The Committee appointed at a late public meeting in the Ward o Tower, to obtain redress in respect of overcharges for the Income-tax had an interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in Downini Street, on Saturday. The Committee were accompanied by Mr. Master• man, the Member for the City, and were attended by Mr. Shearman, the Law-officer of the Ward. They were received by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir George Clerk, and " other gentlemen." The3 presented a memorial which stated the circumstances disclosed at the pub. lie meeting on the 16th December ; andslao that the Committee had me• morialized the Commissioners for General Purposes, who said that the3 could not give redress. The Committee objected to the legality of an assessment estimated or increased upon the insufficient grounds stated by the Government Surveyor, without the intervention of the Addi. tional Commissioners, and without deliberation or discrimination ; and they called upon Government to quash the assessment.' The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed, that the person most in fault appeared to be the District Assessor ; but that officer was not appointed by Govern- ment, who had no control over him. The attention of Mr. Goulburn was called to the case of Mr. Hunt, one of the deputation, by his com- panion, Mr. Piper— It appeared from what the Assessor had informed them, that when be was at the office of the Commissioners, going over the returns for the Ward ol Tower, a mere junior clerk called out, from a remote corner of the room, " Have you come to So-and-so's return yet ?" adding, in language which Mr. Piper felt some delicacy in employing, " I know them well ; they ought to make a wapping return! Pnt 5001. on to them at least." Mr. Guthrie stated his own case : a surcharge was made upon his rental ; he asked the reason, and was told that he bad made no return ; he appealed, and when he attended before the Commissioners his original return was before them !
The Chancellor of the Exchequer courteously told the deputation, that the information which he had obtained should not be thrown away ; and that he would look into the case with regard to the legality of the assessment. The deputation then retired.
The London allies of the Anti-Corn-law League keep steadily at work. Meetings to organize collecting-committees, or otherwise to aid the collection of the 50,0001. fund, have been held in Westminster, Lambeth, Bethnal Green, and Roston. A meeting of certain citizens of London was held at a house in Cheapside on Wednesday, and a new Anti-Corn-law Association for the City was formed. The Metropolitan Young Men's Anti-Monopoly Association has resolved to assist in the collection of the fund. The Marylebone Reform Association has re- solved itself into an association to promote the present movement ; and a public meeting is to be called in the district on the 1st of next month. The fifth district meeting of the League was held at the Music-room in Store Street, on Thursday night ; Sir De Lacy Evans, Mr. Milner Gibson, M.P., Colonel Thompson, Mr. Ewart, M.P., and Mr. J. S. Buckingham being among the actors.
The National Association (belonging to an intelligent and more mo- derate section of Chartists) have passed a resolution approving of the assertion at the Birmingham Conference of the right to put opinions honestly and boldly, and in virtue of that right calling upon the Chartists not to interfere with the proceedings of the middle classes in favour of their Bill of Political Reform, at the same time warning the working classes not to be led away from their present agitation for the Charter.
The building in Threadneedle Street, recently erected by Mr. Molt- hay, and designated the Universal Hall of Commerce, was opened on Monday with a dejeuner, under the auspices of the Lord Mayor and several of the Aldermen and Sheriffs. Lord John Russell, Mr. Master- man, Sir John Pine, and Sir J. L. Lushington, were among the guests. The interior of the structure, which is at once spacious and elegant, consists of a ball of assembly, with every accommodation for the trans- action of business connected with the general commerce of the United Kingdom ; a reading-room, supplied with British and Foreign news- papers ; private apartments, to which parties meeting in the hall may retire to conduct negotiations of a confidential character ; sample and deposit rooms, with iron safes, a register-office, and other convenient apartments.
A Court of the Governors of the Scottish Hospital was held on Wed- nesday, at the hall of the Corporation, in Crane Court : the Honourable Mr. Frazer, of Saltoun, Treasurer, in the chair. The Secretary read a report of the receipts and payments for the year ending St. Andrew's Day 1842. Among the receipts were 9591. in donations, 383L from the Caledonian ball, in addition to 1,1951. dividend on stock. There was also stock belonging to the Corporation, 40,8701. in the Three-and-a- half per Cents, for the schools 3,1821., in addition to the Kinloch fund, amounting to nearly 60,000/. Among the payments were 2,217/. dis- tributed among poor persons, natives of Scotland, and 701. expended in sending others to Scotland ; besides charges for the school. The re- port was adopted. Mr. Auld, who has filled the office of Secretary for twenty-seven years, gave in his resignation ; and Mr. Frazer signified his intention of resigning the treasurership on next St. Andrew's Day.
The usual half-yearly meeting of the Proprietors of Stock in the London Dock Company was held on Tuesday. From the report of the Secretary it appeared, that during the half-year ending the 30th No- vember last, the tonnage of the vessels entered into the Docks was 149,452 tons, against 131,893 tons in the corresponding period of 1841 ; being an increase of 17,559 tons. The earnings of the Company for the six months of last year, ending with the 30th November, were 182,6551. 4s. 3d. ; and to November 1841, 186,8781. 15s. 6d., or a de- crease of 4,2231. I Is. 3d. The expenditure for the last six months was 105,482/. 19s. 9d. ; during the period ending the 30th November 1841, 105,2881. 17s. 8d., or an increase of 1941. 2s. Id. The Directors recom- mended a dividend at the rate of IL 17s. 6d. per cent, being more by 2s. 6d. than that agreed upon at the meeting in July last. The Chair- man observed, that although there was an increase in the tonnage since
the last meeting, it would be seen there was no augmentation in the revenue, which arose from the greater number of corn-laden vessel; that had arrived, the cargoes of which were not warehoused in the London Docks. The report was adopted ; the dividend was declareds and the other business set down for the day having been transacted, the meeting separated.
The examinations which took place at the Court of Bankruptcy in Lord Runtingtower's case, on the 28th and 30th December and the 4th instant, were published on Thursday. They mostly related to the bankrupt's transactions with Colonel Copeland ; the Colonel himself being the principal witness. It appeared, that he became acqu tinted with Lord Huntingtower in December 1839: Lord Huntingtower came of age on the 5th July 1841, and was consequently nineteen years of age when Colonel Copeland first knew him ; Colonel Copeland was thirty-nine. An agreement was made between them, that if the Colonel lent his name to. Lord Huntingtower during his minority, to enable him to obtain what he required, he was to render the Colonel a similar obligation when he became of age. Accordingly, acceptances passed between them to a very large amount; Lord Huntingtower sometimes giving his friend blank acceptances. The bills accepted by Lord Huntingtower amounted, Colonel Copeland "should think," to 20,000/. : he would not swear it was not 30,0001., or 40,000L, or 50,0001., as their affairs were so " melanged up together." Colonel Copeland had given very little cash in return for those bills ; he could swear to 200/, but he could not swear to 300/. : he had, however, sold the bankrupt horses and carriages, and given him his acceptances, upon which he was able to obtain his plate and other things to a large amount ; for which the Colonel never received anything. Lord Huntingtower and Colonel Copeland tried to raise a sum of money at the Globe Life In- surance Office sufficient to pay "oar mutual liabilities"; but that enter- prise failed, and Colonel Copeland called upon his friend, "as a noble- man and a gentleman, to give the best security that lay in his power to a gentleman of the name of Mr. Dobson, who had behaved in the kindest and most honourable way towards me, and who had discounted a great many of his Lordship's bills ; and, through me and Mrs. Edmonds, had given his Lordship proper consideration for the same." Accordingly, on the evening of the 8th December 1841, they went to the office of Mr. Fisher, a solicitor, in Bucklersbury, to execute a deed of mortgage against Lord Huntingtower's estate for 20,0001. Mr. Fisher had taken his instructions for the deed from Colonel Copeland. It was stated, that the deed, consisting of seven skins, was read over to Lord Huntingtower ; Mr. Fisher admitting that he might have omitted the recitals. It was proved that Lord Hunting- tower came that evening, by the railway-train, from Reading : he tra- velled part of the way with the Colonel ; but the Colonel pushed on from Newbury by an earlier train, and Lord Huntingtower came by a train which does not reach town till after eight o'clock. He was met at the York Hotel, Blackfriars, by Colonel Copeland, Mrs. Edmonds, and Mr. Vane, a solicitor, whom Mrs. Edmonds introduced to him- " no doubt from his application," said Colonel Copeland. They pro- ceeded to Mr. Fisher's office, where the deed was executed. A draft mortgage had been previously submitted to Mr. Vane, whom Mr. Fisher called "her solicitor"; but he afterwards disavowed the pronoun, and insisted that he called him " their solicitor." Among other nota- bilia, Colonel Copeland said that he had told Mr. Ford of his having received two parcels of bills for 10,000/. each ; on which Mr. Ford remarked, " You will ruin that young man "; and the Colonel replied, that Mr. Ford was more likely to do it himself if he fell into his clutches. The Colonel was himself the person who introduced the bankrupt to Mr. Ford ; he also introduced him to Mr. Moss Davis, Messrs. Emanuel, Mrs. Edmonds, and other persons who appeared as creditors of the bankrupt. On his introduction to Mr. Emanuel, Lord Huntingtower bought in that person's shop a dressing-case worth 1,5001. : Mrs. Edmonds was employed to get up a raffle for it, but did not suc- ceed : the Colonel sent it to Mr. Thomas, a silversmith iu the Strand ; who lent 2004 upon it ; half of which was given to Lord Huntingtower. Mr. Metcalfe was afterwards employed to redeem it, and he paid 200/. more upon it ; and Colonel Copeland used the money to pay a bill of Lord Huntingtower's for horses. Colonel Copeland stated, that at one time he bad as many as forty or fifty executions out against him. He was asked whether he had nut been about to marry Mrs. Edmonds ? The Court interposed, that be need not answer. Colonel Copeland ob- served, " It is a most impertinent question ; but I could readily answer it, were I required." The further examination of witnesses was ad- journed to a future day.
In the Central Criminal Court, on Tuesday, Mr. Payne applied to have removed from the list of persons to be tried in the court, the name of Patrick Leith Strachan, who had been charged with misdemeanour ; it not being probable that he would come forward to take his trial. The name was removed ; and orders were given that the necessary process should issue for his arrest. Mr. Payne observed, he was afraid that the process of the Court would not reach the defendant at his present resi- dence.
Michael Meaghan, the shoe-mender of Whitecross Street, was ex- amined at Worship Street Police-office on Monday and Wednesday, on a charge of murdering Lestsge his workman. Meaghan's sister-in-law said that she saw Leary struck, but not what it was with. Wallis, a Policeman, said that, after his apprehension, Meaghan confessed him- self to be the murderer ; but declared that "the drink had done i:." Booker, a discharged Policeman, corroborated Wallis's evidence ; but Booker's character proved to render him unworthy of credit. Meaghan was committed for trial.
Yesterday, Meaghan was tried at the Central Criminal Court, for the wilful murder of Leary. From the evidence now produced, it appeared that the wounded man had given his master very great provocation : he Swore at him violently, threw shoes and lasts at him, and struck him before he received any blow in return ; but that blow was with the knife, and fatal. When dying, Leary said that Meaghan was a man whom he respected. Baron Gurney told the Jury, that the evidence did not bear out the capital charge ; and they returned a vdrdict of "Manslaughter." The prisoner was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment, with hard labour.
At Guildhall Police-office, on Wednesday, George Wentworth, i silk-weaver, was accused of stealing a handkerchief from the door of Mr. Hogg, a draper in Fleet Street. He declared that he did it on pur- pose to be sent to prison. The Magistrate engaged Wentworth in a con- troversy on his conduct— The prisoner said be came to London to seek work, but could not obtain it. According to what be read of the poorhouses, they were much worse than the prisons. Sir Peter Laurie observed, that this remark deserved notice. There was an impression abroad that the poor were treated worse in the unions than the criminals in the gaols. He did not believe that this was the fact ; at least he hoped it was not, but that the representations to that effect were made by men of heated imaginations, whose overcharged descriptions were not read without danger.
The prisoner said he should be glad if Sir Peter would send him for trial. He wished to be sent out of the country or be sent to sea. He was willing to do any work that would bring him a comfortable maintenance, but he should not find it in this country. The poor were most scandalously scoffed at and cuffed in the workhouses, according to what he read of them ; and no man of inde- hendent spirit would like to end his days in a poorhouse—he would rather hang imself. The Clerk said, probably he had not thought of the consequences of that act. The prisoner said he had forgotten what Cato said upon that subject.--
Sir Peter Laurie remarked, Cato was not a Braintree weaver, and Cato was wrong. The prisoner replied there bad been many Catos since.
The complainant said, the handkerchief was of little value; but the same prejudice had cost a neighbour IV., a vagabond having broken his window that he might be relieved in a gaol rather than a workhouse. This was a state of feeling of serious import to the shopkeepers. Sir Peter Laurie said, the means taken by the prisoner to be sent out of the country would not attain the end. It might lead to imprisonment ; but courts of law would not encourage the commission of crimes by indulging the offender with some particular sentence which would not be a punishment.
The prisoner was remanded, that the Alderman might see how he would dispose of the case.
Next day, the discussion was renewed. Wentworth refused to go back to Essex to seek relief from his parish, and stuck to his proposal of committing suicide. In reply to Sir Peter Laurie, the Superintendent of the Bridewell said, that the workhouse-diet for the settled poor was superior to that in the gaols ; but the diet for the casual poor was only dry bread, and that class were the sort of poor that smashed windows to get into prison. Wentworth was committed to the treadmill for fourteen days ; Sir Peter observing, that that would put an end to his dreams of the comfort of life in gaol.
At Queen Square Police-office, on Monday, Richard Steward, an up- holsterer, of College Street, Chelsea, was charged with creating a dis- turbance in Westbourne Street Baptist Chapel at Pimlico. Mr. Steward said that his daughter, who is only eighteen years of age, was a coo- stant attendant at the chapel, and kept very irregular holes in conse- quence. At length he was informed that she was going to he baptized; and, entertaining great objections to that, he went thither to protest against it. He had since found that she had been baptized. Mr. Steward refused to promise that he would not go to the chapel again; and, refusing also to find bail to keep the peace, he was removed in custody. He was released, however, on Thursday, his daughter havi tg promised not to attend the chapel any more, until " the Lord should direct her otherwise."
A. fire broke out in the offices of the Commissioners of Stamps and Taxes, at Somerset House, on Thursday evening ; but it was extin- guished without much difficulty. A large fire had been lighted on the hearth of a fireplace without a stove, and the timbers underneath had ignited.
A. correspondent of the Morning Post says that Police-officers out of uniform have been sent about the Metropolis to take note of the shops where blasphemous or indecent books and prints are exposed, and to visit Socialist institutions, for the purpose of examining the books in the coffeerooms and libraries. The objectionable publications will be seized and confiscated. [This is dangerous ground l] " A Father of Five Daughters," and " A Governess," have both written letters to the Times denouncing a rascal who answers advertise- ments from people seeking situations as governesses, in order to decoy young women into his power. One young lady received a note pur- porting to be from a lady in a square at Chelsea : she went, and saw "a coarse-tongued man,' who passed for the husband—he said that his wife was ill in bed—obtained the girl's address, and afterwards followed her with his importunity. Another young lady was warned from his door on arriving with her luggage ; another, with whom he was in treaty, was opportunely warned by the " Father." The " Governess" learned that he is a single man, with no ladies in his house. He is said also to have another house in Connaught Terrace. The Times has his address, and threatens to expose it if he continue his practices.
An entertainment of tea and music was given on New-Year's eve to the female patients at the Middlesex Pauper Lunatic Asylum at Han- well ; the Bazaar Ward being fitted up with evergreens for the occa- sion. Ne trly three hundred-female patients, for the most part incurably insane, were assembled. Mrs. Bowden, the matron, the originator of these periodical' festivals, and Mr. Mainzer, were the musicians. Dr. Conolly, the Superintending Physician, Mr. H. Pownall, Mr. J. Bailey, two of the Visiting Justices, the Reverend 0. W. Burt, Chaplain, the officers of the institution with their families, and several clergymen of the neighbourhood, were present.
On New-Year's Day, the poor debtors in Newgate, Giltspur St:eet Compter, and the Borough Compter, were regaled with beef, bread, and porter, at the cost of the Sheriffs ; and an additional regale of beef, vegetables, plum-pudding, and beer, was given to the prisoners in the Borough Compter yesterday.
The Refuge for the Destitute in Playhouse Yard, Whitecross Street, was opened on Tuesday, for the first time this season ; the number of applications for a night's lodging having been very numerous on the previous night. On former occasions we have explained the nature of this most useful asylum for the houseless poor ; but the following par- ticulars, taken from a report in the daily p.pers, may be information to souse of our readers, and to others ly remiuiscence-
" The premises consist of three rooms, 101 feet long, besides seferal other smaller rooms, the whole of which can give accommodation to 650 individuals ; which number have sometimes occupied the different apartments. The flooring of each room is covered with straw, at an expense to the Society of 18!. a week ; and several fires are kept up during the night. There are also thirty gas-lights in the various rooms. The men and women are in separate rooms, the children being allowed to remain with the latter. Each applicant on admission is pro- vided with half a pound of bread, and they receive the same allowance when they leave in the morning. On Sundays, many stop the whole day ; when they are allowed cheese—as much as 14- hundredweight has been distributed among them in one Sunday. On those days a clergyman attends twice, and delivers an address. A medical gentleman visits the institution every evening, and his services are frequently required ; as, from their destitute state, many need immediate medical relief. They are then, if necessary, removed in a cab to Greville Street Hospital. Last year there were 8,962 applicants, being nearly 4,000 more than ever received the benefit afforded by the institution. Above 1,000 quartern loaves were consumed. The refuge was then opened seventeen weeks, the first night of admission being the 22d December 1841. Since the close of the premises last year, the Committee have been at a considerable expense in adopting plans for the ventilation and cleanliness of the house ; and at their own cost they have formed a new sewer in Playhouse Yard, about 100 feet in length ; and in the internal part of the building sewers have been constructed about 125 feet in length. Cisterns also have been placed in the top room of the building, which is the women's apartment, into which water is forced from
• cistern below, containing 500 gallons of water ; one of the regulations of the institution being, that all persons on entering should wash themselves; for which purpose soap and towels are provided."