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Irish Protestant Church.
A few of their incomes are here selected, to confirin the general statement of
£14,672 Blood, Frederick
41,256 Daly, James
68,560 Dennis, John
11,214 Hackett, Thomas
15,881 Hamilton, Hans...
13,253 Hart, George.....
Kenney, A. H.
Trench, Charles Le Poer ..
Irish Protestant Church.
- } 15,340
11,339 Waring, Lucas
s Elphin Wynne, Richard....
Kilmore These enormous incomes are drawn from tithes and glebes, and do not include the revenue derived from other sources. Most offices and sinecures in cathedrals, hospitals, and other public institutions, are filled by the Parochial Clergy ; some are Archdeacons, Deans, Precentors, Chancellors, &c., from all of which they have income. They have also houses, gardens, and other demesnes annexed to their preferments, the value of which is omitted in the above statement. Let us come to the higher order of Clergy.
We have not the same data for estimating the revenues of the Bishops and Dignitaries as the Parochial Clergy; no doubt, however, exists as to the immense wealth of the Protestant hierarchy. The incomes of the Bishops are derived partly from tithe, but generally from land. Formerly the Bishops let their lands on annual fines, so that such fines operated as a kind of rent, which the Bishop stored up for the benefit of his family. But now the practice is to refuse renewals to the tenants-insure their lives for the value ; of the fines, and wait the fall of the leases, which are re-let at a nominal rent, probably to the Bishop's relations. The consequence of this system is, that the Bishops have become excellent scientific gamblers, and a great part of the revenues of Church lands are actually paid to insurance companies. The annual value of the sees, if let like other property, is immense. The annual incomes of Derry, Kilmore, Waterford, and Clogher, if out of lease, it is computed, would be, upon an average, £100,000 each. The Primacy, the Archbishopric of Armagh, is supposed to be worth £140,000 a-year. The great endowments of the sees may be inferred from the immense wealth the Bishops leave behind them. A former Bishop of Clogber (the predecessor of the soldier-bishop), who had been Cambridge tutor to Lord Westmoreland, went over to Ireland without a shilling, and continued in his bishopric for eight years, and, at the end of that time, died worth between 3 and £400,000. It was stated, by Sir John Newport (Morning Chronicle, April 12), that three bishops, in the last fifteen years, had left the enormous sum of £700,000 to their families.
Irish Protestant Church.
These facts appear quite enough to establish our estimate of six millions as the revenue of the Irish Church. Let us next inquire the duties of this richly endowed corporation.
It is a curious fact that, during the sway of the Catholic Church, no man was permitted to hold a benefice who did not perform the duties of it upon the spot, and it was left for the Reformation, which is said to have established religion in its purity, to entitle a man to a large income for the cure of souls in a district which he never visited. A large proportion of the Irish Bishops, Dignitaries, and Incumbents, are absentees; many of them whiling away their time on the Continent, and others dissipating their large revenues in the fashionable circles of Brighton, Cheltenham, and London. The families of some prelates reside constantly in England, and the only duty performed by the bishop is to cross the water in the summer-months, take a peep at the “ palace,” and then return to spend the remainder of the year in this country. The late Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry, resided twenty years abroad, and during that time received the revenue of his rich diocese, amounting to £240,000. This Right Rev. Prelate was the intimate associate of Lady Hamilton, the kept-mistress of Lord Nelson. The bishop lived in Italy, spending his princely income, wrúng from the soil and labour of Ireland, among the fiddlers and prostitutes of that debauched country. The great Primate Rokeby resided at Bath, and never visited Ireland. The Parochial Clergy are not more exemplary. One-third of the whole number of Incumbents do not reside on any of their benefices. Some of them, with incomes of £10,000 or £15,000 a-year, are living in France, with their wives and families. Others live at Bath, on account of the gout. Most of them never see their parishes, deriving their incomes through the medium of tithe-farmers, and engaging a curate at some £50 or £60 a-year to attend once on each Sunday to read prayers ; often, perhaps, only to the parish clerk. The following statement, from No. 75 of the Edinburgh Review, shows the number of residents and non-residents in each diocese.
Parishes or Union of Parishes.
281 with 189 resident incumbents, or near enough to do duty. PROVINCE OF MUNSTER, Diocese of CASHEL....
51 Kilfenora S
Irish Protestant Church.
One great excuse for the neglect of duty by the Protestant Clergy is that they have scarcely any duty to perform. Notwithstanding all the inducements offered by the established religion, notwithstanding its monopoly of tithes, honours, power, and emoluments, it has scarcely any followers. A Protestant is as rare to be met with in Ireland as a Jew in England. Out of a population of seven millions there are only from four to 500,000 disciples of the State religion. The consequence is, that the Church Establishment is little better than an enormous sinecure, A PRODIGIOUS JOB, carried on for the benefit of a few score individuals, to the impoverishment, disunion, and degradation of all the rest of the nation. The Irish Church has been aptly compared to some Irish regiment, in which there was the whole train of officers, from the colonel downwards, but only one private. Just so with the Ecclesiastical Establishment; there is the whole apparatus of Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons, Prebendaries, Canons, Rectors, and Vicars; there are all these still, and, what is better, there are all the tithes, houses, gardens, glebe lands, cathedrals, and palaces: all these remain; but the people, those for whose benefit they were created, they have long since fled to another communion. Why then should not the revenues and Church lands follow them--the owners, for whose benefit they were first appropriated ? Why keep up twenty-two bishops where there are scarcely any parsons? or why maintain these parsons, with large endowments, when they have lost their flocks? There are scores, aye, hundreds of pastors, where there is not even a church! and yet have large revenues appended for religious service. That such an ecclesiastical system should be defended almost exceeds belief; but we shall see it is not only defended, but its monstrous abuses augmented and perpetuated.
Having thus given an outline of the revenues, numbers, and duties of the Established Church, let us next advert to the condition of the people, by whom it is supported.
It has latterly become as 'essential a part of the system to conceal the number of followers of the Irish Protestant Church, as the amount of its
When the late census was taken, it had been easy to ascertain the respective proportions of Catholics, Protestants, Presbyterians, and other Dissenters; but Government, for obvious reasons, declined making any such classification. It appears, however, from the opinions of those who have travelled a good deal in Ireland, and who had the best information on the subject, that the following estimate is correct :- The census made the population amount to 6,800,000; if divided into fourteenths, it was