Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

Schmidt v. Fuller, 1876

[goods sold and delivered]

Schmidt v. Fuller

Civil Summary Court, Shanghai
Mowat, 21 April 1876
Source: The North China Herald, 22 April 1876




Shanghai, April 21st

Before R. A MOWAT, Esq.


   This was an action to recover $5.50 for goods supplied.

   Plaintiff claimed as the trustee of the estate of C. Minck, insolvent, who formerly had the Oyster and Supper Rooms, at the German Home, Rue du Consulate, and he produced chits signed by the defendant, and showing that he (defendant) had been supplied with oysters to the extent of the claim.

   Defendant admitted the correctness of the chits, but said he had always been led to believe that the oyster rooms belonged to C. B. Barker, and not to C. Minck, and Barker, after deducting the amount of the present claim, was indebted to him to the amount of $18.  He went to the rooms and obtained the oysters as the best means, he thought, of liquidating part of the debt, as Barker had told him that some friends had started him in the business.  He (defendant) produced a copy of the Courier, dated the 14th November, 1874, containing an advertisement in which C. B. Barker begged to inform his old friends and the community generally, that on Monday next, he would open an oyster and supper saloon in the Ruse du Consulat (next to the city of Hambugh Hotel), where by means of favourable arrangements he had been able to make, he proposed to supply these delicacies, and bivalves, served up in the most approved styles; orders for outside would be personally attuned to, and suppers and tiffins would be provided on suitable notice being  given to C, B. Barker.

   An express dated the 14th of November, 1874, was also produced.  It was on the strength of these notices, that he (defendant) believed Barker was the person who had the business of the oyster rooms.  If he had known Minck had had anything to do with the profits of the rooms, he should not have patronised them for his object in getting the oysters was solely to liquidate Barker's indebtedness.

   Plaintiff, in answer to His HONOUR, stated that he was not prepared to dispute the defendant's statement that Barker owned the defendant money.  He had, however, nothing whatever to do with Barker's affairs.  Minck's papers and estate had been placed in his hands and it was his duty to try and realise the chits for the general body of creditors.  He was ignorant of Barker's affairs, all he knew of him being that he was manager for Minck.

   His HONOUR said it was plain that Minck (of he were the real proprietor of the establishment) had allowed Barker to  represent himself as the proprietor, and the defendant was therefore entitled to set off any debt due him by Barker against the plaintiff's claim.  Judgment would be for the defendant.

   The same plaintiff had actions against G. Darke, for $1.50, and C. S. Churton for $6.80, for oysters supplied under similar circumstances.

   Both the defendants deposed that Barker owed them money - Darke $5.50 and Churton upwards of $30, - and believing him to be the proprietor of the oyster rooms, they obtained the oysters to ease odd their debts.

   In each case, judgment was given for the defendants,

   His HONOUR explaining to the plaintiff that as, if the goods were Barker's, the defendants could have set off their claims against him, so they, under the circumstances, could set them off against Minck, who had allowed Barker to put him self forward as proprietor.

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