Court of Aldermen was held on Tuesday. The first business entered apon related to the correspondence which had taken place between the Town-Clerk and the Clerk to Christ's Hospital on the subject of the Lord Mayor's precedence. The Recorder suggested that such documents should not be placed on the journals. The Lord Mayor remarked—" I shall have nothing to do with Christ's Hospital. My right having been denied, I shall go no more."
The best mode of taking into consideration the report of the Inspectors of Prisons relative to the City Gaols formed the main subject of discus- sion— Sir Peter Laurie moved that the report be referred to a special Committee, consisting of all the members of the Court. He did not wish to enter into details; but there was one remark made by the Inspectors which he wondered where they got, namely, that several of the Aldermen had expressed their appro- bation of the Separate system. As to this he would remark, that Bethlem Hos- pital had not received a single mad patient from any of the surrounding gaols and places of confinement, but several had been furnished by the Penitentiary at Millbank and the new Prison at Pentonville, the only prisons in which the Sepa- rate system was strictly enforced. Sixteen lunatics had been produced by the one in a few years; and the other, which was only in its infancy, had produced five. Alderman Sidney opposed the appointment of this Committee; as everybody knew what Sir Peter Laurie meant when lie made such a motion—it was with the view of getting rid of the inquiry altogether. He approved of the separation a prisoners; and moved as an amendment," That it be referred to a Committee immediately to inquire as to the most eligible place in which to build a new pri- son, adapted to the plan of the Separate system.'
After much discussion, in the course of which great diversity of opinion was expressed as to the merits of the Silent system, Alderman Sidney withdrew his amendment; and Alderman Wilson supplied its place by moving that a conference be held with Sir James Graham on the subject of a new prison. Sir Peter Laurie insisted that it would be absurd in the Court to go to the Secretary of State without having examined the In- spectors' report. Ultimately, Sir Peter's motion was carried.
A most important subject was brought under the consideration of the Common Council on Thursday. It was involved in a petition presented by Dr. Lynch, from the Metropolitan Working Classes Association for Im- proving the Publics Health; setting forth, that while much money is expand- ed by the Corporation in opening up new streets and improving old ones, no means are adopted for providing accommodation for the poor persons deprived of their habitations by such improvements. The petitioners aver, " that by every old street occupied by the labouring classes pulled down to form a new street, the evil of over-crowding the existing old streets, courts, and tenements, near the street pulled down, is generally aggravated." In proof, they refer to what occurred from the pulling down of houses to form Farringdon Market, and to effect other improvements elsewhere. The prayer is, that whilst the Corporation devotes its funds to the forma- tion of new and magnificent houses, it will at the same time exercise its power in building for the working classes, at reasonable and yet remunera- tive rents, improved tenements, in numbers equal to those pulled down- and by so doing a benefit will be conferred, instead of an injury indicted, on those whose condition most need improvement." The necessity of good drainage, and an ample supply of fresh water, as the means of preserving the public health, was also brought under notice.
Dr. Lynch supported the prayer of the petition in a telling speech; men-1 tioning, among other facts, the following-
" Half a century ago the proportion of agriculturists to manufacturers was as two to one. At present the portion of manufacturers to agriculturists is almost three to one. Although with that increase there has been a concurrent increase of wealth, and although every other class has been benefited by the march of science, no provision has been made for the benefit of the working classes. The- result is' that half the children born in great Britain die before they reach five years of age; and, taking the young and the old together, twenty-six years is the average at which people die in London and seventeen in Liverpool. Fifty thousand die annually of diseases which might be prevented by proper precautions. Typhus, as Mr. Chadwick justly observes, carries off every year more than fell at the battle of Waterloo." It appears from indisputable calculation, that the class of artisans, instead of attaining the average of forty-one years, are cut off at nineteen; thus losing fifteen years of existence and including in that the loss of fifteen years of productive labour to society." As to the state of the more crowded parts of London, Dr. Lynch made some startling statements; specifying the Ward of Faningdon Without, Field Lane, Plum-tree Court, the Old Bailey, the Black Bear Alley, and several other places, as being literally hotbeds of disease. As regards the miserable inhabitants, their state of health might be judged of by the fact that medical men were afraid of applying a blister to a patient lest it should run into a mortification.
Dr. Lynch Concluded by moving that the petition be referred to the Improvement Committee. The motion was supported by Mr. Anderson, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Stacy, and Sir James Duke; and was carried with great cordiality.
The treatment of the casual poor in the new Asylum of Ilarylebone parish, and in the Metropolitan Unions generally, formed the subject of discussion at a public meeting held on Wednesday at Investigation Hall, New Road. The treatment was deemed harsh and oppressive; and, with the view of securing a more humane application of the law, it was agreed to establish a society to be called the Poor Man's Guardian Society. A deputation was appointed to wait upon Mr. John Walter, to request him to become the President.
At a meeting of the Westminster Reform Society, held on Wednesday at Stannard's, Mr. Geesin, the Chairman, intimated that Mr. Leader had informed him that it was not his inteMion again to contest the representa- tion of Westminster.
The annual meeting of the members of the Royal Literary Fund was held on Wednesday; Sir William Chatterton presiding. It appeared from the report that 1,240/. had been distributed to deserving objects during the year. Since the establishment of the Society, in 1790, relief to literary men and their families had been given to the extent of 32,4231.
The British Archasolog,ical Association held its annual meeting last week. From the Treasurer's account it appeared, that since the formation of the society in December 1843, the receipts amounted to about 8001., and the expenditure to 650/. It was stated, that with comparatively insignificant funds, a most extensive correspondence on the objects of the institution had been maintained, and a vast stock of valuable materials accumulated, which were in progress of publication. Money had also to a considerable extent been applied towards excavations and researches; but in many in- stances the liberality of the members of the Committee had induced them to defray the expenses from their own means. Lord Albert D. Conyng- ham was elected President for the year.
A very interesting experiment was made on Tuesday by the Fire Pro- tective and General Buildings Improvement Company. The patent fires escape was fixed to the upper story of the Guildhall Coffeehouse; and at twelve o'clock it was filled with persons in order to ascertain in what short space of time they could descend with safety into the street, in the event of fire on the premises. The experiment was completely successful. The Morning Post describes the apparatus- " The invention of this fire-escape is totally different from all others; being most ingeniously simple, effective, and deceptive, as from the exterior appearance no one would suppose that a fire-escape was attached to the premises, it having all the appearance of a common balcony. It consists of a skeleton balcony, fixed to the premises, without any bottom, and a second or interior balcony, hung on a powerful self-acting leverage spring; so that in case of fire the inmates have only to open the window and place themselves in the balcony, and their own weight will take them down with the greatest ease and safety: and from the peculiar construction of the spring, the action of descent is precisely the same whether a child or heavy grown-up person is placed in it; and immediately upon the parties stepping out of the balcony, when landed on the ground, by the ingenious action of a counter-spring, the balcony rapidly ascends on a self-acting principle."
An additional pump has been erected at the wells behind Trafalgar Square, which increases the supply two hundred and fifty gallons a minute; yet the water in the wells has sunk only eleven feet. Next week the mains are to be laid down for the supply of water to Buckingham and St. James's Palaces. A contract has been made for watering the whole of the roads of St. Martin's parish.
Mr. Joseph Wright, mail-coach and railway-carriage contractor, having reduced the hours of labour of his men, they have held a meeting in the New Road and passed this resolution—" That Mr. Joseph Wright having consented to reduce the ours of labour of the workmen in his factory one hour per day, namely, from six o'clock in the morning until six o'clock in the evening, Saturday excepted, when work is to cease and the workmen are to be paid at five o'clock, the workmen in question do take this opportunity of giving public expression to their gratitude for the considerate conduct of their employer, and of their approbation of the sys- tem which he has adopted."
The Times of Thursday announced that Mr. Twyford, one of the Magistrates at Bow Street Police-office, had tendered his resignation to the Home Secretary, and that it had been accepted. Mr. Henry, of the Lambeth Police-office, has been appointed his successor. In the same day's paper a letter appears from the Bow Street reporter of the Times which seems to point out the cause of Mr. Twyford's resignation- while
in a leader it is asserted, with natural exultation, that the offending Magistrate has been "dismissed," in consequence of his misconduct having been published and censured in the Leading Journal. Two cases which occurred at the Police- office on the 19th and 20th ultiruo, when Mr. Twyford was the sitting Magis-
trate, having been reported in the Times, were commented on by a corre- spondent, under the signature of "Form." On the 19th, a case of a disputed
eab-fare was adjudicated: one of the witnesses was a female servant; Mr. Twyford told her to take off her bonnet, that he might see if she was speak- ing the troth; and after she had given her testimony, ho remarked, with respect to one fact, "I wouldn't believe you if you were to say so till you were black in the face." On the 20th, two miscreants were charged with har- bouring and cohabiting with several little girls in Clare Market: after a constable had stated how he had made a search at the prisoners' room in consequence of a
mechanic having lost his daughter, a girl of thirteen, and that he had discovered the men with this and two other little girls, Mr. Twyford observed, that those
disclosures were very horrible. "To think of men going about and decoying young children like these to their dens of depravity, was dreadful indeed. But, as the children were more than ten years old, no offence had been committed in
the eye of the law, and it was not in the power of the Magistrate to interfere.
There was nothing to show that violent means had been used to get the children away from their parents, or that they had been retained by the men contrary to their own wishes." The Constable remarked that the door of the room was kept locked. Mr. Twyford said, "Very likely; but it was no offence to lock a door. Although he wished to say nothing in favour of the prisoners, it was only reason-
able to suppose that the place was kept locked hy them from feelings of delicacy."
Though he did not blame the officer for taking the men into custody, he dis- charged them. Sir James Graham seems to have called on Mr. Twyford for an explanation of the case on the 20th; at any rate, he sent for the minute-book of the Office. On reference, says the reporter, "it was found that scarcely half-a- dozen words about the case had been entered, although the investigation lasted
upwards of half an hour. An attempt was therefore made by the Chief Clerk
and Mr. Twyford to falsify my report; and I believe the answer of the latter to the Home Office represented it (to use the words of Mr. Hall) as incorrect in
every particular which seemed to make him blameable. Sir James Graham then forwarded a private letter to Mr. Hall, requesting him to ascertain of the gen- tleman who reported for the Times, if his version of the case was correct,' e.sp,
chilly in one or two particulars, which had been underlined at the-Home Office. I reperased the report, and was enabled, from my recollection of all the circum- stances, to assure him [in an interview on Wednesday week] of its unqualified accuracy in every respect. Mr. Hall thought proper to say, that both Mr. Jardine and himself, from their own observation of my reports generally, felt convinced that the facts had not been misrepresented; and so far from Mr. Twyford's having a contrary opinion, he has frequently complimented me, personally, upon the Babied, and on one occasion told Mr. Bousted, the second clerk, 'that the pro- ceedings of Bow Street had not been correctly reported for some considerable time prior to my being sent there.' Before leaving Mr. Hall, he told me, that, before any inquiry had been made from the Home (Office, Mr. Twyford, after reading the
letter of ' Porro; actually (as he had been informed) took up the Times, and said, 'My answer to this letter is the very report itself; by which I am prepared to stand.' " The writer remarks, that as Mr. Twyford had always treated him courteously, he could have no motive to misrepresent his conduct.
• At Worship Street Police-office, on Monday, Mr. John Rolfe, a private tutor, residing in Horton Square, was charged with attempting to cut his son's throat. It appeared from the evidence, that the accused, a widower, had been recently in a gloomy and dejected state: on Friday night, his son Edwin, a youth of fifteen, who slept with his younger brother, was aroused from his sleep by the father at- tempting to cut his throat with a razor; the lad struggled with his parent, and succeeded in wresting the razor from him, and throwing him upon the bed; Mr. Rolfe then appeared to recover himself, exclaimed, "Oh, what am I about! what have I been doing ! " asked to look at his son's throat, and kissed him. The
younger son and a sister who resided in the h cuse bound up the wound, which
was very slight, and all parties retired again to bed. They met at breakfast in the morning; the father referred to what had occurred, said it was a most dread-
ful thing, but he did not know what he was re.iont; he then went out to business as usual. When asked by the Mv.istrate what he had to say to the charge, the prisoner replied, that his mind had been taken up with horrible images of late, and he did not know what he had been doing. He was remanded.
At the Lambeth Police-office, on Wednesday, a young man was charged with breaking into a dwelling-house at Kennington; and during the examination a very
artful improvement in the science of burglary. was elicited. On the person of the accused was found a quantity of thick paste in a piece of paper. Its use was ex- plained. When it is found necessary to break a pane of glass to undo an inside fastening, the burglar daubs the glass on the outside with the paste, and puts a piece of brown paper over it. When this is done he gives a sharp knock with the hand, and the square of glass giving way, the particles adhere to the paste and brown paper: by this means he frequently is enabled to pull the whole outside ; but if it even falls inside, the sound is so deadened that scarcely the slightest noise is heard. At a robbery at a silversmith's shop in the Blackfriars Road, where a quantity of valuable property was carried away, this "artful dodge" has been practised with perfect success, as well as at other robberies.
Thompson, the beer-shop-keeper charged with inciting a young woman who lived with him in /oco tiroris to poison herself, has been reexamined at South-
wark Pollee-office; and though the evidence of incitement was not considered by the Magistrate to be very conclusive, he has been held to bail to answer the charge at the Central Criminal Court.
At the Middlesex Sessions, lust week, Mr. Sergeant Adams adverted to the necessity of doing something for juvenile offenders. William Martin, a boy of twelve and unusually small for his years, having pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with having stolen Mr. Adams submitted the case to the Jury— What can be done with this child? He is, you see, only twelve years old; he has lost his father seven years; and his mother who is a washerwoman, is constantly in a state of drunkenness, and a fortnight since turned him out into the streets. Thus, you see, his only natural protector not simply deserts him, but throws him upon the wide world helpless and deserted. What can we do with him? What choice have we? If we send him to prison for six months in our West- minster prison, he will, it is very true, receive an excellent education while he is there; but then what is to become of him at the expiration of that time? If we flog and let him go, what is to be done with him then? I cannot help saying, in my opinion, a criminal tribunal is not the proper place to which these children_ought to be brought. When this child has been six months in prison, he will come out still friendless and deserted, without a home, or any place to run to, either for shelter or for food or for protection. It really is heartbreaking to see such cases. As he is at present situated, there appears to be no other prospect for him but to become a confirmed thief." The benevolent Sergeant hoped to see the day when such poor children shall receive the benefits of two, three, and four years' education, afterwards to be sent out to one of the Colonies without the stain of a pri- son upon them. Not long since he received a newspaper from New Zealand in which violent language was used against the Government for sending out boys who had been in prison: to obviate this, he hoped some public establishment would be called into existence, where the same end could be attained without the damaging publi- city. Cox, a soldier in the Royal Artillery, fell into the Thames on Saturday, from a steamer, MT Wapping; and though he was rescued after being in the water only four minutes, and was revived for a time by medical treatment, he died in two hours.
Some time since, a commission of lunacy was held to inquire into the state of mind of a Mrs. Cuney, a very old woman who resided in Cannon Street Road in a state of squalid penury, though possessed of 15,0001. in the Funds; a verdict that she was of unsound mind was returned; and the miser was taken from her filthy abode. Since that time, search has been made in the house; and bank- notes, coin, and plate, to the value of some 7,0001., have been discovered hidden in different places.
The Registrar-General's return of mortality in the Metropolis for the week end- ing on Saturday last shows the following general results.
Number of Winter Annual deaths. average. average.
Zymotic (or Epidemic, Endemic, and Contagions) Diseases 160 • • • DO 188 Dropsy, Cancer,and other diseases of uncertain or variable seat 101 • • • 115 104 Diseases of the Brain. Spinal Marrow, Nerves, and Senses 157 • • • 169 157 Diseases of the Lungs, and of the other Organs of Respiration 242 . • • SO 294 Diseases of the Heart and Blood vessels 28 • . • 20 27 Diseases of the Stomach, Liver, and other Organs of Digestion 79 . • . 69 72
Diseases of the Kidneys, Sc 12 • • • 7 7
Childbirth, diseases of the Uterus, Sc 16 • . • 12 10
Rheumatism, diseases of the Bones, Joints, Sc 5 • . • 7 7
Diseases of the Skin, Cellular Tissue, Se. 1 • • • 2 2 Old Age 38 • • • 90 67 Violence, Privation, Cold, and Intemperance 19 • • • 27 26 — — Total (including unspecified causes) 1,080 968
The temperature of the thermometer ranged from 61.9° in the sun to 35.6° in the shade; the mean temperature by day being warmer than the average mean temperature by 6.3°. The mean direction of the wind for the week was South- west.