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Colonial Cases

Ah Foo v. Hoskings, 1887


Ah Foo v. Hoskings

United States Consular Court, Shanghai
Kennedy, 7 September 1887
Source: North China Herald, 10 September 1887

Shanghai, 7th Sept., 1887
Before Gen. Kennedy, Consul-General Acting Judicially.
J. F. Seaman, C. F. Luther, Assessors.
AH FOONG v. THE ADMINISTRATOR of the estate of George Derrick, deceased.
  This was a claim brought by a native woman to recover $1,440, which she alleged was due her for wages as housekeeper.  She testified that during the past four years she had been the deceased's housekeeper and had general management of his house.  He had kept no servants and she had done all the house work including the cooking.  During this period she had received no wages.  Deceased had supplied her with food and clothing, but beyond this he paid her nothing excepting $50 about four months ago which he gave her to pay the expenses of a visit to Hongkong.  She had often asked for money but the deceased had told her he would make provision for her bye and bye.  He had also asked her to marry him so as to secure her all he had in case of his death.  He was accidentally killed and had made no provision for her.
  Charles E. Membert testified that he had known the late George Derrick for the past eighteen years.  He knew the plaintiff.  He had often seen her at Derrick's house and knew that he kept no other servant.  Derrick had told him he intended making provision for her in the event of his leaving China and that he wished to provide for her in case of his death.
  Ah Ling a native woman testified on behalf of the plaintiff.  Her evidence was corroborative of that given by the preceding witnesses.
  The Administrator, Mr. W. S. Emens, said that he had no defence to offer and left it for the Court to decide whether the evidence given by plaintiff, and the witnesses on her behalf, was sufficient to establish her claim.  If the Court as of the opinion that it was he pointed out that the plaintiff had been provided for by the deceased as far as clothing, food and shelter was concerned, and asked to be allowed to compromise  with plaintiff as to the amount she should be paid. This was allowed, and the plaintiff agreeing to accept $600, the Court gave judgment as follows:-
This case having come on for hearing this seventh day of September 1887 - after due consideration of the facts hereof it is ordered that judgment be entered up for plaintiff in the sum of six hundred dollars (Mexican) and costs.

Source: North China Herald, 27 October 1887

Before Geo. Jamieson, Esq., Acting Assistant Judge,
Shanghai, 20th Oct., 1887
  This was a claim by Ah Foo, a furniture dealer, to recover $48 on foot of account from Mrs. Hoskings alias Medicus.
  The defendant did not appear.
  Mr. Hoare sworn, said - I went to the house on the 18th and the defendant was out, but I saw Mr. Medicus who said his wife was a German subject.  Today he came and asked me to try and have the case postponed for an hour as he had another case in the German Court in which Mrs. Medicus was to be a witness.
  Ah Foo, cautioned, said he supplied furniture to Mrs. Hoskings alias Medicus to the amount stated on the bill produced.  Mrs. Medicus kept putting off payment from month to month saying that she was waiting for a ship to come in.  Some of the things were supplied two years ago and others last year.  They were all supplied to Mrs. Medicus.  Some time ago when the German Consul seized the furniture for debts due by Mr. Medicus the latter stated that the things belonged not to him but to his wife.
  Mr. Hoare informed His Worship that the defendant's former husband, Hoskings, who had been in the Customs died some years ago.
  His Worship said that he would give judgment for the plaintiff, but there was evidently some misunderstanding in the case.  If he defendant afterwards appeared and paid the money into Court making an affidavit that she had a good defence for not paying the money, the case would be gone into again.  Otherwise there would be an execution at once.

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