1910/58 Rex .vs Lee Sing and Lee Lewis – carrying dangerous weapons
As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here.
*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.
*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person.
Q And that contained opium? A Prepared for smoking. Q Have you in the exercise of your duty as officer of Customs seized the opium in this case? A I have, sir. Q By virtue of your Writ of Assistance? A Yes. Q That writ is merely your authority? A Certainly. MR KENNEDY. I want to put that in as an exhibit. THE COURT: I suppose there is no objection to the Colonel taking it back again. MR KENNEDY Oh, no. Q Those were seized as being liable to Customs? A Being liable to Customs and seizure as being smuggled into Canada. MR RUSSELL: This writ would appear to have been issued in September 1889. A I believe so. Q And It would also appear to be in pursuance of Chapter 32 Section 143 of the Revised Statutes of Canada? A Yes. Q You happen to know, of course, do you not that that act has been repealed, and a new Customs Act has been substituted; and under that new Act you have not obtained any new authority. You know, I presume that King Edward was King of Great Britain and Ireland In 1906? A Yes. Q And this was issued when our late and lamented Queen Victoria was on the throne? A Yes sir. Q And you failed to have that writ renewed, or a new one substituted when the new King took office? A Certainly I did. Q This quantity of opium you speak of here was seized or located BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 143 File 1910/58 Attorney General documents.