J. J. Bell-Irving

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James Jardine Bell-Irving (24 December 1859 – 8 June 1936) was a Scottish businessman in Hong Kong and China and member of the Executive Council and Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

Son of John Bell-Irving and Mary Jardine, nephew of Dr. William Jardine and sister of Sir Robert Jardine, James Jardine was born at Makerstoun, Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland on 24 December 1859 in the family of the Jardine Matheson & Co., one of the largest trading firms in the Far East. He arrived in China in 1881 and became a partner at the company in 1887. He became a director of company for from 1887 to 1902 and also numerous public companies, including the chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.[1]

He was appointed as unofficial member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong in 1892, 1893, 1896 and 1901 and became the first of the two unofficial members in the Executive Council of Hong Kong in 1896 and again in 1901, until he retired from public and business services and returned to England in 1902.

After going back to England, he lived at Minto House, Hawick and Rokeby, Barnard Castle, and bought the Makerstoun property on the River Tweed near Kelso afterward. He died in London on 8 June 1936.[1]

He married Eva Gertrude Piercy, daughter of Benjamin Piercy in Hong Kong in 1890 and had two daughters:

  1. Ethel Mary (born 4 October 1891) married Ian Maitland, 15th Earl of Lauderdale[2]
  2. Eva Margaretta (born 20 July 1893)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Old H. K. Taipan is dead". Hong Kong Daily Press. 9 June 1936. p. 1. 
  2. ^ "Ethel Mary Bell-Irving". The Peerage. 
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Unofficial Member
1892–1893
Succeeded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Preceded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Unofficial Member
1895
Succeeded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Preceded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Unofficial Member
1896–1899
Succeeded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Preceded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Unofficial Member
1901–1902
Succeeded by
Charles Wedderburn Dickson
Political offices
New office Unofficial Member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong
1896–1899
Succeeded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Preceded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Unofficial Member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong
1901–1902
Succeeded by
Charles Wedderburn Dickson
Business positions
Preceded by
Stephen C. Michaelsen
HSBC Chairman
1898–1899
Succeeded by
Roderick Mackenzie Gray