This old (and graphic) photograph shows the beheading of the 15 Namoa pirates in Kowloon City in 1891…
On the 3rd of December, 1890, the Douglas, Lapraik, and Co’s coasting steamer, the ‘Namoa’ (commanded by Captain Thomas Guy Pocock) left for Swatow, Amoy, and Foochow. On board were several Europeans and a large number of Fuhkien Chinese passengers returning home from California.
The Namoa was attacked by daring Chinese pirates who poured out of a hatch in their dozens and – armed with revolvers – killed Captain Pocock. In a carefully planned raid, they ransacked luggage and robbed passengers of their treasured US dollars which each had been saving through years of toil.
After debating whether to burn the Namoa, the pirates instead abandoned ship, allowed the hostages to live and transferred their booty to getaway ships. The public, however, were furious as the ship returned to Hong Kong… The pirates were arrested by the Chinese government and were sent to Kowloon city for execution . The beheadings occurred on April 17th and May 11th of 1891.
According to an article at executedtoday.com, it appears both the local and mainland governments welcomed their demise. Captain Thomas Guy Pocock has a memorial dedicated to him at Happy Valley Cemetery.
Pictorial histories of local landmarks and events…
- A Brief Visual History: HK Police Vehicles & Uniforms
- A Brief Visual History: HK’s Old Airport, Kai Tak
- A Brief Visual History: Kowloon Walled City
- A Brief Visual History: The Evolution of the Hong Kong Skyline.
- A Brief Visual History: The Peak Tram
- A Brief Visual History: Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower
- A Brief Visual History: Yau Ma Tei Theatre
Blog posts charting Hong Kong’s colourful past…
- 1000+ ‘Before and After’ Photos of Old & New Hong Kong.
- Cool Vintage Hong Kong Tourism Posters.
- Execution of Namoa Pirates in Kowloon, 1891.
- Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong: Photos from 1942, Beautifully Restored.
- HK’s Boom Years: The Best of Fan Ho.
- How Hong Kong Was Made: Iconic Buildings Under Construction.
- Mainland Refugees Fleeing Famine Rejected by HK.
- Margaret Thatcher in Hong Kong.
- More Vintage Photos of Old Hong Kong.
- Newly Unearthed Photos of 1950s Hong Kong.
- Pictures of Hong Kong in 1972.
- Rare Shots from Inside the Old Kowloon Walled City.
- Shing Mun Redoubt, HK’s Secret WWII Tunnels.
- Street Scenes in Dreamy Colour 1954-2004.
- The ‘Great Chinese Takeaway’ – the 1997 Handover.
- The 1958 Hong Kong Cha Cha Championship Winner (Bruce Lee).
- The 1967 Hong Kong Riots.
- The Bombing of Hong Kong by the U.S. 14th Air Force.
- The Day a Cargo Ship Washed up on Cheung Chau Beach.
- The Hakka Walled Village of Tsang Tai Uk, Sha Tin.
- The Iconic ‘Two Girls’ Kwong Sang Hong Cosmetics Brand
- The Luxury British Liner at the Bottom of Victoria Harbour.
- Unseen Royal Geographic Photos.
- When the MTR Was New.