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W. Speke, by Mr. Kemm, coroner for the liberty of Corsham, and a jury composed of respectable inhabitants of the place. The first witness examined was

Mr. George Fuller, son of Mr. Fuller, of Neston Park, who deposed,-About half-past two o'clock I left my father's house for the purpose of shooting partridges. Deceased had fired off both barrels before the accident occurred. About four o'clock I got over a low part of a loose stone wall, at that place about two feet high, and I was about sixty yards from the place when I heard the report of a gun, and looking round, thinking to see some birds, I saw the deceased standing on the same part of the wall I had just got over, without his gun, and shortly after I saw him fall into the field I was then in. I immediately went to his assistance, and found a wound in his chest, bleeding, which I endeavoured to stop. He was then sensible, and spoke to me, but did not long remain so. I stayed with him about five minutes, and then left him in charge of my keeper, Daniel Davis, and went for assistance. I observed the gun lying by the side of the wall in the field that I and the deceased were in. One barrel, the right, was then at half-cock, the left-hand barrel was discharged. I heard very little report, and I should suppose that the muzzle of the gun was very near the body of the deceased when it went off.

Daniel Davis deposed,-I am keeper to Mr. Fuller. Yesterday, a little before four o'clock, I was marking birds for my master and the deceased, who were shooting. At that time I saw the deceased go up to a low part of the wall to get over. He had then his gun in his hand. Almost immediately after I heard the report of a gun, and I looked towards my master, and on seeing him running towards the deceased I went there also. He was then lying by the side of the wall. He had just got over. I found him with a wound in his side, and Mr. Fuller had his hand on the wound trying to stop the blood. I heard the deceased groan once or twice, but cannot say whether he was actually sensible or not. I stayed with him till he died, which was about a quarter of an hour after the gun was discharged. He was not removed from the spot before he died. The gun was a Lancaster breech-loader, without a safety-guard; but I should think the gun was quite safe, and in the same state as gentlemen's guns usually are.

Mr. Snow, surgeon, of Box, was called in to the deceased. Found him dead on his arrival. There was a wound on the left side, such as would be made by a cartridge if the muzzle of the gun was close to the body. There was no other wound. It led in a direction upwards and towards the spine, passing through the lungs and dividing all the large blood-vessels near the heart, but not touching the heart itself. Such a wound would cause death.

The Coroner having briefly addressed the jury on their melancholy duty, and pointed out to them what he considered was the

verdict they should return, the jury unanimously recorded their verdict that "the deceased died from the accidental discharge of his own gun, after living a quarter of an hour." They also appended an expression of sympathy for the family of the deceased in their bereavement, which was a loss both to his family and to the whole country.

It had been expected that at the meeting of the British Association on the following day a discussion would take place between Captain Burton and Captain Speke on that interesting subject, the sources of the Nile, and there was a great rush, therefore, to the section at an early hour. The shocking death of Captain Speke, however, became known to many; and although, probably, this sad intelligence did not diminish the attendance in Section E, it need scarcely be added that it cast a gloom over the whole assembly. Some little delay arose in the assembling of the officers of the section, but soon after 11 a.m. the President, Sir Roderick Murchison, and the Committee entered the room.

Sir R. Murchison, on taking the chair, said he had to apologize for the short delay that had occurred, but when he explained the cause he had no doubt that the explanation would be accepted. They had been in their committee so profoundly affected by the dreadful calamity which had happened to his dear friend Captain Speke, by which he had lost his life, that they felt it would be impossible for him to proceed with the business of the day without endeavouring to elicit from that assembly what he was sure would be the unanimous expression of their deep feeling for the dreadful calamity that had happened, and offering the heartfelt condolences of geographers and travellers to the friends and relations of the late lamented deceased on this most melancholy event. What rendered the calamity the more painful was the circumstance that Captain Speke had intended to address them that very day in reference to his recent very interesting exploration in Africa. With their permission he would move the following resolution :

"That the geographers and ethnologists of the British Association having heard with profound regret of the fatal accident which has befallen Captain Speke, and by which they have suddenly lost so eminent an associate, resolve that their most heartfelt condolence be offered to his relatives on his being cut off in so awful a manner in the fulness of his strength and vigour." Sir Roderick briefly stated the circumstances under which Captain Speke had lost his life.

The resolution having been unanimously passed, every person in the room holding up his hand, the business of the section was proceeded with.

17. ARRIVAL OF MÜLLER AT LIVERPOOL.-The "Etna" arrived in the Mersey with Müller on board. She was met by the steam tug "Fury," from Birkenhead, having on board one of the Liverpool detectives. At half-past ten o'clock Müller was landed at

the south end of the Prince's Pier, and was at once conveyed in a cab to the detective office. Police-officers were seated in the vehicle with him, and others followed in other cabs. The excitement in the town from the time the "Etna" came in sight was very great, and it increased as he was being landed and conveyed to the police-office.

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Müller himself appeared very unconcerned. No incidents of public interest occurred during his passage back across the Atlantic. He had said nothing about the murder, and none of the passengers on board the Etna" were allowed to speak to him on the subject. He was shortly afterwards sent on by railway to London. On the arrival of the train at Euston-square, a large crowd had assembled, and great curiosity and interest to see the prisoner was exhibited.

On the 19th, he was taken before the sitting magistrate at Bowstreet, and, the evidence connecting him with the charge was gone into at length. (The facts stated will more properly find a place in the report of the trial'.)

The depositions being completed, the prisoner, when asked what he had to say in defence, replied, "I have nothing to say now," uttering the word "now" with marked emphasis.

He was then committed for trial, and on appearing amongst the crowd outside the court, was assailed with groans and yells.

A coroner's jury, which had been summoned to inquire into the cause of the death of Mr. Briggs, and which had carried on the investigation by several adjournments until after the return of the prisoner from America, having now heard the complete evidence on the case, brought in a verdict of " Wilful Murder against Franz Müller."

19. GREAT FIRE IN THE CITY.-This morning a fire broke out in Gresham-street, one of the densest mercantile quarters in the City of London, which, in little more than an hour, destroyed property and merchandise of immense value, including the more interesting parts of one of the most ancient and stately of the civic halls-that of the Haberdashers' Company. Of the building in which it originated, and which was erected a few years ago, at a cost of some 20,000l., only the bare charred walls and portions of the floors remained, and with it perished about 100,000l. worth of valuable materials which were stored within the premises. The damage done to the hall of the Haberdashers' Company was said to exceed 10,0007., and the fire spread to other buildings right and left, destroying property of great value, while nearly 300 people, of whom about 120 are women, were suddenly thrown out of employment by the calamity. Indeed, there has not been a more deplorable destruction of property in the City of London since the great fire which consumed the stock and premises of Messrs. Greatorex and Co., nearly twenty years ago, excepting the memorable conflagration in Tooley-street, which was not locally within the

See the trial of Franz Müller for murder, in the Remarkable Trials, post.


City. The fire began in the newly-built premises of Messrs Tapling, carpet manufacturers, occupying the site of the first seven houses in the street, and the upper part of which is tenanted by Messrs. Hellaby and Co., warehousemen. Adjoining is Haberdashers' Hall, one of the finest in London, which suffered severely. The banqueting-hall, of which nothing was left after the fire but the four walls, was of fine proportions, being about 60ft. long by 30ft. in width. It was ornamented with portraits, by the first masters, of benefactors of the company, and the arms of other distinguished members of the guild were emblazoned on the windows in stained glass. The lower portions of the walls were panelled in oak, and the front of the gallery which ran across the western end of the hall, was decorated with carved work by the famous Grinling Gibbons. The ceiling was being repainted and decorated at the time of the fire. On the northern side of the hall, and on the same floor, was a commodious court-room; and immediately above, on the same side, a drawing-room, with an elegant corridor, overlooking the dining hall and approached from each end of the hall by oaken staircases. The ceiling of the drawingroom, which had been lately repainted, was seriously damaged by water, as was much of the costly furniture, and a fine lantern of oak, by which one of the staircases was lighted. The roof and ceiling of the banqueting-hall with the gallery at the western end, were entirely destroyed, and the hall was left open to the sky. All that remained of the roof were a few blackened rafters, which served to show the elegance of its outline and design. Some if not all of the paintings were saved, and two remained uninjured, at the eastern end of the hall. The hall and offices were understood to be insured for 10,0007., but that sum would, it was said, by no means cover the damage. Soon after the fire broke out, there were twelve engines, five working by steam, on the ground, and a full supply of water; but the attempt to save the premises of Messrs. Tupling appears to have been hopeless from the first. The light inflammable materials with which the upper part of the building was stored, burnt fiercely, and the fire spread from floor to floor with inconceivable rapidity. Finding it past hope to save the principal buildings in which the fire was raging, the efforts of the firemen were at length directed to protect the surrounding property, all of which, stored with materials and merchandise of various kinds, were of great value. The flames, notwithstanding, spread to a handsome and costly building in Wood street, lately erected for Mr. Hugh Jones, a warehouseman in a large way of business, and which abutted at the back on the premises of Messrs. Tapling. At one time the upper part of the scaffolding in front of the new building caught fire, and some of it fell in a blazing mass, but doing no harm to the men working an engine, though one of them had a narrow escape. By four o'clock, when the fire had reached its climax, it shed a brilliant light over the whole metropolis and for miles around.

The flames shot high into the air, lighting up the dome of St. Paul's, and all the neighbouring church spires. The assessors of the assurance offices put down the loss of property, exclusive of the buildings, at from 150,000l. to 200,0007.

22. MEETING OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF SOCIAL SCIENCE.-This Association commenced its eighth annual session, at York. Lord Brougham, the President, arrived the preceding day, and was received by the Lord Mayor of York, whose guest he was, during the sittings of the Congress. Many hundred members and associates entered their names at the reception-room, in the Guildhall. Many ladies also enrolled themselves, and several well-known social reformers and philanthropists of the fair sex announced their intention to take an active part in the business of the various sections. Miss Isa Craig was for several days employed in arranging the administrative details of the Congress, a work in which she was effectively seconded by Mr. G. W. Hastings, the general secretary.

The proceedings of the Congress commenced with service in the Cathedral, when an eloquent and appropriate sermon was preached by the Archbishop of York.

Lord Brougham, as president of the Association, delivered the usual introductory address to the members and associates in the Festival Concert-room.

A great number of papers on matters relating to Education, Sanitary Science, the Reformation of Criminals, and other subjects of social interest were read.

Among others was an address on Jurisprudence and the Amendment of the Law, by Sir James Wilde, the Judge of the Divorce Court, which was much admired. On the whole, the meeting passed off with great success.


1. GREAT EXPLOSION OF GUNPOWDER AT ERITH.-Early this morning two gunpowder magazines situated on the southern bank of the Thames between Woolwich and Erith, exploded with terrific violence, killing ten persons, wounding many others, and spreading consternation among the inhabitants of the whole neighbourhood for miles round. Although the scene of the catastrophe is distant about fifteen miles from Charing-cross, the explosion was heard and felt more or less throughout the whole metropolis, and even at places forty and fifty miles from the spot. At first the prevailing idea was that the inhabitants of the metropolis and its suburbs had experienced the shock of an earthquake; but that notion was speedily dispelled, and by noon the exact nature of the catastrophe and its locality were generally known throughout London.

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