Friends of Sir Robert Hart

Mary Tiffen

Testimony to Love. Friends of Sir Robert Hart. The Authors. Excerpts. Plaudits. To Order. Links.


The Author


Foreword by Emma Reisz, Lecturer in Asian History, Queen’s University, Belfast

Carrall Family Tree

Map of China with Nineteenth Century British names and use of Pinyin Spelling


List of illustrations


Links with the Past

The Hart Connection

Hart: Relations with Women, Family and Staff

The Victorian Family, Legal and Illegal


Chapter 1: Emma Spry Edwards Goes to China in 1853

Emma's Devon Parents

London and Emma's Marriage to a Wilcocks?

Widowhood and Remarriage

The China that Greeted Emma

The Whampoa Battles of December 1854 and March 1855

The Death of Buckton and the Arrow War

Marriage to Sampson, and Meeting Robert Hart

Chapter 2: Robert Hart Builds a Career in China and Hastily Finds a Wife

Hart’s Ulster Origins

Coping with a Strange World and Lovely Women


The Beginnings of Hart’s Customs Career

The New Inspector-General (I.G.)

Courting Hester Bredon

Chapter 3: Theo Sampson and Emma

Sampson’s Early Life

The Coolie Trade

The Botanist

Canton society

The Teacher

Retirement and a Difficult Readjustment

Chapter 4. Emma Carrall and Hart’s Mid-Life Crisis

Emma Carrall’s Visit, 1875

Tensions with Hester — and Two Sets of Children

A Crisis of Political Loyalties, 1876

Hart’s Last Leave in Europe

His First Children during a Second Attempt at Married Life

Emma Carrall — the Sequel

Chapter 5: Jim Carrall Finds a Wife, and Almost Crashes His Career

School and School Friends

Starting Work

Leave and Marriage

Frances Meets Hart

Foochow (Fuzhou) and Jim Carrall Shows His Mettle

Background to the French Attack on Fuzhou, August 1884

The Battle

Thanks from the Chinese

Family Matters and Leave in England, 1887–9

Chapter 6: The Chefoo Schoolgirls and Sir Robert Hart

Chefoo and Shantung Province

Hart Contacts the Carrall School Girls

Schooldays Remembered

Winter Festivities, 1900

Chapter 7: Girls Growing up: the Boxer Rebellion

The Tientsin and Peking visits, Spring 1900

Chefoo in the Shadow of the Boxer Rebellion, Summer 1900

The Worst Day in Chefoo

Summer Holidays and the End of the Siege

After the Siege

Sir Robert’s Account of the Siege, and Letters Flow

Chapter 8: Girls Growing up: Romantic Upheavals, 1901–2

A Quiet Winter and Spring — but with some Sport

Rumours Abound and Reputations are at Risk

An Autumn Wedding

Romance in Shanghai?

Chapter 9: Death Strikes

Jim Carrall in the Winter of 1902

Scarlet Fever Kills

The Return to England

Illness and Financial Worries at Marseille

Another death

Chapter 10: The Girls Settle for Marriage

Arriving in a New World

Finding a Home

Kath Trains as a Teacher, and Muriel and Emily as Wives

The End of Kath’s Story

Changing families?

Chapter 11: Hart: the End

The Illegitimate Children in the 1890s

The Legitimate Children

The Truth Comes Out

The End of Hart’s Career

Hart and his Staff

Hart, Women and Family

A Personal Postscript

Acknowledgements, Notes and Sources


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