British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

The great importance of the China trade, the necessity of extending by commercial means the resources for our investment from that country, as well as the good policy by awing the Dutch to prevent a rupture with them, or in case of its taking place, to be able to avail ourselves of it advantageously, to break effectually their spice monopoly, make us look with sanguine expectations to the benefit of an establishment somewhere near the Pitts Straits, which by the judicious choice of an harbour for shelter and refreshment, for our ships which may make that passage, as well as for promoting the most important operations in case of future war, will effectually answer those purposes.

We hope that the voyage about to be undertaken by Captain Forrest to Tidore, when the last advices came from Bengal, will throw lights upon the state of the navigation and commerce of the Eastern Islands which may promote our views in that part of the world. You will also consider from his intelligence, as well as the people left behind from the Northumberland, whether it might be advisable to avail ourselves of the good disposition of the people of Magindino towards us, either by carrying on a trade on the part of the Company, or encouraging discreet individuals to open that trade for their own profit. . . .


32
AGREEMENT WITH THE SULTAN OF KEDAH FOR THE CESSION OF PRINCE OF WALES ISLAND [PENANG], 2 March 17861

Conditions required by the King of Quedah

Replies of the Governor-General and Council to the King of Quedah's demands


ARTICLE I

That the honourable Company shall be guardian of the seas; and whatever enemy may come to attack the King shall be an enemy to the honourable Company, and the expense shall be borne by the honourable Company.

This Government will always keep an armed vessel stationed to guard

____________________
1
W. G. Maxwell and W. S. Gibson, Treaties and Engagements affecting the Malay States and Borneo, Lond. 1924, p. 95. By a further agreement, also negotiated by Captain Francis Light and dated 20 April 1791, it was provided that the E.I. Company would pay to the Sultan of Kedah 6,000 Spanish dollars annually 'for as long as the English shall continue in possession of Pulo Penang' (printed in Maxwell and Gibson, p. 96). For Light's own comments on this agreement see Journ. of Indian Archipelago, New Series, vol. ii, pp. 190-2. On 22 January 1787 Sir John Macpherson gave Light positive orders to establish Penang as an entrepôt for free commerce. To encourage merchants to resort thither 'we desire you will refrain from levying any kind of duties or tax on goods landed or vessels importing at Prince of Wales Island and it is our wish to make the port free to all nations' ( Journ. I. Arch., vol. iv, P. 634).

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