A Dictionary of the Malayan Language, in two parts, Malayan and English and English and Malayan - William Marsden 1812 - printed for the author by Cox and Baylis, London - First Edition A good copy of this somewhat scarce dictionary, with interesting provenance, formerly owned by Jonas Daniel Vaughan [1825-1891] a prominent lawyer in Singapore, he also ‘found the task of compiling a supplement to the Malay-English dictionary to be too complex’ [Sutherland] but there are numerous pencil notes and marginalia here.

‘While in Sumatra Marsden developed an academic interest in the Malay language and related tongues that was to last the whole of his life. He published both a dictionary and a grammar of the Malay language in 1812. These were his most significant and enduring linguistic works. Marsden’s original intention had been to publish the grammar and the dictionary as one volume. However, he was persuaded to publish them separately because ‘
however convenient such an arrangement might prove to the private student, it must be otherwise in places of public education, where their separate use ... would be considered as indispensable.’

The dictionary, in particular, broke new ground in terms of methodology. Unlike many previous dictionaries and word lists, Marsden used Arabic characters for the Malay words and arranged the entries following the alphabetical order of the Arabic characters. Another innovation is the inclusion of examples of phrases from native sources, many of which were taken from manuscripts in his collection.’ - King’s College London,
The Marsden Collection.
  William Marsden DCL FRS [1754-1836] was a distinguished Irish orientalist, linguist, numismatist and pioneer in the scientific study of Indonesia. He joined the East India Company at the age of 16, and was sent to Sumatra. ‘During an eight years' residence in Sumatra, Marsden did good official service as sub-secretary, and afterwards as principal secretary, to the government. He amused his leisure hours by writing verses and by acting female parts in a theatre at Bencoolen built and chiefly managed by his brother. He also mastered the vernacular tongue, a study which bore fruit later on in his 'Dictionary of the Malayan Language.' [ODNB]. Marsden moved to London in 1779 and became associated with its scientific and academic circles, attending meetings of the Royal Society and becoming a friend of Sir Joseph Banks. He begun work on his Dictionary in 1786, intending it ‘for the use of the European who wishes to become master of the idioms and phraseology of the Malayan, rather than to convey a knowledge of English idioms in Malay’ (Preface), published in 1812 it formed ‘the basis of all subsequent Sumatran linguistics.’ [Brittanica].

Provenance J. D. Vaughan with his signature dated 1889 to half-title, a prominent Singapore lawyer [See additional article on J.D. Vaughan]. C. H. Wheeler with his signature to title page [A dr. C. H. Wheeler is listed as a Senior District Surgeon in the Singapore Free press of September 1895]. Small notes in ink and pencil to front endpapers and half title. Blue pencil marks to pages 1-61.

reference: - King’s College London,
The Marsden Collection
[www.kcl.ac.uk/library/collections/archivespec/collections/marsden.aspx].
pp. [8] xv [1] 589 [1 errata] [1 publisher’s advertisements] [2]. Bound with half title and 1 page publisher’s advertisement.
  Finely bound in three quarter brown calf over marbled boards, spine and red morocco spine label titled in gilt.   Condition: Very good, in fine binding, damp mark to top right hand corner of pages 537 onwards, pencil marginalia to some pages, blue pencil to pages 1-61, pages toned, pinhole to title page.   Ref: 106234   Price: HK$ 19,000