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NOTE: This snippet is fascinating for a number of reasons. Firstly, it tells us that when Sir Thomas Jackson left Hong Kong on 1902, he was accompanied by one of his four daughters. His wife had set up house at Chiselhurst years earlier, but we can tell from photos in the 1890s, that his wife and children continued to visit Hong Kong. Secondly, Thomas Jackson shared a deep commitment with Osbert Chadwick, also travelling on the same boat, to solving the question of what caused the plague. They would have collaborated when Jackson served on the Sanitation Board, and would likely have discussed the topic further while on board.
Sharon Oddie Brown February 5, 2013
Update February 22. I now know which daughter was with him: Kathleen.


1902 May 19

The Hong Kong Weekly Press



Departure from the Colony took place on the 13th inst. of Sir Thomas Jackson,[1] late Chief Manager of the Hongkong and Shanghai banking Corporation, and of the Honorable J.J. Bell Irving[2], late Manager of Messrs. Jardine, Matheson & Co. Both sailed on the Empress of Japan. At the Bank building and at the Jardine Matheson premises there were volleys of Chinese crackers let off. A great many friends were at Blake Pier to say goodbye to Sir Thomas Jackson and Miss Jackson[3], and almost the entire bank staff accompanied them to the steamer on the launch, the departure of which from the pier was the signal for an outburst of cheering. Mr. and Mrs. Bell Irving[4] also got a splendid sendoff from their many friends. As the Empress steamed out of the harbor she was accompanied by a crowd of launches with sirens blowing and crackers exploding at the stern. The honorable C.P. Chater[5], C.M.G., left by the Princess Irene for a six months holiday in Europe. Mr. O. Chadwick[6], the sanitary expert, who has been assisting Prof. Simpson[7] in his plague investigations in the Colony and has now completed a survey, left by the Empress of Japan.


[1] Sir Thomas JACKSON Since he is the focal point of my research, my footnote will focus on his connections to others.

[2] J.J. BELL-IRVING was also a member of HSBC Board of Directors in 1902. He and Thomas Jackson had many interconnections during their lengthy careers in Hong Kong.

[3] Miss JACKSON, daughter of TJ. In the 1901 Census. Two of the sisters, Beatrice and Dorothy were both at Chiselhurst with their mother. I can’t find Kathleen anywhere in the 1901 census. Nor can I find any of the sisters on any of the available incoming passengers lists for 1902.A snippet in Amy LLOYD's dairy, shared thanks to Pat Roberts:. I came back to Chislehurst on 20 August to say goodbye to Father and Kathleen who were leaving for Hong Kong the next day.

[4] Mrs. BELL-IRVING née Isabella THORNTON, niece of Lady MARSH, wife of Sir William Henry MARSH.

[6] Osbert CHADWICK (1844-1913). He was a great Victorian sanitary reformer, and worked with Sir Thomas JACKSON on the Sanitary Board. There is an excellent report on his work included in The Chadwick Report. It is a chapter in COLONIAL HONG KONG AND MODERN CHINA: Interaction and Reintegration. Lee Pui-tak.

[7] Dr. W.J. SIMPSON. A news article about his work appeared in The Straits Times May 29, 1903. One needs to know that the source of the plague had yet to be discovered. In his Report on the Causes of the Plague in Hong Kong (1903) [Simpson] reports the endemicity of the plague in that colony to be maintained by (a) infection among rats often connected with infectious material in rat runs or in houses, the virus of which has not been destroyed, (b) retention of infection in houses which are rat-ridden, and (c) infected clothing of people who have been ill or died of plague. He considers the outbreaks are favoured by the seasonal heat and moisture of the spring and early summer, and the movement from place to place of infected rats or persons. He also believes that human beings may infect rats. SOURCE: Plague.



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