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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:766 1846, 1867-1875

Augustine Heard & Company invoices and receipts


The materials in this collection, nearly all invoices and receipts, provide insight into the daily business operations of Augustine Heard & Company in China between 1867 and 1875.


  • 1846, 1867-1875

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in boxes 6 and 7 sustained considerable insect damage or are in fragments which may inhibit use of the materials.


4.5 linear feet (7 boxes)
The materials in this collection, nearly all invoices and receipts, provide insight into the daily business operations of Augustine Heard & Company in China between 1867 and 1875. Materials include bills of exchange from a variety of firms including Peele, Hubbell & Co., William G. Hale & Co., Oriental Bank Corporation, the Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, Comptoir d’Escompte, London, & China, and Boustead & Co. Also included are invoices and receipts for machine shops, plumbers, livery stables, and carpenters primarily for work completed for Augustine Heard & Company Machine Shop, and receipts for telegrams sent primarily through China Submarine Telegraph Company Limited, The Great Northern Telegraph China and Japan Extension Company, and Reuter’s Telegram Company, Limited.

Additionally there are miscellaneous expenses (bound together) for ice (from the Tudor Company), advertising, food, portrait painters, subscriptions, printers and stationers, office supplies, and membership in the Hong Kong Club, and promissory notes from a variety a firms to Augustine Heard & Company for various services including insurance, legal services, banking, and hotels. There is also a small amount of Invoices to the United States Consulate for copies of invoices for various ships presumably owned by Augustine Heard & Company.

Some of the receipts and invoices are written in Chinese and there is often writing on back in both Chinese and English.

Materials from 1846, housed in boxes 6 and 7, are primarily ships export papers and manifests of cargo for a variety of ships owned by Augustine Heard & Company including Ship Dartmouth, Ship Chicora, Ship Nemesis, Ship Charles Forbes, and Ship Malabar. There is also an assortment of documents including the stock, import, and consumption of silk, import prices, freight lists, memos of sales and purchases, sales and delivery of opium (from 1846), and circulars.

Biographical / Historical

Merchant family from Ipswich, Massachusetts, principally engaged in the China trade. Augustine Heard (1785-1868) established Augustine Heard and Company in 1840 and the business was carried on by four of his nephews. The firm's main office was at first in Canton; from 1857 in Hong Kong. Branch offices were established in treaty ports of China and Japan such as Foochow, Shanghai, and Yokohama. The firm finally wound up in bankruptcy in 1875.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Augustine Heard & Company invoices and receipts were received by Baker Library Special Collections as a donation from Susan Lynch in 2006.

Related Materials

For additional materials related to Augustine Heard & Company, see the Heard Family Business Records, 1734-1901 and the Elizabeth Heard Papers, 1829-1864.

Processing Information

Processed: April 2018 By: Mary Samouelian
Link to catalog
Heard Family. Augustine Heard & Company Invoices and Receipts, 1846, 1867-1875: A Finding Aid
Baker Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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