This post is part of my ongoing research about the life of Sir Thomas Jackson. His story will be included in an upcoming book that I am writing entitled:
The Silver Bowl: The Surprisingly Irish Roots of HSBC.
At seven pages in length, this post may be a bit daunting for some. The first part will be of general interest. The latter half is just a list with brief descriptions of the 14 Governors (or Administrators who stood in as Governors) who had Irish roots, or else were men who married Irish wives. I reckon that both count.
- Goods. Many of them became traders and merchants, often starting with or including work with the East India Company.
- Guns. More than 50% of the British army in the colonies was Irish-born and in places like India, the percentage of Irish was considerably higher. Their experiences and connections forged in battle often resulted in their appointments in the next category.
- Government. I do not have stats on how many Irish-born men were in the British Civil Service in the East, but nine times out of ten, whenever I have a hunch that someone is Irish, then my research usually proves this to be the case.
- God. Although the missionaries’ main focus was converting people to Christianity, they also ministered to those who were already Christian, which of course included those who were there because of goods, guns and government.
|Henry Pottinger (Wiki, Creative Commons)|
- One of his closest friends was first Colonial Secretary John Robert Morrison, son of a Rev. John Morrison from Scotland. Morrison’s stepmother, who was effectively Morrison’s mother from the age of ten, was Eliza Anderson, born in Ireland.
- The first Colonial Treasurer, Robert Montgomery Martin was born in Co. Tyrone in 1803. He thought that the colony was doomed to failure. After disagreeing with Pottinger on issues such as raising revenue from opium, he resigned in July 1845 and left the colony in a state of high dudgeon.
- Henry Kellett, later Sir Henry, born in Clonacody, Co. Tipperary was the naval officer who manned ships during the Opium War (1839-1842), and became Commander in Chief of the British navy in China, headquartered in Hong Kong (1869-1871)
UPDATE: The day after I wrote and posted this piece, I did a quick read of Geoffrey Robbley Sayer, Hong King 1841-1862. Hong Kong University Press. 1890 (first published 1937 as Hong Kong: birth, adolescence, and coming of age). Since the notion of a 4-G club (Goods, Guns, God, & Government) had occurred to me as I was writing this post, I found it amusing that when the first Legislative and Executive Council was created in Hong Kong, that it included A.R. Johnston (a merchant), Major Caine (a soldier) and J.R. Morrison (a missionary). Goods, Guns, & God all in one body of Government.