The island of Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Nanking (1842) which concluded the first
Anglo-Chinese ("Opium") War. Britain took the nearby Kowloon Peninsula, on the mainland, in 1861, and negotiated a
99-year lease of the adjacent "New Territories" in 1898.
The entire Colony was returned to Chinese governance when this lease ran out in 1997.
The Treaty Ports
The Treaty of Nanking also required China to open certain ports to trade and a British Consul
was appointed at each port. In 1844 postal agencies were opened in the Amoy, Canton, Foochow,
Ningpo and Shanghai consulates. Later more were opened in China and in Japan.. These agencies
were initially operated by the G.P.O. in London, but, in 1868, were turned over to the Hong
Kong Post Office.
The Treaty Port Offices in Japan were closed in 1879 due to competition from the newly-established Japanese overseas mail department and cheaper, faster, mail routes to Europe via San Francisco.
In 1917, Hong Kong stamps overprinted "China" were introduced. While the Chinese Treaty Port consular post offices were closed in 1922, in Wei-Hai-Wei, a small British Colony held on lease from China, the post office continued to operate until 1930, when the Colony was returned to China and the final curtain descended on the Era of The Treaty Ports.
The Treaty Port Offices were first issued their own cancellors, barred oval 'killers', in 1866. Prior to this all of their
outgoing mail had been cancelled 'B62' in Hong Kong and this practice continued for most of the mail. Only the
"loose letters", received after the mail bags had been closed, were cancelled with the local 'killers'. With the later
introduction of CDS type cancellors, all mail was cancelled locally.
In 1917, Hong Kong stamps overprinted "CHINA" were issued for use at the Treaty Port offices. These remained in use until the end.
The Early Treaty Port Postal Histories
TREATY PORT YEAR P.O. OPENED 'KILLER' NUMERAL CANCELLATION
* * * * * C H I N A * * * * * AMOY 1844 "A1" (1866-85),
CANTON 1844 "C1" (1866-85) CHEFOO 186? CDS cancels only FOOCHOW 1844 "F1" (1866-85) HANKOW 1872 "D29" (1879-85) KIUNGCHOW (HOIHOW) 1873 "D28" (1876-85) NINGPO 1844 "N1" (1866-85) SHANGHAI 1844 "S1" (1866-85) SWATOW 1861 "S2" (1866-85) TIENTSIN 1882 CDS cancels only. WEI-HAI-WEI (COLONY) 1899 CDS cancels only. * * * * * J A P A N * * * * * KOBE 1869 "D30" (1876-79) NAGASAKI 1860 "N2" (1866-79) YOKOHAMA 1859 "Y1" (1867-79)
Single Circle CDS
CDS Types incorporating various forms of "BRITISH POST OFFICE"
RL-T10 RL-T14 RL-T15 RL-T16 RL-T17
Maybe you can see how they got that name :-)
SOME CDS CANCELS OF THE 19th. CENTURY
SOME CDS CANCELS OF THE 20th. CENTURY
Chefoo & Tientsin
Wei-Hai-Wei was not a Treaty Port but a small British Colony held on lease from
A dependency of Hong Kong, on the same footing as the Treaty Ports, it was occupied in May,1898 and restored to China in October,1930
Initially a courier service carried mail to Chefoo, franked with labels known as "Wei-Hai-Wei locals". Then a Chinese P.O., Liu Kung Tau, was opened in March, 1899. This was closed in September and replaced by a British Post Office. In 1904 a second P.O. was opened in Port Edward, the European Quarter of the Settlement.
These offices continued operations up until the return of the Colony to China in 1930.
A CENTRE FOR STAMP COLLECTORS Page.