Party and patronage in the Church of England, 1800-1945 : a study of patronage trusts and patronage reform
This Thesis examines the emergence of party patronage trusts in the nineteenth-century Church of England, their relation to, and their effect upon patronage reforms of the period; and their increasing unpopularity in the twentieth century. It suggests that their existence was a necessary precaution for the free development of the religious movements within Victorian Anglicanism, and that they contributed to the improvement in clerical standards, which helped to fuel the call for patronage reform in the final quarter of the century. Arguing that the Church of the early days of the Enabling Act was idealistic in its attempts to end sales of patronage, it attempts to demonstrate that the increase in sales of patronage was not the fault of trusts in general, but of one in particular, and qualifies some of the statements which have been made about patronage in this period. Various holders of party patronage are examined, in a more fully comprehensive survey than has been attempted before. Following the Introduction, Chapter 1 describes the origins of patronage in England, and its state at the start of the nineteenth century. Chapter 2 deals with the calls for reform of that century, culminating in the Benefices Act 1898. In Chapter 3 the story is continued to 1945, and the Benefices Measures of the 1920s and 30s are analysed. This legislative background supports the material in later chapters. Chapter 4 is concerned with Simeon's Trust as the earliest patronage trust, and Chapter 5 analyses the other trusts, and their rates of expansion. Chapter 6 examines the rise and fall of the Martyrs' Memorial Trust under the Rev. Percy Warrington, demonstrating its responsibility for much of the bad feeling towards trusts in the 1920s, and suggesting that the more controversial views of patronage at the time, and later, derive from a misunderstanding of the nature of trust patronage. In Chapter 7, the patronage of Keble College is used as an example of the day-to-day workings of trust patronage, and to indicate that party trusts were and are, in general, no more open to accusations than any other holders of patronage. The thesis is the first attempt to offer an overall view of party patronage, and concludes that opponents of such patronage have, perhaps, more of a case to establish than they might like to think.