16 OCTOBER 1841, Page 3

Zbe Vrobinces.

The Western Luminary says that Mr. Somes, the London merchant and shipowner, will contest the borough of Dartmouth at the next op- portunity.

The Morning Chronicle of Wednesday inserted a paragraph describing the sensation produced in Sunderland by the announcement that a peti- tion had been presented against the return of Lord Howick for that borough. " It has been got up," says the Chronicle, " in town ; Mr. Attwood, it is said, having hawked it about himself for signatures." The Chronicle adds—" It is notorious in the borough, that from first to last, Lord Howick in a determined manner adhered strictly to a legal and proper expenditure ; the most explicit directions were given to his agents and committee on the subject ; and his Lordship publicly de- clared himself hostile to every corrupt practice." It is assumed that the petition is " designed, no doubt, to induce Lord Howick to resign his seat, by bolding out to him the threat of an expensive Parliamen- tary Committee." Upon which the Morning Post remarks —" This sounds to us very like a note of preparation for retreat."

A correspondent of the Standard charges Earl Fitzwilliam with ejecting four of his tenants in Peterborough—the Reverend Thomas Mills, the Reverend W. Cape, and Mr. W. Speechley and Mr. F. Ellington, tradesmen—because they did not vote as he wished at the late election; and says that the excuse given by Lord Fitzwilliam's agent is, that "his Lordship is only following the example set him by Mrs. Cornes," a dealer in earthenware, who, with "mistaken zeal " for the Conservative cause, ejected one of her tenants for a similar reason.

At a Conservative festival in Nottingham, on Tuesday, pieces of plate were presented from " the ladies of Nottingham " to Mr. Walter and Mr. Broughton Charlton, the Tory candidates at the late election. About two hundred and fifty ladies and gentlemen sat down to a de- jeuner A la fourchette in the Exchange Hall.

Certain " Conservative celebrations," in which the Tories of Maid- stone take a peculiar pride, commenced on Thursday week, with an evening entertainment of the Constitutional Society ; the Members for the borough being present. On the following day, a "grand dinner" was given, " to offer a token of regard to Mr. J. M. Fector, the late Member, and in honour of the return of Mr. A. J. Beresford Hope and Mr. George Dodd, the present Members." The token of regard was a " splendid piece of plate," an epergne and plateau, valued at two hun- dred guineas. It was presented by the Chairman, in drinking Mr. Fector's health. The "enthusiasm" of the meeting baffles the descrip- tion of the Tory reporter- " We utterly despair of giving any adequate idea to those who do not know what political dinners in Maidstone are, of the manner in which the toast was saluted. The worthy Vice-Chairman, who is the general in chief of fugle- men,' issued his stentorian command to his columns to rise.' Instantly every man, save the honoured object of the compliment, was on his legs ; and in obe- dience to the well-known signal of their veteran leader, a series of cheers were delivered—quick, short, and sharp—as if they proceeded from one voice ; the effect of which can only be compared to the rapid platoon-firing of a well-drilled battalion of infantry ; in short, such a specimen of Kentish fire as is only to be heard in perfection in the county-town, and under the orders of Mr. Alderman Hills."

Compared with this, the speaking was rather flat. Mr. George Dodd avowed a wish to see the harsher provisions of the Poor-law mollified, and promised to introduce a clause to effect those desirable ameliora- tions. Mr. Hughes Hughes was toasted with the visiters. He vaunted himself one of the " Derby Dilly," and uttered a well-timed boast of his Reform Bill deeds- " I advocated the right of the ten-pound householder to a vote; and I equally exerted myself, and more successfully than any other Member of the House of Commons, for the clause by which the freemen's rights were respected. No man laboured more earnestly than I did to carry the Chandos-clause, which has in so great a measure assisted in procuring our recent triumph. To the ten-pound householders and the fifty-pound leaseholders it is mainly owing that my honourable friends the present Members for Maidstone are enabled to sit on the right side of the chair. We all remember how the finality of the Reform Bill was contended for by its framers—that finality which they would now destroy, because it retained the freemen and enfranchised the fifty-pound voters."

The National Operative Anti-Bread-tax Association held a tea-party at Manchester, on Monday, in the Old Manor Court-room. Mr. John Brooks presided; and among the guests were Colonel Thompson, Mr. G. W. Burnes of Hull, Mr. J. Curtis of Ohio, Mr. R. Moore, a Dublin barrister, the Reverend J. W. Massie, and the Reverend William Shuttleworth. After tea, the Chairman began the speaking. He brought very strong testimony to the state of Manchester— Last Monday he had been called upon by Dr. Sleigh, the Duke of Bucking- ham's Pro-Corn-law lecturer, who had accompanied him on a visit to some of the distressed weavers and other unemployed operatives; and so strongly were the Doctor's sympathies excited, that he could not keep his hands out of his pockets. They went round again on the following day ; and on the question being asked, the answer universally was, that times had never been known to be so bad in Manchester. He mentioned this for the sake of the Tories of Manchester ; one and all of whom declared that the distress was not so great now as it had been on former occasions. He could give a better test of this than Sir Robert Peel's Savings Bank test : last week he had bought 27-inch power-loom cloth, which was the standard in Manchester, cheaper than he ever bought it before; not out of necessity, but in the regular way of business. The distress made no distinction between Whigs and Tories; still they would not give up their party : but by and by they would be made to feel it, though many of them, he imam would break first. The next speaker was Mr. J. T. Finnigan, a lecturer of the Associa- tion; who exhorted the operatives to take the management of their

affairs into their own hands. They were met to prove to "the Tam- worth quack " that they regarded him as no better than an impostor, im having accepted the fee and then refused to prescribe. No doubt Sir Robert was a very wise man, and capable of outwitting most of the House of Commons; but the labouring classes would show him that they bad vested rights as sacred as his own, and knew as well how to

defend them. Mr. Finnigan sugared of the prevailing distress, that it would more closely unite the middle and working classes. Mr. Moore gave his audience very bold advice— It was of no use to go crawling to the door of the House of Commons with petitions ; but let them stop paying all direct taxes, discontinue the use of all taxed articles, and not give any support to the Government, either by being soldiers, revenue-officers, or any thing else under the Government. He ad- vised them also to give up the reading of all stamped newspapers. If the people would but unite, and consent to make some great sacrifice, no Govern- meat could withhold their rights from them : they would then get, not only Repeal of the Corn-laws, but Vote by Ballot, Universal Suffrage, and every thing else they wanted. But, to do this, they must be perfectly temperate : they must follow the example of Ireland, and mast put an end to the Malt-tax and the Spirit-tae; otherwise they could not be depended on. Mr. Curtis observed, that people had undue notions of what a Govern- ment could do, as if it could dispense blessings : all that could be re- quired of it was to dispense justice, and in other respects to leave the people alone to exercise their stalwart arms and their natural disposition to enterprise. He had been surprised in this country to hear the people talk of wanting a law to protect wages— Now, they knew that wages were higher in America than here, or, in other words, that their labour could procure them a greater supply of ;he necessary comforts of life than that of any other country ; and this arose from the ferti- lity of the soil. They would see, then, that the rate of wages was regulated by a natural law, which kept them higher there than here. A man there would not work at manufactures unless he could get as many comforts from it -as he would by working on the land. A law, therefore, to regulate wages there, would be rank injustice. Now, if they studied the question fairly, they would find that wages were regulated by the same natural law in England. if manu- factures gave greater comforts than agriculture, the competition for wages would be keener; and the only way to give them a chance of being sustained was, not by laws to protect them, but by letting them alone to find a market.

Colonel Thompson delivered a long speech, which was greatly cheered. He had lain by a little to observe the temper of the meeting : it satis- fied him-

" I feel persuaded that I see before me men and women too who have pene- trated the falsehood, the feebleness, of all those pretences which are put before you to induce you to lie down quietly under the foulest invasion of individual tights which ever was embodied in the shape of a legislative enactment. What want you to put an end to it ?—More knowledge, not for yourselves, but for sour fellow-citizens ; more union, and less division. Let us once prove that the nation, or a vast majority of it, is united in opinion on this point ; and then there is a virtue in united opinion, which, without demanding of us exactly to say how, does frighten tyrannical and dishonest men. They shrink before it. It is the provision of Heaven and Nature that they shall see, in the union of honest and industrious men, a force of which they do not choose to brave the operation. I confess, for my own part, 1 have always had more hope in the iron-hearted Duke,' whom we have beard mentioned to-

night, i

ight, than in many of your polished and more able speakers—reasoners, I would hardly call them—from whom some expectations may be bad. I have Always looked forward, I confess, to the man who had the courage, the strong natural sense I will call it, to ace the time when it was necessary to grant

_Roman Catholic Emancipation, and to do that in spite of the prejudices of his education and of society ; from him, I say, I have always had a much stronger lope than from all the word-mongers, the ablest quibbler, in the House of Commons, the men who put forth their fallacies, such as you would be ashamed

of and scout instantaneously, and then turn round to a tribe of little boys behind, and tell them to cheer and make a noise."

As a landowner, he could tell those who imposed a tax upon industry, -that their conduct was as foolish as it was wicked- " Do they think that Providence has no invention, no way of bringing them up finally with disappoiutment ? It has a way. Where are we to seek em- ployment for our families our sons, at least ? Where are they to be sent to obtain themselves a living, without applying to our purse, and making a differ- ence in the amount of family property and means? You know there is nowhere. If you try the law, there are three times as many lawyers as can find a brief; if you try a doctor, there are more doctors than sick people who can pay a fee ; if you put them into the Church, there are more parsons than tithe-pigs for them. There is not a single art or line of life in which the avenues to success are not crowded or choked up. This is their invention; and then they say, What bard times ! How our families have come down ! My father was obliged to divide the family property among his sons; I shall be obliged to di- vide it again ; and the family will at last be brought to the parish '!—So you ought to be: it will be well when you are. But is this wisdom? It is the folly of the wise, the wisdom of the great—of those who, forsooth, would im- press upon you that they are fit to hold the office of Members of Parliament, or to have any hand in settling what shall be the fate or fortune of the industrious -classes."

But the enemies of those classes were mighty, and the measures to be taken against them must be calculated to produce their maximum of effect. It was desirable, therefore, to increase public knowledge, to in- crease the number of those who think with the Repealers. A little -more is known this year than was known last year, and a great deal more is likely to be known next year. But could they not agree to a little more union among themselves ?—

" The great division of opinion has been, I apprehend, on this point. The leading principles of popular rights, which the majority of the inhabitants of this country have always been deprived of, were embodied a few years ago in a document which was named the Charter. I had the honour to be one of ten sor twelve Members of the House of Commons who assisted, in conjunction with many most meritorious and able individuals of the working-classes, in drawing up that composition. When that was done, there did, as it appeared

to me at least, arise another set of men who said—' You have drawn up a

charter, and the charter is a very good charter; but we are the only men who -know any thing. about how it should be gained.' Now on that, I say, there may be two opinions ; nay,i everybody knows, so far as 1 am concerned, that there always were two opinons ; for I never flinched nor hesitated in declaring what I thought, and 1 always maintained, whenever I had opportunity to lift etp my voice and propriety admitted of it, that the great open door for obtain- ing the Charter was to get rid of the restrictions on trade and induatry: which make you poor and of no consequence in the eyes of any of your enemies. It was because I loved the Charter that I wanted to see you put down the Corn- Jaws, as a step towards the obtaining of the Charter. Now upon that let there he no quarrel : 'tis a difference of opinion, it is clear ; bat if we are to quarrel till all difference of opinion is at an end, we shall quarrel till there is an end of the world, and all that is therein. Might I then propose, if my voice should reach those elsewhere whom it may concern, that we should admit this prin-

ciple—that each shall go on his own way, without attempting to hinder the

other ? I say this the more boldly, because I am bound here to declare my own obligations and gratitude to the very party or individuals to whom I have alluded for much political support, given to me in trying circumstances. They said, nobly, Help every man who, you think, will finally assist yoir cause.' I could point to the places more particularly where they did it : they did it honourably at Hull; they did it at Sunderland ; and I am persuaded that they are prepared to do it almost everywhere." In order to obtain Corn-law Repeal, he counselled them to ask for more— "Lord Stanley said at Lancaster, that he never heard of anybody in the House of Commons, or, I believe, in the Legislature, who ever went so far as to demand the total abolition of the Corn-laws. Now, let us correct that mis-

take, by showing his Lordship that there are people who will demand some-

thing more. Why, when they have put the manufacturing interest in this state of restriction and depression for years together, should not the manufac- turing interest look to the question of something like compensation for the same ? I will not propose to you the Mosaic fivefold retribution, though that has carried with it a good deal of the sense of justice on the part of the

greatest portion of mankind. One compensation will be enough for us;

nay, if we established the principle, then we might be easy about the amount. (Cheers and invitees.) But if anybody asks you what Colonel Thompson said at this meeting, say that he did advise you to ask for compensation. Try the effect of it : see if it will not carry alarm into their dishonest hearts, and if it will not produce the same effect which the terror of retribution produces upon other dishonest characters."

Another suggestion-

" There never was, and perhaps never will be, a Government in this country which durst interfere with the rights of election. At all elections you are safe, so far as you have any power to exert yourselves at all. You all can speak—I wish 3 on all could vote ; but if you have not one thing, you must be content with the other. But let me impress upon you that an election does always offer an opportunity which it is extremely difficult for the most tyran- nical Government to deprive you of. Therefore it is policy for you to make a movement upon 'hat point."

Mr. Watkin, the President of the Association, announced another meeting for Wednesday, to consist of delegates from the mills and workshops, to consider the propriety of having a Convention, for de- bating the most legitimate means of obtaining their object. This Con- vention to meet in Manchester, and adjourn to London on the meeting of Parliament. Mr. Watkin did not agree with Mr. Moore, that they should resist the payment of taxes; because the Government that had the power of laying on taxes, they might depend upon it, had the power to enforce the payment of them.

Mr. Acland differed with Mr. Watkin on that head, and agreed with Mr. Moore : there was no law to punish a man for refusing to pay taxes— His goods could be seized and submitted to the hammer of an auctioneer, if an auctioneer could be found for such purpose; but it was perfectly legal for men to combine and agree to refuse paying taxes ; and there was nothing un- lawful in their agreeing, if men'sgoods were seized for such a purpose, not to buy them; nor would it be unlawful for auctioneers, if they thought it their interest, to combine or agree not to sell such goods.

Before separating. Mr. Culverwell moved-

" That this meeting not only. considers the total repeal of the Corn-laws to be a measure both reasonable, just, and especially beneficial to the working classes, but also considers that the landowning aristocracy ought to compensate the working-classes for years of robbery, by refunding the whole of the unholy gains wrung from the people by these wicked imposts."

The resolution was carried by acclamation. The meeting separated at a late hoar.

The other meeting was duly held on Wednesday ; when resolutions were passed declaring that the working-classes ought without delay to originate a grand and unanimous movement for the extinction of the Bread and Provision monopolies ; and directing that the trades, mill- hands, and other bodies of working-men in Manchester and its neigh- bourhood, be invited to send deputations to attend a general meeting in Carpenter's Hall, on Monday evening the 25th of October, "to take into consideration the best practical mode to be immediately adopted for obtaining the total extinction of monopoly and the compensation of those who have for years been robbed by the unjust enactments of the landed aristocracy." A third resolution appointed a committee to carry out the objects of the two former. Nine hands were held up against the first resolution, one against the second.

A body of working people in Leeds, who call themselves the Unem- ployed Operative Enumeration Committee, have been making a scru- tiny into the state of the town, and have just finished their labours ; the result of which they are about to lay before a general meeting of the inhabitants. The Leeds Times a little anticipates their statement—.

"Really it does not surprise us, that such men as Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington profess themselves sceptical as to the statements of Messrs. Crawford, Cobden, Gibson, &c. - for we feel persuaded that there are thousands in Leeds who will feel disposed to set down the following statements as altogether chimerical. Will it be credited, that there are in this borough 747 families, consisting of 3,960 individuals, subsisting upon Is. 4d. per head per week ?—that there are 214 families, consisting of 1,294 individuals, subsist- ing on 44d. per head per week ?—that there are 1,946 families, consisting of 5,776 individuals, who have no visible means of subsistence whatever ? and will it be believed that the average subsistence per head per week of 4,752 families, consisting of 19,937 individuals, is nothing more than Ilid. ? These are astounding statements ; but they are statements which the Enumeration Committee feel warranted to put forth, after having made a searching investi- gation—after having visited the number of families above stated. It is quite possible that the enkmerators may have been misled in some instances to a certain extent. Thia, we presume, they will not be disposed to deny ; but after making all reasonable allowances—say that we deduct fifty per cent—from the above statements, what a fearfully dark picture still remains I • • • Winter is approaching ; and the damp comfortless cellar, without fire, without food, without furniture, without even a bed in many instances—is that a place, and are these circumstances in which human beings should be doomed to live ? But the fact is undeniable, that many in this borough are existing in such cir- cumstances ; many who would willingly better their circumstances could they do so by honest and unceasing labour.' The Stockport Chronicle gives an illustration of the state of that borough- " As an indication of the distressed state of the poorer class of rate-payers in this borough, we may mention, that no leis than three hundred persons were summoned before the Magistrates on Wednesday last for non-payment of their poor-rates. Besides this striking fact, we may also state that there were upwards of fifty fresh applications for relief made to the relieving office of this township alone, on Tuesday last. There are seventeen townships in the Stockport Union, and relief is dispensed by three relieving-officers : we have given the number of applications for relief in one day to one officer only— what, the number of applications to the other two may be, it is impossible for us to say, but, doubtless, they will be in the same proportion ; and we have no doubt that there have been at least two hundred fresh applications heard at the sitting of the Board this day. All this goes to prove the melancholy fact, that distress, deep and heartrending, is steadily on the increase in this borough aid neighbourhood."

A meeting of framework-knitters was held at Leicester, lately, in consequence of certain statements made by the Duke of Rutland at the meeting of the Waltham Agricultural Society. Mr. William Buncher, a working man, was appointed to the chair. Mr. Charles Voss, Mr. Joseph Brooks, and Mr. James Farmer, were requested to attend; and the following examination of those three took place-

" Have you, prior to the late borough election, bad an interview with the Duke of Rutland at the banking-house of Messrs. Clarke, Mitchell, Philips, and Smith ? "—" We have."

" Did you consider yourselves in the capacity of deputies at that inter- view ? "— No; we were sent for by Mr. Philips."

" Did you, in answer to the Duke, or any other influential party then pre- sent, state it to be the opinion of the trade, that every reduction in the price of corn was attended with a similar reduction in the price of framework-knitting labour ?" (By Voss)—" No; I stated it to be my opinion, that if the Corn- laws were repealed the manufacturers would lower the price of labour, and that many others held a similar opinion."

" Do you believe your opinion to be held by the trade generally ?"—" No ; I believe the framework-knitters, as a body, desire the repeal of the Corn-laws, and think they would be benefited by such repeal"

(To James Farmer) " Were you at the interview with the Duke and others ? "—" I was."

" Read the Leicester Journal, and state to the meeting whether the con- struction put by the Duke upon the answer of Voss be strictly correct"— " No; Voss stated, that if the Corn-laws were repealed the manufacturers would lower the price of labour, but did not give that as the opinion of the trade."

" What inference generally did you draw from the Duke's conversation as

regards the condition of the working classes ? I was so disgusted that I wished myself out of their presence. The Duke stated we were improvident ; that our wages were equal to those of farm-labourers, in consequence of fac- tories being open for the reception of children ; that on visiting the working classes in a village near Leicester, he was surprised to find them eating white bread."

(To the meeting) " What is your opinion as to the existing Corn-laws?"- "That they are unjust and oppressive, and ought to be repealed."

(To Mr. Voss) " Do you retain the opinion given by you to the Duke ?"— " I do; nevertheless, I should like to see the Corn-law repealed."

The Norwich Gazette gives an account of a meeting for religious pur- poses, in Norwich, on Thursday week, which was converted into a poli- tical meeting, under rather interesting circumstances. It was an anni- versary meeting of the " members and friends " of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. On the day before the meeting, a bill was circulated, signed " A Philanthropist," calling upon the Chartists to attend. According to the announcement, Lord Wode- house, the Lord-Lieutenant of the county, took the chair. The Re- verend Lord Bayning, the Dean of Norwich, the Honourable and Reverend J. T. Pelham, and a large body of the clergy, were on the platform ; a number of ladies took their seats in the hall ; and several well-known Chartists occupied the front-seats. The Reve- rend C. Chapman read prayers. Lord Wodehouse then rose, and sail, "It is my duty "—when he was interrupted by a Chartist, who called out, " The Chairman has not yet been appointed. ' The Dean explained, that the meeting was called for a special purpose, and that its promoters had arranged that Lord Wodehouse should take the chair. The Reve- rend C. Chapman declared that they were prepared "to put down those who came there with a determination to disturb the meeting " : he was fully convinced that the Chartists were there at the instigation of some one else. A Chartist exclaimed—" It is false !" Mr. Chapman conti- nued—" If any one of you can show that you have been so instigated, and will give us information as to the parties, I can only say that it shall answer your purpose." The Reverend Mr. Crofts, Rector of North Ockendon, Essex, tried to edge in a conciliatory explanation-

" This is a meeting called together of the members of the Society, who were invited to hear an explanation of the objects and operations of the Society. I will presume you are friends. Are you aware of the objects of the Society ? They are, to give spiritual assistance to English emigrants to our Colonies Have none of you friends in Australia—friends who have been obliged to leave this country and seek employment elsewhere, because the population here is so large ? and would you not wish that those friends should have instruc- tion and assistance ? I myself have friends there." (Laughter, interruption, and much noise.)

Lord Wodehouse now moved that the meeting should adjourn ; and he immediately left the chair and retired from the hall. The Chartists called a Mr. Clarke, whom the Gazette designates " Socialist," to the chair ; and he climbed the platform and planted himself on it, amid the cheers of his party. Mr. Clarke at once offered a fair hearing to all parties ; -to which the Reverend C. Chapman replied, by giving him in custody to two Policemen, who removed him from the hall. Mr. T. Hewett, a Chartist, cried—" You'll never have another public meeting in this hall, I can tell you." The Dean, Mr. Crofts, and other clergy- men, who remained after the Chairman had gone, tried in vain to still

the increasing confusion. We follow the Gazette- , Mr. Winter came to the front of the hustings and addressed the Chartists ; but amidst the confusion, the only remark we could hear was thin—" 1 tell you, that by the course you are pursuing, you are setting every honest man against you."

Ilewett—" The parsons are robbers, plunderers, and murderers."

Mr. Winter;—" It is false." A gentleman on the platform—" Who are your best friends ?"

Hewett—" Not the parsons. You do not work, Sir."

Mr. Winter—" Who is it to whom you would be glad to send in your dying hour ?—the clergyman. Who is it that will attend you at that trying mo- ment?—the clergyman. If you attended your church you would not act as you are now doing." One man said—" My name is George Lamb : I assure you, gentlemen, as I now stand here, if you pat me into prison I shall be glad of it, for I shall have more food there than I have now. I am a native of Norwich, and have worked for Mr. Willett fifteen years : I know the difference between the discipline of the workhouse and the prison, having been in both places. I was put into a workhouse in the county ; and for getting over the wall, was sent to Wolfing- ham prison, where my treatment was better than in the workhouse."

Another—" 'Tis no use : you shall never have another public meeting."

The ladies had chiefly left the Hall, and most of the supporters of the- meeting.

Hewett—" We want more bread and less Bibles, and more pigs and less- parsons."

Another—" The parsons are the worst set of beings on the face of the earth."

Mr. Winter—" They are the best friends of the poor ; and many of you who have caused this interruption are the men whom they have supported- Some of you who are the loudest against the parsons would be the first to call upon them when in difficulties." (Cries if " You always was a lazy fellow; you are no use.") The Very Reverend the Dean also attempted to address the meeting, but with no better success, and amid the cries of " Who robs the labourer of hie hire ? " &c.

Hewett—" You are all robbers of the poor : you have robbed them so much that we are all turned parsons ourselves, and don't want you." The Reverend R. Crofts suggested that they should hear each other tem minutes quietly.

Hurrell—" Allow us a Chairman, and we will discuss any subject with you. (Laughter.) Now, do not go away ; or before you depart, allow me to say to you, that we should not have opposed you as we have done if you had treated us fairly. Your party has put out a paper, called the Protestant Herald, that in the first number chose to belie us in a most unjustifiable manner. If you treat us well, we will not oppose your being beard, but will calmly discuss this or any other question a ith you ; but we will not be treated in this disrespect- ful manner."

Another passage ; Mr. Crofts loquitur- " The Society does not want people to come to discuss, but to hear- (Laughter)—the statements that I had to make to them of the way in which the funds had been expended. (Laughter.) We do not come to your meetings to discuss the Charter—(" No, we do not hold our meetings in this way! ")—nor do we interrupt you. If you called together a meeting of the friends to the Charter, 1, not being a friend to the Charter, should not come with a number of persons to interrupt you. (Laughter.) You would think it very unfair if I did. But surely you will allow us to exercise our benevolence on the ob- jects of distress. I have always been a supporter of the popular rights; and who is it that build your hospitals, and visit the beds of the dying, but the clergy? (A voice—" The Catholics." Another voice—" I say the people.") You complain of the rich, but you could not live without them,. (Cries of " Oh yes, we could; give us the land, and we will try r) Some person called out, " Lend us twenty millions, as you Uhl the slaves !" and that led to the following little history from one of the Chartists- " I was six years in the West Indies, between St. Thomas and Barbados,. and saw how the slaves ate and drank ; and I do, standing here, say, so help me God, I would rather be a slave in the plantations than be as I am now. The men that bad slaves bad an interest in them as their property, and that they should be able to do their work ; and five Englishmen would do as much in one day as twenty of them. (Mr. Crofts, " With the whip.") Yes, with the whip.. In the morning the whip did crack, certainly, as our bells ring; but after that, there was a certain time allowed for them to get to their work ; and if they were after that time they were not flogged, but the drivers merely ran after them with the whip, and they might perhaps occasionally_ get a cut at them.. (Mr. Crofts shook his head.) Then, when they were in the field, they deg a square hole for four or perhaps six sugar-canes : but they were always singing, and were merry. Now, what is the case with me ? I am a slave to the classes above me. I work hard, and cannot get food for myself and children ; and I have no one to own me or to take care of me. Every one with whom I deal is endeavouring to take all he can from me : they have ell an interest in cheating, and not in feeding me ; and I therefore lie down on my pillow with an empty stomach. 1 am, therefore, whipped in the belly, while the Black slave was only beaten on his fat back."

Mr. Hewett challenged the other party to produce a person who bad, like a man whom he knew, only eaten five dinners since Easter. The 30,0001. for Education, contrasted with the 70,000/. for the Royal stables at Windsor, formed another subject for complaint. The hall seems to have been gradually emptied during the war of words. A meeting which was to have been held by the Society in the even- ing was relinquished. Mr. Clarke was brought up before a Magistrate, charged with com- bining to disturb the meeting. He denied the charge altogether, and said that he went without having consulted any one. There was no- evidence in support of the charge, and he was released.

An adjourned meeting of rate-payers was held in the Town-hall of Birmingham yesterday, convened by the Churchwardens, to make a church-rate. An anti-church-rate chairman was appointed ; and to the motion of the Churchwardens for a rate of sixpence, an amendment was moved and carried, declaring that no rate should be granted. A poll was demanded ; and it is to be continued from day to day, Sunday excepted, till Thursday next.

Au inquest was held before E. D. Conyers, Esq., on Friday last, at the Railway Tavern, Brough, on the body of John Heesom, a gate- keeper on the line, whose death occurred on the evening of the Wed- nesday previous. Deceased was a married man. He is supposed to have been asleep, and only heard the last whistle, when he rushed out in a state of stupor to open the gates, and was run over by the train, It was said that he was writing a sermon, or a commentary, on that part of the 19th chapter of St. Luke relating to Zaccheus having climbed up a sycamore-tree in order to see Christ ; and it was supposed by some that he might have pored over his work until he became so absorbed as not to notice the approach of the train. The Jury returned a verdict of " Accidental death," and requested the Coroner to admonish the engine-driver and fireman as to the necessity for caution and watchful- ness.—York Courant.

The correspondent of today's Times says that there was an obstruction of two hours upon the Great Western Railway on Thursday ; and that the servants of the Company were overheard to put such questions as " Is she much hurt?" " is she dead ? " and the like ; but no explana- tion of the cause of the obstruction could be elicited by the passengers of two trains which were detained. It is therefore feared that some bad accident had occurred and been concealed.

A new system of signals for railroads has been invented by Mr. Han, the Managing Director of the Eastern Counties Railroad, to supersede the red and white flags now carried and exhibited by policemen at certain distances. The new signal, which Mr. Hall calls the " Panel or Fan-signal," is an upright post of about twelve feet high, surmounted by a piece of wood-work shaped like a closed fan. Where they join is a strong iron framework. In the wood-work three panels are encased, which are worked by machinery. When brought down to the iron framework, they assume the appearance of a crimson quadrant of a span sufficient to be visible in a straight line for two miles. When a train is about to start, the three panels are lowered ; as soon as it has started and reached the signal, the man in charge of it sets in motion a piece of machinery, which gradually works up the three panels in fifteen minutes, and the signal at the end of that time presents its ori- ginal appearance. By this arrangement engine-drivers will be able accurately to calculate the time which has elapsed since a train has passed ; one panel indicating five minutes, two ten, and three a quarter of an hour. The new signal will in a few days be put in operation on the Eastern Counties Railway.

A frightful explosion occurred on Wednesday, at the works Of Messrs. Eke and Co., machine and tool makers, Ancoats, Manchester Before six o'clock in the morning, several of the workpeople assembled in the engine-room, which is warmer than the other parts of the building. The engineer lighted the fire, supplied the boiler with water, and stood conversing with the mechanics- " Suddenly," says a correspondent of the Times, "a crash was beard, and was instantly followed by an explosion, which stretched twelve of the men on the floor, knocked several of the others down, destroyed the whole of the machinery, and completely blew away one end of the building, besides shattering every window-frame [eighty in number] to atoms and displacing the whole of the roof of the building. The effect of the explosion was severely felt by the densely-populated neighbourhood, and created a shock almost equal to an earthquake. Many of the workmen had just entered the premises, and per- ceiving something wrong, at once hid themselves under the stairs, or the first place of security which presented itself, whilst others unhappily proceeded for- ward and met with almost instantaneous death. As soon as the effect of the shock could be recovered, those of the men who were uninjured moved forward to the scene of destruction ; and here a most horrible and heartrending spec- tacle was to be seen. The engineer was found with his head severed from his body, the workmen were dashed in every direction, and scarcely the features of one near the engine could be recognized. The alarm was soon spread ; and the Police arriving, two of the sufferers were conveyed to the Infirmary in a lifeless state, covered with blood ; three others were afterwards conveyed to the same place under the most agonizing tortures, their frames being completely pa- ralyzed, and rendered incapable of speech, but at the same time uttering the most pitiable groans. On a further search, the engineer and four others were found in a most mutilated state, quite dead; some of them with their heads literally blowu into a mash, others without limbs, and many with the lower extremities of the body completely laid open ; so that it would seem the various parts of the engine had struck them either in a sitting posture or in the act of rising to effect their escape. The boiler appears to have burst in the centre ; for whilst one-half remained within the building, the other took an opposite direction, and in its course drove a heap of coals a considerable distance, then ploughed up the earth in the yard to a great depth, and taking a slanting direc- tion, threw down a strong brick-wall, and fell into the canal, from which it has not yet been recovered.. There was a waste-steam pipe attached to the boiler, of great weight and about three yards in length ; this was projected by the force of the explosion a distance of fifty-three yards, and entered six inches into a dead wall separating the road from the premises. The bricks were hurled to a considerable distance, and many struck the windows and houses of the inhabi- tants on the opposite side of the road with considerable violence."

As the engineer and those immediately with him were destroyed, there is no expectation that the cause of the catastrophe will be disco- vered. The factory is so shattered that the whole must be pulled down.

An inquest was held on several of the bodies on Thursday. It came out that the engineer was a very young man, only seventeen years of age, and that the boiler was not so strong as to be considered safe by all persons: it had, however, been approved by practical men. The Jury returned a verdict of " Accidental death " ; but censured the employ- ment of so young an engineer, and the use of so weak a boiler.

An inquest was held on Saturday, at the house of Mr. Crouch, near Ampthill, Bedfordshire, on the body of Miss Mary Ann Crouch, aged nineteen. On Saturday the 2Sth, some friends dined with the family at Ridgmont House: the dinner consisted of steaks, partridges, and sage- puddings. The steaks were remarked to have a peculiar taste. Soon after dinner, the whole of the family were taken very ill with violent sickness ; but emetics were administered, and the sufferers recovered. On the following day, Miss Crouch and a friend arrived from Chalfont on a visit. After partaking of some wine and cake, they both felt extremely ilL Miss Crouch continued to get worse, and died on the 27th. A post snorters examination of the body took place ; and on analyzing the con- tents of the stomach, they were found to be impregnated with arsenic. A quantity of arsenic. was also found mixed with the pepper which had been used for seasoning the steaks, as well as in some soda which had been used instead of yeast in making the cake. Ann Lee, Mr. Crouch's cook, and his man-servant, George Peppott, were apprehended, and were both examined. They declared that they had partaken of the steaks and the partridges, without experiencing any ill effects from having done so. They could not account for the soda and pepper being mixed with arsenic. Peppott stated that he bought the arsenic to destroy the rats with, and that it was all used for that purpose. The Jury re- turned the following verdict, " That the deceased, Miss Mary Ann Crouch, on the 27th of September last, died from the effects of poison, in eating a cake in which soda was used instead of yeast, which soda contained arsenic wilfully and maliciously put into the same by some person or persons unknown, for the purpose of destroying life." The prisoners were discharged; but the Police are directed to watch them closely. Some officers from London have been despatched to the neighbourhood to make further investigations.

A person named Ward has been arrested for a fatal assault on a sea- man, at Sheerness. Ward is a warrant-officer of the Queen's ship Wel- lington, which is lying in ordinary in the Medway. On Thursday week, he was returning from shore, with a party, including his wife and daughter and a seaman's wife; all of them being drunk except Max- well, a seaman, and a boy. Ward steered, and the boat grounded; upon which Maxwell offered to take the tiller. Ward was offended, and replied rudely ; a quarrel arose, and he struck Maxwell with a stretcher, ft board against which rowers place their feet. At this point accounts differ : the boy says that the blow with the stretcher knocked Maxwell overboard ; the crew say that Ward drew a knife and pursued Max- well with it, and that the latter jumped overboard in alarm. The body was not found till Thursday morning. Ward is still under arrest, awaiting the orders which may be issued for his accusal.

Joseph and William Lodge, two boat-haulers, have been committed for trial at the next Assizes, for a murder near Barnsley. They had had a quarrel with two men named Marsden and Mills; and it is sup- posed that they intended to revenge themselves on those two for some hurts which Joseph Lodge had received. Accordingly, they lay in in wait in the dark, where they knew the others would pass. But an- other person, Thomas Depledge, came by at the time; and one of them struck him in the face so violently with a hedge-stake that the bones of his nose were broken in. He expired as some persons, who came to the spot, raised him from the ground.

A butcher named Carter was stabbed on Tuesday, by his wife, in a fit of passion, at Stanford Rivers. They were both in a state of intoxi- cation, when a quarrel arose as:to a further supply of gin ; and Mrs. Carter seized a table-knife and stabbed her husband in the arm. Car- ter's wound is not considered dangerous. Mrs. Carter was examined before a Magistrate, and committed for trial at the next Assizes.

It is supposed that a murder„ committed eleven or twelve years back, has been discovered at Bishop's Cleeve, in Gloucestershire. On the 27th September, the ground was disturbed in the yard of a house which has been newly erected on the site of an old one, and the body of a man was discovered. The old house had been occupied by one Tur- berville, who sold it to a Mr. Spencer ; but after he had done so, he refused to quit it, and some difficulty occurred in ejecting him. In 1829, a Welshman named Davies, who used to come from Haverfordwest with eggs which he sold to Turberville, was missed, and by some the body is supposed to be his. An inquest was held on the body on the 4th instant ; was adjourned to Friday, and again adjourned ; but the proceedings have been kept secret. As soon as he heard that he was suspected, Turberville surrendered himself to the Police, until the result of the inquest should be known; but he was liberated, and he has since absconded.

On Wednesday week, a fatal accident occurred at Whitby. Seve- ral fishing-yawls were unable to gain the port, owing to a strong gale which blew from the east-south-east, with a very rough sea. A life- boat, under the command of Mr. John Barrett, was launched, with pro- visions for the fishing-yawls, to enable them to remain out at sea until it became more calm. The boat was struck by a heavy breaker as it crossed the bar ; it was upset, and drifted out to sea. Another life-boat was immediately sent out, and its crew succeeded in rescuing a part of the crew of the former boat ; but four of them were drowned. One man was under the overturned boat for two hours, and he was saved by being dragged through a hole which was cut through the bottom of the vesseL The boat drifted on shore in the afternoon, near Sandsend.