Chaloner Alabaster

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Chaloner Alabaster, British Consular Official in China

[1] Sir Chaloner Grenville Alabaster KCMG (1838–1898) was an English administrator in China.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Bournemouth and was the son of Mr J.C. Alabaster. He attended King's College London and matriculated at London University in 1852.[2]

Career in China[edit]

In 1855, he went to China as a student interpreter, remaining there during the Second Opium War and the Taiping Rebellion.

Between 1869 and 1873, he was British Vice-Consul in Shanghai and subsequently became Consul General at Hankow, Wuhan from 1880 to 1886 then at Canton from 1886 until 1891. He retired in 1892 was made knight commander in the Order of St Michael and St George.

Marriage and family[edit]

In 1875, Chaloner married Laura, daughter of Dr. D. J. MacGowan of New York City. He was also a freemason.[3] His son, also called Chaloner Grenville Alabaster became Attorney General in Hong Kong from 1930 to 1945. His son went by the first name Grenville.

Chaloner Alabaster's elder brother, Henry Alabaster, also entered the consular service, serving as acting consul in Siam before leaving his position to act as an advisor to King Chulalongkorn.[4]


Alabaster died on 28 June, 1898 at Boscombe, Bournemouth, England.[5]

He was buried in East Cemetery, Bournemouth, England.[6]


  1. ^ Papers relating to his official work in China are held at SOAS Archives
  2. ^ Illustrated London News, 9 July 1898
  3. ^ Freemasonry in China
  4. ^ "Personal Correspondence of Henry Alabaster and Palacia Alabaster", from the archives of the University of London
  5. ^ Illustrated London News, 9 July 1898
  6. ^ "Sir Chaloner Alabaster".