[Sir Stephen Herbert Gatty, Chief Justice of Gibraltar; Hong Kong.] Autograph Letter Signed to Sir George Bowen regarding the ‘rumour that Hong Kong is going to be vacant’, his wish to be appointed to the post [of Attorney General of Hong Kong].

Sir Stephen Herbert Gatty (1849-1922), Chief Justice of Gibraltar after serving as a judge of the Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements [Sir George Ferguson Bowen (1821-1899); Ker Baillie-Hamilton]
Publication details: 
28 February 1889. 26 Half Moon Street [Mayfair, London].
SKU: 23862

The letter gives an insight into what the author calls the ‘art and ingenuity’ required to obtain preferment as a colonial justice in the British Empire. See Bowen’s entry in the Oxford DNB. Due to ill health he had retired as Governor of Hong Kong in 1887. 3pp, 12mo. On Bifolium. In good condition. Thirty-eight lines of text. Signed ‘Stephen H. Gatty’. An associated letter from Lord Knutsford to Sir Henry Rawlinson, offered separately, reveals that the post Gatty was after was that of Attorney General of Hong Kong. The present letter begins: ‘Dear Sir George Bowen. / There is another rumour that Hong Kong is going to be vacant. Baillie Hamilton would not admit that there was going to be the vacancy yesterday, but he told me that O’Malley is on his way home. Harris seemed to think that although it was not a fait accomplit there would be the vacancy and he let out that applications for the post were beginning to come in’. He is sending some ‘not altogether satisfactory letters of Lord Knutsford’, and asks if he ought ‘to get any more guns into position or take any other steps’. He would like to know ‘when O’Malley started’, and does not understand why he would return so soon ‘if he is not going to resign’. As he has only five weeks more leave would ‘in the ordinary course sail for Trinidad on April 4’. He ends with the complaint: ‘It seems to require a good deal of art and ingenuity to discover when a post becomes vacant.’