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by the Sheriff of Edinburgh, on a complaint of Meff. James and Robert Biffet, manufacturers at Prinlaws, near Leslie in Fife, and of the mothers and fifter of three young boys (who had been engaged at Meff. Biffets fpinning mills) with confent of the Procurator Fifcal of the county, against J. Leadbitter, fome time a butcher in North Leith, for having him punished, and the boys restored to their parents.
The circumstances of the cafe are thefe: -Leadbitter, who, for many months, had been in the practice of advertising for young boys for fea, did, about the middle of March laft, fend off, by the Trafalgar coach, which leaves Edinburgh at five o'clock every morning, for London, the faid three boys, for Shields or Sunderland, to perfons there, to be fent to fea, or difpofed of to the best advantage; and, for each boy, when accept ed, he received a premium of two guineas, and was relieved of the charges of fending them to England. The two eldeft boys, of the names of Charles Walker and John Lindsay, the former about 14, and the latter only 13 years old, were turned off the coach at Morpeth, and fent to fea; and the youngest boy, William Barr, only 11 years old, was carried forward to Shields, where he was put on board a veffel in the roads for feveral weeks; but, hearing by accident, that he was to be fent away on some distant voyage, he privately made his escape, without a hat on his head, or a fhoe on his foot, and begged all the way home to Leslie, a diftance of fully 140 miles, in eight days, where he was received with inexpreffible joy by his mother, a poor widow woman.
The mother of Lindsay traversed the country for ten days, in queft of her child in a fit of defpair; till, by accident, at Leith, on her return to Leflie, fhe was informed that Leadbitter was in the practice of difpofing of children for gain. She accordingly applied to him; but, fhocking to relate, in place of being convinced that he was guilty of a wrong, he declared he was unconscious of it. Every lenient measure to have the boys restored to their parents proving ineffectual, the application to the Sheriff, before mentioned, became necessary.
In the courfe of the investigation it turned out, that, by this nefarious and inhuman traffic, Leadbitter, by his own confeflion, was pocketing at the rate of about L. 1200 per annum; that he thought it no crime to fend the boys out of their native country, at the age of 13, without the confent of their parents, though he himself acknowledged he had a wife and three children.
To prevent detection, he took care not to mention the boys names, but their numbers only, in the way-bill of the Trafalgar coach, and was moft folicitous to prevent their escape in Edinburgh, and on their way to Shields; but, notwithstanding, fome of the boys made their efcape, which generally ended in a quarrel between the guard of the coach and Leadbitter. The Sheriff moft properly appointed Leadbitter to attend perfonally in Court, to witness all the inveitigation going on; but he, apprehenfive of his danger, fell upon a ftratagem to quash, if poffible, the matter entirely. On Sunday the 1ft July, he and two other perfons croffed the Forth, and travelled to Dyfart and Leflie, and, by grofs misreprefentation, did obtain, from two of the unhappy women, letters difclaiming the procefs, but which they understood to be letters to the boys themfelves, whom one of the perfons mentioned he had seen in good health, and would carry the letters to them. Leadbitter produced those most improper documents as a bar to the action; but the women came to Edinburgh, and fatisfied the Sheriff that all was an impofition, and required that the action might be proceeded in. The Sheriff, upon the cleareft evidence, had no hesitation in finding, that the carrying off boys, when in a ftate of puberty, furth of Scotland, without the knowledge or confent of their parents, is a highly aggravated offence, and that the defender had acknowledged himself guilty thereof; therefore he granted warrant to commit him to jail for the space of fourteen days, and thereafter, until he find fufficient caution to reftore the two boys, Walker and Lindsay, to their relations, within the space of two months, under the penalty of L. 60 Sterling, and befides found him liable in expences. Before pronouncing judgment, the Sheriff addressed Leadbitter in a moft impreffive manner, importing, that, if the utmoft rigour of the law had been a dopted, he would perhaps have been tried capitally, in place of fuffering an arbitrary punishment. That Leadbitter having acknowledged himself to be a husband and the father of three children, while he unfeelingly declared that he was unconscious of guilt, ftruck him (the Sheriff) more forcibly than any other part of his conduct. He afked him how he would himself feel if any of his own children had been sent off, perhaps never more to be heard of, if he would not be active in bringing to punishment fuch an impious offender? Before difmiffing him, he reminded him, that parents had the fole direction of their children till
they were fourteen years of age; that, in the prefent inftance, he had deprived them of this ftatus and comfort, by fending them off from their native country for gain, even at the boyish thoughtless years of eleven, the age of the boy Barr, whom he juft faw at the bottom of the table; and that Leadbitter ought therefore to be thankful for the mild punishment to be inflicted on him, and hoped that he now perceived the grofs enormity of his crime, and would never be guilty of the like in future.
A most deplorable accident happened, on Sunday the 24th June, at Helensburgh. A female child, about four years old, having been left alone, fet her clothes on fire, and was moft fhockingly burnt, before any affiftance could be given her. She was enduring the most diftreffing tortures on Sunday afternoon, and it was not believed would live more than a few hours. Her mother had gone to the church, and committed her to the care of her grandmother, who had left her for a few minutes, when the accident happened. We forbear to comment on⚫ the ftrong neceffity for taking care that children at fuch an age fhould never be left alone, particularly within reach of a fire or boiling water, &c.
On the 15th June in the afternoon, a boy, apprentice to a chimney-fweeper, while cleaning a chimney in St Andrew's Street, got fixed in the vent, a confiderable way up, and remained there between five and fix hours, till, by the interference of the Police, a mafon was ordered to take down the wall, infide the house; and he was thus refcued from his dangerous fituation, fortunately, without having fustained much injury.
On the 31ft June, a most melancholy accident happened at the Mills of Bught. A fine girl, about seven years of age, daughter of Mr Macbean, merchant in Inverness, fell into the mill-lead, and, before any affiftance could be afforded, was carried, by the current, under the wheel, where he was inftantaneously crushed to death.
On Monday the 2d of July, between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, a moft tremendous storm of thunder and lightning took place at Dundee. The peals of thunder were uncommonly loud, and the lightning was extremely vivid.
The lightning fell on Mr Kiel's house, at Monorgan, and did confiderable damage. One of the chimney-tops was thrown down, and a great number of flates torn from the
roof. Moft of the windows were broken, and shattered to pieces. The lightning ran along the bell-wires, and entered three bedrooms, which it entirely dismantled. The back was driven from a cheft of drawers, and part of the cloth that covered them was burnt. The three maids, who were in the house at the time, made a narrow escape; the neck of one of them was a little fcorched. They were all fo much ftuaned with the noife, that it was fome time before they could hear diftinctly. There were two ducks killed. Mr and Mifs Kiel were fortunately from home.
On Friday the 13th July, between one and two o'clock, there was a violent storm of thunder and lightning at Haddington. The rain came down in torrents, and a great quantity of hailstones alfo fell, fome of which were of a very unusual fize. At one time, the water rofe to upwards of three feet in the streets, and confiderable damage was done to fome of the houses in low fituations. The lightning broke upon the school-house, and ftruck a large pot which the maid was taking off the fire. Fortunately, fhe was very flightly injured.
We are forry to announce a most melancholy circumftance which occurred on Belhaven Sands, near Dunbar, on the 3d July. The 6th regiment of dragoon guards (or carabineers) with a brigade of royal artillery, were at field practice, under the command of Colonel Goldie, of the carabineers, and, in the courfe of the day, the horse of Serjeant Flanagan, of that regiment, fell with him, in confequence of which, the ferjeant was unfortunately killed on the spot, by the dislocation of his neck. He was born in the army, had been 25 years in the fervice, two of which were fpent on the Continent, and was a remarkably good and zealous foldier. He has left a wife and two children to lament his lofs, on whose behalf we are happy to obferve, that the officers of the regiment have moft liberally come forward, and the non-commiffioned officers, trumpeters, and privates, have each contributed a day's pay for the like laudable purpose.
We have the painful task of announcing an afflicting event which has plunged a moft worthy and refpectable family in the deepeft diftrefs. David and John, fons of Michael Muirhead, Efq. Weft India merchant, Glasgow, were drowned, on, the 6th July, on their return from Campbelton to Greenock. David was in his 23d year, John in his 10th. The circumftances, we underftand, are as follow:-A party, confifting of the unfortunate fufferers, their brother Michael,
Michael, aged 12, and a Mr Carlifle, left Campbelton, on Thursday laft, in the packet. On Friday morning, when off the Cumbraes, it being calm, they all went into the packet's yawl; but, a breeze fpringing up, John Muirhead pulled the rope, to get on board again; in doing this, the rope got entangled about his body, and he was in danger of being drawn overboard. The others, feeing his perilous fituation, rushed forward to difengage him, and thus threw the whole weight on the bow of the boat, which inftantly filled with water, and nearly upfet. The whole four young gentlemen pitched overboard; but, the rope being inftantly cut, the boat foon righted, and they were diftinctly feen to cling to her; being all, however, on one fide, the boat again nearly upfet, when David and John Muirhead, having loft their hold, funk, to rife no Mr Carlisle and Michael Muirhead, being nearest the ftern, were enabled to hold by the gunwale till the packet tacked and took them on board.
MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT. About fix o'clock in the evening of Thursday the 12th July, the inflammable air in a coal-pit at Grange Colliery, near Borrowftounnefs, exploded; and, out of twenty-three perfons, who were in it at the time, awful to relate, the lives of only fix were faved, seventeen having fuffered, namely eight men and nine This moft melancholy event, which was altogether unexpected and undreaded (accidents, the effects of inflammable air, having been long unknown in that part of the country) is understood to have been occafioned by one of the fuffering women having placed a light in a part of the pit, where, from the late uncommon.clofeuefs of the atmosphere, that air had collected in ftrength, and of which he had been warned by one of the furvivors, and there to have fe fire to it. The fatal effects were not produced by burning, as is common in cafes of the explosion of inflammable air, but by its fuffocating quality; and, although Dr Stewart, from Borrowftounnefs, and two afliftants, gave immediate attendance, and uled every means for reftoring fufpended animation, his endeavours were fuccefsful, in reviving only four out of the twenty-one, who were brought up in a ftate of infenfihility, the other two having got out with out receiving any injury. Befides the other calamities attending this dreadful accident, ter children, all under nine years of age, have been left orphans, and quite deftitute, and eight have been bereft of their fathers, and therefore are nearly as unprovided for. -We understand that a fubfcription has
been fet on foot, in the neighbourhood of the works, for their relief, and the diftrefs is fo extended, that we think it a fubject worthy the aid of the humane in general; and, we hope that a public fubfcription may be fet on foot alfo for their relief,
On Wednesday the 4th July, Mifs R-D, an interesting young woman, from Crail, was lodged in the goal of Cupar Fife, upon a charge of having poisoned her mother.The poifon, a large quantity of arfenic, was given amongst tea; and the unfortunate woman furvived the fwallowing it only a few hours. The cataftrophe excited the greateft grief and alarm. There were feveral lodgers in the houfe for fea-bathing, to whom, it may well be fuppofed, the horror of the fcene, added to a state of uncertainty how far the effects of the poifon understood, that the unhappy young womight extend, were moft diftreffing. It is man is fubject to periodical fits of infanity; and no other fuppofition can be entertained than that it was in one of thofe fits the perpetrated the dreadful act. When in found mind, he was remarkably dutiful and attached to her parent.
A claufe of a very general utility has been introduced into the stage coach bill, which received the royal affent lately, by which the drivers of flage-coaches are fubjected to the fame penalties, in cafe of incivility, extortion, &c. as the drivers of hackney coaches are at prefent liable to, a regu lation which has tended to effeЯually to brutality of hackney coachmen, and which, prote the public from the infolence and it is to he hoped, will be productive of equally falutary effects in the cafe of drivers of stage coaches.
On the 12th July, the Juftices of the Peace of Aberdeenshire fentenced four ap prentices to two years confinement in Bridewell, for deferting their services, and enlisting in the army.
FIRES. On the night of Tuesday the 19th June, the head inn at Castleblaney, Ireland, kept by Mr Vaughey, was totally confumed by fire. Seven perfons are flated to have loft their lives, and other nine fo dreadfully burned as to afford little hopes of their recovery.
On the 5th July, about four o'clock in the morning, a very alarming fire broke out in the fhop of Mr Thomfon, gunmaker, Parliament Clofe, which, with the fhop belonging to Mr Swan, hair-dreffer, were totally burnt. By the exertions of the firemen,
The King has been pleased to constitute and appoint the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, the Right Hon. John Foster, Chancellor of his Majefty's Exchequer of Ireland, the Hon. William Brodrick, the Hon. William Eliot, Snowdon Barne, Efq. and the Hon. Berkeley Paget, to be Commiffioners for executing the office of Treasurer of his Majesty's Exchequer.
The King has been pleased to constitute and appoint the Right Hon. Charles Yorke, Sir Richard Bickerton, Bart. Vice Admiral of the Red Squadron of his Majesty's Fleet, Robert Ward and James Buller, Efqrs. William Domett, Efq. Vice Admiral of the Blue Squadron of his Majefty's Fleet, Sir Jofeph Sydney Yorke, Knt. and the Hon. Frederick Robinfon, to be his Majesty's Commiffioners for executing the office of High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the dominions, iflands, and territories thereto belonging.
The King has been pleased to confer the honour of Knighthood on Captain Sir James Lucas Yeo, of the Royal Navy, Knight, Commander of the Royal Portuguefe Military Order of St Bento d'Avis.
The King has been pleased to appoint William Kenrick, Efq. to be Master of his Majefty's Houfehold.
The King has been pleased to constitute and appoint the Right Hon. Robert Dundas; the Right Hon. John Jeffreys Earl Camden, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Prefident of his Majesty's Council; the Right Hon. Robert Banks Earl of Liverpool; the Right Hon. Richard Ryder, and the Moft Hon. Richard Marquis of Wellesley, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, his Majesty's three Principal Secretaries of State; the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, Chancellor and Under Treasurer of his Majefty's Exchequer; George Percy, Efq. (commonly called Lord Lovaine); the Right Hon. John Baron Teignmouth; the Right Hon. Thomas Wallace, and William Lowther, Efq. (commonly called Viscount Lowther) to be his Majefty's Commiffioners for the management of the affairs in India.
His Majefty has been pleased to appoint Vice Admiral the Hon. Sir Alexander Forrefter Cochrane, K. B. to be Governor and Commander in Chief of the island of Guadaloupe and its dependencies.
Robert Moorfom, Efq. Captain of the Royal The King has been pleased to grant to Navy, the office of Surveyor General of his Majefly's Ordnance of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Oct. 18. At Pertaubghur, in Bengal, the Lady of Robert L. Anftruther, a fon.
June 9. At Dalfwinton, the Lady of John Thomas Erskine, Efq. younger of Mar, a daughter.
- At Steeple Afton, the Lady of Rear Admiral Lechmere, a daughter.
16. At London, the Lady of Captain Philips, a daughter.
23. At Siennes Houfe, the Lady of Gilbert Chisholm, Efq. of a fon.
—. At London, the Duchefs of Bedford, a daughter.
24. At London, the Lady of John Spottifwoode, Efq. of Spottiswoode, a daughter.
30. At Kincardine, the Rev. Mr Raeburn Baium baptized three female children born at one birth. They are all doing well. Mrs Hamilton, Gilkerfcleugh, a fon. July 3. At Elder Street, Mrs Rofs, a fon.
At Wheatfield, near Edinburgh, Mrs Boyd of Merton-hall, a daughter.
6. At Sundrum, the Lady of John Hamilton, Efq. jun. of Sundrum, a daughter. 9. At Logie Elphinstone, Mrs Horn Elphinstone, a daughter.
At London, the Right Hon. Lady George Beresford, a daughter. 11. At Pinkie Houfe, the Lady of Sir John Hope of Craighall, Bart. a fon.
- At Ballyclare, Ireland, the wife of Samuel Magee, three fons, all living.
12. At Blithefield, in Staffordshire, the Right Hon. Lady Harriet Bagot, a fon.
13. At Comrie Houfe, Mrs Clarke, of Comrie, a fon.
14 At Edinburgh, the Lady of Michael S. Nicolfon, Efq. of Carnock, a daughter.
23. At St Mary-le-Bonne Church, London, James M'Grigor, M. D. inspector of army hofpitals, to Mary, daughter of the late Duncan Grant, Efq. of Torres.
25. At Edinburgh, Arthur Crawford, Efq. merchant, Belfast, to Mifs Catharine Campbell Lundie, third daughter of Archibald Lundie, Efq. W. S.
27. At Berks, Lieut. Gen. Brownrigg, Quarter Mafter General of the forces, to Mifs Sophia Biffet, youngest daughter of the late Rev. Dr Biffet of Knighton House, Ifle of Wight.
28. At London, by fpecial licence, the Hon. Henry Murray, to Miss de Vismes.
29. At London, Captain Sheriff, royal navy, only fon of the late General Sheriff, to Elifabeth Anne, eldest daughter of the late Hon. David Murray, brother to Lord Elibank.
8. At Edinburgh, Mr William Brown, tide furveyor of Customs, Burntifland, to