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[From Ocr Own Correspondent.] Melbourne, July 23. .sinrriN'f: casualties. Five vessels were driven ashore in Byron Bay, New South Wales, on Wednesday morning last. The schooners Agnes, Spur wing, llastings, and Bannockburn, which wereshelteringiu the bay,and the brig Fawn, which was waiting there for a cargo or timber, were all blown ashore, and with the exception of the Agnes, which has been safely beached, the vessels have since broken up. It appears that the gale first blew from the south and the south-west, and as long as it continued from these points very lair shelter was afforded. The wind, however, suddenly shifted to the south east and then eastward, increasing in violcnoe until the five vessels were exposed to the full strength of the gale, dragged their anchors, and were one after the other driven ashore. The crews in each case managed to reach the shore safely. Tho Fawn, which was a brig of 210 tons, and loading timber in Byron Bay for Newcastle, belonged to Messrs Kelly and Fountain, Sydney. She was not insured. The

Agnes, a schooner of SO tons register, was built at Brisbane Water in 1575, and belonged to Mr William Henderson, of Brisbane Water. She was laden with timber from one of the northern ports for Sydney, and Mmply put into Byron Bay for shelter. Her hull was insured in the North Queensland Company for LSOO. The Upurwiug was comparatively a new vessel, built at Brisbane Water in iSSS. Sho was a smart fcchooner of 00 tons, owned by Messrs P. F. and W. Fagan, and was bound for Sydney with a cargo of timber. She was insured in the (Standard Office for L 1,350. The Hastings, u, schooner of S8 t<ms, -was hviilt at Uviahawo W»,tev in ISS^, and was owned by Mr A. Heesh, of Sydney. Sho was bound from Sydney for one of the northern rivers. Her hull was insured in the Victoria Company for LI,OOO. The Bannockburn, a schooner of 111 tons, was built at Cape Hawke in 1880, and was owned by Mr R. S. Johnson, and was well known in the coastal trade. Her insurance in the South British Office amounts to L 1,500. She also had a cargo of timber for Sydney. A telegram from Fernmount states that the ketch Lady of Lome, timber laden, from the Nambucca River to Sydney, was totally wrecked at Moonee Creek, near the Bellinger Heads. The captain and crew were saved, with the exception of one seaman, who was drowned while trying to swim ashore. The others were brought ashoro by means of a rope. The schooner Jessie Matilda was wrecked near the Evans River, about twenty miles south of the Clarenco River. The schooner was a well-known coaster of eighty-eight tons register, and the property of Messrs Corrigan and Riedyi Sydney. The vessel was insured in the Standard Company of New Zealand for L 1,200. The Rosie Welt, American ship, 1,304 tons, of New Vork, which left Newcastle for Singapore on July .'l, with a cargo of coal, ran on a reef mar the Fly River, New Guinea, on the 13th inst., and became a total wreck. Two boats with the crew have

arrived safely at Thursday Island. THE MURDER OF A SYDNEY CONSTABLE. James Morrison was convicted at Sydney on Friday of the murder of Constable Sutherland at Ports Point eaily on the morning of June 3, and was sentenced to death. Morrison, who shot the constable while the latter was attempting to arrest him on suspicion of attempting to commit a burglary on a large residence at Potts Point, stated in his defence that he went to the locality for the purpose of meeting a young woman, and was making his way home when the constable, after exchanging a few words, attempted to arrest him. Ho (Morrison) struggled, and, when he found himself being rendered insensible by a heavy blow on the head from the constable's baton, drew a revolver and shot his assailant. He explained that he was a stranger in the city, and had no place where he could keep his revolver, and therefore carried it with him. The jury found the prisoner guilty, with a strong recommendation to mercy, on the ground that in their opinion his object was only to disable the constable in order to escape. The prisoner appealed for mercy, but the Chief Justice said that he could not support the recommendation of the jury. It appeared to him that the prisoner had in the most deliberate manner taken the life of the unfortunate constable, and that he went forth determined to kill or disable any person who might resist him in his evil doings. His action had deprived the colony of an able and upright servant, and he (the Chief Justice) had reason to believe that this was not the prisoner's first grave offence. THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL. Miss Jennie Lee is still appearing in ' Jo ' at the Princess's Theatre, but there is to be a change of programme in a few nights in favor of ' The Grasshopper.' ' The Bells of Haslemere' is having a good run at the Theatre Royal, and ' The Unknown' is being produced at the Alexandra. The Operafa is occupied by the Silbon-Stark combination of acrobats, and a diorama of Scottish scenery is on exhibition at the Victoria Hall. The Lynch family of bellringers are giving entertainments every Saturday evening at the Athenamm Hall. Mr Frank Bradley, the well - known organist, who was induced to come from London to Melbourne during Exhibition

time, gave his farewell concert at the Town Hall on Saturday evening. Mr Bradley, in common with many other organists, has put in his protest against the prohibitive charges made for the use of the Town Hall and organ.

The English novelist Mr David Christie Murray will be under the direction of Mr James MacMahon.

Mr Garner, of Messrs Williamson, Garner, and Musgrovc, has returned from his visit to the Old Country. The principal engagement which he has effected is that of Mr J. L. Toole, wiio is to *u ; ! for Melbourne in March next. Miss Janet Achurch and Mr Charles Charrington are said to have deferred their departure for Australia owing to the success of Ibsen's ' A Doll's House,' which they have produced at the Novelty Theatre, London. Mr Garner has brought with him threo works of art which are of special interest to admirers of the great David Garrick. The fir3t is an oil painting, which was originally the property of the great actor, and hung in his dining room in the far-famed villa on tho Thames. This is a "fruit piece," and was the work of a Dutch or Flemish painter of Garrick's time. After his deatli it was sold by Mrs Garrick, with other things at the Hampton house, where, however, it remained until it became the property of an English artist some thirty years ago, from whom it has passed to Mr Garner. The remaining " Garrieks " are two splendid eugravings by Reynolds of the actor as Richard 111., and as Abel Drugger in Ben J onson's great comedy, the latter being probably the finest engraving in existence of Garrick from a contemporary portrait.

Mr Hamilton Clarke, the conductor of the Victorian National Orchestra, was a passenger by the R.M.S. Garonne, which arrived on Sunday. He has already entered upon the performance of his duties, as it is intended to commence the first series of concerts in about a fortnight's time. Mr Clarke was very popular as musical director of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London, and his genial disposition, added to his musicianly attainments, render him such a conductor as to inspire those working under him with the greatest zeal. GENERAL. Mr Lewis Lewis, a centenarian, and one of whose sons was practising as a barrister and solicitor in Dunedin for some time, died at Sandhurst on Saturday. He was born in Bochester, Kent, in September, 1783, and has been a resident of Sandhurst for some thirty years. The deceased gentleman had a large circle of friends in Melbourne and Sandhurst. He retained his faculties in a wonderful degree, and passed away quietly from old age. Mr Lewis was the father of seventeen children, of whom ten are living.

Lucy Carter, aged nineteen, with her mother Ellen Carter, has been committed for trial on a charge of concealment of birth at Preston, Melbourne. It appeared from the evidence that Lucy Carter, on the lGth March last, gave birth to a child at the dwelling of her parents, with whom she jived in Caruett street, South Preston. Tho child was afterwards buried in the yard. The matter was kept a secret till tho 4lh July, when Constable Lynch was informed of the fact by a friend of tho younger prisoner, named Margaret Greenlaw, who directed him, with Constable Spratling, to the spot where they would find the remains. A portion of the skeleton was unearthed and handed to Seniorconstable Robinson, who sent them to Dr Neild, the prisoners in the meantime being locked up. Two sisters and a cousin of the prisoner, named Martha Greenlaw, were examined on behalf of the Crown; but their evidence in the most material points did not agree with that given in the first instance to the police, and they had to be treated as adverse witnesses. Dr Neild deposed that the child might have been boni alive, but it could not have lived. William Woolcoek, the underground manager of the Victoria Jubilee Gold Mining Company at Wood Point, committed suicide last week by blowing his head off with dynamite. His headless body was found reclining in his bunk, his house being locked up from the inside.

It is estimated that no fewer than SOO released criminals from other countries, chiefly from New Caledonia, are now residing in New South Wales. Replying to a question on the subject in the Assembly, the Premier said 'that on being informed of this serious state of affairs he had, through the Governor, communicated with the Imperial Government with a view of having the matter brought under the notice of the French authorities. He had further induced the French Consul here to make representations on the subject to his Government and to the authorities of New Caledonia. The Government proposed to introduce a Bill, of a drastic character, with the view of preventing this serious public evil from assuming greater dimensions.

3-lr Justice K.ov£ev<l, m tho Melbourne Criminal Courtthe other day, referred to the case of William John Lacey, a seaman, who had been acquitted on a charge of having wounded Charles Mehigan. At the trial it transpired that Mehigan was_ a crimp or runner for a boarding-house in Port Melbourne, and that a dispute, in which the alleged wounding was said to have occurred, was caused through Lacey having arranged to join the American ship Reporter without obtaining his appointment through Mehigan, who claimed to have the right to hire all the men required for American ships. His Honor said that, from what he had learned, the system of crimping as carried on at Port Melbourne was not a desirable state of things ; and he quite concurred with the finding of the jury, who apparently knew something of the crimps and their doings. He should have been sorry if the jury had convicted Lacey, and he could now understand how men like him could be attacked in Port Melbourne by such men as Mehigan and his associates. His Honor also expressed tho hope that the Crown Prosecutor would bring the system of crimping under the notice of the authorities, so that it might be put an end to.

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7973, 31 July 1889

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Issue 7973, 31 July 1889

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