A tithe in the affairs of men

In England, tithes were, for the most part, drawn from a higher description of individuals — from farmers, who, in general, employed considerable capital in agricultural operations, and who had therefore more ready means of meeting the demands of the incumbent, than any which the Irish cottager possessed.

In Ireland, the case was very different and the clergyman was frequently reduced to this distressing dilemma, either to exact his pittance of tithes from the poorest individuals, or to abandon his lawful right, and consequently his income together.

In England, the clergyman might be liberal to the poorer tenant, end might forego his demand — the bulk of his income was drawn from a more wealthy class; but, in Ireland, it would be impossible for the clergyman to forego the exaction of tithes from the poor, without giving up the whole of his income.

Henry Goulburn, slave-owner and Chief Secretary for Ireland, seeking leave to bring in a bill to improve the system of tithes by making it easier for clergyfolk of the established church to get their money from poor folk in Ireland

Irish Tithes Leasing Bill, Hansard 13 June 1822

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