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Bowring Papers

Date range: 1822-1905.

Personal and political correspondence of Sir John Bowring (1792-1872) and his family.

There are letters from Sir John Bowring to his son Edgar Alfred Bowring at the Board of Trade, mainly concerning political and commercial affairs in the Far East at the time when Sir John was Consul at Canton, Plenipotentiary to China and, from 1854, Governor of Hong Kong and Chief Superintendent of Trade.

These are an important source for studies of Anglo-Chinese relations and the opening of Japan.

Earlier letters and papers date from Sir John's term as MP for Bolton and his activities in the Anti-Corn Law League.

There also papers and diaries of Sir John's son Frederick Hermann Bowring, Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge.

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • Recorded in published handlist of English Manuscripts (English MSS 1228-1234).
  • See also note in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 41 (1958-9), pp. 269-71.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library