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Liu Yu Lin


1. Portrait painting, courtesy Liu Family.  2. In diplomat's regalia.

Pinyin & Chinese characters Liu Yulin  刘玉麟
Variant Spellings & Other Names Lew Yuk Lin
Yuk Lin Lin

Other Chinese Names 刘宝森, 刘运道
Detachment 4
LaFargue No. 91
Date of Birth 11 Sept., 1862
Place of Birth Xiangshan, Guandong Province
Age at Departure for U.S. 13
Date of Death 27 Oct., 1942
Place of Death Macao 澳門 (Aomen)
Place(s) of residence in U.S. Winsted, CT

American Host Family/ies Miss L.S. Hulbert
School(s), with dates Phillips Academy, Andover, MA (class of 1881)
Notable activities/ awards in school

College/University, with dates

Notable activities/ awards in College

Degree/Diploma Obtained, with date  
First Assignment in China Telegraph College and Medical College in Tianjin
Later Positions

(date unknown) Tutor to family of Viceroy Li Hongzhang 李鸿章 ;

1882 Translator at Chinese Consulate in New York; 1884 transferred to Chinese Legation in Washington1;

1885 Acting Consul General at Straits Settlement;

1887 Vice-Consul in New York City (Plain Dealer, 1887.10.7, p. 1);

1889 Translator and attache at Chinese Legation, Washington (Foreign Legations in the United States, Congressional Directory, 1889.12.5, p. 178);

1895 Spring: Secretary at Chinese Consulate, Singapore; 

1897 January - 1899 May: Acting Consul General, then Consul General in Singapore, with concurrent responsibility for Penang, Malacca and nearby islands2;

1897 Secretary to Chinese Minister in London for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, after which he travelled with the embassy to Europe and America (Straits Times, 1899.8.30);

1900 Secretary at Chinese Legation in London1;

1902 Chargé d’Affaires in Brussels1;

1904 November - 1907 September: first Chinese Consul General in South Africa; post established September 1904 following Anglo-Chinese contract labor agreement2;

1907 Appointed head of committee conducting the opium investigation in Peking (New York Times, 20 Dec. 1907, p.3);

1909 Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs1,2;

1909 Together with Tong Kwo On (Tang Guoan 唐国安 IV, 91), Liu represented China at the International Opium Commission held February 1-26 in Shanghai;

1910 Aug. 31 appointed 1 of the 3 plenipotentiary representatives of China to the International Opium Conference to be held at The Hague in May, 1911 (1911.3.3 Papers Relating to the Foreign Affairs of the United States: China, p. 325);

1910 September appointed Minister to Great Britain; assumed post in December;
At an unknown date after the Qing regime ended, he was appointed Minister of The Republic of China to London until 1914, when Liu retired from diplomatic service; 1,2

1912 Aug. 30: "His Excellency Lew Yuk Lin, the Chinese Minister to the Court of St. James in London duly authorized and acting for and on behalf of the Republic of China" signed a £10 million gold loan from C. Birch Crisp & Co. of London, on behalf of the Chinese Government. 4

1917-1923 High Adviser to Canton Military Government; salt commissioner for Kwangtung and Kwangsi [The China Year Book, Part 2 (Shanghai: North China Daily News & Herald, 1928) p. 1145]  

Employment sector(s) Government: Diplomatic Service

Final rank, if in gov't service Minister (Ambassador); Mandarin of Second Rank in Qing era

Father's name Liu Fuqian 刘福谦
Mother's name  
Wife/wives Zheng Huiquan 郑蕙荃
Family relations w/ other CEM students

Children's Names d. Liu Yaomei 刘耀楣 (适戴); d. Liu Guangmei 刘广梅 (适郭); No. 3 is not ranked in family; s. Liu Tinyang 刘廷扬; No. 5 died young; Liu Yaozhen 刘耀真 (适林); d. Liu Guangxin 刘广馨 (适古); d. Liu Bilian 刘碧莲 (适邓)

Grandsons: Liu Jiajie 刘家杰, lives in Beijing; Liu Jiaming 刘家铭, lives in Macao;
Granddaughters: Liu Sufang 刘素芳 deceased; Liu Youyong 刘又鏞, lives in Hong Kong

Other Since the 1880s, a Freemason: "Lew Yuk Lin is the only Chinese brother holding membership of a New York city lodge. He was a senior steward of Eureka lodge, and was initiated, passed and raised a few years ago. He holds a responsible position in the Chinese consulate in New York city, where he acts as interpreter and general utilility man." (Bay City Times [Michigan], 1891.5.10, p. 3.)

Honors from Qing Government: 一品封典,  二品顶戴,  二等宝星
From Republican period: 二等嘉禾章
Decorations from Russia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, etc.

1914 LL.D. (Hon.) University of Cambridge, U.K. [The China Year Book, (Shanghai: North China Daily News & Herald) 1929, p. 966]

Notes and Sources

Liu's dates of birth and death and the names of family members and descendants kindly supplied by Diana Lau, great granddaughter, on 24 Aug. & 22 Sept. 2009. 

1.LaFargue (1987), 140.

2. Diplomatic Postings (1985), 4, 73 & 81.

3.  Prof. Edward Rhoads supplied the item that Liu was Vice-Consul at NYC.  Other career details came from the entry for "刘玉麟 Lew, Yuk-Lin" in Who's Who (1917; 1978), p. 182.

4.  "China's Financial Condition", in Far Eastern Review, Vol. IX, No. 5 Oct. 1912, pp. 205-208.