16456

POWDER FLASKS FOR LAWLESS SINGAPORE – SECRET SHIPMENT?

Manuscript headed ñInvoice of Powder Flasks shipped on board of the John Bull for Singapore to and on account of……….î including a letter of instruction addressed to ñMy Dear H.K.î

Published
(Birmingham?)

Description
4to., written one side of leaf in one hand, with integral blank leaf, half torn away, has been folded for mailing

£225.00

SKU: 16456

Product Description

Singapore in 1841 had a predominately Chinese population which was being swelled by an influx of more Chinese fleeing the First Opium War (1839-42). Administration was ineffective and with a predominately Male population society was lawless and chaotic. Chinese Secret Societies were powerful and Turf Wars common. The police force consisted of only a handful of men to control a population of near 60,000. This shipment was described as one cask containing 3 dozen 2 oz. flasks and 40 dozen 8 oz flasks, and with shipping from Birmingham to Liverpool costing a total of £51.12.0d. The letter written only to ñMy dear H. K.î and giving no identity of the senders name is interesting. It would appear from the fact that the cask is ñmarked & numbered as Marginî that this may have been sent secretly!!.