UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Foreign death in China: symbolism, ritual and belief in the Old Protestant Cemetery in Macau

O'Regan, JP; (2007) Foreign death in China: symbolism, ritual and belief in the Old Protestant Cemetery in Macau. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch , 47 pp. 127-164.

[img] Text
Foreign Death in China RASHK 2007 (P.127-164) FINAL_2016.pdf - Accepted version
Access restricted to UCL open access staff

Download (1MB)

Abstract

This article gives an account of the practices – symbolic and ritual – which were associated with foreign death in China, and of the predominant attitudes towards death which the foreign community held. It will be argued that these practices played a central role in affirming and maintaining the foreigners’ sense of themselves as Westerners and Christians in an alien and heathen land. For the purposes of relating this story, and giving as detailed an account as possible of the types of rites and practices which occurred, this article focuses on the English East India Company Cemetery, or ‘Old Cemetery’, in Macao which was founded for the use of Protestants in 1821, and where many notable personages associated with nineteenth century Canton, Macao and Hong Kong were laid to rest. They included, amongst others, the Reverend Dr Robert Morrison (1782-1834), the first Protestant missionary in China and translator of the Bible into Chinese; his son, John Robert (1811-1842), Hong Kong’s first Colonial Secretary; George Chinnery (1774-1852), the noted portraitist and landscape painter; Sir Anders Ljungstedt (1759-1835), the first foreign historian of Macao; and the ill-fated Lord William John Napier (1786-1834), Britain’s first Chief Superintendent of Trade in China. The cemetery formally closed in 1857, although the occasional burial continued to take place here until 1859. In total the cemetery received 164 interments during this time. The reasons for choosing this particular cemetery are many, but the principal ones are that there is a great deal of historical material available regarding the cemetery, and because it represents a clearly defined window of time in the history of the region through which a picture of the values and beliefs of the foreigners who lived in South China can be taken and set on record.

Type: Article
Title: Foreign death in China: symbolism, ritual and belief in the Old Protestant Cemetery in Macau
Location: Hong Kong
Publisher version: http://hkjo.lib.hku.hk/archive/files/3e1c67e1900fa...
Language: English
Keywords: Cemeteries, Cemetery symbolism, China, Macau, Hong Kong, Death, Multimodality, Identity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474280
Downloads since deposit
1Download
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item