CZ be liattropolis.
After an interval of twenty years, a Court of Conservancy of the River Thames and waters of the Medway, for the county and city of London, was held at Guildhall, on Thursday. The Recorder presided. A Jury was selected from the commercial men residing in the imme- diate neighbourhood of the river ; and after being duly sworn, they em- barked in boats of the City, attended by the Water Bailiff, and exam- ined the places where nuisances and obstructions were said to have been formed. On their return they made a presentment, in which they re- ported an obstruction from barges moored outside the piles in front of the wharfs, from London Bridge to the Temple ; and they recommended the erection of new piles, better to define the boundaries within which craft may be moored. They then reported various obstructions, caused by the floating-piers placed at the bridges for the accommodation of passengers landing from steam-boats; but they considered that the public derived more convenience than injury from all of these piers, ex- cept one on the north-east side of Blackfriars Bridge, which impedes the navigation of the river, and is unsafe in itself. The Recorder said that steps would be taken towards the removal of the encroachments and nuisances pointed out by the Jury. It is understood that a new pier is to be constructed at Blackfriars Bridge, similar to the one at Southwark Bridge, which was praised by the Jury as the best adapted to the convenience of the public, while it presented little if any obstruction to the navigation.
At two o'clock on Thursday afternoon, Sir Isambard Branel passed from the Surrey side of the river through the Thames Tunnel, and ascended into the shaft on the Middlesex side. The small portion of the distance, about twenty-five feet, now incomplete, is connected with the shaft on the Middlesex side of the river by a driftway. through which, at the end of the Tunnel, Sir Isambard passed. Mr. Page, the acting engineer, was in the shaft ; and with the men received Sir Isam- bard with loud cheers. He briefly addressed the men, thanking them for their courage and perseverance. About an hour afterwards, Mr. Hawes, M.P., and Mr. Hutton, the late Member for Dublin, accompa- nied by Mr. Mason, one of the assistant engineers, walked from Rather- hithe through the Tunnel and driftway to Wapping. In a few months, it is expected, one of the archways will be open for foot-passengers.
At the Marylebone Vestry, on Saturday last, a motion was made by Mr. Josephs, supported by Lord Nugent, and ultimately carried by a majority of 2 to 1, that experience had proved the advantages of the wooden pavement in Oxford Street to be so great as to justify the Vestry in extending it from its present termination at Wells Street to Vere Street.
The proprietors of the Brighton Railway held a half-yearly meeting on Monday last, at the London Tavern. The report states, that from the first week of the opening of the line to Hayward's Heath, when 2,483 travelled on it, paying 9251. in fares, to the last week, the increase of traffic had been such that the passenger's fares for the latter period had alone amounted to 2,1401. The line would, it was thought, be opened. throughout by the 14th February next; when two hours would suffice for the journey. The total receipts of the Company to the 30th June were 2,008,9301. 8s., and the total expenditure 1,951,9061. 17s. 4d., leaving a balance of 57,023/. 10s. 8/1. ; which, with the additional sum raised, will, it is expected, be sufficient to complete the line, at a cost of 2,289,0811. On the Shoreham branch, the number of passengers was 190,081, and the fares 6,2811. Os. 7d. The carrying-account, and the wharfage of goods, showed an income of 4,8721. 19s., leaving a balance for the half-year of 1,734/. 7s. 6d. in favour of the Company.
The half-yearly meeting of the shareholders of the Eastern Counties Railway took place at the railway-station in Shoreditch, on Thursday.. A very long report was read. Contracts have been made for the formation of the line from Brentwood to Colchester ; and the whole line is expected to be completely opened to Colchester by September 1842. A clear balance of profit remained from the traffic of 14,4441., equal to 5s. per share. The total cash received by the Company to the 4th July 1841, amounted to 1,659,351/., and the balance remaining in hand was 4,462/. The expense of the line to Colchester (50 miles) is reckoned at 2,300,0001., which is 34,0001. per mile, independently of the London viaduct. The number of Directors was reduced from twenty-two to eighteen. The report was adopted; and the balance of 14,4441., applicable to a dividend, was reserved till next February.
The general meeting of the Northern and Eastern Railway Company was held at the London Tavern, on Thursday ; when the report was read for the last half-year. The railway has been completed as far as the Harlow road, twenty-two miles and a half from London, and within two of Bishop's Stortford; and it is the intention of the Directors to keep is view the carrying out the line to Cambridge, and the Northern and Eastern Counties. Since the opening of the line 330,000 passengers had travelled by the railway ; and during the three days that the line had been extended to the Harlow road, there had been an increased return of 1141. over the corresponding three days of the previous week. The balance-sheet showed the capital of the Company to be 468,3591. 9s. The receipts for traffic amounted to 14,1871. 17s. 7d.; and after de- ducting all expenses, left a balance in favour of the Company of 4,4101. 18s. 9d. A dividend of 15s. per share was declared. Mr. Wil- liams, a shareholder, prayed an extension of time for the payment of the calls upon him on 562 hundred-pound shares : the Company, he said, had had 14,0001. or 15,000/. of his money to keep it afloat : he was once worth 100,0001., but had lost his fortune in railway speculations. The chairman said that the money actually paid by Mr. Williams was only 2,772/. The indulgence was granted.
At the Mansionhouse, an Sa.n-day, Mr. Ashursnthe solicitor, appeared before the Lord Mayor to caution the public against a new method d extortion, which had been practised upon his clients, Messrs. Tarsey and Mitigate, warehousemen in the City. A person called on Mr. Tarsey last Friday night, and asked him if he knew that he rendered himself liable to penalties for giving receipts on unstamped paper ? Mr. Tarsey replied that he knew nothing of the kind. The man produced a bundle of receipts, from which singling out five that be said were Mr. Tarsey's, he showed him one purporting to have been given by him to a Mr. Edward Roberts, for 20/. ; and hinted the prudence of arranging the matter by the purchase of it for 101. or so. Mr. Tarsey would hear of no such course, but desiring to obtain one of the documents to enable him to prosecute the man, he gave 21. for it, and allowed him to go away. The same person had gone to Messrs. Leaf, Smith, and Jones, and as- sured them that unless they paid a specified sum by a certain day, to Mr. Monck, of Surrey Street, proceedings would immediately be taken against them. Advertisements have lately appeared in the Times telling persons who possessed unstamped receipts, that if they took them to a certain place they " would hear of something to their advantage." To a question from Sir P. Laurie, Mr. Tarsey answered that he invariably gave receipts for the balances of accounts ; but it was quite impossible for any but men of business to conjecture what great inconvenience re- sulted from the obligation to give receipts for small sums in the infinity of transactions which took place in an extensive concern. The Mayor said that the offender should have been detained ; for it was a clear case of extortion, and he would have dealt with it summarily. The giving publicity, to the facts, however would doubtless answer a good end.
At Worship Street, on Monday, a number of poor people were charged with having been found sleeping under the arches of the Eastern Coun- ties Railway, and with having obstructed the way of passengers by their begging importunities. On their examination it came out that the inhabitants of no less than fourteen houses in Hope Street, Spital- fields, nearly two hundrecrin number, were turned into the streets last Friday by a broker, on the ground of their rents being in arrears. These houses have lain a long time empty of regular tenants, owing to their ownership being a matter of dispute at law; and they have gradually become full of persons who retreated to them in hopes of living rent- free for a time. On Friday, they were every one, without an instant's warning, driven out of their rooms ; many who were absent from home losing their furniture and property in the confusion and scramble. They had removed in a body and encamped under the railway, and had put up boxes with inscriptions describing their misery, and begging charity. The Magistrate regretted that he was unable to do more than discharge them from custody. He offered, however, to grant war- rants against the ejectors for breach of the peace. A Mr. Hunt, who attended for the poor people, resolved to act on that suggestion.
At an early hour on Sunday evening, a fire was discovered in the Reform Club-house. It originated in a furnace used in heating the air with which the building is warmed. After some exertion, the fire was subdued ; but not before it had destroyed the flooring of the furnace- room. In the course of Monday, Mr. Barry, the architect, visited the place, in company with several of the Committee, and it was determined that the furnace should be removed. The building is insured for 80,0004 ; 10,0001. in the Scottish Union, 10,0001. in the Phoenix, and 10,000/. in the Royal Exchange. The furniture and its costly ap- pendages are said to be insured in the Sun and Atlas fire-offices for 20,000/.
A frightful fire startled the inhabitants of Blackheath on Wednesday morning.' It broke out in a large house in the Grove, belonging to Lord Ashburnham, which stands upon a hill ; and the blaze was visible to a wide tract of country. The mansion was occupied by sixteen persons, Mr. Waller, his wife, and eleven children, his mother, and the servants. A policeman saw the flames and raised the alarm. One of the women reechoed his cries of "fire," and Mr. Waller was waked : his first care was to rush to his mother's room, next to the one to which the fire was as yet confined, and to carry her from her bed on to the lawn ; he then placed his wife and children, whom he found still asleep, in safety ; and then he rushed back, to the top of the house, at the risk of his life, to take out the servants—now screaming and nearly suffocated by smoke. It is supposed that the woman already mentioned, who was at work, had fallen asleep, and that her candle had set light to some bed- curtains ; but she says that she had gone to bed and put out the light : the fire began in her room. Mr. Waller, who had valuable property in the house, only saved two caskets, one of money and another of jewels. He has lost a cabinet of curiosities, the fruits of twenty years' collection. The total loss is estimated at 6,000/. Several engines from London were soon on the spot; and they succeeded in saving four other houses, but not before they were seriously damaged. The buildings are insured : Mr. Waller's property was not.