Thu. Aug 18th, 2022

The Opium Wars in ChinaOpium Smokers

Two wars (1839-1843, 1856-1860) fought between Britain and China in which Western powers gained significant commercial privileges and territory. The Opium Wars began when the Chinese government tried to stop the illegal importation of opium by British merchants.

Opium Smokers

The First Opium War started in 1839 when the Chinese government confiscated opium warehouses in Guangzhou (Canton). Britain responded by sending an expedition of warships to the city in February 1840. The British won a quick victory and the conflict was ended by the Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) on August 29, 1842. By this treaty, and a supplementary one signed on October 8, 1843, China was forced to pay a large indemnity, open five ports to British trade and residence, and cede Hong Kong to Britain. The treaty also gave British citizens in China the right to be tried in British courts. Other Western powers demanded, and were granted, similar privileges.Sea Vessels at War

In October 1856, Guangzhou police boarded the British ship Arrow and charged its crew with smuggling. Eager to gain more trading rights, the British used the incident to launch another offensive, precipitating the Second Opium War, also known as the Arrow War. British forces, aided by the French, won another quick military victory in 1857. When the Chinese government refused to ratify the Treaty of Tianjin, which had been signed in 1858, the hostilities resumed. In 1860, after British, American and French troops had occupied Beijing and ransacked and burned the Summer Palace, the Chinese agreed to ratify the treaty. The treaty opened additional trading ports, allowed foreign emissaries to reside in Beijing, admitted Christian missionaries into China, and opened travel to the Chinese interior. Later negotiations legalised the importation of opium.Summer Palace

The 1860’s Importations

It was during the ransacking and burning of the summer Palace that five Pekingese were found, and it was these five that were brought back to England, two by Lord John Hay who was then Admiral of the fleet, two by Sir George Fitzroy, and one, the smallest by General (then Lieutenant) Dunne.

Lord John HeyLooty

The Pekingese seized by General Dunne named Looty was presented to Queen Victoria and lived until 1872. The two brought over by Lord John Hey were named Schloff and a bitch Hytien, she was given by Lord John Hey to his sister the Duchess of Wellington who kept the breed going at Strathfieldsaye undoubtedly with the aid of the dog Schlorff.

The Duchess of WellingtonThe Duchess of Richmond

The two Pekingese brought over by Sir George Fitzroy, who was the cousin of The Duchess of Richmond and Gordon, were given to the Duchess and were called Guh and Meh, from this pear and possibly with the out side aid of Schlorff the famous Goodwood strain was evolved and carried on with marked success for a period of over 50 years first by The Duchess of Richmond and later by her daughter in law Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox sister to The Countess of Warwick.

Guh & Meh

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