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RAYNER AND HODGES, PRINTERS, 109, Fetter Lane, Fleet Street.


THE following pages are committed, with no inconsiderable anxiety, to the favourable consideration of the Profession.

The want of a book of ready reference on the subject of Ecclesiastical Law has long been felt, for Dr. Burn's admirable work, notwithstanding the valuable notes which accompany the later editions, hardly answers such a description. To supply this demand, and, at the same time, to keep its size within the dimensions of a circuit book, has been the object of the present publication.

With this in view, many heads comprised in Dr. Burn's Work have been omitted; some of these, such as "BENEFIT OF CLERGY," "CHARITABLE USES," "COLLEGES," "DISSENTERS," "FEES," "LAND TAX," "MORTMAIN," "PERJURY," "POLYGAMY," "RAPE," "STAMPS," "SUPREMACY," and other similar titles, seemed rather to belong to other divisions of the law, and being ably treated of in standard works of authority, it was considered unnecessary to introduce them here. Again, with regard to such heads as "HOLIDAYS," "Kalendar," "MONASTERIES," "POPERY," and other similar titles, their insertion did not appear to be of sufficient practical importance to justify any considerable addition to the size of the book in order to admit them. With regard to the title "LEASES," although, confessedly, a very important head, an alteration of the law seemed so immediately impending, that

though the article was completed it has been withdrawn from insertion, it not being thought right to hazard the sacrifice of so much space as the addition of such an article necessarily would have required. The head "TITHES" has also been omitted, the law of tithes now depends, or at least very soon will, entirely depend upon the act for their commutation; and it was not thought that it would be of any advantage to print the act itself, as it may be so easily resorted to in the many convenient publications in which it has been circulated. The article" WILLS" has been condensed and limited as far as possible. On the other hand, the article "BASTARD" has been much amplified, and an abstract given of most of the cases on the law of legitimacy, a subject which is frequently discussed on the Circuit and at the Quarter Sessions, and on which there seems to be no sufficient practical treatise. Again, the article "CHURCH" has been much extended, and the law of "Church Pews," and the cases bearing upon it, given at considerable length. The head" MARRIAGE" has also been considerably enlarged, not only in the body of the article itself, but also by the addition of new and distinct titles, having reference to the same subject, as "ALIMONY," "Divorce," "JACTITATION OF MARRIAGE," and "RESTITUTION OF CONJUGAL RIGHTS." The article "PROHIBITION" was originally intended to be a distinct Treatise, but has been cut down to meet the plan and size of the present work; it is hoped that the compression has not destroyed its practical utility. There have been, also, other titles introduced, which are not found in Dr. Burn's work, such as "CANON LAW," on the origin and authority of that law,-" CHURCH BUILDING," in which an attempt has been made to abstract, arrange, and consolidate the various Acts upon that subject. "ECCLESIASTICAL COMMISSION," which contains a short abstract of the powers of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and a short detail of the progress which they had made, at the time that article went to press,-in dividing, consolidating, and re-arranging the old dioceses and ecclesiastical districts and jurisdictions, and the formation of the

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new dioceses of Manchester and Ripon. "FACULTY," a head which was considered would be of practical convenience, has been also added; and " INCUMBENT," which is a fresh arrangement of the materials contained in Dr. Burn's article " BENEFICE."

At the time Dr. Burn's work was originally published, little was known, beyond the walls of Doctors' Commons, of the Law of Pleading and Evidence, as administered by the Ecclesiastical Courts of this country; within the last few years, however, the public has had the advantage of regular and able reports of the decisions of those Courts; an endeavour has consequently been made, under the new titles "COSTS," " EVIDENCE," "PLEADING," and "PROCESS," to arrange and embody the decisions of the Ecclesiastical Courts upon these points. The awkwardness and difficulty of the attempt, by one not familiar with the practice of those Courts, has been, and is, sincerely felt; and had there been even the slightest prospect that the subject would be taken up by abler and more experienced hands, the present undertaking would not have been persevered in; but, in carrying out a plan of arranging the important points of Ecclesiastical Law, it seemed to be impossible to shrink from some notice of the above subjects, for any arrangement of Ecclesiastical Law would have been rendered incomplete by their omission; and it may be added, and it is hoped, without the imputation of presumption, that, although Gentlemen, who practise in the Ecclesiastical Courts of this country, and who are consequently familiar with the practice of those Courts, may not derive much, if any, assistance from the articles alluded to; yet, to those who are uninstructed in the practice of those Courts, the information which those articles contain, imperfect as it is, may not be altogether useless.

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