Colonel Norman Macalister, who was a native of Scotland, was Lieutenant-Governor of Prince of Wales Isle (Penang) from 1808 to 1810. The present brick structure of Fort Cornwallis in Penang, was built by convict labour in 1810 during his term as Governor of Penang. He was lost at sea, in the South China Seas, while on the ship "Ocean" traveling back to Scotland (August 1810). Macalister Road in George Town, Penang is named after him. In 1805, as Commander of the Artillery, Macalister made an inventory of the useful timber of Penang, part of the Company's exercise to identify potential naval timber and secure suitable woods for masts and spars to replace supplies from the lost American colonies.
April 4. Mr. W. C. Clubley, appointed deputy secretary. Government Orders. Fort Cornwallis April 10. The whole of the troops at the presidency to parade this afternoon, at half past four o'clock, in front of the Government-house, to attend the remains of the honourable Philip Dundas, late Governor &c., &c., &c., of this island, to the place of interment, with all military honours due to his high rank and station. Lieutenant-colonel Basset to command. Three rounds of light cartridges per man to be served to the 20th regiment, which corps only is to fire over the grave, on account of the narrowness of the ground. Forty-five minute guns, corresponding with the years of age of the deceased, to be held in readiness to be fired during the funeral procession, and to be commenced by signal from the Government-house. The Bengal artillery to furnish the carrying party. The garrison colours to be hoisted at half mast at sun-rise, and continue until sun-set. (signed) JOHN DRUMMOND, Town Major. April 13. A salute of 19 guns to be fired, on H. S. Pearson Esq. taking his seat as governor of this island. Also a salute of 11 guns on W. E. Phillips, Esq. taking his seat as member of council. By order of the honourable the governor and council. (signed) Thomas Raffles, Secretary to government.
Occurrences for October. Oct. 17. Yesterday the hon. Colonel Norman Macalister in conformity with the orders of the hon. the governor general in council, took the usual oaths and his seat as governor of this presidency. A salut of 19 guns was fired on the occasion. Henry Shepherd Pearson Esq. also took the oaths and his seat, as second member of council. Appointments. Captain M'Innes, to be private secretary to the governor, with the established salary of 120 Spanish dollars per month. Lieut. Robert Campbell, to act as aids-de-camp to the hon. the governor. Mr. Robert Ibbetson, to be assistant in the collector's office. Mr. Quintin Dick Thompson, to be paymaster, and commissary of provisions and petty stores. Mr. John Macalister, to be assistant collector of customs and land revenues at Malacca. Mr. William Bennet, to be assistant to the warehouse-keeper. The office of deputy warehouse-keeper is to be abolished from the first of the ensuing month. Henry Shepherd Pearson, Esq. to be warehouse-keeper and paymaster. Mr. J. C. Lawrence, to be acting Malay translator to government.
- Occurrences for March 1810: March 24—Late on Tuesday night, the ship Bengal Anna, Captain Thomas Scott, anchored in the harbour from Calcutta, having on board the honourable C. A. Bruce as governor; honourable Mrs. Bruce, and two children ; Mrs.' Scott and three children; Major Yule, J. C. Lawrence, esq. civil service, captain M'Innes, 2Oth regiment, and lieutenant M'Donald, Bombay establishment. At sunrise, on Wednesday, the Anna saluted the fort, which was returned. At seven o'clock, the honourable Mr. Bruce landed under the appropriate honours, and was received at the wharf by the honourable the governor and members of council, who accompanied him through a street, formed by the military, to the government house. At ten o'clock, the honourable Mr. Bruce took the usual oaths and his seat as governor, and colonel Macalister was sworn in as second, and W. E. Phillips, Esq. third, and last member of council, under the customary salutes. The following proclamation was published by order of the honourable the governor and council. PROCLAMATION: Whereas the honourable the court of directors have been pleased to direct that a civil servant of the establishment of Bengal, should be appointed governor of this presidency, and the right honourable the governor-general in council, having under that authority, nominated the honourable Charles Andrew Bruce, to the office, the arrival of that gentleman, at this island, and his having taken the prescribed paths and charge of the government, is announced. All persons, in the honourable company's civil, military, and marine service, and all the other inhabitants of Prince of Wales's Island, and its dependencies, are therefore directed to take due notice thereof, and to obey the said honourable Charles Andrew Bruce, accordingly. The honourable the court of directors, having also appointed colonel Norman Macalister, to be second member of council, and commandant of the forces, and William Edward Phillips, Esq. third and last member of council, those gentlemen have this day taken the prescribed oaths, and their seats accordingly. Published by order of the honourable governor and council. THOS. RAFFLES, Sec. to Govt. Fort Cornwallis, March 21, 1810.
- PROCLAMATION, Fort Cornwallis, 28th Day of December (1810): In consequence of the much lamented death of the honourable Charles Andrew Bruce, late governor of Prince of Wales's Island and its dependencies, and commander in chief of the fort and town, and in the absence of Colonel Norman Macalister, second member of council, and next in succession to the office of government, vacant by this event, PUBLIC notice is hereby given, and it is proclaimed, the powers of governor of Prince of Wales's, and the command of the fort and town, has necessarily developed pro-tempore on William Edward Phillips, esq. third member of council; and that the same Wm Edward Phillips, esq. has this day duly taken the prescribed oaths and seat accordingly. It is also hereby further proclaimed, that John James Erskine, esq. has, in conformity to the provisional appointment of the honourable, the court of directors, been called in to the board, and has taken the prescribed oaths and his seat as a member of council. All persons in the civil, military and marine service, of the honourable East India Company, and all the other inhabitants of Prince of Wales's Island, and its dependencies, are therefore hereby required and directed to take due notice thereof, and to obey the said William Edward Phillips, esq. as governor and commander in chief accordingly pro-tempore. Published by command of the honourable the Governor in council. W. A. CLUBLEY, Act. Sec. to Govt.
- Colonel Norman Macalister’s appointment to the post of Governor was recorded in the issue of 17 October 1807, signed by Thomas Raffles, Secretary to Government.
- New Ways of Knowing: The Prince of Wales Island Gazette—Penang’s First Newspaper by Geoff Wade, University of Hong Kong; Email email@example.com, Presented at The Penang Story – International Conference 2002 18-21 April 2002, The City Bayview Hotel, Penang, Malaysia organised by The Penang Heritage Trust & STAR Publications
- Nature and Nation: Forests and Development in Peninsular Malaysia By Kathirithamby-W, J. Kathirithamby-Wells, Claire Hall, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Published by NUS Press, 2004; ISBN 9971-69-302-X, 9789971693022; pp. 32, 51, 459, 481
- The Asiatic Annual Register, Or, A View of the History of Hindustan, and of the Politics, Commerce and Literature of Asia: Or, A View of the History of Hindustan, and of the Politics, Commerce and Literature of Asia By Lawrence Dundas Campbell, E. Samuel Published by s.n., 1811; Item notes: v.10 1808
- The Asiatic Annual Register, Or, A View of the History of Hindustan, and of the Politics, Commerce and Literature of Asia: Or, A View of the History of Hindustan, and of the Politics, Commerce and Literature of Asia edited by Lawrence Dundas Campbell, E. Samuel Published by s.n., 1812; Item notes: v.12 1810/1811; p. 148
- The Asiatic Annual Register, Or, A View of the History of Hindustan, and of the Politics, Commerce and Literature of Asia: Or, A View of the History of Hindustan, and of the Politics, Commerce and Literature of Asia edited by Lawrence Dundas Campbell, E. Samuel Published by s.n., 1812; Item notes: v.12 1810/1811; pp. 150, 151