Harwich election took place on Saturday. Mr. Butt, the candidate we mentioned last week, was unopposed ; and it has been said that he has slipped in under a mistake as to identity. Mr. Butt was mentioned last week simply as the eminent barrister ; and it was supposed that this description applied to the English barrister of the Western Circuit. But when the nomination had been made, and the candidate opened his mouth to explain his opinions, it was instantly felt by the electors that he was no Englishman ; and the Liberals discovered that the gentleman before them was Mr. Isaac Butt, Queen's counsel, of the Irish bar. The surprise must have been complete, even to those who have their eyes open to election matters, as Mr. Butt only last week issued an address to the constituency of Youghal, "denying emphatically the rumour that he re- signed his pretensions to represent them." "It was too late," says the reporter of the Times, to make any sort of effectual opposition to Mr. Isaac Butt's return ; so he was elected "unanimously," and is now the sitting Member. Mr. Butt has been a champion of Protectionism ever since he first distinguished himself, while a student at Trinity College, Dublin, as a debater on the floor of the Historical Society—the first arena of the powers of so many of Ireland's greatest orators ; but he is better known to the general political world by his defence of the Irish political con- victs in 1848. As in the case of Sir Fitzroy Kelly, whom he succeeds, Harwich will probably be a stepping-stone for him towards the judicial bench.
Two seats in the House of Commons are vacated by deaths : for Wind- sor, by the death of General Reid, who has represented the borough since 1845; and for Pontefract, by the accession of Mr. Beilby Lawley to the Peerage, on the decease of his father, Lord Wenlock.
Sir Tames Graham has published an address to the electors of Carlisle, which looks like A manifesto to the whole Free-trade party of the coun- try. Summing up the later avowals of the Derby Ministry, he deduces from them that Free-trade is still in imminent peril from them ; and then quoting "the approved definition of a Protectionist" as "a sup- porter of Lord Derby," he puts, è converse, what ought to be "the sim- ple question to be propounded by Free-traders to all candidates." "It is this—' Are you a supporter or an opponent of Lord Derby's Go- vernment?' A plain answer to this question will dispel a cloud of mystery, and will render the choice of the electors both sure and easy." "For my- self," Sir James concludes, "I will make no professions. My public life I for the last thirty-four years is before you. am a Free-trader; a Re- former ; a sincere member of the Established Church ; a constant friend of civil and religious liberty ; and I must add, with pain, that I am an oppo- nent of Lord Derby's Government."
Meetings against the Militia Bill continue to be held throughout the country. The Daily News chronicles them ; and we cull the following names and descriptive points from that diligent opposer of domestic na- tional defence. Bury, a second meeting ; Cambridge, a large public meet- ing, under the Mayor, and a Town-Council meeting; Colchester, a most enthusiastic meeting ; Derby, a great meeting under an ex-Mayor; Dart- ford, a very good meeting ; Faversham, an influential meeting ; Gates- head, an enthusiastic meeting ; Gloucester, a very large meeting ; Horn- castle, ditto ; Manchester, a second meeting, "though frowned on by the authorities, yet most successful" ; Heath, a great demonstration ; Sun- derland, a great meeting, that has thoroughly aroused the townsmen ; Sittingbourne, a crowded meeting ; Lymington, Winchester, Hythe, and places in the neighbourhood of Southampton, under the stimulus of en- thusiastic Southamptoners—all "unanimous against the measure."
A meeting of merchants and manufacturers, in the wool-trade of the West Riding, was held at Bradford on Wednesday, to consider the serious prospects to the wool and worsted trade opened up by gold-discoveries in Australia, which furnishes more than half the wool used in this country. Sir George Goodman, of Leeds, presided. One of the reso- lutions was- " That a deputellen be appointed by this meeting to wait upon the Govern- ment, to lay the case before them, and to request them promptly to adopt such measures as may appear calculated to promote an early and efficient supply of labour to Australia."
The first of the numerous statues in memory of Sir Robert Peel which were simultaneously subscribed for in various parts of the kingdom, and especially in the manufacturing towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, was inaugurated on Saturday afternoon, in the Peel Park, Salford. It was the work of Mr. M. Noble, of Bruton Street, Berkeley Square in bronze, ten feet in height, and standing on a plain pedestal of fine Aberdeen granite.
A third successive week is marked by a terribly fatal colliery explosion. The number who have perished this time is not far short of the greatest on record. The scene of death was the Middle Duffryn coal-pit, at Cwm Bach, near Aberdare, in Glamorganshire. The pit is one of anthracite coal, the demand for which is so great that in this instance the work of "coal-get- ting" went on day and night by relays of men. At seven o'clock on Mon- day morning, when ninety-two men and boys were at work, a fireman re- ported symptoms of a fall in a portion of the roof: Skipley, the agent, at once ordered men to the spot with timber supports; at nine o'clock, when Skipley was for a short time on the surface, an explosion was heard, ana seen at the upcast shaft. Skipley and others instantly went down the wind- ing shaft. They met a few men nearly choked, whom they assisted up- wards • and then they pressed on. The lowermost ladder was destroyed, and they descended by a rope. " Feeling their way with their hands, they shortly found two or three poor fel- lows, half insensible, groping their way to the pit. These were at once assisted to ascend by means already provided in lieu of the broken ladder, and the exploring party then went on. They presently came upon a heap of dead bodies, within one hundred yards of the pit. In the general rush towards the means of escape, and while yet possessing but slight strength to escape, one had doubtless fallen, and those who followed him, stumbling over the body of the first, fell also exhausted and dying. This heap of dying men increased with a frightful rapidity, until further egress was choked up. as over this mound of the dead, Skipley and his nien, although suffering much themselves from the choke-damp,' rushed on in search of living men. Alas! they only came upon another heap of the dead, some fifty yards from the first; where also, perhaps, one had fallen from greater exhaustion, through longer exposure to the fire-damp—their work having been further in the levels—an& succeeding comrades fell over him, until that passage also was choked up with a pile of the dying and dead. In these two piles lay nearly sixty men and children, who, in the fruitless attempt to escape the terrible after-damp—more fatal than the fire- damp—had tumbled down upon each other and miserably perished. A father and two sons were found among one of the heaps of the dead. The poor man, in hi, frantic eagerness and anxiety to save himself and his two sons, had clutched one under each arm, and thus had sought to escape."
Out of the ninety-two who were in the pit, only twenty-eight escaped. The correspondent of the Times reports on the cause of the explosion, aajd. the management-
" On all hands we heard, and wehave cause to believe it tame, that no blame could possibly attach to any of the officials of the colliery. The coal worked here, how._ ever, is of a highly gaseous quality, insomuch that numerous cargoes which have recently gone from the shipping port (Cardiff) have exploded, and destroyed the res. ads bearing them. Other explosions are as likely to occur in the working of this coal as those previously, although about 30,000 cubic feet of atmospheric air is driven into the colliery per minute, and a furnace is provided below to furnish the air, and an upcast shaft, with a steam jet, to draw off the foul air."
The owner is Mr. Thomas Powell of Geer, one of the largest coal-owners in the kingdom.
Within an hour or two of the time at which the fatal explosion happened in the Duffryn pit, an explosion, fortunately not fatal, happened in the Co. thincolliery, near Merthyr. At work-time, early in the morning, the over- man found the pit to be dangerous ; and he would not let the assembled pit- men, fifty in number, go down, but went down himself, with only one trusty assistant, carrying a safety-lamp. While these two were down, the explo- sion happened, with immense force ; setting fire to the timber-work at the top of the shaft. The poor overman and his companion were given up for lost ; but as the pitmen hastened down, they met the two coming up unhurt.. When the first rush of the gas had been heard by them, they had thrown themselves into the sump-hole—which is at the bottom of the shaft, below- the level of the workings, and is full of water—where they escaped the- flaming gases which roared above them.
On the same day with these accidents by fiery explosion there was a fats/ accident by the in-bursting of water, at the Gwendraeth colliery, near Pem- brey, between Llanelly and Carmarthen. Out of twenty-eight colliers at work, only one had time to escape. It is not known whither the in-burst was from a canal near the spot, or from old colliery-workings.
It turns out that the lamentable fire which devastated the village of Harwell. was caused by a lad of weak intellect. George Murrell, aged seventeen, on his second examination by the Abingdon Magistrates confessed that the act was his : he lighted a lueifer-match, put it on a tile, and then thrust both into a straw-rick in Mr. Roby's yard. ir It is not clear what directed the boy's mischievous propensities in that direction : he himself told a story evidently false. He was committed for trial.