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Colonial Cases

Newspaper commentary and minor cases

Newspaper Commentary and Minor Cases



The Times, 26 January 1856


The Osterreichische Correspondenz contains a long article in defence of the conduct of the captain of the Austrian Lloyd steamer Imperatrice, which some time since ran down the French steamer Cygne, in the port of Constantinople.  The case is to be examined into by the "competent Austrian Consular Court" at Constantinople, and not, as has been stated, by a commission composed of Austrian, English, and French naval officers.  The Ministerial organ considers it necessary to add that the Consular Court will be strictly impartial.


The Times, 24 December 1857, p. 8




   The newly-established Consular Court began its function last month, but I have not hitherto had time, nor have you had space, to allude to it.  Mt. Hornby, the Consular Judge, had given notice to the more considerable merchants that he would deliver a charge at the first opening of the Court, and a good number of them collected in the court-room fitted up in the building temporarily occupied by the Consulate until the new Consulate in Galatia is finished.

   The judge then began by apprising those present that Her Majesty had been graciously pleased by her Order in Council of the 27th of August last to increase the jurisdiction of the consular Court at Constantinople, to alter in some respects the manner of proceeding in civil and criminal; process, and to modify the relations of the different Consular officers in the Levant, and far as regards their magisterial and judicial functions with the Consulate-General of Constantinople.

   In these three points the changes which the Order in Council; makes with respect to the Consular jurisdiction in the Levant are all comprised.

   Before explaining these changes in detail Mt. Hornby pointed out that they were made in order to secure upon some safe and satisfactory basis the civil and criminal jurisdiction in the Levant, and that therefore it was expected that the British mercantile community in the Levant would give its hearty cooperation to carry them out effectually.

   After alluding to the work of the Commission which was charged in 1856 to inquire into the state of the Consulate-general, Mr. Hornby entered into a detailed explanation of the character of the new Supreme Consular Court, and indicated, as far as it is possible now, the course which will be taken for the future with reference to the administration of justice in this and the other Consular Courts of the Levant.

   The first point is the separation of the judicial from the Consular functions.  This separation has at this moment only reference to the Consulate-General of Constantinople, for which place the judge of the Supreme Consular Court is specially appointed.  As for the other Consulates in the Levant, it affects them only in as far as it transfers the appeal from their decisions to the judge, instead of to the ambassador at Constantinople.  But a certain liberty has been left to the judges in cases of felony occurring in outlying districts, when it will be his duty to provide for their careful investigation and for the effectual punishment of the criminal.

   Thus the first and most necessary step is done, namely, to unite the whole civil and criminal jurisdictions of all the Consulates in the Levant.  Hitherto each Consular jurisdiction was more or less an independent power, from which, indeed, there was a nominal appeal to the Embassy, but this latter, overwhelmed with political business, could only ineffectually attend to the appeals which came under its notice.  On the other hand, a great many cases, especially the claims against the Turkish Government, were brought from the first instance under the notice of the Embassy, without any reference to the Consul to whose jurisdiction they would have properly belonged.  The consequence was a hopeless confusion, and a waste of that energy which ought to have been concentrated on questions of importance.  The dragomans of the Embassy had continually to run about to the Turkish police and other subordinate courts, wasting their time in insignificant squabbles, which were rather calculated to detract from that authority which they ought to nave been anxious to preserve.

   As the Order in Council says that its dispositions are not to be considered final, and that improvements will be introduced accordingly as they will be required, it may be hoped that this separation between the judicial and other functions of the Consuls will be still further extended.  If in the capital the union which existed hitherto has only produced delay and confusion, in the provinces it has produced other evils likewise.  I don't think I am wrong in saying that there is not a single Consul in the Levant who has had a judicial education; ands the Consular Court in the provinces is therefore a kind of patriarchal jurisdiction, in which the consul rules as despot.  This presses specially on the poorer part of the community, who have not the means of appealing from arbitrary decisions.  With almost all other greater nations it is a rule not to appoint anybody who has not had at least the rudiments of a legal education, and in all larger places a legal adviser is invariably attached to the Consul as his chancellier. This might be imitated with advantage in the British Consulates of the Levant.  In the meantime it would not be impossible, perhaps, that either the judge himself or one of his personnnel should make from time to time a circuit of the more important places to superintend and investigate into the administration of justice in these outlaying districts.

   With the establishment of a separate Consular Court the functions and the power of the consular jurisdiction have been considerably augments.  Until now the power of the Consulate-General extended only to a fine of $100 and imprisonment for one year.  The Judger of the Supreme Consular Court has the power to fine to the amount of 500l., and may sentence criminals to transportation for life or for any lesser periods, or to penal servitude, deportation, and imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding two years.  The only crime which does not come under his jurisdiction are those if a capital nature.  In such cases, having taken the depositions in writing and on oath of the witnesses, and having bound over such witnesses, being British subjects, to appear when and wherever they shall be called upon to do so, he has to send the accused to England or Malta, or, if an Ionian, to Corfu.

   It is rather to be regretted that such an exception should have been made, for it gives a chance to the worst species of criminals to escape.  Witnesses who are British subjects may be bound over to appear in England or any other place where the offence is to be tried; but if they are, they cannot be forced, and their evidence must be sent in writing, which in English courts is of much less, or no value.  Besides this, if it be an Ionian or Maltese who has committed the crime, it will be rather difficult to find a jury in either place to convict him of a capital offence.  Finally, the impression which punishment produced is entirely lost by sending the criminal away, and no native will ever be convinced that this is not done expressly to withdraw him from punishment.  With the regular proceeding which will be now introduced, and with the establishment of a jury of six respectable British subjects for all cases of felony, there is every possibility of trying fairly the case according to the forms and maxims of British law, on oral instead of written evidence,   and surrendering the criminal to the Turkish authorities for execution.

   Mr. Hornby drew the attention of his audience to the right conferred on the British community to have cases of felony tried by a jury.  This institution was rather liable to be misunderstood; hitherto the experience of the merchants was confined to mixed cases in civil matters, where it is a rule that the question should be decided by three arbiters, one named by the claimant and two by the defendant.  As all kinds of subterfuge and chicane were employed to defeat the ends of justice in these cases, the honour of being an arbiter was studiously avoided as involving a great deal of trouble, and it was to be apprehended that the duty of jurymen would be viewed in the same lightly.  Mr. Hornby tried to impress on his hearers that they had to consider this, not as a burden by as a right, of which every Englishman ought to be proud.

   Another subject which Mr. Hornby touched upon, and which is of great importance, is the system of procedure in civil cases, which has been hitherto very imperfect and lengthy.  According to the Order in Council the judge has a right to establish from time to time rules of practice, and these rules have to be as much as possible in conformity with those of the County Courts in England.  Nothing better could have been devised to put an end to the lengthy forms which were used hitherto, involving a great deal of time, opening the door to every kind of chicane, and feeding a number of petty lawyers, who got up cases of the most desultory nature.

  A summary, and, as far as possible, verbal procedure, will put an end to all this, and the right now vested in the judge to award costs gives him the power to deter people from making a profit by litigation.

   Mr. Hornby explained his idea on the way in which evidence will be taken in the Supreme Consular Court.  Hitherto the procedure was so loose that most cases had to be judged on hearsay, or second-hand evidence, and it was quite entertaining to hear the vaguest report brought forward as evidence.  For instance, a man had heard from another man that he had seen or heard the fact in question.  If the Court asked to see the man who had seen or heard, he was either not to be found, or had heard the fact related by a third person, who was never found.  Now no secondary evidence will be admitted so long as original evidence can be procured; as for second-hand evidence, it will be altogether rejected.

   In civil cases, the Consular Court at Constantinople will be final in all cases of appeal from the outlying Consuls, but in cases where the judge has decided a case sitting as a judge of first instance an appeal will lie to the Privy Council in England, provided that the subject-matter in dispute involves a larger amount than 1,000l.

   Mr. Hornby gave some excellent advice to his hearers about the mixed cases in which foreigners are concerned.  He alluded to the failure of these mixed commissions in practice, however plausible they might sound in theory, and he said that he was rather inclined to attribute this failure to the mistaken notion on the part of many individuals who served in such commissions that they have to act the part rather of advocates for their respective countrymen than of judicial arbitrators, showing neither favour nor partiality.  He expressed his hope that an arrangement will soon be come to between the different Governments which will put an end to these commissions; but in the meantime he assured them of the anxious desire of Her Majesty's Government to protect the performance of any judicial function exercised in the British name from even a suspicion of undue bias and henceforth the legal vice-consul, or the other legal officer of the court, will always be a member of such a mixed commission.  Rules of procedure will be framed, besides, which shall insure a prompt decision.  Hr. Hornby views in the same spirit the proceedings with the Turkish tribunals.  In all cases of sufficient importance an officer of the court will go together with his dragoman.

   If Mr. Hornby, as I hope, will do away with the abuses which have hitherto prevailed in this respect, he will confer a great benefit not only on the Turkish Government, but likewise on the British community.  There are many complaints against the chicanery of the Turkish tribunals, calculated to evade justice, but the fault is just as great on the other side.  The most unreasonable demands are constantly made, and turned often into a source of annoyance to the Government itself.  Experiencing continually a spirit of unfairness from the Europeans, it seems not unnatural that they should have recourse to cunning, the only expedient which remains to them against the pressure; but let them once see that they are dealt with fairly, and there is no doubt that they will heartily cooperate.

   As regards cases of bankruptcy, the power of the new consular court is exactly the same as that of a Commissioner of Bankruptcy in England.  An officer of the court will act in the capacity of an official assignee to assist the trade assignee in getting in the property of the bankrupt, and in all cases of fraudulent bankruptcy prompt and decisive punishment will follow.

   There is certainly no country in Europe in which cases of fraudulent bankruptcy are so frequent as here.  Indeed, it is not uncommon to hear the fortune of a man estimated by the number of bankruptcies he has made, and there was so little chance of punishing the defaulter that in almost all cases the creditors preferred to make whatever arrangement they could with the debtor, rather than to declare him a bankrupt.  Such arrangements are made every day, and it is high time, at any rate as far as British subjects are concerned, that something should be done.

   The judge has the right to introduce a system of fees and stamps, which will be published and hung up in the Consular Court.

   This was the tenour of Mr. Hornby's explanation of the Order in Council.  As he contributed so much during his former stay here to draw the attention of the British Government to this subject, and as the Order in Council is mainly based on his suggestions, it may be confidently expected that he will be able to carry it out effectually.  There will be, no doubt, numberless obstacles which have been heaped up by years of habit and routine, but they will not resist firmness.  Even with the best intentions this has been impossible hitherto, because the judicial authority was too much subdivided; no limit was drawn between the different jurisdictions, and no central power existed to control then all and subject them to a common rule.  To establish this is the mission of the new Supreme Consular Court.  To fulfil it will not a little contribute to raise the British name and British institutions in the eyes of the natives, who are perhaps the more impressed by justice and fairness the more seldom they can obtain it themselves.


Daily News (London, England) 11 January 1858


   An intelligent correspondent writes as follows:-


   It will be especially gratifying to those of your readers who are in any way interested in the commerce of the Levant to learn that, after a very fair trial of more than two months regular and constant business, the new British Consular Court at Pera has provide a decided success.  It would, indeed, be small praise of it to say that, even already, it has shown itself to be by far the most efficient and satisfactory limb in the whole system of our consular service in Turkey; but it may be more intelligible and substantial eulogy to affirm that the country courts were never half such a boon to small traders at home as will be this new tribunal to the large colony of British merchants and other resident  here.  As I propose, very shortly, to ask space in your columns for some comments on the present state of our consular service throughout the Levant and along the shores of the Black Sea, it is needless to say more now than that similar causes to those which have impaired its character and efficiency nearly everywhere else in Turkey had brought about a state of things here that was in the highest degree unsatisfactory.  What with the vast increase of local trade during and since the war, and the steady average of official business previously existing, it is no personal disparagement of either the consul-general or his assistants to say, that about the time of Mr. Hornby's arrival to relieve him of all future judicial duty, the arrears of legal business at the consulate had so accumulated as to leave but small hopes of prompt justice to suitors.  Now as this all; business was done in a way that, whatever the extent of consular precedent to excuse it, had but little in common, either in method or result, the the modus operandi of a Court of Justice at home.  Between the suitor and equity stood many a barrier of dragomanic and other official res inertiae, requiring, or as they are grievously libelled, dynamic applications not generally employed in Westminster-hall; and even when these difficulties were overcome and judgments procured, the appellate gulf of the Embassy stood ready by to swallow up more time and patience before the unhappy plaintiff or defendant could learn the fate of his cause.

   To say nothing of the doubtful law often enunciated in these decisions, the drawbacks I have alluded to, though, I readily admit, not a whit more outcrying or operative in our own case that at the other Consulates, reached a height of mischievous detriment to our merchants that has now happily compelled its own cure.  It was found, at length, that the judicial machinery of the consulate was utterly insufficient to dispose of the vast increase of litigated causes which followed the war; and so, perforce, the Foreign-office has at last wisely given us a new tribunal, with an efficient and properly qualified personnel, to which the entire judicial functions of the Ambassador and Consul-General have been transferred.

   For the irregular and uncertain practice of the Consulate, Mr. Hornby, the Judge of the new court, has substituted a simple process modelled after that of the English county courts; and the result, up to the present, has been a degree of despatch in business that is not less astonishing than satisfactory both to suitors and sued.  By this means a vast amount of arrear causes has been disposed of, and the current business of the place, taken at three sittings a week, comes on for hearing with a freedom from delay that leaves nothing to be desired.  A new tariff of Court Fees has also been settled; but this seems to be the least satisfactory of the innovations; for, though much less in small cases than those payable in the Courts at home, they are still very considerable higher than under the consular regime.  I learn, however, that this obnoxious scale of Court charges is only provisional; and if so it is probable that it will be so reframed as at least to render justice no dearer than before.  In addition to the local (Italian and other) "advocates," to whose doubtful agency causes have been hitherto entrusted in our own and other foreign Consulates, a small bar of four English barristers has already grown into existence to meet the exigencies of this new Court; but it is to be doubted if its exclusive business will afford employment for them all.  They have, it is true, already largely "cut out" their Levantine rivals from the practice of the court; but even with a greater monopoly of the business than has yet been secured, it will need a large supplement to the present cause list before the accruing profits can repay the experiment - especially as these gentlemen have no exclusive privileges over the crowd of foreigners who compete with them.

   If the working of this new tribunal has been satisfactory in its disposal of civil causes, even greater, perhaps, has been the resultant benefit of its criminal jurisdiction.  Under the consulate the crowd of Maltese and Ionian British subjects who supply three-fourths of the villainy and cut-throatism of Pera and Galata enjoyed all but perfect impunity, not from any blameable remissness or laxity on the part of the consul-general personally, but owing to the utter inefficiency of the whole agency at his disposal for their apprehension and punishment.  Perhaps one on fifty of the culprits was brought within the Consular clutches; but it is quite as certain that 50 per cent of even this small minority generally effected their escape soon after arrest, even if a conviction took place, which it seldom did.  Already, however, all this is changed.  Provided with a secure prison and a better police, Mr. Hornby has carried consternation and partial good behaviour into most of the robber haunts of Galata, and, by dealing out stern punishment to the ruffians brought before him, has made it almost safe for honest folks to venture out after sunset. 

   It is only just to the Turkish Government to say that it has largely aided in this crusade, by multiplying the street guards and instituting other vigorous measures of night police, which have had the best effect.  Under Mehmet Pacha, the new chief of police - famous for his suppression of brigandage in Epirus and Thessaly - there is every reason to believe that still greater energy will be displayed by the authorities; but be this as it may, in claiming for Mr. Hornby's wholesome promptitude and severity the share of credit I have done, I am quite sure that the good effect of his administration has been in no way overstated.  As in civil matters so in criminal, his jurisdiction only extends to British, or British "protected," subjects; but these last, as I have remarked, supply a large quota of the villainhood of the place than any single magistrate need care to claim.  For the settlement of civil issues between a British subject and a native, or other foreigner, the old clumsy and unsafe machinery of the Mixed Commissions still remains in force, attended with the worst abuses, as I shall attempt to demonstrate in an early letter.

   The estimate for the erection of the new Court-House having much under-calculated the present cost of labour and materials the building operations have been suspended, and will probably remain so till a new grant, after the next meeting of parliament, provides for its completion.  It is much to be hoped that no needless delay will interfere with this, for the miserable room in which the Court at present holds its sittings affords wretchedly inadequate accommodation to judge, advocates, and clients.  [Continues with comment on local conditions.]


The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 December 1858

TURKEY                                                                                                    .

   The Prussian Government intends to establish a new consular tribune for its subjects in Constantinople, after the mode of the British consular court.


The Levant Herald, 9 June 1869 (Perkins Collection 1-1-013)





   Mr. JOHN WILLS, of Constantinople, having petitioned the court that the partnership hitherto existing between himself and Mr. JOHN EASTON, under the style or firm of Easton and Wills, be dissolved, and Mr. John Easton having consented thereto, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the said partnership be dissolved this 2nd day of June, 1869, and that the liquidation of the said firm be carried out under the authority of this court in such manner as the Court may hereafter order or direct.

2nd June 1869.  BY ORDER.


The Levant Herald, 25 August 1869


The Bankruptcy Act 1861.

   ARON A. ROSA, of Constantinople, having been adjudged Bankrupt under a judgment debtor summons sued out of this Court, on the 4th August instant, is hereby required to surrender himself to CHARLES A. COOKSON, Esq., the Registrar of the said Court, at the first meeting if Creditors to be held before the said Registrar, on Thursday, the second day of September, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon precisely.  Mr. Spiridou Janovich, Chief Clerk of the dsaid Court, is the Official Assignee and Mr. Hingston Harvey is the Solicitor acting in the Bankruptcy.

Constantinople, 23rd August, 1869.



The Times, 27 October 1876

The will, with one codicil, dated May 18, 1861, and June 9, 1873, of Sir Philip Francis, late Judge of the Supreme Consular Court at Constantinople and Consul-General in the Ottoman Empire, who died on the 9th of August last, at sea, on board Her Majesty's ship Antelope, was proved on the 13th inst. by Dame Mary Francis, the widow, the acting executrix, the personal estate being under £14,000.  The testator gives all his property to his wife for life and during widowhood, and on her death or second marriage to his children.


The Times, 24 June, 1874
(Present - Sir J. Colville, Sir B. Peacock, Sir M. Smith, and Sir R. Collier.)
  This was an appeal (heard on a former occasion) from Constantinople in regard to a partnership between two brothers. There had been considerable litigation, and a former appeal in the cause to the Judicial Committee had been heard.
  Sir R. Collier traced the history and facts of the case, and said their Lordships would recommend to Her Majesty that the decision of the Court below be affirmed and this appeal be dismissed with costs.


The Times, 3 May 1877


The Queen has been graciously pleased to appoint John Henry Fawcett, Esq., now Her Majesty's Vice-Consul and Assistant-Judge in Her Majesty's Supreme Consular Court at Constantinople, to be Her Majesty's Consul-General and Judge of Her Majesty's Supreme Consular Court in that city.


The Times, 18 March 1878



March 16.

   Their Lorships were to-day engaged in hearing petitions. In  the suit from the Consular Court at Constantinople, "Hood v. Stallybrass and another," their Lordships were prayed to rescind their order granting leave to appeal to the Judicial Committee, but this they declined to do.



The Graphic (London), 13 April 1878

[Drawing of the Court]


The Times, 18 March, 1878

(Present - Sir James Colville, Sir Barnes Peacock, Sir Montague Smith, and Sir Robert Collier.)
Their Lordships were today engaged in hearing petitions. In the suit from the Consular Court at Constantinople, "Hood v. Stallybrass and another," their Lordships were prayed to rescind their order granting leave to appeal to the Judicial Committee, but this they declined to do.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 September 1878

The Law Times anticipates that the acquisition of Cyprus by England will "open an improved field for the legal profession in the East.  The Consular Court of Constantinople has cradles more than one excellent lawyer, and it is probably that in future it will afford practice for a considerable Bar."


The Times, 30 July 1880



Mr. M'COAN asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he would lay upon the table of the House a return of the present dragoman staff of Her Majesty's Supreme Consular Court, and Consulate, at Constantinople, giving the names, original nationalities, dates of appointment, special duties, and salaries of the persons so employed.


The Times, 7 September 1880


List of staff as requested.


The Times, 25 February 1889


[Letter from R. D. M. LITTLER to Editor.]

   Being in Constantinople in the autumn of 1881, I was asked by the Consul-General, Mr. (now Sir J. H.) Fawcett, who was then very busy, to investigate the case of some boys who were in a so-called Arab troupe of acrobats, but believed to be of English parentage.  I saw three of them at the Consulate, and what I heard aroused my suspicions.  Accompanied by Mr. Thompson, of the English gaol, I went to the house of the manager of the troupe, one Mahomed ben Ali, a French Arab, in Tambour.  This, but for the tact of Mr. Thompson, would have been a service of some difficulty and danger.  We saw the boys, and found that 17, out of 20, were English.  The surroundings were loathsome in the extreme.  They slept on the floor, making pillows of one another like dogs. The fed out of a large tin pan, in which, when not used for food, they washed themselves, and they were clothed in old blue woollen Turkish soldiers' shirts, and no other garments.  They were brutally beaten, and covered with bruises, and not long before, Ben Ali had, it was alleged, broken the back of one boy because he could not double backwards sufficiently, witrh the result that he died in anguish in a few hours.  It is needless to say they had no education, and three had forgotten their native tongue.

   On my return to England I made such representations to Lore Granville as secured their release, through he Supreme Consular Court, from the fraudulent indentures entered into in England, by which they were so bound to Ben Ali that he had actually deprived them of the silver medjid (dollar) pieces which the Sultan had presented to them when visiting the entertainment, in the belief that they were, as they were descried, "Beni-zong-zoug Arabs."

   I was requested by Lord Granville and Sir W. Harcourt to look after their future.

   Of the 27, three of the eldest secured through the British Consulate, excellent terms of independent service with Ben Ali, under binding contracts securing liberal pay.

   Three other older ones entered a French troupe at Marseilles, desiring and being fit for nothing else but acrobatic life, and secured good engagements.

   Of the remaining 11, four were restored to their parents in England, who were able to support them.

   The others were placed, some in the Bisley Farm Schools, some in Lady Wolverton's School at Iwerne, and one, generously paid for by a gentleman in Nottingham, at Dr. Barnardo's Home.  ... [Disposal of remaining funds.]


The Times, 28 September 1887

FOREIGN OFFICE, AUG. 30          .

The Queen has been graciously pleased to appoint Charles James Tarring, Esq., Assistant Judge in Her Majesty's Supreme Consular Court, and now Her Majesty's Vice-Consul at Constantinople, to be Her Majesty's Consul at Constantinople.


The Times, 29 October 1889



Sir H. A. Fawcett, British Consul-General and Judge of the Supreme Consular Court, has returned from leave to his duties, much to the satisfaction of the British community.


The Times, 17 June 1890


(Before MR. JUSTICE MATHEW and a Special Jury.)


Mentions the Consular Court and Tarry.


The Times, 10 November 1890



An Austro-Hungarian Consular Court is to be established at Constantinople.  Half the Judges are to be Austrians, the rest Hungarians, and the president will be chosen from either nationality alternately.  This arrangement compromises a difficulty which had been raised by the Hungarians, who objected to the High Court of Appeal at Trieste - a supreme tribunal for the trial of Consular cases.


The Times, 18 February 1891


In the matter of James Heywood deceased. ...late of No. 134 Rue Easbane Pera Constantinople, ... (who died on the 4th day of February 1891), and whose Will was proved ... on the 12th day of February, 1891, by William Harvey and Sidney Novill both of Constantinople the Executors of the said Will.


Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 12 November, 1892
  The London Chamber of Commerce has received a communication from the British Chamber of Commerce of Turkey (Constantinople) in which the following remarks occur:-
  "As of late years numbers of British merchants and manufacturers have lost money through the bad faith of their debtors in the Levant, and as recently a case has been decided in the Hellenic (Greek) Supreme Consular Court of Constantinople which establishes principles that, if ignored by British traders, may land them in further losses, we deem it our duty to call the attention of members of your Chamber to the facts of the case in question.   A British merchant did a large business for several years with a Hellenic Greek firm, consisting of four partners of equal unlimited liability.  By the partnership deed between these four parties, a deed unknown to the British merchant, it was provided that of the four partners one (A) should direct the business, and in his absence the other two (B) and (C). The British merchant decided to stop the account, and obtained from the firm the balance owing him, which balance was shown to be correct from the Greek firm's books.  
  As the partners in the Greek firm A, B and C had left the country or died, this balance was claimed from D, the remaining partner.  On the plea, however, that the British merchant could not prove conclusively that the Greek firm's business was directed by the partner A, or in his absence by B and C, as per the provision in the partnership deed which was altogether unknown to the British merchant, he lost his case, and had even to pay the costs of the suit.  It follows that no British merchant can safely give credit to a Greek firm consisting of several partners unless he has official affidavits showing the exact nature of the partnership arrangements between the partners, and acts in all he does in strict accordance with the provisions of Greek law.  Otherwise he might easily be placed in the position of giving credit in good faith where there would be no possibility of recovering his money, even although some of the partners of the firm he has to do with might be wealthy."


The Standard (London), 12 December 1892



An action was brought yesterday before the Hellenic Consular Court by the guardian against the aunt and husband of the young girl whose clandestine marriage was recently reported, to annual the marriage. The counsel on both sides waxed warm, and hurled invectives at each other's clients with great energy.  According to the guardian's advocate, the bridegroom was a sordid adventurer, who had had recourse to deception and fraud in order to obtain possession of the child and her money.  On the other hand, the Defendant's counsel represented him to be a noble-minded, chivalrous youth, whose only object in carrying off his bride was to save her from the clutches of her greedy guardian.  The advocate added that her life was at the mercy of this unnatural relative who would not have stopped short of assassination in order to secure for himself the orphan's heritage.  The bridegroom and his youthful bride, who is now stated to be barely fourteen years of age, have left for Athens.


The Standard (London), 20 December 1892



Judgment was delivered this morning in the Hellenic Consular Court, in the matter of the action brought by the guardian against the husband of the young girl whose clandestine marriage was recently reported in The Standard.  The tribunal decided that as the properly constituted guardians of the child had not given their consent to her union with the Defendant, the marriage must be declared null and void.

The decision was received with evident approval by a large gathering in the court, mainly composed of prominent members of the Greek community here.  The Defendant, an order for whose arrest has been issued, will appeal against the decision to the higher Court at Athens.


The Times, 1 September 1894

Mr. J. P. Middleton, Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court, Cyprus, who has been sitting as Judge of the Supreme Consular Court in Constantinople for the past three months, has arrived in London on leave of absence.


The Standard (London), 10 March 1891

Critical of barristers at Constantinople.


The Times, 14 March 1895

EMMANUELE PELLEGRINI deceased.  Notice is hereby given that after the expiration of 8 days APPLICATION will be made in the Principal Probate Registry of the High Court of Justice for the SEALING of the LETTERS of ADMINISTRATION of the Personal ESTATE of Emmanuele Pellegrini late of Pera Constantinople deceased granted by Her Majesty's Supreme Consular Court at Constantinople aforesaid on the 4th day of August 1894. ...


The Times, 8 June 1895



The Queen has been graciously pleased to appoint William Henry Wrench, Esq., C.M.G., to be Commercial Attaché to her Majesty's Embassy at Constantinople; and Charles James Tarring, Esq., to be Judge of her Majesty's Supreme Consular Court at Constantinople.


The Times, 1 July 1896




In answer to Mr. T. G. Bowles (King's Lynn),

Mr. CURZON said, - Our attention having been called by the question of the hon. Member on March 26 to the alleged existence Supreme Consular Court at Constantinople, her Majesty's Ambassador in that capital; was communicated with.  It appears that certain law suits arising out of the matters in question are still of grave scandals in the Supreme Consular Court in  Constantinople, her Majesty's Ambassador in that capital was communicated with.  It appears that certain law suits arising out of the matters in question are still pending before the Court, and must depend on what their result, what action, if any, will require to be taken.


The Graphic (London), 24 October 1896

Drawing: Armenian refugees leaving the Court, Constantinople.


The Times, 27 January 1897




In reply to Mr. T. G. BOWLES.

Mr. CURZON said, - The charges referred to in the question against officials in connexion  with the Consular Court of Constantinople are involved in certain actions now pending in the Supreme Consular Court at Constantinople.  As the Judge of the Supreme Consular Courts is himself a defendant in one of those actions, and as his judicial proceedings may be indirectly involved in the other, it was considered advisable to appoint a special Judge to proceed to Constantinople to adjudicate on these matters.  For this purpose it was necessary to pass a special Order in Council, under the provisions of which Sir Richard Rennie, late the Chief Justice of her Majesty's Supreme Court for China and Japan, has been appointed.  He has not yet arrived at Constantinople, but he will proceed thither as soon as his services are required.


The Morning Post (London), 12 May 1897

The second Silley case, re Sarell and Hamson, began sitting.


Edinburgh Evening News, 2 June, 1897
CONSTANTINOPLE, Wednesday morning. - The action brought by Mr. Selley against the judge and officials of the Consular Court has been dismissed with costs by Sir Richard Rennie, the judge specially appointed to try the case. Sir Richard gave his judgment after hearing the plaintiff's case and without calling upon the defence. - Central News.


The Times, 8 December 1897


The Queen has been pleased to approve of the appointment of .. Charles James Tarring, Esq., Barrister-at-Law (Consul-General and Judge of the Supreme Consular Court of Constantinople), to be Chief Justice of Grenada.


The Times, 22 December 1897


The appointments are formally gazetted of ... Sir Edward O'Malley, to be the Judge of her Majesty's Supreme Consular Court for Turkey.


The Times, 4 April 1900


Last night's London Gazette announces that the Queen has been pleased to appoint Sir Edward Loughlin O'Malley to be Judge, and Mr. Havilland Walter de Sausmarez, of the Inner Temple, barrister-at-law, be be Assistant-Judge, of her Majesty's Supreme Consular Court for the Dominions of the Sublime Ottoman Porte.


The Times, 5 September 1901



...  I am not greatly concerned about the rivalry between English and Italian, which will inevitably be settled in course of time.  Down to the Crimean War proceedings in the English Consular Court at Constantinople were conducted in Italian; but French first and later English have almost driven Italian out of the Levant; while everything is being done by the French to substitute for it their own language in Tunis.

Westgate-on-Sea.  F. DU PRE THORNTON.


The Times, 16 November 1901




[A very long and complicated story; partly involving a slander suit in the Consular Court at Beirut.]


The Financial Times, 11 December 1901



An application for an order of discharge was made to Mr. Registrar Linklater yesterday at the London Bankruptcy Court on behalf of Alexander Sefi, late manager to the Syrian Trading Company. Brazenose-street, Manchester.  The debtor assisted to form, the company in April, 1898, and was appointed manager of its business at Beyrout, his remuneration being 50 per cent. of the net profits.  He held that appointment until April, 1900, when he was dismissed the company's service because he had entered into speculative contracts to buy grain, &c., in anticipation of a rise in the market.  The debtor commenced an action against the Syrian Trading Company, claiming £20,000 for slander and wrongful dismissal, but in October, 1900, judgment was given in then Consular Court at Beyrout dismissing his claim, and awarding £5,786 damages to the company.  The debtor was given until 1st January, 1901, within which to appeal to the Court at Constantinople, but he did not avail himself of suchj permission.  The only offence reported by the Official Receiver was the insufficiency of assets to pay 10s. in the pound to the creditors.  The liabilities amounted to £6,276 and the assets had yielded only £6. - Mr. Trenam opposed the application on behalf of the Syrian Trading Company, and, after hearing the debtor, his Honour ordered his discharge to be suspended for four years from the public examination, which was held last October.


The Western Times (Exeter), 27 September 1902
  A strange story of the vicissitudes of life was investigated by the Westminster Stipendiary yesterday.  Edward Shott, 22, described as of no occupation, though he said he had been Acting-Registrar of his Majesty's Consular Court at Constantinople, and Olive Doggett, 21, were charged with attempting to poison themselves with morphia at Lambeth. According to the evidence of the police, the defendants were found in a room at Crozier street. An officer told them that he had received information that the young lady had been very bad, and that both of them had tried to commit suicide by taking a large quantity of pills, which contained morphia. The male defendant replied that they were utterly stranded, and resolved to die together. They took between them about forty pills which he (Shott) used to take for rheumatism. The couple were removed to Lambeth Infirmary and kept there all night.  They refused to give any information except that they were at the end of their resources. Replying to the magistrate, the male defendant said he had no occupation and no money.  He had been a barrister, but failed in the Consular Court at Constantinople. He had no friends in the world. Prisoners were remanded.


The Times, 11 September 1903



Mr. Leishman, the United Sates Minister at Constantinople, has secured the release of a native named Seriam Mathaney, a naturalized American, who was sentenced by a local Court to three and a half years' imprisonment after he had served a sentence of six months imposed by the United States Consular Court for the same offence.  This incident is regarded here as evidence that Turkey is now friendly disposed towards the United States.


The Times, 2 December 1903


BERLIN, Dec. 1.

Negotiations with Austria-Hungary and Russia; mentions Austro-Hungarian and Russian Consulates and Consular Courts.


The Times, 15 January 1904


JAMES CARLILE McCOAN.  ... For some years he practiced in the Supreme Consular Court of the Levant at Constantinople, and became the founder, proprietor, and editor of the then only English newspaper in Turkey, the Levant Herald.


Manchester Courier, 25 October, 1905
  Mrs. Clare Shott yesterday sought a divorce from Mr. Edward Peter Shott, to whom she was married in Constantinople in June, 1894. Mr. Shott practised as a barrister before the Consular Court at Constantinople.  They afterwards came to England, where in a time of financial stress the husband pawned his wife's goods.  She returned to her mother at Constantinople, and affectionate letters passed between husband and wife till the latter read in the newspapers of the attempted suicide of the respondent and a young woman who was with him.  Subsequently the husband sent her "a correct account of the story," saying "You must have read many incorrect ones. I was between the devil and the dep sea, either having to desert my wife or the girl I had ruined."
  The Court granted a decree nisi with costs, and custody of the two children.

See also Manchester Courier, 28 October, 1905. - BARRISTER'S RUIN.


Los Angeles Herald, 9 September 1906


Latter Called Former a Pignouf, Which in Turkey is a Deadly Insult - Suit Follows.

Special Cable to The Herald.

CONSTANTINOPLE, Sept. 8. - An amusing action for damages for insult has been concluded before the French Consular Court here.

M. Paul Sim, a local dramatic critic, sued the well known tenor, M. Rolland, for calling him a "pignouf" from the stage.  Rolland and Sim were not on good terms, and when Rolland came on the stage to ding his part in the light opera of the evening and saw Sim sitting in the front row of the stalls he shouted down": "So you are here, you pignouf!"

The consul would only make out that "pignouf" meant a shoemaker's apprentice, and declined to award Sim any damages.  Rolland was fined $5 and costs, however, for undignified behaviour on the stage.


The Times, 13 September 1906

HENRY GEORGE HANSLOW deceased, late of Baghdad, Probate.


The Times, 3 February 1909

WALTER FREDERICK BLUNT late of the Hotel Royal Pera Constantinople, PROBATE.


The Times, 7 May 1913

JAMES WARDLE deceased, late of 11 Cite de Syrie, Pera, Constantinople; PROBATE.



The Times, 11 September 1913

STEPHEN THOMAS BOND deceased, late of Moda Kadikloy, Constantinople; PROBATE.


The Times, 11 November 1913



The President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division declined to make any order on a motion by the owners of a vessel of the Russian Volunteer Fleet to set aside a writ or stay proceedings in an action for damages against them by the owners of an Austrian steamer.  He declined on the facts to admit the plea of lis alibi pendens made with reference to certain steps taken for proceedings in the Russian Consular Court in Constantinople.  A repiort will be round in the Financial and Commercial Section.


The Times, 12 September 1914






The Porte has decided to abolish the judicial and financial capitulations.  David Bey informed the representatives of the Powers of the decision this afternoon.


It is understood that the Ambassadors of the Powers in Constantinople have already protested against the action of the Porte, and that the initiative \was taken by the German Ambassador.


The Times, 11 December 1920


Constantinople, Dec. 8.

Five hundred representatives of various Greek organizations in Constantinople met yesterday and unanimously requested the Acting OEcumenical patriarch, Mgr. Dorothoeos, to excommunicate King Constantine if he persists in his intention of returning to Greece.

In spite of categorical orders from Athens to administer justice in the name of King Constantine the Hellenic Consular Court here has refused to do so.


The Times, 2 April 1923

DEATH OF SIR CHARLES TARRING. Assistant Judge and Judge, Constantinople. [30 May, Will.]


The Times, 17 August 1932

SIR LOUGHLIN O'MALLEY; various places, Chief Judge Supreme Consular Court Constantinople.


The Times, 27 May 1941


SIR HAVILLAND DE SAUSMAREZ, Judge Constantinople, Judge Supreme Court China.


The Times, 18 March 1952


SIR GEORGE PIGGOTT, assistant judge Constantinople.

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