1st China War

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1st China War
Chronological list of Wars and Campaigns
[[Image:|250px| ]]
Location: China
East India Company China
Result: British victory
Medals: 1st China War Medal
Category: 1st China War
Battlemappic.gif See our interactive map of
1st China War 1839-42
locations and routes on Google Maps

Also known as the 1st Opium War and the 1st Anglo-Chinese War.

Also see


The lucrative trade between China and Britain in the 19th century comprised mainly tea and opium. Opium addiction became such a problem that the Qing Dynasty tried to prevent the import. They closed the waterway up to Canton and seized over 1 million kilograms of opium requiring merchants to enter into a bond not to deal in the drug. Captain Charles Elliot RN, Chief Superintendent of British Trade in China, tried to negotiate with the Chinese but was continually rebuffed. There were naval confrontations on the Pearl River and Britain sent an expeditionary force from Singapore. The Bogue Forts at the mouth of the river and subsequently Canton were captured. The Chinese were also defeated at the mouth of the Yangtse River and Shanghai was occupied. The war ended in August 1842 with the Treaty of Nanking which opened five treaty ports to trade: Shanghai, Canton (Guangzhou), Foochow (Fuzhou), Ningpo (Ningbo) & Amoy (Xiamen). China also ceded Hong Kong and granted an indemnity to Britain.

Expeditionary Force

Naval Squadron

  • Royal Navy Warships
HMS Wellesley
HMS Alligator
HMS Conway
HMS Larne
HMS Algerine
HMS Rattlesnake
  • HEIC Steamers
  • 26 transports and store ships

Ground forces

Reinforcements 1840

Reinforcements 1841

Reinforcements 1842

FIBIS resources


Entries in the Dictionary of Indian Biography 1906:
Hugh Gough (1779-1869)
Henry Pottinger (1789-1856)

External links

Opium Wars Wikipedia
1st Opium War 1839-42 Wikipedia
W.L.Clowes on the Ist Anglo-Chinese War www.pdavis.nl
Chronology Google Books
Royal Navy and HEIC vessels engaged in operations www.pdavis.nl

Historical books online

Volume I (probably 2nd edition), Vol. I 2nd file, but missing title page (appears to have been author/publishing decision); (Volume II;Volume III) All Archive.org.