London, South Kensington
23 September 2010
TRAPAUD, Elisha (1750-1828). A Short Account of the Prince of Wales's Island, Or Pulo Peenang, in the East-Indies; given to Capt. Light, by the King of Quedah. Ornamented with an elegant Engraving, representing a View of the North Point of the Prince of Wales's Island, and the ceremony of christening it. London: John Stockdale, 1788. 8° in-4s (220 x 130mm). Engraved frontispiece, 2 folding maps, 8 leaves of pub's ads at end. (Light creasing and soiling and a few minor repairs to frontispiece, occasional light spotting, last few leaves with heavier creasing and soiling.) Sometime restitched using near contemporary marbled-paper wrappers, uncut, contained in a modern archival box (lightly rubbed and soiled).
EXTREMELY RARE FIRST EDITION OF THE PAMPHLET CELEBRATING THE MODERN FOUNDATION OF PENANG, MALAYSIA. Captain Francis Light (bap. 1740, d. 1794) commanded a ship out of Madras belonging to a syndicate of European merchants with interests in Sumatra and the northern regions of the Malay peninsula. In the 1770s, Light established trading connections with the sultan of Kedah. The Sultan offered him Penang in exchange for the East India Company's military protection, but the company refused to align themselves in this manner. By the early 1780s, growing Dutch power in the region led to a renewed interest in establishing a British base in the Strait of Malacca, and Light obtained a renewal of the offer of Penang from the sultan. According to the present work, the island formed a dowry upon Light's marriage to one of the sultan's daughters, which took place several years before the formal acquistion of the island as a British possession. This ceremony, which took place on 11 August 1786 is depicted in the frontispiece, with Light formally naming the territory Prince of Wales Island. NO COPIES CAN BE TRACED VIA ABPC AS HAVING SOLD AT AUCTION SINCE 1975. Goldsmiths 13611.
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