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nominated his younger brother Ibrahim his heir-apparent (Raja Muda); but he died, and before another Raja Muda could be appointed, the Siamese invaded Quedah. It was intended that Tuanku Daood, the next youngest brother of the present king (a man of great ability and much respected), should be elected. He had three sons, Mahomed Saad, Mahomed Snawee, and Mahomed Taheb.
In 1800, the British Government obtained from the king the cession of a territory on the shore opposite to Penang, between Kwala Krian and Kwala Muda, now called Province Wellesley. The treaty of cession was negotiated with him as an independent prince; it was described as "a treaty of peace, friendship, and alliance;" it included "his officers of state and chiefs;" it was to make "the countries of Purlis and Quedah, and Pulo Penang, as one country;" the Company engaged "to protect the Qeudah coast from all enemies, robbers, and pirates," and it contained the following anathema: "Whoever shall depart from any part of this agreement, the Almighty shall punish and destroy; he shall not prosper." In 1816, this treaty was distinctly recognized (on the occasion of a war between Siak and Perak) as subsisting by the governor of Penang, who admitted that the British were bound by treaty to protect Quedah from invasion by sea.*
The King of Siam, who had been for some time past making encroachments upon these Malay states, by his arbitrary demands and exactions, provoked frequent complaints from the King of Quedah to the British authorities at Penang. At length, on the 12th November, 1821, when the King of Quedah was absent from his capital, at Mirbow, clearing a new district of jungle, a large Siamese fleet entered the river, and before the Malay chiefs were warned of their danger, or a force could be collected to resist the invaders, a landing was effected (under pretext of friendship), and an indiscriminate slaughter commenced, neither sex nor age being spared. The tumungong, a younger brother of the king, and several chiefs, were killed; others were made captives, and the scene of barbarity and butchery has left an inextinguishable hatred of the Siamese in the breasts of the Quedah Malays.
The Rajah of Ligore, who conducted this invasion, conferred the govern. ment of Quedah upon his son, Po-seng, of whose rule a harrowing picture is drawn by one of the advocates of Tuanku Mahomed Saad, and it is not probably much exaggerated, the details being given by eye-witnesses:
Quedah previous to the invasion contained 180,000 souls. During the first six years of the Siamese rule the population was reduced to less than 6,000. A great number had found refuge within the territories of the East-India Company, and the neighbouring Malayan countries received large accessions to their population. Not a month passed without some fresh demands upon the Siamese Governor of Quedah, which he was forced to comply with at whatever exercise of tyranny. The Malays had been accustomed to pay a trifle to their king as a kind of land rent, but they were now subjected to a severe poll-tax. If these exactions failed in extracting the requisite supply, the inhabitants of whole villages were seized and sent to be sold as slaves to make up the balance. Anderson's Aoheen, p. 73.
One of the commonest orders upon the governor was to send to Ligore or Bankok bands of 200 or 300 girls, of a standard age, stature, and appearance. These orders were executed either by fraud or in the most cruel manner. Quedah is a Mahommedan country and the Siamese are idolaters; this dif ference in religious belief offered a grand field for the exercise of cruelty. The Malays were insulted when at prayer. Herds of swine were fed in their mosques, and soon the greater number were pulled down.
The king escaped with difficulty and came to Penang, where he was kindly received, protected, and supported in a manner befitting his rank, the demands of the Siamese for his surrender being constantly refused, and on the occasion of Mr. Crawfurd's embassy to Siam, attempts were made to obtain terms for him, but without effect. In his letter to the merchants of Penang, 5th May, 1837, the king states, that, after the invasion of the Siamese, he was invited by a deputation sent by Governor Phillips from Penang to go thither, and that the governor told him to wait patiently awhile, and that "the Lord of Bengal" would assist him against the Sia. mese, agreeably to the treaty with his father.
In 1824, the Burmese war broke out, and, in order to prevent the Siamese from making common cause with that power against us, Captain (now Lieut. Colonel) Burney was, in 1826, despatched on an embassy to Siam, and, on the 28th June, he concluded a treaty at Bankok, in which the interests of the poor King of Quedah were strangely sacrificed, for this treaty recognizes Quedah as a Siamese province, and stipulates that the British "will not permit the former governor of Quedah, or any of his followers, to attack, disturb, or injure in any manner the territory of Quedah," and that they will prohibit the ex-king from residing at Penang; the Siamese on their part engaging "to take proper care of the country and people of Quedah.” It is said, that Capt. Burney was ignorant at the time of the existence of our treaty with Quedah, which is searcely credible; but his employers knew it well. Mr. Anderson, the secretary at Penang, had, in 1824, printed at that settlement, under the authority of Government, a work entitled "Political and Commercial Considerations relative to the Malayan Peninsula and the British Settlements in he Straits of Malacca," in which he thus spoke of the affairs of Quedah:-"The records of the Penang Government, from 1785 to 1790, furnish ample evidence-1st, that the right of interference of Siam with Quedah was not acknowledged at the period of the cession of Penang to the British Government; 2nd, that that cession was made upon the express condition of succour and protection against a powerful, relentless, and overbearing enemy; 3rd, that we accepted the grant upon the understanding, that is, without making any objections to the proposals of the Rajah of Quedah before possession was taken; and lastly, that we are bound by considerations of philanthropy and humanity to extend our aid to an oppressed monarch, who has long been our friend and ally, and to a defenceless multitude groaning under the most bitter tyranny, and suffering all the horrors and calamities which a ferocious enemy can inflict." It has been said that, subsequently to the treaty with Siam, this work was suppressed, one copy only having escaped destruction; but Mr. Anderson,
See Au Journ. vol. vviv. D. 954.
who is now in England, has expressly declared that the work was undertaken, compiled from official records, and published, at the suggestion and with the approval of Governor Fullarton, who strongly recommended the author; "the governor" he says, "also distributed several copies, and the work was read by nearly all the officers of Government, civil and military, and freely commented on. No copies were called in, nor pledge required, while I was at Penang, during nearly six years after its appearance.'
Upon the conclusion of this treaty, the governor of Penang desired the ex-king to remove to Malacca, "which," the king himself says, "I did not wish to do; but I was not forced, only ordered to go." There he remained for some years, rather as a state-prisoner than as a guest, till at length he was permitted to quit Malacca, by which act he was held to have renounced his pension, and he appears to have suffered much distress. In 1829, he was represented to have been in a starving condition, living in a boat,* and the Supreme Government consented to restore his pension and let him return to Malacca.
Meanwhile, the atrocities of the Siamese had sharpened the natural desire of the chiefs of Quedah to obtain vengeance and to recover their country. The feudal institutions of the Malays are well calculated to keep up an attachment to their princes and chiefs. Their high reverence for ancestry and nobility of descent is remarked, as a characteristic of the nation, by Raffles and Leyden, and although the Malay chiefs have, by law or custom, in some of the states, a power of controlling the sovereign, Mr. Crawfurd states that regal rights amongst them are considered divine and indefeasible.
Several ineffectual attempts were made to recover Quedah, but at length, in 1831, Tuanku Kudin, a nephew of the old king (and cousin of Mahomed Saad), who had been residing, since the invasion, peaceably within the British boundaries, was exasperated by a treacherous attempt on the part of the Siamese to destroy him, by blowing up his house in the night. His wife and children were killed, but he escaped, and appealed to his countrymen, who left their ploughs, and thronged to his standard. He attacked Quedah, expelled the Siamese, and from April to October remained master of it. The Siamese then appeared with a powerful force, accompanied by a British ship of war, and although the Malays fought with desperation, even their women combatting by their side, they were unable to encounter such odds. They had invariably beaten the cowardly Siamese, but they could not withstand the fire of British cannon, and retired into the fort, where the number of their fighting men was reduced by famine and war to thirty. The Siamese carried the fort, when Tuanku Kudin and another chief retired to a dwelling-house, resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible. The house was fired, and the two heroes rushed forth with a sword in either hand, and after slaying many, by mutual consent, each plunged his weapon in the bosom of the other.
It is distressing to think that this was the fruit of a direct interference on the part of the government of Penang, which was bound by the ties of gratitude, as well as of treaty, to protect the rights of the Malays.
As. Journ., N. S. vol. ii. p. 795
The re-occupation of Quedah by the Siamese was a signal for the revival of the barbarities formerly perpetrated by them; their butcheries comprehended half-famished women and children. Their conduct is thus summarily described by Mahomed Shah, the former secretary to the Quedah Government: "Whatever they wanted they took, ornaments and property of all descriptions, as much rice as they required, and men's wives and daughters, the same as any other species of desirable household appurtenances."
In 1836, having reason to believe that the Malays were intent upon a fresh enterprise against Quedah, the Penang Government, with an alacrity that would have been more commendable in a better cause, resolved to seize the ex-king, who had then (having left Malacca on a pretence of proceeding to Delli) retired to Bruas, which, being a place of assemblage for prahus from various quarters, without resources but such as could be obtained by rapine, had become a nest of pirates, who made use of the king's name. The king, at this time, is described as in a wretched condition, having only twenty followers; and to a messenger of the Government of Penang, he declared he had not tasted bread for a long time, begging for charity's sake that some biscuit might be sent him, and "bewailing his hard fate, in being now old, poor, and deserted."* The endeavour to induce this unhappy man to exchange this state of life, wretched as it was, for a splendid prison at Malacca, was ineffectual; force was therefore resorted to, and our navy was again employed on this painful service. The Zebra, Capt. McCrea, proceeded to Bruas. "We approached the king's vessel," says Capt. Stewart, in his evidence, "and fired some musketry: some people were wounded in it. Capt. Mc Crea informed the king he was sent by the Government to take him to Penang. was allowed a month or two, he would be prepared to could not allow him so much time, but said he would give him a week. The king was unwilling to go at that time; I think he was taken away by force; we brought him to Penang; he did not land; we afterwards took him to Malacca." Other accounts state that the Malays defended their prince; the British boats fired upon them; many were killed. Prince Abdullah, the king's eldest son (in his evidence on the trial) states that he was wounded whilst standing not far from his father. In March 1837, the king was brought a prisoner to Penang on his way to Malacca. "The re-appearance of the ex-rajah here," observed the Penang Gazette,t "as a state prisoner, in the harbour of the island which his father presented to the Company about 50 years ago, in token of friendship to the British nation, who engaged to protect him from all external enemies, has naturally excited very strong and unfavourable feelings against the authorities who have contributed to his downfal and misfortunes.'
The king said, if he go; Capt. McCrea
In June, 1838, Tuanku Mahomed Saad, a son of Tuanku Daood, and nephew of the king, resolved to make an attempt upon Quedah. His father having been designed as the future raja, he had a presumptive or contingent title to the heir-ship. As in the previous case, the Siamese, when
† As. Journ., vol. xxiv., p. 168.
• As. Journ., vol. xxiii., p. 41.
DE AT. 190
left to their own resources, were defeated, and Quedah was again recovered. A force of about 45 prahus, under the brothers Mahomed Saad and Mahomed Taheb, collected at Mirbow, and attacked a Siamese fleet of equal force, which was defeated with loss; the victors followed up their success, and, in conjunction with a land force, drove the detested To-seng from the scene of his tyranny. Mahomed Saad sent for the ex-king, to resume his authority. Age, want of energy, perhaps pusillanimity, perhaps the remonstrance of the British authorities, induced him to decline the invitation. Prince Mahomed thereupon summoned the king's son, Abdullah, who came to Quedah, and countenanced and advised his cousin, though the Government was administered by Mahomed Saad. There is the fullest evidence that he ruled the kingdom with exemplary wisdom, prudence, and integrity. The population flocked back to their native land; 4,000, headed by several of the Panghulu Mukims employed by the British Government, emigrated from Province Wellesley, and for six months Quedah enjoyed repose and prosperity.
No attempt had been made by the Siamese to recover the place, and probably, if left to themselves, they would have renounced its possession; but in December 1838, a proclamation was issued by the Government of Penang, setting forth that, "Whereas, with the view of upholding the faith of treaties, and of preserving our friendly relations with Siam, it had become necessary to co-operate with that power in the re-capture of Quedah, conformably with the treaty of 1826," notice was given, that the whole coast of Quedah was under effective blockade, and "in order that no one may hereafter plead ignorance of the circumstances under which Quedah has recently been captured by Tuanku Mahomed Saad and others, it is hereby further notified that the former Rajah of Quedah has written to the governor a letter, dated Malacca the 3rd October last, disclaiming any participation in the capture of Quedah from the Siamese by those now in possession of that country.' To effect the object of this proclamation, H.M S. Hyacinth was sent to blockade the Quedah rivers, and the commander, in his conferences with the Malay chiefs, endeavoured to prevail upon them quietly to surrender the place. They offered to place themselves under British control and protection;† but declared their resolution to fight to the last extremity against the Siamese. From December 1838 till March 1839, the Quedah coast was blockaded by a British naval force, and the Siamese having formed a junction witht he British, these allies succeeded
* This letter is both suspicious and equivocal; it is as follows: "The country of Quedah is my country, and all those who go there and commit that which is without my knowledge are bad people. Even my own sons are bad also when they are disobedient to my commands. I cannot interfere, because I am residing in the territories of the Company, in consequence of which I solicit their assistance to turn out these persons, since the Company only can do so. Let not the perpetration of these deeds be imputed to me, because I am now old, and my conscience is against all improper acts. So long as I do not receive replies to my letters from Bengal or Europe, it is not my wish to do any thing. Moreover, I verily believe, that there are people in Pulo-Penang who assist (those persons) with arms, gunpowder, shot, and money, and enable them to commit these mischiefs at Quedah, and thereby give me a bad name with the Company. I trust my friend will minutely inquire into this matter, so that all suspicions of the Company against me may terminate.”—Written 13th Rejub, Tuesday, 1254, corresponding with the 2nd October, 1838.
↑ Captain Stewart, who was employed on the blockade, and who was present at the interview Letween Captain Warren, of H.M.S. Hyacinth and the Quedah chiefs, dces not mention this circumstance his evidence.