Louis Ah Mouy

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Louis Ah Mouy
Born c. 1826
Canton, China
Died 28 April 1918 (aged 92)
Middle Park, Victoria
Residence Middle Park, Victoria
Other names Louey Amoy
Louey Ah Mouy
Citizenship Australian
Spouse(s) Mary Rogers (m. 1855-1862)
Ang Chuck (m. 1861–1918)
Children 11

Louis Ah Mouy (1826 – 28 April 1918; also known as Louey Amoy[1] and Louey Ah Mouy[2]) was a Chinese–Australian community leader and businessperson.

Early life[edit]

Louis Ah Mouy was born circa 1826, in Guangzhou, China, and grew up in Singapore.[3][4]


Ah Mouy emigrated to Victoria before the Victorian gold rush period, and served as a community leader of Melbourne's Chinese community.[5] Considered as one of Melbourne's earliest Chinese immigrant, he also worked as a house constructor and a carpenter.[6] It is claimed that the very first houses in South Melbourne and Williamstown were built by Ah Mouy,[7] who at that time was working under contract for Captain Glendining.[7] When gold was discovered in Yea, Ah Mouy decided to take up gold mining, at the same time urging his family back in China to join him;[8] it was through gold mining that his wealth increased significantly,[9] making him one of Melbourne's richest merchants of that time.[1] He went on to open several gold mines across Australia.[10] A letter addressed to his brother on the issue of gold in Victoria is claimed to have attracted some 37,000 Chinese compatriots to Victoria. As such, he is also called the "Father of the Chinese of Victoria".[10] Ah Mouy was also the co-founder and a major shareholder of the Commercial Bank of Australia.[11] Ah Mouy was an active campaigner against racism in Australia, when, it is said, that "racism had too strong a foothold".[12]

Personal life and death[edit]

Ah Mouy married Mary Rogers, a teenage Irish orphan, in Melbourne Victoria on 13 November 1855, [13] with whom he had a daughter and a son. [14] She died in Melbourne Victoria on 22 July 1862 at the age of 23 years. [15]

Ah Mouy also married Ang Chuck[16] in 1861. At the time of this marriage, Ang was only sixteen. They had eleven children, eight sons and three daughters.[17] Ah Mouy died on 28 April 1918 at his home in Middle Park, aged 92.[18][7]


  1. ^ a b Journal of Australian Colonial History, Volumes 5-6. 5–6. School of Classics, History and Religion, University of New England. 2004. p. 190. 
  2. ^ Lawrence, Susan; Davis, Peter (2011). An Archaeology of Australia Since 1788. Springer. p. 230. ISBN 9781441974853. 
  3. ^ Corfield, Justin (2010). Historical Dictionary of Singapore. Scarecrow Press. p. 28. ISBN 9780810873872. 
  4. ^ Elder, Bruce. The A to Z of who is who in Australia's History. p. 9. 
  5. ^ Our Multicultural Heritage 1788-1945: Annotated Guide to the Collections of the National Library of Australia. National Library of Australia. 1995. p. 19. ISBN 9780642106407. 
  6. ^ Cannon, Michael (1982). Who's master? Who's man?. Curry O'Neil. p. 224. ISBN 9780908090457. 
  7. ^ a b c "Mr. L. Ah Mouy Dead.". Bendigo Advertiser. 1 May 1918. p. 3. 
  8. ^ A Mouy family anecdote has him acting as a Headman for a Cantonese mandarin to whom he was to send back gold. According to this legend he was negligent in his obligations and instead kept the gold. Richard Mouy 1966 /Trouble_in_China.pdf "Trouble in China" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). Council.robe.sa.gov. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Fetherling, George (1997). The Gold Crusades: A Social History of Gold Rushes, 1849-1929. University of Toronto Press. p. 59. ISBN 9780802080462. 
  10. ^ a b "Victoria's First Chinese". Border Watch. 24 May 1918. p. 3. 
  11. ^ Lake, Marilyn; Reynolds, Henry (2008). Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men's Countries and the International Challenge of Racial Equality. University of Cambridge Press. 
  12. ^ Jupp, James (2001). The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of the Nation, Its People and Their Origins. Cambridge University Press. p. 204. ISBN 9780521807890. 
  13. ^ “Married – Ah Mouy-Rogers”, Argus (Melbourne Vic), Thursday 15 November 1855, p.4d
  14. ^ "Births - Ah Mouy", Argus (Melbourne Vic), Wednesday 27 August 1856 p.4 & "Births - Ah Mouy", Argus (Melbourne Vic), Wednesday 25 August 1858 p 4
  15. ^ “Deaths – Ah Mouy”, Argus (Melbourne Vic), Wednesday 23 July 1862, p.4e
  16. ^ "A Chinese Reformer at the Birth of a Nation". Latrobe University. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  17. ^ Selby, Isaac (1924). History of Melbourne. Old Pioneers' Memorial Fund. 
  18. ^ "A Veteran Chinese: Death at Middle Park". Herald. 30 April 1918.