Extract of a Letter from Mr. F. B. Birley to Mess. J. Birley Sons, Kirkham Lancashire, dated Canton 28th December 1847.

BIRLEY Francis B. (1848?].)


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& Notes taken after an interview of S. Dawson & F. B. Birley with Sir John Davis on Tuesday 21st Dec, 1847. Lithographed reproduction of a letter. Minor rubbing and small marginal tears, folding marks, but overall still a very good copy printed on Western paper. 5pp. Canton, 28th December 1847 [but printed in Hong Kong (or London?)  

"The melancholy occurrences of this month compel me to devote a letter to advise you of them." The content relates to the killing of six Englishmen in the village of Hwang-Chu-kee (Huangzhuyi) a few miles north of Canton in early December 1847. The events leading to the killing remain unclear, but tensions had been running high in Canton for some time. Francis Birley was a tea merchant who had instigated the search after one of his staff (Mr. Bellamy, tea-taster) had not returned from the trip. He met with the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir John Davis, on December 21st, who informed him that 4 villagers had been beheaded as a punishment by the order of the Viceroy Keying (Qiying). Only one copy in OCLC (British Library). 

Stock Code: 213241

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