Regium Donum

Regium Donum a sum of money annually allowed by government to dissenting ministers. It originated in a donation, made in the way of royal bounty, by George II, in the year 1723, consisting of £500, to be paid out of the treasury, for assisting first of all the widows, and afterwards either ministers or their widows, who wanted help. The first motion for it was made by Mr. Daniel Burgess, who had for some time been secretary to the princess of Wales, and was approved by lord Townshend, secretary of state, and Sir Robert Walpole, chancellor of the exchequer, who entered readily into the measure because the Dissenters proved themselves very friendly to the house of Brunswick, and he wished to reward them for their loyalty. When the money was paid, a strict charge was given that the matter should be kept very secret. Some few years after, the sum was raised to £850 half-yearly; and at present, though no longer a regium donunm, it is still annually granted by Parliament, amounting to about £5000, but including the relief granted to "Poor French refugee clergy, poor French Protestant laity, and sundry small charitable and other allowances to the poor of St. Martin's-in- the-Fields, and others."

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