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Colonial Cases








P. J. Bullock




PENANG, 1870.




"What !" said his astonished  interrogators, "do you mean to say you have been in the habit of altering Coroner's Jurors' verdicts for the last ten years?"

 "Yes," replied the imperturbable clerk, "I thought they were not proper according to the evidence !"

Source: STRAITS TIMES OVERLAND JOURNAL, 23 September 1870 (3); From the Straits Times, September 17th.



ON Monday the 17th inst. a Coroner's Inquest was held on the body of a Malay man who was killed on the night preceding.  It appeared from the evidence that the deceased, Awang, his wife, See Akkee, the person who committed the deed, and two Malay lads, lived in a hut at Tanjong Pagar, new Harbour.  See Akkee was merely a lodger, and assisted the deceased in cutting timber, by which they gained a livelihood.  According to the evidence of three witnesses, the deceased went out about 10 days ago, to cut wood, when See Akkee wished to accompany him, but the former told him to remain and take care of the house.  Deceased did not return until late on the night of the 16th when the inmates of the house were all asleep.  There was no light burning in the house at the time.  The inmates were awakened on hearing the door open, and Ganta, the wife, who had awakened first, having slept near the door, repeatedly inquired who was there; - she received no answer, but a severe cut in the breast, and some on other parts of the body, on which she called for assistance, and See Akkee came, and attacked the person, and killed him, but (as he himself affirms,) without knowing it was Awang.  After this, he went out but did not attempt to escape, and on meeting three of the neighbors he told them the above circumstance, and gave himself up with the sword.  These witnesses tied his hands, and having searched his person, found a table knife concealed in his clothes, tho' without any appearance of blood on it.  He was then taken to the Police Thannah Teluk Ayer, and has since been sent to jail, having been full\y committed on the Coroner's verdict to stand his trial at the next Session, whenever it may take place.




Thursday, April 14th 1831.

On Monday, a Coroner's inquest was held, to enquire into the death of a Chuah who hanged himself the preceding night.  The cause of his having taken such a rash step was not discovered.  He formerly acted as a Debash, and spoke a little English.





      Having heard from a very good authority, that two murders were committed on Sunday last, probably you may be able to inform  me how far the report is true, as no Inquest was held on the Bodies.  Far from me that I should attribute this neglect to any particular functionary, but it appears singular, as no secret was made of it by the Chinese who were casing them for interment on the Public road and in the presence of then Night Watch on Sunday evening.

Yours. O.

We can assert positively that no such murders were committed, as mentioned by our correspondent.  The two men were drowned accidentally, and as no report was made to the authorities by the friend of the parties, an Inquest was not held.  Ed. S. C.



Early this week, the body of a convict grass-cutter was discovered in the jungle, horribly mangled, and buried in the earth head foremost.  The Coroner summoned a native jury to hold an Inquest on the morning after the discovery, and appointed a place where all should meet.  They met accordingly, but having waited some time under a scorching sun, the person who was to direct them to the spot, where the body was, not making his appearance, the Coroner and Jury unanimously agreed to return to town.  This was not as it should have been.  Had a jury sat, however, the result in all probability would have been the same---total ignorance of the murder, or murderers.







{From our private Correspondent.]

The Chinaman committed two or three years ago for the murder of Chetou and whose trial was postponed at the last Sessions, on account of some legal doubts, died a few days since in Gaol.  From then outward appearance of the prisoner some Chinese of his own tribe gave out that he had been poisoned, but on the Coroner's Inquest on his body there was nothing elicited to confirm this report.




We regret to state that during the week no less than three Inquests have been held by the Coroner at this Settlement.  The first took place on Friday last on the body of a Chinaman named Ak Qua, who was found murdered at the foot of Bukit Selegy, with the body severely cut and the head nearly severed from it.  A great quantity of blood was found about 30 yards from the spot where the body lay.  The only material evidence given in this case, was by a Chinese lad, who stated that he lives in Circular Road, and was acquainted with the deceased; that his father, being unwell, desired him to go and call Ak Qua, which he did about 4 P.M. on Thursday last, that they came to town together, and the deceased, having administered medicines to his father, remained until 8 o'clock, when he lighted a lantern to return home, at the same time desiring the witness to call upon him next morning for more medicines; he went accordingly, and did not see the deceased, but a companion of the latter, named Aman, who lived in the same house, told him the deceased had not returned.  On the way back, he met several Chuliahs who were talking about a man having been murdered, and on going to the spot, recognised the body to be that of Ak Qua.  The lantern was found near the spot.  Aman the companion of the deceased, was reported to be too ill to attend and give evidence.  The verdict of the Jury was, "Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."

   The second Inquest was held on Tuesday last on the body of a Malacca -born lad named George Lavorice (formerly employed in distributing shipping reports) who seems, from the evidence of three or four persons who witnessed the occurrence, to have met with his death accidentally.  In a fit of intoxication, he staggered and fell into a Chinaman's shop, having a case-bottle of Gin in his hand, which, breaking, cut his arm to such a degree as to divide the integuments and muscles, and fin ally to cause death, after the lapse of about an hour, thro' loss of blood.  Verdict "Accidental Death."  We believe, had prompt exertions being made in tying as bandage round the arm, and applying for surgical aid, the life of the unfortunate deceased might have been prolonged.

   The third Inquest was held the following day, (yesterday) on the body of a Chinese, who appears to have been engaged on Sunday night last, in company with a gang of his countrymen, in attacking a house at Pulo Kechang, inhabited by some Bugguese.  The inmates were asleep, with the exception of two men who were cooking food, when they were alarmed by a noise outside, and immediately after the hut was attacked by a gang of bandits, who had torches, bludgeons, firearms, &c., and who endeavoured to force the door.  They discharged some of the fire-arms and wounded one or two of the inmates with small shot.  They were, however, repulsed in the scuffle, and the Bugguese having speared two or three of them, they fled to their boats and went on.  The body of the deceased was found the next morning, with a spear wound right into the heart.  Another of the gang is said to have been killed also.  Verdict, "Justifiable Homicide."  We understand the body was recognised at the Police as that of an old offender, who stood his trial last Session for burglary, but was discharged for want of sufficient evidence.



AN Inquest was held last week at the Police Office, on the body of a Chinaman who was found dead in one of thje streets, with his head much cut.  An affray had taken place the previous evening between some Chinese and a few sailors belonging to the Magicienne in which the Chinese were the aggressors, according to the evidence of the sailors.  The verdict of the Coroner's Jury was - "That the deceased came to his death by a wound supposed to have been received in an affray  which took place the preceding evening."





A Coroner's Inquest was held on Sunday the 27th instant, on the body of Mr. Thomas Smith, an European, lately in the employ of Mr. J. Gemmell, who was found dead, that morning, in the police house, Teluk Ayer.

   Dr. Martin being called, stated that he had attended the deceased for four days previous to his decease; his complaint was delirium tremens; he was delirious the night preceding his death, but witness saw him between 9 and 10, and gave him some medicine; thinks he died of apoplexy.

   Mr. Gemmill stated that deceased had been in his employ for upwards of eight months; he had been unwell of late, and talked incoherently, which led witness to suppose him deranged.  He had gone to the Police magistrate to complain of as "conspiracy" to send him to England in the brig Scott, which vessel had sailed, but which the deceased affirmed had returned.  Witness had some conversation with the Magistrate, in which he said that the deceased had been in the habit of drinking to excess, which no doubt had injured his intellects.  The deceased went to witness's house, the preceding evening at six, when Dr. Oxley saw and prescribed for him.  Witness sent for the constable to acquaint him Smith was at his house.  Constable Cunningham came and took him to the Police house at 7.  Witness followed, and went again, in company with Dr. Martin, at 9, when medicine prescribed by Dr. Oxley, was given him.  The deceased talked incoherently.  Witness sent him some breakfast at 9 the next (that) morning, but was told that he was dead.

   The evidence of Sedin, a police peon, merely proves that he heard some one walking about and making a noise in one of the rooms of the Police house, that morning, and on opening the door, and seeing the deceased he bolted it.  When Mr. Gemmill sent some breakfast at 9, he opened the door again, but found Mr. Smith lying dead.

   Dr. Oxley having been called to examine the body of the deceased at the police house, found it lying on its back; it was still warm; the face and anterior part of the chest were livid and blood oozed from the nose and mouth.  No marks of violence were visible on the body excepting a slight impression in one side of the temple, and cheek on which he had lain.  On opening the head, found sufficient cause to account for death, in exceeding congestion of the membranes of the brain, and effusion upon its surface.  The membranes appeared to have suffered from chronic inflammation of some standing, being much thickened and of an opaque colour, when dissected off.  His opinion is that the deceased came by his death from the minute vessels having given way, in consequence of the extreme congestion, which is proved by the blood found upon the base of the scull, and brain itself in the anterior part.  [Errata.---In our notice of the Inquest on Smith held last week,---for delirium demens, in Dr. Martin's evidence, please read delirium tremens.  The verdict on the occasion was---"Died by the visitation of God."  Issue of 7 November 1833.]




A Coroner's Inquest was held yesterday, and adjourned to this morning, on the body of a Bugis who was killed on the evening of the 5th under the following circumstances.

   The deceased was one of the crew of a Bugis boat at anchor in the harbour, and on the evening in question, Mallee, another of the crew, suddenly ran amuck in the vessel, during which he stabbed the deceased who died very shortly after, with a kris, as also the Naquodah's wife, and two men of the crew, who are now in the Hospital in a dangerous state, we believe.  He likewise wounded Tomby Adong, who happened to be on board at the time, in the wrist, as also one of the jurimoodies, in the arm, and would have done much more mischief, had not the Naquodah and most others on board jumped into the water, to escape his fury.  It appears two of the crew who thus took to the water are missing.

   The unfortunate man himself jumped into the sea, but was picked up by a boat, secured, and brought to the Police office.

   The prisoner on being asked where Mahomed (the deceased) is, acknowledged having stabbed him.  The Jury returned a verdict of Murder against him and he is fully committed for trial.




A Coroner's Inquest was held on the 15th instant, on the body of a Chinese named Gwee Keam, who had been stabbed the previous night by a companion.  It appears on evidence that the occurrence took place in a house in Teluk Ayer, belonging to Chinseang, and used by him as a godown.  Four men named Sin Hue, Bin, Pow, and Cheah lived in it, and were employed to look after the goods; the deceased likewise lived there, but was not in employ.  At 7 o'clock, on the evening of the 14th the four abovementioned, the deceased, and another Chinese named Twa Ko, alias Kim-liong, were in the house; they had been eating and Pow was cleaning the plates, when Gwee Keam, (the deceased) demanded some money of Twa Ko, due to him; in short, they both commenced quarrelling, and were separated by Pow, and another; the quarrel, however, was shortly after resumed, when the deceased fell, and was observed to bleed; he cried out that he had been stabbed by Twa Ko.  The latter immediately ran to the back of the house towards the sea, and was pursued by the four men first mentioned, but he turned upon, and threw stones at them.  One witness affirmed that he had a knife, or something like in his hand; he ran along the beach, and was soon lost, the night being dark.

   The body on being examined by Dr. Oxley, was smeared with gore; and a quantity of frothy blood lay on one side of it.  An incised wound, about six inches long, was observed on the back of the left forearm, as also a punctured wound penetrating the chest, on the left side, opposite the fifth rib, which it divided; and entering the cavity of the chest, pierced the left lung and cut the vessels at its root, causing a considerable effusion of blood, which was found in a coagulated state, on opening the chest.  The wound was sufficient to cause instantaneous death.

   The Verdict of the Jury was "Wilful Murder against Kim-liong."  A warrant has been issued for his apprehension, but the Police have not yet been able to apprehend him.


On the following day, the 16th, another Inquest was held by the Coroner touching the murder of another Chinese, named Chung Ting Chue, who died the previous night in the Hospital, from the effects of a wound inflicted by one of the same nation, in a house in Church Street, a notorious haunt of gamblers and opium smokers.

   Baba Seang, Chinese interpreter to the Court of Judicature, was the first witness, and stated that he was walking at about 8 o'clock the previous night in Church Street, when he saw four or five peons standing round a shop, outside of which the deceased was lying.  He asked the latter, who was then alive and able to speak, who had stabbed him---he replied Tung Keat had---he then asked his name, as also the motive of Tung Keat in committing such an act---the deceased answered that he could not tell, but thought that Tung Keat had stabbed him because he, the deceased, would not live with him.  He likewise stated that he had been in Eo Sin Wat's opium shop, when Tung Keat entered and stabbed him; that persons belonging to the house lifted him up and placed him in the street.  Baba Seang was not acquainted with the deceased; he entered the house of Eo Sing Wat, with the Constable, and saw blood on the floor.

   Dr. Oxley stated that he had been called by a peon, the previous night, to attend a person who had been stabbed in the Bazaar.  On his way to the Hospital he was informed that the man was dead.  He found the body still warm; on the left side of the abdomen was a large gash thro' which the intestines protruded; they were wounded apparently by a sharp cutting instrument; the wound was sufficient to cause immediate death.

   Eo Sin Wat, on being called, stated that he lives in Church Street, and sells opium for smoking.  At about 8 o'clock he went to the house of Choo Chung Sun, a next door neighbour; when he left his own house, Jawi, and his wife, with two Chinese whom he did not know, were there, smoking opium.  He was not absent long, but, on returning home found the house closed, and empty of its inmates---he got access by a back way; heard no disturbance that night; gave the opium to the two Chinese, himself; when he found his house closed and no one in it, he returned to Chung Sun's.  On being asked whether he was in the habit of leaving his own house when strangers were there, said he was.  On being asked who had closed the house, said it was Eo Teang; he did not see him do it, but heard so.  He afterwards stated that it was Eo Teang's business to do so; had not seen Eo Teang since last night; knows Chung Ting Chue; had seen him two days before, but not the preceding one; did not know where he now is; had heard people talking of a murder that happened the previous night, but did not hear any names mentioned.  On being desired to look at the body of the deceased, he recognised it as that of Chung Ting Chue; he was not one of those who had entered his shop the previous night.

   Chung Sun being called, stated that he lives in Church Street, and keeps an opium shop; there were several persons in his shop last night smoking opium, but he knew none of them except one Koon; did not see Sin Wat there, last night, but is acquainted with him; heard people talking of Ching Chue being murdered, but did not know where; he was acquainted with him, and had seen him at noon the previous day.

   Jawi being called, stated that he lives in Church Street, and keeps a shop, knows Sin Wat, but denies being in his house the night of the murder, he did not leave the house he occupies, that night; heard a disturbance at a few doors distance from his shop, he immediately shut it, and did not open until that morning, heard then that a murder had been committed.  When he closed his door, his wife, Tankip a female, and Wa, a Bugis were there.

   Kechil, a female being called, stated that she lives with Jawi, knows Sin Wat, was in his house, at about 5 o'clock the preceding evening, and returned to Jawi's at about 6 o'clock.  Not being well, she lay down, and about two hours after her return, heard people outside saying there was a disturbance, and that every one was shutting shop. Jawi shut his also.  Tankip and Wa were in the house at the time. 

   The Inquest was here adjourned until Mon day the 18th inst.


   Sin Wat being recalled, was asked whom he saw in Chung Sun's house when he returned to it; he answered that when he returned, he went to sleep; he does not know Tung Keat; he had requested Chung Sun to assist in searching for Eo Teang; but they have not yet found him.

   Nattersee, a Police peon, being called, stated that about three days back, Mahomed a night watchman, came to the Police House in Teluk Ayer, and mentioned to him and others that there was an affray in one of the Gambling houses in Church Street.  He, with some others, accompanied Mahomed thither; but found the doors all closed, and every thing quiet.  On the way, they met Police Jemindar Abdool Kadir, who accompanied them and ordered two of the peons to keep a strict watch in that street.  He was returning to the Police house, when he saw a Chinaman who had been wounded in the abdomen, lying close to one of the shops.  He was alive, and told the witness that he was wounded.  Meantime, Baba Seang came, and took down in writing what the wounded man said.  Witness did not understand the conversation, it being held in the Chinese language.

   The evidence of Mahomed, the night-watchman, merely goes to corroborate the preceding witness's statement.

   We will take occasion to notice the Verdict, at another time.



AN Inquest was held at the Police Office on Friday last, and adjourned to the following day, on the body of a Chinese, named Low Assee, formerly a barber, who is said to have died from the effects of poison.  A number of witnesses were examined, and the evidence tending to implicate Soom Run, a Siamese, and Kay-un-ko, a Chinese shopkeeper, in the charge of administering the same, the jury brought in a verdict of Wilful murder against those two individuals; and they have been fully committed for trial at the next Criminal Session.



SINGAPORE.  Saturday Evening, January 23rd 1836.---A Coroner's inquest was held on Wednesday last on the body of Soobah, a Sepoy belonging to the 15th regiment M. N. I., who shot himself that morning opposite the entrance of Macalister's road, as he was coming into town from the lines to join his guard.  It appeared that the deceased latterly had become a great gambler and was frequently neglecting his duty for which he was punished by being put on double duty for a period that had not expired.  As he was marching down the road with his musket and accoutrements he was observed to weep several times, and then to proceed under some cocoanut trees where having loaded his musket he came a few paces forward and shot himself.  Verdict---"Felo de se."




... The revelries however have this year assumed a degree of hostility, between the Hindoos and Mahometans, which calls upon government to disallow for the future all native processions through the streets, or if they must necessarily be suffered, they should only be so beyond the limits of the town and the habitations of the Christian community.  Last night, while the Hindoos were in procession through the town, they had to pass the Mahometan temple, and being the weaker sect of the two, so great an indignity as passing the temple of Islam could not be permitted by the stronger.  The Hindoos would not return, and the Mahometans were as equally determined that they should, or suffer for their presumption.  The power of persuasion, or mutual concession, does not appear to have occurred to either party, although from the various versions of the affray which have been communicated to us, we cannot arrive at any conclusion in favour of the Mahometans, who so far from being taken by surprise and suddenly irritated by any supposed contempt of their Arabian Prophet were evidently prepared for a warlike opposition.  No sooner did the procession enter the street where the Mahometan temple is situated, than the followers of the prophet began to evince their hatred and indignation against what they conceived the approaching abominations of an Hindoo carnival.  The Hindoo procession was immediately attacked, not only by the Mahometans in the streets with all descriptions of missiles from a sabre to a brick-bat, but had also to sustain vollies of stones, &c., from all the windows of the neighboring houses belonging to the children of the prophet.  It was then a general milling went on; out of which the unarmed and unprepared Hindoos necessarily came off the worst.  In the heat of the affray the Hindoos effected an entrance into the Mahometan temple and destroyed a goodly assortment of glass-ware, for satisfaction of which the Mahometans wished this morning to have returned the compliment by the demolition of the Hindoo Sanctum had they not been kept in check by the civil authorities.  The personal damage done in this conflict has been the loss of one life (a Mahometan) and a score of severely battered and wounded Hindoos.---

   The death of the Mahometan has of course  not tended to allay the excitement in the minds of those of that persuasion, and so much alarm is evinced by the Hindoos from further attacks, that the Campong Hindoo has become entirely deserted, the inhabitants of yesterday having fled in all directions to secret themselves from the threatened dangers.  We understand there is so much reason for apprehension of further aggressions by the Mahometans, that orders have been given to the military to be in readiness for any emergency which may happen during the night.

   The Coroner's Inquest, which to-day was to have examined by whose hand the death-blow was given to the Mahometan, has from some cause or other adjourned till Monday.  We think this a somewhat injudicious delay, and by no means the best way in our humble opinion to arrive at any thing like certainty or truth in the long and complicated investigation which will likely be instituted.  No blame however is intended to be imputed to the Coroner by us.  In conclusion we trust native processions of all descriptions will be disallowed in Town or in its immediate precincts, as they are a most disagreeable and outrageous nuisance that every wise government would endeavour to abate, particularly in these parts where there is no pretence for the sufferance of such fooleries.



Thursday, 7TH. July, 1836.

On Monday an Inquest was held by the Coroner in the body of a Christian woman, (a native of Malacca) who was killed that morning by her husband, a native of Goa, named Pedro Rodrigues,--in a fit of jealousy, it is supposed.  The body exhibited several severe wounds, chiefly on the back, inflicted by an old table knife.  The jury brought in a verdict of "Wilful Murder against Pedro Rodrigues" who is fully committed to stand his trial at the next Session.



A Coroner's inquest was yesterday held upon the body of a malay-man named Si Dool, who met his death two or three days ago at Blakang Mati in an attempt together with some other of his companions to forcibly possess themselves of a cargo of that delectable fruit the Dorian bringing hither in a small boat from Pulo Booroo where great quantities of that fruit are obtainable.  Si Dool represented himself and his companions as having been sent by Tuanko Kechil alias the famed Tumungong of piratical celebrity to purchase some Dorians to gratify his palate; but the owner, justly suspecting their intentions, and perhaps aware from experience of the kind of paymaster Tuanko Kechil was likely to prove, refused to deliver any, stating the Dorians should be taken to the Tuanko by his own people.  This arrangement not being to the mind of Si Dool he was in the act of helping himself when he was warned by the owner of the fruit that he would spear him if he persisted, upon which he drew his kris and attacked the fruitman who in self-defence speared him, but at first not mortally as the conflict still continued, when at length both fell, the fruitman to the bottom of his boat, and Si Dool into the sea where he perished.  The body of the deceased was afterwards picked up by his three companions named Oudah, Talib, and Saptoo, people all under the orders of the Tumungong.  The fruit boat sailed away from Blakang Mari, and, we believe, has not since been heard off.  The verdict found by the Jury was Justifiable Homicide.  We think this description of violence committed by the people of the Tumungong should not be permitted, and that government ought to call upon him to deliver up Si Oudah, Talib, and Saptoo, three of the deceased's companions, who were aiding and abetting the deceased in an attack upon a peaceable trader bringing fruit to this settlement for sale to rob him of his property and perhaps ultimately to murder him.  Inche Abet one of the witnesses at the inquest and who witnessed the whole affair, knows these men, and would of course be able to identify them and bring home their participation in the crime, in the event of the fruitman making his appearance and lodging a complaint against them.  The deceased, we are informed, is an old offender against the laws, and has figured more than once at the criminal sessions at this settlement apparently with impunity.  He has at length merited and met with a fate at a private hand which it is to be feared he has but too often provoked at that of the public executioner.



On Friday last an Inquest was held at the Police Office on the body of a Malay named SI DOOL, who met his death under the following circumstances. It appears from the evidence given at the Inquest that the deceased, with three companions named Sabtoe, Talib and Oodah, all inhabitants of New Harbour, proceeded to Blakan Mati to purchase doorians, ostensibly fgor the Tumungung, of a boat which had just arrived with a cargo of the fruit from Booro, a small island near the Carimons.  The nakodah, Senein, however, would not sell to them, and angry words ensued between him and Dool.  The latter insisted upon having the fruit, and was in the act of taking some by force, when Senein told him if he persisted in doing so, he would spear him.  Upon this Si Dool drew his kris and would have stabbed Senein, when the latter speared him, and in retaliation, Si Dool stabbed him, and they continued spearing and stabbing each other, until both fell into the water. Senein swam to a reef, and the body of Si Dool was picked up by his companions and conveyed in a small boat to New Harbour.  Senein's boat sailed away.  The body of Si Dool was speedily buried by his friends, and had to be disinterred previous to the Inquest.  The verdict of the Jury was JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE.

   Although we have heard of no measures being yet taken to apprehend the accomplices of the deceased in this act of aggression on a peaceful trader, we trust the Authorities will use every effort ....



SINGAPORE, Saturday Evening, Oct. 8th. 1836

A Coroner's Inquest was held upon the body of a native, called Nocarloo, a Bengal convict, who had been barbarously murdered near the New Harbour road on Sunday last between 2 and 3 o'clock in the day.  After a long and patient examination during three days of witnesses called, nothing appears to have been elicited to create suspicion against any particular person or persons as the perpetrators, and a verdict was found of "wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."  We have since learned that a man of the name of Bissonauth had been placed in confinement as the supposed murderer, having various wounds and bruizes on his person observed for the first time on the day of the murder, for which he could give no satisfactory explanation rendering thereby the more probable the suspicion of his having on that day been engaged in some violent struggle, either in attack or defence, probably with the deceased with whom he was seen in company on the day of the murder, while on the day previous he had no marks of violence discernable on his person.

   Bissonauth is also a convict and had owned the deceased some money which he alleges to have paid.  The latter was a person it is said, possessed of considerable property, to obtain which, it is conjectured, had led to the commission of the fatal act.




This week has been rife with work for the Coroner, who has had no fewer than three different Inquests, the first of which he held on the 18th instant on the body of PA DADO, a Bugis man found dead upon the beach between Si Giap and Pulo Kooroo.  That the deceased had met his death by the hand of an assassin was apparent, but from the evidence adduced before the Jury no satisfactory conclusion could be arrived at criminative of any particular person, and they found a verdict of "Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown."---

   The second inquest was held on Tuesday the 20th instant on the bodies of SU SIM a Chinese carpenter and Ko-Poo-Neo his wife, who were both murdered that morning by a Chinaman named CHAN SOON.  From the evidence of GWEE AMOY the step-son of SU SIM it appears that the murdered had been an inmate of the same house in Chin-Chew street with SU SIM and his family.  GWEE AMOY being employed elsewhere proceeded as usual early in the morning to hid employer's house leaving his step-father's abode.  On the morning of the murder he saw that CHAN SOON was not in the house when he left, but was shortly afterwards apprized by his sister of the enormities perpetrated by CHAN SOON.  SOON KOY another Chinaman who also lived in the deceased's house, and being a barber by profession was early employed at his avocation in the outer Verandah of the house, when he was alarmed by a noise from within and immediately afterwards heard the voice of the unfortunate SU SIM exclaiming "Ahya CHAN SOON has stabbed me."  he then saw the murderer running out to the Verandah where he was, with a knife grasped in his hand with which he inflicted several wounds upon the head and other parts of the body of SOON KOY, and while thus engaged SU SIM was observed to run out of the house into the street pursued by CHAN SOON for a short distance till he dropt down dead.  The murdered then went back to the house and unsatiated with blood attacked the carpenter's wife and despatched her with innumerable wounds, and although her piercing cries were heard by many natives outside none had the courage to render the poor woman any assistance, with the exception of her daughter a girl of about 10 years of age, and her too the inhuman monster attempted also though unsuccessfully to murder, and she escaped with a wound in the back.  The alarm had now became general in that quarter of the town when the arrival of the police with an European constable closed these tragedies by the apprehension of the ruffian, which however was effected with much difficulty and danger, and not finally, until he had received a very severe sabre wound and a fractured arm, from the consequences of which it is apprehended he will not recover, being now in a very precarious state.---A verdict of wilful murder was found against CHAN SOON.

   The third inquest was assembled at the Pauper Hospital this morning over the body of a Native named KINNOO, who was found dead hanging by the neck.  The deceased had been an invalid for some time in the hospital and it is supposed the agony he experienced from a disease under which he was then suffering prompted him to this mode of relief.



A Coroner's Inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the Police Office, over the bodies of two Chinese, who it appeared had met their death the precedei9ng night under the following circumstances.  The deceased lived in a house built over the swamp nearly opposite the gaol, and on Monday night about eight o'clock, a Chinese came up with a sampan or boat which he wished to tie up to one of the posts on which the house was supported.  One of the inmates went out and objected to this proceeding apparently on some suspicion as to the boat having been stolen - when a dispute arose which ended in the intruder's stabbing the other with a knife, inflicting a mortal wound in the throat - his companion, who, upon his falling and crying out went down stairs, was also instantly stabbed in the side - and the neighbors being now fully alarmed, the assassin made off, which the darkness of the night enabled him to do in safety.  His person was however recognised, and he proves to be a culprit formerly banished from this to Bombay from which he had only recently returned.  The Jury returned a verdict of Wilful murder against him, and we understand he has since been apprehended.



On the 15th instant, a Coroner's Inquest was held over the body of TAN-A-LUE a Chinese who was murdered two days before at Soongey Pandang.  It appears that about two o'clock in the morning the house or hut in which he and another of his countrymen resided, was attacked by a band of about twenty Malays, armed with krisses, spears and parangs, who after committing several acts of violence broke into the hut, and in the scuffle which endued the deceased was stabbed in the back and neck by one of the Malays named POO YEOK - His companio0n escaped and made his deposition at the inquest, upon which the Jury brought in a verdict of wilful murder against POO YEOK and others unknown.  A quarrel it seems had formerly taken place between that man and the deceased, in consequence of the latter having refused to comply with his request to be furnished with a certain quantity of rice, which was refused as he had never paid for what he had formerly received, and it was in revenge of this affront that he is supposed to have killed the deceased.  He has not been apprehended, and will probably effect his escape by fleeing from the island.

   On the following day, another inquest took place over the body of a convict, who had committed suicide in the course of the previous night.  He crawled under the platform or sleeping place in the ward to whi9ch he belonged, and where there were about firty other convicts present, and with a sharp parang with which he had provided himself, severed his throat from ear to ear - the choking sounds which escaped him after the fatal act, attracted the attention of the sentry on guard, and the alarm being given, he was discovered between one and two in the morning in the situation described.  The verdict was felo de se.



We have omitted to notice two Coroners Inquests which have been held during the month - One was on the body of a Chinaman who was found dead on the beach at Tanjong Paggar - he had a wound between the shoulders penetrating to the cavity of the thorax, which must have been the cause of his death, and his hands were tied behind him with a thick Rattan which passed round his neck.  Several witnesses were examined, but no clue was found to the perpetrators of the murder, and the Jury returned the usual verdict.

   The other inquest was on the body of one PAULO, a cook in the employment of a clerk to one of the Mercantile houses of the place.  During the absence of his master he assaulted a woman who lived in the house, wounding her in several places with a knife, and also inflicting a dangerous wound on her child, an infant of about six years of age.  The woman escaped further injury by running out of the house, and the man immediately, it seems, laid violent hands upon himself, cutting his throat with the weapon he had in his hand.  Verdict felo de se.



A Coroner's Inquest was held on the 23rd instant, over the body of a Chinese killed by malays, at a place called Bedok, about 7 or 8 miles from Town.  It seems that a party of malays surrounded the house of the deceased at night, and that while he was in the act of endeavouring to make his escape along with a companion, he was over-taken and stabbed - two mortal and several slighter wounds appearing on the body.  A verdict of Wilful Murder was found against two of the parties concerned, one of whom is in custody, and against others unknown.



On Friday the 7th inst. A Coroner's Inquest (being the third in the course of about a fortnight,) was held on the body of TING-SOON, a Chinaman who had been murdered on the 5th near Bukit Tima.  According to the depositions of two Chinese, the perpetrators of the murder were 3 Malays, with whom the deceased had been endeavouring to make a contract for clearing some jungle; and they appear to have murdered him for the sake of some sixty or seventy dollars he had on his person at the time.  The names of none of the Malays were known to the witnesses, and the Jury brought in a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.



In the couyrse of last week as Coroner's inquest was held on the bodies of a Malayman called REMAN, and his wife, JELLYE, whom he first murdered & afterwards committed suicide.  It appeared from the depositions of the witnesses that they were known to be frequently quarrelling with each other, and that the cause of discord was the incessant calls of the husband upon the unfortunate woman to work and toil, that he might repose, and the not unnatural resistance she made to his unreasonable demands.  No other particular cause of quarrel had come to the notice of the neighbours to account for the desperate act to which he finally had recourse.  The verdict delivered by the Jury was that REMAN murdered his wife and then committed suicide.



On Sunday last a Coroner's Inquest was held over the body of a Chinese who had been killed the previous evening.  His head was coveted with wounds inflicted apparently by a heavy chopper or hatchet, the skull being cut through, and completely broken up.  The Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against one TAN ANNAM, a countryman of the deceased.




Gang Robbery and Murder.

It is extremely painful to us to record another most daring robbery, attended with a cruel murder which took place on Sunday night last the 14th instant, in the district of Sungei Dun; and it is matter of still deeper regret we announce that beyond the more supposition that the perpetrators were from Kreean, (a place on the opposite coast under the jurisdiction of the Rajah of Perak,) no traces of the villains, nor of the property carried off by them, have been ascertained. - There has been, evidently as we are informed, a great want of energy on the part of the Police officers on this occasion, whose numerical strength, paltry as it is, in this district even under the advantages of the new Assessment taxes seems still to require much superintending controul and watchfulness; because it has invariably been found, that whenever a gang or other desperate robbery occurring in the Island is supposed by the Native Panghulu and his subordinates to have been committed by persons from the opposite shore, there is scarcely any further search, inquiry, or notice whatever, excepting the exclamation or remark - "the desperadoes crossed over in the course of the night, and have gone back again with their booty" - Appa buleh buat? What is to be done?  But to the particulars of the robbery and murder in question.

   The person whose melancholy and untimely fate we have here to notice was a respectable old Chinese gardener who had been residing in his own plantation for several years and subsisted on its produce with a large family.  He retired to rest with them at the usual hour on Sunday night, but about 12 o'clock was awoke by numerous loud and extraordinary knocks at his door, the report of a musket shot and several disorderly human voices close to his dwelling.  His son, a lad of about seventeen years, taking advantage of the inability of the robbers to force the principal entrance of the house, and their retirement to another part of it, instantly opened the door, and made his escape to alarm the neighbours, while the father, who slept in an upper detached apartment, descended the step and was running off for assistance also, was pursued, overtaken and wounded most savagely on the back in three different places which at once laid him prostrate - The robbers then returned to the house, robbed it of all the valuables that were portable, amounting to between four and five hundred Dollars, and quietly walked away. - On the assembly of the neighbours, the old man was discovered at some distance from his house quite insensible and died on the following night - A Coroner's Inquest was taken on the body on Tuesday morning when a verdict was returned of "Wilful Murder against certain Malayan persons unknown."





Trial of Captain BATTA of the "La Felice," for Manslaughter.

(From the Penang Gazette, June 19.)

On Tuesday morning so early as 9 o'clock, the street in front and the portico and steps of the Court House exhibited a large collection of persons to witness this trial.  Precisely at half-past 10, Sir WILLIAM NORRIS took his seat on the bench, and after waiting some time for 3 or 4 gentlemen who were summoned as Jurymen, but who were not then in attendance, the prisoner was placed at the bar and arraigned on the Coroner's Inquest for feloniously and unlawfully killing JAFFAR, one of the Malayan recruits on board the barque La Felice, to which through his Law Agent, Mr. CARNEGY, the prisoner pleaded Not Guilty.

[Details of the disturbance on board and the actions of the Captain.  Various crew placed under restraint and left so overnight.]

   The Jury retired for about 25 minutes, when they delivered their verdict of guilty, with the recommendation of mercy, on the ground, as it was stated in answer to a question from the bench, that the prisoner was not aware of the serious consequences of the tight ligatures.  The plea was recorded, and his lordship intimated his intention of passing sentence next morning, on which the prisoner was removed from the bar and remanded to Jail.


In passing sentence on Captain BATTA, ...But when all the mutineers were completely and effectually secured and no reasonable apprehension of danger remained; when in the course of a few hours it became manifest that the culprits were severely distressed by the tightness of the lashings; when most of them were loudly protesting their innocence, begging to be released, and increasing their own sufferings by struggling to obtain some ease from the painfully constrained position in which they were placed; it is plain that you acted inhumanely and illegally in refusing to afford them any relief and keeping them in that state of suffering without any adequate necessity, until the following morning.  Then, indeed, you ordered them to be released, being alarmed, no doubt, by the black, swollen and blistered appearance of their arms and hands.  But the order was too late.

   A deadly mortification had commenced, which terminated in the death of four of the unhappy men that same day, and a fifth on the following morning.  Five more have since died in the hospital from the same cause, and the lives of eight more have only been saved (if indeed they are yet safe,) by the painful process of amputation. ... I am of opinion , that public justice does not call for a very severe punishment; and that a fine of 500 Rupees will operate as a sufficient warning to other commanders who may happen to be placed in similar circumstances; ...and to be imprisoned in H. M. Gaol until such fine shall be paid.



In our last number we gave the accounts that has then reached this place of the recent tragedy on board of the barque La Felice; and by the Penang papers that have been received during the week, we have the full particulars of the whole dismal transaction, as they came out in evidence before a Coroner's Jury, and subsequently on the trial of Captain BATTA, the Commander of the vessel, under the finding the Inquest, for Manslaughter.  The account of the trial we have republished above from the Penang Gazette; ... [Long Editorial fiercely critical of the sentence and the reasoning of 'mercy.']


THE SINGAPORE FREE PRESS & MERCANTILE ADVERTISER, 5 May 1842 (3).It appears that the bodies of five only of the Police Peons who were despatched to put a stop to the gonging in the roadstead, as mentioned by us last week, have been found; that of the Duffadar (being 6 Peons altogether and not 7 as stated by us in error) not having been discovered as yet.  The Inquest to which we have alluded brought in a Verdict of "Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."  The other three bodies were buried without that formality, in consequence as we learn of their being found in such a state of decomposition, as to preclude all approach to them or even identification.  The Chinese Junk people who had been taken up originally on suspicion, are still detained in custory, until the complete recovery of some of the witnesses who have been severely hurt, as the magistrate we hear intends to further investigate the matter. [Editorial on the event.]



Letter and Editorial reply re Inquests on persons killed or carried off by Tigers.



SUICIDE. - A Malay man named DAPAT residing at Tannah Meerah, put an end to his life on Tuesday last, by taking poison.  An Inquest was held upon the body and a verdict of self-murder returned.



TIGERS. - We have again to notice a fearful destruction of lifer by these monsters.  On Saturday last the remains of a man (a Javanese) were brought to the police, and from the statement of his companions it appears that the deceased went into the jungle to cut wood where he was pounced upon by a TIGER, and his legs which we believe was nearly all of him which the TIGER left, were afterwards found and brought to town.  We are also informed that on Friday week two men were killed on an estate within 3 miles from town - making five in all carried off from the same place within the last five weeks ...

INQUEST. - An Inquest was held on Monday last on the body of a run-away Convict named SEYD JEHANGHEER, which was found lying on the road leading to Mr. T. HEWITSON'S Plantation with the throat severed to the Spine by a fearful gash - there was also the marks of a severe blow over the left eye-brow and the frontal bones was fractured right across which alone was sufficient to have caused instant death.  The Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.




On Tuesday the 28th ultimo, an inquest was held on the body of a Malay man named SODAR.  It appeared that on the previous night the house in which deceased resided on the Bukit Timah road was entered by a gang of Chinese who attacked the deceased, on whom they inflicted several very severe wounds.  The alarm was given on which the assailants whose object appears to have been plunder fled, and have not since been traced.  The wounded man was conveyed to the Pauper Hospital by the police Peons, but expired on the road.  Verdict---Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.

   On Sunday the 5th inst. another inquest was held on the body of a Malay man who was discovered sitting on the middle of the road on Saturday night about 8 o'clock.  He told the police peon who discovered him that he had been stabbed by some person whom he did not know---he died before he could be removed to the Hospital.  On examination a wound was discovered in his right breast which had caused his death.  It appeared from the evidence that deceased who was a follower of the Sultan of Johore and had been quarrelling some days before with another person likewise in the Sultan's employ, and the latter was heard to threaten deceased with future vengeance.  This man had been apprehended and the Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of Wilful murder against him.



CORONERS INQUEST - Yesterday morning an inquest was held on the body of Captain DRENNING of theHelena of London.  It appeared that the deceased had been labouring for a few days past [corrected layout] inflammation of the stomach and that his brain was also deceased and that on Tuesday while in a ... [rest of column missing.]



We regret to learn that another attack has been made on the Bazaar situated at the POINT.  Although some booty was obtained, the ruffians did not this time get off scatheless, three of their number having been shot.  Great praise is due to Sergeant Fry, for his promptitude and gallantry on the occasion.  The Coroner's inquest on the bodies, which appears in another part of our paper, affords details of this lamentable outrage.  On the same night, other burglaries, we are told, were effected.  Our Printing Office was also forcibly entered and robbed during the past week.



CORONER'S INQUEST. - An Inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on the 27th ulto on the bodies of three Chinese.  It appeared from the evidence that about eight o'clock on the previous night two of these men were discovered lying in their house quite dead, and the third at the point of death.  This man stated to the persons by whom their condition was discovered that five Malays armed with krisses and parangs had entered the house and attacked the inmates killing two and mortally wounding the third. It is supposed that these Malays had been refused Opium on credit, and that they had taken their deadly revenge for the refusal.  The bodies were covered with numerous wounds, presenting a most ghastly spectacle, and proving that the murderers had been determinedly bent on accomplishing the death of their victims.  A verdict of Wilful Murder against five Malays, names unknown, was returned by the Jury.

TIGERS. - The head and shoulders of a man who had been killed by a Tiger were brought to the Police office on Monday last.  They were found on the Bukit Timah road, about three miles from Town.



CORONER'S INQUEST. - On the 10th instant an inquest was held at the Police Office on the body of a Chinese named Tan Ah Sye.  It appeared that the deceased was a Gambier Planter living in a Plantation at Sarangon which he managed, and that a brother named Tan Assing lived with him.  They were on bad terms and frequently quarrelled.  From the evidence of one of the coolies employed on the Plantation it appeared that while bathing on the evening of the 8th inst. he heard a scream and on proceeding to the house he found the deceased in great agony from a large wound on his thigh which was bleeding profusely, and from which he shortly died.  On this man questioning the deceased he said that his brother Tan Assing had stabbed him. - The only persons in the house at the time were Tan Assing and another Coolie who was engaged in boiling Gambier but who according to his own account did not see the wound given.  Immediately after committing the deed Tan Assing left the house and it appears that the Coolies took no steps to give information of the murder or dispose of the body which was removed next day about noon by four men who came to the house and put it into a cadjang and carried it away.  It seems that the body was put into a coffin and buried and it was not until afterwards that two of the Coolies came to Singapore and informed their proprietor of the Plantation of the murder who immediately acquainted the Police with the circumstance, and accompanied them to the spot where they took the Coolies into custody and afterwards apprehended the murderer at a neighbouring Plantation - when taken into custody he did not deny having murdered his brother and stated that he threw the knife with which he hasd wounded him into a swamp near the house.  The body was afterwards disinterred and brought to the Police Office where it was examined by Dr. Oxley - there was found to be a double wound or stab in the left thigh over the femoral artery passing through the limb, and the deceased would appear to have bled to death.  The body was in a state of putrefaction so that a minute examination was impossible.

   A Verdict of Wilful Murder was found against Tan Assing the brother of the deceased, and nine other men who had assisted in burying the body, were committed as accessories after the fact.




On Sunday an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on the body of a Caffree woman who it was supposed had been poisoned, and whose body after having been buried for three days was dug up by order of the Superintendent of Police, on the reports which prevailed respecting the cause of her death coming to his notice.  The evidence given on the Inquest did not however go at all to make out a case against any one, but rather shewed that the deceased had for some time previously been ailing, and her death therefore very probably resulted from disease.  Dr. OXLEY the Assistant Resident Surgeon was called upon to examine the body, but he reported that it was in such an advanced stage of decomposition that he could not make an examination or give a professional opinion on the subject---that the extraordinary extrication of Gases and the liquefaction of the solids under the heat and moisture of the climate render Postmortem examination dangerous and impracticable, besides obliterating all traces of morbid action, which remain for weeks in a colder climate, but are thus annihilated here in a few days.  The Jury returned a Verdict of Died by the Visitation of God.

   On Monday a Coroner's Jury sat on view of the body of a man named Mahomed Tomby---who it appeared was of very intemperate habits being frequently intoxicated.  His body was found under the stairs of the house in which he resided, from which he must have fallen in a fit of drunkenness.  Dr. OXLEY examined the body and reported that there were no marks of violence on the trunk or extremities, some blood oozed from the eyes and a depression was observable over the posterior of the right parietal bone.  On making an incision into the scalp much dark coloured blood escaped, and a large patch was found effused at the spot where the depression was observable, on the Cranium being opened the brain was found with all the vessels of the membranes gorged with blood, a considerable quantity of blood was effused, and the liquor in the ventricles &c gave forth a strong smell of arrack; the man died of an apoplectic seizure whilst under the influence of liquor---he must have had a severe fall but that of itself would not have killed him.  verdict died of Apoplexy occasioned by intemperance.

   Another Inquest was held the same day at the Police Office on the bodies of two Chinese named LIM-AH-KOH and SEE-OH.  It appeared from the evidence that the deceased lived together in a hut on Mr. C. PERREAU'S clearing near Tanling.  Their bodies were discovered in the hut on the morning of Sunday covered with blood having apparently been murdered during the night.  It would seem that they must have been murdered by persons who bore towards them feelings of hatred or revenge, as, independent of the fact of their not being possessed of any property sufficiently valuable to tempt robbers to commit such an outrage for the sake of obtaining it, their bodies were mutilated in a very extraordinary manner being covered with wounds all over.  It is very probable therefore that they must either have met with their death at the hands of some persons whose ill-will they had incurred, or what is even more likely, that they have fallen victims to the vengeance of some of the Secret Societies for an infringement of their laws, or contempt of their authority.  However, the motive for their murder and the committers of it, remain alike unknown, no evidence having been given at all tending to throw light upon the matter, and the Jury therefore returned the almost invariable verdict in cases of murder in Singapore;---Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.




On Monday an Inquest was held at the Police Office on the body of a Chinese named LOW TAN, who, it appeared from the evidence of several witnesses, had been set upon by a number of men the preceding evening, in Market street, who had beat him upon the head with sticks.  Shortly after being taken to the Hospital he expired, and it appeared from the evidence of Mr. LITTLE, Surgeon, that his skull had been fractured, and one of the arteries ruptured, the blood flowing from which by pressing upon the brain had caused the death of the deceased.  Verdict Wilful Murder against QUAY ATTOW AH GO---KEAH CHOA TEAH, HOK CHUANG, CHEO AH JAN, and others unknown.




On the 1st an Inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on the body of a Chinese named AH SHOOW.  From the evidence of deceased's brother it appeared that a number of Malays, about 10 in number, armed with Spears and others weapons, entered their house about 12 o'clock at night and stabbed the deceased---the witness was also wounded.  Verdict---wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.

   On the 8th an Inquest was held on the bodies of a Bengalee Man and Woman.  Dr. OXLEY examined the bodies---the man had been stabbed twice in the belly both times very deep, and died from the effects of them.  The woman had two extensive wounds from which she died---it appeared from the evidence that the man who was a Convict stabbed the woman and afterwards himself,---the cause of his committing this outrage was not assigned by any of the witnesses.

   On the 12th an Inquest was held on the body of a Chinaman who was found by a Police Peon hanging by the neck on the previous night in a shed behind the Gaol---Verdict Felo de se.

   We have now to report the death of three men within the past week from Tigers.  One at Soongie Serembun, a Chinese Coolie on a Gambier Plantation.  Another, also a Chinese Gambier Planter, was killed at Tanling, and singularly enough this was the man who constructed the pit by which the Tiger was caught which afforded so much excitement to the Singapore sportsmen lately.  The body was found by the man's companions with only part of one of the legs devoured.  The third man, also a Chinese, was taken off from the public road beyond the village of Tulloh Blangah. Five Chinese were proceeding along a road, about six o'clock in the evening, walking as Chinese generally do in single file, when a Tiger sprung out of the jungle and seized the last man in the row.



CORONER'S INQUESTS. - An Inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on Friday last on the body of a Malay Wioman who it appeared had been stabbed by the husband with a Kriss. A Verdict of Wilful Murder against SE-KLAT the husband was returned.

   On the 1st an Inquest was held at the Police Office of the body of Capt. PHILIP SOHIER, Master of the Philip Dean.  The deceased left the Ship on Sunday about 7 o'clock in the evening in a Sampan, and according to the testimony of the boatmen was landed at the Police Stairs where they waited for his return until 12 o'clock at night, but he did niot make his appearance, and his body was found next morning in the river.  From the evidence of Mr. LITTLE, Surgeon, it seems that Captain SOHIER had been labouring under "deririum tremens" for some days, and that on the day of his death he was insane.  Mr. LITTLE examined the body and found a wound on the right and upper part of the head which must have been produced by a blow or fall - this wound could not have caused his death which was from drowning.  No other evidence tending to throw light upon the cause of deceased's death could be given, and a Verdict of found drowned was returned.




We have again to record more deaths by Tigers during the week.  On Thursday last a Chinese by the name of Lee-no-leage was cutting wood with a companion in the neighbourhood of Tanling when a Tiger sprang out of the Jungle and carried him off.  Several of his friends penetrated the Jungle in search of him, and after several hours fatigue succeeded in discovering the remains of the unfortunate man.  He was dreadfully mangled and one of his legs entirely devoured.  Another Chinese was killed on Sunday near the new Harbour.  It appears that thirty men were employed in cutting wood and after felling a large Tree one of them went a few yards from the rest and commenced cutting the branches, when a small Tiger sprang out of the Jungle and with one blow killed the poor fellow.


An Inquest was held at the Police Office on Friday the 10th inst. on the body of a Malay named GARANG who resided at Tanjong Penjuroh.  It appeared that the deceased and his Son went out in their Sampan to fish, and that wishing to purchase bait from another fisherman named SEYD they approached the fishing stakes belonging to this person and where he then was.  The deceased went in to SEYD's Sampan on which he came from the stakes and seizing a spear stabbed the deceased, who fell into the water.  SEYD then assailed the Son with a spear and parang and inflicted several severe wounds.  Another fisherman then came to their assistance, and deceased was conveyed on shore, but he died next day as he was proceeding to Singapore in a boat under charge of the police who were conveying him to the Hospital.  There was some bad feeling between the deceased and SEYD and his partner who accused him of plundering their fishing stakes of fish.  Dr. OXLEY, Civil Surgeon, examined the body which was in a state of decomposition and found a wound under the left breast penetrating obliquely upwards towards the heart and large vessels lying at the base of the lungs, and he had no doubt that this wound caused the death of deceased.  Verdict---Wilful murder against SEYD.







On the 11th inst. the headman at Pulo Tokong came to the Police Office and stated that six days previously a man named Dollah came to his house at midnight and informed him that his neighbour Sipong had been murdered by some persons unknown.  The Pangulu went to the house and saw the corpse which had four punctured wounds upon it.  Two men named Dollah and Sabjee are in custody suspected of having been concerned in the matter.  The Coroner on the 11th went in the steamer Diana and held an Inquest on the body which was disinterred for that purpose.



Coroner's Inquest.

Police office, Monday the 3d February 1845.

   Dr. J. RATTON sworn states I examined the body of a Chinese at the Police Office, the 3rd day of February.  LIAN TAH TENG was admitted into the Hospital on 20th. November 1844, with his throat cut---there was an extensive gaping wound across the throat 5 inches in extent exposing the wind-pipe a piece of which was completely sliced out.  There was very little hemorrage tho' said to have bled freely before his admission---none of the large Vessels were divided---he could neither swallow or speak, was very weak, but seemed quite sensible to all that was said and going on about him---received the usual treatment---was fed daily by means of the softest tube and progressed very favourably after the first few days.  On the 28th January having by this time recovered his voice, the power of swallowing and being able to take care of himself and the wound being all but healed,---he was at his own earnest request and that of his friends discharged the Hospital as cured.

   If the man died subsequently from the remote effects of the wound as is judged to be the case it must have been in a very great measure if not entirely from gross neglect of himself personally, or of his friends.

   LUON HI YEON sworn states the deceased and I lived in the same house---about 7 days ago I was working in my shop when a Portuguese sailor passing it snatched some Oranges I had for sale, when I asked him for money, and he would not give it, but taking out his knife cut the deceased across the throat when he fell down---some of my people went to Telok Ayer Tannah for assistance when the Constable and Peon came and seized the man and took him to the Tannah and the deceased was conveyed to the Hospital, after being there for some days he came out and appeared nearly well, but was not capable of hard work, and found him dead this morning.

   SEON AH TIM sworn states I was acquainted with the deceased---last night about 12 o'clock I went to bed---on waking this morning at 5 o'clock I opened the shop and not being assisted as usual by the deceased by whom I am employed I went to his bed and found him dead.  About 76 days ago a Portuguese sailor passing the shop snatched some Oranges on the deceased demanding payment for them the sailor drew his knife from his side and cut the throat of the deceased---when he fell I seized the man and some of my friends called the Police from Telok Ayer when they came and took the sailor to the Tannah.  When the deceased left Hospital he did not complain until the night previous to his death when he complained of the wound in his throat.

   Constable CASSIM sworn states on the 20th November 1/8 past 5 P.M. a Chinaman reported at the Tannah at Telok Ayer that one of his friends was stabbed by a Portuguese Sailor---I went with a Jemadar and 2 Peons to the spot immediately and apprehended the Sailor and gave him in custody to the Jemadar and Peons---I took the deceased to the Pauper Hospital as he had a large cut in his throat---the Prisoner was drunk.

   Verdict.  That the deceased came to his death in consequence of a wound inflicted across his throat by JOZE ELINES.



Coroner's Inquest.


ALLISAH---a Kling---Deceased.

Constable CASSIM sworn states, yesterday about 6 P.M. a Kling, whom I do not know, reported to me that the deceased had stabbed himself, and Jemandar SUPRIAH went to the house of the deceased in Teluk Ayer, and saw the deceased with the knife, now produced, in his hand, bloody and saw 2 wounds on the right side of the body (of the deceased) ---the deceased was not dead but expired before reaching the Pauper Hospital.  I had no previous knowledge of the deceased but from enquiries made heard the deceased was ailing for some time.

   SUPRYAH, Jemadar No. 6 sworn states, yesterday about 6 P.M. I heard that a Kling man had stabbed himself.  I went to the house in Teluk Ayer, there I saw the deceased lying out side of the door, had 2 wounds on the right side of his body---the knife now produced I took from the hand of the deceased it was bloody---there was no other person in the house---I did not know the deceased heard he had been sick a long time.

   MAHOMED TOMBY sworn states, the deceased was my father---had been sick 4 months---yesterday I went afloat about 10 A.M. returned about 7 P.M. that day, heard that my father had committed suicide---and that the knife now produce I know to be belonging to my late father.

   VERDICT---Felo de se.



Coroner's Inquest.

Police office,---5th June 1845.

LIM-AH HUEY, deceased.

Lim Teum Chy a Chinese, sworn states, I am a shop-keeper and live at Serangong, I knew the deceased Lim-ah Huey, the deceased lived with me as servant---3 other of my countrymen lived in the same house; that last night about 3 o'clock the deceased cried out "there are robbers," hearing which I told those below, (for I occupy the upper part of the hut,) to get a light, when a light was procured I came down stairs, and saw the deceased, he was dead.  The robbers had fled when light was brought.  I examined the deceased and observed a wound on the right side of the neck, from which a large quantity of blood flowed, I observed no other wound.  The next morning I went and informed the circumstance at the Police station.  I neither know the number or country of the robbers, it was dark.

   Lun Guay Yeong, a Chinese sworn states, I am a servant of Lim Tuam Chay, who keeps a shop at Serangong, the deceased Lim-ah Huey and 3 others lived in the same house with Lim Teum Chy, and corroborates the statements of the former witness.

   Lim-ah Peah, a Chinese sworn states I lived in the same house with Lim Teum Chy, the former witness, Lim Huay Yeong, lived there also, I am servant to Lim Teum Chy, and corroborates the statements of the preceding witness.

   Kannadah, Police Peon, No. 87, sworn states, this morning about 6 o'clock a Chinese came to my station and informed me that one of his companions was murdered, which he saw when he awoke and went down stairs, did not tell me there had been any robbers attacking the hut, nor did he hear any disturbance during the night, but merely said "that when I went down stairs I saw the deceased dead."

   VERDICT---Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.



THE STRAITS TIMES, 26 August 1845 (50)


We understand a Coroner's Inquest is now sitting on view of the body of a Chinese, who was killed in an affray with a lascar.



A Coroner's Inquest was held Sunday and adjourned till Monday, on the body of a Chinaman, who died from the effects of a wound in his head, received from a European sailor some days ago who threw a large stone at him.  After a careful investigation in which it appeared that the sailor was intoxicated and was determined to get into a Buggy which the Chinaman was repairing and which was resisted, upon which the stone was thrown, the Jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter.



The body of a Chinese was found by the Police last week under the New Public Rooms---life was gone.  The Coroner visited the spot and inspected the body, but it appearing that the unfortunate man had died from starvation he did not think it necessary to hold an Inquest.  We think he ought to have done so, as it would have brought the fact of the extreme destitution which prevails amongst many of the lower orders, more prominently before the public, and might have thrown some light upon the causes of this destitution.


An Inquest was held at the Police Office on the 22d instant, on the body of a Javanese---name unknown.  It appeared from the evidence of four Chinese who live near the Bookit Timah road---that the deceased occupied a hut about 70 paces from theirs, but that they were not acquainted with him.---That on the 21st about 3 p.m. they heard a disturbance in deceased's hut---two Malay men were with deceased---one of them was seen to beat him violently with a stick---one of the Chinese calling to his companions to render assistance the Malay ran away, but although sought for by the Chinese could not be found---the Javanese was found lying on the ground,---dead.  Information was then given to the Police at the neighbouring Thannah and the body brought to town.  The body was  examined by Dr. TRAILL, Assistant Residency Surgeon, who found the left side of the face and head much swollen---on making an incision the length and breadth of the swelling it was found to consist of blood extravasated through the cellular tissue, in quantity about from one to two pounds;---Dr. TRAILL considered the injury to have been caused by blows from some blunt instrument so forcible applied as to lacerate the coats of the larger blood vessels, causing the above appearance, and in consequence death.  VERDICT---Wilful murder against the Malay man, name unknown.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 28 October 1845 (3)


A most atrocious murder was committed on the evening of Saturday last on the person of three men and one woman by a party, of Malays in a prow.  One of the bodies, that of a female, was found yesterday morning and a Coroner's jury was convened on view of the body when a verdict of wilful murder was recorded against some person or persons unknown.  From the evidence of Abdul Kang, a youth who was happily saved by jumping overboard and clinging to the fishing Stakes, it would appear that the deceased woman, the witness and three men left Singapore on Saturday evening, on a pleasure trip.  A storm came on and being unable to manage the sails the boat was driven out to Sea, but when the storm abated they managed to get on shore and towed the boat along the beach; after proceeding some distance a prow in which were several Malays [line missing] came close upon the boat and the Malays requested some tobacco which was refused.  They shortly after proceeded along the side of the boat and struck the people in the latter with spears, two of whom were killed, one jumped overboard and has not been since heard of; the woman also jumped into the water.  As the matter is in the course of investigation we forbear giving more particulars at present.


SINCE writing the above we find upon enquiry that the boy's statement before the Coroner, was a hoax.  It appears that last evening the body of the deceased woman was buried as that of the Kling woman alleged to have been murdered, and nearly one thousand natives followed the corpse to the grave.  But, mysteriously enough, whilst the Court's Officers were in the act of sealing up the effects of the supposed murdered people, the whole of them walked into the house alive and well, save one man, whose hand was wounded by a creese [kris].  The woman, on the view of whose body the Coroner's inquest was held yesterday, must be that of some other person, than the evidence received before the Coroner went to establish, and consequently the gentlemen of the jury who patiently enquired into the cause of the death of the deceased will be a second time called upon to discharge the painful duty for which their talents so eminently qualify them.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 4 November 1845 (131)


We last week referred to an inquest on the body of a female which was recognised to be that of the wife of a Kling who with three others were attacked in a boat by some Malays, and with the exception of a boy, were concluded to have been murdered.  The circumstances that followed the inquest, the burial of body, the sealing of the effects and the sudden advent of the whole of the supposed murdered people must be fresh in the memory of our readers.  The re-appearance of the missing cast a veil of mystery over the circumstances of the death of the woman whose body was found in the water, with two severe cuts on the head, completely dividing the parietal bone.  It was clear that a most atrocious murder had been committed, but on whom and by whom the researches of the police failed to discover.

   Truth is often said to be stranger than fiction; the chequered circumstances attendant on the inquest of the body above alluded to go a long way to justify the truthfulness of the remark.  The found body was interred with expressions of deep sympathy for the deceased, the friends of the supposed-dead expending 150 dollars at the interment.  That illusion passed away.

   On the morning after burial a man named Sooboona called upon Mr. Dunman, the magistrate, and stated that having heard that the body of a female was found which had been in the water about six days, the news caused him much apprehension on account of sister, the wife of a Nakoda residing at Pooloo Bouton who had been missing for 5 or 6 days, and, from their frequent quarrels and sudden disappearance, it was feared that unfair means had been employed to rid him of his termagant wife.  Sooboona stated that he could identify the body of his sister from certain unequivocal appearances, as broad teeth, partially black; long hair; scars of scalds on the arm, and from the peculiarity of one hand being smaller than the other.  The Magistrate, Sooboona, and some of the Police force proceeded to the Mahommedan burial ground, and the body was disinterred.  To the surprise and horror of all present, the body presented all the identical criteria which the man had previously intimated.  A clue was now found to the atrocity which had awakened such alarm in the settlement.  It was clear that the Nakoda had murdered his wife, and the Police, accompanied by Sooboona immediately proceeded to Pooloo Bouton to arrest the murderer.

   On arrival at Pooloo Bouton the Police proceeded to the house pointed out by Sooboona as the residence of his murdered sister.  On knocking at the door it was unsuspectingly, opened by the Nakoda---the alleged murderer.---The magistrate announced the object of his visit and the painful duty he had to perform in arresting him as the author of an awful crime, the murder of his --- --- ---Ere the Magistrate had time to conclude the sentence, the supposed murdered wife entered the room! Sooboona stood aghast---his sister appeared before them uninjured.  The criteria were found to be as identical in the instance of the living as they were in that of the dead; broad teeth, partially black; long hair; scars of Scalds on the arm; one hand smaller than the other---all the means of identity and verification were satisfactorily apparent.  So clearly were the criteria established in the living and the dead woman, that had the former from some cause been missing, apparently very satisfactory evidence would have been submitted to a jury, sufficient in weight and importance to lead to a conviction, and one really innocent would suffer as a malefactor.  The opportune discovery was followed by joyous greetings.

   The Police, finding all their endeavours to trace any clue to the real murder fruitless, returned to Singapore.  On the following day (Wednesday last) a second inquest was held on the body above mentioned, when Cuttay Saw, the woman respecting whom the former jury recorded a verdict of having been murdered by some person or person s unknown, appeared before the Coroner.  The former verdict was cancelled, and, as no evidence was adduced relative to the name, occupation or residence of the deceased, or by whom the cuts on the head were inflicted, the jury returned a verdict of "wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."



SUDDEN DEATH.---Yesterday morning at 5 o'clock the police found the body of an old Malay near the Sepoy lines dead.  The man was a seller of jack leaves---and while he rested with his load there and was in the act of eating Sugar-cane he fell down and died immediately.

   On Saturday last a Coroner's Inquest was held on the body of a Chinaman, said to have hanged himself in a house situated near the Hindoo Temple.  From the only evidence, the Constable of the district, it appears that the Peon stationed there, observed a number of Chinamen speaking together at 7 or 8 o'clock on the evening of Friday.  On enquiring what was the news, he could not get any answer till a Chinese was was passing, after also enquiring, told him that a Chinaman named Lee Ee had hanged himself.  The Peon ran for the Constable, who immediately repaired to the spot with some Peons; but in the mean time the inhabitants of the house had fled hastily removing all their valuables. When the Constable entered the house, he found above a Buffalo stall the body of a Chinaman lying on some planks, having on his neck strong marks of hanging or strangulation; with burning candles placed round his head.  All the doors in the neighbourhood were closed.  The few persons who appeared at the Inquest all stated that the deceased was a poor man having a Buffalo and a Water-cart but could give no account how he came by his death.  During the Inquest some friends of the deceased brought a fine coffin, but none of them could tell any thing concerning his death.  The Landlord Chea-Lew, his servants, and the servant of the deceased were not to be found.

   VERDICT---Found Dead---Supposed by hanging or strangulation against some persons unknown.

   On Monday the servant of Chea-Lew and the servant of the deceased were apprehended; it is to be hoped that Chea-Lew will also be found, and that this mysterious affair will be probed to the bottom.



Two Coroner's Inquests were held on Saturday last, the first on the body of a Bugese named Wah Bah Tungdin.  From the evidence of the only witness it appears that the deceased who lived at St. John's Island, requested two debtor slaves of his, La Pulong and La-Pah Endey, to assist him in putting his Sampan into the water, which they refused to do, abusing him, and finally attacking him with their parangs.  They then came to the house in which the witness then was, he being a guest of Tungdin, and also attacked him with their parangs, wounding him severely on various parts of the body.  The witness stated that he did not know any cause for their conduct.  It appears that they afterwards burnt the hut, as on a Constable going to the Island the next day he found it a heap of ashes.  The Police did not succeed in capturing the murderers on Friday as they could not meet them; but on Saturday when they returned they saw them lurking in the jungle.  On the alarm being given they ran over the hill where they were met by another party of peons who on seeing them armed with spears fired and Lah-Enday fell.  The Constable then summoned Lah-Pulong to surrender, but he advanced in a threatening manner, holding his spear ready to throw at the Constable, on which the latter considering his life in danger fired his fowling piece, and Pulong fell down dead.  The two bodies were brought to Singapore and an Inquest held on them the same evening.

   In the first case there was a verdict of Wilful Murder against Lah-Pulong and Lah-Enday, and in the second case of Justifiable Homicide.---Ibid.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 18 March 1846 (2)


On Monday last the town was again thrown into a state of excitement in consequence of a reported disturbance made by the Chinese.  It appears that a Chinese went on board of a Junk for the purpose of trading and had a small sum about his person which excited the desire of three fishermen to obtain.  The men kidnapped the Chinese and the brother of the latter gave information to the Police of the circumstance.  Warrants were issued for the apprehension of the three Chinese fishermen who were at Campong Glam.  A party of the Police under Constable Alladice accompanied by the brother of the kidnapped man proceeded to Campong Glam and secured the persons of the three men above-mentioned.  The Chinese assembled in vast numbers, rescued two of the prisoners and shot the informer.  Upon this the Police fired on the mob, wounding about 12 of their number and succeeded in placing the third prisoner in safe custody.  The Chinese informer died of his wounds yesterday morning.  A Coroner's inquest will sit to inquire into this shocking murder, pending its decision we remain silent.  A reward has, we hear, been offered for the apprehension of the murderer.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 21 March 1846 (2)



A Coroner's inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on Tuesday, the 17th instant, on view of the body of a Chinese, name unknown, who was atrociously murdered at Campong Glam while assisting the Police in the apprehension of men charged with kidnapping.

   Dr. TRAILL, Assistant Residency Surgeon, stated that he saw the man brought to the Hospital on the previous day; he had been shot in the back, to the left of the Spine; the ball had penetrated the cavity of the chest between the lower ribs and could be felt under the skin on the right side of the abdomen, from whence he, Dr. TRAILL, extracted it.  The first wound had pierced the lower lobe of the left lung.  The deceased expired at 9 p.m. on the day of his admission into the Hospital.

   JAMES ALLADICE, having been sworn, stated that on the afternoon of the previous day, between 2 and 3 o'clock he was sent by Captain CUPPAGE, Superintendent of Police, to go to Campong Glam in company with the deceased (whose name witness did not know) to apprehend several men (Chinese) whom the deceased would point out to him.  Witness and the deceased went to Campong Glam, where deceased pointed out a house which the Police entered.  The deceased pointed out 4 Chinese, out of a number of others in the house, three of whom were apprehended.  On conveying them to the Thannah, two of them were rescued by their friends.  A scuffle ensued which forced the Police to retreat to reinforce their number; during the retreat the deceased received a shot wound from one of the houses; deceased fell and was removed to the Pauper Hospital.  The deceased was the person wounded.  This was all the evidence submitted and the Jury returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown, connected in the late disturbance at Beach road, Campong Glam.  The verdict was Signed by three Chinese and three Klings; six Klings affixed their marks.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 1 April 1846 (3)

A Coroner's inquest was held yesterday morning at the Union Hotel on view of the body of Samuel Bentham Esq. who destroyed himself by discharging the contents of a gun which passed through his head and killed him instanter.  From the evidence and enquiries it appeared that Mr. Bentham was formerly engaged at East Point, Hong Kong, as a Storekeeper and that he was some time before in the employ of Jardine Matheson & Co. as a second Mate in one of their vessels.  Whilst at Hong Kong he became a partner of the Brig "Ariel" but disposed of his share when pressed by his creditors.  At the end of November last the deceased left China somewhat prematurely and arrived at Singapore in the "Favorite."  He proceeded from this to Arracan in the "James Boorman" and returned here on the 22nd March.  The deceased was attended by Doctor Little in consequence of labouring under nervous irritation; on the day of his sad act, he was in unusual good spirits until he received news by a recent arrival from China that his creditors were disposed to press him for payment; this circumstance would appear to have preyed upon his mind.  He however retired to rest at ½ past 9 p.m. on Monday and shortly after the report of fire arms was heard in the house; assistance was immediately rendered, but deceased was a  corpse; the balls of both barrels of a rifle having passed from the mouth through the head.  The deceased had previously secured his door; he leant against the wall---with the left hand he pulled simultaneously the triggers of both barrels.---The jury returned a verdict of temporary insanity.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 18 April 1846 (2)

CORONER'S INQUESTS.---An inquest was held yesterday on view of the body of the light recently erected at the Government Hill flagstaff. From the evidence of an eye witness it appeared that deceased, who was for several hours much dejected in countenance and was struggling hard with the adversary of life, expired a few minutes after 3 A.M. yesterday.  The evidence of the surgeon on a post mortem examination of the body was to the effect that deceased died from positive inanition.---Verdict, natural death arising from starvation.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 29 July 1846 (2)

CORONER'S INQUEST---MURDER.---On Monday last an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital, on view of the body of a Bugis woman, named SE BUNGAH.  From the evidence it appeared that, deceased with her husband, to whom she had been married 7 years, lived on Mr. GEORGE'S plantation and were employed there.  On Saturday last a Malay man named PASSANGvisited deceased's house; he complained of being hungry and the husband of the deceased gave him something to eat.  PASSANG was in the habit of carrying a parang, this however did not excite any suspicion; shortly after PASSANG put out the light and attacked his entertainers; the deceased was severely wounded on the head.  She was conveyed first to the Police and then to the Hospital; deceased expired on Sunday afternoon.  At the time the attack was made assistance was loudly called for without avail.  PASSANG made his escape.  Nothing transpired at the inquest to account for the attack made upon the deceased.---Verdict, "wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."


THE STRAITS TIMES, 19 September 1846 (2)


ANNEXED is the evidence of Mr. KRAAL, given before the Coroner at an inquest held on the bodies of the men referred to.  Nothing more was elicited at the inquest on Wednesday last.

   HENRY KRAAL stated that he was in charge of the E.I. Company's Gun-boat Charlotte; that on Thursday the 10th September, he received orders from the Resident Councillor to go and Cruize towards Siskat, as the chief of that place had given information that he found a prow with three dead mean (Malays) in her drifting along his shore.  Witness went and arrived there at Siskat on Friday the 11th instant, about 3 P.M. saw the prow and three dead men, one of them had several wounds on the breast and the other two were in such a state of decomposition that it was impossible to approach near them.  Took the boat in tow in company with the Gun-boat Francis and anchored in Singapore roads on Tuesday the 15th instant, and reported the details to the authorities.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 23 September 1846 (5)

CORONER'S INQUESTS.---Running a Muck.

On Thursday last an inquest was held at the Police Office on view of the bodies of two Bugis men, named RUNGA and LYCHO, formerly resident on the island Pulo Sakedjo.  The first named deceased had run a muck, in which state he wounded two persons, one of whom, LYCHO, died! the other is now the Native Hospital, and is doing well.  From the evidence of a Bugis named LA-BEN it appeared that, witness was acquainted with RUNGA; had seen him on the morning of that day (Sept. 17) at Pulo Sakedjo, where RUNGA was employed in building a house for witness---SE KATY (the wounded man now in Hospital) was in the house of SE SAMPA, about 120 yards distant---suddenly RUNGA quitted his work and made a rush into the house where he stabbed SE KATY with a kris.  RUNGA had a kris in each hand---Witness demanded of RUNGA what was he going to do; without offering any reply he stabbed LYCHO on the left side, whereupon the latter struck RUNGA across the forehead---both fell to the ground and expired---Verdict: Wilful murder against RUNGA and justifiable homicide on the part of LYCHO.

   On Saturday last, an Inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital, on view of the body of ISREE PERSAUD, a Hindoo convict employed as a water-carrier.  From the statement of a convict peon appeared that deceased was found dead on his bed; he had been in the habit of smoking Gunga (Indian hemp) whenever he could get it, but had not complained of sickness.  The body exhibited no marks of violence.---Verdict: died by the visitation of God.




(From the Pinang Gazette, October 24.)

We have been put in possession of the following particulars regarding the murder of a Chinaman and the wounding of several other persons which took place in Beach Street on the night of Friday week, alluded to in our last n umber.  It was a regular case of running a muck, but what was the cause of, and how it originated, could not be traced at the Coroner's Inquest which assembled on then next day, as no person would come forward to give information on these points, although a great deal was reported on the subject immediately before and after the termination of the enquiry.  The perpetrator of these dreadful atrocities was a Malay man named Lebby Mahomed, by whose account it appears that he was not more than six weeks on the Island, and consequently a stranger, without any fixed abode, and lived entirely by teaching the doctrines if Islamism and on charity.

   The first witness produced was a Kling, who deposed that as he was going to the bazaar at about 8 o'clock on Friday night, he discovered a Chinaman (the deceased Chow Akeow) lying in Beach Street wounded, calling out for help, on which he became alarmed and immediately returned home, reporting the circumstance to the peon at the nearest Police thanna.  The next witness called was a Chinese trader living in his own prahu, who stated that he came on shore on Friday night to see a China play at the Fish market, on his way to which he heard a sudden noise a short distance behind him, and on turning round to see what was the matter, he deceived a cut on his left cheek from a person wearing a white baju and a pair of white trousers, whose features he was unable to distinguish from then darkness of the night, and who passed him running along the street.---A Chinese blacksmith who was next examined declared, that as he was returning from the China play and just as he had almost reached his shop, he was suddenly wounded on the right side of the head by a person, apparently a Malay man, dressed as above mentioned, who fled towards the Fish market.  The evidence of a Chinese goldsmith was almost to the same effect as that of the preceding witness so far as to the manner of his being attacked.  He stated that he had just quitted his shop, and was only about three of four yards from it on his way to the China play, when he was overtaken by a Mala man in the dress described, and wounded on the back of the head close to the left ear.---He immediately retreated to his shop, had his wound dressed and while lying down, the deceased. Chew Akeow, staggered in bleeding very much from a large wound on the left side of the neck.---Medicines were instantly procured from a Chinese apothecary and every attention afforded to him, but he died at 8 o'clock on the following morning.  The deceased was a carpenter and a friend of the goldsmith, with whom he had passed the earlier part of the evening and quitted the shop to see the China play some time before the latter left it to go there himself.

   The police peon who assisted in apprehending the prisoner Lebby Mahomed deposed, that on hearing an uproar in the direction of Saree Joonjong lane, he left his thanna, desiring his fellow peon, named Sarmat Khan, to close it and follow him immediately.  As he proceeded along, he met a crowd assembled opposite to a Livery stable and learned that a Malay man, wearing a white baju and trowsers had wounded several persons, and was then escaping in the direction of the Fish market, on which he quickened his pace and soon came up with the object of his pursuit, when he was found struggling in the grasp of Sarmat Khan, who warned witness to be cautious, as he (Sarmat Khan) had been severely wounded by the prisoner.  The witness however, seized him by the neck, and with the assistance of a Chinaman who fortunately observed them and hastened to the spot from an opposite shop, they succeeded in effectually overpowering the prisoner, on which he threw away his weapon (a golok or cleaver) and was afterwards secured and conveyed to the police, while three other wounded Chinamen and Sarmat Khan were dispatched to the hospital for medical treatment.  It is impossible to say what further bloodshed the prisoner might have committed had he been armed with the favorite instrument of the Malays---the Kris !  The Jury after some consultation returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Lebby Mahomed.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 25 November 1846 (2)


On Saturday last an inquest was held at Telukayer Thannah, on view of the body of a Chinese, name unknown who had destroyed himself at an early hour of the morning.

   ALFRED SIMONIDES, Constable, after being sworn stated, at 2 o'clock that morning Police Peon HOOSSIN MEEAH, No. 100, brought the deceased to the Thannah charged with having committed robbery, in stealing a Box, now at the Thannah (produced, locked.) The owner of the property was present.---the witness, ordered the prisoner to be locked up---Peon ASSAN No. 3 examined his person, on which was nothing found (save his clothes) at 4 witness went out on duty.---It was then reported to witness "all is well," Jemadar SAPTU told witness the deceased asked for water at 3 a.m. which was given him.  VENGADASAMY, the Peon on duty reported to witness that the prisoner (deceased) had hung himself.---Witness immediately opened the door; saw the deceased hanging by the neck from the iron grating of the cell with the string commonly used for tying Trowsers.---The body was quite cold.---witness reported the circumstance to the Coroner, who ordered the body to be cut down.

   HOOSSIN MEEAH Police Peon No. 103 stated that on the previous night about two o'clock he was on duty at charen street; heard a cry of "Thief" from one of the houses; witness then entered and saw the box (now produced) outside the door of the room.---The deceased was behind; the owner of the house pointed to the deceased as being the thief; apprehended him and brought him to the Thannah at Teluk Ayer.  Witness examined the prisoner and found nothing about his person; saw 2 keys attached to the cloth which his trousers were tied with.

   SAPTU Police Jemadar No. 7 stated that on the previous evening at 7 o'clock went his rounds and returned about 1 in the morning; asked Hoosssin what news he replied "all well"  witness asked if any person had been taken up replied "no;" witness went to sleep.  An hour afterwards witness was called by the Peon on duty, HOOSSIN, who stated that HOOSSIN MEEAH the former witness had apprehended a thief, who had stolen a box from a house in church street; from the back part; witness desired HOOSSIN to report the circumstances to Constable SIMONIDES who ordered the prisoner to be locked up; witness told HOOSSIN to see the prisoner in the course of an hour or two, and give the same directions to who ever relieved him, after which witness went away; this morning at 3 the deceased asked for water which was given him; witness asked Duffadar if all was right, he replied "yes" witness went to sleep and heard this morning that the deceased had hung himself.

   HASSAN Police Peon No. 3 stated, that on the former evening, about 6, he was on duty at Teluk Ayer Thannah; at 2 this morning HOOSSIN MEEAH brought the deceased to the Thannah on the charge of theft, the deceased brought a box (here produced) said to be stolen; witness woke the Jemadar SAPTU, and reported the circumstance to him, he desired witness to mention it to Constable SIMONIDES which witness did, and was ordered to lock up the prisoner; witness told the Jemadar of it and afterwards examined the person of the prisoner who was then locked up.  About half past 2 a.m. witness was relieved by another peon; this morning heard the deceased had hung himself.

   ONG KIN, a Chinese stated that he was a Taylor and lived in Church Street; did not know the deceased; the box now produced belonged to witness; last night between 12 & 1 o'clock a thief entered the house of witness, whereupon witness gave alarm; some peons entered and apprehended a Chinese (the deceased.)  Witness does not know by what means the deceased came by his death.---VERDICT Felo de se.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 29 January 1848 (3)

   It is our painful duty to record the occurrence of no less than four murders, committed within the precincts of the Settlement of Singapore during the last seven days.  It is moreover an additional subject of regret that in each case the crime was perpetrated by Malays, accompanied by robbery, so foreign to the Malayan character, that the subject demands an enquiry.  It is clear that crime is sadly on the increase amongst the class which has heretofore been in a measure free from the stain of murder for the sake of plunder.  At the present time and pending investigation at the police office we do not feel at liberty to offer any comments on the individual cases which it is our melancholy duty to publish to-day; we may, however, recur to the subject when the cases have been disposed of by the Criminal Court.

   In addition to the information supplied by the evidence before the Coroner's Inquests, some particulars have transpired which we ought not to hesitate in publishing, not for the purpose of gratifying the vitiated taste that eagerly reads details of revolting crimes, but to act as a precaution against repetitions of the like offence.

   The first case, that of Lantie, originated we understand in a duel, coolly and by previous arrangement undertaken by the deceased Lantie and Solong;---which was the challenger we know not.  A Malayan girl was the ground of dispute.  The duel came off on Saturday last, at Pulo Tukong Besar, an island just within the Jurisdiction of the Court of Judicature.  Our informant states that the deceased, who was most skilful in handling his Kris, had inflicted five Kris-wounds on his antagonist without getting so much as a scratch: on observing that Lantie had so much the advantage of Solong, Awang, (Solong's brother) inflicted a wound in Lantie's back, and that then Solong stabbed Lantie in the Abdomen.  Oosoof, the brother of Lantie, states that about 6 P.M. on the 22nd he heard his brother call out to him and on proceeding to the spot, Lantie said "Oosoof! I have been stabbed" and further stated that Solong and his brother Awang had stabbed him.  Lantie was brought into Singapore and we believe died in the Pauper Hospital; owing to some cause, unexplained, the dying deposition of Lantie does not appear to have been taken.  The statement of Solong is to the effect that he met Lantie armed and about to attack him, and that he, Solong, endeavoured to wrest the weapon from Lantie, in doing which Lantie got wounded in the scuffle.  Solong is now in the Hospital, lying in a precarious state---his brother Awang is in custody, and the Coroner's warrants have been issued for their committal on a charge of murder.

   The second inquest refers to a case of Piracy and murder and exhibits the crying necessity for the adoption of a floating police.

   The double murder at Tanna Merah Ketchi was of a most revolting character.  The two Malay murderers sought the hospitality of Senim, the husband of one of the murdered and the friend of the other.  Under pretence of a fruitless attempt to trace and secure the persons of two men named Yacoob and Cassim, alleged to have absconded from Teluk Blangah with 100 dollars belonging to His Highness the Tomongong, the murderers proceeded to Senim's house, desired a night's lodging which was given, and then the villains availing themselves of the kind hospitality of Senim, attempted to murder their host and actually accomplished the death of his wife and friend.  We further learn that after stabbing Senim, one of the Malays jumped upon his body which occasioned him to fall through the flooring---probably his wife, who also fell through, was similarly treated.  All the property in the house (which was removed) amounted to about eight dollars cash and about 10 dollars worth of jewels.  Unhappily no trace has yet been found of the perpetrators of the deed, but surely an imperative necessity exists for the establishment of a rural Police.


On Tuesday the 25th January an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on view of the body of LANTIE, a Malay man, and TAY-YOW-YUP a Chinese.

   OSOOF, a Malay being sworn stated: ---I live at Pulo Tokun Besar and knew the deceased LANTIE who was my brother.  On the evening of the 22nd inst. at 6 o'clock I heard LANTIE calling me.  I came down from my house and saw LANTIE, my brother, lying on the ground; he was not dead; I took him into the house and gave him medicine; my brother (deceased) told me Solong and Awang had stabbed him; he did not mention any cause. One stab was in the abdomen and two wounds were in the back.  Solong is confined in the Pauper Hospital with several wounds and Awang is in the hands of the police.

   Dr. TRAILL stated that on examining the body of the deceased LANTIE, he found two incised wounds on the back, but the principal wound was in the abdomen penetrating into the small intestines, causing inflammation of the intestinal coats which caused death---the latter wound in Dr. TRAILL'S opinion, was caused by a sharp pointed instrument.

   A verdict was returned of "Wilful murder against Solong and Awang."


THE STRAITS TIMES, 2 February 1848 (3)


On Saturday last an inquest was held at the Police office Singapore on view of the body of DOLAH, a Malay man, who was found murdered on the Public road at Tanjong Katong.

   OONDOH-MANY---a Kling, being sworn stated,---I live at Tanjong Katong and am employed as a labourer on ARNAPILLAY'S plantation there; do not know the deceased DOLAH.  This morning, about 8 o'clock, I was coming to Singapore from Tanjong Katong.  On my way I observed marks of blood; on looking round I saw deceased lying dead on the ground at a short distance from where I was walking; did not go near the body but continued my progress; on arriving at the first house, the residence of one Nona GALLING, I informed her of the circumstance.  Nona GALING'S house is situate about 30-fathoms distant from where the body was lying.  In company with 2 others, one Arragapon and a Malay man I did not know, I gave information at the Police Tannah at Campong Glam,---a peon, the Mandar and a Malay man brought the body to the Police office.

   Mandar Arragapon gave evidence to the following effect---I am Mandar of one Rampooka, formerly a Police Jemadar, who has a plantation at Tanjong Katong.  At about 8 o'clock that morning was informed by the first witness of the death of the deceased, and in company with him and a Malay man carried the corpse to the Police Tannah.

   Limpey, a Malay, stated that he lived at Galang, was occasionally employed as a cooly by one Simpin, a female residing at Galang; did not know the deceased.  This day whilst sitting at the Fammer's Opium shop, a Chinese whom I do not know coming from Siglap, said to one of his companions, "there is a dead man lying on the Tanjong Katong road."  I left the Opium shop and went to one Bletong's house where I heard a Police peon was stationed to observe whether any Gambling was carried on; to the peon I gave information of a person being killed.  We went to the place and saw the deceased had two wounds on the back, and one on the left shoulder.  We covered the deceased with a Cadjan and Cocoa nut branches, and assisted by two Chinese the body was brought into Singapore.

   Dr. Traill, the Coroner's Surgeon, stated that he had examined the body of Dolah, a Malay; there was a ragged cut over the left shoulder, also a cut about three inches long on the back; death appeared to have been caused by a deep wound to the left of the lower dorsal vertebrae, extending in a slanting direction so as to penetrate the lung; some cutting or stabbing instrument must have been used.

   Verdict---"Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."


THE STRAITS TIMES, 27 February 1848 (3)



On Sunday last, Feb. 13th an inquest was held at the Police office on view of the body of a Chinese named Seon Fowa-Chu.

   Seow-Sing-Who, stated.  I live at Eo-Su-Kong and have a Gambier plantation there on which I have resided about 6 years.  The deceased was my son and lived with me in the same Bangshall; no other person resided there.  On the 12th instant, at about noon a Chinese whom I k now, named Tan-ah-Cheoh came to my Bangshall and ate some rice; shortly after he remarked "There is a Chinaman who has a plantation and wishes to sell it; come, bring some dollars and let us go and see it."  I gave the deceased dollars 20. Deceased and Tan-ah-Cheoh left me to go and see the plantation; this was about 10 o'clock in the afternoon.  Shortly after leaving and when distant about 300 feet I heard my son scream and call for assistance.  I ran in that direction, and saw the deceased lying on the ground, bleeding profusely from several wounds about the body, from one of which the bowels protruded.  He was not then dead, but could not speak; he died in about two hours.  Tan-ah-Cheoh was running away from the deceased, having a chinese knife in his hand, being the same that he had when eating in my Bankshall.  Chinese planters generally have with them a knife of the kind mentioned.  The Drs. 20 which I gave the deceased were not on his person when I went to his assistance.

   Tan-ah-Ho, stated: L live in Eo-su-Kang, and am employed by former witness on his plantation; knew the deceased; observed Tan-ah-Cheoh at the Bankshall and saw former witness give his son drs. 20.  The deceased and Tan-ah-Cheoh left the Bankshall in company but I did not observe where they went to.  I proceeded to my work; heard former witness call me and went to him; saw the deceased lying on the ground; there was quantity of blood on the ground; deceased was not then dead; witness assisted in removing deceased to the Bankshall, where he shortly expired.

   Dr. Traill stated that the body presented three principal wounds any one of which would cause death.

   Verdict---Wilful murder against Tan-ah-Cheoh.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 27 March 1848 (2)



On Wednesday last, an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on view of the body of a Javanese woman, named Kam Seah.

   Mr. Simonides, off. D.S.P. stated that the deceased appeared to him to possess exactly the same feature as those of a woman named Kam Seah, who about 2 months ago was committed for trial charged with stabbing her husband.  Witness apprehended the deceased; 4 or 5 days subsequently she was at large on bail.

   Passina, a Javanese, stated that the deceased Kam Seah, was his wife and resided at Campong Java.  Witness' Son, Syman, also lived with them but in the lower part of the house.  The deceased and witness occupied the upper part of the house.  About 5 a.m. on the 1st March, deceased complained of pains in her stomach.  We had both taken supper the previous night off the same plate, at about 7 o'clock in the evening.  The deceased prepared the food herself.  No one had visited the house, on the night preceding her death.

   Dr. Traill stated on examining the body of the deceased, the stomach was found to be much inflamed, and contained many grains of a reddish powder suspended in the mucuous secretion of the stomach; the powder on examination proved to be the red Arsenic of the Bazar.  The poison certainly caused death.

   Verdict---"That the deceased died of poison administered by some person unknown."


THE STRAITS TIMES, 27 May 1848 (2)


On the 9th instant an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on view of the body of a Chinese, name Unknown, who was one of the convicts escaped from the "General Wood" to Pulo Obi, and brought here by the H. C. Steamer Phlegethon.

   From a note addressed to the Coroner by Mr. Simson, first officer of the Phlegethon, it appeared that deceased was landed on the 8th inst in a sickly state; that while in confinement below, he suspended himself by the neck to one of the beams until life was almost extinct on the evening of the Friday previous; he was subsequently taken ill and died shortly after arrival at the Hospital.

   Dr. Traill stated that on examining the body he found bruises on the ancles and the head; on removing the skull a quantity of blood (above an ounce) was found effused, there were also marks indicating previous inflammation.  Dr. Traill was of opinion that death had been caused either by a violent blow on the head with some blunt weapon, or from the effects of a fall.

   Verdict---"The deceased died of a bruise and a violent blow on the head inflicted by himself when a prisoner on board the H. C. Steamer Phlegethon---Felo de see."

ANOTHER INQUEST---MURDER---On Thursday, the 18th instant, an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on view of the body of a Chinese, named Le-Sing-tal.

   See-ah-Chong, a Chinese stated that he was a tailor.  The deceased was a brickmaker and lived at Rochor; he had seen the deceased on the evening of the 16th on occasion of witness carrying to the deceased a letter which witness desired to be sent to China, when the deceased complained that Boey-ah-Cheong had beaten him with a stick and with his fist on the back of the head, that he had afterwards kicked him.  On hearing this statement witness ran into Singapore, and informed his Master; after which witness, with four other persons, returned to the house where deceased was hanging by his neck by a Chinese bathing cloth secured to one of the beams of the roof.  Deceased was quite dead and stiff: after cutting down the body, witness observed a wound on the head, also bruises on the body; the parties who accompanied witness gave information to the Police.  Witness identified one Boey-ah-Cheong, whom he had seen striking deceased frequently with a stick; another person was also seen striking the deceased whose name witness did not know.

   George Luckett, P.C. stated that having received information at noon the previous day of a Chinese having been killed at Rochor, witness proceeded to the spot and saw the deceased; blood was issuing from a wound on the back of the head; there was a quantity of blood on the back of the deceased; some matter was issuing from the nose.  Constable Luckett subsequently accompanied the former witness to the house of Boey-ah-Cheang where the latter was pointed out; enquiries were then made about another Chinese who had assaulted the deceased and the constable was informed he had run away.  The body of deceased was sent to the Hospital, and Boey-ah-Cheang was taken into custody.

   Dr. Traill stated that on examining the body of the deceased he observed a purple mark as of a rope or handkerchief on the fore part of the neck; the face was purple and there were marks of blows on the back and legs; other injuries were observed on the head and lungs.  Dr. Traill was of opinion that deceased died of suffocation and apoplexy caused by strangulation.

   Verdict---"Wilful murder against Boey-ah-Cheang and another Chinese, name unknown."


THE STRAITS TIMES, 31 May 1848 (3)



On Saturday last, May 28th an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on view of the bodies of Wun Quah, Ah Qurr, and Teoh-ah-He.

   Kho-ah-Chay, a Chinese, stated that he lived at Soonghey Tingy and was a pukat man; knew the deceased Teoh-ah-He, and had seen him alive 5 days previously, witness being at the time in the same boat with the deceased above named; their boat contained gambier and black pepper which after being disposed of at Singapore the boat was loaded with rice and was returning to Soonghey Tingy: after entering Soonghey Ketchi, they were met by six sampans manned by about 30 Malays; the latter commenced an attack with spears.  In the boat of witness, twenty five persons were wounded two of whim died in the boat, the others made their escape into the jungle; the boast was plundered of every thing and then destroyed.

   Ke-ah-Teng-Wan stated that he also was in the boat at the time of the attack; he knew the deceased Teoh-ah-He; witness identified one of the Malays present, named Hoossan, as having had a nebong spear in his hand at the time of the attack and as having wounded witness therewith on the left shoulder and right calf of the leg.

   Mr. Simonides stated that he had apprehended three Malays (present.)  One of them, named Hoossan, was charged by three Chinese with having taken part in a piratical attack which happened at Soonghey Tinghy and in which the deceased Chinese met their deaths.  The other two Malays were apprehended at their residences at Soonghy Ayer Bajoo; in their possession was found 4 mat bags (produced) with spear marks and marked with the name of Teoh (the name of the river where the attack took place.)

   The first witness recalled and in answer to questions by the jury stated that he recognised one of the mats marked by the shopman who sold the rice it contained.  The rice had been purchased in Singapore.

   Low-ah-Su, stated that he was a planter and lived at Soonghey Tingy; knew the deceased and was in the boat at the time of the attack.  Two were killed.  Witness was wounded in the right and left arm by a spear and fled into the jungle.  Witness recognizes three Malays present, named Hoosan, Dolah and Poolon; Hoosan at the time of attack was throwing spears.  After escaping into the jungle witness walked to his Bankshall and gave the information of what had happened.

   Gwan-Hah stated that he was a shopkeeper and lived on Boat Quay, Singapore; he recognised one of the bags, the mark on it was made by the writer of witness, and the bag contained rice when it left the shop.

   Dr. Traill, the Coroner's surgeon, stated that the bodies of Wun Quah and Ah-Qurr were so much disfigured and mutilated by myriads of maggots that it was impossible to determine the cause of death.  The body of Teoh-ah-He presented a wound in the loins, apparently, caused by a spear, piercing the abdominal cavity and causing violent inflammation of the peritonial lining of the small intestines, thereby producing death.

   Verdict---"Wilful murder against Hoosan and other persons unknown."


On Sun day last May 28th an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on view of the body of Chew-Thung-Heng a Chinese.

   Heag-teng-Wang who appeared at the inquest on the former day repeated what he then stated.  Wiriness knew the deceased who was one of his companions at the time of the attack at Soonghey Tingy.

   Mr. Simonides stated that he conveyed to the Pauper Hospital from Soonghey Tingy, nineteen wounded Chinese; witness also brought two dead bodies.  The deceased was one of the wounded.

   Dr. Trail stated that on examining the body he observed a wound across the small of the back, penetrating the abdominal cavity and causing death.  The wound was two inches long and may probably have been caused by a spear.

   Verdict---"Wilful murder against Hoosan and other persons unknown."


THE STRAITS TIMES, 21 June 1848 (2)



On Monday last, an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital to enquire into the circumstances of the death of Tan Soon-Hee, a Chinese, who was most barbarously murdered at Bukit Timah.

   Tan-Gin-Hua stated that he lived at Bukit Timah and knew the deceased Tan-Soon-Hee who lived in the same house as witness.  Was a vendor of medicines.  On the night of the 17th, at about 12 o'clock, witness and the deceased went to sleep; heard deceased calling out Teo-Tee-Bo is killing a person; did not hear the name mentioned.  It was dark; witness got up and procured a light; on opening the door witness was struck by Teo-tee-Boh who cut witness on the hand with a knife (the knife produced is recognised by witness.) Witness then ran and came in contact with Teo-tee-Boh, when several of witness' companions came to his assistance; seeing Teo-Tee-Boh with a knife in his hand we were afraid to approach him until we procured sticks of wood; we then knocked Teo-Tee-Boh down, took away the knife and conveyed him then the Buffalo Village Tannah.

   Tan Abboy stated that he also lives with deceased and saw Sim-Sin and Teo-Tee-Boh and others murdering the deceased.  Sim-Sin and Teo Tee-Boh were armed with knives and the other men with sticks.  There was a money dispute existing between the deceased and Teo-Tee-Boh.  Saw Teo-Tee-Boh strike the deceased several times with a knife.  Teo Tee Boh is produced and recognized by witness as the man who struck the deceased.

   Tua-Mull, another partner with the deceased, corroborated the evidence of the preceding witness.

   Mr. Munwick, police Constable, stated that at half past on 7 the morning of the previous day a murder was reported to him; witness went to Bukit Timah and saw the body of deceased lying outside a hut.  Within the hut there was much blood on the floor and sides.  The knife now produced was found within the hut.  The prisoner Teo-Tee-Boh and the body of the deceased were conveyed to the Pauper Hospital.

   Dr. Traill on examining the body stated that there were nine severe wounds on the head and upper part of the trunk of the deceased; also two wounds on the right side of the forehead and a third behind the right temple cut through the skull into the brain; any one of the latter wounds would cause death, the others though serious might not have proved fatal.  A heavy knife or some such instrument may have been used to inflict the wounds.

   Verdict---Wilful murder against Teo-Tee-Boh, Teo-Sim-Sin and others to the jurors unknown."


THE STRAITS TIMES, 22 July 1848 (2)

On Monday last information was given to the police that the body of a Chinese had been found at Soongie Jurong, some miles in the jungle at the back part of the Island.  The very suspicious and incoherent manner in which the circumstances were stated by the Towkay, who gave the information, induced the police to take him under their surveillance; when some Chinese stated that the deceased man had met a violent end, and had not died from natural causes as stated by the Towkay.  Upon this information, the Chinese above noticed were sent to bring in the body for the Coroner's examination; but they returned, affirming that possession of the corpse was resisted; upon which a police party consisting of a Constable and 12 peons were despatched to the spot, and the body was brought into Singapore.  Dr. Traill, on examining the body, stated that it was in such a state of decomposition that the cause of death could not be ascertained; there was a rough cord round the loins, under the clothes, and similar cords round the ancles where the skin was abraded, but whether by ants or friction Dr. Traill was unable to make out.  The deceased's name was Lim-ah-Kong.  Why no Coroner's inquest was held, we are utterly at a loss to discover.  A clue has, we learn, been discovered which will, it is thought, lead to the discovery and conviction of the offenders; in the present stage of the enquiry we refrain from further remark.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 14 October 1848 (2)


On Monday last an inquest was held at the Pauper Hospital on view of the body of Ramalingum, a Kling man:---

   Alexander Hill, Constable, sworn, states, last Saturday night about 11, I went home, (after going my rounds); the deceased Ramalingum was at the Thannah, said he was sick, occasioned by eating rice a short time previous, the remainder of which he produced (it is the same as now produced at the Inquest) said his wife had given him the rice to eat; there was curry mixed with it.  I told the deceased that I would go home with him and enquire into it; as we, deceased and myself, were proceeding along South Bridge Road, one of my peons was struggling with 2 Klings who were drunk and disorderly, this was the night of the Hindoo-Kling Festival, and while assisting my peon to secure the 2 Klings I lost sight of the deceased and met him with my duffadar shortly afterwards in South Bridge Road, the deceased appeared to be under the influence of liquor at the time.  We went to the house and after knocking at the door we were admitted by a woman in the house (now present.)  Deceased was squatting down at the door of his house, and as soon as the women entered he said, "This is the woman that gave me the rice to eat." I questioned the woman, she acknowledged having cooked the rice and having given it to deceased to eat, said further that deceased had been drunk best part of the day.  I told him to remain at homer and if he felt worse to call at my Thannah, which he did between 2 and 3 yesterday morning, vomiting very much.  I then sent him to the Pauper Hospital with one of the police peons, also sent the rice there that morning; having heard last night that the deceased was dead, I apprehended the woman, about 10 p.m. the same night.

   Abdool Kader, Police duffadar No. 9, sworn states, on last Saturday night about 11, the deceased Ramalingum came to the Thannah Bukit Passoob, and brought some rice in a plate, and told me a woman , Lechamee, gave me this rice to eat and mixed poison with it,---he was drunk at the time.  I went and informed my master Constable Hill of the circumstances; my master and deceased went to the house, we lost sight of the deceased for a short time, and met him at 12 that night.  I asked deceased where my master was?  He replied, "there is a disturbance in the street and your master is gone there," I was taking the deceased to the Thannah at Teluk Ayer and met my master on the road.  We, my master, self, and deceased, went to the house of deceased, an d called the woman Lechamee to open the door, which she did; I was desired by my master to ask Lechamee "who gave the rice to the deceased ?" She said, I gave him rice in a plate, after receiving it he (deceased) left the house, and has not since returned.  The deceased came to my master and said he was worse, this was at 2 a.m. yesterday morning; my master sent him to the Pauper Hospital, where he died last night at 7.

   Lechamee, a female, states I am a native of Coringa; knew the deceased Ramalingum, how he came to his death I do not know, but heard of it last night.  I live in South Bridge Road, in one of Hinamsah's house, alone; occasionally a Sepoy from the lines used to come and see me.  The deceased did not live in the same house with me, but came now and then and had something to eat; if he had money he paid me, if not I did not ask him.

   Dr. Traill on oath saith I have now examined the body of Ramalingum in the presence of Constable Hill; the stomach contained much water mixed with half digested rice and nearly half a tea spoonful of a coarse white powder; the intestines were all more or less inflamed, some of the powder was thrown on heated charcoal---it caused a strong odour like garlic, so far resembling arsenic; more I cannot determine until I have further tested the powder; the rice shown to me by Constable Hill, shewed ports (sic) of a similar looking powder.

   Verdict---Died of Poison, administered by some person or persons unknown.



THE STRAITS TIMES, 25 October 1848 (2)

On the night of Saturday last, at about nine o'clock, a shocking murder was perpetrated in upper Macao Street near H. M. gaol.  It appears, some jealousy existing relative to a female acquaintance, a Chinese named Ung-ah-Jit stabbed a fellow countryman named Hong-Gew, who instantly expired.  The wound was inflicted in the neck, in a downward direction, by a kind of dirk or knife.

   On Monday last, a Coroner's inquest was held at the Police office on view of the body of the deceased, when a verdict of "Wilful Murder" was returned against Ung-ah-Jit.  The alleged murdered is not yet in custody.



On Tuesday last a Chinaman was killed by a tiger near Bukit Timah, and the body having been brought to the Police Office, the Coroner held an Inquest over it yesterday.  We hear that about ten days ago another case occurred of a Chinaman being was killed by a tiger, so that it would appear that they are again becoming numerous and dangerous.



On the 6th instant one of those manifestations of the latent frenzy in the Malay character, which every now and then prompts an individual of that race to commit a wholesale slaughter, took place in Singapore.



On the evening of the 25th ult., one of a crowd of Chinese who had collected in front of Ellenborough Buildings, where a quantity of crackers were being fired off, was knocked down and run over by a passing vehicle, and so serious were the injuries inflicted, that although taken to the Hospital and every care bestowed upon him, he shortly afterwards died.  In his declaration, made with the knowledge of his approaching death, the Chinaman stated that the vehicle by which he was run over was a buggy with two lamps, and he further added that a ;police peon seized the horse's head, but could not stop it.  A coroner's inquest was held upon the body, but no evidence could be obtained as to the vehicle which cased the accident, nor could any peon be discovered who had seen the occurrence or tried to arrest the buggy.  In fact, it would appear that the Chinaman was probably mistaken as to the person who triode to stop the buggy being a peon, as the police themselves stated that there were no policemen on the beat from ½ past 5 to ½ past 6 p.m., an interval of an hour elapsing between the withdrawal of the day watch and the stationing of the night watch.  This fact the jury recorded in their verdict, which was as follows:

   "The deceased met with his death from a conveyance having run over him,---but whether owing to accident or carelessness on the part of the Driver, it is impossible for the jury to tell from the want of evidence, partly arising from no Police being stationed at the place of accident from ½ past 5 p.m."

   Means have, we understand, been taken to provide that the streets shall never be left without the presence of the police.



A Malay man appeared at the Police Office on the 20th inst. stating that his brother, an old man who lived at Tanjong Merah Besar and who gained a livelihood by gathering dammar, not having returned at night, the applicant went in search of him, but found in the jungle only his parang and his head kerchief, the latter being stained with blood, and marks of blood being also traced in the jungle, but the body could not be found.  It is thought that he has been carried off by a tiger, as these animals are very numerous in that district.  Tigers are also reported to be increasing in various other parts of the island, deserted gambier plantations, which are their favorite places of habitation, being numerous, and constantly increasing.

   An Inquest was held on the 15th inst. on the body of an old Chinaman who was knocked down and run over by the palankeen of Mr. Vanderbeck, Jnr., who was driving, by means of reins, from the inside of the vehicle.  The Jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure, but declared the palankeen a deodand, and severely censured the practise of persons driving palankeens from the inside, or from the shafts.

   An Inquest was held on the 13th inst., on the body of a Chinaman which was found on the beach at Tanjong Paggar with a kadjang or mat sail fastened round his neck.  It appeared in evidence that he had fallen overboard from a Chinese junk and that a kadjang was thrown over to him.  This must have got fastened round his neck by some accident and strangled him.

   Another Inquest was held at Tanjong Paggar on the 9th inst., on the body of a Chinaman who had destroyed himself by inflicting wounds on his person with a razor.

   The body of a Bencoolen woman was buried a few days ago under suspicious circumstances which induced the Police to have the body exhumed.  It turned out on investigation by the Coroner that the woman had either herself taken, or had administered to her by others, a doze of saltpetre instead of common salts, and that she died from the effects of it.

   On Friday last a Bugis armed with 5 nebong spears (seligie) while in a state of frenzy wounded one Chinaman in the knee and another in the abdomen, the latter case being one of some danger.  He threw spears at several other person s but without wounding them, and an alarm having been raised, Constable Taylor proceeded to the spot armed with a musket, and called upon the man to surrender.  This he refused to do, and threatened the Constable with a spear, on which the latter fired and wounded the Bugis in the thigh, and being taken to the Hospital the man died the next day.  A Coroner's inquest was held on the body when a verdict of "Justifiable Homicide" was returned.




There was another case on which he [His Lordship?] also remarked.  It was that of an inquest on the body of a Chinaman who had been killed by a buggy having run over him, through the horse being frightened by the firing of crackers upon the street.  The injured man declared that a policeman had tried to stop the buggy; yet it appeared that notwithstanding the police had made an enquiry, neither the buggy, nor the person in it had been discovered.  This firing of squibs and crackers was a very serious nuisance and one which ought not to exist, considering that we had such a heavily paid police. ...



Some of the Chinese junks have, we are sorry to say, resumed their habits of plundering native craft, outside of the Straits of Singapore.  A short time since a Malay boat proceeding from Singapore to Tringanu was fired into by a Chinese junk, and one of the crew killed, after which the boat was plundered and then set adrift with her crew.---Ibid.

   A Malay, whilst gathering paddy at Pyah Lebar a few days ago, was pounced upon by a tiger and carried off.  The body was afterwards recovered and a Coroner's inquest sat upon it.  Tigers are said to be much upon the increase in various parts of the island, and several gambier plantations are stated to have been deserted by the coolies from dread of their attacks.

   On Monday last a Coroner's Inquest was held neat Tulloh Baddoh on the remains of a man and his wife who had been destroyed during the previous week by a tiger or tigers.  The body of the man was almost completely devoured, the skull and thigh b ones alone remaining, while the body of the woman was comparatively uninjured, there being only a wound on the back of the neck inflicted by the animal in striking her down, this being the place on which the tiger generally hits his victims when he takes them unawares.  The mortality from the attacks of tigers is alarmingly on the increase, ...





Wilful Murder---On Wednesday last, an Inquest was held at the Police office on view of the body of Toh-ah Chow, a Chinese, who was murdered at Tangling.

   Lim-Jib-Sing---Stated that he lived on Mr. D'Almeida's plantation at Tangling; knew the deceased and lived close by him; at 10 o'clock at night on the 20th, witness went to sleep and was awoke by hearing some one calling out for assistance; went to the spot and saw the deceased on the floor, outside; saw 2 or 3 wounds in the breast; deceased was unable to speak, but was breathing heavily; witness gave information to the Constable of the Thannah; returned to the body in company with some Police peons and found the deceased dead.  The body was removed to the police station; the hut of deceased is distant from that of witness about 500 paces; other huts were close by---the neighbours were on good terms with each other.

   Lim Poan stated that he lived in the same plantation as the preceding witness and knew the deceased; at 10 o'clock on the previous night witness heard some one calling out; on going to their assistance witness called out "thief"; could see 5 or 6 men collected; the deceased was on the ground and unable to speak.  Lim Poan corroborated the testimony of the former witness.

   A police peon and a Chinese named Soh-Jy-Gomg, corroborated the preceding testimony.

   Verdict---Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.


On Thursday last, another inquest was held at the police office on view of the body of Mahommed, a Malay, who was murdered at Rocho.

   Agasood, a Malay, stated that he lived at Campong Rocho, and was a Brass-founder.  Deceased was brother to the witness; deceased left the house at 8 P.M. on Tuesday and not returning on the following morning, witness went in search of him at Kalang and Rocho from sun-rise till noon, but without success.  Witness called at the house of one Mehtoon who informed witness that his brother was dead near Campong Rocho; went there and saw the deceased near where the Convicts make bricks; gave information to the police and the body was removed.  The deceased and a Malay named Babah had a quarrel five days ago concerning a female named Ketchil whom witness did not know.  During a Jogeh (Nautch entertainment) in Sarapah's house, Babah wanted to beat the deceased in consequence of some jealousy about the female above-mentioned; Sarapah, a female, prevented them; the party broke up at 10 o'clock at night, when all was quiet.  On the night following Babah came to the house of witness to beat the deceased; the deceased did not go out that night.  Two nights ago, deceased went out and witness had not seen him alive since.

   Sarapah, Mehtoon and Meydin were called but nothing was elicited from them, they all dis-avowed any knowledge of the deceased.

   Ketchil, a female, stated that she lived at Campong Java, did not know the deceased; knew nothing about him 5 or 6 days ago: there was a Jogeh at Mehtoon's house; witness heard of it but was not there.

   Babah, a Malay, stated that he was formerly employed by Mr. Rodyk; did not know the deceased; was a nephew of Mehtoon; was not present at any Jogeh at Campong Bugis; there was a Jogeh at Sarapah's house, witness was not there: came to the police by desire of the Constable.

   Hadjis, a Malay, stated that he lived at Campong Glam and knew the deceased; saw the deceased at 5 o'clock on the previous evening (Wednesday) lying in a ditch near Kalang; observed several wounds on the back.  (This witness subsequently stated that he did not see the deceased in the ditch, was only told so.)  Decreased told witness that Babah wanted to beat him about the woman Ketchil.

   Another Malay, named Hadjis stated that he knew the deceased; heard Babah say he would beat deceased about Ketchil, who went to the house of deceased; Ketchil was kept by the deceased.  (This evidence was corroborated by Harrib a cousin of the deceased.)

   Verdict---Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 28 August 1849 (5)

A Coroner's Inquest was held at the police Office on Saturday afternoon on the body of a lad who it was supposed had been injured by another boy at the Singapore Institution; but from the evidence and the opinion of the surgeon (Dr. Traill, who made a post mortem examination of the body) it was clear the boy died from natural causes, and the jury returned a verdict to that effect.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 4 September 1849 (3)

THE Coroner has had a pressing time of it, during past month no less than seven inquests were held.

   On Thursday last, the body of a male Chinese was found hanging on a durian tree in Dr. Oxley's plantation, the feet touching the ground.  The deceased was dressed apparently for a journey, having on two changes of raiment, bajus and trowsers, as well as pair of old shoes secured to his waist.  It appears to have been a case of determined suicide, as we find a verdict recorded of Felo-de-se.

   On Friday last an inquest was held on view of the body of a man named Mc Arthur, who is reported to have met his death by falling down stairs.---Verdict, accidental death.




On the 26th October last at 10 o'clock p.m. a Kling boatman, in a fit fell into the water, and was drowned near Mr. Fraser's godown;---the body was picked up near the spot at ½ past 12 o'clock following and an Inquest was holden next day at noon in the coroner's room at the Court of Requests, when a verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.   REPORTER.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 6 November 1849 (4)

MORE TIGERS.---On Thursday last, a Malay man, his wife, daughter, and son-in-law were collecting leaves at Siglap for the manufacture of kadjangs, when a tiger seized the old man and carried him off in his mouth; the son-in-law and two women immediately gave chase, shouting at the top of their voices, which induced the animal to drop the man and make off; on reaching the spot the old man was found dead; the body was brought into town on the following day when a Coroner's Inquest returned a verdict of "killed by a Tiger."---Have any steps been taken by the executive to rid the island of these noxious animals?


THE STRAITS TIMES, 11 December 1849 (4)

AN inquest was held on Friday last at the Coroner's office on view of the body of a Portuguese lad, late an apprentice on board the Favorita, who met his death by falling from the Main top-gallant mast of that vessel, on the previous afternoon.  The unfortunate youth expired before reaching the shore.  A verdict was returned of "Accicdental death."




Ah Pow an old Chinaman known to reside in our settlement for about 20 years has been murdered at Matta Ekan.  The Deputy Superintendent of police and the Coroner went to the spot on Sunday last as soon as they received the information.  The body was discovered in the water near the beach; an inquest was holden on Monday, but not the least traces of the perpetrators of the foul deed have been discovered; it has been ascertained that deceased left the town with a large parcel tied round his waist which was missing when the body was discovered.  From the nature of the wounds, it is conjectured that the murderers were Malays.  The Police has directed inquiries to be made, but there is little or no hope of success, from the want of a detective and Marine Police.  The Verdict of the Coroner's Jury was as usual---Murder against some person or persons unknown.


On Sunday last a Convict stationed at the New Road (Thomson's) was missing from the lines.  The Peon went in search of him but without success until Tuesday last when the body was found in the jungle a little on this side of the 5th milestone.  The head appeared to be cut off and it was so reported from its being bent backward, but on turning the corpse a tremendous wound on the neck appeared, almost severing the head from the body.  A heavy knife belonging to deceased with blood on it was found at the side of the corpse.  The deceased on Sunday when alive had on gold earrings, silver Bangles and a silver chain valued at about 25 Dollars---when found dead, the ornaments were missing, and the corpse was naked.  The deceased was a man of very intemperate habits and on Sunday last was seen much the worse for liquor.

   The Deputy Superintendent of police, the Coroner, and the Superintendent of Convicts, were on the spot soon after the first information was received, and some discoveries were made by the first named Gentleman, which lead to the apprehension of two men, who are now under examination.  The discovery consisted in a certain fruit found near the corpse, which had mist visibly been cut from the fence of a garden at not quite 300 yards from the spot.  The house of the prisoners being searched, the Deputy Superintendent of Police discovered a quantity of counterfeit coin, which will cause another inquiry to be made.

   An inquest was held on the spot, the Coroner sending notice to the Senior Surgeon who was quickly on the spot, this allowed the burial of the body, and the Jury adjourned to the Police Office, when the Verdict was returned: Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.  REPORTER. 


THE STRAITS TIMES, 25 December 1849 (4)

AN inquest was held on Saturday last at the convict jail on view of the body of a Madras convict, who committed suicide that morning, in one of the cooking places of the jail, by cutting his throat with a knife.  From the nature of the wound death must have been almost instantaneous.  No cause could be assigned for the rash act.  The jury returned a verdict of Felo de se.


A few days ago the body of one Son Appow, an old Chinese gambier and pepper planted, residing at Mata Ekan, was found murdered on the beach about a thousand feet from the path leading from the strand to deceased's house; the latter was situated a short distance from the jungle.  Three wounds were observed on the body; one had laid bare the skull; also one wound in the back and one more infliction in the abdomen.  A coroner's in quest was held on view of the body.  From the evidence it appeared, the deceased was returning to his home [pore]??, leaving Tanah Merah Kechil the previous evening, at which time he was known to have on his person, in a large pocket tied round his waist, some article of light value.  When the body was found, the pocket was missing.  No traces have been discovered to lead to the apprehension of the guilty parties.  A verdict was recorded of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.

   On Tuesday last the body of a missing convict was found murdered near the 5th milestone, on Thomson's Road.  The head of the unfortunate man was nearly severed from the body, and a knife besmeared with blood, belonging to the deceased, was found near the body.  Some ornaments on the person of the deceased were missing.  Near the corpse was a vegetable, called by the natives Trong, which had been taken from the plants growing in a garden about 300 yards distant.  This last mentioned circumstance induced the Police to search the garden, when two Chinese were apprehended on a charge of having implements for coining in their possession, and have since been, we hear, committed for trial, but no traces of the murderers has been discovered.

   In this last as in the instance above-mentioned, the very common verdict was returned of "wilful murder against some persons unknown."  We are really ashamed to find such verdicts so commonly returned without any effectual steps being taken to discover the perpetrators.  ... [continues.]




At half past 5 o'clock in the morning of last Saturday, a convict named Vaddagan went to a small cookhouse in the convict lines, and there cut his own throat with a knife similar to the European shoemaker's knives; The verdict Felo-de-se was returned by the Jury empanelled for a coroner's inquest.

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