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1882/25 Regina vs. “King” – selling liquor without a licence

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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. 

BC Archives G-0419

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Summary Convictions.


General form of information or of complaint on oath.



District of Yale

The Information of Theodore K. Murray of the Township of Yale taken upon Oath, before me the undersign, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said District of Yale at Yale, in the said District, this third day of March, in the year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eighty two, who saith that (he hath just cause to suspect and believe, and doth suspect and believe that) King's Chinaman of the Big Tunnel of Tunnel City 15 miles above Yale in the said District of Yale within the space of Four days, last past, to wit, on or about the 28th day of February instant, at the Big Tunnel of Tunnel City in the District aforesaid, did use, practice and carry on the trade of vending, spirits and liquors by retail, without having taken out a licence, and had granted to him a licence in that [illegible]

Sgt Theodore K. Murray

contrary to the form of Statute in such case made and provided.

TAKEN and sworn before me, the day and year and at the place above mentioned.


BC Archives GR-0419 Box 24 File 1882/25 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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