10 AUGUST 1850, Page 6

Jjr Ihnniurro.

The Great Northern Railway was on Monday last publicly opened to traffic as far as Wenington, a point seventy-nine and a half miles from London and about three miles North of Peterborough. The opening of the line was celebrated by an excursion of the Directors and some hun- dreds of their friends ; and by a very sumptuous luncheon given by Mr. Brassey, the contractor of the whole line ; at which Mr. Beckett Deni- son, ALP., the Chairman of the Company, and the Honourable Arthur Kinnaird, were speakers.

At the great wool fairs of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, upwards of 60,000 tods of wool have been disposed of at an advance of 3s. or 4s. per tod over the prices obtained last year. The dinners which succeeded the various fairs showed the farmers in high spirits at the prosperously high prices to which wool has risen—since the repeal of the foreign import- duties.

At Monmouth Assizes, on Wednesday, Murphy and Sullivan, two young Irishmen, were tried for the murder of Jane Lewis, at St. Woollos, near Newport, on the 3d of April. The particulars of the crime were mentioned at the time. Lewis, a poor old woman, was assailed on her mad home, stripped of some of her dress and other articles, and left dead. Her murder- ers seem to have mistaken her for another woman who had been receiving ,money at the market. Suspicion fell on the prisoners, and they were traced and pursued. They were arrested in Gloucestershire, just after they had perpetrated another crime : they robbed an old gentleman named Meredith, on the high-road, and so mauled him, it would seem with intent to mur- .der, that his life for a time was in danger. The murder of Jane Lewis was brought home to the prisoners : they sold articles stolen from her; there was blood on their dress • they made statements accusing each other. The Jury immediately convicted them, and they were sentenced to be hanged. They heard the sentence unmoved, having appeared very unconcerned during the trial. One of them, Murphy, a man with a wild unearthly eve, had ap- peared indecently lively ; and the other, Sullivan, had checked him by mut- tering to him, "If you don't be quiet rit spit in your face !"

At Carlisle Assizes, on Saturday, William Tait, a mechanic, was tried for the manslaughter of William Hewitt. A "Dr. Coffin" prescribes for all dis- eases a specific containing lobelia inflate; Tait is a disciple of Dr. Coffin. Hewitt, a fellow labourer with Tait, applied to him for medical aid; he pre- scribed lobelia inflate; and the patient died a few days after. Surgeons

• Stated Hewitt had been killed by an irritant vegetable poison—the lobelia. For the prisoner, Mr. Sergeant Wilkins urged that the appearances on which the doctors relied as proof of death by poison might have been caused by disease: the doctors were unacquainted with the lobelia medicine, and pre- judiced against it. The verdict was "Not guilty." Mr. Justice Wightman remarked, that had it been otherwise, the case would not have been one for severe punishment, as the prisoner had acted with a good intention towards 'the deceased.

At Exeter Assizes, last week, Mary Goss was tried for setting fire to dwelling-house, some persons being therein. Goss was servant to Mr. Ed- Wards, at Stoodleigh; while her master and mistress were at church one Sun- day afternoon, a fire occurred in the upper part of the house at first the girl denied that she had been up stairs, but afterwards said she had, and that she had accidentally set fire to the thatch by the window : there did not ap- pear any motive for wilfully causing the fire. The Judge summed up fa- vourably for the prisoner ; but the Jury, very unexpectedly, gave a verdict of "Guilty." Judgment of death was recorded.

At Exeter Assizes, on Monday, the Birds, man and wife, who were some time since tried for the murder of the poor workhouse girl Mary Anne Parsons, by starving and beating her, were tried, at the instance of Govern- Ment, for the minor offences of a wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and a common assault. Mr. Slade put in for them a plea of " autre- foil; irequit," and contended that the charges against them had been included in the indietment for murder on their previous trial. On the other side it was argued, that these assaults were not the same identical murderous as- eaults of which they had been acquitted. A Jury was sworn to try if the pri- soners had been acquitted of these charges. The counsel then argued the ease pro and con • the notes of the former trial were read ; and two surgeons were called to speak to the hurts sustained by the deceased. These gentleman de- clared that death was caused by a wound on the head, not by the wounds on the body the subject of this trial for assault. The matter turned on the point whe- ther the wounds on the body tended to cause the death of the girl, and were thus included in the indictments on the former trial, or whether they were dis- tinct from the actual cause of death. After the Judge, Mr. Gurney, Q.C. had summed up, explaining the law to the Jury, n verdict was given for the Crown. Mr. Gurney reserved a point of law in the prisoners' favour ; but refused to admit them to bail : they must remain in prison till the case is decided, and that term of incarceration will be considered when judgment is Pronounced At Ipswich Assizes, last week, a man having been convicted of setting fire to a barn and other building, Mr. Baron Alderson took the occasion of passing sentence to remark on the alarming increase of the crime of arson. /Cot many years ago this conviction would have cost the prisoner his life ; but the Legislature had mitigated the punishment, conceiving that such edfences would be kept in check by substituting transportation, the extent of which was left tothadiseretion of the presiding judges. He was of opinion that the fullest effectought to be given to the objects of the Legislature in such cases 83 the present, and that tins could only be accomplished by sentencing parties convicted of arson to the severest penalty now recognized. The sen- tence of the Court, therefore, was that the prisoner should be transported for life.

On Monday, Mary Robinson, a single woman, aged twenty-four, was tried for the murder of her infant child, by administering to it " Sir William Burnetes patent disinfecting fluid." The case was rather singular. The prisoner was living with her parents ; they said she must get a atuation, as- they could not support her ; she sought a place, but failed ; nothing was said about the child leaving the house ; there was no anger exhibited ; the wo- man appeared affectionate to her infant A bottle of Burnett's fluid was in the house, and was used to purify the place after sickness. One day, Mary. and her child were left alone for a few minutes ; when one of the woman's sisters came in the child was very ill—the lips were blistered, and there was much vomiting, and it died in a few hours. Death was proved to have re- sulted from a mineral contained in Burnett's thud—chloride of zinc. This was the first known ease of death from that cause. Dr. Letheby, of the London Hospital, gave some of the chloride to dogs and it made them very sick. It was urged that Mary Robinson gave the child the fluid with intent to kill it ; but no reasonable motive could be assigned for the act. At the close of the evidence, the Judge read the label on the bottle, which was " Sir W. Burnett's disinfecting fluid, for the preservation of animal matter." The directions were to use it with a piece of flannel. Mr. Dasent urged for the defence, that the alleged crime entirely wanted a motive. There was nothing to show that the bottle had been touched by the woman; the child might have imbibed the poison from some vessel or article, or from the floor. Even if used by the prisoner, might not the fluid have been given. inno- cently? medical men did not know the nature of the compound, then how could an ignorant woman ? If she wanted to kill the child, she would have taken other means and opportunities. Mr. Baron Alderson, observing that some young children had been brought into the court, said, with great agita- tion of manner, "Do you think it is a good thing to bring in children of that age to hear a trial for murder? It is shocking ! perfectly shocking !" Ile summed up very favourably for the prisoner; placing before the Jury nearly the views of her counsel. He thought a little more care should be used in warning people of the dangerous character of the fluid. The Jury consulted for a few minutes, and then gave a verdict of "Not guilty."

At Ipswich Assizes, last week, John Howard was tried for cutting and wounding William Battey, with intent to resist his lawful apprehension, and to do Battey grievous bodily harm. Howard had stoic n some beetroot ; Bat- tey and a Policeman found it on his premises; the prisoner resisted its re- moval, and struck the prosecutor ten or twelve times on the head with the back of a billhook, causing the blood to flow freely. Battey walked two miles to a doctor's. It was urged for the prisoner, that he resisted the re- moval of the beetroot, not his arrest; and that if he had intended "grievous bodily harm," a single blow with the edge of the billhook would have done more hurt than the dozen wounds really inflicted. The Jury convicted of an assault only. In passing sentence, Mr. Baron Alderson observed that the Jury had acquitted the prisoner of the felonious intent, relying on the strength and thickness of the prosecutor's skull in particular, as he supposed; and in doing so, had no doubt brought to bear their knowledge of the thick- ness of the Suffolk skull in general. They had, however, convicted him of what amounted to a most aggravated assault ; and as it appeared that he hacl already been imprisoned for one month under his conviction for stealing the beetroot, the sentence upon him was that he beimprisoned for eleven monthri more.

At Warwick Assizes, on Monday, Matilda Cooper was tried for stealing, and William 11111 and Thomas Madden for feloniously receiving, divers articles the property of Dr. Jeaffreson of Leamington. Cooper is a gipsy ; she went to Dr. Jeaffrescm's house, got into converse with the servants, and persuaded Sarah Strange to allow the gipsy to "rule her planet." To effect this astrological feat, money and clothes were required as a deposit ; Sarah was stripped of all her own cash and goods, and then the gipsy persuaded her to borrow clothes and trinkets belonging to her master—Cooper declaring that all the property would be made up into a bundle and when the planet had been ruled the goods would be safely returned. he upshot was, that Cooper absconded, and the credulous girl was herself taken into custody for robbing her master, though subsequently liberated. The prisoners were all convicted, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment.

On Tuesday, Bradshaw and Evans weretried for the burglary at Charlecote. This was the robbery where Charlecote (the hall of the Shaksperian family of Lucy) was entered and plundered of many things, including articles very much prized for the associations connected with them. The only thing recovered Was a portrait of Shakspere's Sir Thomas Lucy. Both prisoners were convicted. Bradshaw was sentenced to be transported for fifteen years, and Evans for ten.

On Wednesday, Benjamin Siviter, a married man aged thirty-three, was tried for taking Sarah Upton out of possession of her father, against his will, she being an unmarried girl under sixteen. Siviter was a Sunday- school teacher at Birmingham ; Sarah, a girl only fifteen years old, was a scholar; the prisoner took advantage of his position as teacher to seduce the girl ; and they eloped together, wandering about for some days. The accused was convicted, and sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment.

The steamer Prince Arthur last Sunday started from Preston on a pleasure- trip to Bangor, to view the bridges spanning the Menai Strait. She had some fifty passengers. When off Southport, the vessel sprung a leak, in con- sequence of the supply-pipe of the engine's feeding-pump breaking. The water entered rapidly. All hands did what they could to bale out the water ; but there was only one bucket, and two others were made from a tub. The leak increased, and after a time the fires were extinguished ; one small sail was got up, but the vessel was quite unmanageable. About five o'clock the vessel was run ashore near Formby, where she quickly went to pieces. Seven lady passengers were landed in the miserable little boat belonging to the steamer; but as this boat could not return through the surf, the rest of the passengers and crew were left clinging to the wreck, shift- ing their quarters as portions of the steamer were washed away, 'un- til at length they had to cluster about the iron frames of the paddle- wheels. The engineer and the two firemen attempted to get to shore on plank; but the firemen perished, and their companion was picked up in a very bad state. At length the disaster was discovered at Southport, and two boats hastened to the wreck. They took off all the people, some in a wretched plight. It is said that had there been proper buoys at Southport, the steamer might have got into a safe berth. The Prince Arthur was an old boat, fitted only for river navigation, and was very rapidly destroyed after striking, the shore being soon strewn with fragments.

The Lord of the Isles, one of the steamers plying on Windermere, has been partially destroyed by a fire which broke out at night. The lake and the surrounding scenery were beautifully illumined by the blazing vessel.

Pocock, one of the Sussex Constabulary, having captured two burglars, v ith a curt laden with plunder, prepared to remove them from Turner's Hill to Onekfield. He handcuffed them together, and himself drove them in a cart; Mr. Stanbridge, parochial constable of Worth, going first with the cart containing the plunder. On the road, the prisoners suddenly pitched Pocock out of the cart, and, having been joined by another man, began sa- vagely beating him. Instead of assisting the officer, Stanbridge hastened off in a fright Pocock used his staff lustily, and fired a pistol, but without effect ; his assailants continued to beat him till he was senseless, and then decamped into a forest. Some neighbours conveyed Pocock home, capturing on the way two women suspected to be in league with the burglars. The woods were searched for the robbers, but without success.

Mr. Thomas Shaw, an officer of the Denbighshire County Court, has been killed near the Minera junction of the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway. He got out of an excursion-train at night; the train left him behind ; a pointsman incautiously directed him to walk along the rails to gain a public road, and he was struck down by a train.

A boy has died at Manchester from internal hurts given by an hydraulic press. The boy had thoughtlessly got under the press, and he was crushed before he could be dragged out.