Catalogue description Factory Records: Straits Settlements

This record is held by British Library: Asian and African Studies

Details of IOR/G/34
Reference: IOR/G/34
Title: Factory Records: Straits Settlements

Miscellaneous papers, 1769-1795.


Bengal consultations relating to Prince of Wales island, 1786-1795.


Prince of Wales island public consultations, 1805-1830.


Prince of Wales island Secret and Political consultations, 1806-1829.


Prince of Wales island Marine consultations, 1806-1809.


Prince of Wales island Military consultations, 1806-1807.


Singapore diaries, 1827-1830.


Singapore Political and Secret consultations, 1827-1830.


Malacca Public consultations, 1827.


Malacca Political consultations, 1828.


Malacca journals and ledgers, 1826-1830.


Letters received from Prince of Wales island, 1805-1830.


Abstracts of letters received from Prince of Wales island, 1805-1830.


Despatches to Prince of Wales island, 1805-1830.


Abstracts of despatches to Prince of Wales island, 1805-1830.

Date: 1786 - 1830
Related material:

Java Factory Records (G/21); Bengal and Government of India Proceedings (P)


IOR: H/437 ff.139-89 'A historical sketch of the circumstances which led to the settlement of Penang & of the trade to the eastward previous to and since that period. James Scott published as 'Historical sketch of Penang in 1794' ed John Bastin Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 32/1 (1959).

Held by: British Library: Asian and African Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Physical description: 196 volumes
  • Straights Settlements, Malaysia
Administrative / biographical background:

In 1772, Francis Light, a Company servant who had traded extensively in the native states of the Malay Peninsula, wrote to the Government of Bengal recommending the country of Quedah as a trading base for the eastern trade. The Company were keen to establish a commercial port in the region and obtained the island of Pulo Penang in Quedah in 1786, renaming it Prince of Wales island. Fourteen years later a tract of land on the nearby coast was also obtained and renamed Province Wellesley. In 1795 the Company acquired the port of Malacca from the Dutch and in 1805 Penang was raised to the status of presidency.


In 1818, under the Treaty of Vienna, Malacca was restored to the Dutch. In order to protect British trade in the area and to secure the passage through the Straits of Malacca, the Company servant Stamford Raffles was sent from Bengal with instructions to form a settlement on Rhio, south of Malacca. He found the place in Dutch hands, however, and selected Singapore as a suitable alternative. In 1819 Raffles obtained the right from the ruler of Singapore to establish a factory there. At first the factory came under the control of Fort Marlborough in Sumatra but in 1823 it was placed under the Government of Bengal.


In 1825 Malacca was restored to the English and in 1826 Penang, Malacca and Singapore were brought together under a single administration at Penang. In 1830, all three settlements were brought under the Bengal presidency. In 1851 the Straits Settlements, as they were known, were brought under the Government of India and in 1867 their administration was transferred to the Colonial Office. The following persons held official appointments in the Straits Settlement, (compiled from the East India Register 1805 - 1830).

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