WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE RSAA?
The RSAA hosts regular lectures between September and June. Lectures typically take place on a Wednesday in a Central London location either at lunchtime or in the early evening.
In addition to the lecture programme, there are also a number of social events where members and their guests can meet others with similar interests.
A printed calendar is sent out to members, but dates and venues are subject to change and additional events may be added to the calendar at short notice. It is therefore advisable to check this online calendar for the latest details.
WHAT'S GOING ON IN JULY
8 July 2015
Sir John Bowring in Asia: A Superfluity of Sail
Presented by Mr Philip Bowring
John Bowring (1792-1872) is a familiar name in Thailand as the author of the Bowring Treaty with King Mongkut, has a mixed reputation in Hong Kong, where he was governor, is seen as an imperialist by Chinese nationalists for starting the Arrow war. His ten years in Asia (1849-59) were the culmination of an amazingly diverse career: From a modest trading family to scholar of Spanish literature, polyglot, Unitarianism, hymn writing, associate of Jeremy Bentham, radical politics in and out of parliament, the early promotion of free trade in Britain and around Europe, public accounts reform, currency decimalisation, and entrepreneurship in iron and railways. It is perhaps not surprising that as plenipotentiary and governor his energy and commitment to liberalism often ran ahead of pragmatism. But he left indelible marks in Asia, as elsewhere, mostly beneficial. Much has been written about the different aspects of his career and family but “Free Trade’s First Missionary” recently published by Hong Kong University Press is the first to distil all of these, and more, into a biography covering his whole life, and with a particular emphasis on the Asian decade.
Where: The Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1
Commences at 1.15pm
A Sandwich lunch with wine and/or soft drinks is available from 12.30pm but must be booked in advance by the previous day. £10 with wine or £7 with soft drink.
Tickets: Members and their guests only. Free