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William Farquhar Correspondence and Other Malay Letters (1812-1832) at the Library of Congress

List of Items in Collection

Rare Materials Notice: all of the materials covered in this guide are part of the Southeast Asian rare book collections and are only accessible in the Asian Reading Room by advance appointment. To schedule an appointment, please contact our reference staff via the Ask-a-Librarian service.

Please note that the Asian Division's William Farquhar correspondence and other Malay Letters collection is freely accessible online. For fuller bibliographic information about the collection, view the collection record in the Library of Congress Online Catalog, as well as the finding aid for the collection..

This collection consists of forty-six letters stored in sixteen boxes in the Southeast Asian Rare Book Collection at the Asian Division. Each letter carries an item number. The item list below is organized by box to reflect the physical storage of the collection.

A brief description of each item is provided. Descriptions of items are mainly adaptations and translations of Asma Ahmat’s work on the letters (JAWI 12) found in Katalog Manuskrip Melayu di Library of Congress USA (1993). In a few instances, dates of letters given in the Katalog Manuskrip Melayu have been amended or added when missing by the compiler of this research aid to reflect his reading of the letters. Many thanks to the National Library of Malaysia for use of the Katalog Manuskrip Melayu for the current research aid.

All the letters are originals, and two are copies. Eight have been fully transliterated and translated, and one has been transliterated into Romanized Malay without an English-language translation. The sources for these transliterations and translations are indicated in the notes section of the relevant items.

The items are chronologically arranged in the main, with years ranging from 1812-1832. The lower the item number, the earlier the letter was written. The exceptions to this rule are Items 8, 9, and 33. It is unclear why this is so, but perhaps this reflects the order of the letters when they were bound together. In addition to these anomalies, there are a couple of unconventional numberings: Items 7b and 42 ½. The reasons behind these labels are not obvious, but perhaps they reflect the unusual nature of these letters. Item 7b is a copy of Item 3 in the collection--a scribal copy. This is peculiar in that it is the only duplicate in the collection. As for 42 ½, the “1/2” might refer to the mention of an accompanying epistle in the letter. However, this epistle is not found in the collection. The present arrangement and numbering of the letters reflect the way the items have been labeled at the Library since at least the 1990s. To assure continuity over time in how researchers refer to items, arrangement and numbering have been preserved.

Chronology of Items

1812 Item: 33
1818 Items: 1, 8, 9
1819 Items: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7?, 7b, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15
1820 Items: 13?, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
1821 Items: 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35
1822 Items: 36, 37, 38, 39, 40
1823 Items: 42, 42 ½, 43
1832 Item: 44
Unknown Item: 41

Collection Summary

This is a list of the titles of all 46 items in the collection. For more detailed information of items, please see the corresponding tabbed sections. For example, for a summary of the contents of Items 1-9, go to the tab labeled "Items 1-9."

Box 1, Item 1 Letter from Sultan Ahmad ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 19 Muharram 1234 (18 November 1818)
Box 1, Item 2 Letter from the Yang DiPertuan Muda of Pulau Penyengat to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 5 Rabiulthani 1234 (1 February 1819)
Box 1, Item 3 Letter from Paduka Dipati of Palembang to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 7 Jamadilakhir 1234 (3 April 1819)
Box 2, Item 4 Letter from Tengku Pengeran from Siak to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 11 Rejab 1234 (6 May 1819)
Box 2, Item 5 Letter from Sultan Ahmad ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 29 Rejab 1234 (24 May 1819)
Box 2, Item 6 Letter from Sultan Abdul Rahman ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin, the Yang DiPertuan Muda as Acting Sultan of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 1 Zulhijjah 1234 (21 September 1819)
Box 3, Item 7 Letter from the Acting Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 1234? (1819?)
Box 3, Item 7b Copy of a letter from Paduka Dipati of Palembang to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 7 Jamadilakhir 1234 (3 April 1819)
Box 3, Item 8 Letter from the Syahbandar of Riau to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 25 Zulkaedah 1233 (26 September 1818)

 

Box 4, Item 9 Copy of a letter from the Yang Dipertuan Muda of Riau to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 24 Zulkaedah 1233 (25 September 1818)
Box 4, Item 10 Letter from the Raja Bendahara of Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 20 Syaaban 1234 (14 June 1819)
Box 4, Item 11 Letter from the Acting Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, written at Kampung Senggarang, Riau, 10 Ramadan 1234 (3 July 1819)
Box 5, Item 12 Letter from the Raja Bendahara of Johor and Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 1 Zulkaedah 1234 (22 August 1819)
Box 5, Item 13 Letter from Tengku Besar from Kampar Pulau Daun to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, Syaban? 1235 (May 1820?)
Box 5, Item 14 Letter from Dato' Seri Pikrama, Raja of Siak Indrapura, to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 18 Muharram 1235 (6 November 1819)
Box 6, Item 15 Letter from Sultan Abdul Rahman ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin, the Yang DiPertuan Muda as Acting Sultan of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 27 Muharram 1235 (15 November 1819) 
Box 6, Item 16 Letter from Tuan Sayid Abdul Hamid, Nak Cu Pa of Daripadi, Kambuja, to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, written at Kuala Pantai Mas, 4 Jamalilakhir 1235 (19 March 1820)
Box 6, Item 17 Letter from the Datuk Penghulu of Naning to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 7 Rabiulakhir 1235 (23 January 1820)
Box 7, Item 18 Letter from the Bendahara of Johor and Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Ramadan 1235 (22 June 1820)
Box 7, Item 19 Letter from Engku Syed al-Sharif Muhammad Zain ibn almarhum al-Habib al-Syed Abdul Rahman al-Qudsi from Lingga to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 17 Ramadan 1235 (29 June 1820)
Box 7, Item 20 Letter from Sultan Abdul Rahman ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin, the Yang DiPertuan Muda of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 12 Muharram 1236 (16 October 1820)
Box 8, Item 21 Letter from Sultan al-Syed al-Sharif Khaliluddin ibn al-Habib Sultan Jalil Saifuddin from Siak Sri Indrapura to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 4 Mawlid 1236 (10 December 1820)
Box 8, Item 22 Letter from the Syahbandar of Riau to Colonal Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 3 Safar 1236 (10 November 1820)
Box 8, Item 23 Letter from Engku Syed Muhammad Zain ibn almarhum al-Habib Abdul Rahman al-Qudsi of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 9 Jamadilawal 1236 (12 February 1821)
Box 9, Item 24 Letter of the Tengku Pengeran of Siak to Colonel William Farquhar, 19 Jamadilakhir 1236 (23 March 1821)
Box 9, Item 25 Letter from Sultan Syed al-Sharif Abdul Jalil almarhum Saifuddin, the Yang DiPertuan Besar of Siak Indrapura, to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 20 Jamadilakhir 1236 (24 March 1821)
Box 9, Item 26 Letter from Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam ibn Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin al-marhum of Brunei to Colonel William Farquhar, 26 Rejab 1236 (29 April 1821)
Box 10, Item 27 Letter from the Dato' Bendahara of Pahang and Johor to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 24 Ramadan 1236 (24 June 1821)
Box 10, Item 28 Letter from the Dato' Syahbandar of Lingga to Baba Hock Kee of Singapore, 24 Syawal 1236 (24 July 1821)
Box 10, Item 29 Letter from the Pengeran Dipati of Palembang to the Tuan Besar of Singapore, 13 Zulkaedah 1236 (11 August, 1821)
Box 11, Item 30 Letter from the Dato' Bendahara of Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Zulhijjah 1236 (7 September 1821)
Box 11, Item 31 Letter from the Pengeran of Siak Indrapura to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 5 Muharram 1237 (2 October 1821)
Box 11, Item 32 Letter from the Pengeran of Siak Indrapura to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Safar 1237 (6 November 1821)
Box 12, Item 33 Letter from Tengku Long of Riau to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, written at Pulau Penyengat, 17 Safar 1227 (2 March 1812)
Box 12, Item 34 Letter from the Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Rabiulawal (5 December 1821)
Box 12, Item 35 Letter from Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, to the Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau, 25 Rabiulawal 1237 (20 December 1821)
Box 13, Item 36 Letter from the Yang DiPertuan of Kelantan and Tengku Syed Abdul Rahman bin al-Habib Hussein Aidid to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 3 Syaaban 1237 (25 April 1822).
Box 13, Item 37 Letter from Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam ibn Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin al-marhum of Brunei to Colonel William Farquhar, 6 Syaaban 1237 (28 April 1822)
Box 13, Item 38 Letter from Pengiran Muda Muhammad Alam ibn Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam, Sultan of Brunei, to Tambi Muhammad ibn Arshad of Melaka, 27 Syaaban 1237 (19 May 1822)
Box 14, Item 39 Letter from Sultan Ahmad ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 5 Syaaban 1237 (27 April 1822)
Box 14, Item 40 Letter from Sultanah Siti Fatimah binti Jamaluddin Abdul Rahman of Pammana to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 13 Zulkaedah 1237 (1 August 1822)
Box 14, Item 41 Letter from Sultan Hussein Shah ibn Sultan Mahmud Shah to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, [date unknown]
Box 15, Item 42 Letter from the Bendahara of Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Syaaban 1238 (22 April 1823)
Box 15, Item 42 ½ Letter from the Pengiran of Siak to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 23 Rabiulakhir 1238 (7 January 1823)
Box 16, Item 43 Letter from the Yang Di Pertuan Muda of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, written at Penyengat, 8 Syawal 1238 (18 June 1823)
Box 16, Item 44 Letter from the Dato' Bendahara of Pahang to Syed Sharif Umar Jumad of Singapore, 6 Syawal 1247 (9 March 1832)

Collection Items 1-9

Box 1, Item 1

Letter from Sultan Ahmad ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 19 Muharram 1234 (18 November 1818)

32.5 x 31.5 cm. 19 lines. Seal located in right margin where letter begins. The first and second lines are in bold Thuluth script and beautifully written in black ink. The letter bears a notation in English: “Letter from raja of Trangganu to Mr. Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 1818.”

The Sultan replies to Farquhar’s suggestion concerning the peace treaty between Britain and Terengganu that the Governor of Pulau Pinang, Alexander Bannerman, has initiated. The Sultan has not yet decided on the matter and would like to discuss it face to face once Farquhar visits Terengganu. The Sultan also requests Farquhar’s assistance in procuring 100 guns, and cloth. If Farquhar agrees, payment will be made with tin or black pepper. 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter B.

Box 1, Item 2

Letter from the Yang DiPertuan Muda of Pulau Penyengat to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 5 Rabiulthani 1234 (1 February 1819)

36.9 x 32.2 cm. 11 lines. Black seal in the right margin. English notation on the top of the letter: “From the Raja of Penang to Mr. Farquhar, Singapore 1818.”*

The Yang DiPertuan Muda states that Farquhar’s scribe, Yahya, has copied the agreement signed on 26 November 1818 between the Dutch and the Yang DiPertuan Muda, in order that it might be brought to Farquhar’s attention to explain the reasons why the Yang DiPertuan Muda cannot surrender any islands to other foreign powers.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter C. Perhaps “Penang” is a reference to Tanjung Pinang rather than Pulau Pinang in Malaysia.

Box 1, Item 3

Letter from Paduka Dipati of Palembang to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 7 Jamadilakhir 1234 (3 April 1819)

32.7 x 21.2 cm. 25 lines. Black seal in the right margin. Small hand-writing. Written in the Malay language in a somewhat clumsy style. English notation at the top of the letter: “From the Raja of Palembang, Sumatera to Farquhar, 1818.” 

Paduka Dipati requests help from Farquhar, asking for protection from the Dutch for his kin. His Majesty also informs Farquhar that the people of Palembang are not supportive of the Dutch, and instead will welcome the presence of the British.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter D.

Box 2, Item 4

Letter from Tengku Pengeran from Siak to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 11 Rejab 1234 (6 May 1819)

40.5 x 27.7 cm. 14 lines. Red wax seal in the right corner. English notation at the top of the letter: “From a subordinate raja in Siak on Sumatra to Farquhar 1818. The subordinate rajas use wax.”

Tengku Pengeran from Siak confirms receipt of Farquhar’s letter informing him that the British have established their settlement in Singapore. In his reply, Tengku Pengeran hopes for continued communication and friendship between the two parties.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter E.

Box 2, Item 5 

Letter from Sultan Ahmad ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 29 Rejab 1234 (24 May 1819)

40 x 31.5 cm. 16 lines. Black seal in the right margin. Beautiful handwriting. English notation at the top of the letter: “From Trangganu, 1818.”

The Sultan confirms receipt of Farquhar’s letter concerning the establishment of a British settlement in Singapore with the agreement of Sultan Hussein Muhammad Shah and Temenggung Abdul Rahman. Sultan Ahmad hopes for continued friendship between Singapore and Terengganu. His Majesty repeats his request for a sale of guns to him. In return, the Sultan will encourage merchants from Terengganu to trade in Singapore.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter F.

Box 2, Item 6 

Letter from Sultan Abdul Rahman ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin, the Yang DiPertuan Muda as Acting Sultan of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 1 Zulhijjah 1234 (21 September 1819)

41.5 x 24 cm. 15 lines. Black seal in the right margin. The first line is in a bold Thuluth style. English notation at the top of the letter: “From Trangganu, 1818.”

The Sultan thanks Farquhar for a gift of 12 riffles and weapons. In return, the Sultan has gifted Farquhar with a boat—“perahu pengail”—and a pair of “kain jangsarat,” a highly priced woven fabric, often used for big occasions such as weddings, and coronations.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter G.

Box 3, Item 7

Letter from the Acting Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 1234? (1819?)

23.4 x 8.7 cm. 14 lines. Black seal in the right margin. English notation at the top of letter: “From Riau, 1818.”

The acting Yang DiPertuan Muda explains that he does not know about the Europeans (Dutch) at Tanjung Pinang, and why Ence’ Saaban and Wan Dollah (from Singapore?) were taken by them. The Yang DiPertuan himself has held talks with his younger sister, Engku Puteri, to make a decision on leaving Riau together with all the Bugis people because they are afraid of being taken hostage by those Europeans.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter H.

Box 3, Item 7b 

Copy of a letter from Paduka Dipati of Palembang to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 7 Jamadilakhir 1234 (3 April 1819)

32.4 cm x 20.4 cm. 24 lines. Copy of Item 3, "Letter from Paduka Dipati of Palembang to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 7 Jamadilakhir 1234 (3 April 1819)." English notation at the foot of the letter: “Letter from the Sultan of Palembang to Col. Farquhar, 1818.” 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter I.

Box 3, Item 8 

Letter from the Syahbandar of Riau to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 25 Zulkaedah 1233 (26 September 1818)

30.8 x 22.8 cm. 12 lines. Black seal in right margin. Notation in English at the top of the letter: “Letter of the raja of Riau or Rhio to the Resident of Singapore, 1817.” Additional notation in English from the backing page of this item: “These epistles are difficult to be obtained.”

The Syahbandar informs Farquhar that his scribe and messenger, Yahya [bin Abdul Wahid] has arrived in Riau but finding that the Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau was at Lingga, Yahya proceeded there instead. The Syahbandar thanks Farquhar for a gift of European cloth.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter A1.

Box 4, Item 9

Copy of a letter from the Yang Dipertuan Muda of Riau to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, 24 Zulkaedah 1233 (25 September 1818)

33 x 21 cm. 14 lines. Notation in Jawi states that this letter is a copy.

The Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau confirms having received Farquhar’s letter from the scribe, Yahya. The Yang DiPertuan Muda would like to meet face-to-face with Farquhar to discuss the request of Pulau Karimon. His Majesty presents gifts of plants—“kemuning” and “semambu”—to Farquhar. 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter A2.

Collections Items 10-19

Box 4, Item 10

Letter from the Raja Bendahara of Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 20 Syaaban 1234 (14 June 1819)

37 x 22 cm. 17 lines. Black seal in right margin. English notation at the top of the letter: “From the raja of Pahang, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, to Farquhar, 1818.”

The Raja Bendahara acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter. On Farquhar’s request to expand British influence to Pahang as a measure against being taken by the Dutch, the Raja Bendahara assures Farquhar that such a situation will not arise. The Raja Bendahara also cannot affix his seal as a sign of agreement to Farquhar’s mentioned plan for peace because His Majesty has not had time to consult with the Yang DiPertuan Besar of Lingga and the Yang DiPertuan of Singapore.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter J.

Box 4, Item 11 

Letter from the Acting Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, written at Kampung Senggarang, Riau, 10 Ramadan 1234 (3 July 1819)

43.2 x 31.5 cm. 17 lines. Black seal in right margin. First and last line are written in large Thuluth calligraphy. English notation at the top of the letter: “From Riau, 1818, to Farquhar.”

In response to Farquhar’s suggestion that the Acting Yang DiPertuan Muda stay in Singapore under British rule, the Acting Yang DiPertuan Muda explains that such a plan would most likely not meet with the agreement of the Yang DiPertuan (Sultan Hussein) and the Dato’ Temenggung.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter K.

Box 5, Item 12

Letter from the Raja Bendahara of Johor and Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 1 Zulkaedah 1234 (22 August 1819)

37 x 22.2 cm. 21 lines. Black seal in right margin. English notation at the top of the letter: “From the raja of Johor, on the southern extremity of the peninsula of Malacca, 1818.”

The Raja Bendahara informs Farquhar that he is sending 4 ships full of rice for trade in Singapore because of the high prices of rice. 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter L.

Box 5, Item 13 

Letter from Tengku Besar from Kampar Pulau Daun to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, Syaban? 1235 (May 1820?)

30.3 x 22.5 cm. 38 lines. Black seal in right margin. 

Tengku Besar makes it known that this is the first time that he has communicated with Farquhar. Tengku Besar states that he has been asked by the Yang DiPertuan Tua of Siak to write to Farquhar because Farquhar has struck up a friendship with the Yang DiPertuan Tua of Bukit Batu. Furthermore, the Raja Temenggung and the Yang DiPertuan of Singapore are his kin. Tengku Besar states that there are many pirates carrying on activities at sea between Riau, Singapore, and Kampar. Letters have been sent to the Yang DiPertuan Selat (i.e. Singapore), and the Temenggung, but no replies have been forthcoming. As such, Tengku Besar is writing Farquhar to ask that he take action towards the mentioned pirates because they are blocking the people of Siak and Kampar from trading in Singapore.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter M.

Box 5, Item 14 

Letter from Dato' Seri Pikrama, Raja of Siak Indrapura, to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 18 Muharram 1235 (6 November 1819)

40.5 x 29 cm. 10 lines. Black seal in right margin.

Dato’ Seri Pikrama informs Farquhar about his son who is en route to Singapore to trade. He asks that Farquhar help look for his son.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter N.

Box 6, Item 15

Letter from Sultan Abdul Rahman ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin, the Yang DiPertuan Muda as Acting Sultan of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 27 Muharram 1235 (15 November 1819) 

41.3 x 29 cm. Black seal in right margin, with a protective cap. Beautiful handwriting. The last line is written in Thuluth calligraphy. Notation in English at the top of the letter: “From Trangganu, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. 1819. (In Trangganu beautiful copies of the Koran are written for sale in other countries.)”

The Yang DiPertuan Muda acknowledges receipt of gifts, including a dozen guns and weapons. The Yang DiPertuan Muda repeats his readiness to meet Farquhar to forge a friendship between the two countries. He asks Farquhar to aid in finding 4 merchants who will arrive in Singapore to trade.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter O.

Box 6, Item 16 

Letter from Tuan Sayid Abdul Hamid, Nak Cu Pa of Daripadi, Kambuja, to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, written at Kuala Pantai Mas, 4 Jamalilakhir 1235 (19 March 1820)

38 x 24.5 cm. 18 lines. Red seal in right margin. English notation at the top of the letter: “From the raja of Cochin China and Camboja, to Mr. Farquhar, 1819. (The raja of Siam, CochinChina, etc. write their epistles in Malay that they may be understood at Singapore.”

Tuan Syed Abdul Hamid, a leader in Kemboja, acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter. He is happy that the English have a good relationship with Sultan Hussein Muhammad Shah and Temenggung Abdul Rahman. He is also delighted to have friendly relations with the English. However, he cannot go to Singapore at this time because he has been directed by the Raja of Cochin and Kemboja to dig a canal to link Pantai Mas (Banteay Mas in Khmer or Ha Tien in Vietnamese) to the River Matajardak.

Notes: Annabel Teh Gallop has transliterated and translated this letter in Legacy of the Malay Letter=Warisan Warkah Melayu (London: Published by the British Library for the National Archives of Malaysia, 1994). See letter 201 in this work.
Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter P.

Box 6, Item 17 

Letter from the Datuk Penghulu of Naning to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 7 Rabiulakhir 1235 (23 January 1820)

32.5 x 20 cm. 12 lines. Black seal in the pattern of the East India Company, reading "VEIC." English notation at the top of the letter: “From the petty chief of Naning, back of Malacca.” 

The Dato’ Penghulu sends a gift to Farquhar and hopes for continued friendship. He asks for a loan of 50 ringgit and a small number of weapons.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter Q. Annabel Teh Gallop has transliterated and translated this letter in her work Legacy of the Malay Letter=Warisan Warkah Melayu (London: Published by the British Library for the National Archives of Malaysia, 1994). See letter 203 in this work.

Box 7, Item 18

Letter from the Bendahara of Johor and Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Ramadan 1235 (22 June 1820)

31.2 x 20.8 cm. 20 lines; the last 3 lines are written in the right margin. Black seal in the right margin. English notation at the top of the letter: “From Johor.”

The Bendahara tells Farquhar that his retainer, Nakhoda Sulaiman, will be in Singapore to buy spices, ointments, cloth, and glass.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter R.

Box 7, Item 19 

Letter from Engku Syed al-Sharif Muhammad Zain ibn almarhum al-Habib al-Syed Abdul Rahman al-Qudsi from Lingga to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 17 Ramadan 1235 (29 June 1820)

38.2 x 20 cm. 25 lines. Black seal in right margin with protective cap. English notation at the top of the letter: “From Lingga, an island south of Singapore. 1819.”

Sharif Muhammad Zain asks for assistance from Farquhar to recover a debt of $99.00 owed to him by Wan Nit (k?) from Terengganu, who has absconded to Singapore. Sharif Muhammad Zain asks that Wan Nit be sent to Lingga or that the man’s family pay the debt. 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter S.

Collection Items 20-29

Box 7, Item 20 

Letter from Sultan Abdul Rahman ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin, the Yang DiPertuan Muda of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 12 Muharram 1236 (16 October 1820)

40 x 23.2 cm. 12 lines. Black seal in the right margin. English notation at the top of the letter: “From Trangganu 1820.” 

The Sultan asks Farquhar for help to place his people, who are on their way to Mecca, on a ship heading to Pulau Pinang. 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter T.

Box 8, Item 21

Letter from Sultan al-Syed al-Sharif Khaliluddin ibn al-Habib Sultan Jalil Saifuddin from Siak Sri Indrapura to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 4 Mawlid 1236 (10 December 1820)

40.5 x 25.6 cm. 16 lines. Black seal in right margin. English notation at the top of the letter: “From the Sultan of Siak, Sumatra, 1820.”

The Sultan informs Farquhar that his traders are bringing eggs to sell in Singapore.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter U.

Box 8, Item 22 

Letter from the Syahbandar of Riau to Colonal Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 3 Safar 1236 (10 November 1820)

41.3 x 3.17 cm. 20 lines. Black seal in right margin. 

The Syahbandar thanks Farquhar for his help with securing a loan from a Chinese in Singapore. He also asks for a loan, and in 6 months will send tin, rattan, or black pepper to Singapore.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter V.

Box 8, Item 23 

Letter from Engku Syed Muhammad Zain ibn almarhum al-Habib Abdul Rahman al-Qudsi of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 9 Jamadilawal 1236 (12 February 1821)

36.7 x 30 cm. 18 lines. Black seal with protective cap in right margin.

Engku Syed Muhammad tells of how a person by the name of Syed Muhammad bin Samid owes Tengku Puteri a sum of 400 rial. It is now time to pay the debt, but Syed Muhammad bin Samid has neither cash nor a guarantor. Engku Syed Muhammad is on his way to ask for Farquhar’s assistance. He will give as surety a ship, and 5 cannon, and get Habib Sheikh bin Alwi al Saqaf to be his guarantor. 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter W.

Box 9, Item 24

Letter of the Tengku Pengeran of Siak to Colonel William Farquhar, 19 Jamadilakhir 1236 (23 March 1821)

32.5 x 22.3 cm. 17 lines, with 10 lines written in the right margin. Red wax seal in the right margin.

Tengku Pengeran tells Farquhar that the old Sultan has passed away, and as such he is asking for protection for his family. He swears to continue the friendship, and asks for eye glasses, and a keris (blade) made in Europe. 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter X.

Box 9, Item 25 

Letter from Sultan Syed al-Sharif Abdul Jalil almarhum Saifuddin, the Yang DiPertuan Besar of Siak Indrapura, to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 20 Jamadilakhir 1236 (24 March 1821)

37 x 30 cm. 14 lines. Black seal in right margin. English notation at top of the letter: “Siak.”

The Sultan states that the Yang DiPertuan Tua has died. The Sultan sends a messenger to request permission for an audience with the Governor of Singapore. His Majesty repeats that Siak will continue its friendship with Singapore.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter Y.

Box 9, Item 26 

Letter from Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam ibn Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin al-marhum of Brunei to Colonel William Farquhar, 26 Rejab 1236 (29 April 1821)

40 x 28.5 cm. 21 lines. Black seal in right margin, with protective cap. English at the top of the letter: “From Borneo, 1820.”

The Sultan acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter. The Sultan is happy to observe the continued friendship between Sultan Hussein Muhammad Shah and Temenggung Abdul Rahman with the English, as also reported by Farquhar in a previous letter. His Majesty also states that he is sending a small ship to trade in Singapore. 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter Z. Annabel Teh Gallop has transliterated and translated this letter. See letter 4 in her chapter, “Malay Sources for the History of the Sultanate of Brunei in the Early Nineteenth century: Some Letters from the Reign of Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam,” in Victor T. King and A.V.M. Horton (eds.), From Buckfast to Borneo: Essay presented to Father Robert Nicholl on the 85th Anniversary of his Birth, 27 March 1995 (Hull: University of Hull, 1995), pp. 207-35. 

Box 10, Item 27

Letter from the Dato' Bendahara of Pahang and Johor to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 24 Ramadan 1236 (24 June 1821)

37 x 22 cm. 16 lines. Black seal in right margin. 

The Dato’ Bendahara asks for a loan of 10,000 [rial?] for a period of 12 months. This loan will be repaid from the future sale of gold, tin, rattan, and charcoal.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2A.

Box 10, Item 28 

Letter from the Dato' Syahbandar of Lingga to Baba Hock Kee of Singapore, 24 Syawal 1236 (24 July 1821)

31.5 x 26.8 cm. 20 lines. Black seal in right margin. 

The Syahbandar informs Hock Kee, a Chinese Baba*, that the loan he made to Maat has been brought to the attention of the Yang DiPertuan. As such, part of the debt has been addressed and given to Baba Koon Seng who will take it back to Singapore.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2B.

*“Baba” is a term applied to Chinese men who come from acculturated Chinese communities who still identify as Chinese from around the Straits of Malacca, and elsewhere in the Malay-speaking world.

Box 10, Item 29 

Letter from the Pengeran Dipati of Palembang to the Tuan Besar of Singapore, 13 Zulkaedah 1236 (11 August, 1821)

30.5 x 24.5 cm. 18 lines. Black seal in right margin.

The Pengeran Dipati of Palembang sends greetings to the new king of Singapore whose name is not known to him. He asks to begin an unending friendship.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2C.

Collection Items 30-44

Box 11, Item 30

Letter from the Dato' Bendahara of Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Zulhijjah 1236 (7 September 1821)

37 x 22 cm. 21 lines. Black seal in right margin.

The Dato’ Bendahara of Pahang acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter. He has been informed about the visit of the Yang DiPertuan Besar of Lingga and the Raja Muda. In relation to Farquhar’s advice to not side with the Raja Muda who is trying to obtain the royal regalia from Tengku Puteri, the Dato’ Bendahara states that he and the Temenggung have tried to gain said regalia for the Raja Muda but have not succeeded. As such, the Dato’ Bendahara is of the opinion that it would make more sense to return rule to the younger brother of the Raja Muda.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2D.

Box 11, Item 31 

Letter from the Pengeran of Siak Indrapura to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 5 Muharram 1237 (2 October 1821)

32 x 23 cm. 20 lines. Red wax seal in right margin. 

The Pengeran acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter, and his gift of eye glasses, a keris, and cloth. In relation to Farquhar’s recommendation to him and Sri Pikrama Raja to counsel the Yang DiPertuan Besar of Siak, the Pengeran states that the Yang DiPertuan Besar is more likely to accept advice from Farquhar. The Pengeran also informs Farquhar about a coming attack by Raja Akil. Instead of falling to Raja Akil, Siak would prefer to get protection from Britain. In the case that Britain is not willing to offer such aid, Siak will ask the Dutch for assistance.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2E. Badriyah Haji Salleh has transliterated a letter that matches this item. See Surat 111, “Daripada Tengku Pangeran Siak kepada Kolonel William Farquhar,” in Warkah al-ikhlas, 1818-1821 (Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1999), pp. 243-4.

Box 11, Item 32 

Letter from the Pengeran of Siak Indrapura to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Safar 1237 (6 November 1821)

42.2 x 26.7 cm. 17 lines. Red wax seal in right margin.

The Pengeran acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter. In reply to Farquhar’s statement that he needs to secure the agreement of Bengal before protection can be given to Siak, the Pengeran discloses that the Dutch have sent a letter to Siak, which states that a representative will be sent to discuss the matter at hand. The Pengeran implies that Melaka is closer to Siak than Pulau Pinang.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2F.

Box 12, Item 33

Letter from Tengku Long of Riau to Major William Farquhar, Resident of Melaka, written at Pulau Penyengat, 17 Safar 1227 (2 March 1812)

36.4 x 24.8 cm. 24 lines. Black seal in right margin.

Tengku Long asks Farquhar for a loan. 

Notes: Corresponds to (JAWI 12, Letter 2G). In the Hikayat Abdullah, Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir informs readers about the long-standing friendship between Tengku Long and Farquhar. Tengku Long owed Farquhar large sums, resulting in the “sale” of Singapore to the English.

Box 12, Item 34 

Letter from the Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Rabiulawal (5 December 1821)

35.5 x 22.5 cm. 17 lines. Black seal in right margin.

The Yang DiPertuan Muda asks Farquhar for help in retrieving a loan given to a Chinese called “Si Pendek” who was granted a monopoly while in Riau.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2H.

Box 12, Item 35 

Letter from Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, to the Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau, 25 Rabiulawal 1237 (20 December 1821)

37.5 x 22.5 cm. Red wax seal in the right margin; under it is Farquhar’s signature.

Farquhar informs the Yang DiPertuan Muda that he has investigated the issue of the debt of “Si Pendek.” “Si Pendek” does not admit to owing said debt to the Yang DiPertuan Muda. Farquhar is sending the man to Riau for the Yang DiPertuan Muda to settle the matter, whereupon “Si Pendek” will return to Singapore. In connection to the Yang DiPertuan Muda’s request to obtain rice, Farquhar informs him that there is a rice shortage in Singapore as well.  

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2I. This is the only letter in the collection from William Farquhar. Annabel Teh Gallop has transliterated and translated this letter in her work Legacy of the Malay Letter=Warisan Warkah Melayu (London: Published by the British Library for the National Archives of Malaysia, 1994). See letter 197 in this work.

Box 13, Item 36

Letter from the Yang DiPertuan of Kelantan and Tengku Syed Abdul Rahman bin al-Habib Hussein Aidid to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 3 Syaaban 1237 (25 April 1822).

33 x 28 cm. 13 lines, and 9 lines written in right margin. Black seal in right margin.

The Yang DiPertuan of Kelantan informs Farquhar that his letter to the Yang DiPertuan and Tengku Syed Abdul Rahman has arrived. However, the ship from Singapore cannot carry out trade in Kelantan because black pepper is still not ripe at the time. Trade will be carried out when the ship comes at another time. The Yang DiPertuan asks Farquhar to help with obtaining copper sheets for mending ships.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2J. Annabel Teh Gallop has transliterated and translated this letter in her work Legacy of the Malay Letter=Warisan Warkah Melayu (London: Published by the British Library for the National Archives of Malaysia, 1994). See letter 206 in this work.

Box 13, Item 37 

Letter from Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam ibn Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin al-marhum of Brunei to Colonel William Farquhar, 6 Syaaban 1237 (28 April 1822)

22.5 x 31 cm. 24 lines. Black seal in right margin—partially torn. English notation under seal: “From Borneo.”

The Sultan acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter and gift of perfume, and thanks him. The Sultan tells Farquhar that his traders, Pengeran Tajuddin, Ence’ Hassanuddin, and Ence’ Jalaluddin will go to Singapore, Melaka, and Pulau Pinang. The Sultan will send scales—dacing gantang dan cupak—from Brunei, as requested by Farquhar. His Majesty also states that Brunei is experiencing suffering from an outbreak of disease that has resulted in a hundred deaths a day.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2K. Annabel Teh Gallop has transliterated and translated this letter. See letter 15 in her chapter, “Malay Sources for the History of the Sultanate of Brunei in the Early Nineteenth century: Some Letters from the Reign of Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam,” in Victor T. King and A.V.M. Horton (eds.), From Buckfast to Borneo: Essay presented to Father Robert Nicholl on the 85th Anniversary of his Birth, 27 March 1995 (Hull: University of Hull, 1995), pp. 207-35. 

Box 13, Item 38 

Letter from Pengiran Muda Muhammad Alam ibn Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam, Sultan of Brunei, to Tambi Muhammad ibn Arshad of Melaka, 27 Syaaban 1237 (19 May 1822)

40.5 x 31.5 cm. 25 lines. Black seal in right margin, with protective cap. English notation on top of the letter: “From Borneo Proper, 1823.”

The Sultan acknowledges receipt of Tambi Muhammad’s letter. His Majesty cannot send Tambi Muhammad’s goods because Haji Abas’ ship is rather small. However, the goods will be sent later.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2L. Annabel Teh Gallop has transliterated and translated this letter. See letter 16 in her chapter, “Malay Sources for the History of the Sultanate of Brunei in the Early Nineteenth century: Some Letters from the Reign of Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam,” in Victor T. King and A.V.M. Horton (eds.), From Buckfast to Borneo: Essay presented to Father Robert Nicholl on the 85th Anniversary of his Birth, 27 March 1995 (Hull: University of Hull, 1995), pp. 207-35. 

Box 14, Item 39

Letter from Sultan Ahmad ibn Sultan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 5 Syaaban 1237 (27 April 1822)

40.5 x 23.5 cm. 19 lines. Black seal in right margin.

The Sultan acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter—a letter of introduction for a trader, Captain Farrel, who asks for permission to trade in Terengganu. The Sultan informs Farquhar that Captain Farrel has been granted permission to trade, but informs him that at the time, there was not much tin or black pepper. Nonetheless, the Sultan has obtained sugar and black pepper for him.

Note: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2M.

Box 14, Item 40 

Letter from Sultanah Siti Fatimah binti Jamaluddin Abdul Rahman of Pammana to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 13 Zulkaedah 1237 (1 August 1822)

44.7 x 32.5 cm. 20 lines. The first and last lines are written in Thuluth script. 

The Sultanah informs Farquhar that Sultan Ali Dato’ Pamanah passed away in February. The Sultanah asks that weapons be bought. In relation to Farquhar’s request to obtain scales, the Sultanah tells him that it would be better to procure from Sailan.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2N. This letter is the only known extant Malay letter from a reigning female monarch from the nineteenth century. Annabel Teh Gallop has transliterated and translated this letter in her work Legacy of the Malay Letter=Warisan Warkah Melayu (London: Published by the British Library for the National Archives of Malaysia, 1994). See letter 199 in this work.

Box 14, Item 41 

Letter from Sultan Hussein Shah ibn Sultan Mahmud Shah to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, [date unknown]

41.8 x 30.5 cm. 26 lines. Black seal in right margin.

The Sultan acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter. He states the reasons for placing a cincu—possibly a Chinese trader or ship captain—in stocks: the cincu has committed an offense, and has broken Farquhar’s rules. In addition, the Sultan claims that in punishing the cincu, he is acting in accordance with long-held royal customs, which the English had stated would not be touched in the treaty.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 20.

Box 15, Item 42

Letter from the Bendahara of Pahang to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 10 Syaaban 1238 (22 April 1823)

40.4 x 25 cm. 17 lines. Black seal in right margin. 

The Bendahara explains that even though Kamal Jalal—a slave—is his property, he is not often in Pahang to oversee his slave’s activities. If the Temenggung desires to take care of the slave, Farquhar may surrender said slave to the Temenggung.

Notes:  Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2P.

Box 15, Item 42 ½ 

Letter from the Pengiran of Siak to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, 23 Rabiulakhir 1238 (7 January 1823)

32 x 20 cm. 19 lines. Red wax seal in right margin.

The Pengeran acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter. He confirms that the Dutch are at Minangkabau. He also informs Farquhar that the Dutch have sent a warship and a treaty with 12 clauses. The Pengeran still has not replied to the Dutch. Together with the letter, the Pengeran is attaching a letter for Raffles. 

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2Q.

Box 16, Item 43

Letter from the Yang Di Pertuan Muda of Riau to Colonel William Farquhar, Resident of Singapore, written at Penyengat, 8 Syawal 1238 (18 June 1823)

33.3 x 20.5 cm. 17 lines. Black seal in right margin.

The Yang DiPertuan Muda of Riau acknowledges receipt of Farquhar’s letter that speaks of his return to England. The Yang DiPertuan Muda wishes Farquhar peace, and hope the friendship they have forged continues.

Notes: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2R.

Box 16, Item 44 

Letter from the Dato' Bendahara of Pahang to Syed Sharif Umar Jumad of Singapore, 6 Syawal 1247 (9 March 1832) 

32.3 x 23.4 cm. 14 lines. Black seal in right margin.

The Dato’ Bendahara asks Syed Sharif Umar Jumad to buy him a table and a music box.

Note: Corresponds to JAWI 12, Letter 2S.