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Correspondence on employment issues, 1860-1887

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS JM/K15

Scope and Contents

Miscellaneous correspondence of Jardine, Matheson & Co. regarding the employment of its staff, including hirings, contract renewals and resignations. Some of the letters have wrappers describing their contents.

1. A letter from Antonio F. Vandenberg, East Point, to Jardine, Matheson & Co., 12 January 1860, accepting the terms offered for his continued employment.

2. Two press copies of a letter from William Keswick, Hong Kong, to John How Cheverton, 12 September 1868, specifying the terms for his employment as general assistant at the office of Jardine, Matheson & Co., and Cheverton's reply, dated Hong Kong, 14 September 1868, accepting the terms offered.

3. A letter from W. Macaulay of the Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, Hong Kong, to William Keswick, 10 March 1869, recommending his cousin Alexander McIvor for the vacant position of clerk at Keswick's establishment at Shanghai. There is also a copy of a letter of recommendation for McIvor from Thomas Skinner & Co., Glasgow, to Gilman & Co., Shanghai, 30 July 1868.

4. A letter from George MacKrill Smith, Canton, to William Keswick, Hong Kong, 24 September 1869, accepting the offer from Jardine, Matheson & Co. of the post of tea inspector at Canton for a period of three years.

5. A letter from B.A. Barretto, Macao, to James Whittall, 1 July 1874, regarding his pension, with a press copy of Whittall's reply, dated Hong Kong, 27 July 1874.

6. Three letters from Alexander MacClymont, Hong Kong, to William Keswick, 15 and 19 June 1875 and 22 January 1881, regarding his hiring and employment by Jardine, Matheson & Co., and press copies of Keswick's replies, dated Hong Kong, 23 June 1875 and 3[1] January 1881.

7. A copy of a letter from G.L. Montgomery, Yokohama, to Edward Whittall, 29 October 1875, submitting a proposal for him to be employed by Jardine, Matheson & Co. in America soliciting orders for tea following the expiration of his current engagement on 20 June 1876.

8. A letter from John Macgregor, Takasima Colliery Office, Nagasaki, to William Keswick, 7 January 1878, enquiring about a possible opening for his younger brother Robert.

9. A letter from George MacKrill Smith, Canton, to William Keswick, Hong Kong, 26 January 1879, applying for leave of absence and enquiring about his prospects of re-engagement, and a press copy of Keswick's reply, Hong Kong, 29 January 1879.

10. An envelope containing a press copy of a letter from Jardine Matheson, Hong Kong, to H.F. Allan, Hong Kong, 27 March 1879, setting out the terms of the company's offer of employment.

11. A press copy of a letter from Jardine, Matheson & Co., Hong Kong, to Robert Craig, 11 September 1879, outlining the terms of the agreement for his employment at the Sugar Refinery at Swatow for a period of three years; Craig's letter accepting the offer, Hong Kong, 12 September 1879; and two sheets containing details of expenses relating to the business.

12. A letter from C.F. Hooper, Nagasaki, to William Keswick, 8 June 1880, enquiring about his salary while he is at Nagasaki; a press copy of Keswick's reply of 18 June 1880; and Hooper's response of 12 July 1880, offering his thanks for Keswick's letter and enclosing press copies of a 'Statement showing Outturn of the Small Coals realized up to 30th April 1880' and a 'Statement showing Outturn of the Large Coals realized up to 30th April 1880' .

13. A press copy of a letter from William Keswick, Hong Kong, to Peter Orme, Shanghai, 28 October 1880, regarding Orme's resignation.

14. Correspondence between A.H.P. Noyes of Yokohama and J. Bell-Irving, Hong Kong, regarding the renewal of Noyes' contract employing him in the tea department at Yokohama: Noyes to Bell-Irving, 8 November 1886 (manuscript); Bell-Irving to Noyes, 17 November 1886 (two press copies); and Noyes to Bell-Irving, 26 November 1886 (manuscript).

15. An envelope containing a letter from Thomas Pollard, Foochow, to J. Bell-Irving, Hong Kong, 7 February 1887, requesting the acceptance of his resignation to allow him to establish himself as a merchant and commission agent at Foochow, with a very faded copy of the reply of 14 February 1887.


  • Creation: 1860-1887


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

Access to the collection is subject to special conditions and is at the discretion of Matheson and Co. Ltd, part of the Jardine Matheson Group. A statement of the conditions and an application form are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room. Printed copies of the form are available by post (please contact the University Library). An electronic version can also be found at

Records described in the catalogue as being in a bad condition are in a fragile state that precludes them being made available to readers.

Access is generally available to documents dated up to 1969. Access to some earlier records may be restricted under the terms of the Data Protection Act, 1998.


1 bundle(s) (1 bundle)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The letters formed part of a small set of non-legal documents identified during the cataloguing of Series F.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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