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The Monthly Intelligencer,



Foreign News, Domestic Occurrences, and Notes of the Month.

Ост. 1.

Belgium. It is shewn by statistics officially published by order of the government that the population of the kingdom of Belgium in 1850 amounted to 4,426,202 souls; the number of births to 131,416; the deaths to 92,820; and the marriages to 33,762. There were about 11,309 illegitimate living births. There were, in 1854, 5,498 schools of primary instruction, and 7,654 infant, adult, and industrial schools. The number of scholars in the primary schools was 491,526; in the infant-schools, 25,464; and in the adult schools, 170,527. The total number received for the primary schools in 1854 was £180,197. The public revenue of Belgium in 1856 was estimated at £6,029,660, and the expenditure at £6,552,992. The public debt of Belgium on January 1, 1851, amounted to £24,854,679-including £16,424,516, the ordinary debt, and £8,429,563, the extraordinary (for railways, roads, and canals). In 1855, 2,558 vessels, of 441,554 tons, entered ports in Belgium; while 2,507, of 432,457 tons, cleared out. The official value of the merchandise imported in1855 was £27,145,480, and of that exported from Belgium £27,921,920. The real value of the produce, &c., retained for home consumption in 1850 was £8,876,930, and the duty received £444,157; and the specie imported £1,335,380. The real value of the Belgian produce imported in 1850 was £8,401,301, and the duty received £11,353.

OCT. 10.

Gray's Elegy and Thanington Churchyard.-A curious literary incident has transpired in the ascription of Thanington Churchyard as the scene of Gray's famous Elegy. If the claim can be substantiated, Canterbury and its neighbourhood will have one more pretension to celebrity, and Thanington will have as many "pilgrims of genius" as "Stoke Pogis," with its unpoetical, almost burlesque, appellation. The Athenæum has the following:-" Scene of Gray's Elegy.'-I should feel much obliged if you would do me the favour of inserting in the columns of the Athenæum

the substance of the statement which I now beg to communicate to you. Not long since, in the course of a conversation in which I was engaged with a physician of the city of Canterbury, lately retired from practice, it was mentioned by him that the country churchyard' to which Gray was indebted for the imagery which he has introduced into his beautiful 'Elegy' is not Stoke Pogis-as it has been so generally supposed-but that of Thanington, which lies on the sloping bank of the river Stour, about one mile and a half above the city of Canterbury. On my writing to him afterwards on the same subject, I was favoured with a reply, wherein he states his reasons, pretty much as follows, for believing Thanington Churchyard to be the scene of the 'Elegy: In reply to your letter,

I can only repeat what

I received from the lips of my old friend spontaneously in the course of conversation, as I was seated at her window, in St. George's place, to witness the return of Sir E. Knatchbull from Barham Downs, after his election for the county in 1835. She then affirmed that she was well acquainted with the author of the Elegy,' Mr. Gray, who was an occasional visitor to a Mr. Drew, a medical man of this city,and that the spot which gave rise to the poem was Thanington Churchyard. Mrs. Lukyn could have had no other object in giving me this information than that of affording a pleasure to me, as a long-known friend of her and her family,-for both she and her sister had long been patients of my father, and were well acquainted with me when a child. The old lady died in the spring of 1835, at the age of eighty-three. She was the last surviving child of the Rev. Ant. Lukyn, late rector of St. Mildred's, Canterbury, and vicar of Reculver, who died in 1778, as appears from the obituary of the GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE. Mrs. Lukyn's memory, therefore, which seems to have been fully impressed with the fact, may well have been carried back to the period when Gray visited Canterbury. I feel assured, then, that the yew-tree, which, from the circumstances I have had related to me by my

old friend, appears to have stood at the elbow of the poet,-and the farm close by, and the ivy-covered tower,-and the curfew,' (meaning the eight o'clock cathedral-bell,) added to the picturesque churchyard, - are all closely identified with the imagery so beautifully displayed by Gray.'-Such are the reasons, grounded, as you see, on internal as well as external testimony, which my correspondent alleges in support of his opinion on this subject. Whether they will appear to be probable ones to yourself is, I think, a doubtful matter; whilst I am sure that they will be pronounced altogether improbable by that large class of the community which has assigned this contested honour to Stoke Pogis. I should add, that the scenery adjacent to Thanington Churchyard, and many of its rural circumstances, are very much as my correspondent has described them, and, further, that I think the epithet 'neglected'-for reasons that I need not now explain-must have been far more applicable to it a hundred years ago than to a churchyard like that of Stoke Pogis, placed, as it is, in the midst of a park, and very near a large house then occupied by Viscountess Cob. ham, and, moreover, only distant four miles from Windsor Castle."

Subsequent enquiry has shewn this inference to be unfounded.

Ост. 19.

Interesting Relics. The navvies employed on the first section of the Dorset Central Railway, extending from Wimborne to Blandford, on making a deep cutting in Castle-hill, on one side of the road leading through the village of Spettisbury, disinterred a large quantity of human bones, among which were as many as seventy skulls. The whole of the bones were detached, and when found presented a crushed and broken appearance. In one of the skulls was discovered a spear-head firmly fixed, the shaft having been evidently broken off before the body was interred; various weapons of war, such as swords, daggers, spear-heads, with ornamental buckles and other fastenings for the dress, and a brass boiler-shaped vessel, evidently used for culinary purposes, exhibiting superior workmanship, were found with the human remains. The probability is that the disturbed burial-place was a large grave, in which the bodies of the slain were hurriedly and promiscuously deposited, with the fragments of the weapons of war they had used in the fight. No doubt can be entertained but that the spot where the remains were discovered formed part, sixteen or seventeen

hundred years since, of a Roman encampment, surrounded by earthen outworks, and was probably occupied at the time the Romans advanced from the western coast into the heart of the country. The weapons of war and other ancient curiosities found have been compared with those of known Roman character, and correspond in every essential particular. The whole of the remains have been carefully preserved by Mr. Davis, the contractor of the railway, who appears to feel much gratification in exhibiting them to those who are curious to examine them.-Sherborne Journal.

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The Omnibuses of London.-It is rather more than two centuries since when 20 hackney coaches were first permitted to ply for hire in the streets, or rather at the inns, of London. In the year previous to the late alteration in the licenses, the Government derived a revenue of £68,000 from the duty on hackney carriages. This will afford some notion of the increase in the number of these vehicles which has taken place since 1625. It is curious to watch the rate of progress in earlier times of this class of public vehicles. In 1652 an Act of Parliament was passed limiting the number of hackney coaches to 200; two years later the Londoners were allowed to have 300 coaches, but by no means more than 600 horses to work them. Seven years pass over, and the number of hackney coaches was allowed to be 400, and at this number they remained for thirty-three years, when, in 1694, there were actually permitted to be 700 hackney coaches plying for hire in the streets of London. Queen Anne further increased the number to 800 in 1715, and graciously permitted 200 hackney "chairs" in addition to the coaches. The 200 chairs grew into 300, and George I. authorized a further addition to their number, bringing them up to 400, and in 1771 the coaches were increased to 1,000. Thirty-four years ago an innovation, long and stoutly resisted, was made upon the time-honoured hackney coach, with its two sleepy horses and its venerable "jarvey." In Paris a one-horse cabriolet had for some time been known, but all attempts to introduce it into London proved fatal, until Messrs. Bradshaw and Rotch, the latter a member of Parliament, a barrister, and a chairman of quarter sessions, obtained a licence for eight cabriolets, and they were started at fares one-third lower than those of the old hackney coaches. Down to the year 1832 the number of these "cabs" was restricted to 65, and the coach licences were increased to 1,200. In 1832 all restrictions on the number of hackney coaches ceased. An

attempt was made in 1800 to introduce into London a larger vehicle than the hackney coach, somewhat resembling one of the present omnibuses; the project, however, failed, and it was not until the month of July, 1829, that the Londoners had an opportunity of riding in Shillibeer's omnibuses, which ran from Greenwich to Charing-cross. The first omnibuses were drawn by three horses abreast; and at length, after great opposition, the "busses" became generally adopted.

At the present time there are upwards of 800 omnibuses running along various routes in the metropolis, and of this number 595 are the property of a single and mostly foreign proprietary-the London General Omnibus Company. Of the value of these vehicles and the amount of profit which they realize to their owners, some notion may be formed from the fact that 600 omnibuses, with horses and harness and good-will, were purchased by the company for the sum of £400,000, or for very nearly £700 for each vehicle. A quarter of a century has sufficed to increase the traffic requirements from 100 to more than 800 omnibuses; and a company employs profitably a capital of one million in working three-fourths of the vehicles of the metropolis. So many of the omnibuses being thus under one management, considerable facilities are afforded for economy in their working, and for the collection of many useful and interesting economical facts respecting the travelling portion of the metropolis. The 595 omnibuses of the company ran in London, in the week ending October 31, not less than 222,779 miles, or nearly ten times the circumference of the globe, and they carried not less than 920,000 passengers, which was equal to two-and-a-half times the population of Liverpool, three times that of Manchester, four times that of Birmingham, five times that of Leeds, seven times that of Bristol, and eleven times the whole population of Hull. Assuming that the remaining one-fourth of the London omnibuses, not belonging to the company, carried an equal proportion, we shall have, as the travelling portion of the population of London 1,115,000 per


The population of London, at the last census, was 2,362,000, so that a number equal to very nearly one-half of the people of London ride one journey in an omnibus in each week. In a fortnight the whole population of London would be moved in the omnibuses now running in the metropolis.

The vehicles are worked by 6,225 horses, more than the whole of the British cavalry engaged at Waterloo. The average cost

of each horse is 30%., making a total value of nearly 200,000l. The harness costs, on the average, 127. for each horse, and the omnibuses 1201. each in building. The provender for these troops of horses is somewhat startling in its aggregate, and the quantities required will serve to convey an idea of the exertions necessary to be made for a commissariat department for the movement of an army in a foreign country. A week's allowance of food for the horses consists of 430,266 pounds of chopped hay, clover, and straw, equal to 242 loads, and 623,253 pounds of oats, barley and beans, or 2,376 quarters, and 175 loads of straw are required for the bedding of the horses. Formerly, the

omnibuses of London were in the hands of nearly a hundred different proprietors, and there were more than that number of establishments where the horses were kept. This company have established immense depôts where the provender is delivered and prepared for, the horses. Steam engines of great power cut the chaff and work appliances for mixing the food at a great saving of labour and money. The largest of these depôts is in Bell-lane. It has been in operation for the last fifteen months, and has supplied daily rations for 1,840 horses, and there have been cut up, mixed, and distributed from this establishment, each week, 72′ loads of hay, clover, and straw, 713 quarters of bruised oats, barley, and beans, and 50 loads of straw have been supplied as bedding for the horses. Under the system of regular feeding adopted by the company, the horses have greatly improved in their condition, and the live stock is now much more valuable than when it first came into possession of the company. Each horse runs on an average 12 miles per day. The daily cost of the rations of each horse is rather more than 2s. 1d., or for the horses of each omnibus, 10 in number, 17. 18.; the other expenses, such as horsekeepers, veterinary service, shoeing, and others, bring up the total expenses for the horses of each omnibus to 17. 6s. per day. The amount of manual labour employed in connexion with these omnibuses is very large. The number of men constantly employed as drivers, conductors, and horsekeepers is not less than 2,300, of whom the drivers receive from 5s. to 6s., the conductors 4s., and the horse-keepers 3s. per day. The "wear and tear" of each omnibus amounts to 17s. 6d. per week, and of the harness 6s. per week.

The 595 omnibuses run over 66 different routes, and for facilitating the traffic, "correspondence offices" are established at Whitechapel, Cheapside, Bishopsgate,

Regent-circus, Notting-hill-gate, Edgeware-road, Brompton, Highbury, and Holloway. By means of this arrangement a person may travel from Kilburn to Chelsea for 6d., from Putney to Blackwall, or Hammersmith to Holloway, the distance in each case being 11 miles, for 6d., and 35,000 persons avail themselves each week of these "correspondence" offices. The average weekly receipt from the whole of the omnibuses is 11,500l., but the state of the weather materially affects the receipts-thus a very wet day reduces the amount received by from 300%. to 4007. per day. On the 22nd of October, owing to the continuous rain, the receipts fell short of the usual amount by 3801. These omnibuses contribute largely to the general revenue of the country; the Government duty and licences for the last year were 33,000, while the sum of 18,000l. was paid for tolls on the different roads run by the omnibuses.

Nov. 12.

Suspension of the Bank Charter Act.— In consequence of the drain of gold to Scotland, and the unprecedented demands upon the Bank of England for discount, caused by the monetary panic, the govern ment have taken the responsibility of addressing the following letter to the Governor and Directors of the Bank of England:


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Downing-street, Nov. 12. "GENTLEMEN,-Her Majesty's Government have observed with great concern the serious consequences which have ensued from the recent failure of certain joint-stock banks in England and Scotland, as well as of certain large mercantile firms, chiefly connected with the American trade.

"The discredit and distrust which have resulted from these events, and the withdrawal of a large amount of the paper circulation, authorised by the existing Bank Acts, appear to her Majesty's Government to render it necessary for them to inform the Bank of England that if they should be unable, in the present emergency, to meet the demands for discounts and advances upon approved securities, without exceeding the limits of their circulation prescribed by the Act of 1844, the Government will be prepared to propose to Parliament upon its meeting a bill of indemnity for any excess so issued.

"In order to prevent this temporary relaxation of the law being extended beyond the actual necessities of the occasion, her Majesty's Government are of opinion that the Bank terms of discount should not be reduced below their present rate.

"Her Majesty's Government reserve for future consideration the appropriation of any profit which may arise upon issues in excess of the statutory amount.

"Her Majesty's Government are fully impressed with the importance of maintaining the letter of the law, even in a time of considerable mercantile difficulty; but they believe that, for the removal of apprehensions which have checked the course of monetary transactions, such a measure as is now contemplated has become necessary, and they rely upon the discretion and prudence of the directors for confining its operation within the strict limits of the exigencies of the case.

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Head-quarters, Field Force,
Delhi, Sept. 15.

SIR, I have the high satisfaction of reporting, for the information of the MajorGeneral commanding in the Upper Provinces, and through him of his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief and of Government, that on the morning of the 14th inst. the force under my command successfully assaulted the city of Delhi.

"Under the present circumstances, MajorGeneral Gowan will, I trust, allow me to withhold for a time a full and complete detail of the operations, from their commencement to their close, and to limit myself to a summary of events.

"After six days of open trenches, during which the Artillery and Engineers, under their respective commanding officers, Major Gaitskell and LieutenantColonel Baird Smith, vied with each other in pressing forward the work, two excellent and most practicable breaches were formed in the walls of the place, one in the curtain to the right of the Cashmere bastion, the other to the left of the Water bastion, the defences of those bastions and the parapets, giving musketry cover to the enemy commanding the breaches, having also been destroyed by the artillery.

"The assault was delivered on four points. The 1st column under Brigadier J. Nicholson, consisting of her Majesty's 75th Regiment (300 men), the 1st EuroGENT. MAG. VOL. CCIII.

pean Bengal Fusileers (200 men), and the 2nd Punjab Infantry (450 men), assaulted the main breach, their advance being admirably covered by the 1st battalion of her Majesty's 60th Rifles, under Colonel J. Jones. The operation was crowned with brilliant success, the enemy, after severe resistance, being driven from the Cashmere bastion, the main guard, and its vicinity, in complete rout.

"The 2nd column, under Brigadier Jones, of her Majesty's 61st Regiment, consisting of her Maiesty's 8th Regiment (250 men), the 2nd European Bengal Fusileers (250 men), and the 4th Regiment of Sikhs (350 men), similarly covered by the 60th Rifles, advanced on the Water bastion, carried the breach, and drove the enemy from his guns and position, with a determination and spirit which gave me the highest satisfaction.

The 3rd column, under Colonel Campbell, of her Majesty's 52nd Light Infantry, consisting of 200 of his own regiment, the Kumaoon Battalion (250 men), and the 1st Punjab Infantry (500 men), was di rected against the Cashmere - gateway. This column was preceded by an explosion party, under Lieutenants Home and Salkeld, of the Engineers, covered by the 60th Rifles. The demolition of the gate having been accomplished, the columu forced an entrance, overcoming a strenuous opposition from the enemy's Infantry and heavy Artillery, which had been brought to bear on the position. I cannot express too warmly my admiration of the gallantry of all concerned in this difficult operation.

The reserve, under Brigadier Longfield, of her Majesty's 8th Regiment, composed of her Majesty's 61st Regiment (250 men), the 4th Regiment of Rifles (450 men), the Belooch Battalion (300 men), the Jheend Rajah's Auxiliaries (300 men), and 200 of her Majesty's 60th Rifles, who joined after the assault had been made, awaited the result of the attack, and, on the columns entering the place, took possession of the posts I had previously assigned to it. This duty was ultimately performed to my entire satisfaction.

"The firm establishment of the reserve rendering the assaulting columns free to act in advance, Brigadier-General Nichol. son, supported by Brigadier Jones, swept the ramparts of the place from the Cashmere to the Cabul gates, occupying the bastions and defences, capturing the guns, and driving the enemy before him.

"During the advance, Brigadier-General Nicholson was, to the grief of myself and the whole army, dangerously wounded. The command consequently devolved on Brigadier Jones, who, finding the enemy

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