The English law of trust property played an important role in the facilitation as well as transformation of various kinds of collective effort in the colonies – both commercial and charitable. It significantly impinged upon other laws and forms of property-holding in other traditions, such as the Chinese, Hindu and Islamic. These interactions, which were reflected in the appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, reveal busy commercial and faith networks, theological and cultural misunderstandings, and the crucial role of imperial law in shaping colonial societies.