1st China War
|1st China War|
|Chronological list of Wars and Campaigns|
|East India Company||China|
|Result: British victory|
|Medals: 1st China War Medal|
|Category: 1st China War|
|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.
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.
- Royal Navy Warships
- HEIC Steamers
- 26 transports and store ships
- HM 18th Regiment
- HM 26th Regiment
- HM 49th Regiment
- One Btn Bengal Native Infantry Volunteers
- Two Batteries Royal Artillery
- Two Coys Sappers and Miners
- HM 98th Regiment
- One Btn Bengal Native Infantry Volunteers
- 2nd Madras Native Infantry
- 6th Madras Native Infantry
- 14th Madras Native Infantry
- 39th Madras Native Infantry
- 41st Madras Native Infantry
- Detachments Royal Artillery
- Detachments Madras Artillery
- Detachments Madras Sappers and Miners
- China Campaign, 1842 (Madras Artillery & Staff only) - Medal roll transcription listing 495 recipients of the medal
Historical books online
- Opium Trade: A copy of all papers and despatches at the India House on the subject of hostilities between the Chinese and British Subjects engaged in the Opium Trade from 1830 – 1833 : Ordered ... to be printed 24 March 1840 (Google Books)
- Foreign Mud: being an account of the opium imbroglio at Canton in the 1830s & the Anglo-Chinese War that followed by Maurice Collis 1946. Archive.org, mirror from Digital Library of India.
- The Morning of My Life in China: comprising an outline of the history of foreign intercourse from the last year of the regime of honorable East India Company, 1833, to the imprisonment of the foreign community in 1839 by Gideon Nye 1873 Archive.org. Events prior to the War.
- China Sessional Papers printed by Order of the House of Lords in the Session 1840 Volume VIII Accounts and Papers Contents. There are also additional Contents pages for the sub sections.
- Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India Vol VI - Events leading up to hostilities www.archive.org
- Medical Account of the C Troop of the Madras Horse Artillery in China in 1842 from the Madras Quarterly Medical Journal January 1844 Google Books
- Two Years in China: Narrative of the Chinese Expedition, from its formation in April, 1840, till April, 1842 : with an appendix, containing the most important of the general orders & despatches published during the above period by Duncan McPherson, MD, Madras Army with the 37th Grenadier Regiment in China.
- The Chinese War: an Account of all the Operations of the British Forces from the Commencement to the Treaty of Nanking by Lieutenant John Ouchterlony of the Madras Engineers. With Illustrations by the author.1844 Google Books
- The Closing Events of the Campaign in China: The Operations in the Yang-tze-kiang and Treaty of Nanking by Capt. Granville G Loch, Royal Navy 1843 Google Books.
- Six Months with the Chinese Expedition: or, Leaves from a Soldier's Note-book by Lord Jocelyn, late Military Secretary to the China Mission 1841 Google Books
- Narrative of the Second Campaign in China by Keith Stewart Mackenzie 1842 Google Books. Archive.org version with map, however map is upside down.
- The Last Year in China, to the Peace of Nanking: as Sketched in Letters to His Friends, by a Field Officer, Actively Employed in that Country: With a Few Concluding Remarks on Our Past and Future Policy in China 2nd edition, revised 1843 Google Books. Original edition 1843 Google Books
- Narrative of the Expedition to China from the Commencement of the War to its Termination in 1842: with sketches of the manners and customs of that singular and hitherto almost unknown country by J Elliot Bingham RN 1843 Google Books Volume 1, 2nd Edition with Additions, Volume 2, 2nd Edition with Additions
- Narrative of a voyage round the world : performed in Her Majesty's ship Sulphur, during the years 1836-1842, including details of the naval operations in China, from Dec. 1840, to Nov. 1841 by Captain Sir Edward Belcher RN 1843. (Volume I,) Volume II including Orders to proceed to China page 129, Volume II. Archive.org.
- Narrative of the Voyages and Services of the Nemesis, from 1840 to 1843; and of the Combined Naval and Military Operations in China: Comprising a Complete Account of the Colony of Hong Kong, and Remarks on the Character and Habits of the Chinese from Notes of W[illiam] H[enry] Hall, R N and W D Bernard 1844 Volume I, Volume II Google Books
- Medical Notes on China by John Wilson, Inspector of Naval Hospitals and Fleets. 1846 Archive.org. The "Minden", a seventy-two-gun ship was fitted out as a floating hospital and despatched to China in 1842.
- The Opium War: Being Recollections of Service in China by Captain Arthur Cunynghame, Aide-de Camp to Major-General Lord Saltoun, Commanding Her Majesty’s and the Hon. East India Company’s Troops in China. 1845 Google Books.
- "The Marines at Canton, The Peiho, and Pekin" The United Service Magazine 1876 Part 1 pages 92-103, pages 197-202
- "Journal During the Chinese Expedition in 1841 and 1842" by an Officer of the Royal Artillery. [Most likely the Officer was then part of the Madras Artillery]. Colburn’s United Service Magazine 1877 and 1878. 1877 Part III p 511-516 Google Books; 1878 Part I: p 105, p 224-36, p 506-11 HathiTrust Digital Library; Part II: p 99-105, p 352-58, p 502-8 Google Books; Part III: page 102 Archive.org.
- Chinese Account of the Opium War by E.H. Parker 1888 Archive.org
- The International Relations of the Chinese Empire by Hosea Ballou Morse. I The Period of Conflict, 1834-1860. (II. The Period of Submission, 1861-1893. III. The period of Subjection, 1894-1911). Published 1910 to 1918.
- 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.
- The Opium War through Chinese Eyes by Arthur Waley 1958 Archive.org Lending Library. A transcription is available at drugtext.org, now an archived webpage. Chapters present in reverse order, read items from the bottom of the page.
- The Cree journals : the voyages of Edward H. Cree, Surgeon R.N., as related in his private journals, 1837-1856 edited and with an introduction by Michael Levien 1981 Archive.org Books to Borrow/Lending Library. Includes ten years in the Far East including the First Opium War period and pursuit of a Chinese pirate fleet in 1849.
- The Opium War, 1840-1842 : Barbarians in the Celestial Empire in the early part of the nineteenth century and the war by which they forced her gates ajar by Peter Ward Fay. 1997 reprint originally published 1975. Archive.org Books to Borrow/Lending Library.
- Opium Wars : the addiction of one empire and the corruption of another by W Travis Hanes III and Frank Sanello 2002. Archive.org Books to Borrow/Lending Library.