Robert PATTERSON [1849-1899] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Robert PATTERSON [1849-1899]

Birthplace (town, state): 
Gamrie, Banffshire, Scotland
Birthplace (country): 
Cause of death: 
Likely myocardial infarction

Police Constable (No. 23) in the Hong Kong Police Force who had served his full fifteen years tenure having joined on 12th August 1884 but tragically died just before he was about to retire on his pension and travel back home to the British Isles with his wife. He had previously served in the Irish Constabulary, the 93rd Highland Regiment and the Dundee Police Force before being posted to Hong Kong. 






We regret to have to report the sad death of P.C. Robert Patterson, which occurred yesterday, at 4 p.m., at the police station near the Hotel Metropole. Yesterday being the first of the month Inspector Robertson had taken the deceased his month’s salary, and, at 2.30 o’clock, was standing on the verandah of the police station talking to Patterson of old times, they having come to Hongkong together fifteen years ago. Patterson suddenly put his hands to his chest, and exclaiming “My God” fell down senseless. He was carried to his bed and restoratives immediately applied, but they were of no avail, he expiring about half an hour later.

The deceased had completed his fifteen years in the Hongkong Police Force this month and was now pulling up time he had lost in holidays during that period, at the expiration of which he and his wife would have gone home on a pension of £37.10s per annum. He had no child and so only leaves a wife, for whose passage home the Government will doubtless provide.

The life of the deceased may be said to have been spent in the Government employ, having enlisted when quite a youth in the Irish Constabulary, after which he served seven years in the 93rd Highland Regiment, and then joined the Dundee Police Force, from which, with six others, of whom Inspector Robertson is the only one now left, he was drafted to Hongkong. Although ailing for some time past with asthma, he looked the very picture of health, and as if he would, for many years to come he spared enjoy the pension he had earned by his long service.”

Source: The Hong Kong Telegraph, page 2, 2nd December 1899

1851 Scotland Census

William Paterson, aged 29 years, Head, born Marnoch, Banff about 1822, Day Labourer 

Igne Paterson, aged 29 years, Wife, born Fort George, Mayuess about 1821

James Milson Milne, aged 9 years, Wife's son (step-son), born Gamrie, Banff about 1842, Scholar 

Christian Paterson, aged 6 years, Daughter, born Mcduff, Banff about 1845, Scholar 

Jane Paterson, aged 5 years, Daughter, born Mcduff, Banff about 1846, Scholar 

William Paterson, aged 2 years, Son, born Mcduff, Banff about 1849

Robert Paterson, aged 1 year, Son, born Mcduff, Banff, about 1850

Address: 12 Clergy Street, Gamrie, Banffshire, Scotland 


1861 Scotland Census

William Patterson, aged 42 years, Head, born Marnoch, Banffs about 1819, Agric Labourer 

William Patterson, aged 12 years, Son, born Gamrie, Banff about 1849

Robert Patterson, aged 11 years, Son, born Gamrie, Banff, about 1850

John Patterson, Son, aged 9 years, born Turriff, Abdns about 1852, At School

Margaret Patterson, Daughter, aged 7, born Turriff, Abdns about 1854

Farquhar Patterson, Son, aged 2 years, born Turriff, Abdns about 1859

James M Patterson, Son, aged 20 years, born Gamrie, Banffs about 1841, Agric Labourer

Christian Patterson, Daughter, aged 17 years, born Gamrie, Banffs about 1844

Address: Private House, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 


1871 Scotland Census

Robert Patterson, aged 20 years, Servant (to 65 year old George Alexander a Famer of 212 acres employing 5 labourers) , born Gamrie, Banffshire about 1851, Farm Servant 

Address: South Balnoon, Inverkeithny, Banffshire, Scotland 


Freemasonary Membership in Hong Kong

Name: Robert Patterson
Gender: Male
Initiation Date: 8 Apr 1891
First Payment Year on Register: 1891
Year range: 1887-1909
Profession: Police Constable
Lodge: United Service Lodge
Lodge Location: Hong Kong
Lodge Number: 1341
Folio Number: 182




He was buried in the Hong Kong Colonial Cemetery, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, Section 4, Row 7, Number 5 grave 2nd December 1899

04---/07/05- Patterson Robert 1899-12-01 50 563
Patterson Robert 1899-12-01 50 563 04---/07/05-

"In affectionate remembrance of Robert Patterson, a native of Macduff, Banffshire, Scotland, a member of the Hong Kong Police Force and formerly of the Dundee Police Force who died 1st December 1899 aged 50 years.

Erected by the members of the Hong Kong Police Force as a mark of respect."

“Death of P.C. Patterson

Yesterday afternoon, P.C. Robert Patterson (No. 23) died with painful suddenness in his quarters at Tsat Tse Mui Police Station, at Quarry Bay. The deceased was fifty years of age, and had been suffering from lung disease for some years. He came off duty at six o’clock  in the morning, and was sitting in the verandah of the station at half-past three o’clock when he suddenly became unwell and retired to his quarters. He never rallied, and died at four o’clock. The deceased was highly respected as an honest, straightforward man by the people resident in the Shaukiwan district, where he had ben stationed for about seven years. He was a native of Banffshire, Scotland. He joined the Hongkong Police Force on 12th August, 1884, and it was his intention to go home on pension on 1st February. Previous to coming to Hongkong he was in the Dundee Police Force for a number of years, and had also had service for two years in the Royal Irish Constabulary, and served for a number of years in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Deceased leaves a widow for whom much sympathy is entertained. The funeral took place this afternoon.”

Source: The China Mail, page 6, 2nd December 1899

“On Saturday afternoon the remains of P.C. Robert Patterson, who died suddenly the previous afternoon, were interred. Deceased, who was 50 years of age, was sitting on the verandah at Tsat Tsz Mui Police Station, Quarry Bay, at about half-past three, when he suddenly became unwell. He went to his quarters and died about half an hour afterwards. Deceased had been at Tsat Tsz Mui for seven years and was much respected by the locality. He came to Hongkong in August, 1884. He had served previously in the Dundee Police Force, the Royal Irish Constabulary, and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He was a native of Banffshire, Scotland. Deceased was a member of the United Service Lodge of Freemasons, No. 1341, and the funeral was attended by brethren of that and other Masonic Lodges.”

Source: Hong Kong Daily Press, page 2, 4th December 1899