fewer than 178 of Finland's 199 parishes was in the hands of the monarch. In a similar vein, a royal declaration in 1701 by Frederick, King of Prussia, determined that all pastoral appointments made by lay patrons must be ratified by his consistory. In other established churches the religious settlements of the sixteenth century produced a more complex situation and led to the alienation from church hands of parish appointments. Reflecting the situation as it had been for the previous century, in 1830 the proportion of patronage rights for parishes in the Church of England was in the following hands: 48 per cent laity, 24 per cent capitulary and parochial clergy, 12 per cent bishops, 9 per cent crown, with the remaining 7 per cent spread amongst a variety of groups. These bald national figures, however, mask regional variations. In the diocese of Canterbury, 60 per cent of the patronage of the 279 parishes was in ecclesiastical hands, including 105 parishes in the archbishop's alone.
The existence of lay patronage gave rise to a variety of problems. It could have a damaging effect upon the pastoral effectiveness of the parish clergy and the independence of the church. In Mecklenburg, lay patrons deliberately chose non-graduate ministers to ensure they remained in control of the parish. In the Netherlands, the rather weak position of the Reformed Church led to a conflict between regents and the church over the appointment of ministers and the content of sermons.1 The position was just as complicated and fractious in Scotland where the ideal of a congregational call clashed with the reality of landlord and crown patronage. The right of the people of the congregation to call their own minister had been claimed by church leaders since the Reformation and a form of congregational call had been adopted with the establishment of Presbyterianism in 1690. Despite assurances given in the articles of union in 1707 that there would be no parliamentary interference in the Scottish religious settlement, parliament passed the Scottish Patronage Act in 1711, which put the right of presentment to a vacant parish in the hands of the legal patron, who in most cases was a local landowner. This reimposition of patronage fomented congregational strife that was in turn compounded by the occasional appointment of 'riding committees' by the General Assembly. These were special bodies of ministers charged with installing in parishes unpopular candidates who had been presented by the landlord against the wishes of the local congregation and presbytery. The problem was that the various parties in the patronage controversy were not united about the key issues, particularly amongst opponents of patronage who could not agree as to which groups of people should be eligible to call a minister. These disputes also had strong social and political dimensions, as patronage was controlled by the large landowners, including the crown, to the detriment of small and
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