At the Bow-street Office, on Saturday, a person calling himself
Captains Ferguson, but who was suppo:ed to be Lord William Beres- ford, was accused, with two other young men, of breaking off door- knockers and assaulting the police. The excuse of the prisoners was that they had taken too much wine. The Magistrate fined Ferguson 51. for wrenching off the knockers, and 5/. for assaulting the Police- man. The prisoner refused to pay the latter fine, as he denied the assault. He was told that he might go to prison. This alternative did not suit him, and he said he would pay the money. Mr. Alinshull then ordered him to come round to the front of the bench, and re- primanded him as follows-
" I dare say, Sir, you have money enough at your disposal ; but I pray you not to entertain the notion that you can therefore do as you think fit in the streets of this metropolis either by night or by day. You were brought before me recently for a similar offence, when I fined you 5/. ; and I now warn you, that if you should again appear before me under circumstances like the present, I shall most assuredly feel it to be my duty—not to inflict a pecuniary fine upon you, for that is no punishment to a person in your station—but I shall send you at once, as I am authorized to do, to hard labour for two months in time House of Correction ; and you will then see that neither rank nor riches can entitle you to the privilege of committing depredations upon the property of peaceable and industrious persons, or of disturbing the peace and quiet of the town with impunity." The two other " gentlemen " were discharged ; and " Ferguson " in default of cash, was sent to prison, where be remained till the Mar- quis of Waterford called and paid his fine. The prisoner, with his two companions, followed by a crowd of vagabonds, then adjourned to a cigar-shop in Brydges Street. [Lord' William Beresford denies that he was the person who called himself " Ferguson ;" but if not Lord William, who was he? That he was a person of " rank," appears from the speech of Mr. Minshull. Mr. Minshull, by the way, would have done better had Ile sent the offender of " rank " to the tread- mill or the House of Correction, and not merely threatened it.] At the Marlborough Street Office, also on Saturday, Lord James Beresford was charged with making an indecent exhibition of his per- son, at five o'clock in the morning, in the Haymarket. The crime having been proved, Mr. Conant referred to the Vagrant Act, and told Lis Lordship that he should be under the necessity of committing him as a rogue and vagabond for one month, that being the penalty pro. Tided by the act for such a breach of public decorum : the act, when framed, never contemplated the possibility of a gentleman so disgracing himself. Lord James said that he had no intention to outrage public decorum ; but lie had been drinking too much wine. Mr. Conant, instead of doing his duty, and committing this fellow to the House of Correction " as a rogue and a vagabond," bound over the accusing parties to prosecute him, and held the prisoner to bail in two sureties of 1001. each. Of course the sureties will be bought off, and the noble Beresford will pay the penalty of his grossness in money instead of in his person. It is really a pity that we have not one Magistrate on the bench who has the courage and honesty to execute the law, when a lord is brought before him.