Pioneer Insurers in the New Crown Colony:

Feng Bangyan and Nyaw Mee Kau

in Enriching Lives

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028702
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206946 | DOI:
Pioneer Insurers in the New Crown Colony:

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In 1805, the British East India Company's director, W. S. Davidson, founded the Canton Insurance Society, the first English-owned insurer in China, with two English trading firms: Davidson-Dent House, the forerunner of Dent & Co., and Magniac & Company, which became Jardine, Matheson & Co. By 1835, Davidson-Dent bowed out of the partnership to form the Union Insurance Society of Canton on its own. In the era prior to the Opium Wars, Canton Insurance and Union Insurance were the only foreign insurers in China. Foreign insurers found it difficult to handle day-to-day operations and had to entrust management responsibilities to the foreign trading firms because of the distance and time involved in doing business in China then. In 1842, the Chinese and the British concluded the Opium Wars with the Treaty of Nanking, turning Hong Kong over to the Crown and opening five ports to free trade: Guangzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Ningbo, and Shanghai.

Keywords: British East India Company; W. S. Davidson; Canton Insurance Society; Davidson-Dent House; Union Insurance; China; Opium Wars; Treaty of Nanking; Shanghai

Chapter.  8448 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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