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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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

(I 1) See ss. 42, 50.

Conviction for a penalty, to be levied by distress, and in default of sufficient distress, by Imprisonment.



District of Yale

BE IT remembered, That on the Seventh day of March in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and eighty two at the town of Yale, in the said District King "a Chinaman" is convicted before the undersigned one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said Province. On the information of Theodore K. Murray of the town of Yale aforesaid for that the said King, did on the Twenty eighth day of February A.D. 1882 at Tunnel City 15 miles above Yale, use, practise, and carry on the trade of vending spirits and liquor by retail, without having taken out a licence and had granted to have a licence in that behalf.

and I adjudge the said King "a Chinaman" for his said offence to forfeit and pay the sum of Two Hundred dollars together with thirty dollars for licence, the said sums to go to Her Majesty.

to be paid an applied according to law, and also to pay to the said Theodore K Murray the sum of twenty two dollars & fifty cents, for his costs in this behalf; and if the said several sums be not paid forthwith, or on or before the


next, I order that the same be levied by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the said King and in default of sufficient distress, I adjudge the said King "a Chinaman" to be imprisoned in the Common Gaol of the said Province at New Westminster in the said Province for the space of three months unless the said several sums and all costs and charges of the said distress (and of the commitment and conveying of the said King to the said Common Gaol, shall be sooner paid.

GIVEN under my Hand and Seal, the day and year first above mentioned at the town of Yale in the District aforesaid.


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

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