CHAPLAIN (capenanus, a word formed from the middle Latin, capella, chapel). A chaplain is properly a clergy man officiating in a chapel, in contradis tinction to one who is the incumbent of a parish church. But it now generally de.
signates clergymen who are either (1) residing in families of distinction and ac tually performing religious services in the family; or (2) who are supposed to be so, though not actually so engaged. This fiction proceeds on the assumption that every bishop and nobleman, with some of the great officers of state, have each their private chapel, to which they nominate a priest, or more than one. Certain privi leges respecting the holding of benefices belonged to these chaplains, by reserva tion out of the Act against Pluralities, 21 HenryVII I. c.13, which were restricted by 57 Geo. III. c. 59 ; and by 1 & 2 Viet. c. 106, both these acts were repealed so far as they related to the subject of plura lities. By 21 Henry VIII. the number of chaplains which noblemen and other per sons may nominate was limited : an archbishop may nominate eight ; a duke or a bishop, six ; a marquis or earl, five ; a viscount, four ; a baron, a knight of the garter, or the lord chancellor, three ; the treasurer of the king's house, the comp troller of the king's house, the clerk of the closet, the king's secretary, the dean of the chapel, the almoner, and the master of the rolls, may nominate each two ; the chief justice of the King's Bench and the warden of the Cinque Ports, each one ; a duchess, marchioness, countess, and baro ness, being widows, are allowed to nomi nate each two.
The Speaker of the House of Commons appoints his chaplain, who reads prayers daily at the House before business com mences. In the House of Lords prayers are read by the bishop last raised to the episcopal bench.
A chaplain is appointed to each of her Majesty's ships when in active service. He must have been regularly ordained, and a graduate of Oxford, Cambridge, Dublin, or Durham, and not above the age of thirty-five. He undergoes an ex amination by some competent person ap pointed by the Admiralty, and must pro duce testimonials of good moral and religious conduct from two beneficed c.ergymen. The pay of a chaplain is i21. 5a. per month for ships of all rates, and the half-pay is 5a. or 10a. a day, according to length of service. In the army it is not necessary to appoint a chaplain to each regiment; but there are a few clergymen appointed for the army under the name of Chaplains to the Forces.
The magistrates in quarter-sessions are required by 4 Geo. IV. c. 64, to appoint
a chaplain to every prison within their jurisdiction. His salary is regulated by the number of persons which the prison is capable ofcontaining, and must not exceed 150/. when the number of prisoners does not exceed fifty, nor 200/. if the number of persons which the prison can contain does not exceed one hundred ; and the salary may be fixed at the discretion of the justices when the number of prisoners exceeds two hundred. A chaplain to a prison must be a clergyman of the Church of England, and be licensed by the bishop before he can officiate. The magistrates have the power of removing him from his office in case of misconduct and neglect, and of granting him an annuitywhen incapable from infirmity of performing his duties : his duties are pointed out by the above act, and amongst other things he is re quired to keep a journal. The duties of chaplains in jails are further regulated by 2 & 3 Vict. c. 56. They must not reside more than a mile from the prison. A chaplain in any jail in which the number of prisoners confined at one time during the three years preceding his ap pointment was not less than one hundred, cannot hold a benefice with cure of souls, or any curacy with the office of chaplain. An assistant chaplain or chap lains may be appointed in jails where the number of prisoners exceeds 250. The reports of chaplains are sometimes of great interest and throw light upon the causes of crime. Appended to the act 2 & 3 Vict. c. 56, are a number of questions, the answers to which are annually returned to the Secretary of State ; and the 28th question relates to the duties of the chaplain.
Chaplains are required to be appointed to every County Lunatic Asylum.
The Poor Law Amendment Act (4 & 5 Will. IV. c. 76) empowers the Poor Law Commissioners to appoint paid officers of parishes and unions, and this includes chaplains. The act contemplates that the inmates of union workhouses, of whatever religious persuasion, should have instruction in that persuasion. It is not peremptory to appoint a clergyman of the Church of England as chaplain, and the guardians may appoint a dissenting mi nister.
Both in jails and union workhouses licensed dissenting ministers are allowed to visit the inmates of their respective persuasions at reasonable times and under certain restrictions. By the Irish Poor Law Act (1 & 2 Vict. c. 56) three chap lains may be appointed for the union workhouses, one of the Established Church, one Roman Catholic priest, and one Protestant dissenter.