Courthouse (1st Generation) [1841-1844] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Courthouse (1st Generation) [1841-1844]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
c.1841-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Date Place demolished: 
c.1844-03-04 (Month, Day are approximate)

A brief history of the Court Houses of Hongkong might be given here. We find in the old chronicles that building of a Court House on the site of the present Masonic Hall in Zetland Street was commenced in 1841 It was not until three years later (a matter for complaint at the time) that a Supreme Court was opened in premises in Wellington Street on October 1, 1844, the event being accompanied by the customary pomp and ceremony.


Hong Kong Telegraph November 12th 1903


On the 4th March 1844 at ten o'clock in the forenoon, in a temporary building near Government House, the first Criminal Court for trial by Jury was held in China, The then Governor Sir Henry Pottinger, and the Lieut-Governor, Major-General d'Aguilar, both sat as judges. The Governor sat in plain clothes the latter in uniform. Mr. Burgass officiated as Crown Prosecutor and Mr. Hillier as Registrar. In addressing the Grand Jury Sir Henry Pottinger stated,- I wish to God my share in the investigation on which we are about to enter had fallen into more qualified hands, but I can at least promise that I sit here to exercise the most rigid impartiality as well as to temper justice with mercy, and I am assured that you will most cordially and anxiously unite with me in the same feeling .Mr. Patrick Stewart was chosen foreman of the jury and two cases were tried.


Source: Old Hong Kong by Colonial Vol 1