Irish Church Act 1869
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|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 extent||United Kingdom|
|Royal assent||26 July 1869|
|Commencement||1 January 1871|
|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|Text of statute as originally enacted|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.
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.
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.
The Irish Church Act was a key move in dismantling the Protestant Ascendancy which had dominated Ireland for several centuries previously.
- Report of Her Majesty's Commission on the revenues and conditions of the Established Church. Parliamentary Papers. 1867–68 XXIV 3. HMSO. 1868. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
- "Irish Church Act 1869 (as enacted)". UK Statute Law Database. 26 July 1869. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- Hansard 1869:
- Commons vol 194–6: 2nd reading 18 Mar 19 Mar 22 Mar 23 Mar; Committee 15 Apr 16 Apr 19 Apr 22 Apr 23 Apr 26 Apr 29 Apr 3 May 4 May 6 May 7 May; Consideration 13 May; 3rd reading 31 May
- Lords vol 196–7: 2nd reading 14 Jun 15 Jun 17 Jun 18 Jun; Committee 29 Jun 1 Jul 2 Jul 5 Jul 6 Jul; Report 9 Jul; 3rd reading Jul 12
- Vol 198 Commons rejects Lords amendments Jul 16 Lords insists 22 Jul Commons accedes 23 Jul
- Bernard, William Leigh (1871). Decisions Under the Irish Church Act, 1869, 32 & 33 Victoria, Cap. 42, and Details of the Annuities Ordered and Declared by the Commissioners of Church Temporalities in Ireland, with an Index. A. Thom. p. 58. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- McKechnie, The reform of the House of Lords p.49