From The Light Letters Collection: Correspondence Between Sultan Abdullah Mukaram Shah And Francis Light

Sultan Abdullah Mukaram Shah ruled Kedah from 1778 until 1797. During his time, Pulau Pinang was occupied by Francis Light. A treaty was concluded between the East India Company and Kedah in 1791. The close relationship between Sultan Abdullah Mukaram Shah and Light cannot be denied. We find more than 130 letters sent by Sultan Abdullah to Francis Light from 1785 to 1794. These letters, written in the Jawi script, are very well preserved in the Archives and Special Collections, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Library, University of London with the reference number MS 40320. The letters were transliterated and a summary of each letter is provided in Bahasa Melayu as well as in English. The contents of the letters are invaluable to understand the early history of Pulau Pinang, Kedah and the region.


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Archives and Special Collections,
SOAS Library, University of London
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square

Manuscript Reference Number: MS 40320

For further information, please contact:
Professor Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Murad Merican (, Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Mr. Abdur-Rahman Mohamed Amin (, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS.

We would like to thank the Archives and Special Collections, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Library, University of London, for providing access to the Light Letters Collection. We are particularly indebted to Susannah Rayner, who was head of Archives and Special Collections at SOAS Library and Erich Kesse, the Digital Library Project Officer at SOAS Library. Our gratitude goes to Dr. Mulaika Hijjas, Professor Ernst Ulrich Kratz and Dato’ Dr. Annabel Teh Gallop. Our appreciation is also extended to Zulqarnain Abu Bakar, Muhaimin Sulam, M Pisol Mat Isa, M Nuri al-Amin and Raja Ahmad Iskandar Raja Yaacob of the Department of Management and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the transliteration and summary for each letter. Any comment and feedback are welcomed.


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