Francis Henry May
|Sir Francis Henry May|
|15th Governor of Hong Kong|
24 July 1912 – 30 September 1919
|Preceded by||Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, 1st Baron Lugard|
|Succeeded by||Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs|
14 March 1860|
|Died||6 February 1922
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Dublin|
Early life and education
May was born in Dublin, Ireland on 14 March 1860. He was the 4th son of Rt. Hon. George Augustus Chichester May, Lord Chief-Justice of Ireland. May was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Dublin, where a few of his predecessors to the Governorship of Hong Kong attended school. May received the 1st Honourman and Prizeman Classics and Modern Languages and B.A. in 1881.
In 1881, May was appointed to a Hong Kong Cadetship after a competitive examination. In 1886, he became the Assistant Protector of Chinese and private secretary to Governor Sir George William Des Vœux. He was also the private secretary to Acting Administrator Digby Barker from 1889 to 1891.
He held the position of Colonial Secretary for Hong Kong in 1902–1910, and became an acting administrator of Hong Kong in 1903, 1904, 1906, 1907, and 1910. In 1910, May was appointed Governor of Fiji and High Commissioner Western Pacific, a position he would hold until 1912.
Governor of Hong Kong
In 1912, May was appointed Governor of Hong Kong, a position he occupied in his own right until 1919. It was also his last post in the Colonial Service.
May was the only Hong Kong Governor to be the target of an assassination attempt. He was fired upon near the General Post Office as he rode in a sedan chair after arriving from Fiji in July 1912. May was not injured; the bullet lodged in the sedan of his wife. The gunman, Li Hung Hung, had a grudge against May. Several years before, this former Police Superintendent had imprisoned Li's father, an undesirable mainland immigrant. Since that incident, May used an automobile as his daily method of transportation.
As part of another violent incident, on 22 January 1918, May personally negotiated with the remaining member of a gang holed up in the "Siege of Gresson Street", following a running gun battle through the streets of Wanchai in which five police officers were killed.
In 1919, May was allowed to retire, due to ill health.
He died at Clare Priory, Suffolk, England. He is buried at Clare.
- "Guide to Cantonese Colloquial"
- "Yachting In Hong-Kong"
Places named after him
- British Hong Kong
- Charles May, after which some "May" places are also named in Hong Kong, including May House.
- Yanne, Andrew; Heller, Gillis (2009). Signs of a Colonial Era. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 62–63. ISBN 978-962-209-944-9.
- Grandsons of siege victim visit Force, HK Police 'Offbeat', Issue 795, 23 March 2005
- Eric Cavaliero, Pedder Street was where it all happened, The Standard, 13 August 1998
- The First Students' Hostels of The University of Hong Kong
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Francis Henry May.|
Alexander Gordon[disambiguation needed]
|Captain-Superintendent of Police
James Haldane Stewart Lockhart
|Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong
Sir Claud Severn
Sir Henry Arthur Blake
|Governor of Hong Kong (Administrator)
Sir Matthew Nathan
Sir Everard F. im Thurn
|High Commissioner for the Western Pacific
Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott
|Governor of Fiji
Acting Administrator Claud Severn
|15th Governor of Hong Kong
Acting Administrator Claud Severn