As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, we’ve digitized a small selection of inquests and inquiries from 1872 to 1934, found in series GR-0431. These were chosen to reflect the experiences of early Chinese immigrants to B.C. – their living and working conditions, and their unfortunate accidental or unusual deaths. They range from a woman working in a brothel in Barkerville who died of natural causes to three sawmill workers who died from malnutrition. Learn more.
*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.
*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. 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.
Thomas Edwards, undertaker. Sworn:- By Mr. Potts:- Did you receive the bodies of the 12 Chinese killed on the 15th July? A: Yes, sir. Q: Did you make any examination of them? A: No, I searched them. Q: Who was present? A: Mr. Hall and those that identified the bodies particularly. Q: What was found on the clothes of these Chinamen? Any matches? A: No. 1, Ching Lung, a tobacco pouch, match-box and pipe; No. 2 Lung Luk, nothing; Tai Koo, nothing; Qumg Tang, nothing; Quong Chang, matches, knife; No. 6, Ching Bing, knife, match-box, key. Q: What kind of key? Would it be one that you could open a safety lamp with? A: No, it would be a rim lock or padlock key. Q: Were there any matches in the match-box? A: That I couldn't say now. No. 7, Mah See, pocket knife, key and tobacco pouch. Q: What kind of a key would that be? A: I couldn't tell you now, but there was no keys except what would open cabins; there was one key for a padlock and another for a rimlock. Wong Tu, nothing; Wong Chung, knife, tobacco pouch, lead pencil and silver watch; Chung King, money; Chung Lai Hop, nothing; Mai Lee, pocket knife. Q: You were present when Chung Lai was identified? A: Yes, I was; at the time the Jury was there. Q: He was one of the Chinamen killed? A: Yes.
Taken upon oath and acknowledged this 14 day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and three.
BC Archives GR-0431 Box 6 File 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia.