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there was the usual Red Sea haze on the surface, the headlands and islands along which lay the course were visible, and above all the Ushraffi revolving light, within two miles of which the ship passed, clearly visible throughout up to the reef, and on the reef; an experienced master, well acquainted with his course, and with the reef on which he struck, and on the bridge during the whole of the voyage. These are the circumstances. What, then, occasioned the calamity? The master gives no explanation but this,—that he steered the same course which he had done on his previous voyage, and suggesting that some unknown current must have drifted him to the westward. This would have been indicated had a single bearing of the revolving light been taken. But this was not done. Without suggesting any other more probable cause, the Court cannot but consider the explanation most unsatisfactory, and have no alternative put to pronounce the master guilty of a grave default. Upon the second question—the prudence of all the measures which the master took to secure the safety of the passengers and crew—the Court do not feel competent to give a precise, unanimous judgment. He was placed under circumstances of great difficulty, each of which offered certain risks and disadvantages, as well as advantages, under circumstances in which two equally experienced and sagacious officers might have arrived at different conclusions. It may, perhaps, be fairly contended by the master that on the 13th, the ship not appearing to have suffered any material injury, and apparently being undisturbed, the prudent and best course was for all to stay by her for the present. But before 2 a.m. of the 14th this state of things was greatly altered. The evidence was very conflicting between the officers of the ship on the one hand, and the passengers examined at Bombay on the other, as to the bumping, &c., which the ship underwent; but it was quite clear at two o'clock that forces had been at work and were probably going on, but to what extent no one could say, which made the condition of the ship perilous ; and so sensible was the master of this, that he called all his passengers to the forecastle of the ship—the stern-cabin and the saloon were filling with water, and the fore-hold was full. And here came the critical moment for the master's determination, whether the boats should at this moment have had the provisions, water, and other supplies furnished to them, and crew and passengers started off from the ship at daybreak, or whether it was more advisable to wait until nine or ten o'clock before such a step should be taken, as was done. There was some risk from the surf and breakers in the former course, but was this likely to be lessened by waiting, and was not the risk from a sudden break-up of the ship more to be apprehended? The Court greatly inclines to the former course, excluding entirely from consideration what really happened subsequently, and taking into account only the state of the facts known at the time. In conclusion the Court beg to express their concurrence with some of the passengers examined at Bombay—that the master and his officers, in their exertions to secure their passengers, did all that experienced and brave men could do. The Court, with great regret, feel called upon, for the default above mentioned under the first head, to suspend the master's certificate for nine calendar months from this date.”
Captain Baker, who had before risen, again rose, and said he dissented from the judgment as read.
Mr. Maude said it was to be understood that the report read was concurred in by himself and Captain Hight. A more detailed report would be sent to the Board of Trade.
Captain Baker, after an interval of three or four minutes, again rose, and addressing the representatives of the press, said he hoped he had not been misunderstood. He quite agreed with the judgment, but he did not agree with the sentence.
The inquiry then concluded.
1. THE PRINCE OF WALES AS A FREEMASON.—This evening the United Grand Lodge of England assembled at the Freemason's-hall, Great Queen-street, when proceedings of more than general interest occupied the attention of a large and brilliant assemblage-one, indeed, of the largest in modern times, in consequence of the presence of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who entered for the first time on his position of Past Grand Master, to which he was elected at the previous Grand Lodge. The Earl of Zetland occupied 'the throne, having on his right the Earl De Grey and Ripon, with Mr. Algernon Perkins in the Senior Warden's chair, and Mr. J. G. Dodson, M.P., in that of the Junior Warden. Among the brethren who occupied seats on the dais, as Past Grand officers, were the Duke of St. Alban's, Sir D. Gooch, M.P., Rev. Sir J. Warren Hayes, Sir Albert W. Woods, the Rev. R. J. Simpson, Major Creaton, Mr. J. R. Stebbing (Mayor of Southampton), Mr. Savage, Mr. M'Intyre, Mr. F. Roxburgh, Q.C., Mr. James Mason, and Colonel Cole.
After the Lodge had been formally opened, the Grand Master (Lord Zetland) rose, and said he had to inform the Grand Lodge that his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was waiting to be admitted into the Lodge. By the confirmation of the minutes his Royal Highness was now a member of the Grand Lodge, and enjoyed the title of Past Grand Master. There could be but one feeling-which was one of rejoicing—among the brethren at the accession of the illustrious brother to a seat in Grand Lodge. As his Royal Highness was now waiting, the noble earl said he did not think it necessary to say another word; he felt quite sure that all the brethren rejoiced as he did, and had the highest gratification at finding their illustrious brother coming among them. He would, therefore, direct the two Grand Wardens, the Grand Director of Ceremonies, and the other officers to conduct his Royal Highness into the Lodge.
The officers named then retired, and when they appeared with the Prince the whole of the brethren simultaneously arose. The Prince wore an ordinary Master Mason's apron, and the Order of the Garter. He was conducted to the left of the Grand Master, and remained standing.
The Grand Master, addressing the Prince, said, “May it please your Royal Highness, it is my duty to welcome most cordially your Royal Highness to the Grand Lodge of England, and I assure your Royal Highness that this epoch has long been wished for and expected by the body of Masons forming the craft of England. I can further assure your Royal Highness that your advent to Masonry was welcomed most enthusiastically by every private lodge in England. The craft in general in England is so much indebted to the patronage of your royal house that they cannot but be most desirous to show their cordial good wishes to that house, and their delight at receiving your Royal Highness among them as a brother Mason. It is hardly necessary for me to enumerate the members of your royal house who have been patrons, Grand Masters, and members of the craft in England. You have only to look round to see the portraits of George IV., the Duke of York, and your Royal Highness's more immediate ancestor, the Duke of Kent, to know what great advantages the craft in general have derived from such illustrious patronage, and to make you well aware of the delight which your coming into Masonry has caused in this country.”
After again alluding to the services of the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Sussex, he invested the Prince with the “ clothing” of a Past Grand Master, and invited him to take his seat as member of the Grand Lodge of England. All the titles of the Prince were announced by Sir Albert Woods, who proclaimed the Prince by his new title in Masonry.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales said, “ Most Worshipful Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Officers, and Brethren,-Allow me to tender you my warmest and most sincere thanks for the great honour you have conferred upon me this evening. For a long time past it had been my wish to become a Freemason, a member of this ancient craft. Although, brethren, I was initiated in a foreign country, I at the time felt—and you will all agree with me—that Freemasonry is one and the same in all countries; we are all fellow-craftsmen; and I can assure you I feel it a great honour to be here to-day, admitted a member of the Grand Lodge of England. Allow me to thank you once more, Most Worshipful Grand Master, for the kind words you have spoken and for the cordial manner in which you and all the brethren have received me this evening.”
The Prince then took his seat ou a chair which was surmounted by the plume of the Principality. He remained to hear the conduct of business, which was the announced resignation of office by the Grand Master, and the nomination of the Earl De Grey and Ripon as the Earl's successor. In the course of the evening his Royal Highness was “saluted” with the royal sign, which appeared to give him great gratification and no little astonishment.
3. PRESENTATION OF PRIZES TO THE LONDON IRISH.—The ceremony of presenting the prizes won during the year 1869 to the successful competitors of the London Irish Regiment was performed in Westminster-ball. Shortly after nine o'clock the Marquis of Donegall arrived and was received with a general salute. Having, with the Adjutant, Captain Daubeny, made a slight preliminary inspection of the regiment, he proceeded to deliver a short address to the members under arms. He commenced by congratulating the corps on the very satisfactory inspection they had passed at the close of last season, more particularly as the gallant general who on that occasion inspected them was most particular in every thing relating to a regiment, and would not have praised them as he did had they not been deserving of it. The regiment had not increased in numbers this year for two reasons—firstly, because he had confined the recruiting to the weakest companies, wishing to consolidate and render efficient the members on their roll, which a large influx of recruits always retarded; and, secondly, because the funds of the regiment would not permit recruiting to their full strength unless the Capitation Grant was increased, or some other means devised by the Government to enable that to be done. much feared that, unless some aid and assistance were given to the Volunteer force, it would greatly deteriorate, particularly in officers; for it was neither just nor politic to call on the officers to pay for a movement that did them no earthly good, to carry out which they willingly gave their time, and which benefited no one but the country. The attendance at their annual inspections since 1866 had been highly satisfactory, but, as with company drill, he should not object to see them more numerously attended. The extra-efficients had increased this year; they numbered more than half of the effectives ; but he was difficult to satisfy when there was any thing more to be attained, and he hoped next year they would reach two-thirds. Although the regiment as a body had complied with his orders and shown their rifles during November, he regretted that there was still a proportion who neglected to do so year after year; there were men who had not the good character of the regiment at heart, and he should therefore avail himself next year of the powers conferred by the regulations, and inflict a fine upon such members as did not produce their rifles by the appointed time. In order to commemorate the services of the regiment, which would complete ten years' service next year, the marquis said it was his intention to present at the same time that he presented the prizes a good-service badge to members for every four years' service, counting from the time the regi
ment was first raised, and of these he was glad to know there was a considerable number. This would be a distinguishing mark of their services, and he hoped an inducement to others to remain in the regiment. It was with sincere and deep regret that he found himself unable to be as much in the field with them as formerly ; but, unfortunately, years were telling, and he did not feel equal to duties he formerly took so much pleasure in. If not with them in person, however, he was there in spirit, and under the guidance of their Lieutenant-Colonel, ably supported by the Adjutant and staff, and the emulation existing among all ranks, he had no fear of their not doing well. To attend in the orderly-room, however, and there to watch over the discipline and interior economy of the corps, was still in his power, and every thing relating to their interest and welfare would always have his most anxious attention. Lady Donegall, who was as deeply interested in the prosperity of the regiment as himself, was unfortunately prevented by indisposition from attending. She had accordingly requested him to make her excuse, and present the prizes in her name.
The various prize-winners were then called to the front in succession to receive the rewards of their skill and proficiency. The list of battalion prizes was headed by a gist of silver desert knives and forks, of which Lord Spencer, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was the donor. These, together with other distinctions, were carried off by Private Aylmer. In all there were 170 prizes, of which the great majority appeared to be given by persons individually interested in or connected with the corps, from the Marquis of Donegall downwards. The excellent band of the regiment performed selections of national music, the choice rendering of which was decidedly in advance of the music ordinarily heard on such occasions. And a further gratifying episode in the evening's proceedings was the presentation of a testimonial by the L company to their own immediate commander.
FATAL Boiler Explosion.-A distressing accident happened at the Britannia Iron Works, belonging to Messrs. Brereton and Coare, about four miles from Wolverhampton, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, by which three men were killed and four seriously injured, and several others very much hurt. The works consisted of thirteen puddling and other furnaces, and sheet and bar mills. They were divided into two sides, one known as the old and the other as the new side, both running along an arm of the canal. The new side had three furnaces, working into an upright furnace boiler of the “egg-ended shape,” and two furnaces working into separate shafts. At the hour mentioned, when the works were fully on, and all the hands were engaged at their furnaces, the
iler referred to suddenly exploded. The boiler itself was rent into nearly a dozen pieces, and the brickwork and pipes were driven about in all directions. When the ruins could be searched, one young man, an underhand, was found dead, with his skull shattered, and his whole body dreadfully burnt by the hot masonry