Thomas Francis Wade
|Born||25 August 1818|
|Died||31 July 1895 76) (aged|
Sir Thomas Francis Wade, August 1818 –31 July 1895) was a British diplomat and sinologist who produced an early Chinese textbook in English, in 1867, that was later amended, extended and converted into the Wade-Giles romanization system for Mandarin Chinese by Herbert Giles in 1892. He was the first professor of Chinese at Cambridge University.(25
Born in London, he was the elder son of Colonel Thomas Wade, CB, 466n of the Black Watch and Anne Smythe (daughter of William Smythe) of Barbavilla, County Westmeath, Ireland. He was educated at the Cape, in Mauritius, at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1838, his father purchased for him a commission in the 81st Foot. Exchanging (1839) into the 42nd Highlanders, he served with his regiment in the Ionian Islands, devoting his leisure to the study of Italian and modern Greek.:
On receiving his commission as lieutenant in 1841 he exchanged into the 98th Foot, then under orders for Qing China and landed at Hong Kong in June 1842. The scene of the First Opium War had at that time been transferred to the Yangtze River and Wade was ordered there with his regiment. There he took part in the attack on Zhenjiang and in the advance on Nanking.
In 1843, he was appointed Cantonese interpreter to the garrison 413n and, two years later, to the Supreme Court of Hong Kong, and, in 1846, assistant Chinese secretary to the superintendent of trade, Sir John Francis Davis. In 1852 he was appointed vice-consul at Shanghai. The Taiping Rebellion had so disorganised the city's administration that it was considered advisable to put the collection of the foreign customs duties into commission, a committee of three, of whom Wade was the chief, being entrusted with the administration of the customs. This formed the beginning of the imperial maritime customs service.:
In 1855, Wade was appointed Chinese secretary to Sir John Bowring, who had succeeded Sir John Davis at Hong Kong. On the declaration of the Second Opium War in 1857, he was attached to Lord Elgin's staff as Chinese secretary and with the assistance of Horatio Nelson Lay he conducted the negotiations which led up to the Treaty of Tientsin (1858). In the following year he accompanied Sir Frederick Bruce in his attempt to exchange the ratification of the treaty, and was present at Taku when the force attending the mission was attacked and driven back from the Pei Ho (Hai River).
On Lord Elgin's return to China in 1860, he resumed his former post of Chinese secretary, and was mainly instrumental in arranging for the advance of the special envoys and the British and French forces to Tientsin (Tianjin) and subsequently towards Peking. For the purpose of arranging for a camping ground in Tongzhou he accompanied Mr (afterwards Sir) Harry Parkes on his first visit to that city. Wade took a leading part in the following negotiations, and on the establishment of the legation at Peking he took up the post of Chinese secretary of legation. In 1862 Wade was made a Companion of the Bath.
Wade was acting Chargé d'Affaires in Peking from June 1864 to November 1865 and from November 1869 to July 1871. Wade was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary and Chief Superintendent of British Trade in China in that year and served in that role until his retirement in 1883. 467n He conducted long and difficult negotiations in the wake of the 1870 Tientsin Massacre, and was knighted in 1875. Despite leaving Peking in the wake of the Margary Affair, Wade negotiated the Chefoo Convention in 1876 with Li Hongzhang. He was then made KCB.:
After retiring from working over forty years in the British embassies in China, he returned to England in 1883, and three years later donated 4,304 volumes of Chinese literature to the Cambridge University Library's Oriental Collection. In 1888, he was elected the first Professor of Chinese at the University of Cambridge. He held the position as a professor until his death in Cambridge at 77.He served as president of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1887 to 1890.
Wade was married to Amelia Herschel (1841–1926), daughter of astronomer John Herschel.
In addition to diplomatic duties, Wade published books assisting in learning of the Chinese language:
In these books, Wade produced an innovative system of transliteration of Chinese pronunciation into the Latin alphabet (i.e., "romanization"), based on the pronunciation conventions of the Beijing dialect. Wade's system was later modified by Herbert Giles (Giles succeeded Wade as professor of Chinese at Cambridge University), into the "Wade system as modified by Giles": the system now more generally known as the Wade-Giles system. It was the dominant transliteration system for much of the 20th century. Though it was replaced by the Pinyin system, it is still used in some publications and communities.
Wade–Giles is a romanization system for Mandarin Chinese. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Francis Wade, during the mid-19th century, and was given completed form with Herbert A. Giles's Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892.
Herbert Allen Giles was a British diplomat and sinologist who was the professor of Chinese at the University of Cambridge for 35 years. Giles was educated at Charterhouse School before becoming a British diplomat in China. He modified a Mandarin Chinese romanization system established by Thomas Wade, resulting in the widely known Wade–Giles Chinese romanization system. Among his many works were translations of the Analects of Confucius, the Lao Tzu , the Chuang Tzu, and, in 1892, the widely published A Chinese-English Dictionary.
Postal romanization was a system of transliterating Chinese place names developed by postal authorities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For many cities, the postal romanization was the most common English-language form of the city's name from the 1890s until the 1980s, when it was replaced by pinyin.
Sir Harry Smith Parkes was a British diplomat who served as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary and Consul General of the United Kingdom to the Empire of Japan from 1865 to 1883 and the Chinese Qing Empire from 1883 to 1885, and Minister to Korea in 1884. Parkes Street in Kowloon, Hong Kong is named after him.
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Simplified Wade, abbreviated SW, is a modification of the Wade–Giles romanization system for writing Standard Mandarin Chinese. It was devised by the Swedish linguist Olov Bertil Anderson (1920–1993), who first published the system in 1969. Simplified Wade uses tonal spelling: in other words it modifies the letters in a syllable in order to indicate tone differences. It is one of only two Mandarin romanization systems that indicate tones in such a way. All other systems use diacritics or numbers to indicate tone.
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British Hong Kong was a colony and dependent territory of the British Empire from 1841 to 1997, apart from a brief period under Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945. The colonial period began with the occupation of Hong Kong Island in 1841 during the First Opium War. The island was ceded by the Qing dynasty in the aftermath of the war in 1842 and established as a Crown colony in 1843. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when the UK obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898.
Events in the year 1900 in China.
Mandarin was the common spoken language of administration of the Chinese empire during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It arose as a practical measure, to circumvent the mutual unintelligibility of the varieties of Chinese spoken in different parts of China. Knowledge of this language was thus essential for an official career, but it was never formally defined. The language was a koiné based on Mandarin dialects, initially those spoken around Nanjing. A form based on the Beijing dialect became dominant by the mid-19th century and developed into Standard Chinese in the 20th century. In some 19th-century works, it was called the court dialect.
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