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thus: if the settlement is valid, Mr. Shearer has no rateable property in the parish, and, as he contends, is not the legal occupier. The Vestry Clerk, on learning of the marriage, inserted Mr. Shearer's name upon the list of ratepayers. On his refusal to pay rates levied on the responsibility of the Vestry Clerk alone, a magistrate will be asked to commit him to prison, and should the magistrate feel bound by the rather stringent terms of the local Act, Mr. Shearer must be so committed. It may

be added that Mrs. Shearer is quite willing to pay the rates if the Vestry Clerk will restore her name to the list. It is hoped that this will be made a test case, and all who are interested in the laws relating to women will be glad to see it finally settled.

At the ordinary weekly meeting of the Islington Board of Guardians, at the end of March, a letter was read from the Local Government Board respecting the question whether Mrs. Shearer was entitled to act as a guardian. It stated that, after duly considering the question, they found the case involved questions of much legal difficulty and importance, and before giving their decision they had determined to submit the whole matter to the Crown officers. Mrs. Shearer was present during the sitting of the board. She has again offered herself as a candidate at the forthcoming election, this time as Mrs. Shearer, but the Clerk said he had disqualified her as a person entitled to be returned. He explained that he had done this because, after her marriage, her name was struck off the register as a ratepayer.

LIABILITY TO SUPPORT CHILDREN. During the debate on the second reading of the Civil Imprisonment (Scotland) Bill, Dr. Cameron commented on the hardship of the law of 1880, which, while it nominally abolished imprisonment for debt, enforced it for nonpayment for the support of illegitimate children. Mr. Grant thought that the imprisonment was vindictively urged by the woman, and as a means to compel the friends of the man to pay. Sir Richard Cross pointed out that some punishment was necessary to protect the interests of women.

It is evident that there may be great hardship inflicted on women if a magistrate has no power to enforce the payment on the part of the father of the child. Ultimately the whole matter was referred to the Select Committee.

SUFFRAGE. SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE wrote in reply to Mrs. Ashworth Hallett, who had sent him a petition from 176 women farmers praying for the parliamentary vote: "I presented the petition last night, but you will see that the question of women's suffrage did not enter, or scarcely entered into our academical debates. I still retain the view which I formerly expressed to you, that it is undesirable at present to lower the franchise, and therefore undesirable to attempt to deal with it in the way of extension at all, since it would be difficult to extend it without in some degree lowering it, but that if we should be called upon to pass a measure for that purpose the case of the women ratepayers ought certainly to be dealt with. It will probably be a good while before we have to deal with anything practical in the matter."

At the many meetings held in the Easter recess confident hope has been expressed by many Liberal members that the present Parliament will have time to deal with the question of Reform. It is quite possible, therefore, that Sir Stafford Northcote will be called upon for his friendly support sooner than he anticipates.

A PUBLIC MEETING will be held in St. James's Hall, Piccadilly, London, on Monday Evening, April 24th, 1882, in support of Mr. Mason's resolution to extend the Parliamentary Franchise to Women who possess the qualifications which entitle men to vote, and who in all matters of local government have the right of voting. The Chair will be taken at 8 o'clock, p.m., by Mrs. Fawcett. Joseph Arch, Esq.; Miss Becker; Miss C. A. Biggs; Miss Jane E. Cobden; Dr. Cameron, M.P.; T. A. Dickson, Esq., M.P.; Mrs. Ashton Dilke; C. H. Hopwood, Esq., M.P.; C. B. M'Laren, Esq., M.P.; Count Metaxa; Miss Müller (London School Board); Mrs. J. R. Shearer; J. P. Thomasson, Esq., M.P.; J. H. Tillett, Esq., M.P.; Miss Tod; and other ladies and gentlemen are ex


15th, 1882

pected to be present. Admission : Sofa Stalls, 28. 6d.; Reserved Numbered Seats, 18.; Balcony Stalls, Front Row, 2s. 6d.; Second Row, 1s.; Area and Gallery, Free. Tickets may be obtained on application to the SECRETARY, 64, Berners Street, London, W., where a plan of the Hall may be seen. Early application is requested. Meetings will also be held the preceding week in New Cross; Clapham; Westbourne Hall, Bayswater; Middleton Hall, Islington; and Chelsea Town Hall.

BELFAST.—A series of drawing room meetings have been held in support of Mr. Mason's resolution and in preparation for the Annual Meeting. The first was on April 6th, by the kind invitation of Robert Young, Esq., C.E., and Miss Young at Rathvarna, Belfast. Dr. Johnston occupied the chair: the principal speakers were Miss Tod and Miss C. A. Biggs, but several gentlemen joined the subsequent discussion. The next meeting, for ladies only, was at Mrs. Robert Lindsay's house, Sans Souci, on April 11th, where Mrs. Knox presided, the next on April 12th at Mrs. Blackwood's, 6, College green, Robert M'Geagh presiding, and the next on April 13th at Miss Tod's, 126, Albion place.

DUBLIN.- A drawing room meeting was held at Russell's Hotel, 102, St. Stephen's Green, on April 14th. The Rev. F. F. Carmichael, LL.D., presided, and the meeting was addressed by Miss C. A. Biggs and others.

THE CONVENTION OF THE SCOTCH ROYAL AND PARLIAMENTARY BURGHS resumed its sittings in Edinburgh, on April 5th, the Lord Provost presiding. It was agreed to petition Parliament in favour of the assimilation of the borough and county franchise, and a motion that the Convention should petition Parliament to confer the parliamentary as well as the municipal franchise on women was carried by a majority of 33 to 20.

EMPLOYMENT. It is proposed to employ women as sorters in the Savings Bank, their services having been generally recognised as efficient in other departments of the Post Office.

BARMAIDS AND THEIR HOURS OF LABOUR.-On March 23rd a meeting of barmaids, waitresses in refreshment


rooms, and others interested in women's work was held, under the presidency of Miss Emily Neale, in the Melville Assembly Rooms, Bloomsbury, for the purpose of considering in what manner the hours of labour of such persons might be shortened without in any way injuring their employers or putting the public to inconvenience in the matter of obtaining refreshments, and also for the purpose of discussing the question of female labour in its general aspects. A resolution was adopted requesting employers to reduce the hours of labour for barmaids and waitresses by employing double the present number without any decrease of salaries. Another meeting will be held, and it is stated that arrangements

, have been made to hold a number of meetings for the purpose of allowing the female workers of London, including factory hands. sewing machinists, cigar makers, and others to place their grievances before the public.

UNION OF LAUNDRY WORKERS.—On March 18th a meeting of women employed in laundries took place in the Roslyn Hill Schoolroom, Hampstead, and after addresses from Mrs. Paterson, Miss Simcox, Miss Whyte, and Miss Wilkinson, it was unanimously resolved that a society should be formed on the same basis as the other unions organised by the Women's Protective and Provident League. Twenty members were at once enrolled. The average earnings of the laundry-workers in the Hampstead district appear to be about 10s. per week for four days work.

BIRMINGHAM ASSOCIATION FOR USEFUL WORK.The annual meeting of the Birmingham Ladies' Useful Work Association was held on March 30th, Mrs. W. Mathews presiding. A report was presented showing that much useful work had been accomplished during the past year in connection with the various branches of the Association. Health lectures had been delivered in different parts of the town, with good results, by Mrs. Bassett, Mrs. W. Kenrick, Mrs. Dale, Mrs. Osler, and Miss Suckling, and Mrs. Bracey had also given a course of lectures on nursing. A recreation and refreshment room for women which had been established had proved successful; 130 girls had joined it, though the largest number at any one time on the books was 60. The Committee had carried out a plan for giving entertainments, and a lending library had been established. Mrs. C. J. Bracey was appointed President, and Mrs. Sargant Secretary and Treasurer for the ensuing year.

SHORTHAND.—A new class for the study of Pitman's system of Shorthand will be begun shortly at the office of the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women, 22, Berners Street, W. The class will meet on Friday evenings.


The Women's Temperance Association had their Annual Meeting on April 3rd in the Music Hall, Belfast. The chair was taken by Mr. Marriott R. Dalway. There was a large attendance, and among the ladies present were Miss Nicholson of Lishdu, Miss Macpherson of London, Miss Shields of Liverpool, Miss Stewart of Stewartstown, Mrs. R. Workman, Mrs. R. W. Carey, Mrs. Byers, Mrs. Knox, Mrs. Williamson, and Miss Tod.

The CHAIRMAN said it was impossible to estimate the good done by the active part women were taking in temperance work, for they could reach many people whom the Irish Temperance League was unable to touch.

Mrs: BYERS read and moved the adoption of the report, which after recording the usual temperance work, said the public had responded with great heartiness to appeals on behalf of the Prison Mission, and also to measures which were being organised to rescue and train little girls exposed to temptation and crime in this large town. Lectures had been delivered during the ast year on this subject, and also on hygiene and sick nursing. They had interesting reports given by members of nome and foreign mission work on behalt of women and girls, undertakeu by women; measures to prevent the degradation of young girls, and to rescue waifs, and efforts to re-sober further inebriates. At the last annual meeting, the Committee had suggested that a home should be provided for the rescue of forlorn and friendless little girls, and £300 had been already promised for this purpose. Some delay had

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