17 November 2009

The Neighbour cum The Assistant's House

Salam and greeting.

Just next to Ngah Ibrahim's fort lies a very huge house with a classic traditional kampung design. Steadily stood in its dark brown finishing made of high quality timber, the house used to host yet another important person in Taiping, Perak and Malaysia history line.

This used to be the house of the first British officer that was brought in personally by Ngah Ibrahim, becoming his personal assistant in modernizing and restraining peace in Larut. The officer, Captain Tristam Charles Sawyer Speedy resigned the post of Penang Superintendent of Police in accepting Ngah Ibrahim's offer to work here in Larut.

For those who did not aware, before Taiping was established there were four series of Larut wars being fought off between the Chinese miners clans especially the Ghee Hin and the Hai San. Captain Speedy was offered to assist Ngah Ibrahim during the Third Larut War in 1873. He was paid with a hefty income and given this house to dwell.

As the first step that Captain Speedy took to restrained the peace in Larut, he had changed the structure of the then Larut's police force. Initially consist of 40 Malay men, with the consent from Ngah Ibrahim himself, Captain Speedy personally went to India to recruit and brought in 110 Sepoy and Punjab personnel, making the police force bolder than before. He even magnified them with few modern artillery to enforce peace between the Chinese clans that were having wars between them.

However, the effort done has gave no effect to the already torned relationship between the clans. The war between them erupted again for the forth time in 1873. It became worst when it has also involve the Malay royalties and residents. Finally when the Pangkor Treaty was witness, everything was over and all parties involved had made peace with each other.

Captain Speedy has been promoted to become the Assistant to the British Residence. The house he stayed has been neglected and finally being refurbished by the Museum and Antiquity Department becoming part of Ngah Ibrahim Fort Museum. It still stand strong till today, neighbouring Ngah Ibrahim's Fort.


abd. halim hadi said...

Fast but fun reading ur stuff here. Keep it up bro. I will keep comin'.

Anonymous said...

I am a visitor from Edmonton, Canada. I came from Malaysia 40 years ago. However, that is not the reason I visited your site. I visited your site because I am trying to trace my family tree, and Captain Tristram James Sawyer Speedy is my Great, great, great grand uncle. Never the less, you have a great site and I will be returning soon to explore more. thank you.
Spencer Speedy

Taiping Heritage Cult said...

Hi there Spencer.
Your great, great, great grand uncle was really a great man indeed.
Hopefully you will succeed in your quest in tracing your family tree.