Duddell's / Hunt & Co. / Jardine, Matheson & Co.- ML 100 [1855-1907] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Duddell's / Hunt & Co. / Jardine, Matheson & Co.- ML 100 [1855-1907]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
Date Place demolished: 

I've used the lease start date for completion date.


Reclamation began here because it was in front of Governement Property (Post Office, Supreme Court etc) and there was no one to object.



Photos that show this place


Note from their newsletter:

1864: JM & Co moves main office from East Point to Central Hong Kong.

So was that the year this building was completed?

I’d take that with a grain of salt. That same timeline in the newsletter also claims that in 1879 "JM & Co establishes the first ice-making factory in Hong Kong, later to be amalgamated with Dairy Farm." As we know from the news items posted here http://gwulo.com/node/6860, Jardine Matheson simply bought out Kyle and Bain's ice factory and business, established in 1874, rather than establishing it themselves.

The date may not be exactly right, but I thought it was interesting to see the idea that Jardine moved here, rather than being here from the start. Photos of the old Praya often say something like "offices of Jardines opposite Dent, both of which were on these sites since 1841..."

I'll leave a comment if I get any more information.

Adam, you were right - several pinches needed. I went along to the library yesterday and found this on page 200 of 'The Thistle and the Jade':

Meanwhile, in 1873, Jardines had decided to compromise on the difficulty of running their business so far from Hong Kong's central district, and to open an office in the city as well as keeping East Point. The first building was No. 7 Queen's Road Central, near the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank's Head Office, and - a great novelty at the time - was connected to East Point by telegraph.

In the 1880s they sold this building to Paul Chater and F. D. Sassoon, and bought a new office opposite what had been Dent & Co. on Pedder Street and what is now Des Voeux Road. Bought from another pioneer merchant, George Duddell, it remained the site of Jardines' town offices - twice rebuilt in ninety-odd years - until they moved into the forty-eight-storied Connaught Centre in 1974.

The China Mail already lamented the passing of an old colonial landmark when the original two-storied building was demolished in 1907 for the generous new four-storied office built by Palmer and Turner in a cheerful, eclectic, Italian colonial style. In turn this was replaced in 1960, by the same firm of architects, with a higher - but more restrained and by no means as pleasing - corner office now called Wheelock House.

There's an accurate summary of the acquisition of the ice-factory on the same page, so I'll take this version as correct until we learn something different.

Added 1907 demolition date, based on Thistle & Jade quote above

Government was able to begin the Praya reclamation here because it was in front of the Government Post office and Supreme Court, and so there was no one to object.


(Duddell had retired to England in the 1860, and was married there in 1881)
01/06/1882 02/06/1882 - - REMARKS: ASSIGNMENT


05/08/1886 03/11/1887 - - REMARKS: LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION


31/12/1889 23/12/1890 - - REMARKS: ASSIGNMENT




30/03/1901 03/04/1901 $400000.00 (PT.) - REMARKS: ASSIGNMENT


04/07/1911 14/02/1912 - - REMARKS: ASSIGNMENT

The demolition is mentioned in PWD annual report for 1907:

32. General Remarks. [...] Messrs. Jardine, Matheson and Company’s old offices at the corner of Des Voeux Road and Pedder Street (M. L. 100) were pulled down and the foundations for a new and handsome block of offices were begun.

In the early 1990's I had a young Brit work for me in the RHKP. His name was James Irving-Bell and he was a direct descendant of the Bell-Irvings who were, at one time, Jardine Johnnies.

(Somehow the double-barrelled surname had been reversed).

James's father, whom I met when he visited his son in HK, couldn't help but smile at the irony of how the family became wealthy selling opium to the Chinese, but now James was making amends by arresting "do yaus" (addicts) & traffickers in Kowloon East!

James only completed one contract before going off to become a hot-air balloon pilot.