Sir George Staunton, 2nd Baronet


Sir George Staunton, 2nd Baronet

Sir George Thomas Staunton, 2nd Baronet (May 26 1781 – August 10 1859) was an English traveller and Orientalist.

Born near Salisbury, he was the son of Sir George Leonard Staunton (1737-1801), first baronet, diplomatist and Orientalist, and in 1792 accompanied his father, who had been appointed secretary to Lord Macartney's mission to China, to the Far East (1792-1794). He acquired a good knowledge of Chinese language, and in 1798 was appointed a writer in the British East India Company's factory at Canton (Guangzhou), and subsequently its chief.

In 1805 he translated a work of Dr George Pearson into Chinese, thereby introducing vaccination into ChinaFact|date=April 2008. In 1816 he proceeded as second commissioner on a special mission to Beijing with Lord Amherst and Sir Henry Ellis.

Between 1818 and 1852 he was MP for several English constituencies, finally for Portsmouth. He was a member of the East India Committee, and in 1823, in conjunction with Henry Thomas Colebrooke founded the Royal Asiatic Society.

His publications include translations of "Great Qing Legal Code", known as the "Fundamental Laws of China" (1810) and of the "Narrative of the Chinese Embassy to the Khan of the Tourgouth Tartars" (1821); "Miscellaneous Notices Relating to China and our Commercial Intercourse with that Country" (1822); "Notes of Proceedings and Occurrences during the British Embassy to Peking" (1824); "Observations on our Chinese Commerce" (1850). For the Hakluyt Society he edited Pedro González de Mendoza's "History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China".

Staunton had been landed Hong Kong in July, 1816 during Amherst's mission to Qing. He walked from the shore of Hong Kong to Hong Kong Village via Wong Chuek Hang. After the trip, Wong Chuek Hang was named Staunton Creek and the valley where Hong Kong locates was named Staunton Valley.

After the ceding of Hong Kong from Ch'ing to Great Britain, Staunton Street in Central is named after him.


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