10th November 1861


Word has been received of a singular occurrence that took place on the 24th of September, in the Indian ocean. An immigrant vessel had anchored off Pamben. Suddenly, the bow of the vessel was pulled to a level with the sea, then it shot off at railway speed. It was soon found that a whale had swallowed the anchor, and was running off with the vessel. He continued, sometimes twisting the vessel about, at others darting ahead at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, from 8pm til 1am, when he got loose.

The captain immediately sent an account of the occurrence to the Immigration Commissioners. He stated that it stood alone in his experience, and that he had never heard or read of anything resembling it—[We are of the same opinion.]


Another of those dreadful accidents occurred on October 13th which make people shudder as they read the details.

A young man named Duncan, aged nineteen years, employed as a clerk by S T Murray at Niagara Falls, undertook to cross the river in the morning to Chippewa, where his parents reside. He left the American shore a mile or more above the Falls at a point where crossing is often made, in a skiff, in which under ordinary circumstances, he could have gone safely to the Canada shore. It is supposed that one of his oars broke, or the rowing apparatus in some way gave out.

He was seen in the skiff about midway of the river, drifting into the rapids above the Horse Shoe Fall. but no human power could save him from destruction. He passed into the abyss, and that is the last that was seen of him.

What moments of torture the poor man must have endured as he was drifting through those rapids, knowing, as he well did, the frightful leap he had soon to make into eternity.


On Friday last, Mr J Burton, an extensive lace manufacturer; Mr W Blackwell, upholsterer; and Mr G Burrows, commission agent, were brought before the magistrates and charged with violently assaulting Mr W H Brooke, on Friday 18th October.

The complainant stated that a few days previously he was met in one of the streets by the defendant Burton, who was in his carriage, and was invited to dine with him on Friday. He accordingly went.

During dinner, wine passed freely, and shortly afterwards the defendant Burton left the room, and was absent a considerable time. While he was away, Blackwell and Burrows asked complainant if he could count the pictures in the room blindfolded, to which he replied that he could not, nor had he come for that purpose. The two defendants then commenced sparring round the room until they reached his chair and then fell on to him.

He was then dragged into the hall and thence to the lawn. Here they commenced the most revolting indecencies against the complainant. One of them cut the crown of his had, which they then put on his head, brim uppermost, saying, “Let’s crown the old b______.” They afterwards pulled him about, tearing his clothes into shreds. Burrows threw a pot of harness blacking onto him, blacked his face, and then poured a quantity of treacle upon him, and ultimately covered him with flour. Some liquid had previously been thrown in his face, which caused him very great pain, and for a time blinded him. They afterwards took disgusting liberties with him (too revolting for publication).

Mr Burton came home while the other defendants were assaulting the complainant, and stood by laughing.

After a severe struggle, in which complainant smashed a very costly set of china, he got away, but the injuries he received were so severe that he was confined to his bed for two days.

The Bench acquitted Mr Burton, but thought his conduct reprehensible. The other two were fined £10 each.

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