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Colonial Cases

Mixed Court, 1887

NORTH China Herald, 17 June 1887
The action lately brought by Messrs. Major Brothers in the Mixed Court is of more general interest than appears at first sight.  The plaintiffs, as is well known, have carried on for some seven years the manufacture of matches in Shanghai, and they summoned a native manufacturer for imitating their matches and so deceiving the public. It appeared on examination that, though the Chinese characters were slightly different on the two labels, the boxes generally were so much alike that a casual purchaser would easily be deceived, and the plaintiffs therefore asked the Court to order the defendant to change the label on his match-boxes in future.
.  .  .  
  That China, where the rights of property generally are as fully guarded as they are in any western country, will join the trade-mark convention and enact patent laws in time, cannot be doubted; but these are measures of progress that she can hardly be expected to understand and adopt in a hurry.  The United States has not yet arrived at a conviction of the justice of international copyright, though the adoption of the measure cannot be now far off; and it is therefore pardonable that China, which must be actually confused by the numerous demands for reforms made upon her, should take time to consider them.  Meanwhile, it seems that the rude justice of the Mixed Court will remedy in this case the defects of legislation.

North China Herald, 8 July 1887
Shanghai, 7th July.
Before the Magistrate Tsai and Mr. Emens, U.S. Assessor.
  Yue Sing-ching, aged 30, of 73, Honan Road, Chang Chong-woo, aged 49, shopkeeper, Shanghai City and Yik Ka-wing, Post-office owner Nanking, aged 27, were brought up charged with unlawfully selling bogus lottery tickets to Lee Yung-lee, a cash-shop keeper at Nanking.  
  These part-tickets ae sold all over the country, and the plan of these Chinese was this - they used the same shop, and whenever a winning number turned up on the tickets and by ether, the seller disappeared leaving his confederate in the shop, who of  course denied any connection with the part-ticket.
  With the exception of this case it does not appear that any considerable prize has been drawn under any of the tickets of which they had sold parts, and that in the case of small prizes they were paid for in tickets and never in money.
  Lee Yung-lee obtained a prize of $500, but on applying for it, found that it was a swindle; he therefore came from Nanking to prosecute the proprietors of his lottery shop.
  The prisoners were remanded for trial on the 12th inst.

North China Herald, 22 July 1887
Shanghai, 18th July 1887
Before Magistrate Tsai and Mr. Carles.
  Hoi Soo-gee aged  30, Ching Ko 22, a hawker, Chow Chee 27m Kang Yea 23, Kwong Hon-san 28 and Ching Shah-poo29, were charged with being in unlawful possession of 40 pistols, 1 sword, 1 small box of ammunition, 2 boxes of copper caps. Which were found at 549 Canton Road, and 295 revolvers and 100 pistols at 2923 Ningpo Road.  The prisoners were arrested by Inspector Howard under a warrant from the Mixed Court.  They are to be sent to the Taotai.
Shanghai, 20th July.
  Sung Tah-sai., aged 42, a shoemaker living in the Woosung road, was charged with violently assaulting Yu Kwai, a boy aged 14, by beating him with a bamboo.  The little fellow came forward and exposed some frightful scars on his back and face, the former marks seeming to have been inflicted by a hot iron.  The prisoner was fined six dollars which were given to the boy as compensation.

North China Herald, 5 August 1887
Shanghai, 1st Aug., 1887
Before Magistrate Tsai and M r. Carles, British Assessor.
  Wei Dee Yuh, aged 30, an ex-soldier, and Ching Chang Zoo a Soochow woman were charged with being concerned with another woman, not in custody, in kidnapping a girl of fourteen named Yang Nee Zoo. Yan Hoo San of Soochow prosecuted.  The little girl and her intended husband gave evidence against the defendants. It appeared that Wai Dee Yuk took the child to Soochow for the purpose of selling her to his woman.  Prisoners were sent to the Shanghai Chehsien.
  Chang Tah Ying was charged with stealing Telephone wire from his employers, the China and Japan Telephone Company.  When arrested he was disposing of the stolen property at a second had dealers in Hankow road.  The case was not settled.
Shanghai, 4th August, 1887
Before Magistrate Tsai and Mr. Ewens.
  Ah Mo, proprietor of the Shindah Stables, was charged with obstructing the passage by washing carriages and causing a nuisance by depositing manure in the Astor Road on the 2nd instant.  Several foreigners had made complains but no notice had been taken.  The defendant was cautioned, and is to be fined next time.
  M. G. A. Woods, shipwright, charged Wong Qua--sing, a blacksmith in the Woosung Rad, with stealing a hand cart value $20 from complainant's house on the 1st instant.  He also claimed damages for injury done to it, and for loss of time.  It appears he purchased the cart, for the purpose of removing some machinery, from a Chinaman for $20 and previously the defendant had been in the habit of hiring it from the proprietor. On that particular morning he went as usual to the yard and asked for the cart; being told that Mr. G.  Woods had taken it, and not having heard of the purchase, he went round, and took it away from M. Woods' door, not knowing that the property had been sold to the complainant.  The magistrate ordered Wong Qua-sing to return the cart; and the two parties arranged the payment for damages themselves.

North China Herald, 12 August 1887
Shanghai, 4th August, 1887
Before Magistrate Tsai and Mr. Carles.
  Lo CHING-JAI, unemployed, was charged with stealing about a picul of feathers, from a godown in Amoy Road, between the 20th and 21`st of July last, the property of Messrs. Birt & Co.  It appeared that he sold the stolen property to Wong Ah-nee, a second hand dealer of 841 Peking Road who was also charged with receiving the stolen goods.  Lo Ching-jai was sentenced to one month imprisonment, and Wong Ah-kee was fined 3,000 cash or 14 days in default.
WONG OHI-KAI, unemployed, of Soochow, was charged with being concerned with others, not in custody in obtaining pearls to the amount of $1,000 from a shop in Soochow on the 1st instant by misrepresentation.  The case was remanded.
9th August.
  Before Magistrate Tsai and Mr. Emens.
  Jing Ah-mow, aged 30, employed at Say Zong stables, was charged with driving a pony along the Fochow Road at a furious pace, thereby knocking down and injuring the complainant Lee Tsu-ching, a pawnshop assistant.  The prisoner was remanded.
  Mr. T. G. Smith, 2 Peking Road, charged on suspicion his houseboy Mow Tsui-chun, aged 18, with stealing a gold watch valued at $150 from his house between the 2nd and 8th instant.  It appears that the property was sent to a jeweller to be repaired, and after some days Mr. Smith applied personally for it but was told that his boy had already called and taken the watch, and had also returned the book signed by complainant, who states that he has not received the watch nor signed the receipt.  Prisoner denied having stolen the property and at the same time swore that his master received it and signed the chit, and the case was remanded for further evidence and enquiry.
10th Aug.
Before Magistrate Tsai and Mr. Carles.
  The prisoner Mon Tsui-chun who was remanded from Tuesday, charged with stealing a watch valued at $150, the property of the complainant, Mr. Smith, was again brought before the court.  The defendant sated that he had been in the habit of signing his master's chits, and on the 2nd instant at 2 p.m. a messenger came from H. Muller & Co., with the repaired watch, and receipt book to be signed.  As Mr. Smith was upstairs and had visitors at the time, he signed the book and took the packet upstairs about three or half-past, and was met by his master on the first landing to whom he at once delivered it.  Mr. Smith took it but did not open the packet.  Mr. Smith here denied having received anything; or having been in the habit of allowing his boy to sign any chits whatever. On the 10th he went to Muller & Co. for the purpose of obtaining the property and until then had been in perfect ignorance of the matter.  The receipt book was produced with Mr.  Smith's name skillfully forged.  The prisoner here called a witness to prove his innocence of the charge.  Mr. Bishop's boy, who was there at the time awaiting his master who was visiting Mr. Smith, deposed that at the stated time he heard the upstairs bell ring and saw the defendant take the watch upstairs in his hand, and return without it.
  M r. Carles here advised Mr. Smith to search his premises thoroughly, meanwhile the case should be remanded for fourteen days for every enquiry to be made.
  Mr. R. Wallberg, of 19, Kiangse Road, charged his servant Shin Yuen-gee with stealing a gold watch from his residence.  The prisoner admitted having taken the watch from a drawer with the intention of raising some money which he required, and redeeming the pledge when he received his wages.  The watch was pawned for eight dollars, and the prisoner had given a friend of his a share of the gains.  The prisoner was remanded to receive judgment on Friday, as the Magistrate was not quite certain what sentence was usually passed for these offences.


North China Herald, 14 December 1887
IN the Municipal Council minutes published today morning it will be seen that the British Assessor at the Mixed Court, Mr. Carles, has again drawn attention to the inadequacy of the prison accommodation provided by the council for native prisoners. This is a long standing grievance which has been brought up over and over again, but no Council has as yet been able to remedy it.
[Not transcribed]  .  .  .   or until Mr. Hughes can persuade the British government to hand over the British gaol to the Municipal care.

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