14 APRIL 1855, Page 2


The annual Easter banquet at the Mansionhouse, on Monday, was attended by the Duke of Cambridge, but only by one Cabinet Minister, Sir George Lewis. The other guests included the Bishop of Oxford, Admiral De Chabannes, Sir Hamilton Seymour, the Ministers of America, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, and the Hanseatic States, and several Members of Parliament. The chief topic in the oratory was the reciprocation of compliments on the Anglo-French alliance, which passed between the Duke of Cambridge and Admiral De Chabannes on behalf of the military and naval services of the two countries : it was noticed as a gratifying symbol of the union that the French Admiral expressed himself in choice English.

According to custom, the Lord Mayor received the scholars of Christ's Hospital, at the Mansionhouse, on Easter Tuesday. The Duke of Cam- bridge was present at the reception. The Lady Mayoress duly presented each of the boys with the traditional " tip " ; a sovereign to each Grecian, a half-crown to each monitor, and a shilling each to the rest of the boys.

At a meeting of the Court of Directors of the East India Company, on Thursday, Mr. Elliot Macnaghten was chosen Chairman, in the room of Colonel Oliphant, and Colonel Sykes Deputy Chairman, for the ensuing year.

St. Paul's Church Knightsbridge is still a seat of war. On Saturday last the church was decked with evergreens and flowers, with the consent of the clerical authorities. Hearing this, Mr. Westerton, the Churchwar- den, took legal advice, and served notices upon the Reverend Mr. Lid- dell, the Reverend Mr. Marriott, the Reverend Mr. Boucher, and several females, warning them against aiding in the flowery rites. It produced no effect; and in the evening Mr. Westerton, going to the church him- self, found that he was locked out by the curates and their female as- sistants. But by an unexplained stratagem he gained admission, and re- moved the offending decorations from the chancel ; Mr. Boucher standing by and using " the most irritating language." As soon as Mr. Westerton had withdrawn, the curate and his friends replaced the flowers.

On Tuesday the Vestry of the parish met to elect Churchwardens ; Mr. Liddell, the incumbent, in the chair. A most outrageous scene took place. First there was a warm dispute as to the minutes of the last meeting ; Mr. Liddell refusing to confirm Mr. Westerton's minutes, and confirming his own. Mr. Beale moved a resolution, to the effect that Mr. Westerton's, not Mr. Liddell's minutes, were then read and confirmed. Mr. Liddell objected to put the motion, till informed by the Reverend F. Baring that he was legally bound to do so. Then the resolution was carried. Next, Colonel Vereker moved a resolution, declaring " in the most emphatic terms and the moat unqualified manner " the opinion of the meeting,

"That the mode of oelebrating divine worship by the said Reverend B.. Liddell and his curates in the church of St. Paul's and the chapel of St. Barnabas is highly offensive, and ought forthwith to be discontinued ; that the Honourable and Reverend F. Baring, Honourable C. Smyth Vereker, Grenville Berkeley, Esq., M.P., Lord Ernest Bruce, and Mr. C. Westerton, be a committee to arrange a deputation to once more wait upon the Bishop of London, and to express to him the feelings and wishes of the parishioners." Mr. Liddell, disregarding the resolution, declared that he would name his own warden. This, according to Mx Baring, who again tendered advice, was really the peeper course. But as Mr. Liddell left the chair last year after the wardens had been named, the meeting were apprehen- sive that he would do so this year, and that the legality of the subsequent acts of the Vestry would be endangered. Mr. Beale therefore asked Mr. Liddell whether he would not leave the chair until the business was over : but Mr. Liddell pertinaciously refused to answer. Mr. Baring again told the meeting, that if Mr. Liddell left the chair they could legally appoint their own chairman, and pass what resolutions they pleased. At length Mr. Liddell nominated Mr. W. H. Jackson, of Wilton Crescent. It was urged that he had not resided six months in the parish, and could not serve ; but Mr. Liddell entered his appointment on the minutes, amidst great confusion and noise. After more uproar, Mr. Baring moved and Admiral Hatton seconded the nomination of Mr. Westerton. Here, while Mr. Liddell still sat in the chair, Mr. Westerton stated, in reply to a series of questions, that the Bishop of London had directed that the prayers should be read, whereas they are " monotoned " ; that Mr. Liddell promised to dis- continue the bowing to the cross, and did discontinue it for a time, but took it up again ; that the Bishop stated that it is not in the power of the incum- bent to decorate the chancel without the consent of the churchwarden ; and that although the offertory, yielding 10001. per annum, should be paid to the account of St. Paul's Church as directed by the Bishop, no account has been rendered by Mr. Liddell, and not one shilling has been given to the poor. At length Mr. Westerton was elected, with only one person dissenting ; and the incumbent left the chair.

" A scene of great confusion ensued. Groans, hisses, cheers, and yells, resounded through the room ; the reverend gentleman had to force his way through the crowd to the door, being very much hustled and pushed in the process. The cries of ' Turn him out!' were loud and frequent; and one voice was heard to suggest that he should be thrown out of the window.' " Mr. Westerton took the chair, and Colonel Vereker's resolution was unanimously carried.

Easter Monday was duly kept after the good old fashion by the pro- duction of " novelties " at the theatres, and the usual attendance on the public exhibitions by the holyday people. But on the whole, whether it be that the war makes us more serious, or the additional taxation more economical, the Easter Monday of 1855 seems to have fallen short of its recent and more prosperous predecessors. There were some 20,000 visit- ors at the British Museum, a tolerable crowd at the National Gallery, but only 9000 at the Crystal Palace. In the evening the theatres were. crowded ; and there was a "fair share " of attendance at other places of amusement.

At the Central Criminal Court, on Wednesday, several cases occurred worthy of a brief record. Elliott, a letter-carrier, and Richardson, assistant at a post-office, were convicted of stealing letters containing money. George Jackson pleaded guilty to uttering a forged Bank of England note : he appears to have operated largely. Jonathan Cracknell was indicted with him ; but it appeared probable that he had been an innocent instrument ; and after Johnson had been sentenced to transportation, he was admitted as a witness in Cracknell's favour. The verdict was "Not guilty." Augustus de Wetz, aged eighteen, pleaded guilty to uttering a forged check for 1201. upon Smith and Co., the bankers. Moller, the clerk to Messrs. Nicholls and Co., notaries, who nearly got off with 30001. of their money, pleaded guilty to the embezzlement. Richard Baker, formerly clerk to Barkworth and Co., stock-brokers, was convicted of stealing Turkish scrip. William Kelly, the young " gentleman" who was formerly in the Army, was convicted of obtaining money by means of forged checks. He is well connected.

On Thursday, Luigi Buranelli was tried for the murder of Joseph Latham in Foley Place. The evidence was similar to that given before the Coroner and at the Police Court. The defence set up was a plea of insanity. Witnesses were called to prove that the prisoner had exhibited "exaggerated grief" at the death of his two successive wives ; that he had magnified diseases under which he suffered • and that he had talked of kill- ing himself. Dr. Bailer, of Penshurst, Mr. Henry, surgeon at Middlesex Hospital, and Dr. Conolly, all expressed a belief that he was of unsound mind. But other medical men were called for the prosecution to oppose this evidence : Mr. M'Murdo, surgeon of Newgate, Dr. Mayo, and Dr. Suther- land, all believed Buranelli to be accountable for his acts; his illusions were merely the result of hypochondriasis. The Jury consulted for fifteen minutes, and then returned a verdict of " Guilty." Mr. Justice Erle pro- nounced sentence of death on the convict. Buranelli was assisted from the dock in an almost fainting state.

At the Middlesex Sessions, on Monday, two youths were convicted of steal- ing books from the counters of Mr. Murray and Mr. Bosworth. They are said to be "regular book-thieves" : they were in the habit of going to booksellers with bags in their hands, and while the shopman was searching or inquiring for some rare or unknown work or catalogue which they pretended to need, the thieves whipped books off the counter into their bags. They were sent to prison for a year.

Joseph Smith, a militiaman, was convicted of stabbing a pot-companion with his bayonet, while both were drunk. Mr. Witham commented severely on the practice of permitting militiamen to wear their bayonets, and in some cases to have their muskets, when off duty; while privates in the regular army are forbidden to go about armed. Smith was sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

On Wednesday, the trial of Mrs. Ramsbotham came on. The Grand Jury had found a bill for two larcenies ; one, on the 15th March, of two sleeves ; the other, on the 27th, of four handkerchiefs. Mr. Bodkin appeared for Mr. Moule, the prosecutor. It appears that Mrs. Ramsbotham was observed to secrete the sleeves on the loth March ; Mr. Moule was not at home that day, and no proceedings were taken ; when Mrs. Ramsbotham visited the shop in second time she was watched, and detected. After Mrs. Ramsbotham was in custody, she admitted that she had taken the sleeves as well as the handkerchiefs. The evidence, in a great degree similar to that given at the Police Court, proved that Mrs. Ramsbotham took the goods—her own admis- sions were clear enough on that point.

Mr. Ballantine, for the defence, made no attempt to rebut the facts of the case ; but he asked the Jury to acquit on the ground that there was no felonious intent. He dwelt on the improbability of a lady like Mrs. Rams- botham really intending to rob a shopkeeper,—perilling reputation, hap- piness, health, and life, and exposing her children and husband to the most poignant sufferings, for the sake of a few shillings. He impugned the oon- duct of Mr. Moults : after the lady had taken the sleeves he did not com- municate with her husband. but "laid a trap " for her. Did he not know that many ladies have a "mania " to commit these acts ? Women have morbid delusions at certain times—as during pregnancy, and when a great constitutional change occurs: Mrs. Ramsbotham had arrived at the latter crisis.

A number of clergymen, gentlemen, ladies, and tradesmen, were called, who testified to the honour and integrity of the prisoner during the long period they had known her. The Assistant Judge summed up favourably to the prisoner; repeatedly telling the Jury, that if Mrs. Ramsbotham was suffering from a morbid affection, as urged by her counsel, and had no desire of gain or profit when she took the goods, they must acquit. After four hours' deliberation, the Jury could not agree upon a verdict : they were equally divided, six for conviction and six for acquittal. After some consultation had taken place, and all imputation against Mr. Houle of setting "a trap" had been withdrawn, it was agreed on all hands that the Jury should be discharged ; and Mrs. Ramsbotham was liberated.

A " licentious press" has been annoying Colonel Sibthorp; that is, the Times and other papers have published a polies report detailing the com- plaints of certain militiamen. On a day last week, three militiamen com- plained to Mr. Tyrwhitt, the Clerkenwell Ma&trate, that they had been dismissed from the Royal South Lincolnshire Militia, at Portsmouth, under the order issued by Lord Panmure, but had not been provided with means to convey their wives and themselves to Lincolnshire—they were "bundled into the street," and so on. The Magistrate was surprised at such treat- ment, and assisted the men with funds to carry them home. On Saturday, Colonel Sibthorp complained to Mr. Corrie of this report by "a licentious press " ; said he had always treated his soldiers well ; and boasted that he had spent between 30001. and 40001. upon his regiment : but he omitted to give any explanation about the treatment of the three men who had com- plained. Fortunately, the Magistrate had received a letter from Colonel Fane, which showed that the militiamen had told a false tale : had they waited a day or two till a communication had been made to the War Office, they would have been conveyed home at the expense of Government, and their wives would have been paid for by the regiment.

A hard case has been brought under the notice of the Lambeth Magistrate. Mrs. Page and Mrs. West are the wives of two seamen who went to the Black Sea in the hired Government transport Culloden ; that ship was lost in the great tempest in November ; the crew took to the boats, and when they landed were seized by the Russians : they still remain prisoners. The owner of the ship ceased to pay any allowance to the women after the loss of the vessel was known ; and it appears that none of the charitable funds sub- scribed for sufferers by the war is applicable to a case of this kind. The women are in great poverty : Mr. Elliott has granted temporary aid, and expects the publics will assist the sufferers.

Hansard Bridges, of Stowmarket, a person connected with the grain trade, is in custody for uttering a forged acceptance for 2551. Mr. John Gill, of the New Corn Exchange, has an account at Barclay's bank; he formerly had dealings with Bridges ; a bill for 2554, purporting to be accepted by Mr. Gill, was presented at Barclay's, by a clerk of the London Joint-Stock Bank, and it was paid ; the bill was a forgery, Mr. Gill having neither ac- cepted it nor given authority to any one to accept it for him. Bridges has an account with the Ipswich branch of the National Provincial Bank of Eng- land; he took the forged bill to that bank, and got it discounted ; in due course it was transmitted to London. It appears that Bridges was anxious to take up the bill, and gave a cheek to the Ipswich bank in order to retrieve ; but by some means the presentation at Barclay's was not stopped. A solicitor asked Alderman Rose to take bail for the accused, as there was no intention to defraud. But the Alderman refused bail; and quoted a dictum of Mr. Justice Coleridge. pertinent to the matter—"As to the intent, I must tell you that every man is taken to intend the natural consequences of his own act. If I present to you a bill with the name of one of my friends upon it, knowing it to be forged, it would be idle to say that I had no intent to injure him."

Mr. George Fisher, a theatrical agent, has been assaulted and robbed at midnight within two hundred yards of the Bow Street Police-station. Four men and women set upon him. The first person who arrived to his aid found him lying insensible on the ground, while a woman was beating him on the head with a brick, with such violence that the brick broke to pieces,. Mr. Fisher was covered with blood, and it was necessary to take him to the hospital. The woman, Sophia Bannister, has been committed by the Bow Street Magistrate.

Sir Robert Carden took occasion on Wednesday, when a case of drunken- ness came before him, to testify to the beneficial change effected by the Sunday Beer Act : the number of drunken charges in the City has been greatly di- minished, and the disgraceful scenes formerly prevalent on Sunday no longer occur to any extent. Inspector Scott corroborated Sir Robert's statement from his personal experience.