Amelia Ceridwen’s ‘The Silsilah Raja-Raja Perak I: A historical and literary investigation into the political significance of a Malay court genealogy’

This text was kindly provided by Amelia Ceridwen. Underlying manuscript: MS Maxwell 105, Royal Asiatic Society, London. From the edition of: Amelia Ceridwen. The Silsilah Raja-Raja Perak I: An Historical and Literary Investigation into the Political Significance of a Malay Court Genealogy. Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society: Volume 74(2); 2001. pp.23-129.

Date of the manuscript: Completed subsequent to the death of Raja Bendahara Mahmud of Perak on March 31st 1815, most probably before or not long after the demotion of his son from the position of Raja Muda (most likely successor to the Perak throne) in October 1826.

Provenance:
Perak (Given to W.E. Maxwell by Raja Bendahara Osman of Perak).

Location references:
To the folios (i.e. pages, 1-171) of the Maxwell 105 manuscript, noted in Ceridwen’s published edition.

Editorial notes:
The M105 deals with the genealogy of the Perak royal line. The first two thirds of MS Maxwell 105 appear to have been selectively copied from a version of the Sulalatus Salatin or Sejarah Melayu similar to that contained in MS Raffles 18. Features of the original orthography have been retained as far as possible in the transcription. Non-standard word divisions have been sacrificed. The contents of the manuscript may be summarized, thus:

1*-9: Raja Culan aborts a planned attack on Cina and visits a kingdom under the sea. (p.1 missing)

9-14: Three princes, sons of Raja Culan, descend on Bukit Siguntang.

14-25: Exploits of the youngest prince, Seri Teria Buana, who becomes ruler of Palembang, subsequently shifting to Bintan and later Singapura.

26-30: Details of heirs to the throne in Singapura.

30-32: Kingdom shifts to Melaka.

32-41: Chain of succession to the Melaka throne.

42-45: Bendahara’s loyalty.

46: Marriages of the Melaka Sultan to daughters of prominent figures.

46-52: Heir apparent to the Melaka throne demoted, exiled and subsequently installed as Sultan of Perak.

52-55: Displacement of descendants of the Melaka Sultans in Johor by the Bendahara line.

55-61: Succession and royal marriages in Perak, including intervention by Aceh.

62-65: Conflict and reapproachment between the Perak Sultan and his brothers (as potential successors).

66-68: Bugis attacks on Perak, disunity among the court ultimately resulting in the Raja Muda taking over as Sultan.

68-70: Restoration of order, prosperity.

71: The illustrious career of the Sultan’s son as Raja Bendahara.

Bibliography:
1. W.E. Maxwell, “Notes on Two Perak Manuscripts” Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, No.2, Dec 1871, p.181-91.
2. Straits Settlements Records, Fort Cornwallis Council Proceedings, The India Office, London.

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