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I: An Outline History to the Early Twentieth Century - article ; n°1 ; vol.28, pg 117-148


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Archipel - Année 1984 - Volume 28 - Numéro 1 - Pages 117-148
32 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.



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Russell Jones
I: An Outline History to the Early Twentieth Century
In: Archipel. Volume 28, 1984. pp. 117-148.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Jones Russell. I: An Outline History to the Early Twentieth Century. In: Archipel. Volume 28, 1984. pp. 117-148.
doi : 10.3406/arch.1984.1923
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/arch_0044-8613_1984_num_28_1_1923MALAY STUDIES AND THE BRITISH
Russell JONES
I : An Outline History to the Early
Twentieth Century
landmarks found When that in one to the progress. charts early the centuries For development this it reason is the of publications the Malay sources studies (pp. which in 146-148) England provide are it the will listed chief be
according to the year of publication rather than in alphabetical order of
author's names. In a sense the publications are the tangible evidence upon
which the story hangs. We shall find that by the nineteenth century the fuller
documentation enables us to establish the individual scholars as the land
marks. And in the final stages, to be discussed in a later instalment, we shall
find a continuity provided by institutions and journals.
The beginnings : Malay in the seventeeth century
This survey covers a fairly broad spectrum of Malay studies, but always
an attempt will be made to keep the focus on studies of the language.
The first English publication in the Malay field was a manual for practi
cal use, produced in 1614 by a merchant, under the title :
« Dialogues in the English and Malaiane languages : or, certaine common formes
of speech, first written in Latin, Malaian, and Madagascar tongues, by the dil
igence and painfull endevour of Master GOT ARDUS ARTHUSIUS, a Dantisker,
and now faithfully translated into the English tongue by AUGUSTINE SPAL-
DING Merchant... » 118
It is in fact an English translation (which Spalding's «11 or 12 years» in
the area enabled him to correct in places) of the Latin version of Frederick de
Houtman's Spraeck ende Woord-boek, first published in 1603 in Amsterdam
(see 1603).
Spalding comes to notice in Banten, West Java, in July 1605, being des
cribed as «our interpreter, being a bould youth»; in a footnote Sir William
Foster (1943, p. 158) writes of him :
« Spalding, who was a native of Wrenton (in Somersetshire), had come out in
some subordinate capacity, but soon displayed an aptitude for languages that
made him very useful. Remaining at Bantam after Scott's departure, in the
autumn of 1609 ha was appointed by Keeling to the post of Agent there. He retur
ned to England in 1614, and was charged by the Company with having enriched
himself to the value of eight or ten thousand pounds at its expense. At the end of
1617, however, he was once more engaged and was sent out to Bantam as Agent;
there his speculations in private trade were rumoured to have made him worth
20,000/. He sailed for England at the end of 1623, and on arrival was threatened
by the Company with an action for private trading; but the dispute was settled in
the end by his paying a fine of 900/. This is the last we hear of him. Spalding is
known as the author of a small volume published in 1614 and dedicated to Sir
Thomas Smythe, entitled Dialogues in the English and Malaiane Languages. This
was translated from the Latin of Gotardus Arthusius. »
The second English publication concerning Malay is «A brief Vocabulary
of the Malayan Tongue» (see 1673). Although this vocabulary has been ment
ioned from time to time, in my first draft of this paper I had to admit that I
had no information on it. Since then I have been able to trace it, in a publica
tion by John OGILBY (1600-1676), and I am preparing an edition of it, to be
published by the Indonesian Etymological Project. For the time being suffice
it to say that, like the first English publication, it is not original English scho
The third publication in Malay in England is a Malay rendering of the
four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, printed in Oxford in 1677 (see 1677). A
full description is given in 1911, (Darlow and Moule) p. 1039-40. This is one
of several instances of the study of Malay at the time being associated with
Oxford. The link in this case was Thomas HYDE, the scholar who supervised
the publication. Of him, Van Ronkel writes (1928, 311-2) «Thomas Hyde
(1636-1703) learned Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac, and was appointed -
having become an M.A. in 1659 and Bodleian Librarian in 1665 - Professor
in Arabic, later (1697) in Hebrew, and interpreter for Oriental languages to
the court. Exhausted by all his work, he died in 1703. There was scarcely any
Oriental language accessible to westerners which he did not know; he had lear
ned even Turkish and Chinese. That such an Orientalist, like his Dutch coun- *» 1
and Laun,Malaian5 CERTAINE OF a pahfu/lendeuour Danttsker SPEECH and now Madagafcar of faithfully FIRST Majer COMMON G tran or tongues, fated WRITTEN a ki>yS into by FORMFS Arthvsivs the thedfcnce EMBh IN '
/^;AvovsTiNE J or thetrfakefy vndertake who a voyage happtfy SrALDtnoMtrdw, fhatt to the hereafter
ïmpnmcdbyFiux t Cimrch-yard,acthe%ncofthcSwan. M* », aïd AT are to LONDON, bec Kyno m ston a{ hî$ fl»P for « Wilviau P«k .
Title page of Spalding's Dialogues in the English and Malaiane languages of 1614. 120
terpart Erpenius, also included Malay in the orbit of his studies, goes without
saying.» But unlike Spalding, Hyde had never been in a Malay-speaking area.
He was strictly an academic scholar. As one might surmise from the spelling
jang in the title of his 1677 publication, it is taken over from an earlier Dutch
Malay version, which for the most part at least it copies word for word.
This Dutch version had been published in 1651 in Amsterdam by order of
the Dutch East India Company. The text is printed in two columns, in Dutch
in the left hand column and in romanised Malay in the right hand column (see
description in 1911, p. 1038). The Malay translation was accomplished by
Albert Ruyl, Jan van Hasel and Justus Heurnius. Albert Ruyl had been in the
Indies, having sailed as an Under merchant in the fleet of 1600 (1974, Swellen-
grebel, 11). Johan (sic) van Hasel, a Director of the Dutch East India Comp
any, had lived for some time «in Sangora» [modern Songkhla] «upon the
coast of Patani, where the true Malayan is said to be in use» (Marshall, in
1677, p. 1). Justus Heurnius had been in the Indies as a missionary for 15
years {8bid. p.2).
Possibly Malay was not one of the languages of which Thomas Hyde had
a profound knowledge, at least in the 1670's, for he records that when he was
busy with this evangelical publication he had constantly to consult Dr. Tho
mas Marshall and the latter's dictionaries, and more than once he deplores the
lack of Malay vocabularies in England. However we should also note that by
1701 Hyde was sufficiently accomplished in the language to contribute a list of
Malay words in Jawi script to the dictionary which Thomas Bowrey published
that year. We owe this information and much more to a rather surprising
source, The Works of the Honourable Robert Boyle (1772), something which
Van Deventer drew to the attention of Van Ronkel (1928, 312). Boyle (1627-
1691) the famous natural philosopher and Hyde had one interest in common :
a zeal for spreading the Gospel. To this end brought his talent for Orient
al languages, while Boyle, son of an earl, land-owner and Director of the East
India Company, was the one to whom he turned for financial support for his
scholarship and publications. The two must have come into close contact
when Boyle was living at Oxford, from 1654 till about 1668. Subsequently,
after had moved to London, Hyde wrote him a number of letters, which
were eventually published in Boyle's collected works.
From these letters we discover for example (1772, vi, 564-5) that the print
run of the 1677 publication was 500, which Boyle took for distribution, presu
mably through the East India Company. The cost was about £ 21.15s.
So far as I can ascertain, there were only these three publications in
Malay in England in the seventeenth century, all of them derived from Dutch ,
in the Englîih Dialogues and Malaian languages,
JANG TOVIOII psce.a,y yoo R, R. V. horfe pîeafejt In W But Guis goetb mine is name ail bath gently." une " aïcry Jet to vs me/or ride. hard j | i p**tM de "pm h*my 't,J~* fdmm % la tarm THE SEVENTH DI- fU H CAT TA S A NUI A, A- Atoovt, roi is<iyi tntaiti* n\»n titng'an b«r- fl»y»n3ot1tt
fore ? s ? P««r, Ribs*.
P. Iknow them not.theyare 2*, tsfntm t ticdt Itn tl due y^tO'beiTi«tc»!'ul two you Merchants, J« vs fet forward d p X\ «*» Rebtrt.
R, A'C* hrj \>fn man twtn ulef K. Godgiweny Loralong way.haue take little them nandrtd f«flcr,that : for out I • wee feare of ' may the left cuei right we* finds.
Itk. , . , atbe P. P. 1 Jew hsue you «lone in «he M, /^< ng de K. We haue not gone oat of fyM * ftwyoulart? loin t the w ay,feare nor.
R. SâhaMbéijpi*!,, P. Yeritîsgôodthacweaske R. Eu*n«JweH,t. T, Padafiker htlA tied* *<LL$ fomebody. p. But it fesmetfo nos to me,
tHat the world goeth fo w el with
you now, as for the moft part it
was wok. R. Op-it «pfainnitat ltot*t ' doe you gather p. Whereby bend vnto and hand friend) S. R- P. neither a or you» You Enquire Vvhieh certaine that the reurt left, couife leadeth turne of tiuiII is huge goe this roto the to vnto (hefheard. forthright, you tree, the way Atche? come right then (my left
to? , , /*.«<%» mmkji nut, f»tcbi*t\. P, By your facc,mhie»ij alto
K, 'Bern édddljms attetinm R, I iuuehsu - — r--~ c.ilyp*>>£<tt de mamjLs mannd le- band, ai ague fiue or fee times, and I nhh'n h#tok<t,ta*g macC4nm ttt* R. How many miles are aat» io weakened thereby, that I ccounted from hence vnto the d* Indu*, h»oe no appetite at aiJ. __ next village? f. Hot ft»î*k* i*h*ât, g P. Tin* il an euiiJ difeaficbut
k hr\gi*i4f»tUhs»f S. Two miles and an halfe, wJuiber are you carried vpoa a little more, ibcpiUke art boric? P. Letvs therefore goe foroe- R, lAuht d*Lm b*rj L-fir. R. Towards Atche, to their What roor«f flowly.for I ara v, ith- jiilem >e fcaft, c«t a!i feare, and I fee tl.c tree, P, B*t*y*t».ifdi* matttu* P. I aili» goe ibhher, if you whereof hee/poîce, le isadurtse ipac farkoed* ftmma famm*. pk»(c ACv\iUrid«ti>getlier. loyk, and the cîufl hath almofl H, At<ml<tp*4itfotii,v>tltf> U. SirtlyitwouUpieareme, olmded me. fta btk$*ddp4ittju k*nts. but ym tjne much i*af 1er then I. R« Take this TaSatir,and pat p. We wtll ib«rei&ie rids as P, lahn fatyfettk* " t **»>**»£ y0"
E a
pp 30 and 31 of Spalding's Dialogues of 1614 (for the corresponding passage in De Houtman's publication of 1603
see 1970a, Lombard 'et al , pp. 79-83). 122
There is also evidence of scholarly activity from the same century which
has survived in manuscript form. Before considering that, we may turn our
attention to the more practical aspects of the cultivation of a knowledge of
Malay in England. It is of course associated with exploration and trade. Sir
Francis Drake on his circumnavigation of the globe passed through the Archi
pelago in 1578-79. Sir James Lancaster (ca. 1554-1618) commanded two tra
ding fleets to the East Indies, one of three vessels from 1591-94, and a second
one of four vessels from 1601-1603. It is probably as a result of the
voyage that we have in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, two Malay letters from
the Sultan of Aceh authorising two British captains to trade (1898, p. 107 ff).
One is dated 1011 AH( = A.D. 1602-1603), and the other doubtless belongs to
the same year. The dated letter was probably addressed to Sir James Lancast
er, and the other is addressed to Sir Henry Middleton, who accompanied
Lancaster on his voyage to the east in 1601. It is perhaps a significant com
ment on the perceived role of Malay that also in 1602-3 the Sultan of Aceh
wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth of England in Arabic. So far as I am aware it
is the only occasion on which an Indonesian ruler has written to a British sove
reign in that language. Also preserved in the Bodleian Library is a letter writ
ten in 1615 to the King of England (James I) by the Sultan of Aceh, but this is
in Malay, as are subsequent letters (1910 cols. 11-13; the date is not 1612 as
'given by Shellabear in 1898, 111).
I have not been able to discover any specific information on the cultiva
tion of Malay early in the seventeenth century; the fact that letters were recei
ved in must have been an incentive to the provision of translators or
interpreters. By 1603 the voyages to the east would have provided the opport
unity for some Englishmen to learn Malay, and may have brought foreign
speakers of Malay back to London. The publication of Spalding's dialogues
in 1614 is evidence of a demand for facilities to learn the language.
A fortuitous occurence late in the century gives us the opportunity to dis
cover how the practical study of Malay had developed before serious trading
contacts with the Malay world were a hundred years old. It so happened that
in April 1682 a mission from the rulers of Bantam, West Java, arrived in Lon
don (1982, esp. p. 9, 16-19). Although one of the two ambassadors spoke
English quite well, the accounts of the lavish hospitality extended to them
during their four-month stay in Britain make frequent mention of Englishmen
who attended as interpreters for them.
Four English are named; it is to be assumed that all four had
learned their Malay in the East Indies, although in the case of one - a Mr DICTIONARY
Malayo and Englifli.
To which ts Added
for the better Obfervation of the Propriety and Elegancy
of this Language.
Several Mifcellames^ Dialogues^ and Letters , in Evglijh and
JUU f the Learners better underftândwg the Expreffions of the
Together with
A Table of Time, computing the Years and Moons #fthe Hegira
to the Tears and Months of the EngUJhStHe, which Table will fcrve in
the Malaya Country» all the S&uth-$ca-Iftanis^ Jnàt4% Turhfy^ Arabia^
Morocco, and generally in ail Mahometan Countries.* To which is
anncx'J, The Malayo Alphabet \ with a S^uimen of the Chara&cr.
Primed by Sam. Brti/tBt the Author, and arc to be Sold by Da*. Brtmn at
Skm without 7W*-ftir, Tim. ŒU at the Whht-Hart in ^ Pauls aji
JohnThsrwon at the Pht in the Afunriei, wA Xicturd Ptrhr at the I/mcw» under the
VtiujUt of the Exchangt in Qrahil. 1701,
Title page of Thomas Bowrey's dictionary of 1701 124
English (or Inglis) - no information at all is available. One, Sir Henry
Dacres, had been Chief Factor at Bantam. A Mr [Robert] Marshall (not con
nected with Thomas Marshall) had also been in Bantam, as a Factor at the
British post there. Prominent amongst the interpreters was Mr. William
MAINSTON (or Mainstone); he had served the East India Company in
Macassar, Jambi and Bantam. He evidently had a more scholarly interest in
Malay than the other three, of which mention will be made presently. It is not
surprising that seventy nine years after the British company had established
itself in Bantam, it could muster officials who knew Malay (I know of no
other Indonesian language being spoken in England at that time). It can be
surmised that throughout the succeeding centuries, in view of British trading
links with the Archipelago, there would always be some one available in Lon
don to interpret or translate if the need arose.
We may now look at the manuscript evidence of British scholarly interest
in Malay. William Mainston, as we have seen, had served in the East Indies;
born in about 1626, he spent some time as a merchant in Holland and France,
learning the languages of both countries; in 1658 he was appointed fifth factor
in Bantam, but with the prospect of a further posting, to Macassar (India
Office Library, Letter Book 2, f. 113); Bassett records that in June 1660 he
was in Macassar, and in 1667 he was at the British settlement at Jambi, Sumat
ra (1958, 30, 37).
He was knighted later, and a manuscript of the Hikayat Muhammad
Hanafiyyah in the Library of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, is recorded as
having been presented by «Sir William Mainston» (1975, Brakel, 74-5; 1977,
Ricklefs & Voorhoeve, 1 1 1). But the manuscript which is of particular interest
us now is a work entitled «Grafnatica Mallayo = Anglica. The Mallayan Gra-
fnar Composed By W. Esqr 1682» (1910, cols. 18-20). This is dedicated to Sir
Josiah Child by Wm. Mainston, leading to the conclusion that Mainston was
the author. In this work the preface occupies pp. ix-xi, and the grammar pp.
1-45. Pp. 47-57 are occupied by miscellaneous notes on «The points of the
Mariners Compassé» in Malay, «Java. -Alphabet» and «Macassar - Alphab
et»; then «China. Numbers» and «English-Chinese Vocabulary». This
manuscript is registered as MS Ashmole 1808 in the Bodleian Library,
Oxford. Dr G.E. Marrison drew attention in 1968 to the fact that MS British
Museum Add. 7043, now in the British Library, London, is apparently a copy
of the same grammar. I have never examined them. The Bodleian manuscript
of the grammar is dated August 5, 1682 (Greentree & Nicholson, 1910, col.
19). In either case the date suggests that the visit of the Bantam emissaries in
1682, in which Mainston was so involved, provided the impetus - and pos- 125
sibly the informants — for the execution of the first original piece of research
in Malay language to be carried out by an Englisman. Hyde refers to this
grammar in a letter to Robert Boyle (1772, Boyle, 573) dated September 23
1684 : «As for the Malayan grammar of Mr Mainstone, Dr. Marshall is not
now in Oxford : but the bishop tells me, that it is a pitiful trifle, not of any
worth. However when Dr. Marshall comes home, I will discourse with him
farther about it».
In a letter dated February 23, 1688-9 Hyde makes a further interesting
reference to Mainston's scholarly efforts «...it were earnestly to be wished,
that you would use your interest with counsellor Jones of Lincoln 's Inn, to
procure the Malayan papers of his brother-in-law, Mr. Mainstone, deceased,
who, when he lived in India, had prepared for that language a dictionary,
which he intended to print. And the sooner this were done, so much the better,
that so I may have time to study the language, and fit myself for the business
to be done» (1772, Robert Boyle, 576.). Nothing is known of the manuscript
of this dictionary; it is just possible that it eventually came into the hands of
Thomas Bowrey.
Dr Thomas MARSHALL (1621-1685) was cast in a different mould. Like
Hyde first and foremost an academic scholar - though in his case mainly in
Teutonic languages - he never went to the Indies. He graduated from Oxford
in 1645 but having sided with the Royalist cause of King Charles I (who was
beheaded in 1649) found it expedient to go abroad. Proceeding to Rotterdam,
at the end of 1650 he became a preacher to the Company of Merchant Advent
urers. When they moved in 1656 to Dordrecht he accompanied them and
remained with them until 1672, in which year he was chosen Rector of his old
college, Lincoln College, Oxford; he became Dean of Gloucester in 1681.
During his sojourn in the Netherlands Marshall clearly acquired a knowl
edge of «Malayan» as well as of Dutch. Thomas Hyde showed his respect for
Marshall's scholarship in Malay and achnowledges his assistance in preparing
the Gospels for publication in 1677; in a letter dated July 31 1677 to Boyle he
writes «Dr. Marshall hath shewed himself very ready and willing to serve you
in this business; for I have given him a great deal of trouble, by going to him
with every proof-sheet, to consult his copies and dictionaries, about doubts,
which did perpetually occur» (1772, 564). Indeed, upon closer scrutiny one
wonders how accurate it is to regard the 1677 edition as the work of Hyde.
When we bear in mind the fact that Marshall spent twenty two years in Hol
land, learning Malay while he was there, and that five years after he returned
to England Hyde produced an English edition of a Dutch-Malay testament
which had been published the year after Marshall went to Holland. Then in