Laying the foundation stone of the British Consulate in Hoihow (Haikou), 1898

Laying the foundation stone of the British Consulate in Hoihow (Haikou), 1898


University of Bristol - Historical Photographs of China reference number: He01-015. Photograph from an album (UoB reference He01) kept in the School of Oriental and African Studies Archives, London (SOAS reference PP MS 82/13). Photograph by Albert Otto. See He01-016. The following is a transcription of the unattributed press cutting which is pasted in the album alongside He01-015 and He01-016: NEW BRITISH CONSULATE AT HOIHOW. 1898. [the date in manuscript] (From a Correspondent.) HOIHOW, September 20. Yesterday, an interesting ceremony was performed here in the inauguration of the new Consulate buildings for the British Consul. The site is on a piece of rising ground west of the village known as ‘Pigby’, and sufficient ground has been acquired by the British Government to form an imposing compound. A few days ago, Mr Cecil Simpson, of H. B M. Office of Works, arrived from Shanghai to commence the buildings and, yesterday, the foundations being complete, the first stone was laid by Mrs O'Brien-Butler, the wife of the British Consul, in the presence of a representative gathering of Hoihow residents. Amongst those present were Mr and Mrs O’Brien-Butler, Mr Cecil Simpson, Mons. Beauvais, representing the French Consul absent on duty; Mr de Ste. Croix, representing the Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs ; Miss Weatherstone [sic] of Chinkiang, Mr Albert Otto, Mr Codrington-Hedgeland [sic], Mr and Mrs Frank Gilman, Dr and Mrs Vanderburg, Mrs McCandliss, Mrs McClintock, Mr and Mrs Newton and Mr and Mrs Burke. The formal ceremony over, the Contractor, Mr Kaw Hong Take, of Hongkong (a British subject and J.P. of Hongkong) in a neat and felicitous speech, presented Mrs O’Brien-Butler with a beautifully engraved silver trowel of Chinese pattern. At the moment of the placing of the stone in position, the British flag was unfurled, and a photograph of the assemblage taken by Mr Otto (Mr Schomberg’s representative). Congratulations were offered to the Consul and Mrs O’Brien-Butler, and the latter was the recipient of a handsome bouquet at the hands of Mr Simpson, as representing the Architect, Mr W.M. Cowan of H.B.M. Office of Works, Shanghai. Three cheers were given for the Queen, and the hundred or so of Chinese Workmen indulged in a deafening and extensive display of crackers. A reception was afterwards held by Mr and Mrs O’Brien-Butler at the tennis lawn and arbour already completed in the ‘Compound,’ and tennis as a luxury was indulged in, the umpiring of Mr Vanderburg calling for special mention. Fortunately, the weather was splendid, and the interesting little ceremony passed off with a certain amount of éclat. ’God Save the Queen’ was sung as the tropical ‘twilight’ put an end to the tennis. An incident of the afternoon illustrates the lingering superstition of the natives. About a dozen Chinese female workers, whom it was intended to include in the photograph, bolted as soon as they learned what they were wanted for.

Caption in album or on mount

Hoihow, Hainan, 19th September, 1898. Laying of foundation stone of British Consulate by Mrs O'Brien Butler.




Monday 19 September 1898




Black and white photograph


Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library, University of London