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Colonial Cases

Minor cases 1883

North China Herald, ? 1883

LAW REPORTS.

H.B.M.'s CIVIL SUMMARY COURT.

Shanghai, 11th January, 1883.

Before R. A. Mowat, Esq., Asst. Judge.

AH HUI (mafoo) v. W. B. JAMESON.

This was a claim for $10.97, balance of account.  The defendant paid $4 into Court.

  The Defendant said the plaintiff had been in his service as mafoo for a month, last October.  He behaved very badly; he was out all night gambling, the defendant believed, and was asleep during the day when he should have been attending to his duties.  He had to feed and attend to the ponies; but he starved them, and defendant had reason to believe he had stolen some ducks.  Defendant considered that he was entitled on this account to deduct something from the plaintiff's wages, but he had nevertheless, he believed, paid him the full amount.  He paid $22 to the plaintiff when he dismissed him at the end of the month, and afterwards he offered him $4 more, but the plaintiff refused to take it, and he now paid the amount into Court. This made $26 - $6 each for the ponies, $6 for wages and $2 for ponies' shoes.  This was, he thought, all the defendant was entitled to.

  The plaintiff handed in his account, among the items of which were corn for feeding fowls, candles, string, straw, etc., some of which he said he had bought by direction of the defendant's wife and others by direction of the defendant himself.

  The Defendant said the item 65 cents for corn for the fowls might be correct; he would pay that.  He denied, however, that the plaintiff had laid out money on any of the other articles mentioned.

He did not believe the plaintiff got them at all, or if he did he took them away with him.  He admitted, however, that he should have paid the whole amount of it had not been for the plaintiff's' misconduct.

  His Honour remarked that it was very difficult to decide, three months afterwards, whether these things were purchased by the plaintiff or not.  The defendant admitted, however, that it was on account of the plaintiff's misconduct that he did not pay the full amount.

  Defendant -But what redress have I if I cannot cut him off in his wages, when he does not do his work?

  His Honour - You did not do that, exactly.  If you had discharged him there and then, he would have sued you for his wages, and the question would have been decided at once.

  Defendant - He had behaved scandalously.  I have reason to believe he stole some ducks.

  His Honour - You cannot prove that?

  Defendant - No.

  His Honour made an order against the defendant for $1.50 in addition to the sum paid into Court, without costs.

 

North China Herald, 4 April 1883

LAW REPORTS

IN H.B.M.s SUPREME COURT.

Shanghai, 28th March 1883

Before Sir Richard T. Rennie, Chief Justice.

R. S. RAPHAEL v. B. D. BENJAMIN.

  This was an application for an order to take an account relative to various partnership transactions between the parties, extending over a period of several years. Mr. H. S. Wilkinson and Mr. A. Robinson appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. R. E. Wainewright and Mr. Dowdall for the defendant.

  On the Chief Justice taking his seat,

  Mr. Wilkinson remarked that although this was not the first time that his Lordship had sat, it was the first that the Bar had been present when His Lordship was on the Bench; and he had been asked on their behalf to express their gratification at Sir Richard's appointment to the Chief Justiceship.

  The Chief Justice said it was hardly necessary for him to say how gratifying it was to him to meet his old friends again.  He hoped that the good relations which had always existed between the Bench and the members of the Baer would still continue.

  Mr. Wilkinson then opened the case for the plaintiff, but, as no objection was raised on behalf of the defendant to the accounts being taken, the discussion was a purely technical one, relating to the form of the order.  It was agreed that the plaintiff should draw up an order, and that its terms should be finally settled in Chambers on Saturday morning next.

 

The Times, 7 April 1883

TOOTAL'S TRUSTS.

   Can a native born Englishmen who has fixed his residence in a treaty port of the Chinese Empire acquire thereby a new domicile so as at his death to exempt his personal estate from the operation of the English legacy Duty Acts?

 

North China Herald, 1 June 1883

LAW REPORTS

H.B.M.'s SUPREME COURT FOR CHINA AND JAPAN.

Shanghai, 28th May 1883

Before R. A. Mowat, Esq., Assistant Judge.

31st May.

CHEAP JACK & Co. v. JAMES NEILL.

  This was a claim of $134.75 for provisions supplied to the defendant as captain of the British barque Elliotts.

  His Lordship - The defendant admits all the statements in the petition; I therefore enter up judgment for the plaintiff with costs.

  Mr. Wilkinson - I appear for the defendant, and he just wishes to say that at the present time he is entirely impecunious and unable to pay, but he will use his best endeavours to discharge the debt.

  Plaintiff - This belong old provisions.

  His Lordship - Yes; but the question is, Has the Captain any money to pay you? If you find that he has money you will come here and he will be compelled to pay you.

  Defendant - When the ship is sold, your Lordship, I will see that he is properly paid.

  Judgment was entered accordingly.

 

North China Herald, 8 June 1883

LAW REPORTS.

CIVIL SUMMARY COURT.

Shanghai, 2nd June 1883

Before R. A. Mowat, Esq., Assistant Judge.

G. HARRISON v. W. G. HARRISON.

  This was a claim commuted for $99.99 for board, lodgings, money lent and goods sold and delivered.

  The defendant did not appear.

  Mr. Hore, Usher of the Court, proved personal service of the summons on the 29th May.

  The plaintiff produced a bill for the amount claimed, with an acknowledgement of the debt, signed by the defendant.

  His Honour gave judgment for the amount claimed, with costs.

 

North China Herald, 22 June 1883

LAW REPORTS.

BRITISH POLICE COURT.

Shanghai, 16 June

Before R. A. Mowat, Esq., Assistant Judge.

VIOLENT ASSAULT.

  GEORGE THOMAS DARKE, landlord of the Lo-ka-wei Hotel, was charged on an adjourned summons with having assaulted Caroline Darke, on the 9th and 10th inst.

 At the first hearing of the case, the complainant stated that on Saturday night, the 9th inst., she waited up until midnight for the return of a garden coolie whom she intended to discharge.  She came out of the kitchen at that hour and attempted to enter the house by the front.  The defendant came to the door and refused to allow her to enter and on her trying to get in he struck her in the eye with his fist, knocking her down. She remained in the bar-room all night, and early the next morning the defendant came down stairs, knocked her down and flogged her with a riding whip. Complainant admitted that she was not married to the defendant, and said she had a husband living.  She did not wish to press the charge but only wanted restitution of some furniture and effects belonging to her which were still in the defendant's possession.  She had left his house.

  At this hearing the defendant appeared with his head tied up in a bandage much stained with blood.  He said he had broken a blood-vessel.

  His Worship offered to adjourn the case to enable the defendant to see a doctor, but the defendant said he would rather the case was proceeded with.

 Emily Rolande, sworn, said - I live at Lo-ka-wei house, and board there.  I did not see anything of the assault by Darke upon the complainant on Saturday or Sunday, but I heard something of it.  I am sure I could not say what it was I heard; I was on the verandah on the Sunday. The first thing I knew of it on Saturday was that Mrs. Darke burst my door open, came into the room and washed her face, and Mr. Darke took her out.,  The light was dim, and I am sure I cannot say what state Mrs. Darke's face was in but there was a little blood on it.

 His Worship - What happened next day?

Witness - I am sure I can't say; there was a row - that's all.   

  What do you mean by a row? - Mrs. Darke was talking to Mr. Darke in rather a cross state.

  Did you hear any blows? - Yes.  Her head was wrapped up in a handkerchief and her eye was marked as it is now.

 The Complainant stated that the witness was sitting in a chair quietly looking on while the defendant horsewhipped her.  She was so disgusted with the woman that she did not speak to her again.

  The witness said it was not true; she did not see the defendant horsewhip the complainant.

  The Complainant denied a statement of the defendant's that she was drunk at the time.

  The witness said the complainant was anything but sober.

The complainant, in answer to the magistrate, said she felt no pain now except a little shooting pain in the eye occasionally.

  His Worship (to defendant) - What have you to say?

Defendant - I say it is a complete tissue of falsehoods.  All I did to her was to strike her with the riding whip, and that I did under great provocation.  The blow on her eye was caused by her falling against the bar.

His Worship - How did she come to fall against the bar?

  Defendant - I pushed her and she fell.

  His Worship - Well, but if you push a drunken woman, and she falls -

  Defendant - I pushed her away from where the glasses and decanters were, because she attempted to get at them to throw at my head.  She had already thrown two or three at my head.         

His Worship - But all this I have not heard at all. (To Complainant) You had better go back into the box.

 Complainant, questioned as to the defendant's statements, said it was not true that she was attempting to get at the decanters and glasses, or that she threw any at the defendant's head.  She should like the glasses produced in Court.  It was not true that he pushed her and she fell; there were the marks of his fingers on her face now.

His Worship - Why did he strike you?

Complainant - He locked me out and told me I was to keep out of the house.  I gave him no provocation whatever.

 His Worship (to the defendant) - You say she provoked you in the morning? What was the provocation?'

Defendant - In the morning she commenced talking about my sister, and said she would send her some more postcards the same as she did before.  They were postcards of the most scurrilous description she had sent before.

 The Complainant said this was not true.  With reference to the property, she said she had received everything belonging to her except a bed and bedding.

After hearing statements on both sides as to the ownership of these articles,

 His Worship said - I must say I believe the story of the complainant. She has given her evidence in a very straightforward way, and I have heard nothing from you (defendant) or any witnesses to throw any doubt upon the story. I do not for a moment believe that the marks on her eye and cheek were caused by a fall.  As to what occurred on Sunday morning, though it sounds more dreadful there was really much less violence than on the previous day.  I am not able to deal with the case otherwise than by sending you to prison for six weeks; but in consideration of your state of health I shall not order you to hard labour. With respect to the goods claimed, I believe they were paid for with the complainant's money, and I shall order them to be given up.

 

North China Herald, 20 July 1883

MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES.

THE BRITISH ASSESSOR.

THE proceedings in the Mixed Court on Monday morning have caused a great deal of excitement among residents of all nations.  The letters which appear in our columns today but faintly interpret the indignation which has been generally expressed at the conduct of the British Assessor, and its result, in the surrender of Si-yung to the City authorities.  The strong epithet which Mr. Drummond applied to the surrender of the detective was, we believe, universally approved.  The explanation which we were enabled to give subsequently of the circumstances under which Si-yung  was sent into the City fortunately relieved the members the Municipal Council of the odium which would have fallen on them had the man been given up by their instruction, or with their knowledge.  It made it clear that the British Assessor was chiefly to blame in the matter. We are not inclined to allow Mr. Penfold to go free of blame, but investigation into his conduct can stand over for the present. What we have now to do is to point out the danger to the community of the retention in office of the present British Assessor. It is a painful task to have to write of an English official as we now feel ourselves compelled to write of Mr. Scott; but our duty to the public overrides every other consideration.  That it is time for us to discharge that duty will be shown by the briefest possible history of occurrences here during the last three weeks, in which Mr. Scott had borne a part.

  The Mafoo riots, springing from the attempted change in the market place, resulted in one of the most violent of the rioters being brought up for  trial before Chen the magistrate, Mr. Scott sitting as Assessor.  The man's guilt was so completely proved that Chen sentenced him to receive a hundred blows with the bamboo.  Mr. Scott interfered and persuaded the magistrate to allow the prisoner to go free, on the farcical condition being complied with that he, a street rowdy, should give security to appear when called on.  Mr. Scott's demeanour on that occasion was such as to create a feeling of astonishment and indignation among residents.  He, sitting as the adviser of a Chinese magistrate, virtually told the Chinese that they might set at defiance any regulations or laws which the Municipality of Shanghai should consider necessary to the good government of the Settlement.  A more deadly blow could not have been struck by an official in his position at our institutions.

 But on Monday last there appeared at the Mixed Court Si-yung, one of the Chinese detectives, who had been requested to attend the inquest on the body of a Chinese rowdy and rioter who died on Saturday.  Si-yung was charged by the friends of the deceased with having caused his death, and the inquest on the body was commenced on Sunday. On that day Chen was particularly anxious to obtain possession of Si-yung, but failed to do so.   On Monday Si-yung was taken to the Court by the Superintendent of Foreign Police.  No one was present to accuse the man; indeed that would have been impossible, as the inquest was not then finished; no written demand was made for him, or warrant produced for his arrest.  Mr. Scott and Chen held a conversation on the detective's case, and the former told the Superintendent of Police that the man was to be sent into the city.  We merely state what took place, and refrain from all comment on the proceedings of the Superintendent of Police, who may have considered himself justified in surrendering Si-yung on the verbal authority of the British Assessor.

 But as regards that official we do not see that any excuse can be offered for the part her took.  So far as he knew officially, no charge had been brought against the detective.  No one appeared in Court to demand his being handed over to the Chinese authorities.  Chen wanted him sent into the city, where doubtless other officials and the lawless sympathisers with the dead rowdy wanted him.  But Mr. Scott must have heard enough about the case to have made a prudent man, one suited to the position he held, cautious, to say the least.  Unfortunately Mr. Scott acted with as complete absence of discretion as he had shown in the case of the Mafoo rioters.  The general indignation in his conduct, which was everywhere displayed as soon as it was known, showed how deeply hurt and humiliated the community felt.

 But we submit that things are too serious, and the outlook has been made too grave by Mr. Scott's conduct, for the affair to be allowed to pass with no more result than blaming him.  We take the liberty of suggesting to the British Consul whether another occupant of the position of Assessor to the Mixed Court cannot be provided.  In the meantime the strongest possible representations should be made to the British Charge d'Affaires at Peking of the dissatisfaction which the retention of Mr. Scott in office at this port will give to all the Queen's subjects.  We should think that if this were done a message from Peking would relieve Mr. Hughes of whatever responsibility might attach to his suspension of Mr. Scott.

 

North China Herald, 24 August 83
LAW REPORTS.
H.B.M.'s SUPREME COURT.
Shanghai, 20th August, 18873
HUNG LEE, TUK TAI, YIK-HUNG and CHEN KIN-CHIANG v. LIN CHOR-GHEE.
  These were judgment summonses taken out in furtherance of proceedings taken against the defendant early in July.
 Mr. Leach said these were summonses issued by the Court to examine the defendant as to his affairs.  He (Mr. Leach) would at once apply for an adjournment. The defendant had brought all his books into Court, and as they were in Chinese, he (Mr. Leach) wished to have an opportunity of translating and examining them.
  Mr. Wainewright said he had no objection to an adjournment.  The defendant had brought with him all the books he had in Shanghai.  Some of the defendant's books were at Amoy, but he took it that those which related to the business in Shanghai were all that was required.
  His Lordship said he would adjourn the case.
  Mr. Wainewright (to defendant) - You have brought all the books?
  Defendant - Yes.
  Mr. Wainewright - How many are there?
  Defendant - sixty-five.
  Mr. Leach - Sixty-five!
 Mr.  Wainewright said the books were very small.
  Mr. Leach said that was just one thing which perhaps he should mention. In cases of this sort when there was an adjournment the person to be examined could be called upon to give security for costs, or he might be committed in the meantime.  He (Mr. Leach) did not wish to press the matter; he did not think the defendant would run away, as he had always attended before; but he would like the defendant to give a guarantee that he would appear.  He referred his Lordship to Rule 130.
  His Lordship said he had the Rule before him.  Did Dr. Leach wish to make an application under that Rule?
  Mr. Leach said he did not ask for security for costs; he only asked for a guarantee for the defendant's appearance.
  Mr. Wainewright pointed out that the adjournment was not applied for on behalf of the defendant, but on behalf of the plaintiff.
  His Lordship said he did not feel inclined to make an order, as it was on behalf of the plaintiffs that the adjournment had been applied for.  The defendant had attended today, apparently prepared to give all the information he could; and it was to be presumed that he would attend similarly at the adjourned hearing.
  The case was then adjourned till Wednesday, the 29th August, at 11 o'clock.


North China Herald
, 31 August 1883
Shanghai, 29th August 1883
 This was an adjourned hearing of four judgment summonses taken out in furtherance of proceedings taken against the defendant in July.
  Mr. Leach appeared for the plaintiffs and Mr. Wainewright for the defendant.
 Lin Chor-Ghee, the defendant, was first put into the witness-box by Mr. Leach.  He said he commenced business in Shanghai six or seven years ago; but he established the particular business to the failure of which the present proceedings had reference about three years ago. The firm started with a capital of $12,000, which, at the beginning of the second year was to have been increased to $18,000, a new partner, who was to bring in $6,000 being then introduced to the firm.  This $6,000 was however never paid.  Defendant's share of the capital at that time was $5,000.  All the money was lost during the third year.  It was about the middle of last (Chinese) year that he found the business was going badly, and in the twelfth moon, when his manager ran away, he resolved to come to terms with his creditors.  In the middle of last year the firm's debts amounted to between Tls. 40,000 and Tls. 50,000, but they had more vhan that amount owing to them in what they thought were good debts, but which after the numerous failures which occurred towards the end of last year, turned out bad.  Witness strenuously denied that any goods were sent to Amoy in order that the money might be retained there instead of being paid to witness's creditors.  He had had dealings with the Tuk Tai Bank about two years, he thought; his dealings with the Yik Hung and Hung Lee Banks began last year; and he had dealt for many years with the Chen Kin Chang Silk Hong.  His dealings with all four firms continued to the end of the eleventh moon of last year, and a little into the twelfth moon.  They had dealings altogether with about fifteen or sixteen banks; but they reduced the number and at the time of the failure they were dealing with only ten banks.  He was not introduced to these banks; their agents came of their own accord to ask for business.  Since he was last in Court witness had been receiving a little money but not much, in all about Tls. 40 or Tls. 50 a month.  He had been trying to save money to pay his debts; but he had been able to save only about Tls. 20 or Tls.  30.
  Mr. Leach -How much can you live for a month?
  Defendant - Tls. 50 at the least.
  Mr. Leach - Then I suppose you live in good style?
  Defendant - Not in good style. Everything is very dear here.  I have a household and a large family to support.  I have no employment now, though I have a promise of employment ad manager of a business. The money I have been receiving is from payment of old debts at Amoy.
  Mr. Leach - Have you applied to your Singapore friends?
  Defendant - Yes.
  Mr. Leach - You have Singapore friends here?
  Defendant - Yes; but when you are in a good position they are all friends and when you are in difficulty then you can't get them.
  Mr. Leach - Are you quite sure that you have applied to your Singapore friends?
  His Lordship - Are you suggesting that he should borrow money?
  Mr. Leach - I do not think I am bound to say what the object of my question is.
  His Lordship - Yes, but I am in no doubt and perhaps he is too.  I do not understand what is the object of the inquiry at all.  It is for you to discover what funds he has.
  The Defendant, further questioned, said there were still about Tls. 19,000 or Tls. 20,000 owing to him in Amoy, but he did not know whether he should ever get it, because the court would not interfere.
 Mr. Wainewright said that was so.  The Consul had taken it into his head that there was some fraudulent design in the matter.
  Mr. Leach said - That is all the questions I shall put.  I am instructed to ask the Court to send this man to prison under Rule 131, sub-section 5.  I think it is shown by the evidence that he has contracted debts with one bank after another without any reasonable prospect of being able to pay. Upon his own admission, he contracts debts to the amount of Tls. 50,000, and goes on accumulating debts up to the very day when he is insolvent and has to abscond.
  His Lordship remarked that the defendant might have admitted that, but he had not got it down in his notes.
  Mr. Leach said the defendant had admitted obtaining advances up to the end of the eleventh moon, and a little in the 12th moon.
  His Lordship asked what was the amount of the debts.
  Mr. Leach said that was shown at the hearing. A red paper of some length was produced, containing a list of all the creditors.
  His Lordship - If a serious application of this sort is to be made, I must have the man back.
  Mr. Wainewright - Yes, there must be a great deal more evidence.
  Mr. Leach - I think your Lordship has the paper before you.
  His Lordship - But still I must hear from himself what he has to say about it.
 Mr. Wainewright - He had already stated that although he owes Tls.  50,000, he believed he had Tls. 50,000 owing to him.  It is notorious that there were a number of failures; and what he believed to be good debts turned out to be bad debts.
  His Lordship asked how many of the creditors agreed to the composition.
  Mr. Wainewright said the great majority of them agreed to it.
  Mr. Leach contended that there was no sufficient evidence that any one agreed to it.
 Mr. Wainewright contended that there was evidence of agreement.  Of thirty-three creditors, all but seven had agreed to the composition.
  Mr. Leach again contended that there was no real evidence that any of the creditors agreed to it.
  His Lordship said at any rate the only hostile creditors were those represented by Mr. Leach, and he thought this was some confirmation of the fact that the majority of the creditors were willing that the estate should be wound up.  Still, the plaintiffs were entitled to get their own rights, however the other creditors acted with regard to theirs.  His Lordship continued - But I must have the defendant back into the box and ascertain about this; because I had no idea that there was any object in this, except to enquire what means he has of paying you.  I had no idea that you were going to ask that the man should be committed.
  Mr. Leach said in that case he would recall the defendant.
  The defendant was then recalled.  Several of his account books were placed in his hands, and he was questioned as to his transactions with the plaintiffs.  The defendant, however, experienced considerable difficulty in finding the items, and progress was very slow.
  His Lordship accordingly suggested that the case should be adjourned and that the defendant should make out in English from his books a statement of his recent transactions with the four plaintiffs.
  The suggestion was agreed to, and the case was adjourned till Wednesday, the 12th September, 1883.

 

North China Herald, 8 September 1883
LAW REPORTS.
POLICE COURT.
Shanghai, 1st September, 1883
Before R A. MOWAT, Esq., Assistant Judge.
ALLEGED THEFT OF OPIUM - A CUSTOMS OFFICER COMMITTED TO PRISON FOR REFUSING TO GIVE EVIDENCE.
  William Page, quartermaster on board the P. & O. str. Ancona, was charged with stealing 163 balls of Malwa opium, value Tls. 500, from that vessel, between the 20th and 30th August, while at Shanghai.
  Mr. Superintendent Penfold appeared to watch the case for the Police, and Mr. R. E. Wainewright watched the case on behalf of the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs.
  Frederick Edwin Briggs, Chief Officer of the Ancona, was first called and sworn.
  His Worship - Will you tell me what you know about this matter?
  Witness - In delivering our opium here, we found, out of about seven chests, 163 balls of opium short.  I knew that several other robberies had occurred in the ship, and therefore thought it was wise to have a search.
  Other robberies on previous occasions? - On previous occasions in this port.  I applied to our head clerk, Mr. Joseph, and the Customs House officers were sent on board to search for the missing opium; and on searching the cabin in which the quartermaster lives, they found thirteen balls of opium.
  Were you there? - The fifth officer was there at the time, and I came directly afterwards.  The fifth officer accompanied them on the search.
  How many Customs officers were there? - I think there were four.
  Did any other men live in the cabin with him? - Two others.
  Quartermasters? - Also quartermasters.
  And you yourself arrived afterwards? - I was called a few minutes after they went in to the cabin, and found part of the skin of the ship torn away, showing a locker in which this opium was said to have been found.
  A locker? - Not exactly a locker; it was formed naturally by the ship's skin.
  In what? - In the recess between the ship's side and the skin.  One of the Customs House officers was holding a bag, out of which he counted thirteen balls of opium.  We at once sent for the police, and Sergeant Mack came on board and took the prisoner in charge on suspicion of having stolen the total amount of the opium lost.
  You gave him in charge? - Yes.
  Whose bag was it that the Customs Officer had in his hand? - I don't know.
  What kind of bag was it? - A canvas bag.
  Inspector Fowler produced a canvas bag.
  His Worship -Is that the bag?
  Witness - Yes, that is the bag, I should say.
  You say that there were two other quartermasters living in the same cabin? - Yes.
  Have these men been charged with the theft at all? - No., Sir.
  Why do you charge this one in particular? - I think Sergeant Mack told me that he had confessed in a manner. He offered a Customs officer a sovereign to let him go.
  From circumstances which came to your knowledge, you charge him in particular? -Yes.
  One of the other two men could equally have put the opium there? - Yes, sir, I suppose so.
  Or anyone else in the ship? - I think it very unlikely.
  It is less likely of course, but it might have been? - Yes.  I should say that one circumstances led to his being given in charge is that he was at one time in charge of the hold in which this opium was stowed.
  Were the other two at any time? -No, never.
  That is a circumstance within your own knowledge? - Yes.
  That is all you have to say? - Yes.
  His Worship then asked the accused if he had any questions to put to the witness.
  The Prisoner - I am rather hard of hearing, and I did not hear half of what he said.
  His Worship read his notes of the evidence in a loud tone.
  The Prisoner - I never had charge of the opium in the hold.
  Witness - Yes, you had.
  Prisoner - Which hold?
  Witness - The reserve hold.
  The Prisoner - I beg your pardon.
  Witness - I can bring lots of witnesses to prove it; there is no use arguing with him.
  His Worship - You must not argue, but you must answer any question he puts to you. (To the accused) - You say that you had not charge of the hold?
 Prisoner - The fore hold only.
  His Worship (to witness) - Is that a fact? - No.
  Was it from the reserve hold that this opium was taken? - Some out of the reserve hold, and some out of the after hold.
  His Worship (to prisoner) - He says you had charge of the reserve hold at times.
  Prisoner - I was only down there when we were sorting out cargo for Penang.  I was down there before we got to Penang, and have not been there since.
  His Worship (to witness) - He says he has never been in that hold since the ship was at Penang.
  Witness - That is quite true.
  When was the opium supposed to be stolen? - I cannot say.  It must have been between Bombay and here.
  But the charge against him is for stealing opium within the port of Shanghai, between the 20th and 30th August? -It is impossible to say when it was stolen.
  He has not had charge of the reserve hold since before arriving at Penang? - Yes, that is correct.
  Prisoner - I have not been down in the hold since.  In Hongkong and Shanghai, I have had no hold-work at all.
  His Worship (to witness) Is that true?
  Witness - Yes, Sir; that is true.
  You appear to support the charge that he stole this quantity of opium here in the port of Shanghai.  Perhaps you were not aware that this is how the charge has been framed? - No, I did not know it.
  You have no evidence that the theft took place here? - No.
  His Worship - Of course I cannot deal with the theft if it was committed elsewhere than in Shanghai, or within 100 miles of the coast of China.  If the theft took place at Penang, or before you arrived there, and that is the only time he would seem to have had access to the hold ---
  Witness - he had access at any time.  He was not in charge of the hold after that, but he had access the same as anybody else.
  But this was the fact within your knowledge which induced you to charge him in particular. The other two men equally with this man could have gone into the hold? - yes; a man could go down into the hold in a surreptitious manner.
  John Roberts was then sworn.   
  His Worship - What are you?
  Witness - Assistant examiner and diver in the Customs service.
  Were you one of the officers who went on board the Ancona to make a search? - I was sent on board in my official capacity to search the Ancona.
  And what did you do when you went on board? - I can not answer that question, as I am strictly forbidden to answer any questions on subjects of which I have a knowledge only by reason of my position as a servant of the Chinese Government.
  You say you cannot answer that question? - No. Sir.
  Are you forbidden to do it? - Yes, Sir; strictly forbidden.
  By whom? - By the rules of the service.
  That is your view of what the rules of the service mean, I suppose?
  Witness - Yes. Sir; that is what is laid down.
  You have attended upon a subpoena, have you not? -Yes, Sir.
  Let me see it. - I did not bring it with me.
  Mr. M. Jones, Clerk of Court, produced a copy of the subpoena.
  His Worship - You would not attend on the previous day without a subpoena?
  Witness - No. Sir.
  And now, when you have attended upon a subpoena, you say to the question I put, "What did you do when you went on board?" that you decline to answer the question put to you because you conceive it conflicts with the rules of your service?
  Mr. R. E. Wainewright - Your Honour, perhaps I may be allowed to say here that I appear to watch this case on behalf of the Chinese Imperial Customs.  I perhaps have no right to say anything, but there is one question which I would suggest should be put to the witness in fairness to himself; will you ask him whether he has been ordered by a superior officer in the Customs service to do this.
  His Worship - I asked him, "By whom?"and he said "By the rules of the service."
  Mr. Wainewright - Perhaps he will be able to say he was ordered to act in this way.
  His Worship - Do you act in your own view of the rules of the service?
  Witness - I had the rules read to me, and I was likewise told.
 By whom? - By my immediate superior.
  What is his name? -Mr. Glover, Commissioner of Customs in Shanghai.
  Not to answer any questions? - Yes.
  His Worship - Well, the English law is that you are not bound to answer any questions, if the answer has a tendency, in the judge's opinion, to expose you to any criminal charge.  If answering the question I have put to you would expose you to a criminal charge, then you are entitled not to answer it.  But that is practically the only case in which a witness, attending upon a subpoena, in such a case as this at any rate, is exempted from answering.  The English law casts upon you as a  British subject the duty of answering a question of this kind put to you by the Judge, unless you can say it would expose you to  a criminal prosecution yourself; then the law is tender, and does not require you to answer. But in any other case generally you must answer.  The mere fact that you are an official in a particular service and have instructions from a superior officer not to answer is an explanation of why you do not answer, but it is not an excuse for not answering; and if you do not answer, I shall have, unwillingly, to commit you to prison.  Will you answer?
  Witness - No. Sir.
 Mr. Wainewright - Your Honour will remember that this is a Government service.
  His Honour - I cannot hear you Mr. Wainewright.  You must apply afterwards.  The Rules of our Court provide that;
"If on the appearance of the person summoned, either in obedience to a summons, or on being brought up by virtue of a warrant, he refuses to take an oath, - or, having taken an oath, to answer any questions put to him,. - and does not excuse his refusal to the satisfaction of the Court, then the Court may, by warrant, commit him to prison, there to  remain for not more than seven days, unless he in the meantime consents to answer duly on oath."
Now, as I have said, it seems to me that you have not excused your refusal; because I cannot take what you have said as an excuse; it is an explanation, but not an excuse, and if you adhere to your refusal I have no other course but to commit you for a period of seven days, unless you answer in the meantime.  If you are ready to answer within the seven days, you will be brought here to give your answer.  I hope you will be enabled to answer.  I regret very much the course I have to take.
  Mr. Roberts - Will you allow me one favour - to get my room locked up?
  His Worship - Oh, yes.
  Another Customs officer then stepped in to the witness-box, but as Mr. Wainewright told him, he had not been called, he retired.
  His Worship - I shall adjourn this case for seven days; but the prisoner will be brought before me before that if the witness who has just been committed will answer the question.
  Mr. Wainewright - If your Honour will permit me, I may remark that it is perfectly open to the prosecution to get the evidence of these two officers.
  His Honour - I have nothing to do with that.
  Mr. Wainewright - There is a way of doing it.  They have nothing to do but apply to the Superintendent of Customs, and it is for him to say whether he will allow them to give the evidence required.
  His Worship - It is for the Court to say whether he must answer.
  Mr. Wainewright - Your Worship commits him under Rule 288?
  His Worship - Yes; he has sworn it. (To the Clerk) - Mr. Jones, the witness was sworn?
  Mr. Jones - The witness was sworn.
  His Worship adjourned the case till Saturday next, the 8th September, at 10 o'clock, informing the prisoner that he would be brought up sooner if the case would permit of it.
7th September.
THEFT OF OPIUM.
RELEASE OF MR. ROBERTS.
  His Worship said - You are brought up earlier than the date I remanded you to because I understand you wish to say something.
  The Prisoner said that on the 21st or 22nd August a gunner named Wells came to him from the hold and brought 99 balls of opium and gave it to him.  Prisoner stowed it away for a day or two and then took it on shore.  A Chinese store-keeper named Smiler received 39, making with the 13 balls found on board, 99 balls.
  His Worship - This statement of yours is enough for me to deal with your case.  You have in fact admitted at any rate that you were in possession of stolen property, and I can deal with your case in that way.
  The Prisoner - I throw myself on the mercy of the Court, your Honour.
  His Worship (to the Prosecutor) - Have you anything to say on behalf of the ship?
  The Prosecutor (Chief Officer of the Ancona) - No, your Honour.
  His Worship - I shall consider the circumstance that you have confessed; but still it is a  very serious offence that you have been guilty of - you do not require me to tell you that -and I do not think I ought to deal with the case otherwise than by sending you to prison for two months with hard labour.  The opium will be returned to the owners.
His Worship then asked the gaoler when the witness Roberts, the Customs Officer committed to prison for refusing to answer questions at the last hearing of the case, would be discharged.
  Mr. Barnes replied that the term of imprisonment would expire next evening.
His Worship - Well, as the case in which he did not give evidence is now at an end, he may be discharged now.

 

North China Herald, 8 September 1883
THE LO-KA-WEI OUTRAGE.
  At the Mixed Court on Tuesday two men were charged with being concerned in the Lo-ka-wei outrage on the 5th of August last.  They were then sent into the city.  For some days past, we have been in possession of the following particulars, but as it was impolitic to publish them before, we refrained from doing so until now.  The Police had information of the whereabouts of some of the men early last week and on Wednesday night, the detectives succeeded in arresting two men who were said to have been implicated in the affair.  The two men were taken quietly through the streets without handcuffs, so as not to arouse suspicion as to who they were, and were locked up at the Central Station.  It appears that the outrage was planned some days previously.  The leading spirit was a soldier, as were many of the others, and he engaged some of the other men till the number amounted to eight.  Some days before the fire, one of the gang, the headman, went to Lo-ka-wei, in fact he had been there a number of times and he had seen drink sold and the money deposited in the till.  This fired his imagination, and he determined to organize a gang to plunder the place.  The gang arranged to plunder Lo-ka-wei on Thursday night, the 2nd August, and some of them left a tea shop on the French Concession and on the road were joined by others.  When they got to Lo-ka-wei, they saw Darke sitting in the verandah smoking a cigar, and they then concluded they were not strong enough to attack the place on that night, notwithstanding that one of the gang - a tall man - volunteered to kill Darke if the others would do the rest of the business.  The offer was not accepted and the gang then agreed to postpone operations till the following Saturday night. On their way to the Settlements, they met two country-men, one of whom was carrying some cloth and the other some pork.  Here seemed to be a chance not to be thrown away, and it was proposed that the two country-men should be killed, their bodies thrown into the water and the cloth and pork taken possession of. This plan was not approved of, as one of the gang said this was only a small affair and would interfere with the attempt, on Lo-ka-wei.  He further stated that if they were determined to carry out their project of murdering the country-men, he would assist the latter.  This induced the rest of the gang to give up their plan. It was arranged that, as the next day was the first of the moon, a "chin-chin joss" day, they should all go and sacrifice and bind themselves not to turn traitors.  On that day they appear to have increased their band to fifteen persons, and on Saturday night fourteen of them, one being delayed, went to Lo-ka-wei and committed the outrages as we have previously described them.
  We have mentioned that two of the gang were arrested.  While Sergeant Mack was going to the Mixed Court on the morning after the capture of the two, he saw a third man, who, not knowing that some of his friends had been arrested, was idling about the place.  He arrested the man and took him to the Mixed Court, where he fell sick, and died of cholera on Sunday in the Shantung Road Hospital.
  The Police are now on the track of four others of the gang who have gone to Soochow, so it is probable that they too will soon be arrested.  It appears that the gang decided, after the Lo-Ka-Wei affair, to disperse for a time, and then meet again at a certain place to plan an attack on a foreign residence, where it was believed that the booty to be obtained would pay them for their risk and exertions.  The raid was to have been made about this time.  Some of the members of the gang were salt smugglers.

 

North China Herald, 28 September 1883
LAW REPORTS.
PROCEEDINGS IN THE PROVINCIAL COURT AT NEWCHWANG.
11th September, 1883
Before Herbert J. Allen. H.B.M.'s Consul.
  Mr. H. E. Bush, of the firm of Messrs. Bush Brothers, was charged to appear and answer for his refusal to pay two dollars - claimed as fees for a summons, and service thereof in regard to the Estate of the late J. H. Wade, Mr. Bush being executor of the latter's will.
  C. Farmer, Constable of H.B.M.'s Consulate, was sworn by the Judge, and stated as follows:-
  I served the summons (No. 1.) on Mr. Bush, and asked him to pay the $2 marked in the corner.  He replied: "I am not justified in paying any money out of the Estate." I then returned to the Court, and was ordered to serve the summons (No. 2.) which I gave to Mr. Bush, who said he was busy writing to the Chief Judge and could not pay.
  The Court - Did you order him to pay the two dollars?
  Witness - No sir, I simply left the paper on his desk, and when he asked, "Am I to pay $2 for that?"  I replied, "If you please, Sir."
  Defendant - I must say the constable did his duty as pleasantly as he could.
  Witness - I afterwards went to serve the third summons (No. 3) and gave it to young Mr. Bush.  Mr. Bush came into the office, and after reading the paper gave orders to his assistant to pay me four dollars, and told me that he should follow me to the Consulate.
  Defendant, by leave of the Court, asked the witness whether he gave as a reason for not feeling justified to pay the $2 first claimed, that he was prohibited by a Notification of the Court, issued on 1st Sept. (No. 4.) from administering the estate of the late J. H. Wade.
  Witness replied that he could not say exactly; but some such reason was given.
  Defendant asked the Court to consider the peculiar position he was placed in as executor to this estate.  Sir Richard Rennie, the Chief Justice, called at defendant's office on the 6th inst. and said, "Probate will be granted today or tomorrow.  There will not be any further difficulty.  All you have to do is take the executor's oath."  Accordingly Defendant attended at the Consulate on the 10th accompanied by the two witnesses to the will.  The oath (Form No. 1) was argued and sworn to, and the fees, $5 and $3, were paid, and the Consul declared the will was in order. It did not seem therefore necessary that the executor, having so far proved the will, should, according to Ruler 186, be summoned to the Court in order to prove the will or to resume probate.
  The Judge reminded the defendant that although the first summons was addressed to him as executor, the second summons ordered him to pay the $2 in his private capacity.
  De3fendeant - Am I bound to pay the debt of the estate out of my own pocket?
  The Judge - Certainly you are, if the court orders you to do so.
  Defendant -Then as the charge resolves itself in respect of my declining to pay the $2 on the summons or order (No. 2) addressed to me privately, I object to such summons as being informal and waste paper, according to Rule No. 340 of the Rules and Regulations of H.N.M. Supreme Court and other Courts, which reads,
Notices, summonses, warrants, decrees, orders and other documents issuing from the Court, shall be sealed with the seal of the Court.
  The Judge (addressing the defendant) - You are always wanting to have things done in a legal way;  I dare say the objection may be called a lawyer's quibble; but I am no lawyer.  You know what the memorandum and initials mean - and you must obey.
  Defendant stated that he had obeyed on the third summons being served, and had paid the fee, which by that time had been doubled; but he begged to ascertain for his future guidance whether, had the Court claimed $1,000, he must have paid it, without knowing at whose suit and for what the money was due, and without any action having been instituted.
  The Judge - Certainly; if the Court has ordered it.
  Defendant - And what will be the consequence if I do not pay?
 The Judge - Contempt of Court.
  Defendant - But suppose I have not got such a sum as $1,00?
  The Judge - Then the Court would use its own discretion.
  Defendant, apologizing for detaining the Judge,  who was getting exceedingly impatient, asked, if the Rules laid down by the Supreme Court are to be disregarded, as Rule 340 has been, what are British subjects to be guided by? For instance, does the power of the Court extend beyond the Consulate, and if I met the Judge on the Bund, and I refused to pay his demand, made viva voce for $1,000, would it be a Contempt of Court?
  The Judge (emphatically) - Certainly.
  There was a considerable amount of talk more, and finally,
  The Judge said "I will not press the case," or "I do not wish to press the case."
  The Defendant - Will you kindly state what the case or charge really is?
  The Judge explained that "any demand made by the Court for money must be paid at once, or it is a Contempt of Court. For instance, the fees for entering and clearing vessels must be aid at once."
  Defendant - Yes, but if they are not you detain the papers.  You do not order the papers to appear by summons.
  The Judge said the Court was adjourned, and refused, on the application of the defendant, to give a copy of the Judgment and minutes of proceedings.
  The following are copies of the papers served upon the defendant: - [Not transcribed.]

 

North China Herald, 28 September 1883
NEWCHWANG.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)

  Presuming that it is right as a spectator to comment on the proceedings which took place at the Provincial Court of Newchwang on 11th September, I must express regret at the Rules and Regulations of the Supreme Court being ignored by the Judge.  The charge or case, whatever it may be called, is full of anomalies from beginning to end. In the first place the defendant is summoned on the charge of the constable for refusing to pay $2 out of the Estate of the late J. H.  Wade -an Estate which the Judge himself had notified the public on 1st September, no one other than Her Majesty's Consul had any right to interfere or exercise any control over, etc., etc.  The question whether the Judge be correct or not in his interpretation as to what constitutes a Contempt of Court, it is quite unnecessary to go into for the purpose of the argument.
 What I wish to point out distinctly is the fact that a person is summoned and made to pay the sum of $2 by and against the commands of the very authority who has already prohibited his paying such sum. When the defendant seemed to have convinced the Court of the inconsistency of claiming the $2 under the circumstances, he was informed that although the claim for $2 was addressed to him as executor, the summons ordering payment was made against him in his private capacity.  Now in his private capacity he cannot surely be responsible for the funds which he, as executor of an estate, is prohibited by the Court from administering.  Fortunately the summons, so called, was merely memorandum to collect forthwith, initialled H. J. A. and all the Judge's great mental ability could not prevent such an informal document being put out of Court, according to Rule No. 340 of the Regulations.
 The question as to whether the Consul has the right to claim the estate, including all papers testamentary or otherwise, as notified by his Circular of 1st September, although the executor had actually deposited the will at the Consulate before the funeral, was set at rest by the arrival of the Chief Justice.  It is a great pity that Sir R. T. Rennie did not put matters straight beyond the power of his junior's eccentricities, for one would suppose that the oath having been taken, and the will having been pronounced in "order," all that remained to be done was to grant probate.  To summon the executor, after the will was in order, for the purpose of "proving" the will or renouncing probate, appears lie an anomaly to me.
 The greatest anomaly of all these curious proceedings was the trial itself. There was a judge, and there was a defendant, but I did not hear any charge read, nor did I learn there was a plaintiff, although the summons said "on the charge of the constable." The judge appeared to me to be not only judge but prosecutor to try an offence against himself, if declining to pay what the judge himself had prohibited one's paying can by any possible argument be construed into an offence.  I say that the judge was prosecutor as well because he distinctly informed the public, "I will not press the case." If the prosecutor do not press the case, unless he be bound over to do so, there is an end to the prosecution, for the judge has no alternative but to administer the law.  In this case, if I do not misrepresent the proceedings, the judge made it appear that the defendant was always wanting to have things done in a legal way, "but that he (the judge) being no lawyer, objected to the defendant for being too particular."  This notion of the judge I can hardly take in. It seems too subtle altogether, and I fancy he must have been wanting to take a rise out of the defendant.  It cannot be expected that a Consul was not fully acquainted with such a Rule as No. 340, and considered his slip of paper, 4 inches x 3 inches, words "Memorandum 1th Sept., 1883. To be collected from H. E. Bush forthwith, Two dollars fees for order and service of do (sic) H. J. A. (sic)" a sufficient warrant of the Court according to the Regulation. The memo. does not even say who is to collect the $2, and it might have been good for $1,000 in accordance with Mr. Allen's views.   All I can say is, if money can be so easily collected as Mr. H. J. Allen thinks, his services in Shanghai would be invaluable, for some debtors, and many of them, require rather larger slips of paper before they chose to pay.  They had better not come to Newchwang.
 It is only fair that in reporting judicial matters, and especially in commenting upon them, due regard be paid to truth.  I have made no allusion to the personal conduct of any of the parties, not have I thrown out the least hint as to what motives may have guided the actors in these extraordinary proceedings. It is right, however, to say that the Court did not give proof of that calmness which is generally the attribute of justice.  The defendant, accused, or prisoner, or whatever may have been his proper appellation for the time, was insulted, browbeaten, and altogether treated with such contumely that, although the accusation against him was dismissed (fancy a judge dismissing his own accusation!), the punishment and forbearance he had to submit to must have been excruciating. At one period of the proceedings, the court was in such a towering passion that it rose from its seat, and with words that were indistinctly uttered on account of the excitement of the speaker, dashed the Bible, which it had in its hand, on the table with terrific violence.  Is it a libel to say that much in reference to what actually took place, and which can be sworn to by at least three persons out of the five present, the other two being the constable and the Consul? The Chinese who happened to come in and out no doubt thought that the old gentleman (the defendant is old enough to be the Consul's father) was being punished there and then in Court, as is the custom in Chinese Courts.  Now, remember that this was done during an investigation of a charge which, after being duly heard, was dismissed.  Truly the boast of an Englishman, that a man is innocent until he be proved guilty, in this instance was more honoured in the breach than the observance.
    From all that could be gathered, the trouble entailed upon the defendant was not of his own seeking.  He had given shelter to a sick friend, and this friend, dying, for reasons he knew best had appointed his host as the executor to his will, leaving his few personal effects to a shipmate. The Consul seemed to be of opinion that whether there was a will and executor or not, all the papers and property of the deceased must be delivered to him as Consul.  The executor thought otherwise.  There you have in a few words the whole casus belli.
 Sir R. T. Rennie had suddenly arrived and had explained to the Consul that he had made a mistake; but unfortunately the Chief Justice did not think it necessary to see that the error was put right; and really he could not have imagined that such proceedings would be commenced immediately on his departure, especially after he assured the accused, as was stated in his defence, that probate would be granted at once on taking the executor's oath.  The Court here has certainly placed itself above the opinion of the Supreme Court.  One of the two must be wrong, and between the two an executor falls to the ground.  Can anything be more disgraceful than such a state of things?
12th September.

 

North China Herald, 17 October 1883
NEWCHWANG.
(FROM A CORRESPONDENT.]

  The troubles that have beset an Executor at this port are such that I question whether any one in future will dare to brave the penalties which Mr. Allen has inflicted in the case of Wade's Estate.  There cannot be a doubt that in the first instance, when the notification of 1st September prohibiting any one but H.B.M's Consul from interfering with the Estate was issued, an error was committed, and we have the opinion of the Chief Justice, as reported, that such notification was wrong.  May it not be asked why, without going further into the matter, such notification is not at once recalled? Until that be done, how can the Executor be expected to do his duty? Is the Supreme Court aware of the error?  Then let it be corrected.  Surely a British Court will not allow a palpable error to continue, to the prejudice of British interests.  So long as it remains, it is a stain on Justice.  True, the Judge here may have acted from ignorance.  He is reported to have said, "I am no Lawyer."  If a Judge is not a lawyer what is he then?
 As may be gathered thus far, it appears that the Consul, not being allowed to demand the papers and property of the deceased, goes on another tack, and summonses the Executor in Her Majesty's name to reply to such inquiries as the court sees fit to put regarding the affairs of the deceased.  Now is that not an unfair way of obtaining the information which was attempted to be got by the notification? Surely the Law does not give H.M. Consul such a power? Anyhow, legally or not, the power was put in force on 24th September, and the Executor, who must have been in a dire dilemma, was ordered to be sworn for the purpose of being questioned, and because he preferred the alternative, actually allowed by the summons (which by the bye did not expire till the following day) he was fined $25.  The Estate is very poor, and cannot afford the costs for summonses, fines, hearing, &c.
  Mind you, the only motion before the Court was a motion for time.  The summons itself did not expire, according to the Judge's calculation, till the following day.  The Court therefore had no legal right to put the summons in force on the 24th, and if that be so, the fine was prematurely inflicted - for possibly the Executor, rather than be further badgered, would on the following day when the summons expired, have submitted himself to the exigencies of the Court.  Allowing however that the Consul has a right to put a British subject on his oath, at a time when he was there on some other business, surely the deponent should be informed what he is expected to bear witness to.  Freemasons are not allowed to know beforehand what they have to go through, but a British Court of Justice is a different institution.
 The duties of Consuls are distinctly laid down, the principal one being "protection of British subjects and interests." So far however as experience goes of the last few years at the port of Newchwang, whether in shipping or other matters, the records will prove that the less one has to do with the consulate the better it is for one's peace of mind, or pocket. A few facts are at the disposal of any one who wishes to know, but meanwhile we think matters have come to such a pass that a fair and impartial inquiry should be instituted with the view of preventing very serious results.
A PERPLEXED CORRESPONDENT. 3rd October.

 

North China Herald, 17 October 1883
PROCEEDINGS IN H.B.M.'s COURT AT NEWCHWANG.
24th September, 1883
Before Herbert J. Allen, Esq., Judge.
In re Probate of Will of J. H. Wade, deceased.
 In accordance with summons (as per copy- [not transcribed]) Mr. H.  E. Bush, the Executor, appeared in Court, and asked for an extension of the time.  The Judge calculated that the 14 days only expired tomorrow, but applicant said he wished to make sure.  The Judge asked on what grounds further time should be allowed, and was informed that applicant had written to the Supreme Court and expected a reply daily; the Chief Judge had said, when here, that probate would be granted at once (probate had been applied for and the Executor's oath signed in Court), and the Court had said, "the Will was in order."
  The Judge - I may have said so - you can make that statement, if you like.
 Executor - Well then, it seems to me, the Will being proved, and the Executor's oath signed according to the Rule of the Supreme court, and as the Chief Judge had led the Executor to understand, nothing more would be demanded.
The Judge - I don't wish to argue about Rules, and it does not matter what the Chief Judge said.  I decline to give further time.  If you don't answer the questions the Court chooses to put to you, there will be no probate, and if you don't renounce probate, the thing will lapse.
  Executor - Is the summons according to Rile 186?
  The Judge - Yes, it is.
 Executor - Well, that rule does not apply to anything but proving the Will, which has been done; it does not give power to ask for information as to the affairs of the deceased.  I am asked to divulge the affairs of the deceased, and do not feel justified in doing so.
  The Judge - Well then, you must renounce and sign the Renunciation-form No. 232.
 Executor - How can the Court ask me to do that, when I have already sworn to administer as per form No. 10? However, as I have so much trouble from the Court, and have been threatened with punishment for contempt of Court, and cannot put up any more with the inconvenience I have suffered and still may have to undergo, I would rather renounce probate.
 The Judge - Will you answer the questions of the Court?
  Executor - I don't know what they are, and therefore I cannot say if it be anything that I know by virtue of me executorship, I don't think the Court should ask me.
  The Judge - I'll tell you, if you'll be sworn; (taking the Bible) will you be sworn?
 Executor -When I am sworn, I must say what I know, and therefore as the summons gives me an alternative, I prefer to accept it and renounce probate. (Reads the Summons to the Court.)
 The Judge - I don't care what that summons says; will you be sworn?
  Executor - If I decline to be sworn as Executor, what will be the punishment?
   The Judge - I shall tell you that afterwards.  Do you refuse?
 Executor - There is no cause before the Court, and I am not a witness.  Can you swear anyone you like?
 The Judge - Yes, I can send for anybody to appear and answer what questions I like on oath.
  Executor - Well, I prefer to renounce probate.
 The Judge (Excitedly) - Will you be sworn? Do you refuse to be sworn?
 Executor - I repeat, that I renounce probate; as I have the alternative by the summons to renounce probate, I now formally do so. The motion for time being refused, I shall retire, and the constable can come and take the property.
 As he was leaving the office, the Judge called out in a violent passion, Stop, Sir, - Stop, I say, I have not done with you yet. I fine you $25; failing that, imprisonment for seven days for contempt of Court! - Farmer (the constable) go and collect the money.

 

North China Herald, 28 September 1883
IN H.B.M.'s SUPREME COURT FOR CHINA AND JAPAN.
Canton, 20th September.
Before Sir Richard T. Rennie, Chief Justice.
THE FATAL SHOOTING AFFRAY AT HONAN.
  James Henry Logan, an outdoor officer of the Chinese Imperial Customs, was brought before the Court charged with the murder of one Pak Wah-king, at Honan, on the 10th August.
Mr. H. S. Wilkinson, Crown Advocate, appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. J. J.  Francis, instructed by Mr. C. Ewens, solicitor to the Chinese Government, appeared to watch the case on behalf of Mr. Ewen's client.
  Mr. Pang, late Taotai of Chu Cow, and now Superintendent of Taxation in Canton, represented H.E. the Viceroy, taking a seat on the Bench beside the Chief Justice, Dr. Hance, the Acting British Consul, being on the other side.  Mr. Sit Ming-kok, Sub-Magistrate, was also present, space being reserved for Chinese officials.
  Mr. J. Dyer Ball, Chief Interpreter, &c., of the Hongkong Supreme Court, attended to act as Chinese interpreter.
  A guard of about half a dozen marines from H.M.S. Swift was on duty in the vicinity of the Court.
  The Clerk of the Court, Mr. Malcolm Jones, read the proclamation, and he then read the counts on which the prisoner was charged.
  The prisoner, being asked how he pleaded - guilty or not guilty - replied in a form voice, "Not guilty."  He was calm in his demeanour, though pale.
  His Lordship (to the accused) - Are you prepared with your defence now?
  Prisoner - I am not, my Lord.
  Have you engaged Counsel? - No, my Lord.
 Do you wish to have counsel? - I understood from the Consul when the examination came off, that counsel would be found for me in the Supreme Court.
  Then you have not taken steps? - No, my Lord.
  Do you desire to do so then? - Yes, my Lord.
  Have you the means?  I have not the means at present in Canton.
  Have you conferred with any solicitor at all, or barrister, with the view of retaining them to defend you? - No, my Lord.
  Do you wish to have the opportunity of doing so? - Yes, my Lord; I would like to have an opportunity of doing so.
     I understand there are now in Canton more legal gentlemen with whom you may confer, and if you desire it every opportunity will be afforded you to consult with them.
  Prisoner - I do desire it.
  His Lordship - Well, in that case it will be necessary to adjourn the trial; it will be adjourned until Tuesday next, and the court will sit at nine o'clock, if that is convenient.
  Mr. Francis - Quite convenient, my Lord.
  His Lordship (to prisoner) - The case will be adjourned to enable you to instruct counsel for your defence at the hearing.
     The names of the jurymen summoned were then read over, seventeen names being read, of whom five failed to answe4r, and those who were present were notified of the adjournment of the court.
  The Crown Advocate - I would suggest that those gentlemen of the jury who have not answered to their names should be called upon again.
  The Court then adjourned. - Daily Press.

North China Herald, 10 October 1883
LAW REPORTS.
GERMAN CONSULAR COURT.
Shanghai, 9th October, 1883
Before Dr. Gabriel, Vice-Consul,
And Messrs. T. Breber, St. C. Michaelsen, J. J. Buchheister and J. Buse, Assessors.
FORGERY.
  Ernst von Leiningen was charged with forging and uttering a fictitious cheque for Tls. 56 on the Hongkong and Shanghai bank, in the name of P. Maclean.
  The Prisoner was first examined as to his past life.
  Peter Maclean was then called, and sworn in the following words: I swear to God Almighty and Omniscient that I will speak to the best of my knowledge the pure truth, neither concealing nor adding anything.  So help me God! - The witness deposed that the name "P. Maclean" on the cheque produced was not his signature, and that the name "Peter Maclean" which he had written on another paper was his ordinary signature.
Louis Charles Balfour, clerk at the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, was then called and sworn.  He said the ordinary way in which a cheque was taken at the bank was that the holder presented it to the cashier, or whoever was behind the counter, and the cashier handed it to one of three ledger-keepers, who passed it through the books; and then the Shroff took the cheque and paid the money. The name "Peter Maclean" on the forged cheque was not at all like Mr. Maclean's signature; but witness never saw the signature until after the cheque was paid.  He believed the ledger-keeper was simply asked whether Mr. Maclean had money to meet the cheque, and through an oversight the signature was not examined until after the money was paid.
Narditto, an Italian, was then sworn and examined, the Marquis de Nembrini-Gonzaga acting as interpreter.  He said that he lent the prisoner 80 cents at the time Leiningen was in the police force.  About eight days before the cheque was presented witness met Leiningen and asked him, "Where are you living? I should like to call on you."  The prisoner said he was living near Hongkew Police Station, and a few days afterwards witness called there.  The prisoner bought brandy and other things from witness to the value of $4.50, and three or four days before the end of the month Leiningen called on witness and said, "I have got my salary from my master," and he showed witness the forged cheque.  Witness said, "If you have money, pay me my money; and I shall be obliged if you will lend me $15, which I owe to the Japanese."
 The Japanese, who was present, took the cheque and gave Leiningen the change, and the next day the Japanese cashed the cheque at the bank.
  The Consul asked whether the prisoner was drunk at the time.
  The Witness said no.  The prisoner used to drink on an average one bottler of brandy a day, but this did not make him drunk, He was a little excited at the time, but not drunk.
  Mr. Mori, a Japanese curio dealer, was then examined in English.  He said an Italian - the last witness - owed him $15, and the Italian said he had no money, but his fiend (the prisoner) who was present had a cheque.  The prisoner showed him a letter from Maclean & Co., and witness, thinking the cheque was all right, said, "If you want this cheque cashed I will cash it for you."  Witness then got some money from his house, took the cheque from the prisoner and paid him the money, subtracting the amount due to the witness from the Italian.  The next day witness cashed the cheque at the bank.
 The Prisoner was then asked what he had to say in his defence.  He stated that he had forged the cheque without any intention of defrauding the bank, but simply to induce people to whom he owed money to believe that he had money in his possession; and that he was drunk at the time he cashed the cheque.
  The Court was closed while the Consul and Assessors considered their decision, and on its reopening the Consul sentenced the prisoner to six months' imprisonment.

North China Herald, 31 October 1883
LAW REPORTS.
POLICE COURT.
Shanghai, 26th October, 1883
Before R. A. Mowat, Esq., Assistant Judge.
CUTTING AND WOUNDING.
Nicholas de Beau, seaman, of the s.s. Strathmore, was charged on remand with assaulting and wounding one J. Dely?, sailor, on board the same steamer, on the 14th September.
  The Prosecutor said on the night of the 14th September both himself and the prisoner were a little drunk, and the prisoner wanted to fight everybody.  Prosecutor refused to fight with the prisoner; but the prisoner came up to him and struck him, and a basin of tea which prosecutor had in his hand was broken.  He struck the prisoner with the basin, and he believed cut his head; and in the course of the struggle he (prosecutor) received a very severe cut across the back of the hand.  When he came to Shanghai he went to the hospital and was put under chloroform while Dr. Little performed an operation.  His hand was now getting well, but it would be a fortnight yet before he would be ab le to use the hand.  Dr. Little said he believed the cut was inflicted with the knife, but he (prosecutor) could not say that he saw a knife in the prisoner's hand.  He was sure it was the prisoner who had inflicted the wounds on his hand because he had nothing to do with any other man at the time.
  The Prisoner, in answer to his Worship, admitted that he, as well as the prosecutor, was drunk at the time of the occurrence; but he denied having used a knife, and said that the prisoner [prosecutor] had inflicted three rather severe wounds on his head with a broken basin.  He said the prosecutor must have cut his own hand with the broken basin.
  Henry Cotton, boatswain of the Strathmore, said he saw the two men fighting on the evening in question, and at the beginning of the disturbance he took the prisoner's knife away from him, fearing that he might use it. He put it in the firemen's room.  When he returned he saw the men still fighting, and he heard the prisoner sing out that the prosecutor had something in his hand.  He took a piece of a broken basin out of the prosecutor's hand and threw it into the water.  He then saw that the prisoner was covered with blood, which was flowing from cuts in his head, and the prosecutor's hand was also bleeding.  He was quite sure that the prisoner did not use his knife, because he (witness) took it out of the sheath and put it away before the prisoner had an opportunity of using it.
His Worship, addressing the prisoner, said it was evident that it was he who had begun the disturbance.  Addressing the prosecutor, his Worship said he was satisfied that the prisoner did not use his knife.
  The Prosecutor said he was sure he did not inflict the wound himself, because the broken basin was taken away from him by the boatswain before his hand was cut.
  His Worship said if that was the case it followed that the prisoner must have cut the prosecutor with the basin before he received the injury to his hand.
  The prosecutor admitted that this was so.
  His Worship then said it appeared to him impossible that the Prosecutor could have inflicted so severe a wound upon himself; he believed the prisoner had cut the prosecutor's hand, not with a knife but with part of the broken basin.  However, the prisoner had evidently injured the prosecutor on the head before the prisoner cut his hand, and he should therefore dismiss the case.

North China Herald, 14 November 1883
THE NEW MIXED COURT MAGISTRATE.
  His Worship Huang Ch'eng-i, the new magistrate of the Mixed Court in the Maloo, on Monday took his seat for the first time on the bench of which old Chen has been for so many years the central ornament.  The precincts of the Court were at an early hour crowded by Chinese anxious to get an early glimpse of their new magisterial ruler, and the Court-room itself was closely packed, among the spectators being the familiar figure of Chen's brother, and a number of the head runners from the City. [Long account]
  His Worship then dealt one by one with the numerous other cases before the Court, showing a disposition to treat offences with a fair amount of strictness, and exhibiting a marked preference for the cangue over other modes of punishment.

North China Herald, 14 November 1883
LAW REPORTS.
H.B.M.'s CIVIL SUMMARY COURT.
Shanghai, 10th November 1883
Before Sir R. T. Rennie, Chief Justice.
NOTICE OF DISMISSAL; TO CHINESE SERVANTS.
  John Bailey, liquidator of the estate of Hopkinson and Co., was summoned by a Chinese servant lately in the employ of that firm, to answer a claim of $10, one month's wages, in lieu of one month's notice of dismissal.
  On behalf of the plaintiff, an agreement was handed on signed by Mr. Rogers, of Hopkinson and Co., and the plaintiff claimed that he was entitled to a month's notice.
  The Defendant said he knew nothing about this.  As liquidator of the estate, he was instructed to dismiss all the servants except those whom he considered it necessary to retain, and the pl,intiff was dismissed among the rest.  On account of the Races intervening, Mr. Watson,, who, by defendant's direction, dismissed the servants, did not see this boy until four or five days after the end of the month for which he was paid. He was prepared to pay into Court the amount of the plaitniff's wages for these four or five days; but he did not admit that the plaintiff was entitled to a month's notice.
  His Honour said Mr. Rogers had handed in a document which was of no value legally, but which seemed to show that there had been some kind of agreement that the plaintiff should have a month's notice.
  The defendant said the plaintiff went off without saying a word to him about there being an agreement to this effect.
  His Honour - I cannot say that he has no claim. I believe it is not the custom - is it the custom to give a month's notice to Chinese servants?
  The Defendant - I think not.  I think your own experience must tell you it is not.
  His Honour - According to strict English law a month's notice would be required, if the custom here were not different.  The custom does appear to be different; but at the same time he has brought a paper which seems to show that there was a special agreement.  This paper is legally of no value; but, if he likes, I will adjourn the case and give him an opportunity of calling Mr. Rogers.  The paper to a certain extent proves his bona fides; and considering furthermore that he was not dismissed till after the beginning of this month, it seems to be that he has some claim.
  The Defendant said that in face of the document which had been handed in, he was willing to pay the $10; but he thought he ought not to pay the costs of the hearing, as the plaintiff, when dismissed, had said nothing about having a written or verbal agreement that he was to have a month's notice.
 His Honour made an order against the defendant to pay the sum of $10 without costs, intimating that he wished it to be distinctly understood that he did not make the order on the ground that it was necessary to give a Chinese servant a month's notice, but on the ground that there was a special agreement in this case.

North China Herald, 21 November 1883
LAW REPORTS.
CIVIL SUMMARY COURT.
Shanghai, 19th November.
Before Sir R. T. Rennie, Chief Justice.
EBRAM BARWAK, serang of the P. & O. Co.'s steamer Verona, appeared in answer to a summons taken out by one Peerbuk, a fireman of the same steamer, requiring him to deliver up forty baskets of onions in his possession belonging to the plaintiff, or to pay the value of the onions.
  Both plaintiff and defendant are Bombay men, and a few days ago Barwak was charge by Peerbuk at the Police Court, with having stolen the onions in question; but Sir Richard Rennie dismissed the case and at the same time told the plaintiff that he could if he wished, take civil proceedings against the defendant for the recovery of the onions.  The plaintiff alleged that he had brought forty baskets of onions on board the Verona at Bombay, and had given them in charge of the defendant, who took ten rupees from plaintiff for freight.  When they arrived at Shanghai, the plaintiff asked for the onions and found that the defendant had sold them and pocketed the money.  The defendant denied having sold the onions, and said the mate had sei?ed them. He also denied having received ten rupees from the plaintiff.
  His Honour said he did not understand the case.  He asked the Chief Officer of the Verona, who was present, if he knew anything about it.
  The Chief Officer said that the plaintiff had brought the onions on board at Bombay, secretly, with the object of avoiding the payment of freight.  He (the Chief Officer) was ordered by the Captain to search the forecastle for onions, to leave enough for the men to eat, and to seize the rest.  He accordingly left the men one basket a piece, which was more than enough, and seized fifty baskets, forty of which belonged to the plaintiff. He told the plaintiff that he could have the onions back if he paid the freight, but the plaintiff did not do so, and he (the Chief Officer) accordingly confiscated the onions and sold them.
  His Honour said if the defendant had obtained ten rupees from the plaintiff and had not paid it over for freight, the plaintiff was entitled to get it back. He wanted to get at the bottom of the matter.
  The Chief Officer said the men lied and cheated one another so much that he was afraid it would be impossible to get to the bottom of it.
  The plaintiff was then examined, Mr. Deighton acting as interpreter. He declared that after the steamer reached Shanghai he had paid ten rupees to the defendant for the freight on the onions.
  The Defendant admitted that the plaintiff had paid him ten rupees, but said he had given it back.
  The Plaintiff said that not only did the defendant not give him back the ten rupees, but he actually tried to get another ten rupees out of him for the freight.
 His Honour dismissed the case, explaining to the defendant, through the interpreter that the whole transaction was an improper one, and he could not assist him.  Besides, he had only one man's word against the other, and he had no means of being sure whether the ten rupees paid by the plaintiff to the defendant for freight had been repaid or not. However, as the defendant appeared to think he had been wrongly dealt with his Honour would remit the Court fees.

North China Herald, 28 November 1883
LAW REPORTS.
U.S. CONSULAR COURT.
Shanghai, 21st November.
Before O. N. Denny, Esq., U.S. Consul-General, Acting judicially.
  John Murray Nelson, aged 35, fourth engineer of the British steamer Peking, was charged with assaulting one Wong Ah-sai, a jinricksha coolie, at about 3 a.m. on the 21st instant, by kicking him in such a manner as to cause him serious bodily harm.
  The prosecutor was too much injured to appear.
  The Defendant said he hired a jinricksha to take him to the steamer, but the 'ricksha man took him round a lot of streets and demanded half a dollar.  Defendant gave the man another ten cents; but he still demanded half a dollar. Defendant then became a little bit excited, and kicked out at the man, without any intention of seriously hurting him.
His Honour said it was an unfortunate thing because the man was very seriously hurt.  He could not dispose of the case until the assaulted man was able to appear.
 The defendant said his steamer was about to leave, and he would lose his situation.
 His Honour said he would take a bond for the defendant's appearance when the steamer returned to Shanghai. The defendant would either have to deposit $50 or get somebody - an American, under the jurisdiction of this Court - to stand security for him in that amount.
  It was stated that the prosecutor would probably be able to appear on the following morning, while the Peking would not leave till the following evening.  The case was therefore adjourned till the morning of the 22nd.

North China Herald, 12 December 1883
LAW REPORTS
H.B.M.'s SUPREME COURT.
Shanghai, 6th December, 1883
Before Sir Richard T. Rennie, Chief Justice.
BENJAMIN N. HUESTIS v. THE CHINESE GLASS WORKS COMPANY.
  This was a claim of $11, 388, Mexican, for alleged wrongful dismissal.
[Not transcribed.]
19th December.
  His Lordship asked - Well, gentlemen, are you agreed upon your verdict?
  The Foreman - Yes; we are unanimous, my Lord.   We find for the plaintiff.  Damages, $6,000.
  Mr. Dowdall - Then, my Lord, the judgment will be for $6,000?
  His Lordship - You ask me to give that judgment?
  M. Dowdall - Yes, my Lord.
  His Lordship - Very well.  (to the Jury) Well, gentlemen, that is all.
[See also 19 December 1883, editorial re summing-up.]

North China Herald, 26 December 1883
GERMAN CONSULAR COURT.
Shanghai, 22nd Dec., 1883
Before Dr. Gabriel, H.I.G.M.'s Vice-Consul.
Henry Rubart was charged with presenting a forged letter, purporting to be signed by P. G. von Mollendorff, to Messrs. Wilck and Mielenhausen, on or about the 19th inst. with intent to defraud.  He was further charged with presenting a similar forged letter to Messrs.  Hall and Holtz on or about the 20th inst., and thereby fraudulently obtaining goods.
 The articles obtained from the Hall and Holtz Co-operative store were a hat and an old pencil-case. The prisoner had also ordered a number of the articles, but the forgery was detected before these were delivered.
  The prisoner was sentenced to two months' imprisonment.
[See also Police Court, 22 December 1883; also forgery.]

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