CASE OF THOMAS AUSTIN.—No fewer than thirteen true bills were
on Wed- nesday returned by the Grand J ury against this gentleman, fur embezzling and secreting divers sums of money the property of his Majesty, which sums hail passed lute his hands by virtue of the office he then held of Deputy Treasurer of Greenwich Hospital. The trial came on at nine o'clock yesterday morning. The court-room was crowded to excess. Thomas Austin was placed at the bar and ar- raigned on an indictment which charged, that " on the 15th of October 1827, at Greenwich, he then being employed as 'a clerk, or servant to Sir Thomas Boulden Thompson, Bart, to wit, holding the office of Deputy Treasurer of Greenwich Hospital, did embezzle the sum of 10001., which he had received by virtue of the office he held under the said master and employer." In the second and third counts, he was charged with having embezzled 2000/. on the 16th of November, and 2501. on the 14th of December. The prisoner pleaded " not guilty."
Mr. Holland stated the facts which he meant to prove to the Jury, and then called his witnesses in support of them.
Mr. Dyer, first Clerk of the Admiralty, proved Austin's appointment.
Mr. W. Knowlden, clerk in the treasury department, in the Hospital, said that Austin's salary as chief clerk was 500/. per annum, besides which he was clerk of the prizes, for which he had 2004 at-year more. The accounte were rendered monthly to a Board of Directors, sometimes at Greenwich, and sometimes at the Admiralty. The prisoner held his appointment till June 1828, but be rendered no general account after March in that year. All the items in the monthly account ought to appear in the general account. Ile produced the rough draughts of the accounts for the months in which the em- bezzlements took indorsed Two of these were in 'Austin's handwriting, the other was merely Indorsed by him.
Cross-examined—The Treasurer appoints his Deputy ; and the appoint- ment is confirmed by the Board of Directors. The prisoner could receive no money but in his capacity as Deputy-Treasurer ; and the money he received, it was his duty to pay into the Bank of England, with the exception of what money was required for the current expenses. The Treasurer seldom acts. Indeed he had known the office held by a person abroad in the naval service. The Treasurer gives security to the Hospital, and the Deputy to the Tree. surer.
Re-examined—After his dismissal, the prisoner came occasionally to the office to rectify mistakes which had been found in his accounts by Mr. Paine, the new Deputy-Treasurer; and on two sets of errors he paid the money re- quired to rectify them. On a third set he paid nothing, and soon after ills- appeared. Some of the mistakes were in favour of Mr. Austin, to the amount of some thousands of pounds. Austin was a negligent and unskilful ac- countant.
Edward Lockhart, Secretary of Greenwich Hospital, said that the prisoner could receive no money in his capacity of chief clerk, without authority from the Board.
Two clerks spoke to the manner in which the business of the Hospital was done at the Bank of England.
Mr. Walter, stock-broker, had been employed by Austin to buy and sell stock on account of the Hospital ; and he also bought some shares and secu- rities for him on his private account. He had no account of the money trans- actions between himself and the prisoner. In October 1827, he received a check on the Bank of England for 10001., which he lent on his own account, and not nu account of the prisoner. It was not repaid for some months afterwards. In November, he received another check for 20001., which was lent out on Austin's account ; and in December he received a check for 2501. He could not say whether this sum was to be lent out, or whether it was for general disbursements. The witness repaid the money by direct payments into the Bank of England, to the credit of the account in the name of the Treasurer of Greenwich Hospital. He repaid 1,800/. in Bank notes on the 31st of January, and a further sum of 2,050/. on the 21st of February. There had been other and larger dealings between him and Mr. Austin ; and in all their transactions the money advanced was by checks on the Bank of Eng- land, signed by Austin in his official capacity. Mr. Justice Burrough lucre stopped the case. It appeared that the money had been paid back ; and consequently there could be no felonious application of it, nor embezzlement within the meaning of the act. The prisoner must be acquitted.
After some words front Mr. Holland, the prisoner was acquitted accordingly. Thomas Austin was again arraigned, on an indictment charging, that he, being a clerk and servant to Sir Thomas Boulden Thompson, did feloniously embezzle forty-one notes of Si. each, two sovereigns, arid eight silver shil-
lings. In a second count he was described to be the servant of the Commis- sioners of Greenwich Hospital. It appeared, that on the 18th of April 1827,
the prisoner received the money in question from Mr. Clifford, of the Navy Pay-office at Chatham, on account of the Hospital : that he afterwards wrote to the Secretary, admitting the receipt of the money, but on examinine° his accounts, it was found he had never carried it to the credit of the Hospital.
An objection was taken to the manner in which the prisoner was described. It was supported by the Judge ; who decided, that the Deputy-Treasurer of Greenwich Hospital was not a clerk and servant within the meaning of the sta- tute. The indictment, therefore, fell to the ground ; as did all the others, they having the same defect. Austin was discharged on giving security to appear at the next Assizes to answer any charge which might be preferred against him. He left the Court in company with his friends, who greeted him warmly on the favourable termination of the affair.
Fine.—Early on Sunday morning, a fire broke out at the shop of Mr. Burton, bookseller, No. 37, Bell-yard, Fleet-street, which burst forth with such fury as to threaten the destruction of the adjoining houses. By the active exertions of those who assembled, the flames were however soon subdued ; though not before the valuable collection of books in the shop was consumed.
We are informed by a correspondent, on whose authority we place implicit reliance, that a fire having broken out on. Saturday night in the corn-stack yard of Mr. Taylor's farm, at Lambton, near Hounslow, in the very sight of the cavalry-barracks, all assistance in extinguishing it was refused by the com- manding officer of the regiment stationed there. The alarm was so great, that fire-engines were collected to the spot from the surrounding towns and villages to the distance of several miles ; and the conflagration (notwithstanding the exertions of the country people, favoured by the calmness of the evening) was so considerable, that the barn and five stacks of corn were entirely con- sumed. Colonel Thackwell, the officer in command of the Fifteenth Dragoons, resides at a house contiguous to the extensive premises burning, or in danger of being burnt; but he, and of course his officers, made no attempt to arrest the progress of the fire. About four years ago, when the flax-mills of the Duke of Northumberland, at Bedfont, were on fire, the military offered their zealous services, and mainly contributed to save half the premises. Such is the state of facts submitted to us, and on such a representation we make no comment. We hope that it will be found, on investigation in the proper quarter, that personal antipathy or revengeful feeling had no part in creating the distinction between the conduct of the officers in the two specified eases ; and that no complaint about trespassing on the sufferer's grounds kept them aloof from protecting his property.—Times.
Three workmen out of four, who were building a wall at Penrice last week, were buried beneath a portion which fell while they were upon it. Two of tnetn were sing out dead, and the third died in half an hour after.
A few nights since, the children of Mr. Wiblin, jun., butcher, in St. Clement's, Oxford, were attacked, whilst asleep in bed, by rats, and bitten in various pees of the body, but were rescued Irons more serious injury by the timely assistance of their mother.—arford Herald.
Cholera morbus was very prevalent at Bombay at the beginning of August. The Europeans had suffered severely.
SHIPWRECK OF THE VERONICA.—During the dreadful gale of the 7th inst. the Veronica of Belfast, a vessel of 330 tone, bound to Charleston from Liver- pool, vets driven ashore on the sands outside the Inels Bar, in Dingle Bay. The violence of the storm seemed to preclude the possibility of saving the un- fortunate crew, who were seen clinging to the only remaining mast ; but four of the seamen in the Coast Blockade service, with another volunteer, resolved to attempt their rescue. With great difficulty a small four-oared gig was launched, and through the persevering exertions of its gallant crew, finally reached the vessel. Here a formidable obstacle was discovered : the number of people on the wreck was eighteen, a load altogether disproportioned to the size of the boat, which even with its original crew could scarcely live in the heavy sea that was running. 13ut the heart-rending cries of the sufferers pre- vailed over all considerations of prudence. In the words of Lieut. Bowie, it was resolved that all should be saved or perish together ; and the whole party was received into the boat, which was then slowly paddled or drifted towards the shore. During two hours and a half they were the objects of in- tense anxiety to the spectators on the beach ; but at length the boat reached the breakers, and was instantly upset. The excellent arrangements of Lieut. Bowie enabled him to extricate the poor fellows, now almost exhausted, be- fore they could be ingulphed by the receding wave ; and all of them were with difficulty dragged ashore alive. From Lieut. Bowie and Mr. Eagen, a gentleman of the neighbourhood, they have experienced every attention which their destitute situation rendered necessary. One pour woman was drowned before the boat reached the vessel.
We sincerely trust that the satisfaction of having saved the lives of so many of their fellow creatures will not be the only reward which these gallant seamen will receive. At Lloyd's, we know that appeals to the liberality of the sub- scribers in such cases as the present are never totally rejected, unless from necessity. But the claims on that establishment are at all times so numerous, that the exhausted state of their funds not unfrequently compels the sub- scribers to diminish or withhold the bounty which they are anxious to bestow. Let us hope that their generosity will at length be imitated by the Directors of the various Marine Assurance Companies which have started into existence within these few years. Hitherto their rivalry has certainly not extended to acts of benevolence ; unless, indeed, observing strictly the letter as well as the spirit of charity, their left hand has been kept in ignorance of the liberality of their right.
FURTHER EFFECTS OF THE LATE STORMS.—The gale of the 6th and 7th has occasioned many other disasters on the Irish coast. The brig Albion, from Cork for Lisbon, was wrecked off Baltimore, and four of her crew drowned. A Portuguese vessel was wrecked near Roscarberry, and the schooner Enterprise off Dunmore; in both cases the crews perished.
The storm was also serious in its effects on laud. The town of Tralee was inundated on Sunday morning, and the bridge of Blennerville was almost swept away. In Waterford, a number of houses were greatly damaged ; and in the county of Wexford, many trees were torn up by the roots. At Limerick, the gale "assumed all the violence of a perfect hurricane,—every loud blast rocking to the centre the strongest buildings." Otte house was blown down; but the inmates were saved, naked. Further inland, the mis- chief was more serious still. The lowlands and morasses about Ballittacurra, Tervee, Cratloe, and Clare, were inundated to a, vast extent—several sheep, horned cattle, and a considerable quantity of hay and potatoes were de- stroyed. The banks were forced early in the night, and next morning, the country for miles presented a large unbroken sheet of water, covering the roads, so that even the nem) landmarks were invisible for a great distance, and surprising, in many instances, the cottagers in their beds. The Ennis road was inundated its parts to the depth of three to four feet; and the mail- coach on Sunday narrowly escaped, horses and all, being lost in a dike. The steeple of the Church of Nunney was riven to its base by lightning, the stone-work being split in every direction. There is no trace left of the carpenters' work in the steeple : the birds that took refuge in it were at once deprived of life.
At Portpatrick, the storm was of a violence unequalled within these thirty years. One vessel was wrecked in the harbour ; and about thirty yards of a sea-wall, built of stones of extraordinary weight, were washed away.
The Factor, Connell, sailed on the 901 from Whitchaven, for London. It is . :supposed. however, that in consequence of the tempestuous weather, she had struck year the Ross, at the entrance to Kirkndbright, as the body of the captain was cast ashore upon the rocks in that quarter. The crew con- sisted of fourteen ; and it is conjectured that there were also some passengers on board.
The Pursuit, Alexander, from London for Brazil, was driven into Falmouth on Monday week, with only the master and a boy on board ; the rest of the crew having beets lost.
A pilot boat, with seven men on board, was on Tuesday lost off Ilfracombe, in a gale. Five vvidows and sixteen children are thus deprived of their only support. • On the morning of the 1st cerrent, the schooner Trident, of Arbroatis, struck on a rock off Newton-by-the-Sea, on the coast of Northumberland. The crew, seven in number, clung to the rigging ; and when the morning, dawned they acre discovered from the shore in this perilous situation. Before • an eileetite attempt vas made for their relict, some of them was seen drop- by Lieutenant Brunton and four fishermen, reached the wreck, only one of the seamen was able to avail himself of this aid. The boat swamped before they gained the land ; but happily the boat's crew were enabled to reach the shore in safety—with the exception of one of them, who had a finger cut off.
The Phwnix, Captaiis Phillips, was wrecked on Saturday in Mount's Bay. The Captain and twenty men left the vessel in two boats when she struck, and are supposed to have been lost. Five of the crew were saved. On Monday, a terrific storm of thunder and lightning occurred at Ports- mouth. The lightning splintered the mast of the Roebuck guard cutter front the head nearly to the deck. The mast was observed to open about two feet, and again close, and the lightning which struck it with the noise of a cannon's report, was seen to issue from that part, leaving several splinters of the inte- rior of the mast protruding through the opening whence it escaped. The spire of Ryde Chapel also attracted the fluid. The top of it caught fire, and part was destroyed. The storm on Sunday has done considerable damage in various parts in the west of England. The tower of Stoke Abbot Church was thrown down by the lightning.
The effects of these hurricanes have also been felt on the north and west coasts of Scotland. A vessel was wrecked on the banks of the Tay on Sun- day, and the crew drowned. The Hudson, from St. Petersburg to London, also got aground on Monday, but was got off without much damage. A small vessel was lost in the Clyde on Sunday; and two men and a boy, which com- posed her crew, perished.
On the 30th ultimo, the Flora of Montrose was overtaken by 'a tempest in the North Sea, on her voyage from Riga, and rendered nearly a wreck. One wave washed three of the seamen overboard, two of whom perishes! ; but another wave threw the third towards the vessel—he gut hold of the leeenaitt chains, and was saved. After being, tempest-tossed for some time, the weather having moderated, the vessel reached her port. One night last week, the steam-boat Robin Hood, on her passage from Nottingham to Gainsborough, struck against a collier, and sank. Besides the crew, there were about twenty passengers on board, all of whom were saved, though some with difficulty. The Nookney merchant ship has arrived at Cork from Buenos Ayres, after having encountered dreadful gales, in which the captain, two mates, and a sea- man were washed overboard.
Pieseele—Some most extraordinary facts have been brought to light, rela- tive to the system of privateering, or piracy, in the seas of the West Indies. It appears that two merchants of great property, and previously held to be of great respectability also, residing in the island of St. Thomas, have been directly concerned in the most nefarious transactions of that kind. Their names are Stephen Cabot and John William Shaw, composing the firm of Cabot and Co. of that island. The St. Thomas's Times of the 5th ult. con- tains a notice, offering 500 pieces of eight (dollars) for the apprehension of these persons, they having absconded on learning that their illegal practices were discovered. To add to the atrocity of the proceedings, it farther appears that some of the public authorities of the island of St. Eustatius, members of the Court of Civil and Criminal Justice, whose office it was to try and punish such offenders, are charged, on the strongest evidence, with having been con- cerned in the commission of them. So peculiar and striking a picture of depravity has probably never before been exhibited.—Times.