Governor of Hong Kong

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Governor of Hong Kong
Flag of the Governor of Hong Kong.svg
Standard of the Governor, 1959–1997
Style His/Her Excellency
Residence Government House, Hong Kong
Appointer Monarch of the United Kingdom
Formation 26 June 1843
First holder Sir Henry Pottinger, Bt
Final holder Chris Patten
Abolished 30 June 1997
Salary HK$3,036,000 per annum

The Governor of Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港總督/港督; Jyutping: Hoeng1gong2zung2duk1) was the representative in Hong Kong of the British Crown from 1843 to 1997. In this capacity, the Governor was President of the Executive Council and Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces Overseas Hong Kong. The Governor's roles were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Patent and Royal Instructions. Upon the end of British rule and the transfer of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997, most of the civil functions of this office went to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, and military functions went to the Commander of the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison.

The Governor[edit]

Uniform of the Governor of Hong Kong

Authorities and duties of the Governor were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Patent and Royal Instructions in 1843. The Governor, appointed by the British monarch (on the advice of the Foreign Secretary), exercise the executive branch of Hong Kong Government throughout British sovereignty and, with the exception of a brief experiment after World War II, no serious attempt was made to introduce representative government, until the final years of British rule.

The Governor of Hong Kong chaired the colonial cabinet, the Executive Council (ExCo), and until 1993, also the President of Legislative Council. The Governor appointed most, if not all, of the members of the colony's legislature, (known colloquially as LegCo), which was largely an advisory body until the first indirect elections of LegCo was held in 1985. Initially both Councils were dominated by British expatriates, but this progressively gave way to local Hong Kong Chinese appointees in later years. Historically, the Governors of Hong Kong were professional diplomats, save the last Governor, Chris Patten, who was a career politician. In December 1996, the Governor's salary was HK$3,036,000 per annum, tax-free. It was fixed at 125% of the Chief Secretary's salary.[1]

In the absence of the Governor, the Chief Secretary immediately became the acting Governor of the colony. The Chief Secretaries were historically drawn from the Colonial Office or British military. One Royal Navy Vice Admiral served as administrator after World War II. Four Japanese military officers (3 Army officers and 1 naval Vice Admiral) served as administrator during World War II.

Transport[edit]

The Governor of Hong Kong used a Daimler DS420 for day to day transport and a Rolls-Royce Phantom V landaulette for ceremonial occasions. Both vehicles were removed by the Royal Navy immediately following the handover to China on 1 July 1997.

Residences[edit]

List of Governors[edit]

British Administrators and Governors (1841–1941)[edit]

Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Term of office Origin Background Ref
Took office Left office Duration
Charles Elliot.png Sir Charles Elliot
義律

(1801–1875)
Administrator

26 January 1841 12 August 1841 198 days Dresden, Saxony Chief Superintendent of British Trade in China
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Alexander Robert Johnston
莊士敦

(1812–1888)
Acting Administrator

22 June 1841 December 1841 185 days Colombo, Ceylon Deputy Superintendent of British Trade in China
Sir Henry Pottinger.jpg Sir Henry Pottinger, 1st Bt.
砵甸乍

(1789–1856)
Administrator

12 August 1841 26 June 1843 1 years, 318 days County Down, Ireland Lieutenant-General
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Alexander Robert Johnston
莊士敦

(1812–1888)
Acting Administrator

June 1842 December 1842 206 days Colombo, Ceylon Assistant and Registrar to the Superintendent of Trade
1 Sir Henry Pottinger.jpg Sir Henry Pottinger, 1st Bt.
砵甸乍

(1789–1856)

26 June 1843 8 May 1844 317 days County Down, Ireland Lieutenant-General
2 John Francis Davis.jpg Sir John Francis Davis, 1st Bt.
戴維斯

(1795–1890)

8 May 1844 18 March 1848 3 years, 315 days London, England East India Company
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg William Staveley
士他花利

(1784–1854)
Administrator

18 March 1848 21 March 1848 3 days York, England Commander and Lieutenant Governor
3 Sir Samuel George Bonham.jpg Sir George Bonham
文咸

(1803–1863)

21 March 1848 13 April 1854 6 years, 23 days London, England East India Company
4 John Bowring 1867.jpg Sir John Bowring
寶靈

(1792–1872)

13 April 1854 5 May 1859 5 years, 22 days Exeter, England Member of Parliament
Captain William Caine.jpg William Caine

(1799–1871)
Administrator

5 May 1859 9 September 1859 127 days England Colonial Secretary
5 LordRosmead.jpg Sir Hercules Robinson
羅士敏

(1824–1897)

9 September 1859 15 March 1865 5 years, 187 days London, England Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg William Thomas Mercer
孖沙

(1821–1879)
Administrator

15 March 1865 11 March 1866 5 years, 187 days London, England Colonial Secretary
6 Richard Graves MacDonnell.jpg Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell
麥當奴

(1814–1881)

11 March 1866 11 April 1872 6 years, 31 days Dublin, Ireland Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Henry Wase Whitfield
威非路

(1814–1877)
Administrator

11 April 1872 16 April 1872 5 days England Commander and Lieutenant Governor
7 ArthurEdwardKennedy.jpg Sir Arthur Kennedy
堅尼地

(1809–1883)

16 April 1872 1 March 1877 4 years, 319 days County Down, Ireland Colonial administrator
John Gardiner Austin.jpg John Gardiner Austin
柯士甸

(1811–1900)

1 March 1877 22 April 1877 52 days Unknown Colonial administrator
8 Sir John Hennessy.gif Sir John Pope Hennessy
軒尼詩

(1834–1891)

22 April 1877 7 March 1882 4 years, 319 days County Cork, Ireland Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Malcolm Struan Tonnochy
杜老誌

(1841–1882)
Administrator

7 March 1882 28 March 1882 21 days Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, India Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir William Henry Marsh
馬殊

(1827–1906)
Administrator

28 March 1882 30 March 1883 1 years, 2 days England Colonial administrator
9 George Bowen b.jpg Sir George Bowen
寶雲

(1821–1899)

30 March 1883 21 December 1885 2 years, 266 days County Donegal, Ireland Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir William Henry Marsh
馬殊

(1827–1906)
Administrator

21 December 1885 25 April 1887 1 years, 125 days England Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg William Gordon Cameron
金馬倫

(1827–1913)
Administrator

25 April 1887 6 October 1887 164 days France Commander and Lieutenant Governor
10 Sir G. William Des Voeux.jpg Sir William Des Voeux
德輔

(1834–1909)

6 October 1887 7 May 1891 3 years, 213 days Baden-Baden, German Confederation Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir George Digby Barker
白加

(1833–1914)
Administrator

7 May 1891 10 December 1891 217 days Unknwon Commander and Lieutenant Governor
11 Sir William Robinson.jpg Sir William Robinson
羅便臣

(1836–1912)

10 December 1891 1 February 1898 6 years, 53 days Wetherden, England Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Wilsone Black
布力

(1837–1909)
Administrator

1 February 1898 25 November 1898 297 days Unknwon Commander and Lieutenant Governor
12 Henry Arthur Blake.jpg Sir Henry Arthur Blake
卜力

(1840–1918)

25 November 1898 21 November 1903 4 years, 361 days Limerick, Ireland Colonial administrator
Francis Henry May.png Sir Francis Henry May
梅含理

(1860–1922)
Administrator

21 November 1903 29 July 1904 251 days Dublin, Ireland Colonial Secretary
13 Sir Matthew Nathan.jpg Sir Matthew Nathan
彌敦

(1862–1939)

29 July 1904 20 April 1907 2 years, 265 days London, England Colonial administrator
Francis Henry May.png Sir Francis Henry May
梅含理

(1860–1922)
Administrator

20 April 1907 29 July 1907 3 years, 100 days Dublin, Ireland Colonial Secretary
14 LordLugard.jpg Sir Frederick Lugard
盧吉

(1858–1945)

29 July 1907 16 March 1912 4 years, 231 days Madras, India Colonial administrator
Sir Claud Severn.jpg Claud Severn
施勳

(1869–1933)
Administrator

16 March 1912 24 July 1912 130 days Adelaide, South Australia Colonial administrator
15 Francis Henry May.png Sir Francis Henry May
梅含理

(1860–1922)

24 July 1912 12 September 1918 6 years, 50 days Dublin, Ireland Colonial Secretary
Sir Claud Severn.jpg Claud Severn
施勳

(1869–1933)
Administrator

12 September 1918 30 September 1919 1 years, 18 days Adelaide, South Australia Colonial administrator
16 SirReginaldStubbs.jpg Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs
司徒拔

(1876–1947)

30 September 1919 19 March 1925 5 years, 170 days Oxford, England Colonial administrator
Sir Claud Severn.jpg Claud Severn
施勳

(1869–1933)
Administrator

19 March 1925 1 November 1925 227 days Adelaide, South Australia Colonial administrator
17 SIRCECILCLEMENTIHKU.jpg Sir Cecil Clementi
金文泰

(1875–1947)

1 November 1925 1 February 1930 4 years, 92 days Cawnpore, India Colonial administrator
Sir Thomas Southorn.jpg Thomas Southorn
修頓

(1879–1957)
Administrator

1 February 1930 9 March 1930 36 days Durham, England Colonial Secretary
18 SirWilliamPeel HK.jpg Sir William Peel
貝璐

(1875–1945)

9 May 1930 17 May 1935 5 years, 8 days Hexham, England Colonial administrator
Sir Thomas Southorn.jpg Thomas Southorn
修頓

(1879–1957)
Administrator

17 May 1935 13 September 1935 119 days Unknown Colonial Secretary
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Norman Lockhart Smith
史美

(1887–1968)
Administrator

13 September 1935 1 November 1935 49 days Durham, England Colonial administrator
Sir Thomas Southorn.jpg Thomas Southorn
修頓

(1879–1957)
Administrator

1 November 1935 12 December 1935 41 days Unknown Colonial Secretary
19 Sir Andrew Caldecott.jpg Sir Andrew Caldecott
郝德傑

(1884–1951)

12 December 1935 16 April 1937 1 years, 125 days Kent, England Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Norman Lockhart Smith
史美

(1887–1968)
Administrator

16 April 1937 28 October 1937 195 days Durham, England Colonial Secretary
20 Sir Geoffry Northcote.jpg Sir Geoffry Northcote
羅富國

(1881–1948)

28 October 1937 6 September 1941 3 years, 313 days London, England Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Norman Lockhart Smith
史美

(1887–1968)
Administrator

6 September 1941 10 September 1941 4 days Durham, England Colonial Secretary
21 Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Mark Aitchison Young
楊慕琦

(1886–1974)

6 September 1941 25 September 1941 110 days India Colonial administrator

Japanese occupation (1941–1945)[edit]

Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Term of office Ref
Took office Left office Duration
Sakai Takashi.jpg Takashi Sakai
酒井隆

(1886–1967)
Administrator

25 December 1941 20 February 1942 57 days
Niimi Masaichi.jpg Masaichi Niimi
新見政一

(1887–1993)
Administrator

1 Isogai Rensuke.jpg Rensuke Isogai
磯谷廉介
(1886–1967)
20 February 1942 24 December 1944 2 years, 308 days
2 Hisakazu.jpg Hisakazu Tanaka
田中久一
(1889–1947)
1 February 1945 16 August 1945 196 days

British Administrators and Governors (1945–1997)[edit]

Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Term of office Origin Background Ref
Took office Left office Duration
Frank Gimson.jpg Sir Franklin Charles Gimson
詹遜

(1890–1975)
Provisional Governor

28 August 1945 30 August 1945 2 days Leicestershire, England Colonial Secretary
Cecil Harcourt.jpg Sir Cecil Harcourt
夏愨

(1892–1959)
Administrator of Military Administration

1 September 1945 1 May 1946 242 days London, England Admiral (Royal Navy)
21 Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Mark Aitchison Young
楊慕琦

(1886–1974)

1 May 1946 17 May 1947 1 years, 16 days India Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg David Mercer MacDougall
麥道高

(1904–1991)
Administrator

17 May 1947 25 July 1947 69 days Unknown Colonial Secretary
22 Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Alexander Grantham
葛量洪

(1899–1978)

25 July 1947 31 December 1957 10 years, 159 days London, England Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Edgeworth Beresford David
戴維德

(1908–1965)
Administrator

31 December 1957 23 January 1958 23 days Unknown Colonial Secretary
23 Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Robert Brown Black
柏立基

(1906–1999)

23 January 1958 31 March 1964 6 years, 68 days Edingburgh, Scotland Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Edmund Brinsley Teesdale
戴斯德

(1915–1997)
Administrator

31 March 1964 14 April 1964 14 days Shanghai, China Colonial Secretary
24 Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir David C.C. Trench
戴麟趾

(1915–1988)

14 April 1964 19 October 1971 7 years, 188 days Quetta, India Colonial administrator
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Hugh Norman-Walker
羅樂民

(1916–1985)
Administrator

19 October 1971 19 November 1971 31 days London, England Colonial Secretary
25 Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Murray MacLehose
麥理浩

(1917–2000)

19 November 1971 8 May 1982 10 years, 170 days Glasgow, Scotland UK Ambassador to Denmark
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Philip Haddon-Cave
夏鼎基

(1925–1999)
Administrator

8 May 1982 20 May 1982 12 days Hobart, Australia Chief Secretary
26 Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Edward Youde
尤德

(1924–1986)

20 May 1982 4 December 1986 4 years, 198 days Penarth, Wales UK Ambassador to China
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir David Akers-Jones
鍾逸傑

(1927–)
Acting Governor

4 December 1986 9 April 1987 126 days Sussex, England Chief Secretary
27 David Wilson 2008.jpg Sir David Wilson
衛奕信

(1935–)

9 April 1987 9 July 1992 5 years, 91 days Clackmannanshire, Scotland Diplomat
28 Chris Patten -2008-10-31-.jpg Chris Patten
彭定康

(1944–)

9 July 1992 30 June 1997 4 years, 356 days Lancashire, England Chairman of Conservative Party

Firsts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]