For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell

Jack Russell: Official letters and documents. Transcribed by Peter Clague unless otherwise stated.

Government Ptg Office,

Kuala Lumpur. 8th. October, 1895

Subject: Mr. Brown, Assistant Printer: Termination of his Agreement.

Sir, I have the honour, before the Estimates for 1896 are finally settled, to draw your attention to Mr. Brown’s agreement as Assistant Printer, which terminates in May 1896. Under these circumstances I would strongly recommend that Mr. Brown’s services be retained, that in May next he be placed on the Fixed Establishment, and at the same time receive an increase to his salary of $25 per month.

2. In this letter I may again point out that in Mr. Brown the Government have a steady, painstaking and industrious servant, capable and qualified for taking charge of the management in the event of the sickness, death, or leave of the Head of the Department; and the interest of the Government will be considered by securing a continuance of his services on the very moderate terms I have proposed.

3. I trust that the Resident will be able to submit this recommendation for H.E. the Governor’s most favourable consideration. I have the honour to be


your most obt servt;

John Russell

Govt. Printer.

Govt. Printing Office,

Kuala Lumpur,

29th. April, 1896

Subject: Permission to proceed to Singapore on duty: asks for.


I have the honour to ask sanction to proceed to Singapore on duty on Tuesday, the 5th. prox., returning on Sunday, the 10th. prox., for the purpose of making arrangements for the purchase of Tamil type at the Koh Yew Hean Press, and consulting the Supt. Of Govt. Ptg. S.S., upon matters of which I have spoken to you about. I also wish to visit the American Mission Press, for the purpose of arranging for the supply of stereotyped lines for S.G.R. passenger tickets.

2. Mr. Brown, Asst. Printer, would be in charge during my absence. I have the honour to be


Your Obedient Servt.

J. Russell

Govt. Printer

Kuala Lumpur

9th. September, ‘97


I have the honour to acknowledge your letter No.4234/97 dated 7th. September 1897, and beg to ask you to express my thanks to the Resident for the very kind manner in which he refers to the work of the Committee entrusted with the conduct of the “Selangor Journal”, as well as for the encouraging way in which he promises assistance should a periodical publication of similar character be brought out in the future.

I have forwarded a copy of your letter to Mr. W.W. Skeat and to Dr. E.A.O. Travers, respectively.

I have the honour to be


Your Obedt: Servt:

J. Russell

For Committee Selangor Journal.

To the Govt. Secretary


Govt. Printing Office,

Kuala Lumpur,

28th. March, 1899.


I have the honour to remind you that Mr. J. Russell, Government Printer, is returning, from leave & is due on the 22nd. April. He will require quarters, and as he is bringing out his family of boys married quarters will be needed.

I have the honour to be


Your obedt servant,

J. Brown

ag Govt Printer.


Resident Engineer’s Office, Kuala Lumpur, 7th. November, 1899

Sir, I have the honour to recommend that Mr. P. Russell a son of Mr. J. Russell, the Government printer, be allowed to enter the service of this Department as an apprentice & learn the business of a Civil Engineer under an indenture sanctioned by the Government under paper No.1838/99 and shall be glad to receive the approval of the Government to my recommendation.

I have the honour to be Sir,

Your obedient servant,

G.W. Frye


To The Secretary to Govt.


Kuala Lumpur,


17th. July, 1902

A.R. Venning, Esq., actg. British Resident,


Dear Sir, I shall be very grateful to receive the favour of your permission for a son of mine, John Archibald Russell, to be examined at the ‘Chinese Secretariat’, Kuala Lumpur, in the Cantonese dialect of the Chinese language, as well as in his knowledge of the Chinese written characters.

The Secretary for Chinese Affairs, F.M.S., very kindly told me that, given your consent, he would arrange for an examination.

Should you be so good as to grant my application, I shall be very happy to defray any expense that may arise in that connection.

I am, dear Sir,

Yours faithfully

John Russell.

Kuala Lumpur,

27th. May, 1903

The Secretary to the Resident


Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge your letter No.4047/02, dated 26th. May, 1903, forwarding for retention by my son, J.A. Russell, the report of the Board of Examiners who recently examined him in the Cantonese language.

2. I beg, on behalf of my son and myself, to express our thanks to Government for permitting the Examination; and also that our sense of the deep obligation we are under to the Examiners may be conveyed to those gentlemen.

I have the honour to be,

Sir, Your obdt. Servant,

J. Russell

British Residency,

Selangor, 13 May, 1903

To the Resident-General

Federated Malay States,

Kuala Lumpur.

Mr. Russell’s application for leave.


I have the honour to inform you that Mr. J. Russell, Government printer, has applied for five months’ leave to proceed to England on urgent private affairs, as to the urgency of which I am satisfied, and that I propose granting the leave applied for.

2. It is proposed that Mr. Brown, Assistant Government Printer, should act for Mr. Russell, and that Mr. M.B. Reddy, Foreman, should act for Mr. Brown, these being the arrangements adopted when Mr. Russell last went on leave.

3. The leave for which Mr. Russell is eligible can be granted without inconvenience, and I shall be glad to receive your approval of the arrangements for carrying on Mr. Russell’s duties, which are in my opinion satisfactory.

I have the honour to be,


Your Obedient Servant,

Sd. H.C.B.

British Resident


No 2358/99


Govt. Printing Office

Kuala Lumpur

30th October 1899

(Stamped) Govt. Secretary’s Office & Secretariat 31 Oct 99

Sir, I have the honour to ask that some almeirahs may be fitted up in the new printing office for the storage of books and forms, those I now have not being sufficient for the purpose, the cost to be met from the ?note/role “Minor Works”. The dimensions and details of what is necessary I could furnish to the Factory Engineer, P.W.D., or our officer of that department who would then be able to estimate cost.

2. From the note for “Furniture”, I should be glad to be provided by the P.W.D. Factory with a wooden screen for the front door of the Govt. Printer’s office; this is necessary on account of the door being in a direct line with the ground-floor verandah of the Bank.

3. Both these items are required for me on taking over, for occupation, the new printing office.

I have the honour to be, Sir,  your obedient servant, J. Russell. Govt Printer

To the Secretary to Government, Selangor.

From Arkib Negara Malaysia: No.2358/99, transcribed by Claire Grey. An Almeirah is a cupboard.

“To the Government Secretary
Government Printing Office Kwala Lumpur 11-11 1890

Before writing you officially on the question of envelope making & forwarding some estimates for machinery, I would like to have time to write home for particulars with regard to this industry. Mr Dishman, to whom I spoke, telling him I thought I would make them at a profit, differed from me. I don’t altogether agree with many of the arguments he put forward, but they were sufficiently weighty to make me pause for further information before advising outlay.
Two things Mr Dishman put forward struck me-
1. The charge for printing the words “On Govt Service” cost only sixpence per 1,000 and

2. The S. of S Printing Office do not make envelopes. This latter statement, if correct, somewhat shakes me; because, without going minutely into figures, it had struck me that if it paid Mr Neave to purchase machinery and make them, it would certainly pay us.

While very anxious to do all I can here, I am equally anxious not to do anything at a loss, so, with your permission, I will let the estimate for machinery stand over until I am better informed on the facts of the case.

Your obdt.servt.

John Russell.”