A Plan of the city and harbour of Macao : a colony of the Portugueze, situated at the southern extremity of the Chinese Empire. . .
$1750 / ≈ €1750
Lord Macartney was the first British ambassador to China, arriving in 1793 and ordered to leave the same year. However in the short time the embassy was in the country much was learned about China, and the groundwork was laid for the founding of Hong Kong less than fifty years later.
Macartney was dispatched to Beijing in 1792, traveling via Madeira, Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro, the Cape of Good Hope and Indonesia. He was accompanied by Staunton, and a retinue of suitably impressive size, including Staunton's 11-year-old son who was nominally the ambassador's page. On the embassy's arrival in China it emerged that the 11-year-old was the only European member of the embassy able to speak Mandarin, and thus the only one able to converse with the Emperor. The embassy, the first such to China, had two objectives: the first to register with the Emperor, British displeasure at the treatment that the British merchants were receiving from the Chinese, the second to gain permission for a British minister to be resident in China.
The first objective was achieved, the second was not. Macartney was twice granted an audience with the Emperor and in December 1793 he was sumptuously entertained by the Chinese viceroy in Canton, and returned to England via Macao and St. Helena, arriving in September 1794.
This important text produced some of the earliest accurate maps of the interior of China and provided many invaluable geographical and cultural observations.
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