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proceeded with them to the Bay of damaged. The low tide wa
was likeÍslands, 110 miles overland, with wise unfavourable to the working their arms, ammunition, and three of the engines, water being rather days' provisions, crossing a country
scarce. The destruction, however, little known, through forests and was prevented from extending to rivers, where we embarked the Tower buildings and the Docks, board of Her Majesty's ship Race- and a public-house adjoining the horse, after a most severe march of wharf was only partially injured. five days, during the most inclement The firemen had two weather; in addition to which vari escapes from the fall of the walls. ous circumstances have transpired The loss of property-hardly any since the unfortunate wreck, a of the contents of the wharf having period of ten months : their con been saved-has been estimated as duct has been so exemplary that I high as 200,0001. The proprietor, feel it my duty to state it to this Mr. Coleman, is insured to a conhonourable court, eight months of siderable amount. The cause of which time they have been victualled the fire could not be ascertained, at two-thirds allowance, agreeably it being attributed generally to to the Queen's regulations." spontaneous combustion.
These facts appearing clear, the THE WEATHER.—The cold court acquitted Captain Patten, the weather, which had mitigated for officers, and ship's company, from a few days, set in again on the all blame, and pronounced that 24th instant with increased seveevery exertion had been made to rity, the thermometer frequently save the ship. The President re indicating ten or twelve degrees of turned Captain Patten his sword, frost. The different waters in the with highly complimentary Parks were again covered with ice, speech.
and crowded with skaters. No 31. FIRE AT IRONGATE WHARF. fatal accidents occurred in London, -A very
destructive fire occurred though the daily newspapers rein the day-time at Irongate Wharf. cord many cases of drowning in These extensive premises were si the country. The sufferings of the tuated at the east end of the Tower, poor were of course very great, and opposite the south wall of St. and many distressing cases of Katherine's Docks; they extended death, produced by cold and destimore than 200 feet along the river, tution, were made known. In were of considerable depth, and Northumberland, two men were rewere filled with valuable goods. turning from their work, towards Between three and four o'clock in Bishop Auckland ; when they got the afternoon flames were disco- to the Etherley Lane bridge they vered by the workmen ; attempts heard a groaning, and on looking were made to extinguish them, but about under the bridge, they in vain, and the building was ra found a man lying on the north pidly fired throughout. Assistance side of the line against the bank, of all kinds—soldiers, policemen, in the snow, with his feet in the dock-hands, and firemen--was soon gutter. They tried to raise him obtained, but the wharf was ut up, but he could not stand, and terly destroyed ; and some vessels was quite cold. He appeared to which were moored to it, the tide mutter something. One of them being low, were also more or less then took him up on his back, and
proceeded towards the Auckland ploded with the greatest facility. station with him. He carried him The experiments in blasting, tried to the gas-house, but he was then in the Cornish mines, were most quite dead. It appeared that the satisfactory and conclusive ; the alpoor fellow had been drinking in most entire absence of the smoke Bishop Auckland on the Saturday attendant upon an explosion when night, and had probably been wan the common gunpowder is used, dering about in the snow until and which is so great an annoymorning, and from the intensity of ance and injury to the workmen, the frost had been unable to walk being a most important improve
ment. Gun cotton explodes at A man named Arthur Monaghan, 200° of heat, gunpowder at 600°; was employed near Helmington indeed, the difference of temperaRow in cutting snow on the roads ture and the rapidity of combusnear that place. He had been tion are so great that gun cotton drinking at Helmington Row, and may be placed lightly upon gunhe left to proceed homeward about powder and exploded without the eleven o'clock at night. He was latter igniting. It will explode on then very tipsy. Not having re- being struck a smart blow with a turned home next morning, some hammer on an iron anvil, but only persons went off in search of him, the part struck explodes ; and it and found the poor man lying in a may be so prepared that the rafield, about 100 yards off the road, pidity of combustion may be reguquite dead, among the snow. He lated at pleasure. appeared to have lain down on the Professor Brande, at a lecture spot where he was found, as there at the Royal Institution, on the were no marks of his having wan 15th of January, described this dered about.
important invention, and stated Gun Cotton.—The interest that, about fifteen years ago, of scientific men and of the public Braconnot ascertained that sawhas been strongly excited by the dust, wood-shavings, starch, linen discovery, by Professor Schönbein, and cotton fabrics, when treated of an explosive compound, appear with concentrated nitric acid, proing to possess many advantages duced a sort of gelatinous subover gunpowder, called “Gun Cot- stance, which coagulated into a ton.' The process by which the white mass on the addition of cotton is prepared is not yet die water : this substance, which he vulged. It possesses many re called “ xyloidine, was highly markable properties hitherto un inflammable. In the course of known. On the application of a investigation of the changes thus spark, the solid mass is at once produced, Professor Schönbein asconverted to a gaseous state, pro- certained that this substance, preducing scarc ly any smoke, and, pared in a somewhat different if carefully prepared, leaving no manner, produced a compound, residuum behind. It is not in- possessing extraordinary explosive jured by wet, as was proved by properties -- hence his discovery an experiment tried with some of “
The precise which had been steeped in water method used by Schönbein is yet sixty hours, and dried by expo- unknown ; but the preparation of sure to the air, and which ex a substance supposed to be iden
tical is as follows :-Cotton-wool, to be attended with the following having been first well cleaned and disadvantages :-Its effects are less carded, is immersed for a short regular than those of gunpowder; time in a mixture of two parts of it is more dangerous, being inflamsulphuric with one of nitric acid; mable at a lower temperature; it it is then taken out, well washed does not take fire when compresswith water, and carefully dried. ed in tubes, and burns slowly in The cotton remains to all appear- cartridges; and that the barrel of ance unchanged: it is an insula- the gun is moistened by the water tor of electricity, being powerfully produced during the combustion. negatively electrical ; it is singu- On the other hand, its advantages larly hygrometric, catches fire at are:--Its extreme cleanliness, there 360°, and burns with far greater being no residuum after combus. rapidity than gunpowder; yet the tion; its freedom from all bad smell; combustion of a train may be the facility and safety of its prestopped by strong pressure. The paration; its great explosive force; products of its combustion are the absence of smoke; and that carbonic and nitric oxides, carbo- from its filamentary nature it can nic and oxalic acids, cyanogen, ni- be used over-head, and in other sitrogen and steam. With respect tuations which preclude the use of to its expansive power, it appears gunpowder. that half an ounce of gun cotton
It is said that Professor Schönbein carried a 68 lb. shot 255 feet from has disposed of his discovery for a an eight-inch mortar, while two large sum to Messrs. Hall and Co., ounces of gunpowder carried a the celebrated gunpowder manufacshot of the same weight from the turers, and that preparations are in same gun only 152 feet. A rifle, progress for making it upon a large charged with 60 to 80 grains of scale. It will, there is no doubt, gunpowder, carried a ball through be extensively used for mining purthree inch elm boards, while 30 poses, and in warfare for many engrains of gun cotton carried a gineering operations ; but it seems ball, under the same circumstances, doubtful whether it is adapted for through six inch boards. The use the use of large or small guns. of gun cotton in fire arms is said
APPENDIX TO CHRONICLE.
The MINISTRY, as it stood at the period of Sir Robert Peels
THE CABINET. First Lord of the Treasury
Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel, bart. Lord Chancellor
Lord Lyndhurst. President of the Council .
Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. Lord Privy Seal
Earl of Haddington. First Lord of the Admiralty
Earl of Ellenborough. Commander-in-Chief .
Duke of Wellington. Home Secretary
Right Hon. Sir James Robert George
Graham, Bart. Foreign Secretary
Earl of Aberdeen, Colonial Secretary
Right Hon. William Ewart Gladstone. President of the Board of Control
Earl of Ripon. Secretary-at- War
Right Hon. Sidney Herbert. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Lord Granville Charles Henry Somerset. Chief Secretary for Ireland
Earl of Lincoln. Chancellor of the Exchequer
Right Hon. Henry Goulburn.
NOT OF THE CABINET. Postmaster-General
Earl of St. Germans. President of the Board of Trade
Earl of Dalhousie. Vice-President of the Board of Trade and Right Hon. Sir George Clerk, Bart.
Master of the Mint . Paymaster-General
Right Hon. William Bingham Baring. Master-General of the Ordnance Right Hon. Sir George Murray. Attorney-General .
Sir Frederic Thesiger. Solicitor-General
Sir Fitz Roy Kelly.
The MINISTRY, as formed by the Right Hon. Lord John
IN THE CABINET.
Right Hon. Lord John Russell.
NOT IN THE CABINET.
Duke of Wellington.
H. G. Ward, Esq.
Right Hon. Fox Maule. Master of the Mint
Right Ron. R. L. Sheil. Attorney-General
J. Jervis, Esq.* Solicitor-General
David Dundas, Esq.
Sir Thomas Wilde was appointed to the office of Attorney-General, but on the sudden death of Sir N. C. Tindal, became Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; upon which Mr. Jervis became Attorney-General, and was succeeded by Mr. Dundas as Solicitor-General.