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a second time ;” and what had fallen from the right rev: Prelate was only for to be urged in the next stage of the bill, viz, when they came to the question " that the bill be committed ” His Lordship said, if the forms of the House were not ftrialy adhered to, their Lordships would find themselves running into ulter confufion.
The Bifhop of St. Afaph said, he saw he had mistaken the stage of the bill, he thought it had been read a second time.
The Duke of Richmond said, he objected to the principle of the bill, and therefore he trusted that he was in order. His objection to the principle, his Grace said, was, that it went to take away from the juries the right of trying the causes brought against such of the clergy as were sued for non-residence, and to lodge that power in the hands of the Bishops, for whom he begged to be understood to entertain à 'f. very high refpe&t; but he could not but consider that the laity, whether affluent, or only moderately able to keep house, paid the clergy of every description for the religious duties they performed, and therefore he could not but be of opinion that the jurisdiction to enforce the residence of their rector or vicar should remain in their hands, and ought not to be transferred to the right rev. Prelates. In order to thew that the same principle pervaded many of the clauses of the bill, his Grace proceeded to touch upon a few of them in which it was perceptible, and to argue upon what appeared to him to be an unjust, a partial, and an operation likely to result from them; when he was called to order, on the ground that what he was adverting to was fitter for the Committee.
The Earl of Rosslyn rose again, and said, the nobie Duke was certainly in order. He had begun with declaring, that he objected to the principle, and was only adverring to such clauses as from their enactments served, in his view of the bill, to support that objection.
The Duke of Richmond resumed his arguments, and spoke generally to spiritual persons not being allowed to hold or let lands and estates of their own for cultivation; without licence of the Bishop---to the limitations upon spiritual persons, with respect to the means of occupation and cultivation of their glebe-to the possibility of partiality in granting the licen. ces; one Bithop mnight do it with facility
to his clergy, while another mighi, from caprice, or some other motive, refuse it, which might fet him and the clergy of his diocese at vari.
ance, and produce ill blood among them, which must necelsarily bring them into disrepute, and prejudice the character and interelts of the clergy and the church; but above all, the Duke thought that the power of granting licences would be exiremely inconvenient, and not to be delired by the Bithops theinselves; it would lodge an invidious power in their hands, which they would find themselves easier without. His Grace allu pointed out the difficulty of appuntioning the penalties to the means of ihose who were to pay them How were they to get at the amount of the produce of a rectory or a vicarage! The enıries of their amount in the King's books were all of them notoriously far thort of the real produce. His Grace made several other general and curfory observations on the bill.
The Lord Chancellor left the woolfack, and discussed the bill in a fummary way at some length. He said, if he himfulf understood the bill, he was persuaded the noble Duke did not understand it; at least the noble Duke understood it very differently from the light in which he viewed it. His Lordship read a clause from the act of Henry VIII. to thew the violent injustice that might be praaised under it ; and he remarked, that in trying a cause upon a penal statute, nodiscretion was velted either in a judge or jury. The judge must be bound by the express letter of the law, and must in his direction lay down the rule of law for them to go by, without referring to, or observing upon, the hardship of ihe case, be it ever so great. He mentioned two causes which had been tried by himself in one week, that of the exemplary ciergyınan of Bow.church, for non-selidence, alihough one parlonage house was the lirile pocket-book Thop, the corner of the church-yard, a reficence not fit to put a clergyman into, and therefore he was obliged to reside in Ely-place: and the other cause that of a clergyman, who held iwo or more livings in the city, but had lived for nine years, sporting and taking his pleasure in Somerseithire. Both were obliged to be fined the penalty of 110l. Though their cares were so diffimilar. He also mentioned a cause of non-relidence, iried before a noble and learned Lord now dead, who had been provoked to declare in couri, that it was the most impudent cause he had ever tried. The cause was this :A cunning attorney in a country town lived in a house rather too small for his family, and observing that the parfonage house was much larger, and the incumbent a fingle man, proposed an exchange upon his paying rent. When he de
manded his rent, the attorney faid, “ Don't trouble me about rent, or I shall prosecute you for non-residence; and then there will be a considerable balance in my favour." He did profecute the minifter, and obtained the penalty. His Lordihip added a great variety of additional observations.
The Duke of Richmond replied at some length, and was called to order as speaking iwice, which was contrary to order. The Duke, however, was heard to an end.
The Bithop of Norwich began a very perfpicuous, correct, and well-arranged speech, with observing, that the noble Duke had proved his fuperior knowledge bow to avail himself of the forms of the House, since he had contrived to be heard in detail on the clauses, althouglı the right rev. Prelate had not been permitted the fame liberty. With respect to the necessity of some fuch bill as the present, it tood acknowledged in the conduct of Parliament, who had for some time fucceffively suspended the act of Henry VIII. thereby acknowledging that an act ought no longer to exift, which was better calculated to promote perfecution and enrich common informers, than to improve the syitem of ecclefiaftical discipline. To one of three things the House was now urged, by the pressure of existing circumstances, at this advanced period of the sessions, either to enact the prefent bill, with such amendinents as thould be thought necefsary, which was calculated to obviate the obnoxious mischiefs of the act of Henry VIII. or again to suspend that obnoxious act, or by suffering it to revive, to renovate all those mischiefs, which four times already Parliament by its own acts had declared unfit any longer to exist; and, by this renovation, to give new energies to the perfecuting spirit of those men who, after a five years suspension of their lucrative persecutions, would return to their trade with accumulated rancour. As to the prelent bill, he approved its principle, but he did not think the bill altogether faultels. His Lordihip stated the law as it stood, with regard to the residence of the clergy, under the act of Henry VIII. and went through its regulations and restrictions, the wing their operation in all respects, and thence evincing the hard lips it imposed on the clergy, and the great inequality of its penalties. Having gone through this bill, he addressed his argument to the bill he held in his hand, and went through a fummary statement of the objects of each clause. The first part of the bill, he obterved, referred tolely to what was termed the farming facilities given to the clergy, and
the latter to their residence. He took notice of the noble Duke's observations, as to taking the trial of penal suits out of the hands of the temporal and putting it into those of the spiritual powers, and said, the bill did not do that in the manner or to the extent which the noble Duke conceived. With respect to empowering the Bishops to exercise an undefined and unlimited authority, they could not defire it, but if he himself were asked, in what hands could that controul be most constitutionally placed? he would answer conscientiously, in none that lie knew of fo fitly as those proposed by this bill; certainly under due restrictions, and with all that awful responsibility which did, as it always ought, attach to every public department under the constitutional Jaws of this country. As he had before declared, there were many clauses in this bill to which in their present form he had objections, which he should explain if the bill ihould go, as be hoped it would, to a Committee of the House. In one observation more, he hoped to be indulged; it was, that whatever might be the uliimate fate of this bill, the laudable motives which actuated the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman who brought it forward, and the laborious affiduity and zeal which marked his conduct, as well in the preparation of the bill as in his attendance and support through every stage of its progress in another House of Parliament, never would be obliterated from the grateful feelings of that order of men, for whole relief it was intended, and must draw down upon him the blessings of every friend to ecclefiaftical discipline, to public morals, and to the interest of the Christian religion. When the bill should have been matured in the Committee, and beconie a law, it would be a lafting monument of fame to its very respectable author.
The question was put, and the bill read a second time. .
The Bishop of St. Alaph repeated, that he fully approved the principle of the bill, but was not satisfied with its fabrick, and the frame of its clauses. Understanding that an opportunity was to be given for going into detail upon it, previous to the Houfe relolving itself into a Committee, he should then explain on what principles he should feel it necessary to propose several amendments in the Committee ; but those would not be were verbal amendments, those of leave ing out one word, and interting another, but amendments that would go as it were, to new casting several of the clauses. The bill was committed for Friday.
A private bill, and a returned bill, were brought up from the Commons by Mr. Ifaac Hawkins Browne..
All the bills on the table went through their respective stages. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
TUESDAY, JUNE 7. Mr. Wickham obtained leave to bring in a bill to enable the Commissioners of the First Fruirs in Ireland to lend out certain sums of money, interest free, in order to enable the clergy of that country to procure more convenient edifices, as parsonage houses.
ACCOMMODATION TO MERCHANTS. The House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider so much of his Majesty's most gracious speech to both Houses of Parliament, on the 23d of November lait, as related to mercantile transactions.
Mr. Vanfittart submitted to the Committee the following propofitions, viz, “ That there should be a small duty laid on horse hair, amounting to the value of 20l. imported into this country; that the drawback on the exportation of that article Tould cease, and determine ;--a duty of 4s. to be charged on every yard of thread-lace, exceeding the value of 2os. imported into Great Britain ; a duty of is. 3d. on every square yard of damalk table cloth imported into Great Britain from Germany, in order to give encouragement to the British manufaclures, and particularly 10, those in Ireland; a draw. back of cod. on damask table-cloths exported from Great Britain; a duty of 6s. 6d. on every hundred weight of foreign barley imported ;-15. 6d. on every hundred weight of pearl barley imported ;--2s. 6d, on every 1201b. of stock-fish im. ported ;-641. 1s. on every ton of Hungary wines imported; -541. is. 6d. of drawback on every ion of the like wines exported ;-681. gs. on every ton containing 250 gallons of Rhenish wines imported ;-a drawback of 591. 6s. 6d. on ditio, exported from Great Britain to any of ihe British West India plantations. After demonstrating to the Committee the great advantages which would accrue to the commercial intercourses of the country by these alterations in the duties on such articles, the Chairman of the Committee (Mr. Hobhouse) reported progress, and the report was ordered to be received the next day.