Honorary Secretary of Shanghai Athletic Club (SAC) (1881 – 1883)
Honorary Secretary of second Shanghai Football Club (within the SAC, 1882 - 1883)
Player for second Shanghai Football Club (1881 – 1885)
'A Fall From Grace'
John William Henry Burgoyne (1857 – 1914?)
Previous Persons of the Month
Person of the Month 1 - George Michael Billings (with club 1902 to 1927)
Person of the Month 2 - Commandent Louis Guillaume Fabre (with club 1936 to 1941)
Person of the Month 3 - Victor Vause Winser Fretwell (with club 1927 to 1934)
Person of the Month 4 - Eric Byron Cumine (with club 1930 to 1934)
Person of the Month 9 - John William Henry Burgoyne ( with club 1881 to 1885)
It is less certain whether the man who died in Devon on 11 May 1914 named John William Henry Burgoyne was the Shanghai Burgoyne. If it were, he would have been aged 56 years old. The probate register showed that this man died with a reasonably large estate; before death taxes it was worth £1,204 16 shillings and 7 pence. A solicitor’s name was mentioned as the beneficiary, perhaps on behalf of somebody else who wanted to be anonymous?
Whatever happened after his fall from grace, Burgoyne must have considered himself rather unlucky to have been charged. For certain he had taken a commercial risk, and, perhaps he was set up by Mr. Werth who was keener to save his own job than Burgoyne’s skin by denying that Burgoyne was offered the loan in consideration for putting business his way. Certainly by modern standards, the Judge’s instructions to the Jury appear biased. In the final analysis, Burgoyne acknowledged his errors in court, a behaviour befitting of a man who had been at the heart of Shanghai society for two decades, and of the gentlemanly conduct expected of him.
At this time it was normal for the organisers of charitable appeals to print in the newspaper the names of organisations or individual donors who had made donations to their cause. Burgoynes’ name appeared in several such lists, for example, he donated $20, a large amount compared to most other donors, to the Indian Famine Relief Fund and $25 to the Szechuan Famine Relief Fund.
He was rather less charitable at the AGM of the Shanghai Paper Hunt Club, a meeting at which his brother also attended. It was proposed by Mr. O Middleton that the age of membership should be reduced from the current age of 18, acknowledging the fact that in practice, many well known riders had ridden before that age. Burgoyne opposed the idea that boys should be allowed to ride declaring that, ‘experience had shown them to be “a confounded nuisance.”’ Despite the proposal being supported by a very eminent member of the Club, David Crawford, the resolution was lost. Mr Burgoyne’s charitable inclinations came to the fore again the following year when he donated a $50 cup as the first prize in the ‘Flappers Class’ race, in the Shanghai Yacht Club’s regatta.
Burgoyne is shown as the Shanghai Athletic Club's Honorary Secretary. Along side are the great and good of Treaty Port Shanghai. Among them present or future commandants of the SVC and Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council
This is the closest I have got to finding a picture of Burgoyne!
He is listed as one of the 11 officers of the SVC, I presume to be one of the 11 gentleman standing at the front of the parade which took place on 29 March 1884 at the Police Compound at the crossroads of Foochow [Fuzhou] and Honan [Henan Middle] Roads
The story of John William Henry Burgoyne is part of the story of the treaty port of Shanghai from around 1879 to 1900. He was an active member of the Shanghai Football Club when it was founded, and during the years it struggled to find its own identity within the Shanghai Athletic Club. His involvement ceased just before that club entered into an ultimately futile amalgamation with the Shanghai Gymnastic Club before finally going bankrupt.
Burgoyne’s Shanghai story is notable because he was involved in so many of the sporting institutions of Shanghai in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. This detailed review casts light about how young men spent their time in Shanghai and offers insights about how they interacted socially with the ladies of Shanghai. For twenty years Burgoyne’s life in Shanghai was successful. Toward the end however, his life crashed around him when he was accused of defrauding a local bank. It is both fascinating and heart rending to see how he and the social elite reacted to these events and its final dramatic conclusion.
Burgoyne was born in 1857 in Newton Abbott, a picturesque market down in Devon in the south west of England close to the barren landscape of Dartmoor and the pretty coastal towns of Teignmouth and Torquay. Three years later, the 1861 census shows that he was living as a boarder in East Teignmouth with cabinet maker Robert Bennett, aged 53 and his wife Sarah aged 55 and his sister Jeannette, aged 5.
Ten years later, he was living with his mother, Mary Louisa Burgoyne in Heavitree, Devon, alongside his brother George Edward, five years his junior who, years later, would join him in Shanghai, and younger siblings Ellis, Anneta and two year old Edith. John’s father, William Henry Burgoyne, was often away from home, the Captain of a merchant ship. At the time of the 1891 census, when John was firmly established in Shanghai, his parents and siblings were still living in Devon, with the addition of a new brother, Reginald Gordon, aged seven, born when his mother was fifty years old.
The first record of John Burgoyne living in Shanghai was in the 1879 New Years Eve edition of the North China Herald which reported him coming sixth in the Christmas Paper Hunt chase, an annual event in which the social elite of the treaty port raced around the countryside of Shanghai on horses, following a pre laid paper trail. The following March he participated in the annual Paper Hunt Club handicap race, where ‘to the best of the knowledge and skill of the Stewards [the participants] so handicapped with time allowances that at the start, each pony, whether good, bad or indifferent, should be held to have an equal chance of carrying off the honour of the day.’ On a glorious spring day, the sun shining brilliantly, in a clear blue sky, ‘the carriages on the Bubbling Well Road were so numerous and their occupants so gay that the drive to the start… was calculated to enkindle recollections of the scenes on the road to the Derby or the great St. Leger day at Doncaster.’ Burgoyne rode a pony named The Clerk, which was given a 90 second handicap on a course estimated to be between six or seven miles in length. Burgoyne’s performance was not recorded in the review of the race.
A source referenced copy of the text below is available on request
Later that year, on 27 October 1898, John’s brother George Edward Burgoyne was married in Shanghai at the Holy Trinity Cathedral to a lady named Eliza Francis Hawkes who hailed from the family’s hometown of Teignmouth.
In the light of what was to happen shortly, the detailed examination of accounts by Burgoyne at general meetings, and the generosity he showed to charities and sporting events was ironic. So too was his appearance at Shanghai’s Mixed Court, attending on behalf of the company that he had worked for since he arrived in Shanghai some 20 years earlier. In this time, the company’s name had changed from Adamson, Bell & Co to Dodwell, Carlill & Co but it had retained its Hong name of Tien-zeang. Dodwell’s were represented in court by Burgoyne because they stood to lose around 1,500 Taels due to an act of fraud, but were prepared to reach a quick settlement if the defendant immediately paid 500 Taels. This was agreed to and so the court ordered that the payment should be made, failure to do so would mean that the defendant’s store would be sealed and he would be made bankrupt. A seemingly simple case but useful in giving some context to the scale and complexity of the case that Burgoyne would be in court for the following year!
As a small aside, a most intriguing case was tried in the same court a few days later. It involved an anonymous Chinese man who was found guilty of cruelly ill treating a rat by pouring oil over it and setting it alight on the Bund - a metaphor for what was to follow. Less than two months later, a newspaper headline read ‘Serious Charge Against A Shanghai Resident’. The charge was fraud, and the resident was John William Henry Burgoyne, by now, an ex employee of Dodwell, Carlill & Co!
At a preliminary hearing, he was accused of obtaining from the Russo-Chinese bank the sum of 85,000 Taels, a considerable sum of money, (in today's terms almost £5 million) on false pretences. It was alleged that he presented warehouse orders to the bank claiming that the goods referred to on the documentation, mostly animal skins, belonged to him. An ex colleague of Burgoyne’s represented that at no point from 26th March to 10th October had any such goods belonged to him in the relevant warehouses. In response to a statutory caution, Burgoyne said that he had nothing to say apart from the fact that he was guilty as charged. He was committed for trial at a later date and given bail of 5,000 Taels, with two other persons offering sureties of 2,500 Taels each. Note was made at the time that the timing of the preliminary hearing was most unusual, the implication being that it was timed to try to slip past the roving eyes and ears of journalists.
The case was heard before Sir Nicholas J. Hannen on 31 January 1899. The charge was ‘falsely representing that he was possessed of 1,650 pieces of lamb-skin clothing and furs then in a godown [warehouse] in the Canton Road [Guangdong Road] by which means he obtained Tls. 20,000 from the Russo-Chinese bank to be paid to his account, and further that he falsely pretended that a certain godown, or delivery order, given by him was a valuable security, whereas it was not.’ For the time being, the charges on the other Tls. 65,000 were held in abeyance.
On being read the indictment Burgoyne pleaded ‘Not guilty’. The facts of the case were then summarised and witnesses for the prosecution duly questioned. By previously admitting his guilt at the preliminary hearing and changing his plea to not guilty, Burgoyne’s defence attorney was given a difficult task. His defence of Burgoyne’s actions rested on the suggestion that the Russo-Chinese bank, being at the time just over two years old, was keen to get business from Burgoyne’s employer, and Burgoyne being in charge of their import business was well placed to give it. The implication being that Burgoyne’s personal request for a loan was favourably looked upon, and that the appropriate paperwork was not actually presented by Burgoyne to the bank, meaning that he had not actually made any false representations regarding borrowing money against the security of warehoused goods. One of the witnesses, a Mr. Werth, on further questioning stated that, ‘It may be that Mr. Burgoyne mentioned that he would put some business or part of Dodwell, Carlill’s business through the bank, but that had nothing to do with this business, which I considered quite safe and separate by itself.’ It was then established that very soon after Burgoyne had been given the loan of Tls. 20,000 he quickly drew cheques against the account totalling Tls. 19,914 ‘nearly all in favour of Chinese.’ There then followed substantial discussion on how many skins were in the warehouse, who owned them and whether and when they were paid for. The prosecutor dismissed the discussions as an irrelevance by making the simple point that the accused when charged with obtaining Tls. 85,000 by false pretences had said, ‘I admit the charge brought against me.’, and furthermore, had signed a confession. The prosecutor next explained to the jury that the earlier discussions in court simply demonstrated that, at best, Burgoyne had intended to pay for the skins he was representing as his own but never did, proven by the fact that the subsequent payments to Chinese creditors after receiving the loan were not to skin traders. He had therefore deceived the bank.
Unsurprisingly, Burgoyne’s defence attorney described the circumstances differently when summing up. He started by making the Jury aware of what was at stake and appealing to their sentimentality saying that ‘he thought the jury would realise the feelings with which he came into the Court to defend a man like the accused – a man of some mark in the community who had hitherto borne a blameless reputation – upon charges which, if brought home to him would involve his complete social ruin.’ He then reiterated his case that the charge being brought was incorrect, he acknowledged that the goods had not been paid for and reminded that this lesser charge was not the offence for which his client was charged; he was being charged, incorrectly, of making false pretences, a traditionally very difficult charge to prove. He also asked the jury to dismiss the ‘so-called confession’ requesting that the jury hear the Judge’s views on whether this was evidence of guilt or not. He then told the Jury that after setting up the loan; things had gone badly for Burgoyne, implying to them that despite wishing to, he was unable to pay for the goods which he had told the bank he owned.
Sadly for Burgoyne, his case was perilously undermined when, as part of his summing up, the Judge said that the jury might reasonably take into consideration the original guilty plea because, if things were as the defence had outlined, why did Burgoyne simply not say that he was actually given a loan by the bank in consideration for giving business to the bank? He then asked the Jury to answer just four questions which would establish whether Burgoyne was guilty or not guilty. Before the jury retired to consider the questions he made the following statement, which seems at best seems impartial and at worst very suggestive of the way the jury should decide,
I dare say you have had, what we all must have had, the most painful day’s work which has been imposed upon us. Quite apart from whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty, the mere fact of bringing him here is terribly painful for us to remember. But, however painful the duty may be we must do it. If you think that the Crown has made out its case you must say so, and when you have, if you have, the mis-fortune to say so, it is my duty to act, but in the meantime remember this, that upon your verdict , if you believe these charges to be true, upon the your verdict greatly depends the honesty and good reputation of Shanghai. This is a commercial community. Its whole honour and prosperity lie in the hearts, in the actions, of its merchants, and it is for you to see that if there is anything done wrong, that the wrong shall be punished. Jury, however painful it may be , if you think the prisoner has done what he is charged with doing, you must say so, and with these words I dismiss you to consider your verdict.
It took the Jury only fifty minutes to arrive at the answers to the four questions: Did the accused represent that he had 1,650 skins in Dodwell, Carlill & Co’s godown? – Yes. Was this false? – Yes. Did he induce the bank to make the loan? – Yes. Did he intend to defraud? – Yes.
Sentencing was delayed by a few days to consider some legal technicalities raised by the defence attorney. On returning to court, Burgoyne had instructed his defence attorney to abandon the legal arguments and to leave himself entirely in the hands of the Judge. In return for this apparently magnanimous gesture, the prosecution had agreed to drop the three remaining indictments making up the balance of the original amount that Burgoyne was charged for, i.e. Tls. 65,000. Before sentencing, Burgoyne was asked whether he had anything to say. He replied;
My Lord, I confess I made a great mistake in handling the document to the bank and feeling that I had made the mistake I confessed the mistake before the Magistrate. I assure you that when I went to Mr. Werth and asked for a loan of Tls, 20,000 I had not the faintest inclination or wish to defraud the Bank. I had at that time, owing to me, monies far in excess of the Tls. 20,000 which I believed at the time would have been paid me. If these monies had been paid to me my debt to the Bank would have been paid off long ago and I would not have been here in the unfortunate position I now am. That is the only defence I make my Lord, and I leave myself in your hands.
The Judge spoke yet again about how painful this case was and how much the case had worried him before finally giving his verdict;
John William Henry Burgoyne, you have been convicted by the jury of obtaining money under false pretences. The only sum that was mentioned in the indictment with which we are now dealing was Tls. 20,000 but at the preliminary hearing you were charged with obtaining Tls. 85,000 and you admitted the charge. Under these circumstances, and on thinking over what then took place, I consider it my duty to impose a sentence of fifteen months’ imprisonment.
This delightful wood engraving from Harper's Weekly Magazine in June 1879 shows crowds of spectators going to the 1879 Spring Races in Shanghai. Burgoyne would certainly have attended the races after his arrival in Shanghai, as can be seen from the picture, it was a very popular event.
The local press reported that the new football club ‘will be “Rugby Union”, and according to its laws all disputes will be settled.’ It was hoped that the club ‘will be as representative and cosmopolitan as possible, and the Committee is anxious to receive reinforcements from among the French, German and American sections of the community.’
In April 1882 the football club organised an end of season Foot Handicap Steeplechase which failed to get as many spectators as the organisers would have liked due to the imminent arrival of the French mail. This was a time when the arrival of the mail on boats from Europe and America, was an occasion of much excitement. It was all hands to the deck to react to the latest news from home and speedily process the newly arrived commercial transactions. The under attended foot race was held over two laps of the horse’s steeplechase course, with the winner earning a cup and the entrance fees of his opponents. Given his athletic prowess, Burgoyne ran off scratch giving up to as much as 400 yards to the other competitors. The judge’s assessment of Burgoyne’s ability proved optimistic, he failed to complete the race which the winner won in 11 minutes.
A few weeks after the foot race, Burgoyne attended the AGM of the second Shanghai Football Club. The main item on the agenda was to consider the pros and cons of amalgamating the football club with the Shanghai Athletic Club. It was agreed in principle to go ahead with the amalgamation but to allow members who only wanted to play football a lower joining fee. Prior to the eventual amalgamation, the Shanghai Athletic Club organised a spring athletic meet. Burgoyne, still in his role of Honorary Secretary, was once again very active. He won the obstacle race, came second in the 220 yards race, second in the long jump, fourth in the 100 yards race, sixth in the 440 yards race, but was unplaced in the 120 yards hurdle race and pole jump and did not finish in the mile race where he ‘threw up the sponge’. Despite having to cancel the final event of the day -the egg and spoon race- due to the heavy rain, Burgoyne was praised by a reporter who wrote that, ‘Mr. J. W. H. Burgoyne, in addition to being an energetic and successful athlete proved himself to be a facile princeps [an obvious leader] of Honorary Secretaries – of whom the Club has just reason to be proud.’ It was no surprise therefore that he was re-elected as Secretary at the first AGM of the Shanghai Athletic Club in October 1882.
In the same month, a new company of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps was formed and Burgoyne was elected to be the new company’s second lieutenant, another indication of the prestige that he had gained within the community. His status was further elevated by his involvement in Shanghai’s biggest social event of the year as one of the race starters at the Shanghai Autumn Race Meeting.
The first mention of John Burgoyne's activities in Shanghai in 1879
Does thisextract from the 1901 Census from Battersea in London show that the ex convict John Burgoyne returned to England after his prison sentence?
In the text below there are frequent references to money. It should be noted that currency in Shanghai at this time was a very complicated affair. This paragraph seeks to explain, albeit in very simple and generalised terms, how money was managed in Shanghai at the end of the nineteenth century. The story below references a unit of currency called ‘Taels’ or ‘Tls.’, for short and $, i.e. Mexican Dollars. A ‘Tael’ was a unit of currency used for banking and trading purposes whereas the Mexican Dollar was in common circulation, but wasn’t actually an official Chinese currency, in much the same way as the US Dollar is used in Asia today. A Tael’s value was just under 33 grammes of pure silver and so its value changed with the market value of silver. To add to the confusion, the Mexican dollar’s value also varied with the value of silver but also with how many were in circulation at any point in time.
As a point of general reference to the amounts discussed below, in the year 1900:
Shortly before the second Shanghai Football Club was founded in December 1881, it was decided to revive athletic sports in Shanghai. In September 1881, a committee was formed to organise an Athletic Sports meeting at the cricket ground in November 1881. Burgoyne was elected Honorary Secretary. At the sports day which followed on 24 November, the event’s officials were a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of Shanghai’s prominent men, many of whom would soon be involved in the imminent founding of the new football club. At the athletic contest, Burgoyne took time out from his secretarial duties to participate in a large number of events. He qualified through the heats, winning the final of the Volunteer Cup for the 220 yards flat race in a time of 28 seconds. In the 100 yards race he came second, behind a Mr. Campbell who ran the race in 11 ½ seconds. He started in the 440 yards race but did not finish, and also failed to be placed in the 120 yards hurdle race.
Life appeared contented for Burgoyne in these years. He had become well established in the higher echelons of the Shanghai community while working as a clerk for Adamson, Bell & Co, a company with the ‘Hong’ name ‘Tien-zeang’. In December, Burgoyne attended a meeting which had been called to form a ‘Foot-ball Club’. He seconded the proposal to elect Mr. Edward Simcox Perrot as captain, which was not successful, but later in the meeting Perrot was elected the club’s vice captain. Perrot was well qualified to perform either role, having the distinction of being Shanghai’s first internationally capped rugby player. He earned his sole cap playing for England against Ireland on 15 February 1875, the first time that these countries had played each other at rugby. The game was played at the Kennington Oval, -now more familiar as a cricket venue- in front of 2,000 spectators.
Having served his sentence it would have been impossible to stay on in Shanghai and so, Burgoyne left the city in which he had lived for almost half his life. His brother remained. What happened next is unclear due to the lack of records. From the available documents, it appears that Burgoyne returned to London. In the census of 1901, a John William Henry Burgoyne, born in Teignmouth in 1857 was living in Battersea. He was self employed and living with his wife Elizabeth Ellen and two children, a daughter aged six, named Louisa Heywood Burgoyne, Louisa being Burgoyne’s mother’s second name and a three year old son named John Heywood Burgoyne. On the balance of possibilities this is the same man. Moving to London was a reasonable thing to do, his family had connections with London, for example his brother was born there, and moving to such a large city would have offered a chance for a new life and a degree of anonymity.
By March 1883, the Shanghai Football Club had been amalgamated with the Shanghai Football Club. Under the auspices of the Athletic Club a football match under association rules was organised, Burgoyne was captain of one of the teams in a game which lasted for two hours. The Athletic Club’s spring meeting was held in April. Burgoyne was still Secretary but competed in fewer events; consequently, he not only completed the mile race, but won it, in a time of 5 minutes and 29 seconds.
In December 1885, the first ‘England’ vs. ‘The World’ rugby match was played, Burgoyne taking the field for ‘England’. In 1887 he attended the AGM of the Mih-Ho-Loong Hook and Ladder Company of the volunteer Shanghai Fire Brigade where he was elected an officer of the Ball Committee, one of the more eagerly anticipated of the many Annual Balls in Shanghai.
When Queen Victoria celebrated her sixty-ninth birthday in 1887, the event was considered important enough for the British Consul General to organise a garden-party in the grounds of the British Consulate. The event ‘was attended by Society, naval officers, and general, to the widest extent, the Taotai [highest local Chinese official] and his suite being prominent among the guests.’ The highlight of the garden party was a game of chess played using real people dressed as the playing pieces. Burgoyne had been given the role of the Black King’s knight, no doubt a reflection of his status, not quite a king but certainly not a pawn. At that year’s autumn meeting of the Shanghai Athletic Club, Burgoyne acted as one of the race starters; he continued to compete, coming third in the 100 yards race and second in the 120 yards hurdle. The following month, he was one of 404 guests at the Annual St Andrew’s Ball, a high society event of whom, the reporter noted, 158 were ladies. There was no Mrs Burgoyne included in the list of attendees, suggesting he was still not yet married.
A few years later Burgoyne appeared in the Shanghai Rowing Club’s 1890 Autumn Regatta. Wearing dark blue, he raced in the Ladies Purse Race over one mile, the prize presented by the Ladies of Shanghai for junior Scullers which suggested that Burgoyne, by now aged 32, had recently taken up the sport. The newspaper gave up quite a few column inches to Burgoyne’s victory, in a time of 6 minutes and 19 seconds, which I include in full below as it illuminates the social mores of the day:
The Ladies’ Purse, which Mr. Burgoyne was very lucky to win, was presented to him by Mrs. Frank Maitland, in the marquee after the Club Fours, Mr Burgoyne being presented to Mr. Hutching to the fair donor, who handed him the purse with the following words:-
“Mr Burgoyne, I heartily congratulate you on the success which has attended you today. Those who have rowed in this race have striven hard, and I am sure the best man has won the prize. Your competitors therefore will not feel ashamed that they have been beaten. The ladies of Shanghai take much interest in these sports, as they know what self-denial those in training for them undergo, and on their behalf I have much pleasure in handing you this purse; hoping that you may live many years in health and happiness, and that later in life you may look back on the 27th of October 1890 as a red-letter day.”
There was great applause from the crowded marquee at the conclusion of this graceful speech, and then Mr. Burgoyne replied. He said:--
“I have to heartily thank the ladies of Shanghai, on behalf of the S.R.C., for their prize, and I am glad of the opportunity of saying how delighted the rowing men of Shanghai are to see so many of their fair friends present on this occasion.”
When he had handed Mrs. Maitland the customary bouquet, Mr Burgoyne called for three cheers for the ladies, and one extra for Mrs. Maitland, which were heartily given. Mrs Maitland was the wife of Frank Maitland who had the pen name ‘Daybreak’. He was very well known in Shanghai for his acerbic writing about sport events in Shanghai and was the founder and editor of what is probably Shanghai’s first ever magazine dedicated to sport - ‘Sport and Gossip’.
At the rowing events, Burgoyne showed a commendable degree of rowing dexterity, as might be expected from a man from the English coast whose father was a ship’s Captain. He was cox in the Club’s four oar race, the stroke in the Chaaze Cup, an eight oar race sponsored by the tea inspectors of Shanghai, and for good measure, he rowed for the Veterans, those aged over 30, against the Griffins, those aged under 30, in the Bankers Cup eight oar race.
The scorecard showing Burgoyne's 'Golden Duck' from the summer of 88
Burgoyne's generous donation of a cup for the Shanghai Rowing Club's 1898 Spring Regatta
In May 1888 he resigned his commission due to having too many business commitments to fulfil his responsibilities but in the summer, started to appear in the match reports of cricket games, exchanging his olive uniform for white flannels. The first such mention was in early August 1888 when he opened the batting for Mr Ross’ XI alongside Shanghai’s cricketing legend W. H. Moule. Burgoyne was out for a ‘golden duck’, i.e. bowled first ball! Nevertheless, his team won a close game as darkness descended over Shanghai. With one wicket remaining and eight runs required for victory, Mr. Ross himself hit the winning runs, cutting the ball to the boundary for a four.
A week later he played in a cricket match for Shanghai Cricket Club’s Honorary members against the ‘Feebles and Duffers’ team who, not living up to their name, easily beat the their honourable opposition.
As his sporting participation decreased, so did mentions of him in the Shanghai newspapers. Non sporting activities seemed to fill his time, the next mention of Burgoyne was more than three years later when he attended the Yangtsze Insurance Association Limited’s fourth ordinary general meeting. At the end of the meeting he proposed that Mr Augustus White be re-elected as auditor and, on the proposal being approved also suggested that the members give a ‘cordial vote of thanks to the Board of Directors, Mr. Jackson and the staff for the able way in which they had conducted the association during the year.’ A suggestion met with applause and approved by acclamation.
Mr Burgoyne next appeared in print at the 1896 AGM of the Shanghai Yacht Club when he seconded the proposal that Mr C. A. Pullan be elected as the Club’s Commodore. Later that year he turns up at another company AGM, this time that of S. C. Farnham and Company Limited. At the meeting Burgoyne was heavily involved in a debate about how the Reserve Fund was being presented in the accounts and requested further detail in order for the readers to get a clearer idea of how money was being spent. There was clearly some unease, not only from Burgoyne, about how the Reserve Fund was being used. The unease led to another attendee suggesting that perhaps it would be advisable to elect an additional director, a request the Chairman promised to consider.