Form Of Oath Administered By C.P. Hodges To Chinese Witnesses In Courts Of Justice
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Form Of Oath Administered By C.P. Hodges To Chinese Witnesses In Courts Of Justice

c1860s. Document on laid paper with affixed slip of red paper, Chinese characters and English text in ink, 33 x 20.2cm. Stains, foxing, old folds.

English text includes “You have come to court and are standing before the face of the Magistrate as a Witness. You must reflect the truth in giving evidence. If you do not so reflect the truth the whole body of intelligent discerning spirits will oversee and punish you. But if you do so speak the truth the whole body of spirits will protect you, preserve you and you will obtain happiness without limit.”

British-born Charles Powell Hodges (c1831-1905) emigrated to Australia in his early twenties. He became a highly esteemed Chinese interpreter who worked in country Victoria, particularly in the goldfields area. The government of Victoria relied on Hodges for information and statistics on the Chinese in Australia. The Emperor of China bestowed the rank of mandarin for his services in 1890. Hodges also participated in the 1901 Chinese procession to welcome the Duke and Duchess of York to Melbourne and celebrate the opening of the first Federal parliament. Ref: La Trobe University Chinese Museum.

Very rare legal Australian manuscript, possibly used in the gold fields.

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Item #CL173-7

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