Sherard Osborn's "Anglo-Chinese Squadron"
Sherard Osborn's "Anglo-Chinese Squadron"


The Royal Navy
The Royal Navy


In 1861 the Imperial Chinese government requested Britain to supply steamers to participate in the repression of the Taiping rebellion. The following year an Order in Council authorised British officers to enter Chinese service, and Sherard Osborn was appointed to commission and man a number of vessels. When these arrived in China, it transpired that the authorities intended to subordinate Osborn and his fleet to provincial mandarins, and not directly to the Emperor as originally intended. As Osborn had grave doubts about the competence and loyalty of these local officials, he decided to withdraw towards the end of 1863.


Extracts from the Times newspaper
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