While Lord Palmerston was staying on a short visit at Lord Leve- son's, near Bridgnorth, an address was presented to him by the Mayor and inhabitants of the town. The address and Lord Palmerston's reply have only this week found their way into the papers. The Mayor and Town-Council say- " We take the opportunity of your Lordship being in the neighbourhood most gratefully to acknowledge our obligations to your Lordship and your late colleagues for your strenuous efforts in support of civil and religious liberty, and for your late arduous but unsuccessful attempt to extend the commerce and improve the resources of this nation by measures which, if carried into effect, would have laid the foundation for commercial freedom, and brought into ope- ration those elements of wealth, prosperity, and happiness, which are at present oppressed by monopoly, and by statutes at variance with the principles on which the commercial operations of an intelligent, wealthy, and powerful king- dom ought to be based. We confidently hope that the time may speedily arrive when it may please her gracious Majesty to restore to your Lordship and your late colleagues that power which we feel satisfied will ever in your hands be exercised for the benefit of the community, and fur the promotion of the honour and safety of the nation."
Here is Lord Palmerston's reply-
Aldenharn, 25th November 1841.
" Sir—I have received with extreme gratification the address which you, and the gentlemen who accompanied you, did me the honour to present to me this morning; and I beg, for myself and for my late colleagues., to thank you and the Town-Council of Bridgnorth very sincerely for this flattering expression of your approbation and confidence. It has always been the study of the late Government to carry into practical application those principles of civil and religious liberty which are founded upon natural justice, and which are eminently conductive to the happiness and wellbeing of mankind ; and we trust that our endeavours in We respect have not been fruitless. We attempted to apply to the commercial legislation of the country those principles of trade, the soundness and troth of which have long been demonstrated in reasoning, and which all enlightened men have for many years acknowledged as the only sure foundation for the permanent prosperity of nations. But a combination of monopolists prevailed* and private interests triumphed over public good. The victory so achieved will, however, be short-lived. Reason will in the end prove stronger
than prejudice, and the great interests of the community must finally overrule the resistance of the few. Even the monopolists will find that they delude themselves as to the advantages which they fancy they derive from the present system of commercial restriction ; for no class ofmen can build up permanent prosperity for themselves upon a system which is ruinous to the nation of which they form a part.
"I am glad to find that the Town-Council of Bridgnorth keep steadily in view those great principles of commerce, in contending for which the late Ministry was overthrown ; and I trust, that by the united efforts of the enlightened portion of the nation, those principles may at no distant period, become triumphant ; and that no Administration or Parliament will long be able to maintain in force a system of commercial legislation which has long been exploded in theory, and which has been found deeply injurious in practice. " I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant, PALMERSTON. "J. M. Coley, Esq., Mayor of Bridgnorth."
The Hampshire Telegraph says that a Liberal will be brought for- ward for Southampton ; and that the Honourable Frederick Bruce will not contest an election. Mr. Walter has been spoken of as the Tory candidate, should there be any contest. The Manchester Times says—" We have been informed that our two worthy and honourable Representatives arrived in Wigan in the course of the present week ; when they were almost immediately presented with a trifling electioneering bill, amounting to something above 3,0001."
A county meeting was held in the Town-hall, Devizes, on Wednes- day, to address the Queen, Prince Albert, and the Dutchess of Kent, on the birth of an heir to the throne, and to consider the distress in Bradford and the manufacturing districts of the county. The High -Sheriff, in taking the chair, exhorted the meeting to keep the two sub- jects for consideration quite distinct ; and the Marquis of Lansdowne and Mr. Benett, M.P., who moved and seconded the address, showed the same anxiety. Lord Radnor, however, contended that the two sub• jects which forced themselves on the attention of the meeting should not be separated in the address ; and he moved an addition, announcing to the Queen the distressed state of Bradford, describing it as part of the general distress, and begging the Queen to call Parliament together to devise measures of permanent relief. This was supported by Mr. Overbury and two working-men ; and opposed by the Reverend Arthur Fane, Mr. Sotheron, M.P., and Lord Lansdowne. The original ad- dress was carried, by a majority of two to one. Addresses to the Prince and Dutchess were then adopted, without opposition. The question of the local distress then came before the meeting. The Reverend H. Harvey described the state of Bradford—
The entire population by the last census was 10,918, of whom 9,353 resided in the manufacturing district : of those, 6,000 were maintained by labour in the factories. Such was the condition of Bradford a few months ago. Now, none were fully employed; 1,650 were only half employed ; and as to the others, no account, except the most painful, could be given : 4,000 or 5,000 persons were living on their savings, on the produce of their gardens, or by pawning their furniture and clothes. That statement spoke for itself. The distress had not reached its height.
Mr. Harvey ascribed it to the failure of several firms connected with the place. A resolution was proposed to appoint a committee for rais- ing and distributing funds for the relief of the people thrown out of work; and then an amendment was moved, approving of subscriptions as palliatives, but suggesting a combination of the well-disposed of all classes, in order to obtain the restoration of " those rights " which " be- long to every man who pays taxes." The original motion was carried.
A public meeting was held at Hull, on Monday, having been con- vened by the Mayor, on the requisition of about two hundred electors of the borough, to petition Parliament for a change in the representation. Resolutions were passed declaring that, " In consequence of the entire failure of the so-called Reform Bill and the defective state of the repre- sentation in the Commons House of Parliament, an organic change be- came necessary, or the country must ultimately be involved in one com- mon ruin " ; and secondly, that " it was essential to the wellbeing of the realm that Members of Parliament should be elected annually by the votes of all male subjects aged twenty-one and upwards, without reference to rank or property either in the voters or in the Members." A Mr. Burns supported the resolutions ; and remarked, that the prin- ciples which they enunciated must have been carried long ago had it not been for " the wicked obstinacy, folly, and cupidity of the Chartist leaders." Mr. Hill, a reputed editor of the Northern Star, rose to order ; but Mr. Burns persisted, and declared that a large portion of the middle-class would have joined the Chartists if it had not been for the conduct of their leaders. The uproar increased; and a petition founded on the resolutions was adopted in dumb show.
A numerous and influential body of the friends of Free Trade in Liver- pool met in private on Saturday,—Mr. Thomas Thornely, M.P., in the chair,—to arrange preliminaries for forming an Anti-Monopoly Society.
The Liverpool Operative Anti-Corn-law Association held its first annual meeting this week. Mr. Lawrence Heyworth was appointed to the chair. The report stated that the Association had distributed 100,000 tracts during the year. By that means so much interest had been excited, that the Committee found they could attract a large at- tendance whenever they chose to hold a public meeting. The Com- mittee promised to continue that agitation, and to oppose "the system" of emigration. And they recommended organized and diligent petition- ing. The report was adopted.
A correspondent of the Morning Chronicle sends from Wolverhamp- ton the following certificate, which was put into his hands by men ask- ing charity- " Mooreroft Iron Works, in the County of Stafford. " We hereby certify, that the bearers hereof have been employed for many years in the above works, but are now thrown out of employ in consequence of the stoppage of the above works; and we, knowing them to be honest, indus- trious men, and willing to work if they can obtain employ, have granted this
certificate under our hands. THOMAS VERNON, Agent.
"28th November 1841. JOHN THOMPSON, Stock-taker." "Besides these men, there were above four hundred men and boys deprived of work by the stoppage of these works; and the distress in this neighbour- hood is truly appalling. THOMAS VERNON. JOHN THOSIPSON." Speaking of Leigh in Cheshire, the Manchester Guardian says— "We understand that great distress prevails among the labouring population of that district ; and it is stated, that, in the parish of Leigh,
there are many thousand persons unemployed, and that the distress is greater than it has ever been since the year 1826."
The Stockport Chronicle says that " Lord Calthorpe, a Mr. Brace- bridge, an influential person, and another gentleman, Member for North Hampshire, we believe," have visited the borough and made earnest inquiry into the state of the population. The Globe adds, that Lord Calthorpe "expressed himself most decidedly hostile to the Corn-law."
A meeting of the Society for the Extinction of the Slave-trade and for the Civilization of Africa was held, in the Town-hall, Brighton, on Friday last, " for the purpose of stating the condition and prospects of Africa and the progress of the Niger Expedition, and of forming an auxiliary for this neighbourhood." The meeting was not very nu- merously attended. On the platform were the Earl of Chichester, Lord Teignmouth, Mr. Newton, Mr. Wigney, M.P., General Marshall, Mr. Moses Ricardo, some clergymen, and other gentlemen. Lord Chichester, who was the chairman, entered into some general remarks upon Africa ; a subject "of such vast interest," and which "involved in so much mystery." Mr. Eecleston, a deputation from the Parent Society, gave a sketch of the abortive efforts to suppress the Slave- trade ; and Lord Teignmouth eulogized Sir Fowell Buxton and the Society.
He could not help thinking that the objections made at the time in the newspapers resolved themselves into one,—and that was the alleged unhealthi- ness of the African climate. Of this there could be no doubt ; and he thought the cause had suffered from the attempts which had been made to represent the climate as more salubrious than it really was. Perhaps the truth lay between the two opposite extremes. An objection had also arisen to the locations of European settlements; but be could not help thinking it was desirable to carry the scheme into effect without any permanent location of foreigners. The water was deep, the steam-vessels rapid in their transit, and why might there not be frequent visits of vessels to this coast?
[Lord Teignmouth may learn the answer to this question in the ac- counts last received of the expedition : and they will tell him too, near which of the "opposite extremes" the truth lies.] The resolutions submitted to the meeting were passed, and the Auxi- liary Society was duly constituted.
A meeting of Magistrates took place at the Town-ball, Croydon, on Saturday, to consider a charge against the Master of the Workhouse, for ill-treating John Clark, a mendicant pauper. The complaint was pre- ferred by the Board of Guardians. The ill-usage consisted in forcibly cutting the man's hair, against his will. The Master of the Workhouse insisted that Clark should have his hair cut off; which he resisted, and he threatened to stab any one who attempted to do it. The master and the porter then struggled with him, but could not succeed in their en- deavour until a strait-waistcoat was brought by the master. Clark then yielded. The master was ordered to pay a fine of five pounds, with costs, and in default of payment to be imprisoned for one month.
The passengers by the Bridgewater mail train, says a correspondent of the Times, due at Bristol on Monday at four minutes past two p. m., were thrown into great alarm on their arrival at the unfinished bridge over the Avon, by a fearful crash, occasioned by the train coming in collision with a train of luggage-waggons, drawn on the same line of' rails over which the passengers' train had to pass. One of the con- ductors, seated on the rear carriage of the train, was crushed, and appeared dangerously injured. Several of the passengers were stunned and bruised. On inquiry at the station, it was stated that an erroneous signal at the beacon-staff was given.