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6 & 7 VICTORIA, CAP. 62.-An act to provide for the performance of the episcopal functions in case of the incapacity of any bishop or archbishop.-- Whereas it is expedient to make provision for the performance of the functions of any bishop or archbishop who shall be incapable of duly exercising them in person : be it enacted by the queen's most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that whenever Commission any archbishop of England or Ireland shall have reason to believe of inquiry. that any bishop of his province is incapable by reason of mental infirmity of duly performing his episcopal functions, it shall be lawful for such archbishop to give a notice under his hand to such bishop, that unless within fourteen days from the service thereof satisfactory cause to the contrary be shewn by or on behalf of such bishop, the said archbishop will issue a commission to inquire into the state of the mental capacity of the said bishop, and if within fourteen days from the service of such notice cause to the contrary be not shewn to the satisfaction of the archbishop, it shall be lawful for such arehbishop to issue a commission to three persons being members of the united church of England and Ireland, one of whom shall be his vicar-general, and another one of the bishops of the province, to inquire into the facts of the case : provided always, that the aforesaid notice shall be served by leaving a copy thereof with the bishop or his secretary
II. And be it enacted, that it shall be lawful in any such inquiry Attendance for any two or more of the commissioners to require the attendance of such witnesses as may be necessary; and such commissioners res- pelled. pectively shall have the same powers for this purpose as now belong to the consistorial court and to the court of arches respectively.
III. And be it enacted, that it shall be lawful for the said com- Proceedings missioners to examine upon oath, or upon solemn affirmation in missioners. cases where an affirmation is allowed by law instead of an oath, all witnesses whom they may deem it necessary to summon for the purpose of fully prosecuting the inquiry, as well as all witnesses tendered to them for examination by or on behalf of the bishop concerning whom the inquiry is pending; and notice of the time and place at which the first meeting of the commissioners shall be holden for
the purpose of prosecuting the inquiry shall be given in writing | under the hand of one of the said commissioners, to the bishop, ' and shall be served upon him by leaving one copy thereof with the
bishop or his secretary, and another copy thereof with the registrar of his diocese, fourteen days at least before the meeting; and it shall be lawful for the said bishop, and his nearest friend or one of his next of kin, or his or their counsel, proctor, or agent, to attend the proceedings of the commission, and to examine any of the witnesses; and all such proceedings shall be public, unless, on the
of witnesses may be com
special application of the bishop or his nearest friend, or any one or more of his next of kin, the commissioners shall think fit to direct that the same or any part thereof shall be private; and every such oath or affirmation shall be administered by the said commissioners, or one of them: provided always, that at the request or with the consent of the bishop or his nearest friend, or any one or more of his next of kin, it shall be lawful for the commissioners to take evidence upon affidavit to be sworn before one of the said commissioners or a master in chancery: provided also, that the said commissioners shall shall not direct the proceedings or any part thereof to be in private, nor shall take evidence upon affidavit, if the bishop, or his counsel,
proctor, or agent, object thereto. Witnesses IV. And be it enacted, that every witness who shall be examined giving false evidence pursuance of this act by or before the said commissioners, and guilty of per. who shall wilfully swear or affirm falsely, and also every person who
shall swear to the contents of any such affidavit knowing the same
or any part thereof to be untrue, shall be deemed guilty of perjury. Report of the V. And be it enacted, that the said commissioners, or any two of commission
them, shall transmit to the archbishop under their hands and seals the depositions of witnesses taken before them, and all such affidavits, and also a report of the opinion of the majority of the commissioners whether or not the bishop is incapable by reason of mental infirmity of duly performing his episcopal functions, and such report shall be filed in the registry of the diocese; and the commissioners shall also, upon the application of the bishop or of his nearest friend, or any one or more of his next of kin, or his or their counsel, proctor, or agent, cause to be delivered to such party a copy of the said report
and the depositions and affidavits. For defray- VI. And be it enacted, that all the expenses of such inquiry shall ing the extrebe certified under the hands of two of the said commissioners, and,
of the inquiry. when allowed by the archbishop by whom the commission shall have
been issued, shall be defrayed out of the revenues of the bishopric. The like pro
VII. And be it enacted, that the like proceedings shall be had in ceedings in the case of an
the case of like infirmity of any archbishop of the realm : provided archbishop. always, that in such case all things herein before required to be done
by or with respect to the archbishop of the province shall be done by and with respect to the lord high chancellor of Great Britain, or the lord high chancellor of Ireland, accordingly as the archbishop con. cerning whom the inquiry is to be made is of England or Ireland; and of the three persons being members of the united church of England and Ireland to be appointed commissioners, one shall be a bishop of the province, another shall be the other archbishop of England or of Ireland respectively, as the case may be, and if the commission shall be issued by the lord high chancellor of Great Britain the third commissioner shall be the master of the rolls or one of the vice chancellors of England, and if the commission shall be issued by the lord chancellor of Ireland the third commissioner shall be the master of the rolls or one of the barons of the exchequer of Ireland; and in every such case the report of the commissioners shall be filed in the registry of the province; and the expenses of the inquiry, when allowed by the lord chancellor by whom the commission shall have been issued, shall be defrayed out of the revenues of the archbishoprie.
VIII. And be it enacted, that every commissioner to be appointed Commis
sioners to be by virtue of this act shall, at or before the first meeting of the com- sworn. missioners for the purpose of prosecuting the inquiry, take before the archbishop or lord chancellor issuing such commission, or before a master extraordinary in chancery, the following oath; (that is to
do swear, that I will faithfully, impartially, and honestly, according to the best of my skill and knowledge, execute the several powers and trusts reposed in me under a commission of inquiry issued by
relating to the capacity of C lord bishop or archbishop of
] duly to perform his [episcopal or archiepiscopal] functions, and that without favor or affection, prejudice or malice.
So help me God IX. And be it enacted, that at any time before the expiration of Petition to
her majesty twenty-eight days after the filing of the report of the commissioners in the registry of the diocese or province, as the case may be, it tenant of shall be lawful for the bishop or archbishop concerning whom such council. inquiry shall have been made, or for his nearest friend, or any one or more of his next of kin, or his or their counsel, proctor, or agent, to present a petition to her majesty in council, or to the lord lieutenant or other chief governor or governors of Ireland for the time being in council, praying that no such letters patent as are hereafter mentioned may be issued; and at the same time to lodge with the clerk of the council an office copy of the report of the commissioners, and of the depositions and affidavits whereon the same is founded; and the matter of such petition shall be heard or considered on such report, depositions, and affidavits in England before the judicial committee of the privy council, in case her majesty shall be pleased to refer it to the said committee, and in Ireland before the lord-lieutenant or other chief governor or governors of Ireland for the time being in council; and a copy of the order in council, containing the decision in the matter of such petition, shall, by the clerk of the council, be transmitted to the registry of the diocese or province, as the case may be, and shall be there filed.
X. And be it enacted, that every archbishop and bishop of the Episcopal united church of England and Ireland who now is or at any time
judicial comhereafter shall be sworn of her majesty's most honorable privy mittee. council in England shall be a member of the judicial committee of the privy council for the purposes of this act.
XI. And be it enacted, that whenever it shall appear to the arch- Appointment bishop or lord chancellor, as the case may be, on the report of the od perisohop said commissioners, that the bishop or archbishop concerning whom the episcopal
functions; the inquiry has been made is incapable by reason of mental infirmity of duly performing his episcopal or archiepiscopal functions, it shall be lawful for such archbishop or lord chancellor after the expiration of the said period of twenty-eight days, or in case any such petition as aforesaid shall be presented within such period of twenty-eight days, then at any time after the prayer thereof shall have been pronounced against or abandoned, to make request to her majesty for remedy thereof, and thereupon it shall be lawful for her majesty, by letters patent under the great seal of Great Britain or the great seal
Ireland, as the case may be, to appoint one of the bishops of the same province, being a bishop of England or Ireland, and not being one of the commissioners aforesaid, to exercise all the functions and powers, as well with regard to the temporalities as the spiritualities, of the bishop or archbishop so found to have become incapable; and in case of the death or incapacity, deprivation or suspension of the bishop so appointed, or in case her majesty shall, on the petition of such bishop, be pleased to relieve him from the further exercise of such functions and powers, it shall be lawful for her majesty in like manner to appoint another such bishop, and so as often as the case shall happen; and it shall be lawful for the bishop so appointed, and the archbishop or lord chancellor (as the case may be) by whom the commission aforesaid was issued, or any successor of such archbishop
or lord chancellor, by an instrument in writing under their hands and of a spi, and seals, jointly to commission and appoint a spritual person to to assist in assist in the administration of the temporalities of the see, and in the administration of the
such matters of jurisdiction of the see or province of the bishop or temporalities archbishop so found to have become incapable as shall and may be
lawfully committed to him, which spiritual person shall give to the bishop and to the archbishop or lord chancellor by whom he shall be appointed a bond, with sufficient surety in a sufficient sum, with a condition for his duly accounting for the monies which may come to his hands by virtue of his office; and it shall be lawful for the bishop so appointed, and the same or any succeeding archbishop or lord chancellor, at their pleasure, to revoke and cancel such appointment, and in any such case, or upon the death or resignation of such spiritual person, in like manner to commission and appoint another spiritual person, on his giving such security as before mentioned, and so from time to time as often as the case shall happen; and all things done by virtue of this act within the limits of his authority by any such bishop or spiritual person shall be done in the name of the bishop or archbishop so found to have become incapable, and under the seal of such bishop or archbishop where a seal is required to be used, and shall be as valid as if done by such archbishop or bishop; and the receipt of the bishop or spiritual person, so appointed as aforesaid, for such sums as he shall receive by virtue of his commission shall be good and effectual discharges for the monies which in such receipts shall be acknowledged to have been received: provided always, that it shall not be lawful for such bishop or spiritual person to present, collate, nominate, or license any clerk to any ecclesiastical benefice in the gift or patronage of the bishop or archbishop so found to be incapable, or to sanction the union or disunion of any benefice in such gift or patronage with or from any other benefice, without the approval of the archbishop or lord chancellor by whom the commission was issued, or, without the like approval, to appoint or displace any officer of the see or province; and that no lease or deed of conveyance, exchange, or enfranchisement, of any lands or possessions belonging to the see or province, to be executed by any bishop or spiritual person appointed as aforesaid, shall be valid unless approved and executed by the archbishop of the province, or, in case of the incapacity of the archbishop, by the lord chancellor of Great Britain or the lord chancellor of Ireland, as the case may be,