Papers of Wilfred Lawson Blythe

Scope and Content

Typed manuscript entitled, "Chinese Secret Societies in Malaya. Sections K. L. + M. The Chinese factor in the Policy of Intervention" concerning the time period 1872-1876. It is also labelled as "File 5" and "Duplicate". It appears to be an early draft or research material for part of Blythe's book The Impact of Chinese Secret Societies in Malaya published in 1969. The material seems to be in more depth than the corresponding material covered within the publication. With the file is a note which reads, "It is possible that Prof. Cowan at S.O.A.S., London, would like to have this File 5, as it deals with the subject of his book on Intervention".

Administrative / Biographical History

Wilfred Blythe Lawson completed his education in Birkenhead Institute and Liverpool University. In 1921 he joined the Malayan Civil Service and went to Canton in 1922 to study Cantonese. Blythe served as Assistant Protector or Protector of Chinese in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Johore, Negri Sembilan and Singapore. He contined to serve in a variety of roles and in 1950, Blythe was appointed the Colonial Secretary. He retired in 1953 but returned to Singapore in 1955 to work on his book.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist using the email address given here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

It is unknown how the Society acquired these Papers. It is possible that Blythe deposited them at the Society or with some Fellow of the Society in the hope they would be forwarded to Professor Cowan.

Archivist's Note

These papers were catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2020.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

These papers were the property of William Lawson Blythe. It is unknown how they passed to the Royal Asaitic Society.

Related Material

The Royal Asiatic Society Library holds a copy of Blythe's book, Impact of Chinese Secret Societies in Malaya : A Historical Study. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 580. ISBN 9780192149749. More details can be found here.

Additional Information

These papers were catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2020.

Geographical Names