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Colonial Cases

Newspaper Commentary and Minor Cases, Japan 1860s to 1870s

The Japan Times, 15 September 1865

Consular Court - In Probate.

Consulate of the U.S. of America,

Kanagawa, Japan. September 13th, 1865.

Notice is hereby given that on this day and date the Petition  and Probate of the last Will and Testament of Raphael Schoyer, deceased, came on for a hearing and from the proof0s taken and the examination had therein, the Court found that the said will was duly executed according to law and letters of administration with a copy of the will annexed were then duly issued to William Kemptner, Esq., one of the Executors named by the Testator. And as such Executor the said William Kemptner from on and after this date will take full charge of said Estate according to law.

  Given under my hand and Consular Seal of office this day and year first above written.

(Signed) GEO. S. FISHER.

U.S. Consul and ex Officio Judge of Probate.

Also published October20, 1865.


The Japan Times, 22 September 1865

The trial of a number of sailors belonging to H.B.M.S Leopard has been dragging its slow length along in the Consular Court, and has been duly reported in our Daily Paper. The finding of the Court we publish in another column. The salient points of the case would appear to be the display of great pluck on the part of the Superintendent of the Municipal Police in the discharge of his duty and of cowardice on the part of the sailors who, to the number of eight or nine, appear, on the evidence, to have, in a most unfair and un-English manner, beat the man when he was down - until he fired his revolver in self-defence, when all ran away. We are glad to see that thee men have met with their deserts and trust that they will be careful in future.


The Japan Times, 22 September 1865


Kanagawa, 16th September 1865



John Dipnall, John Mahoney, Eugene Sullivan, Thomas Woodward, Dennis Donovan, Andrew Moore, Joseph Tickle, William Parizet and Robert Boundy, Able Seamen belonging to H.M.S. Leopard.


MARCUS O. FLOWERS, Esq., H.B.M.'s Acting-Consul.


Lieut. R. RYAN, R.N.

Lieut. JOHNSON, R.N.


   The remainder of the evidence in this case will be published tomorrow in the Daily Advertiser. We subjoin the


The Court having considered the evidence, found the prisoners Parizet, Moore and Woodward guilty of a breach of the peace, rescuing a prisoner, and assaulting and beating the Master at Arms and Superintendent of Police, and wilfully obstructing the latter in the discharge of his duty. The man McCardell is also found guilty of the same offence.  The prisoner Boundy is convicted of being a participant in the same offences, but to a lesser extent than the above mentioned prisoners. The prisoners Mahoney, Donovan and Sullivan are also convicted of being participants in the disturbance and breach of the peace but there is not satisfactory evidence of their having beaten the Superintendent of Police. The prisoners Dipnall and Tickle are acquitted.

  Parizet, Moore and Woodward are sentenced to two months' imprisonment, the first and last weeks of which shall be passed on low diet and solitary confinement, and the remainder with hard labour.  Boundy one month with hard labour. The prisoners Donovan, Mahoney and Sullivan to pay a fine of 10 dollars each to the Queen, or to suffer 20 days' imprisonment with hard labour.

(Signed) MARCUS FLOWERS, H.B.M.'s Acting Consul.


The Japan Times, 5 January 1866

  On the 7th of July, SIR HARRY S. PARKES arrived in Yokohama to take up the position of Minister for Great Britain at the Court of the TYCOON. This gentleman came here with an established reputation; it is not for us to attempt to gild the crown he has won for himself elsewhere:- we are content to think our interests here safe in such hands  [continues at some length.]


The Japan Times, 9 February 1866.

[The following very amusing report of a police case which was heard today in the British Consular Court speaks volumes for the speed of education in the navy. The logic of the prisoners in the second case is irresistible.  [Ed. J.T.]





F. G. MYBURGH, H.B.M. Consul.

 Richard Gerry, Seaman belonging to H.M.'s S. Princess Royal, was charged with being drunk and incapable in the public street at 2.30 a.m. on the morning of the 8th instant.

 The prisoner pleaded in defence, that he had taken a glass more than he could carry which laid him on his beam ends - believed that he was very tight, and thought that the charge brought against him was perfectly true. Could not say that he had never been drunk before, but as a rule never indulged to the extent he did on this occasion. - This was the first time he had been in the lock up for being drunk.

   Fined $2 por 4 days imprisonment.

  THOMAS RUCKER and GEORGE DAMBELL. Seamen, belonging to H.M.S. Princess Royal., were charged by Constable Vollhardt, with being drunk and incapable in the public streets.

  In answer to the charge the prisoners said they did not want to dispute the matter.  In fact they were certain that the charge was true for they came on shore for the express purpose of getting drunk. They were not in the habit of getting raw liquor on board in fact they received it slightly diluted with water, in the proportion of one part of rum to thirteen of water so that when they came on shore and drank raw liquor it brought them up all standing - if they lived on shore they would get used to it and be able to drink two or three bottles as well as any landsman without getting drunk.

  Thought it very hard on them, for if they got drunk on board they were punished and it appeared to them that if they indulged on shore they were served the same, where were they to get drunk? - must get drunk once more.

  Fined $2 or 2 days imprisonment.

  One of the prisoners thought the fine rather high for it was very hard that a man could not come on shore, get drunk on raw liquor, and sleep it off quietly in the street, without being disturbed by a policeman and locked up in Jail all night, and then have to pay a fine of $2.


  JOSEPH FRAYTON, Seaman belonging to H.M.S. Princess Royal, was charged with creating a disturbance in the Horse and Groom Public house, and striking a Japanese woman.

  SIKHE, a Japanese female servant in the employ of the proprietor of the Horse & Groom deposed to the effect, that the prisoner was very drunk and was teasing another servant, when she went to the other's assistance, when the prisoner struck her on the face and then  kicked her.

  WILLIAM COPAS also in the employ of tne proprietor of the Horse and Groom corroborated the previous witness's deposition.

  Prisoner in answer to the charge said that he must have been very drunk when he did it, for he could not recollect anything about the matter, was very sorry for it; if he had done anything wrong - never got drunk on shore before - and how he came to get top heavy this time he did not know - suspected that he was poisoned.

  Fined $10 or 10 days imprisonment.


The Japan Times, 2 March 1866


YOKOHAMA, 1st March, 1866.


F. G. MYBURGH, Esq., H.B.M.'s Consul.

 MICHAEL McRENNE, and GEORGE REED, Marines, belonging to H.M.'s Princess Royal, were charged with being drunk and incapable in the public streets at 2 a.m. on the morning of the 27th inst.

  Prisoners in defence said, they came on shore to the Theatre, and got a drop too much, were very sorry, it was the first time they had been locked up for that offence, and that it should never occur again.

  Fined $2.00 or 3 days imprisonment.

  FREDERICK WILLIAM YOUNG, steward of the British barque Chanticleer, was charged by THOMAS MILMORE LACING, the chief mate of the aforesaid barque, with being drunk and incapable and threatening to shoot him the prosecutor, on the night of the 28th Feb. 1866.

 THOMAS WILLIAM LACING. Chief mate of the British barque Chanticleer, being duly sworn, deposed as follows:

  On the night of the 28th Feb. the steward came into the cabin to lay the cloth for tea, and he answered me in a very improper way.  I gently shoved him away and seeing that he was drunk I told him so, and said that I would get the tea ready myself; prisoner then came up to me and said, "drunk, am I." I then shoved him away, and in doing so I shoved him down. He got up and then struck me. The Captain then interfered and tried to pacify the prisoner and told him to go to his cabin; the prisoner then threatened to shoot me, a loaded pistol was taken out of his hands by the Chinese Stevedore.

  I left the prisoner in the berth and went to the Captain's cabin to get the irons, while I was gone a loaded pistol was taken from the prisoner. I then called the second mate down and had the prisoner placed in irons. At half past two o'clock I went on deck and offered to release him, but he refused to be released.  I was up all night, I thought my life in great danger.

  Achong, alias Canton Jack, duly warned to speak the truth, deposed as follows:

  I was in the cabin of the Chanticleer on the evening the dispute between the steward and mate occurred, and sent another Chinaman on deck to call then second mate down. When the second mate came down he told the prisoner to go to his berth, the prisoner did so but soon after came back into the cabin. I was in the forward cabin when the second mate called me to take a pistol out of the prisoner's hands. After supper I gave the pistol to the chief mate.

  The chief mate had gone into the captain's cabin for the irons when I took the pistol away from then prisoner.

   Questioned by the prisoner.

   It was I that took the pistol, the prisoner did not give it up to the second mate. By the Court.

   The quarrel first began by the chief mate telling the prisoner to look sharp with the tea, and afterwards shoving him.

   MICHAEL FRASER, Captain of the British ship Chanticleer, being duly sworn deposed as follows:

  I heard a scuffle in the cabin on the evening in question; I went down below and found that it was the mate and the prisoner quarrelling. I tried to separate them, and when I heard that the prisoner had threatened to shoot the first mate with a pistol, I allowed the mate to have the prisoner placed in irons.

   By the Court.

   I had placed the pistol, which they say was taken from the prisoner, in my chest several days before the quarrel took place. We usually take our tea at 6 o'clock. The prisoner appeared to me to be drunk at the time; cannot positively swear that he was so. He has sailed with me for six months and has always served the meals with regularity. I have had occasion to find fault with the prisoner before, twice for getting drunk. I did not see the pistol in prisoner's possession, when I first saw them they had hold of each other.

   JOSEPH IRVING, second mate of the Chanticleer, being duly worn, deposed as follows:

  I was in the cabin during this disturbance, the captain was there also.  I heard the captain tell the chief mate not to strike the prisoner again; the captain was present when the pistol was taken from the prisoner. The mate was ill-using the prisoner at the time I entered the cabin, and the captain was trying to separate them. The prisoner told the chief mate that he would put a bullet through him, the mate stuck him again after the prisoner had said this. The prisoner as soon as he found it was me that was holding him gave up the pistol immediately.

   Cross-examined by the chief mate.

  The chief mate had gone after the irons when the steward gave the pistol up. At the time the prisoner threatened to shoot the chief mate, the latter had not seen the pistol.

  By the Court.

   I can't say that the prisoner was drunk. I did not see him strike the mate.

   WLLIAM GREEN, seaman belonging to the Chanticleer, being duly sworn, deposed as follows:

  On the evening in question I was standing at the top of the companion ladder, when I saw the chief mate both strike and kick the prisoner and otherwise ill-use him. I had been on shore with the prisoner that day, and we did not even drink a single glass of liquor, so that the prisoner could not have been drunk.

   Cross-examined by the mate.

  The prisoner was not drunk, but was very much excited, and nearly senseless with the ill-usage he had experienced.


The Judge in summing up remarked that from the evidence elicited from the different witnesses the whole blame appeared to be on the side of the complainant, for having beaten and ill-used the prisoner without any adequate provocation to such an extent as he had. And that he was astonished at the captain allowing such things to occur, had the prisoner really been drunk and endangered the life of the prosecutor by threatening to shoot him, he should have called in the assistance of some of the men and had him placed in irons and brought on shore instead of allowing the mate to unjustly ill-use him, and keep him in irons all night. He therefore dismissed the charge and felt bound to take notice of the complainant's conduct, and therefore inflict on the complainant the fine of $25 for the assault.


The Japan Times, 9 March 1866


YOKOHAMA, 7th March 1866.



  JOHN ROBERTS, Ord. Seaman, belonging to the British barque Grenadier, was charged by HENRY WOODFORD, part proprietor of the public house PRINCESS ROYAL, with stealing two shirts, one coat, and one pair of gloves, from the bedroom of the prosecutor.

   Henry Woodford, being duly sworn, deposed:

 The night before last the prisoner was in my house drinking and got a little the worse for liquor; not wishing to turn him into the street I allowed him to sleep in my own bedroom. Before I awoke the next morning the prisoner left the house taking with him two shirts, one coat, and one pair of gloves, which belonged to me. Some time afterwards he came back, when I taxed him with the theft and found the clothes concealed about his person, he having put my shirt and coat on first, and then his on over them. I found one shirt and the gloves concealed in his bosom.

  He denied having stolen them, and said that another man had given them to him. I immediately gave him in to custody.

   By the Court -

 He had the clothes concealed under his own. The prisoner had on a short jacket at the time and I saw a portion of my coat hanging below. I saw them on the prisoner. When taxed with the theft the prisoner said another man gave them to him. I gave him in to custody directly I discovered he had stolen the clothes. My bar-keeper was present when I took the clothes from the prisoner. I do not know my bar-keeper's proper name, the only name that I have heard him called is by Charlie.

 Sergt. Henley, of the Municipal Police, stated that when the prisoner was brought to the police station, he said that he did not care as they could not prove the charge, that the man who saw him take the clothes had gone on board ship, and could not be brought as a witness against him.

 Prisoner in defence, stated, that he was the worse for liquor and did not recollect taking the clothes. The only thing that he recollected was being knocked about by a number of men.  He had always borne a good character wherever he had been, and that it was all the fault of the liquor; he recollected that he had been greatly ill-use somewhere, as his body was all over bruises.

  Found guilty, and sentenced to 14 days imprisonment.

   THOMAS EVANS, Seaman belonging to tne British Barque Grenadier, was charged with being drunk, and disorderly in the public streets.

   GILLARD, Police Constable, duly sworn, deposed:

 About 2 p.m. yesterday, while walking along the Homura Road, I saw the prisoner very drunk and covered all over with mud. He had in his possession two blankets, and kept annoying people as they passed along, by following them and asking them to buy the blankets.

 Prisoner in defence, stated that he was very sorry, but that the liquor made him forget himself - he had drank nothing since leaving England, that was the reason it took such an effect on him. He had bought the blankets down in the swamp, and having got hard up for money, tried to sell them. Did not know what he was about or he would never have disgraced himself as he did.

 This being the first offence against the prisoner, he was admonished and warned never to be brought up again for the same offence or he would be punished severely.

 THOMAS ANDERSON, Seaman belonging to H.M.'s ship Princess Royal, was charged with assaulting police constables Lawrence and Gillard, while in the execution of their duty.

   Gillard, Municipal Police Constable, duly sworn, deposed as follows:

 Yesterday about 11.30 a.m. the prisoner was brought to the Police Station, as a deserter from H.M.'s ship Princess Royal. We compared the marks on his person with the descriptions we had received and found that he was the same man described in the document as having deserted. We told the prisoner that he was the man, and proceeded to handcuff him when he denied belonging to the Princess Royal and became very violent, knocked down Sergt. Lawrence and kicked him on the side of the head while he was lying on the ground.

 The prisoner also tore two coats one of which Sergt. Lawrence had on at the time of the assault, the other was an oilskin coat which the prisoner caught hold of and tore out the sleeves rendering the coat perfectly useless.  The prisoner was so violent that it required four constables to handcuff him.

   By the Court.

   Sergt. Lawrence also of the Municipal Police, being duly sworn, corroborated the previous witness's evidence.

 Prisoner on being asked what he had to say in his defence, stated, that on being apprehended as a deserter by the police, he told them he would go on board quietly and did not want to be handcuffed. He never struck or kicked any of the constables, it was while they were handcuffing him, that he resisted and they all three fell down together.

  The Master at Arms of the Princess Royal, being present in Court, identified the prisoner as being a deserter from that snip.

   The prisoner was sentenced to 30 days imprisonment and to pay the sum of $15 the value of the two coats destroyed by him.


The Japan Times, 9 March 1866


On the night of the 5th inst. the body of a French marine named LE SEVEN was found lying on a pontoon of the swamp opposite the British Consulate. When found he was unable to speak and was immediately conveyed to the French hospital where he died shortly after from the injuries he had received. From the appearance of the wounds, he appears to have been struck about the head and body by some heavy blunt instrument, part of the skull being literally beaten in and the face swollen up so as to entirely close the eyes. He also appears to have been severely injured about the loins. One wound sufficient to have caused his death was at the base of his skull and seems to have been given with the spike on one of those fire hooks which are so common  in the Japanese towns  and which the natives use to pull down beams during a fire. It appears that the man was drunk and amusing himself by rolling a tub down the narrow street leading to the Gankoro that he upset several people and created the disturbance in  which he met his death.
  Enquiries are being instituted for the detection of the perpetrators of this murder.


The Japan Times, 30 March 1866


YOKOHAMA, 22nd March 1866.



  JOHN MARIANO, who was taken into custody some days since by the Municipal Police, on suspicion of being implicated in a robbery, committed on the premises of Mr. William Curtis, proprietor pf the Commercial Hotel, and when taken before H.B.M.'s Consul claimed Portuguese protection, was brought up for examination.

   Mr. WILLIAM CURTIS, proprietor of the Commercial Hotel, being duly sworn , deposed as follows:

  The prisoner Mariano was in my employ as steward at the time the robbery took place. On Sunday morning last about six o'clock he came to my bed room with some tea, and while there he told me that some person or persons had effected an entrance through the pantry window and stolen all then plate ware &c. I told him not to disturb anything in the pantry as I wished to examine how the thieves had got in.  On going down I found everything in the pantry in just the same order as I had left it the night before, nothing being disturbed in the least with the exception of the drawer containing the plate &c. which was missing. I next examined the door, but could find no marks of it having been forced.

   By the Court.

  I suspected the prisoner as being concerned in the robbery because he was in possession of the key of the pantry and sleeping in the next room, and on finding nothing in the pantry disturbed and no marks on the door or window as would be the case if some person or persons had effected a forcible entry.
  When I gave prisoner into custody I searched his room and found a pair of trousers belonging to an officer of the Princess Royal, which had been missed some time since. The articles stolen were about seven doz. Knives, forks and spoons, two knife rests, eight napkin rings and one table cloth.  

   The table cloth has since been found in the possession of a woman, with whom the prisoner cohabited.

  At this stage of the proceedings the prisoner John Mariano, having ben interrogated as to his nationality, being unable to give any satisfactory answers, having no papers to prove that he was a Porttuguese subject and not being registered at that Consulate, the Consul stated that he felt compelled to decline any jurisdiction in this case, and remitted the prisoner back to H.B.M.'s Consul.


The Japan Times, 30 March 1866


YOKOHAMA, 26th March 1866



 JOHN MARIANO, a Portuguese, Ah Yuen, alias Joe and Ah Chong, Chinese, were charged by Mr. Curtis, proprietor of the Commercial Hotel, with stealing between the hours of two and six on Sunday Morning, a large quantity of plate.

  John Mariano, on being questioned by the Court, said that he was a Macao Portuguese and was not registered at the English Consulate.

 The Court refused to examine the aforesaid prisoner, on account of being a subject of another nationality, and advised the prosecutor to hand him over to the proper authorities.

  The Court then proceeded to examine the other parties.

   Mr. W. CURTIS, proprietor of the Commercial Hotel, being duly sworn, deposed:

 On Sunday morning between the hours of two and six a large quantity of knives plate ware &c., was stolen from my pantry. The plate & c.  was placed in a drawer in the sideboard on Saturday night, but before going to bed my wife took the drawer with the plate in it and locked it up in the pantry for security. The key of the pantry is generally given to the boy Mariano as he gets up first in the morning, and has the plate cleaned.

Early on Sunday morning he came to my bed with some tea and told me that all the plate and also one table cloth had been stolen. I told him not to disturb anything in the pantry as I wanted to see how the thieves had effected an entrance. On going in to examine the pantry I found the window a little open but none of the Tarts, Jellies, &c.,  which I had placed close to the window on Saturday night had been disturbed.  It was impossible that the drawer could have been passed through the window which was not large enough to admit of the drawer being passed out of it, and the space between the pantry and Messrs. Kirby & Co.'s  Godown, is not sufficiently large enough to allow the drawer to pass through without turning it lengthways, which would have thrown the contents on the ground.

   By the Court.

The contents of the pantry had not been disturbed and there was not the slightest mark on the door which would lead any person to suppose that it had been forced open. I suspected Ah Yuen because he was hired by Mariano and on asking him  what he knew respecting the plate that was stolen, he produced seven Knives which he said he had picked up from under the pantry window. I inquired what he was doing there, and he answered, that on throwing some empty bottles out of the window he observed the Knives lying on the ground. I examined the ground, but could find no marks of footsteps.  If any person or persons had been there I could have easily discovered the marks of their feet as the ground under the window is very soft and wet. After I had given the boy Mariano in to custody I searched his room, and found a pair of riding trowsers which had been stolen from one of the bedrooms some time since. 

The Court did not think the evidence adduced sufficient to convict the prisoner Ah Yuen therefore remanded him for three days, to allow the Mr. Curtis time to investigate the matter, and trying to find some trace of the articles stolen, and bring forward any evidence that he might obtain.

The prosecutor stated, that from the information he had obtained since giving the prisoner into custody, he thought Ah Chong was not implicated in the matter.  Ah Ching was therefore discharged by the Court.


March 22nd.

  The prisoner Ah Yuen, remanded on the 19th for three days was again brought before the Court.

 The prosecutor being in attendance stated that he had no further evidence to bring against the prisoner, and as he had received information that a portion of the stolen articles had been found in a house which the boy Mariano frequented he had no objection to take Ah Yuen into his employ again.

 The prisoner was then discharged.


JOSE MEDCALF, Seaman belonging to the British barque Grenadier, was charged with trespassing on the premises belonging to Messrs. Van der Polder & Co.

Vollhardt, constable, duly sworn deposed as follows:

Last night about half past nine o'clock, as I was passing along the Homura Road, I heard a noise at the back of the Princess Royal Public House. I went to see what the disturbance was about and found three gentlemen holding the prisoner. It appears that they had found him in the stable and he tried to escape by jumping out of the window.

Prisoner in defence stated, that he came on shore yesterday afternoon on leave, and taking a few glasses of liquor it took effect on him before he had time to go off to the ship, and that he went into the stable to sleep it off. He was very sorry, but he was not used to drink, mot having tasted any for five months: thought it almost impossible to come on shore without getting drunk. 

  Fined $2 or three days imprisonment.


The Japan Times, 6 April 1866.


YOKOHAMA, 3rd April 1866



  SAMUEL COOK, a Seaman belonging to H.M.S Adventure, was charged by Constable Vollhardt, with being drunk and incapable in the public street at 3 a.m. this morning.

  Prisoner in defence said, that he was not incapable, he had stowed a little liquor away and was slightly the worse for it, but was quite capable of taking care of himself without intruding upon the hospitality of the police for a night's lodging.

  The prisoner was dismissed after being admonished and warned never to be brought up again.

 GEORGE WHITSTON, who described himself  as being an Assistant Military Steward on board H.M.S. Adventure,  was charged with being drunk in then Main Street about 1 a.m. this morning, also with assaulting a French Police Constable whilst in the execution of his duty.

   Constable Vollhardt, duly sworn, deposed as follows:

  I found the prisoner drunk in the Main Street, about one o'clock last night opposite the premises at present occupied by Messrs. Jelovitz & Co. He was lying down in the middle of the street fast asleep. I called a French constable to assist in taking him to the lock-up, when the prisoner became very violent, kicked the constable on the leg amnd knocked him down.

  The prisoner in defence stated, that he had taken a glass too much or he would not have behaved as he did. As a rule he was generally very quiet when in liquor; was very sorry for what occurred, but could not recollect anything about it.

  Fined $2 for being drunk and lying asleep in the streets, and $3 for the assault.

   WILLIAM BRIDGER, a seaman belonging to H.M.S. Adventure, was charged with being drunk and incapable.

  The prisoner said that he had no doubt that the charge was true and the only excuse he could offer, was, that not having been on shore for nine months, the liquor he took quite overpowered him. Thought being accommodated with a night's lodging in the Municipal lock-up was quite sufficient punishment for getting drunk.

   Fined $2 or three days imprisonment.

  ROBERT MILLER, s seaman belonging to the British barque Fusi-yama, was charged by JOSEPH HARLEY, the proprietor of the Brown Jug eating-house, with having ordered a breakfast, and then refusing to pay for the same.

   Joseph Harley, duly sworn, deposed as follows:

 Between half-past six and seven this morning, the prisoner and another man came in to my shop an d ordered breakfast.  I got their breakfast ready, when the prisoner refused to pay his share of the cost.  The other man paid for his. The price of the breakfast is 50 cents, I should not have given the man into custody for the money, if he had not annoyed me, and made a noise in my house. At the time the dispute occurred there were eight gentlemen in my house who had ordered a champagne breakfast, but on hearing the disturbance they went away, the prisoner thereby causing me the loss of about $10.

 The prisoner on being asked what he had to say in his defence said he did not recollect having ordered breakfast, but could not swear that he had not done so. He did not refuse to pay the 50 cents, he and his companion paid two itzeboos and eight tempoes between them.

 The prosecutor here informed the Court, that the man who accompanied the prisoner paid one Itz 4 tempoes for his breakfast, and 12 tempoes for the drinks; the prisoner only paid eight tempoes for one drink which he had and refused to pay for his breakfast.

   Fined the costs of the Court, and to pay 50 cents the cost of the breakfast.

April 5th.

 ALFRED WHITE, a seaman belonging to the British barque Fusi-yama, was charged with being drunk and disorderly, assaulting the son of Mr. James Esdale. Tailor and Outfitter of this place, and breaking a pane of glass on the premises of the prosecutor.

 The son of then prosecutor stated, that yesterday afternoon while on horseback the prisoner came up and spoke to him in a very impudent manner. Witness told him to mind his own business on which the prisoner took up s stone and threw it at the witness, but instead of striking witness, the stone went through a window.

   Prisoner in defence said that he did not intend to do witness any harm; he offered to pay for the damage done to the window before he was given into custody.

   Fined $3 for the assault and 50 cents the amount for the damage done to the window.


The Japan Times, 6 April 1866


PROMINENT among the subjects which should be carefully considered by the new Chamber of Commerce of Yokohama is the necessity of effecting some reform in the existing system of contracts between foreigners and Japanese.


At present, whatever may be the case amongst the Japanese themselves, between native and foreigner there is virtually no law binding both parties to a contract. Two notorious cases of breach of contract in which Europeans, EDELMAN and ALPIGER, were defendants, have been tried in foreign courts, most patient investigation given to them, and most equitable judgments given and enforced in favour of the Japanese plaintiffs. But there is no instance of which we have heard that the same fair dealing on the part of the native government - no instance of their giving the least assistance to foreign merchants; on the contrary, on  almost every occasion, these just complaints have been  treated with insolent contempt by the authorities in the Custom-house and every facility given to the offender to escape.  . . . 


 . . .  A Mixed Court to try cases between natives and foreigners would be a great boon, but as this court is necessary for many other than contract cases, we cannot here digress into the details of its establishment.

. . . 

 . . .  it remains for the merchants of Yokohama to try the application of those of others, more efficacious, which as practical men, they will probably have no difficulty in discovering for themselves. 


The Japan Times, 19 May 1866.



YOKOHAMA, 16 May 1866.




   This was a case in which the above named defendants, keeping public houses, were summoned for refusing to pay the $100 security money demanded by the Municipal Council.

   One of the defendants, being examined, proved that the police had applied to him for the $100 security money which he had refused to pay.

   The same was the case with the remainder of the defendants.

  The Court said that at a meeting of the Consuls representing the seven Treaty Powers held 30th April last, they were of opinion and resolved, that the Municipal authorities had no judicial power, therefore, could not enforce either the license or the $100 security; but that the Consular authorities would do so, in their behalf.

   The Court adjudged, that each of the defendants should pay into the Consulate the license fee for April and May, and in future to pay it to the Municipal Council, and also ordered them to pay into the Consulate $100 as security that they will keep respectable houses; defendants to pay the costs of Court.


The North-China Herald, 23 January 1869



The following decision in the case of Kingdon v. Wilkin and Robson has been given.  "The Court decrees, therefore, that defendants bear three fourths of the loss of the transaction, and plaintiff one fourth, - as being the most equitable mode of adjustment under all the circumstances of so complicated a case.  Costs of Court to be borne in the same proportion."  The defendants have given notice of appeal.


The North-China Herald, 6 March 1869.


NAGASAKI. - seems to have been shaken to its centre by a few "misguided' Chinese having fired off crackers during the new year holidays.  Fully four fifths of the Nagasaki Times are filled with this subject, and we have a letter from our correspondent on the same matter, but it is too long to print.  It seems that the Portuguese Consul granted permission to a certain Chinaman to fire crackers on a certain day, and the Times is very strong against his unwarrantable action in, as is alleged, opposing all the other Consuls.

It turned out, however, to have been not the Portuguese but the British consul who opposed his colleagues, all of them except Mr. Flowers having agreed to grant permission to fire crackers on the 18th inst.  The British Consul, notwithstanding this, sent a constable and had several Chinese arrested and taken to the Custom House, when they were fined $10 each.  On this the other Consuls went in a body to the Japanese authorities and represented the state of affairs, when the fines were returned to the Chinese.  Some Europeans took a fire engine and played water into three of the Chinese houses, damaging a considerable quantity of goods.  The Consuls, we learn, have appealed to their Ministers regarding the affair.


The North-China Herald, 30 June 1870.


Mr. Frederick James Barnard, barrister-at-law in Her Britannic Majesty's Supreme and other Courts in China and Japan, has at last been prohibited from appearing in the Court here.  The Consul has had his temper sorely tried, but has at length suspended Mr. Barnard from appearing in the Court any longer.  So for the present the curtain falls on him.


Japan Weekly Mail, 24 September 1870

Sitwell & Schoyer v. Ragnan & Co.-This was a claim for $700 and $650 with freight, &c., the cost of two carriages ordered by plaintiifs on account of the defendant by their agent (Mr. G. A. Low) in New York from a coach-builder there: but refused to be taken delivery of by defendant on arrival, because built by a different maker than the one whose make he had ordered. It appeared that the plaintiffs had been put to considerable trouble in executing the commission, and had only gone to a different maker because the one speciļ¬ed refused to build vehicles of the pattern selected for the sum to which they were limited. Rangan, on seeing the carriages, did not express any dissatisfaction with them. They had his monogram painted on by which their value was lessened, and were useless to the plaintiffs.

His Lordship, remarking that the action of defendant in the matter was most ungracious, said that he evidently did not want the carriages and therefore repudiated them. But an agent in law was bound to follow strictly the directions of his principal, and must bear the brunt of having acted in excess of instructions. He believed that the plaintiffs had acted in thorough good faith, but could not do otherwise than give a verdict for the defendant with costs.


Wellington Independent (NZ), 18 October 1870



Two British subjects, Howles and Black, engineers, becoming bankrupts, an American subject in their employ took possession of some of their property for some claim he had against them.  The assignee in the estate applied to the United States Consular Court for recovery of it, but before the case was tried he got possession.  He took possession on behalf of the creditors, the property being attached under the hand and seal of H.B.M.'s Consul.  The United States Consul sent his marshal, who with some policemen (Japanese) forcibly entered the premises.  The American Consul has been asked to make an apology, but the case was not settled up to last dates.


A sad case occurred, which seems to have caused great excitement among the Europeans in Yokohama.  A Captain Gilfillan fell from his horse, and dislocated his shoulder.  Dr. Dalliston tried to set it, but the pain was so great that the patient could not bear it; Chloroform amounting in all to one and a quarter ounces was administered, when, without any warning, the action of the heart suddenly ceased, and with a gasp the poor captain died.  The coroner's inquest result in a verdict that death was caused by the administering of chloroform by the doctor without due care.  The Consul bound over Dr. Dalliston in very heavy sureties to appear if called upon to take his trial for wilful homicide.


Japan Weekly Mail, 26 November 1870, 564f, 3 December 1870, 571-572, 10 December 1870, 589-591

[long articles about lawyers' fees in Yokohama] See R. v. Howell, 1870.


Japan Weekly Mail, 2 March 1872  [285]


THE amount of power entrusted to the executive officers of the United States government is very large; larger than it is with us, and than we would consider compatible with our strong sense of personal freedom. But the theory which confers it is not without advantages, and sometimes gives strength to the executive when under a similar circumstance our own works be deficient in power. But when abused, and when this abuse is justified by judicial sanction, it becomes a terrible instrument of tyranny. An occurrence on Saturday last illustrates this, and must not be allowed to pass without notice. It was shortly as follows.

WM. M. DAVIS, the deputy-marshal of the United States Consular Court, who, we believe, is a retired prize fighter, and whose name may be familiar to the public in connection with a charge of biting a man's ear off on the occasion of the last regatta (vide Japan Herald, June 29, 1871) was directed to arrest a man named McGREGOR on a charge of misdemeanour. McGregor, who had the character of being a violent man, who had previously been in prison, and had, as was alleged by Davis, expressed threats of violence against any one who should arrest him again - although McGregor denied this latter allegation -  was in a boat in the harbour, and heard his name called. He turned and saw Davis in company with another man whom he had brought to assist in the capture. Davis swore that McGregor said he would be d-----d if he would come, but McGregor denied this, and Kerr, the other constable with him, also denied having heard it. Davis did not read his warrant to McGregor, and did not even show him the warrant until long after the arrest was made; he simply called on McGregor to follow him. 

To this McGregor appears to have made some demur, surely not unnatural under the circumstances, upon which Davis jumped on board his boat, and unjustified by any show of resistance, at once struck him over the head with his stick, which was broken by the force used, struck him subsequently with his first and then threw him bodily into his own boat and took him on shore. The attendant policeman seems to have remonstrated with him for this outrageous violence, but not apparently with any effect. 

All this is strange enough, but stranger still will follow. McGregor brings a charge of assault against the deputy-marshal in the United States Court, and the charge is dismissed on the ground that McGregor, being within the knowledge of the Court a violent person, the officer was justified in guarding himself against any possible, (not any offered) violence, by stunning the man first and arresting him afterwards ! The only evidence of McGregor's violent character was that on a former occasion, when arrested by the deputy-marshal, he threatened the latter. 

What power the American law may confer upon a deputy-marshal we know not, but we cannot congratulate ourselves too heartily that we are under no danger of becoming subject to it. 

A more outrageous and unjustifiable proceeding never was recorded. Both it and the charge that arose out of it are calculated to excite the gravest misgivings in American subjects, and as such we have called attention to them. According to the law of England and all European States, a police officer may only use violence to prevent a crime or retain a prisoner attempting to escape, and even then only when violence is necessary. The previous ill character of the person arrested, however bad it may be, is only one fact among others by which violence may be shown to be necessary upon a justifiable occasion, and is no excuse whatever for violence used upon an occasion not justifiable. 

American subjects are nearly concerned on this latter, and were it to pass unnoticed, there is no saying to what lengths force might not be resorted to in carrying out the behests of the United States Court on future occasions. We are willing to think that the extreme jealousy which characterizes the view of Anglo-Saxon in respect of personal liberty and the infringement of it by officers of the executive, may be somewhat relaxed by substance from the hearth of their institutions. In England such a case could not occur without raising a spirit which would make itself heard from Land's End to John O'Groats's house, and if we know anything of the tenacity with which many of our old traditions are still clung to in America, a strenuous resistance would be offered there to proceedings so arbitrary and tyrannous. But here, perhaps, we require to be reminded that they are so, and in this view the subject has been taken up.

We cannot afford to omit the last scene of this curious dream, though it descends from the large subject of the freedom of the subject to a purely ridiculous and farcical anti-climax. Mr. Dickins, who conducted the case we have referred to above, was called before the United States Court, as an officer of it, for contempt, and the evidence before the Court shows clearly that the only ground for this proceeding was, that Mr. Dickins, after the case was ended and the Court adjourned, made a remark in answer to some question from his client or some of his client's friends, from which a bystander inferred disrespect to the Court, which inference he reported at a hotel table d'hote. This bystander could not swear to the words used, except that he had heard the word "justice," and Mr. Dickins was dragged up before the Court, to answer, not for any words uttered by him, but because a particular person made and repeated a particular inference from a remark made by Mr. Dickins in answer to some question which witness did not hear.

Our only astonishment is that Mr. Dickins should have thought it necessary to appear on such a purely frivolous and vexatious charge.

The United States Charge d'Affaires said something about "the dignity of the Court" being maintained, nor is it much our business to put him right as to the best means of maintaining it. But he may rely upon this that the dignity of the Court will be little assisted by such proceedings as we have recounted, proceedings which are utterly at variance with the spirit and manliness of the Common Law of England and therefore of the United States. This law has been the defence of twenty generations of Englishmen against the tyranny of kings and their nominees. It was the most precious inheritance which their alienated American children received from them at the time of that separation, which, but for perseverance in a demonstrated folly, should have come in peace and by mutual consent. 

American civil servants, indeed, by reason of the very variableness of their fortunes, should be the most jealous to guard against any infractions of this noble code of laws. They are soldiers today, consuls tomorrow, civilians the week afterwards, and Heaven knows what within the next six months. If Englishmen have every interest in jealously guarding their rights against oppression, much more have Americans who may at any moment become the objects of these very laws which they are fortuitously called upon to administer.

If Mr. Shepard wishes to produce the idea of dignity in connection with the Court over which he presides, he will do well to order its proceedings in such a manner as to avoid the criticisms which his utterances in it have already called forth now on more than one occasion,  and to see that in future they are conducted with due regard to the spirit of a tribunal which has at least that merit in it, that it administers laws which are fundamentally English in their spirit and incidence.

Addison somewhere tells a story of a little girl whose ordinary demeanour rendered her a general favourite, but who suddenly surprised her parents and friends by exhibiting a singular and unaccountable arrogance of manner. The cause of this eluded all, their sagacity, until it was found, on putting her to bed, that she had been wearing a new pair of garters all day. The anecdote seems to furnish a moral not inapplicable to the proceedings which have elicited from us the preceding observations.


Japan Weekly Mail, 17 August 1872, pp 515-516


Before Mr. Consul Robertson

Monday, August 12th.

Thomas Ryder, of the Leander, charged with assaulting the mate of that ship. He "did not think he was quite guilty." The prosecutor said that on Saturday morning he was in charge of the ship. Ryder came aft and demanded half an hour's liberty to go on board the Salamis which prosecutor refused. Prisoner asked three times, and then told him he could hoist the police flag as he didn't intend to do any more work. Witness ordered him to go forward and gave him a slight push, on which present turned round and struck him with his fist. Whilst securing him, prisoner bit him in the shoulder very severely, and when in irons, contrived to break his handcuffs. On the prisoner a man named Cornish swore that the mate give prisoner a blow over the eye first, and then, as he was descending the steps from the poop, kicked him on the back. - Prisoner bared his shoulder, whence a good sized strip of skin was missing. - The mate said that this had resulted from the man's back grazing the later, and not from a blow. There was no blackness, or appearance of bruise about the wound. The captain gave the man a very good character, and he got off with a fine of of [sic] a dollar.


David Wilkes and William Cornish left the ship without leave on Saturday, - the letter after having been taken back by the Police boat just before. The latter went to gaol for a fortnight, and the former for a week.


Thomas Stanley was charged with being absent without leave, assaulting the master of the Leander, and refusing duty. This man had been brought off shore by the police, and when is still under the influence of liquor kicked the skipper's hat off. Next morning he refused to turn to. He was sent gaol for a month.


Tuesday, August 13th.

Three men of the Seaforth were charged with repeated refusal of duty.

His Honour sentenced them to three weeks' imprisonment.



Before Mr. Consul Shapard.

Tuesday, August 13th,

J. Conolly charged with fraudulently obtaining goods from a Japanese and assaulting him. From the evidence it appeared that last night he went to a restaurant-keeper and refreshed exhausted nature with a dozen eggs, seven cups of coffee, and other inconsiderable trifles. The proprietor began to entertain doubts as to his customer's solvency toward the conclusion of the repast - when he asked for sherry, but did not get it - which were confirmed when he asked for payment. Trembling on the brink of financial ruin, he threatened to procure the intervention of the police to prop is falling fortune. Prisoner "propped" him - in the eye, and knocked him down.

The Consul recommended the man to get paid in advance in future, before he served such customers.

The prisoner said that a man called Fitzgerald ordered the provisions. He was willing to pay what was due - two boos and two tempos. He didn't pay it last night because he hadn't any money with him. He didn't pick plaintiff on the foot; he might have stored on his foot when the Japanese head season by the coat, and was asking him for money. He had been discharged from the Audax, and had since earned $6 for rigging the Maria Lux. He had drunk part of the money, and paid part for a pair of boots.

The Consul told him he was getting to be quite a noted character about Yokohama.

The Vice-Consul said he had been confined in jail once, but had caused a great deal of trouble about the town.

Said he didn't know what he had been sent to gaol for, unless it was contempt of Court. He spoke rather hastily, has he had a little whisky inside him. It could be nothing else.

The Consul enquired if prisoner considered whisky a good thing to drink as a morning beverage.

Prisoner evaded the question, saying that he hadn't drunk any since 1862 he came the Yokohama. He boarded round at White's, and guessed his advance would pay what what he owed the Japanese. He was going away with the Maria Lux.

The Consul was not so sure about that as a prisoner had not at that moment the option of controlling his own movements.

The case was adjourned, and after a while, a man named Fitzgerald said he ordered the food consumed by prisoner, and would pay for it.

Conolly was sent to gaol for 20 days, - but to leave the place if you could be shipped in an American craft before the sentence expired.


Wednesday, 14th August 1872.

J. Chase charged with assaulting a Chinaman in the employment of Textor & Co., At the Custom House yesterday. It was fined $15, and warned that if it again found guilty of a similar offence he would be deported.


Friday, August 16th.

Thomas Hocken was charged with assaulting Japanese police officers and a jinrikisha coolie, and breaking the vehicle. - Kambetto, a policeman, cautioned said: Yesterday I was on duty at the Hatoba and saw prisoner strike complainant two or three times on the breast. I went up to them and ask what was the matter, on which the jinrikisha man said that he had been dragging prisoner about the town and had not been paid. Prisoner tried to assault me, and in the scuffle the middle cross piece of the jinrikisha got broken in the end. Hocken had got angry, because the man would not take him to No. 75. - Complainant said that when he refuse to pull prisoner further, because he had not been paid, the other struck him several times; but did not hurt him much. He had ridden for four hours. The charge for that was two boos and a half. - Hocken admitted being intoxicated, but denied any intention of doing damage. He was fined $1 and costs' besides payment of $1 to the jin-riki-shaman.

- Badcock, an officer of the Ariel, was charged with assaulting Japanese customs officers.

Michi-toshi, deposed that he was a tide waiter and it was his duty to see that all goods or articles brought off from the shore to ships on which it was stationed bore the Government stamp. On the 11th day of the 6th month he was on board the Ariel, when Badcock wanted some sheep taken in. He told him to wait a moment. Defendant first put his hand upon witness' shoulders and afterwards struck him in the eye. He did not know if the sheep were for ship's use. He was instructed that all goods for the provision of the ship were allowed to be passed on board without a permit. He did not enquire if they were for the ship, nor did he provoke Badcock. He did not know if there was any duty on sheep, but he was placed on chipboard under strict orders from his officers to require a permit for everything taken on board. He thought if the sheep had not a permit, it was not proper.The Consul asked if he thought it was proper for a passenger to come on board without a permit?

Witness said he had nothing to do with that.

S'zuki Tadatchka, another officer, deposed that he saw these sheet which had come off to the ship and asked if they had a permit? Last witness had enquired whence they had been brought, and was told from the foot of the hill (P.M.S.S. Co.'s shed). He saw last witness go towards Badcock, and the latter strike him on the eye. He went between them and stopped the fight.

For the defence, John Farrier, the P.M.S.S. Co.'s butcher, Kerry, the steward of the Ariel, and the defendant, depose that the sheep were kept over half an hour alongside, the tide-waiters refusing to allow them to be hoisted in, though they were repeatedly told, and must have understood, the sheep work for the ships. The defendant was called on to interfere, and ordered the sendoes to bring them up. The complainant tried to rush past defendant as he was descending the gangway, push him back and tour his shirt, on which the other lifted him on the guard and struck him.

His Honour said the only question involved was as to who struck the first blow? He must, however, say the Japanese Custom House officer was greatly in the wrong for not allowing the sheep to be taken on board. He could not help expressing surprise that the Customs authorities should permit men to hold such positions, the duties of which they were not conversant with. He could not blame the officer very much. In the sheep, as he was doubtless acting under instructions from his superior officer, but he really must deprecate such proceedings on the part of the Custom House officials, which in themselves amounted to little, but caused great annoyance and delay to ships. He was, moreover surprised to find that the authorities should think a company like the P.M.S.S. Company would condescend to such a mean action. If the Custom House officials did not know that, according to treaty, ships' suppliers were allowed to be taken on board without paying Customs' duties, was quite time they learned; whilst he was always ready to punish any offender against the Custom House rules, the authorities must be made aware that on the other hand, he could not permit ships to be stopped in the manner they are, and he wished the Custom House interpreter who was present in court to convey these sentiments to the authorities. As regards the assault, the balance of evidence was in Mr. Badcock's favour, and he should therefore dismiss the case.


Empire (Sydney) 4 August 1874

"Law and Police" give reports of the courts.  The proceedings in H.B.M. (her British Majesty's) Provincial are summonses for debt.  In the Consular Court, F. Percival is sent to gaol for one week for binding with a rope and assaulting one Yendo Hamekicki.  Thomas Rose is next fined two dollars and costs, for beating a collie with an iron rod, which proves that Britons rule the waves everywhere.


In the United States Consular Court several sailors are dealt with for drunkenness, and F. Golmeeke is cautioned and dismissed, after being charged with destroying a stone wall.  Frederick Law is charged with breaking down a railway gate, the property of the Takashima Kayemon, value 50 cents.  Prisoner's defence is that he went to Yedo, and took a glass or two too much, but, in spite of his confession, he is imprisoned for ten days, and fined three dollars.


The North China Herald, 28 January 1875


At H.B.M.'s Consular Court on the 11th inst., before Marcus Flowers, Esq., W. L. MALCOLMSON was charged by Mr. J. C. Clark on the part of the Japanese Government, with having on the evening of the 4th of January, unlawfully and maliciously damaged certain  letter boxes and other articles in the Japanese Post office, the property of the Japanese Government.  Defendant acknowledged the charge, but said he did not do it maliciously.  It was further stated that he had written a letter of apology to Mr. Clark, and that gentleman on being examined, said he thought it was done through a lark, and not maliciously.  The Consul in deciding the case,   said such larks must not be permitted, and ordered defendant to pay a fine of $20 and costs; and also bound him over to keep the peace for twelve months, himself in $200 and one surety in a like amount.


Acting under instructions from Sir Edmund Hornby, Mr. Acting-Consul Annesley has written to Messrs. Heimann and Valantine returning the fine and fees levied in the recent case of contempt of court brought against them, and apologizing for his mistaken views of the law in the case.


The North China Herald, 4 February 1875


The libel case of W. G. Howell (Japan Mail) v. J. R. ANGLIN AND C. D. Moss (Japan Gazette) occupied the whole of the 19th instant, in H.B. M.'s Provincial Court.  The jury, after returning for a quarter of an hour, brought in a verdict for the plaintiff, giving the nominal damages o f $1.  The question of costs was reserved by the Court.

On Monday, the 18th, a petition was filed in H.B.M.'s Bankruptcy Court, on the application of the Hongkong and Shanghai banking Corporation, that respondent E. Wallace, be adjudicated bankrupt, he having failed to pay bills owing to appellants to the amount of $8,700.  The case was adjourned until the 2nd prox., respondent to file an amendment to his answer to the petition, and to state clearly what his defence would be.


THE JAPAN WEEKLY MAIL, 18 February,1875


Before E. O. Zapfe, Esq., Consul.

Messrs. Gravert and Franks, Assessors.


This was an action brought to recover $100 bargain money.

Mr. Mol of the Saibansho appeared for plaintiff.

Plaintiff stated that he made with the defendant, on the 26th February,1875, a contract for delivery of 600 pieces of colored cotton Italian cloth, to arrive and to be delivered according to sample. That he paid for account of defendant into the Chartered Mercantile Bank $100 bargain money. That the defendant having failed to fulfil the contract, he had brought this action for the recovery of his bargain money.

Defendant - Had made the contract in question with the plaintiff, and had received $100 bargain money. Had been ready to deliver the goods within the contract time, and according to sample, but plaintiff had refused to receive them. Had then written to the plaintiff and informed him that he would sell the goods at his risk and expense. Had sold the goods at current market rates, and sustained a loss of $1,118.72. Detains the bargain money as part payment on this loss.

[Correspondence between plaintiff and defendant, also accounts of sale laid before the Court.]

He filed, through the Consulate in Yedo, in the Yedo Saibansho, a petition to recover from the plaintiff $1,118.72 for the loss sustained. Petition was filed on the 25th of August,1873; however, no judgment has been delivered as yet. Prayed the Court to postpone the further hearing of the present case, until judgment had been delivered by the Japanese Court.  Is if opinion that the judgment of the Court will furnish him with important evidence in the present suit.

Plaintiff argued that the case at present [part missing] Court had nothing to do with the case defendant had pending in Yedo, and prayed the Court not to grant the prayer of the defendant, but to continue the hearing of the case before it.

The Court considered that the still pending decision of the Japanese Court would furnish material evidence for defendant's case, and that an immediate decision of the present Court might prejudice the decision of the Japanese tribunal. His Honour then adjourned the further hearing of the case until the final decision of the Japanese Court be received. - Herald.


The North China Herald, 4 March 1875


The hearing of the case of the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation against E. Wallace was resumed on the 11th, before H.B.M. Consul.  His Honour declined to permit the production of further evidence on the plaintiff's side and the case ended with the addressees of the respective counsel, judgment being reserved.


The North China Herald, 1 April 1875


The case of Davison v.  Beato has been settled in H.M.'s Provincial Court. By a verdict for the plaintiff for the gross sum of $8,302.65, which disposes of the set-off claimed by the defendant.





Before H. S. Wilkinson, Esq., Acting Consul.

June 11,1875

JOHN WILSON was charged on remand with assaulting two Japanese men, and a policeman, while drunk.

Prisoner said he knew nothing about the affair.

On Friday last evidence was given by the two men and by the constable, the woman being too much hurt to appear, to the effect that the prisoner came into the sake house of one of the complainants and called for some sake, which was refused. He then assaulted the proprietor of the house and the other man and woman who happened to be in at the time. The woman, the prisoner struck over the head with a stick, wounding her. Prisoner then left, and on a constable attempting to arrest him, he assaulted him also. The prisoner was drunk and violent at the time.

F. White, constable of the Court, deposed that he had been to see the woman with Dr.  Wheeler. She was wounded in the head. The skull was broken to the extent of an inch. Dr. Wheeler dressed the wound and  said it would heal in a few days.

 The Japanese interpreter of the court stated that he had accompanied White, and had seen the wound. Dr. Wheeler dressed it.

  Prisoner said he had no witnesses to call. He knew nothing about the affair.

His Honour sentenced him to four weeks' imprisonment with hard labour, and to pay $10.50, the cost of medical attention on the woman, or in default to be imprisoned another week.






DEAR SIR. - Foreign residents in this part of Japan have been reading with some curiosity the reports of the strange case of criminal assault under recent examination at the British Vice-Consular Court in Yedo. This curiosity has culminated into surprise at the extraordinary conclusion - the conviction - the appeal of the prisoner - and his subsequent release on bail.

People ask themselves how is it that a British subject can be arraigned on a serious criminal charge before an inferior tribunal presided over by a non-professional magistrate and denied the right of a jury of his countrymen. Where or what is Her Britannic Majesty's so-called Supreme Court of Japan - what are its duties and within what limits is its jurisdiction?

We were all of us under the conviction that trial by jury was a Briton's right, and we had hoped with the extension to Japan of a Supreme Court of judicature, presided over by a regularly appointed Judge selected from the body of "Counsel learned in the law," our personal rights were so far guarded from the invasion of unlearned judgments and from the old haphazard proceedings incidental to the crude temporary arrangements adopted in the infancy of the Foreign Settlement. The present case has given a rude shock to our feelings of security, and has made us anxious that steps should be taken without delay to remedy such a grievance.

I have no hesitation in appealing to the Press for their powerful support in the matter, and I have little doubt that there will be no hesitation on your part in urging upon those concerned such measures as may be necessary to prevent the recurrence of such an "untoward event."

As for the released prisoner, convicted by the presiding Counsel, acquitted by the conjoint Assessors, and now on bail pending an appeal to Shanghai, I need say nothing, believing his case to be in safe hands, but the long and anxious suspense cannot fail him anything but a bed of roses.



The North China Herald, 3 July 1875


Charles Adds was tried on the 127th ulto., in H.B.M.'s Provincial Court, before C. W. Goodwin, Esq., and  Jury, for having aided and abetted the robbery from the Comptoir d'Escompte de Paris; with having received part of the stolen money; and with harbouring the principals of the embezzlement.  He was found guilty on all counts, and sentenced to two years imprisonment, with hard labour.

The trial of Archibald King, before M. Dohmen, Esq., H.B.M.s Vice Consul, and Assessors, on a charge of rape, alleged to have been committed on a Japanese girl, has been brought to a conclusion in H.B.M.'s Vice-Consular Court, Tokio.  The prisoner was declared guilty, and sentenced to six month's imprisonment.  The Assessors, Messrs. C. H. Dallas, F. W. Sutton, R.N., and H. St. George, however, dissented from this decision, and notice of appeal to the Supreme Court at Shanghai was after wards given by Counsel for the defence.  King was eventually released on bail in the sum of $1,500.

The North China Herald, 17 July 1875

The Advertiser translates the following from the Choya Shimbuin: - The Government has dismissed Archibald King (lately convicted of rape on a native girl), paying him the salary due to him, but not his passage money.  King's agreement, which was for three years, was entered into in August 1874.




Before R. Robertson, Esq., Consul.

Thursday, October 7,1875

WILLIAM ALLEN, seaman, was charged with assaulting a Japanese named Kushiwo Shinjiro, in Takashimacho.

Prosecutor stated that the prisoner came to his house, and made a great noise, and refused to go away. When he requested him, to do so, he struck him in the face. He then called a policeman, and gave him in charge.

Takehara Suze, police constable, stated that he was called by the last witness to arrest the prisoner for assaulting him. He arrested the prisoner, who refused to walk. He called a jinricksha, and took him to the station.

 Prisoner stated that he was beat and kicked about by several Japanese and only defended himself.

  His Honour sentenced him to prison for seven days.




Before R. Robertson, Esq., Consul.

 W. HOCKINGS, seaman of H.M.S. Charybdis, was charged with drunkenness, assaulting the Japanese Police, and damaging a policeman's coat.

 Prisoner admitted having been intoxicated, but pleaded that he did not remember anything.

His Honour, after hearing the evidence, ordered prisoner to pay the value of the coat destroyed, 3 yen 50 sen,  and to pay a boo and a half jinricksha hire.


Daily Alta California, 19 November 1875

The law case in the United States Consular Court - a Japanese versus Walsh, Hall & Co., still drags on from day to day.  I think it may possibly end by the 20th December, so that Consul General, Assessors, lawyers, - they ought to have come first - can enjoy themselv es quietly at Christmas.  All concerned are to be congratulated that such a case only occurs in this, once now and then - I am afraid to fix a term. 

Most of the law is done at the English Consulate, but 1875 will be memorable in the Consulate over which waves the Union flag.


THE JAPAN WEEKLY MAIL, 27 November,1875



Before R. Robertson, Esq. 

Monday, Nov. 22nd.


Charge - Robbing $50 from the person of Peter Cumming, late cook of the British ship Shalimar,

 Accused pleaded not guilty.

 Alex. Johnson, late chief officer of the Parmenio, sworn.

 The evidence this witness gave on the 17th Nov.  was read over to him, and acknowledged.

To Court: On the evening in question he had no dispute with accused that he remembered of. He had his coat torn on that night. He did not remember seeing a pistol that night.

 To Accused: It was a young fellow named Ford who lost his coat. Accused never presented a pistol at him that night. He left the house shortly after 11 o'clock.

 Peter Cummings recalled and re-sworn.

 To Court: It was not after the trouble, but before it, that he changed the $10 bill. He drank with accused, and paid with a $10 bill.

   Accused had no questions to ask.

 F.E. White, Consular Constable, sworn: He remembered prisoner being paid off from the Shalimar on the 9th of this month. He received $85.25, of which $35 were paid to Mr. Mills, of the Sailors' Home, and $50 to himself.

  Accused had no questions to ask.

   Henry Compton, recalled and re-sworn.

  To Court: Baker, Johnson, Wallace, and a coloured man were present.

   To Accused, witness answered he was sure he had a revolver.

   Edward Baker, recalled and re-sworn.

   To Court: He was positively sure he saw the revolver in accused's hands.

To Accused: He saw him in the dining room, he (accused) brought out the revolver from the dining room, and said "if you say another word about this, I'll blow your brain out." He was not paid for coming here. The man who brought him here had no money.

William Wallace, seaman, sworn: On the night of the 9th instant Peter Cumming (the prosecutor) was standing at the door of the Sailors' house crying. He said he had been robbed of $50 at accused's. He went with some others to accused. He saw accused holding Johnson by the shoulders. Accused said to Johnson, "If you blow on me about this I'll blow your brains out."  He then saw Baker look in and ask what they were doing. Accused tore the coat off Johnson's back, and drew the revolver again and said he would blow Johnson's brains out. He left for the "Old Britannia," and as he was going he heard two shots fired in the "British Queen,", went back and looked in, and he saw accused and Johnson leaning over the bar. Accused put his hand in his pocket, and gave some money to Johnson. He then left.

The Accused: He heard him say to Johnson, that he (accused) would blow his (Johnson's) brains out, if he blowed on him. Accused had hold of Johnson by the throat. He had a revolver in his hand. He saw accused hand some paper money to Johnson.

Moses Roberts, a seaman, sworn: he went with prosecutor to accused's house, on the 9th inst. He wanted to find out what had happened. Johnson was there. Johnson said that accused laid the money on the floor, and accused said that he did not lay it on the floor, but that Johnson came and took it out of his hands again. On being questioned, accused admitted that he had taken a dollar and some cents out of prosecutor's pocket. Accused assaulted prosecutor.

 To Accused: Prosecutor said when he first came in that you had stolen his money.

  The usual warning having been given, the accused made a long statement denying the charge in toto.

   His Honour committed him for trial.


THE JAPAN WEEKLY MAIL, 27 November,1875 


Before H. S. Wilkinson, Esq., this morning, F. BARRUCA sued E. LEWIS for a sum of $67, being a debt in connection with a lottery in which a Frenchman named Albert Cousecau and the plaintiff played a prominent role. His Honor gave judgment for the full amount claimed and costs, to be paid by instalments.


THE JAPAN WEEKLY MAIL, 4 December,1875


Before H. S. Wilkinson, Esq., Acting Consul.

Thursday, 2nd Dec.,1875

ALEXANDER JOHNSON, late chief officer of the Parmenio, was charged with stealing $50 from the person of Peter Cumming, late cook of the Shalimar, on the 9th November last.

  Accused pleaded "not guilty" to the charge.

Peter Cumming, sworn: I am a seaman. Late cook of the Shalimar. (Witness here gave the same testimony as in the preliminary hearing of the same charge against Livingstone.)

To Accused: You were leaning over me, in the dining room, when Livingstone had his hand in my pocket. I told Livingstone in the othger room that I had been robbed.

A seaman of the Oscar Vidal  gave the same evidence as he had given in the charge against Livingstone.

 To accused: Livingstone said he would blow your brains out between 9 and 10 o'clock that evening.

 Wallace, a seaman, repeated the evidence he had given in the charge against Livingstone.

 To accused: It was between 9 and 10 o'clock when Livingstone threatened to shoot you. It was shortly after that that Livingstone tore your coat.

   A sailor of the Shalimar gave similar evidence as before in the charge against Livingstone.

  To Accused: It was a long time after dinner when Cumming left.

Wallace, recalled: I saw Livingstone give accused some money. I saw this through the window of the "British Queen." I looked in because, after I had left, I heard two shots fired in the "British Queen."

To Accused: I only heard the shots. This was between 9 and 10 o'clock.

William Davis, seaman, sworn: My last ship was the Cremona. I was in the "British Queen" on the 9th, in the forenoon. I saw complainant come into the house with the boatswain and Livingstone. I had a drink with them. After that we went in and had some dinner. I do not remember if Johnson was there then. After dinner we went into the other room, and had some drinks. I went for a walk with the boatswain, and when we returned, at 4 o'clock, complainant told me he had been robbed of his money in the house. Johnson was there then. Complainant accused Johnson and Livingstone of stealing his money. Livingstone then swore at complainant. After the row was ended, I went into the other room, and Johnson came in. He was drunk. We all had drinks again. I asked Johnson if Livingstone had taken complainant's money. Johnson said, "shut up." I went and got dinner about 6 o'clock, and then went back to the "British Queen." I remained there till the shop was about to shut up. About ten o'clock I saw Johnson and Livingstone getting in a quarrel outside the bar. I was a little the worse for drink, and did not interfere until I saw Livingstone tearing Johnson's coat. I succeeded in separating them. Johnson took off his coat and slung it across the bar; he said, "This is no use to me now." Livingstone threw it back at him, and said, "D-m you, take it, I don't want it." Next morning I saw Johnson and asked him about the coat, and he showed me a new coat he had got from Livingstone. I asked Johnson if Livingstone had taken complainant's money, and he said, "Yes, but don't let on, as I owe Livingstone about $20 for drinks and cash. Johnson said he got a few dollars out of what Livingstone had stolen, and that Livingstone called it "square" about the $20.

To Accused: You have the coat on now. I saw you next morning with the coat on. You said you got it from Livingstone. You told me you got a few dollars from, Livingstone and your account squared out of this.

 Accused, having been duly cautioned in the usual form, said - "I have nothing to say now,"

  His Honor then committed the prisoner for trial.


Japan Weekly Mail, 4 December, 1875


Before Asaino Kansui, Vice-President.

30 November,1875


 This was an action for $125.67 for balance of account for goods sold and delivered.

Defendant denied his indebtedness, and claimed that plaintiffs were in his debt on a copper transaction, and that he had applied very often to be allowed to see plaintiff's books.

 The Court adjourned till the 5th December, when the books of both parties are to be examined.


Daily Alta California, 28 December 1875


I must not forget to tell you that the case of Ito Hachibei vs. The American firm of Walsh, Hall & Co., is now closed, after three months and more of investigation in the United States Consular Court.  The Consul-General has reserved his judgment on the ground of the mass of evidence to compare, and documents to inspect, but will give due notice to the parties concerned when to attend his Court.

I have every reason to believe that the case will not terminate here, as both parties have publicly announced their intention of taking it to Washington, should the verdict be unfavorable to them.  There is only one opinion  here as to how the case will be decided in this Court; but as there is a possibility that files of the ALTA, containing this correspondence, will be read in  Yokohama before judgment is given, I think I had better not anticipate it.


The Times, 24 March 1876



Sir C. DILKE asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government approved the following "Regulation" lately issued by a British Minister:-

"Any British subjects who shall, within the dominions of His Imperial Majesty the Mikado, print or publish a newspaper in the Japanese language, shall be deemed guilty of an offence, and, upon conviction thereof before any British Consular or other Court, shall be liable to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months, with or without hard labour."

Mr. BOURKE. - The Regulation to which the hon. Baronet has alluded was issued by Her Majesty's Minister in Japan in consequence of representations that were made to him by the Japanese Government respecting the publication of newspapers in Japan and in the Japanese language by persons who were British subjects, and therefore, according to our treaty with Japan, were not amenable to Japanese authority, but were amenable to the Consular Court.  We have not yet received the full particulars, which we expect by the next mail, and, therefore, I am unable to say whether or not the British Minister's regulation will be approved.


Press (NZ), 15 June 1876


(From then Pall Mall Gazette.)

British not allowed to publish in Japanese; referred to "British or other consular courts."


Sacramento Daily Union, 2 May 1877

In the United States Consular Court E. B. Watson, a merchant of Yokohama, has sued Walsh, Hall & Co.  for $10,000 damages accruing from alleged delivery of a quantity of bags inferior to those contracted for.  Evidence has been adduced on both sides, and decision is reserved.


The North China Herald, 10 January 1878


Judgment has been given by Mr. Acting Law Secretary Wilkinson in H.B.M.'s Court, in the case of Bradfield (Medical Hall) v. North, for the sum of $3,000, the amount claimed, less $977.90 and interest at 10 per cent.  Interest on $3,000 from 30th June, 1876, and on $977.90 from 30th November, 1875, calculated to 31st December, 1877, when the amount must be paif. Defendant to pay costs of suit.

  The Court, then, ordered that defendant pay $2,208.30 by the 31st Dec., with costs of Court less taxed costs of counterclaim to 12th Oct. last.

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