1. A century's eyewitness: the history of Takow Port
  2. Revisiting 1879: in search of the story of the British Consulate at Takow
  3. The Street view in front of the Consulate
  4. The negotiations between the British consul Gibson and the Ching authority, Circuit Intendants Sian-De Zeng
  5. British medical missionary, Maxwell
  6. British consul Swinhoe on a biological survey trip
  7. Takow News
  1. Shaochuantou street view
    After Takow port was opened, Shaochuantou gradually became the main district for foreign companies and warehouses. When each country's ships had arrived at the port, they had to go to the Consulate and the Customs to deal with related matters. Thus besides the Han Chinese establishment, in the view of Shaochuantou, presence of some ethnic minorities and foreigners were also discernible. After foreign companies' ships had pulled into the port, sailors unloaded the cargos and moved the sugar produced in Takow onto the ships. Meanwhile, during their breaks, the sailors wandered around Shaochuantou to relax as well as to experience the local customs and culture. Naturally some vendors would not have missed the chance to sell goods to the sailors. It was quite a treat for sailors to taste Taiwan's local specialties after a long voyage.

  2. The hustle and bustle of Shaochuantou harbor
    The most significant impact of opening a port to foreign trade was that Taiwan had extended its trade internationally, enriching the Taiwanese experience in foreign business and relations. Owing to the export of tea, sugar and camphor, many foreign merchants gathered in Taiwan. As smoking opium was the popular trend in Taiwan, opium became the main imported goods. Tea was primarily produced in the north of Taiwan, originally derived from mainland China. After it had been introduced into England, the British developed a fondness for it. Drinking tea became the norm in the entire nation. As a result, Taiwan tea became the major commodity for export. Camphor was refined from camphor trees that grew in the remote central mountains. Taiwan yielded the highest production in the world, which attracted foreign merchants to Taiwan to purchase it. Sugar was the major production and export commodity in Southern Taiwan. Naturally it was exported from Takow port. Its good quality made it widely popular all over the world. During the seasons when the international sugar price surged, Shaochuantou harbor was all the more vibrant. A host of workers moved loads of cane sugar onto ships and unloaded opium to warehouses. At the end of the Ching Dynasty, foreign companies had to rely on compradors (local merchants) in their trades, despite the fact that there might have been some disputes involved. However, to conduct business and sign contracts with sugarcane growers, compradors were the only way to delve into the Takow market. As foreign companies were not able to deal directly with sugarcane growers, whenever the sugar price surged, compradors would inflate the price. Among the compradors, Fu-Cian Chen was the best known.

  3. Outing of a consul’s wife
    After the completion of the Former British Consular Residence at Takow in 1879 and till the Ching regime’s withdrawal of its control over Taiwan, the story mostly revolved around Consul Pelham Laird Warren. From 1880 to 1893, Consul Warren and his family spent most of their time living in the British Consular Residence at Takow. It was the first time that the residence had been occupied by a family. Madam Mary Donnithorne Warren, wife of Consul Warren, walked down from the residence on the hill to the front of the consulate, and was about to ride on a sedan-chair and get off at nearby Shaochuantou to ramble around. The consulate's constable, Antonio Alborado, escorted her. Holding an umbrella the Madam walked toward where the sedan-chair was parked. The chair bearers waited with a smile. Mary Warren was one of the few lady family members that had lived in the residence after the residence was built. Ill-fatedly, she died later here and was buried at the Shaochuantou foreigner cemetery. Antonio Alborado was a native of Manila. He was first employed by Consul Swinhoe as the consulate's constable in southern Taiwan, one of the senior staff with more than three decades of service.


The British Consulate at Takow | Address: No.20, Lianhai Rd., Gushan Dist., Kaohsiung City. Phone number: 07-5250100 | The Bureau of Cultural Affairs
Tel: 07-2225136. Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday AM10:00-PM07:00 (The box office will be closed PM06:30) Saturday,Sunday and National Holiday AM09:00-PM07:00 (The box office will be closed PM06:30) Closing schedule:Closed on Monday(Open as usual if Monday coincides with a national holiday)
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