Documents relating to Thomas Dove Dove

Law Times 21 July 1860

THAMES POLICE COURT - Thursday, July 17.
ST. GEORGE'S-IN-THE-EAST - Brawling in a church - the new Act.
Mr. R. Rosier, of Ratcliffe-highway, alias St. George's-street, appeared before Mr. Elliott at the Thames Police-court, charged on a summons taken out by the Rev. Thomas Dove Dove, assistant curate of the parish of St. George's-in-the-Eaat, with having, on Sunday morning last, in the parish church, and during the celebration of divine service, made a disturbance. The summons expressed that the defendant did unlawfully molest, let, disturb, vex, and trouble the said Thomas Dove Dove, a clergyman in holy orders, ministering in the parish church of St. George, during the celebration of divine service.

The summons was issued under the second clause of the new Act, the 23 & 24 Vict. c. 32 [the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860, which gave the civil rather than the ecclesiastical courts power to deal with 'brawling' in and around churches], which imposes a penalty not exceeding 5l., or imprisonment, without the option of paying a fine, not exceeding two months.

The facts of the case may be shortly stated as follows: — The Rev. Mr. Dove was celebrating divine service on Sunday morning last, when the defendant, Mr. Rosier, gave the responses in a voice so loud as to excite attention, when Mr. Thompson, the churchwarden, went up to him and requested him not to speak in so loud a tone; but the defendant persisted in doing so, and in consequence Mr. Thompson was compelled to put him out of the church. Mr. Dove then applied at this court for a summons to answer a complaint for disturbing the clergyman in the performance of his duty. Subsequent to this Mr. Rosier applied to the same court for a summons against Mr. Thompson for putting him out of the church; but this the sitting magistrate refused to grant, as the matter of complaint could be gone into when the summons granted to Mr. Dove came on for hearing.

Mr. ELLIOTT said this was a summons taken out under an Act of Parliament, 23 & 24 Vict. c.32, which received the Royal assent only sixteen days ago. It had fallen, unfortunately, upon him to bear and decide upon the first case under the Act. The second clause said that "if any person shall be guilty of riotous, violent, or indecent behaviour in any cathedral, church, parish or district church or chapel of the Church of England and Ireland, or in any chapel of any religions denomination, or in any place of religious worship duly certified, whether during the celebration of divine service or at any other time, or in any churchyard or bnrial-groond, or who shall molest, let, disturb, vex, or trouble, or by any other unlawful means disquiet or misuse any preacher duly authorised to preach therein, or any clergyman in holy orders ministering or celebrating any sacrament, or any divine service, rite, or office, in any cathedral, church, or chapel, or in any churchyard or burial-ground, shall, on conviction, be liable to a penalty of not more than 5l, or may be committed to prison for any time not exceeding two months." Without going into the wretched differences in the parish of St. George, so detrimental to religion and so shocking to every person of well-regulated mind, and without going into the question of whether singing the service or saying toe service was the best, he begged leave to state shortly the grounds for convicting the defendant. He was of opinion that every rector or incumbent of a church or chapel had a right to prescribe the mode of celebrating divine service, and whether it should be a choral service or otherwise. If a clergyman thought fit to order that the responses should be sung, and people read the responses in a loud voice, to prevent the singing of them as directed by the minister, that was an offence within the meaning of the Act. He was of opinion the defendant and others, by reading the responses loudly, wished to prevent the singing, and did disturb, vex, and trouble the minister. He fined the defendant 3l. If he (Mr. Elliott) was wrong in his opinion, he could be set right, as there was a court of appeal.
Mr. Rosier. — I shall appeal, sir, on several grounds.
Mr. ELLIOTT. — Very well. You must put in sureties to prosecute the appeal at the next general or quarter sessions.

Church Times 14 November 1863  - anonymous report

I was staying a short distance from Aberdeen, and on All Saints' Eve I made inquiries whether there were to be any services, and ascertained that Even-song would be sung at S. Mary's Mission Chapel at 8.15 p.m. With some difficulty I found my way there. The first appearance of the chapel was not very pleasing, as it had the usual barn-like appearance of places where Dissenters love to congregate (once a week). It was, I believe, formerly a Baptist conventicle, and was bought by the Mission for temporary use until they could build a church. A glance, however, at the east end convinced me that I was in a Catholic place of worship. A correctly shaped altar vested for a festival, cloth of gold frontal, white lace super-frontal; on super-alter a jewelled cross, with two sacramental candles (unlighted), vases of flowers, and four large many-branched candlesticks with lights burning, a crimson dossal cloth, a painting hung on it of the Blessed Virgin and Holy Child.

I arrived at eight, and from that to a quarter past the chapel gradually filled, the congregation composed almost entirely of the middle and poorer classes; and I never, in all my life, though I have travelled over the world, saw a more apparently devout congregation. I noticed with great pleasure that every one made a lowly obeisance to the altar on entering, and that the primitive custom of making the sign of the Cross is here retained, though it has unhappily fallen into such disuse in England. The priests and choir entered in procession, chanting the hymn for All Saints — " Spouse of Christ ! " — two silk banners with the crosses of S. Andrew and S. George on them, and a processional cross with two lighted tapers, were borne by the acolytes. The officiating priest wore a splendid cope of cloth of gold, with the sacred monogram embroidered in crimson on the back of it. There were no stalls or reading-desks in the chapel, but the whole office was sung by the priests and clerks standing before the altar, which, I can assure you, had a very Catholic and devotional effect. Before and after the Magnificat, the proper antiphon was sung, and during the Magnificat the altar was incensed. After the service, the Rev. G. Akers gave an extempore sermon from the altar-steps on the Communion of Saints.

On the following morning I was present at matins, and high celebration of the Holy Communion. The Scotch office was used, and certainly, in my humble opinion, contrasts most favourably with the Anglican. After the consecration, the deacon incensed the altar. The chapel was crowded, and the behaviour of the congregation was most gratifying for a Catholic to behold. They all joined most heartily in the Psalms and responses, and from the consecration to the Gloria in Excelsis every one remained on their knees. The whole congregation remained throughout until the last benediction. I have never seen a choir so well trained, both as to singing and as to behaviour, especially those who served the credence. The celebrant was vested in alb (stole crossed) and chasuble with a large cross on the back of it; the deacon and sub-deacons in albs, stoles, and tippets (!); the lay clerks and choir-men in cottas and tippets; the acolytes in short muslin cottas, reaching to the waist. Of course every one wore cassocks; the priests carried berrettas [sic] in their hands, the two sacramental candles and the two standards on the altar-steps were the only ones lighted.

Even-song was similarly conducted to the preceding evening. The chapel  was densely crowded — many Presbyterians were present, I think — but all behaved very well. I have no hesitation in saying that at no church in London are the congregation more attentive and devout, or the services conducted with greater reverence than at this little mission chapel, in the midst of heretics and schismatics. Mr. Lee gave an extempore sermon in the evening which was full of most Catholic doctrine. I believe it is the rule of this little chapel to give extempore sermons, and there can be no doubt that they fix people's attention far more than read ones, and are especially suited to missions. I had many conversations while at Aberdeen with Presbyterians, in different ranks of life, and it is evident that the bold and uncompromising way in which Church doctrines have been set forth at S. Mary's and S. John's has had a great effect on them. Of course it has excited the Protestant ire of many, but I am happy to say that I saw signs to show that it had also set many a thinking as to what the ordination of Presbyterian ministers was worth. There is no doubt but that the minds of honest thinking Presbyterians in these parts are much shaken (I do not include those who have an interest in the present state of things), and I sincerely believe that the opening of the new church of S. Mary's, of which I hope to give you an account in another letter, will be, under God, the beginning of the end of Protestantism In Aberdeen, providing always that the services and the preachings are carried on in a bold, Catholic, and uncompromising way.

The Scottish Guardian: A Weekly Newspaper for the Episcopal Church in Scotland 1865 page 226

EPISCOPAL SYNOD.— On Tuesday the 4th April, the Episcopal Synod of the Church in Scotland met in the Music Hall Buildings, Aberdeen, for the purpose of hearing an appeal by the Church wardens of St. Mary's, Aberdeen, "against the delay or refusal of the Right Rev. the Bishop of Aberdeen, to institute their presentee to the pastoral charge of St. Mary's." There were present: — The Bishop of Moray and Ross, Primus, who presided; the Bishops of Glasgow and Galloway, St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and the Bishop-Coadjutor of Edinburgh; St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and the Bishop-Coadjutor of Edinburgh; also Mr. Rollo, W.S., Clerk to the Synod.

Some preliminaries took place.
First, parties agreed to have the case tried by four Bishops, instead of five (the Bishops of Brechin and Argyll being absent). The Bishop of Aberdeen, though claiming to be entitled to sit in the case, intimated that he did not intend to do so. The competency of the appeal, on technical grounds, was also conceded; after which the appeal was read. It was by "Thos. Gordon Beveridge, Master of Arts, and John Milne, both residing in Aberdeen, churchwardens and patrons of the pastoral charge of St. Mary's, Aberdeen, against the Right Rev. Dr. Thos. G. Suther, Bishop of Aberdeen, to institute their presentee to the said charge." The appeal set forth that the Rev. F. G. Lee resigned the pastoral charge of St. Mary's on 10th Sept. last. On the 13th Sept, a meeting was held of the congregation, and the members present unanimously requested the Churchwardens to nominate the Rev. Thos. Dove Dove, M.A., of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, to the incumbency. The churchwardens complied with the request, and on 26th Sept. signed a formal deed of presentation in Mr. Dove's favour. Mr. Dove accepted, and various documents were sent to the Bishop, who, however, returned them. Mr. Beveridge wrote respectfully requesting the Bishop to explain why he returned the presentation. The Bishop, of date October 1, replied — "The reason why I returned the papers sent to me, and why I now decline further communication with you on the subject, is, that you, and others whom you represent, when you followed Mr. Lee in acting in defiance of my instructions, must be held to have broken off all connection with the Episcopal Church in Scotland."

The appellants held that "They were not responsible for what Mr. Lee did, and, if they were, the connection between the congregation which they represent and the Episcopal Church in Scotland, and the rights and obligations thereby created, could not be put an end to without a lawful sentence, preceded by judicial inquiry, and with an opportunity for all parties being heard."

The Bishop, however, added in the letter last mentioned, "On due recognition of my authority, I shall be ready to consider any proposals which you may have to make to me."

 Encouraged by this, Mr. Beveridge wrote to the Bishop on the 3rd of October, expressing his regret that any step taken by him or those whom he represented should have created in his Lordship's mind the impression that they had any intention of separating themselves from the Church in Scotland, or withdrawing from his jurisdiction, and returning the documents, with a respectful request that his Lordship would pronounce a deliverance thereon.

On the 11th of October, the Bishop sent an answer, in which, waiving the former objection, but reserving consideration of what steps it might be his dnty to take in consequence, he pointed out that the forms of Presentation and Institution annexed to the Canons required that the Church or Chapel to which presentation was made, and a Minister instituted, must be licensed or consecrated by the Bishop, that he had not either licensed or consecrated St. Mary's, and that he could not therefore canonically entertain a Presentation or grant Institution to it. Along with this letter the Bishop again returned all the papers, with the exception of the copy of Mr. Lee's resignation.

The appeal entered into some argument on these points, and concluded by craving the Synod to ordain the Bishop to proceed to grant the institution to their presentee.

The Bishop of Aberdeen referred to the Canons to show inter alia, that the case of the appellants was not well founded, especially in respect of the destination attempted to be made between institution to a congregation and the licencing of a building. He claimed for the Bishop, under appeal it might be, the sole responsibility of judging of the fitness of any particular building for conducting divine service according to the ritual of the reformed Church. If for good and sufficient, he would almost say imperative, reasons, he saw fit to withhold his Episcopal licence from that building in which the presentee in this case had been for some time officiating, he was entitled to do so. If his judgment was wrong, he supposed that, under the Canons, there was an appeal; but he held that, until that appeal was made and settled, whether his judgment was right or wrong, the present appeal could not be given effect to. The present claim was a claim of a strange clergyman and of the churchwardens, who prended to have elected him, or who had elected him, to take the law into their own hands, and to act in open defiance of the Bishop's decision in refusing to licence a particular place for divine worship, on account of its non-consistency in furniture, in inscriptions, in vestments, and ritual, with the usage and ritual of the Reformed Protestant Church.

Mr. Grub, on behalf of Mr. Beveridge, was allowed (the Canons not giving express sanction), lo sddress the Synod. Mr. G. contended that since the Bishop refused to institute this clergyman (Mr. Dove), on account of the church not being licensed, he (the Bishop) should now be asked to state why he did not licence the building.

The Primus said that was a new case, and did not form any part of this appeal. The question at present was, whether the Bishop had good reasons for declining to give effect to the presentation given by the churchwardens. Show how the Bishop could sign a deed of institution to a church which is not licenced or consecrated by him.

Mr. Grub still suggested that the Bishop should give reasons.

The Bishop of Aberdeen — I will; but not under this appeal.

Mr. Grub — Then adjourn the Synod, say for three months, until an appeal is prepared on that ground.

The Primus asked if the object of the delay was to remove the reasons which induced the Bishop to refuse licensing the church.

Mr. Beveridge said the Bishop never gave reasons.

Bishop Suther asked Mr. Beveridge if he did not recollect having signed a petition, asking him to reconsider his reasons — and did not he (the Bishop) answer this; yet, in defiance of it, they followed Mr. Lee into that church?

Mr. Beveridge thought his Lordship somewhat mistaken. The congregation thought he intended to curtail, or alter, in some degree, the ritual that had been used in Old St. Mary's for three years before, and they requested the same liberty in the new church as they had enjoyed in the old.

Bishop Suther — The objection was principally to the ornaments of the building into which you were going. But that is not the matter before this Court, and I call upon the Court to adjudicate upon the appeal now before them.

Mr. Grub said an important question as to patronage was involved.

The Primus again pointed out that any appeal as to refusing to license the church should have been taken at the time, and that that matter was distinct from the one before them. The appellants now ask the Bishop to institute to a church to which he has refused his licence.

Mr. Grub — If a decision is given in that way, the appellants are left in the position of being unable to do anything.

The Primus — Is that our fault? The question for the appellants, and for the congregation of St. Mary's, is to do what may enable the Bishop, as I heartily wish they would, to licence the church, and in that case we should have no further appeal. I think it is yet open for the congregation of St. Mary's to reconsider what has been going on now
for some time and see whether, for their own peace and comfort, and the peace of the Church, they cannot do what will enable the Bishop to licence the church.

Mr. Grub again asked the Synod to be adjourned for three months, to enable the congregation to take up the matter.

The Synod, however, refused to accede to this request, holding that the present appeal must be disposed of on its own merits. After some further discussion, the Court was cleared, and on the public being re-admitted shortly afterwards, The Primus announced the decision of the Synod — viz., that they unanimously dismissed the appeal.
This finished the business.

Since the above proceedings in Synod a correspondence has taken place between the Churchwardens of St. Mary's and the Bishop of Aberdeen, which has been printed in the Aberdeen newspapers. The substance of it is that the Churchwardens offered to remove immediately all the ornaments of the Church formerly objected to by the Bishop, intimated that Mr. Dove was not to officiate without the Bishop's permission, and requested his Lordship to license the Church, and to permit Mr. Dove to officiate, or send some other clergyman to do so on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Day; that the Bishop declined to comply with these requests; and that the church has in consequence been shut.

[It re-opened with the bishop's licence on 3 December 1865, with Henry James Palmer as incumbent, but the church was not consecrated until 1890.]

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