Recital that by reason of the Smallness of Provision for Ministers, improper Persons are entertained to serve in Cures.
Reasons for passing this Act. The Bishops and Corporations and Patrons empowered to unite Churches. After Order made such Churches to stand united, and Tithes, &. to be paid.
Forasmuch as the setled Provision for Ministers in most Cittyes and Townes Corporate within this Realme
is not sufficient for the Maintenance of able Ministers fitt for such places whereby meane and Stipendary
Preachers are entertained to serve the Cures there who wholly depending for their Maintenance upon the good
will and likeing of their Auditors have beene and are thereby under temptation of too much complying and
suiting their Doctrine and teaching to the humour rather then good of their Auditors which hath beene a great
occasion of Faction and Schisme and of the contempt of the Ministry, The Lords and Commons in Parlyament
assembled being deepely sensible of the ill consequence thereof and piously desireing able Ministers in such places
and a competent setled Maintenance for them by the Union of Churches, which is alsoe become necessary by
reason of the great Ruine of many Churches and Parishes in the late ill times and otherwise Doe therefore most
humbly beseech your most Excellent Majestie That it may bee enacted And bee it enacted by the Kings most
Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Coo[m]mons
in this present Parlyament assembled and by the Authoritie of the same That in every Citty or Towne Corporate
and their Libertyes within the Kingdome of England and Dominion of Wales which have a Maior and Aldermen
and perticular Justices of the Peace by Charter or Commission or Bayliffe or Bayliffes or other Cheife Officer or
Officers and other Assistants by like Charter and where two or more Churches or Chappells or a Church and a
Chappell and the Parishes thereunto belonging doe lye within the said Corporation or Libertyes thereof convenient
to be united, In such cases the Bishop of the Diocesse where such Parish and Parishes are with the consent of
the Maior Aldermen and Justices of the Peace Bayliffe or Bayliffes or other Cheife Officer or Officers or the major
part of them and of the Patron or Patrons of such Church or Churches Chappell or Chappells shall or may
according to due forme of Law unite the said Churches or Chappells, or Church and Chappell or any of them
and shall appoint at which Church or Chappell Churches or Chappells the said Parishoners and Inhabitants of
the said Parishes or Places to which the said Churches or Chappells or Church and Chappell doe belong, shall
usually meete for the Worship of God, and which of the said Churches or Chappells or Church or Chappell
shall be united and annexed unto the other which shall be the Church Presentative unto which all Presentations
shall thereafter be onely made, and unto which the Parishoners shall resorte as their proper Church. And after
such Order made the said Churches or Chappells or Church and Chappell shall accordingly for ever stand united,
And the Parishoners Landholders and Inhabitants of the said Parishes and Places belonging to such Churches or
Chappells or Church and Chappell soe united and annexed shall as they or any of them become void and from
thenceforward pay all such Tythes and other Dutyes as belong or did belong to the Incumbent of any ( (fn. 1) ) the said
Churches or Chappells or Church and Chappell soe united and annexed unto the Incumbent of the said Presentative
Church or Chappell unto which the said other Churches or Chappells or Church or Chappell shall be soe united
II. Parishes to remain distinct as to Rates, Privileges, &. except as aforesaid.
And it is hereby alsoe enacted That notwithstanding any such Union to be made by vertue hereof each of the
Parishes soe united shall continue distinct as to all Rates Taxes Parochiall Rites Charges and Dutyes and all other
Priviledges Liberties and respects whatsoever other then what is herein before mentioned and specified, And
Churchwardens shall be elected and appointed for each Parish as they were before such union made
III. When the Union shall begin.
Presentations.; Proviso for Tenths and First Fruits; and for Procurations and Pensions.
And it is further enacted and provided That where one or more of the said Churches or Chappells or Church
and Chappell soe united and annexed shall be full at the time of makeing such Union That then the said Union
shall take effect for every such Church or Chappell upon the first Avoidance after such Union made, And that
the severall Patrons of the said Churches and Chappells soe united shall and may present by turnes to that
Church onely which shall remaine and bee presentative from time to time in such order as the said Bishop with
the consent of the said Maior Aldermen and Justices of Peace Bayliffe or Bayliffes or other cheife Officer or Officers
within such Parishes or the major part of them and of the Patron or Patrons of such Church or Churches Chappell
or Chappells shall determine and decree for the preservation of their respective Rights therein, respect being therein
had to the difference of the values of the yearely Maintenance belonging to such Churches or Chappells or any
of them; Saveing unto the Kings Majestie His Heires and Successors all the Tenthes and First Fruites of all such
Churches and Chappells soe to be united according to the Rates and Valuations at which the said Churches and
Chappells are rated and valued in the Office of First Fruites and Tenthes in His Majestyes Court of Exchequer,
And alsoe reserving all Procurations and Pensions to all persons to whom they are now and have beene formerly
or shall be hereafter due and payable Any thing herein contained notwithstanding.
IV. Union not to commence till registered.
Provided alwayes That noe Union of Parishes or Places to be made by vertue of this Act shall commence or
be effectuall in Law untill it bee registred in the Register Booke of the Bishop of the Diocesse which the Register
is hereby required to doe,
V. No Union where settled Maintenance shall exceed £100 per Annum. Exception.
Provided alwayes That noe Union made by vertue hereof shall be good and effectuall where the setled
Maintenance belonging to the Parsons Viccars and Incumbents of the Churchs or Chappell or Churches or Chappells
soe united shall exceede the summe of One hundred pounds per anum cleere and above all Charges and Reprises
unlesse the respective Parishoners or the major part of them under their hands desire otherwise
VI. Minister to be a Graduate in University.
Provided alwayes and bee it enacted That every Minister setled as aforesaid the Incumbent of any Church or
Chappell or Churches or Chappells united according to this Act shall be the full and lawfull Incumbent thereof
to all intents and purposes soe as such Minister be a Graduite in one of the Universityes of this Kingdome.
VII. Tithes impropriate may be given to Churches without License of Mortmain.
And bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That every Owner or Proprietor Owners or Proprietors
of any Impropriation Tythes or Portion of Tythes in any. Parish or Chapelry within the Kingdome of England or
Dominion of Wales is, are and shall be by vertue of this Act inabled and impowered to give or bestow unite and
annex the same or any part thereof unto the Parsonage or Viccarage of the said Parish Church or Chappell where
the same doe lye or arise, [or setle the same in Trust for the benefitt of the said Parsonage or Viccarage or of the
Curate and Curates there successively where the Parsonage is Impropriate and noe Vicar indowed according to his
or their respective Estates (fn. 2) ] without any license of Mortmaine, Any Law or Statute to the contrary notwithstanding.
VIII. Where Maintenance under £100. per Ann. Parson may purchase Lands &. without such License.
[And bee it further enacted That if the setled Maintenance of such Parsonages Viccarages Churches and Chappells
soe united or of any other Parsonage or Viccaradge with Cure in the Kingdome of England or Dominion of Wales
shall not amount to the full summe of One hundred pounds per annum cleere and above all charges and reprises
That then it shall bee lawfull for the Parson Viccar and Incumbent of the same and his successors to take
receive and purchase to him and his successors Lands Tenements Rents Tythes or other Hereditaments without
any License of Mortmaine Any Law or Statute to the contrary notwithstanding. (fn. 2) ]