the Court of Common Council sat on Monday as a Committee of the :whole Court, for the first time, to consider the provisions of Sir George Grey's Bill for the reform of the Corporation. The Court sat with closed doors.
The Masters and Wardens of the Livery Companies of London met -at the Mansionhouse on Thursday, under the chairmanship of Sir Peter Laurie, and resolved that Sir George Grey's Reform Bill is "unjust and unconstitutional "; and that the Companies should petition against it, and use their influence to obtain the votes of the City Members against the second reading.
• Lord Mayor Salomons gave a banquet at the Mansionhouse on Mon- day. The chief guest was Mr. Nathaniel Hawthorne, the well-known American writer of fiction ; and his speech in reply to the toast of his health as Consul, and "prosperity to the United States of America," was the principal event of the evening. Acknowledging the honour of sitting at the festive board of the chief magistrate of the great metropolis of England, and which, in the high and comprehensive sense of the term, they were bold enough to mill their metropolis too, he continued to this effect--
In regard to the kind feeling they had expressed towards him in reference to his literary productions' he could only say that if he could pay but one farthing of the great debt that America owed to the intellect of England, he should be much more satisfied with himself than he had ever yet felt. In regard to the sentiment entertained in this assembly respecting his country, lie should say that it was now some time since he left his native land, and -it must be greatly changed in its pervading sentiments if it was not ready to respond, as it ever had done, to every friendly demonstration regarding England. He believed there was never yet a kind word spoken, or a kind action performed, by an Englishman towards an American, that the American was not ready to respond by an action or a a ord at least as kind, if not more so. Be believed there was never yet a moment when America was not ready to extend her hand to meet the hand of England outstretched in earnestness and good faith. It would be strange indeed if it were not so, for Providence had connected the two countries by indissoluble ties. Even the rich old soil of England—the birthplace of his fathers—might be said to be still inherited by the Ameri- cans, and their own expanding territory belonged to England in that sense. If America made additions to her territory on her Indian frontiers, and changed barren land to gold, that gold came by ship-loads to these shores ; and if he could put any faith in what he had heard of the kind feeling which ha everywhere heard Englishmen express towards America, and to- wards himself as being an American—and he did put perfect faith in them, for he knew full well that the true heart of an Englishman did not feel what the true tongue did not dare to say—then he was indeed assured that the friendly relations between the two countries could never be broken. (Cheers.)
A deputation from several Metropolitan parishes waited on Sir Ben- jamin. Hall on Tuesday, to ask that the Attorney-General's bill for the amendment of the Metropolis Local Management Act should be with- drawn, and that different steps should be taken to amend the act. The ratepayers had no idea that the act would' affect the management of the poor or of the Church. If they had, a very different class would have been elected to the district Boards. Sir Benjamin Hall complained that the act had been greatly misrepresented : what he had intended to do, and what he had done, was to establish a uniform system of local ma- nagement for the entire metropolis, based upon Hobhou.se's Act. In parishes where the affairs of the Church and the administration of relief to the poor had hitherto been carried on by Boards other than the Vestry; those powers were reserved to such Boards intact.
After supporting and applauding his bill from one end of the metropolis to the other, -when the elections under the act took place they manifested the most shameful apathy : not a tithe of the ratepayers voted; the wrong men got returned ; and it was now sought to throw all the blame and all the evils which their own laxity had created, upon the act itself and upon its author ! They had an extended suffrage, vote by ballot, and annual elections after 1857; and if the wrong people are in office the ratepayers can right themselves.
At the meeting of the Metropolitan Board of Works, yesterday week, Mr. Bazalgette, the engineer, brought up and read a report on the drain- age of the South side of the Thames. This he proposes to accomplish by a high and a low level sewer to fit the contour of the ground; these are to convey the sewage to a point on the banks of the river, in Plimistead Marshes, where it is proposed to erect a large reservoir capable of contain? lug 4,000,000 cubic feet of sewage, to be raised into it from the main outfall sewer. From this reservoir the sewage will be discharged into the centre and bottom of the river at from two to four hours of high- water only. The cost is estimated at 831,6961. It was ordered that the report should be printed and circulated among the members of the Board.
At a Court of Directors of the East India Company, held on Wed- nesday, thanks were unanimously voted to Mr. Elliot Macnaghten and Colonel Sykes, the Chairman and Deputy-Chairman of the Board,. for ", their great application and attention to the affairs of the East India Company during the past year."
Mr. Walter Skirrow, official Inspector of Charities in England and Wales, opened an inquiry on Monday into the charities of Clerkenwelh There are forty-two charities in this parish : the Inspector said he in- tended to investigate each seriatim. The first sitting was merely formaL The annual meeting of the National Life-boat Institution washeld on Thursday, at the London Tavern. Mr. Thomas Chapman, in the absence of the Duke of Northumberland, occupied the chair. The report showed that seventy-five lives had been saved last year by the society's life-boats. There are fifty of these boats perfectly equipped. The total income of the Society was 20351.; its expenditure 36261. The need for increased subscriptions corresponds with the merit of the institution.
Mr. Henry Mayhew convened another thieves' meeting on Monday. It was held, at the White Lion Tavern Fashion Street, Brick Lane, Spitalfields. There were about a hundred men present, chiefly of the class described as "swell mobsmen " or " kenobes." They all ap- peared well fed, well clad, and at ease with themselves. In the course of the evening, several showily-dressed youths, who were evidently the 'aristocracy' of the class, walked into the room. These were Mostly habited as clerks or young men in offices, some wearing gold grad- chains, others with pistol-keys dangling from their waistcoat-pockets, and having diamond pins in their cravats. They were, however, all mobs- men,' as they are called—men who in some instances, it is said, are gaining their 107. or even 20/. a week, by light-fingered operations." Mr. Mayhew explained, that he had found many gentlemen who were willing to lend them assistance if they would strive to redeem their cha- racters. They would be treated as full-grown. thinking men who could appreciate sympathy and confidence. He proposed to establish a lodging- house for the reception of men on leaving prison. Registers of employers willing to receive them would be kept; and where a guarantee was needed the society would find it, to a certain amount. Those who could not settle down to reg-ular work might be sent out to sell lathe streets ; and for those who desired to emigrate passages would be found. An in- dustrial school will be appended to the establishment. Several of the men present made speeches, expressing their willingness to do all they could to amend their lives. Many of them complained bitterly of the persecution of the police, who had dogged their path when they had ob- tained situations.
The Master of the Rolls gave judgment on Monday in a suit originally instituted in 1836, when Lord Langdale presided in the Rolls Court. In 1796, the then Messrs. Wedderburn entered, into partnership with a Mr. David Webster - one of the conditions being, that when any of the partners died the goodwill of the business should vest in the survivors. Four years afterwards, Mr. Webster died ; leaving his partners to act as his executors, and providing by will for a division of his property among his children. The assets of the firm were 496,0001., the liabilities 411,0001., leaving a balance of 859821.; of which Mr. Webster's share was 5510001. As it would have been difficult if not impossible to realize the assets immediately, the surviving partners found the money out of their own pockets to meet the liabilities and carried on the business so successfully as to be able to pay the children their -shares of the 55,0001. as they came of age. In 1831, some of the children thought that they had a right to a share of the profits since 1801, as well aa to their shares of the 55,000/. ; and in 1836 they filed a bill in Chancery. Lord Langdale directed that an account should be taken ; and in 1846 the Master made a report, which Lord Langdale referred back, and in 1855 another report was made, much to the mine effect. Sir John Romilly decided that the surviving partners had exercised a wise dis- cretion in managing the business as they had done, awl that the plaintiffs were not entitled teeny share of the profits since the-year 1801.
The Central Criminal Court was engaged on Wednesday and Thursday in trying two women for the murder of illegitimate children. Elizabeth Ann liarais had three, one of them an infant. The two elder children were in the workhouse at Uxbridge one day their mother took them out, and they were found drowned in a dual. There seems to be no doubt that the mother drowned them. Indeed, she made a kind of qualified admission of the fact, saying that the baby had a father, but the other two had no father, and she could not leave them to strangers, In court, however, the prisoner cried out loudly and repeatedly that she was innocent : but the Jury found her " Guilty,', and the Judge pronounced sentence of death.
The other case was that which has figured in the police reports of the newspapers as "the Islington murder." Celestine Sommer, the accused, was married, and lived with her husband ; but some ten years ago she had an illegitimate child, a girl : this girl was lodged since her birth with a woman at Horton, who received from the mother half-a-crown a week for her board. On the 16th of February, the prisoner conveyed the girl from that lodging to her husband's house, took her into a cellar, and cut her throat. Rachel Mont, the servant, who was supposed to be asleep in bed, saw the murderess enter the cellar with the child, overheard what passed, and gave information. The facts were proved beyond a shadow of doubt. The Jury had no difficulty in finding the prisoner "Guilty," and the Judge sentenced her to be hanged.
Lieutenant Ackerley has been allowed to go at large by the Bow Street Magistrate on his own recognizances, as he could not find sureties for keep- ing the peace : he promised not to go to the United Service Institution again. But no sooner was this matter disposed of than he wanted a sum- mons against a member of the Institution—." they have kept me out of 80,0001., he said, "and this is the cause of the whole affair.' Eventually, he consented to consider the matter further with his solicitor.
The Solicitor of the Treasury has withdrawn his charge against the Re- verend Mr. Ward, who wrote letters to the Queen and others denoting a wandering mind. A private arrangement appears to have been made with the friends of Mr. Ward, of what nature is not stated.
Policemen Jones and Parsons have gallantly apprehended two burglars at Shoreditch, in the act of robbing a publicchouse. The burglars made a des- perate resistance, but the two policemen overpowered them, and they have been committed by Mr. Hammill, the Worship Street Magistrate.
" Henry Mitchell, a young man, one of the two convicts who recently effected such an extraordinary escape from the Model Prison, has been dis- covered in Somers Town and arrested. Ile states that he and his com- panion, while in their prison-dress, passed a number of policemen during a walk to Camberwell. The Clerkenwell Magistrate has remanded him on the charge of being at large before the expiry of his sentence.