Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

Hopper v. McLoughlin, 1888

[shipping, assault]

Hopper v. McLoughlin

Police Court, Shanghai
Jamieson AAJ, 25 January 1888
Source: North China Herald, 3 February 1888

H.M.'s POLICE COURT.
Shanghai, 25th January.
Before Geo. Jamieson, Esq., Acting Assistant Judge.
F. HOPPER v. J. W. McLOUGHLIN, Master of the Minister of Marine.
CHARGE OF ASSAUILT.
  Mr. R. E. Wainwright appeared for the Defendant.  The Plaintiffs conducted their own case.
  Mr. Wainewright asked his Worship to order witnesses out of Court, a request which was complied with.
  F. Hopper, was sworn and stated - I am a German and an A.B. on board the Minister of Marine.  I shopped in New York.  The Captain struck me on the first day of going to sea.  I did not understand something the Captain said.  He struck me in the eye, and then he kicked me three or four times.  This happened in the morning at about 11 o'clock.  My eye bled much.  We were setting sails at the time.  I was going to lend the other men a hand.  I do not know why he struck me, maybe it was because there were too many men at one place.  He did not say why he struck me.  He only said "get out of this."  I was bleeding for a couple of hours.  Some of the men saw this.  I was starved the whole voyage on board.  The Captain came down from the poop and kicked me after he had struck me in the eye.  He kicked me on the body.  There were no marks of the kicks.  The Captain never struck me any more during the voyage.
  By Mr. Wainewright - I came to the office to take out the summons myself.  I was only struck once.  I left the ship yesterday.  I have leave to go to the Consulate.  I have been to sea since 1880. I shipped as an A.B.
  By the Court - I stayed at the "Globe" till this morning.  There are two of us staying there.
  E. Ericsson, a Swede, sworn, stated - I am an A.B. on board the ship.  I shipped at New York.  I remember the first day after leaving New York.  I saw Fred (last witness) struck by the Captain, I saw the Captain strike and kick Fred who was pulling the mizzen topsail halliards.  The Captain struck him in the right eye.  The captain got hold of my eye too and called me names.  I did not see any more of the assault on Fred, as I had my head down.  I do not know how many men were hauling on the halliards, and I did not see Fred knocked down.  I saw another man knocked down and kicked by the Captain.  I was standing close by at the time.
  By Mr. Wainewright - I do not know at what time this was.  It was in the forenoon, but I cannot say at what o'clock.  I saw blood right under Fred's eye.  I do not know if he washed his face after it.  I left the ship yesterday.  We had leave to see the consul.  We were not told to stop on shore all night.
  By the Court - I stopped on shore yesterday because I could not expect any food, not having worked that day.
 The Witness complained of being starved on the voyage.
  C. Sorensen, sworn, stated - I am a Dane, and an A.B. on board.  I joined the ship in New York.  I saw Hopper struck on the day we left.  The captain struck him, because there were enough men to hoist the sail.  The Captain struck him and he fell down.  I did not see what became of him after that.  Fred made no reply to the Captain.  I do not remember who were haling on the mizzen royal haliards.  I saw the blood on Fred's eye after the captain had struck him.  Fred fell because he was knocked down.
  By Mr. Wainewright - He fell on the port quarter of the poop.  I was near the place.  I did not see him get up again. I was going from one rope to another.  I am not sure which eye it was.  I think it was this (pointing to the right), I have not been disrated.   Was on board last night.
  G. Lelacour, a Russian A.B. sworn, stated - I joined the ship at New York.  The captain struck me and Fred.  I could not see what Fred was doing at the time.  The Captain struck Fred in the face.  I saw blood on his face.
  By Mr. Wainewright - I did no see Fred fall down.  I was hauling the same rope.  It happened in the afternoon after dinner.  It might have been 3 or 4, but I do not remember.  I think the mate was forward at the time, I did not see him aft.
  The Defendant mad a statement as follows:- At 10.30 we left New York.  I was not on deck till all sails were on the ship.  I was below writing letters.  I never struck the man. I came on deck at about 1.30 p.m. on 30th July.  I was below when they commenced to make sail.  All I have to say is that I did not do it.
  P. Bishop, sworn, stated - I am Chief Officer of the Minister of Marine.  We left New York in the morning and were towed outside the Bar.  The captain was below part of the time.  I was in charge of making sail, I was forward.  The Captain was aft walking the poop.  I think this was after dinner.  We commenced to make sail between 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon, it may have been a little earlier.  I did not see any marks on Hopper's face.  I saw lots of them with black eyes; some came on board with back eyes, and they quarrelled in the forecastle.  If the Captain had struck anyone I should most certainly have seen it. I saw the Captain use his hand on no one.  He gave orders that there should be "no knocking about" on board when we left New York.  I have not seen any case of assault and battery, no complaints have been made to me of assaults committed on any of the men.  If here had, I should most certainly have attended to them.
  By the Court - It is very probable I should have seen the assault if it had been committed.
  The Court - You could not see two ways at once.
  The Witness - Pretty nearly I could. I have been twenty-two years at sea, and if there had been an assault there would have been a noise, and I should have looked round.
  Adjourned till Monday at 10 a.m.
North China Herald, 3 February 1888
H. WARREN v. THE SAME.
  H. Warren sworn said - I was an A.B. on board.  On the first day, the Captain hit me. He hit me in the face and knocked this (two teeth produced) out of my jaw.  We have lived pretty hard on board.  This is the only time he touched me.  I was not hauling strong enough or quick enough, I believe, to suit him.  Frenchy (Lelecour) and I were together.  The break of the poop is 2 ½ to 3 feet high.  I have lost two teeth, after the Captain struck me, I spat them out.  My face was cut a little so that it bled.  They all saw it.  The second mate told me to go and wash myself.  The third mate also saw it.  Several of the men saw it.  Two-thirds of the crew saw it.  I have seen some men struck, pushed, or kicked during the voyage.
  By Mr. Wainewright - The two teeth were firm in my jaw when the Captain struck me in the afternoon.  The Chief Officer was busy forward somewhere.  I did not see him up to the moment     this was done.  I was laid up, through getting wet
but not for two months.  I do not remember whether the Captain struck anybody else on that day.  I saw two or three about the deck with bruises and blows which were done by other officers.  I have heard Fred (Hopper) complain of being struck but I do not remember by whom.  I did not fall on deck, but I was pretty dizzy when the captain struck me.  He came up behind me and struck me, and I received a blow in the face, but I did not know whether he used his fist or feet.
  G. Lelacour said the last witness was struck all over by the Captain.  He said he had been hit all over.  Next morning Warren showed me the two teeth.  He said they came out on the poop the day before.
  By Mr. Wainewright - The captain struck Warren with his hand, while standing at the fore part of the mizzen.  Warren was on the poop at the time.
  E. Ericsson - There were six or seven men on the poop hauling.  I did not see the Captain strike Warren.  I saw the Captain strike Frenchy.  Warren showed me the teeth when we went to the fore castle, on the same day.
  P. Bishop - I saw nobody assault Warren.  It is false that the captain knocked his teeth out. He said to me "I fell against a spar and broke three ribs and knocked out two teeth."  I think he was forward at the time he says he was struck.
  Adjourned till Monday at 10 a.m.

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