Upwards of " seven thousand" persons assembled in the grounds of the Pavilion, Sloane Street, on Monday, to adopt a memorial to the Queen and a petition to Parliament, praying that the " confessional sys- tem" in Belgravia may be suppressed. Colonel Smith Vereker presided. Among the speakers were Mr. 13,:al, Mr. Westerton, and Mr. Paul Fos- kett of Brighton. The meeting accordingly did adopt a strung petition and memorial, the prayer of which was in these terms.
" In this painful and depressing state of things, we look with much con- fidence and with great earnestness to your Majesty, and most humbly pray that your Majesty may be pleased to direct that effectual means should be immediately taken to abolish the confessional and other practices not in ac- cordance with the Church of England, but derived iron' the Church of Rome, and to protect the purity of the faith and worship of the Protestant Reformed Church from the devices and machinations of men who, while nominally belonging to that church and paid for teaching its doctrines, are in reality enforcing the principles and carrying out the practices of the Church of Rome, to the perversion of many from the faith, to the scandal and disgrace of the church, and to the general injury of all classes of the peop le ."
The speakers denounced the alleged proceedings in Belgravia, and de- scribed them as "an atrocious conspiracy to undermine the faith of the Protestants and rob them of their civil rights." Mr. Harper said— A number of ladies are talked to in parlours and gilded saloons, and sug- gestions are made to them to embrace a life of religion and join seine holy community, and that if they are separated from an affectionate father, a loving mother, a faithful and fond brother and sister they would be found doing the work of the Lord. And one by one they were found joining these sisterhoods. These confessionals become systematized, penances are in- flicted, and these unhappy victims are condemned to spend a life of lan- guishment and almost of despair. And if it should happen that they should have in their own right money, or jewels, or property of any kind, which by just right ought to go to their relatives or friends, then the le- prosy is distilled into their ears, and in their dying moments they are given to understand that to secure peace in Heaven they ought to leave their little trifle of money to the priest.
Mr. Westerton said that great meeting had not been attracted by high and lordly titles.
There had prevailed a difference of opinion as to the necessity of getting a lord to preside. Now, he knew there were many honourable exceptions among the nobility. ; but as a class they are too selfish and exclusive, and the result is, that having tried to induce two noblemen to take the chair both of them refused to do so. They then determined to appeal at once to the plain and simple middle class people—to the laity of England, and they had nobly responded to that appeal. (Cheers.) A long correspondence between the Bishop of London and the Re- verend Alfred Poole has been published in the newspapers. Writing on the 8th May, Dr. Tait said he looked with "much suspicion" on the particular evidence laid before him, but that "quite independently" of that evidence he was led by Mr. Poole's admissions to regard the course he was in the habit of pursuing as likely to cause scandal and injury to the church.
"I feel especially that this questioning of females on the subject of vio- lations of the Seventh Commandment is of dangerous tendency, and I am convinced, generally, that the sort of systematic admission of your people to confession and absolution, which you have allowed to be your practice, ought not to take place."
Dr. Tait gave a formal notice that he should withdraw the licence of Mr. Poole, and expressed a hope that this "solemn protest" against a course which was a departure from the spirit and practice of the Church of England might cause Mr. Poole to reflect on its dangers. In answer, Mr. Poole says he is surprised and grieved at the severity of the sen- tence ; and respectfully asks that the particulars," either as regards his admissions, or anything he has done may be pointed out. He has "always endeavoured to follow consistently and strictly the teaching of the Church of England as regards confession." Dr. Tait then briefly re- capitulated his previous letter, and said he could not alter his opinion. Mr. Poole next offered a long and elaborate explanation to which Dr. Tait replied by citing him to appear on the 22d May and show cause why his licence should not be revoked. Mr. Poole did not appear but sent another letter, which Dr. Tait did not think exonerated him from the duty of revoking Mr. Poole's licence. He thought Mr. Poole would be perfectly justified in exercising his right of appeal, and he ended by as- suring Mr. Poole of his personal regard. The tone of the correspondence is friendly and dignified throughout. The Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom Mr. Poole appealed against the decision of the Bishop of London, has confirmed that decision. In a letter to Mr. Poole, Dr. Sumner says- " It appears from the statements in your formal reply of the 21st of May, and in your letter of the 16th of May to which in your formal reply you re- fer the Bishop, that you have been in the practice of conducting a system of
private confession and absolution among your people, and that the Bishop deemed such practice to be not authorized by the Church of England, and
to be calculated to bring scandal on the Church. I concur with the Bishop in the view which lie has taken of your practice in this respect, and there- fore think it just and proper to confirm the-revocation of your licence, and I confirm it accordingly."
The formal confirmation of the revocation was issued on the 11th July.
The Sunday evening services at Exeter Hall will be resumed tomor- row, the Reverend Mr. Molyneaux taking the lead. The incumbent of the parish in which Exeter Hall stands; the Reverend Augustus Edouart, has formally protested against the services which, he says, are illegal unless he sanctions them. Last year the promoters of the services gave in to Mr. Edouart; this year they are determined to proceed and to give
Mr. Edouart an opportunity of testing the soundness of his views of law before the proper authorities.
A special general Court of the East India Company convened at the instance of Mr. Crawshay, and eight other proprietors, was held on Monday to take the India Bill into consideration. On the motion of Mr. Cra-wshay a petition praying Parliament was ordered to be printed, and considered on Wednesday.
The court reassembled accordingly, and after a short discussion, adopted the petition, but against the wish of the Directors present, who stood neuter. The petition is a wholesale condemnation of the India Bill (No 3.) It terminates with a prayer to the effect that the bill may not pass, and that the Company may be heard by counsel against the bill and on defence of its rights and privileges. At this meeting Sir Frederick Currie read the joint opinion of Sir R. Bothell and Mr. Wigram on the question of the powers left to the Com- pany. It stated that, although the Company was not absolutely abolish- ed, yet there were no powers retained to them by which they could in any way effectually act as a corporate body. Dr. Maine was out of town, and did not, therefore sign the opinion.
The owners and occupiers of property on the banks of the Thames below Woolwich have taken alarm at the revival of the scheme for disgorging the sewage of Loudon into that river at some point beyond the Metropolitan boundary. On Tuesday, they held a meeting in London ; Sir Culling Eseyr in the chair. The members for West Kent and Lord Darnley, whose seat lies near Gravesend, took part in the proceedings. They denounced the contemplated scheme as injurious to their property and the health and lives of the people living on the river; and it was resolved to petition Parliament against the execution of the plan.
On Thursday the House of Lords delivered a judgment in the case of Captain Carpenter of the 7th Royal Fusiliers. Their lordships were divided in opinion,—the Lord Chancellor, Lord Brougham, and Lord St. Leonardo thinking that the decision of Sir John Romilly ought to be affirmed ; Lord Cranworth and Lord Wensleydale holding that words in the will which might have the efii.vt of disinheriting the son of Colonel Carpenter, who fell at Inkerman in the gallant discharge of his duty, must be servilely and strictly construed. The result of this decision will be that Captain Car- penter and his mother will now be provided for, whereas, if thejudgment of the Court below had been reversed, they would have entirely lost all benefit under the will of General Carpenter, the grandfather, in consequence of the sudden and lamentable death of Colonel Carpenter on the field of battle.—United Bernice Gazette.
The Lords Justices have decided against the appellants who sought to upset the decision of Mr. Commissioner Evans in the matter of Calvert and Co. The point at issue was whether the deed of trust on arrangement or inspection, executed by the firm of Calvert and Company, was a deed of arrangement within the true intent and meaning of the clauses applicable to such a subject in the Bankrupt Law Consolidation Act. The Com- missioner decided that it was not. Lord Justice Bruce said he thought the deed advantageous, and he regretted that he had been compelled to decide against the appeal. The appellants are to be at liberty to apply again to the Commissioner on fresh evidence.
In the Court of Probate "the Prince Royal of Oude" prayed that he might take out letters of administration of the Queen mother of Oude and the King's brother who died intestate. The property is worth 18,0001. The petition was opposed by the Moulvie, or agent of the King, who de- scribed himself as duly. authorized. The Judge, however, thought neither party had made good his title. He dismissed them both from the suit.
In the same Court letters of administration were granted to one of the uncles of Caroline Anne Lindsay, killed at Cawnpore. She was there in July with her widowed mother, her brother, her two sisters, and Major Lindsay and his wife, her uncle and aunt. A scrap of paper stained with blood was found among the bodies of the victims of the massacre after the rebels had been driven out, upon which were written in pencil, in the hand- writing of Miss Lindsay, the dates upon which all the members of the family were killed, with the exception of Sarah Frances, a younger sister. Mrs. Lindsay, the mother of the deceased, was killed on the 12th of July, and Caroline, Anne, and Sarah Frances, were killed in the massacre of the remaining ladies on the 15th of July.
Something like a parallel to the story of the "Belgian girl" has come to light in consequence of proceedings in the Guildhall Police Court. Mar- garet Robinson, a girl of 18, was decoyed from Scotland, by two other girls under the pretext of emigrating to Australia. A "Madame da Silva" was at the bottom of the stratagem. Brought to London the victim was taken to the house of Madame da Silva—a large house splendidly furnished. Here there were many other girls. It is stated that Madame da Silva made what looks like an attempt to drug the Scotch lassie, but she firmly refused to drink wine. Margaret Robinson wished to leave the house. A number of girls came into the room and endeavoured to detain her; but she persisted and at length was allowed to go. She went out, wandered about London Ear three weeks, and was then admitted to the City of London Union ; but they sent her out on Monday. The master of the West London Union took pity on her, and brought her case under the notice of the police. He also wrote to her friends, who were willing to take her home again. The case was placed in the hands of an inspector. Sir Peter Laurie said he would not part with the girl. " These proceedings must be put a stop to."
Alfred Skeen and Archibald Freeman, timber-brokers, have been held to bail by the Guildhall Magistrates on a charge of unlawfully depositing as agents, without the consent of their principals, a bill of lading in the City Bank. It appeared that they had deposited the bill as security for a large sum of money advanced by the bank. Skeen and Freeman stopped pay- ment in June, and then the fact was discovered. Mr. Skeen says he had nothing to do with the transaction.
A small boy, seven years old, was caught drawing a pocket handkerchief, and carried before the Thames Street Magistrate. Mr. Self questioned the boy, who said, " My father is at sea; my mother is a thief, I think, Sir." Mr. Selfe—" What makes you think your mother is a thief" ? Boy—"I knows she is; she goes out every day thieving." Mr. Self—" And she sends you out thieving, I am afraid." The boy looked at the Magistrate, and was silent. The boy was remanded that he might if possible be sent to a reformatory instead of to prison.
The Westminster road was the scone of a most astounding calamity on Monday afternoon. Opposite the new district church of St. Paul's stands or stood a firework factory belonging to Madame Coton, the " artist " for the Vauxhall displays. Large orders were in course of execution and of course en unusual quantity of combustible matter was in the place. On Monday afternoon the workmen had gone. Madame Colon, a woman, a
girl, and two boys were in the house. One of these boys was in the " co- loured fire department, about half-past six. Suddenly he cried out " Ob, the red fire is a-light !" and immediately rushed out of the building. The brother followed, but before he could get to the top of the stairs he became encircled in flames, and although he managed to get out of the building he was fearfully if not fatally injured. Of course the house was soon in flames. Engines arrived rapidly, but too late to be of instant use ; for while the turneock was drawing the water plug the whole building was blown into the air, at the same time rockets, Catherine wheels, and the more powerful description of fireworks exploded, scattering everything used in the business, in every direction, knocking down firemen, and, it is said, a hundred men, women, and children. Another firework factory ignited and sent its pro- jectiles right and left. Rockets flew fast and far. A little girl was kneeled down by one ; a second struck a man on the head ; one person was surrounded by them ; four persons, passing in a cart, fell under a shower of these missiles. In all directions were persons, some on fire, some bruised, some stretched on the ground with fractured limbs. Women and children figure largely among the sufferers. All were cared for either at the hospitals or by private practitioners who rendered instant aid. One child has died and it as feared others will share its fate, Madame Colon among them. Nine houses have been injured.