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Vol. 69.-No. 23.]
LONDON, SATURDAY, JUNE 5TH, 1830.
made a speech, in which I maintained and proved, that it was not only legal and constitutional for the Parliament (if fairly chosen by the people) to deal with this property, and apply it in any manner that they pleased; that it would
not only be legal to take away the whole In the return published by the House of of this property from the clergy; but Commons, in June, 1808, are the following that it would be just towards the clergy items: “Teller of the Exchequer, Marquis themselves ; and I said then, as I say OF BUCKINGHAM, 23,0931. a year”; his hrother, now, that these opinions are not proLORD GRENVILLE, Auditer of the Exchequer, “ 4,0001. a year.” Another brother, THOMAS mulgated out of any dislike that I have GRENVILLE, Chief Justice in Eyre, “ 2,3161. to the church establishment itself; but a year."
to a sincere conviction which I entertain, that the religion of the church would be more honoured, and the working clergy greatly better paid, if left to
the justice and generosity and piety of ALEXANDER BARING.
the people themselves. How much I Defence of the Bishop or LONDON, must have been pleased, then, at reading against an attack contained in a
the following petition, the sensible and publication, purporting to be the re-spirited people of Rochester, and espeport of a speech made by ALEXANDER cially my friends there, will easily
imagine. In short, this is my own Baring.
cause. It is a subject which I first
brought forward : it is one of my poliBollitree, Herefordshire, 1st June, 1830. tical babies, and a chopping baby it is. BARING,
How I must be delighted to see the ColWhy I choose you as the man to ad- lective coming into my doctrines. I dress myself to on this subject, I will always march in front. My friends of tell you presently, when I have inserted Rochester, you have the happiness to the Rochester Petition, which prays live in the neighbourhood of barracks for the total abolition of tithes. And and soldiers. You have seen a regiment here it is right that I remind my friends Crawn out in full show; and of Rochester of my own labours in the seen, of course, a little bunch of men same vineyard. In 1923, the county of far in advance of the head of the batNorfolk sent up a petition, praying that talion, armed with axes and other a part of the church property might be such like tools. Those, my friends, are taken, and applied to the general pur- the PIONEERS going before to clear poses of the nation. This petition was the road for the battalion. I am the presented to the House of Commons, pioneer in politics ; and not only the received by that House, and recorded pioneer, but the first man to enter the in its journals. At Penenden Heath, in breach, or mount the rampart. I have the month of October, 1829, I tendered had some rough handling, to be sure. a petition for the approbation of the The enemy has sometimes had me in county, praying for a total abolition of prison, and sometimes driven me across the tithes, and for leaving the clergy the sea ; and what is worse, the battalion to be maintained in the same manner itself has frequently kept firing at me as the dissenting ministers are main- in all directions; but, at last, I have got tained. At the Mechanics’ Institute, in them in docile training, and now they London, on the 4th of March last, If all come after me as the flock follows
To ALEXANDER BARING.
the wether that wears the bell. This is / pany all the plans heretofore proposed for the not a thing for me to find fault with, but repeal of this objectionable tax with a substia thing for me to be proud of; and it is tute affording an equivalent income to the
clergy; it is however evident, that, although with infinite pride that I here insert a commutation might remove the inconveni, your excellent petition ; not forgetting, ence of the tithe system, yet it would afford at the same time, the spirited and praise ou diminution of taxation; and as all taxes, worthy motion made by Major WAITE, upon labour, that the inability to compete
in whatever shape imposed, fall ultimately at the last meeting on Penenden Heath. With the less taxed labour of other countries
would remain unabated. But the petitioners
confidently submit that the time has, at length, " To the Honourable the Commons of the arrived, when it ceases to be necessary to pro
United Kingdom of Great Britain and vide a substitute of this nature, as they conIreland, in Parliament assembled. sider, that, however essential the aid of wealth • The Petition of the undersigned Owners Church of England to enable her to lure to
and honours may have hitherto been to the and Occupiers of Land, and others, her service men of learning and talent, to Inhabitants of Rochester, and its neigh- advocate the truth and excellence of her doc. bourhood, in the County of Kent.
trines and discipline, the necessity for such “ HUMBLY SHeweth, That, impelled by aid happily no longer exists. This task bas the distress that at present affects almost all been so ahly performed, as to leave nothing classes of society, and which is, by general further to be expected or desired, and it may consent, admitted to be mainly occasioned by be fairly assumed that the established religion excessive taxation, the Petitioners beg leave can now be safely left to its own intrinsic exto represent to your Honourable House the cellence for its future support. The well-paid great relief that would be afforded by the labours of those eminent men, who, attracted abolition of Tithes, a tax which, hy drawing by the splendid rewards of the church, have so large a share of the gross produce of the enlisted in her cause, have so simplified the land, is alike injurious to the community in clerical duties as to make them practicable by general, to the agriculturists in particular, persons of ordinary capacities and acquireand to the best interests of religion. To the ments; to such au extent, indeed, as to rencommunity, by unavoidably increasing the der the functions of the clergy of the estaprice of articles of most general and necessary blishment almost entirely ministerial; for its consumption, to the agriculturists, by subject- comprehensive Liturgy, by supplying all the ing them to vexatious restrictions in the cul- formularies of devotion, whether for prayer or tivation of the land, and by depriving them of praise, imprecation or benediction, disavowal the ability to compete with the foreign grower, or belief, and also strictly enjoining the vari.. or to contend against the importation of grain, ous occasions upon which they are to be rewhich it is the present policy of this country spectively used, affords no opportunity for the to encourage, and to religion, by proving a exercise of judgment, the exhibition of talent, fruitful source of discord between the clergy- or the display of learuing. Nor do the duties man and his parishioners, and so destroying of the preacher, any more than the minister, that barmony, upon the continuance of which require an education superior to that which is the success of his spiritual labours chiefly de usually bestowed upon the middling class of pends.
society; for the inexhaustible stores of in“In urging the abolition of this impolitic valuable sermons which have emanated from tax, the petitioner's disclaim, with the utmost the labours of those bigbly-gisted divipes who sincerity, any desire to advocate a system of have, at different periods, shed a lustre upon spoliation; on the contrary, they fully admit the English church, afford a fund of instructhe vested rights of private patrons and Jay tion admirably adapted for every purpose, impropriators, as well as the claims of the and to select from which requires but a mopresent incumbents to a life interest in their derate portion of literary attainments. present incomes; but, due regard being paid “ The qualifications for the proper performto these, they maintain, that the tithe tax is, ance of these functions being few, and the equally with all other taxes, properly the sub- acquisition of them not requiring expense, as Fect of legislative disposal ; in opposition to they consist principally of propriety of deche argument now much relied on, that tithes, meanour, and the possessiou of the natural Daving been given for the maintenance of re-advantages of suitable voice and delivery, but igion, are therefore inalienable. The Roman moderate stipends would be necessary to enCatholic might, with some plausibility, ad. sure a sufficient number of competent candiance such a claim to their recovery, they dates, even without any stipends; so that the
aving been originally granted for the sup: petitioners consider that it would be a libel upon ort of his creed, but the Protestaut can found the members of the Established Church to is right upon the law of the lanıl only; upon doubt, for a moment, their liberality for this at law which, as it gave, can also modify or purpose, when it is seen how respectably the ke away.
different Dissenting, congregations maintain " It has been deemed necessary to accom: their pastors, and how readily they supply
large sums for the erection of chapels and respect for the man who is reported to establishment of schools.
have made it. I take it as a publication “ In this economical plan of reform, there are no incomes from the state, for future in a newspaper ; and as such I shall archbishops, bishops, and the other digni- handle it. taries of the hierarchy. But the admirers of " Mr. BARING referred to what had episcopacy need experience no alarm on that “ fallen from him on a former day, on account, for the history of the early periods of the subject of the annual value of the the church satisfactorily shows that the care of suitably providing for all orders of its esta- “Sees of Canterbury and London. He blishment may be safely entrusted to the pro- “ felt called upon to admit that he had per feelings of the people.
“ been misinformed, and had “ The petitioners have thus sketched the “quently made a very exaggerated outlines of a scheme of reformation, which, when matured, would, they believe, work statement, especially when he said well, be generally approved, and render the “ that the income of the See of London abolition of tithes easily practicable. This would ere long be equal to 100,0001. plan woull receive the approbation of many, who consider a wealthy priesthood as pecurl" another place had made a reply, which
a year. The Right Rev. Prelate, in liarly unfitted to inculcate the précepts of Christianity, and who regard the unexpensive
showed the extent of the error he (Mr. provision for its primitive teachers as indica- Baring) had committed. He most tive of the desire of its Founder, that his ser. vants should look, not to riches or rank,
“implicitly believed what had fallen
but to a reward of a far different nature, as the
“ from the Right Rev. Prelate, and he recompense for their labours. Others, who “ had himself taken the opportunity of are desirous of upholding the Church of Eng." inquiring. The result of his inquiry laod, would truly calculate that its adoption " was a strong feeling of regret that he would tend to ensure the stability of that now lottering fabric, as, when shorn of its wealth
“ had given currency to a very exag-, and temporal honours, it would cease to be the gerated statement, which had found object of attack, either of the financier or re- " its way round the country. He had former. Those who are enamoured of the “ heard it frequently asserted of the beauty and sublimity of the language of its - Diocese of Winchester, in which he Liturgy, or impressed with the conviction of the truth and importance of its creed, would " chiefly resided, that in the first year it most effectually protect these from ionovation, “ produced to the bishop 90,0001. This by confioing the office to a class of men who, “ statement, he had reason to know, from their functions being ministerial, would " was far beyond the truth. There was have neither opportunity nor temptation to deviate from the path of orthodoxy; whilst one consolatory point in the late exthe community in general, and the agricul" planation of the Bishop of London, turists in particular, finding themselves re- viz., the admission of his Lordship, lieved from an oppressive tax, would bail the " that if his income even approached reform with unalloyed satisfaction. “ The petitioners, therefore, pray your Ho
“ the sum that had been mentioned, it nourable House to take the necessary steps to “ would be highly proper for Parliaeffect an early abolition of the Tithe Tax, a “ ment to interfere for its regulation. measure which would give more satisfaction " Such an opinion from such an authoto the country, and reflect greater credit upon rity must have great weight. He (Mr. the legislature, than any enactment that has been carried for centuries past; and, when Baring) thought that the Church comcoupled with the boon of religious liberty“ mitted a great error in shunning lately so liberally granted, would entitle the inquiry, in order to refute prevalent present Parliament to be mentioned in terms of the most glowing eulogium by the historian eraggeration. Great prejudices would of the United Kingdom.
“thus be removed ; but the Church did “ And the petitioners shall ever pray," &c. “ not place sufficient reliance on the
“ hold it had of the feelings and affecAnd now, Baring, I turn to you.“ lions of the country. In Hampshire, When this petition was presented, the “ the tithe upon corn-lands amounted newspapers say that you made a speech,“ generally to one-third or one-fourth, and this speech the Morning Chronicle “ and most of the occupiers of the soil gives us in the following words, which would be glad to compound for oneI insert in order that I may comment " fourth. Human wit could not have upon it, and not because I have any “ devised a mode of payment more in
“ convenient or offensive than that in speech relative to the revenue of the “ which religion was paid for in this Bishop of London. country. However the whole was a
But, Baring, you seem to be almost “ delicale question."
glad that you did exaggerate; because, You had been misinformed, had you say you, "the late explanation of the You do not tell us who it was that had
Bishop of London has ellicited an misinformed you. You are glad, are
“admission of his Lordship, that if his
“income even approached the sum that you, that the Bishop of London put a “ had been mentioned, it would be stop to an exaggeration," which had " highly proper for Parliament to infound its way round the country." Who “terfere for its regulation ; an admiscarried it round the country, Baring? “sion which, coming from such an Not I; for I knew it to be a lie, and“ authority, must have great weight.” described it as such to every one that “Great weight," in doing what, mentioned it to me. It found its way Baring? What do you want the weight round the country in your speech, of for? What do you want it for, Baring? which, it seems, you now repent. So What is it to do? Why, to establish much for that, Baring; and now for my doctrine, to be sure. To take the the Bishop of Winchester, whose first property away, and apply it to other year's revenue, you had heard it “ fre- purposes. I can hardly believe that the quently asserted” was 90,0001. a year, Bishop was such a fool as to make the a statement which you now know to be admission, which would have come far beyond the truth. It is always quite soon enough when a bill had been above 40,000l. a year, in one way and brought in to take away the property, another. But this is beside my present as will be the case, I take it, in a couple view, which is to remark on your bold of years' time or thereabouts. Surprismeddling with this church property. ing, if the Bishop did make such admisAnother remark, however, with regard sion? But the truth is, that old Mammy to the amount of the tithes : you say, Church begins to falter in every accent. that in Hampshire, the tithe amounts, How changed she is within the last few generally, to one-third or one-fourth. years! She “ breaks very fast,” as we You cannot mean of the produce, be say of other old ladies. She is no cause that would be a lie so impudent, so longer that bouncing dame that she barefaced, that not even a stock-jobber, was in 1794, when she frightened poor or loan-monger, or blaspheming Jew, Mr. Ruggles to suppress his book, would dare to put it forth. You must which inculcated the right of the poor mean a third or a fourth of the rent of to be maintained out of the tithes; no the land. Now, what“ prevalent exagge- longer that boisterous lady that she was ration" is there, then, about the amount in 1817, when the Hampshire parsons of these tithes ? Suppose the present bullied a county meeting into an adrental of the lands alone to be about dress of thanks on account of the passtwenty millions in England and Wales. ing of the gagging and dungeoning Here, according to your own showing, bill, and in the year 1819, when Parare seven millions a year for tithes; and son Hay got his rich living of Rochdale, my estimate of the church property in directly after having been the principal England and Wales, including the Magistrate in the Manchester affair of proprietorship or ownership of lands, the 16th of August. She is quite an houses, woods, mines, warrens, mills, altered creature. Keeps as quiet as a manors, tolls, Easter-offerings, and all lamb. Looks as if butter would not other fixed exactions, has never been melt in her mouth. over ten millions. So that, I pray you, Time was, Baring, when a Bishop of do tell me where you have heard of London, or even a vicar of your parish, the “ prevalent exaggerations” relative would not have condescended to give to this church property. I have heard explanations on such a subject to a man of none but those contained in your like you ; and if he had condescended to notice what you said, would have rights in the parishes of Stratton and talked to you somewhat in the style Micheldever. "Aye, Baring, and be you that I am about to talk to you now. well assured, my boy, that his rights
You had said, it seems, that the never will be touched without the Bishop's income for the See of London, touch extending not only to the parcels would, before long, amount to an hun- of property which I have here mendred thousand pouuds a year. Well, tioned, but to a great many other parcels Baring, and if it did, what right have of property, which you may look upon you to say any thing against that? The as the legitimate proceeds of profits Bishop of London is the son of a very upon loans. No, no, Baring, it is not worthy man, who was a schoolmaster, a bit more improper that the Bishop of eminent in his profession. The Bishop London should have an estate than that of London is a learned man, and pos- you and your family should have twenty. sessed of great talents; and he is an You seem to rejoice that the Bishop of Englishman born and bred, as his London has adinitted that the Parliafathers before him were. He appears ment can, if need be, interfere wilh his not to have been a dependent of the revenue. Now, Baring, I do not exactly aristocracy at any time of his life ; he know on what footing of legal right is connected with none of them by your own numerous and immense parmarriage; he has, doubtless, attained cels of property stand; but this I take his high rank and great power, because upon me to assert; and I defy, I chalthe ministers thought that his well- lenge the whole bar and the bench to known talents and zeal and indlustry contradict me if they can, that there would make use of that power in the exists no law, and no principle of law, most efficient manner for upholding the according to which the Parliament can Government and the present order of take a shilling from the revenue of the things; but there was nothing unnatural See of London, without, at the same in this; he has attained to his eminence time, and by the same act, establishing without any dirty or mean arts; and, the right of the Parliament to take, and supposing the system to be a good one, to apply to public purposes, every inch as you do, there is not a man in the of land in the parishes of Stratton and House of Lords more worthy of respect Micheldever! and of honour. For my part, I would So that it really is, Baring, a“ delicate not let him have, out of public property, question.” Much too delicate to be hanan income of an hundred thousand dled in this hasty manner by a man like pounds, nor of one single penny: as he you. The truth is, the necessities of the is a descendant of the apostles, I would country are just as they were in France, give him apostolical allowance, and no urging on a destruction of the establishmore. The apostles held, that the ments. The question in France was priests should live by the altar ; and by simply this, Whether the church should the altar, he should live, if I could have be destroyed, or the debt go unpaid? my way.
Burke contended that the creditors of But you, Baring! You stand in some- the state ought not to have been paid what different stead; and let me ask at the expense of the church; and what you whether the Bishop of London be he foretold came to pass, the destrucnot as worthy of an hundred thousand tion of the church and of the creditors pounds a year as you are? Whether too. Our affair is different in this, the rights of his See are not quite as that our church has been plundered beclear as your rights at Callington and at fore; and, Baring, be you assured, that Thetford? Ah, Baring, it is, as you say, if the remainder of what is possessed "a delicate question”! Yes, Baring, by the church, be appropriated to public whether his rights as Lord of the Manor purposes, the appropriation will not of Fulham; whether his rights to his stop there, unless far greater wisdom be palace and his rents do not stand upon displayed than any that I have witnessed as firm a foundation as your brother's in England within the last forty years.