home » guangzhou overview » historical events » Sanyuanli Anti-British struggle

Sanyuanli Anti-British struggle

Sanyuanli Anti-British struggle is the first time in modern history the Chinese people against foreign aggression spontaneous mass struggle, the performance of the Chinese people against foreign aggression in defiance of violence patriotism.

On the morning of may 30, 1841, the day after wei shaoguang and his fellows killed some en invaders beyond endurance, the infuriating sanyuanli villagers, expecting retaliation from the enemies, gathered in front of the sanyuan ancient temple with a determination to launch an armed resistance.

He yucheng wrote letters to contact other villages, inviting the villages in the northeast outskirts of guangzhou, nanhai, panyu, and zengcheng to join them. then under the leadership of wei shaoguang, representatives from all villages, with a united will, rallied before the temple to pledge resolution before going to war. they took out the three-star flag from the temple as their commanding flag and promised that they would advance and retreat following the flag and they would have no complaint if killed in the battle. after that, they separately contacted about 15,000 farmers in and around sanyuanli, 103 in all, and formed pingyingtuang (a corps to defeat en invaders). gathering on the niulan hillock in the northeast of sanyuanli village, they agreed on a strategy to lure and destroy the enemies by taking advantage of the varied topography.

once the en forces were found in any village, gong should be beaten as a signal and all other villages should rise in response. just as had been expected, after fleeing back to the sifang battery, the en forces, led by viscount hugh gough, the commander, intruded into this area but they were tempted to niulan hillock. all of a sudden and all over the hills, there appeared volunteers pursuing and killing enemies, holding up their banner of justice, carrying their broadswords, lances, hooks, guns and primitive weapons such as hoes. even women and children were there shouting encouragement. besides the local farmers, people such as weavers and workers chopping stones joined in the battle. at noon, an unexpected heavy rain with lightning and thunder came, which failed the guns of the british forces who had no choice but to retreat in phalanx. the farmers dragged the enemies out from the team with their hooks and chopped them to death. some hoed to death the enemies trapped in mud.

in this battle, sanyuanli people won a sweeping victory, resulting in more than 100 casualties and injuries in british army, which had some survivors still failing to get back to their encampment till night. led by viscount hugh gough, the remnants of british forces fled in panic back to their headquarters in the sifang battery on yuexiu mountain. even yilü,charles elliot, the instigator of the opium war and plenipotentiary of the british forces, was hemmed in it. the next day, farmers from the 103 villages and people from other places such as zengcheng county and huaxian county joined in and laid a heavy siege to the headquarters.

Plunged into a panic, the british army urgently called for help from the guangdong authorities. then the governor-general of guangdong and guangxi ordered yu baochun, the magistrate of guangzhou prefecture to led the county magistrates of nanhai and panyu to the spot for rescue. by cheating and threatening, they managed to force the villagers to dismiss. on that same day, viscount hugh gough, under the escort of yu baolun, led the remnants of his forces back to their warships on the white goose pool and retreated to fumen. this victory was a prelude to chinese people’s struggle against aggression and left an imperishable chapter in the history of chinese revolution. after the founding of new china, in november 1958, in order to commemorate this great struggle against imperialism, the sanyuan ancient temple was turned into sanyuanli memorial hall of the anti-british war. it is a historical monuments & cultural relics under state protection as well as a patriotic education base for the students in guangzhou city.


Where To Go Tonight

Have you ever heard of the famous Bar Street? It is a place in the Fangcun District of Guangzhou which is across the Pearl River from the main part of Guangzhou... More»

Learning Cantonese

Cantonese, or Standard Cantonese, is language originated in the vicinity of Canton (i.e. Guangzhou) in southern China, and is often regarded as the prestige dialect of Yue Chinese. More»

Public Service Calls

Foreign invest consult hotline:83375678
Foreign complain response hotline:86689999 Fire accident:119
Police:110
First aid center:120
Consumers’ commission:12315
Traffic accident:122
Information:114
Weather inquiry:12121