Mr. Tan Kim Ching, the eldest of the four sons of Tan Tock Seng, was born in Singapore in 1829. On his father's death the firm of " Tan Tock-seng" was changed to " Tan Kim-ching " and the business was carried on at River-side (now Boat Quay) from 1851 to 1859 by Tan Kim Ching as sole owner. In 1860 the firm was known as " Tan Kim-ching & Brother," chop Chin Seng Ho, Tan Swee Lim, a brother, having been admitted a partner, but a few months later Tan Swee Lim left the firm. The business which finally became known as Kim Ching & Co. chop Chin Seng attained considerable success, owning rice mills at Saigon, Siam and elsewhere. Mr. Tan Kim Ching was Consul-General and Special Commissioner for Siam in the Straits Settlements and had the title of 'Phya Anukul Siamkitch Upanick Sit Siam Rath' conferred on him by the King of Siam. He had great influence on the Chinese outside the Colony, especially in the northern States bordering on Siam, viz. Kelantan and Patani. In Sir Andrew Clarke's time he was instrumental in settling a difficulty, which had arisen between the Siamese Government and Perak, for which he received a special letter of thanks from the Governor. He was a commander of the Third Class of the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan, and the recipient of a special letter and honour from China for his contribution to the Famine Fund in 1890. Reference has been made to the timely assistance he gave in 1852 to the Hospital founded by his father in the shape of wings to the Hospital buildings at a cost of $2,000. When the Tanjong Pagar Dock Co. Ltd. was started in 1863 Mr. Kim Ching's name was on the list of the committee of promoters. He was made a J.P. in 1865. Towards the end of his life a prosecution was instituted against him for keeping slaves, but he was discharged. He died in February 1892 and his remains were interred at his private burial ground at the thirteenth mile on the Changi Road. Although he was buried in Changi, his grave was transferred to Bukit Brown in 1940. At his death, he was the owner of the steamers Siam and Singapore, and of a large number of concessions, including some at Mount Ophir, Kampong Rusa, Patani and various others, which had not been prospected. As head of the Hokien Huay-kuan, which was located in the Chinese temple " Thian-hok-kiong " in Telok Ayer Street, he was styled " Capitan China." It was then quite the regular thing for Hokien Chinese marriages to be registered in his office, and for the marriage certificate to bear his chop, although until the death of Mr. Tan Beng Swee (of chop " Hong Hin ") in 1884, by arrangement the marriage register was kept by Mr. Beng Swee and marriage certificates were impressed with chop " Hong Hin." All the sons of Mr. Kim Ching predeceased him, but the five grandsons, Boo Liat, Cheow Pin, Kwee Liang, Kwee Swee and Kwee Wah (all sons of the late Tan Soon Toh) are well-known members of the Chinese community. His daughter, Tan Cheng Gay Neo, who had been taught Chinese and also a little English, was the first among those appointed trustees of his estate to take out probate of his will- one of the rare instances of a Chinese lady being appointed and assuming the duties of executrix of the will of a Chinese testator. 1888, the company opened a branch in Hong Kong. 1849, when the Chinese school Chung Wen Ge was built, he donated $100. 1852, he donated $3000 to finance renovations and repairs to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. 1854, he donated $150 to the building of the Chui Eng School. 1863, he came up with $120,000 to set up the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company (the forerunner of PSA today). From the 1860s to 1890s, he was one of the important leaders of the Hokkien Huay Kuan (formerly situated at the Thian Hock Keng). 1864, he was elected to the Grand Jury as one of the 5 Chinese members. 1871, he was decorated Justice of Peace. He was also consul for Japan, Thailand and Russia and was given a royal rank by the Thai king. 1890, he bought a title from the Ching government. 1888, he was appointed to the Municipal Council. He was also the first Asian member of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. There is a Kim Cheng Street named after him in Singapore today. TAN Kim Ching was the man who introduced the British governess Anna LEONOWENS to the King of Siam. This is what formed the basis of the famous musical entitled "The King and I" by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Manuscript by Tan Thoon Lip written probably in the late 1940s-50s. It was his attempt to write the history of the Tan Tock Seng clan. Here is a section regarding Tan Kim Ching, his personality, his graves and incidents of tomb robbery. "The history of the Tan family beginning from Tan Watt Tiong should prove of some interest. There are no documents from which may be traced the rise of that family to prominence the Straits Sttlements, and they who could tell from hearsay of this family are now rapidly dying out. Tan Watt tinge left his native village in Chian, Hi-Teng, and set up business in Malacca. Presumably he brought out his wife with him, for in 1798 was born his son Tock Seng, who at an early age went southwards to Singapore. From a modest beginning as a vegetable grower he became a man to be looked up to in his community, and respected. Today his name is perpetrated [sic] in a hospital. His father preferred Malacca, and lies peacefully on the slope of some hill out side town. He [Tock Seng] himself lived long in Singapore and on his death in 1850 was buried there.
Zupu gives date of death as 19 July 1892 at 2100hrs-2300hrs
Father: TAN Tock Seng b: 1798 in Malacca, Malaysia
Mother: LEE Seo Neo b: 12 MAR 1807
Marriage 1 CHUA Seah Neo
Marriage 2 Khunying Puen ANUKULSIAMKIJ b: in Thailand
Marriage 3 FEMALE1
Marriage 4 Ploi
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