DEVELOPMENT IN THE SETTLEMENT, 1860-1870
The last chapter gave an account of the changes which took place in the decade under consideration, in municipal administration. In this chapter, other developments in the Settlement affecting the trade and the life of the foreign residents will be considered.
Slump in Real Estate
After the suppression of the Taiping Rebellion in 1864, contrary to general expectation, there was a great exodus of Chinese refugees, returning to their former homes. Whole streets of newly-built houses became empty, buildings were stopped half way in their construction, long lines of godowns along the river front, representing nearly Tls. 1,500,000 became disused, and recently constructed wharves stood deserted.
Many private capitalists were threatened with bankruptcy, and with the departure of the Chinese taxpayers, the revenue of the Council suddenly declined. Land values had been greatly inflated, and the cost of building materials had become exceptionally high. It had been a time of wild speculation, and was followed by a brief period of panic.
It is almost impossible to say to what extent the population grew during the time when the Settlements were occupied by the refugees. Some estimate that in the three Settlements and the walled city the population may have been as high as 1,500,000. We know, however, that in 1865 the Chinese population shrank to 70,000 in the English Settlement, 47,500 in the French Concession, and 200,000 in Hongkew. The foreign population was 2,750 residents in the Settlements and 2,832 in the Naval and Military forces.
During the Taiping Rebellion the Customs receipts fell to one half the usual amount. The privilege given to foreigners to visit Hangchow, Soochow and the silk districts was cut off, and for a time foreign trade suffered from the Imperialists and the rebels alike, both seizing the cargo in transit on the canals.
It is estimated that the export of silk decreased by 41,000 bales.
The over speculation in land and buildings and the financial collapse, had a disastrous effect on the banks and six out of 11 suspended payment. The world-wide monetary crisis of 1866 made its effect felt in Shanghai also, and added further to the financial depression.
The Building of the Cathedral
It is sometimes said that wherever an Englishman goes he takes with him his Church and his Race Course. This was true in regard to Shanghai, and we find the early residents making provision both for religious worship and for their favourite sport.
The first public worship was held at the British Consulate in 1843 when it was still within the native city, and was conducted by Dr. W. H. Medhurst and other missionaries, according to the ritual of the Church of England.
The first Episcopal Church to be erected was Trinity Church, in 1847, on the present site of the English Cathedral. The land was given at a nominal price by Mr. Beale, of Messrs. Dent and Company. The building cost only $86,000 and called for constant repairs. In 1850 the roof fell in, involving an expenditure of $5,000 for repair, and in 1862 the original church became so dilapidated that it was abandoned and a temporary one erected. In 1866 the old church was pulled down and the building of the present structure begun.
Plans were made in England by Sir Gilbert Scott for an imposing church, but owing to the lack of money the drawings were considerably modified by a local architect named William Kidner. The building was not completed until 1869. The style is Gothic of the early 13thcentury. For a long time it stood without a tower, but this was added in 1893 and greatly enhanced its beauty.
In 1875 Trinity Church was offered to the newly appointed Bishop of North China, the Rt. Rev. W. A. Russell, as his Cathedral, and the Bishop "selected and assigned" the Church as the Cathedral for his Diocese of North China. The successor of Bishop Russell, the Rt. Rev. G.E. Moule, D.D., would not take the Cathedral on the same terms, that is, that he should have the building as his Cathedral during his term of office in life. He required that it should be "vested in him" and his successors. To this the trustees would not agree.
Church of Our Saviour
One of the first churches in the Settlement was the Church of Our Saviour in Hongkew, built by Bishop William J. Boone of the American Episcopal Church Mission in 1854. It stood then close by the northern bank of the Whangpoo, and its tower was a landmark for many years to the captains of ships coming up the river from Woosung to Shanghai. Later, as the land accreted in front, this commanding position was lost and it was hidden by the buildings erected between Broadway and the river bank. In 1916 the old church was pulled down and a new one was built, off Dixwell Road, by the Chinese congregation.
Church for Seamen
The large amount of shipping in the early days gave occasion to work being undertaken by the Seaman's Mission. This was first carried on by a floating "Bethel" on the Whangpoo and then by a barque called the "Euphrates," bought in 1860. Later it was decided to build a church on land, and a chapel was erected in 1867 near Pootung Point. It was designed by Mr. E. H. Oliver, and built by Mr. Henry Lester at a cost of Tls. 3,500, the Council giving the site.
The cemetery adjoining the Church was used for the burial of sailors who died in port. As time went on, it became necessary to transfer the work among seamen to the Hongkew side of the river, and finally it was arranged for the old site to be sold and the proceeds used for the building of another church. In this way St. Andrew's Church for Seamen on Broadway was erected.
The care of the cemetery at Pootung was taken over by the Shanghai Municipal Council, and in 1927 the site came into the possession of the Council.
The Union Church traces its origin back to the earliest days of the Settlement. We find that the Rev. Dr. W. H. Medhurst of the London Missionary Society conducted services for foreigners in 1845 in the Shantung Road Compound, various members of the same Mission continuing these services for many years, among whom was the Rev. William Muirhead; but in 1864 the non-conformists organized themselves into a separate and independent church. In the same year the first Union Church was built on a part of the London Mission Compound in Shantung Road. After 21 years, the congregation purchased the present site on the corner of Soochow and Yuen-ming-yuen Roads, and in 1886 a new Church was opened which ever since has been known as the Union Church. A Sunday School Hall and a Manse were added in 1899 and the church was altered and enlarged in 1901.
The Race Course and Recreation Ground
Shanghai was not long without a Race Course. Before there was a Municipal Council, as far back as 1850, 80 mow of land had been secured for a park. This was on the northern side of Nanking Road, and its eastern boundary was the present Honan Road. Here were held the earliest race meetings. Next what was called the New Park and Race Course, situated east of the Defence Creek, was purchased in 1854. One can retrace this Race Course in imagination by starting from Nanking Road (which did not then exist as a road) following the straight Thibet Road around the curve of Pakhoi and Hoihow Roads and back by Hoopeh Road across Nanking Road along the present Chekiang Road and Chefoo Road as far as Yunnan Road, curving back to the point of departure on Nanking Road. It was used as a riding course as well as for racing.
Four residents, whose names are worthy of remembrance - R. C. Antrobus, James Whittal, Albert Heard, and Henry Dent, in 1860 purchased 40 mow of land in the interior of the second Race Course, so as to provide a place for cricket and other sports.
The second Race Course was succeeded in 1862 by a third, the present one on Bubbling Well Road. When it was laid out, the gentlemen whose names have been mentioned above decided to sell the original piece of property which had greatly increased in value, and to purchase a new piece inside the third Race Course.
Shareholders in the first recreation ground consented to sell their shares to the committee at the original price. The land was sold for Tls. 49,425, and a Recreation Fund founded. Tls. 12,500 was used for the purchase of 430 mow, within the present Race Course in 1863, and a cricket ground was laid out.
As years passed this large piece of land was gradually converted into the splendid playing fields we have today, for all manner of sports. Situated as it is in a densely crowded part of the Settlement, it serves the purpose of an indispensable lung.
The Recreation Fund has been useful in many ways besides its original purpose. Loans were made out of it to aid other enterprises, not always advantageously, and involved it at one time in serious financial difficulties.
The Shanghai Club
The Shanghai Club was built in 1862, and was planned on an extravagant scale, far beyond the means of those called upon to support it.
In order to finish the building a loan was obtained from the Recreation Fund, and as the Club was unable to pay off its indebtedness, a long altercation ensued. For many years the Club was run in such a way that there was an annual deficit, and it was not until 1870 that it was put on a sound financial basis. The present commodious Club, erected in 1909, occupies the same site as the original building.
Social Life and Sports
In the beginning, as we can well understand,means of recreation were somewhat limited. Indeed an old resident has described wheel-barrow races up and down The Bund as an after-dinner amusement on summer evenings! In a short time, however, many clubs and societies came into existence. Amateur theatricals began as early as 1850, the theatre in which they were performed being a transformed godown or warehouse.
Later, in 1866, the Amateur Dramatic Club was formed, and steps were taken for the erection of a permanent theatre at the cost of Tls. 6,000. The first building of the Lyceum Theatre was a wooden one and was destroyed by fire in March, 1871. The one still in use was planned and built in 1874.
Royal Asiatic Society
A Literary and Scientific Society was started as early as 1857 which in the following year became the North-China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. After a few years of vitality it passed through a period of suspended animation. Then in 1864 it was revived and since then has steadily continued its existence, issuing its valuable Journals, which for many years have appeared annually.
For a long time it had no regular home. In 1868 a letter was written by Sir Rutherford Alcock recommending to the Foreign Office a grant to the Society of a site for a building. The grant of a piece of property, situated in Museum Road, near Peking Road, was made at once at a nominal rent on condition that if the Society should be dissolved or if buildings were not put up within three years the ground would revert to the government.
The offer came near being voided, but towards the close of the three years a great effort was made to collect funds for a building. The Debating Society gave its balance on the understanding that it could meet in the Society's rooms. Mr. Thomas Hanbury gave Tls. 500, Mr. Thomas Kingsmill prepared the plans free of charge, and the building was put up in 1871 at a cost of about Tls. 3,000. Subscriptions were raised amounting to Tls. 2,700 by M. Henri Cordier, the Honorary Librarian, and by Mr. F. B. Forbes.
Of course a large part of the community was not deeply interested in the Society and regarded it as a dry-as-dust institution, but it has had a long and honourable history and has carried on valuable research in the language, customs, ethics, history, etc., of China.
It has a creditable museum and a very valuable library of books on the Orient, the nucleus of which was obtained by the purchase of the splendid collection of books belonging to Mr. Alexander Wylie. In 1927 the Society celebrated its 70th anniversary.
The Shanghai Library dates back to 1849. In 1854 we find that it contained 1,276 distinct works, and subscribed to 30 periodicals and newspapers, and met a great need of the young Settlement.
It was housed at different times in various locations, at the Shanghai Club, in rooms adjoining the premises of the Royal Asiatic Society, on Nanking Road and finally in the Town Hall.
When the Shanghai Club built its own library, the Shanghai Library lost about half its subscribers and for a time was crippled financially. On condition that its Reading Room should be made free to the public, an annual grant was made to it by the Shanghai Municipal Council.
Masonry has always played an important part in Shanghai life. We find that the first Lodge - the Northern Lodge - was established in 1849. This was followed by the Sussex Lodge in 1863. Its first home was in Park Lane, now Nanking Road. The foundation stone of the new Hall on The Bund was laid in July, 1865, and was one of the first buildings of pleasing character to appear on the water front. The present site and building have recently been sold and it is now planned to erect a large and handsome building in some other part of the International Settlement.
Turning to sport, we find, of course, that shooting was a favourite pastime. After the devastation wrought by the Taming Rebellion in the vicinity of Shanghai, game became more plenteous than ever.
The first mention of a house-boat is in the year 1859. From that time on one of the most delightful ways of spending a holiday was an excursion up country in a house-boat for the purpose of shooting.
Cricket, as already noted, was one of the chief forms of sport. The first recorded cricket match was played somewhere in Hongkew, and on this ground a match between a team of officers from H.M.S. "Highflyer" and a Shanghai eleven was played on April 22, 1858. The first inter-port match with Hongkong took place in 1866.
Rowing made its appearance in 1863, and a football club was formed in 1867.
The early history of the Fives Court, the Bowling Alley and Racquets Court is somewhat wrapped in mystery. The Fives Court was situated at the corner of Nanking and Honan Roads. Until recently an insignificant doorway in a Chinese wall at 49 Nanking Road, gave entrance to what is said to have been the somewhat exclusive Bowling Club, and to the Bowling Alley which was made in 1857. Although this old historic site has recently been sold and the building torn down, it is interesting to note that the Chinese still call that part of Nanking Road by the Chinese words pau-jeu-dzang meaning "Bowling Alley."
By 1864 Paper Hunting as an outdoor sport became fairly established, but the club goes back to an earlier date. Its introduction was due to the military officers who were familiar with it in other parts of the world.
The first paper hunt was won in December, 1863, by Mr. Augustus Broom on a pony called "Mud." About a year later a pack of beagles was followed across country, the dogs having been brought out in 1864. Enthusiasts in regard to paper hunts refer with pride to a Royal Hunt. In 1881, Shanghai was visited by the late Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, Prince George (now the King of England), and Prince Louis of Battenberg. On December 3 Prince Albert Victor and Prince George rode with the "foxes," and Prince Louis rode in the Hunt and was sixth on the card.
Rowing became very popular, and an international cup was keenly competed for. In 1866 it was won by the American eight and in 1867 by the English. The races were rowed on the Soochow Creek. In later years, as Shanghai developed, the congested traffic on the waterways near Shanghai made it necessary to hold the annual regatta out in the country at Henli.
The Missionary Community
As soon as Shanghai was opened as a Treaty Port, it became a centre of Protestant Missionary work as well as of trade.
The Roman Catholic Church had carried on important work in China since the 17th century, and a church had been built in the Chinese city, largely by the help of the well-known convert already referred to, Paul Zi, or Hsji. During a period of persecution this had been seized and converted into a temple of the god of war. In 1860, through the influence of General de Montauban, it was returned to the Fathers, and restored to its former use. It still stands, and is known as the "Lau Tong," or "Old Church."
In 1848 the foundation was laid of the important centre at Siccawei. The Orphanage, Industrial School, Library, Meteorological Observatory, T'usewei Printing Press, and Church form an interesting group at the present day.
As to the advent of the Protestant Missionaries, the Rev. W. H. Medhurst, D.D., and Dr. Wm. Lockhart, of the London Mission, who had formerly been stationed at Canton, arrived in Shanghai a little before Captain Balfour.
At the beginning of things the services of Dr. Medhurst were much in demand as interpreter in the negotiations carried on with the Chinese authorities, "and thus the British Service at Shanghai benefited from the wide experience and fluency of men from the Mission field." These two were followed by the Revs. William Muirhead and Joseph Edkins.
Mrs. Lockhart, a sister of Mr. (afterwards Sir) Harry Parkes, was the first Western lady to set foot in Shanghai. She survived her husband for many years, and died in England on January 2, 1918, at the ripe age of 95. She may be said to have been canonized by the public, inasmuch as St. Catherine's Bridge derives its name from her.
Among the first American Missionaries were Dr. E. C. Bridgman of the Congregational Church, who was transferred from Canton to Shanghai in 1847, and the Rt. Rev. Dr. William' J. Boone, the first representative of the American Episcopal Church. He was first stationed at Batavia, then at Amoy, and came to Shanghai in 1845. He was the first missionary Bishop of the Anglican Communion to be sent to China.
The best known of the Southern Baptist Missionaries in Shanghai at an early date was Dr. M. T. Yates, who arrived in 1847. As he lived close to the walls of the native city he saw much of the fighting which took place when Shanghai was in the hands of the rebels.
Other distinguished missionaries connected with Shanghai, are Dr. W. A. P. Martin, who became a great Chinese scholar, Dr. Young J. Allen who both as translator and educator did a remarkable work, and Mr. Alexander Wylie (1847), Agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, who was acquainted with many languages and became a leading Sinologue.
The number of residents being small, there was not the same clear line of demarcation between the missionary and business communities as exists to-day. Both alike had the interests of the new Settlement at heart and helped in its development. Of course there were times when they did not see eye to eye, and we find some of the missionaries objecting to being taxed for the erection of jetties, on the ground that as they were not engaged in commerce, they ought not to be asked to pay for what was of use only to the mercantile portion of the community. The majority, however, were public spirited, and were ready to support anything of benefit to the community. The name of Dr. W. H. Medhurst appears on the Council in the year 1854-1855 and that of Dr. M. T. Yates in the years 1868-1870.
Early Missionary Work
Missionary work was at first largely confined to Shanghai, but attempts were made to do evangelistic work in the neighbouring towns and villages. In one case this led, as we have seen, to serious friction between the British Consul and the Chinese authorities, when Medhurst, Lockhart, and Muirhead were attacked by a mob at Tsingpu.
The efforts of the missionaries were exerted in founding churches, schools and hospitals. Among the first churches to be built were Christ Church in the native city in 1850, and the Church of Our Saviour, which has already been mentioned. Another old church was that of the London Mission, on Shantung Road, erected in 1864. It has since given place to a new and more modern edifice. A Baptist Church outside the North Gate was also built at an early period.
Among the first schools were those of the American Episcopal Church Mission in Hongkew, the schools founded by Dr. Bridgman at the West Gate, and the Anglo-Chinese School under the auspices of the Church Missionary Society.
The first hospital for Chinese was opened by Dr. Wm. Lockhart of the London Missionary Society in 1843, near the South Gate. The premises were found inconvenient, and a local committee was formed for the purpose of making an appeal to the foreign residents for funds to build a hospital on a piece of land outside the North Gate.
When the sum of $2,881.47 had been raised, the subscribers were called together on December 3, 1846, for the purpose of electing trustees. At this meeting seven trustees were elected, who were to hold the property of the hospital in trust, on condition that it should always be used as a Hospital for Chinese, and be temporarily rented to the resident medical officer of the Medical Missionary Society of the London Mission in China.
In 1861 this site was sold and a new building was put up on Shantung Road, and the hospital became known as the Shantung Road Hospital.
In 1873 the Hospital Trustees leased from the London Missionary Society for 25 years at $300 per annum, the land on which the present men's hospital stands. In 1901 the site was bought outright from the Society by the Hospital Trustees. In 1873 the hospital was entirely rebuilt.
After many years of useful service, it obtained means for building a modern well-equipped hospital from the legacy of Tls. 2,000,000 from the Lester Estate, and in 1927 adopted its new name, the Lester Chinese Hospital. Although strictly speaking not a mission hospital, it has always had close connection with the London Missionary Society and has permitted that Society to carry on religious work among the patients.
Another mission hospital, St. Luke's, was founded in 1866 under the auspices of the American Episcopal Church Mission. It was inaugurated by a gift of $150 gold sent to the Rev. (afterwards, Archdeacon) E. H. Thomson, by Mrs. Elizabeth Shields of Philadelphia. Mr. Thomson and Dr. McGowan opened a small dispensary at a rent of $5 per month. Several of the community doctors rendered their services free, among whom was Dr. R. A. Jamieson. On account of its location it was at first known as the "Hongkew Hospital." The name "St. Luke's" was adopted when it was moved to the present site in 1880. A wealthy Chinese, Li Chiu-ping, gave the land, and a little later helped to raise money to build two wards, with an office and operating room. In 1882 the Gutzlaff Hospital was amalgamated with St. Luke's. Recently this hospital also received a legacy of Tls. 200,000 from the Lester Estate.
Naturally as Shanghai developed into the largest and most important treaty port, it became the headquarters of most of the Missions carrying on work in China.
Visit of the Duke of Edinburgh
Shanghai was visited in 1869 by the Duke of Edinburgh, and as he was the first royal guest to be entertained by the community, he received a most enthusiastic welcome. Inasmuch as the Duke of Somerset in a speech in the House of Lords a few months previous had referred to Shanghai as a "sink of iniquity," much to the indignation of the residents of Shanghai, an effort was made to give the Duke of Edinburgh a better impression of the community that prided itself on being a "model settlement."