Saturday, January 23, 2010

Naning State(1641-1832)


Naning is an area in modern day Malacca, Malaysia and was founded in 1641. Naning was previously one of the 9 states of Negeri Sembilan but it was later annexed by the British into Malacca in 1832 via the Naning War. Malacca at that time was a British holding.

Naning was a small inland state of about 200 sq miles, between Rembau and Malacca, about 10 miles from Malacca. According to census of 1829, the population was estimated at 4875 Malays, of which 1,200 men are able to arm. Most part are covered with jungle. It was a little state found by Minangkabou in 16th to 17th century. It was one of the loose federation of Negeri Sembilan, a suzerainty of Johore Sultanate. During 18th century, like other principalities of Negeri Sembilan, become independent of Johor. In 1757, Sultan of Johor ceded its normal right of suzerainty to the Dutch.

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In 1643, Dutch force invaded Nanning and obtained treaty for yearly tribute of 1/10 of their produces, and accepted Dutch advice for government. In the 18th century, the chieftainships become hereditary in the family of Abdul Said, but the accession need to be confirm by the Dutch. In 1757, Sultan of Johor ceded its normal right of suzerainty to the Dutch. It was however only nominal and not real dependency. The Dutch was not able to collect the revenue from the small and poor state, as it was not cost effective to do so. Dutch did not enforce the treaty, instead in 1765 reduced the revenue to nominal yearly 400 gantangs of paddy, about 1/1000 of the produce. The Dutch did not enforce the treaty and let Naning ruled by itself.

When British first ruled Malacca 1795-1818, Naning was part of British conquered territories, and little attention was paid to it until 1801, a treaty similar to Dutch treaty was made with Abdul Said and Colonel Taylor, the British Resident of Malacca. It also include the power of appointment of Penghulu whenever the post was vacant. This treaty was regarded by Governor Fullerton(1824-1829 as Governor of the Strait Settlement) as proof that Naning was part of Malacca. The Dutch restored their rule over Malacca on 25 Mar 1802 by terms of Treaty of Amines,but the British continue administration. In 5 Apr 1825, Malacca beome British colony again with the exchange of Bengkulu, Sumatra. The British investigated the status of Naning in 1827 by Superintendent of Land ,Malacca Mr Lewis, final report was submitted on 11-3-1829. His report was incomplete and misleading.

At the first meeting of Penang Council on 30-1-1828. Samuel Garling, resident councilor of Malacca(1826-1841) was against the claim. The decision was to refrain from attempt to levy the 10th.

In July 1828, Lewis urged that for financial reasons, Naning should not be exempted from the 10th., to enforce the treaty, which later lead to Naning War. Governor Fullerton agreed with Lewis and directed Naning bought under the same system as the Penghulu in Malacca sultanate. The new policy met resistance from Naning. Lewia asked for Sepoys be sent for the protection of collection agents. Penang Council decided taht Land Department should persuade people to pay, should not sent troops to compel them.

In Dec 1828, the Penghulu try a murder case, which was illegal, and should be tried at Malacca.

The meeting of Penang Council on 2-2-1829 to decide what policy to adopt in view of non-payment of levy. Samuel Garling and Anderson were against the claim. Fullerton was not convinced.

In March 1829 meeting of Penang Council, Lewis submitted the final report, Fullerton was convinced his previous conviction was correct. He decided however to leave the matter unattended until the death of Abdul Said, and to refer the question of 10th to the directors of East India Company(EIC). The collection of 10th was temporary suspended

During Governor Fullerton visit to Malacca, he summoned Abdul Said, but he refused to meet him. Fullerton reported to the Governor General of India. In May 1829, Abdul Said sabotage the taking of census by Land Department. The Governor Fullerton ordered Thomas Church, Deputy Resident of Malacca to Naning, accompanied with guard of Sepoys. A body of troops was also held in readiness. The good relationship was reestablished and census taken.

When Governor Fullerton revisited Malacca on 19-10-1829, Abdul Said refused to meet him again.He sent embassies to the neighboring states, and prepared for war. The Governor intended to invade Naning but due to opposition from Council members,he laid the matter to the Supreme Government.The Indian Government referred the matter to the Directors,and it was not decided for almost 2 years. Penang Presidency was abolished on 12-11-1829 Governor Fullerton was the last governor in Penang & has retired. Robert Ibbetson (1829-1833) was appointed on 12-11-1829 as Resident Councilor of Penang(Ironically he was also Resident Councilor of Malacca in 1826), at the time Samuel Garling was still the Resident Councilor of Malacca(1826-1841).

The Director's letter which was dated 2-6-1830 supported Fullerton's view.

On 17-1-1831, Ibbetson wrote to the Supreme Government that it was too late to follow the instruction, he advised that troops to sent to Naning to collect the 10th. The Supreme Government on 2-4-1831 approved to give the Governor Ibbetson discretion to act as he thought best.

In July 1831, 150 Sepoys were sent to Taboh, Abdul Said's capital. Taboh was 22 miles from Malacca and for the last 12 miles there was no road. The war had started....

Naning War 1831-1834

The 1st Naning War started in 1831 and lasted around two years until 1833. The Penghulu of Naning then, Dol Said was enraged over British claim over Naning as part of Malacca. Claiming to have inherited a right formerly held by the Dutch, British officials at Malacca demanded one-tenth of Naning’s annual crop in 1829. Dol Said, of course, refused resulting in a British attack upon Naning in 1831. Dol Said managed to fend off the attack with help from his allies, Rembau, a small state at the border of Naning.The ruler was Raja Ali,he sent his son in law Saiyid Shaaban with several hundreds Malay to help.

Towards the end of March 1832, the British attacked Naning once again with a much larger force. The 2nd Naning War started. Colonel Herbert led the attack. Dol Said did not have the help of his allies this time. His army was defeated and Taboh was captured in June 1832, and he surrendered. He was offered a pension and a house in Malacca.

A second expedition ended Naning’s resistance after a three-month campaign in 1832, but the costly and humiliating war discouraged British expansion in Malaya for the next four decades.

After 9 months campaign, 1200 Indian troops overcame a hundreds badly armed Malays and obtained an annual revenue of $100 at the cost of Sterling pound 100,000. Much of the blame were be equally shared by Governor Fullerton of Strait Settlement, and Lewis,Superintendent of Land ,Malacca. the Dutch merchants at Malacca were also partly responsible for the war, who were the councilors of the Naning.

After the war has broke up, in 1831, Governor Ibbetson, Fullerton's successor, had the Dutch record reexamined. He found that Lewis and Governor Fullerton were wrong, Naning was not integral part of Malacca territory. If the true report was given, Naning War would have been avoided.

1. William Thomas Lewas(1791-1875)

Ironically William Thomas Lewas was the acting Resident Councillors & Resident Councillors for Malacca from 1838 to 1855. Fullerton was retired on 12-11-1829.

Dec 1838 - 1841 William Thomas Lewis (1st time) (b. 1791 - d. 1875)
(acting for Garling)
1843 - 1844 William Thomas Lewis (2nd time)
(acting for Salmond)
25 Nov 1846 - 1847 William Thomas Lewis (3rd time)
1854 - 1855 William Thomas Lewis (4th time)

2. Samuel Garling(1793-1857)

1826 - 1841 Samuel Garling Resident Councilor of Malacca
1848 - 1849 Samuel Garling Resident Councillor of Penang

3.Robert Ibbetson(b. 1789 - d. 1860)

Robert Ibbetson joined the service in 1804 as a writer. In 1807 he was appointed an assistant in the Secretary's Office. In 1808 he was appointed to assistant in the Collector's Office. In 1810 he was made Deputy Collector at Malacca and promoted in 1810 to Collector and his responsibilities expanded to include Paymaster and Commissary of Provisions, at Malacca. In 1811 he was Factor, Paymaster and Storekeeper. In 1814 he was Junior Merchant and Commissary for the Recovery of Small Debts. In 1817 he was promoted to Senior Merchant and Sheriff. In 1820 he was Paymaster and Storekeeper and Suptd of the Company's Law Suits. In 1824 he was Secretary and actg Accountant. In 1825 he was Provisional Member of Council for the Straits Settlements (from 3 Feb). In 1826 he was Fourth in Council and Resident Councillor at Malacca. In 1826 he was Resident Counsellor at Penang. In 1827 his responsibilities expanded to include Suptd of Landed Tenures, Collector of Quit Rents, and Civil & Marine Warehouse Keeper. In 1828 he was made Second in Council. In 1829 he was assisted by James William Salmond, Second Asst to the Resident Councillor at Penang.

1826 - 27 Nov 1826 Resident Counsellor at Malacca
27 Nov 1826-12 Nov, 1829 Resident Councillor at Prince of Wales Island(Penang) in 1826, under Fullerton at Penang.(Formation of strait settlement)
12 Nov 1829-1 May 1830 Resident Councillor at Penang in 1829, under Fullerton at Singapore. Ibbetson succeeded Fullerton, taking charge of direct governance of Penang, as the sole survivor of the officials appointed to the new Penang Presidency in 1805. Capital moved from Penang to Singapore.
1-5-1830 - 1830 Resident Councillor at Penang under Fullerton at Singapore.The Presidency was abolished on 1 May 1830. Presidency of the Straits Settlements was downgraded to a single Residency.
1830 -12 Nov 1830 Deputy-resident(formerly called Resident Councillor) of Penang. Office of Governor of the Straits Settlement retained but title changed to Resident.
12-11-1830 - 7-12-1833 2nd Governor of Strait Settlement appointed by EIC at Penang

4. Robert Fullerton (b 1773-d 1831)

Robert Fullerton (born Edin., Scotland 1773; d. Lon. 1831) was a Governor of Penang and also the first Governor of Straits Settlements, appointed by the Colonial Office, London. He died in 1831 in London, England. Robert Fullerton received his original appointment on 4 Feb 1824 and was Governor of Prince of Wales Isle from 20 Aug 1824 to 1826 after which he became the Governor of the newly incorporated Straits Settlements of Singapore (including Christmas Island and the Cocos-Keeling group), Penang (including Province Wellesley), and Malacca under the British administration in India. The Governor of the Straits Settlements was assisted by three Resident Counsellors; the Resident Counsellor of Penang, the Resident Counsellor of Malacca and the Resident Counsellor of Singapore.

Robert Fullerton became the first Governor of the Straits Settlements, based in Penang, and served in that capacity from November 27, 1826 to November 12, 1829.

4 Feb 1824 - 27 Nov 1826 Lt Governor of the Residency of Penang (Prince of Wales' Island & Province Wellesley)
27 Nov 1826 - 12 Nov 1829 1st Governor of Strait Settlement appointed by EIC, under the British administration in India,seat at Penang.
12 Nov 1829 - 12 Nov, 1830: Governor and Treasurer of the Residency of the Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca, seat moved from Penang to Singapore. Fullerton continued to govern the Staits till 12 November 1830 when he handed over to Ibbetson.

Dato' Dol Said, atau Abdul Said (1773 - 1849)

Dato' Dol Said, or Abdul Said (1773 - 1849), was the Penghulu of Naning. He was appointed as Penghulu to replace Penghulu Anjak in 1799 when he was only 26 years.

Chronological events

1641 State of Naning founded.
1831 Naning War
1832 Annexed by U.K. to Malacca.

Rulers (title Maharaja Lela)
1641 .......
.... - 1801 Datuk Anjak
1801 - 1832 Datuk Abdul Saiyid /Dol Said(1773-1849)

Related blog/websites:
1. Dol Said (Pahlawan Naning), by Nakhoda_Hitam,
2. Naning in Melaka, By Jonathan Cave, Monograph 16 ,
3. 'British Malaya (1824-1867) by L A Mills, Volume I Part II Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS), October 1923,published by Kuala Lumpur : MBRAS
4. Political and statistical account of the british settlements in the straits of Malacca Vol 2(1839), by t.j. newbold, Treaty with Naning. pg 454- pg 458, published by John Muray UK.


  1. There's a little bit mistake about the 100,000 is not $100,000 is actually 100,000 British pounds, you can check it once more onto a book British Malaya 1824 - 1867 (MBRAS) by L.A. Mills about Naning War pg. 137 - 151, you facts about the history of Naning is correct, I really felt glad about your works and also time to wrote this in internet.

  2. Thank you for highlight the error, it has been amended accordingly.