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Colonial Cases

MacDonald v. Jones, 1876


MacDonald v. Jones

Civil Summary Court, Shanghai
Mowat, May 1876
Source: The North China Herald, 6 May 1876




Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


   Plaintiff, a pilot, represented in Court by Mr. G. Darke, sued Capt. Hones. Of the steamship Antenor, to recover Tls. 72, pilotage of that ship from the Saddles to Shanghai, on the 24th July.

   Defendant admitted that he employed Macdonald to pilot the ship, but said he refused to pay him because unthread of laying her alongside the wharf in the usual manner, he caused her to collide with the French mail steamer Meikong, doing a great deal of damage to both vessels.  It would cost at least £70 to repair the Antenor, but the expense of repairing the Meikong was not yet known, she being in the hands of Messrs. Farnham & Co.  The case had been investigated by the Harbour Master, whose decision (produced in writing) was that the accident was occasioned through the plaintiff's neglect in not taking ordinary precautions when approaching the wharfs, and that he was therefore not entitled to be paid his fee.

   Mr. Darke produced an order for payment of the fee, signed by Captain Jones, and given by him to MacDonald when the latter left the ship after the collision.

   Captain JONES admitted that he gave the order to Macdonald, but said that when he did so he had no idea the injury done to the ship was so great.

   His HONOUR said that Macdonald having failed to perform the contract, which was to pilot the ship from the Saddles to the wharf in safety, he could not recover.  It would be another thin g if the accident was not due to any fault of his - but that His Honour thought, from what had been stated, was not likely to be made out.  He would go in to the circumstances of the collision, if Mr. Darke thought it would be any use.  For himself he could not at present see how any on e but the plaintiff was to blame, and that was the opinion the Harbour-master had formed.

   Mr. DARKE after the expression of the Court's opinion, did not press the case, and

   His HONOUR entered judgment for the defendant.

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