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Colonial Cases

Minor cases 1889

North China Herald, 18 January 1889
Shanghai, 11th Jan.
Before J. C. Hall. Esq., Acting Assistant Judge.
  A wild looking old man, with long unkempt hair, and an Israelitish cast of face, who gave the name of Sampson Richards, was put forward, charged by Messrs. D. Sassoon & Co. with being a dangerous lunatic.  Mr. R. R. Endicott of the firm named attended to prosecute, Inspector Kluth watching the case for the police.
  From the evidence given by Mr. Endicott, a Shroff and two watchmen in the employment of Messrs. Sassoon, it appeared that the accused has been for a long time past in the habit of hanging about Sassoon's buildings in the Nanking Road, but up till lately when he commenced to manifest dangerous  symptoms and threatened the servants about the place with violence, no notice was taken of his eccentricities, one of which was the belief that he was the owner of the premises, and he was in habit of acting on the assumption and ordering the employees about as if he was their master.
  About twenty years ago he had been employed by Messrs. Sassoon as cook, and after some years he left them and went back to India.  On his return to Shanghai he was given a place to live in on the premises for which he paid no rent.  He has latterly been putting up under a carpenter's shed and roaming all over the place at will and building fires on the floors of the new premises to their great danger from fire.  On Thursday he went to the watchman and demanded the keys, saying that he was the owner of the place.  He succeeded in taking the keys by force and assaulted the watchman.  Messrs. Sassoon only brought the case forward to free themselves of his presence fearing that he would do an injury to their servants or burn down the place.  When he was arrested, a large knife was found in his room.
  Mr. Endicott in reply to His Worship said he was of opinion that the accused was demented, and Richard's behaviour in the Court went to justify his belief.  His Worship remanded the accused in safe custody till next Thursday and ordered Mr. Endicott to obtain medical testimony as to the mental condition of the old man in the interval.


North China Herald, 18 January 1889
Shanghai, 12th Jan., 1889
Before General J. D. Kennedy, U.S. Consul-General, Acting Judicially,
  A young fellow giving the name of Frank Le Jensens was charged with assaulting Shen Tan-ko, a blind man.
  Mr. R. Browett appeared to prosecute.  The prisoner pleaded guilty.
  The affidavit of the prosecutor was as follows:
  I am totally blind.  I support myself by telling fortunes, and in carrying on my trade, and am led about the streets by a small boy.  On the 16th December last, I was passing the Travellers' Tavern in Broadway at about 11 o'clock, when I felt some one tugging at my queue.  I am frequently annoyed by native children in this manner and I swing my cane around and realized that I hit something.  The next instant I was stuck, knocked to the ground and severely beaten.  I believe the assailant to have been Frank Le Jensens. I was stunned, but remember being dragged into the tavern by a woman, as I judged by her voice.
  The prisoner was ordered to pay a fine of $5 and costs, and to go to gaol for ten days.


North China Herald, 8 February 1889
Shanghai, 30th Jan., 1889
Before J. C. Hall, Esq., Acting Assistant Judge.
  His Worship passed sentence on Kane, Anderson and Joyce this morning.  For the assault on Ward, Anderson was sentenced to 2 weeks and Kane and Joyce to 2 week's imprisonment with hard labour.
  For the assault on the Chief Officer, Anderson was sentenced to one month's imprisonment, and Joyce and Kane to two week's imprisonment, and the costs of court to be equally shared among them.
  Kane's sentence commences at the expiration of his present term of imprisonment for fighting in Hongkew.


North China Herald, 1 March 1889
Shanghai, 22nd February.
Before J. C. Hall, Esq., Acting Assistant Judge.
  Wm. Maitland was sued by Yuen Cheng, a butcher, for $44.69, for meat supplied during the last eight months.  The defendant admitted the debt, but stated that he had not been asked for payment.  The plaintiff's case was that a few weeks ago he took a summons out for this amount, but withdrew it on the defendant's promising to pay the money which he never did although repeatedly asked for it.  Plaintiff paid $3.50 for both the present and the former summons.  His Worship made an order for the full amount with $7 costs.


North China Herald, 20 April 1889

  On Friday night a fearful tragedy was enacted in a house between Peking and Ningpo Roads facing Honan Road.  In this house lived a Cantonese girl, and she had with her an amah and a little girl, some eleven years of age, whom she had purchased.  On Friday evening (12th) the amah had another amah, a friend of hers, to dinner, so that there were three women and the girl in the house at the time.  While they were sitting down to their meal, a Chinese boy, the servant of a foreigner from one of the hongs, called and demanded $50 of the mistress of the house.  She had previously lent him money and given him clothing to pawn, but on this occasion she declined to further supply his wants.  This enraged the boy, a youth of nineteen and he produced a revolver and pointed it at her.  The other people then got up from the table, and throwing their arms round the mistress of the house, endeavoured to protect her, when the cowardly fellow discharged the revolver at the defenceless women, four shots in all being fired, but there were only five chambers loaded when the boy took the weapon from his master's room.  The woman finding the ruffian was firing at them, attempted to escape, and rushing to the window looking out on the Honan Road, one of them jumped out into the street, nearly falling on top of a foreigner who was passing at the time. Looking up, this foreigner saw another woman in the act of jumping out, and at the same time he heard the cy of, "Fire, fire." So he called out to the woman at the window not to jump, and he would go to her assistance.  He found the door locked, but he succeeded in bursting it open, and went upstairs.   
  Up to this time he had no suspicion of any foul play, but when he got into the upper room he saw a woman lying dead, though he did not see anything of the boy.  He immediately took a jinricksha and hastened to the Central Police Station, and told what he had seen.  Inspector Howard ordered the ambulance to be taken to the house, and proceeded thither himself.  On the way he met Captain McEuen, and he went with him.  Arrived at the house, they found that the woman the foreigner had seen fall out of the window, still lying in the road.  She was put into the ambulance and taken to the Shantung Road Hospital.  She was alive, but it was noticed that her left arm was hanging down by her side as if it were broken.  On her injuries being examined at the Hospital, it was found that she had a bullet wound in her chest, the arm being broken by he shot.
  When the police went upstairs they found a woman of about forty years of age, lying on her back near the window with her hands under her.  She had been shot in the back, and the bullet had penetrated the body and lodged in her heart.  It is possible that this was the woman that the foreigner saw leaning out of the window and she was the amah of the mistress of the house.  Apparently when she found she was wounded she out her hands behind her to feel the wound, and died while doing so.  The Police found also that one of the other women was shot through the chest.  Still looking about, they saw what appeared to be a bundle of clothes on a sofa, and noticed blood on it, and on further inspection hey found that this bundle was the little girl, and she had a wound from a bullet which had passed clean through her body.   
  There were no signs of the murderer, he having escaped probably going out of the door while the foreigner was upstairs. He made his way to a friend's house in Kiangse Road and was there at a few minutes to 7 o'clock, a few minutes after the shooting and was quite cool and collected.  He did not stay long and all trace of him was lost till Saturday afternoon.  Having had his photo taken some time ago, a copy in the hands of the Police was reproduced, and was to be circulated, with a view to facilitate his capture.
  A foreigner in the afternoon, soon after 3 o'clock, went to the Central Station and stated that the boy was then at his house, and that his own boy had informed him of the fact.  Detective Keeling and a native detective immediately went to make the arrest, and having guarded the back door, Detective Keeling went to the front and entering the room found the boy behind the door.  He was then taken to the Shantung Hospital and confronted with the woman who had been shot, and she identified him as the person who had committed the deed.
  He said that while he was passing the house where the murder was committed, the inmates reviled him, so he went back to his master's house and took the revolver with which he did the deed, and that he was drunk at the time.  The revolver is one of the Eley's carrying a .480 bullet.  The Police found this weapon on his person, with one chamber still loaded.  The boy was taken to the Police station and is now locked up there.    He had been some four months with his last employer, and over four years with his first master, for he has been altogether five years in Shanghai.
  When the boy was arrested, he told the detective that he had taken medicine, meaning probably that he had swallowed opium - and asked to be allowed to lie on his friend's bed and die.  His request was unheeded, but at the Hospital the stomach pump was applied, though there were no signs of his having taken "medicine."
  The District Magistrate held an Inquest on Saturday afternoon on the woman who was killed.  All the wounds on the injured people are serious.
.  .  .   
  The China boy who shot the woman in Honan Rad, on Friday night was examined by the District Magistrate on Monday at 5 p.m. The statement he made was to the effect that he took his master's revolver, intending to go out shooting birds with it in the country.  Instead of doing so, he said he went to the French Concession and got drunk.  Then he wandered back to the English settlement and went to the house in Honan Road.  How the shooting happened, he did not know.
  This story being different to that which he gave at the Mixed Court he was put to torture.  While he was kneeling down, a bamboo was passed across his calves and two men sat on the ends, but the prisoner made no further statement incriminating himself.  He was remanded, and the District Magistrate sent the mistress of the house in which the murder was committed to the Mixed Court Magistrate and he ordered her to pay $70 to the relatives of the woman who was killed as the latter had met her death in defending her mistress.

North China Herald, 11 May 1889
  The Shanghai city authorities and the French Mixed Court Magistrate have lately been taking steps to stop the practice of adulteration of bean oil with cotton-seed oil which is injurious to the health of the consumer.  [continues.]


North China Herald,  May 1889
The best summary of the result of the appeal in the Primus case to M. Coumany, the Minister for Russia to Peking, is to be found in the Horatian sentence, Soleuntur risa tabulae. The Court is dissolved with laughter.  For laughter is sardonic as well as jovial, and in the present instance the laughter of the unfortunate plaintiffs in the case is decidedly 'on the wrong side of the mouth.' M. Coumany gives no decision on the merits of the case; he blandly remarks that the Consul at Shanghai has no jurisdiction, and cannot try the case, his powers being limited to the trial of petty cases, not exceeding some 50 Pounds in amount.  And he gravely tells the poor Chinamen that they have had all their expense and trouble for nothing, and that their remedy is to be found in the Courts at Abo in Finland.  He might probably as well have referred them to a still higher tribunal.
  How the Russian Consul here came to overlook his own limitations is inexplicable, and the result must be very annoying to himself and his most unwilling assessors.  That he was actuated by the highest motive - the desire to see justice done - we are convinced, and it was probably this rarity of proceedings in his Court that made him forget how far his jurisdiction extends.  It is not only the sympathy we feel for the plaintiffs, the judge and the assessors in the case - even the lawyers must dislike to see their labours so thrown away - hat induce us to refer to it again; there is instruction also to be derived from it.
  Extraterritoriality has, like everything else, the defects of its qualities.  By it foreigners residing in China are withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the territorial Courts, if they can be called Courts at all; but in return the foreign powers who secure extraterritoriality by treaty should feel bound to provide an effective substitute.  This is done by the leading nations.  Great Britain provides amply the paraphernalia of justice, and France, Germany, and the United States are careful, as a rule, to send a competent person to act as Consul-General here, and do not allow him to impair his influence by combining other occupations with his Consular duties.
  Austro-Hungary, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden and Norway, all have official Consuls, limited as the number of their subjects is in some of these cases; and the interests of Russia in China are so large, that she ought to follow this example. It must be distinctly understood that we are not saying a word against the gentleman who fulfils the post of Russian Consul so ably and with so much general acceptance. It is the system, and not the individual, that we are attacking.
  Mr. Reding's anomalous situation must be on occasions of this kind as irksome to himself as to those who have to come to him for redress; and it was particularly irksome in the Primus case, as his private position as agent of an English marine insurance office could not fail to conflict with his position as judge in a case in which insurance interests were involved, even though he had the assistance of independent assessors, who, by Russian law, had equal authority with himself.
  In fact, the moral authority of one of the assessors was actually superior to his; for Finland, when she became a province of Russia, retained by convention the old Swedish law; and therefore Mr. Reding, by engaging as one of the assessors the Acting Consul-General for Sweden and Norway, provided his Court with the best assistance procurable in Shanghai.  In his connection we learn that the captain of the Primus has taken the best legal advice at home on his case as viewed by the law of Finland, and that his advisers have confirmed the decision at which the assessors arrived.
  The immediate sufferers from such a fiasco as has just occurred are the Chinese plaintiffs; but the ultimate sufferers from the system which Russia has not yet abandoned, are the Russian ship-owners. It is obvious that now that it is known that there is no Court here in which a Russian vessel can be sued, if the claim is at all a serious one, shippers at home will avoid the Russian flag, for good as the courts at Abo no doubt are, a consignee in Shanghai whose cargo has been lost or damaged cannot be expected to go to them for redress, when there are carriers to be found who are amenable to justice here.  The Russian mercantile flag is so seldom here, except at one season of the year in the Hankow tea trade, that the inconvenience is not often felt; but Russia has a very respectable merchant navy, and the flag is likely to be seen much oftener in these waters, when the projected trans-Siberian railway is built. The coast trade, too, between Shanghai and the Russian ports in Siberia promise to extend considerably, but confidence in the Russian flag cannot fail to be lessened by the result of the Primus case.
  The denial of justice which the present system involves, while grievous to the aliens injured exacts upon the prosperity of Russian subjects, and it only requires, we may be sure, that the attention of the Russian government should be called to the anomaly, for it to be remedied; for it is in no sense a political reform.  We know too well that the European Chancelleries are so over burdened with more immediate work that Chinese questions seem very much smaller and less important to them than they do to us; but this is a question in which the honour of Russia is involved.


North China Herald, 25 May 1889


Shanghai, 21st May,

Before R. A. Mowat, Esq.


Accused, who is mess-room steward on board the Port Fairy, was brought up by the Police charged with being drunk and creating a disturbance on board yesterday, and with threatening to stab the Chief Officer with a knife.

Accused admitted being drunk but denied having threatened to use a knife on the Chief Officer - all he said was that if they tied him up and ill-treated him again as they had been doing that he would use his knife.

George Valentine, Chief Officer of the Port Fairy, stated that accused was very drunk yesterday afternoon and was going about the deck kicking up a great row, and making use of very bad language. In order to keep him quiet and out of mischief, he with the assistance of one of the other officers, made him fast to the rudder post in the saloon aft. This was about 3 o'clock. Some time afterwards accused got loose and was going forward when witness stopped him and told him, to remain on the main deck. The man had his knife in his hand at the time and he held it up and said, "I'll stick it into you if you com nigh me." He also had a large table knife sticking out of one of his pockets. After this I gave him into the custody of P.C. Barnes, who happened to be on board. Accused told me when we were in the saloon that he would poison all hands if he ever had the chance.

Accused complained that he had been very much ill-used by the two officers in the saloon - that they had knocked his head up against the stanchion and raised bumps as big as hens' eggs, and that his jaw had been badly cut and nearly broken.

His Worship ordered Inspector Kluth to examine these alleged injuries. The Inspector made a careful search in the thick beard of the accused and at length discovered a slight scratch- the head was then examined and two small bumps reported, which however, did not appear to have been the result of any heavy blows.

P.C. Barnes was then examined and stated that he happened to be on board the Port Fairy yesterday afternoon and saw accused, making a disturbance on deck. The Chief Officer asked what he had better do with the man and witness replied that he could give him in charge if he liked, but that it would be better to send for some irons, and in the meantime, until the irons could be got, they had better make the man fast. This was then done, but some time afterwards the man again appeared on deck flourishing a knife and threatening the Chief Officer. Witness took him into

custody and accused then said, "You had better get me ashore out of this and get me 3 months, or I will poison all hands."

His Worship asked the Chief Officer if he had had any trouble with accused on any previous occasion. The Chief Officer said that he had not had any trouble with the man himself before yesterday, but the man had shipped as cook at 6 Pounds a month and had been disrated by the Captain and was now rated as Mess Steward at 2 Pounds a month. He hoped his Worship would not pass over the matter as it would be a bad example to the rest of the crew. As far as he (Chief Officer) was concerned, if accused went back to the ship he would take very great care that the man did not come round with his coffee of a morning.

His Worship - You surely don't mean to say you are in fear of the man trying to poison you?

Witness - I won't say that exactly - but he certainly said he would poison us, and I don't feel inclined to risk anything.

His Worship pointed out to accused the result of his conduct and sentenced him to 14 days' hard labour.


North China Herald, 25 May 1889


Shanghai, 21st May,

Before R. A. Mowat, Esq.

[R. v. W. & R. WADDLE.]

Two brothers Walter and Robert Waddle, Firemen of the same ship, were then placed in the dock charged with assaulting the 3rd officer. Both men denied the charge.

Anthony Cumming, 3rd officer, stated that he was at the gangway yesterday afternoon when he observed the two accused coming on board. Walter, who was a good deal the worse for liquor, threw down his cap on the deck and told witness to pick up, he then wanted to fight and offered witness a dollar to go down on the wharf and fight. Soon after this the other brother came up and said that if there was any fighting to be done he would do it himself. He was also drunk as far as witness could make out.

Robert here interposed, and stated with considerable force that he had not touched a drop of liquor for 17 months and had never had any trouble on board the ship before.

The 3rd Officer sad that the Log Book would show how much truth there was in that statement. The Log Book was then produced and the entry pointed out to his Worship. Whereupon Walter addressed the Court said - "You can easily see your Worship that the whole thing is a put up job - all that in the Log Book was all cooked up last night."

The Chief Engineer in reply to the Court stated that the entry was signed last night.

His Worship said that entries should be made as soon after the occurrence as possible. In the present instance he could not take any notice of the entry referred to.

Walter stated that when he was coming on board last night he saw the mate by the gangway and asked him to show him where the ladder was and that the later replied that he did not keep a ladder for such trash as him, and thereupon offered to fight hm. He admitted that he was a but drunk, but he was quite clear that the mate wanted to fight with him.

His Worship said that he could not believe that the mate had challenged Walter to fight. He (Walter) was certainly drunk and the mate was sober. He would consequently believe the mate's story in preference to Walter's. Walter would have to pay a fine of $3 and costs and Robert $1 and costs.


North China Herald, 25 May 1889


Shanghai, 18th May,

Before R. A. Mowat, Esq.


Mr. Callaway appeared to answer to the following complaint by a native missionary named Sing An. The complainant who was dressed in foreign fashion stated that on Sunday, the 5th inst. at 1 a.m. he was walking along the grass plot on the Bund, when two dogs belonging to the defendant attacked him, bit him in several places on the legs and right am and tore his clothing. The complainant showed the Court the injuries which appeared to have been inflicted in the manner described; there were three or four lacerated wounds on each leg and two or three on the right arm, all apparently haling. He said that he suffered very much from the pain of the wounds which he had dressed by Dr. Boone and afterwards by Dr. Milles. He claimed $16 for medical attendance and $10 for medicine. He had done nothing to provoke the dogs which were with two gentlemen - one of whom was Mr. Callaway - who were a short distance off. The affair was witnessed by Mr. Denny and Mr. Mckean whom he could produce as witnesses.

The defendant said in explanation, that on the day in question he was walking along the bund with a gentleman in the Customs who is now in Ningpo. One of the dogs, a bull dog, was walking at his heel; while the other a bull terrier was running about in front of them. The complainant passed them and began waving his stick at the bull terrier which is a very quiet dog and had never bitten anyone before. The dog thought the complainant was playing with him and took hold of him by the sleeve scratching him slightly in doing so. Defendant ran up to take the terrier away, when the bull dog seeing a struggle going on between the terrier and the complainant seized the latter by the leg of the trousers. Defendant then got up to the place and took the dogs off. He had not heard anything about the matter since till he got the summons and he had not seen Dr. Milles about the man's injuries.

The complainant denied that he waved his stick at the dogs. His Honour adjourned the case till Thursday in order that the defendant might see Dr. Milles and ascertain if the man had really been bitten, and intimated that the case was one for settlement. Mr. Callaway said he had no objection to settle the case, but he had not had any opportunity.

21st May.

This case came before the Court again this morning. Mr. Callaway produced a certificate from Dr. Milles stating the nature of the injuries that had been inflicted on the plaintiff by the bites he had received from Mr. Callaway's dogs.

Mfr. Callaway stated that he had made an offer to the plaintiff which considering that the accident had arisen through the plaintiff's own fault, he considered sufficiently liberal. He had offered the plaintiff $10 to settle the case, but the plaintiff appeared to desire that the case should go on.

Plaintiff in answer to His Honor said that he had to pay for medical attendance. Both Dr. Milles and Dr. Boone had asked several times for their fees - he also had to pay something for medicine. His clothes were also very much torn and damaged by Mr. Callaway's dogs.

Several articles of clothing of European make were produced and found to be in a more or less damaged condition.

Mr. Callaway then offered $15 to square the matter.

His Honour said he advised plaintiff to accept this offer, but intimated that he would proceed with the case if plaintiff desired him to do so.

Plaintiff then, with some apparent reluctance, was understood to say something to the effect that he would accept the $15 in satisfaction of his claims.

His Honour addressing Mr. Callaway said that he (Mr. Callaway) now knew from the certificate of Dr. Milles that his dogs had really bitten somebody and consequently if anything of that sort happened in the future he would not be in the position he was now.


North China Herald, 15 June 1889


Shanghai, 14th June 1889

Before R. A. Mowat. Esq., Assistant Judge.

John Wareham, unemployed, holding a Master's certificate, was sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment for being drunk, assaulting a coolie, and smashing a samshu jar, in a rum-mill in the Woosung Road.


North China Herald, 29 June 1889


Shanghai, 28th June.

Before R. A. Mowat, Esq., Assistant Judge.


Thomas Kemp, described in the charge sheet as "unemployed" was put forward on a charge of sleeping under a house-boat, and having no visible means of subsistence.

Mr. Geo. Brown, H.M.'s Vice-Consul prosecuted at the instance of the Captain of the Blue Gunnel steamer Deucalion from which the accused had deserted. It appeared from the evidence that the accused had been arrested on a warrant by Detective Sergt. Keeling on Wednesday night for being absent from his ship without leave, and was put on board at 9 o'clock yesterday morning. But between that hour and the sailing of the ship at 10 a.m. he contrived to "jump" her and was arrested this morning by Sergt. Crank while sleeping under a houseboat which was being repaired at the side of the Soochow Creek. The accused in reply to the court could give no excuse for his conduct, nor had he anything to say against the ship or her officers.

He was sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment with hard labour.


North China Herald, 13 July 1889
Before R. A. Mowat, Esq., Assistant Judge.
Shanghai, 6th July.
Accused who are A.B.s on board the British barque Sunstaffnage were arrested under warrant, charged with having committed violent assault on the second mate.
  Edward M. Nully, the complainant, an elderly man between 50 and 60 years of age, appeared in Court with two black eyes and other marks of violence about the face.  He stated that on Thursday afternoon all hands were aloft furling  sail,  Just as he got down from aloft the two accused attacked him with great violence.  He had given them no provocation whatever.  Smith held him by the throat and Schmidt hit him in the face.  He ultimately got away from them and went to his room. About half an hour afterwards he heard the same two men having a row with the Captain.  He opened his door in order to speak to the captain whereupon they both fell on him again.  Smith again hit him in the eye, and Schmidt went for him with a sheath knife in his hand and threatened to do for him.  Witness guarded his face as well as he could, but he got the point of the blade on his eyebrow and was covered with blood.  He again escaped to his room and the two men sat on the rail outside threatening vengeance.
  Captain Fulton stated that he saw the state in which complainant was after the attack - his shirt was simply covered with blood.  Witness ordered the men out of the cabin, where they were standing outside complainant's door, but they refused to go.  Schmidt drew a knife and said "That's what I'll use on you."
  His Lordship said that both men had been guilty of a most cowardly assault.  He sentenced Schmidt to twelve weeks' had labour and Smith to ten weeks.


Daily Alta California, 22 October 1889. - A. Ettlinger of San Francisco was tried in the United States Consular Court, before Consul-General C. R. Greathouse, on the 5th inst., on the charge of conducting himself uproariously in the railway station at Totsuka, and pulling the station-master's ears.  He was fined $50 and costs.


North China Herald, 1 November 1889



Shanghai, Oct. 30th, 1889

Before R. A. Mowat. Esq., Assistant Judge.

   FUNG, Plaintiff.


   This was an action brought against Mr. James Alexander Anderson by his late  compradore, to recover the sum of Tls. 272.79., being three months' wages at Tls. 40 per month, and Tls. 152.70 for money paid on defendant's account.  The defendant admitted his liability in respect of Tls. 40 for the first month's salary and Tls. 130.50 for money paid on his account.  The case resolved itself mainly into a question of the amounts disbursed by the plaintiff; and eventually the Assistant Judge after examining the compradore orders produced gave a verdict of Tls. 269.20 and costs.  The defendant asked if he could appeal, in reply to which his Lordship told him that he could, but advised him not to do so.


North China Herald, 6 December 1889



   A lady named Lulu Steiner appeared at the British Summary Court on the 30th ult. before M. Mowat, as the defendant in an action brought by her amah to recover $76.17 of which amount $70.33 was claimed as due for wages since the beginning of February last, and the remainder for small disbursements.  When the case began the defendant promptly produced a counter-claim, in which she asked for $25, money  which she considered the amah must have stolen, $8 for an article of dress variously described during the hearing of the case as a "waist" and a "vest," and smaller sums for a hand-glass which had been broken, and a chemise which had been sent to the wash a week before but had not yet been returned; for all these things, Miss Lulu held the amah was responsible.  Then the defendant went on to complain that the amah had not protected her when the cook tried to insult her (defendant).  Miss Lulu also alleged a similar improper conduct on the part of her coolie, but somewhat spoiled the effect by admitting that she took up a poker and went for that coolie.  However, all these things were put aside as irrelevant, and the plaintiff proceeded to give her evidence.  After a little encunf, Miss Lulu (who said, with a fine air of indifference, that she "hadn't kept any accounts," admitted the claim for wages; and the Court returned its attention to the "waist." This, said Miss Lulu, was an article which it was the amah's duty to pack when she (Miss Lulu) went to Hongkong; but when she arrived there and unpacked, the "waist" was not to be found.

   Mr. Mowat - Who packed your boxes?

   Defendant - Why, the amah, of course.  What do I keep her for?

   Mr. Mowat - I don't know; and I am not here to answer questions.

   Miss Lulu went on to say that the $25 must have been taken by the amah, who always had her keys.

  Plaintiff - Oh. Mississee, talkee true!

   The question of the looking-glass was explained as follows by the amah: "One Captain have takee large dlink and he puttee looking-glass on mantel-piece to look see he self and he lean so on mantelpiece and mantelpiece fall down and glass all bleak."

   At another point in the proceedings, Mr. Mowat asked if the coolie could explain what had become of one of the articles.

   Defendant - No, he can't; I kicked him out long before.

   Mr. Mowat next pointed out that according to the amah, defendant had been so short of money as to pawn a napkin-ring.

   Defendant - 0h yes, I own up to that.  When I'm in drink I'll do most anything.

   Ultimately Mr. Mowat said he was not satisfied that the plaintiff was responsible for the articles counter-claimed for (Defendant: Well if she isn't, I should like to know who is.) and besides, defendant seemed quite able to protect herself.  There would be a verdict for the full amount claimed, and the counter-claim would be disallowed.

   Defendant - Well I won't pay her the $26, and I won't pay her for the vest and chemise.

   Another creditor, to the extent of $3.50, now appeared on the scene, and was told that he must take proceedings on his own account.  The procession was next swelled by the cook, who said he wanted 22 days' wages, and by the washerwoman, who had not seen the colour of the lady's money for two months and a half.  They received similar advice, and the whole party left the Court, from which Miss Lulu departed unconquered in a jinricksha, calling out to the amah, "One dollar a month, old lady!"


North China Herald, 20 December 1889



Shanghai, 16th December.



   This was an action brought by Lee Shau-sing against Mr. J. A. Anderson to recover Tls. 70.  The plaintiff claimed that he was engaged by defendant as compradore at a monthly salary of Tls. 20 and acted in that capacity from March 1st to June 15th, then he left, in consequence of the defendant having engaged another compradore.  All this time, he said, defendant had not allotted him any office.  On June 5th he asked for payment but could not obtain it.  He went to Tientsin soon afterwards and returned last month, when he again endeavoured to obtain payment, without success. - Defendant stated that he had never engaged the plaintiff, the only approach to relations between them being in the shape of an offer he made by letter to the plaintiff on September 4th, which was not accepted; and the plaintiff never rendered him any service. - A Chinaman who had acted as compradore in Mr. Primrose's office until February 11th said that in the same month defendant told him, he wanted to do business on his own account, and to get him a compradore who could bring business.  Witness introduced the plaintiff, and defendant engaged the latter at Tls.  20.  Witness became plaintiff's security, verbally.  Witness had failed to get his own wages when he was with Mr. Primrose, a period of 29 years, and there was Tls. 400 owing to him.  Defendant at first wanted to engage witness, but he could not take the post as he had become Messrs. Llewellyn's compradore on February 15th. - Defendant, s worn, said he did not remember asking the last witness to be his compradore, but he had casually mentioned that he might go into business if he had a good compradore.  The last witness brought the plaintiff to him in February or March, and defendant told him he could not begin any business.  After that time plaintiff used to come in about once a week and ask if there was anything to do, for the purpose, he supposed, of establishing a claim against him.  He could not recollect the plaintiff asking him for payment; but last week plaintiff came to him and asked him for a loan of $30 or $40, to be repaid in a month. - Plaintiff, recalled, emphatically denied this last statement. - Defendant's present compradore stated that the plaintiff came on October 10th and asked for money, but did not say anything about paying it back. - His Worship said it was obvious that the man had asked for his wages. -    Defendant proceeded to ask witness how many cases pf bottled beet there were in the office when he (defendant) went to Japan, causing his Worship to ask what bottled beer had got to do with it. - Defendant then explained that five cases of beer were missing when he returned; that the plain tiff had brought back three, while the other two were not traced. - Witness, continuing, said defendant wanted him to find Tls. 500, but witness had not the money.  They had not arranged what salary he was to be paid. - After a long hearing the Assistant Judge held that the preponderance of testimony was in favour of the plaintiff.  There would be a verdict for Tls. 70, but plaintiff would have no costs as he should have brought his claim earlier.  Defendant left the court stating that he intended to have the case re-heard.


North China Herald, 20 December 1889



Shanghai, 16th December.



   Judgment was given on a petition against William Phillips, late a general outfitter, carrying on business at No. 17, Nanking Road, by his former compradore, Tai Mai-sun.  The petition showed that since April 17th last the plaintiff had acted as defendant's compradore and had advanced and paid on his behalf various sums of money creating a total indebtedness of Tls. 1,721.42.  The plaintiff, not knowing defendant's present address, prayed that the defendant might be decreed to pay forthwith the sum claimed, with interest from April 17th to the date of payment at 8 per cent per annum.  There was no appearance on the defendant's part and judgment was given for the amount claimed, with costs. Mr. Catterall appeared for the plaintiff.

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