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This chronology is the result of merging of my own family-focused research with the materials at HSBC archives [S16.7b] as well as with references from the history done by Frank H.H. King. The italicized portions were excerpted from The Hongkong Bank in Late Imperial China 1864-1902. Frank H.H. King. Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Sharon Oddie Brown. September 25, 2012


George Edward Noble Chronology

See also a piece on my blog about George Edward NOBLE






Born. Camberwell, Surry, England. NOTE: Unlike his siblings, there is no birth certificate under his name noted in the indexes. There is one in Bombay for a George J. NOBLE in the same year of his birth. In later censuses, the family changed their birth place from Camberwell to Dulwich (probably the same place). It may be that Council borders changed, or else that the latter was the more prestigious address. [SOURCE: Thomas H.F. Kidman email]


Scholar age 4, living at 35 Gower Street, London England with parents and family. NOTE: Brother Henry NOBLE still living at home.


Scholar age 14, living at 35 Gower Street, London England with parents and family. NOTE: Brother Henry NOBLE no longer living at home, and does not show elsewhere in British Census. Henry’s first child was born in Hong Kong in 1861, so it is likely he was already working for the Agra Bank..


Employment  begins at Shanghai Commercial Bank Corporation of India


Employment  ends at Shanghai Commercial Bank Corporation of India. The Shanghai Commercial was another of the bank failures of the time – in its case because of over-speculation in Shanghai real estate, and the unauthorized investment of the bank’s funds by the San Francisco Manager in California mining enterprises


Brother Henry Noble, manager of HK Agra Bank branch, drowned on way to Foochow leaving 3 orphaned children. Probably January 1866 or late 1865.

1866 Feb

Hired by HSBC and takes up post in Shanghai.


Accountant at Shanghai


Mid year - Acting Accountant Hong Kong

1869 July 1

Appointed accountant at Bombay.


Leave from being accountant at Bombay

1872 July 2

Leaves from being sub-manager of Hong Kong to relieve MORRISS at Hong Kong.

1873 Oct 10

Takes charge in Bombay

1875 Aug 10

Married in Bombay, Frances Bertha Marion "Daisy" SEXTON. Her parents and other relations (SEXTON & O’BRIEN) emigrated from Ireland and were long time residents, living in the Army section, Malabar Hills, Bombay.

1876 Aug 7

Birth in Bombay of son John Frederick Sexton NOBLE at Fort Bombay

1876 Oct 26

Mr. Noble authorized to make what arrangements he wished for new premises to be built at Bombay provided no material increase in rent or furnishing etc.

1877 Aug 7

While Noble on leave from Bombay, LEITH to be acting Agent.


NOBLE was brought to Hong Kong in 1882 as Sub-Manager.

1883 Apr 19

To remain in Hong Kong as sub-Manager


Estimated birth date of second son, judging from his appearance in a family photo. Place of birth and name unknown.

1885 Aug 25

Inspectorate. Noble had been spending considerable time on inspection, especially in India.

1886 Jun 22

Mr. Noble to take charge of Calcutta agency until Mr. HAZELWOOD’s arrival.

1886 Oct 28

Mr. Noble, Inspector of Branches, was sent to Manila to take charge of the Bank’s Agency there temporarily and to report fully on all outstanding advances and to estimate provision required for any bad or doubtful debts.

1887 Oct 13

G.E. Noble continued as Inspector of Branches.


The intention of the Board in 1888 was that GE NOBLE should remain Chief Manager, until he wished to retire

1888 May 21

Birth of daughter, Mary Josephine NOBLE born in Hong Kong.

1889 Jan 1

GE NOBLE became Chief Manager of the Hong Kong Bank.

1890 Jan 1

Birth of daughter Kathleen Louisa NOBLE born in Hong Kong.

Bet 1877-1900

One child was born who we have no record for, and one of his five children died.

1890 Mar 27

NOBLE became ill and in March 1890 required emergency sick leave. NOBLE took six months furlough and in token of their appreciation, the Board voted him $10,000. “But NOBLE was not to return. In June there was some criticism of NOBLE’s handling of Head Office overdrafts, and in July the Board asked for a confidential medical report. As the latter was unfavourable, the question of NOBLE’s handling of the Bank’s affairs was never formally considered independently; the medical report was sufficient to cause NOBLE to cancel his already booked return passage; and the Board granted him a further year’s leave. JACKSON was to stay until de BOVIS could return to become acting Chief Manager – again pending NOBLE’s eventual recovery.


A mid-1890 internal investigation … revealed that NOBLE had initially set sound credit limits for brokers, but that beginning in August and September 1889 he had under pressure permitted these limits to be exceeded …”

1890 Jul 31

On account of his health, G.E. Noble was given a further 12 months leave.


Executor of Edward Morriss’ will. NOTE: After George Edward NOBLE’s death in 1901, the 1911 Census shows a George Gordon Morriss, born in Yokohama 1886, visiting his wife’s residence in England. Later, this same George Gordon Morriss, born Japan, age 26, widowed, tribal “Welsh” is in the Canadian 1911 Census. In 1903, he was a Lieut in the 3rd Battalion of the Queens Own [Kent] Regiment. He was a son of Edward MORRISS based on description in Malvern Register. Edward MORRISS had been hired by HSBC from the Agra in 1872, died in Yokohama in 1890. His son, Percy de Cherie MORRISS worked for HSBC, and went East in 1889.

1891 May 28

As Noble’s health did not permit him to come back to Hongkong, he was offered and accepted a secretaryship in the London Office.


JS Moses announced to shareholders in a meeting in August that G.E. NOBLE had been considered too ill to return to Hong Kong & De Bovis had been confirmed as Manager.

1891 Aug 20

G.E. Noble appointed to inspect the home Agencies

1892 Jun 16

G.E. Noble acting Agent in new York. No vacancy as Inspector for him.


... his son J.F.S. NOBLE served 1896-1903 – his highest post as a junior in Hong Kong, his wife’s nephew G.H.N. SEXTON served 1896-1903 – his highest post a Junior at Bombay.

1897 Dec 16

G.E. Noble. London, retired through ill health but joined the Bank’s London Committee.


Served on the London Consultative Committee of HSBC, chaired by Thomas Jackson.

1899 Dec

Letter from A.M.Reith to Charles Addis said that Noble was very shaky and “an interview with him is rather painful”.

1901 Apr 10

Died at 37 Iverness Terrace, Hyde Park. His executors were his nephew Henry Heywood NOBLE and William HARTIGAN.

1901 Aug

Reference to his death made at London meeting. He had served on the London Committee up until the time of his death.

1912 July 17

17 July 1912, HK Daily Press. ENGAGEMENT: Lionel John Crowley Anderson. HK Shanghai Bank (Penang) to Mary Josephine (Molly) Noble, older dau of late GE Noble of HK and Mrs. 37 Inverness Terrace, Hyde Park [They did marry in 1912]. NOTE: I wonder if he was any relation to A. Hay Anderson, manager of Agra Bank in HK in July 1866.

1945 June 13

Death of Frances Bertha Marion "Daisy" SEXTON at Wharneford Hospital, near Oxford, England.



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