Beyond the Bund: Life in the Outports

  • Robert Nield


Much has been written about the larger, more glamorous former treaty ports of China, particularly Shanghai. This chapter furthers our understanding of life in the smaller, more remote stations in which foreigners lived and worked. Nield has sourced a wide range of material, from consular and customs reports to novels and travellers’ accounts. The “outports” as the smaller places were known, were generally looked down upon by Shanghailanders. Yet the less significant treaty ports, with their clubs and tiny foreign communities trusting in the protection provided by extraterritoriality, nevertheless formed an important part of the semi-colonial network in China and provided a training ground for many officials and merchants who were on their way to bigger and better things.


Treaties and Other International Agreements

  1. Agreement for the Settlement of the Yunnan Case, Official Intercourse, and Trade between [Great Britain and China]. Chefoo, 13 September, 1876.Google Scholar

British Government Official Papers

  1. Colonial Reports – Annual. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. “Colonial Report for Hong Kong 1935”, etc.Google Scholar
  2. Foreign Office Annual Series. Diplomatic and Consular Reports on Trade and Finance for Various Treaty Ports. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. “FO Shanghai 1900”, etc.Google Scholar

Other Official Papers and Directories

  1. China Proper. London: Naval Intelligence Division, 1944.Google Scholar
  2. Imperial Maritime Customs Decennial Reports 1882–91. Shanghai: Inspector General of Customs, 1893. “Customs Decennial 1882–91.”Google Scholar

Newspapers and Journals

  1. Hong Kong Daily Press.Google Scholar
  2. New York Times.Google Scholar
  3. Royal Asiatic Society, Hong Kong Branch, Journal.Google Scholar


  1. Hong Kong Public Records Office.Google Scholar
  2. The National Archives, Kew, London, referred to as “TNA”.Google Scholar

Books and Articles

  1. Angus, Marjorie Bird. Bamboo Connection. Hong Kong: Heinemann Asia, 1985.Google Scholar
  2. Archer, C.S. China Servant. London: Collins, 1946.Google Scholar
  3. Bickers, Robert. Britain in China. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  4. ———. Empire Made Me. London: Allen Lane, 2003.Google Scholar
  5. ———. Shanghailanders and Others: British Communities in China, 1843–1957. In Settlers and Expatriates: Britons over the Seas. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2010) 2014.Google Scholar
  6. ———. British Concessions and Chinese Cities, 1920s–1930s. In New Narratives of Urban Space in Republican Chinese Cities, Billy K.L. So and Madeleine Zelin, eds. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, 2013.Google Scholar
  7. ———. Out of China: How the Chinese Ended the Era of Western Domination. London: Allen Lane, 2017.Google Scholar
  8. Bird, Isabella L. The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither. London: John Murray, 1883.Google Scholar
  9. ———. The Yangtze Valley and Beyond. London: Virago, [1899] 1985.Google Scholar
  10. Bland, J.O.P. Houseboat Days in China. Hong Kong: Earnshaw Books, [1909] 2008.Google Scholar
  11. Brodie, Patrick. Crescent over Cathay: China and I.C.I., 1898 to 1956. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  12. Coates, Austin. China Races. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, [1983] 1994.Google Scholar
  13. Coates, P.D. The China Consuls: British Consular Officers, 1843–1943. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  14. Cook, Christopher. The Lion and the Dragon: British Voices from the China Coast. London: Elm Tree, 1985.Google Scholar
  15. Crow, Carl. Foreign Devils in the Flowery Kingdom. Hong Kong: China Economic Review, [1940] 2007.Google Scholar
  16. Darwin, John. Orphans of Empire. In Settlers and Expatriates: Britons over the Seas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, [2010] 2014.Google Scholar
  17. Dayer, Roberta Allbert. Bankers and Diplomats in China, 1917–1925. London: Frank Cass, 1981.Google Scholar
  18. Denby, Jay. Letters of a Shanghai Griffin. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1923.Google Scholar
  19. Elder, Chris, ed. China’s Treaty Ports: Half Love and Half Hate. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  20. Farquharson, Ronald. Confessions of a China Hand. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1950.Google Scholar
  21. Gordon Cumming, Constance. Wanderings in China. London: William Blackwood, 1888.Google Scholar
  22. Halcombe, Charles J.H. The Mystic Flowery Land. London: Luzac, 1896.Google Scholar
  23. Hobart, Alice Tisdale. By the City of the Long Sand: A Tale of New China. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1926.Google Scholar
  24. Hyde Lay, A.C. Four Generations in China, Japan and Korea. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1952.Google Scholar
  25. King, Frank H.H. The History of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  26. King, Paul. In the Chinese Customs Service. London: Heath Cranton, 1924.Google Scholar
  27. Knollys, Henry. English Life in China. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885.Google Scholar
  28. Ladds, Catherine. Empire Careers: Working for the Chinese Customs Service, 1854–1949. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  29. Little, Archibald. The Land of the Blue Gown. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1902.Google Scholar
  30. Lo, Hui-min, and Helen Bryant. British Diplomatic and Consular Establishments in China: 1793–1949 – II: Consular Establishments 1843–1949. Taipei: SMC Publishing, 1988.Google Scholar
  31. Macgowan, J. Rev. Pictures of Southern China. London: Religious Tract Society, 1897.Google Scholar
  32. Margary, Augustus Raymond, and Rutherford Alcock. The Journey of Augustus Raymond Margary from Shanghae to Bhamo, and Back to Manwyne. London: Macmillan & Co., 1876.Google Scholar
  33. Maugham, W. Somerset. On a Chinese Screen. New York: George H. Doran, 1922.Google Scholar
  34. ———. The Gentleman in the Parlour. London: William Heinemann, 1930.Google Scholar
  35. Mayers, William Frederick, N.B. Dennys, and Charles King. The Treaty Ports of China and Japan. London: Trübner, 1867.Google Scholar
  36. Munro-Faure, P.H. ‘The Kiukiang Incident of 1927’. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Hong Kong Branch, vol. 29 (Hong Kong, 1991).Google Scholar
  37. Rasmussen, A.H. China Trader. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1954.Google Scholar
  38. Thomas, Gould H. An American in China 1936–1939. New York: Greatrix Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  39. Wood, Frances. No Dogs and Not Many Chinese: Treaty Port Life in China, 1843–1943. London: John Murray, 1998.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Nield
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations