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Auction: CSS60 - Fine Stamps of China and Hong Kong
Lot: 5477

Hong Kong
Postal History
1857 (23 June) eight page autograph letter written by General Thomas Ashburnham, Commander in Chief, China, from Victoria, Hong Kong, to Sir Henry Storks, Secretary for Military Correspondence, War Office, London. With the original cover endorsed "private", signed to the lower left by Ashburnham and addressed to The Lord Panmure (Secretary of State for War). Privately carried to London and posted unstamped, endorsed "ab 3oz", charged "4" in manuscript, with a Charing Cross straight-line marking and London (1.10) datestamp on reverse.

Ashburnham refers to his recent arrival on 10 June in Hong Kong, preparations for the invasion force in the Second Opium War, the climate, high expenses, suggesting Stanley as a convalescent station, the employment of Chinese coolies, the arrival of Shannon at Singapore and Field Allowances for Officers.

"Yeh (Yeh Ming Ch'en, Viceroy of Liang Kuang) continues firm - and the Northern people friendly. You will have heard how the Mandarins proposed H.M. (Her Majesty's) health at Amoy.
The place (HK) is crowded to overflowing - little to be had and that at famine prices. We have done our best in making arrangements for the Force expected and shall be tolerably prepared when the time comes. We hear today that the Shannon had arrived at Singapore and was to leave on the 18th. After Ld Elgin's arrival the Admiral has promised to send me up the River. The only excursion I have made yet was to Stanley to see what accommodation cd. be made for Sick. It is admirably adapted for a Convalescent Station being exposed to the prevailing winds & having a temperature several degrees below this."

A fabulous item giving interesting details of this period of Hong Kong's history. Photo

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