Saturday, 5 March 2011

Penang's first recorded triple murder?

Is this possibly the first documented case of a murder (or multiple murders) in Penang? Maybe not, because I'm sure early Penang had its fair share of lawlessness in the early years after it became a British settlement. But according to a report in the Hampshire Telegraph & Portsmouth Gazette published on 13 Sep 1802, this was a notorious triple murder on the island:

A letter from Pelo Penang of the 23rd January, mentions the following murder to have been perpetrated there on the 12th preceding:- A Malay woman, her husband, and three other Malays, laid a plan to plunder the house of the late Peter Robertson, where there was only his daughter, a fine girl of ten years old, her mother, and a servant girl; to effect their wicked purposes, they made intoxicating cakes, and gave them to the people of the house to eat; after which they most inhumanly strangled the little girl, cut the throat of the mother, and stabbed the servant girl; the assassins then carried off the effects. They afterwards returned and set the house on fire; on the alarm of fire being given, several persons ran to the house, to see if the people in it were asleep, and to give them assistance; but as no answer was given from within, concluded they were not at home; after the house was burnt down, the three bodies were found, which gave immediate suspicion that they had been murdered; and by the activity of Mr Brown, the Provost, the murderers were found and have since confessed the enormous fact.

1 comment:

stephen said...

Interesting the way english was written in the papers in those days!Colourful and rarely used phrases and expressions nowadays.It would be nice if we could write in that style once in a while.