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1914/195 Rex vs. Lem How – attempted murder

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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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W. POLLARD GRANT: called as a witness being first sworn testified as follows:

MR. RUSSELL: I interpose an objection to Mr. Grant’s evidence. When the case against the Accused came on, my learned friend Mr. Cowan for the Prosecution, asked that all witnesses be excluded. The order was made for the exclusion of the witnesses. Mr. Grant, who is now called as a witness, remained in the Court room and heard all the evidence. He may have remained as Counsel, but he is a witness now. It is proposed to call him as a witness, and his evidence must be taken subject to the objections I raise.


7 Q You are a Solicitor Mr. Grant, in the City of Vancouver? A. Yes

8 Q Will you tell the Court where you were and what you did and what you heard on the day of the murder? A. The day after. The day after the murder, I was engaged over the ‘phone to get out two Chinaman who had been arrested on an affay.

MR. RUSSELL: Objected to. General evidence of that kind is not admissible. Engaged over the ‘phone by whom?

A. By Lim Sang; he is a Chinese Merchant carrying on business on Carrall Street in the City of Vancouver. I obtained bail for the Accused and the Informant. I think the bail was twenty five dollars each.

MR. RUSSELL: The evidence is objected to. It is not shown that there was any connection or authority between the Complainant and this man who retained Mr. Grant.

A: Subsequently on the following day I appeared in the Police Court for the Accused and for the Informant and had the case adjourned for a week.

MR. RUSSELL: At this moment, I interpose a positive objection. Mr. Grant has sworn he is a Solicitor; he has sworn to a retainer, not a direct retainer, but a retainer on behalf of the Complainant in this case. He appears to obtain the Bail Bond according to his account, and he then appears for him to obtain an adjournment and now he purports to

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 193 File 1914/195 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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