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chairman, and the meeting was addressed at great length
by Mr. Milner Gibson, Mr. Cobden, and Mr. Bright.
A resolution, moved by Mr. H. Ashworth, and seconded
by Mr. Whitehouse as the representative of the Ballot
Society, was then unanimously passed. It was to the
effect, that this meeting request that the liberal members
connected with the county of Lancaster, with the addition
of some of the leading reformers of each district,
consider themselves a committee for the purpose of
aiding in any proceeding with reference to parliamentary
reform, with a view to secure such an additional
representation to this county as its population, industry,
wealth, and intelligence obviously require.

NARRATIVE OF LAW AND CRIME.

AT the Nenagh quarter sessions, Mr. Serjeant
Hewley, the assistant barrister for the North Riding of
Tipperary, in opening the Crown business, remarked on
the Great Diminution of Crime in that county. He
said: If this county was formerly remarkable for crime
and offences against law and order, I am happy to say
it is latterly redeeming its character. In the double
capacity of going judge of assize and assistant barrister
at quarter sessions, I have had ample opportunity,
during the last two or three years, of observing its real
condition; and, I rejoice to say, that there is not now
in her Majesty's dominions a better ordered population,
or a more submissive people to the laws, than the
inhabitants of the county Tipperary. A blessed change
has taken place; crime has diminishedas the calendar
before me atteststhere being only 44 cases for trial,
whereas at the January sessions for this division of the
county in years gone by, the cases sent up for the
consideration of the grand jury might frequently be
numbered by hundreds. Those on the present calendar
are also of light description, and demand no comment
from me. Here then is a cause of congratulation.

A man named James Holman, a labourer, living in
the parish of Crowan, in Cornwall, has been committed
to take his trial for the Murder of his Wife on the
26th of December. On that day Holman went to a
neighbour's house, and implored him to accompany
him to his cottage, saying that he believed his
wife was dead. On going thither the woman was
discovered lying under the grate, with her face part
buried in the ashes. She was lifted up and removed
into the kitchen. On washing her face it was discovered
that she had received some frightful wounds on the
head; there were also scalds on the back of both her
hands, but not any on the palms, nor were her clothes
burnt. Blood was also noticed on the sleeve of Holman's
coat, and some on his trousers, as well as several spots
of blood about the room. In the chimney corner, when
the body was lifted, a lighted candle was found stuck in
the ashes. Two days afterwards, a well belonging to
his house was examined, in consequence of some
suspicions that had been excited, and at the bottom a
hatchet was found. Holman strongly denied any
knowledge of it, but it was identified by one of his neighbours
as having belonged to him. He was then apprehended,
and an inquest having been held on the body, he was
committed for trial at the assizes. Subsequently he
expressed a wish to see two of the jurors, and said to
them, "I left home on Monday morning, and returned
in the evening. As I came in, I called out 'Phillipa,
where are you?' and she replied 'What is that to you?'
I then said, 'You are drunk again I see,' upon which
she threw the firehook at me. I thereupon gave her a
push, and she fell into the fireplace. I left her there,
and went out to feed the cattle; but finding her in the
same position when I returned, I lifted her up, and
found her dead, with a cut overhead. Seeing the
hatchet on the floor covered with blood, and fearing I
might be suspected of murder, I took it away to throw
it into the well."

Lieut.-Colonel Layard, late M.P. for the borough of
Carlow, Committed Suicide at Dublin on the 27th ult.,
by cutting his throat in a very frightful manner with a
razor. It appears that some alarm was given before the
unfortunate gentleman was able to complete the fatal
act, and that his wife, who called two other gentlemen
residing in the house to her aid, rushed into the room,
and seized his arms; but the efforts of all three to
prevent the accomplishment of his purpose were
unavailing, and he inflicted some gashes on himself,
even while his wife and the gentlemen in question were
struggling to hold him. There were seven wounds in
all inflicted on various parts of his throat, and of these
one was so deep that it reached nearly to the root of his
tongue. Death ensued in about twenty minutes.
Depression of mind, arising from matters of business, and
causing temporary insanity, was the cause of the act,
and at the inquest held on his remains the jury returned
a verdict to that effect.

An important case respecting the Liability of Railway
Directors was tried in the Court of Queen's Bench on
the 13th inst. It was an action brought by a Mr.
Mowatt against Lord Londesborough, as one of the directors
of a company which had been established for the purpose
of constructing a line called the Dover and Deal Railway,
to recover the amount of deposit money paid by the
plaintiff on certain shares which had been allotted to him
in that company. The plaintiff relied upon an
undertaking given by the directors that if the bill for carrying
out the scheme should not pass through parliament they
would return the whole deposit money that had been
paid by the allottees, without deduction. The bill did
not pass, and the scheme fell to the ground, but the
directors had deducted the preliminary expenses which
had been incurred. The case was tried before Lord
Campbell, at Guildhall, when the verdict was entered
for the plaintiff. A rule has since been obtained to
enter the verdict for the defendants, and it was argued
last term when the court reserved its decision. Lord
Campbell said the court were of opinion that the plaintiff
was entitled to their judgment. He had clearly made
out a prima facie case, for there was an express
undertaking on the part of the directors if the bill was not
obtained, to return the whole of the deposits, without
deduction. Some expenses must have been incurred
in introducing the bill, which the directors might have
deducted from the deposits, if it had not been for this
undertaking, which showed that these expenses were
to be borne by the directors. Looking merely at the
letter of allotment and deed of settlement, the directors
would be justified in applying the funds in their hands
to the promotion of the scheme; but the contract
between the parties must be gathered from the
documents in the case, and he thought the contract here was,
that in the event which had happened the deposits
were to be returned without deduction. Due weight
must be given, not only to this undertaking, but also
to the undertaking which had been entered into by the
South Eastern Railway Company, and which they had
failed to perform. If they had performed their
undertaking, it was admitted that the plaintiff would have
been entitled to recover. But surely the Dover
and Deal directors took upon themselves the risk
of the South Eastern Company not performing that
undertaking. Although the Court of Exchequer
Chamber had held that the South Eastern Company
were not obliged to fulfil their agreements, that
decision might perhaps be overruled by the House of
Lords. But if the directors had negligently entered
into an invalid contract, they ought to be the parties
to suffer. It was objected, on the part of the defendant,
that the undertaking had become merged in the deed
executed by the plaintiff. But he thought there had not
been first one, and then another, contract entered into, for
all the documents formed one contract, just as much as if
they had all been signed at. the same time. It could not
be said that the plaintiff, by the execution of the deed,
was to lose all benefit from the express undertaking.
The court also thought that the objections with regard
to the stamp, and the want of sufficient notice of the
demand, could not be sustained. On the whole, therefore,
they were of opinion that the verdict for the
plaintiff for principal and interest ought to stand. Rule
discharged.

A singular case of Robbery and Abduction has occurred
in Wicklow. Mr. Metcalf, a respectable farmer near
Dunlavin, was robbed of £105 by his daughter, Bridget,
who is not 14 years of age. She was induced to commit
this robbery by William Nolan, a farm labourer, who

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