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Colonial Cases

The Faithful, 1869

[shipping, bottomry]

The Faithful

Supreme Court for China and Japan
12 March 1869
Source: The North-China Herald, 20 March 1869

 

H.B.M. SUPREME COURT: IN ADMIRALTY

March 12th, 1869.

Before C. W. GOODWIN, Esq., Assistant Judge.

In re the Faithful.

Claim of $1,111.00 in respect of a Bottomry Bond dated December 12th, 1868; also a claim by the Master and crew for wages, amounting in the aggregate to $1,973.47; and a claim by the Master of $344.00 for disbursements.

Mr. EAMES appeared for Messrs. Robertson & Co. of Ningpo, the bondholders.

Mr. HARWOOD appeared for the Master and Crew.

The Owners put in no appearance; neither was any answer filed.

FREDERICK OTTO HANISCH, sworn, examined by Mr. Eames.  I am Master of the British baroque, the Faithful.  She is now at Ningpo, to which place she came from Hongkong and Whampoa.  I had occasion to borrow money to the amount of $889 at Hongkong for the disbursements of the ship.  I got the money on bottomry.  I recognize the bond (produced).  I owed $64 to Messrs. Siemssen & Co., $20 of which were for the ship and crew.  There was a bill of $600 against the ship for provisions and necessaries: this amount includes Court fees incurred by the ship being arrested.  I was compelled to raise the money in order to get away.  Every debt incurred was for ship's use, except $15 which I used for my own wants.  The bond was agreed on before the money was advanced.  I had communicated with the owners before the bond was executed, to the effect that I was short of money.  I recognize the signature of these letters (produced) as the owners' signature.  I had no answer before I left Hongkong, but received one at Ningpo.  I was loaded and ready to start at Hongkong when the ship was arrested. The money has been demanded of me at Ningpo, but I am unable to pay it.  The effect of the letter which I received at Ningpo from the owners was to do as Robinson & Co told me.  Robinson & Co. indorsed the bond.  Siemssen & Co. were the ship's agents at Hongkong.

Mr. Eames said they were only the consignees, and that it was a mistake frequently made by seamen the confounding of agents and consignees.

To the Court: - I have no the ship's accounts with me.  I sent them to the owners at Singapore.

Mr. Eames said that the Messrs. Robinson & Co. had the power of sale of the ship, which could be effected by the Power of Attorney directed to Mr. Nissen, who when he received it was not a partner in the firm, but he thought a decree of the Court would be the best settlement as it would also give a title.

Witness to the Court; - I incurred liabilities at Ningpo which were paid out of thee freight prepaid in Hongkong.

FERDINAND NISSEN, sworn, examined by Mr. Eames: - I am partner in the firm of Siemssen & Co.  The endorsement is signed by my late partner.  I recognize those letters (produced). They are from the owners giving power to sell.  No money has been paid.

CAPTAIN HANISCH, examined by Mr. Harwood: - I see the copy of the account of wages.  It is correct.  I paid $110 for sundry stores for the use of the ship at Keelung.  They were absolutely necessary.  I obtained the money for these by a bill.

Mr. HARWOOD said, though he did not intend to dispute the priority of the bond, he contended that disbursements should rank with wages, and quoted the recent case of the Feronia 37 L. Jl. Reports, p. 61, and asked the Court for such a decree.

His LORDSHIP thought that Judge Hornby had decided a case in which the captain's claim was on a level with the sailor's unless ousted by the bond.

Mr. EAMES said that case was reported in vol. 1 Supreme Court and Consular Gazette.

His LORDSHIP pronounced for the validity of the bond, subject to the question of premium.

Mr. HARWOOD applied to the Court that it make an order that the ship, instead of being sold by private contract as is the case in Shanghai, be sold by public auction at Ningpo, as numbers wished to get her, and the competition would insure a good price.

Order as prayed that the vessel be sold by public auction at Ningpo.

Source: The North-China Herald, 26 March 1869

The British barque Faithful, sold at Ningpo by Messrs. Meller & Co., rfealized the sum of $4,300.  It was purchased by the Harbour Master's Department, and is said to be intended as a Lightship for the Langshan Crossing.

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