Building Horsburgh's Lighthouse...
By WETMORE, William, JARDINE, William, FOX, Thomas et al. , 1836

Public Meeting held at Markwicks Hotel For the Purpose of taking into consideration the measures proper to be pursued to render a lasting tribute of respect to the memory of the late Capt. Horsburgh.

  • Author: WETMORE, William, JARDINE, William, FOX, Thomas et al.
  • Publication place: Canton
  • Publication date: November 22, 1836.
  • Physical description: Lithograph broadsheet with integral blank printed on watermarked "J. Whatman, Turkey Mill, 1836" paper.
  • Dimensions: 406 by 255mm. (16 by 10 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 2309


The meeting, chaired by leading British trader William Jardine, was called to discuss a memorial for the recently-deceased James Horsburgh, Scottish hydrographer to the East India Company, called “The Nautical Oracle of the World”, who, in 1809, had published what became the standard work of navigation for sailing to and from China and India, including the first mapping of the treacherous seaways around Singapore.

38 subscribers, including sea Captains and Indian merchants made cpntributions to the “erection of some work of public utility as a lighthouse on Pedra Branca, on the Straights of Singapore”. It was not until some 15 years later that the “Horsburgh Lighthouse” was built on the outlying island that is now the easternmost point of Singapore. More than a century later, the lighthouse and the land on which it stands became the subject of a bitter dispite betwen Singapore and Malaysia, two countries which, of course , did not exist when these western gentlemen met at Marwick’s in 1836 to make plans for a tiny slice of the vast British Empire.

Of probably very few examples printed for the 9 men in attendance at the meeting, plus the 38 subscribers.

The text for the broadsheet was reprinted in Canton and Singapore newspapers, but apparently without the subscription list published at the foot of the present document.


From the papers of William Wetmore, the only American present at the meeting.