Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/149

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133
Simony

shores of Simon’s Bay, an inlet on the west side of False Bay. It is 22½ m. S. of Cape Town by rail and 17 m. N. of Cape Point (the Cape of Good Hope). Apart from the naval station the town (pop. 1904, 6642) is an educational and residential centre, enjoying an excellent climate with a mean minimum temperature of 57° and a mean maximum of 70° F. Owing to the influence of the Mozambique current the temperature of the water in the bay is 10° to 12° F. higher than that of Table Bay, hence Simon’s Town and other places along the shores of False Bay are favourite bathing resorts. The naval establishment is the headquarters of the East India and Cape Squadron.

In 1900 the yard covered about 13 acres, exclusive of the victualling establishment and naval hospital, and was provided with a small camber, slipways for torpedo-boats and small vessels, together with various dockyard buildings, storehouses, coal stores, &c., but had no dry dock or deep-water wharf. Under the Naval Works Loan Act of 1899 £2,500,000 was provided for the construction of additional docks east of the original naval yard. These works were begun in 1900 and completed in 1910. They consist of a tidal basin 28 acres in extent, with a depth of 30 ft. at low-water spring tides, enclosed by a breakwater on the eastern and northern sides and a similar projecting arm or pier on the west. The entrance to the basin faces north-westerly, and is 300 ft. in width. South of the basin is a large reclaimed area forming the site of the new dockyard. Opening from the basin is a dry dock, 750 ft. in length on blocks, with an entrance 95 ft. wide and having 30 ft. over the sill at low-water spring tides. The foundation stone of the dry dock was laid in November 1906 by the earl of Selborne, after whom it is named, and the dock was opened in November 1910 by the duke of Connaught.

The Selborne dock can be subdivided by an intermediate caisson in such a manner as to form two docks, respectively 400 ft. and 320 ft. in length, or 470 ft. and 250 ft. in length on blocks, as may be required, or the full length of 750 ft. can be made available. The dockyard buildings include extensive shops for the chief engineer’s and chief constructor’s departments, the pumping-engine house, working sheds, &c., while ample space is reserved for additional docks and buildings. Berthing accommodation is provided in the basin alongside the wharf walls which surround lt. The walls available for this purpose have a total length of 2585 ft. lineal, are constructed of interlocked concrete block work, with an available depth of water of 30 ft. at low water, and are furnished with powerful shear-legs and cranes for the use of vessels alongside. Extensive sheds for the storage of coal are provided. The whole of the dockyard area (35 acres), including the enclosing breakwater and pier, was formed by reclamation from the sea; and the total area of the new works, including the tidal basin, is 63 acres.

False Bay, which corresponds on the south to Table Bay on the north side of Table Mountain, is a spacious inlet which has an average depth of from 15 to 20 fathoms, and is completely sheltered on all sides except towards the south. Here a whole fleet of the largest vessels can ride at anchor. Defensive works protect the entrance to the bay.

Simon’s Town dates from the close of the 17th century, the town and bay being named after Simon van der Stell, governor of the Cape in 1679–1699. It was at Simon’s Town that the first British landing in Cape Colony was made by General Sir James Craig in 1795. About 1810 the bay was selected as the base for the South African squadron, Table Bay being abandoned for that purpose in consequence of its exposed position.

Simony, an offence, defined below, against the law of the church. The name is taken from Simon Magus (q.v.). In the canon law the word bears a more extended meaning than in English law. “Simony according to the canonists,” says Ayliffe in his Parergon, “is defined to be a deliberate act or a premeditated will and desire of selling such things as are spiritual, or of anything annexed unto spirituals, by giving something of a temporal nature for the purchase thereof; or in other terms it is defined to be a commutation of a thing spiritual or annexed unto spirituals by giving something that is temporal.” An example of the offence occurs as early as the 3rd century in the purchase of the bishopric of Carthage by a wealthy matron for her servant, if the note to Gibbon (vol. ii. p. 457) is to be believed. The offence was prohibited by many councils, both in the East and in the West, from the 4th century onwards. In the Corpus juris canonici the Decretum (pt. ii. cause i. quest. 3) and the Decretals (bk. v. tit. 3) deal with the subject. The offender, whether simoniacus (one who had bought his orders) or simoniace promotus (one who had bought his promotion), was liable to deprivation of his benefice and deposition from orders if a secular priest,—to confinement in a stricter monastery if a regular. No distinction seems to have been drawn between the sale of an immediate and of a reversionary interest. The innocent simoniace promotus was, apart from dispensation, liable to the same penalties as though he were guilty. Certain matters were simoniacal by the canon law which would not be so regarded in English law, e.g. the sale of tithes, the taking of a fee for confession, absolution, marriage or burial, the concealment of one in mortal sin or the reconcilement of an impenitent for the sake of gain, and the doing homage for spiritualities. So grave was the crime of simony considered that even infamous persons could accuse of it. English provincial and legatine constitutions continually assailed simony. Thus one of the heads in Lyndewode (bk. v.) is, “Ne quis ecclesiam nomine dotalitatis transfer at vel pro praesentatione aliquid accipiat.” In spite of all the provisions of the canon law it is well established that simony was deeply rooted in the medieval church. Dante places persons guilty of simony in the third bolgia of the eighth circle of the Inferno:—

“O Simon mago, O miseri seguaci,
        Che le cose di Dio che di bontate
        Deono esser spose, voi rapaci
Per oro e per argento adulterate.”—Inf. xix. I.

The popes themselves were notorious offenders. In the canto just cited Pope Nicholas III. is made by the poet the mouthpiece of the simoniacs. He is supposed to mistake the poet for Boniface VIII., whose simoniacal practices, as well as those of Clement V., are again alluded to in Par. xxx. 147. At a later period there was an open and continuous sale of spiritual offices by the Roman curia which contemporary writers attacked in the spirit of Dante. A pasquinade against Alexander VI. begins with the lines—

“Vendit Alexander claves, altaria, Christum.
        Emerat ille prius; vendere jure potest.”

Machiavelli calls luxury, simony and cruelty the three dear friends and handmaids of the same pope[1] The colloquy of Erasmus De sacerdotiis captandis bears witness to the same state of things. And, best proof of all, numerous decisions as to what is or is not simony are to be found in the reported decisions of the Roman rota[2] That part of the papal revenue which consisted of first-fruits (primitiae or annates) and tenths (decimae) must have been theoretically simoniacal in its origin. In England this revenue was annexed to the crown by Henry VIII. and restored to the church by Queen Anne (see Queen Anne’s Bounty).

For the purposes of English law simony is defined by Blackstone as the corrupt presentation of any person to an ecclesiastical benefice for money, gift or reward. The offence is one of purely ecclesiastical cognizance, and not punishable by the criminal law. The penalty is forfeiture by the offender of any advantage from the simoniacal transaction, of his patronage by the patron, of his benefice by the presenter; and now by the Benefices Act 1892, a person guilty of simony is guilty of an offence for which he may be proceeded against under the Clergy Discipline Act 1892. An innocent clerk is under no disability, as he might be by the canon law. Simony may be committed in three ways—in promotion to orders, in presentation to a benefice, and in resignation of a benefice. The common law (with which the canon law is incorporated, as far as it is not contrary to the common or statute law or the prerogative of the crown) has been considerably modified by statute. Where no statute applies to the case, the doctrines of the canon law may still be of authority. Both Edward VI. and Elizabeth promulgated advertisements against simony. The Act of 31 Eliz. c. 6 was intended to reach the corrupt patron as well as the corrupt clerk, the ecclesiastical censures apart from the statute not extending to the case of a patron. The first part of the act deals with the penalties for election or resignation of officers of churches, colleges, schools, hospitals, halls and societies for reward. The second part of the act provides that if any person or persons, bodies politic and corporate, for any sum of money, reward, gift, profit or benefit, directly or indirectly, or for or by reason of any promise, agreement, grant, bond, covenant or other assurances of or for any sum of money, &c., directly or indirectly present or collate any person to any benefice with cure of souls, dignity, prebend or living ecclesiastical, or give or bestow the same for or in respect of

  1. See Roscoe, Life of Leo X., vol. i. p. 463.
  2. Compare the fine distinctions drawn by the casuists and attacked by Pascal in the twelfth of the Provincial Letters.