Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sandilands Street

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Sandilands Street or Lebuh Sandilands is located between Jalan CY Choy and Jalan Gurdwara, at the last parallel street of the triangular precinct. It is after the 7th main parallel street, Cecil Street. It is not the shortest parallel street within the 7 Street Precinct, located just after two of the shortest parallel streets, Nanking Street & Herriot Street.

The street was named after G. M. Sandilands, a British trader who co-founded Lorraine, Sandilands & Co. in Penang in 1830s. It was the first British trading firm in Penang.

The Chinese however called it kau-tiau-lor(9th Street, 九條路). Ironically, it is not actually the 9th street from Prangin Canal, which should be Herriot Street, and Nanking street is the 8th street. Sandilands Street should be the 10th street from Prangin Canal. May be Nanking Street was built only after the 7 main street, Herriot Street, and Sandilands Street had built, much earlier. That is also the reason why Nanking Street, together with Peking Street was named after a place.

At the corner with Bridge Street(now Jalan CY Choy) is the Seng Ong Beow(城隍廟), and the said Southern end of Bridge Street is also called seng-hong-biau-lor(城隍廟路0 bu the local Chinese. The temple is commonly called Ghost Temple, where the ghost marriage ceremony were took arranged there.

Ang Bin Hoey Triad Society was found by Filipino Chinese Hockkien, Teoh Teik Chye in October 1945. Its headquarter was at Sandilands Street. At the end of December 1945, it was moved to 55, Maxwell Road . The ABH was dissolved in May, 1946, but it continued its activities underground as secret society.

There were Sandilands Street or Road all over the world; Sandilands Road in Singapore(located at Serangoon Gardens), Sandilands Street in South Melbourne, Sandilands Street in Glasgow, Scotland. Are they named after the same Sandilands family from Scotland?.....

G. M. Sandilands or George MacFarlane Sandilands( b ? - d 1880)

Not able to obtain the background of G.M.Sandilands, his partner John Buttery was historically more famous. G.M.Sandilands or George MacFarlane Sandilands, was Justice of Peace(JP), Penang merchant & Members of the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements.

1830 - John Buttery Company
John Buttery Company established in 1830 in Penang. John Buttery come to Penang earlier and set up business, as sole-proprietorship.

1851 - Lorrain Sandilands & Co(1851-1862)
In this year, Lorrain Sandilands & Co. in which the partners were G. M. Sandilands in Penang, and John Buttery in Singapore(?). Mr. Walter Scott Lorrain was in Glasgow( Pg 672,An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore 1902). The firms godowns extend in an unbroken block from Beach Street to Weld Quay.

Note: Walter Scott Lorrain or W. S. Lorrain was the founder of 2nd Singaporean English newspaper, The Singapore Free Press in 1835. Ironically he was also the one who bought the Singapore Chronicle(1st English newspaper in Singapore) but sold to Penang Scottish merchant James Fairlie Carnegie. The group set up the Singapore Free Press as a rival to the Singapore Chronicle.

Lorrain Sandilands & Co should be established earlier than Messrs Sandilands, Buttery & Co. Suspected there were error in reporting the year. Lorrain Sandilands & Co still reported in the list of agent for Lloyds from 1851-1858 (ref: A code of signals for the use of vessels employed in the merchant service(1851), by Captain Frederick Marryat; The universal code of signals for the mercantile marine of all nations. With a selection of sentences adapted for convoys, and a system of geometrical signals(1854), by G B. Richardson; The universal code of signals for the mercantile marine of all nations(1858), by Frederick Marryat, G. B. Richardson)

1859 - A branch was established in Singapore at Malacca Street

1862 - Sandilands & Co(1862-1863)

Walter Scott Lorrain retired, the name of the firm changed to Sandilands & Co

1863 - Sandilands, Buttery & Co.(1863- 1970)
Mr John Buttery joined in 1863 as partner, the name changed again to Sandilands, Buttery & Co. The firm of Messrs Sandilands, Buttery & Co. was established at Pinang in 1863 by Messrs John Buttery and G. M. Sandilands, both of Glasgow, on the site of the present Government buildings. The partners commenced business as East India merchants with an office in Glasgow, but transferred in 1875 to London.

1866 - Daniel Gilchrist was working with John Buttery & CO., London(Post office Glasgow directory 1866, by william mackenzie, pg 154). The office was at 4, Victory Building, West Region Street, Glasgow(Post office Glasgow directory 1866, by william mackenzie,Pg 95), John Buttery's residence was at 12, Kew Terrace, Glasgow.

1875 - office at Glasgow moved to London

1876 - The Directory of Singapore 1876 reported that John Allen was also the partner. But the name remained Sandilands, Buttery & Co.. Sandilands was in Europe, the other partners were in Penang

1877 - Sandilands Buttery and Co, partners were George MacFarlane Sandilands(in Europe), John Buttery(in Europe), John Allan (in Penang). Branch at London, John Buttery & CO., 17 Trinity Square, Tower Hill, London(pg 100, Singapore Diectory 1877)

He was Justice of Peace and magistrate(pg 61, Singapore Directory 1877)

1879 - Sandilands still stationed in Europe

1882 - Appointed as member of Legislative Council of Strait Settlement London Gazette Issue 25109 published on the 19 May 1882. Page 6 of 60; Downing Street, May 18, 1882. THE Queen has been pleased to appoint George Macfarlane Sandilands, Esq., and William Henry Macleod Read, Esq., to be Members of the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements.

1883 - GM Sandilands attended the Legislative Council meeting on 6th July 1883(Straits Times Weekly Issue, 19 July 1883, Page 11), 28th September 1883(The Straits Times, 2 October 1883)

Lorrain WS and Co.— And at Penang and Singapore, merchants. Walter Scott Lorrain, George Macfarlane Sandilands, John Buttery. Debts received and paid by George Macfarlane Sandilands at Penang, and A Allan at Singapore, 24th March 1883(source: THE SCOTTISH COMMERCIAL LIST, by SEYD AND CO.). The A Allan should be John Allan?

1888? - Sandilands was stated died at Hampstead in 1880, which is wrong; as even in 1883 he was still active in business. The year need to be confirmed.

Sandilands Buttery and Co Ltd

Sandilands Buttery and Co Ltd had its origins in Lorrain Sandilands, which was established in Penang by George MacFarlane Sandilands and Francis Currie Lorrain in the 1830s. It was the first firm of British traders in Penang. In 1856, the firm started business in Singapore. Later, a branch was established in Singapore in Malacca Street in 1859. Following Lorrain's retirement in 1862, the firm was renamed Sandilands and Co. The following year, it changed its name to Sandilands Buttery, when John Buttery of Glasgow was admitted as a partner.

1894 - Mr John Allan died. Mr. Alexander Kay Buttery or A.K.Buttery(b 10-3-1870), who was born in Glasgow and educated at Charterhouse(left 1886) and King's College, London, joined the office in Mark Lane and came to the East in 1894. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, of the committee of the Turf Club, and of the Pinang Association, a member of all local clubs, a Justice of the Peace, and was formerly a member of the Municipal Council. He is a well-known patron of the turf, owning the horses Diamond Star and Evening Star, which did so well in 1906. His private residence is at "Highbury," Perak Road.

In 1920, the firm set up a branch at Medan, Sumatra for trading, as well as serving as rubber estate agents. Subsequently, offices were set up in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, and Port Swettenham.

In 1946, Sandilands Buttery was acquired by Henry Gardner and Co. Ltd of London but continued to operate under its own name.

In 1972, Henry Gardner merged its activities with British Metal Corporation Ltd, and Sandilands Buttery traded as a member of the Amalgamated Metal Corporation Group. In the mid-1970s, Sandilands Buttery became Jardine Sandilands and subsequently was renamed Jardine Marketing Services in the late 1970s.

(extract from

Sandilands Buttery was the appointed agent for Ayer Putuh Estate in Penang, owned by Brown Estate, the David Brown family business. The estate was an orchard cum rubber plantation, located at today's Reservoir Garden Estate, a residential estate in Air Itam, Penang. The Ayer Putih Estate in Ayer Itam was leased to the late Mr Lim Chean Hock [1871-1924].Mr Lim Chean Hock was a general merchant, operating from a shop along Beach Street, Penang.

Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources by Arnold Wright, Published 1908 p. 793:

The firm of Messrs Sandilands, Buttery & Co. was established at Pinang in 1854-55 by Messrs John Buttery and G. M. Sandilands, both of Glasgow, on the site of the present Government buildings. The partners commenced business as East India merchants with an office in Glasgow, but transferred in 1875 to London. Early in the history of the firm Mr. John Allan was taken into partnership. After the death of Mr. Sandilands, at Hampstead, in 1880 and of Mr. Allan in 1849, the firm consisted of J. Buttery, James Gibson(b 1856-d 1936), Arthur George Wright, Daniel Gilchrist and A. K. Buttery, the last named two being at Pinang. The London offices are No. 5, Mark Lane, and there is a branch at Singapore.

G.M.Sandilands was reported died in 1880 at Hampstead, but in 1883 he still attend Legislative Council meeting in Singapore. The year may be wrong. John Allan(b1836? - d 1894) died in 1894 at the age of 58, not 1849.

Glasgow Herald, 28 September 1894 reported :Allan at 3 St Andrews Square, Surbiton, Surrey, on 27th inst, John Allan, of London and Penang

James Gibson was a Municipal Commissioner of Georgetown, appointed from 10-11-1893 to 31-12-1894.(Government Gazette 10-11-1893,Straits Times Weekly Issue, 14 November 1893, Page 6).

The Straits Times, 1 October 1924, Page 10 reported Mr. Daniel Gilchrist, of Aberdeen Park. Highbury, N., formerly of Penang and Singapore, left property of tho value of f31,146. He must had passed away prior to 1924.

References/related articles:

1. Sandilands Buttery and Co. Ltd(2005), b Chia, Joshua Yeong Jia, National Library Board Singapore
2. Seng Ong Beow, a picture of the temple can be seen in the website)
3. An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore(1902),by Charles Burton Buckley, Printed by Fraser & Neave, limited, 1902 pg 672


  1. I have a collection of bottles produced by J. Vandervalk & Co Rotterdam. And I believe these bottle is for drinks or wine, I'm not very sure. These bottles are so beautiful and perfectly described in J. Vandervalk description. These bottles has four (4) sided face, and one side embossed with Sandilands Buttery & Co Penang and the opposite side embossed with J. Vandervalk & C0 Rotterdam. So I just need some help if there is anybody who can verify or conform the year of these bottles produced. Tq - Roslan from Shah Alam.
    h/p 019 2271994

  2. Wah, a historical item

    Anyone can help?

  3. I've done some research and found a compilation done by Bill Brown from the Gold Coast, Australia under his page called " Antique Gin Bottles ". It specified clearly the details and description of the bottles. And you can also fine full specification of the bottles too.
    My concern is there anybody interested on these bottle which were produced circa: 1870

  4. i also have a collection same as.only 1 if interested,i have location to found it more just contack me jungletrekking0163030003 or more information