Zhejiang

Hangchow  (Hangzhou)

Near the mouth of the Fuchun River, and on the southern stretch of the Grand Canal. Opened to trade under the Japanese Treaty of 1895. An unsuitable site close to the police station in the foreign settlement was acquired by a consul, against Cowan’s advice, and, since it needed a great deal of filling to bring it above flood level, was later sold. A much more promising site for the consulate was bought in 1897 on the opposite bank of the Grand Canal to the settlement and custom house sites, about six miles north of the city. A consular house and offices, designed by Cowan, were completed here in 1901 for £2,500. The post was closed in 1922, though most of its work had been transferred to Ningpo a few years earlier and the property let to the Asiatic Petroleum Company in 1919: it was sold to a Mr Olaf Thoresen in 1926.

Consul’s house, main frontage, 1911.

Ningpo  (Ningbo)

A river port, ten miles from the mouth of the Yung river, about 100 miles south of Shanghai, opened as a result of the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. A consular post was established in 1844. Trade, like at Foochow, was slow to develop and at one stage Ningpo was reduced to a vice-consulate. By the time that Crossman visited in 1869, a two-storey consulate, designed by a government surveyor in Hong Kong, Wilberforce Wilson, was under construction on the bank of the river in an excellent 1½ acre compound opposite the town: Crossman instructed that piles should be driven for a second house in case trade increased (which it never did). Title deed dated 1874 refers to this compound, later also to contain offices and constable’s quarters with lock-up, as being Lot 16 [?106] in the 8th ward of the Foreign Settlement. The residence was let 1929-32 to the Chinese government’s Salt Administration, and then to others. Eventually sold in 1947 [?57] to the Wei Kong Lumber Company. When Post close?

Frontage of consul’s house, c.1910.

Wilson’s proposed layout for consulate compound, 1864.

Ground floor plan of consul’s house, 1864.

Consul’s house, c.1900.

Offices and constables quarters, c.1910.

Wenchow  (Wenzhou)

A port on the Ou River, about 12 miles from its mouth, between Ningpo and Foochow. Wenchow was opened to trade as a result of the 1876 Chefoo Convention but it never attracted much activity. The first consulate was rented in a temple on Conquest Island, a small island in the middle of the river opposite the walled city. A narrow site on the same island was leased in 1885 for 20 years, thereafter annually renewable, and extended in 1892. The first designs proposed by Marshall in 1892 were for a two-storey building for the residence with office, but this became a three-storey proposal in 1894. The building, and constable’s quarter and lock-up, were completed in 1895. Foreign trade failed to prosper, and in 1900 the consul, customs staff and missionaries were the only foreign residents. Soon afterwards, the consul was withdrawn and replaced by monthly visits by the Ningpo consul. The property was conveyed to the Chinese Maritime Customs in 1925. [Jiangxi Islet is today a renowned and idyllic spot, and the consulate still stands.]

Consul’s house and offices,c.1910.

Location plan, with Conquest Island lying off the city, 1880s.

Chinese illustration of site agreement, 1885.

Constable’s quarters, c.1910.

Wenchow city plan, c.1877.

Marshall’s proposals, 1894.

Conquest Island, c.1877.

Proposed elevation of house and offices, 1892.

Proposed floor plans, 1892.