Lancelot Dent 1799 - 1853

Lancelot Dent 1799 - 1853

BIRTH 4 AUG 1799 • Westmorland, England
FactsAge 0 — Birth 4 Aug 1799 • Westmorland, England 
04 Aug 1799 •Baptism Crosby Ravensworth,Westmorland,England 
Age 1 — Birth of Brother Wilkinson Dent (1800–1886) 24 Dec 1800 • Westmorland, England 
Age 1 — Death of Father William Dent (1762–1801) 12 Apr 1801 • Trainlands, Crosby Ravensworth
Age 29 — Birth of Son John Dent Fish (1828–1868) Sep 1828 • Macao, Tongcheng, Anhui, China 
Age 35 — Death of Brother Robert Dent (1793–1835) 28 Mar 1835 • Mitcham, Surrey, England 
Age 41 — Death of Mother Jane Wilkin- son (1762–1840) 12 Oct 1840 • Crosby Ravensworth, Westmorland
Age 45 — Death of Brother John Dent (1795–1845) 17 Jan 1845 • Kolkata, West Bengal, India 
Age 48 — Death of Sister Elizabeth Dent (1793–1847) 18 Sep 1847 • Crosby Ravensworth, Westmorland
Age 52 — 1851 Census Residence • St George Hanover Square, Middlesex, England, Relationship: Visitor 
Age 54 — Death 28 Nov 1853 • Cheltenham, Gloucestershire 
Burial Crosby Ravensworth, Eden District, Cumbria, England 

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 and China 
The Indiaman 'Euphrates' - National Maritime Museum

Lancelot Dent had a son from Mary Colledge in 1828 the sister of his 
Surgeon Thomas Richardson Colledge. 
Our Capt John Fish marries Mary Colledge and he renames the child John Dent Fish
The child John Dent Fish is Baptised at Kilsby Church in England.

When Lancelot's son marries - the church marriage record confirms he is the natural father of 
John Dent Fish. Lancelot also names John Dent Fish as the executor of his Will.

The next reference 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 below)

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 is studying at Cambridge University) 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
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

LANCELOT  DENT's Role in the 


this resulted in the Chinese conceding the captured Hong Kong to Britain


War on Drugs 21 - Publication - September 1981 
Investigators Daniel Sneider and Marilyn James trace the century-old partnership between British oligarchs and Chinese "secret societies" behind today's biggest business, the world heroin trade. Part I of a three-part War on Drugs exclusive report. 

In 1839 the Emperor appointed Tes'hsu Lin as the commissioner of Canton to carry out an anti-opium offensive. Lin, in contrast to the officials of Canton, was uncorrupatible. 

His first targets were the Chinese merchants, peddlers, and addicts involved in the drug trade. He demanded that all merchants, Chinese and foreign, turn over the opium stocks for destruction. They refused.
Taking a step backward, Lin began to clean out the addicts and pushers in the immediate Canton area up to the vicinity of the Factory where the foreign merchant houses operated. By March 1839, the cleanup had begun to show positive effects in the Chinese community. He then reasserted his de- mands on the Hong (Chinese) andforeign merchants.
When the merchants turned over a mere 1,500 chests of opium, most of it from the Hong Kong merchants, Lin was not impressed. He declared that Lancelot Dent of the opium house Dent & Co. alone must have had at least 6,000 chests, and demanded that Dent be brought into the walled city of Canton and made into an example. This was a threat to impose the death penalty called for in the 1799 Imperial edict.
Getting word of Dent's situation, Capt. Charles Elliot, a Royal Navy commander who was chief superintendant of trade, ran Lin's naval blockade and placed Dent under the protection of Her Majesty's fleet. Lin laid seige to the Factory area and finally forced Elliot's co-operation by agreeing to lift the seige only after the merchants yielded their opium stocks. Compelled to capitulate to get the 1839 tea crop shipped out, Elliot gave the opium houses his personal guarantee that they would be indemnified for their losses. In all 20,283 chests of opium were turned over to Lin for destruction. Like many of his 20th century counterparts, Lin evidently believed the destruction of the stocks would guarantee success. He was in for a rude lesson in British methods.
Lin's next step was to demand that the merchants sign a pledge to keep the law or suffer the death penalty. This move gave the British the opportunity they wanted. The merchants and Elliott cried out that what was at stake was not the opium trade, but the principle of whether British subjects should be liable to Chinese courts. Public opinion and the British Parliament were turned in full support of the opium merchants and the Crown's imperial ambitions in China.
The propaganda campaign
Matheson of Jardine, Matheson & Co. wrote gleefully to his partner Jardine in London: "The Chinese have fallen into the snare of rendering themselves directly lia- ble to the Crown. ... To a close observer, it would seem as if the whole of Elliot's career was ex- pressly designed to lead on the Chinese to commit themselves, and produce a collision." With hardly less disingenuous irony, Matheson concluded, "I suppose war with China will be the next step.
In fact, Jardine was in London

meeting with Prime Minister Pal- merston to plan that war. All the opium houses gave one dollar per chest surrendered as a fund to aid Jardine's efforts in London. Mathe- son wrote Jardine reminding him that: "You will not however be lim- ited to his outlay, as the magnitude of the object can well bear any amount of expense. . . . You may
find it expedient to secure, at a high price,: the services of some leading newspaper . . . We are told there are literary men whom it is usual to employ." (Some things never change!)
Jardine hired Samuel Warren, a lawyer andjlater author of the Vic- torian bestseller Jen Thousand a Year to write the now famous pam-
phlet, The Opium Question. A pop- ular success, the pamphlet used the propaganda of the opium houses to create the controlled en- vironment for the parliamentary debate on the war.
Jardine also lobbied with industrialists like the Lancashire cotton merchants and others who added to the cry for parliament to protect "free trade" in China. By Oct. 13, 1839 the decision was made. Pal- merston sent a secret' dispatch to Elliot informing him that an expeditionary force from India could be expected to reach Canton in March of 1840.
On Nov. 23, Palmerston specified in a further dispatch the diplomatic procedures he wanted carried through once the Chinese had been subjugated. The terms were evidently based on a Jardine memo- randum of Oct. 26 which demand- ed, minimally, that: the opium trade be legalized, at least to the extent of removing the death penalty provisions of the Imperial Edict; the opium merchants be compensated for their losses to the tune of at least 2 million pounds; land be taken, preferably one of the offshore islands; the assertion of British extraterritorial rights and privileges be accepted; and the British be treated as equals and no longer as "inferiors" or "barbarians" particularly with regard to diplomatic status and trade—that is that China be opened without restriction to their trade. Jardine also graciously sent a memo to Lord Palmerston offering the services of his company's entire opium fleet, a private navy of small but fast and well armed ships, and trained crews well acquainted with the Chinese coastal waters.
Immediately following these events, Tin-hai on Chou-shan island was taken by the British, and by 1841 Elliot negotiated a draft of the Treaty of Cheunpi which essentially stated that Britain would keep the captured island of Hong Kong but return Choushan; that intercourse between the two countries would be direct and official; and that trade might resume in Canton. The Chinese were also to pay a $6 million indemnity, which more than covered the merchants' losses and the cost of the war.
Even this was unacceptable to Palmerston (and also to the Man- chu emperor). Palmerston acidly told Elliot that, "After all, our naval power is so strong that we can tell the emperor what we mean to hold, rather than what he should say he would cede." The prime minister demanded that Britain keep Choushan or some island well placed near the river mouth in order to "give British commodities an easy change of ac- cess to the interior." He also want- ed "admission of opium into China as an article of lawful commerce"; a much larger indemnity; and of course, more trading ports open to Britain.
The fleet was sent into action again, and this time Canton was taken, along with other coastal cities including Shanghai. Elliot was relieved of duty and replaced by Sir Henry Pottinger. The Chinese, their armies backward in compar- ison to the British and weakened by opium addiction as well as the subversive activities of the secret societies, gave little resistance to the British forces. In 1842 Pottinger met with three commissioners appointed by the emperor and got agreement to the terms of the Treaty of Nanking. The commis- sioners wrote the emperor: "Should we fail . . . to ease the situation by soothing the barbarians, they will run over our country like beasts, doing anything they like."
The treaty terms followed closely those demanded by Pal- merston, except that the British took the island of Hong Kong with its superior deep water port in- stead of Chou-shan. The indemnity was huge—$21 million, about half the annual Chinese revenue—and was to be paid over three years, with territory held as security un- til the installments were completed. 

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