Sir George Staunton, 1st Baronet
He was born in Cargins, Co Galway, Ireland and educated at the Jesuit College, Toulouse, France (obtaining an MD in 1758) and the School of Medicine in Montpellier, France. He was awarded a DCL by Oxford University in 1790.
He initially practised as a physician in the West Indies but switched to law and was made Attorney-General in Grenada in 1779. In 1784, he accompanied his lifelong friend George, Lord Macartney, whom he first met in the West Indies, to Madras to negotiate peace with Tipu Sultan, for which service Staunton was created a baronet of Ireland, of Cargins in the County of Galway on 31 October 1785.
In 1793, he was named Secretary to the British mission to the Chinese Imperial court. This diplomatic and trade mission would be headed by Lord Macartney. Although the Macartney Embassy returned to London without obtaining any concession from China, the mission could have been termed a success because it brought back detailed observations. Staunton was charged with producing the official account of the expedition after their return. This multi-volume work was taken chiefly from the papers of Lord Macartney and from the papers of Sir Erasmus Gower, who was Commander of the expedition. Sir Joseph Banks, the President of the Royal Society, was responsible for selecting and arranging engraving of the illustrations in this official record.
He died at his London house, 17 Devonshire Street, on 14 January 1801 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a monument by Sir Francis Chantrey is erected to his memory. The baronetcy, his Irish estate at Clydagh, County Galway and his London home were all inherited by his only son, George Thomas Staunton.
- "No. 12699". The London Gazette. 12 November 1785. p. 522.
- "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- Banks, Joseph. Papers of Sir Joseph Banks; Section 12: Lord Macartney’s embassy to China; Series 62: Papers concerning publication of the account of Lord Macartney's Embassy to China, ca 1797. [State Library of New South Wales.]
- Leigh Rayment's list of baronets
- Barrow, John. (1807). Some Account of the Public Life, and a Selection from the Unpublished Writings, of the Earl of Macartney, 2 vols. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies.
- Cranmer-Byng, J. L. "Lord Macartney’s Embassy to Peking in 1793." Journal of Oriental Studies. Vol. 4, Nos. 1,2 (1957–58): 117-187.
- Esherick, Joseph W. "Cherishing Sources from Afar." Modern China Vol. 24, No. 2 (1998): 135-61.
- Hevia, James Louis. (1995). Cherishing Men from Afar: Qing Guest Ritual and the Macartney Embassy of 1793. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-1637-4
- Peyrefitte, Alain. (1992). The Immobile Empire (Jon Rotschild, translator). New York: Alfred A. Knopf/Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-58654-0 Google Books
- Peyrefitte, Alain. (1990). Images de l'Empire immobile ou le choc des mondes. Récit historique. Paris: Fayard. ISBN 978-2-213-02383-0 (paper)
- Robbins, Helen Henrietta Macartney (1908). Our First Ambassador to China: An Account of the Life of George, Earl of Macartney with Extracts from His Letters, and the Narrative of His Experiences in China, as Told by Himself, 1737-1806, from Hitherto Unpublished Correspondence and Documents. London : John Murray. [digitized by University of Hong Kong Libraries, Digital Initiatives, "China Through Western Eyes." ]
- Rockhill, William Woodville. "Diplomatic Missions to the Court of China: The Kotow Question I," The American Historical Review, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Apr., 1897), pp. 427–442.
- Rockhill, William Woodville. "Diplomatic Missions to the Court of China: The Kotow Question II," The American Historical Review, Vol. 2, No. 4 (Jul., 1897), pp. 627–643.
- Staunton, George Leonard. (1797). An Authentic Account of and Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China, 3 vols. London: G. Nichol.
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|Baronetage of Ireland|
(of Cargins, Galway)