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Colonial Cases

The Anglo-India, 1889


The Anglo-India

Naval Court of Enquiry, Tamsui
15 January 1889
Source: North China Herald, 30 January 1889

  Finding of a Naval Court held at Her Britannic Majesty's consulate at Tamsui on the 15th day of January, 1889, to investigate the circumstances attending the wreck and abandonment of the British sailing ship Anglo-India, Official number, 72,303, between Nam-kam and Paksa Points on the North-west Coast of Formosa, on the 6th day of January, 1889, when on a voyage from Shanghai to Ho-ilo.  The Anglo-India was a sailing vessel full rigged 1.549 tons registered tonnage, official number 72,303, built at St. John's, New Brunswick.
  It appears from the evidence given before this Court that she sailed from Shanghai on the 3rd January, 1889m, in ballast with a crew of 23 hands all told, and that from the evidence of the Boatswain and 8 seamen (which however the court regards as insufficient) that the last land seen was Video island W.N.W. about one mile, the ship then steered a course S.W. by S. which course was steered until she struck at Moihow 8 mikes N.E. by E. of Paksa Point in thick rainy weather with a strong breeze.
  That Thomas Murray, the Boatswain, who was acting as Second Mate, with eight men out off in a boat under the Captain's orders to lay out a line and bring boats through the surf, that they were at once attacked by the natives, stripped and driven inland, thus being prevented from rendering any further assistance.
  That the captain and the remainder of the crew seeing how the above shore boat's crew had been received, put to sea in two boats on the afternoon of the day of the wreck, and although careful enquiries have been made nothing further has been heard of them.
  That after the vessel had been abandoned by the crew she was looted and burnt by the natives of the island.
  That the Court having regard to the circumstances above stated finds as follows:=
- That the evidence is unsatisfactory and not sufficient to warrant any finding as to the way in which the navigation was conducted, more especially as no log books or papers were saved.
- That the master and crew appear to have conducted themselves properly, and used their utmost exertions to save life.
- That proper discipline appears to have been maintained on board.
That the court desires especially to direct the attention of the Board of Trade to the fact that this vessel is not the first that has been looted and burnt on the coast of Formosa, and that steps should be taken to induce the Chinese Government to make a serious effort to put a stop to this practice in the future.
(Signed) Fredk. S. A. Bourne, H.B.M.'s Act. Consul, President.
Price V, Lewes, Lieutenant R.N., H.M.S. Cockchafer; John Lewis, Master, s.s. Fokien, Members.
R. A. MARWOOD, Assist. Paymaster, R.N., H.M.S. Cockchafer, Clerk of the Court

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