Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

Dalrymple v. Simpson, 1886

[ship building]

Dalrymple v. Simpson

Supreme Court for China and Japan
Rennie CJ, 5 October 1886
Source: North China Herald, 13 October 1886

Shanghai, 5th October 1886
Before Sir Richard T. Rennie, Kt., Chief Justice.
  In this case the plaintiff, owner of the pilot schooner Syren, sued the defendant, as representing the firm of S. C. Farnham & Co., for Tls. 999, damages to the Syren alleged to have arisen from bad workmanship on the part of the defendant's firm.
  Mr. Wainewright appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Myrburgh for the defence.
  The petition of Simon Oscar Dalrymple, the above named plaintiff, shows as follows:-
- The plaintiff is a citizen of the United States of America, and is a pilot residing in Shanghai, and the defendant is a British subject carrying on business in Shanghai as a shipwright engineer and boiler-maker, in partnership with Gerrit Galles, James Dick and Arthur Webster, under the style or firm of S. C. Farnham & Co.  The said Gerrit Galles is a German subject, and the said James Dick and Arthur Webster were not members of the said firm at the time when the work which is mentioned in the next paragraph hereof was performed.
[Not transcribed.]
  Mr. Wainewright - There is the evidence of two surveyors that the clamp had been fixed in a way that no proper shipwright would fix a clamp in such a way; and upon that ground the plaintiff though he was entitled to  see if he was  bound to bear all the expense entailed by its coming off.  He considered, on the advice of these two surveyors, that he had a good claim against Messrs. Farnham & Co. But what I feel is the strongest point against me is the evidence that has been given that the dummy bolts were not drawn, but broken off.  If I can rebut that, I shall still appeal to your Lordship with some confidence.  But assuming that evidence to be correct, and that the dummy bolts were actually in the holes, the heads having been wrenched off, I must confess I have to face the difficulty that through bolts would probably not have made it much stronger, and I could not carry the case any further.  Therefore, my Lord, I am afraid that if I am precluded from seeing if I can produce evidence to rebut the very important evidence given by Mr. Webster and Mr. Black on the point, I shall not trouble your Lordship further.
  His Lordship - I think it is the weakness of your own case, as well as the defendant's evidence.  I entertain very little doubt on the point.  It was only because I felt that Mr. Webster was probably anxious enough to justify his own workmanship and uphold the reputation of his firm that I did not stop you before.
  Mr. Myburgh pointed out that the plaintiff had submitted himself to the jurisdiction of this Court, and had admitted his indebtedness to the defendants in the sum pf Tls. 308.04. He therefore asked that an order might be made for the payment by the plaintiff of this amount, as well as the costs of the suit.
  His Lordship said if the defendants had set up a counterclaim he might have done so; but they had not.  The plaintiff's admission might be useful to the defendants elsewhere; but he could not make such an order.
  The suit was accordingly dismissed with costs.

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