Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bridges, William Thomas 必列者士

Updated December 21, 2014

temp. Notes:

Acting Attorney General, Acting Colonial Secretary, in multiple occasions in 1850s when the office-holders were on leave.
Honor: naming of Bridge Street 必列者士街 (better known in its short form 必街)

William Thomas Bridges (b.1820–d.year unclear) studied at Oxford, and at the Middle Temple from 1844. He was called to the Bar in 1847 and came to Hong Kong in 1851 where he started a law practice. Wealth began to cumulate for Bridges as business at the law firm thrived. The first sign of his dubious character unveiled when he started lending money at high interest rates. Because of shortage of lawyers in Hong Kong at that time and owing to the introduction his college friend, William Thomas Mercer who was the Colonial Treasurer, Bridges was asked to temporarily take over the office of the Attorney General when the office holder, Thomas Chisholm Anstey, went on leave in 1855. When Mercer became Colonial Secretary and took home leave from February 1857 to November 1859, Bridges stood in for him as well; assuming the most important government office next to that of the governor, while still carrying on his private law practice and money lending business. Bridges resigned in 1859 after being implicated in a number of scandals, and left Hong Kong in 1861. Bridges was a member of the Masonic order in Hong Kong.
Selected bibliography: Hong Kong's First [online].


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