The Dorset County Chronicle reports the proceedings at the annual meeting of the Yeovil Agricultural Society, on Friday last. They con- sisted of a cattle-show, which was considered scarcely equal to former exhibitions of the kind, and a dinner, at which about a hundred and fifty agriculturists sat down. Mr. William Pinney, of Lyme, presided ; and near him sat Mr. Thomas Dyke Acland and Mr. F. H. Dickinson,
the Members for the county, Mr. Sanford, and several gentlemen of local influence. Much was said, critical and hortatory, on the special objects of the meeting, and much on the economical measures of the Govern- ment. Trite as the latter subject is becoming, several passages in the speeches possess considerable interest as evidences of the progress of opinion among a class who evidently do not receive them with blind submission. The County Members came out strongly. Mr. Acland indicated his votes— He would say, that he bad advisedly supported the Government on these measures, from the conviction that, in these times, no class of the community ought to wish or expect to have such protection as was injurious to other classes and to the general interests of the country; and it was his opinion that all these questions should he met with great consideration and with moderation by all parties. He preached the new doctrine with effect— They must not rely too much upon the Legislature for what they called pro. tection against foreign competition ;. for the time was come when the best se- curitylfor all interests was increased intelligence and perseverance, so that they might produce the best articles at the lowest 'rate. This might be taken to apply alike to agriculture and to manufactures; for these were not times when any class could safely rest upon their ears, but all must endeavour, if they would withstand foreign competition, to produce the best article at the lowest price. He hoped that whatever changes had taken place, or might take place— he did not know of any further changes in contemplation—they would, looking to the balance of interests, work for the good of all.
Mr. Dickinson alluded with satisfaction to the harmony and feeling of unanimity evinced by the company; and " hoped that when they saw that the measures of the present Government were not attended with those disastrous consequences which many anticipated, they would be more agreed, and he should have their approval."
Mr. Sanford seems to have drawn somewhat largely on the new- born toleration of his agricultural hearers ; but still he was listened to, and apparently in good feeling— It was true that himself and his honourable friends did differ—he might almost say, had differed—and on subjects of the greatest importance; but if they differ- ed, they were equally independent. God forbid that the representation of this great county should ever be placed in the hands of men who would not act with the most perfect independence ; and no one would apply to the name of Acland or Dickinson any thing that was not allied to independence. He had no doubt that his honourable friends, their representatives, had taken a con- scientious course, and had done what they believed to be best for the country ;
nor did he doubt that had they before seen cause for entertaining the opinions they had now expressed, they would have manfully avowed those opinions. He was not disappointed at what had taken place, nor at what had fallen from his friends ; he expected this change; but he must say it had come a little sooner
than he expected. (Laughter.) He now came among them as an independent man, having no responsibility upon him as a public character ; and as such he would say to then), place no reliance on protection whatever t (Sensation.) Mr. Sanford, with considerable warinth -atab aergy, exclaimed—" I will say again, place no dependence on any legillatiee"protection, but trust more to yourselves ; for if you trust to protection for the future, you will, I am firmly per- suaded, trust to a reed that will bruise you ! (Increased sensation.) I hope I have not said any thing too strongly savouring of politics, but I feel that I ought to express to you, when I receive so much kindness, my honest convic- tions ; and, as one wholly dependent upon agriculture for all I possess, I have only said to you what I would say to my own tenants were I sitting with them at my own table. (Cheers.) If I have said any thing I ought not to have said, I am ready to apologize. (" No, no r) I admit that I do feel heated with the subject." (Applause.)
He proceeded to address the meeting upon purely agricultural sub- jects ; and he strongly recommended draining by tenants with long leases.
Mr. C. A. Moody, the President-elect for the ensuing year, spoke in the spirit which is likely to animate intelligent agriculturists who regret " protection," and yet manfully meet the task before them— Without desiring to magnify it on the one band or to make light of it on the other, he could not but look upon the present state of things as an agricultural crisis. Such, indeed, was the Mate of the agricultural interest, that he feared, unless an alteration took place, it must terminate in a readjustment of existing engagements, and in a relaxation towards the tenant by those holding the land, and who,hedoubted not, would have the good sense to concede it. ("Hear, hear ! ") It had fallen from one gentleman whom be was happy to see among them, that they were not, as agriculturists, to look to protection. If they were not to look to that protection to which they considered they were fairly entitled, were they to sit down and do nothing to enable them to maintain their position, and to uphold that independence and integrity which the yeo- manry of this county, and be believed of all England, bad so long been distin- guished for? (Cheers.) What, then, were they to look to? They were to look to that which could not slip through their hands—to the increased pro- ductiveness of the soil ; which was only to be effected by improved husbandry, by calling in the aid of chemistry, and by using the most portable, best, and cheapest manures. It had been said by one of the umpires, that there had not been so good an exhibition of stock as there ought to have been ; but the im- provement of the soil was of the first consequence, in order to have superior stock, as well as an increase in the produce. They had no premiums for im- proving the land; and, if they would allow him, he would offer a prize for the person who should on the largest scale experimentalize with the greatest variety of manures. (Cheers.) If the committee could suggest to him the best form of regulating, this he would adopt their recommendation. Ile was himself going to try the plan on a field which he should divide into four parts ; using for the purpose of testing their different effects, bone-dust, Daniel's, guano, and the fold. (" Ah, the fold! that's the best," from a farmer; which raised a laugh, and loud cheers.)
Mr. Dickinson turned the same doctrine to the commercial interest of Yeovil, the glove-trade-
" With respect to gloves or other articles,you must not rely upon legislative measures for prohibiting the importation of foreign produce. The course of things at present is against protection, and in favour of free trade, and 1 do not think it can be stopped: but if we cannot stem the tide, we must endeavour to assist each other by adopting improvements and all means tending to our mu- tual benefits. I for one have not such apprehension for the future ; for we are a great people, with vast resources, and I do not think we shall suffer from any trifling alteration in the laws. We are a great people, and not an artificial people ; and I do not think we can much longer continue artificial means, or laws for keeping up any particular interest. 1 give you, ' Prosperity to the town and trade of Yeovil.'" (Loud cheers.) At the meeting of the Clevedon Agricultural Society, (at which there was a much improved display of animals,) Mr. Miles, M. P. addressed the Somersetshire agriculturists after the new fashion— Since last he had had the honour to meet them, great changes had un- doubtedly taken place; but what be would recommend the farmers of Somerset to do was, to make their market for corn when they could at between 50s. and 60s., and never to refuse 6d. per lb. for fat oxen. That was the best opinion which he had been enabled, upon mature consideration, to form of it. His opinion might be right or it might be wrong, but, as a public man, he thought it right to give them the opinion he had arrived at. They knew not yet how kind or indulgent a parent they had in mother earth. He had lately had a conversation with the manager of Lord Ducie's model-farm, and he was of opinion that they did not cultivate the land to a sufficient depth. Manures of course helped; butt the basis of all cultivation was deep tilth. • • • He would urge them to exert themselves for the improvement of agriculture, as the only means of meeting the altered state of the times ; for it was the character of Englishmen always to strive against difficulties, and not to give up to clamour, or what he trusted would be but a passing cloud on their prosperity. He could not but congratulate them on the recent successes in India and China, and the promise of peace which they held out, and which would be the certain means of increasing the-commerce of Great Britain. (Cheers.) Mr. Adam Gordon held up the example of Scotland— Ile alluded to the improved state of cultivation in Scotland, which he attri- buted to the circumstance of there being no short leases there, none of less than nineteen years, so that the farmer could afford to make a proper outlay, with the certainty Of occupying the farm sul§ciently long for his remuneration. He also thought the Scotch mode of hiring servants far superior to the English : there, no servant was hired for less than half a year, while in England they were hired by the week or day, and thus, upon rainy days, were driven into beerhouses, where their morals were corrupted. In Scotland also a rate was paid by landlords for the purpose of educating the agricultural labourer : to the whole of which circumstances he attributed the almost entire absence of crime among the agricultural labourers in that country.
The annual meeting of the Leicestershire Agricultural Society was held at Leicester on Saturday. At the dinner, the Duke of Rutland was in the chair ; he was supported by Lord Howe, Lord Curzon, Lord Charles Manners, Sir W. W. Dixie, Sir F. Fowke, Sir G. Palmer, Mr. Packe, M.P., and a number of the first landholders of the county ; be- tween two and three hundred gentlemen surrounding the table. The Chairman advocated agricultural improvement- " The time was gone by when the cultivators of the soil were content to be accused (as they had been in former times) of being so indifferent to the im- portance of their profession as to lay themselves open to the charge of being actually listless with regard to their best interests ; and we had now the plea• sure of seeing agriculture take its place among those arts and sciences the pursuit of which formed so remarkable a feature of the present Fero."
With respect to the Government changes he "suspended his opinion," with a curious hint that he is prepared for further change !-
" The greatest anxiety filled his mind to do the utmost in his power to pro- mote the interests of the agriculturists, as lie firmly believed that upon the prosperity of that body mainly depended the welfare of the nation. Since they had last met certain changes had taken place relating to the laws affecting the importation of cattle and corn. Ile should not now express any opinion upon those alterations, as be had not formed any conclusions upon the subject. He would, however, state, that growers of corn And admitted that the dui/ might safely be lowered. He bad several, latter. in his possession,written by parties fully able to judge on the probable effects of any change in the Corn laws, many of which clearly showed, that even the present modified scale might be reduced by some shillings a quarter."
The Reverend N. Morgan suggested another kind of change, as an appendix to the Ministerial measures— He was sorry they did not meet this year under the same favourable circum- stances as they had last met—lie should be telling a lie to say otherwise, and he abhorred lying; and though be was sorry to have to differ from the noble chairman, who said they must wait, he should like to know what would be clone when rent-day came ? (Loud cries of " Hear, hear !" and continued ap- plause.) Ile said not that to court popularity ; but it was of no use giving medicine to a dying man or putting a plaster on a broken leg. His panacea for this state of things was good farming and considerate landlords. Mr. Philip', the Leicester banker answered Mr. Morgan's question by saying, " Pay those rents—(Hisses and laughter)—and from what he knew of the Leicestershire yeomen, he knew that all the tenants were well able to pay. (" Hear, hear !" "No, no !" and hisses )
Mr. George Kilby, a practical farmer and a writer on agriculture, in returning thanks for the honorary secretaries, admitted that the home supply of food is insufficient for the growing population-
" It bad been said there and elsewhere, that the occupiers must exert their greatest skill in order to produce sufficient food for the population : and they all knew that there was not enough produced in this country for its population (which was increasing at the rate of 300,000 a year) as it was now cultivated; while, if it were properly cultivated it would probably produce enough for the supply of all. The greatest reproach that could be uttered against them was, that they did not produce what they might. /Vas that reproach true or not ? It was."
But he imputed the blame to others than the agriculturists— Many lectures had been read to them on this subject, " insufficient produc- tion." He had heard one of them at the Royal Agricultural Society, from Lord Stanley, who had referred to what was done by the farmers of Scotland— to the greater amount of labour they employed upon and of produce they derived from their farms: and that was all true enough, but be thought his Lordship had forgotten one circumstance. He (Mr. Kilby) had travelled in Scotland, and seen some of those farms; • but he found that every one of the tenants had had a twenty-one years lease to begin with—(Loud cries of " Hear, hear ! ")—so that if he went on improving his land year after year, be was certain of a return for the capital he thus invested.
A tea-meeting aws held in the Musical Hall at Leeds, on Tuesday night; in aid ofd the Anti-Corn-law League fund. Mr. j. G. Marshall, a Leeds millowner, presided; near him were Mr. Cobden, M.P., Mr. Aldam, M.P., Mr. Busfield, M.P., Dr. Bowring, M.P., Colonel Thomp- son, and most of the leading Anti-Corn-law agitators of the borough. Letters were read from Lord Morpeth, Lord Radnor, Lord Kinnaird, Mr. Hume, Mr. Ward, and others, expressing concurrence in the ob- ject of the meeting, but stating their inability, from different causes, to attend. About four or five hundred persons sat down to the entertain- ment.
The Chairman introduced the ulterior business of speechmaking by an allusion to the progress of Free Trade opinions : all political parties in the House more or less admitted those principles; in the addresses of agricultural representatives to their supporters in the country were found uncommon moderation, and an infusion of new and liberal ideas ; and their cause was gaining the support of almost all great and distinguished agriculturists.
Mr. Aldam referred to the striking circumstances which distinguished the present autumn from those of the five preceeding years— We had had an abundant harvest ; a large importation of food had taken place, and great cheapness at present existed ; but in spite of these circum- stances, which at all preceding periods had been able to restore our trade, no sign of revival was seen ; the wisest heads were unable to point to the direction from which the revival was to come, until the unexpected news of the pacifica- tion of the East had arrived, and a market of first-rate importance, with a pro- bability of its increase, bad been opened to us. A revival had taken place. Could any thing show more clearly the vast importance of foreign trade to this country, when, with all the events that at previous periods had revived the home trade, no revival had occurred? He sincerely hoped the Chinese mar- ket would fulfil the expectations formed of it. But, considering the circum- stances of China, its dense population, the difficulty of supporting it, and the industry and ingenuity of the Chinese people, he could not but believe they *mild soon learn those arts which would enable them to manufacture for their own market and become independent of others. But while the Chinese mar- ket did not appear to justify the sanguine expectations formed from it in some quarters, there was another, which nothing but perverse legislation could set bounds to—the trade with the United States.
He adduced what we believe is a tew recommendation for repeal of the Corn-laws, or at least newly-put-
England bad, in fact, put her commercial system upon such a footing—im- porting only the raw materials of her manufactures, and some few things which she did not choose to be without—that she was unable to threaten retaliation for any hostile tariff. There was no better means of reducing foreign states to terms, than by allowing en unrestricted corn-trade : for experience showed that we drew our supplies indifferently from every country in Europe ; and all those countries benefited by it might be induced, or compelled, by means of the power this trade gave us, to make great concessions. A free trade in corn would give us a commercial power before which no tariff in Europe could many years stand unmodified.
Mr. Aldam moved a resolution approving the specific objects of the League, and further advocating " the wise, peaceful, and benevolent principle of Free Trade" as the means of healing the feuds which dis- tract the several classes of the country, and of banishing war from the civilized world. The resolution, like all that were moved, was carried unanimously.
Dr. Bowring seconded the resolution; and Colonel Thompson pro- posed the next.
Mr. Cobden referred to the !progress of opinion, with a candid ad- mission on the part of the League— They did not lay claim to infallibility ; but if they had done anything de- serving of censure in times gone by, it was owing to the hostility with which their lecturers were received in the agricultural districts ; where they were pelted, pumped upon, and treated in the most ignominious manner. Now, many approved of their proceedings who bad never done so before, alleging that they were adopting a more temperate course in appealing to reason ; the fact being that they had pursued that course all along. Was it not most singu- lar, that in a country where everything must be decided by free discussion, the defenders of the Corn-laws, even in the agricultural districts, could not get up a fleeting in support of the Corn-laws ?
He quoted some newspaper statistics to show that the working- classes do not support the Corn-laws-
There were some newspapers advocating monopoly, which professed to cir- culate among and be the organs of the working-classes. One of these, pub- lished in Leeds, used to send 650 to Stockport, but it now only sent eight of the same paper; 100 used to be sold in his own works, now there was not one. That paper, by the last Parliamentary return, circulated about 12,000; but there were several other weekly papers, advocates of free trade, which circulated a much larger number among the working-classes. Therefore, let no one sup- pose that the bulk of the working-classes were allied with the monopolists. The following sums were subscribed: Messrs. Marshall and Sons, 150/. ; Mr. W. Pawson, 50/. ; Stansfield, Brown, and Co., 50/. ; J. Wil- kinson, and Co., 50/. ; E. Birchall and Sons, 50/. ; E. Baines and Sons, 501. ; eight other parties subscribed 251. each ; nine, 101. each ; and in all the subscriptions amounted to 7451. A woman was murdered on Saturday at Poulesasen farm, about two miles from Chepstow. She was the daughter of Moxley, a farmer; who had left his daughter at home while he went to Chepstow-market. On his return, she was found lying dead, at the back-door, and beside her was a large hedge-stake. The drawers in the house had been ransacked, and 201. had been stolen out of them. Edward Reece, a farm-labourer, and a neighbour of the murdered woman, has been taken up on suspicion. He was seen, the day before his capture, spending money very freely ; and a shirt and waistcoat belonging to him, and covered with blood, have been found hidden in the thatch of an outhouse at the farm. Reece was married on the previous Sunday.
A serious accident occurred on the London and Birmingham Rail- way on Thursday. A train which left Aylesbury for London at eleven o'clock in the morning, consisting of a second-class carriage next the tender, two first-class carriages, and another second-class carriage at the end, was passng over the embankment about three-quarters of a mile north of the Northchurch tunnel, when the near fore-wheel of the engine was suddenly separated from it by the breaking of the fore-axle. The engine and the tender were thrown over the near-side of the em- bankment, which is there about fifteen feet high, and the leading second-class carriage over the off-side : the other carriages remained on the road. The engine-driver escaped without injury ; his assistant and an overlooker, and two passengers who were in the second-class carriage, were much hurt. One of the passengers, Mrs. Bye, an elderly lady, has since died. Among the other passengers was Mr. T. IL Hill, a surgeon, who rendered assistance. Vehicles were provided to convey the wounded passengers to Northchurch and the Company's wounded servants to Berkhampstead, a special train bringing the other passengers to town. They arrived about four o'clock, three hours after their time. It is said that the broken axle was four inches and a quarter thick ; but that there was a large hollow like an air-bubble in the centre of the fractured part. The damage is estimated at 2,0001. Mrs. Mary Bye, who lived at Aylesbury, is said to have been Lord Byron's nurse. She was sixty-eight years of age.
John Mooton was reexamined at the Birkenhead Police Court on Saturday, and comm.t ed for trial on a charge of throwing a sleeper or beam on the Chester a ad Birkenhead Railway.