17 FEBRUARY 1855, Page 3

IRELAND. Three Irish Peerages are now extinct. Lord Palmerston therefore

has the power of creating a new one. Mr. Henry Herbert, Member, am Kerry, is spoken of as likely to be the person selected for the honour. A Limerick paper states that Mr. Mouse11 has tendered his resignation as Secretary to the Ordnance ; giving as a reason, that Mr. Monsell found, "he could not consistently with his principles and opinions, and with what is due to his country, hold office under an Administration from which, to say the least, immeasurably less is to be expected by the Catho- lics of the empire than from the late Government" [The Globe is "authorized' to say that this statement is " erroneous " ; and that Mr. Monsell only carries out an intention expressed in December, and retires " solely from private and personal reasons."] A deputation of the inhabitants of Enniskillen, with the Earl of Ennis- killen at their head, have presented an address to Major Maude on the occasion of his return home from the Crimea.

A case of peculiar and painful interest has been for some time before the Dublin Court of Chancery, under the head of "Handcock versus Delacour otherwise De Burgh." It arose upon a petition filed by John Stratford Handcock, the heir-at-law of the late Miss Honoria Handeock, praying that certain charges created by the will of Josephine Handcock might not affect the Canentrilla estates; that a deed executed by Honoria Handcock in 1851 might be ileclared fraudulent and void ; that an account might be taken of the sums which might be justly charged against Mrs. Catherine Josephine Handcock, and that certain judgments obtained by her against Honoria Hendee& might be set aside as fraudulent and void. The story pertaining to the suit was told by the Attorney-General in opening the case for the petitioner, on the 24th January. In 1824, Mr. William Handcock, then just of age, and the possessor of 4000/. a year, married, against the consent of his relations, Miss Catherine Josephine Kelly, an ambitious beauty, who, with the assistance of the Marquis of Clanricarde, formed aed executed the de- sign of marrying Mr. Handcock. By the marriage-settlements, the estates were limited to the use of Mr. Handcock for life, with remainder to provide a jointure of 7001 a year to his wife, with remainder to the issue of the marriage. The issue were Josephine, Anne Mary, and Honoria. After the year 1828 there was no issue. In July 1840, Mr. Handcock, under the im- pression that an improper intimacy existed between his wife and Lord Clan- ricarde, separated from his wife and went abroad. Although this charge was Aisfinctly put forward, Lord Clanricarde, in two affidavits he had made, carefully passed it by altogether; and from the affidavits he would seem to know next to nothing of this family. Lord Clanricarde seemed, indeed, to have some particular reason for not wishing to have been within the four

seas in the latter part of 1840. He said it was impossible that he could have seen Mrs. Handcock throughout the year 18402 because he spent that winter in Russia : he might have done so, but the written documents placed it be- yond a doubt that Mrs. Handcock was his guest at Portumna Castle in October 1840. "Some time in 1841 an infant appeared in the world ; but nobody could tell where he was born, or who was his father." That infant was John Delacour, the minor respondent in this case. Lord Clanricarde was very precise on this point, and said he could state nothing as to the birth or parentage of John Delacour, and that Mrs. Handcock never stated or intimated to him who were the parents of John Dalacour,—" perhaps the lady thought it quite unnecessary to give the noble Marquis any information on that point." Mrs. Handcock and Lord Clanricarde appeared in France, where Mr. Handcock was living under the name of Captain Browne. In 1843 Mr. Handcock returned to England ; and was found dying, in Michael's Road, Brompton, in charge of "a spy of Mrs. Handcock's." There Mr. Hendee& was attended by Dr. Paris, Lord Clanricarde's physician, and the Reverend Mr. Irons. Lord Clanricarde swore that he had brought Mrs. Handcock and Josephine, her eldest daughter, to the deathbed of the dying man ; which led to a reconciliation between the husband and wife, and created a friendly feeling in the father for his daughters. Mr. Handcock had made a will in favour of his brother ; but he was induced to make a new will, appointing the wife whom he had discarded the guardian of his daughters. -Dr. Paris, pledged to keep secret the place of Mr. Handeock'a abode, could not resist the appeal of his brother to see him; butthe brother did not arrive until Mr. Handcock was dead. In 1843, Lord Clanricarde was appointed by the Court guardian of the fortune of the Misses Handeock, although they had many relations of station and respecta- bility. He made Mrs. Handcock an allowance of 1500/. a year for their sup- port; and gave her the house at Canentrilla, rent-free, as a residence, and 600/. to furnish it. Here Mrs. Handcock lived in the greatest penury ; stinting her daughters in money, in clothes, in food—" greater cruelty was never exer- cised by gaoler in the worst of times than this unnatural mother displayed towards her daughters." John Delacour, on the contrary, the "adopted" son of Mrs. Handcock, was indulged in every wish, and the girls were forced to do menial services for him. In 1846 and 1847 Josephine and Anne Mary came of age, and executed disentailing deeds; the grantee being Lord Clanricarde. In 1849 Anne Mary died ; and the estates vesting in Josephine and Honoria, they executed dientailing deeds to Lord Clanricarde. In 18.51 Josephine made a will, drawn by Lord Clanricarde, bequeathing 10,0001. to her mother in the event of her sister's marrying, but giving the whole estates to her mother if Honoria should die without issue. Josephine died shortly afterwards. It was proved, that during the residence of the mother and her daughters in England, she treated them with the utmost harshness; that she told one lodginghouse-keeper that John Delacour was the child of one of her daughters by a French gentleman of position that Mrs. Handeock used to be visited by a gentlema nestled "Clan," and that he use(' to let himself into the house sometimes with a latch-key. The boy Delacour used to strike Honoria ; and was heard to say to her, in the pre- sence of her mother, "I wish you were dead." It was also shown that Mrs. Handcock drank brandy to excess; and one of the opposing counsel urged her drunken habits in extenuation of her cruelty. In 1853 Mrs. Handcock died: notwithstanding her affectation of poverty, she died worth 20,000l; and she bequeathed all her property to the boy except 501. as a legacy to her daughter. In December of the same year Honoria died, intes- tate. Her solicitor wrote to the heir-at-law to come and take possession; but he -afterwards learned that the deeds bore a different construction. And from whom did he learn this ?—From Mr. Robert Power, the agent and attorney of Lord Clanricarde. Thus far the Attorney-General. Two *witnesses spoke to the cruelty with I which Honoria had been treated by her mother, and the disgusting way in which she spoke of her. Mr. Sergeant O'Brien was proceeding to address , the Court on behalf of the executors, to make out that the allegations against Lord Clanricarde were unproved, and that no constraint had been put upon Josephine ; when the Lord Chancellor said—" For whom do you appear ? " Sergeant O'Brien—" For the executors under the will of Josephine." The Lord Chancellor—" It does appear to me to be the oddest thing in the world why you should take such trouble on yourself to defend this case, when it has been placed by the Court in the hands of a solicitor who is instructed to defend the minor's rights. What is the meaning of this great energetic action on the part of simple trustees, who have no more interest in the matter than are, I cannot understand. It does strike me that it is very suspicious to 'aglayed, for what sinister or indirect purposes I cannot a O'Brien continued ; asserting that Lord Clanricarde i ertion of a revocation-clause in a deed executed by eclined; that the girls were well treated, for had they

not daily instruction in Italian and French ? and were they not visited by Lord Dunkellin Lord Mountcharles, and others ? and that the inventory of their stock of dothes showed the charge to have been a misrepresentation. But he declined to attempt to justify Mrs. Handeock's unnatural conduct in saying that John Delacour was the son of one of her daughters. He admitted that the mother was anxious to get as much as possible for her child ; but that did not nullify the deed. The Solicitor-General, in his reply, gave a description of the death of Mr. Handcock, and illustrated it from a diary kept by Miss Handcock. "What did Mies Hendee& say in her diary ? Did she say that Lord Clanricarde came there merely to make peace between the members of the family ? No, she did not. Here were her words describing her father's state—' He became calmer, seemed to sleep for a few moments. He heard the hall-door bell. He inquired anxiously who it was. I went to the head of the stairs. It was Lord C—. I told him that papa was dying. He gave him some wine. It revived him. It kept him alive for several hours. He recovered for some minutes. He slept with his eyes open. He awoke, and Lord C— spoke about the guardianship of his children. Lord C—; Dr. Paris, 5—, and I retired to the sitting-room. I knelt down and prayed alone. The clergyman was about three-quarters of an hour with papa, per- haps an hour. He came into the room where we were; and he spoke in a very low tone to Lord C—, who took him out, and they disappeared in his carriage.' The man who was just expiring—the man who was sleeping with. his eyes open—the man who was wandering from instant to instant—a code- cil was put to his will, giving to Mrs. Handcock what she considered of the greatest importance—that for which she struggled to the last moment of her husband's existence—that which Lord Clanricarde assisted her to obtain— that which had enabled him to divert from its natural and legitimate chan- nel this vast estate up to the present moment, with a view of bestowing it on one with whose birth and parentage Lord Clanricarde said he was not ac- quainted, but who, no man who heard the evidence could hesitate to believe, was the child of that same noble Marquis !" Mr. Martley, on behalf of the executors of Mrs. Handcock, contended that Miss Hendee& perfectly understood what she was about in execut- ing the deeds, and was perfectly satisfied that the estate should go to the minor Delacour.

The arguments on .both sides occupied several days. The Lord Chan- cellor, however, was not called upon to deliver judgment ; for the parties agreed to a compromise, on the following terms. The petitioner Hand- cock, the heir-at-law, is to get the estates, on the condition that he shall pay to the respondent Delacour the sum of 20,0001. on his attaining full age, and in the mean time pay 4 per cent on the amount. The respondent is now nearly fourteen years of age ; and in the event of his dying before he reaches twenty-one, the petitioner will not have to pay the 20,0001., but will have the estates free of any charge created in this matter save the payment of the interest. It is also agreed that the deeds and the will upon which the respondent founded his claim shall be cancelled. The respondent being a minor and a ward of the Court, the sanction of the Lord Chancellor was necessary for the carrying out of the agreement; and on Monday the Attorney-General stated in court the terms of the compromise, and prayed his Lordship's sanction. The Lord Chancel- lor said, that having heard the terms stated, he had no hesitation in saying that he thought the arrangement was for the benefit of the minor. As- suming that there was no other question before the court in the matter, he was of opinion that it would be for the benefit of the minor to have the com- promise carried into effect. The Attorney-General said, there was no other question before the Court in the ease.

The Lord Chancellor—" My decision would be more unfavourable to the , minor than the terms proposed. Supposing my opinion be unaffected by anything that may occur, I think the compromise is one that it will be for the benefit of the minor to carry into effect." The decree in both cases was accordingly taken.

There was a very heavy snow-storm on the 9ffi, impeding or totally stop- ping railway traffic for a time, while the weather at sea was so bad that steamers were unable to cross the Channel. A dreadful disaster occurred at Lambay, in the wreck of the Will-o'-the-Wisp, a screw-steamer employed to convey coals from England for the use of an Irish railway. She struck on Burren Rock, and not a soul on board escaped : unfortunately, she had a number of seafaring men as passengers, and'the total number lost is esti- mated at twenty-five or twenty-six.