24th March 1861


Last week, at a ball in Sloane-street, a cinder shot from the fire, and set light to the gauze dress of one of the lady guests. Her companions rushing in affright from the room, she, with admirable presence of mind, flung herself on the floor, and rolling over, extinguished the flames. She thus escaped with but light burns ​on either hands.


At the York Assizes yesterday, before Mr Justice Keating was tried the case of Maw v Precious. Both parties reside at Spaldington, near Howden, Maw being a grocer in a small way, and Precious the son of an opulent farmer.

The action was brought to recover from the defendant compensation for the seduction of his daughter and for loss of services consequent thereon.

It appeared that, in 1859, the defendant commenced paying marked attention to Ann Maw, the plaintiff’s daughter, who at that time was only just turned 13 years of age. It was presumed by her parents that her infantine age would be a safeguard against any design which the defendant (who was about 24 years of age) might have upon her; but it was eventually discovered that she was enceinte, and she was ultimately confined of a child in August last, since which time she had been disabled from affording her father those services which she was able to render prior to her seduction.

The evidence of the plaintiff’s daughter, who possesses personal attractions, was given in a modest and proper manner; but, in defence, a number of young men were called, all of whom, along with the plaintiff himself, deposed to continual criminal intercourse since 1858.

Some of the evidence was given in that ready and impudent manner which apparently impressed the jury with a want of faith in what they deposed to, and in one instance called forth hisses from the occupants of the court.

The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff.


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