Raffles Collection VIII

“Some correspondence of Captain Francis Light regarding Kedah; some papers on Johor and Singapore; a note on the ‘Eastward’ and a report of a journey by T. Barnes are the principal contents of this volume. Pieces relative to the Malay Peninsula. 1, pp. 1˗53: Mr Light regarding Queda. 1786. These pages are really a separate volume bound in. Inside the cover is the bookplate of Sir T. Stamford Raffles. The firt 25 pages are occupied by copies of Letters to and from Francis Light˗˗the rest being blank. Francis Light (1740˗1794) became a trader at Junk Ceylon; took possession of Pulo Penang on 11th August 1786 and was Superintendent thereof till his death in 1794. [See A.F. Stewart’s A short sketch of the lives of Francis and William Light, the founder of Penang and Adelaide…. London, 1901] The present small collection of copies of letters pertaining to Light consists of˗˗(a) Five business letters of 1783 and 1784. These relate to chartering vessels, insuring them, the purchase of goods, &c. Light writes from Madras in August 1783, to William Duff at Madepottam. The last of these letters is from Alex Cutherbert to Cland Russell and says, ‘I have sold to Captain Francis Light and James Glass the value of Forty six thousand current Rupees of the cloth provide by you.’ (b) pp. 9˗19: The following documents, relating to Kedah, Salengore and Pulo Penang, belong to 1786 :˗˗(i) p. 9: From the King of Queda. Recd 6 Feby 1786. ‘Whereas Captain Light Deva Raja came here and informed us that our Friend requested Pooloo Pinang, we have instantly given to our Vakeel Captain Deva Raja to plant the Honble Companys Royal English Flag upon Pooloo Pinanga Place for Trade, and to repair your ships of War, and for Refreshments wood & water ... 20 day of the Moon Shaval in the year 1199 year Ha.’ (ii) p. 10: From the King of Salengore. Recd Feby 6, 86. ‘Let our Friend send Captain Light or Captain Forrest or Captn Scott or any other Captain to Salengore that we may consult & fix upon some means of Trading with the Buggesses, and also that we may enter in alliance with our Friend ... also we request an English Flag... done on the 22 day of the Moon Shabun 1199.’ (iii) pp. 11˗19: (? Francis Light) to the Honble Governor General & Council. [n.d. and no signature.] ‘Agreeable to the request of the G. Gen. at my departure in the month of December 84, I made all possible inquiries and procured every intelligence relating to the Countrys to the Eastward.... (The French) have obtained permission to make a settl-ment in Cochin China.... The Revd Divine visited Siam laid the Plan of a rebellion.... In Novr 84 the Priest & Officers died suddenly at Natoy 16 miles from Junksalang. On my arrival there in Jany 85 the Letters & Musters were delivered to me ... the French last July sent an Ambassador to Ava . . . the king of Ava has assembled a large Army to attack Siam.... At the conclusion of the last war in 83 the Dutch sent all their Force to attack the King of Rhio.... The Dutch ... Wrote to the kings of Tringano and Queda for assistance. The former joined them, the latter declined.... There is no Part left for You to choose but the small Kingdoms of Junksalang, Acheen & Queda.... The King of Queda who now solicits Your Friendship and alliance and has sent by me a Grant of the Island Pinang ....’ (c) pp. 23˗25: Four more copies letters to or from Francis Light, of March 1786. (i) Secretary Gen. Dep. to Capt. Francis Light. Council Chamber, 13 March 1786. ‘The Hoñble the Governor-General and Council having accepted of Capt John Ritchie’s resignation of the Command of the Hoñble Company’s Snow Eliza and appointed you thereto....’ (ii) John Ritchie to Capt Francis Light. Calcutta, 14 Mch 1786. List of the Eliza’s stores. (iii) (? Francis Light) to Capt Wm Lindesay. Calcutta, 18 Mch 1786. ‘... make the best of your way to Junksalang and deliver to Capt Scott the accompanying letter, his goods and the two Siamese.... When your business at Junksalang is finished proceed to Queda.... If any accident happen to me you will follow the orders of Capt Glass joint owner ....’ (iv) F. L(ight) to his Excellency Lieut.-General Sloper. Calcutta, 21 March ’86. ‘Understanding that the Honble Companys Seapoys are unwilling to go on board Ship ... I beg leave to offer the following expedient. From the discharged Golandersa Company of Volunteers may he picked... Mr Gray an Officer in his Majesty’s Navy has expressed an inclination for this service.’ 2, pp. 57˗86: The Governor-General and Council to ...Baron Van der Capellen.... Fort William, 26th June 1819. ‘We have had the honor of receiving your Excellency’s Dispatch of the 25th February, relating to the occupation of a Post at Singapore by a British Detachment acting under the Orders of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.... After the designs of the Netherlandish Authorities had become unambiguously manifest, we were desirous of forming precautionary engagements with the independent Governments of Rhio, Lingin and Johor ... we had issued instructions to Sir T. S. Raffles directing him, if our Orders should arrive in time, to desist from every attempt to form a British Establishment in the Eastern Archipelago.... The proceedings of the Netherlandish Authorities have created a strong impression on our minds that their proceedings have been actuated by a spirit of ambition, by views of boundless aggrandizement, and especially by a desire to obtain the power of monopolizing the Commerce of the Eastern Archipelago, and of excluding us.... The expediency of mutual forbearance until we receive the Orders which our respective Governments in Europe may be expected to transmit ....’ [Copy.] 3, pp. 89˗105: Wm Farquhar to ... Sir T. S. Raffles .... Singapore, 7th November 1822. ‘I ... transmit a Malay Letter and Translation ... accompanied with the Deposition of Rajah Hadjie relative to a forcible seizure of the Regalia of Johore by the Dutch Authorities at Rhio about the 13th Ultimo....’ (a) Translation of a Malay letter recounting the seizure of the Regalia by Mr Adrian Kock and others. (b) Deposition of Raja Haji, giving similar information. 4, pp. 109˗116: (Baron) van der Capellan to ... Governor General, &c., Calcutta. Batavia, 6 May 1823. He refers to the letter of 26th June 1819 (No. 2 above). ‘It was reserved for Sir Stamford Raffles, the author of so many difficulties again to disturb the tranquillity.... A British Flag was hoisted at Djohor ... some portions of land have been sold by Auction (at Singapore) ....’ [Translation.] 5, pp. 117˗184: Observations on Article 7 in the 45th number of the Edinburgh Review, professing to be a Review of the Grammar and Dictionary of the Malayan language by William Marsden, F.R s.; and entitled ‘History and Languages of the Indian Islands.’ This article is signed ‘Jambulus’ and dated ‘Java, 1st January 18l5.’ There is another copy in 242, 7. The author writes, ‘I read with avidity, but to my astonishment I found as I proceeded error upon error, conclusions without any facts to support them, and general views laid down without Rhyme or reason…. If the limits of this essay would admit, we should not hesitate to go through the different specimens of Eastern Languages exhibited by the Reviewers, and to prove how very superficial their acquaintance with any of the Languages noticed, must be ....’ See Blagden’s Mack. MSS. Pr. 85, l.6, pp. 189˗284: Considerations on the commerce and policy in the Indian Archipelago. n.d W.M. 1817. (This title is in pencil.) Begins, ‘The necessity of adopting a more uniform and consistent plan for the security and superintendence of our Interests to the Eastward is generally admitted; and as recent events at Penang & Bencoolen have called for the immediate interposition of Superior Authorities, the following suggestions on the subject are respectfully submitted for consideration.’ Ends, ‘Thus her capital would be employed to open new channels of trade, to encourage industry, and by diffusing wealth and exciting enterprize, tend to promote the best interests of mankind, and would resemble those sea-born clouds, which descending in showers on her Indian Mountains, return in a thousand fertilising streams to the source from whence they rose.’ The topics dealt with are: Failure of former establishments; Penang, Ava, Siam, Cambodia, Cochin China, Sumatra, Acheen, Bencoolen, Borneo: Celebes, Java, the Moluccas, Phillippines, Chinese; Nature and objects of our intercourse; Review of trade; Objects and policy; Principles of reform; Plan proposed (as at Singapore); &c. Printed as an Appendix to Lady Raffles’ Memoir. 7, pp. 285˗299: English, Matawai, Nias and Bugguese vocabulary. About 350 words are given. 8, pp. 301˗387: Report of a Journey to the interior of the Island of Sumatra by Thos Barnes. Begins, ‘Received instructions at Fort Marlbro’ dated 26th August 1818 ... to cross the Island of Sumatra from MocoMoco to Indragiri & Jambi Rivers. 29th August, A.M. embarked at Mulbro, and on the 3d September arrived at Moco Moco.... the 6th Mr Brockhuyzen, Assistant, who had been directed to proceed with me, arrived ....’ Owing to opposition, desertions from the escort, trouble with the coolies and sickness they had to return from Pengkalan Jambi and arrived back at Moko Moko on 16th December 1818. The report gives topographical details, and some information about the people; but is chiefly occupied with the difficulties encountered. There are two coloured sketches and a rough map of the part traversed. The first part of the report is said to be printed in Malayan Miscellanies, Vol. II. [‘Account of a Journey from Moco-moco to Pengkalan Jambi, through Korinchi, in 1818.’ Malayan Miscellanies, II, vi. The printed account goes up to 19th October only, i.e. to the arrival at Pengkalan Jambi.] The second part consists of a ‘Journal from Pengkalan Jambee towards Korinchi & Moco Moco,’ which is a brief itinerary with a few remarks"--Provided by the British Library. (British Library shelfmark(s): Mss Eur D199)

 

Title
Raffles Collection VIII
Subject
Raffles, Thomas Stamford, Sir, 1781-1826--Correspondence
Singapore--History--1819-1867
1819-1826 Founding and early years
Publisher
1783 / 1823
Contributor
British Library
William and Judith Bollinger
Digital Description
application/pdf, 276173 KB
All rights reserved. The British Library, 2018

 

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