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


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


SKU: 16456 Category:

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!!.