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Colonial Cases

Minor cases 1864

The North-China Herald, 30 January 1864

The case of Reid v. Leighton, which has already caused considerable excitement in Shanghai, has been a second time heard.  The first trial is still fresh in the recollection of our readers.  We need, therefore, only mention that certain statements made by Messrs. Leighton & Co.'s compradore when examined by H.B.M.'s Consular Interpreter, seemed of sufficient importance to warrant the granting of a second hearing.  The compradore's evidence was, however, proved to be so utterly untrustworthy that the Court did not feel that it could in justice to itself reverse the former decision.  The case has therefore gone against Mr. Reid, and the only course which now remains open to him, is to endeavour to recover his money from the compradore himself.  The chances of success in such an attempt are unfortunately so slight that we fear Mr. Reid must remain satisfied with having been instrumental in the settlement of a mercantile question of great local importance.


The North-China Herald, 6 February 1864


Bulkley, the murderer of McKinnon, has at length been brought to justice.  His trial, which occupied two days, was brought to a close on Thursday, when a verdict of GUILTY OF MURDER was brought in.  The sentence of death by hanging has been referred to the Hon. Anson Burlinghame for approval.


The North-China Herald, 30 July 1864


SHANGHAI, July 25th, 1864.

The following cases were brought on for trial yesterday, before Sir Harry Parkes; but a compromise was effected, of which particulars are appended.

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

MATTHEW HUGHES, a discharged seaman, was brought up by the master of the Dutch schooner Anna Maria Wilhelmina, on a charge of stealing $2,558 and 1,000 itzebus, part of the cargo, when going from Kanagawa to Nagasaki in May last.

Defendant denied the charge and was committed for trial.

The North-China Herald, 6 August 1864


OUR record of local intelligence would be a blank, but for the large amount of judicial business which has been disposed of in H.B.M. Consular Court. Four or five heavy cases have been decided during the week, some of which have been interesting.

The captain and mate of a vessel lying in the river have been condemned to six months imprisonment for attempting to embezzle some cargo. It appears that the latter reported the vessel cleared, while a quantity still remained on board.


The North-China Herald, 13 August 1864



   Three American citizens named Taylor, Hodge and Mansfield have been tried on a charge of murdering a sampan man by throwing him overboard in the current.  The evidence against the prisoners was purely native, and was so contradictory that, at the close of the case for the Government, a nolle prosequi was entered, and the prisoners discharged.


The Reid v. Leighton case has again been brought on for trial, in a form somewhat different from that in which if was on the first occasion laid before the U.S. Consular Court.  Leighton & Co.'s compradore now claims a sum of ten thousand Taels from Mr. Macready, who it will be remembered was the clerk who soigné the godown-orders which were the cause of this dispute.  The case is still under the consideration of the American Consular Court.


The North-China Herald, 20 August 1864


The following Consular cases have been decided.

In the case of Shi-Yok-tien tried at the U.S. Consular Court, versus T. L. Macready, judgment was given for the defendant with costs.

At H.B.M. Consular Court, in the case of Messrs. Milner & Sons versus Messrs. Dallas, Pearson & Co. - claim for Tls. 1,843.74 for balance of proceeds of goods consigned to defendants - judgment was given for the plaintiffs by default.

In the case of A. R. Tilby & Co., for master and owners of the Little Edith, versus Messrs. Smith, Kennedy & Co., at the same Consulate, - claim for Tls. 2,573.49 for balance of freight on 650 tons' coals shopped per said vessel from England to Shanghai, and interest at 1 per cent per month from July 6th to date of payment - the following was the judgment:-

  1. Defendants to pay Plaintiffs at once £850 in approved bills on England at 6 month's sight.
  2. To allow one month's interest at 1 per cent per month on the above mentioned sum of £850.
  3. To pay costs of proceedings.


The North-China Herald, 3 September 1864


On the 26th ultimo an inquiry was held on board the Berwick Walls Hospital ship, as to the circumstances attending the death of a patient named John Barker, late foreman at Mr. Keele's Horse Bazaar, the official minutes of which will be found in another column.


The English Consular Court has been singularly free from business since the conclusion of the Tong Fat case; at least, no notice has been published of any trials.

In the American Court, the owners of the Catalpa have been adjudged to pay 22 per cent on the value of the vessel and cargo, as salvage, to the Martin White, which towed her off the North bank.

A case in which the owners of the schooner Moosnie sued the owners of the Fire Dart for the value of the former vessel, which was sunk in a collision with the steamer, has been decided in favour of the latter.  It was asserted on behalf of the Moosnie that she was out of the fairway at the time of the collision, which was denied.  It was also asserted that she had a light in the fore-rigging, which was denied.  And it was shewn on behalf of the Fire Dart that the night was so dark, it was impossible to distinguish any object more than a short distance ahead.


The Sacramento Daily Union, 8 September 1864

SAN FRANCISCO, September 7th.

   James Cavanaugh, convicted of manslaughter, by Consular Court in Japan, was brought here to serve the sentence of five years imprisonment, and applied to the United States Circuit Court today for the benefit of habeas corpus, claiming that the Japan Court had no power to imprison outside its own jurisdiction.


The North-China Herald, 8 October 1864


The English Consular Court has been occupied with two important cases, one a claim for salvage brought by Messrs. Lindsay & Co. against Messrs. Cama & Co. and Nicholas Latimer & Co., and the other an investigation into a charge of murder and robbery brought against a man named O'Brien by sundry Chinese.  Full reports of both appear in other columns.


The steamer Sycee owned by Yang Ta-kee was on Sunday night last, while lying near Paoshan, taken possession of by the Canton crew and firemen, and it is thought by some miscreants from the shore.  However this may have been, the Captain, an Englishman named Wilson, who was the only foreigner on board, was seized, dragged to the lower deck, and there brutally murdered with a meat shopper, his body being subsequently thrown overboard.  Full possession was then taken of the vessel and property on board, the remainder of the crew and passengers were forced into the hold, and the hatches battened down.  Having completed the rifling of the steamer, they scuttled her bottom with the intention of slinking her along with her passengers.  These latter, however, finding the water rising rapidly, grew desperate, and at length forced their way out. ...


Daily Alta California, 18 October 1864

THE US Consular Court, at Shanghai, has sentenced an American named Bernard Morrice, to ten years imprisonment, for piratically seizing the steamer Tsatlee, while lying at the aforesaid port of Shanghai.

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