Some early editions of the journal are available in Ceylon.
The best known is the one included in the collection of early Dutch voyages
published in 1646 "Begin ende Voortgangh van de .... Oost-Indische Compagnie",
of which book R.A.S., C.B., has a copy. A modern reprint of the first edition
appears among the publications of the Linschoten Vereeniging no. XXXVIII,
Colombo, G.A. nos. 2451 and 2452; translated by Miss Sophia
Pieters, and published by the Ceylon Government in 1908 under the title
"Instructions from the governor-general and Council of India to the Governor of
Ceylon", which does not expresses its contents. See also Valentijn V, p. 148.
Some fine Dutch pictures of the original building (inside
and outside) are still extant in Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) and Batavia
(Bataviaasch Genootschap). In Valentijn V, pp. 416 et ff., pictures of the
front, the rear and the garden are published. A remarkable de- scription of the
year 1680 is found in nos. 2776 and 2777. The Dutch maps of the fort of Colombo
afford yet another source of information in regard to the Governor's
Consideraties; pp. 16 et ff. The dessavony was much the same
as the Western Province of to-day. There were several places outside those
limits, however, like Chilaw, Puttalam and Kalpitiya, which came within the
charge of the dessave and nevertheless are sometimes referred to as "Colombo
Article 4 of the capitulation of the 15th February, 1796 reads
in English: "All public papers shall also be faithfully delivered over, but
attested copies of all the public and secret consultations held during this
short government, and which he has not had the opportunity of forwarding to
Holland or Batavia, shall be given to governor van Angelbeek to enable him to
answer for his conduct according to the nature of the circumstances". A
collection of the Legislative Acts of Ceylon in force on the 1st January 1841,
Colombo 1841, p. 2.
The account of the history of the records from 1796-1847 was
largely made up from notes made by the government archivist Mr. J.H.O. Paulusz,
who very kindly made research among the British records for this purpose.
Tho re-appointment as the "tombo-houder" of A.P. van der Smagt,
who had been holding this post during the last few years of Dutch
administration in Ceylon, was sponsored by de Meuron, who recommended "that the
Tombo-bookholder has charge of the Tombo or Register of landed property and the
public rights claimable from it", but this post was of course a separate one,
and had nothing to do with the records of the Central Government.
. To make indexes to all the books containing deeds of
gift of lands in the Colombo Corles, and in Galle and Matara, according to the
plan which I have laid down for his guidance.
To separate the books according to the parts of the
Island to which they refer, and to note what volumes are wanting in the several
To place under each shelf of the Resolutions in Council
the appendices which belong to them, dated according to the years.
To arrange the letters to and from Batavia according to
To seek particularly for surveys or plans to have them
bound in cartridge paper, then to form indices and have them stitched up with
To set apart all commercial books, which may be dispensed
with, for Mr. Lee to examine on his return here.
If Mr. Fonseka has any further time after he has
performed the above duties, he will commence reading the Resolutions and put a
slip whenever he finds consultations respecting public works - or he may make a
precis of the contents of each volume - and leave such a precis in each book.
Mr. Fonseka will take care that the books are regularly dusted,
and the room swept out and watered at least once a week".
Colombo G.A., British Records, annexe to a letter 1839 March 8,
from the Colonial Secretary to the Government Agent of the Western Province.