1 DECEMBER 1849, Page 10

Agricultural meetings, convivial or otherwise, have been held at Starmin-

ster in Dorsetshire, Burton-on-Trent in Lincolnshire, and Handley in Cheshire. The speakers at the Sturminster meeting regretted the absence of the inspiriting Mr. Haxtable, with his annual statement of ways and means: a laugh was raised at the suggestion that he was expecting to re- ceive and entertain the last man whom the Dorsetshire farmers would de- light to honour—Sir Rolirrt Peel. Mr. Bankes, the County Member, in apologizing for the absence of Mr. Yeatruan, Chairman of Quarter-Ses- sions, made some statements of interest regarding an increase of crime in the county— "Taking the dear year of 1845—dear when compared with the very low prices of the present year—and comparing it with the cheap year of 1849, he found _ that there were, in 1845, 588 persons convicted in the county. In this year, up to this period, he was sorry to say the number was 1,184. Let it not for a mo- ment be supposed that he was saying cheap produce produced crime—far from it; but he said it Was a bitter disappointment to him, when he had hoped that one of the results of the great experiment, one of the benefits promised to them, was so entirely falsified, and that Instead of finding at that time that they might diminish the establishments of their workhouses and the cost of their gaols, they were called on to have special and intermediate sessions for the prisoners, and to add to their workhouses, or to leave them in that overcrowded state in which many of them are to be found at present."

'The Handley meeting was chiefly of tenant-farmers; and was cha- racterized by a general expression of opinion that rents must be reduced.