Trial of four British seamen at Canton, 1 October 1807: scene outside the court
The scene outside the Chinese Court of Justice at Canton showing the arrival of four convicted British seamen from the East Indiaman, 'Neptune' in 1807. The Chinese court of justice was held at the British factory of Canton on 8 March 1807. In the presence of the British authorities there was an enquiry into a charge of homicide laid against a seaman from the 'Neptune'. While on shore leave at Canton, sailors from the ship became involved in a disturbance resulting in the death of one and the wounding of several Chinese. Trade by English ships was stopped and an investigation was held. The Chinese magistrate found one seaman guilty of accidental homicide and ordered that he be detained in the English factory. The rest of the 52 men were acquitted. Trade was resumed after two months' stoppage.
- Image reference: BHC0580
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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