Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

R. v. Dunman, 1888

[shipping, employment]

R. v. Dunman


Police Court, Shanghai

Jamieson, 1 March 1888

Source: North China Herald, 2 March 1888

Shanghai, 1st March.
Before Geo. Jamieson, Esq., Acting Assistant Judge.
  J. W. DUNMAN, Master of the British ship Alexander Yeats, was summoned for shopping seven seamen in New York without having brought them before the British  Consul, contrary to Section 160 of the Merchant Shipping Act. 'Witnesses: Peter Addison (coloured); James Holt, A.B.] .  .  .  
  Mr. Brown said he would like to have the men examined one after another.  Some of them did not complain till this morning. They were not as satisfied as the last witness had said he was.
  Further hearing of the case was adjourned until tomorrow, the captain promising to have the men again in attendance.

Source: North China Herald, 9 March 1888

.  .  .   The hearing of the charge against Captain Dunman, .  .  .  , was resumed this morning. Evidence by: Thomas Anderson; Wm. Flax (Coloured); John Owen; Petersen (moved, drunk)];
.  .  .  
His Worship said all this was outside the point and he was not going to discuss it.  It was quite enough for him that the Defendant did not get the necessary endorsement in respect to these seven men.  While acknowledging that there might be some difficulty in the way of shipmasters in New York, he thought that if they all combined, they could very easily prevent it.  But be that as I might, he would have to impose a fine to show that the Act should be enforced, and he would inflict a fine of $2 in each case, making $14 in all.
  The Defendant thanked his worship for his leniency, but thought he should never have been brought into Court in the matter, as he had nothing to do with the shipping of the men, whom, he had used as best he could after they came on board, and did not take advantage, as most ship masters did, of the men having been Shanghaied.  He had done his best for them, and given them clothes out of the slop chest.  There was one thing he had to ask.  Would the fine take the men off his articles?
  His Worship said he could not answer that question which was one entirely for Mr. Brown.


See also North China Herald, 3 February 1888
  Captain MACLOUGHLIN, Master of the British ship Minister of Marine, appeared to answer the charge that he on or about the 29th July, 1887, contrary to Sec. 160 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854, did engage and carry away two seamen, Max Bucholtz and Carl Petersen, from New York without the consent of the British Consulate, before whom the men should have been engaged.
.  .  .  
  His Worship said that he would have to impose of fine of $10 in each case, by which the attention of other shipmasters would be called to the Section.  It was no excuse to say that the rule had been repeatedly broken by others, in fact if I had been frequently broken, there was all the more necessity for enforcing it now, unless it was allowed to become a dead latter, as it was very desirable that it should not be, and also that men should be regularly shipped.
  The fine was paid.

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