- c. 1826
- carpenter, community leader, merchant and mining speculator
- Alternative Names
- Ah Mouy, Louey (commonly used)
- Ah Mouy, Louis (commonly used)
Louey Ah Mouy was born in the Toishan district of Kwangtung province, south of Canton. He emigrated to Singapore when he was young where he trained in carpentry. In 1851 he travelled from Penang, Malaya, to Melbourne, under contract to a Captain Glendenning, to build six houses in South Melbourne and Williamstown. Once here, he was quickly lured away to the new Victorian gold fields like many others. He claimed to be the first person who first sent word back to China of the gold in Victoria, and so took credit for the start of the Chinese goldrush to Australia. Louis Ah Mouy was a very successful as a miner and raised capital to open up mines in six areas of the state.
He quickly became a successful merchant and businessman and a mining speculator, investing both in goldmines in Victoria and tin mines in Malaya and was one of the first residents of Victoria to engage in the tea trade, establishing a tea business in Swanston Street in 1852. As well as financial success Louis Ah Mouy also became an important leader of the Chinese community and a prominent citizen of Melbourne. He was an original director of the Commercial Bank of Australia in Melbourne. A leading member of both the Yee Hing Society and the See Yup Society, mutual help and mutual protection organisations, he often helped settle disputes among Chinese in Victoria. He also actively fought discrimination against the Chinese in Australia, particularly restrictive immigration laws.
In 1861 Louis Ah Mouy married Chinese-born Ang Chuck in Melbourne. She was sixteen, at the time and would have been one of only a few Chinese women permitted by their kinfolk to go abroad. Together the couple had eleven children, eight boys and three girls. Louis Ah Mouy died on 28 April 1918 aged 92.
Sources used to compile this entry: Yong, Ching Fatt, Ah Mouy, Louis (1826-1918), Australian Dictionary of Biography, D. Pike, vol. 3, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969, 19-20 pp, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030019b.htm; Museum of Chinese Australian History collection.
Prepared by: Sophie Couchman, La Trobe University
- Cronin, Kathryn, Colonial Casualties: Chinese in Early Victoria, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1982. Details
- Loh, Morag, Sojourners and Settlers: Chinese in Victoria 1848-1985, Victorian Government China Advisory Committee, Melbourne, 1985. Details
- Lowe Kong Meng, Cheok Hong Cheong, Louis Ah Mouy (ed.), The Chinese Question In Australia, 1878-79, F. F. Bailliere, Melbourne, 1879. Details
- Oddie, G, 'The lower class Chinese and the merchant elite in Victoria, 1870-1890', Historical Studies, vol. 10, 1961, pp. 65-69. Details
- 'Mr L. Ah Mouy Dead: First Chinese in Victoria', Sun (Melbourne), 1918. Details
- 'A veteran Chinese: Death at Middle Park', Herald (Melbourne), 30 April. Details
- 'Victoria's First Chinese: Store of the gold fever: One letter brings 37,000 immigrants', Richmond Guardian, 18 May. Details
- Blake, Alison, 'Melbourne's Chinatown: The evolution of an inner ethnic quarter', BA (hons) Thesis, Department of Geography, University of Melbourne, 1975. Details
- Oddie, G., 'The Chinese in Victoria, 1870-1890', MA thesis, University of Melbourne, 1959. Details
- Yong, Ching Fatt, Ah Mouy, Louis (1826-1918), Australian Dictionary of Biography, D. Pike, vol. 3, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969, 19-20 pp, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030019b.htm. Details
- Ang Chuck (Louey Ah Mouy's second wife)
- Louis Ah Mouy
- Australia - Victoria?
- Stanley Ah Mouy reading book
Created: 10 May 2001, Last modified: 30 July 2008