Raffles Collection IV

“Pieces relative to the affairs of Palembang. All the contents of this volume are concerned with Palembang in Sumatra, and the neighbouring islands of Bangka and Billiton. Here are copies of two Dutch records of earlier date, but most of the documents pertain to 1811, when Raffles entered into correspondence with the Sultan of Palembang, and sent agents to treat with him. Raffles advises the Sultan to drive the Dutch from his country ‘at once’; ‘for they are a bad Nation and intend to follow a bad course towards your Majesty,’ he writes. Immediately after the acquisition of Java, Raffles appointed a Commission to treat with Palembang, but before its arrival in that country the Sultan had murdered all the Dutch and rased their Fort to the ground. In 1812 Raffles sent an expedition, under Colonel Gillespie, to depose the Sultan and to take possession of Bangka and Billiton. The last two documents belong to a later period, but treat of Billiton. 1, pp. 1˗28: Memo Respecting Palembang. This is a translation (by a Dutchman) of a report, by a commissioner of the Dutch Company, on the island of Bangka, the state of the tin mines there, and the prospect of their further development. He was ‘to inquire and give his opinion (on) the local situation of Banca and the advantages to be derived from the taking possession of it in general and with regard to the trade of Batavia, Java, &c.’ Other points of enquiry were: Government and inhabitants; means of augmenting the produce of the tin mines; provision of rice, cloth, timber, &c.; the most suitable place on the island for a new Establishment; the necessary force required; &c. On all these points information is given, and definite suggestions are made. There is no indication of date or authorship. 2, pp. 29˗64: Contract with the Sultan of Palembang dated 28 Novr 1791. Translation (W. M. 1807). A second copy of this document is headed Act of Renovation. Begins: ‘Of the former Contracts between the Netherlands East India Company and the Successive Kings of the Kingdom of Palembang ....’ The first part, that is the actual contract, is signed by A. H. C. Harring. The second part is signed by W. A. Alting (Governor-General) and the members of the Council of India. The main points of the contract relate to: all pepper produced to be sold to the Dutch Company, by exclusion of all other European and Native nations; the Sultan, &c. to encourage the culture of pepper; also all the tin of Banca or territory of the High Regency; the prevention of smuggling; the Sultan to interdict all white or European strangers; restriction of trade in rice, salt, &c.; all trade between Palembang and China forbidden; piracy; &c. 3, pp. 65˗68: Captain James Bowen to Thomas Raffles, Envoy to the Malay States at Malacca. Phoenix Straits of Banca, Jany. 23rd 1810 [The year is 1811]. ‘The Dutch Vessels ... left Palembang 13 Days ago. They did not succeed in obtaining their object for the Sultan would not supply them with tin unless they paid for it in hard cash.... I hope long ere this reaches you Mrs Raffles will be completely recovered.... The Sultan has got your Letter, at least it is on its way to him.’ [Holograph] 4, pp. 69˗72: Translation of a Letter from T. Raffles Esqr. Agent to the Govr Genl with the Malay States to the Sultan of Palembang. ‘... Since my arrival at Malacca I have heard with much concern of the approach of a Dutch force to the Mouth of the Palembang River.... I would therefore recommend to your Majesty to drive them out from your Country at once.... I have the pleasure to present to your Majesty˗˗1 piece of Gold flowered Muslin, 1 piece of Kincob & a Bengal shawl˗˗in token of my friendship & esteem.’ There is no date, but probably the letter is the one referred to by Captain Bowen, and was issued in December 1810 or January 1811. 5, pp. 73˗76: (Raffles) to the Sultan of Palembang. Malacca, (Jan.) 1811. ‘I wrote to your Majesty five days ago & now ... address you again by Tunku Radin Mahomet whom I have appointed my Agent .... With respect to the Dutch what does it signify that your Majesty should longer remain attached to them & permit them to reside in Palembang˗˗for they are a bad Nation and intend to follow a bad course towards your Majesty ....’ 6, pp. 77˗79: From the Sultan of Palembang. 10 January 1811. Acknowledges communications, but promises nothing. 7, pp. 81˗83: Translation of a Letter … from Paduka Seri Sultan Ratu Mohamed Badarudin, who is seated on the Throne of Palembang ... to his friend Thomas Raffles ...10th January 1811. “... With respect to the tenor of my friend’s letter, I have not yet fully answered it in consequence of my Brother Radin Mahomed who brought the letter not being furnished with Credential Letters.... I have the honor to forward as a token of friendship a cane with a Gold head, 10 pair of Tin Bathing Vessels, 2 pair of Elephants’ Teeth, and 2 Piculs of Wax ....’ 8, pp. 85˗87: Translation of a respectful Letter from Tunku Radin Sharif Mahomet to Thomas Raffles ....8th February 1811. ‘... I request my Friend to dispatch... the required written Power as Agent ....’ 9, pp. 89˗92: Letter from the Sultan of Palembang to Rudin Muhammed vakil to Mr Raffles. [n.d.] ‘... we wish to conduct the whole matter respecting them (the Hollanders) so far as in us lies to the satisfaction of the great man in Malacca.... We have sent an urgent message to Batavia in order that the General at Batavia may recall them (the Hollanders) with the utmost speed ....’ [Translation.] 10, pp. 93˗100: Agreement proposed by the Sultan of Palembang. (Two Copies. Page 99 should follow page 94.) 11, pp. 101˗114: (Raffles) to Toonko Radin Mahomed. 3d March 1811. With the following enclosures :˗˗ (a) Proposed Deed of Treaty. (b) Memoranda transmitted to Toonco Radin Mahomed. (c) Letter to the Sultan of Palembang. The draft Treaty proposes: the Sultan to dismiss the Dutch; to admit no Residency of any foreign power except the English; to transfer the contracts with the Dutch to the English, &c. 12, pp. 115˗118: From the Sultan of Palembang to Thos Raffles Esqr .... the 21 day of Rabiâ al Awwel ... 1226. Similar in purport to No. 9 above. 13, pp. 119˗120: The Sultan of Palembang to Radin Muhammed. 14, pp. 121˗122: The Sultan of Palembang to Thomas Raffles... 25th of Rabiâ al Awwel ... 1226. Informs ‘his friend the Sri Paduca Thomas Raffles Esqr that the last letter of our friend has reached us prosperously....’ 15, pp. 123˗126: The Sultan of Palembang to Thomas Raffles ... 29th of Rabbia al Akher ... 1226. ‘... his highly honoured and respected letter, with the accompanying presents brought by Capt Macdulow (Macdonald) has prosperously arrived.... With regard to the Hollanders in the kingdom of Palembang we request our friend to entertain no doubts or displeasure ....’ 16, p. 127: (A letter in Arabic, with seal. 1226.) Endorsed ‘Opened and read in presence of the Commission on board the Minto at Mintao, November 11th 1811.’ 17, pp. 129˗130: J. T. Von? Anddellney aan ... Lord Minto . . . Samarang den 30e September 1811. ‘DenZeedert eenigen tijd Zich hier bevonden habbende Zendelingvan den Zulthan van Palembang ... met overeenkomst vanden commissaris Robison, heede costijwaards vertrekende….’ 18, p. 131: Appointment of Commissioners to take possession of Palembang, 2d November 1811. This is an order by Thos. J. Raffles, Lieutenant-Governor of the Island cof Java and its Dependencies, appointing Captain Thomas Phillips, William Wardenaar, Esq., and Alexander Hare, Esq., to receive charge of the Residency at Palembang. [? Autograph]19, pp. 135˗180 : (T. S. Raffles) to Captain Richard Phillips, William Wardenaar and Alexander Hare, Esquires. Batavia, 2d November 1811. Two copies. This is a letter of instruction to the Palembang Commissioners. The main point is given in the words ‘it is the wish of Government to obtain by fair means possession of the Island of Banca. ... You will therefore protract your negociation… In such case you are authorized to make an offer of indemnification to the Sultan of 20,000 Spanish Dollars per Annum…’ These is no mention of the Dutch, except a bare reference to the present Dutch Resident, Mr. Grovenhoff van Woortman. Enclosures :˗˗ (a) Order of Government reserving to itself the trade of Tin at Palembang and Banca. 2nd November 1811. Java. (b) To Lieutenant Jackson appointing him Resident at Palembang. 2nd November 1811. (c) To Grovenholf van Woortman ... at Palembang. 2nd November 1811. He is ordered to deliver over charge to the British Agents. Also a copy in Dutch. Both signed ‘Thos. S. Raffles.’ (d) L. W. Meyer, de Hollandiche Secretaris Generalvan het British Gouvernement. L.W. Meyer aan dn Resident van Palembang Grovenhof van Woortman. Batavia, den 2en November 1811. [? Autograph.] 20, pp. 181˗183: Statement of the Presents made and received at Palimbang. Signed ‘R. Phillips, Batavia, 7th December 1811.’ 21, pp. 185˗196: Deposition of Toenko Serief Mahomed and Sayd Aboe Bakar Bin Aesien Room respecting the murder of the Dutch Inhabitants of Palembang. 12 Decr 1811, at Malacca. This states that the murder of the Dutch (24 Europeans and 63 native soldiers) was ordered by the Sultan, but no direct evidence is given. The murder, according to this deposition, took place towards the end of September. 22, pp. 197˗212: Translaet Malaijse Brier Gesz door Tongkoe Sarieff Mohamed te Malakka Aan Zijn Excellentie Thomas Raffles.... 6 January 1812. Also an English translation. The information given is here much the same as in the deposition (No. 21). 23, pp. 213˗252: (Raffles) to the Right Honorable Gilbert Lord Minto, Governor-General.... Batavia, the 7th March 1812. This gives a summary account of the events leading up to the murder (as recorded in more detail in the above papers), and states the reasons justifying the sending of an expedition to Palembang. 24, PP. 253˗264: Memorandum. Instructions to Colonel R. R. Gillespie commanding the forces for the expedition to Palembang and Banca. [n.d. [? March 1812]] No signature. ‘The possession of Banca is to be the sine qua non... In the event of the removal of the Sultan . . . the nearest relative . . . be immediately placed upon the throne ... the condition of friendship and alliance is to be the voluntary and unqualified cession of Banca and Billiton ....’ 25, pp. 265˗284: The Governor-General to the Honourable Thomas S. Raffles, Esq …. Fort William, 15th May 1812.’ ... executing rigid and signal justice on the Sultan of Palambang’s deep and detestable offence . . . the dethronement of the Sultan should be the first and main object of the War: and his treasure appears to be as justly at the disposal of the Conqueror at his Crown.... The two points, therefore, of your instructions to Coll Gillespie, which relate to these objects, are fully approved.’ [Copy.]26, pp. 286˗291: Table of the Quantity of Tin produced at present or to be expected from Banka. Signed by Thos. Horsefield; no date. 27, pp. 293˗304: Major (?) A. W. Court to Thomas Stamford Raffles. Minto, 10 June 1815. ‘... Rajah Akil has just arrived from Billiton ... the Disposition of the People of Billiton towards him appears very questionable.... Rajah Akil with 30 followers marched from Sejoo to attack the Depatty ... he succeeded, the Depatty fell ... the good Disposition of the People of Billiton to receive the authority of the Hon. Company’s Government.... We have been a little retarded for the want of a due Supply of Cash .... The Troops are still seven months in arrears ....’ 28, pp. 305˗328: This document is endorsed ‘Reports on the Island of Billiton dated 1 August 1812 and 27 Novr 1819’; but there is one report only (dated 27th November 1819) which quotes from an earlier report. Extracts from this report are printed in Lady Raffles’ Memoir, pp. 418˗419"--Provided by the British Library. (British Library shelfmark(s): Mss Eur E106)


Raffles Collection IV
Raffles, Thomas Stamford, Sir, 1781-1826--Correspondence
1819-1826 Founding and early years
1791 / 1819
British Library
William and Judith Bollinger
Digital Description
application/pdf, 279738 KB
All rights reserved. The British Library, 2018


http_x_forwarded_for: REMOTE_ADDR: