The Lion and Dragon: Britain's first embassy to China
Narrative 7: An Authentic Account of an Embassy
The meeting with the Emperor of China took place in a magnificent tent in the grounds of the Imperial summer palace. Inside the tent, Lord Macartney knelt in front of the Emperor, refusing to kowtow as instructed. Watching him were George Leonard Staunton and his 12 year old son, George Thomas Staunton. The child had learnt some Chinese from the Chinese Jesuits who sailed with them and was the only member of the Embassy able to converse with the Emperor. Delighted with this bright child, the Emperor presented him with a yellow embroidered purse from his own belt, and a green jade sceptre (which is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum).
William Alexander. WD959/136 and WD961/1540
Sir George Staunton. An Authentic Account of an Embassy. 1797. 787.l.47
William Alexander. Engraving in Staunton. 787.l.47
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