16 FEBRUARY 1850, Page 6

i4r Vrtrninitil

A Court of Aldermen was held on Thursday, for the despatch of busi- ness. The City Remembrancer announced that notice has been given in the House of Commons of a "bill for the abolition of the payment of fines and stamp-duties upon the admission of freemen of the Corporation of London" ; and added, amidst cries of " Hear !" and "murmurs," that Alderman Sidney is the giver of the notice. Some Members ex- pressed astonishment that Alderman Sidney had taken this step without making any communication to the Freedoms Committee. Alderman Sid- ney explained, that his bill aims at increasing the constituency and re- moving the objectionable tax of the stamp : it will give to all persons re- sident in London for a year and a day the right to vote at the election of municipal officers, without fine for freedom. He had every reason to be- lieve that the measure would have the support of the Government.

The half-yearly general meeting of shareholders in the Great Western Railway Company, on Thursday, passed over very smoothly. The report of the Committee of Investigation was "referred to the consideration of the Court of Directors, for the adoption of the recommendations contained, or such of them as they should think fit" ; a dividend of 4 per cent for the half-year ending last December was proposed by the Directors, and agreed to ; and a Committee of shareholders was appointed " to unite with proprie- tors nominated by other railway companies for the purpose of considering

and framing a bill to be brought into Parliament for an of and in- dependent system of audit of railway accounts."

At the forty-fifth annual general meeting of the Bread Street branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society, on Wednesday, it was stated that the receipts of the Society for the past year have been 95,9331. ; its pay- ments, 88,8811. ; its engagements, more than 67,0001. ; its distribution of Bibles, 1,107,518.

The annual general meeting of the Marylebone Savings-bank was held on Thursday ; Dr. Spry in the chair. During the year ending Novem- ber last, 2,487 new deposits were opened. On the 20th November 1849, there were 20,382; and of this number 15,495 depositors held sums averaging 31. la. 4d. each : the sums due to depositors then amounted to 311,4471, and. they have since risen to 316,2101.

An action of the Queen on the prosecution of Maudslay versus Lowe and others came on for trial in the Exchequer Court on Wednesday. It was a proceeding by scire facies to repeal the letters patent granted in 1838 for improvements in the screw-propeller now much used as a motive power for steam-vessels : the prosecutors were the well-known engine-manufacturers of Lambeth ; the defendants were the inventor and wealthy co-patentees. Sir Frederick Thesiger, and three other counsel for the prosecutors, called a great number of eminent witnesses to prove that the principle of the propel- ler is not new ; and an invention by Messrs. Bramah was specially set up as an application of the windmill fan similar to that made in the defendant's pa- tent. When the case for the prosecution closed, the cause was stopped by a consultation ; and ultimately Sir Frederick Thesiger consented that the At-

torney-General and the two counsel who assistedliim should' have a verdict entered under the direction of the Court. So the patent was allowed to be valid.

At the Mansionhouse, on Saturday, Alderman Gibbs gave judgment on the subject of the wages claimed by seamen of the Queen. It appears that the master of the vessel himself deserted for the Californian gold-washings, as well as a portion of the crew ; the mate assumed the command, and made the agreement for extra wages now disputed. Alderman Gibbs stated that he found he had full jurisdiction in the matter. "Taking into consideration the fact that, after the desertion of the vessel by the first captain and part,. of the crew, the new captain and sundry seamen, of whom those who are here form a portion, appeared before the Vice-Consul, who recorded that, by mutual agreement between the second captain and the crew, the wages of the crew should be twenty dollars per month, it is my decision that the com- plainants are entitled to such increased wages upon a new hiring; and I ac- cordingly award the same to them, with costs." The owners were much dissatisfied with this decision; it legally affected only one seaman, and they refused to be bound by it with regard to other claimants : the Alderman in- stantly- granted summonses to these men, and intimated that he would in- flict penalties if payment of the wages did not immediately follow his deci- sions.

The Marlborough Street Magistrate gave a decision, on Monday, upon a

oint that has been oftener thou once raised. The proprietor of the Picea- y "Saloon" was charged with "knowingly permitting common prosti- tutes to meet and remain m his house." The Police had proved that they found a number of loose women, accompanied by men, eating and drinking in the place at night ; they told the proprietor or his agent that they knew the bad character of many of the women, and warned him no longer to har- bour them ; but he refused to expel them : there was no disorderly or im- proper conduct observed. For the proprietor it had been urged, that he knew not his customers' characters; and that if he did, it was not incumbent on him to expel them unless they behaved improperly. Mr. Bingham re- viewed the facts and arguments. He held that the proprietor of the place knew the character of the women when the Police had officially notified it to him ; and that it was his duty to expel them though they were not disor- derly. He should only inflict such a fine as would enable the defendant to appeal to a higher tribunal, as his counsel differed from the Magistrate. Fines of 3/. and of Is. were then imposed. Notice of appeal was given.

A surgeon of Ixworth in Suffolk has applied to the Worship Street Magis- trate for advice under the following circumstances. About a month ago, as the surgeon and a friend were coming to London by rail, a lady entered their carriage ; she had an infant with her and a box ; she appeared to wear a wedding-ring. Conversation arose, the lady stating that she was ill. On arrival at Shoreditch, she requested the gentlemen to mind the infant for a few minutes; they did so, but the lady never returned. Pinned to the in- fant's clothes was a letter containing two ten-pound notes ; the box con- tained baby-linen of a superior quality but not quite new. The letter stated that the child would be eventually reclaimed by its parents; and that on in- serting an advertisement in the papers fresh supplies of money for its main- Thomas Smith, who attempted to extort money from Messrs. Herries and Co., of which he was convicted some time back, was sentenced to be ime prisoned for twelve months, with hard labour.

Higgins and Smith, the young women who drugged Mr. Jewett with chlo- roform, carried him to their lodging, and robbed him, were convicted. The sentence was transportation for fifteen years. It is doubtful whether the unfortunate gentleman will ever entirely recover from the effects of the treatment he suffered.

Charles Thompson and Sarah Thompson, the couple who have so cleverly robbed houses through the man's success in making love to female servant4 were convicted on two indictments. The punishment was ten years' trans- portation in each case.

A boy of fourteen has attempted to drown himself in the New River near the City Road. He deliberately mounted the parapet of a bridge and jumped into the water; some people succeeded in dragging him out, but he begged to be allowed to go in again. The boy's brother, with whom lie had quar- relled, had boxed his ears ; and the anger thus excited seems to have been the only assignable motive for the attempt at suicide. Her Majesty drove out yesterday in an open barouche and four, with tenauce would be forthcoming. More money as been thus sent. A gen-

the Prince of Wales and three others of her children. tleman has since desired to adopt the child, proposing to deposit the money in a bank for its future use : but the surgeon had received a letter from a person in Devonshire claiming the child, as he pretended by authority of the mother; but he gave no proofs of his authority. The surgeon asked the Magistrate, how should he act in such a ease ? The Magistrate advised hini to take the child to the authorities of the pariah in which it was abandoned, and they would take charge of it. The applicant seemed disinclined to fol- low this advice.