Friday, December 2, 2011 | By: Rudi Butt

Early Settlers, The Less Known

Updated (partial) December 15, 2013.

These were foreign settlers who lived and worked in Hong Kong some time between 1841 and 1850. Again, I am excluding, in this post, opium traders, civil servants, military personnel, missionaries and clergymen, and medical practitioners, for the reason that they are featured in other posts (Opium Hall of Fame; Peculiar, Sometimes Dubious, Civil Servants; Biographical Dictionary of Medical Practitioners in Hong Kong: 1841-1941; etc.). I will however make some exceptions to certain government personnel who were allowed to conduct their own business affairs while serving their public offices simultaneously, which was not uncommon then. For examples, lawyers serving as prosecutors whilst carrying on with their private practices. So far I was only able to identify Europeans and Americans from limited sources, I hope I will soon be able to find people from other parts of the world who came to and be a part of the “Wild Wild East” of the 1840s.

Adnams, James
Probably the first saddler (and harness maker and coach trimmer) to have set up shop in Hong Kong. He started the business in 1845 in Canton Bazaar and later moved to Stanley Street. He was trained in London by Lawrie & Co. of Oxford Street. He was a partner of the Commercial Inn located on Queen's Road. Hong Kong's first ferriery was opened by George Dudell on May 27, 1848 and was situated in the corner of Wellington and Wyndham Street. The shop was manned by an English Horse Shoer and $1.5 was the cost per horse. Since Dudell was an opium dealer, I choose not to feature him in length in this post.

Anderson, D.
Blacksmith and Farrier
Queen's Road.
Selected bibliography: The Hong Kong Almanack and Directory for the Year 1846.
Ashworth, Edward
b. 1814, Exeter, Devon, England – d. 1896, Exeter, buried at Higher Cemetery, Exeter. Ashworth was trained under two architects who also hailed from Devon, Robert Cornish and Charles Fowler, the latter was once the Vice President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Not happy with the works he was getting as an architect, Ashworth emigrated to New Zealand in 1842 where he practiced in Aukland. In 1844 he traveled to Australia, and from there to Hong Kong. During his two-year tenure in Hong Kong, he had designed a number of commercial buildings here, but I was unable to trace them so far. He also contributed articles regarding his experience of building European houses in Hong Kong. Additionally, he drew a number of pictures of Hong Kong (one of them is shown here). Ashworth returned to England in 1846 and practiced in Exeter until he died in 1896.

Badenoch, Alexander
b. Banffshire, Scotland – d. 1844, Hong Kong. Badenoch was said to have connections in Singapore also engaged in the shipbuilding business. He died at the age of twenty six (or twenty eight) and was survived by his wife. There was another Alexander Badenoch existing in Hong Kong around that time. He was the captain of merchant ship Herald of Light, of which he owned six shares. I do not know if the two were related.

Badenoch, P.
Queen's Road. William Burgess was listed as an employee in 1846. There was a record of a P. Badenoch, shipwright by profession, who owned a company with the name of Badenoch & Co. in Singapore on May 1, 1855. I think these two were the same person. Also, I will be quite surprised if P. and Alexander Badenoch(s) were not related. They might also have family living in Singapore, perhaps even engaged in the same trade.
Selected bibliography: The Hong Kong Almanack and Directory for the Year 1846.
Barreto, Luiz (updated 12/15/2013)
Bomanjee Hormusjee
Selected bibliography: The Hong Kong Almanack and Directory for the Year 1846.
Barnes, R.T.
Livery Stable Owner
Queen's Road. There are other Barnes existing at the same time. Leonard Barnes partnered with Edmund Boyd in the business of farriers, keeper of livery stable, and harness and coach makers. L Barnes's wife, Sara Anne, died on January 11, 1874 at the age of fifty. A D.J. Barnes was listed as a foreign resident in Hong Kong from 1847 to 1850, no other information can be traced, however, at this time.
Selected bibliography: China Repository 1847 through 1850. Patricia Lim (2011) Forgotten Souls: A Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery, Hong Kong: Uong Kong University Press. William Tarrant (ed.) (1846) The Hongkong almanack and directory for 1846, Hong Kong: Office of the China Mail. Janus: Jardine Matheson Archive [internet]..
Boulle, N. (updated 12/15/2013)

Boustead, Edward (updated 12/15/2013)
Boustead & Co.
Selected bibliography: The Hong Kong Almanack and Directory for the Year 1846.
Chinam's Hong, Queen's Road, by Edward Ashworth,
Bowden, William
Tavern Owner
London Tavern, Chinam's Hong [1], Queen's Road.
[1] Chan A-kuen 陳亞權, alias Chinam 齊南, opium trader in Canton (Guangzhou) who was one of the three partnes of the firm Tun Wo 敦和. Chan came to live in Hong Kong briefly in 1843 and afterward returned to Canton where he died in 1844.
Cachi, Giovarni
Tavern owner
Golden Tavern, Tai-ping-shan

Cairns, John (updated 12/15/2013)
Newspaper Proprietor, Printer
Queen's Road. Employed the following persons: Antonio H. Carvalho, Joze H. Carvalho and Cypriano do Rozario.

Carlin, Arthur
Plumber and Glazier
Stanley Street

Case, [s.n.]
Tavern Owner
Army and Navy Tavern
Selected bibliography: Friend of China, February 2, 1843.
Chrisholm, Daniel
Queen's Road.

Christopher, L.E.
Refreshment Rooms Owner, Storekeeper and Undertaker
Christopher placed the following advertisement in the Friend of China on October 19, 1843,
"Mr. Christopher begs to inform the inhabitants of Victoria, Hongkong: that he has opened a Billard Room, in the Queen's Road opposite the Hongkong Market, and trusts by attention to his customers that he will obtain a liberal share of public patronage. Mr. Christopher begs to inform the inhabitants of Victoria, that he undertakes funeral in all their arrangement. N.B. he has got a respectable hearse."
Cockerell, John T. (updated 12/14/2013)
Commercial Inn, Queen's Road. Listed from 1846, no longer so by 1850.
Selected bibliography: The The Hong Kong Almanack and Directory for the Year 1846, p.38; 1848, p.41; 1850, 48.
Collier, C.
D'Aguilar Street.

Costa, M.D.
Tavern Owner
Rainbow Tavern, D'Aguilar Street.

Cunningham, J.
Wellington Street.

Delmas, J.
Queen's Road.

Deosandrew, Fiddler
Tavern owner
Britannia Tavern, Queen's Road West.

Dickens, [s.n.] and McIntyre, [s.n.]
Auctioneers, Storekeepers
The dual formed a partnership in November 1843 and opened a general provisions store opposite Alexander Moss' godown on Queen's Road. [No information also about who Moss was.]

Dupuig, C.
Dupuig, or Monsieur Dupuig as he was referred to in the book, Forgotten Souls, was a tailor and clothier having his shop located on Wellington Street. I do not know if M. Dupuig was the name of his shop (sounds good for a tailor shop), or was he indeed a French. Since my knowledge in French names is non-existence, I have no idea if Dupuig is at all a French name, or du Puig, but Puig sounds Spanish...
Selected bibliography: The Chinese Repository, 1846. Patricia Lim (2011) Forgotten Souls: A Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery, Hong Kong: Uong Kong University Press.
Dyer, Samuel
Partner of Elsworthy, Dyer & Co., listed on July 19, 1843 to have their place of business within the Fletcher's godowns on Queen's Road.

Edwards, J.
Pastry cook
Queen's Road.

Elsworthy, Thomas
Partner of Elsworthy, Dyer & Co., listed on July 19, 1843 to have their place of business within the Fletcher's godowns on Queen's Road.

Emery, W.
Sail maker, Innkeeper
Phoenix Inn, Queen's Road.

Gabriel, Michael
British Hotel, Graham Street.

Goddard, W.H.
The English solicitor was admitted as an attorney on January 13, 1844 in Hong Kong. He practiced as solicitor and attorney of the court from his office on Stanley Street. On August 19, 1845, he was further admitted as a barrister.

Harao, Sher
Harao was a Muslim baker from Bengal. The poor man was robbed on September 10, 1842. The robbers killed his servant Kallay Khan, and severely injured two other Chinese employees, Ah Sam and Ah Po. Three men were subsequently arrested and tried, the outcome of which is unknown to me.
Selected bibliography: Friend of China, October 13, 1842.
Hawkins, John D.
Circular Buildings, West Point.

Holmes, John
John Holmes was a schoolmaster sergeant in the 98th Regiment of Foot of the British Army, which arrived in China in 1842 towards the end of the First Opium War. Holmes stayed behind in Hong Kong when his regiment moved to India in 1846, and went into business as a sausage maker among the Chinese shops in the Lower Bazaar (area in present day Sheung Wan around Jervois Street 蘇杭街 (previously 乍畏街) and Bonham Strand 文咸街). He also partnered with a friend of his, Bingham (first name unknown), to operate a wine and spirit shop on Queen's Road. Worked as a clerk in his shop, at one time, was a Ninian Crawford, who would in 1850 co-found Lane Crawford, a ships chandler-turned-retailer for high-end goods.

Horder, Charles W.
Lane Crawford.

Howell, Augustus
Jardine Godown Manager
I am breaking my rule not to feature any opium dealers, or people who worked for opium firms. There are two reasons I want to write about Augustus Howells. Firstly, it was quite rare in the 1840s for a Scottish firm, particularly a prestige firm such as Jardine, Matheson & Co., to hire an American to fill a managerial position. The usual hiring practice as I understand for British firms was that Britons were hired as managers and Portuguese as clerks or book-keepers, while several Chinese would be contracted to work as Compradors. Secondly, Howell was the first person I've come across, who was a member of the American Art-Union (1839-1851). He was listed in the member roster in 1846, having the place of residence in Hong Kong, China. I have no idea when Howell came to Hong Kong and for what reason. He was employed by Jardine, Matheson & Co. as a godown manager. He ought to be doing quite well as he bought a track of land, a part of Marine Lot No. 10 at Victoria (in the form of Crown lease) from Alexander Matheson on October 25, 1845. In March 1856, the same property was sold to Charles Woolett Bowra (full story in “Early Settlers, Not Opium Smugglers”), who was no longer in Hong Kong, and his brother William Addenbrooke Bowra, by Jardine, Matheson & Co. acting on a power of attorney granted by Howell on September 22, 1855. The address given in the power of attorney was in Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York. There were only a handful of records of Howell in Hong Kong. He was summoned to jury duty at the Supreme Court on April 11 and December 16, 1846. He was subpoenaed to appear at the Supreme Court on February 23, 1846, in the case of Thomas Larkins v Aling. Larkins probably was Captain Thomas Larkins, proprietor of the steamer Corsair, that ferried between Hong Kong and Canton (Guangzhou). I will try and find out more about this case and how was Howell involved.
I found a Augustus Howell (b. August 31, 1818, Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York or Saybrook, Connecticut - d. April 12, 1856, Sag Harbor) whom I believe to be our Howell. He was the son of Silas Howell and Bethia Post. Augustus's parents as well as his step-mother, Margaret Post, who was actually his aunt (Bethia's sister), all died in Sag Harbor. Howell went to the Clinton Academy in East Hampton and was a schoolmate and close friend of famous author, Henry P. Hedges. He married Phebe Rogers (b. October 28, 1820, Saybrook, Connecticut - d. 1902) of Deep River on February 6, 1852. The marriage was performed by the Rev. E. Cushman. Phebe gave birth to a daughter, Anna, in 1853. Howell died three years later. Anna married Lyndon M. Swan (b.1839- ) and had three children: Benjamin, Ann and Anna.
Selected bibliography: Christopher Munn (2008) Anglo-China: Chinese People and British Rule in Hong Kong, 1841-1880, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. China Repository, 1846. Index to Marriages and Deaths, The New York Herald, 1835-1855. Janus: Jardine Matheson Archive [internet]. Rootsweb [internet]. Saybrook Barbour Records [internet]. East Hampton Library (ed.) (2000) Tracing The Past, Writing of Henry P. Hedges 1817-1911, - Relating to the History of the East End Transaction of the American Art-Union, 1846, New York: Newmarker Press.
Hume, David
Hume ran a bakery at Queen's Road. New orders for breads were entertained provided a 24-hour prior notice was given; additionally, customers ordering meat pies and fruit tarts had to send in their own dishes ahead of time. Hume stood behind his bakery products by giving a warranty that his bread would keep for 10 to 12 days.
Selected bibliography: Friend of China, May 4, 1843.
Jones, R.
Livery stables owner
There was a Dr. Richard Jones who ran the Victoria Hospital in 1843. Could these two be the same person?

Langer, F.
Architect? Or Gilder.
Langer, according to information published by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects,was the first architect to have worked in Hong Kong. He came from Calcutter in 1842 to work for Jardine, Matheson & Co. to build their godowns at East Point (around today's Causeway Bay). He died on October 30, 1842, about two months after he arrived in Hong Kong. I cannot find Langer's name in the list of passengers departed from Calcutta in the Bengal and Agra annual guide and gazetteer for 1841. There were two entries under the name of F. Langer. The first, F. Langer – carver and gilder and ornamental painter, whose address was at 63, Cossitollah, Calcutta. The second, Mrs. F. Langer gave birth to a daughter on April 15. The gazetteer for 1842 is not available to me.

Lopes, Januario Joze
Proprietor of Waterloo Hotel which opened on March 1, 1844. The hotel was situated at 40 Queen's Road. Lopes previously owned and ran a high-class hotel (name unknown) in Macau before relocating to Hong Kong.

Lowrie, Robert
Tavern owner
Proprietor of Tavern and Storekeeper, Queen's Road.

Maclehose, [s.n.]
Principal partner of the Commercial Inn on Queen's Road which was opened in 1844. One of the first hotels to open in Hong Kong was the Lane's Hotel (1841-1843). I still looking to find who owned the hotel.

McSweeny (MacSwyney), Pieter Caulincourt
Barrister at Law, Queen's Road. W. Fruer was listed as an employee. Proprietor of the Eastern Globe and Commercial Advertiser, which was first published on June 22, 1843.

Martin, Henry
Shipper of merchant seamen
Queen's Road.

Moeur, F.B.
Queen's Road

McKnight, Thomas
Naval Storekeeper and Victualler
Naval store sheds were erected in Hong Kong in April 1841 on Possession Street, West Point, as referred to as the HM Victualing Yard. MacKnight was appointed the first naval storekeeper and agent victualler on March 21, 1842 and held that position until October 1849. George Dewar was listed as the 1st clerk and William Hickson the 2nd clerk in 1846.

Neil, Richard
Richard Neil (b.1830, Leicester – d. May 25, 1857, Hong Kong), together with his family, was listed as owners of the Albion House, a hotel, in Hong Kong in 1850 and 1851. Neil was in the army sent to China during the Opium War conflict and in 1841 was recruited to become one of the first policemen in Hong Kong [1]. He was said to have left the police force in 1847 to run the Albion House with partner James McLaughlin. When the partnership dissolved, he became the owner of a livery stable.
Neil was married to Elizabeth (maiden name unknown)(b.1826 – June 23, 1855, Hong Kong). Neil's sister, Annie, also lived in Hong Kong. She had three marriages: First, to a police sergeant Hogan, who died after being wounded in an attack; James Corrigan (d. October 24, 1858, Hong Kong) who was the engineer on the P&O steamer Sir James Forbes; John Patrick Martin, who was a hotelier. It was said that Annie rose from a very humble background to become a respectable manager of a family hotel, by way of these three marriages. There were a few questions remain unanswered. Was Albion House the hotel Annie Neil managed? If so, how did Richard Neil fit in to these marriages? I found no information on James McLaughlin, and no information regarding whether the Albion House was related to the hotel with the same name which was owned and run by Captain A.H. Fryer in Macau.
[1] The pre-police force put together by Captain William Caine of the 26th of Foot (Cameronians) Regiment, who was appointed Hong Kong's first Chief Magistrate in 1841, consisted of soldiers, described by one source, unfit for regular army duties. There were several versions of the strength of the initial police force; it varied from thirty to ninety, all Europeans. A formal police force won't come into existence until 1845.
Selected bibliography: China Repository, 1850, 1851. Lim, Patricia, Forgotten Souls: A Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery, Hong Kong: Uong Kong University Press, 2011. Friend of China, June 15, 1843; June 30, 1843. Hamilton, Sheilah E, Watching over Hong Kong: private policing 1841-1941, Hong Kong: Kong Kong University Press, 2008.
Oswald, Richard
Merchant, Land Speculator
The proprietor of the firm R. Oswald & Co. who once worked for the newspaper the Friend of China. Oswald was active in buying and selling land in Hong Kong. He died in London at the age of 38. He was survived by his wife, Augusta. Henry Lind and P. Marcussen were listed as employees of R. Oswald & Co. in 1846.

Parsons, Michael Edward
Parsons probably ran a ship's chandlery in Hong Kong. He accused Ah Gee, the Chinese steward on the transport ship Gertrude, of paying counterfeiting coins for a clock Ah Gee bought from his shop. I do not know how they went about settling the matter, or if Ah Gee was arrested for the alleged charge.
Selected bibliography: Friend of China, December 8, 1842.
Petersen, Christian Friederich Wilhelm
Auctioneer, Tavern Owner
Christian F.W. Petersen (b.1832 – d.1896, Hong Kong) was an auctioneer-turned-tavern-owner. Petersen succeeded Andrew Rudigar as the proprietor of the German Tavern when the latter died in 1858. He held the license for spirits for the tavern until his death in 1896. His second wife, A Chinese named Ho Mei, alias May Ho, took charge of the running of the tavern for a while. Petersen was previously married to an English woman, who died in 1878 from overdose on cajiput oil.

Pope, John
Civil Engineer
Aberdeen Street. Pope later became the Clerk of Work for the Surveyor-General Department (1844-1847). He was a Freemason.

Pustau, William H.
William H. Pustau was listed in 1846 as the head of William Pustau & Co. 魯麟洋行 or 布士兜公司, with its business address situated on Wellington Street (moved to Queen's Road in 1862). It was the Hong Kong affiliate of a company with the same name (sometimes with slightly different names such as Wm. Pustau & Co. or W. Pustau & Co. or Pustau & Co. ) founded in Canton (Guangzhou) on January 1, 1843 by an Altonaer, Carl Wilhelm Engelbrecht von Pustau (1820-1879). The Pustau firm in Canton was the first Germany trading house to have been established in China. An office (or branch) in Shanghai was added some time between 1843 and 1846, and it was once housed at No.2a on the Bund.
The Hong Kong Pustau was one of the sixty founding members of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1861- ). It was one of the few corporate members that were not engaged in the opium trade at that time. If it wasn't opium, was it then coolie trade? Like many other European companies in Hong Kong, Pustau did jump on the bandwagon of carrying on the businesses of emigration agents specialized in acquiring Chinese immigrants to work abroad. It was in fact charged by Governor Arthur Kennedy himself with complicity in the Macau coolie trade. The company was quick in response to clear its name, but at the end received no apologies from Kennedy. The head of Pustau also sat on the HSBC Board of Directors in the 1880s and 1900s. The details I am still looking to find. So far I don't have much on William Pustau as a person, except that he was appointed Consul for Bremen in 1851 and for Hanover in 1865.
These men were listed as employees of Pustau & Co. some time between 1850s and 1880s, most of them sound German: William Ahrenbeck, Gustav Ludvig Broderson, L.S. Lutkens, Julius Menke, Hermann Louis Christian Otte, George von Polanon Petel, P. Pickenpack, A. Pustau, Kaufmann Wilhelm Pustau, G. Raynall, Paul Reimann, Alexander Ludwig Reuter, F. Schirlye. The names of non-German employees I have found are: Frederick William. Lawrence, Polycarpo Antonio Rozario (probably Portuguese), the Chinese compradoe Mok A-kune and the ill-fated George Mather Neill, a young man from Edinburgh who was killed in a nasty carriage accident in November 1867 in Hong Kong. He was twenty five.

Rees, Rowland
Pottinger Street. Rees was a War Office Engineer and according to information published by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects the second architect to have practiced in Hong Kong. F. Langer was the first.

Reid, John
Newspaper Editor, or Accountant?
John Reid  (b. April 2, 1808, Glasgow - d. December 1843, Hong Kong) was the second son of John Reid M.D. and Jean Gavin. He was said to receive an education mostly from his father before he apprenticed to a firm of booksellers in Glasgow. When the apprenticeship was over he went to London and worked for Black & Young, foreign publishers. In a few years he returned to Glasgow and there he established himself as a bookseller and publisher. While studying Gaelic in 1825 a friend asked him to catalog his Gaelic books for him. This led to the compilation of 'Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica', which he published in 1832. His other well-known publication was the 'Turkey and the Turks, being the Present State of the Ottoman Empire', London, 1840, which captured his impression of Turkey during a prolonged visit he began in 1838. With the successful launch of his book, he gave up his business and left for Hong Kong, and according to two different sources, to edit a newspaper and prepare a Chinese dictionary. The records of Reid's activities in Hong Kong that I found began in 1843 and they were of that of a troubled man. Towards the end of 1843, Reid was treated by Colonial Surgeon Alexander Anderson for delirium tremens and brain disease induced by alcohol. He was hospitalized in November/December for two weeks. The job he had with a newspaper was with the Friend of China, the position was part-time accountant. The person who found him this job was Robert Oswald (featured above) who also worked at the Friend of China at that time. Apparently, Reid had known Oswald since he arrived in Hong Kong. Reid worked satisfactorily for one or two days but thereafter got so drunk he was incapacitated, and of course lost his job. On a day I still cannot identify in December 1843, Reid was found dead on the couch in his room on the upper floor of the Eastern Globe office where he lived as a boarder. The verdict of Coroner Edward Farncomb's inquest was: Visitation of God. Reid was survived by his wife, Anne McLaren (married in 1836) and a daughter. There was a big time gap between 1840 when Reid was said to have arrived in Hong Kong and the winter of 1843 when he met his tragic end. I found a record that shows he once worked for the Hong Kong Gazette 香港公報, but it didn't say when and in what capacity.

Robert, Thomas
Tavern owner
Britannia Tavern.

Robertson, Alexander
Tavern owner
Caledonian Tavern.

Robertson, George
Tavern owner
Prince of Wales Tavern, Graham Street.

Rodrick, Anthony
Tavern owner
Eagle Tavern, Queen's Road.

Rudigar, Andrew
Tavern owner
b. 1832 - d.1858, Hong Kong. The first Proprietor of the German Tavern.

Russel, M.
Cabinet maker
Queen's Road

Sage, William
Tavern owner
British Queen Tavern, Queen's Road.

Simeon, David
Tavern owner
Crown and Anchor Tavern, Queen's Road.

Strachan, George
According to the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Strachan was the architect who designed the first generation clubhouse of the Hong Kong Club. The Club, located on the corner of D'Aguilar Street and Queen's Road, opened on May 26, 1846. The construction and outfitting cost amounted to 15,000 pound sterling. Strachan was with the Surveyor-General's Office before 1844. He was the draftman of the Government House. There were two other Strachans existing around that time. William Strachan was the captain of the barque Lady Hayes and at another time, of the ship Omega. He had been in China since 1830s and was associated with opium firm Jardine, Matheson & Co., which off and on owned Lady Hayes. Robert Strachan, captain of the merchantman Scotland, arrived in China in 1838 and became a manager of the opium firm W.T. Gemmel & Co. in Canton (Guangzhou). He later became the Canton agent for Jardine, Matheson & Co. R. Strachans bought The Register in 1849 and remained proprietor of the newspaper until 1860. The Register was founded by James and Alexander Matheson of the namesake opium house. Strachan sounds Scottish and I wonder if these three were somehow related to each other.

Tiedeman, F.H.
Tiedeman's name first appeared in the June 29, 1843 issue of Friend of China which reported that his house and that of a Mr. Marzetti on Magistracy Street was burgled. It said that nine people were sleeping inside the house when the act of crime was committed. There was a Augustus C. Marzetti existing in Hong Kong around that time. I have no information about Marzetti or how was he related to Tiedeman. In October the same year, Friend of China named him one of three big grocers in town. The others two were N. Duus and Pain & Co. Tiedeman was listed in the 1846 China Repository as a key employee/partner of Vander Burg Romswinceel & Co. (it could be Van der Burg or Vanderburg, or Rommeswinkel). A P. Tiedeman Jr. was listed as the key player in the company along with a L.C. Delmarle. I was unable to find any information on these two.

Vesey, S.L.
Vesey and a Mr. Milne, presumably his partner, were referred to as carpenters of Queen's Road in the February 17, 1844 issue of Friend of China. The story was about a burglary that took place at their premises. Two men were wounded, one severely. The raiding party was said to be 30-man strong. The same newspaper did not speak favorably of the carpenters/contractors, "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 report was filed on the March 30, 1844.

Weiss, Charles
Watch and chronometer maker
Queen's Road

White, J.
Spirit dealer) Queen's Road

White, James
Newspaper editor
White was the first editor of the Friend of China.

Wilson, D.
D. Wilson & Co. was a Calcutta based general merchant of British origin, which established itself in Hong Kong in 1841-42 mainly as a grocer. There must be a Mr. D. Wilson in the firm, but I found no trace of him existing in Hong Kong. Additionally, I was unable to find other names of persons who were employed by or associated with the firm. Here is the long-and-short of their story in Hong Kong. On November 10, 1842, the firm opened the Auckland Hotel on Queen's Road, after having established their grocery business here. Due to lack of business, the hotel was up for sale by auction only months after its opening. The auction took place in February 1843 and was handled by auctioneer C.V. Gillespie of 46 Queen's Road. Oddly enough, according to Friend of China, it was D. Wilson, the firm, who bought the hotel at the auction with the intention of turning it into “commission sales rooms for the display of goods that Wilson have for sale from London and from their office in Calcutta...”. And then in November the same year, the firm decided to pull out of Hong Kong and returned to Calcutta. They asked auctioneer P. Townsend, whose office was practically next door to the hotel/showrooms on Queen's Road, to handle the closing-down sale of stock on November 17 and 21. The came and went of people and businesses were quite common in this period of time in Hong Kong, more so than those who came and stayed; some left with less than when they arrived, some a whole lot more.
Selected bibliography: Friend of China, November 17, 1842; February 23, August 31; November 9, 1843.
Winniberg (née Curnow), Jane Tregarthen
Jane Curnow, wife of Henry Winniberg, the Polish owner of the British Hotel (one other source referred the hotel as the "Winniberg Hotel"), was the first milliner in Hong Kong. Jane (b.1826, St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England – d. after 1891) was the daughter of merchant navy captain William Curnow and wife Hannah Scadden. After Henry Winniberg died in Hong Kong in 1866, Jane returned to England and there she lived on rental income generated from the Polmennar Cottages (probably a hotel) she owned in St. Mary's while her son Frederick (b.1859, Hong Kong – d. ) attended a boarding school in Penzance, Cornwall. Jane's daughter, Annie (b.1852, Hong Kong – d.), remained in Hong Kong at lease until 1871. The Cornwall Census in 1891 listed Frederick as a resident of Penzance, along with wife Annie and sons, Frederick and Henry Joseph.
Selected bibliography: Cornwall Census 1871, 1891. Lim, Patricia, Forgotten Souls: A Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. [internet].

General References: Anglo-Chinese Calandar 1847, printed at the Office of The Chinese Repository. The Bengal and Agra annual guide and gazetteer, for 1841, William Rushton & Co., Calcutta. The Chinese in Southeast Asia and Beyond: Socioeconomic and Poliitical Dimensions, by Qinghuang Yan. The Chinese Repository 1846, 1849, 1851. Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, British Architectural Library, Royal Institute of British Architects. Forgotten Souls - A Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery, by Patricia Lim, Hong Kong University Press. Friend of China, various dates. The German Speaking Community in Hong Kong 1846-1918, by Carl T. Smith. Historischer Überblick über die Konsularischen Beziehungen zu Kanton (Historical Overview of the Consular Relations with Canton), German Consulate General in Guangzhou. The Hong Kong Almanack and Directory for 1846, by William Tarrant, printed by the China Mail, 1846. Hong Kong Directory with List of Foreign Residents in China, printed at the American Press, 1859. The Hong Kong Institute of Architects [internet]. Janus: Jardine Matheson Archive [internet]. National Library of Scotland [internet]. The Straits Times, Singapore, May 1, 1855. Street's Indian and Colonial Mercantile Directory for 1870, G. Street and Street, Brothers, London. Timeline of Chinese-European Cultural Relations edited by the Institute of Asian Affairs, Hamburg on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation, Gütersloh, May 2004 [internet]. The Wigtownshire Pages [internet].



ParkaDude said...

Very interesting!

Where did you got all these names?

Just a note about "Giovarni Cachi". The family name, Cachi, sounds really Italian (cachi means persimmon fruits in Italian). Well, if the guy was Italian, then his name should have been GiovaNni, not GiovaRni. Giovanni was a really common name in Italy, while I am not aware of any nation using the name Giovarni. Note that "r" and "n" are similar, there may have been a mistake in some old document transcription?
Maybe I am wrong... great job anyway!

Rudi Butt said...

Thank you, the names came from a number of sources, Cachi's, particularly, came from The Hongkong almanack and directory for 1846 (compiled by William Tarrant). Cachi's first name was clearly printed as Giovarni, but you could be right about Giovanni as mistakes on names are often found in historic documents... I find it odd also that an Italian, if Cachi was in fact one, would run a tavern, which was very much a Brit thing, in Hong Kong 166 years ago. I'm glad you enjoy reading this stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rudi, Thanks for your hard work. I was hoping you could let me know where you sourced the name of a J Edwards - Pastry Cook - Queens Rd, listed under the Less Known Early SEttlers. I am searching for members of my family who lived, married & died in Macau/Hong Kong. Robert Edwards, who married in Macau 1835, was the Postmaster of Hong Kong Post office for a short time from 1842 to 1843. He also had a son called James Sturgis Edwards, born in 1835. As I live in Australia I have very little knowledge of China's archives & public records - or where to find them. If you have details that would be able to pass on I would appreciate it. Thanks so much. Rosemary

Rudi Butt said...

Rosemary, the name J. Edwards was listed in The Hongkong almanack and directory for 1846 : with an appendix (

Robert Edwards might be more than a postmaster in Hong Kong. I have found the following websites that I think you would enjoy, mind you, I have not sorted all these out to see if they are all related to our Robert Edwards, but you can do it. I don't want to take the fun away.

Hiving-off : the case of the Hong Kong Post Office (
Manuscripts/MS JM/F F4 - Janus: Jardine Matheson Archive (
The Canton register, Volume 8 (
Great Britain and the opening of Japan, 1834-1858 (
A Peoples' History 1793 – 1844 from the newspapers (search Edwards) (
The Chinese repository (
Asiatic journal and monthly miscellany (
Asiatic journal and monthly miscellany (

I do not know if J. Edwards, the pastry cook, was related to Robert Edwards. James Sturgis Edwards was only ten years old in 1846, and he might have become a farmer after he removed to Australia - Victoria Government Gazette, Friday November 25, 1870, page 3, under Insolvencies (

Hope this helps, Rudi

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Rudi - I shall be very busy the next few days searching through all the contacts you have given me. Much appreciated. Kindest regards Rosemary

Post a Comment