Irish Church Act 1869

Last updated
The Irish Church Act 1869
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
Long title An Act to put an end to the Establishment of the Church of Ireland, and to make provision in respect of the Temporalities thereof, and in respect of the Royal College of Maynooth
Citation 32 & 33 Vict. c. 42
Territorial extentUnited Kingdom
Royal assent 26 July 1869
Commencement 1 January 1871
Other legislation
Relates to Welsh Church Act 1914
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Irish Church Act 1869 (32 & 33 Vict. c. 42) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which separated the Church of Ireland from the Church of England and disestablished the former, a body that commanded the adherence of a small minority of the population of Ireland. The act was passed during the first ministry of William Ewart Gladstone and came into force on 1 January 1871. It was strongly opposed by Conservatives in both houses of Parliament.

An act of parliament, also called primary legislation, are statutes passed by a parliament (legislature). Act of the Oireachtas is an equivalent term used in the Republic of Ireland where the legislature is commonly known by its Irish name, Oireachtas. The United States Act of Congress is based on it.

Parliament of the United Kingdom Supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom

The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament or Westminster, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.

Church of Ireland Anglican church in Ireland

The Church of Ireland is a Christian church in Ireland and an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. It is organised on an all-Ireland basis and is the second largest Christian church on the island after the Catholic Church. Like other Anglican churches, it has retained elements of pre-Reformation practice, notably its episcopal polity, while rejecting the primacy of the Pope. In theological and liturgical matters, it incorporates many principles of the Reformation, particularly those espoused during the English Reformation. The church self-identifies as being both Catholic and Reformed. Within the church, differences exist between those members who are more Catholic-leaning and those who are more Protestant-leaning (evangelical). For historical and cultural reasons, the Church of Ireland is generally identified as a Protestant church.


The act meant the Church of Ireland was no longer entitled to collect tithes from the people of Ireland. It also ceased to send representative bishops as Lords Spiritual to the House of Lords in Westminster. Existing clergy of the church received a life annuity in lieu of the revenues to which they were no longer entitled: tithes, rentcharge, ministers' money, stipends and augmentations, and certain marriage and burial fees. [1]

Composition for Tithes (Ireland) Act 1823

The Composition for Tithes Act of 1823, also known as the Tithe Composition Act, was an act of the British Parliament requiring all citizens of Ireland to pay monetary tithes to support the Anglican Church in Ireland, instead of a percentage of agricultural yield. The act also allowed for those who paid a large tithe to be able to negotiate the composition of the tithes for their parish; that is to decide on what monetary basis the tithes would be based, so that the tithes would be reasonable in comparison to income for the tithe-payers and sufficient for the subsistence of the parishes. It was thought by some members of Parliament to be a conciliatory measure that would reduce the oppressive nature of the then current tithe system.

Lords Spiritual the 26 bishops of the established Church of England who serve in the House of Lords

The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom are the 26 bishops of the established Church of England who serve in the House of Lords, not counting bishops who sit by right of a peerage. The Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian, and the Anglican churches in Wales and Northern Ireland, which are no longer established churches, are not represented.

House of Lords upper house in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is granted by appointment or else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Officially, the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

The passage of the Bill through Parliament caused acrimony between the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Queen Victoria personally intervened to mediate. While the Lords extorted from the Commons more compensation to alleviate the disestablished churchmen, in the end, the will of the Commons prevailed. [2]

House of Commons of the United Kingdom Lower house in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The House of Commons, officially the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House.

Queen Victoria British monarch who reigned 1837–1901

Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Known as the Victorian era, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.

The Irish Church Act was a key move in dismantling the Protestant Ascendancy which had dominated Ireland for several centuries previously.

The Protestant Ascendancy, known simply as the Ascendancy, was the political, economic, and social domination of Ireland between the 17th century and the early 20th century by a minority of landowners, Protestant clergy, and members of the professions, all members of the Established Church. The Ascendancy excluded from politics and the elite other groups, most numerous among them Roman Catholics but also members of the Presbyterian and other Protestant denominations, along with non-Christians such as Jews. Until the Reform Acts (1832–1928) even the majority of Irish Protestants were effectively excluded from the Ascendancy, being too poor to vote. In general, the privileges of the Ascendancy were resented by Irish Catholics, who made up the majority of the population.

See also

Antidisestablishmentarianism Political movement that developed in 19th-century Britain in opposition to Disestablishmentarianism

Antidisestablishmentarianism is a political movement that developed in 19th-century Britain in opposition to Disestablishmentarianism, the Liberal Party's efforts to disestablish or remove the Church of England as the official state church of England, Ireland, and Wales. The Church's status has been maintained in England, but in Ireland, the Anglican Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1871. In Wales, four Church of England dioceses were disestablished in 1920 and became the Church in Wales.

Religion in the United Kingdom religion in the United Kingdom

Religion in the United Kingdom, and in the countries that preceded it, has been dominated for over 1,000 years by various forms of Christianity. Religious affiliations of United Kingdom citizens are recorded by regular surveys, the four major ones being the national decennial census, the Labour Force Survey, the British Social Attitudes survey and the European Social Survey.

Welsh Church Act 1914 United Kingdom legislation

The Welsh Church Act 1914 is an Act under which the Church of England was separated and disestablished in Wales and Monmouthshire, leading to the creation of the Church in Wales. The act had long been demanded by the Nonconformist element in Wales, which composed the majority of the population and which resented paying taxes to the Anglican Church of England. It was sponsored by the Liberal party and opposed by the Conservative party.


<i>Hansard</i> Transcripts of Parliamentary Debates in Britain and many Commonwealth countries

Hansard is the traditional name of the transcripts of Parliamentary Debates in Britain and many Commonwealth countries. It is named after Thomas Curson Hansard (1776–1833), a London printer and publisher, who was the first official printer to the parliament at Westminster.

Related Research Articles

Ajmer-Merwara Former province of British India

Ajmer-Merwara, also known as Ajmir Province and as Ajmer-Merwara-Kekri, is a former province of British India in the historical Ajmer region. The territory was ceded to the British by Daulat Rao Sindhia by a treaty on 25 June 1818. It was under the Bengal Presidency until 1836 when it became part of the North-Western Provinces comissionat el 1842. Finally on 1 April 1871 it became a separate province as Ajmer-Merwara-Kekri. It became a part of independent India on 15 August 1947 when the British left India.

In the United Kingdom, representative peers were those peers elected by the members of the Peerage of Scotland and the Peerage of Ireland to sit in the British House of Lords. Until 1999, all members of the Peerage of England held the right to sit in the House of Lords; they did not elect a limited group of representatives. All peers who were created after 1707 as Peers of Great Britain and after 1801 as Peers of the United Kingdom held the same right to sit in the House of Lords.

Irish House of Lords

The Irish House of Lords was the upper house of the Parliament of Ireland that existed from medieval times until 1800. It was also the final court of appeal of the Kingdom of Ireland.

Disestablishmentarianism is a movement to end the Church of England's status as the official church of the United Kingdom.

The British Peerage is governed by a body of law that has developed over several centuries.

Lord Alfred Paget British politician

Lord Alfred Henry Paget was a British soldier, courtier and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1837 and 1865.

The Irish University Bill was a bill introduced in the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1873 by the first Gladstone government to expand the University of Dublin into a secular national university incorporating multiple colleges.

Since 1997 the United Kingdom government has been engaged in reforming the House of Lords. The history of reform before 1997, is set out in sections below about reforms of composition and powers carried out in the past and of unsuccessful proposals and attempts at reform in the twentieth century.

James Godfrey MacManaway, MBE was a British Unionist politician and Church of Ireland cleric, notable for being disqualified as a Member of Parliament, owing to his status as a priest.

Events from the year 1869 in Ireland.

Act of Parliament (UK) primary legislation in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. As a result of the Glorious Revolution and the assertion of parliamentary sovereignty, any such Act is in theory supreme law that cannot be overturned by any body other than Parliament, although it has been recognised through the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union that Acts or parts of Acts which conflict with EU law can be disapplied.

Slander of Women Act 1891 United Kingdom legislation

The Slander of Women Act 1891 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Official Secrets Act 1889 United Kingdom legislation

The Official Secrets Act 1889 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It created offences of disclosure of information and breach of official trust. It was replaced in the UK by the Official Secrets Act 1911.

Prevention of Offences Act 1851 United Kingdom legislation

The Prevention of Offences Act 1851 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Shahpura State

The State of Shahpura or Princely State of Shahpura was a princely state in Shahpura, Bhilwara during the era of British India. Its relations with the British were managed by the Rajputana Agency. The last ruler of Shahpura signed the accession to join the Indian Union in 1949.

Ministers' money was a tax payable by householders in certain towns in Ireland to fund the local Church of Ireland minister. It was introduced in 1665, modified in 1827, and abolished in 1857. The towns affected were Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Drogheda, Kilkenny, Clonmel, and Kinsale. It was levied as a rate of up to one shilling in the pound on the property's rateable value. The valuation, to a maximum of £60, was done by commissioners appointed by the Lord Lieutenant. Churchwardens appointed by the local minister collected ministers' money on the quarter days: Christmas, Lady Day, St John's Day, and Michaelmas. A 1723 act provided that, in Dublin, the same valuation could be used both for ministers' money and for calculating cess, a separate local rate used for public works and poor relief. Thereafter, cess rates were often expressed in terms of pence per shilling of minister's money.