The iron-masters of South Staffordshire and Shropshire held their quarterly meeting, at Birmingham, on Thursday. The state of the trade was deemed exceedingly satisfactory; forming a marked contrast with the commercial depression in other quarters. It was resolved to maintain the existing prices.
The agricultural associations have continued to hold their meetings, though the proceedings have been unmarked by any points of interest. The Wor- cestershire and East Retford Societies are among those which we notice. The meeting of the Shropshire Practical Farmer's Society was remarkable for the hearty spirit of improvement evinced by the chairman, Lord Hill, and by Mr. Ormsby Gore.
The workmen employed by Messrs. F. Ball and Sons, lace-manufac- turers, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, "turned out" on Tuesday the 5th instant, rather than submit to a farther reduction in their wages. They after- wards went to the cricket-ground, and agreed to a match to decide whether or not they should accept the offer made. The game was won by the party for refusal, with upwards of a hundred notches to spare.
Alarming rumours of a collision on the Brighton Railway reached London on Saturday last: such a disaster did occur, but it was not attended by consequences so bad as had been apprehended. About nine miles from Brighton, a branch has recently been opened to shorten the distance to Hastings; and it was at the junc- tion of this branch line with the trunk railway that the collision occurred. The morning Parliamentary train from London and the express up-train from Hastings approached the junction at the same moment; from some mismanagement, signals were exhibited which led the driver of each train to consider the line clear, and both continued their course;. the consequence was, that the London train dashed into the other as it was passing over the down-rails: a horse-box was shattered, and the tender and some of the carriages were damaged; and several of the pas- sengers were hurt. Mr. Wyon, of the Royal Mint, was wounded in the throat by being dashed against the partition of a compartment; his son was cut on the chin; Mr. Lane was hurt in the leg; and many more were bruised. The engine-drivers and stokers saved their lives by leaping off.
The Railway Company published an official" account of the disaster, in which they made very light of the accident in its results—" two parties were only slightly injured." This called forth an indignant letter to the Times from Mr. Lane, one of the sufferers: of eight persons in his carriage, only one escaped bruise or other hart; and he saw marks of blood on the steps of several carriages. On Monday, there was an investigation by the Directors; and they seem to have acquitted the signal-man of any criminal neglect—why, does not appear. But, "as a precaution against any similar accident in future, the 'points' at the Key- mer branch have already been so altered that the down-train instead of proceeding across will run into the Keymer branch whenever any up-train from Lewes ap- pears in sight."
There has been a collision on the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, between the Kendal junction and the Milnthorpe station: a cattle-train and a goods-train going in opposite directions having encountered, with a dreadful crash. The engines and most of the trucks were smashed; some cattle were killed; and the two engineers and a stoker were much hurt, one, it is said, dangerously.
Some extraordinary frauds have been discovered at Sunderland. Mr. Charles Isaac Humble, a share-broker has decamped after committing forgeries to the extent of 10,0001. It is stated that be counterfeited bills of exchange in the names of his relatives and family connexions, and either made purchases with them ergot them discounted. Of this forged paper one gentleman alone received 4,0001. in yayment for ships sold to Humble. A warrant has been issued for the apprehension of the delinquent; but it is supposed that he has sailed for Monte Video.
Matthew Davies, a Welshman who kept an eating-house in Birmingham, bad frequently quarrelled with and assaulted his wife; and he had once been sent to prison for his violence. Recently, the woman had been obliged to appeal again to the Magistrates, and a hearing was appointed for Tuesday. Davies attempted to coax his wife not to appear against him; but she persisted. On Tuesday morn- ing, while some cooking was in progress, Davies was observed to sharpen the knife he was using; presently he put his arm round his wife's neck, and in an instant cut her throat from ear to ear. He did not escape, but was found stand- ing still, with an unconcerned manner. The three children of the hapless couple were in the house at the time.