James Eyles (Iles) KEATING [1839-1884] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

James Eyles (Iles) KEATING [1839-1884]

James Eyles (Iles)
Birthplace (town, state): 
Wellers Buildling, Woolwich, Kent, England
Birthplace (country): 

"MEMBERS of the Masonic fraternity will regret to hear that the death of Mr James Keating, who left here for the Australian Colonies about twelve months since, has been officially confirmed. When Mr Keating landed at Sydney on the 23rd August last he was suffering from fever, and went at once to the Sydney Hospital, where he died on the 29th Aug."

Source: China Mail, page 2, 21st July 1885 


Birth: Wellers Building, Woolwich, Kent, England, United Kingdom 4th August 1839

Baptised: St Mary Magdalene, Woolwich, Kent, England, United Kingdom 23rd August 1839. Parents: John Keating (1813-1872) and Mary (1820-1899)

1851 British Census: A scholar, aged 11 years, son to Head of Household, who lived at 4 Mill Lane, Woolwicjh, Kent, England, United Kingdom. Head: John Keating aged 37 years, Gunner Artillery, born Scotland;  Wife of head: Mary Keating, aged 31 years, Dress Maker, born in Woolwich, Kent; son to Head: John Kating, aged 10 years, Scholar, born in Northamptonshire; Elizabeth Keating, daughetr to Head, aged 9 years, Scholar, born in Woolwich, Kent; Richard Keating, aged 6 years, Scholar, born in Jersey

1861 British Census: A Visitor at 50 Bath Road, Heston, Isleworth, Brentford, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom, unamarried, aged 22 years, Tailor, born in Woolwich, Kent. Head of household was George Hearn, 34 years of age, married, Bricklayer, born in Brentford, Middlesex 

Marriage: Jane Slater (spinster aged 21 years), St Margaret, Vicarage Road, Plumstead, Greenwich, Lewisham, Kent, England, United Kingdom 25th August 1861

1871 British Census: At 179 High Street, Rochester, Medway, Kent, England, United Kingdom, aged 31 years, Tailor, born in Woolwich, Kent. Lived with wife Jane, aged 29 years, no occupation, born in Woolwich, Kent; Isabella Keating, daughter, aged 7 years, Scholar, born in Woolwich, Kent; Eliza Keating, daughter, aged 3 years, Scholar, born in Woolwich, Kent; Jessie Keating, daughter, aged 3 years, Scholar, born in Woolwich, Kent; Minnie Keating, daughter, aged 1 year, born in Rochester, Kent


1873 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co, 47 Queen's Road, Central

1874 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co

1875 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co

1876 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co


"The United Club gave their anniversary supper at their club house on Saturday evening. This club was formed about twelve months ago to supply a want which had long been felt by working men and others; to whom the hotels and public-houses were almost the only places open for recreation. Its first year of existence has been a very successful one; the list of members contains between sixty and seventy names, comprising members of the army and navy and civilians, a billiard table has been purchased, and the general appointments of the club are highly satisfactory. At the supper on Saturday evening covers were laid for about seventy. Mr. J. Keating, the president, occupied the chair, and Mr. Wassenius, the steward, filled the vice chair. On the removal of the cloth the usual loyal and patriotic toasts were drink. The Chairman then gave the toast of the evening, "The United Club." In doing so he said there were several other clubs in the Colony, but there had not been until the opening of the "United" any working man's club. Working men had, therefore, to go to the hotels if they wished to enjoy themselves. This was not only expensive, but did not afford the same comfort as was enjoyed by other people at their clubs. Out of the fifteen who started the United Club, he was very glad to see present the first President and the first Secretary with several others of those early members. These put their hand in their pockets and subscribed five dollars each. They got a little furniture together and did the best they could. They soon found the room they then had too small, and removed to the Praya. The members still increased, and finally they removed to their present premises, where he hoped the club would remain permanently. There were now sixty-six members and from what he had seen such one had tried to do his best for the success of the club. They had had their little difficulties, but these had been happily got over. - Mr. Haycock responded to the toast, and said the club was in a very flourishing condition, both as regarded funds and members. - The President then presented to Mr. Wassenius a ring, engraved with the initials of the club and those of the recipient, and said he had great pleasure, on behalf of the members, in handing it to him as a slight token of their esteem for him as a man and their gratitude for his services to the club. Mr. Wassenius briefly thanked the members for their kindness, and said he should wear the ring as long as he could in remembrance of his happy connection with the club. Several other toasts were drunk, and the remainder of the evening was pleasantly spent in music and singing. The room had been tastefully decorated for the occasion."

Source: Hong Kong Daily Press, page 2, 15th January 1877


1877 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co

1878 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co

1879 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co.

1880 Hong Kong Jury List: Assistant, Driscoll & Co.

1881 Hong Kong Jury List: Assistant, Driscoll & Co

1882 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co

1883 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co, Queen's Road, Central

1884 Hong Kong Jury List : Assistant, Driscoll & Co, 6 Queen's Road


He travelled from Hong Kong to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on the Australasian, China and Japan, and Straits Steamship Company, Limited, steamship 'Naples' (2289 tons) of London, and arrived at the destination on 15th August 1884


Sources: 1) New South Wales Government. Inward passenger lists. Series 13278, Reels 399-560, 2001-2122, 2751. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.

2) New South Wales Government. Reports of vessels arrived (or Shipping reports). Series 1291, Reels 1263-1285, 2851. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.


Buried: He was buried at Rockwood General Cemetery, Grave 221, Section N, Zone B, 1 Hawthorne Avenue, Rockwood, New South Wales, Australia 30th August 1884



INQUIRY is requested for James Iles Keating, who is supposed to have left Hong Kong about twelve months ago for Melbourne. It is said he died in eitehr Melbourne or Sydney twelve months ago. He was 45 years of age, and a past master of the Masonic Order. Inquiry is requested at the instance of Eliza Edith Bush, daughter of the man sought for, who writes from 6 Angleseaplace, Woolwich, Kent, England. - O.7531. 22nd December 1885."

Source: Victoria Police Gazette, page 361, 23rd December 1885 


"Missing Friends.

Information is requested respecting James Iles Keating, about 45 years of age; a Freemason. Left England about 18 years ago; settled in China until about 14 months ago, when he left for Melbourne or Sydney, and is reported to have died at one of these places, but no record of his death can be found. - I.R., 85-427."

Source: New South Wales Police Gazette, page 387, 30th December 1885