World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Charles Lennox Richardson


Charles Lennox Richardson

Body of Charles Richardson, 1862.

Charles Lennox Richardson (16 April 1834 – 14 September 1862) was an English merchant based in Shanghai who was killed in Japan during the Namamugi Incident. His name is properly spelled as “Charles Lenox Richardson” according to the census and family documents.


  • Merchant 1
  • Namamugi Incident 2
  • Burial 3
  • Reception 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Richardson was born in London in 1834. He relocated to Shanghai in 1853 to seek his fortune in the China trade. In 1862, Richardson announced his retirement from the world of business, and was en route back to England with his fortune when he stopped over at the treaty port of Yokohama in September 1862.

Namamugi Incident

After Richardson met Woodthorpe Charles Clarke, an old friend from Shanghai, they joined fellow merchant William Marshall, and Marshall's sister-in-law Margaret Watson Borradaile to go on a sightseeing ride via nearby Kanagawa town towards the temple of Kawasaki Daishi. While travelling on the Tōkaidō road - the Imperial highway - through the village of Namamugi (now part of Tsurumi ward, Yokohama), the party encountered the retinue of Satsuma regent Daimyo Shimazu Hisamitsu (otherwise Shimazu Saburō) heading in the opposite direction. When Richardson approached Shimazu's palanquin too closely, the daimyo's bodyguard attacked the Englishman. Marshall and Clarke were also severely wounded in the incident. Grievously wounded, Richardson fell from his horse a short distance from the attack and was killed with a coup de grace on the orders of Shimazu.

The British government demanded reparations following the Namamugi Incident. But when Shimazu resisted the order to pay, a squadron of Royal Navy ships bombarded Kagoshima during the brief Anglo-Satsuma War the following year.


Richardson’s grave is in a private plot near to the Yokohama Foreign Cemetery between the later graves of Marshall and Clarke.


In a 2013 article,[1] Richardson was accused of cultural ignorance, arrogance, and racism.

According to Japanese reports, he disrespectfully rode in the middle of the road and even tried to get between the regent's litter and his bodyguards.[1]

Just before the incident, after having been warned not to provoke the guards, Richardson allegedly said, "I have been living in China for fourteen years. I know how to deal with these people." Richardson's uncle was reportedly not surprised about his nephew's demise and blamed him for being reckless and stubborn. Frederick Wright-Bruce, the British envoy to China, remembered Richardson as an arrogant adventurer.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Reichert, Folker (2013). "Mord in Namamugi" [Murder in Mamamugi].  
General references
  • Satow, Ernest. A Diplomat in Japan, Tuttle (1921). ISBN 4-925080-28-8
  • Rennie, David. The British Arms in North China and Japan. Adamant Media Corporation. (2001 reprint of 1864 edition) ISBN 1-4021-8184-1
  • Denney, John. Respect and Consideration: Britain in Japan 1853 - 1868 and beyond. Radiance Press (2011). ISBN 978-0-9568798-0-6

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.