Author Topic: The British Rajahs of Sarawak  (Read 3719 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« on: October 19, 2015, 11:57:07 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, KCB (1803–1868), was a British adventurer whose exploits in the Malay Archipelago made him the first White Rajah of Sarawak.

Born in India and briefly educated in England, he served in the Bengal Army, was wounded, and resigned his commission. He bought a ship and sailed out to the Malay Archipelago. Setting sail for Borneo in 1838, he arrived in Kuching in August to find an uprising taking place against the Sultan of Brunei. Greatly impressed with the Malay Archipelago, in Sarawak he met Pangeran Muda Hashim, to whom he gave assistance in crushing the rebellion, thereby winning the gratitude of the Sultan, who in 1841 offered Brooke the governorship of Sarawak in return for his help. In 1842, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien II ceded complete sovereignty of Sarawak to Brooke. He was granted the title of Rajah of Sarawak on 24 September 1841, although the official declaration was not made until 18 August 1842.

During his reign, Brooke began to establish and cement his rule over Sarawak: reforming the administration, codifying laws and fighting piracy. Brooke returned temporarily to England in 1847, where he was given the Freedom of the City of London, appointed British consul-general in Borneo and was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. 

Brooke ruled Sarawak until his death in 1868, following three strokes over ten years. Having no legitimate children, in 1861 he formally named Captain John Brooke Johnson-Brooke, his sister's eldest son, as his successor. Two years later, the Rajah reacted to criticism by returning to the east: after a brief meeting in Singapore John was deposed and banished from Sarawak. James increased the charges to treasonous conduct and later named John's younger brother, Charles Anthoni Johnson Brooke, as successor.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2015, 12:00:23 AM »
The flag of the Kingdom of Sarawak, 1848 to 1870.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2015, 12:02:21 AM »


Here you see Sarawak on the island of Borneo, south of colony of British North Borneo.



From Wikipedia:

Sarawak's statehood and identity as a sovereign country was first recognised by the United States in 1850 and then the United Kingdom in 1863. As time went on Sarawak's size would increase tremendously as more territory was leased or acquired from the Sultan of Brunei.



From White Rajahs of Sarawak Coins History.

When James Brooke returned to England in 1863, he was knighted by Queen Victoria, and Britain recognised Sarawak as an independent state. He also returned to England to order a full series of Sarawak coins. He arranged for copper coins with the denominations of 1/4, 1/2 and 1 Cent to be struck in Ralph Heaton Mint (now known as the Birmingham Mint) with the help of his British agents Buchanan, Hamilton & Co. The dies for these coins as well as the later copper coinage of 1870 were engraved by Joseph Moore. Heaton won a contract which was to last until the Japanese overran Sarawak at the end of 1941.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2015, 12:11:34 AM »
The quarter cent of 1863 showed a portrait of James Brooke on the obverse, with his title as Rajah. The reverse shows the country name, the denomination and the year, all inside a simple wreath. Wreaths were very common numismatic decorations in those days, of course.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2015, 12:12:35 AM »
The half cent of 1863 followed the same pattern.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2015, 12:14:43 AM »
The one cent coin of 1863 was very similar. No more coins were minted until 1870, during the reign of the next Rajah.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2015, 08:15:11 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Charles, Rajah of Sarawak, GCMG (Charles Anthoni Johnson Brooke; 1829-1917), born Charles Anthoni Johnson, ruled as the head of state of Sarawak from 3 August 1868 until his death. He succeeded his uncle, James Brooke, as the second White Rajah of this small country.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2015, 08:22:47 PM »
In 1870 Charles amended the Sarawak flag, so that the blue half cross now became black. This flag was retained until 1946.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2015, 08:23:26 PM »
The first coins of the second Rajah were date 1870 but not issued until 1871. They were the quarter cent, the half cent and the one cent. The reverses remained the same as under James Brooke, with the country name, denomination and year, as well as a wreath. Below you can see the quarter cent design. The quarter cent and half cent were issued until 1896.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2015, 08:25:54 PM »
All the coins now showed the portrait of the new Rajah. The one cent coin was dated 1870 but not issued until 1871. It was issued until 1891 in the form you see below.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2015, 08:31:24 PM »
From The Coinage of the White Rajahs of Sarawak, by Jay Turner.

Due to complaints by the Strait Settlements, the export of Sarawak coinage was banned. Beginning in 1892, the cents were issued holed in the middle, to avoid confusion with the Strait Settlements' pieces. The holed cents displayed a reduced-size portrait of Charles Johnson Brooke as well as his title and flags. These cents were issued from 1892 through 1897 with the exception of 1895.

An example of this one cent coin, dated 1892, can be seen below.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2015, 08:34:52 PM »
From Jay Turner's article:

Rajah Charles Brooke’s reign continued the trends established by Rajah James Brooke of fighting piracy, slavery, and head-hunting; development of trade; and border expansion. Sarawak expanded tremendously under the reign of Rajah Charles Brooke, as large tracks of land were taken from Brunei. The State of Sarawak became its current size in 1905. During Rajah Charles Johnson Brooke’s rule the State of Sarawak was placed under British protection in 1888 and the governor or the Straits Settlements was appointed Agent of Sarawak. As a protectorate of Britain, Sarawak gained a parliamentary government. Investment in state infrastructure included a railway and the development of natural resources after oil was discovered.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2015, 08:38:32 PM »
After 1897 no more ¼, ½ or 1 cent coins were issued. In 1900 four new denominations were issued: 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. This time the wreath of leaves was replaced by a rope in a wreath-like arrangement. Below you can see the 20 cents coin of 1900.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2015, 08:58:21 PM »
The last 50 cents coins under Charles was issued in 1906, but the 5, 10 and 20 cents were last issued in 1915. Charles Brooke died in 1917. He was succeeded as Rajah by his son Charles Vyner Brooke, seen below. Vyner was born in 1874 and died in 1963.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 24 362
Re: The British Rajahs of Sarawak
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2015, 09:02:03 PM »
The first coins portraying Vyner were issued in 1920, in denominations of 5, 10, 20 cents. These first coins retained the same reverse as previously and were only issued in 1920. The portrait of Vyner faced right, whereas those of his predecessors faced left. The 50 cents coin was not issued until 1927.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 02:41:37 AM by <k> »
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.