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HOUSE OF LORDS.—THURSDAY,…
HOUSE OF LORDS.—THURSDAY, MAY 10. The Advances and Repayments of Advances to Distressed Unions (Ireland) Bill, was read a third time and passed. The report on the Prevention of Sunday Trading Bill, was brought up and received. Their lordships then adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.—THURSDAY,…
HOUSE OF COMMONS.—THURSDAY, MAY 16. FRANCE AND ENGLAND. In reply to Mr. Milner Gibson, ILofd P\LMEKSTON stated that the dispute between the British and Greek Governments had been altogether settled, and although the arbitration of France had proved nugatory, by accident, he trusted that no misunderstanding between the two countries would result from that circumstance.
THE PROTECTIONIST MEETING…
THE PROTECTIONIST MEETING AT,THE CROWN AND ANCHOR. Mr. F. O'CONNOR, after observing that there ought to be the same law for the rich as for the poor, inquired whether Govern- ment intended to prosecute any of the speakers at the late Pro- tectionist meeting at the Crown and Anchor. Sir G. GREY declined to answer the question. The House then went into committee on the Life Policies of Assurance Bill, which was opposed by Sir F. Thesiger, and who moved that the chairman should leave the chair without asking leave to sit again. On a division this motion was carried by a majority of 69 to 66, and the bill is consequently lost. The committal of the Public Libraries and Museums Bill was proceeded with. The House, after a division had been moved by Mr. Divett, then went into committee on the MarriagesvBill. '• The second reading of the Court of Prerogative (Ireland) Bill was moved by Mr. KEOGH, but opposed on account of the lateness of the hour (nearly one o'clock), and Mr. REYNOLDS moved the adjournment of the debate, which, after considerable discussion, was carried to a division, and negatived by 91 to 34:. Mr. REYNOLDS repeated his attempt to postpone the debate by moving that the House should adjourn. On a division, there appeared, Fortheadjournment. 2U, Against ?75 A third division took place on a motion for the adjournment ot the debate by Col. CHATTERTON, which was negatived by 83 to 20-63. A fourth division was moved and called for, but, on a suggestion from Sir G. GREY, Mr. KEOGH consented to withdraw his motion for the second reading of the bill, upon the understanding that it was to be placed upon the paper for the following evening. The House adjourned at twenty minutes past two,
HOUSE OF LORDS.—FRIDAY, MAY…
HOUSE OF LORDS.—FRIDAY, MAY 17. The royal assent was given to the Distressed Union Advances (Ireland) Bill, the Brick Duties Repeal Bill, and seventeen other bills, principally of a private nature. The Parish Constables Bill was read a third time and passed. Lord BROUGHAM then called the attention of the House to the recall of the French ambassador. After an explanation from the Marquis of LONDONDERRY, their lordships adjourned till Monday week.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.—FRIDAY,…
HOUSE OF COMMONS.—FRIDAY, MAY 17. In answer to Mr. DISRAELI, Lord J. RUSSELL explained the circumstances which had given rise to the recall of the French ambassador. Lord J. RUSSELL then moved for leave to bring in a bill to abolish the Viceroyalty of Ireland and create a new secretaryship of state for the administration of Irish affairs. The ultimate accomplishment of this step, he explained, had been intended ever since the appointment of the Earl of Clarendon to the Lord- Lieutenancy, and was postponed only until the condition of the country appeared to warrant it. Briefly referring to the course pursued with Scotland after her union, and to the reasons which were alleged for maintaining the Irish viceroyalty during the reign of, £ r«ofgfe IM., he argued that analogy and facts showed the time for its abolition to have arrived. The noble lord proceeded to detail the advantages that would arise from the proposed altera- tion. For the purposes of Government the inconvepiepee was greatly felt of the want of oral communication between the Irish executive and the other departments of administration, and of the waiting for replies by letter to all questions respecting Irish affairs that might be asked in Parliament, To Ireland herself the ad- vantage would be still greater of having a responsible minister at the seat of the general government, and present in the imperial legislature. The position of the viceroy in that part of the United ■ Kingdom was exceedingly anomalous. He was petitioned, ap- pealed to, and blamed on all sides, yet left without the power appertaining to his state. He had the semblance, but not the immunity of regal dignity; the responsibility, but not the freedom of action, of a minister of the crown. The diff-itulties of their position had been severely felt by successive viceroys, and had re- sulted in outrage and insult to the Marquis Wellesley, Lord Had- dington, the Earl of Anglesea, and the Marquis of Normanby. Nor was the preservation of the office accompanied by any retlex of royalty in Ireland. Viceregal levees tended to hide, rather than to exalt the splendour of the throne. Finally the removal of the functions of Government from Dublin to London would re- move the stimulus and lessen the virulence of religious and poli- tical discordances. Prefacing the details with the announcement that a residence would be kept up for the Queen in the Phcenix- park, where the loyal reception given to her Majesty last year would induce her to repeat her visit at all convenient times, Lord J. Russell stated that the bill he was asking leave to bring in would enact, that the Queen might at any time thereafter issue an order in council for the abolition of the Lord-Lieutenancy, and would confer powers to appoint a fourth Secretary of State for the responsible administration of the Irish executive government. Adding a variety of explanations regarding the minor functions of the official establishments to be created in London or retained in Dublin, he stated that the contemplated change would effect some saving in expenditure, though the inevitable superannuations must at first diminish the amount of economy, and the first cost of the transfer might even necessitate a vote of money from Parliament. The bill was opposed by Messrs. GRATTAN, GROGAN, M. O'CONNELL, Sir L. O'BRIEN, REYNOLDS, DISRAELI, LAWLESS, Got. SIBTHORPE, and DUNN and supported by Messrs. FAGAN, B. OSBDRNE, Humg, and J. O'CONNELL. On a division there ntinpared- For leave to bring in the bill 170 Against 17—153 On the motion for going into committee of supply, Mr. HUME moved the adjournment of the House, objecting to Vote away any money after midnight. The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER explained that the votes Were only for small sums, on account, to carry ou certain ser- vices during the brief recess. Col. SIBTHORPE, with some general observations regarding extravagance and ministerial misdoings, supported the motion for the adjournment. The motion was at length withdrawn and the House having resolved itself into committee, the required votes were taken. The House adjourned at two o'clock until Thursday next.
THE NEW HOUSE OF COMMONS.—With the view of testing the Capabilities of the New House of Commons, the Wednesday's sittings are to be held there after the Whitsuntide recess. A ballot has taken place for the choice of seats to be occupied by the reporters for the several daily papers. It was, stated by ^Ir, Greene, on Friday night, that the new building will be ready for the reception of members next week; but whether they will take possession must depend upon the weather, as the warming and ventilating arrangements are not complete. I'hese arrangements are on Mr. Barry's plan, and not on that luf Dr. Reid. ICEBERGS IN THE ATLANTIC.—Intelligence was received at Lloyd's on Saturday by the Mary, Captain Haguet, just arrived at Bristol, from Newfoundland, of an enormous tield of ice, upwards 6f 150 miles in length, floating in the Atlantic, about the parallel °flatitude 46. The Mary was entangled for several days amongst the icebergs, some of which were more than 200 yards high out of water, and escaped from amongst them with extreme difficulty. t the time several other vessels were beset, and it is strongly feared that as the ice lies in the direct track of vessels crossing the Atlantic, some serious disaster will be caused. This early drifting -Qf ice from the Polar seas is considered extremely favourable to the expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin and his brave com-
ABERCARN AND GWYTHEN COLLIERIES.
ABERCARN AND GWYTHEN COLLIERIES. (Abridged from the Morning CAroMMJe.) The Abercarn and Gwythen Collieries are situated in the narrow and picturesque valley of the Ebbw, at a point distant a few miles from the outcrop of the seams/' on the south- eastern border of the great Welsh coal-field. They are the property of Sir Benjamin Hall, who owns an extensive tract, comprising farm, wood, and mountain lands, everywhere underlaid with minerals in this district. Fully alive to the enormities of" truck," and to the various other evils existing iamongst the surrounding sea-coal collieries, Sir Benjamin was desirous of forming upon his property a large colliery, which might become the germ of a sounder and more humane system in this neighbourhood-an establishment where the workmen should enjoy their inalienable right of being paid, at short and regular intervals, ;in cash-where they might have every appliance needed for the preservation of life and health-and where their domestic comfort, their intellectual improvement, and the education of their children, should be anxiously studied and liberally provided for. This wish he has seen abundantly gratified; and it must be a most pleasing reflection to him that there exists on his property, in the centre of a district where the well-being of the workman is shamefully neglected, and where truck" is rife, a colliery having a con- tented, industrious, temperate, thriving, and improving popu- lation-where, but for his exertions and those of the company to whom he has leased the collieries, there would have existed the same unhappiness, discontent, embarrassment, dependence, and slavery, which I have already described as disgracing the neighbouring coal-works. The ride from Newport to Abercarn lies through varied and interesting scenery, The distance is eleven miles. At first the ascent is steep for about a mile. Arrived at the summit of the hill, if you look back, a grand panoramic prospect lies out- spread before you. In front, at the extreme distance, rise the bold and wavy outlines of the Mendips; stretching down to the distant horizon on the right are the diminishing undula- tions of the Quantock hills. On the left, in swelling masses, are the heights of the Forest of Dean; and still further east- ward the Graig and Blorenge, at the extremity of that magni- ficent chain, the Black Mountains," Running across the picture, and separating the Somersetshire from the Monmouth- shire coast, lies the Bristol Channel, expanding westward in' its course, and seeming to mingle with the sky beyond the rocky islands called The Flat and Steep Holmes. Nume- rous vessels, of, every size and denomination,' bound for various destinations, up, down, and across the Channel, impart life and interest to the sea-view. Two lines of these are distinctly traceable one stretching from the mouth of the Bristol, the other from that of the Newport river. Still nearer the fore- ground is a fine breadth of cultivated land and salt-marsh, through which winds lazily the yellow Usk while at the foot of the hill stands the busy, wealthy, and rapidly-extending town of Newport, with its docks and forest of shipping, its canals, railways, bridges, and churches, and its handsome streets stretching far upwards towards the point at which you stand. In the year 1791 Newport was a mere village, contain- ing only 75$persons, and having an insignificant trade in coal (it amounted to just 6,939 tons), carried on by means of mules. The following year saw the opening of the Monmouthshire Canal, by which the minerals could be conveyed in any quan- tity, with speed and facility, from the collieries to the wharfs for exportation; and from that time the town dates its prosperity. Passing over the several causes which, in the interval between that and the present year, have contributed to increase the trade of Newport, I Will content myself in this place, for brevity's sake, with remarking that the population now numbers some 20,000, and that the quantity of coal sent coastwise and exported in the year 1848, as shown by a Par- liamentary return, is not less than 554,10? tons. Resuming our journey to Abercarn, after passing through the strictly-preserved estate of Sir Charles Morgan, and cross- ing a bleak but well-cultivated tract of land, we enter upon the valley through which flows the swift-rushing and noisy Ebbw. The hill sides are precipitous, and, for the most part, agreeably clothed with wood, In the flat besides the river are some watery meadows, interspersed here and there with alders. Following the devious r6ad along the bank of the river, you soon enter upon the coal- field. I Its boundary is recognisable by a cliff of the red sand-stone (which material always underlies the mineral) appearing through an oak wood on the right hand. The evidences of an extensive traffic are now visible on all sides. Long trains of trams, dragged by powerful locomotives, pass downwards, laden with coal—or upwards, to be refilled at the collieries—in rapid and frequent succession. The trade on the canal, though less noisy and less active, goes steadily forward, and claims its share of attention. Presently you pass some tin-works, and, I believe, some chemical works after which the road leads under a viaduct of many arches, extends ing across the valley and the river, the beauty of which reminds the spectator of the noble aqueducts of Italy, one of which, as I have been informed, served as its model. The extensive, collieries of Mr. Russell are now seen occupying a favourable position on the left baok of the Ebbw. Yet a few miles fur- ther, through larch groves and amidst beautiful scenery-azid- the place of our destination is attained. Here I met Mr. Ebenezer Rogers, the resident director of the company who work these collieries. He obligingly conducted me over the works and through the residences of the men. To this gentleman belongs the praise due to the complete and admirable arrangements everywhere visible throughout this extensive concern. Possessing a mind enlarged by liberal views, and animated with a fervent desire to improve the con- dition of the labourer-a task for which the experiences of travel through the various mineral districts of the Continent and America, with the purpose of studying their several cha- racteristics, eminently fitted him-this gentleman has founded in Abercarn a happy, industrious, and prosperous colony. The wisdom of confiding the managemeiit of an undertaking of this magnitude to such a man, and of supplying him with ample means for carrying out his ideas, has been proved by the fact that the company, after several years' trial, have been very successful. Indeed, I may say here, that, complete and liberal as are the provisions made for the well-being of the workmen and their families at these collieries, they have never entrenched upon, nor in the slightest degree endangered, the legitimate profits of capital. So far, indeed, from this having been the case, the balance, I was assured, is in favour of capital. And I can well believe that uniformly steady conduct on the part of the men, which at these collieries can with certainty be calculated upon, together with superior intelligence-a result ensured by their training here-would give the proprietors an advantage over others, having a discontented, mutinous, and dissolute set of men in their employ, more especially at seasons when a sudden and extraordinary demand for coal exists at the shipping ports—a circumstance of not unfrequent occur- rence. The collieries stand on the right and left hand of the road on the south side of Abercarn. The pit to the right is on the Mynyddysllwyn or red ash" measures, and is worked at a depth of seventy yards that to the left works the iron-stone vein in the" white ash" measures. The former yields bitumi- nous coal for household purposes and the distillation of gas- the latter a strong and enduring coal, which gives out an in- tense heat, and is largely used for steam purposes. Its supe- riority has been officially acknowledged by its free adoption in her Majesty's steam navy. The first circumstance which struck me at these collieries was the total absence of the noise and bustle usually character- istic of such establishments. At each colliery I entered the house in which work the powerful engines which raise the coal and pump the water from the pits. The ponderous machinery (entirely designed and erected by Mr. Rogers) was in the finest condition imaginable it worked without the slightest percep- tible jar or vibration, and with all that delicate precision and gracefulness of motion which are indicative of the most perfect design and faultless workmanship. The arrangements for the prevention of accidents at the mouth of the pits were new to me they seemed quite effective for this purpose. The organ- isation of duties and the subdivision of labour are here so judi- cious th'at from four to five hundred tons of coal are sometimes raised daily, without hurry, noise, or confusion. All goes on quietly, orderly, yet vigorously. From the collieries the trains, as they leave the pits; pass to an inclined plane, which they descend; and, by means of machinery at the lower end, they deposit their stores of coal unbroken on the wharf, whence a single motion places them on the rail for Newport. I visited the counting-houses, the carpentery and smithery, and the turning and model house," where every provision had been made for executing work soundly and with celerity. Lastly, I visited the 11 head office," where I found engineers engaged j upon designs for machinery, and in mapping the underground excavations. Beautiful sectional diagrams of the strata, and costly maps, showing with geometrical accuracy the true lines and bearing of every horse-way, cross-heading, stall, and waste in the workings below, were unrolled and spread out before me. Scattered around, in various directions, were curious spe- cimens of fossil plants, impressed upon the shale of the coal measures, and here collected fo? scientific purposes. On leaving, I could not forbear expressing my gratification at the very complete arrangements I had witnessed—acknow- ledging that, of the various collieries;! had visited in the course of this inquiry, I had seen none to compare With those of the Aberparn and Gwythen Cola^ahy. We next proceeded to the workmen's houses, which for the most part, if not indeed entirely, were built by the company, and remain their property. Mr. Rogers's first care, on com- mencing this new town-for such it is-was to provide an effective deep sewerage, for-which the elevated situation of the ground afforded acceptable facilities. This done; the houses were erected. They are two stories high, consist of four rooms, and stand in double rows, having a wide street, properly drained, between them. They have privies and receptacles for house- refe; and each is furnished with a coal-bunker, where the week's supply is regularly delivered and stowed away. On entering the houses I found the rooms lofty, with ceilings, and having, below stairs, floors of flag-stone and convenient fire. Maces. The windows were all furnished with ventilators. I found the houses extremely clean, and in most cases orderly; and on complimenting a woman for these virtues, she replied, Ay, sir, there is some encouragement for work in such houses as these; they almost keep themselves clean, the floors are so good." Coal ashes and rubbish are removed daily, at the ex- pense of the company, I observed in these houses the same disposition on the part of their inhabitants to accumulate showy and good furniture, which I have described as existing amongst the workmen in the iron-works at Merthyr. The houses were literally crammed with furniture, and the walls were bedecked with a profusion of coloured prints and lithographs. From the houses, I went to the public bakehouse," where I found a number of women making up their dough for the oven., This bakehouse is provided for the use of the workmen's fam lies, free of charge, the company finding attendants, fuel, and every requisite. I was next led to a range of very convenient public baths and wash-houses, also provided gratuitously by the company for the use of their dependants. Public urinals and privies for the general accommodation of the town are also built and kept in order at the expense of the company. .With sanitary arrangements so complete, the reader will not be surprised to learn that the cholera, though it ravaged col- lieries on all sides, found no resting-place in Abercarn. I be- lieve not a single case occurred in the neighbourhood. Having thus described the very complete arrangements gene- rously and humanely provided for the health, comfort, and convenience of the working classes at Abercarn, I have next toi specify the opportunities for intellectual gratification and improvement which the wisdom of their employers has laid open to them. And first I must notice the Abercara Scien- tific Institution." At night I visited the reading room of the institution. The curate of the parish, a proprietor ef some neighbouring- tin works, and Mr. Jonathan Rogers, formed the visiting attend- ants on duty. I there saw some fifty workmen, well-dressed, clean, and orderly; some amusing themselves after the day's labour with the recreation of reading, and others practising writing. I examined the copy-book of one of these adult scho- lars. The man informed me with a smile of pride, on my praising his performance, that he was 43 years of age, and had learnt to write in the institution. On looking at the titles of the works then in request, I found one man reading a His- tory of India," another a book of voyages and travels, and the third a magazine. When I saw this, and remembered a remark before made to me that Mr. Rogers exercised a discrimination in his choice of workmen, giving character its due preference (which, I am sorry to say, is not generally so much considered as it should be by masters in the collieries and iron works), I ceased to wonder at the paucity of public-houses, in proportion to inha- bitants, which I had noticed in Abercarn. That craving after excitement which forms an element of the human mind, and which must be satisfied, I here found ministered to in a man- ner at once harmless and elevating, while the family at home were absolutely benefited by such a disposal of the workman's leisure for the man who reads good books can hardly fail to become gentler and kinder, a good husband, and a good father. If any one should object that these arrangements are not en- during—that they charm chiefly by their novelty, and are in- sufficient to fix permanently the liking of the workman (as I have heard some contend), the answer is, that though the system has now been in operation a long time, there is no fall- ing off in the attendance; nor in the interest expressed by the members. The reverse is rather the case. No doubt the variety of the lectures, debates, new books, and concerts (for they have these also) which are from time to time provided, tends in no inconsiderable degree to keep alive interest, and to divert men from sensual and degrading indulgences; and, for judiciously studying their alternation of amusements, great praise is due to Mr. Jonathan Rogers and the other managing visitors, who have never allowed the succession of these intel- lectual exercises to suffer interruption, or even to flag. I next visited and inspected the schools. The company's school is held in rather a small, but a thoroughly ventilated room, well furnished with maps, diagrams, and all the needful appliances for scholastic discipline. Both sexes were gathereh in the same room, the girls occupying the desks and forms nearest the master, I understand that better school accommo- dation is in preparation. I found all the children neatly dressed* clean, and 'well behaved. Like most Welsh children, they had finis open and intelligent countenances. The master (Mr. Jones) appeared proud of his charge; and spoke highly of their capacity for learning. The system followed is that of the Welsh normal school, with some slight alterations which the experi- ence of the master has suggested. The number of children on the books is 65, but the attendance when I called was 45; this decrease was accounted for on the ground of the inclemency of the; weather. The boys were called into class, and exercised on mental arithmetic; they astonished me by the quickness and accuracy of their calculations. The entire school then sung the Multiplication" table, and the Addition of Money" table, in verse after this they were marched round the school- room, and practised in exercises of the hands and arms. Two girls then sang for me The Death of Llewellyn," in Welsh this was followed by the beautiful song, II Hedyddlon j" and the National Anthem" closed this pleasing exhibition of the school-room. But thanks to the beneficence of Lady Hall, the above is not the only educational establishment in Abercarn. Her ladyship has established a school in which 40 children of poor Welsh parents are received as free scholars, and provided with a sound and useful education. When I inspected this school there were 80 children upon the books. The average attend- ance was 60. The system adopted is one devised by her lady- ship, and comes nearer, perhaps, to Chambers' Educational Course" than any other. Children come from a considerable distance in the surrounding country to enjoy the benefits of this school; and in my subsequent excursions through some neighbouring farms to inquire into the state of the agricultural labourers, I heard in more than one place grateful allusion made to her ladyshtp for her beneficence and liberality in esta- blishing and supporting this school. Those children who are not on the free list pay from 2d. to Gd. a week, according to their age and position. No distinction whatever is made be- tween the free scholars and those who pay. The Welsh aad English languages are both taught. The children learn reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, singing, and the rudi- ments of geography. I was particularly struck with the specimens of writing which the master pointed out to me as the result of the day's lesson. As late as eight in the evening I visited the singing class, where I found a large number of young people, including several married men and their wives, practising chorus singing. They were all neatly dressed, and seemed to enjoy themselves very heartily. They were led by an elderly miner, who had a fair knowledge of music; he gave the time, whenever a change was marked, with great emphasis and accuracy, and conducted with confidence and spirit. The class sang for me Spofforth's animated old glee, Hail Smiling Morn," Webbe's Glorious Apollo," and one or two others. After this I was gratified with an example of Welsh Penillion singing, with the substi- tution of a violin for a harp-which latter instrument was not at command. It was in Welsh, and took the form of dialogue, the contention being between a young girl and a middle-aged bachelor—the former advocating matrimony and decrying the single life, while the latter defended celibacy and attacked the married state. As may be supposed, the lady came off victo- rious, and the gentleman was too happy to be convinced by the united force of beauty and wit. Preparations were in progress that evening for a public concert, which was to take place in a fortnight's time. The following day I descended into the pits, where I saw and questioned the men at their work. This appears to be the proper place to state the arrangements existing between the employers and the workmen in these collieries. In a former letter on the Strike at Aberdare," I alluded with censure to the loose, unsatisfactory, and informal contracts made between these parties in many of the sea coal collieries of South Wales. That objection does not apply to these works. Here everything is rendered clear and definite. The workman before he enters the pit has delivered to him a printed form of the contract he makes, and the rules he must abide by. The competition that exists on all sides to obtain employment in these collieries forms the best evidence of the high estimation in which all the arrangements made by this company are regarded by the working classes in the neighbourhood. A draw," or payment in ash, is made to the workmen every Friday evening, so that thSir wives may go money in hand to market every Saturday; and at the end of every month a statement of his account, with ant balance thafihay be due upon it, is handed to each work- man, Each man ia required to contribute at the rate of 6d, in the pound of his earnings to the "works fund"-of which one- half is applied to the payment of the doctor of the works, for attendance during the illness of such workman or any member of his family, and the other half is used as a" relief fund" for his support during accident or illness. The works fund is managed by a committee of workmen elected from the general body. A number of visiting inspectors, consisting also of workmen, are appointed, whose duty it is to see that the reliefs fund is properly distributed, and that none but such as are in- capable shall receive its benefits, A long printed list of the rules and regulations for the management of the workmen'& sick fund now lies before me. They have evidently been maturely considered, and they have proved most efficacious in practice. This system of self-government, in the instance of the doctor's and sick fund, has been found, according to the-state- ment of Mr. Rogers, to work most beneficially. It at once flatters and gratifies the workman to have the control of a fund, created compulsorily from his own labour, which in other places is administered by strangers. I have shown that in the iron works no account is rendered of the expenditure of this fund; a circumstance which affords an opportunity for ill- natured remarks, though there can be no doubt that, in those places, the whole proceeds are honestly expended. Here the men have the distribution of the entire fund a fixed amount is set spart for the doctor, and the remainder is watched over with the most jealous care-so that skulkers and idlera have not here the chance of living, as they do in places where no such wholesome supervision exists at the expense of the honest and industrious labourer. The first pit I descended was the "Rock Vein Pit," whiih has a depth of 210 feet. The red ash" coal is there raised, I traversed the workings, which are very extensive, throughout. They were spacious, dry, and thoroughly ventilated. So clear and direct is the drift way for the passage of air through the workings from the downcast to the upcast shaft, that all neces- sity for artificial ventilation is unnecessary. T pit effectually purifies itself by natural means. The heat of the mine, by rarefying the air, causes a smart current of dense and cold air to enter the pit by the downcast shaft. The action, once set up, continues, and is abundantly sufficient in pits where no interruption to the flood of this ventilating current takes place, nor any break in the circuit. In this pit I recognised the leader of a singing-class I had visited over-night cutting a horse-way. He expressed himself thoroughly happy in his employment, and tfhankful for the benefits the company had conferred on the enffefi body of workmen in their employ. I found these senti- ments everywhere prevalent where I made inquiry. In this pit I was gratified by an inspection of the richfewsil Flora,of Mynyddyslwyn coal measures. Everywhere impressed upon the shale, with wonderful distinctness and minuteness, were splendid specimens of the vegetation of a former world. These have a brilliant jet-black surface, and relieved by the dull slate- coloured rock upon which they are flattened, they form ex- tremely interesting objects for examination. Gigantic ferns, and broad-leafed waterflags, lepidodendra, with their curious bamboo joints, stigmaria, calamites, and a host of the tribe juncacta, were visible'upon the roof of the mine in every direction. I saw also, in three or four places, what the miners term I I bells." These are fossil trees, resting with their roots upon the coal, the stems remaining upright, as they grew, and encased in rock. The bark, in every instance, has been con- verted into coal, while the heart of the tree, by the mysterious process of fossilization, has changed to stone. These trees run from a foot to 18 inches at the base. The lower part of the trunk being something wider than the upper, and the connexion with the surrounding rock cut off by the thin layer of coal which occupies the place of bark, these trees often slip down into horseways or cross-headings, and serious injury has oc- curred to men and animals by coming into contact with them in the darkness of the mine. To lessen the probability of these accidents, the miners when they find such a tree, generally cut away the base as far as they can reach with their" picks," which gives the hollow thus made in the roof the ap pearance of the inside of a bell—hence, I presume, the name. I then descended the White Ash" steam coal-pit, where found the same perfect arrangements for the protection of life and health, and heard the same expressions of satisfaction, and thankfulness on the part of the workmen, as in the workings I h d just left. The depth cf the pit is 420 feet. I must not omit to notice a plan here adopted for steadying the descent of the cage, which I believe is peculiar to these works (I have not seen it elsewhere), and which may be adopted in other collieries with the best effect. Instead of the hempen or wire rope usually employed, they use here a line of railway irons laid vertically and pinned securely to the bratticing and side of the shaft; a proper shaped groove in the cage, which is kept well greased, traverses the rail, and the effect is to impart greater smoothness and steadiness than are obtainable by the old-fashioned system. Here I close my notice of the Abercarn and Gwythen col- lieries. I have called these works a model colliery," and T hope the reader will approve the title. Certainly if he had seen, as I have, the lamentable neglect 6f the happiness, com- fort, and well-being of the workmen and their families, which is evinced in too many of the Welsh collieries, he would agree with me that a lesson may profitably be taken by their propri- etors from these works.
SUDDEN DEATH OF GENEUAL SIR JAMES SUTHERLAND.—On Saturday, Mr. Wakley, M. P., held an inquest on Major-General Sir James Sutherland, E. 1. C., at the gallant officer's late residence, No. 8, Upper Cumberland-street, Marylebone. T e l deceased, who was in his 66th year, and has seen much service, invited a large dinner and evening party on last Wednesday, in celebration of her Majesty's birthday. Some of the compa y had arrived, and the gallant general was in the act of giving orders respecting the wine to the butler, when he fell insensible to the ground. Dr. Edwards was in immediate attendance, but ali efforts to save life were unavailing. Upon an autopsy of the body been made, nine ounces of clotted bluod were found in the region of the heart; the kidneys were also diseased.. Verdict— Deceased died of disease of the heart." SUDDEN DEATH OF A CLERGYMAN.-On Friday morning an- event of an extraordinary and melancholy description took place in the parish church of Ashtou-under-Lyne. The vener- able Archdeacon Rushton held his annual court in the church for the admission of churchwardens and sidesmen elected at the recent Easter vestries. Among the wardens wlre, those from Cocker-hill chapel. The congregation and office-bearers of the church and their pastor, the Rev. Mr. France, have long been estranged, and there had been a contest again for church- wardens, the ratepayers selecting one and the pastor another. This brought Mr. France to the Archdeacon's Court. The archdeacon decided in favour of admitting the minister's warden, and Mr. France thus triumphed over his opponents.. The triumph of the unfortunate gentleman, however, was of momentary duration: the instant after the archdeacon had announced his decision, Mr. France sunk down on the floor of the church, and expired before any assistance could be obtained. The cause of his death is supposed to have been apoplexy. SIR JOHN Ross's ARCTIC EXPEDITION.—LAUNCH OF THE FELI*. —The schooner selected by Captain John Ross to proceed to the Arctic regions in search of Sir John Franklin and his companions, was launched from the ship-building yard of Messrs. Sloan and Gemmell, Glasgow, on Friday forenoon. To answer the tidal current, half-past nine o'clock was appointed for the interesting ceremony, but long before that time hundreds of people thronged both sides of the harbour, Fort Green fronting the river- indeed. every place commanding a view of the building yard. As delay was deemed necessary, group after group—men, women, and children, and all gtades of society—pressed onward to the scene regardless of the rain that fell incessantly in torrents, accompanied.. by a pretty high wind. All seemed to view the launch not so much for the simple ceremony, but for the object contemplated in the expedition-the rescue of the gallant Franklin and associates from the ice-bound regions of the far north. About ten o'clock, Sir John, accompanied by Mrs. Nicholson, of Barns, came withia the palisades, erected at the bows of the schooner to prevent the pressure of the spectators; and was respectfully saluted by a large circle of ladies and gentlemen. Mr. Smith, overseer of the yard, having given the signal to his men, the fastenings of the craft were speedily removed, and, as Miss Gemmell, of Whitehill, threw the bottle of wine upon the bow, and pronounced-the name of Felix, the schooner gently glided from the slip into the water. The Felix was conducted into her berth at the foot of the building- yard, where she is at present receiving her stores. These are calculated for two years' duration. She has laidlin 40 tons of Ayr hard coal, which are deemed most serviceable for the occasion. No day has been fixed for the departure of the expedition but it is probable the end of next week will clear it from the Western shores. Sir John will ride at anchor in Lochryan for two or three days, when he willtake his charts, &c., on board, from his residence, the north-west castle, Stranraer. Similar to the last occasion when he visited the Arctic regions, he thus will sail direct by the North Channel, and the Felix will be taken in tow by one of the Glasgow and Stranraer steamers till that point is reached. It is anticipated that Lady Franklin, will visit Stranraer to be present at Sir John's departure. All the members of the expedition— eommanders, surgeon, officers, and crew—have arrived in town, and are busy in making the necessary arrangemeuta to brave the Northern seas.
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rica, leaving the Rev. Mr. Dill in for the costs of the suit, the Synod should contribute some pecuniary aid, under the circumstances. The Westmeath Guardian mentions three cases of incen- diarism which took place in one parish of the county of Westmeath within the last few days. The shop of Marcus Babington at the Diamond, in Lon- ) donderry, was blown up by gunpowder on Sunday evening. A superintendent of police and another person were cou- rageous enough to enter the burning premises after the ex- plosion, and take out several canisters and paper parcels of gunpowder actually heated by the fire.