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Smiths Hastings Rackham
Gender ♂️ Male

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Smith Hastings Rackham was the uncle of Louise Barbara Louise Gorman (Grandmere) on her father’s side.

He was employed by a firm of East India merchants Paterson Simons and Company.

We know this because of a letter sent by Grandmere’s cousin, John William Douglas Rackham, to Grandmere in 1990. John was the son of this Smith Hastings Rackham and was perhaps the first to research the Gorman/Rackham family tree and passed Grandmere the output, which is what started my interest (Jonathan Gorman!) in our family tree, and the subsequent research, some of which is on this website.

So who were Paterson Simons and Company I hear you ask?


Paterson Simons was established in Singapore during the 1850's by a group of colonial merchants. One of the company's founders, William Ker, fostered a strong personal relationship with Temenggong of Johore, and by 1853 he had been placed in charge of the Malay ruler's finances. The relationship led to special business privileges for Ker and his partners, William Paterson and Henry Minchin Simons.

The company traded in a variety of commodities, including camphor, vanilla, cinnamon, sea slugs, shark fins, tin, coffee, and pearls. Taking note of the profitable opium trade being conducted by companies such as Jardine Matheson, the partnership began shipping opium to China. The partnership eventually adopted the name Patent Slip and Dock Company, but its name was changed to Paterson, Simons & Company in 1859, when Ker retired.

The company re-established its port monopoly in Johore in 1899, following a merger with the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company. Six years later the port operation was expropriated by the British government, but the company retained its interests in shipping and in maritime and property insurance and continued to act as agents for the East India Coal Company and for a number of shipping lines--and thereafter, despite its colorful past, continued to operate uneventfully until the time it was acquired by Wood Hall Trust.

Source – ‘Funding Histories – Company Histories Wood Hall Trust:




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