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Edict of Hung Ch'iu-ch'uan, circa 1861

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Parkes 44/7

Scope and Contents

A copy of an edict from Hung Ch'iu-ch'uan [Hong Xiuquan] to the foreigners concerning (1) the Taiping police and foreign trade and merchants; (2) the appointment of the Rev. Issachar Roberts as foreign secretary of state in the Taiping government, charged with judicial and mercantile affairs; and (3) a request for foreign diplomatic communities to elect a just and impartial (in terms of not being in favour of the Ch'ing government) man as a representative to assist Roberts. The document includes an English note reading 'Edict - Translated by Forrest', and the handwriting suggests that the copy was probably made by Robert J. Forrest. A date of the '2nd moon, 7th day' (13 March 1861) is given at the end of the document, which may refer to when the copy was made rather than the original. Forrest's translation is incomplete and he appears to have ignored parts which he didn't understand.


  • circa 1861

Conditions Governing Access

Any person wishing to consult the collection must obtain written permission from Matheson and Co. Ltd, 3 Lombard Street, London, EC3V 9AQ. Applicants may submit their request using the standard Jardine Matheson letter of application, which is available from the Manuscripts Reading Room and via the University Library web pages at They should state specifically on the form that they desire access to the Parkes Papers.


1 sheet(s) (1 sheet)

Language of Materials



An English translation of the document by Robert J. Forrest was an attachment to a report in which he also provided his views concerning Issachar Roberts's appointment and foreign trade in the lower Yangtze River area. The report was published in 'Correspondence respecting the opening of the Yang-tze-kiang River to foreign trade' in 'Parliamentary Papers, 1861', p. 29. The translation is reprinted in F. Michael's 'The Taiping Rebellion: History and Documents' (Seattle & London: University of Washington Press, 1971), MS 285, vol. 3, pp. 1129-1131.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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