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Destructive Fire in Bute-street.

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Destructive Fire in Bute-street. One of those fires, as destructive, we regret to say, in its consequence, as it threatened, at one period, to be alarm- ing to a densely-populated neighbourhood, broke out on Thursday night, about half-past 10 o'clock, on the premises of Messrs. Brown and Son, ship-chandlers and general dealers. The family had retired to rest at their usual early hour, and all appeared in perfect safety. Two women who were passing the premises, first perceived smoke, and gave the alarm to t\Vo sailors, who had directly come up. These, upon a further examination of the premises, ascertained, beyond doubt, that a fire was raging within, and instantly routed up the inmate?. The family of Mr. Brown, perceiving the danger, got out of the premises as quickly as possible. Considerable delay took place before the shutters, which were fastened on the inside, could be got down. When taken off, the entire of the basement story was found to be in flames. These, from the nature of the combustible materials on the premises, spread with rapidity, and in a few minutes, the entire of the house was wrapt in one sheet of flame. They quickly spread to an adjoining house belonging to Mr. Brown, which was also destroyed. A fire-bell gave the alarm, and one of the borougn engines was on the spot with all possible expedition. Although a copious supply of water was at hand, yet from some mis- as to the manner the engine should be worked, it did not become available for a considerable time. It was then vigorously plied by crowds of persons, who were rather emulous in their contentions res meeting the di- rection of the pipes, &e., and thus not a little retarded the working of the engine. The flames at this period had got to It fcarfnllwight, antI illuminerl the atmophcre for a con- siderable distance round. About half-past twelve a second engine had arrived, and commenced playing apparently with little effect, as the fire had gained an ascendancy, which, considering the nature of the articles which supplied it, baffled all attempts to get it under. All hopes of saving the premises of Mr. Brown were abandoned, the engines, there- fore.commenced playing on the adjacent houses. One of them, an office belonging to Mr. Coffin, was partially de- stroyed. The whole of the stock, furniture, and books were completely destroyed. A troop of the 4th Dragoons were speedily on the spot, and were soon followed by a detach- ment of the 73rd foot, and effectively co-operated with the public, who, under the active superintendence of Mr. Stockdale, rendered all the assistance in their power to suppress the flames. Mr. Brown is understood to be partially insured in the Norwich Fire Office. The premises of Mr. Brown are extensive, the warehouse and dwelling- house adjoining which are entirely destroyed. MERTHYR. STATISTICS OF MERTHYR Happily, says the Times re- porter, getting rid of the subject of turnpikes, it may not be wholly interesting to your readers to describe the features of this seat of vast mineral wealth and creative industry. The town itself is a miserably, ill-built, dirty place but the popu- lation seem too busy to mind what their streets or houses are. It i-i built oil the face of bleak and abrupt hills, and the enormous mining operations and iion wcrks here carried on have heaped up around it grey and smoking mounds of ashes and dross. It is a-place where no one would live for. choice, except to make money, and in the brisk periods of the iron trade that was made in abundance. Now, however, the trade is as much depressed as it well can De from over- production. Still the Nvoi-k-peol)lc get tolerable w,,is(es, and are all employed. On the prosperity of this place depends in a great measure the agricultural prosperity of South Wales. There are four sets of ironworks here, belonging to different firms pf iron masters; connected with each of which are mines from which the ore is obtained, and collieries which supply the coal for smelting it. The heads of these firms are —Sir John Guest, Mr. Crawshay, Mr. Hill, and Alderman Thompson. At Sir John Guest's works there are 18 blast furnaces; at Mr. Crawshay's, 11 at Mr. Hill's, G; and at Alderman Thompson's, (i. It requires to work each of these furnaces, in coal mining, obtaining the ore, and manufacturing the iron, about 300 men. At Sir John Guest's, the most extensive of these works, over part of which I was politely shown, upwards of 5000 workpeople are employed in mining and at the 18 blast furnaces. Each of these furnaces (Sir John Guest's) consumes GO tons of coal in the night and day, or amongst them about 1,100 tons of coal per day. The day before I was there 1,028 tons of coal were consumed, and on Saturday 1,402 tons were consumed. The coal costs in getting 3s. 6d. to 3s. lOd. the ton. At these works, which are the largest in the world, about 1,100 tons of iron are manufactured each week. The firm ships annually about 60,000 tons of manufactured iron from the port of Cardiff. The present value of a ton of iron is about JE4. The wages paid by this firm at present amount to about £3,500 per week, or £ 14,000 per month. Formerly, when wages were higher, and the trade filoie brisk, the tinn has paid as much as £ 25,000 per month in wages. The wages the men get are now at the following rates :—Colliers about 15s. a week miners, 14s. firemen, 20s. on the average day labourers, 2s. a day carpenters, 2s. Od. smiths, 2s. lOd. fitters, 3s. 4d. This brief outline will give you some idea of the vast extent of these works. The firm has just completed a contract with the Russian Government to supply 30,000 tons of railway bars for the railway line now making between Moscow and St. Petersburgh. At this extensive firm the truck system is unknown, though this is far from being generally the case here. SUDDEN DEATH.—An awful instance of the uncertainty of human life occurred at Pcnydarran House, about one o'clock on Sunday last. Mary the wife of Philip Lewis, collier, having attended chapel in the morning, while in the act of preparing dinner, fell down and expired immediately. Mr. Williams, surgeon, was called in, and did everything that medical skill suggested, by bleeding, &c., but without success. An inquest was held upon the body, at the Red Gate, on Monday, before Mr. Thomas, deputy coroner, and a respectable jury, when a verdict of Died of Apoplexy was returned. STREETS, FILTH, AND DISEASE—We beg most partic- ularly to draw public attention to the dirty state of several streets in this town, especially Plymouth-street, which leads from the Railway station to the Britannia public-house. It has been represented to us that this street is filthy in the extreme, and requires the immediate attention of all those who value public health. Our worthy stipendiary magis- trate, chief constable, and superintendent of police, ought to go through the various streets of the town to see whether our complaints, and frequently those of many others, are well- founded or not. Is it any wonder that the scarlet-fever and other complaints are so prevalent and fatal among us ? Why do not the owners of houses provide accomodations for their tenants, instead of allowing them to throw their filth in the public streets, to the detriment of their own health and that of their neighbours 1 Were we unfortunately visited again with some pestilential scourge the authorities would be aroused. Why not rather prevent such calamity by due regard to draining, cleanliness, and ventilation 1 DRrN KENNESS.-A, human being, in the garb of a woman, was raised from one of the filthy gutters in this town on Monday evening, and was carried by the police to the lock- up house, until she can be recognised, and be capable of taking care of herself. The new police-station is under cover. INQUEST.—An inquest was held at the Sun Inn, Dowlais, on Tuesday, the 12th instant, before Mr. Thomas, deputy coroner, on the body of Wm. Humphrey, miner, who was killed by a mass of rubbish falling on him, while at work in one of the Dowlais levels, on the 9th inst. Verdict -11 A cci- dental death." On Thursday evening, two Carmartheushiie butter car- riers, were drinking together at the Bush Inn, Dowlais, named Jones and Davies. Jones, taking advantage ofDavies becoming intoxicated, managed to abstract from his pocket a purse containing £ 13, the proceeds of the sale of his butter. They soon after left the Bush together Davies had not proceeded far when he missed his money; thinking he may have left it at the Bush or some of the shops he had been selling at, he returned, accompanied by Jones, who pretended to assist him in searching for it. Suspicion, however, falling on him, he was taken into custody by Police Serjeant Wrenii, and on searching his cart, the purse with nearly all the money was found in a bag of oats. The following day he was taken before Sir J. J. Guest, Bart., at Dowlais, who committed him for trial at the next Glamorgan Quarter Sessions. The bell of Merthyr church has been ringing a mournful peal from the 13th to the 20th instant, in consequence of the lamented death of Mrs. Richards, the lady of E. L. Richards, Esq., barrister, of Aberaman House, Aberdare, and of Brewery House, Merthyr. F MERTHYR POLICE,—THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14. [Before T. W. Hill, Esq., and the Rev. C. Maybery.] John Herring, miner, of Dowlais, was summoned by Margaret Kirkhouse, for removing his goods in order to evade payment of rent, on the night of the 3rd instant. Ordered to pay rent due, 18s. D'lvid Davies, collier, of Merthyr, was charged by John George, also collier, of the same place, and Mary, his wife, with assaulting them on the llth instant. Allowed to settle the matter out of court. John Morgan, was summoned by Thomas Davies, both of Rhymney. The former, who is a steward of a certain benefit society, refused to pay the latter some sick allowance, which he claimed as a member, according to the rules of the society. Thomas Jones, was charged by David Lewis, roller, both of Penydarran, with assaulting him on the 8th inst. As it appeared a trivial one, the case was dismissed, and the costs divided between them. r TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19. ltletore T. \Y. hlilf, cfsquire.J David Edtcards, haulier, was fined 10s. and costs, for assaulting David Fisher, butcher, on the 18th instant-both of Merthyr. SWANSEA POLICE. A special meeting of the watch and ward committee was held at the Town-hall, Swansea, on Monday last, Starling Benson, Esq., mayor, in the chair, to investigate a charire preferred against the inspector of police, for refusing, on tho night of Wednesday, the 13th instant, to take bail in the case of one Charles Thomas, a seaman, who was taken up for drunkenness and disorderly conduct; also, for uncourte- ously ordering out of the station-house Mr. John Morgan Jones, perfumer, &c., Wind-street, whilst appealing there, ready and willing with any amount of bail for the said Chas. Thomas. From the evidence adduced in support of the charge, it appeared that on the Wednesday night in question, between ten and eleven o'clock, Mr. Jones was attracted by the cries of a man evidently in distress, in the direction of the Market-square. On coming up he found the seaman in the custody of. Lodwick, P.O. The man was crying bitterly, and said to the officer, Let me go; I am not drunk." Seeing the sailor cry so, he (Mr. Jones) intuitively felt an interest in his behalf, and followed both, the policeman and the prisoner to the station-house. After inquiring the nature of the charge, he respectfully offered bail for the man's appearance, and said he would also see the man on board safely. In reply he was accosted in strong language by the inspector, who said, If you will not go out of the station-house, I will lock you up in one minute." Al r. Jones then went outside, and asked if there were any ob- jections to treat with him there. Mr. Jones was again told by the inspector, Go home, and mind your own business." Another respectable witness corroborated the foregoing. This being the whole of the evidence in support of the charge, the committee heard the policeman on the part of the defence, from whose statement it was clear the man had been drinking, and was unruly in the street. An animated discussion then took place between the members of the committee as to whether the inspector was empowered, under any circumstances of the kind, to refuse bail. On reference to the act of parliament it was found that the inspector was legally possessed with discretionary power to refuse suiety or not in such cases. Several of the committee, though admitting the legality of the proceeding, animadverted in strong terms, in the course of their remarks, oil the harshness amI indiscreet manner such unexception- able sureties were refused. The inspector, in reply, alleged that in one instance, some time ago, when bail was accepted, the party bailed had not been long absent from the station-house before he was again brought up the same night, having been found in the canal. After some further discussion the following resolution was unanimously agreed to That it is the opinion of this meeting the inspector did not exceed his duty in the case of Charles Thomas." The case, which was considered to involve a great principle, excited no ordinary attention in the town. SWANSEA TURNPIKE TRUST. —In our last we announced that the tolls of the above trust had been knocked down," by public auction, to a Mr. Richards, for the sum of £ 3,235. Since then, however, we are informed that they have again been let to Mr. Thomas Bullin, the present lessee, by private contract, at a sum considerably lower, it is said, than the above.

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