Europe in China/Chapter 12

CHAPTER XII.


The Administration of Captain Elliot.

January 26 to August 10, 1841.

Having, in the preceding chapter, given an outline of the political events connected with the cession of Hongkong to the British Crown, we now take up the thread of its internal history.

On the very day when the Treaty of Chuenpi was concluded (January 20, 1841), Captain Elliot issued a circular at Macao, addressed to Her Britannic Majesty's subjects, informing them that the Island and Harbour of Hongkong had been ceded to the British Crown. The news of the cession of Hongkong was conveyed to England by the steamship Enterprise which left China on January 23, 1841. Captain Elliot explained in his circular of January 20, 1841, that Her Majesty's Government had sought for no privilege in China for the exclusive advantage of British ships and merchants, and that he therefore only performed his duty in offering the protection of the British flag to the subjects, citizens and ships of foreign Powers that might resort to Her Majesty's Possession at Hongkong. A general invitation was thus given to all the merchants of other countries to utilize the proposed new British trade station for commercial purposes. At the same time, Captain Elliot expressly stated that all just charges and duties to the Chinese Empire were to be paid as if the trade were conducted at Whampoa. The Chinese Government was left at liberty to deal with Hongkong by levying, outside the port and boundaries of the Colony, charges and duties on exports from or imports into Chinese territory. This was probably all that Elliot intended, and in these respects he simply gave to Hongkong the same position which Macao had so long maintained.

The Island of Hongkong having been formally taken possession of, for the purposes of a trade station, in the name of Her Majesty Queen Victoria (January 20, 1841), Captain Elliot, as Chief Superintendent of the trade of British subjects in China, and holding full powers under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, to execute the office of Her Majesty's Commissioner, Procurator, and Plenipotentiary in China, issued on January 29, 1841, his first local proclamation (the original of which is, however, dated February 2, 1841). In this proclamation. Captain Elliot, after making due reservation of Her Majesty's rights, royalties, and privileges, declared that the Government of the Island should be exercised, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, by the person filling the office of Chief Superintendent of the trade of British subjects in China. The next point in Captain Elliot's proclamation of January 29, 1841, was that it established two different systems of government and two separate codes of law for the administration of justice in Hongkong. Natives of the Island, and all natives of China resorting to Hongkong, were to be governed, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, according to the laws and customs of China, every description of torture excepted. But all persons other than natives of the Island or of China, should fall under the cognizance of the Criminal and Admiralty jurisdiction at the time existing in China and enjoy full security and protection according to the principles and practice of British Law. This natural bifurcation reflected, at the first formation of the settlement, the fundamental incompatibility of the Chinese and European systems of civilization, by creating two separate forms of government and two separate codes of law, corresponding with the two separate communities, Chinese and European, which were about to settle at Hongkong and which immediately proceeded to divide the town into separate European and Chinese quarters. But regarding this bifurcation, thus provisionally introduced, the pleasure of Her Majesty was subsequently made known, from time to time, gradually extending, by special Ordinances and executive Regulations, the sphere of English forms of government and the application of English Law. This was, however, done cautiously and gradually, in proportion as the two local communities, European and Chinese, were, by the slow process of the interaction of English and Chinese modes of thought, life and education, brought a little nearer to each other. This process (though hardly perceptible) is still going on at the present day, but executive regulations and legal enactments have all along proved utterly futile whenever they went too far ahead of the successive stages reached by this extremely slow process of race amalgamation which depends more on the silent influences of English education, English speaking and English modes of living than on the exercise of the rights and powers of the Crown. The Chinese, though the most docile people in the world when under fair government, proved utterly intractable whenever the Executive or the Legislature of the Colony rushed into any unreconciled conflict with deep-seated national customs of the Chinese people.

By a second proclamation—issued conjointly by Sir J. J. Gordon Bremer, Commander-in-Chief, and by Captain Elliot, as Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, on February 1, 1841—all natives of China, residing in Hongkong, were informed that they were all, by the fact of their residing on the Island, which was now part of Her Majesty's Dominions, subjects of the Queen of England, to whom and to whose officers they must pay duty and obedience. Moreover, it was added, that 'the inhabitants are hereby promised protection, in Her Majesty's gracious name, against all enemies whatever and they are further secured in the free exercise of their religious rites, ceremonies and social customs, and in the enjoyment of their lawful private property and interests.' It must be noted that, in the case of this stipulation, not only is the usual reservation 'until Her Majesty's further pleasure' omitted, but for it is substituted the positive affirmation that this promise was given 'in Her Majesty's gracious name.' Anyhow, Her Majesty never, in the whole history of the Colony, made her pleasure known contrary to the just principles of religious and social toleration here guaranteed to Chinese semi-civilized pagans, who were thereby, more than by anything else, induced to flock to Hongkong and settle on the Island. The same proclamation added, to the statement of the previous proclamation concerning the rule that Chinese in Hongkong should, until Her Majesty's further pleasure, be governed according to Chinese laws, customs and usages (every description of torture excepted), the (detailed provision that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, the Chinese in Hongkong should be governed by the elders of villages (Tipos), subject to the control of a British Magistrate. Regarding this point Her Majesty's further pleasure was made known many years after (Ordinance 8 of 1858), when an attempt was made to improve the working of the Tipo system by giving them official salaries. Some years later, when this measure proved fruitless, the Government discarded the Tipo system altogether. Yet, although this system is now officially not recognized and has been replaced by the Registrar General's Office, the Chinese secretly adhere to their own system faithfully. The Chinese people in town are at the present day under the sway of their own headmen (the Tungwa Hospital Committee), and the people in the villages are ruled by their elders, as much as ever.

As regards commerce, this same proclamation stated that 'Chinese ships and merchants resorting to the port of Hongkong for purposes of trade, are hereby exempted, in the name of the Queen of England, from charge or duty of any kind to the British Government,' but, it was added, that the pleasure of the Government would be declared from time to time by further proclamations.

According to a (seemingly incorrect) statement resting on the authority of Commander J. Elliot Bingham, who was at this time First Lieutenant of H.M.S. Modeste, the terms of the Chuenpi Treaty included also the surrender by the Chinese, as neutral ground, of 'the peninsula of Kowloon' meaning probably only Tsimsbatsui). Mr. Bingbam also states that, when the Cbuenpi Treaty was disavowed by the Imperial Government, it was seized by the British troops 'by right of conquest,' a garrison being kept in 'Fort Victoria' (probably on the site of the present Barracks), where many commissariat and other stores were deposited.

During the course of February, 1841, numerous parties of British and foreign merchants and missionaries came over from Macao to prospect the capabilities of Hongkong and to select sites for warehouses and residences. By the end of March and the beginning of April, 1841, shanties, labourers' matsheds, roughly-built store-houses (called godowns), Chinese shop-keepers' booths, European bungalows and houses of all descriptions began to rise up. The first buildings erected in Hongkong are said (on the evidence of Mr. W. Rawson) to have been the so-called Albany godowns (near Spring Gardens) of Lindsay & Co. Next rose up the buildings at East Point, where Jardine, Matheson & Co. established themselves. Later on buildings were erected in the Happy Valley and here and there along the hill side as far as the present centre of the town. While the Military and Naval Authorities commenced settling at West Point, erecting cantonments on the hill side (on the site of the present Reformatory and later on above Fairlea) and large Naval Stores (near the shore in the neighbourhood of the present Gas Company's premises), the Happy Valley was at first intended by British merchants for the principal business centre. However, the prejudices of the Chinese merchants against the Fungshui (geomantic aspects) of the Happy Valley and the peculiarly malignant fever which emptied every European house in that neighbourhood almost as soon as it was tenanted, caused the business settlement to move gradually westwards. Hill sites, freely exposed towards the South-west and South-east, as well as to the North, were soon discovered as being less subject to the worst type of malarial fever, and were accordingly studded with frail European houses mostly covered at first with palm-leaves. A number of wooden houses were imported from Singapore and erected on lower storeys of brick or stones. But at first the only substantial buildings erected by private parties were a house and godowns built at East Point by order of Mr. A. Matheson who foresaw the permanency of the Colony at a time when most people doubted it. The native stone masons, brick-layers, carpenters and scaffold builders, required for the construction of roads and barracks (by the Engineer corps of the Expedition) and for the erection of mercantile buildings, were immediately followed by a considerable influx of Chinese provision dealers (who settled near the site of the present Central Market, soon known as 'the Bazaar'), and by Chinese furniture dealers, joiners, cabinet makers and curio shops, congregating opposite the present Naval Yard, and along the present Queen's Road East, then known as the 'Canton Bazaar.' The day labourers settled down in huts at Taipingshan, at Saiyingpun and at Tsimshatsui. But the largest proportion of the Chinese population were the so-called Tanka or boat people, the pariahs of South-China, whose intimate connection with the social life of the foreign merchants in the Canton factories used to call forth an annual proclamation on the part of the Cantonese Authorities warning foreigners against the demoralising influences of these people. These Tan-ka people, forbidden by Chinese law (since A.D. 1730) to settle on shore or to compete at literary examinations, and prohibited by custom from intermarrying with the rest of the people, were from the earliest days of the East India Company always the trusty allies of foreigners. They furnished pilots and supplies of provisions to British men-of-war, troopships and mercantile vessels, at times when doing so was declared by the Chinese Government to be rank treason, unsparingly visited with capital punishment. They were the hangers-on of the foreign factories of Canton and of the British shipping at Lintin, Kamsingmoon, Tungku and Hongkong Bay. They invaded Hongkong the moment the settlement was started, living at first on boats in. the harbour with their numerous families, and gradually settling on shore. They have maintained ever since almost a monopoly of the supply of pilots and ships' crews, of the fish trade and the cattle trade, but unfortunately also of the trade in girls and women. Strange to say, when the settlement was first started, it was estimated that some 2,000 of these Tan-ka people had flocked to Hongkong, but at the present time they are about the same number, a tendency having set in among them to settle on shore rather than on the water and to disavow their Tan-ka extraction in order to mix on equal terms with the mass of the Chinese community. The half-caste population in Hongkong were, from the earliest days of the settlement of the Colony and down to the present day, almost exclusively the off-spring of these Tan-ka people. But, like the Tan-ka people themselves, they are happily under the influence of a process of continuous re-absorption in the mass of the Chinese residents of the Colony.

In addition to this spontaneous influx of Chinese provisiondealers, artizans, labourers and boat-people, there commenced also, early in 1841, a natural trade movement, which, if war-times had been protracted or if the Chinese Mandarins and the policy of the Hongkong Government had permitted its continuance, would have resulted in the gradual transfer to Hongkong of the larger portion of the Macao and Canton junk-trade and made Hongkong the trade centre of the whole coast of the Canton Province and the great depot of the entire China trade. We have on this point the valuable evidence of Mr. A. Matheson (given before the Select Committee of the House of Commons on May 4, 1847). 'Prior to our taking possession of Hongkong, and for some time after, all the native traders between Canton and the East Coast passed through the harbour, and generally anchored there. When the first Europeans settled in Hongkong, the Chinese showed every disposition to frequent the place; and there was a fair prospect of its becoming a place of considerable trade. The junks from the coast made up their cargoes there, in place of going to Canton and Macao; these cargoes consisted of opium, cotton shirtings, a few pieces of camlets, and other woollens, and Straits produce, such as pepper, betel-nut, rattans, &c.' Mr. William Scott, another former Canton and Hongkong merchant, gave simillar evidence (May 18, 1847) to the effect that, in the first instance, there was no disinclination whatever on the part of the respectable Chinese shopkeepers, and other useful people, to come to the Colony. Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm's evidence (June 1, 1847) confirms the foregoing statements. 'In a few months,' he said, 'an extensive trade sprung up and immense quantities of piece goods were sold on the island, which were transported to the mainland in native boats. Small vessels were passing hourly between Canton and Hongkong carrying the goods which were sold by sample at the former place, and daily vessels were coming from the north to obtain supplies for the other ports.' Both Mr. A. Matheson and Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm further stated that this prosperous state of things, brought on rather suddenly, continued until an equally sudden reaction set in about two years later (in 1843). In our own opinion, this early trade movement was simply the natural result of the interference caused by the war of 1841 with the junk trade of the Canton river. The junk trade having once gravitated towards Hongkong, it took some time, after the declaration of peace in 1842, to return to its original channel. But, certainly, had the free trade policy been maintained in Hongkong, a large share of the junk trade might have been retained in the Colony.

With the return of the troops from Chusan, the harbour of Hongkong began to be crowded again with men-of-war and troopships, and a Naval Court of Inquiry was held in Hongkong, (April 25, 1841) to accertain the causes of the extraordinary rate of mortality which had decimated the troops stationed at Chusan in 1840.

An augury of the rapid progress which the new settlement of Hongkong was expected to make, was the appearance (May 1, 1841) of the first Hongkong Government Gazette. In the first number of this Gazette (printed yet at Macao) Captain Elliot, as charged with the Government of Hongkong, notified that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, he had appointed (April 30, 1841) Captain W. Caine (26th Cameronian Regiment) Chief Magistrate of the Island of Hongkong to exercise authority, for the preservation of the peace and the protection of life and property, over all non-Chinese inhabitants (those of the Army and Navy excepted) according to the customs and usages of British police law, and over all Chinese inhabitants according to the laws, customs and usages of China, as near as may be, every description of torture excepted. But all cases requiring punishments exceeding a fine of $400, or imprisonment of over 8 months, or, in case of flogging, more than 100 lashes, or capital punishment, were to be remitted to the judgment of the Head of the Government. Captain Caine was at the same time appointed Superintendent of the Goal, which had been hastily constructed, but as all minor offences committed by the Chinese were punished by a free resort to bambooing, the Gaol, small as it was, was never crowded while this rough and ready system of adminstering justice by means of the bamboo continued in force.

The next Gazette (May 15, 1841) published the first Census of Hongkong. By some clerical blunder, however, the hamlet of Stanley, whhich never counted more than a few hundred inhabitants, was put down as having 2,000 Chinese inhabitants, and accordingly received the false description of 'the capital (of Hongkong), a large town.' It never was anything of the sort. Correcting this first Census table accordingly, we find that there were in Hongkong, in May 1841, altogether 5,650 Chinese residents, viz. 2,550 villagers and fishermen, scattered over 20 hamlets among which Shaukiwan and Wongnaichung take a prominent place, 800 Chinese in the Bazaar, 2,000 Chinese living in boats on the harbour, and 300 labourers from Kowloon. The Census also states that at that time the population of Tsimshatsui (not included in the Census) amounted to 800 Chinese.

One of the most important measures of Captain Elliot's regime was the declaration of the freedom of the port which constituted in fact the most powerful incentive to bring trade to Hongkong. By a proclamation issued at Macao (June 7, 1841), Captain Elliot informed the merchants and traders at Canton and in all parts of the Empire, that they and their ships have free permission to resort to and trade at the port of Hongkong where they will receive full protection from the High Officers of the British nation and that, 'Hongkong being on the shores of the Chinese Empire, neither will there be any charges on imports and exports payable to the British Government.' By these words Captain Elliot appears to assign, as a raison d'être of the port of Hongkong, the topographical fact that Hongkong is situated within the waters of China. It is just possible, though we have no further grounds for the inference, that Elliot may have cherished the notion that the Chinese Government were justified in levying, outside the limits of Hongkong, in Chinese waters, duties on all goods entering or leaving the harbour of Hongkong. If so, he virtually treated Hongkong as an open port of China, whilst admitting the Island to be Her Majesty's Possession. Sir Henry Pottinger subsequently rectified this assumption by a clear distinction of the British Possession of Hongkong from the five ports of China, opened by the Nanking Treaty.

That Elliot now had reason to believe that a permanent settlement on Hongkong Island would eventually receive the formal sanction of the Home Government, appears from the fact that he now advertized (June 7, 1841) a sale, by public auction, 'of the annual quit-rent of 100 lots of land, having water frontage, on Saturday the 12th instant, as also of 100 town or suburburban lots.' As many merchants had purchased land from natives. Captain Elliot notified them at the same time that arrangements with natives for the cession of land were to be made only through an officer deputed by the Government and that all native occupiers of land would be constrained to establish their rights. It was originally intended to dispose by this first land sale of a sufficiently large number of lots, situated both North and South of the present Queen's Road, which had been already roughly staked out by this time. But it was found impossible to survey and stake out, in time for the sale (though postponed from 8th to 14th June), more than 40 lots, all situated along the shore, North of Queen's Road, and having each a sea frontage of 100 feet. Six of these lots were reserved for the Crown, one remained unsold, but the remaining 33 lots, put up at an upset price of £10, were sold (June 14, 1841) at an average rate of £71, prices ranging from £20 to £265 per lot. Those 33 lots amounted in the aggregate to an extent not much exceeding nine acres. The annual payment bid for them was £3,032. This amounts to an average of £7 8s. 6d. per 1,000 square feet, a price which is equal to a rate of more than £323 per annum for the acre. The principle of the sale was somewhat undefined, but it was understood to be an annual rate of quit rent, if that tenure should be sanctioned by the Home Government, coupled with the condition of prepayment of one year's rent, and a deposit of $500 (which, however, was never claimed by the Government) as a guarantee that the purchaser would, within six months, spend at least $1,000 on buildings or other improvements of the lot. There are on record several criticisms of this first land sale. Sir H. Pottinger stated (March 27, 1841) that the tenure which Captain Elliot proposed to obtain was wholly unprecedented and untenable, and later on (November 19, 1844) he added that Captain Elliot had not been armed with any authority to dispose of the public lands. Mr. A Matheson (May 4, 1847) gave it as his opinion that, had a sufficient number of sea frontage lots been put up for sale, the rate would not have much exceeded the upset price of £10, but that, owing to the number of lots being quite disproportionate to the number of competitors, a keen competition drove the price up to £100 and upwards, for some lots, and that the average of this was afterwards (unjustly) retained by the Government as the standard of value. The purchasers, somewhat sanguinely but honestly believed themselves entitled to receive eventually a perpetual lease at the prices at which they had bought the land, because Captain Elliot wrote (June 17, 1841) to Jardine, Matheson & Co. and to Dent & Co., declaring his purpose 'to move Her Majesty's Government either to pass the lands in fee simple for one or two years purchase at the late rates or to charge them in future with no more than a nominal quit rent, if that tenure continues to obtain.' When later on (April 10, 1843) it was understood that the Government would only grant leases for 75 years, the Hongkong merchants had a real grievance which they thenceforth nursed industriously until they brought it before Parliament in 1847.

The purchasers of those lots, who may be considered as the first British settlers on Hongkong, were the following firms or individuals, viz.: Jardine, Matheson & Co.; Heerjeebhoy Rustomjee; Dent & Co.; Macvicar & Co.; Gemmel & Co.; John Smith; D. Rustomjee; Gribble, Hughes & Co.; Lindsay & Co.; Hooker and Lane; Holliday & Co.; F. Leighton & Co.; Innes, Fletcher & Co.; Jamieson and How; Fox, Rawson & Co.; Turner & Co.; Robert Webster; R. Gully; Charles Hart; Captain Larkins; P. F. Robertson; Captain Morgan; Dirom & Co.; Pestonjee Cowasjee; and Framjee Jamsetjee. This sale was followed by the erection of godowns and houses, and the building of a seawall, the road alongside of which was thenceforth (in imitation of Macao parlance) called the Praya. The following places were the first to be utilized for commercial buildings, and private residences of merchants, viz.: West Point, the Happy Valley, Spring Gardens, the neighbourhood of the present Naval Yard (Canton Bazaar); the sites now occupied by Butterfield and Swire, by the Hongkong Hotel, by the China Mail, by the Hongkong Dispensary (which can trace back its history to 1841); the slope below Wyndham Street; Pottinger Street, Queen's Road Central (the Bazaar); the site below Gough Street enclosed by a ring fence (Gibb, Livingston & Co.); Jervois Street (where the first Chinese piece goods trade settled), ending in the Upper Bazaar; the Civil Hospital site; and Saiyingpun.

Captain Elliot, whose attention and presence was required by the troubles brewing at Canton, consequent upon the disavowal of the Chuenpi Treaty, appointed Mr. A. R. Johnston, the Second Superintendent of Trade, to be Acting Governor of the Island of Hongkong. Mr. Johnston accordingly assumed charge of the local Government on behalf of Captain Elliot (June 22, 1841), assisted by Mr. J. R. Morrison, the Chinese Secretary. How little these three men, trained in the East India Company's service, understood the important bearing which the maintenance of free trade principles had on the future welfare of the new Colony, appears from the fact that in one of his earliest dispatches Mr. Johnston forwarded (June 28, 1841), with Captain Elliot's approval, a recommendation framed by Mr. Morrison to impose in England a differential duty of a penny per pound on tea imported from Hongkong. Happily the sinister suggestion was not listened to. But a mournful time now set in at Hongkong. With the progress made in terracing the hill sides, in road making, and excavating sites for houses, a peculiar malarial fever spread everywhere, thenceforth known as Hongkong fever. This fever arose wherever the ground, having been opened up for the first time, was exposed for some time to the heat of the sun and then to heavy rains. The troops encamped at West Point, above the present Fairlea (where the cantonment lines can still be traced) and below it, suffered most particularly. But the Chinese settlers at the foot of the same hill in the district called Saiyingpun (lit. Western English Camp) suffered likewise severely. Deaths now became frequent occurrences also among the European community, hospitals had to be hastily constructed, and the first cemetery (near the present St. Francis' Chapel, above Queen's Road East) began to fill. The death, by fever, of the Senior Naval Officer, Sir H. le Fleming Senhouse (June 13, 1841) cast a gloom over the whole community.

Moreover, this outburst of sickness was but the precursor of a terrific typhoon which soon after swept over the Colony. During the night from July 21st to 22nd, 1841, the harbour and the new settlement on shore presented a weird scene of heart-rending disasters. The overcrowded and badly built hospitals were all levelled to the ground, mat houses, booths and shanties were shattered and their fragments whirled through the air. Almost every bungalow or house on shore was unroofed, 6 foreign ships were totally lost, 4 were driven on shore, 22 were dismasted or otherwise injured, and the loss of life among the Chinese boat population was very great. The general impression among foreign residents during that dreadful night was that 'the last days of Hongkong seemed to be approaching.' Nevertheless, as soon as the typhoon was over, everybody set to work with unabated energy to repair the damages. The sick were sent on board improvised floating hospitals, the barracks, mat houses, bungalows, godowns, booths and huts were speedily made habitable again. When the typhoon recurved and, during the night of 25th to 26th, again burst over Hongkong, and levelled once more to the ground every frail structure, the residents of Hongkong had learned a valuable lesson: they now commenced to build a new style of godowns, such as should stand a typhoon, and houses which combined with spacious verandahs also strong walls and substantial roofs. There was little loss of life during the two typhoons among the European community. The Chinese boat people were the principal sufferers. Nevertheless His benevolent Majesty, the Emperor of China, rejoiced when he heard the news. Kikung and Eliang, the Viceroy and Governor of Canton, sent a hasty memorial to Peking, stating that at Hongkong innumerable foreign ships had been dashed to pieces, that innumerable foreign soldiers and Chinese traitors had been swept into the sea, that all their tents and matsheds, the new Praya, and so forth, had been utterly annihilated and that the sea was literally covered with corpses. On receipt of this news, the Emperor went forthwith in festive procession to the temple of the dragon god of the seas, and solemnly returned thanks for the destruction of Hongkong. An Imperial Edict, published with rejoicing all over the Empire, also proclaimed the judgment that had fallen on Hongkong, with the same display of inhumanity, contrary to the leading principle of Confucian ethics which declares humaneness to be the essential characteristic of civilized humanity.

This typhoon, by which Captain Elliot and Commodore Bremer were overtaken on their way (in the cutter Louise) from Macao to Hongkong, and themselves shipwrecked and well-nigh captured by the Chinese, was followed a few weeks later by a conflagration (August 12, 1841) which destroyed the greater part of the Bazaar. The very first period in the history of Hongkong brought thus to the front the three great enemies of local prosperity, fever, typhoons and conflagrations. Nevertheless the settlers persevered and the number of inhabitants steadily continued to increase from month to month. The provisional Government also continued to perfect its organization. A Harbour Master and Marine Magistrate was now appointed, in the person of Lieutenant W. Pedder, R.N., with Mr. A. Lena as Assistant Harbour Master. The hill, on which the Harbour Master established his quarters, has ever since been known as Pedder's Hill. The Public Works Department was organized by the appointment of Mr. J. R. Bird as Clerk of Works. Finally arrangements were made for the establishment of a Civil Hospital for foreign seamen. This was done under the influence of the generous offer of a donation of $12,000 by Mr. Herjeebhoy Rustomjee (June 23, 1841), and the arrangements were placed under the direction of a Committee consisting of Messrs. A. Anderson (Assistant Surgeon to H.M. Superintendents), James Matheson and J. R. Morrison. Unfortunately, however, the Committee neglected to secure payment of the donation.

On July 29, 1841, H.M.S. Phlegeton arrived in Hongkong with dispatches informing Captain Elliot of the disapproval of the Chuenpi Treaty by Her Majesty's Government and of the appointment of Sir H. Pottinger as Plenipotentiary. Captain Elliot's administration ended on August 10, 1841. A fortnight later he left Macao, with his family, accompanied by Sir J. J. Gordon Bremer, en route for Europe (August 24, 1841). As he embarked on the Atalanta, a Portuguese fort fired a salute of thirteen guns, but we read of no public address presented to him, nor of any honours bestowed either by the Hongkong community or by the Government on the man who found Hongkong a barren rock and left it a prosperous city. The new settlers on Hongkong, feeling the grievances they had in connection with Elliot's attitude towards the opium trade trade and his dishonoured Treasury bills, and subsequently learning the disavowal by the Government of his land sales, were unable at the time to do justice to Elliot's real merits. They indeed gave to what was once the most romantic glen on the Island the name 'Elliot's Vale,' but in later years, when it was shorn of much of its beauty, called it 'Glenealy.' Early in 1842, Sir Robert Peel, who soon after appointed Elliot as Consul-General for Texas (June 1, 1842), did some tardy justice to Elliot's memory by stating in the House of Commons, 'that, without giving any opinion on the conduct or character of Captain Elliot, during the occupancy of his difficult and embarrassing position at Canton, he nevertheless was disposed, from his intercourse with him since he returned home, to repose the highest confidence in his integrity and ability.'