Friday, July 17, 2009

Brown Road

Brown Road (Jalan Brown)
The road was named after David Brown(1778-1825). The largest land owner in Colonial Penang. The person who donated the Padang Brown, snake temple,USM etc. There is a Brown Memorial, a monument at the Padang Brown in remembrance of him, built by people of Penang. Brown's properties included plantation land in Ayer Rajah, Glugor(now USM, Minden), Sungai Ara(now known as Taman Kenari),and even Strawberry Hill in Penang Hill.

It is located between Burma Road and Western Road(now Jalan Utama). From Jalan Utama, just opposite the Western Road Christian Cemetery it lead to Midland Park Shopping Centre , Berjaya Hotel at Burma Road, the area is called Pulau Tikus. The road located in high end residential area, where bungalow, either government or private owned bungalow are located at both side of the road. But toward Pulau Tikus, there are apartments.

It was intersected by Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman(previously Jalan Ayer Rajah), and Jalan Scott. Jalan Brother James also joined to the right side of the road. Ayer Rajah Road or Jalan Ayer Rajah was named after the Telok Ayer Rajah, the bay between Georgetown and Tanjong Tokong. The new Malay name is named after Tunku Abdul Rahman,the first Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1957 to 1970, who lived at Jalan Ayer Rajah. The area used to be called Ayer Rajah, Ayer Rajah Estate located here in the past. The owner of the estate was James Scott , who is the trading partner of Francis Light(1740-1794), the founder of George Town,Penang. The ownership of the estate was transferred to Brown family after James Scott died in 1808. Scott Road or Jalan Scott was named after James Scott(1746-1808), Brown's family friend.

An article, New Ways of Knowing : The Price of Wales Island Gazette, Penang 's first newspaper, by Geoff Wade from University of Hong Kong, presented in Penang Story Conference 2002, reported the following;

Telok Ayer Rajah
(the “Bay of the Raja’s Water” –a reference most likely to that area where people anchored to obtain water from the waterfall), but which was used to refer to the areas between Tanjong and the Waterfall and including all the lands between the north beach and Penang Road, saw quite rapid development. Some of the land in this area was initially developed by people who bore Islamic names, but their place of origin is not clear

The time is around 1806, except for the north beach, it sound like Pulau Tikus , isn't it? North beach may be the Gurney Drive? the land between Penang Road,Tanjong and Gurney Drive, Waterfall area. It now more sound like the land between Penang Road and Tanjong Tokong/Waterfall Garden,which include Bagan Jamal, Pulau Tikus.

Some History

I can only found data from the net on George Scott, who was from Air Rajah Estate. Most of the children of James Scott are not identified by me, except William Scott from Singapore and Robert Scott, Batavia,Java. George Scott, I found George Scott and his family's tombstones in Protestant Cemetery, but cannot confirm their relationship to James Scott? Is George Scott, the son of James Scott? can anyone help?

George Scott
George Scott(died on 7-11-1880, at the age of 79, should born in 1801)
of Air Rajah Estate, married to sister of John Turnbull Thomson. He was an engineer arrived in Penang in 1838.
He died on 7-11-1880, and was buried in Penang.

In an article, SOME 19th CENTURY VISITORS TO CAVES IN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA(2002) by Liz Price,which reported :

James Wheeler Woodford BIRCH (1826-1875) was the first British Resident appointed to Perak under the Pangkor Engagement of 1874. But only 12 months after taking up the post he was assassinated on 2 November 1875. His death was followed by the Perak War. Prior to taking up the Residency, he travelled through Selangor and Perak. On Monday 13 April he saw Gunung Pondok, and described it as a hill in a gorge sticking up like Punch's hat. On the 15th he wrote about the caves with huge stalactites in Gunong Pondok. He actually visited the caves on 8 March1875. In Birch’s report on Perak, 2 April 1875, he mentioned Gunong Pondok with its nitre caves. He had plans for a new road to Gunong Pondok. On 7 May he visited Gunong Mesa during a 10-day tour of the Kinta valley, and on the 8th, he wrote about Gunong Gaja. On 12 July he tookBooth and George Scott and Speedy to the nitra caves [Gunung Pondok], travelling by elephant

Thomas George BOOTH was of the 10th North Lincoln Regiment. George SCOTT was a Penang merchant. Captain SPEEDY was of the Straits Police, and temporary Assistant Resident at Pangkor.......Note: George SCOTT was a Penang merchant in 1875.

He may be related to James Scott, but relationship cannot be confirm. His children are:

Hugh Robert Scott(died 19-12-1872, age 35 ), new tomb 20-12-1872, buried in Penang.

George C Scott(died 30-1-1838, age 2 years 7 months, still a child). Buried in Penang, tomb erected by Harriet Scott(relationship unknown).

Patricia Elizabeth Scott Shaw(died 14-7-1933, age 83 years), married Francis Shaw, buried in Penang

(source: Penang Protestant Cemetery)

John Turnbull Thomson
(Born on 10-8-1821 at Glororum, Northumberland, England and died on 16-10-1884 at Invercargill, New Zealand.)

He was the 3rd child of Alexander Thomson and his wife Janet nee Turnbull. After his father was killed in a hunting accident in 1830, he went to live with his mother in Abbey St Bathabs, a community in Berwickshire, Scotland. It was reported that at the period,he mixed with the children of David Brown. He studied at Wooler and Duns Academy, and later Marischal College, and Edinburgh University. He later studied engineering at Peter Nicholson School at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Thomson, who arrived in Penang (but some article reported Singapore) in 1837 at the age of 16. He should come to Penang, as he was employed by David Brown from Penang to survey the estate of Scott, Brown & Co in Penang.(Note: at the time David Brown and James Scott has passed away, it must be younger member of David Brown family). From 1838-1841, he was in Penang surveying Penang and Province Wellesley; he also conducted marin surveying for Penang. The excellent maps produced attracted the Governor of Singapore, he was employed by the British EIC to survey Singapore. In Oct 1841,he was appointed Government surveyor at Singapore and in 1844,he become Superintendent of Road and Public Works. In 1853, he returned to England due to health reason but continue his study on modern engineering methods. He retired in 1855 from Singapore service. In 1856,he emigrated to New Zealand, and become the first Surveyor General of New Zealand from 1876-1879. Thomson married to Jane Williamson of Dunedin in 1876, by marriage he was the relative of William Hall Jones,the former Prime Minister of New Zealand. He died on 16-10-1884.

James Scott(1746-1808)

Trading Partner of Francis Light, early merchant of Penang. Died bankrupt due to his failed investment in James Town(now Bayan Lepas).

Many of the children of James Scott married with David Brown's children. But not able to identify the names of them. Two of the children are:

1. Robert Scott, merchant in Batavia, Java.

2. William Scott, Singapore planter, sons David Scott, Dr Keith Scott(surgeon in Assam, North East India)

Note: Anyone can help?, on the family of James Scott.

There are two old tombs in Penang Protestant Cemetery, Walter Scott(died on 30-1-1885, at the age of 59, should born in 1826; and Harry Scott, died on 22-5-1888, at age of 28 years, should born in 1860. James Scott was from Scotland, the Scotts buried here are Scots,may be from the same home town at Scottish border area of Roxburghshire(where James Scott come from), or Berwickshire(where David Brown, James Richardson Logan come from). In early Penang,there were group of Scottish people in colonial Penang, who come as traders, planters, and administrators; contribute much to Penang.

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I have been doing some research for a history project and found your site, and also That website does say that James Scott and David Brown who became business partners through intermarriage:

    I also hope you don't mind us referencing your extremely useful compendium of local history; this is for Poskod.My, an independent online magazine. I'd be more than pleased to share with you the output of this project if you wish. Please feel free to contact me directly if you want to.

    Am very sorry I don't have a legit blogger account, I just made one to comment on this entry.

    Kind regards

    Grace Chin
    gracechin AT gmail DOT com