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Colonial Cases

Mixed Court, Shanghai, 1877

The North China Herald, 4 January 1877


Shanghai, Dec. 29th.

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

Severe Punishments.

   A thief, charged with petty theft, was sentenced to receive 80 blows; another, charged with stealing a stool, to 100 blows and a month's cangue; and a third, found in possession of 25,000 spurious cash, to 100 blows and three months' cangue, the cash to be nailed to the cangue carried by the prisoner.

Loitering for Supposed Unlawful Purpose.

   Three men, natives of Swatow, Soochow, and Ningpo respectively, were charged with loitering in a public thoroughfare, at three o'clock in the morning.  They said they were trying to make their way to Hongkew Wharf, to try to get employment as coolies. - There being many known thieves and suspicious characters now in the Settlement, the prisoners were remanded for further enquiry.

A Pertinacious Thief.

   A native, from the neighbourhood of Kong-wang, was charged with having been found on the premises of foreigner, for an unlawful purpose, at nine o'clock at night. - It was stated that the same premises had been robbed on several previous occasions, when two water barrels, two goats, and other property were missed. - On the night in question, the prisoner was captured in the garden by a native detective.  It also appeared that he was near the premises about the time the goats were stolen, because he had admitted that he met the watchman looking for them.  His defence to the present charge was that he went into the garden to gather flowers to make medicine for his leg, which was sore. - sentenced to one month's imprisonment.

Stealing Clothing.

   The same prisoner was then charged with stealing three articles of native clothing, one of which he was wearing when arrested.  For this he was sentenced to an additional fortnight's imprisonment.

The late Disturbances on the Railway.

   The hearing of this adjourned case was resumed this morning, the Taotai having deputed CH'AI, the Chehsien's Assistant, to sit with Chen to continue the investigation.

   Feng-feng, the chief accused, and the two other prisoners who had been remanded with him, were again brought up in company with the tepaos of three neighbouring tu (who were considered as having been in a measure responsible for the disturbances), and a man who, it was alleged, was the ringleader in the squeezing of the $21, proved at the former examination.  At that examination it was also asserted that a man named Ku-tsung was the real instigator of the disturbances throughout, with two others whose names were not known. 

   The tepao of the district now said that search for Ku-tsung had been made, but no one of that name lived in his district.

   Feng-feng now changed his story, and in reply to questions, said he did not know who Ku-tsung was.

   The Ningpo man who was among those carried off by Feng-feng's men, recognised the prisoner charged with squeezing as being among those who carried him away.

   CH'AI prolonged the questioning of Feng-feng as to the whereabouts of Ku-tsung for  some time, but failed to elicit anything further from the prisoner; but one of the tepaos said there was a man named Ku-tsung-pin, a school-master, living in 21st tu.

   CH'AI then questioned Feng-feng as to this man, and said that if the man Ku-tsung could be found and proved to have fomented the disturbances, his (Feng-feng's) punishment would be lighter.

   Feng-feng still denied all knowledge of Ku-tsung, and said that Kwe, linguist to the manager of the railway,  promised to find work for six men, and went to Shanghai for that purpose; but when he came back, he said he could not do it, as the foreigners had got all the business in their hands.  The six men were therefore disappointed, and raised the disturbance.  The promise was made eleven days before the disturbances, in an eating-house in the Maloo.

   The man who was charged with having been a ringleader in the squeezing of the $21, was now questioned, and he of course denied all knowledge of it.

   Much time was then occupied in a conversation between Ch'ai, Chen, and Feng-feng, the endeavour being to make the latter confess his complicity in the affair.  The prisoner, however, fenced every question so cleverly that nothing more was elicited from him than at the previous examination.

   Mr. EDDOWES, station-master at the Bar and Creek Stations, was then called, and identified four of the prisoners as having been forward on each occasion that a mob assembled, urging them on.  He could not identify the other three.  The four he identified were Feng-feng, the two original prisoners, and the man accused of squeezing.  Feng-feng's men were working on the line at the time, and he came and took them away.  Then other three led gangs of men from different directions towards the Station, but did not get into the building.

   Another half-hour was then occupied by Ch'ai, in the hope of inducing Feng-feng to acknowledge all he knew of the affair, but to no purpose; and as there were no other witnesses likely to carry the case any further,

   The Court retired to consider its decision.  On returning,

   CHEN said the Taotai had considered the case of so much importance that he had sent his deputy to hear and assist in deciding it.  The case was now over, and as Feng-feng was believed to have been the most guilty, he would be sentenced to two months' imprisonment, and the other two, who did not seem to be so guilty, to one month each.  The three tepaos and the prisoner charged with squeezing would have to find bonds for their proper behaviour and to keep the peace for the future.

   Mr. DAVENPORT said the Court had inflicted light punishments, because it was thought that, when the prisoners committed the offences, they did not intend any injury to life - that they merely put the obstruction on the rails to stop the work.  According to the Chinese law, such an offence was punishable with eighty blows, but he preferred short terms of imprisonment, as being more likely to have the effect of preventing anything of the kind happening again.

The Charge of Throwing Stones at a Foreigner's Boat.

   The charge brought by Mr. Love against some inhabitants of Chang-kia-pang, a village on the Pootung side, of an assault by throwing and mud at him while in his boat on an adjacent creek, was resumed this morning.  The case had been adjourned for the production of the real delinquents, and the tepao now brought forward seven boys, ranging from seven to eleven years of age, whom he said were all he could find.

   Mt. DAVENPORT asked Mr. Love is these boys were anything like those who threw the stones and mud - if he could possibly identify any of them.

   Mr. Love replied that they were about the same size, but he could not pretend to recognise any of them.  There were a great many present on the occasion, not grown boys.

   Dr. BURGE also replied that he could not recognise any of the boys in Court as having been among those whom he saw on the bank of the creek on the day in question.  One boy whom her saw, and was most noisy, was about the age of those now present.

   Mr. DAVENPORT - Do you think there are any bigger boys still kept in the background?

   Mr. Love said he did not think so.

   The proceedings thus far having been interpreted to the magistrate, by Heding, he called the boy pointed to by Dr. Burge forward, and questioned him.

   The boy, in reply, said he wanted to get one of the bottles put of the water, and so did the other boys.  They took pieces of earth to throw into the creek, so as to drive the bottles nearer the shore.  The water splashed into the prosecutor's boat from the throwing, but they did not throw at the foreigners nor at the boat.

   Mr. DAVENPORT - But you (Mr. Love) say that they used abusive language to you?

   Mr. LOVE - Yes, so far as I could understand.  I do not know much Chinese, but I know some of the words, as being applied to foreigners.  The stone-throwing I complain of took place half-an-hour after the bottles were got out of the water - quite that time.  I do not complain of anything that took place while the bottles were being got out of the water.

   HEDING having interpreted this statement,

   The MAGISTRATE  further questioned the boy upon it, but only appeared to receive the same replies as before.

   Mr. DAVENPORT said there was no doubt about the abusive language, because one could not go anywhere in the neighbourhood of Shanghai without being called offensive named - "Yang-kwai-tsze," or "La-le-loong," or similar terms.

   The boy, on being further questioned, said he got one of the bottles out with a bamboo, when the other boys, who also wanted the bottle, threw a shower of mud at him.  The mud went into the creek, but was not intended to hit the boat.  No stones or bricks were thrown.

   Mr. DAVENPORT instructed Heding to tell the Magistrate that he did not want anything in the way of vengeance, nor did he hope to gain anything in the way of reformation of the accused.  All he wanted was that these things should be stopped for the future; and he therefore proposed that the elder boys should receive about ten blows each on the hand, and that the younger ones should be dismissed with a caution.

   The MAGISTRATE, on this being interpreted to him, asked all the boys their ages, and ascertained that two of them were eleven years old; one, tem; two, nine; one, eight; and one, seven.  He then ordered the three elder ones to receive ten blows each on the hand, and dismissed the four younger ones with an admonition.

   The punishment was administered on the spot, with a sort of flat wooden ruler, about a foot long; but the first ten blows were given so lightly by the lictor, as to be in effect no punishment at all.  On being directed, the man struck the other two boys rather more sharply, and the first was ordered to receive a second dose, but neither of the punishments was heavy, and the recipients did not whimper.

   Mr. DAVENPORT then asked the magistrate to tell them that if then kind of conduct were repeated, they would be sent to prison.

   The MAGISTRATE told the delinquents so in loud tones, which were supplemented by several of the lictors repeating the threat.

   With regard to the tepao, seeing that his false statements had been made to, and his bond signed before, the Chehsien, the Court determined that he should be sent to that official to be dealt with.


The North China Herald, 11 January 1877


Shanghai, Jan. 5th

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


   Complainant is master of the opium hulk Wellington, and defendant a chit-coolie employed by him. The charge was one of feloniously opening letters and selling the information therein contained to a rival opium hong, thereby entailing loss to complainant's employers, Messrs. David Sassoon, Sons and Co.

   A number of letters were put in by Mr. Moses, which had been opened, it was asserted, by A-tong, and the copies which he had made of their contents.  He had no doubt the copies found their way to Messrs. E. D. Sassoon & Co., as one of the covers containing particulars of their business was addressed to them.

   HIS A-TONG, examined by Chen, stated - I am a coolie on the opium hulk Wellington, and get $14.00 a month besides my food.  I can write English very well.  I learnt to write it in Hongkong.  (Shewn the copies of the letters.)  These were all made by me, and I sold them to a foreigner for $2.00.  I never did it before, and I never shall again.

   By Mr. SPENCE - I sold the letters to a Parsee broker, Mr. S. K. Mody.

   Mr. MOSES asked the Magistrate to punish the defendant severely, as an example ought to be made.

   The MAGISTRATE enquired if Messrs. D. Sassoon & Co. intended to take proceedings against Mr. Mody, as he thought that though he was going to punish A-tong severely, that did not exculpate the people who were accused of bribing him.

   Mr. MOSES said the matter is under consideration.

   The MAGISTRATE then sentenced the prisoner to 100 blows and three months' cangue.

[It may be fair, in publishing out report of the above case, to reprint the following correspondence which appeared in Saturday's Evening Courier. - ED.]


Shanghai, 6th Jan., 1877.

To the Editor of


   SIR, - With reference to the report which appeared in your issue of last evening, of the case of Sze A-tong at the Mixed Court, I trust that you will allow me through your columns to assure your readers that the statements which appear to have been made by the accused are, so far as they affect myself or Messrs. E. D. Sassoon & Co., wholly untrue.

I am, &c., S. K. MODY.

   We (Courier) have received the following correspondence from Messrs. David Sassoon, Sons & Co., for publication:-

Shanghai, 5th Jan., 1877.

To the Editor of


To S. K. MODY, Esq., Present.

   SIR, - A Chinaman, in the employ of our receiving-ship, the Wellington, named Sze A-tong, brought last night a cover containing a copy of the statistics of our opium and other particulars of our business to the address of Messrs. E. D. Sassoon & Co., and on investigation he stated that you, in consideration of paying him $2 a month, asked him to supply you with such information.  He was tried this morning at the Mixed Court where he also made the above confession, and was sentenced to three months' cangue and one hundred blows.  We wish to know what explanation could you give us on the subject.

We are, &c., DAVID SASSOON, SONS & Co.


Shanghai, 6th Jan., 1877


   GENTLEMEN, - I have received your letter of yesterday's date, and I have also seen a report in the evening paper of what passed at the Mixed Court yesterday.  The statements contained in your letter, and the report so far as they affect Messrs. E. D. Sassoon & Co. and myself, greatly surprise me as they are wholly untrue.

   The Chinaman Sze A-tong is known to me as he had been for a considerable time past (at least two years) employed by Messrs. E. D. Sassoon & Co. to bring to them their letters from river and coastal ports on the arrival of the steamers, and he has at the same time brought to me any such letters addressed to me.  He has also been in the habit of reporting to E. D. Sassoon  & Co. the arrivals and departures of steamers and ships, as  exhibited on the Customs' board, with quantities of opium carried by them and the names of the Consignees.  The information we always believed was obtained  by him at the office of the various Agents.  It was never information which was not open to any one interested.  For this service Messrs. E. D. Sassoon & Co. have from time to time paid him a few dollars, probably on an average of $2 per month, but not payable in any fixed amounts or at any particular times.  I paid him nothing.

   Neither I nor Messrs. Sassoon had any idea that the man was in your exclusive employ.  In fact, so far as I am concerned, I was under the impression that he made his living by doing for various firms what he did for Messrs. E. D. Sassoon & Co., or something of the same kind.

   In conclusion I can only assure you that neither directly nor indirectly was the man employed either by Messrs. E. D. Sassoon or myself to furnish information to which we were not fully entitled, and that the idea of obtaining any information at your expense or to your detriment never entered our heads.

I am, Gentlemen, &c.,  S. K. MODY.


Shanghai, 6th Jan., 1877

Messrs. DAVID SASSOON, SONS & Co.. Present.

   DEAR SIRS, - We have read the accompanying letter addressed to you by Mr. S. K. Mody, and we beg to confirm all that he has stated in it.

We are, dear Sirs, &c., E. D. SASSOON & Co.


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


   Five jinrikisha runners were charged with loitering while playing for fire on the Bund. - They were each sentenced to receive 30 blows, in addition to the confiscation of their license.




The North China Herald, 18 January 1877


 Shanghai, Jan. 12th

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

Stealing Coal.

   A native cargo-boat owner was charged with stealing forty-five piculs of coal, portion of a cargo which he was entrusted to take from the naval Yard to H.B.M.'s corvette Charybdis.

   The evidence was to the effect that the accused's boat, with others, was engaged on the 27th ultimo, to convey coal from the Naval Yard to the Charybdis, and during the night it was alleged the accused took his boat to the south gate of the city, and sold forty-five piculs of the coal for 22, 000 cash.

   The charge was clearly proved, and accused was sentenced to receive 200 blows and to be imprisoned for six months.

   The buyer of the coals was then charged with feloniously receiving them, and he was remanded.

Molesting a Shroff.

   Three persons, belonging to a family named Chow, were charged with assaulting the shroff in the service of Mr. Cowie, and with obstructing him in collecting the rent of a house in Ningpo Road.

   Defendants stated that they were interested in the house in question, and that Tls. 200, the purchase money for it, was still in the hands of the Hsien, and they did not wish to apply for it on account of the squeezes which would be levied.

   There being no evidence to prove the charge of assault, the magistrate cautioned the defendants as to their future conduct, and told them that their Tls. 200 would be obtained by the Court from the Hsien and paid to them.

An Absconding Mafoo.

   Mao A Kwei, formerly head mafoo in the employment of Mr. G. Smith, wine and spirit merchant, Foochow Road, on a charge of absconding and taking with him the wages of other servants under him, was sentenced to receive 100 blows and to pay $13.50, the amount of his defalcations.  He was ordered to be detained in custody until the money was paid.

Jan. 13th.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN and J. HAAS, Esq., Deputy U.S. Assessor.

   A Cantonese was charged with stealing a gold hair-pin, two jade stone earrings, and two gold earrings, amounting in all to the value of $20, from a house in the Canton Road.  A second charge was preferred against him of stealing two gold jade stone earrings from a house in Hankow Road.

   In both cases the prisoner obtained admission to the house by selling floral decorations, and after his departure the articles were missed.  Subsequently it was ascertained that they had been sold by the prisoner to native shop-keepers.

   Sentenced to 200 blows and to be imprisoned for eight months, and at the expiration of his punishment he is to be deported to Canton.

Jan. 15th

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.

Kidnapping a Married Woman.

   A native man and woman, living in a village outside Honked, were charged with kidnapping the wife of a carpenter, who has a workshop in the Kiangse Road.

   The husband of the kidnapped woman stated that about eight months ago they were living together at Pootung.  His wife was out on business when it commenced to rain, and she sought shelter in a house where the defendants were then living.  They pressed her to remain, and she yielded to their entreaties.  Shortly afterwards she was prevailed upon to get into a boat with the defendants, who took her to Kahding, a village up the Soochow Creek, and there sold her for $112.  He (her husband) had seen her there, and she had told him what he now related.  Yesterday he saw the defendants in Hongkew, and gave them into custody.

   Defendants denied all knowledge of the affair; asserted that they never lived at Pootung, and did not know the woman they were charged with kidnapping, or the man who had given evidence against them.

   The Magistrate ordered the prisoners to be handed over to the Hsien, and complainant was instructed to obtain further evidence to substantiate the charge.


The North China Herald, 25 January 1877


Shanghai, Jan. 22nd.

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

House Robbery.

   A native of Ningpo was charged on suspicion with stealing $5 and a pair of gold earrings valued at $6, from a house in the Nanzing Road, Hongkew.  He was sentenced to receive 200 blows.

A successful raid on Gamblers.

   Thirty-seven  gamblers were captured in a raid made by Inspector Stripling and a small force of constables, on Saturday night, on the houses 12 and 13D, Malay Street, Hongkew; together with a number of gambling implements, a few dollars (some of which were counterfeit), and a quantity of cash.   The master of the houses, Chang A-ssu, was sentenced to receive 200 blows and to be imprisoned for six months; Pao-ts'shan, in whose possession some copper dollars were found, to receive 100 blows and one month's  imprisonment; and all the others to one month's imprisonment each.


The North China Herald, 1 February 1877


Shanghai, Jan. 27th.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN and J. HAAS, Esq., Deputy U.S. Assessor.


   Four head men of native gambling houses in Hongkew, who had been captured the previous day, were charged with permitting gambling on their premises.  It was stated that owing to the facilities given by such men as the prisoners, that houseboys and others in the employ of foreigners are enabled to gratify their gambling propensities, frequently to their employer's disadvantage and loss. - The Magistrate, notwithstanding, was about to pass a preposterously lenient sentence, but that was a a matter of course resisted by the Police, and the ground that their efforts to clear the Settlement of such pests would be of little or no avail, unless adequate punishments were inflicted on men of the accuseds' standing. - Chen ultimately passed sentence as follows: On one of the delinquents, a Soochow man, three months' imprisonment and forty blows; another, a Swatow man, three months' imprisonment; and the other two, Canton men, one hundred blows and a month's cangue each.


The North China Herald, 22 February 1877


Shanghai, Feb. 19th.

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

Disorderly Conduct.

   A Chinese cook and coolie were charged by George Ford, with making a disturbance in his hotel in Hongkew.  It seemed that there was some dispute about wages between them and their employer, which culminated in the disturbances in question.  The case came up for hearing a week ago, but as there was no British Assessor sitting, and the holidays intervened, the prisoners were remanded on bail. - On the case being now called on,

   CHEN said that as the Chinese authorities were of opinion that justice had not been done in a case where the present complainant had been brought before H.B.M.'s Supreme Court for murdering a Chinese subject, he (Chen) positively declined to hear any case brought by the present complainant in the Mixed Court.

   This having been interpreted to Ford, he protested against the course taken by the Magistrate, and said he thought it very hard to be so treated, after having stood his trial before a jury.  He also expressed his intention to bring the magistrate's refusal to hear his case before the notice of the British Consul.


The North China Herald, 29 March 1877


Shanghai, March 21st.

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

Pocket Picking in a Railway Carriage.

   CHUN YU-MING, a thief, was charged with stealing from the person of WongYu-foong, a bank shop keeper, on or about the 8th inst., in a railway carriage near Woosung, a Chinese bank order for Tls. 100, $3, and other smaller moneys. - The charge was proved, and prisoner was sentenced to a month's cangue at the Railway Station.

Robbery from a Cargo Boat.

   CHANG MA-LONG, a cargo boatman in the employ of a foreign firm, was charged with stealing a quantity of tea from a boat, their property, on or about the 30th November last. - Sentenced to receive 40 blows with the heavy bamboo, and to be cangued for three months, at the different wharves and jetties along the river side.

March 22nd.

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

Charge of Fraud at the Gas Works.

   TSING LING-KEE (with the alleged aliases of Ling-kee, Sing-kee, Tau-tah, and Hoo-foong), a coal merchant trading in connection with the Yuen-hang hong, was brought up for examination. At the examination of Ping-tso-tsen, the broker employed in the transactions, the Magistrate ordered the present accused to be detained, and he has since been kept in custody at the yamen.

   Mr. WHITEWRIGHT appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. H. BROUGHAM MILLER defended.

   The Assessor asked what line it was intended to take with respect to the present accused?

   Mr. MILLER said there was no charge brought against him yet.

   Mr.  WAINEWRIGHT said he was charged with having delivered less than the quantity of coal to the Gas Works for which he was paid, by the connivance of the foreigner weighing the coal into the works, whereby he and the foreigner benefitted by the short delivery. - The prosecutors now wanted to know whether Ling-kee, or whatever his name was, admitted that he did  deliver the coal short in weight, whether he was paid any more money than for the quantity he actually delivered; and in what way he and the foreigner benefitted thereby.  If the accused would tell the truth on those points, the prosecutors were prepared not to make a case against him, and he (Mr. Wainewright) would like him to be told so now.

   Mr. MILLER said the fact was the prosecutors were going to try to prove nothing.  On the last occasion, the Magistrate said he could not pores the matter further then, because the responsibility rested with the man who weighed the coal at the works, and passed it as true weight.  That was said with respect to the broker, and they had got no further with the present accused, the dealer.  Nothing could be proved, and what was sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander.  He (Mr. Miller) could not understand what they were going to do with the dealer.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT - Oh, yes, you do; you know very well what we are trying to get out.

   Mr. MILLER - All I say is, that the accused is entitled to be plainly charged with something.

   The ASSESSOR =- The accused was before the Court last week, and the Magistrate ordered him into custody.  The Magistrate did not want any charge made against him.

   Mr. MILLER - They did not charge him, and I say it is the most fishing thing, and nothing else.  He is not charged even now.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT - We certainly do charge him with taking money for short delivery of coal - with accepting payment for more coal than he delivered.

   The Magistrate and accused now had a lengthy conversation in Chinese.

   The ASSESSOR interpreted - The accused now denies all he has said before, even to his former statement that Belbin owed him money.  It is evident he has been posted by some one not to say anything now.

   Mr. MILLER (referring to the sheet of figures produced at the investigation of the case against the broker last week, and known as the deficiency list) begged Dr. Yates not to be guided by these figures, which had not been extracted from any book, and were purely imaginary.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT must also beg Dr. Yates not to take the statement just made as a fact.  The figures in the deficiency list were got from the receipts for payment for certain quantities of coal, and from the carbonising book.  They could prove every item, by Mr.  Holmes, whose figures they were taken from.

   JOHN HENRY, a foreman stoker at the Gas Works, on being asked if he knew the present accused, said he had never seen him before.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT (to Dr. Yates) - Will you ask him of he received the receipt n(produced) for $20, from Yuen-hang?

   Henry said he received the receipt from Yuen-hang & Co., of Broadway, Hongkew, and paid nothing for it.  It was, he added, given to him at the request of Belbin.  Belbin made them give it to him.  He actually received it from the broker, Ping-tsoh-tsen.

   Mr. MILLER - Are you a registered British subject?

   Henry - No.

   Mr. MILLER - Then, I shall ask that you shall be put before the Magistrate, who can deal with you also.

   Henry said he was a British subject.

   The ASSESSOR - I have nothing to do with British subjects.  Neither this man, Yuen-hang, or this one, Ling-kee, now give the least evidence against Belbin.  Ling-kee says that Belbin is innocent, that he himself is innocent - that they are all innocent and all very good people together.  He, Ling-kee, also says he delivered all the coal, and if any of it went out of the back door or over the wall, he does not know it.  He delivered all proper weight, and knows nothing more.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT - Has he ever been in the Gas Works, to the coal godown?  There is only one entrance, and it is impossible for coal to be taken out, without being seen by several people.

   Mr. MILLER - But no deficiency has been proved yet.  This is something like the "paper man" - something is alleged to be done, and nobody knows how.  Nothing can be proved against this man.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT (to Dr. Yates) - Will you ask him is he can explain the deficiency of 39 tons out of the 163 tons?

   The ASSESSOR put the question.

   Accused said he know nothing about it.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT - He weighed in what purported to be 163 tons, and they were proved to be 39 short.

   The ASSESSOR - he now says he weighed in 163 tons, and then left the premises; and repeats that if any went out at the back door he knows nothing of it, and is not responsible.  He does not live at the works, and cannot give any information whatever as to how they got out.

   Mr. MILLER objected that the deficiency list did not give the first date of the delivery of coal - it did not give the exact date, for some time elapsed between the delivery and the discovery of the alleged deficiency.  Take the 1st of April, say, as a good date, and that the delivery was not made till June.  There would be nothing to shew that the accused was responsible, or in fact knew anything about it in the interval.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT - But there was no coal in the stack when the first delivery took place, which made it all the easier to trace the deficiency.

   Mr. MILLER - There is nothing to show there was any deficiency at the time to accused delivered the coals at the godown.  He begins in May, and the deficiency is said to be found in June.  However strong it may app=ear against the accused, there is nothing to fix him with a knowledge of the deficiency.  Besides, the figures are not taken from any book, so as to show the commencement of the transactions.

   The ASSESSOR said they did not need to go back to the commencement, but only to the time of the deficiency being first found out.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT did not know what Mr. Miller meant.  A deficiency had been shown, and the paper of figures, called the coal deficiency, showed what was short.  There was, in fact, a column showing each item of deficiency.  But all this was quite immaterial.

   Mr. MILLER. - It is not immaterial, because you have not proved anything against the accused.

   The ASSESSOR - It is immaterial to the case.  What we want is to get some information from the accused.  There is no doubt he has been posted - instructed - to say nothing, and he will stick to it.

   The Assessor and the Magistrate conferred, and the latter again addressed the accused.

   The MAGISTRATE, as interpreted, said the accused was responsible for what appeared on his stamped receipts, but he was unable yet to hold him responsible.  There were two receipts upon which false stamps had been put.  Could they tell him whether those were put on soon after the time that Mr. Holmes was instructed by Mr. Purdon not to buy any more coal from the accused?

   Mr. YEO, on being asked, said he could not answer the question.

   The ASSESSOR asked, with respect to the fourth lot of coal - Could they give any information as to whether that was purchased after Mr. Purdon's instructions not to buy more coal of the accused?

   Mr. YEO said he thought he could say that coal was still bought from the accused after Mr. Purdon had forbidden it, but that it was delivered by the accused in another name.

   The ASSESSOR said since the time Mr. Purdon gave the order not to buy any more coal from Yuen-hang, coal had been purchased from them, and every delivery order had been made different - not one of them being under the true name of the hong.  The accused has said he delivered every order.  Every delivery order was different, and designed to be different.  There was no doubt there was corruption, and that the different delivery orders were designed to cover it; but where that corruption rested, Mr. Miller's client, the broker, should know all about it.

   After some conversation between Counsel and the Assessor,

   PING-TSOH-TSEn, was recalled, and, questioned as to whether he did not sign a certain receipt (produced) in English, "Yuen-hang," said he could not recognise the hand-writing distinctly, because there were two other men in his shop who could write English.

   The signature in question was compared with other signatures made by Ping, and also with the body of the receipt for 420 given to the man Henry, and the letters were found to correspond in every particular.

   Mr. MILLER said there was nothing in that, except that it showed he represented the hong.

   The ASSESSOR - It proves nothing against the accused; but it shows his connection with your former client.

   The Accused, who had at previous times during the hearing addressed the magistrate, again addressed him at some length.

   The ASSESSOR interpreted that he now said Belbin was never implicated in anything wrong; and that he (accused) did not know Holmes at all.  That is all, added the Assessor, we can get out of him.

   The MAGISTRATE spoke again, and was interpreted to say that he was satisfied there had been corruption in the matter, and he was also satisfied that both the coal dealer and the broker were well acquainted with it; but it had not been fixed upon either of them, and therefore he could not hold either of them responsible.  According to Chinese law, however, the accused could be punished for presenting delivery orders in another name than his own; but the magistrate could not arrive at the true state of this affair until he got the "word of mouth" of the other men who were implicated, to prove that the present accused was guilty,  and to hold him responsible for the loss to the Gas Company.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT - The  he will not punish him for the way in which he has rendered his accounts, or anything of that sort<

   Mr. MILLER endeavoured to explain how it arose that coals had been delivered at the gas Works by the accused in a different name to his own.

   The Assessor and Magistrate having again consulted,

   The MAGISTRATE said the evidence against the accused was not sufficient to justify him in holding him responsible for the whole amount of the loss.  He was satisfied of the accused's guilt, and also that the broker was guilty, too; but he could not fix the amount of guilt, till he got other testimony.

   Mr. WAINEWRIGHT - Then what is going to be done with this man?

   Mr. MILLER - You cannot do anything with him; you have proved nothing against him.

   The ASSESSOR said the Magistrate wished to consult with him privately on the matter, after which the decision would be given.  He,. However, did not propose to give the decision today. 

   The accused was ordered to be detained in custody.

Another capture of Gamblers.

   A party of eight gamblers was brought up this morning.  They had been captured the previous afternoon, while endeavouring to escape from a large matshed gambling establishment in the fields at the back of Hongkew.  Numbers, however, escaped, the scouts having given early notice of the approach of the police, who were obliged to attempt the capture by daylight, the place being deserted at night.  Chase was, however, given to the fugitives, and the eight prisoners were captured.  One of them,  said to be the headman, was carrying off the gaming apparatus; and nearly all of them were found to be professional gamblers.  The matsheds were destroyed. - Chen sentenced them as follows, all but the headman being poor men, it was useless inflicting fines:- The headman, to pay $20 and receive 200 blows; three others, 200 blows and a month's cangue each;  two, 100, and one 80 blows, without cangue; and the eighth and last to pay $7.

March 24th.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN and J. HAAS, Esq., Acting Assessor.

Furious Driving.

   A mafoo in the employ of a foreigner was summoned for furiously driving a pony drawing a carriage, in the Peking road, on the evening of the 16th instant, thereby endangering the safety of persons passing.  Complaints of this kind against mafoos have of late become very common, and there appears to be springing up a rivalry among them who shall drive fastest.  Of course this is only done when the vehicles are unoccupied.  Within a short period of time there have been several cases of narrow escape from collision, and in the case now before the Court, two gentlemen were saved from perhaps serious injury by the chance of a wheelbarrow standing by the road, and into which the defendant's pony ran.  The gentlemen shouted to the accused to stop, but he seemed to take no heed, and, but for the barrow, a collision with their carriage would have been inevitable. - The magistrate fined the accused $6.

Unlicensed Jinrikisha Runners.

   A native, more than usually repulsive in person and attire, was charged with plying for hire with a jinrikisha, not being licensed to do so.  He stated that when he took over the vehicle, no license was given him. - The owner was in Court, and stated that the license and vehicle were given to another man, who had transferred both to the accused for a consideration.  This man who was also wretchedly dirty, was questioned, and said he did give over the license with the jinrikisha. - It now appeared that the owner lived in the French Settlement, and he admitted being the owner of three jinrikishas, but was unable to produce a license for either of them.  - It was suggested that the accused must have sold the license to a third person, taking the risk of detection himself, as was now often done. - The Assessor asked how many jinrikisha licenses were issued in the English Settlement, and was answered 1,500. - The Court considered these were far too many. - The number of jinrikisha in question was 2,362, and if the accused could have produced the license for it, he would not have been brought up, although it may not have been issued to him; but by the system of transferring a single license in then manner indicated, the owners might run 20, or any number of jinrikisha.  The owners were in fact, more  blameable than the poor runners, though even among them it was common to sell, steal, or change the licenses, thereby giving a great deal of trouble.

   In the present instance, fortunately, the owner had been brought to Court, and it was seen that he could not produce a license for either of the three jinrikisha he admitted possessing. - Further investigation showed that the accused had been a jinrikisha runner for a year, and was therefore well acquainted with the regulations. - The Magistrate said he believed a license had been passed to the accused, and that he had sold it. - The Assessor said it was necessary that the Municipal Council should adopt some system whereby no jinrikisha should be allowed to be in the streets without being hired - they should all be confined to stands, and not allowed to come off them unless hired.  It was absolutely necessary that some such system should be adopted, for complaints were endless.  Since he had sat in the Court, he must have had at least 300 cases before him, besides those which came up on other days of the week, when he was not there. - It was stated that that plan had been tried, and a man detailed to watch the stands; but no sooner was his back turned than the jinrikisha were all over the streets again.  The Assessor intimated that some such system should be maintained, for the public convenience.  It was suggested that severe punishments would be more effective.  The magistrate, after conferring with the Assessor, ordered the accused to be punished with 30 blows, and fined the owner one dollar.

Charge of Stealing Silver.

   Three men were brought up on suspicion of stealing 410 worth of silver from a refining shop kept by a foreigner. - On the case being called on, the prosecutor did not appear; and one native constable who had warned him, informed the Court that he said he could not come to-day. - It was stated that foreigners bringing charges against natives were too apt to teat the Mixed Court in that way thinking, perhaps, that any day would do where natives were concerned. - There being nobody present to give evidence against the accused, the Magistrate discharged them.


The North China Herald, 12 April 1877


Shanghai, April 9th.

Robbing Jinrikisha Passengers

   Street thieves have latterly taken to a new mode of robbing natives while riding in jinrikishas.  They get behind the vehicle as if for the purpose of assisting the runner by pushing, and suddenly snatch the cap from the head of male passengers, and, in the case of women, their ornamental hair-pins, in most instance these being with gold or silver or silver-gilt.  On Saturday evening two women, riding bin a jinrikisha in the Canton Road, were assailed in this way, the thief succeeding in taking a pin worth 45.  The women raised the alarm, and the thief was stopped by some passers-by after he had run some distance.  In his flight, he was seen to thrown the pin down an alley-way, and it was afterwards recovered.  The captors left the thief in the hands of the two women, and they dragged him to the central Police Station. - The magistrate sentenced him to one month's  imprisonment.

Strange ending of a serious charge.

   A youth, about sixteen years old, was alleged to have committed a rape upon a native child, about eight years of age, in September or October last.  The woman in whose charge the child was, complained to the youth's father and mother, and induced them to consent to betroth the child to him by Chinese custom.  The preliminaries were settled, a table spread, and a good deal of chin-chinning went on between the parties for some months - the parents in addition, as is stated, also giving a bond of $50 to "secure" the arrangement.  At length, however, some disagreement took place, and the youth's father and mother refused to perform their contract or to pay the money.

   This led to further investigation and discovery, and it was then ascertained that the intercourse had been continued.  It also appeared, although not stated clearly, that the youth's father and mother had assaulted the little child by beating her. A charge of rape was at last preferred against the youth, and the case has been several times before the Mixed Court, and adjourned, among other reasons, to permit surgical examination to be made.  This having been done, the case came on for hearing again on Friday last, when Chen refused to accept a certificate from  a foreign surgeon, giving as his reason that, a native midwife having also examined the child and stated there was nothing the matter with her, it was only a case of word against word!  He, however,  consented to  adjourn the case till today, and directed  a re-examination of both the youth and the child to be made by a foreign and native doctor.  This was accordingly carried into effect at a hospital in the Settlement, the result leaving no doubt as to what had taken place.

   On again attending the Court this morning, the case seemed to have resolved itself into one of common assault and breach of contract, the charge of rape being withdrawn.  It had been said that Chen would try the case, but he did not appear, and Chen left it to the parties interested in the child to take the accused into the City, a step they have declined to take.  For the assault, or breach of contract, it did not appear clearly which, the youth's father, being poor and unable to pay any money, was  sentenced to 100 blows, and he himself to 80 on his own account, and 80 on account of the part his mother had taken in the matter.


The North China Herald, 21 April 1877


Shanghai, April 14th.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and J. HAAS, Esq., Assessor.

Charge of Attempted Incendiarism.

   Two youths, tailor's apprentices, one aged seventeen and the other twelve years, were charged, the younger with attempting to set fire to a house in the Shantung road at about 4.30 on Saturday morning last, and the elder with instigating him to the act.  On two former occasions, within the last two months, the same premises were found to be on fire, and the flames were only prevented spreading by timely discovery and the speedy arrival of the police with extincteurs.  A watch was therefore set, and the younger prisoner was discovered on Saturday morning applying fire to some cotton stalks placed against the woodwork in a lower room.  He was immediately apprehended, and on being questioned, said the elder prisoner made him do it, threatening if he did not, to beat him.  He afterwards said they did not like the place where they were obliged to work, a sort of public archway. - The elder prisoner was sentenced to 100 blows with the bamboo, which were, contrary ton usual custom, given on the spot, and to be cangued for a month; the younger prisoner was ordered forty blows on the hand, which were also at once inflicted. - The master of the house is detained in custody at the Mixed Court, but for what reason did not clearly appear.


The North China Herald, 28 April 1877


Shanghai, April 19th.

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

Robbery by a Houseboy.

   A houseboy, lately in the service of Mr. Iburg, was charged with stealing a small box containing $12, and nine other loose dollars.  It appeared that prisoner took advantage of his late master's absence at the concert at the Masonic Hall, on Tuesday night, to go to his residence and commit the robbery. - In defence, he now said he was instigated to it by the cook, who was therefore also taken into custody pending enquiry.  The result was that no complicity on the part of the cook could be shown, and he was accordingly discharged.  Prisoner, who ultimately confessed that he committed the robbery alone, said he threw the box into the defence Creek. - The Magistrate sentenced him to 200 blows and a month's cangue, for stealing the dollars.  If the box was found before the expiration of the month, no further proceedings would be taken, but if not, prisoner would be brought up again.

April 23rd.

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

Stealing Money left in a Jinrikisha.

   Four poor-looking natives, three of them jinrikisha runners, and the other the headman of the house where they all lived, were charged with being concerned in stealing a packet contain $75, which was left in the jinrikisha by the owner, a foreigner, for a few minutes while he went into a store. The robbery took place on the 9th instant, but the actual thief decamped with his booty, and although information was at once given to the Police and search made, he could not be found.  Someday afterwards he was again met in the Settlement and apprehended.  No money was found in his possession; but on being questioned, he admitted stealing the packet and running away with it first to Kong-poo, and afterwards to his home at Paosan-jao, where the other prisoners also lived.  These, he added, seeing he had so much money, made him share it among them, until he had only about $6 or b$7 left, which he had spent. - The thief and headman of the house were each sentenced to receive 200 blows and to be cangued for three months.  If the money is recovered, the latter punishment will be reduced.  The evidence against the other two runners not being conclusive, they were discharged with a caution.


The North China Herald, 12 May 1877


Shanghai, May 8th.

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

Cowardly attack on Females.

   Two natives, formerly houseboys in foreign employ, were charged with being concerned with others not in custody, with assaulting and robbing some Canton woman, in a private house in the Honan road, on the previous night.  It came out in evidence that several women were living in the house, and that it was customary for native servants out of employ to force their way in and compel the woman ton give them tea, &c., the practice not being confined to the house in question, but being generally extended.  The demands of the scoundrels are generally complied with for the sake of quietness; but on the occasion the woman resisted and closed the door.  There were from twelve to twenty of the fellows congregated outside, and they immediately commenced an attack, bursting in the door and entering the house.  They then beat and dragged the woman about with great violence, finishing by robbing them of a pair of gold bangles worth $120, one earring worth $10, and a gold hairpin valued at $7.  One of the women escaped from the house, and gave the alarm at the Central Police Station, the result being that, although the vagabonds had meanwhile decamped, two of them were soon afterwards captured, and the "headman" in the attack marked.  He was known to have been a cook in foreign employ, and was well known to one or two of the woman. - Both prisoners were sentenced to receive 200 blows, and to be imprisoned for a year with hard labour.

   Another case of the same kind was next investigated, the prisoner, who had also been a boy in foreign employ, being charged with stealing a clock and a pipe from a house into which he had gone against the wishes of the occupants, and for the same purpose as the other prisoners.  He denied having stolen the clock, but a pawn ticket relating to the pipe was found upon him. M- Chen sentenced him to receive 200 blows and to be imprisoned for six months, with hard labour.

A Burglar Well Punished.

   A man, who was known to have once been a pirate in Canton waters, was charged with burglary.  A few night s ago he was met coming out of a native house in Hongkew, having in his possession 9,000 cash, which he was found to have stolen.  He surrendered without resistance, and was now sentenced to 300 blows, to be cangued for three months, afterwards to undergo twelve months hard labour, and then to be brought up again to be dealt with.


   The keeper of a gambling house was brought up, charged with permitting gambling on his premises in Hongkew.  He was caught in the act. - Chen sentenced him to 300 blows, and to be imprisoned for twelve months, with hard labour.

Cutting and Wounding.

   A man was charged with cutting and wounding another.  There had been twelve fowls stolen, and the prisoner was charged with, and punished for, receiving them.  He had been liberated from prison only the day before committing the offence he now stood charged with, and it appeared that he met the man who had informed against him, and attacking him with a knife, completely severed the tendon Achilles. - The case was too serious to be dealt with at the Mixed Court, and it was said the punishment for such an offence is banishment to 3,000 li from the place where it was committed.

May 10th.

The Attack upon the Canton Women.

   The cook alluded to in a preceding case, was captured on Wednesday nigh and brought up this morning. The facts alleged against him were precisely similar to those proved against his two companions, and his complicity in the attack on the women being beyond doubt, he was sentenced to receive 200 blows, and to undergo twelve months' imprisonment.


The North China Herald, 19 May 1877


Shanghai, May 17th

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN.

Daring Burglary.

   A native, recognised as having been second cook in foreign employ, was charged with breaking into the residence of another foreigner, on the Bubbling Wells Road, on Tuesday night, and stealing a number of articles of value.  The evidence showed that the prisoner obtained entrance ton the house by breaking a pane of glass in a window, and then lifting the fastening.  He appears to have confined his operations to the lower part of the premises, which he confesses to have entered twice during the night, remaining on the lawn in the meantime, smoking and trampling the flowers.  At each visit he removed several articles, including two clocks, an ivory glove stretcher, a fancy inlaid box, two umbrellas, a small tea-caddy, &c., of the total value of $80.

   Her was arrested Wednesday, on the outskirts of the city, by a Municipal native detective, endeavouring to sell the glove stretcher, and on his person were found the inlaid box and pawn-tickets relating to other of the stolen property.  One of the clocks was found concealed in a grave in the fields, some distance from the scene of the robbery. Chen ordered him to receive 200 blows, which were administered on the spot, and then directed him to be detained in custody, pending enquiry into other robberies which have recently been committed in the same neighbourhood.

Robbery by a Mafoo.

   On the 29th of March last, a mafoo in foreign employ stole the box of another mafoo, containing $32, a note for Tls. 10, and clothing to the value of $21.  Prisoner got clear away at the time and was not seen again until Wednesday last, when he was met in the Settlement by a Municipal native detective and arrested.  In his possession were found pawn-tickets relating to the stolen clothing, and a watch which he admitted having purchased with some of the stolen money. - He was sentenced to receive 200 blows, to be cangued for three months, and then to undergo three months' imprisonment.


The North China Herald, 26 May 1877


Shanghai, May 21st.

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

Kidnapping in the Settlement.

   On Sunday some men seized (in Hongkew) a little native boy, about five years of ager, and putting him into a jinrikisha, told the runner to hurry with him through the English Settlement towards the city, they themselves assisting to propel the vehicle.  An outcry was raised, and numbers of excited people followed shouting.  This of course attracted the attention of the Municipal policeman on duty at the Garden Bridge, who hastened towards to advancing kidnappers.  The jinrikisha runner dropped the shafts of the vehicle and ran away - the others, with the child, were captured.  It being asserted by the accused that the child was not the property of the woman claiming it as hers, but that it had been purchased, the Magistrate adjourned the case for further enquiry.

May 22nd.

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

Plying for Hire without License.

   A native, who was formerly either a mafoo or conductor in the employ of the proprietors of the Railway omnibuses, but was discharged for misappropriating some cash, hired a Chinese four-wheeler and  set himself up in opposition to his former masters, attending at the Station on the arrival and departure of the trains, and trying to get patronage by cutting in before the 'bus drivers and then racing them through the streets - in ignorant but nevertheless true imitation of Western Jehus.  Unluckily for him, however, the latter proceeding attracted the notice of the Police, and enquiry led to the discovery that he was plying without having taken out a license. - Chen fined him 410, and his carriage is impounded until the fine is paid.

Attempted Robbery from an Auction Room.

      A  respectably attired native shopkeeper was charged with attempting to steal two small bottles of vanish   from a foreign auction room, while a s ale was going on.  A coolie in attendance saw accused put the bottles up his sleeve, and then walk away; whereupon he followed, seized him, and took the bottles from him. - A number of influential people, as soon as they heard of accused being in custody, interceded in his behalf, and wished to compromise the matter without going into Court; but there having been several attempts at pilfering from auction rooms recently - in one instance a thief nearly succeeded in getting away with a valuable gold watch - it was determined to make an example of the accused in this case. - These reasons having been explained to the Magistrate, he sentenced accused to be cangued for  seven days at the scene of his offence.

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