LANCELOT DENT 1799 - 1853 (father of our Rev John Dent Fish born 1828 in Macau China)

From the book - INDIGO & OPIUM by Miles Macnair A descendant of Thomas Dent, Lancelot's brother.



BIRTH 4 AUG 1799 • Westmorland, England

1799 4 Aug - Birth  Westmorland, England 
1799 Aug - Baptism Crosby Ravensworth,Westmorland,England 
1800 24 Dec - Birth of Brother Wilkinson Dent (1800–1886)   • Westmorland, England 
1801 12 Apr  - Death of Father William Dent (1762–1801)  • Trainlands, Crosby Ravensworth

1823 Saturday 19th July - The free-trader Euphrates (Meade) has arrived at Bombay from London bringing a group of soldiers, some missionaries and Lancelot Dent.

1825 - lancelot Dent of Calcutta,  partnership between Keirs & Co of Madeira Portugal dissolved

1827 - Lancelot Dent joined the firm in Canton

1828 6 Jan - Lancelot Dent left on the Cornwallis for BOMBAY

1828 Sep  - Birth of Son John Dent Fish (1828–1868)  • Macao, Tongcheng, Anhui, China (at this point in time we think the child is named John Dent)

1828 2nd Oct - Lancelot Dent arrives in Whampoa from Calcutta on the British ship Jane 2 Oct 

1830 - Lancelot went to Calcutta on the Waterwitch ship.

1831 - Lancelot took over as senior partner of trading house Dent & Co. headquartered in Canton, when his brother Thomas departed the company in 1831

1832 30th March - Lancelot Dent sailed per Waterwitch for Calcutta 

1832 28th Oct - Lancelot Dent arrives from Bombay per Cambridge

1833 Mary Colledge, John Dent's mother marries Capt John Fish and the child becomes John Dent FISH

1834 - Lancelot Dent assumed the Hong Yung (the Hong Merchants commission)

1835 28 Mar  - Death of eldest Brother Robert Dent (1793–1835)  • Mitcham, Surrey, England 

1835 Oct - L Dent and others did not sign the Petition of the British Merchants to H M Government
1839Lin Zexu the high commissioner for Canton summoned Lancelot Dent to an interview at Canton's city gates, lancelot Dent refused. The urgency was reinforced on 23 March 1839 by the appearance of two leading Chinese Cohong merchants in chains, Dent would have acceded if not prevented by fellow merchants afraid both for his safety and for the possible surrender of opium stocks. The situation was saved only by the arrival in Canton of Captain Elliot, the British government's superintendent of trade. There was disruption of trade caused by the ensuing First Opium War (1839–42)

1839–42  - Lancelot Dent moved at least a part of his operations to Manila, where he had acquired a house

1840 - 25th Aug - Lancelot Dent went with the British forces to Chusan. He is appointed Paymaster to HM Forces.

1840 12 Oct  - Death of Mother Jane Wilkinson (1762–1840)  • Crosby Ravensworth, Westmorland
1841 - The firm became established in Hong Kong, gaining a substantial foothold near Pedders Wharf

1842 - Lancelot returns to England permanently in 1842, he retired to the Skersgill estate in Cumberland

1843 Lancelot Dent officially adopts John Dent Fish at St Faiths Church Kilsby Northamptonshire

1845 - Lancelot Dent listed as Foreign Resident in China (but not in China at the time)

1845  17 Jan - Death of Brother John Dent (1795–1845)  • Kolkata, West Bengal, India 

1847 - Lancelot lived in Middlesex in 1847
1847 18 Sep - Death of Sister Elizabeth Dent (1793–1847)    Crosby Ravensworth, Westmorland
1851 - 1851 Census Residence • St George Hanover Square, Middlesex, England, Relationship: Visitor 
1853 - He died, at the Plough Hotel, Cheltenham, on 28 November 1853 aged 54, Gloucestershire, Burial Crosby Ravensworth, Cumbria, England

1854 John Dent Fish is the executor of Lancelot Dents WILL, John Dent Fish receives £10000 from the WILL.

John Crockett Fish, John Dent Fish's step brother received £5000 from Lancelot's WILL. See images of Lancelot's Will below at the bottom of this page.

Dent & Co.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dent & Co. or Dent's, was one of the wealthiest British merchant firms, or Hongs, active in China during the 19th century. A direct rival to Jardine, Matheson & Co, together with Russell & Co., these three companies are recognised as the original Canton Hongs active in early Colonial Hong Kong.

Former East India Company supercargo George Baring (1781–1854), son of Sir Francis Baring, 1st
Baronet of the eponymous banking family founded the firm later to become Dent & Co in 1809.[1] After the firm ordered its supercargos to stop trading in opium, William Davidson joined the firm, becoming sole partner between 1813–1820. In that year Thomas Dent came on board and he in turn brought in Robert Hugh Inglis, who had connections with the East India Company, of which his father and uncle  were both directors. A relation of Thomas, Lancelot Dent joined his brother in the firm in 1827.[2] Thomas Dent arrived in Canton in 1823 to join Davidson & Co as a partner. When Davidson left in 1824, the company changed its name to "Dent & Co.".
Trading history
Lancelot succeeded Thomas as the senior partner when his brother departed the company in 1831. Lin Zexu's warrant for the arrest of Lancelot Dent in 1839 to force him to hand over his store of opium was the opening shot of the First Opium War.
Thomas Chaye Beale joined the firm as a partner in 1845 whereupon it became Dent, Beale & Co.[3] It once again became Dent & Co. upon Beale's departure in 1857.
In 1841 Dent moved its headquarters to Victoria, where it was one of the first companies in Hong Kong to purchase
land in what was to become known as Central District.[4] Dent was one of the very first traders to open offices when Shanghai opened to foreign trade in 1843 following the First Opium War. The firm built offices there at 14, The Bund, and became involved in the international silk and tea trade, having divested their (now) criminal shares in Opium to their associates in Boston, Massacheusetts, out of reach of the English Justice.
Dent's was one of the founding members of the provisional committee that launched The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in March 1865. Francis Chomley of Dent's chaired the first meeting, held on 6 August 1864. It also led the foundation of the Union Insurance Society of Canton in 1835.
In 1866, the collapse of Overend, Gurney and Company, a discount house in Lombard Street, London rocked the financial world. This failure caused a run on many banks which in turn brought down many other businesses and forced Dent's to shut its Hong Kong office in the wake of the affair. Jardine Matheson & Co averted disaster by learning the news sooner – its mail steamer carrying news from Calcutta arrived one hour earlier than others – and emptied its balances at a failing bank before anyone else had heard of the news in Hong Kong. Dent's officially folded in 1867.[4] Its headquarters moved to Shanghai following the collapse in Hong Kong. 
Dent occupied a building on the corner of Pedder Street and Praya Central (the waterfront), where The Landmark complex is now situated. The first building was constructed in 1850, and was redeveloped in 1864.[5]
After Dent collapsed, half of its land on Pedder Street was sold to the newly established Hongkong Hotel Company. The hotel was duly built, and became Hong Kong's first deluxe hotel. The remaining part of the west wing was let out to other trading firms. The hotel expanded northwards, and was later rebuilt
into a 6-storey structure, completed in 1893,[6] but the hotel burned down in 1926.
The site was acquired by Hongkong Land, and Gloucester Tower constructed in 1932. It was redeveloped into The Landmark in 1979.[5]

  1. Le Pichon 2006, p. 67.
  2. Dermigny 1964, p. 1243.
  3. Cranmer-Byng J.L. and Ride, Lindsay T., Journal of Occurrences at Canton 1839 [sic] in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch; Vol. 4 (1964) p. 37
  4. Wordie 2002.
  5. Trevor Bedford, Hongkong Land, reported in "Meeting heritage challenge", South China Morning Post, 30 November 1978
  6. Feature: Buildings for Pedder Street since colonialisation ( at the
    Wayback Machine (archived 11 March 2007) Sing Pao 29 October 2005 (Chinese) 

HEIC Ship Euphrates That Lancelot Dent travelled on to get to India  (I think this picture was off Cape Town)
1823 Saturday 19th July - The free-trader Euphrates (Meade) has arrived at Bombay from London bringing a group of soldiers, some missionaries and Lancelot Dent.
The Indiaman 'Euphrates' - National Maritime Museum

1828 6 Jan - Lancelot Dent left on the Cornwallis for BOMBAY.

In 1830 - Lancelot Dent travelled to Calcutta on the Opium Clipper Water Witch.

In 1830 - Lancelot Dent travelled to Calcutta on the Opium Clipper Water Witch (above & below).

The picture above appears in the Book INDIGO & OPIUM by Miles Macnair.

In 1828 Lancelot Dent had a son who was born in Macau. 
The child is raised in Kilsby England by Capt John Fish & his wife Mary (nee Colledge), (John Fish was one of the Captains on one of Lancelot Dent's Opium Clippers.   
Our Capt John Fish marries Mary Colledge in 1833 in Kilsby Northamptonshire England.  

Lancelot Dent came back to England permanently in 1842. On 22nd Feb 1843 the child is baptised at St Faiths Church in Kilsby England, Lancelot Dent adopts the child John Dent Fish in 1843 in St Faith Church Kilsby Northamptonshire, see docs below.
 Mary Colledge is the sister of Lancelot Dent's Surgeon Dr Thomas Richardson Colledge.

This is a page (below) from the St Faiths Church Kilsby Baptism Register, showing John Dent Fish getting Baptised at the age of  15 yrs old, his father is named as Lancelot Dent Merchant in Canton China. Lancelot must have been at the church in person.

in 1860 - John Dent Fish marries Henrietta Barnes Chesterman at the parish Church in Banbury Oxford - the church marriage record confirms lancelot Dent as the father of John Dent Fish.

Lancelot Dent is named again as the father of John Dent Fish in his second marriage to Mary Field see certificate below also at the parish church in Banbury Oxford in 1867. 
It is important to note that Charles Dent is the officiating minister (Lancelot's nephew)

The next reference (below) is in the Last Will and Testament of Lancelot Dent 1853. The Rev John Dent Fish is executor of Lancelot's Will. (1st page of Lancelot's WILL)

Lancelot bequeaths £10000 to The Rev John Dent Fish of Christchurch Banbury.
Lancelot also bequeaths £5000 to John Dent Fish's step brother John Fish (John Crockett Fish who was studying at Cambridge University at the time of the Will), the second son of Capt John Fish & Mary Fish (nee Colledge). (2nd page of Lancelot's WILL below), both children studied at Cambridge University.

Fitzroy Square London (above) - residence of Lancelot Dent, Wilkinson Dent at some point Rev John Dent Fish 

People named in the WILL of Lancelot Dent

Wilkinson Dent - brother executor of will
William Dent - brother executor of will
Rev John Dent Fish - son executor of will
John Crockett Fish at Cambridge University
Elizabeth Dent
Robert Wilkinson Dent son of charlotte
John Dent son of charlotte
Charlotte Wilkinson Dent
daughter of Charlotte dent
Arthur Elley Finch
Phillip Stevenson ? Grays Inn
W D Gosling? witness
W C Curteis ? witness
W M Dent witness

Grave of Lancelot Dent d.1853
St Lawrence's Church -- Crosby Ravensworth -- Crosby Ravensworth -- Cumbria

List of DENT & Co Opium Ships (Clippers & Schooners) 

OMEGA 1837 built by well-known yacht builders J. White, of Cowes, Isle of Wight 

EAMONT built by yacht builders J. White, of Cowes, Isle of Wight (constructed of Teak & Mahogany)

ARIEL,  Dent & Co and Jardine Matheson & Co, both had a ship of the same name

LY EE MOON - 1860 first Steamer in China

WILD DAYRELL OPIUM Clipper built by COWES 1855. (one of the last Opium Clippers)


Lord AMHERST Barque

Yang-Tsze Steamer 1861 owned by Dent but sailed under American Colours.


The main reason for listing the ships owned by Dent & Company is that I hope someone can tell me which one or more of Dent's Ships Capt John Fish captained during his employment by  Dent & Co between 1820 & 1860. If you know email me at, thank you very much.

OMEGA 1837 built by well-known yacht builders J. White, of Cowes, Isle of Wight (Pic below shown off CHINA in 1847)

EAMONT (constructed of Teak & Mahogany)

Ariel - I don't know if this is The Dent & Co Ariel or the Jardine Matheson & Co Ariel ship, as both had a ship of the same name, If you know, can you please advise me and email me at, Thank, Walter

LY EE MOON - 1860 first Steamer in China

The picture above appears in the Book INDIGO & OPIUM by Miles Macnair.

WILD DAYRELL OPIUM Clipper built by COWES 1855. (one of the last Opium Clippers)

I will post more pictures of Dent & Company ships as soon as I find more pictures, still some more work to do at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. 

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