At a Court of Aldermen held on Tuesday, the allegation which had been urged against the validity of the late election of Common Coun- cillors for the Ward of Farringdon Without was admitted. Sir James Duke, the Alderman of the Ward, said he had been induced during the polling -to leave the chair to vote for a clerk to St. Bartholo- mew's Hospital ; and thus the election was renamed void. The sent- tiny which had been commenced was withdrawn when it was found that the election was not valid. The Lord Mayor was reqbested to issue a precept for calling a Wardmote for the new election.
The first Court of Common Council since the regulation of the Wards, by which a considerable dimunition in the numbers of the representa-
tives has been made, was held on Thursday. Mr. Wells cue of the
candidates for the representation of the Ward of Farringdon Without, presented a petition requesting to be permitted to sit in the Court as Common Councillor till the new election takes place. The Recorder said that no person could take his seat in the Court until he was sum- moned: there was no power by which the Court could revive an old member. The petition was dismissed.
The election of a Bridgemaster closed on Thursday, after a hard contest. The numbers were—for Mr. Gibbs, 2,745; for Mr. Ledger, 2,444; majority for Mr. Gibbs, 301. The defeated candidate intends to demand a scrutiny.
A meeting of the Committee of the Metropolitan Anti-Corn-law Association was held on Thursday, at their new Board-room, 448, West Strand, to take into consideration the plan of operations for the year 1841. As the formation of a large number of auxilia7 associa- tions is an entirely new feature in the present state of organization of the Metropolis, the Chairmen of those local bodies had been invited be attend, and they mustered in considerable force. Discussions took place at great length on the various points of interest to the Association at the present time, and on the best methods of continuing their opera- tions. Among other things, it was determined that lectures should be immediately commenced in the Metropolitan districts; and the chair- men of the auxiliary associations were conferred with, and some early days agreed upon for the commencement of this effective mode of instruction. It was further proposed, that after the delivery of lectures, some mode of ascertaining the state of opinion in each locality should be adopted. It is remarked as an indication of the increasing desire to abolish the tax upon bread, that last year these auxiliary associations could not be forced into life, whilst they have now sprung into spon- taneous existence.
On Monday evening, a large party of ladies and gentlemen, mem- bers of the British and Foreign Society for the Suppression of In- temperance, met Mr. J. S. Buckiegliam and his family at a social festival at the White Hart Tavern, Bishopsgate Street, to welcome their return to England. At the close of the entertainment, a public meeting was held in Finsbury Chapel, to which the party adjourned; when an addi-ess to Mr. Buckingham was carried by acclamation. It was publicly presented to him in the presence of about 1,500 persons, assembled for the purpose of joining in this tribute of welcome.
A meeting was held on Monday, for the purpose of appointing a Committee to superintend the School of Design which is about to be established in Spitalfields, to cooperate with the Central School at
Somerset House. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the pictorial and emblematical design, which is intended to be formed into a piece of workmanship entirely of silk, to be presented to the Queen, was ex- hibited. In it are represented her Majesty seated, and Prince Albert standing on her right. The profiles of Nelson, Howe, 'Wellington, Moore, &c. are on each side of the picture.
It was announced in the City on Wediaesday, that the house of Garry and Curtis, a leading firm in the Riga trade, had stopped payment ; ass event which excited much surprise. Of the more immediate cause of the failure, the rumour is, some necessity which has arisen, through proceedings in Chancery, for withdrawing the capital of the senior partner, Mr. Garry. The engagements are variously stated, but none of them at any large amount, the highest being about 60,0001.; which is supposed to be much beyond the truth, as the transactions have been very limited of late years, and the house presumed to be the more safe on that account. Mr. Curtis was Governor of the Bank of England in 1838 and 1839, and has taken the lead in several public companies, more particularly with one established for the improvement of the com- munication with India by steam; a project, however, which has not yet been brought into active operation.
On Tuesday morning, 3.000 stand of arms were conveyed from the Tower to the terminus of the Birmingham Railway, and transmitted to the North, 4tr the purpose of being distributed amongst the military sta- tioned at and near Leeds.
In the Court of Queen's Bench, on Thursday, Mr. Cresswell showed cause against a rule for a mandamus which had been obtained by Messrs. Pickfords, the carriers, against the Directors of the Grand Junction Railway Company, commanding them to charge the same prices and to offer the same advantages to the applicants as to others. The complaint was, that Horne and Chaplin were permitted by the defendants to bring goods under their care all the way from Manchester to London, with- out changing their trucks ; and that the defendants charged those per- sons for goods delivered to their vans in Euston Square 10s. less than was charged to the applicants. The Court were of opinion that evi- dence of a positive demand on the part of Messrs. Pickford, and of a refusal on the part of the Railway Company, had not been proved; and on that ground discharged the rule. An application was made in the Bail Court, on Thursday, 'for a cri- minal information against Mr. Lomax, printer of the Stockport Adver- tiser, for a libel on Mr. Foster, Chairman of the Board of Guardians of the Stockport Union. The alleged libel charged Mr. Foster with having originated measures which were oppressive to the poor. Mr. Justice Williams refused the rule, as it did not seem to be a case calling for the summary interference of the Court. The Assizes were not far distant, and if Mr. Foster felt himself aggrieved there was another re- medy open for him. [We are glad to observe the Judges discounte- nancing attempts to bring questions to trial in a mode by which their merits cannot be determined.] In the Court of Queen's Bench, on Monday, a rule for a criminal information which had been granted against Mr. Alaric Watts for a libel in the United Service Gazette, on Lieutenant Hart of the Forty- ninth Foot, was discharged with costs. Lord Denman condemned the article complained of; but he said there had been aggravating circumstances on the part of Lieutenant Hart, which had been sup- pressed when the application for a rule was made. It was requisite the Court should show that they would not submit to have applications for criminal information made in a garbled and suppressed statement; and if that were done, it must be at the hazard of the party making it. The Court would expect to have all the knowledge which the prosecutor himself possessed as to the circumstances of which he complained.
In the Bail Court, on Monday, the application to take bail for Wal- lace and the other parties charged with having caused the ship Dryad to be cast away, came on for a final hearing. The application was grounded on several technical objections to the form of proceedings against the prisoners ; particularly to the mode in which the depositions against them had been taken down at the Mansionhouse. It has been the custom there and at the Metropolitan Police-offices also, not to take down the evidence at full, as it was given before the Magistrates, but at a subsequent period. This practice was condemned by Mr. Jus- tice Williams ; and the Attorney-General said it was clearly illegal, though it had existed at the Mansionhouse for sixty years. On the suggestion of Mr. Justice Williams, a sort of compromise was then entered into between the parties ; and the prisoners were remanded, upon the prosecutors undertaking to proceed against them in a regular and effectual manner within three days, and to bring them before the Central Criminal Court for trial as soon as could be reasonably expected in the circumstances of the case.
An application was made in the same Court, on Monday, for a writ of certiorari, to remove into the Court the Coroner's inquisition at Harrow on the bodies of Simpson and Dawson, killed by the colli- sion of the engines near the Harrow station of the London and Bit, roingham Railway. Sir W. Follett, who made the application, said there were several objections to the inquisition on the face of it. The most important was that the Jury, having found that a felony had in two cases been committed, could not afterwards find that, as in case of an accident, the engine was moving to the death of the deceased. It had been laid down in Coke's Institute, and other authorities, that no deodand could be fixed by a Coroner's Jury except where the death of the party was caused by accident. In cases of the death being caused by felony, it was well known that the party by whom the felony was committed had thereby forfeited all his goods and chattels, and no deo- dand could thereby be levied on the goods. There were other objec- tions to the inquisition which were not stated. The writ was granted.
In the same Court, on Tuesday, Sir Frederick Pollock applied for a writ of prohibition against the Duke of Wellington, as Chancellor of the University of Oxford, to prohibit him from proceeding in a suit that had been instituted in the Chancellor's Court at Oxford, against Mr. Taylor, an attorney of the Court of Queen's Bench, for bringing an action against a member of the University in order to recover a debt. The affi- davit of Mr. Taylor stated, that on theAth of February 1840,he received instructions from William Barnes, a dealer at Oxford, to commence an action in the Court of Queen's Bench against Thomas Bourke, an Under Graduate, to recover a debt ; and that he issued a writ of summons against Bourke, a copy of which was served upon him within the limits of the jurisdiction of the University cf Oxford. Taylor then was served with a citation, issued out of the Chancellor's Court at Oxford, commanding him to appear in that court to answer to certain articles, particularly concerning infringing the statutes of the University in serving Bourke with a copy of a writ. The affidavit went on to state, that on the 28th of February he was served with a notice that the Vice-Chancellor, &c. bad delivered theirjudgment on the case—which was, that the defendant Taylor be required to stop all further proceedings in the action, and that he pay the costs of the prosecutor. The costs amounted to 21. 14s. Notwithstanding these decrees of the University Court, another copy of a writ was afterwards served on William Barnes ; and on his not appearing to it, an execution was issued against him, on which he was taken into custody, and he paid the money. Mr. Taylor's affidavit
went on to state that he believed a warrant had been issued against hint for not obeying the citation, and had been placed in the hands of an officer of Oxford, and that if the officer should meet with him he would take hint into custody. Sir Frederick Pollock said, he understood the present proceedings had been instituted to fortify an exclusive right which had been claimed by the University of Oxford, of entertaining civil suits in which members of the University were concerned. He denounced these proceedings as the most daring attempts on the supe- rior Courts of Westminster Hall which he had witnessed for a long time. Mr. Justice Williams said the case was one of great novelty, therefore he would prefer its being decided in the full court. He said he sup- posed the Duke of Wellington was ignorant of the proceedings, as he was not likely to fly in the face of the courts of law. On Wednesday, the application was repeated in full court, and the writ applied for was granted.
In the Court of Exchequer, yesterday, an order was made on the Sheriff of Middlesex, to pay over a sum of 1,5821., levied off the goods of Messrs. Wright the bankers, under a writ of immediate extent, to Mr. Maule, the Secretary to her Majesty's Treasury.
At the Mansionhouse on Wednesday, Sir Peter Laurie read a letter Which had been sent to him by the editor of the Scotch Reformers' Gazette, at Glasgow, respecting the abscondment of the " West Mid- dlesex Assurance Company," with 200,0001., which they had obtained from various persons who had purchased annuities and insured their lives at the Company's office, and are now ruined. The offices were in Baker Street, Portman Square ; and it seems curious that the announce- ment of the flight of the Directors should come via Scotland to the
Mansionhouse. It appears, however, that the Scotch paper, having some knowledge of the parties, had previously exposed them : when actions for libel were brought to vindicate their characters. The pro- prietors of the Reformers' Gazette had sent an agent from Glasgow to London to institute the closest inquiry; and it had been ascertained that all the Directors had absconded, taking away with them upwards of 98,000/. of annuities, cash paid to them, exclusive altogether of the amounts paid for policies for fire and life assurance, the win le amount- ing to not less than 150,000/. Alderman Pine said, he understood the Directors of the Company had lived in handsome houses and kept up splendid establishments. Sir Peter Laurie regretted that be had not the opportunity of punishing them, but he hoped this exposure would at least serve as a warning to the public. There are, he said, several flash establishments in London at the present time, obtaining large Rums of money fraudulently. " The West Middlesex Assurance Company" pretended to have been established in the year 1896, with a capital of 1,000,000/., having really existed no more than four years, during which period it was engaged in plundering the public.
Sir Peter Laurie was occupied at the Mansionhouse, Thursday and yesterday, in hearing further evidence as to the loss of the ship Dryad. Mr. R. J. Shepard, clerk to the Alliance Insurance Company, deposed that 715/. had been paid by that Company on a policy on the Dryad ; and other witnesses proved the payment of large sums, as for a total loss, by the Marine Insurance Company, and by the Neptune Insurance Company. Ronald Maxwell, the mate of the Dryad, entered at great length into a description of the Captain's conduct while in command of the vessel—conduct that left an impression on the minds of all the crew that the Captain was determined to lose the vessel. It is not ex- pected that all the witnesses will have been examined before Tuesday or Wednesday next.
A woman named Mary Watson was charged at Worship Street Police-office, on Wednesday, with concealing the birth of a child. She was the servant of a widow in Peerless Place, City Road. On the 17th of last month, her mistress was awoke by her groans on the staircase, when medical aid was sent for. She at first denied having given birth to a child ; but shortly afterwards admitted that she had, and that it was in a desk in the back kitchen. The child was alive, but there were marks of injury on its body, and it did not survive many hours. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The Police Inspector, however, thinking the case required further investigation, brought the woman before the Magistrates as soon as she was suffi- ciently recovered from her illness, as she bad been in a dangerous state at the Workhouse infirmary. The Magistrate said, that as the child was found alive, and as the act of Parliament relating to the offence of concealing the birth only applied to children found dead, he must either commit the woman for murder or discharge her. As the evidence of the surgeons confirmed the suspicion that attempts had been made to murder the infant, it was determined to commit the prisoner on that charge.
On Wednesday morning at four o'clock, a fire broke out in the pre- mises of Mr. Welcher, tallow-melter, Crucifix Lane, Bermondsey; which destroyed his premises and those of Mr. Cox, a brewer, and of Mr. Harrison, fellmonger, besides damaging several other houses. Mr. Welcher and his family escaped in their night-dresses. The fire is sup- posed to have originated in the tallow-melting-house, though from what cause is not ascertained.
On Saturday morning, whilst the wife of a labouring man in Lamb Lane, Hackney, was getting her dinner, she gave a child twelve months of age a piece of meat to suck; when the infant attempted to swallow it. The meat stuck in its throat, and before medical relief was obtained life was extinct.