Some indications of partial improvement in the condition of the manu- facturing districts appear. The trade circular of Messrs. Ferguson and Taylor, of Manchester, describes the prospects of the cotton-market as be- ginning to brighten-
" Under the operation of short-time policy, the stocks at the ports show an im- provement, which, from the advices from the United States, we expect will be shortly increased. Stocks held over on the other side by the aid of the banks, will, as soon as money tightness begins to manifest itself, (symptoms of which have already appmr4) find their way hither, and the surplus of the 'short crop' of 1846 will tend to swell the aggregate increase of 1847. We should not be aur- sed the aggregate yield of both amounts to two and a quarter millions of es. The prospects of the future supply are thus far exhilarating, as the suc- cess of the industry of this district is materially dependant on low prices, and especially on low prices of the staple." The circular issued by Messrs. M‘Nair, Greenhow, and Irving, of the
same place, alludes to the better feeling which has prevailed in Manchester within the last few days, and to the increased demand for goods and yarns; a result which is ascribed to the temporary suspension of the Bank Charter by the Government. But this is qualified by the sequel— "The distress, from the increased diminution of employment amongst the operatives, is necessarily becoming more painfully severe. Many hundreds of additional hands have been thrown out of employment during the month. What is to become of them during the winter? If things continue, more mills must be stepped; for though cotton is lower by about 24d. per pound than when at the highest point, and the spinner and manufacturer consequently in a somewhat better position as to that, yet how can he produce when there is no prospect of sale—when all around is disorder and distrust? It is fearful to contemplate what must be the state of the cotton districts in this country during the winter, if things continue as they are."
The Manchester Guardian takes rather a favourable view- " Notwithstanding the gloom which prevails, what elements of prosperity We have within us !—cheap food, cheap cotton cheap sugar, diminished stocks of manufactured goods, and foreign markets gradually becoming bare. In fact, we are in such estate, that any day we may emerge from the depths of despair to the height of prosperity. In my last Saturday's communication, I stated that there was a fair amount of orders from the United States for manufactures: I have since ascertained that they were unprecedentedly large. This is another good feature of the time. The fear now is, that the increasing pressure may deter the leading houses from coming under obligation: if they do execute their commissions, and the Americans should continue prosperous, they will send specie and produce to pay for goods, and thus eventually bring round a healthy state of things."
All the cotton-mills in Lancaster have been for some time back working short time. It is rumoured that Messrs. Greg and Co. will shortly resume full time.—Kendal Mercury.
Yesterday forenoon, a number of unemployed factory operatives walked in procession through Blackburn, with a drum and fife at their head. A meeting of the unemployed on Blakely Moor was spoken of, but did not take place at the time stated.—Manchester Guardian, Wednesday.
The contractors for the London and North-Western Railway have al- ready discharged 2,600 men, and are about to discharge a still larger num- ber. On Saturday last, one contractor on the Great Western line gave notice to 1,400 men. In Lancashire' the works in hand are almost wholly stopped, and about 10,000 men are already dismissed. On the whole, up to Saturday last, at least 30,000 navigators had been discharged; and it Is estimated that before the end of the present month that number will be doubled.
The shipbuilders of Sunderland having proposed to reduce their carpen- ters' wages from 27s. to 248. a week, the men have struck, and are now idle. The reason for the proposed reduction was "the pressure on the money-market."
We have now had no large failure in Liverpool for upwards of a week; and though the amount of business doing is much reduced, yet a better feeling exists, and on several articles there is a moderate increase of price. The general conviction is that we have reached the lowest point as to prices, and that things are likely to mend gradually. The payments up to this day (the 4th) are large, but after they have been made the pressure will decrease. We hear that one of our private banks, which greatly di- minished its business recently, is now discounting freely.—Lieerpool Times, Thursday.
A meeting of the directors and shareholders of the Royal Bank of Liver- pool was held on Saturday; Mr. Josias Booker presiding. Mr. Alderman Thompson of London was present. The business commenced with the reading of a Report made by a Committee of Shareholders, appointed on the 23d October. The Report ascribed the suspension of the Bank to the fact that a large portion of the paid-up capital had been absorbed in advances to Messrs. Barton, Islam, and Higginson. Large advances had been made to other parties of so inconvertible a character as to be unavailable for banking purposes. The ostensible assets of the Bank far exceeded the liabilities; and confidence was expressed in the validity of the different securities. The report recommended an immediate call of 1001. a share in order to discharge the claims of depositors.
The statement of account appended to the report is arranged in a Man- ner which renders it difficult to extract the results ; and we therefore give it entire. [The manner in which certain items figure in different parts of the account is remarkable: for instance, what appears to be a building debt of 25,0001. is smuggled in among the assets]]
STATEMENT OF THE AFFAIRS OF THE ROYAL BANK OF LIVERPOOL, OCTOBER 22, 1847.
Capital paid up
£646,350 0 0 Reserved surplus fund
100,000 0 0 Contingency fund
44,125 1 8 Valuation of bank buildings 65,000
Less amount not liquidated 25,000
40,000 0 0
Profits since June estimated at 30,000 0
Cash and bills Dormant accounts Current accounts Royal Bank buildings
Profits since June, estimated at
143,617 116,289 1,500,847 65,000 30,000 95,000
0 4 0 0
£1,855,754 4 10 On deposit account 645,967
On current ditto 349,311 15 5 995,279
On unpaid bills 37,940 6 2
On ascertained bad debts 30,936 12 6
Depreciation of securities 42,956 10 0
Total estimate loss 111,136 8 8
Balance of capital remaining 749,338 13 0 860,475
£1,886,754 4 10
A report was also read from three of the directors of 1846 on the ques- tion of management. It expressed "bitter regret and keen disappointment" at the present position of the Bank. The stoppage had been caused by an overweening oonfidence in the stability of one great mercantile house. That confidence had not been shared by Mr. Chaffers, the manager: when on the eve of departure from home on account of ill health, he earnestly remonstrated against any further advances to those parties. At that time, the debt was only one-third of its present amount. During Mr. Chaffers's absence, the chairman, Sir Thomas Brancker, undertook the duties of manager. Implicitly relying on the stability of the house in question, and on the integrity and good faith of the principal of the firm, "he was led on by:degrees to make advances, even in the face of promises unfulfilled, until the amount was literally too overwhelming to contemplate; and the firm was then upheld lest the bank itself should go down." "In thus adverting to the name of Sir Thomas Brancker," says the report, "we have no wish to cast an undue share of blame upon him; but it is right that the proprietors should know that we were not acquainted with the details of the transactions as they occurred. Whilst Mr. Chaffers was at home Sir Thomas Brancker alone was admitted to a knowledge of the accounts of the customers; during his absence Sir Thomas alone possessed this knowledge. But we are bound to confess that Sir Thomas Brancker did occasionally consult us in reference to this account., and that we beheld with consternation its increasing amount.
"In the steps taken from time to time by Sir Thomas Brancker alone, as well as those taken with our sanction, we can solemnly assure the proprietors everything was done as was supposed at the time for the best. We now see, however, that the resort to concessions, where firmness against encroachments ought alone to have been displayed, was a grievous error of judgment, and one which we shall never cease to deplore."
After some discussion, the report of the Committee was received, and thanks were voted.
Mr. Alderman Thompson was very severe on the conduct of the di- rectors— That gross mismanagement had occurred could not be denied: and he wanted words to express his indignation when he found that nearly all the subscribed capital of the bank had been most imprudently advanced to one mercantile firm. Much blame was attached to Sir Thomas Brancker, the managing director in the absence of Mr. Chaffers; and although be did not know Sir Thomas Brancker, he thought he had a right, in the name of the proprietors, who had invested their capital in perfect faith that it would not be wasted—in the name of the de- positors, who bad confided their money to them in the assurance that it would be secure—nay, further, in the name of all classes of the community, who had been outraged by the proceedings of the directors—to demand from Sir Thomas Briuicker an explanation of the reasons which induced him, in defiance of all
dance, to involve the bank in such difficulties, after Mr. Chaffers, the manager, objected to any further advance being made, and when an advance of above 100,0001. had already been made, for which, however, at that time he understood the bank held a large security.
Sir Thomas Brancker, much moved, made this explanation— When the illness of Mr. Chaffers, the manager, rendered it necessary for him to leave Liverpool, and the onerous duties of that gentleman devolved upon him, Sir Thomas found that a large advance had already been made. From the re- presentation of Mr. Higginson, and knowing his extensive mercantile connexions, and firmly believing that he was capable of redeeming all his engagements, he had provided for Mr. Higginson's acceptances; and from his previous knowledge of that gentleman he had no reason to doubt his assurances. Security, however, to a considerable extent, had been obtained; but Mr. Higginson held a large stock of cotton; and from the opinion taken from most competent judges, someof whom were then in that room and could be appealed to, it was evident that cotton, which was then rising in the market, was likely to rise still higher, and that Mr. Higginson, by realizing, would be in a position to refund to the bank the amount he owed, and which was then about 250,000/. This, however, did not prove to be the case; and as just at that period another bank suffered through the failure of Messrs. Stockdale, both himself and the other directors were of opinion that if Mr. Higginson were to be stopped it might, in the then excited state of public feel- ing, be detrimental to the interests of the bank; and as Mr. Higginson continued to be the holder of much produce, and was paying in a large amount of bills, the balance still increased, and various circumstances to which lie need not //Nude had insensibly swelled it to tbe amount then named. He assured the meeting, that it was to him a source of the deepest regret that what bad been done for the best had proved so injurious; and nobody suffered so much as he did. He was himself the largest holder of shares of any one connected with the bank, and he held them all to that day. He had never sold or transferred one, and although his loss would be most severe he had been determined to stand or fall with the bank; and he most deeply lamented that, by an error of judgment, and listening to the representations of one whose word he had at that time no reason to doubt, he had, so far as he was concerned, been the means of increasing the advances made, and which, he admitted, was most injudicious. It ought, however, to be recollected, that the ad- vances were increased after he ceased to control the monetary affairs of the bank.
Mr. Alderman Thompson avowed himself dissatisfied with the ex- planation. He again severely censured the management; and thought that the affairs of the bank ought to be wound up: an opinion which he sub- sequently embodied in a motion.
Mr. J. Cooper blamed the directors for their mismanagement, but he also blamed the proprietors for neglecting to look after their own business— He bad always thought the directors were sharp enough and keen enough; but now he found that he had been mistaken. He had on various occasions wanted an advance of a few hundred pounds for various building societies; but such had been the closefistedness of the directors or the manager, that, although in the ca- pacity of a trustee of those societies he had offered to deposit deeds of real proper- ty as a bonit fide security, he had always been refused the advances he sought for, until he gave his own personal secunty into the bargain. That the directors could make such large advances on the one hand while they were so closefisted on the other, did seem to him to savour somewhat of favouritism.
Mr. Samuel Holme moved as an amendment to Mr. Alderman Thomp- son's proposal, that a committee of seven be appointed to take into con- sideration whether the bank ought to be resuscitated or not, and to adopt measures for liquidating the claims of the depositors. The amendment was carried by a majority of ten to one; and the meet- ing was adjourned.
A meeting of depositors in the bank was held on Thursday. The at- tendance was numerous, and the proceedings were of a much quieter cha- racter than had been expected. The chairman stated that the amount of the deposits in the bank at the time of its suspension was rather above 600,0001; and a circular letter had been addressed to the depositors in- quiring whether they were content to receive payment of the amount by .four instalments—the first in cash, and the remainder at intervals of three months, with five per cent interest. To this application replies had been received from parties representing 300,000/. of the deposits, assenting to these terms: about 39,0001. had been demanded in full at once, and the depositors for the remainder had not intimated their wishes. Under these circum- stances the meeting discussed the propriety of supporting the directors by mot calling for any further security than the known respectability of the proprietary: but it was strongly urged, that the rate of interest proposed to be allowed, namely five per cent, was not so large as the depositors had a right to expect. After some discussion, a motion was carried that a claim l'or six per cent, until payment of the deposits in full, should be submitted
to the meeting of proprietors to be held on Saturday; and it appears very probable that these terms will be acceded to, as upwards of 400,0001, of the deposits would then remain in the bank.
The annual Municipal elections in all the corporate cities and boroughs in England and Wales took place on Monday. The proceedings have presented less interest than on any former occasion; • and very slight changes have oc- curred in the constitution of the different bodies. At Nottingham, contrary to general expectation, there was a contest in every ward. The result has been, as usual, in favour of the Whigs; but the Conservatives claim a triumph in having succeeded in returning two Conservative Conneillore, in the persons of Mr. John Bewley and Mr. T. H. Smith. The former acted during the last election as Mr. Walter's nominator, and the latter as the chairman of his committee.
Active measures are taken in different parts of England and Wales for carrying out the provisions of a recent act of Parliament relating to pauper lunatics. Under this law new asylums are to be erected in the different counties- and where the number of patients does not justify the erection of a special building, two or more counties are to divide the cost of a luna- tic hospital. It would appear from the discussion at a recent Quarter-. Sessions, that insanity is increasing in a greater ratio than can be accounted for by the increase of population.
A numerous meeting assembled at Birmingham on Tuesday, to take measures for presenting a testimonial to the Reverend James Prince Lee, the new Bishop of Manchester, in commemoration of his services as Head Master of King Edward the Sixth's School. The Mayor of Birmingham presided. Among those present were the Bishop of Worcester, Dr. Raphale the Jewish Rabbi, Mr. Spooner, M.P., Mr. Scholefield, M.P., and a large number of the local authorities and manufacturers. Resolutions were passed, expressing in strong terms the respect and esteem entertained for the reverend gentleman; and 3001. was subscribed in the hall.
A public meeting was held in the Town-hall of Bath, on Thursday, for the purpose of presenting to Mr. Roebuck a memorial in acknowledgment of his services daring fifteen years as Member for the borough. Admiral Gordon presided; and the hall was densely crowded in every part; the assembly showing the utmost interest in the proceedings. Mr. George Edwards read an address from the subscribers to the memorial, expressing regret at Mr. Roebuck's late defeat, and the hope that he might one day be again Member for Bath. The chairman then presented the memorial. It consisted of a small oak cabinet, carved with figures emblematical of Mr. Roebuck's political life- and inside the cabinet was a purse of 500 sove- reigns, subscribed by electors of Bath. In returning thanks, Mr. Roebuck no inappropriately retraced the ground of his political opinions, to which he manfully adhered. He warned the electors, that such a defeat as he had received after faithful and independent service would tend to drive men into the ranks of faction- " It happened that I did not ally myself to a party. I did not ally myself either to the party of Sir Robert Peel or to the party of Lord John Russell. I allied myself with the party of the people. (Great cheering.) Now, Sir, if I had allied myself with Sir Robert Peel's party, doubtless I should have acquired a great deal more power, a great deal more consideration, and a great deal more wealth, than I at present enjoy. But I should have been forced through all those various and tortuous changes of opinion which distinguish a very clever and very admirable person doubtless, but which distinguish Sir Robert Peel in a way that I do not desire to be distinguished. Well, then, if I could not ally myself with Sir Robert Peel and the Conservative party, Why,' my opponents my, did you not ally yourself with the Whigs?' %Irby, for the very same reason—that I did did not agree with them, and because they, instead of me, have been obliged to change. (Loud cheering.) Step by step, from the hour in which I first opposed the Whigs in Bath in the person of Mr. Hobbouse, up to the present time, they have come round, gradually and slowly, very unwillingly, but assuredly they have come round, to the opinion I then expressed; and if any one chooses to take the expression of my opinion as printed and circulated in the year 1832, he will be perfectly astounded to find how few of the propositions then made by me are even impugned by the Conservatives of this very Conservative town. Well, then, it is not my opinions, but it is myself. As my gallant friend has already said, certain parties wish me to be in the House of Commons, but they do not wish me to be Member for Bath. Now the truth is, these gentlemen have formed peculiar notions of the business of a representative. They fancy that they have got the right man now; and I wish them joy of the selection. They fancy that it is the bad- ness of a representative in Parliament to forward the balls and assemblies, and to bring down visiters to Bath. Now that does not enter into my consideration. I had no notion that I had anything to do with the balls of Bath, and I had no no- tion that! had anything to do with the card-tables of Bath. I only thought I had to deal with the general interests of the community as their representative. Well, then, in consequence of the peculiarity in my views of my own position, I did not ally myself to any political party in the state, but I threw myself on the people. (Loud cheers.) The man who takes such a course, and disregards the ties of party, has not only an up-bill game all his life to fight, but he gains no power, no considera- tion, and he is enabled to do little good; and therefore future .politicians will be driven into the arms of party men; and the result of the election of Bath, if it have any result at all, will have that tendency upon public men."
Mr. Roebuck intimated, that at some future period he might renew his labours in Parliament— "It behoves every one of us to take his part in the coming time, and I will take mine. I do not hope or wish to be called upon in Parliament for some time to come. I hope that I may be permitted perfect quiet and privacy for years yet to come. But I am not one of those who vainly assume to themselves that the world wants any man. When I think fit, and when I think I may be of ser- vice' I will without hesitation launch myself again on the sea of public life. (Loud cheers.) I say this to you, because you and I have been old friends. My political life has been passed as your servant, and you will perhaps take some in- terest in knowing what my future course may be. Then I will tell you. The conduct which has been pursued towards me will not influence mine. The same adherence to principle will, I hope, distinguish my future as it has my past ca- reer. I will not ally myself to any party, however flattering, however grateful it may be to my personal interest to dose. But I have no doubt that the time will come when some persons may ask me to be their representative; and, as I repre- sented you faithfully, advocating the great public interests of the country, so will I endeavour to represent them. Though I have been defeated on the present oc- casion, I have not been cowed. Those who opposed me have not softened their asperity—they have not assuaged their anger nor their resentment, and they have not conciliated the feelings; but f do hope and treat, that in my fellow countrymen I shall find support in the great principle of civil and religions liberty, without reference to any party in the state, and, without consideration of any individual of those parties, that I may find for myself some place of usefulness, some situation of benefit to my fellow countrymen, in the House of Commons. (Cheers.) But when I say place and position, I don't mean official place or official Fuition, but that moral influence which any man—any honest man might exercise and which I hope to exercise some day as the representative of my fellow countrymen. And if that time should come, I shall be prepared to carry out all those great principles which I have hitherto adopted. I sincerely hope and trust we shall have a reconstruction of parties in this country; but above all, that we shall break down that family compact by which the country is enthralled, and by which the councils of the Crown and the councils of the nation are influenced. There must no longer be a ban upon such men as Cobden, and government must no longer be an appanage to party."
The meeting broke up with "three cheers for Roebuck."
A singular discovery has been made in Liverpool. In 1840, Mr. Bibby, a mer- chant, was found drowned in a pond at Aintree, six miles from Liverpool, and three from his own residence; there were no marks of violence on the body, but the gentleman's watch was missing; he had dined out the preceding evening, and had taken freely of wine. No trace could be found of robber or murderer. Last week, a stranger took a watch to Messrs. Rachel], the watchmakers in Liverpool, to be repair. On looking at it, they discovered that the original number had been defaced, and another substituted. On further examination' they found their own private mark placed on the watch when they repaired it for the late Mr. Bibby. On Saturday the stranger called for the watch; and on being ques- tioned, it was traced to a disreputable character, the keeper of a disorderly house. Two men have been taken into custody.
Mary Ann Wilkes, the Birmingham murderess of her children, is reported to have died "literally a violent death," in the greatest agony of body and mind. At the inquest held on herself, the surgeons at Queen's Hospital described the cause of death., and the woman's conduct while under their care. She complained of her sufferings from poverty, and that she had been rudely treated when she applied to the Guardians for aid—she was "pushed abruptly from the door": there were no indications of a disordered mind: she said little about her children. The Reverend J. C. Miller stated, that Mrs. Wilkes confessed to him that she had killed the children about two o'clock in the morning: her motive seemed to be her straitened circumstances, not positive destitution. After deliberating far an hour and a half, the Jury found a verdict of "Febe de Be," two dissenting. It is mentioned that on the mantel-piece in the woman's house was found the play of Hamlet, opened at the concluding passage, where Horatio gives directions for the disposal of the many corpses with which the stage is covered—" Give order that these bodies," &c.
A plate-layer on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway has been killed at Eccles. He was at work on the line, when a train approached; he did not notice it till it was close to him: there was time for him to avoid it even then, but the danger paralyzed him, and in a second or two he was struck dead.