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INQUIRY INTO THE CONDUCT OF…

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INQUIRY INTO THE CONDUCT OF A CLERGYMAN. The Bishop of Manchester, assisted by the Ven. Archdeacon Durnford and by Dr. Bayford (Chancellor of the diocese), and Mr. Curi»tie. as legal a-ses-.ors, held a public court of inquiry at Manchester on Wed- nesday, Thursday, and Friday, in last week, respecting allegations of drunkenness against the Rev. L. H. Mordacque. for the bt eighteen years perpetual curate and titular vicar of Haslingden, a living in the gift of the trustees of Hulme's Charity, Manchester. Mr. CoMbett, solicitor, COt-ducted the case on the part of the complainants, the churchwardens of the parish Mr. Serjeant. Parry and Mr. Add-on appeared for the defence. There werE: seven distinct instanees of drunkenness allep(! in thp course of toe twelve months from December, 1867, to December, 1868. Mr. Cobbett explained that the rev. defendant not cnarged with heing, in the language of the police courts, drunk and disorderly he had not reduced himself to a state of utter pru aical incapacity, but he had been in the h >bit of indulging in strong drink to sin h aii ext nt as to render himself less efficient for his office and to create extreme dissatisfaction, not to use f. stronger term, on the párt of his congregation. The first day of the inquiry was occupied with tbe evidence of the witnesses, who deposed to seeing the aefen- dant at. times when he was not sober. Mr. Serjeant Parry severely cross-examined two of the complainants as to their own failings in sobriety, eflpeciallv on OlW occi1sion, when they deposed to bav- ing met Mr. M'-rdacque the worse for liquor. Ac- cording to the defence. he was passing the nbht at the house of a Mr. Hovle, who was insane, because the doctor found that Mr. Mordacque had a calming influence upon the patient. The evidence for the defence occupied two days, in the course of which a number of re." pectahle witnesses denied having ever Sten Mr. Mordacque intoxicated. and in some cases denied that he was so upon the occasions specified. Mr. Mordacque's medical atten- dant stated that he had sanctioned a, prescription of rum and milk for him, as he was in a weak and nervous 8tate. :\1 r. Serjeant Parry stated that the defendant was a man of high attainment, married, and with eleven children, and he contended that there ought to be proof of some deliberate act of debauchery, or that he was in the Labt at rlinner or on festive occasions of in.-Juging in the vice imputed to him. He also urged that a state of feeling, both politically and parochially, existed at Haslingden which induced animosity towards the de- fendant by an influential party in the town. Tt was implied by some of the testimony that Mr. Mordacque had been on the side of the Liberals at the North-East Lancashire election. The Bishop reserved the decision till Saturday, when the judgment was read by Dr. Bayford. The charges were all dismissed, on the ground that the evidencp for the ddene, on the who'e, outweighed the evidence on the other side. At the same time, it was renlarked as a curious circumstance, and one evidently open to mis- construction, that the defendant should have pérsiRted in the use of such a medicine as rum and milk, instead of adopting some remedy equally as efficacious and less equivocal. The conductof two of the complainants no doubt, open to comment, but in the case of the third there could he no possible reflection on the nature of the prosecution there had been a clear case for inquiry, and under these circumstances each party should pay their own costs.

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