The election for Middlesex is fixed to take place at Brentford on Wed nesday the 3d of February. No candidate has yet come forward to oppose Lord Robert Grosvenor. On Monday, Lord Robert was introduced by Mr. Samuel Whitbread to the factors and farmers on the Corn Exchange, and was well received even by some "strong Protectionists." On Tuesday, an entertainment was given to the noble candidate, at the residence of Mr. S. Montgomery, at Brent- ford; and after some toasts had been disposed of, more serious measures were taken to promote his election.
A correspondence has passed between Mr. Henry Hoare, at the request of several Middlesex electors, and Lord Robert Grosvenor, on the subject of endowment for the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland. Mr. Hoare calls for an explanation from the candidate; stating that ho and his friends ob- ject to the endowment, not on financial but solely on religious grounds. In reply, Lord Robert Grosvenor declares that his well-known sentiments on the subject are unchanged; and he refers to his conduct in Parliament-
" The occasions to which I allude are, my votes upon the motion of Lord Elles- mere, then Lord Francis Egerton, made, I believe, in 1827, for the endowment of the Irish Romanist clergy, and upon the additional grant to Maynooth College, proposed at a recent period. I made no objection to the additional grant; but I voted with Mr. Ward, in order to record my opinion that the present Protestant Establishment in Ireland is more than commensurate with the requirements of its members: in 1827, I voted with Lord Ellesmere. Now, I do not attach any exaggerated merit to political consistency: one may be as obstinate in a failing as in a virtue; and could I bring myself to the conviction that I had erred in these votes, I trust I should at once confess it. Having, however, attentively and seriously reconsidered the subject, in its religions not less than its political aspect, I am bound to declare, that—abstaining from any pledge as to detail— holding myself at liberty, should I then have a seat m Parliament, either to acquiesce in or to oppose, upon its own merits, any measure that may be laid before the House having for its object the endowment of the Flemish clergy in Ireland—there may be again, as there were before, propositions to that effect sub- mitted to the Legislature, at a time and under circumstances which will insure my concurrence."
Mr. Hoare makes a rejoinder, in which he says that his friends " object to each of those votes, and deprecate a repetition of them; first, as member" of the United Church of England and Ireland; and secondly, as Pro- testants."
" To any such proposal [as the endowment] your Lordship may rely upon finding among the people of England and Scotland, and a large part of Ireland, the most-determined opposition. With the Bible in their hands, it is impossible for them to regard Popery in any other light than as dishonouring to God and dangerous to the souls of men. Hence, they would regard its national adoption as an act not only morally wrong and indefensible, but partaking of the character of a national sin.
"On such awful topics we desire to speak with caution as well as charity. But we do not close our eyes to the tremendous fact, that a visitation of the most fearful kind has recently been sent upon the empire; and that its commencement was seen to take place at the very time when and in the very place where a national recognition and encouragement of Popery had .just been given. Except among men who do not even profess a belief in the Scriptures, and who, consequently, deride the idea of a superintending Providence, it might have been expected that the strange proximity of the act of 1845, and the judgment of 1845, 1846, and 1847, would at least have given rise to a degree of doubt and hesitation; though beyond this feeling of doubt and hesitation we refrain from advancing any expres- sion of sentiment,"
Mr. Hesse avers that these sentiments are shared, in different degrees, by so many of the electors as to make it doubtful whether the relation with the constituency into which Lord Robert Grosvenor proposes to enter can be permanent.
A Court of Aldermen was held on Tuesday, to consider Mr. Alderman Humphery's motion to extend the franchise in the election of Aldermen and Common Councillors. Alderman Hamphery stated the objects of his proposition: he proposed to throw open the franchise to all persons paying scot and bearing lot in the City of London, whether they were freemen Or not; and to limit the duration of the elections to one day. The motion, found a seconder in Mr. Alderman Wilson. Alderman Hughes moved, and Sir Peter Laurie seconded, an amendment for the appointment of a Committee of the whole Court, to consider the expediency of bringing in a bill for the purpose. But the original motion was carried, by a majority of 12 to 5; and so the Court of Aldermen commenced reforming them- selves.
It appears from a report of the Commissioners of Woods and Forest* just published, that the Corporation of London have purchased the site of
the late Fleet Prison for 25,0001., the sum fixed as a minimum by the Com- missioners. Nine tenders for the freehold had previously been sent in the offers ranging from 8,2001. to 18,0001.
The National Club, which was first formed after the passing of the Maynooth Endowment Bill, as a rallying-point for the Protestant party,
have taken the houses No. 2 and No. 3 Old Palace Yard, between the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which will open as a club- house in the course of a few days.—Times.
A meeting was held on Monday evening, in the Music Hall, Store, Street, to publish the objects of an association just formed, called " the Society for Promoting the Religious, Moral, and Intellectual Improvement of Men employed in Factories "; the Earl of Radnor in the chair. His Lordship stated that the object of the Society was to introduce libraries in- to the different manufactories in and about town. The principle com- menced in the establishment of Messrs. Maudsley and Field, the engineers, and had been followed in a great many other houses. A report, read by the secretary, stated that the library at Messrs. Maudsley's possessed 700 volumes; which last year were borrowed by 1,257 men. The committee urgently appealed for grants of books. ,irresolution in support of the So- ciety were carried unanimously, and 'officers for its management appointed. A lodging-house for the poor was opened last week in Glasshouse Street. The building, formerly a warehouse, has been fitted up in an excellent manner for its object; each bed in the sleeping-room being separated by a wooden partition, while the ventilation is good: there is a sitting-room, with a library, and a commodious kitchen. The charge for a bed is twopence. At present there is accommodation for eighty persons, and the building has been filled nightly.
In the Court of Queen's Bench, on Monday, the case of the Reverend Disney Robinson was brought to a close. At the last Gloucester Assizes he had been found guilty of a libel on Mrs. Jane Barker, to whom he had publicly imputed the commision of adultery with Lord Fitzhardinge. The indictment had been removed by certiorari. Mr. Whately spoke in mitigation; and the defendant having consented to make an apology in the terms prescribed by Mrs. Barkees solicitor, the Conrtdecided that the case ought to go no further.
In the Sheriff's Court, on Tuesday, a Mr. Stocker sought compensation in damages against Spinetto, an Italian hurdygurdy musician, for criminal conver- sation with the plaintiff's wife. Damages were laid at 2001. Judgment was suffered to go by default. The suspected offence occurred at Birmingham four years ago, while theplaintiff was sleeping away from home at a beer-shop. The defendant was thrashed by the plaintiff at the time, and about two months back was served with process in the present action. Some witnesses were called; and it appeared that in1843 Spinettoplayed the hurdygurdy in Mr Stock- er's house, and dancing took place in the kitchen. Mr. Stocker's attorney, ad- dressing the Court, claimed a reasonable compensation for the injury sustained; and as he was going to the House of Lords for a divorce, their Lordships would consider the amount the Jury had awarded. The Jury assessed the "reasonable compensation" at "one farthing."
Mr. Austen, the proprietor of Peelel Coffeehouse in Fleet Street, has complain- ed to the Lord Mayor of the annoyance to which he has been subjected by some person who advertises in the Manchester Guardian and a London journal for a wife, and directs answers to be sent to the coffeehouse. No leave had been asked for making this reference. Shoals of letters had arrived from ladies, and the re- latives of ladies, making overtures towards matrimony; all of which Mr. Austen had retained. A person had applied for the letters, and represented himself as the "legal gentleman" who had advertised, and he made use of threats to en- deavour to obtain the epistles; but Mr. Austen refused to deliver them. The Lord Mayor said this exposure might answer Mr. Austen's irurpose: if not., he might apply at the Mansionhouse again for advice as to farther proceedings.
At the Worship Street Police-office, on Wednesday, Mr. Plummer, the pro- prietor of a cotton-factory in Golden Lane, was charged by a Sub-Inspector of Factories with employing women above eighteen years of age after eight o'clock at night. The case was proved. The defendant pleaded that he was not aware that the provisions of the Factory Act extended to women. He was fined 40s. and costs in three several eases.
A fatal accident, from an extraordinary cause, happened near the Southall sta- tion of the Great Western Railway, on Monday afternoon. As an express up-train and a mixed down-train were passing each other, the tire of the driving-wheel of the express-train engine broke to pieces, and the masses of iron flew about with fearful velocity. One fragment, weighing 275 pounds, was projected into a car- riage of the down-train, crushing through three compartments. The first coin partment was empty, but the second was filled with passengers. Two persons, who were sitting opposite to each other, were struck dead: one, Mr. Bishop, a cattle-dealer, was struck on the head, and fell on to the lap of Mr. Halt, another cattle-dealer; Mr. Halt's head was literally cut in two by the iron fragment. Mrs. Ibbotson, the wife of a paper-maker at Colnbrook, was also struck on the head, and wounded dangerously. Mr. Sheppard, Queen's messenger, who was sitting in the third compartment, was rendered insensible by a blow oil the head. Mrs. Mountjoy Martin, a passenger in the express-train, who was sitting near the engine and by the window of the carriage, was struck on the hip by a portion of the tire, which broke through the carriage.
The inquest was begun before Mr. Wakley on Wednesday. Several witnesses desciibed the accident, as related above. The express-train was going about fifty miles an hour, drawn by the Queen engine. The piece of tire which killed the two men was thrown twenty or thirty feet into the air. James Almond, the driver of the Queen, said his train was a little behind time, from the heaviness of the road and the high wind. "I have seen the pieces of the tire, which are made partly of steel and partly of iron. I have observed the fractures; and though the outside appeared good, the inside does not look sound. The tire is about 11 inches thick, increasing to 2 inches next the crease: it seems unsound for 14 inches, the rest sound. The bad parts look dull and dirty, and the sound quite bright. I should judge 3 inches broad, by 1 inches in depth, bad, out of 5 inches of breadth. There is no means that I know of besides that of sight for ascertain- ing how much of the tire is bad. No accident of the kind has ever happened before to that engine; but about seven months ago the whole tire of the Bellona, an engine which came from Nasmyth and Gaskell's works, at Manchester, broke off in five pieces. This occurred about two miles and a half below Slough. That case was similar to thepresent." " We always examine the engine ourselves io every part of it before starting, and on arriving at the end of out trip; and if there is anything wrong we report it. I did in the present case examine the wheels and the springs, as is my invariable custom. After a tire is once placed on the wheel, we have no means of ascer- taining whether it is sound or not." He had known tires condemned as nnsonad. They are not riveted on, but fixed by contraction. It was ad- mitted by the officials that the tire of a wheel flew off, near Hanwell, on Friday week. Mr. Gooch, the superintendent of the locomotive department, being examined, said—" About four-fifths of the tire are of wrought iron, and one-fifth of steel. I have examined that of the Queen, which has given way, and found it unsoundly welded. The welding is a difficult task, requiring great care; and the hest workmen will sometimes fail in effecting a good weld. About two- thirde of one of the ends in the carriage is bad, but the other fractures appear to be quite bright. We block' the tires—that is, make them a little less than the size required, and then subject them to a great strain by means of a screw. All tires are subjected to this process in order to test their soundness. I cannot say how many miles the Queen may have travelled, without consulting the books; but probably about 25,000 miles. Tires suffer most in frosty weather; and some- times they break from that cause though not in motion. Two instances of the kind occurred last year." All that Mr. Gooch could suggest in order to avoid
such disasters, was increased vigilance in the servants. We have had a good many cases of tires coming off the driving-wheel. It is not a common accident, but it is one which we are always prepared for in frosty weather. Iron crystal- lizes very much from motion; but the fracture here is a good one, and not crys- tallized. Age has no bad effect upon our tires, and some of them have been in constant use since the opening of the line. The weld is the place most liable to give way: and the rate of speed has little to do with such accidents, for there is a recent instance of the wheel of a luggage-train breaking, though it only tra- velled at fifteen or twenty miles en hour." The inquiry was adjourned to Monday next; apparently, that other scientific evidence might be obtained.