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Colonial Cases

R v. Elders [1889]

larceny, opium

Supreme Court for China

Shanghai, 2 April 1889

Source: Supreme Court of China (Shanghai), Judges' Notebooks, Vol. 3 (1880-1893), The National Archives (U.K.), FO1092: 340, p 311


Reg. v. Williams Elders.

  1. Larceny of 30 balls of opium and one-half ball of opium on the 10th March;
  2. (2) receiving the same knowing them to be stolen.

Plea: Not guilty.

Jurors: Henry Morriss, A. Wilson, H. Maitland, L. G. Waller, S. J. Morris.

Mr. Wilkinson & Mr. Wainwright for prosecution.

Prisoner undefended.

Samuel Allen Jolly, sworn.  Qtr Mr "K" - ship arrived 10 March.  First, myself & Elders came ashore about 1.30.  We went to Chang Kee's.  First sent prisoner in to get "the sample" - which I knew to be half-ball of opium First had had in his possession on the way up.  I know it had come [312] from the chest at HK, part of the cargo.  We all then went to an opium shop.  An old man took us in to a fruit seller's shop.  First said to the man if they wd have dollars ready he wd bring opium next night.  Next night we 3 brot 9 balls of opium ashore & sold them at an opium shop.  $22 was pd us.  I got $2, Prisoner $8, first $10, and the old man had $1.  Elders brot ashore some of those they had found in the hold.

Xd.  It was about 6 o'clock we went ashore - that was the first time after dinner.  I didn't return till 10 or 11 that night.  It was about half past 6 we went ashore next evening.

Chang-kee.  Tailor.  Remember the "K' coming in 3 weeks ago.  On Sunday prisoner brot a small piece of opium - I think a half ball.  He asked me if I sd buy it.  I sd "No wantee."  He left it & went out.  I'm sure it was the prisoner.

By a juror.  It was about 11 a.m.  I retd at ½ past 11 & the opium was not there.

By prisoner. [313]

Ching-ah-foo, cautd.  Employee of Chang-kee.  I remember a foreigner coming in & taking away half a ball of opium on a Sunday about [10] days ago.  It was about 11.30 in the forenoon.

   It was about 1 he took it away.

Yeh-ah-li, cautd.   Bumboatman.  Three foreigners came to me at Hongkew bridge on Sunday about 10 days ago.  Prisoner was one of them.  He showed me a sample - said he had brot [400] balls of opium - which he wanted to sell at $3 a piece.  I took the 3 men to the opium shop.  Prisoner was one.  He took out the opium (9 balls) & got $27 for it.

By prisoner.  It was bet. 3 & 4 o'clock I saw you & the other two man on bridge.

Wang-ah-siu.  Fruit shop keeper.  I remember a foreigner being brot to my shop by Yeh-ah-li.  He showed me half a ball of opium & asked if I wanted to buy opium.  That is the man.  [314]

By a juror.  It was after 3 o'clock the half-ball was brot.

Henry Hope Joseph, sworn.  Agent, P & O.  "k" is the P. & O.'s.  She arrived on the evening of the 9th March & went to the wharf on the morning of the 10th.  The consignees refused to take delivery & I had them examined in consequence.

Jas. Henry Partridge Parker, sworn.  Master of R.S. "Wellington."  On the [??] March last bet. 3 & 3.30 in the aft. I went on bd the "K'. I had refused dely of a del. As if had the appearance of having been tampered with.  I examined it - 114 ½ cakes were short.  The bottom of the chest had been prized open & the opium dragged out, the box re[nailed] & the covering re[sewn].

End of case for prosecution.

Prisoner calls

Thos. Rogers, sworn.  Accounts for the prisoner's time.

Addresses the jury.

I sum up.

Verdict, Not Guilty.

Prisoner discharged.

R. A. Mowat, A.C.J.

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