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Colonial Cases

Volume 1

ABSTRACT OF

PEKING GAZETTES

  京报

[黄皮京报]                  Appeals and Submissions 

to the Emperor 

regarding cases of murder and suicide. 

1872-77 & 1896-1899

 

SHANGHAI: Reprinted from

 "The North China Herald and Supreme Court and Consular Gazette."

 

The Civil Governors of Shen-king (Manchuria) memorialize forwarding their report upon the arrears of judicial cases in the magistracies under their jurisdiction, respecting which the Censor T'eng K'ing-lin complained at the close of last year. From enquiries made by delegates sent for the purpose to the different districts now in question, it appears that the judicial cases in suspense vary from a minimum of fifty or sixty, some being of a recent and others of long-standing origin. The cause assigned for the protracted delays on the part of the courts of first instance in pronouncing their judgments, is the apprehension of erring on the side either of leniency or of severity on the part of the Magistrates, where evidence is of a conflicting nature.  Thus, in the case of charges of homicide, the accused, who has taken a life, in dread of the penalty of the law will invariably seek to put the best face possible on the circumstances whilst the relatives of the deceased, in their desire to gain redress, will with equal certainty falsify their statements to enhance the gravity of the charge. The truth cannot possibly be arrived at without adequate witnesses but persons dwelling in the immediate vicinity of the scene of the crime complained of, and actual eyewitnesses thereof, either hesitate to give straightforward evidence, lest they incur enmity by doing so, or fearful of being involved in trouble themselves, they take refuge in flight. The decision of such charges is consequently impeded through the difficulty of arriving at the facts of the case. A similar difficulty makes itself felt in connection with charges of robbery with violence, owing to the difficulty of obtaining confession or the evidence of witnesses.  No remedy to the existing state of affairs can be suggested, as the idea of circuits of judicial delegates is shewn to be impracticable; and the only thing to be done is to issue renewed injunctions to the Magistrates to deal as speedily as possible with the arrears in question. 1874, Oct. 21st.

 

1872  page  3

1873  page 20

1874  page 39

1875  page 82

1876

1877  page 114

1896  page 158

1897  page 168

1898  page 188

1899  page 189

 

1872

Jan. 1st.-Tsun-chung and his colleagues report two appeal cases.

Case 1st.-A tailor named Wu Tsung-lien, a native of Hunan, complains that his father was killed on the 13th August, 1869, by Tsou Tai-shan, and that the corpse was thrown into the river whence it has never been recovered. The yamen underlings having been bribed concealed the real facts of the case from the magistrate, and made no efforts to apprehend the murderers. Complainant appealed time after time to the magistrate, and was flogged for so doing. He also appealed to the prefect, criminal judge and viceroy, but the only result was an order to the district magistrate to enquire into the case; but though three years have now elapsed, no inquiry has yet been made.

Case 2nd.-A Shansi farmer called Chang Li-shan states that his brother has been killed by some near kinsmen, and that he can obtain no redress. There was a misunderstanding between his brother and Chang Yu-cheng about some land. And on this account the latter, assisted by his son, seized complainant's brother one day while at work in the fields, and beat him to death. Subsequently the head was severed from the body and thrown into a well. All this was duly reported to the district magistrate, who gave orders for the apprehension of the culprits, but only one was arrested. Complainant has appealed to the Taotai and criminal judge, but they only sent him back to the district magistrate.

 

Jan. 4th. An edict is issued in reference to a memorial from censor Liu Jui-chi, begging the Throne to confer honours on 17 persons belonging to an official family, who committed suicide when Ning-hsia (in Kansuh), was taken by the Mahometans, in 1863, and asking permission to erect a temple to their memory. The viceroy is directed to inquire into the circumstances of the case and report.

 

Jan. 7th. (2) Tsun Cheng, commandant of the metropolitan gendarmerie, and his colleagues, report the following appeal cases.

Case 1st.-An official by purchase named Liu Hsi-yuen, belonging to Shen-tse, Chihli, complains that his brother has been murdered and that he can obtain no redress from the local officials. On the 23rd February 1869, his brother was enticed to go to the house of Tsao Te-yu to gamble, and it appears he lost 100,000 copper cash, for which he gave a promissory note. He never came home after that, and was next seen dead in a well outside of the village. On examination his clothes were found to have been badly torn, and indicated that there had been a struggle. Tsao Te-yu was arrested on suspicion, but the other gamblers concealed themselves, and through the trickeries of the yamen underlings the hearing of the case was constantly postponed. The prefect was then appealed to, but he was deceived by one of his underlings and looked at the case as simply one of gambling. Application was subsequently made to the criminal judge, but he has taken no notice of it, and thus the case has been shelved and nothing done to punish the guilty.

Case 2nd.-A Shantung farmer called Yang Cheng-chai states that his cousin has been murdered by a neighbour named Yang Chao-lin. There was a bad feeling existing between the parties on account of a piece of land, and one day Yang Chao-lin's mother threw some water before the door of complainant's cousin, the latter remonstrated against this, and during the altercation Yang Chao-lin stabbed him. The wounded man went in person to the district magistrate, but Yang Chao-lin bribed the clerk of the criminal court and through him the magistrate, and the consequence was that complainant's cousin instead of getting redress got a beating. A few days afterwards he died from the wound inflicted on him by Yang Chao-lin, but although several applications have been made to the district magistrate, he has refused to hear the case.

Jan. 8th.-Tsao-pao and his colleagues report two appeal cases.

(1) In the first case a chu-jen named Lin Yun-san, a native of Shensi, states that seven years ago his father was waylaid by some local rowdies and barbarously murdered. He had more than 80 wounds on his body, and when dead his throat was cut from ear to ear. When the case was tried before the prefect the murderers confessed their guilt, but when brought before the criminal judge denied it. The case was consequently sent back to the prefect and has not been decided yet.

 

Jan. 14th. (3.) Tsun-cheng reports the following appeal case.

A Honan farmer, named Tu Shan-tang, complains that his son was killed by a person called Yin Fong-lai, and that he has failed to obtain redress from the provincial authorities. His son was returning home from school on the 15th September 1862, and while passing Yin Feng-lai's fields, picked up, in fun, some paddy which was lying by the road side, when Yin Feng-lai seized him and beat him so brutally that he died an the spot. The occurrence was reported to the district magistrate, and the deputy was sent to hold an inquest on the body, but the inspector of police having been bribed the inquest was conducted in a very superficial way. Bribery was also employed in other directions. The district magistrate however ordered Yin Feng-lai and his accomplices to be imprisoned but afterwards let them out on bail and the matter was allowed to drop. Complainant has appealed repeatedly to the prefect, the intendant, criminal judge and 1ieut.-governor, but they only told him to go back to the district magistrate.

 

Jan.18th. (2) Tsao-pao, chief of the censorate, and his colleagues report the following appeal case.

A Shantung farmer, named Kwan Liang, belonging to the Hsia-chin prefecture, complains that his family has been the victim of a most relentless persecution, which has already cost it the lives of three of its members. In his native village there lived a lawless character called Kwan Ta-pao who, at the time in question, had just committed an infraction of the gabelle laws. This crime, however, one of the local gentry and one of the police tried to father on complainant and his friends, and accordingly three of the latter were taken into custody. A party was also sent to plunder complainant's home, which they did to the last article, and he was told that if he did not buy himself off he too would be arrested. His father offered 50 strings of cash (one string usually contains 1,000 cash) but this sum was declined, and he was told that nothing less than 1,000 strings would do. He then offered 600 strings, and paid an instalment at the time of 100 strings. But even this did not satisfy them. He therefore appealed to the district magistrate, but the above-mentioned constable, by means of bribery, got him reprimanded by the magistrate. Matters then became worse than ever. Complainant's house was broken into and plundered of every article, and all his cattle driven off. His uncle and cousin were also led away in chains, and his grandmother, for venturing to remonstrate, was stabbed in the face. She ran to the office of the district magistrate to implore his interference, but the underlings would not allow her to enter. His father, uncle and brother, were put into a secret prison and tortured so brutally that the two former died. Complainant tried to bring the matter before the district magistrate, but was prevented by the Yamen underlings. His grandmother has also died in consequence of the wound she received. He appealed to the criminal judge, but was simply referred back to the district magistrate; he dared not, however, go to the district yamen any more, and has therefore come to the capital.

The above is recorded.

 

Feb. 14th.-Tsun-cheng, commandant of the Peking Gendarmerie, reports the two following appeal cases:-

Case 1. A widow belonging to Ho-chiu in Anhwui complains, through her son, a lad of sixteen, that she can obtain no redress for her husband's murder. This lad states that Hsu Chien, Chen Chiung, and others had a grudge against his father, and that on the night of the 18th March,1868, they came in a large body and killed his father, and afterwards cut off his head. They also killed two workmen, who attempted to assist the deceased. They then seized complainant's stepmother, his cousin, and the wife and daughter of one of the murdered workmen, and after having burned the house and all it contained, made off. Then, strange to say, they took complainant's cousin, to the Kuchih magistracy and charged him with being a brigand, and in proof of the charge produced complainant's father's head.  Of the women carried off one has been ill-used and the other two have not been heard of. Complainant has appealed to the intendant, criminal judge, lieut. governor and viceroy, but has failed to obtain redress, his mother has therefore sent to the capital.

Case2 . - A widow in the Ninching district, Chihli, sends a person to complain that her nephew having been beaten to death by Cheng wu-ma-tsz and others, she has been unable to obtain redress, though she has  appealed to the prefect, the criminal judge, treasurer and viceroy.

 

Mar. 22nd. (2) Tsun-cheng and his colleagues report the following appeal cases.

Case 1. A Honan farmer named Hu Hen-hsing states that, last July, his father was set upon by Li Yu-hsin and others, and severely beaten. He then carried his father to the district yamen, but his enemies prevented his father's wounds being examined; and, moreover, had him and his father locked up in a private house, where his father died on the 3rd August. Complainant then managed to effect his escape, and laid his case before the district magistrate.  The magistrate ordered the parties concerned to be beaten and imprisoned; but by means of some knavery or other they were bailed out. Complainant then appealed to the prefect four times in succession, and orders were sent to the district magistrate to investigate the case, but he never did so. Complainant afterwards appealed both to the criminal judge and to the 1ieut.-governor but they only sent him back to the district magistrate. He has come therefore in despair to the capital for redress.

Case 2. The complainant in the case placed himself in front of Prince Tun's carriage and presented his appeal to the memorialists. He is a farmer belonging to Lanchow in Chihli, named Chang Ting-yew. He states that, in Oct. 1867, a party of robbers, who were putting up at the village of Shih-fo-kow, seeing his brother pass with sixteen strings of copper cash on his shoulder, immediately laid hands on him. He remonstrated and tried to recover his money, but they said that he himself had stolen it and without more ado speared him. An inquest was held on the body of the deceased, but the second son of the actual murderer having falsely put himself forth as the murderer, the guilty parties were allowed to escape. In 1868, complainant appealed to the prefect and intendant, but they merely ordered him back to the district magistrate. Parties were then bribed to deceive the magistrate as to the real facts of the case, and an attempt was made to get complainant to come to some agreement and thus hush up the case. He then appealed again to the intendant of circuit, and orders were sent to the prefect to try the case. But although he has applied for a hearing times without number, the case has never been called on. The reply to his last appeal, made on the 3rd January, was an order to strike the case off the books. Having thus failed to obtain any redress for his brother's murder, he has come to the capital.

Case 3. A Shantung farmer, called Hsu Tsz-tai, complains that his uncle having been shot by Liu Pan-li, he cannot obtain redress from the local magistrates, though he has appealed to the prefect, intendant and criminal judge.

 

May, 5th.-Li Hung-chang, viceroy of Chihli, reports the suicide of Assistant subprefect Ting-chao-yuen. Deceased was a native of Wuchin in Kiangsu. Having commenced his career as a chien sheng, bachelor by grace or purchase, he bought the rank of assistant sub-prefect with privilege to choose the province in which he would serve. On the 1st March, 1872, he commenced his duties at Yang-tsun, and one of the first things which required his attention was the rice transports. It was his duty to send these to Tientsin, to be overhauled and put in order for transhipping the tribute rice as it arrived by the junks. But the boats having been scattered hither and thither by the floods last year, and many being frozen in, the deceased feared they would not reach Tientsin in time, in which case he would have been severely reprimanded. The subject so preyed on his mind that he committed suicide. On the morning of the 16th March he was found hanging in his room dead.

 

Jun.19th. (3) Pao Yuen-shen, 1ieut.-governor of Shansi, reports the following domestic tragedy. In a village in the Wenchia district, a man named Li Chun-ko, his mother, sister and wife threw themselves into a well. The mother was rescued before life was extinct, but the other three were drowned. A paper was found on the body of Li Chun-ko, stating that he had been badly treated by his uncle, who had not given him a fair share of the patrimony, had beaten and abused him and day after day insulted him, in consequence of which they had all resolved to commit suicide. The district magistrate himself held an inquest on the bodies, and from the evidence then elicited, is satisfied that the parties in question did really drown themselves in the way described. The woman who was rescued from the well tells exactly the same tale as the document found on her son. When she was brought forward to confront the uncle Li Tien-hsi, the latter, resuming on his position as a military chiu-jen (M.A.), gave himself airs and would not state the real facts of the case. The memorialist therefore requests that he may be temporarily stripped of his button in order to facilitate his examination. When settled, a report of the whole will be sent to the Throne.

Li Tien-hsi is ordered to be deprived of his button and subjected to a rigid examination, and if guilty, to be punished in the way the law provides.

(4) In another memorial the lieut.-governor of Shansi reports the destruction by fire of the district prison of Yungchi, and requests that, the inspector of police (who is also chief jailor) may be stripped of his rank and subjected to a rigorous examination, with a view to ascertain whether there has been any foul play. Two prisoners under sentence of death by strangulation were so badly burned that they died shortly afterwards; the other prisoners suffered no injury. The district magistrate reports that he was absent on public business at the time; the truth of this statement will be inquired into.

 

June 25th.-The censorate lays the following appeal case before the Throne.

A Chihli peasant complains that his grandfather, father and brother having been murdered by his uncle Wu Pao and others, he can obtain no redress from the local magistrates. This uncle has always been a lawless character and the companion of a set of scoundrels, who were the pest and terror of the neighbourhood. Appellant's grandfather being head clan's man, and fearing that this uncle's conduct would involve the whole clan in trouble, remonstrated with him over and over, but instead of listening to the old man's good advice he conceived a deadly dislike to him, and came one-day armed with a big knife to pick a quarrel with him. The knife was taken from him and a complaint laid before the district magistrate, but the latter took no notice of it. Thus emboldened, he resolved to kill the old man. Accordingly on the night of the 27th August 1870, he and a lot of others came, armed to the teeth, broke into the house and killed the old man, and with him appellant's father and brother, and besides inflicted such serious injuries on an uncle that he will be a cripple for life. The matter was at once brought before the district magistrate, but Wu Pao and his principal accomplice, Wu Yao-ming, made their escape. The former, however, was subsequently caught, and confessed to having committed the murder, and stated moreover that ten others were concerned in the affair. But by bribing the Yamen underlings he was allowed to make his escape, and by a free use of the same potent agency, means were found to hoodwink the magistrate and to keep the case out of Court.  Complainant appealed successively to the prefect, intendant and viceroy, by whom he was referred back to the district magistrate.  But in that quarter bribery has effectually barred the door of justice against him; for although it is now going on for three years since the murder was committed, it is still unavenged. He has therefore come to the capital (to lay his complaint at the foot of the Throne).

The Imperial pleasure regarding the above has already been recorded.

 

Jun. 29th.-An edict is issued in reference to a memorial recently received from Ho Ching acting viceroy of the Two Kiang regarding the suicide of Feng Chih-i magistrate of Tien-chang, Anhwei. As the literary chancellor's name has come up in connection with the affair, he is ordered to return to the capital as soon as the trial over. Chi Shih-hang is appointed literary chancellor in his place.

 

Jul. 24th.-The Censorate lays before the Throne the following appeal case.

A person named Kung Tsung-kao, a native of Chung-ching, Szechuen, states that on the night of Jan. 18th 1866, two of his uncles had their houses broken into by a band of robbers, and over 400 taels of silver and 80,000 cash, besides raw silk, clothes, etc., carried off. His uncle Chengho shouted for help, and for doing so was badly wounded by the robbers on both arms, and on the right hand; one of the servants also received a severe cut on the head. The affair was at once reported to the district magistrate, who issued warrants for the apprehension of the robbers, but the police went shares with the robbers in their booty, so of course did not arrest them. Consequently, on the 16th Feb. 1866, the gang came again, and burned four rooms of his uncle Chengho's house. On the 22nd of the same month they broke into his uncle Cheng-yang's house and carried away about 500 taels. The local militia was called out to seize them, and it was then discovered that the two policemen above referred to, were taking a leading part with the robbers. One of them was seen to throw away some of the plunder and run, and the other fought on the side of the robbers against the militia. These facts were &gain reported to the magistrate, but nothing was done. On the 12th March the robbers and the yamen police, making in all more than a hundred men, came once more, armed with guns and knives. First they entered his uncle Chengho's bedroom and wounded two of his sons, one on the head and the other on the bread, and carried away 200 taels of silver and 130 strings of cash. They then entered another room, and inflicted such severe wounds on complainant's grandfather, that he will be a cripple for life. From this room, they took 60,000 cash. They next visited complainant's apartments, and wounded his wife so severely that she died of her wounds, and complainant himself received a sword cut on his left hand. From his rooms they took 470 taels and 20,000 cash. The sufferers made a joint representation to the magistrate on the subject, but he sent the same policemen as before! Subsequently one of the gang when being examined on charge of another robbery committed in the city, confessed the names of the ringleaders in complainant's case; but although two or three were apprehended, nothing was done to them. Afterwards a fresh lot of police were set on the track of the gang, who apprehended one of the party and recovered a portion of the spoil. When caught, this person stated that the police-runner Chengan and his assistants, were parties to the robbery; he was therefore waylaid by these runners and murdered. Complainant appealed on several occasions to the criminal judge and viceroy, and orders were sent to the magistrate to investigate the case. When first examined the police-runners confessed to having taken part in the robbery, but having bribed the Yamen clerks, they were allowed to retract this confession and were let off. Complainant has therefore come to the capital for redress.

The Imperial pleasure regarding the above has already appeared.

 

Aug. 2nd. (3) The Viceroy and Lieut.-Governor of Hupeh report the results of their investigation of a case which had been appealed to the Throne and sent back to them to be tried. The case is one of murder. A man named Tsao Tien-show charges a person called Chen Chen-hsiu with having killed his father. A minute report of the trial is given; it occupies nearly the whole of to-day's and to-morrow's Gazettes. The Board of Punishments is directed to consider the above and report.

 

Aug. 3rd. (3) The Viceroy and 1ieut.-governor of Hupeh memorialize the Throne, reporting the results of their investigation of a case which had been appealed to the Throne and sent back to them for trial. A quarrel arose between a family named Wang and a family named Li, regarding some land, which led to open war between the parties, in which some of the Wangs lost their lives. The Lis being the aggressors and the stronger party, the Wangs appealed to the local authorities, but being unable to obtain redress, went to Peking.  The case was laid before the Throne and orders were sent to the viceroy and 1ieut. governor of Hupeh to thoroughly investigate it, make an award in accordance with the statute and report. The case, though a very ordinary one, is stated with such minuteness that it occupies nearly the whole of two days' Gazettes.

 

Aug. 7th. (2) Wang Wen-shao, 1ieut.-governor of Hunan, reports on a case of murder by a military mandarin, which had been appealed to the Throne and sent down to him for investigation. The defendant, Tsui Ta-cheng, a native of Chen-chow in Hunan, joined the army in 1860. He was recommended to the Throne during the war on account of his bravery, and was given a peacock's feather and made an adjutant-general. He married a lady named Hung, with whose family he continued to be on amicable terms. On the 30th August 1871, his wife died, and her brother and nephew came to consult about the funeral arrangements. They wished a grand funeral, and proposed that the defendant should mortgage his houses in order to raise the necessary funds. This he refused to do; words ran high, and from words they came to blows. In the excitement of the moment the defendant, Tsui Ta-cheng seized a chopper which was lying close by and wounded his brother-in-law in the left side and on the fingers of the right hand. His wife's nephew tried to wrest the chopper from him, but failing to do so, picked up a stone to strike him, and while stooping received a thrust in the side. He then closed with defendant, and the latter being very excited, dealt him a sharp blow in the right side which brought him to the ground and he expired in a little while afterwards. The murder was purely accidental-the unfortunate result of a mixed fight. The sentence of the law in such cases is death by strangling, and that sentence has been passed on Tsui Ta-cheng. But as he comes within the General Amnesty granted this year by the Throne, he has been set at liberty. A detailed account of the trial has been sent to the Board of Punishments.

The Board of Punishments is directed to consider the foregoing and report.

 

Sept. 7th. The Censorate lays the following appeal case before the Throne.

A widow lady, belonging to Showchow in the Anhwei province, complains that she can obtain no redress for the murder of her late husband, Adjutant-General Hwang Chi-ming. He joined the army in1855 took an active part in the war then raging, and gained great distinction by his bravery. He next served under Lieutenant-Governor Chiao, in the west and in 1864 was transferred to the Cho Shengregiment, In 1869 he returned home on furlough, and in the early part of the following year, just as he was about to rejoin his regiment, Colonel Wang Chi-pao and three others, belonging to the Shen cavalry, called on him at his home, and stated that they had been sent by Li Hung-chang to raise a troop of cavalry in Showchow and other places, but that the journey being a long one, they had found inconvenient to take with them the requisite funds and must therefore call on him to supply them with whatever money they might require. This he did willingly believing their statement was made in good faith, and that he was acting for the public good. He advanced Taels 200 at 420,000 cash. He also bought 103 horse and provided men and provisions. Colon Wang then gave him a properly stamped certificate for the whole. Shortly afterwards he set out to rejoin his regiment. When at Ping-yang in Shansi, he asked for repayment of his money, but to his astonishment Colonel Wang sought to evade the claim and cheat him out of the whole, and did not scruple what means he employed in order to accomplish his end. Appellant's husband and his servant were inveigled off to an out-of-the way place, and the former killed and robbed of all he possessed. The servant, however, escaped and reported the affair to the appellant. She at once laid the case before H. E. Tseng Kwo-fan, and orders were given to have the matter investigated. But Generals Chow and Chang so manipulated matters on behalf of their protégé colonel Wang, that justice was thwarted and a verdict given that deceased had been beheaded according to military law, for colluding with others to defraud the commissariat, there being no necessity under the circumstances to await the order of General Chow or Li Hung-chang.  Complainant appealed against this decision, and then it was said that the execution had been carried out under instructions from Li Hung-chang. What a glaring contradiction! She then went to the Yamen of the Chung hsieh, to lay her case before that officer, but there she was abused and insulted by the soldiers. Eventually it was decided to petition Tseng-kwo-fan to give her 100 taels. Again and again, however, she appealed for redress, and at last was told that it being an affair which occurred beyond the border, the local official had no jurisdiction. She has therefore come to the capital.

The Imperial pleasure regarding the foregoing has already been published.

 

Oct. 15th. (3) In another memorial, the Censorate reports an appeal case, in which a Honan man complains that his nephew having been murdered, he cannot obtain proper satisfaction. The district magistrate having been bribed, merely beat and imprisoned the murderer, leaving his accomplices to go scot-free. Complainant then appealed to the prefect and criminal judge, but they only ordered the district magistrate to try the case. He then appealed to the 1ieut.-governor, who directed the prefect to hear the case ; but complainant fearing the prefect would merely order him, as he had done before, to go to the district magistrate, has come to the capital (to lay his case at the foot of the Throne.)

The Imperial pleasure regarding the foregoing cases has already been published.

 

Nov. 8th. -Ying-Yuen, commandant of the Peking Gendarmerie, reports the following case:-

Sung Ta-yao, a native of Ying Shang, Anhwei, charges Sung Ting pi with having killed his son and his nephew. In the 8th year (1858) 2nd moon, 1st day, of Hienfeng, this Sung Ting-pi, availing himself of the confusion and alarm consequent on the presence of the rebels (Taipings), collected a lot of rowdies and plundered appellant's house, and killed his son and nephew. They then set fire to his house, burning it to ashes, and with it the corpses of the persons killed. Chen Yueh-chun can witness to the accuracy of these statements. Defendant, not content with what he had done, went still further, and seized a piece of complainant's land. These doings having been brought to the notice of the district magistrate, one of defendant's relations was thrown into prison, but while the rebels were attacking the city, the defendant and his party attacked the prison and released his friend. Complainant then appealed to the prefect who ordered the magistrate to apprehend defendant. An intrigue was then set on foot to wheedle complainant into making an agreement with his enemy, the terms of which were, that he should receive the value of his house, if he withdrew the charge of murder. He then appealed to the Lieut.-Governor, who directed the prefect to investigate the case, but defendant by means of bribes, got the prefect hoodwinked, and having secured bail was released. Up to the present time complainant has failed to obtain a re-hearing of the case, and thus driven to desperation, has come to the capital for redress.

The Imperial pleasure regarding the foregoing has already appeared.

 

Nov. 13th.-The 1ieut.-governor of Chekiang reports the execution of a man for poisoning his mother. This unnatural son was named Wang Yew-chih, and lived at Yuhang in the Hangchow prefecture. The case has been heard before the criminal judge and the memorialist, and the following facts elicited. It appears that a neighbour called Ni Chin-yun having lost a piece of calico, suspected the deceased woman, Wang Yew-chih's mother, of having stolen it, and went to her house to ask about it. She felt so deeply mortified and enraged at the imputation thus cast on her character, that she resolved to be avenged on her neighbour; she would take a dose of opium and go and die at his door. She communicated her intention to her son, who approved of her idea, and procured her 150 cash worth of opium from a stall in the streets, vendor unknown. Having taken this dose, she went to her accuser's house and continued raving at him for having charge her with theft, until the poison had so far operated as to deprive her of the power of speech. As soon as the fact of her having poisoned herself was discovered, every effort was made to save her, but without success. The son was seen purchasing the opium by one Ni Ah-pao, and has confessed his guilt. Now, although the idea of poisoning herself in order to be avenged on her adversary, originated with the woman herself, yet the son is clearly guilty of having aided and abetted, and of having purchased the opium for her, the case therefore comes under the statute, which provides that a child wilfully causing a mother's death, shall be hacked to pieces. The crime having been committed within 300 miles of the provincial capital, the memorialist, in virtue of the powers conferred upon him, ordered the immediate execution of the above sentence; the criminal's head being placed in chains as a public warning. His wife not having been at home when the suicide occurred, is acquitted of blame. The person whose unfounded suspicions caused the woman to commit suicide, has been sentenced, in accordance with the statute, to receive 600 blows with the heavy bamboo, and be banished to a short distance for three years.

The Board of Punishments is ordered to report.

 

Nov. 25th. (3) The Censorate lays the following appeal case before the Throne:-

Asmall shopkeeper belonging to Kwangshan in Honan, complains that his wife and two children have been murdered, and that he can obtain no redress. Having occasion to go from home for a few days during the 10th moon of last year, he found when he returned, that his wife and two daughters had been murdered and his house burned down. An attempt was made to get him to believe that the house having accidentally caught fire, his family had been burned to death; but discrediting this story, he had an official inquest on the bodies, and it was found that deceased had died from wounds inflicted by a knife. The knife too was subsequently produced and the perpetrator of this three-fold murder discovered; but although complainant has appealed to the district magistrate, prefect and 1ieut.-governor, the murderer has never been apprehended. He has bribed the yamen underlings.

The Imperial pleasure regarding the foregoing has already appeared. [An edict was issued Nov. 16th, ordering the 1ieut.-governor to investigate the case, make an award, and report to the Throne.]

 

Nov. 29th.-Chang Shoo-sheng has received intelligence from Leaou Shih-wei of Che-chow in Hae-chow, that in the 5th moon of the 11th year of the present reign, the 9th day, information was received by him from a country gentleman, named Chang Sew-e, to the effect that the widow Chang Yang-sze, on the 5th day of the 6th moon, went out towards a lake to hoe melons, leaving her daughter at home to cook the rice. A grand nephew of the widow's, named Chang Ta-keaou, entered the house stealthily during her absence, assaulted the daughter, and on her resistance, struck her on the left temple with an iron hook, wounding her very severely ; after which he made his escape. The girl was so much injured that she died on the evening of the 6th. When the truth of the report was established, Leaou Shih-wei himself carefully carried on the further investigation of the matter and also employed persons to look into the affair. A warrant has been issued for the immediate apprehension of the culprit. It appears on enquiry that the murdered girl was fifteen years of age; and that without any participation in crime on her part, she was assaulted and killed by Chang Ta-keaou. Since she, being poor in circumstances and weak in body, suddenly met with this violence, and without committing any wrong herself, was undeservedly killed, her conduct is worthy of all praise; and, in order, according to custom, to make her worth known abroad for imitation by others, as it ought to be, permission is prayed to confer upon her a mark of distinction by erecting an arch to her memory. As the villain Chang Ta-keaou has not yet been arrested, the petition for the erection of the mark of distinction to be conferred upon the deceased, in order to appease her soul, should first be offered, and the matter thus made public for an example to others.

 According to the urgent petitions of the Commissioner of Justice, Ying Paou-she and the Pan-tai of Heang-nan and Ningpo, Mei Ke-tsaou, it is desired that the Emperor would graciously grant their prayer, and issue orders to the Board of Rites to command that the mark of distinction be conferred upon the girl Chang ; that on the one hand, the Board of Rites and of Punishments may be directed to examine into the matter, and on the other, Chang Ta-keaou be arrested and punished. In conjunction with the Governor-General of the Siang Kiang and the Literary President of Kiang-soo, the petition has been forwarded to the Emperor praying for the imperial consent.

The petition has been entrusted to the Special Council for presentation.

 

Dec. 8th. - I Ying Yuen the President of General Inspectors and member of the Imperial Household, with others, kneeling, petition the Emperor, desiring to obtain his Majesty's instructions concerning a matter which has been reported to us.

A Hoo-pih man has given information at our office, against certain Magistrates whom he charges with inflicting undeserved punishment and false imprisonment. We have ourselves publicly investigated the matter. According to the evidence, a man from the district of Chung-tseang in the province of Hoo-pih, named Yung-foo, and aged 66 years, opened a druggist's shop in Kwae-hwo-poo. On the evening of the 21st day of the 9th month, in the 9th year of the present reign, three travellers stopped at a neighbouring rice shop kept by a woman named Jin-lew. During the evening, one of these travellers killed the other two, and then absconded. The witness's son Kow Hing-chung, hearing the cries of the two travellers who were attacked; went to the rescue, and saw a man come out of the back door of the rice shop and run away. He then went into the shop to make enquiry, and then with Jin-lew's grandson Jiu Tsoo-Hand, in company with three others named Kin Tae-gan, Le Ching-heang and Yang Hung-e, pursued after the murderer, but could not overtake him. In the mean time Jin-lew had given information at the Ya-men, and the district magistrate proceeded to investigate the affair. As the culprit was not forthcoming, the magistrate, who is named Lew, arrested Jin-lew and beat her in order to force her to give some information, He further ordered the persons who pursued the murderer to appear before him, and tortured witness's son and Jin Tsoo-hang into the confession that they had each murdered one of the travellers. The bodies of the murdered men were then thrown into the Lew-hae-pang pond.

Certain runners from the magistrate's office then went out into the country, secretly killed a man named Foo-leang against whom they had a grudge, and then extorted from one Lew more than 500 strings of cash by threatening to charge him with the murder. When Lew paid this sum they released him, and gave out that the man whom they themselves had killed, was the murderer of the two travellers. Luckily, the relatives of the two murdered travellers, having discovered the deed, proceeded to give information before the district magistrate of Ho-nan, named Yee, to the effect that the two men were murdered by their companion Hae Tseih Mo-tsze[1], and that the latter had been arrested. The relatives then proceeded to the office of the magistrate of Chung-tseang in order to lodge information there; where, upon that magistrate, Lew, as he had already given judgment in the case, seized the two relatives Chang and Too, imprisoned them, and also caused Hae Tseih Mo-tsze to be arrested, and imprisoned in his Yamen. He then bribed his Police runners and absconded.

The witness' younger brother Kow Yung-tsing then went and laid the matter before the Tao-tae of Seang-yang, and prayed him to call the attention of the Chefoo of the Province to it, in order that it might be properly investigated. The district magistrate Lew, in the meantime, besought the Commissioner of Justice, whose relative he is, to protect him; and to intercede for him with the officer appointed try the case; also, to issue an edict to the effect that if the witness should take his case to Peking, he should be punished, as the entire matter had been already referred to the proper Board and arranged. In the 4th month of the present year the district magistrate Yeti, liberated Hae Tseih Mo-tsze and examined him without torture. He kept Hae in confinement for four days, and then sent him back to the Magistrate Lew's prison. Witness' son, with Jin Tsoo-hang, frequently and earnestly implored that they might be confronted with Hae Tseih Mo-tsze, but all to no purpose. Thus both these district Magistrates are implicated in the charge of false accusation.

The case is a deep and intricate one. Having no other resource, the witness came to Peking to lay the matter before us, and his statements perfectly coincide with his written evidence. We have examined into these statements and find them to be strictly correct. The case ought to be immediately looked into, and the dignity of the law upheld.

The original evidence in this case has been transcribed and submitted to the Emperor for further instructions. According to the witness' evidence he has applied twice at the several offices of the Chefoo, the Taou-tae, and the Criminal Judge; but no attention whatever has been paid to his request that the parties should be brought together and examined face to face.

The Emperor has ordered the petition to be placed on record.

 

Dec. 9th. - I Ying-Yuen, your Majesty's slave, with others, beg to lay the following information before the throne, waiting for your Majesty's instructions.

A man named Hoo Tso-peaou from the district of Yung-ming in the province of Honan, has lodged information at our office of the murder of his father Hoo-seih-kin by one Chin-sin-chang and others, and we have given instructions to the proper official to investigate the matter thoroughly.  According to the evidence, the plaintiff Hoo Tso-peaou is 36 years of age, and resides in the village of Hoo-yuen in the district of Yung-ming, in the province of Honan. He gains his livelihood by cultivating land. In the 2nd month of the 10th year of the present reign, his father was engaged in carrying burdens on his shoulder for hire, having the sum of fifteen dollars about his person. When he came, on one of his errands, to a place called Fung-hwang-sye, he was suddenly attacked by Chin Sin-chang and several others who, rushing out of a cave in the Cha shoo mountain, robbed him of his money and clothes, and finally murdered him. The witness then laid information before the Magistrate of the district, in order that so grave a crime might be duly investigated. He also laid his case before the yaou-tae and the Che-chow. The elders of their family, in the village where the robbers resided, named Chin Gan-see and Chin Yuen-suy, discovered on the premises of Chin Sin-chang a garment having marks of blood upon it, which they took, along with the culprits, before the Che-chow, who referred the case to the district magistrate in order that the matter might be enquired into. Chin Sin-chang confessed the crime; stated that his associates were Chin Tsze-se, Chin Kae-heh, and Chin Shun-chung; and without the slightest attempt at concealment described the whole affair. The district magistrate, however, being a person of undecided character, took the advice of one of his subordinates named Fan-shing, and released the elders Chin Gan-sze and Chin Yuen-suy, instead of subjecting them to a strict examination. He merely detained the prisoner Chin Sin-chang in custody. The witness next proceeded to the office of the Chefoo of his native district and lodged his complaint there He was told, in answer to his petition, that the district magistrate was summoned to appear before the Che-chow. Hearing, however, that the subordinates of the Che-chow had apprehended another of the murderers, named Chin Tsze-se, but being bribed by Chin Yuen-yew, had again set him at liberty; the witness immediately proceeded to lodge information at the offices of the Taoutae and the Criminal Judge, and in reply he received an assurance that the Chefoo should strictly examine the district magistrate, and arrange the matter properly. As the case, nevertheless, still remained unsettled, the plaintiff came up to Peking and lodged his complaint at our office.

We have carefully examined the evidence in the case, and finding that the statements of the plaintiff are in perfect accordance with it, we lay the matter before your Majesty for further instructions.

The Emperor replies that the case is recorded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1873

Feb. 7th.  Ying-Yuen petitions the Emperor for his decision with regard to a man who killed his cousin with a spear, in a quarrel which arose about the building of an embankment to divert a water-course from a field. -  Also, with regard to the case of a person who killed the younger brother of a literary student.  The murderer quarrelled with the deceased in consequence of the latter refusing to allow a stream of water to be diverted from his own land to that of the former.

 

Feb. 9th.  (3) I, Ying-Yuen, your slave, respectfully pray your Majesty's decision with regard to the following case.

   It appears on evidence that Chang Ke-seen, the father of a person residing at Tse-tung-heen, in the province of Shantung, named Chang Tsang-yee, was beaten to death by Le Chung-tsze and a band of ruffians armed with bludgeons.  When this case was first brought before us, your Majesty's slave and others gave orders to an official to examine minutely into the matter. According to the evidence, Chang Tsang-yee is a native of the district of Tse-tung-heen in Tse-nan-foo in the province of Shantung; is 26 years of age; and lives at Yay-kea-chwang in the aforesaid district, gaining his livelihood by agriculture.  His sister-in-law Le-she being on improperly familiar terms with a sharper named Kih Show-le, and this coming to the knowledge of his father Chang Ke-seen, the sister-in-law absconded from her family and hid herself.  After this occurrence the plaintiff went to Tsow-ping-heen to buy garlic, never giving a thought as to any injury likely to happen to his father, or as to his body lying lifeless on the land belonging to Chang Shing-tze, and being buried by Yang Yung-keen; all of which happened during his absence.  When he ascertained these facts on his return, the plaintiff laid complaint before the Che-heen, praying the Magistrate to exhume the body and to hold an inquest upon it in order to discover the facts of the case.  He also prayed that the witnesses Wang Kung-chuen and others might be summoned into court and examined.  During the course of the inquest Le-she confessed, in her evidence, that her brother Le Chung-tsze and others banded together and murdered the deceased.  After the inquest, however, Kih Show-le bribed the police who, like ants, devour people's substance, and set Le-she at liberty.  The plaintiff then went and laid his case before the Che-foo, who wrote to the Che-heen to the effect that he should pursue after and arrest Le-shee and Yang Yung-keen.  The rest of the banditti were concealed by a violent country gentleman named Le Luh-keih, belonging to the clan of Le-she.  Le le-tsze and Kih Show-le both absconded.  The latter, however, remaining at large, and the plaintiff in consequence becoming anxious about the mater, he forwarded a statement of his case to Peking.

   Having examined the evidence of this Chang Tsang-yee against Le Chung-tsze and others, respecting the murder of his father, I give full credence to it, and consider it my duty to prosecute and punish the criminals, as a warning to doltish bandits, and to assert the value of human life.  I have carefully transcribed the original evidence in this case, and now respectfully present it, waiting for your Majesty's instructions.  A respectful petition.

(4) Another petition has been presented to the throne by the same official, in reference to the case of a Shantung man whose grandson was killed in a quarrel which arose between him and a dealer in grain, with regard to the price of some provisions purchased.

 

Mar. 7th.   I, Shaou Hang-yu the Deputy Governor of Shen-se, kneel and petition with regard to instituting an enquiry into the murder of three members of one family, and brining the guilty to justice.

   I find that Ho Wan-chang an inhabitant of Kea-chow, for some reason or other killed Lew Wei-she and her two sons.  The Chechow of the district has ascertained the facts and written to me on the subject, and I myself have had the criminal brought before me for examination.  Ho Wan-chang, it appears, is a native of Kea-chow and a fellow townsman of Lew Tang-jin, the husband of the murdered woman, and no enmity has hitherto existed between the murdered woman's husband and himself.  In the 8th month of the 6th year of the present reign, Lew Tang-jin borrowed a Tow of rice from Ho Wan-chang, promised to return it soon.  After a while Lew Tang-join was carried off by the rebels, and Ho Wan-chang on several occasions asked the woman Lew Wei-she to pay him back the rice; but all to no purpose.  After this, Lew Wei-she wishing to go away on a visit to her parents, gave a box containing her head ornaments to Ho Wan-chang's mother to keep for her until her return home.  Ho Wan-chang hearing of this, and knowing that Lew Wei-she was a woman of violent disposition, advised his mother to return the box at once.  His mother Ho Mo-she then asked Lew Wei-she to come over to her house to receive back the box, and to see that the lock was untouched.  Lew Wei-she having taken away the box, afterwards accused Ho Wan-chang of having taken some of her head ornaments out of it, and she made frequent disturbances about the affair, the neighbours always advising her, and endeavouring to put an end to the quarrel.  On the 23rd day of the 7th month of the 7th year of the present reign, Ho Wan-chang again went to Lew Wei-she and asked her to return the borrowed rice, but she abused him and seizing him by his queue, gave him a beating.  Upon this Ho Wan-chang seized a large knife which was lying near the door, and wounded Lew Wei-she with it, in the neck; upon which she fell down and rolled about on the ground, still abusing him, and declaring that she would never cease to carry on the quarrel with him.  Ho Wan-chang upon this conceived an instantaneous hatred against her, and again attacking her with the knife, cut her throat.  At this time her eldest son Lew Ying-tseen seized hold of Ho Wan-chang's clothes and began to call out for help; whereupon Ho Wan-chang not being able to free himself immediately used the knife, and wounding Lew Yang-tseen in the neck flung him off upon the ground.  The second son Lew Keaou-tse was sitting upon the stove-bed crying, and Ho Wan-chang again using the knife struck him with it and killed him.

   The prisoner being brought before the provincial judge, and repeatedly examined as to his crimes, did not at all deny any of the above facts.  Now, I find that according to law, whoever kills three guiltless persons in the same family shall be put to death by cutting into pieces; all his property shall be handed over to the relatives of the murdered persons; and his wife and family shall be banished to the distance of 2,000 le.  Now, this Ho Wan-chang has killed three unfortunate members of one family, which is a most wicked crime, and he ought therefore to suffer the punishment ordered by the law; and It having judged him for his offence, now pray for a warrant for his execution, and that your Majesty will command the Criminal Judge, and the Major-General of Foo-yuen's troops, to have the Criminal bound, and led to the market place, and there put to death by cutting into pieces.  The prisoner, I find on enquiry is poor, and does not possess any property whatever; so that the portion of the aforesaid law which relates to property, need not be taken into consideration.  His wife was not an accomplice in his crime, so that it may perhaps be sufficient punishment to banish her to a shorter distance that that commanded by the law.

His Majesty grants the petition.

 

Mar. 26th.  Lew Ting-sze appeals to the Censor Ying-yuen against a certain Che-heen who imprisoned the father of the plaintiff upon a false accusation.  The father died during his imprisonment, and the body was found lying stripped, with the leg broken.

 

Apr. 20th.  Ying-Yuen a Member of the Imperial Household, and President of the Board of Censors, presents a petition in reference to the following case.  In the eighth month of the pasty year, Wang-keun, the brother of Wang-tseuen, a native of Peking, bought four oxen, one of which dying suddenly, he gave away the carcase in presents.  A wicked inhabitant of the same village, named Lew-shwang, because he did not receive a present of a portion of the ox, placed himself at the head of a band of ruffians, and going to the house of Wang-keun shot him down, while the rest of the gang, who were armed with swords, fell upon him, and battering in his skull and face, killed him.  The petitioner begs the Emperor to issue orders that the matter be investigated.  His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.

 

May 1st.  Ying-Yuen, President of the Board of Censors, and Member of the Imperial Household, petitions with regard to the following case.  Lew Yin-lin with his brother-in-law, Le Teen-king, opened a shop in their native village to gain a livelihood.  On the night of the 29th day of the 9th month of the 10th year of the present reign, a band of thieves broke open the door of the house, frightened the inmates by firing off matchlocks, and carried away 120 Taels in silver, together with more than 30 receipt tickets.  Teen-king's mother coming out to prevent the thieves from stealing the property, they murdered her, and carried off the booty.  The robbers afterwards bribed the prefect, and escaped punishment.  The petitioner prays that the prefect may be punished, and the thieves arrested and brought to trial.

His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.

 

May 7th. Ying-Yuen presents a petition from a Military graduate of the district of We, in the province of Shan-tung, regarding the murder of his nephew.  The victim was enticed by a shopkeeper to spend the night in his house, on the 23rd of the 8th month of the past year; and on that night the murder was committed, and the body was laid at the door of as third person, who immediately informed the Che-heen.  That Magistrate examined the wounds on the body, and arrested the murderer who, however, escaped punishment by bribery.  The Criminal judge was then appealed to, but that official referred the case back to the District Magistrate.  The petitioner prays the Emperor to issue orders that the case be properly tried.

His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.

 

May 22nd. Ying-Yuen petitions with regard to an appeal case.  A dispute arose between two persons, with regard to a piece of land to which both laid claim; and one of them, with an accomplice, set upon the other and killed him.  The wife of the murdered man gave information of the murder at the Che-heen's office; but the murderer bribed the brother of the murdered man to go to the Che-heen and make a statement to the effect that there was no necessity whatever to inquire further into the matter.  The father of the plaintiff in the case informed the wife of the deceased what had taken place, so that enmity arose between him (the father) and the brother of the deceased; whereupon this brother, meeting him on the bank of an adjoining river, demanded money from him as a pretext, and when refused, killed him and threw the body into the river.  The plaintiff went to seek for his father's body but could not find it; so the grandfather of the plaintiff went to lodge information at the magistrate's office; the police runners, however, put him in prison, on pretence that the District Magistrate had ordered them to do so.  The plaintiff therefore, being in great distress about the affair, has laid his complaint before the Prefect and the Criminal Judge, both of whom referred him back to the District Magistrate.  This case is now referred to His Majesty, who replies that the petition is recorded.

May 22nd. Ying-Yuen petitions the Emperor with regard to information which he has received from a native of the district of Nuy-hwang, in the province of Honan.  The informant states that two of his relatives, in consequence of their poverty, stole some fuel from a neighbour to cook their food.  The theft coming to the ears of the neighbour, the latter had them both arrested, together with another brother who took no part whatever in the theft.  The three prisoners were taken before the District Magistrate, and having been beaten were set at liberty.  The brother who was wrongfully accused, harbouring revenge in his heart, declared that he would kill the neighbour who had brought the false accusation against him.  The threat coming to the ears of the neighbour, he hired an assassin to kill the guiltless brother, and instructed him to bring back with him some proof that the deed had been accomplished.  The assassin subsequently cut off the man's left ear, and taking it to the neighbour as proof that his adversary was killed, received the promised reward.  The neighbour, however, afterwards discovered that his adversary was not killed, but merely had his ear cut off; so he led his son and others, armed with swords, to the house of the latter and, binding him, led him away by force and bribed the police runners to put him into prison.  He then consulted with them to kill the prisoner, and the Magistrate being deceived with a false report of the prisoner's illness, the latter was murdered by some means or other, and the body was concealed.  The petitioner prays the Emperor to issue instructions in this case.

His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.

 

May 26th.  The Censor Ying-Yuen petitions with regard to three relatives who were murdered by two persons who laid claim to a well, which has been in the possession of the family of the deceased persons from time immemorial.  As this case has not been properly tried by either the District Magistrate, the Taoutai, or the Criminal Judge, each of whom were applied to by the relatives of the murdered persons, the petitioner prays the Emperor to issue orders that the case be properly investigated.

His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.

 

May 30th.  Woo-tang presents a supplemental petition in reference to Captain Yang Poo-tsing, stationed at the town of Sung-pwan, and who, when formerly Commander of the Cantonment at Mow-chow (in Szechuan,) killed one of the people and falsely asserted that the murder was committed by some soldiers.  It was proved however on the trial that no soldiers were present when the man was killed.  The soldiers themselves denied the charge, and insisted that Yang Poo-tsing himself was the criminal.  The later, when interrogated, refused to confess; and the petition therefore prays the Emperor that he may be degraded and tried for the offence by the Criminal Judge.

His Majesty grants the petition.

 

Jun. 2nd.  Ying-Yuen petitions.  The plaintiff Wan She-mei has a nephew who has hitherto lived apart from him.  This nephew seized the opportunity of an insurrection, during the reign of the Emperor Heen-fung, to plunder people; and the plaintiff's father having given information to the prefect, feelings of hatred arose between the two.  The nephew therefore attacked the plaintiff, and wounding him in both feet, seized and carried off some of his property.  The plaintiff then got out of the way, and went to some other place to live, being afraid of his nephew.  In the fourth month of the ninth year of the present reign, the plaintiff returned, and his nephew, leading on some scores of villains, attacked his house and carried off clothes and other property.  He then seized the daughter of a widowed relative of the plaintiff, with the intention of selling her.  The plaintiff's mother attempted to rescue the girl, and was beaten so severely by the ruffians that she committed suicide.  All this coming to the ears of the prefect, that official sent persons to arrest the nephew, who, however, escaped by hiding himself in the neighbouring district, and bribing the police runners there.  He afterwards came back and burnt down the house of the plaintiff, having first plundered it.  The Criminal Judge, when informed, referred the case back to the Prefect.  The petitioner prays the Emperor to issue orders for the proper investigation of the matter.

His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.

(2) The same official petitions with regard to the following case.  An inhabitant of the district of Ling-shwuy in the province of Sze-chuen, opened a salt-shop; but, because he sold the salt at too high a price, the people of the district informed against him.  The District Magistrate therefore consulted with the son of the person who lodged his complaint at his Yamun, which led the salt dealer to suppose that the son was the leader of the party who were opposed to him.  Thus enmity arose, and the salt dealer persuaded the police runner to seize the son and starve him in prison.  The dealer, after this, bribed the officer appointed to try him, and offered 30 Taels as compensation to the father for the murder of his son.  The father refusing this sum was beaten by the officiating judge, and hence the present appeal.

 

Jun. 14th. (2) Ying-Yuen a President of the Board of Censors, petitions in reference to Wang Chaou-tung, a native of the District of Gan-hwuy.  This plaintiff states that his father is in trade, and when lately on his way home, was robbed by sharpers of 73 dollars and more than 2,000 cash.  They then murdered him by cutting off his hands and feet.  These villains were arrested, and the Che-heen investigated the matter, but they escaped by bribery.  The other officials applied to refused to try the case, and referred it back to the Che-heen.

(3) The same official petitions in reference to the following case.  Wang Yung-fung, a native of Chang-ping-chow, in Shunt'een-foo, gives information that Yaou Sze-fan wanted to seize upon some land belonging to the plaintiff, and his mother being anxious about the matter went to Yaou Sze-fang's house to entreat him to desist from his purpose, whereupon the latter poisoned her, and escaped justice by bribery.  The plaintiff then brought his complaint before the petitioner, and the prefect of Shun-t'een was ordered to try the case.  This latter official referred it to the office of the Northern Division of the Capital, but the son of the official at that office being a friend of the police runner who received the bribe to favour the culprit's escape, justice was again defeated.  Hence the plaintiff again refers his case to the petitioner, who prays the Emperor to issue orders that it be properly investigated.

His Majesty replies that the case is recorded.

 

Jun. 15th. Ying paou-she petitions in reference to the following case.  According to the evidence of Chin Che-fan, he is 31 years of age, and lives to the west of the village of T'een-thow, gaining his livelihood by agriculture.  On the night of the 25th of the 11th month of the 9th year of the present reign, a band of robbers came to his house and commenced beating at the door, which no one ventured to open.  The robbers then set fire to it, and four female members of his family were burnt to death, and his uncle was much injured.  All the money and property together with the animals in the house were completely destroyed by the fire.  The Che-heen held inquest on the bodies, and then gave orders for their burial.  He also ordered the soldiers stationed in the neighbourhood to go in pursuit of the ruffians.  The latter eventually escaped by bribery, and the petitioner prays the Emperor to issue orders for the thorough investigation of the affair.

His Majesty replies that the case is recorded.

(2)  The same official petitions.  The plaintiff in the present case is the widow of Shen Tsing-gan, an inhabitant of Chang-Khew District in Tse-nan-foo, in the province of Shan-tung; she is 56 years of age.  Her husband's younger brother, named Shen Ming, was, from his infancy, given to her husband's third uncle as an adopted son.  In the 8th month of the 9th year of the present reign, Shen Ming, laying a plan to thieve, in combination with his cousin, poisoned the widow's own son, who was only 6 years of age.  He further bribed several companions, and assembling them together carried off all the widow's rice, clothes, and other property.  He also carried away her sheep and seized upon her land.  The Che-heen ordered the culprit to restore everything which he had taken away; Shen Ming, however, not only disobeyed this order, but even sold the widow herself to a man who lived at a distant place.  She subsequently made her escape, and came to Peking in search of justice.

 

Jun 19th. (2) Ying-Yuen reports the following appeal case.  Yang kea-sze, the plaintiff, is 32 years of age, and is a native of Show-chow in Gan-hwuy.  His brother Yang Kea-t'een opened an eating house to gain a livelihood.  At Hing-lung-tseih there lived a sharper named Tseang Lan-lung alias Tseang Tsae-ching, who frequently took his meals at the shop on credit.  On the 14th day of the first month of last year, a disturbance arose on account of his being asked to discharge his account; and the sharper, collecting together more than a hundred ruffians armed with swords, spears, and matchlocks, these swarmed like bees around the door of the shop.  Yang kea-t'een came out to discuss principles of propriety with them, and received wounds in ten different places, which caused his death.  One of the neighbours coming up to exhort the combatants, was shot in the throat and killed.  The culprits ultimately escaped justice by bribery, and the plaintiff, in despair, refers his case to Peking.

His Majesty replies that the case is recorded.

 

Jul. 15th.  (1) The Censor Ying-Yuan (of Imperial blood) and others report a case of appeal.  A man named Keng Kuan-chung has come in person from Suchow in An-hwei, having been unable to gain redress at his native place, or at Nanking from the Governor-General.  The petitioner Keng states that his father, in May of the present year, seeing a drove of pigs, which were being driven along the road, trampling down his field of wheat, remonstrated with the pigdrovers and in return got stabbed to death.  The case was at once reported to the Authorities.  Then the pigs furnished the clue to the murderers, thirty of them turning into their accustomed pig-enclosure, whose keeper recognized them and told their owners' names.  It was then found out that the murderers had hid for the night at the house of a man named Ts'ao, outside the East gate.  20 pigs were found there with the same brand as the former 30.  On Ts'ao being brought into Court, he, a disgraced Ti-pai, and a disbanded soldier, combined to bribe the captain of the city police, Wan Wei-chang; and the story then told was that these pigs were caught ravaging the fields by Wang's police, who gave them to Ts'ao to take care of.  A discrepancy of three days in the dates they gave, destroyed their tale however.  The petitioner got the Viceroy at Nanking to direct the Futai to investigate the matter personally.  Wang on another charge had meantime been deprived of his office.  Yet he, by the help of a degraded literate, prevailed on the City Magistrate to reinstate him, and got Ts'ao out of jail by similar means.  These two then entered an action for false accusation against the petitioner, an accumulation of troubles which proved too much for him and induced him to come to Peking for redress.

Rescript: Note is taken of the case.

(2) The Censor Ying-Yuen and others report an appeal case.  A woman named Ch'en (nee Yu) states that 3 years ago her son had a slight dispute at a wine-shop with the shop-keeper Wang on account of his selling short measure.  Wang with his friends set on him bound him, and took him to the Magistrate on a charge of theft.  The Magistrate dismissed the case on learning the truth.  Wang next suborned some friends and bound her son and took him to a neighbouring Magistrate on another charge of theft;- this accusation also fell through.  Wang, however, bribed the constable Ts'ai to keep young Ch'en still in prison, and with another Yamen underling forced the mother to pay about $20 for her son's release, besides a present to Wang to soothe his injured feelings.  Next day she was told that her son had died in a shop, and indeed the body was brought to her in a coffin.  In her attempts to get justice at the Magistracy she was frustrated by the constable Ts'ai; at Peking, whither she then went, she was recommended to withdraw the charge.  Her husband is deranged in mind, so in bitter grief at the loss of her son she is obliged to appeal in person.

Rescript: Noted.

 

Jul. 23rd.  (2) The Censorate reports another appeal case.  Chiang and others from Yung-ming Hsien in Hunan, on the borders of Canton Province, possessed a thousand and more mow of land.  A hereditary feud with the Chu family existed with reference to a disputed hill.  In 1870 Chiang's crops were wasted by Chu's cattle.  Complaint being made to the Hsien, the Chus became exasperated and attacked the Chiangs, killing three men.  The Chus tried ineffectually to hide away the corpses, and afterwards, when this was reported to the authorities, ravaged the whole property,---money, beasts, implements, grain,---and grubbed up the tea-plants.  On appeal to the Provincial Judge, the Hsien was made to take some steps, but he only arrested some minor offenders, and when this was exposed, he gave the complainants several hundred blows, forcing them at the same time to enter a "nolle prosequi,"---and released all the Chus.

Rescript: Recorded.

 

Aug. 3rd.  Ying-Yuan, a Chief Censor, records an appeal case.  Chen-tu, of Shouchow in An-hwei, states that others of the same family name banded together to commit robbery with violence on his father.  The culprit was caught, and an attempt to bail him out frustrated.  The others then made a combined attack with lethal weapons on the complainant's village, but the assailants by the help of the neighbours were beaten off, leaving one dead.  This further enraged the ruffians, and they returned to the attack with more than a hundred armed followers and slew the narrator's brother, sister-in-law and two sisters and father, the latter deliberately when he was lying wounded.  No justice could be had from the Prefect as his underlings were bribed, and the orders of the High Authorities failed to bring about a hearing.  The case has been pending for several years.  The murderers, encouraged by impunity, are threatening to put the appellant out of the way, and he in self-defence comes to Peking. 

Rescript: recorded.

 

Aug. 5th.  From the same. [Ting Pao-Chen] (An enclosure.)  Reports the death by suicide, while under arrest awaiting trial, of one Yang Yu-ch'uan.  He was the defendant in a suit for recovery of purchase money, which suit was complicated by the corrupt action of a petty official Hsu Wen-hsun.  The custodian of Yang has evaded arrest by flight, but is being searched for.  Meanwhile Hsu and the other parties and witnesses are being forwarded to the Provincial Capital.  It is prayed that Hsu may be degraded from office for his better examination (scil: torture). 

Rescript: Let Hsu be degraded and severely examined.  Let the Board take note.

 

Aug. 8th.  Ying-Yuen and his colleagues of the Censorate, report an appeal case from I-ning-show in Kiangsi (near the borders of Hupeh and Hunan).  It is the result of an eight years long feud between villages of families named Chang (the present appellants) Tsao, Liu, Han, &c., for the right to cut forest timber on a certain hill.  Murder, arson, and ravages by disbanded braves are incidents in the case.  The hill was decided to belong to the Changs by a special deputy from the High Provincial authorities, but the local authorities have been bribed to ignore the decision.  The appeal is supported by original documents.

Rescript: Recorded.

Aug. 15th.  Edict (1) Ming-an Lieutenant-Governor of Sheng-king, has memorialized for a high official to be appointed to hear a case involving capital punishment, between a widow Liu (nee Li) and a dismissed official.  Widow Liu accused the official Ch'i-shan (a Manchu military officer) of having caused her husband's death by unnecessary restraint.  When Ming-an had nominated a judge to hear the case, Ch'i-shan remonstrated against the officer named, as likely to be partial.  Tu Hsing-ah, Military-Governor of Shen-king then deputed a judge, and when the widow heard who he was, she denounced him too as prejudiced.  We therefore direct Kuang-hsiao to proceed there post-haste, hear and determine the case on its merits and report to us.  Let Kuang-hsiao's personal staff accompany him.

 

Aug. 23rd.  Memorial (3).  The Censorate reports an appeal case from Honan.  The origin of the dispute arose from a contested title to valuable mining property, the appellants showing good deeds from Kienlung's reign, while the other side fabricated documents purporting to be of date under Yung-lo and other Emperors of the Ming dynasty.  The latter were exposed and condemned, but by bribery managed to get out of prison and in revenge collected a rabble who destroyed 2,000 trees on the property, and also killed a nephew of the complainants; and they have evaded punishment for these acts hitherto for the last four years,---also by means of bribery.

Rescript: Recorded.

Memorial (4).  From the same.  Another appeal case.  The father of the complainant incurred the wrath of some underlings in the Yamen of the Magistrate at Chieh-shih, because he had denounced them for forging and using for corrupt purposes an official seal.  Friends of the latter by name Hsiang and Huang then dressed up in officer's uniform, and collected some hundreds of followers, whom they furnished with red turbans, swords, spears and some light cannon, and sacked and ruined the homestead of the complainants, destroying everything in the place, and killing father, cousin, and uncle.  Four years have since elapsed in fruitless efforts to obtain justice, as neither the Magistrate nor Prefect will attend to the orders of the Governor or Judge of the province.

Rescript: Recorded.

 

Sep. 3rd.  (2) Memorial from the Censorate.  In 1862 at Mu-yang in the north of Kiang-su, a man named Pao Ta-an led a band of mounted robbers against the appellant Wang's hamlet, killing five relatives.  Ta-an though clearly indicated as the chief culprit by many witnesses, has managed to evade justice by bribing the magistrate and all his subordinates.  He has thus succeeded in shifting the accusation of being the principal, upon three men who are his slaves.  Appeals to the Governor and Viceroy have simply met with a reference back to the local authorities.  The Censorate draws particular notice to the fact that this case was three times entered in the District Court, and also once each in the Governor's and Viceroy's Yamens, without obtaining personal attention.

Rescript: Recorded.

 

Sep. 7th.  Edict.  A disturbance (with stabbing) took place on the 4th inst. by Lien-his, a Mongol of the Bordered-white Banner, in revenge for his brother's death.  That brother had been driven to suicide by the insulting reproaches of a creditor.  Instead of taking the case before the proper courts, Lien-his brought a rabble into the Forbidden City.  He is handed to the Board of Punishments, and his following must be arrested and brought up for examination.  The officers on duty as guard at the gates during the time, and all others who might have prevented the unseemliness, are to be punished.

 

Sep. 8th.  (6)  An appeal case from the Censorate.  P'au Wen-ts'ai, from Lu shih Hsien in Honan, states that his maternal brother was inveigled by some men of a guild to a gambling bout, where he lost four hundred strings of cash.  The gamblers seized on his land and sold away his wife.  He laid a plaint before the Magistrate, but the official he deputed was bought over and the gambling was reported as not proven.  The brother continued to push his case, and when the ruffians heard of it they sent some who contrived to get him into one of their houses, and there they pounded him with stones, breaking his two thighs.  They then brought him to the Magistrate's Yamen, where they concocted a tale and bribed the underlings so that the only punishment was that they were condemned to pay medical expenses.  Death however soon followed.  The appellant was absent at the time, and on his return he was honoured with their little attentions.  He appealed to the Governor and Judge, but feeling impatient, came to Peking.

Rescript: Recorded.

(9)  From the Censorate.  An appeal case.  Han Wen-ping states that a brother of his was a petty official in the country neighbourhood of T'ang-yin Hsien in the North of Honan.  This brother exerted himself effectually in putting down a combination of some neighbours in committing depredations, and afterwards incurred the enmity of some who were implicated in that, by pressing for land tax.  They got him to one of their houses and made him drunk, and while taking him home in that state stabbed him fatally in the breast.  The chief assassin has kept at large by persistent bribery.  No redress has followed application to the High Provincial Authorities.

Rescript: Recorded.

 

Sep. 25th.  (2 and 3)  Memorials, one concerning a murder in Szechuen, ...

 

Sep. 30th.  (3) Ying Yuen and others memorialize the Emperor.  Wang Tih-sin, an inhabitant of the District of Kwei, in the Department of Tung-chang and Province of Shan-tung, has given information to the following effect.  The plaintiff's father has been killed by a man named Chow-tseih and his associates.  These latter stole some grain which the deceased had stored up, and the latter demanding it back, they set upon him and murdered him.  The plaintiff being unable to get any redress from the local authorities, has appealed to Peking, and prays the Emperor to issue orders that the case be properly investigated.

(4)  The same official presents a memorial to the following effect.  The uncle of Sun Tong-hwuy, of the District of Seun in the province of Honan, has been murdered by a person named Leang-koo.  The deceased was a cloth merchant, and was constantly from home.  His wife took advantage of his absence to lead an irregular life, and this coming to the ears of her husband, she ran away from him, and begged her brother Leang-koo to bring about a reconciliation.  The brother, in consequence, enticed the deceased to his house, where the whole family attacked and murdered him.  The plaintiff appeals to the Emperor, as he cannot get redress from the local officials.

 

Oct. 13th.  Shwuy-lin Grand Secretary at the Wan-hwa-teen Hall, and Viceroy of the Two Kang, together with Chang Chaou-tung, Deputy-Governor of Canton, petition that Chow Che-lin, District Magistrate of Lo-chang, may be deprived of his office, in consequence of his neglect to arrest a culprit who has committed several murders.  The petitioners pray that the Magistrate may be permitted to retain his post, and that a further inquiry be made into his conduct if he does not succeed in arresting the murdered during the limit of one year.

His Majesty grants the petition.

 

Oct. 21st.  Ying-Yuen a President of the Board of Censors, and member of the Imperial Household, with others kneel and petition.  According to the evidence of the widow Leang, who resides in the District of Keang-poo, in the Province of Keang-soo, her husband Leang Ta-yew was an expectant District Magistrate, with the rank of Assistant Prefect, and was decorated with a peacock's feather.  Ting Yu-how, with several accomplices, bribed the police runners in the Prefect's office, who, seizing the husband, threw him into prison, where he shortly afterwards died.  The deceased held a military appointment in the Province of Shan-tung, which he resigned in the eighth year of the present reign, in consequence of the death of one of his parents.  In the following year the District Magistrate of Keang-poo ordered him to survey that district, when he discovered two pieces of land on which no tax was paid, through the fraudulence of the owners; whereupon, Ting Yu-how and the other defaulters were seized with fear lest their lands should also be inspected.  His Majesty is prayed to issue orders that the case be investigated, and replies that the petition is recorded.

 

Nov. 11th. (2)  The case against Ch'i-shan, a Manchu military officer in Moukden, for causing the suicide of a gentleman of official status through unjustly imprisoning him, has been found proven.  Ch'i-shan is condemned to serve in a fortress on the frontier.  The other recommendations of the Court which tried the case are concurred in. [See Aug. 15th & 18th.]

(4) From Shao Heng-yu, Governor of Shense.  He recommends the de-officialization, for the purpose of a trial, of an assistant Magistrate for meddling in a case (in which life was lost, in the absence of the proper seal-holding magistrate.)  One Wang owed a debt he could not pay, swallowed a potion, and then went and created a disturbance in his creditor's house.  The creditor thinking the man was merely drunk, led him to the assistant magistrate's Yamen, to be there examined and punished; but as soon as they got inside, the poison took effect, and the man died on the spot.

The rescript grants this.

 

Nov. 13th.  (1) Edict.  Mu-t'eng-a and Fu-sheng report from Nanking that a petty officer named Shou-lu, having been obstreperous in his demands for pay, was dismissed the service and handed into the custody of To-lun, a military officer of the rank of Tso-ling.  The man was noisy in confinement, and To-lun took on himself to punish him for that, thereby causing his death.  Shou-lu's widow accuses To-lun of malice aforethought, and includes Wo-he-t'u, and others as being accessories.  This must be inquired into thoroughly.  To-lun is hereby cashiered.  Wo-he-t'u is cashiered temporarily for the purposes of a trial, and the others are dismissed the army.  Let the Viceroy, Li Tsung-hsi, depute an officer to assist in the investigation, and report to the Throne what the law requires.

 

Nov. 18th.  (3) From the same [Li Hung-chang]; asking for de-officialization of a Shou-pei (Captain) named Morh Kent'u, in charge at Huai-lai, for having instigated a soldier to maltreat a peasant in a  dispute, so cruelly as to cause severe hurts which afterwards brought about death "from their having caught cold."

The Rescript grants this.

 

Nov. 24th. (4) This and the following Gazette are taken up with a long report from a special Commissioner, who was deputed to try an officer of the name of Ch'i-shan, for causing the death of an official through unjust imprisonment.  (Vide Gazette, Aug. 18th.  The recommendations of the Memorialist were approved in Gazette of Nov. 11th.)

 

Nov. 29th.  (6) From Sao Han-yu, Governor of Shensai (an enclosure) reporting an attack by robbers on the house of a gentleman named Ma Pai-ling situated in the provincial capital, in the course of which his concubine and two children were killed.  The police first arrested Sun Tu-kwei urh who said the robbery had been planned by himself and one Pai Yen-kwei at the instigation of Ma Chang-en.  These two being also arrested, the former confessed without hesitation, but the latter refused to reveal his motives.  It seems he had held the hereditary office of P'i-t'ang in the capital, and had been degraded for his connection with the Mahammedan rebels.  His antecedents and his refusal to confess his motives lead one to fear there was more in the case than has come to light, and therefore he is sent back to the Prefect for re-examination.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments take notice.

 

Dec. 1st.  (3) An appeal from the Censorate.  The appellant, Tsao Tsung-ming, a native of Hwang-pi hsien, in Hupeh, accuses a clansman named Tsao Tsung-ko and others of a series of persecutions and extortions for which he could find no remedy, (the yamen-runners being bribed to conceal the truth,) ending in their seizing his younger brother and throwing him into prison where he died.  At the time of this last occurrence, complainant was absent on military service, but learning from his mother that there had been no inquest; that the body had been secretly buried, and that she could not get her plaint attended to at the Yamen of the district, he brought his case to the capital.

[Edict has already appeared.]

(4) Another appeal from the Censorate.  Fu-yu, a native of Chioshan hsien, in Honan, had been falsely charged by Lin-chin and others of owing them a debt, and had been beaten when he refused to pay up.  On his going to the Magistrate to complain, the opposite party by bribery and false evidence turned the tables, and he was beaten and forced to sign a bond.  They again attacked him, and carried off his wife and inflicted in her such injuries that she died, and when he again complained he was met in the same way, and imprisoned for several months.  He carried his case successively to the higher provincial authorities without success, and now brings this appeal to the capital.

[Edict has already appeared.]

(5) Another appeal from the same quarter (Honan) reveals a similar case of bribery, and wrong, arising out of an alleged loan of money and refusal to pay.  The appellant is a widow whose husband had died from the beatings he had received, and she had applied in vain to the Magistrate and Prefect.

[Edict has already appeared.]

 

Dec. 5th. (2) Memorials.  An appeal from the Censorate.  The appellant states that his brother having had a dispute with a neighbour Kwan Fu-chen, about the right to some newly formed land on the river side, the latter had set upon him with his servants, tied him up, beaten him and buried him before he was actually dead.  An inquest had been held, but Kwan Fu-chen having a relation a clerk in the Magistrate's Yamen had managed to stop further proceedings.  He had also trumped up a story about the deceased having been guilty of very unfilial conduct, and that it was at the instigation of his mother that he had beaten him.  Appellant and his mother had sought redress at the Prefect's and Treasurer's Yamen, but were only referred back to the District Magistrate, therefore he had come to the capital to complain.

[Edict has already appeared.]

(6) An appeal from the Censorate.  Appellant's nephew had married the daughter of a man named Chow Yew-tao, and some time after the marriage the lady's parents, being bribed for the purpose, got her away from her husband and gave her as a concubine to a man named Seu King-hwei.  The nephew's father Jaou Hsien-yung laid a plaint at the Magistrate's Yamen (Lung-shan-hsien in Hunan) which was not attended to, and some time after, having gone to Hou-sze-po, he was set upon by the man Seu and others and beaten to death.  Appellant (named Jaou Ko-yung) then went to complain at the Magistrate's Yamen, but could not get admittance, the door-keeper having been bribed to refuse him.  His appeal to the Prefect was answered by referring him back to the Magistrate.

Rescript has already appeared.

 

Dec. 15th. From the same, [Wu T'ang, Viceroy of Szechuen] reporting the trial, conviction and execution of an atrocious murderer named Yang Ma-tze.  The victims were three nuns of the Taoist religion, who lived together as one family in a temple outside the provincial capital, one of them being a distant relation of the murderer.  He had lived a vagabond sort of life, always asking for money from the nuns, and one evening he came asking as usual, and they refused - the two parties abusing one another freely.  He then begged hard for a lodging for the night, and they at last allowed him to sleep in the kitchen.  During the night he rose, murdered them all, and decamped with their cash, wounding a servant girl in his exit.  He was arrested, tried, and found guilty.  The law in such cases of killing a family wholesale is that the criminal himself be put to death at once, with slow torture, without waiting for Imperial decree, his goods to be divided among the relatives of the victims, and his sons or nephews banished for ever top a distance of 2,000 li.  As far as concerns himself this has been carried out, but he had no property and no relations for the latter part to take effect.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments take note.

 

Dec. 21st.  (3) Another appeal case from Honan, in which the appellant charges that one Ch'ang Sun-yu and others had by violence carried off his cousin's wife and debauched her, and that the same parties, upon a dispute about money matters, had seized his father and beaten him to death.  By bribery they had got the Magistrate's officers who held the inquest, to return a verdict of suicide by strangulation, and had by the same means managed to pervert the course of justice.  They had offered him money if he would hush the matter up.  Failing to get redress from the provincial Authorities, he had come to Peking.

Edict has already appeared (ordering an investigation.)

 

Dec. 31st.  (4) An appeal case from the Censorate.  Appellant, by name Liu Cheng-wen, a native of Pao-chih hsien in Chihli, alleges as follows:-  His father's elder brother had a concubine named Shen, who so badly treated his (petitioner's) brother's wife that she died.  The affair was smoothed over by friends of the family; Shen was turned out of doors, and the brother's child, by name Shih-erh, was handed over to his grand uncle, the elder brother above named, to be brought up.  But after some years Shen turned up again, along with her daughter and son-in-law, whose name was Wang, and had such an influence over the old man that he turned his lawful wife (petitioner's aunt) of out doors, and married young Shih-erh to somebody against the will of his other relatives.  Not content with that, Shen, who had got in league with a sorceress, took opportunity when the old man was ill, to administer some cakes to Shih-erh which caused violent pains, vomiting of blood, and death.  Thereupon Wang and his wife hastily rifled the house of money and clothes and decamped.  The local authorities had been appealed to once and again, but by false swearing and bribery on the part of Wang, not even an inquest had been held.  Grief at hearing all this had caused his uncle's death, and failing to get redress elsewhere, he had brought this appeal to Peking on behalf of his aunt the widow.

Rescript has already appeared. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1874

Jan 9th. (3) Another appeal case. Plaintiff states that he is a native of Teng-feng-hsien in Honan. His father, who had held the post of sub-prefect in several places, during a period of retirement for mourning had been induced by one Fan Ti-la to become bail for the wife and relatives of a defaulter named Ch'ang Lien-yuen. The bail had been forfeited and his father had to pay, and his attempt to recover against Fan Ti-la had caused much strife. Another party named Wen Pao-an, who had had a quarrel with his father, now made common cause with Fan Ti-la. These two, calling to their aid several ruffians, fell upon his father and inflicted such wounds that he died. At the inquest which followed, the parties so managed to throw dust in the Magistrate's eyes that the chief criminal, Wen Pao-an, was not even summoned for examination. Fan Ti-la unreservedly admitted his share in the murder, but before the case went to a higher Court, where he might have given evidence against Wen Pao-an, he was made away with. Plaintiff had carried his case to tile other provincia1 courts without success.

Rescript ordering the usual investigation has already appeared.

 

Jan 12th. This Gazette is entirely filled with a memorial from Ting Pao-ch'en, Governor of Shantung, reporting the result of an investigation into the suicide of a prisoner in the district prison of Po-ping. The magistrate, whose name is Li-kwo-jui, had forwarded two very different accounts of the facts of the case and the charge against the prisoner; and the death being otherwise attended with suspicions circumstances. The magistrate was deprived of rank for the purposes of a trial, and a thorough examination held before the Governor himself. The prisoner, who was charged with the murder of a woman named Li, had confessed in his first examination that he had gone to her house in the evening, at a time when he knew he was alone, thinking to persuade her to submit to his passion, but that as she called out loudly for help he had killed her to save himself from detection. Upon being again examined he denied this entirely, and stated that, being a distant relation of the woman, he had found her and another man named Chang San committing adultery, and had killed her in a moment of virtuous indignation. There being no eye-witnesses, it was impossible to tell which story was true. The magistrate at this juncture had been obliged to go away on business, and the prisoner became very ill. He was consequently removed by the warden of the prison to the outer wards, where, taking advantage of a moment of liberty, he cut his breast open with a piece of an old brass gong and died. The present inquiry has shown the prisoner's first confession to be correct. No blame can be attached to the magistrate, except for negligence, so that his rank may be restored to him, with the usual disciplinary penalties imposed; but the wardens of the jail must be punished according to law. The memorialist also prays that H. M. will be pleased to bestow some mark of favour in commemoration of the virtue of the woman Li.-

Rescript: Granted as prayed for.

 

Jan. 13th. (3) The Governor of Shansi memorialises, asking that the usual penalties may be imposed on the magistrates of Hsin-soy and Chi-hsien, for their carelessness in the selection of constables, who allowed a prisoner, under sentence of death by strangulation for the murder of his wife, to escape while being escorted to the provincial capital. The cart had got stuck in the mud, and they all alighted, and while some ofthe constables were doing one thing and some another, the prisoner managed to slip away and had not since been caught.-

Rescript: Let the Board fix the proper penalties.

 

January 20th. (2) Memorial from Li Hung Chang, reporting the result of an investigation into the circumstances under which two prisoners under sentence of death had escaped from the prison of Ling-show hsien. One had been imprisoned for rape followed by the suicide of the woman, and the other for having kicked a man and caused his death, and both were awaiting the autumn executions. The Magistrate was away on public business, when one night there came on a fearful storm of wind and rain. Both the inner and outer jailors had retired, and the prisoners assisted one another to wrest off their manacles, and escaped over the walls An alarm was given and they were followed, but in vain, though one had since been retaken. The law in such cases, of allowing a prisoner to escape, where no bribery or corruption is shown, is a punishment two degrees less than the prisoner's, that is three years' banishment in this case, which must accordingly be inflicted on the warden of the prison ; but he will be allowed the usual time to effect a recapture.  Milder punishments are inflicted on other parties concerned, and the Magistrate is to be afterwards dealt with if he fails to recapture the prisoners in five months.

Rescript: Let the Board take note.

 

Jan. 27th. (2) An appeal case forwarded from the Censorate. Appellant states she is from Hsin-yea-hsien in Honan; that her late husband Ch'ang-po-chung having a feud with a neighbour named Chang-tung-ming, on account of lawsuits, their house was broken into at night and her husband carried off, no one could tell whither. Some time after, his body was found in a pond, bound up with hempen ropes and with a big stone tied round the loins. This stone was afterwards identified as having been taken from the we1l of one Ch'ang-ma-k'en. Subsequently it leaked out that Ch'ang Tung-ming had plotted the murder, along with others, and an accusation was brought against him in the district Court, but by bribery he had managed to stop the hearing. A second inquest having been ordered by the Prefect, the defendant had caused the coffin to be thrown into the water, thus scattering the bones and preventing the possibility of an inquest. The clerks in the Yamen had sent up a false report and nothing had been done, and so she sent her brother-in-law to lay her plaint at Peking.

Rescript has already appeared.

(4) An appeal from Honan, forwarded by the Censorate. Appellant, named Chiu sung-san, complains that his father and two of his wife's relations, while travelling, were attacked by a band of mounted robbers, headed by one Li Sing-chien, who demanded their cash and, being refused, wounded and plundered them of all they had. Two died at once of the wounds, but the third lived long enough to give an account of the murders. The Magistrate of Yung Chang had been applied to, but failed to effect an arrest, and even when the head robber had come back he refused to do anything, having been bribed to let the matter drop. Appeals to the higher provincial authorities had produced no effect; and he had brought his case to Peking.

 

Feb. 2nd. (4) Memorial from Ting Pao-chen, reporting the trial and execution of a criminal named Tsung-chang, for poisoning his father. It appeared that his wife was the intended victim, and he mixed up arsenic with cakes of which his father, wife and sister partook. The two latter recovered, but the father died. He has been executed according to law with slow torture.

Rescript: Let the Board take note.

 

Feb. 4th. (3) An appeal from Honan, forwarded through the Censorate. Appellant states that his father, having sold an ox and a mule to one Tsao-fu-shing, had gone several times to ask for payment; and one day when he had again gone for that purpose Tsao-fu-shing got into a passion, called to his sons, and they together set upon him and beat and wounded him so that he died the night after. Complaint was laid, but the examining clerk at the inquest was bribed and reported the case as one of suicide. An appeal to the higher provincial authorities produced an order for the Hsien to go on with the case; and when plaintiff, being himself unwell, sent his younger brother to conduct the case, he was beaten and imprisoned. So he had come to Peking to appeal.

Rescript has already appeared.

 

Feb. 5th. (6) An appeal case from Honan, in which appellant, named Ting-yung, complains that on account of an old feud his family was attacked by a clan of Wangs, who killed his father and disabled his brother for life. By bribery and false reports on the other side, he could get no redress and so had come to Peking.

Rescript has already appeared.

 

Feb. 6th & 7th. (3) An appeal from Chihli by a woman named Wang. She states that her father and mother had adopted a son to continue the family, but this youth turned out a wicked villain, and one night he rose and attacked the father and mother and knocked their brains out. Their cries for assistance were unheeded, and the murderer escaped without leaving any trace behind. The Hsien delayed in giving orders, and now 3 years are past and he is not caught yet. Despairing of redress she has come to Peking.

Rescript already appeared.

 

Feb. 8th & 9th. (5) An appeal from Chi-yang-hsien in Shantung Appellant states that his brother Tsiang Tze-feng had two coolies, one of whom, Fu Kwei-tze, had been detected in a theft by his fellow Tung Lien-ching, and thereby conceived a hatred against him, resulting in Fu Kwei-tze falling upon him one night when he was asleep, gagging him, tying him hand and foot, carrying him outside the village, and throwing him into a well. Next morning Tung Lien-ching was nowhere to be found, but at night his body was discovered floating in the well. At the inquest Fu Kwei-tze's father had by bribery been able to trump up a story that appellant's brother's wife, having  been guilty of adultery with one Tsiang and others, and been discovered by the deceased, and so suggested that they were the guilty parties. His brother's wife and the others have been imprisoned, but the real murderer had not yet been arrested. He has also been informed by letter that his mother had since been arrested, and died in prison and from the greenish appearance of the body there was no doubt that she had been poisoned.

Rescript has already appeared.

 

Feb. 10th & 11th. (4) An appeal from Chiao-ho-hsien in Chihli. Appellant states that his brother, Liu Kwei-yuen, having skinned and dressed, for the purpose of being eaten, a plough ox which died of disease, a small military officer, a Pa Tsung named Seu-Wan-p'ing, accused him before the Hsien of having killed the animal for that purpose, (it is an offence according to Chinese law to kill a plough ox), and he was imprisoned. A scholar of the place having ventured to remonstrate, Seu ordered some of his men to beat him, and they beat him to death.  Then knowing he had done wrong, Seu kills one of his own men, and cuts himself in several places, and reports that it was the people in plaintiff's village who had done it and under pretence of punishing the supposed outrage, he attacked the village with over 200 armed soldiers and plundered it. Plaintiff's son and nephew had been arrested, and by excessive torture were made to confess that they had killed the soldier. Seu being in league with the other authorities, no redress could be got, and so he had brought his plaint to Peking.

Rescript has already appeared.

(5) An appeal case from Ts-chu-hsien, in Szechuen, where the widow of a graduate by purchase, named Li Shih-tsiang, accuses a nephew and others of the murder of her husband, in the hope of obtaining a sum of 600 taels which would go to the nephew as nearest heir, deceased being childless. When the case came before the authorities, the clerks and wei-yuens were bribed to mis-state facts, and a punishment far short of what justice demanded had been imposed. She had appealed to the high provincial authorities, but they would not examine the case in person.

Rescript has already appeared.

 

Mar.15th. (4) The Governor of Shan-si, Pao Yuanshen, reports the escape of a criminal under sentence of death, and submits the name of the District Magistrate who is responsible for his safe keeping, for the usual penalties. It appears that in July last a prisoner named Kao-shen, sentenced to be strangled for causing the death of a man in a broil, by a kick, was being sent from the Kao-sze District to the provincial capital. He was in charge of two jailors and two soldiers. While on the road, when near a village the evening of their departure, the cart conveying the party stuck in the mud, and the axle broke.  The police were obliged to continue their journey on foot, and the prisoner, taking advantage of an unguarded moment, broke his fetters and escaped. He could not be found when given chase to by the police, and the soldiers have likewise absconded.  An inquiry has been ordered into the circumstances; and meanwhile the District Magistrate's name is handed over to the Board for adjudication.

 

Mar. 23rd. (2) Li Hung-chang, Governor-General of Chihli, memorializes reporting his action in a case of parricide. A man named Meng Tsai-ch'eng and his wife, living in the Kiao-ho District, were both suffering under an attack of fever and ague, and the wife, hearing that change of residence might ward off a return of the attack, had gone away to her mother's home. The father was lying on his kang early in the evening of the 8th October last, in a state of fever and parched with thirst, when his son, Meng Chu, came home intoxicated from work. On being blamed for returning home so late, the son answered angrily - an altercation arose, and eventually, taking up a wooden pillow, Meng Chu struck his father repeatedly on the thighs. Struggling to get up, the old man injured his own arms to some extent, and a grandson, awakened by the noise, as well as a neighbour who was passing, came into the room. Meng Chu threw himself on his knees and entreated pardon, which the old man granted, and the neighbours consequently agreed to make no report of the matter.  The bruises inflicted on the old man, however, became suppurated, and he died 11 days afterwards. Meng Chu had the body interred the same day; but he was denounced to the Magistrate by the ti-pao and his father's brother, and on being sent to the Provincial capital for trial has confessed his offence. Accordingly, in conformity with the provisions of several statutes, he has been sliced to death (ling ch'e) on the public execution ground, in presence of the Governor-General and the high provincial officials.

 

Mar. 27th. (2) The Governor of Honan reports the hearing of a criminal case by the high provincial authorities, on its having been referred back to them after an appeal at the capital.  A man named Liu Hwan-chang had appealed, alleging that one Ma Sung and certain others, to revenge themselves on his father Liu Wen, for giving information that a certain Ma Hun had been hired as a substitute for a criminal under sentence, had murdered Liu Wen and thrown his body into a river. The facts of the case, as reported by the Governor after the trial, are that the man alleged to be murdered was in reality never harmed, but was induced to abscond in support of the accusation trumped up by his son, who had been persuaded to take the steps he did by the wife of a member of the Ma family named Ma Ho, who had really been murdered by the prisoner Ma Hun. It being proved that Liu Hwan-chang has brought an unfounded charge, involving peril of condemnation to death on the person he accuses, he has incurred the penalty of 100 blows and transportation to a distance of 3,000 li, with three years' penal servitude added. This sentence is referred by rescript for the consideration of the Board of Punishments.

 

Mar. 29th. (2) A rescript is issued in reply to a report from the Governor of Yun-nan, stating that a young man named Yang Ju-tsi has assassinated an officer lately holding the rank of Prefect of Tungch'wan, in revenge for the murder of Yang Ju-tsi's uncle by the underlings of the Prefect after a quarrel in the latter's Yamen. The assassin, in consideration of the extenuating circumstances, is to be executed after the revision of sentence at Peking, instead of being beheaded at once; but his surviving uncle, Brigadier-General of K'ai-hwa, is handed over to the Board for a penalty for his failure to keep his nephew under due control. The Provincial Judge and other officials, whose delay in dealing with the first murder brought about the second lamentable case, are likewise exposed to penalties.

 

Apr. 19th. (3) The Censors of the western division of Peking having memorialized respecting a case of suicide on the part of a woman named Wang Liu-she, who was driven to the act in consequence of the conduct of an official who had sought her daughter in marriage, the official in question, a secretary in the Board of Revenue named Shen She-yuan, is ordered to be suspended and summoned for trial.

(5) Liu Chang-yeo, Governor of Kwangsi, denounces the acting magistrate of Ts'uan Chow for "recklessness and wanton severity." The Governor had already heretofore laid down strict rules concerning the method to be pursued by district magistrates in capital cases. All persons found guilty of murder were to be sent to the high provincial authorities for sentence, and only in extreme cases was authority to be granted, on application, for execution on the spot. Notwithstanding this, the functionary complained of - who was already labouring under a charge of wrongfully releasing a prisoner on bail while in another magistracy - has actually of his own motion beheaded a prisoner, without awaiting the reply to the application he had sent up for permission to execute the sentence locally, on grounds wholly inadequate. The reason alleged for this precipitancy is that the prisoner was in so precarious a condition that, unless executed forthwith, it was doubtful whether he would live long enough to be made a public example.

A Rescript directs that the offending magistrate be stripped of his rank, and placed on trial to answer for his shortcomings.

 

May 2nd. -The Censors of the Western division of Peking memorialize, reporting a case of suicide involving a criminal charge. It was reported to them on the 31st March, by a woman named Chang Wang-she, that her aunt by marriage, Wang Liu-she, had cut her throat, whereupon an official was despatched together with the examiner of corpses and a female nurse, to hold an inquest on the body of the deceased. The evidence taken is to the effect that Wang Liu-she had a daughter named Liu Urh, aged 17, whom, a week before the suicide was committed, she sent to deponent's house, informing her that two women had lately applied to her for the hand of her daughter in marriage with a young gentleman in the Board of Revenue, and had obtained from her the paper of nativity as usual in such cases. It subsequently appeared that the girl was wanted for a concubine and not as legitimate wife, upon which the mother had demanded the return of the nativity-paper; but the go-betweens had refused to deliver it up, threatening on the contrary to carry off Liu Urh by force. The deponent had gone on the following day to Wang Liu-she's house, where she saw the two go-betweens, who still refused to surrender the document. Six days later, deponent was informed that Wang Liu-she had cut her throat. In laying out the deceased for interment, the nativity-paper of the intended bridegroom was found on her bed, and was delivered into the hands of the authorities. The daughter's evidence was to the same effect, and a woman to whom the house belongs in which deceased had taken lodgings, deposed that, the intended bridegroom, young Mr. Shen, had come to the door one day, with some companions, and violently abused the deceased. The intended bridegroom had been summoned to give his evidence hereupon, and had persisted in alleging that the girl was negotiated as a concubine only, and that he had never been to the mother's house to make a disturbance. In their fina1 report, the Censors observe that as the case is one of violent death precipitated in consequence of matrimonial negotiations on behalf of a person holding official rank, and as the parties to the case give irreconcileable evidence at present, owing perhaps to the want of power to apply torture in the preliminary investigation they recommend that the case be sent before the Board of Punishments.

(A Rescript has already been issued assenting to this, and suspending the official in question from his rank pending the trial.)

 

May 4th. (3) The general-in-chief of the Constabulary memorializes laying before the Throne a case of complaint on the part of a native of Chihli named Wang Ts'ing yuan, to the effect that in consequence of an unfounded charge brought before the District Magistrate by one of his revenue-clerks named Kwoh P'ei-cheng, who had sought to impose unauthorised amounts of taxation, the complainant's father, named Wang K'i-yun, had been thrown into prison and done to death. On the complaint being investigated, Wang Ts'ing yuan deposed that in July 1871 his father had gone in person to the District Magistracy of Yuan-ch'eng to his taxes, whereupon an amount in excess of the regulation levy was demanded of him by the revenue clerk, which he refused to pay. The clerk falsely denounced him to the Magistrate, who had him seized, beaten, and thrown into prison, where he died. His remains were carried by underlings of the yamen to complainant's house, when it was seen that open wounds and scars existed on the abdomen of the deceased. Complainant was about to demand an inquest, but was denied access to the Magistrate by one of his runners; and being intimidated against appealing to the District and Provincial authorities, he had come to lay his complaint at Peking. The Constabulary department, in view of the gravity of the charge, lay a copy of the statement before his Majesty and await the Imperial commands.

By a decree already published the high provincial authorities are directed to investigate the case.

(5)The Constabulary yamen report another case of appeal. Kiang She-kao, a native of the Ch'ang-yih District in Shantung, complains of the murder of his sister by a man named Yen Kwei-chow. The murdered woman was married to one of the Yen family, among whom a series of family disputes are recounted, of which the result was that the husband, Yen Sin chow, was murdered by one of his kinsfolk during a dispute over some contraband salt-pans, and his corpse was carried by the murderers to the widow's house. The murderers, Yen Kwei-chow, and Ma Kien-yeh, and their accomplices next proceeded to bind complainant's sister (the widow) with cords, after which they hacked her twice with some sharp instrument and finally killed her by a blow with a chopper.  A substitute for the real offender in this case was brought forward, and Ma Kien-yeh delivered himself up to justice, but the magistrate, on hearing the case, compelled the parties to acknowledge the accusation as settled. No punishment has been inflicted on the actual perpetrators of the crime, and only the substitute, Yen Feng-yiu remains in prison.

On, laying this before the throne, his Majesty has issued a Decree in the usual terms, remitting the case to the Provincial authorities for investigation.

 

May 6th (1) The Governor of Honan reports the particulars of a case of wholesale murder, committed in revenge for acts of adultery. A prisoner named Hu Kw'ang che has been sent forward by the Magistrate of his district for trial at Kai-feng Fu, where, on full investigation, it was found that in 1863 the prisoner went with his mother and his wife to lodge in the house of a man named Kiang Ta-yung; and that this man took the opportunity of forming in illicit connection with both women, which went on for some time without prisoner's knowledge, until at length the scandal became bruited abroad and came to his ears. With the resolution of seizing the guilty parties in the act he came home one evening, and bursting open a door was on the point of grappling with Kiang Ta-yung, when the adulterer managed to escape from his grasp. The prisoner, for the sake of his mother's repute, refrained from bringing his complaint before the authorities, but he sent away his wife, and his mother shortly afterwards hid her disgrace by a second marriage during her son's absence from home. The prisoner, learning that Kiang Ta-yung had fled to the Province of Shensi, and harbouring designs of vengeance against the author of his wrongs, proceeded to that province, where he enlisted as a brave and maintained diligent but ineffectual search after his enemy. In the early part of 1873 he took his discharge and returned home, and as he was pursuing his journey he accidentally encountered the man of whom he was in search standing in his own doorway. Prisoner at once attacked him with the intention of taking his life, and pursued him into the house, where he struck at him with an iron pole which he snatched up from the doorway. With this weapon he battered Kiang Ta-yung to death, (inflicting wounds which are described in detail), and having effected his deadly purpose he was making off, when the murdered man's wife and son ran up and endeavoured to seize him. Drawing a dagger, Hu Kw'ang-che stabbed the woman in several places, until she relaxed her grasp and fell down, and he disengaged himself in the same manner from the son, who dropped insensible after receiving many wounds. Hu Kw'ang-che was on the point of making off when a grandson of Kiang Ta-yung endeavoured further to detain him, upon which he again made use of his dagger with deadly effect, first stabbing the lad and at length, in his determination to escape, severing his windpipe with a fatal gash across the throat, which caused immediate death.  Seized, notwithstanding these efforts, by some of the villagers, Hu Kw'ang-che was committed to prison, the wounded woman dying shortly afterwards.  The son recovered; but prisoner is found guilty of having taken the lives of two persons of one family, without counting the murder with which he began in the case of Kiang Ta-yung. The circumstances of the crime, under the provisions of divers enactments, leave it doubtful whether he should be "summarily beheaded" or "be imprisoned to await strangling after revision of the sentence at Peking;" and this point is submitted for His Majesty's decision.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments form an opinion and report to Us without delay.

(2) The, Governor of Honan reports the removal of the Magistrate of the Sze-shuei District from office, and the institution of enquiry into the causes of a tumult that has lately occurred in his Yamen. The district is, it appears, noted for turbulence; and on a report arising among the taxpayers that a fee of two cash, under the head of "charge for stationery" was about to be exacted by the revenue clerks on the issue of each receipt, a mob assembled, broke the doors and windows of the pay office, and finally burst into the yamen itself. One man was killed in the course of the riot, which the Magistrate vainly endeavoured to appease. On this fatal accident happening, the mob at length took to flight. The revenue-clerks and the ringleaders of the disturbance are to be arrested, and sent to the provincial capital for trial by the officer who has been placed in acting charge of the District.

 

May 9th. (2) The President of the Board of Civil Office and his colleagues report their judgment in the case of the Judicial Commissioner of Yunnan, whose delay in adjudicating a charge of murder, the victim of which was a Brigadier-General who was set upon and beaten to death by the retainers of the Prefect with whom he had quarrelled, led to the assassination of the Prefect by the murdered man's nephew (as already narrated in previous memorials.) The judgment given is to the effect that the high official in question should lose a step of rank and be removed from his position.

A Rescript confirming this sentence has already appeared.

 

May 13th. (2) The Captain-General of the Constabulary reports a comp1aint brought forward by a native of Honan, Chao Hai-shan, who accuses the concubine of a man named Su Heng-shan of causing the death of his sister, the legitimate wife of Su Heng-shan. Complainant is a farmer, whose sister, after marriage with the titular graduate above-named, was disliked by her husband owing to her ugliness, in consequence of which he took to himself a concubine named Ch'un-hiang. This woman persecuted the wife in every imaginable way, so much so that the wife informed her mother repeatedly of her conviction that Ch'un-hiang meant to be the death of her; and at length, in March 1873, by some means unknown to the complainant, Ch'un-hiang did actually effect the murder of his sister. The husband sent word to him that she had committed suicide by hanging, upon which he went at once to the house, where he saw the body stark naked, with marks of blood on the palm of one hand, and discolourations on the right side. He at once petitioned the magistrate, but as that official was absent on an official errand, the sub-deputy came in his stead to hold an inquest. A nephew of the husband's, however, got hold of the deputy, and by underhand means caused a delay of three days without an inquest. Complainant went to appeal at the Prefecture, upon which the District Magistrate was ordered to hold the inquest; but the husband bought up the inspector of corpses, Li Kin-kw'ei, who falsified the examination and made a lying return. Upon this the Magistrate gave orders for a funeral, without regard to expense; but the husband,  setting this decision at nought, carried away the body under cover of night, and had the interment performed in secret. Complainant has met with rebuffs at all the successive stages of his appeals, up to the Judicial Commissioner of the Province; and he consequently brings his accusation before the highest tribunal in the hope of obtaining justice.

Referred in the usua1 manner to the high provincial authorities.

(3) Another appeal case from Shantung, in which Chao Li-ch'ao accuses Chao Yang- teh and others of murdering his brother, whose wife he had unsuccessfully attempted to seduce. Although the murderer confessed his guilt, the magistrate's police seized complainant, tied him up, flogged him, and extorted money from him. The whole family of the murdered man were tormented by the police, and complainant's appeals for redress have been, (as usual), unheeded.

Referred.

 

May 14th. (1) The Censorate memorialize respecting an appeal case from a native of Shantung, named Wan Ling, who complains that his father, having gone to Hing-king (Manchuria) in 1858, with funds for the purchase of tobacco and hemp, was set upon and murdered by certain persons whose names are given, and who robbed him of 250 Taels. On complaint being lodged with the local authorities, the body of deceased was placed in a coffin deposited at the inn where he had lodged, but the assassins contrived by means of bribery to escape from all punishment. The complainant is now moved to the present appeal owing to his having found that the remains of his father had been removed from the inn where they were originally deposited, on his proceeding to the spot last year to take charge of them.

Referred as usual.

 

May 26th. (2) Ying-Yuan, Captain-General of the Constabulary, memorializes respecting an appeal brought by a native of K'ai-chow in Chih-li, named Ma Ch'ao-i, respecting the death of his uncle. This relative, named Ma King-fang, plied a ferry boat on that river at Kai-chow; but, in 1872, on an occasion when some mounted highwaymen wanted to cross the river he delayed the passage, and in consequence of this the police who were in pursuit captured the offenders. One of the highwaymen, named Wang Sze, died while undergoing trial; upon which his aiders and abettors, certain police runners of the District of P'u Chow in Shantung, named Fang Man, etc., taking vengeance for the delay at the ferry, seized plaintiff's uncle, carried him off as a prisoner to P'u Chow, and confined him in an inn. Complainant's grandfather went to K'ai Chow to lodge a complaint, and was accompanied to the Magistrate's yamen by certain of the elders who vouched for his character and position; but hereupon the police-runners of P'u Chow, fearful lest their misdeed should be brought to light, put complainant's uncle to death in the inn. Their next step was, by means of bribes, to induce a clerk in the judicial department falsely to introduce the murdered man's name upon the records of certain cases of robbery. The grandfather and others of the family having petitioned the district magistrate, they were sent to lodge their complaint in Shantung, before the Provincial Chief Commissioner, Judicial Commissioner, and the Governor; all of whom referred the case to the Magistrate of P'u Chow, who was good enough to direct petitioners to apply at the District Magistracy of Ho-tseh for the records showing that Fang Man had given shelter and support to the mounted robbers. The parties implicated, however, managed by some unknown means to interpose delays, and complainant's grandfather died, worn out with mental trouble. Complainant went again to the acting Judicial Commissioner of Shantung, and was once more referred back to P'u Chow. Despairing of redress, he now brings his appeal to Peking.   [see also Jan. 8th, 1875]

Referred as usual.

 

May 30th. (1) The Brigadier General and the Taotai of T'ai-wan (Formosa) jointly memorialize reporting the sentence passed on a wife guilty of adultery and of the murder of her husband. A man named Lin Hai, a denizen of the district of T'aiwan, having formed an adulterous connection with Wang T'ien-she, the wife of Wang Chwang, the circumstances came to the latter's knowledge and he thereupon placed his wife under restraint. On the 26th August 1873 Lin Hai induced Wang T'ien-she to join him in murdering the husband, whose body they endeavoured to dispose of under cover of night, but being encountered accidentally by some of the villagers, they were arrested and brought to justice. On the body being examined a mark of strangulation was found upon the throat, and the print of a foot deeply stamped upon the left breast. Lin Hai died in prison of a sickness after his examination had been held, and the woman has given birth to a child since her imprisonment.  On being brought before the memorialists for trial, she has confessed the particulars of her seduction by Lin Hai, and also of the murder of her husband, who was strangled by Lin Hai and herself, Lin Hai having come up and taken her husband unawares while engaged in a violent quarrel with herself. The memorialists state that the penalty she has incurred is that of death by ling-ch'e (being cut in pieces), and they propose that the sentence be carried out on the spot, in lieu of transporting the guilty person to the provincial capital for execution.

Rescript: Referred to the Board of Punishments.

(2) The Military Governor of Uliasutai, Chang-shun, memorializes reporting the details of a suicide committed by Pao-shan, an officer of his guards, on the night of the 8th April. On report of this act having been made an inquest was ordered, whereupon the following report was made: "Deceased was 37 years of age. On measurement the body was found to be 5 ch'ih in height, the shoulders 8 ts'un in width, the chest 7.1/10 ts'un high. The body lay face upwards. Face, yellow, both eyes shut and mouth closed. The throat had been cut by deceased's own hand, by a gash with a sharp instrument extending in an oblique direction for a length of 2.3/10 ts'un, 1/10 ts'un in width. The cut was deep, severing both gullet and windpipe. The right arm was bent and the hand clenched. On experiment being made the direction was found to correspond with that of the wound. The left hand was stretched out. An oblique stab, 5/10 ts'un long, 1/10 ts'un wide and 4/10 ts'un deep was found, inflicted by the hand of the deceased, on the chest. The abdomen was flat, both legs stretched out together, the hair of the face in its ordinary state. No other noticeable signs in any part of the body. The cause of death is declared as clearly suicide by cutting the throat, both gullet and windpipe being severed and a mortal wound thereby inflicted." In addition to this report of the coroner's inquest, deposition has been taken from deceased's servant, who affirms that his employer had for a length of time been suffering from illness, in consequence of which he never stirred out of doors, and that on his entering the cookhouse to light the fire on the morning after the suicide he found the lifeless body of deceased stretched upon the k'ang. These particulars are brought to his Majesty's notice.

 

Jun. 4th (5) The Governor of Honan reports the particulars elicited on a fresh trial of a prisoner named Chu Kang-san accused of murder, on whose behalf an appeal has been lodged at Peking and referred in the usual manner to the Provincial Government for re-examination. The circumstances are declared to be as follows:- In the summer of 1860, a man named Tsiao Chen-ho borrowed 96,000 cash from Chu Kang-san, repayment of which was delayed, and when the lender pressed for the transfer to himself of a parcel of land in discharge of the debt, Tsiao Chen-ho lodged a false accusation against his creditor of pressing him for repayment of money lost at gambling. This intimidated Chu Kang-san to such an extent that he consented, through the agency of friends, to let his claim stand over, but he bore a grudge against Tsiao for his conduct in the matter. Shortly afterwards Tsiao, being in further want of money, arranged through certain middlemen to mortgage his land to one Chu Wan-hien, and the whole party went the same evening to the wine-shop kept by prisoner's father, Chu Wei-wen, whom they asked to write out the deed for them. Tsiao remained behind after all his compatriots had gone to their homes, and drunk himself into an intoxicated condition with Chu Kang-san. The latter, under the influence of his animosity against Tsiao, made up his mind to murder him, and this purpose he accomplished by putting opium into his liquor. Tsiao died immediately from the effect of the poison, and Chu, inducing an acquaintance of his to lend assistance, carried the body to the land of a man named Hwang Sin, where they abandoned it. On discovery of the corpse next morning, report was made to the authorities, and as Chu, Kang-san was not to be found, his father was taken into custody and held to ensure the son's apprehension. On this having been effected, Chu Wei-wen was released, and shortly after reaching his home he died a natural death from sickness. The son, with the design of escaping the penalty of his crime, induced his brother Chu King-heng to carry an appeal to Peking, accusing the middlemen of having beaten Tsiao to death. Other minor charges were also brought forward against other parties, but the result of the fresh trial is to reaffirm the guilt of Chu Kang-san, who is sentenced to execution after the autumn revision, and this finding is submitted for. His Majesty's approval.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments decide, and report to Us.

 

June 6th. (2) The Governor of Shansi memorializes, reporting the escape of a prisoner while being conveyed under guard from Hinchow to the provincial capital. The prisoner Twan Feng-ch'un, who was under sentence of death by strangling for the manslaughter of a Mongol, upon whom  he, with others, had committed assault and battery, was under the care of two policemen and a soldier, and while on the road one evening, the soldier having gone to a neighbouring village to buy provisions and  candles, the remaining party were suddenly overtaken by a violent wind and dust storm, which caused the mules to bolt and to overturn the cart in which the prisoner was sitting. The police helped the prisoner up and placed him by the roadside, while they themselves assisted in righting the vehicle. The prisoner took this opportunity of breaking his fetters and escaping. He has not been recaptured and the usual enquiry is ordered to ascertain whether any connivance at his escape is chargeable upon the police.

 

Jun. 7th. (3)  The same official memorializes, requesting sanction for the erection of a

Monument in commemoration of the heroic virtue of Madame Wu, wife of a titular graduate named Liu, with her daughter in-law, Madame Hwang, who plunged together into a pond and committed suicide in 1860, to escape indignity at the hands of rebels whom they encountered, while endeavouring to find a place of refuge on the invasion of their locality. The necessary official details being forwarded, a rescript is issued, directing the Board to take measures for granting the monument applied for.

(4) The Governor of Kiangsi further memorializes, respecting a lieutenant colonel named Li Uh'un-lin, who, having become insane, had repeatedly committed acts of mischief, in consequence of which, on application formerly made to his Majesty by the Governor, a rescript had been issued removing him from office and relegating him to his native place for the benefit of his health. In 1872, however, the official in question, having partially recovered, returned to Kiangsi and volunteered for duty, but his disease shortly afterwards broke out afresh.  The Governor, anxious to spare him too strict an application of the regulations, provided an allowance for his travelling expenses and sent him home in charge of soldiers and police.  Notwithstanding this, he once more made his appearance in Kiangsi during last winter, and his insanity displaying itself with increased violence, leading him to commit the most extraordinary acts, there has been reason to fear lest he might occasion loss of life, and further indulgence ought not to be shown.  The Governor asks, therefore, that a rescript be issued depriving the ex-lieutenant-colonel of his official status, to the end that orders may be issued to the local authorities to send him home under escort, to be delivered to his friends, by whom he should be taken care of and kept in strict confinement.

Rescript as required.

 

Jun. 11th.  (2) The Constabulary yamen memorialize, reporting an appeal lodged on behalf of certain inhabitants of the Tu-Ch'ang District in Kiangsi, named Twan, complaining of the murder of three of their kinsfolk.  The statement of the complainants is to the following effect:  They are farmers, and own an island in the Hwang-t'u Lake, near the Po-yang District, upon which they have paid taxes regularly.  In 1865 certain men named Hu Siang-hun, and others, took unlawful possession of the channel, across which they threw a dam, with the object of getting the island into their own hands.  Complainant and his kinsfolk having proceeded to cut the crop of grass on their property, they were attacked from an ambush by an armed band, numbering upwards of two hundred of the opposite faction, who murdered three of complainant's kinsfolk, and wounded some ten or fifteen others.  Two men of the Twan party at the same time killed in self-defence one of the Hu faction with his grass-sickle.  On their lodging complaint with the Magistrates of the Tu-ch'ang and Po-yang Districts, an inquest was held, and report was made to the Governor, who directed a commissioner to be sent to institute enquiry.  The Hu faction hereupon further set upon and beat eight of the members of the Twan clan, wounding them severely, and a further complaint was lodged with the provincial authorities.  The prefect of Nan-ch'ang, however, instead of deciding the case justly, compelled the injured parties to sign an agreement, declaring the channel (or creek) in question to be government property, and he further licensed the Hu faction to continue damming up the stream.  He moreover, released the men who were in custody on a charge of murder.  Complaint was hereupon lodged with the Governor, who referred petitioners back to the prefect, who, as before, gave an unjust decision.  Appeal is consequently made to Peking.

Rescript in the usual terms.

 

Jun. 14th. (3) Tu-hing-ah, the Military Governor of Shen-king, memorializes, reporting that some of the criminals concerned in a recent case of highway robbery, in which a Manchu official lost his life, have been apprehended, and the actual murderer put to death on the scene of the offence, in the presence of a son of the murdered person.  As no less than four, out of the seven culprits implicated in this crime, have been apprehended within a month after the occurrence of the affair, it is requested that the penalty adjudged against the civil functionary responsible in the matter may be remitted and his button restored to him.

Rescript: Granted.

(4) The Governor General of Chihli reports the execution of a lunatic for the murder of his mother.  On report of the crime committed having been received from the District Magistrate of Man-ch'eng, the case was removed to the provincial capital, for trial before the Prefect of Pao-ting Fu.  It appears that the murderer, named Kia Tsai-pao, alias Kia Ya-pa (the Dumb), was a farm labourer living with his mother, whom he supported, and besides being dumb he was also liable to occasional fits of madness.  He had, however, at no time been guilty of any act of mischief, and, being an only son, his mother had been reluctant to report him to the authorities and have him put under restraint.  Her next of kin and the neighbours equally abstained from making report.  On the morning of the 3rd February last, the lunatic, in a sudden fit of frenzy, finding his mother lying on the k'ang, in the house they jointly occupied, after stripping himself of his clothes and gesticulating in an insane manner, attacked his mother with a chopper, and hacked her to death, inflicting a series of frightful wounds about the head, face, neck, and hands.  A neighbour named Kia Ju having accidentally entered the house, was an eyewitness of the deed, and summoning another man to his assistance he secured the murderer.  In return to their questions, he merely looked at them with a fixed stare, and was unable even to make signs as usual with his hands.  On the murdered being brought to trial, and the evidence being taken, his insanity has been verified, and, moreover, declared by due medical report; and he has admitted his guilt by signs.  The judgment of the Court was that, in conformity with the statute relating to parricide or matricide, he be executed by the ling-ch'e process, a special proviso running to the effect, in the statute book, that crimes of this nature shall be equally punished whether the offender be insane or no.  The Governor General, finding that the scene of the murder lay within the statutory limit of 300 li from the provincial capital, and that no difficulties from river-crossings intervene in the way of transit, has caused the Financial and Judicial Commissioners of the province, accompanied by his own Military Secretary, to go provided with the Imperial death warrant top the spot, and there conjointly with the district Magistrate preside at the slicing to death of the condemned criminal.  His head was afterwards suspended from a pole, to serve as a public warning.  As the laws provide with reference to lunatics, that if their relatives and neighbours fail to make report of their condition to the authorities, and like wise to keep them under their own eyes, in consequence whereof any murder is committed by such persons, the individuals in question shall suffer the penalty of 100 blows, under the law concerning failure to prevent an intended murder, of which previous cognizance is had.  In the present case, five men and one woman come under the category above-named.  In the case of the men the penalty of 100 blows is commuted to 40 strokes of the lesser kind, and the woman, being upwards of 70 years of age, is permitted to commute her penalty by a fine escheated to Government.  Two of the men, filling the post of village head-boroughs, whose offence is a mere dereliction of duty without criminal intent, are exempted from the further penalty of being discharged from their position.

 

Jun. 22nd. (3) Another appeal case is likewise brought forward. A native of Sze-ch'wan named Wang Ta-ch'un, complains that his nephew has been robbed and murdered by a gang of highwaymen, whose leader's name is given. The murderer induced, by means of a bribe, the local headborough to report the corpse as that a Person unknown, after complainant himself had proceeded to the spot; and no action has been taken in the matter.

Referred as usual.

 

Jun. 27th.  (2). A Memorial of unusual length from a board of high officials in the province of Sheng-king (Manchuria), conveying the result of a trial for parricide, with which they were charged last year, owing to a conflict of evidence at previous trials. A man named Feng Ku, of the Hai-ch'eng district, lived with two married sons named Feng Tai-ch'ang and Feng Teh-sin, and a nephew named Feng Ten-yu, in different parts of the same dwelling. The wife of the elder son was named Feng Wu-she, and the younger son's wife, Feng Chao-she. The latter was subject to fits of insanity, during which she lost the power of speech. The two husbands were habitually away from home, pursuing their avocations as hired servants. According to the evidence now taken, criminal connexion had been formed between the nephew and the wife of the elder brother. After this had continued for some length of time, it was discovered by the father, Feng Ku, and the two guilty persons determined after a certain lapse of time to rid themselves of his reproaches by murder. Accordingly, before daylight one morning, in the early part of 1873, they armed themselves with a hatchet, and entering Feng Ku's room as he slept fulfilled their purpose. The man, having first stunned the victim by a blow on the head, proceeded to hack the face and skull with the edge of the chopper, and this bloody task was completed by the woman. She next proceeded to raise an outcry, accusing her lunatic sister-in-law of having committed the act in a fit of frenzy, and the insane woman, alarmed, but unable to express herself in words, took to flight and attempted to drown herself in the village well. She was seized, however, by the villagers, and being suspected as the murderer, was given into custody. In the course of a few days, however, she was able to give the name of the real criminal, and the man and woman were thereupon apprehended. After alternate confession and retraction, the crime has now been brought home to the guilty parties, and the woman is sentenced to death by ling-ch'e (cutting in pieces) for the crime of parricide, the man being adjudged to suffer death by decapitation only, being related in a lesser degree to his victim.  Sundry neighbours, who allowed themselves to be instigated into presenting a petition on behalf of the prisoners, whose innocence they maintained, are to receive 40 strokes apiece, and the fatal weapon is forwarded to the District Magistrate, to be stored away in his treasury. 

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments consider this with all dispatch.

 

Jul. 16th (1) The Governor of Shansi reports the suicide of a petty official, in consequence of certain gambling transactions, and submits for deprivation of rank the names of his fellow-gamesters. Having heard rumours that gambling was going on in the provincial capital among certain officials, he had given orders for proceedings to be taken against the delinquents, when a further report was brought to him that on a certain evening some three or four civilian functionaries of low degree had met together, when one of their number, named Lui Chung-ho, had produced dice, and the party thereupon began to throw for stakes. On making up the reckoning next morning, it was found that Lui Chung-ho had lost 30,000 cash; but another of the party, missing a lump of sycee which he was certain Lui Chung-ho had appropriated, demanded it from him. Being taunted by a third member of the party with his attempt at dishonesty, Lui Chung-ho lost his temper, and a personal encounter ensued, which was put an end to by the interference of others present; but the result of the affair was that on the following day Lui Chung-ho took a, dose of opium, from the effects of which he died. The Governor submits the names of those who participated in the gambling transaction, and by Rescript they are stripped of their rank and ordered to be brought to trial.

 

July 30th. (1) The Governor-General of the Two Hu and the Governor of Hupeh memorialize denouncing the ex-Magistrate of the department of Kwei-chow, on the following grounds. During his tenure of office a complaint was made to the effect that warrants had been improperly issued to police, a result of which was that an aggravated case of rape, leading to the taking of a life, had occurred. On the incriminated persons being brought to trial at the provincial capital, the confessions elicited from them agreed with the facts stated; but at the very moment when further proceedings were about to be determined upon, the ex-Magistrate sent in a statement alleging that injustice had been done in the case, and forwarding a summary of charges. The prisoners, on being further examined hereupon, retracted their former statements; and there is reason to suspect that the ex-Magistrate has influenced them to this end, his object being to escape the infliction of penalties for his own shortcoming in the matter. He is at present holding office as department Magistrate of Mien-yang Chow; and it is solicited that he may be provisionally stripped of his rank, to await the result of a further investigation. If it should prove to be the case that he gave undue license to his police, and has subsequently influenced their statements on trial, he will be impeached in the most stringent manner.

Granted by rescript.

 

Aug. 9th. (2) The Governor of Honan makes report of a rehearing in an appeal case remitted back from Peking. A man named Fan Wen-ts'ai had appealed denouncing one Wang Hing-pang as having with others caused the death of appellant's younger brother, named Fan Wen-tsung, through blows, of which he died on the day after being beaten. A fresh investigation having been instituted on the receipt of orders from the capital, it is found that appellant's brother had at a former period of his history been under sentence of death by strangulation for the manslaughter of a man named Kwoh Pang, and, having had his sentence commuted to one of transportation, he was on his way to Kansuh to serve out his term when he came under the operation of a general pardon.  Returning to his home, he continued in a disorderly course of life, was a gambler and rake, his spendthrift ways leading him to convert his farm, house, and even his wife into money. His young son, being left unprovided for, drifted away into the condition of a monk. In 1868, in the course of a quarrel about money with Wang Hing-pang, he was struck by the latter with stones, and some injuries were inflicted of which he made complaint to the District Magistrate. That functionary examined the wounds, and required the aggressor to pay the doctor's fees. The wounds were healed up within the time officially prescribed for this operation, and after a second examination on the part of the Magistrate, the complaint was dismissed. In the 7th moon of the same year Fan Wen-tsung died of an illness, and as he left no provision for his funeral expenses, the tipao, PengTsze-ts'ai, prevailed upon Wang Hing-pang to undertake the cost. At this time the appellant, deceased's brother, had been absent from home for a number of years, but on being falsely assured by the tipao, who had quarrelled with Wang Hing-pang about a loan, that the latter had really been the cause of his brother's death, he brought the present charge against that man. Wang Hing-pang retorted with a false accusation against Fan Wen-ts'ai of having robbed him. The case was further complicated by the non-appearance of the tipao as a witness on appellant's behalf, as he was on a sick-bed when summoned, and died before he could put in an appearance. The result of the trial is declared as establishing the innocence of Wang Hing-pang of the crime imputed to him, and under the statute providing a penalty for "doing that which should not be done," appellant is condemned to receive 80 blows, as the penalty for his wrongful accusation. On the other hand, Wang Hing-pang is to receive 70 stripes for bringing his unfounded charge of robbery against the appellant. The tipaowas also a guilty party, but being dead no sentence is passed in his case.

The memorial is referred by rescript to the Board of Punishments, to be considered and reported upon.

 

Aug. 20th. (2) The Censorate reports an appeal case lodged by one Siao Teh-jun, a youth aged 14, from Hien-ning, in Hupeh, who is sent by his mother to complain of the murder of his father in 1870, by a partner of his in a certain wood and charcoal concern.  The corpse was thrown into a ravine in the hope of escaping detection, but a brother of the alleged murderer, falling out with the actual criminal, is represented as having stated to the deceased's widow what had taken place.  When information had been laid at the District Magistracy, and the fact as stated established on enquiry, the informer withdrew his statement, and alleged that the remains found in the ravine were those of another person, which had been taken out from an old tomb in the neighbourhood, and placed at the spot indicated. He further instigated certain of his intimate connexions to fall in a body upon the persons who were watching over the remains, whom they tied up and flogged, in order to make them confess that they had dug up the body. One of the men died in consequence of the injuries thus inflicted. Complaints having been lodged at all the local yamens without avail, the appeal is now brought to Peking.

Referred as usual.

 

Aug. 23rd (3) The Governor of Shantung memorializes reporting the decision of the final court in a long pending appeal case sent down from Peking to be re-tried. A native of the district of Kuu-ch'eng, named Li Ming-chung, had complained to the effect that one Li Wei-yih and others had flogged his father, Li Sze-sin, to death. Upon this an investigation was ordered in the province early in 1873, but owing to the absence of officials, the absconding of witnesses, etc., delay has been unavoidable. The result announced by the Governor consists in an intricate web of charges and countercharges, in the midst of which the salient fact appears that a son of Li Sze-sin, named Li Ming-ju, being accused of a theft, was sought for at his father's house by police, who, on failing to find the delinquent, seized the father and lodged him in jail, in order to compel the discovery of his son. According to the statements of the local authorities, Li Sze-sin was seized while in prison with an attack of paralysis, and on being released on security, died shortly afterwards at his home. Li Ming-chung, the son and appellant, suspected the police of causing his father's death by flogging, and hence the appeal. As his charge is proved to be groundless, he is sentenced to the penalty of 80 blows (as reduced by enactment), under the statute on "doing that which ought not to be done."

 

August 27th. (1) The acting Governor of Shantung reports the particulars of a judicial case referred from Peking for rehearing on appeal (with the usual stereotyped result). The appellant, named Su Ts'ing-lien, was a farmer who, in August, 1871, was engaged with his uncle Su Loh in getting in his crop of kao-liang (millet), his grandmother, Su Kia-she, being also on the spot to look after the crop. In the course of the afternoon the two men carted off the millet that had been cut, leaving Su Kia-she behind to glean up the fallen heads of gram. She was missed as evening drew in, and on going in search of her, Su Ts'ing-lien found her dead body lying in the field, where she had been stabbed to death. Report was made, an inquest was held, and a warrant issued for the discovery and apprehension of the murderers. Su Ts'ing-lien having called to mind that he had had a lawsuit with a neighbour named Li Sze-yu, and his brother Li, "Wrymouth,"  about boundaries, he suspected these men of having murdered his grandmother and accordingly denounced them for this crime, dragging in a cousin of theirs, named Liu Hu-ts'in, as a witness in the case. On a trial being held, no evidence was forthcoming the prisoners steadfastly denying their guilt, and they were eventually released on the security of a man named Kia Ts'ing Yun. As Su Ts'ing-lien was aware, however, that this man was on terms of intimacy with Cheng Sin-ts'ung clerk in the judicial department of the Magistracy, and as, moreover, he was for the time deeply grieving over the thought that there was no one to atone with his life for the murder of his grandmother, he became possessed with the idea that the prisoners had been corruptly released from custody through collusion between the law-clerk and the man who gave bail. Upon this he lodged a complaint with the Judicial Commissioner, who directed the Magistrate to investigate the case, which was done, but Su Ts'ing-lien did not put in an appearance. He went, however, to Peking to lodge his appeal. The case brought forward by him having been investigated and found groundless,  he is sentenced to receive the mitigated equivalent of 80 blows under the statute against "doing that which should not be done," and the charge is dismissed, the Magistrate being further enjoined to keep a lookout for the actual perpetrator of the crime.

 

Sep 6th.  The Constabulary yamen reports the following appeal, lodged by Meng Kwang-cheng, a native of Sin-ch'eng in Shantung. Appellant's sister, being married to a man named Lu Pao-chu, became aware of an intrigue between her husband's mother and a man named Liu Yu-tang. Owing to this discovery on her part, the guilty persons determined to make away with her, and ill-treated her daily. One day appellant was informed by letter from Lu Pao-chu that his wife had died. On going with his mother to see the body, appellant found a deep wound on the back; and on making enquiry received only evasive replies. On report being made to the district magistrate, an inquest was held, but the examiner of corpses falsified his medical certificate, and although Lu Pao-chu was apprehended, he soon managed to get released on security. The orders of the magistrate that proper burial should be given to deceased's remains were disregarded. Appellant petitioned the district magistrate three times, and the Prefect twice, but neither of these officers would allow him to go to the provincial capital to lodge a complaint.  On the other hand, he was illegally imprisoned for three months by the magistrate's gate-keepers.

Rescript referring the case as usual.

 

Sep. 12th (1) The Governor of Honan reports the rehearing and decision of an appeal case referred from Peking.  A woman named Fan Kin-she had complained that Liu T'ien-ch'en and others had assaulted her husband, Fan Hwa, and caused his death. After an investigation before the prefect of K'ai-feng Fu, the case has been passed on through the chief provincial Commissioner to the Governor himself, and the result of his examination is as follows. Appellant, Fan Kin-she, and a nephew of hers named Kin Yao-k'ing, belong to the Sin-kiang District, and her late husband was on friendly terms with an underling of the Magistracy named Liu T'ien-chen.  In October, 1870, Fan Hwa had advanced to a tenant of his named Li Ma-niu, 2½ piculs of wheat, which were to be repaid after the next harvest. In May, 1871 Fan Hwa went to demand payment, but Li Ma-niu was unable to return him more than 1½ piculs at the time, begging for delay as regards the rest. Upon this a wrangle ensued, and as it chanced that Liu T'ien-ch'en was In the village collecting dues, he and another man came up to quiet the parties.  No such thing as personal ill-usage or pushing down (of Fan Hwa) took place.  Fan Hwa returned home and spoke of the occurrence to his wife, who took no notice of it at the time; but on the following day her husband fell ill of a prevailing epidemic, and though a doctor was called in he died from the effects of the disease the same day.  In her grief for the loss of her husband, Fan kin-she laid the blame on Li Ma-niu, and lodged a complaint at the Magistracy accusing him of having used violence.  The Magistrate upon this proceeded to hold an inquest on the remains, but Fan kin-she, fearing detection of her falsehood, had the body buried, and frustrated this object by her statements.  On holding enquiry, the Magistrate ordered the wheat to be refunded, and closed the case, taking the usual bonds. Fan Kin-she as, however, instigated by her nephew to re-open the case by an appeal at Peking, with the view of extorting money from the accused persons. Since she was brought up for the rehearing, she has died while at large on bail, and although by bringing a calumnious charge she has exposed herself to the penalties of flogging and transportation, as duly set forth by Statute, she is no longer within the reach of the law. Other persons implicated are condemned to corresponding penalties.

 

Sep. 13th (7) The Governor of Ngan-hwei reports the investigation of an appeal case referred from Peking. Appellant, Cheng Teh had complained of certain persons of his own clan, who he asserted had massacred five persons of his family in 1863. He has gone from one department to another in the provincial government presenting this complaint; the fact being that the murders complained of took place during the Nien-fei troubles, as part of the general intestine warfare then in progress. Furthermore, it was ordained in 1869, by the Board of Punishments that no appeals from Ngan-hwei relating to acts of pillage or murder in the province prior to the year 1865 should henceforth be entertained. The present case is consequently dismissed, and appellant is let off without punishment on this occasion, but will be dealt with according to law if he give further trouble.

 

Sep. 13th. (3) A Decree lamenting the decease of Ying-Yuan, a president of the Court of Censors, and chief of the Gendarmerie of Peking (who died on the 12th inst.) All shortcomings recorded against him during lifetime are remitted, and a funeral sacrifice is to be attended by the Emperor's cousin, Tsai-lien, and ten officers of the Guard. His adopted son is to receive an appointment as Secretary to a Board.

 

Sep. 15th (4) The Court of Censorate reports an appeal lodged by Chang Wang, a native of T'eng Chow in Honan, complaining against a certain notorious bully of his neighbourhood, named Yang Heng-ts'ing, a titular graduate, who, in August 1872, falling in with appellant's wife while gathering herbs, attempted criminal violence upon her, but without success. In the following month he came to complainant's house with a band of followers, and carried his wife off by force, wounding complainant desperately. A fortnight afterwards his father managed to get his wife back again, but she was driven by her shame to commit suicide.  On complaint being lodged with the authorities, the desperado Yang was arrested, but through the connivance of the official underlings he obtained his release, and appellant's father, who went to lodge a

petition at the Prefecture, has, through the influence of the said villainous underlings, been confined in the lock-up and illegally beaten, remaining in durance up to the present time.

Referred in the usual manner.

(5) A further appeal case from Honan, in whicha man named Chang Yew-jan complains of the murder of his father by one Liu I, at the instigation of one Chang Ti-p'an. The murder is said to have grown out of a dispute about adjoining lands. Appellant's father having been wrongfully imprisoned, he was partly starved by Liu I, an underling of the yamen, and finally wounded by him with a knife, thereby causing his death.

Referred in the usual manner.

Sep. 21st (6) In a postscript memorial, the same functionary forwards a statement of sundry officials with respect to the self-sacrifice shewn by Fang-she, the wife of a sub-deputy assistant Magistrate named T'eng Ngen-yung, to whom she was married in October, 1873. Her husband fell ill in January whilst on a thief-taking expedition, and his wife, hearing of this, hastened from the provincial capital to join him. She cut a piece of flesh from her arm to mix with his medicine, and implored the powers of Heaven and Earth on his behalf, offering to lay down her life in his stead. Remedies proved of no avail, and he died on the 10th April last. After refusing all sustenance for three days, the inconsolable widow, then aged 24, committed suicide by swallowing gold-leaf.

In reply to the Governor's application for a mark of approbation of so laudable an act of self-devotion, a rescript grants permission for the erection of a memorial tablet.

 

Oct. 1st (2) The constabulary yamen reports the following appeal case lodged by Wu Feng-che, labourer, aged 50, from a village in Honan. He complains that in January, 1873, a police runner from the district magistracy of Hwa, stating that a robbery of some trees had been committed in the village, carried off his son, in concert with the head of the local thief-takers, and flogged him to extract a confession, but unsuccessfully. He then locked the young man up, and made use of illegal forms of torture, after having hoodwinked his superior, the Magistrate. Complainant, when he went to remonstrate, was told that if he did not pay a squeeze his life would be in danger, and he was forcibly prevented from proclaiming his wrong. When he managed to get together some cash, which he brought to the men aforesaid, they declared the sum to be insufficient, and at some time not precisely known they beat complainant's son to death, and then buried him secretly. Complainant has petitioned the Magistrate, the Prefect, and the Governor of the Province, without obtaining redress.

Referred as usual.

 

Oct. 4th. The Governor-General of Sze-ch'wan memorializes at great 1ength reporting the recapture and execution of a prisoner who had escaped from his guard while on the journey back to a district jail, after having been sentenced at the ''autumn assize" to death by strangling. The prisoner P'an Yeo-fu, had been found guilty of causing the death, by wounds inflicted in a quarrel, of a woman with whom he had been carrying on a criminal intercourse, and was sent back in June, 1873, to the district city of Yun-lien, to await the period of execution. Whilst on the road one day, having gone into a wayside cookshop with his guards, he feigned a sudden attack of indisposition, and being taken outside by one of the police he seized an opportunity, when the watcher was off his guard, to slip off his chain and to throw himself over a precipice down a ravine. Ridding himself of his fetters and clothing, he made good his escape.  Two months afterwards, however, he was recaptured by the Yunnan authorities at his native home, toward which he had made his way, and having been handed over in due course, he has been sentenced as the law directs to undergo immediate execution of his original sentence. The police whose negligence permitted his escape are to suffer the pena1ty of one hundred blows, and transportation for three years, as the law provides.

Oct. 9th. (5) In a postscript memorial the Governor-General [of Szech'uan] reports that the magistrate of the Kiang-ngan District, having been directed to attend to the supply of timber of lantern-masts at the Temple of Heaven at Peking, had spent close upon two years of unremitting effort in procuring suitable spars from the forest, and in having them dragged over steep mountain-oaths to the nearest water.  Owing to the rapids, however, by which the course of the stream is interrupted, the only means of navigation available in conveying the timber downwards (towards the Yangtze) was the use of bamboo-rafts, and by the wrecking of one of these at rapids in the Yang-ngan District, the magistrate, with four chair-bearers and one personal attendant, found a watery grave on the 26th June last.  His body has been recovered and buried; and a token of Imperial commiseration is applied for, in consideration of his long and efficient service.

Rescript: Let the Board decide on a reward in conformity with the regulations.

 

Oct. 11th & 12th (3) Ying-kwei and his colleagues of the gendarmerie memorialize forwarding the appeal presented by Sung Pai-shan, a native of the Yih district in Shantung, to the following effect:- Appellant's father was engaged in March, 1870, as private tutor in the house of a certain Hwang Tun-li, where he was subjected to contumely on the part of a man servant named Jen Tsung-fu and others.  In consequence of the insults offered him he wished to leave the house, but he was persuaded by Hwang Tun-li to remain. On the following day, he was murdered in Jen Tsung-fu's room, upon which the master of the house sent a man named Lin Ta with a message to appellant, to the effect that the deceased had committed suicide by hanging himself.  When appellant went with his mother and granduncle to see the remains, they found the body hacked and mangled on the chest and abdomen, and actually disembowelled. The district magistrate held an inquest, on complaint being lodged, and apprehended Jen Tsung-fu and the others implicated; but they succeeded in hushing up the case by bribing the local headborough and the examiner of corpses, and on bringing the case into Court the magistrate, heedless of protests to the contrary, brought in a finding of "death by self-inflicted wounds." Complaint was lodged hereupon with the Prefect, who referred the case to the Magistrate for reinvestigation; but as Hwang Tun-li and his accomplices had already arranged their machinations, no reversal could be allowed to take place. The granduncle was thrown into the lockup and a payment was extorted from him, and the only result of appeals to the Governor has been to cause appellant to be flogged, the accused parties, on the contrary, being set at liberty. He is therefore driven to lodge his complaint at Peking. Referred in the usual manner.

 

Oct. 13th & 14th (7) In a postscript memorial the same official [the Acting Governor of Yunnan and Kweichow] reports that on the 25th April last a brevet General named Liu Ch'ung-k'ing had murdered his wife at his residence in Yunnan Fu, and that on an inquest being held on the remains of the deceased, she was reported as aged 26, and was found to have been pregnant at the time of the murder. Wounds had been inflicted on the forehead and the throat, and the sword with which these had been inflicted was taken into safe keeping. On Liu Ch'ung-k'ing being arraigned on the charge of murder, he deposed that his age is 37; that he has fought through the rebellion as a leader of braves, and that, having lost his first wife, he married deceased in 1867. The usual agency of a marriage-broker was employed, and deceased, the daughter of one Chang Shan-yen, was represented to him as an unmarried girl, whereas, in fact, she had been already married. Her conduct, after becoming his wife, was extremely unbecoming, and, taking advantage of his absence from home on the 23rd April, she went to a place distant 20 li from the city, where she spent two nights in amusement, and, as he was informed, had joined a party of gamblers. He sent for her repeatedly before she at length returned home, and, inflamed with indignation at her conduct, and the reflection that during his absence from home for six years previously she had probably been guilty of the most disgraceful conduct, he drew his sword as she alighted from her chair, and killed her. According to law, the penalty he has incurred for the murder of his wife is death by strangling, and the confirmation of a sentence to this effect is applied for.

Rescript referring the case to the Board of Punishments.

 

Oct. 18th (3) The Governor Genera1 of the Two Kiang reports the apprehension of four members of a confederacy of gamblers, who had been reported as carrying on their trade along the banks of the Yangtze between Hankow and Ngan-K'ing, and as having committed a number of murders. One of the prisoners had confessed to participation in the murder of five persons, in the course of a piratical attack upon a travelling boat, and to two murders committed on the persons of individuals decoyed into gambling. A second prisoner, Li, the dwarf, confessed to having been the master spirit on board the boat where the gambling was carried on, and to instigated two murders. The other made confession of accessory acts of the same nature. All four have been summarily executed, and the heads of the two principal offenders exposed as a warning.

 

Oct. 21st. The Civil Governors of Shen-king (Manchuria) memorialize forwarding their report upon the arrears of judicial cases in the magistracies under their jurisdiction, respecting which the Censor Teng K'ing-lin complained at the close of last year. From enquiries made by delegates sent for the purpose to the different districts now in question, it appears that the judicial cases in suspense vary from a minimum of fifty or sixty, some being of a recent and others of long-standing origin. The cause assigned for the protracted delays on the part of the courts of first instance in pronouncing their judgments, is the apprehension of erring on the side either of leniency or of severity on the part of the Magistrates, where evidence is of a conflicting nature.  Thus, in the case of charges of homicide, the accused, who has taken a life, in dread of the penalty of the law will invariably seek to put the best face possible on the circumstances whilst the relatives of the deceased, in their desire to gain redress, will with equal certainty falsify their statements to enhance the gravity of the charge. The truth cannot possibly be arrived at without adequate witnesses but persons dwelling in the immediate vicinity of the scene of the crime complained of, and actual eyewitnesses thereof, either hesitate to give straightforward evidence, lest they incur enmity by doing so, or fearful of being involved in trouble themselves, they take refuge in flight. The decision of such charges is consequently impeded through the difficulty of arriving at the facts of the case. A similar difficulty makes itself felt in connection with charges of robbery with violence, owing to the difficulty of obtaining confession or the evidence of witnesses.  No remedy to the existing state of affairs can be suggested, as the idea of circuits of judicial delegates is shewn to be impracticable; and the only thing to be done is to issue renewed injunctions to the Magistrates to deal as speedily as possible with the arrears in question.

 

Oct. 22nd (2) The officiating Governor of Shantung memorializes denouncing the officials responsible for the escape of a prisoner from the jail of the Kwan-ch'eng District in Shantung. The acting Magistrate has reported that he was deputed on the 28th July by his superior, the Prefect of Ts'ao-chow Fu, to proceed to the Ch'ao-cheng District to take part in certain judicial proceedings, and on the 29th he received a report from the sub-deputy Magistrate in charge of the jail, to the effect that at 3 a.m. of that day, during a storm of wind and rain, the jailers and others being fast asleep under shelter within doors, a prisoner named Li Yung had broken his fetters, wrenched off the lock of his cage, forced open a door, and escaped over the wall. On his flight being discovered, the jailers had followed in pursuit, but without success. The prisoner in question was under remand from last year to the present, under sentence of death by strangulation for, the homicide of a person named Chang Fu-t'ung, in revenge for the death of prisoner's father, in which he had borne a share. The Magistrate is adjudged guilty of carelessness, both before and after the escape, although he states that he was absent at the time on duty, and the keeper of the jail with his subordinates is exposed to suspicion of guilty connivance at the act. It is requested that sanction be given to his being stripped of his office and brought to trial, the Magistrate being held answerable meanwhile in the usual manner for the recapture of the prisoner.

 

Oct. 23rd (I) The Governor-General of Chihli reports the result of a rehearing in an appeal case, referred back from Peking, on the complaint lodged by Wang Wang-she, a woman of the Ho-kien District, who charged one Wang-kwang with the murder of her father and mother, certain others of the family with screening him from justice with knowledge of the facts, and clerks and police of the Magistracy with corrupt connivance at the murderer's escape. The facts of the case, on a trial which has been held by the Prefect of Ho-kien Fu, subsequently revised by the Judicial Commissioner, and in the Governor-General's absence at Tientsin by the Financial Commissioner of the province are as follows:-Complainant is the married daughter of the deceased, Wang Weu-pin, and his wife, Wang ma-she, who were aged persons without male issue. Their nephew, Wang Ngen, being a worthless character, they determined in 1870, with the assent of Wang Weu-pin's brother, Wang Kwei-pin, and the head of the clan, to adopt a half-nephew named Wang-kwang as their son. He entered the family accordingly, and behaved, it is admitted, in a very proper manner. Wang Weu-pin was owner of some ten or fifteen mow of land, but owing to deficient harvests was in very straightened circumstances, and in December 1871, his adopted son asked and obtained his leave to go off to Manchuria in search of a livelihood. Some money for his expenses was promised him, but whether he actually set off on the journey the kinsfolk and neighbours are unable to say. At midnight on the 17th December, the wife of Wang Kwei-pin and others heard an outcry in Wang Wen-pin's house, but as he was in the habit of quarrelling with his wife no notice was taken of this. On the following morning it was observed that their house remained closed, and on the sister-in-law going to knock at the dour, no answer was returned. Forcing the door open, and peeping through a crack in the inner door, she saw the body of Wang Ma-she stretched on the floor, covered with blood. The local tythingman and others were called, and on entering the house the dead body of the husband was likewise found in an inner room. Both the bodies were stark naked, and both had evidently been murdered. On complainant being called, she found that clothing and other effects were missing. Her suspicion fell on Wang-Kwang, owing to his sudden departure from home, and she further suspected the tythingman and neighbours of hushing up his connection with the affair. As he was not apprehended, after petitioning the Prefect, she came to Peking. By omitting to lodge her appeals with the superior provincial tribunals before resorting to the capital, she has by law incurred penalty of fifty stripes, and sentence to this effect is passed upon her, with liberty to redeem the corporal punishment by a fine. The allegations brought in her appeal are declared unfounded. Search is to be continued for the actual murderer, and for the missing man, Wang-kwang.

 

Oct. 24th. (I)  The Court of Censorate memorialize forwarding the appeal of Teng Wang-she, widow of all official, which has been lodged on her behalf by her messenger Hiung Shun. Appellant, who is aged 41, a native of Szechuan, complains to the effect that her husband, now deceased, took up in 1869 his appointment as Assistant Department Magistrate of Luh-liang Chow, in Yunnan. His superior officer, Ma Tsung-Chow by name, was a man of harsh and grasping character.  On his endeavouring to impose an  increase in the amount of taxation, the notables and people of the department set up an inscribed slab, which appellant's husband was ordered to destroy, but he did not venture to obey this order This led to ill-feeling on the Magistrate's part. Somewhat later, a criminal under sentence of transportation from Honan arrived at the department as his allotted station, whereupon the Magistrate ordered him to receive two thousand blows with the heavy bamboo, and to be confined in a wooden cage, there to be kept standing upright until he should die. This order also appellant's husband did not venture to carry into effect, and the Magistrate's anger against him increased in consequence. Last year, two of the education officers came to warn him that the Magistrate was about to send up an impeachment against him, and he fell in to low spirits, frequently declaring that his superior was determined to have his life.  Finally, after endeavouring, but in vain, to see the Prefect, in order to lay his case before him, he revealed the whole history of his wrongs to the Magistrate of Nanning, and the same night he took poison and died. Report was made, an inquest held, and an enquiry instituted by the order of the Judicial Commissioner, who directed the Prefect of Yun-nan Fu and a delegate named Li to take the depositions. These officers, however, without enquiring in the least into the circumstances set forth in the petition before them, ordered appellant and her witnesses not to allege complaints as set forth on the petition, to the end that the case might more easily be settled. On another Prefect being subsequently appointed to hold the enquiry, the facts of the case were for the first time elicited, and Ma Tsung-chow (the incriminated Magistrate) bowed his head down without a word to say, - when, of a sudden, the Judicial Commissioner, Ch'ung, entered the Court, and ordered appellant and her witnesses to be removed, stating that the enquiry would be resumed on a future day.  From that moment the case has been put on one side.  Appellant has petitioned both the Governor and the Governor General, who have each issued instructions thereupon to the Judicial Commissioner to bring the case before him, but he has done nothing of the kind.  A nephew of appellant's, while selling books in the streets, was suddenly arrested by the police of the Kw'en-Ming Magistrate, and dragged off to the Yamen, where 400 heavy blows were inflicted upon him, the Magistrate exclaiming in a rage: "I am not so easily to be complained as Ma Tsung-chow;" and the victim was then placed in a cangue weighing 100 catties. Appellant went to lodge a complaint with the Judicial Commissioner, who refused to receive it, and sent for the Kw'en Ming Magistrate, who after his interview, sent police to seize appellant and her domestic servant, Hiung Shun.  They were dragged off by rufffianly police, who kicked and beat them on thee way, and were consigned to jail; but thanks to the kindness of the Prefect, to whom appeal was made in person on the following day, they were released.  Appellant states that she has lodged petitions regarding her case four times with the Judicial Commissioner, once with the Literary Chancellor, six times with the Governor, and three times with the Governor-General, none of whom have caused the case to be brought before them personally.

(For Rescript referring to the case in the usual manner, see Gazette of 13th inst.)

 

Oct. 25th (2)-The Governor of Honan reports the trial and sentence proposed in the case of a man named Hwang Cheng-tsai, for the crime of accidental matricide. The man in question lived with his mother and a young girl, his affianced wife, who had been brought up from childhood in that capacity, and who at the time the offence was committed had reached the age of 16.  On the 29th June last, Hwang Cheng-tsai came home from his work the worse for liquor, and on counting the chickens in the yard noticed that one was missing. The girl, on being asked about this, replied that one had been carried off by a crow (kite?),- upon which, in a fit of drunken rage, Hwang Cheng-tsai drew a knife from his belt and made a lunge at her. The girl took to flight, and as she ran into the house, pursued by Hwang Cheng-tsai, she was met by his mother at the door. In attempting to stab the girl as he ran, he plunged the knife into his mother's breast, and she fell dying to the ground. On trial being held, the sentence passed, in conformity with sundry precedents, is that the prisoner do suffer death by decapitation, in lieu of the "slicing to death," which is the penalty for acts of intentional parricide. This sentence is referred by Rescript for the consideration of the Board of Punishments.

 

Oct. 26th. (1.) The Governor of Honan reports the rehearing of an appeal case referred back from Peking, with the sentence passed on appellant. Aman named Fu Wu had complained, stating that certain individuals had caused the death of his wife by assaulting her and bringing about a premature delivery. On investigation it is found that appellant had borrowed money in 1871 on the mortgage of his dwelling, and having been unable to repay his debt, was sued in the Magistrate's Court, when judgment was given ordering a foreclosure to be made. Fu Wu, having no other place of abode, delayed obedience to this order, and when at length the creditor went demand possession of the premises, an altercation arose between his wife and the wife of one of the parties concerned. The same evening she gave birth to a child, which died three days afterwards from cramps. The charge brought by Fu Wu having been proved false and calumnious, he is sentenced according to law to the penalty of 100 blows, and to transportation for four years.

 

Nov. 7th. (2) The Governor of Ngan-hwei memorializes reporting the issue in an appeal case reheard, in conformity with a rescript dated the 26th May, 1873, to the Court of Censorate's report of the 26th idem. The appellant, named Wan She-me, had accused his nephew, Wan Si-pao, of wantonly injuring his property, causing the death of his grandmother, Wan Twan-she, and conniving with the official underlings to frustrate the ends of justice.  On the trial now held, it appears that appellant, who farmed a small property of his own, had mortgaged it to his nephew after the insurrectionary troubles, and in 1870 he transferred, through the agency of certain other relations, one-half of the land to Wan Si-pao, in extinguishment of the mortgage. Wan Si-pao allowed him to make use of two sheds which stood on the ground transferred, to keep his farming implements in, but some time afterwards he wished to pull one of these buildings down for the sake of the materials.  To this, however, the grandmother, Wan Twan-she, raised objections. Ill-feeling was further entertained on her part with reference to a widowed niece, whom Wan Twan-she wished to have married again from her house, in order that she might obtain a share of the wedding gifts, whilst on the other hand Wan Si-pao's mother had got the young woman at her own house, and kept her employed at needle work.  One day, at length, Wan She-mai having gone away with his brother to a fair, Wan Si-pao came with a number of workmen to pull down the shed, notwithstanding the objections of Wan Twan-she, who raised a commotion, and dashed her head against the door-frame until induced to leave the spot by some of the family.  Led away as she was by anger, she took advantage the same night of the absence of the two brothers to commit suicide by hanging herself from a door-post, and life was extinct by the time Wan She-mai hastened to the spot.  He proceeded to lodge accusations against Wan Si-pao, whom he charged with having come with a large number of comrades to cut his crops, set his house on fire, and flood his fields, and moreover with being in league with the official underlings. The accused person not having been apprehended, on orders to that effect being given by the department Magistrate, an appeal was lodged at Peking.  The judgment is that Wan Si-pao is guilty of the charge of having caused by violent conduct the death of a relative within a close degree of affinity, the penalty for which, the degree of relationship considered, is by statute fixed at two degrees lower than that of strangulation, viz., 100 blows and transportation for three years, besides a payment of ten taels for the funeral expenses of the deceased person.  The appellant, his charge being partially substantiated, though not altogether true, is, by special act of leniency, exempted from any penalty.

 

Nov. 17th. (I) The Court of Censorate memorializes forwarding the appeal of Li Kwang-wen, deposited on his behalf by a messenger, complaining as follows.  Appellant, a native of Honan, holds the rank of expectant captain, and last year lodged an appeal at Peking, accusing a pawn-broker named I King-fen of having conspired to defraud him of certain property, and an official underling named Lo Tsung-che of having unlawfully imprisoned appellant's brother and caused his death.  On orders being sent down to the local authorities to institute enquiry, the two accused persons, conscious of their guilt, kept out of the way; the pawnbroker sending, however, one of his clerks to bribe and underling of the Prefect's, named Niu Sin-k'iao, and certain of the yamen clerks, who caused appellant to be brought to the yamen and placed in strict confinement.  He was subjected to cruel ill-treatment, and his servant, when sent with money for his expenses, was robbed of it, and himself thrown into prison.  The two accused persons, hiding in their respective abodes, have bribed the District Magistrate to report that they have gone away to their native places; and appellant remains in prison, without hope of a hearing of the case in which he is plaintiff.  He is convinced that the intention is to compass his death like that of his brother.

Referred in the usual manner.

(2)  The Court of Censorate forwards another appeal lodged on behalf of a woman of the Yu-hang District in Chekiang, complaining that her husband has been falsely accused of murdering a man named Koh P'in-lien, the accuser being his wife, who had in reality poisoned him herself.  Appellant's husband having been apprehended on this false charge, has been compelled under torture to confess the act.  A previous appeal has already been lodged and referred back for a fresh enquiry; but the Prefect has slurred over the affair.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Nov. 19th.  (5) In a postscript memorial, K'iao Sung-nien deplores the death of a corporal and a soldier of the guard, who were precipitated into the stream whilst engaged in securing the embankment during the September freshet, and were carried away by the fierce current.

 

Nov. 22nd. (I) The Constabulary yamen reports an appeal lodged by a youth named Li Wen-hien, of Ts'ing-ho in Chihli, complaining to the effect that in January, 1873, his home was broken into by a gang of robbers, who murdered his grandfather and grandmother, and fatally wounded a servant of the house, after which they carried off such property as they could lay hands on.  An inquest was held, and the wounded man deposed to having recognized two noted desperadoes if a neighbouring village among the robbers.  These men were apprehended, and when confronted with their accuser had not a word to say in their defence; but they bribed the yamen underlings to put the charge on one side until the wounded man had succumbed to the result of his injury.  They then boldly denied the crime, and were subjected to no torture whatever to compel a confession.  Appellant petitioned the superior authorities, whereupon the Magistrate, acting under instruction, apprehended certain others of the gang, who incriminated the previous prisoners.  The law-clerks, however, in revenge for being petitioned against, still kept the case in abeyance, and instead of allowing the criminals to be punished, have thrown appellant into prison and robbed him of the money he had got together to prosecute his case.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Nov. 28th. (4) The Governor-General of Chihli further memorializes reporting the result of a trial for the crime of matricide.  The accused, Shen Wu-heh, was a native of the Ts'ing-yuan District, and a dissipated character of no settled occupation, living with his mother.  Early in the present year he stole from the house of a relative an iron hoe, which he pawned.  The relative, having fruitlessly demanded it of him, went himself and redeemed it from pawn. On the 6th July last the prisoner again went to his relative's house, and shortly after he had left the place the hoe was again missed.  He was pursued and remonstrated with, and in the course of the ensuing altercation his mother came forward to chide him as he was standing beside a well.  Being at that time under the influence of liquor, Shen wu-heh grasped his mother's hand, exclaiming: When people falsely accuse us of theft, how is it that you do not throw yourself in the well?  At the same time he gave her a push which caused her to lose her footing, and she fell down into the well.  Her son shouted for help, but before her body could be recovered, life was extinct.  These facts having been established, the prisoner has been sentenced according to law to suffer the penalty of being sliced to death, and this has been inflicted with the usual formalities on the scene of the crime.  His head has been exhibited on a pole as a warning.  The relative and his brother, whose demand for the recovery of the hoe led to the perpetration of this crime, are adjudged to have been guilty of improper conduct, in view of the awful consequences, although their action does not amount to the legal offence of "causing a death through an unfounded accusation of theft," and they are sentenced to the penalty of eighty blows, commuted to thirty as the law allows.

 

Dec. 1st.  (2) The Governor of Shansi reports the result of a trial of certain police for the escape of a prisoner, who got away from them custody in the course of last year, whilst being conveyed under sentence of death from one district to another. The prisoner had occasioned the death of an old man by a kick in the midriff during an altercation respecting a small sum due to him, and was condemned to death by strangling. While passing through a stony ravine, the cart in which he was seated broke down, and while some of the escort went to search for a lodging-place near by, the remainder allowed him to step on one side, of which opportunity he availed himself to break his fetters and escape. Within the period of one year allowed for recapture he returned in disguise to his own village, and on information being received, measures were taken for re-apprehending him. On finding recapture imminent, he committed suicide by cutting his throat. The offending police have been condemned to the penalty of 100 blows and banishment for three years.

 

Dec. 2nd.  (2) The Governor of Shansi memorializes reporting the trial and execution of a lunatic found guilty of the murder of his mother. The prisoner, named Wu K'iao-yun Tsai, was found by the commission appointed to try the case to have become insane in consequence of loss of money as a vendor of fruit, but his friends and relatives, trusting that by medical aid he might be restored to sanity, refrained from reporting his case to the authorities to the end that he should be chained up. On the 20th July, about a week after the mental alienation had manifested itself, he murdered his mother by dealing her a heavy blow on the head with an iron cooking-pot, having first barricaded the door of the room in which the crime was committed, so that the neighbours who came up on an alarm being given were unable to prevent the act. On being placed on trial, he for the most part raved incoherently, but in a comparatively lucid moment he pointed to the back of his head, when asked how he had done the deed. In conformity with the law, he has been sliced to death, the execution of this sentence taking place at the provincial capital, as it is beyond the limit of 300 li from the scene of the offence.

 

Dec. 3rd.-The Military Governor of Jeh-ho reports the issue of an examination into a case of suicide committed by a sub-deputy Magistrate and his wife. The Magistrate of the Feng-ning district having had occasion to hold an inquest at the village of Kwoh-kia Tun, his underlings endeavoured to extort from the village headmen a sum of money for the burial of the remains. This was resisted, and a slight disturbance was the result.  After returning to his magistracy, the Magistrate accused one of the police of his sub-deputy, whose station was at the village, of inciting the people to the demonstration they had made, and flogged him severely. Upon this the sub-deputy, believing that the Magistrate was bent on ruining him by a denunciation, threw himself with his wife into a well, and both were drowned. The motive for this act having been proved to be the oppressive and illegal conduct of the Magistrate, a sentence has been pronounced to the effect that he has incurred the penalty of sixty blows and banishment for one year. Being a commissioned officer, he should be transported to the military frontier, to redeem his offence. This sentence is referred by rescript for the consideration of the Board of Punishments.

 

Dec. 11th. The Governor of Yunnan memorializes reporting the result of the trial of certain yamen underlings and police implicated in the case in which a military officer had been fatally injured after a dispute with the Prefect of Tung-ch'wan Fu, who was subsequently assassinated in revenge for this by Yang Ju-tsi, the son of his victim. (See Gazette of March 29th). The case occurred as follows. In June, 1870, a denizen of the district of Hwei-tseh brought a complaint against a native of the district for the abduction of his wife, justice for which was delayed by means of bribery on the part of the accused. The complainant had a connection, Major Yang Yu-lin, who was at Tung-ch'wan Fu awaiting the delivery of certain military supplies, and he moved some of the retainers of this officer to seek redress on his behalf. The retainers attacked the district magistrate's police and gave them a beating; but on complaint being made, they were handed over by Yang Yu-lin and placed in custody. After some further disputes about the affair, the Prefect requested Major Yang to call at his yamen, and asked him to explain his conduct in allowing his retainers to meddle in public concerns. Major Yang stated his case, upon which the Prefect, growing irate, snatched off his official hat and button, throwing them upon the ground, and shouted out: "Tie him up!" A number of his servants hereupon rushed up, with weapons and sticks in their hands, and belaboured Major Yang, whom they felled to the ground. The Prefect at the same time ordered him to be beaten as a criminal and sent to the magistrate's jail, whither his son, on coming forward to remonstrate, was shortly afterwards likewise sent. His house was next broken into by the police, and plundered of its contents by them and by the populace. A number of the police who were guilty of this outrage have been made prisoners, and it is ruled, in the sentence now proposed for the sanction of the Board of Punishments, that they should rank as accessories to the crime of which the principal guilt rested with their master, the Prefect. Of the prisoners in question, the greater number have died in confinement. Three remain, who are sentenced to the penalty of 100 blows and transportation for three years.

 

Dec. 19th. (3) The Governor of Nganhwei reports a peculiarly horrifying case of murder. The parties concerned belong to the district of Wu-hu, where they earned their livelihood in a small way, owning besides a trifling area of land. The family consisted of the following persons, viz., Wu Ts'ai, a worthless, dissipated fellow; his father, Wu T'ing-fu; his wife, Wu P'an-she; and their son, Wu Kwang-yung.  Frequent quarrels took place on the subject of money between Wu Ts'ai and his father and wife, one of which having occurred on the afternoon of the 11th September last, when he endeavoured to get his wife's consent to the sale of a piece of ground. She refused, and he subsequently beat her until she gave him 100 cash, the woman, in her anger, exclaiming to her father-in-law and her son, after the husband had gone out, that they would all be ruined unless they put this ruffian out of the way. Wu T'ing-Fu, himself reduced to despair, agreed that he should be put to death, and the woman then prepared a bag with some lime in it, heedless of the remonstrances of her son. When Wu Ts'ai returned home at night in a state of intoxication, he began again to abuse his wife, and she thereupon summoned her father-in-law and her son, who assisted in tying the victim's arms and legs. The bag of lime was then slipped over his head to smother him, and while the son held his legs down, his father sat upon his head until all struggles were over and life was extinct. On the following day, Wu Ting-fu alleged to a neighbour that the deceased had died during the night in a fit of intoxication, and induced him to assist in carrying out and interring the corpse. Information having reached the Magistrate, however, an inquest was held and the parties were made prisoners. On confession having been elicited, the mother and son have been adjudged as both subject to the most awful penalty of the law, and they have been publicly sliced to death accordingly, with the usual formalities. The father of the murdered man is liable according to statute to the penalty of 100 blows for his share in the crime, but being beyond the age of 70, he is entitled to commute this by a pecuniary mulct.

 

Dec 23rd. (1) The Governor of Chehkiang reports the conclusion of a trial for the murder of two men, father and son, named Chao Kwo-kun and Chao Ping-lieh. The elder Chao, who was manager of a commune temple in the Si-ngan district, having interfered on one occasion, in July, 1872, to prevent some disorderly fellows named Lu from gambling with bamboo slips belonging to the temple, a fight ensued in consequence, and on Chao lodging a complaint against them at the district magistracy, one of their number, Lu Wu-urh, was apprehended and flogged. In revenge for this he determined to take Chao's life, and a couple of months later, having previously obtained the promise of assistance from four others of the same surname, he looked out for an opportunity of carrying his  purpose into effect. Having watched Chao Kwo-kun leaving the village one day, and surmising that he would return by the same road, he called together his accomplices, and arming himself with a bill hook, while another carried a chopper, he lay in wait for his victim. When Chao Kwo-kun made his appearance, he was set upon and hacked to death, wounds being dealt all over the body. Shortly afterwards, the son of the murdered man, finding his father had not returned, went out to look for him, whereupon the assassins resolved upon murdering him also, to prevent his denouncing them. The young man was consequently set upon and cut to pieces as his father had been. A villager happened to approach the scene of the crime, and saw what had been done, but he was intimidated into holding his tongue, and the murderers got away. The eye-witness informed the relatives, however, of what he had seen, and pursuit having been instituted, the two principal criminals have been apprehended, and are sentenced to death in due form of law.

 

Dec. 31st. (I) The Governor of Honan reports the rehearing of an appeal case referred back from Peking. A man named Han Wen-teh having been fatally stabbed, in 1869 by a fellow-villager named Sung Kwook-kin, and the murderer having taken to flight, the victim's brother, Han Wen-ping, brought a groundless charge of complicity in the murder against certain of his fellow villagers, who were tried and discharged as innocent. He subsequently complained at Peking against these men and the police of the magistracy, whom he represented as having connived at the escape of the murderer. These charges have been reinvestigated, and found to be devoid of foundation; but as the appellant was actuated by grief for the loss of his brother in taking the steps in question, he is exempted from punishment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1875

Jan. 8th.  The Governor of Shantung reports the rehearing of an appeal case referred back from Peking (see Gazette of May 15, 1874).  The complainant, Ma Ch'ao-i, a native of K'ai Chow in Chihli, complained that his uncle, a ferryman named Ma King-feng, had been carried off as a prisoner to P'u Chow, in Shantung, by a police runner named Fang Man, and others, in revenge for the capture of certain highwaymen with whom they were in league, and whom Ma King-feng had delayed by refusing to ferry them across a river when pursued.  It was alleged that Fang Man and his fellow police runners had put Ma King-feng to death in an inn, and that all attempts to bring them to justice had been defeated.  The Governor now reports that on Ma Ch'ao-i being sent to the province from Peking, and an investigation being ordered, an official was despatched to P'u Chow to investigate in concert with the department Magistrate.  Their enquiry elicited the fact that there was no such person as Fang Man employed as a police runner.  The other two persons implicated, Fang T'ing-lin and Fang T'sing-piao, being ill, were unable to undertake the journey to the provincial capital, and only the documents relating to the case were consequently transmitted to the Judicial Commissioner.  On this being done, the appellant, Ma Ch'ao-i, came forward and voluntarily acknowledged the fact of the case to be that his uncle, having been induced by certain persons who are not in custody to commit divers acts of robbery, had been apprehended by the P'u Chow authorities, and had died from disease in prison.  He had not been wrongfully laid hold of, confined in an inn, and put to death by the police, (as stated in his appeal).  He had brought forward this charge in ignorance of the real facts, while filled with grief for his uncle's death; but now, having assured himself of the true particulars, he would not venture to persevere in a false charge, and he begged that the production of witnesses to be confronted with him might be dispensed with.  He acknowledged that there was no such person as Fang Man.  On referring to the documents it appears that in January 1873, the then department Magistrate of P'u Chow apprehended a culprit named Ma urh-ma Tsai, who was the same with Ma King-feng, and who confessed to sundry acts of robbery at different places.  The prisoner's father, Ma Sin-kien, and a relative, came to the Magistracy to apply for his release on bail, but it was refused, and he died in prison on the 15th February.  Investigation had thus proved the falsity of Ma Ch'ao-i's complaint, but as it originated in grief for his uncle's death, there is a distinction between its nature and that of a wantonly calumnious charge.  As, moreover, he acknowledged the fact before trial, he is entitled to lenient treatment, and should be exempted from punishment.  [see also May 26th, 1874, above.]

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments take note.

(2) The Governor of Shantung reports the settlement of another appeal case, with the invariable result, viz., the establishment of the utter falsity of the charge preferred at Peking.

 

Feb. 13th & 14th.  The Governor-General of the Yellow River memorializes, forwarding the report given by one of his subordinates, the Sub-prefect of Siang Ho, respecting the supernatural protection to the embankment works, which was afforded in the Autumn freshet season by a deified being known as Wang Tsiang Kun or the [heavenly] General, Wang.  At a time when the banks were in imminent peril from the floods, he appeared in visible shape, upon which incense was burnt and prayers were offered, and the danger forthwith passed away.  The Governor-General adds that Wang Tsiang-Kun was during life acting Sub-prefect of the Siang Ho division, and was named Jen-fu.  He was precipitated into the river and drowned, in 1867, through the slip of an embankment, ...

 

Mar. 16th.  (3 and 4) Memorials by the Court of Censorate, forwarding two appeals in murder cases, from natives of the province of Chihli---one with reference to the assassination of a peasant in a village squabble, the other the complaint of the widow of a petty military officer, who denounces her brother-in-law for the alleged murder of her husband and son, and for indirectly causing the suicide of her son's wife.  The authorities, she implies, are in league to deny her justice, and she especially charges the district Magistrate of Tientsin with endeavours to hush up the case. [see August 31st below.]

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Mar. 17th.  Decree re Memo of Censor Wang Chao-lan re prison conditions & deaths.

 

Mar. 19th.  The whole of to-day's Gazette is occupied with a memorial from the Governor of Kwangtung, on the proceedings in a murder case.  Three individuals of the family name of Siao had murdered six of their relatives in a most ruthless manner, in consequence of disputes about some land.  The ringleader had escaped, and was alleged to have committed suicide, and it was stated that his body had been devoured by wild beasts.  One of the two remaining delinquents has been executed, and the second is kept in prison to serve as a witness in case the efforts made to apprehend the missing ringleader should prove successful.

 

Mar. 30th.  Memo from censor Wang Chao-lan re prison deaths.

 

Apr. 6th. (3) The Governor of Yunnan memorializes reporting the proceedings taken respecting the murder of a civilian official.  On the 18th November last, a report was received by him from the Colonel of the Wei-yuan military division, to the effect that on the 8th of that month it had been reported to him by a servant of Wang Sze-ki sub-Prefect of the Wei-yuan department (in the Prefecture of Pu'urh, in the extreme south of Yunnan), that his master had been murdered on the 28th Oct., by a band of malefactors who broke into the building where he was lodging, at a place called Pao Mu Tsing, and in addition to despatching the sub-Prefect, wounded several of his retainers and carried off all his money and effects.  As they retired from the place they were pursued by the sergeant of the post, with the force under his command, but they forced a passage to the mountains, killing one of the soldiers of the pursuing force.  On receipt of this report, the Governor had to observe that many years have elapsed since the department of Wei-yuan was recovered from rebel possession, and that no remnants of the insurgents were any longer in existence there, so that a searching enquiry into the causes which could have led to so serious an affair as this, was urgently needed.  The locality being nearly 2,000 li (650 miles) from the provincial capital, however, time did not permit of sending a special commissioner for this purpose; and instructions were consequently despatched post haste to the Taotai of the southern circuit and the Brigadier commanding at P'u-urh, with other officials, to proceed with a military force at once to the spot, and institute enquiry and action in the matter.  A brevet Brigadier-General and a Lieutenant-Colonel were at the same time sent from the provincial capital to co-operate with them.  The place where the murder took place was one of the localities containing salt-wells, situated among the mountains 120 li from the departmental town, and was provided with a kungso or lodging-station for the convenience of officials when travelling or residing at the spot.  Wang Sze-ki had taken up his abode there from the moment of his entry upon the appointment of sub-Prefect, and had occupied himself with supervision of the Salt-boiling works.  On an inquest being held, his body was found covered with wounds, fourteen in number.  The efforts of the authorities resulted in the capture of five of the perpetrators of the crime, together with some of the stolen property.  The prisoners arrived at the provincial capital under military guard on the 21st January 1875, and were placed on trial before the Judicial Commissioner.  By the facts elicited it was proved that the murdered sub-Prefect, from the time when in November, 1872, he arrived in his department, had resided solely at the Salt-wells instead of in the departmental city.  In September 1874 he sent his family to the provincial capital in charge of two of his underlings, named Chow Lao-shih and Liu Ch'ang-tai.  When half way on their journey, the party were robbed of their money and valuables, and compelled to return.  The sub-Prefect, suspecting the two underlings of complicity with the thieves, flogged and discharged them, and in the month of October Liu Ch'ang-tai died from the effects of the beating he had undergone.  Chow Lao-shih hereupon sought out a sworn brother of the deceased, with certain others, told them of his grievance, and informed them moreover that Wang Sze-ki must have a large amount of Government money in his keeping, as he had not for a length of time made any remittances of the proceeds of the salt tax.  A band was organised by whom the murder and robbery were subsequently perpetrated.  On reaching the hills, the confederates, eighteen all told, divided the booty they had obtained, to wit, seven hundred taels in silver, opium, clothing, and female ornaments.  One member of the band had not been able to join them in time for the act, and his share of the plunder, viz., Taels 50 in silver and 50 taels' weight of opium, with a couple of jackets, was sent to him by one of the confederates, and duly accepted by him.  The prisoners have been summarily executed according to law.  The deceased sub-Prefect is severely blamed both for his unauthorised residence away from his own city, and for the severity of the punishment inflicted on his underlings.  The Governor states that a report had already reached him of the sub-Prefect's absence from his proper residence, his object being to profit by the administration of the salt-works, and he was on the point of ordering an enquiry into his conduct when this affair occurred.

 

Apr. 12th  (3) The same Governor [of Honan] reports the re-hearing of an appeal case referred back from Peking by a decree dated August 1873, on the complaint of a man named Sun T'ung-hwei, who accused one Liang-K'o and others of the murder of his uncle Sun Sze-ch'eng.  The deceased was married to a sister of Liang-k'o, and a kinsman of his, named Sun Sze-kieh, was accustomed to manage the family affairs for him during his absence from home on business.  A quarrel arose in June 1873 owing to a suspicion on the part of the deceased that illicit intercourse was being carried on between Sun Sze-kieh and his wife, but after an altercation in which blows were exchanged, the parties were separated and relations were established as before.  Sun Sze-ch'eng is found to have been attacked with sunstroke shortly afterwards, on an intensely hot day, in consequence of which he died; and the present complaint originated in unfounded suspicions on the appellant's part.  The appellant, however, is subject to fits of insanity, and on this ground he is absolved from punishment for bringing a false charge.

 

Apr. 15th.  The remainder of this day's Gazette is occupied with the report of the rehearing of an appeal case in Chihli.  A villager named Hu Sze had been apprehended on a vague suspicion of his being implicated in a case of highway robbery, as having lodged overnight the persons supposed to have been guilty of the crime, and, on being brought before the Magistrate of the district, he falsely confessed the charge, in dread of being put to torture.  When further called upon to acknowledge himself guilty of complicity in a previous case which was on record, he refused to confess, whereupon the Magistrate, believing him to be wilfully prevaricating, ordered him to be beaten with a stick on the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet.  A relative named Hu Urh, who had been arraigned at the same time, pleaded for mercy on his behalf, whereupon he himself was beaten, and both were then locked up in prison.  Hu Sze, being deprived of the opium to which he was accustomed, succumbed shortly afterwards to an attack of dysentery, and died ion the 30th January, 1873.  On report being made to the Prefect of the department, he sent another district Magistrate to verify the disease, and he, in company with Hu Urh, inspected the remains and attested the fact that the sires left by the bastinadoing were in process of healing and that deceased had died from natural causes.  The appeal which was lodged at Peking grew out of a tumult raised in the Magistrate's Yamen by the widow of deceased, her sister, and two male relatives, who, in consequence of their unseemly behaviour, were committed to prison.  Upon this some more of the relatives assembled and carried off the prisoners by force, together with the coffin containing the remains of the deceased.  More arrests were made hereupon, and the case was removed to the provincial capital for trial, when it was traversed by the appeal to Peking.  The culprits of the Hu family are now pronounced guilty in various degrees, and the ringleader of the disturbance would have been sentenced to death by strangling had he not already died in prison.  Several others are sentenced to flogging and banishment.  The Magistrate who gave rise to the whole affair is pronounced to have acted indefensibly by bastinadoing a prisoner in a manner and with an implement unwarranted by law, and he would have been dealt with had he not already been dismissed from the service on a separate charge.

 

Apr. 17th. (1) The Governor-General of Chihli reports the execution of two criminals, mother and son, for the murder of their husband and father.  The victim, a man named Wei-Urh Lien-ch'eng, was a small farmer, and a man of dissipated habits, who was gradually disposing of his property and consuming the proceeds in drink.  His wife consequently took counsel with her son, Wei-ta Nan-kan, for the murder of the head of the family, to which he consented; and one evening, on Wei-Urh returning home in liquor, he was beaten to death with a club by the mother and son.  As soon as life was extinct, the son took his father's body on his back and carried it out to a cemetery in a neighbouring ravine, where the mother dug a hole in which the remains were put out of sight.  Detection subsequently ensued, and mother and son, having been found guilty of the crime, have been subjected to the penalty of ling-ch'ih according to law.

(2)  The Governor of Shantung reports the execution by ling ch'ih of a man for the murder of his aunt and his first cousin, by putting arsenic in the millet from which their food was prepared, in revenge for being required by his aunt to give up a house which he had been allowed by her to occupy for a time.  One half of the criminal's property is to be awarded to the family of his victims; and as his cousin left no heir, the Magistrate of the District is to direct the heads of the clan to which he belonged to select a person, qualified in order of birth and seniority, to be recognized as hair to the murdered woman, in order to continue the family line and ancestral sacrifices.

 

Apr. 18th. (3) The Footai of Shantung, Ting Pao-chen, memorializes the Throne in reference to the trial and award of a case of re-appeal, by one Sung Pao-shan.  During the 12th moon of the 9th year of Tungchi (beginning of 1870), the appellant's father, Sung Wei-tien, was introduced by a friend to a farmer, Hwang Tun-li, to act in the capacity of labourer.  Hwang, finding by interrogation that the man knew little of husbandry, and seeing that he was, further, advanced in years, refused to employ him.  Sung Wei-tien was much disappointed, and being ashamed to return home, committed suicide on the farmer's premises by cutting himself in the abdomen.  The son, Sung Pao-shan, refused to believe that his father would seek death by such means, and accordingly accused some of the farmer's employees of murder, actuated by the fear that they would be supplanted by his father.  The case was tried in several Courts, one after another, always in favor of the accused, and assuming each time larger proportions, until a host of relations and yamen runners were dragged in as accomplices and connivers.  The Footai adjudges the appellant to be guilty of false accusation, actuated by the design of extorting money, and the parties attempted to be implicated being over ten in number, and the consequence being death to the accused if convicted, the crime, while too grave to benefit by the Act of Grace of 15th of 11th Moon of 13th Year of Tungchi (1874) should be dealt with by the utmost severity of the law.  The sentence arrived at, therefore, is that the appellant be conveyed to the border to serve in the Army as a felon.

[The Board of Punishments is commanded to consider and report.]

 

Apr. 26th. (3 and 4) The Governor of Shantung, Ting Pao-chen, --- also holding rank of Junior Guardian to the Heir apparent, reports on the adjudication of two appeal cases referred to his decision.

   In one case, the appellant accuses Liu Yuh-tang and others of murdering his sister, Lu-menze.  The latter, who had not finished a pair of stockings in hand for her husband, Liu Pau-chiu---was accused by him of idleness and beaten about the arms with a hempen rope; she stormed and raged at him in return, and received a further application of the rope about the back.  Mortified by the humiliation thus subjected to, she committed suicide by swallowing brine.  The husband was bambooed according to law by the Chehsien; but the appellant, suspecting that the father and mother-in-law of the deceased were guilty of beating his sister to death, lodged his accusation accordingly.

   In the other case, a nephew of the appellant Liu Ting-chi, was stabbed and found dead in the street; and Liu Chi-ting, with whom the deceased had been stopping, was accused of being guilty of the act.  Both charges are found by the Governor to be untrue although the suspicions which prompted the accusations are not without some shadow of reason. 

   The two appellants, by repairing to the capital to lodge false accusations are notwithstanding brought under the penalty of the law relating "to doing that which you ought not to do," and sentenced each to eighty blows of the bamboo.  But, in virtue of the Act of Grace of the 15th of 11th Moon of Tungche, the sentence was not to be carried into effect.

 

Apr. 28th.  (2) A memorial from the Cabinet Minister and Governor-General of Chihli, Li Hung-chang, Earl of first grade.  An inhabitant of the Yung-cheng district had lodged an accusation at the capital against some tax clerks, Kwoh Pei-cheng and others, for extorting money and being the cause of his father's death, who endeavoured to commit suicide, when confined in prison for not paying his taxes, by piercing himself with a nail.  It is found that the father recovered from the injury self-inflicted, and died afterwards from ordinary disease. The appellant is therefore brought under the law of doing that which he ought not to do, i.e., lodging a false plaint, and sentenced to 120 blows of the bamboo.  But this, in virtue of the act of grace since the offence, is remitted.

 

Apr. 29th. (1) Two Imperial Edicts, commanding two cases of appeal to be investigated and adjudicated upon by the Governor-Generals of the Provinces concerned. [Sze-ch'wan- complainant Wu Ch'eng-yeo: murder of Chao Pi-chang, see May 6th, 1877.]

 

May 4th.  (2) The Governor of Honan, Tsien Ting-ming, reports on the trial and award of a case of manslaughter, lodged at the Capital and referred to the decision of the provincial authorities.  The appellant's father, Li Ting-yung, in 1872, arranged the sale of an ox and an ass to the accused's father, Chau-fuh.  Subsequently, an altercation arose on the subject of payment with the buyer's son, Cha-chun.  Li Ting-yung struck a blow at Chau-chun, which the latter managed to avoid, but, picking up a vegetable knife to frighten his antagonist, he accidentally stabbed him in the abdomen while making a feint thrust, which caused his death within a short time afterwards.  The deceased's son, Li Sing-chieh, lodged a charge of murder at the Prefect's yamen, and the case was thence referred to the District Magistrate for adjudication.  Here the appellant for some reason showed considerable reluctance about making an appearance.  In the meanwhile, his cousin was summoned to the bar, and the appellant, hearing false rumours to the effect that the yamen men had been extorting money, and that his cousin had been subjected to coercion and punishment, thereupon resorted to a higher tribunal-i.e., first to the Provincial Court and lastly to the Capital.  The Governor, after a full investigation, finds that the death wound was beyond all doubt given unintentionally, but that, according to the law of "homicide" during an affray, no matter by what means, sentence of strangulation should be passed on Chau-chun---the said sentence to be carried out in the autumn.  In virtue, however, of the act of grace passed since the commission of the crime, the punishment will be commuted to one hundred blows of the bamboo and transportation to a distance of 3000 li.

 

May 9th.  (2) An ex-magistrate of the Canton province, Hwang, was summoned before the magistrate of Pa-shan to answer to an accusation respecting the ownership of land.  Hwang displayed some temper in Court, and was beaten on the palm of the hand by order of the presiding magistrate.  After being bailed out, fearing to be subjected to further disgrace if he appeared again, he committed suicide by swallowing poison.  The infliction of corporal punishment on an official in a trivial case arising from a suit about land, is declared to be a violation against established regulations, and the action of the Pa-shan magistrate is impeached.

 

May 16th.  (2) Two memorials from Ying-kwei, reporting two appeal cases lodged at the capital by inhabitants respectively of Szechuen and Honan.

   In the one case the appellant's family house was attacked and set fire to by the respondents, and one of the attacking party being killed, a relative of the appellant's was charged with murdering him in broad day, and subsequently died under the infliction of torture in prison.

   In the other, a younger brother of the appellant's was engaged to be married to a certain young lady, but one of the gentry took a liking to the lady, and the brother being enticed to the house of his affianced was there murdered to smooth the way for his rival---a richer man.

   A judicial enquiry is asked to be instituted into both cases.

 

May 24th.  (2) The Governor of Honan, Tsien Teng-ming, reports on the trial and award of a case appealed at the Capital.  The appellant, a woman, Chang-ee, charged Chang Tung-ming and others with the murder of her husband Chang Peh-chung.  Subsequent to a quarrel between the deceased and the respondents, the former's house was entered during the night by a gang of men and the deceased carried away by force.  Search was afterwards made by the wife, and the body of her husband found at the bottom of a pond attached by a rope to a stone.  The wife, owing to the previous quarrel and also to a report given, suspected the respondents of the act, and, failing to gain a conviction, lodged her accusation at the Censorate in Peking.  But by a searching trial and investigation made, it is found by the Governor that no suspicion attaches to the respondents, who distinctly proved an alibi---being engaged at the time on business elsewhere.  The appellant is found guilty of misdemeanour for lodging a false accusation; but the punishment is not to be carried out by reason of the recent Act of grace, and the woman is merely to be placed in charge of her relatives.

 

May 29th.  (2) An Edict, in reference to a case of considerable present public interest at Hangchow.  Information has been tendered by a certain person, that, at a re-trial of an important case, the judges sitting have been guilty of connivance and condonement.  The informant states that a woman, Koh-pi, poisoned her husband, Koh-ping, and falsely accused a Chu-jin (2nd literary degree), Yang Bai-ou, of being party to the crime, from adulterous intentions.  The Governor, Yang Chong-yuh, deputed an official to re-hear the case, when she made a true deposition, and acknowledged the accusation to be false; but, severe torture being applied, she was coerced into repeating in Court her original accusation; that the woman still firmly declares Yang Nai-ou had no concern with the murder, and that she was induced by others, who had an enmity with Yang Nai-ou to, involve him by an unfounded statement, &c., &c.  The circumstances of this case are of the greatest gravity, and it behoves that a sifting investigation be made, in order to procure a just verdict, and that an innocent man be cleared of an injurious charge.  Wu Shui-chien is hereby commanded to arraign before him the parties to and witnesses in the case, and with justness and severity to investigate the real circumstances. "As the water falls the stone will appear."  Let there be no shelter given to colleagues in office.  And let not the case be patched up, and the sitting judge thereby render himself guilty of misdemeanour.

 

May 31st.  ... In one case, a vacancy is caused by an assistant-major in the army, who committed suicide by cutting his throat when being carried in his chair.  A strict investigation was instituted to as certain whether or not the account of his death was bona fide, or whether he might have been influenced to commit the act by being the victim of injustice.  The depositions taken prove that he was observed to be absent-minded and dejected before he got into the chair; but no reason can be discovered to account for the circumstances.

 

Jun. 7th.  (2)  Ting Pao-chun, Governor of Shantung, reports as required by law on the case of an "unnatural" murder committed within his jurisdiction.  The culprit Kwoh Ta-chih, represented to have been leading a vagrant life, returned on the 17th of the 11th moon of last year to his home, and requested money from his father, Kwoh Pun-tsing.  The latter reviled him for not contributing to the support of the family, but on the contrary rendering himself a burden, and was about to strike his son, when Kwoh Ta-chi took up a stone, and struck his father on the vital spot behind the right ear.  The result was immediate death.  The culprit then endeavoured to conceal the circumstances, and placed the corpse in a coffin to await interment; but two relatives---a brother and an uncle---returning a couple of days afterwards, discovered the act and handed Kwoh Ta-chi over to justice.  The sentence of "Ling-chi" --- slicing to death ---is reported to have been carried out according to law, and the criminal's head exposed as a warning to the people.

 

Jun. 9th.  (2)  The Governor of Hupeh, Weng Tung-tsioh, reports at length on the suicide of a girl of sixteen, caused by shame and indignation at violence done to her by certain Yamen runners, Ee-shi and others.  The latter had been sent with a warrant to summon the girl's father to appear in Court, and took advantage of the father's absence and the loneliness of the place to commit the misdemeanour by turn, under circumstances of great brutality.  The Acting magistrate of the locality apprehended and examined the culprits, and forwarded them on to the Prefect.  But on handing over, subsequently, his temporary seals of office, he sent in a revised statement, giving a different aspect to the case---said to be founded on information obtained while personally passing the spot.  This new version was proved to be utterly unfounded, and by Imperial assent the Acting-Magistrate was stripped of his rank, pending an investigation into the motives that prompted him to advance the statement.

   He is now exonerated from any underhand design, having given too ready an ear only to false rumours; and it is requested that he be restored to his former honors.  Sentence on the delinquents, after retrial in the upper Courts, is reported to have been passed according to law,---i.e., the principal condemned to decapitation, two participants in the crime to strangulation, and the accessories to be branded and handed over as slaves to the soldiery at the Amoor river.  The case of the young girl is considered to be specially sad, and for her high-mindedness in vindicating her honor it is prayed that a monument be erected to her memory.

 

Jun. 13th.  (2) The Censor Kwei-ling reports to the Throne on a charge of murder and oppression, laid by Hwang Tsu-jin of Kiangsi.  The circumstances of the case, which took place in the Shuiching district of Kiangsi, are, as given by the appellant, of a most atrocious character, and briefly run as follows: The appellant's niece, Yuan-shi, aged only 16 years, some three years ago, was waylaid, while returning to her mother, by a set of ruffians, Lo Shan-sin and others.  They confined the girl in their residence, and after violating her in turn, murdered their victim, and cast the mutilated corpse on the north-bank of a lake.  The culprits were seized by the Magistrate, but were rescued by a band of their comrades.  Eventually, bribery was set at work, and official collusion thereby bought.  The tables were turned, and some of the appellant's relatives charged with coercing the girl to commit suicide.  Time thus passed, and the Lo family grew more daring and violent; they attacked and set on fire the family house of the appellant, and killed, decapitated, and quartered six members of the household.  Information was given to the Magistrate, but the informants were kept in custody, and three individuals successively tortured to death.  The appellant's statement goes on to say that he could not remember how many times he had appealed to the Prefect for justice; but he had lodged his charge once at the office of the Chief Judge, and no less than seven times at the Governor's yamen; but none of the higher authorities, however, had the accused brought before them.  The Censor, in the conclusion of his memorial, states that the above appellant had died the day after he was placed under surveillance at the capital; but, as ascertained, not by foul means.

A Rescript in reference to this case has appeared.

 

Jul. 1st.  (3)  The Court of Censorate memorializes forwarding the appeal lodged by a native of Shantung, named Liu P'an-ming, complaining of the murder of his son Liu Fang-t'ieu by certain fellow villagers, and of corrupt conduct on the part of the authorities, through which justice has been perverted.  Her complains that his son was murdered under the following circumstances:---A dispute having arisen in September last between the young man and a fellow villager to whom he had lent a small sum of money, he was missing towards nightfall, and on complainant making search for him at the house of one Liu-Chen-yung, this man stated that he had been lost sight of after a squabble with the person who had borrowed the money.  Three days afterwards complainant, on going to draw water from a well near the village, saw a body in the water, and on having it drawn out found that it was the corpse of his son.  Report having been made to the Magistrate and an inquest held, wounds inflicted by a knife were verified on the head and abdomen, besides the mark of a blow on the throat.  The two parties incriminated were brought before the Court, but by collusion with the law clerk and the examiner of corpses the evidence was falsely stated, and it was declared that deceased had committed suicide for fear of the consequences of an intrigue with the wife of Liu Teh-sheng.  The two prisoners admitted only the fact of having deal a blow with a stick.  The Magistrate, thus imposed upon, called upon complainant to sign an acknowledgement of the satisfaction of justice, which he refused to do, and he lodged appeals with the Prefect and Provincial Judge, who referred the matter back to the Magistrate, with the same result.  In desperation, he now appeals to Peking.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Jul. 5th.  The Governor of Anhwei reports the trial and sentence of a native of the province for a case of triple murder.  The offender, named Liu Chang-lu, having been refused the loan of a donkey to turn a mill by the owner of the animal, a neighbour named Lin, an altercation ensued, in which bad language was used on both sides.  Liu Chang-lu having gone home and excited himself with liquor, went back to Lin's house and murdered him by repeated stabs.  He likewise fatally stabbed the two sons of the murdered man, who came to their father's rescue.  Under the law applicable to cases of this kind, he is sentenced to death, and half his property is to be confiscated for the benefit of the surviving relatives of his victims.  He is debarred from participating in the boon of amnesty conferred by the decree on the late Imperial accession.

 

Jul. 12th.  Li Hung-chang reports on the trial of a heinous offender, who was subverted the relations of human society.

   The Magistrate of Ching-show reported that Mrs. Sung-chang, the younger, had in a fit of madness killed her mother-in-law with a knife and wounded her father-in-law, who had afterwards recovered.  The case being so grave, the Governor-General Li ordered the Magistrate to bring up the prisoner and witnesses to the provincial capital (Pao-ting-foo), in order that the trial might be conducted under the supervision of the Prefect.  After the Prefect had framed a sentence, he passed the case on to the Commissioner of Justice, to be sent up to the Governor-General Li, who, being away at Tientsin, deputed the Commissioner of Finance to rehear the case as his deputy.  It was then elicited that Mrs. Sung-chang the younger, is the wife of Sung-liu, Sung Ting-tso and Mrs. Sung-chang the elder being her father and mother-in-law.  She had never been guilty of disobedience to her husband's parents, but in the year 1871 she became subject to occasional fits of madness, and when the fit was on her she was perfectly bereft of reason.  As, however, she had never occasioned any trouble, Sung Ting-tso and the neighbours had never applied to the authorities to have her chained up.  At the end of February in the present year, old Mrs. Sung-chang was taken ill, and young Mrs. Sung-chang and her sister-in-law, Mrs. Sung-pei, took it in turn to sit up with her.  On the night of the 17th of March, young Mrs. Sung-chang sat with her mother-in-law all night, and at daylight the following morning she was seized with a fresh attack of madness, and became delirious.  She then inflicted several wounds upon her mother-in-law with a kitchen knife; and when her father-in-law, awakened by the noise, called out, she wounded him also.  Mrs. Sung-pei and others hearing the noise, rushed in and secured her.  Contrary to some one's expectation, old Mrs. Sung-chang died of her wounds the same evening. 

   An inquest was held by the Magistrate, who learnt from the evidence that Mrs. Sung-chang was at the time really insane.  After being sent to Pao-ting-foo she gradually recovered from her disease under medical treatment.  As the result of the trial, Governor-General Li has assured himself that the madness was not simulated, and that there was no deception of any kind in the case.  The Fundamental Law declares that a wife killing her husband's mother shall be put to death by a slow and painful mode of execution; while a supplementary mandate states that children and grand-children killing their grand-parent or parents, no matter whether or not their action was caused by madness, should be sentenced under the Fundamental Law above referred to; that after the trial a respectful application should be made for the death warrant, and a deputy should be sent to join the local authority in escorting the prisoner to the spot where the crime was committed, for execution.  If, however, the place should be more than 100 miles distant from the provincial capital, the capital punishment should be inflicted in the capital itself.

   Again, a mandate decrees that when a person becomes insane, in case their family and neighbours (instead or reporting the case and having the subject in proper keeping), conceal the matter and it results in homicide, they shall be punished with 100 blows in accordance with the fundamental law on neglecting to give information of or to interfere and prevent a violent injury which is known to be intended.  Young Mrs. Sung-chang must, in accordance with the law above quoted, be put to death by a slow and painful execution.  Therefore, as the place in question is more than 100 miles distant, the Governor-General has instructed the above-mentioned Commissioner, and the Colonel in command of the central Division of the Governor-General's army, to cause the said woman to be taken to the market place and there executed.

   The husband of the deceased, Sung Ting-tso, and the neighbours Sung-yun-tsai and Sung-yun-foo, not having reported the madness of Mrs. Sung-chang the younger, or caused her to be watched, from which resulted the killing of her mother-in-law, should be sentenced to 100 blows, i.e., actually 40 blows with the bamboo, as per computation scale, in company with the Tipau, who is guilty of not reporting the case.  Sung Ting-tso, whose years exceed 7 decades will be allowed to redeem his offence by payment of a fine, as laid down by the Fundamental Law.

   The Tipau's offence being committed in his official capacity and done unwittingly, he will not be removed from his office.  The son of the deceased, Sung-liu, ought to be acquitted, as his father Sung Ting-tso was unwilling to report the case to the authorities and cause his daughter-in-law to be chained up.

 

Jul. 13th.  (3)  Ting-han, Viceroy of the Two-Kwang provinces, and the Futai of Kwangtung, report their sentence in a case in which a son by mishap caused the death of his father.  It appears that the offender, Chang-yau-po-sze, coming home drunk, demanded some clothes from his wife, wherewith to raise some money at a pawn shop.  As her husband was an extravagant dissolute drunkard, Mrs. Chang-yan declined, when Chang became abusive, and eventually snatched a hairpin from her head and ran off.  Mrs. Chang pursued him outside the house sobbing and wailing, whereupon Chang fearing that he would be caught, and the hairpin taken away from him, took up a large stone and in a threatening manner threw it towards his wife.  Unfortunately at that moment his father, Chang-s-shih, hearing the noise, came out to keep them quiet, when he was struck on the lefty side of the temple and knocked down.  After lingering for some time he died, and was buried surreptitiously by his son.

  The Fundamental Law states that a son causing the death of his father by blows must suffer death by a slow and ignominious mode of execution; and again, a mandate decrees that a son causing the death of his father by wounds inflicted by misadventure, must be sentenced in accordance with the Fundamental Law above cited; as, however, the act was not intentional, the case is submitted to the Throne for decision.

   Mrs. Chang-pang having caused this grave matter through quarrelling with her husband is liable to 80 blows, under the Fundamental Law respecting improper conduct generally; being a woman, however, she is permitted to redeem her offence by a money payment, which offence having been committed before the Act of Grace, the punishment and payment are alike remitted.

 

Aug. 2nd.  (3) An appeal case reported by Ying-kwei.  Wang Ch'i-shun, a native of Hsiang Ch'eng-hsien, in Honan, a dyer by trade, complains that his shop was broken into and robbed two years ago, and his father so injured by the burglars that he died of his wounds.  Chang Erh-p'ing, one of the gang, was arrested, confessed his guilt, and gave the name of the receiver of the booty, but the authorities were heavily bribed, and petitioner could get no redress.

The edict has been recorded.

 

Aug. 19th.  The acting Governor-General of the two Kiang reports the rehearing of an appeal case referred back from Peking.  A native of the Hing-hwa district, named Su Pi-hwa, had accused a kinsman, named Su Fuh-tai, of murdering his father.  It appears that complainant's father has disappeared since 1856, when he left home to seek a livelihood elsewhere; and the son, having fallen out with reference to some money matters with Su Fuh-tai, dreamt one night that his father appeared before him and revealed the fact of his having been beaten to death, and buried near the river-bank by Su Fuh-tai.  Upon this, complainant lodged an accusation with the district Magistrate, who dismissed it as frivolous and vexatious.  The complainant still persevered, however, and persuaded himself that Su Fuh-tai was in league with the yamen clerks and was laying a plot to take his life.  He finally brought his appeal to Peking; and the case having been thoroughly sifted by the Prefect of Soochow, the Provincial Judge, and the Governor himself, the facts are declared to be as stated.  For the offence of imperilling the life of an accused person by a false capital charged, complainant is liable to the penalty of one hundred blows, and transportation to a distance of 3,000 li, but his case is not excluded from the benefit of the act of grace issued on the accession of his present Majesty on the 25th February last, and he is consequently exempted from punishment, but sent to his native place to be kept under surveillance.

 

Aug. 22nd.  (3) The Captain-General of the Constabulary forwards an appeal from a native of An-hwei, who complains of the murder of his father by a relative, in the course of a quarrel connected with the ownership of a piece of land.  The usual tale of official corruption and injustice is narrated.

 

Aug. 23rd. The Governor of Shantung memorializes, reporting the trial and execution of a lunatic named Li Chang-t'ow for the murder of his father in an attack of frenzy.  The accused was a native of The Chow, living with his father, Li Feng-ki, to whom he had always behaved in a filial and obedient manner; and, in the month of November last, he suddenly became liable to fits of insanity.  As he was not violent, his father obtained the consent of the local headman and the neighbours (responsible by law for the placing of a madman in safe custody), to suspend the report of the case to the authorities and the chaining-up of the insane person.  On the 17th February last, Li Chang-t'ow's wife went to her mother's house, and on the same night, an attack of madness coming on, the lunatic rushed into his father's room, brandishing a chopper, with which he dealt a blow on the temple to his victim, who was at the time asleep on the k'ang.  (Here follows an entire page of specification of the wounds inflicted.)  The murderer was eventually secured by the neighbours and tipao, who rushed in on hearing the noise, and he was lodged in the district prison, his appearance indicating all the signs of frenzy, and his speech wild and incoherent.  After being subjected to medical treatment, his confession was taken, and on being removed to the provincial capital he made a full admission of the circumstances above stated.  In view of the gravity of the offence, the accused was brought before the Prefect of Tsi-nan Fu for trial, and subsequently retried before the Provincial Judicial Commissioner, the proceedings being finally revised by the Financial Commissioner, as the deputy of the Governor himself during his absence on an inspection of the Yellow River embankments.

   As the statute law provides that for the murder of a parent the guilty party shall suffer death by the "slow and degrading" process, and as moreover by supplementary enactment it is decreed that insanity shall not be alleged in mitigation of this penalty, the criminal in the present instance has accordingly been sliced to death at Tsi-nan Fu.

 

Aug. 28th.  (5) The Court of Censorate forwards an appeal lodged by She Hwa-t'ang and others, inhabitants of the Jen-k'in district in Chihli, who complain that a nephew of the first named appellant was on the 5th of May last apprehended without any cause whatever by two men named Liu, and carried off to a military post commanded by a subaltern officer named Wu Ts'ing-lung, who, without listening to a syllable of remonstrance, caused him to be put to death, and exhibited his head as a public spectacle outside the village to which his captors belong.  It is alleged that the military officer in question is hand in glove with these two men, who lately committed a flagrant act of house-breaking, and that the victim of his outrageous act was sacrificed as a pretended criminal, in order to shield the really guilty parties.  In any case, the power of life and death was flagrantly usurped, and the case is remitted to the provincial government for enquiry.

 

Aug. 31st.  (1)  Li Hung-chang, Governor-General of Chihli, reports the result of the rehearing of an appeal case referred back from Peking (see Gazette of March 16th).  The appellant, widow of a petty military officer, had denounced her brother-in-law for the alleged murder of her husband and so, and for indirectly causing the suicide of her son's wife; as also the Magistrate of Tientsin for endeavouring to hush up the case.  Chang Kao-she, the appellant, having been sent down to the custody of the District Magistrate, has died in prison, and the Magistrate of the Ts'ing-yuan district, having held an inquest, certifies that she died from natural causes.  The case has been proceeded with, and the entire falsity of the original charge has been satisfactorily proved.  Had she lived, the appellant would have incurred the penalty prescribed by law for the lodging of false accusations.

 

Sep. 9th.  (3)  The Governor of Shantung memorializes reporting a case of accidental matricide.  A man named Li Wen-i, living with his mother in the Lan-shan district, went on the 21st November last to the house of his younger brother to borrow a mealing-stone, the loan of which was refused.  An altercation ensued, in the course of which the younger brother threw a stone at Li Wen-i and struck him on the temple.  Angered at this, he snatched up a night-watchman's pike which was standing in the yard and ran after his brother with this weapon; but by mischance, his mother coming out in gearing the noise and catching hold of the younger brother to stop the fight, he accidentally stabbed her in the abdomen, and she died of the wound on the following day.  Having been brought to trial, Li Wen-i is sentenced to death by Ling-ch-ih, but, as the law provides, in conformity with the two precedents quoted in the supplementary enactments, reference has to be made to the Throne before execution, the murder being one of accidental origin.  It is further noted that the gravity of the case removes it from the category of crimes affected by the Act of Grace of the 23rd December and 25th February last.

 

Sep. 17th.  (2)  The Court of Censorate forwards an appeal lodged by a Buddhist nun from Hanyang in Hupeh (adjoining Hankow), named Chang Show-i, stating that she is 56 years of age, and lives as a nun in the Huan Sheng Tien temple at Hankow.  Two other females lived there with her in the same character, having been received into the sisterhood by her spiritual director Yang Kwang-yuan.  A brother of this last-named person, named Yang I-kao, is accused of having brought to the temple a man named Chang Lao-san, nominally to look after the property, but in reality to carry on an illicit connexion with one of the two younger nuns, named Show-che.  As this woman had something the matter with her eyes, Chang Lao-san inveigled her into going to a foreign missionary hospital to be treated medically; whereupon they put her to death, and no traces of the whereabouts of her remains have been discovered.  Fah Sheng, the other nun, was also kidnapped away.  Appellant petitioned the district Magistrate, who however did not deign to take the case in hand, and her enemies were emboldened into further misdeeds.  On the 27th Sept. 1873 a man named Yu came to ask her spiritual director to go to a certain place to prescribe for a sick person; and on reaching the To-pao-lin embankment he was thrown into the water and drowned.  Appellant purchased a coffin and interred his remains; whereupon the people she complains against borrowed 70 string of cash from her, which they spent, and beside this they carried off the whole of the altar furniture and split open the wooden images, to extract the gold and silver secreted in their insides.  The reason she assigns for the alleged murder of the nun Show Che, is that the man Chang was bent upon entering on illicit intercourse with the other member of the sisterhood, Fah Sheng.  As Show Che apposed this, she was inveigled into going to the missionary hospital, and then made away with.  Appellant's complaints on the spot have been ignored, and she has been cruelly beaten at the magistracy.  She consequently resorts in desperation to the Capital, with her appeal.

Referred by rescript in the usual manner.

 

Sep. 18th.  (3) The Acting-Governor of Honan reports the conclusion of the trial of a native of the province, named Su Ch'un-ying, who was taken into custody in April last year for the offence of presenting a supplication to his late Majesty by the roadside, during the Imperial progress to the Mausolea.  The accusation he laid, charged a man named Wu Sze-siu with having beaten his elder brother and driven him to commit suicide.  The facts of the case, as elicited at the trial which has now been held, are these:  The deceased man, Su Yung-ying, a carpenter by trade, was a friend of the accused person, Wu Sze-siu, who earned his livelihood as a seller of groundnuts.  Su Yung-ying had given We Sze-siu and his two sons three groundnut baskets to sell on his account; and as no readymoney purchaser was to be found, the baskets were sold on credit to one Jan Hien-si and another, for the sum of 15,600 cash.  Payment being long delayed, a dispute arose between the man Su and his friends, Su's father urging him to recover the money, and at length, on the 16th December, 1862, Su went to Wu Sze-siu's house to insist on an immediate settlement.  He vowed with tears that he dare not go back to his father without the money.  Wu Sze-siu, with the assistance of a couple of neighbours, sought to comfort him, and finally kept him at his house overnight, as it was already late.  Overcome by his feelings of grief, however, Su Yung-ying went out during the night and hanged himself from a tree in Wu's courtyard.  On the suicide being discovered next morning, every effort was made, but in vain, to resuscitate life; and on an inquest being held, the younger brother, erroneously insisting that the venous discolourations of the corpse were marks of blows, accused Wu Sze-siu of having been instrumental in causing the death of Su Yung-ying.  His complaints at the Magistracy not having been successful, he finally took the course of proceeding as a suppliant to Peking.  He is adjudged guilty under the statute in this case made and provided, and the penalty he has incurred is the infliction of 100 blows and transportation into military servitude on the nearest frontiers.  The person he has accused, Wu Sze-siu, died during the progress of the investigation at the inn where he was detained.  His death, it is found, is not attributable to any act of harshness on the people of the inn or others.  As the offence committed by Su Yung-ying comes within the scope of the Act of Grace on his Majesty's accession, his punishment is remitted, with the proviso that if he ever offends again, one degree of severity will be added to the sentence incurred.

 

Oct. 6th.  (3)  The Court of Censorate memorialize presenting an appeal lodged by Wang Chih-kung, a native of the Li-tain district in Shantung, who complains that his cousin, having been brought before the district magistrate in connection with some litigation respecting the title to some land, had been so cruelly beaten, receiving a bastinado of 100 blows, that he died in consequence.  Complainant's father had also a bastinado of 200 blows, and 100 blows on the palms of his hands inflicted upon him.  Complaint had been lodged with the Provincial Judge, who merely deputed another district magistrate to enquire into the case, and nothing has been done in the matter.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Oct. 8th.  (3) The Captain-General of the Gendarmerie memorializes forwarding the appeal of a widow named Ma Chang-she, who had presented a petition to the Prince of Tun as he was passing in his chair, and who had been forwarded in custody to the Gendarmerie Department.  She complains that her husband, a petty trader of Ts'ang Chow, in the prefecture of Tientsin, was murdered about the beginning of last year while proceeding on donkey-back to the fair with some goods for sale, and that the yamen police have secured the offenders, and kept back the property that fell into their hands.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Oct. 9th.  Mention of murder of "the British official Interpreter Margary."

 

Oct. 14th. (2) A second memorial from the same department [The Court of Censorate] presents the appeal of a licentiate of the province of Kiangsu, who complains of the murder of his mother by a gang of ruffians, who in August 1873 committed a burglarious robbery in the house where she was lodging, shooting her with a "foreign firearm."  The influence they commanded with the yamen underlings, although the perpetrators of the crime are well known, has hitherto secured them immunity.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Oct. 15th.  (2) Li Hung-chang, Governor-General of Chihli, reports the execution of a prisoner for the crime of matricide.  Wang Yung-p'ing, the guilty individual, was a blacksmith living with his mother, Wang Han-she, in the Lu-lung district.  In 1874, he manufactured an agricultural implement for a graduate named Chang Shu-shen, living in an adjacent village.  Some delay and dispute about payment eventually occurred, but the debt was cleared off at last by the delivery of a tow of rice.  Somewhat later, Wang Yung-p'ing, being out of work and destitute of means, had occupied himself in gleaning in the fields; and Chang Shu-shen, having missed some ears of millet from his land, suspected him of some knowledge of their abstraction.  The parties came to high words over the matter; and Wang Yung-p'ing, bethinking himself of his poverty and of some way of extorting money, at length talked his scheme over with his mother.  The woman, in consideration of her age and impoverished condition, consented to commit suicide, and agreed to take some arsenic which her son had remaining over from a quantity that had been used to destroy insects in the field.  Wang Yung-p'ing, having brought two cakes of bread, put the arsenic in them and went at nine o'clock with his mother to Chang Shu-shen's door, where she ate the cakes and he then stole away from her.  Retching shortly afterwards set in as the poison took effect, and Chang Shu-shen, coming out of his house, found the woman, who uttered not a single word.  He had her carried to her son's house, where she died on the following day.  On an inquest being held, Wang Yung-p'ing was taken into custody, and when brought to trial he confessed his crime.  In accordance with the law, he has been publicly sliced to death.

 

Oct. 18th & 19th.  (2)  The acting Governor of Honan reports the rehearing of an appeal case as follows:  A countryman named Liu Ch'eng-chang had lodged a complaint to the effect that a young girl who was being brought up by his cousin Liu Ch'eng-chow to be his wife, had been made the victim of rape on the part of a man named Chang San-yu and others, and further that his own father had been murdered by a man named Chang Wu-yin, who falsely represented that the deceased had committed suicide by hanging himself.  These charges, on being duly re-investigated, are declared to be groundless; and the appellant, although exempted from the heavier penalties incurred by the brining of false accusations, his guilt being held to be mitigated by the fact of his having acted under the influence of grief for his father's death, is sentenced to the penalty of eighty blows under the statute against unspecified cases of offence.  The penalty is, however, remitted in virtue of the Act of Grace on his Majesty's accession.

 

Oct. 22nd & 23rd. (2) The Yamen of Gendarmerie memorialize forwarding an appeal lodged by a  widow from Hupeh, named Liu Ch'eng-she, complaining of the murder of her daughter  by the relatives of the young man to whom the girl was betrothed.  The cause assigned for this act is anxiety lest, by her marriage, the victim should have become cognizant of the disgrace of a widowed sister-in-law of the alleged murderer, who had yielded to illicit intercourse with this man and had borne a child.  A money dispute is further involved in the matter.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Nov. 12th.  (3)  The Court of Censorate memorialize forwarding the appeal of Yuan P'o-she, a native of Lin-chang in Honan, who complains of the murder of his brother.  A certain relative, a man of influence named Yuan K'ai-t'ai, had seized possession of some of complainant's land, and in March last this man employed a rascally member of the family, with his three sons, to discharge a display of fireworks, the consequence of which was that some of complainant's straw-ricks were set on fire and burnt.  On complainant remonstrating with Yuan K'ai-t'ai he not only did not put a stop to the proceedings, but actually sent the four men above referred to with arms in their hands to complainant's house, where, an altercation ensuing, they wounded his mother with a blow on the temple, and when his younger brother came to the rescue they cut him down and mortally wounded him.  Owing to the influence exerted by Yuan K'ai-t'ai the local authorities have done their best to hush up the matter, although the three younger aggressors were taken into custody after an inquest held on the remains of the murdered man; an appeal is consequently lodged at Peking.

Referred in the usual manner.

(4)  The Court of Censorate forward a second appeal by a native of the same district with the foregoing, a man named Ma Shen-lin, a day-labourer, aged fifty-nine.  He states that his late nephew Ma Ch'ang-k'u had left on his death a young widow, who formed an illicit connection with a man named Lu Pu-chow.  His son, Ma Chang-che, having remonstrated against this state of affairs, Lu Pu-chow leagued himself with certain members of the family and obtained by means of bribes the assistance of a military subaltern commanding a post in the neighbourhood.  This man came at the head of a body of horse and foot-soldiers, to the number of more than one hundred men, and attacked complainant's house on the night of the 29th May last.  Firing off foreign muskets they burst into the dwelling, which they pillaged of everything, and having severely wounded a neighbour named Ma Hwai-chui, who came to the rescue, they bound him and carried him off a prisoner.  The next day, complainant's son set out for the magistracy to lodge a complaint, but was stopped on the road by Lu Pu-chow and his confederates, who falsely accused him of being a criminal against whom a warrant was out for brigandage, and carried him off, together with the wounded men, to the district magistracy.  Here both were beaten and lodged in jail, and a few days afterwards they died in confinement.  The most grievous thing of all is that from that day to this no clue to the whereabouts of their remains has been obtained; and this appeal is accordingly lodged.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Nov. 13th.  (1) A decree based on the report made by the vice-President Hu Jui-lan, who was specially appointed to examine the case of a woman of the Yu-hang district of Cheh-kiang, on a charge preferred against her of having poisoned her husband and of falsely accusing a Ku jen graduate named Yang Nai-wu, with whom she had indulged in adulterous intercourse, of complicity in the crime.  A supervising Censor named Wang Shu-jui had memorialized on this case, stating that the judicial officers of the Province had unjustly confirmed the finding of the court of first instance.  It is now ascertained that Yang Nai-wu was in fact a party to the murder of her husband by the woman Koh Pih-she, and a sentence has been pronounced in conformity with the law.  It is further declared that in the original decision of the case, no departure from the law, in the shape of either undue leniency or severity, is chargeable to the judicial functionaries concerned.  In compliance with the memorialist's request, the Board of Punishment is directed to consider and report upon the case, and also with reference to a rule which it is proposed shall be promulgated throughout the Empire, enjoining greater explicitness in reports made with reference to criminal trials, especially in respect of any discrepancies between the statements made in the complains lodged and the facts elicited on trial.

 

Nov. 15th.  A decree in reply to a memorial from the supervising Censor Pien Pai-ts'uan, who has alleged that the recent examination by a special Commissioner, Ho Jui-lan, into the case of a murder of a husband in Chehkiang was not satisfactorily performed, and has requested that the case be brought before the Board of Punishments.  The record of the proceedings taken before Ho Jui-lan, who was strictly commanded to allow no favouritism towards brother officials to influence his judgement, has already been forwarded to the Board of Punishments, and if any attempt at screening improper actions has been made, detection cannot fail to ensue.  The request made that the entire case be brought up for trial before the Board of Punishments is contrary to all precedent, and is rejected.

 

Nov. 30thThe whole of this day's Gazette is occupied with the memorial from Hu Jui-lan, the Literary Examiner of the Province of Chekiang, furnishing the result of his judicial investigation into the case of the murder of Koh P'in-lien by his wife, as a consequence of her adulterous connection with a Kujen graduate named Yang Nai-wu, which the memorialist was specially commissioned to undertake when the previous judgment on the part of the provincial authorities was appealed against at Peking.  The facts of the case appear to be as follows:  Koh P'in-lien was himself a graduate of the Kujen degree, but was employed as an assistant in a bean-curd shop at Yu-hang, of which place all the parties to the case were natives.  Yang Nai-wu having part of a house to let, Koh and his newly-married wife moved into it temporarily in 1872; and Yang availed himself of his proximity to establish an illicit intercourse with the wife, whom he irritated against her husband by dwelling upon the indignity of his walk in life.

   The woman finally consented to rid herself of her husband by poison, under promise that Yang would afterwards marry her, and in any case hold her harmless.  When returning from the examinations at Hang-chow in 1873, he bought at a certain druggist's shop a  quantity of arsenic, under the false pretext of requiring it to poison rats, and gave it secretly on the 24th November to Koh's wife.  On the 28th of the same month, Koh having desired the woman to make him a decoction of dried lungan and ginseng, which he was in the habit of taking for attacks of gout, she seized the opportunity of mixing the poison with this draught, and after taking it, Koh was seized with deadly vomiting, of which he shortly afterwards died.  His mother, having occasion to suspect foul play, reported the case to the Magistracy, and on an inquest being held, death from poison was proved.

   The wife upon this confessed that she had poisoned her husband at the instigation of her paramour Yang, and the parties were hereupon confronted.  Yang denied the charge, and brought forward persons to prove that he had not commenced his journey back to Yu-yang until the 24th November, in order to upset the charge of having purchased the arsenic on that day.  Numerous attempts were made, both in the province and at Peking, to disconnect him from the affair, but the judgment now submitted is that the woman be sliced to death (ling ch'e) under the statute providing the penalty in cases of the present kind; that Yang Nai-wu, under the statute providing for the case of a paramour who instigates a woman to murder her husband, be decapitated summarily after sentence pronounced; that the druggist by whom the arsenic was sold receive eighty blows under the statute providing this penalty in the case of persons who, in greed of gain, sell a poison without enquiry into the antecedents of the purchaser, and thus contribute to the taking of life; and that other minor punishments be inflicted upon individuals concerned in the later complications of the case.

 

Dec. 1st.  Hu Jui-lan, Literary Examiner of Chehkiang, memorializes with reference to an abuse he has discovered to be prevalent in framing the records of judicial proceedings.  It constantly happens, he represents, that complainants, when lodging their accusations in cases of murder or robbery before the Court, omit to state the full particulars or the entire truth, either through being imperfectly informed at the time or else with intentional evasion.  When the case comes to be judicially investigated and reported upon, and discrepancy shews itself between the depositions and the original act of accusation, the Courts are in the habit of tampering with the form of the original charge, in order to escape disapproval by the superior tribunals.  An instance of this kind occurred in the case of murder of a husband, which Hu Jiu-lan has lately been commissioned to investigate: and he solicits a decree enjoining that henceforward a copy of the original petition shall be annexed to the proceedings in all cases in which discrepancy of the kind referred to may occur.

For rescript see Gazette of Nov. 13th.

 

Dec. 2nd.  (1)  The Court of Censorate forward an appeal presented by a Mongol woman belonging to the Hao-han banner at Jehho, who complains that her husband was murdered and her house pillaged by a band of her fellow-villagers in October, 1869.  She recognized several of the men at the time, and complained to the lieutenant of the local military post, who, however, shared the plunder with the robbers and took no steps for their apprehension.  Appellant finally lodged a complaint at the district Magistracy, whereupon the men were arrested and put on trial,.  They confessed the crime; but Lieutenant Chang has contrived by certain occult means to have their names altered and to mitigate their confinement.  He and one of the ringleaders have moreover spread the warning abroad that if appellant should make any farther appeal, she and her whole household shall be destroyed.  She has presented petitions six times to the local Prefect, and five times at the yamen of Constabulary, without being granted a hearing.

Referred in the usual manner.

(2) The Censor Pien Pai-ts'uan memorializes attacking Hu Jui-lan, Literary Examiner of Chehkiang, in connection with his recent report of his judicial re-investigation of the murder of Koh P'in-lien by his wife.  Adverse comments, he states, have been in circulation for some time past, before the appearance of the decree announcing Hu Jui-lan's report.  It has been bruited about that the Literary Examiner is on excellent terms with the Governor of Chehkiang, and while affecting outwardly an appearance of stern integrity, he is in reality guided by partial considerations.  Far from giving judgment in the matter as equity demands, it was prophesied he would be sure to uphold the sentence previously delivered.  These suppositions are now found to tally with the memorial which is acknowledged in the recent decree.  The Censor, while avowing his own inability to declare whether Yang Nai-wu has been unjustly dealt with, and whether there has been any undue action with a view to screen the Courts which originally dealt with the question, remarks that is has become a matter of wellnigh invariable precedent that no provincial judgment should ever be disturbed on appeal to Peking.  Hu Jui-lan, moreover, as Literary Examiner of Chehkiang, could do no otherwise when charged with this enquiry, than act through the very provincial officials who were previously concerned in the case.  His position was different from that of a High Commissioner attended by his own staff.  Entreaty is therefore made that a fresh trial be ordered to be undertaken by the Board of Punishments.

For rescripts see Gazettes of Nov. 15th and 27th.

 

Dec. 5th.  Li Hung-chang, Governor-General of Chihli, reports the rehearing of an appeal case referred from Peking.  A woman living at Jehho, named Yang Yu-she, and others, had despatched a petition to the capital, complaining of the murder of Yang Yu-she's husband, and other acts of murder and robbery by criminals named Lai Tsung and others.  It appears that this man headed a band of desperadoes, who combined in 1870 to attack and rob the dwellings of some wealthy Mahommedan families near Jehho.  Complainant's husband was murdered in this attack, and Li Hwa-lung was subsequently killed in an affray with the armed party which went in pursuit of the robbers.  Another of the band, named Sun T'ai, organized with Liu Tsung-lai a fresh attack in 1873, in revenge for the losses previously inflicted on them, and committed several murders under circumstances of frightful barbarity.  Three of the ringleaders having been captured, their punishment was delayed through their refusing to make full confession, and hence the late appeal.  The prisoners having been brought to Pao-ting Fu for trial, their guilt is established, and they are sentenced to immediate execution.

 

Dec. 8th.  The Court of Censorate forwards an appeal lodged by one Wang Jang, a lad of fourteen, on behalf of his uncle Wang Sung-yet, who has sent him with it from Honan to Peking.  The complainant states that, having lodged three accusations at the Censorate in 1873 against a person named Ch'en Luh-hing, he was sent back to his own locality to await a rehearing of his case.  Ch'en Luh-hing, however, has by some occult means succeeded in keeping away from the Court, whilst complainant, on the contrary, was had up for examination more than 170 times, and received no less than 700 blows.  His younger brother, having been sent to him at the provincial capital with a supply of money, was likewise seized and thrown into prison.

   In 1874, a new officer having been deputed to proceed with the case, complainant was again had up at upwards of thirty further hearings, at which he was made to kneel on chains, no appearance being put in on the other side.  In his grief for the death of his father, which had been compassed by Ch'en Luh-hing, complainant set forth while before the Court the various acts of villainy of which Ch'en has been guilty, but the presiding officer nevertheless took no steps to compel his appearance.  It was only after a direct appeal on the part of complainant's mother to the provincial judge in person, that his younger brother was at length released from prison.  In April last, the provincial judge sent complainant in custody to Ch'en-chow Fu for further trial, but the Prefect, without calling for the appearance of the accused man Ch'en, merely commanded complainant to sign the record of dismissal of the case.  Complainant refused to do this, and the Prefect then sent him with all the papers back to the provincial capital.  The influence exerted by Ch'en, as a notable of high rank, has defeated all attempts at obtaining justice; and complainant, still in durance, forwards the present appeal. 

  Upon this, the Censorate observes that in July, 1870, Wang shun-yeh presented his first complaint of the oppression practised upon his father, upon which a despatch was addressed to the Governor of Honan, desiring him to cause a judicial enquiry to be held,  In April, 1872, the Governor wrote reporting the decision arrived at; and in the following month Wang Shun-yeh again lodged a complaint to the effect that his father had been done to death in prison, that the official sent to examine his remains had ignored the marks of injuries upon his person, and had falsely reported the death as caused by disease, and that he himself had been subjected to torture to compel him to desist from further proceedings,.  Again, in August, 1873, the complainant lodged a fresh appeal, stating that under the influence of bribery his accusations were ignored and attempts made to force him to abandon the case.  The Censorate write on each occasion to the Governor, desiring that enquiry be made, but no reply has been received.  On receipt of the present appeal a decree is solicited.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Dec. 11th.  (5)  The Board of Punishments memorializes respecting the murder case in Chehkiang, which has lately been investigated afresh by the special commissioner Hu Jui-lan.  Having examined the proceedings and the counter-memorial of Pien Pai-ts'uan, the Board decides that certain discrepancies still present themselves in the evidence relating to Yang Nai-wu's complicity, and a new trial is consequently recommended.

For rescript see Gazette of Nov. 27th.

 

Dec. 22nd.  Ts'ung-shi, acting Military Governor of Sheng-king, reports the conclusion of a trial on re-hearing of an appeal case.  The individual accused of wilful murder is shewn to have caused the death of a notorious bad character in a struggle brought on by the latter; but by law he has incurred the penalty of death by strangling.  This is remitted, however, in virtue of the Act of Grace on his Majesty's accession, and the accused is condemned merely to pay the burial expenses of the deceased man to the latter's relatives.

 

Dec. 27th.  (1 and 2)  Memorials from the Court of Censorate, forwarding appeals by natives of the province of Kwangtung. 

   In the first case, a woman named Li Liang-she, of the Sin-hwei district, complains of the murder of her husband in 1872 by certain neighbours, who had laid violent hands on his property.  The district Magistrate was influenced on behalf of the murderers by the local notables, and justice was consequently denied her.  After many appeals, she was finally sent for by the local "committee" of notables, who took advantage of her being unable to read to make her put her mark to a document which she understood to be a receipt for the remains of her husband, but which falsely represented her as acknowledging that he had come by his death accidentally.  A coolie was sent with her to dig up the remains from a hillside, and the bones of her husband, together with his skull in a state of decomposition, were handed over to her.  Having failed in all efforts to obtain justice locally, she has sent her appeal to the Capital.

   The second case is the complaint of a native of the Sin-ning district, alleging the most grievous injuries as having been suffered by his clan from the neighbouring clan of the surname Yu, who have destroyed the dwellings of eleven villages inhabited by the Li clan, and killed or carried away as prisoners upwards of one thousand persons.  Delegates sent by the highest provincial authorities have failed to enforce redress, and the present appeal is consequently lodged.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Dec. 30th.  Li Hung-chang, Governor-General of Chihli, memorializes, reporting the decision arrived at in the case of a sub-assistant magistrate, named Wang Kin-ti, for causing the death of a man named Li Urh Chao-ki.  The deceased had been apprehended by the Magistrate's police after a wrangle of some months' duration respecting the non-appearance of his brother for yamen duty, and being brought up before the sub-assistant Magistrate whilst the latter's superior was shut up in the Examination Hall, he behaved with much insolence of demeanour.  The sub-assistant Magistrate upon this ordered the police to bastinado him, and he received in all 220 blows on the thighs.  In consequence of the injuries thus inflicted, mortification set in, and he died about ten days afterwards.  The official who thus exceeded his powers, having been denounced and stripped of his rank, has been put on trial.

   The article of the Penal Code most closely applicable to the present case, is declared to be the following:--- "Any officer presiding in a Court, who shall, contrary to the Law, but on public grounds, deal blows to a prisoner causing his death, shall be punished with one hundred blows and be transported for three years.  He shall also be called upon to pay the sum of ten taels as funeral expenses for the deceased.  The individuals who used violence under his orders shall be subject to penalties one degree less in severity."

   The delinquent in the present case has accordingly been sentenced under this law, the penalty of transportation being aggravated in his case, in view of his having offended while holding an official position, and declared to entail forced service in Sungaria.  The principal agent in carrying out his orders from the bench, a police runner named Yin Heng-shan, is proved to have died while in prison; and a second culprit is condemned to the penalty of 90 blows and transportation for two years.

 

Dec. 31st.  Li Hung-chang, Governor-General of Chihli, reports the trial and execution of a labourer named Chang-Hi for the crime of matricide.  The criminal in question was removing in April last with his mother from the country village where she lived to the town in which he had employment, he himself carrying on his shoulder a bundle of household goods.  On reaching a certain point on the road, the woman felt thirsty and asked her son to obtain some water.  There was no well near, and it was consequently impossible to comply with her wish; but she sat down in the road and refused to move a step farther.  Her son endeavoured to drag her along, whereupon she seized one of his fingers between her teeth and bit him severely.  Angered by this, he caught up a rolling-pin with his other hand, and struck his mother to make her relax her hold, inflicting a blow upon the temple, which caused her to fall down and in so doing to injure one of her eyes.  Some passers-by came up at this moment, and the son ran away.  The injured woman was carried to her home, where she died very shortly afterwards from the effect of her wound.  Her son was captured, and brought to trial; and, his guilt having been established, he was sentenced to undergo the penalty of death by slicing (ling ch'e).  As the crime was committed at a distance of upwards of 300 li from the provincial capital, the execution has taken place at the provincial capital itself, after completion of the trial, as the law provides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1877

Jan. 2nd.  The Court of Censors memorializes forwarding an appeal lodged by one Yen Ling-shun, a native of T'eng Chow, in the province of Honan.  He states that in January, 1876, a man named Yen Siao-tsi was one of the managers of the annual fair held in his village in honour of the Bull God, and interfered to shut up a gambling table which had been set up by a man named Liu Hing, with the assistance of Liu Yu-tien and others.  These men, enraged at being meddled with, got together a gang of between sixty and seventy persons, with whom they burst into the fair, armed with a large gingall.  Liu-hing, acting under the command of one Liu-kieh, fired this weapon, and lodged a charge of shot in Yen Sioa-tsi's  shoulder.  A pitched battle ensued, in the course of which a number of persons were wounded; and Yen Siao-tsi died a fortnight afterwards.  An examination of his remains was made by order of the department magistrate, on complaint being lodged with him, and five gingal balls, as large as a man's thumb, were taken out from his shoulder.  Liu Hing, upon this, terrified at the consequences of his act, got some thousands of Taels together, with which he bribed the whole staff of the magistracy, through the agency of one Liu Yu-shan, who had the run of the yamen.  When the case came on for hearing, the Magistrate merely punished Liu Hing with a beating and locked him up, taking no notice of the other offenders.  Appeals were hereupon made to the higher authorities, by whom the case was referred beck to the Magistracy; but the report which was sent up by the Magistrate in reply represented that Liu Hing had been out shooting birds and had accidentally wounded Yen Siao-tsi in the chest, and that the deceased man had come by his death through an exposure of the surface of the wound to the cold air some days afterwards.  The appellant, denied justice locally, has sought to obtain it by presenting himself at Peking.

Referred back in the usual manner.

 

Jan. 5th.  (1) The Governor of Chehkiang memorializes reporting a further stage in the proceedings in connection with the alleged case of murder of a husband, which has been removed to Peking for investigation (see Gazettes of Nov. and Dec. 1875.)  A decree was issued on the 2nd November, 1876, directing, at the instance of the Board of Punishments, the actual remains of the deceased man, Koh P'in-lien, to be forwarded to Peking for examination; and, in conformity with this injunction, the coffin containing the remains has been verified, sealed up, and forwarded to the capital.  On arrival there, it is to be deposited at a temple outside the East Gate.  The District Magistrate of Yu-hang, who has been suspended from his office, is likewise ordered to Peking.

 

Jan. 6th.  The Governor-General of the two Kwang provinces reports that an expectant Magistrate named Kung Chen, who was in charge of the opium likin station at Tamshui (in Hwei-chow Fu) had been discovered by his servants to have committed suicide by hanging himself from a beam, two days after his return to his post from Canton in November last.  Life was extinct when the body was discovered.  It is reported, farther, that a paper had been found in the deceased's handwriting, declaring that he had discovered abuses in course of being perpetrated by the staff of the likin office, and that intimidation had been brought to bear against him by the underlings.  An investigation of the case has been ordered.

 

Jan. 17th.  (3)  The Governor of Kiangsu memorializes reporting the trial and sentence of a son for causing the death of his father, by pushing him down in the course of a quarrel.  The old man slipped and fell against a bean-curd press, receiving a wound on the back of his head, from the effects of which he died.  His widow, ignorant of the fact that she was infringing the law, proceeded to inter the remains without reporting the case to the authorities; but the District Magistrate, having been informed of the affair, proceeded to hold an inquest; and the son was arrested and brought to trial.  The law provides that "a son who strikes his father or his mother shall suffer death by decapitation;" and the guilty person has been sentenced with this penalty in the present case.  His mother is acquitted from farther prosecution for her unintentional breach of the law.

Referred by rescript to the Board of Punishments for consideration and report.

 

Jan. 21st. (2) The acting Governor-General of Hu-Kwang memorializes with reference to a petty civilian officer named Li Tao-heng, who, having exerted himself during the rebellion in the enrolment of village militia, was given rank as a sub-director of education, from which he purchased advancement to the next step in the same class.  Having been appointed to fill the office of director of education in the Pa-tung district, he had proceeded to I-ch'ang Fu on business connected with the examinations, and was returning to his post in February, 18975, carrying his seal of office with him, when his boat was capsized in the most dangerous part of the rapids above I-ch'ang, and he was drowned.  His body was eventually recovered, but his seal of office was lost.  In accordance with the regulation which provides for the case of officials who may be drowned whilst travelling on public business either at sea, or on the Yangtsze, the Yellow River or the great Lakes, posthumous honours are now besought on behalf of the deceased, in satisfaction to the manes of a faithful servant.

Referred for the decision of the Boards concerned.

 

Jan. 27th. (4) The acting Governor of Shantung, Li Yuan-hwa, memorializes reporting the execution by the lingering process (ling ch'e) of a lunatic for the murder of his father.  The usual particulars are given.

 

Jan. 29th. (1) A Decree.  The Board of Punishments memorializes Us reporting the results which have been placed beyond doubt by a fresh inquest instituted in a capital case.  In the matter of the decease of the man Koh P'in-lien, a denizen of the Yu-hang district in Chehkiang, it was declared on the inquest originally held by the District Magistrate that the death of Koh P'in-lien had been caused by the administration of poison.  It has now been ascertained, on the renewed inquest instituted by the Board, that the death was positively due to natural causes and not to poison.  We command that Liu Sih-tung, the Magistrate of the Yu-hang District, who has returned a false verdict at an inquest held by him, be forthwith stripped of his rank; and we at the same time command the Board of Punishments to summon before it the witnesses in this case, and to ascertain by process of trial whether the proceedings at the investigation held in the provincial court were wilfully misconducted---what was the nature of the complaint which caused the death of Koh P'in-lien,---and for what reasons the wife of the deceased, Koh Pi-she, and the other prisoners, have falsely confessed the commission of the crime with which they are charged; on which being done, the Board is to pronounce sentence and lay a report of its decision before Us.

 

Feb. 6th & 7th.  The Governor of Shensi memorializes reporting the trial and sentence of a criminal guilty of the murder of two persons, a husband and wife.  The prisoner, Chang Si-lin, was a native of the district of Ch'u, and had lived as neighbour to the daughter-in-law of the murdered persons, before her marriage with their con.  It appears that a guilty connection had subsisted between the two before the marriage of the girl, and this had been continued at intervals after the marriage, on the occasions of her visits to her mother's house.  Her mother-in-law remonstrated with her upon her conduct, and on one occasion struck her.  A short time afterwards she met her paramour, to whom she complained of the treatment she had received, and Chang Si-lin hereupon resolved to carry her off by an elopement, in order to continue the gratification of his guilty attachment.  He accordingly agreed with the woman that he should secretly await her that night behind her house; and at the appointed hour, leaving her husband asleep, she stole away at midnight with Chang Si-lin.  The pair were pursued on discovery resulting the next morning, and they were tracked by the parents, a month later, to a temple in an adjacent district.  The absconding wife was recovered, but her paramour escaped, notwithstanding the efforts of the Magistrate's police to apprehend him; but, fearing eventual arrest, and full of resentment at the loss of his paramour, he determined to revenge himself by the murder of her husband's father, Tai Siang-lan.  With this intent, he entered Tai Siang-lan's house at noon on the 9th June last, armed with a sword, and taking his victim at unawares, stabbed him in the abdomen.  The wife of the wounded man was attracted to the spot by his cries, and she likewise was stabbed and hacked by Chang Si-lin, who dealt similar wounds to the daughter-in-law, his paramour, also, on her coming likewise to the rescue.  The elder couple died of the injuries inflicted upon them, but their daughter-in-law has recovered; and the murderer, having been captured in the act, has been placed on trial, together with the daughter-in-law.  The sentence passed upon Chang Si-lin, in conformity with the law, is decapitation without postponement for further revision; and upon Tai Liang-she, his paramour, the penalty of death by strangulation, as the penalty prescribed by the statute in the case of murder of a parent in consequence of illicit relations on the part of a son or daughter, is similarly pronounced.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments consider and report hereupon without delay.

 

Feb. 8th & 9th. (1) A decree in reply to a memorial from the Censor Wang Hin, who has solicited the severe punishment of high officials guilty or arbitrary conduct and corrupt partiality in adjudicating a criminal case of a serious nature.  The Censor has stated that, in the case concerning the decease of Koh P'in-lien, a native of the district of Yu-hang in Chehkiang, the law has been set at nought from motives of corrupt partiality, and depositions have been fabricated by the Governor of the Province, Yang Ch'ang-sun, before whom the case was tried in the first instance, and by the Literary Chancellor Hu Jui-lan, who held a subsequent trial on appeal, and he entreats a rescript awarding severe punishment in their case.

   In a matter so grave as a judicial inquiry affecting questions of life and death, there can be no more obvious duty on the part of judges, or of high officers specially appointed to investigate the case, than that of bringing the most earnest efforts to bear upon the process of trial, to the end that the objects of impartial justice may be secured.  Cases such as that at present in question are exceedingly numerous throughout the Empire; and the elucidation of the actual facts must depend entirely upon the thoroughness with which the officials placed in the position of judges devote themselves to the task of scrutiny.  In no wise is it admissible that they should choose to palter with the truth and to trifle with a question of life and death.  In the present case, a further inquest has already been held by the Board of Punishments, from which it has appeared that the depositions taken at the original trial were in great measure devoid of foundation.  Let the Board of Punishments now institute a searching investigation, with a view to eliciting the reasons which led to the want of good faith in the conduct of the original trial, in order that the actual facts may be discovered without the slightest evasion or concealment.  Our pleasure shall be further declared with reference to the penalties incurred by Yang Ch'ang-sun and Hu Jui-lan, when the case shall have been finally disposed of by the Board of Punishments.

 (2) Bigamy case.

 

Feb. 10th & 11th.  The Governor of Chehkiang memorializes reporting the result of a trial held with reference to a case of homicide caused by a military officer in unauthorizedly effecting the arrest of a criminal.

 

Feb. 14th & 15th.  A decree ordaining that the late district Magistrate of T'oo-yuan in Kiangsu be stripped of his rank and office on impeachment by the Governor-General Shen Pao-cheng.  He is accused of having failed to report the actual facts in connection with the suicide of a widow named Chi Chow-she after suffering robbery.  An honorary distinction is to be conferred upon the deceased.

 

Feb. 16th & 17th. (8)  The Board of Punishments memorializes reporting the result of the farther trial and new inquest held in the case of Koh P'in-lien, alleged to have been poisoned by his wife Koh Pih-she.  In obedience to the commands received in this case the Board had summoned before it the Magistrate of the Yu-hang district, Liu Sih-tung, who acknowledged that [at the first inquest held by him] owing to momentary negligence, he had not made use of the extract of tsao kioh (Gleditschia) and cleansed the silver probing needle.  The Board father addressed a communication to the Governor-General of Chihli, requesting him to place at their disposal an experienced examiner of corpses; but to this request a reply was received stating that no specially qualified person of this class was to be found in the province.  The Board consequently selected an experienced examiner from among those at present in Peking, and proceeded on the 22nd January to hold an inquest on the remains of the deceased, in the Hai Hwei Temple outside the East Gate of the city.  In the presence of the principal accused person, Koh Pi-she, the mother of the deceased, Shen Yu-she, the neighbours Wang and Yu, the Magistrate and examiner who had held the original inquest, and the police authorities of the suburbs, the coffin containing the remains of Koh P'in-lien was carried forth and deposited upon a clear and level space of ground, where it was opened.

   On examination, it was seen that the fleshy integument of the body had perished by decomposition, and orders were thereupon given to take out the bones and subject them to the tests prescribed by rule.  The examiners Sun I and Lien Shun shouted forth, upon this, the following report:---

"We find in the remains of Koh P'in-lien that there is no reddish exfoliation on the surface of the skull; that the upper and lower bones of the mouth, the teeth, jawbones, hands, feet, fingers, toes, nails, and joints, are all of a yellowish-white colour; it is only in the neighbourhood of the sternum that a darkish yellow is seen, which is due to infiltration of the blood; throughout the remainder of the body the bones, of all sizes, are of a yellowish-white, shewing no signs of the effect of poison; and out verdict is that death in this case was caused by disease and not by poison."

   The Board has to observe hereupon that on reference to the records of this case, it appears that the District Magistrate of Yu-hang rendered it as his verdict at the first inquest that the deceased came by his death from the effects of poison---a statement altogether at variance with the result of the present inquest.  The examiners Sun I and Lien Shun declare that, had poison been present in the system, the jaws, breast bone, hands, and feet, should present a greenish-black colour, whereas the colour now observed is yellowish white.  This proves that death was due to ordinary disease.  Their declaration is in accordance with the statements of the Si Yuan Luh (Coroners' Manual.)  The colour declared by the said examiners having been verified by close inspection on the part of the Board, together with the District Magistrate and the examiner employed at the original inquest, the official form of inquest-finding was drawn up on the spot, and written declarations taken from the examiners, witnesses, and police-officials present at the proceedings.  The District Magistrate Liu Sih-tung farther made statement under his own hand to the following effect:---

"At the inquest held by me in the first instance, the examination made of the remains was inaccurate, owing to decomposition having set in; and the fact of blood issuing from the mouth and nostrils, and of greenish-black blisters being observed on the surface of the body, was taken as a proof that red arsenic had been taken.  On the present examination being held, at which I have personally assisted, it has been proved that deceased came by his death not through poison but from the effects of disease.  This I have ascertained by ocular demonstration, and I have nothing to say to the contrary."

These proceedings having been completed, the Board caused the remains to be restored to the coffin, which, having been sealed up once more, was handed back to the custody of the police authorities.

   The Board has farther to request that the District Magistrate Liu Sih-tung, who is guilty of having returned an untruthful finding at an inquest, be stripped of his rank by decree; and a farther trial shall be proceeded with to ascertain whether any wilful malpractices were indulged in during the earlier stages of the judicial enquiry, as also to elicit the nature of the disease of which Koh P'in-lien in reality died, and for what reasons Koh Pi-she and the other prisoners have made false confessions of the commission of crime.  This having been done, sentences will be submitted according to the law.  The present memorial is on the meanwhile laid before the Throne.

For rescript see Gazette of 29th January.

 

Mar. 6th.  The Military Lieutenant-Governor of Jeh-ho memorializes reporting the execution by ling ch'e (the lingering process) of a criminal named Wang Lien-siang, who had caused the death of his father by striking him with a billet of wood in a quarrel.

 

Mar. 9th.  (1) A decree handing over to the Board of Punishments for trial, a sergeant of police belonging to the guard of the South Gate of Peking, who is accused of making a wrongful arrest and inflicting blows without authority, in a case in which an individual named Ts'ui Urh had met his death by drowning.

 

Mar. 19thThe Censor Wang Hin memorializes that severe punishment be inflicted upon the high authorities of the province of Chehkiang, for their misconduct in connection with the trial of the wife of Koh P'in-lien for the alleged murder of her husband.  Referring to the decree published on the 28th February, in which the report of the Board of Punishments on its enquiry into the case is commented upon, the Censor gives utterance to the surprise with which he is filled at the duplicity, partiality, and disregard for the interests of justice which have been manifested by the authorities through whose hands the trial has proceeded.

   As regards the District Magistrate, Liu Sih-tung, who has involved an innocent women in a network of misrepresentation, proving her guilty of causing the death of a person who in reality died from natural causes, and forcing her to confess a crime the penalty for which is execution in its most dreadful form, the guilt with which he is laden admits, plainly, of no exculpation.

   What the Censor finds more difficult to comprehend, is that men filling such high offices of State as the Provincial Governor, Yang Ch'ang-sun, and the Literary Chancellor, Hu Jui-lan, should have consented to become his abettors as they have done.  When commanded to undertake a rehearing of the case, not only did Hu Jui-and devote all his efforts towards extorting a confession, showing himself fearful only lest the previous judgment should be disturbed, but in his successive memorials to the Throne he actually ventured to express himself in terms of irritation, shewing himself stubborn and self-opinionated to the end.

     The Governor Yang Ch'ang-sun, again, when ordered by decree to send up the parties to the case for further trial at Peking, openly signified his disapproval, and on the plea of the necessity for supplying the evidence of all the parties, sent up a crowd of prisoners, with no other result than that of causing widespread inconvenience.  What he plainly intimated was that the Board of Punishments had no right to apply for the removal of the venue to Peking, and that his Majesty should not have acceded to the request when made. 

   That Hu Jui-lan and Yang Ch'ang-sun should have ventured to act as they have done, the memorialist can only account for on the ground of the Government being in the hands of their Majesties the Empresses as Regents, the Emperor having acceded to the Throne while yet of tender age, and not as yet having reached the period for assuming the control of affairs in person.  The flagrant audacity they have shewn in contempt for the law and in deceit toward their sovereign can only be ascribed to such a cause.  This being the character of their offence, it is impossible to suppose that their punishment can be based on mere ordinary rules, such as apply in cases of undue severity, whether wilful or due to oversight alone, and in which execution of the individual whose trial is in question may or may not have taken place. 

   The memorialist reflects that there has not been a single instance, of late years, of an appeal to Peking resulting in a simple reversal of the judgment of the court below; the Governors-General and Governors, although well aware that injustice has been done, simply closing the case with a report to the Throne that "a groundless appeal has been lodged under mistaken impressions."  Moreover, when Imperial Commissioners are seen to be despatched on special missions of enquiry, they constantly explain points of serious importance to be mere trifles, and then proceed to refine away these trifles into absolute nonentity.  These long standing practices of wrongdoing from interested motives have grown to be an unalterable routine.  The only exception to be noted is the case of the [outrages] at Tung-hiang, in Sze-ch'wan, in which the acting Governor-General, after denying the culpability of the accused officials in the first place, subsequently came forward to make confession spontaneously (see Gazette of Jan. 4); and had not the present case already occurred, there can be little doubt that fraud and misrepresentation would have been clung to [in the Sze-ch'wan affair] to the end. The memorialist feels bound to urge that rigorous punishment be denounced by public decree upon the two high officials whom he inculpates.

   A rescript postponing father decision until after receipt of the Board of Punishment's final report, has already appeared.

 

Mar. 22nd.  (2) The Governor of Kiangsi memorializes reporting the result of a trial that has been held, according to rescript, in the case of the escape of a prisoner from the jail of the Kien-ch'ang district.  The prisoner in question was awaiting execution after being sentenced to death for inflicting a fatal wound upon a person named Liu Hien-chu, with whose wife he had been engaged in a criminal intrigue; and the result of the enquiry now instituted shews that he took advantage of a storm on the night of the 2nd April, 1876, to break his fetters and clamber over the walls of the prison, whilst the guards and jailers were under shelter and asleep.  The jail warden had visited the prison the evening before, in company with the clerk of the criminal department and the jailers, and had duly inspected the prisoners and verified the condition of their fetters.  The prisoner, Hiung Ming-sheh, however, effected his escape in the manner described, and, notwithstanding every effort, has not been recaptured.  The enquiry shews that the officials concerned are not chargeable with guilty connivance, but for their neglect the jailers are severally sentenced, according to law, to periods of banishment and bastinadoing.  The jail warden, who has already been stripped of his rank, is held bound, according to law, to maintain his efforts for the recapture of the prisoner for the period of five years, at the end of which time, if he remain unsuccessful, his case is further to be dealt with.

 

Mar. 30th.  (1) A decree referring to the antecedent history of the murder case in Chehkiang, from the first representation made two years ago by the Censor Wang Shu-jui, at whose instance the Literary Chancellor Hu Jui-lan was commanded to institute a new trial, to the recent report from the Board of Punishments invalidating all the  results previously obtained, and the memorial from the Censor Wang Hin (see Gazette of 19th inst.), accusing the high provincial authorities of acting under the influence of corrupt partiality.  In obedience to the commands issued, the Board of Punishments has now handed in the report of its decision in the matter, stating that the Magistrate of the Yu-hand District, Liu Sih-tung, having come to the erroneous decision that the death of Koh P'in-lien had been caused by poison, extracted an imaginary confession by torture from the wife of the deceased, Koh Pi-she, and from Yang Nai-wu, to the effect that they had conspired, in consequence of an adulterous connection, to make away with Koh P'in-lien, upon which they were unjustly sentenced to suffer the heaviest penalty of the law.

   Conduct such as this reaches the utmost limits of misconduct.  We decree that, in conformity with the sentence submitted by the Board, the delinquent be transported to the province of the Amur, under the severer form imposed by law, to redeem his offence by his exertions, and that he be debarred from the privilege of compounding for a pecuniary mulct.

      We further decree that the following officials be stripped of their rank, viz: the late Prefect of Hangchow Fu, Ch'en Lu-yu, for his failure to become apprised in any way concerning the erroneous finding arrived at on an inquest by a District Magistrate within his jurisdiction, and that, without eliciting the actual facts by investigation, he presented a careless report to his superiors, shewing himself thereby to be neglectful of the interests of life and death;  the Prefect of Ning-Po Fu, Pien Pao-hien; the district Magistrate of Kia-hing, Lo Tsze-shen; the expectant District Magistrates, Ku Teh-heng and Kung She-t'ung, for that in their proceedings when engaged in the trial of this case, they failed to make thorough investigation of the facts, and formulated their sentence in an inconsiderate manner; and furthermore, the expectant District Magistrate Cheng Sih-kao, for that, when appointed by the Governor of the province to make secret enquiries, he returned an equivocal report.

   The Governor, Yang Ch'ang-sun, who forwarded his regulation report to Peking on receipt of the statement of the provincial courts, not only failed to discover for himself the facts of the injustice perpetrated, and, on appeal having been lodged and further trial held, shewed himself again incapable of causing redress to ensure, but also, when a Decree had been issued handing the case over to the Literary Chancellor Hu Jui-lan for additional re-investigation, remonstrated declaring that the judges who had dealt with the case had used no rigorous methods of torture to extract confessions, has shewn himself actuated by a desire to shield his subordinates from the consequences of wrongful acts, and he is in even a still greater degree deserving of blame.

   As for the conduct of Hu Jui-lan, in failing to elicit the actual groundwork of fact and to hold a fresh inquest when, on presiding at a new trial, he found that the particulars elicited were at variance with those originally reported to the Throne, in lieu of which he memorialized without regard to accuracy, declaring the proceedings closed, he has shewn himself conspicuously unfitted for his trust.

   Let Yang Ch'ang-sun and Hu Jui-lan be forthwith stripped of their rank in the public service.  As regards the remainder of the sentences propounded by the Board, let the case be concluded as is proposed.

   In matters so grave as those involving questions of life and death, the nature of the sentence, whether lenient or severe, is altogether dependent upon the degree of thoroughness with which the presiding judges devote themselves to the elucidation of the facts.  Their object should be to avoid unjust severity on the one hand and culpable laxity on the other.  In the present case of the death of the man Koh P'in-lien, two lives have come near to the sad fate of being involved in a most wrongful infliction of the extreme penalty of the law, in consequence of the disregard for the truth shewn by the Governor of the province and the other functionaries concerned in their conduct of the trial, and the determination shown from first to last to shield the perpetrators of injustice.

   Let the Governors-General and Governors of all the provinces henceforward know that it is incumbent upon them to impress upon their subordinates the duty of conducting trials in the most painstaking manner, making it their object to establish a truthful record of the facts and to mete out penalties which are adequate and fitting.  Let there be not the slightest approach to remissness or inconsiderate proceedings, in order that the Sovereign's earnest desire for the careful discharge of the functions of the criminal law may be duly supported.

 

Mar. 31st.  (2) A Decree.  Let Mei K'i-chao succeed to the post of Governor of Chehkiang.  N.B. This appointment is in pursuance of the decree of yesterday's date, degrading the Governor Tang Ch'ang-sun, in consequence of his action in the Koh P'in-lien case.

 

Apr. 1st.  (4) Let Mei K'I-chao, whom We appointed yesterday to the post of Governor of Chehkiang, proceed forthwith to his post.  He need not come to Peking for audience.

 

Apr. 8th. (1) A decree in answer to a memorial from the Censor Kwoh Ts'ung-ku, who has requested that regulations of a proper nature may be drawn up for the treatment of cases referred for trial after appeal to Peking.  He has represented that in the petitions of appeal it constantly occurs that a large number of individuals are involved by name, with malicious intent to injure them; in addition to which he enumerates other malpractices, such as false personation, contracting for the prosecution of the suit, instigation, and the like.  Litigious practices such as these cannot be allowed to gain ground.  For the future, it will be incumbent upon the Governors-General and Governors of all the provinces, when appeal cases are referred back for investigation, to use strict care in discriminating with regard to the summoning of persons who are named in the appeal, and to refrain from involving the innocent on harassing proceedings.  Let the proper Board draw up the regulations which should be adopted for taking down accurate evidence respecting the complainant and the accused, their personal descriptions, and the depositions relating to the case at issue, in all instances in which, after the lodging of an appeal through any of the metropolitan departments, the parties are about to be sent back to the province in conformity with law.      

   Inasmuch as manifold cases of injustice arise in consequence of the habitual practice of the provincial governments, in cases of appeal, of referring the cause for reinvestigation to the court by which it was decided in the first place, whereupon the officials concerned being actuated with a desire to screen themselves from the consequences of misconduct, a finding in support of the original judgment is at all hazards affirmed --- the provincial governments shall henceforward not be at liberty to remit appeal cases to be reinvestigated by the officials before whom the cause was tried in the first instance.  Should the officials directed to take in hand the judicial proceedings evince a disposition to act from motives of corrupt favouritism, let them forthwith be rigorously impeached, in order that the institutions of penal justice may have the due weight given to their fulfilment.

 

Apr. 10th. (2) re arrears of judicial cases in Fuhkien, indemnity for past neglect, etc.

(4) The Court of Censors memorialize forwarding an appeal lodged by a native of the province of Honan, named Tseng Ch'wan-san, complaining that his mother had been murdered by a party of robbers, whom the local authorities have allowed to go free.  Referred in the usual manner.

 

Apr. 12thThe Board of Punishments memorialize reporting the conclusion arrived at in the case of the woman Koh Pih-she, charged, together with her alleged paramour Yang Nai-wu, with the murder of her husbands Koh P'in-lien by arsenic poisoning.  The following is a summary of the facts represented by the Board, after a recital of the tenour of the decrees under which the recent proceedings in this cause celebre have been instituted.

   The deceased, Koh P'in-lien, was a native of the district of Yu-hang, in Chehkiang, where he married, in April, 1872, a woman surnamed Pih, whose father was dead, and whose mother had become the wife of a man named Yu K'ing-tien.  A month after his marriage, Koh P'in-lien moved into a house belonging to the provincial graduate Yang Nai-wu, who shared part of the dwelling with him.  He himself was employed in a bean-curd factory; and his mother, who had also married a second time, lived apart from his household.  Towards the middle of the ensuing autumn, Koh's suspicions of his wife's fidelity were aroused through his seeing her continually in Yang Nai-wu's company; and he sought to assure himself of what was going on by listening at the window-sill, but he was able to hear nothing beyond Yang Nai-wu instructing his wife in the text of the Classics.

   He complained, however, to his mother-in-law and her husband; and his mother-in-law, having visited the house and seen her daughter taking her meals in company with Yang Nai-wu, was unable to divest herself of the suspicions she had formed.  As she spoke of these to outsiders, the matter became a subject of common gossip in the neighbourhood.  At the advice of his relatives, Koh moved in July, 1873, from Yang Nai-wu's dwelling to another house, belonging to a cousin of his wife's step-father, named Wang Sin-pei, who himself lived next door.  This man kept an active watch, but at no time saw any visits paid to the house by Yang Nai-wu.  On the 15th October following, Koh scolded and beat his wife on account of his dinner being behindhand, and she, in a fit of disgust, cut her hair short and vowed that she would enter a nunnery. The mother, mother-in-law, and other relatives, hearing of the quarrel, came one after another to the house, and on Koh Pih-she's mother angrily exclaiming that things should not have reached such a pass for so trifling a matter, and the mother of Koh himself blaming his conduct, he replied, this being the first occasion of such a remark, that he had taken this opportunity of venting his displeasure on account of the affair with Yang Nai-wu.

  On the 26th November he was taken ill, with a complaint to which he was liable, and two days afterwards he was seen by the neighbour returning home shewing signs of ague.  The ti-pao Wang Lin saw him stop at a cake-vendor's shop and buy a dumpling, after eating which he was seized with vomiting.  He returned to his house, and, feeling very weak, desired his wife to take 1,000 cash to her father-in-law and request him to buy certain medicines for him.  His wife's mother paid him a visit forthwith, and found him lying very ill in bed, shivering and vomiting, after which she returned home.  His wife, alarmed by a choking sound in his throat, called out to him, but white froth issued from his lips and he was unable to utter a word.  In her alarm, she screamed to the neighbours, who hurried in, and she entreated them to fetch her own and her husband's mother, which they did; but all their endeavours, aided by the advice of a medical practitioner who was called in, proved fruitless, and the patient died towards evening.

   His mother attended to the preparations for interment of the corpse, and expressed no doubt of his having died of the violent fever with which his illness was at the time identified.  It was only when a rumour was set afloat the next day, through the deceased's foster mother, of his having been poisoned, that his mother was led to suspect, from this fact and the speedy decomposition of the remains which set in, that he had been foully dealt with; and she lodged a complaint at the district Magistracy, calling for an inquest.

   The district Magistrate complied with this application, and the condition of the remains was such as to lead the examiner of corpses to suspect the agency of poison.  He was inclined to believe that opium had been the cause of death, owing to the absence of rigidity in the corpse; but one of the Magistrate's underlings having observed, in adherence to the mistaken theory of Ch'en Chuh-san, that death from opium poisoning can scarcely occur except when the drug has been taken by the individual of his own accord, the examiner was led to believe, from the livid blisters observed on the abdomen, that the cause of death was poisoning by arsenic.  Whilst arguing the point, he omitted to cleanse the silver probing-needle with the decoction of Gleditschia; and being unable to feel positive what poison had been employed, he declared ambiguously that "death had been caused by poison."

   The Magistrate hereupon interrogated the relatives of the deceased, and the neighbours, none of whom knew anything respecting the source whence poison had been procured; and the widow, on being taken to the magistracy and questioned, denied all knowledge in this respect.  Torture having been applied to her, however, her powers of endurance were insufficient for the ordeal, and she made a false confession to the effect that, having had criminal relations with Yang Nai-wu at former times, this man had supplied her with some arsenic on the 24th November for the purpose of putting an end to her husband's life.  The Magistrate hereupon applied to the superior authorities, requesting that Yang Nai-wu be stripped of his degree in order that he might be placed on trial, whereupon certain of his relatives came forward to testify that on the 24gth November he had been absent at a place called Nan Hiang, and could not possibly have handed the poison to Koh Pi-she as alleged.

   The woman, however, in dread of further torture, adhered to her statement; and the Magistrate, in forwarding a report of the case to his superior, the Prefect of Hangchow, falsely declared, in connection with the inquest, that the silver probe had been duly washed without removing its greenish discolouration.  Yang Nai-wu, on being put on trial before the Prefect, was induced, through fear of torture, to admit the charge; and on being asked where he obtained arsenic, he mentioned the name of a shop which he remembered having passed.

   From this point the story is continued to the same effect as has been already set forth in previous memorials; and the Board submits, for the Imperial decision, the question as to the penalties that should be meted out to the officials, high and low, who have been guilty of the gross perversion of justice brought to light in this case.

For rescript, see Gazette of March 30th.

 

Apr. 14th. (1) Long memo re administration of justice in Fuhkien, with many examples of long detention and the official excuses.

 

Apr. 21st. (1) The Governor of Kiangsu memorializes reporting the result of a trial held with reference to the escape of two prisoners from the jail of Ch'wan-sha Ting, on the 14th May last (see Gazette of September 29th, 1876).  The two prisoners were implicated with others in a charge of burglary attended with acts of rape, and one of them, Kao Kwoh-ts'iang by name, had been sentenced to death by strangulation.  The other prisoner, Chu Feng-shan, has been found guilty as an accessory to the crime, and was sentenced to transportation into military slavery in the Amur province, which sentence was commuted, according to law, into transportation to the extreme south-western frontier.   ....

 

Apr. 23rd.  (1) Li Hung-chang, Governor-General of Chihli, reports the trial and sentence passed upon a man named Chao Urh-t'ao, on a charge of murdering his aunt and a cousin, in revenge for harsh language used toward him.  He has confessed the crime, and is sentenced, as the law prescribes, to suffer death by the ling ch'e (slicing) process.  Copies of the depositions are forwarded to the Board of Punishments, and the memorialist requests that the sentence may be laid before the three Tribunals of Judicature for final decision.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments consider and report to Us without delay.

 

Apr. 26th.  The acting Governor of Shantung reports the trial and execution of Ch'en Sze, a native of the T'ang-yih district, for the crime of parricide.  From the evidence adduced at the trial, which has been pending for some time, it appears that on the 6th April, 1876, the culprit, who had up to that time lived with his father on a footing of proper filial obedience, had sold a pear tree for 3,000 cash, and having this amount of ready money was desired by his father to pay on his account the sum of 500 cash which the elder man owed at the village baker's.  Ch'en Sze proposed to wait a while longer, upon which his father abused him as a disobedient son, seized a chopper, and rushed at him with it, threatening to kill him.  Ch'en Sze defended himself as best he could, but his father continued to grapple with him, until at length, having possessed himself of the weapon, Ch'en Sze dealt a blow at his father unthinkingly, which laid him prostrate and insensible with an incised wound on the forehead.

   In great terror at the consequences of his act, Ch'en Sze gave an alarm, declaring that his father had been wounded by robbers, and some of his neighbours and relatives hurried in., with the tipao, to make enquiries.  It so happened that Ch'en Sze was alone in the house at the time, as his wife was on a visit at her mother's, and he was able to conceal the real state of the case.  After lingering in a state of unconsciousness for three days, his father died, and he proceeded of his own motion to have the remains interred, employing a couple of mendicants, whose names are unknown, to convey the coffin to a grave dug on his own land.

   Two months later two of his uncles, brothers of the deceased, returned from a journey, and they then questioned Ch'en Sze with regard to the alleged murder of his father by robbers, and to his having failed to make report to the authorities and solicit an inquest.  Thrown into confusion by this interrogation, he was unable to conceal the truth any longer, and having confessed the act he had committed, he was denounced to the District Magistrate and committed to custody.

   A question arose, and was referred to the higher authorities, regarding the necessity for an inquest on the remains; but as it was considered that decomposition must have set in, and as the relatives who had come to the rescue deposed to the nature of the wound and the treatment they had resorted to in plastering it with flour, whilst the other relatives of the deceased begged that the remains of their kinsman, who had met so sad a fate, might not be further disturbed, the late Governor, Ting Pao-cheng, sanctioned the conclusion of the trial without an inquest. 

   The prisoner, having confessed his c rime, was accordingly sentenced under the statute relating to parricide, to suffer death by ling ch'e (slicing), and as the scene of the crime, although within the distance of 300 li referred to in the statute, is at the same time separated from the provincial capital by the Yellow River, the law permits, under these circumstances, that execution take place at the provincial capital itself.  The sentence has accordingly been carried into effect; and the head of the parricide has been despatched to the scene of his crime to be exposed as a public warning.

 

May 6th.  The acting Governor-General of Sze-ch'wan memorializes reporting the result of an enquiry instituted into the facts of an appeal case referred back from Peking by a Decree dated 29th April, 1875.  The complainant, named Wu Ch'eng-yeo, had appealed, accusing a relative of his and certain others, of the murder of one Chao Pi-shang, in consequence of a quarrel; and had further complained that the actual offenders had not been brought to justice.  On the case being referred back to the province, it was ascertained by the Prefect of Ch'eng-tu Fu that the complaint had been instigated by a certain professional fomenter of litigation named Yang Lien-yeo, who was thereupon apprehended, and in whose possession was found an account book, shewing an entry of the receipt of Tls. 80 from the complainant, and also a draught of the petition of appeal.  As the circumstances alleged are disproved, the guilt of the transaction especially that of endeavouring to implicate a number of innocent persons, recoils according to law upon Yang Lien-yeo, who is consequently sentenced to transportation into military servitude on the nearer frontier, to be branded, and to receive 100 blows, commuted according to law, on arrival at the place of detention.

Referred by rescript for the consideration of the Board of Punishments.

 

May 15th.  (4) Report by Governor-General and Civil Governor concerning unsettled cases "most of which are of many years standing,..."

 

May 16th.  (2) The Office of Gendarmerie memorializes, forwarding an appeal lodged by Wu Chih-tao, a native of the Chu-ki district in Hupeh, who complains of the murder of his father.  Certain individuals, whose names are given, having attempted to extort a sum of money from his father, complainant proceeded to the District Magistrate to lodge a petition against them.  Upon this the individuals in question came, in October last, with certain of the police of the Magistracy, seized complainant's father, and beat him so cruelly that death ensued.  The District Magistrate refused to hold an inquest, and on complainant lodging a petition at the Prefecture, an officer was sent to enquire into the matter in concert with the Magistrate.  This officer, in lieu of holding an inquest, compelled complainant to take charge of the remains.  The law-clerk, Ch'en Yu-feng, drew up a declaration [of acquiescence], to which he himself affixed signature, and proceeded to effect by force the interment of the remains.  No redress having been obtainable, complainant has come to Peking with his appeal.

Referred in the usual manner.

(3)  The Office of Gendarmerie further presents an appeal lodged by Wu Cheng-hun, a native of the Han-yin Sub-Prefecture, in Shensi, who represents that a distant kinsman named Liu Ta-hwa had forcible insisted on marrying the daughter, named Siu Lien (Pretty Lily), of his maternal uncle to one Feng Yung-kan, the son of a local bully named Feng Ts'un-hwai.  On complainant's uncle going to the residence of these people to remonstrate, he disappeared, and all trace of him was lost, until a labourer in the Feng's employ, named T'eng Tao-yuan, with another man, discovered a heap of bones in a cavity among the rocks near this place. Complainant, having heard of this, on proceeding to look at the remains, recognized articles of clothing, &c., belonging to his uncle, and he lodged a complaint, hereupon, at the Magistracy.  The law-clerk, Liu K'eh-jang, and others, succeeded by dint of bribery in putting off an inquest, and Teng Tao-yuan and his companion were compelled under illegal forms of torture to make confession [upsetting their previous statements.]  The complainant admits, on being questioned in the statutory manner, that he has not appealed in the higher provincial courts.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

May 17th.  A Decree.  Feng Shen, Military Governor of Heh-lung-kiang, has memorialized Us, stating that in the case in which the licentiate Wang King-tien has appealed at Peking, accusing one Ts'ui Chen-fuh of combining with an official named T'o Shan, to subject his brother, Wang King-shun, to personal ill-usage, thereby causing his death, whereupon it was alleged that the deceased had committed suicide by hanging, the said appellant having presented a renewed complaint, it is requested that an official well versed in the criminal law may be sent, accompanied by an examiner of corpses, to hold a fresh inquest. 

   We command the Board of Punishments at Moukden to make appointment of one of its Secretaries to proceed, accompanied by an examiner of corpses, to the province of Heh-lung-kiang to hold a fresh inquest, to the end that the due performance of justice may be secured.

 

May 19th.  (4) The Governor of Hupeh reports the result of a trial for wholesale murder.  The guilty party, a young man named Chang Mo-urh, was the son of an individual named Chang Ta-ch'eng, who, in consequence of his son's idle disposition and aversion from regular habits of study, had looked about for a severe disciplinarian under whom to place him for education and due restraint.  Hearing a good character in this respect of a licentiate named Chang She-hun, he accordingly placed his son under this person's charge on the 30th January, 1876, leaving him as a boarder at the school, and forbidding him to visit his home with any frequency.

   The master's fourth son, Chang Hi-urh, with four other youths, were also members of the school, and each of the scholars took it in turn top act as cook for the master.  Chang Mo-urh, the criminal in the present instance, having but lately been married, felt very homesick, but, owing to the stringent discipline enforced by the master, he was unable to get away to his father's house, and he cherished a grudge on this account.  On the 28th February following his admission into the school, it was the turn of one of the scholars, named Chang She-ts'ai, to act as cook, and he asked Chang Mo-urh to help him, which the latter refused to do.  An altercation ensued, and on the schoolmaster ordering the two to be quiet, he disobeyed the order and was subjected to chastisement in consequence.

   In his anger at this, Chang Mo-urh made up his mind to avenge himself by poisoning his master, and on the following day, it being his turn to take the cooking, he availed himself of the opportunity afforded by his going to market for provisions, to buy a packet of rat-poison from a pedlar.  As the schoolmaster was daily in the habit of taking a basin of egg-broth, Chang Mo-urh put the powder he had bought into a saucepan in which he boiled the water to prepare the broth for his master.  The latter consumed only one-half of the portion, giving the remainder to his son, Chang Hi-urh.  Meanwhile the four other scholars, wanting to make themselves some tea, had taken the remainder of the water left in the saucepan used by Chang Mo-urh, which he had not thrown away, and in a short time they were all seized with vomiting from the effects of the poison.  They looked for Chang Mo-urh to make enquiries of him, but he had run away, and Chang She-ts'ai, hereupon, on whom the poison had taken least effect, went to examine the kitchen utensils, and found some powder in the saucepan, which convinced him that poison had been employed.  He immediately called in assistance, but in vain.  The four other scholars died from the effect of the poison on the following day, and the schoolmaster, after lingering for some days longer, at length shared the same fate.

   Chang No-urh having been apprehended, and on trial being held, is sentenced to the penalty of death by ling ch'e (the "slicing" process), in conformity with the statute relating to the murder of kinsfolk or those whose position is one entitling them to respect.  This sentence being submitted for approval, is referred by rescript for the decision of the Board of Punishments.

 

May 25th.  (5) The Governor-General of Chihli reports the conclusion of a trial held in consequence of an appeal to Peking, the complainant having accused an individual named Luh Pu-yun of combining with the police of the District Magistracy of K'u-chow to cause his father's apprehension, as a result of which his father died in prison from the effects of ill-treatment.  On the rehearing that has been held, it has been proved that the deceased was arrested in consequence of a brawl which grew out of an act of robbery committed by one of his sons, and that he died from natural causes.

   The statements in the appeal lodged at Peking were either mere falsehoods or distorted exaggerations, and the complainant is sentenced to the penalty of 80 blows under the statute against general wrongdoing.

 

Jun. 7th. (2)  A decree cashiering the Commissary in charge of the district of Petuna in Kirin, at the solicitation of the acting Military Governor K-ni-yin-pu, who has denounced the official in question for withholding all report of a crime committed within his jurisdiction, eleven members of one family having been murdered by a native of the district named Kao Chen-ming.

(3) Ku-ni-yin-pu, acting Military Governor of Kirin, memorializes reporting the trial and execution by ling ch'e of a criminal guilty of murder, under the following circumstances:

   The criminal, Kwoh Hung, an immigrant from the province of Chihli, a carpenter by trade, is shewn to have sought occupation at a certain village in the Wu-ch'ang commune of the province; and he was employed there last year by an inhabitant of the place named Li Yeo-nien to make some repairs to his house.  Becoming in this manner acquainted with Li's wife, whom he met without restriction, he conceived an unlawful passion for the woman, which, however, he found for a length of time no opportunity of indulging.  He continued his acquaintance with Li Yeo-nien for some time after the job on which he had been employed was finished; and, having discovered, on the 4th of March last, that Li was absent from home, he went at dead of night, taking a cudgel in his hand for protection on the way, to Li's house, where he knocked at the door under pretence of asking for some oil for his lantern.  Li's eldest girl was aroused and opened the door, whereupon he entered, and saw the woman, Liu-she, dressed and seated on the stove-bed, preparing to light a lamp.  Kwoh advanced and endeavoured to effect his unlawful design, but Liu-she resisted and struck and scratched her assailant. 

   Kwoh upon this dealt a blow at her on the forehead with his stick, but she wrested the weapon from him and ran out of the house shouting for help.  Kwoh, fearing that her outcry might bring persons to the rescue, determined to kill the woman, and thus satiate his desire to be avenged upon her.  Groping about, he seized a vegetable-chopper from the block beside the door, and having rushed after the woman, he hacked her about the head, arms, throat, and body, and finally completed his bloody work by beating in his victim's skull with his bludgeon.  Re-entering the house, he saw the four female children of Liu-she wailing upon the stove-bed, and, excited with rage and fearing also lest the alarm might be given to the neighbours, he made up his mind to put all the children beyond the possibility of giving evidence against him; and he proceeded thereupon to beat in the brains of each of the girls with his bludgeon.  When his victims were all dead, he threw down the murderous weapon he had used, and made off, carrying with him a deerskin waistcoat and another article of clothing which he found in a wardrobe. 

   Having subsequently been captured and brought to trial, he has confessed the circumstances of the crime as above-stated.  The sentence incurred is that of death by ling ch'e (the "slicing" process), which has been carried into effect at the capital of the province.    In consideration of the lamentable fate of the murdered woman, who, with her children, perished in defence of her wifely honour, it is solicited that an Imperial tablet may be erected to commemorate her virtuous conduct, and to further the cause of morality.

Referred for the consideration of the proper Board.

(4) Feng Shen, Military Governor of Heh-lung Kiang, memorializes with reference to the proposed despatch of an examiner of corpses, to be borrowed from the province of Shen-king, to institute a renewed inquest upon the remains if Wang King-shun, whose brother Wang King-tien, has appealed at Peking declaring the deceased to have been done to death in prison, in despite of the evidence adduced at the former inquest to prove that he had committed suicide by hanging. (For rescript see Gazette of May 17th.)

(5) Feng Shen, in a farther memorial, reports the arrival within his jurisdiction of Liu Fu-hing, the individual degraded from the rank of Brigadier-General, and sentenced to transportation to the Amur, in connection with the case of Brigadier-General Chan K'i-lun, convicted as instigator of the murder committed at Yangchow (see Gazette of 7th April, 1876.)  The prisoner in question arrived on the 25th of April at the place of his destined residence in banishment, under custody of an official deputed for the purpose by the Brigadier of Petuna, and he has been placed under rigorous surveillance.

 

Jun. 10th.  The Governor-General of the Two Kiang Provinces, and the Manchu General-in-chief of the Nanking Garrison, jointly memorialize with reference to the case of a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Bordered White Banner, To Lun by name, who was brought to trial in 1874 for causing the death of a distant kinsman named Show Luh.  This individual had been arraigned on a charge of endeavouring to take his pay by force, and he was placed under the custody of his relative To Lun.

   In view of the habitual violence of temper and refractoriness displayed by Show Luh, To Lun called in the services of a captain and some other members of the force, and agreed with them that heavier fetters should be placed upon the prisoner, and that he should be confined within a wooden cage.  On an attempt being made to carry this determination into effect, Show Luh rushed at his kinsman, striking at him with his head and vowing that he was ready to die in the effort to avenge himself.  In a momentary fit of anger, To Lun called upon some of his men to help him, and they strangled the prisoner to death between them with ropes. On being brought to trial for this act, To Lun was sentenced by the late acting Governor-General Liu Kw'en-yih, in concert with the Manchu General-in-chief, to death by strangulation (as the penalty for homicide in the second degree); and the persons who had aided and abetted him to bastinadoing, according to the provisions of the statute in the case of such accessories, but with benefit of any ensuing Act of Grace.  On the sentence being laid before the Throne and referred to the Board of Punishments, it was quashed by the Board on the ground that the act could not justly be considered one of homicide in the discharge of a public duty.  The offence for which the prisoner was in custody, the Board remarked, was not a  serious one, and the proceedings resorted to by To Lun was actual murder, though without premeditation, [2 characters] in gratification of the passion of anger and unconnected with public considerations.  A revision of the sentence was consequently required.  The proper authorities having been required to take action accordingly, report has now been received that the condemned man, To Lun, died in prison from the effects of illness on the 11th January last.  A special commission appointed to hold a fresh trial of the case has now brought in a sentence, in obedience to the ruling of the Board of Punishments, in accordance with the stature relating to the murder of distant kinsmen, the penalty for which is decapitation; and the accessories are sentenced to 100 blows apiece.  After a further recital of the facts of the case, the memorialists submit that as the guilty person is dead, no further proceedings need be taken in respect of his sentence; and the accessories are shewn to be within the scope of the Act of Grace passed subsequently to the commission of the crime.

Referred by rescript for the consideration of the Board of Punishments.

 

Jun. 13th.  (4) The Court of Censors memorialize forwarding an appeal lodged with them by a denizen of the Chang-pu district in Fuhkien, who complains that his wife had been inveigled away from his house under false pretences, and conveyed into the power of a ruffian named Ch'en Hwei, the head of a local affiliated society known as the Red Flag league, who had repeatedly sought, but in vain, to establish a criminal connection with her.  The victim of his artifices was detained in captivity in this man's stronghold for upwards of a month, in the beginning of 1874, and after being repeatedly outraged by Ch'en Hwei and certain of his relatives, on appellant refusing to pay ransom which they demanded for her to the amount of $50, she was killed and her body was thrown into a well.  The District Magistrate was called upon to hold an inquest on the remains, but owing to some occult influences brought to bear, the perpetrators of the outrage have been suffered to go free, and have continued to oppress and plunder appellant since that time.

The appeal referred for provincial investigation in the usual manner.

(5) The Yamen of Gendarmerie memorialize presenting an appeal lodged with them by a native of the province of Honan, complaining of an act of burglary committed at his house by an armed gang, who inflicted fatal injuries upon his brother and his brother's wife.  Under the influence of heavy bribes offered to them by the guilty parties, the police of the District Magistracy have contrived to allow them to escape apprehension.  On complaint being addressed to the Prefect, and afterwards to the Judicial Commissioner of the province, it was referred back to the District Magistrate to be dealt with, and no steps were taken to arrest the perpetrators of the crime.  The same result has followed on application being made to the provincial Governor; and the present appeal is consequently lodged at Peking.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Jun. 17th.  (2) Yung Ts'uan, (late) Military Governor of the Ili territories, and Ying Lien, Assistant Military Governor at Tarbagatai, memorialize reporting the sentence they have pronounced in a trial held for murder.  In October last, they received a despatch in the Manchu language from the General commanding the contingent of Solon Manchus, giving the tenour of a report received from one of his subordinate commanders as follows:---

   On the 28th September last, Uchala, the widow of Nomen Tali, a soldier of the force, made statement to the effect that her son, named E-le-ngen-pu, who had been absent from home since the 17th, was reported this day by some people of the town to have been killed by a gunshot wound by certain persons at the reed lake to the west of the city.  The statement was reported to have come from a man named I-bo-so.  On receipt of this information, a Chinese named Chang Ho-fah was summoned, who repeated the statement above given, adding that on the afternoon of 23rd September E-le-ngen-pu had left his shop in company with a man named Mor-gen-tai, saying that he was going to look for an individual named Na-ch'in, since which time he had not been seen.  Na-ch'in was hereupon summoned, and a musket was taken possession of in his house.  Mor-gen-tai and I-bo-so were also summoned and interrogated, with the following results.

Na-ch'in confessed that :"I-bo-so having told me that deceased's wife was his niece, and that if  deceased could be put out of the way, he could give me his niece in marriage, in testimony whereof he cut off a lock of her hair, which he gave me, I and Mor-gen-tai inveigled deceased to a place south-west of the city, and shot him there."

Prisoner also delivered up the lock of hair referred to.

   On the particulars coming before the memorialist, Ying Lien, he despatched a civilian functionary to hold an inquest, the report of which is as follows:---

On proceeding to a point near the reed beds about 30 li south by west from the city, accompanied by an officer of the Solon troops, together with the relatives of the deceased, and the witnesses in the case, I held a public inquest on the remains of E-le-ngen-pu.  The evidence shewed that deceased was 19 years of age.  He was of middle height, the colour of his face yellow, the eyes nearly closed, the lips tightly shut.  To the left side of the chest a bullet-hole was discovered, measuring nine-tenths of an inch in circumference.  The bullet had traversed the body, passing out to the left of the spine, leaving a wound of one and two-tenths of an inch in circumference.  The skin as the orifice was gaping asunder in each case.  The bones broken were discoloured and black, and there were marks of bleeding.  A gunshot wound had unquestionably been inflicted during life, with fatal result, and no other wound but that described was found upon the body."

   The report of the inquest having been received, orders were given to the Military Secretariat to institute a trial of the case, when the following evidence was taken.  Uchala, deceased's mother, deposed:---

My son, being given to opium-smoking on account of ill-health, was constantly away from home.  He went out on the 17th September, and had been gone several days, when I was told by the man Chang that he had just heard E-le-ngen-pu had been shot.  On the 22nd, I had gone out to buy some physic for my daughter-in-law, who was ill, and I knew nothing whatever about a lock of her hair having been cut off.  She got on well with her husband.  They never quarrelled."

(Note.  The evidence of all the parties is given in colloquial Chinese, being probably a close translation from the Manchu.)

Na-ch'in and the others were next separately subjected to a searching interrogation, Na-ch'in deposing as follows:---

"I am a soldier of the Solon force, and have long known the deceased, I-bo-so, and Mor-gen-tai as friends.  On the 22nd September, the two last-named and myself were drinking together and having a chat, and being persuaded by I-bo-so that if his nephew-on-law could be put out of the way, he would be able to give me his niece to wife, I went with Mor-gen-tai in his company to deceased's house.  Both deceased and his mother were away from home, and taking advantage of this, I-bo-so said to his niece, who seemed to be ill and w as lying down, that he wanted to cut off a lock of her hair to give to me as a pledge, and that if E-le-ngen-pu could be put out of the way, he would give her to me to wife.  His niece answered that she was afraid; but I-bo-so told her that she need not fear; he would be answerable if anything happened.  Upon this, he cut off a lock of her hair and gave it to me.  On the following day I got Mor-gen-tai to help me, and we inveigled E-le-ngen-pu into joining us, under pretence of going to Ili.  At about nine o'clock that evening, when we had got to the reedbeds, I gave the horse to Mor-gen-tai to hold, and shot E-le-ngen-pu while he was halting for a necessary purpose.  The bullet struck him in the chest, and he died instantly.  I had seen deceased's wife but once, and there had never been any improper relations between us.  I had promised to give Mor-gen-tai a horse for lending a hand in the business, but I have not given it to him; and to I-bo-so I had promised to give, but have not given, ten taels in Russian paper money."

  I-bo-so's statement, given in full, is to the same effect as the preceding, with the addition that he was angry with deceased for his dissipated conduct, and that he was intoxicated when he made the offer to Na-ch'in to gibe him his niece in marriage if E-le-ngen-pu could be put out of the way.  He also stated that he had intended giving Mor-gen-tai half of the sum which Na-ch'in was to have paid him in Russian notes.

   Deceased's wife, Kara Khalaki, deposed as follows:---

My husband smoked opium, and used to be continually away from home.  My mother-in-law's brother, I-bo-so, was aware of this.  All our family matters were attended to by my uncle.  On the 22nd September, when my husband had been away from home since the 17th, while I was lying down, ill, at home, and my mother-in-law had gone out to buy some medicine for me and to try to fetch my husband home, my uncle, I-bo-so, came to the house with Na-ch'in and Mor-gen-tai, and wanted to cut off a lock of my hair to give to Na-ch'in as a pledge.  If Na-ch'in could put my husband out of the way, he could give me to Na-ch'in to wife.  I replied that I was afraid of such a thing; but he told me not fear, he would be answerable for anything that might happen.  My uncle thereupon cut off a lock of my hair and gave it to Na-ch'in.  Then they all went away, and I was too ill to follow them.  When my mother-in-law came back, as I did not know whether there was any truth in what they said about doing for my husband, and I was afraid my uncle would be angry with me, I did not venture to say anything about it to her.  I know nothing about the way in which my uncle came to propose to Na-ch'in that he should murder my husband.  I never saw Na-ch'in but once, and there were never any improper relations between us."

Chang Ho-fah, a native of Shensi, at present keeping a shop in Tarbagatai, deposed to the circumstances under which he was led to inform deceased's mother of Na-ch'in's suspicious movements.

   The memorialists have to submit that they have no code of law to refer to at Tarbagatai, nor any prison to which to commit the guilty parties in this case.  All they can do is hand the prisoners over to their own military authorities to be kept carefully in custody; and they request that the Board of Punishments may be commanded to pronounce the sentences which should be passed upon the three male prisoners and upon the wife of deceased, for their respective shares in the crime committed.  They forward copies of the evidence to the Board for consideration.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments consider and report.

(N.B.---From the curious statement as to the absence of all institutions of a judicial nature, at Tarbagatai, contained in the above memorial, it would appear that the occupation of this city for several years past as the headquarters of Yung Ts'uan's seat of government, (see Gazette of 25th September, 1874), has led to but little in the way of internal organization.)

 

Jun. 22nd. (3)  The acting Governor-General of Szechwan memorializes reporting the trial of an appeal case referred back from Peking for rehearing, by decree dated the 6th May, 1876.  The appellant, a man named P'u T'ien-yung, had complained to the effect that his brother had been murdered by an individual named Chao Ta-chih, and that the latter had bribed the authorities to misrepresent the case and obtain immunity.  Appellant has now confessed that he had no foundation for the statements contained in his appeal, which was prompted by grief for the loss of his brother, who is proved to have met his death in consequence of a wound inflicted as was stated at the trial originally held.  The appellant is absolved from the offence of bringing a calumnious charge, in consideration of the above facts, and has been sentenced to receive 50 stripes, as the legal penalty for presenting his appeal to the higher tribunal without in the first instance addressing himself to the proper authorities.  The person he has complained against, who is shewn to have made use of harsh language to the murdered man is sentenced to forty stripes under the statute against general wrongdoing, in its mitigated section.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments consider and  report hereupon.

 

Jun. 26th. (4)  The office of Gendarmerie memorializes forwarding an appeal lodged by Ts'in Wen-chen, a native of Kiang-peh Ting in Szech'wan, complaining of acts of pillage and murder there.  Appellant states as follows:---"I am a native of Kiang-peh Ting, under the Prefecture of Ch'ung-king Fu in Szech'wan, and am aged 49.  I live at Hwang-t'u Po in the sub-Prefecture aforesaid, and am a bamboo-seller by trade.  In the third moon of last year (April, 1876), certain villains named Ch'en Tsze-ch'un, etc., banded themselves together with the lawless offenders Ch'en I-ho and others, to the number of several thousands, and made an attack, fully armed, upon the village I live in.  They burnt down the dwellings of the village, pillaged their goods and chattels, and murdered a number of persons.  My own house was burnt down, and my property in money and other effects carried off.  My brother, Ts'in Wen-fuh, was carried away and put to death by the attacking party, and after murdering him they hacked his body in pieces and cast them into the river.  My cousin, Tung Ta-shun, who was returning from a journey with 200 taels in money about him, fell in with the same band, and was robbed and murdered in a similar manner.  Certain persons, whose names are given, can testify to these facts.  I presented a petition at the Prefecture, but without obtaining an order for enquiry into the case.  Tung Ta-shun's brother having subsequently lodged a complaint, it was referred to the sub-Prefect, but enquiry was stifled through the machinations of the guilty parties.  I next proceeded in company with my murdered cousin's brother to lodge petitions with the Lieutenant-Governor and the Judicial Commissioner of the province, and also with the Governor-General, but in neither case was action taken upon them.  When the Imperial Commissioner Li [Han-chang] arrived at Szech'wan, we presented a complaint to him as he was passing in his chair, and he was food enough to transmit it officially to the Governor-General, but, notwithstanding this, no orders were issued to the lower tribunals or reply vouchsafed to us.  Under these circumstances the only resource left, in the hope of obtaining justice, has been to resort with an appeal to Peking."

The usual summary is appended, and a rescript, referring the appeal in the customary manner for provincial enquiry, appellant being sent back in custody to the province as the regulations provide, has already been published.

 

Jul. 1st. (1) Ch'ung How, acting Governor General of Sheng-king, with his colleague, Ming Ngan, Vice-President of the Moukden Board of Punishments, memorializes reporting the result of a trial held in the case of an Imperial clansman named Ming Hai, accused of causing the death of a Buddhist priest named Wang Sing-tsing by stabbing.  The case goes back to 1870, in the autumn of which year, it appears, the priest Wang proposed to an acquaintance named Lin Siang that they would combine to open a gambling house at Moukden, which they forthwith proceeded to do.  Wang provided a brass bowl, which he had in his possession, and one hundred dominoes, each of which was to be reckoned, [for gaming purposes], at 1000 current cash; and Lin Siang having got ready a table, benches, and other appurtenaces, the establishment was opened the same day.  Lin Siang acted as croupier, and Wang undertook the task of passing round the bowl, and collecting the dominoes.  Persons, by name unknown, were in the habit of coming in daily to gamble, and up to the day in which the accused was apprehended on the charge of murder, the keepers of the table made a profit of from 10 to 30 tiao of current cash per diem. 

   On the 2nd October, 1870, three Imperial clansmen, viz., one named Sung T'ien, Ming Hai, who was under conviction for an offence committed, and Ming Shen, since deceased, came in one after the other to do some betting.  Shortly afterwards, the bowl being with Sung T'ien, he was a loser to the extent of four dominoes; but the priest Wang believed that the number was in reality five.  When the bowl was lifted, Sung T'ien concealed one of the dominoes, whereupon an altercation arose between himself and Wang, the latter exclaiming, "You and your yellow-red girdle! All you are fit for is to swindle!  You never think of acting decently!"  (N.B. - The allusion to the colour of the Imperial clansman's girdle implies that he was a man disgraced for misconduct.)

   High words continued between the two, until Wang, drawing a double-barrelled foreign pistol, loaded and capped it, and was about to fire at Ming Hai.  The latter, fearing he was about to get the worst of it, snatched up a sharp-pointed knife, and made a threatening plunge with it in the direction of Wang, the result being that the latter was stabbed in the abdomen, and fell down with a loud cry, dying shortly afterwards from the effects of the wound.  An alarm being given by the deceased's mother, the parties were taken into custody, and sundry trials have been held, the result if which has been unsatisfactory. 

   A special court has now been convened by the memorialist's orders, at which a Secretary of the Board of Punishments has presided, with the local Superintendent of the Imperial clansmen acting as Assessor.  Ming Hai is sentenced to death by strangulation, according to statute, for the act of murder in the course of a personal encounter of which he is proved guilty, and to be confined in the prison of the Clan Court pending conformation of his sentence.  The keeper of the gambling table, Lin Siang, and the other individuals concerned, are respectively sentenced to bastinadoing and temporary banishment, according to law.

Referred by rescript for the consideration of the Imperial Clan Court.

 

Jul. 11th.  (2) The Yamen of Gendarmerie memorializes forwarding an appeal lodged by Feng T'ien-hung, a native of the district of P'eng-shui in Yeo-yang-show in the province of Sze-ch'wan, who complains against his cousin Feng T'ien-sing and others for burglariously attacking the dwelling of two other of his kinsmen, in consequence of a dispute which took place in 1863 with reference to money matters.  Appellant's father and one of his cousins were murdered on this occasion, and their property carried off.  Appeals to the local authorities for justice have passed unheeded, and acts of violence and oppression have continued to be indulged in with impunity by the hostile faction.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Jul. 24th.  (3) Yseng Kwoh-ts'uan [Governor of Shansi] memorializes submitting the result of a trial held in an aggravated case of murder, by which three persons of one family were destroyed.  The particulars are these:- Li Teh-ch'un, a farmer of the T'ai-Kuh district, was married to the sister of a man named Chao Fuh-yuan, a trader living usually at Peking.  Near Li's house there lived a man named Ch'ang Kin-i, with whom he was on terms of intimacy, Ch'ang being accustomed to visiting Li at home, where Li's wife had grown used to seeing him without reserve.  In March, 1876, Ch'ang called one day in Li's absence, and took advantage of the opportunity to seduce the woman.  Criminal intercourse ensued on more than one occasion without the husband's knowledge, no gifts or money being, however, received from Ch'ang. 

   On the afternoon of June 10th, Li Teh-ch'eng came home from his work in the fields, and found Ch'ang sitting with his wife on the stove-bed in familiar converse; and being thus led to suspect criminal relations between the pair, he rushed at Ch'ang; but the latter's superior strength enabled him to throw Li down and get away.  Li extracted from his wife a confession of her infidelity, for which he loaded her with reproaches; but, dreading Ch'ang's superior strength, he refrained from attacking the latter on the subject.  Li's wife said to a girl named San Ni-urh, who was being brought up in the family as a wife for Li's younger brother, that now she had been found out in adultery she could not face existence any longer; but the girl was too young to appreciate the significance of the remark. 

   In the course of the same evening Li's wife, suddenly inspired by an unhappy resolution, swallowed a dose of lead powder, from the effects of which she shortly afterwards expired in convulsive agony, notwithstanding the efforts of her husband to restore her, on his waking up and discovering in alarm what had happened.  Ashamed to let the fact of his wife's adultery and suicide be known, he procured a coffin the next day, and interred her remains in the fields with the help of some beggars whose names are unknown.  The village headman, Ch'ang Yung-lung, having heard of this, went to make enquiries of Li, who falsely told him that his wife had died of sickness and begged him not to make report to the authorities.  Li, being frequently mocked at by his wife's late paramour, determined to avenge himself by murdering Ch'ang, but was restrained from doing so through fear of the latter's strength. 

   On the 6th August Chao Fuh-yun came home from Peking, and having gone to enquire respecting his sister's death, of which he now heard, he was informed by Li of the facts of the case, and he consented to join Li in murdering the man Ch'ang together with the latter's father and mother in case they should endeavour to rescue the destined victim.  The two men proceeded accordingly the same night, after midnight, to Ch'ang's house, clambering over the wall by means of a door which they placed against it.  Li was armed with a butcher's knife and Chao with an iron spear.  They found Ch'ang Kin-i and his father lying naked in the outer courtyard, fast asleep [as is customary among the population of northern China, during the hot months, Transl.], and they assaulted both in succession hacking them to death with wounds in different parts of the body (each of which is minutely described.)  Ch'ang Kin-i's mother having come to the door of the house to see what was the matter, was next attacked and similarly hacked to death, after which the murderers decamped, leaving the deadly weapons they had employed behind them. 

   On the alarm being given, Li was apprehended at his own house, and Chao was taken a short time subsequently, after lurking in concealment in unfrequented places.  At the trial thereupon held, they made full confession of the facts, and the depositions taken shew that no other cause of quarrel than that had existed, and that no other persons are concerned in the matter as accomplices.  The law provides that "whosoever shall slay two persons of one family, the same not being guilty of any capital crime, shall suffer death by summary decapitation and his head shall be publicly exposed.  One half of his property shall furthermore be allotted for the support of the family of the murdered persons." Active accessories are moreover liable by law to the penalty of strangulation, after imprisonment to await the periodical revision.

   After commenting upon the brutal nature of the act now under consideration, the memorialist observes that although the number of persons of one family murdered on this occasion was actually three (and the sentence consequently liable to be still further aggravated), yet, the fact of Ch'ang Kin-i being guilty as an adulterer entitles the prisoner to be regarded as having "slain him unwarrantably," and to be pronounced guilty of murder in the first degree only with regard to the two other victims.  The act of unwarrantable homicide being therefore omitted from consideration, Li Teh-ch'eng is sentenced according to law to suffer summary decapitation for the other two murders, and the accessory, Chao, to suffer death by strangulation.  The girl, San Ni-urh, who, owing to her youth, was too terrified to offer any opposition to the act of murder, is excused; and the village headman, who failed to make report of the death of Li's wife under suspicious circumstances, is sentenced to the penalty of 80 blows, commuted according to law, under the severer section of the statute against unspecified wrongdoing, but is allowed to retain his office.  The sentences thus propounded are submitted for sanction.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments consider and report to Us without delay.

(N.B. - The statement of the history of this wholesale murder, as given above, is typical of the disregard exhibited in China for what are considered in other parts of the world the most elementary rules of evidence.  Notwithstanding the death of both the woman Li and her paramour, what passed between them, and the acts and even motives of the woman in particular, are related as circumstantially as though they had been deposed to by the parties themselves.)

 

Aug. 1st.  (3)  The Governor-General of the Two Hu provinces memorializes reporting the decision arrived at on the rehearing of an appeal case referred back from Peking.  The appellant, Chang Ch'eng-hing, had alleged that certain individuals, named T'ang Ming-hwen and others, had caused the death of his relative Chang San-wan, and three others, in consequence of a dispute about the felling of some trees at the family burying ground.  The case goes back to the year 1861, when, owing to some uncertainty regarding the boundary between adjacent properties, a quarrel arose between members of the two families, and in a fight which ensued four individuals whose deaths are complained of lost their lives.  It is now found that the ringleaders of the affray have escaped beyond the reach of capture, the most guilty of the number being shown to have died in 1866; but certain of the participators in the affair are sentenced to bastinadoing, which sentence, however, is remitted in virtue of the Act of Grace on 1875.

 

Aug. 2nd.  (1) A decree based upon a memorial from the Court of censors, reporting that a complaint has been lodged by one Hi Tso-hwai, alleging an attempt made to set at naught the execution of the law by a fraudulent abuse of regulations.  It appears that the complainant's father, Hu She-li, having been murdered by Chan K'i-lun (see Gazette of April 7th, 1876), and Chan K'i-lun having been sentenced to suffer death by strangulation after process of revision, a military officer named Wu Tung-shan instigated Chan Hwan-chang to come to Peking for the purpose of planning with T'ien Ming-king, an officer of the courier-post service, and others, to effect the delivery of Chan K'i-lun from paying the penalty of his crime. Concurrently with this, the Censor Teng K'ing-lin memorialized to the effect that, in cases where military officers are proved guilty of offences, the regulations allow representations to be made [of circumstances in their favour.] Chan Hwan-chang and another person hereupon presented a false statement at the Board of Punishments and at the Magistracy of Hwan-ngan, his native district, declaring that a member of Chan K'i-lun's family had lost his life in battle; whilst T'ien Ming-king and others went with a draught of the Censor's memorial to Chan K'i-lun's house to demand a sum of money.

  The statements thus advanced, involving, as they do, a conspiracy to defeat the sentence imposed in so serious a matter as a trial for a capital crime, and implicating a functionary whose prerogative it is to address the Throne, call for the most searching investigation.

   Let the Board of Punishments institute a stringent enquiry, not failing to elicit the actual truth.  Let the Yamen of Gendarmerie, the Governor of Shun-t'ien Fu, the Police Censors, and the Governor-General of Chihli take measures conjointly for the apprehension of the two men Wu Ho-che and Chan Hwan-chang, who have taken flight; and let the Censor Teng K'ing-lin hold himself in readiness to appear when summoned to give evidence.

 

Aug. 13th. (5) The Court of censors memorialize forwarding an appeal lodged by Hu Tsi-hswai, a native of the province of Hupeh, aged 27, who makes the following statement:-

"My father, Hu She-li, whilst engaged in trade at Yang-chow, was assassinated in May 1875 by Chan K'i-lun, who was condemned for this crime to suffer death by strangulation after the period of revision, and this sentence was confirmed by rescript.  I removed my father's remains, in contentment with this sentence, for interment at out family home; but a relative of Chan K'i-lun's, named Wu Tung-shan, an officer commanding in a battalion of Hunan irregulars, incited a kinsman named Chan Hwan-chang to proceed to Peking for the purpose of intriguing with the aid of T'ien Ming-king, the Hunan provincial postal agent stationed at Peking, and certain titular officials, to contrive a means of escaping the infliction of the penalty on Chan K'i-lun. 

   At this moment, opportunely, the Censor T'eng K'ing-lin presented a memorial bringing to light the enactment that military officers convicted of crime are entitled to allege [circumstances such as the death of relatives in action] in their favour; and on the 13th March last, T'ien Ming-king and his associates went with a copy of the memorial to Chan K'i-lun's house to demand a sum of money.  I have farther learnt that Chan Hwan-chang handed in last winter a fictitious statement to the Board of Punishments, declaring that a member of the condemned man's family had been killed in action; whilst a brother of Wu Tung-shan's, named Wu Hi-che, had been instructed to lodge a similar statement at the district magistracy of Hwang-ngan in Hunan, Chan K'i-lun's native place."

   The complaint goes on to recount his interviews with the confederates, whom he tracked to Peking, and to asseverate that no such person ever existed as the relative of Chan K'i-lun's who is said to have fallen in the service of the state.  The Court of Censors submit his appeal as one which calls for thorough investigation, and add a statement to the effect that Wu Hi-che and Chan Hwang-chang, for whose detention orders had been issued, are reported by the police magistrate of the district to have absconded to Tientsin.  It is solicited that commands be sent to the local authorities to effect their apprehension.

For rescript see Gazette of 2nd inst.

 

Aug. 20th.  (5) In a postscript memorial the same authority [Ting Pao-cheng, Governor-General of Szech'wan] reports the outline of a case affecting the headship of the tribe of aborigines constituting the t'u sze of Mu-p'ing.  A petition had been lodged in the time of the Governor-General's predecessor by a girl named Kesung Tsang Wang-chuma, daughter of Ta Kien Pao, the late chief's principal wife, who complained stating that her father had died some years ago, leaving a son of tender age by his secondary wife, Siao Kien Pao, and that, as the son was too young to succeed to the chieftainship, the government of the tribe and the seal of office were placed in the hands of Ta Kien Pao as administratix.  Report to this effect was communicated at the time to the Board at Peking by the authorities.  In April, 1875, Siao Kien Pao, after vainly endeavouring to induce complainant's mother to affix her seal to an application that the boy be allowed to succeed to his inheritance, administered a fatal dose of poison to heron the night of April 17th, and employed a man of the tribe to break open the seal casket and run off with the seal. 

   Petitioner having complained to the local authorities, an inquest was ordered to be held on her mother's remains, and the coffin containing them was removed to the District city; but, decomposition having set in, examination of the corpse was impracticable.  The examiner removed however some teeth and finger-nails from the body; but petitioner cannot say what has become of them.  The parties have all been summoned to the provincial capital and lodged in custody, repeated trials have been held, the accused woman persisting, however, in affirming her innocence, and although torture has been resorted to by way of intimidation, accuser and accused alike adhere firmly to their statements.  They have both signed an application that the coffin be opened for examination; and orders have been given to this effect.

 

Sep. 8th.  (1) A decree in answer to a memorial from the Censor She Yih-tsing, who has reported the death of a prisoner in the Board of Punishments under suspicious circumstances.  The deceased had been confined for many years as accessory to a case of robbery, the principal being still at large, and the Censor finds that his death was occasioned by poison.  An enquiry is accordingly commanded to be instituted.

(3) The Governor of Chehkiang farther reports the execution of a son by ling ch'e (the lingering process) for the crime of matricide.

 

Sep. 14th.  (3)  The Court of Censors memorializes forwarding an appeal lodged by a native of Szech'wan, complaining of sundry acts of outrageous violence and murder perpetrated upon his family by neighbouring villagers, who have succeeded by means of bribery in stifling all investigation since 1870, and who had prevailed upon the police of his district to keep him in confinement for a number of years.  A newly-arrived Magistrate having at length caused him to be liberated, he has eluded the watch which had been set upon him and has come to Peking to present his appeal for justice.  He has petitioned the authority of his own department three times, and the Prefect of Ch'ung-k'ing Fu twice, without obtaining a hearing.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Sep. 21st.  The Censor Keh Tsing memorializes reporting that when taking his turn of duty on a recent occasion as Visitor of the prison of the Board of Punishments, he received a note from the Board informing him that a prisoner named Li Urh-shun had been taken ill, which information was followed by a report, on the same day, as he was on the point of ordering medical attendance, that death had supervened.  On the following day memorialist proceeded, attended by the police Magistrate of the division, together with a clerk and corpse-examiner, to hold an inquest, whereupon, from the livid appearance of the remains, there was reason to doubt whether death had been the result of simple illness.  The officials in attendance upon memorialist did not venture, however, to pronounce a decided opinion, and he consequently summoned additionally, on the following day, two other police Magistrates and an experienced corpse-examiner, the result of whose inspection was given in the delivery of a verdict that deceased had died from the effect of poisoning by opium. 

   Memorialist finds that the deceased Li Urh-shun was in prison awaiting trial as an accessory in a case of robbery, the apprehension of the principal of which had not been effected, and that his confinement had already lasted for a period of eight years.  That his death should now be occasioned by opium poisoning is a circumstance of a suspicious nature; and the memorialist, after causing the report of the inquest to be drawn up in the proper form and transmitted through the police Magistrate to the Board of Punishments, feels bound, in the interest of proper prison management, to submit a report of the case and solicit that commands be issued for an enquiry.

For rescript see Gazette of 8th inst.

 

Oct. 2nd.  (2-4) The Yamen of Gendarmerie memorializes forwarding three appeal cases, as follows:-

a. A widow named Hiang-chang She, from Szech'wan, complains of the murder of her husband by a gang of ruffians, headed by his own brother, in consequence of a dispute about some house property.

b. A woman from Kiangsu complains of the murder of her husband, who was beaten to death by certain individuals who had failed in an attempt to dispossess him of some cemetery land.  Through their machinations, a verdict of "suicide by opium-poisoning" was obtained at the inquest held on his remains; and all attempts to secure a hearing locally have failed, notwithstanding appeals lodged by the complainant at the yamens of the Taotai and the Governor-General.

In each of the above two cases, the appellant is represented at Peking by a son.

c. A titular licentiate of the Ning-tsin district in Chihli complains of the murder of his father in consequence of a dispute about a share in the business he was engaged in.  Justice has been denied as usual, notwithstanding repeated applications to the various superior authorities.

Referred in the customary manner for provincial rehearing.

 

Oct. 7th.  (3)  The Governor of Honan memorializes reporting a case of triple murder by a burglar.  The offender has been sentenced, according to law, to suffer death by the lingering process (ling ch'e).

 

Oct. 8th. (3) The Governor of Shensi memorializes reporting the assassination of a Taotai in command of troops, named Hwang Ting, who was murdered in his bed on the 27th July last by a military subaltern to whom he had refused leave to return to Szech'wan, his native province.  Sanction for the execution of capital punishment upon the offender is solicited.  (For rescript see Gazette of 6th inst.)

 

Oct. 12th. (2) A Decree.  The Board of Punishments memorializes Us stating that a condemned felon, brought up for final sentence at the Palace Assize, has cried out for justice before the tribunal, whereupon the appointment of a high Commission of enquiry is applied for.

   In the case of the appellant for justice Wang Yeo-sheng, alias Wang San, let the Grand Secretariat join with the Board of Punishments in arraigning him once more for trial and report to Us thereupon.

(N.B. The Palace Assize, held annually in the ninth moon, takes cognizance of capital cases awaiting authority for the execution of sentence, and on its report depends the issue of the death-warrant, which is signified by a circle placed in red against the name of the condemned prisoner.  From the Board of Punishments' prison at Peking, twenty-six condemned criminals were lately sent up before the Assize, headed by the well-known ex-General Ch'eng Luh, whose trial and condemnation in 1874 for a wholesale massacre committed under his orders on the Kansuh frontier was a prominent incident in the history of that year.  Three times respited, he will probably now escape the execution of his sentence.  The appeal of Wang Yeo-sheng, referred to in the above decree, was based on the inculpation of an alleged fellow-culprit, who had hitherto been exempted from prosecution in a case of homicide.)

(3) The Court of Censors memorialize forwarding an appeal lodged by a native of Chehkiang, complaining of the murder of his brother by a gang of ruffians, who cut up the corpse in six pieces and hid them away, enquiry having been subsequently stifled through collusion on the part of the District Magistrate's underlings.

Referred for provincial rehearing in the usual manner.

 

Oct. 14th.  (1) The Governor of Yunnan memorializes reporting the result of a trial held in a case in which a subaltern military officer in the prefecture of P'u-urh Fu has been charged with committing a murder.  The sentences propounded upon the persons implicated in the case are submitted for sanction and referred by rescript for report on the part of the Board of Punishments.

 

Oct. 23rd.  (4) The Yamen of Gendarmerie memorializes forwarding an appeal on the part of a student named Su Yen-nien, of the province of Ngan-hwei, who complains of the murder of his father by a certain man named Li Yeo-nien and others, in consequence of a dispute about some land.  He complains that the murderers have not been apprehended.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Nov. 1st.  (3)  The Board of Punishments memorializes stating that at the Assize which was held on the 10th October in the apartment without the T'ien Ngan gate of the Palace, and constituted by the Board together with the representatives of all the offices of state, twenty-six felons charged with capital offences, both male and female, whose cases, whether of recent or remote origin, awaited final revision at the Palace, were brought up for judgment.  In each case, after a thorough scrutiny of its particulars, sentence of immediate execution or a respite was determined upon.

   Among the prisoners was one named Wang Yeo-sheng, alias Wang San, under sentence of decapitation, who cried out declaring himself a victim of injustice when arraigned for trial; and the memorialists hereupon deputed certain officials to hold an investigation of his case.  According to the report received from them, prisoner declared as follows:--

"I was a subaltern officer of the Plain White Banner of the Imperial Household troops, and was induced on the 3rd May, 1876, by an individual named Wang Kih-k'wan, with whom a gioro member of the Imperial clan, named Jui Kwang, had quarrelled, to join him in an attack upon Jui Kwang, in the course of which the latter was mortally wounded.  On being arraigned this day at the Palace assize, I do not see Wang Kih-k'wan brought before the Court.  As I alone am placed on trial, I have cried out protesting against injustice done me."

   The memorialists have to submit, hereupon, that the prisoner in question was condemned to death, some time since, by a Court convened for the purpose of investigating the charge against him, the sentence being based upon the statute which provides for cases of murder of members of the Imperial kindred of the Gioro class; the individual named Wang Ki-k'wan being also apprehended and separately dealt with, all of which was duly reported to the Throne.  In order that it may now be ascertained whether in making his personal appeal for justice the prisoner in this case has sought to shift the blame on another through dread of the fate to which he was himself doomed, or whether any injustice has actually befallen him, it is proper that solicitation be made for the appointment of Imperial Commissioners to join with the memorialists and the Imperial Clan Court in instituting a further trial; and that the name of Wang Yeo-sheng should be withdrawn from the list of condemned felons submitted to the Assize.

For rescript see Gazette of Oct. 12th.

(Note.  It is probable that the case above referred to, a very noteworthy incident in the history of Chinese criminal procedure, may be no further mentioned in documents appearing in the Gazette; and it may be well therefore to add a few words by way of explanation.  The Court before which this appeal in extremis was made, is the Autumn Assize so frequently spoken of in Chinese proceedings, being the Court held for the revision of all capital sentences pronounced throughout the Empire during the previous twelve months, in cases where summary execution has not been decreed.  The prisoner in this case, being sent up in person by the Board of Punishments, in whose custody he was, is said to have been encouraged to make his appeal by the knowledge that his principal, Wang Kih-k'wang, had been exempted from punishment through connivance on the part of members of the Board; and it is predicted that the case will be allowed to drop into oblivion, the appellant possibly regaining his liberty after some eight or ten years of imprisonment.)

(4 - 5)  Memorials by the Censorate, forwarding appeals on the part of natives of Chihli and Hunan, who complain of murders of relatives which have been left unaddressed.

Referred in the usual manner.

 

Nov. 9th.  (4)  Ch'ung How, acting Governor-General of Feng-t'ien, memorializes submitting the result of the trial of a lunatic for the murder of his father and two other persons.  The accused, named Ku San, was a deaf and dumb idiot, aged 28, who lived with his father and married cousin and her husband in a village of the Siu-yen department.  On a certain night in August last the accused, in some unexplained access of madness, seized an iron hoe and hacked the three persons above-named, beginning with his father, to death.  The facts having been established by the evidence of witnesses, the accused has been sentenced to suffer death by the "slow and disgraceful" process (slicing in pieces) for the crime of parricide, which sentence has been carried out, according to law, at the scene of the crime.

 

Dec. 1st.  (1) A decree referring to information heretofore received from a certain (unspecified) quarter to the effect that a party of soldiery had committed a flagrant act of robbery with violence in the Ch'ang-hing district in Chehkiang, in the course of which the owner of the property attacked was murdered, and that the judicial authorities had been bribed to screen the guilty parties.  Commands were hereupon issued to the provincial Governor, Mei K'i-chao, to institute a stringent investigation into the case.

   The Court of Censors now report that a native of the Ch'ang-hing district, Hu Shun-kow by name, has sent a representative to lodge a complaint at Peking, declaring that his father had been killed by the soldiery whilst committing acts of pillage, and that the officials deputed to enquire into the affair had wilfully sought to screen the offenders.  The Governor is commanded, hereupon, to obey in trembling the decree previously issued, and to cause the Judicial Commissioner of the province, acting under his orders, to have the parties to this case brought before himself personally, with all the papers relating thereunto, and to institute a rigorous enquiry in conformity with the principles of justice, to the end that the actual facts may be elicited, whereupon sentence is to be pronounced according to law, and the same submitted to the Throne.  The complainant's representative, Hu Chung, is to be sent forward in custody by the Board of Punishments, in conformity with regulations, to give his evidence in confrontation with the other parties summoned for trial.

 

Dec. 16th.  (2) Tseng Kwoh-ts'uan, Governor of Shansi, memorializes denouncing for punishment the jail-warden of the Feng-yang district, on the occasion of an act of suicide by hanging committed by one of the prisoners, under sentence of death, for whose safe-keeping he is responsible.  The Board is commanded to adjudicate a penalty in his case.

 

Dec. 17th.  (1) A decree based upon a memorial from the Court of Censors, forwarding a complaint lodged by one Kia Yung-t'ai, a native of the metropolitan district, who has alleged that his son had been murdered, and that the actual perpetrator of the crime has been set at liberty.  The complaint is to the effect that appellant's son had been murdered by his wife and others,---that the woman, on being arraigned for trial at the Board of Punishments, was encouraged by the slight degree of torture applied to refuse to confess the truth, and that, after the case had been suffered to lie in abeyance for upwards of a year, the Board had set all the parties free.  In view of the gravity of the circumstances alleged, it is commanded, hereupon, that the accused persons and witnesses be brought before the Board and subjected to a stringent examination, to the end that the truth may without fail be elicited, and a sentence pronounced thereupon according to law.

(2)  A decree based upon a memorial from the Court of Censors, forwarding a complaint lodged by Lin Tai-she, widow of an official of the province of Fuhkien, alleging that on her son, Lin Wen-ming, having been made the victim of a false accusation by one Lin Ying-she, the official deputy named Ling Ting-kwoh had endeavoured to extort money from him, and, failing in this attempt, had entrapped him into his hands and had unlawfully compassed his death.  For eight years this wrong had remained unredressed, and notwithstanding all appeals for justice, the guilty party has not been brought to trial.

   In this case, a complaint was lodged at Peking in October, 1871, on behalf of the present appellant, and the provincial government was commanded by rescript to take action in the matter.  In March, 1876, the complainant lodged a renewed appeal at Peking, upon which orders were issued to the provincial government to institute a stringent enquiry.  In October last, a report was received from the Governor-General Ho King, stating that the case had not yet been wound up.

   After so many years have already elapsed, the proceedings cannot be allowed to drag on indefinitely.  In order that it may be positively ascertained whether, in reality, Lin Wen-ming met his death by a wrongful act, the Governor-General and Governor of Fuhkien are commanded to cause the parties and documents relating to this case to be brought before them, and to institute a searching investigation for the establishment of the actual facts.  (For a statement of the particulars of this case, in which Li Ch'ao-t'ang, at present Customs Taotai at Tientsin, is involved, see Gazette of March 30th, 1876.)

 

Dec. 29th.  (1) The censor T'eng K'ing-lin .... That the high provincial authorities be called upon by decree to require of the district officials under their jurisdiction a sedulous attention to the duties of government.

(2 - 3)  In two postscript memorials, the Censor T'eng K'ing-lin refers to abuses prevalent on the province of Kirin, in connection, respectively, with the conduct of inquests in murder cases...  Where cases of murder are reported to the district Magistrates, he states these functionaries are in the habit of allowing them to stand aside, until 3, 5, 7, or perhaps 8 cases have accumulated, when the Magistrate will go, accompanied by the professional corpse-examiner (Wu-tso), and a retinue of a hundred or more police and other followers, whereupon the cases are taken seriatim.  Delays of from 3 to 5 months are thus, perhaps, entailed; and when the official cortege at length arrives, "inquest fees" amounting to several tiao of cash are exacted, independently of the sums levied for the entertainment of the mandarin, and the extortions practised on the occasion by the village headman.  It is entreated that commands be issued, requiring the abolition of all such illegal imposts for the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feb. 8th.  (5) The Captain-General of Gendarmerie reports the capture by his men of six desperadoes, members of a gang of bandits, who were arrested for the crime of murdering the head of a family whom they had robbed, and carrying away a quantity of valuables, &c., as booty.  Let the criminals be handed, at once, to the Board of Punishments for trial and punishment.

 

Apr. 2nd.  HOMICIDES.

Fu Jin, Governor of Anhui, reports a case where an apprentice (already having passed his time and doing business on his own account) of a physician of T'aiho-hsien, Anhui, murdered his teacher as a consequence of the former's illicit relations with the daughter-in-law of the said physician, and the sentences given upon the murderer and his paramour, who it has been proved neither instigated the murder nor knew of the deed until it had actually been accomplished.

   Two years ago when Lu Hsio-lun was apprentice with the physician, Liu Feng-chao, the former was an inmate of the latter's home, and there Lu Hsio-lin met Liu Yuan-shih, the daughter-in-law of Liu Feng-chao, whose son, the husband of the woman, had left his home many years ago for parts unknown, and concerning whom the family had had no news for quite a long time.  The apprentice and the woman although intimate had then no illicit relations with each other, and it was not until the former had passed his examination and served his time and hung up his own doctor's sign that this took place. 

   It came about about a year after Lu had started in business.  Liu Yuan-shih went one day to Lu's house to borrow a cloth weaving loom.  Somehow the two became paramours which lasted some months until one day, when, the teacher happening to be out, Lu made his way to his paramour's house and was sitting at ease in her room when the old physician returned suddenly and saw the two together.  Lu managed to escape, but the old man would not be satisfied with the excuses offered by the daughter-in-law to account for Lu's presence in the house, and he accordingly belaboured her with many blows from a bamboo.  From that time Lu did not dare to make an appearance at his teacher's house who on his part kept strict watch and ward over the woman who had dishonoured his absent son.

 

 

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   But about a month after the above affair, taking advantage of the temporary absence of her father-in-law, Liu Yuan-shih stealthily slipped over to Lu's house to warn him of the strict watch kept over her and requesting him to refrain for ever from coming again to see her.  Lu, however, overcame her scruples and persuaded her to promise that she would elope with him.  He told her to conceal herself a day or two in an underground melon storehouse near by until the pursuit for her became cool again, when he would then make all preparations to carry her away with him to some other city far from T'aihohsien.  Accordingly upon a day agreed upon between the two lovers, the woman succeeded in escaping from the house unnoticed and concealed herself as arranged in the underground melon store.

   Search was made for the missing woman and the old physician naturally at once made for the house of his former apprentice and charged him with abducting his daughter-in-law.  This was denied, but the old man caught hold of Lu's queue and threatened to drag him to the magistrate's yamen.  Fearful of the consequences, Lu snatched up a sharp knife used by physicians to cut drugs and plants and threatened to cut the old man's throat if he persisted in his intention.  Apparently in trying to frighten his assailant Lu placed the point of the knife too near the throat of the old man, for in the struggle the weapon entered the throat and the old man loosening his grasp fell to the ground dead.

   Really frightened now at this denouement Lu hastily dragged the dead body into a sweet potato patch and there digging at the loose soil managed to conceal the body.  He then made his way to the melon storehouse and told his paramour of what he had done and the two made haste to escape the clutches of the law.  The old man not appearing the next day his brother Liu Feng-lin made search and going into the potato patch near Lu's deserted house he suddenly came across a loosely made mound which upon being dug into displayed the body of his brother.  The case was then reported to the district magistrate and pursuit made of the runaways, who were captured when not far off from T'aihohsien and imprisoned on the charge of homicide.

   The above was given in evidence before the said magistrate, repeated before the Provincial Judge and finally confirmed before the memorialist, who personally tried the case when brought to the provincial capital, Nganking, for sentence.  Now the law ordains that an apprentice in the trades or professions who murders his master or teacher must suffer the same punishment as a junior who beats to death a senior of his

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family or clan, namely, summary decapitation, and a woman who has been the cause of a murder by her paramour, but who did not instigate the deed should suffer death by summary strangulation.  Both sentences have therefore been given in the case of the two lovers, and memorialist begs his Majesty's sanction that the law may be allowed to take its course in the matter.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments speedily report thereon.

 

Apr. 10th.  A PARRICIDE.

Wang Wen-shao, Viceroy of Chihli, reports a case where a man named Chang Wan-ming, a native of Ch'ingyuanhsien, Chihli, while insane killed his father Chang Yu-kuei, with a dough roller.  It appeared that the parricide when in his proper senses was most filial to his parent and acted generally in a sober and well-conducted manner; hence when he had his insane fits on, taking into consideration his general good conduct, the parricide's relatives used their influence with the tipao to refrain from reporting the disease Chang Wan-ming had to the authorities in order to escape the necessity of having him chained and confined in the district prison.  Furthermore, when Chang Wan-ming had fits of insanity he was invariable confined under lock and key in his father's house to prevent his getting into mischief.  Things went on in this way until one day eight months ago while Chang was insane his wife happened to stay overnight at her own parent's house, leaving the maniac alone confined in his room.  That night he somehow managed to free himself and picking up a wooden roller for rolling dough opened the front door of the house and went out into the street.     His father hearing the noise of the opening of the door immediately got up from bed and started to pursue his son.  Getting up to him, the son resented his father's catching hold of him, and turning around struck the former a fatal blow on the temple with the roller in question.  The maniac then fell tooth and nail on his prostrate parent and literally tore off the greater portion of his father's hair by the roots.  Before help came, Chang Yu-kuei was dead. The parricide was then stoutly bound with ropes and taken to the magistrate's yamen

   The law for parricides, regardless of the murderer being in his proper senses ore not, is death by the slow and shameful process (lingch'ih) and this sentence has been pronounced on Chang Wan-ming.  For refraining from reporting the insanity of the parricide the law directs that the relatives of the murderer and the neighbours living

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on the right and left of his house are to be punished by the infliction of 100 blows of the bamboo upon each individual.  All these sentences have been executed and his Majesty is requested to order the Board concerned to take note of the case.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments take note as requested.

 

May 26th.  ROBBERY AND MURDER IN ANHUI.

Fu Jun, Governor of Anhui, reports the sentences given in the case of a gang of robbers who attacked the house of one Hsu Fu-yu, a native of Yut'aihsien, Anhui province, during which the complainant's father was killed by the robbers and a quantity of valuable plunder taken away by this gang of desperadoes.  They numbered ten in all under their chief, a certain Li Pa, who is still at large.  The gang was equipped with gun, s word, spear and bludgeon, and on the night of the robbery mustered in force at the house of the said Hsu Fu-yu, he being one of the richest merchants living in that district.  When the robbers arrived at the gate of the said house, their chief ordered three of the gang to remain outside to receive the plunder, as well as to keep a good look-out for the military patrol of the town.  He himself then accompanied by another (the lieutenant) climbed over the high wall surrounding the house and opened the entrance gates.  Once entered into the compound the chief again sprang up to the top of the house (one-storied) walked over the tiles and jumping down into the main courtyard, pried open the door leading into the main hall, where he opened the door to let the others in.

   While this was going on the noise awakened Hsu Sheng-yuu (the father of the complainant) who slept in the first court and he set up a cry of alarm for help.  Li Pa (the chief) who appeared to be prepared for violence at once gave the order to the lieutenant and another "to silence the old man."  The old man's noise was at once stopped and by the aid of lighted paper tapers dipped in oil, the whole gang, with the exception of the three outside the gates began to search for plunder, the remaining members of the Hsu family being terrified into perfect silence by the terrible example set before them of the murdered old man.  After ransacking the house of everything portable, i.e., clothes, money, jewelry, etc., and packing them on several donkeys belonging to the house, the gang gave the signal to those outside to lead the animals while the rest covered the rear.  But the three look-out men had, upon hearing the alarm given by the murdered man, already been scared away.  So the rest of the gang

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were forced to lead the animals themselves and by quickly marching overtook the runaways.  The whole gang then went to a solitary spot where they were not liable to be interrupted and a division of plunder took place.

   While the robbers were thus employed a lighted taper carelessly thrown away by one of them seemed to have communicated with some combustible matter in one of the side rooms of the house, with the result that a conflagration took place, the greater portion of the house being thus destroyed.  The neighbours were in this way alarmed and while helping to quell the fire, a body of the rest joined the yamen runners and military patrol to hunt for the robbers the same night.  No one was caught then, but gradually nine of the gang were one after another captured within the period allowed the district magistrate by law for their arrest.  The only man who has so far escaped capture is Li Pa, the leader of the gang.

   The law demands the summary execution of any members of a gang of robbers, with fire arms in their hands, who helped in plundering a place and finally took a share in the spoils, while those who joined to make a robbery but refrained eventually from doing the deed should be sentenced one degree more lightly, viz:- punished with 100 blows of the "heavy" bamboo and exile for three years.  This last sentence has been passed upon the three look-out men, the remainder of the gang who partook in the pillage and accepted a share of the spoils being sentenced to summary execution; and they are now awaiting the pleasure of the Throne.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments make haste and report thereon.

 

Jun. 3rd.  IMPERIAL DECREES.

(1) Kuei Nien, Supervising Censor, Keeper of Seals, and Police Censor of the Middle City, and his colleagues, have sent up to us a report stated that certain Palace eunuchs had got into a fray with gendarmes of the city during which weapons were freely used by the former resulting in the fatal injuring of one of the gendarmes and serious wounding of others belonging to the force who had come to suppress the disturbance caused by the said eunuchs.

   It appears that on the 30th of May last a body of eunuchs, armed with swords, went to the Ch'ingho Theatre, situated in the Great Barrier-gates' ward, for the purpose of wreaking vengeance on certain persons.  As soon as the police officer of the ward, Yang Shao-chi, heard of this, he assembled as many of his gendarmes (foreign

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disciplined soldiers) as he could at the time and proceeded to the theatre to arrest these disturbers of the peace.  The eunuchs were, however, reckless and audacious enough to resist, arms in hand, the attempted arrest and during the fight which ensued a senior sergeant, named Chao Yun-ch'i, was cut down and slain by the eunuchs. 

   Such conduct is outrageous and unlawful to the last degree and should be most severely punished.  We, therefore, command that the captured eunuchs Li Ch'ang-tsai, Chang Shou-shan, Yen Pao-wei, Yuan Lien-yuen, and Ch'en Ho-yu, and the commoner Pi Wen-lu, be forthwith handed to the Board of Punishments for trial and be punished according to the law of the land.  Investigation shall also be made as to the names of the rest of those with the said eunuchs who are still at large, and search instituted in order that no one be permitted to escape just punishment.  As for the late sergeant who died in the execution of his duty, let the Board of War investigate his affairs and give his family the usual money grant directed by law in such cases.

   With reference to another memorial handed this morning to us praying that in view of the enormity and audacity of the crime, the guilty eunuchs shall be punished with double severity to that prescribed by law, in order to strike terror into the hearts of all Palace eunuchs (who have lately been conducting themselves in the city with utter recklessness and arrogance defying all and every one) and to warn others from following such pernicious example in the future, let the special law for eunuchs decreed by our predecessor K'ang Hsi (16th century) be observed when giving judgment in the present case.  The Board of Punishments is hereby commanded to report to us the sentences to be given upon each of the guilty eunuchs.

 

Jun. 4th.  MURDER OF A USURER IN KIANGSU.

Chao Shu-jao, Governor of Kiangsu, reports a case of homicide in the district of Tangshan, Hsuchou prefecture, where a nephew influenced by an outsider conspired to cause the murder of his uncle and cousin.  Ma Tien-pang and his only son Ma Liang-tien were usurers of Tangshan, and at one time made a loan to a certain fellow-townsman, named Sun Chia-pin, with interest at 84 per  cent per annum.  In course of time the borrower succeeded in paying off what he thought was principal and interest, but owing to certain dates when interest fell due and the borrower being unable to pay on time, the usurers thought themselves entitled to compound interest.  This was naturally resisted by Sun Chia-pin who refused to pay the compound interest but

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liquidated the rest.  In this way Sun who, before this, had nothing against the two Mas (father and son), entertained ill-feelings against the latter.  About that time a certain Ma Liang-kuei, a nephew of Ma Tien-pang, happening to be in want of money, tried to obtain a loan on similar terms (84 per cent per annum) from his uncle, but owing to the nephew's indigent circumstances the loan was refused.

   Ma Liang-kuei began from this point to hate his uncle and cousin.  When Sun Chia-pin learned of this he began to sound Ma Liang-kuei and in time got him to think that nothing but the blood of his relations could satisfy him.  This was further enhanced by the tempter, Sun, offering to help him if he would consent to divide the spoils of his uncle's house with him.  Just at this time, also, the conspirators learned that Ma Liang-tien's wife was about to return to her father's house for a few days, whereby only father and son would be the inmates of the house, where they lived outside the city walls of T'angshan.

   As circumstances seemed to favour the deed, Ma Liang-kuei and Sun Chia-pin agreed to commit the murder the very night Ma Liang-tien's wife left for her father's house.  On the night in question Ma Liang-kuei, armed with a sword, and Sun, armed with a bludgeon, forced their way into their victims' house and found them both fast asleep in their beds in a room, with a lighted lamp in it.   Sun advanced to Ma Tien-pang's (the father) bed and dealt him a crushing blow on his head with the bludgeon, causing instant death, while Ma Liang-kuei, sword in hand, stabbed his cousin, ripping the latter from the chest down to the abdomen.  Ma then ransacked the place and amongst others got hold of a box containing the promissory notes of the debtors of the usurers.  Sun then suggested that the house be set on fire in order to cover as much as possible of their foul deed.  Ma at once assented and, Sun having first escaped, Ma set fire to the house, commencing in the kitchen, and seeing that the flames were well in hand, pretended to give the alarm, rousing the neighbours to put the fire out.  The latter rose en masse and succeeded in putting out the fire before the dead bodies of father and son were charred beyond recognition.  The wife of Ma Liang-tien and other relatives of the family coming up to the scene of the fire they found upon examination of the dead bodies that there were marks of violence on them, and that they had not died from the effect of the fire.

   Suspicion was at once aroused against Ma Liang-kuei which was confirmed upon discovery of the box containing the promissory notes, &c.  The murderer then indicated his accomplice and instigator, and the two were taken to the district magistrate's yamen.  As this was a serious case of a junior murdering a senior, memorialist ordered the case to be brought up to Soochow and upon a personal trial the above facts were corroborated and confirmed.  The law in such cases is death by the slow and shameful process (Lingch'ih) for Ma Liang-kuei, and decapitation of Sun Chia-pin, the accomplice.  But as Sun had since died in prison at Tangshan his corpse will be beheaded at the next autumn criminal assizes.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments hasten to report thereon.

 

Jun 27th.  IMPERIAL DECREES.

(1) The other day the Supervising Censor Chin Yu denounced one Hsing Erh, a native of Shantung, who was charged with absconding after murdering a relation of his and after taking possession of certain lands of the murdered man, &c.  We ordered the Board of Punishments to investigate the matter and report truthfully to us.  The said Board now state that after careful and repeated trials they find that in not a single case have the charges of the said Censor been substantiated, while on the contrary owing to his baseless charges, many innocent people have been made to suffer and immense trouble caused to all around. Furthermore, Li Ping-heng, the Governor of Shantung, when applied to replied that the district magistrates of Yitu and Ch'angshan both have declared that no such murder took place there as was stated by the accusing Censor, nor could they find such a man as Hsing Erh in their districts, etc. 

   Now the said Board declares that "when a censor reports a baseless case to the Throne he should be punished with the same punishment he had intended to be conferred on the person or persons he accuses."  The said Board therefore prays for instructions as to what should be done to the culprit Censor. 

   It is evident that the said Censor had been listening to baseless reports made by interested people who intended to do grievous harm to innocent and well-behaved persons.  Chin Yu has therefore been decidedly reprehensible and as a slight punishment for a first offence we hereby command that he be cashiered and dismissed from the service.  The law for Censors who have been found guilty of interested motives in denouncing persons and have been receiving bribes is that they must be punished severely and the Throne would be the last to grant leniency in such cases.  We would in this instance however give a fair warning to all, and therefore notify all

 

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Censors and supervising Censors, that if any, of them in the future dare to follow in Chin Yu's footsteps and make baseless accusations against innocent and well-behaved people, the culprits will without ant doubt be most severely punished and no mercy will be shown by us in their cases.

 

Jul. 26th.  IMPERIAL DECREES.

(1)  Wang Wen-shao, Viceroy of Chihli and Imperial High Commissioner of the Peiyang Administration, denounces an ex-district magistrate for trying to suppress the true facts of a most serious case of breaking the laws of nature in the murder of a step-mother and attempting to minimise the consequences by placing a different construction on the case in his report to his superior officers in the provincial capital, Paotingfu.  It appears that when Ch'en Tse-li, now cashiered, but at the time district magistrate of Sanhohsien, Chihli, tried a case the other day in which a certain woman of the common people, named Wang Yeu-shih, was murdered by the son of her husband's former wife, the said magistrate suppressed the original reports of the village headman, where the murder had taken place, and substituted for them false papers making the case an ordinary one.  When the Provincial judge ordered the trial of the case to be transferred to Paotingfu the said magistrate knowing that his conduct had been exposed to his superior officers failed to put in an appearance at the capital when commanded to do so and, on the contrary, absconded in fear of the consequences.  This action is a clear proof that the said magistrate was conscious of his guilt and therefore absconded from his post.  He has already been cashiered for this and we now authorise the said Viceroy to issue warrants for the said Ch'en Tse-li's arrest and to inform the Governor of Shansi, the native province of the absconding ex-official, that he may assist in bringing the refugee to justice.  When captured the prisoner is to be taken to Paotingfu for trial and punishment according to the laws.  The Boards concerned are to take notice thereon.

Note: In ordinary murders where only one life is lost the magistrate of the district where they have taken place, is exempt from anything but the most nominal punishment.  If more than one person is murdered the magistrate is liable to lose his button, temporarily, and be perhaps handed to the Board of Civil Appointments for the determination of some penalty.  But in the case of the murder of a parent, grandparent, or step-parent who had taken care of the murderer since childhood or

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infancy, the murderer does by the "shameful and lingering" process (lingch'ih), and the magistrate of the district is generally made to lose his post or, if a man of considerable family influence at Peking, is made to lose his button pro tem. and is transferred to another district. 

   It was apparently to avoid the first penalty that the absconding magistrate in the above decree tried to minimise consequences by transforming the murder of a stepmother into an ordinary murder.  Where two parents or grandparents are murdered the magistrate is cashiered and his superiors are penalised in varying degrees according to rank and proximity to the scene of the crime, that is to say the immediate superior of the cashiered magistrate loses his button or is transferred, and so on up to the Viceroy or Governor who is penalised by being mulcted of some months' pay.

   As an additional mark of the disgrace attached to the district city where such a double murder took place it was a part of the proceedings to knock off a corner of the city ramparts (it used to be the city wall but owing to the numerous rebellions of the present dynasty the ramparts are now only touched) in the direct where the bloody deed happened whether inside the city walls or out of them. 

   This refers to the system of mutual responsibility observed in the Government of this Empire where a father is responsible for the action of his sons, an elder brother for his younger brother, the neighbour's for each other's conduct, etc.  Further, if a district produces a child who has done an extraordinary act of filial piety, or a woman who has sacrificed her life to save her husband, or who commits suicide upon his death, the magistrate concerned received a promotion in rank and the Emperor's commendation of his virtuous influence over the people whom he rules. Translator.

 

Oct. 22.  IMPERIAL DECREES.

(5) The captain-General of the Peking Gendarmerie reports the capture by his men of nine members of a gang of murderers and brigands who had been sought for murdering a man whom they had robbed, and against which gang also is the charge of having opposed, firearms in hand, the gendarmes sent to capture them, resulting in the wounding of some of the latter, etc.  Let all be sent to the Board of Punishments for trial and punishment in accordance with the law of the land.  Search is further to be made for another member of the gang who so far has escaped arrest.

 

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Jan. 15th.  IMPERIAL DECREES.

(1)  The Supervising Censor of the Board of War and Police Censor of the Middle City, Ch'ing Mien, and his colleagues, conjointly denounce the arbitrary conduct of a certain Chang Te-peo, an expectant gaol-warden and investigating officer of one of the Metropolitan summary police courts.  He is accused of having used illegal tortures thereby encompassing the premature death of a prisoner brought to him for preliminary investigation before any guilt could be properly fixed upon the deceased.  This is a grave offence and we command that the accused officer be temporarily cashiered and placed under trial before the Court of the Police Censor of the Western City.  The Board of Civil Appointments is commanded to take note thereon.

 

Jan. 27th. SENTENCE ON MURDERERS.

Wang Wen-shao, Viceroy of Chihli, reports a crime of unusual gravity from his jurisdiction and the sentences imposed on the criminals.  The crime in question took place in December last in the district of Chuchou, where a son at the instigation of his mother murdered his father.  As this was a most serious crime memorialist ordered the case to be sent to Paotingfu for trial by the Provincial Judge, Chi Pang-chen.  The said Judge having made the usual investigations reported that he had found the murderers guilty of the crime they were accused of and recommended that both mother and son suffer death by the slow and shameful process (lingch'ih) in accordance with the laws of the land.  Memorialist, however, wished to be sure that the accusations were just and so ordered Yuan Feng-lin, the Provincial Treasurer, to make a special trial of the case.

   The evidence first reported was adhered to in this trial, which showed as follows:--

   Chang His-feng, the murdered man, was a well-to-do farmer of Ch'uchouhsien.  He had an only son (Chang Tse-kuang), the murderer, who was so petted and spoiled by his parents, especially by the mother, that as he grew older he became unmanageable and fell into dissolute habits.  To get money to supply his wants Chang Tse-kuang used to persuade his mother to get it for him until at last they began to sell portions of the land belonging to the father.  In spite of the latter's remonstrances the mother and son persisted in their course until it became evident to the father that unless something

 

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was done to stop the two they would soon sell the house which sheltered him and them.

   So the father one day assembled all the headmen of his clan and complained of the conduct of his wife and son and asked for protection against them.  It was then decided that the remainder of the property of 47 mow of land be retained for the support of the father in his old age, and the dissolute son and his mother were interdicted by the  seniors of their clan from touching this land on pain of suffering punishment administered by the clan.  This stopped the pair for a short time; but the gambling debts contracted by the son became too pressing and so, assisted by his mother, Chang Tse-kuang tried to mortgage or sell the 47 mow of land in secret.  The father found the matter out and forcible upbraided his wife and son for their conduct and in attempting corporal punishment on the son the mother assisted the latter in getting away from his father's clutches.   Exasperated beyond reason the father at last said that the best way to stop this would be to kill both wife and son.

   When the pair heard this they began to consult so as to lay hands on the father first before he could put his thereat into execution.  So on the night of the 30th December last Chang Tse-kuang having first filled himself with alcoholic drinks and aged on by the mother, who persistently declared that if they did not kill the father he would kill them, seized hold of an iron rake and marched into his father's room where he lay on the k'ang or stove-bedstead.  The mother also followed into the room to assist the son if necessary.  Three fearful blows were then dealt with the iron rake on the head of the murdered man, the third blow on the back of the head being the fatal stroke.  When Chang His-feng was killed, the mother dressed the corpse with an old cotton-wadded jacket and with the parricide carried the body to a back garden wall.  Placing the corpse beneath the wall the guilty pair pulled down a lot of bricks from the top of the wall, half burying the body with the debris, so as to make it seem to outsiders that the old man had been killed by the falling of the wall over which he was supposed to have tried to vault.  The next morning the brother of the deceased having his suspicions reported the matter to the magistrate of Chuchouhsien who finally extracted the above confession from the parricide and murderess.

   The law for this crime demands that both the woman and her son be sentenced to death by the lingchih process, the head of the son being exposed in the village where the crime was committed, the mother's head in consideration of it being a woman's being exempted from this exposure.  Memorialist upon receiving the above confirmed report at once gave orders for the carrying out of the sentence recommended by the said Provincial Judge, on accordance with the laws of the land.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments take note.

 

Feb. 11th.  A DOUBLE MURDER IN KIRIN.

Yen Mou, Military Governor and Tartar-General of Kirin, reports that in June last year a petition was received from the sub-prefect of Yitunchchoi, Kirin, to the effect that one Ts'ao Yung-tai, a native of the said sub-prefecture, had in a fir of madness murdered his uncle (who stood in the place of his father) and a fellow-lodger who had come to the aid of the first-named murdered man.

   It appeared that the murderer had been inflicted with intermittent fits of madness for several years, but as often as these fits would come on, so often they would subside soon after, during which times the murderer never exhibited any ferocity or thirst after blood.  He was an unusually mild monomaniac.  For this reason, therefore, neither his uncle, now deceased, nor the rest of the family or neighbours thought the malady serious enough to report to the local authorities, in order to have the said Ts'ao Yung-tai fettered and confined in prison out of harm way.

   So matters went on until the middle of June aforesaid, when all of a sudden Ts'ao Yung-tai was attacked by madness again.  In this instance he somehow got hold of a lance or broad bladed spear placed in the house with the other weapons used for defending the place against banditti.  Taking the spear outdoors the madman flourished it as if warding off an attack of imaginary enemies.  His father Ts-ao Shun being afraid that he would hurt some passer-by, came out of the house and tried to take away the spear.  Instead of complying the maniac made a lunge at his father, the point of the weapon entering the old man's left arm.  Another lunge pierced his left side when he fell down dead. 

   In the meanwhile a fellow-lodger, Jen Chen, hearing the noise at the door came out to help the old man to wrest the weapon away from the maniac; but the latter, now apparently madder than ever at the sight of blood, fiercely attacked Jen with the spear, killing him in the same manner as he had killed his father.  The nephew of the fellow-lodger happening to pass by, gave the alarm, and a crowd of neighbours collecting they soon overpowered the murder and took him to the sub-prefect of the city.  When

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the maniac was brought before the magistrate he is said to have suddenly assumed a sullen and morose air and seemed unable to comprehend any of the questions put to him.  In fact he displayed all the symptom ms of a monomaniac.

   Now the law demands that any person showing maniacal symptoms must be taken to the local magistrate for confinement by his relatives, or, failing them, by his neighbours, whom the law makes amenable to punishment if default is made and no report be made to the magistrate.  The right and left neighbours of the Ts'ao family were therefore guilty of a misdemeanour similar to that of a man who seeing or knowing of an intending murder fails to report the same to the authorities.  The law commands that a parricide must suffer death by the ling ch'ih process and his head be exposed in the place where he committed the murder.

   This has been done with the above named murderer, and the neighbours and relatives who failed to report the circumstance of the murderer's craziness to the authorities were also punished in the usual way by giving each 100 blows of the bamboo.  As the law allows the execution of criminals, where, the scene of their murder exceed 300 li in distance, to be done at the capital, and as Itungchou is more than 300 li from Kirin, the murderer was executed at Kirin and his head has been sent for exposure to the first-named city.

Rescript: Noted.  Let the Board of Punishments also take note.

 

Feb. 14th. BRIGANDS IN HSUCHOU.

Chao Shu-jao, Governor of Kiangsu, reports that he has executed several members of a gang of bandits amounting to nearly twenty in number, who had been pillaging certain farmhouses in Taoyuan and Tangshang districts in 1895.  In June of that year ten men of the gang robbed the farmhouse of Hu Li-yi in the first named district, the plunder consisting of oxen, mules, donkeys, opium balls, money, and clothes.  The robbers were armed with firearms, swords, and spears, and when a resistance was made, the robbers shot and killed a man named Hu Chin-kuei, a neighbour of the robbed family.  A month afterwards, the same gang, numbering eighteen men, raided the farmhouse of Chou Chia-yen, in the district of T'angshan, and shot and killed the younger brother of the said owner of the farmhouse.  The plunder taken by the robbers consisted of horses, mules, money, and clothes. 

 

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  Six of the bandits were captured and sent on to Soochow for trial.  In the meantime one man died in prison.  But when the time came to decapitate the robbers, the corpse of the one who had died in prison was also taken out on the execution ground and the head chopped off in company with the companions of his crime, in accordance with the law provided in such cases.

Rescript; Let the Board of Punishments take note.

 

Mar. 13th.  HOMICIDE.

Ch'ang Keng, Tartar-General of Ili and Chinese Turkestan, and Chung Liang, Civil Governor of the same province, reports the murder of a Manchu military colonist of the Sibe tribe, named E-ke-t'u-shan, by his wife Wa Hen-chih and her paramour, Mu Te-ch'un, also a Sibe colonist and a herdsman of the Imperial flocks in that province.  The illicit relations between the latter two began five years ago, but the husband, their victim, being compelled by his duties to be frequently away from home, knew nothing of the matter until late one night in November, 1894, when he unexpectedly returned to his home and found an intruder in it who, hiding behind the door as it was being opened, dashed through an opening just as the husband got inside.  As a result, the wife, Wa Hen-chih, being unable, satisfactorily, to give an account of her conduct, was severely beaten by her husband and the injunction was laid never to allow Mu Te-ch'un to enter the house again.  Being unwilling, for obvious reasons, to report the matter to the military authorities for the arrest of the paramour, the husband simply kept a strict watch over his wife's conduct, until he was compelled to leave home on duty again some months afterwards.

   Then Mu Te-ch'un again began to frequent the house and often asked the woman to conspire with him to encompass the death of her husband, to which she always gave her disapproval.  When the husband came back home again (this was in December, 1895) he found the wife working at a man's jacket which he shrewdly suspected was to cover the shoulders of the paramour.  Incensed beyond measure E-Ke-t'u-shan began to beat his wife again most severely.  On the 3rd of January, 1896, the paramour contrived to get an interview with the woman and said: "I have a plan now where you need not give manual assistance in killing your husband."  The woman asked that sort of plan this was.  Mu Te-ch'un replied: "Can you get him to go outside the city walls,

 

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tomorrow, to the temple of the goddess of the water mill?  If you can do so I will settle him for you." 

   The woman, who had begun to cordially hate her husband through the many beatings she had received at his hands of late, consented to do so, and the paramour then left.  The next day Wa Chen-chih told her husband that she wanted her fur clothes as it was getting colder and asked him to go to the pawnshop kept by Pe-na-erh-pei, near the temple of the goddess of the water mill, to redeem her clothes.  Not suspecting any foul play to be intended, E-ke-t'u-shan consented, and taking money with him for the purpose also told his wife to make ready and go with him.  Unable to excuse herself the woman was forced to go with her husband, and just as the couple passed out of the city gates she observed her paramour seated on horseback armed with a long quarter-staff awaiting at a distance outside the city.  When Mu Te-ch'un saw the pair coming out of the city he made a dash forward to the temple in question which was about a mile from the city and sparsely inhabited.  It was dusk when husband and wife started for the return journey, on foot, as before.

   The murderer, who had kept out of sight all the time, then galloped at full speed as the retreating figures were being lost in the gloom of fast darkening night.  When the horseman got up to the pair there was no one else in sight.  Charging at full speed on the back of E-ke-t'u-shan Mu Te-ch'un swung his quarter staff and as he brushed past his victim the staff was brought down with crushing violence on the head of the husband who immediately fell stunned to the ground.  Pulling up his horse the murderer dismounted and approaching the prostrate form of his victim and clutching hold of his queue rained terrific blows on the head once more, and with such force that the brains of the murdered man were freely scattered about the spot and upon the garments of the murderer.  In the meanwhile, Wa Chen-chih frightened at the scene of blood fled city-wards without waiting to watch the result: but as soon as her paramour saw that his victim was stone dead he flung the body into a grass grown ditch at the side of the road so that no one should stumble over the corpse during the night, and regaining his horse galloped after Wa Chen-chih whom he carried on his horse behind his back and escorted to her home; telling her on the way that he had done.

   After he had seen the woman safely inside her home the murderer galloped back to the spot where his victim lay and carried the body to a large dry ditch farther away

 

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and deposited it.  This was about 4 o'clock in the morning.  This done the man returned to Wa Hen-chih's house and told her what had been done.  That same morning a heavy fall of snow occurred, still further obliterating for months to come any traces of the murdered man.

   But Chiu Li-shan, the latter's younger brother, happened to return that day from his camp and enquired for E-ke-t'u-shan.  The guilty women replied that he had left on the day before for the camp.  Chiu Li-shan immediately told an uncle of his of the matter saying that it was strange for his elder brother to go to the camp since he was off duty, and so the two returned to camp to hunt for the missing man; but of course failed.  Returning home again they questioned the woman, who prevaricated in such a manner that they began to suspect foul play and accordingly reported the matter to their military commandant.  The woman was arrested and confessed under torture the whole tale.  The woman was therefore sentenced to die by the slicing, or lingch'ih process and her paramour by decapitation according to the laws of the land.

Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments report at once.

 

Mar. 27th.  A SIX-FOLD MURDER.

Yen Mow, Tarter-General of Kirin, Manchuria, reports a six-fold murder, - which came dangerously near being a seven-fold one - in the Tartar village of Sunchiatun, Kirin province, on the night of the 7th of January last, and the summary execution of the sanguinary wretch whose horrible crime called for his instant removal from this world. 

   It appeared that the murderer, named Lu Ching-t'ang, was a hired labourer on the farm of the Blue Bannerman, Ch'eng Wan-hsuan, at Sunchiatun, and had always been liberally treated by his master.  In 1896 Lu Ching-t'ang became suddenly possessed of a strong desire to visit his native town in China proper, but was unable to do so owing to lack of the necessary funds to carry him home.  He apparently brooded a great deal over his misfortune but dared do nothing to forcible obtain the money he required owing to the awe he had of Che'eng Wen, the son of his master, who was possessed of immense strength and belonged to the local militia.  But on the 7th of January, Ch'eng Wen having important business away from home left the place unprotected, although there were other fellow-labourers besides the murderer on the farm.  When Lu saw that his young master was to go away for the day and night it occurred to him

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(Lu) to impersonate a robber, as Sunchiatin being a small hamlet in a sparsely settled district the place had often been raided by scattered bands of brigands living in the neighbouring hills and forests.

   In the room the murderer usually slept in were four male labourers and two female hands.  Lu's first intention was to despatch these four and trust to frightening the females of the household to obtain the money and silver ornaments he wanted, while the great age of Ch'eng Wan-hsuan, his master, precluded any anticipation of any effective resistance on the latter's part.  Lu, therefore, waited until 10 o'clock on that fatal night, when finding that all in the room were fast asleep he rose, dressed himself, and then proceeded to the wood-yard to get the axe which was used to split fire-wood.  Having obtained his weapon Lu walked back stealthily to the general sleeping room, and began (contrary to his first intentions) to strike promiscuously those occupying the room with his axe, calling our "robbers!" with every blow of his weapon upon the unfortunate heads and shoulders of his sleeping victims.  The noise he made fortunately aroused one of the labourers, who slipping away from his bed, or k'ang, managed to get to the door before the murderer perceived his escape.  Lu, at once, gave chase without waiting to see whether his five victims were alive or not, but his intended victim succeeded in escaping.

   In the meanwhile Ch'eng Wan-hsuan, his master, being also aroused by the cries of the murderer made his way to the sleeping room of his labourers and was met halfway by Lu who replied to his master's question as to what was the matter by ,making a vicious swing with his axe at the old man's head.  The latter, however, evaded the murderous stroke and turning round wrested the weapon away from the murderer.  In this dilemma Lu ran to the wood pile and selected a club-like limb of a tree and dashing upon his master unawares brought him down with stunning blow.  Thinking that he had killed his master, the murderer suddenly bethought himself of those whom he had left in the general sleeping room.  So he returned to the apartment and began raining numerous blows with his club on the heads of each of his victims - three male labourers and two female field hands - who had, however, apparently already received their quietus from the axe, for the were all in the same position as he had left them when chasing after the escaped labourer.

   Being now satisfied with his handiwork the murderer tied his own clothes into a bundle and then visited the quarters of his master and mistress.  Just then he saw the

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aged wife of his master tottering across the courtyard to raise her husband's prostrate body.  The murderer at once brought her down with one blow of his club, and then walked into her room with the intention of ransacking the place for money.  He, however, seemed to feel that some time must have already elapsed since he chased the labourer who had fled and that the latter must have by this time aroused the neighbours - who lived far separated from each other - in which case he (the murderer) thought that he had  no time to lose if he wished to escape arrest.  He had no time as he thought even to change his blood-stained garments now dripping with the gore of his victims.  A sudden fear seemed to seize the man and he at once fled from the house, forgetting even to take with him his own bundle of private effects.

   A few minutes after the murderer had done, Ch'eng Wen, the son, returned from his trip to town and saw the horrible sight that greeted him of his aged father and mother lying prone in the courtyard but still breathing and bleeding from fearful gashes on the head.  Assisting his parents to their room and leaving them in the hands of the female servants, Ch'eng Wen, armed with a sword, at once gave chase, vowing to cut the murderer down at sight.  In the meantime neighbours were coming to the rescue led by the escaped labourer, and to avoid these the murderer started for another point.  Here, however, a police patrol happened to be encamped and seeing the man and his garments reeking with blood at once stopped him and asked him whence he had come and whither going at such an hour of the night - long past midnight.  They were unable to make out his incoherent replied when Ch'eng Wen arrived on the spot and identified Lu as the murderer of five of his fellow servants - for the old mother was still alive when Ch'eng Wen started off in pursuit of the murderer.

   When Lu was brought back to the farm escorted by the police patrol, it was found that the old lady of the house had also died from the effects of her club wound, thus making six victims, while the master of the farm also lay in a precarious state, hovering between life and death.

   The law demands that when a murderer makes away with three lives he is to be sentenced to die by the slow and shameful process (ling ch'ih).  In this case Lu Ching-t'ang killed six; three males and three females.  Memorialist therefore ordered the sentence of the law to be carried out immediately after Lu Ching-t'ang had signed his confession before the memorialist without waiting, owing to the gravity of the crime, for His Majesty's Rescript in the matter.

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Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments take note.

 

Apr. 16th. (3)  E-k'o't'ang-a, Tartar General of Fengtien, Manchuria, denounces the carelessness amounting to crime of a certain T'ang Yu-ts'ing, First Captain of the left battalion of the Read Division of the Army of Fengtien.  It appears that one Wang Chao-kuei, an expectant chichsien, or district magistrate of Shansi, was returning from Shansi to his native city of Liaoyang, and was sailing up the Liao river accompanied by his family in three boats.  Not many miles from Liaoyang some pirates had attacked the mandarin's boats and after looting them had just rowed off, when the above-named captain and a squadron of cavalry, whose duty it is to patrol the river for pirates, rode up along the river banks attracted by the noise on the river.  Without making the least investigation as to who were the pirates and which were the plundered boats, the said Captain at once gave the order to his men to fire into the latter, probably taking them to be pirates.  The above-named district Magistrate fell at the first volley, while the real pirates escaped!  This is most strange, and must be strictly enquired into.  Let the said Captain be cashiered and handed over to the local authorities for trial and such of his men as were guilty of like carelessness, and let them be punished according to the law.

Note:  The above is an instance how affairs have sometimes to be falsified when reported to the Throne, for to tell the truth would have been fatal to some of the highest of the officials from Moukden to Liaoyang, where the murder took place.  The only portion of the above decree which was true was about the Shansi magistrate returning to his native city of Liaoyang.  As a mater of fact, it seems that the real pirates were the captain and his patrol.  But to acknowledge this to the Emperor would have been equivalent to acknowledging that all the troops in Fengtien were pirates and robbers, and the General himself the greatest of them all!  In such a case quite a number of heads would have to fall before the Emperor's wrath could be appeased, while the lightest punishment would have been banishment.

   A similar case happened in Honan some thirty odd years ago when Mei Ch'i-chao was Governor.  Thirty-three men were beheaded, including the Taotai, prefects, etc., of the Intendancy where the murder took place, while the Governor and Provincial Treasurer were exiled.  The Judge happened, luckily for him, to be in Peking at the time or he also would have been banished.  A Censor passing by the scene of the

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murder en route for Peking learned the whole story from the survivors, and reported the matter to the Throne with the above result.

   In the case under review there was no Censor.  The Captain and four of his men were eventually beheaded by the river side on the identical spot of the robbery and murder.  A compensation of Tls. 3,000was also given as solatium to the deceased mandarin's family.  -  Translator.

 

May 23rd.  PROMISCUOUS SHOOTING. 

T'an Chung-lin, Junior Guardian of the Heir Apparent and Viceroy of the provinces of Kuangtung and Kuangsi, and Hsu Chen-yi, Governor of Kuangtung, send a joint memorial concerning a case of promiscuous shooting in the city of Lienpingchou, Kuangtung, wherein a man who was intending to shoot down his enemy, fatally wounded instead the latter's wife with the first shot, and with the second instantaneously killed his own mother.  Owing to the seriousness of the crime the culprit was brought to Canton for trial before the Provincial Judge, and later on, the evidence obtained by that officer was confirmed by a personal investigation before the memorialists themselves.

   The murderer was a member of the militia of the city of Lienpingcho and was noted for his filial piety towards his widowed mother.  The man he wished to kill was a neighbour, and the two men, moreover, owned an adjacent piece of land on the hills behind the said city of Lienpungchou.  One day, while the latter, a man named Liu Ah-hsi, was cutting trees and picking up brushwood for firewood in the hill land aforesaid, he happened to be standing just on the boundary separating the two properties when the mother of the murderer, (a man named Chou Ah-lu), passing by at the time, suspected that the former was stealing the brushwood from her property.  She at once accused Liu Ah-hsi of theft, and he conscious of having done no wrong naturally resented, resulting in hard language being used on both sides.  The old woman then returned home and told her son, who had just returned from guard duty, about the disrespect shown by their neighbour, living opposite the way.

   This so exasperated the son who was naturally of a violent temper, that he went at once across the street to seek for Liu Ah-hsi.  He found his enemy and without more ado struck at blow at Liu.  Liu dodged the intended blow and turned round to return the compliment, when Chou rang back to his own house and picking up a club came

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out again to attack Liu.  Just then Chou's mother came up and seeing her son with a club in his hand, ready for mischief, and on the point of crossing the street she laid hold of the club, and partly by force, and partly by words of command, persuaded him to go back into the house.  This done, the mother pushed the son into his room and locked him up inside.  This room faced the street and the wooden walls being full of crevices and apertures, Chou could easily see that was going on outside.

   He saw Liu still standing in the street in front of his own door, but swearing away and gesticulating in the direction of Chou's house.  This apparently so inflamed the hearer that he looked around for some means of getting out of his room "to have it out" with Liu.  At this moment he espied his musket which belonged to him by virtue of his connection with the city militia.  He instantly took down the weapon which hung on the wall ready for use, and drawing out the old charge reloaded the piece with a slug putting a fresh percussion cap on the nipple.  Chou then shoved his gun through an aperture in the wall and deliberately aimed it at Liu, who ignorant of the shot in store for him still stood swearing in front of his house.  Just as Chou pulled the trigger of his gun, Liu's wife issued from the door, and in so doing just covered her husband's person.  The result was that the woman received the ball in her left side, and fell moaning to the ground.  Enraged beyond bounds at this outrage upon his wife Liu dashed into Chou's house eager to wreak vengeance on the perpetrator, and crying out that he was determined to have the latter bound and taken before the authorities.  When Chou saw that his short had missed his enemy, and that the latter was actually in his (Chou's) house, the murderer reloaded his gun determined to shoot at him again.  His gun reloaded, Chou pushed the muzzle through an aperture near the door of his room.  But just as he fired his mother had rushed up in front of Liu to push him out of the way---knowing that her son would fire again, now that his blood was up.  In doing so the old woman received the bullet in her back killing her instantly, thus saving once more Liu's life.

   As soon as Chou recognised the enormity of his crime, although done accidentally, he at once came out gun in hand, and made his way to the sub- prefect's yamen to whom he gave himself up.  As the law makes no allowance for accidental homicide, the memorialist in consequence of the murder being that of the homicide's own mother at once ordered Chou Ah-lu to be executed by the lingch'ih or "slow and shameful process."  The sanction of his Majesty is requested to the above sentence.

 

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Rescript: Let the Board of Punishments speedily report thereon.

 

Aug. 10th.  AN INHUMAN MOTHER-IN-LAW.

Huang Huai-sen, an officer of the brevet civil premier button and Governor of Yunnan, reports a case of horrible cruelty on the part of a woman belonging to the district of Ningerhhsien, in Yunnan, assisted by her daughter on the person of her daughter-in-law.  The murderess was likewise of an exceptionally cunning nature, and, but for the energy and shrewdness of the acting magistrate of the said district, Sieh Shih-sun, might probably have escaped detection and a crime of surpassing and revolting inhumanity and fiendishness allowed to go unpunished.  But the gods never err in sending retribution and the culprits were arrested and have been condemned to the death which their crime deserved.  As soon as the case was reported to the memorialist by the said magistrate and considering the matter to be one of great urgency that retribution should be swift, instructions were at once sent to get a true confession from the criminals so that they might be sent to the capital to suffer the last penalty as soon as possible.  As a proof of the cunning of the chief criminal she persuaded her daughter to retract their former confessions before the district magistrate when the case was heard by T'ang Shou-min, the Provincial Judge.  So the case was referred to a lower court, namely to the judicial tribunal of the prefect of Yunnanfu, which succeeded at last, with two assessors from the Provincial Judge's tribunal of the First Instance, in getting the true account of the affair which substantially tallied with what was confessed at the time of their detention by the magistrate of Ningerh.

   The details as given in final evidence before the memorialist were as follows:--

   The chief criminal was the woman Huang Yuan-shih, and her accomplice in crime was her unmarried daughter Huang Tsu-ying.  The victim of their fiendish and horrible cruelties was Huang Li-shih, the wife of Huang Ta-chang, the only son of the chief murderess, and the sister-in-law of Huang Tsu-ying.  The husband of the murdered girl - she was only seventeen years of age - and his father were licentiates and acted as teachers in the city of Ningerh, some distance from their home, and so they were seldom at home.  The old woman kept an inn in the country on the great highway leading past the city of Ningerh to the provincial capital, Yunnanfu.  About

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eighteen months ago a certain traveller, a stranger named Lung, happened to put up in the Huang family's inn and being an avaricious beldame, the old woman Huang Yuan-shih accepted the offer of the said Lung to prostitute her daughter Huang Tsu-ying.  For this Lung paid the old woman six taels, staying in the inn two nights.  It so happened that the man Lung greatly admired Huang Li-shih, the daughter-on-law, on account of her beauty for which the poor girl was famous in that part of the country, and which was the cause of her death.

   A month later the same traveller having occasion again to pass through the village of the Huangs, once more put up at their inn and then secretly consulted with the old woman to prostitute the daughter-in-law for which the man paid in advance six taels to the old woman.  But when she took the money she did not calculate upon the chastity of her daughter-in-law, who declared that she would prefer death before she could be induced to be unfaithful to her husband.  In spite of entreaties and threats Huang Li-shih remained firm to her principles of chastity, and so to the old woman's great chagrin she had to give up the six taels of silver that the man had handed to her earlier in the evening, while he being unable to get his desire gratified started off the next morning on his travels.

   As soon as Lung had gone the old woman determined to wreak vengeance on the daughter-in-law "for pretending to be more virtuous than her betters," and aided by the daughter Tsu-ying mixed water, that they had washed their feet in, with fowls' dung which was forced down the throat of the unfortunate Li-shih.  To crown matters, when the son happened to return home that same evening the old woman assumed the role of injured dignity and called upon her son to beat his wife for being unfilial in her conduct towards his mother!  Huang Ta-chang, being a student of Confucius was naturally filial and listened to his mother's complaints, whereupon he punished his wife for her "unfilial conduct to his mother."

   Somehow Li Che-siang, the brother of the poor girl, heard a rumour of the ill-treatment his sister was undergoing and went to the Huangs pretending that his mother was sick and that she wanted her daughter home, hoping in this way to get her away from her tormentors.  But the old woman refused to allow her daughter-in-law to leave the house, fearful lest she should persuade her own people to complain to the authorities on the charge of forcing a respectable girl to become a prostitute, a crime which the law is very strict against.  Unable to bear longer the stories that went the

1897

round of his sister's sufferings in the Huang family, Li Chen-siang assembled in January, 1896, a crowd of his fellow villagers to go with him to the Huang's village and demand satisfaction from Huang Ta-chang and his father Huang Ch'i-chien. The upshot of this was that after Li-shih had told the assembly of the cruelties she had suffered for refusing to be unchaste, that the old man Huang Ch'i-chen publicly scolded and beat his wife and daughter for what they had done, and also ordered his son to kowtow to the brother-in-law and his fellow villagers as a sign of apology, at the same time promising on behalf of the old woman his wife that no attempts would be made to prostitute Li-shih again.

   This apparently satisfied the brother and his fellow-villagers and they went back to their homes.  Huang Ch'i-chen then re-entered his house and have his wife, the old woman, and his daughter another beating, after which he had to return to the city to re-open his school after the New Year holidays.  His son did not accompany him on that day, so when night came the old woman, being filled with a great hatred against Li-shih for being the cause of her receiving two beatings at the hands of the old man, peremptorily ordered the son to beat his wife.  The son went down on his knees to his mother to pray for mercy for his wife, but the old beldame was determined and the young man goaded to madness by his mother's taunts picked up a stick and struck Li-shih several times with it, but not sufficient to hurt her.  Then the old woman reproached her son for not striking Li-shih hard enough and she being on the floor received a couple of kicks which hurt the poor girl on her right side.  When Li-shih upbraided her husband for treating her like this, the young man threw down the stick and dashed off in a frenzy outside the inn gates.

   The room now bring left to the three women, the old beldame at once picked up the stick dropped by her son and commenced to belabour her daughter-in-law with the greatest cruelty, drawing blood from the head of her poor victim.  The sight of blood seemed to have maddened the old woman for she ordered the daughter to take a rope and twist it tightly round Li-shih's neck to prevent her calling out for help, while she herself got hold of a pair of scissors and using a chopstick to force Li-Shi's tongue out the old beldame clipped off the edge of her daughter-in-law's tongue, calling out at the same time "There, you can now talk like a blackbird and tell the whole village how I treat you!"  Not satisfied yet the old woman tore off Li-Shih's clothes and snipped off her left nipple and a piece of the flesh on the left thigh.  Seeing that Li-Shih was still alive, she perpetrated other fiendishness too horrible to put down on paper, which effectually killed her victim, the daughter all the while helping the mother by holding Lih-Shih down on the ground and preventing her from getting up and trying to escape after her cowardly husband, who should have remained and prevented his mother from making a murderess of herself. 

   They then secreted the body of the poor girl and gave out next day that she had run away, while they accused Li Chen-siang, the brother, of having helped his sister to escape.  There were some indeed who were even inclined to believe this story, but in the meantime the district magistrate heard an imperfect rumour of the affair, and set about to discover the whole thing by himself.  After some detective work during which he made personal enquiries at the inn in ordinary clothes, his suspicions were so far confirmed that he sent his runners to summon Li Chen-siang, the brother of the missing girl, and then in official state went to the inn and ordered a search to be made on the grounds.  The sudden appearance of the magistrate, whom the old woman and her daughter at once recognised as the disguised fortune teller who had lived in their inn for two days, so frightened them that they confessed, without torture, the whole of their inhuman c rime and pointed out the well into which the body of the poor girl had been thrown four days before.  The remains were in a horribly mutilated state and the whole of the Huang family were arrested and thrown into prison, while instructions were asked from memorialist as to what should be done in the matter.  In the meanwhile, Huang Ch'i-chen, husband of the murderess, being sick at the time of his arrest became worse, and died before the criminals could be sent under escort to the provincial capital. 

   As the circumstances are so unusual, insomuch that there is no law covering the case the memorialist has been compelled to sentence the murderess and her family by analogy and comparison with the law governing cases almost similar, but not exactly like it.  Hence he has sentenced the old beldame to decapitation, which, under the circumstances of being a senior of the victim, is the severest he can give by law, although she deserved a more dreadful penalty.  The daughter has been sentenced to death by strangulation after the autumn assizes this year.  As for the husband and the analogy in his case - that of a man grievously beating his wife without just cause, but not fatally - the law provides that he should be bambooed 60 blows and banished for a year, but owing to his conduct having been done at the command of his mother whom he could not disobey, the sentence has been made one degree lighter and that is 100 blows and a short imprisonment.  The old man who had been reprehensible for not preserving better order and family government at home should also be made to suffer for his neglect, but since he has died in the meantime there is no necessity for going further into his case. The man Lung, the author of all the subsequent troubles, should also be punished and a warrant for his arrest has been sent out by the Provincial Judge.

   Finally, the poor victim Li-shih, who stood firm in her determination to be chaste, although death was staring her in the face at the hands of the hag whose glaring optics were bent over her - such firmness to do right deserves the highest commendation and should be made an example to the women of China for all time.  Hence memorialist has arranged to have a p'ailou or memorial arch erected over her grave with a sketch of her sad life and horrible ending.  Memorialist, in conclusion, thinking that summary retribution should be made in a horrible and fiendish case like the present in order to strike terror into the hearts of similar natures, therefore ordered the execution of the woman Huang Yuan-shih immediately after it was determined upon, and her daughter was also strangled at the same time.  His Majesty's approval is requested thereon.

Rescript: Noted.  Let the Board of Punishments also take note.

 

Aug. 14th.  IMPERIAL DECREES.

(1) The Censor Sung Peh-lu reports to us a case which happened last year in which two men were poisoned to death in the Middle City, but which was hushed up owing to the influence and wealth of the guilty parties who heavily bribed the Police Censor, Chang Chung-yi and other subordinate officials of the said Middle City.  Further that in spite of the repeated attempts of the widowed mother of one of the poisoned men to ask for an investigation and inquest the officials of the said city have, so far, succeeded in preventing her petition from getting beyond their courts.  The memorialist hearing of the matter accuses the said Police Censor Chang Chung-yi of trying to suppress such a case of vital importance as that of murder and prays that the Board of Punishments may be commanded to take up the matter and make a thorough investigation, so that the guilty ones may suffer and the unfortunate widow get justice. 

 

 

 

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The memorial is hereby granted and the said Board is ordered to investigate in a strict and impartial manner and report to us.

 

Aug. 29th.  IMPERIAL DECREE.

Lu Ch'uan-lin, Viceroy of Szech'uan, reports that on the 12th of June last a condemned criminal, named Wen Pai-yuan, confined in the prisons of the sub-prefect of Yuyang, in Szech'uan, assisted by twenty-three others, suddenly rose against the gaolers and in the fight that ensued killed and wounded a large number of the latter as well as some soldiers who came upon the alarm being given.  Some of the prisoners made their way to the private apartments of the acting sub-prefect Ch'en Te-tung with the object of murder and pillage, and severely wounded him.  The latter's son, Ch'en Hung-cho, an M.A. of Hupeh, seeing his father in danger came to the latter's rescue, and in trying to protect his parent from further harm was killed by the gaol-breakers.  Wounded though he was, however, the said sub-prefect bravely led his men to the attack and, assisted by the military, managed to kill on the spot nine of the prisoners, recapturing alive the ring-leader Wen Pei-yuan and six others.  Three others were subsequently captured. These ten were eventually summarily executed by an order of the said Viceroy.

   We hereby command the gaolwarden of Yuyang to be forthwith cashiered and arrested and brought to Ch'engtu for trial before the said Viceroy.  As for the said sub-prefect, having but lately arrived at Yuyang and being then, moreover, busy with issuing famine relief coupled with his subsequent conduct during the fighting that occurred, we must commend him for what he did and excuse him from the penalties which such an affair would surely have been imposed upon him.  The filial piety shown by his son is also most commendable, and we hereby grant permission to the aid Viceroy to suggest something to commemorate the deceased M.A.'s filial piety.

 

Sep. 2nd.  IMPERIAL DECREES.

(4) Decree commanding Lu Ch'uan-lin, Viceroy of Szech'uan, to summarily decapitate the recaptured prisoners who tried to break gaol in August last at Yuyang, and who killed a number of gaolers, and soldiers and also the son of the chihsien, a chujen of Hupeh, who was on a visit to his father.  The name of the son of the said magistrate of Yuyang is permitted to be recorded in the historical archives for his filial piety in trying to defend his father, thereby receiving the death blow which was meant for his parent.

 

Sep. 14th.  IMPERIAL DECREE.

(1) With reference to the case of one Wang Yuan-lai, a citizen of the Middle City of Peking, whose death, under suspicious circumstances, was reported to the Throne by the Censor Sung Peh-lu, and in consequence of which we ordered a special tribunal of the Board of Punishments to try the case and bring the guilty ones to justice, we have now further received a memorial from Ting Chih-shih, a Supervising Censor, who denounces the methods of the said tribunal in investigating the case and accusing the judicial deputies of having been guilty of using illegal and excessive tortures while trying to obtain "confessions."  The second memorialist prays that some high minister of the Court be specially appointed to go over the whole ground, etc.

   As we find upon enquiry that the said case is still in suspenso and that a verdict is, as yet, as far off as ever, we hereby command that the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Court of Censors shall join the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Board of Punishments in forming a special tribunal to re-try the said case and earnestly endeavour to get at the truth of the whole matter.  We insist that the case be sifted to its very dregs. [see Aug. 14th above.]

 

Nov. 28th.  IMPERIAL DECREES.

(1) On a former occasion the censor Sung Peh-lu denounced the officials of the Middle City for having accepted bribes in a case of alleged murder in consequence of which the guilty persons escaped the punishment they deserve, etc.  We therefore command[ed] the Board of Punishments to investigate the matter.  While the trial was going on, the Supervising Censor Ting Chih-shih denounced the officers of the said Board composing the tribunal trying the case for using illegal tortures, etc., in order to force the witnesses to give the evidence desired.  We therefore commanded the President of the Court of Censors, Yu Te, and the President of the said Board to make a careful investigation of the whole affair and report to us at once.  The said officials now report that it had transpired that after all there had been no foul play but that the dead persons had been asphyxiated with charcoal one cold night while sleeping in their shop, the same having been proved by actual demonstration as well as by the evidence of the relatives of the dead men.

   Further that the censor Sung Peh-lu had only done his duty in reporting to the Throne what he had heard amongst the common people, having no enmity at all to the officials he had denounced.  Again, the bambooing given to the obdurate witnesses who said one thing one day and something else another day could not be considered illegal, and therefore the memorialists recommend that no further notice be taken of the case, and that all those wrongly imprisoned be forthwith released.

The memorial is hereby granted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan. 24th. IMPERIAL DECREES.

(2) Owing to an attack upon certain missionaries the other day in Chuye district, Shantung province, resulting in the death of some of the said missionaries, the said robbers have been captured and punished according to law. 

   We now command that Li Ping-heng, then Governor of Shantung but promoted to the Viceroy-ship of Szech'uan, be ordered to resign his appointment, and because he was not able to prevent such attacks of robbers while holding the supreme control of the province of Shantung her has been guilty of reprehensible conduct and he is hereby handed to the Board of Civil Appointments for the determination of an adequate penalty.  The said Governor's subordinates at the time, namely Hsi Liang (Manchu) Taotai of the Yen-Yi Ts'ao-Chi Intendancy; Wan Pen-hua, Brigadier-General of the Military Circuit of Ts'aochoufu, are hereby also to be handed to the Boards concerned for determination of adequate penalties.  As for Hsu Ting-jui, district magistrate of Chuye, aforesaid, having proved himself most incapable in his duties, with an effete police organisation, and further failing to report promptly the occurrence of the attack and murder of the said missionaries by robbers in his district, we command that he be cashiered and dismissed for his misconduct.  [also mentions an attack on a chapel, and fighting "between Christians and the people,..."  The punishments were published on 31st January and 1st February.]

 

Jun. 20th. IMPERIAL DECREES.

(4) Chang Ju-mei, Governor of Shantung, denounces one Ko Hung-on, magistrate of Feihsien, Shantung, for having neglected to investigate into a case of robbery upon the property of a commoner under his jurisdiction, but on the contrary wrongfully punished the latter on the ground of having given a false report of robbery, insomuch that this victim of the robbers and officials in his despair of getting justice committed suicide, etc.  This is a most despicable instance of muddle-headedness and stupidity on the part of the accused magistrate that we have ever heard of, and we hereby cashier him at once as a warning to others.

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Unfortunately, after this time, crime took a back seat to History.

 

1899

Mar. 29th.  IMPERIAL DECREE.

The Board of Punishments reported recently that it tried a case in which a female member of the Imperial Clan who suspected a Chinese of theft was charged with having ordered her retainers to beat the alleged thief to extort confession, but which resulted in the death of her victim.  The charge was proved true and the accused was handed to the Imperial Clan Court for the determination of a sentence.  This Court has recommended the woman to the mercy of the Throne and as an act of extra grace we hereby sentence the accused to banishment, with permission to commute the sentence by the payment of a large fine.  But we desire it to be understood clearly that this sentence is one of exceptional leniency and must not be taken as a precedent for similar cases in the future.  Any member of the Imperial Clan who shall hereafter be found guilty of a like crime must be dealt with according to the regular law of the country and no more leniency shall be permitted henceforth.

 

Sep. 20th.  IMPERIAL DECREES.

The said Viceroy [Hsu Ying-k'u i, Viceroy of the Min-che Provinces] also denounces Yao Ching-yi, acting district magistrate of Shunch'ang-hsien, for ignorance of judicial procedure resulting in the death of one of the litigants in a certain case tried by him;...

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[1]  Hae, the family name; Tseih, the seventh child; Mo-tsze, the pockmarked.

 

 

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School