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Colonial Cases

Mixed Court, Shanghai, 1875

The following shows the range of Mixed Court decisions made in one year, as reported in the English language press.


The North China Herald, 14 January 1875


Shanghai, 9th Jan., 1874

Before GEO. F. SEWARD, Esq., U.S. Consul-General, and H. E. the TAOTAI; Dr. YATES, interpreter.


Given as separate case.


The North China Herald, 14 January 1875


 A well-known Chinese shoplifter went into a shop in the Honan road, on Christmas day, and as on former occasions when he visited the shop, small articles were missed from the counter, one of the shopmen went to a back part of the shop where, with his back to the fellow, he could observe his actions in a large mirror.  In a very short time he observed him secrete a rug beneath the long garment he was wearing, and then hasten out of the shop.  The watcher started in pursuit and soon caught the thief, whom he observed at the same moment to cram something into his mouton and swallow it.  He was taken to the Central Police Station, and after the charge was entered, placed as usual in a cell.  Soon afterwards, Mr. Inspector Fowler heard an unusual noise in the cell, and on going to ascertain the cause, found the prisoner apparently in the agonies of death.  Ass speedily as possible, Mr. Fowler caused him to be removed to the native hospital in the Shantung road, where an emetic was successfully administered, and it was discovered that the stiff the prosecutor saw him swallow was opium.  On Saturday the man was sufficiently recovered to be taken to the Mixed Court, and as he was recognised as a thief who had only recently been liberated from prison in the native city, he was sent there to be again dealt with by the Chehsien.


The North China Herald, 21 January 1875



   We have now had pretty good experience of the working, and we may add utter inefficiency, of the tribunal known as the Mixed Court.  With every desire to throw over it the cloak of charity, and to keep in the background, so far as was consonant with the ends of justice, its sins of omission, matters are now getting to such a pass that in order to carry on the ordinary municipal government of the settlements, some change in the present system is urgently required.  [Very long account of a recent abduction, calls for a Municipal magistrate.]


The North China Herald, 4 February 1875


    At the Mixed Court, on Friday, before the Chinese Magistrate and A. Davenport, Esq., another well-known Chinese thief was brought up charged with the very English offence of stealing lead from the roof of a house, known to London thieves as "flying the blue pigeon."  From 18-lbs to 20-lbs of the metal were missed from an unoccupied house in Broadway, Hongkew, and there was no doubt that the prisoner was the thief.  As he was in a very weak state of health, the magistrate only sentenced him to undergo a month's cangue; then to be brought up again for further punishment, "if he is able to bear it."


   At the Mixed Court on Monday, before Mr. Davenport, British Assessor (Chen being absent), a remanded charge against Chinese for stealing coal ashes refuse from a foreign hong was brought up for disposal.  The prosecutor failed to attend the Court on Saturday, which led to the case being remanded, the accused being detained in custody.  Yesterday morning there was again no prosecutor, and the charge was dismissed.  It was felt that it would be better for the interests of justice, in cases where foreigners are concerned against Chinese, that the charge should either be prosecuted or intimation given of its withdrawal.  In the present instance, as in some others, the accused were detained in custody for more than two days upon an accusation only.


   On Wednesday morning, a native constable doing duty on the Bund, stopped a jinrikisha, in which a man whom he knew to be a suspicious character was riding.  The constable found the bottom of the vehicle crammed with a variety of Chinese clothing, and the man being unable to give a good account of his possession of the articles, was taken to the police station, and detained.  Enquiry led to the discovery that the clothing had been stolen from a house in the Shanse-road.  The prisoner was taken before the authorities at the Mixed Court yesterday, and being recognised as an old thief, was sentenced  to receive 200 blows (which were then administered), and to undergo three months' cangue.


   Om Tuesday evening, at about the dinner hour, a Chinaman was found prowling about the boys'' apartments in the rear of a gentleman's residence in Hongkew.  One of the boys happened to leave the dining room for some purpose, and found the fellow in an upper room.  On being asked what he wanted theatre, he replied that he had made a mistake in the house, as he in tended to have gone in to the next one, adding that he had been told by the cook engaged there that he might go and take out some clothing to pawn.  He was given in to custody, and yesterday taken before the Chinese Magistrate and Dr. Yates, at the Mixed Court, when, after evidence of the above facts had been given, He was remanded for further enquiry.


Between six and seven o'clock on Thursday night, a seizure of opium, alleged to have been smuggled, was made in the Canton-road, under more than usually peculiar circumstances.  It appears that some lekin runners watched a Chinaman go into a house in the above named road, and on his coming out again they suspected he had opium concealed on his person.  They accordingly seized him, when several Europeans came up, and a struggle ensued for the possession of the drug which was found on him.  The result was that one of the runners was severely cut on the hand, with, as is supposed,  a flexible stick one of the Europeans was carrying; and ultimately they all went to the Central Police Station, and laid the case before Mr. Inspector fowler.  Four balls of the opium were taken to the Station, which one of the foreigners claimed as his, saying that the other four balls had been "stolen."  The case was brought beefeater the authorities the next morning.  The Europeans concerned in the matter did not appear, and the four balls of the drug seized were ordered to be confiscated.


   A case thoroughly illustrative of Chinese duplicity and cunning, was investigated before the Chinese magistrate and Dr. Yates at the Mixed Court, on Thursday.  It appeared that during Thursday night, a foreign constable noticed the door of a small shop in the Fukien-road, occupied by a Chinese repairer of watches, standing open.  He went into the place, and  finding no one there, remained in the neighbourhood until a native constable came up, who remained in charge.  Towards morning, a Chinese came to the shop and entered it, telling the native constable, whose appearance there seemed to surprise him, that he was a friend of the proprietor.  He next looked round the shop, and said that several watches and three clocks had been stolen, and then hastily went away.  The owner of the shop came in about half-past seven o'clock, and on being questioned by the constable, said it was true that some watches and three clocks had been stolen.  He was asked to go to the Louza Police Station and report the alleged robbery, and at once did so.  At the Station, he was closely questioned by Mr. Inspector Wilson, and prevaricated to such an extent in his story, booth as to his alleged loss and also as to where he had spent the night, that he was made to turn his pockets out.  In them were found a number of pawn-tickets for the identical articles, and he was of cotters detained in custody, and taken yesterday to the Court.  The prisoner is the same man who, about six months ago, reported that thieves had entered his house and stolen some watches.  The Chinese magistrate was at first disposed to inflict a heavy punishment at once, for the illegal pawning of the property, bur ultimately ordered the delinquent to be taken, in charge of a policeman, to redeem the whole of it, and to be brought up again for sentence.  





The North China Herald, 25 February 18975


Shanghai, Feb.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

House Robbery

   A Chinese thief who had been previously convicted, was charged with stealing six articles of wearing apparel from a native house in the Peking Road.  The case was clear against the accused, and he was sentenced to 100 blows with the bamboo, and to be cangued for a month at the door of the house he  had robbed.

Feb. 18th.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Attempted House Robbery.

   The Chinese thief who, a few weeks ago, was found inspecting the upper apartments of a foreigner's house in Hongkew, while the family were at dinner, and whose excuse was that he had made a mistake in the house, having been invited next door, was brought to Court on another charge.  On this occasion he had been caught wrenching a lock off a stable door.  He had no good defence to-day, and was sentenced to 100 blows with the bamboo, and to be cangued for a fortnight.
Feb. 19th.

Before the Chinese magistrate CHEN, and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

Attempted Store robbery

   The thief who attempted to steal some piece s of cloth and flannel from Messrs. Watson and Co.'s store, was brought up to-day, and the charge being  filly proved against him, he was sentenced to 200 blows with the bamboo and a month's cangue.

Feb. 20th.

A Chinese Cutpurse.

   A native was charged with stealing $3.50 from a fellow-countryman, by the simple process of cutting away the purse containing the money.  Information being given to the police, the thief was captured, and $1.5p0 found upon him.  He was sentenced to 100 blows with the bamboo, and a fortnight's cangue.

Obstructing the Footway.

   A jinrikisha coolie plying for hire near the Club, was charged with obstructing the footway at the entrance of that building, in the competition with others of the class to obtain a fare.  This kind of offence is of nearly every-day occurrence, notwithstanding that frequent complaints are made respecting it; and only the other day an offender was brought up and leniently used.  In the present case, a sentence of one day's imprisonment was awarded.



The North China Herald, 1 April 1875


Shanghai, March 25th.
Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and Dr. YATES, U. S. ASSESSOR.

Robbery from the Person.

   A well-known Chinese thief was charged with stealing a gold  watch, chain , locket, finger-ring and miniature compass, the property of a foreigner.  About two o'clock on Tuesday morning, the foreigner was riding in a jinrikisha along the Bund, and was accosted by the prisoner, who offered to conduct him to a house of entertainment.  Then offer was accepted, and the prisoner was invited to take a seat in the ricksha, which he did, and the pair rode together to the Kiangse road, where the prisoner got out and went away, making some excuse.  Almost immediately, the foreigner discovered that his watch and trinkets, which he valued at $270, were all gob e.  Pursuit was useless, but information given at the Central Police Station  led to the discovery and capture of the thief.  It was ascertained that a man(who turned out to be the prisoner) had been offering a gold watch in pawn, and he was brought to the Station.  He of course denied that the watch he had was the one in question, and as the floating could not remember either name or number of his, the case seemed difficult.  Inspector Fowler, however, made the prisoner strip, and under the hollow of his foot was found the chain and other trinkets.  How he managed to walk, was a mystery, but the discovery proved the case against him.  The articles were shown to the foreigner, who was then on board a steamer bound to Japan, and he identified them as his. - Upon this testimony, and without requiring the attendance of the prosecutor, Chen was satisfied of the guilt of the accused, and sentenced him to a month's cangue and 200 blows with the bamboo.

Jinrikisha obstruction at the Club Concordia.

   Two jinrikisha coolies were charged with obstructing the entrance to the Club Concordia with their vehicles.  Sentenced to 30 blows each.  Inspector Wilson asked that they should be cangued at the place, but Chen refused.

March 31st.

Before the Chinese magistrate CHEN and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

Charge of Highway robbery and Assault against Li-Kin runners.

   Two Likin runners were charged by John William Walker with the above offence. [This affair reported previously.]

   Prosecutor deposed that on Monday night about eight o'clock, he was going along the Kiangse road with his coolie.  They were in a jinrikisha.  The accused came up to the vehicle, and in the presence of a foreign constable and other persons, pulled prosecutor and the coolie out of it.  Prosecutor asked the foreign constable to protect him, but he said he could not do so.  One of the Li-kin runners took hold of the coolie by the queue, and after beating him, dragged him to the Central Pollute station.  Prosecutor also went there.  The coolie was so badly beaten that he (prosecutor) was obliged to call in Dr. Little to attend him, and he had given a certificate to that effect.  Prosecutor was also knocked down and beaten in the road, but not so badly as the coolie.  They all went to the Central Police station, prosecutor going by another route to that taken by the runners and the coolie.  They were pulled out of the jinrikisha because he (prosecutor) had some property in it.  The foreign constable stolid by and saw it done.  The property was opium.  It was in the jinrikisha.  It was not exposed to view.  It was on the person of his coolie.  At the Central Police Station, he asked Inspector Fowler to detain the opium till the following morning, but he refused to do so.

   Mr. DAVENPORT - Where were you beaten?

   Prosecutor raised his left arm, and pointed to his hand and wrist, and also to his side.  The coolie was beaten much worse; he (prosecutor) could produce Dr. Little's certificate as to his condition.

   Mr. DAVENPORT - The Court wish you to produce it.

   Prosecutor said he had not got the certificate in his pocket, but would fetch it.

    He left the Court, but in a few minutes returned, and asked - Will you permit me to go home for it?

   Mr. DAVENPORT - It is not worth while.

   Prosecutor - But I have got it.  Next morning I told Mr. Fowler so, and he said he did not care a ---- for Dr. Little's certificate.

   Mr. STRIPLING said he did not believe Mr. Fowler would utter such an expression.

   P.C. WRIGHT (13), the foreign constable alluded to, deposed that he saw the coolie pulled out of the ricksha.  The prosecutor was not pulled out - no one touched him in his (witness's) presence.  He did not see the coolie beaten.

   By Prosecutor - You did not ask me to protect you.  You asked me to take you to the Police Station, and I told you that you could go there if you liked.

   Me. DAVENPORT (to Prosecutor) - Why have you not brought the coolie here?

   Prosecutor - because he is sick; I could not bring a sick man here.

   Mr. DAVENPORT - Then why did you not bring Dr. Little's certificate, saying so?

   Prosecutor - I did not imagine Dr. Little's certificate would be requited.

   Mr. DAVENPORT - It is required, because you bring a charge of highway robbery with violence against the defendants, and you say your coolie was so badly injured that he cannot appear here, while you own witness has goner against you.

   Prosecutor - What witness?

   Mr. DAVENPORT - The policeman, Wright.

   Prosecutor - Oh, yes; of course.  I want to see the bail-book, as I suppose entries are made at the Police station when persons accused are released?  I suppose this was entered.  I should like to see the book here.

   Mr. STRIPLING said it was not customary to show the bail-book at any person's request.

   Prosecutor - Well, then, the refused charge book; I want to see if my charge is entered.

   Mr. STRIPLING - The police do not take every charge you may choose to make.

   NE SING SHA, one of the accused, deposed - I heard privately that seven balls of smuggled opium were being brought along the Kiangse road in a jinrikisha.  I called police, when it came up, and ordered the jinrikisha coolie to stop.  I told the coolie inside to get out of the vehicle, and come with me to the Police Station.  On my saying that, the prosecutor, who was also inside, began to beat me with his hands.  After that, the coolie came out of the jinrikisha, and we took him to the Police Station.  Prosecutor went there with P.C. Wright, but by another direction.  Two balls of opium were found concealed in each of the coolie's sleeves, and three others under his outer clothing.  The coolie was not struck at all.  I only took hold of him by the arm.

   Prosecutor - Dr. Little can prove whether that is true.

   Inspector FOWLER stated that it would appear that the coolie could not have been pulled about much, as none of the opium had fallen from his clothing.  The coolie's clothes were dusty, but he did not seem, to be hurt when brought to the Police Station.  He said he had been assaulted.  He walked away from the station, carrying the seven balls of opium, as tough there was nothing the matter with him.   If the Court wished, he (Mr. Fowler) would explain why he did not detain the opium at the prosecutor's request.

    The COURT did not ask for the explanation.

   Prosecutor muttered something several times about Dr. Little and the certificate and Mr. DAVENPORT told him not to interrupt the Court.  Dr. Little was not present, or the Court would be glad to hear what he could say in the matter.  But he was not their, neither had the prosecutor thought proper to being the certificate.  The Court must be guided by the evidence before it.

   The evidence having been interpreted to Chen,

   Mr.  DAVENPORT said to prosecutor - Your case has broken down as you have proved nothing.  The prisoners are discharged.

   Prosecutor - I did not come here to prove it; I'll go before Mr. Medhurst.  I only came here to make a statement.

   Mr. DAVENPORT - Why did you come here taking up the time of the Court?  Go away.

   Prosecutor left the Court, expressing his intention to take the case before H.B.M.'s Consul.

[See North China Herald, 8 April 1875: CIVIL SUMMARY COURT, April 5th - last case.]





The North China Herald, 15 April 1875


Shanghai, 6th April

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Robbing a Relation

   A native of Soochow was charged with stealing money and property, together worth $350, from his cousin, with whom he had resided in the above-named city.  This robbery was committed several days ago, and the thief absconded to Shanghai.  The cousin also arrived here, but gave no information of the occurrence to the police, although he wandered about the Settlement in search of the runaway.  The latter was, however, observed by a native Municipal Constable on the 4th instant going into a lodging house, and although he had not heard of the robbery, the man's manner and appearance excited his suspicion, and he at once interviewed him.  This being unsatisfactory, a search followed, the result being the discovery that he had $562 and several valuable articled of jewellery concealed on his person.  Further enquiry led to information of the robbery, and that the prisoner was the thief.

   Chen sentenced him to 300 blows with the bamboo, which were at once administered with more than usual severity, and the miserable wretch was afterwards sent in to the city to be further dealt with by the Cheh-sien.

Wilful Damage to Trees

   Six men and boys were charged with wilfully breaking off branches of trees in different parts of the Settlement, and were sentenced to a day's imprisonment each.


The North China Herald, 24 April 1875


Shanghai, April 20th.

Before the Chinese Magistrate, CHEN, and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

A Suspected Murderer

   A native of Soochow was apprehended in this Settlement of Saturday evening, by a yamen runner from the city, on suspicion of being concerned in a murder and robbery committed some weeks ago in the above-named city.  It was suspected that the persons implicated would come to Shanghai, mad a watch was kept, resulting in the apprehension of the prisoner, on who were found $28, a number of pawn tickets, and some articles of jewellery.  The man at first declined to say how he became possessed of the property; but, by direction of Chen, a few smart blows with the cheek-strap made him confess that he had robbed his cousin; but he denied being implicated in committing the murder.  The culprit was sent into the city to be dealt with by the Chehsien.


The North China Herald, 8 May 1875

Shanghai, 6th May

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor

Pilfering at the Fire

   There was a considerable amount of pilfering detected at the fire in the Fohkien road on Tuesday night [see 'FIRE IN THE MALOO'], and this morning twelve of the thieves were brought up by the police for examination.  They had all been taken in the act of robbery or in possession of the stolen property, which consisted for the most part of wearing apparel, bedding and other household goods.  Several of the accused were known thieves, and these were dealt with severely; indeed, Chen was very liberal with the bamboo on this occasion, the number of blows awarded ranging from 200 downwards, some of the old thieves being cangued as well.


The North China Herald,


   The Superintendent of police reports that there have been fewer serious crimes during the year.  He is of opinion that the inadequacy of punishments inflected by the Mixed Court is a fruitful cause of crime; that is to say, they are insufficient to deter.


The North China Herald, 5 June 1875


Shanghai, June 1st.

Before the Chinese Magistrate, CHEN, and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Stealing a Jinrikisha

   A native thief, well-known, was charged with stealing a jinrikisha, the properly of Captain Burr, of Hongkew.  The vehicle was kept under a veranda at the house of the prosecutor, and about twelve p.m. on Monday n night the prisoner was detected by a native Municipal constable in the act of wheeling it away.  In his haste to get it off the premises, he had broken down a gate and some palings. - Chen sentenced him to 1q00 blows with the bamboo, and a month's cangue.

Robbery from the Person

   A jinrikisha coolie, who had been apprehended by the French, and handed over to the English Police, was charged with stealing a watch and appendages from the person of a foreigner.  The prosecutor did not appear, but it was stated that, on Monday night, being intoxicated, he got into the prisoner's vehicle, but did not know where he was taken.  Yesterday morning he found himself still in the vehicle, in the neighbourhood of the Ningpo joss-house, the persona being near him.  His watch and chain, worth $130, were missing.  Prisoner was remanded until Thursday, for the production of evidence.


   A coolie was charged with stealing a decanter from the Temperance Hall, on Monday morning.  The article was taken from among a number of other things deposited for safety by a former boarder at the Hall, and on being asked why he took it, prisoner said there were more there, and he though he might take one to put his samshu in.  Sentenced to three days' imprisonment.

Charge of Embezzlement

    A shroff, in the employ of a foreigner in Hongkew, stands charged with the above offence.  Some days ago, he was sent out to collect accounts, and at one place received Tls. 600.  Of this sum he accounted to his master for only Tls. 500.  The fact that he had received the full amount came out in a conversation the person had with the prosecutor a day or two afterwards.  The prisoner, who was present, made some excuse, and immediately handed over the missing Tls. 100.  In the meantime, it was found that the Comprador had absconded, and a hasty investigation of his account showed a deficiency of Tls. 200 or Tls. 300.  The case was not further proceeded with today, the prisoner being remanded.

June 3rd.

Charge of Forgery

   Two Chinese were charged with forging and attempting to pass an Order for Tls. 300 on the HongKong and Shanghai Bank.  Sufficient evidence was taken to justify the detention of the accused, and they were remanded for a fortnight, to enable further enquiry to be made. [See NCH 19 June, Summary of News.]



The North China Herald, 12 June 1875


Shanghai, June 7th.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

House Robbery.

   Two well-known native burglars were charged with the above-named offence.  The mafoo at a foreign establishment in the Peking road went out from his quarters on Saturday night, locking the door with a padlock.  On his return, he found the door had been forced open, and two of his boxes placed ready to be taken away.  He raised an alarm, and with a native constable, who was luckily close at hand, went upstairs, where they found the two thieves - one under the bedstead and the other trying to get though a window, which he had smashed with a chisel.  The remainder of the mafoo's clothes, and also his bedding, were in the room, packed ready for removal.  Both prisoners were sentenced to 300 blows with the bamboo, and three months' cangue.

The Hawker Nuisance

   Frequent complaints having been made of the annoyance occasioned by native hawkers and beggars beating gongs and making other noises in the fostering part of the Settlement, the police have for some time past endeavoured to check the nuisance.  Ordinary means proving useless, six of the more pertinacious of the tribe were captured on Saturday and Sunday, and this morning brought before Chen, who sentenced them to an additional day's imprisonment.

Serious Assault

   Four native carpenters were brought up, charged with being concerned in assaulting and injuring a native gas-fitter in the employ of the Shanghai Gas Company.  The men were all engaged on the same building in the Hankow Road, and a dispute arose between them respecting some food.  The four carpenters assaulted the gas-fitter, and one of the struck him heavily on the top of the head with a hammer, or other implement, inflicting a severe wound.  The sufferer was taken to the native hospital in Shantung  road, where he still remains.  The prisoners were all taken into custody soon after the affair, and were now remanded until Friday.


The North China Herald, 12 June 1875


   A correspondent calls attention to a case lately tried at the Mixed Court, during which Chen informed the defendant (a Chinese) that he was anxious to assist him against the plaintiff (a foreigner); and asks whether it is not time that a Magistrate who so openly avows partiality were - promoted.  We doubt whether anything would be gained by the process.  The next Magistrate might be more guarded in his expressions, but he would equally inclined to take the Chinaman's side in any case where Chinaman and Foreigner were at issue.  What is wanted is a compete re-organisation of the Court, on the basis laid down by Art. XVII of the Tientsin Treaty.  It is not there contemplated that an Englishmen, having complaint against a Chinaman, is to sue him before a Chinese Court with a foreign sitting helplessly by; but before a really Mixed Court, comprising a British as well as a Chinese official.  Of course it is hopeless to get justice in a Court where the Magistrate openly confesses that he takes the side of his countrymen.  The only result would be that the Foreign co-judge would pull the other way, and then a compromise might be arrived at.  But even to do this effectually the Foreigner needs some power, whereas the whole power is at present in the hands of the Chinese Magistrate; and when a case is so glaring that he cannot escape from it otherwise, Chen declares this power to be insufficient and passes it on to the Che-hsien.  There is no doubt t however that his power is often insufficient; and Foreign Ministers should insist on  the Foreign Settlements of Shanghai being made a separate district; but then  Foreign Ministers never insist on anything now-a-days.  As matters stand, the Foreign Associate may induce the Chinese magistrate to pass a sentence of 1,000 blows, but may also rifest assured that the man will not get one inflicted, unless in a police case, when the police can be required to stay and witness the flogging.  Civilly, all the power is in the hands of the Chinese Magistrate.  Supposing that the Assessor con cusses the Magistrate into giving a decision favourable to the foreigner, how is he to get it executed?  As a last resource he may get the defendant imprisoned, but alas! two days afterwards, the poor defendant is seized with prison cholera and has to be bailed out.  Seeing then, that both actually and nominally all the power of the Court is in the hands of the Chinese Magistrate, what hope is there for Foreign suitors when the latter declares in open Court, that he is on the side of his own countrymen?  It is a notorious fact that, never since the Court was established, have Foreign suitors ever obtained the whole of their claims presented at the first hearing.  And this is what we are content to accept as "deciding equitably," according to treaty.

   The report on the working and power of the Mixed Court, which we publish on another page, will be read with much interest.  Before taking steps to endeavour to improve the Court, the Treaty Consuls very rightly asked for reports from the officials who had had opportunity of observing its Woking.  It will be seen that Messrs. Alabaster, Haas, and Yates concur in advocating that the Settlement should be erected into a separate jurisdiction.  Mr. Alabaster, in the course of his elaborate and interesting report, adds a suggestion that the office of Foreign Assessor should be a permanent on e; and we quite agree with his argument.


The North China Herald, 19 June 1875


The two Ningpo men  charged with attempting to utter a forged cheque for Tls. 300 on the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, were taken before Chen and Dr. Yates, at the Mixed Court, on Tuesday.  The prisoners had been remanded for a fortnight to permit enquiries to be made, the result being the discovery that the cheque-form was found to be one that had by accident become detached from the book in possession of a foreign.  It was found by his dog-coolie, and by him taken to another man who filled in the body in fomenting like pidgin English, so that the attempted fraud was at once seen.  Chen seemed at first disposed to send the prisoners before the city authorities; but he yielded to the representation that the case called for immediate punishment, and passed severe sentences on both prisoners - the dog-coolie to receive forty blows with the heavy bamboo, with three months' cangue; and his accomplice two hundred blows with the light bamboo, with two months' cangue. [See NCH above, 5 June.]


The North China Herald, 19 June 1875


Shanghai, June 17th

Before the Chinese Magistrate, CHEN, and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Theft from a Ship

   A native, charged with stealing seven sheets of copper from the barque Zephyrus, was  convicted and sentenced to receive 100 blows with the bamboo and to undergo a fortnight's cangue.


   A jinrikisha coolie was brought up by the Municipal police, for obstructing the Bund opposite the Shanghai Club, and was sentenced to a day's imprisonment, and to find security for his future good behaviour.

Shop Robbery

   A thief, charged with stealing nine steel tings and two blocks from Shop No. 5, Honan road, was sentenced to 100 blows and imprisonment (time not stated.)


The North China Herald, 26 June 1875

June 19th.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN.

An old thief caught.

   A well-known native thief was charged with stealing a new silk umbrella from the hall of a foreign hong on the Bund.  He had previously stolen a chit-book from the Shanghai Club, the property of a member, the last entry in which was dated the 10th instant.  He kept the book until the 16th, and by making the "O" into a "6," caused the entry to correspond with the date,.  His plan was to go into foreign hongs with the book, and while the house boy or coolie went to deliver the securing message, steal anything portable and conceal it under his clothes.  When apprehended he confessed to having visited several hongs in this way, but was unsuccessful until he stole the umbrella.  Prisoner is the same man who attempted a robbery by similar means at Messrs. Watson & Co.'s some months ago.  He was sentenced to 100 blows, and three months' cangue.

June 21st.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN and Mr. W. M. COOPER, Acting British Assessor.

The Captured Gamblers

   The nine  gamblers captured in the raid on the house in the Szechuen road on Saturday night, were to-day sentenced to receive 100 blows each with the bamboo; three of them who were proved to have been members of the proprietary, to afterwards undergo three months cangue each.

June 22nd.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Obtaining Money by False Pretences

   Two natives, one of whom was formerly a shroff in the employ of the Municipal Council, were brought up charged with obtaining money by false pretences.  The ex-shroff had provided himself with an excellently got up set of books, apparently issued by the "Koong-soo" [Chinese characters] - a native institution for the relief of the sick poor - for the purpose of obtaining contributions.  On the margin of several of the leaves were written the names of wealthy Chinese merchants and compradors, to which sums varying from $2 to $7 were appended; but subsequent enquiry by the  Municipal police, led to the discovery that both these names and amounts were fictitious, being used as a decoy.  The dates in the books showed that the fraud had been going on about seven months, and that something like $200 and, 135, 000 cash had been obtained.

    That the amount was not larger seems to have arisen from the careful way in which this native Jeremy Diddler conducted his operations, for he appears to have been contented with obtaining only sufficient money to ,live upon himself and pay his confederate 5,000 cash per month.  Suspicion was at length aroused, and the police were communicated with, the result being as above stated.  The prisoner gave an address as that of the "Koong-soo" to which they belonged, but on the police proceeding there, they found the occupant of the house was a poor decrepit old man, an opium smoker.  He denied all knowledge of the other accused, and  said he collected money on his own account.  Some books were found in the house, with entries of money receipts, but these, the old fellow s aid were "imaginary receipts from  imaginary people, which he had written only for amusement."

   The ex.-shroff was sentenced to receive 200 blows, to undergo three months' cangue, and then to be sent into the city to be imprisoned for one or two years as the authorities might determine; the second prisoner was considered not so much to blame, "because he did not equally share the plunder," though he knew he was doing  wrong, being a scholar and a literary man, and was sentenced to receive the (Chinese) schoolboy punishment of 100 blows on the hand, and to be deported to his native place, near Soochow; the old man was ordered to find security for his future good behaviour, and to be kept in custody until the security was forthcoming.


The North China Herald, 3 July 1875

Shanghai, 1st July.

Before the Chinese Magistrate, CHEN, and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Suspicious Conduct

   About two o'clock a.m. on the 30th ulto., P.C. Boysen noticed two Chinese loitering in a suspicious manner in a street in Hongkew.  He  watched them for some time, and then went towards them.  They tried to get away, and one succeeded in doing so, but the constable caught the other.  The fellow showed fight, and tried to catch his captor by the throat.  Fortunately he succeeded in grasping only the collar of his jacket, at which he tugged with sufficient force to tear off the buttons.  Boysen then threw him, after which the fellow surrendered himself prisoner.  On searching him, Boysen found a dagger-sheath stuck in his girdle on one side, and the naked dagger in the girdle on the other side, evidently placed for instant use, which, however, the struggle prevented.  In his pocket was found an iron chisel and a box of matches.  The prisoner was brought before the Mixed Court this morning, and, on being questioned, at first said that he kept a samshoo shop at Woosang, but afterwards that he was a soldier. - Chen remanded him for a week for further enquiries.


The North China Herald, 10 July 1875


Shanghai, July 5th

Before the Chinese Magistrate, CHEN, and W. M. COOPER, Esq., British Assessor.

Theft from an Hotel

      Three Chinese boys were charged with stealing a rifle, value $20, from the Shanghai Hotel, the property of Mr. H. McNutt, the landlord.  The case was fully proved, and the prisoners were sentenced to deceive q00 blows each with the bamboo, with two months' cangue.


The North China Herald, 17 July 1875


    A discreditable incident happened Thursday afternoon at the Mixed Court, during the hearing of a suit brought by Mr. D. M. Henderson against a Chinaman, to recover the Tls. 10,000 which were recently the subject of enquiry at the U.S. Consular Court.  The defendant in the original suit, Mr. J. K. Thorndike, was present, and, it is alleged, becoming irritated at something said by Mr. Henderson in his evidence, struck him a violent blow on the head with an umbrella.  The incident occasioned some excitement, and Mr. Thorndike was required to leave the Court.  He went away; and so far the matter ended, but we hear it is to be the subject of investigation in another Court.


The North China Herald, 17 July 1875


Shanghai, July 12th

Before the Chinese Magistrate, CHEN, and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Passing Brass Dollars

   The native remanded on a charge of passing brass dollars, on three different occasions, was brought up again to-day, and the case being proved against him, was, in consideration of his being an old man, sentenced to pay a fine of $100, and to be imprisoned until it was paid. [See Summary of News.]

   A Chinese boy employed in a foreign house, recently stole some chits on two occasions, upon which he collected Bergsten $60 and $70.  He was apprehended, and taken before Mr. Davenport, British Assessor at the Mixed Court, who sentenced him to a month's cangue.


The North China Herald, 24 July 1875


Shanghai, July 19th

Before the Chinese Magistrate, CHEN, and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.


   A Shantung man was apprehended on Friday last, on a charge of publicly exhibiting a peepshow, containing indecent pictures.  The morning, he was brought before the above Court, when Chen sentenced him to 100 blows with the bamboo, and ordered the pictures to be destroyed.

July 21st.

Charge of Assault

   The keeper of an opium shop in the Shantung road was brought up on a charge of assault.  It appeared that the complaisant went to the shop late on Thursday night, and wished to smoke, but a dispute arose in consequence of the crowded state of the divan, and the defendant considering the complainant to blame, beat and kicked him so severely that he was unable to stand.  Some bystanders put him in a jinrikisha and took him to the Central Police Station.  Inspector Fowler directed his removal to the native hospital, where Dr. Johnston happened to be, and at once examined the sufferer's hurts.  It was found that although no bones were broken , the beating he had received was serious enough to justify his being kept in the hospital.  He, however, preferred being taken to his house, from whence he was conveyed this morning on a stretcher to the Mixed Court, the defendant having in the meantime been apprehended. - Chen considered the offence too serious for him to deal with, and sent the defendant into the city to be tried by the Chehsen.

Illegal Storage of Kerosene

   Two native shopkeepers were summoned by the police for having on their premises more than ten cases of kerosine oil, one having 17 and the other 13 cases.  There appears to be a growing  disposition to evade the small charge per case payable for storing the combustible at the depot on the Pootung side, which the police are endeavouring to check on account of the danger of fire in the Settlement.  The offenders were fined $5 and $3 respectively.

Robbery and Attempted Suicide

   A well-known thief, whose peculations have been usually from steamers, was stopped recently in Hongkew with a quantity of wearing apparel in his possession, failing to account for which he was taken to the Police Station pending enquiries.  The property was found to belong to a person  at present absent from Shanghai.  This morning the prisoner was taken to the Mixed Court, and while waiting his turn in the yard, by some means obtained a rusty and nearly blunt clasp-knife, with which he attempted to cut his throat.  Before he could be prevented, he inflicted a rather serious wound on the left side of his neck, from which the blood flowed copiously, rendering his immediate removal to the hospital necessary.  [See 7 August, below.]


The North China Herald, 30 July 1875

   CHEN, the magistrate of the Mixed Court, has been appointed to the staff of Li Han-chang.  Chang, the Magistrate who sits in the French Mixed Court, is to take his place in the Maloo.


The North China Herald, 31 July 1875


Shanghai, July 23rd.

Before the Chinese magistrate CHEN and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

Attempted Robbery of a Mail Steamer

   A well-known native thief was brought up charged with an attempted robbery on board the P.& O. mail steamer Cathay on Thursday.  The prisoner was first seen in the saloon by an officer of the ship, who supposed him to have taken passage from Hongkong, and told him he had no business in the saloon and to go on deck at once.  The fellow was soon afterwards discovered shut in the chief engineer's cabin, rummaging his drawers.  He had already secreted $80 and a number of small curios, &c.  On being asked what he was doing in the cabin, he said he "belonged to compradore pidgin," and it was all right.  He was given into custody of the police, who recognized him as having been sent into the city in April last for punishment on another charge, from which he appears to have escaped with the leniency usually shown by the native authorities in cases of robbery from foreigners.  The present charge being clear against him, it was felt that a severe sentence should be inflicted, but that it was useless sending him again into the city with that hope.  He was accordingly sentenced to 200 blows with the bamboo, to undergo three months; cangue and afterwards to be imprisoned for a further term of three months.

July 26th.


   A Jinrikisha coolie was charged by the police with obstructing the bund, near the Club, with his vehicle, and sentenced to two days' imprisonment.

Stealing Money

   A wheelbarrow coolie was charged with stealing $100.  It appears the prisoner and two others, accompanied by a shroff, were engaged to convey $72,000 in  boxes from a native bank to Messrs. Siemsen's hong, the prisoner being in the rear.  On arriving at their destination, the barrows were wheeled into the compound, and while the shroff was superintending the unloading of the first two, the prisoner took the opportunity to lift the lid of one of the boxes on his barrow, and abstract $100, afterwards fastening the lid down again.  The act was, however, noticed by the other coolies, who afterwards demanded a share of the spoil.  To one, the thief gave $32, and to the other $8, also spending $5 in food and d rink.  The receiver of the $32 left Shanghai immediately, and went to his home, near Soochow, and it was through this incident that the police became aware of the robbery, and that the prisoner was apprehended.  $50 were found in his possession, and on being asked that he had done with the remaining $5, he acknowledged that he had  sent them home to his friends.  Chen sentenced him to deceive 40 blows with the heavy bamboo, and to be  cangued for  two months.

July 29th          

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN

Obstruction by jinrikisha

   Five jinrikisha coolies were brought up, charged with causing obstruction and annoyance on the Bund.  Sentenced to two days' imprisonment each.

A Fortunate Loser

   On the 26th instant, a native  reported at the Central Police Station that he had lost four pieces of sycee and $200.  He said he took a jinrikisha in the Rue du Consulat, intending to ride into the English Settlement.  He had wrapped up the money and sycee in a cloth, and placed the parcel on the bed of the jinrikisha under the seat.  On arriving at his destination, he found that the parcel had fallen through a hole in the bed of the vehicle, and was lost.  H supposed the hole was caused by the weight of the parcel, coupled with the jolting of the vehicle.  Enquiry was made by the police, who gleaned the information that a coolie had picked up the parcel on the English side the Yang-king-pang bridge.  This man was a Cantonese, and it was at once thought that the head of the Cantonese coolie hong would know something about the matter.  He was interviewed, and at first denied all knowledge of the affair, but at future interviews he admitted that he had the property, and demanded on behalf of the finder, $200 as a recompense for restoring the sycee! This was of course refused, and he then lowered his demand to $100.  This was also refused, and to-day  all the parties attended at the Mixed Court, when after hearing the above details, Chen ordered $20 to be given to the finder, and $10 to a native constable who had been instrumental in recovering the lost property; the remainder to be given up to the owner.


The North China Herald, 7 August 1875


Shanghai, July 31st

Before the Chinese magistrate CHEN and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

The Attempted Suicide

   The native thief who was brought up some time ago on a charge of attempted robbery of a steamer, and who while in the Court precincts, cut his throat with a rusty clasp-knife,  having sufficiently recovered, was brought up again to-day. The charge of attempted robbery was proved against him, and he was sentenced to three months' cangue. [See 24 July, above.]

Extensive Defalcation

     A native tea commission agent was brought beefier the Court on a charge of embezzlement.  His defalcations as far as known amount to Tls. 3,000.  Prisoner was remanded for feather evidence.


The North China Herald, 14 August 1875


   When Chen was appointed to Li Hang-chang's staff, a Wei-yuen named Chang, who was lately Magistrate of the Mixed Court on the French Concession, was nominated to succeed him.  But Chang is head of the Lekin Tax Office in the Settlement, and was objected to, and that and other accounts.  The objection has been deferred to, and another official nominated.

   The new magistrate seems a man of very different stamp from his predecessor, and it is remarkable that he seems not to be hampered by the want of power, which was always put forward as an excuse for Chen's leniency.  He is disposed to punish criminals, and he passes fitting sentences where Chen would have suggested the City as the only possible alternative.  Judging from present experience, there will be no great cause for regret if Chen is promoted after his Yunnan experiences are over.


The North China Herald, 14 August 1875


Shanghai, August 6th

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

A Native Detective Punished

   A native, employed in the Municipal detective Police Force, was charged with malfeasance in the performance of his duty, in having permitted some thieves to spend $9, being a portion of a sum stolen, and then telling falsehood to conceal his ill-doing.  Sentenced to three months' cangue at the Central Police Station.

Striking a Pony

   A native plasterer was brought up, charged with stroking a pony ridden by a foreigner with a tool used in his trade, causing it to plunge and nearly unseat the rider.  On seeing the consequences of his thoughtless act, the man ran away, but was pursued by the foreigner and captured.  Sentenced to a month's cangue.

August 11th.

Before the Chinese Magistrate SEAY, and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

Extensive Robberies of Jewellery, etc.

   A well-dressed native thief, named CHEU-LING-CHING [characters] was charged with stealing a large quantity of jewellery, silver ware, silk clothing, &c., from three native houses of entertainment in the Fukhien road, to the aggregate value of $422.  Prisoner, a negative of Soochow, has been in Shanghai little metre than a year, and commenced his predatory course soon after his arrival.  His respectable appearance for a long time saved him from suspicion, but about five months ago, petty robberies from natives became more than usually frequent, which led to the prisoner - previously "spotted" by the native detectives as a stranger - being watched.  The result was that in a short time, the police were enabled to prove against him no fewer than eight separate charges of larceny.  For these offences, Chen, the late Magistrate, sentenced him to 200 blows with the bamboo and three months' cangue.  The blows were in this instance inflected; and after undergoing six weeks' cangue, the prisoner, by what afterwards was known to as a feigned sickness, was set at liberty.

   The very next day, he was found by the police loitering suspiciously in localities favourable to robbery, and again apprehended.  Being unable to give a good account of his intentions, or as to his means of livelihood, Chen ordered him to be cangued for two months, which he served out, and was again liberated about six weeks ago.

    The first of the three robberies charged against him to-day, was committed on the 7th of last month, clearly showing that he must have resumed his old practices as soon as he regained his liberty.  In this case, he carried off property to the value of $186.  The other two robberies were effected on the 6th and 7th inst., the first yielding $74 and the second $162 worth of property.  In one of these instances, the prisoner had, in addition to the valuables he had succeeded in carrying off, made up a large bundle of clothing, and while making his way down stairs with this in his arms, he unexpectedly encountered the mistress of the house.  He dropped his bundle and ran out of the house, but not before the woman noticed that his queue was tied with a blue cord.  This incident was mentioned at the Louza Police Station, when Inspector Wilson remembered that the man convicted some time before, wore his hair tied with a cord of that colloid.  A search was instituted, and the prisoner shortly apprehended at the Laou-kee-chang, a noted resort for Chinese, in the Nanking road.  His queue was still tied with a blue cord.  He was taken to the Police Station and searched, but nothing was found upon him.  Subsequently, in reply to questions, he admitted that he had stolen the property, saying that he had sent it to Soochow; but afterwards confessed that he had left it at the shop of a box-maker, of whom he had purchased a small box to contain it.  This was found to be true, and the shipman was asked about the purchase.  He said that when the prisoner came to his shop, he asked to be permitted to leave the property, as he had more top come. - The box was given up, and found to contain all the missing property.  The prisoner being observed to walk lame, was examined, when it was found that he had recently been most severely bambooed, further enquiries leading to the information that he had been in custody and punished for some offence committed in the French Settlement.  It being impossible to inflict more punishment of that description upon him, Seah sentenced him to three months'' cangue, and afterwards to undergo nine months' imprisonment, to be carried out at the Central Police Station.

Robbery by a Houseboy

   The prisoner was charged with stealing 163 table glasses of various kinds, the property of his master.  He made no defence.  The police had recovered 63 of the glasses, 43 of which had been sold by the prisoner to a native shopkeeper in the French Settlement for 2,800 cash.  This man was also brought up, and fined $20 for purchasing stolen property.  It being the houseboy's first offence, he was let off with a month's cangue.

Aug. 13th.

Attempt to Steal a Jinrikisha.

     Prisoner was seen to wheel a jinrikisha to the open space at the rear of the Mixed Court, and when questioned by a native constable as to its ownership, failed to give a satisfactory reply and was taken into custody. - This morning, his defence was that he only took the vehicle to sleep in, but that the place where he found it standing not being suitable, he took it to a more convenient one.  Sentenced to receive 100 blows with the bamboo.

Obstructing the Bund

   A jinrikisha coolie was charged with the common offence of obstructing the footway of the Bund, near the Club, and sentenced to three days' cangue at place of the offence.


The North China Herald, 21 August 1875


Shanghai, August 16th

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH, and W. M. COOPER, Esq., British Assessor.

The Stabbing Case in Hongkew

   Five natives were brought up, charged with being concerned in the party fight at Hongkew on Friday night last, in which two men were stabbed, one of them seriously.  In consequence of the inability of this man to appear, the case was not investigated, but as a reminder of what they might expect of the charges are proved against them, four of the prisoners who were prominent in this attack, were sentenced to receive 100 blows each with the bamboo, and to be cangued until the case is proceeded with.  The fifth man, who played merely a subordinate part, was ordered to be cangued only.

Obstructing the Public Thoroughfares

   Six jinrikisha coolies, who had been previously warned by the police, were charged with wilfully obstructing the public thoroughfares, and sentenced to receive fifty blows each with the bamboo.  Seven others charged with a similar offence, for the first time, were ordered to be imprisoned for three days' each.

Burning Joss Paper in the Streets

    A number of offences of this description were let off on payment of a quarter dollar fine each.

Wilful Damage

   Four natives of respectable position, one of them a law writer and the other three shopkeepers in the City, were charged with wilfully breaking furniture, &c., in a Chinese house of entertainment situated in a crowded neighbourhood.  Among the articles destroyed were four kerosine lamps filled with oil and burning, whereby great risk of fire was occasioned.  Prisoners were taken into custody, but were released on bail, and the case will be proceeded with probably on Thursday.

August 17th

Before the Chinese magistrate HSIEH.

Gambling in a Foreign House

    Three natives, found in a foreign house in the Peking road, who were at first believed to have entered the premises with intent to steal, but whose purpose was afterwards found to be gambling, were sentenced to receive fifty blows each, with the bamboo, at which they seemed astonished.

Aug. 18th

Obstructing the Thoroughfare

   Eight jinrikisha coolies were brought up charged with obstructing and annoying foot passengers in different parts of Hongkew. - Sentenced to receive 50 blows with the bamboo each.

Aug. 19th

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

The remanded Charge of Wilful Damage

   The charge of wilful damage in a native house of entertainment, in which a (native) law-writer and three shopkeepers from the City were concerned, and which had been remanded from Monday, was ordered to be proceeded with to-day; but none of the defendants appeared until the Court, having concluded its other business, was about to rise. - The law-writer then came, and there being shown to be no doubt as to the part he took in the offence, the magistrate was much inclined to inflict a severe bambooing upon him, and afterwards to confine him in the cangue for a time.

   These punishments were only averted by the intercession of Foreigners who knew the defendant; and upon a promise of better behaviour for the future, he was ultimately let off on payment of $50 fine, and $16 cost of repairing the damage done.  One of there other three defendants was afterwards seen in the purlieus of the Court, and as the other two failed to attend, he was permitted to leave; but Hsieh gave express orders that all three should be brought before him on an early day.

   The $50 fine already imposed, was presented to the funds of the Shantung Road Hospital, also by the Magistrate's direction.

More Obstruction by Jinrikishas

   Eleven jinrikisha coolies were brought up, charged with the usual offence of obstructing and annoying foot passengers in different parts of the Settlement - They were each sentenced to forty blows with the bamboo.


The North China Herald, 28 August 1875


Shanghai, August 20th

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

More Jinrikisha Obstructions

   Fifteen jinrikisha runners were charged with obstructing the public highway with their vehicles; and the native magistrate finding that neither imprisonment nor bambooing are deterrent, ordered the confiscation of both the proprietors'' and coolies' licenses.

August 23rd.

Attempt to Murder

   A native tailor, of respectable appearance, was brought up charged with the attempt to murder the mistress of a house of entertainment in the Hankow road, late on Saturday night last.  It appeared the accused had been in the habit of visiting the house for several years, and that on Saturday night something occurring to arouse his jealousy, he took up a wood chopper lying at hand, and fiercely hacked at the woman's head, inflecting two dangerous wounds.  The unfortunate woman put up her arm to save her head, and received several severe cuts near the elbow, and had not assistance been at hand, she would doubtless have been murdered.  She was taken to the Gutzlaff Hospital, and then wounds sewn up; but it is thought several weeks will elapse before she can appear to prosecute.  The prisoner was remanded.

Burglary in Hongkew

   Two well-known thieves were charged with burglary at a naive house in Hongkew, and stealing property to the value of $20.  One of the prisoners had undergone nine months'' cangue during the past twelve, and there being no doubt about his guilt in the present case, he was sentenced to three months' cangue, and to be afterwards imprisoned for twelve months.  The other prisoner, not having so bad a character, was sentenced to three months' cangue only.

Jinrikisha's Obstructions

Two jinrikisha coolies were charged with causing an obstruction, and annoying foot-passengers in Hongkew.  The proprietors' licenses were ordered to be confiscated.

Boat Squeezing on the Hongkew Creek

   A native was charged with the above-named offence.  It appeared that his plan of operations was to board the boats, accompanied by two other men, and tell the boatmen that he had authority to take their craft for Mandarins' use.  Rather than let their boats go, the poor fellows of course submitted to a squeeze.  On Friday last, prisoner boarded two silk boats in this manner, and gelling the curfew that the craft were requited to convey troops, demanded $1 from each as a release.  The crews being without money, could not comply with the demand, whereupon the prisoner and his companions took away their yulohs, and this theft led to detection.

   Complaint was made to the [police, and enquiries being set on foot, it was ascertained that, in the meantime, the prisoner had gone to another boat at the Shantung jetty, and, again failing to obtain money, coolly carried off the boat, which was afterwards found in a tier of other boats moored in the river above the junk anchorage.  It farther appeared that in a small building, near the Hongkew Creek, occupied by the prisoner, which he told the boat-men was a tax-office, the police discovered sixty or seventy other yulohs, but there was no evidence to show how they got there, the prisoner, as yet, declaiming to give any information respecting them.  He was sentenced to receive 100 blows with the bamboo, and to be cangued for three months.

August 24th

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor

The Adjourned Case of Wilful Damage

   One of the three City shopkeepers, concerned in the case of wilful damage at a house of entertainment, was brought up to-day, and it having been shown that he took an active part in the affair, he was fined $50. - The case was not pressed against the other two shop-keepers, who were merely onlookers.

More Jinrikisha Offences

   The licenses of ten more jinrikishas were to-day confiscated, in consequence of the coolies causing obstruction and annoyance to persons in the public thoroughfares.

August 25th

Before the Chinese magistrate HSIEH and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

Working Ponies in Unfit Condition

   A native was charged with cruelty to a pony, in working it while suffering from a wound on the shoulder.  Being the defendant's first known offence, he was let off on payment of a fine of 50 cents.

   On the previous day, a similar case (the first brought before the present magistrate here), was disposed of by the discharge of the accused; and a fine being inflicted in the second instance, betokens the magistrate's intention to pursue generally the system of progressive punishments in succeeding prosecutions for similar offences.

Jinrikisha Obstructions

   Seventeen coolies were brought up, charged with the old offence of annoyance and obstruction with their vehicles, the licences of which were ordered to be confiscated.

August 26th

Before the Magistrate HSIEH and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Remanded Wounding Case

   The prisoner charged with wounding a man, by striking him on the head with a brass smoking-pipe, and who was remanded pending the recovery of the wounded person, was brought up to-day. - The Magistrate allowed the case to be settled by the payment of $15 to the prosecutor.


   Five more jinrikisha coolies were charged with the common offence of obstructions, for which the licences were confiscated.


The North China Herald, 4 September 1875


Shanghai, Aug. 30th

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH, and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

A Suspected Character

   A Cantonese was observed by two foreign constables loitering on Hongkew bridge, about four o'clock on Sunday morning, and suspecting his intentions to be otherwise than honest, they proceeded to investigate.  Their trouble was soon rewarded by the discovery of a large knife in the leg of one of the man's stockings and a chisel in the other.  He was taken to the Police Station, where further examination showed his back and thighs were fearfully scarred from flogging.  After some time he admitted that he had received 500 lashes on his back at Macao, and 300 bamboo strokes at another place, about which he prevaricated, but it is thought to have been either at Amoy or Hongkong.  He has not confessed what crimes he committed to involve such terrible punishments. - The Magistrate remanded him for a week, pending further enquiries.

Dangerous Joss Observances.

   Some native woman, living in Old China Street, Hongkew, were charged with lighting a large fire in the public thoroughfare above-named, which is very narrow, thereby endangering the safety of the neighbourhood.  The defendants had procured the effigy of a man attired as a mandarin, with cap, button, and all complete, the clothing being made with coloured cotton stuff.  The figure as seated on a scarlet-covered seat, and near at hand was a lightly constructed but elegant looking palanquin, about half the real size; while around the effigy and palanquin were several red boxes filled with paper sycee.  The fiery rites had already commenced, and the palanquin was in a blaze, when the police interfered, extinguished the fire, and carried off the effigy, &c., wholesale. - The women were fined $1 each.

Aug. 31st.

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH, and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Wilful Damage

    Two respectable Chinese were charged with committing wilful damage in a house of entertainment, by breaking furniture, &c. - They were fined $20 each, which the Magistrate directed to be paid to the funds of the Shantung Road Hospital.


The North China Herald, 11 September 1875


Shanghai, Sept. 6th.

Before the Chinese magistrate HSIEH, and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

Suspicious Conduct

   A Cantonese found by the Police loitering on Hongkew Bridge, early on Sunday morning the 29th ultimo, and in whose stockings were found a knife and a chisel, was brought up this morning, charged with loitering with intent to commit a felony.  Not being able to give a good account of himself, he was sentenced to three months'' cangue, and, at the expiration of the sentence, to be brought up again.

Sept. 10th.

Assault on a Foreigner

   A Ningpo boy was charged with using abusive language to and assaulting a foreign woman, to whose house he was sent to collect money. - He had no other defence than that he was told to wait a little while. - he was awarded one hundred blows with the bamboo, with strict orders that they should be inflicted.


The North China Herald, 18 September 1875


Shanghai, Sept. 13th

Before the Chinese magistrate HSIEH, and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.


   Fifteen more jinrikisha licences were confiscated this morning, on account of their runners obstructing the Publix thoroughfares.

Mangy Dogs

   A native was charged with assaulting a constable while in the execution of his duty of leading mangy dogs from the street to the Police Station to be destroyed. - One week's imprisonment.

Theft from a Tea-shop

   A well-known thief was charged with stealing 12 brass smoking pipes and a brass kettle from a tea-shop in the Shantung road. - Three months'; cangue and nine months' imprisonment.

Robbery from the Person

   An old thief was charged with stealing a pair of spectacles.  The prosecutor, an elderly native, was walking along the Nanking road, the spectacles hanging by a string round his neck.  The prisoner snatched them away and ran off, but was pursued and captured. Hsieh sentenced him to three months' cangue and nine months' imprisonment.

Theft from a Coal Boat

   A river thief was brought up on a charge of stealing coal from a boat in the Soochow Creek, near the gas Works.  Thefts from cargo boats in the river and neighbouring creeks are again becoming frequent, and with a view to checking them, the prisoner was sentenced to a month's cangue, and his sampan order to be sawn a sunder and destroyed.

Sept. 15th.


   Fourteen more jinrikisha coolies were this morning brought up for obstructing the streets with their vehicles, the licenses of which were, as usual, ordered to be confiscated for the current month.

Sept. 16th.

Before the Chinese magistrate HSIEH, and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

Stealing a Sampan

   A river thief was charged with stealing a sampan and its contents, during the absence of the owner.  The case was clear against the prisoner, and he was sentenced to receive 100 blows with the bamboo, and to be cangued for two months.


The North China Herald, 25 September 1875


Shanghai, Sept. 20th

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

Suspected Robbery

   The first and second lowdahs of a houseboat were charged on suspicion with stealing two white and one green blanket, found by the Police in their possession, and of which they were unable to give a goof account.  Their defence was that they had purchased the blankets at a sale for Tls. 6, and in proof of this produced an auction ticket, written in English, which on being inspected proved to be for "two chairs, 75 cents." Both prisoners were remanded for a week in custody, to permit equities to be made.


   A native who has lived in the Settlement three years, but who had only recently taken to criminal practices, was charged with committing three burglaries and attempting a fourth.  He is a mason by trade, and on the nights of the 12th and 14th inst., he broke into a wine-shop in the Fukhien road, to which he gained access by first climbing up the scaffolding of some  newly-erected houses, and then along the roofs of some twenty others, and so getting through an open window.  He passed through one room in which four, and another where three persons were sleeping, without disturbing them, and then went down stairs to the bar room, from which, on the two nights, he stole about $18 worth of cash.  On the nights of the 13th and 15th inst., he broke into a shoe-shop in the Honan road, on the first occasion carrying off about $20 worth of shoes; but the proprietor of this establishment was wily, and sat up on the nights of the 14th and 15th, expecting another visit from the thief.  His expatiation was not disappointed, for on the last named night, the prisoner made another attempt, but had no sooner broken into the ship, than he found himself in the arms of the shopkeeper and in a few minutes afterwards in the custody of the police.  He had pawned the goods previously stolen, and they were all recovered. Sentenced to three months'' cangue and nine months' imprisonment.

Charge of Attempted Murder

   A mafoo in the employ of a foreigner, and who also keeps an opium shop, in a thoroughfare at the back of the Horse Bazaar, was brought up on a charge of attempting to murder another mafoo, late on Sunday night.  The injured man was brought into Court on a stretcher, and seemed to be suffering severely from the effects of the wounds inflected on him.  It was stated that the two men were intimately acquainted, and that the accused gave the other a fortnight's board and lodging during a slight illness.  About a quarter to twelve on Sunday night they met at the accuser's home, and the accused asked for payment for the accommodation he had afforded.  The injured man replied that he had not been able to earn the money but when he was able to work, he would pay as soon as possible.  A large knife happened to be lying on a table near at hand, and, without another word, the accused snatched it up and made a violent attack upon the other with it, which he, being weak from his illness, was unable to resist.  In a few moments, nineteen wounds were inflicted on the poor fellow's head and face, most of them bring clean cuts to the bone.  He soon became insensible from the blows and loss of blood, and his assailant then appears to have dragged him out of the house into the roadway, and left him there to die.  Fortunately a municipal policeman passed by a short time afterwards, and found him lying insensible and in the condition described.  He lost not time in having him taken to the Gutzlaff Hospital, where a native doctor applied restoratives and dressed the wounds.  The man's condition is considered very precarious and in regard to this uncertainty and the enormity of the offence, Hsieh directed that the prisoner should be taken into the city to be dealt with by the Chehsien.

Sept. 21st.

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.


   This was an action to recover about Tls. 3,200, on various complicated transactions between the parties.  The defendant had obtained a judgment against Russell in a suit before the Spanish Consul, and the present case was a sort of counter-claim or set-off, to the amount for which that judgment was given.

   Senor Garay, Spanish Consul, occupied a seat on the bench, but unofficially.

   Mr. WAINWRIGHT appeared for the Plaintiff.

   When the case was called on, the defendant did not appear, and a Chinaman in Court said he had gone to Woosung, and had not returned.

   Mr. OLIVEIRA acted as Spanish interpreter, and stated that Senor Garay was present in his private capacity, merely to watch the case, because he would not have it said that he had decided wrongly against the defendant in the case heard before him.

   Mr. WAINWRIGHT said in the case before the Spanish Consul, only one side was gone into.  The items involved in the case of Russell against Wei-yung-change were not heard at all.  He would now submit that, as the matters between the parties were very complicated, it would be better to submit them to arbitration.

   Mr. OLIVEIRA said it had been desired that the case should be settled in that way, before competent persons, but Mr. Russell insisted on coming into the Mixed Court with it.

   Mr. WAINWRIGHT asked if the Spanish Consul would suspend his judgment in the case heard before him, until after an arbitration could be held.  He had given Mr. Russell only till the 29th, when, if Wei-yung-chang's claim was not paid, his (Russell's) property would be sold.

   This was interpreted to Senor Garay, who expressed his willingness to consent, provided the arbitration were not held in the Mixed Court, and the judgment he had given was not interfered with.

   Dr. YATES pointed out that any case against a Chinaman must be heard in the Mixed Court.

   Mr. WAINWRIGHT said all he wanted to ask was whether the Spanish Consul would allow the case to be arbitrated by the English Assessor and the Chinese Magistrate.  If both sides would agree to that course, there need be no case heard in Court at all.

   Dr. YATES said the course just proposed would not interfere with the decision of the Spanish Consul, which was final.  The present case was brought to enable them to see what money was owing by Wei-yuing-chang to Russell.

   Mr. WAINWRIGHT again observed that Wei-yung-chang had obtained a judgment against Russell, while many of the items on Russell's side were ignored altogether; and now, when a suit against Wei-yung-chang was brought in the Mixed Court -  his own Court - he had kept out of the way, which showed what sort of a man he was.

   The conversation so far having been interpreted to the Spanish Consul, he said in reply that he did mot care one way or the other how the case went; and if they desired to being Wei-yung-chang up on cases that had not been heard before the Spanish Court, they might do so, but the judgment of that Court must remain as it was.  Upon that understanding, he would suspend the judgment he had given, a little while longer.

   Mr.  WAINWRIGHT said that there was no desire to interfere with the judgment of the Spanish Consul at all - in fact, he was prepared to leave the Spanish Court altogether on one side.  His client had several claims against Wei-yung-chang which he could prove, and which would be used as a set-off against the judgment given against him.

   After some further conversation, tending to the same effect, it was understood that the case should stand adjourned for the attendance of the defendant.

Sept. 23rd

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH and J. HAAS, Esq., Acting U.S. Assessor.

Jinrikisha Obstructions

   Two jinrikisha runners were charged with the old offence of obstructing the public thoroughfare with their vehicles, the licences of which were ordered to be confiscated.

A Suspected Thief

   A native of Soochow, who has been in this Settlement only ten days, was brought up on suspicion of stealing a large bundle of clothing found in his possession by a native constable.  Remanded to give the police an opportunity of finding the owner of the clothes.

Street Cries

   Three coolies were brought up by the Pollute, charged with causing annoyance in the public streets, by repeating loudly the monotonous cry of "ah-ho," while carrying burdens.  This habit is becoming very prevalent again in the Settlement, and complaints have been frequent of late.  On this bring explained to the magistrate, he sentenced the delinquents to one day's imprisonment each; in addition to the time they had already been in custody.

An Insane Thief

   A wretched-looking native was charged with stealing a jinrikisha.  It was stated that early on the morning of Thursday, he was seen by a man sitting in a tea-shop in the Nanking road, wheeling the vehicle towards the maloo, without a light.  This aroused his suspicion, and he followed prisoner to some distance past the Bubbling Well, then saw him take the vehicle into a field, and begin breaking it up.  He then interfered, tied the prisoner's hands, put him in the vehicle, wheeled him to the Louza Police station, and charged him with the theft.  The prisoner's conduct in Court was so peculiar, that the magistrate considered him insane, and ordered him to be taken to his own district, Fatwa, about four miles from the Settlement.

A Runaway Wife

   An agricultural couple, from the neighbourhood of Sins village, appeared before the Court this morning to have their matrimonial differences settled.  The husband is of the mature age of 16 years, the wife being four years older.  They were betrothed when much younger, and had been married in due form a year ago.  But both betrothal and marriage seem to have been distasteful to Clarinda, and also to her "second" mother; and a few weeks ago, a stalwart maloo in the employ of a foreign gentleman professed affection for the fair one, and succeeded in inducing her second mother to overlook the fact of the marriage, and sell her to him for the munificent sum of $30.  The sale and transfer were competed, and the purchase was duly conveyed by the maloo to his secret hay-loft; but alas! they were soon broken in upon by the bereaved husband, who no sooner discovered his loss, than, in company with his father, he left his plough, and assumed the role of a private detective.  After a day or so's hunt, they were guided either by fortune or a betrayer to the place of Clarinda's concealment, and in the absence of her lover she was taken back to the home of her childhood.  On Wednesday night, however, she again gave her husband the slip, and mounting a wheelbarrow, was hastening to the arms of her mafoo, when a Policeman, who knew of the failure of the former transaction, met her, and asked her plainly if she was once more running from her husband.  She answered in the affirmative, and was of course taken to the Police Station, and the husband sent for.  He now insisted on her being handed over to the stern measure of Chinese law regarding faithless wives.  On being  questioned by Hiseh as to her motives, she told a pitiful story of how her boy-husband made her work hard in the field, but did not give her enough to eat, and that he at times beat her cruelly,.  She was, however, no party to the first transaction with the mafoo, but her "second" mother, pitying her sad state, made the bargain for her, in the hope of ensuring her more happiness.  On her return home, after her discovery by her husband, he treated her as badly as before, and as the mafoo did not beat her, but treated her kindly, she made up her mind to go to him again. - Hsieh seemed struck with the artless statement, of which the above is the substance, and said, before deciding the case, he must have the "second" mother before him, who, it seemed to him, had been guilty, according to chins law, of the offence of kidnapping, by arranging the sale of the wife to the mafool.  The wife was accordingly remitted to the custody of her husband and his father, and they were ordered to bring her up again in company with the "second" mother. - The offence both of the wife and her mother-in-law is a grave one in Chinese criminal law, and it is impossible to say what punishment awaits both women, if the boy-husband insists on the law taking its course.



The North China Herald, 2 October 1875

   Owing to the new magistrate at the mixed Court sentencing so many native convicts to imprisonment, pressure for room is already beginning to be felt in the cells of the Municipal Police stations, - the gangs of cangued prisoners, for whom nightly accommodation has also to be found, adding to the difficulty.  At the present rate of police activity and magisterial impartiality, there will soon be a demand for more cells.


The North China Herald, 2 October 1875


Shanghai, Sept. 27th

Before the Chinese magistrate HSIEH and A. DAVENPORT, Esq., British Assessor.

House Robberies

      An old thief was brought up on three separate charges of stealing clocks, clothing, and curious from foreigners'' houses. - Sentenced to three months' cangue and nine months imprisonment afterwards.


The North China Herald, 4 November 1875


Shanghai, Nov. 2nd

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH and W. M. COOPER, Esq., British Assessor.

Stealing a Watch, &c.

   The charge against a houseboy, of feloniously receiving from another houseboy (to whose care they had been entrusted), and pawning a valuable watch, ring, &c., was investigated yesterday afternoon.  The prisoner confessed his guilt, and also stated where he had pawned the article in Ningpo.  The watch and ring have since been recovered.  The prisoner was sentenced to receive 300 blows with the bamboo, and to be imprisoned for twelve months.

[See also Summary of News.]

Nov. 3rd

Before the Chinese Magistrate HSIEH and W. R. CARLES, Esq., British Assessor.

Thefts from Houses

   Five cases of thefts from houses were proved against a well-known thief, and he was ordered to receive 300 blows with the bamboo, and to be imprisoned for a year.

Pocket Picking at the Races

   A native, who was proved to have picked the pocket of another native of $2, at the races, on Tuesday, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment.


The North China Herald, 18 November 1875

   Two cases of interest were to have been heard at the Mixed Court yesterday, but, owing to the unexpected absence of the Chinese magistrate, Hsieh, who had visited the Taotai on business, neither could be proceeded with.

   In one case, "Roggers v. a China boy," in which the defendant is charged with perjury, the plaintiff asked for an adjournment on the ground that his legal adviser was preparing a case for the Supreme Court.  Mr. Cooper, the British Assessor sitting, directed that, if a case was not presented to the Supreme Court before Friday, the parties were to appear at the mixed Court again at ten o'clock that morning.

   In the second case, the Municipal Council prosecute Mr. Sewjee for letting traps on hire within the Settlement without a licence.  This case was also ordered to be brought forward again on Friday morning.


(Shunpao, 10th November)

   YIH, a sampanman, appeared yesterday at the Mixed Court.  The Inspector of Police stated that on the night of the 27th he had been detected plying for hire on the Hwangpoo without a Municipal license; that he was apprehended and his boat taken charge of; that before he was brought before the Police authorities, Mr. J. B. Tootal, of the North China Daily News, came forward to bail him, representing that the boat was privately engaged to him, and that as the boatman did not take other passengers no license has been applied for.  The man as accordingly released, but after returning to his boat declared that his sampan had been robbed.  No clue to or evidence of the stolen property was obtainable.  The pollute employee, Ou Ho-tsai, who took charge of the boat, was therefore likewise brought forward for examination, &c.

   Yih deposed that he was a native e of Chekiang, that he had acted as boatman to the Tsz-ling hong for over six years, during which period he had never taken other passengers.  That at 10 o'clock on the night of the 27th of last month, a Foreigner came to the jetty and, mistaking him for his employer, he received him on board.  The Police suspecting him of publicly plying for hire took him into custody. After passing the night at the Station, my employer bailed me out the next morning.  In the meantime my brother had gone to look after my boat, when he found that my clothes, sail, &c., in all 15 articles, were already missing; but by whom taken or whether by Ou Ho-tsai, I have no means of telling.

   Ou Ho-tsai deposed that he had been employed by the Municipal Council to look after the payment of licences for over 10 years.  On the 27th of last month the Police handed him over the sampan in question to be taken care of; but as to the robbery or not of the articles he knew nothing.  There were many boats in the same place over which he had also to keep a look-out.  Every care was taken by him.

   The Court gave judgment to the effect that, without evidence of the articles alleged to be stolen, it is difficult to determine how, or by whom they were taken; that it would be the duty of the Police to enquire for the articles stolen and find out the thief, when the case could be again gone into.  [See Summary of News for comment.]


The North China Herald, 25 November 1875


   A curious case, "Municipal Council v. Sewjee," has come before the Mixed Court.  The Council prosecuted the defendant for letting a carriage for hire within the limits of the settlement, without being licensed to do so.  He had expressed his willingness to take out a license in future, but being under an agreement with his landlord, Mr. E. J. Hogg, not to pay any Municipal tax, he could not carry his willingness into effect, and the case therefore came into Court.  Mr. Penfold conducted the case for the prosecution, and by permission of the Court, Mr. Hogg appeared for the defendant, counsel not being allowed to plead in criminal cases in the Mixed Court.

   The facts were very simple on the part of the prosecution.  A carriage was hired from the horse bazaar, to be sent to a house in the Honan road.  It was sent there, used for a jaunt to the point and back, and, on being discharged, the fee, $4, was paid to the mafoo in the Honan road.  It was therefore contended that this was a hiring within the limits of the Settlement, and that it came within the meaning of the 34th Municipal by-law.  Mr. Hogg endeavoured to shew that Sewjee's premises being outside the boundary of the Settlement, the Council possessed no power to compel him to take out a license; that the hiring was done, not in the Settlement, but in Sewjee's yard; that it was immaterial where the carriage was afterwards taken by the partiers hiring it; and that the prosecution had put a wrong interpretation on the byelaw in regard to this case.  Mr. Hogg also urged several extraneous points, all of which he submitted in writing.

   Judgment was in effect that the defendant was liable to pay the Municipal tax upon traps for hire and use within the limits of Municipal jurisdiction, and that in consideration of his doing so in future, no penalty would be inflicted in the present case. - Mr. Hogg gave notice of appeal, but was informed that in cases where the Chinese magistrate and the Assessor agreed upon a decision, there was no appeal.  He might, however, make application to Mr. Medhurst, H.B.M.'s Consul, on the subject.


The North China Herald, 25 November 1875


Report of Inspector of Markets.

...Three native butchers have been prosecuted at the Mixed Court for killing diseased oxen for the Foreign market; one was fined $10.00, a second was imprisoned for a week, and the third was fined $5.00.


The North China Herald, 25 November 1875


Shanghai, Nov. 18th.

Before the Chinese magistrate HSIEH and Dr. YATES, U.S. Assessor.

The Robbery at Hongkew Wharf

   The jinrikisha coolie, in whose  possession General Raasloff's travelling bag was found, was brought up to-day, and, as he had no good reason for retaining it, Hsieh sentenced him to one hundred blows with the bamboo, to be cangued foe one month and exhibited among the wharf coolies, and then to be imprisoned for eighteen months.

   [A severe sentence, in consequence of the gravity with which Chinese law views an aggression against the person or property of National Envoys.]

Nov. 19th.

Before the Chinese magistrate HSIEH and W. M. COOPER, Esq., British Assessor

Jinrikisha Obstructions

   The licenses of three jinrikishas were confiscated this morning, in consequence of the runners obstructing the Bund.  The offence had ceased for some time, owing to the action of the police, but seems to be cropping up again.

The adjourned Charge of Perjury

   In this case, the complaisant, Mr. Roggers, tax-collector, did not appear, and no intimation being given that a case had been prepared for presentation to the Supreme Court, the defendant's recognisances were discharged, and the case struck out.

Robbery from a Houseboat

   A native youth was charged with stealing a brass clock and a wrapper from a houseboat, of which he had been left in temporary charge by the lowdah.  The case was proved, and he was sentenced to 20 blows with the bamboo, and one month's imprisonment.

Robbery by a Watchman

   A native watchman, who had been for a short time watchman at Mr. Hopkins' meat store, Tientsin road, was charged with stealing about 7-lbs of beef and sausages found in his possession in the Fohkien roar, the previous night.  Prosecutor said the offence had latterly become of frequent occurrence, and, in addition to the thefts, the way in which the meat was cut nearly always spoiled an entire joint.  Prisoner's defence was that a friend of his, a shopkeeper in the above-named road, was anxious to taste "foreign" meat, and asked him to get him a little.  Wishing to oblige him he took the quantity found in his possession by the policeman.  The police had made enquiries of the shopkeeper, and found this statement to be untrue.  Sentenced to 50 blows with the bamboo, and to be cangued for a week at the place of his offence.

Attempted Suicide

   A poor looking elderly woman was charged with attempting to commit suicide on Thursday night in the Soochow creek.  She was seen in a shallow part of the Creek by two men, wet through and covered with mud.  The got her out and a police-sergeant passing by, sent her to the central Police Station, where she was well cared for.  This morning she stated that her husband was ill, that they were very poor in consequence, and had got into debt to a man for 300 cash.  The creditor worried her for his money, and as she could not pay him, she thought she might as well die.  The husband was in Court, and looked very ill, saying he was unable to work.  He asked that his wife might be given up to him.  The Magistrate seemed touched with this sorrowful tale and its results, and after asking several questions of the husband as to their circumstances, allowed him to take his wife home.

The Opium Seizure Case

      J. M.  WALKER produced Chen Fu-lin, whom he declared to be in his employ, to prove that he told a liken runner who seized a ball of opium that it was the property of his master, and that he was taking it to the purchaser's.  The runner in question denied that the boy had said anything of the sort, but that he told him the drug belonged to a Chinaman named Siao.  Walker asked that the runner might be made to produce his card of authority, as it has been recently publicly stated that the Municipal Council would not issue any more licences.

   Mr. Penfold said the council had never issued licences for such a purpose.  It had been the custom to stamp the cards with the Council's seal, and they had declined doing that any longer. 

   Walker - Then, if the runners continue to use the old cards, the thing is just as bad.

   The card asked for was produced, and it did not bear the Municipal seal.  Walker asked if, without the seal, the card was an authority for the runner to act in the Settlement?

   Mr. Penfold replied that the seal gave no authority.

   Walker - Then who issued the cards?

  Mr. Penfold - They are issued by the Chinese authorities.

   The Assessor told Walker to wait in Court, while his ball of opium was being sent for.  After the other cases of the day were disposed of, Shen A-sz and the other lekin runner were again placed at the bar, charged with having improperly seized Mr. Walker's opium.  While his ownership was undisputed, it was proved that both at the Police Station and on his being taken to the Mixed Court, Chen Fu-lin asserted that the ball of opium belonged to Chinese.  The magistrate taxed him with having disobeyed the summons of the Court to appear there on Thursday morning, and said that, in consequence of his not having attended, the opium had been confiscated, and handed over to the opium guild, that the guild would not now return the ball, but were willing to hand over its value as it has been declared British property..

   Chen Fu-lin replied that he had been prevented attending by his master, who explained that he had not understood that the man had been summoned by the Court to attend; and that he had not himself come to claim his opium on the Tuesday morning as that was a  day on which the British Assessor did not sit. 

   After some consultation between the magistrate and the assessor, the former being very anxious, first to compromise the matter by making the guild and the plaintiff each forfeit half the value of the opium, it was decided that Mr. Walker should receive the full value of the opium, viz: Taels 12.43 and that the flogging which was due Chen Fu-lin for having disregarded the summons of the Court should be commuted for a fine of five taels.

The Municipal Council v. Sewjee

   This was also an adjourned case, in which the defendant was summoned by the Municipal Council for letting traps for hire, without a license, within the limits of the settlement.  Defendant, when the case was called on the first time, expressed his willingness to pay, but said there was an agreement between him and his landlord, Mr. E. J. Hogg, to the effect that he was to pay no Municipal taxes, and he was therefore obliged to let the case come into Court.

   Mr. Hogg, who was then present, said, as landlord of the premises occupied by Mr. Sewjee, which were situated outside the limits of the settlement, he was interested in the case, in so far as he objected that, the premises being outside their authority, the Council had no power to compel his tenant to take out a license, and that to do so would be to injure the property.  The case, on this occasion, was adjourned in consequence of the absence of the Chinese magistrate.

   To-day, on its being again called on, it was stated that Mr. Hogg had, because of his indisposition, applied for a further adjournment till Monday, and that he wished to make it his own case.  Mr. Penfold said he had nothing to do with the transfer of the case from one person's name to another.  The summons was for an offence committed within the settlement - in which Mr. Sewjee was charged with letting a trap, without being licensed to do so.


The North China Herald, 16 December 1875


   On Monday, at the Mixed Court, before the Chinese magistrate Hsieh, and W. M. Cooper, Esq., British Assessor, an ex-tepaou and four farmers and fisherman from a village called Nan-huai, were brought up on remand charged with being concerned in stealing cargo from the wreck of the Lucerne , so far back as October and November of last year.  The Lucerne was lost on the Ariadne rocks on the 23rd October, and the wreck and cargo were purchased at an auction by Messrs. Wheelock & Co., of Shanghai.  The allegation is that the cargo, anchors, chain, &c., to the value of Tls. 5.148, were stolen by the wreckers from Nan-huai; and that some bags of pepper and coils of iron wire, part of the stolen property, had been lately found in certain houses in the village.  Further enquiries were made, which appeared to implicate the prisoners, and they were apprehended; but the charge is met by a general denial not only by the accused, but also by the magistrate of the village, who finds an earnest supporter in Feng, Taoatai of Shanghai.  The case was again adjourned.  [Detailed account of the Court proceedings.]


The North China Herald, 23 December 1875


Shanghai, Dec. 20th.

Before the Chinese magistrate HSIEH and C. F. R. ALLEN, Esq., British Assessor.

Robbery by Coolies

   Three store coolies in the employ of Messrs. Sayle & Co., were brought up on a charge of stealing a large quantity of cloth, silk, flannel, gloves, and other goods.  Property of this kind having been missed, the police were communicated with and the coolies arrested.  In the house of one of them in Hongkew, was found a box filled with clothing made in the Chinese fashion, but with European materials; and also a bundle containing unmade stock.  In defence this prisoner said he had bought the goods.  He was sentenced to a month's cangue and five months' imprisonment afterwards.  The other two were remanded for further enquiry.

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