Home Site Map Back

Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1858, Sunday, November 13, 1831

England and China.

The Canton Register of 26th May, received on Wednesday, announces that serious disputes had taken place between the English and Chinese. It appears that for some time before the conduct of the Chinese authorities in Canton had been such as to convince the Committee of British merchants that a rupture was inevitable. One of the Hong merchants had been accused of a "traitorous connexion with the English," upon which accusation he was committed to prison—and died. On the 12th of May things proceeded to extremities. Their excellencies the Foo Youen and the Hoppo, with a large body of armed attendants, forcibly entered the British Factory, broke open the gate, insulted the picture of the King, and committed various other outrages. In consequence of this Mr. Lindsay had given up formal possession of the keys to the Chinese authorities.

Letters received by this conveyance state that a great part of the Factory had been fired by the Chinese and burnt to the ground. The dispute is regarded as more serious than any that has occurred for many years. The following is a copy of a public notice issued by the Select Committee of British merchants on the 19th May:—

"Public Notice."

"From the disposition which has recently been shown in various acts of the Canton Government, the President and select Committee are under apprehension that British commerce with China cannot be conducted with credit or security while it remains exposed to them.

"They do, therefore, as representatives of the British nation in China, give this public notice, that, should the evils complained of remain unremedied, all commercial intercourse between the two countries will be suspended on the 1st of August next.

"By order of the Select Committee,
(Signed) "H. Lindsay, Secretary."
"British Factory, May 19."