Kowloon, Hong Kong: five pirates awaiting beheading, while Chinese soldiers and dignitaries line up behind. Photograph, 1891.

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"The Kowloon City Execution Ground was the beach next to the Boundary Fence immediately south of the Walled City (see also Photo B). In this photograph it is being used for the execution of a gang of some nine or ten pirates. In the right background can be seen the Boundary Fence as it goes down to the sea (with some Hong Kong spectators clinging to it to get a good view). To the right, behind the right-hand-most pirate can be seen a few spectators being kept back from the execution site by soldiers (the civilians close to the execution site are Kowloon City Elders invited by the Magistrate)"--Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd, op. cit. section, p. 12.40

"This group of pirates (who had murdered many people on the ships they had captured) were caught by a joint Anglo-Chinese Anti-Pirate agreement. It was considered doubtful that the pirates would receive sufficiently condign punishment if they were brought to trial in Hong Kong, and so they were returned to the sub-Magistrate at Kowloon City, to be tried there, since some of their crimes had been committed in Chinese waters. The Magistrate invited the naval and police officers from Hong Kong, who had caught the gang, to witness the execution as his guests: this was seen, on both sides of the then border, to be a clear sign of the good relations between the two authorities at this date"--ibid., p. 12-17, section


[Kowloon.] : [publisher not identified], [1891]

Physical description

1 photograph : photoprint, albumen ; sheet 20.3 x 25.5 cm


Execution at Kowloon in 1891. Five bandits awaiting execution Lettering on label attached to verso of print catalogued

References note

Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd., Kowloon Development Office Comprehensive feasibility study for the revised scheme of south east Kowloon development, 2001, section 12, Heritage impact


Wellcome Collection 663758i


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