|Memoriall for the Ministers of the
|Church of Scotland with regard to the
|Tax on Windows
|That in Consequence of the Several Statutes granting to His Majesty
certain rates and dutys on Houses Windows and Lights &c., The
houses of Ministers have been Surveyed, a Charge has been taxed against
them and payment has been demanded by the Collectors of the Tax.
|That if they shall be Subjected to this Tax, the sum which Ministers
will be liable to pay though extreamly [sic] inconsiderable
with respect to the exigencies of Government, would be a heavy burthen
upon a body of men whose Small Stipends Scarce afford a maintanance
Suitable to their Character.
|That the Ministers of the Church of Scotland however Conceive that
it was not the Intention of the Legislature to Subject them to this
Tax, and they found their Claim of Exemption upon the following reasons.
|1 mo. The Sum allocated by Law in Scotland for the maintanance of
Ministers is to be considered only as an annual Sallary or Stipendiary
Subsistance The possession of it entitles them to none of the priveledges
annexed to the holding of other property, and ought of Consequence
to be exempted from the burdens to which other property is Subject.
It is merely an annuall Sallary provided for their aliment, not a
right of property which Conveys to them any priveledges.
|2 do. The Law of Scotland has accordingly viewed the Stipends of
Ministers in this light. The 62 Act 5 par. James the 6th. Enacts "That
Ministers should pay no Tithes for their Glebes, and the 162 Act 13th
Par. James the 6th. Enacts in Generall that in time coming Ministers
Stipends should be free from all Taxations and burdens whatsoever."
|3 tio. The practice in Scotland has been Exactly Conformable to
these Laws, not only the Stipends of
|The Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury having read your
Letter of the 4th Instant inclosing a Copy of a Letter from Mr. Robertson
Moderator of the Assembly of the Church of Scotland to his Grace the
Dukes of Grafton, And also a Copy of a Memorial of the Ministers of
the Church of Scotland, praying to be exempted from the Window Tax,
Their Lordships are pleased to direct me to acquaint you for the Information
of his Grace that nothing appears to them either from the Letter of
the Moderator, or the Memorial of the Ministers of the Church of Scotland
to induce their Lordships to take up an opinion that the Ministers
are not subject by Law to pay the Duties on Windows in like manner
as other Inhabitants of Houses in that part of the United Kingdoms,
And their Lordships observe that it is admitted upon the Memorial
that in the Court of Session an appeal from a Minister has been dismissed
by the Judge of that Court, upon this very ground, This being the
case their Lordships can give no relief as they have no Authority
to dispense with an Act of Parliament, and if relief is to be obtained,
it can be only by Act of Parliament.
Your most humble Servant
|Richard Stonhewer Esq.