TOTAL DESTRUCTION BY FIRE OF 1 THE SURREY THEATRE, r ) The Surrey Theatre, in the Blackfriars-road, the favourite theatre on the south side of the Thames, was on Monday night totally destroyed by fire under the following circumstances. At twenty minutes to 12 o'clock the last scene of the pantomime of Richard Gfcesw de Lion was being'played, and R-awella, t hv down, had just begun his performance of a burlesque soio on the trombone, when happening to oast hi eyes to the ceiling of the theatre, he saw a strong lightreflacting through the aperture over the chande- lier. At OLee suspecting there was a See, he with great presence of mind left the stage quietly and com. municated his suspicions to Mr. Green, the acting manager. That gentleman immediately despatched some of the stage carpenters to see what was the matter, but at the same moment some of the audience were alarmed by a cloud of smoke descending through tbe aperture named, and the cry of fire was raised. Mr, Green came upon the stage, and implored the people to leave the house quietly, and the curtain was at oace lowered. Fortunately, the audience, which had been by no means large during the evening, was at that time extremely scanty, and the house was speedily, cleared without accident. At the time the last few people were leaving, the names burst with great-fury through the ceiling, which was composed at thin laths and painted canvas, and in a very short spfMje of time caught the drapery rcmuirg round the boxes, and the proscenium and stage curtain, from which it at once extended to the scenery and the whole atage became a mass of flame. The scans on the stage aad in the dressing rooms at this time was almost indescribable, the numerous actors and actresses who had been engaged in the pantomime running about in the greatest confusion, and the screams of the ballet girls were heartrending. To add to the horrors of the scene, Mr. Hinkley, the gas superintendent of the theatre, to avoid explosion, turned off tlie gas in the back portion of the theatre, which was thus for some time left in total darkness. Had it net been for the presence of mind displayed by Mr. Green, the acting manager; Mr. Rowella, the Clown; Mr. Evans, the Pantaloon Mr. Vivian, the Sprite, and some other of the pantomimists, the loss of life behind the scenes woald probably have been considerable. Those gentle- men at the risk of their own lives dragged the scream- ing and terrified women and girls through the burning scenery to the stage door, from whence they were conveyed to their homes in a but lightly clothed and fainting state in cabs provided by the police. The last persons brought out of the burning building were several children, who had been representing the j characters of fairies in the transformation scene Messrs. Eowella and Vivian having reported to the stage manager that all persons had been safely re- mu md from the theatre, they made their own escape, ckessgd as they had been playing their respective parts, no persons engaged in the pantomime having had time to aJaange their dress, so rapid was the progress of the fire. In loss than ten minutes from the first alarm, in&eed, the whole interior of the theatre was one mass djtjflames. Wfyile the above soone"was taking plaee inside the building, there -was the greatest excitement in the neighbourhood of the theatre. Crowds of people, WrACted by the reflection of the flames, which, shoot- iag ^tp high, illuminated the air for miles round, came redizig up, and cabs, loaded with people, were being to the scene from all directions. Within ten ngdnates of the alarm being given a strong body of the ISFaad.L divisions of police from the Stones-end and Twwer-gtreet stations arrived on the ground, and, by 4M of great exertions, cleared a sufficient space for engines, several of which, both steam and manual, had by that time arrived, the powerful steam engine of Mr. F. Hodges being almost the first arrivals. So rapid, however, had been the flames that, before any of the engines could be brought into play, the whole intefriof of the theatre was completely burnt out, the roof,-galleries, and boxes, falling in rapid succession, aad aothing was left standing of the building but the portico and front wall, facing the Blackfriars-road. Several small houses, also, in the rear of the theatre, occupied by poor people, had by this time fallen a prey to the flames, the inmates barely escaping with their lives. For at least a quarter of a mila round the theatre the streets were strewed with burning embers t from the theatre, and several persona were severely b«rned by the large flakes of fire which fell upon them. So intense was the heat that the fronts of the houses on the opposite side of the B Jack- friar abroad facing the theatre were much soorched, aad the wood-work was only kept from igniting by copious streams of water being played upon it from two engines specially detailed off for that purpose. About one o'clock Mr. Shepherd, one of the lessees of the theatre, arrived at the scene of destruction, and was immediately surrounded by the male members of his company, all dressed in their theatrical costumes, } but begrimed with dirt and smoke and saturated with water, the result of their efforts, in the first instance, to extinguish the fire and afterwards in rescuing the female portion of the company. His first inquiry was Are there any lives sacrificed ? and on being in- formed that it was thought every one had escaped, he fervently ejaculated, "Thank God for that." So rapid was the fire that it is stated nothing-what- ever belonging to or in the theatre was saved from destruction. The new and splendid scenery, the valuable properties, the costly wardrobe, and every article of clothing belonging to the company, were all consumed in a few minutes. Much commiseration was expressed by the neighbours and the crowds of people present fer the lessees of the theatre Messrs. Aader3on and Shepherd. Although insured to some ojctent their loss will be very great. At -least 300 persons will also be thrown out of employment at a season when there is little opportunity of 'I any other engagement. The part of the house where the fire was first I.. observed, immediately above the chmdeher, was -ased as the painters' and carpenters' workshops, but its origin cannot at present be ascertained. It is cer- tain however, that the catastrophe did not arise from any cause immediately connected with the perform-1 aaces of the evening. The fire continued burning till daylight, but-all, ftirther danger was over by about three o'clock. The firemen, however, were playing upon the burning rains, and an immense crowd of people was assem- bled loeking on. imtre. lessees estimate the value of the theatre and its sowteni-s at about X12,000, and the insurance effected; upon it, owing to the heavy duty charged ftpon pro- perty of this description, was little more than X2,000. Messrs. Wade and Patchez, the contractors for the refreshment department of the theatre, and who had I, iarge stbek upon the premises, are also severe loser,,4 by the calamity, being altogether uninsured. The latest particulars received state that after a searching inquiry and minute investigation of the rains made by the lessees, Messrs. Shepherd and Awderson, assisted by the fire brigade, they came to tfce unanimous conclusion that the eataatrophe origi- nated from the accidental overheating of the eh a* de liert and that the heat being forced up by the strong current of air ascending up the shaft- down which the chandelier was suspended caused the ignition of the egiling, which in its turn communicated the flame co 13119 masa of combustible materials in the painterff and; carpenters' workshops, filled at the time with a large quantity of new scenery and mechanical contrivances; nrepaired'for the production of a new drama. have been indefatigable m attending to the immediate necessities of the nuiusrous persons lately in their employ, and on Tuesday nignt a general aaeetisg of the members of the company was held to take their present unfortunate position into conaiaera- tisa, After arrangements had been made to meet the immediate wants of those present, it was resolved that a committee should be formed, with the object ot; getting up a series of benefits at some of the metro- politan theatres, the lessees of several of which have handsomely placed their establishments at the disposal of the burnt-out company for one night.
« An Episode of the Late Fire at Edinburgh. -one Of the poor men who met his death at the Ed- inburgh Theatre was a labourer named Bernard KWie. He parted from his wife on the Friday after- noon at five o'clock, and went down to the scene of the conflagration. A call was made for six men to ex-, iricate the ifrst two who fell, and I\I'Vie was one of the six who ran in to do what he could, and when the danger became so imminent that he was called to go out he replied with all the confiding warmth an Irish heartthat he was quite safe so long as he was beside his old master. The master and the servant met their deaths together, and M'Vie was found lying below his master in that fatal rain face to face.
ANOTHER LABOUR CONFLICT. It appears that the reduction of the wages of the operatives engaged in the finished iron trade through- out England, resolved upon by the masters at a united meeting, is not to be brought about with so little difficulty as was at first expected. At the present time the extensive mills and forges in North Stafford- 11- shire, belonging to the Earl of Granville, and the other similar works in that district, which are owned by other propriet,)rs, are all at a stand, owing to a strike of the men against the reduction for which the masters gave notice. That reduction was Is. a week in the wages of puddlers, and 10 per cent. on the earnings of mill-men. When the notice expired a meeting of opera- tive delegates from most parts of the kingdom was held, and it was proclaimed that the notices would be ac- cepted. The North Staffordshire men, however, it was secretly resolved, should ask to have the reduction reduced one-half, and if they could not make those terms then, that they should strike for the full wages. Without knowing the alternative, the masters in North Staffordshire resolved not to give way; and their men, who number about 2,000, have been on strike nearly a fortnight, necessitating the forced idleness of perhaps three times their number. They have large local funds in hand, and they are also sup- ported by the respective unions embraced in execu- I tives in Gateshead and Brierley Hill, each executive taking one-half of the works under its wing. The first week's pay is said to have amounted to .£1 per head; and at this rate, it is affirmed, the men can be supported for six months. The masters recently held I a meeting at Stoke-upon-Trent, and indignantly re- fused to give way; but backed as the men are, it is difficult to see how the employers can escape a ruinous struggle unless the other masters throughout the struggle unless the other masters throughout the kingdom lock out.
I TERRIBLE W-RPB MURDER. A working man named Thomas Midgley, living' in Hanging Ditch, Todmorden, has murdered bi3 wife by cutting her throat. For some time the murderer had been in an unsound state of mind, and a few mornings I ago,, about eleven o'clock, he pulied out his knife, and with it inflicted four deep wounds in his wife's neck, from the effects of which she expired in a few j minutes. The struggle,between deceased and her I¡ husband was heard by the neighbours, who found the door fast, and, before it could be opened, Midgley had succeeded in getting his wife down upon the hearth, and had inflicted the injuries described. When admittance was gained, deceased was found rolling upon the floor in a of blood, while her I husband looked on calmly. Drs. Handley were sent for, but all the assistance they could render was of no avail. Police-constable Sugden of the Lancashire police force was called in, and took the husband in charge, who in answer to a question, said he had murdered his wife because he had to do it, and that she was all right. At this moment a person in the house picked up a piece of paper lying within the fender, containing i writing, and was in the act of handing the document to the police-officer, when Midgley clutched it. In an instant he had it in his mouth, and was trying to swallow it, from which he was only preserved by being severely strangled. Deceased had only been married a short time, and had no children. Midgley was brought up at the Police-office, Hebden Bridge, before Captain Sutcliffe. Mr. Inspector Croft stated that the prisoner was charged with the wilful murder of his wife, Mary Ann Midgley, in consequence of a quarrel having taken place between then? because prisoner's wife had no employment, a circumstance she could not help. He related some of the facts above stated, and afterwards asked for the prisoner to be remanded, a request with which the magistrate complied.
DUBLIN INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION, 1865. As the preparations for the great concourse of industry and art, which is to take place in Dublin this year, advance towards completion, the nature and extent of the undertaking become more denned and assume larger proportions. A glance at the Official Directory" shows that it will be truly international in its character for, in addition to London, Edin- burgh, and the principal towns in the United King- dom, we find that committees have been formed or agencies established to promote the objects and for- ward the business of the Exhibition, in Amsterdam, Berlin, Berne, Brussels, Christiania, Constantinople, Copenhagen, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Florence, Frank- fort, Milan, Munich, Nuremberg, Paris, Rome, Stock- holm, Turin, and Vienna. Thus, a system of direct communication is maintained with almost every country of Europe, while contributions are expected, as for instance, from Spain and from Russia. There is also a Colonial department, which will be enriched by valuable collections from India and Burmah, from Africa, from the North American provinces, and from Australia. The building which is to receive this multifarious assemblage of the products of man's industry and genius has been erected to supply to Dublin some- thing analogous to the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, with tMis important difference—that the Dublin Ex- hibition Palace and Winter Garden is within the con- fines, and not far from, the very heart of the City. In the midst of the ornamental garden of fifteen acres rise the buildings, consisting of two great divisions. One portion is a lofty and airy structure of' iron and glass, 65 feet high, the south transept being 477 feet long and 84 feet wide, and the northern transept 270 feet long and 126 feet wide. These, with some an- nexes" for machinery and carriages, are to be devoted to the industrial display; while the main building, a solid edifice of brick and stone, is, for the most part, assigned to the Fine Arts. Here is the large picture gallery, 136 feet long and 65 feet high; the small picture gallery, 90 feet long; two halls, intended for concert-rooms, but now also given up to the Fine Arts department; a water-colour room, 103 feet long, and many other rooms suitable for the arrange- ment of engravings and photographs. The lower hall is especially adapted for sculpture, of which there will be a very fall show, no less than twenty- t three British sculptors haviug enrolled their names as exhibitors, amongst whom are Foley, Marshall, Munro, Noble, Thorneycroft, besides many from Italy and from Germany, including Fedi, Magni, Geefs, and Hiram Powers. Professor Kiss, of Berlin, sends a great group in bronze. | ro occupy the galleries, some four hundred pictures are offered from Belgium; the leading artists of Dusseldorf and Berlin are liberal contributors; the Scandinavian school will be amply represented. Munich gives oil pictures, the cartoons of Kaulbach, Cornelius, and others, and groups in bronze; Dresden sends paintings in oil, paintings on porcelain, &c. The Austrian and Spanish artists will be there, and Italy and France and Holland will be represented worthily; and thus a collection of foreign pictures will be assembled, which, it is believed, will fall little; short of that of 1862. « In the department of British Art, the Queen, who graciously favours the Exhibition with marked appro- bation and best wishes, heads the list of contributors, sending from her Majesty's private collection some of the best examples of Mulready, Leslie, Turner, Stan- field, Roberta; and amongst crowned heads we may mention here that of the King of Denmark and the King of Sweden have already their intention of; sending works of art to the Exhibition. Specimens of the English school are expected also from the Society of Arts, the Royal Academy, and from the Vernon Collection. Many noblemen and others will lend their pictures, amongst whom we may name the Earl of Warwick and the Earl of Dudley. But it is well known that the best modern pictures of the English school are in the hands of the munificent merchant princes ef Manchester, Liverpool, Birming- ham, &c., many of whom have consented to part with their treasures for a season, with an enlightened desire to promote the beneficial objects which the Exhibition is so well calculated to serve—and truly Ireland does well to seek to profit by the refinement of taste, the increased love of art, which are to be learned from the study of works of merit and of genius. She cannot but derive advantage in every way from intercourse with the throng of people from every quarter which the Exhibition will bring to her shores. And this will not be the least satisfactory reflection to those who aid the undertaking by contributing to the dis- play, while, at the same time, they assist in upholding the renown of the British school side by side with the best examples of Continental art. We believe, then, that the Fine Arts department of the Dublin Exhibition of 1865, while it will not equal, as it does not pretend to rival, the wondrous collec- tion which graced this city in 1857, will contain a very numerous assemblage of works of great value and of the "highest interest, which it will be a glory to see, and to which it will be an honour to have contri- buted. A prosperous issue may well be hoped for from the constitution of the Exhibition Committee, which con- tains many of the highest and most respected names in Ireland. The Duke of Leinster is chairman, Mr. Guinness is vice-chairman, and Mr. Dargan is amongst the members—three men of whom the country is justly proud, whose names are a guarantee for a munificent -public spirit, and for that sagacious and prudent enterprise which could alone deserve and ensure success.
THE GOVERNOR-GENERA L OF INDIA AND THE LANDOWNERS OF OUDII. Questions relating to India, are not very popular in this country, for the good and sufficient reason that they are not generally understood, though there is really no cause whatever why they should Hot be made perfectly clear and comprehensible even to the most cursory of readers. "Di.,itance," the poet tells us, lends enchantment to the view;" and the time is close at hand when, by reason of the telegraph, which will soon put us in daily communication with our vast empire in the East, the people of England will be almost com- pelled to take as much interest in the affairs of Hindustan as they now do in those, of any conti- nental nation. Anyhow, among the many Indian questions which are now forcing them- selves upon our attention, the policy lately inaugurated in Oudh by Sir John Lawrence is certainly not the least important nor the least interesting to which the attention of our readers could be directed. It is well known that Lord Canning, after the mutiny and rebellion of 1857 had been suppressed, settled the estates of Oudh upon the great territorial chiefs, to whom they had belonged under the Mahometan Govern- ment. He justly concluded that, by winning over the landlords, he would also be ena-bledtowin over their tenants and followers, and therefore he con- ceived that, by re-establishing the Talookdars in thoir estates, he would gain at once the greatest security he could possess for the re-establishment of tranquillity and order in the country. Nor was he disappointed by the 4result. Almost as if by magic, the province of Oudh passed from a state of chronic confusion and discontent—when every man of its five millions of inhabitants was our implacable foe-to a state of peace, contentment, and loyalty; and, ever since, the prosperity of the country has been annually on the increase. Land- lords and tenants, rajahs and ryots, chiefs and peasants, settled down into regular habits of life, and the Talookdars, or landowners of the province, vied with one another in the sup- port which they gave to Lord Canning's. Government. They improved their estates; they made roads, and dug wells and tanks for pur- poses of irrigation; they built bridges over rivers; established schools and dispensaries for the benefit of the people; and in times of difficulty and dis- tress lent a helping hand to the cultivators of the soil. One of the greatest of the Talookdars, and certainly one of the ablest and most influential members among the aristocracy of India, Maha- rajah Mawr Sing, has only recently advanced to his tenants the sum of = £ 4,000, to enable them to meet the deficiencies caused by the late bad har- vest in Oudh, and has recommended all the land- owners in the province to follow his munificent example. This, however, is not all. The Talook- dars have established an association expressly in order to support the local Government of the province, and they have made use of this valuable association, which fairly represents every district, to put an end to the baleful practice of female in- fanticide in that part of India. And its success has been so great, that when Lord Elgin visited Cawnpore he was informed by a deputation from the association, consisting, among others, of the Maharajah Mawr Sing, and the able and enlightened honorary secretary, the greatest philanthropist in the East, namely- I) u khinarunj ua Moollejee, Bahadoor, that more than 8,000 female children had been saved from death in one year. Surely these are great and memorable services to have been voluntarily ren- dered to the cause of good government and to the highest interests of humanity by the terri- torial chiefs and landed gentry of Oudh. From our bitterest foes, they have become the most zealous upholders of our authority in the East, simply for the reason, that their rights and digni- ties were justly respgeted by Lord Canning, who, on the 26th October, 1859, addressed the land- owners of Oudh in^fchese words:—" You have all of you who are here present received yesterday the grants of those estates which the Government has restored to you. You will have seen by the terms of those grants that the ancient Talook- daree system of Oudh is revived and perpetuated. Be assured, so long as each one of you is a loyal and faithful subject, and a just master, his rights and dignity as a Talookdar will be upheld by me, and by every representative of your Queen, and that no man shall disturb them. You will also have seen by those grants that the same rights are secured, on the same conditions, to your heirs for ever. Let this security bean encourage- ment to you to spend your care, and time, and money upon the improvement of your possessions." It will be readily admitted that no promise made by a Governor-General to the chiefs and gentry of Oudh could well be more binding or more solemn than this. The ancient land tenure —namely, that called the Talookdaree system, by which the landlord is absolute proprietor of his estates—was revived and perpetuated; the estates were to devolve by the same right and title to the heirs of the Talookdars for ever;" and the Talookdars were, consequently, urged to spend their time, their care, and their money on the improvement of those estates. That the Talook- dars have kept their part of the contract has never. been denied; in fact, they have done far more than could possibly have been expected fro-a them. But it now seems that Sir John Lawrence is about to break faith with these territorial chiefs, and is going to bestow upon their tenants the proprietary right and interest in the soil which Lord Canning, in the most solemn manner, guaranteed to them and their heirs for ever. As one of the first papers in India, the Englishman, says, the Viceroy, Sir John Lawrence, has issued a proclamation inviting the people of Oudh en masse to come forward and initiate an agrarian revolution." If this should take place, the conse- quences cannot but be most serious; and that our readers may form their own opinion on the sub- ject, we will next week show in what manner Sir John Lawrence intends to deprive the landowners of Oudh of their ancestral estates, which only five years ago were so solemnly guaranteed to them for ever by Lord Canning.
THE BISHOP OF VICTORIA. The Right Rev. Dr. George Smith formally resigned the bishopric of'Victoria (Hong Kong) in the early part of the present month. Bishop Smith first arrived in China in the year 1844, and on his return to Eng- land published, in 1847, his Narrative of an Explo- ratory Visit to the Consular Cities of China and the Islands of Hong Kong and Chusan, on behalf of the Church Missionary Society, in the years 1844,1845, and 1846." In the year 1849 he returned to China as the first bishop of the newly-created see of Victoria. He published in 1861 a volume entitled Ten Weeks in Japan," containing his observations on that newly- opened country and people; a work favourably re- viewed at the time in the pages of this journal. The bishopric is endowed with a payment of < £ 1,000 a year from the Colonial Bishoprics' Fund, ar,d is in the patronage of the Secretary of State for the Colo- nies, who in such cases generally seeks the recom- mendation of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The late bishop is in the fiftieth year of his age, and retired en a pension of zC300 a year voted by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, and subject to reduction by the amount of preferment received in England, in ac- cordance with the local regulations of the civil service of the colony, We believe that no successor has been named for the vacant post. It is understood that the nominations to the vacant colonial dieceses of Vic- toria, Rupert's Land, Nelson, and the new see of Grafton (New South Wales), are likely to be delayed until after the judgment of the Judicial Committee of Privy Council on the Colenso case has been delivered, which may render some change necessary in the wording of the new letters patent of colonial bishops. -Loncloit and China Telegraph.
THE SHREWSBURY SWINDLE, Mr. Charles Ashworth, the victim of this magis- terial curiosity, writes the following letter to the Times, in reply to a letter from the clerk to the Shrewsbury magistrates Sir,—You can readily suppose that I read with con- siderable surprise and indignation certain portions of a letter which appeared in your columns of the 24th inst., signed The Acting Clerk to the Magistrates on the Occasion." To show the true version of the matter, so far as I am concerned, as well as to prove how grossly this Acting Clerk has misrepresented my statements, I think it necessary to send ypu a copy of the letter he refers to, addressed by me to the editor of the Manchester Guardian immediately after the event re- ferred to had taken place. He says he believes I stated in my letter that I pro- duced before the magistrates letters to substantiate my statements." You will see I say nothing of the sort; and further, he well knows, or ought to know that it was out of my power to produce such letters seeing that everything I had in my pockets had been previously taken from me; and I can only oay that his assertion, that I had every opportunity of making any statement I pleased, though not invited to do so, is utterly unfounded and untrue. I was afforded no opportunity to speak until after one of the magis- trates had said, You are remanded till to-morrow." I then immediately said, "It is a gross piece of mis- taken identity. I demand that I shall be allowed to telegraph to my friends, or that the police shall do so, or that you (addressing the magistrates) shall take some steps to ascertain the truth of the statements I had previously made to the constable." After this request of mine the swindler leant over and spoke in an undertone to the Bench, and the same magistrate, in answer to my request, instantly replied, with a wave of the hand (understood by the police-constables as "Take him away"), "No, certainly not, after what we have heard; certainly not." I was then taken out of court by the officers, without having any opportunity of saying more. I am informed that it is the bound en duty of every magistrate (and the hearings before the metropo- litan magistrates reported in your columns clearly prove it), before any prisoner is remanded, to ca.11 upon him to make his defence, in order that it may be ascertained if there be sufficient grounds for a remand. Now, if this just and common rule had been adopted by the Shrewsbury magistrates, my defence would have been clear, and I could in an hour have proved that I was the person I represented myself to be, and that I was not guilty of the offence charged against me; and I could have also procured bail to any amount for my appearance on the following day. But, in addition to the injustice inflicted on me by the remand without being permitted to make any de- fence, how must the conduct of the magistrates be regarded in permitting the swindler to keep in his custody and take away with him my watch, ring, and money (when their bounden duty was to place it in the control of their own officers), and thus become parties to the perpetration of the grossest swindle ever com- mitted in our days ? And yet these very men have never so much as publicly apologised for their treat- ment of me, or offered to procure and return the articles of which I was robbed, or to make any com- pensation whatever for the loss and great indignity I suffered at their hands. In conclusion, I would only further remark that the Acting Clerk in his letter to you says, the warrant was inspected by the magistrates and himself, and it bore every appearance of being agenlline document, even to a practised eye, and was perfectly regular in every respect." Yet he, in his evidence before the magistrates,, when the swindler was committed, said, I did not look at the warrant very carefully-I did not look at the date." After this, farther comment on my part seems wholly needless. Trusting, sir, that you will do me the favour of allowing this to appear in your columns, I am, yours faithfully, CHARLES ASHWORTH.
THE PROPERTY OF MARRIED WOMEN. The case of Mason and others v. Mitchell was brought before the Court of Common Pleas last week. The cause was heard before Mr. Justice Blackburn, at Liverpool, and involves a point of some importance in reference to the protection of the property of married women. under the Divorce Act. Mary Ann Wild, since dead, married a coachdrivE4 in the year 1847. By his own account he had taken her from a house of ill- fame, and had promised to marry her on her assuring him that she would conduct herself with propriety. The marriage proved a very unhappy one, and in the year-1857 she left her home. At that, time the Divorce Act had come into operation, the 21st section of which enables married women deserted by their husbands to obtain an order from a magistrate to protect their property acquired by their own lawful industry," or after-acquired property, from their husband's claims." Availing herself of this provision, although living at the time with a paramour, she went, without the knowledge of her husband, be- fore a magistrate at Manchester, and obtained the required order as a deserted wife. She subsequently opened a house of ill-fame, aad continued to keep places of that description down to the time of her death. The husband then took possession of her pro- perty, and employed the defendant, who is an auc- tioneer, to sell it. The plaintiffs, who had obtained limited administration to the effects of Mrs. Wild, then brought the present action against the de. fendant for the proceeds of the sa.10.- The jury found that there never had been any desertion by the hus- band, and that the protecting order had been obtained by fraud;, and that, further, the goods in question were not the earnings of lawful industry, but the profits derived frori prostitution. A verdict was entered for the plaintiffs for 446. A rule was afterwards obtained to set aside the verdict and enter a nonsuit, against which Mr. Quainnow showed cause, and contended that the verdict must be sustained, as the order had been legally obtained, and could not be questioned in another court, and also that the pro- perty, even though acquired by improper means, was protected. Mr. Edward James, Q.C., and Mr. Holkar supported the rule, and argued that the order could not be valid, as it had been granted through the magistrate having been misled, and when he had no jurisdiction, and that the property pro- tected by the Act was either property left to a married woman or acquired bv honourable means and axer- tions.—The Lord Chief Baron said that without ex- pressing any opinion as to the validity of the order, the court were of opinion that the second objection must prevail. Whatever might be thought of the new piece of legislation recently introduced which gave to married people the rights belonging to a judicial sepa- ration, there could be no doubt the Act of Parliament intended to confine its protection to the legal fruits of virtuous industry, and never designed, as in the pre. sent instance, to extend the privilege in such a manner as to give encouragement to vice and profli- gacy. The rule for entering a nonsuit would there- Tore be absolute.
Resignation of Mr. Justice Williams.—Mr. Justice Williams has ceased to be a member of the Court of Common Pleas. He had chosen to go to the Norfolk Circuit, but found that he was incapable of the necessary fatigue, and therefore has resigned. Like the late Mr. Justice Patteson, Mr. Justice Wil- liams is afflicted with deafness, and although his mental capacity for business is still unimpaired, he found it inconsistent with the strict discharge of his duty to struggle against his infirmity, which prevented him very often from correctly taking the evidence given before him. He was raised, as a stuff gowns- man, to the bench in 1846. The public, by his retire- ment, have lost the services of a strictly honest and upright man, a sound lawyer, and one devoted to his office. He was valued by all the members of the bench as a great assistance, and almost an authority in their deliberations. His kindness of disposition endeared him to all those who were in any way thrown in contact with him, and he carries into private life the sincere wishes of all his professional friends that he may live for many years in ease and repose, and in the enjoyment of the retiring pension he has so justly earned.
ALARMING ACCIDENT IN WEST- MINSTER. I On Thursday evening an accident which was calcu- lated to be of the most frightful character occurred at the Catholic Free School-rooms, attached to the church of St. Mary's, Horseferry-road, Westminster, the school being situate in Peter-street. The building ad- joined the model lodging-houses in St. Peter-street, and was in itself a somewhat ornamental structure, the basement floor being appropriated in part as a play-room for children out of school hours, if the weather was against their going home; the upper floor, which fell in, being devoted to scholastic purposes. It was in length about 60 feet and 30 feet wide, one-third of the lower part being set off for private rooms, but the whole length of the upper floor being used for the school-room. The church to which the school is at- tached being in debt, those in authority established a lottery for obtaining money to assist their need, and accordingly tickets were sold amongst the congrega- tion and others in the district, entitling the winners to certain prizes-the invitation being thus worded:— Grand drawing of prizes in aid of the church of St" Mary's, Horsferry-road, Westminster, will take place in Westminster, on Thursday, Jan. 26, 1865." The tie'e^j were sold at 6d. each. The meeting took place, and the distribution of prizes had begun, when suddenly a por- tion of the flooring gave way. There were nearly five hundred persons—men, women, and children-in the school-room. One of the beams which crossed from the eastern to the western side gave way, and pre. cipitated upwards of a hundred persons down to the floor beneath, amid the screams and cries of all. The first intimation of the catastrophe consequent upon the dust raised led to the belief that a fire had burst out; and to a certain extent such an impression was a fortunate one, for the alarm being given the fire- brigade men hastened to the spot, foremost among whom was Conductor James Cottrell, of the escape brigade, who rendered most valuable assistance in rescuing men, women, and children from the windows of the building. In their agony and fright they tore down the window sashes, and would have leapt on to the ground beneath, had they not been restrained by the police, who were immediately on the spot. Cottrell rescued 178 of those on the upper floor, who but for his judicious management would have pre- cipitated themselves from the windows. The police soon did good service, and upwards of thirty were conveyed to the Westminster Hospital. Several are not expected to survive. Nearly fifty were attended to, and enabled to leave, while a great many were con- veyed to the residences of their friends, without seek- ing hospital treatment. Among the severely injured is Miss Adelaide Fallow, one of the matron's staff of the Penitentiary, who remains in the hospital. Later Accounts. This sad accident is likely to result in much more serious consequences than. were at first supposed. One death has already taken place, and at least three or four more are expected to result from the injuries received, while several other patients, if they survive, will probably have to linger out a miserable life of paralysis and pain. As most of these unfortunate people are in very humble circumstances, this bitter lot will be aggravated by the trials of poverty. Some benevolent persons have commenced subscriptions for the relief of the more destitute, and these form a large proportion of the sufferers. Amounts in aid will be received at the National Bank, Old Broad-street, and at the Charing-cross and Bays water Branches, at the London Joint-Stock Bank, Princes-street, City, and Pall-mall Branch, and at the European Bank, King William-street, City. Considering the nature of the accident, the severity of the injuries is very great. The Reverend William Cardwell, 12, Earl- street, Westminster, who was one of the fathers assisting at the drawing of the prizes, has sent a certificate to the secretary of the Royal Society for the protection of Life from Fire, in which he speaks very highly of the services of the society's men in rescuing those who had not fallen, but had no other means of exit from the dangerous position they were left in. The house surgeon of the hospital reports 24 cases of seveie fracture, one of which has proved fatal. Besides these cases, 53 cases have been treated as out- patients. At the time the accident occurred the beds at West- minster Hospital were nearly all occupied, and this large demand for accommodation necessitated the staff making? special provision. Sixteen of the very worst cases were admitted by beds being made up on worst cases were admitted by beds being made up on the floors for some of the in-patients who could bear the removal. Miss Adelaide Failow, who died, was attached to the matron's staff at Millbank Penitentiary. It is thought that the other patients spoken of as not expected to live may possibly linger two or three days, but there is not the slightest hope of their surviving. Margaret- Downie and Ellen Shaw, who have sustained concus- sion of the spine, may possibly survive; but if so will be completely paralysed. It is to be regretted that, although the number of patients at the Westminster Hospital have considerably increased during the past year or two, the contributions of the public have by ] no means been equal to the cost of the valuable services no means been equal to the cost of the valuable services rendered. On Monday afternoon Mr. Bedford opened the in quiry, in the Board-room of Westminster Hospital, touching the death of Adelaide Jane Fallen, aged 27 years, one of the very numerous sufferers by the recent terriffic catastrophe which occurred through the fall- ing of a portion of the flooring of the schools in con- nection with St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, in Great Peter-street, Westminster, on the evening of Thursday last. The jury having been sworn, and re- turned from viewing the body, The Coroner said this was a most important inves- tigation, affecting, as it did, all classes of the commu- nity. Under these circumstances, he proposed to adopt a course which he considered would be most convenient to all parties—that was, to take the neces- sary evidence of identification, in order to meet the feelings of the friends of the deceased, so that the body might be removed for intermerit. He pro- posed that they should then take evidence connecting the deceased with the fallen build- ing, and of her death in the, hospital. He might men- tion that in the mean time an-official-inspection of the building would be made, and evidence of properly qualified persons would then be taken. He had been given to understand that the Metropolitan Board of Works had ordered an inspection of the building and debris to be made, and in case that should fail he would take upon himself the responsibility of ordering due inspection to be made. Arrangements had also been made for the jury to make their own inspection at any time they considered most convenient. He, would therefore propose that no farther evidence' should be taken _than he suggested. The jury having viewed the ruins, and some pre- liminary evidence having been taken, the proceedings were adjourned for a week. The house surgeon at Westminster Hospital reports that Mary Hefferan died on Monday evening at five minutes past nine, never having recovered conscious- ness since her admission to Westminster Hospital on Thursday evening, and having been sustained only by brandy and wine, of which she took but a very few teaspoonfuls. Her injuries were vt-ry severe, being no less than fractured collar-bone, fractured ribs, the right arm fractured, the left leg fractured, and con- cussion of the brain. Mary Dohoghue is still in a very dangerous conation, and but little chance re- mains of her recovery. Lord Charles Russell has visited the hospital, and had something kind to say to each of the sufferers. The Dean of Westminster and Lady Augusta Stanley have also visited the hospital almost daily, and gladdened the hearts of many bv their sympathy and consolation.
Hint!—"I am astonished, my dear X°w?i -y'T your sentimerjt: jou make me start." wen, sir, I have been wanting to sea you start for me last hour." Killed by an Express Train. An inquest was recently held by Mr. Carttar, coroner, at the Bird-in-Hand public-house, Widmore, near Bromley, Kent, on Matthew Prince, aged fifty, a mason, em- ployed at the Biokley station of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway. He had occasion to leave his work and proceed down the line some distance, and was observed returning walking in the six-foot way between the two lines of rails. At the same time the 11.45 a.m. express train from Dover was observed ap- proaching, and the deceased, who would have been perfectly safe had he remained where he was, was seen to turn round towards the direction of the train, the engine of which struck and hurled him a consider- able distance, causing almost instant, death. There was no blame attributable to the engine-driver. Ver- dict—Accidental Death.