Frederick Stewart (colonial administrator)

Frederick Stewart (colonial administrator)

Dr. Frederick Stewart (1836 - 1889) was the Colonial Secretary in Hong Kong. He is considered "The Founder of Hong Kong Education" for integrating a modern western-style education model into the Colonial Hong Kong school systems. Stewart could speak fluent Cantonese, which was vital to his work in the 19th century.

Early life

Stewart was born in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. He was educated in King’s College at the University of Aberdeen.


A post was announced in the Aberdeen Journal on August 7, 1861 for the headmaster position of the newly established "Central School", known today as Queen's College. Five months later, Stewart would accept the position, reaching Hong Kong at the age of 25 on February 15, 1862. As part of a new British government initiative, he also became the inspector for all government schools in Hong Kong that same year.

On June 30, 1865 Stewart became the first head of the "Government Education Department" in Hong Kong. He resigned in May 19, 1881 at the age of 45. In 1879 his alma mater, the University of Aberdeen, awarded him the honorary degree of LL.D for furthering the interests of education in Hong Kong.

From 1887 to 1890 he would serve as the Colonial Secretary for the British Empire. Informally he would also act as the leading advisor on educational matters in Hong Kong [Bickley, Gillian. [1997] (1997). The Golden Needle: The Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889). Hong Kong. ISBN 962-8027085] . He was also the dean of the "Faculty of Medicine", the precursor of the University of Hong Kong until his death.

After Death

Steward died in sudden illness while in the office of Colonial Secretary in 1889. A memorial stained glass window was erected in St. John's Cathedral. [cite book | last = Sayer | first = G. R. | title = Hong Kong 1862-1919 | publisher = Hong Kong University Press | year = 1975 | location = Hong Kong | id = ISBN 962-209-118-0 ]


External links

* [ Cefc Book review]
* [ Book review]

width="25%" align="center"|Preceded by:
William Henry Marsh
width="25%" align="center"|Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong 1887-1890
width="25%" align="center"|Followed by:
Francis Fleming

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