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Colonial Cases

Minor Cases China and Japan 1900

North China Herald, 10 January 1900


Shanghai, 5th January.

Before E. H. Burrows, Esq., Police Magistrate.

R. v. WADE.

This was a summons against Mr. H. T. Wade for assaulting a Sikh constable and a Municipal dog-catcher, and for obstructing the Municipal dog-cart on the 1st of January.

The first witness called by the police was Lah Ah-woo, the dog catcher in question, who said that on New Year's Day he was with the dog cart at the corner of Pekin and Szechuen Roads about 1.30 p.m. when the defendant rode up in a ricksha. He went on to tell how the defendant had obstructed the cart by sitting on it, and had assaulted him (witness) by striking him (witness) three times in the face, blacking his eyes.

Mr. Wade asked him whether he had not a bucket of hot water in his hand when struck, but the reply was "No."

A further statement was made by the Sikh constable 65. He said that at the same time and place he was in charge. The defendant came up in a riksha, got out of it and sat down on the cart. Witness told him not to sit there several times but defendant would not get up. Then witness asked him to come to the police station, but defendant said he would not go and asked witness to blow his whistle. Thus they remained until 2 p.m. when witness sent Chinese constable 292 to fetch a foreigner. Five minutes later defendant took hold of a stick which was used for catching dogs and wanted to go away with it. Then he struck the dog catcher three times in the face, and also struck the witness. A foreign detective came up and took the defendant's name and address, after which the witness took the cart to the station.

In answer to a question as to how long defendant was causing an obstruction witness said that he commenced about 1.30 p.m. and when witness started for the police station it was 2.25. Defendant would not allow the cart to proceed. He was sitting on it.

Cross-examined by Mr. Wade, witness said that when the latter asked him to blow his whistle he said nothing about a foreigner. Defendant did not ask him several times to get a foreigner to come and look at the state of the dog cart.

His Worship asked why witness did not blow his whistle, and the reply was that at that time the assaults had not then been committed.

Another dog catcher was called and gave similar evidence except that he said that defendant pressed down the shafts of the cart. In cross-examination he said that defendant did not sit on the cart - he only pressed it down.

Det. Sergt. McDowell said he came on the scene and found everyone in an excited state. A crowd of 300 or 400 people had collected. Witness at first thought one of the defendant's dogs was there, but the latter said no, and added that the dog cart was too cold for a dog. Defendant said that the cart was frozen. There was no dog in the cart.

The defendant, after being sworn, said that he left the Club at 1.30 p.m. on the day in question. At the corner of Pekin and Szechuen Roads he saw the Municipal dog cart, and was struck with the state in which it was. In the cart there were three o four inches of snow. hard frozen. It must have been in that state the whole of the morning. He called the attention of the Sikh constable to this, and asked him to blow his whistle that he might show it to a foreign policeman. The Sikh replied that it was no use blowing his whistle, as there was no foreign policeman about on that day. Defendant certainly did then take hold of the catching stick as he meant to find a foreign policeman to whom to give it. He turned to go to his rickshaw but returned to the dog cart - upon which he never sat, and which he did not detain. The dog catcher was apparently impressed with what he had said, for he went and got some buckets of hot water. As he brought the second bucket a lot of it went over defendant, and it was on that account that he struck the man. He denied that he ever approached the Sikh policeman to strike him. He had two witnesses on that point in Shanghai.

There was some suggestion by the defendant of an adjournment of the case in order that he might obtain the witnesses, but his Worship refused, saying that Mr. Wade had had due notice, and knew the rules of the Court of Summary Jurisdiction perfectly well.

In answer to the police defendant admitted that he had not complained at the police station about the cart.

His Worship said that the conduct of the defendant in interfering with the action of duly authorised police officers in the street was quite indefensible. His proper course - as defendant knew and on reflection must have realised - was to lodge a complaint at the police station. He found that he did commit the two assaults and fined him $20 and costs.


North China Herald, 17 January 1900


Shanghai, 10th January.

Before E. H. Burrows, Esq., Police Magistrate.


   Mahomet Hamid, Turkish fireman of the s.s. Inverness, was charged with assaulting Joseph Gilson, Cook of the same vessel, at Labuan, British North Borneo, on the 19th of December, 1899.

   The evidence for the prosecution was opened by the calling of William Bowers. the first mate of the vessel. On the day in question, he said, he was taking dinner about noon in his cabin and heard a disturbance on deck. He rushed out and saw the prisoner near the galley door. He heard the cook shouting and rushed to see what was the matter. He saw the prisoner holding the cook down, having an axe in his hand. He was evidently going to assault the man, and the witness took the axe away from him. The captain came along, and asked what was the matter, and the prisoner replied that the cook had threatened him with a fork.

   Mr. Clegg, the master of the vessel, also gave evidence. He told of his arrival on the scene, and the taking of the axe from the prisoner's hand. He (witness) saw that prisoner's left hand was at the cook's throat, keeping him on the ground. He pulled the prisoner outside the galley; lifted the cook to his feet, and asked him what the matter was, or whether he had given any provocation. The cook's story was that the prisoner came in to the galley with some soup in his hand, complaining of it. And before he (the cook) knew where he was, this man struck him in the eye, from which witness thought blood was flowing. The cook also complained that the man had knocked him down and kicked him in the stomach. He afterwards showed some bruises on the stomach. The prisoner told witness that the sailors had got more soup than the firemen, and that was the only reason given for striking the cook. A doctor was summoned to attend on the injured man. and for ten days he was unable to continue his duties. It was necessary to put the steward in the cook's place and to pay him the cook's wages for doing the work. The prisoner signed on in Constantinople in November, 1899, and ever since had been a troublesome character. He had never before assaulted any

one, but he appeared to be the ringleader of the firemen, who had given a lot of trouble. At one time they had threatened to knock off work if they were not given a supply of water over and above the regulation quantity.

   His Worship - But that regulation quantity is often exceeded, is it not?

   Witness said that it was, but this was a peculiar case, and they were already given much more. The firemen had said they would stop the ship if they did not get it.

   The log book was produced and the entry of the occurrence accepted as evidence.

   When the cook was called, he said that on the day in question the prisoner came into the galley with a bowl of soup and said. "Eight! Eight! Eight!"  Then he went forward for a while, witness not having understood that he wanted more soup. He replied that if they wanted more he could make it, because next time he would pt in more hot water. Then prisoner struck witness in the face, and afterwards forced him down, and struck him and kicked him. Witness saw an axe in his hand.

   Both this witness and a fireman named Filip Mosa, who followed him, spoke broken English. The latter gave an account of the affair, similar in tenor to those which had preceded it, and helped out with signs.

   Then the statement of the prisoner was taken through an interpreter whose English was also imperfect, the general effect of which was said was that the prisoner went forward to complain about the insufficient quantity of soup given to the firemen, and the cook replied that he would put more water in it, as this was good enough for "--------- Turks." Then there was a struggle for the soup dish, in which the cook was burnt by accident, not by design. There was much more, to the effect that the Turkish firemen were ill-treated by the captain, who wished to get rid of them and employ Chinese.

   Finally, his Worship said he was satisfied that the prisoner had committed a very bad assault on the cook, though he set aside all question of the axe. He sentenced him to one month's hard labour.

11th January.


   J. Lauries, George Wilson, and T. Cleman, of the sailing ship Samaritan, were charged with being absent without leave. Wilson from 28th of December,1899, and Lauries and Cleman from 1st January 1900.

   The master of the Samaritan. H. S. Dexter, said the men had signed on at New York, and also read the log entries aS to their desertion.

   Wilson was questioned by his worship, and said that his eyesight was bad it was dangerous for him to go to abaft, and he had asked for his discharge.

   Cleman's story was that he had asked leave to go ashore, as it was a holiday.  He did not consider life safe on board, he added, as the mater had threatened him with a revolver.

   Lauries, in turn, complained of bad eyesight, which had developed on the ship in the tropics.

   Mr. Dexter answered these.  He had heard nothing of Wilson's bad sight, he said, though allowance was made for Lauries in the duties given him. Cleman's statement was untrue as he (witness) was the only person on board having firearms.

   His Worship said - That if the men wished to complain they should have come before him and he would have made enquiries. He sentenced then to one week's imprisonment each, adding, however, that if the ship sailed before that time was up they were to be put on board.
12th January.


   Henry Dempsey, of the sailing ship Samaritan, was charged with being absent without leave from the 29th of December.

   The master of the ship, H. S. Dexter, produced the log book with the entry which was taken as evidence.

   The prisoner said that the master would not allow them any privileges in port. He would not allow them to go ashore, or to have any money for the boatman or anything else. The men had to stop on board, sucking their thumbs.

   The master said that he had employment for the crew in port, as the ship was an iron ship, and they liked at such times to get as much done to it as possible. He had had orders from the owners that no money was to be advanced in Shanghai.

   His Worship sentenced Dempsey to go to prison for a week, but to be put on board the ship if it sailed before that time elapsed.


North China Herald, 24 January 1900


Before E. H. Burrows, Esq., Police Magistrate.

R. v. HAJEE.

Moussa Hajee, a young Lascar sailor, was charged with smuggling liquor on board the British steamer Bombay, while that vessel was in harbour at Yokohama, on or about the 10th of January.

Evidence was given by the master of the ship, A. W. Anderson, to the effect that while a certain able seaman was under the doctor; a case 0f suffering from the effects of alcohol - it was discovered that he was being supplied with more liquor. Enquiries were made, and it was found that the prisoner had brought on board a bottle of spirits and given it to this seaman, as a result the latter had been off duty for twelve days. The spirits - whisky, or so-called - had originally cost 50 cents, so that his Worship could judge what sort of stuff it was. The witness wished prisoner punished as a warning.

The prisoner said he did not know he was doing wrong. He admitted that he brought the liquor on board.

The master then said that the able seaman to whom the whisky had been supplied was paid £4 5s. a month. Sixteen rupees were due to the prisoner.

His Worship fined the prisoner sixteen rupees - one month's pay - for the offence. He dealt leniently with him on account of his youth, for the loss to the ship was five times that much.

19th January.


John Bannerman, an old offender, was charged with being drunk and incapable on the previous day, the 18th instant.

Sikh constable 12 said that about two o'clock in the afternoon, the prisoner came out of a canteen in the neighbourhood of Astor House and fell down. He was so drunk as to be incapable, and witness had him put into a rickshaw and taken to the police station. On the way he made no disturbance.

His Worship - Bannerman, what have you to say?

Prisoner - Nothing.

His Worship - a month's hard labour.


North China Herald, 30 January 1900


Shanghai, 26 January.

Before F.S.A. Bourne, Esq., Assistant Judge.


This was a summons by C. H. Tom, a Chinese tailor, against Mr. O'Sullivan, for $18.80, for clothes supplied.

   The plaintiff appeared and said that the account was originally $33.90 but $15 had been paid. Defendant was called but did not appear.

   His Honour gave judgement for the amount claimed, with costs, and told the plaintiff he could have a warrant of execution if he failed to get the money.


North China Herald, 30 January 1900.


Shanghai, 27th January.

Before E. H. Burrows, Esq., Police Magistrate.

R. v. REID.

James Reid, unemployed, was charged with being drunk and incapable in Tiendong Road.

   A native constable said that at 2.30 this morning he found accused lying on Tiendong Road drunk and incapable. Witness conveyed him to the station. Prisoner made no resistance on the way.

   Prisoner said he had no recollection of what had occurred.  He had had no employment since he left the Pilgrim. He was in the hopes of getting a job, interviewed a gentleman yesterday, and was told to call today.

   Fined $5 or a week's imprisonment.

24th January.


  Osman Rahincoody, a lascar, was brought up before the Court for refusing to be transferred from the P. & O. Valeta to the P. & O. S. Canton.

   Mr. H. Powell, the Chief Officer, stated that the prisoner signed Articles to the effect that he could be transferred to and from any ship of the Company for a year, but to be discharged at the port of shipment (Bombay) within a year. The Company would see that he was discharged at the port named within the year.

   The prisoner in reply to his Worship said that he was suffering from sore legs and was afraid of a voyage to England as the cold could affect him.

   The surgeon of the Valeta (Dr. Pendry) said he examined the accused and could find nothing the matter with him.  Moreover, the man could not point out to him what was wrong.

   His Worship ordered him to be put on board the Canton, the Company to see that he was paid off in Bombay when his Articles expired.


The Times, 19 February, 1900
  This was an appeal from a decree of the Supreme Court for China and Japan of December 14, 1898.


The North-China Herald, 2 May 1900


Shanghai, 27th April.

Before E. SCHNITZLER, Esq., Consul-General, (Acting Judicially), and Messrs. J. F. RODEWALD and M. HAYNEMANN, (Assessors).


The complainant in this case, a livery stable keeper in Astor Road, summoned the defendant for assault on the 9th instant, alleging that he had kicked him, struck him, and assaulted him with an iron bar.

Mr. Loftus Jones (instructed by Mr. Wilkinson) appeared for plaintiff.

In the course of the formal hearing, defendant admitted part of the charge, but denied using an iron bar on plaintiff.

After a little discussion, it was decided to adjourn the case till the 15th proximo for the production of Messrs. C. L. Seitz and Turner, who were stated to be witnesses of the alleged assault.


The North-China Herald, 16 May 1900


Shanghai, 15th May.

Before A. LEIGH SMITH, Esq., (Consul-General) Acting Judicially.



The North-China Herald, 13 June 1900


Shanghai, 6th June.

Before H.  SILVESTRI, Esq., Vice-Consul, Acting Judicially.


Detective Sergeant Gilfillan prosecuted C. Weindreich, restaurant-keeper, Ming-hong Road, for having retailed a bottle of beer to P. C. Sulmy, and allowed the same to be consumed on unlicensed premises, in contravention of the municipal regulations, at 10.45 p.m. on the 25th ultimo.

Defendant admitted the sale and was fined $10.


The North-China Herald, 13 June 1900.


Shanghai, 12th June.

Before E. SCHNITZLER, Esq., Consul-General (Acting Judicially) and Messrs. A. DABELSTEIN, R. HEINSEN, HAYNEMANN, and A. ZICKERMANN.


The Court heard two appeals from sentences imposed by the German Court at Kiaochou.  One was from H. Fuchs, who is under sentence of four years and two months' hard labour, together with loss of civil rights for ten years, for fraudulent bankruptcy, attempting to bribe a government official, and embezzlement.

The other appellant was S. T. Hermann sentenced to two years and six months' hard labour, for aiding Fuchs in the fraudulent bankruptcy, and for theft.

After a long deliberation the Court found that the appeals could not be upheld, and that the original sentences would have to be enforced.


The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 3 July 1900


PARIS, Monday.

M. Sabourand, surveyor to the Municipality of Tientsin, who had been attached to the French Consulate there since October 17th, 1899, as Chancellor to the Consular Court, has been murdered in the municipal buildings.  Two French marines shared the same fate.


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