Wanchai Protestant Burial Ground [????- ]

Submitted by David on Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:57
Current condition

This is visible on an 1889 map of the City of Victoria (Plate 3-2, Mapping Hong Kong), marked "Old Protestant Cemetery". It ran down the hill until it reached the southern boundary of IL 650, which today houses the little park called Dominion Garden.


Photos that show this Place



I imagine the large stone retaining wall at the back of Dominion Garden was the original cemetery boundary wall. So Star street, Moon St, etc are all build on the plateau that was the cemetery?

Still trying to find a photographic view of that area, including the graveyards (RC and Protestant) and the Original St Francis Church.

I think the original Church bell is in the faux belfry of No.1 Star Street, and Mount Carmel church is on the 2nd floor.

St Francis School seems to stand where the original RC church once was.

I worked in Wanchai for several years, and sometimes sat in Dominion Garden to eat my lunch. I remember the big stone wall at the back. Unfortunately it's not clear to see in Google Streetview:

View Larger Map

Do we have any wall experts reading that could estimate a construction date if they saw a clearer photo of it?

If you're interested in this area, it's worth getting a copy of Hong kong: A reader in social history. There's a chapter by Carl T Smith, Wanchai: In search of an Identity, which has some relevant information:

pg 162: Next to Inland Lot 47 on the 1843 map is the Protestant Burial ground. In 1845 the cemetery was closed and the Colonial Cemetery was opened in Happy Valley.

pg 175: Above Queen's Road East to the east of Wing Fung Street there is a level upon which are Sun, Moon, and Star Streets. These were developed at the turn of the century. Running up the hill from Star Street is Electric Street, where the first plant of the Hong Kong Electric Company was built in 1899. The area was originally the site of the first Protestant Cemetery.


Dominion Park has just been given a bit of a re-vamp as part of Swires improvements to  the local amenity in the area.

Coincidentally only this week they unveiled an interesting copperplate etching plaque charting some of the history of the Wanchai district.

Its on the corner of Dominion Park at the predestrian traffic lights, and worth a look.

As to the stone retaining wall, its of massive granite block construction, and the line of it appears quite early on the early maps in the Emerson Book. So it is quite old.

Actually I'm puzzled as why Dominion Park was never built on, other than there may have been a right of way to the steps up to the cemetery above.



The China Mail, 1889-11-12, Page 1

Removal of Old Cemetery
The Old Colonial Cemetery at Wanchai , having become surrounded by a dense population of Chinses of the poorer classes, it is found difficult to keep it in a condition of decency and cleanliness.  It is therefore notified that it is proposed reverently and decently to remove all Monuments and Tombstones in such Cemetery, as well as all the remains which may be found there where such ...

Full list of inscriptions on Tombstones follows:

1 John Ambrose Mercer Esq 20 Aug 1843
2 Alexander Scott, Esq 24 Aug 1841
3 Mr. John Slade 2 Aug 1843
4 William Brodie, Master in the Royal Navy, late Commander H.M. troopship Rattlesnake 17 Jun 1841
5 E. J. Hume of U.S.S. constellation 14 Sep 1842
6 a?? Fred. Sungor 19 oct 1841
7 Lieut. Oliver Charles Auketell, 37th Regt. Madras Native Infrantry 13 July 1841
8 G.W.York, of Bangor, Maine, U.s.A., seaman U.S.S. Constellation 15 Sep 1842
9 Julia, daughter of the Hon. John Walter Hume 26 Oct 1844
10 William (sic)
11 Lieut. Levin handy, U.S.S. Constellation 14 Sep 1842
12 Sarah Elizabeth, wife of Peter Margussen 2 Aug 1844
13 John Irvine, Assistant Commissary General 1 Feb 1844
14 Major Charles Gregory 30 Nov, 1842
15 Henrietta, wife of the Rev. J. Lewis Shuck, of Virginia, U.S.A. 27 Nov 1844
16 Frederick Joseph Ball 2 Aug 1843
17 Mills Bridgeman Ball (Macao) 2 Aug 1844
18 Lucy Hendricks, wife of Dyer Ball 6 Jun 1844
19 Richard M. Labell, Assistant Surgeon, H.M. S. Agincourt 11 Jan 1843
20 Theodosia, wife of Rev. W. Dean March 1843
21 Robert Morrison Brown 13 Jan 1844
22 Lieut. Benjamin fox, R.N., late first Lieut. H.M.S. Nimrod Canton, killed at Canton 25 May 1841
23 Capt. A. Frederick Beavan, 39th Regt. M.N.1 18 Oct 1842
24 Lieut, Francis Beavan 6 Nov 1842
25 John Theophilus Boileau, Assistant Surgeon, Bengal Establishment 21 Nov 1842
26 Capt Henry Harriot, 39th Regt 15 Dec 1842
27 Major James Uniacke (Chin Kiang-foo*), Senior Officer of R. M., also Lieut. william atcherley, (Yong-tso Kiang*), also Lieut. O Hewett, R.M., (Woo sing*) 21 Jul 1842
28 1st Lieut, Ralph Milbanke, H.M. sloop Childers 28 Aug 1843
29 Captain William Currie of the British ship Leander 10 Nov 1844
30 John Abray Hobson 15 Mar 1843
31 Major Eldred Pottinger, C.B. 15 Nov 1843
32 Francis R. Foote 1842,
33 Capt A. H. S. Young ooth Regt, 13 July 1843

Riut. Adj. J.R. Margrath 8 July 1843
Capt T. de havelland 8 Sep 1843
Ensign J. Campbell 55th Regt 1 Feb 1843
Ensign J.H.C. Rogers ?5th Regt 23 Dec 1841

34 Thomas Hancorn, Master H.M.S. Menden 10 Sep 1843
35 Right Honorable Edward Pelham Clinton, Lieut R.N. H.M.S. Harlequin 12 May 1842
36 William Graham, Assistant Suregon, Bengal Establishment 6 Nov 1843
37 (Illegible)
38 Vere Paulet Harris 10 Nov 1843
30 Thomas Jackson Seills, Esa 31 Jul 1844
40 John Tallmon 6 Jun 1844
41 Lieut. Henry Dallas, 91st Regt 26 Jul 1844
42 J. Stewart Garnett Esq, Merchant of Liverpool 6 Sep 1844
43 Capt. John Robert Cotton 5 Jan 1845
44 Mr. Ed. Pratt 25 Jan 1845
44 Col Sgt Henry Wlch 98th Regt 4 Nov 1844
46 Capt Thomas Maitland Edwards, 98th Reg 18 Nov 1844
47 William Knight Esq.  ...
48 Alexander Radenash Aug
* Probably killed at this place.


(Please proof read and put correction in a "reply")

The place was situated on a plot of ground above Queen's Road, East, and here were interred the remains of many who died from malaria during the first year of the British occupation (1841) The troops then encamped at West Point suffered most severely from the dis ease and we read that even the newly arrived Chinese settlers fell victims to Malaria in that district, Saiyingpun (which is the Chinese for a West English Camp ". The mortality was heavy among the foreign population and the Wanchai cemetery began to fill. Among the prominent victims was the Senior Naval Officer, Sir H. le Fleming Senhouse, who died on June 13, 1841


In a Notification No. 447 of November 2, 1889, in the Government Gazette particulars are given as to the abandonment and removal of the old “God's acre ". From this it appears that a total of 55 persons were buried there, between 1841 and 1845, a large number being Naval and Military officers


“I was informed some years ago by one of the Sanitary Inspectors in charge of cemeteries that the Hongkong Electric Co's old Power Station in Wanchai stood on the site of the original cemetery and that the tomb stones were moved to Happy Valley and placed many of them at least, in the section just inside-the gate of the Protestant Cemetery between the central path and the office


Source: Old Hong Kong by Colonial Vol 1