THE BURNING OF THE ISERBROOK IN SYDNEY HARBOR. At the instance of the Pacific Insurance Com- -pany, in Sydney, the brig Iserbrook, which was burnt and scuttled in the harbor some weeks since, was pumped out by the workmen of Rountree's Dock. When the vessel was dry to the cabin floor, a party of water police was sent to recover, if possible, the body of Captain Fraser, which was known to have gone down with the vessel when she was scuttled. After a search it was discovered in a horrible condition, and the body could only be identified by means of the clothes that remained on it. An inquest was held on the 3rd Feb. on the captain's remains, when, we learn from the Sydney Evening News, the following evidence was given : — James Hampshire, late chief officer of the Iserbrook, who was on board with Captain Fraser when the vessel caught fire, stated that shortly after four o'clock on the after- noon of the 21st December he went on board the Iserbrook, and found Captain Fraser on board with a sailmaker named Barron, whom the captain introduced to Hampshire as a friend of his, saying that there was some rum in the store room, and they would get some for him (Barron). They then took off one of the main hatches, and the three men went down into the storeroom. When they got below, finding it dark, the captain and mate struck matches and went to a tier of casks behind the mainmast, one of which had been bored and was loosely corked. Captain Fraser remarked, "This must be molasses," and
pulled the cork out, and immediately a quantity of rum ran out on to the deck. Hampshire, seeing this, put his finger into the cask, but the whole being large the spirit still continued to run out, and in the confusion one of the men dropped a match into the spilt liquor, which immediately took fire. Both men attempted to stamp out the flame, but were unable to do so, and Hampshire's arm and hand were so scorched that he had to withdraw his finger from, the bung hole, and, apprehending that the rum would blaze up, Barron and Hamp- shire rushed on deck, Hampshire falling into the hold as he endeavored to leave the storeroom. On the latter approaching the deck a few seconds after- wards he found Barron alone. Both men went to the hatchway and shouted the captain's name several times, but without effect, and then an explosion took place, and flames and smoke made their appearance at the hatchway. The em- ployes of Rountree's wharf, seeing the flames, come on board, and removed the vessel from the wharf. Witness never saw Captain F'raser alive afterwards, but according to his belief the body he had seen at the deadhouse, in the presence of the coroner and jury, was that of Joseph Fraser, late captain of the brig Iserbrook. This evidence was fully corroborated by that of John Barron, a sailmaker, residing at Balmain, who had gone on board the vessel at the invita- tion of the captain to have a glass of grog. The jury found that the body lying at the deadhouse was that of Joseph Fraser, late captain of the Iserbrook; and further, that his death had re- sulted accidentally from injuries received while drawing rum. The following rider was appended to the verdict : — 'The jury are of opinion that the delay in taking effective steps for the re- covery of the body is highly censurable.'
The Chiltern Valley Gold Mining Company has at last struck the Chiltern lead, which will at once raise the value of shares at least 75 per cent. A daughter of the late Dr. Smith of the Huon, was drowned in the female baths at Hobart Town on the 4th February, and her sister had a narrow escape. Four deaths from sunstroke occurred on the 30th ult., at Wilcannia, N.S.W., making four- teen deaths in ten days from the excessive heat. The thermometer showed 125 deg. in the shade. The following is the return of minerals ex- ported from Tasmania during the month ended 31st December : — Hobart Town: Tin, 27 tons 11. cwt., £1732 ; tin ore, 50 tons 1 cwt. £1700; total £3432. Launceston: Tin, 422 tons, £25,119; gold, 2195 oz., £8470 ; total, £33,589; grand total of value, £37,021. '