Itemised statement of legal and conveyancing costs from Dr John Hughes Clayton, solicitor of Little Collins Street Melbourne, relating to the purchase of property in Little Bourke Street Melbourne and also for naturalisation costs for Lam Ah Ning, Do Tong Fat, Do Lee Ting and Do Lee Chung in 1862. Lee Ting arrived from Canton on the ship 'James Town' in 1856, was thirty five years old and a merchant by profession. Lee Chung arrived from Canton on the ship 'Meteor' in 1856, was thirty seven years old and a merchant by profession. Tong Fat arrived from Canton on the ship 'Meteor' in 1856, was thirty nine years old and a merchant by profession.

The National Archives of Australia holds records relating to payments by these men for three month residency permits and also naturalization applications which were required for them to be able to legally hold the property referred to in the statement of costs.

Physical Description

Foolscap size centrally folded sheet of blue paper with handwritten annotations in black ink on the front and inside reverse of the page. There is also a series of Chinese characters written in black ink on the back page which partially translates to mean the number '4478'. The sheet has also been folded into quarters presumably to fit into an envelope. The sheet is addressed to 'Lam Ah Ning & Others' and then an underlined sub heading 'Dr To John Hughes Clayton' followed by a list of itemised activities with individual costs alongside. This list carries over to the reverse side of the page and is then signed 'Received payment John H Clayton 10th Feb 1862.'


This document provides an insight into both the processes involved in purchasing land and property during mid nineteenth century Melbourne, as well as the early procedures for applying for naturalisation. It is of particular interest as a syndicate of migrants from China at a time when migration and settlement of people from China was both common but also criticised and even resented by many in the local community.

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