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The next clause, that authorizing spiritual perfons to take houses, though not in any city; and spiritual persons not having sufficient glebe, to take a portion of land by licence of the Bishop, gave rise to a very long and copious discussion.
The Duke of Norfolk said, he had no obje&tion to suffer spiritual persons, who chose to lay down their clerical chasacter, to turn farmers, but then he would move an amend ment, viz. after the words " spiritual persons," in the second line of the clause, to infert the words, “ having no cure of fouls."
This called up the Lord Chancellor, who gave a very perfpicuous explanation of the true intent and meaning of the clause, which did not say one word to authorife spiritual persons to turn farmers. He said, he perceived that the noble Duke had utterly misconceived the whole clause and its real object, which arose from his Grace's not knowing that what is understood by lawyers, by the words “ to take to farm,” which means not to turn farmer, but to have and to hold in farm, meaning the power to demise, and the expreffion of "10 take to farm," is taken from the Latin tenere in fermam. According to 21 Henry VIII. a clergyman could not take a house wiih garden and orchard in any village, for his residence, without being subject to the penalties of that act, and therefore it was necessary to give the power of taking such residence to every spiritual person with licence of the Bishop.
The Duke of Norfolk said, he saw he had mistaken the clause, and desired to withdraw his amendment.
Amendment on motion withdrawn. The discussion on the clause was then considered for a confiderable time, by the Bishop of Durham, the Bishops of Oxford, Norwichi, and London, and Lord Auckland, Lord Alvanley, the kark of Rosslyn, the Earl of Carnarvon, the Earl of Carlisle, Lord Ellenborough, the Duke of Richmond, and the Lord Chancellor.
The Earl of Carnarvon objected to lodging the power of granting the licence to the Bishops, or to any descriptions of persons whatever. He did not mean to say this out of difiespect to the Bishops, nor to convey any infinuation of their being likely to exercise any discretion, that inight be lodged in their liands, in any other but the most honourable manner ; but it was the principle that he objected to, and the poflibility of such a power being abuled and pervested to political or other purposes.
The Earl of Carlife wished fonie scale of the extent to which the Bishop should exercise such discretion.
The Bishop of Durham proposed a maximum, which Tould limit the extent of the exercise, if a fit one could be found or if not, a minimum, below which the Bishops Thould not allow their clergy to take additional lands to cula tivate. His Lordship returned his thanks to the noble and learned Lord for the luminous explanation of the clause which he had favoured the Committee with, and assured all the Lords present, that he himself (and he was sure he spoke the sense of his learned brethren) would infinitely rejoice, if he was invested with a limited and defined dircretion, and not with an unlimited discretion, which was an invidious power, and must put them to much inconvenience, at the same time that it would provoke the envy and anger of their clergy, let their endeavours to exercise it be ever fo impartial.
The Bishop of Norwich propofed a limitation, by a scale of estimation of the livings of the inferior clergy, and he would take them rather largely, at 1001. for instance, to afford the Bishop the greater latitude as to the quantity of additional land that he Mould licence his clergy, according to the nature of the case, to take in farms. His Lordship objected to any limitation by the number of acres, because from the great variety of the soil, and the richness or poverty of the land, in different parts of the kingdom, and in different parts of the same diocele, twenty acres in one part or place might be of very different value to what it might be in another. The Bishop concluded with moving an amendment, founded on the proposition which he had stated.
Every Bishop who spoke expressed a will to have the difcretion they were to exercise, as to the power of granting the licence under this clause, put under fome limitation ; and said, that in respect to the discretion in the clause, the clause itself was a solitary one, as in every other clause due limitations were provided.
Some noble Lords proposed to limit the Bishop's licence to twenty acres, fome to thirty, and fome to forty,
The Duke of Richmond thought it was unjust that the power of taking farms was not extended to ftipendiary curates and the unbeneficed clergy, as well as to beneficed clergy. His Grace spoke at some length on this.
Lord Ellenborough profefled bimself to have been much ftruck with the argunients of the noble Duke, and thought X 3
the noblc Duke's suggestions entitled to very serious confideration.
The Lord Chancellor could not think that any wise or proper limitations could be provided, or that the clause could be áltered with any advantage whatever. If the Committee would now agree to it, under the understood idea that it was in ano her stage to be reconsidered, he would endeavour to reconcile his mind to such an alteration of it, as so many other noble Lords seemed to approve.
Lord Ellenborough undertook to frame some amendments that would meet the objections which had been stated by dif. ferent noble Lords, if the Committee would agree to receive the clause.
The Duke of Richmond said, that a more proper way of proceeding would be, not to adopt a clause which they all thought ought to undergo farther consideration at another time, but to postpone the clause, and he moved it accord. ingly.
The Earl of Suffolk objected to the latter part of the next clause, that of enabling lpiritual persons 10 hold lands and estates as property in the manner herein provided, as he was persuaded it would enable them to swallow up the tythes of all the land in the kingdom.
After much further discussion of this clause,
The Committee divided on the Duke of Richmond's mo. tion to postpone the clauseContents
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Majority 24 The Comunitiee then proceeded to consider the other clauses of the bill, and several discussions took place on each, particularly on that which enacts that the entry of the value of each living in the King's books thall be the scale to measure the amount of the several penalties by which the common informer Thould be enviled to recover.
The Lord Chancellor moved, that this clause be rejected, on the ground, that it weni, in a great measure, to defeat the whole object of the bill. Every body knew that the King's books formed a most fallacious and uncertain criterion; liv. ings therein entered, as producing two guineas only per annum, in several instances, his Lordihip said, to his own knowledge, were worth seven or eight hundred a year, while others
entered as of feventeen or eighteen pounds a year, only produced twenty-five or thirty.
Lord Alvanley agreed in the principle of the objection stated by his noble and learned friend, but he had rather have that clause continued in the bill than no claufe, unless fome better criterion could be suggested. The informes must have Tome means to enab!c him to recover his penalties, and he knew not what other could be found. Would his noble and learned Friend have informers file a bill in equiry against the fpirirual persons he meant to bring an action against, previous to instituting the prosecution? Or by what ineanis was the informer to ascertain the value of the living?
The Lord Chancellor said, he would rather have the informer file a short bill of discovery, rather than allow a clause giving so fallacious and incorrect a criticisin as the duties in the King's books afforded.
The Bilhop of St. Asuph said, the error of the King's books went further. There were many livings, the value of which were not entered at all in the King's books.
The Bishop of London confirmed this, especially in refpe& to many livings in London and Westminster.
Lord Auckland said, it was not possible that the clause, containing so absurd and false a criterion, could be allowed to stand in the bill.
At length the c!ause was rejected.
The Committee then went through the other clauses, as far as the exemption clause, when
Lord Alvanley rose, and said, that as that clause' would certainly call for much discussion, and as his noble and learned Friend, as well as himself, must be in his court in Westininfter Hall early in ihe morning, he thought that it was fit time to adjourn.
The Bishop of St. Afaph said, undoubtedly the exemption would require a great deal of time to discuss it, as he and other Right Rev. Prelates had many objections to it.
Lord Alvanley then moved, “That ihe noble Lord in the Chair do report progress, and ask leave to fit again."
Lord Ilallingham reported progress, and asked leave to lit again.
The farther fitting of the Commitee was adjourned 10 Thursday next, at three v'clock.
The clerk then swore some witnesses; and the House adjourned.
HOUSE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
TUESDAY, JUNE 14.
Mr. Hale rose and objected to the bill, as it went mategially to affuct the interest of a numerous class of individuals
pon the sea coast near Harwich, all of whom, he said, had on that account signed a remonftrance againit the bill paffing into a law. This remonftrance, he said, he was ready to present in their names, and hoped that the House, after conLidering their cafe, would not suffer any new bill to be iniroduced for the purpose of benefiting one set of men, while it rended so much to ihe prejudice of others.
Mr. Harvey also disapproved of the bill, and trusled that it would not receive the fan&tion of the House. He, however, did not object to the principle of the bill, in so far as it tended io riduce the price of fish in the city of London, which had there risen to a most enormous height; but he disapproved of it, as he saw that it tended to render a useful inftitution, denominated the Marine Society, subservient to that object. This was, he said, a society by which his Majesty's navy had been upon many occasions very much bene. fiied, in fw far as it had been the ineans of clothing and maintaining a great number of boys reduced to unforiunate fituations, and of educating and instructing them in maritime affairs, till they were fit for his Majesty's service. It was such a fociety of men, who had carried their fisheries to that degree of perfection which they had now reached, who were about to be injured by the introduction of this bill, and pot those who had at this moment arquired the total monopoly of that most useful article when brought into the metropolis. He thought that the most proper mode to be followed, in order to accomplish the end proposed by this bill, was to regulare properly and more fridly the present fish market in tue ciry of London. This bill, he observed, had also in view an increase of the number of seamen, boil for the use of idic nary and inercantile iranfaélions; and he, no doubi,