Robert Shewan

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Robert Gordon Shewan
R. Shewan.png
Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
In office
23 June 1902 – 7 December 1905
Appointed bySir Henry Arthur Blake
Preceded byT. H. Whitehead
Succeeded byE. A. Hewett
In office
25 May 1917 – 27 December 1917
Appointed bySir Francis Henry May
Preceded byEdward Shellim
In office
1 January 1919 – 23 December 1919
Preceded byEdward Shellim
Succeeded byS. H. Dodwell
Chairman of the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation
In office
February 1902 – February 1903
Preceded byJames Johnstone Keswick
Succeeded byA. J. Raymond
Personal details
Born(1859-11-13)13 November 1859
London, England
Died14 February 1934(1934-02-14) (aged 74)
British Hong Kong
Resting placeHong Kong Cemetery
Spouse(s)Dorothy "Dolly"

Robert Gordon Shewan (13 November 1859 – 14 February 1934) was a Scottish businessman in Hong Kong.

Early life[edit]

Robert and his twin brother William were born in London on 13 November 1859.[1] They were sons of Andrew Shewan (1820–1873), a master mariner, and Jane (née Thomson) Shewan (1822–1886).[1]


Shewan arrived in Hong Kong in 1881, in the employ of Russell & Company, which was then one of the largest mercantile companies in the Far East. He and Charles Alexander Tomes, who was a grandson of merchant David Hadden, acquired the infrastructure of that firm subsequent to its dissolution in 1891, and consequently created Shewan, Tomes & Co. in 1895.[2] The new company formed the Green Island Cement Company and the China Light and Power Company, which generated electricity for Kowloon. He was subsequently dismissed from the latter by its principal shareholder, the Kadoorie family. Shewan was also the director of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and of many other local companies.[3]

In 1902, Shewan was elected as the representative of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce in the Legislative Council. He also served as Consul for Chile at Hong Kong.[1] Shewan was unsympathetic to the Canton-Hong Kong strike in 1925: he told the Daily Press that employers should punish those of their Chinese labourers who went on strike. He also posted a notice to his office clerks that stated that those who left and did not return by the next morning would be permanently dismissed.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Shewan was married to Dorothy "Dolly" Kate Lucas (d. 1961), who was a daughter of William Lucas and former wife of James Marke Wood.

Shewan died on 14 February 1934. He was buried at the Hong Kong Cemetery in Happy Valley, Hong Kong.[5]


  1. ^ a b c England, Vaudine (1998). The Quest of Noel Croucher: Hong Kong's Quiet Philanthropist. Hong Kong University Press. p. 44. ISBN 9789622094734. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  2. ^ Braga, Stuart (October 2012). "Making Impressions: The adaptation of a Portuguese family to Hong Kong, 1700-1950" (PDF). p. 34.
  3. ^ Wright, Arnold, ed. (1908). Twentieth Century Impressions of Hongkong, Shanghai, and other Treaty Ports of China. London: Lloyd's Greater Britain Pub. Co. p. 173.
  4. ^ "No Weakness". Hong Kong Daily Press. 24 July 1925. p. 3.
  5. ^ "Robert Gordon Shewan – CLP, Green Island Cement and HK Rope Manufacturing – The Industrial History of Hong Kong Group". The Industrical History of Hong Kong Group. Retrieved 12 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
James Johnstone Keswick
Chairman of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
Succeeded by
A. J. Raymond
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Thomas Henderson Whitehead
Unofficial Member
Representative for Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
Succeeded by
Edbert Ansgar Hewett
Preceded by
Henry Edward Pollock
Unofficial Member
Succeeded by
Edward Shellim
Preceded by
Edward Shellim
Unofficial Member
Succeeded by
Stanley Hudson Dodwell