THE LAW OF PRIMOGENITURE.
The new legislation initiated by ? the Government with a view of remedying defects in the Intestate Real Estate Distri bution Act of 1867, takes the form of a
.dm oi 4b clauses, strangely enougu, although dealing with one of the most ntricate branches of law, its explanation and defence has been entrusted by the Attorney-General to the Chief Secretary, whose scant references to the measure in the past are not calculated to inspire confi dence in his knowledge of the subject. However, the Council will doubtless be prepared to take much upon trust, in order to facilitate the passing of a Bill to make the law abolishing primogeniture, and providing for the distribution of intestate estates, workable. The absence of legal talent from the House will render Mr. Milne's task an easier one than it might otherwise have been ; and after all, the real battle over the^neasure, and the careful dissection of its clauses, must take place in the Assembly. In view of the importance of the interests involved, and the urgent necessity for a change in the Act that will render it operative, it is to be hoped, late as the session is, that an effort will be made to get the Bill passed in such a shape as will enable administration to proceed under it without further delay. The measure is divided into nine parts, and its provisions are more copious than those which they are intended to supersede. The first divisions place an interpretation upon terms used. The second absolutely repeals the existing Act, but with careful elaboration saves all rights that may have accrued under it. The third defines the relation that is to be maintained between the Bill and the Real Property Act. The fourth gives to the Supreme Court, in its Testamentary Causes Jurisdiction, ample powers to deal with the estates of intestates. The authority of the Court in its Equitable Jurisdiction is given in regard to compelling the attendance of persons and the enforcement of orders, decrees, and judgments. The fifth division consists of one clause, which tersely abolishes the law of primogeniture. The sixth con tains miscellaneous provisions as to vesting estate. The seventh does away with dower and curtcsy. The eighth deals with the ques tions of partition and sale, and is largely indebted to 31 and 32 Viet., c. 40. it authorizes the Court or some Judge thereof to.order a division of the real estate or a sale, at which the parties may be permitted to bid. The ninth part is devoted to mis cellaneous provisions, one of the moat pro minent of which gives power to the Supreme Court or any two Judges, of whom the Chief Justice shall be one, to make rules and regu late fees. The position and rights of the personal representative are also set out with considerable minuteness. Death from Drowmng. — On Friday, Decem ber 16, a Scotchman, named Wm. McGuinness, aged 24, employed on Mr. Walker's contract near the New Reservoir, was drowned whilst bathing- in a waterhole about eight feet deep ou Mr. Boord's property. Tlu-ee or four other men were with him, the whole party being more or less the worse for drink, and one of them swam about with his clothes on for half an hour. An inquest was held by Mr. E. S. Kelly, J.P., at the Highercombe Hotel, on Saturday, when a verdict of accidentally drowned was returned. Rescue from Drowsing.— The Goolwa cor respondent of the Southern Argus reports:— 'On the late down trip of the Telegraph a little boy, one of the deck hands, foil overboard, and would have been drowned in the rapid current but for the gallant conduct of the steward, Mr. Oliver, who instantly dashed in and rescued the little fellow from a wateiy grave. Twopersons were rescued from drowning on this trip by Mr. Oliver's prompt bravery.' Fires at Stockport.— On Wedcesday Mr. Vogue, a farmer, determined to burn a little grass near his,tomporary residence, but the fire briskly consumed the feed, and then made very short work of a stack containing about 25 tons of hay. Had it not been for the timely assis tance of all the neighbours the flames would have spread to surrounding properties, and it is impossible to say what would have been the extent of loss. Fire is not a thing to be played with, especially at this season. On Friday about midday another broke out in Mr. Watts's grass paddock near Stockport; the prompt assistance of 30 to 40 men who were .soon oil the spot speedily however arrested it. The origin was mysterious in this case ; it is surmised that some person had carelessly dropped lucifers on the ground, and that horses or cattle trod on them. People carrying loose matches in their pockets have in many instances from want of proper caution wrought vast mischief. The Darling.— A gentleman who has been at Fort Bourke since the departure of the down mail, and who has just arrived in Adelaide, informs us that the river there fell 28 feet and then rose 24. It was still rising when he left, with every prospect of a large increase. The whole of the country alotg the river's course is flooded with the exception of the higher parts of Wentworth,
Fatal' Occurrence.— About midnight, on December 15 the' family 'of Mr. J. Dbdd, fruiterer, Port Elliot, heard a noise in their tack yard, and on going to ascertain the cause found a horse with saddle and bridle on. They at once suspected that something was wrong ; either that the animal had run away or some one had been thrown. Police-trooper Simpson, who was brought from the station, examined the beast, when Mrs. Dodd discovered that the saddle and bridle belonged to her husband, who had lent it to Mr. Gibson, the Bailiff of the Local Court. Upon this the trooper sent to Mr. Gibson's house and found that ho had not arrived there. He then procured a lantern, and in a few minutes discovered the body of the unfortunate man lying near the road quite cold, having apparently been dead two hours. Mr. Simpson quickly obtained assistance, and con veyed the body to the Port Elliot Hotel. On examining the deceased he found that several important papers, also his money and other articles, were safe in his pockets. From the position in which the body was seen it was quite evident that death had been instan taneous, aa there was not the slightest appear ance of a struggle. The deceased, who was a very heavy man, subject to sudden attacks of rheumatic gout, and was but an indifferent horseman, had been out on his round of duties during the day, and was returning from Currency Creek, when the horse must have shied at the corner of the road leadinground to the deceased's residence. 'There having been thrown off and pitched upon his head, Mr. Gibson had appa rently received the injuries which resulted in death. The bridge of the nose was broken, there was concussion of tho brain, a cut on the back of the head, and one shoulder was put out. Mr. B. F. Laurie, S.M., issued his precept for a Jury, but on assembling, there being no wit nesses vrho could throw any light upon the matter, he said that as there were no suspicious circumstances, the cause of death being so obvious, he did not consider it necessary to hold an inquest. Under the present circumstance he did not consider it wise to detain such a number of persons from their employment when there was no evidence to bring before them. The Jury expressed themselves per fectly satisfied, and separated. Inquest atBarossa Diggings.— On Saturday morning, December 17, Mr. T. O. Jones, J.P., with Mr. W. H. Russell as Foreman, held an enquiry touching the death of Albert Thomas, aged two years, son of Mr. Richard Scown. The child was found drowned in one of the water holes so numerous about the diggings, and as unprotected as they are numerous and dangerous. This is the second death of the kind within a few weeks. Some rough protection might and ought to be placed round these holes, which in their present state are often mere traps for human life. Hannah Scown, mother of deceased, said— Missed the child yesterday about 8.15 a.m. He went out with his brother, eight years old, about 8 o'clock. One boy came back. Asked where Tom was. He said ho was at the dam ; then that he could not see him. Wont, searched with n stick, and called for help. Mr. Gower and Mrs. Riehardscame. Went into the dam mysolf but could not* find him. By the time I came out Mrs. Richards called that she had had found him in a little hole a few feet from the dam. She had the body in her arms appa rently lifeless. Sent for brandy, and continuod rubbing the child two hours, and put it in a warm bath, but no signs of life appeared. Water 'came from its mouth. The hole is about 40 yards f roni the house. Sent for the father and doctor. Louisa Richards said she lived about 150 yards from Seown's. Heard the cry for help, and the children screaming ' Tommy is lost.' Saw the child's hand in the hole close by the dam. Took him out and carried it to the house. There was no sign of life. When taken out its lips and fingers were blue, but the eyes open. There appeared a little scratch on the cheek, which Mrs. Scown said was not there before. Dr. Popham deposed that ho was sent for about 12 o'clock, and reached there at half-past 1. Met the trooper, who told him the body was quite dead, decomposing, and stiff; therefore did not go to the house. Examined the body this morning. It presented all tho appearances of death from asphyxia. Drowning would cause tho appearance. The Coroner spoke of the difficulties parents on the diggings had in watching their children; and all who knew the parents of this child, as he had for many years as good and kind people, would at once believe that the death was accidental. The Jury without retiring returned a verdict of accidental drowning. ' Proposed North Rhixk District Council. —Mr. Joseph Koynes, of Koyneton, assures us that, so far from the decision of the Govern ment against establishing a District Council having occasioned dissatisfaction, it has met very general approval. He adds : — ' Of about 30 signatures in favour, one was inserted with out the consent of the party ; 10 were those of labourers and others, holding under 10 acres each; four have since signed the memorial against the Council; and several others have expressed their regret at having signed for it. Only two or three were those of men holding 80 acres or a little over.' The Fire in King William-street.— We understand that the Northern Assurance Company have settled to the entire satisfaction of Mr. F. Fischer, leather and grindery ware- house, 27, King William-street, for damage done to his stock by water in connection with the fire in the Photograph Company's premises last week. Amatkur Theatricals.— The Port Adelaide Amateur Dramatic Club performed on Friday evening, December 16, in siid of the funds for theforthcoming regatta, when there wasa very fair attendance. The pieces selected were Sheridan Knowles's play, ''The Wife, a Tale of Mautua,' and tho farce, by Theodore Hook, ' A Day at an Inn.' The first was condensed into three acts, and most of the leading characters were very well sustained, as also were somo of the minor ones. Several performers, who had not previously appeared in public, wore evidently ner vous. In the first act this was particularly notice able, and it was with difficulty the audience were able at times follow the plot. As the play pro gressed, however, tho performers became more at home on the stage, and some of the scenes were exceedingly well earned out. Itisundesira ble to mention names, but we may say that tho gentlemen who impersonated Firrada/St. Pierre, and the Curate, did decidedly the best. Tho farce created a good deal of amusement. The programme was repeated on Saturday last to a very small house, when a marked improvement was noticeable in the performances. Messrs. J. Clarkson & Co.'s Premises in King William-street. —Messrs. J. Clarkson and Co. say, with reference to a former para graph in the Register — 'The second floor of our premises is occupied by ourselves as a workshop. The third floor was disconnected and the stair case removed previous to the Messrs. Bean Brothers taking the lease of the premises, which we now hold by transfer, and no altera tion whatever has taken place during the currency of the lease. When we submitted our proposal for a policy of insurance the then Secretary of the Company came on the premises and filled in the particulars himself, after in- spection, which we signed. If anything is wrong it is unknown to us.' The Sliding Rock Mine.— The first half yearly balance-sheet of the Sliding Rock Mining and Smelting Company (Limited) has been pub lished. The assets are set down at £1,215 Is. 3d., and the liabilities at £791 6s. 6d., thus leaving a credit balance of £'123 14s. 9d. During the period 5h tons of copper have been smelted, and 160 tons' of 14 per cent, dressed ore raised at the mine. Crops.— The Strathalbyn paper says:— 'Tho machines are now pretty generally at work, and, as was anticipated, nearly all the crops are almost a total failure. Throughout the Districts of Port Elliot, Goolwn, Hindniarsh Island, Alexandria, Bremer, and a great portion of the Onaunga, there will be not enough wheat for seed. A very few crops are turning out an average quantity, but it is a very poor set-off against the thousands of bushels that have been lost.' Adelaide Suburban Waterworks Bill.— The Mayor of Adelaide has called a meeting of city ratepayers for this afternoon in the Town Hall to consider what action should be taken in regard to this Bill. 'River Wool.— This season over 8,000 bales of wool have already been received at Goolwa per river steamers.
] TBK!SAH'RpAl\HAl*%?H6iiDAT.— According to public announcement special services in .con nection with the Saturday balf holiday move ment were preached on Sunday, December 18, by the Revs. T. James, J. L. Parsons, and H. J. Lambert; but in adddition to these allusion was made to the subject in many of the other city Churches. The physical, mental, and mcral advantages of a reduction in the hours of labour, especially on the Saturday, were enforced ; and in support of the concession the payment of wages generally in the middle of the week was advocated, and the public urged not to make purchases late in the evening. The discourses were marked by much earnestnes and force, and it is hoped that they will do good in helping forward the object in view. We remind our readers of the public meeting to be held this evening in White's Rooms for the furtherance of the movement. Addresses are to be delivered by the Lord Bishop of Adelaide, tho Dean, the Revs. Parsons, James, Lyall, Lambert, Knight, Boas, and other gentlemen. German Bazaar.— This sale was closed on Saturday, December 17, when the admission was free. In the afternoon the attendance was very small, but in the evening there was a large gathering. The sales, however, were not so brisk as on previous nights. Mr. TSdemann offered many of the goods at auction, but the low prices bid caused their withdrawal. The proceeds of that day's sales were £95, and the total results of the week £437. The Corcordia .Band was in attendance, and gave their services gratuitously. Curiosities of Natural History. — The cook of the Orient, with a viow to instruct young Australia in natural history, and aa quite a secondary consideration one of profit, has brought a very interesting collection. First a cage of white rats, whose antics are as amusing as those of kittens ; then ferrets and squirrels ; and in birds, finches, blackbirds, and a varied selection from the feathered tribe of old England. Floating Islands.— 'During the last few days a large number of these peculiar phenomena have come down the Murray (says the Sowtforn, Atyv.s), and frequently, through catching tho warp, have interfered with the working of the ferry. They vary considerably in size, some of them being from two and a half to three acres in extent. The extraordinary appearance of so many of these moving masses of earth and reeds presented quite a panoramic effect as they passed Wellington on their downward course, and when the ferry ropo was so managed as to sweep over the top of them, large numbers of birds came out of the rushes.' Shooting.— The single members of the Enfiekl Rifle Club having challenged the married to a friendly contest, and won by 72 points, the return match came off on Saturday at the Butts. The single were again victorious, winning by 78 points. As eight single and only six married attended, it was arranged to average the scores. The following are the particulars : — 300, 500, and 000 yards, seven rounds each distance, any position, two targets at 300 yards, and three targets 500 and 600 yards — SINGLE. Yards-300. 500. 600. Ttl. Mr. Hicks ? 15 19 16 50 Mr. Stibbles ? 14 18 16 48 Mr. Leonard ? 21 35 12 48 Captain Ssott ? 16 15 36 47 Mr. Beyer ? 12 13 15 40 Mr. Beare ? 7 36 10 33 Mr. Starnes ? 13 31 6 30 Mr.Nimno ? 13 7 2 22 111 114 93 318 Average, 39J points per man. MARRIED. Mr. Reid ? 16 17 17 50 Mr. Baker ? 14 19 6 39 Mr. Cottrell ? 14 12 5 31 Mr. Robjohns ? ]5 9 4 28 Mr. Sayers ? ]0 8 0 18 Mr. Pappin ? 9 3 2 14 78 68 34 180 Add for average ... 26 23 11 60 104 91 45 210 Average, 30 points per man. Cricket.— A match between the Young Aus tralian and Stepney Clubs took place below Montefiore Hill on Saturday, December 17. The afternoon was very unfavourable, thp dust and wind preventing the sides from playing in any thing like proper form. The Australians, after a short stand, were by the bowling of King and Whitridge disposed of for 32 runs. The Stepneys made 51, Wakl batting well. The fielding was not good on either side, but the batting and bowling of the Stepney team was superior to that of their opponents, and the Club were satisfied with thu result, a* it is tho first match they have played this season. The following are I he scores : YOUNG AUSTRALIANS. Umpire — Randell. Captain — P. Horn. J. James, b. King.. 1 T. Fenn, b. King... 5 G. Beale, c. Travels, W. Baker, b. King. . 1 b. Whitridge ... 1 A. Crooks, b. King. 0 H. Morgan, b~. King 1 W. G. Randell, b. W. Biggins, b. Whit- Whitridge ? 0 ridge ? 4 W. Wigley, not out 6 P. Horn, c. King, b. Byes 11, wides 1 ... 12 Whitridire ? 1 — G. Watson'; b. Whit- Total ? 32 ridge ? 0 STKPNEYS. Umpire— C. C. Goodcn. Captain — W. O. Whitridge. W. O. Whitridge. c. W. Denby, b. Baker 4 Crook«, b. Beale.. 6 .1. Martin, b. Bealo 0 J. Wald, c. Fenn, b. 11. B. Pepper, run Beale ? 18 out ? 8 W. Travels, b. Beale 0 D. Brice, run out... 3 F. King, b. Baker... 0 R. Hoskin, not out 1 C. Chapniaiyun out 0 Leg bye 1, wide 1... 2 W. Nitholls, Lb.w., - b. Beale ? 9 Total ? 51 Cricket.— On Saturday a match took place on the North Park Lands between the Eastern Suburban and Young United Clubs. The Easterns, after steady plav, retired for 74 — S. Cope getting 15, C.' Wren 14, Colville 1/2, A. Evan VI. The Uniteds, owing to the bowling of Gill and Wren, were obliged to retire for 41. The Eastern Suburbans again wont to the wickets, and retired lov 54— the highest contri butors being S. Cope. J. Colville, and Sando, 9 each. As time was then called the match was decided by the first innings. Morgan and Botten bowled well for the Uniteds. HTOCKroitT Farms. — Harvest operations are being pushed on, and machines are working in every direction. The yield seems to give satis faction, and the quality of the grain is excellent. I From Saturday's Evening Journal.) False Alarm.— Before 8 a.m. on Saturday a telegram was receivedfromtheSemaphoreBeach, intimating that a large steamer was sighted, believed to be the branch mail. Shortly after wards the supposition that the smoke proceeded from the Rangatira was considered correct, and the newspaper offices and other places displayed the chequered flag; but very soon lowered this, as the vessel proved to be the Penola slightly out of her usual course. For a short time there was some excitement in town, as people are waiting in suspense for the news expected by the C'ali fornian and Suez routes. Arrest. — It will be seen that James Will shire, of Rhyme, whose books as District Clerk showed a very peculiar state of affaire, has after eluding all efforts of the police in each of tho colonies to effect his capture, at last been arrested in Victoria. Fire.— During the thunderstorm on Saturday the lightning struck and set on fire a boundary post in a paddock at Walkemlle, on the pro perty of Mr. L. Conrad, of Hindley-street. Three of the owner's men happened to come up almost immediately afterwards, and with the assistance of some neighbours put out the flames, no damage having been done beyond the burning of a small quantity of stubble. Found Money.— We understand that Edward Lynch, in the employ of Mr. R. Raphael, of Lefevre-terrace, recently found a purse contain ing the sum of £66 in notes, belonging to Mr. Fountain, which with praiseworthy honesty he restored to the owner. Queesstowk School.— It will be seen by ad vertisement that Mr. A. Godden, jun., will deliver a lecture at Mr. Leslie's Schoolroom, Queenstown, this evening, in aid of the Prize Fund. The subject is 'Traditions of Revelations and Hints on Self-Improvement.'