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Colonial Cases

Ferrares, 1880



Spanish Consular Court
19 July 1880
Source: The North China Herald, 20 July 1880



   Yesterday afternoon Saturnino Ferrares was brought up at the Spanish Consulate before Senor Alberto de Garay, Consul for Spain, and Senor A. M. Oliveira, Interpreter, for examination as to the murder of Lorenzo de Rozario on the afternoon of Saturday, the 17th inst.  The prisoner, a Chinese woman with whom he cohabited, and Peter White, gave evidence, which, on the whole, confirmed the statement of the circumstances we publish on another page.  Feliciano Gaan, an assistant of the deceased, stated that he had seen the order issued by Senor de Garay, requesting all unmarried and unemployed Manila men to go to the boarding-house belonging to the deceased.  Rozario had called the prisoner to his house that he might explain the consul's order to him, but he refused to go, saying that neither Rozario nor any Consul could order him to leave the house he was living in.  Witness informed the Consul of the matter, and that gentleman ordered Rozario to take the witness and two other men, Pasquale de la Cruz and Simon Monsanales, to enforce obedience to his orders.  Accordingly witness and the two men named went on Saturday afternoon to remove the prisoner's effects, but the prisoner resisted.  While prisoner was in the house with these men Rozario arrived and ordered witness peremptorily to go in and take the prisoner's goods.  Witness provided to obey the order, when he was pushed or knocked down by the prisoner, and before he got up, he heard Rozario outside begging his assailant not to kill him.  When witness got up, he saw Rozario lying outside stabbed, and he made off as fast as he could to report to the consul.   The evidence of the two companions of this witness was to the same effect.

   The prisoner's account of the affair was the same as he had given before.  He said that when he received the blow in the face from the deceased he "became blind," and did not know what he was doping.  He did not recollect anyone interfering with him at all.  The prisoner was removed in custody at half-past three.

   The evidence, and that part of it which tended to show premeditation, was sufficiently clear to convince the Consul that it was a case of wilful murder.  The prisoner will therefore be sent to Manila.  Under the Spanish law, the penalty for the deed is death, or, if extenuating circumstances exist, imprisonment for life; but no such circumstances, in the opinion of the consul, shown in any part of the evidence given.



Source: The North China Herald, 31 August 1880


   Saturnino Ferrares, who murdered Lorenzo de Rosario, the marshal of the Spanish Consulate, in a house in Hongkew on the 17th of July last, made a savage attack on Thursday night on Sergeant Skinner at the Hongkew Police Station, where he has been confined since the above-mentioned occurrence.

   It seems that the prisoner was making a great noise in his cell, shaking the door violently, and otherwise disturbing everyone near him.  Sergeant Skinner went to remonstrate with him, and as soon as he entered the cell, Ferrares attacked him with a tin cup which he used for tea, and struck him violently on the head with it, knocking him down. A struggle then ensued, in which the prisoner, being a more powerful man, had the advantage.  A Chinese constable, who was at the barrier of the enclosure leading to the cell, ran into the station and procured assistance. When Sergeant Jones arrived, Ferrares had Sergeant Skinner down on the floor of the cell, kneeling on his chest, and trying to throttle him with his g=hands. 

   The Sergeant's injuries are very severe.  He has six cuts on the face, and two more on the top of his head, his face is badly bitten in two places, a piece of flesh being bitten out on one of them.  His collar-bone is broken, and several of his fingers are bitten to the bone.  No provocation was given for such a violent assault.

   Sergeant Skinner was the officer who had had most to do with the prisoner during his confinement, and would probably have been selected to accompany him to Manila in the course of a week or two.  It was only on the previous evening that he had been speaking favourably of Ferrares, and saying that he never had much trouble with him. The injured officer was removed to the Hospital, and yesterday afternoon, on making inquiries, we were informed that he was progressing favourably.

   After this savage attack on Sergeant Skinner the Police deemed it advisable to put leg-irons ion the prisoner's ankles. These irons were connected by a chain about eighteen inches in length.  In order to prevent the prisoner making an attack on any other officer entering the cell a long chain was fastened to the one connecting his anklets, and secured outside the cell through the bars of the window.  The prisoner was heard moving about in his cell on Saturday evening at seven o'clock, but at a quarter past seven it was discovered that he had committed suicide by hanging.  He had coiled the long chain just spoken of three times round his neck, and had also passed it two or three times round his left leg so as to bind it up with the knee bent.  It is thought that he climbed up to the sill of the window and dropped down from there.  The features of the deceased did not exhibit signs of pain.


Source: The North China Herald, 4 November 1880


   Sergeant Skinner, who was so badly wounded and bitten on the 27th August last by the Manila man, Saturnino Ferrares, has had to submit to the operation of having one of his fingers amputated.  The finger was bitten to the bone during the scuffle, and was found to be poisoned.

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