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1914/40 Rex vs. Chong Ching – carnal knowledge

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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Taken at the preliminary hearing before John Cartmel, Stipendary Magistrate, on the 13th day of May, in the year of Our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and fourteen, of the charge that :-

“That, near Nelson, in the County of Kootenay, on or about the 12th day of July, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirteen, Chong Ching, unlawfully did have illicit connection with May Redcliffe, a girl of previous chaste character, than being of the age of 14 years. and under the age of 16 years “

C. R. Hamilton, C. Prosecutor for the Crown

Lee Kwong acted as Chinese Interpreter.

Claude W. Tyler, acted as Stenographer.

Chinese Interpreter and Stenographer duly sworn.

The accused was asked if he had Counsel to which he answered through his Interpreter. No.

The charge was read to the accused through his Interpreter.


Examined by Mr. Hamilton.

Q. How old are you?

A. 15 on May 25th, this year.

Q. Do you know what it means to tell the truth?

A. It means not to tell lies.

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 184 File 1914/40 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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