St Francis Hospital (1st location) [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

St Francis Hospital (1st location) [????- ]

Anyone know it's history? A map of Wan Chai in a book: Year 1961 published by Wah Kiu Yat Po 華僑日報 showed this place. Also a catholic Brother and a priest died in this hospital:

However, these two pieces of data are not logical as Fr G-Carabelli died in the Hospital in 1936 but Brother L-Tacchini was in charge of the hospital until it was closed around 1860.

Any other information except the above and the limited numbers of past government reports?

Photos that show this place



Notes from tngan:

The [1845 completion date] is approximate as from what I found from Google they only have the year of establishment there.

Also the Wanchai Heritage Trail had a brief mention of the Hospital in the location 'Star Street Precinct' as well.

The GRS has a website with information about Wanchai's History. The hospital is mentioned several times in the 'Major incidents':

  • 1855 : Construction of St. Francis Hospital completed.
  • 1857 : Roman Catholic Church opened the St. Francis Hospital off St. Francis Street.
  • 1859 : St. Francis Hospital closed.
  • 1869 : St. Francis Hospital re-opened by the Canossian Sisters.
  • 1959 : St. Francis Hospital moved to the Peak.

It's not clear if the hospital occupied the same buildings / same site for the whole period 1855-1959. Old maps would help answer that question, but I guess it was at different sites over the years.

Regards, David

Thank you for the information. But I can't understand why the Hospital still exist in the map of Wan Chai, 1963 I posted?

Where was the exact location it operated in the Peak?

I can't understand why the Hospital still exist in the map of Wan Chai, 1963 I posted?

I guess either the GRS are wrong with their 1959 date, the map wasn't updated, or the hospital operated in two sites for some time. More research needed!

I'd look try a few searches in Google and Google Books, eg

  • "francis hospital" peak
  • "francis hospital" canossian

And maybe a search for "francis" in the newspapers for 1955-65.

Regards, David

St. Francis Church and Catholic graveyard is how this site started.    You can try Googling them.

1963 Wanchai Map - Chinese

From Light and Shade: Sketches from an Uncommon Life, Author:Solomon Bard (He is a doctor who had worked in the hospital):

St Francis Hospital after moved to the Peak, operated until 1970s and was replaced by the existing Canossa Hospital in Mid Level (Old Peak Road).

Another book - Between east and west: aspects of social and political development in Hong Kong, Author: Elizabeth Sinn, Publisher: HKU

"the Sisters (Canossa) have a school for the Visually Disabled (established 1960 in the former buildings of the Canossian St. Francis Hospital) and St. Francis Canossian College (established 1869)."


So the Chinese Map of 1963 is probably wrong.

Hi Lolau,

A couple of good finds in Google Books. I think it's a good research tool too.

I've edited the title for this place to add '1st location', and created a new place for the second location of the hospital.

Regards, David

I've moved the marker a little bit north and east. Plate 3-1c in Mapping Hong Kong is an 1856 map that shows the 'Roman Catholic Hospital' on I.L. 199, today's Sau Wa Fong.

Regards, David

The Hospital was situated on the uphill side of the Catholic Cemetery next to a house for an elderly priest, Lucas Pan(d1843-07) expelled from Macao along with Joset. 

Initially a Seminary for Shanxi Missionaries was on this site (moved to the new Pottinger Procura  in 1847), an Orphanage was also planned. The site was later used for a Hospital

In January 1859 the hospital was rented to the army as married quarters for officers for $650 per month due to financial difficulties of the Catholic Mission

The building was then mortgaged around 1868 by Raimondi to help reduce the large outstanding debt of the Catholic Mission.

After various proposals to sell it fell through or were rejected the building was finally sold in 1880 for 12,000

Source: The foundation of the Catholic mission in Hong Kong, 1841-1894 (Xia Qilong 1998 HKU)