Christopher Augustus Fearon
(1788 – 1866)
Grace Adriana Du Moulin (1822-1880)
Christopher Augustus Fearon was an interesting man: soldier, businessman and politician, who made his mark in Shanghai, China. A road was named in his honour. His life is outlined on page 106 in a book The Old Shanghai A-Z by Paul French:
FEARON ROAD – named after Christopher Augustus Fearon of Fearon & Daniel, Chairman of the SMS [Shanghai Municipal Council, Ed.] in 1854. Fearon joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman in 1800, and claimed to have fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. After Trafalgar, Fearon joined the East India Company as a Third Officer on the East Indiaman Charlton, bound for Madeira and Bengal, in 1809. However, the French inopportunely captured the Charlton and Fearon spent five years as a prisoner of war. He later set up in business in Canton (Guangzhou) through the period of the first Opium War and the end of the East India Company’s monopoly on the China trade. Fearon also effectively launched what became the well-known Fearon Dynasty with branches in China, America and Australia. His eldest son became the first Registrar General of Hong Kong, and later the first Professor of Chinese at King’s college, London, while other sons went into business. Fearon retired to Parramatta, near Sydney where he married his second wife Grace Adriana du Moulin, the daughter of James du Moulin who had been surgeon to the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.
The road wound its way along the banks of the north-west running creek. At the corner of Fearon Road and Broadway was the New Traveller’s Hotel, run by its proprietor Mrs. Sterling. However, arrival at Fearon Road was not always to be desired – in the early years of the twentieth century the Municipal Council opened the Public Mortuary on the road. Some complained that, surrounded by godowns and factories as it was, the cemetery lacked charm! So the Council planted shrubs and trees in 1907 to try and make the place a bit more “charming”, though nobody apparently expressed themselves eager to get in.
Fearon Road is no longer, it became Kowloon Road under the Chinese Nationalists and Liu Lung under the Communists.
Christopher Augustus Fearon was born in 1788 and baptised on 01 Jul 1788 in St George in the East Tower Hamlets, Middlesex, England. His parents were Charles George Fearon, a brewer, and Ann Phillips. He married Elizabeth Noad on 14 May 1818 in Saint Leonards, Streatham, Surrey, England. Elizabeth was born on 22 Oct 1794 in London.
According to family records, Christopher was appointed Vice Consul at Canton on 28 Nov 1825 (a family member holds the original Warrant, signed and sealed by George IV). On 15 Jun 1843, he was appointed Consul after the death of the then-Consul, his business partner James Ilbury (the firm’s name was Ilbury, Fearon & Co.). The Consulate was transferred to Hong Kong on 24 April 1844: again, the original Patent of Commission is held by the family.
Elizabeth died at Lintin Island (between Macau and Hong Kong) on 31 March 1838. As no foreign women were permitted at Canton, all families lived at Lintin. When the trading port was moved to Hong Kong after the Opium Wars, Elizabeth’s remains were re-buried at the old protestant cemetery at Macau.
Christopher and Elizabeth had six children
02. Charles Augustus (b. 02 Sep 1820, d. 01 Mar 1882) bap. 15 Oct 1820 in St Mary, Hornsey, England, d. 01 Mar 1882)
03. Elizabeth Noad (b. 1822, d. ?)
04. Emily Esther Smith (bap. 19 Feb 1831 at Macua, d. 1907 in New Zealand)
05. Anne (b. 15 Jan 1831, d. ?)
06. Robert Inglis (b. 17 Mar 1837, d. 08 Jan 1897)
Following Elizabeth’s death Christopher moved to Australia, arriving from Canton on board the Ann Gales on 01 May 1839:
Christopher settled firstly near Liverpool in a house named Collingwood, as he lived there when on 12 Jun 1847 he appointed as a magistrate (New South Wales Government Gazette, Tue 15 Jun 1847). He was a tenant there when it was advertised to let in The Sydney Morning Herald on Sat 22 Dec 1849:
THE Estate of Collingwood, adjoining the Town of Liverpool, at present occupied by Christopher Fearon Esq., J.P. The House is large and commodious, together with a large Garden, stocked with the best description of fruit trees, vines, &c, &c. The whole or any portion of the Land will be let with the House, so as to suit the convenience of the tenant. Possession to be given on the 1st January, 1850.
Various family notices refer to them living in Kishnaghur, Parramatta, which was an estate in the Dundas Valley on which a house of that name was built. When Christopher died he was descrived as living in Yarra Cottage, Parramatta.
Christopher married Grace Adriana du Moulin on 15 Dec 1845 in the Church of England, Field of Mars, Marsfield, Ryde (record 248/1845 V1845248 30B). Grace was born on 11 Mar 1823 at Kapelle, South Beveland, Holland. Her parents were Jacobus Adrianus Du Moulin & Jane Davidson. The arrival of the family in Sydney was reported in The Sydney Herald on Thu 18 Sep 1834:
From London, same time, having sailed on the 27th of May, the ship Rosslyn Castle, Captain Richards, with 227 male prisoners, under the superintendence of Robert Espie Esq. Surgeon, R. N. Passengers, Lieutenant J. B. Dalway, 2nd Regt. James Andrew Domoulin Esq. Surgeon, 50th Regt. Mrs. Domoulin, and eleven children; 29 rank and file of the 50th Regt, two of the 2nd Regt, seven women and 14 children.
Christopher Augustus Fearon’s children with Grace were:
01. Grace Jane Dunsman (b. 1846 , d. 1917)
02. James Sturgis (b. 1849, d. 1920) m. Emily Wood (d. 1934)
03. Augustine Heard (b. 11 Nov 1850, d. 27 Oct 1921 in Adelaide)
04. William Foster Knowles (b. 05 Jan 1853, d. 17 Feb 1910 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan)
05. Charlotte Susan Eldred (b. 05 Jun 1855, d. 1929 Ryde)
06. Henry Eldred (b. 23 Aug 1857, d. 09 Jul 1878 in Balmain)
07. Jane du Moulin (b. 09 Jan 1860, d. 15 Jan 1928 Randwick)
08. Ellen Joanna Singleton (b. 23 Aug 1862, d. 02 Feb 1948 in Beecroft)
09. Charlotte (b. 1864 d. 08 Mar 1865)
Generation 2: family with Elizabeth
01. Samuel Turner Fearon has a Wikipedia entry:
Samuel Turner Fearon (1819 – 18 January 1854) was the first Chinese professor at the King’s College, London. He was an interpreter in the First Opium War and a colonial servant and senior government official in British Hong Kong.
He was born in Chiswick, London in 1819. He was baptised in 1820 and first went to China in 1826 with his father, Christopher Fearon. He went to the Anglo-Chinese College in Malacca and was fluent in local tongue and became an interpreter in the First Opium War from 1839 to 1842. He was awarded China War Medal. After the war, he went to Hong Kong and became a civil servant in the British colony. He was a clerk and interpreter of the Magistrate Court and also a public notary and coroner. He later became the first Registral General and Collector of Chinese Revenue in 1846.
He became the first Chinese professor at the King’s College, London when the Chinese program was institutionalised at the invitation of George Thomas Staunton in 1847, despite he was not a Sinologist. He did not give lectures and translate any classics or other works of Chinese language. At the end, the Chinese education at the King’s College failed.
He died in St. Pancras, London on 18 January 1854. He was son of Christopher and Elizabeth Fearon. He married Caroline Libery in 1846 and had children Charles and Kate.
02. Charles Augustus Fearon married Ellen Caldecott Smith (b. 1830, d. 02 Sep 1884 in Thanet, Kent, England) on 01 Jan 1851 in in St Peter’s Church of England, Essex, England. The couple had 5 children:
01. George Dixwell (b. 29 Oct 1851 in Shanghai, China, d. 22 Apr 1939 in Bembridge, Hampshire, England)
George married Alverda Catherine Hopper (b. 1860 in Canton, Guangdong, China, d. 03 Apr 1940 in Bembridge, Hampshire, England). They had one daughter, Alverda Daisy Ellen Fearon (b. 31 Jul 1889 in Canton, d. Dec 1974 on the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England).
02. Ellen Augusta Fearon (b. 22 Sep 1857, bap. 05 Nov 1857 in Saint Leonards, Streatham, Surrey, England)
Ellen married William Douglas Edwards on 12 Jun 1886
03. Charles Herbert (b. 10 Jun 1859, bap. 30 Jun 1859 in Christ Church, Streatham Hill, Lambeth)
04. Florence Eva (b. 04 Nov 1861, bap. 15 Jan 1862 in in Christ Church, Streatham Hill, Lambeth)
05. Alice Mary Fearon (b. 19 Sep 1864, bap. 02 Nov 1864 in Christ Church, Streatham Hill, Lambeth)
Alice married John Alexander Fraser on 01 Jun 1880 in St Peter, Essex, England
His entry in the 1881 census shows him to have been a merchant in the East India Company, then retired:
Probate was granted on 10 May 1882; his personal estate amounted to £2,338 3s. 9d.
04. Emily Esther Smith Fearon married Willem du Moulin (b. 23 Oct 1821 in Kapelle, Zeeland, Netherlands, d. 17 Apr 1894 in Good Street, Rangiora, New Zealand) on 03 Apr 1862 in the residence of E. M. Templer, Coringa, Christchurch, New Zealand.Willem was described as a stockowner and a clerk in New Zealand electoral rolls.
Grace Adriana du Moulin was Willem’s older sister and she also turns out to be his mother-in-law!
Willem & Emily had 4 children:
01. Charles Fearon Robert (b. 30 Sep 1863 on Race Course Hill Station, Christchurch, New Zealand, d. 1950)
02. Emily Elizabeth Grace (b. 1865 at Kishnagur, Parramatta, N.S.W., Australia, d. 05 May 1899 at Good Street, Rangiora, New Zealand)
03. William Henry (b. 1867 in New Zealand, d. 1896 in New Zealand)
04. Herbert (b. 1870 in New Zealand, d. 1872 in New Zealand)
05. Ann Fearon we know nothing about, apart from the suggestion she married a Col. Caldecott Smith.
06. Robert Inglis Fearon married Minnie Hulton/Hutton (1847-1931) on 17 Feb 1866 in St John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong (The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 23 May 1866). Presumably Robert and his family moved to New York, as probate of his will was granted there in 1987.
They had at least on child, Frank Basil Fearon (b. c.1868 in Shanghai China, d. 25 Sep 1914 in Connecticut, USA).
Generation 2: family with Grace
02. James Sturgis Fearon. The oldest son has a wikipedia entry which states:
Fearon moved to Shanghai at the age of 21 in 1870. He joined the staff of Augustin, Heard & Co in the tea department. When that firm when out of business, he formed the firm of Fearon, Lowe & co with Mr E.G. Lowe. After Lowe’s death he was joined in partnership by Mr Daniel and in 1880, Fearon, Daniel & Co was established. In 1900 he moved to New York City to run Fearon Daniel & Co’s business there. He returned to China in 1910 and was principally based in Tianjin. He naturalised as an American in 1903.
In his younger days, Fearon was an active member of the Victoria Company of the Shanghai Fire Brigade. Later, he was part of a committee that was responsible for creating the public recreation ground at the Shanghai Race Course. He was later a Steward of the Shanghai Race Club.
Fearon was elected to and became chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council in January 1898 and served until August 1899 when he resigned. He was replaced as Chairman by Frederick Anderson.
Fearon died on 26 October 1920 in Tianjin and was buried at the Canton Road Cemetery. His grave was destroyed along with the cemetery during the Cultural Revolution.
Fearon married Emily Wood in San Francisco, California on 27 Jan 1881. Emily was born on 26 Oct 1861 in Sacramento, California, USA. They had two sons, Frank L Fearon and A.F. Fearon and one daughter, Marjorie. Emily died on 04 Jun 1934 in Shanghai and was buried at the Hongqiao Road Cemetery
03. Augustine Heard Fearon married Mabel Grace Tibbits at Burwood on 20 Dec 1893. Their children were:
01. Grace Mabel (b. 17 Oct 1894, d. 1954)
02. Dorothy (b. 13 Aug 1896, d. 18 Jun 1967)
03. Millicent J. (b. 1897, d. 05 Aug 1922 of Septicaemia after childbirth)
04. Christopher Hugh (d. 21 Jun 1899 in Dubbo, d. 03 Sep 1956 in Sydney)
Augustine entered the Bank of New South Wales, as described in his obituary published in the Dubbo Dispatch and Wellington Independent on Fri 04 Nov 1921:
DEATH OF MR. FEARON.
The death occurred during the week of Mr. A. H. Fearon, who was for 18 years manager of the Dubbo branch of the Bank of New South Wales. He left here 14 years ago to take up the management of the Adelaide branch, and lately retired from that office to become associated with Mr. Sid Kidman. Mrs. Kidman was a daughter of the late Dr. Tibbits, of Dubbo. During his long term in Dubbo Mr. Fearon was one of the best citizens. He used the strength which his office carried with it to the advantage of the district in numerous ways, and he took more than his share of the duties which have to be performed in an honorary capacity. He was hon. secretary of the Macquarie Picnic Race Club, and, in fact, there were few organisations of the citizens with which he was not connected.
and in Adelaide’s Chronicle on Sat 29 Oct 1921:
DEATH OF MR A. H. FEARON.
AN EX-BANK MANAGER.
Wide regret will be felt concerning the death of Mr. Augustine Heard Fearon, a former manager of the Adelaide branch of the Bank of New South Wales, which ocurred at Ru Rua Private Hospital on Thursday morning. Mr. Fearon was taken ill about a month ago at Yancannia Station, and came to Adelaide, where he underwent an operation for an internal disorder. Mr Fearon, who was born at Parramatta, near Sydney, was an expert on financial matters, and had the enviable record of 50 years in the Bank of New South Wales. He was held in high regard both by the directors and staff. He was a man of strict integrity, consistent courtesy, and kind-hearted generosity. He was a genial companion, and possessed a wide range of knowledge. He joined the service of the bank on January 8, 1869, in Sydney, and remained in that office for several years, after which he was transferred to Dubbo as manager, a position which he filled with great credit for 20 years. On April 15, 1909, he took charge of the Adelaide branch, and ten years later was granted 12 months’ leave of absence, prior to his retirement. He was always a lover of horses, and enjoyed station life, and on severing his connection with the bank he went into partnership with Sir Sidney Kidman on Yancannia Station, which is situated about 200 miles from Broken Hill, in New South Wales. Mr. Fearon took up his residence on the station, where he obtained great benefit from the outdoor life. When in Dubbo he was a familiar figure as the driver of a four-in-hand team. He was a member of the Adelaide Club, the Adelaide Hunt Club, and the Royal Agricultural Society. Mr. Fearon leaves a widow, three daughters (Mrs. John Barker, of the Burra; Mrs. Grant Matheson, of Wilpena Station, and Mrs. G. K. Henderson, of Tintinara), and one son (Mr. Hugh Fearon, of Yancannia Station).
04. William Foster Knowles Fearon married Jane Montgomery Foster (b. 1863, d. 1935) in 1887 in Hong Kong. They had three children, all born in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan:
01. Lancelot Low Foster (b. 15 OCT 1888, d. 02 Aug 1941 in Shanghai, China)
02. Augustus Foster (b. 02 Apr 1890, d. 1930 in Tientsin (Tianjin), China)
03. Millicent Ada (b. 21 Jul 1892, d. Oct 1979 in Bracknell, Berkshire, England) She married Edric Walter Brett
02. Augustus Foster Fearon married Alix Florence Charlotte Knox (b. 31 Dec 1899, d. 20 Mar 2000) on 15 Oct 1888 in Kobe, Japan; they had two children:
01. Basil William (b. b. 28 Mar 1921 in Kobe, Japan, d. 18 Aug 1997 in Canberra)
02. Derek Henry (b. 22 Nov 1923 in Tientsin, China, d. 23 Feb 2006 in Melbourne)
05. Charlotte Susan Eldred Fearon married Charles W. Sherlock in 1877. They had two children:
01. Grace F (b. 18 Sep 1878 in Sydney, d. Sep 1970)
02. Linda Marriott (b. 22 May 1880, d. 20 Jul 1957)
07. Jane du Moulin Fearon married Septimus Daly (described as a broker) in Shanghai on Jul 10 1884:
They had 6 children: Norah (1873-1949), Helen (1876-1920), Frederick Patrick (1879-1927), Eileen D’Arcy (1885-1980), Rene (1886-1966), Made Fearon (1887-1956)
08. Ellen Joanna Singleton Fearon married Anthony Weaver in Wllington, NDSW in 1887. The couple had 4 children: Charles Fearon (1887-?), Jack McCalister (1887-1955), Innes Macquarie (1890-1984), Allan Fearon (1892-1958).