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Colonial Cases

R v. Mayne [1873]

obtaining by false pretences

Supreme Court for China

Shanghai, 14 November 1873

Source: Supreme Court of China (Shanghai), Judges' Notebooks, The National Archives (U.K.), FO1092: 339, pp 147-154

Regina v. George Grey Mayne

Obtaining Tls 2940 from the Deutsche Bank by false pretences.

Jurors: E. O. Arbuthnot; [N.] M. Bradley; T. G. Jervis; E. C. Smith; F. B. Leeming.

Mr. Robinson for the prosecution

Messrs. Miller & Litchfield for the accused

Indictment read.

Prisoner pleads -

E. Seligman

I am manager of the Deutsche Bk. I remember the 23 rd Octr, the accused called on me. He asked me if I advanced money on goods. I sd yes. He then asked me if I would advance to a China man on some goods stored on the Hong [Keu] wharf. He told me that he wanted 3000 Tls on 480 tons of Coal stored on the wharf. I told him I would if there was suffct margin & that the Chinaman must come to my office & that I must have a valuation of the Coal. He went away. He came back in afternoon accompanying a China man. He sd that was the China man wantg the loan. He handed me a wharf warrant. (Warrant handed in & identified A) & a valuation [chit?] that Coals were worth Tls 11 1/2 . On that security I undertook to make the advance. I handed in to my office the warrant & valuation in order to have the Promy Note & [hypothecation] note written out. This was made out in usual form & handed to me & promissory note was signed by the China man in my presence, in Prisoner's & my Compradore's presence. This is the letter of hypothecation, marked B.) After I received these documents I instructed my [???] to pay the money in the usual way. The sum paid was 2940 Tls. I made the advance on the faith of the warrant stating that the wharf had 480 tons of Coal to the order of the Bk. I aftwds sent a warrant for examination. This was on the 27 th of Octr. I recd a letter from the Wharf Comp stating that the warrant (This is the letter, marked D).(Read). That was the 1 st information I recd that the Coals were not at the Wharf.


We issue an advertisement saying that we advance money on approved securities. I advanced this money considering this an approved security & considerg an approved security a warrant issued by a Wharf Compy & don't consider it necessary to find if the goods are at the wharf if the Warrant is from a reputable Compy. I do not make inquiries. I did not know on the 23 rd whether there was 480 tons of Coal to the order of the Deutsche Bk. I believed it on the basis of the warrant handed to me. I have heard of a ship called the Red Deer. I don't know anything about her, whether she was a steamer or a vessel. I only knew from the warrant that she had deld Coals at the Wharf - otherwise not - I considered the Coals belonged to a China man who wanted a loan. There was no previous warrant shown to me. I did not ask for one. At the time the Warrant was handed to me, the Coal was the pperty of the Deutsche Bk - we were advancing [on our own] property because all property hypothecated to us I consider our pperty. I don't consider I am personally liable to the Bk in this loss. I shall be personally damaged by being blamed possibly - I do not know how the check was paid - but I know it has been paid.

Re X

The warrant was given to me to make the advance - that was the consideration.


I am the accountant of the Bk. I wrote this Order marked (E). I handed that order to a China man - Mr. Mayne, Mr. Seligman & our Compradore. I gave the order in exchange of the documents A. B. It was paid to the H Kong & Shang'ai Bk.


The usual way. It was presented to me by the Compradore of our Bk and I passed it for payment.


It was returned after business hours marked paid.

Chu Ku

I am the Compradore of the Bk. This is the order. I paid this warrant to the H Kong & Shgai Bk on the 23rd Octr.


I paid it in [Sycee] - I paid it in at 3 o'clock. I only paid this one. H Kong Bk sent it in. I saw Fu Kee indorse the note.

Re Xd.

Gilbert Henderson

I am Bk keeper & Clerk of the Hong Keu Wharf. I know the signature of the Prisoner. These are his A. D. On the 23 rd there were no Coals in the Compy Bk held to the order of the Deutsche Bk. I have exd this partlar a/ct in the Bks of the Compy. There is no entry in the Bks to correspond with that warrant. The Compy does hold Coal ex Red Deer. It is held to order of Messsrs. Siemens & Co. From that time we have held no Coals Ex Red Deer to order of Deutsche Bk. (Margin signature is Drummond, E.) This is the warrant holdg the Coals ex Red Deer to order of Siemens & Co. There is only one "Red Deer" from which Coals have been stored. I believe she is a sailg ship. I must have known if there had been any Coals at the wharf to order of Deutsche Bk.


Landg a/ct a warrant is given in Exchange for Bill of Ladg. Bill of Ladg is cancelled when warrant is given - warrant is negotiable. We grant a warrant with Conveyance of goods ex exchange for Bill of Ladg - a person wantg to negotiate a warrant would have to endorse it. Such endorsement ought to be sent down for registration. The Deutsche Bk did not send in that I saw any notification. The manager or Agent or I might have seen it. The Warrant marked A is in my hand writing all ecxcept the signature. I recd instructions from Mr. Mayne to make out a warrant for 480 tons of Coal & to number it 1941. I asked if the 480 Tons was endorsed on [any such] warrant. He sd he would attend to it. [The s for [?????] is a mistake. There was no one present. We do not make out warrants witht consulting Bks. I consulted the a/ct 1941. Folio 384 - this is the page which I consulted. I made out the warrant accordg to the Book. 1 st mistake - ship not S.S. Red __________ [????????????] also a mistake. There is no entry which shows that Coals [standg] to order of Deutsche Bk. This notes [& was four] - There is no note of transfer to warrant.

A warrant was given to Siemens & Co. If there had been an order [placg] the coals to order of D. B. it should have appeared in the Bk. If warrant is transferred the Bk would get the endorsement made on it. I believe that the Bk havg clear warrants have made inquiries as to the goods being on the wharf.

Periodical stock taken I think about 6 mos. ago.

Previous to Octr 28, since November Manager was to sign warrant & I was to counter-sign them. My signature is not there. I don't sign until it is entered. This is not entered. Mr. Mayne said that as soon as transfer was made it would be entered & then I should have countersigned it.

Re Xd

Mr. Mayne called my attention to the entry the Bks. I put down on piece of paper number & name of D. B.

There is no order of 480 tons to the a/ct of Fu Kee.

Mr. [??????]

I am the managing Director of the Wharf Compy & partner in Chapman King & Co. I wrote the letter produced.


I should say that this warrant ought to have borne the countersignature of the accountant.

Re Xd

There is no necessity to send in the warrant except want of counter-signature. This Counter-signature is matter of Custom.


Sentence 2 yrs in H. M. Gaol, pay expenses of this prosecution.

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