1830 onwards by extensive popular resistance to the collection of tithes, leading to some violent confrontations and loss of life.23 In 1832, in the face of protests from many Protestants but with the support of Archbishop Whately, the government set up a national scheme of education in Ireland, which sought to mitigate sectarian animosities through mixed schooling.24 Then in February 1833 the Irish Church Temporalities Bill was brought forward. This measure proposed to reduce the hierarchy from four archbishops and eighteen bishops to two archbishops and ten bishops and to abolish or suspend cathedral and parochial appointments that lacked active pastoral responsibilities. The incomes of the two wealthiest sees were to be cut, and the richer parish clergy taxed. Reforms in the tenure of church lands were expected to raise extra income. The net financial result of the measure was expected to be a substantial surplus which the government envisaged would be appropriated for the general welfare of the Irish people rather than for the specific support of the Anglican church. The Bill amounted to an acceptance that the Church of Ireland was not, and never would become, the church of the Irish people, and that it therefore needed to be resourced in a manner more commensurate with its minority position and less offensive to the Catholic majority. For those committed to the maintenance of a uniform dominant Anglican religious settlement throughout England, Wales and Ireland it was therefore a very bitter pill to swallow. It conceded the principles both that the legitimacy ofreligious establishments was derived from popular acceptance rather than a conviction of the truth of their teachings, and that religious diversity in the constituent parts of the United Kingdom should be recognised by varying constitutional and organisational arrangements. It therefore stirred considerable controversy and strong opposition from the Tories in Parliament. The government eventually had to drop the appropriation clause in order to get it through the House of Lord, but its other provisions became law.25
A counterattack from the church was already under way. In a sermon in the University Church at Oxford on 14 July 1833 the leading High Churchman John Keble addressed the theme of'national apostasy', with clear implicit reference to current events. When the Act passed he saw it as a ratification by the legislature of the principle 'that the Apostolical Church in this realm is henceforth only to stand in the eye of the State, as one sect among many, depending for any pre-eminence she may still appear to retain, merely upon the accident of her
23 Brown, The national churches, pp. 150-4.
25 Ibid., pp. 160-7; Machin, Politics and the churches, pp. 32-6.
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