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Colonial Cases

Police Court Shanghai

North China Herald, 24 May 1873


Shanghai, May 16th.

Before Sir E. HORNBY, acting as Police Magistrate.

R. v. W. ROBINSON, Craigforth.

   It appeared that defendant left his ship at 10 P.M. on the night she sailed, 10th May, with another man, intending as he alleged to assist the latter in getting a bed and other articles, but did not return before the steamer started.  He had reported himself at the Police Station and the consulate, and was brought up on a warrant issued in consequence of an application from the captain notifying his absence. He said he had no object in deserting, as he had six months' wages due him.

   As the steamer was expected to return to the port, his Lordship remanded him, admitting him meanwhile to the Sailors' Home.

20th May.


   Mr. ANDERSON, of the Stag Hotel, was charged with committing a breach of the peace.

   Mr. HASWELL, the complainant, stated that he was proprietor of the Eureka Hotel, and in consequence of certain reasons he had given orders that the defendant should not be permitted into the house.  Last Friday night, during complainant's absence, defendant went in, and called for drink.  The boy refused, whereupon defendant went behind the bar and took a decanter of liquor.  He then assaulted Mrs. Anderson, his wife, who is employed as manager.  He was ordered to leave, and on Mrs. Anderson attempting to take the decanter from him, he struck her.  She sent for a policeman, but before one arrived, defendant left.

   Complainant, in replying to some further questions, said this was not the first time it had occurred.  He took the present proceedings, not with a view to press the charge, but to deter defendant from entering his house.

   Defendant asked who was the proprietor of the hotel?

   Complainant replied he was, and always had been.

   Defendant produced a copy of the News, dated January, 1872, in which appeared an advertisement from which it would seem that Mrs. Anderson was proprietrix, but complainant repeated his statement to the effect that she acted simply in the capacity of manager of the hotel of which he was the proprietor.

   Defendant said he wished to know who really was the proprietor, and this induced him to act as he did.

   His LORDSHIP asked what business it was of his?

   Defendant replied that his wife was there, and he thought he had every right to know.

   His LORDSHIP. - is she earning a salary?

   Defendant. - I don't know.

   His LORDSHIP. - Do you support her?

   Defendant. - No.  I supported her until three or four years ago.

   His LORDSHIP. - You knew the hotel was not yours, and you had no business to go there and act as you did.  If you have any claims against your wife, all you have to do is to proceed in a proper manner.

   In reply to a further question by the defendant, his Lordship said the only remedy he could suggest was to institute a suit for the restitution of conjugal rights.

   Defendant. - Can't I obtain a warrant to take her out of the house?

   His LORDSHIP. - No, certainly not.

   Defendant said it had not been his intention to create a disturbance when he went into the hotel.

   His LORDSHIP. - But you did raise a disturbance, and you took some brandy which you certainly had no right to.

   Complainant said he was able to produce documentary evidence that the house was his.

   Defendant asked if the case could be adjourned?

   His LORDSHIP considered there was no need for an adjournment, as the facts were but simple.  Defendant had acted wrongly, and if he repeated the offence he would most probably be arrested and be charged with theft.

   Defendant said he intended to commit no robbery, and he was sorry if he had done anything illegal.  He affirmed that he had acted, as stated, simply to ascertain who was really the proprietor.

   His LORDSHIP cautioned defendant not to repeat the offence, or he should think he did so advisedly.  As Mr. Haswell did not press for a conviction, he would only order him to pay the costs of the summons.

Before R.  A. MOWAT, Esq.

   DARRA, a Malay, was charged with assault.  Sung-Yung said on the previousd afternoon he was looking on at a cockfight in Bamboo town, when the defendant, who is employed as a cook and servant to a man who keeps fighting cocks, pushed him down, and deprived him of his queue.

   Defendant was sentenced to fourteen days' imprisonment, and complainant advised to keep away from cock-fights in future.

21st May.

   Capt. McNUTT, of the barque Electra, was charged with ill-treating the carpenter of his ship, a Chinaman named Kook-sung.

   Complainant stated that on Friday last, defendant struck him on the head, and afterwards kicked him because he did not know the name of a rope.  By the Captain's orders, he was locked in all night, and kept without breakfast on the following morning.  In consequence of this ill-treatment, he ran away from the vessel at eight o'clock.  He called two Malay seamen to support his evidence.

   The Captain denied the charge of assault, and said it was entirely complainant's own fault if he did not have his breakfast, as he was ordered to take it with the rest of the crew.

   The second mate corroborated, and defendant was only ordered to pay the costs of the summons.


   EDWARD ATKINSON, (19), of the British ship Verula, pleaded guilty to deserting his ship on the 12th inst., and was sentenced to a week's imprisonment.

   Defendant stated that he had been on board the American man-of-war Harford in the interim.


North China Herald, 31 May 1873


Shanghai, 23rd May.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


   William Davidson, a coloured seaman of the ship Maitland, was charged with committing a violent assault upon Henry Perryman, boatswain, of the same ship.

   Complainant's face bore the marks of a most violent assault.  His statement was to the effect that on Wednesday evening he was at the Oriental Hotel, Hongkew, drinking with some friends, when an altercation took place between him and the defendant.  They came to blows, and he was very badly beaten.

   The case was remanded till Monday, when witnesses will be called on behalf of the defendant.

26th May.


   WILLIAM DAVIDSON, remanded from Friday's sitting, again appeared on the charge of assaulting William Perryman, boatswain of the barque Maitland.

   Evidence was given by two clouted seamen named Henry and Hodge, late of the Maitland, contradicting the statements of complainant and his witness in nearly every particular.

   His Worship remanded the case till 9 o'clock tomorrow, in order to obtain the evidence of the 2nd and 3rd officers who were present when the assault was committed.

27th May.


   As the result of the evidence of the officers of the ship Maitland, his Worship severely admonished complainant for the evident readiness with which he entered into dispute with the defendant; the latter he fined $10, and to pay the costs of the proceedings.

27th May.


   WILLIAM HOLMES and JOHN JACKSON, seamen, of the ship Lady Belmore, were charged with stealing half a bag of sugar from the cargo of the said ship.

   CAPTAIN LEE said since the alleged robbery took place, fifteen more bags of sugar were missing from the cargo.

   WILLIAM ROLUMNA said that on the previous Thursday evening, after supper, he saw Jackson lower a bag of sugar over the bows into the bum-boat, and, with Holmes, shortly afterwards go ashore.  He informed the Captain of the circumstance the next morning.

   In reply to Jackson, witness said the prisoners went down by the gangway.

   The accused denied all knowledge of the robbery, and said they went ashore with the captain's leave. They denied lowering anything into the boat over the bows.

   His WORSHIP considered the evidence hardly sufficient to warrant a conviction, although there might be strong cause for suspicion against Jackson.

   Complainant informed his Worship that the value of the sugar stolen was [T. or $]70.

   His WORSHIP said that, of course, the fact of fifteen bags of sugar being missing did not affect the present case, as it did not follow that the accused had taken them.  He should require more substantial evidence before he would be justified in entering a conviction.

29th May.



   H. Somers, W. Oliver, and R. Reid, ordinary seaman, were charged on remand from the 8th instant, with deserting from the ship Marquis of Argyle.

   Mr. TAPP applied for a further remand till Monday, but his Worship declined the application, and sentenced each of the defendants to a week's hard labour.


North China Herald, 23 May 1874


May 14, 1874.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.

R. v. C. GOOD, Dartmouth.

   Defendant was charged by P.C. 18 with being drunk and assaulting him while in the execution of his duty in Hongkew.

   The constable stated that there were a number of men quarrelling in the road, and he told them to move on and not quarrel, upon which the prisoner turned round and struck him.

   His WORSHIP fined the defendant $5.

May 15th.

Capt. GIBSON v. WM. CAHILL, S.S. Yentai.

Refusal of Duty.

   GEORGE CHARLES, the second engineer, said he ordered the men to turn to yesterday, after dinner, but defendant, who was under the influence of liquor, refused to do so.  He reported the fact to the chief.

   Defendant, who made no excuse, was ordered to pay costs and to forfeit two days pay.

May 19.


   A number of drunken cases were disposed of this morning.  The persons charged with the offence were: - Cardel, seaman, discharged; Wm. Jones, seaman, discharged; John Black, seaman, and J. Sparkes a second steward, - the former discharged, the latter fined $1; W. Mcfarline, an engineer, fined $5.

E. (R. Phoenix) v. D. KENWAY, Acantha.


   The complainant, who is the marshal at the U.S. Consulate, not appearing, the case was dismissed.

May 20.l

  1. v. JOHN LOCK.
  2. Disorderly Conduct.

       Defendant, a marine on board H.M.S. Cadmus, was charged with kicking open the door of a Chinaman's store on the French Concession.

       Complainant stated that defendant came to his house at 12 last night, and wanted some "Old Tom," and because he did not open the door, kicked it violently, breaking it.

       His WORSHIP fined the defendant $4; one dollar of which was to go to the complainant.

    May 21.



          The summons charged the accused with that he, between the 31st march and 18th April, did unlawfully steal from the premises lately occupied by him, No. 11, Seward Road, a cooking range, of the goods and chattels of Alfred Silverthorne.

       ACCUSED denied the charge.

       COMPLAINANT sworn, said, about twenty months ago Mr. Martin came to him and told him he was hard up and pushed for money, and he would probably have to sell off his furniture and send his wife home.  He said it would take Tls. 2,400 to clear off his liabilities.  Complainant said he would consider the matter; and on the following morning agreed to lend him this'd amount on a bill of sale of his furniture, &c.  Mr. Martin drew out what he called a bill of sale, but which he (Complainant) could consider only in the light of an acknowledgment.  At the same time Mr. Martin said he might possibly be in a position to repay the amount in two or three months, but preferred to make the bill of sale up to twelve months, when he was sure of being able to pay it.  Com. applied several times for the money, but could not get it; and some time in August last year, Mr. Martin, at his request, handed him a bill of sale, properly drawn out, and which he had had stamped and registered at the Consulate.  The bill of sale included household articles. - (an inventory was attached to it), - and also Mr. Martin's share in the interests of the company carrying on business under the name of Compton and Co., of which he was a partner.  He had great difficulty in obtaining this document, but determined upon having it, as the loan had been made in August, 1873.  The amount he had received from Mr. Martin was Tls. 100, he giving him a promissory note for the rest, with Tls. 46 interest, and payable on the 31st March, 1874.

       In the inventory was an item "one kitchen range;" and on the 1st April, in consequence of the default in payment, he took charge of Mr. Martin's premises, and caused the things to be sold by public auction, supposing that the  said range would be sold with the rest.  He had seen it on the premises previously; when the auction took place he was unavoidably absent on account of illness, but after the auction, in consequence of information received, he went to see Mr. Martin, to ask him why the range, included in the bill of sale, was not sold, and why another smaller one had been put in its place.  He replied, "Oh, it wasn't much, it would only have fetched Tls. 15 or 20."  Complainant said, but still this was an item which ought to have been to his account, and told him the stove was not the only thing he had prevented being sold.  In consequence of this, he had determined to charge Mr. Martin with larceny.

       Complainant was then examined by the accused.  He said - I received a security from you in '72, but I do not consider it a bill of sale.  I did keep it, but only as an acknowledgment.  I received the proceeds of the sale.  Had there been two stoves on the premises I ought to have had them.  I did not go over the house and take an inventory of the things.  I considered the bill of sale was supposed to be a lien on all the furniture.  I suppose the stove was removed from the premises between the 10th and the 18th April.  The sale was over when I received the first information from the auctioneer.  I do not recollect when I called upon you a few days ago that you told me I was not entitled to that particular stove.

    ... A. S. TRIGGS, sworn, said - I am Messrs. Lane, Crawford & Co.'s auctioneer.  I remember receiving instructions from Mr. Silverthorne to sell the effects in the house No. 11, Seward Road.  My clerk made an inventory of the furniture.  I went through the house previously to the sale, and noticed the kitchen range.  It was not sold by me.  There were two stoves, - one, a large and valuable one, fixed against the wall, and the other a small one, broken and damaged, in the centre of the kitchen.  I sold the latter.  I remember asking Mr. Martin if the large one was not to be sold.  He replied, no.  The sale took place on the 10th April, and no one moved the large stove by our instructions.

       To Complainant. - I gave you just the same statement I have made to his Worship.  I cannot say whether the stove I sold was or was not a kitchen range - that is difficult to define.  I suppose we called it a cooking stove.

       To Accused. - I cannot say whether you did or did not add that the large stove was not in the bill of sale, but you may have done so.

       J. BAILEY, Mr. Robinson's clerk, said he had been an occasional visitor to Mr. Martin's house.  He recollected the bill of sale being drawn up.  He witnessed its execution.  To the best of his belief there was at the time a handsome cooking range in the house.


       To Accused. - You might or you might mot have had half a dozen stoves.  I did not go through the house.  I was there about last August, not since.

       To the Court. - The range I have noticed there was certainly not an old cooking range.  I considered it a very handsome stove.

       QM. A. L. SANDERS, Custom's Examiner, said he now occupied the house No. 11 Seward Road.  He took possession on the 15th April, and a stove was taken away by Mr. Martin's coolies about three or four days afterwards.

       ACCUSED, to save the time of the Court, admitted the possession of the stove.  He had it now at his house.  He then went on to state that when the bill of sale was drawn up in 1872, he had a stove which he had bought of Messrs. Muller and Fisher for Tls. 45.  During the twelve months which elapsed between then and when Mr. Silverthorne next asked for his money, he purchased another stove for $100, and this being more serviceable, he put the other one in the back yard.  He considered that complainant was not entitled to the new stove, but only to the one he had in his possession at the time the bill of sale was made.  It was quite true that he had told complainant that the stove would have only fetched Tls. 15.  His furniture, he considered, was only sacrificed.  As to the charge, he had not attempted to hide the fact from anybody. The stove remained in the house for eight days after the sale, and he had not stolen it away.

       His WORSHIP said the charge against the accused was that of theft.  To make that out, a criminal intent is necessary; but in this case accused's explanation, which was a reasonable one, shewed that there was no fraudulent intent in his mind.  His explanation was that though he admitted complainant's lien on a cooking range, he imagined (rightly or wrongly) it was not on this one, and he had therefore directed the auctioneer not to sell it.

       Me. SILVERTHORNE said he considered the bill of sale made in '73 was entirely a new one, the first being void.

       His WORSHIP went on, that if he was trying a civil question for the value of the stove in dispute, instead of trying a criminal charge, he should very likely see his way to decide that the kitchen range in question was the one that the prosecutor was entitled to under the bill of sale, but as it was, he required a great deal more evidence to satisfy him that the accused had removed the stove with the intent to defraud.  Complainant had made out a prima facie case, but with the explanation of the accused, that fell to the ground, and he must dismiss the charge.

       Mr. MARTIN. - It is very hard, your Worship, that I should be brought up here on a charge of this nature.  Have I no redress?

       His WORSHIP. - You must take your own steps about that; I do not think you have.


    North China Herald, 30 May 1874


    Shanghai, 22nd May.

    Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.

  3. v. JAMES SUTTON, Crocus.


   Offence admitted; discharged.

May 23.


Cutting Flowers.

   Defendant was charged with breaking and damaging a shrub - a rose-tree - in the Public gardens, on the 19th inst.

   Defendant said she had no idea she should have got into trouble through it.  She was at the Public gardens on the day mentioned, with her daughter, taking a walk.  She saw a policeman standing there, but not knowing it was prohibited, she pulled one rose.  There was no notice not to pull the flowers, and she did not know she was doing wrong till the policeman told her.  It was about 7.20 p.m.

   His WORSHIP asked the constable (26) if this was a true account of the occurrence.

   WITNESS. - Yes.

   His WORSHIP. - Where were you when she did it?

  WITNESS. - Close by.

   His WORSHIP. - Were other people about?

   WITNESS. - Miss Burns was there, and a native constable with me.

   His WORSHIP. - How far were you from them?

   WITNESS. - Five yards.

   His WORSHIP. - So that she did not seek to hide it?

   WITNESS. - No; she did it quite openly.

   Insp. STRIPLING said these proceedings were taken under the 22nd. Sec. of the Act 24 and 25 Vic., cap. 37, with a view to prevent others from plucking the flowers.  This was a single bud, but it had been taken from another tree and budded into a rosetree growing on the trellis work by the side of the river.  The bud had not been taken carefully, as by a gardener with a knife, but was plucked from the tree, damaging it, of course.  Considerable damage had been committed in the Garden by the way in which flowers had been culled.  The rosebud in Court was valued at 25 dents, independent of any damage to the tree.

   His WORSHIP. - Has any damage been done to the tree, then?

   Insp. STRIPLING said, most decidedly.  It was not the desire of the Committee to press for a severe penalty in this case, but merely to deter others from taking flowers from the garden.  A slight fine would probably satisfy the ends of justice in this case.  He might mention in addition that there were no flowers given away by the Committee, nor did they allow persons to pluck them in the Garden, no matter who or what they were.  He believed Mrs. Burns had expressed her regret to Mr. Fowler, and said she took the flower without thinking of the consequences.

   His WORSHIP said. - Well, Mrs. Burns, I am glad to find that this is not at all the case I expected it to be.  A wholesale theft of flowers from the Public Gardens has, I believe, occurred, and I had been led to imagine that this was one of the cases.  I am glad, however, to find it is not, but merely a single instance in which you have committed the offense. I am quite willing to believe also that you did it thoughtlessly, without considering what the results might be; and that you did it without reflection - because if you had for a moment reflected, you would have known better.  It is quite evident to anyone who thinks for a moment that you ate not at liberty to take flowers when you please, for if everybody did so, what would become of the Garden?  It would cease to be a garden, and become a waste.    And not only is it illegal, but it is exceedingly unkind to the number of gentlemen who, for the general good and pleasure, have spent time an labour in the laying out of these grounds.

   You say you did not know, but if you had thought for a moment you must have come to the same conclusion.  The flowers are there to be looked at, but not taken.  There is no notice put up I believe, but this does not exonerate you; although I think it would be a good thing if those in charge of the garden were to put up such notice at the gates, warning persons not to pluck the flowers, and stating that in case they are found out the ordinary penalties will be inflicted.  A person convicted of pulling flowers, and of a malicious destruction of property, is subject to a fine of £5, or three months imprisonment.  And if a case comes before me, where it is shewn that there had been wholesale damage, I shall not hesitate to inflict the full penalty.  For a second offence, the penalty is twelve months' imprisonment.  I state this publicly, in order that the public may know the risk they run in committing acts of this kind.

  Your case is a simple and trivial one, because I don't think you had any desire to do mischief, but I must order you to pay the damage done - that is, the value of the bud, 25 cents, and the costs of the summons $1.50. [See also 'Summary of News,' China Herald, 6 June, 1874.]

May 26th.

DAVID MACLEAN, Lammermuir.


   Defendant, who admitted the charge, entered the shop of a Chinaman in Hongkew while in that condition, and beat him with a sugarcane.

   Fined $5, and ordered to return to his ship at once.


North China Herald, 22 May 1875


Shanghai, May 17th.

Before C. F. ALLEN, Esq., Acting Police Magistrate.



   The prisoner, who is a Hindoo, was brought up in custody from prison, after undergoing a sentence of ten days' hard labour for assaulting the servants at the Sailors' Home.  Having been previously convicted, he was also ordered to find sufficient security for his future good behaviour, or to be deported.

   The position in which he stood having been explained to him by Deighton, the interpreter, the prisoner said he could not find security, and

   His WORSHIP therefore ordered the sentence of deportation to be carried out, and remitted the man to prison until he could be sent away.


Charge of Embezzlement.

   The prisoner, who is a piano tuner, and was also in the employ of the prosecutor as clerk, was apprehended in Broadway, Hongkew, on Sunday, by Mr. Molesworth, Consular Constable at Chefoo, on a warrant, charged with embezzlement.  There are several cases alleged against him, the aggregate amount being estimated at about $600, the dates ranging from April, 1874.;  he was now brought up for the purposed of being remanded in custody until the departure of the next steamer for Chefoo.

   No particulars were gone into, and the warrant having been attested by the Consular Constable

   His WORSHIP made the necessary order for the detention of the prisoner.


North China Herald, 29 May 1875


Shanghai, May 17th

Before C. F. R. ALLEN, Esq., Actg Magistrate.


Drunk and Incapable.

   Defendant is boatswain of the str. Antenor, and late on Sunday night was found drunk and incapable in the Woosung road, Hongkew.  In defence, he said he must have been "dosed" (drugged.)

   Discharged with a caution.


   AARON ARRANT, a native of Aden, was charged with assaulting the houseboy and gateman at No. 1, Kiangse Road.

   It appeared from the evidence of the complainant that at about 12 o'clock on Sunday night, the defendant went into the compound of the house, and was proceeding to misbehave himself when the gateboy tried to prevent him.  He asked who was inside the house, and the gateboy told him he must ask the houseboy.  Defendant did so, and was told by the houseboy that he was too busy to attend to him.  Defendant then rang the bell, and on its being answered by the houseboy, he struck him, and tore his clothes, doing  damage to the extent of $1.25.  He next took up flowers and threw them at the gateboy, afterwards kicking him.  He was then given into custody.

   There was no defence, the defendant merely saying that he went to the house to enquire for a gentleman, with whom he had some business.

   His WORSHIP said it was, no doubt, a case of drunken assault, and the sentence was that the defendant should pay $2 for each of the assaults, and $1.25 for the damage he had done to the boy's clothing; in default, two days' imprisonment.

   The money was paid.

May 21st.

R. v. JOHN TOLEMAN, 2nd Cook of the S.S. Antenor.

Absent without Leave.

   In answer to his Worship, prisoner stated that he came on shore about 4.40 p.m. on 17th instant, with the chief cook.  On his return to the ship, the chief officer told him that he had no right to leave the ship without permission.  He told the mate that he considered the chief steward as his "boss," and that he was going on shore again.  The chief officer knocked him off duty.

   Randolph S. Campbell, stated - The chief steward reported to me that the chief and second cooks were on shore without leave.  On their return, I told them that they had done wrong.  The chief cook admitted his fault, but the prisoner set me at defiance, and said that he would go on shore again.  I think he was the worse for liquor.  He went on shire again that evening.

   Captain Jones gave the prisoner a good character.

   Fined two days' pay and costs.

May 26th.

Attempt to Commit Suicide.

   MATHEW JORDAN, a fireman, unemployed, was charged with the above offence.

   In answer to His Worship, prisoner said that he was mad at the time, and did not know what he was doing.

   Mr. STRIPLING said that the prisoner had only just returned from Ningpo, where he had been employed as a constable, but had been discharged from the force for drunkenness.

   J.  NESBIT, sworn, deposed - I am 2nd officer of the S.S. Europe.  At about 7 p.m. yesterday, my attention was called to the prisoner, who was on the wharf.  The prisoner was standing by the stern of the Europe, and had a stone tied by two half hitches to his neck.  I went on to the wharf and took hold of him and undid the rope.  I asked him what he meant.  He replied that he was tired of life and wanted to make away with himself.  The stone was securely fastened to the rope.  From the position he was in, I am of opinion that he intended to carry out his purpose.  His coat, vest and cap were lying on the wharf.  I made him take up his clothes and then took him to the Police Station.  I did not consider him the worse for liquor.  He walked straight enough, and seemed to have his senses about him.

   Mr. G. ROHL, sworn, deposed - At about 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, I was about 18 yards from the steamer Europe, on Hutt's Wharf.  My attention was attracted to the prisoner, by seeing him take off hid coat, vest and cap and throw them down on the wharf.  Thinking he was going to fight some one, I went towards him; by the time I reached him Mr. Nesbit had untied as rope from his neck.  The other end was attached to a stone. I spoke to him. He replied that he was thoroughly ashamed of himself and did not wish to look a European in the face again; he was tired of life and wanted to make away with himself.  There are about 20 feet of water at the spot.  He told us why he had left Ningpo.  He did not appear to me to have been drinking.

   His WORSHIP remanded the prisoner until Friday next, in order that he might be examined by a medical man.


North China Herald, 5 June 1875


Shanghai, May 28th.

Before C. F. R. ALLEN, Esq., Acting Magistrate.


Attempted Suicide.

   The defendant, who had been remanded from Wednesday, on a charge of attempted suicide, the particulars of which have already appeared, was again brought up.

   Chief Constable Tyler said that the opinion of the medical officer was that the prisoner was perfectly sane.

   Defendant informed the Court, that from May 5 he had been drinking heavily; and that on May 25 he and two other men drank about five bottles of Hollands.

   His WORSHIP cautioned the prisoner, and allowed him to depart.


North China Herald, 27 May 1876


Shanghai, May 17th

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


Attempt to Stab.

   Prisoner was charged with attempting to stab the chief officer of the barque Cuba, with a knife.  He denied the charge.

   WILLIAM CROCKER deposed - I am chief officer of the Cuba.  Accused is an A.B. When we were lying in Amoy harbour, about the 18th of last month, he was noisy forward, and then came aft, and wanted to go into the cabin to see the captain.  I told him the captain was ashore, and ordered accused forward.  He then c aught me by the collar.  I seized him, and we struggled.  One of the men called - "Look out, he has a knife in his hand."  I left him, and went into the cabin for a revolver.  He then went into the next ship.

   Prisoner put no questions to the prosecutor.

   JOHN S. THOMSON, A.B. of the Cuba, deposed - I saw the affair.  The prisoner did not go forward when ordered, but, instead, took hold of the mate by the collar.  The mate shook him off, and then the prisoner put his hand behind his back, and drew his knife from its sheath.  The point was out of the sheath by about an inch. As he drew it, he said he was going to cut the guts out of the mate.  O called out, "Look out, he has a knife," and prisoner then put it back.  He ran off, when the mate came out of the cabin with his revolver.

   His WORSHIP, after admonishing the prisoner, sentenced him to three weeks' hard labour.

May 22nd.

R. (Captain WEBB) v. THOMAS HENLEY                             .

Drunk and Disorderly.

  Defendant, an A.B. of the Maid of Judah, was charged with the above offences, which he admitted.

   Captain WEBB stated that he saw the defendant in the condition mentioned, on the Wharf, and told him to go on board.  Defendant said he would take his (the captain's) life, and as he was otherwise abusive, he was given into custody.  On the way to the police Station, he repeated the threats to take the Captain's life.  Complainant, however, did not want to punish defendant, but wished him to be discharged from the ship.  AS month's wages were due to him.

   His WORSHIP said he had no power to order the man's discharge, but would not now deal with the case.  If the Superintendent of the Sailors' Home would take him on payment of the month's wages, the case might be settled in that way, as the Captain did not want to punish him.  If that arrangement could not be made, defendant must be brought before the Court again, to be dealt with in the usual manner.


Drunk and Incapable.

   Defendant is sail-maker of the Cuba, and admitted the offence.

   Cautioned, and discharged on paying costs, $1.50.

May 23rd.

Before R.  A. MOWAT, Esq.


Drunk and Incapable.

      Defendant, a seaman of the Cuba, was found by the police drunk and in capable, in an alley in the Woosung Road, at 8.20 on Monday night.  He admitted the offence, and was

Cautioned and discharged, on payment of costs, $1.50.


Absent without Leave.

   Defendants are seamen of the barque Bethany, and were summoned for the above offence.

   Captain BEEDELL stated - Allen asked for leave to go ashore on Sunday afternoon, about three o'clock.  I refused to let him go, because he hade been ashore in the forenoon, with leave.  He said he should go, and went.  I followed him, but he got into as jinrikisha, and I lost sight of him. He returned on board about eight on Monday morning.  The barque will probably sail on Thursday morning.

   The second mate corroborated the Captain's statement.

   ALLEN commenced a rambling statement, but did not deny the offence charged.

   ASSEN admitted that he went ashore on Sunday evening without leave, because the captain refused to let him go for the night. He had been ashore in the evening.

   His WORSHIP sent Allen to prison till Thursday morning, then to be put on board the ship. Assen to forfeit two days' wages; and each to pay costs, $1.50.


North China Herald, 3 June 1876


Shanghai, May 25th.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


Drunk and Disorderly.

   Defendant, who described himself as a fireman, out of employ, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in the Broadway, Hongkew, at 4.50 on Wednesday afternoon.

   Inspector FOWLER stated that defendant came to Shanghai from Hongkong, and had been supplied gratuitously with food and lodging for about three weeks.  On Wednesday, he got drunk, and used threats of violence - that he would kill some one or steal something to get into prison.

   P.C. 19, in reply to the Court, said that defendant was running about in Hongkew, and went into several Chinese stores, capsizing everything he came across.  He also upset some jinrikishas in the street, at the same time using very bad language.

   To be imprisoned for ten days with hard labour.

May 26th.



   Defendant, a seaman unemployed, was found by the Police, drunk and incapable in a jinrikisha, at two o'clock on Thursday afternoon, in the Honan road.  He was before the Court on the 1st inst., having been apprehended by the Police the previous day, in the same road, under precisely similar circumstances.  He now expressed penitence, and asked to be liberated, stating that he had a chance of being employed to-day by the captain of a German three-masted schooner, lying in the upper section.

   His WORSHIP questioned the defendant closely, as to the whereabouts of the schooner, the captain's and vessel's name, &c., to test the defendant's veracity.

   Defendant said he did not know either the captain's or the vessel's name; he had gone on board her to seek for work, as he had on board every other vessel in port.

   Captain BEEDELL, of the Bethany, informed the Court that there was a three-masted schooner lying in the upper section.

   His WORSHIP said he would be sorry to prevent the defendant obtaining employment, by sending him to prison; and would, therefore, give him credit for stating the truth in what he had said, and discharge him, to try to get shipped in the schooner.


Refusal of Duty and Absence without Leave.

   Defendants belong to the Bethany, and were before the court on Tuesday, charged with absenting themselves without leave, on which occasion Assen was discharged on payment of costs; Allen also to pay costs and to be imprisoned till Thursday, on which day the ship was to have sailed.

   Captain BEEDELL now deposed - Allen came out of prison on Thursday, and was put on board the ship.  He represented that he had a certificate from the gaol Doctor, to the effect that he was sick.  I did not see the certificate.  He asked for 20 cents, and also for leave to go ashore to purchase some ointment.  I refused him both, but he went on shore the same day without leave, and in defiance of orders.  There was a doctor attending the ship, whom, he could have seen.  This is the first time I have seen him since.  The summons was server upon him on board, and he afterwards went ashore again without leave.

   ALLEN - I went ashore to see a doctor, but the shops were all shut up.  I was away about two hours and a half, and did not see a doctor.

   Captain BEEDELL said Allen refused duty altogether, and then went ashore.  The ship was ready for sea this morning, but was detained through the defendant's misconduct.  If a man was to be allowed to do as he thought proper, immediately after the decision of the Court, there was no protection for the master of a ship.  Allen did the same thing again, immediately he came out of prison, and his language was very bad.  If there was any protection for a master of a ship in such cases, he (Captain Beedell) would appeal to the Court to give a decision in his favour.

   ASSEN was then called forward, and in reply to the Court, said - On Tuesday night, I asked the Captain for leave to go ashore.  He gave me leave, and said I was to be back at four o'clock on Wednesday morning.  I went back at that time, but after ten o'clock the same day I was ill and could not work, so laid up.  On Tuesday, I was again ill, and in great pain, and did not work.  The Captain called me, but I could do nothing.  He said a rope's end would do me good.  My head was very bad.

   Captain BEEDELL deposed in this case - I gave defendant leave on Tuesday night. Till ten o'clock only.  He did not return till about one o'clock.  The reason I gave him leave on the same day he had been before the Court, was because he made such an appeal to me about his clothes being at the waterman's, also saying somebody owed him money, which he wanted to obtain.  He is the cook of the vessel. And when he was called to get up in the morning, he said he was too ill.  He did no work on Wednesday or Thursday.  At four p.m. on the last-named day, he asked the chief officer for leave to go ashore again, and was refused, but both he and Allen went ashore without leave, Assen's illness was no doubt caused by what he did ashore.

   His WORSHIP ordered both defendants to be kept in prison till six o'clock, and to be then put on board.  He could mot allow the captain anything for the delay he had been occasioned, but both defendants would forfeit six days' wages to the ship, and pay the costs of the summonses.

   ALLEN then asked that a doctor might attend him, as his legs were very bad from the action of the salt water.

   His WORSHIP said he would see that a doctor attended him.

May 29th.


Refusal of Duty.

May 30th.


Drunk and Refusing Duty.

These cases not transcribed.   ... as the Europe had to leave early this morning for Foochow, the captain insisted on his leaving the ship, saying he would not trust him with the care of the engines.  Defendant was, therefore, brought on shore.

   His WORSHIP, to defendant - I shall remand you to prison, until the ship returns from Foochow.


North China Herald, 25 May 1878


Shanghai, 18th May.

Before C. F. R. ALLEN, Esq., Vice-Consul.

R. (Captain Forrest) v. Joseph Barrett.

R. (Captain Forrest) v. Seven of the crew of the G. T. Ray.

William Purdy v. Captain Forrest.

William Moody v. Captain Forrest.

Joseph Barrett v. Captain Forrest.

   These were charges arising out of the occurrences which resulted in the barque G. T. Ray, which sailed for New York on the 15th inst., being brought back to port.  Captain Forrest is the master of the vessel, and he charged his chief officer, Joseph Barrett, with unlawfully refusing to take the vessel to sea, and inciting the crew to do the same. Seven of the crew were charged with refusal of duty; and on the other hand, the chief officer and two of the men, named Moody and Purdy, had summoned captain Forrest for assault.

   The cases were partly heard on the previous afternoon, and the hearing was resumed this morning.  Nearly all the crew were examined, while other persons who had been connected with the ship while in port were called to speak to the sobriety and general conduct of the Captain.

]   His WORSHIP heard all the cases before giving his decision.  He considered there was no evidence that the captain had assaulted the mate, and he did not believe he had.  There seemed to have been some ill-feeling between them, but no actual assault had been committed.  The evidence of the steward, which was the strongest in the case, proved that the Captain said he would make the mate suffer before he got to New York, and that he burst open the cabin door, but there was no evidence that he committed any assault upon him at all; and, therefore,  that a summons would be dismissed.

   As to the two other cases of assault by the Captain on two of the men, it seemed clear from the evidence that both the men went on board drunk, and were not ready or in a fit state to do their work.  From the evidence of the men themselves, it seemed that the ship was short-handed; and the Captain complained that there was not sufficient to do the work, unless these two men did their proper share, and, under such circumstances, the captain was justified in going into the forecastle and pulling them out.  At the same time he thought the Captain had used greater violence than was necessary under the circumstances; for, after pulling the men out, he hit them in the face, and they each had marks of the blows.  On that account he should order the Captain to pay a fine of $3 on each of the summonses for assaulting the two men, and the costs of the Court.

   The charge of refusal of duty against the seven men was an offence of a very serious nature - more serious than the others.  It was described by a high legal authority as an offence of the gravest kind, and one that was not excused by discourteous and intemperate conduct, which was all that was alleged against Captain Forrest.  When the Captain went on board, and for some time afterwards, the mate seemed to have performed his duties in a very slack and incompetent manner; and possibly, under the circumstances, the Captain did lose his temper and was inclined to use bad language and be discourteous to everybody on board, but that, according to the authority he had quoted, did not justify the men in committing so serious an offence as refusing duty. 

   But he (his Worship) looked upon the men as tools in the hands of the mate, who was the most top blame for what had occurred.  The mate had influenced the men on their course of action, and such conduct could not be tolerated.  Were it to be allowed, it would be impossible to navigate any ship with safety.  The sentence of the Court would be that the mate be imprisoned for one month and forfeit two days' pay; and that each of the seven men, for refusing duty, be imprisoned for one week and to pay the costs of the Court.  He might add that there was no proof whatever that the Captain was intoxicated on the occasion.

   Captain FORREST asked for an order for the mate and the seven men to pay the expenses incident on the return of the ship to port.

   His WORSHIP refused the application.

20th May.


Drunk and Incapable.

   Prisoner belongs to the crew of the barque Ambassador, and he was charged with being drunk and incapable on the Honan Road the previous day.

   He admitted the offence.

   On the 16th March he was before the Court on a similar charge, when he was cautioned and dismissed.  He was not sent to gaol for seven days' hard labour, and ordered to pay the costs of the Court.

22nd May.



   Prisoners, who are firemen on board the steamer Glenlyon, were charged with being drunk on the previous night.

   Cautioned, and ordered to pay the costs of the Court.


The Escape from the Gaol.

   Prisoner is a Malay, and he was charged with breaking out of H.B.M.s gaol on Sunday, 19th inst.

   No evidence was adduced, and he was remanded until next morning at ten o'clock.

23rd <ay.


Sad Case of Drunkenness.

   Prisoner is an able seaman staying at the Sailors' Home, and he was charged with being drunk and incapable in the Sailors' Home on the previous day.

   He admitted the offence.

   Mr. BOWEN, Superintendant of the Home, deposed that the prisoner was so addicted to drink that it was impossible to keep him from it.  He was now in a state bordering on delirium tremens, and had fallen down and injured his arm very severely.  Prisoner was drunk in the Home yesterday and the day before, and he (Mr. Bowen) thought it would be an act of kindness to him if he were sent to gaol for a few days, and therefore he handed him over to the police.

   His WORSHIP sentenced prisoner to ten days' imprisonment, without hard labour.


The Escape from Gaol.

   Prisoner is a Malay, and was brought up on remand charged with unlawfully escaping from the British gaol, on the 19th inst., while under a sentence of two years' imprisonment.

   Mr. W. H. TAPP, the registrar of Shipping, represented H.B.M.'s Consul and Sheriff.

   Prisoner pleaded guilty.

   The following evidence was taken:-

   ALFRED BARNES deposed - I am chief constable of the British gaol.  On Sunday morning last, the 19th inst., I marched the whole of the prisoners into the exercise yard at the back of the gaol.  There were then twelve prisoners present.  I left the second constable and the native constable in charge.  This was at a quarter to eleven o'clock.  I told the second constable that I was going out.  I left the gaol at ten minutes to eleven, and returned again at twenty-five minutes past twelve o'clock.  As I was going down the gaol compound I met the native constable, who told me that the prisoner had   escaped.  I asked him if he was sure that he was off the premises.  He replied that he was, as he had been all round the gaol.  I went and gave information at the central Police Station and then at the Hongkew Station.  I got a foreign constable there to show me where Deighton, the interpreter, lived.  I left a chit that I wanted to see him.  I next reported the matter to the Sheriff, and then returned to the gaol.  While I was away, prisoner's trousers were found in the N.E. compound.  His cap was afterwards found near the same place.  The exercise yard is at the North-end of the premises, a long way from the entrance.

   By Mr. TAPP - The warrant now produced, dated 29th March, 1878, directs me to confine the prisoner in gaol for two years for unlawfully wounding with intent.  He was also to be deported at the expiration of his sentence.  I was present when he was sentenced, and have not the least doubt that he is the same man.  I saw him last in gaol at a quarter to eleven o'clock on Sunday morning last.  He was not in the gaol on Sunday afternoon.

   THOMAS DEIGHTON deposed - I keep a Malay boarding house.  I was the interpreter when the prisoner was tried for unlawfully wounding with intent.  His proper name is Ahmed, but he is known as Batchow; he was found guilty and sentenced to two years' imprisonment, to be deported at the expiration of his sentence, and to sacrifice all his wages.  He was sentenced about two weeks after his trial. I was present.  I last daw him on Monday night, on a German barque in the first section of the river.  I had gone on board with a warrant to search the ship.  The warrant is now produced.  It is stamped by the German Consul.  The mate of the barque told me that the prisoner was not on board, but would probably be there in the evening.  I went away and returned about seven o'clock, when I found the prisoner on board.  I apprehended him and took him to the Hongkew Police Station.

   KWO SUNG-MING deposed - I am watchman at the British gaol.  On Sunday morning last at about 11 o'clock, I was watching the prisoners.  I heard prisoner ask the second constable if he could have a bath.  The constable said "yes, and after you have finished your bath, you had better wash my dog."  The second constable and prisoner then went put of the yard into the gaol.  I remained in the yard watching the other prisoners.  I saw nothing more of Batchow after that.  About a quarter to twelve o'clock I heard that he had escaped.  The second constable told me. Search was made for Batchow, but he could not be found.  His jacket and shirt were found in his cell.  I know the prisoner, and recognise him as the man who escaped from the gaol on Sunday last.

   Mr. TAPP said he had received instructions from H.B.M.'s Consul to prove the conviction, escape and arrest of the prisoner, and having now proved those three facts, he asked the Court to commit the prisoner for trial, without the examination of any more witnesses.

   His WORSHIP said that his instructions from the Judge were to take all the evidence.

   NE AH-DOO deposed - I am door-keeper and gaoler at the British gaol.  About tiffin time on Sunday last the second constable and the native watchman came and asked me if I had seen any prisoners go out of the gaol. I said I had not.  I was at the door on Sunday.  I was there all the morning, with the exception of a few minutes I went into the yard to stop some dogs that were fighting.  While I was at the door some Chinamen passed out.  I did not see the prisoner pass out.  I have seen the prisoner in the gaol.  The Chinamen who passed out were coolies carrying earth.

   Prisoner had no questions to ask the witness, but said he saw him in the garden when he walked out of the gaol.

   JAMES BOWMAN deposed - I am second constable at the British gaol.  On Sunday morning I took the prisoner to the cook-house for him to get some hot water.  It was about half-past eleven o'clock. I told him to get some hot water and then go and wash. The cook-house is on the right hand side of the entrance.  It is outside of the main body of the gaol.  When I saw the prisoner go to get the water, I went over to the coach-house and stables to see of all was right there.  On my return I could not find the prisoner.  I thought he had gone into the gaol, and went and asked the watch-man if he had passed him.  The watchman told me that he had not.  I then searched all over the gaol, but was unable to find the prisoner.  I then locked all the other prisoners up and commenced to search the yard and stables.  While I was doing this Mr. Barnes returned, and I told him Batchow was missing.  We made a further search and found prisoner's trousers in the long grass in the yard on the Soochow Creek.  We afterwards found his cap in the same yard a little nearer the garden.

   By Mr. TAPP. - The cook-house is between the gaol and the gaolers' quarters.  There is a very high wall outside the constables' quarters, with two doors at the entrance.  There are two doors before you get to the cook-house, and I have seen them shut.  All the windows of the quarters are barred, even those of the hospital.  I believe both the entrance doors were open when Batchow went to the cook-house.  They are open during the day, so that the cook and coolies can go in and out.  I have had no particular instructions to keep the doors closed, while the prisoners are in the yard.

   Mr. TAPP said he did not wish to call any more witnesses.

   Prisoner, in answer to the usual caution, said that he ran away from the gaol because the work was too hard and the food not good enough.

   His WORSHIP then committed him for trial ion the Supreme Court, before a jury.


North China Herald, 1 June 1878


Shanghai, 29th May.

Before C.  F.  R. ALLEN, Esq., Vice-Consul.



   Prisoners are both Malays of the same name, but not related.  They are sailors out of employment and were charged with assaulting another Malay named Seom, quarter-master of the steamer Hankow, by striking him with a stick.

   Prosecutor had left in the steamer, which went away this morning, and, in consequence, prisoners were remanded for other evidence of the assault to be obtained.

30th May.


Alleged Assault.

   These two prisoners were accordingly brought before the Court to-day, but no evidence being now forthcoming, they were discharged.


North China Herald, 27 May 1879

... On Friday a native prisoner made his escape from the Central Police Station in an ingenious way.  He was undergoing a sentence of two years duration, and was usually under charge of a native constable. On the day named, the constable's attention being given to something else for a moment, the convict took the opportunity of "mixing himself up" with a road-gang of prisoners who were proceeding to their work, and so managed to get clear off.  He has not yet been recaptured. [No reports of Police Court proceedings.]


North China Herald, 25 May 1880


Shanghai, 24th May.

Before H. S. WILKINSON, Esq.


   The prisoner was charged with being absent without leave from the steamer Sestos, of which vessel he was a fireman.

   Mr. W. HANDYSIDE TAPP, H.M.'s registrar of Shipping, appeared to prosecute.

   GEORGE SKINNER, sworn, said that the prisoner was arrested on Saturday after-noon for the offence with which he was charged, and that after he had been taken in custody he was noisy and abusive in his language.  The chief engineer of the steamer subsequently came to the Station, and it seemed that the prisoner and John Hearn (who was subsequently charged before Mr. Wilkinson with the same offence as Jones) regretted their conduct and said they would go on board their ship; When they left the Station, however, they failed to do so, and were arrested on Sunday.

   WILLIAM SMITH, police constable, sworn, said that he met the prisoner and Hearn at 1.30 a.m. on Sunday, when Jones asked his advice, saying that the ship they belonged to was to have left at 10 o'clock the previous evening.  He advised them to accompany him to the Station, and they did so.

   His WORSHIP sentenced the prisoner to 14 days imprisonment with hard labour.


   The prisoner was the companion of Jones, whose case had just been dealt with, and he was accused of a similar offence.

   He admitted the charge, and was sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment.


North China Herald, 8 June 1880.


Shanghai, 3rd June.

Before H.  S. WILKINSON, Esq.


Assaulting and Wounding.

   The complainant and the prisoner are quarter-masters on board the British steamer Tunsin.

   Mr. DEIGHTON interpreted for the prisoner assisted by Pedro de Cruz, also a quarter-master on the Tunsin.

The prisoner denied the charge preferred against him of assaulting and wounding the complainant.

   JUAN DE LA CRUZ, the complainant, sworn, said - I am a quartermaster on board the s.s. Tunsin.  The prisoner is also a quartermaster.  I was standing by my bed about ten o'clock last night, when the prisoner came into my room. I am in the starboard watch.  My watch was from 6 till 8, and the prisoner's from 8 to 10.  My watch below is from 8 till 2.  His watch was over at 10 o'clock, when he came into the berth.  He asked for the man that ought to keep the next watch.  I told him to get out and not be growling there as I wanted to sleep.  The he insulted me.  I got up and he struck me.  I was sitting down.  Then he went out, and came in again with the knife produced in Court (a Japanese "fan" knife.)  He made a stab at me with it and cut my shirt.  I struck the knife down and he then struck me in the eye. (The complainant's eye and face were much swollen).  When I struck the prisoner's hand down the knife flew off to a distance of several feet.  Another quarter-master came and picked up the knife.  I took the knife and gave it to the captain.

   The prisoner said - When my watch was finished, I went down below to call another watch.  Another quartermaster (not the complainant) told me the man I wanted was not on board, but he would be there soon.  I said, "I am not going to do a watch for another man, they all get the same wages as I do, and I am going to sleep."  Another quartermaster said that the complainant was to relieve me.  De la Cruz offered to pay men to keep a watch, but I refused to do it.  I was paid to do a watch, but it was deducted from me, and this money matter was the cause of the trouble.

   Inspector FOWLER, in answer to his WORSHIP, said that Dr. Henderson had examined the complainant's face, and had said that although the veins were swollen, he did not think that he would lose his eye.

   In answer to his WORSHIP, the complainant said the prisoner only struck at him once with the knife.

   PEDRO DE CRUZ, sworn, said - I am a Spaniard.  I remember last night.  I was in the forecastle about ten o'clock.  About that time prisoner came down into the forecastle and wanted somebody to relieve him.  I said, "There's no one to relieve you, the man is not here."  He said, "If no one will relieve me, I am going to sleep."  I said, "If you want to go to sleep, you can do so."  The prisoner began to insult De Cruz, and the latter said, "Why do you insult me?"  The prisoner said, "I insult you," and both men commenced to fight.  I went out to call the mate.  When I came back I saw a knife in the prisoner's hand.  He made a stab at the complainant who struck his hand down; then the prisoner hit the complainant in the eye.

   By His WORSHIP - The prisoner struck the first blow.  The eye bled a good deal.

   The prisoner, in answer to his WORSHIP, said that he was angry at having to keep a watch that he did not think her ought to, and so struck the complainant.

    The case was then remanded till 3 o'clock in the afternoon, when the prisoner was handed over to the Spanish Consul, who sentenced him to three months'' imprisonment.


North China Herald, 3 June 1881


Shanghai, 28th May.

Before R.A. MOWAT, Esq.


Absent without Leave.

   Prisoners, able seamen belonging to the British brig Prince Arthur, were charged with having been absent from that vessel without leave since the 25th inst.

   The offence was admitted, and the men were ordered to pay the costs and go to prison until 2 p.m. on the 30th when they were to be put on board.

   Later in the day, on the application of Mr. W. Handyside Tapp, H.M.'s Registrar of Shipping, the men were released so that they could be discharged from the ship, as all parties concerned were agreeable to that course being adopted.

28th May.

R. (Captain PYNE) v. W. HERON and R. THOMPSON.

   Defendants, firemen on board the s.s. Oaklands, appeared in answer to a summons charging them with refusal of duty.

   The charge was admitted by both men, who said they wanted to get Home.

   In reply to His Worship, defendants said they would not return to the steamer, and they were ordered to go to prison for six weeks and to pay costs, but as they then expressed willingness to return to duty, they were allowed to do so, but were ordered to pay the costs.

30th May.


   Prisoner, a seaman belonging to H.M.S. Zephyr, was charged with being drunk and incapable on the 29th inst.

   A sergeant of marines who had been sent ashore to look for the prisoner, being in attendance at the Court, the latter was sent on board ship in his custody.


North China Herald, 23 May 1884


Shanghai, 19th May, 1884.

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


   BENJAMIN DAVID BENJAMIN surrendered to his recognizances on remand to answer the charge that he having been entrusted by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation as agent or warehouse-man of the said Corporation with certain chattels, to wit ten thousand cases of kerosene oil, for safe custody and for the special purpose of keeping the same for the said Corporation, and without any authority to sell, negotiate, transfer or pledge the same, did, between the 22nd day of September, 1883, and the present day, without any authority  from the said Corporation, and in violation of good faith and contrary to the object and purpose for which the said chattels had been entrusted to him, sell or convert to his own use or benefit the said chattels or some part of them or the proceeds of the same or some part thereof.

[16 columns, not yet transcribed.]


North China Herald, 1 June 1888


Shanghai, 29th May.

Before J. C. HALL, Esq., Acting Assistant Judge.


   A respectable looking young fellow named Harry Wilson, was put forward charged with having deserted from his ship the Alexander Yeates.

   Mr. GEO. BROWN, Vice-Consul, prosecuted, and said that the ship had gone away.  The accused had a very good character from the captain who was anxious to get him back.

   The accused in reply to his Worship, admitted the offence, and said the reason he left the ship was that he had been constantly called offensive names.

   His WORSHIP said that in consideration of the accused's good character he would only impose a light penalty, and  sentenced him to a fortnight's imprisonment with hard labour.


North China Herald, 25 May 1889


Shanghai, 21st May.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


   Accused, who is a 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 a bit 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 ay the time and he held it up and said "I'll stick it into you if you come 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 station that he would poison all hands if he ever had the chance.

   Accused complained that he had been very much ill-treated by the two officers in the saloon - that they had knocked his head up against the stanchion and raised lumps 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 inquiries [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 be 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 wiriness replied that he could give him in charge of 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 done, but some time afterward 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 take me on shore out of this and get me 8 moths, 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 he had not had any trouble with the man himself before yesterday, but the man had shipped as cook at £6 a month and had been disrated by the Captain and was now rated as a Mess Steward at $2 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 good care that the man did not come round with his coffee of a morning.

   His WORSHIP - You surely don't mean to say that 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 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.

  • -   -

   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 food deal the worse for liquor, threw down his cap ion the deck and told witness to pick it up, her then wanted to fight and offered witness a dollar to go down on the wharf ands 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 said that the Log Book would show how much truth there was in that statement.  The Log Book was then produced and an entry pointed out to his Worship.  Whereupon Walter addressing 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 ton the Court stated that the entry was signed last night.

   His WORSHIP said that entries should me 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 latter replied that he did not keep a lade for such trash as him, and thereupon offered to fight him.  He admitted that he was a bit drunk, but 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, 6 June 1890



Shanghai, 31st May.

Before SIR RICHARD RENNIE, Chief Justice.


   JOHN HUGHES, police-constable No. 39, in the employ of the Shanghai Municipality, was charged with criminally assaulting a woman named KOO WAN-PAO.

   The complainant stated that at about one o'clock that morning she was drinking with some other women in a Chinese brothel in Hankow Road.  Accused, who was in uniform, came in and dragged her into a bedroom.  She tried to get away from him and a Chinaman interfered, whom accused kicked.  He then dragged her out of the house, telling her that he was going to take her to a police station. N he took her to an alley-way leading out of the Hankow Road and committed the assault complained of.  Accused had a sergeant's uniform on.

   By the COURT - She resisted when the accused assaulted her.  She tried to call for help but the prisoner put his hand over her mouth and pinched her side. Nobody interfered, but several people passed by and inquired what the noise was about. N He told them to go away.  The assault took place in a large doorway in the alley-way.

   CHIANG A-NEE, the proprietress of the brothel in question, said that about 1.30 that morning several women were drinking in the house, when the accused came in. He was dressed as a policeman and was apparently drunk.  He dragged complainant into a bedroom and shut the door.  Witness succeeded in getting into the room, and prisoner then dragged the complainant out of the housel.  Witness sent the amah with them, but she returnee and said the prisoner had kicked her.  His number was 39.

   By Capt. McEUEN. - She was told the number was 39.

   LI NI-PAO, the amah, said she attempted to accompany the prisoner and complainant, but prisoner kicked her and told her to go away, which she did, being afraid.

   At this stage the proceedings were adjourned till three o'clock.

   St that hour Mr. D. P. DRUMMOND appeared for the accused, and asked for a remand.

   His WORSHIP said that, after hearing the evidence, he was satisfied that no jury would convict on the graver charge of criminal assault, and he proposed to deal with the case as simply one of common assault.  Under those circumstances he thought it was perhaps hardly worth while to remand the case.

   Mr. DRUMMOND still adhered to his application for a remand, and asked that the accused might be liberated on bail.

   His WORSHIP - No, he must be kept in prison; it is clearly a bad case.

   Prisoner - Then you had better deal with the case at once.

   Prisoner, when asked what he had to say to the charge, denied it entirely.

   At the request of his Worship,

   Sergt. PHILLIPS, who was in the charge-room when the complaint was made, was called.  He said that the prisoner came to the station at about three o'clock, apparently under the influence of drink.  There was mud on his knees and pants and cape.  Witness told him of the charge, and he denied it, and said he had never seen the woman.

   Capt. McEUEN gave the prisoner a very good character.

   After some further discussion his Worship adjourned the case till Thursday next at two o'clock and accepted the prisoner's bail in $200 and two other sureties of $100 each.

5th June.



   JOHN HUGHES, a police constable in the employ of the Shanghai Municipality, was charged on remand with assaulting a woman named KOO WAN-PAO on the night of the 30th ult.

   Capt. McEUEN again appeared to watch the case on behalf of the police.

   Mr. D. P. DRUMMOND, who appeared for the defence, called

   PATRICK VINCENT MURPHY, who said - I am a sergeant in the Shanghai Police.  I was in charge at the Louza Police Station at twelve o'clock on Friday night.  I sent the accused on his beat at about ten minutes past twelvel.  He was then sober.

   By Capt. McEUEN. - I said to Sergeant Phillips that if accused was drunk I should call the Inspector.

   By the COURT - I said this on account of accused not coming at his proper time, twelve o'clock.

   Sergt. PHILLIPS recalled by Mr. Drummond said - I saw the accused before he went out on his beat.  He was fit for duty.  The amah came to the station at two o'clock.

   By the COURT - Accused seemed to be under the influence of drink when he returned to the Station at three o'clock.  There was mud on his knees and on his cape.

   The trousers and cape were here produced.

   TONG CHUNG-SANG, native police sergeant said - I was at the corner of Hankow and Hupeh Roads at seven minutes to one on Friday night.  Accused came up and asked me the time, and I asked him id he had lost his watch.  He said he had no watch.  I told him the time, and he said "all right" and went away.  He walked quickly.  Native constable No. 227 passed at the time.  None of the native constables reported any disturbance to me.

   Native constable No.  227 said - I was at the corner of Hankow and Hupeh Roads on Friday night.  I saw accused.  I heard him ask the last witness the time.  I cannot say of he was sober or not, as he was in the middle of the road and I at the side.

   Inceptor HOWARD called at the request of the Court said - Accused would have been on his beat if at the spot and at the time described by the last two witnesses.  His regular time to return to the station would be about three o'clock.

   JOHN CROMAR, police sergeant, called by Capt. McEUEN said - I was on patrol duty between midnight on Friday and 6 a.m. on Saturday.  I was in charge of the accused.  In the ordinary course I should have met him three or dour times; I did not see him at all.  I saw him when he came to the station at three o'clock.  He had a sergeant's coat (No. 8) on, his own constable's number being 39.

   Mr. DRUMMOND, in submitting the accused' version of the story, urged that it was improbable that the accused should have dragged the complaisant out of the house when he could more easily have effected his nefarious purpose inside.  The mud on his clothing might be easily accounted for by the dirty and rainy weather.

   His WORSHIP, in giving judgment, said - I do not entertain any doubt about a common assault having been committed.  The reason why I said on Saturday that I did not think there was any case to go to a jury in regard to the graver charge was that this was a charge brought by an admitted prostitute and unsupported by outside evidence.  Any jury would be very loath to convict of rape; and if I were the judge on the occasion I should not have recommended them to do so; but I did not meant to say that I disbelieved the prosecutrix's story of having been dragged out of the house to the alley-way and there assaulted.  When such a woman is assaulted in that way she would probably make less resistance than a virtuous woman would; but the evidence sufficiently satisfied me that a very serious assault was committed by a police officer in uniform.  If the evidence of the woman, even though she is a prostitute, had been supported by independent testimony, I should have had no hesitation in sending the case for trial as one of rape; but being unsupported as it was, I could not do so. 

   I have no hesitation in convicting the prisoner of a common assault.  It was a very grave one, committed under colour of his office and in uniform, and to my mind the evidence of the female witnesses is strongly corroborated by Sergt. Phillips, who finds him coming to the police station under the influence of liquor, with his clothes in such a condition as to show that the story of the prosecutrix is correct.

   It is an offence which I cannot pass over lightly; and the accused must go to prison for six weeks with hard labour.


North China Herald, 4 July 1890



Shanghai, 30th June.

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


   BEZINI FERNANDO, a native of Bombay, a steward on board the Rome, was charged with picking flowers in the Public Garden.

   A coolie employed at the garden gave evidence to the effect that he saw accused pick a geranium in the garden.  Witness took hold of him, whereupon accused struck him. N Witness then called a policeman, and accused was taken to the station.

   His WORSHIP, taking into consideration the fact that accused had been locked up for two hours and a half at the station, inflicted a fine of $1.


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. 

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