Geoffry Northcote

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Sir Geoffry Northcote
Geoff Northcote.gif
20th Governor of Hong Kong
In office
28 October 1937 – 10 September 1941
Preceded by Sir Andrew Caldecott
Succeeded by Sir Mark Aitchison Young
Personal details
Born (1881-02-09)9 February 1881
London, England
Died 10 July 1948(1948-07-10) (aged 67)
Spouse(s) Edith Juliet Mary Adams
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Profession colonial administrator

Sir Geoffry Alexander Stafford Northcote, KCMG (羅富國;9 February 1881 – 10 July 1948) was a British colonial administrator.

Early life, education, and early colonial services career[edit]

Northcote was born in London[citation needed], the son of Reverend the Hon. Arthur Francis Northcote, fourth son of Stafford Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh. Henry Northcote, 1st Baron Northcote, was his uncle. He was educated at Blundell's School in Tiverton and Balliol College, Oxford. He entered the Colonial Service in 1904 and served in Kenya (formerly East African Protectorate) from 1904 to 1927. He became Chief Secretary of Northern Rhodesia a year later, and served there until 1930. Afterwards, Northcote served as the Chief Secretary of Gold Coast, until 1934 and as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British Guiana from 1935 to 1937.

Hong Kong governorship[edit]

Geoffry Northcote (centre) and his secretaries; businessman Robert Kotewall is 2nd on the right

He became Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Hong Kong in 1937. During his tenure, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out, and battles broke out throughout Mainland China. In order to safeguard the Colony, Northcote immediately declared Hong Kong a neutral zone. As the war proceeded, Canton (Guangzhou) was occupied by the Japanese, causing a population boom as refugees rushed into Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the Japanese army also started encroaching upon Sham Chun (Shenzhen), leading the Hong Kong government to adopt various measures to cope with the emergency, such as the construction of air-raid shelters and blackout practices.

After taking six-months' leave in the UK, Northcote returned to Hong Kong in March 1941. Poor health forced him to retire that year, and he left when his appointment expired in September 1941.

Personal life[edit]

Northcote married Edith Juliet Mary Adams on 27 October 1910. The couple had three sons: Maxwell Adams Stafford, Arthur Geoffrey Stafford, and Arnyas Henry Stafford. Northcote died in July 1948, aged 67.


Places named after him[edit]

Northcote Close, a road on Hong Kong Island and Northcote Teachers' College (the premises is now occupied by Bonham Road Government Primary School) were named after him.

See also[edit]



  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
Government offices
Preceded by
Alexander Ransford Slater
Governor of the Gold Coast, acting
Succeeded by
Sir Shenton Thomas
Preceded by
Sir Shenton Thomas
Governor of the Gold Coast, acting
Succeeded by
Sir Arnold Wienholt Hodgson
Preceded by
Sir Edward Brandis Denham
Governor of British Guiana
Succeeded by
Sir Wilfrid Edward Francis Jackson
Preceded by
Sir Andrew Caldecott
Governor of Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Sir Mark Aitchison Young