Hong Kong 1842 – 1843 – part 2

Friend of China 25.8.42 edition

Extract ….. Reverend Shuck, the Editor of this newspaper, is living in Hong Kong and his colleague Reverend Roberts is at Stanley.

Roberts conducts service on Sunday in Chinese. He recently baptised his first convert. Before the English arrived, Stanley was the biggest Hong Kong village but now it has greatly reduced to only about 1,200 people.[25]

Friend of China 1.9.42 edition

The garrison at Stanley (Chek Chu) in Hong Kong has been sick recently. The son of Thomas de Quincey (the opium eater) of the 26th Regiment is one of the fatalities. Dr Bace of the same regiment has died as well.

Friend of China 1.9.42 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

Sgt Hamer of the 18th Royal Irish Regiment accused Ah Yee of selling sam shoo. I went to his hut near West Point barracks yesterday and agreed to buy two bottles for a Rupee.

Alexander Ingram witnessed Ah Yee give a bottle of sam shoo to Hamer. Hamer had told him he had received one bottle previously.

Ah Yee’s defence – Hamer said he was sick so I got him some sam shoo. I was trying to help him.

Sentence – 50 lashes, his house to be pulled down.

Friend of China 8.9.42 edition

Editorial – Our predatory neighbours in Kowloon have visited again. An attempt on Albany Godowns was made and the robbers repulsed and escaped. We need a gunboat stationed nightly on the opposite shore.

Friend of China 10.9.42 special edition

Notice published by A R Johnstone, officer administering the government of Hong Kong, at Government House on 9th September. On 26th Aug 42 at Nanking Pottinger announced agreement with the Chinese for settlement of all matters in dispute:

  • $21,000,000 payable over this and the next three years;
  • Canton, Amoy, Fuk Chow, Ningpo and Shanghai opened to trade. Consular officer at each. Regular and just tariff on imports and exports;
  • Hong Kong ceded to Britain in perpetuity;
  • All captured British subjects, European or Indian, to be released unconditionally;
  • Emperor to amnesty all Chinese subjects who have or had connections with the English, and
  • Correspondence between the officers of each government to be equal.

On the To Kwong Emperor’s ratification and payment of the first $6 million, British troops will withdraw from Nanking, the Grand Canal and Chin Hae. Chusan islands and Kulangsu will continue to be held until all payments completed and the four new ports opened.

Friend of China 22.9.42 edition

A duel has been fought in Hong Kong since our last issue. We deplore this kind of thing

Friend of China 22.9.42 edition

Mr Edward Farncomb, a private lawyer from Calcutta, who has been advertising for business in every issue during the last two months, has this week been made Coroner of Hong Kong.

Friend of China 22.9.42 edition

We report a case of kidnapping in Hong Kong in this issue.

We hear every time law and order diminishes there are cases of kidnapping of the wives and children of important people in China.

During our military advance on Canton last year some of the wives and children of Hong merchants were abducted in this way and had to be ransomed.

It is also apparent from the reports of crime in China that slavery exists and seems to have been extended to Hong Kong.

Our magistrate will have to acknowledge the fact as his warrant requires him to administer the laws, usages and customs of China to the native population.

Once we are formally admitted within the British empire this must cease

Friend of China 22.9.42 edition

Crime report: The problem of piracy at Hong Kong is continuing. Ah Lup has charged Ah Chiu with criminal breach of contract:

‘On 26th Aug I was sailing through Kap Shui Mun when pirates boarded my boat and robbed me of 280 Taels of silver and 120 Taels-worth of property (2 iron guns, 4 bows, 200 arrows, 3 swords, 15 long knives, 6 fishing knives, 28 spears, 15 spikes and chisels, 1 gong, 16 hats and some clothes and medicine).

‘I am a businessman. There were seven people on my boat whilst the pirates numbered about thirty. They fired a gun across our bows. We did not fire back but stopped. They boarded and drank tea. We showed them our pass (issued by the Chung Suen Tong Society at Hong Kong dated 24th Aug and valid to 22nd Oct 42) and paid the usual 108 Cash to them as lucky money. They left then later they returned. The pushed us into a corner of the boat and took everything.

‘I accuse Ah Chiu. I paid him $6 for this pass. His colleague Ah Kui assured me it would protect me from pirates all around Hong Kong. Ah Kui is not in Hong Kong now and neither he nor Ah Chiu were amongst the pirates who robbed me. They guaranteed protection but failed. I expect Ah Chiu to pay 400 Taels in compensation.

‘I arrived here on 27th Aug to look for Ah Chiu, whose house is opposite the Chung Suen Tong but I could not find him. I went into Chung Suen Tong and showed them my pass and complained. They said they would check who had robbed me and if they had done something wrong they would compensate me. I went back the day before yesterday at night and they refused to pay.

‘I have bought a similar pass from the prisoner before for trading at Stanley. When I bought this pass on 24th August there was a man called Yeuk Ho from Shek Pai Wan present who was also buying a pass.’

Ah Lup’s crewman Ah Sze also gave evidence:

I went to Ah Chiu’s shop opposite Chung Suen Tong on 24th Aug to buy a pass. Ah Chiu took me across the road into Chung Suen Tong and I paid $6 to Yan So and received the document. I took it to our boat and gave it to our captain Ah Lup. Our boat belongs to Heen Wu who lives at Sham Shui Seah near Canton. He owns the cargo as well. Everybody knows you must have these passes for protection. Heen Wu gave me Ah Chiu’s name and told me to buy the pass from him. I was not on the boat when it was attacked.


Ah Chiu says he knows nothing. He never saw Ah Lup or Ah Sze before. I don’t know what a pass is. I do not know the society they mention or the people who sell pork in the shop in front of the society. The people in the bazaar all know me. I now produce this testimonial signed by 20 bazaar hawkers showing I am a genuine trader.

Case adjourned for the bazaar shopkeepers to attend court.

At the resumed hearing, Ah Lup first produced three passes issued to three separate boats. Ah Lai is one of the boatmen and is brought into Court. He is shown the pass for his own boat but says he has never seen it before.

Court notes that the three papers, whilst similar to Plaintiff’s pass, are all new and not of the appearance of documents produced 2-3 months earlier.

Prisoner is acquitted.

Ah Lup’s crewman, Ah Sze is awarded 60 lashes for false testimony.

Friend of China 29.9.42 edition

Crime report – Ah Sing and Ah Charn are charged by Magistrate Caine with kidnapping:

The witness Ah Sze says he is a carpenter. He went down to one of the passenger boats that had arrived from Canton, to buy planks and saw his brother Ah Wai, 10 years old, sitting there crying. Ah Wai said Ah Sing had offered him work in Canton at Chow Chum one night’s journey from the city at 50 cents per month.

He had gone on the boat and after 3 days arrived in Hong Kong.

While Ah Wai was saying this, another boy who was listening came up and said he had also been kidnapped. Ah Sze asked about him and his parents and found the family was also known to him. They come from the next village. Both boys had been told the same story.

Ah Sze went to the watchman and reported.

Ah Wai says he lives at Shan Yin. His father is To Pak and sells fruit at Tat Sha Yee. 3 years ago Ah Wai’s relative took him to Canton where he was taught to weave silk. He lived there. On 23rd August while walking in the street Ah Wai met Ah Sing who wanted a boy to help him sell fruit in Chow Chum. Ah Sing said he would immediately give me some good clothes and pay me half a dollar a month. He said Chow Chum is two nights journey from Canton. He took me to Honam Island where there was a boat. I got on board and we left but the next day we had not arrived and then I suspected I had been cheated.

I called out for help and one of the passengers asked me about myself. I told him everything and he asked Ah Sing what he was doing. Ah Sing told the passenger he had purchased me. The passenger asked to see the bill of sale but Ah Sing said his partner kept it. The partner is Ah Charn, an old man, and he contrarily said the bill of sale was with Ah Sing.

When the boat arrived at Hong Kong Ah Wai saw his brother Ah Sze and asked for help. Another boy on the same boat came forward and told the same story. Then Ah Sze went ashore and came back with policemen who seized Ah Sing and Ah Charn. My brother took me to his home and this morning brought me here.

The other boy, Ah Lai, is 11 years old. He comes from Kong Moon. He says his father Ah Ling died 3 months before and his elder brother Chen Ching took him to a silk shop to learn to work silk. He was coaxed away by Ah Charn 5 days ago. He met Ah Wai when he arrived at the house on Honam. He met Ah Wai’s brother Ah Sze when he arrived in Hong Kong. Ah Sze knew my father. I stayed in his house overnight.

The accused prisoners say they bought the two children in Canton and produce a title deed but it does not appear like a legal document and has no signatures.

Finding – Guilty. 50 lashes each. 4 months hard labour. The children are released.

Editor – Apparently the boys had been bought to Hong Kong for sale, but to whom?

Friend of China 6.10.42 edition

Law and Order in Hong Kong continues troublesome:

  • Mr J F Hight reported the attempted robbery of Pybus’ godown. He was awakened by a tremendous noise at 1.30 am. The comprador said many men were trying to batter down the front door. All the people in the godown were awakened by the noise. Hight could see a large junk anchored at Pybus’ wharf in front. He got his pistol and fired a random shot.On the sound of that shot, a great crowd of men retreated from the doorway to the boat and sailed away to the west. Outside the door, which was heavily damaged by blows, was a 40 lbs mallet. At the wharf were 2 swords, 5 spears and 3 shields & a charcoal fire with a joss stick in a pan. This morning at 11 am we saw a body floating near the pier.

Mr William Henry works for M/s Jamieson and How. About 1 am I heard a great noise and awoke. I did not know where the noise came from – either our godown or Pybus’ next door. I saw a boat alongside Pybus’ pier and an immense number of men moving towards the boat. Then I heard a pistol shot. Chaos. I came down to the godown and saw Hight and his coolies were on the pier collecting knives left by the departed men. I went with Hight and four coolies to the police station and woke the constable but he said there was no night watch available and he could do nothing until morning. At 10 am this morning I saw a body on the beach that had been shot through the head.

  • Another attempted robbery was made on Lt Hamilton’s premises the previous night at midnight. 15 men with spears and lighted torches approached the house and tried to fire the servants’ quarters. Hamilton and his writer rushed out and fired three pistol shots at the robbers who, instead of running away as usual, gave battle. Hamilton was stabbed several times. His writer and two servants were wounded. The thieves took $10 before escaping.
  • The Editor has received numerous letters enquiring what the government will do to protect life and property.

Friend of China 6.10.42 edition

Editorial – Sir George Staunton has given notice in the Commons of a motion to introduce a bill for the establishment of courts of criminal and civil jurisdiction in China.

That will be nice but we also need fundamental things like proper drains and bridges and watchmen on land and sea to protect us and our property.

Friend of China 6.10.42 edition

The Catholics are building an impressive church here which when completed will be a great ornament for the town.

We need an Anglican cathedral as well.

Friend of China 6.10.42 edition

Letter to the Editor (all letters are anonymous unless otherwise indicated) – It is now possible to ride a good horse along the beach from Western barracks to Sookunpo, a distance of about 4 miles. You could never do that in Canton. Not only that but one of the highest peaks is being levelled and a house erected on its summit. New sites are popping up everywhere and the whole island rings to the sounds of saws and hammers.

In the Chinese quarter, where your newspaper office is (Tai Ping Shan), all the houses are joined together in terraces. This is a fire risk. Fire engines and water tanks need to be able to get access. Water may be had for much of the year from the streams that run down the hillside alongside several of the north / south streets. I hope you will comment on this to engage the government’s attention.

Friend of China 13.10.42 edition

A proclamation in Chinese of a curfew has been posted throughout Hong Kong by Magistrate Caine and is dated 4th Oct 42. It has excited interest amongst the Chinese population.

It says ‘a great many burglaries have occurred. No Chinese, except watchmen, can remain in the public streets after 11 pm. Anyone disobeying will be arrested and punished.’

Friend of China 13.10.42 edition

Murder and Robbery Hearing, 12th Sept 42:

Sher Harao, a Muslim baker from Bengal, deposed that at 1 am 10th Sept 1842 20 Chinese men entered his hut. Ah Ha sat on his chest, seized his throat and pushed a cloth into his mouth. Harao’s servant Kallay Khan was sleeping at the foot of the bed. Chau Chuen tied Khan’s arms and held his head back by the hair while Ah Kuen pushed a crooked knife into his abdomen and vigorously moved the handle up and down. My servant Khan called out ‘chin chin fo kee’ which is an appeal for mercy, but was ignored. I have two Chinese servants Ah Sam and Ah Po. Ah Sam was severely cut-up. I saw who did it and it was not one of the three prisoners. I never saw any of these people before the murder. The robbers took 2 mace of cash from under my pillow and all my bedclothes and left. Kallay Khan died after half an hour.

Ah Po says Harao’s house has only a plank for a door. In the morning of 10th Sept, 10-20 robbers entered. A robber held my head down onto the floor at the foot of the bed and another struck me with a knife. They kept me down there all the time and I did not see who they were. I know the 3 prisoners. They are all coolies working on the road outside. The bakery has been robbed twice before and the baker wounded. I do not know who did the previous robberies. I do not believe that the robbers work for the nearby Chinese baker – they work on the road.

Ah Sam says many robbers broke in that night. I was cut very slightly. I know they wounded Ah Po, strangled Harao and killed Khan. I told Sgt Collins I knew the robbers and pointed them out to him but now I am unsure if I can completely recognise their faces. I was confused when I identified them to the Sgt. I do not know if they were really in the hut.

Sgt Collins says at dawn Ah Po identified three robbers and said he would catch more. He said he knew who they all were. He took me to the front of the market where about 150 coolies were assembled that morning waiting to be selected for work. He had some raise their hats and finally identified the three prisoners. Ah Kuen was particularly violent on being identified before we subdued him.

Private Alexander accompanied Sgt Collins and corroborates his evidence.


Ah Kuen says he’s been in Hong Kong for a month. He has never seen the baker or his workers before. He did not rob them. He slept that night in a grass hut with Ah Po, Kum Tuk, Ah Yau, Kau Sau and Kung Chai.

Ah Po says the same. He slept with Ah Kuen, To Pei Chai, Ah Sum & Teen Tuk.

Chau Chuen says “I know nothing. I live in a small hut on the hillside with Chai Lok and Ah Lum Chai. They are both coolies. No one else knows me.”

Case adjourned.

23rd Sept 42 Court reconvened:

Ah Sam the main prosecution witness (who has been kept in gaol) wishes to further address the Court. I now further recall that the robbers all spoke in the Sai Mun dialect. I was awakened when they started beating Ah Po. He threw himself down in a corner. I took a pipe and threw it at them. One grabbed a bamboo and hit me twice (shows scar on shoulder and side). Two men were holding Harao, one by the legs the other by the head. One man was holding Kallay. His bowels were cut open. He lived about an hour more. The robbers wore only trousers.

26th Sept 42 reconvened:

Ah Sam is again recalled and confronts robbers. He now perfectly recalls them. I saw Ah Kuen murder Khan, I saw him on the body. The other two restrained Harao. I will cut off a cock’s head to confirm the truth of this. I am confident in my identification now because Chau Chuen’s cell is near mine and I have heard him talking in his sleep. He speaks of men who murder and rob.

Friend of China 13.10.42 edition

Local advertisements:

  • G Moses and Co offer a strong and elegant palanquin carriage complete with harness and valued at $300, for sale by lottery, dated 4th Oct 42
  • 1st Oct 42 for sale at public auction by N Duus, the valuable household property (including horse and cows) of H J Leighton Esq.

Friend of China 13.10.42 edition

Queen’s Road is beginning to look marvellous. Several hundred workmen are constantly employed in blasting and cutting, widening and ditching, building substantial bridges. It is almost entirely 60′ wide except for a few short sections around massive rocks where it reduces to 50′. It runs from the town limits on one side right across to the other.

Friend of China 13.10.42 edition

We wonder if opium imports will be legalised in the new commercial treaty? Pottinger’s silence and the opposition of the Hong merchants suggest it will not. We think any arrangement should consider that the sale price of opium imports now totals an astonishing $20,000,000 (560 tons of silver) per annum.

We cannot object to the restoration of the Bogue forts. That means the Whampoa smuggling trade will have to cease. The Chinese smugglers are then expected to resort to Hong Kong which will become the main smuggling centre in our future trade.

Being a free port, no remonstrance will be made locally. To get the opium trade to come to Hong Kong, our Chinese friends say we must merely keep the port completely open to their boats. This infers the swarms of pirates must be destroyed. Piracy is the only serious obstacle to the onward progress of our flourishing new colony.[26]

Friend of China 13.10.42 edition

The Bombay papers are quoting freight rates for a candy of cotton to Hong Kong at 8 rupees and to Whampoa at 12 rupees.

These Canton exactions on the ship can be avoided if all cargo is shipped here to our free port for smuggling into China.

Friend of China 13.10.42 edition

Lieutenant Hamilton is recovering from the knife attack during the burglary of his premises. He knows his two shots felled two robbers who were instantly carried away by their comrades. He says his writer’s shot also hit someone. Crime is a problem.

The police have been diligent this last week and many people have been stopped and questioned. Several suspicious persons have turned out to be pirates and robbers.

Cutting off their queues is a most salutary punishment (wearing the hair in the queue is a sign of submission to the Ching Dynasty).

Many respectable Chinese say they will leave Hong Kong if this punishment is continued. We say ignore them. Men of integrity have nothing to fear.

Friend of China 20.10.42 edition

A subscription for the relief of suffering as a result of the Afghan fiasco has been held in Hong Kong. The Editor of Friend of China thanks the following residents for their contributions:

W Leslie, W Blenkin, C Board, D L Burn, Dadabhoy Byramjee, Nasserwanjee Dorabjee, J F Edzon, C Fearon, R J Gilman, J Hades, J Holliday, W H Hunter, Merwanjee Jeejeebhoy, W Lane, J Leathly, J Middleton, E Moller, J D Neave, Manackjee Nenabhoy, H Pybus, J Smith.

Friend of China 20.10.42 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

  • Girls for hire in Hong Kong are owned by men. Chah Yau is the owner of un-named girls who may be rented by the night.
  • Ah Tai says he was sailing through the Lyemun channel with two crew and a cargo of salt fish for Hong Kong when he was approached by a pirate ship with 29 men on board, armed with matchlocks, swords, spears and knives. Both his companions threw themselves into the sea and one, Ah Yau, has not been seen again. The other Chin Fuk will give evidence in this case. Ah Tai was seized and bound in his own boat and kept that way for 4 days until his friends recognised the pirate boat when it was tied up in Hong Kong harbour near Mr Gillespie’s house.
  • The dried fish they stole was worth $18. The Defendant was on board the pirate boat when Ah Tai was robbed. Both the pirate boat and Ah Tai’s boat have been seized by Magistrate Pedder.
    Chin Fuk corroborates Ah Tai.
    The Defendant says his boat belongs to Ho Yin of Macau. He was sick when the police came so was unable to flee with the others. He is not a pirate. His queue was cut off recently as punishment for robbery.
    Verdict Guilty. 6 months hard labour, 100 lashes. Boat confiscated. Victim’s boat returned to him.

Friend of China 20.10.42 edition

Another public house that our seamen patronise in Hong Kong is the Army and Navy Tavern run by Case.

He is accused of breach of liquor licence terms.

Robert Lawry is Case’s butler and manages the pub from day-to-day. The seamen drink secretly in a basement specially reserved for them. Case walks through there occasionally and knows the use of the basement. His licence does not permit the sale of liquor to seamen or soldiers. Lawry sells the spirits for him and gives the proceeds to Ah Kau, who is Case’s Chinese treasurer and keeps the accounts.

Case was fined and told not to breach terms of his liquor licence again.

Friend of China 20.10.42 edition

We should start a direct ferry service between Hong Kong and Canton. Travelling via Macau is inconvenient. The office of the Superintendent of Trade at Macau will soon be abolished.

We hear a private merchant is about to commence a steamer service between Hong Kong and Whampoa – this is bound to succeed. The community at Canton are continually complaining of the difficulty in reaching Hong Kong.

We have two tasks – to start a direct service and to get rid of the swarms of pirates.

Friend of China 20.10.42 edition

There were two fires in Hong Kong on the morning of 17th October – one at Elliot’s Vale (now called Glenealy) and the other between the Upper and Lower Bazaars.[27] Six Chinese mat-houses were destroyed. Fortunately the police were on the scene early and got the blaze under control but the situation will get worse when the winter weather sets-in. These mat-houses increase the risk that one of our brick buildings will catch fire. All the mat-sheds should be removed from the bazaars. The Chinese regularly burn offerings and joss sticks and fires will continue to occur. It would be a calamity if either of our fine bazaars was destroyed. Most of the Chinese houses in the Upper Bazaar have matting behind them for cooling. They should all be removed.

Friend of China 20.10.42 edition

The Commodore of the U S Squadron has sent a note to the Viceroy of the Two Kwong requesting he forward a memorial to the Emperor.

The memorial is said to request the same privileges for U S citizens as are now enjoyed by Englishmen as a result of the war and the peace treaty terms.

We have no doubt that it is the wish of the British government that all countries should be on an equal footing in the China trade as this is apparent from the establishment of Hong Kong as a free port and the invitation to nationals of all countries to come here. The days of monopoly, exclusion and non-competition are a thing of the past.

Friend of China 27.10.42 edition

The number of piratical attacks on our boats is not diminishing. The costs of building materials and supplies from Canton are inflated by the losses due to piracy. Something should be done. We are now sovereign in this island.

Friend of China 27.10.42 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

Ah Kwai says he sailed his ferryboat from Canton to Hong Kong on 24th October with various people and traders as passengers. When he passed the Tung Ku anchorage (Lung Kwu Chau) at 11 pm his ferry was attacked by 2 pirate boats containing about 60 armed men. Two of the ferryboat’s crew were cut by swords. Ah Kwai was tied around the waist and hoisted up his own mast.

I asked Ah Song, the head pirate, to respect his protective pass which he had sold to me but he refused. He is the leader of the Chui Yee Tong which is the co-operative that all those pirates belong to. Cheung Tong is the administrator of the Chui Yee Tong and writes all the protective passes they issue.

Altogether I lost $1,300 – $1,400 of property. I complained to the police on arrival in Hong Kong and they arrested the defendants in a mat-shed above the bazaar. They found four new passes and receipts at $12 each for 7 sold passes. There was a letter from Tong Mu applying for passes for resale. His letter said he had received 11 passes and sold 8 but still needed 5 more.

Ah Hei says he was a passenger on Ah Kwai’s ferry. He went to Canton to sell cloth and was attacked on returning. The protective pass of the ferry (to protect against pirates) was valid until 1st day of the 12thmonth. That man Ah Song said he did not care about the pass and he would plunder us anyway. The pirates had matchlocks, swords and spears. They did not fire their guns but wounded us with knives. They stole everything we had.

They only left us when they saw another boat to rob.

Ah Mun says I was bringing $60 of ready-made Chinese clothes for sale in Hong Kong. I was sleeping when the Chinese pirates boarded our boat. I lost everything, even my purse. I was below deck and did not see much. I cannot recognise any of the prisoners.

Sgt Collins raided the office of Chui Yee Tong. He found some papers. Ah Song is the elder brother of the society. An old woman known as ‘Mung Por’ is the occupant of the premises. She says she pays $2 per month rent to Ah Song. He is the owner but does not live there.

Kit Mun from Tung Kwoon is the ferryboat captain. He lost $300 in this robbery. Four of his crew were wounded. Ah Tai gave him $300 to buy cargo in Canton. It was all loaded on board for delivery to Hong Kong and was stolen. I bought a protective pass from Chan Tung of Chui Yee Tong for $8. It was valid for 3 months. I bought it in a mat-shed above the bazaar about 15 days ago. It must be displayed in my boat which has now gone to the Bogue so I cannot produce it.

Ah Tai is a comprador. He says he gave $300 to Kit Mun to buy cargo in Canton and it was stolen.

He reported the case to Major Caine who told him to look for the pirates and report when he found them. He found them at the upper bazaar area and the policemen then went and caught them.

Caine referred this case to the head of the government. Pottinger being away it was dealt-with by Johnstone.

Ah Song and Cheung Tong were sentenced to 4 years gaol; the other three to 2 years. All will perform hard labour in chains. 100 strokes each.

They are first to be taken to the street outside Ah Song’s house and have their queues cut-off publicly. Ah Song’s house is confiscated and will be sold at public auction. The proceeds will partially indemnify the victims. Any balance due must be paid by the convicts before they can be released.

Friend of China 27.10.42 edition

List of merchant shipping in the harbour. Some of the companies on this list are agents rather than owners:

Trading Ships

Arethusa, Cacique.

Ariel, Bolton, Black Nymph, Marian

Anne Mary, Bombay Castle, Kelpie,

Litherland, Mary Ann, M C Weber, Osprey and


Diana, Frances Ann, Palestine and Susan.

Emma Eugenia





John O’Gaunt



Receiving Ships


General Wood

John Barry



C Fearon

Dent & Co

J M & Co



Jamieson & How agents of D Wilson & Co of Calcutta

Fox, Rawson & Co

Reynvaan & Co

Dallas & Co

Dirom & Co

Lindsay & Co

Hughes & Co

Turner & Co

W Allanson & Co

McVicar & Co

Heerjeebhoy Rustomjee

J M & Co

Dent & Co

C Markwick

Friend of China 3.11.42 edition

Editorial – Slavery occurs in Hong Kong. People are buying or stealing female children in Canton and bringing them here for prostitution. We are appalled to report that not only Chinese people are involved in this traffic.

Some Chinese might have come here with their slaves under the belief that our agreement to administer them under Chinese law permitted it.

Friend of China 3.11.42 edition

Letter to the Editor:

It is not possible to eradicate pirates without first eradicating smuggling. The occupants of every pirate boat that has so far been apprehended have defended themselves by saying they are actually opium smugglers. They invariably refer us to Jardine’s General Wood or some other receiving ship for evidence that they buy opium, which they do.

The pirates and the smugglers are the same people.

Many of the craft lying off the opium fleet at Whampoa are pirate ships. They defy the Chinese authorities there under the protection of the guns on the English receiving ships. We should permit the Bogue forts to be rebuilt and co-operate with the Chinese government in suppressing piracy.

Public opinion in England is getting better informed about our opium trade. They now know it is detrimental to the legitimate China trade. The same attitudes that ended the slave trade will end the opium trade. As it cannot be immediately suppressed it should be legalised as the next best thing.

Editor – the finances of British India alone prevent the abolition of the trade. It is a rare example of a monopoly being a good thing, for the inefficiencies of monopoly enhance prices and restrict markets. When the Company’s government is involved in the trade it should not be surprising to find private individuals in it as well.

Friend of China 3.11.42 edition


Constable Patrick Breen says he was called to a disturbance in the bazaar. He arrested a man and took him back to the gaol where he was put in the stocks overnight. Breen then went back to the place of disturbance and found a dead body.

The market people said the arrested man was the murderer. Breen left the market and reported to Sgt Collins. He went back to the house in the bazaar and found Dr Winchester doing a dissection.

A pair of scissors was ascertained to be the murder weapon.

A witness Tin Chung says there was a dispute. The deceased had asked the prisoner to repay some money. The prisoner knifed the deceased. When the mortal nature of the injury became apparent, the injured man said he would pay any expense to save his life but he still died. He continually cried out ‘pelo, pelo’ which means ‘its all over’. The prisoner confessed.

Boyson, the apothecary at the Medical Depot, gave evidence. He looked out of his house and saw a crowd at the deceased’s house. He went over to see what it was. There had been a knifing. He saw the injured man on a cot. A bloody pair of scissors were nearby.

Verdict – wilful murder.

Friend of China 3.11.42 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

Ah Yung, Ah Cheung and Ah Kwai were arrested in the bazaar on 15thOctober and many piracy papers were found in their house. One book shows 93 protective passes were sold to boats from Cheung Chau at $300 per year each during 1841. The passes are issued in the name Kwong Lung which is the name of the shop owned by Ah Yung. Another book records the sale of 115 passes to various boats.

There is a letter from Chan Yan Ting to Ah Yung dated October asking for 25 passes and sending $10 deposit and some fresh crabs.

Another books list passes sold in the name of Chi Sum Tong and Seen Sum Tong.

Another book shows passes issued by Ngai Yung Tong, Sun Yee Tong and Sun Hing Tong.

Another letter from Chan Yan Ting in August asks for 25 passes and sends $15 and some crabs.

An account of 88 passes sold to various boats by Ah Yung up to June is also amongst the papers.

Ah Yung says the prawn and crab boats and the fishing boats come to him for passes and he gets them from Ah Sing who lived in the mat-shed belonging to Sun Hing Tong which the police recently pulled down.

Ah Yung says he is not a pirate and asks for mercy.

Witness Tam Sze says he owns the house which Ah Yung rents. He thought Ah Yung was a rice trader. He pays Tam $10 per month. They have known each other for a few months.

Verdict – Guilty. The three prisoners were sentenced to gaol and hard labour and thereafter to banishment. The witness Tam was fined $40 for lack of circumspection.

Friend of China 3.11.42 edition

A gang of burglars from Kowloon landed from their boats at West Point last Tuesday night. They subdued and tied up two sentries and removed 24 muskets from the regimental armoury before the alarm was raised.

The West Point barracks are presently occupied by the Cameronians, Major Caine’s regiment.

Friend of China 3.11.42 edition

Dutronquoy and Company have pleasure in announcing progress in the construction of their Theatre Royal in Hong Kong.

A troupe of actors and actresses has arrived for a series of theatrical productions. “The fair fame of the actresses engaged has never been sullied by the foul blot of calumny. They arrived in Hong Kong in early November and their beauty and talent is only surpassed by their spotless virtue.”

Friend of China 10.11.42 edition

A new weekly newspaper has been started in Hong Kong by some eminent China scholars. It is called the Free Correspondent.

Friend of China 10.11.42 edition

Major General Saltoun has arrived to take command of the troops in Hong Kong. This famous soldier has participated in feats of British arms from the Douro to the Seine.

Friend of China 17.11.42 edition

Two Singapore papers have published their opinions on Hong Kong:

  • Singapore Free Press – ‘A harder bargain might perhaps have been driven with the Chinese, and more territorial acquisitions made, but we are convinced the present arrangements will be conducive to the interest of the English and promote a better estimate of their character by the Chinese. The treaty terms prove that we seek only what is just and proper and that we have no disposition to take advantage of their misfortunes to impose harsh and degrading terms upon them’
  • Straits Messenger – ‘It will be perceived from the terms of the treaty that the demands of the British Government, as acceded to by the Chinese Commissioners, are as remarkable for their moderation as they are for the dignity of the position taken by Great Britain.’

Comments from the Indian Editors and from elsewhere are not yet available.

Friend of China 10.11.42 edition

If we could encourage Canton silk manufacturers to come to Hong Kong to weave their silk products they would be accepted in England as colonial goods and avoid the 25% Imperial Preference Tax.

The Italian, French and Turkish silk crops are now coming to market and the harvest is estimated to be very big this year. The best filatures at Naples are 17/- or 18/- per lb delivered at London.[28]

Friend of China 17.11.42 edition

D Wilson & Co, general merchants, have opened the Auckland Hotel in Hong Kong and invite the patronage of army and navy officers (both H M’s and the Company’s forces) and residents of Hong Kong. Dated 10th Nov 42

Friend of China 17.11.42 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

Three European soldiers forced their way into the house of Sang Tuk at Chek Chu (Stanley) on 4thNov 42 and each stabbed him once with a bayonet killing him.

A little later on the same night, three soldiers forcibly entered a brothel in the same village and an inmate was ‘abused’ and robbed.

The men are known and said to have been of previous good character but were intoxicated by that pernicious spirit samshoo.

Friend of China 24.11.42 edition

Reynvaan and Co, the old Dutch company of Macau, have built a brick godown at 20 Queen’s Road and welcome your goods for dry storage.

Friend of China 24.11.42 edition

The three murderers at Stanley are Samuel Mitchell, John McDaniels and Alexander McLaine, all privates in H M’s 26th Regiment. The victim was not the supplier of their samshoo – his house was not plundered. Their motive remains uncertain. The pathologist Coles noted two triangular bayonet wounds through the victim’s chest, one of which had penetrated the heart.

The same evening another house was entered and a woman wounded and robbed of $8 in trinkets. She had small wounds and bruises all over her body

Mitchell said he bought 9 bottles of samshoo from the woman Ah Lok for 3 rupees and got raving drunk. Whilst in that condition, he says he was beaten-up in one of the pleasure houses. He had his bayonet with him – ‘I might have used it,’ he speculated.

McDaniels said he was not guilty. Mitchell had told him in the guardroom that he (Mitchell) had killed a Chinaman when he was with McLaine and another soldier McKinley

McLaine said he had been drinking with the others in the barracks but did not go into town and had no knowledge of the murder until the next morning.

The sentry of the 26th Regiment said he saw a man running up to the barracks but, before he could turn out the guard and seize him, he had entered the barracks and could not be distinguished from the other soldiers.

Friend of China 24.11.42 edition

Wm Jardine sought to float a Chartered Bank of Asia in China with headquarters in London. A prospectus requesting subscriptions was issued but the public did not support it.

Many of those people who actively co-operated with Jardine in that proposal were concurrently financially diminished by the widespread commercial failures in Calcutta at that time.[29]

Another difficulty was the uncertain state of the law governing business ventures in China.

If capitalists in London are unwilling to support a local bank because of the uncertainty of political affairs in China, the cession of Hong Kong now provides a guarantee of local security.

J M & Co (of which Wm Jardine was so long the head) is now taking a lively interest in Hong Kong and we hope a bank will soon be established here.

Other banks are proposing to open branches in Hong Kong. One is the London Joint Stock Bank from amongst whose shareholders the new subscriptions for the Hong Kong branch may be expected to come. This bank has an opulent body of shareholders and a nominal capital of £3,000,000 (£600,000 paid up). It has a guarantee fund which has now accumulated £100,000.

Editor – this bank is operated in a prudent and business-like way.

Friend of China 1.12.42 edition

Hong Kong – A fire started in the mat houses behind the lower bazaar on Monday morning (28th November) and 40 – 50 huts were destroyed. The government should remove the mat houses that are contiguous with our brick structures as they are the ones that burn. Otherwise with the cold winter weather now coming on, there will be another fire.

Friend of China 8.12.42 edition

Editorial – Pottinger arrived Hong Kong on Saturday on HMS Queen and negotiations for the commercial treaty will now commence.[30]

There is no prospect of Hong Kong being administered by the India Company – the Company’s humiliating policy in the past would make the nascent colony a national disgrace and the Chinese would feel contempt.

Friend of China 8.12.42 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

Ah Gee, a ship’s comprador, is accused by Michael Edward Parsons of counterfeiting coins. Ah Gee is actually a steward on the transport Gertrude.

The prisoner agreed to buy a clock from Parsons for $11. On examining two of the first three dollars proffered in payment, Parsons found them bad. ‘I found Ah Gee had 35 dollar coins on him and fifteen appeared bad.’ Some dollars were sawn in two in front of him revealing their copper cores. The prisoner acknowledged that 14 coins were bad and offered me $10 to let him go.

Ah Po, the Gertrude’s butcher, said Ah Gee had paid him $6 for clothes and they had all turned out to be counterfeit as well.

Ah Gee said he received the coins from HMS Childers so he thought they must be good.

Award : Six months hard labour, fined $100, Repay $6 to Ah Po

Friend of China 15.12.42 edition

Pottinger advises that, as so many people wish to talk with him, he has set aside Mondays and Thursday between 1100 – 1400hrs for the purpose.

Friend of China 15.12.42 edition

Hong Kong crime report

Ah Wong is charged with possessing a pirate paper. He was arrested on suspicion of robbery and the paper was found during search.[31]

It is issued by the General Society and imprinted on it are the seals of the 13 societies that are members of the General Society. It is issued in respect of Ah Wong’s shrimp boat Chong Yau.

Friend of China 15.12.42 edition

Hong Kong Government Notice – The sale of all sorts of spirits and fermented liquors is prohibited on Sundays with effect from 5th November 42

Friend of China 15.12.42 edition

Another fraças took place a few days ago between salt and opium smugglers whose boats congregate between Jardine’s Point and the General Wood receiving ship.

(This is a reference to the editor’s earlier assertion that salt merchants are major opium smugglers, being a class of merchants with boats to carry the goods and the exemption from searching that government vessels enjoy. They anchor around J M & Co’s receiving ship General Wood off East Point to take delivery, formally of saltpetre and informally of other goods).

One opium smuggler was killed and many on both sides were injured. It seems the salt men won the battle on this occasion. The place is slightly removed from town and no criticism of the authorities is intended but we think they will have to prevent that area from becoming a refuge for outlaws who come to this island to avoid punishment.

Friend of China 15.12.42 edition

Letter to the Editor – A Chinese friend has told me about the piracy system being operated in Hong Kong.

Ho Liu King, who worked for Europeans at Canton for several years and speaks some English, came to Hong Kong when we first occupied the island and was employed as a contractor for several months.

A few months ago he bought an old ship of European design and now resides on it with his family in the harbour. From this floating base he controls the piratical compact of the island.

The compact involves 36 ‘companies’ each employing 60-100 men under a captain.[32] They are amalgamated in a General Society to provide insurance services covering boat use throughout the entire estuary. The captain of each company can issue and sign printed passes on behalf of the entire compact.

The masters of boats buying the insurance pay $12 – 14 quarterly for every 50 tons burthen. Most of the ferry boats, salt junks and provisions boats have signed-up with the General Society.

To buy a pass, first enquire of the shop keepers in the bazaar who know all about it. Any one of them will direct you to the Society’s representative. If you prefer, you may pay the shopkeeper a small additional fee and he will procure the pass for you.

The certificate states the name and tonnage of your boat and the amount paid for the last quarter. The General Society undertakes that should the holder lose his boat or cargo to pirates during the three months of their insurance policy’s validity, his loss will be made good by the Society.

All the pirates of the 36 divisions are expected to respect these passes but they are not made of stone and occasionally, when the cargo is irresistibly valuable, they might not acknowledge its authenticity.

It is said that in no case has the pledge of indemnity been redeemed. The group is accordingly said to have amassed a capital of several hundred thousand dollars.

Some of the boats coming down to Hong Kong from the coast are unaware of this local requirement.

Friend of China 29.12.42 edition

19.12.42 Mr Dutronquoy has closed the London Hotel and returned to Singapore. Mr Froget (secretary to the French Consul) is deputed to collect all debts due to Dutronquoy.

Friend of China – 1843 editions

The editor of the Friend of China is the Rev J Lewis Shuck, an American Baptist. The proprietor is Alderman White of London. Shuck dedicated the new Baptist Chapel on Queen’s Road on 10th July 1842, (delayed by a typhoon to 17th July).

Friend of China 5.1.43 edition

For sale – fast coppered and copper-fastened cutter about 20 tons suitable for ferry boat. Available at Fearon’s wharf, Hong Kong.[33]

Friend of China 5.1.43 edition

10th Nov 42 D Wilson and Co, general storekeepers, have opened their Auckland Hotel in Hong Kong and invite the patronage of military officers and residents.

Friend of China 5.1.43 edition

Cases in the Hong Kong magistracy:

  • James Mahanny, seaman of the Lord Lowther is charged with drunkenness. A Lascar complained his cooking pot had been stolen by an English sailor. He led the Constable to Mahanny who was then beating coolies on the road and violently pushed the Constable away too. The policeman called two other constables and they eventually restrained Mahanny and the pot was returned to the Lascar. Defence – I was drunk and remember nothing. Fined $2.
  • Rum Gam, a Bengali, is charged with drunkenness. Sergeant says at 8 pm last night I found the prisoner drunk in the street and singing noisily so I arrested him. Defence – I was drunk and remember nothing. 30 lashes.

Friend of China 5.1.43 edition

Capt Pedder, the Hong Kong Harbour Master and Marine Magistrate, keeps a flock of sheep. Two were stolen in early January 1843 and one was later recovered.[34]

Monsieur Froget, secretary to the French vice-Consul, also keeps sheep and complains his have also been stolen. Four men have been arrested.

Froget says ‘At 2 am 23rd November 42, I was awakened and went downstairs. The sheep are kept overnight in a bamboo-walled hut with mat roof. The door had been cut away and three sheep were missing.

I looked around and saw them nearby with men leading them to a boat. Each sheep was being stolen by two men – one held the ears, the other the body. I went on the boat and found all three sheep.

I caught two of the men but one of them escaped.

The fourth man said he was hired to carry sheep in his boat from Hong Kong to Cheung Chau. He did not know they were to be stolen first.

Friend of China 12.1.43 edition

Hong Kong Government appointment:

C B Hillier is appointed Clerk of the Chief Magistrate’s Court wef 31st Dec 42.

Friend of China 12.1.43 edition

The Canton Dispensary and Soda Water Establishment has removed from the Thirteen Factories in Canton to Captain Morgan’s Bazaar in Hong Kong w.e.f. 1st January 43 where it will be known as the Hong Kong Dispensary.

Sgd A Anderson and P Young. (This is the major competitor to Mr Alexander S Watson’s Dispensary)

Friend of China 19.1.43 edition

Letter to the Editor:

You are right about the systematic nature of piracy and the unwillingness of the pirates to honour their passes.

  • Three junks from Namoa called at Hong Kong on 12th day of 11th moon. They bought pirates’ passes for each junk at $17 each and went to Macau where they sold their cargo for totally $2,100.On their return here they were attacked by pirates outside the harbour and all their money and valuables were taken.They applied for indemnity to the man who sold them the passes but he demurred saying the responsible pirates were part of another gang.
  • In another case, another three junks arrived from the East Coast and were attacked on entering Hong Kong harbour. One escaped; two were boarded. One crew man died and others were wounded. The crews are now in fear and decline to sail their junks away from Hong Kong.

Friend of China 19.1.43 edition


  • On the night of 5th January 43 lorcha No 68 came from Macau to Hong Kong with passengers but was boarded in the Kap Shui Mun channel by 120 pirates armed with swords and spears.They took the money and valuables and trunks of all the passengers. Two English passengers who resisted were stabbed and their money and clothes taken. One of the injured foreigners was the gunner of the brig Ann that was ship-wrecked on Taiwan (see the China chapters for the brig Ann). He was returning to Hong Kong on his way to England having collected $312 back-pay in Macau that was due to him up to the time of his shipwreck. He received three stab wounds.
  • Nearby on the same night the colonial lorcha Enterprise (Sharp) was coming into the anchorage with a cargo of opium when it was also boarded by pirates. The Captain, his officer and four crew were murdered. The supercargo, Wilson of Turner and Co, was stabbed but escaped with his Chinese girlfriend and the Chinese crew of the Enterprise in the ship’s boat. After its cargo worth $30,000 was stolen, the lorcha was set on fire.The Enterprise was the first ship on the Hong Kong colonial register. Capt Sharp will be remembered as the first master to take his ship to Canton after the war, surprising the denizens there when, unannounced, he pulled alongside the seawall at the factories and moored his ship.
  • We hear from Whampoa that foreign seamen in our fleet there claim to have summarily avenged these piratical attacks by slaughtering eight people, supposing their victims to be some of the involved pirates.
  • Pirates have also come ashore to loot on the south side of our island.
  • The Editor of Friend of China was himself recently captured by pirates while in sight of the harbour.

Editor – The detailed atrocities that continue in our vicinity are popularly ascribed to the recklessness and insubordination induced by the smuggling trade in opium. It is impossible to distinguish opium smuggling boats from pirates’ boats – indeed they are convertible if not synonymous terms.

Now Hong Kong is practically blockaded. Native craft fear to come or, having come, fear to depart. There should be no doubt that the present state of the waters around our island is disgraceful to Britain and its supposed civilisation.

The Canton provincial authorities have already sought our collaboration in suppressing piracy. We should do something.

The impossibility of preventing smuggling is suggested in evidence to the Select Committee concerning the export of textile machinery. Britain’s legislators sought to prevent foreign competition to her factory-produced woven cloth by prohibiting the export of certain parts of the machinery used to spin cotton, flax and silk. The MPs did not prohibit the export of the tools used in these trades, neither did they seek to prevent the artisans themselves from emigrating.

A witness told the committee he could export any of the proscribed parts, provided he was adequately paid. Another noted it was always safer to smuggle at the Customs House than far from it. This has just received further corroboration in London by the detection of an organised system of smuggling involving well-paid officials that has been operating for years (vide Blue Book No 201)

Friend of China 19.1.43 edition

Notice of M. Froget, the junior French representative:

The rumour that Mr Dutronquoy was compelled to close the London Hotel and pay a fine of $500 at the order of the Hong Kong authorities is completely false.

He closed the hotel on 17th December because he had been personally assaulted, insulted and abused by patrons on the evening of 16th December.

Friend of China 19.1.43 edition

Chief Magistrate Caine visited Lyemun and saw two ‘opium smuggling’ boats (Editor – there is no reason for opium smugglers to fear the Hong Kong authorities, they must be pirates). The crews of about 120 men fled into the hills but Caine’s men caught a few. The stone cutters who live at the quarry there immediately dismantled the boats for useful parts but examination of the remnants revealed they had each mounted a 12 pounder and swivel guns. Having established that they were as suitable for piracy as smuggling, the few crew who were arrested by Caine’s men were handed over to the authorities at Kowloon.[35]

Friend of China 26.1.43 edition


  • Recently, the schooner Spec on passage from Macau was attacked just outside Hong Kong harbour but beat off the attackers.
  • The schooner Kappa anchored before coming into Hong Kong and was forced to fire on a pirate’s boat that was coming down on her. She sank the pirate.

The Chinese community in Hong Kong is considerably alarmed by these attacks. They feel trapped, especially as the Namoa junks which left here under convoy of HMS Royalist were all captured and looted by pirates and their crews mal-treated as soon as the warship parted company with them.

Friend of China 26.1.43 edition

The US merchantmen Lintin and Lema have been sold by the owners Russell & Co to the Canton government and are to be fitted out as armed men-of-war to cruise against the pirates.

Friend of China 26.1.43 edition

Letter to the Editor – On 12.1.43 a junk was attacked by three pirate boats and some of the crew were injured. One of the men is seriously hurt. It seems the pirates watched the junk whilst anchored in our harbour, then pursued it after it loaded a cargo and sailed for Stanley. After the junk had rounded West Point and was out of sight of the shipping in the harbour, the pursuers attacked.

Not long ago two junks were cut-off near Stanley and 30 men killed. Pirates used to be satisfied with plunder and did not injure and kill; now their violence has become cruel and oppressive. They can bring an end to all Hong Kong trade by sea.

There should be an insurance company for Chinese junks. A premium of 10% on the Sum Insured should suffice to reimburse the present extent of losses. We need 8 – 10 armed cutters to patrol the waters, manned by reliable Chinese. They would recognise the pirates better than we Europeans can. Pirates are always honest fishermen or opium smugglers when they anchor in Hong Kong harbour but as soon as they are out of our sight they become pirates.

Sgd ‘X’ of Stanley, 16.1.43

Friend of China 2.2.43 edition

Memo from Pottinger to the Imperial Commissioners:

Piracy is so bad I wish to co-operate with you in its suppression. I propose:

  • the sending of 2-3 fast ships by both governments to cruise against the pirates.
  • You should send an official to your islands surrounding Hong Kong and register all the boats in them.
  • You should proclaim that any unregistered boat will be seized.
  • You should warn everyone against buying passports from pirates.
  • You should award exemplary punishment to those pirates whom our joint force catches.

As British ships will alert pirates simply by their appearance, the Hong Kong government is willing to fit out some junks for anti-piracy work.

Friend of China 2.2.43 edition

A fire commenced at 11 am on Tuesday due to a fire-cracker setting a mat-shed alight which in turn ignited coal within a mat-shed at the premises of Dadabhoy Rustomjee & Co.

The flames spread through temporary structures to the adjoining premises of Fletcher Larkins & Co, Gemmell & Co and the Government Ordnance Stores.

Damage is estimated at $40,000

Friend of China 2.2.43 edition

J A Mercer’s cutter was fired on by a pirate lorcha as it passed through Kap Shui Mun. His crew say the lorcha is a pirate and had captured some Chin Chew junks which it was convoying into harbour.

Editor – We think the lorcha cannot be a pirate as it is unprecedented for them to fire on a European-rigged vessel.

Friend of China 2.2.43 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

Mr Case, proprietor of the Army and Navy Tavern, is again accused of selling alcohol on Sundays. A report of groups of sailors going in and out was received by police yesterday (Sunday) and Sgt Collins went in at 7 pm and saw 16 soldiers and sailors inside. Three of them were ludicrously drunk. Five were down below, the rest were upstairs, seated around a table with bottles and glasses on it. He asked a Chinese man, who appeared to be the waiter, for Mr Case but was told he had gone out.

Defence – Case says his pub was closed all day and no liquor was sold except to the four lodgers. “I was out most of the day. So was my butler. When the Chinese waiter opened the hotel door to get a bucket of water, three drunken men forced their way in, bringing bottles of wine with them. The waiter and the coolies could not prevent their entry but they alerted my butler who immediately went for police help. Whilst he was away, the officers concurrently arrived independently.”

Guilty – fined $30.

Friend of China 2.2.43 edition

20-30 robbers attacked Lt Rogers house on the night of the 5th January 43. It is near the cemetery and belongs to the Spanish missionaries. He heard them breaking the door, got his double-barrelled shotgun and discharged both barrels through the door panels. He then picked-up his sword, opened the door and sallied out waving his weapon.

The thieves dispersed but Rogers sustained several wounds from hatchets and spears. Every one of the robbers was carrying a firebrand. They are supposed to have come from Kowloon.

Friend of China 9.2.43 edition

Last Tuesday we assembled at the East Point premises of J M & Co to see the first ship launched in Hong Kong from Jardines’ slip. She is called the Celestial. The ship is designed by the late carpenter of the Fort William and is built entirely from teak (i.e. both framework and planking).

She is about 80 tons and belongs to Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy of Bombay where she is to sail immediately. This is a good start to our local ship-building industry.

We also announce that a resident merchant is importing a patent slip.

Friend of China 16.2.43 edition

A fine fat deer was brought over from Kowloon this week and sold to a resident for 7 rupees.

Friend of China 23.2.43 edition

For sale
  • The lot opposite the market together with the house upon it, known as the Auckland Hotel. Also
  • Another lot on Queen’s Road Southside. Also
  • The Bungalow with 6 rooms and stables on Queen’s Road opposite Marine Lot 46 (105’ x 120’)

Apply to C V Gillespie, 46 Queen’s Road.

Friend of China 23.2.43 edition

The Aurora Macaense, the Macau newspaper, has realised that the creation of a free port here will make merchants unwilling to pay the onerous Macau exactions any more.

The major part of Macau’s revenue is derived from rents and from duties on goods imported on account of foreigners.

Friend of China 23.2.43 edition

A cargo of ice has arrived from Chusan on the Omega for the use of Jardines’ employees. We should make an ice house here as it is so refreshing in the summer months.

Friend of China 23.2.43 edition

Local news:

Our Hong Kong racecourse should be ready by Spring 1844 and it will be a lot better than the races we have hitherto had in Macau.

Friend of China 2.3.43 edition

On 14th February, a ferry service from Hong Kong harbour to Stanley was commenced by P Townsend & Co.

The Witch sails from the Harbour Master’s jetty at 10 am on Tuesdays and Fridays; the Rory o’More leaves Stanley to return at 4pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Passage each way costs 4 Rupees, Cargo up to 6 dozen cases costs 2 Rupees freight; 3 dozen cases or less = 1 Rupee.

Friend of China 2.3.43 edition

Richard Oswald is selling several Queen’s Road waterfront lots, also a bungalow on a large waterfront lot (c.f. the bungalow on Marine Lot 46 above)

Friend of China 2.3.43 edition

There was a terrible accident last Thursday at The Point (The compound of J M & Co at East Point is referred to locally as The Point). J M & Co are building some extensive structures and one is a three storey building 160 feet long and 80 feet wide intended as office and accommodation for some of the staff.

As the roof was being put on, the eastern outer wall failed and the whole thing collapsed. It will have to be completely rebuilt. This is likely to delay Jardine’s move into Hong Kong from Macau even longer.

Friend of China 2.3.43 edition

For the convenience of officers, Henry John Carr and L E Christopher will add a hotel to their livery stables near the premises of Townsend and Company.

Friend of China 16.3.43 edition

The Reverend Shuck has resigned as Editor of this paper to take-up his missionary duties. The new Editor (unidentified, but later ascertained to be a Londoner named Carr) notes half the subscriptions for the paper are in arrears and requests subscribers to pay up.

Friend of China 16.3.43 edition

Pottinger to Vice Admiral Parker, 8th March 43:

The Chinese agree to active suppression of piracy. I have offered to co-operate. They have declined my offer.

They plan to fit out 10-20 fishing boats as cruisers. They will detain any well-armed or heavily-crewed ship and take it to their naval base at Kowloon Bay for investigation.

The officials wish to know what to do if the pirates flee to Hong Kong. I have suggested you might assist, on their application, in seizing and conveying to Kowloon any suspicious boat.

Should the pirate boats run in close and the crews flee ashore, I have alerted the marine magistrate and if he can’t handle it, he will call on one of your ships or on the land forces.

cc Major General Saltoun

Friend of China 30.3.43 supplement

Notice – a fine new lorcha well-manned and well-armed will commence running between Hong Kong, Macau and Whampoa on 20th March 43.

For charter, freight or passage apply on board to Capt Prush or to M/s Fearon and Son of Macau or N Duus of Hong Kong

Friend of China 13.4.43 edition

Commander Cecille of the French frigate Erigone saluted the British flag on arriving at Hong Kong from Macau.

Commodore Kearney in USS Constitution has so far declined to give the same recognition. Perhaps he is awaiting the formal exchange and ratification of the treaty.

Friend of China 13.4.43 edition

Hong Kong Government Notice, 10th April 43:

The Lands Office is commencing a survey of all lots on the island. Surveying marks, pickets and lines are not to be interfered with.

Pottinger advises all people that Her Majesty requires all persons claiming to own Hong Kong land to submit proofs of their claims and explanations of their title to such land.

No further building or clearance may be done on any lot until title has been confirmed by government.

The Chief Magistrate will assist the Land Officer in ensuring compliance.

Absolutely no building may be done that encroaches on the alignment of existing roads.

Following completion of this exercise, the terms and tenure of land holdings will be advised.

Friend of China 20.4.43 edition

Advertisement – Buildings for sale:

  • The Auckland Hotel is being sold by auction. It comprises a two storey building 65′ x 60′ (with offices at the rear) on a waterfront lot 93′ x 105′ opposite the Hong Kong market.It is indubitably the best location in the colony for a hotel or store.
  • The bungalow on Queen’s Road at the rear of Marine Lot 46 with six rooms, a water well, large offices (convenient for servants) together with a godown and a stable. The lot is 120′ x 105′.

The properties will be auctioned on the Auckland Hotel verandah at noon on 29th April 43

Friend of China 20.4.43 edition

The notice about non-payment of newspaper subscriptions continues weekly. The Friend of China Press regrets to announce it has received only half the subscriptions promised.

Friend of China 20.4.43 edition

An officer from the Chinese Government Office at Kowloon Bay named Lai has made an official visit to our Chief and Marine magistrates to concert measures for the elimination of piracy.

Last Thursday a pirate was chased into Hong Kong harbour by the Chinese. On nearing the shore the crew jumped off to escape into the hills but several were captured by our police ashore and handed over to the Chinese officers.

Friend of China 27.4.43 edition

The Monthly Times of London reports a rumour in the London clubs that Sir Henry Pottinger is dissatisfied with the honours awarded to him and wishes to relinquish his post. It says a brother of his (actually Eldred) will be appointed British Consul-General at Hong Kong.

Friend of China 27.4.43 edition

Editorial on Hong Kong land tenure:

The Plenipotentiary has declined to discuss with British merchants the terms on which we will own land in Hong Kong but we can examine Lord Stanley’s Act of last year (5th and 6th Victoria 1842, concerning the sale of waste land in Australia) which provides a hint.

Those enactments provide that:

  • No land shall be alienated, except for government or forces use, unless by sale.
  • Schools, churches, parks and cemeteries are included in the definition of government use.
  • Military officers can commute their pay or pension to buy land.
  • Land is to be surveyed before being offered for sale.
  • The Colonial Governor is the sole person authorised to convey title.
  • Sales by auction are quarterly.
  • Sales advertisements are to note the time and place, the lot details and its reserve price.
  • The land is to be classified into urban, suburban and rural lots.
  • Land that is unsold at auction may subsequently be sold privately (within a reasonable time) at the upset price.
  • Successful bidders must pay a cash deposit of 10% with the balance within a month.
  • One half of the gross proceeds are to fund British immigration to the colony.

We suppose the new arrangements that the Plenipotentiary awaits will not nullify any prior lawful sales.

We should also get a loan to build a road right around the island and erect permanent public buildings for government.[36] The future land fund should be adequate security for such a loan. We need a public quay or wharf like the Praya Grande in Macau. Every maritime possession has one and so should we.

Friend of China 4.5.43 edition

Robbery at Jardine’s Bazaar:

A large group of robbers came to the bazaar behind J M & Co’s godown on the night of 27.4.43, armed with pikes. They started breaking into houses. Sgt Richard Fry lives in a house opposite the bazaar. He was awakened by the noise and shot two robbers in the street. Jardine’s comprador lost $300 and 9 catties of opium. Totally three robbers were killed.

(This case is more interesting for the report being translated by C W Bowra, later of the Chinese Maritime Customs)

Friend of China 4.5.43 edition

David Hume has established a bakery at Queen’s Road. 24 hours notice for orders for new bread. He offers his warranty that his bread will keep for 10-12 days. Also meat pies and fruit tarts made to order (send your own dishes).

Friend of China 4.5.43 edition

A big fire broke out in the ravine behind the lower bazaar last Monday night and about 30 native mat-houses were destroyed.

It was self-extinguished before the fire brigade could respond.

Friend of China 4.5.43 edition

Another attack has been made at Jardine’s Bazaar. Sgt Fry was very brave and confronted the thieves. He shot three ruffians but others got away with some booty. That same night other burglaries were affected. The Friend of China printing office was entered and robbed.

Friend of China 4.5.43 edition

Editorial on smuggling and smuggling boats:

‘Fast crab’ seems to be a Mandarin expression. These boats are called cheung lung teng (long dragon boats) in Cantonese. They are used on the river and all its back waters throughout the delta. They take chests of opium from the store ships anchored at the Taipa or Hong Kong or Whampoa and carry it for sale to all the towns and villages throughout the Province.

All wholesale and retail of opium is in cash. The sycee or silver dollars are deposited on the deck (occasionally gold in ingots or small plates is tendered). The sycee is tested, the dollars examined and weighed. When the bullion value has been agreed between the parties, delivery commences. Ordinarily the buyer takes the chests without examination of contents.

The junior officials, who take either presents or a percentage of sales to permit the trade, are always helpful to the smugglers. They know smugglers will resist them energetically and probably successfully if they are un-cooperative so they allow them a great degree of latitude.

The entire Chinese civil service has been confused by the war. The British won the war; the British bring opium. They conclude they cannot prevent opium imports and sales.

For the last 1½ years Whampoa has been a smuggling centre for both Chinese and European merchants. An anchorage near the mouth of Junk River is set apart for the dozen or more cutters and schooners that are daily openly selling the Drug.

Although the Chinese smugglers no longer fear their government officers, they always try to avoid them for economy. If they cannot, they negotiate a present for the official and his crew in order to continue passed him on the river. These days, they only fight if the official’s demand is excessive.[37] An excessive demand denotes a confident official and his confidence might mean accomplices hidden nearby so the smugglers take care. They often make discretion the better part of valour when confronted by the officials, driving the boat ashore and sacrificing hull and cargo to the officers, rather than fighting back. It is supposed that smugglers cooperate with pirates, who steal boats, in which case they readily recover suitable hulls and only lose the cargo.

The smugglers go up the waterways to Canton and Fatshan. They offload their cargoes in the inland towns clandestinely at night. They study the market carefully and endeavour to approach a village when supplies are exhausted or nearly so.

They also go along the coast to Chuan Chow (in Fukien) but stay a little off-shore. The many bays, coves and creeks along the East Coast offer good shelter. They buy tea and silk at Amoy and Fuk Chow. The qualities are lower than the supply we get from the Hong merchants here in Canton but the smugglers are tax exempt which makes their goods very reasonably priced.

The English or American ship carrying the opium smugglers’ tea does not have to go up to Whampoa and pay the port charges there, so it works out much cheaper for him too, if the smuggler can supply all his needs.

We recently got on board a large smuggling boat in Hong Kong harbour. It belongs to the rich Chinese merchant Ah Kee who has established himself here and had the boat built here. It cost Ah Kee $1,600 to build and 40 carpenters were employed for a month completing it. This type of boat needs a complete overhaul and repair after 3-4 years’ use and then its good for another 3 years. The dimensions of Ah Kee’s boat is:


Breadth amidships

Depth of hold

Height of mainmast

Height of mizzen


87½ feet

18¾ feet

6¼ feet

62½ feet

43¾ feet

4 feet 4½ inches

This is considered to be a 2nd class boat. A 1st class boat is 78 cubits (97’) long. The crew is made up of 2 captains, 60 standing rowers and 10 sailors to steer and shift the sails. Most of the crew come from Whampoa village (adjacent to Shek Lung). This boat can carry 350 chests of opium or 400 cases of congou tea. The crew get $6 per day each as wages. There is a formula for dividing the profits of trade. On the river or in calm sea this boat can achieve 6 mph without sails. In a good breeze she can double that.

The crew keep watches at night for eight hours from 8pm – 4am. They use two large joss sticks to show the time. Each quarter of the joss stick takes an hour to burn.

They have two 12 pounder long cannons at the bows. 12 gingals on pivots along the sides, 20 double-bladed swords, 30 rattan shields, 200 pikes (some with lances). The boat is equipped with 60 oars, 15 mats to cover the boat, 2 x 300′ cables (one of bamboo, one coir) and a bamboo water pump. They like to have an English musket, a European telescope and compass and they get them sooner or later.

The gunpowder is kept in a chest in the captain’s cabin. They seldom carry more than a picul. Cartridges are made of bamboo paper that resembles silk paper and is particularly strong and fine.

At Hong Kong the crews can do as they please but at all other places they stay on board and only one or two will be permitted ashore to buy food.

Friend of China 4.5.43 edition

Letter from our Chusan correspondent:

Six or seven opium schooners have gone up the Yangtse and the Plenipotentiary is not doing anything about it. It is now being put about by word of mouth that Sir Henry’s proclamation of last 14th November does not apply to opium ships. This may explain Sir Henry’s order to the senior naval officer in Hong Kong to release the three seized opium ships.[38]

We have learned that the captains of the opium smuggling ships told the Royal Navy representatives here that if their vessels were not immediately released they would in future charter foreign ships to carry the opium trade on the Chinese coast and rivers.

What could we do?

Friend of China 11.4.43 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

An attack was made on the Morrison Institute on Tuesday morning. The Reverend Principal and one of his servants were both stabbed and some property stolen. The Chinese Secretary of the Hong Kong Government was living there at the time but was unhurt. A list of the robberies that occurred in the last fortnight would completely fill our newspaper. Our Police force is too small for the job.

Friend of China 11.4.43 edition

The Protestant missionary college (the Anglo-Chinese College) at Malacca is to be immediately transferred to Hong Kong (to the Morrison Institute).

Since its misunderstandings with the Jesuits and Dominicans, the Chinese Government has been wary of missionaries. If it knew of the missionary zeal in Hong Kong, and saw we did not attempt to stop it, it might be greatly concerned which would be embarrassing for our relationship.

We need to ensure as best we can that instruction in the arts, sciences and particularly medicine at the new school in Hong Kong is open to all, not just Christian people.

Friend of China 18.5.43 edition

Hong Kong Government Notice – Charles Batten Hillier is appointed assistant to the Chief Magistrate 13.5.43

Friend of China 18.5.43 edition

Public Notice – any land holder not co-operating in the enquiry and survey announced last week will have his land resumed and any buildings thereon will be removed at the expense of the owner.

Friend of China 18.5.43 edition

In the last few days five Chinese war junks have arrived in the harbour bringing Hwang Ngan Tung of Kiang Nan Province, judicial secretary to the Imperial Commissioners representing China and ex Chief Judge of Kiangsu Province.

He is accompanied by Haeling, Commander of the Imperial Bodyguard and concurrently Manchu General of Kwongtung, who is Ilipu’s assistant.

Five officials came ashore and were met on the wharf by the Plenipotentiary’s interpreters M/s Thom and Lay and escorted by them to the houses that they are to occupy for their stay.

The two senior officials go out everyday in a carriage to look around. They have been fêted by the authorities and have visited our men-of-war. At Pottinger’s recent trade-fair, the Hong Kong elite were invited to meet the visitors and our women-folk were enraptured by Hwang who is handsome, polished, graceful and gentlemanly.

The foreign residents are well satisfied by this visit which portends happy relations in the future but the new Chinese community on Hong Kong is fearful. Some of them have ceased visiting Macau as they fear to be squeezed if their connection with Hong Kong becomes known to the Chinese officers stationed there.

One of the five visiting officials is Yan, the Prefect and magistrate of Sai Ngon (of which county Hong Kong formerly was a part). He is customarily required to bear the expense of this visit (said to be $400-$500 daily). As Yan was appointed Prefect only a few weeks ago he has not yet accumulated any capital. In any event his posting has been devalued since the smugglers removed from Lintin to Whampoa. We hear he made a hurried trip to Canton to borrow $4,000 to meet these unexpected expenses.

The other dignitaries are Yang Pui a newly appointed Manchu officer, Wu Tin Luk from Shantung and Lu Pin Kin another magistrate who was appointed a month ago.

The 70 sailors on the five junks each get 100 cash per day in wages. The total number of the Commissioners’ retinue is about 300.

Friend of China 18.5.43 edition

‘SH’ has sent a letter to the Editor which the latter declines to publish but says relates to a British ship which has just arrived in the harbour from the East Coast with a cargo of smuggled tea.

In view of Pottinger’s edict of 20th April, it appears that Chinese revenue officers have authority to seize her.

‘SH’ says smuggled tea is often brought to Hong Kong and the Chinese diplomats currently visiting will doubtless find out if they do not already know.

Friend of China 18.5.43 edition

The Editor notes a local rumour that steel bulkheads damage opium by conducting electricity and magnetism. To carry opium it is necessary to have non-conducting bulkheads.[39]

Friend of China 18.5.43 edition

Letter to the Editor from Observer dated 2.5.43

We are far from London where government is uncertain of our local conditions. It should welcome information from Hong Kong officials and local residents about our needs. The Plenipotentiary is active and zealous but he is only one man and may not be able to think of everything.

The administration of justice in cases of serious crime must be considered. We need laws adapted for enforcement here rather than a precise copy of English law. We do not need the whole English statute book – just those laws that relate to our specific problems like property crime ashore and afloat.

Friend of China 25.5.43 edition

On the night of Saturday 13th May some thieves lifted the doors off their hinges at Mr Rogers’s house. He lives at House 8, Webster’s Bazaar and is an officer in the 18th Regiment.

They broke open a chest-of-drawers upstairs and took $99, some clothes, two pistols, a double-barrelled gun, a spyglass, two silver watches and a gold chain.

An attempt had been made to fire the house but failed. The same place was entered again on 18th and completely cleared of remaining contents. The bed was set alight and the bedding nearly extended the flames to the whole structure but was finally extinguished with water. The loss due to theft is estimated at $800.

Friend of China 25.5.43 edition

Inquest on a Chinese found dead in the market:

Ah Fung, the market overseer, found a man lying on the ground insensible. Another man nearby said he had eaten opium as he had nothing else to eat.

Ah Sung, a witness, was in the market and saw the deceased putting on all his clothes that morning although it was not cold. He looked very ill and his face had turned black. On going closer I could see an empty pot with traces of opium left in it. He did not speak to me so I called Ah Kee (the overseer’s son). The deceased operated a market-stall but he had some sort of disease and no-one liked to buy things from him. As a result he could do no trade and had become poor. A month ago he already told me he wanted to kill himself.

David Gaily, a policeman, gave evidence. He was called to the market and found the man lying on a stretcher. He appeared to have the hiccups. Gaily turned him on his back but he did not speak. Ah Fung told Gaily the man had taken opium to kill himself. Gaily called Dr Lockhart who gave the man some medicine but he could not swallow it. Gaily put the patient in Ah Fung’s house and told Ah Fung to report when he died. Ah Fung went to the Chief Magistrate for advice and was told to move the man to Dr Winchester’s surgery. Gaily went there at the same time and was told the man was dying.

Dr C A Winchester says I am the Colonial Surgeon. A man was brought to me at 6 am that morning having taken opium. He was unconscious, light breath, face livid and swollen, eyes shut, pupils contracted. I gave him strong irritants and then powerful stimulants. He lived until 9 am. Verdict – felo de se[40]

Friend of China 25.5.43 edition

The Chinese diplomatic party left the island last Thursday on the steamer Akbar to Whampoa en route to meet Kiying who is now approaching close to Canton. They boarded the Cornwallis to witness Pottinger’s investiture of Parker with a KCB (Knight Commander of the Bath).

Some thought this was bad taste as Parker was getting his award for trouncing the Chinese admiral. Fortunately, no Chinese interpreter accompanied the officials who relied throughout on the English linguists.

Friend of China 25.5.43 edition

Letter to the Editor – When Pottinger arrived in Hong Kong he was surprised to find that huge areas of prime land had purportedly been sold by Johnstone and his group to the opium smugglers.

One lot included a Chinese village whose unfortunate inhabitants were ordered to pay rent to the grant holder. A prominent opium merchant has boasted in England of his large estate in Hong Kong so this is not a secret. The Chinese village that is within a European lot is the village of East Point which J M & Co enclosed with a ring fence ‘at the request of the villagers.’ The government then interfered and said J M & Co were wrong to control the villagers’ access and egress and ordered the fence removed.

Recently government said it is reviewing the terms of grants made by Elliot and, until they are confirmed or otherwise, no-one knows on what terms or tenure they hold land here.

Editor – The author of the above has more to say but I have adapted his view to my own:

The problem in China in the last 7-8 years has been the sudden and ill-considered replacement of the monopoly system of the India Company, which controlled about half British trade, with an open competitive system. As a result everyone has sought to export to China; all legal trade is at an end and only a smuggling trade continues.

As the legal trade depends on the silver of the smuggling trade to finance itself, it makes smuggling an integral part of the whole system.

Smuggling cannot be ended without reducing the volume of trade very substantially. This was Elliot’s analysis – that to preserve the trade in tea and let the English people have their morning ‘cuppa’ he was compelled to support the opium smugglers and their business, hence his fervent and oft repeated hope that the trade would be legalised. There was no other honourable choice.

Friend of China 25.5.43 supplement

The present officers of the Hong Kong Government are:


A R Johnstone

Lt Pedder

C E Stewart

A T Gordon

Capt C Edwards

Capt Ochterlony

Major Moore

Major W Caine

Capt Davidson

Capt Edwards

J R Morrison

Lt Col Wilson CB

Chief Superintendent of Trade

Deputy Chief Superintendent

Marine Magistrate

Acting Secretary and Treasurer

Land Officer

Surveyor (from 18th Regiment)


Deputy Judge Advocate General

Chief Magistrate

Asst Commissary General

Asst Quarter-Master

Chinese Secretary

Army Paymaster

Friend of China 25.5.43 supplement

Proclamation of the Hong Kong Chief Magistrate Caine:

  • No Chinese can go about between 8 – 10 pm at night without a lantern
  • No Chinese can go about at night between 10 pm and dawn without a pass.
  • No Chinese boat can move in the harbour after the 9 pm gun until the dawn gun.

Friend of China 25.5.43 edition

Letter to the Editor – Last week you quoted the Times opining that each country must enforce its own revenue laws. Our local smugglers used advanced western arms to overcome the ancient weapons of the Chinese government and so do whatever they please. They smuggle in broad daylight and refuse to be stopped or searched by the coastguard.

It is misleading to compare this activity with smuggling across the English Channel as it is qualitatively different. British revenue officers can arrest the smugglers when they catch them, the Chinese cannot.

It is not enough to simply withhold protection from our smugglers. The treaty obligation is to deliver-up offenders to the government of the nation to which they belong.

Every nation has a right to punish those who disobey its laws. A provision intended to protect the innocent should not be used to shelter the guilty. If we allow these criminals to escape justice, Hong Kong will soon become completely lawless as we are indeed seeing. Sgd Observer

Editor – Observer is often right but this time he is wrong about the treaty provision and wrong about its construction in international law.

Friend of China 8.6.43 edition

Letter to the Editor – Observer has responded to the Editor’s two comments on his above letter:

My interpretation of international law is reasonable. Vattel says “those countries to which foreigners are freely allowed access, the Sovereign gives tacit understanding that they will obey his laws… foreigners who commit faults are to be punished according to the laws of the country.”

This rule is neither new nor unreasonable and nothing further need be said of it.

Under our own understanding of international law, China can insist her laws be respected and, if an offender is within her jurisdiction, she can bring him to trial and punish him.

The treaty says offenders have to be delivered to the authorities of their own nation. We all recall the instances in which foreigners were surrendered to the Chinese for trial and we will prevent the execution of possibly innocent men in future by this treaty provision.

Smuggling around the world has been a secretive business but here in China it is done in broad daylight before the gaze of the world on the apparent basis that there is so much of it that we should say nothing.

Smuggling opium is not just a fiscal crime – it is a crime because of the nature of the Drug itself. We cannot fairly say it is a petty matter. It reflects on our national reputation.

The only problem I recognise is one of extent – how far should we go to prevent smuggling. The Russian government has prohibited opium traffic. There are legislative measures against opium in other parts of our own Empire.

I think we should banish any foreigners convicted of smuggling from our island of Hong Kong and punish any Britons.

In that way a British colony may not be converted into a den of smugglers to the degradation of our national character and the injury of our Empire.

Editor Carr’s note – I wholly disagree with Observer. Smuggling is not a crime but a mulctuary offence. It is the armed resistance to authority that is offensive not the smuggling. We just confiscate the property and fine the offender in relation to the value of his contraband. There is no loss of honour to the offender and it is certain that revenue offences in England do not entail loss of citizenship.

Lord Mansfield has expressly observed, and the whole King’s Bench has concurred, that “one nation never takes notice of the revenue laws of another” French authorities agree with the English ones.

I will also quote Vattel:

“it is seldom that nature is seen to produce in one place everything for the use of man: one country abounds in corn, another in pastures and cattle, a third in metals, etc. If all these countries trade together, as is agreeable to human nature, none will be without such things as are useful and necessary; and the views of nature, our common mother, will be fulfilled.”

The corollary to this is that the smuggler is asserting the laws of nature and vindicating man’s inalienable right to commune and commerce with his brother man.

Friend of China 8.6.43 edition

The Vixon opium schooner has just sailed from Hong Kong harbour without notice to the Harbour Master or Post Master or application for Port Clearance – it is another example of the disregard that our merchants have for the authorities

Friend of China 8.6.43 edition

Captain Hope of the Royal Navy is coming south in HMS Thalia to Hong Kong to be tried (it is said) for being so naive as to have prevented opium vessels from approaching unopened Chinese ports, believing, as the Editor says, ‘that Pottinger’s November proclamation was something more than a Chinese Edict.’[41]

Friend of China 8.6.43 edition


  • The partnership of L E Christopher and H J Carr is dissolved effective 1st June 43 and all demands will be settled by Christopher.
  • The partnership of Penn Townsend and Andreas Molbye, trading as P Townsend & Co (godown operators with weekly sales of goods), is dissolved by mutual consent and debts will be met by P Townsend.
  • John Bennett advises the public his partnership, Bennett, Paine & Co, is dissolved and he will be carrying on the auctions alone (every Friday at 11 am) charging 5% on all sales and ½% on goods bought-in. Rates for ships, opium and real estate are negotiable. Accounts will be provided within three days of sale and proceeds paid 30 days thereafter. An exchange and reading room is added to the auction room. The reading room will be on the 1st floor above the sale room. It will open for customers on 12th June 43.(The following week Paine advertises he will be settling all debts of the old partnership)
  • D Wilson & Co take pleasure in announcing to the members of their subscription billiards rooms that they are open effective 1st June 43
  • E Farncomb, solicitor and Notary Public, has for sale several extensive marine lots with deep water frontage and with convenient bungalows having delightful views of the harbour and town; he also has some large plots of land for building. The property is contiguous with government hill in a first rate locality and forms a desirable and safe investment.[42]

Friend of China 8.6.43 edition

A supplement to this edition contains a proclamation of Sir Henry Pottinger dated 1st June saying he has received a note from Lord Aberdeen, the Foreign Minister, reciting instructions to remove the Court of Criminal and Admiralty Jurisdiction (enacted in the 3rd and 4th William IV (1833) in which the Chief Superintendent of Trade is made the court officer) from Canton or on board one of Her Majesty’s ships at Canton to Hongkong.

The court will have jurisdiction over British subjects who commit offences in Hong Kong or China or at sea within 100 miles of the Chinese coast.

The practice and proceedings of the court will comply so far as is practicable with the practice and procedure in England. The Chief Superintendent will be assisted by 12 jurors. He can make rules for proceedings but they are to be forwarded to London and subject to approval or disallowance.

Editor Carr’s comment – very disappointing. We have been waiting for authority to establish civil, criminal and admiralty courts from London. Bringing up Palmerston’s old bit of abortive legislation now is horrible. The terms were expressly provisional and now, after ten years, here they are again completely unamended.

Capt Elliot tried to make this statute work in the trial he conducted in Hong Kong harbour (concerning the 7th July 1841 affray at Tsim Sha Tsui causing the death of the Cantonese Lam Wai Hei[43]). It was in vain. We particularly need a civil court even more than a criminal or admiralty one. Sir Henry has been doing so much for us it is not surprising his health is suffering. For that reason I wont say much, but this act does not apply to the bulk of our population – the Chinese. Although we do not want to be ruled by the Company, we think it would have been wise to consult Lord Ellenborough as he is so well informed on the mercantile interests here and is imbued with the spirit of the times.

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

A letter bag will be made up in Hong Kong to be sent by fast boat to Macau at 5 pm daily. Individuals receiving letters in Macau will be charged 10¢ each. The address must be written in Chinese as well as English or Portuguese.

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

Letter to the Editor:

The Hospital of the Medical Missionary Society has been opened in Hong Kong on Medical Missionary Society Hill on 6th June 43 for the benefit of Chinese in- and out-patients. Accident and emergencies can come at any time. Others come between 8am – 11am.

Sgd Benjamin Hobson.

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

A band of 20 robbers landed at the foot of the hill where Mr J F Edgar’s bungalow has been built, opposite the steamer berth. The dogs barked and Edgar was alerted and the thieves ran off leaving a 20 foot bamboo spear near his out-houses.

The steamer is obviously inadequate to protect us.

One resident, living at Wong Nai Chong valley, has somehow obtained a military guard to protect him. All our suburban lots will be valueless unless we can devise some way of protecting them.

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

The patent cordage manufactured by an American in Manila (identified as O’Keeting in a previous edition) is now available for sale in Hongkong. Apply to William Scott who will forward orders to Manila for delivery a few weeks after.

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

We understand Eldred, the brother of Sir Henry Pottinger, has been selected to be the Governor of Hong Kong. He will leave India immediately.

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

The Royal Engineers are sending Lt Collinson with 2 sergeants, 2 corporals and 30 privates to Hong Kong to erect fortifications under the command and direction of Major Aldrich.

When the batteries are complete, a field officer of the Royal Artillery with two companies of gunners will be sent out to man the installations permanently.

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

The Roman Catholic Church in Hong Kong was opened for public worship on Trinity Saturday 11th June 43 at 9 am. Father Antonio Feliciani, the Prefect Apostolic of the Mission, performed the consecration ceremony.

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

The letter box for the next overland mail to England via Bombay (per Anna Eliza) will close on Thursday evening, 9.6.43

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition


  • John W North makes and repairs sails and would welcome some business. He has rented the loft over Kent & Company’s shipyard.
  • J McMurray has opened a bakery at the Lower Bazaar opposite W Scott’s godown and will supply bread and pastries at short notice.
  • N Boule and Company has opened The English Bakery and will deliver bread to your home at 6¢ per lb.
  • For sale, nearly new – a splendid buggy and harness. See Robert Lawrie of the Navy and Army Tavern.[44]

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

The Straits Messenger reports that the current Hong Kong land survey and the associated proof of ownership of land that government now requires, is considered onerous by many buyers who paid their money to A R Johnstone after the first auction and received their land solely on his assurance of title.

Johnstone’s auction proceeds, or most of it, has since disappeared hence the new requirements.

The Messenger says ‘The arbitrary undoing of the acts of his predecessor by the present Plenipotentiary is not at all likely to beget confidence in the public mind as to any future engagements he may enter into on his own responsibility with any of H M’s subjects.’

The Messenger opines that whilst ‘Pottinger deprecates the practice and encouragement of smuggling… it … will still prevail, as extensively as before.’

Friend of China 15.6.43 edition

Few of the daily criminal outrages in Hong Kong are reported to the authorities.

We will mention the attack by robbers on the watchmen guarding some houses being erected near the upper bazaar. The watchmen had attempted to arrest this gang of robbers who had just robbed the houses and were ascending the hill taking-off their stash of booty towards the mat-sheds on the upper slopes. Two watchmen were stabbed and seriously injured.

On the evening of the 7th June at the same place an aged Lascar was knocked down and robbed of $5 by a Chinese.

Friend of China 22.6.43 edition

The overland mail has brought news from London up to 6th March 43 and it is disturbing.

Sir Robert Peel has told the Commons that Hong Kong will not be a free port in so far as opium is concerned.

The exclusion of opium will reduce the value of property on the island.

Friend of China 22.6.43 edition

The Roman Catholic church has been completed. It is called the Chapel of the Conception and is located on Wellington Street with its front towards the bay in the middle of our burgeoning town. A college is attached to educate Chinese for the ministry.

The church is 112 ft long and 48 ft wide. The first 12 feet is the porch and the last 38 feet is the altar leaving an area of 62’ x 48’ for the congregation There are eight 30″ diameter columns supporting the roof, four along either side at 6½’ centres from the outer walls. The walls are granite, infilled with brick, the roof is wood. There is a granite walkway from porch to altar but the rest of the floor to either side is wood. The walls are painted white and the roof is light blue making it cheerful inside.

Father Feliciani thinks he can house 1,000 persons. The cost was $9,000 of which one third came from mission funds and the rest from donations by residents.

About 100 people attended the first service – Negroes, Bengalis, Madrassis and Chinese. There were soldiers from the 55th Regiment (Connemara), sepoys and native artillerymen as well as Portuguese, Italian and other foreign seamen. The English were in two groups at the sides near the altar. There were 7-8 women present as well. In addition the orchestra numbered about 50 musicians. Father Feliciani reviewed the history of the Catholic church in the East and mentioned Loyola and St Francis Xavier.

He noted England’s colonial insignificance then compared with her greatness now. There is no longer any Dutch monopoly, Portuguese cruelty and oppression, or Chinese exclusion but only the broad mantle of British power and commerce extended to other nations and other religions.

Friend of China 22.6.43 edition

Rules and Practice Directions of the Criminal and Admiralty Court of Hong Kong are published in this edition. Its very long. Below are three brief points on jurisdiction:

  • The jurisdiction of the Court does not extend to capital sentences. In such cases, the convict is to be kept in solitary confinement pending for an indication of Her Majesty’s pleasure.
  • No member of Her Majesty’s land or sea forces (subject to military law) is amenable to the jurisdiction of this Court.
  • All other British and foreign subjects, who are permanent residents of Hong Kong, are subject to the jurisdiction of the Court.

Friend of China 29.6.43 edition

Peel’s speech in the Commons’ opium trade debate:

“Now with regard to the interdiction of the illegal traffic, that subject has occupied the attention, not only of the present, but of the late government, who gave instructions to Sir Henry Pottinger on the subject which her Majesty’s present government have renewed.

“And who is Sir Henry Pottinger and what is the course he was directed to follow? What was the spirit of the last communication which has been blamed by the noble lord (Sandon), the MP for Liverpool? What was his feelings and dispositions towards the people of China? Did he not stand almost alone there, and has he not given proof that he is a man in whom the House of Commons may confide?

“He has been instructed to represent to the Chinese government, not, I admit, the attempted impossibility of interdicting altogether the importation of opium into China, but such a respectful representation as may conduce friendly relations and an advantageous understanding upon the subject of revenue; and if the Chinese Government can be persuaded to look at the question in the way in which European Governments regards similar questions, namely, with respect to the means for the prohibition of smuggling, an amicable arrangement may be agreed upon.

“The importance of the subject is my excuse for reading from the last instructions sent out to Sir Henry dated 29th December 1842, to prove that Her Majesty’s Government have not been indifferent to these matters, and that they are fully aware of the evils which may be pregnant to the honour and character of this country, as well as to the employment and safety of the great capital presently involved in the trade.

“On the date mentioned Lord Aberdeen wrote this dispatch:

‘Whatever may be the result of your endeavours to prevail upon the Chinese Government to legalise the sale of opium, it will be right that her Majesty’s servants in China should hold themselves aloof from all connexion with so discreditable a traffic.

‘The British merchant, who may be a smuggler, must receive no protection or support in the prosecution of his illegal sale and he must be made aware that he will have to take the consequences of his own conduct.

‘Her Majesty’s Government have not the power to put a stop to this trade on the part of the British smuggler; but they may impede it in some degree by preventing Hong Kong and its waters from being used as a port by the British smuggler, as a starting point for his illegal acts.

‘That is to say, when Hongkong is ceded, until then the smuggling of opium cannot be prevented there; but as soon as it is ceded, you will have power to prevent the importation of opium into Hong Kong for the purpose of its exportation into China.’

“Now I think I have proved to the satisfaction of the House that this important subject has not escaped the attention of her Majesty’s Government. Considering the present state of affairs, and the negotiations which are pending, I think it much better that the whole matter be left in the hands of the Government, rather than the House should come to a vote which might defeat the very object of the motion. So much for the illegal traffic.”

Editor – The immoralities encouraged in India are balanced by the affectation of virtue in China. The only virtue here derives from Lord Aberdeen’s intended prohibition of storing opium on Hong Kong island. Pottinger’s practical sagacity will find that measure preposterous in a free port as Hong Kong has been declared to be. J M & Co, who have spent over $250,000 erecting buildings at East Point, say they will remain at Macau if opium cannot be stored in Hong Kong and many other smugglers will follow their example. Everything that A R Johnstone, Caine and Capt Mylius (the three people to whom the success of the colony is attributable, according to the Editor) have achieved here could have only resulted in getting a few refugees and settlers to supply the garrison and men-of-war.

People who have invested heavily in Hong Kong have a reasonable ground for complaint, he concludes.

Friend of China 29.6.43 supplement

Hong Kong Crime report:

At 1 am Sunday morning 25th June 43, the house of M/s F H Tiedeman and Marzetti in Magistracy Street was burgled by scratching away the mortar and removing bricks from a wall. Three Europeans, four Lascars and two Chinese slept inside undisturbed throughout the commission of this crime. Property worth $800 was taken. The thieves must have been in the house for about an hour before an occupant was awakened and raised the alarm.

Mr Prendergast, whose house is within sight of Magistrate Caine’s, was also burgled last week. The servants were suspected and charged but exonerated by the Court. They returned in daylight to collect their possessions and, under the noses of the police guards, entered the house, took whatever they chose and left.

Adam Elmsley’s official residence was also burgled and property taken.

Friend of China 29.6.43 edition

Keying, Hwang Ngan Tung and the Manchu General Haeling arrived in Hong Kong on 23rd June 43 on the India Company’s steamer Akbar to a salute of 15 guns. The steamer was flying the Chinese flag.

The new arrivals will replace the late Ilipu in the forthcoming tariff negotiations. Keying is the third most senior man of rank and authority in China. The three had an early lunch on the river. War junks saluted as they passed. An inspection of the Bogue forts was made, then they came to Hong Kong.

A British resident has provided the Editor with a scurrilous report of their arrival. Publication suggests Editor Carr’s preference for form over substance:

As I arrived, the wide street running along the harbour’s edge (Queen’s Road) was being rolled flat by many coolies and all its mountains, gullies and lakes converted into as smooth a surface as possible.
A man trotted passed carrying a silk umbrella on a long bamboo. 20 paces behind was a sedan chair and four sweating coolies carrying a fat official. There were altogether nineteen of these umbrella bearers and chairs that passed me in succession. Coolies, Chinese and Europeans gathered to see the great men arriving. Four nanny goats and their herder then passed. He was followed by four officials with long bamboos who appeared to be responsible for clearing the way – they tried to catch the goat herder but failed. Then there came two rows of men carrying boards, possibly the ends of tea chests. Then came a Chinese band of gongs and whistles. Then two rows of sword bearers with guns, all painted very fiercely. Then four sweating coolies carrying a box of sycee. Then a body of pike men. All of these groups were military but did not walk in step or in line – apparently for this reason, they were disciplined by officials along the road sides who hit offenders on their heads with a bamboo. Once hit, the man generally fell down in a faint and took no further part in the parade. He sat at the street-side with his equipment and presumably had to await the procession returning.
Then there was the band of the 41st Madras Native Infantry, blasphemously playing ‘the Campbells are coming.’
This was followed by more officials roaring and running about with bamboos, hitting any coolies within reach to demonstrate their power. Then came the three Celestial dignitaries in three sedan chairs raised on the shoulders of the bearers.

I have never seen any of the three officials before although I have often admired Keying’s portrait on my grandmother’s teapot. As you have not seen that relic I will describe him. He is very fat and could hardly fit in the chair. His eyes protrude, his tongue lolls and he sweats. His companions were similar but thinner.

These No 1 chop men were followed by some Englishmen, the sort who would stand in a pillory rather than not be seen at all, and finally the mob – the rag, tag and bobtail of refugees, villains and rascals – who comprise the Hong Kong population. Falstaff’s ragged regiment was a pattern of elegance in comparison.

I fear we have given diplomatic authority and sanction to a troupe of Chinese masqueraders and jugglers which will become all too apparent when the ratifications are exchanged.

Friend of China 30.6.43 extraordinary edition

Copy of Her Majesty-in-Council’s Letters Patent creating the colony of Hong Kong:

  • The ratified peace treaties were formally exchanged 26.6.43.
  • Pottinger concurrently swore the Oath to become Governor of Hong Kong.
  • The city on the northern side of the island is to be called Victoria.
  • A Legislative Council composed of public officers and other persons, all residents of Hong Kong, will be appointed by the Queen.
  • The Governor is empowered to make law with the advice of the Council. The Queen might disallow those laws on the advice and consent of parliament.

Friend of China 30.6.43 extraordinary edition

Pottinger has appointed the following 44 people to be Justices of the Peace with power over all British subjects in China. (NB – The oath formally empowers the JP in China, i.e. he seems powerless in Hong Kong on the terminology used):

Assistant Chief Superintendent

Chief Magistrate

Asst Magistrate

British Government Agent (Vice-consul) at Macau

A R Johnstone (and Registrar)[45]

William Caine

Charles Batten Hillier

to be appointed

The remaining 41 JP’s are:

Alexander Anderson; George Balfour; George Thomas Braine; David Laing Burn, the precedent partner of MacVicar & Co; Charles Spencer Compton of C S Compton & Co; John Dent; the Hon Francis Charles Drummond, partner in Dent & Co; Patrick Dudgeon, partner in Turner & Co; Henry Dundas, partner in Lindsay & Co; Joseph Frost Edger, representing Jamieson How & Co; Angus Fletcher, proprietor of Fletcher & Co; Alexander Thomas Gordon, Land Officer; John Darby Gibb, partner of Gibb Livingston & Co; Capt William Grey RN; Henry Gribble, partner in Gribble Hughes & Co; Henry Robert Harker, partner in W T Gemmell & Co; John Holliday, partner in Holliday Wise & Co; Andrew Jardine, Wm Jardine’s nephew; Crawford Kerr, partner in Kerr & Co; George Tradescant Lay, naturalist; William Cairnes Le Geyt, partner in MacVicar & Co; William Potter Livingston, partner in Gibb Livingston & Co; Thomas William Lockwood Mackean, partner in Turner & Co; Lt Col George Alexander Malcolm; Alexander Matheson, nephew of James Matheson; John Ambrose Mercer, China trader since 1837; William Morgan; John Robert Morrison, Linguist and missionary; William Pedder, Marine Magistrate; John Rickett; Alexander Scott, Court Recording Officer; Joseph Mackrill Smith, partner in Bell & Co; Charles Edward Stewart; Patrick Stewart; William Stewart, partner in J M & Co; Robert Thom, Interpreter and Consul; James White; Alfred Wilkinson, partner in Bell & Co; John Wise, partner of Holliday Wise & Co; Richard Woosnam (Pottinger’s private secretary, previously an assistant surgeon of the Company); Peter Young.

Editor’s note – shame there are no Parsees. In India they are now eligible to be magistrates. While in Bombay the Editor met many Parsee magistrates – excellent men. Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy was one of the people I met – another excellent man.

The trade between India and China is due to the Parsees who here and at Bombay transact half of all the business. In a crown colony a British subject is eligible for the highest positions regardless of colour, caste, creed …..

Friend of China 6.7.43 edition

Letter to the Editor – Who is the British Vice Consul at Macau? I have lived here for years and never heard of him. Why do we need so many JP’s. Are they to comprise the juries required in our new Courts? What’s going on? Sgd Scrutator.

Friend of China 6.7.43 edition

Hong Kong Crime report

  • At 2 am Sunday 2.7.43, thieves removed bricks from Solicitor (and sometime Coroner) Farncomb’s wall and entered his house. They used fumigating firesticks to produce an anaesthetising smoke that kept the servants asleep. They took two trunks of clothes. The empty trunks were recovered the next morning on the hillside behind the house.
  • 1.30 am Wednesday, thieves were seen carrying off property from N Boule’s godown. One was shot and sixteen arrested but some brandy, oil, wine and beer was lost to those who escaped.
  • On 27th June Leung Cho King boarded a ferry with his wife and mother at Hong Kong for Canton. After his bags were stowed he went ashore with his wife to get more rice. Then a Chinese warjunk Tai Pong Yau Ying came alongside the ferry looking for Leung, asserting he was a pirate. The officers seized his chest containing $80, two gold rings and clothes and took both the woman and the luggage to the warjunk. They loaded the chest on board but left the old woman in the Tanka boat alongside for over an hour. Meanwhile Leung had seen what was going on and alerted Hong Kong police. They arrived and arrested two soldiers who had taken the luggage. The case was referred to Caine. Only part of the property was recovered. The soldiers were handed over to the Canton authorities who later reported that they had acted on the instructions of a Provincial official whose purpose was to rob. He had been degraded and punished.

Caine complains that the whole week has otherwise been occupied settling squabbles between foreign ship captains and their crews. He asks merchant marine officers to exercise more prudence.

Friend of China 6.7.43 edition

The Friend of China Editor regrets there was no decree prohibiting slavery amongst the first ordinances of Hong Kong. He notes that when Lord Ellenborough announced the annexation of Sind, he simultaneously announced that slavery would in future be prohibited in that Muslim state.

Friend of China 6.7.43 edition

  • The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter, a London newspaper, has just seen the Friend of China article on slavery in Hong Kong and says it must be stopped.
  • The omission in the Oath required of JP’s has been corrected to include jurisdiction in Hong Kong
  • The Queen has appointed the Rev Vincent John Stanton as chaplain of Hong Kong.[46]

Friend of China 13.7.43 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

A Chinese man was shot after a burglary at M Boule’s godown but is recovering. The 16 men who were arrested for this burglary have been discharged by Magistrate Caine for lack of evidence against them.

Friend of China 13.7.43 edition

Notice of J M & Co dated China, 1st July 43:

  • James Matheson ceased to be a partner on 30th June 43.
  • Donald Matheson and David Jardine were admitted as partners on 1st July 43.
  • The firm now has five partners – Alexander Matheson, Andrew Jardine, William Stewart and the two above.

Friend of China 13.7.43 edition

For Sale – The tavern Britain’s Boast with its stock is for sale without reserve by public auction on Friday 14.7.43. C Markwick, Auctioneer.

Friend of China 13.7.43 edition

Lord Aberdeen’s declaration on opium has caused the traders here to circulate their constituents with their united opinion that Hong Kong will in future be only a military post.

They say people with commercial interests in China will have to place themselves under the jurisdiction of the Emperor.

Friend of China 20.7.43 edition

Judicial Notice – All Chinese residents of Hong Kong are reminded that they must carry a lantern when out in the public streets between 8 – 10 pm and that after 10pm until dawn they must remain indoors. Sgd Magistrate Caine

Friend of China 20.7.43 edition

Editorial – We need early advice from Pottinger on the tenure of land which we have already occupied and built upon. Since his survey notice, all building has stopped.

Friend of China 20.7.43 edition

We do not want our island becoming a dependency of the India Company like Penang or Singapore, but if Lord Aberdeen continues with his plan to ban opium from Hong Kong, then we should prefer to be a Company dependency than a Crown Colony.

Opium is fundamental to our trade in China – we cannot do without it. If we do not monopolise the opium trade here, it will move to Macau.

Friend of China 20.7.43 edition

The Count de Ratti Menton (the anti-Judean transferred from Damascus) has arrived to become French Consul. He could find no premises for himself, his lady and his suite here and, after interviewing Pottinger, immediately left for Macau.

Friend of China 20.7.43 edition

Hong Kong crime report:

Four Chinese boatmen are charged with stealing a chest of opium on 12th July.

On 11th July, Mr Pitcher withdrew fifty chests from Gillespie’s godown and engaged a cargo boat to take them to the schooner Petrel. He counted the chests into the chop boat and found that Gillespie had given him 51 so he sent one back.

A little later, when he counted again, he found only 49.

He suspected the crew was aware they had received one extra picul and had decided to steal it at about the same time as he sent the extra chest back.

After receiving some information from the sailors on the cargo boat, Pitcher sent over to the lower bazaar and three pieces of opium were recovered. The opium is worth $420 per picul (i.e. it is Turkish) and 12 catties worth $45 remain missing.

Each crewman was sentenced to 15 lashes and to pay $5 fine.

Friend of China 20.7.43 edition

Editor – We are pleased to see an advertisement in this edition offering insurance on Hong Kong houses and merchandise (see below).

Friend of China 27.7.43 edition

J M & Co are appointed agents of the Alliance Fire Assurance Company for householders risks only. The tariff of premiums is as follows:

Brick building and contents up to £10,000, building isolated from others and constructed of incombustible material.

Building up to £8,000 as above but attached

¾% pa

1% pa

6 months cover at ¾ and 3 months at ½ of annual rate.

The insurance may refer solely to the building or the contents or to a mixture of both.

Patrons will participate in the profits of the company after completing five successive premium payments.

Send in details of your premises – any non-disclosure with vitiate cover.

Friend of China , 27.7.43 edition

Editorial on opium:

From the thrust of Sir Robert Peel’s speech in the Commons on Lord Ashley’s motion,[47] it appears the decision concerning storage or importation of opium in Hong Kong rests with the Plenipotentiary. We need an early decision.

Pottinger must know that the evils of opium will be aggravated if it is forbidden here. Six of our influential merchants have decided to stay in Macau in anticipation of government interference in opium trade at Hong Kong. They all previously spent a lot of money here on land and buildings believing Hong Kong was to be a free port.

The uncertainty has caused new building to stop.[48] In the last month rents at Macau have advanced 15%. Now in spite of the wonderful tariff, our outlays in Hong Kong have been devalued by half and our city will become nothing more than a military outpost.

Friend of China 27.7.43 edition

  • Pottinger has proclaimed on 22.7.43 that the commercial treaty has been concluded.
    He continues to be very busy and will temporarily cease to receive visitors until 1.8.43 when the Company’s armed steamer Akbar leaves for Suez (i.e. when the commercial treaty has been signed by China and the ship takes the signed copy to England)
  • Caine has proclaimed to the people to remind them that in addition to the curfew for Chinese people, there is also a curfew on Chinese boat movements between the 9 pm gun and the dawn gun.

Friend of China 27.7.43 edition

Storage business in Hong Kong:

  • W Allanson is discontinuing his business of Allanson and Company w.e.f. 1.8.43. He runs a godown in a brick and mortar building at 20 Queen’s Road.
  • Gillespie’s granite-built godown at 46 Queen’s Road seems to be doing well.
  • John Burd & Co is advertising godown space to rent below the premises of Gibb Livingston & Co in Queen’s Road and also appears to be trading satisfactorily.
  • D Hume, the baker opposite Allanson’s godown, has obtained an eating-house licence from government.[49] He invites people to stay at his premises on daily, weekly or monthly terms.

Friend of China 27.7.43 edition

J S Anderson of Macau and Patrick Chalmers of England have commenced trade in Hong Kong on 1.7.43 as Anderson, Chalmers & Co.

Friend of China 27.7.43 edition

Published extracts from the commercial treaty with China:

The export tariff:

Raw silk

Silk piecegoods

Silk with cotton/wool

Silver and gold



10 Taels per 100 catties

12 Taels per do

3 Taels per do

10 Taels per 100 catties

free of duty

2 Taels 5 mace per 100 catties

The import tariff

Cotton raw

Cotton piecegoods

Cotton handkerchiefs

Cotton thread

All mixtures, etc.


Linen coarse

Metals and hides


All others

4 mace per 100 catties

1-2 mace per do

1-1½ candereens per do

1 Tael per do

5% ad valorem

5 mace per do

5% ad valorem


free of duty

5% ad valorem

The new tariff is effective 27 July 1843. From that day the Hong merchants will cease to function and the Consoo Fund is cancelled.

The four new ports cannot be declared open until an Edict to that effect is received from Peking. It is expected in early September

Friend of China 27.7.43 edition

The Victoria Hospital at 1, 2 and 3 Queen‘s Road opposite Fearon’s Wharf is operated under the direction of Drs James Satchell and Richard Jones.

All patients must bring an undertaking signed by a ship’s master or employee of a firm in China that the medical fees for treatment will be paid.

Terms Seamen $1 and Officers $2 per day.

Friend of China 31.7.43 extraordinary edition

The medical committee has recommended the ground at West Point be levelled and drained to reduce the high incidence of sickness there. The remains of the 55th Regiment presently occupying West Point barracks will evacuate. The barracks will be guarded temporarily by watchmen.

Editor – the 55th has concluded its tour and is being replaced by the 98th foot anyway.

Friend of China 3.8.43 edition

Proclamation of the Plenipotentiary in English and Chinese:

The new tariff requires that unspecified goods pay 5% ad valorem duty. This does not apply to opium. Opium is contraband in China.

Any English trader bringing it into China commits an offence and will receive no protection from the British Crown.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. All Hong Kong residents were fishermen as well as vegetable farmers and raisers of chickens. Many removed after the British occupation when the colonial government disallowed Chinese licensing of the fishing fleets at Stanley, Aberdeen.
  2. The history of the smuggling trade reveals that each time the Canton authorities acted decisively against it, piracy increased. It seems probable that pirates are unemployed smugglers. British success in war has caused the Chinese to cease enforcing their anti-Drug law. This has enabled the foreign importers to distribute opium directly to customers over the ship’s side at Whampoa. They do not require local intermediaries. That seems to be the cause of the rise of piracy.
  3. According to the historian Dafydd Emrys Evans, the Lower Bazaar occupied the area now containing Jervois Street and the two Bonham Strands. The Upper Bazaar was south of Queen’s Road opposite Pottinger and Queen Victoria Streets. See the Professor’s brief monograph “Chinatown in HongKong” which Google recently digitalised.
  4. Imperial Preference Tax was part of Hong Kong law too, until the apparatus of colonialism was dismantled in 1970s.
  5. There is a measure of justice here. The commercial failures in Calcutta were initially due to the disruption of the credit mechanism brought on by the opium surrender at Canton. It is Commissioner Lin who has caused the floating of the Chartered Bank to fail.
  6. Details of the commercial treaty negotiations and terms are in the China chapter.
  7. The complaint the foreign merchants repeatedly make against the Kwongtung Government – that they arrest for one offence, then charge the prisoner with another.
  8. An important percentage of the total population, according to the recent census.
  9. It will be recalled that land in the initial auctions did not extend beyond the high water mark. It seems that licences to reclaim seafront land have since been granted. During my time in Hong Kong since 1960s all sales of tidal land are proscribed.
  10. References to sheep belonging to Pedder, Froget and later to the French Consul (see below), suggest these men belong to the Sheep Club, of which General Saltoun was also a member. This club was a co-operative of lamb-eaters which imported sheep for fattening and consumption locally. There was then no Chinese supply of lamb. Cantonese throughout the colonial period ate pork, fish and chicken.
  11. This reveals an underlying difficulty. The pirates were the smugglers employed by the foreigners to carry contraband into China. Even before the Treaty the big merchants invariably preferred to employ Canton Provincial Government boats for smuggling, thus leaving their former employees without income.
    On the other hand, Pottinger wished to attract legitimate Chinese maritime trade to Hong Kong and have those merchants carry foreign goods into China as return cargo, effectively substituting Hong Kong for the factories and the Whampoa market.
    This made Pottinger more opposed to the smuggling community.
  12. One of the first things Britain always does with the islands it acquires is to build a road around them. Its a security and defensive requirement, commonly assigned to a junior officer of the occupying garrison.
  13. Or if he declines to be bribed, as during Viceroy Tang’s administration pre-war
  14. See the China chapter for better particulars.
  15. A pretext to justify working the teak clippers until they need replacement, probably responding to the P&O’s concurrent offer to operate a steamer service to China. In a colony where everyone is profiting from the same cause, it is easy to preserve ‘olo custom.’
  16. Suicide without unbalanced mind – a verdict that makes the deceased responsible for his own death and thus a felon at English law. It permits inter alia his estate being seized by government.
  17. See the China chapter for details of the Royal Naval officer’s egregious offence.
  18. This advertisement is concurrent with the government survey of land to ascertain legal ownership.
  19. See the China chapter. Briefly, the jurors, who were all smugglers, declined to hear the murder charge and the Defendant was acquitted. Five other crewmen were convicted of ‘riot’ and sent to London for punishment but were released on arrival.
  20. This is the big-facee thing-of-the-day; riding out to East Point each evening before supper.
  21. The former appointment of Deputy Chief Superintendent of Trade is abolished.
  22. Stanton was tutor to Richard Turner’s sons. He continued to live in Macau after the English had been expelled. He was arrested in August 1840 and detained in Canton for four months. See the China chapter.
  23. Quoted in brief above and in the 29th June 1843 edition in the China chapter
  24. Last week it was uncertain title that caused building to stop – now it is opium importation.
  25. There are no food business or hotel regulations yet. Business authorisations appear to be based on an informal assessment that the applicant is ‘fit and proper’.

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