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while he pockets the poor cottager's casting everything like odium upon the shilling. Such things ought not to be. civil government, would at the same The clergyman should be the parent, time powerfully conduce to the supnot the hired menial of his flock. port of the established religion.

I have stated these matters plainly, I am quite aware, that to the execuwithout attempting to gloss over the tion of a plan like this, many objecevil consequences which arise from tions may be urged. It is beset with them, because I am quite convinced difficulties; it will unhinge all our that he is no friend to his country, to notions of property; it involves the the church, or to the state, who seeks interests, not of the clergy only, but to conceal abuses in either. With re- of the laity, and of those very classes spect to the church, indeed, that man among the laity for whose support we must be mentally blind who sees not, must look, in order to secure its adopthat her very existence depends upon tion. There is hardly a county memthe line of policy which shall be adopt- ber in the House of Commons who is ed for the future maintenance of the not a lay-impropriator of tithes; is it clergy. Let the present system con- probable that these men will forward tinue, and she will stand, perhaps half the measure? That there are a great a century, perhaps a whole century, deal too many lay-impropriators of according as the prejudices of the laity tithes in the kingdom, is most true, come slowly or rapidly to a height; perhaps your northern readers will let a better system be introduced, and hardly credit, that the tithes of threeshe will last for ever. The sole mat- fourths of the parishes in England are ter to be inquired into, therefore, is, in lay hands. Yet such is the fact; Can a better system be devised? the tithes of about three thousand,

An attempt was made some time ago, eight hundred and forty-five parishes to substitute landed estates for tithes. being enjoyed by laymen, whilst those Extensive glebes were accordingly as of little more than one thousand are signed to the ministers, in several pa- held by the parochial clergy. Of course, rishes, in lieu of tithes, the various the remaining three thousand, eight land-owners contributing each a num- hundred and forty-five parochial clerber of acres proportionate to the amount gymen, are stipendiaries, poor vicars, of tithe which his property paid. I or poorer perpetual curates, and this believe the plan proved exceedingly too in a church which is said to roll in injurious to the interests of the clergy, riches !!! But though it be difficult, as indeed might have been expected; the scheme is surely not impracticaand, hence, it has not been so much as ble. Nothing really beneficial to manspoken of in later years. But the pro- kind has ever been brought easily out duce of landed estates is not the only at once to perfection. The dawn of mode by which the revenues of the the Reformation itself was obscured clergy might be secured, without by difficulties ; the Revolution, which bringing them into hostile collision is said to have secured our liberties, with the parishioners. Let an act of was a perilous measure when regarded Parliament be passed, requiring all at a distance ; whilst the overthrow of holders of tithes, lay, as well as clerical, Buonaparte, and the restoration of to sell their tithes at a certain num peace to the world, were, at no very reber of years' purchase, to the various mote period, deemed wholly unatiainowners from whose lands they are ex able. Yet all these objects were, howacted ; let the clergy resign their por- ever, effected by prudence and persetion of the produce of this sale into verance. Why might not an attempt to the hands of the state, and let them remodel the ecclesiastical establishreceive, in return, moneyed payments, ment be brought to an equally fortuvarying according to the price of the nate conclusion ? necessaries of life, and collected, not In cases like that before us, it is gefrom the occupiers, but from the land- nerally the wisest and safest plan to lords. This arrangement, whilst it se look around, for the purpose of discocured to the clergyman a revenue ade- vering, if possible, some precedent upquate at all times to the decent sup on which to act. Now, it so happens, port of himself and his family, would that the condition of the Scottish clereffectually guard him from the disa- gy, and the method adopted for their greeable squabbles which attend the maintenance, furnish exactly the sort collection of his present dues; and by of precedent of which we stand in

need. There was a time when the in the neighbouring realm of Engtithe-system prevailed in Scotland, to land. the very same extent, and after a still The change which immediately took more objectionable fashion than that place in the condition of the priestwhich marks it here. The whole tithes hood, is one of the least creditable of of the kingdom were at one period in many discreditable circumstances rethe hands of lay-impropriators; there corded in Scottish history. The whole are now neither impropriators nor ap- of the lands and tithes, which, up to this propriation north of the Tweed. How era, had belonged to the bishops and this has been brought about, a few religious houses, were at once taken words will show; and I subjoin the possession of by the Crown; patrons of detail for the edification of your south- livings seized the tithes of the beern readers.

nefices, to which they had the right of It is well known, that previous to presentation ; feuars entered into full the Reformation, vast encroachments proprietary occupation of the feus; were made, in every country where the and the clergy were left to seek subRomish superstition prevailed, by the sistence as they best could, in the vobishops, and by religious houses, upon luntary contributions of their hearers. the property, not only of the laity, but Thus the entire property of the church of the secular clergy. In Scotland, passed into lay hands; every living this was the case to so great a degree, became a lay-impropriation, and the that almost all the tithes, besides ex ministers of the Reformed religion tensive tracts of land, had passed into were reduced to beggary. the possession of these dignitaries, The Crown, however, seldom rewhilst the officiating ministers were tains, for any length of time, property very slenderly provided for, by small which it has acquired either by confisshares, chiefly in the vicarial tithes of cation or otherwise; and we accordthose parishes, to the care of which ingly find James VI: executing grants they were nominated. In a few instan- of bishops' and abbey lands, with porces, indeed, where the right of pre- tions of the tithes from other lands, senting to vacant churches was re to certain rapacious courtiers, who tained by lay patrons, the incumbents were henceforth called Lords of Erecobtained possession of the full tithes; tion, or Titulars of the Tithe. In but in ninety-nine cases out of an hun- this measure, impolitic as it perhaps dred, the tithes were the property of was, some benefit accrued to the dignitaries, to whom the parochial mic church. As the bishops and abbots, nister acted the part of a curate, and to whom these lands formerly belongfrom whom he received no more than ed, had been in the habit of presenta curate's hire.

ing ministers to the churches within As soon as the Reformation began their bounds, and of assigning to them to gain ground, the Scottish bishops stipends, so the lords of erection, who and abbots deemed it prudent to con assumed the same privilege, were reciliate the laity, by restoring to them, quired to exercise it on the same conin the form of fees and tacks, portions ditions, namely, by conferring upon of those estates of which their ancestors the incumbents a salary, just as great, had been artfully deprived. Hence or just as small, as they themselves arose that class of persons, known in might judge fitting. Of course, the former times by the title of feuars, ministers' stipends were in no instanmany of whom held considerable tracts ces enormous; but any stipend is betof land of the different religious hou ter than none at all ; and these, when ses, on the sole condition of supplying once fixed, might not be retracted nor them from time to time with a small diminished. Such was the state of sbare in the produce ; whilst some church property in Scotland during enjoyed their feus even cum decimis many years; the titulars, feuars, and inclusis, by which they became ex patrons being in full possession of it, empt from

payment not only of and the clergy in a state of pitiable inrent, but of tithes, to the church. But digence; whilst the cultivators of the all would not do. In spite of these soil suffered, (as I believe they generconcessions, the Reformation made its ally suffer, where lay-impropriators way into Scotland, as well as into other exist,) the utmost degree of vexation, countries, and with a degree of vio- which a collection of the tithes in kind lence, which it never assumed, at least, could possibly produce.

The first step towards a remedy of deduction, as, whether the expense of these evils was taken in the reign of supporting the houses be borne by the Charles the First. From that period, landlord ? whether there be more houdown to the year 1789, the system has ses than are requisite for the farm ? undergone numerous partial changes, what is drawn for cot-houses, for a into a detail of which it would be use- smithy, (a forge,) or for a changeless to enter here ; but all of these house? whether any of the rent arises have been in opposition to the inte- from orchards, woods, moss, or peats, rests of the impropriators, tending or from mills, or other species of mawholly to the benefit of the country chinery? whether any part of the rent at large, and the advantage of the arises from any manufacture, or froin clergy. The state in which matters a fishing, or from coal-pits, or from now stand, is as follows:

mines ? what improvements have been Teinds or tithes in Scotland, can made on the estate by embanking, not, under any circumstances, be ta- draining, enclosing ? whether any lime, ken in kind. To whomsoever they marle, or other manure, be delivered to may be due, whether to the Crown it the tenant? whether the lease be set self, for some tithes still remain in the in steelbow ?* These points will show hands of the Crown; to colleges, schools, in what manner the amount of the or hospitals, to which the Crown has rent is ascertained, and what are progranted them; to titulars, feuars, or perly deductions from the rent; and patrons; the heritor or landlord is en the amount of the free rent being in titled to have his tithes valued, and to this way ascertained, one-fifth of the pay only the same in money, at which free rent is taken as the

value of the they are by that valuation rated. From teinds." the titulars, feuars, or patrons, an he The effect of this regulation has ritor may farther redeem his tithe at been, that, in almost every instance any moment, by giving to the former where tithes could be redeemed, they nine years', to the latter no more than have been redeemed by the Scottish six years' purchase. From the Crown, landlords; and where they could not colleges, schools, and hospitals, teinds be purchased, the landlord, and not cannot be redeemed; but it is a prodi- the tenant, pays annually to the tithegious matter that even in these cases owner one-fifth part of the free rent they must be valued.

of his estate. In these latter cases, The nethod adopted in valuing the tithe-owner is exclusively burthenteinds, as described by Mr Bell, in his ed with the support of the minister; Dictionary of Scottish Law, is as fol in the former, he is supported by the lows:

heritors or landlords of his parish. “ The action proceeds before the How this is managed a few words will Judges of the Court of Session in their show. character of commissioners of teinds; The whole of the clergy of Scotland a proof is allowed; and the following are stipendiaries, deriving their stiparticulars will show to what points pends from the teinds or tithes of their the proof must be directed : 1st, Where respective parishes. The amount to the lands are in the natural possession be received by them depends neither of the proprietor, evidence must be upon the caprice of the heritors, nor brought of what would be a fair and upon any private assessment, but upjust rent of the lands on a nineteen on a decree of the Court of Session, years' lease. 2d, When the lands are acting in its capacity of commissionlet in lease, the full rents, consisting ers of teinds: Thus, whenever a clerof money, victual, (corn,) and kain, gyman feels that his stipend is in(fowl, payable in part of rent,) must adequate, owing to change of times be ascertained ; and where there is a and a rise in the price of provisions, grassum, (a fine at the renewal of he commences what is called a process leases,) it must be ascertained, as well of augmentation before that court; as the endurance of the lease. 3d, It which either accedes to his wishes, or is proper to inquire into the articles of otherwise, as circumstances may direct.

"A farm is said to be let in steelbow, when the landlord delivers to his tenant, on en rance, goods in corn, cattle, straw, and implements of husbandry, by which the tenant is enabled to stock and labour the farm, becoming bound to return articles equal in quantity and quality at the expiration of the lease.

The circumstances, again, by which the able situation than their much-envied Court is affected, are, says Mr Bell, and much-slandered brethren of Engthe state of the teinds of the parish, land. (as, whether or not the fifth of the It is not, however, my intention to free rent is sufficient or insufficient to draw any comparison between the resupply an increase ?) the number of lative wealth of the two churches ; nor the parishioners, the rate of provisions have I entered into the preceding dein the place, or the resort to the pa- tail for the purpose of leading others rish. When, on these grounds, the to draw such comparison. My sole Court see reason for an increase of sti- object has been to show, that, in the pend, they give what they conceive to kingdom of Scotland, all the evils of be a sufficient increase ; this is what is the tithe-system have been got rid of, termed a decree of augmentation ; and without any injury being done to the it takes place from the time the action interests of the parochial clergy. Why is raised. In consequence of this de may not a plan similar to the above be cree, the minister may demand his adopted in England ? I anticipate the whole stipend from any one heritor reply. “The thing is impossible. (landed proprietor) whose teinds are There are too many interests concernequal to the stipend; but this privi- ed; and especially there is too much lege, it will easily be believed, is not of the tithë in lay hands, for such a often resorted to; and the next step measure ever to go down.” is to allocate (to apportion)

the stipend Now, not to recur to the fact that on the different heritors. The decree, there was a time when the whole of the fixing the shares of each, is termed a tithes of Scotland belonged to the laity, decree of modification or locality, and in spite of which the Scottish scheme points out the proportion demandable was carried into effect, I would venfrom each heritor within the parish. ture to submit one striking consideraBy these arrangements, whilst the tion to the minds of the thinking and clergyman is effectually guarded from impartial part of the community. If all angry collision with his less edu ever there existed in any country an cated parishioners, his interests are, abuse more flagrant than others, it is perhaps, better taken care of than they that, in the nineteenth century-in would be, even though left to his own this age of light and learning-one management;in proof of which we have body of laymen should be permitted only to bear in mind, that not a single to exact a full tenth part of the proliving in Scotland falls short of 1501.; duce of their lands from other laymen. that the average value of Scottish liv- In the name of common sense, by what ings is 250l. per annum ; that many tenure are lay-impropriations held ? amount to 6001., whilst several exceed or, to speak more correctly, what are even that. Now, when we take into the benefits which Squire A. and Mr consideration the relative value of mo B. derive from Sir E. D. or Lord F., ney in the two countries, the differe that these latter should be authorized ence of style in which the clergy are in demanding the tithe of lands which expected to live, on the south and on belong to the former? When the recthe north side of the Tweed, the ab tor or vicar comes for his tithe, he has sence of poor-rates in Scotland, and some plea to urge: “I convey to you the fact, that whilst the English cler- and to my parishioners in general, regy are obliged to keep their glebe- ligious instruction, and this is my houses in repair at their own expense, hire.” But the lay-impropriator perthe manses of the Scottish ministers forms no sort of duty, nor confers any are both built and repaired for them reciprocal benefit upon those whose by the heritors: When we farther re- industry he taxes. If it be said that collect that there are few Scottish live his tithes are as much the property of ings which are unprovided with mode- the impropriator as any other estate, rate-sized glebes, whilst, more than I admit the fact; but what then? It one-half of those in England have is a species of property which he ought none; when, I say, we take all these never to have acquired. If the church, matters into consideration, it will, I at the period of the Reformation, was conceive, be admitted, that the Scot-, too wealthy, and that it was far too tish clergy have suffered nothing by wealthy no man can deny, the state the resignation of the tithes ; and that, acted rightly when it diminished its as a body, they fill a far more desir.

But it acted by no means


rightly when I bestowed the spoils of nish out of them the minister's stithe ecclesiastical order upou certain pend. court-favourites. There were then two With respect to the tithes at predistinct circumstances which ought sent drawn by the clergy, let the price to have been considered—the lessen- of them, if redeemed, or if unredeemed, ing of the riches of the clergy, and let their estimated annual in money, the conferring some benefit upon the be paid into the hands of the governors country at large. Of these the first of Queen Anne's bounty, who shall was indeed attended to, and very suf act as guardians or trustees of the ficiently brought about: but where church's property, and apply such was the advantage to the landed in proportion of it to the maintenance terests in general by the mere trans of the clergy, as the Court of Chanfer of their burdens by their being cery, or any other law-court, in required to pay tithes to a lay instead its capacity of commissioners of of a clerical rector ? The first erec tithes, may from time to time detion of lay-impropriations was there termine. Let the surplus, if there fore a glaring abuse. It has, indeed, be any surplus, accumulate, and form been sanctioned by usage, and is now a fund for building and repairing the fully confirmed by time; but it is at churches and glebe-houses of those bottom an evil, and, as such, requires, parishes from which it was originally as far as may be practicable, mitiga- derived; whilst, in cases where the tion, if not an absolute cure.

tithe has been redeemed from layAt once to confiscate lay-impropri- impropriators, let the heritors or land. ations, and to gratuitously deprive the lords be subject to these charges. By impropriators of a property which may this means, he who has paid only six have descended to them for many ge- years' purchase for the redemption of nerations, would indeed be both un his tithe, will eventually stand on an just and impolitic; but I can see no equal footing with him who has reinjustice in the following plan, which deemed his at the higher rate of nine is humbly submitted to the considera- years' purchase. tion of those in power.

These arrangements having been Let commissioners of tithes be ap- completed, the next subjects of conpointed, with full powers to value all sideration would be, how are the the tithes of the kingdom, as well clergy from henceforth to be paid, and those enjoyed by laymen as those re- by what means shall the amount of ceived by the clergy, and let a mode their revenues be settled ? To the of valuation be adopted similar to that former of these difficulties a sufficient which prevails in Scotland. Let the solution has, I apprehend, been given fifth of the free rent of all lands be already. Whenever the heritors of a taken as the amount of tithe; and let parish redeem their tithes, let then be each land-owner be entitled to redeem burthened with the maintenance of the his tithe, at the rate of six years' pur- clergy, and the repair of the church and chase for lay-impropriators-at nine parsonage; where the tithes are no years' purchase for the clergy. Where farther redeemed, than that the fifth of tithes are held by the crown, by bi- the free rent of the parish is paid by shops, cathedrals, churches, colleges, the proprietors, in lieu of tithe, let the or hospitals, let the landlord, and not individual or corporation which enjoys the tenant, be required to pay annu this revenue be called upon to provide ally the fifth of his free rent in lieu of for these contingencies. With respect the tenth of the produce of his estate, to the amount of the minister's stiand in these cases let tithes be declar- pend, again, let that depend neither ed unredeemable. In like manner, upon the caprice of the heritors, nor where the landlord declines to redeem upon private agreement; but let it, his tithes, let him pay in an equal from time to time, be determined by proportion to his lay or clerical rec the Court of Chancery, or any other tor; but let no tithes be drawn or supreme court of tithes, according as taken in kind on any pretence what- the prejudices of society and the ever. Where the heritors of a parish price of provisions shall direct. Let the redeem their tithes, let them from same Court farther apportion to each henceforth be burdened with the sup- heritor, in cases where the burden port of the clergyman; where the shall fall upon the heritors, his share tithes are not redeemed, let the person of the stipend, exactly as it shall reor body which receives the tithes fur- quire the whole stipend to be paid by

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