“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

The Standard and H.M. Cumine

Posted: March 24th, 2016 | 2 Comments »

The Standard was a Chinese-language daily newspaper in Shanghai based at offices on Foochow Road (Fuzhou Road). The Cumine family, who also owned the Shanghai Mercury English language newspaper at one point, as well as several successful property and architectural businesses, were very rich. Shanghai-born Henry Monsel (H.M.) Cumine was in charge of the paper – a man who also was a highly regarded architect and cartographer of Shanghai and environs and somewhat of an expert on Shanghai’s torturous land regulations – the family owned a lot of Shanghai property including a large mansion on Route de Grouchy (Yanqing Road) in Frenchtown. He was Managing Director of the China Land and Building Co., Ltd. and a partner in the local architectural practice Cumine and Milne, based at offices at 38 Kiangse Road (Jiangxi Road). He also had long had an interest in publishing.

But just how much day-to-day business of the paper was controlled by Cumine is debatable. The Japanese pressured Shanghai to close down pro-Free China newspapers and many arranged for foreign owners, straw men often, to become the titular owners of these papers to avoid the Japanese. Cumine, who I believe was of Scots ancestry, did this service for a number of newspapers to allow them to keep publishing (although he was, according to some sources, paid a rather handsome salary for rendering this service).

The Standard headed paper

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2 Comments on “The Standard and H.M. Cumine”

  1. 1 DRG Cumine said at 2:04 am on June 8th, 2020:

    Can I assure you that there was certainly no Irish blood flowing through HM Cumine, the Scottish half from his father, AGT Cumine, via Fraserburgh, Scotland.

  2. 2 Paul French said at 8:15 pm on June 10th, 2020:

    thanks – amended – – Paul


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