Page images

In the old Dutch records, preserved in the archives of Malacca, we find, in 1643, the inhabitants of Naning and Rumbowe, particularly those of the districts of Mullikey, Perling, and Inac, noticed as being in a very rebellious and disorderly state, refusing to obey their chief Riijfi Mensa, the first Panghiilii of Naning, on account of the banishment by the Dutch of one of their chiefs, named Mum TUAN LELAH Rsawim, from the territory of Malacca: and complaining :that the administration of justice was not according to their customs.

In 1644, the Dutch Government resolved to depute commissioners to Naning, in order to restore tranquillity. to take a survey of Nauing and its districts, to apportion lands to the inhabitants, (who, it is worthy of note, are always styled “ Manikribowes,” or settlers from Menéngkabowe in Sumatra,) to in fuse intotheir minds the advantages resulting from habits of industry, to turn their attention to agricultural pursuits, to persuade them to “ depart from the state of barbarism under which they then laboured," and finally, to furnish Rajfi Manna, the chiefs and inhabitants there, with instructions how they were to conduct themselves towards the Governmentof Malacca in respect to the administration of justice in civil cases, and above all, to take cognizance of every criminal case that occurred there.

To fulfil the objects of this mission, Government selected senior merchant Snouno. But citizen Snouna, the minute drily observes, “ brings in various excuses, saying he is unwell, and that the road to Naning is impassable, that his legs are bad, and that he is not proficient in the Malay language.”

Shortly after this, Suousq still persisting in his objections, an expedition is ordered to proceed to Naning. under Captain S. ALEXANDER Mmvnos and ANTONIO Gomo LOUIS Pmmao, consisting of 50 Netherlands, and 60 Malacca soldiers, with 20 peons, to convey provisions and baggage, and a number of boats and boatmen—iu all 180 men.

The following is the official account of the mission written by the Governor Jsnsmus VAN V1.1n'r, who, it appears, proceeded himself to Naning in the room of Suounq.

“ On the third day, about three hours before the sun went down, we arrived with the whole retinue at Pankallang Naning, as far as is navigable, with a boat. Here we rested during the night, and found Rajfi Msnan, with some of the principal chiefs of Naning, who shewed us every mark of respect and obedience.

“ Early on the morning of the fourth, we marched forward with the whole retinue, through forests, to Melecque (Mullikey). We reached this ‘place at 10 o'clock, with the principal part of the troops, and awaited the arrival of our baggage. After taking some refreshments, we proceeded on our journey to Naning, and arrived at this place two hours before the rising of the sun. Réja MERAH, with some of the principal chiefs of Naning, and a great concourse of people, came to receive us and pay their homage. They conducted us to Naning, and had a band of musicians marching before us.

“ The inhabitants of Naning and the other districts under our subjection came to us to pay their homage. Thus every thing promised a favorable result to the object of our mission. The chiefs and inhabitants of Naning had constructed a sumptuous bungalow for our reception, and shewed us every attention and respect.

“ We received their compliments with every token of good will, and so we past the day.

“ In Naning we desired Réja Mmmn‘ and the chiefs to be called; and pointed out to them the atrocities which had been committed by them and the inhabitants during the past year, viz. that murder and robbery were common practices with them, arising from no other cause than a state of ignorance and idleness. It is therefore adviseable, that they should devote their time to agricultural pursuits, such as planting a more considerable quantity of pepper or paddy. -Were they to lead an industrious life, it would prove much to their benefit ; malignity would then, no doubt, be entirely eradicated."

The following points were laid before them :

lst. “ That INCHI Wonnxr, one of the chiefs and head-men at Melicque (Mullikey), having proved himself unworthy of that situation, and on whom no confidence could be placed, it is required that they

‘should select three qualified persons at Melicque, out of which num- '

ber, one would be chosen to fill the vacant seat.” . 2nd. “ That they should keep the river, from Pankallang Naning to Pankallang Nauwar, clear, and make it navigable for prows.”

3rd. “ That one--tenth of the produce of the Naning rice-fields should be paid annually, either in kind or money.”

4th. “ That Raja Mmmn, with the chiefs, should come down personally, or depute persons to pay their homage.” (The records here are almost obliterated.)

5th. “ That Rajé Mama shall invite, by heat of gong, all the inhabitants in the districts under subjection, in order to ascertain if they have any complaints to bring forward against Rzijzi Mama, or the other chiefs; and if they have no reason of complaint, notice should be taken of their disobedience.”

6th. “ That we should furnish Réjfi Manna and the chiefs with instructions, and point out to them the line of conduct which they

should invariably pursue, and how far their authority extends in the administration of civil cases.”

" These points having been translated into the Malay language, we had it proclaimed, and made known to all people, through the medium of Réjé. Mnaau, who informed us, that the inhabitants accepted these rules with due deference, but made some difficulty in complying with the contents of that paragraph which enjoins them to keep the river clear, for they consider themselves as his (Rzijzi ManAn’s) subjects, not his slaves. Raja MERAH further states, that the limited authority with which he is invested is not calculated to command obedience. But it is our wish, that Raja MERAH confer with the chiefs and inha-j bitants on the matter, and inform them that what we had resolved is principally to promote their interest. The clearing away on the banks of the river is a service which could be performed by four persons, andin a short space of time. The banks of the river should be cleared, widened, and made navigable from Naning to the town; but they are required to_keep the river clear only as far as Pankallang Nauwar, from thence it will be the business of our inhabitants to preserve the, cleanliness of the river. They ought to recollect, that this improvement would, in a great measure, promote the prosperity of Naning ; and how convenient it would be felt by every body in the transport of paddy, sirih, and other produce. Perceiving their objection, we de- sired, that the inhabitants should be summoned by beat of gong, in order that they might consider this object more attentively. Réjfi

Mann; and chiefs did accordingly hold a consultation with the inha-I

bitants. We directed Annxanmsn Mnnnos to be present at this meeting, and to inform himself of every circumstance which might occur, and instructed him how he should conduct himself towards these obstinate people.

" Annxaunna Mnnnos having appeared in the meeting, and hearing

some of the M anikzibowes making difficulties to obey the order regard-

ing the clearing of the river, alleging that their houses were too far situated from the river, replied, that they should not murmur at such a trivial labour, considering that the Governor himself had left the town, _and come up here for the purpose of punishing the wicked and disobedient, and protecting the innocent and faithful, it would therefore be very imprudent to resist his wishes. Marines and Rajsi MEaan, impressed these salutary precepts on the minds of the inhabitants of the villages under subjection, who with one consent and loud voice exclaimed, “ the will of the Governor of Malacca be done," and promised to be obedient to all his orders. In this manner did Rzijzi. Minus, the chiefs, and inhabitants declare their willingness to accede to the rules which we had prescribed to them.

“ We directed all the men in the districts under subjection to approach our dwelling, and demanded to know if they were satisfied with Rzijzi Menu! and the other chiefs, and would submit to their orders. If any person should be injured, and could procure no redress from them,” (here again the record is undecipherable.)

“ We addressed the people in such a manner that they unanimously declared, that they had nothing to bring forward against Rzijfi Mnnnn, and consented to place themselves under his control. We have in consequence read in the Dutch, Portuguese, and Malay languages, in the presence of the inhabitants of the districts under subjection, viz. Naning, Melicque, Inak, and Perling, the commission appointing Rajah Manna as our subordinate chief over the above-mentioned districts ; and the tenor of the commission is noted down in the accompany copy.

" Raji. Manna had selected three persons from each of the districts Melicque and Perling; out of which one will be chosen, in order to increase the number of the members of the council in Naning, and each of them should be a head man over a village.

“ Whilst Rfijfi MERAH, the chiefs, and the inhabitants were holding a council, we took a survey of the lands and paddy-fields in Naning, and proceeded nearly so far as the forests of Rumbowe. It is indeed a fine and fertile land, bounded on both sides by forests. It is to be desired, that Malacca could possess such advantages. In the districts of Naning there is much waste and uncultivated land, which is well adapted for planting pepper. If we could put our plan into execution, it is certain that the Company will derive great profit in time.

" After the trial of many delinquents, there was one man, named U'ANG CAYA Pan Mano Mnanu, who was once one of the chiefs at

Naming ; who, having evinced symptoms of disalfection, proceeded to'

Rumbowe, where he had spent his days in cock-fighting and gaming. This man was ordered to be apprehended and fined in our council, with the concurrence of Réjé Menu, in a sum of 50 crusadoes.

“ The enormous crime committed by CONTELLA Lascnmm, late head man at Perling, for which he had been imprisoned here for a length of time, was also investigated in the presence of the said chiefs. He was condemned to pay a line of 100 crusadoes. In failure of this, he shall be scourged and banished the territory of Malacca.

" The instructions, which we intended to furnish Rajé Means with, being ready, we intimated the tenor of the same to him and the other chiefs, and they appeared to be perfectly satisfied with them, which gives us every reason to hope, that they would promote the happiness and comfort of the people, and increase the confluence of the Maniluibowes, when the villagers of other places shall hear Naning is become a well-regulated Government, and the character of the inhabitants peaceable and industrious, and that vice is severely punished.

" Every thing at Naning has turned out to our wishes. Rzijfi Manna and the chiefs were very submissive, and the inhabitants very obedient to our orders."

Governor VAN VLIET had not long to felicitate himself on the submissiveness and obedience of the inhabitants of Naning ; for shortly after his return to Malacca, an extensive conspiracy was formed, in which they assumed a prominent part against the Dutch Government, in the denouement of which, two Dutch oflicers lost their lives at the hands of the natives. The following paragraph from the records gives us an insight into the method employed by the Dutch of this period, in "persuading the refractory Manikfibowes to return from the state of barbarism udder which they had the misfortune to labour."

Well might Lord Mnvro, the conqueror of Java, commit to the flames with indignant hands, those instruments of torture, so long a disgrace to a. city over whose ancient ruins the British flag waved*.

This document is dated " Malacca, 16th August, 1644.”

" What an abominable treason and conspiracy have we not discovered in Naning in the conduct of five Malays, named INCH! ITAM, Boivoson, SILLAP, POETARA, and a slave of the name of Pnrcrwnw, who had been compelled by his master to join the conspirators against Malacca. We have often trusted ITAM with letters to the chiefs at Naning and Rumbowe, but he has performed our commands in a very unfaithful manner, by laying secret schemes with the said chiefs against us, and three different times he swore fealty in favor of them, against our Government, that he would not discover and make known to us any plan which our enemy might project against our interest, and if we should purpose to despatch a force thither, he would give timely notice to them of our design. Moreover, he had undertaken to lead 1,000 Manikdbowes to Malacca, in order to attack and destroy the settlement. All this he did, and dissembled with us. Incar, SILLAP, Bouason, and Ponnan were for a considerable length of time our inhabitants, and were together with the troops where Captains Fonsmvaaao and Mann: were murdered ; since which time, they have taken up arms against our Government, and threatened to murder us in our council

' His Lordship, after the taking of Java, presented Malacca with a full length portrait of himself, in which the burning of the instruments of torture is represented. The picture was formerly suspended in the Stadt-house, but now adorns the courthouse of Malacca.


« PreviousContinue »