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Colonial Cases

Minor Cases China 1881

The North China Herald, 13 January 1881



Shanghai, 11th January.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


Civil Suit.

   This was a suit to recover the sum of Tls. 19.50 from the defendants, who are the agents here for the "Glen" line of steamers, on account of an alleged shortness of delivery of cargo in a box received by the plaintiff, a storekeeper living in the French Concession, from the s.s. Glenfalloch, on the 23rd of December last.

   Mr. BRODIE A. CLARKE attended on behalf of the firm.

   GEORGE HARRISON deposed - On the 23rd of December last, I had a parcel receipt for one case of goods by the s.s. Glenfalloch.  On opening the case, I found that part of the goods were missing, for which I now claim Tls. 19.50.  I dent the parcel receipt to the steamer by a messenger on the afternoon of the day referred to.  He returned with a box marked G.S.  This was not the right one, and I sent him back with it.  He came back at 6.15 p.m. with a box marked correctly.  I was in the house when it came, and I observed that it looked as if it had been knocked about; from its appearance I thought it had been tampered with, after my attention had been called to it.  The box is now broken up.  I took off the lid, as that was the easiest way to open the box.  I found a ,lot of packing paper loose on the top, and took out the contents.  There were some empty spaces in the box - as of things had been taken out of it.  I produce the invoice of the goods.  There were missing the goods named in my letter to the defendants. The value of the goods lost according to the invoice was £5.17.21, but as by the terms of the parcel receipt I can only recover £5, I claim Tls. 19.50.

   I wrote to the defendants on the 24th, and received a reply on the 28th, saying that their godownman (at the hong)  had delivered the box in good condition.  I went to them on the 29th and told them that he had never seen the box, as it was taken from the ship.  Some one in the office  tore up the letter.

   By Mr. CLARKE - I did not send for anyone from the office to see the box opened, because I did not think of it, and I wanted to unpack the goods.

   WILLIAM DAVIES  deposed - I am a seaman at present unemployed.  I was a mate in my last employment.  I was in Mr. Harrison's house when the box referred to was brought there.  I observed, "that it looked as if it had been knocked about considerable." There were marks on the lid about the nails as if there had been blows struck on it with a hammer.  I thought it had been opened, though I did not like to say so.  I saw it opened, compared the invoice with its contents, and signed the paper produced.

   The plaintiff's Chinese servant said - I got one box from the chief mate of the steamer; I took it back again because it was not the right one, and I got another from the godown-man at the Wharf.  I took it to my master a little after six o'clock.  I had only been to the Wharf once before, about six months ago to get a box.

   WILLOUGHBY POIGNAND deposed - I am wharfinger at the wharf where the ship was discharged.  I frequently find that consignees object to packages and decline to take delivery of them, because they appear to have been renailed.  The consignees then communicate with the agents, on whose orders I inspect them in our godown with representatives of the consignees; and claims are settled on the basis of my report.

   Mr. CLARKE, in answer to His HONOUR, said that subject to the question of amount, of that course of proceeding had been adopted in the present case, the amount claimed would probably have been paid.

   His HONOUR said he would look into the papers and give the matter his conservation before deciding the case.


The North China Herald, 18 January 1881


   We hear from a private source that the judgment of Dr. E. C. Lord, the United States consul at Ningpo, in the "Wenchow abduction case" has been reversed by the American Minister at Peking, and that the defendant, J. H. Burnett, has been discharged.


The North China Herald, 27 January 1881


Shanghai, 19th January.

Before R.  A. MOWAT, Esq.


   On the 11th inst., the plaintiff in this suit sought to recover from the defendants, the agents of the "Glen" line of steamers, the sum of Tls. 19.50, on account of an alleged shortness of delivery of goods in a box received from them by the plaintiff, ex s.s. Glenfalloch, on the 23rd of December last, and His HONOUR this morning delivered the following


   His HONOUR said - My time has been very much occupied since the hearing of the case, and hence the delay, which I greatly regret, in giving judgment.

   I decide in favour of the defendants, but not on the ground on which they relied, namely, that the package was taken delivery of by the plaintiff's servant without complaint made as to its condition.  There is, apart from contract or custom,, no rule that the consignees of goods alleged to gave been damaged during transit must, at the risk of losing the remedy against the carriers, make his claim before taking  delivery.  Damage or no damage by the carrier's default, is a question of evidence, and the fact that no complaint was made at the time of taking  delivery is only a circumstance in the case, and not necessarily conclusive; it must, however, be satisfactorily explained, otherwise the court will presume that the damage did not exist at the time.

   In the present  case, the time when, and the circumstances under which,  delivery of the package was taken, and the nature of the alleged injury to the package, explained to my satisfaction how delivery came to be taken without complaint or demur.

   But the case stands very differently when the package gets to the plaintiff's possession.  His attention is then called to the condition of the package, and manifestly the proper (because the fair) course for him to take, was to bring at once to the defendants' notice the state of things upon which he sought to fix them with liability; and until he should do so, and until, moreover, they had had a reasonable time for forming their own opinion (if they so desired) on the facts, he should have kept the package in the condition in which it was when it reached him.  But this the plaintiff not only did not do - and his reason for not  doing so is a very insufficient one - but he actually destroyed the package, so that from first to last there was no evidence possible as to its condition except that of himself and his witnesses.

   To allow him to recover under such circumstances would be practically to decide a cause on the evidence of one side alone, and would open a wide door top fraud.  I should add that I do not wish to be understood as imputing, or even suggesting, any mala fides on the part of  the plaintiff or his witnesses; on the contrary, my impression at the trial rather was that the package had in fact been tampered with on board, as alleged by the plaintiff.  All that I say is that he has, by in effect excluding all evidence but his own, made it impossible that I should attach any weight to his own evidence.  There will be judgment for the defendants.


The North China Herald, 18 January 1881



Shanghai, 13th January.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


Civil Suit.

   The plaintiff, a Chinese contractor, sought to recover the sum of $26 due to him for labour performed for the defendant, a storekeeper in Hongkew.

   Defendant admitted the debt, but said that he had nothing to pay it with, and that he could not collect the money from people who were indebted to him.

   His HONOUR devised the defendant to sue his debtors, and recover the money in that way.  Judgment would be given for the plaintiff, with costs.


Civil Suit.

   This was an action to recover $41, the value of clothes supplied to defendant, who was the first mate of the s.s. Bombay, by the plaintiff, who is a tailor in Hongkew.

   Defendant admitted that he owed the money, but explained that before he obtained the clothes, he had told the plaintiff of the circumstances in which he had been placed by the burning of the steamer, and that an agreement had been made by which the clothes in question were to be settled for in two monthly instalments, the first of which was to be paid at the end of the first month after he had found fresh employment.

   Plaintiff denied that any such agreement had been made, and as the defendant had no evidence to produce in support of his statement, judgment was given for the plaintiff with costs.


The North China Herald, 27 January 1881


Shanghai, 19th January.

Before R.  A. MOWAT, Esq.


Civil Suit.

   Plaintiff, a Chinese butcher living in Hongkew, brought this suit to recover the sum of $99.99, for goods sold and delivered to the defendant.

   The defendant having admitted his indebtedness, judgment was given for the amount claimed with costs.

21st Jan.


   On the 19th inst., the plaintiff, a Chinese butcher, obtained judgment against the defendant for $99.99, for goods sold and delivered.  Defendant was unable to satisfy the claim, and appeared in Court this morning in answer to a judgment summons.

   GEORGE ORMSBY POWELL,  deposed - One Frenchman and two Chinese have obtained judgments against me in this Court.  I owe altogether somewhere about $1,500.  My stock-in-trade, which consists of general store-keepers' goods, at at A933, Broadway Hongkew.  I estimate the value of the whole, with fixtures, etc., at about $800.  There are about five hundred book debts owing to me, of which about three hundred and fifty, I think, are good.  I do not know what my property would fetch at a forced sale; perhaps it would only realise about one-half the sum I have just named.

   I owe Mr. Fergusson $400.  I have not yet received bills from all my creditors, so I cannot tell the extent of my liabilities.  I began business on the 25th of October last.  My books will not show how much I owe, or who my creditors are.  I do not enter liabilities in my books until the accounts come in.  I owe Mr. Clataud $400, and I am indebted to native store-keepers for amounts that I do not know.  My shopman says that I owe $1,500.  I employ him at $50 a month.  I have not been fit for business at all since "that affair" took place.  I owe my shop-msn some salary.  I think he got $30 on account for December.  I have not paid him anything for this month.  I have filed a petition for liquidation this morning.  My shopman has sold nothing except for cash since the first of these suits was brought against me.  I have not bought anything for the store since that time.  No one has been in the store for several days.

   His HONOUR here directed Mr. Barnes, the Chief Constable of H.M.'s Consular Gaol, to visit the witness's store and report to him upon the value of its contents.

   Witness resumed - My shopman keeps the books.  I owe rent for the store for December and January, at the rate of 420 a month.  I am a draper by trade.  Before I went into this store I was shipkeeper on board the steamer Kiangping for two months.  When she went away, I was left without employment for nine months.  I got hard up for money, and at last some of my friends helped me into this store.  Before I was in the Kiangping I was in the Customs.  I could make the business pay if people would let me carry it on.  Out of the two months and a half I have been in the store, I may say that I have hardly been in my senses for one month.  Since my "housekeeper" did what she did and the affair was flourished all around in the newspapers, I have not been fir for business or anything else.  I have had other things troubling me so much that I have had to trust the affairs of the store to my shopman and other people.  I would pay all my creditors if I could do so.

   His HONOUR observed that some of the creditors were pressing for execution, and that the petition for liquidation just filed would delay proceedings for a time; but bankruptcy [proceedings were expensive, and to judge by what had already appeared, would greatly reduce that value of what there would be to divide among the creditors.  It seemed to him that the best way was to have the things sold and the proceeds divided as equally as possible among the creditors.

   It was at last arranged that Messrs. Clataud and Fergusson, and Sing Ah-sing, the three largest creditors, should appear in chambers with the defendant before his Honour at three o'clock in the afternoon, to see what settlement could be made.

24th January.


   The plaintiff in this suit was the employer of the late Mr. James Rodgers, and the action was instituted to recover from the defendant, who was appointed executor under the will of the deceased, the sum of Tls. 43, being the amount of Mr. Rodgers's expenses while in the General Hospital.

   The defendant denied the liability of the estate on the ground that by the terms of the agreement which existed between the plaintiff and the deceased, the former was obliged, by the second clause, to supply him with "lodging, good and sufficient board, and medical attendance," and he contended that this clause covered the circumstances of the case.

   FREDERICK MAWHOOD, deposed - I was the employer of the testator.  I think he went to the General Hospital about the 8th of December.  He informed me that he was going there, and asked me for a letter to the authorities.  I gave him one.  It asked them to admit the bearer, and stated that I would be responsible for the expenses he might incur.  He died in the Hospital on the 24th of December, and his bill was sent to me.  I referred the authorities to Mr. Law, the executor of the deceased, who sent them back to me.  I paid the amount, and now seek to recover the money from the estate.

   I think that in my note I specified, at his own request, that he was to be a second-class patient.  He was moved into a first-class ward because of his proximity to a person suffering from liver complaint who occupied a bed near him.  Dr. Pichon told me of that himself, saying that if the deceased had not been moved, and had died, he should have attributed his death to blood poisoning rather than dysentery, the disease from which he originally suffered.  I have paid the wages due to the testator up to the 24th of December to the defendant.  I paid Dr. Pichon Tls. 75 per annum for medical attendance for both of us for 1880.  Mr. Rodgers had been ill on and off for about six months.  He always paid for his own medicines.  Dr. Pichon attended him.  Much of the time during the last three months of his life, he was unable to work.  Dr. Pichon visited him at the Hospital.  No conversation took place between the deceased and myself as to the [payment of his Hospital; expenses.

   By the Defendant - Mr. Rogers never told me that the doctor recommended him to go to the Hospital.

   Defendant referred to a remark that the deceased had made to a friend of his as to the expanse of being in the Hospital, etc.  At the time that he (plaintiff) wrote the letter he had spoken of, he had about $88 in hand belonging to Mr. Rodgers, and certainly relied upon being reimbursed for the Hospital expenses.  He paid his wages all the time he was in the Hospital, and really could not afford top meet these charges.

   His HONOUR said that he should like to hear what the friend of the deceased had to say about the matter, and also to see the letter that plaintiff sent to the Hospital with the deceased.  He would also like to put a question to Dr. Pichon.  He should therefore adjourn the hearing of the case till Wednesday morning at eleven o'clock.


Claim for Wages, etc.

   The plaintiff, who was formerly in the employ of the defendant in the capacity of "boy," sought to recover the sum of $46.72 for wages and money alleged to have been spent for his master.

   Defendant admitted his indebtedness, but said that the charges made were exorbitant.

   After going minutely into the details of the case, which were not of the slightest public interest,

   His HONOUR gave judgment for the plaintiff for the full amount claimed with costs, the money, however, to remain in Court, pending the issue of certain proceedings instituted in the Mixed Court by the defendant against the plaintiff.


The North China Herald, 1 February 1881



Shanghai, 26th January.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


   The hearing of this suit, adjourned from the 24th Jan., was resumed this morning.  The plaintiff seeks to recover from the executor of the will of the late Mr. James Rodgers, formerly in his employ, the sum of Tls. 43, the amount of that person's Hospital expenses.

   It will be remembered that his Honour expressed a wish on Monday to see the letter written by the plaintiff to the Hospital authorities when the deceased was admitted there, and it was produced in Court this morning.  It was as follows:-

Shanghai, 7th Dec., 1880.

To the Sister Superior of the Sh. General Hospital.

Please admit bearer, Mr. James Rodgers, to second class accommodation in the General Hospital and oblige.  The expenses will be defrayed by,

Yours obdly, F. MAWHOOD.

   THOMAS STEANES, deposed - I am a clerk in the employ of Messrs. Harris, Goodwin & Co.  I knew Mr. Rodgers in England, and also here.  On one occasion when I visited him in the General Hospital, he said he thought of going to Hongkong for the benefit of his health, and asked me to make enquiries as to the cost of doing so.  When I informed him on that point, he remarked that the cost was very heavy, and referred to the expenses of remaining in the Hospital.  I do not remember exactly what he said, but I inferred from it that he was expecting to have to meet those charges.  I happened to mention the circumstance to the plaintiff about a  fortnight ago in conversation.  He had said nothing to me of any claim against the estate, or anything of the kind.  I have known Mr. Law since I have been in Shanghai.

   In reply to his HONOUR, defendant said that the estate was sworn over $100 and under £200.  When the liabilities had been settled, there would probably be about £60 left.

   Plaintiff, recalled, s aids - I had a conversation with Dr. Pichon about Mr. Rodgers  going to the Hospital the night before he went there. The doctor told me deceased must go there the next morning.  He expressed the opinion that Mr. Rodgers would take his medicine more regularly there.  I think that was on the 6th of December.  I told the doctor that I could not afford to pay Mr. Rodgers's Hospital expenses.

   His HONOUR asked how it was that he told the Hospital authorities he would be responsible for these charges, after he had told Dr. Pichon he could not meet them?

   Plaintiff replied that the letter was written very hurriedly.  Mr. Rodgers was very weak indeed on the morning he left to go to the Hospital; he (plaintiff) assisted him to go downstairs, and w rote the letter just before he left the house, outside which a brougham was waiting.  He proceeded - I might perhaps have seen Mr. Rodgers before that morning, after speaking to Dr. Pichon about his going to the Hospital, but I had no conversation with him on the subject.  I did not think that he was likely to be in the Hospital long. I had no expectation that he was going to die, nor, I believe, had the Doctor.

   By defendant - When the deceased was removed from a second-class ward to the first-class, I had written to the authorisers requesting that he should be so removed.  I wrote a letter at the instance of Dr. Sloan, of a similar tenor to that now in Court; "please remove the patient to a first=-class ward and I will be responsible for the expense," or something to that effect.  I do not  remember the exact words.  That letter was not written hurriedly like the other.  I cannot say why this letter was not referred to the other day.  I thought I had admitted my liability sufficiently in the other.  I considered that Mr. Rodgers was too ill to be troubled about money matters on the morning when he left my house to go to the Hospital.

   Defendant submitted to His HONOUR that no impression that might have existed in the mind of the deceased as to his having top pay his own Hospital expenses affected the case in any way, nor could it release the plaintiff from liability, or possibly vitiate the terms of the agreement between him and his employer.  He should also ask his Honour to call for the production of the second letter written by the plaintiff to the Hospital authorities.

   His HONOUR said that since the last occasion on which the case was before him he had seen dr. Pichon, and he thought that it would be better for that gentleman to attend the court, so that both parties could have an opportunity of questioning him if necessary; and his evidence would, besides, form a material element in the case.  The case therefore would be adjourned till 11 a.m. on Thursday, at which time the plaintiff must also produce all the correspondence that had passed between him and the Hospital  authorities.


The North China Herald, 8 February 1881



Shanghai, 1st February.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.

                F. MAWHOOD v. R. LAW.

   This case, which had been adjourned from the 24th ult., came on again this morning for hearing.

   Defendant was unable to attend owing to illness.

   LOUIS PICHON, deposed - I directed the deceased to be taken to the Hospital, because it was necessary.  He would have better attendance there than he could have where he was.  When I told him he must go to the Hospital, he asked me to speak to Mr. Mawhood about it.  I did so, and the plaintiff made no objection, but he said that Mr. Rodgers would of course go in the second class.  That was the day before he went to the Hospital.  I had spoken to Mr. Mawhood about the possibility of his having to go to the Hospital two or three weeks before.  He then said that if such a course became necessary, Mr. Rogers would have second class accommodation because if he (plaintiff) went the Hospital himself, he would go in the second class ward.  I do not  remember plaintiff telling me that he could not afford to pay the expenses of the Hospital for Mr. Rodgers.  He might have said so, but I do not remember anything about it.  I carried away the impression that plaintiff considered he was going to pay second class expenses for Mr. Rodgers.  Deceased paid for his own medicines.  I think that about one-third would be a fair allowance to make for drugs out of the amount charged for Hospital expenses.

   Plaintiff, in answer to His Honour, said - I have paid $50 to Mr. Law.  He has also a compradore order for $38.80, which I have declined to pay until this case is settled.

   Plaintiff urged that he had fulfilled the clause of the agreement on which defendant relied to the letter.  Anything the deceased found for himself was quite foreign to his engagement with him (plaintiff.) He always paid for his own medicine, and he was acting quite on his own responsibility after he left his (plaintiff's) place.

   His HONOUR said the question turned solely on the terms of the agreement, and what was meant by the term "medical attendance."  If the servant's state of health made it necessary for him to go to the Hospital, the second clause covered the expenses incurred.  If this were not so, the master might force the servant to go to the Hospital in order to avoid providing medical attendance at his own place.  In this case there was no danger of the patient having gone to the Hospital unnecessarily, because the idea of doing so was not originally his, but Dr. Pichon's.

   In the case of a seaman sent to the Postal from a ship, the vessel must bear the expenses.  In this case, the deceased had been treated at home as long as possible, and only went to the Hospital when compelled.  His Honour held, therefore, that the agreement between plaintiff and defendant covered his treatment there.  As the deceased had always found his own drugs while living with the plaintiff, and Dr. Pichon had placed the allowance that should be made at one-third of the whole Hospital expense (which seemed to him too high) he should make that deduction.

   Plaintiff must therefore pay Tls. 24, being the second-class charges for 18 days, less Tls. 12 for drugs.  The costs would be divided.  As for the Tls. 7 charged for the removal of the deceased from second to first class accommodation, he thought from the evidence that plaintiff might reasonably ask the Hospital authorities to refund that amount to him.


The North China Herald, 29 March 1881


Shanghai, 24th March.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


Claim for Wages.

   The plaintiff in this suit, a Portuguese compositor, lately employed in the office of the Shanghai Mercury, sought to recover from the defendant, the manager and part proprietor of that paper, $39.16, alleged to be due to him from the 1st of February to the 17th of March, on which day he left defendant's employ.

   Defendant had paid $17.20 into Court, that being the sum he considered to be due to the plaintiff.  He explained that it was always the rule of the office to pay the wages for any one month in the middle of the next, to prevent the men leaving without giving a month's notice.  The plaintiff had been given to understand this rule when he was engaged, which was on the 4th of August last, at a salary of $25 a month.  His wages, therefore, for February would not be due until the 19th of March.

   In answer to His HONOUR, plaintiff stated that he left the defendant's employ on account of words that passed between him and Mr. Milley, the foreman in the office.  He said this occurred on the 16th of February, and that he gave defendant notice that he should leave on the following day, and that he did leave on the 17th March.

   Defendant [produced the time-book of the office, from which it appeared that the plaintiff had been absent from duty on the 27th and 28th of January, and an entry had been made by Mr. Milley on the latter of these days as to notice given to him by the plaintiff.

   After hearing further statements from both parties, and examining the accounts handed into Court, His HONOUR adjourned the further hearing of the case till half-past ten o'clock on the 26th instant.

26th March.

   The hearing of this case, in which the plaintiff, formerly a compositor of the Shanghai Mercury, sought to recover $39.50 for wages alleged to be due to him from the defendant, one of the proprietors of the journal, was resumed from Wednesday last.

   WILLIAM THOMAS MILLEY deposed - I am the foreman of the Mercury printing office.  I wrote "N." in the compositor's time -book on the 28th of January, for my guidance, because Mr. Clarke had given plaintiff notice to leave on that day.  That occurred because plaintiff had been abusive to me, and made false statements about me.  Mr. Clarke had some conversation with plaintiff later in the day and I thought the matter had been passed over, and I thought so still more when the plaintiff did not leave on the 28th of February.  I only spoke to the plaintiff about coming to his work late.  Nothing occurred subsequent to the 28th of January; nothing at all on the 16th of February.

   His HONOUR said that he should only allow pay for two days' absence to be deducted from the account, as Mr. Milley had noted in the time-book that one day's absence was on account of illness.  He said that he could not allow the $5 that defendant claimed from the plaintiff as he had been under the necessity of engaging another man at a higher salary to take his place, because, according to the arrangement between the parties, the plaintiff forfeited half a month's pay by leaving without giving a month's notice, but defendant could deduct $12.50, the amount of plaintiff's salary for half a month.

   The defendant said he would abandon his claim to the $5 referred to, and accept the $12.50.  He had paid $17.20 into Court.  He had allowed the full pay for a month and a half, and had deducted $2.590 for three days' absence, $5 that had been referred to, and $12 which the plaintiff owed the compradore of the office.

   His HONOUR said that judgment must be given for the amount that had been paid into Court, as the defendant had thereby acknowledged his liability to that extent.  Defendant, however, had been entitled to retain half-a-month's pay, $12.50, so that he had paid in $7.5-0 too much, as he had only claimed $5, which could not be allowed, instead of that amount.  The plaintiff would, therefore, receive $12.50, being $7.50 more than he should have has.  There would be no costs.


The North China Herald, 29 March 1881



Shanghai, 23rd March.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.

Messrs. FERGUSSON & CO. Appellants, v. Messrs. SIRTAS & CO. Respondents.

   Both the appellants and respondents are merchants carrying on business at Chefoo, and on the 15th of September last, Messrs. Sirtas & Co. obtained judgment in the Consular Court there against Messrs. Fergusson & Co., as the agents of the china Coast Steam Navigation Company at that port, for the sum of $392.50, with costs, for damage to a quantity of canvas consigned to the respondents by the steamer Sin Nanzing.  Messrs. Fergusson & Co. appealed against the decision of the Consular Court at Chefoo, and the following application was made by them.

The appellants move that the respondents may be ordered to give further security for the appellants' costs of this appeal, and that proceedings may be directed to be stayed in the meantime.  And that the costs of this motion and of the order to be made thereon may be costs of the appeal.

   Mr. DOWDALL appeared for the appellants.

   The respondents were unrepresented.

   Mr. DOWDALL, after reading the motion, said that in the suit instituted by Messrs. Sirtas & Co. against Messrs. Fergusson & Co. the former had given security for costs in the sum of Tls. 20.  He did not think that amount was large enough originally, and there now seemed a prospect that costs would be increased.  In the event of the appellants obtaining a decision favourable to then, they had no means of recovering the costs from the respondents unless a sum  was paid into  Court, as, not being British subjects, they were not amendable to the Supreme Court. He understood that Messrs. Fergusson & Co. had deposited $150.

   His LORDSHIP observed that the Tls. 20 referred to had been a deposit for costs in the original suit, and that the $150 was deposited on the appeal.  He did not agree with the learned Counsel that Tls. 20 was an insufficient amount when it was paid.  If the respondents had been British subjects, there would of course have been no grounds for this motion, but as they were not, and in the event of a decision reversing the judgment given in the lower Court with costs, Messrs. Fergusson & Co. would have no means of obtaining these costs except by the institution of a suit in their own Court it would be proper, under Rule 263, to order the respondents to make a further deposit for costs, or to furnish the bond of a British subject for them. 

   This was the first time that such an application had been made, and he should make no order as to the costs of it.  The order would be that the respondents should deposit for costs the same amount that had been paid by the appellants.


The North China Herald, 5 April 1881


   In the United States Court for the consular District of Shanghai, Mr. Myburgh appeared on Tuesday for a Chinaman named Chih Vee-hsien, to file a petition that the proceeds of the recent sale of the lorcha Kiangning by the Marshal of the Court should be paid to him, as he was the legal representative of the man to whom the lorcha had been mortgaged.  The Consul-General said that copies of the petition would be served on Messrs. Maitland and Derrick, the other parties who also claimed the money.  The hearing of the case is set down for Tuesday next. [See also The North China Herald, 8 April 1881.]


North China Herald, 6 May 1881



 The Russian residents at this port have presented themselves at the United States Consulate for the purpose of swearing allegiance to the new Emperor of Russia, Mr. Wingate, the United States Consul, here, being in charge of the Russian Vice-Consulate.


North China Herald, 6 May 1881



Shanghai, 28th April.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


  This was a suit brought to recover the sum of $70, the balance of an account due to the plaintiff from the defendant, for wines, liquors, &c.

  Plaintiff said that on the 11th of February he presented the account, of which the total was $90.65, to the defendant.  She then paid him $20 on account, for which his clerk gave her a receipt, and he afterwards deducted the odd 85 cents.

 Defendant admitted the various items of wines, &c., on the bill handed in by the plaintiff except one, a dozen of champagne; as to this item, she said she had only had five bottles.  On being asked for the bill on which she had paid had been credited, she said she did not know where it was.

  After hearing the evidence of the plaintiff's clerk and defendant's boy, his HONOUR asked the plaintiff to send him his books containing his detailed account of all his transactions with the defendant.


North China Herald, 13 May 1881


Shanghai, 5th May

Before R. A., MOWAT, Esq.


  This was a suit brought to recover the sum of $70-, being the rent of premises in the north Soochow Road, for seven months, at $10 per month,

  Defendant did not appear.

  Mr. HORE, the Usher of the Court, proved personal service of the summons.  He stated that the defendant had admitted the debt, and said that he would try to pay part of it, with some money that was coming to him from a merchant firm.

  Judgment was entered for the plaintiff, with costs.

7th May.


  On the 5th inst., judgment was given against the defendant for $70 and costs, on the suit of the plaintiff, who preferred a claim for that amount on account of rent for seven months of premises in North Soochow Road.  Defendant did not appear on that occasion, and a judgment summons was served on him to appear yesterday morning.  This summons being disregarded, a warrant was issued to compel his attendance on the summons.

  In answer to His HONOUR, defendant said that his failure to attend the Court the preceding day was the result of ignorance.  He was unwell, and a friend had told him that it was not necessary for him to obey the summons, which he had nor even read.  He regretted very much having acted on the advice tendered him.

  His HONOUR informed the defendant as to the judgment that had been obtained against him, and asked him as to what means he possessed of satisfying it.

 Defendant explained that he was a builder and draughtsman, and had been without regular employment for two or three years, but had been doing such work in his profession as he could obtain.  The only property he had at present consisted of clothes, &c., and the money then lying on the table in the Court, $15.90.  He had recently sold what furniture he had by auction, and it had realized between Tls. 40 and Tls. 50,  Of this sum he had received about $20 on Monday morning, and the rest on Tuesday morning.  Out of it he had to pay his 'boy' and a number of small claims, and the money produced was all that remained.  If a little time were given him, he hoped to pay what he owed the plaintiff and also all others to whom he was indebted, as he had expectations of getting permanent employment in three or four weeks.

  Plaintiff was told that the money on the table was all the defendant had, and he took it in part satisfaction of his judgment.


North China Herald, 27 May 1881


Shanghai, 25th May

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


  This was a claim for $20.35, for aerated waters, &c., supplied to the defendant, the proprietor of the "Sailors' Rest," at Hongkew.  

  Defendant admitted that he owed part of the amount, but said that the plaintiffs had not given him credit in their books for the full number of empty bottles that he had returned on one occasion.  The value of these would, he said, make a difference of $10.50 in the bill

  The hearing of the case was adjourned that the parties might examine accounts and come to a settlement, if possible.


North China Herald, 27 May 1881


The motives which influence the plaintiffs and defendants in civil suits are diverse and often hard to discover. [Lengthy editorial.] .  .  .   The very clear and decided judgment of the United States Court places it beyond doubt that in the opinion of that Court the Municipality of Shanghai is legally constituted, that its right to impose and levy taxes and to preserve order is founded on a substantial base, and we have little doubt that after the annoyance of losing a case has passed away, the defendant in this suit will feel very thankful that he has not succeeded in establishing chaos.


North China Herald, 1 June 1881


IF the defendant in the late suit of Municipal Council v. Reid had explained how he was injured by Municipal taxation, or what he sought to gain by refusing to pay taxes, it would be possible to have some sympathy with him in his defeat.  With the exception of the imbeciles who send what they call conscience-money to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, no one enjoys paying tax of any kind, and the tax-gatherers share with the mother-in-law the humiliating position of being the popular butt in works of humour of a certain class.


North China Herald, 3 June 1881


Shanghai, 31st May 1881

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


  This was a suit brought to recover certain property, consisting of furniture and private effects, belonging to the plaintiff and his wife, valued at $99.99, of which the defendant was alleged to be retaining unlawful possession.

 Defendant was absent and unrepresented.

  Plaintiff, sworn, deposed that during February last he moved into defendant's house.  On the 25th inst., defendant came home in a state of intoxication and ordered plaintiff off the premises telling him to put his goods out in the street,  It was then too late in the day to remove the things to any other premises, but the plaintiff and his wife left the house.  Plaintiff had tried to regain possession of the property, but had only succeeded in getting a few things.  He owed defendant nothing; on the contrary, defendant was in his debt.

  Judgment was given that the defendant should give up the plaintiff's property and pay the costs of the action.  At the plaintiff's request, a judgment order was issued immediately.


North China Herald, 1 July 1881



Shanghai, 29th June.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.


  Prisoner, lately a clerk in the employ of the prosecutors, was brought up for trial on an indictment charging him that he "did on the 7th inst., feloniously and with intent to defraud, forge a certain order or authority for payment of money in the words following:-

  7th June, 1881.

  Mr. Williams.  $80.0.  W. Birt & Co."

  The prisoner was undefended, and pleaded "Guilty" when the indictment was read to him by the Clerk of the Court

  His LORDSHIP, addressing the prisoner, said - I shall pass a comparatively lenient sentence upon you because you have been led astray through mixing with bad companions. But I trust you will take warning by what has occurred, and resolve that for the rest of your life you will live honestly.  You have ability enough, I am sure, to succeed in life, if you will try, but there is no success possible for you or any one else without honesty.  Never forget that crime, besides being wicked, is foolish.  The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for a term of eight months.


North China Herald, 1 July 1881


Shanghai, 24th June.

Before R. A., MOWAT, Esq.


  This was a suit brought by a native cook against his mistress, to recover the sum of $91.11, sums of $45.00 for four months; wages in 1880, $12 for wages for May, 1881, and $31.11 for money expended at various times on defendant's account.

  After hearing the evidence, His Honour gave judgment for the plaintiff for only $38.61 and costs; $31.11 the sum last mentioned above, and $7.50 for wages from the 11th to the 18th of May of the present year.


North China Herald, 8 July 1881


Shanghai, 2nd July.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.


  This was a claim for $22 for board.

  Defendant admitted his indebtedness, but said he was unable to pay the amount at once, but would do so in instalments of $5 per month.  He would pay the first of these today,

  Judgment was accordingly given for the plaintiff with costs.

4th July.


  This was a claim for $9, alleged to be due to the plaintiff, formerly a mafoo in the employ of Messrs. C. Edbrook and Co., of which the defendant is a member, for wages for the month of February and part of March last.

  Defendant admitted that he owed the plaintiff the wages sued for, but explained that on the 8th of March last, while standing outside a hong a pony of which the plaintiff was in charge ran away and damaged ti carriage to which he was attached so much that it had cost $35 to repair it.  Defendant also had to pay for repairs to two jinrickshas. The day after the accident plaintiff did not come to defendant's place to work, but he came two or three days after and then demanded his wages.  On being asked who was to pay for the damage to the carriage, he said he would go to the Consul.

  In reply to His Honour, plaintiff said that the reason he had waited four months before he brought this suit was because he had been hurt by the carriage when the accident took place.  He particularly referred to the injury he had sustained in the middle finger of his right hand.  He admitted, however, that he went to the defendant the following day to claim his wages.

 Defendant said that the plaintiff was grazed by his carriage at the time of the accident.  He personally knew nothing of the occurrence, and he had been told two stories as to the plaintiff's condition at the time.  One was that he was sitting down at a distance from the pony, and the other that he was busy lighting a cigarette and standing by the dash-board at the time, but he did not know which was true.  The pony had been broken to harness six weeks before. He felt sure that if the plaintiff had been standing at the pony's head, as he should have been, the animal would not have run away.  The pony had been in daily use ever since and there had been no accident with him.  There had never been any agreement between him and the plaintiff as to whether the latter should make good any damage he might cause to defendant's property.

  His Honour said as that was so, defendant must pay the amount claimed and the costs into Court, but the money would lie there for a week to give him an opportunity to sue the plaintiff in the Mixed Court for the damage done to the carriage.


North China Herald, 8 July 1881



Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.

In Bankruptcy.

Re E. J. HOGG.

  Mr. Wainewright appeared in support of an application for the discharge from bankruptcy of Mr. E. J. Hogg.  He said his application was supported by a resolution passed unanimously at a meeting of creditors on the 8th June, 1881, in statutory form, to the effect that that the bankruptcy had arisen from circumstances for which the bankrupt could not be held responsible, and that therefore an order for discharge should be granted.  The minutes of the meeting had been filed and due notice of the application given; and the Trustee did not appear and certainly did not oppose.  The resolution referred to was passed unanimously and no creditors opposed the present application.

  His Lordship made an order granting the application asked for.


North China Herald, 8 July 1881


Shanghai, 6 July.

Before J. HAAS, Esq., Vice-Consul in Charge, and Messrs. ROMER and EITTER, Assessors.


  This was a claim for $90, alleged to be due to the plaintiff for board, lodging, drinks and billiards at the Broadway Hotel, during the months of September and October, 1880.

  After hearing the evidence, the defendant was ordered to pay $47.80, the costs to be divide equally between the parties.


North China Herald, 15 July 1881



Shanghai, 11th July.

Before O. N. DENNY, Esq., Consul-General, Acting Judicially.


 Prisoners, Scandinavians, who are members of the crew of the American ship Antelope, were brought up in custody, charged with having deserted that vessel on Friday night.

  In reply to a question from the Bench, it was stated that two of them had been knocked down by the second mate, but no one answered when the Consul-General asked which of the prisoners had been so treated.  They had no complaint to make with regard to the Captain.

  Captain CHANEY said the prisoners left the ship at nine o'clock last Friday night.  The second mate's conduct towards the men had afforded them no ground of complaint.

  The Court ordered the men to return to the ship, and to pay the costs of the proceedings that had been taken against them.


Straits Times Overland Journal, 4 August 1881

   THE Shanghai Courier published the following as the finding of the court appointed to deal with the Oscar Vidal case:-

   At a Naval Court assembled at Her Britannic Majesty's Consulate at Shanghai on the 14th and 15 July, 1881, W. R. Carles, Esq., H.B.M.'s Acting Vice-Consul, President; Lieutenant R. Croughton, R.N., H.B.M.'s Lapwing, and Mr. [Ohthly] Bragg, Master of the British steam ship Antenor, members.

   The Court pursuant [to] an order from Commander W. G. [S.....], R.N. of H.B.M.'s Lapwing, Senior Naval Officer at Shanghai, has enquired into the conduct of the Master of the British barque Oscar Vidal in taking that vessel to sea on the 17th instant in an unseaworthy condition, and without obtaining the ship's papers, a Consular Clearance, or shipping his crew at the Consulate.

   The Court finds that, - Johann Robert Theodore Richter has committed an offence against Section CLX of the Shipping Act of 1851 in carrying John Barry and other seamen to sea in the British barque Oscar Vidal on the 8th July, without having conformed to the rules laid down in the section above mentioned for the engagement of seamen.

2 - That the defence raised, viz., that the barque Oscar Vidal is no longer a British ship, is not justified by the evidence.

3. - That the Oscar Vidal requires very extensive repairs before proceeding to sea.

   The judgment of the Court therefore is that Johann Robert Theodore Richter be fined twenty pounds (£20) and pay all costs and expenses of the proceedings, viz., Taels 307, together with the costs of this Court, within three days, and that in default of such payment being made within the term prescribed, payment to be enforced under the Merchant Shipping Act of 18754, Section 523.

   The President then said that all the papers belonging to the ship might be given up.
   Mr. Tapp asked that the bill of sale might be detained, as further proceedings might be taken.

   We under stand that the costs of the Court amounted to £7.  4s.


North China Herald, 16 September 1881


Shanghai, 12th Sept., 1881

Before O. N. DENNY, Esq., Consul-General, Acting Judicially.

Mr. A. H. Whitman, keeper of as public house at

Woosung, was convicted of assaulting a Chinese woman who lived with him, and was fined $2 with costs.  The prisoner said he loved the complainant, and only put his hands to her cheeks, and caressed her; but his Honor thought it was rather a violent caress, seeing that an earring which the woman wore was broken.


North China Herald, 27 September 1881



Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.


  Plaintiff claimed $21, for rice alleged to have been sold to defendant, who is boatswain of the Craiglands.

  The case was before the Court on the 2nd and 3rd instant, and the adjournment was made to ascertain whether it was possible to put twenty half picul bags of rice in the room occupied by defendant, which plaintiff alleged had been done, and which defendant denied.

  The defendant, and several others from the Craiglands, denied all knowledge of the rice being taken on board here and sold at Nagasaki; but some of the Chinese crew called by plaintiff stated that it had been done, and one of them said he bought the rice as the defendant's request.

  When the case came up today,

  His Worship said to defendant - I have come to the conclusion, - in fact, I had come to the conclusion when the case s before me on the 3rd, - that you had this rice, and that the Chinaman was telling truth, and that you were not, I am sorry to say.  I have come to the conclusion that you had the rice, and that you have not paid for it.  Now, the right thing of course for you to do under the circumstances is to pay the man.  But as you signed Articles on the 11th February, and your time has not expired yet, the summons ought not to have been issued against you until the articles had expired, so that I cannot enter judgment against you for the amount.  The plaintiff, if you do not pay him, must sue you again as soon as your agreement  expires; but I hope that won't be necessary, as I have said I am quite satisfied you owe him the money, and I hope you will do what is right and pay it.  Will you pay himxxx

  Defendant - I will pay him; but he told me himself, when we were measuring the berths, that I never received the ricer.

  Mr. Hore, Usher of the court, in reply to His Worship, said that when he went to measure the berths the plaintiff said the man was not there when the rice came on board; he said another man took it on board, and he showed me where the rice was piled up.

  His Worship - I will remit the fees because the summons ought not ti have been issued.  If you promise to pay him the $21, there will be no fees to pay; if you don't, the plaintiff will sue you again when you leave the ship, and then you'll have fees to pay.

  Defendant - I will pay him, as I don't want to have anything to do with another law job; but it goes against my grain to hear him saying I had the ricer when I never got it.

  His Worship - The rice was ordered by you, through another man, and was sold by you, although you were not there when it came on board.

  Defendant, in answer to His Worship, promised to pay as soon as he could; he had no money due until the 31st instant, but would be able to pay the $21 after two trips in the vessel.

 His Worship - I make no order, as the summons should not have been issued, the defendant being only on the articles as a seaman, and no debt is recoverable over five shillings until the time of the agreement expires.  The plaintiff will get back his $3 paid for the summons.

  The law was then explained to the plaintiff by His Worship, and he was advised never to sell rice or anything to sailors without an order from their Captain.

20th Sept., 1881


  The plaintiff, a sampan man, obtained a warrant yesterday for the arrest of the defendant, who is captain of the British barque Cutty Sark, then at Woosung, charging him with assault.  The sampan man also claimed 33 days' hire for attending the ship while in port.  It turned out that the assault was not committed by Captain Bruce, but by an American subject.  As to the claim for wages, His Worship gave judgment for $13.20and half costs.

26th Sept., 1881


 The plaintiff claimed $22.66 for rent of a room in his boarding house, No. 5 Nanking Road, occupied by defendant from 1st to 17th September, and $35 in lieu of a months' notice which the defendant failed to give before leaving the house.

  Mr. C. DOWDALL, who appeared for the defendant, said he was to dispute liability for a months' rent in lieu of a months' notice; as he had sent a cheque for $22.66 to plaintiff, before the suit was commenced, and which was returned, he hoped His Worship would look upon this as a tender.

  The Plaintiff deposed - The defendant lodged in my house from the 1st April until the 17th September.  No terms and no agreement were made.  Mr. McKie came there with Mr. R. P. Hunter, and understood he had to pay the same as Mr. Hunter was paying.  He came and asked Mrs. Schultz if he could get a room and early breakfast.  He never asked any question about rent, and no agreement about notice was made.  At the end of the month I sent in a bill for $40, and so on, every month up to the end of August.  On the 16th of September Mr. McKie's boy was very insulting to Mrs. Schultz, and would not do what he was told in regard to cleaning his master's room, always replying, as China boys do, "No Blong my pidgin."  Mrs. Schultz told him to shake the table cover, and he would not do it.  On the 17th, in the morning, I found that he had stolen some sugar and in order to frighten him, I said I would send for a policeman. I came down to my sitting room, and the boy ran off, with the sugar in his pocket I suppose.  This was about nine o'clock on the morning of the 16th, and between eleven and twelve o'clock the boy came back, and said, "Send for a policeman now; I am ready now."  I told him to be quiet and go upstairs and do his work.  I then wrote a letter to Mr. McKie, and just as I had finished it, and before I sent it away, I received a note from McKie saying I had no jurisdiction over his boy.  I had done nothing to his boy; I never touched him.  On the 17th McKie came and said he was to leave the house.  I told him he ought to give a month's notice, or if he wanted to leave the house at once he would have to pay a month's rent extra.  He said "I will see about that.  Send you bill into the office, and I pay what I owe you."  I then sent in my bill.

  His Worship - On the 16th, the defendant's boy was playfully threatened with the police?

  Plaintiff - Yes.

  His Worship - Then you received this note from Mr. McKie: "If you have any complaints to make against my boy, make them to me, as he is not subject to your jurisdiction."

  Plaintiff - Yes, I received that note just as I had finished writing a letter to Mr. McKie.

  The letter by plaintiff was read by His Worship.  I stated that the boy had behaved in a very insulting manner to Mrs. Schultz, who could not manage him; and he always kept the sugar left over in the morning, and went into other rooms to take sugar.

  Plaintiff - On the morning of the 17th, Mr. McKie said he did not want to have any more trouble about the boy, and therefore he had told him to take his things away.  He went away that day, sand I now claim $35 in lieu of a month's notice.

His Worship - You had no agreement of any kind?

  Plaintiff - No.

  His Worship - Have you ever made agreement with any body?

  Plaintiff mentioned the names of several parties who had boarded in his house, who gave a month's notice before leaving.  It was always understood that they had to give notice; and he generally told the boarders so when they came, but in this case the defendant was not told.

  Mr. DOWDALL submitted that without an agreement, or proof of custom, the plaintiff had made put no case.

  Plaintiff said he always got notice from people who left to stay elsewhere in Shanghai; but in case of people who were suddenly called off to some other port on business, he made arrangements to oblige them as much as he could.  He lodged with Mrs. Lang, and gave her notice when he left; that was five months before he took over the house from her.  Frequently there were people with whom no agreement was made, but who still gave notice before leaving.  It was forgotten in this case, because Mr. McKie never asked the price of the room, Mr. McKie having come through Mr. Hunter being there.  Mr. Hunter left for a time, when he went to India, and he gave notice, so that he knew the custom.

  Mr. Dowdall said he was to call the defendant's boy to prove that the treatment he received justified the defendant in leaving without giving notice, even though it should be found that otherwise he was under an obligation to give a month's notice.  On this point he referred to Woodfall's Landlord and Tenant, page 306.

 The Plaintiff, cross-examined by Mr. Dowdall -

Q, - Did you say you did not strike Mr. McKie's boy?

Answer - I did not touch him.  I took him by the arm, and told him to go upstairs and do his work.

Q. - Do you say you did not touch him?

Ans. -I meant to say I did not strike him.  That is what I meant by "touch." You must remember I am a foreigner, and only learnt English here.  I took hold of him by the arm, but did not strike him.

Q. - When you took him by the arm did you find out whether the sugar was in his pocket?

Ans. That was about eleven o'clock and the sugar affair was at nine o'clock.

Q. Did you know whether anyone belonging to your house struck him?

Ans. - No

Q. - Or threw anything at him?

Ans. -No.

Q. - A blacking brush, for instance?

Ans. - No; I did not see anyone.

His Worship - Have you been told of it by anyone?

Ans. - About eleven o'clock, the boy was very cheeky, and Mrs. Schultz threw a blacking brush at the door, but the boy was outside the door and a long way off.  Mrs. Schultz told him to go away, and told him if he did not go away she would throw the brush at him.

Q. - Was it thrown at him?

Ans. - It did not strike him.

  By Mr. Dowdall - I don't know who washed the floor of Mr. McKie's room during the first part of his tenancy.  I don't know whether it was the coolies or the boy.  After the carpet was lifted, the floor was varnished and it ought to have been washed every morning g.  I believe it was washed' I saw it and it appeared to have been washed.  I don't know of any different arrangement having been made lately, as to washing the floors of the boarders' rooms.

Q. - Did you offer a cheque for $22.60, in payment of the first item in your bill and did you write this :- "Herewith I return your cheque.  Tell Mr. McKie that he was not living in a hotel, and that all boarders pay by the month and not by the day."

Ans. - Yes.

Q. - Had you any trouble with another boy about washing the floor of his master's room?

Ans. - No.

Q. - Not with Mr. McKie's boy's father?

Ans. - No.

[Defendant's boy, and his father, here made some dissenting remarks at the back of the Court-room, and were immediately ordered out of Court.]

Q. - Did you strike him?

Ans. - I struck hm.

Q. - Did you give him two black eyes?

Ans. - No., I did not strike him on the face.

Q, - Has his master given you notice that he intends to leave?

Ans. - No.

Q. - Has the boy you struck left the house?

Ans. - Yes; I have not seen him since that time.

Q. - Was there any sort of general disturbance making things unpleasant for the boarders?

Ans. - Not that I know of.

Q. - Your profession is that of a shipmaster?

Ans. -It was so before.

  James McKie, the Defendant, deposed - I went to Mr. Schultz's one evening, and saw Mrs. Schultz and Mr. Hunter.  I simply said I wanted a room, and she said I could have one, and to come next day.  That was on the 31st March, and I went on the 1st of April.  Mr. Schultz was in the next room, and could hear the conversation; he mentioned something about another room.  That was the only conversation we had.  I had not seen my room before, but I had seen the one next it, Mr. Hunter's.  I got a bill every month for $35 and $5 for early breakfast, and it was paid monthly.  The floor of my room used to be washed by the house coolie.  I messed at the Club, and expected my boy to attend me there. The first trouble I had was when Mrs. Schultz insisted on my boy washing the floor of my room and kept him there so that he could not attend to me at the Club.  On the following morning this trouble that Mr. Schultz has told you took place.  On Thursday and Friday, my boy declined to clean the floor, and it remained un-cleaned for two days, so that you could see the foot-marks on the varnish, - the same as you see round here (in the Court-room).  The boy is my body servant and I did not expect him to clean the floor, as Mr. Schultz's own coolies should do it.

  On Friday, the 17th, my boy came and told me Mr. Schultz had threatened him and struck him, and that a blacking brush had been thrown at him by Mrs. Schultz.  He said he would not stay, as he was frightened.  I decided on the Friday night to leave Mr. Schultz's at once, as I did not want to be troubled in that way.  I then took a room at the Club, and on the Saturday morning I told Mr. Schuktz what I had done, and ordered my boy to take my things to the Club.  Mr. Schultz then said it was customary to give a month's notice; and I asked him to send in his bill and I would see about it.

  In answer to His Worship, Defendant said he knew some of the other boarders had trouble with their boys in the same way; but there was no disturbance which affected him.  He left because the floor was not cleaned, and because he could not be troubled with his boy coming complaining of what had been done to him.  He made no arrangement about rent when he went there; he knew what Mr. Hunter paid, and thought he would be charged about the same.  When he left he never considered whether it was right not to give a month's notice.  If they had wanted to turn him out on a day's notice, he would not have objected, if he had done anything wrong. He thought he could leave as he did, because he had no agreement.  He believed the whole trouble arose from the boys being made to do work which they objected to do.  He never told the plaintiff he would not allow his boy to do that work, because he thought it was made a rule, and he being the youngest boarder in the house, it would have had very little effect if he said anything.

  Defendant's boy was then called.  He was very young, and spoke remarkably good English.  Being a Christian, he took the oath, kissed the book, and proceeded by saying - My name is Yung.  The first day Mrs. Schultz told me to wash the floor, I said it was coolie's business, and not boy's business.  She told me to clean the floor, and called Mr. Hunter's boy and told him to clean the floor of the master's room.  Mr. Hunter's boy said "no."  Mrs. Schultz took a stick to Mr. Hunter's boy, and he ran to the office to tell his master.  So, so, and therefore, she told me "Suppose you no clean the floor, I take stick to you, all same Mr. Hunter's boy."  I washed the floor.  I finished at half past eleven, and went to the Club-side; my master had come there before me, and I made my master angry because I was not there.  So I told him Mrs. Schultz told me to clean the floor; therefore I was late.  Before time, that was not so.  It was coolie's business.  Then master said he did not want me to clean the floor; l therefore I said, "All right."  Next day Mrs. Schultz asked me, "Won't you clean the floors?"  I said, "No master told me, no; it is coolie's business."  All right.  Called coolie at once.  Mrs. Schultz told me I was not to go to her kitchen. I get my tiffin and dinner there; she said "Suppose you go there I beat you."  I go office and tell master. (He then went on to tell about his father, who was the servant of another boarder and he had been beaten by Mr. Schultz.) The next day, I was taking the breakfast things down, and Mr. Schultz said "Boy, you steal sugar.  No can do.  I beat you."  I said "I no steal sugar."  He said "I take you police station."  I go down side and Mr. Schultz beat me one time.  I run off to master.  He said "if you no have steal, can go police station."  I go back and said, "You can take me police station, because I no have steal."  Mrs. Schultz take a brush and I did so (ducking his head in the witness box) therefore the brush touch the wall.  I go back to master; talkee too much bobbery, no can go back to Mr. Schultz.  Mr. Schultz have do so - maked face.  [Here witness pout on a wild grin, and held up his clenched fist.  "Threaten" being suggested by His Worship, witness continued] - He threaten me.

  Next morning master call me "packing;" I take things Club-side.  Mrs. Schultz beat me here; I have got a little blue on the cheek.  Mrs. Schultz beat me three times; Mr. Schultz beat me one time.  Beat me on cheek with hand (open) but too muchee heavy, and got little blue still.

  His Worship asked plaintiff if he wished to call his wife to deny, if she could, what the boy had said. The boy's cheek was still slightly blackened; and if his statements were not denied, they must be believed.

  Plaintiff said the boy had made up the story, but he did not wish to call Mrs. Schultz.  The boy was told he would not be allowed to stay in the pantry, as he used to stay there all afternoon. The boy was never struck in his house.

  His Worship said that although he thought it was reasonable that notice should always be given, still if the servant of a boarder were beaten, the boarder would be entitled to leave without any notice at all.  Judgment was therefore given for $2.60, without costs, as that sum had been tendered previous to the suit without any objection being made as to the form in which it was tendered.


Source: North China Herald, 16 September 1881



Shanghai, 12th September 1881

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.


  This was a claim for $81.70, balance of account for furniture supplied, and the case was adjourned from last week in order that the plaintiff's account might be translated into English, and auction account sales produced by defendant.  Today, the accounts were gone through, occupying a considerable time, and ultimately His Worship gave judgment for the amount claimed with costs.


  Plaintiff claimed $12 for one dozen photographs supplied to defendant.

  Defendant said he believed the bill had been paid by the late Mr. Millard, who was in plaintiff's employ, and who died recently. Millard owed him $70.60, and he asked him to pay the plaintiff's bill for $12.  He believed it was paid to the plaintiff's Shroff.

  His Worship said defendant could not set off a debt due by an employee of the plaintiff against a debt due by the defendant to plaintiff.

  Defendant said he did so because Millard promised to pay the $12.  He asked him to pay it, and he said he had done so, and since his death the bill was presented again.

  His Worship - Did you think he would pay $12 for you if he could not pay anything of the $70?

  Defendant - He said he had paid it.

  Plaintiff deposed - I did not receive any money from Mr. Millard on account of Mr. Silverthorne's bill; and I gave him no authority to receive money, except on cash sales in my absence, which he handed over to the compradore.

  His Worship (to defendant) - You see the man had no authority to receive the money, and Mr. Saunders did not receive it.  You are an employer yourself, and you know that it is not the way you would like your bills paid.

  Defendant - He said he paid the money.

  His Worship - But that turns out to be untrue.

  Defendant - I am very sorry it is untrue.  I should like you to hear the witnesses to see if Mr. Saunders's Shroff or my compradore received the money.

  His Worship - But you never paid the money.

  Defendant - I sent in chits to the extent of $12.

 His Worship - You can get them back.

  Plaintiff handed in an envelope containing chits signed by Millard, which the Shroff told him had been given in payment.

  His Worship (to defendant) - These chits are not money; you can take them back, and pay Mr. Saunders.

  Defendant - I have had the bill for a month, and since Millard's death I have been requested to pay it again.

  His Worship - But you have not paid it once.

  Defendant - I was assured that it had been settled.

  His Worship - That is an affair between you and your compradore.

  Defendant again asked that the Shroff be called.

  His Worship - What has that got to do with Mr. Sauinders? When did this man (Millard) get into your debt to the extent of $70?

  Defendant - In about three months, from the time he arrived in Shanghai.

  His Worship - You never got any money from him?

  Defendant - Never got a cent.

  His Worship - And consequently you wish to pass off his account against this account for $12?

Defendant - I did not pass it off at all.  I was told it was paid. I am sorry to have troubled your Worship and Mr., Saunders if it has not been paid.

  His Worship - It is not a nice proceeding at all.  You owe Mr. Saunders money, and Mr. Saunder's servant owed you money; and these are distinct transactions.  You would not like your debts to be paid in that way.

  Defendant - The man said he paid the money to Mr. Saunders's Shroff.

  His Worship - If he could pay $12 to Mr. Saunders's shroff, he could pay $12 into your own hands, and with that you could pay Mr. Saunders.  You say that the man said he paid it; but if the man were here he might say he only said he would pay it.  What do you say you did with these chits?

  Defendant - When I received the bill, I gave the chits to Mr. Saunders's Shroff, through my compradore.

  A Shroff in the employ of the plaintiff said he delivered the bill on the 10th day of last month, and called again on the 29th, when he was told to come next day, as defendant's compradore wanted to ask his master about the bill.  Next morning he received the envelope produced, (which contained the $12 in chits), and he gave it to Mr. Saunders, who said it was not money and he could not take it in payment.

  The defendant's compradore was then called, and said he never paid any money on account of the bill; but he said that Mr. Saunders's Shroff told him to "cuttee" Mr. Millard's chits to the extent of $12.

  The plaintiff's Shroff denied this, saying he did not tell him to "cuttee," and he did not know what was inside the envelope he got until he gave it to Mr. Saunders.

  His Worship - When did Millard run up this debt?

  Defendant - It was for tiffins, cigars, and refreshments, extending over several months.

  His Worship - I think you were very easily persuaded that Mr. Saunders's bill was paid.  When you couldn't get sixpence out of that man, although he owed you $70, how could you think he would pay $12 for you?

  Defendant - He told me he paid it.  I have not had time to bring all my witnesses; the manager at the Camp Hotel should have been here, but I only got the summons yesterday afternoon.

  His Worship - How is it you only got so short notice?

  Mr. Hore, Usher of the Court, explained that the summons was applied for on Saturday, but could not be served until yesterday.

 His Worship - (to defendant) - You can take back your chits.

  Defendant - Although they are not worth a cent to me.

  His Worship - I don't suppose they were worth anything at any time.  You should not allow men to run up chits to that extent; there's the man with $70 worth of chits at one tavern!  It is your own fauit, and I cannot have sympathy for you.  By giving such people indiscriminate credit in this way, they drink themselves to death.  You are an employer and should be very careful about setting up a servant's debt against a master's claim.  If these chits had been Mr. Saunders's it would have been a good payment, but it is quite a different thing. You must pay the amount claimed, with costs.

  Plaintiff then asked to be allowed to state that he had been twenty years in Shanghai and this was the first time he had ever been to Court.  He also told His Worship that the deceased Mr. Millard had left a widow and three children at home, and requested that the amount to be paid by order of the Court, $12 and $3 costs, should be remitted to the widow.

  Defendant asked if he could claim for the  debt incurred by deceased.

  His Worship said deceased left no money or effects; he had been buried at considerable expense to Mr. Saunders, who had further remitted 5 Pounds to the widow, and now asked that the money to be paid in this case should also be remitted.

  Defendant said hotel-keepers in Shanghai ought to have some protection.

  His Worship - Then, don't take chits.

  Defendant - But we must take them or give up business.

  His Worship - Then don't take them month after month.

  Defendant said he was often not at home, and his servants were bounced by people and forced to give them drinks and allow them to sign chits.

  His Worship advised defendant not to carry on so many different houses, so that he could attend to the business himself, or if he could not depend on his Chinese servants to leave Europeans in charge.

  Defendant said he would add $5 to the amount he had to pay into Court, so that $20 could be sent home to the widow.


 The plaintiff, a storekeeper, sued the Captain of the British barque Cutty Sark, for $12.20 for goods supplied to himself, and $25.60 as balance of account for goods supplied to his crew.

  Defendant admitted the personal claim, but repudiated his liability for the second claim on behalf of the crew.  The goods were supplied ten days ago, and he had not the slightest objection to pay for them.  Plaintiff asked him for payment one  day, when he had not any money left after paying the crew's bills, so he told him to come next day; but then he (defendant) was struck down with sickness, and had had no opportunity to pay him.

  Defendant said he went to the Captain one day and did not get paid. And as the ship was leaving next day he applied for a summons.  He did not go on board the ship, but met the Captain at Cheap Jack's.

  Defendant said he never refused to pay the money, but when the plaintiff saw him at Cheap Jack's, he had no money on him then, as he had just paid three or four hundred dollars on behalf of the crew.  His ship was then lying at the stream, and was afterwards moved lower down, being put in quarantine.

  His Worship remarked that the plaintiff was not supposed to know all that, and when the ship cleared on the 7th, the plaintiff applied for a summons next day, which did not appear to be too soon.

  Defendant said he was all along willing to pay the bill and the plaintiff need not have taken out a summons, but it seemed as if he did not want to get paid except by bringing the case to Court.

  His Worship observed that the delay caused by the death of some of the crew, and the Captain's illness, were accidents which prevented the ship leaving when she was first cleared, but the plaintiff could not know all that.

  Defendant stated in regard to the second claim that plaintiff had given the crew more than he had aurtorized.  He guaranteed $5 for each man, but the plaintiff had given some men goods to the value of $15 and others $17.  The account for the crew was $125.60, and he had paid $100, which was the amount he guaranteed.

 Plaintiff produced a book with the names of the crew; and the sums opposite each name, he said, were written by the Captain as the amount guaranteed for each

  Defendant examined the book and said several of the figures were not made by him, but he admitted that he had put $10 opposite one name; all the rest, he said, should only have had $5.

 His Worship examined the book, and then told the plaintiff that he had no right to give the men more than the Captain guaranteed.  Judgment was therefore given for the personal claim only, $12.20, and costs.

  At the close of the case, the Captain stated to his Worship that he believed all the trouble which he had on board his ship, through some of the crew having died with cholera, and the illness of others, was caused by the men being supplied with drink by Chinese storekeepers.


North China Herald, 27 September 1881


Shanghai, 20th Sept., 1881

Before O. N. DENNY, Esq., Consul-General, Acting Judicially, and W. J. BOONE, and C. J. ASHLEY, Assessors.


Not transcribed.


North China Herald, 11 October 1881



In Bankruptcy.

Shanghai, 10th October, 181.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq., Acting Chief Judge.

  In re J. J. F. BANDINEL.

  Mr. Wainewright appeared for the bankrupt, and also represented two of the principal creditors.

  Mr. J. J. Francis, Trustee, and Mr. Acheson, representing a creditor, also appeared.   

  Mr. Wainewright made an application on behalf of James Julius Frederick Bandinel, of Newchwang, a bankrupt, for an order of discharge, based upon a resolution passed by the creditors, to the effect that his bankruptcy had in their opinion, arisen from circumstances for which the bankrupt could not justly be held responsible, and that they desired that he should be discharged.  This resolution was passed at a meeting of creditors by the Trustees on the 6th September last, and a copy of the resolution and minutes of the meeting were in the hands of the Court, having been transmitted by the Trustee.  This was the day fixed for the application, and the requirements of the statute as to notice had been complied with.  Mr. Wainewright stated that he represented the two chief creditors and Mr. Acheson represented the only other creditor who had proved.  

  The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank was represented at the meeting, but did not vote; they had not proved up to the present time, and they did not intend to prove.  He had received a letter from Messrs. Dircks and Co. of Swatow, which stated that they had not proved either, and the letter might be taken for what it was worth.  In fact, no creditors had proved except the two he  represented, and the one  represented by Mr. Axcheson.

  His Lordship - So far as the creditors were represented, it was unanimous?

  Mr. Wainewright said that was so; and the Trustee who was present in Court, made no objection.

  His Lordship granted the application, and the order for discharge of the bankrupt was made in the usual form.


North China Herald, 18 October 1881



Shanghai, 13th October.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.




North China Herald, 25 October 1881



Shanghai, 17th Oct.

Before O. N. DENNY, Esq., Consul-General, Acting Judicially.


  This is a case where a man was shipped on board the American ship James S. Stone, on New South Wales, in the place of another seaman named Nils Anderson. When the vessel arrived at this port the Captain reported Nils Anderson at the U.S. Consulate as a deserter, and issued a warrant for his arrest, but it was found out that the man he had on his articles as Nils Anderson was Edward Sheridan, and that he had never deserted; the Captain had taken him to hospital.  The man being communicated with and sworn, he stated his name was not Nils Anderson but Edward Sheridan. After the vessel had cleared he came to the Consulate and reported the case to the Consul.  Subsequently a letter had been received at the U.S. Consulate, from H.M.'s Consulate, enclosing a letter from the Lady Superior of the Hospital, and a certificate from Dr. Little, stating the man had not been out of hospital since the Captain brought him there.

  Mr. Coffey, Acting Registrar of Shipping, was called and asked by what authority he issued the warrant?  And he said the Captain reported him as a deserter.

  The Captain said he did not do any such thing, but it was plainly proved he did.

  His Honour adjourned the case till the following day (18th).

18th October 1881.

  His Honour said, The order so far as I am going to make it at present is - That Edward Sheridan be paid the balance of his wages from the time he  was reported a deserter, and that he be paid at the rate of $3.50 per week for board, his expenses in hospital, and costs of this case.  The question of not having this man properly entered on the articles, I pass over just now, not having decided if I will enter a fine against you.

  The Captain said he had never heard the question raised before.

  His Honour to Captain Weston - You have heard it then for the first time now.  The statute is plain on that point, and there is no need in mistaking it.

  His Honour to Edward Sheridan - Do you want to go on board your ship again?

  Sheridan said he was not able to go on board.

  His Honour - You will be discharged from the ship.


North China Herald, 22 November 1881



Shanghai, 17th Nov.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


  This was a claim for balance of account, - $11.

  Mr. Stone, asked if he owed the money, said he did not believe he rightly did owe it, but the claim arose out of the somewhat peculiar arrangement he had made with regard to a certain piece of furniture. He kept a furniture and auction store at Hongkew and in the way of business had had dealings with these people before.  He was told by a gentleman to get him an office desk for $14.  He found that the defendant had a desk but he did not know whether it would suit the party who had commissioned him.  Plaintiff agreed with him (defendant) that the desk should be sent down to his store for his customer to look at, that he would pay the cost of taking it down; that if he sold it he would then pay the plaintiff the price of the desk, if not plaintiff would have to have it removed at his own expense.  He sold the desk for $16 and got as compradore's order dated September 1st for $16, the price he sold it at.  By the 1st of September, however, his customer failed in business and told him he had better take his desk back as he could not get paid for it.  He did so.  Before this time, however, the plaintiff was constantly coming and pestering him and saying he was very much in want of the money and so on, he had paid him $4. He offered to forfeit half the money and let the plaintiff have his desk back again.  This he would not agree to.  He then offered to forfeit all that he had paid on account and send back the desk, thus being $4 or $5 out of pocket by the transaction, but the Chinese would not agree to it.  His note in the plaintiff's possession, dated 25th July, he admitted.

  The plaintiff refused now, in Court, to the case take back the desk even if allowed to pocket the $4.

  The Judge said he was afraid Mr. Stone must pay the amount; the desk was sent for him on approval, as it were, and he sold it to his customer.  Had it been returned the same day as it was sent to Mr. Stone's store the case would have been different.  If Mr. Stone's customer had not paid him that was no reason why the Chinaman should be called upon to take the desk or lie out of the money due him.  What the defendant might have done to save the costs of summons being added to the claim against him, was to have paid some part of the amount and got so a little more time.  If he could not pay $11, he could not pay $14.

  Mr. Stone said times were very bad just now and asked for time.

  An order was eventually made that $7 be paid 1st December, and an equal sum 1st January, finishing the claim and costs of summons.


North China Herald, 29 November 1881



Shanghai, 25th Nov.

  Before Nicholas J. Hannen, Esq., Acting Chief Justice.


  Mr. Hannen, who took his place for the first time on the Bench of the Supreme Court since his appointment to the Acting Chief Justice of China and Japan, prefaced the proceedings of the Court by the following remarks:-

  On this the first occasion of taking my seat in this Court I cannot refrain from saying a few words in reference to the sad death of the late Chief Justice.  He presided here with dignity, courtesy, and kindness; and to those who like myself practiced at the Bar before him, his loss is a very real one, for he was ever considerate towards us, and patient and attentive to our arguments.  Few know the labour which he bestowed upon his duties, and none can estimate how much of pain must have been added to the work by the state of his health.  He has passed away and I feel sure that everyone who knew him must deeply regret his loss and bear him in affectionate remembrance.

  Mr. Myburgh having replied in a few suitable words, the Clerk of the Court read the indictment.

  This case will be remembered as one in which the accused was charged with striking, in the Court House, the Captain of his vessel, who had prosecuted him for refusing duty,  The captain won his case, and an attempt was to be made to put the man on board the ship.  When the captain was rolling up his papers, the sailor struck him a blow on the chest, which knocked him down.

  The Prisoner pleaded guilty, and no jury was empannelled.

  The Judge said this was a very serious case; not only was it a serious case of itself but it was committed in the face of the Court and that made it worse.  He would be sentenced to six months' imprisonment - the sentence to commence the end of that which he was now suffering.  The prisoner was then removed.


North China Herald, 6 December 1881



Shanghai, 29th Nov.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.



  This was a suit brought by George Polite to recover from Mrs. Elton, Broadway Hotel, the sum of Tls. 50, being rent of the premises she now occupies, for the month of October last.  The case, which was a somewhat complicated and long-drawn-out one, occupied the Court for considerably over an hour.

  Plaintiff was partner with Mr. Robins and A. Gronner in the firm of Robins and Co. who leased this house from Messrs. Jardine, Matheson and Co. and sublet it to the defendant, about a year ago. There was no written contract between the parties to this suit.  The house was let to the defendant by Mr. Robins; and it did not appear from the statements of the plaintiff or the defendant that anything had been said or agreed upon as to who should pay for repairs.  The defendant submitted in the box that the custom of Shanghai was that the proprietor should pay for all repairs which were rendered necessary by outside causes, the tenants paying for all others.  On receiving the complaints as to the condition of the house which Mrs. Elton had laid before him he had seen the representative of his superior landlord, for whom Messrs. Jardine, Matheson and Co. were agents, but that firm, as agents for the proprietor, could not agree to execute any repairs which the house required, not being bound to do so by their lease with Robins and Co.  Mr. Polite, when Robins and Co. went into liquidation, took over, under a document granted by Mr. Bielfeld, all responsibility and rights so far as this house was concerned.  The rent, according to the agreement made with the form of Robins and Co., was to be Tls. 50 per mensem payable in advance.  He had made application for this amount more than once but had not been successful in getting it.  The agreement between Messrs., Jardine Matheson and Co., was put in by the plaintiff.  He stated that he understood that there was some mention of the requisite repairs being effected by the landlord if they were occasioned from outside; by the tenant if caused otherwise.  The Judge carefully read the document over, but could find no such clause; and the plaintiff was unable to refer to any words so binding the owners of the property.  His Honour remarked that the whole effect of the agreement seemed to be to free the proprietors from all responsibility.

  The defendant said she did not refuse to pay the rent; she had never done so; all that she desired was to be allowed to deduct from the amount which had been agreed on as the rent the cost of fixing the house properly if she was to do it.  But her case was, that it was the plaintiff's duty to put and keep the house in a proper state of repair.  She was quite willing to pay the money into Court on the understanding that it should only be paid out to Mr. Polite when the house was put in a fairly habitable condition. Upstairs, not in all the rooms but in two or three of them, the house leaked so badly that any one might as well be in the street as in one of these rooms.  She had had the wall which fell down rebuilt because had she not done so, the Chinese would have been able to come right into the house.  She claimed the right to deduct from what she was due for rent the money she had so spent in fixing the house.

  The defendant said he had never gone to the house to satisfy himself that it really wanted repair.  He had not doubted that it did on the representation of the tenant.  He had gone several times to see Mr. Morrison who held the power of attorney for the proprietors; but that gentleman had said that he could do nothing more than had been done.  Letters put in, to this effect, stating that the proprietors were not liable for repairs, and asking Mr. Polite, to whom the letter was addressed, again for the rent.

  The Judge said the landlord was not bound to execute any repairs on a house he let, unless he specifically bound himself to keep it in repair.  In this case, certainly, the superior landlord under whom Mr. Polite held, had not so bound himself, and there was no written contract between the inferior landlord and the real tenant.  Mr. Robins, who was not here, was properly the person who ought to have brought the suit against the defendant; but it did not really matter much who brought the case in Court. She would have to pay the rent and there could be no danger of her being called upon to pay it twice.  Mr. Polite seemed to be fairly entitled to collect the money on the receipt of the firm and the papers which he held.  Mrs. Elton had no right, if she intended to protect herself from being saddled with the cost of repairs, to take the house without at the outset getting the landlord's representative from whom she rented it, to sign a deed binding himself to the repairs.  In the absence of such a document he could do nothing for the defendant.  He was afraid she must pay. She might have somewhat better a case had Mr. Polite been in a position to compel his superior landlord to execute the repairs, but that right the lease which had been produced in Court specifically took away.

  Defendant said it would be far better for her to take a Chinese house and be able to live in the inside of it than to have a house like this which was unfit to live in; the rooms upstairs were of no use whatever, seeing that nobody could go into them; they leaked so badly; and paying Tls. 50 a month for it too!  If she had a lease it would be different, but what they wanted her to do was to put the house in proper repair, and then they could turn her out by the 1st of next month if they liked.  This she was not prepared to run the risk of.  She would repair the house, if she could deduct the cost of doing so from the rent due, or if she got a lease for a length of time.  She had known the house long enough and knew that nothing had been done to it for some five years.

  The Judge told defendant if she knew all this she ought never to have gone into the house. She now had to make the repairs herself or give the house up.  That course had always been open to her.  She spoke as if she had been taken up bodily and put into the house.  The fact was she made a bargain about the occupancy of the house with her eyes fully open; and that being so, the arrangement between the parties not providing that Robins and Co. were to keep the house in repair he could not compel Mr. Polite, who virtually represented that form now, to make any repairs.  Besides his contract with the superior landlord made no provision for the repairs which were found necessary from time to time being done otherwise than by the tenant.  And as he had said, unless the landlord strictly and specifically bound himself to do so he could not be called upon to make repairs.  He had had occasion to enquire into this matter once before, and the Austrian Consul then stated that the agreement between Messrs. Jardine, Matheson and those who held under them was read over to Mrs. Elton before she made the contact with Robins and Co.

  Defendant said it had not been explained to her until after she had paid the money.

  Mr. Polite in reply to the Judge said he had personally explained to the tenant, months ago, that he took over all rights and responsibilities from Robins and Co., with regard to this house.

  Mrs. Elton said she had first been told of this some few days ago.  Now she had three or four landlords.  How was she to doxxx There was Mr. Polite, Mr. Gronner, Mr. Robins ---

 The Judge said she had never been called upon to pay for one month more than the Tls. 50 she had agreed to pay.

  Judgment was given for the amount claimed with costs.

2nd December.


Claim $42.

  This was a case in which plaintiff claimed $42 for rent of house in Rue des Peres from 1st of June to 30th November.

  The Defendant did not appear.

  The Plaintiff having stated that the landlord of the house was a man called Lu Chu-ping.

  His Honour said that the landlord only could sue, and the case was thereupon remanded until 10.30 a.m. today.


North China Herald,



Shanghai, 17th December 1881

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.

  This was a claim against Mr. J. W. Mactavish, for goods bought for him by his former boy and for paying coolie hire for removing Furniture and Household material from the South Gate in Yang-king-pang.  After arguing the point about the coolies hired, defendant stated he had a van for a day and that very few things could have been left in his former house, as the van made three trips.  It was therefore impossible for many coolies to be employed.  Plaintiff said he employed a number of coolies and 23e wheelbarrows.

  After arguing upon the different items a great length of time,

  His Honour took off $2 from the coolies hire and ordered defendant to pay $18.00 to plaintiff.


North China Herald, 20 December 1881


Friday, the 9th day of December, 1881.

In the matter in which Messrs. CLARKE, HEAD & Co., Merchants of Chefoo, are plaintiffs; and the master and owners of the British s.s. Chefoo (as represented by their Agents Messrs. CRASEMAN & HAGEN, Merchants, also of Chefoo) are defendants.


  This case is brought to recover Tls. 281.18 balance of claim against the s.s. Chefoo on account of damage by oil done to sundry cotton goods shipped on board the Chefoo at Shanghai, consigned to plaintiffs at this port, and Tls. 20.00 fees for survey on said goods rendered necessary by that damage.

Also to recover Tls. 3.50 for chafage to certain bales as well as Tls. 1.90 for delivery of one bundle of cotton yarn.

  The two later claims can be very quickly disposed of.  The Bill of Lading produced in Court is a perfectly clear one, no mention of any chafage whatever at the time of shipment being made on it.  The Court therefore can come to no other conclusion but that the ship is liable for such chafage as has been proved to have been present when the goods arrived here and which has been valued at Tls. 3.50.

  As for the item Tls. 1.90, this must also be allowed.  The bales in question, on receipt in Shanghai was either broken so as to allow the abstraction of the bundle of yarn or it was in good condition, and the Bill of Lading testifies to its being in the latter state.  The defendant's evidence proves that the bale was marked in Chinese characters, that one bundle was missing, and they in a letter produced in Court assert that the bundle was not stolen, but was there, whereas the plaintiffs never got it.  Had the bale been received in a damaged condition the steamer is responsible for the negligence of its agents in not stating the fact on the bill of Lading. Hence this claim must be allowed.  Nor is there much difficulty as regards the claim for oil damage and survey fees.  There can be no doubt after the evidence produced that the goods were damaged by oil and that the said damage was caused on board the s.s. Chefoo.

  Now it is laid down, that care must be taken by the master (unless by usage or agreement this business is to be performed by persons hired by the merchant) so to stow and arrange the different articles of which the cargo consists that they may not be injured by each other or by the motions of leakage of the ship. Moreover among consequential damages must be placed the damage done to goods by oil, tar, and by bilge water, no one of which ought to have had any proximity to dry goods.

  It is evident the different articles on board the s.s. Chefoo cannot have been so arranged or the oil ought not to have been got near the cotton goods.  Damage of the kind in question may happen from want of proper stowage and damage, but it may also happen from sea perils, and the latter point disposed of the pleas preferred that the damage referred to was the consequence of bad weather.

  The claim for Tls. 281.18 must therefore be allowed.

  The only other remaining claim vixxx., that on account of survey fees cannot be gainsaid as the said survey was rendered absolutely necessary by the condition of the goods when received.

  The Court therefore finds for the plaintiffs the full amount claimed by them on all counts.  Defendants to pay the costs of this suit.

(Signed H. P. McCLATCHIE, Consul and Judge. [L.S.]

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