2_340 11/10/47
MRS. OCTAVIUS SMITH (Aunt Jenny)

Embley
11 Oct. [1847]
Sinking of Id. boat on Thames; Uncle Oc is very pleased with the result of his interview with the foreman of the Jury who had been entirely against the verdict from the very first, together with the Coroner; Hearman's trial should cause little worry but she is very pleased Uncle Oe is giving up the boats; a great many people are much better off as a result of the accident, with new clothes etc. , and an Irish widow considered it a perfect Godsend, since it had rid her of her husband; but Uncle Oc's liabilities now nearing an end; 'Everybody will come round to the belief that if no risks are run, there can be no improvement, that if there be Government Superintendence and everything go on in the same jog-trot way it has done since King Alfred's time, when we had tot a stool to sit on' there may be no accidents, but there will be no progress; refers to an article in the Economist on the mishap.1
lop EDINB. ROY. INF.
1. 'The Explosion of the Cricket', The Economist, 9th Oct. 1847, 5, No.215, p.1161. The article refutes those who over emphasised the dangers of high pressure engines and demanded Government supervision. It points out that 'the prodigious public advantage' of daily removing 4,000 or 5,000 Passengers from the overcrowded streets and carrying them cheaply and swiftly by river far outweighed the unlikely hazard of explosion.
Further, that although the fastening down of the valves by the chief engineer was the cause of the accident, it was the act of a reckless individual and Mr. Smith was absolved of negligence.

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