Johnston, Reginald

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Johnston, Reginald Gender: M
Reginald Fleming Johnston
born on 31 October 1874 at 11:00 (= 11:00 AM )
Place Edinburgh, Scotland, 55n57, 3w13
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 07°53' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 00°22 Asc.s_sagcol.18.gif 14°41'

Reginald Johnston (with Empress Wanrong and Isabel Ingram in the Forbidden City)


British diplomat who served as the tutor and advisor to Puyi, the last Emperor of China. He was also the last British Commissioner of Weihaiwei. Johnston's book Twilight in the Forbidden City (1934) was used as a source for Bernardo Bertolucci's film dramatization of Puyi's life The Last Emperor.

Johnston was a keen traveller, in 1902 exploring Tonkin, Laos and Siam. In 1904 he visited Kiautschou, Jinan and later Korea. In January 1906, he undertook a year-long journey from Beijing to Mandalay, publishing an account of his experiences in 1908.

A "militant anti-Christian" whose criticism of missionaries in China possibly hindered his promotion, Johnston was fascinated by Chinese Buddhism. In 1908, he had a private audience with the 13th Dalai Lama, one of the few westerners to do so. He wrote three books during his time in the service, From Peking to Mandalay (1908), Lion and Dragon in Northern China (1910), and Buddhist China (1913).

Johnston was appointed Professor of Chinese in the University of London in 1931, a post based at the School of Oriental and African Studies, to which he bequeathed his library in 1935. This library, one of the finest collections of Chinese and East Asian books in the country, consists of over 16,000 volumes.

Johnston retired in 1937, having acquired the small island of Eilean Rìgh in Loch Craignish, Scotland, on which he created for himself a Chinese garden and flew the flag of Manchukuo. He never married. After a short illness, he died in Edinburgh on 6 March 1938, aged 63.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • role played of/by O'Toole, Peter (born 2 August 1932). Notes: 1987 film "The Last Emperor"


  • Health : Medical procedure 20 February 1938 (Operation to remove a kidney stone)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield downloaded civil birth registry entry, National Records of Scotland; copy on file [1]. Wikipedia has 13 October in error.


  • Family : Relationship : Married late/never (Never)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids none
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Grant, Scholarship, etc.
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Philanthropist
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher
  • Vocation : Politics : Diplomat
  • Vocation : Travel : Adventurer
  • Vocation : Writers : Biographer (PuYi)
  • Vocation : Writers : Religion/ Philosophy
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction (Travel)