British Chinese Armed Forces Heritage

This timeline displays the history of Chinese workers in the UK from the seventeenth century to the present day. Development and Research: Rosa Kurowska. Translation: Elise Zhi Li; Steven Shi; Aubrey Ko. Photography: Ming-Ai (London) Institute) Illustration: Ryszard Rybicki 2009.

1513-01-01 09:13:45

Expansion of Trades Routes Both Eastwards and Westwards 東部和西部貿易線路的擴張

The decline of the Mongol Empire, and the rise of the Ottoman rule of the Islamic World in the early 1300s led to a decline in the Silk Road. Increasing mercantilism led European explorers to seek new routes to the east. The Treaties of Tordesillas (1494) & Saragossa (1529) imposed by Papal authority divided the world into a Spanish & Portuguese duopoly of trading rights – the Spanish concentrating on South America, and the Portuguese on the East Indies and China. In 1513, Jorge Álvares became the first Portuguese to land in China.

1535-01-01 09:13:45

Portugal Meets Macau 當葡萄牙碰遇見澳門

In 1535, Portuguese traders obtained the rights to anchor ships in Macau's harbours and to carry out trading activities, though not the right to stay onshore.

1557-01-01 09:13:45

Portuguese Settle in Macau Permanently 葡萄牙人在澳門永久定居

The Portuguese establish a permanent settlement in Macau.

1564-01-01 09:13:45

Portuguese Expansion during the Mercantilist Era 葡萄牙於重商主義時代的擴大

By 1564, Portugal commanded western trade with India, Japan, and China. This coincides with the rise of European mercantilism. The Dutch and French begin to rival Spain and Portugal in seeking out overseas trade, but in particular, Elizabethan England begin to pursue overseas enterprises – at first in North America, West Africa, Bengal and the East Indies.

1600-01-01 09:13:45

British East India Company Formed 英國東印度公司的組成

The British East India Company (HEIC) was formed as a private joint-stock enterprise by shareholder investment, and was granted a Royal Charter to pursue trade with the East Indies – particularly in the lucrative markets of cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium, but ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and Qing China.

1602-01-01 09:13:45

Dutch East India Company Formed 荷蘭東印度公司的形成

The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) is raised in Amsterdam – over the next four decades they progressively eject both the Portuguese and the HEIC from their various small toeholds in the East Indies.

1637-11-05 08:36:44

British Fail in Macau 英國人在澳門的失敗

Captain John Wendell arrived in Macau on 27 June 1637 with four heavily armed merchant ships intent on taking some of Portugal’s trade monopoly with China, and opening trade between Britain and China. After upsetting both the Portuguese and the Ming Chongzhen Emperor (Zhu Youjian), they were forced to leave on 27 December 1637 in failure.

1644-06-06 08:36:44

Li Zicheng Captures Beijing 李自成拿下京城

In China, the rebel army of Li Zicheng captures Beijing and the Chongzhen Emperor (Zhu Youjian) hangs himself, signalling that the Manchu Qing Dynasty overthrows the Ming Dynasty (although the Kangxi Emperor’s conquest is not finally complete until 1683).

1684-01-01 02:37:05

Foreigners Permitted to Trade with China 外國人獲准與中國交易

In 1684, the Kangxi Emperor (Xuanye) of the Qing Dynasty allowed foreigners to trade with China in the four cities of Canton (Guangzhou), Amoy (Xiamen), Sungkiang (Songjiang), and Ningpo (Ningbo) – in the case of Canton, this led to the establishment of the ‘Thirteen Factories’ – a series of warehouses and offices which served as the sole legal site of European trade with China between 1757 (when the Canton System was formally introduced) and 1842. The major business houses that grew up around the factory system were to become known as ‘Hongs’.

1685-01-01 02:37:05

Shen Fu-Tsung Visits Britian 沈福宗訪英

Michael Shen Fu-Tsung (c.1658-1691) visits Britain and meets the English King James II. Shen Fu-Tsung was from Nanjing and converted to Catholicism after it was brought to Europe by the Jesuit priest Philippe Couplet. They left Macao in 1961 and visited together Southern Netherlands, the Papal States, France and England. His portrait was painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723), and entitled “The Chinese Convert”, 1685.

British Chinese Armed Forces Heritage

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