Friday, September 13, 2013

Chaldecott, Thomas Andrews (1857-61)

updated September 1, 2013

b.[n.d.], Chertsey, Surrey, England. MSA June 29, 1850; MRCS (Eng.) July 26, 1850; IAC. Hong Kong nlt.1857. Private practitioner. Hong Kong Government, Acting Colonial Surgeon (vice William Aurelius Harland, deceased) September 23, 1858. First person to report Classic Asiatic cholera 1858. Secretary, China Branch, Royal Asiatic Society. Residence: Stanley Street 1861. Left Hong Kong for England 1862, private practitioner 1862; Drs. George Harcourt and T.A. Chaldecott, address: Chertsey; partnership dissolved on December 31, 1864, Chaldecott continued at the same address.

m. Ellen Lucas, of Chertsey. fa/o Thomas Edmund Harland Chaldescott, b. January 7, 1861, Hong Kong - August 9, 1915, London; Ellen Anna Chaldecott, b. August 10, 1862, Chertsey - August 16, 1951, Chertsey; Richard Lucas Chaldecott, b.1866, Chertsey -d.1933; Francis Miller, b. May 26, 1869, Chertsey.

[The timely action taken by Chaldecott had probably saved the lives of many Europeans in Hong Kong on January 15, 1857 in connection with the Esing Poisonous Bread Incident. Esing's Bakery 裕盛辦館 was the choice supplier of bakery products to more than 400 foreign households as well as the Hong Kong British garrison barracks. In the morning of the date earlier mentioned, the European community in Hong Kong was panicked when people began to suffer from sudden sickness across Victoria. The one thing in common among the sick, soon it was discovered, was that they all had consumed bakery products delivered to them by Esing that morning. At around 10:30am, Chaldecott, most probably out of his own initiative, started handing out hand-written circulars that bore his signature, which said, “The bread is poisoned. Take mustard (teaspoonful) in warm water; ½ pint & afterward warm water; after vomiting freely, eat raw eggs.” It became known, later on, that arsenic were administered to all the Esing's bakery products on that day; miraculously nobody died directly as a result.]

Selected bibliography: [internet]. The British Medical Journal, June 5, 1869, p.530, Births. Dennys, N.B., King, Charles and Mayers, William Fred., The Treaty Ports of China and Japan: a complete Guide to the Open Ports of those Countries, together with Peking, Yedo, Hongkong and Macao, Hong Kong: A. Shortrede & Co., 1867. Gravestone Photographic Resource [internet]. Heard, Augustine, The Poisoning in Hong Kong – An Episode of Life in China Forty Years Ago, [n.p.] 1894. Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences Society, Plague, Sars, and the Story of Medicine in Hong Kong, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2006, p.38. The Hong Kong Government Gazette, September 25, 1858, Notice #89. The London Gazette, February 3, 1865, p.520.


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