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Colonial Cases

Minor Cases 1861

The North-China Herald, 25 May 1861

The British Consular Court has been much occupied lately with charges against some of Her Majesty's subjects for enlisting in the Chinese Foreign Legion in contravention of the Neutrality Ordinance.  We have not room to-day for certain particulars that we have collected respecting this Force - now disbanded - and the engagement that took place on the 11th instant when, in their attempt to take Tsing-poo from the rebels, the Imperialists were repulsed and tweedy-two out of about seventy of the Foreign Legion, who were advanced to the front, as the storming party, were killed or wounded.  Five are dead, and the remainder are up the river, from whence they will shortly be removed to Shanghai.

PIRACY. - In November last a daring case of piracy occurred when Capt. Trannack's boat, lying in the river, was seized and carried off by several foreigners.  Upon information given by a Chinaman, a party, under command of Lieut. Prosser of H.M.S. Centaur, went up the river and fell in with five of them in a Chinese boat; one was shot, four were taken, one of them since died of his wounds, and three were tried in the Consular Court here and sentenced to one year's imprisonment.

Allen, one of them, escaped from the jail, but was afterwards apprehended at Ningpo, and is now in prison in Hongkong.  The remaining two of the seven who stole the boat, having evaded the search in which their comrades were taken, worked their way down to Ningpo soon afterwards.  One, named Smith, came back to Shanghai s short time ago, and has been apprehended by the vigilance of the Consulate Constable.  He has been identified by a Chinaman whom he took out of one of the boats they plundered up the river, and has convicted himself by accusing the Chinaman of being an accomplice in his piracies.  He now awaits his trial in the Consulate jail.


The North-China Herald, 24 August 1861


THE following cases have been recently brought into this Court:-

Before W. H. MEDHURST, Esq., H.B.M.'s Consul.

July 22nd, 1861.

JAMES DOW, Esq., WM. HARGREAVES, Esq., Assessors.

... A. CUSHNY versus J. R. BARRAS.

CLAIM. - For rent £125 due on 30th June last with interest from that date to day of payment.

JUDGMENT. - Defendant to pay the sum claimed, without interest, but with the costs of the suit.

... A. CUSHNY versus J. R. BARRAS.

CLAIM. - For rent £125, from 1st July to 30th September, agreed to be paid in advance.

JUDGMENT. - Defendant to pay the rent claimed with costs, and to give up the premises to Plaintiff on the 30th September, 1861.

REIMER & Co. versus P.  F. RICHARDS.

CLAIM. - For goods supplied value $375.

JUDGMENT. - Defendant to pay claim with costs.

July 30th, 1861.

W. HARGREAVES versus LLOYD, Master of the "Rapide."

PLAINT. - Short delivery of coals, 31 1.2 Tons at Tls. 13 per ton, from Hongkong to Shanghai.

REPLY. - The coal was not weighed on board the ship, and no receipt was given for weight.  It was merely put on board from boats.  The ship is not liable.

JUDGMENT. - That the Defendant is not liable for the amount claimed, and the Plaintiff pay the costs of the suit.

July 30th, 1861.

E. J. HOGG, Esq., W. JACKSON, Esq., Assessors.


CLAIM. - For Tls. 3,334.4.7, being balance of account rendered for goods supplied.

JUDGMENT. - That Defendant pay to the Plaintiffs the sum claimed, together with the costs of the suit.                      

July 31st, 1861.

JULIUS KAHN, Esq., CHARLES J. KING, Esq., Assessors.


CLAIM. - Tls. 2,093, value of coals bought by Defendant which he refuses to take delivery of.

JUDGMENT. - That Defendant was justified in not taking delivery, and Plaintiffs therefore have no claim for Tls. 2,093.  Costs to be divided.

August 5th, 1861.

JAMES L. MAN, Esq., JAMES HOGG, Esq., A. J. HOW, Esq., Assessors.


PLAINT. - I claim the sum of Tls. 3,000 as damages for non-conformity to an agreement entered into between us.

REPLY. - Not liable.  I know of no agreement.

JUDGMENT. - That Defendant pay to the Plaintiff six months' salary at the rate named in the memorandum for 2nd year's remuneration, and six months' rent at the rate named in Defendant's proposal of 24th July, 1861, viz: total Tls. 1,500; and that Defendant pay the costs of the suit.

August 10th, 1861       .

THWAITES, Master of the "Delhi," versus TURNER & Co.

CLAIM. - For commission unjustly charged on charter of the ship Delhi to Kinchew and (or) Newchang to Swatow, Tls. 124.4.1.

JUDGMENT. - For the Defendants with costs.

August 22nd, 1861.

TURNER & Co. versus RICH, Master of the "Hanover."

CLAIM. - The sum of Tls. 225, towage money; the Defendant having broken his engagement respecting the towage of the Hanover.

JUDGMENT. - For the Plaintiffs with costs; rate of towage to be paid according to draught of water as per Ta Yung rates.

August 23rd, 1861.

J. THORNE, Esq., J. PRIESTLEY TATE, Esq., Assessors.

W. PUSTAU & Co. versus P. F. RICHARDS.

CLAIM. - Payment of a promissory note for Tls. 5,757        .

JUDGMENT. - That Defendant pay the sum claimed together with costs of the suit.

P. F. RICHARDS versus J. C. CARTER, Master of the " Martha & Emily."

PLAINT. - Defendant is in possession of property of mine the the amount of about Tls. 6,000, which he refuses to deliver in consequence of a claim he has against me for about $358.

JUDGMENT. - It is alleged by the Defendant in his defence that certain goods, the property of Plaintiff, are now detained in Tientsin under an order from H.M.'s Consul in payment of a debt proven before him; but there being no evidence in support of this statement, the Court is not in a position to decide whether the Defendant is in possession of Tls. 6,000 value of goods belonging to the Plaintiff as declared in the plaint.  The Court is however of opinion that the correctness of Defendant's accounts is borne out by the evidence, with the exception of $90 charged for ballast, and that there is further due by Defendant to Plaintiff demurrage for a third of a month unnecessary detention at Taku, say $366.66, leaving amount due by plaintiff $2,503.13.  Costs payable by Plaintiff.

Before C. TREASURE JONES, Esq., H.M.'s Vice-Consul.


The Plaintiff stated that he was gambling in a house in the Maloo, of which he is keeper.  The Defendant McGure, a policeman, came in and snatched at the money on the table, he took $4 and 5,000 cash from him.  A second time, about twenty days after, the same policeman came into his house and took $3 and 2,000 cash.

DECISION. - That Defendant is guilty of taking the money and that he be imprisoned for four week in Her Majesty's gaol at Shanghai.


The North-China Herald, 14 September 1861


6th September, 1861.

Before W. H. MEDHURST, Esq., H.B.M. Consul.


PLAINT. - The Defendant is indebted in the sum of $300 being money lent.

JUDGMENT. - For the Defendant with Costs.

11th September, 1861.

Before W. H. MEDHURST, Esq., H.B.M. Consul.


PLAINT. - Defendant rented a Godown of us by the month and though served with due notice he now refuses to quit the place.  We therefore claim 10 Taels per diem from the 1st inst. as we are the losers by not being able to make use of the Godown.

JUDGMENT. - A month's Notice to quit the premises, to be reckoned as given on the 15th August, and Defendant to pay costs.

J. LANGAN v. MASTER of the Julia.

PLAINT. - Defendant is indebted to me Tls. 85 for forward passage of the Julia which he refuses to pay me.

DECISION. - Defendant to pay Plaintiff's pilotage Tls. 85 less survey of Tls. 42 and expense of second pilot Tls. 17.  Plaintiff to pay Costs.

13th September, 1861.

Before W. H. MEDHURST   , Esq., H.B.M. Consul.

J. WHEATLEY and H. TURNER, Assessors.


PLAINT. - We claim the sum of Tls. 497 from Defendant for Goods supplied as per account rendered.

JUDGMENT. - That defendant pay Plaintiff the amount of the Account Rendered - 28th July, 1860, viz: $599.50 Mexican and that Defendant pay Cost of this Suit.


PLAINT. - The defendant is indebted to me in the sum of $24 for rent of a house at Tientsin from 1st June to 31st August, 1861.

DECISION. - For Plaintiff with costs.


PLAINT. - Defendant is indebted to me as under - viz: as Nursery Governess for 2 months $60, for Sundries things sold to Mrs. Barras $12, and Money lent Mrs. Barras $10, Total $82 - which I am unable to obtain from him.

JUDGMENT. - Defendant to pay Plaintiff, $22 and Costs of Suit.


The North-China Herald, 28 September 1861


18th September, 1861

Before W. H. MEDHURST, Esq., H.B.M.'s Consul.

HUN-CHUN, Cargo Boat Proprietor v. CAPTAIN, and Owners of "Leichardt."

PLAINT. - I claim the sum of Tls. 92.30 for cargo short delivered to me by Defendant.

JUDGMENT. - For defendant with Costs.

24th September, 1861.

Before W. H. MEDHURST, H.B.M.'s Consul.

J. H. WILLS, versus MASTER of the "Anna Maria."

PLAINT. - I claim the sum of $300 for non-conformity to an agreement entered into between us with regard to my taking command of the "Anna Maria."

JUDGMENT. - Defendant to pay the Plaintiff a month's wages at rate arranged for taking command - namely $150, also the Costs of the Suit.

SI-BAN-CHAN versus KELLY & Co.

Settled out of Court.

T. CLARKE, Capt. "Leichardt," versus CAPTAIN and OWNERS of the "Grecian."

J.  B. MOSS, R.N., G. W. BENNETT, Assessors.

PLAINT. - I claim the sum of Tls. 81.20 for damage sustained, in consequence of the "Grecian" coming into collision with my vessel the "Leichardt," on the 19th September.

JUDGMENT. - Defendant to pay Plaintiff the sum claimed, less following items: Carpenter's Bill Tls. 10.75.  One Survey fee charged by Plaintiff Tls. 10.  One Survey fee earned on false pretences Tls. 10.  Crew's work Tls. 8. - Total Tls. 60.75.  Leaving sum due by Defendant Tls. 20.45.  Plaintiff to pay Costs.


The North-China Herald, 23 November 1861


Before J. MARKHAM, Esq., H.M. Vice-Consul in Charge.

18th November, 1861

JAMES HOGG, E. W. BATT, Assessors.


Plaint. - I claim the fulfillment of an agreement made with Defendant relative to the purchase of a house, or in default I claim $700 as damages.  Neither party appearing the Plaintiff was non-suited.

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