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perty to the church, without previously capitatio; only the clergy, their wives paying on its account the tribute called and their children were exempted from Alcabala, enjoining further, that the it, by that emperor: they were also fifth part of the conveyed property exempted from the tribute called me. should be applied to the royal patri- tatum, (billeting)., mony; a measure which, although ef There were personal tributes of two fectual in itself, was, nevertheless, in-i kinds arnongst the Romans : namely, sufficient to cure the mischief already honorary, from which the clergy were done. Another regulation of Don Al- not exempted; and not honorary, from fonso the Wise, to the effect that the which they were. Constantine granted church should be bound to taxation for the clergy a general exemption from the property she acquired from persons both, in order that they might apply liable to the same, proved likewise in- themselves exclusively to their ecclesias.. effectual.
tical functions. The property of monasteries was ex-1 Among the honorary obligations were empted from taxation, if it derived from reckoned thecurial and municipal vffices, royal gifts, this being considered as a the duties of which, according to Gotostanding part of the royal patrimony, fred, consisted in the administration of conveyed to the church merely for the the public money, and in the collection purpose that the ecclesiastics should be of taxes : also in the execution of judicial obliged to pray to God for the souls of warrants, and in the administration of the king and his royal predecessors. All the patrimonial property of the comother sort of ecclesiastical property was monwealth. subject to taxation, since we observe, While the clergy did not abuse these as an exception to this rule, that Count privileges they were kept in possession Garcia Fernandez, in 978, granted an of them: but since many persons em. exemption from paying some tolls to braced the ecclesiastical profession with the monastery of Covarrubias, and Don a view to get those immunities, ConAlfonso 'the Wise exempted the houses stantine enacted that they should not be of the church of Tuy from the obligation enjoyed by any wealthy citizen who of being billeted. The ecclesiastics, in should take holy orders after the proafter tinies, got a general exemption mulgation of his edict. Theodosius from taxes, whenever their property allowed them afterwards to perform the derives from any special foundation, or functions of those honorary offices by bequest expressly made for their sup- substitutes; and Justinian repealed this port. In all other cases they pay the concession no ecelesiastic being exempted general taxes. The church cannot be but bishops. He further enacted that rigorously distrained for her debts on no curial officer should be allowed to this account, but goods may be taken become a clergyman, unless he had from her administrators to that effect. resided fifteen years in a monastery, and CHAPTER XV..
had moreover vested all his property,
but the fourth part, in the imperial Of the Immunity of Taxes granted to the exchequer. Clergy. :
There were some other tributes among The clergy were always considered as the Romans, called angaria and paran, holy persons deserving a particular re- Igaria : by the first, people were bound gard and respect, on account of their to provide with carts and cattle, for the consecration to the service of God: this conveyance of luggage, when the prince consideration shown to them from the or an army marched through an ordifirst centuries, as St. Jerome asserts, nary road ; and by the second, when the induced Constantine to grant them a conveyance should be led through an personal immunity. Nobody enjoyed extraordinary one : this sort of obligasuch a privilege amongst the Romans, tion implied too a personal service. The all the subjects of the empire being clergy were always exempted from their bound to pay the personal tribute called personal attendance, but not from the obligation to supply the necessary carts | because they wished them as poor as · and cattle. Constantius granted them the apostles. The canon laws both of an immunity from this, but soon after the eastern and western churches repealed his concession in 360. Theo- allowed them, however, to keep them. dosius and Honorius granted them again What has been stated about the imtheir former privileges, but again they munities granted to the clergy was were withdrawn from them by Valen- practised in Spain till the Gothic irruptinian and Theodosius the Young; the tion. From that time the people in latter, however, exempted the clergy Spain were divided into two classes, froin the tribute called aurum tyronicum, namely Barbarians or Goths, and and stratyolticum, which consisted in Spaniards or Romans. The northern defraying towards the expenses of the conquerors used to reduce the van. military establishment.
quished to a servile condition, and to The merchants among the Romans employ them in the cultivation of the were subject to a tax called chrysargy- fields. The Spaniards met with this rum, and also lustralis collatio, because fate under the Goths, whose first care it it was paid every fifth year : it was paid was to distribute the land, keeping for on account of negotiations; and since themselves two parts of it, and assigning the Spanish clergy were allowed to deal the third to the Spaniards. moderately for their livelihood, they The Goths, when they settled in were of course bound to pay the said Spain, did not know the use of pecuniary tribute.
taxes, they only exacted from their subThe only immunity constantly enjoyed jects personal services. The Spaniards by the clergy among the Romans, was were bondmen and the Goths freemen; that of paying extraordinary taxes; but these did not pay services, their only even from this they were not exempted obligation being to attend the king in, in regard to their private patrimony, the war, and to keep half of their bundwhich was exclusively considered their men in arms. own, and as profane as the property of No Goth was pronioted to holy orders laymen. The church made always a till the seventh century, and accordingly proper distinction, forbidding her ininis- most of the clergy were bondmen; ters to dispose of the ecclesiastical pro- none of these could embrace the ecclesiperty, but allowing them to do with astical profession without previous pertheir own at their pleasure ; and further mission from his master, and even when enacting that both should be kept sepa- this was obtained the candidate could rate from each other, to avoid a con- not be raised to the priesthood if his fusion which might prove injurious to master did not dispense with him those , the heirs of the clergy as well as to the services which a manumitted bondman patrimony of the poor. .
owed to his patron. Even in the seventh Constantine, notwithstanding his ex- century the clergy were bound to serve treme liberality towards the church, in public works, as we learn from the acknowledged the justice of this distinc-records of the fourth Toletan council, in, tion, and accordingly did not grant the which it was enacted that the free clergy any sort of immunity on account clergy should be exempted from this of their private patrimony; it is curious grievance. that his edict to this effect was issued at If a manumitted bondinan refused to the request of the Spanish, African, and his patron the usual services, he might Italian bishops. These holy prelates be again reduced to his former servile, acknowledged the justice that the clergy condition. Recared mitigated this seshould support the state with their own verity with regard to the bondmen beproperty, since they were protected in longing to the royal exchequer if they the enjoyment of it by the laws. became clergymen by royal permission,
Although St. Jerome and St. Augustin but not otherwise : binding them, neverwere so rigid as to think it unlawful for theless, to the payment of a certain tax the clergy to keep their own patrimonies, as an indemnity for their personal ser
vices. Doña Vrraca, in 1114, claimed the service of God, and no personal seras her own bondmen some clergymen vices were required from them by anof the church of Compostella who took other seignor. holy orders without her royal permis- They were, accordingly, exempted sion, but they were relieved by the me- from the payment of what is called diation of their bishop.
moneda forera, which was a sort of perThere were among the Germans a sonal tribute claimed by the king from sort of bondmen similar to those called every subject as a recognition of his adscriptiti among the Romans : they supreme dominion. The fidalgos, with were addicted to the soil : they were their wives and children, the cities, bound to cultivate the land, paying to towns, and castles on the frontiers, and their seignors a part of their fruits. This those whose property did not amount to practice was introduced in Spain by the the value of ten sueldos, were also Goths, and we find some relics of it in exempted from it; and lately, in 1724, the laws of Benerente and Leon; parti. it was entirely abolished by Don Luis I. cularly in those towns which were popu- The alcabala was a sort of subsidy lated after the conquest, according to granted by the Cortes of Burgos in the said laws. The seignors, who held 1342 to Don Alfonso IX., towards their domains from the king, contri- the expenses of the war of Algeciras : buted to him according to the original it consisted in a ten per cent. raised on conditions of their tenures, and the in- every sort of sales within Spain. habitants in those towns, who became The inhabitants of Toledo, as Ayala bondmen to the seignors, did not pay says, wanted to be exempted from this anything to the king, but were merely tax, but the King objected, alleging bound to the cultivation of the soil to that he himself, and the queen, and which they were addicted: they could grandees, paid it in the price of their not abandon their lands without sub- victuals and every other article they stituting another tenant in their stead, bought. and if they did, forfeited their lands and The clergy are now exempted from half of their property besides.
the alcabala, as far as it regards tithes, This was the case in Galicia and primitiæ, the fruits of their livings, and Asturia, the lands in which became very the necessaries for their own support. valuable on account of their tenants Their houses can neither be billeted but being not obliged to pay taxes, con-on extraordinary emergencies. formable to the above-described system. Commerce has been repeatedly for
This was extended to many other bidden to the clergy by the canon laws; provinces by the liberality of kings. but since, in spite of that, there are
The system is already utterly changed, great many who, for their own lucre, and, accordingly, the tenants are now embrace this profession, the Spanish law bound to the payment of taxes as well directs that any merchant clergyman as all other people; notwithstanding who, being thrice admonished by his which, their seignors unjustly exact from prelate, continues his mercantile negothem, particularly in Galicia, the same tiations, should forfeit his privilege, and services to which they were formerly be bound to pay the alcabala on account bound; a practice, indeed, very inju- of his negotiations. rious to this worthy class of the people. This personal immunity of the Spanish
The clergy in the seignorial districts clergy is a mere gift from the King. were subject to the same obligations as The gospel does not grant them any the other inhabitants and tenants, en- privilege. Jesus Christ himself paid joying no immunity on this account. the tribute due to Cæsar; and this was
The only immunities granted to the a personal obligation, because he had no clergy, after the change of the feudal property. principles, were those of a personal na. There were some remnants of perture. They were always considered by sonal services and tributes paid by the the king as holy persons only bound to clergy in 1012, as we learn from the
charter granted to the city of Leon by fact, that during the administration of Don Alfonso V. The principles upon the Prince of Peace in the last reign, which it was framed were in unison with all the property coming under the dethose of the code called fuero turgo, nomination of “ obras pius" (charitable which never allowed any exemption foundations), was sold by order of gofrom personal tributes. The fonsadera, vernment, the decree to that effect being for the expenses in war; the facendera, i authorised by a bull from his holiness, for those of public works; the abrubda, the then Pope; and that the money for the support of some officers; the arising from the sale of this large prohornecillo, a sort of fine upon the in-perty was paid into the “caxa de habitants of any district where, an amortizacion," to be applied to the exhomicide having been perpetrated, could tinction of “ vales reals,” that is, gonot be produced the perpetrator ; and vernment bonds. Not a murmur was the caloñas, another sort of fine on heard on that occasion, every one feeling persons guilty of any falsehood; all the propriety of the measure and the these were personal tributes, and were justice of applying such property to the regularly paid by the clergy.
relief of state necessities. Their immunities in this respect were Now, Mr. Cobbett, what reason can slow and gradual, till Don Alfonso there be why such kind of property in VIII., who, in 1180, exempted those in England should not be disposed of in the kingdom of Castille from every sort the same manner, especially as you have of personal contributions. In the king the example before you of its not having dom of Leon, they were not generally caused the least inconvenience, nor exempted till the 12th century, since given rise to any complaint whatever in We observe Don Alphonse VI. granting this country: nor would it be necessary a special privilege on this account to the to trouble “his holiness” upon the church of Astorga. The clergy, at occasion. present, enjoy no immunity for their The book above alluded to, when patrimonial property, and the secular translated, will, I am persuaded, fur. justices can compel them to pay for it; nish a fruitful subject whereon to exerprovided that the ecclesiastical judge, cise the thoughts of " the most thinking being required by him to exact the people in the world,” but I fear that it money, would not comply with their will give great umbrage to that derequest ; and provided, too, that they scription of persons whom Pope heretowould abstain from any unnecessary fore described, I hope somewhat uncoercion against the persons of the justly, as clergy.
“ A low-born, bad-bred, selfish, servile band,
Surely, Mr. Cobbett, this description
be at all applicable to those of the preTO MR. COBBETT.
sent time, although I have little doubt Madrid, 3d April, 1832. of their making good the proverb, Sir, I have not seen any of your
“.point d'argent point de Suisse ;" for Registers of a later date than the 14th
in I plainly see, that you will cause a of January last, but my correspondent
mutiny amongst these celestial troops,” in London has informed me that in one
who, be assured, would speedily quit the dated the 3d of March, you have an
service of heaven itself, whenever it be nounced a translation of the book which
determined to reduce their pay to a I sent to you in November last, upon
reasonable standard. the subject of church-property in Spain,
I have the honour 'to be, Sir, and that, at the same time, you had
Your most obedient servant, published the letter which accompanied
R. H. it. . I omitted to state in that letter the "Dunciad, Book II., liues 355 to 358..
The first part of the following essay | There will then be no occasion for Lord
GREY 10 truckle to the majority of 41 peers was first published in November last. land bishops, the Commons will be acting up The latter part just written : the whole to their own resolutions, and we shall have a
House of Commons unshackled by any re
straiut by the Peers, which the Commons nation, and particularly of the King. always profess themselves to be, and at the
new Parliament the right of contested elections will be determined by the House of Commons
as they now are, justead of applying to the THE REMEDY.
House of Peers for numerous other acts for
amendments and alterations of the law, which An Ounce of Prerogative worth a Ton of inust be duue in every case if carried into corrupt lufluence.
execution by act of Parliament.
Who is to obiect to this, but the 41 lords The Bill of Reform of the Commons has who may enter their protests? No, they canpassed, and is rejected by a small majority in not even do that, as they will be no way conthe Lords.
cerned; but the King and the Commons will The country is almost unanimous in favour accomplish the whole with the unanimous of Lord Grey and his Administration.
voice of the people. But how is the bill to get through the Lords? | Admitting (for argument's sake) that the If by secret iväuence, are we uut degrading bill passed the Lords, and a question arose as our noble Premier in suggesting any such to the right of voting, as doubtless many will, means, and should the Lords now pass the and the Commons proceed to try the right, bill, or as an efficieut one, where will be their may not the losing party say, that he is enticonsistency?
tled under an act of Parliainent which can Why go to the Lords at all? The Commons only be determined by law? If so, and as all profess on all occasions respecting election of law questions must be decided in a court of their members, to be independent of the law, but the last resort is to the House of Peers, then why go to them for their assent to Peers by appeal, the Commons would be comany alteration in the constituency, in which mitting suicide on their own privileges by the Peers have no interest or concern? and doing that by act of Parliament which should wherein their lawful privileges are not affected. | be done by their own resolutions and the But this matter concerns only the Commons King's writs, in pursuance of them, with the and Cominon House of Parliament.
approbation of the people, testified in the In proof of this there is a resolution of the most decided manuer by petitions from all Communs entered on their Journals at the populous places. commencement of every sessions, " That it is from the year 1273, during the reign of “ a high infringement upon the liberties and Edward the First, (the greatest legislator of “ privileges of the Commons of Great Britain, any English monarch since the days of King “ for any lord of Parliament, or any lord- Alfred,) to that of 1684 in Charles the Second's “ lieutenant of any county, to concern them. reign, frequent alterations took place by dis“ selves in the election of members to serve contiouing, restoring, and omitting different “ for the Commons in Parliament.”
boroughs in the representation, as may be Notwithstanding this, the Commons have seen in Mr. Oldfield's representative History, taken their bill to the Lords, who have re. which show the changes that have taken jected it contrary to the advice of Lord Grey, place, being in all 69 boroughs which sent who told the Lords they might possibly have members to Parliament in different reigns, another measure less palatable.
and which are now deprived of that right, Therefore, in conformity with the above re- among which are Alresford, Basingstoke, solution, and in order to verify our noble Chelinsford, Doncaster, Ely, Farnham, GreenPremier's prophetic admonition, let all our wich, Halifax, Kingston on Thames, Leeds, energies be centred in petitioning the House | Manchester, Newbury, Odiham, Pershore, of Commons to come to some resolutions Ross, Spalding, Torrington, and Wisbeach. founded on the rejected bill, and take them to The borough proprietors are ever declaimour gracious and patriotic King, to whom we ing on the perils of change and innovation, will then send up petitions and addresses in though there have till within the two last ploring him to exert his royal powers, by centuries been both innovation and change by issuing (in accordance with ancient usage) the King's writs, which right, though not his writs for a new House of Coinmous agree. always used for the benefit of the people, has able to those resolutions, and thereby insure never been abrogated; then surely if the King the only means of restoring safety, PEACE, has this right wbich formerly was exerted not aud HARMONY to this now suffering and trou- / always for the good of the people, he now.lias bled kingdom, and which blessings we shall the same to exert it at the request of bis peothe more bigbly prize as being the work of a ple and the inajority of the House of ComSovereign endeared to us by every tie that can mons, to which the two attorney-generals bind to a gracious Kiny, a loyal, dutiful, and lately referred in different debates in the House grateful people.
of Commons, and who probably would bave