Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

Moses v. Percival, 1876

[sale of goods]

Moses v. Percival

Civil Summary Court, Shanghai
Mowat, 14 November 1876
Source: The North China Herald, 16 November 1876




Shanghai, Nov. 14th

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


   Plaintiff, a native tailor, sued to recover $19, on an I.O.U. given by defendant as security for a suit of black clothes.

   Defendant admitted the debt, but said he could not pay it until he received the balance of his wages from the estate of H. A. Payonseck & Co., in the employ of which firm he had been.  His wages were $15 per month, and $30 were now due him.  The clothes were not finally delivered to him till the 2nd of the present month, and he had offered to hand them back to the plaintiff until he could pay for them, but he refused to take them.  Defendant expected to receive his wages on the 15th instant, but plaintiff declined to wait till that date before taking out the summons.  The clothes had only been worn once, at which time they were only slightly tacked together to enable him to go and play in the theatre orchestra.

   His HONOUR said he had seen a list of Payonseck & Co.'s creditors, but defendant's name was not among them.  Why had he not included his claim with the rest?

   Defendant replied, because he thought Mr. Whitlock, the person left in charge, intended taking over the business in another way, and that his claim would have been then settled.

   His HONOUR said he would put defendant on his oath.

   Defendant was accordingly sworn, and said - I have mo money whatever, beyond twenty cents in my pocket.  I have none at home, not have I any property except my clothes. - defendant then reiterated part of his former statement.

   Plaintiff stated that he wanted to take the clothes back, but defendant would not give them up, and told him to go to the Consul.

   Defendant denied this, and said he was willing to give them up now by way of pledge till he could get the money to pay for them. When he offered this to plaintiff before, plaintiff refused to take them, or to wait a few days for payment, insisting on taking out the summons.

   His HONOUR, in giving judgment for plaintiff for the amount claimed, with $3 costs, said it seemed impossible for him to obtain the money until defendant received his wages.  As defendant was willing to give up the clothes in the way he had stated, His Honour would advise plaintiff to take them.

   Plaintiff declined to do so, and asked His Honour to name a time for the money to be paid.

   His HONOUR said he could not do that, - defendant was bound to pay as soon as he obtained the means; if he did not, plaintiff should then apply to the Court.

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