Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Presgrave Street(三條路) & Edward Presgrave

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Presgrave Street is named after Edward Presgrave(b 1855-d 1930), who founded the law firm of Presgrave & Matthews on Beach St, Penang in 1898. The Chinese called it the 3rd street or Sa-tiau-lor(三條路), which is the 3rd street after Prangin Ditch(過港仔第三條路)or koe-kang-a-te-sa-tiau-lor. It is within the triangular Seven Streets Precinct, and the 3rd main street from Prangin Ditch or Prangin Canal. Presgrave Street, already appeared in 1904, it may be built in 1800s. There is another street named after Presgrave, Gat Lebuh Presgrave, which continue the Presgrave Street to the Weld Quay or Pengkalan Weld.

Historically Edward Presgrave referred to many people from different time from Presgrave family. It is a famous family in Strait Settlement and British India, many of their family members were named Edward Presgrave. But only three of Presgrave family have been to Penang, namely Duncan Clerk Presgrave(Municipal Secretary of Penang), Duncan George Presgrave(municipal Secretary of Singapore), and Edward William Presgrave( unofficial member of Legislative Council. Their name is not Edward Presgrave. Who is the Presgrave, that the street was named?

Name of Edward Presgrave

The Edward Presgrave(who died on 12th of January 1759)reported in the famous law case of WHITE versus BARBER, a classic legal case for Inheritance Law decided by Lord Denning. He is from Tongue End(source: Some article mentioned Edward Presgrove, which I believed is the same person, where Presgrove(where it is rare now) is the ancient surname of Presgrave, now more in USA and Australia.

One of his son was also named Edward Presgrave, reported in Conveyance of title 2 DPD13 in 1785 , land in Bourne North fen, Edward Presgrave of Bourne, farmer and John Presegrave to James Digby. He was the one mentioned in the legal case WHITE versus BARBER.

Edward Presgrave is also the name of the grandfather, the acting Resident of Malacca, Edward Presgrave((1795-1830), who is from the family of Edward Presgrave of Burne, Lincolnshire, England.

Edward Presgrave is the name of his uncle, Lt. Edward Presgrave(b.1823,d?) borther of his father Duncan Clerk Presgrave.

The actual name of Edward Presgrave(b 1855-d 1930), the partner and founder of Presgrave & Matthews , is actually Edward William Presgrave((1855-1930).

Edward Presgrave((b. c.1795 - d. 1830)- the grandfather of Edward William Presgrave

Edward Presgrove, from Burne married Ann Clerk(daughter of Duncan Clerk & Ann Brown), which have issues including the followings;-

1. Lieu Colonel David Presgrave
2. Colonel Duncan Presgrave
3. Rev William Presgrave
4. Robert Presgrave, owner of Presgrave & Co in Bengal, India
5. Edward Pregrave(b. c.1795 - d. 1830), the grandfather of Edward William Presgrave was born in 1795,Bourne,Lincolnshire. Married Ann Cooper(1794-1830?)on 30 or 31 December 1820 at the St George's Chapel, Fort Marlborough, Sumatra.

Edward Presgrave's season of appointment was 1812 and he had come out as a writer on 7 September 1814 on the Bengal. He was working in Sumatra at the same time as Frederick and Samuel Garling. In the East India Register and Directories for 1814 and 1815, he is listed as a civil servant on the West Coast Establishment of Sumatra. In the Directories for 1816 and 1819, his is recorded as an Assistant to the Resident at Manna, Sumatra. In the 1820 directory, his recorded as the acting resident at Manna; 1825 Senior Merchant, Straits Settlements; 1826 Deputy Resident at Singapore; 1826 also Registrar of Imports & Exports( Acting Resident Councillor of Malacca, Malaysia from (1826/1829-1830)

1828 - In 1828, Edward Presgrave, Registrar of imports and exports at Singapore, compiled one of the first detailed accounts of Malay 'piracy' in the straits of Malacca (source: Iranun and Balangingi: globalization, maritime raiding and the birth of ethnicity(2002), by James Francis Warren, Singapore University Press. He also stated in his Report of 1828 on the subject of piracy to the Resident Counsellor as follows:

“The subjects of the Sultan of Johor who inhabit the Islands are usually by the Malays termed Orang Rayat ⎯ the common oriental word signifying a subject generally, but is here restricted to one class of the Sultan’s subjects. They live in small and detached communities or settlements on the several islands under the immediate control of two officers called Orang Kaya and Batin, the latter being subordinate to the former, these officers are appointed by the Sultan of Johore"

1830- As per Calcutta Magazine and monthly register, Volumes 1-3, pg 19 it was reported Mrs Edward Presgrave arrived on 15-2-1830 by vessel Providence which depart from London on 24th Sept 1829. He died of a sudden attack of paralysis on 12-3- 1830 at Singapore.He was buried at Fort Canning Hill, Singapore.
On 2 March 1830, a salute was fired from the Battery at Singapore to mark the swearing in of Samuel as Resident Councillor and Judge of the Court at Malacca after a leave of absence from these offices. He was to return to Malacca on the Helen, which had arrived in Singapore with Edward Presgrave on board, who was to resume his former station as deputy resident of Singapore after serving at Malacca during Samuel's absence. Sadly, Edward died later that month of a sudden attack of paralysis on 12 March 1830.(source: Samuel Garling, About 1793 — 1857;

Strangely, his wife Ann Cooper was also lost in the sea in 1830. On 29 December 1830, Ann boarded the Guilford (Captain Harrison) for England but, after leaving Singapore, the ship was never heard of again. The other passengers were Major and Mrs. Lake, Miss Lake, Masters A. and W. Lake, Dr. and Mrs. Caswall, and Master W. Paxton.

Edward and Ann had 4 children:

1. Edwina Anne Presgrave, who was baptised in 1821;
2. Edward Presgrave, who was born in 1823;
3. Mary Presgrave, who was born in 1824; and
4. Duncan Clerk Presgrave, who was born in 1825.

Edward Presgrave(b1823-?) -uncle of Edward William Presgrave

Edward Presgrave,b.1823(4th Feb 1823),Fort Marlborough,Indonesia, Christening 1-8-1824, Fort Marlborough-Bencoolen, Sumatra, Indonesia, d.1858,Stone Cottage, St Peters, Isle of Thanet, Kent, England. He married to Margaret Crane. Lieutenant in HEICS.

His son Edward R.J.Presgrave(1855-1919), or Edward Robert John Presgrave , Colonel in HEICS. he was awarded Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, DSO [London Gazette, 12 February 1895]: "Edward Robert John Presgrave, Captain and Brevet Major, Indian Staff Corps. In recognition of services during the operations carried on in Burma and the Northern Chin Hills in 1892-93 and 1893-94".

Duncan Clerk Presgrave,b.abt.1826(24th Dec 1825) d.1883 - father of Edward William Presgrave

Duncan Clerk Presgrave,(b.1826(24th Dec 1825) d.1883,Penang,Malaysia. Secretary Municipal Commissioner Penang(1851 - 1883?). Married to 1stly Jane(Joanna) Sarah Caunter on 13th Sept 1850 at Penang & 2ndly to Isabella Carfrae. The issues are:-

1. Isabella Presgrave.Married to A.E.Clarke.

2. Duncan George Presgrave(1857-1891?) married to Francis Mary Clare Passmore. DG Presgrave was appointed as Municipal Secretary of Singapore, taking over from from Henry William, Hewetson(1870-1882). He was the municipal secretary of Singapore from 1882 until 19-8-1891(wed), when leave of absence approved to DG Presgrave, and J Polglase will act as secretary during the time. J Polglase was acting Municipal Secretary in from 28th sept 1891 and confirmed in 1892 when DG Pregrave did not return. So DG Presgrave was the Municipal Secretary of Singapore from 1882 to 1891.

One of the daughter, Sydney Francis Vivien Presgrave(1885-1989) married to Reginald George Watson(b 1862 d1926).Sir Reginald G Watson (b 1862 d1926), full name Reginald George Watson was , 30 Sep 1910 - 31 Jan 1911 as acting Resident General; Resident of Selangor from 6 Mar 1911 - 8 Aug 1913 (acting to 9 Aug 1912); 3 Apr 1914 - 8 Feb 1915 acting as Chief Secretary of Federated Malay States for Sir Edward Lewis Brockman ; then British Resident of Perak in 1913, an appointment which he held until 1919.

3. Edward William Presgrave(b1855-d1930). The senior partner of pioneer lawyer firm in Penang, Presgrave & Matthews

Edward William Presgrave(b1855-d1930)

His residence was at Weldbeck, Pangkor Road.

1855 - He was born in Penang on 26 MAR 1855 at Prince Of Wales Island,West Bengal, India(now Penang state of Malaysia); son of Duncan Clerk Presgraves and Jane Sarah (Note: One report mentioned he was son of Mr D.G. Presgrave, at one time Municipal Secretary here, the report by The Straits Times, 25 February 1930, Page 19 was wrong., Mr D.G. Presgrave is the brother)

Educated at Notingham Academy and University, England

1875 - Enter Middle Temple on 1-11-1875(source:Men-at-the-bar: a biographical hand-list of the members of the various inns of court,1885)

Since his return to Penang(Pinang at that time)he was acted as  Solicitor General and in other public capabilities.

1878- He was called to the Bar in 3-7-1878(source: Men-at-the-bar: a biographical hand-list of the members of the various inns of court,1885).

(Note:In 1873, the Supreme Court was further reorganised under four judges – the Chief Justice, the Justice of Penang, the Senior Puisne Judge and the Junior Puisne Judge. The Court of Quarter Sessions was established as a criminal court and presided over by the Senior and Junior Puisne Judges in Singapore and Penang respectively. A Court of Appeal was also constituted. By then, the judiciary had slowly evolved into its modern form.

English commercial law was formally introduced into the Straits Settlements by Section 6 of the Civil Law Ordinance, 1878. This provision, as re-enacted in the Civil Law Act, 1956 (Revised 1972), is still applicable in Penang and Melaka).

The Courts Ordinance of 1873 was the first to put the Bar on a proper footing and require a genuine qualifi- cation for admission, providing for either an admission
in the United Kingdom as barrister or solicitor, or the local qualification after examination. It also provided for a yearly certificate to be taken out upon payment of a fee, and. the payment of an admission fee.

In 1868, Ordinance 5 of 1868, the Court of Judicature of Prince of Wales’ Island, Singapore and Melaka was abolished. A new court known as the Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements was established.)

1879-1882 -  Presgrave & Clark. Returned to Penang he practiced first with Mr A.E.Clark , under Messrs. Presgrave & Clark on January 1, 1879, the original partners being Mr. Arthur Edward Clark, barrister-at-law, and Mr. Edward Presgrave, who was a member of the Legislative Council until August of 1907, when he resigned. For three years the business was carried on under this style, although Mr. Clark died in 1879. 
1882-1894 -Presgrave & Clutton. Then Mr. Walter Clutton, who relinquished his position as Registrar of the Supreme Court Penang, added his name to the firm.In 1882, Walter Clutton still reported as Registrar of the Supremen Court, Penang. (The Chronicle and Directory for China, Japan, The Phillipines, Strait Settlements &c,for 1882, pg 526). This partnership was dissolved in 1894.

1897 - was elected by Pinang Chamber of Commence to the Legislative Council of Strait Settlement. He resigned in 1907. He was also the President of Municipal Council of Georgetown, Penang.

1898- Messrs. Presgrave & Matthews - Mr W. Bromhead Matthews(later Sir John Bromhead Matthew), a barrister of the Inner Temple, who has been previously practicing in Singapore in the firm of Messrs Bradell, Brothers & Matthews, joined Mr Presgrave and the business assumed the name of Messrs. Presgrave & Matthews .

One of the first legal firms to be established in this country was Messrs. Presgrave & Matthews in Beach Street, Penang. Mr. Arthur Edward Clark and Mr. Edward Presgrave were the original partners(may be Presgrave & Clark). The firm was the legal advisors to be Municipal Commission; Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China; Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, Merchantile Bank and numerous leading firms. So Presgrave & Matthews was found by Edward William Presgrave first as Presgrave & Clark, then Presgrave & Clutton, due to changes in partner of the legal firm. It was found earlier than 1898......

(Note: One of the pioneer law firm, GIBB & CO. is one of the oldest firms in Malaysia with his historical beginnings dating back to the mid 1800's. The historical origins of the firm date back to as early as 1852 when its founding partners, A.M.Gibb and Ashworth Hope arrived in Penang on the British East India ship from Britian, where it set up practice under the name of Gibb & Hope.)

1898- Presgrave & Matthews

Presgrave & Matthews is one of the oldest established legal firms in Malaysia and one of the largest in Malaysia. Founded in 1898 by Edward Presgrave (who had served on the Straits Settlements Legislative Council) and J Bromhead Matthews (who had been a member of the Straits Settlements Legislative Council and the Solicitor General of the Straits Settlements) in Penang

Pinang Gazette
He took a keen interest in the Press. He was the chairman of the directors of Pinang Gazette. He was also the founder and directors of The Times of Malaya.
Note: The Times of Malaya: Planters and Miners Gazette was started by J I Philips in 1903, with a mission to further the mining, planting, and mercantile interest of the Federated Malay States (FMS) and the Straits Settlements. Registered as The Times of Malaya Press, it was a Limited Company with F Douglas Osborne, a prominent tin miner, A M Gibb, a lawyer and partner of the legal firm of Gibbs and Hope, and R Young as the Directors. Its first publication was released on March 9, 1904. This was an eight-page daily independent newspaper to which citizens actively contributed their views on the development of Ipoh, and “the impatient gave vent to their feelings in its columns.”(source:

The Pinang Club, now The Penang Club
The Penang Club was established in 1868 and was then known as the ‘Pinang Club’. The first President of the Club was Mr Walter Scott who was also a member of the Penang State Legislative Council. The Honorary Secretary at the time was Mr F C Bishop. The president of the Club is Mr. J .W. Hallifax, and the Committee consists of the president and Messrs. J.G. Berkhuijsen, D.W. Gilmour, F.J. Hallifax, C. A. Law, H. Pickenpack, A.R. Adams, E.W. Presgrave and Dr. F.M.T. Skae. Dr. D.A.M. Brown, the secretary is the eldest son of Mr. David Brown, a well-known pioneer of the settlement,
(source from Penang Club official website)

He was also member of Town and Turf Clubs.

1904- He was appointed as unofficial member of Legislative Council of the Strait Settlement on 5th Dec 1904 as representative of Penang Chamber of Commerce (source: The Edinburgh Gazette dated 9th Dec 1904, Friday)

1907 - retirement of Mr. E. W. Presgrave at the latter end of 1907 from Legislative Council .

The Straits Times, 25 May 1907, Page 8, reported golf competition, Presgrave Cup at Penang Golf Club, DAM Brown was one of the player. The cup was named after him, he must had donated the cup to the golf competition.

1909 - He retired from Penang in 1909(England source). Some said 1908(Penang source).

1930 – Passed away at Northwood, Middlesex, on Jan. 26 1930. The deceased, who was 74 years of age
(source: The Straits Times, 25 February 1930, Page 19)

A GREAT BARRISTER. Mr. Presgrave Honoured By Supreme Court(Bench and Bar). Penang, Feb. 26, 1930. At the Supreme Court today striking references were made to the late Edward William Presgrave, founder of the legal firm of Presgrave and Matthews. He was a Municipal Commissioner & Legislative Councilor. He was a bachelor, but he left one sister and two cousins in Penang.
(source: The Straits Times, 27 February 1930, Page 12)

MR. E. W. PRESGRAVE. Death of Well-known Penang Lawyer. (From Our Own Correspondent.) Penang, Feb. 24. Information has been received in Penang at the death of Mr. Edward William Presgrave, which took place at Northwood, Middlesex, on Jan. 26. The deceased, who was 74 years of age, founded the well-known Presgrave & Matthews.

Presgrave Street & Gat Lebuh Presgrave in Penang, were named after him, Edward William Presgrave or EW Presgrave. Presgrave & Matthews law firm has survived until today as one of the early law firm in Malaysia.

Also take note that Edward William Presgrave had a bungalow house at 20, Pykett Avenue, which was sold to Khaw Joo Chie for his son Khaw Bian Cheng. Khaw Soo Chie is the son of Khaw Sim Khim(许心欽 b 1845 d 1903), who became governor of Kraburi(กระบุรี,克拉武里), he is the forth son of Khaw Soo Cheang. But sad to said, the bungalow has sold to a developer by Khaw family, it has been demolished by the new purchaser for development into upper class housing.

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