National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
- Colonial Office: Malay Straits (as filmed by the AJCP)
- Date Range
- 1871 - 1898
- Collection Number
- 189 items
- Language of Materials
- Australian Joint Copying Project
- The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.
Scope and Contents
Extracts relating to the protected Malay States (Native States) from the Public Record Office classes CO 273, CO 537 and CO 809. These are confidential and open dispatches from the Governor of the Straits Settlements to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, together with enclosures, Colonial Office minutes, and draft replies from the Colonial Office to the Governor 1874-1896. In addition, there is correspondence between the Colonial Office and other government departments (e.g. War Office, Admiralty). Mainly one volume of miscellaneous correspondence for each year, chiefly from individuals or non-official organisations.
CO 273/84-218: confidential dispatches from the Governor of the Straits Settlements to the Colonial Office including enclosures and Colonial Office minutes relating to the Native States, 1876-1896.
CO 273/76-223: Selected pieces from CO 273 comprising dispatches from the Governor of Straits Settlements, sometimes with enclosures, and letters from offices and individuals relating to the Native States 1874-1896. Almost all these documents are accompanied by the Colonial Office minutes and draft replies to the Governor's dispatch or correspondence.
Tables of contents from each volume CO 273/9-223, CO 537/45-48 and CO 809/1-44. As tables of contents were not available for CO 273/9-74, a typewritten list was compiled showing only confidential and open dispatches relating to the Native States of the Malay Peninsula. CO 537/45-48 'Supplementary Dispatches' from the Governor of the Straits Settlements to the Secretary of State, with enclosures, Colonial Office minutes, and draft replies 1873-1896. CO 809/1-44 Confidential prints containing printed copies of correspondence dealing mostly with the Native States, prepared for inclusion in the House of Commons Papers. They contain most, but not all, of the dispatches in the CO 273 series, but without the Colonial Office minutes.
Conditions Governing Access
Available for Access.
Conditions Governing Use
Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.
Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.
Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.
Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref: http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1234)
Material selectively filmed at the Public Record Office, London, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1961 (AJCP Reels: M446-M458). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.
In 2003 the Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, London merged with the Historical Manuscripts Commission to form the National Archives.
For a short period (1958-1965) the geographical boundaries of the Australian Joint Copying Project were extended to encompass Malaya, Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines. A researcher at the Australian National University had arranged the microfilming of selected Colonial Office records, in particular CO 273, relating to the Malay States in the period 1871-1898. It was decided to incorporate copies of this film in the Miscellaneous Series of the Australian Joint Copying Project. Several years later, the Public Record Office refilmed CO. in its entirety (1838-1946).
Existence and Location of Originals
National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England.
For further information see National Archives. [http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/]
Existence and Location of Copies
The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn8053467] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.
The Straits Settlements, comprising Prince of Wales Island (Penang), Malacca and Singapore, were established in 1826 as a presidency of the East India Company. Singapore became the seat of government in 1832, with resident councillors administering Prince of Wales Island and Malacca. They remained under the control of the East India Company until it was dissolved in 1857 and were then placed under the India Office. In 1867 they became a Crown colony.
In 1874, at the direction of the Colonial Office, the Governor of the Straits Settlements appointed Residents to the Malay states of Perak, Selangor and Negri Sembilan. The agreement with the Perak chiefs of 20 January 1874 specified that the Resident was to be accredited to the Sultan's court and his advice was to be sought and acted upon on all matters other than those touching on Malay religion and customs. In 1887 a similar treaty was signed with the Sultan of Pahang. In July 1896 the rulers of the four protected states accepted a Treaty of Federation, which provided for a Resident-General responsible to the High Commissioner (the Governor of the Straits Settlements). Certain departments were unified under federal heads, such as the Judicial Commissioner, Attorney-General, Commandant and Chief Commissioner of Police.
Governors of the Straits Settlements
- Sir Harry Ord
- Sir Andrew Clarke
- Sir William Jervois
- Sir William Robinson
- Sir Frederick Weld
- Sir Cecil Smith
- Sir Charles Mitchell
This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.
Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.
Australia; Borneo; Brunei; Clarke, Sir Andrew; Dutch East Indies; Falkland Islands; Fiji; Gilbert and Ellice Islands; Great Britain: Colonial Office; Great Britain: Public Record Office; Hong Kong; Honours; Johore, Malaysia; Kedah, Malaysia; Labuan, Borneo; Malaya; Mauritius; Negri Sembilan, Malaysia; Nelson, Robert; New Hebrides;; Pahang, Malaya; Papua New Guinea; Perak, Malaysia; Sarawak, Malaysia; Selangor, Malaysia; Seychelles Islands; Solomon Islands; Straits Settlements; Sungei Ujong, Malaysia; Trengganu, Malaysia; Western Pacific High Commission
Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 198, pp74-75.
The bulk of the records filmed form part of CO 273, but selections from other Colonial Office classes were also filmed. The records were filmed selectively, focussing on the relations between the Straits Settlements and the Malay states of Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Pahang. Consequently, many pieces were not filmed at all and, with one or two possible exceptions, none of the pieces copied were filmed completely.
Originally filmed on AJCP reels M446-M458.
CO 809 was later transferred to CO 882.