OUR MEMORIES
Bell-Irving


 

 

Racing Stream Water Course

 

Irving, is a surname of Scottish territorial origin either from Irving, the name of an old parish in Dumfriesshire, or from Irvine in Strathclyde.
Both places are so called from a Celtic river name, probably composed of elements related to the Welsh “ir”, “yr”, green, fresh, plus “afon”, water.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

In the history of Hong Kong Racing, first there were the Jardines themselves as pillars of support.
Then all the descendants of Jean Jardine bearing other surnames but forming a family succession
— a racing legend which other family could hardly rival.
Bell-Irving is one of them.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

John Bell-Irving (1813–1907) was a Scottish businessman in Hong Kong.
He was a director of the Hongkong Electric Company and partner of the Jardine Matheson & Co., his wife Mary Jardine‘s family’s trading company.
He was a Justice of Peace for the County of Dumfries for more than a half century and one of the founder of the Dumfriesshire Fox Hunt.

 

James Jardine Bell-Irving (1857-12-24 — 1936-06-08) was a steward of the Racing Committee and a founding steward of HKJC.
His parents was John Bell-Irving and Mary Jardine, nephew of Dr. William Jardine and sister of Sir Robert Jardine.
He was a Scottish businessman in Hong Kong and China and member of the Executive Council and Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

1813
John Bell-Irving was born.
Later he studied law in Edinburgh.

 

1843
John Bell-Irving married Mary Jardine, nephew of William Jardine and sister of Sir Robert Jardine; they had 10 children.

 

1846-02-02
John Bell-Irving, the eldest son was born.

 

1857-12-24
James Jardine Bell-Irving, the fifth son was born in Makerstoun, Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland.

 

1877 to 1884
Sir Paul Chater’s ponies reigned supreme at Happy Valley, with the Jardine stable in fine form, particularly during the taipanship of John Bell-Irving, who was a keen and experienced racing man.

 

1881
James Jardine Bell-Irving arrived in China.

 

1884
1884-02-20, the last Annual Race Meeting organised by the old Racing Committee,John Bell-Irving was the Steward.
1884-11-04, HKJC Formation founders’ meeting, John Bell-Irving was also present .

 

1885
Besides other successes, Mr. John Bell-Irving rode CONQUEROR to victory in the Champion Stakes. His father John was 72 years old.

 

1886 and 1887
John Bell-Irving was appointed to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

 

1887
John Bell-Irving became a partner at theJardine Matheson & Co.and numerous public companies.
Mr Hough started to win the Champions on Ewo ponies three years in succession.
He took it on Mr John Bell-Irving’s MISTLETOE, after a tremendous race.
But the pony never did anything afterwards.

 

1888-1889
John Bell-Irving was the 26th Chairman of HSBC.

 

1891
The first three years that David Sassoon raced in Hongkong were the years when James Jardine Bell-Irving won the Champions three years in succession with different ponies.

 

1892, 1893, 1896 and 1901
James Jardine Bell-Irving was appointed as unofficial member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

 

1894
One of he HKJC Stewards elected for this tenth year was the Hon. J. J. Bell-Irving.

 

1895
Mr John Bell-Irving, Ewo taipan and Steward of the Club, was riding regularly and won the trophy for John Peel on CONQUEROR.

 

1896
Mr J. J. Bell-Irving was a partner of Messrs Jardine, Matheson & Company.
A series of political disputes led to the necessity of broadening the administration system for stability.
He and Sir Paul Chater became the first two Unofficial members of Hong Kong’s Executive Council, appointed by Governor Robinson in July.
They became the Hong Kong‘s highest advisory body in the first appearance of representative from the business community.

 

1897 and 1898
Mrs. Bell-irving was the President of the Ladies Recreation Club.

 

1898-1899
James Jardine Bell-Irving was the 36th Chairman of HSBC.

 

1902
James Jardine Bell-Irving retired from public and business services and returned to England.

 

1907
John Bell-Irving passed away at the age of 94.

 

1922
When lady owners were admitted to the Club, five more joined in the second year — one of them was Mrs John Bell-Irving

 

1936-06-08
James Jardine Bell-Irving passed away in Makerstoun, Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Mr John Bell-Irving‘s racing color was Green with gold braid.
Mrs Bell-Irving‘s silk achieved a simple effect with “Bird’s-eye blue and claret cap”.

 

Irving Street located in their Jardine base camp of Causeway Bay, is name after Bell-Irving.

 

 

REFERENCE

 

MISTLETOE is the common name for many obligate hemi-parasitic plants in the order Santalales.

 

 

EXTERNAL LINK

 

Jardine men and horses – 《RacingMemories.HK》
Jardines – 《RacingMemories.HK》
Jardine Stables – 《RacingMemories.HK》

 

 

Acknowledgement to HKJC Racing Registry for offering record data.

 

 

 


 

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