Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next



but now, in the very heat of the dispute, Sir John Colborne created forty-four rectories and endowed them with lands from the Clergy Reserves to the extent of seventeen thousand acres. This naturally added fuel to the flames, and the agitation went on with increased bitterness. Shortly afterwards (1837) came the outbreaks in the two Canadas, and for a time the Clergy Reserves question was overshadowed by other issues.

A Compromise Act.--Various efforts were made to settle it, but without result until 1840, when what was intended as a compromise Act was passed by the Upper Canadian parliament at the instance of Lord Sydenham. By it the proceeds of the sale of the reserves were divided as follows : one-third to the Anglicans ; one-sixth to the Presbyterians ; and the other half to such other religious bodies as should apply for a share in it. The Act, however, was disallowed, the judges in England having given an opinion that, so far as it had assumed to deal with lands already sold, the provincial parliament had exceeded its powers. An Act, which modified the disposition made of the reserves by the provincial Act so as to meet this objection, was introduced by Lord John Russell and carried in the Imperial parliament. It divided the proceeds of past sales between the Anglicans and Presbyterians exclusively ; the proceeds of future sales were to be divided in the manner provided by the disallowed provincial Act. Here the matter rested for some years.



Charges Against Judges.--Even while the war of 1812 was in progress, and while the assembly of Lower Canada were, as Neilson put it, " giving all they had and more than they had" to aid in the defence of the province, they still kept up the attack upon executive abuses. Stuart, who afterwards himself became chief justice of the province, formally impeached the chief justices, Sewell and Monk, for usurping legislative power. He charged that, on pretence of regulating the practice of the courts, they had increased official fees, thus making law-suits a means of

Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next