29 DECEMBER 1855, Page 2

11r 3111traitutio.

Nearly the -whole of the forty-four members of the Metropolitan Board of Works assembled at noon on:-Saturday, 'to elect a chairman. At the outset of the proceedings, Sir John Shelley statedthat he had withdrawn his name as a candidate, because he was under the impression that a Member of Parliament, some of whose time is occupied in the public servies, would be precluded from acting as.chairman by the previous re- solution of the Board. Mr. H. L. Taylor said that view was a total mistake ; but Sir John did not withdraw hie resignation. At first there were seventeen candidates - bu. they were eventually reduced to ten— four of whom were members of the Board. The candidates as they were proposed addressed the m.mbers of the Board in this order,—Mr. Corrie, Mr. Deputy Harrison, Mr. T. Hawes, Mr. Jebb, Mr. Percy M,P., Mr. Roebuck M.P., Mr. Thwaites, and Mr. Turner. 'Mr. Roebuck apolo- gized, in some sort, for having come forward. It was the first time, he said, during a public service of twenty-three years, that he had appeared to solicit a paid office.

"Now, it may be said, and doubtless will be said, that I have no capacity such as your chairman ought to have. But itiseems to me that my education, first as a lawyer, and then as a legislator, has taught me to do that which it is essentially the business of your chairman to do,—namely, to weigh and understand evidence. The schemes which will be propounded to you will not depend on any individual skill ; but you will get from all sides such in- formation as the world affords, and you will have to judge of that informa- tion, so that your faculty is that of deciding upon evidence. Now, a man who has been trained during his whole life to the investigation of evidence is the man best fitted for the chairmanship of this Board. Add to this, a roan who has been trained for twenty-three years in the greatest delibera- tive body that the world knows, and you will probably think he has had an experience in duration and kind shich peculiarly tits him for discharging the duties of your chairman. I have, as you are aware, conducted some very thorny investigations. To two of these I may particularly allude. The first to which I would recall the memory of the Board was a very deli- cate one—namely, the corrupt compromises made respecting elections of Members of Parliament ; and I may state to you that we conducted that investigation without one single division in the Committee ; and in the last, in which I took some pride—namely, the Committee on the Army before Sebastopol—we conducted that investigation so that only on two occasions had we a division. Now, I think that shows that there are some imputations made against me which are really not deserved. I must have had many very different interests before me—some hostile, and others not very friendly to- wards me—and yet during the whole of that investigation I was enabled to preserve my authority in that Committee, and not to give offence to any ono. There is one other topic to which I hope you will allow me to refer, though it is. an entirely selfish one. You all know that I have been a great sufferer in my health ; but, thanks to Providence and great care, I am what may be called a regenerated man. I have my time at my command; and I may be said to be pretty much in the condition of an old American who once said, when asked the state of his health, am as hearty as a buck but I cannot jump quite so high.' I feel, however, as all must feel when on the wrong aide of fifty, that years are telling upon me ; but still I believe that I have the capacity, if I may so term it, to guide your deli- berations, and I feel fully capable of performing the duties of the office in question. It has been said 'that I may not have sufficient time for discharg- ing those duties, because I am a member of the House of Commons. Now, I candidly tell you, if I were to put the two offices in competition, I would say I -should, with all deference to you, choose the House of Commons ; but I believe them to be not incompatible, and let me take this illustration. You will bear in mind that the Lord Chancellor of England is a Member and Chairman of the House of Lords. The President of the Board of 'Works is also a Member of the House of Commons, and has legislative functions to perform. Again, the Secretary or State for the Colonies is a Member of the same assembly and a Cabinet Councillor. He also governs Colonies, spreading over the whole globe—I don't say that he governs them well ; but I mention those circumstances to show that we ought not to form our opinion of a man from his position but rather from his principles and the energyhe brings to bear upon it. I am afraid, gentlemen, I may have exhausted your patience, and I don't wish to take up more of your time. I have been solicited to come forward, and I come forward on that ground. I believe I am fully capable of discharging the duties of the office ; and to the performance of those duties, if elected, I promise you I will devote all the energies and all the capacity that God has given me." (Cheers.) The mode of election adopted was to put the whole ten to a show of hands, and to strike off each time the name of the candidate who had the least votes. As Mr. Carden and "Mr. Rose obtained no votes, there were thus seven divisions. In the first show, Mr. Thwaites had 26, the high- est, and Mr. Percy, 4, the fewest number of votes; Mr. Roebuck and Mr. Harrison had each 17. None of the other candidates stood any chance. At the sixth division, the numbers were—Thwaites, 21; Har- rison, 16; Roebuck, 13; at the seventh they were—Thwaites, 26; Har- rison, 13; a majority of 13 -for Thwaites. A formal resolution, supported by 30 votes, finally installed Mr. Thwaites as permanent Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works. Sir John Shelley, having given no- tice that he should resign his seat at the Board, the meeting was ad- journed to the 1st of January.

So far as theatrical representations and exhibitions were concerned, Christmas seems to have lost none of its old glories. But the weather, which last week promised to be most propitious and seasonable, broke up between Saturday night and Sunday morning ; the ice disappeared ; rain fell in torrents, accompanied by violent gusts of wind. Christmas-day, although not fair, was tolerably fine ; but "boxing-day," the Londoner's holiday, was vext with many storms of wind and rain, putting open-air amusement quite out of the question. As a general rule, however, the day exhibitions, except the Zoological Gardens, were well attended ; and pantomime, burlesque, and magic, drew very good houses in the even- ing.

The statistics of the amount of pauperism in the Metropolis on Christ- mas-day show an increase over the number last year of no fewer than 9693 in twenty-six parishes, and a decrease of 1036 in six parishes. Up- wards of 100,000 paupers, male and female were regaled with Christmas fare on Tuesday in the Metropolitan workhouses.

A Christmas party in the Minories had a frightful termination—one of the guests murdered his wife. Thomas Corrigan, a foreman in the East India Company's warehouses, and his wife, were visitors on Christmas-day to Mr. Burton, an optician in Church Street, Minories ; Mrs. Fearon, sister to Mrs. Corrigan, and her husband, were also present. Nothing extraordinary oc- curred on Christmas-day, but it was noticed that Corrigan was very "quiet." Re sat up during the night with the men of the party, the women occupy- ing the bedrooms. In the morning he went to his business. On his return to Mr. Burton's on Wednesday afternoon, his wife was not there, having gone home to see her children. When Mrs. Corrigan and Mrs. Fearon re- turned, they went into a bedroom; Corrigan stealthily followed them, forced his wife away from Mrs. Fearon, and stabbed her three times with a clasp- knife,—a new one, which be had bought that afternoon. lathe attempt to seize and disarm Corrigan, Mrs. Fearon and Mrs. Burton were cut with the knife, as was a third person, whom with others, the screams of the women had attracted to the spot. Mrs. whom, was taken to a neighbouring surgeon's, where she expired—one of the wounds had penetrated the lungs. Alter he was in custody, the murderer requested Inspector Gernon to take charge of some -letters which were in a desk at the warehouse—they would throw light on the affair. The unhappy couple had four children. The first examination of the prisoner, at the Thames Police Office, on Thursday, was a very distressing scene. Corrigan is described as a mild- looking man ; his age about thirty. Mrs. Fearon was so hysterical at the examination that she was at first unable to speak : at her appearance Cor- rigan buried his face in his hands and sobbed aloud. Mrs. Fearon fainted, and had to be removed. Mrs. Burton was also greatly agitated, but ma- naged to give her -testimony. Mrs. Fearon was again brought into court ; but she could only whisper to the Magistrate, who repeated her statements aloud. Mr. Ingham asked the witness to turn round and look at the pri- soner, for the purpose of identifying him ; but her terror was so great that she was afraid to do it. At length she was raised from her chair, and was proceeding out of the court, when she wildly rushed towards the dock in which the prisoner stood, and stretched out the arm that was not wounded to shake hands with him. The prisoner eagerly leaned forward, caught her hand in his, and exclaimed, "God bless you!" He then gave way to a paroxysm of grief. As Mrs. Fearon was led into the clerk's room, she ex- claimed, "Oh, my arm, my arm!" and fainted away. Mr. Burton, who also lost all self-possession when he entered the court, said, in answer to a question prompted by the prisoner, that Corrigan had evidently been drink- ing on Wednesday ; that drink affected his nervous system ; and that on Chriatmas-eee,.it was said, he had an attack of delirium tremens: but head-

nutted that he had not been much in the prisoner's company. After a surgeon had described the wounds inflicted on the deceased, Corrigan was remanded for a week.

The Coroner's inquest on the case closed with a verdict of "Wilful mur- der" against Thomas John William Corrigan.

Policemen discovered burglars on the roof of a jeweller's shop at Holloway. Constable Tomkin climbed on to the roof; there he found three men lying down : they attacked him, and after a struggle threw him off the roof—he fell a considerable depth, and his arm was broken in two places. The ruf- fian who was the principal in this outrage has been committed by the Clerkenwell Magistrate ; and an accomplice has been sent to prison for six months ; a third man was arrested on suspicion, but Toinkin could not iden- tify him.

Three burglars have been caught in the fact at the Curtain Road, Shore- ditch. Mr. Gascoigne, a butcher there, left his house unprotected while he and his family went to dine on Christmas-day with relatives. In the even- ing, a boy saw three men open the shop-door and enter. He gave informa- tion; the pollee surrounded the house ; and when all outlets had been watched, some of the constables entered ; one burglar was seized in an upper room ; two who attempted to escape by the rear of the house were seized by officers stationed there. The thieves had ransacked the house and collected much plunder for removal.

Another railway plunderer has been seized at the Waterloo terminus,— Woods, a well-dressed, middle-aged man, who took possession of a gentle- man's coat in the waiting-room, and was hurrying away with it when he was stopped by a policeman who had been watching him. Recently, the thieves have made quite a razzia on the Waterloo terminus: there are more than a dozen men and women now in prison for offences there.

Several of the City Companies have sent Christmas donations for the poor- boxes of the Metropolitan Police Courts.

Mr. William Parke, a young gentleman residing in Albany Street, was drowned in the Broad Water, Regent's Park, by the ice breaking while he was skating.

A lamentable affair has occurred in Mint Street, Southwark. A fire broke out at Mr. Bryant's ; a Mrs. Robine, a lodger, discovered it, and gave the alarm, so that the other inmates escaped ; but she herself perished. When the fire had been got under, her corpse, that of her child, six years old, and a new-born babe, were found. The unfortunate woman must have been seized with the pangs of labour amid the smoke and flame. At the inquest, a fireman showed how the fire bad been caused. Next door to Mr. Bryant's, a copper had been set, close to the wall of his kitchen ; there was much tim- ber in the wall, and a hole through the copper-furnace had set Mr. Bry- ant's house on fire ; the copper had been set with gross carelessness. The Jury found a verdict of "Manslaughter" against Charlton, the man who set the copper.