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Colonial Cases

R v. Rogers [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 308


Reg. v. Thomas Rogers.

Larceny of 114 balls of opium on 5th March.

Plea: Not guilty.

Jurors: D. H. Silas, W. Cooper, W. Boyd, W. Bell, A. White.

Mr. Wilkinson & Mr. Wainwright for prosecution.

Prisoner undefended.

Samuel Allen Jolly, sworn.  B.S.  Qtr Mr on 'Kaiser-i-hind.  [2?] Qr Mr.  At H.K. there was opium on the orlop deck, part of the cargo.  Rogers hauled up a bag with about 50 balls.  He, I, Gumb took some up to the qr. mr's cabin on the std side.  The whole of it was put up in one bag there & covered [?????] & put in the protection of the qr mr.  Rogers & I covered it with a [????].  [Seadon] was in his bunk in the cabin.

   Last day we 3 shared $120, the [money] Gumb had it, he sd he had pd $1.50 a ball for it.  Rogers & I each had $35.

Xd.  You did come down to that cabin on that one occasion, about 20 minutes past 6 in the morning when we were in H.K. [309]

Frank [Meaden], sworn.  AB of Kaiser-i-hind.  We were in HK about 5th of 6th.  My cabin was next the water.  I was dozing in my bunk bet. 6 & 8.  A Chinaman came in & shoved the window back.  He ran out when I spoke to him.  Jolly & Rogers then came in & lowered a bag out of the window, & then left.  Rogers had his chest in that cabin & he wd come in from time to time for a chat.  It is unusual to lower things our of our ports.

   Rogers next day gave me $2.  He had borrowed half a [sovn] from me at [Bombay]  I thought the $2 was in [part paymt].  The day after he gave ma a $5 note, out of which I gave him the change.  The $2 he sd I might keep as 'milk-money.'  I didn't know what he meant, but I kept the $2.

   I saw Gumb counting $120 in out cabin the day after we left HK.  He sd '$120' just as I got there.

Xd. You did give me $2.

Henry Hooper Joseph, sworn.  P & O Agent.  The Kaiser-i-hind is our str.  Two chests of the opium cargo were objected to & in consequence I had them examined.

Jas. Henry Partridge Parker, sworn.  Master of [R.] S. "Wellington."  I saw on the 14th March on bd the 'K' a chest of native [310] opium - it was taken to the customs jetty for examn.  I went with it.  The [???????] was cut in my presence.  I then saw that the bottom had been prized open, & opium had been dragged out leaving spaces in the wood.  The case was marked containing 175 balls.  There were only 60 ½ found in it.  I had refused to take delivery on acct of the appearance of the [????] having been tampered with.

Henry Jones, sworn.  Detective Officer.  I arrested the prisoner on the charge of stealing opium.  I was present at the adjd hearing on the 21st March in the Police Court.

   The magistrate explained the charge to the prisoner.  The prisoner sd he was guilty of the robbery in HK but knew nothing of the one in Shanghai.  Evidence had been given in the P.C. of a robbery of opium in Shanghai from the same ship.

Case of prosn.

Prisoner does not address the jury.

I sum up.

Verdict: Guilty.

Sentence reserved.  R. Mowat, A.C.J.

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