Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

Chu Yun Lung and Tsai Chun Sang, 1876

 [theft, maltreatment of complainant]

Chu Yun Lung and Tsai Chun Sang

Mixed Court, Shanghai
1876-1877
The North China Herald, 16 September 1876

 

MIXED COURT.

Shanghai, Sept. 11th.

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

The Chehsien's Interference with Justice.

   About three weeks ago, a respectable Chinese lodging-house keep in this Settlement, received as a lodger a man who described himself as a mandarin, and who had remained in the house for a short time only when articles of crockery, candlesticks, &c., began to be missed.  Suspicion fell upon the new lodger, and he was ultimately given into custody.  On his box being searched at the Police Station, several of the missing articles were found in it.  It being also proved that he really was a mandarin, the magistrate decided to send him into the city to be dealt with by the Chehsien.  On his arrival at the yamen, it was discovered that his father was an intimate friend of the Chehsien.  Consequently, instead of being placed in a cell, he was appointed a room in the yamen, and treated with great luxury every day.  Since he has been there, the Chehsien has expressed his entire belief in his friend's innocence, and that the articles must have been placed in his box when at the police Station, with the connivance of the inspector for the purpose of enabling the prosecutor to prove his case! -

   The prosecutor to-day appeared in Court, to ask for protection, as he hourly dreaded to receive a warrant from the Chehsien to appear before him for examination. On this being explained to Chen, he demurred for some time having anything to do with the case, but ultimately said that the Chehsien had not as yet sent for the prosecutor; when he did so, then he (Chen) would interview him and explain matters.

Source: The North China Herald, 12 October 1876

MISCELLANEOUS

AN INSTANCE OF CHINESE JUSTICE.

   On the 29th of August, a native lodging house keeper, living at 202 Hankow Road, reported at the Louza Police Station that several felonies had taken place in his house, and that he suspected a man who represented himself to be a Mandarin.  A native detective was deputed to investigate the matter, and on opening one of the boxes belonging to the Mandarin the first things he placed his hands upon was a candlestick, carefully wrapped up in paper, which was identified by the lodging-house keeper as one of the numerous articles missing.  The candlestick was one of a pair, and when the other was produced they corresponded in every particular.  The Mandarin, however, asserted that he purchased it a long time ago at Soochow. Credence was not placed on his statement, and, acceptingly, he and his two boxes were conveyed to the Louza Police Station.  There, several other articles which had disappeared while he had been staying at the lodging-house were taken from his boxes, and in addition fourteen pawn tickets all more or less relating tom stolen property.  One of them related to a skin jacket, which had been stolen from another lodging house in which he had been previously living. Another pawn ticket referred to a silk jacket belonging to a lodger at the house in Hankow Road.  It was brought from a pawn broker's shop in the City, and was identified by the owner, as was also the skin jacket.  Two other lodgers had missed between thirty and forty dollars each, and on the other stolen articled being fids covered in the Mandarin's box, they accused him of having taken the money also.  No dollars were found in his possession, and he protested his innocence on all the charges of theft brought against him, representing that the box in which the pawn tickets were found had been left in his charge by a friend who had gone to Ningpo, as security for a loan of thirty dollars, which he (the Mandarin) had borrowed from a Chinese teacher employed at the Club.  This man was immediately fetched, and denied having lent the Mandarin any money, but recognised him as an old friend he had not seen for a long time.

   The case was heard at the Mixed Court before the Chinese Magistrate Chen, and Mr. Davenport, and the foregoing facts were deposed to, but a decision was not given.  The accused was detained in the yamen, but complaining of sickness he was sent into the City and taken before the Chehsien.  There, he again denied the offences brought against him, and alleged that the stolen property must have  been put into his boxes at the Louza Police Station, to make a charge against him.

   Then lodging-house keeper, in a letter to a friend, states that the Chehsien told him the accused was not a thief but an honest man, that he had brought a false charge against him, and that five days would be allowed him tom produce the owners of the skin and silk jackets who had given evidence at the Mixed Court. 

   Then lodging-house keeper pleaded that it was impossible to produce the men on so short notice, as one of them had gone to Hoochow and the other to Wenchow, but the Chehsien declined to grant him longer.  Before the five days expired, the Yemen runners prevailed upon the lodging-house keeper to go again into the City, and after he had treated them to tea and opium shops he was taken before the Chehsien and accused of bringing a false charge, and was asked to sign a document admitting that such was the case.  This he refused to do, whereupon the Chehsien ordered him to be beaten - sixty blows on the thighs and forty on the face.  He still refused to sign the document, pleading it would be signing what was untrue.  He was then cast into the yamen prison, where he still remains.  His wife and friends have petitioned the Mixed Court Magistrate to intercede on his behalf.  The officials there could tender them little consolation, repeating the oft told story that they had no power to interfere in matters in the city, although the offence was committed in the English Settlement and investigated by the English Police.

 

Source: The North China Herald, 19 October 1876

MISCELLANEOUS

AN INSTANCE OF CHINESE JUSTICE

   Our readers will not have forgotten the case we reported last week, in which a Mandarin who was committed for trial at the Mixed Court for theft from a Lodging House; was removed into the City; recognised by the Hsien as the son of an old friend and thereupon acquitted, and placed in the position of complainant.  The Lodging House keeper was taken into the city, required to sign a document admitting that he had brought a false charge, and cruelly beaten when he refused to do so.  Still refusing to sign, he was cast into prison, where he remains. - The prosecutor's wife appealed to the Mixed Court, but could get no consolation.  What power could it have to interfere with the proceedings of the superior Magistrate? - Yesterday morning, the woman again appeared at the Court, and reported that her husband had again been beaten on the face for trying to poison himself with opium.  His reason for doing this was that the Hsien had threatened to beat him again, unless he produced two witnesses (now in other provinces) within five days, and also paid the accused mandarin $40, which the latter now claims for the first time, on some ground unknown.  - It is, we can understand, difficult for the Assessor of the Mixed Court to interfere in a matter where only Chinese are concerned; but really the iniquity of the case calls form some remonstrance, and we trust that the fact of the man being a resident in the British Concession may be in some way found to furnish it. 

   Was he arrested on a proper warrant, or cast into jail after having been persuaded, only, to visit the yamen? Here is a man torn from his home, beaten, and squeezed, because he has accused a man of being a thief, who happens to be also a friend oven the magistrate.

 

Source: The North China Herald, 26 October 1876

MIXED COURT.

Shanghai, Oct. 24th

Oct. 25th.

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

Persecution by the Chehsien.

   The wife of the unfortunate lodging-house keeper, who is imprisoned in the Chehsien's yamen in the City, because he prosecuted a petty mandarin for robbing his house in this Settlement, again attended the Court this morning, and presented a petition, praying the Magistrate to take steps to procure the liberation of her husband from his unjust incarceration.  Then poor woman, who had her little child with her, knelt in the usual suppliant manner, and timidly offered the paper, which was taken from her by one of the runners and laid before the Magistrate, who, having scanned it over, put it aside without saying a word, and proceeded to other business.  In a few minutes, however, his attention was again called to the case, but his disinclination to interfere in it was plainly evident. - It was stated to the Court that the Mandarin against whom the charge of theft preferred by the poor man was clearly proved, had recently informed the Chehsien that, while staying at the lodging house, he lent the proprietor $40, which had not been repaid, thereby insinuating that that was the reason why the charge of theft had been brought against him! It was further ascertained that the Chehsien sent for his prisoner, and asked him if he was prepared to pay the money, to which a negative reply was given as it had not been borrowed.  The unhappy man was then sent back to the cell.

   Mr. DAVENPORT asked how much money had been paid by the prisoner to the Chehsien's amen runners already?

   The Wife, through an interpreter, replied "$20, and that it was for so-called expenses.

   Mr. DAVENPORT next asked if she had been to the Chehsien's Yamen herself, or had she presented a petition to him on behalf of her husband?

   The Wife said she went to the yamen, and saw her husband in the cell, but had not seen the Chehsien nor sent a petition to him, because she was afraid.

   Mr. DAVENPORT asked why she was afraid?

   The Wife said she was told she could not see the Chehsien personally, unless her petition was written by the Yamen runners; and further, that she must be introduced by the runners, so she was afraid to go.

   It was also stated that the husband was confined in a common cell, in which were a number of ragged and dirty thieves, &c., just inside the Yamen gate, that he was not chained, and that he had been provided by his wife with warm clothing and bedding.  He, however, had to purchase his own food.

   The Magistrate took no notice of this investigation, nor did he say a word to the wife from first to last.  Mr. Davenport, however, took a note of the replied given to his questions. [See also Editorial comment, 'The Mixed Court,' on this date, below.][Further editorial comment, 28 December 1876, when lodging-house keeper was still imprisoned.]

 

Source: The North China Herald, 2 November 1876

SUMMARY OF NEWS. (p. 2)

We understand that Chen, the present magistrate of the Mixed Court, was resigned his appointment and will retire at the end of the year.  It is hardly surprising that he should be weary of the work; between Consular pressure on the one hand and City resistance on the other, his berth cannot have been altogether one of roses, and we trust that some influence will be exerted at Peking to get him an easier post for his old age.

 

Source: The North China Herald, 2 November 1876

THE MIXED COURT.

WE had also most begun to think, from some recent cases which have occurred here, that the Mixed Court magistrate was bent on specially verifying the remark in the new Convention that, "either from lack of power or dread of unpopularity, he consistently fails to enforce his judgments."  In the case of the Lodging-house-keeper who was taken out of his jurisdiction without form of warrant, and cruelly and cynically imprisoned without form of trial, he sat dumb while the wife petitioned for aid and justice; and in a case of which details are given on another page, he allowed a petty gun=boat mandarin to override his authority in his own Court, and appeared rather intent on conciliating his goodwill than on maintaining the dignity of his office.

   Bur we are glad to hear that, in the former case at least, his official proceedings have contradicted his outward behaviour.  Chen has, if we are rightly informed, protested vigorously against the injustice wrought by the Chehsien; and as we have no doubt that a remonstrance has been addressed by the British Consul to the Taotai, against so gross an infraction of justice and attaint upon the position of the Mixed Court, we trust that right may be ere long vindicated.

   While however, giving Chen every credit for the attitude which we are told he maintains in the case of the Lodging-house-keeper, we cannot but blame his weakness in the other instance we have quoted.  We know what a faculty Chinese officials possess for making uncomfortable any subordinates who oppose their fancies; but a Magistrate is not altogether powerless to resist interference.  The popular voice has some weight, in favour or disfavour, even in China; and Chen has the exceptional advantage of being able to lean on foreign support.  In the gunboat case, for instance, he could have perfectly protected himself, by affirming the necessity of carrying out a sentence which had been passed conjointly with the British Vice-Consul.  Such a course would have been consistent with justice and with the dignity of the Court; but Chen seemed more intent on pleasing a petty mandarin than on performing the duties of his office.

   Here was really a case of gross wrong.  For simply asking to be paid what he had earned, a sampan man is taken on board a gunboat, strung up and maltreated; the ting leader is arrested and brought into Court, and sentenced to the very moderate punishment of 100 blows.  His commander appears, and first tries to rescue him on the plea that he shall be punished on board; and then insists on having him flogged by one of his own people with his own rod.  Now both these pleas might ne perfectly good in the case of a foreign ship; we sae, the other day, how sailors of the German corvette Nautilus were given up to their commander, in Hongkong; but then we can rely that they will be punished; while we may be equally sure that the gunboat Mandarin would have been more likely to flog the sampan man than his own sailor.  Chen, however, supports him energetically in both requests, and still supports him instead of protesting, when the pantomime of flogging is gone through with scarcely a pretence of striking s blow. We repeat that such am exhibition implies intolerable weakness. They were, after all, only Chinese cases, cases in which foreigners have no concern further than the indirect right we can exercise to protect people whom live within foreign Police jurisdiction.

   They are significant, however, of the failings of Chinese magistrates, and show the need which exists for the stipulation in the new Convention, that some system shall be organised for the better administration of justice where foreigners are concerned.  The same neglect of right, in the face of friendship or influence, which leads to one man's detention in gaol and to the absolution of the other from deserved punishment - too often prompts official to favour their own countryman in cases where foreigners are concerned, and to constitute themselves his advocate instead of his judge, when he is accused before them. [See also "More Chinese Justice," same issue.]

 

Source: The North China Herald, 2 November 1876

MISCELLANEOUS.

MORE CHINESE JUSTICE.

   At the Mixed Court, a few days ago, an incident occurred, curiously illustrative of the perverted view at times taken by Chinese officials with respect to the administration of justice, and also in a measure explaining their seeming inconsistencies.  The leading facts were as follows:

   A small gunboat was moored in the Soochow Creek, opposite the end of the Shanse Road, and remained there for some days to the great obstruction of the navigation.  A sampan-man was frequently employed to bring members of the crew ashore and take them on board again.  Hearing the gunboat was about to leave, the sampan-man went on board and applied for the cash due him for his services, whereupon one of the crew seized him, others followed suit, and all of them beat him severely with their fists, finishing by fastening a chain round his neck, the other end of which was attached to a beam overhead, and locked.  The man of course cried out lustily for help, and the noise being heard on shore, some people informed a native constable of it.  He went on board the gunboat, found the man in the position described, and demanded his release, which after some demur was effected.  One of the crew, who seemed most forward in the affair was asked to go to the Mixed Court to explain matters, but of course refused.  The constable then went ashore, and reported the matter at the Louza Police Station.  Inspector Wilson at once went to the gunboat and persuaded the man alluded to, to go quietly to the Mixed Court. 

   A charge of assault within the Municipal limits was preferred against him, before Chen and Mr. Davenport, when the facts as narrated were proved; and Chen, after some demur, was induced to order the defendant to be punished with 100 blows, to be given at the expiration of the business of the day, in the presence of the Police. 

   The Mandarin commanding the gunboat had in the meantime come into Court, and at once interfering, said that it was not usual to flog gunboat men with the bamboo, but with a sort of cudgel, one of which he caused to be fetched from  his vessel.  Another of the crew brought the instrument, which was seen to be a piece of wood about four feet and as-half long by 2 ½ inches square.  Before the time came for the punishment, Mr. Davenport was called away from the Court by other business, and when the defendant was brought forward for the fulfilment of the sentence, an extraordinary scene was witnessed.  Chen had invited the commander of the gunboat to sit beside him on the judgment seat, when an earnest conversation took place between them.  On seeing the culprit before him, the commander harangued him for some time, Chen remaining quiescent.  The commander then ordered one of the crew to come forward and inflict the punishment, but this was easier ordered than obeyed.  The culprit, objecting to the proceedings altogether, resisted violently, striking out left and right, and it was not until several of the Court runners assisted - one of them receiving a severe blow in the face - that the man was dragged into the open space before the Court, where such punishments are usually carried out.

   The difficulty did not end here, for he continued his struggles, and it required the united efforts of nearly a dozen men to throw him into the position necessary for the operation.  All this while, the commander was shrieking loudly, "Take him out - beat him," and the uproar was tremendous, Chen still remaining quiet, having apparently resigned all authority in the Court for the nonce, to the gunboat commander.  Being at length thrown and placed in position, the man, finding he was not to be stripped, lay quiet, and his shipmate advancing with the cudgel, prepared with great ceremony to administer the blows.  Flourishing it round his head some ten or a dozen times in a formidable manner, he made believe that he was about to inflict a heavy blow, but eventually brought the weapon down with the slightest possible tap, scarcely sufficient to stir the recipient's clothing.  Several other taps were given in the same pantomime manner, and the police then protested against its continuance, telling Chen and the commander that that was not the kind of punishment ordered to be inflicted, and demanding that 200 blows should be given in the customary manner with the bamboo.  Both Chen and the commander objected, and, after considerable argument, during which the culprit lay still, surrounded by a curious crowd, them man with the cudgel waiting for orders to resume, Chen left the dais, and hastening to the part of the Court where the Police officials were standing, in seeming agitation held out hid hands and said something to the effect that they "had been friends for a long time, and why should they quarrel now?"  He was told that the punishment was ordered for an offence committed within Municipal jurisdiction, and could not now be interfered with.  He still persisted in appeasing to them to allow the "punishments" to be inflicted in the manner directed by the gunboat commander.  The officers were, however, inexorable - one of them threatening, if the sentence was not allowed to be carried out properly, to drive to Mr. Davenport and inform him thereof. Chen immediately chin-chinned him, and ask him not to say anything about it!

  He then returned to his seat, seemingly in high dudgeon, and the commander again wanted to direct the infliction of the punishment.  Both he and Chen were then told again that the 200 blows would have to be given in accordance with the sentence, before the police left.  Chen then said he did not understand Mr. Davenport to say so.  He then entered into another long conversation with the commander, and afterwards asked the culprit if he would consent to be flogged with the bamboo in the ordinary manner!  The man of course, objected, but it was at length agreed between Chen and the commander that 50 blows should be administered with the bamboo in the usual way, which of course led to more resistance on the part of the recipient, and the scene of confusion was renewed for some time.

   The fifty blows, or rather "pats," having been given, Chen asked if that would do?  He was told no, and the remaining fifty were then as lightly administered.  During the operation the commander looked on sullenly, and at the end left his seat in haste.  He was as hastily followed by Chen, who overtook him at the side of the Court, and, chin-chinning him rapidly, entered into a brief but animated conversation with him.  The commander then left, followed by his men, including the defendant, who seemed little if any the worse for the bambooing he had just received.

 

Source: The North China Herald, 16 November 1876

THE MIXED COURT.

THE utter inadequacy of the punishments inflicted at the Mixed Court has become the subject of constant comment in the Press, and of remonstrance by the foreign Assessors in the Court itself.  Criminals whom would be imprisoned for a term of years in Europe escape with a few weeks, or a flogging, or a short exposure in the cangue, at the Court in the Maloo.  The Magistrate pleads, we believe with much truth, that he has not power to inflict heavier sentences; and to send the culprits into the city is simply to ensure their early release.  Even the punishments that are inflicted have to be carried out by the Municipal Police.  There is non sufficient gaol room in the maloo, and the Magistrate's only resource is to distribute his sheep among thee various tepaos in the neighbourhood, who, being equally without prison accommodation, can only leave their prisoners to bask in cangues before the door, or at least shut then in a room which offers no real restraint.  Having, moreover, their own business to attend to, they probably delegate charge for a great part of the time to their wives, who have no more effective means than scolding, to hinder a man who inclines to walk away.  Whether there may be a little contrivance in the matter; whether the lady always cares to see the departure of a troublesome guest, and whether Chen cares to hold his deputies too strictly responsible - it would be unprofitable to enquire.  The result, at any rate, is so unsatisfactory that the Police generally undertake the control of prisoners, to ensure that what sentence they do get shall be really enforced.

   It can scarcely be called a satisfactory state of things, however, when a Court cannot be trusted with the execution of its own sentences, and the inadequacy of these sentences still remains.  An endeavour has been lately made to procure by a side wind what could not be obtained inn open procedure.  The plan has been resorted to of remanding criminals; committing them for trial, and omitting to pass orders for a trial.  But what are we to think of the constitution of a Court where such devices are necessary in order to ensure the punishment of criminals brought before it?  In no concern of life is compromise less properly admissible than in the administration of justice, and a system resting on such an unsatisfactory foundation could not fail sooner or later to collapse.  It only needed a difference of opinion between the magistrate and the Assessor, as to the continued remand of a prisoner, to produce a crisis; and this came about a few days ago, amid another such theatrical scene as we described lately in the case of the gunboat mandarin and his follower.

   Chen w anted to release a man who had been caught stealing on the night of the city fire, - an old offender, who had been twice previously before the Court, and had escaped each time with the gentle correction ton which the habitué's of that institution are accustomed.  Mr. Davenport pretested energetically against such a miscarriage of justice, and insisted that the man should be detained in custody.  Chen insisted vehemently on his right as a Chinese magistrate to decide as wrongfully as he chose, and declared that if the prisoner were recommitted he himself would also go to gaol.  In the state of excitement which has more than once caused pain to onlookers, who shrink from seeing justice burlesqued, he even left his seat and presented himself at the bar, begging to be sentenced.  But we have no desire to dwell upon as scene which would have been painful in any case, and was especially so in the case of an old gentleman who is regarded with much kindly feeling, despite the many weaknesses and defects inn his judicial career. Suffice it that the man was eventually surrendered tom him on his formal application to the Consul, and the Chinese right to do wrong thus recognised for the thousand-and-first time.

   But it is to the system that we desire to call attention, rather than to an individual case which seems only to illustrate the rottenness of the Mixed Court as at present organised. The New Convention expressly affirms the unsatisfactory state of affairs, and stipulates that "the Tsung-li Yamen shall write a circular to the Legations, inviting foreign representatives at once to consider, with it, the measures needed for the more effective administration of justice at the ports open ton trade."  The process indicated is a prolonged one, and implies, we fear, that a long time will elapse ere the Court is reformed under its operation.  Two things are, in the meantime, clearly needed - more power on the part of the magistrate, and better gaol accommodation. Could not these be secured as preliminaries?  It has been over and over again urged that the foreign Settlement should be erected into a separate hsien district.  At the least, the magistrate sitting in the Mixed Court should have the full powers of a Che-hsien delegated to him.

 

Source: The North China Herald, 23 November 1876

SUMMARY OF NEWS

We mentioned, a few days ago, that the Taotai was likely to resign his post about Chinese New Year.  The reason is that he applied for leave, which the Governor granted, but at the same time intimated that he would not allow him to return, as he is not satisfied with his actions.  Practically, therefore, it is understood, his departure will be a designation.

 

Source: The North China Herald, 21 December 18786

SUMMARY OF NEWS.

It is gratifying to know that the case of the unfortunate lodging-house keeper, to the hardship of whose treatment we have repeatedly called attention, and who still languishes in the Che-hsien's prison, is not allowed to fall through.  Correspondence is now passing on the subject, and tin is understood that the Taotai has called upon the Che-hsien for a full statement of the circumstances from his side, having been already supplied with the details of the robbery from the premises of the lodging-housekeeper, which has led to such persistent persecution of the latter.  [See also 4 January 1877 below.]

 

Source: The North China Herald, 4 January 1877

CHINESE JUSTICE.

(China Mail.)

   Attention has been directed by our northern contemporaries on several occasions within the last two or three months to one of the most flagrant acts of injustice on the part of the Chehsien at Shanghai that have ever disgraced the officials of the country.

   As long ago as the 29th August last a native lodging house keeper living in the Hankow Road, reported to the police that several felonies had taken place in his dwelling, and that he suspected a man who had been staying with him and who represented himself as a petty Mandarin.  Investigations were made into the case, and on the Mandarin's box being  searched, a candlestick and several other articles, all of which prosecutor had missed, were found, as well as fourteen pawn tickets also relating to property stolen either from the prosecutor or others who came forward and gave evidence against the man.  One of the tickets related to a skin jacket which had been stolen from another lodging-house in which the Mandarin was previously living.  The accused was brought up in the Mixed Court before Mr. Davenport, the British Assessor, and the Chinese Magistrate, hen, and the foregoing facts having been deposed to, he was remanded.  Subsequently, while being detained in the magistrate's yamen, he complained of sickness and was sent into the City, where he was taken before the Chehsien. 

   And here the singular and discreditable part of the story, so far as the administration of justice is concerned, begins.  It seems that the Chehsien recognised in the accused an old friend, the result being that the lodging-house keeper was informed that the thief was an honest man and that a false charge had been brought against him.  Several days afterwards, the prosecutor was inveigled by the Yamen runners to again go into the City, where he was taken before the Chehsien and requested to sign a document stating that he had brought a false charge against the Mandarin.  This the prosecutor refused to do, whereupon the Chehsien ordered him to be beaten.  The unfortunate man accordingly received sixty blows on the face and was then thrown into the Yamen prison, where he has remained until the present time.  twice since then his wife has petitioned the magistrate at the Mixed Court to intercede on behalf of her husband, informing Chen on the second occasion that her husband had again been beaten on the face for trying to poison himself with opium because the Chehsien had threatened to renew the beating unless he paid the mandarin $40, which the latter now alleged he had lent to the prosecutor while staying in his house, and also if he did not produce two of the witnesses within a few days who had given evidence against him, but who were now in other provinces..  About twenty dollars had already been squeezed out of the wife by the runners for so-called expenses.

   The Chinese Magistrate, however, vouchsafed no answer of any kind to either of her petitions; the reports in the News inform us that "he scanned them over and put them aside without saying a word, and proceeded with other business."  It can of course be easily understood that foreign officials would experience some difficulty in interfering in an act of injustice, however flagrant, committed within the City and in which natives only were concerned, still it seems to us that as the unfortunate man was a resident within then limits of the Settlement, and the case was investigated in the first instance at the Mixed Court before a British official, Her majesty's representatives are fully entitled to at least make an earnest and strong remonstrance in the matter.  Apparently something of this kind has been done, although somewhat tardily, for a recent number of out Shanghai contemporary is now passing on the subject, and it is understood that the Taotai has called upon the Chehsien for a full statement of the circumstances from his side, His Excellency having been already supplied with the details of the robberies.

   The lodging-house keeper has now been in prison considerably more than three months; his wife has been reduced to the greatest distress, and the family, from the father downwards are, in fact, entirely ruined.  It is monstrous that in a country making any pretensions to civilisation such a state of things can exist.  The Mandarin, as far as we can see, has nothing to say for himself except insinuating that then lodging-house keeper brought the charge against him falsely because he owed the latter $40, a debt which the unfortunate man says he has never heard of before. If the facts of the case are as stated by our contemporary, and it must not be forgotten that the majority of them were brought out at the Mixed Court, there cannot be a shadow of a doubt as to the guilt of the mandarin, and that a most iniquitous piece of injustice has been inflicted on an inoffensive man.

 

Source: The North China Herald, 18 January 1877

   We hear that the case of the lodging-house keeper is still a source of considerable worry to the Taotai, and of angry contention between his two fiery old subordinates, the Mixed Court and the City Magistrates.  We mentioned some time ago that a despatch had been addressed by Mr. Medhurst to the Taotai on the subject, and that the latter has called upon the Chehsien for a report on the case.  We hear that this document has been sent in, and that in it the Chehsien adheres to his own view of the case, wishes to release Chu Yun-lung (the mandarin lodger) and to "make an example" of Tsai Chun-sang, the unhappy lodging-house keeper who has been the object of persecution.  He affirms the whole case to have been trumped up by the latter because Chu pressed for money which he had previously lent Tsai to get him out of prison for debt; and that the latter placed the articles found in Chu's box, in order to manufacture evidenced against him.  The ridiculous charge moreover is pressed against Tsai, of disobeying the orders of the court by refusing to produce the men whom he alleges were robbed in his house; as if the poor wretch wouldn't be too glad to do so if he could reach them.  The Chehsien knows perfectly well, as we pointed out some time ago, that the men have gone away to their homes in other provinces, far out of Tsai's reach even if he knew their addresses.

   The Taotai has not, we believe, yet ventured an opinion on the matter, and rather dreads the necessity for doing so.  He is believed to appreciate the merits of the case, but to be willing to screen the Chehsien if that can be arranged.

 

Source: The North China Herald, 18 January 1877

MIXED COURT.

Jan. 15th.

[Excerpt]

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and W. D. SPENCE, Esq., British Assessor.

Extensive Robbery of Wearing Apparel.

   A native servant in a lodging house in the Hankow Road was charged with stealing wearing apparel, amounting to the value of $114, the property of a petty mandarin, who had been staying at the house.

   The articles were stolen some time ago, and in the meantime the mandarin had left Shanghai.  Some of the articles have been traced to the possession of the prisoner, who now acknowledged his guilt.

   He was remanded, so that it could be ascertained the actual articles the mandarin had lost.

 

Source: The North China Herald, 1 March 1877

SUMMARY OF NEWS.

   We hear that the unfortunate lodging-house keeper, so long persecuted by the Chehsien, has been released from prison.  He is supposed to have gone to his wife's relatives at Soochow, being himself utterly ruined.

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