A number of charities and social bodies in Limehouse were set up by the Chinese themselves.

Chung Yee Society, Birchfield St

Chung Yee Society, Birchfield St

Ching Ming Festival (ref only)

Ching Ming Festival













Some like the existing Chung Yee Society started as Tongs, semi-masonic brotherhoods, often with political interests to foster back in China.

One of the Chung Yee’s functions was to organise events, especially the Ching Ming Festival, a commemoration of the dead.


Strangers Home for Asiatics

A charity organised by concerned Victorians established the Strangers’ Home for Asiatics, Africans and South Sea Islanders, opened by Prince Albert in 1857 in West India Dock Road.

It was built as a response to the scandal of poor Black and Asian seamen being found dead and dying on the streets around the Docks, because they were refused lodgings elsewhere.  One account of the home says in 1879 it sheltered 570 East Asians, of which 200 were seamen.