New in 1907 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

New in 1907

A few observations from the 1907 Jurors List:


  • There are the usual changes in job title, most commonly with Clerks becoming Assistants, and vice-versa. Most likely their bosses trying to make them feel they'd been promoted without anything really having changed!
  • "Stenographer" is a newly fashionable job title. There were none in the 1900 list, four in 1906, and eight this year.
  • There seemed to be more Japanese names on this year's list. Here's a quick comparison that confirms it, looking at employees by company over several years of Jurors Lists:
    Atala & Co  1
    Mitsu Bishi1 5
    Mitsui Busan Kaisha211
    Nippon Yusen Kaisha123
    Osaka Soshen Kaisha 12
    Toyo Kisen Kaisha  2

New addresses

The addresses are more detailed in the 1907 list, so it's hard to be sure if buildings are new, or just that the full address is given for the first time. Anyway, here are the new addresses in this year's list:

  • Accommodation at Quarry Bay is given addresses at last, so there's Corn Hill [sic, today the name is Kornhill], Lyeemoon Terrace, Seaview Terrace, Stanley Terrace, Taikoo Terrace, and the less-than-poetically named Nullah Terrace.
  • Kennedy Town appears for the first time. Possibly a side effect of the recent introduction of the electric trams, making it possible to commute from further away.
  • "On premises" is given as a residential address more often in this year's list. It might seem odd now, but at that time offices were often built with accomodation for the company's young expat bachelors.


  • The Baltimore Hotel at 2, Wyndham Street makes its first appearance. It seems to be an instant hit, as six jurors (seven if we include the hotel manager) give it as their address.
  • Junk Bay also makes its first appearance, with seven jurors employed at the Flour Mills there. Later the area would be known as Rennie's Mill, named after the Mr Rennie who founded the mills. The 1907 list shows there were also saw mills and cotton mills in Hong Kong.
  • There's also a new Brick Works listed, with the address given as Deep Water bay. I've not heard of this before - has anyone ever seen photos of it?
  • 34, Queen's Road Central is a base for several German companies. Jurors from Ullmann & Co. and Weismann, Ld. both give it as their address. I've also noticed it on postcards, where publisher M. Sternberg gives it as his address. In 1907 I believe that 34 Queen's Rd C was the address of the old Hong Kong Club building, suggesting it was split up and rented to various busineses.


  • Kowloon continues to grow. This year there's another big jump in the number of jurors living there, with 109 jurors giving Kowloon as their district.

You can see the full 1907 list online here. It's typed up by volunteers like you - please can you spare 30 minutes to type up a page of the 1908 list? Click here for full details.

Regards, David


The Club Germania moved to its new digs on Kennedy Road, and the building was used as the Hotel Baltimore and the Nippon Club.


Hi there,

We have encountered the NYK Line before, I guess all of these companies (including some subsidiaries of Mitsubishi) were in the sea freight or passenger fleet business back then.

Best Regards,


Hi David,

The Brick Works (or the Hong Kong Pipe, Brick and Tile Works) was owned and operated by the Green Island Cement Company from 1896 to 1928, when it was closed due to financial losses. If you look at a modern map of HK, you'll see there's a Brick Hill at the west side of Deepwater Bay, and overlooking Aberdeen.

Thanks for the extra information. Some follow-ups:

And Adam, thanks for the Brick Works info. So more over towards today's Ocean Park, than where the golf course is?

Regards, David

The Brickhill has another name used currently which is Nam Long Shan, which is exactly where the Summit section of Ocean Park locates.


Hi David, yes, it's the hill that the cable car comes down. I suspect that Nam Long Shan is an older name than Brick Hill. The Lands Dept still uses both on its Countryside map of HK Island. I wonder if the Brick Works were on the land now occupied by the HK Country Club.

Hi there,

Just spotted this photo from a local forum.  It seemed to be grabbed from the public library anyway.  It shows Apleichau in the background, with the northern slope of Nam Long Shan (Brick Hill) in the foreground.

Best Regards,


I've just been typing p9, found another stenographer.

The 'on premises' thing, there's people who on last year's list were at an outside address and this year are on premises, so it's not a thing you do till you find your feet - was it a prestige thing to do? Did you have to wait until there was a vacancy? Or was it in any way connected with ease of travel?

Re jobs, there's quite a few people on this page with no entry in the employers column, some you can tell who employed them by the address, but others there's just no info, quite a lot of them assistants. Was the compiler just not chasing down this info, as I don't imagine they didn't have employers?

Regards, Kate Birrell

Hi Kate,

I can imagine there were limited places in the company's premises, so new arrivals would have to wait until a space became available.

In some case for recent lists, when a person changes from an address to "on premises", they never actually moved. eg the address for several employees at Butterfield & Swire's changed from "1, Connaught Road" to "On premises". And of course 1, Connaught Road was the address of the big Butterfield & Swire office which included accomodation.

In another case an HSBC employee has moved from "On premises" (which I take to mean the main building in Central) to Cloudlands on the Peak. in that case I'd say they'd been promoted, and moved to better accomodation.

I've also noticed that the 1908 list has more empty columns. Probably down to how much care the compilers took that year.

Regards, David

I venture to suggest that "on premises" did not mean anything of the sort as far as residence was concerned, but that it simply indicated that mail would reach the person concerned at the company's address.

I disagree, and believe that 'on premises' means the juror was living on the premises of their employer's business.

Looking at the 1907 list, many of HSBC's employees give 'on premises' as their residence. At that time, the 2nd-generation headquarters building was still standing. When it was nearing completion, the HK Daily Press (14 Aug 1886, page 2) noted:

The first floor is devoted to the living accomodation and recreation of the Junior Staff. [...]

The top floor is chiefly devoted to bedrooms and offices. [...] 

Regards, David

I don't know enough about this to argue the point with you, David, but I would respectfully ask that you keep an open mind.

I have taken, at random, the 1930 list, and I note a few interesting entries. Ho Wing was compradore of the HK & S Bank and he is shown as being "on premises". I find it difficult to believe that, with his family background and wealth, and his position as the Bank's compradore (and not being a foreignor) he would be residing "on premises".

Boris Pasco was the owner of a bookshop called Brewer's - it was not a large enterprise, and in more recent years occupied very limited premises in Ice House Street. I doubt very much that his shop would have provided living accomodation for him, unless it was space for a camp-bed in between the book shelves.

A firm called Texas Company had a number of employees on the list (including my uncle). They occupied positions ranging from clerk to manager. They are all shown as being "on premises".  I doubt if they were all living together.

You will have noticed that a large number of those shown as being "on premises" were Chinese, Indian, Eurasian and local Portuguese - i.e not expatriates. They were also generally of a relatively lowly rank. There seems to be no reason why they should have been provided with living accomodation by their employer.

An interesting aside - in the more recent lists the column in which "on premises" appears is headed "address". In the early lists it is headed "abode".

Best - Jabberjabber.

Thanks for the extra information. In the 1930 list you've looked at, it does look as though 'on premises' is given by people who wouldn't have lived on premises, so they're just giving a mailing address.

We also know that in earlier times employers provided accomodation on their premises. For jurors in this situation, 'on premises' was a literal description.

So for anyone reading jurors' lists in future, finding 'on premises' means further detective work may be needed to decide which of the two explanations fits.

Regards, David