Clergy Reserves

Clergy Reserves,

those lands set apart in Upper and Lower Canada under the British Constitutional Act of 1791 "for the support and maintenance of a Protestant clergy." "Protestant clergy" was interpreted to mean the clergy of the Church of England. This interpretation was fiercely upheld by John Strachan and others but dissatisfied other Protestant denominations and became an issue in the Rebellion of 1837. The method of allotting reserves kept discontinuous plots out of cultivation and prevented settlement and the expansion of roads. An act of 1840 by the assembly of Upper Canada provided for the sale and distribution of the reserves, but this was disallowed by the British government. In 1854 the government finally passed a law secularizing the reserves, but the Anglican and Presbyterian churches retained the endowments that had been granted them.
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Clarke makes the point in his ninth chapter, entitled "Land and Power"; the existence of the oligarchy of Upper Canada, the "Family Compact," rested on the underdeveloped nature of the land, due largely to the land-granting practices of the Imperial government that placed most of the available arable land in Crown or clergy reserves for the use and disposal by the ruling officers and established churches.
There the clergy reserves, established largely for the benefit of the established Anglican church, were not only a significant cause of underdevelopment (through the conscious use of small farmers to enhance the value of these holdings), but also their acquisition was of questionable origin; that is to say, much of the wealth of the Anglican Church, among others, cannot be said to have positive ethical roots.
Denominationally speaking, resentment against one "privileged" or dominant religion in Canada emerged almost like a "built-in" genetic trait as illustrated by the Clergy Reserves Controversy.
18) The lease for Crown and clergy reserves was for twenty-one years and the rent was pre-set to rise at seven year intervals.
23) On clergy reserves, starting in 1827 when they were opened for sale, the value of a leasehold interest increased.
34) In Cramahe township in 1842, 36 out of 97 tenant farmers, or over one-third of the tenants, held leases directly from the Crown and clergy reserves or were undertenants of the leaseholders.
Thirty-two percent of the tenants in Cramahe in 1842, for example, eventually became owners there, and 20% of the landlords in Cramahe in 1842 had started out as lessees on Crown or clergy reserves.
In most cases this was true of tenants who held yearly, at will or had short leases, but in mid-nineteenth-century Ontario the reverse was true of tenants who held long leases from private landlords or the Crown and clergy reserves.
52) Clearly leaseholders on the Crown and clergy reserves were able to achieve the same kind of continuity.
The issuing of new leases on clergy reserves ended as early as 1833.
Alan Wilson, The Clergy Reserves of Upper Canada (Toronto, 1927), 37; Lillian F.
For example, Macdonell did not disagree with the concept of the Clergy Reserves which benefited the Anglicans; he just wanted a larger share in them.