Robert Crisp HURLEY [c.1848-1927] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Robert Crisp HURLEY [c.1848-1927]

Robert Crisp
c.1848-01-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)

His funeral was reported on page 6 of the Hong Kong Daily press for 16th November, 1927.


The death took place on Monday, at the Matilda Hospital, of Mr. Robert Crisp Hurley, one of the Colony's oldest residents, at the age of 79.

Mr. Hurley arrived in Hong Kong in 1879 as accountant for Messrs. Sale & Co. (now Lane, Crawford's) and was subsequently connected with other establishments. Later he was with Messrs. Thos. Cook & Son as tourists' guide and latterly, at the Government Analyst's office.

He was the author of two guide books and a descriptive work entitled “Picturesque Hong Kong".

During the past two years Mr. Hurley had been in indifferent health. He leaves two sisters in East Grimstead, England.

The funeral took place at the Roman Catholic. Cemetery, Happy Valley, yesterday afternoon, the service being conducted by Father Banchio, assisted by Father Rossello and students of the Seminary. The coffin was followed to the graveside by a number of friends, amongst whom were many who had grown up within Mr. Hurley's life-time and held him in affectionate regard. A profession of wreaths were laid over the grave.  

Amongst those present in. addition to the chief mourners (Mr. and Mrs. J. Young) were Sisters of the Italian Convent, Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Suffiad, Mr. and Mrs. H. A, Allen, Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Smith, Mrs. J. G. Marshall, Mrs. T. X, Duc, Mrs. R. Pestonji, Madame A. Kaufholz, Mrs. Best, Dr, Ombrinsky, Mr. E. R. Dovey, Mr. C. Rosselet, Mr. J. Landolt, Mr. J. W. Kew, Mr. C. Kew, Mr. T. Bolt, Mr. U. Gonella, Mr. E. H.Summers, Mr.E. M. Hazeland, Mr. T. P. Tong, Mr. C. M. Piveteau, Mr. N. Van Tuong, Miss R. Rosselet, Miss A. Suffiad, Miss C. Bearwolfe, and Miss Lina Liao.

Wreaths were sent by the Government Laboratory Staff, the Manager and Staff of the American Express Company, Messrs. Thos Cook & Son, Ltd., Sir Robert Ho-Tung, Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Suffiad,.Mr. and Mrs. Trinh Xuan Duc, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. E.  Rosselet, Mrs. J.Rosselet and Rosie, Mr and Mrs. E. H. Summers; Mr. and Mrs. T.-M. Gregory Mr. and Mrs. H. A.Allen, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Kew, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. H. W. Kew. Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Smith and family, Mr. and Mrs. B. R. Jones, Mr, and Mrs. J. G. Marsh, jnr., Mrs. J. Marsh and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Maxwell, Mr. and Mrs. W. Glendinning, Mrs. Mooney and family, Mrs. Edgar and family, Mr. T. Landolt and. family, Mr. and Miss Manuk, Mr. and Miss Williams, the Misses L., G. and S. Ellis, Baby Wilbur Marshall, end Messrs. William Allen, E. Best, J. Faers, T. P. Tong, C. H. Wong, E. R. Dovey, C. Van Leo, and N. Van Tuong.


Appearances in the Jurors Lists


c Hurley, Robert Crisp Assistant, Sayle & Co.


c Hurley, Robert Crisp Assistant, Sayle & Co., Ice House Lane

1884: Not listed


c Hurley, Robert Crisp Manager, Hongkong Steam Laundry Bowrington


c Hurley, Robert Crisp Merchant 1, Duddell Street

1888-92: Not listed


c Hurley, Robert Crisp Accountant D'Aguilar Street

1894: Not listed, though his business appears to be growing as this list mentions his assistant.

c Luz Nicolau João de Assistant R.C.Hurley     Bridges Street

1895:  Not listed


c Hurley Robert Crisp Manager Thomas's Grill Room     Queen's Road Central

1897-1900: Not listed


c Hurley Robert Crisp Accountant   5 Beaconsfield Arcade

1910 and following: Not listed.

By 1910 he was already aged over 60. I wondered if he retired then, though his obituary suggests he kept on working.


Notes from Liz about R C Hurley, copied here from the thread 'Wanchai's seafront in 1902':

Hi everyone, I'm a bit late to this conversation thread, but thought I'd share my new findings with you all on Robert Crisp Hurley.  I have to say, I tend to agree with Stephen above, when he says: "there's no hard evidence Hurley was a photographer". I have discovered that Hurley married D.K. Griffith's sister, Matilda. As far as I've been able to establish when Griffith's died in 1897, Matilda and Robert were the only close family in HK. I speculate that Hurley finalised Griffith's affairs and took over his entire stock, images, negatives, equipment etc., and since 1897 was the Jubilee year, royally cashed in. It came at a very fortuitous time for Hurley, and, frankly, who would know whose photos were used.  I think it is far more than a co-incidence that Hurley commenced his photographic career  in 1897 at the time when he was able to use his well honed wit and charm to pull off such a publication at such a momentous time, using someone else's talent. I dare say, he probably got familiar with the equipment and, perhaps, later images that are attributed to him, really were taken by him, but I truly have my doubts about the Jubilee publication. As Stephen says, it would be good to find some tangible evidence that Hurley did indeed take photographs and not just use images from various unknown sources that he put his name to.

I've written a small blog piece on Hurley and the inter-connected families of Hurley and Griffith. "Robert Crisp Hurley: Jack of All Trades, Master of One. Or Was He?"