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Colonial Cases

Mixed Court Shanghai, 1878

The North China Herald, 3 January 1878

MIXED COURT.

Return of Civil Cases heard before CHEN, the Mixed Court Magistrate, and Mr. GARDNER, H.B.M. Acting Vice-Consul, as Assessor, from the 1st July to 31st December, 1877.

Cause No. 310. - Habbibhoy and others v. Jerdein and Co.'s compradore.  Claim for Tls. 2,000.  Judgment for defendant.

311. - Kingsmill v. Cheu A-sze, encroachment on land.  This was a cross-action, and both parties agreed to abide by Mixed Court decision.  The boundaries of the land in dispute were laid down by Messrs. Chen and Gardner.

312. - Bannerman v. Chu.  This was a claim for $33 on a horse dealing transaction.  Judgment, $6.00, to plaintiff.  Money paid.

313. - Riivington v. Chang. Claim $10, damage done by running into carriage.  Plaintiff did not appear.  Judgment was given for defendant.

314. - Iveson and Co. v. Mo and Sze.  Claim $96.  Property of defendants sequestrated, and the rent of the property collected by Court and handed to plaintiff.

315. - Sassoon v. T. Claim $2,994.82.  After many hearings, Messrs. Sassoon & Co. withdrew their claim.

316. - Sze Kai-ka v. Mo Ping-yuan.  A complicated question of accounts, not yet adjudicated.

317. -Henderson v. Chang.  Claim Tls. 440. Defendant absconded, property in the Settlement of about Tls. 300 value, seized and handed to plaintiff.

318. Yuan-chui and others v. Kwo Yen-chi.  Claim $2,400.  The defendant was compradore to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., and Mr. Gardner only sat on this case at the urgent request of the Chinese Magistrate.  Judgment for plaintiffs for $961.  Money paid.

319. - Union Insurance v. le and Lo.  Claim $1,800.  Judgment for plaintiffs $1,800.  After defendants had paid Tls. 1,150, plaintiff requested proceedings might be stopped.

320. - Fogg & Co. and others v. Yue Hang.  Claim Tls. 861.  Defendant absconded, his property in the Settlement was seized and realized, and the whole Tls. 861 paid.

321. - Provand v. Hsu.  Claim Tls. 20.  This case was brought upon public grounds.  Judgment for plaintiff, who at once gave the money to the poor in Shantung.  Money, Tls. 20 paid.

322. - Adamson, Bell and Co., v. Tung Ping-kee.  Action for specific performance.  Arranged out of Court

323. - Gillman & Co. v. Ting Ping-tsai.  Claim Tls. 1,448.48.  This case deserves special attention.  During 1876, Messrs. Gillman & Co. purchased of a Chinese Silk dealer named Ting Ping-tsai 950 odd bales of Silk, and advanced money on some 150 bales more, which Ting Ping-tsai consigned to them to be sold in Europe on his account.  Unfortunately, the market in Europe was so slow that the prices realized did not cover the advances.  The first account sales to hand were of 9 bales of the consigned Silk, and shewed that these bales had realized Tls. 1,448.48 less than the advance made on then.  Gillman & Co. brought an action to recover the difference.  This action was heard in the first instance before Messrs. Spence and Chen, and judgment given for the plaintiffs.  The defendant having refused to conform to judgment, the case was, by order of H.M. Consul and the Taotai, re-heard before Messrs. Gardner and Chen, who sat on it for over twenty sittings.  Finally, each officer drew out independently his view of the case which entirely concurred; these documents were submitted to the Taotai, who expressed his full concurrence in them.  The views of the magistrate were then pronounced as the decision, and to them were attached the views of the Assessor as remarks.  Since, the defendant has neither conformed to judgment nor lodged a notice of appeal, and nothing whatever has been done in the way of executing the judgment.

324. - Cowie v. Lu-cheang.  Claim $21.00.  Judgment for $18.  Money paid.

325. - Au v. C.T.S. N. Co. Claim $80.00.  Judgment for $50.  Money paid.

326. - Jardine, Matheson & Co. v. Tipao, of Pootung.  Action of tort.  Judgment for defendant.

327. - Butterfield and Swire v. Yang-tye.  Action of discovery.  Discovery granted.

328. - Miller v. Yue-hang.  Claim Tls. 100.  Judgment for Tls. 100.  Tls. 654 paid, the rest in course of recovery.

329. - Provand v. Liu Yung-cheng.  Claim Tls. 135.  Settled out of Court.

330. - Gilmour v. Sze Yuan-chang.  Claim Tls. 1,800.  Judgment, Sze Yuan-chang to pay Tls. 1,000 margin and balance, when account sales arrive.  In lieu of Tls. 1,000, security for whole amount accepted.  Sze Yuan-chang had paid Tls. 1,000, and expresses himself willing to pay the rest subject to small items of account which he disputes.

331. Kingsmill v.; Chang.  Dispute of right of way.  Both parties accepted arbitration of Court.  Judgment, Mr. Kingsmill to pay Tls. 168.  Money paid.

332. - Hsu v. Ping.  Defendant absconded, case pending.

333. - Miller v. Ping.  Defendant absconded, case pending.

334. - Wang v. Chi.  Claim Tls. 75.  Case settled out of Court.

335. - Hall & Holtz v. Tung-fa.  Claim $116.  Judgment for $116.  After payment of $20, defendant died; the heirs seized the property.  And as there is in China no judicial administration of the effects of the deceased, Messrs. Hall and Holtz lost the balance due them.  An attempt was made to follow the assets, but without success.

336. - N=Bidwell v. Chang.  Claim $65.  There was a cross-action pending in the Supreme Court.  Mr. Bidwell consented to abide by the decision of Mixed Court, and Chang agreed to withdraw his summons in the Supreme Court.  Judgment, Mr. Bidwell to pay $31.  Money paid.

337. - Simmons v. Chen.  Claim Tls. 46.  Judgment for Tls. 46.  Money paid.

338. - Shaw, Ripleyt & Co. v. Chang Yu-ling.  Claim Tls. 846. (Settled out of Court.)  In this case, apprehending difficulty of obtaining execution of judgments of Mixed Court, plaintiffs accepted considerably less than they were entitled to.]

339.  Bissett & Co. v. Chang-li.  Claim $60. Judgment for $60.  Money paid.

340. - Tau-tze-san v. Fung Shun-lou; Claim $87.  Debtor absconded, goods in Settlement seized.  Judgment for $87.  $87 paid.

341.  Bourjourjee v. Hsu.  Claim Tls. 45.  Settled out of Court for Tls. 37.

342. - Gillman v. Ting Ping-tsai.  Claim Tls. 18,000, loss on a consignment.  Judgment for plaintiffs.  Defendant given leave to appeal within 20 days, on condition of finding security to abide by decision of higher Court.  A month has elapsed, and defendant has done neither.  No pressure whatever had been put upon him to make him pay.

343. - Pao v. Pu.  Claim $198.  Judgment, $50 to be paid down, and $148 by instalments; $50 paid.

344. - Mr. Drummond's servant v. Fu.  Claim $70.  Judgment $28 at once; rest in instalment. $28 paid.

345. - Wharf Co. v. China Consignee. Action for return of cargo wrongly delivered.  Pending.

345  a - Gas Co. v. Hui-fung-yuan.  Claim $16.38.  Judgment for plaintiff.

346. - Taylor v. Tsay-ho-tien.  Claim Tls. 80.  Pending.

347.  Dalieta v. Yiu-wen-ti.  Claim $20.  Judgment for plaintiff.  Money paid.

348. - England v. Heng-chang.  Claim Tls. 104.  This was a cross-action.  Both parties agreed to abide by the decision of the Mixed Court.  Judgment, Heng-chang to pay Tls. 84 to England.  Money paid.

349. - Walker v. Teng-tak-ok.  Tls. 151.  Defendant absconded.  His property within Settlement has been seized and sold by order of Court.  The assets will be divided pro rata among the creditors.

350. - Estrella v. Heng-chang. Claim $116.  Judgment for plaintiff.  Defendant to pay within 25 days.

357. - Mr. Dunman's compradore v. Liu.  Claim Tls. 323. Pending.

 

The North China Herald, 10 January 1878

EDITORIAL SELECTIONS.

THE MIXED COURT.

THE tables which we have lately published., of civil and criminal cases tried during this last half-year before the British Assessor and the Mixed Court Magistrate, form an interesting and useful record, and will probably go to show that the Court is really more useful than it is often given credit for being. At the same time, the list of civil cases would undoubtedly follow the usual rule of statistics, and be misleading, were not other facts taken into consideration.

   In the first place, the cases brought before the Mixed Court do not represent a tenth of the cases of debt by Chinese to British subjects, that actually occur.  A great many of these, as in the case of Shaw, Ripley and Co. v. Chang Yu-ling, are settled out of Court for considerably less than the sum claimed, because it is so very difficult to get a sentence carried out by the Mixed Court even if a satisfactory judgment is obtained.

   Many cases, again, of absconding debtors never come before the Mixed Court at all.  Foreigners don't care to take the trouble - and a great deal of trouble of course it is - to attend day after day before the Mixed Court, unless they know the debtor has assets in the jurisdiction of the Court, which jurisdiction extends only over the few acres comprising the American and British Settlements. A debtor may even have large property in the city, at Hangchow or Woosih, Suchow, Wuhu, Hoochow, &c., and yet no judgment of the Mixed Court, which is legally a Chinese court, is considered valid or attempted to be given effect to by other Chinese Courts.  So that, if the debtor chooses to be dishonest, the firelight creditor had no chance in such circumstances of recovering his money. Of course it would be preferable of foreign creditors were public spirited enough to being up all such claims, as they would materially strengthen the hands of their representatives to get reforms instituted.  In fact, it would be well to have the grievance endured clearly demonstrated.  But it would be unreasonable to expect creditors to take all this trouble for nothing, or rather with no prospect of gain to themselves.  They naturally consider that their officials are paid to look after the public interest, and that they (the creditors) have a right, and in many cases a plain duty, to confine their energies to looking after their individual interests. At the same time it is unquestionable that this abstention for prosecuting claims prevents the marshalling of facts which are much more weighty than bare statements in support of claims for reform and redress.

   As a small debt Court, when the debtors have no influence, the Mixed Court is undoubtedly useful, but as Court to decide legal questions, at present nearly useless; as a real Civil Court for mixed cases, only good in so far that it demonstrates the impossibility of British subjects getting justice from the Chinese.  It remains to be seen how long this state of affairs is to continue, how long before the reform promised in the Chefoo Convention is to be brought about.

   The Court has, however, another aspect than that with which we have so far dealt, and that is in its relation to purely Chinese cases.  As a Court between Chinese and Chinese in the Settlement, it is without question a great improvement on any purely native Court, and goes far to satisfy the aspirations of the native residents.

   We should be sorry to declare that squeezing and bribery are unknown within its precincts; but the Chinese not only tolerate but approve of an amount of corruption that to us seems marvellous.  Purity of administration is, then, a comparative term, and the purity of the Mixed Court certainly shows up well as compared with the irregularities of purely native Courts.   The presence of the well-paid and well-managed Municipal Police ensures an immense superiority in this respect over the Yamen, where the arrests have to be made (or not made) and cases of course can be more or less worked up and influenced by the notoriously corrupt native runners.  The fact of the Mixed Court proceedings being public, and subject to the bracing air of English and native newspaper criticism, is also beneficial, and the presence on the bench of a Foreign Assessor cannot fail to introduce a healthy atmosphere.

   From all these causes combined, it  undoubtedly results that the native residents of this Settlement enjoy a degree of security for their lives and property, quite unknown in any other part of China; and it is no doubt this fact, as well as the presence of a great trade and the consequent demand for labour and variety of minor business, that attracts a large native population, willing and able to pay rents which sound fabulous to occupants of houses in an inland city.

 

The North China Herald, 10 January 1878

MIXED COURT.

Shanghai, 7th Jan.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN and C. T. GARDNER, Esq., British Assessor.

Daring Attempt to Rob a Ship.

   A well-known thief was charged with being concerned with three others (who escaped), in an attempt to rob the ship Titania, on Saturday morning last, while at anchor in the river.  It appeared that the prisoner and his companions took a boat from the shore, and at about three o'clock on the morning named went alongside the Titania.  Their movements were so silent, that they were not heard by the seaman who was on watch.  He had gone into the galley, where there was a fire, and a few minutes afterwards fancying he heard a slight noise at the side of the ship, went out on deck to see what caused it.  He there saw the prisoner standing on the deck, helping to hoist a pig of lead over the bulwark-rail, being assisted by another man who had climbed up the side of the ship, but was hanging on outside the rail.  The watchman ran towards them, whereupon the man outside slipped down into the boat, which the two oarsmen hastily rowed off and got clear.  The prisoner ran along the ship into the forecastle, and was of course captured. - The Magistrate remanded the prisoner, who is a strong healthy-looking man, for six months, in care of the Municipal Police (during which time he is to be kept at work); and at the expiration of the term to be brought up again to be further dealt with.

 

The North China Herald, 10 January 1878

Among the cases which came before the Mixed Court on Monday, was one which looks like a gross attempt to squeeze the owner of a large "tea-house in the Canton Road.  Having resolved, at last, to resist a system of petty squeezing to which he has been subject for a long time, the man was, on the 30th December, dragged out of his house by some runners from the city, on a charge of having been "not a quiet and respectable man, a long time ago.!"  This was a trifle vague; and he was released, on the interference of the Municipal Police, on giving security to appear before the Mixed Court and answer the charge.  He appeared yesterday, and denied the charge.  His accusers did not appear; and the case was again adjourned.  Fuller particulars will be found in our report of the hearing.

 

North China Herald, 31 January 1878

SUMMARY OF NEWS.

   A case recently occurred at the Mixed Court, which had quite a dash of romance about it.  A ruffian, unfortunately not in custody, hired three Tientsin blackguards to effect the forcible abduction of a pretty actress of about 16 years of age.  The thing was arranged in true melodramatic style/.  A carriage was waiting round the corner.  One of the ruffians pretended to be drunk, and knocked against the chair carrying the girl.  A row ensued, the chair was upset, and the girl dragged out of it.  Luckily, among the chair coolies there was a celestial trump who, instead of bolting, stood over his fare and fought the ruffians until the police cane and grabbed them.  The coolie got his head broken badly, and Aspasia's pretty satins and furs got soiled with mud; but the three Tientsin agents of love are the guests of the Municipal Council, and will continue so for two years, during which time they will enjoy, it is hopes, many walks in company with the M.C., roller.  Just now, however, they have no taste for active exercise, and still less inclination for sitting down.

 

North China Herald, 31 January 1878

SUMMARY OF NEWS.

   A case recently occurred at the Mixed Court, which had quite a dash of romance about it.  A ruffian, unfortunately not in custody, hired three Tientsin blackguards to effect the forcible abduction of a pretty actress of about 16 years of age.  The thing was arranged in true melodramatic style.  A carriage was waiting round the corner.  One of the ruffians pretended to be drunk, and knocked against the chair carrying the girl.  A row ensued, the chair was upset, and the girl dragged out of it.  Luckily, among the chair coolies there was a celestial trump who, instead of bolting, stood over his fare and fought the ruffians until the police cane and grabbed them.  The coolie got his head broken badly, and Aspasia's pretty satins and furs got soiled with mud; but the three Tientsin agents of love are the guests of the Municipal Council, and will continue so for two years, during which time they will enjoy, it is hopes, many walks in company with the M.C., roller.  Just now, however, they have no taste for active exercise, and still less inclination for sitting down.

 

The North China Herald, 31 January 1878

MIXED COURT.

Shanghai, 24th Jan.

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

A Dishonest Shroff.

   Mr. Wash Norton charged one of the Chinese money-takers employed by him at the Lyceum with embezzling the sum of $8.  The prisoner, who was also shroff at an hotel, was stationed at the gallery pay-box, where P.C. Romer (20) was also stationed.  The prisoner asked the Policeman if it was the first time he had been on that duty, and on being answered in the affirmative, offered to suppress some of the tickets and divide the money.  Romer appeared to consent; but immediately sent for Mr. Norton, and informed him of the prisoner's dishonesty.  Mr. Norton thereupon marked eight tickets, and sent them to the prisoner for sale at the gallery.  Sometime afterwards, the prisoner handed $4 to Romer, saying he had sold the tickets, and had kept $4 for himself.  Romer put the $4 into his pocket, and gave them to Mr. Norton.

   On counting up the tickets that had passed through prisoner's hands, he retuned the eight marked ones as unsold, and was then given into custody. - Upon proof of these facts, the Magistrate sentenced the prisoner to two months' imprisonment. - Mr. Norton, however, said he did not wish the prisoner to be punished severely, but had brought him up as a warning to others of his class who were entrusted at times with property to large amounts. - The Magistrate at first demurred to reduce the sentence, but ultimately, at Mr. Norton's repeated intercession, consented to release the prisoner at the commencement of the Chinese New Year.

 

The North China Herald, 25 May 1878

MIXED  COURT.

Shanghai, 17th May.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and C. F. R. ALLEN, Esq. British Assessor.

Fatal Carriage Accident.

   A mafoo in the employ of a livery stable keeper, in Hongkew, was brought up under the following circumstances:-  Mr. Stripling stated that on Sunday last, Captain Garson, of the steamer Glenearn, engaged a trap from the prisoner's employer.  Prisoner was the deriver, and in the evening he was going along the Broadway, Hongkew, at a gentle trot, when the shaft of the carriage struck a man on the side and knocked him down.  The man got up and walked away, apparently not much hurt.  He went home, became much worse, and died in about two hours afterwards.  The Captain had told him (Mr. Stripling) that the Mafoo was driving carefully and steadily at the time, and that he shouted to the deceased to get our of the way, but instead of  doing so he got right in the way. A policeman also saw the accident and said no blame was attributable to the driver.

   Captain Garson, who had to leave the following morning for Hankow, expressed great sorrow and regret for what happened, and kindly left $50 behind to gibe to the widow, who had been fetched from Ningpo.  She had also seen the proprietor of the livery Stables, and has arranged with hymn that he should give her $130.  It was  deemed advisable to being the prisoner before the Court, although he was not to blame in the least for the accident.

   The MAGISTRATE had no objection to the arrangement whereby the widow was to receive $130 from the owner of the carriage and $50 from captain Garson; but said, as life had been  sacrificed, it was necessary, according to Chinese law, to punish the prisoner in some way; therefore he was ordered to pay the widow a further sum of $3,

20th May.

Impudent Robbery.

    A  well-dressed native was charged with stealing an umbrella from a shop in Hongkew.  He walked into the shop and asked the attendant to give him a light for his pipe.  The attendant went into a back room to obtain the light, whereupon prisoner, taking advantage of his absence, decamped with an umbrella.  He was followed and captured.  At the police station he was searched, and a large meerschaum pipe, evidently the property of some foreigner, was found in his possession.  He pleaded guilty to stealing the umbrella and the pipe also, but gave three different accounts as to where he obtained the latter from.  First, he said he stole it from the Ta-koo hong at Chinkiang, then he said he got it from a public-house at Hongkew, and  finally that he stole it from a steamer.  He was  sentenced to two months' imprisonment on each charge, and the pipe remains in the hands of the police to be given to the owner in case he can be found.

Theft from Union Chapel.

   A dirty looking native was charged with stealing two coils of matting from the Union Chapel.  On Sunday morning, shortly before service at the chapel commenced, the chapel-keeper was about to put the matting  down and opened the door for that purpose.  He went away for a few minutes, and prisoner then entered the chapel and ran off with the matting.  He was detected and handed over to the Police.  He admitted the offence, and was ordered to be cangued for three weeks.

 

The North China Herald, 1 June 1878

MIXED COURT.

Shanghai, 30th May.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and Dr. MACGOWAN, United States assessor.

A Petty Mandarin in Trouble.

   A well-dressed native was charged with shoplifting.  About nine o'clock the previous evening prisoner with a respectably attired companion, visited Aling's store at the corner of the Honan and Foochow Roads.  They were examining some silver-plated articles and jewellery in a glass case, when the shopman noticed prisoner's companion conceal a dozen silver=-plated tea-spoons up his sleeve.  The shopman accused him of the theft but he denied it, and prisoner asserted that his friend was a proper man and would not steal.  Nevertheless, the shopman attempted to search him, when prisoner interfered and his friend ran out of the shop and escaped.  Prisoner was then seen to put down two fancy watchguards, which it is thought it had been his intention to steal, and he was handed over to the police.

   It was subsequently ascertained that he was a petty mandarin, belonging to a Chinese gun-boat; and the magistrate represented that he had no power to deal with him, and sent him into the City.

 

The North China Herald, 15 June 1878

MIXED COURT.

Shanghai, 7th June.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and C. F. R. ALLEN, Esq., British Assessor.

Systematic Frauds.

   Three natives of Honan were brought up in custody charged with defrauding several shopkeepers in the Settlement, under the following circumstances.  One of the prisoners was in the habit of visiting banks and cash shops, and tendering two pieces of sycee for sale.  The pieces of sycee were, according to the usual custom, tested and weighed, and then the shopkeeper would state the amount he would pay for them.  Thereupon the customer disputed the amount and the accuracy of the shopkeeper's scales, suggesting that they should go to another shop and have the sycee re-weighed.  This, of course, the shopkeeper declined to do, and after some hesitation the customer consented to sell, having, in the meantime, changed one of the pieces of sycee for another piece lighter in weight and of an inferior quality.  The system succeeded in many instances both in the city and settlement.  Complaints were made to the Police, and one of the native detectives discovered the whereabouts of the man who had perpetrated the frauds, and also ascertained that he had two accomplices.  The three were living together in a lodging-house on the French Concession, and they were taken together to Louza Police Station.  There they were searched.  A large piece of sycee was found up the sleeve of the principal, and in in boxes conjointly owned by them were found two small pieces of sycee, several pairs of silver bangles and earrings, a gold finger ring, a ball of opium, a large quantity of clothing, and several other miscellaneous articles, all of which were found to have been obtained with the proceeds of their nefarious practices.  Nine separate charges were brought against then, and it was said there were others in the background whom it was not considered necessary to prosecute.  Virtually prisoners had no defence to offer.  The principal was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment, being two months on each charge, and his two accomplices were ordered to be deported.

   Either eight or nine dollars were found in the prisoners' possession, besides the above-mentioned articles, and the magistrate handed six of them to the detective who effected the prisoners' arrest, in recognition of his services.  Shortly afterwards the detective pointed out to the magistrate that four of them were copper dollars; and, in consequence, he begged to return them.

Theft of Gaol Property.

   A native carpenter and three boys, aged respectively twelve, ten and eight years, were charged with stealing wooden railings from the fence round the British gaol; and three other natives were conjointly charged with receiving the same, knowing them to have been stolen.

   Inspector WILSON was passing the gaol when his attention was attracted to one of the boys who was near the railings.  Suspecting that his object was to steal some of the rails, he watched him, and he suddenly ran away.  The Inflector gave chase, and after a long run captured him and took him to the Louza Station.  There the boy acknowledged that he had taken two of the rails away himself, and implicated also the two other boys, who on being sent for implicated the carpenter.  The latter was then arrested, and admitted stealing about 200 of the rails, and explained that he sold them to the other three prisoners for five cash each.  The magistrate sentenced him to a month's cangue and the other three men for receiving the rails to half a month's cangue each.  The boys were punished, and then handed over to their parents, who were cautioned to take better care of them in future.

Damaging Trees.

    A native livery stable-keeper, on the French Concession, was brought up under a warrant, having failed to appear in answer to a summons, charging him with allowing his ponies to damage the trees on the Defence creek.  The evidence showed that the prisoner turned his ponies out to graze on the vacant land adjoining the Creek, no one being in charge of them, the result being that they tore off the bark of the trees and otherwise damaged them, so much so that in some cases the trees had died.  The Magistrate treated the offence as one of a grave nature and imposed a fine of $10. - A mafoo, in foreign employ, was also fined $1 for allowing a pony under his charge to tear the bark off a tree in the same neighbourhood.

 

The North China Herald, 29 June 1878

MIXED COURT.

Shanghai, 22nd June.

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

An Incorrigible Thief.

   A native of Shanghai, was charged with stealing property belonging to a foreigner from his residence opposite the Racquet Court.  The evidence showed that some time ago, vegetables and small articles were often stolen from prosecutor's garden, and ultimately the police watched the place.  Prisoner was affected in the act of stealing vegetables, for which offence he was sentenced to 200 blows and three months' cangue.  While he was thus confined prosecutor missed nothing  from his premises, but on prisoner's release depredations in the garden were again frequent, among the articles stolen being two porcelain flower stands ands two ornamental flower pots.  During the night of the `11th inst., a large gander, goose, ands  duck were carried off, and the police apprehended the prisoner on suspicion of being the offender.  When questioned, he admitted having stolen all the articles prosecutor had missed from his premises, and he was taken to the garden where he described how he got the things without being detected.  He sold the flower stand and pits to a shopkeeper in the Chihli Road, who is now a coolie in a foreign hong; and he sold the gander, goose, and  duck, to a fowl dealer in Smith's market.  Prisoner was sentenced to twelve month's imprisonment' while the receiver of the gander, goose and duck was fined $6, and the receiver of the flower stands and pots was mulcted in the penalty of $3.

24th June.

Before the Chinese Magistrate CHEN, and C. F. R. ALLEN, Esq., British Assessor.

Theft from a Hong.

   During the night of the 14th inst. a box containing between seventy and eighty sample dollars was stolen from the front office of one of the large hongs on the Bund.  The matter was placed in the hands of the Police.  There were no traces that the office had been forcibly entered, ands, in consequence, suspicion fell on the servants.  They were questioned, and all protested their innocence.  One of the coolies explained, however, that he had a friend from the country staying with him the night the robbery was committed, and surrounding circumstances tended to prove that this friend was the thief.  He lived at a village twenty li up the river.  The ;police discovered his whereabouts, and when questioned he admitted his guilt, and  said that a large number of the dollars were still at his house.  He was detained in custody, and a relative of his in the Settlement was sent to fetch the dollars, and he returned with fifty-four.  Before the magistrate, the thief said he had spent the other dollars in buying bangles for his wife, and in chow-chow.  He was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment.

Self-accusing Thieves.

   Two wheelbarrow coolies were charged with stealing $100.  They were engaged by a shroff to convey $20,000 from one bank to another.  The dollars were in four boxes, each containing $5,000.  One of the boxes was not securely fastened, and the shroff, knowing this, said it was his intention not to allow it to go our of his sight.  But he was called away, and when he returned he noticed the faces of the coolies were not "all same as before, they looked as if they makee steal something."  He said nothing at the time, but on arriving at his destination, he had the dollars counted before paying the coolies.  One hundred were found to be missing, and on examination he found them in one of the barrows, where the coolie generally keeps his cash, but both coolies admitted being implicated in the robbery.  One of them was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, and the other to six months' imprisonment.

A Misfortune of Deformity.

   A jinrikisha man, with a hump on his back, was charged with stealing a small satchel containing g $24, belonging to a Canton woman.  Prosecutrix and her daughter, an intelligent girl of about ten years old, got into prisoner's jinrikisha in Hongkew, and on getting out in the French Concession left the satchel in the jinrikisha, and it was not returned to the police.  Prosectutrix herself thought she could not identify the jinrikisha man, but her daughter described him minutely, and there being only two jinrikisha men in the Settlement with humped backs, the detectives soon found him.  He admitted having got the satchel and money, and had only spent half a dollar.  The magistrate took a lenient view of his case, and only sentenced him to two months' imprisonment.

 

The North China Herald, 14 September 1878

SUMMARY OF NEWS.

   The inspector of Markets, in his August Report, presented to the Municipal Council at their meeting held on the 9th inst., explained that several dealers had been fined at the Mixed Court for selling pheasants during the close season, and pointed out that the Assessor had informed him that in future the Magistrate would not inflict any fines for the offence, as he considered that those foreigners who bought game out of season were more to blame than the natives who sold it.  It was decided that next year the open season should commence on the 1st September, instead of on the 1st October as heretofore.  It cannot be said that the Magistrate's remarks are uncalled for, but all true sportsmen will regret the necessity for such a resolution as the Council have passed.

 

The North China Herald, 21 September 1878

17th Sept.

Alleged Torture.

   The COURT recently found an accused Chinaman guilty of stealing money on the occasion of the late fire at Hongkew.  The accused complained that the confession on which he was mainly convicted was wrung  from him by torture by a native-policeman, but the police satisfied the Court that the charge was false; but as the Shen-Pao has called attention to the case and states that the complaint of the prisoner was well founded, the Court ordered a re-hearing and a new trial of the case for to-morrow (Thursday).

19th Sept.

Alleged Torture.

    The Chinese detective, who, according to the Shen-Pao's report of a recent trial, had obtained evidence from an accused through torture, was confronted with the accused person, who merely affirmed that torture was threatened by the detective, but he could adduce no evidence to that effect; and moreover, as all that he communicated to the detective, he had already made known to the foreign police, the detective was exonerated from blame; and the reporter of the ShenPao, who was present, was cautioned not to furnish to his employers false statements against the police.

 

The North China Herald, 3 October 1878

MIXED COURT.

Shanghai, 24th Sept.

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

The Family Relation.

   An opium-smoking gambler was summoned to answer then charge of attempting the forcible abduction, with the aid of several friends, of his spouse from the residence of a foreigner, where she was engaged as amah.  He held that she was his property, he had a right to seize her wherever she might be found.  According to Chinese law the woman, being his wife, was his absolute property; but according to treaty he would not on his own motion enter a foreigner's house even to seize his wife.  The matter was settled by the husband giving security that he would not repeat the offence, and by the wife allowing him $2 per month out of her $12 per mensem salary.

   Two  middle-aged men, has a sexagenarian dragged up by the queue, from whom they demanded several hundred taels, the old fellow having had their mother for several years as servant.  Before the matter could be well gone into, it was found necessary to summon the dame, and as the Foreign Assessor saw that the case was likely to lead him beyond his ,limit, he had it set down for the afternoon session, when his Worship Chen alone occupies the bench.

 

The North China Herald, 21 November 1878

At the Mixed Court, Mr. C. P. Blethen has obtained an order for the sale, at the expiration of fourteen days, of the Martha, a Costa Rica vessel, on account of an unpaid claim of Tls. 22,000  for repairs.

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