british opium and drug trade 1840 to 1920

 ALSO READ:-‘Opium profits funded many banks, insurance, and shipping firms in Bombay and Calcutta:

In 1711, the Company established a trading post in Canton (Guangzhou), China,

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Canton (Guangzhou), China

THE OPIUM MONOPOLY[forcible sale of opium drugs made in India to china by the British east India company]

In 1729, when the foreign import was 200 chests, the Emperor Yung Ching 
issued the first anti-opium edict, enacting severe penalties on the sale of opium and the opening of opium-smoking divans. The importation, however, continued to increase, and by 1790 it amounted to over 4,000 chests annually. In 1796 opium smoking was again prohibited, and in 1800 the importation of foreign opium was again declared illegal. Opium was now contraband, but the fact had no effect on the quantity introduced into the country, which rose to 5,000 chests in 1820; 16,000 chests in 1830; 20,000 chests in 1838, and 70,000 chests in 1858."
The Chinese had repeatedly appealed to the British Government to stop these imports, but the British Government had turned a persistently deaf ear. 
Emperor determined to deal with the matter on his own account. He sent a powerful official named Lin to attend to it, and Lin had a sort of Boston Tea Party and destroyed some twenty thousand chests of opium in a very drastic way. Mr. H. Wells Williams describes it thus: "The opium was destroyed in the most thorough manner, by mixing it in parcels Of 200 chests, in trenches, with lime and salt water, and then drawing off the contents into an adjacent creek at low tide."
File:Commissioner Lin.jpg
Lin Zexu-A Chinese artist's drawing of Lin (published 1843)
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A painting of Lin supervising the destruction of opium
After this atrocity, followed the first Opium War, when British ships sailed up the river, seized port after port,


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The Nemesis destroying Chinese war junks during the Second Battle of Chuenpee, 7 January 1841
 and bombarded and took Canton. Her ships sailed up the Yangtsze, and captured the tribute junks

File:Volage & Hyacinth in Chuenpee.jpg
Engagement between British and Chinese ships in the First Battle of Chuenpee, 1839
 going up the Grand Canal with revenue to Peking, thus stopping a great part of China's income. Peace was concluded in 1843, and Great Britain came out well. She recompensed herself by taking the island of Hongkong; an indemnity Of 21 million dollars, and Canton, Amoy,
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British troops in the Battle of Amoy, 1841

 Foochow, Ningpo
File:British troops capture Chin-Keang-Foo.jpg
British troops capture Chinkiang in the last major battle of the war, 21 July 1842
 and Shanghai were opened up as "treaty ports"-for the importation of opium and the "open-door" in general.
forcing the weaker to pay for opium within its borders against all its laws, thus paralyzing the little moral power its feeble government could exert to protect its subjects. . . . It was a turning point in the national life of the Chinese race, but the compulsory payment of six million dollars for the opium destroyed has left a stigma upon the English name."
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Signing of the Treaty of Nanking (1842).

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Entrance of the Opium War Museum inGuangdong, China

Within fifteen years after this first war, there was another one, and again Great Britain came off victorious.
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Pa-Li-Kiao's bridge, on the evening of the battle, by Émile Bayard-
 China had to pay another indemnity, three million dollars, and five more treaty ports were opened up
File:Auguste Chapdelaine.jpg
The execution of the Paris Foreign Missions Society missionary Auguste Chapdelaine was the official cause of the French involvement in the Second Opium War.
Cousin-Montauban leading French forces during the 1860 campaign.
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Combat at Guangzhou (Canton) during the Second Opium War
. By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin, the sale of opium in China was legalized in 1858.
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Chinese officers hauling down the British flag and arresting the crew of the Arrow
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Looting of the Yuan Ming Yuan by Anglo-French forces in 1860.
File:Belvedere of the God of Literature, Summer Palace.jpg
the New Summer Palace, just before its destruction by Anglo-French troops.
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Signing of the Treaty of Tientsin in 1859-06-06 after China lost the war
US marines

Japanese infantry

German marines
File:Foreign armies in Beijing during Boxer Rebellion.jpg
Forces of the Eight Nation Alliance at a victory parade in the Forbidden
City, 20 November 1900

American troops during the Boxer Rebellion.
Russian troops in Beijing.

Japanese marines who served under the British commander Seymour

The Eight-Nation Alliance with their naval flags. Japanese print, 1900

Members of the Italian contingent,

Russian officers.

Cavalry of the British Indian Army, 

Japanese infantry,

German marines

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Qing Armies fighting the Eight-Nation Alliance (British and Japanese soldiers depicted)

A Boxer during the revolt.

picture of injectable opium preparation from Roche 


Historic images depict. from left to right, Scottish born Sir James Matheson, Chinese women in an Opium House and an engraving showing opium being smoked
On 1 July 1832, Jardine, Matheson and Company, a partnership, between William Jardine, James Matheson as senior partners, 
The firms operations included smuggling opium into China from Malwa, India, trading spices and sugar with thePhilippines, exporting Chinese tea and silk to England, factoring and insuring cargo, renting out dockyard facilities and warehouse space, trade financing and other numerous lines of business and trade. In 1834, Parliament ended the monopoly of the British East India Company on trade between Britain and China. Jardine, Matheson and Company took this opportunity to fill the vacuum left by the East India Company. With its first voyage carrying tea, the Jardine clipper ship "Sarah" left for England.
preparing an opium pipe
 Jardine Matheson then began its transformation from a major commercial agent of the East India Company into the largest British trading hong (洋行), or firm, in Asia
China and the Opium Wars. From left images of an advertisement for heroin, a woodcut depicting an addict seloling his wife for drugs and a heroin den.

China and the Opium Wars. From left images of an advertisement for heroin, 
a woodcut depicting an addict seloling his wife for drugs and a heroin den.
A bargain was then made between China and Great Britain, in 1907, China agreeing to diminish poppy cultivation year by year for a period of ten years, and Great Britain agreeing to a proportional decrease in the imports of Indian opium. A three years' test was first agreed to, a trial of China's sincerity and ability, for Great Britain feared that this was but a ruse to cut off Indian opium, while leaving China's opium alone in the field. At the end of three years, however, China had proved her ability to cope with the situation. Thus, for a period of ten years, both countries have lived up to their bargain, the amount of native and foreign opium declining steadily in a decreasing scale. April 1, 1917, saw the end of the accomplishment.
The year 1917 saw a tremendous blow dealt to the British opium dealers, but other markets will be found. There are other countries than China whose inhabitants can be taught this vice
Opium factory in India
'Opium accounted for a large part of India's economy' Photo courtesy: Wellcome Library
  • 1620s -1670s
    Rajput troops fighting for the Mughals introduce the habit of taking opium to Assam. Opium is given daily to Rajput soldiers. From 1637 onwards Opium becomes the main commodity of British trade with China.
  • 1680 
    English apothecary, Thomas Sydenham, introduces Sydenham's Laudanum, a compound of opium, sherry wine and herbs. His pills along with others of the time become popular remedies for numerous ailments.
  • 1700 
    The Dutch export shipments of Indian opium to China and the islands of Southeast Asia; the Dutch introduce the practice of smoking opium in a tobacco pipe to the Chinese.
  • 1729 
    Chinese emperor, Yung Cheng, issues an edict prohibiting the smoking of opium and its domestic sale, except under license for use as medicine.
  • 1750 
    The British East India Company assumes control of Bengal and Bihar, opium-growing districts of India. British shipping dominates the opium trade out of Calcutta to China.
  • 1753 
    Linnaeus, the father of botany, first classifies the poppy, Papaver somniferum - 'sleep-inducing', in his book Genera Plantarum.
  • 1767 
    The British East India Company's import of opium to China reaches a staggering two thousand chests of opium per year.
  • 1773
    East India Company assumes monopoly over all the opium produced in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Warren Hastingsintroduces system of contracts. Contracts for dealing in opium were awarded through auction.
  • 1793 
    The British East India Company establishes a monopoly on the opium trade. All poppy growers in India were forbidden to sell opium to competitor trading companies.
  • 1796
    The import of opium into China becomes a contraband trade. Silver was smuggled out to pay for smuggling opium in.
  • 1797
    East India Company introduced Bengal Regulation IV to enable appointment of Opium Agents for purchase of opium from cultivators and its processing at factories owned by the company at Patna and Ghazipur
  • 1799 
    China's emperor, Kia King, bans opium completely, making trade and poppy cultivation illegal.
  • 1800 
    The British Levant Company purchases nearly half of all of the opium coming out of Smyrna, Turkey strictly for importation to Europe and the United States.
  • 1803 
    Friedrich Sertürner of Paderborn, Germany discovers the active ingredient of opium by dissolving it in acid then neutralizing it with ammonia. The result: alkaloids - Principium somniferum or morphine.Physicians believe that opium had finally been perfected and tamed. Morphine is lauded as "God's own medicine" for its reliability, long-lasting effects and safety.
  • 1805 
    A smuggler from Boston, Massachusetts, Charles Cabot, attempts to purchase opium from the British, then smuggle it into China under the auspices of British smugglers.
  • 1812 
    American John Cushing, under the employ of his uncles' business, James and Thomas H. Perkins Company of Boston, acquires his wealth from smuggling Turkish opium to Canton.
  • 1816 
    John Jacob Astor of New York City joins the opium smuggling trade. His American Fur Company purchases ten tons of Turkish opium then ships the contraband item to Canton on the Macedonian. Astor would later leave the China opium trade and sell solely to England.
  • 1819 
    Writer John Keats and other English literary personalities experiment with opium intended for strict recreational use - simply for the high and taken at extended, non-addictive intervals
  • 1821 
    Thomas De Quincey publishes his autobiographical account of opium addiction, Confessions of an English Opium-eater.
  • 1827 
    E. Merck & Company of Darmstadt, Germany, begins commercial manufacturing of morphine.
  • 1830 
    The British dependence on opium for medicinal and recreational use reaches an all time high as 22,000 pounds of opium is imported from Turkey and India.Jardine-Matheson & Company of London inherit India and its opium from the British East India Company once the mandate to rule and dictate the trade policies of British India are no longer in effect.
  • 1837 
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning falls under the spell of morphine. This, however, does not impede her ability to write "poetical paragraphs."
  • March 18, 1839 
    Lin Tse-Hsu, imperial Chinese commissioner in charge of suppressing the opium traffic, orders all foreign traders to surrender their opium. In response, the British send expeditionary warships to the coast of China, beginning The First Opium War.
  • 1840 
    New Englanders bring 24,000 pounds of opium into the United States. This catches the attention of U.S. Customs which promptly puts a duty fee on the import.
  • 1841 
    The Chinese are defeated by the British in the First Opium War. Along with paying a large indemnity, Hong Kong is ceded to the British.
  • 1842 
    The Treaty of Nanking between the Queen of Great Britain and the Emperor of China.
  • 1843 
    Dr. Alexander Wood of Edinburgh discovers a new technique of administering morphine, injection with a syringe. He finds the effects of morphine on his patients instantaneous and three times more potent.
  • 1852 
    The British arrive in lower Burma, importing large quantities of opium from India and selling it through a government-controlled opium monopoly.
  • 1856 
    The British and French renew their hostilities against China in the Second Opium War. In the aftermath of the struggle, China is forced to pay another indemnity. The importation of opium is legalized.Opium production increases along the highlands of Southeast Asia.
  • 1874 
    English researcher, C.R. Wright first synthesizes heroin, or diacetylmorphine, by boiling morphine over a stove.In San Francisco, smoking opium in the city limits is banned and is confined to neighboring Chinatowns and their opium dens.
  • 1878 
    Britain passes the Opium Act with hopes of reducing opium consumption. Under the new regulation, the selling of opium is restricted to registered Chinese opium smokers and Indian opium eaters while the Burmese are strictly prohibited from smoking opium.
  • 1886 
    The British acquire Burma's northeast region, the Shan state. Production and smuggling of opium along the lower region of Burma thrives despite British efforts to maintain a strict monopoly on the opium trade.
  • 1890
    U.S. Congress, in its earliest law-enforcement legislation on narcotics, imposes a tax on opium and morphine.Tabloids owned by William Randolph Hearst publish stories of white women being seduced by Chinese men and their opium to invoke fear of the 'Yellow Peril', disguised as an "anti-drug" campaign.
  • 1895 
    Heinrich Dreser working for The Bayer Company of Elberfeld, Germany, finds that diluting morphine with acetyls produces a drug without the common morphine side effects. Bayer begins production of diacetylmorphine and coins the name "heroin." Heroin would not be introduced commercially for another three years.
  • Early 1900s 
    The philanthropic Saint James Society in the U.S. mounts a campaign to supply free samples of heroin through the mail to morphine addicts who are trying give up their habits. Efforts by the British and French to control opium production in Southeast Asia are successful. Nevertheless, this Southeast region, referred to as the 'Golden Triangle', eventually becomes a major player in the profitable opium trade during the 1940s.
  • 1902 
    In various medical journals, physicians discuss the side effects of using heroin as a morphine step-down cure. Several physicians would argue that their patients suffered from heroin withdrawal symptoms equal to morphine addiction.
  • 1903 
    Heroin addiction rises to alarming rates.
  • 1905 
    U.S. Congress bans opium.
  • 1906
    China and England finally enact a treaty restricting the Sino-Indian opium trade. Several physicians experiment with treatments for heroin addiction. Dr. Alexander Lambert and Charles B. Towns tout their popular cure as the most "advanced, effective and compassionate cure" for heroin addiction. The cure consisted of a 7 day regimen, which included a five day purge of heroin from the addict's system with doses of belladonna delirium.U.S. Congress passes the Pure Food and Drug Act requiring contents labeling on patent medicines by pharmaceutical companies. As a result, the availability of opiates and opiate consumers significantly declines.
  • 1909 
    The first federal drug prohibition passes in the U.S. outlawing the importation of opium. It was passed in preparation for the Shanghai Conference, at which the US presses for legislation aimed at suppressing the sale of opium to China.
  • February 1, 1909 
    The International Opium Commission convenes in Shanghai. Heading the U.S. delegation are Dr. Hamilton Wright and Episcopal Bishop Henry Brent. Both would try to convince the international delegation of the immoral and evil effects of opium.
  • 1910 
    After 150 years of failed attempts to rid the country of opium, the Chinese are finally successful in convincing the British to dismantle the India-China opium trade.
  • Dec. 17, 1914 
    The passage of Harrison Narcotics Act which aims to curb drug (especially cocaine but also heroin) abuse and addiction. It requires doctors, pharmacists and others who prescribed narcotics to register and pay a tax.
  • 1923 
    The U.S. Treasury Department's Narcotics Division (the first federal drug agency) bans all legal narcotics sales. With the prohibition of legal venues to purchase heroin, addicts are forced to buy from illegal street dealers.
  • 1925 
    In the wake of the first federal ban on opium, a thriving black market opens up in New York's Chinatown.
  • 1930s 
    The majority of illegal heroin smuggled into the U.S. comes from China and is refined in Shanghai and Tietsin.
  • Early 1940s 
    During World War II, opium trade routes are blocked and the flow of opium from India and Persia is cut off. Fearful of losing their opium monopoly, the French encourage Hmong farmers to expand their opium production.
  • 1945-1947 
    Burma gains its independence from Britain at the end of World War II. Opium cultivation and trade flourishes in the Shan states.
  • Photograph of opium smokers from Smith, 1908


 Shanghai (the first of the “treaty ports”).
"...and finally, you must stop staring at our huge noses and calling us smelly Barbarians."
  • The Treaty of Nanking is seen by Chinese historians as the start of “the century of humiliation.” That century of humiliation ended with the defeat of the Japanese by US and allied forces in 1945.
3 1860 victoria harbor HONG KONG HISTORY FOR DUMMIES | PART 2

1860 hongkong victoria harbor

Map of Macau, 1635
1 guangzhou canton map HONG KONG HISTORY FOR DUMMIES | PART 1

1 Canton china painting HONG KONG HISTORY FOR DUMMIES | PART 1
canton china painting

1 Queens Road from Canton Bazaar HONG KONG HISTORY FOR DUMMIES | PART 1
queens road from canton bazar

File:Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy.png
Jejeebhoy and his Chinese secretary (portrait by George Chinnery)
Born on 15 th. July 1783, in Mumbai (then Bombay) to a poor weaver .
n all Jamsetjee made five voyages to China and back, between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four,
 becoming immensely rich, well known and highly respected, all by the tender age of twenty-four years.

  • Mahim Causeway: the British Government had refused to build a causeway to connect the island of Salsette to Mumbai. Jejeebhoy's wife Avabai Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy spent ₨.1,55,800 to finance its construction, after who it was named. The work began in 1841 and is believed to have been completed 4 years later.
  • Jejeebhoy donated to at least 126 notable public charities, including the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art, the Sir J. J. College of Architecture,[2] the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art and theSeth R.J.J. High School. He also endowed charities dedicated to helping his fellow Parsis and created the "Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy Parsi Benevolent Fund".
  • ... This factory — “the architecture of 13,000,000 pounds of opium production,” as Ptak Science Books calls it — is part of a larger British colonial landgrab fueled, at least in part, by pursuit of the immense profits to be earned from an unrestricted drug trade. As Amitav Ghosh, in an interview about his novel, Sea of Poppies, explains, “The Ghazipur and Patna opium factories between them produced the wealth of Britain. It is astonishing to think of it but the british  Empire was really founded on opium"


    [1] Those who were signatories of a letter titled 'The Foreign Merchants to the Imperial Commissioner'
    Canton, March 25, 1839

    The foreign merchants of all nations, in Canton, have received with profound respect the Edict of his Excellency the Imperial Commissioner; and now beg leave to address his Excellency, having already communicated through the Hong merchants their intentions of doing so with the least possible delay.

    The beg to represent, that being now made fully aware of the Imperial commands, &c., the entire abolition of the traffic in opium, the undersigned foreigners in Canton hereby pledge themselves not to deal in opium, nor to attempt to introduce it into the Chinese Empire.

    Having now recorded their solemn pledge, they have only further most respectfully to state to his Excellency, that as individual foreign merchants they do not possess the power of controlling such extensive and important matters, as his Excellency's edict embraces; and they trust His Excellency will approve of their leaving a final settlement to be arranged through the Representative of their respective nations.


    [2] Those who were held in imprisonment (house arrest) between March 25 and May 4 by order of Imperial Commissioner Lin Zexu.

    [3] Those British (including Anglo-Indian) merchants were discharged on signing a bond on May 27, 1839, guaranteeing that they would never return to China.

    [4] Founding Members of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce.

    [5] All opium merchants were asked to surrender their inventories of opium to Charles Elliot on March 27, 1939, who in turn surrendered the same to Imperial Commissioner Lin Zexu. This shows the known quantity of opium surrendered to Elliot.

    [6] Those who were signatories of a letter titled 'Memorial from Her Majesty's Subjects to Viscount Palmerston', Canton, May 23, 1839; in which opium merchants were appealing their claims on account of the opium surrendered for Her Majesty's service

    Opium Namesake

    These are streets or places named after people connected with the dealing of opium, one way or the other:

    Anton Street 晏頓街 was named after Charles Edward Anton – 16th Taipan of Jardine, Matheson and Co.

    Duddell Street 都爹利街 was named after George Duddell – government auctioneer; 

    Gresson Street 機利臣街 was named after William Jardine Gresson – grandson of Elizabeth Jardine, daughter of William Jardine’s brother David; director of Jardine, Matheson and Co. (1901-1906) and director (1916-1910)

    Gutzlaff Street 吉士笠街 was named after Karl Friedrich August Gutzlaff – Prussian Missionary; interpreter of Jardine, Matheson and Co.; Chinese Secretary of the Hong Kong Government

    Hysan Avenue 希慎道 was named after Lee Hysan – opium dealer nicknamed “King of Opium of Hong Kong and Macau”; single largest land owner in Causeway Bay

    Jardine's Bazaar 渣甸街, Jardine's Crescent 渣甸坊 and Jardine Terrace 渣甸台 were named after William Jardine – co-founder of Jardine, Matheson and Co.

    Keswick Street 敬誠街 was named after James Johnstone Keswick – 10th Taipan of Jardine, Matheson and Co.; co-founded Hong Kong Land with Paul Chater; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1893-1894)

    Lan Fong Road 蘭芳道 was named Wong Lan Fong 黃蘭芳 – wife of Hysan Lee

    Landale Street 蘭杜街 was named after David Landale – 13th Taipan of Jardine, Matheson and Co.; Senior Unofficial Member of the Legislative Council (1946-1950); Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1915)

    Lee Garden Road 利園山道 was named after the amusement park Lee Hysan envisioned for building in the area but didn’t build

    Matheson Street 勿地臣街 was named after James Matheson - co-founder of Jardine, Matheson and Co.

    Percival Street 波斯富街 was named after Alexander Perceval – the 7th Taipan of Jardine, Matheson and Co.; a relative of the wife of James Matheson; founding Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1861); Senior Unofficial Member of the Legislative Council (1861-1864)

    Spring Garden Lane 春園街 was named after the villa of John Dent built in that area in the 1840s; Dent is the Senior Partner of Dent and Co.


    Licensees of Opium Monopoly 1844-1910
    1845-1845   George Duddell / Alexander Martin Mathieson (surrendered after 3 months)
    1845- ?        Lo Aqui / Fung Attai
    1858/1859   Wo Hang firm, 12 months license
    1859/1860   Yan Wo firm, 12 months license
    1874- ?        Sun Yee firm, Wo Hang, Yan Wo and a third company Chap Sing joined hands
    1878-1880   Man Wo Fung firm, 3 years license, brought in by Governor John Pope Hennessy
    1880- ?        Man Wo Sang firm, a new alliance between Yan Wo and Sun Yee
    1883/1884    Kwong Shang Lung firm 香港中環廣生隆 headed by Hung Kwong 孔廣 and Wing Cheung firm 香港中環榮昌 headed by Luk Hing 陸慶, 12 month license
    1885-1887   Lee Keung-yam, 3 years license
    1890s           Fook Hing firm, also exported opium to North America
    1897- ?        Man Fook firm Fook Hing firm
    1905            Chin Joo Heng firm, the opium farm monopoly at the time cost  in excess of half a million dollars.

    By this time, the opium monopoly was providing around 20% of government revenue.

    Opium related operations of the following companies and individuals began after the First Opium War. Their operation was mostly Hong Kong based.
    Augustine Heard and Co. - American, [4]

    Fletcher and Co - British, [4]

    Emmanuel Raphael Belilios 庇理羅士 - Baghdadi Indian Jew, longest serving director (1868-1888) of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, became HSBC Chairman in 1876, a position he held until 1882. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1881 and as the Council's Senior Unofficial Member between 1892 and 1900.

    Douglas Lapraik - British, [4]

    George Duddell
    George Duddell - British

    Alexander Martin Mathieson – British (of the firm of McEwen and Co.), who together with George Duddell, secured Hong Kong's first ever opium monopoly at a public auctionat 2pm on February 28,1845, for a period of one year at the monthly rate of $710. Duddell was the Government Auctioneer at that time. Entirely unable to enforce their monopoly, Duddell and Mathieson negotiated the surrender of the lease within three months.

    Lo Aqui 盧亞貴– Chinese, and partner Fung Attai bought opium monopoly, the one surrendered by Duddell and Mathieson, at an auction in July 1845 at the monthly rate of $1,710.

    Fung Attai – Chinese, partner of Lo Acqui in operating the opium monopoly in 1845.

    Chan Tai-kwong – Chinese, who was a protégé of the Bishop of Hong Kong and the front man of Wo Hang company 和興 – a syndicate of merchants from Xinhui 新會, obtained the opium monopoly in 1858, paying GBP7,075 for a twelve-month period. Wo Hang was heavily involved in coolie trade and the general entrepot trade of Hong Kong. Wo Hang's well known brands of opium included Hong Kong Hop Lung 香港合隆 and Hong Kong Wa Hing 香港華興.

    Yan Wo company 仁和 – a syndicate of merchants from Dongguan 東莞 and rival of Wo Hang company, obtained the monopoly in 1859 at a annual rent of GBP 6,812. Well known brands of opium produced by Yan Wo included Sheung Wan Fook Lung 上環福隆, Sheung Wan Lai Yuen 上環麗源 and Wik To Lei Victoria Tai Shun 域多厘泰巽.

    Sun Yee company – in March 1874, Wo Hang, Yan Wo and a third copmany named Chap Sing formed a new syndicate known as the Sun Yee company, Wo Hang's headman Li Tak-cheong became the headman of Sun Yee.

    It was estimated that by 1876 each Chinese person in Hong Kong, in average, smoked half a kilogram of opium in that year. Also, a total of 4,638,750 kilogram of Bengal opium 公班土 and Malwa opium 白皮土 were imported to Hong Kong.

    Man Wo Fung company in 1878 paid $205,000 per year for three-year monopoly. The company's front man in Hong Kong is Singaporean Tan King-sing. He represent the company's principle shareholder and manager - Ban Hap (aka Ngan Chan Wai), a Hokkien Chinese based in Saigon.

    Man Wo Sang company – in 1880, Yan Wo abandoned Sun Yee and went into partnership with Ban Hap, in a new enterprise known as Man Wo Sang.

    Lee Keng-yam – a Singapore who led a syndicate from Singapore in 1885 paid $182,400 a year for a three-year monopoly.

    The Lee Theater
    Lee Hysan 利希慎 (b.1879 Hawaii - d.1928 Hong Kong) – Hong Konger, American-Chinese (born in Hawaii), highly respected land developer and entrepreneur, also known as the 'King of Opium', inherited opium business from his father Lee Leung Yik 利良奕, held opium monopoly in Macao at one time, shot death on April 20, 1928 while go to lunch in Central; son Harold Hsiao-Wo Lee 利孝和 was co-founder of Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB); granddaughter Vivienne Poy 利德蕙 is Canadian Senator, owner of fashion house ' Vivienne Poy Mode' and Chancellor of the University of Toronto; Lee at one time owned an area in Causeway Bay that is bordered by Hysan Road (a road named after him), Percival Steet, Pak Sha Road, and Yun Ping Road, and the land lot that housed the Lee Theater that he built in 1925.


    Opium Hall of Fame

    Updated on May 4, 2010

    Opium related operations of the following companies and individuals existed before the First Opium War, most were operating in Canton.

    British East India Company

    Free Traders

    Before 1830s

    John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) – German born
    American fur merchant John Jacob Astor probably was the first opium free trader from the West (notes must be taken however that Turks and Indians had been shipping opium to China for centuries), and certainly the first American to deal in opium in China. He began shipping opium from Turkey to China in 1816 but abruptly stopped in 1819. With the fortune he fast-tracked from dealing in opium, he started heavily investing in lands in New York City and became America's first multi-millionaire before long. According to Forbes Magazine's studies in 2006, he was the fourth all-time wealthiest American [a]. J.J. Astor's great-granddaughter, Helen Schermerhorn Astor married James “Rosy” Roosevelt, the half-brother of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Incidentally, F.D.R's maternal grandfather, Warren Delano, Jr., also made his fortune in opium, working for the leading American opium trader – Russell and Co.

    1830 and later

    Bell and Co. - British, [1], [2], [3], [6]
    Bibby, Adam, and Co. [1], [2], [6]
    K. H. Cama and Co. - Parsee [4]
    P. F. Cama and Co. - Parsee [4]
    P. & D. N. Casmaji & Co. - Parsee [4]
    J. and W. Cragg, and Co. [1], [2]
    Daniel and Co. - British, [1], [2], [3], [5] 1,400 chests, [6]
    Dent and Co. - British, [1], [2], [3], [4], [5] 1,700 chests, [6]
    Dirom and Co. - British, [1], [2], [3], [6]
    Abdulally Ebrahim and Co. - Parsee
    Habibbhoy Ebrahim Sons and Co. - Parsee
    Fox, Rawson, and Co. [1], [2]
    W. and J. Gemmell and Co. [1], [2], [3], [6]
    Gibb, Livingston, and Co. - British, [1], [2], [3], [4], [6]
    Ameroodin Jaffeerbhoy Co. – Indian, [2], [3], [4], [6]
    Jardine, Matheson and Co. - British, [1], [2], [3], [5] 7,000 chests (including 5,000 chests owned by its Parsee partners
    Layton and Co. [2]
    Lindsay and Co. - British, [1], [2], [3], [4], [6]
    MacVicar and Co. - British, [1], [2], [3], [5] 1,000 chests, [6]
    D. N. Mody and Co. - Parsee [4]
    Hadjee Mohomed and M. M. Hossein
    Cassumbhoy Nathabhoy Sons and Co. - Indian [4]
    Nowrojee and Co. - Parsee [4]
    Cawasjee Pallanjee and Co. – Parsee, [6]
    Robert Wise Holliday, and Co. - British [1], [2], [3], [4], [6]
    Russell and Co. - American, [1], [2], [4], [5] 1,400 chests
    Russell, Sturgis, and Co. - American, [1], [2]

    David Sassoon
    Rustomjee Ruttonjee and Co. – Parsee, [5] 14 chests
    David Sassoon Sons, and Co. - British (Sassoon was Baghdadi Indian Jew), [1], [2], [4]. Photo of David Sassoon
    Turner and Co. - British, [1], [2], [3], [4], [6]
    Wetmore and Co. - American, [1], [2], [4], ceased to deal in opium after the First Opium War

    Amerally Abdoolally - Parsee
    Allarakia Adam
    Vully Mohommed Allobhoy - Parsee
    D. J. Barradas
    B. C. Bhabba - Parsee
    Cursetjee Bomanjee – Parsee, [1], [2]
    Sackhuson Burdrooden – British, [1], [2], [3], [6]
    Hormuzjee Byramjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [5] 4 chests
    Charles Compton – British, [3], [6]
    Framjee Dadabhoy – Parsee, [1], [2], [6]
    I. de Souza – Portuguese, [1], [2]
    Dassabhoy Hormutzjee Dollakac – Parsee, [5] 67 chests
    Nasserwanjee Dorabjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [5] 127 chests, [6]
    Pallonjee Dorabjee – Parsee, [5] 51 chests
    Mohommedbhoy Dossabhoy - Parsee
    Solomon Ebrahim - Parsee
    Cowasjee Edulgee – Parsee, [5] 232, [6]
    Ahmad Hadjee Esaac - Parsee
    Hormuzjee Framjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [5] 73 chests, [6]
    Nasserwanjee Framjee – Parsee, [6]
    A. and D. Furdonjee – Parsee, [1], [2]
    Alladinbhoy Habibbhoy - Parsee
    Silas Aaron Hardoon - British / Baghdadi Indian Jew
    Henderson [2]
    Bomanjee Honsanjee – Parsee, [1], [2]
    Dossabhoy Hormusjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [6]
    Bomanjee Hosonojeeee – Parsee, [5] 3 chests, [6]
    James Innes - British, [1], [2], [3]
    Framjee Jametjee – Parsee, [1], [2]. [5] 12 chests
    Macdonald – British [2], [3]
    Eglinton Maclean – British [2], [3]
    Bomanjee Manuckjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [6]
    Burjoorjee Manockjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [6]
    Nasserwanjee Bomonjee Mody – Parsee, [5] 92 chests
    Burjorjee Monackjee – Parsee, [5] 54 chests
    Pallanjee Nasserwanjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [5] 9 chests, [6]
    Hadjee Abdoola Nathan - Parsee
    Framjee Nowrojee - Parsee
    Jamasetjee Pestonjee - Parsee
    Ahmadbhoy Ramtoola - Parsee
    Heerjeebhoy Rustomjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [5] 1,700 chests, [6]
    Jamsetjee Rutonjee – Parsee, [1], [2]
    Shasmkkshaw Rustomjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [6]
    Dadabhoy & Manockje Rustomkee – Parsee, [1], [2], [5] 970 chests, [6]
    Bomanjee Ruttonjee – Parsee, [5] 4 chests
    Cowasjee Saporjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [5] 67 chests
    S. A. Seth
    Muncherjee Pestonjee Setna - Parsee [4]
    Cursetjee Shapoorjee – Parsee, [1], [2], [6]
    Abaden and Jam Sooden – Parsee, [1], [2], [5] 25 chests
    Burjorjee Suradjee – Parsee [5] 59 chests, [6]
    Cowasjee Saporjee Taback – Parsee, [5] 13 chests, [6]
    Stewart – British, [2], [3]
    Thackers - [5] 86 chests