Alabaster, Sir Chaloner

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection includes nine of Alabaster's diaries (1854-1875), which give accounts of his time in China. The later diaries are incomplete and contain far less detail than earlier volumes. Additional material (1868-1898) includes papers and correspondence detailing his military service, accounts, obituaries and copies of A Chapter from the Chinese Gospel, by Alabaster, from Occasional papers on Chinese Philosophy.

Material used in The China Consuls, P. D. Coates, OUP, 1988.

Administrative / Biographical History

Chaloner Alabaster was born in 1838 at Barcombe in Bournemouth, and educated at King's College, London. In 1855 he was appointed student interpreter in China and served through the Opium wars and the Taiping Rebellion. He was Vice-Consul at Shanghai (1869-1873), and went on to become Consul General at Hankow (Wuhan) (1880-1886) and Canton (1886-1891). In 1892, the year of his retirement, he was knighted. He died in 1898. Sir Chaloner Alabaster was married in 1875, to Laura, daughter of Dr. D. J. MacGowan of New York.

His elder brother was a member of the China Consular Service from 1856 and his son became Attorney General in Hong Kong.

Arrangement

The diaries and additional material are arranged in chronological order.

Conditions Governing Access

Unrestricted

Acquisition Information

Donated in 1987.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist

Conditions Governing Use

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance

Subjects