The Mayor of Tamworth, according to an annual custom prevailing in the borough, gave a dinner last week to the Corporation and the gentle- men of the town and neighbourhood. Captain Townsend, one of the Members of the borough was present ; but Sir Robert Peel, unable to at- tend on account of illness, sent a letter to be read instead of a speech. It was written on the day after the Ministerial defeat, and contained these passages- " I think you will agree with me, that there is a crisis in European affairs calculated to embrace a far wider range of interest than has accompanied the consideration of questions of purely internal government, and I believe, in spite of all attempts to patch up a hasty peace, that Europe is threatened with an impending catastrophe which will produce very considerable changes in the bearings of European states. The country has become excited by the cry which Government has raised for war, and it has through Parliament accepted the responsibility. We went, however, to war to oppose Russian encroachment, and now we are fighting Russia on her own territory. The step I believe to have been a false one ; and the country most unhappily learns that Ministers have not had sufficient energy, from a defective and de- crepid system of military administration, to cause their intention to be
carried into effect Few know better than yourself—and in repeated conversations our views have happily coincided—that war, as regards Eng- land, may disturb public economy, and dry up the source of national wealth by cramping the operations of our commerce ; but whilst piles of British carcases lie bleaching, almost unpitied, upon the heights of Sebastopol, and whilst the people of this country show a disposition to pay the full price of the contest in which Government has judged it expedient to involve the na- tion, I for one will never consent to a peace in order to patch up any poli- tical combination, nor be a party to any composition which would rob our army and the country of those rewards which their heroism and sacrifices require."
The reading of the letter, it is stated, excited only partial cheers, and -was repeatedly interrupted by "derisive shouts."
Lord Cardigan finds as much favour in his own country as elsewhere. Addresses of welcome, and admiration have been almost simultaneously adopted by the Northampton Town-Council and his tenantry in Yorkshire.
An inquest has been held on the body of Mrs. Bacon, who was murdered at Rochester. The evidence strengthened the original suspicion -that the deceased's servant, Elizabeth Lewes, was the assassin. Her story about two dustmen having assailed her mistress and herself was utterly improbable, no circumstances of any kind supporting it. But the appearances noted and discoveries made supported this view of the case—that Elizabeth Lewes had attacked Mrs. Bacon in the lower part of the house, and killed her by blows on the head with a hatchet ; that she had partly cleansed the blood from her victim's face, and had then carried the corpse—of small weight—to an upper room ; then cut her own throat, and got to the street-door and opened it, two boys having knocked. She had secreted some of the bloody garments which her mistress wore when she was attacked, had buried a purse of money in a basket of sand, and had taken some of Mrs. Bacon's jewellery. Such, no doubt, were the conclusions of the Coroner's Jury, in returning a verdict of " Wilful murder" against Elizabeth Lewes. The motives of the girl—why she should have murdered her mistress as well as robbed her, and why cut her own throat—are still a mystery, which only the accused can explain, if she is really the criminal.
Two privates of the Ninety-ninth Regiment have been sent to prison by a Court-martial sitting at Chatham, for " firing at the Emperor of Russia "- so the journals phrase it, while rather sympathizing with the soldiers ; but they really committed a grave military offence : they chalked an effigy of the Czar on a table, and then fired many times at it—their misconduct con- sisted in wasting the powder and ball of the public in this amusement.
There was a great fire at Devonport last week, which commenced during the night at a hatter's, and swept away several houses. The naval and mili- tary authorities were active in combating the fire, which was in a street. only fifteen feet wide, not far from the dockyard : it might have been ex- ceedingly destructive if it had not been vigorously met.