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the metropolitan clergy, did not satisfy the Reverend Gentle

The Bishop, therefore, determined, that, if another Company should be formed, and should apply for an Act to establish a Cemetery, he would make them bleed at every vein; and, in 1837, he found a noble victim in the “ West of London and Westminster Cemetery Company," whose Act contains the monstrous clause which we recited in our last Address to you. Referring to that Act, in his evidence before your Committee, he exultingly said : “ In that case the Company are obliged, by law, to pay a fine of 10s. for every funeral, to the clergyman from whose parish it comes. That sum was considered, by the clergymen whom I consulted upon that occasion, as being a fair compensation." He forgot to tell you, however, that this time he provided for the parish clerk, (condescending, as Cowper says, for once to take his part,") to whom also he secured one shilling on each corpse! His Lordship doubtless considers this Act, the fruit of matured experience and deep clerical counsel, as the model act for other cemeteries. And no wonder; its perfections are astonishing. That the main facts may not be forgotten, we will state them again. The distinction between vaults, brick graves, and open ground, is annihilated; the distinctions of age, too, are lost; the British Peer and the working man, the infant of days and the hoary grandsire, all are placed on a level. Down with every corpse must go shillings ten for the

parson, and one also for the clerk! A Clerical Tax of Eleven Shillings on Dead Bodies! Here, then, is the fixed standard of compensation. With this light in our hand, we will pursue the mitred Lord through some of the windings of his evidence. He told you he was “sure that the clergy, generally speaking, would be willing to make some sacrifice for the sake of effecting so great an improvement as is contemplated," having previously told you there was hardly any necessity for it. You took special care to insert this piece of pious and patriotic intelligence in your Report; no doubt, lest a fact so honourable, but so incredible, should be overlooked in the Evidence. But let us be just to the Bishop; this dexterous descendant of Loyola uses terms after the custom of his order. This “ sacrifice," which the clergy are “ willing to make," turns out, after


all, to mean nothing less than " a fair compensation.” Sir, why not have published this in your Report? We will explain the Prelate's “mystery;" and do you, Sir, mark his wily words!

(3029.) I believe, in all cases, they would be disposed to take a fair average compensation for those precarious fees." These enlightened and philanthropic men are willing to have that which is “precarious" rendered certain, and, for their fees, to take " a fair average compensation;" and it is decided by the Bishop and his Clergy, that “a fair compensation" amounts to just ten shillings to the parson and one shilling to the clerk ! This is the “ sacrifice” which,“ in all cases,” they are willing to make for the good of their country! Hear it, О people! On these terms the magnanimous clergy of the Church of England are ready to cede their authority in the empire of death! Yes, these Reverend owners of the souls and bodies of their fellowcreatures are willing, in the style of the ancient corporation of Smithfield, to surrender their “vested rights” in the corpses of the people of England for ten shillings per head," and one shilling to the parish clerk! Sir, again we ask, why did you not publish this in your Report?

A Clerical Tax of Eleven Shillings on Dead Bodies! If ten shillings for the parson be the average compensation, does it not follow that ten shillings is now the average clerical fee? If not, the assumption is a falsehood. Is such the fact ? Sir, you know it is not! Did not the Reverend Dr. Russell, Rector of Bishopsgate, once Bishop Blomfield's own parish, say to you, (2469) “My fee, on an average, in one case, is 3s. ; and, in the other case, 2s. ; and, for a child, it is somewhat less?” Nay, Sir, did he not say (2481), “ I am quite sure, that, if the Cemeteries were to pay me the smallest sum, I should be a gainer, on the average, if I received for all the bodies ?" Again, did he not say (2487), “In the London Cemetery it is 5s. for a brick grave, and 1s. 6d. for the others; and, putting the average together, I should be rather a gainer, if the Cemeteries were to take all the bodies?” Here the Rector has none of the Bishop's

mystery;" all is clear and straightforward. In the one case, the two classes of fees united make 5s. ; in the other, 6s. 6d.; while, for the smaller sum, the parson has, in all weathers, to do the work, when, for the larger, he does nothing. This re


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minds us of the concluding stanza of Cowper’s Parson's “ Yearly Distress :".

" "Twould cost him, I dare say, Less trouble taking twice the sum,

Without the clowns that pay.But is Dr. Russell a competent judge in such matters ? A judge! Who is superior? He is a large proprietor in one of the Cemeteries, and also the Company's Chairman, and thoroughly conversant with the whole business. Did he not show his sense, as well as his integrity, when he told your Committee (2484), “ If you give to the clergyman of the parish the fee he has now, for a burial, clearly it would make no difference to him whether the burial was in the one place or the other.” Why, then, give them twice or thrice as much ?

But it may be urged that the fees are low at Bishopsgate church. Very well. We will take parishes from two sides of the city, and the first on the precincts of the Eleven Shillings Model Cemetery; let it be Lambeth itself. Before us lies a “ bill of dues paid” in January of the present year, and that for the “first ground,” too; and what think you is the fee? Ten shillings for the parson and one shilling for the clerk ? No:

" Rector

38. Od.
18. 8d."


2s. 6d.
ls. 4d."

Let us next take the important parish of Islington; a “

66 bill of dues" for a burial in the chapel-ground of St. Mary lies before us :

" Minister

Clerk There may be cases where the fees are much higher, there doubtless are ; but unquestionably these great parishes, taken from two distinct and also highly respectable sections of the metropolis, may be viewed as the average. Had these burials been at the Bishop's Model Cemetery, instead of 3s. and 2s. 6d., the respective parsons, without moving a step or uttering a word, would have pocketed a half-sovereign! But according to the

mystery” of the Bishop of London, this would have been a “ sacrifice," and that " sacrifice" merely “a fair compensation !"

A Clerical Tax of Eleven Shillings on Dead Bodies! Your Bill empowers the Bishop to determine the amount of compen

sation to clergymen; and he himself has declared “a fair compensation” to be as we have stated it,—ten shillings to the parson and one to the clerk. Sir, this is a matter of the utmost moment. If your Bill should pass, the entire mortality of the city will be burdened with this most iniquitous impost.

October 24, 1842.




SIR,—While an enlightened public will denounce and detest your preposterous and iniquitous Bill, it will, nevertheless, have reason to thank you for the investigation to which it has led, of the crafty and covetous practice of Churchmen. They are not, however, the only party whose proceedings will receive illumination; your own doings will not be forgotten, and the various Cemetery Companies will likewise come in for their proper share of notice; while, it must be confessed, that, taking you altogether, you present a body to whose peculiar claims and virtues the Dean of St. Patrick alone could have done justice.

Sir W. Clay's acute examination of the Bishop tended not a little to illustrate some of the more latent attributes of his Lordship’s singular character.. Sir William, referring to the ten shilling tariff incorporated with the Act of the Westminster Model Cemetery, said : “ That provision is limited to bodies buried within the consecrated portion of the Cemetery?” The Prelate's answer is full of instruction : " I do not recollect whether that was so or not." He did " not recollect !” What! is there no recoil from the thought of charging a duty of ten shillings on every body interred even in the unconsecrated ground? No, not the least; Charles James has no sympathy with the pious exclamation of the father of his country's poetry

" Oh! double sacrilege on things divine,

To rob the relic, and deface the shrine !" A true Churchman is quite prepared to tax our mortal bodies, although he has not blessed our earthen bed! Till propelled by the judicious interrogatories of Sir William, the Bishop's conscience had never grappled with the subject. In the statement which led to Sir William's question, the Prelate spake as if for all bodies, wherever buried, ten shillings were paid. His words are: “A fee of ten shillings for every funeral to the clergy man from whose parish it comes." The idea of ten shillings appears to have so intoxicated the mind of the “spiritual" Lord, that he had not a thought to bestow upon the subject of consecration or unconsecration. Perhaps he cared, in reality, nothing about the place; what he wanted was the money for the clergy. He regarded place simply as relating to money. Sir William, justly alarmed at the enormous exaction of the Act of the Model Cemetery, and afraid the Bishop might force it into a precedent, reminded his Lordship that an Act had passed, since that Act, for the Cemetery within the Tower Hamlets, in which there were two classes of fees, and of smaller amount. To this timely but most unwelcome intimation, the Prelate coolly answered: “ Yes; I think there are two classes of fees in the Tower Hamlets." The Baronet asked whether the one class of fees was not 7s. 6d., and the other 2s. 6d.; he replied, “ Yes;" and then followed this explanation : “ It was settled by me, after a conference with the clergy; that being a part of London from which funerals would be, generally speaking, of a different class from those sent to Kensal-green, and to the London and Westminster Cemetery.” Hear the voice of pity for the halfpauper population of the Tower Hamlets! The aggregate fees he has imposed on the Tower Hamlets are ten shillings; the aggregate fees on Kensal-green are only 6s. 6d. This is the measure of the Prelate's humanity for a teeming and deeply impoverished population! Sir William (3003) pressed the Bishop to say whether he “ wished to suggest that ten shillings was the proper sum, in every case, for clerical compensation.” Confounded by the question for a moment, his reply was,

No, I did not ;" and then, having recovered his self-possession, he immediately adds: “ It was considered by the Clergy, on the whole, to be a reasonable compensation." They thought it "the proper sum ;" did their diocesan think it too much ?

This conducts us to the master-stroke of the Prelate's policy,

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