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Colonial Cases

Acheong v. Keppel, 1859


Acheong v. Keppel

Consular Court, Shanghai
Source: The North-China Herald, 15 January 1859




30th December, 1858.


Before W. H. Fittock, Offg. Vice-Consul.

Assisted by Capt. Baylis of the Lady Hayes and Capt. Kennedy of then Am. Ship Napier.

This was a case of disputed bill of charges and breach of agreement.

Acheong & Co. are proprietors of the New Dry Dock, Keppel is master of the British ship Ariel.

Edw. Hawkins (Citizen U.S.) on the part of Acheong & co. handed in a bill of sundries amounting to Tls. 370.5.8.

George A. Keppel on looking over the account objects to various items as not being in accordance with agreement, these items are marked with a blue cross in the paper to be annexed to these proceedings.  He proceeds to state that on or about the 15th May he called at Acheong's to obtain some spars, and purchased two yards for Tls. 120 each, a topmast for Tls. 40 and one for Tls. 50; he was then about leaving the Dock, but returned and asked Mr. Hawkins what he would fit two topmasts and two topyards for.  He consulted with the Chinaman Acheong and it was settled he was to have the fore and main topmast complete for Tls. 210, fore and main topsail yard for Tls. 90 each - in all Tls. 640.

The whole arrangement was with Mr. Hawkins, who also accompanied him to Woosung to take the necessary measures.  In the presence of Mr. J. Keppel it was agreed between them that he would make the top mast and topsail yards complete as soon as possible, that is entirely complete with all necessary gear and fixing cross-trees and caps; he also said that he did not think there were any cast iron sheaves in Shanghai large enough and he would require to make wrought iron ones.  It was observed by deponent that of course it would be at his plaintiff's expense according to agreement.  Since the agreement was made the work has been completed and he has paid Acheong & Co. in all (including a jib  boom  Tls. 40) Tls. 685; the items in the bill now brought by Acheong & Co. are objected to by him as they were included in the agreement for the completion of the spars, etc.

Questioned by Mr. Hawkins.

Made the contract with him and Acheong & Co. nobody was present but Mr. Hawkins and Acheong.

The agreement was made by defendant with Hawkins, - had no understanding with Acheong.

A good deal of desultory evidence was here taken as to the actual existence of the agreement and its nature.

The Court being cleared for consultation, it was unanimously agreed that having in view the nature of the separate receipt which was granted wherein it is distinctly stated against each item "complete," that this was in reality what the defendant expected to obtain by his verbal agreement and in the absence of any written evidence to the contrary they decide for the defendant.

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