In June 1857, four Chinese men from Melbourne – named Sun Tring, Yun Peng, Sun Woee and Hoy Peng – applied for naturalisation. Their memorials for naturalisation give basic details about them:
- Sun Tring of Melbourne, 29 years, merchant, arrived on the Annie Bailie in 1852, desires to purchase and hold land
- Yun Peng, of Melbourne, 30 years, merchant, arrived on the Challenge in 1854, desires to purchase and hold land
- Sun Woee, of Melbourne, 35 years, merchant, arrived on the Cornwall in January 1857, desires to purchase and hold land
- Hoy Peng, of Melbourne, 30 years, merchant, arrvied on the Liverpool in 1854, desires to purchase and hold land.
The memorials for naturalisation were each signed by the same six witnesses who knew them and attested to their good character and reputation.
The men were granted their naturalisation certificates on 2 July 1857. They were four of the eight Chinese men granted naturalisation in Victoria in 1857 – the others were Louis Ah Mouy, John Affoo, William Tsze Hing and Abu Mason.
Looking at the signatures on the memorials for naturalisation, I realised something odd about these four men. Their names are the same as those of the Sze Yup (四邑) or Four Counties districts:
- Sun Tring – Sunning 新寧
- Yun Peng – Yanping 恩平
- Sun Woee – Sunwui 新會(会)
- Hoy Peng – Hoiping 開平
The applications for naturalisation are held in NAA: A712, 1857/A4334 (digitised).
Confirmation that the men were granted naturalisation is found in Ancestry.com’s Victoria, Australia, Index to Naturalisation Certificates, 1851-1928 (original data: Chief Secretary’s Department. Index to Naturalization Certificates (1851–1922), VPRS 4396. Public Record Office Victoria).