Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Andrew Clarke, Death 29 March 1902, London

London And China Telegraph Newspaper Archive: April 1, 1902 - Page 17-18

Sir Andrew Clarke, G.C.G.M.C.

We much regret to announce the death of Lieut-General Sir Andrew Clarke, which occurred at his residence, 31, Portland-place, on 29th ult., after a long period of physical weakness and ill-health, during which, however, he discharged his varied duties as Agent-General for the Colony of Victoria, and as a director of several companies. Owing to his age (78), and becoming very much worse last week, he telegraphed to the Government of Victoria a request to be relieved of his duties, which was granted. He virtually died, however, as he wished to die, in harness, a strenuous worker to the end. He was proud of recalling be was the last survivor of the framers of the first Constitution of Victoria in 1855, and he lived to see the foundation of the Australian Commonwealth and to entertain the hope that he might be chosen as its first Imperial Commissioner in the capital of the Empire.

Born on July 27, 1824, at Southsea,  Andrew Clarke was the son of Colonel Andrew Clarke, R.E., of Belmont county Donegal, the first Governor of Western Australia. He entered the Royal Engineers, and only a few months ago he became Colonel-Commandant of that corps, an honour he has not held very long. Before he was 25 years of age Sir Andrew had been a member of the Legislative Assemblies of Tasmania and Victoria, and was the first member elected (at the age of 26) for Melbourne under the new Constitution. While in Australia Sir Andrew held many high appointments. In 1858 he left Australia, and has never returned.

After other appointments he did much work connected with his profession as Director of Works for the Navy, a post he held for nine years. In that period the naval arsenals at and Plymouth were so altered, improved, and strengthened as to form practically new works. Similar fortified bases were constructed at Malta, Cork, and Bermuda, where his floating dock was one of the engineering wonders of the day. His further suggestions with regard to Colombo, Singapore, and other Imperial defences were not put into effect until he held the post of Inspector-General of Fortifications, nine years later.


In 1873 Sir Andrew became Governor of the Straits Settlements, where he did most admirable work. He carefully studied the policy of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, and he set himself the task of completing it by bringing the Malay States under the protection of Great Britain. In an address to the Royal Institution in May, 1898, he gave a graphic description of the terrible condition of those States in 1874, when he took up the question.

Years of guerilla warfare between rival Malay chiefs and their adherents on the one hand, and between various Chinese societies and factions on the other, had put a stop to all legitimate work. Towns and villages had been destroyed, mines closed, orchards wasted, and fields left uncultivated for years. There was no safety for life and property, no money, no trade, and little food in the country. Lawlessness and oppression prevailed everywhere, and those who found it hard to live on shore took to the water, and made the Straits of Malacca the scene of their operations, so that hardly a day passed but some small trading vessel would be attacked, and burned after the entire crew had been murdered.

Such was the formed by these Malay Native States, which Sir Andrew Clarke had to bring into order and the British Empire. In 1874 he proceeded to Perak, and by a succession of firm and well-conceived measures induced the Malay chiefs to sign the treaty of Pangkor, which bound them to accept British Residents. At the same time he induced the Chinese miners, whose faction fights had caused much trouble, to disarm. From 1832 to 1874 the Government of India in the first stage, and the Crown in the second, ignored that region, with the deplorable results recorded by Sir Andrew. The consequences of Sir Andrew's measures in the last-named year may be recognised from the indisputable facts that since then the population has quadrupled, the land revenue increased several hundredfold, the imports and exports 40 times, and the total revenue has for some years exceeded that of the colony. Roads, railways, telegraphs, and other important public works have been carried out. Very curiously, he applied on this occassion, April, 1874, to Queen Victoria, for the first time on record the now historic title of Empress of India, which Major McNair, a member of the Government, translated for him in the Arabic proclamation as Kaisar-i-Hind. It was not, we believe, until four years later that Lord Beaconsfield adopted the glorious title.

The Malay Peninsula was in 1871-74 justly likened to England under the Heptarchy, with this difference, that in place of seven States there were about 20. And what a change took place in only a few years as a result of Sir Andrew Clarkes wise and benign administration and the influence of the British residents (Sir Hugh Low, Sir Frank Swettenham, Mr. W. H. Treacher, Mr. J. P.Rodger, Mr. Hugh Clifford, and others) who were placed by Sir Andrew Clarke at the native courts of Perak, Selangor, Sungei Ujong, Negri Sembilan, and Pahang, and whose moral force, backed by the reserved force credited to the centre of government at Singapore, sufficed to subdue the restless and anarchical spirit of the Malays. It is only just to remember that Sir Andrew has himself publicly stated that it was on the advice of Mr. W. H. Read, C.M.G., who went to the peninsula with him, that he set up the Residential System.


The Treaty of Pangkore is the signed and sealed evidence of how Sir Andrew Clarke consolidated the Malay Peninsula for US.

The Muntri of Larut at that time was the son of a Malay trader named Inchi Jaffar, who was employed by the previous Sultan to collect the revenue and receive the royalty on the tin mines worked by the Chinese from Penang. These Sultans, not wishing to be bothered with the direct rule of the turbulent Chinese, and living up-country, gradually let the Muntri take command of the whole district of Larut, and were satisfied to receive in return, at intervals, valuable presents. Inchi Jaffar did not have any trouble with the Chinese, but his son, soon after his death, was not so fortunate, and Nga Ibrahim, as the Muntri was called, sided with the Hye-San or Go-Kwans (Keh Chinese) against the rival faction of See-Kowans (Macao Chinese) who belonged to the Gee-Hin Society. The Sultan Ismail, being of a retiring disposition, was supported by the Muntri in preference to the more energetic Rajah Muda, who would find out the value of the Muntri's monopoly. The defeated Macao Chinese joined the cause of the Rajah Muda in the Perak succession war, and Captain Speedy, a former Superintendent of Police at Penang, with 300 Indian Sepoys, joined the service of the Muntri. Thus the war practically became a struggle between the two factions of Penang Chinese instead of being a Malay civil war, and the Chinese wanted to fight out the matter in the streets of Penang instead of keeping to Perak. The Muntri's house, which stood on the site of some existing houses in Penang road, opposite the end of Muntri-street, was blown up on Sept. 16, 1873, H.M.S. Midge and H.M.S. Thalia being fired upon, and matters became very critical. Mr. Pickering (now C.M.G.) was sent up to Penang to interview the Chinese factions and ascertain if they were willing to come to terms with each other. The Gee-Hins were agreeable, but asked that Captain Speedy's men might make an armistice when they would disarm. Major McNair (now C.M.G.) and Captain Dunlop (now Colonel and C.M.G.) were sent in the steamer Johore to carry out the disarmament and armistice, and to arrange for all the chiefs to meet the Governor at Pangkore, to collect all information, and to feed the rival factions whose piracies had brought about a general starvation.

In accordance with a telegram from the Governor to the Lieutenant-Governor (Anson), Mr. (now Sir Frank) Swettenham was dispatched in the Avon to Larut, to see about the surrender of the Muntris Chinese allies, to request an armistice, and to arrange about the meeting of the Perak chiefs at Pangkore. Sir Frank Swettenham appears to be now the only one left in the Straits that took part in the Perak affairs of 1874.

Sir Andrew arrived at Pangkore in the colonial steamer Pluto on Jan 13, 1874. Messrs. McNair and Dunlop turned up with some Chinese headmen and others on board H.M.S. Avon. At noon the next day the Muntri arrived in his yacht. The Rajah Muda, with Messrs. McNair and Dunlop, who had been sent to fetch him in the Johore, and the other chiefs and Chinese headmen, one by one appeared on the scene, from Penang and Perak. Interviews and consultations went on apace. On Jan. 20, 1874, on the colonial steamer Pluto, at 11.30 a.m., the Chinese headmen signed the agreement to keep peace amongst themselves. At 3 p.m., the Rajah Muda came on board with the chiefs and signed the Treaty of Pangkore, on which a salute of 11 guns was fired in honour of the Rajah Muda, who was henceforth to be recognised as Sultan of Perak.

In the peace of his London home, far from the Malay Peninsula, Sir Andrew would recall how later he met one of the who said to him, "You promised me silk and fine clothes, instead of rags, if I would follow your advice, and here I am wearing them." And Rajah Bot looked a prince as he thus spoke, instead of a cateran. In 1875 Sir Andrew was employed on a special mission to Siam, where he was able to avert serious impending troubles, and the fascinating record of which mission he recently gave us from his own pen. From 1875 till 1880 he was Director of Indian Public Works and a member of the Council of the Viceroy.

Having closed his official career in 1886, when he attained the rank of lieutenant-general, Sir Andrew sought Parliamentary honours, contesting Chatham in that year, and again in 1893, as a Home Rule supporter of Mr. Gladstone. He was unsuccessful on both occassions, and he was perhaps the only Ulster Protestant who ever associated himself with the Home Rule Party. Latterly, he had modified his views. He was much occupied in City affairs, and held amongst other directorships that of a director of the British North Borneo Company. He married in 1867, Mary Margaret Ellen, eldest daughter of Mr. C. W. Mackillop, formerly of the Bengal Civil Service, and leaves an only daughter. Lady Clarke died in 1895. The funeral will take place on Thursday (3rd inst.) at Lockbrock Cemetery, Bath, where the late Lary Clarke is buried.

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