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Irish Protestant Church.
LAST SEVEN YEARS.
The grant in aid of the First Fruits Fund, or, in other words, to the rich established Church of Ireland, passed the next day. A sum of £ 17,000 was also voted for the exclusive benefit of Protestant schools in Ireland. To conclude, a bill has been introduced for the commutation of tithes. We are not sufficiently acquainted with the nature of this extraordinary bill to state all its provisions. It seems a FIXED MONEY PAYMENT is to be substituted in lieu of tithes, formed on the average value of grain for the
A more desirable measure for the Clergy cannot be conceived. Its direct tendency is to augment and perpetuate the revenues of the Church, which every one must acknowledge is the best of all panaceas for the discontents and miseries of the sister kingdom.
We shall only make one or two more observations. It seems clear to us that the reform of any abuse, however great, is perfectly hopeless under the present system of representation. A case of greater oppression and injustice can never arise than that of Ireland : the diminutive numbers of the established Clergy, their enormnous revenues, the wretchedness of these classes from whom those revenues are extorted, and the political proscription to which they are subjected, are evils which call loudly for redress, yet no attempt is made at, , their alleviation; instead of which they have been virtually aggravated. Can we hope, then, that the packing of juries, unequal taxation, or minor abuses, will be redressed ?-we say no. The treatment of Ireland is a test of the wisdom, justice, and humanity of the House of Commons, and decisively proves that no abuse will be reformed which is in the smallest degree favourable to its interests and power.
Showing the Number of Livings held by each; the Title of
the Incumbent, whether he be Resident or Non-resident, the Acres of Glebe, and Quantity of Tithe in each Benefice; with the Incumbent's total Yearly Income.
The first column contains the name of the Pluralist. In the second the figures express the number of livings in each benefice ; R is for Rector, V for Vicar, C for Curate; r is for resident, a for absent. The third column contains the extent in acres of each benefice; the fourth the quantity of glebe; the fifth the name of the diocese in which the benefice is situate, and the average value of land in that diocese; the sixth, and last column, the yearly value of tithe and glebe. By a living is meant a single parish. A benefice is one or niore parishes, having a rector or vicar. An union is two or more parishes, or benefices, united into one benefice. There are, in Ireland, 2,259 parishes, 1,270 benefices, and 453 unions. It is partly to the unions that the decay of Protestantism is ascribed. Some unions are thirty-six miles long, so that many Protestants never see a clergyman in their lives. We have heard of one union of six rectories, and six vicarages, of which a survey had been taken in 1751; it then contained 64 Protestants and 1,630 Catholics : in 1818 the Protestants had decreased to five, and the Catholics increased to 2,400. The unions are created either by the Bishop or the Privy Councilmif by the former, they are only for life; if by the latter, for perpetuity.
The List has been compiled from the Returns of the Irish Bishops to certain queries of the House of Commons, in 1819, and which Returns were ordered to be printed on the 26th May, 1820. The Returns are, in many instances, very incomplete: in some the quantity of tithe is omitted, in others the glebe, and sometimes there is no return of either tithe or glebe. We have only computed the value of these benefices, of which, at least, the acres of tithe is returned. It has frequently happened a Pluralist has held several benefices, and, from his imperfect return, we have only been able to compute the value of one of them. Indeed our estimate of income is very incomplete. The Clergy in Ireland, like the Clergy in England, are great monopolists, and
hold many offices; besides being rectors, and vicars, and curates, they are also bishops, deans, prebends, precentors, chancellors, librarians, schoolmasters, &c. from all which dignities, offices, and sinecures, they derive large emoluments, of which we have no means of estimating the annual worth. They have also gardens, houses, and demesnes, which we have also been obliged to omit for want of information.
In the Parliamentary Returns, those only are considered Pluralists who hold more than one benefice; we, however, lave considered all Pluralists who hold more than one living, or parish. We might have called these Unionists, but it is an awkward word, and not so well understood as Pluralist. A sort of digest of the Returns will be placed at the end.
The value of tithe and glebe is computed from the average value of land in the counties of each diocese, as given by Mr. Wakefield. The value of glebe is considered equal to the rent; the value of tithe equal to one-fourth of the rent. Tithe
and rent always bear to each other the same proportion. If rent rises tithe rises, and the contrary. In England tithe is equal to one-fourth of the rent, and we have adopted the same proportion for Ireland. The proportion of tithe to rent is taken from a very authentic and valuable document, founded on Returns made to the Board of Agriculture, of the expense of cultivating 100 acres of land, in various parts of the Kingdom, at three distinct periods. As this document bas been the basis of our calculation, and as it may be useful for reference, it is here inserted.
EXPENSE of cultivating 100 Acres of Arable Land, in England, at three distinct periods,
calculated on an Average of the Returns made to Circular Letters from the Board of Agriculture, to Farmers in different parts of the Kingdom.
88 6 34 121 2 72 161 12 7
20 14 15
26 8 0$ 38 17 32 Rates
17 13 10
31 7 38 1923
85 5 4
161 12 11%
46 4 104
98 17 10
48 3 0
67 * 10
80 8 04 134 19 8
50 5 6
18 1 4
Total.. 411 15 114
547 10 115
771 16 41
We see, from this, that tithe rose and fell with the rent, and always kept the proportion of one-fourth. It appears also that the produce was equal to five rents, and the tithe being one-fourth of the rent, was, of course, equal to one-twentieth of the
produce. Owing to the less capital laid out on land in Ireland, it probably does not yield more than four or three rents. If it yield four reuts, the title, at one-fourth the irent, is equal to one-sixteenth of the produce; if three rents, one-twelfth of the produce. , A difference in the proportion between rent and produce does not alter the proportion between rent and tithe, which, as before observed, is invariable.
In adopting the proportion of one-fourth, we are convinced our estimate of the value of tithe is greatly below the truth. But we did not wish to be accused of exaggerating the incomes of the Clergy, and we have only exhibited, the value of a few benefices, of which the returns were tolerably complete, at the lowest possible scale; they may, and doubtless are, worth a great deal more, but they cannot possibly be
Residence. Benefice. Agar, Hon. Jame:* 1 Ra
1 Vr no return Alcock, George
4,584 Alcock, Mason
11,520 Alçock, Alexander 1 Va no return
3,200 Allott, Rev. Deant 1 D "noreturn
6 Ra 80,640 Anderson, J.
2 Rr 2,486 Arbuthnot, Alexander (Dean of Cloyne)
3 - a no return Archdall, William 3 Cr 10,000 Archdall, Henry.
2 Vr no return
1 Va no return Armstrong, William 3 Va
7,895 Armstrong, W.J. 3 Rr 3,435 Armstrong, R.C. 4 Rr
1 Va 3,840 Armstrong, Marcus
no return Armstrong, John
3 Rr 34,000 Alexander, Roberts
* Archdeacon of Kilmore. + Of two parishes the Rev. Dean has made no retury; nor of two of the largest glebes.
It is probable W. J. and William Armstrong are the same individual. John Armstrong, it seems, has three parishes, containing 34,000 acres : only think of one man, and a spiritual one too, already filled with the holy ghiost, devouring a tenth of all the potatoes, the corn, hay, pigs, and poultry on 34,000 acres of land. Can any one be surprised at famines in Ireland? Even Egypt, fertilized by the Nile, or Canaan, flowing with milk and honey, would be insufficient to satisfy such nonstrous rapacity. The value of land in Galway, the site of this large benefice, is estimated by Wakefield at 22s. per acre; so that the value of tithe, at only, one-fourth the rent, is £9,350 a-year. The total number of acres from which the four Armstrongs, exclusive of the fifth, who has made no return, levy tithes, is 57,033.
$ This is, doubtless, Old Robert,, the Archdeacon sof, Down,,or his son., The Archdeacon
of Diocese & Value per Acre. of Tithe Residence. Benefice. Glebe.
and Glebe. 2 Va 1,920 none Ossory 29s. i Ra
160 none Ossory 29 1 Rr 11,391 252 Down 28 £5,887 1 Rr no return none Clogher
23 1 Cr
3,930 none Down 28 1,370 1 Ra
no return 400 Clogher 23 1 Rr no return no return Clogher 23 4 Ra 11,520 10 Cloyne 25 2 Rr 6,400 18
25 5,622 5 Ra 46,800 46
25 14,672 5 Va
20,480 16 Ossory 29 7,447 1 Vr no return
6 Dublin 3 Ra 8,217 9 Cashell 45 4,637 1 Rr no return 500
Clogher 23 1 Rr no return 32 Cork 25 1 Ra no return 242 Cork 25 3 Vr 6,400 51 Dublin 33 2,673 4 Ra 7,680 20 Ossory 29 2,813 2 Rr 6,400 27 Cork 25 2,033 2 6,347 none
Elphin 35 2,783 3 Rr 5,278 10 Meath
2,060 2 Rr
9,000 13 Leighlin 27 3,054 6 Rr 13,440 1 Dublin 33 5,044 1 Va no return 18
no return 22 Killaloe 33
33 no return
1 Va 1 Va
s cousin of the Bishop of Down, and of Lord Caledon, formerly Governor of the Cape.' Another cousin is M.P, for Old Sarum and one of the Treusury phalanx. There is a Charles. Alexander, with a living in Armagh; a James Alexander, with a living in Down; and a John Alexander, with a living in Meath. Taking the tithe of the six livings of the Pluralist at only one-fourth the rent, his yearly income, from tithe and glebe, is £5,887, exclusive of his irchdeaconry.
* Dean of Clogher. The Pluralist has rectorial and vicarial tithes of two parishes, conaining 8,217 acres, as Chantor of Cashell, with nine acres of glebe and a house. He has also besides 500, acres of glebe, and a deanery house, as Dean of Clogher, His brother, William Bagwell, a sinecurist, M. P. for Tipperary, is one of the Treasury phalanx.
† The Barry's are related by marriage to the Earl of Carrick. Philip Barry is a chaplain *t the castle.
# John Bayly is treasurer of Kilmore, dean of Killaloe, vicar choral of the two cathedrals of Christ church and St. Patrick's, Dublin. Henry Bayly is probably the son of the dean, and appears a very industrious youth. He is entered as curate to John Bayly's vicarage, and said to perform the duties without any specific salary. He is resident curate for parson Bourne, at Rothangon. He performs the duties of three other rectories, for an absent prebendary and parson Tisdale (whose residence the bishop returns as unknown), who also folds the prebendal sinecure of Maynooth, Dublin. Lastly, he officiates for the rectory of Feighcnllen.