Author Topic: British North Borneo  (Read 2439 times)

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Offline <k>

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British North Borneo
« on: October 18, 2015, 09:49:29 PM »
From Wikipedia:

North Borneo was a British protectorate under the sovereign North Borneo Chartered Company from 1882 to 1941. From 1942 to 1945, North Borneo was occupied by Japanese military forces, before they were driven out by Australian troops. From 1946 to 1963, North Borneo was a Crown Colony of Great Britain, known in this time as British North Borneo. Located in the northeastern part of Borneo, it is now part of Malaysia as the state of Sabah, apart from the island group of Labuan, which was separated from the rest in 1984 to form a Federal Territory.
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2015, 09:57:19 PM »
From Wikipedia:

In 1865, the United States Consul to Brunei, Charles Lee Moses, obtained a 10-year lease for the territory of North Borneo from the Sultan of Brunei. However, the post-Civil War United States wanted nothing to do with Asian colonies, so Moses sold his rights to the Hong Kong-based American Trading Company of Borneo owned by Joseph William Torrey. Torrey began a settlement at the Kimanis River mouth, but attempts to find financial backing for the settlement were futile. Disease, death and desertion by the immigrant labourers led to the abandonment of the settlement towards the end of 1866. Harris died in 1866 and Torrey returned to America in 1877.

With the imminent termination of the lease at hand in January 1875, Torrey managed to sell his rights to the Consul of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Hong Kong, Baron Gustav von Overbeck. Von Overbeck managed to get a 10-year renewal of the lease from the Temenggong of Brunei, and a similar treaty from the Sultan of Sulu on 22 January 1878. Overbeck found financial backing from the Dent brothers (Alfred and Edward) but was unable to interest his government in the territory. Von Overbeck withdrew in 1880, leaving Alfred Dent in control.

In July 1881, Alfred Dent and his brother formed the British North Borneo Provisional Association Ltd and obtained an official Royal Charter 1 November the same year. In May 1882, the North Borneo Chartered Company replaced the Provisional Association and  proceeded to organise settlement and administration of the territory. The company acquired further sovereign and territorial rights from the sultan of Brunei up to 1898 and established a foundation for economic growth in North Borneo by restoring peace to a land where piracy and tribal feuds had grown rampant. It abolished slavery and set up transport, health and education services for the people. Chinese immigrants were wooed to boost the small population of less than 100,000. Through the combined effort of the locals and immigrants, towns, farms, a timber industry, tobacco and rubber plantations began to thrive.

In 1888, North Borneo became a protectorate of Great Britain, but its administration remained entirely in the hands of the North Borneo Chartered Company, with the crown reserving only control of defence and foreign relations.
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2015, 10:07:04 PM »
A one cent coin was issued from 1882 to 1907. The coat of arms appeared on one side of the coin. Two human arms, one native and one European, hold a Union flag. A native boat appears in the shield. As supporters, two native Dyaks of North Borneo are depicted, one holding a native shield and the other a native sword. The Latin motto "PERGO ET PERAGO" means: "I undertake and I achieve".
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2015, 10:09:48 PM »
A half cent was not issued until 1885. This showed only the shield from the coat of arms.
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2015, 10:14:04 PM »
The half cent and cent coins shown above were issued through to the year 1907. However, a new 1 cent coin was issued from 1904 until 1941, so the different 1 cent coins overlapped for a short period. The arms look somewhat different on this coin, and the legend now reads "THE STATE OF NORTH BORNEO". I wonder what the reason was for leaving out "BRITISH".
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2015, 10:16:26 PM »
A two and a half cents coin was issued in 1903, a year earlier than the new one cent coin. Its last year of issue was 1920.
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2015, 10:17:23 PM »
The first 5 cents coin was also issued in 1903. The last issue was in 1941.
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2015, 10:19:38 PM »
Finally, a 25 cents coins was issued, for the year 1929 only.
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2015, 10:25:21 PM »
From Wikipedia:

The Straits dollar was the currency of the Straits Settlements from 1898 until 1939. At the same time, it was also used in the Federated Malay States, the Unfederated Malay States, Sarawak, Brunei, and British North Borneo.

The Malayan dollar was introduced in 1939. It was the currency of the British colonies and protectorates in Malaya and Brunei until 1953. It replaced the Straits dollar at par, with 1 dollar = two shillings four pence sterling (60 dollars = 7 pounds).


The Straits Settlements are shown in red on the map below.
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2015, 10:28:45 PM »
From Wikipedia:

The North Borneo Chartered Company effectively ruled until 1 January 1942. Japanese forces occupied North Borneo from 1942 to 1945. The North Borneo Armed Constabulary with only 650 men hardly provided any resistance to slow down the Japanese invasion. During Japanese military occupation, the Europeans were interned, public services ceased to exist, and there were widespread poverty, disease and malnutrition. In June 1945 the Australian 9th Division landed in Brunei and liberated much of North Borneo before the end of the war. North Borneo was placed under British Military Administration until restoration of civil government on 15 July 1946.

The North Borneo Chartered Company did not have the financial resources to reconstruct North Borneo after the destruction of World War II. The major towns had been razed to the ground by allied bombing, and the infrastructure of North Borneo was in total devastation. The North Borneo Chartered Company decided to sell its interests to the British government. The territory was placed under control of the colonial office, and became a British crown colony on 15 July 1946 together with islands of Labuan.

A Governor and Commander-in-Chief was appointed to administer the colony of North Borneo with the assistance of an Advisory Council. In 1950, the Advisory Council was replaced by the Executive and Legislative Councils. The high-ranking administrative posts continued to be held by the British, and in fact, it was only in 1957 that the first non-European filled an administrative officer's post.

British North Borneo was granted self-government on 31 August 1963 in Keningau to prepare for a merger with the Federation. A little over two weeks later, on 16 September 1963, the state united with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore, forming the Federation of Malaysia.
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Re: British North Borneo
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2019, 07:33:00 PM »


A useful tree diagram from Wikipedia, showing the complex history of Malaysia.



See also:

1] Coinage of Malaysia

2] Coinage of Singapore

3] The British Rajahs of Sarawak

4] The Coinage of Malaya
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.