18 AUGUST 1855, Page 4

Ight 3/101 . 111111115. The interestin g q uestion of a Saturday half-holiday in

the Metropolis was discussed at a crowded meeting held in Guildhall on Wednesday; 'Sir James Duke in the chair. Mr. Hubbard, late Governor of the Bank of England. Mr. Ambrose Moore Mr. Bailey and Mr. Bower, two solici- tors, addressed the meeting, warmly urging the importance of the half- holiday, socially, mentally, and physically, to large classes of society. It has been successfully carried out in the chief towns of Scotland, and also in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, and other places in the North of England. It is proposed that the hour of closing on Saturday should be two o'clock; when, it is thought, all offices, public and private, might close without injury to public business. In order to facilitate the closing of retail-houses at an earlier hour on Saturday, it is proposed that em- ployers should pay their people on Friday or early on Saturday. Mr. John Robert Taylor stated that a great number of legal firms—solicitors both in town and country—are favourable to early closing; but lawyers could not close their offices unless the public offices be likewise closed. If.esolutions embodying the above propositions were carried; and it was ordered that they should be submitted to the Lord Chancellor, the Judges, the Lards of the Treasury, and the heads of other departments, and the 'principals of every profession and wholesale trading firm in London.

A turbulent Peace meeting was held at St. Martin's Hall on Wednes- day evening; the leaders of the movement being, apparently, Mr. Hamil- ton, the person so unceremoniously handled at the Southwark election, and Mr. George Thompson, the Peace party's lecturer. Other notable malcontents also figured among the speakers, most of whose utterances were unheard amid the terrific uproar constantly breaking forth. Of Tours° no business was done. The Ultra-Liberals of the Metropolis seem unanimous in condemning the talked-of Polish Legion; and in this they are supported by the De- mocratic Poles. At a meeting at the Horns, Kennington, on Monday, two resolutions were passed,—one denouncing the war, and protesting against the formation of a Polish Legion, because Lord Palmerston is personally perfidious, and because the war will not "promote the safety of Turkey, the liberties of Europe, or the honour of Great Britain"; the second, refusing to sanction the formation of a Polish Legion, "until there has been a total change in the policy of England and Rome," and de- clining to denounce the war, called for an honest Government that will prosecute it with vigour and call Poland to arms.

In addition to the prospective seats to be set up in the Regent's Park, Sir Benjamin Hall has made an innovation in the Western regions under his jurisdiction; the Queen permitting one of the bands of the Household Cavalry to play in Kensington Gardens for the public behoof between five and seven o'clock on the Sunday afternoon. The first performance took place last SundaT. It is said the band of the Life Guards, dissatis- fied with their share in the boon, "succeeded admirably in giving a peni- tential effect to every piece of music they attempted."

A special session of Middlesex Magistrates has been held at Westminster to consider the claims of the occupiers of houses who had their windows broken during the recent Sunday riots. The Chairman held that the claims could not be made good against the hundred, as there was no " felonious " rioting by the mob—they did not pull down, or attempt to pull down, the houses All the claims were rejected; thus confirming the decisions of the Police Magistrates. Messrs. Strahan, Paul, and Bates, appeared at Bow Street on Wednesday, for the tenth time; and were again remanded. Mr. Humphreys, in the ab- sence of Mr. Bodkin, brought additional evidence tracing two of Dr. Grif- fith's bonds to Coutts and Co. No additional evidence will be offered until September. Bail was proffered and accepted on behalf of Mr. Bates; the sureties being Mr. James Anderton, of Bridge Street, Blackfriars, and Mr. Bates, a Liverpool merchant, brother of the accused. Sir John Paul is still without bail. Mary Morris attempted to drown herself in the Seri:endue; but she was saved by one of the Humane Society's men. Brought before the Marlbo- rough Street Magistrate, she told a sad story. Her .pareete lived in Wales. Seduced about two years ago, she took up with a dissolute life; but having been rescued from the streets by a clergyman, and having passed through the ordeal of a _penitentiary, she was received by the clergyman into his house, and remained several months in his service. It chanced, however, that the clergyman's brother came to stay at the house; his solicitations led her again astray; she left the familyt and came to London. Here she went to Cremorne, passed the night in dnnking, and, frantic at her condition in the morning, threw herself into the Serpentine. She had no friends in Lon- don. Mr. Bingham admonished her and let her go.

A fete at Cremorne Gardens on Monday, for the benefit of the Wellington College, was attended by a lamentable accident. There was a representation of the storming of the Mamelon at Sebastopol. For this especial occasion some five hundred Grenadier Guards and other soldiers were permitted to appear on the scene. At the very climax of the mimic war, when the soldiers were rushing forward to the capture of the Matnelon with bayonets fixed, their ardour carried them away, and they sprang upon a slightly-built platform not intended for their use it gave way under their weight, and sixty men were precipitated a considerable distance. The consequences were serious: five cases of fracture, one soldier having both legs broken • and more than twenty men received wounds from bayonets or were otherwise hurt. A dreadful fire, involving the sacrifice offour lives, occurred at George Row, Bermondsey Wall, on Sunday morning. Mrs. Fordham carried on the busi- ness of pawnbroker in the Bow; her brother, Mr. William Wood, her three young sons, and a servant-girl, occupied the house. About midnight a Po- liceman discovered that the basement was on fire, and he attempted to arouse the inmates. Mrs. Fordham and one of her sons tried to descend the stairs, but were obliged, after shouting to the other persons in the house, to escape by the top windows into the next house. A fire-escape was quickly brought; but the conductor found it impossible to enter any' of the -rooms, and no one appeared at the windows. Theflames quickly seized all the floors, and the house was gutted. Mr. Wood, two of Mrs. Fordham's children, and the girl, perished. A singular and fatal accident occurred on Westminster Bridge on Wednes- day evening. Consequence of the breaking of a pinion of a "travelling purchase" used in the construction of the new bridge, while a diving-hell was suspended to the crane, the machinery was put into such rapid motion that the cogs of the wheels were broken off and hurled in all directions. Some flew on to the old bridge' he died in a few and a passenger was killed : the small bit of

iron crushed in his chest, and minutes.