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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.



This morning the Brunei man Nayan was brought before Mr. Anthonius charged with murder, by casing the death of one Awang Tenga, and there was a second count, of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, committed aty 9.30 a.m. yesterday.  At the request of the police the case was remanded for a week, and the inquest on Awang Tenga was also adjourned for a week.  From the details of the affair collected by Inspector Patterson, it would appear as th9hyugh it was not a case of running amok,, but rather a case of ordinary murder.  It would appear that about five days ago, five natives of Brunei, Borneo, whose names are Nayang (prison), Awang tenga (deceased), Nunchong, Tahir and Awang Slaman (faher of deceased) came into Singapore for the purpose of trading, and went to live at 183, Arab Street.  It appears that Nayang had a dispute about mon ey matters with the other four men at half past 6 o'clock on the evening of the 7th instant, and on account of the dispute Nayang left the place and went to live at a house of one Hadjee Nur at Tanjong Pagar.  He slept there for the night, and returned to the house in Arab Street, in company with Hadjee Nur between 7 and 8 o'clock next morning.  The four men began to question him about his whereabouts, as they had spent some $10 in  gharry hire looking for him, and then  commenced to jeer at him.  This made Nayang angry, and he seized a parang and kris and committed the deeds as recorded in yesterday's issue of the Straits Times. The parang and kris have not been recovered up to the present.  All the injured men are progressing as favorably as could be expected, but the condition of each one is very precarious.



Fatal Assault in North Bridge Road.

A drunken row with fatal termination occurred near Noirth Bridge yesterday.  A number of the crew of the sip Canara were walking along the road, when the boatswain and one of the sailors quarrelled.  The boatswain, it is alleged, knocked the man down and struck him twice while in the ground.  The prostrate man had been in a very bad state of health for a considerable time back, and a blood vessel burst; he was taken to the Hospital at once, but died from injuries received on the wharf.  Deceased was a native of Holland named Jansen.

   The boatswain, an Irishman, named Michael Flaherty, was at once placed under arrest. As far as we can ascertain, no previous ill-feeling had existed between the two men, and the whole affair was the result of a drunken brawl.  An inquest on the body of deceased was held yesterday, but the enquiry was postpned till Friday, 24th inst.

(4) North bridge Road Assault Case.

   At the third Magistrate's Court this morning, before Mr. Logan, Michael Flaherty, the prisoner in this case, was called up for trial, but at the request of Sergeant Thornett was remanded till Tuesday, 28th inst., pending result of inquest, which takes place to-morrow.

(4) Fatal Assault Case.

   At about 5 p.m. on the 21st inst., a Portuguese resident named Pedro De Souza, was assaulted by three Asiatics while standing on the five-foot way of his house, No. 101 Klang Road.  His assailants it is alleged beat him severely about the head with sticks and knocked him down; the thoroughfare is a secluded one, and sufficient help to secure the ruffians was not available, but from information received, the Police have already arrest two men and are looking after another.  The acussed are said to be powerful men, and are all Bengalis, their names being Bakar Ali, Samat, and Kassim.  The injured man was taken to the Hospital, and at first his condition was not regarded asa critical, but he died from injuries received at 6 o'clock this morning.  Little is known as to the circumstances attending the affray, or whether it was aggravated by any quarrel with deceased.  An inquest will be held at the General Hospital at 2 o'xclock to-day.



Casualties, &c.

A NUMBER of Malays who were coming ashore in their boats about 1 p.m. yesterday near the newly reclaimed land at Tanjong Pagar, found the dead body of a Chinaman on the rocks there; deceased was a man of some 30 years of age.  The body shows no marks of violence and had evidently been in the water for about four days.  An inquest will be held at the General Hospital to-day.


   AT an inquest held at the General Hospital this afternoon to enquire into the circumstances attending the death of Pedro de Souza, who died from injuries alleged to have been inflicted by three Malays on the 21st inst. the coroner gave a verdict of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against Bakar Ali, Samat and the Malay woman Noorea, who were in the custody of the police.



(4) Murder in Smith Street.

   About 11 o'clock last night, a Chinaman named Yong Ah Fook, in company with a fellow Celestial, was walking along Smith Street, when he was accosted by a Chinaman named Chung Hoh, who, after railing about money matters, drew a knife, and is alleged to have stabbed Fook in the abdomen, inflicting such injuries that he died very shortly afterwards.  Chong Hoh was very cleverly captured by a Chinese constable, and is now safe in the cells of the Central lock-up.  As far as can be gathered by the police, it appears that the deceased and a friend named Yong A Yen were proceeding along Smith Street when Chong Hoh, who is a barber, suddenly appeared before them, and turning to the deceased, he requested the repayment of a certain sum of money which he said he had lent to the deceased.  Yong A Fook appeared to betray some uneasiness, and attempted to end the subject by saying he would pay as soon as he could.  This seemed to annoy Chong Hoh, for he immediately threw himself into a passion, and after using some very stormy expressions he is alleged to have drawn a large open clasp knife, which was concealed somewhere upon his person, stabbed Fook in the abdomen and then  run away towards New Bridge Road.  Chinese constable No. 720, who was on duty near the scene, saw the prisoner with an  open knife in his hand making off, and at once came to the conclusion that something was wrong, and arrested the man.  Hoh then offered some resistance, and was attempting to use the knife again, when the constable knocked him down, and, after a struggle, succeeded in getting possession of the knife, and securing the man.  The constable was attracted to the injured man by the large crowd which had, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, quickly collected, and he found Fook, with his entrails protruding, lying on the ground in a comatose state.  He at once had the injured man conveyed to the hospital, but almost before he was admitted Yong Ah Fook had expired.  When the prisoner came to be examined at the lock-up, his hands were cut and bleeding, and his clothes smeared with blood; his wounds were dressed at the hospital, and this morning he was brought before Mr. Logan charged with the murder of Yong Ah Fook, but the hearing of the case was postponed for a week, pending the inquest.


(From our own Correspondent.)

Kuala Lumpor, 13th Feb.

The Coroner's inquest into the Jail murder was held yesterday at 11.30 a.m., and concluded at 4 p.m. in the afternoon.  Mr. Syers, the Superintendent of Police, holds the office of Coroner.  The Jury consisted of six Malays and one Eurasian, the selection probably being due to the desire to avoid any bias or prejudice  with regard to the case at issue.  After hearing the evidence, the Jury at once returned a verdict of "Wilful Murder."

   The prisoner is recovering from his wound, and probably in another fortnight will be in a fit condition to be brought up before the Magistrate.  In the event of his committal, the trial, as is usual in all murder cases, will be presided over by the Resident.

   Poor Poole's funeral took place at 5.30 p.m. on the 8th instant; he was buried in the Protestant Cemetery.  Mr. Venning read the burial service.  Owing to the inclemency of the weather, the attendance was not very large.  Mrs. Foster died at 4 a.m. on the 11th instant, and was buried in the evening.  A large gathering attended her funeral.  The British Resident read the usual burial service.

   A trial for murder is not an absolute novelty in the State, for natives have been arraigned and tried for the capital offence previously, but it is the first of the present, hitherto exceptional, nature.


STRAITS TIMES WEEKLY, 25 February 1890 (1)


THE body of the coolie drowned in the river near Kallang bridge was recovered yesterday afternoon, and at the inquest held over the remains a verdict of accidental death was returned.

   About 11 o'clock last night a Chinese passenger by the steamer Almora from Billiton for HongKong fell overboard, and was drowned

   It was reported to the police that a European soldier, Pte. Haddle, of the 58th, was found drowned in one of the swimming baths at Tanglin Barracks at 7 o'clock this morning.  An inquest will be held this afternoon.




A CHINESE coolie named Tan Lay, a convict undergoing six months imprisonment in the gaol, died in the gaol hospital last night; the deceased was admitted to the hospital on the 22nd January suffering from chronic pulmonary phthisis.  The usual formal inquest will be held.

   On Wednesday morning last, a Kling woman named Poonatchy, living at 203, Victoria Street, in lifting a tin of boiling water off a fire, slipped and fell, and the contents of the tin poured over the woman's body, causing great pain.  She was removed to the hospital, where she died this morning.

(9) Casualties.

   A Chinese barber named Seah Cheong dropped down dead in Hill Street last evening; the body was removed to the hospital and an inquest will be held.

   Just after 5 o'clock last evening as a Chinese coolie was descending into the New Harbour Dry Dock by means of the stone steps at the side, he missed his footing and fell head down to the bottom, and was killed instantaneously.  An inquest will be held.

(12) Police News.

   A small Malay boy, aged three years, while playing with an elder brother in a village called Serangoon, on Sunday afternoon, fell into a well and was drowned.  The brother went home, and, strange to say, never mentioned the matter until questioned by his mother, when he cooly admitted having seen his brother fall into the well.  The mother rushed to the well, and succeeded in bringing the little fellow to the surface; but he was quite dead, and apparently life had been extinct for some time.  An inquest is to be held this afternoon.



The Assizes.

(Before the Chief Justice and a Common Jury.)

Michael Flaherty, the prisoner in the North bridge Road assault case, was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder,  2nd, committing a rash and negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, 3rd, using criminal force.  All the evidence attending this case has already been reported in connection with the inquest and police trails.

   From evidence given by Dr. Ellis is appeared that the deceased was in a very advanced state of brain and bodily disease, and a very slight blow or even unusual excitement might have caused death.  The only witness for the defence, Michael Murphy, who was bound over, has, it appears, since left on board some ship.  The evidence given by Murphy in the Police Court was, however, read in the prisoner's defence.  The prisoner in his statement commented very strongly on the action of the police in letting his only witness slip through their fingers.  The statement was, however, clear and intelligent, and told visibly in his favour.  His Lordship made a long and painstaking charge to the jury, who found the prisoner guilty on the third charge of using criminal force, and he was sentenced to one month's simple imprisonment.



The Execution.


SHORTLY after 6 o'clock this morning Gih Chye Soon was hanged for the wilful murder of a fellow Chinaman on the 17th December last. ... After hanging for about twenty minutes, the corpse was removed into the gaol, and the usual formal inquest was held.



A Fatal Fight.

ABOUT 9 o'clock yesterday a fight took place between a number of malays at Campong Kallang which resulted in the death of one Massa through being stabbed in the neck; and severe injuries were inflicted on another man named Hadjee Mat Salee.  The matter was reported to the police and Inspector Patterson was soon on the spot making enquiries.  From what we heard it would seem that the fight originated out of a murder of a little boy named Wan Hsan some time last year for which one Awang was charged at the Assizes and the Attorney General entered a nolle prosequi.  After his discharge this Awang seems to have gone to Sandakan and remained there until within about a month ago when he returned to Singapore.  Last Friday it is alleged that he went to the mother of the deceased boy, and used some threatening and insulting language towards her.  When the father, one Kabil went to his house yesterday his wife told him what had happened and he set off to find Awang. These two met in the campong and after an altercation a fight ensued the other neighbours taking the part of the man they thought was in the right.  Parangs, knives and other weapons came into use and there was a general riot for a few minutes when Massa was stabbed in the back of the head and received a fractured skull from which he died shortly afterwards.  The other man Hadjee Mat Salee also sustained a fractured arm.  This seems to have been the finish of the fight.  The police have arrested one Awang Jumbie, a sapper belonging to the R. E. who is alleged to have been mixed up in the affair, also Awang, Awang Bodoi and two others.  An inquest will be held on the deceased at 3 o'clock this afternoon.



Police News.

A Chinaman was found dead on the s.s. Wing Sang, lying at Borneo Wharf, at an early hour this mortn ing.  It is understood that he was neither a passenger nor a member of the crew, and it is believed that he had gone on the ship from Singapore.  There are no marks of violence. An inquest will be held.

   A Portuguese woman residing near the 4 ½ mile stone on the Bukit Timah Road fell into a well this morning and was drowned.  An inquest will be held to-day.



YESTERDAY afternoon, as the steamer Sultana was leaving the harbour, a sampan got across her bows and was capsized.  Two Chinamen who were in the sampan at the time were thrown into the water; one man managed to keep himself afloat till assistance came, but the other disappeared almost immediately.  The body was recovered this morning, and an inquest will be held.  It is alleged that the Sultana after running into the sampan did not stop to render assistance, but proceeded on her voyage.  The police say that they intend taking some action in the matter on the return of the Suktaba.



Selangor News.

(From our own Correspondent.)

Kuala Lumpur, 13th May.

The assassination of one Chinaman by another, with a changkul, the drowning of a Celestial in a mine, and the death of a third from causes unknown, form the subject of a coroner's inquest to-day,




(From our own Correspondent.)

The assassination  of one Chinaman by another, with a chankul, the drowning of a Celestial in  a mine, and the death of a third from causes unknown, form the subject of a coroner's inquest to-day.



Malacca News.

(From our own Correspondent.)

Malacca, 20th May.

Another murder is reported, this time from the district of Trankerah.  Sometime between 2 and 3 o'clock on Friday morning last, a Malay woman named Mah Bungha who, it is said, was living with a Malay named Haji Mohamed Tahir bin Sayoosap, was said to be choked and beaten to death by the latter.  One of their next door neighbours hearing cries of "help, help" went and peeped through the crevices of the planks and says that he saw the accused put his hands on the throat of the deceased, and give her a slap on the forehead.  A few hours afterwards the corpse of the deceased was found floating in the sea.  The police were immediately informed of the circumstance, and soon after Inspector Blackburn and Sergeant major Mamat proceeded to view the corpse.  Subsequently the body was taken to the mortuary where an inquest was held.  Haji Mohamat Tahir bin Sayoosap, being the person accused of the murder, was brought up and charged before the Magistrate, Mr. Birch, yesterday.  Prisoner pleaded not guilty.  Chief Inspector Petralta conducted the prosecution and Mr. J. P. Joaquim, who did not appear, was retained for the defence. The evidence of the witness who peeped through the crevice was taken, and subsequently Inspector Blackburn and Sergeant Major Mamat were put into the box.  During the investigation a very respectable Haji, whom the police had come to believe has been intimidating some of the witnesses for the prosecution from giving evidence, was immediately sent for and arraigned before Mr. Birch, who ordered him to be kept at the Central Station pending inquiries.  In the course of the afternoon he was arrested under a sworn information and bailed out by the police.  The case against the prisoner Haji Mohamat Tahir stands remanded till Friday next, the 23rd instant, no bail allowed.



The Murder of Hadji Ahmat Merican.

THE trial of Moey Ah Sam, charged on remand with the murder of one Hadji Ahmat Merican, otherwise known as Hadji Puteh, on the 24th ult., was continued before Mr. Antonius, in the Second magistrate's Court, at noon to-day.  Mr. Newland prosecuted for the Crown, and Messrs. Joaquim and Everard appeared for the defence.  Mr. Shearwood watched the case on behalf of the relatives of the deceased. .....  [argument on procedure]



Fire Inquests.



Hong Kong  fire inquests.



A CHINESE convict, who was undergoing a sentence of eighteen months imprisonment for assaulting a public servant, died in the gaol yesterday morning, it is alleged, from the effects of cholera.  Mr. Joaquim acted in his new capacity of Coroner at the General Hospital yesterday where he held an inquest on him.



Muar News.

(From our own Correspondent.)

[Sunday] 27th July, 1890.

On Monday last news was received that Mr. Bun Hin & Co.'s steam launch Rhio, which was chartered to a Chinese firm here, whilst proceeding up the river had some difficulty over her boiler causing the fusible plug to melt; the escape of steam created a panic amongst the passengers, two of whom jumped overboard and were drowned.  One of the bodies was found the next day and brought to the station where a Coroner's inquest was held.  The other body is still missing, perhaps it has become the prey of crocodiles.  The Rhio has repaired damages.




The Bangtaphan manslaughter case at Bangkok, has resulted in the acquittal of Mr. F. MacGregor.

   A drunken brawl in Selegie Road on Friday resulted in the death of one Meyer, a German miner from Pahang, the coroner's inquest returning a verdict of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.



The Fatal Assault Case.

THE young Eurasian C. H. Jones was charged on remand before Mr. Thoroton , at 12.30 p.m. to-day, with the murder of one Meyer, who died from injuries received on Friday evening last.

   Babu, P. C. 216 sworn, deposed:- On the 15th instant, at 7.30 p.m., I was on duty in Selegie Road, and saw a crowd in Selegie Road.  I went towards the crowd and saw P. C. 8 arrest two men: prisoner and another since dead.  No. 8 handed prisoner over to me and I took him to the Station (Kandang Kerbau.)  No. 8 taking the other man in a ricksha as he could not walk. I also took prisoner in a 'ricksha as he wanted to go that way.  On arrival at Kandang Kerbau Station I there saw the Corporal, five minutes afterwards Inspector Sourell came and wrote a ticket to send deceased to hospital; all this time deceased was unconscious.  When the Inspector examined deceased after writing the ticket, he found that he was dead.  His body was sent away and I afterwards saw it in the dead house t the hospital. Before taking over prisoner from No. 8 I saw nothing of the affair.  Prisoner was sober at the time, but I can't say whether he had been drinking or not.

   Abdul Raman, P. C. No. 8, recalled on his former oath, stated" From the time I picked the deceased up; until we got to the station he did not speak.  When I separated prisoner and deceased, prisoner said he had lost his watch and deceased had stolen it.  I examined deceased on that accusation immediately I lifted him up, but found nothing on his person.  Prisoner struck deceased with his fists, the whole affair took place in the middle of the road.  When I arrested them I did not smell liquor on either of them.

   Henry Smith, sworn deposed:- I am at present out of work.  On the 15th I was an assistant dog catcher in the Municipality and I knew the deceased. I met him at 3.30 on that day (the 15th) in the "Silver Anchor," Rochore Road.  We had drinks together and Mr. Jones (defendant) and a Mr. Hallett came in and we had more drinks.  I, prisoner and Mr. Hallett then went in a gharry to a Chinese dhobie's in New Bridge Road; we then went and had another drink.  Meyer was not with us at that time. At 4.30 we returned to the "Silver Anchor": and found Meyer still there; we were all talking in a friendly way; Meyer asked Jones to allow him to go and apologise to Mrs. Hickstadt for something - I cannot say what.  Prisoner in a very friendly way said "yes you can go."  Prisoner asked Meyer why he did not give Mrs. Hickstadt a ring, and then he would not want to apologise.  Meyer told Jones that he did not intend to give the woman the ring or whatever else I am not quite sure.  We got up,they to go away and Meyer said something to Jones which I did not hear, and Jones said "you are not a gentleman to promise anything and not give it."  Meyer went to strike Jones, and Jones warded off the blow and knocked him under the table.  They made friends and we all went to Mrs. Hockstadt's house in a gharry.  On reaching the house Meyer was too drunk to sit in a chair, he was very drunk when he left the "Silver Anchor."  We had some more drinks at Mrs. Hockstadt's, but I and deceased did not take any.  Mrs. Hockstadt asked me to take Meyer home and I refused to do so.  Deceased then got up and Mrs. Hockstadt told him he must go home.  He then went out and walked along Carrington Road towards Selegie Road.  I stayed in the house for some minutes, defendant left the house a minute or two before me.  I can't say which direction he took.  I heard Mr. Jones and Mr. Hockstadt speaking about the loss of a watch chain some minutes before Meyer went out, but no accusation was made.  Mrs. Hockstadt and Mrs. Madden were in the house when I left.  The next thing I saw was a large crowd of boys near the end of Carrington Road and two constables putting Meyer into a 'ricksha, after that I saw another constable not in uniform putting Jones into another 'ricksha.  They were taken to the Police Station and I followed in another 'ricksha with Mrs. Hockstadt.  Defendant was taken in to the Station and died a few minutes after.  Deceased was drunk and incapable.  I cannot say whether he was unconscious.  I cannot say what connexion exists between Mrs. Hockstadt and the prisoner.

   Elizabeth Hockstadt, sworn, deposed:- I live in Carrington Road, I know the prisoner, he lives at my place when he is ashore, I live with him as his mistress and have done so for a year and a half.  I also know deceased, his name is Cecil Meyer, I once took him in on charity as he had no home, he never paid anything, we afterwards sent him away as he stole our things for drink.  It is six or seven months since he left my house.  He was knocking about for a while, and then got work in Pahang.   The first time I spoke to him was on the 15th, when he came with Mr. Hallett, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Jones.  It was getting dark when they came, 6.30 or nearly seven.  Deceased was quite drunk.  He wanted to apologise for not having thanked me for my kindness which he said he did not forget.  I told him to was too drunk and must come next day.  Mr. Smith would not take him  away, and I saw him (Meyer) out of the house. Mr. Jones, Mr. Smith, and myself with another "lady" friend were sitting in the house, and I missed Mr. Jones's watch chain.  Mr. Smith went away while we were searching for the chain.  Then I and Mr. Jones went as Mr. Jones was drunk and I went to look for him, and we saw a crowd and Meyer lying on the ground.  Mr. Jones felt his pockets and Meyer sat up and grabbed him by the coat on the shoulder and Mr. Jones struck the back of his hand across the mouth trying to release him.  I saw nothing else till two peons arrested Mr. Jones and Mr. Meyer.  I saw no blow but there was a little wrestling and both of them fell.  In catching hold of Jones's coat Mr. Meyer tore it on the shoulder (coat produced.)  I afterwards saw Meyer at the station and again at the Hospital at the inquest.  Hallett was the one who took Jones out in the early part of the afternoon.

   Inspector Surrell said the only other witness was the doctor whom he would send for.

   Inspector Surrell deposed, at 7.30 p.m. on the 15th I was called by a Chinese clerk: he went at once and found a man lying on the floor, apparently drunk and incapable.  He lifted the man, saw that he was alive and then made out a hospital ticket, and on having  done so found he was dead.  He detained the prisoner and gave information to the Coroner sending the body to the General Hospital.  Deceased had a mark on the chin, and had been bleeding at the nose.  He saw prisoner, who had on a dark coat torn on the right shoulder, (put in) and a pair of white trousers with a patch of blood near the left knee (put in).  He told witness he would be charged with murder, and he was locked up.  He admitted that he had struck deceased.  The inquest was held at 3 p.m. the next day, witness being present.

   At the conclusion of taking evidence the defendant was committed for trial at the Assizes.


STRAITS TIMES WEEKLY ISSUE, 10 September 1890 (7)

Pahang News.

(From a Correspondent.)

Pekan, 1st September.

The Punjom Company's steamer arrived on the 28th ultimo, but was ordered to anchor at some distance from the town owing to there having been a death on board on the way down.  A coroner's inquest was held when a verdict of natural death was returned.  The man who died was a Malay contractor of Lipis where he was attacked with fever and dysentery. The Residency surgeon and the Coroner boarded the vessel to satisfy themselves that the disease was not of a contagious nature, after which the passengers landed. [Other passengers, 'virulent fever'.]


STRAITS TIMES WEEKLY ISSUE, 19 November 1890 (4)

The Unrestricted sale of Poisons in Singapore.

An inquest over the remains of an Englishman named Spencer V. Burleigh, who died rather suddenly on the 7th instant, concluded yesterday afternoon, with a verdict of "death from opium poisoning."  The evidence adduced went to show that the deceased had been a soldier for 21 years, and that he had been looking for employment for over a year.  He came from Malacca on the 6th instant, and on the morning of that day he went to the United Service Hotel in South Bridge Road, and gave the proprietor $7 in advance for his board and lodging, stating that it was all he had.  On the following day he appears to have gone to the Medical Hall where he obtained a one ounce bottle of laudanum, which he said was for dysentery.  The usual question were asked, and the deceased appeared to understand the use of the drug; and the chemist also told him the usual quantity to be prescribed.  About 6 o'clock in the evening the boy went up to deceased's room at the hotel and found the deceased in a comatose state.  He was at once removed to the hospital where he died about a quarter of an hour after admission.  The analysis of the contents of deceased's stomach showed traces of opium.  The Coroner in finding a verdict of "death from opium poisoning" animadverted on the unrestricted sale of poisons in Singapore.

See also letter from "A CHIEMIST" page 12.


STRAITS TIMES WEEKLY ISSUE, 10 December 1890 (4)

A CHINESE patient in the Pauper Hospital committed suicide by hanging himself to his bed post last night.  An inquest is to be held to-day.

   A DECREPIT looking Chinaman got into a gharry at the foot of River Valley Road and told the syce to drive to Cross Street.  The syce was proceeding along New Bridge Road, when the door of the gharry burst open and the Chinaman fell out.  When picked up he was found to be in an insensible condition, and was taken to the Central Station, and subsequently to the General Hospital, but before arriving at that institution life was extinct.  The death is attributed to senile decay.


DAILY ADVERTISER, 26 January 1891, (3)


The Coroner, Mr. A. D. Neubronner, held an inquest on Tuesday last the 20th, concerning the death of Henry Keating, a gentleman who lately arrived to take up an appointment in the Colony, who died in the General Hospital here on the 16th instant, from the effects of a self-inflicted-bullet wound.  The evidence shewed that the deceased arrived in Penang on Christmas day in a very depressed state of mind, and shot himself on the night of the 2[?]th December last.  According to the medical evidence, the bullet entered the head at one side and passed right through the brain to the other side, whence it deflected to the back of the head.  Dr. Kerr stated that, in his opinion, the deceased was in a temporary state of insanity when he shot himself.  The following is a copy of a letter found in the deceased's pocket, after his admission to Hospital, and addressed to Mr. Noel Trotter, whose guest he was:---

"Dear Trotter.

I have for some time been thinking of committing suicide, and I have now resolved on it.  I am sorry that it is likely to cause you some annoyance because I am really thankful for your kindness, hospitality and advice.  With many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Trotter for their kindness, I am, Yours and their sincerely, H. Keating.

P.S. Will you please forward the letter which you will find in my trunk.  There might be another sent at the same time to break the news to my father and mother, same address.  H.K.

It was not by chance I found the pistol; I was looking for something of the sort."

The Coroner's verdict was that deceased committed suicide by shooting himself while labouring under temporary insanity.  We understand that the reason given by the deceased for taking his life was a disappointment in a love affair at home.---Pinang Gazette.



The Explosion at the Police Barracks.

THE inquest on the death of the two native police constables who were the first to succumb to injuries received at the recent explosion at the Police Barracks, was resumed at the General Hospital this morning.

   The Coroner said he regretted that E. P. C. Buntin g was not, and probably would not be for an indefinite time, in a condition to give evidence, as the shock he received had affected his mind.  It would therefore be necessary for the jury to consider the evidence as it stood and on that find their v erdict.

   The coroner proceeded to read the evidence (which has already appeared at length in the Straits Times) touching briefly on its salient points, after which the jury were left to themselves to consider their verdict.

   After some interval the following verdict was returned:---

   "We find that death was due to burns caused by the explosion of cartridges.  We are unable to determine the cause of the explosion, but we are of opinion that it was a mistake to bring such a large quantity of cartridges to the Central Station for destruction.  We are of opinion that the explosion was brought about by the inexperience of the men in charge and those executing the work of destruction."





During a burglary at a house in Tanglin  on Thursday morning, Mr. Cumming, one of the inmates, shot a house servant by mistake.  The man died upon which the coroner's inquest resulted in a verdict of death by misadventure.

   On Wednesday, as coolies were taking off hatches to discharge coal from the Ramore Head, an explosion injured eight of them, some fatally.


DAILY ADVERTISER, 9 October 1891 (2)


7th Oct.

Another inquest was held by the Coroner on Sunday on the body of a Bengalee, who is supposed to have been struck on the head by two Malays.  The Medical Officer was of opinion that the deceased met his death from natural causes.


DAILY ADVERTISER, 16 October 1891 (2)


14th Oct.

An inquest was held by the Coroner at Umbei on the 8th inst., on the body of a Chinaman who, while bathing in the river, was pulled in by an alligator and drowned, and his friend, another Celestial, who [bend in paper] to save him, received a severe [????] from another alligator.


STRAITS TIMES WEEKLY ISSUE,  16 February 1892 (8)

Sarawak News.

(Sarawak Gazette, 1st Feb.)

On Wednesday 6th January at 12 o'clock the Resident Administering the Governmentr received a letter from Mr. Gomez, Overseer at the Government Tea and Coffee Estate at Matang, informing him that Mr. Loyalty Peake, Manager of that Estate had committed suicide by curtting his throat.  Mr. Loyalty Peake came to Sarawak from Ceylon in 1881 and joined the Govcrnment service as Superintendent of Roads.  He was subsequently transferred to the Government Coffee Esate as Manager, which post he held to the time of his death, and he has been lately most successful in tea cultivation on Matang.  The resulting coroner's inquest returned a verdict of suicide while in a state of temporary insanity.



See issue 23 February 1892, re Inquest on Charles Edgerton Tatton on 10th; boxing.  Letter from his father.


DAILY ADVERTISER, 2 November 1892 (3)




A serious disturbance took place yesterday at 3 p.m. at Chan Chu Kang Road, between a number of Teo Chew and Hokkien squatters.  It appears that at the time mentioned, several Teo Chew went to the house of a Hokkien named Ong Chong Moi and accused him of having stolen firewood from the boundary of the Teo Chews.  Ong Chong Moi, who was innocent of the accusation, denied any knowledge of it, and the Teo Chews, presumably with an object to pick up a quarrel, maintained that it was so.  An altercation ensued, when, without much parleying, the Teo Chews made the attack.  A free fight took place between the parties, Ong Chong Moi being joined by a number of his clan.  Both sides it seems stood the encounter very well, but unfortunately for the aggrieved party, one Ong Chong Swe, a brother of Ong Chong Moi, received a fatal stroke from a stick and fell dead.  On seeing this, the Teo Chews beat a hasty retreat, but the individual who dealt the fatal blow, Ong Ah Say by name, was immediately seized by the  Hokiens and handed over to the Police.  The deceased was a man of about 50 years of age, and the cause of his death was that he received two pole thrusts on the right side of the groin.  At the time when the Teo Chews went to Ong Chong Moi's house, there were present his wife, two of his friends, and a Teo Chew wo went there to collect some money for a shop in town.

   Inspector Mcgregor, on receiving information about the affair, proceeded to the place at once.  He found the deceased lying on his back opposite his brother's house, and the Teo Chews having deserted their respective houses.

   Ong Ah Say had his arm broken during the fight and was sent to Hospital.

   A Coroner's inquest will be held on the body of Ong Chong Swe this afternoon.



A KLING, who was attacked and beaten with iron bars and sticks on the 26th ult., by five other Klings, has since died.  At an inquest held by the Coroner on the 30th ult., it was proved that deceased died from the effects of the injuries received and a verdict of murder was returned.  The prisoners will be charged at the Police Court to-morrow with murder.


STRAITS TIMES WEEKLY ISSUE, 12 December 1893 (3)

Pinang Gazette, 30th November.

A Horrible Discovery.

Remains later found to be those of an orang utang; "The inquest ... will now have to be closed.  A delicate question now arises as to the coroner's fee."


THE STRAITS TIMES, 31 May 1894 (23)

   MR. CHARLES F. de MORNAY, a planter in Province Wellesley, who was part proprietor of Malakoff estate, along with the late Mr. D. Comrie, died on the 27th May from a pistol wound deemed to be accidentally inflicted.  He always slept with a revolver under his pillow, and it is supposed that he must have heard some noise and, in the hurry of opening his curtains, revolver in hand, it must have gone off.  The Coroner at the resulting inquest returned a verdict of death from misadventure.



Wednesday, September 19, 1894.

The inquest in the recent supposed case of piracy was commenced this afternoon, at the General Hospital, before Dr. Mugliston, the Coroner.


MID-DAY HERALD, 18 January 1895 (3)


YESTERDAY evening, at 4.40, a Chinese girl named Tang Neo Lee, aged 15 years, fell from the top of house No. 24, Ord Road.  She was at once attended to but died within an hour of fracture of the skull.  The police were informed of trhe occurrence and Inspector Bugden proceeded to make enquiries.  It seems the deceased heard the signal gun announcing the fire at Rochore and ran to the top of the house to obtain a view.  A brick seems to have given way and she fell through the ventilator at a distance of 30 feet.  The body, after communication with the coroner, was removed to the mortuary.  An inquest will be held at 1.45 to-day.



Capt. Tilly, who was well known as a skilful pilot in Singapore, died at the General Hospital yesterday afternoon, as the result of shock following upon an operation.  Last Sunday week Capt. Tilly had the misfortune to break his leg whilst on his way home to Parsee Lodge.  He had a difference with his rikisha coolie as to the amount of his fare, and when afterwards taken to the Tanjong Pagar Police Station he asserted that the coolie had pushed him and causing him to fall and break his leg.  The coolie admitted having demanded more money when brought before the Magistrate, but denied having pushed Captain Tilly, with the result that he was discharged. The same night, however, Capt. Tilly was taken to Hospital, and later it became necessary to amputate the leg, the operation being performed yesterday morning, with the result already stated.  The funeral takes place this afternoon.  A Coroner's inquest was opened on the body at 2 p.m. to-day.



The inquest in the circumstances attending the death of Capt. Tilly was opened before the Coroner, Dr. Mugliston, at the General Hospital yesterday afternoon, and adjourned, after taking the medical evidence, until to-morrow at 2 o'clock.  Dr. McCloskey stated that the deceased was admitted to the General Hospital at 11.30 p.m. on the 7th inst., suffering from a complicated dislocation of the left ankle joint.  The complication was fracture of the tibia and fibula.  Suppuration occurred, and yesterday morning (14th inst.) it was found necessary to amputate.  This was done, but the deceased died at 3.25 p.m. the same day.  He had a high fever, and he died from this and from exhaustion. These were due to the injury.  He had a temperature of 108 degrees.  Deceased was rational when admitted to the Hospital.  Witness did not think he was in a condition to describe accurately how he came by his injury.  He had been drinking, but he was fairly rational.  Deceased made a statement to witness.  He told him that whilst the rikisha was turning a corner one wheel got into the drain, and to save himself from falling he jumped out, and so got the injury.



MID-DAY HERALD, 17 July 1895 (2)


IN the issue of this paper of the 4th ultimo appeared a short paragraph which we reproduce elsewhere to-day.  It briefly related that the Steward C. Millerton, which should read Carl Henry Melander, had on the 2th May jumped into the sea at Tanjong Pagar and rescued from drowning a sailor named John Lillis, of the American ship Alexander Yeates.  The man was taken to hospital and died a few days later of a pulmonary affection.  An inquest was held, at the which the coroner [Dr. Mugliston] warmly commended the action of the steward and remarked that had Lillis lived, he, the coroner, would have recommended Melander for the Humane Society's medal. [continues.] See "OFFSIDE same issue, page 3.



A Chinese girl living at 26, Teluk Ayer Street, was cooking last evening, when her sarong caught fire, probably owing to a live coal falling from the stove.  She sustained serious injuries to her limbs, which ended fatally this morning, notwithstanding the efforts of Dr. Galloway, who was called in after the accident.  An inquest was held at the house to day, instead of at the Hospital of [sic] when the Coroner returned a verdict, accidental death in accordance with the facts.


MID-DAY HERALD, 24 January 1896 (3)


   SIR,---It has been a point of great moment and anxiety to me since some time past when for the first time I came across a paragraph in your paper about the alleged poisoning case of Mr. Amadeus.  Now that a final decision  on the point has been arrived at, I beg through the medium of your paper, to inform the public and those few of them who fare actually interested in the case, of the facts as to the apparently mysterious death that befell Mr. Amadeus, which, following the facts of the case, his wife and the majority of his friends who have not had the chance to undergo a medical education, have, as would be expected, thought to have taken place through the administration of the mixture which was given to him personally by me.  Mr. Amadeus was known to be a hard liver, and in fact he himself felt the utterly reckless life he was leading when he came to me and confessed his weakness at the Calcutta Dispensary when the two mixtures were prescribed and dispensed by me, a totally harmless mixture, and one specially recommended by the medical world for a case like the one in question.

   Mr. S. V. Pillay, L.M.S. of North Bridge Road, arrived before the death took place, and did take part for more than half an hour in treating the patient, though in many a paragraph of the local papers nothing to that effect was mentioned.

   The above mixtures were analysed by the Government analyst and their quite harmless nature was disclosed, and the result of the post mortem too that took place some time ago was in harmony with the nature of the drugs taken.

   At the Coroner's inquest that took place yesterday at the General Hospital there were present, Dr. Bott, Mr. Pillay, Mrs. Amodeus and myself as witnesses, and when the first three witnesses were examined by the Coroner the inquest ended, and I was informed that Mr. Amadeus' death took place through "Natural Causes" and was permitted to return.  &c.

C. S. COIL, Medical Practitioner, Calcutta Dispensary.   Singapore, 24th Jan. 1896


THE STRAITS TIMES, 23 November 1896 (3)


A tragic discovery was made this morning.  About a fortnight ago, a German named Focke arrived from New Guinea, en route for Borneo, and made his headquarters the Adelphi Hotel.  For some days he had suffered from fever and had complained of his head, but it did not seem an attack of so serious a character as to necessitate medical attention.  Last night, Mr. Focke retired to his room at an early hour, and, about 9 o'clock, a rather loud report was heard.  It was ascribed, however, to the bursting of a soda water bottle, and the incident was only noticed at the moment.  This morning, however, the discovery was made - after the locked door had been broken open - that the unfortunate man had shot himself with a revolver through the head, and that life was quite extinct.  On the table in the bedroom, an open atlas was found, together with about $130 in notes and change.  The police and Coroner were at once informed, and an inquest will be held.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 21 April 1898 (2)


YESTERDAY, Doctor Mugliston held an inquest on the body of a coolie, who was killed at Tanjong Pagar Dock by electricity on the 16th instant.  In returning a verdict, the Coroner pointed out that there should be some regulation regarding the licensing and inspection of running machinery.  The Coroner's remarks are dealt with more fully in our leader columns.




The body of a Chinaman was found yesterday at Tanjong Katong.  The body - which was that of a well-dressed man, had evidently been in the water at least two days.  There were no marks of violence.  Dr. Mugliston opened the inquest this morning, and adjourned it for a week, in order that the Police might make enquiries.

   About 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon  a man was carrying a child in his arms along the Tanjong Pagar Road, as as he kept looking around in a suspicious manner, a police constable went up to him and found that the child was dead.  It was about three months old.  The man said the child died in his arms as he was taking it to the Temple. He was removed to the police station, and the dead child sent to the General Hospital.  The Coroner has certified that death was due to natural causes.




Two Chinamen named Ha Lian and Cha Qua last evening went to Rochore Police Station and reported that  Chinaman named Ang Peh of 129 Victoria-street had died of consumption.  The police went to the house, and there found bruises and blood on the deceased.  They detained the men, and reported the matter to the Coroner who held an inquest to-day and returned a verdict of death from natural causes.




9th March 1900.

A fatal accident occurred at the China Borneo Co.'s Saw Mills here on the 22nd ult., when a Chinese boy, who was stealing firewood in one of the saw pits, got pulled into the belting, through his towchang being caught, the whole of his scalp, and one of his ears, was torn off, and he died in a few minutes.  A Coroner's Inquest was held, when a verdict of "Death by Accident" was brought in.




(From our own Correspondent.)

On Sunday, the 11th inst., a Coroner's inquest was held here on a timber coolie belonging to the China-Borneo Co., Ltd., of this place.  It seems that on the Saturday night the deceased was in the Gambling Farm, not gambling, but merely watching the playing, when - for some reason not quite clear as yet - two Police detectives seized him, and made to take him to the Saw Mill Barracks; on the road there the man must have struggled, for the detectives struck him several times, with the result that he had hardly arrived at the Barracks when he expired, from a ruptured spleen.  To add to the discredit of the police in this unsavoury case, the body was placed in the mortuary without a guard of any kind, the result being that the Coroner's jury had to view a body from which rats had eaten the eyes.  The Jury brought in a verdict that "deceased met his death owing to the blow or blows given by the detectives," and the men have been committed to the Sessions for trial.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 25 July 1900 (2)


LAST NIGHT, a serious and fatal misadventure occurred to a poor family of Chinese residing at 39 Upper Nankin Street.  The family consisted of father, mother, and three sons, named respectively Choy Ah Sik, Fan Ah Yean, Choy Ah Si, Choy Ah Yee, and Choy Ah Sam. It seems that one of the sons found at Ellenborough Market a fish roe which had been thrown away because it was rotten.  This he took home and the family made a meal of it.  An hour after, they all became very ill, and about midnight the mother and Choy Ah Si died.  The police were infiormed, and the father and the other two boys were promptly sent to the hospital where they are still.  This morning, the coroner, Mr. P. Joaquim, held an inquest on the bodies of the dead mother and son.


THE STRAITS TIMES, 1 October 1900 (2)

Two Chinamen employed in Riley, Hargreaves & Co.'s works at Tanjong Rhu had a bickering about something on Saturday last, and one of them cut open the skull of the other.  The injured man was taken to the General Hospital where he died the same night.  Owing to the circumstances of the case it became one for the coroner.  The body was taken to the dead house, and an inquest was arranged for the next morning.  Now, according to law, it is necessary, where possible, for the jurors at an inquest to view the remains of the deceased and have them identified in their presence.  When this process was attempted yesterday, it was discovered that rats had devoured a portion of the face of the corpse during the night.  It would be superfluous to dilate upon the gruesomeness of such an accident, but, of a truth, it is one that ought to be preventable.

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