Hong Kong 1843 – 1844 – part 3

Friend of China 3.8.43 edition

Letter to the Editor from ‘Snooks’

  • The number of JP’s exceed by one third the number of the entire Hongkong constabulary. The Chinese community is not allowed out at night without a pass. It would seem that the nightly burglaries are not actually happening. Last week you reported three – not in some side street but all in Queen’s Road. What we need is a few oil lamps around town and a few constables on patrol at night. We don’t mind paying for it.
  • The abattoir has been sited on the hillside above the town and the offal and blood, etc., trickles down a stream on its way to the sea. This stream passes beneath the market place. Some of the muck gets stuck en route and creates a really foul smell as it rots until a rain shower washes it away. The proper place for slaughtering cattle is at the seashore. We cannot use natural watercourses as sewers without first training and lining them. The local people have different ideas. For example, in Magistracy Street the residents empty their commodes each morning in the centre of the road.
  • The bodies of seamen dying on Her Majesty’s vessels in the harbour are lowered into boats and rowed a short way off and dumped. Does this accord with naval regulations? Is there no service for the dead?

Friend of China 3.8.43 edition

Letter to the Editor – Last week you reported on four fellows who stole $45 of opium and got fined $5 each. They made a profit! I was told the fine was suggested by Pottinger himself.

Robbery is a serious problem. Some say the population is divided into two classes – those who have been robbed and those who are about to be robbed. As soon as the moon is in its 1st or 3rd quarters the robberies commence in spite of 44 JP’s and 28 constables.

The constables are insufficient and the magistrates have mostly already been robbed. How can they look after the thieves when they cannot look after themselves?

Pottinger has been robbed, Caine has been robbed, the assistant magistrate (Hillier) has been robbed. Mr Bruce has been robbed. Mr Farncomb has been robbed. I don’t have enough paper to list them all. Sgd Old Stager.

Friend of China 3.8.43 edition

Four companies of the 98th foot are to embark from Madras for Hong Kong to relieve the 55th.

Friend of China 3.8.43 edition

Mark Upson, private soldier of 98th Regiment gave evidence at an Inquest in the Hong Kong Coroner’s Court:

I was playing on the hillside overlooking the village at Wong Nai Chung when I heard a groan and saw a man lying on his back in a paddy field below with his throat cut like a chicken.

I went down with a friend. There was a lot of blood flowing from the wound. He soon died.

At that time there were several Chinese making a great noise, worshipping five or six yards from the place of death. We could not find a weapon nearby.

Verdict murder.

Friend of China 3.8.43 edition

W T Gemmell & Co announce the removal of their office from Macau to Hong Kong on 24th July 43.

Their Canton office will continue to be managed by Mr James A Hulbert.

Robert Strachan and Adam Scott are employees authorised to sign per pro the Company.

Friend of China 10.8.43 edition

With the conclusion of the tariff negotiations, Pottinger has resumed his former practice of receiving visitors between 11 am – 2 pm Mondays and Thursdays.

Friend of China 10.8.43 edition

The Hong Kong Seamen’s Hospital is opened. It can treat 50 in-patients and caters for any sort of disease.

Daily rates – Officers $1.50; seamen 75¢ (board & lodging, medicines and consultation).

Dr Young has offered his services free as surgeon. He will attend at 8 – 9 am every day except Sunday to give advice to out-patients. Concurrently the Hospital for Foreign Seamen in Macau has closed.

Sgd Alexander Anderson

Friend of China 10.8.43 edition

An additional JP was sworn in on 8th Aug 43. He is Nicholas de St Croix.[50]

Friend of China 10.8.43 edition

J S Rigge and Company’s business has been transferred in its entirety to M/s Gibb Livingston & Co on 1st July 43.

Sgd John Silverlock.[51]

Friend of China 10.8.43 supplement

Thomas Elsworthy and Samuel Dyer have commenced business in their own names at Fletcher’s Godowns, Queen’s Road on 19th July 1843

Friend of China 10.8.43 supplement

The partnership of Pedro Paulo do Rozario and James Borton as tavern keepers is dissolved 22nd July and the distribution of assets is subject to arbitration.

Friend of China 17.8.43 edition

Letter to the Editor:

Recently a corpse came up with the paddle wheel of a steamer. Its head and right arm were out of the hammock. A boat had to tow it out of the bay and sink it with shot. A few days ago a body was buried 400 yards astern of a merchantman and the following day another 300 yards ahead. A body floated passed the crew of another ship as they sat down for dinner and, as fish was on the menu, they declined to eat. The best proof of the presence of bodies in the harbour is the arrival of sharks.

These are the bodies of our sailors and soldiers. Men who come here to risk their lives should not be treated like dogs when they die. When a stoker on the Vixon died recently, his comrades had the body brought ashore for burial. Our military men deserve better’

Sgd Man before the Mast

Friend of China 17.8.43 edition

On Tuesday 8th August 1843[52] to the west of Mr Scott’s godown on Queen’s Road, some Chinese set up two vertical posts joined by a horizontal one above. They stuck red papers with black characters on the vertical members and hung some lanterns from the horizontal one. Then every day until Saturday two or three processions arrived bringing offerings. They played instruments and beat gongs.

On one occasion, five priests in scarlet robes with devices embroidered on them came wearing square hats like the Rabbis. Three had tiaras of gold and precious stones. One priest rang a bell, another read a paper then all the people bowed three times. The gong was banged again, music started and everyone marched off.

Friend of China 17.8.43 edition

Notice – Sea bathers are warned that sharks have been seen in the harbour.

Friend of China 17.8.43 edition

We had torrential rain in Hong Kong last Tuesday and Wednesday and downpours every other day until Sunday. Some roads are more or less impassable.

Now 46 convicts supervised by two British and two Chinese policemen are repairing Queen’s Road.

Friend of China 17.8.43 edition

The Baptist chapel, which is a few yards from one of the principal police stations, has been robbed of all its lanterns

Friend of China 17.8.43 edition

Died 8th August Thomas Elsworthy recently arrived from England

Died 9th August Samuel Dyer at Macau ex Emu from London.

(These are the young men who on 19th July 1843 announced commencement of their partnership, M/s Elsworthy and Dyer at Fletcher’s Godowns, Queen’s Road.)

Friend of China 17.8.43 supplement

The following people will comprise the Committee of Public Health and Cleanliness. They will be assisted by Dr Peter Young (surgeon of the Merchant Seamen’s Hospital) and Mr William Scott:

A T Gordon, Land Officer

Charles B Hillier, Asst Magistrate

Charles A Winchester, Asst Colonial Surgeon

They will recommend measures for draining the city, keeping the streets well-repaired and maintaining cleanliness by adoption of Sanitary Rules.

Friend of China 17.8.43 supplement

The government responds with new orders for admission to the hospital:

  • Some people attend the Merchant Seamen’s Hospital claiming to be Distressed British Seamen. Dr Peter Young requests they provide a letter so costs can be reclaimed from the government.
  • A ship’s master wishing to send a crewman to hospital will advise the Harbour Master and Marine Magistrate who will refer the case to the Colonial Surgeon. He will authorise the patient’s admission to hospital or otherwise.
  • The ship’s master, ship owner or consignee will guarantee in writing to the Harbour Master and Marine Magistrate to pay hospital expenses on the scale published 10th August 43. The official is to ensure the advice is genuine and that the benefits of treatment are not abused.
  • In an emergency these rules can be avoided on the authority of Harbour Master and Marine Magistrate or the Colonial Surgeon.

Friend of China 24.8.43 edition


  • J R Morrison is to act as Colonial Secretary during the absence of Lt Col Malcolm.
  • Richard Burgass is appointed Legal Adviser to the Government, pending for Her Majesty’s approval.

The following officials are appointed members of the Legislative and Executive Councils of Hong Kong with effect from 21st August 43:

A R Johnstone 

J R Morrison

William Caine

They will all henceforth have the words The Honourable added before their names and other honorifics.

Friend of China 24.8.43 edition

Copy of Instructions given by Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies to Pottinger concerning the terms for granting land in Hong Kong:

  • He is to abstain from alienating any land in perpetuity or for any greater period than is necessary to induce residents to erect buildings.
  • Lord Stanley connects a promise with the general prohibition to alienate Crown Land and with the general refusal to sanction any grants that have already been made.That promise is that once government is established, a competent and impartial authority will enquire into the equitable claims of land holders to permanent or temporary confirmation of title so far as they can be confirmed consistently with a just regard to the interests of Society.

It should be understood that Her Majesty’s Government does not recognise the validity of any grants or sales of land that took place under any authority prior to the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty at which time Hong Kong became a bona fide possession of the Crown and from which day rents will commence.

The competent and impartial authority will comprise:

A T Gordon, Land Officer

Capt de Havilland, 55th Regiment as Asst Surveyor and

Charles Edward Stewart, Colonial Treasurer, assisted by

Richard Burgass, Legal Adviser

It is Her Majesty’s will that no lands will be sold or let except at public auction and with a reserve price equal to their fair reasonable price or annual rent.

Editor – The restrictions on land sales are unsurprising considering that in the last colony to join the British Empire (New Zealand) there was flagrant land jobbing and peculation involving almost every member of the colonial government.[53]

The two big whinges of our whingeing population of smugglers have been the commercial tariff and land titles. They were agreeably happy on the first and we hope in due course that they will be satisfied with the second.

Friend of China 24.8.43 supplement

We regret to announce the death of J A Mercer aboard the General Wood yesterday afternoon after a three week illness. A truly kind-hearted man, the community has sustained a severe loss.

Friend of China 24.8.43 supplement

Matheus de Costa & Co are making their own ginger beer from fresh ginger and selling it at their shop at 8 Webster’s Bazaar. If you want a regular supply, let us know so we can schedule the production.

Friend of China 24.8.43 supplement

Victoria Hospital for Seamen submits its first monthly report to 19.8.43:

Admitted 16 (3 dysentery, 6 VD, 7 miscellaneous);

Cured – 3 VD, 3 miscellaneous;

Relieved – 1 miscellaneous;

Still admitted – 3 dysentery, 3 VD, 3 miscellaneous.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

Capt C W Bowra operates a godown at 13 Queen’s Road.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

The incidence of fatal disease remains very high in Hong Kong. Much of it seems related to residence near J M & Co’s land holdings at East Point as many of the people who move there get sick and die.

There is a valley behind East Point enclosed by hills at one end and by a marsh at the other.[54] It is used for paddy and fertilised with liquid manure. In the present high temperatures this area seems to be the source of malaria. We have been dissuading newcomers from residing there until it has been properly drained.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

The merchant Snooks has sent another letter to the Editor but we can’t publish it as its too rude. However, as he might try to publish it in Singapore or elsewhere, we will tell you what he says.

Snooks says the recent migration of the Hong Kong government to Macau is due to the unacceptable risk of disease here. He considers it cowardly.

Editor – Pottinger has long contemplated a trip to Macau and it did not relate to disease. Snooks describes Pottinger as ‘the accidental governor who is great in his littleness and in the absence of his superiors. His head has been turned by his sudden elevation.’

The Editor says this is ridiculous (but he publishes it)

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

Letter to the editor – You should publish a Prices Current. The leading firm has resumed publication of the Canton Register under a new Editor who intends to publish his Prices Current.

Friend of China 31.8.43 supplement

J R Morrison died this morning

Friend of China 7.9.43 edition

Letter to the Editor from Scrutator

The announcement on 21st August was incorrect. People addressed as The Honourable should not also have the title Esquire appended. The former supersedes the latter which merges into it.

Editor ‘I think the new usage came from India – they do strange things there’

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

Editorial – The panic that the removal of the Hong Kong government to Macau on 25th August produced in the local populace causes us to address the subject of sickness in Hong Kong. Almost all who can leave this island have since departed.

The best medical minds have ascribed the cause of sickness not to the climate or some other environmental factor but to the absence of suitable housing for Europeans living in the tropical climate of Hong Kong.

Had there not been a delay in the sales of land, and a moratorium on building until that was sorted out, we suspect no health problem would have arisen.

What with the insecurity of life and property due to robberies and piracy, this present epidemic of sickness, the low tariff in China and particularly the attack on our ‘free port’ status over opium, it is not surprising that some of the earliest colonists have now departed.

All this creates such an overwhelming feeling of disappointment.

It is only our unrealisable investments in Hong Kong that keep us from leaving immediately.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

Hong Kong robberies – a black week:

  • 1 am Wednesday 40 armed Chinese thieves attacked the bazaar next to J M & Co’s premises at East Point. They forced the front door but could not break through the barrier within. The inmates opened fire. The robbers threw in fire balls to illuminate the inmates. The noise alerted the watchmen of nearby godowns who quickly arrived and the burglars fled. This attempted theft was close to a depot of soldiers placed there to respond to crime. In spite of the sounds and sights of guns and rockets, none of them turned up.
  • The same morning thieves entered the merchant seamen’s hospital in the eastern suburb of our town and took a patient’s watch and gun.
  • That evening two 32-pounder cannon were taken from in front of Capt Bowra’s store. Bowra employed 20 men to place them there and left them out because he thought no-one would steal them. They could not have been carried off through the town and must have been brought down to a waiting boat at the wharf.Where were the boats of the warships that are supposed to guard the harbour or is the order preventing Chinese boats from night movements already a dead letter? The curfew on land has always been a dead letter – there are hundreds of Chinese, with and without lanterns, passing along Queen’s Road all through the night.
  • On the night of Thursday / Friday thieves broke into the godown above Tiedeman’s premises by scratching away the mortar between the bricks to ultimately make a hole 5 feet square through which they abstracted two bags of rice and two cases of cherry brandy. They descended to Tiedeman’s shop and took 7 bolts of broadcloth worth $1,000+
  • On Friday some opium was stolen from J M & Co by one of their coolies.
  • Friday evening a Chinese was robbed of $100. The thief was caught and got 60 lashes and 3 months gaol.
  • That night the house of the acting Governor was attacked & his sentries disarmed.
  • On Saturday night the house of H Pybus was attacked by 30 armed men and were only induced to retreat by a show of great resistance.
  • On Sunday the British Army’s commissariat stores were entered and plundered extensively. Where were the sentries?
  • D Wilson’s store was attacked at the same time but the thieves were scared off before they could gain entry.

These are not all the thefts this week, just the most impressive ones. Where were the police? Of the 28 constables, half are sick and unfit for duty. Where are the thieves – the official responsible for Kowloon should know very well. He can find them, their guns, and probably Tiedeman’s broadcloth, at the drop of a hat. If any of the thieves had been caught, they would have got fined a few dollars, received a few lashes and perhaps a day or two in prison. Leniency to thieves is injustice to us. Until the government is prepared to deal realistically with crime, we will have to continue to take the law into our own hands and defend ourselves with arms.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

Reward – One silver watch made by L Samuels of Liverpool, Serial No 30564, and a Mantan double-barrelled fowling piece with ornamented barrels. Both stolen by robbers. Any one presenting either item should be detained. Reward.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

Notice – The partnerships Dirom Carter & Co at Bombay, Dirom Richmond & Co at Liverpool and Dirom & Co in China have all expired and are succeeded by Dirom Hunter & Co at Bombay, Dirom Davidson & Co at Liverpool and Dirom Gray & Co in Hong Kong and Canton

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

Hughesdon Brothers of Calcutta and China announce their two branches are severed. The Calcutta firm remains the business of Joseph and Charles Hughesdon.

Joseph Hughesdon resigns from, and Alexander Calder and Henry Rutter have joined, the China firm, all effective 1.9.43.

The China firm will in future be called Hughesdon Calder & Co.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

Deaths this week:




Daniel Bates of New York aged 29 years 

Francis Robert Foote, Deputy Commissary General

Capt de Havilland, Lands Committee, 55th Regiment

The following have died intestate – J B Kent of Georgetown, DC, USA on 28.8.43, James Prestoe (see note above) and William Smith.

Alexander Scott, who has just arrived to take up the job of Recording Officer of the Admiralty and Criminal Courts of Hong Kong, died 24.8.43. His Estate is to be administered by Gordon F Davidson, on behalf of Government.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

Receiving ships in Hong Kong harbour – John Barry (Dents), Mercury, General Wood (J M & Co)

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

An inquest was held before Solicitor Farncomb, sitting as Coroner, concerning a Chinese found dead on Queen’s Road.

Constable Christopher was called to Queen’s Road and found a man lying beside a boat near Mr Townsend’s premises. Christopher said ‘He seemed hungry. He was breathing heavily, his stomach was heaving and he appeared exhausted. My coolies gave him some rice. This morning when I returned he was dead. I guess he died of starvation.’

Verdict – died for lack of the necessaries of life.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

28.8.43 J Molton has withdrawn from the partnership operating the Hong Kong Inn near the lower market which will in future be operated by James Smith and James Brimelaw.

Friend of China 31.8.43 edition

D Wilson & Co bought the Auckland Hotel site and buildings at the recent auction. The hotel is closed and will in future be used as commission sale rooms for the display of goods that Wilsons have for sale from London and from their office in Calcutta.

The brick-built billiards room next to the former hotel which has one of Shearwood’s slate snooker tables within it, together with the right to supply wines and spirits to users, is for rental to a respectable party willing to give security.

Friend of China 7.9.43 supplement

The Hong Kong (ex Canton) Register reports that at 12.45 am midnight the watchman at J M & Co’s godown at East Point saw people moving under a small lantern towards the house of J M’s comprador’s which has repeatedly been robbed this few weeks. When they arrived, torches were lit and oiled paper balls were thrown inside to illuminate. The watchman saw many Chinese people trying to force open the doors. The sentinel raised the alarm and fired towards the robbers who fled. Rockets were sent up as a signal to request assistance but no-one came and all the thieves escaped although some blood traces showed one or more of them had been wounded.

The Hong Kong Register Editor notes that soldiers are based a few hundred yards away precisely to deal with night robbers.

Friend of China 7.9.43 supplement

Farncomb as Coroner held an Inquest on 21.8.43 into the death of James Smith.

Smith was a tenant at the Jolly Sailor Tavern. That morning after breakfast, he sat outside. He looked weak. He got up and walked about.

A Chinese outside called to the Proprietor to point-out something. He went out and saw Smith had collapsed on his back – eyes half open, face black, insensible, speechless.

The proprietor helped carry Smith inside and called the doctor but he died immediately. One of the servants had seen Smith vomiting black stuff for the last 2-3 days.

Verdict : Visitation of God

Friend of China 7.9.43 supplement

Peter Wildredge ceased to be a partner in the Canton firm of Lindsay and Co with effect from 1st June 1843.

Friend of China 7.9.43 supplement

Holliday Wise and Co moved their office from Macau to Hong Kong on 2nd Sept 43 but will continue to operate an office at Canton under the management of their employee John Ritson.

Friend of China 7.9.43 supplement

For sale French cognac and English brandy in hogsheads. Manila rum and Java arrack in cases.

Apply N Duus, 18 Queen’s Road.

(Duus sells foods, wines, perfumes and hardware)

Friend of China 7.9.43 supplement

Stolen from the Merchant Seamen’s Hospital (now called the Victoria Hospital for Seamen) yesterday – one watch, No 136 made by J Hall of London,. Anyone recovering it will be rewarded.

Friend of China 14.9.43 edition


  • Rev Charles Gutzlaff is nominated to replace the late J R Morrison as Chinese Secretary to the Chief Superintendent and Governor of Hong Kong. He will temporarily remain at his post at Chusan until relieved.
  • Samuel Marjoribanks is made medical officer to the Canton consulate w.e.f. 1.4.43
  • John Rickett is made British Consular Agent at Macau w.e.f. 22.7.43

Friend of China 14.9.43 edition

Letter to the Editor:

You must stop Her Majesty’s Hospital Ship dumping its ex-patients in the harbour. The ‘many dead’ of the Minden deserve better than to be taken out to sea by reluctant mess-mates who, as serving officers, are prevented from disapproving publicly.

Even gaoled felons in England get a proper grave whereas the remains of these people can never again be located by relatives – they cannot mark the spot with a tombstone.

Its not the Royal Navy that is responsible – they asked for land but were told none is available. Would the Chinese let us use Kowloon-side?

The bodies are supposed to be sown into the hammock together with four shot to ensure they sink but they keep popping-up again badly decomposed. We have had four stinking corpses floating in the harbour this week. The solitude and darkness of a sepulchre is the appropriate place for the deceased. Sgd HS

Friend of China 14.9.43 supplement

Tenders are invited by the Hong Kong Financial Secretary for the purchase of 30-day sight Bills totalling £4,000 in sets of £250, drawn by the Plenipotentiary on George Lenox-Conyngham of Downing Street.[55]

Tenders are invited for Hong Kong Government 30-day sight Bills totalling £1,500 in sets of £250 on the U K Treasury.

Friend of China 21.9.43 edition

Hong Kong trade report – very dull. New Patna $900, old $850, Malwa $760-765. Junks and native craft are seldom arriving. Whether they are responding to warnings from Chinese officials or fear the uncontrollable piracy in our waters is uncertain. British manufactures sell for less here than at Canton.

Only smuggling seems to be profitable.

Friend of China 21.9.43 edition

Some local people have told the Friend of China Editor that Hong Kong can never be free of piracy and robberies until it agrees to pay tax to the officials at Kowloon.[56]

Friend of China 21.9.43 supplement

Notice – Mr Christopher has procured a respectable hearse and undertakes to arrange all aspects of funerals.

He also has a billiards saloon in Queen’s Road opposite the market.

Friend of China 28.9.43 edition

Letter to the Editor:

I am a sailor on one of the receiving ships in the harbour. My captain keeps me working all week and I can only go ashore on Sunday. When I arrive on land, I find the pubs are all closed by government order. Some Chinese entrepreneurs stake-out the closed pubs and way-lay people like me. They secretly sell us grog at high prices. We either buy from them or go without.

They take us up the hills at the back of the town to grottoes beside mountain streams where we drink the villainous stuff to the detriment of our health.

Alternatively we can board one of the lorchas in harbour where we can buy another similarly noxious wine at even higher price and drink unconcerned for the attentions of the land or water police.

This is hard for us sailors but if the matter was well represented to the nobs, they might care for us better without affecting the morals of the town.

Yours Ben Brace

Friend of China 28.9.43 edition

For sale – a few complete water-closets. Suitable for both upper or lower floors of houses. Contact N Duus, 18 Queen’s Road.

Friend of China 28.9.43 edition

No new cases of malignant fever, such as decimated our population last month, have occurred within the previous 11 days. Our government is expected to return soon from Macau.

Compared with what it had appeared capable of, Hong Kong is at present a conspicuous failure.

Friend of China 5.10.43 edition

Letter to the Editor:

Hong Kong appeared to be a good base to acquire by the might of our arms, from whence we could conduct trade with China, but the sickness that has prevailed this year from June to September has reduced its attraction.

Even the magnificent harbour seems less valuable.

The Cornwallis and Agincourt each have 100 crewmen sick; 200 sepoys of the left wing of the 41st Madras Native Infantry are hospitalised. 100 men from the other Regiment have died of fever. Many Chinese residents are also ill.

We must make Hong Kong healthy before anything else. Is this sickness an infrequent visitation or should we expect it every summer? Reportedly the mortality in 1841 and 1842 was also extensive. We should check the nature and numbers of deaths and publish the information.

Sgd Observer

Editor – if we add another c. 200 souls to represent those who removed to Macau on first feeling the effects of the fever and then died there, the actual death rate becomes even higher than Observer suggests. We should all move over to Kowloon where it is much healthier and where the land prices would quickly rise to 4-5 times what they will ever achieve on this island.

Friend of China 5.10.43 edition

The recent burglary of Lord Saltoun’s house failed and little property was lost as the inmates of his house were alerted in time. It is notorious that the Chinese thieves can make great holes in walls and would take down the entire side of a house if it was required to effect their ends. Newcomers must take particular care as it seems to be new arrivals who are selected for theft.

Even the army is unsafe. On 25th September 30 x 6lb cartridges and 21 x 32’s cartridges were stolen. 2 barrels of musket cartridges were found on a beach where they had been left apparently preparatory to moving them to the thieves’ boat. Two boats were sent out after the escaping thieves and searched some lorchas anchored offshore but without recovering any stolen ammunition.

On 27th September two men cut a hole in a tent behind the Artillery Hospital and removed private property within.

Friend of China 5.10.43 supplement

New government appointments:-

  • Major Eldred Pottinger CB, Bombay Artillery (the Chief Superintendent’s nephew), will be an extra aide-de-camp to his uncle with effect from 1st September 43.
  • Alexander Anderson is appointed Colonial Surgeon w.e.f. 1.10.43.
  • Dr Winchester continues to act as assistant Colonial Surgeon.

All appointments subject to confirmation by Her Majesty’s Government.

Friend of China 5.10.43 supplement

Alfred Humphreys has formed a partnership with William Henry and will in future trade as Henry Humphreys & Co at 13 Queen’s Road (the address of Bowra’s godown). Dated 8.9.43

(The company deals in wines, groceries and ship’s stores)

Friend of China 5.10.43 supplement

From advertisements each week in Friend of China it appears the big Hong Kong grocers are now:

F H Tiedeman of an unnumbered godown and store in Queen’s Road,

N Duus at 18 Queen’s Road, and

Pain & Co at 2 Magistracy Street.

D Wilson of the Calcutta house Wilson & Co that was active as a grocer from early 1842 and became proprietor of the Auckland Hotel in 1843, stopped advertising in September 1843 but is still occasionally Agent for visiting ships e.g. Algerine

Friend of China 12.10.43 edition

Mr Lattery, watch and chronometer maker, has arrived in Hong Kong and is staying at Lane’s Hotel from whence he offers his London experience to the assured satisfaction of all customers.

Friend of China 12.10.43 edition

Fox Rawson & Co have been appointed agents for the subscribers to Lloyd’s in Macau, Hong Kong and Canton. 12.9.43 (agents for investing Names)

Friend of China 12.10.43 edition

A new receiving ship named Jardine has joined the other three – John Barry, Mercury and General Wood – in the harbour.

Friend of China 12.10.43 supplement

Editorial – Last Saturday night our Chinese residents chin-chinned the moon (the full moon – sheung yuet – 8th moon 15th day). They erected poles from their houses, many 20 – 40 feet long, and placed lanterns on them, together with grotesque figures of men and dragons. They let-off fire crackers from morning to night along the entire length of Queen’s Road.

The noise of the crackers was bad but the smell was worse. They should be allowed to enjoy their festivals but not let-off crackers on the public highway.

Friend of China 12.10.43 supplement

Hong Kong crime report:

  • Kwong Ah Kwei was tried for attempted burglary of West Point Barracks, convicted, sentenced to 40 lashes and then banished.
  • The fisherman Wong Tse Kiu was convicted of robbery and false imprisonment and sentenced to 60 lashes, 6 months imprisonment and to refund $29.50.
  • Ching Ah Sing and Wong Fuk See were tried for robbery and convicted. They had only recently been released for prison. They were sentenced to 50 lashes, 2 months imprisonment and banishment.
  • Chan Ah Tat stole his master’s watch. He got 30 lashes and 4 months solitary.

Friend of China 12.10.43 supplement

Lt Collinson of the Royal Engineers and his party of 34 sappers and miners, 14 Royal Artillery men, women, children and ordnance stores have arrived per Mountstuart Elphinstone to construct the batteries of Hong Kong.

Friend of China 12.10.43 supplement

Notice, 9.10.43:

Gibb Livingston and Co are selling their ‘desirable detached two storey residence situated within a ring fence on the hillside near the government offices and enjoying commanding views of the entire bay. The building contains numerous bedrooms, five airy sitting rooms with English fire grates and a large secure treasury with double doors. A detached godown of 60’ x 30’ and extensive servants quarters complete the Estate. The whole comprises a desirable investment for a firm.’

Friend of China 12.10.43 supplement

Public Auction 23.10.43 by P Townsend at his sale rooms:

The public house ‘the Three Jolly Sailors’ on a plot measuring 105 feet square, situated on rising ground near the Western Police Station with streams within 50 yards to east and west. An airy house with commanding view of the harbour. Ideal for private dwelling.

Friend of China 19.10.43 edition

The Editor publishes a letter to Mr Cowasjee Saporjee Tabac from the Hong Kong government dated 4.10.43:

Thank you for your enquiry.

As a creditor of the insolvent Hong merchants you should have collected your dividends at Canton as repeatedly advertised in the local newspapers by Capt Balfour.

Now the account has been closed and the uncollected dividends placed in HMS Dido at Whampoa. You will have to await the convenience of the government. Notice of intended further payment will be given in the usual manner.

Friend of China 19.10.43 edition

George Grey Sullivan and Frederick Howe Hall have been sworn in as JP’s on 18.10.43 by the Chief Magistrate. Sullivan is to be vice-Consul at Amoy. In addition, Charles Alexander Winchester is made surgeon at the Amoy Consulate.

Friend of China 19.10.43 edition

We are pleased to see the Chief Magistrate has commenced his long threatened attack on delinquents. These people mostly lurk on the hill at the back of the lower bazaar (known to the British as Tai Ping Shan, the Cantonese name for the Peak) and the preponderance of burglars either live there or have confederates there.

A few attempts to set fire to the housing have recently been discovered and doused. We must make sure these delinquents cannot come back.

Perhaps we should adopt the Chinese method of graduated personal responsibility. The Dutch have done this in Batavia with their Chinese. It has not been done in Singapore and robberies are also frequent there.[57]

Friend of China 19.10.43 edition

Tenders are invited for the construction of a Sergeants’ Mess, cook house, wash house and canteen at Chek Chu (Stanley) and for barrack furniture.

Plans of the intended buildings available from Army Commissariat 17.10.43

Friend of China 19.10.43 edition

Mr L E Christopher runs the Eagle Livery Stables at the back of the Victoria Hotel. He has ponies for sale

Friend of China 19.10.43 edition

Merchant removals from Macau to Hong Kong:

  • Hughesdon Calder & Co have removed from Macau to Hong Kong w.e.f. 16.10.43
  • Holliday Wise & Co has moved from Macau to Hong Kong. The Canton office remains open as before. 2.9.43

Friend of China 26.10.43 supplement

A R Johnstone is holding a public auction of all his household furniture on 28.10.43 at his house. P Townshend will be auctioneer.

Friend of China 2.11.43 edition

Letter to the Editor – When will we have a Church of England on this island? We started a collection 2 years ago and the subscription list was quickly filled but even now, a site has not yet been procured. Several Christian meeting-houses and a Roman Catholic chapel have been built; the Chinese have their temples and the Moslem his mosque; but we British still worship in a mat-shed. A recent edition noted that a parson is being sent to care for us. Where is the church he will work in?

Friend of China 2.11.43 edition

Letter to the Editor:

Several garden houses have unchained dogs that rush upon anyone venturing through the fence to approach the house. Last Friday I went to collect a debt from a house on Queen’s Road and, on entering the garden, a dog rushed at me and savaged my right hand.

I have kept a record of doctor’s fees for treatment and I will try to get it back from the responsible person. Meantime victims should report to the magistrate. This nuisance should not be permitted to continue.

Friend of China 26.10.43 supplement

Hong Kong Crime report:

  • Robberies are again increasing but the most absurd one recently was the breaking into a billiards saloon on Queen’s Road where all the servants were sleeping (they place the balls, keep the score, bring drinks and clean the room).The robbers had removed the chairs and were taking down the chandeliers when the jingling of crystals seems to have disturbed the sleeping men who then raised the alarm.All the robbers escaped and no property was taken.
  • The burglary procedure of removal of bricks seems to have stopped and we attribute this to the government’s destruction of the mat-sheds and hovels above the lower bazaar – those were nests of banditti
  • The beggars have also largely disappeared. We are not surprised. Several bands of them passed our doors in the custody of the police last week and were taken down to the harbour and embarked on boats for their native land (Kowloon).
  • D Wilson and Co’s store was robbed by one of the employees. The magistrate convicted him on Tuesday and sentenced him to 60 strokes followed by hard labour in irons for four months (sentence is reduced in the next edition).Interestingly the culprit was named Julian by the American missionaries who converted him, thus reminding us of his royal namesake. Before his arrest Julian had an impeccable record and also spoke English quite well. After conviction he was paraded along Queen’s Road from the prison to the place of punishment wearing European clothes – white hat, jacket and trousers – and surrounded by policemen. He was not bound.His queue had been cut off, presumably at the time of his conversion to Christianity, so there was nothing for the policeman to hold onto in the normal way.

    At the place of punishment (on the Sheung Wan waterfront) was a large crowd of some 40 Europeans, 200 Lascars and nearly 400 Chinese. A European deputed for the usual rattan-man on this occasion and did not administer the lashing with much force. Julian was then led back to prison and the crowd dispersed without the usual murmurs of commiseration for the beaten man. Perhaps the Chinese were pleased to see one who had abjured their own system being punished. The Europeans were surely saddened to see one who had embraced theirs reveal himself as a hypocrite.

Friend of China 9.11.43 edition

Julian, whom we mentioned above, is really Wei Ang. He is 24 years old. Eight years ago he was taken by a foreigner to South America. Three years later he turned up in USA and was given an education. In 1839 he was baptised a Christian in Baltimore.

He came to Hong Kong in February 42 and lived with Rev Shuck until August when Shuck dismissed him for unpredictability (he thought he was a King and visited the neighbours looking for his Queen). Shuck had spent $100 on Julian’s board and lodging so none of the other Christians were prepared to take care of him, believing he should be thrown onto his own resources for a while until he more greatly valued their Christian spirit.

It was thus that he came to be working for D Wilson & Co. After the case was heard, Shuck received a letter from Baltimore noting Wei had developed mental disease there from over study.

Two American missionaries gave character evidence in the case and as a result the award was reduced from what we reported to 50 lashes and 3 months hard labour on the roads.

Friend of China 2.11.43 edition

Fires in Hong Kong:

25.10.43 a fire broke out at 7 am in a mathouse attached to the Chi Nam godown in Queen’s Road. There was no wind that day and the fire was confined to the one building. There is nothing in the colony more dangerous than these mat out-houses attached to the godowns of Queen’s Road.

28.10.43 at about 1 am a fire started in a building in Hong Kong occupied by the wives of the 55th Regiment. The women all escaped but their property inside was entirely destroyed. About $3,000 damage was done

Friend of China 2.11.43 edition

Editorial – We have previously complained that the government has not made progress on sales of land, on building the church, on setting-up the Courts, etc.

With the publication of the commercial treaty we finally understand why. It is only now that the terms of doing business in China are known. Now foreigners are in a position to assess whether they want to live here.

Friend of China 9.11.43 edition

Letter to the Editor:

What has become of the Committee of Public Health? Is the raising of Queen’s Road by a couple of feet the sum total of its activities?

Friend of China 9.11.43 edition

Hong Kong Crime report:

Coroner Farncomb has conducted an inquest into the death of a Chinese found on the hill behind the Native Light Infantry barracks near the Canton Bazaar.

It appears that at the time of death some robbers had arrived at that spot and were engaged in removing bricks from the outer wall of N. Duus’ bungalow when they were detected. Lt Haythorne, who lives in the bungalow which is behind Lord Saltoun’s house, heard dogs barking. There were three officers of the 98th Regiment living in the bungalow with Haythorne. It was 3 am and he could hear bricks being removed from the wall.

One colleague was awakened. The two agreed to go out, one to the left the other to the right, and circle round to the rear of the bungalow where the sound of the thieves scratching out the mortar was coming from.

Haythorne arrived and fired his pistol but it mis-fired. The thieves heard the noise and ran away. He drew his sword and chased three of them down the hill. The thieves separated and he followed one who ran towards the house of the women of the 55th Regiment. He struck at him and was then able to come up to him and lunge at him with the sword. Thereafter he returned to the bungalow.

The body when discovered had been dead for over two days and no pathological examination was attempted so the cause of death was not elucidated on medical grounds. Haythorne said it may possibly have been the man he ran through with his sword.

At the time of Haythorne’s attack, the case comprised an attempted theft. Even for actual theft the formal judicial award is not death. Had the thief been resisting the Lieutenant or fighting back, a lunge might have been permissible. The jury nevertheless brought in a verdict of lawful homicide.

Editor – they must be wrong.

Friend of China 9.11.43 supplement

D Wilson & Co have decided to close their Hong Kong business and return to Calcutta. All the Hong Kong stock will be auctioned shortly but private offers are welcomed before then.

Friend of China 16.11.43 edition

Major Eldred Pottinger died at Government House in Hong Kong on 15.11.43. He fought with honour at Herat and Kabul.[58]

Friend of China 16.11.43 edition

Public Notice – The 98th Regiment, now quartered at Stanley, consumes 20 hogsheads of beer (50+ gallons per hogshead) and 80 gallons of Cape wine each month. Tenders are invited for supply.

Friend of China 16.11.43 edition


  • Robert Webster, being about to leave China, has transferred his business to M/s Bell and Co of Macau.
  • Dickens and McIntyre have opened a general provisions store opposite Alexander Moss’ godown in Queen’s Road. They are also auctioneers.
  • D Wilson’s closing-down sale of stock will be in two auctions on 17th and 21st November 43 by auctioneer P Townsend at Wilson’s godown.
  • P Townsend will also auction the land and buildings of the public house ‘Briton’s Boast’. The building is a two storey house of stone and brick raised above the level of the road and commanding a fine view of the whole harbour – seven rooms in the ground floor and many airy bedrooms above. It is situated on a 105 feet square lot in a nice quiet part of town – perfect for hotel or private dwelling.

Friend of China 23.11.43 edition

The Army commissariat invites tenders for the building of barracks at Sai Wan.

Friend of China 23.11.43 edition

Letter to the Editor:

  • The Post Office is so bad that many of us prefer to pay 25¢ per letter for a fast boat to take mail to Macau. If we use the Post Office there is no telling when we will get a reply.Mails for the north are also irregular.All that is required to rectify this situation is a few regulations.
  • The Harbour Master is also inefficient. Vessels come and go without reporting. Many ships depart without any notice to residents. The regulation requiring 24 hours notice of departure is routinely ignored.

The Hong Kong government should take a lesson from Singapore. They are most efficient administrators.

Friend of China 23.11.43 edition

Editorial – We should build an ice house and import ice from North China. We need it for medical purposes. We cannot afford to lose more men of the calibre of Morrison, Eldred Pottinger and Knowles (Lt Col., Royal Artillery). Another summer like the last will take off the few remaining talented men amongst us.

Friend of China 23.11.43 edition

Teams from HMS Cornwallis and HMS Agincourt have played a game of cricket at Kowloon.

Friend of China 23.11.43 edition

Marine Lot No 61 in the ownership of M/s Bates and Kent, both of whom died of fever this summer, is up for sale by auction on 9th December.

Friend of China 23.11.43 supplement

Hughesdon Calder and Co have a consignment of sycee silver in large ingots for sale.

Friend of China 30.11.43 edition

Letter to the Editor concerning the physical causes of the sickness that has killed so many this summer:

During the S E (summer) monsoon the hills north of Hong Kong stop the wind and make the air stagnant. The exhalations from the ground rise and unite with vapours from rotting animal and vegetable matter to accumulate in the air we breathe. Occasionally a typhoon dissipates this bad air. We ourselves cannot remove hills or create wind, but are we able to remove the miasma?

Decomposing animal and vegetable matter is noxious and causes disease even when greatly diluted; when concentrated it causes rapid death.

The virulence of the local fever is from this cause.

The specific gravity of miasma is greater than air so people living on upper floors even at the valley floors escape its action while those on the ground floor are immediately effected.

The tropical sun is almost vertical and draws the miasma up the valley sides so that even there ground floors of houses on the lower hillsides are effected. As night falls the exhalations condense out of the air and a mantle of death falls on our dwellings.

In Hong Kong a large number of people are concentrated into a narrow coastal strip and their presence itself contributes to the impurity of the air and water.

The ravines and streams contain animal and vegetable matter that rots all day. It is brought down to the open sewers and drains of the town.

Both the cause of our illness and its remedy should be plain.

An embankment should be built along the waterfront beyond the low water line. The drains should be bricked in on all sides and extended through this embankment to the sea where they will always discharge below the water line, thus trapping the emanations underwater.

The hillside steams should be diminished in capacity so the speed of their flow is increased. Then the rotting animal and vegetable matter will be quickly washed down into the sea. Most of this effluent comes from the refuse of the mat-sheds on the upper hillsides that are occupied by the poor Chinese. They should be legally restrained from throwing rubbish in streams and forced to remove all the dirty things around their huts. We should complete all this work in the current cold season to ensure we do not have another diseased summer like the last one.

The local water supply is very poor and the Chinese themselves agree. We should immediately start to filter it through charcoal before drinking.

It seems the dampness of Happy Valley which is proximate to wet rice cultivation and the proximity of the ravines and uncleared land at West Point (the two areas where disease was most prevalent) may have both generated particularly noxious airs, but there is obscurity about local effects.

Friend of China 30.11.43 edition


  • A public auction 1.12.43 of A R Johnstone’s collection of Chinese ornaments and other Chinese articles (he has returned to Britain) is to be held by C Markwick.
  • Henry Humphreys & Co have five complete London carriages with harnesses for sale.
  • P Townsend has two four-wheeled light carriages with harnesses and a buggy for sale.

Friend of China 30.11.43 edition

Local news:

  • Reverend Charles Gutzlaff arrived from Chusan on HMS Vixen 15.11.43 to assume the office of Chinese Secretary to the Hong Kong government.
  • Lord Saltoun will shortly leave Hong Kong for Manila in HMS Dido
  • Sir Wm Parker will sail for Calcutta early December on HMS Cornwallis.
  • HMS Driver will sail for Chusan on 2.12.43 with Thom who is going to take-up his duty as British Consul at Ningpo.
  • The barracks to be built at Sai Wan are for the European Regiment that is expected to arrive soon.
  • A census is to be conducted on the island. The numbers of Chinese arriving here is enormous and a huge village has appeared at Tsim Sha Tsui opposite.

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

Leases for Hong Kong Crown Lands allotted as Marine or Town lots will be delivered to occupiers or purchasers on and after 22nd Jan 44. (except those specifically reserved pending for a response to the reference sought from London – this concerns complaints that Johnstone et al were paid for the earlier land grants but did not account for the proceeds)

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

An auction of leases on crown lands will be held on 22nd Jan 44. This will be for town lots south of Queen’s Road between the Harbour Master’s hill and Central Police Station.

The Lots will be marked out the day before and a plan showing the proposed streets in the area and the class of building to be erected on each lot is available from the Land Officer.

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

Capt T Ormsby is appointed extra aide-de-camp to Pottinger.

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

Those people who neglected to claim dividends resulting from the failures of Hing Tae, King Qua and Mow Qua from Capt Balfour before his departure for Shanghai may now do so in Hong Kong after 10th Jan 44.

Representatives of claimants must produce a Power of Attorney or guarantee that such authorisation will be produced within a year of payment.

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

The schooner Comet, ex Rosa, has been registered at Hong Kong. It is the first British ship over 100 tons to be registered here.

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

All notifications by all government offices in Hong Kong since the hoisting of the British flag over the island up to 31st Dec 43 are to be published in a book with alphabetical and classified indices on 10.1.44. $4 per copy.

A second and subsequent volumes will be issued from time to time.

Friend of China 21.12.43 edition

Richard Burgass has been sworn-in as a JP in Hong Kong and China by Chief Magistrate Caine.

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

Government Tenders:

  • Sealed tenders for building a guard room at Stanley Barracks are invited.
  • Tenders requested for the carriage of 180 military invalids to London. Government will supply food and water. Ship with doctor preferred.

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

The volume of news has greatly increased. Starting next year, the Friend of China will be published twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Subscription price will remain the same but the advertising cost per insertion is reduced.

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

Robberies in Hong Kong continue unabated by land and sea. We are located amongst the Ladrone Islands. We should have street lighting. Can we not ask each inhabitant to immediately place a light at his door? Two recent cases of gentlemen having their silk umbrellas snatched from their hands and the thief disappearing into the gloomy night convince us of the need.

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

Editorial – Queens Road has been in a wretched state for the last few days. The light rain has produced a layer of 3” – 4” of mud and numerous pools of standing water that combine to make the road impassable. There is an abundance of granite chips in the neighbourhood of the new buildings – why not macadamise the whole surface?

Friend of China 14.12.43 edition

To Let : The bungalow and out houses of Framjee Jamsetjee on Queen’s Road near MacVicar & Co’s premises. Apply to the owner in Macau or M/s Holliday Wise & Co in Hong Kong .

Friend of China 23.12.43 Edition

Public attention has been focused recently on the laying-out of our new roads and the sale of Crown Lands.

There are two new roads to be built:

  • One commencing from Queen’s Road east of the Baptist Chapel, passing to the left of the Roman Catholic church and thence turning more northerly to return to Queen’s Road in front of Harbour Master’s Hill.
  • The other also starts east of the Baptist Chapel to a position north of the jail then curves passed the front of Government House to descend back to Queen’s Road which it joins near the Hon A R Johnstone’s house.

Two lots of land have recently been sold. The first was the Marine Lot of M/s Bates and Kent, with merely a shed upon it, which sold for $4,500. The other was a Town Lot on the south side of Queen’s Road with a godown upon it and a house nearly finished above. This sold for $5,500 by private contract. On these prices, the approaching land sale should be remunerative to Government

Friend of China 23.12.43 Edition

A recent UK enactment has equated the tariff on British produce landed at Macau to the same level as British produce landed in Portugal. This is a massive reduction.

Had it been announced a few months ago, the foreign traders in Macau might never have moved to Hong Kong.

Friend of China 28.12.43 edition

Reverend Stanton has arrived and will hold divine service at the mat-shed Anglican church at 11 am on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and thereafter on every Sunday.

Friend of China 28.12.43 edition

Government Notice – Sealed tenders are invited for daily supplies to the military hospitals of Hong Kong of inter alia eggs, chickens, milk, onion, potato, fruit, leeches and rice straw.

Friend of China 28.12.43 edition

The old printing press and type faces of the Eastern Globe and Commercial Advertiser newspaper are for sale since a new printing system has been purchased.

Anyone wishing to establish a journal will find our equipment price very reasonable. Apply Eastern Globe office, Hong Kong 20.12.43

Friend of China 2.1.44 edition

Calcutta Overland Star – The opium traffickers in China are dissatisfied at the prohibition on storing opium in Hong Kong. As a consequence, many of them remain in Macau and they say, as a result of their absence, Hongkong will be no better than a military post.

They say the only important business done in China is opium smuggling and without it Hongkong will fail as a trade emporium.

We hope this is incorrect.

We hope the trade from England to China will swell sufficiently to make the presence or absence of these opium traders irrelevant to the new colony’s success. In this respect a very large tea crop is anticipated this year and other Chinese exports are expected to arrive in Canton in bigger quantities than hitherto.

Latest intelligence says opium is selling at very high prices in China.

Friend of China 2.1.44 edition

Coroner Farncomb has held another Inquest:

John Reid, a part time accountant of the Friend of China was found curled-up dead in his room on the upper floor of the Eastern Globe office.

Colonial Surgeon Alexander Anderson recalled he had treated Reid for Delirium Tremens and brain disease induced by alcohol. Five weeks ago he spent 2 weeks in hospital which did him good.

Richard Oswald works for the Friend of China. He knew the deceased since his arrival in Hong Kong. He introduced Reid to work for Alderman White, the publisher of Friend of China, as a part time accountant. He worked satisfactorily for one or two days but thereafter got so drunk he was incapacitated. Oswald said after Reid left the Friend of China he did not see him again.

Pieter Caulincourt McSweeny, the owner of the Eastern Globe and Commercial Advertiser, met Reid two weeks earlier. He was then working for Friend of China and wanted a cheap room. McSweeny gave him the spare room upstairs. Reid complained of illness but nothing serious. He always stayed in his room. McSweeny never saw him drunk. He did not know where he got his meals. When having dinner yesterday, the servant told me that Reid had died at noon. I found him on the couch in his room in a foetal position. Mr Christopher later straightened his legs.

Verdict : Visitation of God.

Friend of China 9.1.44 edition

We have seen the plans for the layout of our new city. The existence of the many buildings already constructed means the planned straight roads will run over land already sold. The expense of repurchasing land already built upon will be heavy. In some cases only a triangular lot will remain.

Why do the roads have to be straight?

There will be fifty lots of vacant land for sale, many on the hillside almost as high-up as the mosque.[59]

We think the roads should be formed before the houses are built as the labour and costs of the latter, which is the greater, will be accordingly reduced. The new drains should be covered and if the expense necessitates a government rate we should be happy to pay.

The narrowest planned road is 15 feet wide. The others are 25’, 28’, 30’, 52’ and 55’ wide (only Queen’s Road is 55’). There are many roads planned to cross Queen’s Road which should provide ample ventilation and indeed a narrow road will also give some shade.

It is regrettable that no plan was prepared for this island before building commenced – that seems to be the norm in British colonies. We hope the sea wall will be built below low water mark.

Friend of China 9.1.44 edition

The Hong Kong (ex Canton) Register has commenced the new year in an enlarged and improved format that augurs well for this new Colony. The Canton Press continues on the same scale as formerly.

Friend of China 9.1.44 edition

We wish the government would consider granting a small lot in central Hong Kong for the construction of an ice house. All the central Marine Lots have gone and, unless one of the reserved lots can be appropriated, the ice will be stored far away and much will be lost in delivery. Everyone says they will subscribe to an ice house.

Friend of China 13.1.44 supplement

Major General D’Aguilar CB, Commander of British Land Forces in China has been appointed Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong by the Queen. He arrived 27.12.43 on HMS Castor.

D’Aguilar and Major Caine of Her Majesty’s 26th regiment of foot, are appointed members of the Legislative Council. Barrister Richard Burgass MA, JP is to be clerk of Council. The Council assembled for the first time on 11.1.44.[60]

Friend of China 16.1.44 edition

Appointments to the staff of Major General D’Aguilar wef 1.1.44:

Capt Henry Torrens D’Aguilar, Grenadier Guards, assistant military secretary.

Lieutenant Charles D’Aguilar, Royal Artillery, Aide-de-Camp.[61]

Friend of China 13.1.44 supplement

Our mat-shed Anglican church is cold in winter and hot in summer. If we started today, it would take 18 months to build a real church. We hope our new chaplain will do his best to make it more comfortable.

Friend of China 13.1.44 supplement

The Morrison Education Society has published its annual report:

We have three school classes. One of 8 students, one of 4 and one of 12.

I (unidentified) am the only teacher. It is a year since the Trustees applied for a second teacher but they have not yet succeeded in employing one. I teach the boys English. For the first two years they cannot be left alone because they do not understand enough English to work unsupervised. So while I am teaching one class the other two are unsupervised.

I just revere the memory of Morrison, father and son, and do my best.

Friend of China 23.1.44 edition

Letter to the Editor:

You have been sick otherwise you would have seen all the drunken sailors in town this last 7-10 days. Yesterday there were 70-100 staggering along Queen’s Road.

Every evening as one passes the ‘rum mills’, one hears the beastly songs of these people. In England the police would stop them. Sgd A Citizen

(Editor’s note – the cause is the liberty given to crews of men-of-war, specifically HMS Agincourt during the last few days. It will stop soon)

Friend of China 23.1.44 edition

A list of successful purchasers of 116 town lots is given in this edition – surname and price agreed to be paid. The printed prices are the price per acre and are to be adjusted for the size of the lot. The lots are sold on 75 year leases with annual ground rents payable, six months in advance.

The bazaar lots (unidentified) will not be available for six months and payments for them will start then. Successful bidders are required to take immediate possession of all other lots. The equivalent of ten year’s ground rent must be spent on the buildings and work must commence within 12 months.

Braine, on behalf of Dent & Co., and Richard Oswald both protested the sale of lots that had previously been sold to them by A R Johnstone. They were sold again anyway.

Friend of China 27.1.44 edition

There are many complaints from residents about the way the land auction was conducted. The government should have notified people who held land sold during Elliot’s tenure that it did not recognise their claims and was reselling the land. In the absence of notice their interests were prejudiced.

It should also have given advanced notice of the restrictive terms of sale, i.e. minimum cost of development, 75 year lease.

Friend of China 27.1.44 edition

About 70 robbers attempted to break into the godown of M/s Jamieson How and Co at West Point at 1 am on 21st Jan 44.

They seized and bound the watchman on the wharf. They then went to a camp at the wharf where some masons were sleeping and threatened them to keep quiet and not interfere. Then they approached the house, fired off two muskets and forced the doors with axes and crowbars.

The occupants signalled for help which was answered by Mr Edger of the bungalow on the hill behind. The bungalow inmates armed themselves with guns and their servants took pikes. As the rescuers approached, the robbers saw them and fled west. They all escaped unpunished. They kept close to the wall of the godown so shots from the loopholes could not hurt them.

Mr Edger had received a warning on Saturday that he was soon to be attacked but he did not respond. The occupants should have withheld their fire until the robbers had opened the door. At least then one volley would have injured some of them and our capture of wounded robbers might have elicited useful information and identified the supposedly honest Chinese residents who are believed to be directing these attacks.

Friend of China 30.1.44 edition

26.1.44 an Ordinance is enacted by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong to introduce English law and jurisdiction for British people resident in Hong Kong, Macau and the domains of the Chinese Emperor.

Any defence of want of jurisdiction raised by a defendant will hereafter be denied by this enactment.

Courts of Justice in Hong Kong are given jurisdiction over English people in all three areas.

Friend of China 30.1.44 edition

Letters to the Editor:

  • I am in Macau on a special mission for the government of Netherlands but I am not the Netherlands Consul as you say in your Anglo-Chinese Calendar.Sgd Tonco Modderman Junior.
  • The powers of Pottinger are incredible. There can be no other official in the British Empire with such authority. I refer to the recent sale of land by Pottinger’s relative, the Land Officer A F Gordon.We lot-holders have improved our lands with fine houses and now the government sets artificially high upset prices and short 75 year leasehold terms. The government was enabled to sell these lots at high prices solely because people had already built upon them. They should have offered unimproved lots to the east or west then averaged those values and applied them to the central lots.I urge all colonists to combine and appeal to the home government. A petition signed by all of us would be heard and even this powerful Plenipotentiary would have to listen. I have no doubt that he has over-stepped his authority and an appeal will obtain us redress.

    Sgd Publicola

Editor – nearly every lot sold well above its upset price. The high costs arose from buyer interest not unrealistic pricing.

Friend of China 30.1.44 edition

The Lands Officer of the Hong Kong Government is going to Canton to supervise the arrangements for rebuilding on that part of the factories leased by the British government.

Some old residents say the present plan is unsuitable. It needs to be considered carefully. The landlord must ensure proper ventilation.

Friend of China 30.1.44 edition

Yesterday morning the Merchant Seamen’s Hospital was burgled and much property stolen. Dr Cowan the resident surgeon lost $200 and most of his clothes. Alarmingly, these robbers were armed and when fired upon they fired back. We need a real police force to deal with this threat. The Chief Magistrate says he has often asked for a force but has not yet got one.

Friend of China 3.2.44 edition

Editorial – we have heard many complaints about the land auction. Nearly all are from people who bought land from Elliot’s government and, being unable to prove title, now have to buy again.

All the actions of a local government are subject to ratification from home and the House of Commons will not permit an injustice to remain.

There is one complaint which is shocking. One purchaser is said to have received advanced notice that the penalty for successfully bidding for a lot and not taking it up was to be 15% of one year’s rent. This gave him a commercial advantage in the bidding.

Friend of China 3.2.44 edition

Editorial – the state of our roads and drains is unsatisfactory.

Recently many female European immigrants from India and England have arrived and we are pleased to see they like to exercise regularly but how can they do so when the roads are ankle-deep in mud?

If we do not arrange the drainage quickly we will have another unhealthy year like last year.

Those areas where pure water runs by the road are free of the Hong Kong Fever as the water carries off the impurities. The occupants of D’Aguilar’s house, previously Lane’s Hotel, all the way down the hill from there to the house of Captain Burd have not yet had a case of fever.

We must enclose the sewers and the ravines.

Editor – We are glad to note that European ladies are also settling in Canton

Friend of China 3.2.44 edition

The police force is unsatisfactory. The officers are often drunk on duty. Such people should be returned to their regiments.

The complaints about sailors getting drunk however are less reasonable. Sailors in the Royal Navy only get two days off a year.

Friend of China 3.2.44 edition

We notice the arrival in Hong Kong of Thomas W Waldron, U S Government Agent, with stores for the U S Squadron.

We understand he is to be Consul in Hong Kong and only awaits the arrival of his credentials to take up the office.

Friend of China 3.2.44 edition

Major General Lord Saltoun will be departing Hong Kong from the Commissariat Wharf, Central at 2pm Wednesday 7th Feb 44 on HMS Dido.

Friend of China 3.2.44 edition

Letter to the Editor – Publicola’s letter is no good.

Elliot’s land sale was advertised in the Hong Kong Gazette of 25.6.41. The published conditions said bidding for the lots was for an annual quit rent and the reserve price was £10 per lot. Bidding would advance in 10/- increments. The highest bidder would be acknowledged purchaser by the lot being hammered down to him. A memorandum would later be given to him to formally confirm title.

The terms of the recent sale were comparable with Elliot’s sale except that now there can be no doubt about government’s ability to give title whereas then there was.

Publicola’s complaint about the prices is also unwarranted. Merchants have been fixing annual rents between themselves recently of as much as £160, £185, £230, £250 and £265 p a for a lot with a frontage of 100 feet. Commencing from an upset of £10, the average result of a quit rent for a lot 105 feet square appears to have been upwards of £80 p a yet Publicola complains the upset prices fixed at the recent sale took advantage of those who had improved their lots.

Your correspondent does not have the Brain(e)to realise the tyranny and grievance he alleges is mere fantasy.

Pottinger’s powers are extensive but they represent the trust of the home government in him. Until there is a genuine instance of tyranny there is no point in raising a question about them. British merchants are not cajoled or coerced into settling in Hong Kong. Enterprise in China has been so long trammelled that China traders are happy to settle here.

The home government has reportedly decided that Hong Kong must pay for itself – that alone is justification for high land prices. Enhanced government income will attract refined men and raise this colony from its present reputation as a hotbed of disease. Vindex

Friend of China3.2.44 edition

G T Braine of Dent and Co is revealed in the above letter from Vindex to be Publicola. Here is his response to the editorial in a previous edition lambasting his view on the land sales:

The first land sales were in June 1841. In view of our relations with China at that time we bought the land but none of us wanted to develop it. Then A R Johnstone, who was deputed to govern Hong Kong by Elliot, gave inducements (in the form of grants) to us in return for our developing our lots. It was in response to Johnstone’s grants that J M & Co, Dent & Co and others invested large sums and this caused yet more people to build and the Hong Kong economy to take-off. Had there been any intimation that Johnstone’s grants might be repudiated, we would not have invested.

On the contrary, Pottinger established a Committee in March 1842 to investigate Johnstone’s grants. On 22.4.42 he required parties with claims to send in a statement of them without delay or they would be overlooked. I believe every land-holder complied with Pottinger’s request and submitted a claim. His land was then marked out by Pottinger’s Land Committee.

Now, two years later, Pottinger says all claims prior to the treaty are invalid. Having thus apparently annulled his former act how can I know that he will not annul again and again?

The Land Committee that Pottinger established proceeded irregularly as it kept no minutes. We have developed our land in good faith and now it is taken away. The government should not expect its colonists to submit. Many influential members of this community are dissatisfied. An appeal to the home government is being considered. If we act together we will prevail.

In the latest land auction, the conditions were not published until afterwards but some bidders knew beforehand that if they bought a lot and abandoned it later they would only have to pay 15% of the first year’s ground rent. I do not know how these buyers found out but it is certain that not everyone knew it, so it was unfair.

The main effect of this was to raise the price of the land as a knowing bidder might buy many more lots than he needed or could afford. He would then have the advantage of picking the best lot with few rocks and no gully running through it and abandoning the others.

I still hold a faint hope that Pottinger will investigate the matter and resolve our dissatisfaction. Sgd Publicola

Friend of China 10.2.44 edition

For auction on 15th February 44 at noon at West Point:

All the materials used in the construction of the West Point barracks will be sold. Successful buyers must collect their purchases within a month of purchase.

Friend of China 10.2.44 edition

Tenders are invited before 10.2.44 to form streets and build sewers in Victoria per plans displayed in the Land Office.

Friend of China 10.2.44 edition

J B Pain & Co is selling full-sized billiards tables with cues, cue stand, marking board, etc., all made at Canton. $250 each.

Sample in our godown for inspection.

Friend of China 10.2.44 edition

Editorial – the present depressed state of our Australian colonies is worrying. The Sydney newspapers to 9th December 43 show three vessels at that port advertising for passengers to Hong Kong.

If unemployed Australian colonists emigrate here, they will regret leaving the healthiest climate in the world for the most pestilential. This Editorial is published in the interests of humanity to deter any more of them from coming here.

European carpenters and blacksmiths will not be able to work in this hot and humid climate. Maybe one or two will find work as overseers but even the Friend of China compositors, a sedentary occupation, have difficulty coping with the weather.

Hong Kong is an expensive and sickly island. How can an Australian survive here?

The Chinese do all the mechanical work. They do it excellently for a quarter of the cost of a European. A few sober and industrious individuals might succeed as superintendents but there will not be many such jobs. All the building has already been done and it will be years before much trade develops here.

Even young men coming as clerks to the government or to the merchants cannot expect many vacancies. The best jobs will be allocated to people in London. Local appointments will always be inferior.

To work as a retailer is almost hopeless – the local Chinese have particular tastes and little money. Apart from our armed forces there are not three hundred Europeans on the island to patronise retail shops.

The only avenue to wealth here is monopolised by a handful of foreign traders and they never advertise vacancies. We do not want an influx of unemployed English waiting to catch fever and seeking refuge in the bottle.

Friend of China 14.2.44 edition

We had an auction of land lots on onerous terms on 23rd Jan 44. Notwithstanding the terms, a total of over one hundred lots were sold at rents of between £5.10.0d – £100. 0.0d a year. A failure to build as required in the lease terms attracts a fine of one year’s rent. A lot of building will no doubt be done this year.

Hong Kong is now quite healthy. The barracks built at Sai Wan and at Stanley are spacious and airy.

Her Majesty’s 55th Regiment will return to England soon. 250 invalids have been sent back already on the Cornwall on 2.2.44. Lord Saltoun left on HMS Dido for London with a large tranche of the indemnity money.

Many English merchants remain headquartered at Macau. Its future cannot be good. Hong Kong is better both for storing goods and instructing agents in Canton or up the coast. The princely constructions of J M & Co and Dent & Co are nearing completion. We expect all English merchants in Macau will very soon come to Hong Kong.

The only remaining problem is crime. Our Chinese residents are of the worst type of Chinaman. Even with Police and watchmen on private houses, the thieves enter through walls and bolted doors.

A few days after the attempt at Jamieson and How’s godown (previously reported), Mr Edger saw a piratical attack in the harbour. With his assistant Mr Henry they took to their boat and gave chase. They captured nine pirates and their boat. Each pirate was sentenced to five years on the chain gang plus 100 lashes per year to be followed by banishment.

The pirates who murdered Dr McKinlay of the 18th Regiment and two Portuguese sailors have been caught by the Chinese and beheaded. The three heads are to be raised on pikes at the place of the crime to deter the others.

Friend of China 17.2.44 edition

Editorial – The government’s land auctions continue to exercise a fascination over the resident foreign community. Those who bought previously and improved their lots resent discovering that their tenancies are now only for 75 years. They claim Elliot’s sales and Johnstone’s grants were in perpetuity and they expect freehold title.

If those first investors had not been induced to invest here, they say, the island would still be a barren rock. They have each invested from $25,000 – $200,000 on improvements to their lots, blithely unaware that the land might revert to the Crown in 75 years.

Friend of China 17.2.44 edition

30 Chinese attacked the premises of M/s Milne and Vesey, carpenters of Queen’s Road, on Thursday morning. The thieves got inside and wounded the two men, one severely.

Vesey had been around town that day collecting and paying debts but the greater part of his collections had already been paid to others. The thieves soon left without taking anything.

They moved on to Dr Anderson’s house nearby but were beaten off.

Friend of China 17.2.44 edition

Mr Lawrie the publican was warned his house would be attacked Sunday night. He alerted some friends who agreed to stay with him overnight. That evening they heard sounds from the adjoining house which should have been unoccupied. They went around and demanded admittance. No response was obtained so they themselves broke-in and shot two Chinese discovered inside. Three European friends of Lawrie have also been arrested and police investigations continue.

Friend of China 20.2.44 edition

The Chinese who were wounded in an affray with three Europeans last week are recovering. It would be well to settle this affair.

Friend of China 20.2.44 edition

The cause of the sickness that killed so many of us last summer has been traced to the stagnant water that lay in every ravine and on every field. We need to straighten and clear the hillside ravines and drain the paddy fields.

English firms in Macau are holding back from transferring their business here, citing the health risk.

Friend of China 24.2.44 edition

Capt Haly of the 41st Madras Native Infantry has been appointed Superintendent of Police and was sworn-in as a JP on 22nd Feb 44.

Friend of China 24.2.44 edition

The Court of Justice with Criminal and Admiralty Jurisdiction will hold a session on 4th March 44. Anyone summonsed must attend.

Sgd Charles B Hillier, Recording Officer.

Friend of China 24.2.44 edition

The declaration of the Law Court’s opening is welcome. We have been living too long under military law. Now we suppose civil and criminal judges will soon arrive to administer the law but for the time being it will be Sir Henry who is the judge. His legal adviser will assist him on legal points.

He is so powerful he should take great care.

Friend of China 24.2.44 edition

Between 1 – 2 am on Friday 23rd Feb 44, a robbery occurred at Mr Mrs White’s bungalow. 30 men armed with pikes and swords attacked the house. They made much noise and frightened the occupants. Mr Lind was awakened and discharged his pistols but there was such a press of robbers it did not stop them. They broke through the inner doors and threw in fire pots. They ransacked the house.

The watchman and servants were stoned and driven off. The watchman alerted the guard and the officers of the mess responded.

The ladies in the house were earlier able to escape to the officers’ mess of the 41st Madras Native Infantry.

The robbers were brave and withstood the sepoy’s fire until they had forced-open the chest containing the silver plate and removed its contents. They made off with a large booty of plate, jewellery and clothes. One was shot in the thigh and died soon afterwards. All the others escaped but several were wounded. They fled along the footpath to the lower bazaar. It seems they had a boat under the bridge between Edger’s house and the lower bazaar.

The captured robber confirmed that the group came from Kowloon and landed near the point. He gave the names of two accomplices which have been passed to the magistrate of Kowloon.

Friend of China 24.2.44 edition

Sir E Belcher is to reside in Hong Kong in the house formerly occupied by Mr Edwards while he undertakes a survey of the China Seas.

Friend of China 27.2.44 edition

Letter to the Editor – The recent attack on Mrs White’s house is shocking. Near her house is a police station and the mess and quarters of numerous military officers yet she was attacked in her house, she and the other occupants expelled and their valuables stolen away. Chinese flow into Hong Kong saying they come to chin chin Joss. We should try to control access better.

Friend of China 27.2.44 edition

First published shipping list of all the China-trade anchorages:

In Victoria Harbour (excluding the receiving ships):







Water Witch







H. Pratt (USA)





Consignee or Agent 

J M & Co

J M & Co

J M & Co

J M & Co

J M & Co

Dent & Co

Dent & Co

Holliday Wise & Co

Holliday Wise & Co

Turner & Co

Turner & Co

MacVicar & Co

J D Sword & Co

Russell & Co



N/A – this ship is for sale

British ships at Whampoa (with cargo for Canton):



Duchess of Northumberland







Lucy Sharp


Emerald Isle




John Laird



J M & Co 

J M & Co

J M & Co

MacVicar & Co

MacVicar & Co

MacVicar & Co

Turner & Co

Turner & Co

Turner & Co

Augustine Heard & Co

Augustine Heard & Co

Augustine Heard & Co

Lindsay & Co

Lindsay & Co

Bell & Co

Bell & Co

Gibb Livingston & Co

Dent & Co

American ships at Whampoa:





Robert Fulton

Wetmore & Co 

Wetmore & Co

Russell & Co

A A Richter

C H Tiers

British ships at Macau:


John Witt



Mary Bulmer



Fair Barbadian




Russell & Co 

Russell & Co

Boustead & Co

Boustead & Co

Turner & Co

Lindsay & Co

John Smith

F Ley




Also anchored at Macau are six Portuguese ships, one French, one Spanish and three Dutch, the latter three represented by Dents, Reynvaan and Turners respectively.

Friend of China 27.2.44 edition

There have been numerous burglaries of late but not one instance of the police interrupting them.

Mrs White’s theft shows that success is giving the thieves courage. The attack was close to the military quarters and mess. The escape was after 9 pm when the harbour is supposed to be guarded by the navy. There are 6-8 men-of-war in the harbour but all anchored at the eastern end – why? The thieves cross to Tsim Sha Tsui. Does Sir Thomas Cochrane need to see his ships from his house ashore? Do the naval officers need them nearby for ease of boarding?

There should be a warship at Green Island, off West Point and off East Point with others in between these three.

The heavy and noisy man-of-war boats should be exchanged for the light local boat (called a ‘pull-away boat’ at Macau). Six of these boats, each with a crew of six, would close the harbour crossing to the thieves.

The British fleet in harbour contains 1,500 men. It seems little to ask.

Friend of China 27.2.44 edition

We were pleased to see a party of convicts under a police superintendent being employed to root out residents on the beach east of Lindsay & Co’s godown. Paupers and rogues anchor their boats near the shore there and provide residence for any one.

We should not allow these boats to approach our shore unless for some genuine and overt purpose. We should licence and number all the small boats and lorchas used as ferry boats, for fishing and for lightering.

All the other small boats should be burnt and sunk if they still remain at our beaches after due warning. Too many of the Chinese boat people have no jobs and no means of support. They come here to plunder and enjoy the mildness of British justice when they get caught. We are becoming an asylum for the dregs of Kwongtung.

Friend of China 27.2.44 edition


  • The business of the late Henry Pybus will in future be conducted by John Mackey & Co of Calcutta represented in Macau by John Leffler and Charles Wilson Murray acting per pro and / or as Agents.
  • The godown of the late Henry Pybus is for sale by auction by P Townsend on 11.3.44. It is 150’ x 60’ with a treasury within and two cottages attached.
  • Also for sale is one half of the marine lot between Pybus’ godown and the unoccupied godown of Jamieson How & Co.

Friend of China 2.3.44 edition

Ordinance 1/44, an Ordinance to define the law in Hong Kong relating to slavery:-

  • Anyone using a slave in Hong Kong will be subject to imprisonment to 2 years with or without corporal punishment and hard labour and a fine of up to $500 for each offence plus up to an additional $200 payable to the informant(s).
  • Any foreigner bringing a slave to Hong Kong and not reporting the fact within 10 days of arrival will be subject to imprisonment to 6 months with or without corporal punishment and hard labour and a forfeit of up to $100 for each offence plus an additional $50 for informants.
  • Any former slave upon reporting to government will be advised that he is free.
  • If the former slave opts to stay with his former master, two house-owners resident in Hong Kong must give $500 sureties against the removal of the former slave from Hong Kong.
  • Any former slave shall be maintained at public expenses until he can maintain himself.
  • If a slave is found serving a former owner, proof of his regular employment must be provided.
  • In the absence of proof of employment, if thereafter the former slave is found working for the former master, it will be prima facie proof of slavery.
  • Anyone having a slave in his house and not immediately reporting the fact will be subject to imprisonment to 3 months with or without corporal punishment and hard labour and a forfeit of up to $100 for each offence and an additional $50 for informants

The above awards are in addition to any awards applicable to the case under the Laws of Great Britain.

Friend of China 2.3.44 edition

Ordinance 2/44, an Ordinance to regulate printing of books and papers:

This Ordinance comes into effect after 1st April 44 and applies to any publication in Hong Kong of news or commentary on news.

  • Every document printed and published in Hong Kong is to show the name of the printer and publisher and the place of printing / publishing.
  • After 1st April 44, possession of a printing press in Hong Kong will become illegal unless owned by a declared printer or publisher.
  • Failure to comply with either of the above clauses merits a fine of $3,000 and/or gaol for 2 years.
  • The printer and publisher of every paper shall declare his identity before the magistrate.
  • A change of address requires a new declaration.
  • A departure from Hong Kong requires a new declaration.
  • Failure to comply with any of the above declarations merits a fine of $3,000 and 2 years gaol
  • Public search of the declarations is available at $1; Copy of declaration $2
  • Production of declaration in proceedings is prima facie proof of identity of printer or publisher.
  • Persons ceasing to be printers or publishers are to declare same.
  • Declaration of cessation is proof of the fact in proceedings.

Friend of China 2.3.44 edition

Capt Haly will return to his regiment and Capt Bruce of Her Majesty’s 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment will replace him as Police Superintendent temporarily. He becomes a JP

Friend of China 2.3.44 edition

Capt Haly, as part of his police duty, has cleansed all the drains in the upper bazaar. The part of Queen’s Road in our vicinity (beneath the upper bazaar) is now fragrant.

His procedure of holding back a head of water then letting it rush through the drains morning and evening has carried all the filth to the sea. We are sorry he is returning to India with his regiment.

Friend of China 2.3.44 edition

Editorial – the repudiation of slavery by Britain in her colonial possessions is the greatest effort of British justice, an act of generosity which has no parallel in ancient or modern history, an act which many admire but none yet follow.

We hope a copy of this Act in Chinese will be circulated amongst the population.

Friend of China 2.3.44 edition

Editorial – It is a common complaint of ship masters and strangers that there is no place of entertainment here. We think a coffee house with an attached reading room in the Central district would serve and we will cheerfully supply a quota of English and colonial papers to it.

Friend of China 2.3.44 edition

On Thursday 29th February a Chinese child at East Point was shot and killed by a Lascar. An Inquest is to be held today.

Friend of China 2.3.44 edition

Januario J Lopes has closed his ‘high class’ hotel in Macau as all the traders are coming to Hong Kong. He has concurrently opened the Waterloo Hotel at 40 Queen’s Road on 1.3.44.

Friend of China 2.3.44 edition

Rev Charles Gutzlaff is appointed Chinese Assistant to the Chief Magistrate and member of the Lands Registry and Land Committees.

Editor – Mr Gutzlaff’s appointment is very satisfying and will be highly conducive to the impartial administration of justice. It would be difficult to find a more competent person for this job.

Friend of China 5.3.44 edition

The first session of the Court occurred yesterday. The Governor and Lt Governor (Pottinger and D’Aguilar) sat as judges. Burgass was clerk and Hillier was registrar. A jury was sworn in and Mr Patrick Stewart made foreman.

A Filipina seaman of the Harlequin was charged with murder of his 2nd Mate, and an artillery marine of HMS Driver was charged with murder of a Chinese boatman.

The Filipino was found guilty but had been provoked. The death sentence was passed and Her Majesty’s pleasure requested.

The marine’s case will be concluded today.

(The 16 Grand Jurymen is a who’s who of China-traders and British officials – David Jardine, John Dent, T A Gibb, John Holliday, Christopher Fearon, Charles E Stewart (the FS), C Cleverley, etc.)

Friend of China 5.3.44 edition

The patent slip that was imported some time ago from England and never used has been purchased by government.

Friend of China 5.3.44 edition

Letter to the Editor concerning land allocations:

The Upper Bazaar was allotted to the present occupants under formal certificates of the Land Officer. They were required to erect houses within a few weeks or lose their allotment. Some were later ejected by the Lands Officer for failure to comply with this provision and their lots reassigned to others. As a result of the building condition, the Upper Bazaar was quickly built-up and shops opened. The occupiers have since made some profits, probably sufficient to make the costs of building worthwhile.

Now they have been told they will be evicted in six months and compensated at the government’s own valuation of their houses. All these lots have been resold to others. No other land is offered to the present occupiers. They have learned this only since the recent sale in which their lots were unilaterally sold from under them.

The drains up there in the Upper Bazaar are a bit smelly, and amongst the genuine traders are a few ‘houses of disrepute,’ but government does not need the land for new streets. The certificates the present occupants hold only says that a rent may be chargeable in future. The new buyers have been told they may erect Chinese houses on their lots.

Some foreigners who were the earliest investors in Hong Kong have withdrawn from this island because of the unfair land arrangements. Now the Chinese in the Upper Bazaar are experiencing the same treatment. They are getting up a petition to Sir Henry requesting he not break faith with them. We wish them luck.

Sgd. Good Faith.

Friend of China 5.3.44 edition

A waterboat fitted with tanks and a force pump has been constructed by N Duus for the convenience of masters of ships in the harbour.

It will now be possible to fill a ship’s water tanks at the anchorage without sending a boat to one of the streams.

The boat will be anchored off Duus’s Wharf

Friend of China 5.3.44 supplement

The government has published a set of Rules to suppress vagabonds by the regulation of small boats in the harbour:

  • All boats must provide security from a resident native and register with government within 24 hours of arrival.Failure – boat burned.The registry number is to be painted in large letters on both sides of the boat and on its flag.

    Failure – fine, 2nd failure – expulsion.

  • The boat people will appoint a superintendent answerable for their good behaviour. He will be made responsible for their acts. Every boat-operator must report to the Chinese Secretary on arrival and declare why he has come? what is the cargo? His ship’s papers are to be deposited with the Marine Magistrate until departure. Every boat-master is responsible for his crew. If any one commits an offence, the master must report it to the Chinese Secretary
  • Every boat arriving in Victoria will be boarded and served with a notice of these Rules.
  • Boatmen unable to account for their visit will be handed over to the magistrate at Kowloon.
  • The small boat anchorage will be buoyed and all will anchor within it. No-one can anchor within 150 covids of the low water mark. No boat can leave the small boat anchorage after 9 pm.
  • Dropping ballast in the harbour is an offence punishable by a fine.
  • No guns, gongs or firecrackers after 8 pm.
  • No shotted guns in the harbour.
  • Masters of ferry boats will bring passengers to the Chinese Secretary for examination. Intending residents will be registered. 1st omission $5 fine, 2nd omission $10, 3rd omission expulsion.
  • Rates for boat hire in Hong Kong are fixed as follows:
    Cargo boats of 7+ tons 


    Cargo boats up to 7 tons


    Fast boats, 2 masts 5 adult crew



    Fast boats 1 mast 3 adult crew


    Large boat to Stanley

    $3 per day 

    $1 per trip

    $2 per day

    $0.75 per trip

    $1 per day

    $12.50 per half month

    $25 per month

    75¢ per day / $12 p mth

    1 mace for 2 hours

    $5-6 per trip acc’g size

  • Any excessive demands will attract a fine in the same amount. 2nd offence -licence cancelled

Friend of China 9.3.44 edition

Letter to the Editor – Has anyone noticed that all the deaths we had last year were of men. The women survived!

Is it because they protect their heads when out in the sun; or because they eat a lighter diet?

Many Europeans in Hong Kong are unaccustomed to the tropical sun which in India we know to be fatal. Would a doctor favour us with dietary guidance?

Sgd. Quidnunc

Friend of China 9.3.44 edition

Another list of shipping is published. The vessels anchored at Whampoa (British and US) are mostly the same as last week.

Friend of China 9.3.44 edition

The British Court sat again on 6th March concerning the marine gunner of HMS Driver. The evidence was that the murderer wore a red jacket while the accused was wearing a blue jacket. He was acquitted.

Friend of China 9.3.44 edition

The weather is warming with the approach of the summer monsoon. New arrivals should take care. Although there is much discussion on the precise causes of last year’s heavy toll of disease, one of the causes is no doubt exposure to the sun. Another appears to be immoderation in food and drink.

Friend of China 9.3.44 edition

The U S frigate Brandywine is in Hong Kong harbour and Commodore Parker landed here on Wednesday. He was received by D’Aguilar, staff and the band of the 55th Regiment.

Friend of China 9.3.44 edition

An inquest was held on the Sylph (Rustomjee Cowasjee’s clipper) on 23rd February into the suicide of a Bengali. He was the servant of Penfold, the Chief Officer.

While Penfold was ashore, the steward took the keys of the medicine chest and one of Penfold’s razors. He then appears to have consumed the best part of a bottle of laudanum and cut his own throat.

A few hours before his death a seacunny had written a letter for the Bengali to a friend in Calcutta but there was nothing in it or in his conduct to suggest his later action. He was on good terms with the rest of the crew.

Verdict – temporary insanity.

Friend of China 9.3.44 edition

An Inquest was held on 1st March into the death of a Chinese boy who was shot whilst on a junk anchored off Kellett Island. The boy’s mother and crew said the boy was standing on deck facing the shore when he was struck on the forehead by a ball. The shot came from the direction of The Point (East Point). The ball was extracted but offered no clue to its origin.

The boy died in distress two hours after the shooting. Several witnesses, working at the East Point waterfront, were examined but had nothing to say.

Verdict – manslaughter.

Friend of China 9.3.44 edition

For sale by raffle – 40 subscribers are invited to buy tickets at $10 each for Capt Lauder’s magnificent horse.

Friend of China 9.3.44 supplement

Publication of an ordinance to invest British Consuls in China with judicial authority to enforce the terms of Ordinance No 2 of 1844 that was passed by the Hong Kong Legislative Council on 28th Feb 44.

The law will be applied within the ports under their control.

The Consul is empowered by this law to hold proceedings, levy fines and imprison but his decisions are subject to revision by the court in Hong Kong.

Friend of China 9.3.44 supplement

An ordinance is proposed to establish a Registry and Lands Office as the registry for title to all land in Hong Kong to facilitate tracing ownership of property.

All deeds of sale and purchase affecting title to land and all Wills and Judgments transferring title may be registered.

Registered instruments will have priority over unregistered instruments.

All sorts of legal instruments may be registered in the Land Office and kept in safe custody by the Officer until required by the depositor.

A list of fees for registration charges is given.

Friend of China 9.3.44 supplement

Another shipping list at Victoria, Macau and Whampoa distinguishing nationalities. The American ships rarely come to Hong Kong but stay in Macau and Whampoa.

Jardines, Dents, Turners, Lindsays and Russells all maintain their store ships at Whampoa, week after week.

List of American ship agents at Macau – Wetmore and Co, Russell & Co, Oliphant & Co, Nye Parkins & Co (the late Gideon Nye’s last business) and some individuals.

Friend of China 12.3.44 edition

The recently enacted requirement for registration of all boats has caused some inconvenience – many ferry boatmen have left for Whampoa and elsewhere.

Friend of China 12.3.44 edition

Many residents have employed watchmen to protect their property but it is suspected that some of these employees are in league with robbers.

The Rev Gutzlaff has offered to enquire into the character of any watchman and to issue his certificate in respect of those he believes to be honest. He will devote two hours each day to this chore after 10 am commencing 15th March 44.

Send your watchman to Gutzlaff for interview. If he does not qualify for a certificate, he should be discharged.

Friend of China 12.3.44 supplement

An ordinance for the relief of Distressed British Seamen (DBS) and for compensation for acts of crime and negligence committed by them in China was passed by the Hong Kong Legislative Council on 28.2.44.

Masters of ships entering Hong Kong or any treaty port will give a bond valid one year for all his seamen. He agrees to pay compensation for any damage they cause and to accept any DBS for carriage to England.

Friend of China 16.3.44 edition

Governor’s Edict – anyone sentenced to transportation by the Hong Kong Criminal Court will be sent to van Dieman’s Land or Norfolk Island. Sgd Pottinger, 11.3.44

Friend of China 19.3.44 edition

D’Aguilar has improved the police force by permitting volunteers from the 55th Regiment to serve in it. It is now intended to put these soldiers in boats to police the harbour.

Should not Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane be doing that? His marines have recently been ashore in Kowloon exercising with four brass field pieces while D’Aguilar’s soldiers will be rowing the harbour in search of pirates!

Friend of China 19.3.44 edition

The Calcutta press reports that £1,000 has been subscribed in Hong Kong for the building of an Anglican church.

The Calcutta papers also say that 12 Inspectors of Police and 12 privates are to be sent from England to Hong Kong. The Inspectors will be paid £400 p a.

Friend of China 23.3.44 edition

Open letter to Pottinger:

You have enormous powers. But how can one Governor take back what the previous Governor gave out?

The buildings on our lots are amerced by government. We have spent thousands of dollars believing our title was in perpetuity.

Now it is said to be a 75 years lease on which basis the ground rent exceeds the value.

In Belgrave Square, a most fashionable part of London, the Duke of Bedford pays a ground rent of £56 a year. Your readers would be amazed at what J M & Co and other large houses are paying here. The ground rent on even small lots is equivalent to the Duke’s!

The price of land is excessive. The island is unhealthy. We are nightly attacked by thieves. Few comforts are available while necessaries of life cost four times what they do in England.

Stop oppressing us. Recognise the acts of A R Johnstone. Persons who bought and built in good faith under the authority of the sign manual of England should never be in doubt of their possessions.

But the rents may be increased for free hold sale if you think fit.

Sgd A Colonist

Friend of China 23.3.44 edition

Editorial – for over two weeks there have been no robberies. The Chief Magistrate may be congratulated but we think it is D’Aguilar who deserves the credit. He has augmented the police force. The boat regulations have likely also helped.

The Superintendent has since been busy clearing the drains daily. We hope he continues to have enough help to do this as it is too late now to do all the things we should have done to avoid another feverish summer.

A survey is to be made of Happy Valley. Hopefully the stagnant malarial water there will soon be drained.

Friend of China 26.3.44 edition


  • Sir Henry’s wish to return to England is well known. We don’t know yet who will replace him. We also need judges. We do not want our civil cases tried by military magistrates.
  • The colonists here have an arguable case concerning A R Johnstone’s land grants. The principal connection that the big China-trade firms have with Hong Kong is the money they paid Johnstone for land here. Now that investment has lost value they have less financial reason to come.
  • On Sundays the licensed pubs are closed but sam shoo is sold by disreputable Europeans and plenty of drunken soldiers and sailors can be seen. Who knows the quality of the wine sold in this way? These unlicensed peddlers work one day a week and take the other six off, such is their profit.

Friend of China 26.3.44 edition

The Harbour Master is issuing a daily shipping list showing arrivals and departures at Hong Kong harbour during the prior 24 hours.

We will keep a copy in our office as well for the information of interested subscribers.

Friend of China 30.3.44 edition

Two new Hong Kong laws have been enacted:

  • Ordinance 7/44 enacts that the usury laws in England shall not apply to Hong Kong. It is thought that in a new colony, where profitable speculations abound, the rate of interest should be set by agreement between the parties.
  • Ordnance 8/44 prohibits the distillation of spirits in Hong Kong. Chemists and druggists are permitted to have a small still (not more than 8 gallons) upon providing security and declaring it is only for medicinal purposes.

Editor – I don’t understand this second law. Rum from Manila is landed at 30 cents a gallon. Spirits have to be expensive before people distil their own. Is the import of sam shoo from Kowloon to be prohibited? The Chief Magistrate recently disallowed a shopkeeper from making ginger beer because it was ‘conducive to drunkenness.’

Friend of China 30.3.44 edition

M/s Milne and Vesey are contracted to government to fix the drains but week after week nothing is done and now the hot weather is almost upon us. They should not turn over the soil now and expose us to the noxious disease-causing fumes in the decomposing granite subsoil. We prefer instead to rely on the Police Superintendent sluicing the drains daily.

The latest plan we hear is to form a 6’ diameter brick arched tunnel under Queen’s Road with branches joining at every junction to carry off the sewage. With our surfeit of labourers they should complete this in 3-4 months but the work should only be done in winter.

That part of the island that has a sandy soil overlying hard rock is free of disease. This is characteristic of land between Captain Burd’s house and Dr Anderson’s dispensary.

Friend of China 30.3.44 edition

Framjee Jamsetjee announces his business was transferred from Macau to Hong Kong on 27.3.44

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Formerly the Captain of an Indiaman and now the owner and Master of John Laird. He is to be British Consul and Marine Magistrate at Whampoa.
  2. Silverlock was a party with R M Martin and Wm Jardine to the failed Bank of China.
  3. Editor says this should be about 7th moon 13th day. I copied this article to an expert who opined it was likely an exorcism (Mandarin – ta chiu) related to the Festival of Hungry Ghosts who are said to proliferate in the second half of 7th moon.
  4. See articles in the Asia chapter, from February 1843 and after, for details of difficulties in New Zealand.
  5. Sookonpo.
  6. He is First Clerk at the Foreign Office.
  7. The Hong Kong Government soon discovered that residents bought licences from China to fish. They stopped officials visiting to collect fishing licence fees. Actually, the Hong Kong Government could only regulate fishing in the harbour. Elsewhere was Chinese waters. As a result, a preponderance of Hong Kong residents removed and the island was repopulated by the people who conducted British smuggling.
  8. It seems the police and / or army have swept this hillside and rounded-up and deported the unemployed occupants but I did not find a report in the paper proper. The reference to Pao Chia (Cantonese Bo Gar), the system of making families jointly responsible for their members, has apparently long ended in China.
  9. See the Asia chapter for more on Eldred. He was a British Imperial hero and several books were written of his exploits in Afghanistan.
  10. The Jamia Mosque is in the same place today.
  11. The previous attempt to form a Legislative Council was on 21.8.43 with a membership of A R Johnstone, J R Morrison and Caine but Morrison was sick and died a few days later and then Johnstone had to leave Hong Kong ‘for his health.’
  12. The employment of relatives by senior British officials is the norm not the exception. It occurs in successive ministries in London, particularly Perceval’s (which was known as ‘the domestic administration’ – see the Political Management chapter), and also characterises the appointments of Governors-General and some Governors in India.

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