SIR HENRY POTTINGER BART G. C. B. , Her Britannic Majesty's

Plenipotentiary, & c. & c. in China, deems it advisable to direct the republication of

the annexed order of Her Majesty The Queen in Council of the 24th day of February

843 , and also the publication of copies of a Communication received from His Excel-

Jency the Imperial Commissioner, Keying, under date the 8th of this month, and of

the reply afforded to it on the 11th Instant ; relative to merchant vessels , under British

colours going for purposes of trade or commerce, to any other Port of China except

the five that have been declared open by Treaty.


In enjoining due attention and obedience, on the part of all Her Majesty's

Subjects, to the said order in Council, Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, &c . thinks it

right under the Powers he holds , to explain and notify by this Proclamation, that,

looking to the great extent ofthe Sea Coast of China, as well as to the difficulty which

attends its navigation, in one or other direction, at most seasons of the year, owing to

the strength of the prevailing winds [ the South west and North-cast Monsoons ] it

will not be looked upon, or held to be, in any degree a breach or violation " of the

said order in Council should British vessels approach and anchor for safety, or shelter,

near the Coast of China or in any of its Road- steads, or Inlets, lying to the Southward

of the Embouchure of the Yan-tse-Kiang River but all Her Britannic Majesty's Sub-

jects must henceforward clearly bear in view, and understand , not only from this Pro

clamation and its accompaniments, but from the IV Article of the Abstract of the

Supplementary Treaty, promulgated for general information on the 18th of this month,

the risk they will run by attempting, in opposition to the stipulations of the Treaty, to

trade elsewhere than at one of the five Ports.

Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary & c. , further thinks it right to explain and notify

by this Proclamation, that as none of the Ports to be opened agreeable to the Treaty,

for purposes of trade and Commerce, lie to the Northward of the point indicated above,

[ viz, the Embouchure of the Yang- tse Kiang River ] he Las, in virtue of the authority

vested in him, and pending the gracious pleasure of Her Majesty ; fixed that point as

the limit to which British Merchant vessels may proceed without being taken to be

guilty of a contravention of the Treaty, and accordingly all Subjects of the Crown of

England, are hereby warned and given distinctly to understand, that any British Mor-

chant vessel that may be positively known or discovered , to have visited any Part of

the Sea Coast of China higher up than the 32nd degree of North latitude [ unless she

should be forced by absolute stress of weather] will be assumed to have gone there, in

violation of Her Majesty's said order in Council and of this Proclamation , and the

necessary measures will be taken for her being detained by any of Her Majesty's Ships

that may fall in with her, with a view to her being sent to long- Kong for inquiry and


In conclusion, Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, & c ., most specially and solemnly

warns all Her Majesty's Subjects against any act of violence, --no matter what the

alleged cause or pretence may be, towards any of the Officers or people, of China " . If

Merchant vessels will go to Trade at any of the Ports of China not opened by Treaty

for purposes of Trade or Commerce it is self evident that they voluntarily expose them-

selves, after the fullest and oft repeated warnings , to the chances of being attacked and

driven away, or seized and confiscated, and in either case not only will they receive no

protection or countenance from Her Majesty's Ships of War or other Authorities, in

China, but they will if they attempt to defend themselves, and loss of Ife or bloodshed

should ensue, be seized as Pirates, and brought to Hongkong to await the decision and

commands of Her Majesty's Government .


Dated at the Government House, at

Victoria, Hongkong, October 24th, 1813.






WHEREAS by an Act. passed in the session of Parliament holden in the third and fourth years of

the reign of His late Majesty King William the Fourth, intituled " An Act to regulate the trade to China

and India," it was, amongst other things, enacted , that it should and might be lawful for His Majesty,

by any such Order or Orders, Commission or Commissions, as to His Majesty in Council should appear

expedient and salutary, to give to the Superintendents in the said Act mentioned, or any of them ,

powers and authorities over and in respect of the trade and commerce of His Majesty's subjects within

any part ofthe dominions of the Emperor of China, and to make and issue directions and regulations

touching the said trade and commerce, and for the government of His Majesty's subjects within the

said dominions, and to impose penalties, forfeitures, or imprisonments for the breach of any such direc-

tions or regulations, to be enforced in such manner as in the said Order or Orders should be specified :

Now, therefore, Her Majesty in Council is pleased by, and with the advice of Her Privy Council,

to prohibit, and doth hereby prohibit Her subjects from resorting, for the purposes of trade and commerce,

to any other ports in the dominions ofthe Emperor of China than those of Canton, Amoy, Foo-chow -foo,

Ningpo, and Shanghaee, or than may be in the occupation of Her Majesty's forces ; and Her Majesty

is pleased to order, that any of Her subjects, committing a breach or violation of this direction, shall,

upon conviction thereof in any of Her Majesty's Courts of Record or Vice-Admiralty, be, for every

such offence , liable to a penalty, not exceeding one hundred pounds, or to imprisonment, for a term

not exceeding three months, at the discretion of the Court before which the conviction shall take place ;

and Her Majesty is hereby further pleased to order, that all proceedings, which may be had under this

Order, shall be, as far as circumstances will permit, in conformity with the Law of England :

And the Right Honourable the Earl of Aberdeen, and the Right Honourable Lord Stanley, two

of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State ; the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury :

and the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral ; are to give the necessary

directions herein as to them may respectively appertain.


KEYING, High Commissioner of the Imperial Family, Guardian of the Prince, Governor General

of Kiang soo and Kiang-se, & c. & c., hereby makes this Official Communication .

It appears, that the High Officers of Chih- le and Shantung have on different occasions, and inde-

pendently of each other, memorialized the throne to the following effect.

On the 9th day of the 7th moon of this present year ( 4th August ) two, two-masted Foreign ves-

sels were first seen at sea in the district of Tang-ching, in Shantung, whence they proceeded to an

island called Lew-Kung-taon , in the district of Wan-tâng, where they cast anchor. On the 10th day

of the said moon ( 5th August ) three foreigners, five Canton men, and one man from Kiang-se, landed

from a Ship's boats and distributed hand-bills, to the effect that they had woollens, miscellaneous ar-

ticles, Opium in large and small balls, &c., & c., for sale, and wished forthwith to commence traffic-

king with our people, but as our people did not dare to hold any clandestine dealings with them, they

returned to their ship and sailed away.-On the 11th day ( 6 August ) they went to an island called

Chee-fow-taon in the district of Teâh shan, where they cast anchor. On the 29th day ( 24th August )

they sailed to outside of the sands called Tan-kiang-sha near Ta Koo - Kow ( i. e . the mouth of the

Poi- ho ) in Chih-le, where they again anchored . Thereupon the Commandant and Intendant of

Tien-tsin went on board the ship, and saw there upwards of twenty men, who spoke with a Canton

accent and fifty or sixty foreigners, black and white. A linguist of the surname of Teang, said, that

the ship belonged to Your Honorable Nation, and that she had taken on board a cargo of Cotton-cloths,

woollens & c . & c ., at Sinchow-foo ( Singapore ? ) which they had brought on for sale ; and at the

same time they exhibited a bill of parcels for inspection, from the Hong Tih-li. The Commandant and

Intendant immediately told them, that Tien-tsin was a place where commercial intercourse was not

permitted , but as the people on board that ship [or these ships] wished to buy provisions, the Mandarins

forthwith supplied their wants, and would receive no payment ; and in fine on the 1st day of the 7th

intercalary moon ( 25th August ) they got up anchor and stood away towards the South .

Now I, the High Commissioner, have received the Imperial Commands to ascertain from Your

Excellency, what ships these are, that thus unauthorizedly and clandestinely go from place to place,

and to impress upon Your Excellency that they must be all rigidly restrained upon one and the same

principle, and they may not look out for or hope to obtain other places, as open markets, than those

stipulated for in the Treaty.

I find , that these ships went to Chih-le and Shantung before that Your Excellency had issued a

proclamation forbidding them to do so, and moreover as they went away oftheir own accord, there

is no occasion now to say any thing more upon that head ; only, instancing these ships whether Your

Excellency may or may not know whence they came, and whither they went , yet this being the time

when the different ports are now opened to your lawful trade, and the articles of the Supplementary

Treaty being now settled and agreed upon, it would be well if Your Excellency would immediately

Issue a proclamation to the effect that, one month after the date of said proclamation, viz. after the 15th

day of the 9th Moon ( 6th November ) any vessel that did not obey orders and keep within bounds,.

. should be liable to confiscation both ship and cargo, in accordance with the new Commercial Regula-

tions, recently established by mutual consent,

For as much as I now make this Official Communication, that Your Excellency may take the

steps that appear necessary, and I beg that Your Excellency will also send me an answer in course

An important Official Communication.

To His Excellency,


H. B. Ms. Plenipotentiary &c. &c . &c.

Taou -Kwang 23rd Year 8th Moon 15th day, ( 8th October, 1843. )

A true translation, (Signed ) R. THOM .

Asst. Trans. and Interpreter,

To H. Ms. Comm. in China.

( True Copy, )



I HAVE duly received and fully understood Your Excellency's Communication ofthe 8th instant,

relative to two, two masted vessels having, during the month of August last, appeared off the Coasts

of Shantung and Chih-le, and there having wished to trade in a variety of Goods, which were described

1 in certain Hand- Bills

I do not think from the circumstance of the Ships having Canton Linguists and men on board,

that they could have been from Singapore, nor am I quite certain that they were really English Vessels,

although they so described themselves : I shall adopt the necessary steps for ascertaining these points,

if possible, and in the mean time, I will issue a Proclamation to the effect pointed out by Your Excel-

lency, and will likewise adopt such other restrictive rules, as may seem calculated to entirely suppress

the practice of foreign trading vessels, going beyond the bounds fixed by the Treaty.

I have more than ten times previously explained to your Excellency and other High Chinese

Officers, that the great and final remedy for this disobedience and evil, rests in the hands of the local

authorities ; and I am most happy to observe that that remedy was applied on this occasion .- I allude

to the people of the Country being carefully restrained from dealing, or holding intercourse, with the

vessels. If this rule be only rigidly enforced, the object is gained, for the sole motive for their straying

beyond bounds is the hope of profit, and where nothing can be sold, not only is no profit to be had, but

considerable expense or, in other words, loss is to be incurred.

In addition to strictly prohibiting and restraining the people from dealing or holding intercourse,

with such vessels, the vessels should on no pretence, be furnished with, or even allowed to buy provis

jons , and I would further strongly recommend, that all the local authorites of the Sea Coasts of

Shantung and Chih -le, should be instructed to seize and detain any Chinese Linguists, or other such

persons , who may be found in these vessels, and not to release them, until they shall have paid a fine of land from

at least $ 1,000 each, to the Public Treasury. If Your Excellency approves of this suggestion , I hope

you will make it public, and I will likewise include a notice of it in my forthcoming Proclamation,

and as the said Linguists, and all the Chinese who sail in these vessels, must be the subjects of the

Imperial Government, they will not be so fool-hardy as to incur such risks for the mere profit of others.

Should an attempt be made by force, by any vessel , to release Linguists and such persons seized

and detained, as above suggested ; that attempt will, of course, be repelled, and the authority ofthe

local Officers vindicated and upheld . I trust nothing of the kind will ever occur, but should it unfor-

tunately so happen. the moment it reaches my ears, I shall order the offending vessel, wherever she may

be found in China, if under English Colors, to be seized as a Pirate, and brought to Hongkong to await

the decision and Commands of Her Britannic Majesty's Government.

I trust , that this Official communication in reply will be satisfactory to Your Excellency, and the

Imperial Government, and I close it by assuring your of my constant anxiety to enforce amongst all

British Subjects the most scrupulous obedience to the provisions ofthe Treaty. I may add, that I have

every hope now that the five ports are about to be formally opened, that the irregularities which have

hitherto been practised will cease, and that all classes will see, how little profit is to be looked for, and

how much risk run, by deviating from the prescribed path of Commerce.

A most important Communication in reply.


His Excellency.


& c. & c. & c .

True Copy .







Government Notification .

The annexed General Memorandum , issued under date the 7th instant by His Excellency

Vice Admiral Sir William Parker G. C. B. , Naval Commander in Chief, &c. , & c. , is published for

the information and guidance of all Her Britannic Majesty's Subjects and others whom it may


By Order of His Excellency Her Britannic Majesty's Plenipotentiary, Chief Superintendent

of Trade &c., in China .


Government House, Victoria ,

(Hongkong), November 9th, 1843. }

General Memorandum .

Cornwallis at Hongkong, 7th November, 1843 .

The respective Captains, Commanders, and Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's Ships

and Vessels, and those of the Indian Navy in the China Seas, will receive herewith a copy of the

Proclamation of Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, dated the 24th of October 1843, and a republication

ofHer Majesty's Order in Council of the 24th ofFebruary 1843, also, the Copies ofthe Communications

between Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary and the Chinese High Commissioner " Keying," to which

their strict attention is directed.

They will observe, that these documents provide for the Officers of the Chinese Govern-

ment preventing trade to the Southward of the " Yang-tze-keang " River, being carried on else-

where than at the five Ports opened by Treaty, viz: " Canton, " " Amoy," " Foo-chow- foo,"


Ningpo," and " Shanghae."

All Vessels under British Colors are interdicted from passing to the Northward of the 32d

degree of North Latitude, on any part of the Sea Coast of China ; and if any British Merchant

Vessel shall be met with, that may be positively known, or discoverd to have so visited any

part thereof, in contravention of Her Majesty's Order in Council, unless forced so to do, from

absolute stress of weather, she becomes liable thereby to be detained, and sent to " Hongkong "

for inquiry, and adjudication.

British Vessels which have voluntarily exposed themselves, after the warnings they have

received, to the chances of being attacked, and driven away, or seized , and confiscated by the

Chinese Authorities, are not to receive protection from Her Majesty's Ships ; and should they

attempt to defend themselves, and thereby lead to loss of life, or bloodshed, they are to be seized,

and brought to Hongkong, to be adjudged of according to Law.

Vessels having no Flag, or Register, or Sailing Letter, should be sent into a British Port, for

a breach of the Law of Nations, and the Navigation Laws of Great Britain.

The respective Captains, Commanders, and Commanding Officers will also observe, that any

Persons landing at any Place in China for purposes of trade and Commerce, except the five Ports

before mentioned, will render themselves liable to seizure and detention by the Chinese Authorities,

until they pay a fine of one thousand dollars each Person ; and it is therefore to be hoped and

expected that Linguists, or other Subjects of China will not be sent on shore as the medium of

Communication. except at the five Ports aforesaid.

(Signed) W. PARKER, Vice Admiral.

To the respective Captains, Commanders, and Commanding

Officers of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels,

and those of the Indian Navy employed and

to be employed in the China Seas.


Printed at the

Hongkong Register Office .



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