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Colonial Cases

R v. Wilson, 1861


R. v. Wilson

Consular Court, Shanghai
Source: The North-China Herald, 26 October 1861



October 25th, 1861.

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


Charge - repeatedly striking Plaintiff with a staff without justification.

JOHN ANTHONY, being duly sworn, states:- I was standing at the corner of the street near a wine-shop, the Defendant came up to me and accused me first of being a deserter and then of having, after taking an advance, refused to go up the country with a lot of other men, who were about starting.  I told him I was not a deserter and that if he would like to go to my house he might see my discharge from H.M.S. Centaur. He said, "No, you have run away and must come along with me to the Spanish Consul."  I refused, and he struck me with a staff he had in his hand.  I ran off and he followed me.  I ran into the house of a Malay, named Cassim, for protection.  He followed me into the house and struck me again several times, one of the glows cut my lip open.  I offered no resistance.  I did all I could to avoid him.  He was in liquor at the time.

By the Court. - I left H.M.S. Centaur.  I now hand in my discharge from that ship.

ABDUL GAMMIE, being duly sworn to speak the truth, states (E. B. KELLY being sworn to interpret faithfully):- I am a Malay.  I was in Cassim's house when I saw the Plaintiff running, and the Defendant after him trying to catch him.  When inside I saw the defendant strike the Plaintiff several times.  Plaintiff's lip was bleeding from one of the glows.  Defendant had a stick in his hand.  The Defendant wanted him to go to the Spanish Consul's.

By the Defendant. - I was sitting on a locker in Casim's house when the plaintiff entered followed by you.  You struck him several times with your stick or staff.

By the Court. - I know the defendant well; he is a policeman in the Spanish Consul's employ. I also know the Plaintiff.  He has been discharged from the Centaur was was living in Hong-que.  He is a harmless man.  I never heard that he was at all quarrelsome.  He is well-known on the Hong-que side.  He lives in the same house with me.  I do not know if the Plaintiff had shipped to go up country.  I know that there were a number of men going up to join the Imperialist army.  The Spanish Marshal was trying to get all the men he could, no matter of what country. I do not know if thr Defendant was ever [told?] to get men to up country.

CHARLES WILSON, being called upon for his defence and duly warned not to criminate himself as all he said would be used against him, states"- I am a serjeant in Spanish Police.  On the occasion in question I was walking down the street and I saw the Plaintiff at the house of a Manilaman, named Victoria.  As I had heard that a coloured man had deserted from a British man-of-war, I asked him what ship he belonged to.  He would not tell me at first, so I asked him to come along with me, and took hold of him.  When I did so, Victoria, the Manilaman, owner of the house, told me that he had been engaged by Pablo, the Spanish Marshall to go up country.  I got him out into the street and then said, "If you are engaged to go up country, you must come to the Spanish Consul," as I had orders from the Spanish Consul to arrest any man who had taken an advance from his Marshal and then refused to go.  When we had got a little way he turned round and struck me on the lip twice, and then I used my staff and struck him several times with it.

After this he told me that he had a discharge, and that it was in Cassim's house.  I therefore went there with the man, and while there the American Marshal took me in charge.  I consider that I was doing my duty in arresting the Plaintiff, as I knew that the Spanish Marshal had by the order of the Spanish Consul given advances to several men who had agreed to go up country, and I was told that Plaintiff had received this advance.

Sentence: One week's imprisonment in Consular Jail.

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