Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

Source: Johannes B. Kissling, Geschichte des Kulturkampfes im Deutschen Reiche ( Freiburg, Germany, 1913), II, 462-465, 466-467, 467-469, 471, 472.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

References for Document 105.


109
Public Worship Regulation Act (Extracts) August 7, 1874

The development of ritual, a consequence of the Oxford Movement, was especially distasteful to many Victorians. The spread of ritual practices in the 1860s was rapid, and suits brought against innovating clergymen to compel observance of the accustomed worship were not markedly successful. (Ritualists contended that they were restoring lawful practices that mistakenly had been allowed to fall into disuse.) Anticipating parliament's intervention, Archbishop A. C. Tait ( 1811-1882), after consulting with the bishops, drew up a bill, which passed in a form less acceptable to the Church of England and was embarrassingly described by Disraeli as "a bill to put down ritualism." Prosecutions under the act resulted in several celebrated cases involving imprisonment of clergy, bringing the act into disrepute. Many bishops vetoed prosecution (being authorized to do so by the act), and many clergy believed the measure to be irritatingly Erastian. In the 1880s cases before the court set up by the act virtually disappeared.

7. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York may, but subject to the approval of Her Majesty to be signified under Her Sign Manual, appoint from time to time a barrister-at-law who has been in actual practice for ten years, or a person who has been a judge of one of the Superior Courts of Law or Equity . . . to be . . . a judge of the Provincial Courts of Canterbury and York, hereinafter called the judge.

If the said archbishops shall not, within six months after the passing of this Act, or within six months after the occurrence of any vacancy in the office, appoint the said judge, Her Majesty may by Letters Patent appoint some person, qualified as aforesaid, to be such judge.

* * *

Every person appointed to be a judge under this Act shall be a member of the Church of England, and shall, before entering on his office, sign the declaration in

-272-

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