are ours; and of thirty-six of them the observance is the same in both churches. The fast-days of both are alike. In the Church of Rome the service itself is divided into matins and even songs; so is ours; theirs is appropriated to the particular feasts, fasts, vigils, &c.; so is ours; the substance of their service consists in collects, confessions, absolutions, psalms, epistles, gospels, prophets, apocrypha, litanies, anthems, &c. so does ours. In the Church of Rome, the people kneel at confession or absolution, repeat after the priest the pater-noster, stand at gloria patri, stand up and repeat the apostle’s creed, kneel and repeat after the minister, Lord, have mercy upon us; Christ have mercy upon us; make responses at the saying of the litany, kneel at the altar when they partake of the eucharist, or Lord’s supper, kneel and ask mercy and grace after the rehearsal of the decalogue; read the psalms alternately with the priest, verse by verse; sit at reading the lessons, say the psalms to the accompaniment of music, bow to the [75] east and at the name of Jesus. All this is done in the Church of Rome, and so is it performed in the Church of England. The places of worship which the Church of England at present occupies, and the endowments it possesses, were built, consecrated, and bestowed by the Papists, and as they were dedicated by them to various saints, so they continue dedicated by the Church of England. The Church of Rome has its archbishops, bishops, deans and chapters, prebends, archdeacons, and other graduated dignities; so has the Church of England, which retains also distinguishing habits for each, as formerly practised by the Roman Church. And the ordination services in both churches so closely resemble each other, that, with a few unimportant alterations, they are verbatim the same. A parallel so singular and striking cannot fail to convince every unprejudiced mind, that one system has given rise to the other.”—pp. 44-5.

Having gone through the historical part of our inquiry, we shall next come to a notice of the church service as now administered. Apart from the temporalities of the Church, we do not think there is much to give offence in the established worship, notwithstanding its impure and idolatrous origin. Man is said naturally to be prone to religion, and were he deprived of his present idols, it is not improbable he might create others with more onerous pretensions. Those, however, most attached to the national establishment, cannot deny there are defects in its ritual, which, if they could be quietly abscinded, would be a great improvement. The church has partaken, in some degree, of the improvements of the age. It has been argued out of intolerance towards every Christian sect. Some doctrines still retained, as part of the Athanasian creed and Thirty-nine Articles, are viewed, we apprehend, in the same light as special pleading and other legal fictions, rather as curious relics of a past age than as dogmas of practical use and belief. In its rites and ceremonial, the services it exacts are of easy performance to every class. The enforcement of the sabbath is an unmixed good to the industrious orders, while the hebdomadal inculcation of a future state of reward and punishment supports with hope or restrains with fear those who cannot appreciate the claims of a more enlightened morality. Philosophers can hardly begrudge the devotion of one morning out of seven to a parish church; if their feelings are not interested in the iterations of the Liturgy, their souls may be soothed by music and psalmody, and thus be enabled to range, with less disturbance, through the regions of science.

Mere politicians, who usually look on the sanctions of religion as more useful than credible, are little under its influence. The Tories were formerly a godly race of men,—they had religion at the heart, but with the Whigs it never went beyond the lips. Speaking of these once notable factions, the late Mr. Fox observes, “While the Whigs considered all religion with a view to politics, the Tories, on the other hand, referred all politics to religion. Thus the former, in their hatred to Popery, did not so much regard the superstition or even idolatry of that unpopular sect, as its tendency to establish arbitrary power in the state; [76] while the latter revered arbitrary monarchy as a divine institution, and cherished passive obedience and non-resistance as articles of religious faith.” [*] With few exceptions, both parties are now agreed in treating religion as an engine or ally of the state,—a branch of the police, or civil power, very useful for repressing disorders, or assisting that famous tax machine, a mock representation, in extracting money out of the pockets of the people.

The Church appears inclined to cultivate a spirit of indifference and quietism,—the most favourable course it could take for a lengthened duration. It prosecutes no doctrine, controls, with a gentle hand, the passions of the multitude, gives full scope to the pleasures of the great, and is mostly prompt to throw the weight of its influence into the scale of government. So far is well and judicious. But there are some parts of the Liturgy so staringly preposterous, and so inconsistent with genuine Protestantism, that we think, if they are not shortly got rid of, they must, ere long, attract a dangerous share of popular attention. The reformation of Henry VIII. from the first needed reforming, and, after an elapse of more than two centuries, the task cannot surely be deemed premature.

The portion of the book of Common Prayer, to which we shall first call attention, is the Church Catechism. This includes the elements of Church of Englandism, and is of the utmost importance from being first impressed on the minds of the rising generation. To the bad grammar and logic of this manual we do not attach much importance, though, entering as it does into early instruction, it ought to be unobjectionable on these points. But what is more serious, is the impracticable, superfluous and unintelligible matter it contains.

For example:—in the baptismal service, the godfather and godmother renounce, in the name and behoof of the child, “the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal desires of the flesh;” and this engagement the child solemnly promises to fulfil. But the utter impossibility of performance reduces the whole to an unmeaning ceremony: sponsors offer up their pledges without consideration, and christenings next to marriages are scenes of the greatest levity and indecorum.

That part where the child engages to make “no graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth,” is superfluous, inapplicable, and liable to be misunderstood. Though the golden calf was never more worshipped than at present, it is the most romote possible from a religious worship. The injunction was delivered to the Jews when they were surrounded by nations of idolators; but the nearest idolatry is distant from England at least a thousand leagues, and children can find no type of it in this country, except in the productions of the artist, to which they may mistakenly think it applies.

In another place occurs the phrase “all the elect people of God,” which savours strongly of that Calvinism against which Lord Chatham directed [77] his anathema, and which we verily believe, next to the anarchical principles of the French revolutionists, is the most anti-social doctrine ever propagated. Unless religion aids the cause of virtue, it is, comparatively, valueless; but the doctrine of election divests the Christian faith of every moral obligation. Of what importance can an individual’s conduct be, if his salvation depends solely on the fiat of a foregone conclusion. In the words of John Wesley, who has stated the case with equal force and truth, the sum of all is this: “one in twenty (suppose) of mankind are elected; nineteen in twenty are reprobated! The elect shall be saved, do what they will: the reprobate shall be damned, do what they can.” [*] Affirm till doomsday that there can be no election without faith, and no faith without works, this is the essence of Calvinism; for which, diabolism would be a better name; and in the worst and bloodiest idolatry that ever defiled the earth, there is nothing so horrid, so monstrous, so impious.

Transubstantiation, or the real presence, was the great test of popery at the time of the Reformation. If a man, like Mr. O’Connell, for example, were to affirm his belief that the body and blood of Christ are actually taken and swallowed, at the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, he was hurried off to the stake, without pity or remorse. Yet, for the life of us, we cannot attach any other than a real and corporeal interpretation to the following interrogatories in the Catechism:

Question.—What is the inward part or thing signified?

Answer.—The body and blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord’s Supper.

Question.—What are the benefits whereof we are partakers thereby?

Answer.—The strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the body and blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the bread and wine.

If this is not transubstantiation we do not know how it can be otherwise expressed. But it may be urged, that our apprehensions are wholly groundless, and no harm is done: that the catechism is intended only for the instruction of children; that it is mere words learnt by rote, like the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Ten Commandments, at an age when the understanding is so little unfolded that no ideas are attached to them. Granted: but if the formula is to be so construed, we think it had better be consigned to the exclusive use of the dame shools, and the public saved the expense of maintaining so many well-fed clergymen, chiefly employed in impressing and confirming it on the minds of our juvenile population.

Another morceau from the mass-book is retained in the Visitation of the Sick; in which the Protestant priest actually grants absolution of sin with as much sang froid and authority as Leo. X. The sick person is directed to make a confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled in any weighty matter; the priest then tenders a carte blanche in manner and form following:—

“Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his church to absolve all sinners [78] who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences; and by his authority, committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.—Amen.

In the Morning Service is a form of absolution; but the terms in which it is given are less explicit; and the priest only declares a remission of sins to those who truly repent. Considering the era when the Common Prayer was framed, it is not surprising it retains some remnants of the superstition out of which it was fabricated. For aught we know, the power of granting absolution may have scriptural authority; at all events it must often prove salutary, affording consolation at a moment when human nature most needs support, and compensating for any fears and anxieties which may have been felt during past life, by the certain hope held out of future forgiveness and beatitude.

The mode of filling a Church of England priest with the Holy Ghost, and endowing him with the invaluable elixir to forgive sins, and keep out of hell, or let drop into it whom he pleases, is not less extraordinary than the gift itself. It must be premised that no person can be admitted to any benefice unless he has been first ordained a priest; and then, in the language of the law, he is termed a clerk in orders. The mode of such ordination is thus described in the Liturgy.

“The bishop, with the priest present, shall lay their hands severally upon every one that receiveth the order of priesthood; the receivers humbly kneeling upon their knees, and the bishop saying,

Receive the Holy Ghost, for the office and work of a priest in the church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposition of our hands.—Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained.

Truly this is marvellous in our eyes! The bare idea of any one who can swallow three bottles of wine, and leap a five-barred gate, being filled with the Holy Ghost, makes the gorge rise. But then the necromancy of this wonderful infusion. The bishop, only imposing his right reverend hands, saying, “Receive the Holy Ghost,” and instantly, with the suddenness of the electric fluid, the Holy Ghost passes from the fingers of the bishop into the inside of—perhaps, a Clogher, a Philpotts, a Hay, a Blacow, or a Daniels.

Talk of miracles having ceased,—they are performing daily. Talk of popery, of indulgences, and absolutions. Talk of the poor, naked, godless, unenlightened Indian, who wanders on the banks of the Niger or the Orinoque. Talk of the Chinese, who cuts his deity with scissars, or moulds him in paste. Talk of the wretched Hindoo, who immolates his victim to Juggernaut; or of the wild Tartar, who worships the invisible Lama. Talk of all or any of these, or go to what age or country we may, for examples of supernatural pretension, can we find any to match this part of the rites of the Church of England?

We shall now leave to the Reader’s further consideration the subject of the church ritual. It is only a work of men’s hands, and cannot, of course, claim the same infallibility as the Holy Scriptures. An order in council is any time sufficient authority for introducing alterations in [79] the Liturgy; and, even within our own time, it has been subjected both to curtailment and additions. George IV., it will long be remembered, ordered the name of Queen Caroline to be struck out, as a person unworthy of the prayers of the people. Lord Sidmouth, who now forms a fragment of the dead weight, during his secretaryship, directed four prayers to be interpolated, and they form a regular portion of the church service. In the few observations we have ventured to put forward, our purpose has been only to advert to such parts as seemed most startling to vulgar apprehension; and in doing this, we trust, nothing irreverent has escaped us, or in derogation of the general utility of the Book of Common Prayer. With all its imperfections we greatly prefer the established ceremonial to the random out-pourings of the conventicle; and think the measured solemnities deliberately framed for the various occasions of life, preferable to those wild exhortations which have no standard but the intellect of the preacher, his thirst of gain or popularity, or the passions and fatuity of his hearers.


The Roman slaves were never numbered lest they should discover their power and importance. A similar policy appears to have been observed towards the dissenters. Although we have had three censuses of the people within the last thirty years, in the taking of which various inquiries were made into the numbers employed in different trades and occupations; no inquiry was made into the number of the different religious sects. Were the legislature, in this case, apprehensive that they might be called upon, agreeably to the dogma of Dr. Paley on the policy of patronizing the most popular faith, to commence another religious reformation, by altering the present disposition of ecclesiastical endowments? Whatever may have been the motive, the fact is as stated—that no public inquiry has ever been instituted into the relative number of Separatists and Episcopalians.

In the session of 1829, returns were ordered by the House of Commons of the number of churches and chapels of the establishment, and of the number of places of worship not of the establishment. [*] With the exception of Lancaster, no returns have yet been published from any other country. The only public document which throws light on the question, is a parliamentary paper, ordered to be printed May 29th, 1812, and re-printed by the Lords in 1818. This document comprises only the results of returns from parishes containing a population of 1000 persons and upwards. In 1881 parishes of this description, containing a population of 4,937,789, there were 2,533 churches and chapels belonging to the established church; the number of persons they would contain 1,856,108: in the same number of parishes there were 3,438 dissenting places of worship. From this it might be inferred [80] the number of dissenters considerably exceeds the number of conformists. No doubt many small parishes not included in the return would have a church and not a dissenting chapel. On the other hand, the manufacturing population consists chiefly of dissenters; and it is to be observed, that dissenting chapels are generally more crowded and afford greater seat-room in the same space than the churches of the establishment. A dissenting minister cannot subsist without a large audience, but the income of a Church of England priest is secure, if he have no audience at all, nor even a church to preach in. The structure, too, of churches—the system of proprietary pews—generally empty and locked up to guard against intrusion—the vast space taken up by the mayor’s pew, the churchwardens’ pew, and other parish officials, leaves little accommodation for the poor, and they have no alternative but to be crammed up—often standing in aisles, or driven to what are called free-seats, where they can neither hear nor see—or resort to a dissenting chapel.

In the absence of more complete official returns, the Dissenters themselves have attempted to solve this important question in public statistics.

The supplement to the Congregational Magazine for December, 1829, comprises the results of very elaborate inquiries into the number of the places of worship of different religious persuasions. There are some inaccuracies in this statement which we cannot reconcile; but the data it affords, aided by information from other sources, will enable us to make out a tolerable exposition of the relative numbers, and the religious and educational efficiency of the several classes of religionists.

The great religious denominations of the day are those of the Established Church, the Roman Catholics, and the Protestant Dissenters. The number of churches and chapels of the Establishment is 11,600; [*] of Roman Catholics, 388: [] of Protestant Dissenters, 7,634. Supposing the number of attendants at each place of worship is the same, the following will be the result:—

Churches, &c. Attendants.
Established Church 11,600 × 300 = 3,480,000
Roman Catholics 388 × 300 = 116,400
Protestant Dissenters 7,634 × 300 = 2,290,200


It appears from this that, in point of number, the advantage is on the side of the national establishment. But from what has been previously observed, it may be presumed that this is a partial mode of stating the question. It is probable the Church of England has the greatest number of ministers and places of religious worship; we doubt, however, its numerical superiority; at all events, the efficiency of an army is not to be estimated by its skeleton regiments, or even by its numerical strength, but by the skill, energy, and devotedness which animate its soldiery. In these points the Dissenters may claim preeminence, as appears from a comparison of missionary and educational exertions.

During the year 1828-9, the Church of England party raised, for missionary purposes, as under:—

£ s. d.
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge—Foreign Objects 9,208 9 5
Society for Propagating the Gospel 6,239 10 5
Church Missionary Society 52,080 19 1
£67,528 18 11

The Protestant Dissenters alone, during the same period, contributed the following sums:—

£ s. d.
Wesleyan Missionary Society 41,846 12 10
London Missionary Society 37,207 0 6
Particular Baptist Society 9,305 10 2
General Baptist Society 1,651 1 6
£90,010 5 0

Thus it appears, that although the numerical strength of the Church of Englandists exceeds that of the Protestant Dissenters, they do not contribute so much by £22,481 per annum, towards the cause of evangelizing the world, as the non-conformists.

For the mental improvement of their countrymen, the Protestant Dissenters are not less strenuous in their exertions; and on the subject of education, notwithstanding the superior advantages of the Establishment party, they likewise bear the palm.

The National School Society educates 704,730
The Sunday School Society educates 720,717*

In exhibiting the exertions of the two great parties of Conformists and Dissenters, we have taken no notice of what is done by the Catholics, [82] which cannot be inconsiderable; if, therefore, we add the amount of their efforts to our previous calculation, we shall find that the classes of religionists without public endowments, not only possess the greatest share of Christian zeal, but of moral and educational energy.

With so many things to be proud of, it is not surprising the Dissenters have begun to manifest symptoms of dissatisfaction with the favour shown to the national establishment. Hitherto they have submitted to this inequality in an exemplary manner, and steadily refrained from any thing like political agitation. Some fifty years ago, it is true, their ministers were said to be “men of close ambition,” and the way in which this imputation was met deserves to be recorded. It was occasioned by the introduction of a bill, in 1772, to relieve dissenters from the hardship of subscribing to the thirty-nine articles. The bill passed the House of Commons, but was lost in the House of Lords by the weight and influence of the episcopal bench, particularly Dr. Drummond, Archbishop of York, who strongly inveighed against dissenters. Pitt, the eloquent Earl of Chatham, in reply to the archbishop, said, “whoever brought a charge against dissenters without proof, defamed.” After a pause, he felt the workings of a generous and indignant enthusiasm, and thus proceeded: “The dissenting ministers are represented as men of close ambition—they are so, my lords; and their ambition is to keep close to the college of fishermen, not of Cardinals; and to the doctrine of inspired apostles, not to the decrees of interested bishops. They contend for a spiritual creed and spiritual worship. We have a Calvinistic creed, a Popish liturgy, and an Arminian clergy. The reformation has laid open the Scriptures to all; let not the bishops shut them again Laws, in support of ecclesiastical power, are pleaded, which it would shock humanity to execute. It is said, that religious sects have done great mischief, when they are not kept under restraint; but history affords no proof that sects have ever been mischievous, but when they were oppressed by the ruling church.”

The chief oppression of which dissenters have to complain is the injustice of having to pay tithe and church-rates. Building their own chapels and maintaining their own ministers; supporting their own colleges to the number of twenty; educating upwards of 700,000 children in their Sunday-schools; and expending nearly £150,000 in diffusing their religious tenets—impose on them duties and sacrifices sufficiently onerous, without being compelled to aid in the support of the Episcopal establishment. It is apparent, therefore, if land-owners, farmers, and politicians were to be silent on ecclesiastical grievances, they would not be much longer tolerated by the vast body of separatists—who in England probably equal, and certainly in the United Kingdom greatly exceed, in number the members of the national communion. The dissenters have already begun to sound the tocsin of discontent, and several papers, extensively circulated, sufficiently indicate the spirit working within them. We subjoin one of these documents.


Twenty Reasons why Dissenters should not be compelled to pay Church Rates and Tithes, or in any way to support the Church of England.

  1. Because it is a flagrant violation of equity, to compel people to pay for instruction, which they, in conscience, cannot receive.
  2. Because it is a denial of our Saviour’s interpretation of the law: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”—Matt. vii. 12.
  3. Because no passage in the Bible sanctions compulsion in supporting religion.
  4. Because Christianity is slandered by its professors using compulsion for its support.
  5. Because compulsory payments were not known in the purest ages of Christianity.
  6. Because the Constitution of the Church of England, with the peculiar names, titles, and offices of its clergy, has no foundation in the Holy Scriptures.
  7. Because no writer in defence of the Church of England, has ever dared to rest its claims upon the declarations of the Holy scriptures.
  8. Because the Church of England is a fearful system of traffic in the souls of men.—Rev. xviii. 13. [*]
  9. Because the Church of England gives the chief occasion to infidels to slander Christianity as a system of mere Priestcraft,—infidels of this class are found in every parish.
  10. Relinquishing unscriptural claims would remove a foul blot from the Church of England.
  11. Because Dissenters bear all the expenses of their own Colleges, Chapels, Ministers, and Schools.
  12. Because Dissenters in the United Kingdom far exceed in number those who attend at church.
  13. Because religion flourishes most in the United States of America, without tithes or church rates, but supported by voluntary contributions.
  14. Because religion is known to flourish most at those places in the Church of England, in which all their expenses are met by voluntary contributions.
  15. Because the system of compulsion leads the clergy grievously to oppress each other. [84]
  16. Because the curates of the church are worse paid than any class of educated men; and the majority of them far less than journeymen mechanics.
  17. Because the working clergy would be incomparably better supported by free contributions.
  18. Because Christianity, left to its own resources, would become universal, as in the first ages.
  19. Because no priesthood, in any age or nation, has received tithes to the extent of our clergy.
  20. Because the tithes of the Israelites were not for the clergy, but for the whole tribe of Levi, about a tenth of the population, who were not allowed to possess a single acre of freehold land; and these were the judges, magistrates, lawyers, physicians, and instructors of the nation.

A desirable fact to ascertain is, the relative strength of religious sects in the several counties of England. Official returns, as before stated, have been received for the county of Lancaster, (Parl. Paper, No. 664, Sess. 1830,) but for no other county. From these returns it appears the number of parish churches in Lancashire is 65, parochial chapels 157, chapels of ease 59: total number of churches and chapels of the establishment, 281. The total number of dissenting places of worship is 590, and of sectarians 255,411. So that one-fourth of the population of Lancashire are open and professing non-conformists.

We shall conclude with stating the results of the inquiries of the Dissenters on this subject. They have exhibited a statement of the number of church livings and the number of chapels or congregations in each county in England. Their statement, we apprehend, is not far from the truth; it is certainly not exaggerated, as will appear from comparing the results of their inquiries with the official returns for Lancashire. It does not contain the unitarian chapels in England and Wales; this sect has 169 chapels; they are a numerous and increasing body; in Lancashire alone there are 28 congregations of that persuasion, with 5,099 members.

In the next chapter, on the Church of Ireland, we shall endeavour to ascertain the proportion of Conformists and Separatists in the United Kingdom.



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A reform of the Church, like most other reforms, would permanently benefit the many, and only temporarily injure the few. The lawn-sleeves, the shovel-hats, silk-aprons, and monopolizing incumbents would be the chief sufferers; while the condition of the most numerous and useful order of the clergy would be improved. Such odious abuses as non-residence and pluralities would be abolished, and the shameful injustice of one man doing the duty and another receiving the reward would be no longer tolerated. Every district, or parish, requiring the services of an officiating clergyman would be provided with one to whom the degrading epithet of “poor curate” or “poor parson” could never be justly applied. By mitigating the penury of the working clergy, their respectability and influence would be augmented, and every neighbourhood enjoy the advantages which are known to result from the permanent abode of at least one educated, intelligent, and exemplary individual. The clergy alike profess to be engaged solely in the work of religious instruction, and no class can boast superior piety or attainments by which to lay claim to superior reward. Why then should there exist such disparity in income? Why should the rector enjoy his £2000 per annum, the vicar receive but £400, and the curate only £80 or £100?

The equalizing of the value of sees would remove the abuse of translations, and thereby effect a great improvement in the bench of bishops. It is only a few lucky individuals who obtain the rich prizes of Canterbury, Winchester, London, Ely, and Durham, that are benefited by the unequal revenues of the bishoprics. Many prelates have barely income enough to support the dignity of their stations; yet they share, in common with the rest, the public odium attached to their class from the inordinate wealth of their more fortunate brethren. It is this inequality, and the desire consequently excited to move to the wealthier endowments that gives to the bishops their political animus, and renders them the most self-seeking men in the country. Without translations they would be as independent in their conduct as the judges are said to be; but with the help of them government has, generally, the power to render them subservient to its purposes.

The exercise of legislative functions by the bishops has become extremely unpopular since their mischievous vote on the Reform Bill. The House of Lords has always been to them the great scene of jobbing, intrigue, and ambition. On no occasion have they done themselves credit there; they appear, indeed, totally void of legislative aptitude, and never, by one act, have they rendered substantial service to the State, or done honour to themselves and the Church. Whether as magistrates or legislators, clergymen are inherently disqualified for the discharge of secular duties. It is not so much in their character of churchmen as of laymem that they have become so universally disliked; [87] and we verily believe, had they been eligible to seats in the lower house as they are to the upper, the additional opportunity thereby afforded to render themselves odious, would have hastened the downful of the establishment.

Besides the deprival of their legislative functions, a substantial improvement in the prelacy would consist in the abolition of their patronage. As it is, a rigid discharge of their duties is often incompatible with their interests, or at least their feelings. Their proper functions are the superintendence of the subaltern clergy of their dioceses; but many of these clergy have been promoted by themselves to their benefices; they are their very good friends, and not a few their own flesh and blood. How, in such cases, can it be expected they will be strict in the enforcement of pastoral duties; that they will not be indulgent in the granting of licenses for non-residence, and dispensations for pluralities; or that they will insist on the payment of suitable stipends to the curates. A bishop, like a pope, ought to have no relations, and thus escape, as Benedict II. remarked of the successors of St. Peter, the opprobrium of perverting the patronage of the church to the aggrandizement of his family. Under the existing system the chopping, exchanging, bargaining, and moving about, that ensue in a diocese on a translation or consecration, are a disgrace to the church, and render the discharge of episcopal duties more like a game on the chessboard, in which the rooks, knights, and other prime pieces, represent the “kit and kin” of the new diocesan.

The unequal extent of benefices has been urged in favour of ecclesiastical reform. In most cases, the extent of the livings is made to answer antiquated boundaries of parishes, by which, sometimes five or six churches are to be seen within a mile of each other, in a thinly populated country, while, again, parishes of from eight or ten miles in length afford but the accommodation of one church to a large population. Thus the distribution of the churches and livings bears no proportion either to the inhabitants or the acres, as will appear from the following list:—

Inhabitants. Sq. Miles. Livings. Av. Inh. Av. Miles.
England and Wales 12,912,106 and 58,554 10,872 1.187 and 5.38
Bedfordshire 70,213 and 463 115 610 and 4.00
Durham 207,673 and 1,040 91 2.282 and 11.42
Lincolnshire 283,058 and 2,748 598 473 and 4.59
Northumberland 195,965 and 1,850 97 2.020 and 19.07
London and Middlesex 2,370,225 and 282 250 9.490 and 1.12
Lancashire 1,052,859 and 1,831 287 3.665 and 6.38
Huntingdon 48,771 and 370 74 659 and 5.00
Rutland 18,487 and 149 40 462 and 3.72
Norfolk 344,368 and 1,710 683 504 and 2.50

Anomalous and disproportionate as are these numbers, the above remark is still more strikingly displayed by reference to individual cases; thus the livings of—

Easton Neston Northamptonshire contains 137 inhabitants.
Eaton-sacon Bedfordshire —— 2,039 inhabitants.
Eccles Lancashire —— 23,331 inhabitants.
Ecclesfield Yorkshire —— 7,163 inhabitants.
Edburton Sussex contains 92 inhabitants.
Edgcot Northamptonshire —— 67 inhabitants.
Egmore Norfolk —— 47 inhabitants.

“Thus we see,” as observed by the author from whom the preceding statement is copied, “that the State provides the same extent of accommodation for 47 as for 23,331 persons, so that as far as secular authority is concerned for the religious instruction of the people, a large proportion of them are wholly unprovided for; while, on another portion, its goodness is showered to redundancy. And should the former class think it necessary to have a second church in the same parish, they can have no clergyman to perform the services therein without an increase of their ecclesiastical burdens, notwithstanding they may already raise £3,000 per annum, for the purpose of an adequate supply of religious instruction. That income is the freehold of the rector, and any other instruction than what he can afford in a church not large enough to contain one-tenth part of the inhabitants, at a distance of five or six miles from many of their homes, must be paid for by a separate imposition.”—Church Establishment founded in Error, p. 70.

Having adverted to the benefits the church would derive from ecclesiastical reform, let us next advert to those it would confer on the community.

In the first place the abolition of non-residence, of pluralities, of sinecure offices in cathedrals, and the reduction of extravagant incomes, and the substitution, in lieu of these abuses, an uniform and graduated rate of payment to the different order of ecclesiastics, proportioned to rank and duty, would not only effect a vast improvement in church discipline, but a saving of at least seven millions per annum of public income. Away then would go the tithe,—the most unjust and impolitic impost the ingenuity of rulers ever devised for tormenting God’s creatures, and crippling national resources. Of course we do not mean the tithe would be simply repealed; that would be merely throwing so much additional rent into the pockets of the land-owners without benefiting the farmer or general consumer of his produce. The tithe is a tax, and forms part of the public income levied for public purposes. Its simple removal, without purchase or commutation, would only yield so much increase of revenue to be lavished on opera dancers and Paganinis; or dissipated in gaming-houses, in concerts, coteries, and grand dinners; or wasted at Paris, Florence, and Naples, and which had better continue to be spent, as much of it now is, by sinecure silk-aprons and non-resident pluralists, at Bath, Cheltenham, and Tonbridge. The measure contemplated by the people is the sale of the tithe outright to the landowners, or its commutation by a land-tax. This would be a real reform; the other is only delusion.

With such a resource as church property would yield, all the rabble of taxes might be repealed which now weigh down to annihilation the springs and sources of industry, and oppress a man’s “house, even his heritage.” The farmers and working agriculturists would share in the general benefit, not only by an increase of profits and wages and the [89] mitigation of public burthens, but also by the extinction of an inquisitorial impost, whose pressure augments with every increase in industry, skill, and capital. For the tithe is not, as it has been alleged, a rent-charge imposed on the land, it is a virtual income-tax levied on stock and industry. A rent-charge is paid by reason of the land, but tithes are not, but by reason of the stock and labour of the occupier. If there be no annual increase, no profit made, or crop planted, no tithe can be demanded; but for non-payment of a rent-charge, he on whom it is settled, may enter upon and possess the land; whereas, he that claims tithe can only avail himself of the produce.

Nothing can more pointedly illustrate the stagnating influence of our aristocratic institutions on the mind and energies of the community than the continuance of the tithe-tax so long after its impolicy and injustice have been demonstrated. Even Mr. Pitt, who, throughout his political life was the slave of a paltry ambition for place, and the tool of a despicable faction, meditated its removal. It has been denounced by Bishop Watson, by Dr. Paley, by Burke, by Malthus, and every writer and statesman with the least pretensions to intelligence and patriotism. It is supported by the example of no country in Europe. Though England swarms with separatists, and can hardly be said to have a national religion, yet, for the maintenance of one handful of spirituals, the whole nation is insulted and the operations of rural industry fettered and impeded.

Our neighbours, the Scotch, have long since wiped out this abominable stain. Among them tithe is a valued and commuted rate of payment, forming a trifling and invariable impost, to the extent of which, alone, the landlord can ever be made liable to the church. This reform they commenced about the time they got rid of prelacy and cathedrals, in the days of John Knox. With this superiority Scotland would be the land to live in, were it not for her rag-money, her myriads of legalists and placemen, her host of servile writers, the barrenness of her moors and mountains, and the griping keenness of her population. “Strange as it may seem,” says lord Brougham, in one of his eloquent harangues, “and to many who hear me incredible, from one end of the kingdom to the other, a traveller will see no such thing as a bishop—not such a thing is to be found from the Tweed to John o’Groats: not a mitre, no nor so much as a minor canon, or even a rural dean—and in all the land not a single curate—so entirely rude and barbarous are they in Scotland—in such utter darkness do they sit that they support no cathedrals, maintain no pluralists, suffer no non-residence; nay, the poor benighted creatures are ignorant even of tithes! Not a sheaf, or a lamb, or a pig, or the value of a plough-penny, do the hopeless mortals render from year’s end to year’s end! Piteous as their lot is, what makes it infinitely more touching is to witness the return of good for evil, in the demeanour of this wretched race. Under all this cruel neglect of their spiritual concerns, they are actually the most loyal, [90] contented, moral, and religious people any where, perhaps, to be found in the world.” [*]

Bishop Watson, said “a reformer, of Luther’s temper and talents, would, in five years, persuade the people to compel parliament to abolish tithes, to extinguish pluralities, to enforce residence, to confine episcopacy to the overseeing of dioceses, to expunge the Athanasian creed from our Liturgy, to free dissenters from Test-Acts, and the ministers of the establishment from subscription to human articles of faith.”—Letter to the Duke of Grafton.

Mr. Burke said, he “wished ministers to preach the gospel with ease, but their possessions to be such that the pastor would not have the inauspicious appearance of a tax-gatherer.”—His Works, vol. x. p. 146.

The progress of public reform is at a snail’s pace, and so numerous and strong are the holds of abuse, that many pitched battles have to be fought before a single inch can be gained from the waste of corruption. But the interests identified with a reform of the church are so many, important, and self-evident, that we feel certain it is a measure that cannot be much longer averted. The Archbishop of Canterbury, we are sure, may save himself the trouble of putting forward his cunningly-devised scheme for a composition for tithes, for a limited period, at a fixed rate of payment. The country will never sanction any plan tending to give permanency to an odious impost which, to our great opprobrium, has long been suffered to survive the natural term of its existence. The worthy primate seems to feel that the foundations of Mother Church are giving way, and he, doubtless, deems it good foresight in himself and brethren to lay hold of something certain for at least the next twenty years, the probable term of their earthly pilgrimage. But he may rely upon it the owners and occupiers of land, in England, will not be so easily overcome by ecclesiastical artifice as some of them have been in Ireland: a man must be totally regardless of the aspect of the times, he can know nothing of the state of opinion, as indicated by private conversations, by proceedings at public meetings, by newspapers, by parliamentary debates, by the petitions from Rochester, Devonshire, and other parts of the kingdom, who is not convinced that tithes, two years hence, will neither impoverish the soil nor reproach the wisdom of domestic policy: the attention of the people is rivetted on the vast possessions of the church, and to them they look as the best resource in their privations and difficulties. In the language of Scripture, and of the followers of Sir Walter Raleigh, they may truly exclaim, “Come hither, all ye that are heavy laden,—Here is the real El Dorado for reducing the boroughmongers’ debt, and lightening the burden of taxation. Here is the fund for colonizing, for mitigating [91] poor-rates, repealing corn-laws, and creating employment; and none but fools look for any other!”

Considering, then, a great bettering in the condition of the operative clergy,—the improvement of church discipline,—the abolition of tithes,—and the saving of many millions of public income, as the certain and prominent advantages of ecclesiastical reformation, we will next advert to one or two interests in society which, at first sight, appear to present some obstruction to this salutary revolution.

First, of the rights of lay-impropriators. It is necessary to bear in mind the distinction which has been before adverted to between the tithes of the church and the tithes of laymen. These last are considerable, amounting, perhaps, to one-fourth or one-fifth of the whole tithes of the kingdom. They have been estimated—though, we think, on incorrect principles—to be worth £1,752,842 per annum. [*] Now, these tithes are unquestionably of the nature of private property, and bear no analogy to clerical tithes. How they originated has been explained, (page 12,) but that has no bearing on their present tenure. We must take things as we find them, and adopt such rights of property as the laws and usages of society recognize, without ascending to their remote origin. Upon this principle we quickly discern the different tenure of church and impropriate tithes. The former have always been dealt with as a portion of the public income, payable to certain persons while engaged in the service of such form of worship as the State choose to patronize; the latter has been considered a rent-charge due to individuals, and with which the legislature had no concern. Hence the parliament has no more thought of interfering with impropriate tithes than with the estates in land obtained at the Reformation. The tithe-owner has dealt with them as part of his patrimony, which he could rightfully sell or devise to whom he pleased, and which immunities of ownership have been shown not to appertain to ecclesiastical possessions. To sequestrate lay-tithes would be gross spoliation, but, in the secularization of church-property, the legislature would only exercise an authority it has always possessed; and, were the life-interests of present possessors fairly commuted, neither loss nor injustice would be sustained by any person. It follows, impropriate tithes do not at all enter into the question of church reform; they must continue a charge on land, or lands liable thereto may be exonerated on such terms as can be agreed upon by the landlords and lay-impropriators.

Next, as to the interests of private patrons in advowsons. A right of presentation, in its origin and in acts of the legislature, has been shown to have been always considered merely an honorary function, which ought not to be exercised for gain or family interests, but the promotion of religion and virtue. Private patrons, therefore, could not expect to be indemnified for the loss they would sustain by ecclesiastical reform, according to the present value of benefices. All they could expect would be the continuance to them (as was the case in Scotland) [92] of the right of nominating the ministers of the Reformed Church, subject, as at present, to the approval of the bishop. For the public to purchase their interests, according to the present value of tithes and church-fees, would be nothing less than at act of national simony; it would be converting a spiritual function into a temporal possession, and the state committing the very crime in wholesale which had been condemned and punished when perpetrated in a less degree by individuals.

Nothing has yet been said of the provision for the Established Clergy, to be substituted in lieu of tithes and church estates,—whether they ought to be paid stipends by Government, or out of the poor-rates, the county-rate, or some other rate levied expressly for the purpose, or whether they ought to be supported by the voluntary contributions of their hearers. The discussion of these matters will be time enough, when the people, or their representatives, have determined upon the secularization of church property. The proceedings of the Church-building Commissioners offer an example which some may think it wise to follow. They have shown not only how episcopalian churches may be built by subscription, but how the minister’s stipend may be paid out of pewrents, and other voluntary contributions, without the aid of the compulsory and odious provision of tithes. It may be thought a similar plan might be extended to all the churches of the establishment; but, for our parts we are in favour of a national religion—a Liturgy—and an endowed clergy; provided the endowment is moderate—fairly apportioned among the working clergy—and does not exceed about a million and a half per annum. A public worship protected by the state has formed, with few exceptions, a part of every well-ordered community. The French tried to do without it; the experiment was productive of enormous crimes, and after floundering for a time in the waves of anarchy, they were compelled again to resort to the aid of spiritual faith. Religion contains now little to give offence to the most liberal mind; it is not, as formerly, like the demon of some German story—recluse, bloody, and unrelenting; its worst features—bigotry and intolerance—have been removed by the progress of science and philosophy, and what remains may be considered a good with scarcely any admixture of evil.

Whether, however, we have an endowed clergy or not, no fear need be entertained about the interests of religion suffering. The fear at present is all the other way, lest a people evidently verging into the gloom of puritanism, may not afterwards recoil into the opposite extreme of licentiousness and unbelief. This has been termed an age of cant, and every thing tends to show its ascendancy. Nothing but cant can live in literature, the drama, trade, or politics. Let any one deny the popular faith, and the doors of the legislature are closed upon him; he is a “doomed man,” whose future life is “bound in storms and shallows,” and he is shunned as if he had caught the plague from some infectious lazaretto. This is the state of opinion among the lower and middle orders; among the higher, there is less scrupulosity; and a lord [93] or a gentleman of £10,000 a year may admire Voltaire, Diderot, or Spinoza, without being ejected out of the pale of social communion.

While men’s fortunes depend on their faith, we may be sure there will be enough of it, or at least, the profession. Like the French satirist, every one thinks it necessary he should live, and of course will adopt the means essential to the end in view. It is possible, however, the artificial encouragement of devotion may produce it in excess, beyond the wants of the state, and thus generate the extreme to which we have adverted at the Restoration of Charles II. There is always some danger in meddling with spiritual opinions as with temporal interests; and many may think the wisest course to be adopted towards religion would be to follow the policy recently become popular in respect of trade—leaving it free; neither attempting to depress one sect by the drawback of civil disabilities, nor to encourage another by the bounty of protection. It is certainly a fact that religion will generally abound in proportion to the wants and demands of society; where there is much ignorance and mental debility, there will, as there ought, be much faith; on the other hand, where there is a strong and enlightened reason, the motives for good conduct will be sufficiently apparent, without being aided by the hopes and fears of superstition.

However, as before hinted, we are not the partizans of a free-trade in religion, and think a worship patronized by the state is best, provided it be cheap. Our reason for this preference may be somewhat peculiar, and not shared in by our readers. We prefer an established worship, not less as a means of maintaining a rational piety, than as a counterpoise to fanaticism. Without religion at all, men are seldom better than beasts; but if their rulers have no control over the popular faith, the people will be at the mercy of every pretender, whose warm imagination or an over-weening conceit may have filled with the delusion of a divine commission. With an endowed corps of ecclesiastics the state possesses a medium through which religion may be kept in countenance among the higher classes, (adopting the slang of aristocracy,) and its temperature among the lower be regulated. Of course we mean a race of clergymen differently qualified from the present. These, good easy souls! have little influence or authority; they have ministered away their flocks, and remain themselves objects of derision or cupidity, not veneration.

With the near and long-standing example of the Presbyterian establishment, North of the Tweed, it is surprising the task of ecclesiastical reform has made no progress either in England or Ireland. In the Kirk of Scotland, it has been already remarked, there are no bishops, nor dignitaries, nor tithes. The incomes of the national clergy are paid by the Court of Session out of a fund formed from the ancient tithes of the country. Some of the benefices being considered of too small value, they were, in 1810, augmented by an annual grant, from Parliament, of £10,000, which made the poorest livings worth £150 a-year, and the income of some of the ministers are considerably more, amounting to £300 or £350. Exclusive of house and glebe, the average income of [94] the clergy is £245, which to 948 pastors, makes the whole annual expenditure on the Kirk only £234,900. This cannot be considered extravagant to a ministry with upwards of a million and a half of hearers; and upon the whole there are many things to admire in the Scotch Establishment. The Scots do not pay a quarter of a million for lawn-sleeves; nor half a million for cathedral and collegiate sinecurists. There are no curates; the parochial clergy reside upon their benefices; exhorting, catechising, instructing, and performing all those duties to their parishioners, for which they receive their incomes. The Scotch Church, though it cannot now be termed poor, yet its wealth is not so exorbitant as to corrupt its ministry. The wealth of the English Church is the source of all its vices—sinecurism, pride, luxury, and inefficiency.

The Dissenters afford an example of the efficient support of religion without any compulsory provision. In England and Wales there are upwards of 9,000 ministers supported by Dissenters. This is certainly not done at a less expense than £120 each, or rather more than a million per annum. Again, America is another proof of what can be done by voluntary contributions. There are not less than 11,000 ministers of all denominations in the United States, the great majority of whom derive their subsistence from the free-will offerings of the people, independent of legislative provision. The option left to the people has not operated to the decay of virtue or religion; on the contrary, religion flourishes among them to an extraordinary extent—it pervades all ranks and conditions of men—it is associated with all their pursuits—not, indeed, as a second head of the social body, dividing the intellect and strength of its frame, but as a pursuit distinct from political combinations, altogether a personal concern, and, therefore, purposely discarded by the constitution. Notwithstanding this absence of state-worship the United States have become a mighty empire, which, in spite of the solemn pedantries of Capt. Basil Hall, may be advantageously compared with any other in the world, whether measured by the standard of morals, personal prowess, commercial enterprize, or national wealth and power.

We have now done, and having finished our exposition of the Church of England, can truly say we have “nothing extenuated, nor set down aught in malice.” Our statements we know cannot be impugned; but it is possible our opinions may be misunderstood. It may be thought we are Jacobins, Liberals, or worse. Of this we take no note, knowing we are as good subjects as true Christians. We have no dislike to the Church, but we object to it as we do to the borough system, because it does not reward merit, and oppresses the honest and industrious. Our humble endeavour has been to expose the corruptions of the establishment. If the duties of the Church be of importance to Government, or to the interests of religion and morality, it is a strong reason for reforming, not protecting its abuses. It must be clear to the most common observers it cannot long continue in its present state. Without adverting to the number of dissenters—to defects in discipline,—the [95] Liturgy—ill-proportioned revenue—or the conduct of the clergy themselves, the mere fact of a body of men, not exceeding eight thousand in number, and of no great social importance—claiming in the most vexatious manner a tenth of the natural and artificial produce of a soil, raised for the support of Fourteen Millions, is so staringly outrageous, as to throw all argument out of court, and leave the Church a barefaced and unparalleled oppression, without precedent or palliative. Further reasoning on such a subject is out of place, and the only question is—Who will rise to abate the colossal nuisance? Will Government timely interfere and afford the Church a chance of prolonged duration, under a less obnoxious form, or will it supinely wait and behold it swept off in a whirlwind, leaving “not a wreck behind,” by a simultaneous rush of the tiers etat?

If the Church is to be saved it must be saved by a wisdom very different from that which directs the councils of the heads of the Establishment. They are obviously as insensible to the position in which they stand as the child unborn. Only think of the nature of the bills introduced by them last year for the reform of the Church. The character of one—that for a composition for tithe—has been already noticed. Of the remaining two, one is for augmenting the incomes of vicarages; the other for shortening the time of prescription in cases of moduses and exemptions from tithes. In the last is a proviso which prevents it from interfering with any suit which may be commenced within three years. Ah, my Lords Bishops, the crisis will be past long before. Do not, we beseech you, lay the flattering unction to your souls that there will be litigation about moduses, prescription terms, and nullum tempus maxims three years hence. Your days are assuredly numbered; your lease is expired. The fatal vote given on the Reform-Bill has sealed your doom, and no depth of repentance can again establish you in the estimation of the people. Solemn pledges will be demanded from a reformed parliament that tithe shall be abolished, and that haughty prelates shall cease to haunt the chambers of legislation. A terrible storm is impending over the Church, and nothing can avert its destructive ravages save a timely abandonment of all that has long excited popular indignation—its enormous wealth—its avarice, pride, and self-seeking—its insolent and oppressive power.




The name of the Pluralist comes first. After the name comes the first living of the Pluralist in italic, and an initial letter denoting its title—namely, r. for rectory, v. for vicarage, c. for chapelry, p. c. for perpetual curacy, d. for donative, d. r. for district rectory, and d. c. for district chapelry. The name of the Patron is put after the living or livings, supposing more than one living, of which the same person is patron. Abp. is put for archbishop, bp. for bishop, archd. for archdeacon, dn. for dean, ch. for chapter. When a living is in the gift of the University of Oxford, Oxon is put; when of the University of Cambridge, Camb. When a nobleman, as the duke of Newcastle, or the marquis of Exeter, is patron, the of in the title is omitted both for brevity and propriety. The “of” expresses territorial jurisdiction, but as peers do not possess such authority at the present day, the term by which it is implied may be properly dropped.

In the language of churchmen a living or benefice, which are synonymous, is a rectory or vicarage only; but many chapelries are equally entitled to fall under this denomination, and have been so considered. There are free chapels perpetually maintained, and provided with a minister, without charge to the rector or parish. In some places chapels of ease are endowed with lands and tithes; they have by custom a right to a distinct minister, to baptize, to administer sacraments and burial: such parochial chapelries differ only in name from parish churches. Parish is a vague term. In the north, parishes comprise thirty or forty square miles, which is seven or eight times the area of parishes in the south. Under 13th Charles II. certain townships and villages are allowed to maintain their own poor; hence these townships became so many distinct parishes. There are 200 extra-parochial places, many of which are as large as parishes; these are exempt from poor-rate, because there is no overseer on whom the magistrate can serve an order;—from militia, because no constable to make a return; from repairing highways, because no surveyor. The 37 Hen. VIII. c. 31, (also 4 and 5 Will. & Mary,) allows the union of churches, when not more than one mile apart, and under value of £6. Under these acts churches have been united: the city of London reckons 108 parishes, forming no more than 78 benefices; in Norwich, 70 parishes have been compressed into 37 benefices. Contrary to the rule of ecclesiastics, we have considered all parishes held cum, or with another, distinct benefices; the only reason for an opposite course is, that they form only one presentation, though such presentation is often held by two patrons, who present alternately; and many of such consolidated parishes (Upham cum Durley, for instance,) have two churches, and two sets of overseers and churchwardens.

The district rectories and district chapelries, established in such parishes as have been divided into ecclesiastical districts by the Royal Commissioners for [97] Building New Churches, under the authority of powers granted to them by Parliament, form so many distinct livings or benefices, each having a separate maintenance for a minister, independent of the mother church.

Apart, then, from the corruptions and mystification of the Church, we have deemed every parochial preferment, chapelry, vicarage, or rectory, a living; and we consider every clergyman a pluralist who holds two such preferments, whether separate or united. A curacy, without any great impropriety, might be styled a living, as a stipend is, or ought to be, annexed to the office, adequate to the maintenance of at least one individual: but as curates are removable at the pleasure of incumbents, they are excluded from our List, which includes only beneficed clergymen.

The abuse of holding two livings or more is so prevalent, that to have enumerated all the transgressors (about 2880 in number,) would have extended our List to an inconvenient length, without corresponding utility; our object has been to exhibit the more flagrant breaches of ecclesiastical discipline; and with this view, we have restricted ourselves to such shameful monopolists among the parochial clergy as hold three or more preferments. We have also included the bishops and principal dignitaries of the church.

The 21 Hen. VIII. c. 13, prohibits a person holding a second benefice when the first is worth eight pounds in the King’s Book. But a man, by dispensation, may hold as many benefices, without cure, as he can get; and, likewise, so many with cure as he can get, all of them, or all but the last, being under the value of eight pounds; provided the person to be dispensed withal be not otherwise incapable thereof. By the 41st Canon, however, of 1603, the two benefices must not be farther distant than thirty miles; and persons obtaining dispensation, must at least be M.A. But the provisions of this canon are not regarded or enforced in the courts of law; and the privileges, ex officio, entitling to grants of dispensation, are so numerous, and the facilities for obtaining them, through favour or evasion, so easy, that there can hardly be said to exist a practical check to the most aggravated cases of plurality.

In the disposal of every living, three parties are principally concerned: first, the patron; second, the incumbent; third, the bishop. The patron is the person in whom the right of presenting to a living is vested. The person nominated by the patron is the incumbent. The office of the bishop is to grant institution to the living to which the incumbent is presented. By refusing institution, the bishops have a veto on appointments by patrons; this veto, however, is rarely exercised, and it is seldom that the patron and the diocesan are at issue. The most important personage in the affair is the patron. It will be seen from the List that the patronage is sometimes in individuals—sometimes in public bodies. Sometimes the incumbent is his own patron, and presents himself; sometimes the incumbent’s wife is patron, and presents her husband; sometimes the husband and wife are co-patrons. In some instances the patronage is divided, the nomination being in one party and the appointment in another. Many ladies are patrons, and though otherwise ineligible to the exercise of civil rights, no doubt they are well qualified to select spiritual persons for the cure of souls.

Nearly all the livings in the metropolis, and the most valuable livings in the large towns in the country, are in the gift of the crown, which adds enormously to its influence. The patronage not in the crown is chiefly in the aristocracy and gentry, the universities, and the bishops. The patronage of the aristocracy and gentry is chiefly bestowed on the members of their own families; the patronage of the universities on the members of those places; the patronage of the bishops on their connexions and relations to the hundredth degree. A great mass of patronage, however, remains, which cannot be disposed of in any of these ways; for though the families of the aristocracy have been recently proved to be, on the average, more prolific than those of the democracy, they are not sufficiently so to fill all offices in the army, navy, law, church, and public departments; and, consequently, there is a surplus patronage to be brought into the market, which is disposed of, like other commodities, to the highest bidder.


It would have been more satisfactory, had we been able to state the present value of livings; but there is no authentic data for the purpose: parliamentary returns, it is true, have been made of the poor livings, but none of the rich ones; and there have been returns of the number of all livings above and below the value of £300, having non-resident incumbents: returns were also ordered in the session of 1830 of the value of livings in the gift of the crown. These last returns have not yet been made, or at least printed: they would add something to our knowledge of the present value of church-property; but what the public wants is the separate value of every see, dignity, benefice, and ecclesiastical preferment, and the proportion in which, and number of individuals among whom, they are shared. By such data would be shown what the Church of England really is, and indisputably prove the existence of those enormous abuses, which, in our preliminary article, we have fully proved to pervade the ecclesiastical establishment.

We have only one more remark to make, and that refers to our accuracy. The movements that are daily and almost hourly occurring in the Church, from deaths, translations, resignations, and exchanges, render it probable that alterations have intervened since our List was sent to the press. But this does not defeat our object. If one pluralist has been removed another has succeeded. So that our List will continue to exhibit a correct picture of ecclesiastical patronage as long as the present system of church discipline is tolerated.

Adams, J. C. Saxleby, r. lord Aylesford. Shilfon, c. Anstye, c. the King.

Affleck, R. preb. of York; Silkston, r. with Bretton, Monk, and Stainborough chapelries, abp. of York. Treswell, East Mediety, r. West Mediety, r. dn. and ch. of York and Mr. Stevenson. Thockerington, p. c. Prebendary. Westow, v. abp. of York.

Alban, T. Llandrillo, v. bp. of St. Asaph. Eaton, v. H. and W. Lloyd. Snead, c. P. Morris.

Aldrich, W. Boyton, r. lord Rous. Stowe-Market, v. with Stowe-Upland, c. Mr. Aldrich.

Allen, R. Driffield, r. precentor of York. Whaream Pier, v. Misses Isted and Englefield. Little, p. c. unknown.

Allen, S. Haslingfield, v. C. Mitchell. Lynn, St. Margaret and St. Nicholas, c. dn. and ch. of Norwich.

Allen, D. B. preb. of St. David’s and Brecon. Burton, r. sir W. Owen. Manordiffy, r. Llandewn Welfrey, r. the King.

Allen, S. Dunton, v. T. W. Coke. Wolterton, r. with Wickmere, r. earl of Oxford.

Allfree, E. M. minor canon of Rochester; Canterbury, St. Andrew, r. and St. Mary, Bredon, r. abp. of Cant. and dn. and ch. of Cant. Strood, r. dn. and ch. of Rochester.

Alison, A. preb. of Sarum; Ercall, v. H. Pulteney. Roddington, r. the King.

The pluralist is senior minister of the episcopal chapel, Canongate, Edinburgh, and a native of Scotland; being related to the late bishop Douglas, that prelate gave him a stall in his cathedral, and procured for him the vicarage of High Ercall, in Shropshire, to which was afterwards added the rectory of Roddington, in the same county. Mr. Alison is the author of a work on Taste.


Allington, W. Bardford Lit. r. Twywell, r. J. Williamson. Swinhop, d. Mrs. Allington.

Anson, H. Buxton, v. with Oxnead, r. and Skeyton, r. lord Anson. Lyng, r. with Whitwell, v. T. Anson.

Uncle of earl of Lichfield, master of the buckhounds. Another uncle is rector of Longford, and rector of Sudbury, of which benefices Mr. Coke of Norfolk, and lord Vernon, both connected with the family by marriage, are respectively the patrons.

Ashfield, C. R. Great Blakenham, r. Eton Coll. Dodington, r. duke Buckingham. Stewkley, v. bp. of Oxon. London, St. Benet Finck, c. dn. and canons of Windsor.

Apthorpe, F. preb. of Lincoln; Bicker, v. dn. and ch. of Lincoln. Farndon, v. with Balderton and Fiskerton, chapelries, preb. of Lincoln. Gumley, r. dn. and ch. of Lincoln.

The grandfather of this gentleman was a merchant at Boston, in America. His father was rector of St. Mary-le-Bow, and had the valuable prebend of Finsbury, in St. Paul’s. His brother-in-law, Dr. Cory, is master of Emanuel College, Cambridge. Another brother-in-law is master of Shrewsbury grammar-school.

Atlay, H. Great Casterton, r. Pickworth, r. marq. Exeter. Great Ponton, preb. of Sarum.

Astley, H. N. Foulsham, r. sir H. Astley. Little Snoring, r. with Bashan, v. bp. of Norwich.

Atkinson, R. Musgrove, r. bp. of Carlisle. Upelby, c. J. B. Elliot. Claxby with Normanby, r. Rd. Atkinson.

Bagot, Richard, bishop of Oxford and dean of Canterbury.

Brother of lord Bagot and of sir C. Bagot, ambassador to the Netherlands, who married a daughter of lord Maryborough.

Bankes, E. king’s chaplain and preb. of Gloucester and Norwich; Corfe Castle, r. Henry Bankes, M.P.

Son-in-law of lord Eldon. The inhabitants of Corfe Castle must feel greatly indebted to the late member for Dorsetshire: he appoints one of his sons to watch over their spiritual welfare, and sends another into the house of commons to take care of their temporal affairs.

Baker, T. canon res. of Chichester; Bexhill, v. Rodmell, r. bp. of Chichester. Falmer, v. earl Chichester.

Barker, F. H. St. Alban’s, St. Stephen, v. A. Fisher. North Church, r. the King. Steppingley, r. duke of Bedford.

Barker, T. Acaster Malb. v. T. B. Thompson. Kilburn, p. c. Thirkleby, v. abp. of York.

Barrington, viscount, preb. of Durham; Sedgefield, r. with Embleton, c. bp. of Durham.

Bathurst, Henry, bishop of Norwich: Sapperton, r. earl Bathurst.

Bathurst, H. archdn. of Norwich; North Creake, r. earl Spencer. Oby, r. with Ashby, r. and Thurne, r. bp. of Norwich.

Barrow, R. vic. chor. Southwell; Barnoldby le Beck, r. Halloughton, p. c. South Muskham, v. Rampton, v. South Wheatley, r. Southwell, Collegiate chapter.

The small collegiate church of Southwell has attached to, in the gift of the chapter and prebendaries, twenty-seven livings, amongst them several of the large and populous parishes: of these there are four resident incumbents, [100] very few of them have any resident officiating minister, and almost all, if not all, of the parsonage houses have been suffered to fall into decay. The following particulars will exemplify the state of ecclesiastical discipline.

In the gift of the Chapter:—

7 Rectories None resident.
4 Vicarages One resident.
3 Perpetual Curacies One resident.
1 Chapelry Not resident.

In the gift of Prebendaries:—

11 Vicarages Three resident.
4 Vicarages Believe none resident.

Many of these are held by clergymen living in Southwell, who are pluralists, and several of the curates also live in Southwell, so that the people of the parishes never see their ministers except on a Sunday in the pulpit. That they find Southwell more agreeable than living in a retired village is possible; but ought they not to remember that their duty is to visit the sick and afflicted, and to go about doing good. They are thus suffered to neglect their duty, and to let fall down their houses, because they are in the gift of the church, and yet they expect to be esteemed and their delinquencies overlooked.

Bartlett, T. Canterbury All Saints, r. All Saints St. Mary’s church, r. All Saints St. Mildred, r. lord Chan. Kingston, r. sir E. Brydges.

Bartlett, W. P. Great Cranford, v. G. T. Brice. Cranford, r. earl Berkeley. Worth Maltravers, v. rev. T. C. Bartlett.

Bastard, J. Stratfieldsay, v. Stratfieldsay Turgis, r. lord Wellington. Belchalwell, r. Fifehead Neville, r. lord Rivers.

Basnett, T. G. vic. chor of Southwell; Bonsall, r. dn. Lincoln. Edingley, v. Halam, p. c. Southwell College.

Beadon, F. North Stoneham, r. J. Fleming. Sulham, r. J. Wilder. Titley, p. c. Winton College.

Chancellor and canon res. of Wells. Several other Beadons are in the church, who are indebted for their preferments to the late bishop of Bath and Wells, who had been tutor to the duke of Gloucester.

Beauclerk, lord F. Kempton, v. Redburn, St. Alban’s, St. Michael, v. lord Verulam.

Beauchamp, Brian, Cove, c. chapel in Tiverton. Hawkridge, v. with Withypoole, c. Miss Wood. Thoverton, c. vic. Thoverton.

Beauchamp, T. W. H. Chedgrave, r. Langley, c. Buckenham Ferry, r. with Hassingham, r. sir T. B. Proctor.

Becher, J. T. preb. of Southwell; Hoveringham, p. c. sir R. Sutton. Thurgorton, p. c. Trinity Coll. Camb. Farnsfield, v. Southwell Coll.

Beckett, G. preb. of Lincoln; Barnsley, p. c. abp. of York. Epworth, r. the King. Gainsborough, v. preb. of Corringham.

Beeke, H. dean of Bristol.

Beevor, Miles, Bircham Newton, r. earl Orford. Toft Bircham, r. sir T. Beevor. Hethell, r. Ketteringham, v. E. Atkins.

Bellaman, J. Ewerby, v. lord Chan. Kirkby Green, v. the King. Kyme South, c. sir A Hume.

Belfield, F. St. Martin, r. viscountess Sandwich. Stoke Gabriel, v. Exbourne, r. F. Belfield.

Beynon, T. archdn. of Cardigan, preb. of St. David’s and Brecon; [101] Llanfchangel Aberbythych, r. bp. of St. Asaph. Llandevey, p. c. Llanvihan Kilwayn, r. Penboyr, r. with Ydrindod, c. earl Cawdor.

Berkeley, H. R. fell. of Winton Coll.; Cotheridge, c. Himself. Shelsea Beauchamp, r. lord Foley. Onibury, r. bp. of Hereford.

Bertie, hon. F. Aldbury, r. Wooton, p. c. Wigtham, r. earl Abingdon.

Bethell, Christopher, D.D. bishop of Bagnor; Kirkly Wiske, r. duke of Northumberland.

Biddulph, T. T. Bristol, St. James’s, c. corp. of Bristol. Durston, d. rev. R. Gray. Lyneham, c. Mr. Long.

Binney, H. Hackthorne, v. Hanworth Cold, r. Rt. Cracroft. West Moulsey, p. c. rev. Dr. Binney.

Birch, Samuel, D.D. president of Sion Coll. preb. of St. Paul’s, and professor of geometry at Gresham College; St. Mary Woolnoth, and St. Mary Woolchurch, r. London, the King and Mr. Thornton alternately; the former this turn.

As this gentleman is one of the Gresham professors, a short notice of the present state of the college may not be out of place. Sir Thomas Gresham, the munificent founder of the Royal Exchange, for the convenience of commerce, was also the founder of a college for the advancement of learning; the rents of the former were bequeathed for the maintenance of the college; seven learned men were perpetually to reside there, for the cultivation of science; and during term time—every day—they were to deliver, in English and Latin, gratuitous lectures to the public, on astronomy, civil law, music, rhetoric, geometry, divinity, and medicine. All the remains of this endowment are the professors, their salaries of £100 per annum each, and an obscure nook in the south-east angle of the Exchange, adjoining the premises of our publisher; no lectures are delivered, or none that the public think worth hearing. An attempt was lately made to revive the college by removing the lectures to the London Institution. It failed, we believe, from the reluctance of the professors to concur in the new arrangement. The fact is, the Gresham lectures have degenerated into a city job; the professors had received their appointments as sinecures, through personal favour or relationship, and had not sufficiently devoted themselves to scientific pursuits to be prepared to convert their professorships, as the founder intended, into chairs of efficient popular instruction. It is not pleasant to be always reverting to abuses; but there is such a principle of vitality in them that it is only by repeated exposures they can be rooted out.

Birch, Thomas, D.C.L. dean of Battle, archdeacon of Lewes; Westfield, v. bp. of Chichester.

Blandford, Joseph, Carlton in Moreland, v. w. Stapleford, c. lord Middleton. Kirton, r. Mapplebeck, c. duke Newcastle. Wellow, c. hon. and rev. J. L. Saville.

Blomberg, F. W. canon res. of St. Paul’s, deputy clerk of the king’s closet, chap. in ord. to H. M.; Bradford, v. w. Atworth, Holt, Stoke, Wraxhall, Winsley, and South, chapelries, dn. and ch. of Bristol. Shepton Mallett, r. the King.

Blomfield, Charles James, D.D. bishop of London, provincial dean of Canterbury, and dean of the chapels royal.

Bower, H. Orchard Portman, r. Taunton, St. Mar. r. Staple Fitzpoine, r. E. B. Portman.

Bowes, T. F. F. chaplain to the king; Cowlam, r. Cake, r. B. F. Bowes. Barton le Clay, r. the King. [102]

Bradley, W. Baddesley Ensor, p. c. Inhabs. of Polesworth. Merevale, c. D. S. Dugdale. Whitacre Over, c. earl Howe.

Brice, J. Aisholt, r. Incumbent. Grenton, r. S. Kekewich. Catcott, p. c. lord Henniker.

Bromley, W. D. Bagginton, r. Oxhill, r. rev. W. D. Bromley. Copesthorne, c. D. Davenporte.

Brown, H. Ayleston, r. with Little Glen, c. Lubbesthorpe, c. duke Rutland. Hoby, r. Incumbent.

Father-in-law of the rev. Gilbert Beresford, rector of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, by whom Ayleston was resigned on account of the distance.

Brown, L. R. Carlton, r. with Kelsale, r. rev. B. Bence. Prestbury, v. Mrs. Leigh. Saxmundham, r. D. L. North. Thorington, r.

Browne, J. H. archdeacon of Ely; Cotgrave, 1st Mediety, r. 2d Mediety, r. Eakring, r. earl Manvers.

Browne, W. Charsfield, p. c. W. Jennens. Great Glemham, c. with Little Glemham, r. D. L. North. Marlesford, r. A. Arcedeckne.

Buckle, W. Banstead, v. rev. W. Buckle. Pirton, v. Christ Church, Oxon. Shireborn, v. lord Macclesfield.

Bulwer, A. Haydon, r. W. W. Bulmer. Cawston, r. Pemb. Hall. Corpusty, v. sequestrated.

Burgess, Thomas, D. D. bp. of Salisbury, and provincial precentor of Canterbury.

Burgess, Geo. Atherington, r. Fra. Bassett. Halvergate, v. bp. of Ely. Moulton, v. Tunstall, c. rev. H. Anguish.

A relation of the bishop of Salisbury and of the duke of St. Alban’s. The bishop is the son of a grocer at Odiham, Hants, where he was born, about 1755. His first patron was the bishop of Durham, who gave him a prebend, first in the cathedral of Salisbury, and afterwards at Durham. At Durham he continued till the administration of Mr. Addington (now Sidmouth), who had been his companion at Winchester College, conferred on him, in 1802, the See of St. David’s. In 1796, the bishop married a Miss Bright of Durham, half-sister of the marchioness of Winchester.

Burrard, Geo. Middleton-Tyas, r. the King. Yarmouth, r. Shalfleet, v. sir H. B. Neale.

This pluralist is also a magistrate and a king’s chaplain. He is brother to sir H. Burrard Neale and to lady Rook, who has a pension, and son-in-law to admiral Bingham.

Butler, Samuel, D.D. archdn. of Derby, preb. of Lichfield; Kenilworth, v. lord Chan.

Several more Butlers are in the church. Dr. Butler is head master of Shrewsbury grammar-school. He married a daughter of Dr. Apthorpe, a pluralist. His son, W. Butler, is author of a pamphlet on the French Revolution.

Bull, archdn. D.D. preb. York, canon res. of Exeter, archdn. of Barnstaple; Lezant, r. bp. of Exeter.

Butler, W. J. Nottingham, St. Nicholas, r. Thwing, 1st Midiety, r. 2d Mediety, r. lord Chan.

Calvert, W. Childerly, r. Hunsdon, r. Pelham Stocking, r. Nicholas Calvert.

Candler, P. Burnham Market, v. lord Chan. Little Hautboys, r. Lammas, c. rev. P. Candler. Letheringsett, r. Mrs. Burrell. [103]

Carr, G. Great Eversden, v. lord Chan. Little Eversden, r. Queen’s Coll. Ipswich, St. Margaret, c. rev. W. Fonnereau. Ipswich, St. Mary, c. Parishioners.

Cage, Ed. Bearsted, v. dn. and ch. of Rochester. Badlesmere, r. Eastling, r. Newnham, v. cum Leveland, r. lord Sondes.

Campbell, C. Wesenham, All Saints, v. St. Peter, v. Shingham, r. Beechamwell, All Saints, r. the King.

Canon, R. Broxholme, r. North Carlton, p. c. lord Monson. Westbury-on-trim, p. c. with Minehampton, c. G. Edwards and J. Baker, alternately.

Cantley, T. Cambridge, St. Clement, Camb. Griston, v. bp. of Ely. Gawston, v. R. Huddleston.

Carey, Wm. bishop and archdeacon of St. Asaph.

Carr, Robert James, bishop of Worcester, canon res. of St. Paul’s, and clerk of the closet to the king.

The prelate is brother of sir H. W. Carr, the gentleman who married Perceval’s widow alluded to in the Pension List.

Capper, G. Blackenham, Lit. r. Gosbeck, St. Mary, r. T. Vernon. Wherstead, v. the King.

Capper, J. preb. of Chichester; Ashurst, r. duke Dorset. Wilmington, v. hon. G. A. H. Cavendish. Lollington, v. bp. of Chichester.

Casberd, J. T. preb. of Wells and Llandaff; Eglwystowis, r. R. Jones. Llanover, v. ch. of Llandaff. Llantude, v. Penmark, v. dn. and ch. of Gloucester. Lysevanoth, v. lord Plymouth. Mamlad, c. Trevethan, c. vic. of Llanover.

Champness, T. minor canon, Westminster and Windsor; Cottesford, r. Eton Coll. Upton, v. the King. Fulmer, c. Wyrardsbury, v. with Langley, c. dn. and canons of Windsor.

Chaplin, W. West Halton, r. abp. of Canterbury. Raithby, r. with Hallington, r. and Maltby, c. lord Chan. Hougham, v. sequestrated.

Several more Chaplins in the church; they are cousins of the late archbishop Sutton.

Chandler, G. dean of Chichester; Southam, r. Marylebone, All Souls, Langham Place, r. the King.

Chester, W. Denton, r. abp. of Cant. Woodrising, r. J. Weyland. Walpole, St. Peter, r. the King.

Clarke, J. S. canon of Windsor, dep. clerk of the closet to the King, chap. in ord. to H. M. East Preston, w. Hove, v. Tillington, r. lord Egremont.

Son of the late rev. Edward Clarke, rector of Buxted, Sussex; he was formerly a chaplain in the navy, and owed his appointment in the royal household to his intimacy with admiral Payne. He is author of a Life of Nelson, and established the periodical miscellany the Naval Chronicle.

Clapham, Samuel, Christchurch, v. with Bransgore, c. and Holdenhurst, c. dn. and ch. of Winton. Gussage, St. Mie. r. I. and R. Randall. Great Ouseborn, v. the King.

This gentleman is a native of Leeds, Yorkshire, where he was educated. He was first patronized by lord Loughborough, then lord chancellor, who presented [104] him to the living of Great Ouseborn. As a remuneration for his Abridgement of the Bishop of Winchester’s (Pretyman) Elements of Christian Theology, that prelate obtained for him the vicarage of Christchurch and the rectory of Gussage. He is an acting magistrate for the county, and compiled an Index to Burn’s and Williams’s Justice, Blackstone’s, Hawkins’, &c. law-books.

Clarkson, T. Hinxton-Combes, v. Swovesey, v. Camb. Acton Scott, r. R. J. Stackhouse.

Cleaver, J. F. preb. of Southwell. Holme Pierrepont, r. earl Manvers. Appleton-in-the-Street, v. Amotherby, c. Camb.

Cleaver, J. Edwinstow, v. Ollerton, c. Carburton, c. Polethorpe, c. dn. and ch. Lincoln.

Cleaver, J. F. canon and reg. of St. Asaph. Corwen, r. Rug, c. bp. St. Asaph. Great Coxwell, v. bp. of Sarum.

The pluralists owe their preferments to their father, the bishop of St. Asaph, who died in 1815. The bishop was tutor to the marquis of Buckingham, with whom he went to Ireland during his viceroyship. His brother was first made bishop of Ferns, then archbishop of Dublin. He himself first obtained a prebend of Westminster, was next elevated to the see of Chester, and, after one or two more moves, to the see of St. Asaph. He married a Miss Asheton, sister of Wm. A. of Lancashire, from whom the present are descended.

Cobbold, T. Ipswich, St. Mary Tower, c. Parishioners. Welby, r. rev. N. White. Woolpet, r. rev T. Cobbold.

There are three more Cobbolds in the church, one vicar of Selbourne, and a witness at the Winchester trials under the special commission; a riotous assemblage of farmers and labourers had endeavoured to compel the reverend gentleman to consent to reduce his tithes from £600 to 400 a-year, the last—four pounds a week—being deemed sufficient remuneration to a parish priest in the opinions of the rural logicians. In the existing state of popular feeling, how is it possible for the tithe system to be upheld? it does not answer a single good purpose; and its compulsory exaction is wholly impracticable. The ends of religion can never be furthered by an impost which generates social animosity, and tends to exhibit ministers and parishioners more in the relation of wolves and sheep than pastors and their flocks.

Cockburn, Wm. dean of York.

Coldham, J. Anmer, r. J. Coldham. Snettisham, r. H. Styleman, Stockton, r. P. Randall.

Combe, E. Barrington, p. c. rev. Dr. W. Palmer. Donyatt, r. Earnshill, r. Drayton, p. c. R. T. Combe.

Colson, T. M. Pilesdon, r. with Stratton, c. hon. C. Damer. Chaminster, c. Mr. Trenchard. Linkenholt, r. Mrs. Worgan.

Collet, A. Aldringham, c. with Thorpe, c. Great and Little Linstead, c. lord Huntingfield. Heveningham, r. the King.

Collett, W. Swanton Morley, r. sir J. Lambe. Surlingham, r. rev. W. Collett. Egmere, r. T. W. Coke.

Last year the parishioners of Surlingham gave to the rector the alternative of either accepting a compensation for tithes, or gathering them in kind; the reverend pluralist dexterously endeavoured to ward off this blow, by sowing division in the enemy’s camp; and in a hand-bill, signified his intention to distribute, as a gift, among the “poor and deserving families of his parish, all the eggs, milk, pigs, poultry, and fruit, which would in future belong to him, as small tithes, on the occupations of certain of the rebels whose names were mentioned.” A very adroit stratagem this! but it is a pity the worthy rector did not think of the “poor and deserving families” before the fires, and the union of the labourers and farmers. Other parsons have endeavoured to [105] conciliate their parishioners, by circulating hand-bills, in which they try to prove that tithes are good things for the labourers—that they do not oppress the farmer, being only part of his rent, which if not paid to the incumbent, would be exacted by the landlord—and that the average incomes of the beneficed clergy are so small that it is impossible they should be objects of cupidity with any reasonable person. All these sophistries we have exposed; it is not the average income of the clergy, but the total amount of the revenues of the church and the unequal distribution of them that are objected to; neither is it meant that tithe should be simply abolished—that would certainly only add to the rents of the landlords—but that it should be commuted for an equivalent and less objectionable assessment, levied on the landed interest, and this commutation be available to the relief of the productive classes.—On these matters, see p. 53, 55, and p. 88.

Corbett, S. LL.D. Kirkhamwith, r. chan. du. Lancaster. Scrayingham, r. with Leppington, c. the King. Wortley, c. rec. of Tankersley.

Cooke, G. Rissington Wick, r. the King. Cubbington, v. Honingham, p. c. I. H. Leigh.

Professor of natural philosophy, and keeper of the archives in the University of Oxford.

Copleston, Edw. bishop of Llandaff and dean of St. Paul’s.

Crabbe, Geo. Trowbridge, r. Staverton, c. Croxton Kerrial, v. duke of Rutland.

A popular poet, who was chaplain to the late duke of Rutland, from whom he obtained his preferments, and whose funeral sermon he preached at Belvoir.

Crawley, C. Broadwater, v. Miss Mills. Flaxley, d. sir J. Crawley. Stow, Nine Churches, r. rev. J. L. Crawley.

Croft, James, archd. and preb. of Canterbury. Cliffe-at-Hone, r. Saltwood, r.w. Hythe, c. abp. of Cant.

Married a daughter of the late archbishop Sutton.

Crook, Ch. Bath, St. Peter and St. Paul, v. St. Mary Mag. Ch. St. Michael, r. Widcombe, c. Mayor and Corporation.

Cust, Henry, Cockayne-Hatley, r. Sywell, r. Raisen Mid. Tupholm, v. earl Brownlow. Willoughby, St. Helen, r. lord Gwydyr.

Dallen, J. vic. chor. York. Rudston, v. Trinity in Goodramgate, r. St. John Delpike, r. and St. Maurice without Monk, v. abp. of York.

Dampier, J. Codford, St. Peter, r. H. Kellow. Langton Matravers, r. Incumbent. Pitcombe, c. Brewham, c. sir R. C. Hoare.

Davies, G. J. Grovenhurst Superior, r. Trustees. Marfleet, c. H. Grylls. Sutton, c. H. Broadley.

Davy, Geo. M.A. dean of Chester; vacated by Dr. Phillpotts.

Davy, C. Barking, r. Combes, r. Badley, c. earl Ashburnham.

Dawson, F. Chiselhurst, r. Hayes, r. Orpington, (sinecure,) r. with Down, c. abp. of Cant.

Day, G. minor canon of Norwich. Barton Bendish, r. sir H. Berney. Hemblington, c. Norwich Eaton, v. dn. and ch. of Norwich.

Day, J. Seething, c. St. Peter, Mundham, c. Corp. of Norwich. Yelverton, r. lord Chan.

Digby, C. canon of Windsor. Chiselboro’, r. with West Chinnock, c. Middle Chinnock, r. Penselwood, r. lord Ilchester. [106]

Dillon, H. L. Carhampton, v. Mrs. Langham. Carhampton, p. c. H. P. Wyndham. Litchet, r. W. Trenchard.

Dixon, W. H. preb. of York and Ripon. Bishopsthorpe, v. abp. of York. Cawood, c. preb. of Wistow. Mappleton, v. archdn. E. Riding. Topcliffe, v. dn. and ch. of York.

Doveton, J. F. Betchworth, v. dn. and ch. of Windsor. Burnet, r. Corp. of Bristol. Mells, r. with Leigh on Mendip, c. T. G. Horner.

D’Oyley, Geo. Lambeth, r. with Stockwell, c. Sundridge, r. abp. of Cant.

Chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury, and christian advocate in the University of Cambridge.

Dudley, J. Humberstone, v. Incumbent. Sileby, v, W. Pochin. Himby, r. earl Dudley.

Dowland, J. J. G. Broad Windsor, v. the King. Turnworth, v. bp. of Sarum. Winterbourne Whitchurch, v. E. M. Pleydell.

Edge, W. Hollesley, r, Noughton, r. Nedging, r. rev. W. Edge.

Ellis, J. Llangamdimell, v. Llankerrig, r. bp. St. David’s. Llanbadrig, v. the King. Wooten Waven, with Uttenhall, c. King’s Coll. Cambridge.

England, W. archdn. of Dorset. Ower Moine, r. Winterbourne Carne, r. and St. Germain, r. lady Damer. West Stafford, r. Mrs. Floyers.

Fardell, H. preb. of Ely. Wisbech, v. Waterbeach, v. bp. of Ely.

See a chronological statement of the progress of this gentleman in the church, p. 25.

Fellowes, J. Bramerton, r. Easton, r. Mottisham Mantby, r. R. Fellowes. Bratton Clovelly, r. bp. of Exeter.

Field, R. Mendlesham, v. Pearson and Wyatt. Sutton, All Saints, v. Oxon. Ramskolt, c. J. Pennington.

Finch, H. Oakham, v. with Barleythorpe, c. and Brooke, c. Langham, c. Eggleton, c. lord Winchelsea.

Finch, H. Great Melford, v. Little Melford, r. W. F. Finch. Longstanton, All Saints, bp. of Ely.

Nine Finches in the church, with eighteen livings, besides dignities. Most of them are honourables, and branches of the family of lord Winchelsea.

Fisher, John, archdn. of Berks, can. res. of Sarum. Gillingham, v. w. East and West Stover, c. Motcombe, c. Osmington, v. bp. of Salisbury.

Fisher, Jona. P. D.D. can. res. of Exeter. Farringdon, r. Rockbear, v. bp. of Exeter.

Fisher, P. Elton, r. Messrs. Shafto and Hogg. Whapload, v. the King. Stoke Canon, d. dn. and ch. of Exon.

Thirteen more Fishers with benefices and offices. They are all, we suspect, relations of the late bishop of Salisbury, and are an instance of that monopoly which is the disgrace of the establishment. The bishop was preceptor to the princess Charlotte of Wales and the Duke of Kent. Having obtained a prebend of Windsor and the archdeaconry of Exeter, he was, in 1803, promoted to that see; and, in 1808, translated to Salisbury. The patronage of the diocese is forty livings and thirty-five prebends, from which fund he made a comfortable provision for his family. P. Fisher, beside his three livings, has a prebend at [107] Norwich, and another at Salisbury, and is head master of the Charter-house. This man is really insatiable. His salary at the Charter-house is £800 a year, with a house, candles, vegetables, and an allowance for linen. He had a nephew lately on the foundation, and two sons exhibitioners at the Universities, with allowances of £80 a year from the charity.

Fletcher, W. chan. of d. of Carlisle, and preb. of York. Bromfield, v. Dalston, v. Lazonby, v. bp. of Carlisle.

Fly, H. D.D. sub-dean of St. Paul’s, London. Trinity, Minories, c. the King. Willesdon, v. Kingsbury, p. c. with Twyford, c. dn. and ch. of St. Paul’s.

Forester, T. preb. of Worcester. Broseley, r. Little Wenlock, with Barrow, c. and Benthall, c. lord Forester. Worcester, St. John Bedwardine, v.

Foxton, G. Queensbury, v. with Ragdale, c. E. Loveden. New Town, r. bp. of St. Asaph. Twining, v. Christ-church, Oxon.

Frome, R. Folke, r. rev. W. Chafin. Goathill, r. earl Digby. Mintern, r. Mrs. Sturt.

Gabell, H. D. Ashow, r. C. Leigh. Binfield, r. Winchester, St. Laurence, r. lord Chan.

Gaisford, T. dean of Oxford.

Garnier, Thomas, Bishop’s Stoke, r. Brightwell, r. Foxhall, c. bp. of Winton.

The patronage of the church is an excellent resource for comfortable marriage-settlements. A son of the pluralist married a daughter of Brownlow North, late bishop of Winchester, and was portioned off with the rectory of Droxford, a prebend of Winchester, and the mastership of St. Cross’s Hospital, which has great patronage. A daughter married Thomas, second son of the late lord Walsingham, who is archdeacon of Surrey, prebendary of Winchester, rector of Colbourne, and king’s chaplain. A son of this last is prebendary of Winchester, and rector of Alverstoke and of Havant. The Norths, who are numerous in the church, are relations of the former bishop of Winchester, and had more than thirty livings shared among them.

Geldert, J. Aldfield, c. Mrs. Laurence. Barnwell, c. Cambridge Less, c. Kirk Deighton, r. rev. Dr. Geldart.

Goddard, C. archdn. and preb. of Lincoln, chaplain to the king; Bexley, v. viscount Sidney. Louth, v. preb. of Louth. London, St. James’s, Garlichythe, r. bp. of London.

Goddard, E. Eartham, v. preb. of Eartham. Easthampstead, r. Chr. Ch. Oxon. Pagham, v. with Bognor, c. abp. of Cant. Sidlesham, v. preb. of Sidlesham.

Goodacre, W. Mansfield Woodhouse, p. c. Skegly, p. c. duke Portland. Sutton Ashfield, p. c. duke Devonshire.

Goodall, J. provost of Eton Coll. canon of Windsor; Bromham, v. Hitcham, r. Eton Coll. West Ilsley, r. dn. and cns. of Windsor.

The rev. pluralist being the head of a great public school, we shall give a brief account of one of these foundations, the boasted nursery of our legislators and statesmen. They are receptacles of abuse, and present a singular contrast to similar institutions in a neighbouring country; while the latter produce philosophers, heroes, and patriots, the former send forth a plentiful crop of exquisites, air-gun shooters, and at best pedants and Payleyean politicians. From the seed sown such fruit may be expected; the scholar’s time is misspent in grammatical and metrical trifling, and little is read or studied but Horace, [108] Virgil, and Homer. Leaving these matters, let us come to the foundation of Eton and its management.

Eton college is situated near Windsor, and was founded by Henry VI. for the education of seventy poor and indigent scholars, who were enjoined by the founder to swear they had not £3: 6s. a year to spend. The exact amount of the revenues it is not easy to ascertain, as it is a fact carefully concealed by the heads of the college; but, according to the evidence of Mr. Hinde, they amount to considerably more than £10,000 a year, and arise from various manors, estates, rectories, and tenements belonging to the foundation. The government of the college, and the management of this large income, is vested in the provost and seven fellows; the salaries of the latter, according to the statutes, are £10 a year, and of the former double that sum. The bishop of Lincoln is visitor. Besides the foundation scholars there are more than 400 oppidens, or town scholars, who pay for their education; though, like the rest of the boys, they are entitled to gratuitous instruction. The scholars are instructed by masters and assistants, who in fact do all the business of the college, and, as is usual in such cases, get the worst paid; the head master receives only £63 a year; the under master fares still worse and is paid in a trifling “allowance of bread and beer.” [*]

The more interesting subject for inquiry is, what becomes of the revenue when all the work is done at such a cheap rate? Nearly the whole of this, at the present, appears to be divided betwixt the provost and the fellows; the share of the former in good years has amounted to £2500; but the incomes of the latter are made up of such variety of items, they are not easily estimated. It is certain, however, their incomes are enormous. Besides the total income of the college, thirty-seven livings, some of which, worth £800 per annum, are in the gift of the fellows; they have the power of presenting themselves to one of these livings, which of course would not be the worst. They receive about £550 in money annually from the fines; a yearly stipend of £50; and a liberal allowance for gowns, coals, candles, &c. Moreover, they generally confer some office on themselves in the college, as bursar, precentor, sacrist, or librarian; for which they receive a salary. These are the principal items; but it is impossible to discover exactly what the fellows receive in all: their gross incomes cannot be much less than £1000 a year each.

After Dr. Goodall has taken the lion’s share, and the fellows nearly as much as they please, the remainder is applied to support the establishment. According to the statutes, the scholars ought to be fed, clothed, educated, and lodged, free from expense; they have reduced their meals to two, namely, dinner and supper; clothing they have none; for their education they pay a gratuity of six guineas to the master, and their other yearly expenses amount to about sixty pounds; while, at the same time, they swear, or ought to swear, they have not three pounds six shillings a year to spend!

These exactions are, however, so shameless, unjustifiable, and so directly in the teeth of the statutes, that when any person ventures to object to their payment, to prevent enquiry, the charges are remitted. The indulgence is extended to a very small number; and to prevent such a dangerous example spreading through the school, the fact is carefully concealed from the rest of the boys. That this illegal demand for teaching may excite as little notice as possible, it is always thrust into the bill of the person with whom the boys board. []

Such is a brief account of the royal college of Eton. It only now remains to point out the more flagrant abuses which prevail in its management, and the manner the poor have been robbed of their rights and interests in this celebrated foundation.

First, instead of the revenues being expended in feeding, educating, and clothing, “seventy poor and indigent scholars,” they are divided among eight clerical sinecurists; and children of opulent persons, who can afford to pay £70 [109] a-year for their education, are alone admitted to the benefits of the foundation. The statutes provide, that one-third part of the yearly saving shall be placed in the treasury, for the use of the college; although there has been annually a surplus revenue to a very considerable amount, instead of being applied to the enlargement of the college, or any other laudable object, it has been divided and pocketed by the reverend fellows and the provost; one hundred marks, too, piously left to clothe the “poor and indigent scholars,” have, in like manner, been shared as lawful plunder by the same reverend persons. In consequence of the spoliation of Edward the IVth. the number of fellows was reduced from ten to seven; but although the revenues have increased so enormously, that they would very well support the old statutable number, yet they have for centuries been kept at the present amount, contrary to the intentions of the founder. Finally, the reverend fellows have all sworn not to obtain a dispensation for the holding of livings; or, if obtained, not to use it; yet, notwithstanding their oaths, notwithstanding the dreadful maledictions of the founder, such has been their greediness for the emoluments of the church, that they have obtained a dispensation to hold church preferment; and the right reverend visitor has sanctioned this infringement of the ordinances of Henry VI.

Goodenough, E. dn. of Bath and Wells, and preb. of Westminster, Carlisle, and York; Wath, All Saints on Dearne, v. Adwick, c. Brampton Bierlow, c. Christ Ch. Oxon.

Goodenough, S. J. preb. of Carlisle; Broughton Poges, r. rev. J. Goodenough. Hampton, v. the King.

Goodenough, William, archdn. of Carlisle, with Mareham le Fen, r. and great Salkeld, r. bp. of Carlisle.

Three more Goodenoughs; they are of the family of the late Bishop of Carlisle. The prelate obtained the deanery of Rochester in 1802, and in 1808 was promoted to the See of Carlisle, through the interest of lord Sidmouth, his brother having married the sister of the letter-of-thanks-man.

Gordon, G. dn. of Lincoln; Harbling, v. with Briggend, c. bp. of Lincoln. Whittington, r. dn. of Lincoln. Ledgbrook, 1st and 2d Mediety r. with East Allington, c. lord Chan.

Gordon, G. Bentley Fenney, r. Dr. Gordon. Muston, r. lord Chan. Whittington, c. dn. of Lincoln.

Gower, G. L. St. Mabyn, r. St. Michael Penkevil, r. lord Falmouth. Tatsfield, r. Titsey, r. W. L. Gower.

Grant, J. T. Merston, r. Wrabness, r. The King. Butterleigh, r. lord Chan.

Grant, R. fellow of Winton Coll.; Bradford Abbass, v. marquis Anglesea. Clifton Maybank, r. Winton Coll. Portsea, St. Paul’s, p. c. vicar of Portsea.

Gray, Robert, bishop of Bristol, and prebendary of Durham.

Green, J. C. Rillington, v. the King. Thornton-le-Moor, r. bp. of Ely. Birdsall, p. c. marquis Hertford. Whaream-in-the-Street, v. lord Middleton. Rustington, v. bp. of Chichester.

Grey, hon. Thomas de, archd. of Surrey; Calbourne, r. Fawley, r. with Exbury, c. bp. of Winton. Merton, r. lord Walsingham.

The honourable, venerable, and reverend pluralist is, also, a king’s chaplain, and prebendary of Winchester. He is uncle of lord Walsingham, and related to the Norths and Garniers, whom see. Three more Greys are in the church; one of them is brother of the earl of Stamford, and is rector of Wickham and prebendary of Durham. Another relation of the earl has a living worth £1500 a-year.


Grey, hon. E. dean of Hereford, and prebendary of Hereford; St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, r. bp. of London and the King alternately.

Youngest brother of earl Grey, who married, firstly, Miss Croft, by whom he had a family of ten children, nine of whom survive; secondly, Miss Adair, the daughter of Sir R. Adair, the minister to Belgium, by whom he had also a family; and, thirdly, the very reverend dean married Miss Innes, the daughter of an opulent merchant, formerly M.P. for Grampound.—A bishop, lord chancellor, or first lord of the treasury, with vast patronage and a host of expectants about him, always appears to our mind like the man at the head of the table with a fine turkey before him, which he is prepared to carve for the benefit of his family and guests. “Which part do you prefer—here is a leg—the wing or the apron.” Just so in the distribution of public offices and preferments; there is a benefice for one, a dignity for another, and an embassy, secretaryship, or commissionership for a third. We do not in this place complain; earl Grey has certainly lost no time in moving his brother nearer to Durham or Winchester; but it is not the advancement of the meritorious—though they be relatives—but the worthless that excites indignation. With the exception of the dispute about the payment of the stipend of the minister of the new church, the dean, like his predecessor in the parish of St. Botolph, bears an exemplary character, and the public is gratified rather than otherwise by his promotion.

Griffith, C. preb. of Brecon; Disserth, r. bp. of St. David’s. Glondegla, p. c. bp. of St. Asaph. Llanvayes, v. archdn. of Brecon.

Guildford, earl of, Alresford, New and Old, r. with Medsted, c. Southampton, St. Mary, prec. and r. St. Cross, with St. Faith’s Master, bp. of Winchester.

The family, of which his lordship is the head, was some years since widely ramified in the church, engrossing upwards of thirty livings and dignities. These numerous preferments were derived through Brownlow North, uncle of the present lord Guildford and former bishop of Winchester. The bishop was a younger brother of lord North, the minister under whose administration the inglorious war was waged against the independence of North America. The bishop owed his promotion to his brother, and his advancement to the bench was much resisted by the minister’s colleagues, on account of his youth. Lord North, however, observed—“that when he should become of more matured age, he would not have a brother prime minister.” Under such powerful auspices the bishop rose rapidly in the church. He was first preferred to a canonry of Christ Church, Oxford. A few months afterwards he was pushed into the deanery of Canterbury, and the following year advanced to the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry. Soon after he was translated to Worcester, and in 1781 to the rich See of Winchester, which he held more than forty years, and must have netted from the revenue of his diocese upwards of one million and a half principal money.

Haden, A. B. Ware, c. O. Crewe. Saddington, r. Wednesbury, v. the King.

Haggitt, D’Arey, Branxton, v. dn. and c. of Durham. Cornhill, c. W. N. Darnell. Pershore St. Andrew, v. and Holy Cross, c. with Besford, c. Bricklehampton, c. Defford, c. and Penvin, c. dn. and cns. of Westminster.

Harbin, J. North Barrow, r. E. B. Portman. Kingston, r. Mr. Harbin. Wheathill, r. Mrs. Phillips.

Harvey, B. Alsager, c. lord of the Manor. Blackmore, v. the King. Doddinghurst, r. J. Henrick.

Hasted, H. Bury St. Mary, c. Corporation. Chedburg, r. with Ickworth, r. chap. of Worcester. Braisworth, r. marquis Cornwallis. Horningsheath, r. lord Bristol. [111]

Hett, W. Enderby Navis, r. Incumbent. Greetwell, c. ch. of Lincoln. Lincoln, St. John in New, v. and St. Paul, r. archd. of Lincoln. Dunholme, v. the King. Nettleham, c. chanc. of Lincoln. Thorpe-on-the-Hill, r. chap. of Lincoln.

Three rectories, a vicarage, and two chapelries, are not enough for this reverend pluralist. He is prebendary and vicar choral of Lincoln, and chaplain to the marquis of Stafford. His recommendation to all these good things are—The Genuine Tree of Liberty, or the Royal Oak of Great Britain; a political squib of 1793; a Fast-day Sermon; Letter upon Restrictions on Dissenting Teachers, &c.

Holdsworth, Robt. preb. of Exeter; Brixham, v. with Kingsweare, c. the King. Dartmouth, St. Sav. c. Corporation. Townstall, v. Churston Ferrers, c. corp. of Clifton.

Hales, R. Hemesby, v. J. T. Hales. Herringswell, r. H. Sperling. Hillington, r. sir W. J. B. Folkes.

Hamond, R. Beechamwell St. John and St. Mary, r. J. Molleaux. Pensthorpe, r. East Walton, v. Gayton Thorpe, r. A. Hamond.

Hanbury, T. Burrough, r. Somerby, v. Langton Church, r. with Langton Tur, c. and Thorpe Langton, c. W. Hanbury.

Hankinson, r. Pentney, c. sequestrated. Walpole St. Andrew, v. T. Hankinson, West Bilney, p. c. J. Dalton.

Harries, G. preb. of St. David’s. Letterston, r. Llanwair, c. Nolton, r. Rock, c. Rupa Castle yn Graig, v. lord Chan.

Harries, J. Langattock, r. earl Abergavenny. Llandett, r. T. H. Gwynne. Newcastle in Emlyn, c. with Bettws, c. and Llalestone, c. T. Lewis.

Hawkesley, J. W. Knotting, r. with Souldrop, r. rev. J. W. Hawkesley, Melchburn, v. lord St. John. Turvey, r. D. C. Higgins.

Heathcote, G. archdn. of Winchester, fellow of Winton Coll., treasurer of Wells Cathedral. Andover, v. with Foscot, c. Winton Coll. Hursley, v. Otterburn, c. sir G. Heathcote.

Hewgill, F. Littleborough, p. c. J. Hewett. Soundby, r. North Wheatley, v. lord Middleton. Sturton in the Clay, v. dn. and ch. of York.

Hill, R. Berrington, r. with Little Ness, c. Sutton St. John, r. Thornton Mayow, r. lord Berwick. Great Bolas, r. sir R. Hill.

Several other Hills in the church. The pluralist is uncle of lord Hill, commander of the forces, and of Rowland Hill, the well known dissenting preacher.

Hobart, hon. H. L. Haseley, r. the King. Nocton, v. dn. and ch. of Cant. Wantage, v. dn. and cns. of Windsor.

This hon. and very reverend pluralist has two deaneries, that of Windsor, the other of Wolverhampton. A brother is canon of Hereford, and rector of Beer Ferrers; of which rectory, his nephew, the duke of Buckingham, is patron. Another Hobart, a son, we suspect, of the plural dean, has a valuable rectory, and prebend of Wolverhampton.

Hodgson, R. dn. of Carlisle. Burgh on Sands, v. lord chan. Westminster, St. George’s, Hanover-square, r. Hillington, v. bp. of London.

Nephew of Porteus, late bishop of London. Many other Hodgsons, with livings, offices, and dignities.


Hodson, G. Birmingham, Christ Church, c. Colwick, v. with Frodswell, c. bp. of Lich. and Cov. London, St. Katharine Cree, v. Mag. Coll.

Holland, W. Wm. vic. of Chichester cath. Bapchild, v. Burpham, v. dn. and ch. of Chichester. Chichester St. Andrew and St. Martin, r. dn. of Chichester.

Holland, S., M.D. precent. and preb. of Chichester. Beaudesert, r. Poynings, r. Warehorn, r. the King.

This is a remarkable instance of the secular uses to which church property is applied by those who have the disposal of it. The reverend pluralist was originally a physician; but, happening to marry a daughter of lord Erskine, while his lordship held the great seal, he took holy orders, with a view to qualify himself for a share of the good things in the gift of his father-in-law. Erskine gave him the three rectories, worth about £2000 a-year, during the short period of his chancellorship. Doctor Holland has written a book to vindicate the clergy from the charge of neglecting their duties. Who may the preceding pluralist of this name be?

Holt, J. Elston, r. W. B. Darwin. Gringley, v. Camb. Kelstern, v. sir J. C. Hawkins. Wrawby, v. with Brigg, c. Clare Hall, Camb.

Hoste, J. Barwick in Brakes, v. Mrs. Hoste. Longham, c. Wendling, r. T. W. Coke.

Housen, H. vicar choral of Southwell. Bleasby, v. Howerby, r. with Beesby in the Marsh, c. Southwell, v. prec. and preb. of Normanton. Aslacton, p. c. Southwell Coll.

Howard, J. Fundenhall, d. T. T. Burney. Morley, St. Botolph and St. Peter. r. B. N. Cooper. Tacolneston, r. Mrs. Warren.

Howard, R. D.D. Denbigh, r. bp. St. Asaph. Llandegfan, r. with Beaumaris, c. Llanvewgan, c. R. W. Bulkeley.

Howes, F. min. can. of Norwich. Attlebridge, v. with Alderford, r. Bawburgh, v. Norwich, St. George, col. r. dn. and ch. of Norwich.

Howes, T. Fritton, r. T. L. Hodges. Tharston, v. bp. of Ely. Thorndon, r. rev. T. Howes.

Howley, Wm. primate of all England; consecrated bishop of London, 1813, and elevated to the primacy in 1828, on the decease of archbishop Sutton.

We have nothing to add to our notice, page 24, of this prelate. It may be inferred, from the strictness with which the preserves are watched at Addington, and the severe persecution of poachers, that his grace is very fond of game.

Hudleston, A. Bownes, r. Morresby, r. Whitehaven St. Nicholas, c. lord Lonsdale.

Hume, T. H. treas. and can. res. of Sarum. Figheldean, r. Treas. of Sarum, Kewstoke, v. lord Chan. Stratford-under-Castle, c. dn. and ch. of Sarum.

Huntingford, G. H. bishop of Hereford; consecrated bishop of Gloucester, 1802; translated 1815.

Hurt, T. Lindby, r. Papplewick, c. hon. F. Montague. Scrooby, v. with Sutton-on-Lound, v. duke of Portland.

Jacob, S. S. Waldershore, v. Whitefield, p. c. abp. of Cant. Woollavington, v. dn. and cans. of Windsor. [113]

Ibbotson, J. Ayton, p. c. rev. W. Marwood. Newton, p. c. rev. S. Shepherd. Nunthorpe, p. c. T. Simpson and W. Richardson.

Ibbotson, T. Garton, v. the King. Lowthorpe, p. c. sir A. Quentin. Skerne, p. c. R. Arkwright.

Jenkinson, J. Banks, bishop of St. David’s, dean of Brecon, and dean of Durham.

Jepson, G. preb. and vic. chor. of Lincoln. Ashby Pueror, v. Glenthan, v. Normanby, v. dn. and ch. of Lincoln. Lincoln St. Botolph, p. c. preb. of St. Botolph.

Inman, G. Kilnsea, v. L. Thompson. Skefling, v. rev. N. Holme. Easington, v. abp. of York.

Johnson, P. Beeston, r. Sustead, p. c. the King. Ingworth, r. W. Wyndham.

Jones, H. Lewisham, v. lord Dartmouth. Talgarth, v. dn. and cans. of Windsor. Mablethorpe, r. with Stane, r. col. Jones.

Iremonger, L. preb. of Winchester. Wherwell, preb. sin. Goodworth Clatford, v. J. Iremonger. Kevil, v. Wanborough, v. dn. and ch. of Winton.

Brother-in-law of lord Gambier, who has a nephew with three livings.

Karslake, W. Culmstock, v. dn. and ch. of Exeter. Dalton, r. J. Cleveland. Loxbeare, r. sir T. D. Acland.

Kaye, John, bishop of Lincoln, v. dn. and ch. of Exeter. prebendary, and provincial chancellor of Canterbury.

Keith, P. Marr, p. c. earl Kinnoul. Ruckinge, r. Stalisfield, v. abp. Cant.

Kelly, A. P. Barnham, p. c. Little Hampton, v. bp. Chichester. Hoxton, c. archdn. of London.

Kempthorne, J. preb. of Lichfield. Gloucester St. Michael, r. and St. Marg. de Grace, c. lord Chan. Northleach, v. Preston, v. bp. of Gloucester. Wedmore, v. dn. of Wells.

Kent, G. D. preb. of Lincoln. Newton, r. T. Smith. Lincoln St. Martin, v. bp. of Lincoln. Scothern, v. lord Scarboro’. Conisholme, r. hon. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson. East Winch, v. E. Kent.

Kett, W. Darsham. v. Sir J. Rous. Shottisham, r. Mr. Kett. Waldringfield, r. N. Randall.

Keppel, hon. E. G. Quiddenham, r. with Snetterton, r. Shottisham All Saints, v. and St. Mary, v. earl of Albermarle. Tittleshall, r. with Godwick, r. and Wellingham, r. T. W. Coke.

Third son of lord Albemarle, master of the horse, and brother-in-law of Mr. Coke, of Norfolk.

Kidd, T. Croxton, r. sir G. W. Leeds. Eltisley, v. lord Chan. Norwich, St. Swithin, r. bp. of Norwich, sequest.

Kipling, C. Coston, r. Newport Pagnall, v. lord Chan. Wolverton, v. with Stratford Tony, c. W. Drake.

Kipling, J. Chearsley, c. sir C. Dormer. Chilton, p. c. Oakley, v. sir J. Aubrey. Upper Winchendon, p. c. sir C. Cave.

Knatchbull, W., D.D. Aldington, r. with Smeath, c. abp. Cant. Bircholt, r. lady Bankes. Wesbere, r. lord Chan. [114]

Kynaston, sir E. chap. in ord. to H.M. Farnham, St. Genev. r. with Risby, r. Kinnersley, v. the King. Hordley, r. J. K. Powell.

Lade, W. Graveney, v. with Goodnestone, r. Wickhamtreux, r. J. Lade, Knowlton, r. sir N. D’Aeth.

Langdon, G. Houghton, r. E. M. Pleydell. Milton Abb. v. lord Dorchester. Weston-Patrick, p. c. W. T. L. Wellesley.

Landon, W. dn. of Exeter and preb. of Sarum. Bishopstone, r. preb. of Bishopstone. Branscombe, v. dn. and ch. of Exeter. Croft, r. with Yarpole, c. Mrs. Johnes.

Lates, J. J. Charlton Abbot, c. F. Pyson. Sudely, r. lord Rivers. Winchcombe, v. with Gretton, c. lord Tracey.

Law, G. H. bishop of Bath and Wells; consecrated bishop of Chester, 1812.

Law, Henry, archdeacon of Wells and canon residentiary.

Lax, W. Ippolitts, v. with Great Wymondley, v. Marshworts, v. Camb. Orwell, v. rev. J. H. Renouard.

Lee, H. fellow of Winton Coll. and preb. of Hereford. Ash, r. Frimley, p. c. Hound, v. with Bursledon, c. and Hamble, p. c. Winton Coll.

See Bishop Sumner for an account of Winton College.

Lewis, D. C. min. can. of Windsor. Colnbrook, c. Pem. Coll. Oxon. Newington, v. Eton Coll. Ruislip, v. dn. and ch. of Windsor.

Lewis, J. Buttsbury, c. rev. D. Lloyd. Ingatestone, r. N. W. Lewis. Ravenhall, r. C. W. Western.

Leyson, T. Bassalleg, v. bp. Llandaff. Panteague, r. Treddunnock, r. C. H. Leigh.

Linton, H. Dinton, v. with Great Teffont, c. Mag. Coll. Oxon. Fritwell, v. North Aston, v. T. F. Willes.

Long, R. C. Dunston, c. Misses S. and G. Long. Illington, r. Mrs. Kellett. Newton Flotman, r. Miss Long. Swarsthorpe, r. rev. R. C. Long.

Lord, J. Berfreyston, r. Oxon. Northiam, r. Miss Lord. Drayton Parslow, r. rev. J. Lord.

Lowe, J. Tankersley, r. Swinton, c. Wentworth, p. c. earl Fitzwiiliam. Brotherton, v. dn. and ch. of York.

Lowndes, R. Astwood, v. the King. North Crawley, r. Miss Duncombe. Farley, r. Oxon.

Lucas, G. Caifield, r. Stokesby with Heringby, r. W. Downs. Billockby, r. Filby, r. C. Lucas.

Luxmore, C. S. dean, with Heullan, v. annexed, chanc. of see of St. Asaph, and preb. of Hereford. Bromyard, 2d Port, r. and v. West Cradley, r. bp. of Hereford. Daroven, r. Gurlsfield, v. bp. of St. Asaph.

Luxmore, John, joint regist. of Hereford, preb. of St. Asaph. Berriew, v. bp. of St. Asaph.

Three more Luxmores in the church. They are sons and nephews of the late bishop of St. Asaph. The prelate owed his promotion to his connexion [115] with the family of the duke of Buccleugh. He first obtained the living of St. George the Martyr, Queen’s-square, which he vacated upon being presented to the neighbouring rectory of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, which he held, in commendam, with the see of Hereford. To the last see he was translated from the diocese of Bristol, before which he held the deanery of Gloucester. He was translated to St. Asaph in 1815. The progress of the bishop, like most of his brethren, may be generally traced from the number of relations and dependents which they leave behind them in possession of the most valuable preferments in their gift.

Madan, Spencer, preb. and chan. of diocese of Peterborough, chap. in ord. to the King. Ibstock, r. with Hugglescote, c. Dunnington, c. bp. of Rochester. Thorpe Constantine, r. W. P. Inge.

Son of the late bishop of Peterborough, nephew of the late bishop of Lichfield, and cousin of the marquis Cornwallis. Except a fast-day sermon or two, we do not know any other claim of this reverend pluralist to his appointments. His uncle, the bishop, to whom he is chiefly indebted for his preferments, was, at first, intended for the bar, and, with that view, entered himself a student of the Temple; but the elevation of his uncle to the archbishopric, on the death of Dr. Secker, opened a more lucrative prospect, and he devoted himself, without any particular call that way, to the church. His first preferment was the rich rectory of Wrotham, in Kent, soon after which he obtained a prebend of Westminster, and shortly after succeeded Dr. Moore in the deanery of Canterbury. On the translation of bishop Hurd, he was raised to the throne of Lichfield and Coventry; and, on the death of bishop Douglas, he succeeded him as dean of Windsor, which he vacated for the richer deanery of Durham.

Maddy, J. Somerton, r. Incumbent. Stansfield, r. Hartest, r. Boxted, r. the King.

Markham, Robert, archd. of York, and canon. res.

Maltby, Edward, bishop of Chichester, and preacher to Society of Lincoln’s Inn: consecrated in 1831.

Manning, H. C. Burgh Castle, r. the King. Thetford St. Cuth. c. and St. Peter, r. duke Norfolk. Santon, r. Corp. of Thetford.

Mapleton, J. H. Southwark, Christchurch, r. Trustees of Marshall’s charities. Whaddon, v. New Coll. Oxon. Mitcham, v. Mrs. Simpson.

Marsh, Herbert, bishop of Peterborough, professor of divinity, Cambridge.

Marsham, hon. and rev. J. Allington, r. earl Romney. Wateringbury, v. dn. and ch. of Rochester. Kirby Overblow, r. earl Egremont.

Canon of Windsor, prebend of Bath and Wells, v. dn. and ch. of Rochester. Brother of lord Romney.

Marsham, C. Cavenfield, v. dn. and ch. Rochester. Edgcott, r. Stoke Lyne, v. J. Coker. Islington, v. dn. and cans. Windsor.

Marsham, E. Sculthorpe, r. sir G. Chadd. Wramplingham, r. Stratton Strawless, r. R. Marsham.

Massingberd, F. C. Calceby, v. Dribg, r. Kettlesby, r. South Ormesby, c. C. B. Massingberd.

Mavor, W. Bladon, r. Hurley, v. Woodstock, c. duke of Marlborough.

This is the well-known compiler of useful books, and a native of Aberdeen. He was, at first, a schoolmaster, and being employed by the duke of Marlborough to instruct the junior branches of the family in writing, he obtained such favour as to get a title for holy orders. Soon after he was rewarded with the livings of Hurley and Woodstock.


Methold, T. preb. of Norwich. Apsal-stoneham, r. W. Middleton. Kilverton, r. lord Chan. Wetheringselt, r. Mrs. Close.

Millard, C. F. Henley, v. Norwich St. Giles, r. and at Palace, d. dn. and ch. Norwich. Hickling, v. Mr. Micklethwaite.

Miller, E. Chesterton, c. lord Willoughby de Broke. Radway, v. Ratley, v. lord Chan.

Millers, G. min. can. of Ely. Hardwich, r. Runham, v. Stanford, v. bp. of Ely.

Mills, T. chap. to the King. Bumpstead Helion,, v. Camb. Little Henney, r. Stutton,, r. N. Barnardiston.

Mitford, J. Benhall, v. W. Mitford. Weston, St. Peter’s, r. the King. Stratford St. Andrew, r. chan. of du. of Lancaster.

Monk, John H. bishop of Gloucester, and prebendary of Westminster: consecrated in 1830.

Monins, J. Charlton, near Dover, r. Ringwould, r. rev. J. Monins. Fawkenhurst, r. Hurst, r. Miss Carter.

Moore, G. Croxby, r. lord Chan. Lincoln St. Margaret, with St. Peter, p. c. precent. and preb. Lincoln Cath. Ownby, r. chan. du. of Lancaster.

Moore, R. preb. of Canterbury. Eynesford, r. Hollingbourn, r. Hunton, r. Latchingdon, r. abp. of Cant.

Morgan, H. H. can. res. of Hereford. Fownhope, v. Wolhope, v. dn. and ch. of Hereford. Moccas, r. sir G. Cornwall.

Mounsey, G. Forest, c. lord Derby. Fairfield, p. c. Trustees. Rushton Spencer, c. lord Macclesfield.

Mount, C. Bath, Christchurch, c. rev. C. A. Moysey. Hannington, v. R. Montgomery. Helmdon, r. Suttesbury, r. Oxon.

Moysey, C. A. archdn. of Bath, preb. of Wells. Bath, Wolcot, r. dame Gay. Boarhunt, d. T. Kethwayte. Southwick, d. Mr. Thistlethwayte.

Mucklestone, J. F. preb. and vic. of Lichfield, and preb. of Wolverhampton. Tong, p. c. G. Durant. Weeford, c. chan. of Lichfield. Wybunbury, v. bp. of Lich. and Cov.

Mules, J. H. Abbot’s Isle, v. dn. and ch. of Bristol. Broadwater, c. Broadway, c. rev. W. Palmer. Ilminster, v. H. Hanning.

Murray, Geo. bishop of Rochester, dean of Worcester, rector of Bishopsbourne, and chaplain to abp. of Cant.

Nelson, J. vic. chor. of Lincoln. Ruskington, v. the King. Searby, r. Wellingore, r. dn. and ch. of Lincoln. Snarford, r. sub-dn. of Lincoln. Lincoln St. Mark, p. c. precent. of Lincoln.

Nevile, viscount, Byrling, v. Holveston, r. with Burgh Apton, r. Otley, r. lord Abergavenny.

Third son of the noble patron. Another son is vicar of Trant, in Sussex, and rector of Birling, in Kent.

Newsam, Clement, Harbury, v. Miss Newsam. Portbury, r. with Tickenham, v. bp. of Bristol.

Nicholas, John, D.D. Bremilham, r. lady Northwich. Fisherton Ange, r. W. H. F. Talbot. Westport, v. with Brockenborough, c. lord Chan. [117]

Nicolay, G. F. L. one of the brethren of St. Katharine; Little Marlow, v. rev. G. F. L. Nicolay. London, St. Michael Royal and St. Martin Vintry, r. abp. Cant. and bp. Worcester, alt.—See Nicolay, in the Place List.

North, Henry. Heacham, v. H. Spelman. Great Ringstead, St. Andrew and St. Peter, r. H. Styleman.

Northcote, Hugh, Dowlan, p. c. Monkoakhampton, r. Okhampton St. James, r. Upton Pyne, r. sir H. Northcote.

Nott, G. F., D.D. preb. of Winton, Chichester, and Sarum. Harrietsham, r. All Souls’ Coll. Woodchurch, r. abp. of Cant.

This gentleman has been for a long time missing; should this meet his eye, we beg to inform him, that the parishioners of Woodchurch are very desirous of seeing him, and they wish to know where he may be found; they have been served with notices for the payment of tithes by the solicitor of the reverend pluralist, who has only been once in the parish during the whole of last reign, and that for a day only.

Oakes, James. Gipping, d. C. Tyrrel. Thurston, v. Rattlesden, r. James Oakes, esq. Tostock, r. Mr. Moseley.

Oldershaw, John, D.D. archdn. of Norfolk, with Coston, p.c. Ludham, v. bp. of Norwich. Ranworth, v. with Upton, St. Margaret, v. bp. of Ely. Redenhall, r. with Hailestone, c. duke of Norfolk, on nom. of bp. of Norwich.

Onslow, G. W. Send, v. with Ripley, c. earl Onslow. Wisley, r. with Perford, v. Shalford, v. with Bramley, c. lord Chan.

Onslow, R. F. archdn. of Worcester, preb. of Sarum. Kidderminster, v. w. Lower Mitton, c. lord Foley. Newent, v. hon. E. Foley.

The venerable archdeacon is son of the late dean of Worcester, whose father was a lieutenant-general, and brother of the famous Arthur Onslow, who was forty years speaker of the Collective Wisdom. A. C. Onslow, rector of St. Mary, Newington-butts, of which benefice the bishop of Worcester is patron, is a brother of the archdeacon.

Oxenden, Mont, Bonington, r. T. Papillon. Luddingham, r. lord Chan. Wingham, p. c. sir H. Oxenden.

Palmer, G. Leominster, v. Eton Coll. Parham, r. baroness Zouch. Sidlington, r. N. Tredcroft.

Parkinson, J. D.D. Brocklesby, r. lord Yarborough. Healing, r. rev. R. Parkinson. Immingham, v. W. Amcotts.

Parkinson, T. D.D. preb. St. Paul’s, chan. of dioc. of Chester, archdn. of Leicester; Kegworth, r. with Isley Walton, c. Christ Coll. Camb.

257 livings are in the gift of the University of Oxford, and 292 in the gift of Cambridge. The livings are situate in different parts of the country; many of them in the metropolis. Some of the livings are annexed to the provostships and professorships of the different colleges, but for the most part they are in the gift of the fellows. By the statutes of the universities the holding of a fellowship is incompatible with the holding of a college living. When, however, a living is more valuable than a fellowship, a fellowship is vacated for the sake of being eligible to the living.

Parsons, H. preb. of Wells; Durleigh, v. Mr. Dunning. Goathurst, r. lady Tynte. Wembdon, v. C. K. Tynte.

Payne, Henry Thomas, can. res. of St. David’s, preb. of Brecon; Devunnuck, v. with Blaen Glyn Tavy, c. bp. of Gloucester. Ystradvellty, p. c. Llanbedr, r. Patricio, p. c. duke Beaufort. [118]

Pearce, Thomas, Folkstone, v. Hawkinge, r. abp. of Cant. Hartlip, v. dean and c. of Roch. Merston, r. lord Chan.

Pearson, H. dean of Salisbury.

Pellew, hon. G. D.D. dn. of Norwich, preb. of York; London, St. Dionis Backchurch, r. dn. and can. of Cant.

This honourable and very reverend dignitary is son of lord Exmouth, who has a pension of £2000 a-year, and son-in-law of lord Sidmouth, who has a pension of £3000 a-year. He was originally intended for the legal profession, but his abilities not lying that way, he was, after eating a few terms, turned over to the church. His progress in this line has been very successful: in 1819 he was presented to the vicarage of Naseing, worth £1200 a-year; next year he was presented to the rectory of Sutton, said to be worth £4000 a-year; and, within a few months after he had a prebend’s stall in St. Paul’s: these appear to have been subsequently resigned or negotiated for his present preferments.

Penrice, Charles, Smallburgh, r. bp. of Norwich. Witton, r. with Brundall, r. and Little Plumstead, r. J. Musket.

Pepys, H. preb. of Wells; Aspeden, r. lord Hardwicke. Westmill, r. Moreton, r. St. John’s Coll.

Percy, hon. Hugh, D.D. bp. of Carlisle, chan. of Sarum, preb. of St. Paul’s.—See page 26.

Perkins, F. D. chap. in ord. to H. M.; Down-Hatherley, v. Sow, v. with Stoke, v. Swayfield, r. lord Chan.

Perkins, John David, D.D. Dawlish, v. bp. Exon. Exeter, St. Laurence, r. Manhead, r. lord Chan.

Pett, Phineas, D.D. archdn. of Oxford, can. of Christ Church, preb. of Sarum. Chilbolton, r.bp. of Winton. Newington, r. abp. of Cant.

Phillpotts, Henry, bishop and treasurer of Exeter, and prebendary of Durham.

The honest retraction of an error does credit to the heart and understanding; but if a man from mercenary motives suppresses or disguises—for he cannot abandon them—his convictions, he is a traitor to truth, and merits the most ignominious brand that public opinion can inflict. The most charitable cannot put a favourable construction on the conduct of Dr. Phillpotts, and he is given up, by all parties, as one guilty of unpardonable crimes. The first exploit we remember of this spiritual adventurer was a pamphlet imputed to him in defence of the Manchester massacre, in which 800 poor creatures, men. women, and children, were killed, cut-down, and maimed, under the sabres of a ferocious yeomanry. He next signalized himself by his writings against catholic emancipation, and finally astonished people by voting for a minister, at Oxford, who was favourable to the catholic relief bill. Thus he was all things to all men, and at last receives his reward—universal contempt and a mitre! As the political bishop had succeeded in fastening on the See of Exeter, we would have suffered him to have held Stanhope rectory too, with the fine house to live in he had built at an expense of £12,000: there appeared a paltriness in the Whigs attempting to blink the transaction by suffering the prelate to exchange the rectory with Mr. Darnell for a stall at Durham.

Pierce, W. M. Burwell, v. with Walmsgate, c. Goulsby, v. M. B. Lister. Fulletby, r. bp. of Lincoln.

Plater, Charles Eaton, River, v. Whitstable, c. abp. of Cant. Seasalter, v. d. and c. of Cant.

Plimley, Henry, chan. of diocese of Chichester, preb. of Chichester; Cuckfield, v. Shoreditch, v. bp. of Chichester.

Polson, J. H. P. preb. of Exeter; Exeter Major, r. d. and c. of Exeter. Upton Helion, r. Jos. Polson, esq. [119]

Poore, J. Bicknor, r. lord Chan. Murston, r. St. John’s Coll. Rainham, v. abp. of Cant.

Potchett, William, preb. of Sarum; North and South Grantham, v. with Great and Little Gunnerby, v. Londonthorpe, v. and Braceby, v. cath. of Sarum.

Pott, Jos. Holden, archdn. of London, preb. of St. Paul’s, chan. of Exeter Cath.; Kensington, v. bp. of London.

Poulter, Edm. preb. of Winton; Alton, v. with Holybourn, c. dn. and can. of Winton. Meonstoke, r. with Soberton, c. bp. of Winton.

Pratt, J. S. preb. of Peterboro’; Maxey, v. Paston, r. with Werrington, c. dn. and cns. of Peterboro’. Peterboro’, &c. v. bp. of Peterboro’.

Preston, W. preb. of York; Bulmer, r. earl Fitzwilliam. Butterwich, c. Parson Foord. Ergham, r. T. Grimstone. Sculcoates, v. the King. Whenby, v. W. Garforth. Wold Newton, v. hon. M. Langton.

Pretyman, G. T. chan. and can. res. of Lincoln, preb. of Winton; Chalfont St. Giles, r. Wheathampstead, r. with Harpenden, r. bp. of Lincoln.

Pretyman, John, preb. of Lincoln; Sherrington, r. Winwick, r. bp. of Lincoln.

Pretyman, Richard, prec. and can. res. of Lincoln; Middleton Stoney, r. Walgrave, r. with Hannington, v. bp. of Lincoln. Wroughton, r. bp. of Winton.

Having, at page 27, noticed the numerous ecclesiastical emoluments of the Pretymans, we shall only give some account of the rise of the bishop, to whom the family is indebted for its preferments. Tomline, formerly Pretyman, the late bishop of Winchester, was the son of a tradesman at Bury St. Edmund’s, at the grammar-school of which town he and his brother, Dr. John Pretyman, the archdeacon of Lincoln, received the elements of their education; after which they removed to Cambridge. The bishop was distinguished at the university as a good classical scholar and expert arithmetician. Having the good fortune to become tutor to “the Heaven-born minister,” he soon experienced the patronage of his pupil, who appointed him his private secretary, and gave him a prebendal stall in the church of St. Peter, Westminster. In 1787 he was made bishop of Lincoln, to which preferment was added the deanery of St. Paul’s; and on the death of Dr. Randolph, he was offered the See of London, but that dignity he declined, from an expectation of something more substantial, in which calculation he was not disappointed; for, on the death of Brownlow North, he obtained the rich See of Winchester, the summum bonum of episcopal ambition.

Price, Morgan, Knebworth, r. Letchworth, r. R. W. Lytton. Llangedwyn, c. sir W. W. Wynne. Tallachdu, r. Parson Griffiths.

Proby, Charles, can. of Windsor; Tachbrook Bishops, v. Lichfield Cath. Twickenham, v. d. and can. of Windsor. Waddesden, 3rd Port, r. duke Marlborough.

Probyn, John, archdn. of Llandaff; Abbenhall, r. E. Probyn. Mathern, v. with Caerwent, v. archdn. of Llandaff.

Proctor, Joseph, D.D. preb. of Norwich; Conington, r. Gidding Steeping, r. J. Heathcote. [120]

Prosser, Richard, D.D. preb. of Durham, with Easington, r.

Radcliffe, John, Doddington, v. Teynham, v. archdn. of Cant. Lime-house, r. Brazenose Coll.

Ramsden, W. B. Croxton All Saints, v. Christ Coll. Great Stambridge, r. govs. of Charter House. Little Wakering, v. St. Bart. Hospital. Witcham, v. d. and c. of Ely.

Randolph, J. H. preb. of St. Paul’s; Burtan Coggles, r. lord Chan. Fobbing, r. the King. Nothall, v. bp. of London.

Randolph, T. preb. of St. Paul’s, and chap. to the King; Great Hadham, r. and Little Hadham, c. bp. of London.

Raymond, Oliver, Belchamp Walters, v. with Bulmer, v. Middleton, r. Trustees of S. R. Raymond.

Rennell, Thomas, D.D. dn. of Winchester, preb. of St. Paul’s. Barton Stacey, v. dn. and ch. of Winton.

The prebend was resigned to Dr. Rennell, by his father, on his obtaining a fellowship in the university. Having obtained the patronage of the Grenvilles, he was presented to a living in the city, and, in 1798, was made master of the Temple. On the death of Dr. Holmes he was presented to the deanery of Winchester. The dean married a daughter of judge Blackstone, by whom he has a son, who is also in the church. He was suspected of being concerned in a foolish book, called the Pursuits of Literature, but this charge he publicly disavowed. He is the author of several political sermons, one delivered in Winchester cathedral, in 1793, on the Violence and Blood Guiltiness of the French Revolution; another thanksgiving sermon for the success of his majesty’s arms, preached before the Collective Wisdom, 1798. We mention these forgotten squibs, thinking they may afford a hint to spiritual aspirants, who may seek to avail themselves of passing events, by serving up au rechauffé the labours of the venerable dean.

Rice, hon. E. dn. of Gloucester, and precentor of York. Great Rissington, r. lord Dynevor. Oddington, r. precentor of York.

Brother of lord Dynevor, and brother-in-law of the Markhams.

Richards, Charles, preb. of Winton. Chale, r. Incumbent. Winchester, St. Bartholomew, v. the King.

Richardson, J. vic. chor. of York. Crambe, v. Hutton’s Ambo, p. c. abp. of York. Fryston Ferry, v. vic. chor. of York. Heslington, v. Huntington, v. York Cath.

Rodney, hon. Spencer, New Romney, v. All souls Coll. Swarraton, r. A. Baring, M.P. Wonstow, v. T. Swineston.

Brother of lord Rodney, a pensioner; another brother vicar of Eye, of which the lord Chancellor is patron.

Roles, William, Raunds, v. Upton Lovel, r. Sharncot, r. lord Chan.

Rolfe, Robert, Caldecot, r. Mrs. Tynte. Cockley Cley, r. R. Dashwood. Hempnall, v. John T. Mott. Yaxley, r. Thurgarton, r. bp. of Norwich.

Rooke, George, Wolford, v. with Burmington, c. Woolvercot, c. Merton Coll. Yardley Hastings, r. marquis Northampton.

Rowley, Joshua, East Bergholt, r. with Brentham, r. Incumbent. Stoke by Nayland, r. sir W. Rowley.

Royle, James, Islington, v. the King. Stanfield, r. rev. W. Newcome. Wereham, p. c. with Wretton, c. Edw. W. Pratt. [121]

Rycroft, Henry, preb. of Lincoln. Greetham, r. Mumby, v. bp. of Lincoln.

Ryder, hon. Henry, D.D. bp. of Lichfield and Coventry, with Pitchley, r. annexed, and prebendary of Westminster.

Brother of lord Harrowby, and uncle of lord Sandon, M.P. late secretary to the India Board. The prelate was raised to the see of Gloucester on the translation of Huntingford to the neighbouring bishopric of Hereford, from which Luxmore had been removed to St. Asaph. It is necessary to attend to these translations, as they afford an important key in the disposal of patronage; the successive removes of bishops and dignitaries generally being indicated by trails of relations left behind in possession of the most valuable preferments.

Sandiford, P., D.D. Ashbury, r. bp. of Bath. Fulmodeston, r. with Croxton, v. Corpus Christi Coll. Newton in the Isle, r. bp. of Ely.

Sargent, J. Graffham, r. Woolavington, r. with Punton, v. J. Sargent, esq.

Savory, Samuel H. Barmer, c. earl Oxford. Houghton-in-the-Hole, v. marquis Cholmondely. Twyford, r. G. Thomas.

Seale, J. B., D.D. Anstye, r. Camb. Stisted, r. abp. Cant. Willingale Spain, r. bp. of London.

Simms, W. Eratt, Nayland, c. sir W. Rowley. Santon Downham, p. c. lord Cadogan. West Bergholt, r. W. Fisher. West Toft, r. J. Mosely.

Simpson, T. Boynton, v. Carnaby, v. Fraisthorpe, c. sir G. Strickland. Auborn, p. c. dn. of York.

Singleton, Thomas, archdn. of Northumberland with Elsdon, r. annexed, preb. of Worcester.

Skurray, Francis, Horningham, p. and p. c. dn. of Sarum. Lullington, r. marq. Bath. Winterbourne Abbas, r. and Steepleton, r. Lincoln Coll. Oxon.

Slaney, Richard, Kemberton, r. with Sutton Maddock, v. P. Broughton. Penkridge, p. c. with Coppenhall Hay, c. Dunston, c. and Woodbaston, c. sir E. Lyttleton.

Sleath, John, D.D. head master of St. Paul’s School, preb. of St. Paul’s, and chaplain to the King.

As Dr. Sleath is high master of St. Paul’s school, we cannot help adverting to the abuses in the management by the Mercer’s company of that munificent foundation of dean Colet. The landed revenues of the school amount to upwards of £6000 per annum; and by the aid of sundry outgoings in dinners, committees, pensions, repairs, gratuities, and medals, it is contrived that the expenditure shall nearly equal the income. It is now admitted, the charity was intended for all who could avail themselves of it, whether rich or poor; why then should the benefits of so wealthy a foundation, situated in the centre of the metropolis, be limited to the precise number of 153 scholars? The company are invested with full authority to modify the statutes of the school, as the changes of the times may require. When the number 153 was fixed, the income of the foundation was not one-fiftieth part of its present amount, and that number was fixed solely from a superstitious notion of the founder. [*]

But if the company are scrupulous about violating the ordinances of dean Colet, it is strange they have already violated so many. The dean ordained [122] that, every morning, the children should be at the school by seven o’clock; that, thrice every day, prostrate, they should say their prayers; that, at Childermas-day, they should “come to Paule Church and hear the Childe Bishop’s sermon, and after be at the high-mass.” Are these things observed?

The statutes of St. Paul’s school are venerated in the same way, we suspect, as those of the colleges of Eton and Winchester; just as much of them is observed as suits the interest of those having the management, the rest is given to the winds. On this principle the high-master’s salary of a mark a week is interpreted to mean £613 per annum, besides gratuities; and the surmaster’s salary of 6s. 8d. a week £300 per annum. From what part of the ordinances the annual gold medal to the accountant-surveyor, or the fee of one guinea for attendance on committees is derived, we have not been able to discover.

From the evidence of the high-master, Dr. Sleath, it appears, the children mostly belong to the clergy, the professional gentlemen, and medical men in the neighbourhood, and to gentlemen in Doctors’ Commons. It has been suggested the instruction of the school should embrace reading, writing, and mathematics, but we have not heard this plan has been adopted. There certainly appears no just reason why the education of the school should be limited to the acquirement of Latin and Greek. Dean Colet contemplated no such restriction when he said, “desiring nothynge more thanne education and bringing uppe children in good manners and literature.” Without deviating from the literal expression, education might be interpreted to include many other branches of knowledge beside an acquaintance with the learned languages.

The profusion in the expenditure of the school is wholly indefensible. There can be no doubt but the same number of boys might be taught Latin and Greek at a much less sum than was paid in pension to the late high-master; but it is mostly thus in foundations under the management of corporate bodies; no efforts to economize or to multiply the objects of the charity. If there be a surplus revenue it is sure to be exhausted in the expenses of committees, law-agency, and surveyors’ charges; in extra repairs and improvements; in ostentatious buildings; in luxurious feasting for the parties and their friends; and in pensions and gratuities. There is never too much—generally too little, and the charity in debt.

Smith, S., D.D. dn. of Christchurch, preb. of York. Daventry, p. c. Dry Drayton, r. Oxon.

Smith, Sidney, preb. of Bristol, and canon res. of St. Paul’s. Foston, r. lord chan. Londesboro’, v. duke of Devonshire.

Somerset, lord Wm. preb. of Bristol. Crick Lowel, r. Llangattock, r. with Lonelly and Llangennett, c. duke Beaufort.

Sparke, Bowyer Edward, D.D. bishop of Ely; consecrated bishop of Chester, 1809.

Sparke, J. H. preb. and chan. of the diocese of Ely. Leverington, r. with Parson Drove, c. Littlebury, sinecure, r. bp. of Ely.

Son of the preceding; the father had the good fortune to become tutor to the duke of Rutland, and his advancement followed of course. From the deanery of Bristol he was raised to the see of Chester; and, on the death of Dr. Dampier, removed to the valuable see of Ely. Besides an immense revenue and numerous cathedral appointments, he has one hundred and eight livings in his gift. For an account of the preferments the rev. prelate has heaped on his family see p. 25.

Spooner, William, archdn. of Coventry, preb. of Lichfield. Acle, r. lord Calthorpe. Elmdon, r. L. Spooner.

Spry, J. Hume, D.D. preb. of Canterbury. Hanbury, v. bp. Lich. and Cov. St. Marylebone, r. the King.

The commissioners of woods and forests purchased of the duke of Portland the advowson of the opulent and populous parish of Mary-le-bone, out of the [123] produce of the crown lands, for £40,000; this was considered less than the value, but his grace was content to make a sacrifice, rather than the patronage of so important a district should fall into the hands of dissenters.

Stabback, William, East Anstye, r. corp. of Exeter. St. Stephen, r. bp. of Exeter. Sancread, v. dn. and ch. of Exon.

Stanhope, hon. F. H. R. St. Buryan, d. and r. with St. Levan, c. the King. Cattan, r. Wressle, v. lord Egremont.

Stawell, Wm. M. Creacombe, r. rev. W. Karslake. Filleigh, r. with East Buckland, r. earl Fortescue. High-Bickington, r. rev. W. Stawell.

Stevens, Robert, D.D. dn. of Rochester, preb. of Lincoln. West Farleigh, v. dn. and ch. of Rochester.

Stopford, hon. R. B. preb. of Hereford, can. of Windsor, chap. in ord. to H. M. Barton Seagrave, r. duke Buccleugh.

Strong, Philip, Aston Abbots, v. lord Chesterfield. Colchester, St. Michael, Mile End, r. Myland, r. countess de Grey.

Stubbin, N. J. Higham, v. Offton, r. with Little Bricet, c. Somersham, r. Trustees.

St. John, J. F. preb. of Worcester; Chaddesden, c. H. Gilbert. Powick, v. Severnstoke, r. lord Coventry. Spondon, v. with Locker, c. and Standley, c. D. W. Lowe.

Sumner, C. H. V. Farmborough, r. G. H. Sumner. Newdigate, r. lord chan. Newington Butts, Trinity, c. rec. of Newington.

Sumner, Charles Rich. D.D. bishop of Winchester, sub-dean of Canterbury, prelate of the order of the garter, and visitor of Winchester College.

The right rev. prelate being visitor of Winchester College it may not be improper to call the attention of his lordship to the abuses which have crept into the foundation, and which in the exercise of his power of inspection and super-intendence he may have authority to reform. The college was founded by William of Wykham, in the fourteenth century, and, like that of Eton, intended for the education of seventy “poor and iudigent scholars.” So careful was the founder to confine the benefits of his institution entirely to the poor, that the boys, when they attain the age of fifteen, solemnly swear they have not three pounds six shillings a year to spend; and it is expressly ordered, if ever any scholar come into the possession of property to the amount of five pounds a year, he shall be expelled. The management of the college is vested in the warden, the bishop of Hereford, and ten reverend divines, termed “fellows,” subject to the visitation of the bishop of Winchester. The warden, fellows, and scholars, all swear to observe the statutes, “according to their plain, literal, grammatical sense and understanding.” Peculiar privileges are secured to the founder’s kin, ten or twelve of whom were lately upon the foundation. The revenue of the college amounts to about £14,000, and the expenditure to £11,000. The value of a fellowship, according to the evidence of Mr. Williams, is four or five hundred pounds a year, with meat and drink gratis in the college; also the use of knives, forks, plates, and as many church livings as they can obtain. The emoluments of a warden are double those of a fellow, with travelling expenses, &c. The scholars are chosen yearly, by six electors; their ordinary fare is bread, and butter to breakfast: beef, bread, and cheese to dinner; mutton, bread, and cheese to supper, with beer at every meal. They have no spoons, knives, nor forks, nor vegetables of any sort, allowed by the statutes, but they have salt and wooden trenchers found, and one gown is given annually to each scholar for clothing. The allowance for the sustentation of the boys may be varied agreeably to the statutes, according to the price of corn and provisions.

Such we collect from the Third Report of the Education Committee, to be the [124] history and nature of this foundation, which has been very strangely perverted and abused. First, instead of the scholars being “poor and indigent,” they are all children of opulent persons; some, we suspect, of noble families, who, at the time they solemnly swear they have not three pounds six shillings a year to spend, are paying ten guineas a year to the masters, and the average of their other expenses exceeds fifty. By a liberal translation of the warden, who has sworn to observe the statutes according to their literal and grammatical sense, one hundred shillings are considered equal to £66 : 13 : 4. It is strictly enjoined that no boy shall be admitted above twelve years of age. This is wholly disregarded. The incomes of the fellowships are augmented to four or five hundred pounds a year, by a liberal interpretation of the term describing their money payments: while the strictest construction is adopted towards the scholars and founder’s kin; the latter continuing only to receive their old statutable allowance of forty shillings a year. Thus, too, while the scholars are refused the convenience of knives, forks, spoons, plates, &c. on the ground that such articles of furniture were unknown in the time of William of Wykham, the fellows are allowed those accommodations, although the fellowships were endowed at the same early period: That a surplus revenue of three or four thousand pounds may be divided betwixt the warden and fellows, the parents of the scholars pay between sixty and seventy pounds a year for their education; although it was intended by the founder they should be instructed and maintained gratuitously.

During the inquiries of the Education Committee, a singular sort of delicacy was manifested by the heads of this college to screen the abuses of the institution from investigation. They affected to be extremely willing to give every possible information relative to the college; but unfortunately they had sworn, conformably to the statutes, not to disclose the private affairs of the college; and until their scruples relative to this moral and religious obligation were removed, they could not, forsooth, submit their concerns to the investigation of the committee. Now, this would have been all well enough, had it not been notorious that the warden and fellows, on every occasion, when it suited their interest, had shown the greatest contempt both for the oaths and ordinances of the founder; nay, with so little respect had these precious relics been treated by the reverend hypocrites, who affected to be suddenly seized with a profound veneration for them, that they had been left exposed to the boys of the school, who scrawled upon them whatever nonsense they pleased. But the truth is, they wished to avoid inquiry,—as well they might; and they attempted to play off the same artifice on the committee, in the construction of the statutes, which enabled them to deprive the scholars of knives, forks, vegetables, and the kinsmen of the founder of their yearly incomes.

Sumner, John Bird, D.D. bishop of Chester, with Waverton, r. annexed, preb. of Durham.

Surtees, J. preb. of Bristol; Banham, r. The King. Bristol, St. Augustine, v. and St. Mark, c. lord Chanc. Taverham, 1st and 2d Mediety, r. bp. Norwich and Mrs. Branthwayte alt.

Brother-in-law of lord Eldon. For another brother-in-law of the ex-chancellor see M. V. Surtees, List of Places.

Sutton, Charles, D.D. Aldeburgh, r. duke Norfolk. Holme (near the Sea) v. with Bishops Thornham, v. bp. of Norwich. Norwich, St. Geo. Tombla, r. bp. of Ely.

Sutton, E. L. one of the six preach. of Canterbury, and chaplain to the House of Commons; High Halden, r. St. Peter’s, v. abp. of Cant.

Sutton, Robert, preb. of Ripon; Falford, c. York, St. Michael in Spurrier Gate, alias St. Michael at Ousebridge, r. lord Chan.

Sutton, T. M. preb. of Westminster, and chaplain to the House of Commons; Great Chart, r. Tunstall, r. abp. of Cant.

Other Suttons are in the church, with one or two livings. Most of them, but we cannot discover how many, are related to the late primate Sutton, whose [125] mode of disposing of church patronage has been described, page 26. The archbishop, like many other noble persons, was indebted for his education to the Charter House, which opulent foundation was intended only for the “maintenance and education of poore children,” and “the relief of poore, fatherless, decrepit, aged, sick, infirm, and impotent persons.” On entering holy orders, his grace obtained some ecclesiastical preferment, and soon after, by his affinity to the Rutland family, was raised to the see of Norwich, with which dignity he was permitted to hold the deanery of Windsor. On the death of archbishop Moore, in 1804, his lordship, by the special favour of George III., was elevated to the primacy. It is observable that a short time before the following panegyric on his grace appeared in the Pursuits of Literature, a work ascribed to Mr. Mathias, privy clerk to queen Charlotte:—“He is a prelate whose amiable demeanour, useful learning, and conciliating habits of life, particularly recommend his episcopal character. No man appears to me so peculiarly marked out for the highest dignity of the church, sede vacante, as Dr. Sutton.” This puff direct, and the writer, availing himself of those opportunites which his situation afforded, is supposed to have materially contributed to the sudden exaltation of the archbishop. The patronage of the archbishopric is 131 livings, an archdeaconry, and three prebends. Out of this fund his grace was enabled to provide comfortably for his numerous offspring.

Swainson, C. preb. of Hereford; Clunn, v. with Bettws, c. Edgton, c. Llanvair Waterdine, c. and Shipton, c. earl Powis.

Swan, Francis, Kirton, v. with Brothertoft, c. Mercers’ Comp. Lond. Lincoln, St. Pet. Arc. r. and at Goats, p. c. Prebendary. Winteringham, r. rev. J. L. Saville.

Tanqueray, Edward, Ridgmont, v. Sequest. Tampsford, r. the King. Tingrith, r. Mr. Treven.

Taylor, C. D.D. preb. of Hereford and chanc. of the dio. Hereford; Madley, v. with Tibberton, c. Stanton, St. Michael, v. dn. and ch. Hereford.

Templer, G. H. preb. of Wells; Shapwick, v. Incumbent. Thornford, r. Mrs. Sampson.

Tennyson, G. D.D. Benningworth, r. R. Ainstie. Great Grimsby, St. James, v. and St. Mary, v. G. R. Heneage. Somersby, r. R. Burton.

Thackeray, J. R. Downham Market, r. Miss Franks. Hadley, d. J. Penny. Wiggenhall, St. Mary Magdalen, v. Mrs. Gorforth.

Thompson, John B. Luddesdown, r. rev. Dr. R. Thompson. Shropham, v. Corp. of Norwich. Thompson, c. S. Hethersett.

Thornhill, John, Cockfield, r. Staindrop, r. marquis Cleveland. Middleton in Teesdale, r. the King.

Thorpe, C. archdeacon of Durham; vice Prosser, resigned.

Thurlow, Edward S. preb. of Norwich; Eastwn, r. Stamfordham, v. lord Chanc. Houghton-le-Spring, r. bp. of Durham.

Three more Thurlows in the church, one a pluralist. Houghton-le-Spring, next to Brentford, is the highest valuation in the king’s book, and rated at £124. The pedigree of these preferments will be seen by referring to Thurlow in our Place List.

Thynne, lord John, preb. of Westminster; Backwell, r. Kingston Deverill, r. Street, r. with Walton, c. marquis of Bath.

Third son of the patron and son-in-law of the rev. C. C. Beresford.

Tickell, John A. Castle Acre, v. T. W. Coke. Hempstead, near Holt, v. Wighton, v. dn. and ch. of Norwich. [126]

Timbrill, J. D.D. archdn. of Gloucester, with Dursley, r. annexed, Beckford, v. with Alston Underhill, c. Bradforton, v. with Aldington, c. rev. Dr. Timbrell.

Tredcroft, Robert, preb. of Chichester; Fittleworth, v. bp. of Chichester. Tangmere, r. duke Richmond. West Ichenor, r. lord Chanc.

Trevelyan, Walter, preb. of Wells; Henbury, v. with Aust, c. and Northwick, c. lord Middleton. Nettlecombe, r. sir J. Trevelyan.

Treweeke, George, Illogan, r. lord de Dunstanville. Manselgamage, v. St. Menver, v. sir J. G. Cotterell.

Trivett, W. Arlington, v. Willingdon, r. Chichester Cath. Ashburnham, with Penshurst, r. dn. and ch. of Cant. Bradwell, r. the King.

Turner, Richard, preb. of Lincoln; Great Yarmouth, p. c. dn. and ch. of Norwich. Ormesby, St. Margaret, v. and St. Michael, v. with Scroteby, c. Swelling, r. Incumbent.

Turner, Samuel, Attenborough, v. with Bramcote, r. F. Foljambe. Nettleton, r. rev. W. Jackson. Rothwell, r. lord Middleton. Tealby, v. G. Tennyson.

Turton, Thomas, dn. of Peterborough, preb. of Lincoln, reg. prof. of div. Cambridge. Somersham, r. with Coln St. Helen, c. and Pidley, c. annexed; Gimmingham, r. with Trunch, r. Cath. Hall, Camb.

Underwood, T. can. res. of Hereford. Lugwardine, v. with Bartestry, c. Dewchurch, c. Hentland, c. Langarrow, c. and St. Veep Wennard, c. dn. and ch. of Hereford. Ross, r. and v. bp. of Hereford.

Van Mildert, W., D.D. bishop of Durham and custos rotulorum.

Vansittart, W., DD. preb. of Carlisle, master of Wigston’s Hosp. Leicester. Waltham Abbas, with Shottesbrook, r. A. Vansittart.

Vernon-Harcourt, hon. Edward Venables, primate of England, and lord almoner to the King.

Vernon, hon. J. S. V. preb. of Southwell. Barton in Fabis, r. abp. of York.

Vernon, L. V. chan. of the church of York, archdn. of Cleveland. Kirby in Cleveland, sinecure, r. Stainton, St. Winifrid, v. Stokesley, r. abp. of York.

Vernon, W. Venables, can. res. of York. Etton, r. Wheldrake, r. abp. of York.

Six more Vernons, with valuable preferments. They belong to the family of the archbishop of York. The Venables are also relations of the archbishop. The right rev. prelate is the younger son of the late lord Vernon by his third wife, the sister of the first lord Harcourt. He married a sister of the marquis of Stafford, by whom he has several children, all well provided in church and state. The first preferment of the bishop was a canonry in Christchurch; he was next advanced to the bishopric of Carlisle, on the removal of Douglas to Salisbury; and, in 1807, he succeeded Markham in the see of York. The patronage of his grace is 80 livings, 50 prebends, besides precentorships and [127] sub-deaconries. We subjoin the following estimate of the gleanings of the archbishop and five sons during his primacy:—

Revenues of the archdiocese, 23 years £26,000 598,000
L. Vernon, chancellorship, prebend, and two rectories, 10 years 3,000 30,000
W. Vernon, prebend and three rectories, 10 years 2,500 25,000
C. Vernon, one rectory, 10 years 2,000 20,000
G. Vernon, chancellor of diocese 1,800 1800
E. Vernon, registrar of diocese 2,000 2000
£37,300 676,800

Vevers, Richard, Saxby, r. lord Harborough. Stoke Albany, r. Wilbarston, v. lord Sondes.

Vevers, R. W. Coates, v. sequestrated. Marton, v. bp. of Lincoln. Somershall, r. lord Chesterfield.

Vincent, Wm. preb. of Chichester, London, Allhallows, Great and Less, r. abp of Cant.

Son of the late Dr. Vincent, head-master of Westminster school, dean of Westminster, King’s chaplain, and rector of Allhallows. The son has apparently succeeded to most of his father’s preferments. The doctor was patronized by lord Sidmouth, from whom he received a prebend in the collegiate church of Westminster. He preached and published several loyal sermons, which were carefully distributed by the Association for the “Protection of Property,” at the Crown and Anchor Tavern.

Vivian, J. W., D.D. min. can. of St. Paul’s. London, St. Austin and St. Faith, r. Mucking, v. dn. and ch. of St. Paul’s.

Wakeham, H. Culford, r. with Ingham, r. and Timworth, r. bp. of Lich. and Cov.

Walker, A. J. Bishops Stone, r. Llangua, r. Yazer, v. U. Price.

Walpole, Robert, Itteringham, r. with Mannington, r. lord Orford. St. Mary-le-bone, Christchurch, d. r. the King

Ward, Wm. D.D. bishop of Sodor and Man, preb. of Sarum. Great Horkesley, r. countess de Grey.

Warneford, S. W., D.D. Burton on the Hill, r. with Moreton in Marsh, c. and Lower Slaughter, c. Liddiard Millicent, r. rev. Dr. Warneford.

Warren, J. dean of Bangor.

Watson, J. J., D. D. archdn. of St. Alban’s, preb. of St. Paul’s. Digswell, r. Incumbent. Hackney, r. S. Tyssen.

Watson, Richard, preb. of Wells and Llandaff. Dingestow, v. with Tregan, c. arch. and ch. Llandaff. Penrice, v. Undy, v. bp. Llandaff.

Watson, Robert, Barlavington, r. South Bradon, sinecure, r. lord Egremont. Egdean, r. Hardham, r. sir G. F. Goring.

These Watsons are relicts of the late Dr. Watson, bishop of Landaff, archdeacon of Ely, rector of Knoptoft, professor of divinity in Cambridge, with the rectory of Somersham, in Huntingdonshire, annexed. The bishop had been tutor to the late duke of Rutland, who gave him the rectory of Knoptoft, and next exerted his influence for his advancement to the bishopric of Landaff. Here the prelate became stationary: his politics did not exactly accord with the Toryism of George III., and the doctrines advanced by him in the American war and during the French Revolution, prevented his translation to a [128] richer see. Neither his ambition nor cupidity, however, appear to have been less than those of his brethren. In the Posthumous Memoirs published by his son, he complains bitterly that his “public services” had not been sufficiently rewarded, though possessed of the numerous preferments mentioned. He also declaims lustily against the statesmen of his time, declaring that they “sacrificed their public principles to private ends, and their honour to their ambition,” and that their “patriotism was merely a selfish struggle for power.” In the latter opinions all men had reason to concur, unless those blinded by prejudice or personal attachment.

Webb, Richard, min. can. of St. Paul’s, Westminster, and Windsor. Kensworth, v. dn. and can. of St. Paul’s.

One might exhibit a curious and authentic account of the private history of this minor canon of three churches; but we wish to avoid personal details relative to the clergy. First, because to enter into the private history of the clergy would far exceed our limits. Secondly, because we had not materials for so doing, unless we chose to rely on reports and statements which we had no means of verifying. Lastly, and this is our principal reason, the best authenticated private details serve only to expose individuals, not the system; whereas our object has constantly been to expose the system, not the individuals composing it. As a body, no doubt the clergy have improved in external demeanor as well as other classes of the community. Modern manners do not sanction the gross vices which were common forty or fifty years ago; and for sake of social intercourse the priesthood have found it necessary to conform to the altered fashion of the times. The clergy, therefore, do not frequently come intoxicated to church, nor reel into the streets in open day-light: still some of them, according to Mr. Beverly, continue addicted to hard drinking. “I have been acquainted,” says he, “with drunken clergymen at Cambridge, and the intoxication of one, in particular, was so remarkable, that I have often wondered how he was able to clear his head for the Sunday morning’s duty, after the Saturday night’s debauch. I state it also as a notorious fact, that at the present moment there are priests in that University remarkable for their intemperate habits. There was in existence, within these five years, a clerical club, consisting of not more than six members, who used to meet at a tavern every Sunday evening, after their days’ labours, and indulge in compotations worthy of the hard-drinking parsons of Queen Anne’s reign.”

Webber, Charles, archdn. and can. res. of Chichester. Amport, v. with Appleshaw, c. dn. and ch. of Chichester.

Webber, E. Bathealton, r. bp. of Bath. Runnington, r. the King. Thorne, St. Margaret, c. archdn. of Taunton.

Webber, James, preb. of Westminster, dn. of Ripon. Kirkham, v. Christ Church, Oxon, Westminster, St. Marg. r. dn. and ch. of Westminster.

Welby, John Earle. Haceby, r. W. G. Welby. Harston, r. the King. Stroxton, r. sir J. E. Welby. West Allington, r. dn. and ch. of Exon.

Welfitt, William, D.D. preb. of Canterbury. Elmstead, v. Hastingleigh, r. abp. of Cant. Ticehurst, v. dn. and ch. of Cant.

Wellesley, hon. G. V., D.D. preb. of Durham, chap. in ord. to H. M. Bishop’s Wearmouth, r. bp. of Durham. Chelsea, r. lord Cadogan. Therfield, r. dn. and ch. of St. Paul’s.

Brother of lady Ann Culling Smith, and the Duke of Wellington, whom see in our Place List.

Wells, George, preb. of Chichester. Billinghurst, v. sir H. Goring. Wilson, r. C. Goring. [129]

Westcombe, Thomas, min. can. of Winton. Preston, Candover, v. with Nutley, c. dn. and ch. of Winton. Winchester, St. Peter Stoke, r. with St. John, r. lord Chan.

Weston, C. F. Melton Ross, p. c. Prebendary. Ruckland, r. with Farforth, r. and Marden Well, c. lord Yarborough. Somerby, r. with Bagenderby, r. the King.

Wetherell, Henry, archdn. of Hereford and preb. of Gloucester. Kentchurch, r. the King. Kingstone, v. dn. of Hereford.

Whichcote, Francis, Aswardby, r. Deeping, St. James, v. Swarby, v. sir T. Whichcote.

Whinfield, H. Battlesdon, r. with Potsgrove, r. sir G. P. Turner. Tyringham, r. with Filgrave, r. Wm. Praed.

Whalley, R. T. preb. of Wells. Ilchester, r. Yeovilton, r. bp. of Bath.

Whistler, W. W. Hastings, All Saints, r. and St. Clements, r. sir G. Webster. Newtimber, r. N. Newnham.

Whitcombe, Francis, Ferring, v. Prebendary. Lodsworth, c. S. W. Poyntz. Stanlake, r. Magdalen Coll.

White, Henry, vic. of Lichfield Cath. Chebsea, v. Dilhorn, v. Ridware Pipe, c. dn. and ch. of Lichfield.

Whittingham, Paul, min. can. of Norwich. Martham, v. Norwich, St. Saviour, r. Sedgford, v. dn. and ch. of Norwich.

Wickham, Thomas, preb. of Sarum. North Newington, v. with Little Knoyle, c. preb. of Sarum Cath. Yatton, v. with Kenn, c. preb. of Yatton.

Wilkins, G., D.D. preb. of Southwell. Lowdham, v. Nottingham, St. Mary, v. and St. Paul, c. Snenton, p. c. Earl Manvers. Wing, r. lord Chan.

Wilkinson, W. F. East Harling, r. W. F. Wilkinson. North Walsham, v. with Antingham, St. Margaret, r. Queen’s Coll. Cam. Norwich, St. Benedict, c. and St. Laurence. r. Parishioners.

Wilkinson, M. W. Harescombe, r. with Pitchcombe, r. Mrs. Parnell. Redgrave, r. G. St. Wilson. Uley, r. lord Chan.

Willoughby, H. P. Birthorpe, r. Burythorpe, c. lord Chan.

Wingfield, Thomas, Stapleford, v. Teigh, r. lord Harborough. Tickencote, r. J. Wingfield.

Wintle, Robert, preb. of St. Paul’s. Compton Beauchamp, r. Mr. Wright. Culham, v. bp. of Oxford.

Wodehouse, hon. A. Bixton, r. East and West Lexham, r. with Litchans, r. Kimberley, v. with Barnham Broom, r. lord Wodehouse.

Wodehouse, C. N. preb. of Norwich. Geldestone, r. lord Chan. Murningthorpe, r. the King.

Wodehouse, Thomas, can. res. of Wells. Norton, r. Stourmouth, r. bp. of Rochester.

Wodehouse, hon. W. Carlton Forehoe, r. lord Wodehouse. Hingham r. Falmouth, r. hon. and rev. W. Wodehouse.

The hon. and rev. A. Wodehouse, who has four rectories and a vicarage, is the son of lord Wodehouse, the patron, and son-in-law of sir T. Beauchamp-Proctor. [130] W. Wodehouse is another son of the noble lord. Several more of the family are well provided in church or state, but a notice of them does not belong to our present subject.

Wollen, W., D. D. Bridgewater, v. with Chilton Trinity, v. Kilton, v. the King.

Wood, George, Cann. St. Rumbold, r. Dorchester, Trinity, v. Shaftesbury, St. Rumbold, r. lord Shaftesbury.

Wood, J., D.D. dean of Ely. Freshwater, r. St. John’s Coll. Camb.

Wood, Peter, preb. of Chichester. Broadwater, r. Rusper, r. Mr. Wood.

Worsley, Ralph, sub-dean of Ripon. Finchley, r. bp. of London. Little Ponton, r. rev. Dr. Dowdeswell.

Woodcock, H. preb. of Sarum, can. of Christ Church. Longparish, or Middleton Prebend, lady Churchill. Michaelmarsh, r. bp. of Winton.

Woodhouse, J. C. dn. of Lichfield and Coventry.

Woodward, W. P. preb. of Chichester. Plumpton, r. Mrs. Woodward. West Grinstead, r. Mr. Woodward.

Woolcombe, Henry, Ashbury, r. the King. High Hampton, r. J. M. Woolcombe. Pillaton, r. W. Helgar.

Worsley, H., D.D. Gatcomb, r. Mr. Campbell. St. Lawrence, r. hon. C. A. Pelham. Woolverton, r. Messrs. R. and J. Clarke.

Wrangham, Francis, archdn. of East Riding of York and preb. of York and Chester. Dodleston, r. dn. and ch. of Chester. Hunmanby, v. with Fordon, c. Muston, v. H. S. Osbaldeston.

Wrench, J. G., D.C.L. Blakeney, c. Haberdashers’ Comp. London. Salehurst, v. S. Micklethwait. Stowting, r. rev. Dr. Wrench.

Wrey, B. W. Combintenhead, r. Tawstock, r. Temple Imp. c. sir B. Wrey.

Wright, Thomas, East Claydon, v. Middle, r. and Steeple, v. Mr. Vacknell.

Wyndham, T. T., D.D. Hinton Admiral, p. c. G. J. Topps. Melcombe, r. with Radipole, c. W. Wyndham. Pimperne, r. lord Rivers.

Yonge, Denys, East Anthony, v. R. Carewe. West Putford, r. lord Clinton. Willoughton, v. King’s Coll. and lord Scarborough, alt.

Yonge, James, Cockington, c. Tormoham, c. rev. R. Mallock. Stockley Pomeroy, r. bp. of Exeter.

Yonge, William, Chan. of d. of Norwich. Hillburgh, r. earl Nelson. Swaffham, v. with Threxton, r. bp. of Norwich.

Several more Yonges in the church. They are, by marriage, relations of earl Nelson, prebendary of Canterbury, and a pensioner to the amount of £5000 per annum.



The only authentic return of the amount of church revenues is the Valor Ecclesiasticus, of the time of Henry VIII. This document is incomplete even for the period it was obtained, many deaneries and ecclesiastical dignities having been omitted; and it is still less applicable to the present, owing to the vast alteration in the value of land and tithe. Still it is the only authentic basis for estimating the value of sees and dignities; and, aided by information from other sources, we may form an estimate of the incomes of the bishops, deans, archdeacons, precentors, chancellors, and other cathedral and diocesan officials.

In the parliamentary session of 1830, Dr. Lushington admitted the income of the See of Canterbury amounted to £32,000, and the bishop of London admitted his income amounted to about £15,000. Thus it appears from the subjoined table of the valuations in Liber Regis that these sees have increased in value twelve and fourteen fold. The revenues of other sees and dignities being derived from sources similar to those of Canterbury and London, the incomes of any of the bishoprics, dignities, and offices in the subjoined statement may be calculated to have augmented in a similar ratio. In some instances we have only been able to insert the year when the dignity was received by the present possessor; the value not being returned in the King’s Book.

If churchmen demur to our mode of calculating their incomes, our reply is—let us have an authentic and authorised return of the amount of ecclesiastical revenues. Till then we must depend on collateral and inferential evidence.

King’s Book.
Archbishop £2682 12 2
Dean 1827
Archdeacon 163 1 10
Wm. Welfitt 1786
Geo. Moore 1795
Chas. Norris 1799
Earl Nelson 1803
Robt. Moore 1804
Walt. Brown 1804
J. E. Boscawen 1822
Archdn. Croft 1822
W. F. Baylay 1826
John Russell 1827
J. Hume Spry 1828
John Peel 1828
Archbishop 1610 0 0
Dean 308 10 7
Chancellor of the Church 85 6 8
Precentor 96 4 2
Sub-dean £50 14 2
Succentor 8 0 0
Robt. Markham 90 3 1
Fras. Wrangham 62 14 7
L. Ver. Harcourt 36 0 10
Wm. Barrow 61 0 10
Canons Residentiary.
Archdeacon Markham 82 11 3
W. Ver.-Harcourt 40 0 1
Charles Hawkins 14 8 4
W. H. Dixon 32 10 5
Hon. J. Lumley Savile 14 9 9
H. Kitchingman 17 17 1
Samuel Smith 9 17 1
Lamplugh Hird 17 17 1
Hon. A. Cathcart 43 19 1
Robert Affleck 2 17 1
W. R. Hay 19 10 10
Edward Otter 34 11 8
William Preston 14 8 9
R. Carey 42 17 1
Hon. H. E. J. Howard £11 3 9
Archd. Wrangham 35 0 0
Dean of Wells 6 0 0
Walter Fletcher 34 7 3
John Bull 37 15 5
Theophilus Barnes 38 16 0
Dean of Norwich 65 16 0
Charles W. Eyre 74 7 1
G. P. Marriott 32 13 4
Henry John Todd 38 17 11
Henry Markham 10 2 6
Hammond Roberson 8 0 0
John Lowe 33 11 8
T. Hutton Croft 47 16 3
G. H. Vernon, Chanc. 1818
Bishop 1000 0 0
Dean 210 12 0
Chancellor 33 0 0
Precentor 46 7 6
Treasurer 37 0 0
G. O. Cambridge 60 0 0
Jos. Holden Pott 23 13 4
I. J. Watson 1816
Hugh C. Jones 52 0 0
W. Rowe Lyall 50 0 9
Cunons Residentiary.
Very Rev. the Dean 10 5 0
Thos. Hughes 6 0 0
F. W. Blomberg 7 17 1
Sydney Smith 7 13 4
Prebendaries of St. Paul’s.
William Gibson 8 6 8
Robert Watts 5 15 10
Dean of Winchester 10 2 6
Thomas Wintle 12 0 0
George Secker 13 13 4
William Wood 6 0 0
Richard Lendon 7 1 3
Thomas Randolph 34 8 9
W. S. Goddard 8 6 8
Bishop of Carlisle 39 13 4
A. R. Chauvel 28 15 10
Samuel Birch 5 6 8
John H. Randolph 5 6 8
Archdeacon Pott 19 17 6
John Sleath 5 6 8
Dean of Christ Church 11 6 8
Archdeacon Watson 14 6 8
Sir Herb. Oakeley, Bt. 21 6 8
Jon. Tyers Barrett 12 0 0
H. Handley Norris 8 5 5
C. E. J. Dering 46 0 0
Charles Wodsworth 5 6 8
William Hale Hale 11 10 10
John Smith 17 19 2
T. Hartwell Horne 13 6 8
John Lonsdale 28 0 0
Minor Canons of St. Paul’s.
H. Fly, Sub-dn. & 1st Can. £24 17 11
H. J. Knapp 2d Can. 20 6 3
W. Holmes 3d Can. 20 6 3
R. H. Barham 4th Can. 13 16 5
W. J. Hall 5th Can. 15 9 9
J. W. Vivian 6th Can. 16 15 11
J. Lupton 7th Can. 15 9 9
J. T. Bennett 8th Can. 17 11 8
R. C. Packman 9th Can. 14 9 9
E. G. A. Beckwith 10th Can. 16 16 8
E. J. Beckwith 11th Can. 13 10 10
C. Packe 12th Can. 13 8 6
S. Lushington, Chancellor 1828
Bishop 1821 1 2
Dean, Bishop of St. David’s 1827
David Durell 1801
Bishop of Bristol 1804
R. Prosser 1804
Bishop of Chester 1820
J. Savile Ogle 1820
Th. Gisborne 1823
G. Townsend 1825
Wm. S. Gilly 1826
G. V. Wellesley 1827
Charles Thorp 1829
Bishop of Exeter 1831
Samuel Smith 1831
C. Thorpe 100 0 0
Thos. Singleton 36 13 4
Bishop 2873 18 1
Dean, Thomas Rennell 1805
Edm. Poulter 1791
Robt. Barnard 1793
Lord Walsingham 1807
Geo. F. Nott 1810
W. Harrison 1820
Rd. Cockburn 1825
G. Pretyman 1825
Ch. Richards 1827
Edw. James 1828
Wm. Dealtry 1830
William Vaux 1831
Thos. Garnier 1831
Lord Walsingham 91 3 6
Ven. Chas. J. Hoare 67 15 2
Bishop 1830
Dean 22 17 3
Chancellor 0 3 4
Precentor 0 4 2
Treasurer £ 0 18 9
Archdeacon 13 3 4
Henry Warren 29 16 8
H. W. Majendie 8 5 7
T. Roberts 1st Can. 0 3 4
R. Williams 2d Can. 0 3 4
R. Newcome 3d Can. 0 3 4
Senior Vicar Choral } 17 0 5
Junior Vicar Choral }
Bath and Wells:
Bishop 533 1 3
Dean and Canon Res. 121 7 6
Sub-dean of Wells 21 15 7
Chancellor of the Church 40 5 0
Precentor 24 6 3
Treasurer 62 2 3
Henry Law 144 2 11
C. A. Moysey 25 15 0
A. Hamilton 83 7 6
Canons Res. of Wells.
Henry Gould 4 0 0
Frederick Beadon 24 0 0
Thos. Wodehouse 4 0 0
Ch. Henry Pulsford 5 6 8
H. W. Barnard 42 0 4
Archdeacon Law 1828
Prebendaries of Wells.
W. F. Browne 7 16 3
Thomas Heberden 6 6 10
Hon. J. Marsham 7 0 0
Henry Parsons 6 13 4
J. Thos. Casberd 5 6 8
John Williams 7 14 4
Edward Willes 5 6 8
Brook H. Bridges 14 0 0
J. Watson Beadon 15 16 0
Edward Edgell 5 6 8
John Lukin 5 6 8
George H. Templer 5 6 8
Thomas Williams 5 6 8
Joseph Drury 22 8 9
J. W. Hoskins 5 6 8
W. Hen. Turner 5 6 8
Richard Watson 22 15 5
William Lucas 4 0 0
Francis Goforth 9 0 0
Charles Johnson 8 13 4
William Gimingham 5 6 8
R. P. Whish 7 9 9
Thomas S. Escott 4 0 0
Robert Forster 4 0 0
W. P. Thomas 1 0 0
Wad. Knatchbull 5 6 8
Francis Warre 5 6 8
Geo. M. Coleridge 20 10 0
Master of Balliol £22 0 0
George Vanbrugh 4 13 4
Rob. Vanbrugh Law 11 13 4
Archdeacon Moysey 5 6 8
Henry Pepys 3 7 6
Miles Bland 5 6 8
Samuel Blackall 5 6 8
Chas. Edm. Keene 38 0 7
Archd. of Taunton 1 5 7
W. A. Fitzhugh 11 6 8
Henry Hoskins 6 12 1
William Bowe 22 0 0
W. B. Whitehead 11 4 2
Charles M. Mount 5 6 8
Bishop £327 5 7
Dean, H. Beeke 1814
H. J. Ridley 1816
William Bond 1818
John Surtees 1821
Lord W. Somerset 1822
Samuel Lee 1831
Henry Harvey 1831
Archdeacon of Dorset 82 12 8
Bishop £420 13 3
Dean, R. Hodgson 1820
Adn. Markham 1801
S. J. Goodenough 1810
W. Vansittart 1824
Dean of Wells 1826
Archdeacon, S. J. Goodenough 1831
Chancellor, W. Fletcher 1814
Bishop £420 0 0
Dean, G. Davys 1831
Archd. Clarke 1801
James Slade 1816
Archdn. Wrangham 1825
Wm. Ainger 1827
G. B. Blomfield 1827
Robt. V. Law 1829
Unwin Clarke 1801
John Headlam 1826
Bishop 677 5 3
Dean 58 9 4
Precentor 35 0 10
Chancellor of the Church 27 7 1
Treasurer 62 6 8
Charles Webber 38 3 4
Thomas Birch 39 15 0
Chancellor of the Diocese 1822
Canons Residentiary.
Archdeacon Webber 16 13 6
Thomas Baker 12 0 0
Charles E. Hutchinson 10 0 0
Charles Webber, jun. 1829
Canons Non-residents.
Thomas Heberden 11 17 4
Treasurer of Church 20 0 0
Chanc. of Church 8 0 0
R. Constable 6 0 0
George Fred. Nott 18 13 4
James Capper 2 13 4
Barre Phipps 4 15 0
Precent. of Church 20 13 4
John G. Challen 11 0 0
William Woodward 13 0 0
Thomas Valintine 9 10 0
Charles Gray 13 6 8
Edmund Cartwright 16 10 5
Hugh James Rose 2 3 4
George H. Webber 4 10 0
Peter Wood 18 6 8
George Shiffner 2 6 8
Edward Fulham 9 16 8
W. St. A. Vincent 10 0 0
J. Lettice 0 16 8
S. J. Tufnell 0 10 0
Chancellor of Diocese 4 6 8
R. Tredcroft 2 13 4
Richard Bingham 10 2 8
David Williams 13 6 8
George Wells 10 5 0
Henry Atkins 9 16 8
Bishop £2134 18 0
Dean, James Wood 1820
Archdeacon Cambridge 1795
George L. Jenyns 1802
John H. Sparke 1818
Henry Fardell 1819
W. W. Childers 1824
E. B. Sparke 1829
Benj. Parke 1831
Wm. French 1831
Archdeacon 97 5 2
Bishop, H. Phillpotts 1830
Dean, W. Landon 158 0 0
Canons Residentiary.
Precentor, Thomas Bartlam 99 13 4
Chanc. of the Ch., Adn. Potts 59 0 0
Treasurer, The Lord Bishop 32 7 3
Sub-dean, J. Parker Fisher 22 10 0
John Moore 60 15 10
R. H. Froude 37 19 7
John Sheepshanks 50 6 5
George Barnes 49 0 0
15 Prebendaries, £4 each.
Bishop £315 7 3
Dean, E. Rice 1825
Hon. D. Finch 1792
G. W. Hall 1810
T. Selwyn 1814
E. Bankes 1821
Adn. Wetherell 1825
J. H. Seymour 1829
Archdeacon 64 10 0
Bishop £768 11 0
Dean 38 6 3
Chancellor 14 3 4
Precentor 21 9 7
Treasurer 9 10 10
J. J. Corbett 32 10 10
Henry Wetherell 41 17 11
Canons Residentiary.
T. Underwood 14 0 0
John Clutton 7 13 4
Hen. C. Hobart 1 17 8
H. H. Morgan 4 10 0
Arthur Matthews 3 0 5
Canons or Prebendaries.
John Wall 1 19 2
J. Walker Baugh 11 13 1
R. Wetherell 15 0 0
Love Robertson 28 12 6
Samuel Picart 7 1 0
Christ. Swainson 12 10 0
Edward Barnard 10 7 6
Hon. R. B. Stopford 17 18 1
James Garbett 7 10 0
Dean of St. Asaph 15 0 2
Henry Hoskins 11 6 8
H. Huntingford 15 5 0
Charles Taylor 20 0 0
Harry Lee 10 13 6
Archdeacon Clarke 17 18 9
James Wetherell 6 10 0
Hon. J. Somers Cocks 2 10 2
James Johnson 2 12 11
Fred. Twisleton 3 9 7
Hon. Hen. Rodney 11 4 4
K. E. Money 15 5 0
Dean of Hereford 2 7 8
John Clutton, jun 2 3 4
Lichfield & Coventry:
Bishop 559 17 3
Dean of Lichfield 40 0 0
Precentor 40 0 0
Chancellor 40 13 1
Treasurer 56 13 4
J. Newling 34 0 0
Spencer Madan 23 0 0
Geo. Hodson 30 0 0
Samuel Butler 26 13 4
William Spooner 45 9 2
Edward Bather 19 0 0
George Hodson 30 16 101/2
Prebendaries of Lichfield.
J. F. Muckleston 0 10 0
Dean of Bangor 8 0 0
Thomas Wythe 10 0 0
William Walker 10 11 5
Archdeacon Butler 2 3 4
W. G. Rowland 6 13 4
Sir Her. Oakeley, Bt. 2 0 0
Chancellor Law 1 0 0
Thomas Cotton Fell 13 6 8
Watson W. Dickins 10 0 0
T. R. Bromfield 0 3 4
Simeon Clayton 5 0 0
The Lord Bishop 20 0 0
John Kempthorne 2 13 4
Francis Blick 1 6 8
Archdeacon Spooner 2 0 0
Archdeacon Bather 2 13 4
J. F. Muckleston, Succen 14 0 10
Bishop 824 4 9
Dean and Canon Res. 203 9 7
Charles Goddard 179 19 2
H. Kaye Bonney 60 12 3
Henry V. Bayley 25 17 8
Justly Hill 87 14 7
J. B. Hollingworth 64 14 2
T. Kaye Bonney 87 19 2
Precentor 40 13 8
Chancellor of the Church 42 7 4
Sud-dean 2 8 4
George Jepson 1 0 0
Maurice Johnson 3 0 0
William Hett 2 16 8
George Moore 32 0 0
John Humphrey 7 15 2
Richard Turner 25 6 4
L. C. Humphrey 33 18 6
Frederick Apthorpe 30 11 3
George D. Kent 0 3 4
Robert Pointer 9 10 0
R. Williams 15 14 2
Archdeacon H. Bonney 45 3 3
James Cullum 14 10 0
W. W. Drake 7 7 6
John Pretyman 36 0 0
C. A. Wheelwright 12 18 9
C. Webb Le Bas 12 5 0
J. H. B. Mountain 16 10 2
Sir C. Anderson, Bt. 1812
Henry Craven, Ord. 21 13 1
Dean of Rochester 29 10 2
Archdeacon Goddard 36 3 4
J. Henry Batten 5 5 5
Charles Turnor 19 0 0
William Palmer 5 12 1
Edward Fane 19 14 2
John Bouverie 4 9 4
George Beckett 38 16 8
Henry Rycroft 22 13 4
Theodore Bouwens 26 7 3
Edward Edwards 13 13 11
Archdeacon of Stow 20 0 10
Archdeacon T. Bonney 5 5 3
Nathaniel Dodson 11 0 0
Francis Swan, jun. 9 3 5
Fred. Borradaile 7 3 4
Edward Warneford 24 0 0
The Lord Bishop 17 7 6
J. Hobart Seymour 27 6 3
Thomas Turton 20 0 0
Fras. V. Lockwood 12 10 0
John Maul 33 2 3
John Graham 4 0 0
Edward Smedley 11 19 7
Peter Fraser 10 19 2
(Vacant.) Leighton 68 16 0
Bishop 154 14 2
Precentor 6 0 0
Chancellor 2 13 9
Treasurer 12 2 11
Archdeacon 38 12 8
William Williams 1 6 8
John Fleming 4 0 0
W. B. M. Lisle 3 10 7
Richard Watson 3 5 5
John F. Parker 3 17 1
H. Handley Norris 1 3 4
J. Thomas Casberd 4 0 0
Thomas Gaisford 5 6 8
Edward James 0 18 1
Bishop 834 11 7
Dean, George Pellew 1828
E. S. Thurlow 1788
J. Procter 1798
T. Methold 1804
Philip Fisher 1814
C. N. Wodehouse 1817
Ed. Bankes 1820
J. Oldershaw 143 8 4
Henry Bathurst 71 1 3
H. D. Berners 89 2 1
George Glover 76 9 4
Bishop 381 11 0
Canons of Christ Church.
F. Barnes 1810
E. C. Dowdeswell 1808
Hen. Woodcock 1824
W. Buckland 1825
E. B. Pusey 1828
Edw. Burton 1829
R. W. Jelf 1830
John Bull 1830
Archdeacon 71 6 0
Bishop 414 17 8
Dean, T. Turton 1830
Spenc. Madan 1800
S. Pratt 1808
Wm. Tournay 1817
T. S. Hughes 1827
John James 1829
W. Macdouall 1831
Archdeacon 122 7 1
Spenc. Madan 1794
Bishop 358 14 0
Dean, Stevens 1620
Hon. J. Marsham 1797
Hon. F. Hotham 1807
Matthew Irving 1824
W. F. Baylay 1827
John Griffith 1827
Prov. of Oriel 1828
Archdeacon 34 14 9
Bishop 1385 5 0
Dean and Canon Res. 204 10 0
Precentor 69 6 8
Chancellor of the Church. 56 6 10
Treasurer 101 3 1
John Fisher 54 18 6
Liscombe Clarke 70 11 8
W. Macdonald 64 18 9
Canons Residentiary.
T. H. Hume 101 3 1
Archd. Fisher 30 3 4
Archd. Macdonald 29 0 0
Matthew Marsh 35 16 3
Hon. F. P. Bouverie 43 12 6
W. L. Bowles 6 10 0
Subdean 1 13 4
Succentor 13 0 0
Archibald Alison 14 13 4
W. J. Kerrich 19 10 0
Henry Hetley 7 0 0
John White 18 0 0
Francis Saunders 3 4 2
Jarvis Kenrick 63 13 4
Martin Whish 32 0 0
Prof. Civil Law, Oxford 39 6 3
A. E. Howman 30 0 0
Bishop of Sodor and Man 25 16 0
Robert Morres 16 0 0
George Fred. Nott 20 0 0
John Salter 17 10 0
Henry Woodcock 18 16 8
Dean of Exeter 19 9 2
J. T. Hurlock 52 11 5
Archd. Onslow 62 0 0
William Fisher 50 0 0
Frederick Browning 36 0 0
John Still 35 15 5
Edward Fane 10 0 0
Thomas H. Mirehouse 24 5 10
H. W. Majendie 20 0 0
The Lord Bishop
William Potchett 32 9 2
Edward Bouverie 17 0 0
John Bright 29 3 1
Archdeacon Clarke 28 19 2
G. A. Montgomery 8 0 0
Thomas Tyrwhitt 4 13 4
Charles Grove 2 0 0
Edw. C. Ogle 52 0 0
W. S. Goddard 22 5 7
Edward Berens 20 0 0
Herbert Hawes 32 1 10
George Stanley Faber 20 0 0
Francis Lear 5 0 1
St. Asaph:
Bishop 187 11 0
Archdeacon 74 15 7
Dn. and Chan. of Diocese. 45 11 5
Precentor 40 0 0
Chanc. of the Church 37 13 4
Treasurer 18 6 8
C. Robson 9 5 5
H. Horsley 9 5 5
J. H. M. Luxmoore 3 6 8
Cursal Canons.
Roger Clough 2 6 8
H. H. Edwards 2 6 8
Rowland Williams 2 6 8
J. Francis Cleaver 2 6 8
Rowland Wingfield 2 6 8
W. Williams 2 10 7
T. G. Roberts 2 6 8
St. David’s:
Bishop 426 2 1
Precentor 20 6 10
Chanc. of the Church 17 17 1
Treasurer 24 18 6
Preb. of, 5th Cursal 1800
Archdn. of Brecon 1805
Archdn. of Carmarthen 1810
St David’s 56 8 8
Brecon 40 0 0
Cardigan 18 0 0
Carmarthen 16 0 0
Bishop 929 13
Dean of Rochester 1828
James Meakin 1804
F. St. John 1804
Wm. Digby 1813
Down. Forester 1815
Henry A. Pye 1818
John Davison 1825
Christ. Benson 1825
G. Faussett 1827
Adn. Singleton 1829
Hon. J. S. Cocks 1830
Southwell Collegiate Chapter. Prebendaries.
William Dealtry 5 2 0
Henry Smith 5 0 0
Archdn. Barrow 2 11 3
J. T. Becher 13 4 7
James Jarvis Cleaver 22 19 7
E. G. Marsh 9 17 11
Robert Chaplin 27 19 7
George Wilkins 22 6 0
Charles Nixon 1 2 6
Frederick Anson 24 10 0
John Rudd 8 17 6
C. Boothby 32 5 3
T. Percival 23 11 4
Fitzgerald Wintour 15 7 11
Thos. H. Shepherd 16 15 10
C. Vernon-Harcourt 48 1 3
Brecon Collegiate Chapter. Prebendaries.
Bishop of St. David’s 47 0 0
Precentor 18 0 0
Chancellor 34 0 0
H. Davies Morgan 7 0 7
W. Morgan 3 6 8
D. Williams 7 13 4
Richard Venables 1 6 8
Archdeacon Beynon 7 6 8
Archdeacon Payne 2 0 0
W. J. Rees 9 15 4
D. R. Allen 13 0 0
W. A. Barker 3 17 3
C. Griffith 5 0 0
J. Jones 12 9 4
J. Drake 6 13 4
J. Holcombe 10 0 0
Charles Thorp 5 8 9
Edward Owen 13 6 8
Jeremiah Jackson 1 7 1
J. Davies 12 0 0
John Hughes 7 6 8
L. Llewellin 15 0 0





Having, in the preceding chapter, given a detailed account of the general principles and management of the Church of England, it will not be requisite to be equally copious in our exposition of the Irish Protestant establishment.

In the past and present state of Ireland we have a striking illustration of the tendency of the government that is said to “work well,” and the wretchedness of her population, her tithe-system, her vast tracts of land, either ill-cultivated or totally unproductive, her judicial and magisterial administration, her insurrections, factions, burnings, desolations, and bloody domestic outrages,—all symptomatic of a community entering on the first stages of civilization,—afford irrefragable proof of the excellencies of the good working government. In England, it is true, there are grievous abuses in the absorption of public money by the Aristocracy, in the denial of justice by the cost and uncertainty of legal decisions;—in the tolerance of commercial monopolies, in cornlaws, partial taxation, and other oppressions;—but these sink into insignificance when contrasted with the sufferings of Ireland. There the natural order of society has been inverted, and the government for many years existed, not for the benefit of the people, but the people existed solely for the benefit of the government.

Among the various forms under which oppression has been carried on, the most conspicuous is the Church Establishment; one is at a loss to conceive for whose benefit this institution exists in Ireland. Is it for the benefit of the clergy, the people, or the state? If by the former is meant those who minister religious instruction, it can hardly be said to be of advantage to them. The teachers of religion in Ireland are nearly all Catholics, a vast majority of the people are of the same persuasion, and what religion there is the expense is chiefly defrayed by voluntary contributions. Neither the really operative clergy, therefore, nor the people, benefit by the church establishment. With respect to the state, the advantage appears not less equivocal. The alliance betwixt church and state is founded on reciprocal benefits—that, on the one hand, the state shall give its civil protection to the church, and, on the other, the church shall aid in sustaining the state, by its influence over the people:—this is the basis of the compact; and it follows, when the church loses its influence, when it loses the adherence of a majority of the population, when it is no longer able to sustain the state, the compact is dissolved; it has no claim for protection, and its alliance becomes a source of weakness instead of power.


Such is the actual condition of the Irish church, such the advantages it confers on the government; it adds little to its authority, affords no aid to the civil magistrate, neither the law nor its ministers are rendered more sacred by its influence—quite the reverse. Authority is degraded and abhorred in Ireland, solely on account of the ecclesiastical establishment: it is the colossal grievance of the country, the source of all its factions, murmuring, and discontent. Why then, it may be asked, is the establishment maintained? On what principle or pretext is it justified? The godly cannot defend it from piety, the politician from reasons of state, nor the patriot for the blessings it confers on the community. Whose interest, then, is identified with the odious system? The only rational answer that can be given to this question is the fact, that there is, in Ireland, as in this country, an oligarchical interest, which has entwined itself round her institutions, and whose support is incompatible with public liberty and happiness. For many years Ireland was the prey of a favoured caste, a selfish and bigoted faction, who divided her as a spoil; and such was the wretched policy of the general government, that it was weak and unprincipled enough to avail itself of the folly and cupidity of such agents to preserve a precarious sovereignty—when, too, its frown would have made the same creatures, who were ready, at any time, to sacrifice their country for a pension or a place, instrumental to her greatness and welfare. Under the Wellington and Grey administrations attempts have been made to introduce a more impartial and enlightened system; with what success time must develope; but it is apparent, so long as her ecclesiastical establishment is continued—it is vain to expect contentment and tranquillity. [*]

The Irish branch of the United Church is more pregnant with abuses even than its sister establishment in England; presenting a more revolting spectacle of inordinate incomes, of lax discipline, of laborious duties without adequate remuneration, and of an immense ecclesiastical revenue levied under circumstances of greater insult, partiality, and oppression. The points most deserving attention in the exposition of these subjects are, first, the revenue of the Irish Protestant establishment; secondly, the number of individuals among whom this revenue is divided; thirdly, the hardships and impoverishment resulting not less from the amount than the mode in which the clerical income is [140] levied; fourthly, the patronage of the Irish church; lastly, the diminutive portion of the population who derive even a semblance of benefit from the intolerable burthen imposed on the land and industry of the community. We shall touch on these several heads of inquiry as briefly as possible, confining ourselves strictly to such facts as illustrate the state of the church.

To begin with our first topic—the Irish Church Revenue. Within the last ten years a mass of important details has been laid before parliament relative to the estates and revenues of the Protestant establishment; but, either from inability or reluctance in the parties interested to communicate the requisite information, our knowledge is still far from complete and accurate on this interesting branch of public statistics. Upon the authority of documents so communicated we shall, however, in great part, found our exposition; and thus, by relying on the statements of the clergy themselves, their registrars, and other dependent officials, we shall at least avoid the imputation of having arrived, through a prejudiced medium, at an exaggerated result.

We shall commence with the revenues of the Episcopal Clergy. The incomes of the bishops are derived principally from land, but partly from tithe. In some dioceses, in the West of Ireland, a fourth part of the tithes of almost every parish is paid to the bishop; affording decisive testimony of the ancient fourfold division of parochial tithes, and of the veracity of the allegation of those who affirm that the poor were formerly entitled to share equally with the bishop and priest in the produce of this impost. The practice, however, is not universal; and the revenues of the bishoprics chiefly arise from their immense landed estates. In the session of 1824, returns were made to parliament of the number of acres attached to the several Irish sees. [*] These returns are very incomplete, and were mostly compiled by the registrars from the fallacious representations of the tenantry. Three dioceses, Dromore, Down, and Raphoe, made no return at all; alleging that, on examining the leases of the church lands, it was found they did not mention “the number of acres demised.” In the return from Armagh, it is remarked that the number of acres has been calculated from the representations of the tenants, but “the lands have never been surveyed.” Of the magnitude of the errors in these reports, we may judge from the fact subsequently ascertained, that, in one of them there was a trifling omission of thirteen thousand acres. Enough, however, may be collected from them to show the vast extent of ecclesiastical property: in fact, it is clear that the bishops’ lands are held, leased, and managed much upon the same liberal scale and principle that lands are in Australia, Canada, and Nova Scotia; and the conjectural estimates by Wakefield, and other statists, of what their immense incomes, either actually are, or might be made, under an improved system of tenure and cultivation, are not remote from the truth. We shall insert the [141] number of acres returned by fourteen sees; the acres are Irish, which makes the amount about one-third less than it would be in English acres.

Number of Acres of Land belonging to fourteen Irish Sees.
Name. See. Quantity of See-Lands.
Lord J. G. Beresford, D.D. Armagh 63,270
Power Le Poer Trench, D.D. Tuam 49,281
Richard Ponsonby, D.D. Derry 94,836
John Leslie, D.D. Elphin 31,832
James Verschoyle, D.D. Killala 34,672
Lord Robert Tottenham, D.D. Clogher 27,070
Nathaniel Alexander, D.D. Meath 18,374
George De la Poer Beresford, D.D. Kilmore 47,361
Richard Whately, D.D. Dublin 21,781
Samuel Kyle, D.D. Cork and Ross 22,755
John Brinkley, D.D. Cloyne 15,871
Richard Laurence, D.C.L. Cashel 13,392
Robert Fowler, D.D. Ossory 13,391
Hon. R. Bourke, D.D. Waterford 9,996
Total, in Irish acres 463,962*

Mr. Leslie Foster, one of the barons of the Irish exchequer, estimates the lands belonging to all the sees to amount to 617,598 Irish acres, which are equal to about 990,000 English acres. [] This does not include the demesne lands attached to the episcopal residences, and which, by the same authority, are said to vary from 100 to 500 acres each; making the entire patrimony of the bishops about 623,598 acres, or, according to Beaufort’s map of Ireland, one nineteenth of the entire soil of the kingdom. This, it must be allowed, is enough for the maintenance of twenty-two bishops, especially when it is considered a population of eight millions is to be supported out of the remainder.

However, the area grasped by the right reverend fathers affords an inaccurate idea of their incomes. Mr. Baron Foster supposes the average value of the see-lands to be 20s. per acre. Even at this low rate, the bishops’ lands, if out of lease, would yield a total revenue of £623,598, averaging £28,340 to each prelate. Some of the wealthier sees, as those of Derry, Armagh, Tuam, and Elphin, would have incomes, respectively, of £94,836, £63,270, £49,281, and £31,832, exclusive of what might be derived from tithes, patronage, and other sources. But the nature of ecclesiastical tenures precludes the bishops from realizing incomes to this amount. It scarcely ever happens the occupying tenantry are the bishops’ tenants; the immediate lessees hold [142] from the bishops for the term of 21 years; the bishops renew the leases from year to year, always leaving 21 years unexpired; the rent reserved to the bishops is mostly the old rent payable in the time of Charles II., which has become almost nominal, and the real incomes of the bishops proceed from the annual fines for renewing the leases. Now these fines usually amount to about one-fifth of what an ordinary landlord would receive for rent. So that, if the actual worth of the see lands be £623,598, the sum ordinarily received does not exceed £124,719.

We have thought it expedient to explain this, because it is a subject on which there has been a great deal of misapprehension. The fact is, the spiritual tenures are one great obstacle to agricultural improvement in Ireland. The Church is a principal proprietor of the soil, but the vast tracts she holds can never be cultivated to advantage under the uncertainties of the existing system. Much of the land is rough pasture, bog, and mountain, which requires, in the first instance, a great expenditure to render productive; but who would risk capital in the undertaking with a lease which, by law, cannot exceed twenty-one years; or with a certainty of having a fine levied on its renewal, augmented in exact proportion to the money and labour expended in improvement? Again, an ecclesiastical tenant is never sure of his landlord, being constantly liable to be changed, not only by death but translation. New lords, as the proverb says, often bring new laws. Although the usual course is to renew every year at one-fifth of the real worth, yet some prelates act differently; they will have surveys made—demand exorbitant fines—or wait the fall of the leases, which are relet at a nominal rent, perhaps, to their own relations. From these causes arises the non-improvement uniformly remarked in the condition of the church lands. It is a great obstacle to the public prosperity of Ireland, and the practice is as little favourable to the interests of the bishops as to those of the lessees, by rendering the incomes of the former not only less than they otherwise would be, but uncertain, varying, as they do, with the amount of the fines, or perhaps they lose the fines altogether, the tenants electing to run out their leases, and thus the advantage stands over to the succeeding diocesan.

In spite of these drawbacks, the bishops, from estates, tithes, brokerage in livings and other means, contrive to make a very profitable crusade. In the Edinburgh Review (vol. xliii. p. 483) their incomes are stated to average £10,000 a year each, or £220,000 in the whole. The patronage of an Irish bishop, of which we shall hereafter speak, is nearly as valuable as the income of his see. The vast revenues appendant to the bishoprics may be inferred from the immense wealth the prelates leave behind them. A former Bishop of Clogher, (the predecessor of the soldier-bishop,) who had been Cambridge tutor to lord Westmoreland, went over to Ireland without a shilling, and continued in his bishopric for eight years, and, at the end of that time, died worth between £300,000 and 400,000. It was stated, by Sir John Newport, [*] that [143] three bishops, in the last fifteen years, had left the enormous sum of £700,000 to their families.

The career of Warburton, the predecessor of Dr. Brinkley in the see of Cloyne, is an example of the sudden acquisition of wealth by the Irish bishops. Warburton, whose real name was Mungan, died in 1826. He was the son of a poor road-way piper, in a little village in the north of Ireland. He was a Roman Catholic, and intended for that Church. On the continent, where he was sent to study at one of the Catholic colleges, before the building of Maynooth, he was thrown, by accident, into the society of the earl of Moira, and having won his favour, was induced to change his destination from the Roman to the Protestant Church. He was, after taking orders, appointed chaplain to a regiment in America, and there he married his first wife, a lady said to have been particularly recommended by lord Moira. That lady soon after dying, he married his second wife, now his widow. With her he changed his name to Warburton. He became dean of Ardah, then bishop of Limerick, and from thence was translated to Cloyne. He was a man of courteous manners, and much esteemed in the higher circles. His ruling passion was the acquisition of riches, which the retired situation of Cloyne afforded him opportunities for indulging. From the hour of his arrival there he continued to amass wealth, and the result was he left £120,000 among his children, three sons and one daughter, one of whom is a colonel in the army, another a major, another in the church, and the daughter married archdeacon Mansell. The bishop was unexceptionable as a private individual, and strict in the observance of religious forms, but he was neither respected nor esteemed in his neighbourhood. He drained the diocese of an immense annual sum, but he returned no part of it in works of charity. He abstracted himself from all society, and held his station more as a petty despot, exacting a subsidy from the toil of the people, than as a Christian pastor, in daily communicating with his flock, to whose care a great revenue was entrusted, as the steward for the children of want and misfortune. His palace was more like a rack-rent farmer’s house than a gentleman’s mansion. The coldness and apathy of the people at his funeral formed the best comment on his life and character.

Such is the general run of Irish prelates; without the claim of public services or superior mental endowments, they succeed to honours and vast revenues, obtained through intrigue, family connexion, or political interest, and die loaded with spoil, either on a foreign soil, or amidst the scorn and hatred of the people whom they have impoverished and oppressed. Only a month ago we passed over, in Kent, the remains of Dr. Bennett, Warburton’s predecessor. He was buried in an obscure grave in Plumstead church-yard, with a common stone slab over him. He died in 1820, after holding the see of Cloyne twenty-six years, and draining at least a quarter of a million from the Irish soil. Yet he must have been an absentee, otherwise he would have been buried in his cathedral, or among the clergy of his diocese.

Let us resume our inquiries into the ecclesiatical revenues of Ireland. [144] Of the extent of the estates of the Deans and Chapters, we have no means of forming an estimate, there having been no return laid before parliament of the real property of the ecclesiastical corporations. Many of the dignities as well as the sees are known to be extremely valuable. The Deanery of Down, for example, in 1790, was worth £2000 per annum; in 1810, it let for £3700. [*] The archdeaconry of Armagh is returned at £1662 per annum; [] the chancellorship £2385, and the precentorship £2350. By comparing the cathedral and collegiate establishments of Ireland with those of England, it may, perhaps, be possible to form a conjecture of their relative value. In England the income of the Deans and Chapters is £494,000: but, as the number of members of these corporations is double what it is in Ireland, it is probable their endowments exceed in the same proportion. We may, therefore, conclude that the Deans and Chapters have estates and endowments a little exceeding those of the Irish Bishoprics, and producing a total revenue of £250,000 per annum.

Next in order let us advert to the incomes of the Parochial Clergy, from tithes and glebe. Ireland contains 18,000,000 of English acres of land, of which 900,000 pay nothing to the church; 4,000,000 pay from endowments about one-third of their tithes, and the remaining 13,000,000 and upwards are liable to pay full tithes. The share which the clergy actually derive from the soil will be best ascertained from the valuations of the Tithe Commissioners, acting under the authority of Mr. Goulburn’s statute. Compositions under this act continue in force twenty-one years when the original right to tithes revives, and vary in amount every third year, if the average price of wheat or oats fluctuate one-tenth. [] Had this act been exclusively framed by a conclave of tithe-eaters, it could not have more adroitly guaranteed their interests; and this is strikingly exemplified by the provision which provides that the tenant may deduct his share of the composition from the landlord’s rent, and, if in arrear, it must be paid in preference to debt, rent, or taxes—that is, the parson’s claim must have priority of that of a creditor, the landlord, or even the King. It is a very cunningly devised measure for perpetuating, without lightening, a most grievous burden. A design is entertained by the Heads of the Church to introduce a similar project into England, but we trust the intention will be frustrated. Its direct tendency is to fasten on the community the tithe-tax like the land-tax; with this difference, that the latter is paid by the landlord, but the former would have to be paid by the tenants, and augment with every increase in capital and industry. Its tendency is also to make the pastors completely independent of their congregations, converting the former into annuitants who derive their incomes as independently of their parishoners as if paid out of the public treasury. The motives for residence will be still further lessened; [145] many parsons before, from having few or no hearers, had little inducement, from the claims of duty, to reside on their livings, but now they will not even have the tithes to look after,—no need of watching the growth of potatoes, the increase of farm stock, nor extension of tillage; their composition-money, like the rent of the absentee-landlord, may be remitted whole and entire to them at London, Paris, Bath, or whatever place they may select as best calculated for unobserved luxurious indulgence.

However, let us attend to the workings of this precious scheme of Lord Wellesley’s Irish administration, and the light it throws on the value of parochial tithes. But first we must give the reader an idea of the rapacious manner in which church-preferment has been cut up in Ireland; how the parishes have been compressed into unions; how the unions have been dovetailed into enormous pluralities; how the pluralities and unions together have been tacked to dignities and offices; and how all these good things, like so many bunches of grapes on a string, have been heaped on the Beresfords, Trenches, Saurins, and Plunkets, as the means whereby the resources of the country may be absorbed.

Be it known, then, that there are in Ireland 2450 parishes. Now, as no parish (though some districts or portions of land are) is wholly exempt from the payment of tithes, each parish ought to have at least one resident minister, one church, one parsonage-house, and one glebe. This is the ecclesiastical state which ought to subsist. Instead of which there are only, according to clerical authority, one thousand and seventy-five rectors, vicars, and perpetual curates in all Ireland, and of these not more than two-thirds are said to reside on their benefices. [*] In the whole 2450 parishes there are only 1100 churches, and of these churches 474 have been built within the last century by means of grants of public money. There are only 771 glebe-houses, and though there are some benefices with two or three glebes, containing 4000 acres, there are many parishes without any glebe at all, the land, through negligence or abuse, having been lost or alienated, it not being unusual to find a patch of ground, designated as glebe, situate in the middle of a gentleman’s lawn or part of his demesne, to which he lays claim in virtue of some patent right, granting him the lands and tenements of a church for ever. It follows from this that there are more than three parishes to every resident incumbent; there is less than one church to every two parishes; and, if every parish had its pastor, as it ought, there would be nearly four parsons to live in every glebe-house.

To accommodate these dilapidations and inconsistencies the policy of consolidating the parishes into unions has been resorted to. As in many parishes there were neither hearers nor a church, there could be no need of the services of an officiating minister. In these parishes it would have been rational either to have abolished the tithe or applied the produce of it to some other purpose than the support of a sinecure [146] rector or vicar. But this did not accord with the temporal interests of the church. Hence the expedient of unions of parishes; that is, clusters of parishes, in various numbers, from two to a dozen and more, have been compressed into a single benefice, forming one presentation, held by a single incumbent, and this incumbent, perhaps, a pluralist, holding two or more of these ecclesiastical conglomerations. In England a similar abuse prevails; it frequently happening that two or more rectories, vicarages, or parochial chapelries are held cum, or with, others, forming a single benefice; but the instances are neither so numerous nor outrageous as in Ireland. In the latter country unions may be found thirty-six Irish miles in length, containing as many square miles of territory as some of the petty kingdoms under the Heptarchy. One union, that of Burnchurch, in the diocese of Ossory, formed by an act of the privy council, and in the gift of the king and the bishop alternately, consists of no fewer that thirteen parishes. Here is a benefice! If a man is fortunate enough to obtain, as is not impossible, two or three such benefices, he is more like a bishop at the head of a diocese than a parish priest.

Of the whole 2450 parishes there are only 749 held single, the remaining 1701 parishes having been consolidated into 517 unions, forming, in the whole, 1266 parochial benefices. The territorial contents of the benefices vary in different districts. According to Mr. Erck, in the northern, southern, and eastern provinces, they average 6544 Irish acres, or upwards of ten square miles, with the exception of those in the dioceses of Clogher and Killaloe, and in the three western dioceses of Elphin, Clonfert, and Killala, where they average from 10 to 12,000 acres; in the dioceses of Derry, Kilmore, Raphoe, Ardfert, and Achonry, they average from 12 to 15,000 acres; and in the western diocese of Tuam they average the enormous area of 25,800 acres. The union benefices have been constituted under different authorities, by parliament, by charter, by act of council, by license of the bishops; and some are of such ancient date that the period and mode of their origin cannot be traced. All the unions are permanent except those under episcopal authority, which enure only during the life of the incumbent, when the parishes may revert to their original state. But if an union has been once formed it is generally continued to successive incumbents, and it is not likely the bishops will dissolve them, especially if they happen to be, as is mostly the case, the patrons. In fact, it is by the heads of the church, whose duty consisted in the maintenance of more strict ecclesiastical discipline, that the abuse of unions has been chiefly encouraged. Of the 517 unions 230 are of episcopal creation, and 126 more have been established under an authority almost identical with that of the bishops,—namely, the privy council of Ireland. We subjoin a classification of the unions now subsisting, as we collect them from the Ecclesiastical Register, for 1830, pp. 14, 15. [*] So long [147] established and intimately cemented have some of these unions become, that the boundaries of the parishes of which they consist it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to trace; and there are among the apologists of ecclesiastical abuses those who would avail themselves of this circumstance, and boldly affirm that the parishes in some unions are not distinct parishes, only town lands, and this though the denomination and names of the parishes are fully set forth in the titles of every incumbent!

A Statement exhibiting the Number of Unions, the Number of Parishes in each, and their Denominations.
Number of Parishes in each Union. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 Total of Benefices. Total of Parishes.
Parliamentary Unions 2 4 1 3 10 38
Charter Unions 5 8 4 3 3 1 1 25 98
Privy Council Unions 46 34 19 12 7 2 4 1 1 126 440
Episcopal Unions 119 51 29 16 5 3 3 2 2 230 704
Immemorial Unions 49 34 18 13 5 5 1 1 126 421
Total 221 131 71 44 23 11 8 2 3 2 1 517 1701

Having explained the nature of unions and their territorial magnitude, the reader will be better enabled to judge of the value of Irish benefices, and he must be convinced what a fortunate aspirant he must be who happens to be presented with two or more such benefices, besides dignities and offices, especially if he have not—as is possible—a church in any of them to preach in, nor a single Protestant to whom he need read prayers. In Ireland, as in England, there is great disparity in the value of livings; some are extremely small and insignificant, while others, according to the admission of his grace of Armagh, are worth £2300 per annum. We are as averse to the penury of one part of the church as to the corruptive opulence of another; for we dislike all extremes of condition, and are quite of Agur’s opinion in thinking that neither excess of riches nor poverty is for the good of individuals. The list of parishes we subjoin has been taken almost at random from the Parliamentary Returns of the amount of compositions for tithe: it will show the actual sums now paid by parishes in lieu of tithes, and, as the unions are enclosed in crotchets, it will be seen what monstrosities some of them are. The composition-rent put down is for clerical tithes only; the amount paid for impropriate tithes is omitted, as not [148] forming part of the income of the incumbent. In some unions all the parishes have not yet compounded; in others the compositions have been annulled by the bishops, (who have a veto on these agreements,) as not being adequate to their reputed value. The names of the patrons and present incumbents have been collected from the Ecclesiastical Register of Ireland.

STATEMENT of the Sums agreed to be paid, under the Composition-Act, by several Parishes in lieu of Tithes, and the Names of the present Incumbents and Patrons.
[Those Parishes marked ‡ are not compounded for.]
Incumbent. Patron. Parish. Amount of Composition.
Edward Hincks Trin. Col. Dublin Artrea £738
Francis Hall Trin. Col. Dublin Arboe 507
Charles Atkinson Archb. Armagh Creggan 1050
Hon. C. Knox Archb. Armagh { Carnteel 406
{ Aughaloo 609
E. Stopford Archb. Armagh Derrynoose 646
G. Blacker Archb. Armagh Drumcree 650
J. Campbell Archb. Armagh Forkhill 650
W. Pinching Bp. Clogher Carrickmacross 646
J. G. Porter Bp. Clogher Donaghmoine 953*
W. Athill Bp. Clogher Findonagh 600
T. De Lacy Bp. Meath { Kells 553
{ Duleene 200
{ Rathboyne 270
{ Burry ‡
W. Kellett The King Moynalty 550
W. Pratt Bp. Meath Enniskeen 900
R. Symes Bp. Connor Ballymoney 1015
A. Leslie The King Ahoghill 1015
G. Macartney Marq. Donegal { Skerry 419
{ Racavan 295
W. Knox Bp. Derry Ballynascreen 623
A. Ross { Skinner’s Com. London } Banagher 650
A. W. Pomeroy Bp. Derry Bovevagh 580
J. W. Ormsby Trin. Col. Dublin Cappagh 1000
W. Knox Bp. Derry Clonleigh 840
R. Babington Bp. Derry Cumber Lower 560
F. Gouldsbury Bp. Derry Cumber Upper £740
A. T. Hamilton Marq. Abercorn Donagheady 1350
Sir J. Leighton The Lightons Donaghmore 1440
S. Brownlow Bp. Derry Leekpatrick 646
J. S. Knox Bp. Derry Magheara 1015
O. M. Causland Bp. Derry Tamlaghfinlagan 1000
J. Jones Bp. Derry Urney 700
R. Allott The King Raphoe 900*
J. Usher Trin. Col. Dublin Raymochy 650
E. Bowen Marq. Abercorn { Taughboyne, } 1569
{ All Saints }
H. E. Boyd Bp. Dromore Drumaragh 937
G. Crawford Bp. Ardagh { Clongesh 461
{ Killoe 535
W. Bourne Duke of Leinster Rathangan 553
H. Joly Duke of Leinster { Clonsast 628
{ Ballinakill 65
J. D. Wingfield Lord Digby Geashill 1292
R. Vicars The King { Coolbanagher 276
{ Ardea 259
Hon. J. Bourke The King { Aghavoe 789
{ Comer 969
G. Stevenson Marq. Ormonde { Callan 550
{ Coolagh 383
{ Tullomain 105
{ Tullaroan‡
{ Killaloe‡
{ Ballycallan‡
J. B. Ridge The King Eirke 692
M. Monck Bp. Ossory { Rathdowny 750
{ Glashare‡
{ Kildelgy‡
H. P. Elrington Bp. Ferns Templeshambo 1200
P. Browne The King { Kilmackclogue 234
{ Magloss 55
{ Kilkevan 369
{ Kilnehue 465
W. Hore Bp. Ferns Kilrush 694
M. Charters Bp. Ferns { Clone 332
{ Kilbride 203
{ Ferns 270
H. Moore Bp. Ferns Carnew £830
A. Lord Archbp. Cashell { Templetonhy 500
{ Loughmore 249
{ Another parish‡
J. Pennefather Archbp. Cashell { Killoscully 323
{ Kilvolane 461
{ Kilnerath 303
{ Kilcomenty 323
T. P. Le Fann Bp. Emly { Abington 650
{ Tough 250
C. P. Coote Bp. Emly Doon 830
W. Galway Bp. Emly { Kilmastulla 318
{ Templeichally 406
Lord Brandon { Lordship of Castle Island { Castle Island 638
{ Ballyncushlane 460
{ Dysert 173
{ Killentierna 823
B. Denny Sir E. Denny { Ballynahaglish 230
{ Anna 332
{ Cloherbrien 332
{ Caher 226
{ Killencan 160
{ Glanbeagh 130
Vicars Choral Vicars Choral { Lismore‡
{ Mocollop 1569
J. Scott The King { Tubrid 955
{ Ballybacon 461
T. G. Laurence Bp. Cork { Moviddy 507
{ Kilbonane 208
{ Aglish 379
W. Harvey Bp. Cork { Kilnaglory 325
{ Athnowen 425
J. Jervois Bp. Cork { Kilmichael 692
{ Macloneigh 250
A. Trail The King & Bp. Skull 850
T. Kenny Bp. Cloyne Donoughmore 1100
Hon. G. de la P. Beresford Bp. Cloyne { Inniscarra 636
{ Malthy 513
J. Hingstone Bp. Cloyne Whitechurch 784
J. Hingstone Bp. Cloyne Aghabullogue 750
A. Champagne Bp. Cloyne Castlelyons 571*
M. Purcell Fitzgerald Dungourney 664
T. Newneham Bp. Cloyne { Kilworth £170
{ Macroney 230
{ Leitrim 230
{ Kilcrumper 220
J. Lombard Bp. Cloyne Kilshannick 738
E. Palmer Bp. Killaloe { Modreeny 533
{ Arderony 307
G. Holmes Bp. Killaloe { Kilmore 323
{ Kilnaneave 315
{ Lisbonny 323
E. Price Bp. Killaloe { Aglishcloghane 161
{ Lorrha 438
{ Dorrha 415

From the above statement it appears that the amount of composition-money paid in lieu of tithes, in some unions, amounts to £1410, £1407, £1554, £1569, and £1758; and that single parishes have come down to the tune of £1050, £1200, £1350, and £1440, in order to rid themselves of the worldly visitations of the spiritual locust. These sums, it must be remembered, are not the conjectural estimates of individuals imperfectly informed of the worth of parochial tithes; they are public and authentic returns, founded on an average and impartial valuation. It must, also, be borne in mind that the composition is a net payment, obtained without the trouble of collecting the tithes, or the expense of proctors or middlemen, and the receipt of which is better secured than the landlord’s rent or public taxes.

Many of the incumbents enjoying these really fat livings, are pluralists, holding other parochial benefices, beside dignities and offices. The names of the honourable Charles Knox, the honourable George de la Poer Beresford, the honourable Joseph Bourke, and other well-known signatures, are quite sufficient to indicate their connexions with the episcopacy and aristocracy of Ireland. It would require pages fully to set forth the families, connexions, and influence; the sinecures, places, offices, and pensions by which some of these honourables have sent forth their absorbents into the substance of Church and State. There is one man, however, James Hingstone by name, who, as far as we know, is not of noble blood, unless it be by some left-handed tilt; yet he seems to have reaped a plentiful harvest. He has compounded for the tithes of two parishes, that of Whitechurch for £784, and that of Aghabullogue for £750, making a snug income of £1534 per annum. But this is far from being the extent of his good fortune. He is, also, rector of Subulter, and prebendary and vicar-general of Cloyne. His son, James Hingstone, is vicar of Clonmult, and vicar-choral of the cathedral church of St. Colman’s. It were easy to give similar illustrations of others, but this must suffice.

Mr. Goulbourn’s bait has taken so well that nearly two-thirds of all the parishes in Ireland have compounded for their tithes: the progress of the measure, up to the present, will appear from the subjoined statement, [152] exhibiting the number of parishes, in each diocese, that have compounded in the four provinces, the proportion between lay and ecclesiastical tithe, and the total amount of the compositions for both descriptions of tithe.

PROVINCE OF ARMAGH. Parishes. Lay Tithes. Clerical Tithes. Composition.
Diocese. £ £ £
Armagh 48 19,292 19,292
Clogher 28 1,291 12,257 13,548
Meath 137 11,212 21,406 32,618
Down and Connor 40 1,439 13,622 15,061
Derry 42 22,990 22,990
Raphoe 14 352 7,424 7,777
Kilmore 19 874 4,813 5,688
Dromore 9 2,128 2,647 4,775
Ardagh 21 2,303 4,793 7,097
Dublin 91 4,031 15,035 19,066
Kildare 36 2,089 7,363 9,452
Ossory 61 1,550 15,557 17,107
Ferns and Leighlin 103 7,181 27,989 35,170
Cashel and Emly 93 5,083 19,555 24,638
Limerick, Ardfert, and Aghadoe 128 7,016 24,349 31,366
Waterford and Lismore 52 2,386 12,500 14,886
Cork and Ross 65 4,022 23,282 27,305
Cloyne 57 4,345 18,629 22,975
Killaloe and Kilfenora 121 3,676 23,355 27,032
Tuam 60 2,945 11,450 14,396
Elphin 54 2,377 6,817 9,194
Clonfert and Kilmacduagh 59 86 8,636 8,723
Killala and Achonry 15 1,098 2,593 3,691
TOTAL 1,353 67,494 326,363 393,857

From the results of the compositions already entered into it is easy to calculate the value of tithes in all Ireland. Of the 1353 parishes, the average rate of composition for each parish, for impropriate tithe, is £50, for church tithe £241, and for ecclesiastical and lay tithes together £291. Supposing the whole 2450 parishes to compound for tithes at the same average rate, the annual value of impropriate tithes is £122,500, of church tithes £590,450, making the total burden imposed by tithes, lay and ecclesiastical, on the entire kingdom, amount to £712,950 per annum. The average tithe for the whole kingdom would probably exceed the sum here stated; since it is known the most fertile districts have been the most backward in compounding for their tithes.

The ecclesiastical tithe of £590,450 per annum constitutes only one item in the yearly emoluments of the parochial clergy. They have, also, glebe-houses, extensive glebes, minister’s money, and church-fees. In Ireland, “all things seem oddly made and every thing amiss.” [153] Many benefices have neither glebe-house nor glebe-land; while others have two glebe-houses each, and two or more glebes, comprising a superficial area of 2000 acres. One-third of the benefices are destitute of any glebe whatever, and, consequently, of any residence; while the remaining two-thirds of the benefices are estimated to possess glebeland to the enormous extent of 91,137 acres. Supposing, with Mr. Baron Foster, the glebe to be worth, on an average, only £1 per acre, it forms a very considerable addition to the yearly revenue of the beneficed clergy.

Another source of clerical emolument is that termed minister’s money, intended as a substitute for tithe, and which, as we have no assessment levied in the same way in England, it will be proper to explain. In cities and towns corporate, where there are small or no tithes, a power is vested in the Lord Lieutenant, authorising, by a commission, valuations to be made, from time to time, of every house; upon a return of such valuations, in which no house may be rated above £60, the Lord Lieutenant and six more of the privy-council are empowered to assess each house, in a yearly sum, for the maintenance of the incumbent. Under this authority valuations have been made of the parishes in the cities of Dublin, Cork, Waterford, and Limerick, and the towns corporate of Drogheda and Clonmel; and it is from the proceeds of these assessments that the incumbents of forty-eight city parishes are paid their stipends. We have not any public return of the incomes allotted to the ministers of these towns and parishes; if they average £500 each, it makes an addition of £25,000 a-year to the revenues of the parochial clergy. The clause which provides that no house shall be rated above sixty pounds originated, no doubt, in the same selfish policy that dictated the abolition of the tithe of pasture, and shows, in every measure, how scrupulously have been considered the interests of the wealthy Protestants, when the burden even of maintaining the established church of the ascendant party was thrown, with unequal weight, on their poor and politically-disfranchised catholic brethren.

The yearly sums derived from church-fees we can only conjecture. They do not, of course, from a vast majority of the population being separatists from the endowed worship, form so productive a source of emolument as in England. But, supposing the million of Protestants of different sects, in Ireland, pay for marriages, christenings, and burials only 5s. a-head, surplice-fees yield an income of £250,000. Without including, then, the emoluments derived by the parochial clergy from the dignities and offices they hold, from being masters of diocesan-schools, vicar-general or surrogate of a diocese, or official chaplain at the Castle; their total revenue, from the four sources of tithes, glebe-land, minister’s money, and church-fees, cannot be less than £956,587. If to this sum we add the incomes of the episcopal clergy and the deans and chapters already ascertained, we shall have the total amount of the burden imposed on Ireland by its Protestant establishment as follows:—


Revenues of the Established Church of Ireland.
Archbishops and bishops, average income of each £10,000 £220,000
Estates and tithes of the deans and chapters 250,000
Ecclesiastical rectors, vicars, and perpetual curates:—
Tithes £590,450
Glebe-lands 91,137
Ministers’ money 25,000
Church-fees 250,000
Total £1,426,587

Here is, certainly, a noble revenue for the maintenance of a little insignificant church, with barely more than half a million of hearers. The established church of Scotland, with a million and a half of followers, is now considered amply endowed, although its revenues do not exceed £234,900, or one sixth of those of Ireland. The sums expended on the established priesthood of Ireland are nearly equal to one-half the amount of the revenue paid into the Exchequer, on account of public taxes for the maintenance of an army of 30,000 men, for defraying the expense of police and justice, for the support of the local administration, for defraying the interest of the public debt of Ireland, and its proportional contribution to the exigencies of the general government. It ought never to be forgotten that the immense income lavished on a luxurious priesthood, whose duties prescribe to them charity, humility, and self-denial, is wrung from a poor distressed population, of whom hundreds perish annually from sheer want of the necessaries of life, and the vast majority of whom—so little have they been benefited by the instructions of their well-paid spiritual guides—are in such a state of ignorance and destitution that they are little better fed, clothed, and lodged than the beasts of the field!

Our next inquiry is the Number of the Clergy, among whom the revenues of the Irish Church are squandered. The policy of the church, like that of the City companies and all corporations, has been to keep their numbers as few, and render their revenues as productive as possible. Formerly there were thirty-two dioceses in Ireland; these, either by parliamentary authority or by annexing sees to others by way of commendam, have been compressed into eighteen suffragan bishoprics. Thus the work of uniting sees has been nearly as rife as that of uniting parishes. The deans and capitulary bodies are kept up as in England, though their functions are little more than nominal, and the sinecure offices and dignities appendant to them serving only to augment the otherwise redundant incomes of the priesthood. The deans and chapters are endowed in some instances with tithes, in others with lands, and in most cases with both; but their possessions are, for the most part, divided, the dean having one part alone in right of his deanery, and each member of the chapter a certain part in right of his office. Of the thirty chapters, eighteen consist of the four offices of [155] precentor, chancellor, and archdeacon, and of prebendaries, varying, intermediately, from one, as in the case of Dromore, to twenty, as in the case of St. Patrick’s, Dublin. The chapters of Waterford and Kilfenora are without any prebends, and in the chapter of Kildare the eight prebendaries, although they have a voice in the election of a dean, yet form no constituent part of the chapter, which is composed of other officials and four canons.

The precentor, or chantor, is generally the first member of the chapter; his duties, in the old religious houses in papal times, were important and various, consisting in the care of the choir-service, in presiding over the singing men, organist, and choristers, paying their salaries, and keeping the seal of the chapter and chapter-book. In these cathedrals, where a choir-service is still maintained, of which there are only a few in Ireland, the precentor has the superintendence of the choir, but in all others it is a mere title of honour, without any duty whatever attached to the office. The same may be observed of the chancellors of cathedral churches, the treasurers, provosts, and prebendaries, many of whom are without cure or ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and have nothing whatever to do for their emoluments and patronage, unless it be in taking their turn of preaching in the cathedral, and that is mostly performed by deputy.

A dignity without cure is not incompatible with a parochial benefice, and both may be holden together without any dispensation for plurality; for though the dignitaries gain possession of office by institution, they are not instituted to the cure of souls. The cure attaches not to any office of the chapter as such; yet it is to be observed that there are no fewer than two hundred and nineteen dignities and offices, [*] to which either, by charter or other means, one or more parishes with cure have been annexed, and of which parishes the tithes and emoluments are received by the collegiate sinecurists, and the duties, where any exist, are mostly discharged by a stipendiary curate. The fortunate possessors of these plural offices and parishes being eligible to other benefices, one individual may concentrate in his own person scores of dignities, offices, and livings, and enjoy an aggregation of ecclesiastical income and patronage almost incredible.

Next let us advert to the number of the parochial clergy, consisting of all ecclesiastical rectors having cure, vicars, and perpetual curates, and of whom there are, according to Mr. Erck, exclusive of ninety-eight dignitaries having cure, one thousand and seventy-five. The assistant curates, amounting to five hundred and fifty, do not, of course, form a part of the beneficed clergy; they are only deputies, removable at pleasure, and discharging the duties, at very miserable stipends, which ought to be discharged by their principals, who receive ample remuneration. Of lay-rectors, or laymen, possessing tithes as a lay-fee, there are seven hundred and eighteen. These, not being in orders, form no part of the ecclesiastical corps; they are usually denominated impropriators, as being, according to Spelman, improperly possessed [156] of the tithes of the church; inasmuch as it severs labour from reward,—a principle which ecclesiastics profess to repudiate, though it is notorious, the most amply endowed incumbents of the United Church of England and Ireland are as justly obnoxious to the opprobrium of being impropriators as the secular parsons—having, by the intervention of curates and other devices, unknown before the Reformation, contrived to rid themselves entirely of every particle of spiritual duty.

The whole number of beneficed parochial clergy, without including collegiate officials, is then only 1075, according to the admission of the editor of the Board of First Fruits. This diminutive phalanx one would think quite small enough, in all conscience, to monopolize the cure of the 2450 parishes of Ireland. But the fact is, the number of individuals is not so numerous by a great many. We have seen that 1701 parishes have been compressed into 517 benefices. Some parishes are both rectorial and vicarial; that is, the same parish has a rector and vicar, united in the same person, and which, we suspect, reckon two in Mr. Erck’s enumeration of 1075. Then how many are Pluralists? The Ecclesiastical Register informs us, page 32, one hundred and thirty-five benefices are held with other benefices by faculty, dispensation, or permission of their diocesans. This reduces the number of individuals to 940. There appear to be 587 parishes where the vicarial are united with the rectorial tithes, or where both descriptions of tithe are united in the incumbent. It is probable, we think, the entire number of rectories, vicarages, and perpetual curacies are possessed by not more than 700 individuals, who also enjoy the chief offices in cathedrals, the diocesan schools, and public institutions of a religious and literary character.

From the Ecclesiastical Register, and other sources, we collect that the number of preferments in Ireland—episcopal, collegiate, and parochial—possessed by the established clergy, is—

Sees 22
Deaneries 33
Precentorships 26
Chancellorships 22
Treasurerships 22
Archdeaconries 34
Provostships 2
Prebends and canonries 188
Rural deans 107
Vicars choral 52
Choristers 20
Choir readers and stipendiaries 12
Diocesan schools 30
Offices in consistorial courts 175
Benefices consisting of a single parish 749
Parishes compressed into 517 benefices 1701
Total of offices enjoyed by the established clergy 3195


Thus it appears there are 3195 offices shared among about eight hundred and fifty individuals, whose aggregate ecclesiastical revenue amounts to £1,426,587, averaging £1678 to each person. Such proportions between numbers, offices, and revenue are certainly without parallel. There is no example any where of 850 persons possessing, in see lands and glebes, one-eighteenth part of the soil, and claiming one-tenth of the produce of the remainder, which supports eight millions of people. No country, however debased by superstition, ever abandoned so large a portion of its real property, in addition to a tenth part of the national income, for the maintenance of a priesthood, forming less than a nine-thousandth part of the population.

It is not, however, the average income of either the Irish or English ecclesiastic that constitutes the principal abuse in their respective establishments. Although both churches might very well spare two-thirds of their aggregate revenues, and enough remain for the adequate remuneration of spiritual service, still it is not the redundancy of their united incomes that is so objectionable as the unequal and inhuman manner in which they are possessed by candidates of the same grade and pretension. We have before enlarged on this point in our exposition of the Church of England; we have there shown how masses of pay and pluralities of office are heaped on clerical sinecurists enjoying high connexions and influence; while the most useful and meritorious labourers in the ministry, divested of patronage, are kept in the most miserable poverty and dependence. Precisely the same injustice predominates in the Irish church. In the latter the grievance is more intolerable, for, in Ireland, church-patronage is chiefly in the hands of ecclesiastics, and it is invariably observed that the clergy have less regard for their brethren, and are more blindly intent on promoting their own personal and family interests than laymen.

We shall insert a tabular representation of the patronage of the Irish church; the number of parishes in Ireland is greater than appears from the subjoined statement, as is evident from the Ecclesiastical Register. But it is a point on which there is much difference of opinion, originating in the uncertain boundaries of parishes, and the extraordinary manner they have been consolidated, to serve the purposes of clerical rapacity.


Irish Church Patronage.
DIOCESES. Patronage of Bishops. Patronage of Crown. Others. Impropriate without Churches or Incumbents.
Lay Universit
Armagh 60 13 22 5
Cashell and Emly
Clogher 34 1 2 4
Clonfert and Kilmacduagh 43 3 14
Cloyne 107 10 9 11
Cork and Ross 94 8
Derry 33 3 9 3
Down and Connor 53 12 36 10
Dromore 23 2
Dublin 144 15 16
Elphin 72 2 1
Kildare 30 27 24
Killala and Achonry 48 4
Killaloe and Kilfenora 131 10 36 17
Kilmore 33 3 2 1
Leighlin and Ferns 171 18 19 1 13
Limerick, Ardfert, and Aghadoe 34 27 65
Meath 69 81 37 35
Ossory 76 26 30
Raphoe 15 6 3 7
Tuam and Ardagh 72 10
Waterford and Lismore 43 24 30 9
1392 293 367 21 95
Patronage of Bishops 1392
Patronage of Crown 293
Patronage of Lay 367
Patronage of University 21

The Irish bishops have a far greater proportion of patronage than the English bishops: the former have the gift of 1392 livings out of 2168; the latter have only the gift of 1290 out of 11,598. The livings, too, in the gift of the Irish bishops are far more valuable. Those in the gift of the Archbishop of Cashel are worth £35,000 per annum; those in the gift of the Bishop of Cloyne, £50,000; of Cork, £30,000; and of Ferns, £30,000. In the see of Cloyne one living is worth £3000, one worth £2000, and three worth £1500 each. A living of £500, as we have seen, is but a middling one in Ireland, and any thing beneath it is considered very low.

The king’s ministers nominating the bishops, and these having the disposal of all the livings, with the exception of a few belonging to the Universities, lay lords, and those that are tithe free, nearly the whole of the tithes and church revenues of Ireland are in the gift of the crown. Hence we may see how discouraging was the prospect of ecclesiastical [159] reform under Tory ministers. The Irish sees were almost in the exclusive possession of their thick-and-thin supporters, in the families of the Beresfords, the Clancartys, Balcarrases, Mayos, Northlands, Rodens, Hoaths, Kilkennys, Caledons, &c. among whom one looks in vain for a single scholar or celebrated divine. Indeed the Irish Protestant Establishment formed a convenient and almost inexhaustible fund for parliamentary corruption; and appointments to it, like those in the Colonies, being out of sight of the English public, were often made without any regard to decency. Thus a lieutenant in the navy has been made an archbishop; a member of the House of Commons, a dean; a proprietor, and it is said editor, of a newspaper, a chancellor; and an aide-de-camp at the Castle, a rich rector. Such men as Sir Harcourt Lees, the heroes of Skibbereen and Newtonbarry, and Warburton and Percy Jocelyn, having attained preferments in the church, are still more illustrative. All the Irish representative prelates voted against the Reform Bill on its first introduction. Lord Mountcashel stated, in the House of Lords, that he knew an archdeacon in Ireland who kept one of the best packs of fox-hounds in the country. Another clergyman, not seven miles distant from the former, had, also, a pack of fox-hounds, with which he regularly hunted; and he knew of a clergyman who, after his duties in the church had been performed, used to meet his brother-huntsmen at the communion-table, on the Sunday, and arrange with them where the hounds were to start for next day. Can these things be, when it is alleged by Sir Robert Peel, that the church has no support to depend upon but her “own purity?”

However, the love of sporting is not confined to the clergy of the sister kingdom. The English spirituals have also a taste for rural sports, and a good pack of fox-hounds is deemed a suitable appendage to a cure of souls, as will be seen from the following notice: “To be sold, the next presentation to a vicarage, in one of the midland counties, and in the immediate neighbourhood of one or two of the first packs of fox-hounds in the kingdom. The present annual income about £580, subject to curate’s salary. The incumbent in his 60th year.”—Morning Herald, April 15, 1830.

But it is not these matters which engage our attention; we should care little about the sporting propensities of the parsons if they would leave to the industrious the produce of their labour. So far as manners and morals are concerned, the different sects of religionists may be left to watch each other; and that they will do with the most lynx-eyed attention. Only read what Mr. Beverley has written on this subject in his “Letter to the Archbishop of York.”

“It surely is not very edifying to behold a clergyman following the hounds, and though the fox-pursuing parsons are of a different opinion, and defend the practice with orthodox arguments, yet they cannot persuade the people to agree with them; in vain do they sing a song concerning ‘manly sport—no harm,’ &c.; for their parishioners will not listen to such trash, but indignant at the indecencies of their rectors, [160] turn away in disgust to find better examples amongst the methodists and independents.

But indecent and unpopular as is the spectacle of a fox-hunting parson, perhaps one’s bile is not a little agitated in these exhibitions, by that sort of vestiary hypocrisy with which they choose to decorate the scandal: for it seems to be a received dogma of ecclesiastical decorum, that a parson is not to hunt in a red coat; provided only the scarlet does not appear, the reverend successor of the Apostles may leap over hedge and ditch without the slightest impropriety: give these successors of the Apostles a black or dark grey jacket, a pair of white corderoy breeches, and handsome top-boots, and then you save the character of the church; but if a young priest were to give the view-holloa in a red coat, all men would be shocked, and I suspect that ere long a grand and verbose epistle would come to him from Bishopthorpe.

The same farce in clothing is kept up throughout; at balls the successors of the Apostles must appear clad in black, or any of the shades of black. Thanks, however, to the ingenuity of tailors and haberdashers, such exquisite tints have of late years been discovered in silk stockings and silk waistcoats, such delicious varieties of light black, raven black, French black, and French whites—the black has been softened into winning lavender-tints, and the white has been so dexterously made to blush a morning blush, that it requires very great ingenuity to discover a layman from a priest in a brilliant ball-room. These, however, who are more apostolical, take the bull by the horns, and venture to place black-tinted buttons on the breasts of their shirts, a mark of the priestly office not easily to be mistaken! Of such a toilet there is great hope, and it would be a shame indeed if the black-button-bearing priests did not become rich pluralists at last.”

Mr. Beverley of Beverley is such a nice connoisseur in drapery, that we suspect him of being a bit of an exquisite himself: he is evidently an intense evangelical, and, for aught we know, may be a believer in Mr. Irving’s new revelation of a “gift of tongues.”

Non-residence of the Irish Clergy.

It is a curious fact that, during the sway of the Catholic Church, no man was permitted to hold a benefice who did not perform the duties of it upon the spot, and it was left for the Reformation, which is said to have established religion in greater perfection, to entitle a man to a large income for the cure of souls in a district which he never visited. A great proportion of the Irish Bishops, Dignitaries, and Incumbents, are absentees; many of them whiling away their time on the Continent, and others dissipating their large revenues in the fashionable circles of Brighton and London. With the single exception of the Bishop of Kildare all the archbishops and bishops have each, within their respective dioceses, an episcopal residence, or see-house, with parks, chases, [161] and demesne-lands attached. Yet they spend little or none of their time in Ireland in superintending the clergy. The families of some prelates reside constantly in England, and the only duty performed by the bishop is to cross the water in the summer months, take a peep at the “palace,” and then return to give grand dinners, and mingle in the gaieties of the metropolis, for the remainder of the year. The late Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry, resided twenty years abroad, and during that time received the revenues of his rich diocese, amounting to £240,000. This Right Rev. Prelate was the intimate associate of Lady Hamilton, the kept-mistress of Lord Nelson. The bishop lived in Italy, spending his princely income, wrung from the soil and labour of Ireland, among the fiddlers and prostitutes of that debauched country. The great primate Rokeby resided at Bath, and never visited Ireland. The parochial clergy are not more exemplary. Upwards of one-third of the whole number of incumbents do not reside on their benefices. Some of them, with incomes of £5,000 or £10,000 a-year, are living in France, with their wives and families. Others live at Bath, on account of the gout. Most of them never see their parishes, deriving their incomes through the medium of agents, or of tithe-farmers, and engaging a curate at some £30 or £50 a-year to attend once on each Sunday to read prayers; often, perhaps, only to the parish clerk.

According to the Diocesan Returns, in 1819, the following was the state of the provinces, as regards parochial residence and duty:—

The province of Ulster, containing 443 parishes or unions, had 351 incumbents resident, or near enough to do duty.

The province of Leinster, 281 parishes or unions, with 189 incumbents resident, or near enough to do duty.

The province of Munster, 419 parishes or unions, with 281 incumbents resident, or near enough to do duty.

The province of Connaught, 95 parishes or unions, with 65 incumbents resident, or near enough to do duty.

Thus, in 354 parishes or unions, there was neither an incumbent resident, nor near enough to do the duty of his benefice. These returns make the number of incumbents, resident and non-resident, amount to 1240. It is unnecessary to explain, after what has been already stated, that there are not actually so many individuals. The deception results from pluralities. Every benefice with cure has an incumbent; but, as each incumbent often holds two or more benefices, or is rector and vicar of the same parish, it reduces the number of individuals to the amount previously stated, namely seven hundred.

One great excuse for the neglect of duty by the protestant clergy is that they have scarcely any duty to perform. Notwithstanding all the inducements offered by the established religion, notwithstanding its monopoly of tithes, honours, power, and emoluments, it has scarcely any followers. A protestant is as rare to be met with in Ireland, as a Jew in England. Out of a population of eight millions, there are little more than half a million communicants of the state religion. The consequence is, that the church establishment is little better than an [162] enormous sinecure, a prodigious job, carried on for the benefit of a few hundred individuals, to the impoverishment, disunion, and degradation of all the rest of the nation. The Irish Church has been aptly compared to some Irish regiment, in which there was the whole train of officers, from the colonel downwards, but only one private. Just so with the ecclesiastical establishment; there is the whole apparatus of bishops, deans, archdeacons, prebendaries, canons, rectors, and vicars; there are all these still, and, what is better, there are all the tithes, houses, gardens, glebe lands, cathedrals, and palaces: all these remain; but the people—those for whose benefit they were originally intended, they have adhered unflinchingly to their old communion. Why then should not the revenues and church lands follow them—the owners, for whose benefit they were first granted? Why keep up twenty-two bishops where there are scarcely any parsons? or why maintain these parsons, with large endowments, when they have lost their flocks? There are scores, aye, hundreds of well paid rectors and vicars, without a single protestant hearer; there are thirteen hundred and fifty parishes, without even a church to preach in; yet in all these parishes the tithes are levied or compounded for to the utmost farthing.

The anomalous state of the Irish Church has not escaped the notice of foreigners; and in the pleasant and instructive ‘Tour of a German Prince,’ there are some curious details. “I took,” says the writer, “advantage of the acquaintance I made to day to gain more information of the actual proportion between Catholics and Protestants. I found all I had heard fully confirmed, and have gained some further details; among others, the official list of a part of the present parishes and livings in the diocese of Cashell, which is too remarkable not to send it to you, though the matter is somewhat dry, and seems almost too pedantic for our correspondence.

Catholics. Protestants.
Thurles has 12,000 250
Cashel 11,000 700
Clonhoughty 5,142 82
Coppowhyte 2,800 76
Killenoule 7,040 514
Boherlahan 5,000 25
Feathard 7,600 400
Kilcummin 2,400
Meckarty 7,000 80
Golden 4,000 120
Anacarty 4,000 12
Donniskeath 5,700 90
New Erin 4,500 30

In thirteen districts 78,182 Catholics and 2879 Protestants.

“Each of these districts has only one Catholic priest, but often four or five Protestant clergymen; so that on an average, there are scarcely twenty persons to each Protestant congregation. Kilcummin [163] is the place I mentioned to you, where there is not a single parishioner, and the service, which according to law must be performed once a-year, is enacted in the ruins with the help of a Catholic clerk. In another, called Tollamane, the same farce takes place. But not a whit the less must the non-attending parishioners pay the utmost farthing of their tithes and other dues; and no claims are so bitterly enforced as those of this Christian church:—there is no pity, at least none for Catholics. A man who cannot pay the rent of the church land he farms, or his tithes to the parson, inevitably sees his cow and his pig sold, (furniture, bed, &c. &c. he has long lost,) and himself, his wife, and probably a dozen children thrust out into the road, where he is left to the mercy of that Providence who feeds the fowls of the air and clothes the lilies of the field.”—Tour in England, Ireland, France, v. ii. pp. 50-51.

Well may this lively tourist exclaim, “What an excellent contrivance is a state religion!”

Oppressiveness of the Tithe System.

Hardship and impoverishment result not less from the amount than the mode in which the ecclesiastical revenues are levied in Ireland. By the Tithe Composition Act, an attempt was made, without at all lessening the amount of the burthen, to avert the occurrence of those disgraceful scenes, which so frequently accompanied the collection of the tithe-tax. Under the authority of this statute, it has been seen, many parishes have compounded with the incumbent for tithe; but as these compositions can only be entered into for a limited term, and as the rate of them varies with the fluctuations in the value and quantity of produce, the whole kingdom may be still considered to labour under the curse of an impost, whose pressure increases with every increase of capital and industry. The expedient of compounding was early and readily adopted in the disturbed districts of Clare and Galway; and throughout the extensive districts of the dioceses of Clonfert, Kilmacduagh, and Killaloe, composition rent has continued to be promptly and willingly paid. But the measure has not been equally successful in other parts. In the county of Carlow, King’s County, Queen’s County, Kilkenny, and part of Tipperary; in fact, through the finest lands of the kingdom, composition has slowly and reluctantly advanced.

One circumstance especially deserving notice in the history of the tenth exaction; is, the abolition of tithes of agistment, which leaves tillage lands alone liable to the burthen. This selfish and partial enactment of the Irish parliament shows clearly enough how necessary it is that the different classes of society should be represented in the legislature; otherwise they are sure to be sacrificed, without regard to justice or humanity, to the exclusive advantage of the ruling power. The abolition of tithe of pasture causes the revenues of the clergy to be principally drawn from tithe of corn, and of the cattle, pigs, poultry, and potatoes of the cotter tenantry. While tithes of agistment were paid, the burden, in part, fell upon the opulent grazier,—the landed [164] aristocracy of Ireland; but now the burden presses with disproportionate weight on the poorer cultivators of the soil. Owing to the increase in the numbers, skill, and industry of this class, the quantity of agricultural produce has been augmented a hundred fold, and in the same proportion has augmented the revenue of the church. While the Irish cultivator has been adding to his income by industry, and by the abridgment of the comforts and enjoyments of his family, he has been constrained, also, to add proportionately to the income of the Protestant priest, whose religion he does not profess, and whose intolerant dogmas long withheld from him his civil immunities.

The amount abstracted from the just rewards of industry is not the entire evil of the tithe oppression. Another class of evils results from the variety of ecclesiastical rights, and consequent variety of laws, and the interminable litigation which these laws incessantly occasion. The perplexities arising from this source are infinite, and it frequently happens the same ground is impoverished by the successive levies of the archbishop, bishop, dean and chapter, the rector and vicar. This is the case in most parts of the diocese of Clonfert, and to show the fleecing and harassing nature of the system we cannot do better than insert an extract from the letter of a clergyman and magistrate of Ireland, addressed to Mr. Secretary Stanley, and read by Lord Melbourne on the motion for the appointment of the Tithe Committee.

“The broken and irregular character of tithes, in the rust of its great antiquity, renders the variety and number of claims on the land both harassing and vexatious; the frequency of calls, and the uncertainty of receivers, are so varied and perplexing as to occasion much annoyance to the poor. There are a vast number of instances in my own parish, where one poor man, whose whole tithes annually do not amount to more than 1s. 8d. per acre and yet subject him to have his cow, sheep, pig, or horse, taken and driven to pound six times in the year for tithes, and liable, on each and every driving, to a charge of 2s. 6d. driver’s fees, besides expense of impounding, and waste of time from his labour in seeking the person duly authorised to give him a receipt. He is liable to be summoned, moreover, and decreed for vestry cess, once in the year, making annually seven calls, on account of the Church, to his little plot of ground; besides, his little holding is liable to two calls in the year for Grand Jury public money, and frequently two calls more for Crown and quit rent. Thus eleven calls are made upon his small holding in the year, besides his landlord’s rent, and for sums trifling in themselves, but perplexing and ruinous in the costs which attend them. Surely such are hardships that ought to be removed.

Throughout the diocese of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh, in which this parish is situated, the Bishop takes one-fourth of every titheable acre of land. The county is very much broken up amongst cotter tenantry, holding small plots of an acre each, with a cabin or cottage upon it. The whole diocese is compounded for at an average rate of about one shilling per acre.”—House of Lords, Dec. 15, 1831.

In England, where, in many parts, a man cannot cut a cabbage, pull a carrot, or gather a bunch of grapes, without giving notice to the [165] parson, the system is sufficiently intolerable; [*] but in Ireland, from the mode of collecting tithes, those evils are aggravated tenfold. The Irish clergy generally employ an agent, called a proctor, who, immediately before harvest, estimates the barrels of corn, tons of hay, or hundred weight of potatoes, he supposes are on the ground, and, charging the market price, ascertains the amount to be paid by the owner. This notable agent generally holds his session on Sunday, at a pot-house, where he meets the farmers. As the terms are seldom agreed upon at the first meeting, others follow, and the reckonings, on these occasions, are always paid by the farmers, which add not a little to their charges. The parson sometimes leases the tithes out to the proctor, at a fixed rent, like a farm; while the latter, who, in that case, is called the middle proctor, not unfrequently relets them to another. In the south, the tithe is set out and sold by public auction on the premises. And, in Connaught, it is customary to call a sale before the harvest, at which the tithe is sold to any person who chooses to collect it.

Under such a system, it is easy to conceive what the Irish must endure. Nothing escapes the vigilance of the spiritual locust, or his agent. No bog, however deep—no mountain, however high—nor heath, nor rock, whatever industry may have reclaimed, or capital fertilized—all is liable to the full penalty of having been made available to the uses of man. From the proctors and middle proctors, neither lenity nor indulgence can be expected. These men, to whom the odious office of reaping the fruits of the industry of others has been delegated, are, probably, strangers in the parish, without motive for cultivating the friendship of the people, and having farmed the tithe for a stipulated sum, it is to be expected they will collect it with the utmost rigour, in order to realize the greatest profit from their bargain. The most distressing scenes are sometimes witnessed from their relentless proceedings, and the tithes not unfrequently collected with the aid of a constabulary or military force. The half-famished cotter, surrounded by a wretched family, clamorous for food, frequently beholds the tenth part of the produce of his potatoe garden, carried off to fill the insatiable maw of clerical rapacity. “I have seen,” says Mr. Wakefield, “the cow, the favourite cow, driven away, accompanied by the sighs, the tears, and the imprecations of a whole family, who were paddling after, through wet and dirt, to take their last affectionate farewell of this their only benefactor at the pound gate. I have heard, with emotions which I can scarcely describe, deep curses repeated from village to village, as [166] the cavalcade proceeded. I have witnessed the group pass the domain walls of the opulent grazier, whose numerous herds were cropping the most luxuriant pastures, whilst he was secure from any demand for the tithe of their food, looking on with the utmost indifference.”—Statistical Account of Ireland, vol. ii. p. 466.

To spare the rich and plunder the poor is certainly not Christianity; it is more like Church of Englandism, which, by the union of church and state, has perverted the pure and charitable faith of Christ into a tremendous engine of political guilt and spiritual extortion. There is, we are assured, plenty of law in Ireland, as well as in this country, to punish injustice: there is no wrong, we are told, without a remedy; the courts of justice are open, as the hypocrites say in England, for the punishment of either magisterial or clerical delinquents. All this sounds wells on paper, or in the bloated harangues of an attorney-general; but it is mere mockery and insult when offered to the victims of oppression. Law, in both countries, is for those who can pay for it—the rich, not the poor. The poor cotter, oppressed or defrauded by the exaction of the tithe-proctor, to the value of £10, cannot buy a chance of redress in the lottery of the law for less than £60. By victory or defeat he is equally and irremediably ruined. What resource, then, have men whose possessions probably do not amount to half that sum? None. The way to courts of justice, through the impassable barrier of attorneys’ and lawyers’ fees, is over a bridge of gold; and to point out these tribunals for redress, either to English or Irish poor, or even to those moderately endowed with wealth, is, in other words, to point out to a man the shortest way by which he may bring himself to the jail and his family to the workhouse.

Proportion of Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.

It has latterly become as essential a part of the system to conceal the number of followers of the Irish Protestant church, as the amount of its revenues. When the last census was taken, it had been easy to ascertain the respective proportions of Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and other Dissenters; but government, for obvious reasons, declined making such classification. The witnesses examined by parliamentary committees in 1825, evinced much diversity of opinion. Mr. O’Connell thought the Protestants of all sects did not exceed a million. [*] Mr. Leslie Foster supposed them to amount to 1,270,000. Mr. Mason, who had spent much time in enquiries of this nature, calculated the proportion of Catholics to Protestants as 3⅙ to 1, which estimate he founded on returns from 300 parishes, or about one-eighth of the whole number. [] Another account, which professes to be founded on the best information, gives the following estimate:—The census made the population amount to 6,800,000; if divided into fourteenths, [167] it was estimated one-fourteenth belonged to the established church, or 490,000 souls; Presbyterians, and other Dissenters, formed another fourteenth; so that there remained 5,820,000 Catholics. The population has since increased to at least eight millions; and, supposing the proportion continues the same, there are now 571,428 Episcopalians, an equal number of Dissenting Protestants, and 6,857,143 Catholics.

If to the Catholics and Dissenting Protestants of Ireland we add the vast body of Separatists in England, we shall find that together they form an overwhelming majority of the population of the two kingdoms; and that, therefore, the existing Protestant establishment, having only a minority of the people attached to its communion, is not, according to the maxim of Paley, entitled to the support and protection of government. One writer makes the excess of non-conformists over the conformists, in both countries, to amount to four millions; but as there is no certain data whereby this question can be accurately decided, we decline offering an opinion on the precise numerical snperiority.

How, in Ireland, the followers of the established church have come to bear so small a proportion, and of the church of Rome so large a one, can only be accounted for by the observation of a celebrated writer, that you may persecute a doctrine up to any number of adherents; and the converse—pamper it down to any number. The selfish and intolerant spirit which so long swayed the destinies of the sister kingdom, by drawing a broad line of distinction betwixt the dominant and proscribed faith, rendered defection from the latter next to impossible. A sense of common injustice cemented more strongly the bonds of union among the Catholics, and gave to their civil disabilities the semblance of a martyrdom, which no one, by apostacy, could escape, without suspicion of being influenced by sordid considerations. Hence, a close and indignant sentiment was fostered, sufficient not only to withstand the claims of the reformed worship, but the influence of property, and the coercive power of authority. Fidelity to the religion of their fathers was identified with fidelity to their countrymen; and no one could secede, without being exposed to the double opprobrium of national treachery and selfish hypocrisy. It follows, that the sectarian missionaries, spread through Ireland, have had little success among the Catholics, and the proselytes they have made have been chiefly picked up in the less guarded folds of the established pastors.

The Catholic religion, however, has not only kept its relative position, but has actually gained ground; for, during the last half century, the proportion of Protestants has declined. In 1766, the Protestants formed nearly one-half the population; in 1822, they formed only one-seventh; while the Catholics had more than quadrupled from 1766 to 1822, the Protestants had scarcely doubled. This striking fact will be more evident from the following statement, drawn up partly from parliamentary returns, and partly from the estimate of Dr. Beaufort, and other well-informed individuals.


Year 1766. Year 1792. Year 1822.
Protestants 544,865 522,023 980,000
Catholics 1,326,960 3,261,303 5,820,000
Total 1,871,725 3,783,326 6,800,000

The increase of Protestants from 1792 to 1822 is chiefly ascribed to the exertions of the Methodists. It affords a striking illustration of the efficacy of tithes, and large ecclesiastical endowments, in promoting religion; for it is clear, from the above, that the state worship has declined, in spite of its enormous emoluments. Those who are zealous for the promotion of religion, ought not to defend either the Irish or English establishment; for, under both branches of the united church, the number of their members has relatively decreased. Pure Christianity, indeed, can never flourish under the auspices of wealth and power; its precepts and origin are in perfect contrast to the titles, pomps, and vanities of the world. It has no connexion with bishops, nor courts, nor palaces; it was cradled in indigence; it flourished from persecution, it denounced the cant of hypocrites, and never allied itself with the Scribes and Pharisees of authority. They may, indeed, baptize state religions under the name of Christianity, but it has little to do with them; they are only heathen institutions, and their followers more the disciples of Mahomet than of Jesus Christ.

Little more than one-fourteenth of the population of Ireland belongs to the state religion, yet the teachers of this fraction of the community claim one-tenth of the produce that feeds the whole eight millions! Surely if church property was intended for the maintenance of religion, it was intended for the religion of the people, not for an insignificant minority of them.

But the misappropriation of ecclesiastical wealth is far from being the extent of the injustice sustained by the Irish and their real pastors. The important statute of the Session of 1829 was, no doubt, a great boon to the aristocracy and gentry, by qualifying them for seats in parliament and civil offices; still, as various penal statutes in force against the priesthood were left unrepealed by the Catholic Relief Act, they continue to sustain great hardship and opprobrium. Some of the penal acts remaining in force are very unjust and even cruel in their provisions: for instance, if a Catholic priest from inadvertency or misinformation marry two Protestants, or, a Protestant and Catholic, he is liable to a penalty of £500, or, according to a decision of an Orange Chief Justice, he is liable to suffer death. The clergy are not allowed to officiate in any place with steeple or bells; they are prohibited from appearing abroad in the costume of their order; they cannot be guardians, nor receive the personal endowment of any Catholic chapel, school-house, or other pious or charitable foundation. If they do not disclose the secrets of auricular confession, which their religious tenets prohibit them from disclosing, they are liable to imprisonment; if a Jesuit [169] enter the kingdom he may be banished for life, and any person entering such religious order is guilty of a misdemeanor. [*] No Catholic in Ireland is allowed for his defence to have arms in his house, unless he have a freehold of £10 a-year or £300 personal property. In Cork, Drogheda, and other cities and towns they continue to be ineligible to be members of the municipal corporations of those places. And, though a Catholic is liable to parish cess, he is disabled from voting at vestries on questions relating to repairs of churches. Lastly, no Catholic of the United Kingdom is eligible to the offices of Lord Chancellor, Keeper or Commissioner of the Great Seal, Lord-lieutenant, Deputy or Governor of Ireland, or High Commissioner in Scotland; nor to any office in the ecclesiastical courts; in the universities; the colleges of Eton, Westminster, and Winchester.

The Catholic clergy are in number between 2000 and 3000, constantly residing among their flocks and ministering to their spiritual comforts. From the absence of any permanent provision for maintenance, and the general poverty of their followers, they live in indigence and hardship. Their chief dependence is on fees for burials, marriages, and christenings, gifts on confessions, and bequests for the celebration of masses for the repose of the dead. Hence they have seldom the means of comfortable subsistence, are often without a decent place for religious worship, are overpowered by calls for religious exertion, live in misery, and die at last without ever tasting those emoluments which formerly belonged to their church, and are now showered on the Jocelyns, Warburtons, Plunkets, Beresfords, Magees, Trenches and Knoxes, of the Establishment.

Although Dissenters are equally with Catholics separatists from the establishment, they have been much more favourably treated by government and the legislature. The ministers of the Presbyterians, the Seceders, and Protestant Dissenters, are in fact so many pastors paid by the State receiving annually large sums for their maintenance from the Irish civil list and from grants by parliament. The Regium Donum was granted by William III. in the year 1690, to the Presbyterians; it first amounted to £1200, and was augmented by George III. in 1784, to £2200 per annum. In 1792, by authority of the King’s letter, £5000 was charged on the civil list to be annually paid to Protestant Dissenting ministers, and £500 more to that class of Dissenters denominated Seceders. The annual grant from parliament to the Dissenters commenced in the session of 1804. It first amounted to £4,160, and ever since has been gradually augmenting: in 1816, it amounted to £12,228, in 1825, to £13,894, and in 1831, the sum of £14,860 was voted. [] The total amount of the annual sums which have been paid to the ministers of the three denominations of Dissenters in Ireland, by payments out of the civil list, and by grants out of public taxes, is £751,452: 10: 11/4.

So it is plain the Irish Dissenters have been receiving tribute from [170] the State, if not in tithes, in something else. How they reconcile this provision with their doctrinal profession of the independence of their pastors of all secular interference and support we cannot affirm. There has been some discussion among them, we know, on this very point, and we shall be curious to learn whether profit or principle will triumph.

Management of the First Fruits Fund.

With so large a portion of the national wealth placed at the disposal of the clergy, the very least we might have expected the Legislature to do was to enforce the payment of all the taxes to which by law the Church was liable. We have already seen by what artifice the English ecclesiastics avoided contributing their full share to the First Fruits Fund; we shall now show that a similar but more flagrant evasion of their pecuniary obligations has been long tolerated on the part of the Irish clergy. Having already explained the nature of the annats (page 65) it will be only necessary here to remark that a similar usage formerly prevailed in both England and Ireland; with this difference, that the Irish clergy paid in lieu of the tenth, only a twentieth of the annual value of each benefice to the Pope. In the reign of Henry VIII. when the papal rights were extinguished, an act passed for annexing to the crown the revenue arising from first fruits and tenths, and the same provision was made, as in England, for ascertaining, from time to time, their real annual value. This arrangement continued till the year 1710: when Queen Anne, acting under the advice of her Tory ministers, remitted the twentieths to the clergy, rich and poor, without distinction, and gave the first fruits, alone, to form a fund for building churches, purchasing glebes and glebe-houses, augmenting poor livings, and other ecclesiastical improvements. The management of the fund was vested in trustees, consisting of the higher dignitaries of the church, and principal law-officers of the crown, who were empowered to “search out the just and true value” of the benefices of which they were to levy the first year’s income from each incumbent who came into possession. The valuation under which the first fruits were levied when they were given to the trustees, was the same as in the time of Henry VIII. and was not only very low, but did not include more than two-thirds of the benefices of Ireland. It was of course the duty of the Board of First Fruits to promote the objects of the fund, to have remedied the inaccuracies, and supplied the omissions in the original valuation; but this has never been done, and up to this day the first fruits are levied according to the defective valuation at the time of the Reformation. Owing to this mode of procedure, instead of the produce of the first fruits being the real worth of every vacant benefice and dignity, it is a mere nominal sum paid by the clergy. The bishop of Derry, with a revenue of £12,000, pays only £250 first fruits; the see of Clogher, worth £7000, pays only £350; and the see of Cloyne, worth £6000, pays only £10: 10. It is calculated that, at a fair valuation of Irish [171] benefices, omitting those under £150 a-year, the first fruits would produce £40,000 a-year: whereas, in the ten years ending January, 1830, they produced only £5,142: 15.; from which £740 was to be deducted for salaries. [*] During this period of ten years, fifteen bishoprics and four archbishoprics had become vacant, and the successors thereto liable to the payment of first fruits.

Can it be believed that the Imperial Parliament would sanction such an evasion of their duty by the rich clergy of Ireland? Such, however, has been the fact. Sir John Newport, every session for the last twelve years, has been making motions to establish the integrity of the First Fruits Fund; but his laudable endeavours have seldom met with the support of more than thirty or forty honourable members. But this is not the worst trait in the proceedings of the Collective Wisdom of the Nation: they have actually voted large sums out of the pockets of the people for the very objects for which this fund was appropriated. In the twenty years ending in 1822, the grants of parliament to the trustees of First Fruits in Ireland, towards building new churches, glebe-houses, and purchasing glebes, amounted to £686,000. Thus has £34,300 a-year been levied on this tax-paying aristocratic gulled nation, merely to save the richest church in the world from contributing to its own necessities. How much more has been levied by parochial taxation on the unfortunate population of Ireland, for the repair of churches and cathedrals, we have not the means of estimating. It is well known the sums raised for this purpose constitute one of the many grievances of the sister kingdom, the hardship of which is aggravated by the Catholics being excluded from voting in parish vestries when the church-cess is imposed. Had the Commissioners of First Fruits done what the law not only authorized, but required them to do, there would have been no need of church-rates, nor grants from parliament. Why the Commissioners have not done their duty and made a fair valuation of benefices is manifest enough; they are the patrons, holders, or expectants of large preferments, and a just valuation would be a tax upon themselves! Ought, however, “the Guardians of the Public Purse” to have sanctioned this selfish breach of trust? Ought they, whose business is to watch over the interests of the people, yearly to have voted away the public money, for objects for which there was already a legal and adequate provision? No innovation, nothing untried was to be attempted; the only measure requisite was that they should enforce the law of the land, for which, on other occasions, they profess such profound veneration. It is to the deficiencies of First Fruits, and the consequent non-residence of the clergy, for want of parsonage-houses and glebes, that the decay of Protestantism has been ascribed by their servile defenders: hence a regard to the interests of our “holy religion” one would have thought a sufficient motive for our virtuous representatives to interfere.


The most curious incident regarding the annats is the result of the endeavours of Mr. Shaw Mason, the Remembrancer of First Fruits in Ireland, to obtain a more authentic valuation. When the subject began to excite attention, this gentleman, the words of whose patent empowered him “to collect, levy, receive, and examine the just and true value of first fruits,” preferred a memorial to the Board, setting forth his authority and expressing his willingness to exercise it as his duty required. The announcement caused not a little alarm, the four archbishops at the time not having paid in their arrears. A report was made to the local government, who, after referring the matter to the attorney and solicitor generals for their opinions, intimated to Mr Mason if he persevered in his design of enforcing the payment of First Fruits at their real value, they would deprive him of his patent office, which he held at the pleasure of the Crown. [*] The subject has been subsequently revived by the marquis of Anglesey, but with no better success; Messrs. Blackburn and Crampton, the attorney and solicitor generals of Ireland, having delivered an opinion in accordance with that previously given by lord Plunket—namely, “that the crown is not now entitled to re-value any benefice of which a valuation has heretofore been made and certified.” []

So the matter rests; the rich clergy enjoy, undiminished, their princely revenues, and the public remains liable to the burthen of contributing towards the purchase of glebes and houses for Irish parsons, many of whom have already half a dozen houses, residing in none of them, and 4000 acres of glebe.

Promotions in the Irish Church.

An important document was laid before the House of Commons in the session of 1831, (Parl. Paper No. 328.) It is a return made on the subject of the First Fruits in Ireland, containing a statement of the wealth and other information connected with that establishment. From the information spread over its 134 pages, is given the following abridgement of facts.

Since the month of August, 1812, to which date the returns go back, we find that there were 26 promotions, or translations, to the bishoprics, thus:—Lord John George Beresford, archbishop of Armagh, in 1822, having been raised to the see of Clogher only in 1819, and to the archbishopric of Dublin in 1820; Percy Jocelyn to the see of Clogher in 1819, and Lord Robert Tottenham to the same see in 1822; William Magee to the see of Raphoe in 1819, and William Bissett to the same see in 1822; Nathaniel Alexander to the see of Meath in 1823; Richard Mant to the see of Down and Connor in 1823; no episcopal promotion in Derry; ditto in Kilmore; John Leslie to the see of Dromore [173] in 1812, and James Saurin to the same see in 1819; Lord John George Beresford to the archiepiscopal see of Dublin in 1820, and William Magee to the same in 1822; in Kildare no episcopal promotion; Robert Fowler to the see of Ossory in 1813; Lord Robert Tottenham to the sees of Leighlin and Ferns in 1820, and Thomas Elrington to the same sees in 1822; Richard Lawrence to the sees of Cashel and Emly in 1822; Thomas Elrington, in 1820, to the see of Limerick, and John Jebb to the same in 1822; hon. R. Bourke to the see of Waterford in 1813; in Cork no episcopal promotion; Charles M. Warburton from Limerick to Cloyne in 1820, and John Brinkley to the same see in 1826; Richard Mant to the see of Killaloe in 1820; Alexander Arbuthnot to the same see in 1823; and the hon. R. Ponsonby in 1828; Power-le-Poer Trench to the archbishoprick of Tuam and see of Ardagh in 1819; John Leslie, in 1819, to the see of Elphin; in Clonfert no episcopal promotion; in Killala no episcopal promotion.

It will be seen at once that these names are principally those of aristocratical houses, or of families possessed of parliamentary interest; perhaps the only one of the whole in which such interest did not influence the selection is that of Dr. Brinkley, who was elevated to the see on account of his great talent.

The yearly incomes of the archbishops are stated to be—Armagh, £15,080 : 15 : 6; Tuam, £5,548 : 19 : 11; Cashel, £3,500 and upwards, while of Dublin no return is made; of the others, Clogher is returned £9,000 late currency; Derry, £10,000 and upwards, late currency; Meath, £5,815 : 14 : 5; Raphoe, £5,379 : 14 : 1; Leighlin and Ferns, £5000 to a fraction; Ossory, £3000 to a fraction; Dromore, £4,863 : 3 : 5; Waterford, £5000 exact money; Cork, £3000 ditto; Limerick (renewal fines, nearly as much more, not included) £2,915 : 19 : 81/2; Cloyne, £2000 “and upwards at the least;” Killala, £4,600; from the dioceses in Tuam there is no return made, “as there is no record of the value of the several bishopricks and dignitaries of the province in the registrar’s office.”

A curious fact observable throughout the return is, the number of individuals of the same name as the bishop who had the good luck to get into livings soon after his attainment of the episcopal dignity; for example:—

Knox in possession of Derry at the commencement of these returns; then follow—J. Spencer Knox, June, 1813, rectory of Fahan, £360 a-year; August same year, hon. Charles Knox, rectory of Urney, £700 a-year; June, 1814, W. Knox, rectory of Upper Brandony, £396 : 18 : 6 a-year; same date, hon. Edm. Knox, rectory of Tamlught O’Crilly, no amount specified, but 564 acres of church land in the city and county of Londonderry; James Spencer Knox (again) two more rectories, Magheras and Kilnonaghan, £1,365 : 7 : 71/2 per annum, and 926 acres of church land; April, same year, Wm. Knox, rectory of Fahan, £360 a-year; October, same year, William (the same perhaps) Knox, rectory of Tamlaghtard, £425 per annum; August, 1821, W. Knox (again!) rectory of Clonleigh, £840 a-year, and 427 acres of church land; [174] October, 1822, W. Knox (the fifth time), rectory of Ballinascreen, £623 : 1 : 61/2 and 543 acres; and, finally, in June, 1830, the last presentation returned Edmund J. Knox, rector of Killown, £160 a-year. Altogether, the Knoxes have got since 1812 (mention is not made in these returns of what they had before) £5,230 : 7 : 8 per annum, and 3,555 acres of land, besides the annual income of one of which no return is made. There are two Knoxes in Dromore with 1,082 acres.

W. Magee, see of Raphoe, 1819, May, 1820, John Magee, rectory and vicarage of Mevagh, £375 a-year; July, 1825, John Magee again, prebend of Killyman, £276 : 18 : 51/2, and 450 acres. Let us here follow his lordship to the see of Dublin, whither he was translated in 1822. W. Magee, vicarage of Finglas, March, 1823, no annual value stated; April, 1826, T. P. Magee, rectory and vicarage of Inch, and vicar of Kilgorman, £365 : 9 : 41/2 a-year; T. P. Magee, December, 1826, prebend of Tipperkiven, £127 : 10, and 78 acres; T. P. Magee (third time), same month and year, curacy of St. Michael, Dublin, no amount stated; May, 1829, T. P. Magee (fourth), prebend of St. John’s, no value stated; January, 1830, W. Magee, rectory of Dunganstown, no value returned; April, 1830, T. P. Magee (fifth time), prebend of Wicklow, so much talked of, value not stated. T. P. Magee seems either a very fortunate gentleman, or the brightest ornament of the church, judging from the number and rapidity of his promotions, for in addition to those conferred upon him by his father, we find him appointed, in April, 1830, archdeacon of Kilmacduagh.

Waterford and Lismore.—Hon. Richard Bourke to the see in 1813; we have, in Feb. 1817, Hon. George Bourke, a prebend and rectory; in Sept. 1819, the same individual to two rectories and two vicarages, value £471 : 14; a third time, in Aug. 1819, to the prebend and rectory of Leskan, no value stated; again in December, same year (for although the “Hon.” is here dropped, it is evidently the same favoured gentleman), to the prebendary and rectory of Kilgobenet, no value stated, and yet a fifth time, in August, 1827, to a precentorship and a rectory, value £1,569 : 4 : 7 per annum. There is also the Hon. Joseph Bourke in October, 1829, to a chantorship, value not stated.

In Cork the Hon. R. Laurence was in possession in 1812, since which the promotions of the St. Laurences have been between three individuals: the treasurership in 1815; a vicarage, June, 1818, £461 : 10s. : 8d.; a rectory and three vicarages in the same month and year (not the same person, however), value £1,365 : 17s. : 7d. per annum; a vicarage, in June, 1823, £461 : 10 : 2; at this time Edward made way for Robert, and got instead, three months after, a prebend and four rectories, value £1,162 : 10 : 8 a year, making “a difference” of £700 per annum in his favour; May, 1825, a vicar choralship; and July, 1826, a rectory and vicarage, value not given; in the diocese of Ross, attached to that of Cork, there are ten promotions of the St. Laurences, the value of four of which, the only ones stated, is £1435 per annum.

Kildare.—Dr. Lindsay, in possession of the see in 1812. June, [175] 1815, Charles Lindsay, prebend, rectory, and vicarage of Harristown, and second canonry of St. Bridget’s, £220: April, 1828, Charles Lindsay (again), archdeaconry, value not stated, and March, 1823, Charles Lindsay (fourth time,) canonry of St. Bridget’s, value not stated.

Ossory.—R. Fowler to the see in 1812; in April, 1824, Luke Fowler gets a union, consisting of a prebend, four rectories, and four vicarages, value annually £874 : 4 : 3; and in March, 1828, Luke Fowler gets two more vicarages, no value stated.

Ferns and Leighlin.—Thomas Elrington to the see in 1821. Dates of the promotions of H. P. Elrington: July, 1823, a prebend and vicarage, no value stated: October, 1824, a precentorship, rectory, and vicarage, £1,200 a year; February, 1824, three vicarages and a rectory, £609 : 4. : 7. per annum.

In 1819 we find Power le Poer Trench in the sees of Tuam and Ardagh; then follow, November, 1820, Hon. C. P. Trench, a rectory and vicarage, £461 : 10 : 9; November, 1821, ditto, an archdeaconry; May, 1825, ditto, a prebendary: same date, W. le Poer Trench two rectories, value £315 : 4 : 7; and October, 1830, ditto, a rectory and vicarage, no value stated, but 523 acres of church land.

In Killala and Achonry the Verschoyles are numerous enough to justify a suspicion that they are related to the diocesan; there is one with six vicarages at one promotion; he has also an archdeaconry, a provostship, a prebend, and a vicarage; another of the same name, with a “sen.” attached to it, has four vicarages and a prebend, value £949 : 16 : 5 per annum, and 727 acres of church lands.

Meath.—N. Alexander to the see, 1823; James Alexander to the rectory and vicarage of Killucan, 1828.

R. Mant, Down and Connor, 1823; R. M. Mant, archdeacon, 1828; R. M. Mant (the same), vicarage of Billay, 1823.

In Dromore, James Saurin, to the see in 1819; November, 1821, Lewis Saurin, rectory of Morin; and July, 1827, James Saurin, vicarage of Seagor, £500 a year.

Cloyne.—Bishop Warburton was translated from Limerick, in 1812, and in March, 1822, his second gift of a living went to Charles Warburton, to the value of £323 : 1.; 61/2. annually.

In 1820, Richard Mant was appointed to the see of Killaloe and Kilfenora; a promotion of R. M. Mant is found, three rectories and two vicarages, value £498 : 8 : 2 in July, 1821.

Even a cursory glance at these returns shows the reader how numerous in the church are the Beresfords: of that name there are an archbishop and a bishop; and in the dioceses, six in number, where they chiefly abound, they possess not less than fourteen livings, of which only four have their value annexed, amounting to £1,857 : 11 : 2; and 64,803 acres of land!!

The other names which occur most frequently beside those we have stated are Tottenham, Stopford, Ottiwell Moore, Porter, St. George, Pakenham, Langrishe, Brabazon, Alexander, Hamilton, Pomeroy, [176] Stewart, Torrens, Ponsonby, Wingfield, Dawson, Montgomery, Bernard, and Brooke.

We subjoin the summary of the returns: from which it appears—

1st. That between the month of August, 1812, and the date of this return, 1,383 spiritual promotions, comprehending the same number of benefices, have taken place within the several dioceses in Ireland.

2d. That the 1,383 benefices, to which promotions have been so made, contain 353 dignities, including the archbishoprics and bishopricks, and 2,061 parishes, &c.

3d. That 297 of the aforesaid dignities, and 405 parishes have been taxed, and are paying first fruits to the amount of £9,947 : 11 : 31/2; and that the remainder of said dignities and parishes are either exempted from payment, under the statute of Elizabeth, or have never been taxed and put in charge.

4th. That valuations have been made, under the Tithe Composition Act, in 1,194 of the above-mentioned parishes, to the annual amount of £303,620 : 0 : 61/2.

5th. That 1,034 of the said parishes have glebes annexed to them, amounting to 82,645 acres; and that the see lands on promotions occurring amount to 410,430 acres.

6th. That the total number of acres contained in both glebe and see lands, as referred to in this return, amount to 493,075 acres; and

7th. That the total number of acres belonging to the several sees in Ireland, with the exception of the dioceses of Down and Connor, Raphoe and Dromore, amount to 489,141 acres; the pecuniary values of which have not yet been officially ascertained.

Intolerance towards Dissenters and Roman Catholics.

Before concluding our account of the United Church of England and Ireland, we cannot help shortly adverting to the slow steps by which religious toleration has been established in this country. Looking back to the history of the Dissenters, we see with what difficulty freedom of thought has been wrung from the prosecuting grasp of what is considered a reformed Establishment. It was not till the Revolution of 1688 that the public worship of the Dissenters was tolerated; and the Act of Toleration at that period required them to take certain oaths and subscribe to the doctrinal articles of the Church of England. The same act, so much extolled, requires the places of worship to be registered, and the doors kept unlocked during the time of service. Even liberty of worship, under these suspicious and odious restrictions, it was subsequently attempted to abridge. In the latter part of Queen Anne’s reign, an act passed, called the Occasional Conformity Bill, making it a crime in any person, in any office under government, entering a meeting-house. Another bill, denominated the Schism Bill, passed in 1714, suffered no Dissenter to educate his own children, but required them to be put into the hands of a Church of Englandist, and [177] forbad all tutors and schoolmasters being present at any dissenting place of worship.

The last attempt upon this body was the memorable bill of Lord Sidmouth in 1810. The meditated encroachment upon their liberties was worthy of the sinister statesman from whom it emanated. The Dissenters, to their immortal honour, rushed forward at once to repel this aggression on their rights. Had they suffered their ministers to be placed at the mercy of the Quarter Sessions, the magistrates, no doubt, would not only have judged of their fitness for the ministry of the Gospel, but also of their fitness for the ministry of the Boroughmongers.

This disgraceful spirit of legislation is now only matter for history. The repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts and the Catholic Relief Act have scarcely left any trace of the formidable penal code which, for a long time, interdicted to a large portion of the community not only the enjoyment of their civil immunities, but the free disposal of their persons and property. Both Dissenters and Roman Catholics may still complain of not being eligible to fill the office of lord chancellor, or be a member of the privy council; they may complain of being excluded from the national universities, and may think it a hardship in case they fill any judicial, civil, or corporate office, that they cannot appear in their official costume, nor with the insignia of their office at their own places of worship; but these are trifling grievances, scarcely worth mentioning. They are subject to no test on account of religious belief; and it may be now truly said that, with the exception of Jews and openly professing Infidels, the honours and advantages of the social state—so far, at least, as spiritual dogmas are concerned—are fairly opened to every candidate.

For this salutary triumph we have been indebted solely to secular wisdom, not to any generous concession or enlightenment proceeding from our established instructors. The Church has always shown itself more tenacious of its monopoly than even the Aristocracy. Of the lofty tone of intolerance maintained by some of our high dignitaries, to a recent period, we have a rather amusing instance in the conduct of Dr. Kipling, the late Dean of Peterborough, and which we shall shortly relate. The Rev. Mr. Lingard, the distinguished Roman Catholic historian, had, it seems, in his Strictures on Professor Marsh’s “Comparative View,” &c. used the words “new Church of England” once, and oftener “the modern Church of England.” To consider the Church of England “new” or “modern” appeared a mortal offence in the eyes of Dean Kipling. He wrote a furious letter to Mr. Lingard; quoted a passage from Hawkins; and threatened to prosecute him if he did not, within a limited time, prove what the Dean intimated it was impossible for him to prove. Whether the Dean afterwards relented, or whether Mr. Lingard proved that the Church of England, as being the offspring or daughter of the Church of Rome, which, in many respects, she so much resembles, was “new,” we are ignorant. Did [178] our limits permit, we would insert the Very Rev. Dean’s loving epistle. It would show what a meek, gentle, Christian spirit may still rankle in the hearts of some of our church dignitaries. It would show to what expedients these worthies would resort to uphold their faith, or, more correctly, their temporalities, were they not restrained by the march of philosophy and the public mind. It is impossible to read Dean Kipling’s letter without feeling persuaded that, had Mr. Lingard had no better barrier for his personal safety than the tolerant spirit of the writer, he might still be liable to be hung up by the middle, with an iron chain, and roasted before a slow fire, according to the orthodox piety of olden time.

Men ought always to set their faces against prosecution for opinions, whether instituted under pretence of heresy, sectarianism, Judaism, or even infidelity. Under any of these forms it is the same mischievous and dogmatical principle. What difference, for instance, is there in the principles of a prosecution instituted at this day for Judaism or infidelity, and a Popish prosecution instituted in the reign of Queen Mary on account of the real presence. In both cases difference of opinion is combated by corporeal infliction; the Papist punished by fire, the modern intolerant by fine, imprisonment, or civil disability. The difference in the punishment makes no difference in the motive; in both cases it is combating mind by physical force, and he who employs such a weapon is as deeply immersed in the night of Popery, as Bishop Bonner, who laboured to convert the miserable victims of his cruelty by a vigorous application of birch to the posteriors.

The ingenuous mind revolts from the idea of maintaining opinions by force: to say that any class of opinions shall not be impugned, that their truth shall not be called in question, is at once to declare that these opinions are infallible, and that their authors cannot err. What can be more egregiously absurd and presumptuous? It is fixing bounds to human knowledge, and saying that men cannot learn by experience; that they can never be wiser in future than they are to day. The vanity and folly of this is sufficiently evinced by the history of religion and philosophy. Great changes have taken place in both; and what our ancestors considered indisputable truths their posterity discovered to be gross errors. To continue the work of improvement, no dogmas, however plausible, ought to be protected from investigation; and the only security of the present generation against the errors of their progenitors, is modestly to admit that, in some things, they may possibly yet be mistaken.

The Papists are not the only class of religionists obnoxious to the reproach of uncharitable tenets. Hume justly remarks that toleration is not the virtue of priests of any denomination; and this is amply confirmed by the history of the Scottish, Romish, and English churches. They have all shed blood, tortured, and punished, when circumstances gave them an ascendancy. The reason is obvious. Religion is more the result of feeling than of understanding; and it may be expected [179] that its most intense professors should be more prompt to use the vulgar weapons suggested by passion and violence, then listen to the dictates of reason and humanity.

Crisis of the Irish Church at the close of 1831.

In Ireland ecclesiastical oppression appears to have reached its term of duration. When a people become unanimous, their fiat is omnipotent and without appeal. It is this which will abase the usurpations of the Boroughmongers, and the same power has decided the fate of the Irish Protestant clergy. At the time we are writing there is all but a national insurrection against the tithe system. In Queen’s County, in Kilkenny, Clare, and Tipperary, the resistance to clerical oppression is nearly unanimous—and the spirit is rapidly spreading to other counties. The incomes of many of the clergy have become merely nominal; instead of seizing and selling the produce of others, they are compelled, as a means of temporary subsistence, to bring their own domestic chattels under the hammer of the auctioneer. Yet the law is in their favour; the courts have power to decree and the sheriffs to seize the goods of the refractory. But who will buy—who dare bid at a tithe auction? There is the rub. Laws and acts of parliament are empty sounds—they are mere “ink and parchment unless guaranteed by public opinion.” The police, the magistracy, and an army of 30,000 men are powerless against six millions united.

Ministers, finding the battle is lost, have brought the subject before parliament. But it may be doubted whether their views are yet commensurate with the vastness of the undertaking. The Protestant church may be considered virtually dissolved; in fact and opinion it is gone. It has fallen, not so much from its secular oppression as its monstrous incongruities, and from its failing to answer one object—moral, social, or political—for which a church was ever established and supported. A composition for tithe, for the benefit of the priesthood, is out of the question; nothing remains but a general commutation with the landed interest for the benefit of the public—we say the public, because the fee simple of church property is not in the clergy, but in the community at large. The example of Scotland must be followed and improved upon. An equal provision or none for the pastors of all sects, a provision for the poor and for popular education, are the fragments to be seized out of the wreck of the establishment. At all events, in the approaching transition, the tithes must not be suffered to slip into the rents of an absentee proprietary. No! Ireland must have the benefit of the two millions [*] now spent in other climes. It [180] would clothe her nakedness, reclaim her wastes, appease her hunger, and civilize her generous but yet barbarous population.

A system like that described in preceding pages could not, by possibility, be lasting. It contained within itself the seeds of destruction. Yet it has been long and obstinately persevered in through midnight outrage, assassination, and massacre. To enforce this abominable oppression 26,000 persons have been butchered in twentys and tens within the last thirty years. [*] Surely this hecatomb of victims is large enough to appease the Moloch of ecclesiastical cupidity. Horrible as the system has been, the mere proposition for reform has been delayed to the twelfth hour. So long as the people only suffered, their cries were unheeded. But the clergy themselves are now the victims; they have lost their incomes; they did very well without churches and congregations, but they cannot do without tithes; so the legislature flies to their relief. The millions pleaded in vain, but their handful of oppressors is listened to. Is this justice? No! it is only fear and selfishness. Nevertheless, like good Christians, we must pardon injuries—forget the past—and provide for a better futurity.

While we fervently hope to see the condition of Ireland improved by the cultivation of her vast resources, by the improvement of her laws and magistracy, by the annihilation of factious interests, and by a provision for her destitute poor, still we cannot help entering our protest against the repeal of the Union. Had not the decree against the Boroughmongers gone forth, we might have embraced such an alternative; but as the days of the Oligarchy are numbered, we can see no good reason for separating the destinies of Ireland from those of England. It is useless to disguise—the ultimate object sought by the Repealers is the erection of Ireland into an independent state under the presidentship, kingship, or something else of the “Liberator:” but men, we trust, are too enlightened to be ridden over rough-shod, either by the wiles of priests, of mendicant patriots, or military adventurers. We do not inquire what individuals—but what the people would gain by this revolution? From Britain it would sever the right arm of her power; and what advantages would Ireland reap by a separate existence? She does not possess, within herself, the elements to constitute an united, prosperous, and enlightened community. Supposing, for a moment, she escaped a century of civil war, and forthwith passed under the yoke of the “ex-king of Kerry,” with a deplorably ignorant population for his lieges—a fanatical, but richly endowed priesthood, as they would be with the lands and tithes of the Protestant establishment—for the servile instruments of his sovereignty—what a spectacle would she present! Under such a regime, it is easy to discern insuperable obstacles to every social improvement. For ages she would be no better under her new autocrat, than Portugal under Don Miguel, or Naples under the sway of a Bourbon. Every sincere well-wisher to the greatness and happiness [181] of England and Ireland must deplore the idea of dismemberment: united, they may be a source of mutual light and power; dissevered, they would be the luminary of day and lamp of night struck from their orbits. Such an event holds out no remedy for any specific evil; whatever measures for the good of Ireland could be effected by the senate of College-green, may be effected by the reformed parliament of the united kingdom; and this without the delay, clash, and conflict inseparable from rival legislatures. A dissolution, therefore, of the empire cannot be sought as the mean of public good, but as a mere stalking-horse to selfish aggrandisement.

Under an enlightened general government, England and Ireland may pull together for the mutual advantage of both, and, we trust, by speedy and effective reforms, so unfortunate a catastrophe as a legislative separation will be averted. It cannot be forgotten how Ireland was governed by her own parliament—the most corrupt, selfish, and ignorant set of legislators that ever assembled between four walls. For what then should it be revived? The true policy for tranquillizing the country and disarming faction is obvious; remove grievances and confer benefits. Instead of burthening the yet struggling manufactures and agriculture of the Irish with additional taxes, as was sought to be done by the Wellington ministry, a resource ought to be sought in the crown-lands of Ireland, and in the wasted estates of the Church, in the million of neglected acres possessed by absentee bishops, and in the million and more worth of land and tithe possessed by the collegiate bodies and nonresident incumbents. Here is the panacea for cementing the Union, producing contentment, and supplying the wants of an impoverished Exchequer.

The besotted tyranny which has impeded the prosperity of Ireland will hardly be credited by posterity. Her population is only half-civilized; in religion, manners, and domestic habits, no better than the rabble of the Peninsula; while her lands in whole districts are as little cultivated as the wilds of Tartary. We do not allude to the bog and mountain wastes; and these, in great part, continue such from an obstinate legislation which tolerates, year after year, the remains of baronial tenures;—but would it be believed that there is, or was, so recently as 1821, a tract of country in the south of Ireland, occupying 800 square miles of territory, in which there is not a single resident gentleman, nor clergyman, nor a single road fit for a wheel-carriage to pass? This is the testimony of Mr. Baron Foster; and hear it, Boroughmongers! you, who have expended millions to fortify Canada, as you did the Netherlands, for a rival power, and to provide colonial sinecures and offices in sugar islands, converted into hells for the infliction of torture on your fellow-creatures,—hear, and look at home, how you have governed and elicited the resources of our great dependency, placed at the threshhold, in the very bosom of the empire!

Who can revert to the history of the Oligarchy without indignation? Rotten boroughs and tithes, as much as sinecures, pensions, and exorbitant salaries, have been the great obstacles to sound national policy. The holders and expectants of these have been ever bandied together, no [182] less by a sense of common iniquity than common interest, to oppose every salutary amelioration. On every public occasion, on every general election, the priest and the placeman united to oppose the enemy of imposture and peculation: from these no hope of good could be indulged; but the people have at length risen in their might, and the days of misrule will speedily end.


We have now fairly brought forward whatever can elucidate the present state of the United Church of England and Ireland, and its claims to the support and veneration of the community. Those whose vocation is to mislead and delude may attempt to impugn our statements and calumniate our motives; but their labour will be vain, unless they can disprove our facts. We have trusted to nothing apocryphal, and rarely depend on the testimony of individual observers. Our statements have been chiefly drawn from the admissions of the parties who wallow in the corruptions of which we complain,—from official returns to parliament,—and other accredited sources of information. On the results derived from these we have occasionally submitted reflections, the justice of which we leave to the reader’s consideration.

If such ecclesiastical establishments as we have exposed be much longer tolerated in their existing state, the people will evince a patience and fatuity far exceeding any previous estimate. No doubt there are mysteries in the art of governing, as well as truths in science, that have not yet been discovered. It is impossible to foresee what unheard-of wiles, delusions, and influence, priestly cunning may bring into play to stifle the claims of truth and justice. A nation, which, from groundless fear of change, was deluded into the support of a thirty year’s war against human rights and happiness, and had entailed upon it a debt of eight hundred millions, may, by some new fascination, be brought to tolerate a church that absorbs annually eleven millions of public income, ostensibly for religion, though it is religion’s most dangerous foe, and not one hundredth part of which rewards the labours of those really engaged in clerical duty. A pretended anxiety for our spiritual welfare, will, however, no longer serve for a cloak to temporal rapacity. The repetition of such detected knavery would be a national insult and impertinence: some new-fangled scarecrows, therefore, must be devised, other than the dangers of irreligion and democratic encroachment, to consecrate hereafter the oppression of tithes and the absurdities of rotten boroughs.

Secular abuses sink almost into insignificance when compared with those of the church establishment. One hundred and thirteen privy councillors receiving £650,164 a-year out of the public taxes, was an astounding fact; but we are sure, and those who have honoured us with attention in the preceding exposition, we are convinced, will believe us when we affirm it would be easy to select a smaller number of sinecure ecclesiastics who receive more and do less than this devouring clan of Oligarchs.



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Royalty, after all, is an expensive government! What is a king without an aristocracy and a priesthood? and what are any of these, unless supported in splendour and magnificence? It is a system in which men are sought to be governed by the senses rather than the understanding, and is more adapted to a barbarous than civilized state. Pageantry and ceremony, the parade of crowns and coronets, of gold keys, sticks, white wands, and black rods; of ermine and lawn, and maces and wigs;—these are the chief attributes of monarchy. They are more appropriate to the state of the king of the Birmans or of the Ashantees than the sovereign of an European community. They cease to inspire respect when men become enlightened, when they have learnt that the real object of government is to confer the greatest happiness on the people at the least expense: but it is a beggarly greatness, an absurd system, that would perpetuate these fooleries amidst an impoverished population,—amidst debts, and taxes, and pauperism.

In treating of the revenues of the crown it will be important to observe the distinction between the ancient patrimony of the sovereign, denominated the hereditary revenues, and the modern parliamentary grant, substituted in lieu of them, called the Civil List. Of the nature of the latter—the various charges upon it in the maintenance of the king’s household and other disbursements—of its extravagant amount during the profligate reign of George IV. and of the total burthen entailed by the royal expenditure on the people, we shall treat in the next chapter. In the present we shall confine ourselves to an exposition of the amount, the application, and management of the hereditary revenues; consisting of the landed possessions of the Crown, of Admiralty droits, Gibraltar duties, Leeward-Island duties, the property of persons dying intestate without heirs, forfeiture in courts of justice, the incomes of bishoprics during vacancies, surplus of the Scotch civil list, profit on waifs, shipwrecks, treasure-trove, and other minor sources. The other branches of the hereditary revenue, arising from the excise, wine licenses, and post-office, it does not fall within our purpose to investigate; they have been carried to the general account of taxes, and disbursed, we believe, as honestly as other portions of the public income.

Parliament having granted a specific annuity, out of the taxes, for the support of the dignity of the Crown, the public was led to believe, during the two last reigns, that the produce of the hereditary revenues had been appropriated to the wants of the state. This, it will be shown in the sequel, was a complete and egregious delusion. It will be seen [185] that the ancient revenues of the Crown were left at the uncontrolled disposal of ministers. That they were chiefly expended in objects personal to themselves, the king, or royal family; in pensions and grants to their parliamentary supporters, their relatives, and adherents; in the purchase of tithe and church-patronage; in occasional charitable donations, ostentatiously granted, under pretext of mitigating the sufferings of distressed artizans and manufacturers; in payments into the privy purse, for the more lavish support of court prodigality; in the building and pulling down of palaces; in payments for defraying the expense of the royal household, and other outgoings, which ought to have been defrayed out of the civil list: in short, it will be seen that, for seventy years, the public was not only burthened with an enormous provision for a civil list, but, by an extraordinary kind of Tory management, failed to derive any advantage from those funds, in lieu of which a civil list had been specially granted.

For obvious reasons, the leading men in the House of Commons always manifested great reluctance to touch on these subjects. Although it is well known that, allowance being made for difference in the value of money, and the charges transferred to other funds, the income of George IV. exceeded that of his predecessor by more than half a million, not one of the people’s advocates—not even the more ostentatious patriots—Brougham, Hume, Russell, or Graham—ever brought the shameless extravagance fairly before the country. It is possible, as we have hinted, there may have existed reasons for this complacence towards royal profusion. In spite of the encroachments of the Oligarchy, a king of England possesses great power, and has abundant means of rewarding expectants and supporters: he is not only the fountain of honour, but enjoys, nearly, all the patronage in church and state; and the more virtuous aspirants in public life may have felt reluctant to shipwreck all hope of once basking in the sunshine of the court. However, we feel no restraint from these considerations. Moreover we consider the sovereign, like other state functionaries, only the servant of the public: and the public sustaining a great burthen on his account, under the pretext that the duties of his office are essential to the welfare of the people, they have clearly a right to be informed of the amount and mode of his outgoings. In what follows it will be seen what a lavish expenditure has been tolerated during a period when successive ministers have been loud and vehement in professing a desire to reduce every establishment to the lowest possible scale, and when it has been often openly and boastingly alleged that economy and retrenchment had been carried to the utmost limit compatible with national service. Our exposition will also throw light on the workings of the borough-government in its highest departments, and uncover many streamlets of corruption which meandered through the upper stratum of our boasted Constitution.

The new disposition made of the hereditary revenues by the Civil List Act of 1831, and which continues in force during the life of [186] the king, we shall notice in its proper place; at present we shall give a brief exposition of those ancient endowments of the monarchy which long formed a principal source of ministerial influence and parliamentary corruption. First of the


These constitute the remains of the ancient patrimony of the sovereign, originally intended to maintain the dignity and defray the expense of the executive government. Formerly, the kings of England, as of other European states, were supported from the soil, and not by the system of revenue which has been organized in latter times. Manufactures and commerce were almost unknown; of money there was little, and scarcely any imposts. Gradually kings found out the means of supplying their wants by loading their subjects with taxes, which rendered the revenue derived from their private domains of less importance; and hence, contemporaneously with the progress of fiscal oppression, we may date the neglect and alienation of the hereditary revenues. The chief remains of these possessions are the crown lands, consisting of parks, forests, chases, manors, fisheries, and royalties; extensive estates, numerous church livings, fee-farm-rents, light-house dues, mines of coal, tin, and copper. The property is situate in almost every part of the kingdom, but principally in the metropolis and vicinity; much of it is in Wales; and there are extensive estates in Ireland. The history and management of these royal endowments, their subserviency to political purposes, and their present state and value, we shall shortly describe. It is a subject of much novelty, and one with which even public men have not taken great pains to be informed. Our information is mainly derived from the Reports of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, from a publication entitled, “Observations on the landed Revenue of the Crown,” written by a nephew of the celebrated Viscount Bolingbroke, and from the able speech in the session of 1830, of Mr. D. W. Harvey, the member for Colchester.

William, of Normandy, possessed a landed revenue of £400,000 a-year. From that period the territorial income of the sovereign declined, till the reign of Henry VIII., when, by the sequestration of the wealth of the religious houses, it was again augmented. The public revenue of Queen Elizabeth amounted only to £500,000, of which £132,000 was the produce of the crown estates. During the Commonwealth a commission was appointed by Cromwell to ascertain the extent of the crown lands throughout the kingdom; and, though the disturbed state of the country, and the jealousy with which the new government was regarded, did not afford him an opportunity of making that property produce as much as it would have done in more tranquil times, yet he disposed of crown property to the amount of two millions sterling. In Cornwall there were 52 honours, manors, and estates belonging to the Crown, of which Cromwell disposed of five or six; but only three or four of the [187] whole number are now remaining in the hands of government. These alienations by the Protector were, after the restoration, made subservient to a system of royal favour and proscription. Those who were artful enough to seize the proper moment for apostatizing from republicanism to royalty were never disturbed in their purchases; while others, who were either too tenacious of their principles, or had committed themselves too deeply by the part they took in the civil war, were compelled to surrender the crown property. Neither Chares II. nor James II. could resist the solicitations of rapacious courtiers, and the hereditary estates were leased, for long terms, to the great families at almost nominal rents.

But the greatest inroads on the crown estates were committed about the era of the Revolution of 1688. Such was the rapacity of the patriots of those days, and their ingenuity in devising new taxes to defray the royal expenditure, that William III. was induced to grant nearly the whole of the crown estates to his supporters in parliament. One family, that of Portland, obtained a grant of five-sixths of the whole county of Denbigh. In the next reign a compact was, for the first time, entered into between the sovereign and the people, by which a civil list amounting to nearly £700,000 was given to Queen Anne, as a commutation for the land and other revenues enjoyed by her predecessors; and the preamble of the Act is worthy of notice, for its object was stated to be “to defray part of the expense of government, and lessen the burthen on the subject by means of the preservation and improvement of the crown lands.” How public burthens have been lessened by this and subsequent engagements with the sovereign for a civil list will be strikingly illustrated in the sequel. For the present let us continue our narrative.

In the agreement with Queen Anne, it was settled that no crown estate should be leased at a rent less than one-third of its clear annual value; the remaining two-thirds being left to the disposal of ministers, who thereby were enabled to benefit their friends. Indeed, they often neglected the injunction of the statute, by granting long leases at a rent of a mark, 6s. 8d., 13s. 4d. or other nominal consideration. These abuses afforded a pretext to Shippen, Lockhart, and other members, disappointed in not being permitted a share in the spoil, for introducing a bill, the object of which was the resumption of the crown property obtained by the heroes of the glorious Revolution. The bill passed the Commons, but found its grave among the delinquents it was meant to reach, and where many similar acts of utility have been entombed.

From this period nothing more was heard of the crown lands till the accession of George III.; when it was settled that no lease of them should be granted for less than one-eighth of their annual value; the other seven-eighths to be taken in fines. Such, however, was the profligacy of ministers, that they first let the land almost for nothing, and, after taking an estimate of it at that rate, sold it for nothing. Thus an estate that was worth £5,000, was leased at a rent of £10, and afterwards sold for £200. An estate, comprising the whole of Piccadilly [188] from Park-lane to Swallow-street, together with all the back lanes, was absolutely sold to the Pulteney family, six years after a lease had been granted at the rent of £12 : 16 : 10. for £500. This lease is now nearly expired. The fine park of Bowood, in Wiltshire, after being leased at £30 a-year, was sold for £468 : 10. The manor of Spalding, of the annual value of £4,000, which, after being held by the trustees of the Earl of Dalkeith for no consideration at all, was leased to the Duke of Buccleuch at £5 per annum, and afterwards entirely severed from the crown without any inquiry whatever. In Yorkshire, the estate of Seaton, and another place, together with the alum-works, were sold to Lord Mulgrave for £27,000, the annual value of which was £2,296, including the alum-works, estimated at £20,000. It does not appear what became of the proceeds of the sale, except that they were paid into the Treasury; they may remain there still, but it is certain they have never been applied to any known public purpose. An estate, forfeited by the Earl of Derwentwater, worth £9,000 per annum, was sold to two of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests for £1,000. This was too gross to escape, and two members of the “Collective Wisdom,” having dabbled in the transaction, were expelled, and two others reprimanded. It is difficult to say whether the Whigs or Tories sported most in these land jobs, but the Whigs had certainly the best of it in the reigns of William III. and the two first princes of the Hanover family.

In 1770 the manor of Newark was granted to the Duke of Newcastle, first Lord of the Treasury, and a nobleman, according to the testimony of the first Earl of Chatham, much addicted to mendacity. [*] The rent reserved on this grant to the Pelhams was £482, and according to law the fine should have been £3374, instead of which only £200 was paid. The lease was renewed by Lord Granville, in 1806, for a term of thirty years, at a rent of £2000; the property now consists of 960 acres, covered with dwellings, tolls of bridges, fisheries, and markets, and yields to the proprietor £4000 a-year; and were it let, without reference to electioneering purposes, would yield £7000 a-year. But the great object of the crown-lessee is to maintain his political influence in the borough; for which purpose this property is under-let in small portions to yearly tenants, who are thus constrained to vote for any person the Duke of Newcastle thinks fit to nominate. A striking illustration of the Duke’s influence was afforded in the year 1829. Sir W. H. Clinton, differing in opinion with the noble boroughmonger, on the Catholic question, he was compelled to resign his seat for Newark; when his lordship, forthwith, posted down Mr. Sadler as the retiring member’s accredited successor. Some of the inhabitants, not liking the idea of a total stranger being crammed down their throats so unceremoniously, rebelled against their lord, voting for Mr. Sergeant Wilde, the opponent of the duke’s nominee. This was not to be borne: immediately after the election notices of ejectment were served on the [189] rebels; the duke justifying his vindictive proceeding on the tyrant’s plea—that he had a right to do “what he pleased with his own;” affording a practical commentary of the vast utility of the constitutional maxim, which declares it to be a “high infringement upon the liberties of the people for any peer to concern himself in the election of members of the House of Commons.”

Leaving the noble trader in boroughs, we shall proceed with others. In Lincoln, there was a crown estate valued at £937, let to Sir W. G. Guise, at £37 a year, as a means of political corruption. The estate of Rosedale, in the mountain recesses of Yorkshire, was held by forty tenants, whose leases expired in 1816, and have since held, from year to year, to the great deterioration of the land. Instead of dividing this property to suit the tenants, many of whom would have been purchasers, it was put up in one lot, on the last day of December, when the ground was covered with snow. The reserved bid was £70,000; only £37,000 was offered. These reserved bids are injurious, for they prevent competitors from coming forward. Property at Esham was let to Sir John Shaw for £3920: the crown lessee put it up to sale in lots, and obtained biddings to the amount of £25,000 and upwards: this, it must be observed, was during the excitement produced by paper-money and war prices. In 1815 a lease was granted to Sir John Throgmorton, at a rent of £115, of property of which the estimated value, upon oath, was £1104. Another property of great importance, called Sunk Island, had been lately rescued from the sea. In the report of the commissioners it is described as a parcel of sandy land, at the mouth of the river Humber. From 1771, it was leased for thirty-one years. In 1802, another lease was granted for thirty-one years, at a rent of £700 for the first year, £2000 for the second, and for the remainder of the term £3100. In the second year of his lease the tenant went to an expense of £10,000, in making banks and in other improvements, and the estate is now let by him for £10,000 a-year. The Reverend John Lonsdale is the crownlessee, and, apparently, a good judge in land speculations. This estate consists of 6000 acres of the finest soil in the kingdom, tithe free, and worth fifty shillings an acre. In 1812, freehold estates to the amount of £1084 of yearly value were sold at twenty years’ purchase; the manor of Eltham, with royalties, lands, &c. for £569; King’s Cliffe £148; the manor of the Chapter of Beverley, with all rights, courts, demesnes, and tenements belonging, for £224; and part of the race-course of Newmarket for £154. All these were sold at twenty years’ purchase, the land-tax having been previously bought by the Crown at thirty-nine years’ purchase from itself, and sold again at twenty years’ purchase. It is needless to remark that manors are highly desirable investments; with courts and royalties annexed, they give a local distinction and importance to the purchasers.

We shall next enter the domain of Woods and Forests, abounding with similar examples of waste and mismanagement as those already cited. Here, again, we meet with the Duke of Newcastle. A broad riding-way was cut for his Grace through Sherwood-forest: the timber [190] cut down was given to his lordship, and the pailing raised at each side of the way was charged to the public at £1787. Another nobleman had a right of pasturage for one horse, in Wolmar-forest, and, for the pasturage of this single horse, not less than 450 acres of forest-land were appropriated. Rockingham-forest and an estate adjoining were let to Lord Westmoreland at less than one farthing an acre! The interests of the crown in this property were valued, so long ago as 1704, at £50,000; they were bought, by Lord Westmoreland, for £10,038, in 1796, though the money was not all paid till 1809. With so much indulgence and profuse generosity is it surprising the crown lands have contributed so little to relieve public burthens? Sherwood-forest contains 95,000 acres, and, from 1761 to 1786, the disbursements for management exceeded the receipts by £9037. Some trees, which were blown down in the forest, were valued at £2457; but the produce was only £850, the rest being expended in fees and allowances to officers. In the forest of Littlewood there were 5424 acres, and not less than seventy officers. During the last-mentioned period the receipts for the crown property, in Wales, amounted to £123,717; the expense of management to £124,466; so that the exchequer was minus, by the principality, £749!

Very inadequate considerations appear to have been received for the leases of houses in the metropolis. In 1815, there were no less than thirty-one houses, in Piccadilly and the neighbourhood, let for £125 a-year, a property which, in 1786, was valued at £600, and must now be worth many thousands. Nineteen houses were let in Holborn, near the Turnstile, for £564 and £100 premium, which were worth at least from £100 to £130 each. In the Spring-garden-terrace were three messuages, well worth £200 each, all let for £200 and a fine of £500. Other houses, in Piccadilly and Pall Mall, have been disposed of on terms equally low; the rents must be merely nominal, nothing like what the houses are really worth. A house, No. 17, Charles-street, has been let, upon a thirty years’ lease, at £110 a-year. Within a month after the completion of the lease, the tenant let it for £230 a-year; thus clearing more than cent. per cent. by his speculation. The ground-rents of the Crown, in London, produced, last year, £105,000. Reckoning, with the late Mr. Huskisson, the buildings at only five times the value of the ground-rents, the rental of the Crown, when the leases fall in, will be £525,000. What a means of influence in the capital! what accommodation it enables ministers to afford their friends and supporters!

Indeed, it is important to remark who are the tenants of the crown property. Mr. Harvey justly observed that it presented a source of corruption sufficient to contaminate any parliament, and pervert its members to any purpose. Most of the parties involved in the preceding transactions were peers of the realm or members of parliament. Out of four hundred and eight tenants to the rental of £200,000 a year, in 1786, upwards of two hundred were men of title. Among them were the Duke of St. Alban’s, Earl Bathurst, Viscount Bacon, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of Lichfield, [191] and many other noble lords; for, to speak truth, they were as “thick as the peerage could make them.” It cannot be supposed these great personages would condescend to the humble office of land-jobbers, unless something very substantial was to be gained by it. It is not unusual for peers of parliament and honourable members to take leases of the crown-estates at a low consideration, and then re-let them to sub-tenants at exorbitant rents; but it is not likely they would submit to the trouble and degradation of acting as middle-men, unless the profit was really magnificent.

We must now turn over another leaf. It has been seen on what very low terms Messieurs the Commissioners let and sold the crown lands; we shall, per contra, show how very lavish they have been when they had any thing to buy,—a residence, for instance, for a brother placeman, or a piece of church-patronage, or a parcel of land to round off the parks, or to improve the view from the palaces, or the unfinished house of an insolvent prince, or a needy peer. Whether they had authority so to apply the proceeds of the land-revenues may be doubted, but that they have done so is certain, and here follows a brief chronicle of a few of their performances.

Within a short distance of Virginia Water was a public-house, the Wheat Sheaf; to remove this vulgarity from the favourite resort of the late king it was bought for £5000, and let to Ramsbottom, the brewer, and a M. P. for £50. At Egham, premises were bought for £1100, for which no person, when they were offered for sale, would give £500. The sum of £21,000 was paid for Mote-park. The house of Lord de Clifford, in Spring-gardens, was bought for £4000 for an auditor’s office, while the government was letting houses of their own in the same place, and equally fit for the purpose, at £100 a year. In Pimlico, £26,000 was paid for premises to enlarge the mews. In Windsor, a house was purchased from the Honourable John Coventry for £7000, and sold afterwards to the Honourable Mr. Westenra for £6000. A sum of £56,566 was lent to the Duke of York to build a house. Government bought it for £81,000, and sold it again to the Marquis of Stafford for £72,000. In 1805, the Black Bear, in Piccadilly, was let under the Crown at a rent of £108; but it became desirable to resume the premises, and the interest of the lessee was valued at £3000. In 1809, the Duke of Richmond disposed of a house to the commissioners for £5000; but they took the precaution of saying to his Grace, you must give us back £700 of this for damage done in 1791, and so the sum paid was reduced, in this way, to £4300. The perpetual advowson of the rectory of St. Mary-le-bone was bought of the Duke of Portland for the sum of £40,000. According to the explanation of Lord Bentinck, his father accepted this diminutive consideration rather than the living should fall into “bad hands,”—the Dissenters, who had offered a larger sum. [*] The bargain has not been very advantageous to the public. The expenses incurred in one year subsequent to the purchase [192] were £10,000. The receipt from pews was only £800, and the rector was paid £2000 a year. But an important object was gained by this contract. Ministers secured the ecclesiastical patronage of one of the largest and richest parishes in the metropolis.

Having given specific examples of the management of crown property, and the purposes to which it has been applied, we shall next advert to the general income and expenditure arising from this source.

The property in Ireland has scarcely yet been noticed. It is of the same description as that in England, consisting of estates, composition-rents, quit-rents, and rents of plus acres. The gross proceeds from these sources, in 1796, were £61,340. Since then part has been sold, leaving the Irish rental in 1829, £56,354.

The average receipts from the crown lands in both kingdoms, from 1793 to 1829, has been £560,000 per annum. Of this income a very small portion indeed has been available to the public service. In the last three years £1,500,000 was received, and not a single farthing was paid into the Exchequer. During the whole term of twenty-six years only £234,000 has reached the Treasury, the remaining balance of upwards of fourteen millions having been expended in the notable bargains of the commissioners already mentioned, in metropolitan improvements, on the royal parks and palaces, in pensions and compensations, and in the salaries of officers and charges of management.

The average expenditure in the three years 1827, 1828, 1829, in the collection of rents, law expenses, and other charges, was £169,020, being, within a trifle, 20 per cent. on the entire produce of the crown lands. The office of Woods and Forests, including salaries of commissioners, clerks, &c. costs upwards of £18,000; in addition to which £6000 and more is annually paid for law charges, and to auditors and assistants. But the greatest and most objectionable objects of disbursement have been the parks and palaces. The total of the ordinary expenditure on St. James’s and Hyde Parks, Richmond, Hampton-court, Bushy, Greenwich, and Windsor Parks, was, in 1826, £48,810. In 1827, the expenditure, ordinary and extraordinary, amounted to £92,200. In 1828 it was £116,143. The sums lavished on the palaces have been really prodigious. For the repairs and alterations of Windsor Castle £771,000 has been granted, and still unfinished. £270,670 has been expended in furniture for the castle, and £10,000 more is required. Of the sum expended £1768 was for kitchen furniture. The total expenditure on the castle in furniture and building is estimated to amount to £1,084,170. [*] The estimated expense of repairing and improving that ill-situated pile, Buckingham-Palace, was £432,926; but this did not include the expense of the sculpture of a marble archway, alone, to cost £35,000, and the commission of architects and clerks, amounting to £63,243 more. Lord Duncannon, this session, [193] required £78,750 additional, to complete this monstrous undertaking, which does not include the charge for furnishing the palace. [*]

The formation of Regent-street was estimated to cost £368,000. From first to last it has cost £1,833,000. The rents of the houses do not exceed £36,000, being under 2 per cent. per annum on the outlay. Had not this undertaking been left to the management of Mr. Nash, it might, by this time, have produced three or four times the present rental. The Charing-cross improvements were estimated to cost £850,000, they have already cost £1,147,000. The Strand improvements are estimated to cost £748,000, but Mr. Arbuthnot now admits there will be an exceeding on this estimate of £95,000.

With the purpose of the street-improvements no fault can be justly found. Some of them already are, and others no doubt will be, both useful and ornamental to the Metropolis; and if the land-revenue had not be drawn upon, recourse must have been had to the consolidated fund. The chief objections that can be urged against them are the disproportion between the original estimate and the expenditure; the questionable taste displayed in some of the plans, and to the individuals employed to superintend their execution. For example, Mr. Nash, according to the report of a parliamentary committee, “became a lessee of the Crown while acting as its agent and surveyor, and in his capacity of the crown-surveyor actually reported on the buildings erected by himself, upon the ground of which he was the lessee.” [] Other and more serious charges have been alleged against this gentleman, but as they have not been so clearly established we pass them over.

Throughout we have used the term crown lands; they are in fact not the lands of the Crown, but of the public. Ever since the reign of Queen Anne a life-annuity has been granted to the sovereign in lieu of the produce of the hereditary revenues. Hence results the mal-appropriation in lavishing these funds in aid of the royal expenditure. Surely the civil list of the late King was ample enough, not only to defray his personal outgoings, but to maintain his own establishments. The [194] acts of parliament, establishing the administration of the Woods and Forests, require that the revenues arising therefrom shall be expended in objects of public utility. Was the purchase of Claremont, as a residence for Prince Coburg, or the giving of a slice off Hyde-park to the Duke of Wellington, to round the area of Apsley-house, objects of this nature? Or can the parks and palaces be considered such? These last are often very haughtily and insultingly described as solely for the use, recreation, and enjoyment of the King. Let the King then defray, we say, the expense of them. During the late extravagant reign the people were very contemptuously treated as regards these matters. They were often capriciously excluded from the parks; prohibited from being seen in certain walks—restricted from entering here or walking there—and all these fantastic regulations to interdict the enjoyment of their own property, and the expense of maintaining which was defrayed out of their own pockets. Waterloo-place, Regent’s Park, and Windsor-park, afford examples of royal or official whims which will be easily recollected. Under William IV. there appears a disposition to conciliate popular feeling, but the treatment of the public by his predecessor was intolerable.

We shall now lay before the reader a return of the present income and expenditure on account of the crown lands. It is for the year ending 5th January, 1829, and it is abstracted from the last triennial Report of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests. After that we shall subjoin an estimate of the present value of the crown estates, submitted, by Mr. Harvey, to the House of Commons, March 30th, 1830.


Total balances, 5th January, 1828 £79,057 3 01/2
England and Wales.
Fee-farm rents £ 6,401 13 8
Leasehold rents 138,164 17 111/2
Profits of mines, manors, &c. 12,315 18 01/2
Light-house-dues, &c. 14,705 0 1
Fines 13,027 15 4
Sales of old materials, &c. 3,471 2 0
188,086 7 1
Quit, crown, and composition rents, and rents of plus acres 56,354 16 7
Island of Alderney.
Rents, tithes, royalties, and harbourdues 127 0 0
Isle of Man.
Tithes, quit rents, and alienation-fines 1,428 7 1
57,910 3 8
The royal forests, parks and woodlands 39,972 15 8
Total ordinary receipts, including balances £362,926 9 51/2


Sales of estates and unimprovable rents in England and Wales 139,704 11 11/2
The like in Ireland 22,949 2 1
Deposits upon sales to be paid 169 17 7
Total income for the year ending January 5, 1829 £525,750 0 3
Ancient stipends, including payments to schools, chapels, churches, &c. £7,486 7 10
Collection of rents, including allowances to receivers 4,241 9 81/4
Local disbursements by receivers, and allowances to tenants 4,094 1 41/2
Expenses of the establishment of Woods and Forests, including salaries of commissioners, clerks, surveyors, officers, &c. 18,574 6 7
Salaries to auditors and assistants 837 1 8
Law-charges 6,292 5 8
Payments to architects, surveyors, &c. expenses of journeys, and other bills 2,849 0 2
Fees on acts of parliament, enrolling of leases, &c. 3,637 0 2
Rates, taxes, superannuation-allowances, &c. 10,807 19 61/2
Expenses on the royal forests, parks, and woodlands 83,797 3 73/4
Total ordinary expenditure £142,616 16 41/4
St. James’s, Greenwich, Hyde, Windsor, and other royal parks 68,388 7 3
In purchase of estates and payments to Board of Works for Buckingham-palace 137,623 13 4
Transferred to the Regent-street fund 116,306 9 3
464,935 6 21/4
Balance, 5th January, 1829 60,814 14 51/2
£525,750 0 73/4
ESTIMATE of the Value of the Crown Lands, independently of the Woods and Forests, and of that Portion which may be considered to belong exclusively to the Royal Person.
One hundred and thirty manors and royalties, at £1000 £130,000
Annual rental of estates, £600,000, at 25 years’ purchase 15,000,000
Middlesex, ground-rents £50,000 per annum, at 40 years’ purchase 2,000,000*
Rents from houses, say £20,000 per annum, at 18 years’ purchase 360,000
Carried forward £17,490,000
Brought forward £17,490,000
Waste lands in forests not fit for oak timber, 86,000 acres, at £5 per acre 430,000
Church livings 100,000
Fee-farm-rents, and other unimproveable payments, in England and Wales, at least £6000, at 25 years’ purchase 150,000
Allotments under 485 inclosure acts, at £500 242,500
Irish estates 2,000,000
Total £20,412,500
N. B. The above estimate is exclusive of mines of coal, tin, and copper, and also of the Duchy of Lancaster, £30,000. Davenant, in his Treatise on the Lands of England, estimates the common rights of the Crown at 300,000 acres.

The estimate of the value of the land-revenues does not include the royal forests. In some of these are intermingling rights, and the Crown has no property in the soil. Such are New Forest and the forests of Epping, Sherwood, and Dean Forest; all the rights possessed by the Crown consist of the right of herbage for the deer, although in the great forest of Sherwood, comprising a sheet of land of 95,000 acres, not a single deer is kept. In the New Forest, out of 90,000 acres, the Crown has the right to enclose periodically 6,000 acres, which may be dissevered from the pasturage for the growth of timber. The most valuable property undoubtedly consists of the estates and leaseholds alone worth upwards of twenty millions sterling. These might be sold without encroaching on any possession in the least conducive to the dignity and enjoyment of the sovereign. What dignity, indeed, can there be in the king or his servants being jobbers in land, or hucksters in the sale of houses, leases, and ground-rents?

It is not, however, the dignity nor the comfort of the king, but the patronage of his ministers, that is at stake. The preceding narrative has shown what an endless source of jobbing the crown-lands have been for centuries; of jobbing the most foul, rapacious, and iniquitous. Not only have the commons, but the distinguished names of the peerage—the great historical cognomens—been implicated in these peculating transactions. This description is not limited to the times of the Edwards and Henries, when there was no law to contravene the sovereign’s pleasure, or the sordid practices of his servants, but applies to the period subsequent to the Revolution, when the constitution is supposed to have been purified and perfected. Acts of parliament, indeed, were passed prescribing the minimum of rent (relatively to the full value) at which the crown-farms should be let,—namely one-third before the reign of George III. and one-eighth after the accession of the said king, stating, too, that, under the former regulation, two-thirds of the valued rack-rent, and, under the latter, seven-eighths should be paid in the shape of fine. But what of these statutory restraints? They were all set at nought; the “creatures were at their dirty work” again; and, in most cases, the rents reserved and the fines exacted were merely nominal. May it not be said, after this, that ministerial responsibility is a farce, and that it is sheer fatuity to expect justice will be enforced [197] against public defaulters, when the accused and his judges are alike participant in the delinquency?

The sale of the crown-lands would not only cut off a dangerous source of ministerial influence, but render them more conducive to national wealth, and effect a saving in the public expenditure. That costly establishment, the Board of Woods and Forests, is in future, it appears, (House of Commons, Dec. 9, 1831,) to be consolidated with the Board of Works, whereby the expense of two boards will be saved. Mr. Huskisson long depastured in this retreat, and retained to the last a singular partiality for the existing mode of administering the crown property. In the debate on Mr. Harvey’s motion, he observed that the House had no right to dispose of the hereditary revenues of the Crown without its consent. No one could gainsay this constitutional truism. No doubt an act of parliament would be requisite, and every one knows an act of parliament is not law till it receives the royal assent. In this, then, there is nothing peculiar. But the importance ascribed by this wily and selfish politician to the fact, that the royal forests formed a valuable nursery for the growth of timber, seemed a little inconsistent with his favourite principles of free trade. England depends much more on the produce of her looms and steam-engines than of her woods and forests; though we should be sorry, for the sake of merely increasing national capital, to see, throughout the country, the latter entirely superseded by the former. Agreeably with the dogmas of the school of which Mr. Huskisson was long a professed disciple, our supply of timber would be most advantageously obtained from the wastes of Canada and Norway, where it can be cheapest produced; while our own acres are best appropriated to the growth of cheap bread for the artisan and manufacturer.


The next and most important branch of the hereditary revenues of the Crown is the droits of admiralty. These droits, or rights, are received by the king in his capacity of lord high admiral; the duties of which office are discharged by five lords commissioners. The principal sources whence the droits are derived are the following:—all sums arising from wreck and goods of pirates; all ships detained previously to a declaration of war; all coming into port, either from distress of weather, or ignorant of the commencement of hostilities; all taken before the issuing of proclamation; and those taken by non-commissioned captors are sold, and the proceeds form droits of the crown and admiralty.

From this description of the sources whence the droit revenue is constituted, it evidently appears little better than buccaneer or piratical plunder, obtained under circumstances little creditable to any government to sanction. Ships detained previously to a declaration of war, coming into port ignorant of hostilities, or taken before the issuing of a proclamation, are all considered lawful prizes: the sufferers, in these cases, violate a law of which they are ignorant, and of which it is impossible they should have any knowledge. They are caught in a spider’s [198] web impervious to the sight. An ex-post-facto law, or the laws of the Roman tyrant, who placed them so high that they were illegible to the beholder, were not more unjust and tyrannical. In the course of the late war—in the attack on the Danes, and the seizure of the Spanish ships—we had two memorable instances to what base purposes this principle may be applied. In the attack upon Copenhagen, government might be actuated by its fears as well as its cupidity; it might dread the Danish ships of war falling into the hands of Bonaparte; though, in either case, it was equally disgraceful to a great nation to be excited to an act of flagrant injustice and violation of international law. But what can be urged in defence of the attack on the Spanish ships in 1805? The object, in this case, unquestionably, was plunder for the droit-fund. There could be no fear of the Spanish ships joining the enemy, because they were merchantmen, and not ships of war. We were at peace; the Spanish envoy, in London, and the English ambassador, at Madrid, were carrying on a negotiation, and yet, under these circumstances, a squadron of ships of war was fitted out; the homeward-bound Spanish fleet, from South America, loaded with treasure, attacked, the crews massacred, the ships burnt, and the proceeds of this unhallowed enterprise condemned as rights of the Crown!

Posterity, in looking to the foreign and domestic policy of England for the last forty years, under the influence of Tory principles, will be at a loss which most to condemn—the encroachments on the liberties of the people, or the atrocious attacks on the right of other states. The balance of iniquity seems nearly equal. At home, the liberty and property of the people have been assailed by the Bank-Restriction-Act, Seditious Meetings Bills, new Treason Acts, and acts for the curtailment of the freedom of the press. Abroad, we may reckon among the catalogue of offences, the attacks upon Copenhagen and the Spanish fleet, and the affair of Terceira: to which may be added, our slow and reluctant recognition of the independence of the new States of South America—our suspicious neutrality, when the liberties of Italy and Spain were subverted by the interference of foreign armies—our non-interference in behalf of the heroic Poles, in their glorious struggle for national independence—and the promptitude with which we have mostly availed ourselves of every pretext for either openly supporting or covertly aiding the old European despotisms in their machinations against popular rights.

To return, however, to the droits of Admiralty. The monies accruing from the droits, as well as the crown-lands, and other branches of the hereditary revenue, were ostensibly conceded to the public, in lieu of the grant of a fixed sum for the civil list. But instead of being made available to the national service, they have, prior to the commencement of the present reign, always been kept in the back ground, and indirectly expended, without either the people or their representatives having any control over them, further than an occasional return of the objects on which they had been lavished. The management of the fund was not more extraordinary than its application. It was not paid [199] into the Exchequer, like the taxes, but remained in the hands of the registrar of the high court of Admiralty, the receiver-general of droits, the commissioners of prizes, and the Bank of England. There was no responsibility attached to the persons receiving or issuing this money. No account was kept of the receipts and outgoings at the Treasury. It was drawn out of the Bank of England, not on the authority of the privy-seal, but of a warrant under the sign manual only. In short, it was a fund wholly out of the control of parliament, and entirely at the disposal of the ministers of the Crown: it might be expended on the hirelings of the press, in rewarding spies and informers, in purchasing votes of members of parliament, in bribery at elections, in minions or mistresses, or any other purpose of royal or ministerial corruption.

The specific objects for which the Admiralty droits were granted to the Crown were for “guarding and maintaining the rights and privileges of the seas; [*] so that the whole of the fund, agreeably to its original destination, ought to have been expended on the ships, officers, and men of the English navy. How differently it has been applied we shall proceed to illustrate; instead of being devoted to maritime objects, it has been dissipated in rewarding the questionable services of individuals—in discharging the arrears of the civil list—in payments to Sir William Knighton, for the use of the privy-purse—in advances to different branches of the royal family—paying tradesmen’s and physicians’ bills—defraying the expense of visits from foreign princes, and of royal visits to Ireland, Scotland, and Hanover—and, in general, in discharging any casual debt or expense which the caprice or extravagance of royalty and its servants might incur.

In looking over the returns to parliament of the disbursements to individuals, the first that struck us as singular were two payments to the editor of a ministerial newspaper, namely, to Dr. Stoddart, now Sir John Stoddart, and a judge in the island of Malta. Next we came to a grant to Sir Home Popham, to indemnify him for losses he had sustained in his famous smuggling voyage. This gallant officer, it seems, had entered various investments outwards, in a ship called Etrusco, commanded by Sir Home, and bound from one of the ports of Italy to the East Indies. Captain Robinson, appointed on that station for the prevention of smuggling, seized the vessel; and her cargo, value £25,000, being contraband or smuggled goods, was condemned as good and lawful prize. Dr. Lushington having moved for various papers relative to this transaction, it appeared, by a warrant of the Treasury, signed Charles Long and others, as lords of the Treasury, that the loss of £25,000 sustained by Captain Popham, in smuggling, was made up to him by a grant of the same sum out of the Droits of Admiralty. When all the documents relative to the affair were upon the table in the house, and Mr. C. Long and Sir Home Popham, being both members, were present, Dr. Lushington moved “That Sir Home Popham, in being detected in [200] knowingly carrying on an illegal traffic, had acted in contempt of the laws of his country, contrary to the duty of a British subject, and to the disgrace of the character of a British officer; and, further, that the grant of £25,000 by Mr. Long to him out of the Droits of Admiralty, had been a gross misapplication of the public money.” After solemn debate on this question, not a single fact being denied or disputed, ‘the Guardians of the Public Purse’ fully acquitted Sir Home Popham and Mr. Long of all blame, by a majority of 126 to 57! When one member of parliament could thus give to another such a sum of money as £25,000 out of the Droits of Admiralty, it accounts for that loyal clamour which was so often heard in Parliament, of this fund being the private property of the king.

The way in which the Reverend W. B. Daniels, the author of a work on “Rural Sports,” became entitled to £5077 out of the fund for the maintenance of maritime rights, is worth describing.

A Mr. Jacob, the owner of the privateer Daphne, captured, in 1799 or 1800, the French vessel Circe, worth £30,000, which was condemned as lawful prize, and all claim to the contrary disregarded. The year and day for appeal having transpired, the condemnation became final, and £15,000 was shared among the captors. Ten thousand pounds more lay ready to be distributed. At this point of time, information was laid against Mr. Jacob, for having disregarded the 33d of Geo. III. by which the muster of the crew of a privateer before sailing is enacted. On the letter of this law they were convicted; the £10,000 stopped; and the £15,000 recovered; all of which became Droits of Admiralty. The mere ignorance of the law was admitted as no excuse for Mr. Jacob, and the result to him was, besides the loss of his prize, costs to the amount of £1700, and utter ruin. From having been in a respectable trade, he was thrown into gaol, and reduced to beggary. But on whose authority does the reader imagine Mr. Jacob and his family were reduced to beggary? Here it will be necessary to introduce the Rev. Mr. Daniels. This gentleman, after publishing his work on “Rural Sports,” had been confined for debt, and reduced, as Lord Brougham stated, to the condition of a ‘primitive Christian.’ After all other attempts to patch up his broken fortune had failed, he, at last, turned a broker in evidence, and procured two men, of the names of Thatcher and Guzman, one of whom had been convicted of perjury, and the other had been flogged at the cart’s tail, to swear as much as was necessary to convict Mr. Jacob. For this signal service, the Reverend Mr. Daniels received £5077 out of the Admiralty Droits, and the first of his witnesses £87 : 13 : 7, as a gratuity for evidence given!

Besides the payment to Sir Home Popham, and Messrs. Stoddart and Daniels, there are others quite as extraordinary and unaccountable. There is a sum of £2250 granted to Sir George Young, on the 20th of September, 1803, being one-third of the Dutch ship Frederick, taken at the Cape. The item is remarkable, because at the time Sir George is represented capturing ships at the Cape, he was serving in parliament as member for Honiton, filled a lucrative situation, and, on failing in a [201] subsequent election, was appointed governor of that Colony. The Earl of Dunmore is also down for the sum of £2792, under similar circumstances. Lord Stowell is inserted for £932, “for services in deciding upon cases relative to American captures.” There are two grants to Lord Keith of £20,521 and £1800, to make up losses he had sustained from an action brought against him for wrongfully detaining an American ship at the Cape of Good Hope. There is a grant of £700 to one Captain Temple, to defray the expenses of a prosecution for the alledged murder of a seaman, of which crime he had been acquitted; and another grant of £219 to a Turk, for some losses he had sustained at Constantinople.

The objects for which all these grants have been made appear very questionable and mysterious. Let us now come to the larger sums. To that pious nobleman, Lord Gambier, the great patron of Bible Societies, and to Lord Catheart, is the enormous sum of £348,621, as their share of the prize-money at the memorable expedition to Copenhagen. There is another enormous payment to one John Alcock, “to be by him paid over to the merchants, &c. trading to Spain, whose property had been sequestered in 1796 and 1797.” Another singular item of £54,921 is entered as an “indemnification to sundry commanders of his Majesty’s ships for condemnations, by a Court of Vice-Admiralty, at Cape Nicola Mole, afterwards found not to have jurisdiction.” A sum of £887 to Captain Spencer, in the year 1807, pursuant to his Majesty’s warrant; £10,000 and £1900 to William Bourne and others, as commissioners of Spanish and Portuguese property.

The complexion of all these grants is bad enough. We shall now speak of the immense sums taken out of this fund by the different branches of the Royal Family; and the reader must bear in mind that these grants are independent of the enormous incomes they derive from parliamentary grants. The droits have formed an inexhaustible mine for relieving the necessities of the king, the regent, the princes and princesses, in all their embarrassments. The facility with which money was granted by different ministers from this fund, rendered economy on their part wholly unnecessary. Prior to 1812, there had been taken from the droits the enormous sum of £760,000, simply for the payment of the tradesmen’s bills of the king’s household. The sums granted in aid of the civil list, from 1793 to 1818, amounted to £1,324,000. The sums paid during the same period, to different branches of the royal family, amounted to £266,331 : 17 : 3. Besides these sums, £58,000 was granted to defray the expenses of additional buildings and furniture at Brighton. The sum of £14,579, for additional expenses in the household, occasioned by the visits of foreign princes. The expenses of the royal visits to Ireland, Scotland, and Hanover, amounting to £70,000, were paid out of the Admiralty droits. From the same inexhaustible fund is the royal dole of £5000 to the poor of Spitalfields. Doubtless this act of charity would have been more gracious had the donation proceeded from the privy purse instead of from a fund which, if it does not belong to the nation, unquestionably belongs to the ships, officers, [202] and seamen of the navy. The last payment out of the droits we shall notice is one in 1829, to John Calvert, Esq., £9,166, to defray the expenses incurred in fitting up and finishing the house of his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence.

With the exception of the very inadequate payments to captors, we have mentioned the principal purposes to which the droits have been appropriated since the commencement of the late war. The following statement, abstracted from a return to parliament, will show the total produce of this great naval or rather ministerial fund, from 1793 to 1818:—

A SUMMARY ACCOUNT of all Monies received as Droits of the Crown and of the Admiralty, from the 1st of February, 1793, to the 29th of May, 1818.—Ordered to be printed, June, 1818.
£ s. d.
Registrar of the High Court of Admiralty 5,077,216 9 0
Receiver-General of droits 489,885 10 9
Commissioners for the care of Dutch droits 1,286,042 6 10
Commissioners for the care of Spanish droits 1,293,313 19 7
Commissioners for the care of Danish and other droits 348,261 6 5
Total £8,494,719 12 7

A period of peace is not favourable to an accumulation of Admiralty droits. Accordingly we find, from the date of the above return up to the last annual return to Parliament, the proceeds from naval droits have not averaged more than £120,000 per annum.


Notwithstanding the efforts of political writers to expose the manifold abuses of an antiquated system, an immense number remain, of which the public have no knowledge, and of which they have scarcely any means of obtaining information. Where, for instance, previously to the expositions afforded by this publication, could satisfactory information be obtained relative to the crown lands, the civil list, droits of Admiralty, and the other branches of the hereditary revenues of which we are about to treat? Correct information on these subjects can only be acquired from parliamentary reports and papers, to which few persons have access, and still fewer leisure to peruse and digest their voluminous contents. Unquestionably this was a defect in the political knowledge of the people, which we have attempted to remedy, and we have little doubt that the mystery which has heretofore involved the crown revenues, and concealed their amount and application from the community, will be hereafter dissolved.

After the Admiralty droits, the next considerable branch of revenue, [203] at the disposal of ministers, was the Four-and-a-Half per Cent. Leeward-Island Duties. This fund produces from forty to fifty thousand pounds a-year, and consists of a tax of 41/2 per cent. imposed on produce in the island of Barbadoes and Leeward Isles. It was created by a colonial law of Barbadoes, nearly two hundred years ago, and, by the terms of the act, was to be applied to the erection of public buildings, the repair of courts, and other colonial purposes. In the reign of Charles II. it was seized by the courtiers, and continued to be abused till the reign of Queen Anne; when, on a representation of the abuses of the fund, it was formally renounced by the queen and parliament in favour of the island of Barbadoes, and the original purposes of the act creating it. It again fell into abuse; the natural children of the king and royal dukes, the members of both houses of parliament, their relatives and connexions, having got almost entire possession of the fund. The parties in the smuggling transaction related above are inscribed here. The gallant Sir Home is dead, but his pension of £500 survives, being a reversion payable to his widow. The Countess of Mansfield, the mother of the anti-reforming peer who made so stout a stand against the second reading of the Reform Bill on its first introduction, is quartered on the Barbadoes planters for £1000 per annum.

The late General Crauford was a pensioner, till his death, on this fund, to the amount of £1200 a-year. The way in which this officer entitled himself to £1200 a-year for life is deserving of attention. Many people yet remember the fatal expedition to Walcheren, when forty thousand men were suffered to perish in that pestilential climate, owing to the incapacity of Lord Castlereagh and the duplicity of Mr. Canning. When this business became matter of discussion in the House of Commons; when it was made apparent to every man in England that it was to the squabbles and ignorance of these men that this great national calamity was to be attributed; it was, nevertheless, resolved, by a majority of two hundred and seventy-five, to negative the censure which was moved by Lord Porchester against ministers on that occasion. But the triumph of ministers did not stop here. A vote of approbation of the ministers was absolutely moved and adopted by a majority of two hundred and fifty-five. The member who had the effrontery to move this vote of approbation was General Crauford. But this officer had a further claim on ministerial gratitude: he had recently become connected by marriage with the Duke of Newcastle; he represented and commanded the parliamentary interest of that nobleman; he had eight votes to give to ministers on any occasion.

Many other names, not without celebrity, are inscribed on the 41/2 per cent. duties. The famous pension to Edmund Burke continues to be paid out of this fund. It is entered to “the executors of Mrs. Burke £2500,” and the date of the grant being the 24th of October, 1795, the public, up to this time, has paid, in principal money, £87,500. How much the world has benefited by the labours of Mr. Burke may be collected from the sublime events daily transpiring in Europe. The sole object of this celebrated renegade in his later writings [204] and speeches was to stop the progress of knowledge and liberty—to perpetuate the old feudal despotisms—and he might as well have attempted to stop the progress of the great deep. All he effected was to delay their fall, and so far as he contributed to that he was instrumental in the useless sacrifice of millions of lives. Events have proved this to be the issue of all the efforts of this infatuated oracle—for oracle he is thought by some—and the services of both him and his followers will appear to posterity as ill-timed as the vain endeavours of those who, in the later ages of idolatry, sought to oppose the subversion of a barbarous worship. The defect of Burke and his admirers is their blindness to the fact that the world is undergoing as great a revolution as when the popular mind was converted from Paganism to Christianity.

Lady Augusta de Ameland received a pension of £1292 from the 41/2 per cent. fund to the period of her death in 1830. All we know of her ladyship is that she was united to the Duke of Sussex, in Italy, by a sort of Gretna-Green marriage, and afterwards repudiated in consequence of that offspring of German pride and feudality—the royal marriage-act. Next follow the five Misses Fitz-Clarence, £2500—the natural daughters of the king, by Mrs. Jordan. The Duchess of Gloucester, £1000; the Princess of Hesse-Homberg, £1000; Lord Hood, £1500; Sir William Sydney Smith, £1250; the Earl of Chatham, 3000; and, in trust for Lady G. Tekell, £300; and for the seven children of Lady Lucy R. Taylor, £139 : 10 each. Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope brings up the rear with a pension of £900; she is the niece of the “Heaven-born minister,” and the same lady, we believe, who astonishes travellers by acting the Amazon, dressing in man’s attire, and living somewhere about Mount Sinai or Tadmor, in the deserts of Arabia.

These, we apprehend, are sufficient for specimens. We have passed over several names totally unknown to us, and, we believe, the public. So eager have the higher orders been to be established on this fund, that pensions have been granted upon it in reversion, and others charged upon it have not yet become payable. Of this latter class is the memorable provision for Lady Grenville, of £1500 per annum for life, in the event of her surviving Lord Grenville. Since Lady Grenville obtained this grant, she has succeeded to the great possessions of her brother, Lord Camelford. Lord Grenville holds a sinecure of £4000 out of the taxes as Auditor of the Exchequer. His eldest brother, the late Marquis of Buckingham, besides his great estates, held the enormous sinecure of the Tellership of the Exchequer, worth £30,000 per annum. Lord Braybrooke and Lord Carysfort, who married sisters of Lord Grenville, hold, each of them, through the interest of the family, sinecures that are worth some thousands a-year; and yet, after all, the devoted planters of Barbadoes are to be mortgaged for £1500 more for life. As there has lately been a great strain upon the borough establishment, we really wonder the Grenvilles have not been summoned to its aid: there is no family on whose services the Oligarchy has so just a claim; for they are completely bound up with the system [205] of the last forty years; and now that it is perilled all the veterans, the Sidmouths, Eldons, and the rest, who have retired loaded with spoil, ought to be again brought into active service—without pay!

The whole amount of pensions payable out of the Leeward-Island duties is £27,466, and £15,338 more in salaries. The entire produce of these duties from 1760 to the present is about £2,546,484, more than two-thirds of which sum have been lavished on court favourites and the members and supporters of the Oligarchy. Ministers having been frequently rated concerning the application of this jobbing fund, an act was passed, in 1825, prohibiting the grant of pensions from it in future, and providing that the surplus should be appropriated to the support of the ecclesiastical establishment in the West Indies. By this transmutation, nothing was gained to the public; and the ministers lost no portion of their influence, only their patronage became spiritual, instead of secular. A scion of Mother Church was planted in a distant land, which, no doubt, will emulate its parent in all her manifold virtues. As we have omitted, in our exposition of the Church of England, to give an account of the staff, corps, and endowments of this distant branch of the church establishment, we shall insert it in this place:—

Bishop of Jamaica £4,000
Archdeacon of Jamaica 2,000
Seven clergymen, at £300 each 2,100
Bishop of Barbadoes 4,000
Archdeacon of Barbadoes 2,000
Archdeacon of Antigua 2,000
Thirteen clergymen, at £300 each 3,900
Three catechists, at £100 each 300

These worthy gentlemen, after ten years’ service, are to have retiring allowances: their salaries have hitherto been paid out of the taxes; the 41/2 per cent. fund being so deeply mortgaged in pensions, there is no surplus from it applicable to the purpose. [*] And the proceeds arising from the smuggling transactions in sugar and ginger, in which the Wellington ministers were detected, do not appear to have been applied either to the support of the West-India church-establishment or any other public object. But this is another of those secret modes of raising the wind with which the public is totally unacquainted, and which it will be necessary to explain.

It had been usual to remit the 41/2 per cent. duty in the produce of the Leeward Islands, in sugar and ginger; which, like other commodities [206] from the British plantations, were sold for home-consumption at the long price—the duty included; and the duty paid over, as by private merchants, to the customs. This continued until the year 1828; previously to which, it has been seen, the surplus of the 41/2 per cent. duty had been appropriated to the support of the West-India church establishment. Ministers appear not to have relished the loss of their old fund; they had, it is true, exchanged lay for ecclesiastical patronage, but they seem to have been anxious to secure both. For this purpose, they hit upon a most extraordinary expedient. They first submitted a case to the Attorney and Solicitor Generals, requesting their opinion whether sugars, granted to the king in kind, and not specially subject to any duty, are liable to the payment of any custom-duty? [*] The lawyers, no doubt foreseeing what sort of answer would be most agreeable to their clients, replied in the negative. Upon this, directions were forthwith given to admit the sugars sent in payment of the Leeward-Islands duty without charging the duty of customs, which had been heretofore paid as on all other imported sugars. By this contrivance, Ministers obtained the command of a fund unknown to their predecessors, amounting to betwixt thirty and forty thousand pounds per annum—the amount of duty remitted, and precisely to the same amount the general revenue of the country suffered by the defalcation in the produce of the customs appropriated by parliament to the public service, To what extent this evasion of the payment of parliamentary duties, and the raising of money by the power of prerogative, might have been pushed it is impossible to foresee. Ministers might not only have imported sugars in payment of the 41/2 per cent. duty, custom free, but they might, also, by stretching their principle a little further, have imported sugars generally, for sale, duty free, and, by retailing them at the usual price, and appropriating the duty, raised a fund for pensions and grants to any amount.

The more we reflect on this affair, the more we are astonished. The idea of the ministers of a great country turning smugglers; of resorting to the age of the Tudors and Plantagenets for precedents; of seeking to evade, under shelter of the quibbling opinions of lawyers, the payment of duties imposed by themselves, and devoted to the national service, staggers belief. It establishes, with infinitely greater force than any argument of ours, the vast importance attached, by the servants of the Crown, to those secret and uncontrolled sources of influence we have been exposing, and how essential they deem the exclusive management of them to the working of the machinery of government. To shew that our exposition of the transaction is not exaggerated, we shall insert the opinion entertained of it by Sir James Graham, and expressed in the following resolution submitted by him to the House of Commons, on the 2d of July, 1830:—

“That to exempt from duty any article of merchandize imported for the Crown, but not intended for the use of the Sovereign, is an [207] extension of the King’s prerogative of dangerous example; and that to levy the parliamentary duties payable upon such articles when sold for home-consumption, and appropriate the amount thereof without the knowledge and consent of parliament, is an unconstitutional violation of the privileges of this House.”

It is impossible to ascertain all the funds considered at the irresponsible disposal of ministers during the long reign of the Tories. The appropriation of the surplus of the French claims is another instance of the power of a Treasury Minute to raise supplies in case of emergency. In this case, a finance-committee ascertained that a sum of £250,000 had been, by a mere order of the treasury, paid over, without the consent of parliament, to the commissioners of woods and forests, by the commission for liquidating the claims of British subjects on the French government, and subsequently expended in the alterations at Buckingham House. [*]

We have little further to add respecting the 41/2 per cent. duties. Mr. Creevy, the late member for Appleby, calculated that these duties, from the accession of George III. to the year 1812, had produced £1,600,000. A statement, by the same respected gentleman, of the purposes to which this enormous sum had been applied, is not more extraordinary, we believe, than correct; and with it we shall conclude our account of one of the most famous jobbing-funds of the Crown:—

Pensions to persons in this country £740,000
Special and secret service-money 326,000
Salaries to the Governors of Leeward Islands 400,000
For civil list expenditure 170,000
To different Secretaries of the Treasury, supposed for electioneering purposes 48,000


The Scotch Hereditary Revenue forms a fourth fund at the disposal of ministers, over which, previously to the accession to office of lord Grey’s ministry, there was no legislative control further than when grants had been irrevocably made from it, they were, pro forma, submitted to parliament. It yields, annually, above £100,000, and accrues chiefly from crown-rents, customs, hereditary excise, fines, and forfeitures. About two-thirds of the produce are paid in pensions, the remainder in donations to the episcopal clergy, to the Caledonian hunt, for providing coach-houses and stables for the barons of the Exchequer, and other objects of apparently no public utility. Scotland has lately got rid of the Tory incubus by which she was long deluded and oppressed. Prior to this relief she seldom petitioned for political reform, and the spring of her scribbling and clamouring loyalty may be easily divined, since in no other part of the United Kingdom was loyalty so well paid, [208] for in no other part were there such ample funds to reward devotion to ministers. The annual value of places and pensions shared among Scotch freeholders and burghmongers was estimated at £1,750,000, equal to half the rental of the kingdom. In the Third Report of the Committee on Public Expenditure, in 1808, it is remarked that Scotch pensions, which, at the commencement of the reign of George III. amounted only to 19, in the year 1797 had swelled to 185, and, in 1808, to 351, two-thirds of these pensions being granted to females!

A fifth source of royal income is the surplus of the Gibraltar Duties. It is provided, by the original charter, granted to this place, by Queen Anne, in 1704, that, for the augmentation of trade, no duty or imposition shall be imposed upon any vessel trading or touching at the port; and that the goods and chattels of the inhabitants shall enjoy an immunity from taxation. In violation of these chartered privileges various taxes have been imposed, and the chief portion of the proceeds therefrom, during the late reign, were paid over to Sir William Knighton for the use of the king’s privy purse. These taxes were levied without the authority of parliament, merely on the authority of the governor; and some recent impositions appear a tax on liberty of conscience,—one being a capitation-tax, of ten dollars each, imposed on Roman Catholics and Jews. Taxes have also been imposed on licenses to sell spirits, fishing-boats, lighters, and billiard-tables. The surplus of the Gibraltar Duties produced, over and above salaries and charges from 1760 to 1830, nearly two hundred thousand pounds; in the year ending 5th of January, 1830, they produced £11,498, of which £5000 was paid into the privy-purse. The collector of these imposts resides, we believe, in Lincoln’s Inn, and executes his duty by deputy.

The estates of lunatics, bastards, and others dying intestate and without heirs, form a sixth branch of the casual revenues of the Crown, under the denomination of Escheats. The proceeds from this source are considerable, amounting, in the reign of George III. to £323,424. [*] The King’s share of the estate of Mr. Newport, a lunatic, amounted to £113,000. Poor Troutback’s money shared a similar fate—but here “hangs a tale,” which we must explain, and for which purpose we shall first call in Mr. Waggoner.

“Mr. Frederick Matthew Waggoner called in and examined.

Do you know any thing of the proceedings that have been had with respect to Mr. Troutback’s will?—I do; he bequeathed £2000 for erecting an Orphan Hospital, and the whole of his money, amounting, with accumulations, to upwards of £100,000, to trustees, for erecting an additional wing, or separate building, to the charity school of St. John of Wapping, and for maintaining and educating poor children of that parish.

Are there as many poor children as would require the funds to educate?—Yes; more within the parish.

Do you think £5000 a-year would not educate the poor of the parish?—The will is for the education, clothing, and maintenance.


What has been done with respect to it?—We understand that it has been set aside by the Court of Chancery; and that the testator having no next of kin, the money has gone to the Crown.”—Report of the Education Committee, 1816, page 289.

Sure enough the “money has gone to the Crown.” The will was set aside by Lord Eldon, and the property applied to liquidate the royal debts. It was a windfall to the Sovereign, of which, as Mr. Tierney remarked, the public would never have obtained any knowledge, had not the civil list been in arrear, and it became necessary to apply to parliament for an additional allowance. [*] How the civil list became in arrear it may be worth while explaining. In 1816 the late King, then Regent, had incurred an enormous debt in consequence of living, as he mostly did, in a profuse and riotous manner. The Lord Chamberlain applied to the Lords of the Treasury to know how this debt was to be discharged. The Lords of the Treasury, after much consultation, determined that the debt, amounting to £277,000, should be defrayed partly out of the money bequeathed by Mr. Troutback, for charitable uses, partly out of the Droits of Admiralty. [] Thus, the money piously left to clothe, educate, and maintain poor children, was applied to pay the furniture-bills, tailor-bills, haberdasher-bills, and bills perhaps of a still less creditable description, of the Prince Regent. It vexes one to see to what base purposes the best of things may be perverted. How many poor children of Wapping the money of Troutback would have preserved from the gallows and transportation it is impossible to say; but it is certain, had George IV. been more frugal, or a Prince who thought the welfare of his subjects of more importance than vicious indulgence, the money of Troutback, notwithstanding any informality in his will, would have been suffered to go to the noble objects for which it had been so generously bequeathed.

A seventh source of royal income is from the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster. When there is no Prince of Wales, or during his minority, and there is no Duke of Cornwall of a proper age to receive the revenues amounting to £15,000 a-year, they are claimed by the crown. The duchy of Lancaster yields an income to the King of £10,000 per annum. Both sums are paid into the privy-purse—the nature of which will be explained in the next chapter.

The remaining branches of the Crown-revenues are too unimportant to claim particular exposition. They accrue principally from fines and forfeitures in courts of justice, from green-wax money, from the sale of spices in the Molucca Islands, and from quit-rents and confiscated estates in the West Indies. We shall subjoin a statement of the produce of these and other branches of the Crown-revenues during the entire reign of Geo. III. from Parliamentary Paper, No. 1, Session 1820.


AN ACCOUNT of the Total Produce of all Funds at the Disposal of the Crown, and deemed not to be under the immediate Control of Parliament, from the Accession of George III. to the Year 1820.
£ s. d.
Droits of the Admiralty and Droits of the Crown from 1760 to 1820 9,562,614 4 61/2
41/2-per-Cent. West-India Duties, from 1760 to 1820 2,116,484 0 0
Amount of the surplus of Gibraltar Revenues, remitted to England, from 1760 to 1820, after discharging garrison-expenses 124,256 10 7
Scotch Civil-List Surplus, from 1760 to 1820, now appropriated as it may arise, under the Act 50 Geo. III. c. 111, in aid of the Civil-List in England 207,700 0 0
Escheats to his Majesty, in cases of illegitimacy or otherwise, from 1760 to 1820 214,647 15 0
Escheats to his Majesty, being the property of alien enemies, from 1760 to 1820 108,777 17 8
French West-India Islands, funds arising by sale of lands in the islands; ceded at the peace of 1763 106,300 0 0
Minorca, Martinique, St. Croix, and St. Thomas, and from the settlement of Surinam, while the same were in the possession of his Majesty—Revenues arising from these Islands 159,816 0 7
Quit-Rents, &c. in the British Colonies, and from all other sources not before enumerated, from 1760 to 1820—casual revenues arising from 104,865 3 21/2
Total £12,705,461 11 7

In the reign of George IV. the same sources of casual income yielded about a million and a half, forming, with the income from the Crownlands, during the period from 1760 to 1830, a total sum of at least thirty-five millions. All this mass of unappropriated revenue was left at the disposal of the minister of the day, and the parliament exercised no control over it, further than that, for the last ten years, it was permitted, as matter of courtesy, annually or triennally, to look at the accounts after the money had been expended or granted away. The manner in which these great funds were managed and dissipated has been, we trust, sufficiently illustrated in the course of this chapter. With the exception of the sums expended in metropolitan improvements, they have been expended in additional grants to the royal family and in pensions to the aristocracy, to ministers, their friends and supporters. They have formed a practical branch of the English government, of which Mr. Justice Blackstone failed to give any account to his readers, and we have little hesitation in affirming that they had no inconsiderable influence in the ruinous policy of the late reigns. The royal expenditure always formed a gulph which no man could fathom, and the hereditary revenues were a never-failing source for supplying the prodigality of the king and his servants. Of the studied mystery maintained on these matters we shall cite an instance. In 1777, during the American war, the king’s debts amounted to £618,000; papers were produced containing a disguised statement how this incumbrance had been incurred: vast sums were expended in secret service money, and half a million [211] was stated under the head of the board of works: but then, as Mr. Belsham observes, no one could tell on what palace, garden, or park, the money had been laid out. In short, there is too much reason to suppose that the debts of George III. were mainly contracted in support of the system of war and injustice in which ministers were engaged, in obtaining the baneful influence which silences all opposition, which swept away all traces of public liberty, and laid the foundation of present distress and embarrassments.

The parliament of 1820 was guilty of a culpable dereliction of duty in not seizing the opportunity, presented by the commencement of a new reign, to bring under its immediate cognizance and control the hereditary revenues. Instead of availing itself of the occasion, they were left, as before, to the irresponsible disposal of ministers. After what has been said, it will not be difficult to divine the reasons for this omission; but the people had another and opposite interest. To the misapplication of the Crown-revenues may partly be ascribed the long postponement of the great measure of Parliamentary Reform; and, therefore, the public cannot help feeling grateful to William IV. in having patriotically surrendered, during his life, to public uses, nearly the whole of these abused funds, in lieu of leaving them to be lavished on court favourites and hireling legislators.





Having fully explained the nature, amount, and application of the ancient hereditary revenues, we next come to the modern parliamentary grant, substituted in lieu of them, denominated the Civil List, which is a sum yearly set apart from the general income for the personal maintenance of the sovereign, and to support the honour and dignity of the Crown.

Since the Revolution of 1688, it has been usual, at the commencement of a new reign, to enter into a specific arrangement with the king, by which the hereditary revenues of the Crown are surrendered in exchange for an equivalent life-annuity. A similar course has been pursued in respect of William IV.; but before explaining the alterations and arrangements introduced into the new civil list, it will be convenient to premise some explanations of the chief departments of the royal expenditure,—the king’s household establishment; the privy purse; pensions on the civil list, and other branches of disbursement; and conclude with some observations on the character and policy of the last two monarchs, and the total expense their profusion entailed on the country.

The first and most important charge on the civil list is the royal household. This forms a ponderous establishment, and affords, by a reduction of useless offices and extravagant salaries, scope for retrenchment. It is the great nursery of indolence, parasites, and courtiers. It is formed upon manners and customs that have long since expired,—upon old baronial customs and arrangements. It not only retains traces of its feudal origin, but it is formed also on the principle of a body corporate; and has its own law-courts, magistrates, and by-laws.

In ancient times, these establishments were supported on a system of purveyance and receipt in kind! The household was then vast, and the supply scanty and precarious. The king’s purveyor used to sally forth from under the gothic portcullis, to purchase provisions, not with money, but power and prerogative. Whole districts were laid under contribution by the jackals of the royal table, who returned from their plundering excursions loaded with the spoils, perhaps, of a hundred markets, which were deposited in so many caverns, each guarded by its respective keeper. Every commodity being received in its rawest state, it had a variety of processes to pass through before [213] it was prepared for the king and his guests. This inconvenient mode of receipt multiplied offices exceedingly; and hence has arisen the butchery, buttery, pantry, and all that “rubble of places,” which, though profitable to the holder, and expensive to the state, are almost too mean to mention.

Let us hear what Burke said on this subject, in his reforming days:—“But when (says he) the reason of old establishments is gone, it is absurd to preserve nothing but the burthen of them. This is superstitiously to embalm the carcass, not worth an ounce of the gums that are used to preserve it. It is to burn precious oils in the tomb: it is to offer meat and drink to the dead,—not so much an honour to the deceased as a disgrace to the survivors. Our palaces are vast inhospitable halls: there the bleak winds, ‘there Boreas, and Euras, and Cauras, and Argestes, loud,’ howling through the vacant lobbies, and clattering the doors of deserted guard-rooms, appal the imagination, and conjure up the grim spectres of departed tyrants,—the Saxon, the Norman, and the Dane; the stern Edwards and fierce Henries,—who stalk from desolation to desolation through the dreary vacuity and melancholy succession of chill and comfortless chambers. When this tumult subsides, a dead and still more frightful silence would reign in the desert, if, every now and then, the tacking of hammers did not announce that those constant attendants on all courts, in all ages, jobs, were still alive; for whose sake alone it is that any trace of ancient grandeur is suffered to remain. These palaces are a true emblem of some governments; the inhabitants are decayed, but the governors and magistrates still flourish. They put me in mind of Old Sarum, where the representatives, more in number than the constituents, only serve to inform us that this was once a place of trade, and sounding with the ‘busy hum of men,’ though now you can only trace the streets by the colour of the corn; and its sole manufacture is in members of parliament.” [*] The royal abodes at present, we apprehend, are neither so ghostly, chill, nor comfortless, as here described, otherwise the public has been saddled with the enormous bills of Messrs. Wyattville, Nash, and Seddon, to very little purpose.

The great branches of the household are under the direction of the lord chamberlain, the lord steward, and the master of the horse. The office of the lord chamberlain is to take care of all the officers and servants belonging to the king’s chambers, except those belonging to the king’s bed-chamber, who are under the groom of the stole. He has the oversight of the officers of the wardrobe, of tents, revels, music, comedians, handicrafts, and artizans; and, though a layman, he has the oversight of all the king’s chaplains, heralds, physicians, and apothecaries. It is his office to inspect the charges of coronations, marriages, public entries, cavalcades, and funerals; and of all furniture in the parliament-house, and rooms of address to the king.


The lord steward has the estate of the household entirely committed to his care, and all his commands in court are to be obeyed; his authority reaches over all officers and servants of the king’s house, except those of the king’s chamber and chapel. The counting-house, (where the accounts of the household are kept,) the treasurer of the household, comptroller, cofferer, and master of the household, clerks of green cloth, &c. are under his control.

The master of the horse has the charge and government of all the king’s stables and horses. He has also the power over equerries, pages, footmen, grooms, farriers, smiths, saddlers, and all other trades any way connected with the stables. He has the privilege of applying to his own use one coachman, four footmen, and six grooms, in the king’s pay, and wearing the king’s livery. In any solemn cavalcade, he rides next behind the king.

Beside these officers, is the lord privy seal, whose office is to put the seal to all charters, grants, and pardons, signed by the king. Before the privy seal is affixed to any instrument, it receives the royal sign manual; it then passes under the signet, which is a warrant to the privy seal; after the privy seal, it receives the great seal from the lord chancellor, which is the finale. The performance of these different formalities costs the public, perhaps, £20,000 a-year, while the whole of the duties might be discharged as well by any honest man and his clerk for about £400 a-year. The remaining functionaries are the lord president of the council, whose office is to manage the debates in council, to propose matters from the king, and to report to him the resolutions thereupon; the commissioners of the treasury are also considered part of the household: but these, as well as some of the preceding officers, more properly appertain to the civil departments of government, and have been so considered in the new arrangement of the civil list.

The little necessity for this immense household establishment was evident during the limitations on the Regency. At that time the regent discharged all the duties of the executive with only his establishment as Prince of Wales. It did not appear then, no more than now, there was any want of attendance to give dignity and efficiency to the first magistrate. Burke mentions, in his time, that at least one-half the household was kept up solely for influence. He also mentions that one plan of reform, set on foot by lord Talbot, was suddenly stopped, because, forsooth, it would endanger the situation of an honourable member who was turnspit in the kitchen! Whether the duties of this important office continue to be discharged by a member of the honourable house we are not sure; but, in looking over a list of the household, we observe that two noble lords occupy situations little inferior in dignity and utility: the duke of St. Alban’s is master of the hawks, salary £1372, and the earl of Lichfield is master of the dogs, salary £2000. These offices sound rather degrading to vulgar ears; but “love,” as the poet says, “esteems no office mean;” and no doubt it is the love of the sovereign rather than £3000 of the public money which actuates these noble personages. In 1811 there were no fewer than twenty-six [215] peers and four commoners who held situations in various departments of the household.

The parade of useless offices is not less great, and still more ridiculous, in the counties palatine of Durham and Chester, and the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall, and the principality of Wales. These have all separate establishments, sufficient for the government of a kingdom, while their jurisdiction is confined to a few private estates. There are courts of chancery, ecclesiastical courts, chancellors, attorney-generals, solicitor-generals, privy councillors, registrars, cursitors, prothonotaries, auditors, and all the other mimicry of royal government. They bring nothing into the public treasury, but greatly add to the patronage of the Crown, whose dignity they degrade. In one part of his kingdom the sovereign is no more than Prince of Wales; go to the north, and he dwindles down to the duke of Lancaster; turn to the west, and he appears in the humble character of earl of Chester; travel a few miles farther, the earl disappears, and he pops up again as count palatine of Lancaster. Thus does the king, like Matthews in the play, perform all the different characters in his own drama.

Before the reign of George III. no such thing as a privy purse was known. The king’s income was always considered public property attached to the office, but not to the person of the monarch. The first time any mention is made of the privy purse, is in Mr. Burke’s bill, in 1782, and then again in the 39th of Geo. III.; but it was not till the time of the regency, when it was vested in the hands of commissioners, that it was recognised as a fixed annual sum, the private property of the king. But though this anomaly has been only recently acknowledged by any public act, it has been deemed a fixed charge on the civil list for the last seventy years. When the sum of £800,000 was set apart for the royal expenditure, the king was at liberty, with the advice of his ministers, to apply what portion of it he thought proper for his private use. The sum at first set aside for this purpose was £48,000; and the king’s family increasing, it was extended to £60,000. No part of this fund is applied to defray the expense of the household, nor of any other function of the regal office; it is limited entirely to personal expenses, and may be more properly denominated the king’s pocket money than his privy purse. Why it should be separated from the general income of the civil list, unless to gratify a puerile avarice in the monarch, it is not easy to conjecture. From this source, and the revenues of the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, the private property of the king is supposed to accumulate.

The next considerable charge on the civil list consists of pensions payable chiefly to servants of the household, and to the personal favorites of the sovereign and his ministers. Up to the time of the 22 Geo. III. commonly called Mr. Burke’s act, court pensions were granted without limit and controul. In that act it was provided the amount granted on the English civil list should be reduced to £95,000; the same principal of limitation was subsequently applied to the Scotch and Irish civil lists; the pensions to be granted on the former being limited [216] to £25,000, and on the latter to £50,000, making the total amount of pensions chargeable on the civil lists of the United Kingdom £170,000. At this amount the civil list pensions stood on the accession of the king. After the death of George IV. the Court Pension list was published, and excited in the public mind a considerable sensation. Most of the “splendid paupers” inscribed upon it had never been heard of beyond the purlieus of the court; two thirds of them were females; many were the late king’s personal friends, or the apothecaries, relatives, and attachés of successive viceroys of Ireland, and of the great burghmonger of Scotland; some were the mothers, sisters, and nieces of peers, ministers of state, and great borough proprietors in England: but in the whole number there was hardly one (Robert Southey perhaps excepted) eminent for science, literature, or the arts, or distinguished by any kind of public worth or claim. Worthless, however, as the elect of court favour were, their annuities have been continued to them during their lives, under an impression that to rescind them might be productive of individual distress, and a departure from established usage on the accession of a new sovereign. But in the sequel it will be seen that the Court Pension list, in future, is not to exceed £75,000 per annum.

The remaining charges on the civil list consist of certain ancient payments for charity; a sum for special service at the disposal of the lords of the Treasury; and the secret service money of the Treasury.

Other charges heretofore paid out of the civil list have been transferred to the consolidated fund; such were the payments to the judges, to the lords of the Treasury, to foreign ministers, to the speaker of the House of Commons, to the universities, and various miscellaneous items to the city of London, and corporations in the country. The amount of these, and also the expenditure under the several heads of the civil list we have described, will appear from the official documents which will be subjoined to this article. At present let us give a brief summary of the progress and augmentation of the civil list, and an account of its present settlement.

From the year 1804 to 1811, the average annual expenditure of the civil list amounted to £1,102,683. On the commencement of the Regency, this branch of expenditure increased enormously. From 1812 to 1816, the average annual expenditure of the civil list was £1,371,000, being an increase of £268,317 over the expenditure of George III. This augmentation arose chiefly from the profusion in the royal household; from the expense of furniture and tradesmen’s bills; of upholsters, jewellers, glass and china manufacturers, builders, perfumers, embroiderers, tailors, and so on. The charge for upholstery, only for three quarters of a year, was £46,291; of linen-drapery, £64,000; silversmiths, £40,000; wardrobe, £72,000. To provide for these additional outgoings, Lord Castlereagh introduced the Civil-List-Regulation-Bill of 1816. By this Bill, no check is imposed on the profusion of the court; it only provides that various fluctuating and other charges, heretofore paid out of the civil list, should be transferred [217] to the consolidated fund, or provided for by new grants from parliament: in other words, that the civil list should be augmented to the amount of its increased expenditure. By this arrangement, an additional burden was imposed on the public, amounting to £255,768, being the total of the charges of which the civil list was relieved.

Among the charges transferred from the civil list was £35,000, payable to the junior branches of the royal family, and which was to be paid out of the consolidated fund; also salaries, to the amount of £3,268, to certain officers and persons. All the charges, for the outfit of ministers to foreign courts, or presents to foreign ministers, incidental expenses in the Treasury, deficiencies of fees to secretaries of state, and in the law department, amounting to £197,000, were to be provided for by new grants from parliament. Various charges for furniture and other articles, heretofore provided by the lord chamberlain for public offices; the expense of collars, badges, and mantles for the orders of the Garter, Bath, and Thistle; and all expenses for repairs of public offices and buildings at the Tower, Whitehall, and Westminster; for works in St. James’s Park and private roads, estimated at £25,000, were to be provided for by new grants; the total deduction of charges being, as before stated, £255,768.

Now it is obvious that to the amount of these charges the income of the Crown was augmented, and that the scale of extravagant expenditure, in the first four years of the Regency, from 1812 to 1816, formed the basis on which the civil list of George IV. was provided. On the accession of the late king, in 1820, no alteration was proposed in the Civil-List-Regulation-Bill of 1816; it passed, as is observed by the writer of a ministerial pamphlet of the day, with “the entire approbation of all parties; that is, “all parties,” without inquiry or examination, concurred in making a permanent addition to the king’s income of a quarter of a million over that enjoyed by his predecessor.

But to judge of the immense disproportion in the incomes of the two sovereigns, it is necessary to advert to the alteration in the value of money. The average expenditure of George III. from 1804 to 1811, was £1,102,683. The average price of wheat, from 1804 to 1811, inclusive, was 87s. 6d. per quarter. The average price of wheat, during the ten years of the last reign, from 1820 to 1830, was 58s. 4d. per quarter; indicating a rise in the value of money, as measured by corn, of above 33 per cent. The price of labour, profits, tithes, rents, and interest, all fell in nearly the same proportion; so that it would not be too much to reckon an income of £67 equivalent to an income of £100 in the period selected for comparison; and, consequently, that the expenditure of George III. of £1,102,683, in a depreciated currency, was not more than an expenditure of £638,797 at the value of money during the last reign. Had, therefore, the civil list of George IV. been fixed at the same nominal amount as the civil list of George III. it would have been virtually 33 per cent. greater; but, besides being fixed at nearly the same nominal amount as that of his predecessor, one-fourth less was to pay out of it; so that the real addition to the income of [218] George IV. was not less than fifty-eight per cent.—an arrangement, we are told, with the “entire approbation of all parties.”