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CHA PTE R VII.
CAPTAIN DEW's OPERATIONS IN CHEKIANG.
BRITISH NEUTRALITY AT NINGPO—HOSTILE ATTITUDE OF THE TAIPINGs—ADMIRAL HoPE SENDS CAPTAIN DEw, R.N., To NINGPo— REASONS For our INTERFERENCE THERE-APAK, THE Ex-PIRATE —CAPTAIN DEW TAKES NINGPO BY ASSAULT—DEATH OF LIEUTENANTs KENNEY AND coRNEwALL–ORDER RESTORED IN THE CITY-FORMATION OF FRENCH AND ENGLISH CORPS OF DISCIPLINED CHINESE—DESCRIPTION OF THE SURROUNDING country, AND EFFECTS OF TAI-Ping OCCUPATION-CLEARING A THIRTYMILE RADIUS—TAKING OF YUYOW AND TSEKI–DEATH OF GENERAL WARD–REPULSE AT FUNGWHA—COMMANDER JONES IN A FIX—A BISHOP'S SPOIL–HALF OF CHEKIANG RESTORED TO IMPERIAL RULE—PAY OF THE ANGLO-CHINESE CONTINGENT—REBEL DEFEAT AT PIKwaN–CAPTAIN DEw GOES BEYOND THE THIRTyMILE RADIUS—ADVANCE ON SHOWSHING—DEATH OF CAPTAIN LE BRETHON DE COLIGNy–DESCRIPTION OF SHOWSHING—DEATHS OF CAPTAIN TARDIFF AND LIEUTENANT TINLING—CAPTAIN DEW UNDERTAKES THE SIEGE—FALL OF SHOWSHING—DASHING NATURE OF CAPTAIN DEw's ExPLOITs.
THE operations against the Tai-pings which were carried on at Ningpo and in its neighbourhood by Captain Roderick Dew of the Royal Navy afford material for a very noteworthy chapter in the history of our relations with China. With very scanty materials, and by as dashing exploits as the annals of the British navy have to record, this officer not only drove the Rebels away from the port where he was stationed, and had to protect, but also managed, by assisting in getting up a disciplined Chinese force, and by pushing his expeditions into the interior, to restore almost the entire province of Chekiang to Imperialist rule. For some time previous to his advent on the scene, the Rebels had had very much their own way in Chekiang, but now met there with a severe check from the hostility, which they wantonly provoked, of the naval forces of Great Britain and France. This rich province had been entered in the autumn of 1861 by an army of 100,000 Tai-pings, who established themselves in the city and at the open port of Ningpo, the city of the “Peaceful Wave.” Our policy at this place was at first strictly neutral; and though Captain Corbett in H.M.S. Scout was at Ningpo, he had the most positive orders not to interfere with the Tai-pings unless they insulted our people or attempted to occupy the Foreign settlement. They took good care, however, to be on their best behaviour, and remained so till they had exhausted the supplies of guns, other arms, and ammunition, which Foreigners of nearly all nations hastened to sell them. They then began to be insolent, and had a greedy eye on the Foreign settlement, intending, no doubt, if they had not been turned out of Ningpo, to have visited the Kampo (the name of our settlement), and, with their arms, to have got back the dollars they had bartered for them. Commander Craigie of H.M.S. Ringdove, senior officer at Ningpo, writing about the middle of April to his Admiral, Sir James Hope, informed him of the hostile and alarming attitude the Tai-pings in Ningpo were assuming towards Foreigners. His ship, which lay at anchor off the British Consulate, and within pistol-shot of the walls, had been fired on several times
CAUSES OF OUR INTERFERENCE IN CHEKIANG. 97
by the lawless soldiery, and many Chinese in the British
ists would have to advance. Moreover, fresh guns had been mounted in the embrasures opposite the English vessels, masked in a crafty manner by loose bricks. Thus it was now quite evident that mischief was intended by the Tai-pings, and that if the Imperialists advanced, our own ships and the settlement would suffer from the fire of both parties. Foreseeing this, Captain Dew wrote a despatch to the Tai-ping Chiefs, in which he informed them that, if they would remove their guns form the walls and battery opposite the settlement, he would guarantee that no attack should be made by the Imperialists by the river, an offer which was positively doing the Imperialists an injustice. Captain Dew also sent a letter to the Tai-ping Chiefs on the 8th May, in which he said:— “ENCOUNTER, NINGPo, 8th May 1862.-This is to inform you, on the part of the English and French senior naval officers, that had you agreed to their demands, and removed your guns from the battery and walls, they should have felt bound in honour to have acted up to their promise, and have prevented an attack from the river on the settlement side by the Imperialists who now advance to attack you. We inform you that we wish to maintain a perfect neutrality; but if you fire guns or musketry from the battlements or walls opposite our ships or settlement on the advancing Imperialists, thereby endangering the lives of our men and people in the Foreign settlement, we shall then feel it our duty to return the fire and bombard the city.” The Imperialists were then informed that they were at liberty to attack the city, if they did not fire upon the settlement or the ships in the river, among which were of English vessels, the Encounter, 14 guns, 175 men, Captain Dew ; Ringdove, 4 guns, 90 men, Captain
CAPTAIN DEW’s CAPTURE OF NINGPo. 99
Craigie; gunboats Kestrel and Hardy, 40 men each,