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Colonial Cases

R v. Morton, 1869

[ship's crew]

R. v. Morton

Supreme Court of China and Japan
25 February 1869
Source: The North-China Herald, 6 March 1869



February 25th, 1869.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.

The case of REGINA versus MORTON was called, but the defendant, who had told the usher that he did not intend to take any notice of the summons, not appearing, an order for his arrest was made.  Just as the Court was in the act of rising the defendant came in, and in reply to the Court as to the cause of his detention said he went by the ship's time.  The defendant then made application to have the present case postponed until after the hearing of the appeal in the case the previous day, which he now begged to give notice of.  Defendant's application being refused he became insolent, and being ordered by the Magistrate to stand in the dock refused to enter it, and was committed to gaol.  During the day Mr. Eames applied to the Court to hear the case, as the defendant was contrite and desired to apologize for his previous behaviour; after which at the request of Mr. Eames, on whose application the prisoner was allowed to sit, the hearing of the case was entered into.

Mr. Tapp, on behalf of H.M.'s Consul, prosecuted, and said the summons was taken out under sec. 159 of the Merchant Shipping Act, for carrying his mat [mate], to sea without shipping him before the proper authorities.

B. Roys, sworn: - examined by Mr. Tapp.  I joined the Sarah Marsh in Suke, Vancouver's Island, which is about 28 miles from Victoria.  I was engaged in Victoria by the Captain.  There is a collector of customs there, but I was not brought before him. He assigned no reason for not doing so, but said that the article could be signed on board, which I did.  The second mate was witness.

To Mr. Eames. -There were two ways of getting to Victoria; one by water, in an ordinary boat, and the other by trails or paths.  When I joined the ship it took me nine hours to get to her.  I did not see the Captain again till he came on board, fourteen days afterwards.  He asked me if I liked the ship, and I said yes.

To the Court: - He told me that the cause of his delay was a demurrage claim.

The defendant was fined £5 and costs.

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