Parliament was prorogued on Tuesday, by Royal Commission, until Thursday, the 31st January 1856 ; then to meet for the despatch of business. The usual royal proclamation convoking Parliament was issued at the beginning of the week.
A Cabinet Council was held at the Foreign Office on Tuesday. It sat three hours, and was attended by all the Cabinet Ministers except the Marquis of Lansdowne. A second Cabinet Council was held on Thursday, and sat two hours and a half.
The Convocation of the Prelates and Clergy of the Province of Canter- bury was further prorogued on Wednesday, to Friday the 1st of February I856,—the day following the meeting of Parliament, as usual.
Wherever there are privileged regiments of Guards, there disputes arise on the least invasion of those privileges. A warrant recently issued from the Horse Guards laid down the rule that all Lieu- tenant-Colonels bona fide acting as field-officers for three years should ipso facto become full Colonels. As the period of service necessary for the rank of General dates from the rank of Lieutenant- Colonel, the Guards and the Line were in this particular placed on an equality. All Captains in the Guards are Lieutenant-Colonels in the Army ; the warrant excludes all of them except the two seniors in each battalion. The Guards officers feel aggrieved at this change, and, quoting the Army List, as it stood previously to the promulgation of the warrant, show that the field-officers of the Guards who have become Colonels by its operation are of a longer average length of service than those belong- ing to the Line. Their grievances have been embodied in a memorial to the Queen, "drawn up, signed, and presented in secrecy," says the Times. It is signed by Prince Albert, the Duke of Cambridge, and the commanding officers of each regiment of Guards ; and it prays that the warrant may be reconsidered. The allegations of the Times are denied in a letter by "Thomas Wood, Colonel, Grenadier Guards." He says that the memorial was drawn up by Colonel Lindsay ; that it was "printed in the shape of a pamphlet, which has been lying on the tables of most of the clubhouses of London," from what date Colonel Wood does not say. It appears that Colonel Wood was the officer who, " with the knowledge but not at the suggestion" of Prince Albert, preferred to the Minister of War the request that the warrant might be reconsidered. The Times of Thursday appends this note to Colonel Wood's letter— "So secretly was this document prepared, signed, and presented, that its very existence was denied on Tuesday, the day before our article was pub- lished, by an officer scarcely second to any in the administration of the army ; and we have abundant evidence that it was only made known to many of the highest rank in the service by our publication of yesterday." " Fair Play," in the Times, states that he has made inquiries at all the military clubs in London, except the Guards, and finds that none of them have received a copy of the memorial in question.
The Duke of Wellington, 131, Captain of the Fleet the Honourable F. T. Pelham, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral the Honourable Richard Saunders Dundas, C.B., Commander-in-chief of the Baltic fleet, arrived at Spithead on Monday evening, four days from Kiel.
The Duke of Newcastle has returned to England, and is now at Clum- ber. Since Parliament rose he has been in the Crimea and in Circassia ; he has had an audience of the Sultan, and has dined with the French Emperor. Now, on his return home, he is met, we are told, with an offer of the Garter, vacant by the death of the Duke of Somerset.
We understand that Mr. Romilly has resigned his office of one of the Civil Service Commissioners, and is likely to be succeeded by Mr. Wick- ham, lately Chairman of the Stamps yuid Taxes Department.—Globe, Dec. 12, A military journal gives an account of the number of officers absent from the British forces in the Crimea—On leave on private affairs, 26; on leave to retire, 7 ; on leave on account of wounds, 101 ; on leave on ac. count of ill health, 216.
Some time ago, certain Assistant-Surgeons in the Crimea, one hundred and eighteen in number, signed a memorial for the redress of grievances, and forwarded it to Lord Panmure. Through Colonel Mundy, his Military Secretary, the Minister of War has replied to the memorial. He remarks, that, although the officers who signed it have none had more than two and a quarter years' experience of the service, yet their allega- tions, respectfully worded, have a claim to be answered with courtesy. He does not think their pay too low : their rank and pay are the same as those of a First Lieutenant after seven years' service ; and they have a proportionate retirement to half-pay, with a claim to pension to widows, and compassionate allowance for children in case of death. With regard to time of service before the higher rate of 10s. is attained, Lord Pan- mure is of opinion that the present regulation, requiring ten years, may be a fair subject for reconsideration hereafter. The allegation that the smallness of the medical officer's pay prevents his association with his brother officers, Lord Panmure cannot but regard as unfounded ; the more so as the medical officer is confessedly at less expense than the combatant officer, for uniforms and some other charges. With reference to the complaint of the inferior character of some of the duties that now fall to the junior medical officers, the memorialists should be informed that this ground of complaint is under consideration. Lord Panmure will consider the case of medical officers in respect to the length of ser- vice that gives a claim to retirement. He regards the complaint respect- ing the introduction of civil practitioners to posts of authority and emolu- ment, created by the necessities of the war, as entirely uncalled for.
Mrs. Thompson, the mother of Captain Thompson, one of the defenders of Kars, communicates to the Times the following anecdote, creditable to the chivalry of General ltiouravieff.
"In the month of September, I received from the India House a medal for my son, adjudged to him for his services in Burmah. He had requested me to send it out to him at Ears as soon as I should receive it ; which I ac- cordingly did, packing it between some visiting-cards to preserve it. Think- ing it probable that my letter and its enclosure might share the fate of many others and fall into the hands of the enemy, I took the precaution of writing to General Mouravieff at the same time, which letter I enclosed in my son's packet. I merely said, that as one brave man must always feel for another although an enemy, I hoped he would not refuse to send my son's decora- tion to him, should the fortune of war place it in his bands. On the 27th of October, General Mouravieff very courteously sent a flag of truce into Kars, with Captain Thompson's medal and my letter."
Letters from Hokadadi (Japan), dated September 19, announce that on September 3, two French frigates, forming part of the naval expedi- tion to the Kamchatka coasts, took possession, in the name of the Allied Powers, of the Isle of Ouroup, the centre of Russian commerce in the Kouriles Archipelago, and captured a Russian cutter laden with furs of great value. The island has been christened the "Alliance."
A despatch from Lord Clarendon to the President of the Board of Con- trol, dated August 6, and stating the views of the Government respecting the charges brought against Sir James Brooke, has been made public Lord Clarendon states that the Government have learned with satisfac- tion that the inquiry has ended with the complete exculpation of Sir James Brooke from the charges brought against him, while it has brought to light abundant evidence of the beneficial results of his administration of the affairs of Sarawak. But her Majesty's Government agree with the Commissioners, "that, without an exact knowledge of the terms which have been finally agreed upon between the Sultan of Borneo and Sir James Brooke, the actual position of Sir James Brooke at Sarawak cannot be determined."
It is announced in the fashionable intelligence of the forming Post, that Sir Robert Peel will shortly be married to Lady Jane Hay, daughter to the Marquis of Tweeddale, and sister to the Duchess of Wellington.
Baron Amschel de Rothschild died recently at Frankfort. He was the eldest of the five brothers who constituted the senior members of the family, and was in his eighty-fifth year. He was much respected throughout Germany.
The Princess Amelia of Saxony, who recently underwent an operation for cataract, has fully recovered her sight.
A letter from Copenhagen announces the death of M. Yaldes, the Charge- d'Affaires of Portugal in that city. He had suddenly disappeared, as already stated, on the very day he had been a guest at the dinner given by the Court in honour of General Canrobert's arrival. His body was afterwards found in one of the canals of the city. It is believed that be committed suicide in a fit of mental aberration.
Captain H. R. Yelverton, C.B., of the Arrogant steam-frigate, has been offered, and has accepted, the command of a divisional fleet of gun-boats, forty in number, for service in the Baltic next year.
Major-General Windham is among a batch of officers on whom good-ser- vice pensions of 1001. have recently been bestowed.
Colonel Bloomfield, who was lately despatched by the British Government to Moldavia on business connected with the arrest of Colonel Turr, died al- most suddenly on the day after his arrival, from the fatigues of his journey, it is said.
Bristol has been added to the ports where gun-boats are to be constructed for the Government.
Arrangements have been made for affording increased facilities to soldiers in the Crimea who desire to transmit money to England by means of orders the Post-office authorities deprecate the transmission of coin in letters.
Mr. J. Elliott, the military surgeon who was sent to prison for two years for cruelty and neglect of his patients in the Crimea, has died in Devon County Gaol, from inflammation of the brain following fever.
Twenty schoolmasters are to proceed to the seat of war to instruct the sol- diers.
The seamen who served at Sebastopol will in future wear this inscription on their helmets. "For Sebastopol, from September 18, 1854, to August 27, 1855."
Marshal Pelissier has officially notified to the Constantinople papers, that henceforward no mention whatever is to be made of the movements of French troops; and even the list of arrivals of steamers with troops and ammuni- tion is to be discontinued.
The directors of the French Railways between Calais and Marseilles have arranged to convey officers and soldiers of the British army travelling on duty or returning from the seat of war at half-fares. " An English Resident at Bucharest " furnishes some more information respecting the notorious Yankee, Dr. Davega. The writer returning up the Danube, on the 19th August, twenty days before the fall of Sebastopol, found on board the steamer two Amencan surgeons, one of them Dr. Davega, on his way home from the Russian camp. Dr. Davega won the heart of the English resident by expressions of sympathy for the Allies : "when at Sim- pheropol he had asked to be allowed to treat the English prisoners."
A noble screw-clipper, the Royal Charter, is now at Liverpool, preparatory to entering the Australian trade. She is made of iron, of a fine mould, and will sail well without steam ; her accommodations for passengers are of the first class—elegant, healthful, and luxurious ; and the crew—generally for- gotten—have been provided with good quarters. The Royal Charter was constructed at Chester, by Mr. Patterson, the builder of the Great Britain.
Her Majesty has commanded the publication of the sermon preached by the Reverend Mr. Caird, of Errol, in Craithie Church, in October last, during her Majesty's sojourn at Balmoral. The sermon is entitled "The Religion of Common Life." [It is no secret at Balmoral that Prince Albert expressed his high satisfaction with Mr. Caird's pulpit discourse and appearance, by stating that be had not heard a preacher like him for seven years, and did not expect to enjoy a like pleasure for as long a period to come.]—Aberdeen Herald.
On the afternoon of the 7th, a remarkable flash of lightning, very near the earth, of a purple colour, and of glorious brilliancy, broke over Hartle- pool, followed by a clap of thunder such as the oldest mariner had never heard.
There has been a considerable fall of snow in the North of Scotland. In London and the neighbourhood there have been slight snow-showers. In Ireland there have been sharp weather and snow.
The grocers of Newcastle have contributed 4771. to local charities in lieu of giving Christmas boxes to their customers.
Lorden, the man convicted at the Old Bailey of murdering his wife in a fit of drunken jealousy, has been reprieved.
The French manufacturers feel some inconvenience from the drain of men to supply the war, and some are unable to execute their contracts.
The breadth of land in Algeria sowed with cereals is so great, that if the next harvest should prove favourable it is computed that the colony can supply one-fourth of the food required by France.
Russia is making great efforts to facilitate the carrying on of a large over- land trade during the winter. The manufacturers are not in want of raw materials—they receive plenty by land routes.
A company has been formed in Hungary to make a railway from Raab to Belgrade; and another to construct a line from Buda to Marburg : railways are now the rage in Hungary.
From the let of May up to the 15th of November, 549,099 persons had the cholera in the Austrian empire ; 288,030 recovered, 230,861 died, and 30,208 were still under medical treatment.
At Magran, in the Tyrol, a Prussian nobleman has been prevented from purchasing a chateau, solely on the ground of his being a Protestant.
"The Piecolomini," the gifted vocalist in whose career there has been a good deal of romance, seems almost to have warbled away the senses of the Turinese. At the close of her engagement, recently, they behaved in the most extravagant manner : had she not prevented them they would have dragged her home in her carriage ; crowds escorted her about ; she was over- whelmed with bouquets on the stage; and was serenaded so perseveringly that she had to make a speech from a balcony, promising not to forsake her " dear Turinese."
By order of the Sardinian Ministry, the Freres of the Christian School of Rucc-onigi have been dismissed for having given as a prize to their pupils a book entitled "How the property of the Church is stolen, and what the con- sequences of it are."
The Kings of Siam—for there are two—have been elected honorary mem- bers of the Asiatic Society. The chief King is a proficient in the Pali and Sanscrit languages. The second King can speak and write English. Both are astronomers, and one a chemist and mechanician.
CRYSTAL PALACE.—Return of admissions for six days ending Friday De- cember 14th, including season-ticket-holders, 5141.