Maze, Sir Frederick

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers include personal and semi-official letters, letter-books, reports and circulars, dated 1922-1943, relating to Sir Frederick Maze's work with the Chinese Maritime Customs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederick Maze was born in Belfast. He was educated at Wesley College, Dublin and privately. He entered the Chinese Maritime Customs in 1891, at the close of Sir Robert Hart's regime. In 1899 he was made Acting Audit Secretary at the Inspectorate General in Peking and the following year became Acting Commissioner at Ichang. In 1901 he became Deputy Commissioner firstly at Foochow and then from 1902-1904 in Canton. He opened the Custom House at Kongmoon, West River in 1904, and was subsequently Commissioner in Tengyueh (Burma Frontier) 1906-1908, Canton (1911-1915), Tientsin (1915-1920), Hankow (1921-1925) and Shanghai (1925-1929). In 1928 he was appointed by the Chinese Government to be Deputy Inspector-General of Customs, serving as Inspector- General from 1929-1943, a period of great upheaval in Chinese politics. He continued to run the service when the Japanese occupied in 1937 but after Pearl Harbour he was interned. On his release he went to Chungking where a temporary base for the Customs had been established, but after a few months he resigned and returned to England. Other positions included his appointment by the Chinese Government as Advisor to the National Board of Reconstruction in 1928, and his membership of the Loans Sinking Fund from 1932. He was married to Laura Gwendoline. He died on 25 March 1959.


The papers are arranged into three main groups, and into categories within the groups. Group I: confidential letters and reports (1900-1943); confidential letters (1882-1923 and 1940-1941); miscellaneous correspondence (1929-1930); letter- books (1900-1905); Group II: semi-official letters (1904-1928); semi-official circulars (1911- 1913); Group III: Inspector General's personal correspondence (1937-1941); Inspector General's personal correspondence with non-resident Secretary in London (1939- 1940); Inspector General's personal correspondence with British Embassy (1938- 1940). Within these groups, material is arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Donated in 1959.

Other Finding Aids

Published Guide: Papers Relating to the Chinese Maritime Customs 1860- 1943, (SOAS, 1973)

Separated Material

Associated Material held elsewhere: Sir Frederick Maze, memoirs and papers, National Maritime Museum, manuscripts Section [ref. MS79/165]; Sir Frederick Maze, Correspondence (1929-1941), Science Museum Library, London [ref. MS 2084].

Conditions Governing Use

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

Related Material

Related Collections at SOAS: See published guide: Papers Relating to the Chinese Maritime Customs 1860-1943, (SOAS, 1973). In addition to Sir Frederick Maze, these include the papers of George H. Fitzroy (MS 258361); Sir Robert Hart and his correspondence with James Duncan Campbell (MS 191931); Edward Charles Macintosh Bowra and Cecil Arthur Verner Bowra (MS 201813), and Sir Francis Arthur Aglen (MS 211355).