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Destruction of Government House

It is our painful duty to record the tot destruction of Government House by fir It seems that about 5 o'clock, or a littlj earlier, yesterday morning, just before th break of day, one of the sentinels on duty, saw the reflection of a strong light in that part of the building which was occupied as a kitchen. He soon discovered that it was a fire ; tho bugle sounded the alarm, and the military lost no time in turning out. The progress of the flames was fearfully rapid. Many of the civilians, aroused by the commotion, hastened to the spot, and were actively engaged in getting out the furniture, &c, until the arrival of tho military dispensed with their services. Ilia Excellency and Mrs. Grey, and the othor inmates, were all alarmed in sufficient timo to escape without bodily injury "from tho burning edifice, and owing to the energetic efforts of the men, a large proportion of the effects were saved. Mr. Thatcher, tho Private Secretary, was early on the spot, and succeeded in saving the public documents. In about three quarters of an hour after the fire had been discovered, nothing remained of this edifice, but a mass of smoking ruins. Such was the rapidity of the conflagration, that from the very first it was evident that all attempts to extinguish the flames would be useless. The undivided efforts of tho men were therefore directed to the saving of the pro« perty, and happily, much has been rescued from the dovouring element. Still the loss must be great, and the inconvenience to which His Excellency and Mrs. Grey must now be exposed, cannot but excite tho sympathies of the 'public. It seems that the accident originated in tho housekeeper's room, whero a large fire had been kept during the previous day, and the chimney of which contained some cross pieces of wood. These it is supposed must have ignited, and after smouldering all night, ultimately havo burst out, and communicated tho flames to the more substantial parts of the building. As this is a public calamity, which men of all classes and creeds cannot but deplore, it is intendod, we believe, to take occasion from this unfortunate occurrence, to preparo an address to His Excellency expressive of the sympathy which is felt on account of the accident, and the joy that the public feel that neither His Excellency, nor Mrs. Groy, nor any of their dependants, havo experienced any bodily harm. Wo trust that it will bo numerously signed. We have received amougst other paper 3 several numbers of the New Zealand Journal, and they arc teeming with sanguine anticipations of the brilliant result of tho Company's last effort — the Otago settlement. What will Mr. Earp say when ho hears that 80 of tho passengers, whom tho Company would have expatriated to this El Dorado, have been so alarmed at the ccr« tain prospect of misery and disappointment, which broke upon thorn when tho site of their future home was discovored to their expectant gaze, that they actually refused to ■ land — and have been brought on toWelling- ! ton by the Philip Laing. — The Wellington I Independent has wittily parodied this unhappy settlement, which was to have been called Dunedin ; speaking of the bursting of this bubble, he says that the Company should call it "Done-again." When will the people of England awako to the real character of the Company's transactions? ! The general English news from the late arrivals is not very important. The Queen Dowager Adelaide was at Madeira, and improving in health. Tho Archbishop of Canterbury was not expected to live. His Grace had refused to consecrate Dr. Hampden— a commission of three bishops wero appointed to perform tho rito. The subject of tho national defences was still agitating the public mind, and an increase in the army had been decided on by the Government. The special commissions in Ireland were operating well, and many murderers wero being brought to conviction. The cholera was still raging in Russia. London bills of mortality also show a large increase upon the ordinary number of deaths in tho metropolis, occasioned, it is said, by pestilential vapours arising from the bad drainage of various parts of tho

town. A new species of flaxen thread has been invented by the owner of some spinning mills at Berlin, which is said to equal silk in its glossy and rich' appearance ; the appearance of this new article of commerce has caused a great sensation, and an English gentleman has offered £20,00 for the discovery. The Earl of Shrewsbury and Dr. Me Hale, an Irish Roman Catholic Prelate, are engaged in a paper warfare. The Archbishop has published a monstrous long letter in the Times, full of invective against tlio noble Earl. In a case brought on in the Bloomsbury County Court, the plaintiff, a newsvender, sought to recover the sum of 6s. for newspapers lent to defendant to read. The debt was admitted, bat defendant rested his plea upon the fact ho was not compelled to pay. The Judge observed that the defence was a disgraceful one — but ruled that persons lending newspapers could not recover payment for the same, but were liable to a fine of £50. It was reported by the local papers that a French steamer had anchored in Alderney roads, and landed four individuals, who appeared to be actively engaged in reconnoitreing the place.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DSC18480624.2.7

Bibliographic details

Destruction of Government Housj ;, Daily Southern Cross, Volume 3, Issue 157, 24 June 1848

Word Count
907

Destruction of Government Housj ; Daily Southern Cross, Volume 3, Issue 157, 24 June 1848

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