A meeting of electors of North Cheshire has resolved that Mr. Francis Dukenfield Palmer Astley is a fit person to succeed to the seat vacated by Mr. E. J. Stanley, on his elevation to the Peerage. The Manchester Guar- dian recalls the circumstances under which Mr. Astley retired from con- testing the representation of North Cheshire at the last general election. It was arranged that Mr. Stanley and Mr. Egerton should be unopposed, and that Mr. Astley should be returned if any vacancy occurred during this Parliament. The Guardian presumes that this understanding will be adhered to.
The inhabitants of Hertford met on Monday last, on a requisition and under the chairmanship of their Mayor, and passed this along with other re- solutions—
" That this meeting cordially approves of the movement lately commenced for placing the Parliamentary suffrage on a more just and equal basis ,for reducing the public expenditure, and diminishing the amount and equalizing the pressure of taxation."
The meeting was very numerous, respectable, and unanimous.
A frightful accident happened on the Great Western Railway on Wednesday The mid-day express-train from Exeter proceeded on its way in safety td it approached the Shrivenham station about seventy miles from London,—.a place at which the train in question did not use to stop: the signal was given that the line was clear, and the engine dashed onward: there is a siding at the spot; a horse-box and a cattle-truck were standing on these rails; the former was on the main line; the locomotive struck it, and both the horse-box and the truck swung round, came in contact with the foremost second-class carriage of the train, and smashed it to pieces. The driver managed to stop the train in time to prevent any other carriage from going off the line. The passengers, however, were thrown in every direction. Three were found dead; another dieds hortly after; and many were seriously wounded; in fact, only one person in the carriage escaped unhurt. The persons killed were— the Reverend Mr. Phillips, of Penzance; the Reverend Mr. Sandys, of Woolwich; Wilshere, valet to Sir Alexander Mackenzie; and a man unknown. Among the fifteen individuals hart, these were the ,worst cases—Captain Blair R.N., injury to the spine, likely to be fatal; Mr. Carlton, dislocated ankle; Mr. Lea, Waduam College, Oxford, leg broken and thigh fractured; Mr. Seymour, of Cork, fractured thigh; Mr. C. Plane, whose arm has been amputated. The inquest was held on Thursday. A labourer on the railway described the disaster. Two porters and another man were moving a cattle-truck and a horse- box when the express-train approached; the horse-box was partly on the main line; one of the porters perceived the danger, and held up his hands to stop the train, but there was not time. The porters were Weybu7 and Willoughby. The first made a statement to the Jury: he had been off duty for an hour; on lus return he assisted in moving the vehicles, no one having warned him that the express-train had not passed the station previously, as it should have done. Mr. Hudson, the station-clerk, said it was the policeman's duty to exhibit the signal that the line was clear for the express-train: had the porters looked to the signal they would have seen that a train was expected. Roscoe, the driver of the train, stated that it started twenty-one minutes after time: orders had recently been issued not to attempt to make up lost time: the usual speed in passing the station was from fifty to sixty miles an hour. He had a heavy eight-wheeled engine: had it been a lighter one, he thought the whole train would have been crashed by the shock, but the weight of the locomotive made it keep the line. Forgetter, the policeman, said he exhibited the signal that the line was clear ; and as the train approached he held out his arm also to notify it—directly after, he saw the
horse-box on the rails. The Jury returned a verdict of " Manslaueter " against Weybury and Willoughby.
The Warwick Magistrates were engaged for many hours on Saturday investi gating what appear to have been most preposterous charges of murder against Lord Leigh, his deceased mother, and persons employed by them. The accusa- tion seems to have originated from the attempt of certain parties to seize Stone- leigh Abbey on pretence that it rightfully belonged to them and not to Lord Leigh: in November 1844, a mob took possession of the place for one George Leigh; they were tried for the offence and no fewer than twenty-eight were con- victed. Richard Barnett made the charge of murder: in 1814, be was employed under Lady Julia Leigh and her son at the Abbey; a number of workmen were engaged in making alterations; four of these men were murdered by large stones having been allowed to fall on them and their bodies were placed within an abutment of a bridge, and then enclosed with masonry. Another man was mur- dered by Hay, a keeper, who shot him. In cross-examination, this witness said he had kept silence on these atrocities for thirty years, because he feared Lord Leigh, and because he did not expect to obtain anything by speaking: he first di- vulged the secret to those who were trying to get the estate; he thought it would help them to get it, for the murders were committed to keep out the proper own- ers. John Wilcox was required to repeat evidence which he had given before a Master in Chancery: but instead of doing so, the man said he was:not sober when he signed the declaration. This man however, repeated a story how some ser- vants of the Leigh family had burned' pictures and had been paid to keep "the secrets of the house." Mr. Griffin, an attorney, deposed to taking down a depo- sition by one Shaw, since dead, in which the man had so far criminated himself that Mr. Griffin had laid the matter before the Home Secretary. Some more wit- nesses having been examined, Mr. Jones addressed the Magistrates for Lord Leigh; and, after a short consultation, the Bench dismissed the charge. Mr. Jones threatened proceedings against some of the witnesses for perjury.
Two men have been murdered near Swansea. They had been drinking with a number of "navies" and others, in a cottage; on leaving it, a dispute took place; the two men were attacked near their houses, stabbed, and so killed. The mur- derers appear to have been Irishmen: they got away in the confusion and darkness.