A STATEMENT, &c.
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IT will be in the recollection of almost every reader of the Church Missionary Register and Record, that I was employed by the Committee of the Church Missionary Society, as a Missionary in New Zealand, from June 1827 to June 1834. They will also recollect, from the reports of others, as well as from my own journals, that my labours, in various parts of the Island, were, under God's blessing, attended with considerable success;--and that I obtained the confidence of the Natives, both old and young. The literal translation of letters from the New Zealanders--the originals of which were, many of them, left at the Church Missionary House, Salisbury Square, London,--will afford abundant testimony of this fact.
In June, 1834, I embarked, at Wangaroa, in H. M. S. Buffalo, for England, where I arrived in November the same year. From that time until February, 1836, I was employed, almost without intermission, in visiting the Associations of the Society in almost all the great Cities and Towns of England; and in preaching the Anniversary Sermons for its benefit. During my stay the Committee of the Society published an Account of New Zealand, and of its Missions, prepared by myself, and which was widely circulated.
In February, 1836, I again left England upon the same Mission to New Zealand, accompanied by my Sister, who went out under the auspices of the Society, for the express
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purpose of educating the Native females, as well as the children of the Missionaries.--Our voyage was prosperous. On the 13th of June, we arrived at Sydney, New South Wales. In consequence of the recent sudden death of the Rev. Richard Hill, Chaplain of Saint James' Church, in that Town, I was immediately requested by the Bishop of Australia,--who had arrived at Sydney, from England, about a week before me,--and by many of the influential members of the congregation, to undertake the duties of the Church. To this, under the pressing circumstances of the case, and with the approbation of the corresponding Committee of the Church Missionary Society in Sydney, I consented. But, as I was very anxious to arrive in New Zealand to resume my clerical duties amongst its inhabitants,--to attend, as far as lay in my power, to their varied temporal wants,--and to erect a Church at Waimate, for which purpose I, and some others, had handed over to the Committee 1100 pounds, collected for that purpose by my friends in England,--I only consented to remain in Sydney until another Chaplain could be appointed. I was also anxious to arrive in New Zealand on account of the numerous letters which I had received from the Natives, and from the Missionaries, long after my arrival in New South Wales, urging my speedy return amongst them.
Some weeks after I had undertaken the duty of St, James' it was communicated to me in a note, from the Rev. Richard Taylor,--a fellow passenger from England on his way to New Zealand,--that there had been reported to him certain things which were injurious to my character, said to have occurred on board the "Prince Regent," on the voyage from England; but without stating any specific charge. I knew from personal observation, and all on board who were acquainted with this Individual will bear witness to the same, that he was notorious for an unfortunate propensity to tale-bearing. I, therefore, paid no attention to his note, further than to caution him against giving currency to any defamatory reports; especially in such a place as New South Wales, where almost every person of
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respectability was attacked in some way or other, and where he was a perfect stranger. Mr. Taylor declined specifying the nature of the rumours to which he alluded, and positively refused to name the authors of them. Of this I have evidence which, if necessary, I can produce.
On the evening of Saturday the 13th of August, two months after I landed in Sydney, and when the "Prince Regent" had left that port, the Bishop wrote to me to say that "he particularly wished to see me, and to converse with me upon a question of some importance."--When I waited upon his Lordship in the vestry of St. James', that same evening, he informed me that serious reports had come to his ears with reference to my conduct on my passage from England. In this conversation nothing was specifically mentioned; no direct charge was brought forward, nothing but hints and surmises. Several questions were asked and answered. The whole interview occupied about half an hour. At its conclusion the Bishop stated that it was his wish that I should take no part in the duties of St. James' on the following day; and that I should hear from him further on Monday morning.
On the forenoon of Monday the 15th of August, the Bishop's Registrar, Mr. Norton, came to my residence, and in the course of a long conversation, urged upon me the expediency of going to England, in the "Elizabeth," which was to sail on the Thursday following, as my accusers were on board the "Prince Regent," and that I should have the matter examined before my employers, the Committee of the Church Missionary Society. This he spoke officially from the Bishop, and left with me the following memorandum, which I have in my possession.
"That Mr. Yale do proceed to England by the ship to sail on Thursday for Liverpool.
That all correspondence, letters and documents now in the hands of the Bishop, or that are in the course of being forwarded to him, be transmitted by the Bishop of Australia to the Church Missionary Society, in order that they may adopt such proceedings as they may think proper."
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To this proposal of the Bishop's I was to return an answer by 5 o'clock the same day.
I immediately called together as many of my friends as time would permit. Their opinion was that I should accede to the Bishop's recommendation, and go to England to meet my accusers there. I consented to follow this advice, in consequence of the "Prince Regent" having left Sydney; and because I thought it impossible, under such circumstances, and with the knowledge which I then possessed, that any investigation could take place in the Colony. My passage home was, therefore, taken in the "Elizabeth." Before, however, this vessel sailed it was ascertained that the "Prince Regent" was taking in coals at Newcastle, another port in New South Wales, and might possibly be reached. I then forfeited my own and my Sister's passage money, and resolved to remain in Sydney to have the matter sifted to the bottom by the Bishop. Some of my friends went to Newcastle, and were just in time to go on board the "Prince Regent," where they made every possible enquiry, and were ready to give evidence of the same. With this, owing to the delay of the steamers, I was not made acquainted for some days. But immediately upon the return of my friends, on the ninth of September, I wrote to the Bishop requesting and urging investigation, as I had been put in possession of information, by which I could ascertain, with some degree of exactness, the nature and extent of the insinuations against me; and that though the vessel had departed, the passengers were on the spot, and could be called before him.
As a preliminary step to this investigation which I demanded;--or rather as a preliminary step to his Lordship's forming his court, I met the Bishop on the day appointed by him--viz.--the 27th of September; though I urged the appointment of an earlier day, as some of my friends and witnesses would otherwise be unavoidably absent. I was attended by my Solicitor Mr. D. Chambers. The Bishop commenced the proceedings by stating, as the notes of Mr. Chambers, now in my possession, will shew,--that. "he had
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no charge against me," and that "if I wished for an investigation of the reports in circulation, I must bring before his Lordship such of them as I desired to have investigated," and thus, as it will be seen, become my own accuser! --Strange as this may appear, it is actually true. To this monstrous proceeding I consented, rather than leave a stone unturned to gain an inquiry. Without this I was assured that a Commission would not be issued, nor a Consistorial Court formed. The meeting was adjourned till the 29th of September, in order to give me one day to draw out a statement of the rumours which had come to my ears, as a ground for investigation.
The proceedings being renewed on the 29th, I put in the papers which I had thus prepared, but of which I had no time to take a copy. A copy of these papers was, however, promised me by the Registrar, which has never been furnished to this day.--The Bishop then received from the Rev. R. Taylor, and from another passenger, 2 written documents which I supposed to contain evidence in support of these rumours. These gentlemen would not, however, give in these documents, until the Bishop had obtained from me a promise that I would not prosecute them for defamation. Rather, than not have the whole matter investigated, I bound myself not to prosecute for the papers which were handed to his Lordship, whatever their contents may be. These papers were read privately;--but I never heard one word of them; nor do I know to the present day, except from collateral evidence, what they contained. I had several witnesses in waiting, some of whom I was keeping in Sydney at a great expense, but the Bishop refused to hear any of them in refutation of the charges against me, alleging as a reason for not hearing them at that time, that a future opportunity should be given me for that purpose,
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as he had now a ground for forming the requisite Court; and that I should hear from him in twenty-four hours.
After waiting in anxious expectation from day to day, I addressed to the Bishop the following letter.
Sydney, 14th October, 1836.
When I last appeared before your Lordship at Darling Hurst, you assured me that I should hear from you in twenty-four hours. Since that time I have been waiting, with great anxiety, to know what course your Lordship intends to pursue, and what charges are to be brought against me. A fortnight instead of a day has now elapsed, and not one word have I heard through any channel whatever. From no communication having been made to me I am put to an expense that I can but ill afford. Cut off, in one moment, from all means of subsistence, I am forced to sell the property which I brought out with me. All the resources I can command are being swallowed up, by paying the expenses of witnesses, most important to my cause, whom I have been obliged to keep in Sydney in the daily and almost hourly expectation of being called upon to defend myself before your Lordship. Some of these witnesses are now returned home, and will require several days' notice before they can be recalled to Sydney. The case prejudged;--the public kept in suspense;-- ex-parte statements given credence to;--the vessel in which I intended to sail on the very eve of her departure, and no steps taken at all likely to bring the matter to an issue.--
If there had been impediments in the way of forming your Lordship's court, I certainly ought to have been informed, as the person most deeply interested; and not left for so long a time, without the slightest notice being taken, either verbally or by note. It is not putting me upon fair ground. I want favour from no man. None have I ever asked. All I require is to be dealt with as openly as I have endeavoured to deal with others; then I am sure matters would assume a very different aspect; and my mind, as well as your Lordship's and my friends' would be relieved and set at rest.
I have the honour to be, My Lord,
&c., &c., &c.,
The Lord Bishop of Australia.
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In answer to this letter I was informed by the Registrar, "that the Bishop was engaged in the preparatory measures necessary for constituting the Consistorial Court; and that it was not through any remissness on his Lordship's part that the same had not yet been completed."
I was thus compelled to submit to a still longer delay. At length, on the second of November, I instructed my solicitor to enquire, when it was likely that the Court would be formed, and I receive a citation to appear before it; as the Bishop was aware that I was anxious to arrive in London in time to meet the "Prince Regent" and her crew.
To my great astonishment and disappointment, on the third of November, the Registrar informed my solicitor "that the Bishop was prevented from forming a Court; and that the enquiry which he contemplated could not take place. That his Lordship proposed to make a communication to England, of which communication he would furnish me with a copy. And that the Bishop, acting upon the information which he possessed, confirmed the inhibition which he laid upon me."
The Bishop it appears made his communication to England, but he never furnished me with any copy of any document whatever; and added injustice to injustice by acting (without hearing my witnesses which I had in waiting) upon that sealed information which was put into his hands by Mr. Taylor and his friend; and for which, before they delivered it to him, they extorted from me a promise that I would not prosecute them. I know that this information was derived from the Mate "Morris"; for after this Lawyer, this worthy friend of Mr. Taylor, found that he had committed himself, he hastened on board the "Prince Regent," before the arrival of my friends, and with the gross bribe of a bucket of ale persuaded the poor man to sign the paper which he had prepared, and which he has since declared to be false, and that he was sorry that he had been the cause of such injury. I have documentary, as well as oral, evidence to prove the whole of these assertions.
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All hope having now vanished of obtaining the promised, and long-expected investigation in the Colony; nothing remained for me to do but to proceed to England, to seek at the hands of my employers, the Church Missionary Committee, that justice which I could not obtain in New South Wales. I, therefore, took my passage in the Brig "Ulysses," in which vessel I sailed in December, 1836, and arrived in England in May, 1837. I forwarded to the Committee a statement of the case; which however voluminous, was necessarily very incomplete, from the imperfect information which I then possessed, and from my not being aware of the allegations which I had to answer. On my arrival in London I received, with most painful astonishment, a copy of a resolution, whereby it appeared that two months before, without any communication with me, the Committee had dissolved their connexion with me. Without enquiry they acted upon the information which they had received from others, and part of which they must have known to be incorrect, for they were aware that I was in Sydney pressing for investigation. My dear sister wrote to them to this effect, and begged them to suspend their judgment till we returned: the receipt of which letter was acknowledged. Had the Committee not been in such haste to condemn an old servant, unheard, my own, and their present difficulties would have been avoided.--I wrote again and again, requesting investigation, but the Committee would not see me. On the contrary they passed another resolution on the 10th of May, confirming that of the February preceding, and concluding thus:--"Without expressing any opinion adverse to Mr. Yate, they (the Committee) do not feel themselves called upon to enter into an investigation of the merits of the question at issue."--
Repeated attempts have since been made by myself,-- by my friends,--and by many members of the Society, collectively and individually--personally and by letter, to induce the Committee to investigate the matter, and to furnish me with copies of the documents upon which their resolutions were founded, that I may answer them; but
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without success. I insert one, out of many, of the expostulations which were forwarded to the Committee.
June 26th, 1837,
From reports and statements which have been made to us, respecting the painful accusations alleged against the Rev. Mr. Yate, and having been informed that he earnestly desires an opportunity afforded him to explain the documents already before the Committee; at the same time to put them in possession of further evidence and facts; we respectfully suggest to the Committee the propriety of giving every facility to the Rev. Mr. Yate to clear himself of the accusations alleged against him, both in the eyes of the Committee and the Society, by calling him before a Sub-committee.
We cannot perceive that any injury can arise to the Church Missionary Society by adopting this mode of proceeding. On the contrary we anticipate good from it, and we consider that the Rev. Mr. Yate is, as a matter of common justice, entitled to be heard, personally, before the Committee in his own defence. We are with much respect your obedient Servants.
Robert Moore, Rector of St. Giles, Dorset.
Moss King, Rector of Critchell, Dorset.
J. G. Rogerson, Curate of Christchurch, Hants.
H. T. Parker, Vicar of Blandford.
E. L. Sturt, Rector of Winterborne Haughton.
William Churchill, Rector of Strickland.
Anthony Huxtable, Rector of Sutton.
John West, Rector of Chettle and Farnham.
F. W. Raccliff, Officiating Minister, New Critchell.
J. C. Parr, Minister of St. Peter's, Parkstone.
William Mason Dudley, Curate of Poole.
To the Rev. W. Jowett,
Sec. Church Missionary Society.
Memorials and expostulations were also sent to the Committee from Hastings--
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Signed by the Rev. Edward Auriol.
-- Dr. Fearon.
-- John Parkin.
-- J. G. Foyster.
-- J. S. Jenkinson.
-- Sidney Widrington.
Signed by the Rev. Samuel Lloyd
-- Henry Bolton.
-- Watts Wilkinson.
-- Arthur Hill.
-- Robert Edward Blackwell.
-- Edward Arnold.
-- William Cockin.
From Exeter, Rugby, Bridgnorth, &c., &c., &c., containing signatures of the most respectable Clergymen and Gentlemen.
The "Prince Regent" having arrived in England, after a very circuitous route, in April 1838, I went up to London, from my residence at St. Arvans, Monmouthshire, and found that, as the vessel was immediately to be paid off, I must apply at once to a Solicitor, who would take the necessary proceedings with Mr. Morris the Mate. I did not know any person of the legal profession, in London, to whom I could apply. One of the Agents of the vessel recommended me to Messrs. Harmer and Flower, as being the most eminent men for dealing with such characters as Mr. Morris. Upon stating my case to Mr. Flower he informed me that, though there was, a moral certainty that the Mate was the author of the scandalous reports concerning me, I had no legal evidence to convict him.--Morris however acknowledged to Mr. Flower that he was the author;--said that he was not aware of the injury which he had done; and expressed, not only his willingness, but his anxiety, to sign any recantation of the assertions which he had previously made. My Solicitor sent me the following letter, enclosing the confession which Morris had given and signed in his presence.
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87, Hatton Garden, 1st May, 1838,
Herewith I send you the document signed by the Chief Officer of the "Prince Regent," who was the promulgator of the scandal against you. He seems extremely sorry for having given rise to such falsehood, and is anxious to do all in his power to contradict, and remedy the evil. Under these circumstances I think it unnecessary to adopt the intended proceedings against him. I have seen Captain Aitken, who commanded the "Prince Regent," and he is ready and willing to bear testimony to the great propriety of your moral and general conduct while a passenger on board his vessel, and expresses great anxiety on your account, and his extreme regret that you should have suffered by Morris's misconduct, who seems to have borne but an indifferent character on board the vessel, and from which I understand Captain Aitken has discharged him.
Yours, very truly,
(Signed), THOMAS FLOWER,
The Rev. William Yate.
Whereas, I the undersigned John Morris, late Chief Officer on board the "Prince Regent," on a voyage from London to Sydney, New South Wales, in the year 1830, have falsely, scandalously, and without the least foundation or truth, promulgated various reports greatly prejudicial to the character of the Reverend William Yate, a passenger on board the said vessel, for which the said Reverend William Yate, immediately upon my return to this country, was about to take legal proceedings against me; but which he hath consented to abandon upon my contradicting such reports and asking his pardon for such misconduct, which I hereby do by declaring the same to be wholly false, and without the least foundation, expressing at the same time my great contrition for having so misconducted myself, and gratefully thanking him for his lenity in not proceeding against me.
Dated this first day of May, 1838,
(Signed), JOHN MORRIS,
Witness, Thomas Flower,
Messrs. Hanner and Flower,
87, Hatton Garden,
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I also received the following letter from the Commander of the Ship "Prince Regent," to whom I had long been known.
Hackney, May 1st, Tuesday Evening.
My dear Sir,
I have received yours this evening and send you by return of post. I did not write you as I promised, not hearing word from Captain Brash till Sunday, he then informing me that he and Mr. Low had seen Morris, he stating that the report was false and without foundation, and that he was willing to appear before your Solicitor and state the same. This is nothing but what a false and a lying tongue must do when brought forward to tell the truth. Because it was well known that it was nothing but envy, and malice, and lying tongues that caused such reports to be spread.
I hope now from this that your friends will be entirety satisfied that the report was false and without foundation.
And believe me very truly yours,
(Signed), JOHN AITKEN.
Rev. William Yate.
To make this evidence complete I ought, perhaps, here to insert a certificate which I received from the ship's company, drawn up by themselves just before they left Sydney, and as soon as they heard that somewhat had been said against me.
This is to certify that we the undersigned do most solemnly declare that, to the best of our knowledge or remembrance, we never saw or said any one thing disrespectful of the Rev. Will. Yate whilst a passenger on board the "Prince Regent," from England to Sydney, nor up to this present time; but that in every respect Mr. Yate proved himself a thorough gentleman and good man.
James Conochoe. William Jones. William Tumey. John Smith. W. Kean. James Hall. Charles Estrabeaux. Tom Deck. Philip Howlet. Robert Edwards. William Davis. John Russel. Josiah Lamb. Thomas Williams. John Meek. Charles May.
July 28th, 1836.
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Lieutenant-General Cosmo Gordon, Captain Sir W. Edward Parry, and the late Robert Bromley, Esq., of Clapham, made great exertions to procure such evidence as could be obtained without legal proceedings. Mr. Morris told General Gordon that "he was not aware of the contents of the paper which he signed at Newcastle, nor of the construction put upon his words. When however he was aware of the great evil he had done, he was most anxious to rectify it as soon as possible, which from the ship sailing immediately he was unable to do till his arrival in England. He was the more anxious to do this as the conduct of Mr. Yate, while on board, was in every respect that of a Christian gentleman." The second and third Mates also stated to Gen. Gordon, Sir Edw. Parry, and Mr. Bromley that "they were certain that the scandalous reports respecting Mr, Yate were utterly false;--that the whole affair was a wicked transaction on the part of those who circulated the reports; that it was an infamous and scandalous falsehood;---that there was no possibility of its being true without their knowing it." The third Mate wrote also to the Secretary of the Church Missionary Society, to say that he and the second Mate--"had the power to prove most clearly that there was no foundation for the evil reports which were raised and circulated by Mr. Morris." And his conviction "that such a false and scandalous statement would never have been made by Morris, in Sydney, but that he was induced to it by a wicked and designing man, to screen himself from his own baseness."
All the documents above referred to and quoted I forwarded to the Church Missionary Society, and still pressed for investigation, and was still refused. On the 3rd of July the Committee declined to pursue even the correspondence any further.--They, however, continued confidentially to shew their papers. They allowed these papers to be read, under the seal of a promise that I should not be made acquainted with their contents; and thus in an under-hand way contrived to blight my character.
In July, 1838, I endeavoured to obtain the influence of the various Associations with the Parent Committee, by
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addressing to the Secretaries of these Associations a circular containing the evidence which I had obtained, and an urgent appeal to them to procure for me the enquiry which I had so long sought for in vain. I know that very many of the Associations did demand for me the investigation which l requested, but without effect. It was not expedient to enter upon it. In a confidential communication it was made known to them by the Committee,--by which communication they, doubtless thought to silence them for ever, --that three of their own body,--(two of whom some years before I had met on the Committee) three of their own body, the President and two Vice Presidents, approved of their own proceedings. 3
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"Your case, my dear friend," writes an aged Minister of Christ, "is like that of a man brought into a Court of Justice where, the Plaintiff lays his charge, and my Lord Judge will suffer no evidence to come forward on the part of the accused--and the Jury by his direction finds a verdict accordingly." So much for justice and impartiality on the part of the Committee of the Church Missionary Society, by whom I have been condemned, and who allege my suspension by the Bishop of Australia as their reason for refusing to rescind their resolutions.
That no means may be left untried, and as the last resource, I applied to his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, by whom I was ordained, to investigate my case, and received a reply that "he could not enter upon such investigation." I then, through my Solicitors, submitted the whole proceedings to that eminent civilian Dr. Jesse Addams, that I may ascertain if there were any legal means of bringing the matter to an issue; when he advised as follows--
I have considered this case attentively, but I am not aware that the injury of which Mr. Yate complains is one that admits
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of any legal remedy. I am not aware what suit he could institute, in what court, or against what person.
What I should recommend to Mr. Yate is to make a strong remonstrance with the Missionary Society, to induce them to undertake an investigation of the charge brought against him. And if it should do so, and the result of that investigation should be favourable, the principal, at least, inconvenience under which he now suffers in consequence of the charge, would, as I have no doubt, be easily obviated. But it is apparent that however due in justice to Mr. Yate such an investigation may be, there is no mode of compelling the Missionary Society to entertain it.
(Signed), J. ADDAMS.
3rd December, 1838.
After this opinion I tried the Committee once more through the President, but my application, as all previous efforts had been, was in vain; and I had no resource left but that of waiting for some opening of Divine Providence to effect for me that which man so ungenerously and unjustly refused, and which I was utterly unable to effect for myself. In the mean time, as every one, without exception, who had gone into the matter seriously, and with an unprejudiced mind was perfectly convinced that I was "the victim of a vile and cruel conspiracy and that, though my adversaries, having been in the outset partially foiled in effecting their purpose in New South Wales, actively circulated a new version of the same scandalous tale, (for it was only a new version of the self-same base lie, spread by rumour with her thousand tongues) in New Zealand; and behind my back, succeeded in turning some of my fellow-labourers there against me. 4 I was "without reproof;--"-was
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"persecuted Christian Minister," and "one of the most injured of living men", I determined to accept any duty
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which may offer in the Church, by officiating as I had been accustomed to do; and quietly to engage in my Master's work wherever he opened a door. Feeling that I had never been legally removed from the Priesthood,I was determined never voluntarily to abandon the ministry of the word of truth,
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nor the preaching of that Gospel to which I had been ordained; and which I found to be so vast and overpowering a consolation in the midst of my deepest troubles, causing me to hope even against hope; and though all was darkness around me, enabling me to go on my way rejoicing. Nothing less than the power of the Gospel could have borne me through all the amazing difficulties with which I was beset. But my strength was always equal to my day: and though forsaken by many of my earthly supporters, upon whose arm I had been accustomed to lean, I was never forsaken of my God.
In June 1839, I was on a visit to my old and highly valued friend General Gordon, at Farnham in Dorsetshire; when circumstances arose which rendered ministerial assistance necessary in that and the adjoining Parish of Chettle. The Rector, to whom I have long been known, requested me to take the spiritual charge of his people, for a short time, until he could procure a permanent assistant. To this I consented, and remained till November of the same year. The effects of my Ministry at Farnham will be best seen by the fact of a petition having been presented to me, signed by every adult Parishioner, that I would become the permanent Curate of the Village. The petition was as follows,--
To the Reverend William Yate.
The Petition of the Inhabitants of Farnham.--
Dear Rev. Sir,
As it has pleased God, in his good providence, to commit to you, for some time past, during the absence of the Rector, the ministration of the Public and Private duties of this Parish, to the very great satisfaction and benefit of all its Inhabitants--we are earnestly desirous of a continuance of the privileges we enjoyed under your ministry--and we hereby make our request that, should it meet your approbation and that of the Rector of Farnham, you will very kindly comply with the wishes of the Parishioners to exercise your ministry amongst us,--such being also the desire of all our families. As witness our hands--
Farnham, Aug. 2nd, 1839.
Here follow the signatures,
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I could not become the permanent Curate of Farnham, because I was unable to obtain a license to the same. I, however, continued, for some time longer, to officiate amongst this affectionate people. On leaving Farnham I was, indeed, astonished, and much gratified, to find that the poor, assisted by the three farmers of the Parish, had entered into a subscription to present me with some testimonial of their regard and esteem. The result was a very handsome silver teapot bearing a suitable inscription. Inside this present I found the following truly gratifying letter.
Farnham, December 12, 1839.
Dear Rev. Sir,
We, the Parishioners of Farnham, beg leave to approach you, with the most thankful acknowledgements of grateful hearts, for your zeal and fidelity in the discharge of your ministerial office; also with sincere gratitude for your unwearied exertions in relieving the temporal necessities of all around you. We now with most heartfelt sorrow take leave of you, offering up our most ardent prayers to the Divine Disposer of all events that he would, in mercy, bestow every blessing, both temporal and spiritual, on you and yours; humbly trusting, through the atoning merits of our blessed Redeemer, to meet, if not on earth again, when this life's pilgrimage is over, in that blessed abode where there will be no more separation, but where we hope to be ever permitted to sing forth the praises of the great Jehovah and His adorable Son through the countless ages of eternity.
Although personally separated, we trust we are one in heart, and that you will still remember us in your devotions at the throne of grace, that the word, so faithfully preached in this village, may, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, prove a savour of life unto life, and not of death unto death.--May your future as well as past labours be blest--may you be endued and strengthened by the Holy Spirit--and be instrumental in turning many, very many, to righteousness, is the sincere and most ardent prayer of your affectionate and much obliged servants, for the Parishioners of Farnham,
HARRY FERRETT, Churchwarden.
Rev. W. Yate.
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In January 1840, I entered into a short correspondence with one of the Right Reverend Members of the English Bench upon the subject of a License; as he had previously refused to grant one upon the ground of the Act of 59 GEO. III., cap. 60. In concluding this correspondence the Bishop writes:--"I have thought it right to take the opinion of an eminent civilian on the construction of 59 GEO. III, cap. 60, which you rightly consider to be the act to which I refer. After considering the case he says, I incline then to think on the whole that a person so ordained would be held capable of officiating in Great Britain and Ireland, he having first obtained the consent of the Incumbent, and the license of the Ordinary." Upon such authority, transmitted to me through such a channel, I felt authorized in taking duty wherever I was offered it, though this Prelate refused his license because I could not then produce the usual formal testimonials.
A few weeks after this I was requested to go for a short time to a Parish in the Diocese of Derry, in the North of Ireland. I went. After remaining several months there I obtained the sanction of the Bishop to continue as Curate. I was admitted by his Lordship, and acknowledged as one of his Clergy upon the official testimonials, procured by me at the Bishop's suggestion, after a long interview with which I was favoured at my Hotel in Londonderry. These testimonials are as follows.--
To the Right Reverend Richard, Lord Bishop of Derry and Raphoe.
We whose names are hereunder written testify and make known, that William Yate, clerk--nominated to serve the cure of Culdaff, in the county of Donegal, and in your Lordship's Diocese, having been personally known to us, at different intervals, during the space of three years last past, hath, during that time, as far as we know, lived piously, soberly, and honestly; nor hath he held, written, or taught anything contrary to the doctrine of the United Church of England and Ireland.
In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hand, this twenty-eighth day of November, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and forty.
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(Signed), W. K. MARSHALL, Incumbent of St. Mary's, in the Royal Peculiar of Bridgnorth.
G. BELLETT, Incumbent of St. Leonard's, Bridgnorth,
THOMAS ROWLEY, D.D., Head Master of the Free Grammar School, Bridgnorth.
The names affixed to this Testimonial are worthy of credit.
WILLIAM MARSH, D. D., Principal Official of the Royal Peculiar of Bridgnorth.
I remained, as the Curate of Donagh, residing with the Rector, for 18 months. At the Lord Primate's Triennial Visitation, his grace recommended me to apply for a formal license, which was granted, without hesitation, by the Bishop of Derry; shewing his opinion of my character, and satisfaction with my proceedings in his Diocese, not only by granting this license, but also by dating it back 18 months, that is, from the time of my arrival in Ireland.
The Bishop of London, with whom I had never had any communication, complained to his Lordship of Derry of my taking duty in Ireland; and that he was the person who alone had the right to grant me a license. The result of this interference--unnecessary, as I cannot but think, and uncalled for--was my quitting the Parishes in Ireland, which had been the scene of as successful labours, as ever blessed a Minister of Religion in so short a time. This will be best seen by the following addresses, with their answers; as advertised in the "Londonderry Sentinel," by the inhabitants of Donagh and Culdaff.--
Addresses to the Rev. William Yate, on his leaving the Parish of Donagh.
Rev. and Dear Sir,
We, the Inhabitants of the Parish of Donagh, in the County of Donegal, having heard with deep regret that the connection which has subsisted between us for the last eighteen months is soon to be dissolved, beg leave to express our unfeigned sorrow at an event depriving us of the society of one justly endeared to
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us, not only as a faithful and efficient Minister of the Gospel, but also as a warm and kind friend.
During the period of your residence amongst us, you have maintained the consistency of character befitting the gentleman and the clergyman, neither compromising your own principles, nor giving cause of offence to the feelings of others, conduct which has won for you the respect and esteem of all classes. After the example, and in the spirit of your Divine Master, you "went about doing good," with meekness reproving the aged, and training up and instructing the young in that knowledge that leads to salvation.
To all classes you have made yourself an object of affectionate regard; but by none will your absence be so severely felt as by the poor and destitute of this parish and the surrounding district, whose wants you have ever been ready to relieve with a liberal hand.
Accept, Rev. and dear Sir, this imperfect expression of our sincere and affectionate regards; and wherever it may be your lot to be cast, may you have the joy of beholding the full fruits of your labour in the spiritual lives of those committed to your care.
And now, in taking leave, we would offer our fervent prayers for your temporal and eternal welfare--that he whose servant you are, may guide you in safety through this transitory world, and conduct you in the end to a mansion of rest and peace.
SAMUEL RANKIN, J. P., Chairman, Signed on behalf of the Parishioners,
MICAH C. RANKIN, MATTHEW CAREY, Churchwardens of the Parish of Donagh.
Carndonagh, 13th Dec., 1841.
To the Rev. William Yate.
Mr. YATE's REPLY.
Donagh Rectory, Dec. 15, 1841.
MY DEAR FRIENDS,
It is with feelings of no ordinary character, that I return you my most hearty thanks for the kind Address which I have this day received from you, after a residence of eighteen months in this parish. It is always most gratifying to me to know that my Ministry has been acceptable--that God has given me favour in the sight of the people--and that I have in any way been serviceable, either as a Minister or as a friend.
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I fear that I shall not be able to attend to the requisition of the meeting, so kindly expressed in the letter of your worthy chairman, and return again to this country. You will, however, always have a permanent place in my affections and prayers.
The remembrance of your kindness will add joy to my days of prosperity and happiness, and will be a consolation to me in the hour of adversity and sorrow, should that ever overtake me.
I cannot bid you farewell without an expression of kindly feeling towards the Roman Catholic inhabitants of this part of Ireland. Since my arrival here I have experienced nothing from them but the most marked attention, civility and respect. I have had much communication with them in the four parishes of Donagh, Clonmany, Culdaff, and Cloncha, and whenever they have come to me for medical advice or assistance, I have never asked the question as to what church they belonged; nor have I ever allowed the knowledge of their differing so essentially with me upon religious questions to interfere in any way with my best efforts to serve them as fellow-men. By this course a confidence was established between us, which has remain unshaken up to the present time.
Dear brethren--Farewell! May the God of all grace keep you in the way you should go--in the good old Scriptural paths. May He provide for you a faithful ministry of his word and sacraments, and, being led into all truth, may you find peace in this world, and everlasting glory in the world which is to come.
I remain, my dear friends, ever yours, very faithfully and affectionately,
To the Protestant Inhabitants of the Parish of Donagh.
Culdaff House, 11th Dec., 1841.
MY DEAR SIR--A requisition having been made to me as the principal landed proprietor in the Parish of Culdaff, to call a Meeting of the Protestant Inhabitants, in order to present you with an Address, expressive of the deep regret they feel at your departure from this country, I appointed this day for the purpose, when the following was unanimously approved of and adopted by a large number of the Parishioners.
Believe me, my dear Sir, most faithfully and sincerely yours,
To the Rev. Wm. Yate.
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REV. AND DEAR SIR,--We, the Protestant Inhabitants of the Parish of Culdaff and part of the parish of Cloncha, having just learned, with unfeigned regret, that you are about to leave this country and return to England, cannot allow the opportunity to pass without expressing to you the deep concern we feel at your departure from among us.
It is true, your official duties as a Minister have been chiefly limited to the Parish of Donagh, but, like a faithful Apostle, your labours of love have not been confined to any one district; and while you have been unceasingly engaged in administering to the spiritual wants of those around you, you have been no less anxious to provide for their temporal concerns also. Most of us have had frequent opportunities during the last eighteen months, of enjoying the benefit of your Ministry, and we trust we have not been altogether unprofitable hearers; but, if otherwise, the fault is all our own, for we can truly say, we have never before heard the Gospel more faithfully preached, or the glorious truths of salvation set forth in language so simple, and yet so sublime and beautiful.
With earnest prayers for your welfare in time and in eternity, we remain, Rev. and dear Sir, your truly grateful and affectionate friends,
The Protestant Inhabitants of all Denominations.
Signed on behalf of the Parishioners,
GEO. YOUNG, J. P., Chairman.
To the Rev. William Yate, Donagh Glebe.
Donagh Rectory, Dec. 13, 1841.
MY DEAR FRIENDS--I cannot express to you the grateful feelings with which, by last night's post, I received an Address, signed by George Young, Esq., J. P., as Chairman of a Meeting of the Protestants of all denominations of the parish of Culdaff and part of the parish of Cloncha. It must always be a source of gratitude to God, for the Minister of the Gospel to know that his labour has been appreciated by the people, and has not been in vain in the Lord.
Upon the failure of the application to the Additional Curates' Fund Society, in behalf of the remote districts of the parish of
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Culdaff, I thought it my duty to endeavour to make some arrangement by which, without neglecting any of the duties of my own Curacy, I may be enabled to render stated assistance in this destitute portion of the Lord's vineyard. This, with the full consent of my own venerable Rector, and of the Rector and Curate of Culdaff, was accomplished; and I needed ho other testimony than the deeply attentive crowds who listened to my Lectures, to assure me, that the arrangement was acceptable to the Inhabitants, and that the loss which they sustain from the illness of their Rector, and from the absolute want of an additional Curate, was partially made up to them.
Allow me to return you my best thanks for the expression of your good wishes, and for the very kind way you notice my poor services. In bidding you farewell, my most earnest prayer to God is, that you may be preserved in the pure faith of the Gospel of his dear Son, and that, When he has guided you by his council here, he may receive you up into everlasting glory.
I remain, my dear Friends, very faithfully and sincerely yours,
To George Young, Esq., J. P., and the Protestant Inhabitants of Culdaff and part of Cloncha.
I also received the usual formal testimonials, signed by the Clergy, beyond the required number, and countersigned by the Bishop. They are as follows.
We whose names are hereunder written testify and make known that William Yate, clerk, having been personally known to us during his residence at Donagh Rectory since June 1840, hath during that time lived piously, soberly, and honestly; nor hath he, to the best of our knowledge, held, written, or taught any thing contrary to the doctrine and discipline of the United Church of England and Ireland.
In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands, this tenth day of December, in the Year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty one.
(Signed), GEORGE MARSHALL, Rector of Donagh.
GEO. HENRY YOUNG, Rector of Clonmany.
JAMES KNOX, heretofore Principal of the Diocesan School, Londonderry.
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"RICHARD HAMILTON, Rector of the Parishes of Culdaff and Cloncha.
W. SMITH WILCOCKS, Curate of Cloncha.
J. L. MACHENRY, Curate of Culdaff.
I believe the Clergymen whose names are affixed to this. paper to be worthy of credit.
(Signed), R. DERRY.
In addition to these, I insert the following truly christian letter, from my venerable and highly valued Rector.--
Donagh Glebe, Dec. 18th, 1841,
My dear and much esteemed Friend,
After your officiating eighteen months in this Parish, I cannot allow you to leave us without expressing, in the strongest manner, the deep sense of obligation I feel towards you for the faithful and effectual manner in which you discharged the Ministerial duties to my people, the whole burthen of which devolved on you, as my weak state of health did not permit me giving you any assistance. The mild yet powerful manner with which you explained and enforced, from the pulpit, the truths of the gospel, will long be remembered, and I hope, in many instances, will have produced a lasting impression.
Your weekly lectures in the several parts of the Parish were attended by numbers of different religious persuasions, all equally anxious to listen to your addresses, and I hope, to profit by them, particularly the aged and infirm, who could not attend you at the Church. To our young people you have been a kind and faithful preceptor, as evinced by the number you presented, well prepared, at our late confirmation.
To the sick and needy you dispensed your charities, both medical and pecuniary, with a liberal hand, without limitation to this Parish, and without any distinction of religious persuasion, the majority of those relieved in this and the neighbouring Parishes being Roman Catholics, who will long bear in mind your kindness with sincere gratitude.
For the eighteen months of your ministry, you lived an inmate of my family,--where your society gave much pleasure to myself, and profit to the members of it, who were so fortunate as to be with me at that time, as testified by their letters lately received from India and Dublin, in which you are mentioned with affection and respect, believing you are still with me.
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And now I must, alas! say "Farewell;" wishing you prosperity wherever your lot may be cast; hoping that your valuable services may be as gratefully received as they have been by my poor parishioners.--Our prayers shall always be put up for your temporal and eternal prosperity; and when your ministerial labours are finished in our Lord's vineyard, may you receive the crown laid up for all his faithful Stewards.
Again I say "Farewell," and believe me to be ever, with sincere esteem, your sincerely and truly affectionate Friend and Brother in the Ministry,
(Signed), GEORGE MARSHALL, Rector of Donagh.
Rev. Wm. Yate, Spratton Hall,
On my return to England I applied to the Bishop of London, requesting his sanction to my taking a curacy, or a living, in England: stating the services I had rendered, and enclosing the testimonials I had received. This sanction, without assigning any reason, his Lordship refused. He would not license me himself, nor would he allow any other Bishop to do so; by which he effectually prevented me from taking any permanent duty. The Act of 59 Geo. III. c. 60, does not, I believe, give the Bishop of London any right to interfere with any occasional services which may be required of me, out of his own Diocese. These occasional services I have frequently rendered in my native town of Bridgnorth, and other places, where I have abundant proofs of the acceptability of my ministrations.
In the absence of a resident Minister for the New Church of St. Lukes, Ironbridge, in the Parish of Madeley, I was engaged from Good Friday to Christmas Day, in 1842. The way in which my Ministry was here received, and the estimation in which I was held, will be understood by the fact of my being presented with a splendid silver coffee service complete; and also with a beautiful cast of the entombment of the Messiah, and a wild horse, in iron, the ingenious production of the Coalbrookdale Mechanics, from whom I received them. Upon the appointment of a permanent Minister to St. Luke's, Church my engagement
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here, of course, concluded. I received, upon my retirement, the usual testimonials from the Clergy, countersigned by the Bishop of Hereford. I insert them in this place, because it is upon such testimonials alone that persons are admitted from one Diocese to another.--
We whose names are hereunder written, testify and make known that William Yate, Clerk, having been personally known to us during the nine months that he officiated in the Parish of Madeley, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty two, hath during that time lived piously, soberly, and honestly; nor hath he at any time, to the best of our knowledge, held, written, or taught anything contrary to the doctrine and discipline of the United Church of England and Ireland.
In witness whereof we have set our hands hereunto, thus,
(Signed), J. H. Gwyther, M. A. Vicar of Madeley, Salop.
Wm. Moore, Rector of Tasley, Salop.
John Purton, Rector of Oldbury, Salop.
The three suscribers within named are all benificed in my Diocese, and are worthy of credit.
(Signed), T. HEREFORD.
I now determined to look out for advertisements for the Chaplaincies of Poor Law Unions; as the Bishop of London could not well interfere with my taking one of these; he having himself acknowledged that the Act before referred to was not express upon the subject. In the "Morning Post" I saw an advertisement for a Chaplain for the Workhouse of St. James', Westminster; which Workhouse is managed by a Board of Governors and Directors, under a local Act of Parliament. I applied for it, and was appointed, as a Candidate, to preach before the Board in the Chapel of the House. My election took place by a majority of nearly four to one over the other candidate, under circumstances, which will be best explained by the following extracts from the minutes of the Board; officially furnished to me by the direction of the Governors themselves.
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St. James', Westminster, 7th April, 1843.
At a Board of Governors and Directors of the Poor of this Parish, held in the Vestry Room, this evening-, at 6 o'clock;
Present--Mr. KEITH, Churchwarden, in the Chair, &c., &C.; &c.--
Applications for the appointment of Chaplain to the Workhouse having been laid before this Board from the Rev. William Yate, Parkstone, Poole, Dorsetshire; and the Rev. William Wright, 7, Rawstone street, Brompton--
It was moved by Mr. Rolfe, seconded by Mr. Bather, and Resolved--That the testimonials of the Candidates be forwarded to the Rector, and that he be requested to favour this Board with his opinion thereon--and that the subject be further considered at the special Board on Wednesday evening next.
St. James', Westminster, 12th April, 1843.
At a special Board of Governors and Directors of the Poor of this Parish, held in the Vestry Room this evening, at 6 o'clock;
Present--Mr. KEITH, Churchwarden, in the Chair, &c., &c., &c.--
The Rector returned to this Board the Testimonials of the Candidates for the office of Chaplain, with a letter as follows--
Rectory House, April 12, 1843,
In reply to your letter, referring to me on the part of the Directors and Governors of the Poor, the Testimonials of Dr. Wright and of Mr. Yate, I beg to observe that nothing can be higher than the witness borne to the character of each of these Gentlemen, and to the fitness of each for the office of Chaplain to the Workhouse.
In the case of Dr. Wright it so happens that, though he is personally a stranger to me, I know well some of those who have testified in his favour, and am able to appreciate the value of their testimony. This, of course, gives him, in my eyes, a preference before Mr. Yate, whose subscribing witnesses, as well as himself, are all quite unknown to me, even by name.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient faithful servant,
(Signed), J. G. WARD.
To Mr. Buzzard,
Clerk to the Governors of the Poor.
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Then the subject having been further considered,
It was moved by Mr. Geesin, and seconded by Mr. Churchwarden Austin, that Dr. Wright be appointed to the office of Chaplain
To which an amendment was moved by Mr. Bidgood, and seconded by Mr. Batchelor--That both the Candidates for the office be invited to perform divine service, and to preach a sermon in the Workhouse Chapel, on Sunday the 23rd instant:-- Dr. Wright in the morning, and Mr. Yate in the afternoon--and that the further consideration of the appointment of a Chaplain do stand over until the Board Meeting, on Friday the 5th of May next.
And such amendment on being put, was carried.
St. James', Westminster, 5th May, 1843.
At a Board of Governors and Directors of the Poor of this Parish, held in the Vestry Room, this day at 10 o'clock;
Present--The Rev. J. G. WARD, Rector, in the Chair, &c., &c., &c.--
The Rector having, prior to his quitting the Chair, stated that a communication had been made to him respecting a Mr. Wm. Yate, which, if it applied to the Rev. Wm. Yate, one of the Candidates for the appointment of Chaplain to the Workhouse, would most seriously affect his character:
It was now moved by Mr. Geesin, seconded by Mr. Brown, and Resolved--That the further consideration of the appointment of Chaplain be postponed to the next Board.
Upon the motion of Mr. Churchwarden Keith, seconded by Mr. Brown--It was Resolved--That a Committee be appointed to enquire whether the communication made to the Rector had reference to the Rev. Wm. Yate, a Candidate for the appointment of Chaplain, and to report the result to the next Board. Also, resolved that the following members be such Committee--
Mr. Keith, Churchwarden.
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St. James', Westminster, 19th May, 1843.
At a Board of Governors and Directors of the Poor of this Parish, held at the Vestry Room, this evening at 6 o'clock.
Present--Mr. CHALMERS, in the Chair, &c., &c., &c.--
The following report having been brought up and read,
It was moved by Mr. McMillan, seconded by Mr. Graham, and Resolved,--That the same be received and entered on the minutes, viz:--
St. James', Westr. 19th. May, 1843.
To the Board of Governors of the Poor.
Your Committee, to whom it was referred by the last Board to enquire whether a communication which the Rector then stated had been made to him respecting a Mr. Wm. Yate, had reference to the Rev. Wm. Yate, a Candidate for the appointment of Chaplain to the Workhouse of this Parish, beg to report that, having made such enquiry, they find that the Rev. Wm. Yate is the person alluded to by that communication. But your Committee deem it their imperative duty likewise to report that from other communications made to them in the course of their enquiry, and from a mass of evidence, of the most respectable character, which has been offered to their notice, they cannot but entertain a very strong impression that Mr. Yate is innocent of the charge which forms the subject of the communication made to the Rector--and has--to use the language of Captain Sir Edward Parry, at an interview which your Committee had with that Gentleman--"been the victim of a vile and cruel conspiracy--one of the foulest which could enter into the heart of man to invent."
Your Committee do not feel themselves authorised, under the circumstances of their appointment, to enter more into the subject at present; but they trust they have said sufficient to induce the Board to permit the appointment of a Chaplain to be postponed, and to refer this matter again to your Committee for further investigation, with power to enquire and report fully into all the circumstances connected with the charge in question.
Your Committee are the more disposed to hope that the Board will comply with this suggestion as the Bishop of London, who, through the Rector, since the last Board Meeting, made a communication to the Churchwardens to the effect that he
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would not permit Mr. Yate to officiate as Chaplain if appointed, has subsequently granted the Churchwardens an interview--and having been put by them in possession of a variety of facts which had come to the knowledge of your Committee, and with some of which his Lordship appeared to be unacquainted, promised to refresh his memory by reading all the papers relating to the statement against Mr. Yate, and to favor the Churchwardens with another interview upon the subject, at the same time requesting that the Board would not proceed to the appointment of Chaplain in the interim.
(Signed), GEORGE KEITH.
JOHN H. BROWN.
Whereupon it was moved by Mr. McMillan and seconded by Mr. Graham--That the said report be approved and that it be referred back to the Committee to enquire into all the circumstances connected with the statement against Mr. Yate, and to report the result to the next board.--
To which an amendment was moved by Mr. Geesin and seconded by Mr. Austin--That Dr. Wright be appointed Chaplain to the Workhouse, and that the clerk be instructed to write to Mr. Yate acquainting him therewith, and that the Board had given the preference to Dr Wright on account of his being a married man with a family.
And after a lengthened discussion, the amendment on being put was negatived--and
The original motion was put and carried.
St. James', Westminster, 2nd June, 1843.
At a Board of Governors and Directors of the Poor of this Parish, held in the Vestry Room this evening, at 6 o'clock.
Present--Mr. EVANS, Churchwarden, in the Chair, &c., &c., &c.--
The following report having been brought up and read, it was moved by Mr. Chalmers, seconded by Mr. Tombleson, and Resolved that the same be received and entered on the minutes
St. James,' Westminster, 31st May, 1843.
To the Board of Governors and Directors of the Poor.
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Your Committee, to whom it was referred back at the last Board to enquire into all the circumstances connected with the statement against Mr. Yate, whom your Committee had found by their former report to be the Rev. William Yate, a candidate for the appointment of Chaplain to the Workhouse of this Parish, now beg leave to report that after a most minute and anxious enquiry into the Subject they are unanimously of opinion that Mr. Yate is wholly guiltless of the charge alleged against him.
Your Committee have arrived at this result from the investigation of a variety of evidence so voluminous that it would be impossible to comprise it in their report; but they have it ready for reference should the Board desire its production.
Your Committee have ascertained from these documents, as well as from conversations held by them with several persons well acquainted with Mr. Yate, that the only charge of a specific nature ever brought against that Gentleman originated with a person named Morris, Mate of the Ship "Prince Regent," and referred to transactions alleged to have taken place on board that vessel, in which Mr. Yate was a passenger from England to Sydney, New South Wales, as a Missionary in the employ of the Church Missionary Society in June 1836. That upon rumours of this charge reaching the Bishop of Australia, he was led, without examining into the truth thereof, to prohibit Mr. Yate from officiating in the Colony, and to forward a statement of the occurrence to the Church Missionary Society in England; the Committee of which Society, in consequence of such statement, and without any communication with Mr. Yate thought proper to dissolve the connexion which had, for nearly twelve years, subsisted between them.
Your Committee have fully ascertained, from the documentary evidence before them, that Mr. Yate took every means in his power, both at Sydney and in London, to obtain an investigation of the charge against him, as well legal as otherwise, but without success.
Your Committee, however, are in possession of a most important document in Mr. Yate's favour--viz.--the written confession of John Morris to the utter falsehood of the statement he had made against the character of Mr. Yate; and which confession was obtained from him by that Gentleman's Solicitor when about to commence legal proceedings against him in respect of that charge.
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Your Committee find that the aspersions of Dr. Lang upon Mr. Yate's character, as contained in a pamphlet published by the former, have reference to Morris's charge, and that the statements of this writer--himself dismissed and entirely deposed from the Ministry by the Assembly of the Scotch Church--are fully rebutted in all that affects Mr. Yate, by the works of other Clergymen and Authors of unquestionable respectability.
The documents in the possession of your Committee will be found to embrace the certificates and opinions of a host of Clergymen and Gentlemen of rank and influence, with reference to the imputations against Mr. Yate--expressing in the strongest language their indignation at, and utter disbelief thereof,--Among them may be mentioned--Sir Ralph Darling, late Governor of New South Wales;--General Gordon who has known him--Mr. Yate--for upwards of twenty years;--Captain Sir Edward Parry, who was acquainted with him both at home and abroad;--Col. Despard, Commanding Officer of the 17th Regt., who knew him well in New South Wales;-- Mr. Alcock, a Barrister of the Middle Temple, 5 who has noted with great anxiety the whole of Mr. Yate's proceedings, and in conjunction with General Gordon, and Sir Edward Parry, undertook a most laborious investigation, and the examination of numerous witnesses, in order to sift the accusations throughout;--together with the official Testimonials as required by Law, signed by the Clergy and countersigned by the Bishops of Hereford--Derry--and Ossory and Ferns, in whose dioceses Mr. Yate officiated.
Your Committee are unable to lay before the Board any information from the Church Missionary Society, as they had been led to expect they should be enabled to do; the Committee of that Society having in reply to an application from your Committee, declined to furnish any particulars relating to the subject. 6
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Your Committee have to express their regret that the Bishop of London, who, as stated in your Committee's first report, had promised the Church wardens a second interview, and to refresh his memory by reading over the papers connected with Mr. Yate, upon such interview being had, somewhat hastily, and without assigning the slightest reason, communicated to the Churchwardens his determination not to enter at all into the matter.
Your Committee, after a careful review of all the circumstances of the case, beg to repeat their opinion that Mr. Yate is an innocent and a deeply injured man; that from motives of "expediency" alone on the part of those by whom the exercise of more liberal and charitable feelings might have been reasonably expected, every door has been closed against an investigation into his conduct, and a Minister of Religion, of high attainments, against whose character mere rumours only have been propagated, has thus been compelled, during several years, to bear all the stigma attaching itself to a convicted criminal.--
Your Committee are of opinion that it is now in the power of the Board to afford Mr. Yate that justice which has been denied him elsewhere, by placing him in a position to clear his character; for, with the feelings which your Committee so strongly entertain respecting his innocence, they consider they cannot do otherwise than earnestly recommend his appointment to the office of Chaplain to this Workhouse, for which situation they deem him to be eminently qualified. All which your Committee submit for the consideration of the Board.
(Signed), GEORGE KEITH.
JOHN H. BROWN.
And the said report having been under consideration--It was moved by Mr. Graham, and seconded by Mr. Gedge, that the same be adopted, and that the Rev. Wm. Yate be appointed Chaplain to the Workhouse.
To which an amendment was moved by Mr. Austin, and seconded by Mr. Geesin,--That the Rev. Dr. Wright be appointed to the Workhouse.
And after much discussion thereon, the amendment was put and negatived,--and
The original motion was put and carried.
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Upon the motion of Mr. Chalmers, seconded by Mr. Rolfe,--It was Resolved--That notice be given to Mr. Yate of his appointment, and that he will be expected to enter upon the duties thereof on Sunday the 11th instant.
St. James,' Westminster, 9th June, 1843.
At a special Board of Governors and Directors of the Poor of this Parish, held in the Vestry Room, this evening, at half-past 6 o'clock;--
Present--Mr. EVANS, Churchwarden, in the Chair, &c., &c., &c.
The Churchwardens then communicated to the Board that they had received a letter from the Bishop of London, stating that he had been under the painful necessity of desiring the Rev. Mr. Yate not to officiate in his diocese, and that no Clergyman could legally act as Chaplain of the Workhouse in this Parish without his permission, and that, although the letter in question was not addressed to the Board, the Churchwardens had thought it right, as it related to the recent appointment of Mr. Yate to the office of Chaplain, to acquaint the Board therewith.
And the subject having been under consideration,
It was moved by Mr. Chalmers, seconded by Mr. Graham, and Resolved,--That this Board see no reason for taking any proceedings relative to the appointment of a Chaplain other than have been already adopted.
Upon the motion of Mr. Graham, seconded by Mr. Gedge, it was Resolved,--That the best thanks of this Board be given to the Committee of Enquiry into the case of Mr. Yate, for the very able manner in which they conducted their proceedings throughout: and more especially for the manly, persevering, and unwearied zeal evinced by them in searching out the truth, although opposed by many and great difficulties.
St. James', Westminster, 30th June, 1843.
At a Board of Governors and Directors of the Poor of this Parish, held in the Vestry Room, this evening, at 6 o'clock;--
Present--Mr. CHALMERS, in the Chair, &c., &c., &c.
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A letter having been read from the Rev. Wm. Yate, Chaplain of the Workhouse--accompanied by a copy of a Monition from the Bishop of London, and a copy of Queries on Mr. Yate's case, and Dr. Addams' opinion thereon-- 7
It was moved by Mr. Churchwarden Keith, and seconded by Mr. McMillan,--That the documents now read, be entered on the minutes.
To which an amendment was moved by Mr. Austin, and seconded by Mr. Geesin,--That Mr. Yate's letter only be entered on the minutes.
And such amendment on being put was negatived, and the original motion was put and carried.
Upon the motion of Mr. Graham, seconded by Mr. Rolfe, It was Resolved,--That in accepting the resignation of the Rev. William Yate of the office of Chaplain to the Workhouse of this Parish, to which he was recently appointed by this Board after the most searching enquiry into his moral character, and with the highest proofs of his fitness for the same, and which office he has felt compelled to relinquish in consequence of a Monition from the Bishop of London, this Board deeply deplores that, in this free and enlightened Country, whose boast it is that the humblest individual cannot lawfully be adjudged guilty of an offence without a public trial--a Minister of Religion should be prohibited from exercising his sacred calling upon the mere formal mandate of one higher in authority, containing no allegation of misconduct;--and that this Board cannot express too strongly its surprise and indignation at the arbitrary conduct pursued towards Mr. Yate, and its sincere regret that the defective state of the Ecclesiastical Law should leave that Gentleman without a legal remedy.
Upon the motion of Mr. McMillan, seconded by Mr. Graham, It was Resolved,--That Mr. Yate's application for a copy of the proceedings of this Board relating to his appointment to the office of Chaplain to this Workhouse be complied with.
Extracted from the minutes of the Board.
(Signed), GEORGE BUZZARD, Clerk.
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These very satisfactory minutes require no comment from me. The Governors and Directors of the Workhouse to whom I was a perfect stranger, and with whom, if I had been so inclined, I could have exercised no influence, have acted as men, and as Englishmen;--a part alike honourable to themselves, and gratifying to me. Upon enquiry they found that I had been treated unjustly, and they determined, as I was so officially before them, to sift it to the bottom. There is no Briton, no honest man, in the United Kingdom, who becomes acquainted with these facts, but who will give to these Gentlemen the portion of honor which is their due, for the great trouble which they took, and for the personal expense which they incurred, in their endeavours to elicit the truth. I feel assured that I shall now stand acquitted in every unprejudiced mind. It will be acknowledged that if a proper course had been pursued with me, and I had only been allowed to answer for myself, the common privilege of every Englishman, I should long ago have silenced all my adversaries; and put to confusion those who, by an insinuation, a whisper, or a sneer, have sought to do me evil.
Seeing that I have been able to convince the minds of perfect strangers, who come to the enquiry with no bias either for or against me, it must be presumed that I am in the possession of satisfactory and overwhelming evidence: evidence, both oral and written, which has had the same effect upon every person to whom I have had the privilege of submitting it, or any part of it. This will be seen by the following resolution transmitted to me from a Committee of Gentlemen in Southampton; with not one of whom, to the best of my knowledge, except the Rev. James Crabb, I ever exchanged a word.
Southampton, August 7th, 1843.
Resolved unanimously--That the documents now read are of the most satisfactory nature, and such as leave no doubt on the minds of the Committee, that the Rev. William Yate has been most scandalously and falsely calumniated, and that he is perfectly innocent of the charge so falsely brought against him, and that the Rev. James Crabb do write him to that effect, and urge him to publish his papers.
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The Bishop of London in his concluding letter to me, dated, London House, 22nd June, 1843, refers me to statute 59 Geo. III., cap. 60., section 2. His Lordship must be aware that section 2 of that Act does not apply to a chaplaincy of any kind. It is only section 4 which applies to a chaplaincy, and with which I have nothing whatever to do, as I was not ordained by any foreign or Colonial Bishop, but by his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. Then, with reference to the provisions of section 2 of that Act, I had no right, under any circumstances, to expect the testimonials required, from any other Prelate than from the Bishop of London himself. I was merely passing through the Diocese of Australia on my way to my former sphere of labour; and was only officiating till a permanent Chaplain could be appointed. The Committee of the Church Missionary Society know that I was not under any Bishop during the time that I was in their service. They are aware that merely passing through a Diocese, and officiating as a Locum Tenens, does not constitute the Bishop of that Diocese, in the usual acceptation of the term, the Bishop, or Ecclesiastical Superior of any Clergyman; otherwise, every Prelate upon the English Bench is my Bishop, and I must apply to each for testimonials; for there is not one Diocese in England in which I have not officiated, and in none more than that of London itself.-- In whatever part of the world I might have been located, or wherever I travelled,--and the principal part of my clerical life has been spent in travel, for I have taken thirteen long voyages, and have been twice round the world,-- the Bishop of London was, to all intents and purposes, my Bishop, and so he must be until permanently fixed under some other Episcopal authority. New Zealand, my principal residence abroad, was not then a Colony; there was no Governor;--no Colonial Council;--no Ecclesiastical Establishment: so that I could never be expected to fulfil the letter of section 2 of the Act in question. From whom could I have obtained the literal requisite testimonial when I officiated at Rio de Jenario, in the Brazils, but from his
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Lordship of London, who is, by courtesy, acknowledged as the Superior of the English Church in that city? In all my labours abroad I was amenable either to the Bishop of London as my Diocesan, or to his Grace the Lord Primate, by whom I was admitted to the order both of Deacon and of Priest. It was only the great desire which I had to obtain an investigation in New South Wales, preparatory to one in England, that caused me, for one moment, to acknowledge the authority of the Bishop of Australia over me, as a Clergyman, in his Court, could he have constituted that Court. Nothing but this earnest desire would have made me consent to appear before him, in my clerical capacity, after his inhibition; as the moment I ceased to officiate, not being licensed, he ceased to have any jurisdiction whatever over me. His Lordship of London should have taken all these matters into his serious consideration, and also, that, I more than fulfilled the spirit of the Act to which he referred me, when I applied to him for a license in his own Diocese, or for permission to obtain one in any other.
And now, I think, the question must be asked and answered; What am I to do? Have I not waited long enough in the expectation of having justice done me? If I am to be under Episcopal Authority, ought I not to be under Episcopal Protection? I am as much a Priest of the Church of England as the Bishop of London himself is; though he is placed higher in authority than I am. The vows of the Most High God are upon me. I promised HIM at my ordination, to be the faithful Minister of his word and sacraments. No man can absolve me from these vows, or from this promise. Neither can I consent to be silent in the Church; nor to give up the Ministry of the Gospel of the Grace of God. Woe is unto me if I preach not this Gospel. Under my circumstances, how can I best do this? If I am persecuted in one city, ought I not,--still bearing with me the message of grace and mercy, still publishing salvation in the name of the Lord,--to flee to another? A very short time must decide these questions; and whether or not I am to continue my connection with the Church of England; or
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to seek to enter some other portion of my Heavenly Master's vineyard, and endeavour to gain over to him, or when gained, to watch over, those other sheep which are not of this particular fold.
Commending that great Society of which I was once an honored member, my reader, and myself to the word of God's grace, and the power of His Spirit, I remain, for Christ's sake, the faithful Servant of all who love His name,
P.S. I beg to call the attention of my reader to the extracts in the note on page 24, and to the time when they were written. I am the more anxious to do this as it is important to shew what was the estimate of my character in New Zealand during my residence there, and until the vile rumours of New South Wales were conveyed to New Zealand, more than two years after I had left it.
I have in my possession the testimony of two Gentlemen from that Country, bearing date, respectively, "London, June, 7th and 8th, 1838." One of these Gentlemen had been ten years in New Zealand, where he had the best of all opportunities for knowing every thing that occurred there. He was, moreover, professedly adverse to me, and had been so for years. He attributes the whole to "MISREPRESENTATION." And "hopes and believes that his testimony may be entitled to the more credit because he was formerly unfriendly to me." He returned to New Zealand in 1838.
J. SYDENHAM, 105, HIGH STREET, POOLE.