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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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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 No 5 Sec 3/12. Warrant of Commitment for want of Distress . Canada Province of British Columbia District of Yale To all or any of the Constables or other Peace Officers in the said District of Yale, province of British Columbia and to the Keeper of the Common Gaol of the said Province at New Westminster. Whereeas King "A Chinaman" late of Tunnel City, 15 miles above Yale in the District aforesaid was on the the seventh day of March eighteen hundred and eighty two duly convicted before me one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said Province on the information of Theodore W Murray of the town of Yale aforesaid for that he the said King "a Chinaman" did on the 28th day of February AD 1882 at Tunnel City,15 miles above Yale aforesaid did use practice and carry on the trade of vending spiritual liquors by retail without having taken out a license and had granted to him a license in that behalf, and it was thereby adjudged that the said King should for such an offence forfeit and pay the sum of Two hundred dollars together with Thirty dollars for license the said sum to go to Her Majesty and should also pay to the said Theodore J Murray the sum of Twenty two dollars & fifty cents for the costs in that behalf

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

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