When I saw "visitation of God" listed as the official cause of death, my first reaction was to laugh hysterically, but a little research soon told me that the unusual cause of death wasn't quite as unique as I first thought. It was actually very common in the middle of the nineteenth century to attribute sudden unexplained deaths in this way - basically a fancy way of saying "natural causes." But, Dr. Lunn might have a hard time explaining that his God wasn't the “God of Death”.
Ella Zoyara (b.1840-d.1879) was the star trick-rider of the Great World Circus, the first circus to ever come to town in Hong Kong. Six shows were given by the circus from March 27, 1868 before it left for its next destination - Manila. Unbeknown to the circus-goers in Hong Kong, the St. Louis born Zoyara was in fact a man named Omar Kingsley and that he was even married - to a woman named Sallie Stickney. Zoyara's "true" gender was discovered in Manila and as a result both she (he) and the circus master Adolf Gonsalez were thrown into jail.
This is one of the over 600 fun facts about Hong Kong, as far as the first of its kind events go, that are included in the Welcome page under Who's Who and What's What.
- This Blog
- Reading Room
- Who's Who & What's What
- Australia National Library / Trove Digitized newspaper
- The Chinese Repository (1834-1851)
- The Guardian (1899-1999)
- Historical Laws of Hong Kong Online
- History 1739-1844 from the Newspaper
- Hong Kong and the West until 1860
- Hong Kong Government Report Online (1842-1941)
- Hong Kong Journals Online
- Hong Kong Public Libraries / Multimedia Information System
- Index to CO129, Great Britain. Colonial Office, Original Correspondence: Hong Kong
- Pre-1950 HK Books (English), Special Collections, HKU Libraries
- Singapore National Library / NewspeperSG
- UK Gazettes (London, Edinburgh, Belfast)
- University of British Columbia, Theses and Dissertations
- 香港年鑑 第一回至第四十七回 (Hong Kong Year Book 1948-1994)
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Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM | By: Rudi Butt
The first autopsy done in Hong Kong was on a woman named Nga Lok Po who died suddenly causing her relatives to suspect she had been poisoned. The inquest was held on August 15, 1842 and Dr Lunn, Hong Kong's first pathologist, identified cause of death as a 'visitation of God'.
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