The Court of Aldermen, on Wednesday, hastened to take the first steps to oppose the London Corporation Reform Bill, now before Parlia- ment. Alderman Sidney, alone, supported the bill.
At a meeting of the City Court of Sewers on Tuesday, Dr. Letheby submitted the following interesting report on the Thames.
" The foul condition of the river continues to increase, and is exciting at- tention both here and on the Continent. I have received a number of com- munications relating to the subject, and to the measures which are thought necessary for abating the evil. Some of these are before you, but as I have no authority to entertain them, or to examine their merits,. I would recom- mend that they be forwarded to the Metropolitan Board of Works. One of these communications is from M. Bourbee, Professor of Geology at Paris. It has reached me through the Lord Mayor. Another is from M. Goethaler, of Antwerp, and there are several which have been directed to this commission. M. Bourbee is of opinion that the whole of the present mis- chief is due to the quality of the soil through which the river flows ; and he recommends that the whole of the infected bed of the river should be covered with hydraulic lime and pebbles. He thinks that the efficacy of the concrete thus formed will depend, not merely on its producing a solid channel for the flow of the river, but also on the causticity of the lime, which will destroy the putrid organisms ; and therefore he suggests that the whole course of the river should be concreted at one time. He is, he says, aware of the magnitude of the undertaking, and he trusts to English wealth and English skill for accomplishing it. The other schemes are of less pre tensions, and you may, perhaps, be of opinion that they should be for- warded to the Metropolitan Board, who are now inquiring into the matter. I wish, however, to make this remark, that the state of the river is fast be- coming worse and worse. The organic impurities are increasing from day to day, and are now just four times as abundant as they were on the 11th of June."
As the Court has nothing to do with the Thames, Dr. Letheby was directed to communicate with the Metropolitan Board of Works.
The London returns of mortality for the last three weeks exhibit a rapid increase. In the week ending the 2d of July the deaths were 1024; last week they rose to 1226, and exceeded the average (corrected for mere use of population) of the corresponding weeks in ten previous years by 128. Diarrhoea, which numbered six cases in the first week of June, rose to 132 in the first week of July. Nine of these occurred in the sub-district of St. John, Westminster. It should be observed, how- ever, that the complaint was as fatal at the same early period of the year in 1857 and 1858. Besides the 132 deaths of last week, there were eleven from summer cholera, all, except two, among children.- Small- pox was fatal in twenty-four cases, scarlatina in thirty-eight, diphtheria in nine. A widow died at the age of ninety-five years ; and a man formerly a private in the Scots Grays, died in the Westminster Work- house on the 2d instant, whose age is stated to have been 104 years. Two children died from the heat of the sun.—Itegistrar General's Report.
A deputation waited upon Lord Palmerston on Tuesday, to urge on him the duty of non-intervention in the deplorable war in Italy. Lord Palmerston, in reply, stated that he could fully concur in almost every- thing contained in the memorials just read; that all political parties seemed to be of one mind as to the duty of F land. to abstain from taking part in the war. There might be some erence in the wishes entertained as to the results of the war. Some might think it desirable that the Lombardo-Venetian provinces should be restored to Austria.; others, of whom he was one, believed it would be better for Italy to be relieved from the power of Austria. But as for the duty of this country to be neutral, there could be but one opinion, nor was there any con- tingency he could foresee which would require or justify England in engaging in the war. As they were aware, an armistice had been pro- claimed, and as that, instead of a fortnight, as at first announced, had been extended to five weeks, there was some hope that an arrangement might be come to. The Government was ready to employ its friendly offices with that view. They did not wish, however, to act hastily, or to make propositions unless they seemed likely to lead to a satisfactory solution by the emancipation of Italy.
The Company of Grocers have presented the freedom of their company to the Duke of Cambridge and Sir John Lawrence, and on Wednesday they celebrated the ceremony of presentation by a dinner. In his speech the Duke congratulated the meeting that the country was at length awakened to the necessity of taking effectual measures of defence, and that the necessity for giving way to the disgraceful panics was rapidly disappearing. In regard to the Army and Navy, he believed that the two services were never in a better condition than at the present time, so far as the means granted gave the authorities the power of acting. The spirit of the day was one of progress and improvement, and it was in this spirit, in spite of the complaints of inventors to the contrary, that he had endeavoured to fulfil his duties as Commander-in-Chief. Reverting to the chances of war and in- vasion, he expressed his opinion that should the hour come, as it might come, when this country must put forth its strength, it would not be found wanting, but meet with that result which we all hope for and expect. (Cheers.)
Sir John Lawrence, in thanking the company, did ample justice to the host of heroes who aided in suppressing the late mutiny.
The friends of Sir Morton Peto gave him a dinner at the Freemasons' Tavern on Wednesday, to celebrate his return for the Borough of Finsbury. A meeting was held at the London Tavern on Wednesday, to take into consideration the so-called revival of the slave trade in the shape of Coolie immigration. Lord Brougham occupied the chair. He recom- mended inquiry, and on the motion of Sir Charles Buxton, a resolution was passed declaring that it is desirable that a memorial should be pre- sented to the Duke of Newcastle, Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, praying him to promote the appointment of a Committee of the House of Lords to inquire into the whole subject. A memorial was subsequently agreed to.
Mr. Ernest Jones brought an action for damages against Mr. G. W. M. Reynolds, charged with printing a series of libels impugning the po- litical and moral honesty of Mr. Jones. The action was tried in the Court of Queen's Bench, and was chiefly interesting on account of the result, and the light the evidence threw upon the biography of Mr. Jones. The son of Major Jones of the 15th Hussars and equerry to the late King of Hanover, Mr. Ernest Jones came from Hanover to England at nineteen years of age, studied for the bar, espoused the Chartist cause, was imprisoned for a seditious speech in 1848, and finally became the advocate of the union of the Chartists and middle classes—a proceeding which roused the indignation of Mr. Reynolds and led him to write li- bel& One of the charges was corrupt use of money raised for public purposes. Mr. Jones said, and he was not contradicted—" I am heavily out of pocket by my advocacy of the Chartist movement. I never re- ceived a farthing during the fourteen years in the way of salary. I re- ceived a watch and chain, and upon one occasion a testimonial of 114 . In advocating a union of the Chartists with the middle classes guineas. pecuniary interest. It was at the suggestion of the Chartist body that I joined Mr. Herbert Ingram in the formation of the State Reform Association. After getting out of prison I had an interview with an uncle of mine, a gentleman of about 20001. a year. My uncle's name was John Hutton Annesley. My uncle stated if I persisted in my disgraceful course I had nothing to expect from him. I was his only re- lative excepting his brother. He left his property to his gardener."
The whole evidence showed how Tones had been since his imprisonment in 1848 struggling to found a paper with no result. It did not tell much in favour of the unanimity of the Chartists, but it was honourable to Mr. Jones. Mr. Sergeant Shee said that his client had never imputed to Mr. Jones anything like personal dishonesty, or that he had appropriated public funds to his personal purposes. The Lord Chief Justice—" Surely, brother Shee, that is not so. Nothing can be plainer than that Mr. Reynolds charges the plaintiff with applying to his private uses funds contributed for the propagation of a political move- ment."
Mr. Edwin James—" There is no doubt, my Lord, the very basest impu- tations have been cast upon Mr. Jones."
The Lord Chief Justice—" All of us may disagree with Mr. Jones's poli- tical sentiments—all of us may consider him mistaken, and hold him to be a political enthusiast, but I think the proceedings of this day clearly show that there has been nothing sordid in his conduct." Sergeant Shoe— "Then, my Lord, on the part of Mr. Reynolds, I am prepared to make an ample apology to Mr. Jones for what has been published of him." Mr. James, on behalf of Mr. Jones, was willing to content himself with that apology. His object in bringing the action was not to put damages in his pocket, but to vindicate his reputation, and that would be effected without damages being awarded. But then the apology and the retractation must be published in the defendant's paper. The Lord Chief Justice—" Yes ; let the thing be done in a high-minded and generous manner." Sergeant Shee—" It shall be done, my Lord, fairly and handsomely." A verdict was then entered for the plaintiff for 40s. damages, the Jury, in reply to their expressed hope receiving an assurance from his Lordship that that verdict would entitle Mr. Jones to his costs according to the highest scale of taxation.
A singular action was brought last week in the Court of Common Pleas. An unhappy husband, Mr. Yeatman, had commenced a suit in the Divorce Court on the promise of one Dempsey that he would attend as a witness. Dempsey broke his promise, and Yeatman had to withdraw his suit at the cost of WU, uselessly spent. Yeatman now sought to recover damages. It was shown that the evidence of Dempsey was of an important character and his promise to attend was admitted. Mr. Justice Byles, in summing up, said that in all his experience he had never known an action of this kind be- fore, but his opinion was that an action would lie on a promise to attend as a witness, if that promise was made for good consideration. The jury, after a short absence from court, found a verdict for the plaintiff—damages, .50/.
Trew, a clerk, going for a holiday to the seaside, took out two insurances for 250/. each against injury by accident or violence. It is alleged that he went to bathe ; his clothes were found on the beach at Brighton, but he was nowhere visible. A body was washed ashore in Essex six weeks after- wards, and the relatives of Trew considered that it was his body, but a Coro- ner's Jury returned a verdict that there was not evidence enough to prove identity. His executors brought actions on the policies, and one of them has been tried in the Court of Exchequer. The Judge said that no claim could be made except for injury ; that there was no proof of injury nor of acci- dental drowning. He ruled that, assuming the man was drowned, the acci- dent was not an accident within the meaning of the policy.
Samuel Bromley, the man who clutched a gold watch and chain, osten- tatiously displayed by a Mrs. Clifton in the neighbourhood of a notorious haunt of thieves, has been sentenced to ten years penal servitude by the Assistant-Judge of the Middlesex Sessions. Bromley had been previously several times convicted.
Rachael Mayhew, a young woman, was brought before the Worship 'Street Magistrate for dealing a shawl. When in court another complaint' was lodged against her, and she admitted both. Mr. Hammill—" Where are your parents ? " Prisoner—" I have none, neither father nor mother - my mother died when I was very young, and my father dropped down dead in the London Road Saw_Mills last March. I have only one brother, and I don't know where he is now. When my father died I worked at shoe- binding, but all I could possibly earn at that barely came to 6s. a week, and out of that I had to pay for my lodging, as well as keep myself. I wish to reform if I can, but what am I to do ? Mr. Smith, the clergyman of Newington Church,-1 had been in his sehool,—sent me to the Magdalen, in the hope I should be taken in there ; but they would not do sothey said I had not been gay enough and they gave me half-a-crown and some bread and cheese, and I left. That's three weeks ago ; a week before that I tried to get into the Refuge, at Dalston i but there I could not get in either, as I was not a convicted thief, which seems to be necessary, and I have never been in prison before this. I am guilty of both these robberies, and shall be thankful if anything can be done for me now." Mr. Ham- mill—" Well, if you are really anxious to enter a reformatory. I will en- deavour to assist you, if I can.' Prisoner—" Thank you, sir." She was sent to the Rescue Society.
Mr. Bonham Carter, M.P. summoned a cabman, who refused to be hired by time. The cabman was not on a stand but passing along the street. The Marlborough Street Magistrate held that the hirer has the option of hiring by time or distance, and fined the cabman 10e.
The great heat of the week has been fatal to life in more than one in- stance. Two men, working in a field at Stratford, were struck down and died. Three other persons, one employed in a sugar bakery, have also succumbed. The police have suffered, and they complain of their stiff stocks, a nuisance abolished in the military service, and absurdly retained by the civil authorities.