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Staunton, Sir George Thomas, Bart

STAUNTON, SIR GEORGE THOMAS, BART. (1781-1859), English traveller and Orientalist, was born near Salisbury on the26th of May 1781. He was the son of Sir George Leonard Staunton (1737-1801), first baronet, diplomatist and Orientalist, and in 1792 accompanied his father, who had been appointed secretary to Lord Macartney's mission to China, to the Far East. He acquired a good knowledge of Chinese, and in 1798 was appointed a writer in the East India Company's factory at Canton, and subsequently its chief. In 1805 he translated a work of Dr George Pearson into Chinese, thereby introducing vaccination into China. In 1816 he proceeded as second commissioner on a special mission to Pekin with Lord Amherst and Sir Henry Ellis. Between 1818 and 1852 he was M.P. for several English constituencies, finally for Portsmouth. He was a member of the East India Committee, and in 1823, in conjunction with Henry Thomas Colebroke founded the Royal Asiatic Society. He died on the loth of August 1859.

His publications include translations of Ta Tsing leu lee, being the Fundamental Laws of China (1810), the first Chinese book translated into English, and of the Narrative of the Chinese Embassy to the Khan of the Tourgouth Tartars (1821); Miscellaneous Notices Relating to China and our Commercial Intercourse with that Country (1822); Notes of Proceedings and Occurrences during the British Embassy to Peking (1824); Observations on our Chinese Commerce (1850). For the Hakluyt Society he edited Gonzalez de Mendoza's History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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