Hart, Robert, Sir (1835-1911)

Biography/History

Inspector General of Customs in Peking. b. Portadown, Co. Armagh. Ed. Queen's College Belfast, 1853. Entered Chinese Consular Service in 1854 occupying a variety of official positions until 1863 when he became first, a Commissioner of Customs at Shanghai, before embarking (later in the same year) on a 45 year career as Inspector General of Customs (1863-1908). During this time he was considered "the most powerful European in the East" and to him is attributed the creation of the Chinese Imperial Customs. Among other career highlights include the establishment of the first modernised national postal service in China in 1896 and the re-establishment of the Manchu dynasty in China after the Boxer rebellion of 1900. Hart retired to England in 1908 after his office was made subordinate to a bureau of Chinese Officials. d. Fingest Grove, Buckinghamshire, Eng., 1911. Publications: These from the Land of Sinim (1901)

Role
Inspector General, CIMCS