Ref NoDM2829
TitleJames Helbling Collection
DescriptionJames Helbling (1872-1948) was a tea trader with Gilman & Co., Fuzhou, China, and then with Jardine Matheson & Co., Fuzhou. James Helbling was named after his uncle James Charles Helbling (1832-1869), who died in Shanghai. James Helbling’s grandfather had founded a family firm called Helbling & Co., who were silk merchants in London, Manchester and Shanghai. They were represented by Lewis Helbling in Shanghai from before 1850 until his death in Algiers in 1858, and then by Lewis’s brother, James Charles Helbling. The Helbling family firm adapted when the silk trade collapsed. The next generation, James Helbling and his elder brother Lewis, continued the family connection with China from the 1880s onwards, as tea merchants.

Evelyn Helbling Oswald (1908-1999) was a daughter of James Helbling. She married John Lee Guiness Oswald, the son of John Charles Oswald (1857-1930) in Fuzhou in 1932.

The James Helbling Collection includes photographs of Fuzhou (Foochow) and area, two memoirs, a family tree, newspapers and newspaper cuttings.

DM2829/1: Loose photographs of Fuzhou and area, c.1900-1930s. (Historical Photographs of China ref: Od-s).
DM2829/2: 'The Foochow Herald and Weekly Shipping Report' (Fuzhou, China), newspaper, 1 May 1884.
DM2829/3: 'Kaslo-Slocan Examiner' (Kaslo City, British Columbia, Canada), newspaper, 22 October 1892. Newspaper cuttings including an obituary of John Bathgate (c.1849-1907), Fuzhou tea merchant.
DM2829/4: A print out from a pdf: 'Memories - Life in the Treaty Ports of Old China' by Evelyn Helbling Oswald.
DM2829/5: A print out: 'Some Recollections of Being a Prisoner of War of the Japanese from 25 Dec 1941 to 5 Sep 1945' by John Lee Guiness Oswald.
DM2829/6: Papers, including an Oswald family tree (seven generations), and a photograph of foreign decorations awarded to John Charles Oswald (1857-1930).
DM2829/7: A CD containing Fuzhou images.
Extent1 box
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