British Chinese Workforce Heritage 英國華人職業傳承史

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.

1600-01-01 09:13:45

European anatomy arrives in China 歐洲的解剖學知識傳至中國

European knowledge of anatomy arrived in China from the 17th century onwards in the form of translations by Jesuit missionaries, but without any obvious therapeutic use it would have had little more than curiosity value.

1602-01-22 08:36:44

Dutch East India Company formed 荷蘭東印度公司成立

The Dutch United East India Company (Dutch:Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, VOC) was formed from various Dutch companies who had been making expeditions to Asia since 1595. This period marked the beginning of early modern trade and increased contact between Europe and Asia. The VOC soon became the largest of the early European trading empires until its liquidation in 1795.

1605-11-05 08:36:44

Gunpowder Plot in London 倫敦火藥陰謀

A group of Catholic protesters aimed to restore Protestant England to Catholicism by blowing up the House of Lords to assassinate King James I. However their plans were foiled at the last minute.

1639-10-10 16:24:03

The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 英倫三島戰爭

For twelve years England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales were embroiled in civil war. The most divisive conflict was the English Civil War which resulted in the execution of King Charles I.

1644-01-01 16:24:03

Foundation of the Qing Dynasty 清王朝成立

The Manchus (who invaded China from the North in 1618) finally conquered the Ming Dynasty and established themselves as the Qing Dynasty. Made up of Jurchen, Manchu, Tibetan and Mongolian banner troops the Qing Empire extended China's land mass dramatically to the North and the West. Although foreign to the Chinese majority Han population, the Qing adopted Confucian practices and became one of the longest lasting Chinese dynasties, till the Republican Revolution in 1911.

1660-01-01 02:37:05

The English Restoration 英國復辟

The English monarchy was restored under King Charles II.

1661-02-05 05:55:45

The Reign of Kangxi 康熙王朝

Kangxi was the longest reigning Chinese emperor and one of the longest reigning rulers in world history. During his reign he further extended the boundaries of Qing dynasty China to include Taiwan, Manchuria, Tibet, Mongolia, as well as parts of Korea and Russia. Kangxi's reign was a period of stability and prosperity in much of China. He was also interested in Western technology and installed many Jesuit missionaries at his court which helped with the creation of the first scientific map of China. He also compiled a new dictionary of Chinese characters. His reign represented the final consolidation of Manchu Qing rule over China.

1664-02-08 05:49:11

British occupation of New York 英軍佔領紐約

British troops captured New Amsterdam from the Dutch and renamed the city New York. Britain's strength as an imperial power was growing.

1672-01-01 21:06:07

The UK establishes a trading post in Taiwan 英國在台灣設立商貿據點

After the Portuguese successfully secured territorial rights in Macao and opened trading through some coastal ports in the Chinese mainland, British merchants followed in the 17th century. Their initial attempt to gain the concession to trade failed, but eventually the English East India Company managed to secure a trading post in Taiwan. This trading post was used as a base to launch direct and regular trade with the Chinese on the mainland, namely with Amoy (Xiamen), Chusan (Zhoushan) and Canton (Guangzhou). At the end of the 17th century, the base was moved to Canton. With its Royal Charter, the company was granted the privilege of the monopoly of trade in the East Indies until 1833.

1680-01-01 13:34:45

The Enlightenment in Europe 歐洲啟蒙運動

The Enlightenment was a period of great scientific achievement in Europe.

1683-01-01 16:24:03

Acupuncture techniques introduced to London 針灸的方式被引進到倫敦

Dutch doctor Wilhelm ten Rhijne's book - On Arthritis is published by the Royal Society in London, in which he discussed treatment for arthritis using acupuncture therapy.

1685-01-01 01:35:52

Shen Fu-Tsung visits the UK 沈福宗訪英

Micheal Alphonsius Shen Fu-Tsung (c. 1658-1691) was the first Chinese recorded to set foot in the UK in 1680s. The young Jesuit was invited to the court of King James II (1685-1688). During his stay he was assigned the task of cataloguing the Chinese collection of the Bodleian Library. A portrait of him still hangs in the Queen's collection.

1690-01-01 19:34:39

Chinese seamen arrive in the UK 華人海員抵英

Chinese seamen came to the UK on board East India Company ships. After arriving some settled in and around Limehouse near the docks in East London.

1694-07-27 00:00:00

The Bank of England is founded 英格蘭銀行成立

The Bank of England was established in Threadneedle Street - the second oldest bank in the world.

1706-01-01 13:52:45

Twinings begins importing Chinese tea to London 唐寧開始進口中國茶葉至倫敦

Tea was first imported from China and soon became a popular drink. By the 1750s it had overtaken ale and coffee as the most popular drink in London. Tea importers and manufacturers made much of their tea from Chinese origins.

1707-01-29 19:06:15

English doctor advocates Chinese medical ideas 英國醫生提倡中醫藥概念

Sir John Floyer, an English doctor published The Pulse Watch, in which he described and recommended the Chinese method of feeling the pulse because it could 'discern the part affected'. He believed that a combination of Chinese and European ideas about anatomy produced the best method.

1721-06-11 18:47:46

Chinese Smallpox Inoculation in the UK 中國預防天花的人痘接種術傳至英國

Chinese Smallpox inoculation was introduced to England through the Ottoman Empire (1299 - 1922). In 1721, the wife of a British ambassador, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, introduced Chinese smallpox inoculation to London. She had observed this practice in Constantinople and was greatly impressed. A year later, some members of the British royal family tried this practice; consequently the public gradually accepted it as well. However, British doctors retained varying attitudes towards Traditional Chinese Medicine in general.

1793-01-01 12:11:14

Chinese Workforce during Napoleonic Wars 拿破崙戰爭時僱用華人勞工

During the Napoleonic wars, other British companies started to hire Chinese seamen, replacing British seamen who had been called up to the Royal Navy. The first Chinese recruited to provide military support for the British were also recruited for support roles during the Napoleonic wars.

1805-01-01 19:34:39

British Chinese Citizen Recorded 首位英籍華人英籍

John Anthony (his Chinese name unknown), of the East India Company became the first British Chinese citizen. He worked for the shipping company finding accommodation for Chinese seamen and lived in Shadwell, East London. This was so rare that it required a separate act of Parliament.

1830-01-01 18:47:46

Chinese community established in Liverpool 利物浦成立華人社區

Because of its strategic position as a maritime city, many Chinese seamen were stationed in Liverpool and the first Chinese community in Europe developed gradually there in the 1830s.

1838-01-01 05:55:45

Chinese Studies at UCL 倫敦大學學院的漢學研究

Chinese Studies was first offered at UCL, University of London in 1838. The course was first taught by the Rev Samuel Kidd (1804-1943) who had spent many years as a missionary in Malacca. Chinese Studies continued at UCL until 1887 when languages were transferred to King’s College London. This was ancestral to developments in the field at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

1842-01-01 12:11:14

First Opium War and The Treaty of Nanking: Hong Kong is ceded to the UK 第一次鴉片戰爭及南京條約:香港島被割讓給英國

In the 18th century the British East India Company began importing Opium into China to meet the demand for tea in the UK. However this caused tension with authories in China where opium was illegal and resulted in a series of wars know as the 'Opium Wars.' In the conflict the Chinese were defeated by the UK's superior military forces and the British began negotiations with the Qing government in Nanking. Known as the first of the 'Unequal Treaties' the treaty of Nanking was signed on the 29th August, 1842. The defeated Qing Dynasty ceded Hong Kong Island to the British; opened up five ports to trade; and had to pay over $21 million of reparations to Britain in silver.

1851-01-01 05:47:01

1851 Census 人口普查

The census recorded a Chinese population of 78 in England and Wales.

1854-01-01 05:47:01

Yan Fu 嚴復

Yan Fu (1854-1921) studied English at Fuzhou Naval Academy where he graduated with honours. In 1877, he was one of the first overseas students to enrol at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. After completing his studies in the UK he returned to his alma mater, Fuzhou Naval Academy, as a lecturer and translator. Yan Fu later became President of Fudan University (1906) and President of the University of Peking (1911). Yan Fu is recognised as a pioneer scholar who introduced Western economic, political and social ideas into China. His most important translations include the prominent writings of Adam Smith, Thomas Huxley, John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer. Yan Fu’s renditions influenced later scholars and revolutionaries including Hu Shih, Lu Xun and Mao Zedong.

1855-01-01 19:06:15

Wong Fun completes his PhD at Edinburgh University 黃寬在愛丁堡大學取得博士學位

Wong Fun (1829-1878) was one of the very first students to come to the UK to study Western knowledge for the development of China. He was born in Xiangshan, Guangdong and attended the Morrison Education Society School in Hong Kong. In 1847, he travelled to Massachusetts to study literature with two other Chinese students. A year later, he went to Edinburgh where he qualified as a physician before reading for a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Pathology. In Edinburgh he became involved with the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society. He later joined the London Missionary Society, with whom he returned to China as a medical missionary. He pioneered new surgical techniques and became well known for his work during the cholera outbreak in Hong Kong (1873). Wong Fun eventually moved to Beijing to become the Medical Adviser to the Qing Dynasty Premier Li Hongzhang.

1857-01-01 13:52:45

The Strangers Home established in Limehouse “異鄉人收容所”在萊姆豪斯成立

Built and funded by a variety of missionary bodies, the “Strangers Home for Asians, Africans and South Sea Islanders” was opened in Limehouse on West India Dock Road. It provided accommodation and food for foreign sailors, and many Chinese sailors stayed there. In its first twenty years it housed and fed over 5,000 sailors, many were destitute, and the home became a place of sanctuary. It also housed a Christian library and was a venue through which missionaries tried to convert sailors during their stay in London. The Home remained open until 1937 when it closed due to lack of funds.

1858-09-29 09:13:45

Second Opium War and Colonial Labour Export 第二次鴉片戰爭 第一次殖民勞工輸出

This second conflict, also know as the 'Arrow War' was sparked off when a British ship was seized in Canton for engaging in piracy. This was deemed an insult to the British flag by the then governer of Hong Kong, Sir John Bowring, who quickly ordered the bombardment of Canton, though he later regreted this 'miserable affair'. The outcome of the war was similar to the first Opium war with the Qing govenment signing treaties opening more ports to trade, paying indemnities to Britain and allowing Britain, the USA, France and Russia to open embassies in Beijing.A clause of the Treaty of Tianjin allowed Britain and France to recruit Chinese to the British colonies as cheap labour, used as a means to replace slaves after slavery was abolished by Britain in 1833. They were recruited to the Americas, Australia and other colonies as 'Coolie' labour. One theory links the title Coolie with the Chinese phrase 'Ku Li' or 'Bitter Work.'

1861-01-01 05:47:01

1861 Census 人口普查

The census recorded a Chinese population of 147 in England and Wales.

1865-10-13 16:14:38

Blue Funnel Line Europe to China steamship 藍煙囪的蒸汽船航線由歐洲直航至中國

The first direct steamship service from Europe to China was established by the Blue Funnel Line, owned by Alfred and Phillip Holt in Liverpool. During this period large numbers of Chinese seamen were recruited to work on this shipping route and the rate of shipping between the UK and China increased. Chinese crew members were employed on lower than average wages.

1869-01-01 01:49:05

Opening of the Suez Canal 蘇伊士運河開通

With the opening of the Suez canal, the shipping times between Europe and Asia were reduced, facilitating an increase in volume. Regular trade networks emerged carrying goods from the industrial heartlands of Britain and goods and products from across Asia and Africa, tea, sugar and spices. Most of these ships were staffed with a mixture of Chinese and Lascar crews.

1871-01-01 00:49:05

1871 Census 人口普查

The census recorded a Chinese population of 201 in England and Wales.

1876-01-01 03:07:33

Wu Tingfang is called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn, London 伍廷芳在倫敦林肯律師學院進行答辯

Wu Tingfang (1842-1922), also known as Ng Choy, was born in the Straits Settlement known today as Malacca. One of the first Chinese to study in the UK, he trained at UCL and became a barrister in 1876. He later returned to Hong Kong and became a Legislative Councillor there. He was appointed Foreign Minister to the USA, Spain and Peru (1896-1902) and (1907-1909) under the Qing Dynasty. Wu briefly acted as premier in the early years of the Republic of China.

1876-08-21 16:14:38

The Chefoo Convention 煙台條約

Following the murder of a British Official, Augustus Raymond Margary in Yunnan province in 1875, the Chefoo Convention was signed by Thomas Wade and Li Hung-chang (Li Hongzhang) in Yantai, Shandong Province. The treaty was considered to be another of the Unequal Treaties imposed on China at this time as it called not only for the murderers to be brought to justice, but for a formal apology mission to be sent to the UK and the opening of five more ports to British trade. Guo Songtao led the mission and opened up diplomatic relations between the UK and China.

1877-01-01 13:17:30

First Chinese students arrive in London 倫敦首批華人留學生

In 1877 twelve state-sponsored Chinese graduates left China to study the intellectual and technological basis of British naval power. Having already learnt European languages working in Fuzhou’s progressive dockyard, they were able to study seamanship, ship building and navigation at the Royal Naval College at Greenwich. This marked the start of academic and naval exchanges between China and Britain. Some brilliant graduates went on to reform education, medicine, and the military and naval academies in China. Given their superior linguistic skills, they also had a professional advantage at a time when the Qing government was forced to adopt new forms of international diplomacy. Subsequently Chinese students also studied the arts and humanities and left a rich resource that helps chart Chinese impressions of London and the UK.

1877-01-02 16:14:38

Chinese Legation in London, under minister Guo Sontao 郭嵩燾任命為中國駐英使臣

The first Chinese government minister Guo Songtao (1818-1891) visited Britain and established diplomatic relations between the UK and China for the first time in modern times. He set up a Chinese legation in London and took up residence in the court of King James for one year before he went on to France to open diplomatic relations with Paris.

1879-01-01 13:17:30

The Sacred Books of China published in England 《中國經典》出版

James Legge, the missionary translator published the Sacred Books of China as part of the 50 volume Oxford University Press Sacred Books of the East collection Legge went on to be first professor of Chinese at Oxford University.

1880-01-01 11:07:08

Chinatown develops in London's Limehouse 萊姆豪斯,倫敦的唐人街

London's first Chinatown emerged in the last decades of the nineteenth century around the docklands area of Limehouse in London where many Chinese seamen had settled. By 1890 two distinct communities existed in London: one around Pennyfields, Amoy Place and Ming Street where mainly Shanghainese Chinese settled; the other around Gill Street and Limehouse Causeway mainly populated by Chinese from Canton and Southern China. Limehouse continued to be an important area of settlement for Chinese seamen and other migrants until after the Second World War. Many grocery stores and eating houses existed there near the docks. They catered mostly to the local Chinese seamen and there was no evidence they were patronized by Western customers.

1880-01-01 19:06:15

Chinese Freemasons Hall established in Liverpool 華人組織洪門在利物浦成立

The Chinese Freemasons Hall was established in Cleveland Square, an area near the docks in Liverpool where many seamen settled. Known as Che Kung Tong the organisation had links with the Republican movement in China and is connected with similar societies all around the world. In 1947 after their premises in Pitt Street had been destroyed during the Second World War Chinese seamen raised funds for Che Kung Tong to purchase a new premises on Nelson Street. Today the organisation still holds gatherings and celebrations for the Chinese community.

1884-01-01 03:07:33

Chinese Laundry opens in Newington 華人洗衣店的開張

There were reports of a Chinese Laundry opened in Newington, London.

1884-01-02 03:07:33

Chinese food served at the Health Exhibition 在英國的健康展覽會上首次供應中餐

Chinese food was introduced to Britain for the first time at the International Health Exhibition held in South Kensington in London. At the exhibition the Chinese Restaurant was an extremely popular attraction. It was organised by Sir Robert Hart, of the Chinese Maritime Customs who recruited chefs from Beijing and Guangzhou to cook an elaborate menu including Bird's Nest Soup and Lotus Seeds.

1887-01-22 08:36:44

Educational Reform in China 中國教育改革

Zhang Zhidong, and other educational reformers of the Qing government organised and encouraged students to study abroad. Many Chinese graduates returned and contributed to the development of their country in a remarkable fashion. Some, however, stayed on in the UK after their studies. From this time a steady flow of Chinese students arrived in the UK to study, in universities like Cambridge and LSE.

1891-01-01 13:52:45

1891 Census 人口普查

The census recorded a Chinese population of 582 in England and Wales.

1892-12-01 17:22:28

Chinese doctor advocates Western medicine 中國醫生提倡西方醫藥

Zhu Peiwen pioneered the integration of Chinese and Western medicine in the Huayang Zangxiang Yuezuan (A Combination of Chinese and Western Anatomy Illustration).

1896-01-01 13:17:30

Luo Fenglu knighted 羅豐祿封爵

Luo Fenglu (1850-1901) is knighted by Queen Victoria for his efforts as a diplomat. Luo came from a Hakka military family in Fuzhou Province and trained at Fuzhou Navel College. In 1877, he was one of the first Chinese students to arrive in Britain, studying navigation at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. After this, he studied mathematics and philosophy at King’s College London. When he returned to China he became Director of the Fuzhou dockyard and helped modernise China’s navy. His ability in international diplomacy and his posting to the UK were certainly facilitated by his skills as interpreter and translator.

1900-12-18 08:37:56

Chinese Mutual Aid Associations Established 華人互助會的成立

In the early 1900s, London and Liverpool were the cities where most Chinese lived and Chinese mutual aid associations were set up to cater for their needs. Members of those associations were provided assistance by associations in cases of exploitation. They also arranged burials for their members.

1901-12-01 17:22:28

Chinese Laundry recorded in London 倫敦華人洗衣店開張

The first officially recorded Chinese run laundry opened in Poplar. However it had been quickly attacked and destroyed by hostile crowds.

1904-01-01 00:00:00

Lu Gwei-Djen 魯桂珍

Lu Gwei-Djen (1904 – 1991) is renowned for inspiring and co-writing Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilisation in China. However, Lu was also a distinguished scientist and builder of cultural bridges in her own right. Lu and Needham first met in 1937, when she arrived in Cambridge to pursue a PhD with his wife. This led to a romantic and intellectual partnership that lasted more than 50 years. Lu spent the war years as a researcher in America, returning to Europe in 1945. She worked for the Sino-British Science Cooperation before moving to Paris to set up UNESCO, and then settled in Cambridge.

1906-12-01 17:22:28

Chun Yee Society Established 正義工商會成立

The Chun Yee Society and Sunday School is established in Limehouse just off the West India Dock Road as a mutual aid association for Chinese seamen working in the docks. Chun Yee is the oldest Chinese community centre in London and although there are no seamen left in Limehouse today the centre still provides services for London’s Chinese community.

1907-01-01 17:22:28

Oi Tung Association opens in Limehouse, Oi Tung 愛同協會在萊姆豪斯成立

The Oi Tung Association is reported to be established in Limehouse.

1907-12-01 17:22:28

Early Chinese Restaurants in London, Liverpool 倫敦、利物浦開始成立中餐館

There are many contradictory reports about where the first Chinese restaurant was in the UK. According to the British Museum, Chinese restaurants opened in London and Liverpool in 1907. The existence of one, called 'The Chinese Restaurant' at 4-6 Glasshouse Street Piccadilly was confirmed by evidence in the London Metropolitan Archives, it was opened in 1908.

British Chinese Workforce Heritage 英國華人職業傳承史

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