A soiree under the auspices of the Parliamentary and Financial Reform Association was held at Mile-end on Wednesday ; at which Sir Joshua Walmsley and Mr. George Thompson were principal performers, and Mr. Cobden, Sir William Clay, and Mr. J. Williams, attended in the shape of letters apologizing for unavoidable absence.
A public dinner and ball in Highbiny Barn Tavern, on Wednesday, commemorated the formation of the Islington Parochial Reform Associa- tion. Mr. Wyld, M.P., was present ; letters of excuse were read from Lord Hebert Grosvenor, Lord Dudley Stuart, Mr. Hume, and Sir Benja- min Hall.
The new Wesleyan Normal School and College in the Horseferry Road, Westminster, has been opened by the Conference. It cost 30,0001. The building is very extensive, containing five school-rooms for children, dining-hall, lecture-hall, and 120 dormitories for 60 male and 40 female students as teachers and attendants, and 1000 scholars. In the play- ground is a gyimaasium.
The differences between the engine-drivers and firemen on the Eastern Counties Railway, and Mr. J. V. Gooch, the locomotive superintendent of that railway, came to a head on Monday last : on that day the whole staff of experienced enginemen and drivers left the line. During the whole of last week Mr. Gooch had been foraging the country for new hands to supply the vacancies suddenly created : his efforts were success- ful to a considerable extent, but were so far short of complete success that a great number of the daily trains have been suppressed between London, Waltham, and Broxbourne and even Cambridge ; a number of hourly trains were suppressed bet;teen, London and Woolwich; and the pas- senger-traffic between Maldon and Braintree branches was wholly stopped. On each evening since Saturday last, the engine-drivers and firemen have held meetings to communicate on their position. Mr. Hope, one of themselves, presided, and made statements on the merits of their quarrel. From these statements it would appear that Mr. Gooch had inflicted fines for results not under the control of the men, and had avowed an inten- tion to cut down the general scale of wages paid. On Monday the Company published their version; which was to the following effect
Mr. Gooch entered their service an the 22d of last month. A deputation of enginemen waited on them on the 12th instant, and stated that Mr. Gooch was so promptly carrying out tyrannical measures, that unless he were removed they must quit the company's servioe on the 10th. (Monday last.) In an hour afterwards, 178 resignations were sent in, in a parcel, on printed forms prepared and signed beforehand. The five specific complaints of tyranny against Mr. Gooch were submitted to him. He declared that the first and second were fines for an accident to the engine which was "entirely owing to the want of careful examination by the men in charge" ; the third was not for the offence pretended in the complaint, but for "not reporting" the failure of an engine • the others were for breakage, "which in nearly every instance is the effect of carelessness on the part of the men," but which he was sorry to say he found so prevalent on the line that a strong cure was eellisearZirectors were satisfied with Mr. Gooch's explanations, and their opinion was published to the men. At a meeting of the men, on Monday, their chairman, Mr. Hope, dealt with Mr. Gooch's explanations. He affirmed that inspection such as would alone have prevented the acci- dents in the first two complaints was totally impracticable on the journey ; the accident was wholly accidental ; such inspection in the fitting-shed as Mr. Gooch now demands never was the practice on the line, and no in- structions were ever issued by him to commence it. In the east of "non' reporting," Mr. Gooch is "ha error "; the fact said to have been not re- ported, actual)/ was reputedin.proper form. The hmakapsfines-were in- diaeriminately inflicted on orognemen and firemen—the letter haring no possible control over the engine. Mr. Hope went, over the actual perform- ances of the new mew put on the line, to show that besides the detriment to the public from suspended. trains, irregularities, and accidents, the inex.- perenced men, now hastily impressed to carry- out Mr. Geoeh's inexorable plans, areseriously damaging• the rolling stook of the company. No fewer than seven engines, which he named, are now in hospital or going there, from the ignorant management of the new hands. Mr. Gooch had denied having the least intentiat to lower wages; but Mr.. Hope quoted. his own words to two very old drivers, that he did not intend to pay any one the wages. they. were earning (7s. 6d. per day)—that he would have very few at 7e. a day, and 'that he would have no firemen at 19. s. day. Mr. Rope told, his hearers,, that he had pledged his word that they should behave like men and do nothing at all resembling 'intimidatiorc to any of the new halal, er an. injury to the ,property of their old masters the Company : they might then fairly ap- peaL the public to judge between. them and life. Gooch.
At the half-yearlyoneeting of the shareholders' of the Company, on Thursday, the controversy- between Mr. Gooch and his- legionaries was the subject of discussion., Ills Bette, the chairman, made &statement, in justification of Mr. Creech's conduct; imputing to the men. an intention to. tyrannize by the powers of preconcerted combination, and charging them. with attempting, by various devices, to render impossible or Moult the working of the engines left by them in the hands of the new engine- men. A strong paint in the ease of the enginemen—the fact that the men have been. paid in full the whole of the fine& to which they objected —was explained away by a brief reference to the annoyance of litigation.
Immediately after this meeting, which was,held in the London. Tavern, about thirty of the engine-drivers, who had attended it, met at a tavern opposite and canvassed Mr. Betts's statement They. denied with con- tempt the charges' of having obstructed the working of the engines. The chairman was instructed to forward to Mr. Betts vouched' details in re- futation of the general charges he had made.
In the Central Criminal Court, on Wednesday, Charles Bernhard, a Ger- man,, was tried for feloniously being at. large in this country before the ex- piration of his term of transportation. Bernhard was convicted in 1848' of felony, and was sentenced to transportation for seven years; but at the end of thirteen months' durance in. the hulks, the Queen gave him a oonditional par- don. He was set at liberty on the understanding. that he should not return to this country tin the full seven years had expired • and was placed= a Ham- burg steamer, with his fare paid to that port.. But he returned, and was ar- rested on the 10th of July. Bernhard' defended himself he, declared, with Passionate vehemence, that he was innocent of the original charge, but pleaded guilty by advice of his counsel ;, and that he had been unconditionally pardoned. Each of'these points was shown to be wholly untrue. Bernhard was con_victed, and_ sentenced to undergo the full punishment of the original sentence.
John Iohnson, or really Dixon. Dawson, ,a veteran Greenwich pensioner of aeventy-one was tried on Thursday, for forging a check professing to be drawn by Miss Sarah Hawes on the bank of Messrs. Lubbock and Co. The prisoner was several years a workman in the soap-boiling establishment of Mr. Benjamin Hawes at the time of the forgery, he was an inmate of the Hospital at Greenwie:11, provided by the country-as an asylum for its de- fenders in their old age. The writing. of the cheek,, very clumsily done, and of a letter with it, was proved conclusively. The defence consisted solely of the following written. statement, made to' the Magistrate who committed Dawson- " My Lord and Gentlemen, your most humble petitioner states that it is upwards of sixty years ago since I first went to sea : the first engagement that I was in was the landing of the British troops in 1801, when Sir Ralph Abercrombie lost his life ; the next was in the year 1803, is cutting out of Cape Legal a large armed schooner full of Spanish and French troops ; and I received many severe, blows on the head, which caused me to be in a. deranged state of mind. Now I have advanced in years, and at times very troublesome. I likewise was on board the Victory at Trafalgar, with my Lord Nelson, when he fell woended. I likewise was wounded, and fell close to him on the quarter-deck of the Victory on that glorious day, the 21st of October 1805. In 1807 I was at Gaeta in Italy, when the French army stormed the fort I was in; and then I was slightly wounded in four places; and was at the taking of the island, of Caford, at. the mouth of Naples Bay. We then beat the French army back. into Naples. From that I was sent with Sir Samuel Hood.to take Madeira; which we did succeed in; and we were then engaged off Guadeloupe, in the West Indies, with the French frigates and seven battenes, in our ship for two hours and twenty minutes, and likewise burning the frigates be- longing to the French, and taking the island of Martinique in 1809. Came home to England, and was sent on board the Minotaur, 74 gnus. I was one of the first men on board the eleven Danish gun-boats that our ship destroyed by fire under the bat- teries of Copenhagen. In coming to England, our ship was lost and 600 men with her. I had to swim three miles, and was two hours and three quarters in the sea before I got in Camperdown.. I was made prisoner of war and sent to France, and remained nearly four yeanein Valenciennes, half starved; and when the French was in "full retreat from Mothow, we were marched 600 miles in that dreadful winter, 1.81.4, through frost and snow, almost naked, and nearly starved. My Lord, I never was in prison in my life for any crime till now. I hope and trust in God that some hamane gentleman- will come forward and plead my case, and snatch two human heings from the brink, of min.-the daughter from a. broken heart, and the father that will never be able to look up any more, through. disgrace. If Mr. Harris is in edurt, I call upon him to be so kind as to give my character since the year 1816 till July 1850. My Lord and Gentlemen, I hope you will help me with the means of proenring a gentleman of the law to plead for me, I am afraid, if I am found guilty,
shall lose my home."
The Jury found a verdict of "Guilty" but added a strong recommenda- tion to mercy. Baron Platt sentenced Dawson to ten years' transportation.
Ms. William Augustus Sheen, a gentleman of thirty-four„ very handsome in face and figure, and fashionably dressed, was tried for bigamy. On the 23d of June he married Miss Cecilia Charlotte Franchall, a lady of food fortune; and on the 2d of February, his first wife being still alive—ruined mid deserted on the Continent—he married Miss Mary Whittaker Greene, on whom a fortune.of 16,000t. was settled. In 1849 his second wife discovered his nefarious character, and left him ; he resorted to annoyances, and threats of criminal accusation against her; and her friends ipetituted this prosecu- tion for bigamy. Ile was found guilty. The Col* took time to consider his sentence, and he marched from the dock with a free and distinguished air.
Robert Frost, aged' twenty-six, was tried for bigamy. He married his first wife in 1846; soon. after the marriage the couple kll into great distress, and the wife's friends took her away, and reported her to be dead. He then met his second wife' who was a street hawker, and married her, in 1849; having told. her of his first marriage. MB first wife, however, came back to him, and he was at the time of his apprehension living happily with her and it clid not appear that the second wife had suffered mach by the transaction. He was convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment for one month.
' At Worship Street Police Court, on Saturday, a tall handsome-looking young German, whose name is not mentioned, sought advice. Three years. ag.o, he became engaged to a young woman of very respectable family. Having °mai:into leave the country-for an interval, the young lady insisted on his first marrying her. He was only too happy, and they were married.. But for six months his wife refused hnn all marital rights; so they sepa- rated, she insisting on his allowance to her of a weekly maintenance. After a twelvemonth of separation, his wife come to his, house one night and in- sisted on remaining; he received her, and consented that she should again live with him ; but for three months more she persisted in her original ec- centricity of wifely relation. This state of things was once more put an end to, and arrangements were made for a Seal separation : but the young lady has come beckon him a third time, and she now follows the gooduatured young German about, and importunes him in a manner no longer to be en- dured. Would Mr. Hammill' give him any hopes of redrew against the acts of such. an extraordinary woman? if not, he must throw up his situation, anth milt this Gauntry for ever. Mr. Hammill asked how long they had been.. man and wife. Applicant—" Two yares hot I vill note haf her any more; .. I will. haf anoder ; I most." Mr. Hammill regretted that ho could give neo help. He advised the applicant to institute a suit in the Consistorial Court for a. divorce, if he had the means of so doing ;, and, as a first step to that
to place himself in the hands of one of the proctors, who would no doubt,soon_ put him in the way of obtaining the object he sought for. The German thanked the Magistrate for the suggestion ; but left the court in a state, apparently, of perfect doubt and mystification.
The roof covering the permanent way of the Brieklayea's Arms station =- the Brighton Railway, for four hundred feet, came down with a crash on Wednesday; killing one man and wounding three others. The accident had its beginumg in the breaking of one of the supporting columns hy a carriage" which was rapidly swung round on a turn-table with its end much project- ing. This pillar being removed, the weight which it supported was. thrown wholly on its two neighbours, and they proved too weak. A great portion of the roof therefore fell ; and in its fall this portion dragged the whole of the remainder from its supports. There was a long train of carriages- under the roof at the time, awl they formed a shield which held up the feting mass, _. and prevented a more extensive lose of life than occurred.
Skeletons with iron shackles on the leg-bones of them were dugarp at the- corner of Newgate prison on Thursday, by the men who are laying down the gas-pipes of the new "Consumer's Company." At this spot four roads meet in a cross—the old Bailey and Giltspur Street, Showhill and Newgate Street; and it is supposed that the skeletons are the remains of manacled prisoners who had committed felo-de-se in Newgate : Christian rites were refused to the corpses of such persons, and it was the barbarous custom to drive a stake. through the body before it was cast into an unconsecrated grave in some • public spot at the crossing of four ways.