Monday, May 2, 2011

Nagasaki & Penang

I was regret for not visiting Oura Church, Glover Garden, Dutch Slope,Site of the Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan(日本二十六聖人記念館 orにほんにじゅうろくせいじんきねんかん), and Oka Masaharu Memorial Nagasaki Peace Mueseum. But due to the earthquake and the train from Hakata to Nagasaki was suspended, we were forced to wait for hours, and finally decided to take a bus with an English friend to Nagasaki. In the end, we have no time to visit the places that I so long to visit.

I was to trace the development of Christianity from Nagasaki to Yamaguchi ,and later visit St Francis Xavier Memorial Church(ザビエル記念聖堂). The Spanish missionary Francisco de Xavier came to Japan in 1549 and was allowed by the tolerant lord Ouchi to stay in Yamaguchi. Francis Xavier, undertook a mission to Kyoto. On his way, he spent half a year in Yamaguchi, a city he favored over the war torn capital of Kyoto. To commemorate Xavier's visit to Yamaguchi, the Xavier Memorial Church was built in 1952. It burnt down and was reconstructed in the early 1990s. Father St Francis Xavier was a historical personality in Malaysia, there is a school in Penang , named after him.

How I miss to trace the connection between Nagasaki and Penang....

By coincident, when come back from Japan. I come across the website, Nagasaki, Foreign Settlement 1859-1941; I still able to find some connection between Penang and Nagasaki. I was overjoy with the discovery. I found the relationship between WILLIAM J. ALT(1840-1908)of Nagasaki Foreign Settlement and George Windsor Earl (1813–1865) of Strait Settlement, Penang. WILLIAM J. ALT was son in law of George Windsor Earl. At least I have a fruitful visit to Nagasaki.....

Nagasaki Foreign Settlement 1859-1941

The Ansei Five-Power Treaties, which came into effect in July 1859, ended Japan's long disengagement from international commercial and diplomatic networks. The treaties also provided for the establishment of designated settlements for foreigners in the five Japanese ports of Nagasaki, Kanagawa (Yokohama), Kobe, Niigata and Hakodate.

The foreign settlements subsequently served as springboards for the modernization of Japan. During the first years, Nagasaki played a particularly important role in that it was the closest port to China and a stepping stone for the introduction to Japan of everything from second-hand steamships to bowling balls and as a gateway for coal mining, railroads, newspaper publishing, shipbuilding and other technologies.

In the process, the Nagasaki foreign settlement developed its own unique style of administration, architecture and economic activity and provided a venue for international exchanges on various levels. The port also served as the setting for Madame Chrysanthemum, the 1888 novel by French author Pierre Loti that took nineteenth-century Europe by storm, deepened the cultural influence of "Japonisme" and paved the way for Giacomo Puccini's famous opera Madama Butterfly.

From the outset, however, the Japanese government wanted to revise the treaties because of their inherent inequality: foreign residents of the settlements enjoyed the privilege of extraterritoriality (immunity from local laws) and unilateral authority over many aspects of trade, but this was certainly not the case for Japanese visiting Europe or America.

In 1894 Japan finally succeeded in negotiating the abolition of the former treaties and replacing them with trade pacts similar to those concluded among European countries. The new pacts became effective five years later in July 1899, placing Japan on an equal international footing with the Western powers.

As a result, the Nagasaki foreign settlement, like its counterparts in Kobe, Yokohama and other ports, ceased to exist as an official entity. But the great prosperity of the port around the turn of the century, brought on in part by the military and economic activity related to the Sino-Japanese War, the Spanish-American War, and the Boxer Rebellion, assured its continuation as an unofficial institution retaining its primarily foreign population, its unique social infrastructure and its quasi-Western architectural identity.

During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, Nagasaki was placed under special military
supervision because of its proximity to the theaters of war. As a result, international shipping came to virtual standstill, and smaller ports in Kyushu such as Kuchinotsu, Moji and Hakata took over a large share of the trade and coal supply business once monopolized by Nagasaki. The following decades witnessed a steady decline in the number of foreign residents, and the outbreak of World War II caused an almost complete exodus.

After World War II, the homes, offices and hotels used by the residents of the former Nagasaki foreign settlement disappeared one after another under the wave of development and urbanization. Now only about one-tenth of the original buildings remain and memories have mostly faded in the old neighborhoods, but the area - and however indirectly the foreigners who once inhabited it - continue to contribute to the economy and culture of Nagasaki through its ongoing role as one of the city's most important tourist attractions.

(source: extract from

WILLIAM J. ALT(1840-1908), Nagasaki

William John Alt was born April 4, 1840 in Greenwich, England. At the age of twelve he entered the Merchant Service. Seven years later he joined the Customs Service in China, but left for Nagasaki later the same year after the port was opened to foreign trade. He registered with the British Consulate in Nagasaki January 6, 1860 as a general commission agent. Like his fellow young merchant-adventurer from Britain, Thomas Glover, William Alt made a considerable fortune in the first decade of the foreign settlement by trading tea, marine products, ships and weapons.

The headquarters of Alt & Co. was located on the Nagasaki waterfront at No. 7 Oura.
Situated behind this building at Oura Nos. 18, 19 and 20 were the tea firing warehouses where tea from the neighboring countryside was dried by hundreds of workers on rotating shifts which operated twenty-four hours a day. The coal warehouses were at Oura No. 45, along the water below Minamiyamate. High upon the hill of Minamiyamate overlooking the harbor, Alt built a huge private residence at Nos. 14, 14A and 29. The majestic house still stands and is one of the great tourist attractions at Glover's Garden.

From early on, Alt was an active member in governing the foreign community at Nagasaki. In June 1861 he was appointed one of three members of a committee to head the newly created Chamber of Commerce, and in February of the following year he was elected one of three original members of the Municipal Council. Alt also provided the foreign settlement one of its two fire engines -- Glover & Co. having the other.

Although William Alt was the driving force behind Alt & Co. in Nagasaki, he had a number of partners over the years. His original partner was Herbert M. Wright (1860), then came H.P Simpson (1862), Walter M. Norton (1864) and John R. Hooper (1867). When Alt left Nagasaki for Osaka in 1868, Norton also left the firm. By the beginning of 1871, Henry Hunt was signing for Alt & Co. in Nagasaki and running affairs there. He was assisted by Fredrick Hellyer, a nephew of Alt who had come to Nagasaki in 1868 to work for the company. In 1872, after Alt had returned to England, Hellyer became Hunt's partner in Alt & Co. In 1881, Alt & Co. disappeared from the roster of foreign companies in Nagasaki. Both Hunt and Hellyer (joined by his brother Thomas) opened their own companies in town, with the former taking over all of Alt's former insurance concerns.

We know a fair amount about Alt's private life as well, thanks to records kept by his wife and presented (in edited form) to the City of Nagasaki by their great granddaughter, the Viscountess Montgomery of Alamein in 1985. Upon his way home to England in 1863, Alt met and fell in love with Elisabeth Earl, the sixteen-year-old daughter of George Windsor Earl, the Magistrate of Province Wellesley at the Straits of Malacca. After completing his work in England, William Alt returned to Australia, where he and Elisabeth were married at Adelaide on September 15, 1864. The two newlyweds then proceeded to their new home in Nagasaki.

William and Elisabeth Alt had eight children, six daughters and two sons. The first four children were born in Japan and the remaining ones in England. The Alts lived in Nagasaki until 1868, when they moved to Osaka so that William could pursue business interests in the newly-opened foreign settlement there. They stayed there only eighteen months before moving on to the settlement at Yokohama.

Because of William's poor health, in 1871 the Alts returned to England, settling initially in Surrey. They later moved to London and purchased a house in Kensington. They also had a villa at Rappallo in Italy, where William went in winter to ease his bronchial troubles. He died there on November 9, 1908 at the age of sixty-eight.

(source: extract from

George Windsor Earl (1813–1865), Penang

George Samuel Windsor Earl (10-2-1813 to 9-8-1865), Acting governor of Penang in 1860, was an Assitant Resident Councillor of Penang. The author of the book with the title " The Eastern Seas". Yonger son of late Percy Earl Esq, senior of Hamptead, England.

He served in Penang and Province Wellesley from 1859 until his death in 1865.

George Windsor Earl (1813–1865) was an English navigator and author of works on the Indian Archipelago. He coined the term 'Indu-nesian', later popularised and adopted as the name for Indonesia. A skilled linguist, hydrographer, navigator, and draughtsman. He was pioneer of northern Australia.

Earl was born in London around 1813 as George (Samuel) Windsor Earl. He traveled to India in 1827, after becoming a midshipman at age 14, then joined the colonists in Western Australia in 1830. In 1832 he came from Western Australia to Java. He resumed his nautical career, working between Batavia and Singapore, and gained the command of a trading ship. He arrived for the first time from Batavia to Singapore on 6th February 1833.

In 1834 Earl was put in command of the British schooner 'Stamford' which he took to Penang, Java and western Borneo

He returned to England and became involved in a scheme to colonise the North of Australia, and established Port Essington, leaving for Port Essington in 1838. He spent some months in 1842, in Swan River Settlement, Western Australia.

In 1844, he left Port Essington to London. By 1845, the hardships and lack of success of the North Australia Expedition had exhausted him. He made a later venture to the region, promoting cotton and trade, with a similar result. He was in Sydney in 1847, intending to return to Port Essington from Hong Kong or Singapore, but there was no available transport.

In 1848, he was in Malacca as law agent.

From 1855 until his death he held a variety of official administrative positions in the region, his last post was at Penang.

In 1856,he practiced in High Street,Singapore as Advocate and Law Agent. On 1st June 1857,he was appointed as Police Magistrate in Singapore. In 1859 he was Assistant Resident Councillor and exchanged offices with Mr.Willans at Province Wellesley; he then acted for Mr.Braddell in Penang and returned to Province Wellesley in 1860.

Two days after leaving Penang on his way home,Earl died on a sea journey to England in 1865. The South Australian Advertiser dated Friday 27 October 1865 published a family notice, which announced that "On the 9th August,1865 on board the Shantung, on his passage to London, George Windsor Earl, Esq., Assistant Resident Councillor and Police Magistrate of Province Wellesley, Straits of Malacca, passed away at the age of 52 years". He was buried at The Christian Cemetery, located at Northam Road(Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah)in Penang.

As an author

G. W. Earl, who wrote on a diverse range of interests, was regarded as an authority on hydrography and a source of anthropological information on the peoples of the region. His works include papers and books, and a number of pamphlets and other material relating to proposed ventures in Australia. His first major publication, Sailing directions for the Arafura Sea, 1839, was a translation from Dutch narratives of Dirk Hendrik Kolff and others. The records of his observations of deep-sea channels was used by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace when studying the disjuncts in the bio-geographic distribution of the region. He published a paper in 1850 that invented the term 'Indu-nesians', for a quaint racial classification, derived from the Latin for India and island.

He published a seminal anthropological reference on the Papuan peoples, compiled from first hand accounts of other visitors to the region, though his direct contact or exploration of the land is unrecorded and seems unlikely. This work, The native races of the Indian Archipelago: Papuans, was the first in a projected series, further volumes on 'Malayu-Polynesians', Australians, and Moluccans were never realised. Amongst the sources for the material was information Earl obtained from interviews with Owen Stanley and Dumont d'Urville. The volume functioned as a standard reference on the people until the twentieth century, though based on a treatment as a racial classification, was noted for its focus on research from the field. [2] The book included papers on racial types written in 1845, these were encouraged and edited by James Richardson Logan and published in Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia.


George Windsor Earl of Hamstead Heath and of North Australia, married to Clara Siborne on 4-4-1846, at Trinity Church, Upper Chelsea, London. Clara Siborne was the eldest daughter of SIBORNE or SIBORN, WILLIAM (1797–1849), of Royal Military Asylum.(source: The annual register, or, A view of the history and politics of the year ...
, Volume 88 , J.G. & F. Rivington, 1847, pg 221)


SIBORNE or SIBORN, WILLIAM (1797–1849), historian of the Waterloo campaign, was the son of Captain Benjamin Siborn of the 9th or Norfolk regiment of foot, who was wounded at the battle of Nivelle in the Peninsular war, and died while serving with his regiment at St. Vincent in the West Indies on 14 July 1819. William Siborne was born on 15 Oct. 1797, was partly educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and received a commission as ensign in the 9th foot on 9 Sept. 1813. He joined the second battalion at Canterbury, accompanied it to Chatham in February 1815, and to Sheerness in the summer. In August he was one of those drafted to join the army of the Duke of Wellington. On 17 Aug. they landed at Ostend, and marched to Paris, where they arrived on 5 Sept. and encamped near St. Denis. Siborne was promoted to be lieutenant in his regiment on 8 Nov. 1815, and about that date he accompanied it to Boulogne as part of the British army of occupation of France. In February 1817 the regiment was reduced to one battalion, and Siborne found himself placed on half-pay. He was brought back to full pay as a lieutenant in the 47th or Lancashire regiment on 11 Nov. 1824.

In March 1826 Siborne was appointed assistant military secretary to Lieutenant-general Sir George Murray (1772–1846) [q. v.], commanding the forces in Ireland, and held the same appointment with Murray's successors, Sir John Byng, Sir R. Hussey, and Sir Edward Blakeney—until 1843. He was promoted to be captain unattached on 31 Jan. 1840, and on the same date was placed upon half-pay, although he continued to hold the staff appointment of military secretary in Dublin.

In 1822 Siborne published ‘Instructions for Civil and Military Surveyors in Topographical Plan-drawing, founded upon the system of John George Lehman,’ London, 4to; and in 1827 ‘A Practical Treatise on Topographical Surveying and Drawing, containing a simple and easy Mode of Surveying the Detail of any portion of Country, to which are added Instructions in Topographical Modelling,’ London, 8vo. The book was dedicated to his chief, Sir George Murray.

In 1830 Siborne was commissioned by the commander-in-chief to undertake the construction of a model of the field of Waterloo. He accordingly lived for eight months at the farm of La Haye Sainte on the field of battle, and made an accurate survey of the whole ground, upon which he based the construction of the model. The execution of this work occupied some years, as Siborne devoted to it only such leisure time as his professional duties permitted. Siborne consulted surviving officers who had taken part in the campaign. In 1833 the progress of the work was interrupted by the refusal of the new ministry to allot funds for it. Siborne was thus thrown upon his own resources. He continued the work until its completion in 1838, at a cost of nearly 3,000l. The model was publicly exhibited in London and in other places, but the receipts barely covered the expenses of exhibition, and Siborne never recovered the cost of its construction. It is now the property of the Royal United Service Institution. Siborne also constructed a smaller model on a larger scale of a portion of the field of battle. A ‘Guide to Captain Siborne's New Waterloo Model’ was published, London, n. d.

Having amassed a very large amount of information from surviving officers on the subject, not only of the battle but of the whole campaign, Siborne in 1844 published his ‘History of the War in France and Belgium in 1815, containing Minute Details of the Battles of Quatre-Bras, Ligny, Wavre, and Waterloo,’ in two octavo volumes, with folio atlas, London. The work reached a fourth edition in 1894 (Arber's ‘War Library’), and is still a text-book on the subject.

On 6 Nov. 1844 Siborne was appointed secretary and adjutant of the Royal Military Asylum at Chelsea, and died there while holding the appointment on 9 Jan. 1849. He was buried at Brompton cemetery.

Siborne married, in 1824, Helen(Born 1800), daughter of Colonel Aitken of Todhall, near Cupar, Fifeshire, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. The second son, Major-general Herbert Taylor Siborne, born 18 Oct. 1826, edited in 1891, with explanatory notes, ‘Waterloo Letters: a Selection from Original and hitherto Unpublished Letters bearing on the Operations of the 16th, 17th, and 18th June 1815, by Officers who served in the Campaign.’ It is a selection from the letters which his father received concerning the battle and campaign of Waterloo. The whole of the letters are now the property of the British Museum.

Clara Siborne and George Windsor Earl (1813–1865) only issue was their daughter, Elizabeth Christina Earl( b 1 January 1847 - d 1 January 1928, Age 81)‎ , who married to William John Alt.,at Adelaide on September 15, 1864.

On the 15th September,1864 at Trinity Church, Adelaide, by the Very Rev. Dean Farrell, William John, Alt, Esq., of Japan, to Elizabeth Christiana Fernhill, daughter of George Windsor Earl, Esq., of Province Wellesley, Straits of Malacca.(source:

Their issue:-

a)Mable Edith Alt married to Bertram George Mitford(1864-1940).His issue:-
ai)Elizabeth Christina Mitford married to Richard West. aii)John Bertram Mitford(1899-1979) married to Marjorie Price.Their issue:- bi)Susan D. Mitford married to Michael Davis.His issue:- ci)Samuel Davis. bii) Bertram William Jeremy Mitford married to Joanna Hisey.Their issue:- ci)Selena Mitford married to Chris Peppard.Their issue:- di)Annabel Mitford Peppard.

b)Ethel Margaret Alt.

c)Kathleen Alt.

d)Anne Alt.

e)Phillis Innocent Alt.

f)William Lancelot Brian Alt.

g)Pleasance Alt.

Books published

1. The Eastern Sea(1837)
2. Enterprise, Discoveries, Adventures in Australia(1846)
3. Enterprise in Tropical Australia(1846)
4. The Native Race of Indian Archipelago( 1853)
5. A Handbook for Colonists in Tropical Australia(1863)
6. Topography and itinerary of Province Wellesley(1861)
7. On the shell-mounds of Province Wellesley, in the Malay Peninsula'(1860)-Mr. GW Earl described the singular shell mounds existing in the province of Wellesley, near the Mudah River. They are about five or six miles from the sea, being situated on sand ridge.

Related articles/websites:

1. My earlier blog article,Protestant Cemetery(1789-1892),dated Sunday, May 17, 2009
2. Nagasaki,Foreign Settlement 1859-1941;
3. Foreign bodies: Oceania and the science of race 1750-1940(2008),
edited by Bronwen Douglas, Chris Ballard; ANU E Press, 2008
4. Douglas, Bronwen; Ballard, Chris (eds). "George Windsor Earl — 'a single glance is sufficient'". Foreign Bodies: Oceania and the Science of Race 1750-1940. Part Two – Experience: the Science of Race and Oceania, 1750-1869 (online ed.). Australian National University.

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