A letter has been published by Mr. Barnard, the Member for Green- wich, giving his most unqualified contradiction to a very prevalent report that he meant to accept the Chiltern Hundreds.
The Sixth Metropolitan district meeting of the Anti-Corn-law Asso- ciation, for St. Luke's, Islington, and Clerkenwell, was held at the Bri- tish and Foreign School-room, in Cowper Street, on Wednesday. Mr. P. A. Taylor took the chair ; and on the platform were Mr. Gibson, Mr. Ewart, Dr. Bowring, Mr. Buckingham, and many gentlemen of influence in the district. The reports of the speeches furnish scarcely any matter for particular notice. Mr. Ewart anticipated that next session Sir Robert Peel, "more suddenly than gradually," would repeal the Corn-law. Dr. Bowring said that he had lately been to Acrington, where the people had last year eaten a disinterred cow ; Mr. Cobden's statement of which was doubted. He had seen the men who had disinterred the cow, and they thought it a great, advantage to be able to eat it. A weaver there told him that he earned only 2s. 8d. a week for himself; that his wife sometimes earned 4d. ; and that they had only tasted meat when a farmer allowed them to partake of a cow that had died. The impoverished village of Acrington, however, had contributed 4001. towards the League Fund. Dr. Bowring expressed a fear that the Whigs were still standing to the 8s. fixed duty ; which he did not think a whit better than the sliding-scale. The meeting passed resolutions to cooperate with the League.
Other Anti-Corn-law meetings have taken place in London during the week. On Monday, a meeting was held at the Surrey and Sussex Hotel in Blackfriars Road, and the Christchurch Anti-Corn-law Asso- ciation was formed. Another meeting at Nutt's Coffeehouse in Hamp- stead formed an Anti-Corn-law Association for that neighbourhood. On Tuesday, certain electors of Marylebone assembled to complete the formation of a "Central Borough Anti-Corn-law Association," to carry out the objects of the League Fund. A meeting in aid of the fund was held on the same day at Mile-End. On Thursday, an Anti-Corn- law Association was formed at Kensington. At the Hampstead and Mile-End meetings, the Chartists offered some ineffectual interruption.
Upwards of 1,500 appeals have been lodged against the assessment of the Income-tax in the parish of St. James, Clerkenwell. The office of the Commissioners in that district, it is stated, has been the scene of much angry feeling.
The quarterly meeting of the Royal Free Hospital for the Destikute Sick was held on Tuesday ; the Rev. Dr. Knapp in the chair. The report stated that the subscriptions had increased, as compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous year, by 12 per cent, and the do- nations by 170 per cent. The number of patients relieved during the quarter had been 4,5241. The spacious building in Gray's Inn Road would be prepared for the reception of patients in a few days. Thanks having been voted to the officers, and other business transacted, the meeting separated.
The half-yearly general court of the Governors of the Royal Humane Society was held on Tuesday, at their office in Trafalgar Square ; Mr. Baron Gurney in the chair. Among those present were Lord John Russell and Mr. Hawes, M.P. The Secretary read the report. Since July last, eighty-five cases of drowning had come under the notice of the Committee, in seventy-eight of which anima- tion was restored. Of the entire number, fourteen were attempted sui- cides. The income of the Society was stated at 3,6251. ; the expendi- ture at 3,5501. ; leaving a balance in hand of 75/. Several medals were
awarded; among them, one to Dr. Boston and Mr. Rymer, surgeon, for restoring animation, at Malton, after the patient had been immersed in the water for ten minutes. Thanks were distributed where due, and the proceedings closed.
An entertainment was given to the male patients at the Hanwell Pauper Lunatic Asylum, on Friday, Old Christmas Day ; the patients numbering 230. Tea, coffee, and cake were served up by the attend- ants ; dancing ensued, to the music of a band of patients ; then vocal music, Mr. Mainzer presiding at a cabinet-pianoforte ; and finally supper. The patient-guests were provided with knives sharp only for about an inch and a half near the point. The doxology from the Hun- dredth Psalm and the National Anthem closed the repast : at the con- clusion of the latter, one of the patients was observed to seize the band of his next companion and exclaim. " How happy we are !"
The attention of the Directors and Guardians of the Poor for the parish of St. Marylebone was yesterday called to the mortality among the young pauper children : of 120 under seven years of age, 47 have died, being at the rate of 34 per cent ; and of 71 in the infant school 41 have died, or nearly 60 per cent ! It was alleged against the mistress of the infant school, that she suffered them to lie about on a grass-plat at this inclement season, quite wet in their feet, and that she suffered them to remain in a state of great filth for want of washing. An in- quiry was ordered.
The great will cause of Blundell versus Gladstone was decided yes- terday, in the Court of Chancery ; when Mr. Justice Pattison and Mr. Justice Maule attended to state their judgment on a trial at law. Mr. Charles Robert Blundell left property, by a will dated 1837, to the second son of Edward Weld, of Lulworth, and his issue : there was no Edward Weld, of Lulworth ; but Joseph Weld, of Lulworth, had a son Edward Joseph, now dead. The property was contested by the heirs- at-law, Lord Camoys and Lady Stourton, on the ground that the will was void ; and by Thomas Weld, the second son of Joseph Weld, on the plea that by Edward Weld, of Lulworth, the will clearly meant Joseph Weld, of Lulworth. So the Vice-Chancellor had decided ; the Judges concurred ; and the Lord Chancellor now confirmed the previ- ous decisions. Under the circumstances, however, the costs of the suit were ordered to be paid out of the estate.
In the Court of Queen's Bench, on Thursday, the Attorney-General applied for a rule to show cause why a criminal information should not be filed against the publisher of the Times newspaper, for a libel on Mr. George Alfred Muskett, the late Member for St. Alban's, and now an acting Magistrate of Hertfordshire. In a Police report which appeared in the Times on the 13th December, Charles Muskett, a person who was summoned for keeping a disorderly house in Regent Street, was des- cribed as the late Member for St. Alban's; and the totally unfounded imputation caused great distress to Mr. Muskett and his family. A letter from Mr. Muskett's lawyer was afterwards inserted in the Times, under the usual head of the Police report; and that not being consi- dered sufficient, the editor offered to insert a statement drawn up on the part of Mr. Muskett; but that again was declined, and the editor was required to make such a disavowal as his own candour would prompt. Nothing further was done, and hence the present prosecution. Lord Denman said, that if Mr. Muskett had in the first instance, when he met a refusal to give up the authority of the Times, applied for a crimi- nal information, there was no doubt that it would have been granted ; but as Mr. Muskett referred to the editor to do what he thought proper —as the editor expressed his pleasure in contradicting the report, and offered to do anything more that could be required of him, the Lord Chief Justice did not see how the Court could be called upon to judge of the terms between the parties. The rule was therefore refused.
In the Court of Bankruptcy, on Thursday, Thomas Hague, who was connected with a scandalous paper called the Paul Pry, applied to be relieved under the new Insolvent Debtors' Act. His debts were set down at 3161., and he claimed about 10,000/. as owing to him ; but all the debts comprised in that sum, except one, were barred by the Statute of Limitations. The insolvent appeared to have received two gratui- ties, in May and November, of 50/. each, from the Duke of Bucking- ham : it seemed, indeed, that the payments were on account of a yearly allowance of 100/. from the Duke. Mr. Hague refused to give any explanation of the reason for these payments, except that the Duke had "an exalted opinion" of the services rendered by the insolvent to the late Duke, and he gave him the money "out of benevolence." The alleged good debt, 1,1301., was said to be due from a Mr. Partridge ; Mr. Hague, who had once been an attorney, having ceased to practice, and having advanced the money to the other to set up in the same business. Mr. Partridge denied the correctness of that statement. The case was adjourned till the 3d of February, for further inquiry into the debt.
A murder and suicide were committed at Hoxton, on Saturday night, by James Giles, a needle and hook-and-eye maker. He managed to get his wife and two elder boys out of the way ; and during their ab- sence, having fastened himself in the house, be cut the throats of his two younger children as they slept. Afterwards, he nearly severed his own head from his body with the same razor ; which he had taken some pains to prepare by placing splints from the handle to the blade, and then binding them with tape. One of the children was dead, the other still lived. Giles had been for some time previous in a state of great despondency, as he appears to have been dying of consumption ; and he feared that on his death his family would be unprovided for. A Coroner's Jury, who investigated the case on Monday, returned a ver- dict of " Temporary Insanity."
Mr. William Bevan, of West Park, Clifton, who lately suggested in the Times that a net should be provided to save persons escaping from fire, states that his hint has not been fruitless-
" The suggestion has been carried into practical effect by two of the gallant officers of her Majesty's Navy, Captain R. J. Elliott and Captain Pierce, the honorary secretaries of that benevolent institution the London Sailors' Home, Wells Street; who, with that promptitude so characteristic of the noble ser- vice to which they belong, immediately on reading the letter in your journal ordered a net to be constructed to test the utility of the proposed plan. Cap- tain Pierce informs me, that a trial of the net was made on the 2d instant, with the most perfect success, in the presence of the Police authorities of the Whitechapel division.'"