A Court of Common Council was held on Thursday ; when Mr. P. A. Taylor moved a very long resolution on the Corn-laws and their con- sequences, to be transmitted to Sir Robert Peel. After some discussion, Mr. Ashurst moved the following amended resolution, being an abridg- ment of the other : and the amended version was adopted-
" Resolved, That the continued and increasing depression of the manufac- turing, commercial, and agricultural interests of this country, and the wide- spreading distress of the working-classes, are most alarming—manufacturer, without a market, and shipping without freight ; capital without investments
trade without profit, and farmers draggling under a system of high rents, with
prices falling as the means of consumption by the people fall ; a working popu- lation rapidly increasing, and a doily decreasing demand for its labour ; union- houses overflowing as workshops are deserted; corn-laws to restrain importa- tion, and inducing a starving people to regard the laws of their country with a deep sense of their injustice. These fsets call for the immediate application of adequate remedies. That this Court anxiously appeals to the First Minister of the Crown to give practical effect to his declarations in favour of free trade, by bringing forward, at the earliest possible period in the ensuing session of Par- liament, such measures for securing the unrestricted supply of food and the employment of the people, as may effectually remove a condition of depression and distress too widely prevailing and too rapidly increasing to consist with the safety of the community and the preservation of our social and political institutions."
The customary vote of 5001. to be distributed among the poor widows of freemen at Christmas was passed.
Tuesday's Gazette contained an amended list of the new Metropolis Improvement Commission, substituting Lord Lyttleton for the Earl of Burlington ; and thus making the list as it originally stood in the para- graph which we quoted from the Standard. Mr. Trenham Welshman Philipps is appointed Secretary to the Commission.
The Smithfield Cattle Club ate their forty-second anniversary dinner at Freemason's Tavern. Earl Spencer presided ; supported by the Duke of Richmond, Earl Ducie, Lord Monteagle, the Honourable Colo- nel Spencer, the Honourable Mr. Littleton, the Honourable Mr. Wilson, the Honourable Mr. Nugent, Colonel Wood, M.P., Mr. Benett, M.P., Mr. Pusey, M.P., Mr. T. Pym, &c. There was a very scanty attend- ance of members. Mr. Towers began to make an allusion to " a change which might possibly take place in the agricultural interest"; but he was unanimously called to order, it being against the rule of the Club to allude to proceedings in the Legislature.
The Metropolitan Anti-Corn-law Association continues in full ac- tivity. On Wednesday, the second district-meeting was held, at the Eastern Institution in Whitechapel. At this meeting, Mr. Ricardo, M.P. and Dr. Taylor were among the spokesmen. On the same day, the Marylebone Central Anti-Corn-law Association held a meeting for the fourth district, and arranged for "a great demonstration" on a future day.
At a meeting of the British American Association for Emigration and Colonization, held on Wednesday last, at their house in New Bridge Street, a report was presented from the " Commissioners " on the charges lately made against the Association in respect of the emigrants sent out to Prince Edward Island by the Barbados. The re- port stated, that letters had been received from many admirers of the principle on which the Association is founded expressive of confidence, and that " despatches received from Sir Allan M'Nab are of a highly gratifying character, showing the manner in which the objects of the Association are appreciated in Canada, and the support it will receive in that colony "-
" The Commissioners have likewise received letters from their head Superin- tendent at Prince Edward Island, communicating the arrival of the emigrants sent out by the Lady Wood, and affording the highly satisfactory information that numerous houses had been prepared, and every accommodation and com- fort bad been provided for the party then proceeding to the island in the Bar- bados, and that persons were on the watch for her, not only at Holland Bay, but at Charlotte and George Towns. " Also, that despatches have been received from Mr. Peters, the Solicitor- General of the island, and from Mr. Woodman junior, to whom some important negotiations had been intrusted, announcing the unqualified approbation of the Governor of that colony of the measures of the Association, and containing well- founded assurances that a colonial charter would be immediately granted to the Association for the security and protection of its operations in that island, with some valuable and important exclusive privileges. " In conclusion, the Commissioners, insisting upon the integrity of their ac- tions, and that the charges and attacks made upon them are unwarranted by the circumstances under which they were made, invite the appointment of a committee of independent men to investigate their conduct and the whole course of their administration."
Dr. Rolph said, it was essential to the character of the Association and its future efficiency that a committee of inquiry should at once be instituted; and until such report was made he felt it incumbent on him to stand aloof; expressing, however, confidence that all the adverse circumstances were fully capable of explanation and vindication.
In the Court of Queen's Bench, on Monday, was tried an action of trespass brought by Mr. Howard, the legal adviser of John Joseph Stockdale, in his contest with the House of Commons, against Sir Wil- liam Gossett, and Messrs. Bellamy, Stein, and Mitchell, officers of the House. The trespass was alleged to consist in breaking open the house of the plaintiff, on the 4th February 1840, in search for him, remaining there several hours, and breaking open various locks and doors. The defendants pleaded " not guilty " to the breaking open of the locks and doors ; but set forth in respect of the other charges, that they were in search of the plaintiff under the Speaker's warrant, and that he con- cealed himself instead of obeying the summons of the House. In point of fact, Mr. Bellamy and Mr. Stein came to Mr. Howard's house at seven o'clock in the evening on the 4th February, and remained till two o'clock in the morning ; and although their search was so minute that they looked under the sofa in the drawing-room, where Mrs. How- ard had visitors, and in the cellar and dust-hole--and although Mr. How- ard's son asked a Policeman to take them into custody, which the dis- creet functionary refused to do—" every thing was done," said Mr. How- ard's clerk, "in a civil manner on both sides ;" and young Mr. Howard asked the trespassers to supper. In stating the case for the plaintiff, Mr. Platt grew very eloquent on the claim of despotic power put forth by the House of Commons— Could they, who were the representatives, the servants of the people, trample on their rights and act as if they were masters ? This question of privilege bad long since been carried to an alarming extent. The House had at one time claimed the privilege of murdering their Sovereign : it was also known that upon occasions they bad committed to custody, for breach of privilege, persons who had done nothing more than deliver a notice of ejectment to a member of the House, for serving a sabrena on him, for entering hie grounds, for walking across his fields, for distraining his goods, and for similar acts, whilst, on another occasion, they had exercised the same power towards a person who had shot some rabbits belonging to a Peer of the realm. That was 'tithe
year 1759 ; and in the year 1753, a man who bad fished in the ponds of a Mr.
JOWife, and another who bad fished in Mr. Glyn's water, were also committed to custody for an alleged breath of privilege.
The Attorney-General, who defended the action, was careful to ex- plain to the Jury that he had been engaged to do so in his private and not in his public capacity, the proceedings being a private action against private individuals and that the single question to be deter- mined was, whether the defendants had or had not committed an excess in the execution of a warrant. He admitted that they had been guilty of an irregularity ; for although the warrant gave them the right to go to the house and search it, it did not give them a right to remain there. In summing up, Lord Chief Justice Denman further explained, that the remaining in the house constituted the intruders trespassers all initio. The Jury, after retiring for about twenty minutes, returned a verdict for the plaintiff, with 1001. damages.
The Court was occupied for a long time on Thursday, with an action brought by Mr. Carpue, the eminent surgeon, to recover damages from the Brighton Railway Company for the injuries which he had sustained through the negligence of their servants, at the time of the accident on the 2d October 1841. The Attorney-General led for the plaintiff, the Solicitor-General for the defendants. There was a good deal of evi- dence on either side, to show that the train had gone too, fast, or that it had been prudently retarded in descending the gradient. Sir Fre- derick Smith, Inspector-General of Railroads, expressed an opinion that it is not a safe practice to put two engines to one train : the train had better be divided, and the second part despatched fifteen minutes
, after the other. Several medical gentlemen stated, that Mr. Carpue, who is seventy-two years of age, was before the accident quite capable of practising in his profession, but now he is quite incapable. The Jury awarded 250/. damages.
In the Court of Exchequer, on Saturday, a gambling transaction formed the foundation of an action between a person named Smith and one Bond, the kee,per of a gaming-house. The game played was usually " French hazard ;" and persons of rank were in the habit of staking large sums against the " bank" held by Bond; to whom re- verted all the profits of the game : in one evening they amounted to 2,000/. or 3,000/. Considerable losses were sustained, on various occa- sions, by Mr. Bredell, Captain Courtney, Mr. Fitzroy Stanhope, the Marquis of Conyngham, Lord Cantalupe, and General Churchill. The action was brought under the act of the 9th Anne, 0.14, to recover from Bond the sums alleged to have been unlawfully won. A verdict for the plaintiff was returned on five out of ten counts, with damages, in- cluding the treble value of 3,5081., the sum lost. Half the damages go to the parish. [The Times suggests that this act might be more effec- tually used against gaming-houses generally than the usual criminal process.]
The examination of Lord Hnntingtower was resumed in the Court of Bankruptcy on Saturday ; his numerous bill-transactions being further investigated. In the coarse of the proceeding, it was proved that a warrant of attorney was given by Lord Hnntingtower to Messrs. Angel and Cooper, while he resided with the Countess Desert, under fear of a threatened arrest on a charge of obtaining money under false pretences,— that is, false representations as to the value of the property upon the_ security of which they furnished him with money. On that occasion, he was in such alarm that he refused to take the advice of his solicitor against executing the warrant. On Monday, a Mr. Sherborne preferred his claim to the amount of 20,5001. upon bills; for 18,5001. of which he gave Lord Hantingtower the consideration of sixteen shillings in the pound, and seventeen shillings and sixpence in the pound for 2,000/. Much questioning as to his being able further to explain the particulars of this transaction elicited scarcely any answers but " No " from Mr. Sherborne. His examination closed in the following manner— Mr. Nies—. Has any portion of the consideration which you say you gave for these bills ever reached the hands of the bankrupt, to your knowledge? Mr. Delamere desired the witness not to answer the question. Mr. Commissioner Fonblanque—" It is a question as to a direct dealing with the bankrupt. As such it is a legal question; and if not answered, I shall commit the witness."
Mr. Delamere—" If, Sir, according to your decision in the matter of Angel, this witness is not in a condition to be examined at all, then I submit that this question cannot be put to him; and if put to him again, I advise him not to answer it."
Mr. Nias—" Do you know W. H. Douglas, the endorser of these bills? "- Witness—" Under advice, I shall decline answering that question." Mr. Delamere—" The truth is, we do not wish to prove."
Mr. Niss (to witness)—" Sign your depositions."
Mr. Delamere—" I advise him not to sign that which contains your objec- tionable questions." Mr. Commissioner Fonhlanque—" The witness has consented to answer cer- tain questions. These questions are legal : he must sign his depositions; and if he refuse to do so, I shall commit him. This decision bad its effect, and the witness signed his depositions. In the Insolvent Debtors Court, on Monday, the Honourable George William Loftus, commonly known as Lord George Loftus, was discharged on his petition. The insolvent is the son of the Marquis of Ely. He Stated that he had no property, except some jewellery supplied by a creditor, which he had left at an hotel in Brussels, and about which he could now learn nothing. He had been in custody eleven months, and had not been out on bail. The debts in his schedule amounted to 15,2541., for only 6,090/. of which had consideration been received. The Marquis has before paid debts for Lord George to the amount of 13,0001,; and has paid 6,000/. during the time over which the schedule extended.
At Clerkenwell Police Court on Saturday, the examination of Stan- hope Winkworth, alias Henry Winkworth, alias Henry Stanton, alias Henry Palmer, was closed, after repeated adjournments ; and he was sent to trial for robbery. The list of his delinquencies is voluminous. He married the daughter of a respectable brewer, with whom be received 8001.; and he deserted her, leaving her to provide for their child, a daughter. In 1836, sentence of death was recorded against him for stealing three watches, and he was confined in the Penitentiary. He Obtained the intercession of Mr. Goulburn, on the ground that he had once furnished useful information to the Government in Ireland, where his father was " a person of some consequence." He was released ; and returned to his wife, pretending that he had come back from transporta- tion with a free pardon. She gained a decent livelihood by teaching ; and be lived on the fruits of her industry for six weeks, turning all her property into cash—even to her wedding-ring. As "Dr. Stanhope" he procured an introduction to a family at Vauxhall, and paid his ad- dresses to one of the young ladies. During this period he committed the robbery upon a Mr. Menzies, the charge now preferred against him. Last February he was committed for felony, in the house of a lady to whom he paid his addresses; but he got off through an informality. For his usual purposes he paid addresses to two or three ladies at the same time, being assiduous in his attendance on each until all her money was exhausted. One of his last victims was a young lady to whom he introduced himself in Greenwich Park, while under the guardianship of two elderly ladies: this girl be seduced, and robbed of 251. He ordered a pair of valuable pistols from Mr. Egg, and retained one. From another person he stole a valuable telescope. At a place where he lived be broke open a drawer and stole 191. Winkworth's behaviour in court was characterized by heartless effrontery : he ridiculed the grief of the girl whom he last misled, and who was a reluctant witness against him—eating lunch while she gave her evidence. He declared that he was the victim of a conspiracy, set on foot by persons anxious to realize a reward offered for his apprehension. At Bow-street, on Monday, Thomas Patterson, a vender of cheap publications in Holywell Street, appeared on a summons obtained by the Police, which charged him with exhibiting a profane paper in his window. Mr. Thomas, the defendant's counsel, took an objection in limine to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate ; and also objected that the new Police Act related to public thoroughfares ; and gave the Police no authority to enter any man's house. The case, however, was entered upon : but a new difficulty arose. A paper was produced as a copy of the one that formed the subject of the prosecution ; but it was found to be a copy of a copy taken in pencil ; and further it came out that the defendant had not been served with a notice to produce the original paper. The case was dismissed; and a summons against another person, serving in the same shop, was dropped. London was visited by a thick fog on Monday ; and it continued with more or less density for the three subsequent days. The shops were lighted with gas or candles. On Monday night, Mr. Joseph Butler, a Customhouse-officer, missed his footing and fell into the water as he stepped from a vessel in the London Docks, and was drowned.