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Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Pottinger was an Anglo-Irish soldier and colonial administrator who became the first Governor of Hong Kong (1843-1844).

Pottinger accepted Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston's offer of the post of envoy and plenipotentiary in China and superintendent of British trade, thus replacing Charles Elliot. In 1841, Palmerston instructed him to "examine with care the natural capacities of Hong Kong, and you will not agree to give up that Island unless you should find that you can exchange it for another in the neighbourhood of Canton, better adapted for the purposes in view; equally defensible; and affording sufficient shelter for Ships of War and Commerce".

After Pottinger joined the British expeditionary force in northern China, he negotiated the terms of the Treaty of Nanking (1842), which ended the First Opium War and ceded Hong Kong Island to the United Kingdom. Pottinger wrote in a letter to Aberdeen that at a feast celebrating the ratification with his Hong Kong counterpart, Keying, Keying insisted they ceremonially exchange miniature portraits of each member of each others' families. Upon receiving a miniature portrait of Pottinger's wife, Pottinger wrote that Keying "placed it on his head—which I am told is the highest token of respect and friendship—filled a glass of wine, held the picture in front of his face, muttered some words in a low voice, drank the wine, again placed the picture on his head and then sat down" to complete the ceremony of long-term amity between the two families and the two peoples....
 
 
Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Pottinger was an Anglo-Irish soldier and colonial administrator who became the first Governor of Hong Kong (1843-1844).

Pottinger accepted Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston's offer of the post of envoy and plenipotentiary in China and superintendent of British trade, thus replacing Charles Elliot. In 1841, Palmerston instructed him to "examine with care the natural capacities of Hong Kong, and you will not agree to give up that Island unless you should find that you can exchange it for another in the neighbourhood of Canton, better adapted for the purposes in view; equally defensible; and affording sufficient shelter for Ships of War and Commerce".

After Pottinger joined the British expeditionary force in northern China, he negotiated the terms of the Treaty of Nanking (1842), which ended the First Opium War and ceded Hong Kong Island to the United Kingdom. Pottinger wrote in a letter to Aberdeen that at a feast celebrating the ratification with his Hong Kong counterpart, Keying, Keying insisted they ceremonially exchange miniature portraits of each member of each others' families. Upon receiving a miniature portrait of Pottinger's wife, Pottinger wrote that Keying "placed it on his head—which I am told is the highest token of respect and friendship—filled a glass of wine, held the picture in front of his face, muttered some words in a low voice, drank the wine, again placed the picture on his head and then sat down" to complete the ceremony of long-term amity between the two families and the two peoples....

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