By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A History of Sarawak under Its Two White Rajahs 1839-1908
Author: Baring-Gould, S. (Sabine), Bampfylde, C. A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of Sarawak under Its Two White Rajahs 1839-1908" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

WHITE RAJAHS 1839-1908***

generously made available by Internet Archive (https://archive.org)

      Images of the original pages are available through
      Internet Archive. See

Transcriber's note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

      Superscripts are denoted by a carat character before a
      single superscripted character (example: M^cDougall).

[Illustration: J Brooke.]

[Illustration: C Brooke]




Author of 'The Tragedy of the Caesars,' etc.



Late Resident of Sarawak

Henry Sotheran & Co.
37 Piccadilly, W., and 140 Strand, W.C.


                          UNDER THE TWO RAJAHS

                            TO THE OFFICERS

                                 OF THE

                             RAJ OF SARAWAK


As I have been requested to write a preface to _The History of Sarawak
under its Two White Rajahs_, one of whom I have the honour to be, I
must, first of all, assert that I have had nothing to do with the
composition or writing of the book, and I do not profess to be a writer,
otherwise than in a very ordinary sense, having left school at the age
of twelve to enter the Navy.

In that service I remained for ten years, when I obtained my
lieutenancy, and then received two years' leave, which the Admiralty
were glad to grant at that time (about 1852), as they thought naval
officers were of a type likely to be of service in the development of
the colonies and the improvement of native states. I then went to
Sarawak to join my uncle, the first Rajah, with and under whom I
remained, and consequently had to retire from the Navy; but I will admit
that my ten years' service gave me what I probably could not have gained
from any other profession—the advantages of having been taught to obey
my seniors, and of having been disciplined; and I very firmly adhere to
the rule that no one can make a successful commander unless he has
learnt to obey. It further taught me those seafaring qualities, which
have been so useful ever since, of being able to rough it and put up
with one's surroundings, the lack of which so often makes the men of the
present day, in their refined and gentlemanly way, not quite suited to
handle the wheel of a ship at sea or the plough on land.

Now I will pass on to say how this book, good or bad as it may be—and I
am not competent to pass judgment either way—came to be written. I was
asked by more than one if I had any objection to the writing of my
biography, and I, as far as I can recollect, gave no decided answer one
way or the other; but I thought if I handed over the correspondence and
all records that related to Sarawak and its Government that the
distinguished author, Baring-Gould, and my friend, Charles Bampfylde,
might be enabled to form a truthful account, and at the same time give
the public a readable book.

I thought that some interest might be felt in the story of a life such
as mine has been for the last sixty years, coupled with an account of
the institutions, manners, and customs of the inhabitants of Sarawak,
and especially of the way in which we have always treated the native
population, finding much profit by it, more in kindliness and sympathy
than in a worldly point of view, by making them our friends, and I may
say associates, though they are of a different creed and different
colour; and how we gained their hearts by living among them and really
knowing them, not as superiors, but as equals and friends; and I thought
being brought out during my life by the pen of the able author and that
of my old and much-esteemed officer, Mr. Bampfylde, it would be more
likely to give a correct impression than if some one took up the pen
after my death and gained material from some good and some rather
scratchy works that have been written on Sarawak, since such an one
would probably make up a work that would be, no doubt, very readable and
well adapted to take the fashion of the day, but not so truthful as a
man of long personal experience could do, and has, I think, done it; and
this I can aver, that what is written are facts, however plain and
uninteresting they may prove. The work is not the history of my life
more than that of the late Rajah, and I may flatter myself that we—he as
founder and myself as builder of the state—have been one in our policy
throughout, from the beginning up to the present time; and now shortly I
have to hand it to my son, and I hope that his policy may not be far
removed from that of his predecessors.

My life draws towards its close, but the book, if and whenever brought
out, will stand in the future as a record of events that may be
considered as the work of private individuals who stood alone and
unprotected in a far distant land, and who were, I may also say,
fortunately, scarcely ever interfered with, or the policy of Sarawak
could not have been as successful as it has proved. It will, I have
reason to believe, attract more attention in comparatively new
countries, such as America and Australia, where the story of Sarawak is
perhaps better known than in England. One word more, and that is, that
the native element has always been our base and strong point: and our
lives are safe with them so long as they are wisely treated and relied
on with thorough trust and confidence.

                                                              C. BROOKE,

 CHESTERTON, _8th January 1909_.


 PREFACE                                                        Page vii

 MALAY TITLES                                                   Page xxi

                                CHAPTER I


 Geographical and geological description—Its jungles—Natural  Pages 1-35
   history—Races of men in Sarawak—Census—Area—Climate

                               CHAPTER II

                              EARLY HISTORY

 Early Chinese and Hindu-Javanese influence, and settlements—      36-60
   Rise of the Malays—Their sultanates in Borneo—European
   intercourse with Northern Borneo from 1521-1803—Decline of
   Bruni—Earliest records of Sarawak—English and Dutch in the
   Malayan Archipelago and Southern Borneo from 1595—Trade
   monopolies an impulse to piracy—How the Sea-Dayaks became
   pirates—Cession of Bruni territory to Sulu—Transferred to
   the East India Company—Events in Bruni that led to Rajah
   Muda Hasim becoming Regent—His transfer to Sarawak—
   Oppression and depopulation of the Land-Dayaks—Condition
   of North-West Borneo in 1839—List of the Sultans of Bruni

                               CHAPTER III

                          THE MAKING OF SARAWAK

 Early life of James Brooke—First visit to Sarawak—Condition       61-91
   of the country—Dutch trading regulations—Brooke offered
   the Raj-ship—He suppresses the insurrection—The intrigues
   of Pangiran Makota, and the shuffling of the Rajah Muda—A
   crisis: Brooke invested as Rajah—Makota dismissed—Sarawak
   and other provinces—The Sherips—Condition of the country—
   The Datus—Laws promulgated—Redress of wrongs—Measures
   taken to check the Sekrang and Saribas pirates—Sherip
   Sahap receives a lesson—Brooke visits Bruni—Bruni and its
   court—Cession of Sarawak to Brooke confirmed—Installation
   at Kuching—Makota's discomfiture, and banishment—Reforms
   introduced—Suppression of piracy and head-hunting—Captain
   the Honourable H. Keppel induced to co-operate

                               CHAPTER IV

                               THE PIRATES

 A general account of the pirates—Cruise of the _Dido_—           92-152
   Brushes with the pirates—Expedition against the Saribas—
   The Rajah visits Bruni—Sir Edward Belcher's mission—The
   Rajah joins a naval expedition against Sumatran pirates—Is
   wounded—_Dido_ returns to Sarawak—The Batang Lupar
   expedition—Sarawak offered to the British crown—The
   Rajah's difficult position—Return of Rajah Muda Hasim to
   Bruni—The Rajah appointed H.M.'s Agent in Borneo—Visits
   Bruni—Intrigues of Pangiran Usup—Sir Thomas Cochrane—
   Usup's downfall—The pirate's stronghold in Marudu Bay
   destroyed—Death of Usup—Fresh troubles on the coast—Rajah
   Muda Hasim and his brothers murdered—Bruni attacked and
   captured by Cochrane—Further action against the Lanun
   pirates—Submission of the Sultan—His end—Sarawak becomes
   an independent state—Labuan ceded to the British—Jealousy
   and pretensions of the Dutch—Treaty with Bruni—Defeat of
   the Balenini pirates—The Rajah visits England, 1848—
   Honours accorded him—Captain James Brooke-Brooke joins the
   Rajah—The Sarawak flag—The Rajah establishes Labuan—Visits
   Sulu—Depredations by the Saribas and Sekrangs—Action
   taken—The Rajah revisits Sulu, and a treaty is concluded—
   The battle of Beting Maru—Venomous attacks upon the Rajah
   and naval officers—A Royal Commission demanded in
   Parliament to investigate the Rajah's conduct negatived—
   Diplomatic visit to Siam—Recognition by the United States—
   The Rajah returns to England, 1851—Public dinner in his
   honour—Commission granted by coalition ministry—The Rajah
   returns to Sarawak, 1853—Attack of small-pox—The
   Commission sits in Singapore in 1854—Complete breakdown of
   charges against the Rajah—Gladstone unconvinced—Mischief
   caused by the Commission

                                CHAPTER V


 Commencement of the present Rajah's career in Sarawak in        153-184
   1852—Entitled the Tuan Muda—At Lundu—The situation in the
   Batang Lupar—Rentap—Death of Lee—The Tuan Muda at Lingga—
   Lingga and the people—Fresh concessions of territory—
   Expeditions against Dandi and Sungie Lang—The Tuan Muda in
   charge of the Batang Lupar and Saribas—Disturbed state of
   the country—Kajulau attacked—Saji's escape—First attack on
   Sadok, 1857—Expedition against the Saribas—A station
   established there—Defeat of Linggir—Second (1858) and
   final (1861) attacks on Sadok—End of Rentap

                               CHAPTER VI


 The Chinese in Sarawak—The Secret Society, or Hueh—             185-206
   Circumstances that led to the rebellion—Kuching captured
   by the rebels—They form a provisional government, and
   retire up river—Their return—Malay town burnt—How the
   situation was changed—Flight of the Chinese—Pursued and
   driven over the border—Their after fate—Action of the
   British and Dutch authorities—The rebellion the outcome of
   the Commission—Comments by English papers—After the
   rebellion—The Hueh dormant, not extinct—Gives trouble in
   1869—In open revolt against the Dutch, 1884-85—Severely
   punished in Sarawak in 1889, and again in 1906

                               CHAPTER VII

                           THE SHERIP MASAHOR

 The Datus—The Datu Patinggi Gapur—Sherip Masahor—Gapur's        207-245
   misconduct and treachery—His punishment—Muka in a state of
   anarchy—Pangiran Matusin kills Pangiran Ersat—S. Masahor's
   cold-blooded revenge—The Tuan Muda at Muka—S. Masahor
   punished—The Rajah reforms the Bruni Government—Thwarted
   by the Sultan—Fort built at Serikei—The Rajah intervenes
   at Muka—He goes to England—Makota's death—The Tuan Muda in
   charge—Commencement of conspiracies—Kanowit—Troubles at
   Muka, and the Tuan Muda's action there—Murder of Steele
   and Fox—The conspiracy—Disconnected action—The general
   situation—The murderers of Steele and Fox punished—
   Ramifications of the plot—Its repression, and the fate of
   its promoters—Indifference of the British Government—The
   Rajah in England—Paralysis—Failure to obtain protection—
   Pecuniary difficulties—The Borneo Company, Limited—Miss
   Burdett-Coutts—The first steamer—Public testimonial—

                              CHAPTER VIII


 The Honourable G. W. Edwardes Governor of Labuan—Supports       246-266
   Sherip Masahor, and condemns the Tuan Muda—Muka closed to
   Sarawak traders—The Tuan Besar attempts to open friendly
   negotiations with the authorities at Muka—A declaration of
   war—Muka invested—Governor Edwardes interferes—The Tuan
   Besar protests, and withdraws his forces—Evil caused by
   Edwardes' action far-reaching—Disapproved of by the
   Foreign Office—Transfer of Muka to Sarawak—Banishment of
   S. Masahor—Territory to Kedurong Point ceded to Sarawak—S.
   Masahor's end—His cruelties—The Tuan Besar becomes Rajah
   Muda—The Tuan Muda follows the Rajah to England in 1862

                               CHAPTER IX

                         THE LAST OF THE PIRATES

 The revival of piracy in 1858—Inaction of the Navy, a fruit     267-278
   of the Commission—Destruction of a pirate fleet by the
   _Rainbow_ off Bintulu—Cessation of piracy

                                CHAPTER X

                          THE KAYAN EXPEDITION

 Return of the Rajah to Sarawak—The Rajah Muda retires—The       279-294
   recognition of Sarawak as an independent state granted—The
   Kayan expedition—Submission of the Kayans—The murder of
   Fox and Steele fully avenged—The Rajah bids farewell to

                               CHAPTER XI

                       THE END OF THE FIRST STAGE

 The opening and closing of the first stage—The Rajah's          295-306
   retirement—His general policy—Frowned upon—What England
   owes to him—Paralleled with Sir Stamford Raffles—The
   Rajah's larger policy—Abandoned—Recognition—Financial
   cares—At Burrator—Death, June 11, 1868—Dr. A. R. Wallace's
   testimony—The Rajah's opinion of his successor—Principles
   of government

                               CHAPTER XII


 Charles Brooke proclaimed Rajah—Improvements needed—The         307-325
   Datu's testimony—System of governing—The two councils—
   Administration in out-stations—Malay courts—Native chiefs—
   The Rajah's opinions and policy—Slavery—Relations with the
   Dutch—The Rajah's duties—Commercial and industrial
   development—Disturbances between 1868 and 1870—The Rajah
   leaves for England—His marriage

                              CHAPTER XIII


 Its story—Inconsistency of British policy—Sultan Mumin—         326-372
   Feudal rights—Oppression and misgovernment—Trade
   interfered with—Apathy of the British Government—Labuan a
   failure—Its governors inimical to Sarawak—The Rajah visits
   Bruni—A treaty and its evil results—The Rajah visits
   Baram—The situation in that river—Bruni methods—The Kayans
   rebel—The Sultan disposed to cede Baram to Sarawak—The
   British Government disapproves—The reason—The Rajah
   recommends a policy—Adopted by the Foreign Office too
   late—The late Rajah's policy and that adopted in regard to
   the native states of the Malay Peninsula—Mr. Ussher
   Governor of Labuan—A change—Baram taken over by Sarawak—
   Troubles in the Limbang—Trusan ceded to Sarawak—Death of
   Sultan Mumin—Sultan Hasim—His difficult position—The
   Limbang in rebellion—The Rajah declines to help the
   Sultan—The Sultan advised by Sir F. Weld—Bruni becomes a
   protectorate, but a Resident is not appointed—The Limbang
   people hoist the Sarawak flag—The Rajah annexes Limbang—
   The Sultan refuses to accept the decision of the Foreign
   Office—His real motives—Sir Spenser St. John's comments—
   Present condition of Limbang—Muara and its coal-fields—
   Tenure and rights of the Rajah—Lawai—Murut feuds
   suppressed—Bankrupt condition of Bruni—Responsibility of
   the British Government—Tutong and Belait—Transfer of Lawas
   to Sarawak—British Resident appointed to Bruni—
   Alternatives before the Foreign Office—The worst adopted—A
   poor bargain—Death of Sultan Hasim—A harsh tax—The Rajah
   protests—His position at Muara—Comments on the policy of
   the British Government

                               CHAPTER XIV

                             THE SEA-DAYAKS

 Three stages in the Rajah's service—A fourth added—Sea-Dayak    373-392
   affairs to 1907—The character of the Sea-Dayaks—The
   Kayans, Kenyahs, and other inland tribes—Tama Bulan

                               CHAPTER XV

                           THE RAJAH AND RANEE

 Their arrival in Sarawak in 1870, and their welcome—            393-424
   Description of Kuching—1839, a contrast—The Rajah and
   Ranee visit Pontianak and Batavia—Their return to England—
   Deaths of their children—Birth of the Rajah Muda—The Vyner
   family—Lord Derby's compliment—Lord Clarendon—Lord Grey's
   interest in Sarawak—Difficulties in the interior—Birth of
   the Tuan Muda—The Rajah's narrow escape—Birth of the Tuan
   Bongsu—Extension of territory—Limbang—Protection accorded—
   A review of the progress of Sarawak after fifty years—The
   Rajah's speech—The annexation of the Limbang—The Rajah
   Muda proclaimed as successor—Proposal to transfer North
   Borneo to Sarawak—Keppel's last visit, and his last letter
   to the Rajah—The Ranee obliged to leave Sarawak—The Rajah
   Muda joins the Service—Is given a share in the Government—
   The Natuna islands—Steady advance—The Rajah's policy—Its
   main essential—Malay chiefs—The Datus—What the Brookes
   have done for Sarawak

                               CHAPTER XVI


 Revenue and expenditure—Chinese merchants—The Borneo            425-438
   Company, Limited—Trade from the early days to 1907—
   Agriculture—Land tenure—Jungle produce—Minerals—Mechanical

                              CHAPTER XVII


 The education of native children a problem—Schools—Islamism—    439-450
   Paganism—The S.P.G. Mission—Roman Catholic Missions—
   American Methodist Mission

                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


 The late Rajah. From an engraving after the painting by  _Frontispiece_
   Sir Francis Grant, P.R.A.

 The present Rajah. Photo, Bassano                                     i

 Nepenthes and Rafflesia. C. R. Wylie                                  1

 Mt. St. Pedro, or Kina Balu. C. R. Wylie. From St.                    2
   John's _Life in the Forests of the Far East_

 Ukit Chief, wife and child. Photo, C. A. Bampfylde                   13

 A Punan. Photo, Lambert and Co., Singapore                           14

 A Kayan girl. Photo, Lambert and Co., Singapore                      17

 Group of Muruts. Photo, Mrs. E. A. W. Cox                            20

 Land-Dayak Chief, with his son and grandson. Photo, Rev.             22
   J. W. Moore

 Sea-Dayak Chief (Pengulu Dalam Munan). Photo, Tum Sai On             23

 Sea-Dayak girl. Photo, Buey Hon                                      26

 Satang Islands. C. R. Wylie                                          35

 Mercator's map. C. R. Wylie                                          36

 Old jar ("Benaga"). Photo, C. A. Bampfylde                           36

 Figure at Santubong. Photo, Lambert and Co.                          39

 Kuching, 1840. From _Views in the Eastern Archipelago_.              61
   J. A. St. John

 Tower of old Astana. C. R. Wylie, from a photo by Buey               61

 The _Royalist_ off Santubong. C. R. Wylie                            63

 Land-Dayak village. Photo, C. Vernon-Collins                         76

 Land-Dayak head-house. Photo, Rev. J. W. Moore                       81

 Kuching, present day. Photo, Buey Hon                                91

 H.E.I.C. _Phlegethon_. C. R. Wylie                                   92

 H.M.S. _Dido_. From _Expedition to Borneo_. Keppel. C.               92
   R. Wylie

 The present Rajah as a midshipman                                   105

 Attack on Sherip Usman's stronghold. C. R. Wylie. From              151
   _Views in the Eastern Archipelago_

 Old Sekrang fort. C. R. Wylie. From _Ten Years in                   153

 Sea-Dayak shield and arms. C. R. Wylie                              153

 On the war-path. Photo, C. A. Bampfylde                             184

 Government station at Bau. Photo, Buey Hon                          185

 Old Chinese temple, Kuching. Photo, Lambert and Co.                 196

 Chinese procession                                                  205

 Malay lela (cannon) and spears. C. A. Bampfylde                     207

 Sherip Masahor's spear. C. R. Wylie                                 207

 Kanowit. C. A. Bampfylde                                            244

 Native tools and hats. C. A. Bampfylde and C. R. Wylie              246

 Melanau sun-hat. C. R. Wylie                                        246

 Plan of operations at Muka                                          249

 Sarawak flag: execution kris. C. R. Wylie                           267

 Sulu kris. C. A. Bampfylde and C. R. Wylie                          268

 Native musical instruments. C. A. Bampfylde and C. R.               279

 Kayan mortuary. C. A. Bampfylde and C. R. Wylie                     279

 Punan mortuary. Photo by Mrs. E. A. W. Cox                          283

 Kayan mortuary. Photo by Mrs. E. A. W. Cox                          288

 Sea-Dayak house. From a photo by Lambert and Co. C. R.              295

 The Rajah's grave. Photo by Major W. H. Rodway                      295

 Kuching. C. R. Wylie, from photos by Buey Hon                       299

 Fort Margherita, Kuching. C. R. Wylie, from photo by                307
   Buey Hon

 Berrow Vicarage. C. R. Wylie, from a photo                          307

 Fort Brooke, Sibu. Photo, Lambert and Co.                           324

 H.H.S. _Zahora_. C. R. Wylie, from a photo                          325

 Daru'l Salam. C. R. Wylie. From _Life in the Forests of             326
   the Far East_

 Bruni gong. C. R. Wylie                                             326

 The Sultan's palace. C. R. Wylie, from a photo by Mrs.              332
   E. A. W. Cox

 Trusan Fort. Photo, Mrs. E. A. W. Cox                               345

 On the Lawas river. Photo, M. G. Bradford                           363

 The _Gazelle_. Photo, Buey Hon                                      372

 Sea-Dayak war-boat. Photo, C. A. Bampfylde                          373

 Land-Dayak weapons. C. R. Wylie                                     373

 The Sarawak Rangers. Photo, Lambert and Co.                         376

 Rangers in mufti. Photo, Buey Hon                                   377

 Kapit Fort. Photo, C. A. Bampfylde                                  380

 Fort Alice, Simanggang. Photo, Lambert and Co.                      385

 Sea-Dayak war-boats. Photo, C. A. Bampfylde                         391

 The Astana. C. R. Wylie, from photos                                393

 Kuching, from down river. Photo, Buey Hon                           394

 Drawing-room, Astana. Photo, Lambert and Co.                        397

 Dining-room, Astana. Photo, Lambert and Co.                         397

 The Esplanade, Kuching. Photo, Buey Hon                             399

 Hospital, Kuching. Photo, Buey Hon                                  403

 The Malay Members of Supreme Council. Photo, Buey Hon               407

 The Police. Photo, Buey Hon                                         409

 Chinese Street, Kuching. Photo, Buey Hon                            413

 Interior of Museum, Kuching. Photo, Buey Hon                        415

 Buildings in Kuching. Photo, Buey Hon                               421

 General Market, Kuching. Photo, Lambert and Co.                     423

 Chesterton House, Cirencester. Photo, W. D. Moss                    424

 The Borneo Company's Offices, Kuching. Photo, Buey Hon              425

 A pepper garden                                                     434

 Chinese sluicing for gold. Photo, Buey Hon                          436

 Brooketon coal-mines. Photo, Buey Hon                               437

 Cyanide works at Bau. Photo, Buey Hon                               438

 St. Joseph's and St. Thomas's Churches. Photo, Buey Hon             439

 Malay mosque. Photo, Buey Hon                                       439

 S.P.G.'s boys' school. Photo, Buey Hon                              441

 S.P.G.'s girls' school. Photo, Buey Hon                             442

 R.C. boys' school. Photo, Buey Hon                                  443

 Chinese temple                                                      450

                         _Map at end of volume._


  SULTAN.—Supreme head of the once large Bruni Sultanate, which is now
    only a corner or enclave within the raj of Sarawak. Iang di
    Pertuan, the Lord who Rules, is the correct supreme title in
    Bruni, and the one most generally in use.[1]

  SULTAN MUDA, heir-apparent. Lit. young Sultan, but seldom used. Iang
    di Pertuan Muda is the more correct Malay title. Cp. Pangiran,

  RAJAH (fem. Rani, or Ranee).—The old title of the Bruni sovereigns.
    It is a Sanskrit word, and means king. But in Bruni it was
    improperly assumed by those (male and female) of royal descent.
    This has fallen into disuse, that is, none of them now bears such
    a title, but in referring to the princes of Bruni generally the
    term Rajah Rajah[2] would be used. Rulers of districts were never
    entitled to the title _ex officio_. Such rulers are feudal chiefs
    with the title of Pangiran, and their chieftainship is generally

  RAJAH MUDA, heir apparent. Lit. young Rajah.

  PANGIRAN is the highest Bruni title. Pangiran Muda—sometimes
    Pangiran Muda Besar—is another title of the heir-apparent to the
    Sultanate. (Rajah Muda is only used in Sarawak.) It is a Javanese
    title and means prince. It is not, however, now confined only to
    persons of royal descent as formerly, and the title has become
    very common, especially as illegitimate as well as legitimate
    children of all pangirans assume it.

  DATU.—Lit. great-grandfather (by extension—ancestor). This is a high
    title in the Malay Peninsula, and the highest in Sarawak, but not
    in Bruni, though it is in Sulu. It can be conferred by the Ruler
    alone, and is an official title and not hereditary. It is only
    granted to Malays.[3]

  BANDAR (Persian).—The meaning of this word is a port. Datu Bandar,
    one of the highest titles in Sarawak, would mean the chief of the
    port or town.

  SHAH BANDAR means the Controller of the Customs.

  BANDAHARA (Sanskrit.).—A treasurer. The Pangiran Bandahara is the
    chief of the four Wazirs of Bruni. The present Bandahara is Regent
    of Bruni.

  TEMANGGONG.—Another high official title, meaning Commander-in-Chief.
    The Pangiran Temanggong is one of the Bruni Wazirs.

  DI GADONG AND PEMANCHA.—Also high official titles, the meanings of
    which are uncertain. The Pangiran di Gadong and the Pangiran
    Pemancha are the titles of the other two Bruni Wazirs.[4]

  PATINGGI (from Tinggi—elevated, exalted; hence Maha-tinggi, the most
    high). The Datu Patinggi was the highest or premier chief in

  PENGLIMA.—A Malay title, also sometimes formerly given to Dayaks;
    means a Commander.

  ORANG KAYA.—Lit. rich man. A title generally given to Malay chiefs
    of inferior rank and to the Dayak chiefs.

  SHERIF.[5]—An Arab title meaning noble. A title assumed by half-bred
    Arabs claiming descent from Muhammad. These men also take the
    exalted Malay title of Tunku or Tungku[6] by which princes of the
    royal blood are alone addressed, but more especially the Sultan.

  HAJI.—One who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca.

  TUAN.—Master, Sir, Lord, Mistress, Lady. Tuan Besar—High Lord. Tuan
    Muda—Young Lord.

  NAKODA.—Shipmaster, merchant.

  PENGULU.—Headman. A title given to Dayak district chiefs.

  INCHI.—Mister—a lower title than Tuan. A title foreign to Sarawak,
    and in that country only assumed by foreign Malays.

  ABANG.—Lit. elder brother. Datu's sons are styled Abang, and also
    Malay Government chiefs below the rank of Datu.

  LAKSAMANA.—An Admiral.

  IMAUM.—High Priest.

  HAKIM.—A Judge: lit. a learned man.

  AWANG.—A title sometimes given to the sons of Pangirans.

  DAYANG OR DANG.—Lady of rank. A title given to daughters of Datus
    and Abangs.

  WAN.—Another title given to Sherifs, but more generally to their
    sons. It is probably derived from the Arabic word Awan, meaning a
    helper or sustainer of Muhammad.

  The following Malay geographical terms should also be noted:—

        BUKIT, a hill.
        DANAU, a lake.
        GUNONG, a mountain.
        PULAU, an island.
        SUNGI, a river.
        TANJONG, a cape.
        KAMPONG, a village, or subdivision of a town, a parish.


Footnote 1:

  Sultan is a title foreign to the Court language of Bruni.—Sir Hugh
  Low, G.C.M.G., _Sarawak_, 1848.

Footnote 2:

  _Rajah_, correctly Raja. Plural is expressed by duplication.

Footnote 3:

  In Bruni this title also is now debased by being granted to all
  natives, Chinese included.

Footnote 4:

  St. John gives the di Gadong as Minister of Revenues, and the Pemancha
  as Minister for Home Affairs.—_Forests of the Far East._

Footnote 5:

  Pronounced by Malays Sherip, or Serip. Fem. Sheripa, Seripa. Sayid is
  another, though in the East less common title, assumed by descendants
  of the Prophet. Sir Richard Burton in his _Pilgrimage_ says the
  former, men of the sword, the ruling and executive branch, are the
  descendants of El Husayn, the Prophet's grandson; and the latter, men
  of the pen, religion, and politics, are descended from the Prophet's
  eldest grandson, El Hasan. Siti is the female title.

Footnote 6:

  A corruption of Tuan-ku (Tuan aku), my Lord, as it is often so

                               CHAPTER I



Next to Australia and New Guinea, Borneo[7] is the largest island in the
world; it is larger than the whole of France. It sits astride on the
equator, that divides it nearly, but not wholly, in two; the larger
portion being to the north of the Line.

The belt of islands, Sumatra, Java, and the chain to Timor and the
Sarwatty group, represents a line of weakness in the crust of the earth,
due to volcanic action, which still makes itself felt there. But the
axis of elevation of Borneo is almost at right angles to this line, and
in it are no active vents, and if there be extinct volcanoes, these are
in the extreme north only. In Sarawak there are several hot springs, the
water of which is impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen. The island
owes its origin, as far as we can judge, to a great upheaval of plutonic
rock that has lifted aloft and shivered the overlying beds, but the
granite does not come everywhere to the surface. Something analogous may
be seen in Exmoor, where the superincumbent clay-slate has been heaved
up and strained, but the granite nowhere shows save in Lundy Isle, where
the superposed strata have been swept away, leaving the granite exposed.



Borneo is about 850 miles in length and 600 in breadth, and contains an
area of 286,000 square miles. The centre of Borneo is occupied by broken
hilly highland, with isolated mountains, of which the finest is the
granite peak of Kina Balu (13,700 feet). Hills come down in places to
the sea, as in the south of Sarawak, where they attain a height of from
2000 to over 5000 feet, and die into the sea at Cape Datu. The plains,
chiefly swamps, are composed of the wash of the mountains, overlaid by
vegetable mould, and these fringe the coast, extending inland from ten
to thirty miles, with here and there isolated humps of hill standing up
out of them.

The island is probably the best watered in the world. On every side are
numerous rivers, mainly rising in the central highlands, at first
dancing down the mountain ledges in cascades, then, forming dangerous
rapids, enter the plain, and there swelled by affluents and widening out
advance with no strong current to the sea. Owing to the width of the
river-mouths, and to the configuration of the coast, some of them, as
the Batang Lupar, the Sadong, and Saribas, have tidal bores, as is the
case with our River Severn, that run up as many as seventy miles into
the interior, and most have deposited troublesome bars at their mouths,
and have embouchures clogged by shoals. To the slight fall is largely
due the remarkable way in which several of these rivers descend into the
ocean through plural mouths, thus forming a network of lateral
waterways, called Loba and Trusan, whereby they mix and mingle with
other rivers, and, very much like the Rhine after entering Holland, lose
their identity and are frittered away in many channels. The Rejang, for
instance, finds issue through five mouths, and the land between the
Rejang and Igan entrances, which meet at Sibu, the apex of the delta, is
a vast unbroken swamp, 1200 square miles in area. The same phenomenon is
noticed in the Sarawak river, and in the Limbang to a smaller degree.

The rainfall in Borneo is so great, the rainy season lasting from
October to April,[8] that the rivers are very numerous and copious,
rolling down large volumes of water. Severe droughts are, however, not
uncommon during the fine season of the S.W. monsoon.

Between Kuching and Bruni are the Sadong, Batang Lupar, Saribas, Kalaka,
Rejang, Bintulu, and the Baram rivers, all available as waterways for
trade with the interior. For fifteen miles only from its mouth is the
Batang Lupar navigable by steamers, above that, though a fine broad
river, it is obstructed by dangerous shoals. The Rejang is navigable by
steamers for 170 miles, nearly as far as the first rapids. This noble
river descends many stages by as many plunges from terraces. Between the
rapids the river is deep, sluggish and broad for many miles. Boats that
can be hauled up past the rapids can ascend a distance of 650 miles from
the mouth. The Baram river is navigable by steamers for some twenty
miles above Claude Town, that is, eighty miles from the mouth, but owing
to the exposed position of the bar and to the heavy seas breaking over
it, and also to the silting up of the mouth during the N.E. monsoon,
only very small craft can then enter, but during the S.W. monsoon it can
be entered by steamers of light draught.

In Dutch Borneo as well there are magnificent rivers. The same cause
that has made some of the rivers so uncertain in their mouths has
produced vast stretches of morass, overgrown with the nipah palm and
mangrove, and infested with mosquito swarms; but the beach is almost
everywhere of beautiful white sand, reaching to where the graceful
casuarina tree grows as a belt above the reach of the tide. The tropical
heat, added to the great rainfall, makes Borneo a vegetable paradise;
indeed, it presents the appearance of one vast surface of sombre
evergreen forest, starred with flowering orchids, and wreathed with
creepers, of a richness perhaps unsurpassed even in South America.

The hills and ranges of upland consist of blue metamorphic limestone on
which is superposed a thick series of sandstones, conglomerates, and
clay-shales. Piercing these beds are granite and a variety of plutonic
rocks, as diorite, porphyrite, etc. These latter are developed in
greatest abundance in the antimony districts, where they are in
immediate contact with the limestone that has been fissured and tortured
by upheaval. The sandstone shales have also been tilted and distorted;
nevertheless in places they retain their original horizontal position.
They are usually found to be impregnated with peroxide of iron. It is in
this formation that the cinnabar deposits occur.

Both lime and sandstone have been extensively denuded, and the latter
rises in isolated tabular mountains, or short peaky trends, to an
altitude occasionally of 1500 feet above the sea, the ridges separated
by undulating valleys, in which the limestone comes to the surface.
Sometimes these denuded masses form low hilly tracts varying in
elevation from 200 feet to 1200 feet; sometimes they appear as solitary
crags, but invariably present long lines of ancient sea-cliff, and bold
scarped faces, fissured and jointed in every conceivable direction.

In the intervening lowlands is a deposit of dark yellow felspathic clay
varying in depth from a few feet to eighty feet and more, derived from
the degradation of the hills by water. Associated with this clay and of
more recent date are superficial deposits of pudding-stone and river
gravels. The intrusive igneous rocks show mainly in the form of dykes,
seaming the stratified rocks; consequently volcanic action took place
subsequent to their deposition, but it was also antecedent to the more
recent of the superficial deposits. It is in immediate connection with
those plutonic dykes that we find the deposits of arsenic and cinnabar,
occupying the fissures produced in the stratified rocks by volcanic
upheavals, and we are led to the conclusion that these mineral lodes
were deposited after the cessation of the upheaval.

Gold occurs in the form of fine sand in the alluvial deposits, and in
the gravel of the rivers over a great part of Sarawak; and also in
pockets of the limestone, in which it has been allowed to fall by water.
Nuggets are of extremely rare occurrence, but Sir Spencer St. John
mentions having seen one of seven ounces taken from the auriferous clay
at Krian near Bau. The gold dust is usually in a state of finest
comminution. So far no gold reef has been come upon.

In former days gold was extensively washed by Chinese at Bau and Paku in
Upper Sarawak, which auriferous district commences at the confluence of
the two branches of the Sarawak river, and extends back to their sources
and the boundary of Dutch Borneo. As gold and antimony were known to
abound here, the Chinese of Sambas and the lower Kapuas had made several
endeavours to establish themselves in the district, but were much
harassed by the Malays until the accession of the late Rajah Brooke,
which made it possible for them to settle there and pursue in peace
their business of gold mining. Then gold was washed extensively, and the
fine reservoirs and "leats" which the Chinese constructed to sluice the
alluvial soil remain to this day. They increased and became a thriving
community, but they were not sufficiently looked after, and, falling
under the machinations of socialistic Secret Societies, gradually got
out of hand and broke into open rebellion in 1857, as shall be related
in the sequel. It is sufficient to say here that this ended in dire ruin
to themselves, and that the few who escaped were driven over the
borders; but it also ruined the gold-mining industry, and, though some
of the rebels returned and others came with them, the industry never
fully recovered, and later on it received a further check by the
introduction of pepper planting, which gave the Chinese a more
profitable occupation, and gradually Upper Sarawak became covered with
gardens of this description. Though gold mining under the Chinese
practically died out, modern scientific and engineering skill has now
placed it in a far higher position than it had ever previously attained,
or could have attained under the primitive methods of the previous

Quicksilver was discovered _in situ_ about the year 1871, by Messrs.
Helms and Walters of the Borneo Company, who prospected over the whole
of Sarawak Proper, and ultimately succeeded in tracking the small
fragments of cinnabar that are scattered over the district to a hill on
the right bank of the Staat river. The hill is called Tegora, and rises
to an elevation of 800 feet. In the upper portion of this hill, the ore
was found deposited capriciously in strains and pockets with here and
there a little metallic mercury.[9]

In former years a large quantity of quicksilver was exported, but for
some time this mineral product has ceased to appear as an item in the
exports, the large deposit of cinnabar at Tegora having apparently been
worked out. The existence of this mineral in other parts of the state is
proved by traces found in several places, and the same may be said of
antimony, of which there are indications of rich deposits; but the
discovery of these minerals in paying quantities is a matter of chance.
Antimony is still worked by the Borneo Company, Ltd., and a recent rise
in the price has been an inducement to Chinese and Malay miners to
increase the production, and the export of 1906 was more in quantity
than it was in 1905, though small as compared with what it used to be.

Black bituminous coal, which occurs in the Tertiary strata, has been
found in different parts, and two collieries are owned and worked by the
Government, at Semunjan in the Sadong district, and at Brooketon.
Several hundred Chinese are employed as miners under European
supervision, and large sums have been expended upon machinery, etc.

Oil, a crude petroleum, has been discovered in two places; it is of good
quality, and is an excellent lubricant.

It is not impossible, or indeed improbable, that diamond deposits in
Sarawak will be found and exploited. No systematic operations in search
of these precious stones have been attempted, the dense jungle which
covers the country being an obstacle. The only people who wash for
diamonds are the Malays, and these carry on their work in a very
desultory and imperfect manner.

But agriculture and jungle produce have been, and will be, the main
source of revenue to Sarawak, and prosperity to the country. We shall
deal with these products, as well as with those that are mineral, more
fully in a subsequent chapter.

  The Bornean forest is so varied and so different at different hours
  and seasons that no description can possibly convey an adequate idea
  of it to those who have not known it. Infinite and ever changing are
  its aspects, as are the treasures it hides. Its beauties are as
  inexhaustible as the varieties of its productions. In the forest man
  feels singularly free. The more one wanders in it, the greater grows
  the sense of profound admiration before nature in one of its
  grandest aspects. The more one endeavours to study it, the more one
  finds in it to study. Its deep shades are sacred to the devotee of
  Science. Yet they afford ample food for the mind of the believer,
  not less than to that of the philosopher.[10]

And we would add, to the superstitious native, to whom the jungles teem
with ghosts and spirits.

The Bornean jungles are full of life, and of the sounds of life, which
are more marked in the early mornings and in the evenings. Birds are
plentiful (there are some 800 species), some of beautiful plumage, but
few are songsters. Insect life is very largely represented, and includes
many varieties of the curious stick and leaf insects,[11] hardly to be
distinguished from the twigs and leaves they mimic. Also the noisy and
never tiring cicadas, whose evening concerts are almost deafening, and
frogs and grasshoppers who help to swell the din. There are many
varieties of beautiful butterflies, but these are to be found more in
the open clearings. Though there are no dangerous animals, there are
many pests, the worst being the leeches, of which there are three kinds,
two that lurk in the grass and bushes, the other being aquatic—the
horse-leech. Mosquitoes, stinging flies, and ants are common, and the
scorpion and centipede are there as well. Snakes, though numerous, are
rarely seen, for they swiftly and silently retire on the approach of
man, and one variety only, the hamadryad, the great cobra or
snake-eating snake, is said to be aggressive. The varieties of land and
water snakes are many, there being some 120 different species. Natives
often fall victims to snake bites. Pythons attain a length of over
twenty feet;[12] they seldom attack man, though instances have been
known of people having been killed by these reptiles, and the following
story, taken from the _Sarawak Gazette_, will show how dangerous they
can be. At a little village a man and his small son were asleep
together. In the middle of the night the child shrieked out that he was
being taken by a crocodile, and the father, to his horror, found that a
snake had closed its jaws on the boy's head. With his hands he prised
the reptile's jaws open and released his son; but in his turn he had to
be rescued by some neighbours, for the python had wound itself around
his body. Neither was much hurt.

Of the wild animals in Sarawak, wild cattle and the rhinoceros have
nearly disappeared before their ruthless destroyer, man; and such would
have been the fate of that huge, though harmless, anthropoid, the maias,
or "orang-utan," at the hands of collectors, had not the Government
placed a check upon them by limiting the number each may collect.[13]
Deer, the sambur, the muntjac or barking deer, and the little
mouse-deer, and also wild pig, of which there are several species,
abound.[14] Numerous too are the monkeys and apes, and numerous are the
species; the more peculiar of the former being the proboscis monkey, a
species confined to Borneo, and of the latter the gentle gibbons, who
announce the dawn, making the woods ring and echo with their melodious
gurgling whoops. There are two kinds of diminutive bears, the
tree-leopard, wild cat, the scaly ant-eater, the porcupine, the otter,
the lemur, and other small animals, including the flying fox, flying
squirrel, flying lizard, flying frog, a peculiar kind of rat with a tail
which bears a close resemblance to a feather,[15] and huge toads nine
inches in height.[16] But to the casual traveller in the dense jungle
with but a limited view, excepting an occasional monkey, or a pig or
deer startled from its lair, few of these animals will be visible.

Of the valuable products of the jungle it will be sufficient to note
here that gutta, camphor, cutch, and dammar-producing trees abound; also
creepers from which rubber is extracted; and rattans of various kinds.
There are trees from the nuts of which excellent oil is expressed; and
many kinds of useful woods, some exceeding hard and durable, and some

Man's greatest enemy is the crocodile, and this voracious saurian
becomes a dangerous foe when, driven perhaps by scarcity of other food,
it has once preyed upon man, for, like the tiger, it then becomes a
man-hunter and man-eater. It will lurk about landing and bathing-places
for prey; will snatch a man bodily from a boat; and one has been known
to seize a child out of its mother's arms while she was bathing it. The
_Sarawak Gazette_ records numerous deaths due to crocodiles, though by
no means all that happen, and many thrilling adventures with these
reptiles. Two we will give as interesting instances of devotion and
presence of mind. A little Malay boy, just able to toddle, was larking
in the mud at low water when he was seized by a crocodile, which was
making for the water with its screaming little victim in its jaws, when
the child's sister, a girl of twelve, and his brother of eight, rushed
to his assistance. The boy hopelessly tried to stop the crocodile by
clinging to one of its fore-paws, but the girl jumped upon the brute's
back, and gradually working her way to its eyes which were then just
above water, succeeded in gouging out one with her fingers. This caused
the crocodile promptly to drop its prey, but only just in time, as it
was on the point of gliding into deep water. By the girl's vigorous
intervention it not only lost its prey but also its life, for two men
coming up hacked the brute to pieces. The little heroine had remembered
the story of how her grandfather had formerly saved his life in the same
way. To scoop out the eyes is the only chance of escape for one taken,
and it must be done promptly. The little boy was scarcely hurt. The
girl's courageous deed duly received a graceful recognition from the

Another girl, a Dayak girl this time, rescued her mother, who was
dragged out of a boat, in which they were together, by a large
crocodile. She threw herself upon the monster, and by thrusting her
fingers into its eyes compelled the brute, after a short but sharp
struggle, to release its prey.

Death caused by a crocodile is one of the most horrible of deaths, and
it is often a protracted one, as the victim is borne along above water
for some distance, then taken down, bashed against some sunken log, and
brought up again. "May I be killed by a crocodile if I am guilty" is a
common invocation made by Malays in protestation of their innocence; in
other words, they invoke the most dreadful death that comes within their
ken. So did once a young Malay woman in the Simanggang Court on being
convicted of a serious crime. That evening, whilst she was bathing, a
smothered cry, that she had barely time to utter, announced that her
prayer had been heard.

There are several kinds of crocodiles, broad and long snouted. In the
Perak Museum is a specimen nearly twenty-five feet in length, but the
longest that has been caught in Sarawak, and authentically measured, was
nineteen feet. The Government gives a reward for killing these pests,
which is paid upon some 250 to 300 annually brought to the police
station at Kuching. More are killed in the various districts of which no
record is kept.

Sharks of several species abound, but cases of injury by these are very

Saw-fish are also common, and with their long spiny saws are dangerous
creatures. A fisherman was killed by one of these at the mouth of the
Sadong; he was in a small canoe when the fish, which he had cut at with
his knife, struck him a blow on his neck with its saw, from which he
died almost immediately.

Excellent fish are abundant, such as mackerel and herring, considerably
larger than the English varieties, pomfret, barbel, soles, mullets,
etc., and some of beautiful colours; also crabs, prawns, and oysters.
The dugong (Malay duyong), the sea-cow, is rare in Sarawak, but common
in North Borneo, as is also the whale; in Sarawak the latter are
occasionally stranded on the beach. Turtles abound; these are preserved
for the sake of their eggs, which are considered a great delicacy.

We will now consider the races that occupy Sarawak territory; and the
following brief ethnological notes with regard to those of Indonesian
stock will be all that is necessary for the purposes of this book; to
attempt anything like an accurate classification of the many tribes and
sub-tribes which differentiate the heterogeneous population of the
country would be beyond its scope, even were it possible to trace the
divergence of the cognate tribes from the original stock, and of the
sub-tribes from the tribes. That there may have been earlier inhabitants
of Borneo than those now existing in the island is possible. Traces of
neolithic man have been found, but these may be due to the first
settlers having brought with them stone weapons cherished as charms. Of
paleolithic man not a trace has been discovered.[17] To attempt to
determine the flow of mankind into the country, or to decide which of
the tribes of Indonesian stock now found in Sarawak was the first to
occupy the soil, is to undertake an impossible task.[18] It may be
accepted that the most barbarous peoples, the Ukits, Bukitans, Punans,
and other fast vanishing tribes, were the earliest inhabitants of whom
we know anything, and that they were immigrants. But whence they came we
know not. These tribes are all more or less related in language and
customs, and in Borneo difference in names does not always denote any
essential racial distinction.





As an instance of this we have the Lugats, of whom only a very few are
left, the Lisums, the Bliuns, a tribe that has quite died out, the
Segalangs, and the Seru Dayaks of the Kalaka, a tribe which is fast
disappearing. The above sub-tribes take their name from rivers widely
apart, and though their names differ they are of the same race,
sub-tribes of the Ukits. Their tradition is that three or four hundred
years ago the Ukits lived in the Lugat (now the Gat) river, a branch of
the Baleh (hence we have the Lugats now living in the Anap), but they
were driven out by the Kayans. Some went to the Lisum river (hence we
have the Lisums), and some to Kapit, where they built strong houses on
the site of the present fort, but these they were eventually forced to
evacuate, and again they migrated down river, first to Tujong, near the
Kanowit, and afterwards farther down again to Bunut, by Benatang. From
Bunut they were driven out by their implacable foes, and they dispersed
to Segalang (in the Rejang delta), to Bliun (in the Kanowit), and to
Seru in the Kalaka.[19] This tradition is supported by the strong
evidence of language, and there is little reason for disregarding it.
After being driven out of Lugat, some of the Ukits went over to the
Kapuas, where, as in the Baleh, to which river some eventually returned,
they are still known as Ukits. The Bliuns, Segalangs, and Serus became
civilised owing to contact with the Malays and Melanaus. The Ukits,
Bukitans, and Punans, with the exception of the Punan Bah of Balui, are
the wildest of all the races in the island. The Ukits are light in
complexion; tall and well knit, and better looking than other inland
tribes. Formerly they did not reside in houses, or cultivate the soil,
but roamed about in the jungle, and subsisted on wild fruit and the
animals they killed. But some of these have begun to erect poor
dwellings, and do a little elementary farming. They are expert with the
blow-pipe, and in the manufacture of the upas-poison, with which the
points of their needle-like arrows are tinged. But it is quite open to
question whether these poor savages may not be a degenerate race, driven
from their homes and from comparative civilisation by more powerful
races that followed and hunted them from their farms to the jungle.
Beccari (_op. cit._ p. 363) says that they "are savages in the true name
of the word, but they are neither degraded nor inferior races in the
series of mankind. Their primitive condition depends more than anything
else on their nomadic or wandering life, and on the ease with which they
live on the produce of the forests, and on that of the chase which the
sumpitan (blow-pipe) procures for them. This has no doubt contributed to
keep them from associating with their fellow-beings, and from settling
in villages or erecting permanent houses. I believe that these, although
they must be considered as the remnants of an ancient Bornean people,
are not descended from autochthonous savages, but are rather the
present-day representatives of a race which has become savage." And
Beccari is of opinion "that it is difficult to deny that Borneo has had
older and perhaps more primitive inhabitants." The natives have legends
of former races having occupied the land; the most powerful were,
according to the Punans, the Antu-Jalan, who lived in the Balui, around
the mouth of the Belaga, where the fort of that name now stands. They
disappeared, but have now returned in the persons of the white men. So
the Punans believe, and other tribes hug other myths. These savage
people are, or rather were, the bitter enemies of the Dayaks, and a
terror to them. Silently and unperceived, they would steal on their
hereditary enemies whilst these latter were collecting jungle produce,
or employed on their farms, and wound them to death with their poisoned

In former days, when they were more powerful, the Bukitans would openly
attack the Dayaks, and as late as 1856 they destroyed one of the large
communal Dayak houses on the Krian, and also attacked the Serikei
Dayaks. The Ukits do not take heads, and the Punans do not tattoo. The
latter and the Bukitans are clever makers of rattan mats, which are in
demand by Europeans and Chinese. The Ukits and the Bukitans reside on
the upper waters of the Rejang, Baleh, and Kapuas; and the Punans in the
Baram and Balui.

The Banyoks and the Seduans are, like the Segalangs, with whom they have
intermixed, probably off-shoots of the Ukit tribe. They have recently
merged, and occupy the same village in the Rejang below Sibu fort. Like
the Tanjongs and the Kanowits they are clever basket makers.

The Sians, another off-shoot of the Ukits, live below Belaga fort.[20]

All these small tribes inhabiting the interior, though a few are found
near the coast, are dwindling away, mainly in consequence of in-and-in
breeding. Of some of the tribes of the same stock only a few families
are left, and in others only a few people, while one or two have totally
disappeared within quite recent years.

The next Indonesian tribes to follow were the Kayans and then the
Kenyahs, two that are closely allied, and both, according to tradition,
came from the south, probably from the Celebes. They took possession of
the Belungan (or Batang Kayan) river-basin, and overflowed into those of
Baram and Balui (the right hand branch of the Rejang). These powerful
tribes found these river-basins unoccupied except by scattered families
of the tribes above mentioned, whom they drove into the jungle. In the
Baram they remained undisturbed, as also in the Rejang till recent
years. Down the latter river they spread as far as Kapit; at that time
both the Sea-Dayaks and Malays were there, and over them the Kayans
domineered, driving the former from their settlements at Ngmah,[21] and
harassing the latter in the Kanowit, and even in the Sekrang.
Eventually, however, the Kayans were forced to fall back before the ever
increasing Dayaks, and to retire to the head-waters of the Balui, and
now, with the exception of one small settlement, all reside above the

When we consider the large area occupied by the tribes of Kayans and
Kenyahs, who may be classed together, it will be seen how important they
are. Besides inhabiting the upper waters of the Baram and Rejang, they
are found in very large numbers on the Batang Kayan. The Mahkam (Koti or
Coti) is also thickly inhabited by Kayans, and many live on the Barito
(Banjermasin), and on the Kapuas. The Kayans and Kenyahs are tattooed,
as are most of the savage people of Indonesian origin in the interior.
When the children are young the lobes of the ears are pierced, and by
the insertion of heavy lead or copper rings the lobes become gradually
so distended as to hang down to the shoulders, and, with elderly women,
often lower. That this is a very old custom, and not peculiar to these
people, is shown by the sculptures in the ancient Boro Budor temple in
Java, where men and women are figured with such elongated ear lobes,
having ear pendants and plugs exactly similar to those in use by the
Kayans and Kenyahs. Most Indonesian tribes of the interior retain this
fashion.[22] These Kayans and Kenyahs are on a slightly higher grade of
civilisation than the Sea-Dayaks, building finer houses, having more
rule and order among themselves, and being expert in the manufacture of
excellent weapons, extracting their iron for that purpose from the
native ore. In character they are vindictive and cruel, but brave, and
not without some good qualities. Formerly they practised hideous
cruelties on their captives and slaves, and impalement was a common form
of punishment. The women were even more barbarous than the men, being
the most ingenious and inhuman in devising tortures. The Kayans under
Sarawak rule have been checked in these matters, and human sacrifices
have become a thing of the past. But that these propensities are only
dormant is instanced by a case that occurred but a few years ago, far up
the Balui. Four young Dayaks, survivors of a party of gutta-percha
collectors, who had been cut off and killed by the Punans, after
wandering for many days in the jungle, arrived destitute and starving at
a Kayan house, and asked for food and shelter. Instead, the Kayans bound
the young men, and, after breaking their legs and arms, handed them over
to the women, who slowly despatched them by hacking them to pieces with
little knives. And in the Baram, in 1882, a Kayan chief caused two
captives to be bound and thrown down from the lofty verandah of his
house to the ground, where they were decapitated—quite in Ashantee



Among the Kayans and Kenyahs a broad distinction exists between the
classes. There are but the chiefs and their families, and only serfs and
slaves under them. The chiefs are not chosen by the people, as is the
case among the Dayaks. They assume their position by right of birth, or
by might. The position of the serf is little better than that of the
slave, and all they may gain by their industry is seized by the chiefs.
It is the difference that existed in Germany between the Freie and the
Unfreie; in England in Saxon times between the thegn and the villein.
Although the Kayans take heads in warfare, they do not value them as do
the Dayaks, and will part with them to the latter; and they are not
head-hunters in the strict sense of the term. The Kayans are a
decreasing race, not so the Kenyahs. Both are capable of improvement,
especially the latter; and they are improving, notably in the Baram,
where they are directly under the control of the Government, since that
river district was ceded to Sarawak in 1883.

The Tanjongs, Kanowits, Kajamans, and Sekapans,[24] are cognate tribes,
probably of the same stock as the Kayans and Kenyahs. Formerly they were
large tribes, but are now each reduced to a solitary village. They are
to be found only on the Rejang. The dialects of the two first are
intermediary between those of the Melanaus and the Kayans, and they live
in an intermediary position. The other two tribes live close to Belaga
fort in the Kayan country; their dialects vary.

The Malohs of Kapuas in Dutch Borneo formerly had a large village at
Kanowit, but nearly all have returned to their own country, and the
tribe is now represented by a sprinkling only among the Sea-Dayaks. They
are wonderfully skilled workers in brass and copper, and manufacture the
peculiar brass corsets worn by the Sea-Dayak women, and their armlets,
anklets, leg and ear-rings, and other personal ornaments; and they have
been known to turn their talents to making counterfeit coin. They bear a
great reputation for bravery, and are dangerous men to cross.

The Lanans live amongst the Kayans, to whom they are allied, in the
Balui, and have seven or eight villages.

The Sebops and Madangs are Kenyah sub-tribes.

The Melanau, a large and most important tribe inhabiting the coast
between Kedurong point and the mouths of the Rejang, is also of
Indonesian stock, though, like the Malays, but in a lesser degree, they
are of mixed breed. In speech these people are allied to the Kayans, and
are regarded by some as a branch tribe. Certain of their customs are
similar, and if they differ from the Kayans in many respects, this is
due partly to environment, but mainly to the majority of them having
embraced Muhammadanism, and to their having intermarried with the
Malays, with whom they are now to a certain extent assimilated in
customs. They cultivate sago on a large scale, and since the exit of
their old Bruni rulers—or rather oppressors—are able to enjoy the fruits
of their labour, and have increased their plantations considerably. At
Bruit, Matu, Oya, Muka,[25] and Bintulu, there are jungles of sago
palms, and these places supply by far the largest proportion of the
world's consumption of sago. The people being industrious and thrifty
are well off. The above-named places are now large towns, and Muka is as
large as Bruni. The Melanaus are skilled in working iron, are good
carpenters, and excellent boat builders. Though they are by nature, like
the cognate Kayans, vindictive and quarrelsome, serious crime is not
common among them, and they are a law-abiding people. Formerly among the
Kayans and Melanaus when one of their houses was about to be built, a
hole was dug in the ground, a slave woman together with some beads
placed in it, and the first iron-wood supporting post was levered up,
and then driven through her into the ground. This was an oblation to the
Earth Spirit.

The Kadayans do not appear to be allied to any of the races in N.W.
Borneo; those in Sarawak have migrated from Bruni within recent times to
escape oppression. They are a peaceful and agricultural race, and many
of them are Muhammadans.[26]



The Muruts and Bisayas are considerable tribes inhabiting the Limbang,
Trusan, and Lawas rivers in Sarawak, and beyond. They are of Indonesian
stock, and of them a full and interesting account has been given by Sir
Spenser St. John in his _Life in the Forests of the Far East_.

The heads of all these tribes are dolichocephalic or boat-shaped. They
are yellow-stained, with hair either straight or slightly waved.

The Land-Dayaks, so named by Europeans in consequence of their not being
accustomed to go to sea, or even to the use of boats, either for trading
or piratical purposes, number several tribes, with some variations in
language. They occupy localities up the rivers Sadong, Samarahan,
Sarawak, and Lundu. The remains found among them of Hinduism, such as a
stone-shaped bull,[27] and other carved monumental stones, and the name
of their deity, Jewata, as also the refusal among them to touch the
flesh of cattle and deer, and the cremation of their dead, show that
they must have been brought into intimate contact with the Hindus,
probably at the time when the Hindu-Javanese Empire of Majapahit
extended to Borneo.[28] In customs and appearance they differ
considerably from the other tribes. They have a tradition that they
arrived from the north in large ships, possibly from Siam or
Cochin-China. Having been oppressed and persecuted and hunted for their
heads by the Sea-Dayaks they have retreated to the tops of hills and
rocky eminences.

Of the Land-Dayak Captain the Hon. H. Keppel[29] says:—

  In character he is mild and tractable, hospitable when he is well
  used, grateful for kindness, industrious, honest, and simple;
  neither treacherous nor cunning, and so truthful that the word of
  one of them might safely be taken before the oath of half a dozen
  Borneans (Malays). In their dealings they are very straightforward
  and correct, and so trustworthy that they rarely attempt, even after
  a lapse of years, to evade payment of a just debt. On the reverse of
  this picture there is little unfavourable to be said, and the wonder
  is that they have learned so little deceit and falsehood where the
  examples before them have been so rife.



It is difficult, perhaps impossible now, to assign the position of the
Land-Dayaks with regard to the other native peoples. Their language is
quite different from the others, and in many other essentials they

Distinct from all these races in physical character and language are the
Sea-Dayaks. These are proto-Malays, that is to say they belong to the
same ethnic family, but represent that stock in a purer, less mixed
stage. Radically their language is the same as the Malay. They are
brachycephalic, bullet-headed, with more or less flattened noses, are
straight-haired, almost beardless, with skin of olive hue, or the colour
of new fallen leaves. They migrated from the west, probably from
Sumatra, at a period previous to the conversion of the Malays to Islam,
for their language, which with slight dialectic differences, is purely
Malay, contains no Arabic except of very recent introduction. The
Sea-Dayak inhabits the Batang Lupar, Saribas, Kalaka, and Rejang rivers.
They are gradually spreading into the rivers of the north-east, and
there are now a good many in the Oya, Muka, Tatau, and Baram districts.



  (The Pengulu Dalam, Munan)]

A Sea-Dayak is a clean built man, upright in gait, not tall, the average
height being 5 ft. 3 inches. The nose is somewhat flat, the hair
straight with no curl in it. The face is generally pleasing from the
frankness and good nature that show in it. The women have good figures,
light and elastic; well-formed busts, with interesting, indeed often
pretty, faces; the skins are, as already stated, of so light a brown as
to be almost yellow. They have lustrous dark eyes and black, straight

The Dayaks are very fond of their parents, brothers, sisters, and of
their children, and often a strong attachment exists between man and
wife that lasts for life. The Dayaks have each but one wife, but it does
not follow by any means that the first union lasts. A young couple may
find incompatibility of temper after a week or two, and the union is
dissolved on the plea of a dream inimical to its continuance.

Incest is considered to be the worst of crimes, bringing a curse on the
country. Both incest and bigamy were formerly punishable by a cruel
death, now by heavy fines, but for the former offence the fine is far
heavier than for the latter.

The Sea-Dayaks are most hospitable, indeed a breach of hospitality is
regarded as a punishable offence. They obtained their designation from
the English who first came in contact with them, on account of their
skill in navigating the sea along the coast, although living inland, and
to differentiate them from the Dayaks of Sarawak proper, who were styled
Land-Dayaks, because these latter were inexpert boatmen, and very few of
them could paddle or swim. As shown farther on, Dayak really signifies
an _inland man_.

The Sea-Dayak is now the dominant race in Sarawak, and in time will
become so over the whole of the north-west of Borneo. The spread of this
stock in former years appears to have been slow, owing to continual
intestine wars, but since the advent of the white man, the
discontinuance of these feuds, and the forced adoption of a peaceable
life, these people have increased enormously in numbers. Fifty years ago
there were but few of them to be found outside the Batang Lupar,
Saribas, and Kalaka river-basins, but now, though the population on
these rivers has grown considerably, it is less than that of the same
race on the Rejang alone, and they are spreading into the Oya, Muka,
Tatau, and Baram river-basins. The Melanau population of the two
first-named rivers live entirely either on the coast or near to it, and
the Dayaks found the upper reaches unoccupied.

The Sea-Dayaks have many good qualities that are more or less lacking in
the other inland tribes. They are industrious, honest and thrifty, sober
and cheerful, and comparatively moral. But the characteristics that
mainly distinguish them are energy and independence. They are
exceedingly sensitive, especially the women, and will seek refuge from
shame in suicide;[30] like the Malays the men will sometimes, though not
often, _amok_ when suffering from depression caused by grief, shame, or
jealousy, for in the East this peculiar form of insanity is by no means
confined to the Malay as is popularly supposed.[31] Amongst them general
social equality exists, and it is extended to their women. They do not
suffer their chiefs to abuse their powers as the Kayan and Kenyah chiefs
are allowed to do, but they are quite ready to submit to them when
justness and uprightness is shown. They are superstitious and restless,
and require a firm hand over them, and, "being like truant children,
take a great advantage of kindness and forbearance, and become more
rebellious if threats are not carried into execution." This was the
advice given by the present Rajah to the Netherland officials some years
ago. Their inherited desire for human skulls, and their old savage
methods of obtaining them, still, in a degree, have a strong hold on the
Sea-Dayak character, but against this it can be said to their credit
that they are free from cruelty, and never torture a captive as do the
Kayans and other tribes. They are kindly to their captives, and treat
them as members of the family; and they were a peaceable people before
they were led astray by the half-bred Arabs and the Malays.

The Sea-Dayaks are the collectors of jungle produce, in search of which
they go on expeditions far into the interior—to Sumatra, the Malayan
States, and North Borneo—and are away for months at a time.

The Dayak custom of head-hunting is founded on the same principle as
that of scalp-hunting among the North-American Indians. A young man
formerly found it difficult to obtain a wife till he had got at least
one head to present to the object of his heart as token of his prowess;
but it was quite immaterial whether the head was that of man or woman,
of old or young. If a Dayak had lost a near relative it became his duty
to obtain a head, for until this was accomplished, and a head feast had
been given, the family must remain in mourning, and the departed
relative would have no attendant in Sembayan (the shades); and so in the
event of a chief dying it was incumbent upon the warriors of the tribe
to procure one or more heads, in order that his spirit should be
properly attended by the spirits of those sacrificed in his honour. Thus
head-hunting became more or less a natural instinct, and an obligatory



The ancient Chinese jars,[32] held in great esteem among the natives,
and very highly prized, being supposed to be possessed of supernatural
powers and healing virtues,[33] are of various kinds and value. The Gusi
is the most valued, and is treated with great care and veneration, and
stands about eighteen inches high. Then comes the Lingka, then the
Benaga,[34] about two feet high, ornamented with the Chinese dragon. The
Rusa[35] is the least valued. From a note made in 1890 these are the
lowest prices they fetch—Gusi tuak, $1000; Gusi bulan, $700; Gusi
chendanum, $500; Galagiau, $400; Lingka, $310; Rusa, $150, In 1890 $7 =
£1. These jars are all brown in colour. The Dayaks and Kayans possess a
few fine blue and white, and pink and white, old Chinese jars, some over
five feet in height.

About forty years ago an enterprising Chinese petty dealer took samples
of the jars to China and had clever imitations made. He realised a large
sum by the sale, and started as a merchant on a large scale, grew rich,
waxed fat, and became the leading and wealthiest Chinese merchant in
Kuching. The Malays are clever in "faking" jars, especially such as are
cracked, but the Dayaks are not now to be deceived by them.

The Dayak village, like those of all interior tribes, is a communal
establishment. It does not consist of separate huts occupied by any one
family, but of large common halls on platforms, sometimes 800 ft. long,
upon which the dwelling-rooms abut. They are constructed of wood, and
are supported on poles sometimes 20 ft. to 40 ft. above the ground, the
poles being from 6 to 18 inches in diameter. The largest will contain
some 300 people. The following is a description of the Dayak village of
Tunggang from the late Rajah's journal:—

  Tunyang[36] stands on the left hand (going up) close to the margin
  of the stream, and was enclosed by a slight stockade. Within this
  defence there was _one_ enormous house for the whole population. The
  exterior of the defence between it and the river was occupied by
  sheds for prahus (boats), and at each extremity were one or two
  houses belonging to Malay residents.

  The common habitation, as rude as it is enormous, measures 594 ft.
  in length, and the front room or street is the entire length of the
  building, and 21 feet broad. The back part is divided by mat
  partitions into the private apartments of the various families, and
  of these there are forty-five separate doors leading from the public
  apartment. The widowers and the young unmarried men occupy the
  public room, as only those with wives are entitled to the advantage
  of a separate room. The floor of the edifice is raised twelve feet
  from the ground, and the means of ascent is by the trunk of a tree
  with notches cut in it—a most difficult, steep, and awkward ladder.
  In front is a terrace fifty feet broad, running partially along the
  front of the building, formed like the floors, of split bamboo. This
  platform, as well as the front room, besides the regular
  inhabitants, is the resort of dogs, birds, monkeys, and fowls, and
  presents a glorious scene of confusion and bustle. Here the ordinary
  occupations of domestic labour are carried on. There were 200 men,
  women, and children counted in the room, and in front, whilst we
  were there in the middle of the day; and allowing for those who were
  abroad, or then in their own rooms, the whole community cannot be
  reckoned at less than 400 souls. The apartment of their chief is
  situated nearly in the centre of the building, and is larger than
  any other. In front of it nice mats were spread on the occasion of
  our visit, whilst over our heads dangled about thirty ghastly
  skulls, according to the custom of these people.

The Malay is the latest immigrant. He is of mixed breed, and the link
that holds the Malays together is religion, for they are Mahomedans,
whereas the Kayans, Land and Sea-Dayaks, and other tribes, are pagans.
To accept their own traditions, the Bruni Malays came from Johore,
whereas the Sarawak Malays, like those of the Malay peninsula, came
direct from the ancient kingdom of Menangkabau. Between them there is a
very marked difference in language, character, and appearance. Whence
the proto-Malay stock came is a moot point, but it may be of Mongolian
origin, subsequently blended with many other distinct ethnic types, such
as the Arab and Hindu, and in the case of the Bornean Malay with the
Indonesian peoples of their and the neighbouring islands. The Malays
form the main population of Kuching, the capital, and of the towns
Sadong, Simanggang, Kalaka, and Sibu. They have villages on the Lundu,
Saribas, and lower Rejang, are scattered along the coast between Capes
Datu and Sirik, and are to be found in the principal settlements beyond.
The Malay has been very variously judged. The Malay Pangiran, or noble,
was rapacious, cruel, and often cowardly. But he had a grace of manner,
a courtesy, and hospitality that were pleasing as a varnish. The evil
repute that the Malay has acquired has been due to his possession of
power, and to his unscrupulous use of it to oppress the aboriginal
races. But the Malay out of power is by no means an objectionable
character. Sir James Brooke, the first Rajah, thus paints him:—

  The feeling of the Malay fostered by education is acute, and his
  passions are roused if shame be put upon him; indeed the dread of
  shame amounts to a disease, and the evil is that it has taken a
  wrong direction, being more the dread of exposure or abuse, than
  shame or contrition for any offence. Like other Asiatics truth is a
  rare quality among them, and they have neither principle nor
  conscience when they have the means of oppressing an infidel.

They are thus depicted by Mr. Horace St. John in a work somewhat
ambitiously entitled, _The Indian Archipelago, its History and present
State_, vol. ii. p. 267 (published 1853).

Under the heading "Malays," we find the following:—

  The Malays are Mahomedans, living under the rule of the Prophet's
  descendants, a mongrel race of tyrants, gamblers, opium-smokers,
  pirates, and chiefs, who divide their time between cockfighting,
  smoking, concubines, and collecting taxes.

That Mr. Horace St. John had never been in the Archipelago to which his
history relates, was doubtless a matter of little consequence to many of
his home-staying contemporaries. Sir Spenser St. John, brother to the
author of the above-quoted _Indian Archipelago, etc._, who certainly
wrote from a long personal experience of the people and country, offers
us in his _Forests of the Far East_ an opinion on the character and
conduct of the Malay from which every one who has lived amongst these
people will find no important cause to differ. Sir Spenser writes:—

  The Malays are faithful to their relatives and devotedly attached to
  their children. Remarkably free from crimes, and when they are
  committed they generally arise from jealousy. Brave when well led,
  they inspire confidence in their commanders; they are highly
  sensitive to dishonour, and tenacious as regards their conduct
  towards each other, and being remarkably polite in manner, they
  render agreeable all intercourse with them. Malays are generally
  accused of great idleness, and in some sense they deserve it; they
  do not like continuous work, but they do enough to support
  themselves and families in comfort, and real poverty is unknown
  among them.

The author here refers to the Malays of Sarawak.

Sir W. H. Treacher,[37] who knows the Malay intimately, paints him in
favourable colours, now that he is restrained from tyrannising over the
weak. He says:—

  I am frequently asked if treachery is not one of their
  characteristics, and I unhesitatingly answer _No_. This
  particular misconception was probably initiated by the original
  merchant-adventurers, and we can imagine what a reception a body
  of strange, uninvited, white infidels would receive at the hands
  of Mahomedan Malays, whose system of warfare, taking its rise
  from the nature of the thickly jungle-covered country they
  inhabit, is adapted more for ambuscade than for fighting at
  close quarters. Add to that, being Mahomedans, they were by
  their religion justified in indulging in piracy and murder where
  the victims were infidels. The Malay is possessed of at least as
  much passive courage as the average Englishman, and is probably
  less troubled by the fear of death and the hereafter than many

  On the other hand I must admit that the Malay, owing to his
  environment—the balmy climate making no severe calls upon him in the
  matters either of food, artificial warmth, or clothing, has not the
  bustling energy of the white man, nor the greed for amassing wealth
  of the Chinaman, nor does he believe in putting forth unnecessary
  energy for a problematical gain; he is like the English tramp who
  was always willing—that is, to look on at other people working, or
  like that one who complained that he was an unfortunate medium, too
  light for heavy work, and too heavy for light work.

The natural savagery of the Malay continually threatens to break out,
and not infrequently does so in the form of the _amok_ (running amuck),
the national Malay method of committing suicide.

Apart from this tendency, when under control the Malay character has
much in common with the Mongol, being, under ordinary circumstances,
gentle, peaceable, obedient, and loyal, but at the same time proud and
sensitive, and with strangers suspicious and reserved.

The Malays can be faithful and trustworthy, and they are active and
clever. Serious crime among them is not common now, nor is thieving.
They have a bad propensity of running into debt, and obtaining advances
under engagements which they never fulfil. They make good servants and
valuable policemen. All the Government steamers are officered and manned
throughout by Malays, and none could desire to have better crews. They
are the principal fishermen and woodsmen. Morality is perhaps not a
strong point with them, but drinking is exceptional, and gambling is not
as prevalent as it was, nor do they indulge in opium smoking.

With regard to the Chinaman, it will be well to let the present Rajah
speak from his own experience. He says that—

  John Chinaman as a race are an excellent set of fellows, and a poor
  show would these Eastern countries make without their energetic
  presence. They combine many good, many dangerous, and it must be
  admitted, many bad qualities. They are given to be overbearing and
  insolent (unless severely kept down) nearly to as great a degree as
  Europeans of the rougher classes. They will cheat their neighbours
  and resort to all manner of deception _on principle_. But their
  redeeming qualities are comparative charitableness and liberality; a
  fondness for improvements; and, except in small mercantile affairs
  or minor trading transactions, they are honest.

  They, in a few words, possess the wherewithal to be good fellows,
  and are more fit to be compared to Europeans than any other race of

  They have been excluded as much as possible from gaining a footing
  in Batavia,[38] under the plea of their dangerous and usurious
  pursuits; but the probability is that they would have raised an
  unpleasant antagonism in the question of competition in that
  country. The Chinaman would be equal to the Master, or White Man, if
  both worked fairly by the sweat of his brow. As for their usury, it
  is not of so dangerous a character as that which prevails among the
  Javanese and the natives.

  Upon my first arrival I was strongly possessed by the opinion that
  the Chinamen were all rascals and thieves—the character so generally
  attached to the whole race at home. But to be candid, and looking at
  both sides, I would as soon deal with a Chinese merchant in the East
  as with one who is European, and I believe the respectable class of
  Chinese to be equal in honesty and integrity to the white man.

  The Chinese may be nearly as troublesome a people to govern as
  Europeans, certainly not more so; and their good qualities, in which
  they are not deficient, should be cherished and stimulated, while
  their bad ones are regulated by the discipline of the law under a
  just and liberal government. They are a people specially amenable to
  justice, and are happier under a stringent than a lenient system.

Of the Chinese the _Sarawak Gazette_ (November 1, 1897) says:—

  The characteristics of this extraordinary people must at once strike
  the minds of the most superficial of European residents in the East.
  Their wonderful energy and capacity for work; their power of
  accumulating wealth; their peculiar physical powers, which render
  them equally fertile, and their children equally vivacious, on the
  equator as in more temperate regions, and which enable them to rear
  a new race of natives under climatic conditions entirely different
  from those under which their forefathers were born, are facts with
  which we are all acquainted. Their mental endowments, too, are by no
  means to be despised, as nearly every year shows us, when the
  results of the examination for the Queen's Scholarship of the
  Straits Settlements are published, and some young Chinese boy
  departs for England to enter into educational competition with his
  European fellows.

Chinese get on well with all natives, with whom they intermarry, the
mixed offspring being a healthy and good-looking type. They form the
merchant, trading, and artisan classes, and they are the only
agriculturists and mine labourers of any worth. Without these people a
tropical country would remain undeveloped.

The only census that appears to have been attempted in Sarawak was taken
in 1871. Judging by the report that was published in the _Gazette_ this
census was made in a very imperfect manner.[39] Of the interior
population it includes Sea-Dayaks, but no means were obtainable for
ascertaining the numbers of Kayans, Kenyahs, and many other tribes that
go to make up the population of the State. It makes no separate mention
of the large coast population of the Melanaus, who were presumably
lumped with the Malays.

The census gives the following figures:—

               Malays                              52,519
               Dayaks                              70,849
               Chinese                              4,947
               Indians                                364

               Allowed for evasions and omissions
                          10 per cent              12,867
                                            Total 141,546

The report concedes it was the generally received opinion that the
population was nearer 200,000, and if we include the Kayans, Kenyahs,
etc., and accept the approximate correctness of the above figures, that
estimate would be about correct.

In 1871, the State extended as far as Kedurong Point only, but since
that the territorial area has been nearly doubled. The population is now
estimated at 500,000, though this is probably too liberal a calculation,
and the following is a fairer estimate:—

 Coast population, Malays and Melanaus                           100,000

 Interior population, Land and Sea-Dayaks,       Kayans and      250,000

 Interior population other than these                             18,000

 Chinese population                                               45,000

 Indians, Javanese, Bugis, etc                                     3,000



The names by which the various tribes are known are those given to them
by others, mostly by the coast people, or are taken from the name of the
river on which they reside, or from which they came. _Daya_ (as it
should be spelt, and as it is pronounced) in the Melanau and Bruni Malay
dialect means "land," "in-land." So we have _Orang daya_, an inlander.
_Ka-daya-an_ is contracted into _Kayan_; _Ukit_ and _Bukitan_ are from
the Malay word _bukit_—a hill; and _tanjong_ is the Malay for a cape or
a point round which a river sweeps. Hence _Orang Ukit_ or _Bukitan_, a
hill-man,[40] and _Orang Tanjong_, riverside people.

As in ancient Germany the districts were known by the names of the
rivers that watered them, and each was a _gau_, so it is in Borneo,
where the rivers are the roads of communication, and give their names to
the districts and to the people that inhabit them. Indeed, in Borneo one
can see precisely at this day what was the ancient _Gau-verfassung_ in
the German Empire.

The area of Sarawak is about 50,000 square miles, and the coast line
about 500 miles.

The climate is hot and humid; it is especially moist during the N.E.
monsoon, and less so during the S.W. monsoon. The former commences and
the latter ends sometimes early and sometimes late in October, and in
April the seasons again change. The months of most rain are December,
January, and February; from February the rainfall decreases until July,
the month of least rain, and increases gradually after that month. The
average yearly rainfall is 160 inches. The maximum in any one year,
225.95 inches, was recorded in 1882, and the minimum 102.4 in 1888. The
heaviest rainfall for one month, 69.25 inches, occurred in January,
1881, and the least, .66 inches, in August, 1877. The most in one day
was 15.3 inches on February 8, 1876. Rain falls on an average 226 days
in the year. These notes are taken from observations made in Kuching
extending over thirty years.[41] At Sibu, the average rainfall for five
years was 116 inches, at Baram 92 inches, and at Trusan 167 inches.
Except in the sun at mid-day and during the early hours of the afternoon
the heat is hardly ever oppressive, and the mornings, evenings and
nights are generally cool. In 1906, the maximum average temperature was
91°.6, and the minimum 71°.2 Fahrenheit; the highest reading was 94° in
May, and the lowest 69°.6 in July.[42]

In few countries are thunderstorms more severe than in Borneo, but
deaths from lightning are not very common, and hail falls so rarely that
when it does fall it is an awe-inspiring object to some natives.
Archdeacon Perham records that during a very severe hailstorm in 1874
some Dayaks collected the hailstones under the impression that they were
rare charms, whilst others fled from their house, believing that
everybody and everything in it would be turned into a petrified rock, a
woeful monument to future generations. To avert this catastrophe they
boiled the hailstones and burnt locks of their hair.[43]




Footnote 7:

  The name Borneo is a corruption of Burni, itself a corruption of
  Beruni or Bruni, the capital of that ancient but now decayed Sultanate
  bearing the same name, and of which Sarawak, and a great part of
  British North Borneo, once formed parts. It was the first place in
  Borneo with which the Spanish and Portuguese had any dealings, and in
  their old chronicles it is referred to as Burni, and Borneo
  subsequently became the distinguishing name of the whole island to
  Europeans. The natives themselves have none, except perhaps the
  doubtful one of Pulau Ka-lamanta-an, the island of raw sago, so named
  in recent times by the merchants and traders of the Straits
  Settlements as being the island from which that commodity was brought,
  and in those settlements it has since become the native name for
  Borneo. But in Sarawak this name is known to the Malays alone, and in
  other parts of Borneo, perhaps only a few have heard of it. In fact,
  it is applicable to Sarawak only, for in former days sago was exported
  to the Straits solely from that country, and the trade was carried on
  by Sarawak Malays, first with Penang and subsequently with Singapore.
  An old English map of about 1700 gives to the town of Bruni, as well
  as to the whole island, the name of Borneo. Mercator (1595) also gives
  Borneo to both.

  Bruni is variously spelt Brunai, Brunei, Bruné, Borneo, Borney,
  Bornei, Porne, and Burni by old writers; all corruptions of Bruni. The
  Sanskrit word Bhurni, meaning land or country, has been suggested as
  the origin of the name.

Footnote 8:

  See page 34.

Footnote 9:

  Everett (A. Hart). "Notes on the Distribution of the Useful Minerals
  in Sarawak," in the _Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal
  Asiatic Society_, 1878. Mr. Everett was a distinguished naturalist. He
  served for eight years in the Sarawak service, and died in 1898.

Footnote 10:

  Odoardo Beccari, _Wanderings in the Great Forests of Borneo_, 1904.

Footnote 11:

  Probably the first European to discover these strange insects was the
  Italian Pigafetta, who in 1521 noticed them in the island of Palawan,
  to the north of Borneo, and thus quaintly describes them: "In this
  island are found certain trees, the leaves of which, when they fall
  off, are animated, and walk." He surmised they lived upon air.—
  _Magellan, Hakluyt Society._

Footnote 12:

  St. John mentions one that was killed at Brooketon 26 feet 2 inches in
  length.—_Life in the Forests of the Far East_, 1863.

Footnote 13:

  With regard to the collection of orchids it has also been found
  necessary to do this. Collectors would ruthlessly destroy all orchids,
  especially the rarer kinds, which they could not carry away, in order
  to prevent others from collecting these.

Footnote 14:

  In about 1825 a large bone was found in a cave at Bau which was
  pronounced to be that of an elephant. These animals are common in
  parts of N. Borneo, and Pigafetta found them at Bruni in 1521.

Footnote 15:

  The _Ptilocercus Lowii_, only found in Borneo. It has been awarded a
  genus all to itself, and is one of the rarest of Bornean curiosities.—
  J. Hewitt, _Sarawak Gazette_, September 1, 1908.

Footnote 16:

  "According to Mr. Boulanger, Borneo can boast of producing the longest
  legged frog and the longest legged toad in the world."—_Idem._

Footnote 17:

  "Mr. St. John (_Forests of the Far East_, p. 190) mentions stones or
  pebbles of a dark colour considered by the natives as sacred. Some
  such, found at Quop, were said to have been lost during the civil
  wars. They are possibly paleolithic implements."—Beccari, _op. cit._
  p. 367.

Footnote 18:

  The late Rajah wrote in 1838: "We know scarcely anything of these
  varieties of the human race beyond the bare fact of their existence."
  We have since learnt something of their languages and customs; of
  their origin nothing.

Footnote 19:

  Mr. F. D. de Rozario. The _Sarawak Gazette_, September 2, 1901. Mr. de
  Rozario, the officer in charge of Kapit Fort, has been in the
  Government service for some fifty years, of which nearly all have been
  spent in the Upper Rejang, and his knowledge of the natives, their
  customs and languages, is unique.

Footnote 20:

  See note 2, page 18.

Footnote 21:

  The Indra Lila (brother of the Lila Pelawan, who was the present
  Rajah's Malay chief at Lingga over fifty years ago), was their chief.
  Trouble arose owing to Akam Nipa, the celebrated Kayan chief, who will
  be noticed hereafter, having fallen in love with a Malay girl of rank.
  His suit being rejected, he threatened to forcibly abduct the lady, a
  threat which he could have carried out with ease, so the Malays fled
  with her to Lingga. This occurred some eighty years ago.

Footnote 22:

  One of Magellan's chroniclers records that in 1521 men were found in
  Gilo (Gilolo or Jilolo, to the east of, and near to the Celebes),
  "with ears so long and pendulous that they reached to their
  shoulders."—_Magellan, Hakluyt Society._ Marsden, _History of
  Sumatra_, says that the people of Neas island off the west coast of
  Sumatra elongate their ears in the same manner; so do the Sagais of
  Belungan. The sculptures above mentioned, and the fact that this
  curious custom still exists in southern India, point to it being one
  of Hindu origin.

Footnote 23:

  Human sacrifices are still in vogue amongst the Kayans and Kenyahs in
  the Batang Kayan and Mahkam rivers.

Footnote 24:

  The Kajamans, Sekapans, Sians, and Lanans are said to have been the
  first to cross over from the Bantang Kayan (Belungan) into the Balui
  (Rejang). They were probably then one tribe.

Footnote 25:

  _Muka_ is the Malay for face. The word has been carried into the
  English language as mug, contemptuously "an ugly mug," from the
  Sanskrit word _muhka_, the face.

Footnote 26:

  Mr. E. A. W. Cox, formerly Resident of the Trusan, and latterly of the
  Bintulu, says the Kadayan tradition is that many generations back they
  were brought from Deli in Sumatra by a former Sultan of Bruni. They
  have always been the immediate followers of the sultans, forming their
  main bodyguard. They have no distinctive language of their own, and
  talk a low Bruni patois; their dress is peculiar; and their system of
  rice cultivation is far in advance of all other Borneans.

Footnote 27:

  The Hindu sacred bull.

Footnote 28:

  Writing of the _Rafflesia_, "those extraordinary parasitical plants,
  whose huge and startling conspicuous flowers spring from the ground
  like gigantic mushrooms," Beccari (_op. cit._ p. 102) says, "The
  Land-Dayaks called the variety he found at Poi (and which he named R.
  Tuan-Mudæ, in honour of the present Rajah) 'Bua pakma'; evidently a
  corruption of 'patma' or 'padma,' the sacred lotus (_Nelumbian
  speciosum_) of the Hindus, which is not a native of Borneo. This is,
  no doubt, one of the many traces of the ancient faith once professed
  by the Dayaks, who have preserved the memory of the emblematical
  flower, transferring its name to that of another plant conspicuous for
  its size and singular appearance. In Java, as well as in Sumatra, the
  _Rafflesia_ is known as 'Patma'; but there the fact is not surprising,
  for the prevalence of Hinduism in those islands is a matter of not
  very remote history." Pakma or patma is the Malay name for the lotus.

  The late Sir Hugh Low notes that the Land-Dayaks, who (in common with
  most of the inland tribes) regulate their farming seasons by the
  motions of the Pleiades, call that constellation _Sakara_, probably
  from the _Batara Sakra_ of the Hindu-Javan mythology, to whose
  particular care the earth was confided.—_Sarawak._

  Hindu gold ornaments and a Persian coin, bearing a date corresponding
  with the year 960 A.D., have been discovered up the Sarawak river, and
  some in the centre of the Land-Dayak country, which shows that the
  people of the ancient Hindu-Javan settlement at Santubong must have
  spread into the interior, and have mixed with the natives.

Footnote 29:

  Afterwards Admiral of the Fleet.

Footnote 30:

  Disappointment in marriage and unkindness or harshness on the part of
  relatives are common causes of suicide by man or woman, but the most
  common motive is shame, particularly in cases of an unmarried woman,
  when _enceinte_, being unable to prove to the tribe who the father of
  her child is. A whole family has been known to poison themselves to
  escape the consequences and disgrace which would have befallen them
  owing to one of them having been the accidental cause of a long
  communal house being destroyed by fire. Suicide is invariably
  committed by eating the poisonous root of the tuba plant, _derris

Footnote 31:

  The worst on record in Sarawak was committed in 1894 by a half-bred
  Chinaman (his mother was a Segalang, and he was brought up as one) at
  Seduan village, three miles from Sibu, in the Rejang. This man, who
  had just been discharged from jail, arose in the middle of the night,
  and speared or cut down all the inmates of the house—thirteen women
  and children, of whom only two or three survived. He was shot by Mr.
  Q. A. Buck, then the Resident at Sibu (joined 1874, retired 1899), who
  was quickly on the spot, and was the means of preventing a further
  loss of life.

Footnote 32:

  The Sea-Dayaks say that they were constructed by the gods when they
  made the sky, out of a small surplus of the blue.

Footnote 33:

  St. John, _op. cit._, mentions that the late Sultan Mumin of Bruni had
  an ancient jar which was reputed to be able to speak, and that it
  moaned sorrowfully the night before his first wife died. He refused
  £2000 for it.

Footnote 34:

  _Naga_, a dragon; _benaga_, having a dragon.

Footnote 35:

  Meaning a deer in Malay and Sea-Dayak.

Footnote 36:

  A misprint for "Tunggang."

Footnote 37:

  Late Resident-General of the Federated Malay States.

Footnote 38:

  This was written in 1866.

Footnote 39:

  Amongst Eastern people any attempt to make a systematic census is
  liable to be misapprehended, and to give rise to a bad feeling, and
  even to dangerous scares, and for that reason no census has been made
  by the Government. This census was an approximation based upon the
  amount paid in direct taxation, such as head and door taxes, allowing
  an average of so many people to a family.

Footnote 40:

  And so _Orang-Murut_ means a hill-man, _murut_, or more correctly
  _murud_, meaning a hill—_bulud_ in _Sulu_.

Footnote 41:

  Mr. J. Hewitt, B.A., Curator of the Sarawak Museum in the _Sarawak
  Gazette_, February 2, 1906.

Footnote 42:

  Kuching Observatory.

Footnote 43:

  The _Sarawak Gazette_.



                               CHAPTER II
                             EARLY HISTORY



Borneo was known to the Arabs many centuries ago, and Sinbad the Sailor
was fabled to have visited the island. It was then imagined that a ship
might be freighted there with pearls, gold, camphor, gums, perfumed
oils, spices, and gems, and this was not far from the truth.

When Genghis Khan conquered China, and founded his mighty Mogul Empire
(1206-27), it is possible that he extended his rule over Borneo, where
Chinese had already settled. Kublai Khan is said to have invaded Borneo
with a large force in 1292; and that a Chinese province was subsequently
established in northern Borneo, in which the Sulu islands were included,
is evidenced by Bruni and Sulu traditions. The Celestials have left
their traces in the name of Kina Balu (the Chinese Widow) given to the
noble peak in the north of the island,[44] and of the rivers
Kina-batangan (the Chinese river) and Kina-bangun on the east coast of
Borneo, and certain jars, mentioned in chapter I. p. 26, ornamented with
the royal dragon of China, are treasured as heirlooms by the Dayaks. At
Santubong, at the mouth of the Sarawak river, Chinese coins dating back
to B.C. 600 and 112, and from A.D. 588 and onwards, have been found,
with many fragments of Chinese pottery. The name Santubong is itself
Chinese, San-tu-bong, meaning the "King of the Jungle" in the Kheh
dialect, and the "Mountain of wild pig" in the Hokien dialect.

Besides the antique jars, the art of making which appears to have been
lost, further evidence of an ancient Chinese trade may be found in the
old and peculiar beads so treasured by the Kayans and Kenyahs. These are
generally supposed to be Venetian, and to have been introduced by the
Portuguese. Beccari (_op. cit._ p. 263) mentions that he had heard or
read that the Malay word for a bead, _manit_ (pronounced _maneet_), was
a corruption of the Italian word _moneta_ (money), which was used for
glass beads at the time when the Venetians were the foremost traders in
the world. But he points out "that the Venetians made their beads in
imitation of the Chinese, who it appears had used them from the remotest
times in their commercial transactions with the less civilized tribes of
Southern Asia and the Malay islands." And it was by the Chinese these
beads were probably introduced into Borneo; _manit_ is but the Sanskrit
word _mani_, meaning a bead.[45]

From the Kina-batangan river came the Chinese wife of Akhmed, the second
Sultan of Bruni. She was the daughter of Ong Sum Ping, a Chinese envoy,
and from her and Sultan Akhmed the Bruni sultans down to the present
day, and for over twenty generations, trace their descent on the distaff
side, for their daughter married the Arab Sherip Ali, who became Sultan
in succession to his father-in-law, and they were the founders of the
present dynasty.[46] Sulu chronicles contain the same legend; and
according to these Ong Sum Ping, or Ong Ti Ping, settled in the
Kina-batangan A.D. 1375. He was probably a governor in succession to

The Hindu-Javan empire of Majapahit in Java certainly extended over
Borneo, but it left there no such stately temples and palaces as those
that remain in Java, and the only reminiscences of the Hindu presence in
Sarawak are the name of a god, Jewata,[47] which lingers among the
Dayaks, a mutilated stone bull, two carved stones like the lingams of
the Hindus; and at Santubong, on a large immovable rock situated up a
small stream, is a rudely carved statue of a human figure nearly
life-size, with outstretched arms, lying flat, face downwards, in an
uncouth position, perhaps commemorative of some crime.[48]

Santubong is at the eastern mouth of the Sarawak river, and is prettily
situated just inside the entrance, and at the foot of the isolated peak
bearing the same name, which rises boldly out of the sea to a height of
some 3000 feet. This place, which apparently was once a Chinese, and
then a Hindu-Javan colony, is now a small fishing hamlet only, with a
few European bungalows, being the sea-side resort of Kuching; close by
are large cutch works. In ancient days, judging by the large quantity of
slag that is to be seen here, iron must have been extensively mined.

Recently some ancient and massive gold ornaments, seal rings, necklets,
etc., were exposed by a landslip at the Limbang station, which have been
pronounced to be of Hindu origin; and ancient Hindu gold ornaments have
been found at Santubong and up the Sarawak river.



Bruni had been a powerful kingdom, and had conquered Luzon and the Sulu
islands before it became a dependency of Majapahit, but at the time of
the death of the last Batara[49] of that kingdom, Bruni ceased to send
tribute. The empire of Majapahit fell in 1478[50] before the Mussulman
Malays. The origin of the Malays is shrouded in obscurity; they are
first heard of in Sumatra, in Menangkabau,[51] from whence they
emigrated in A.D. 1160 to Singapura, "the Lion city." They were attacked
and expelled in 1252 by the princes of Majapahit, when they settled in
Malacca. There they throve, and embraced the religion of Islam in 1276.

From Sumatra and the Malay peninsula the Malays continued to spread, and
gradually to establish sultanates and states under them. The process by
which this was effected was seldom by conquest, but by the peaceful
immigration of a few families who settled on some unoccupied part of the
coast within the mouth of a river. Then, in the course of time, they
increased and spread to neighbouring rivers, and formed a state. By
subjecting the aboriginal tribes of the interior, and by compulsion or
consent, including weaker Malayan states of like origin, by degrees some
of these states expanded into powerful sultanates with feudal princes
under them.

So the Malayan kingdoms arose and gained power; and strengthened by the
spirit of cohesion which their religion gave them, they finally
overthrew the Hindu-Javan empire of Majapahit.

In Borneo there were sultans at Bruni, Sambas, Banjermasin, Koti,
Belungan, Pasir, Tanjong, Berau, and Pontianak, and other small states
under pangirans and sherips.

Exaggerated accounts of the "sweet riches of Borneo" had led the early
Portuguese, Dutch, and English voyagers to regard the island, the Insula
Bonæ Fortunæ of Ptolemy, as the _El Dorado_ of the Eastern Archipelago;
but these in turn found out their error, and, directing their attention
to the more profitable islands in its neighbourhood, almost forsook
Borneo until later years.

The Spaniards appear to have been the first Europeans to visit the
island, as they were the first to make the voyage round the world, and
to find the way to the Archipelago from the east, a feat which caused
the Portuguese much uneasiness. They touched at Bruni in 1521, and
Pigafetta says that there were then 25,000 families in the city, which
on a low computation would give the population at 100,000; and he gives
a glowing account of its prosperity. The Portuguese, under the infamous
Jorge de Menezes, followed in 1526, and they were there again in 1530.
They confirm Pigafetta as to the flourishing condition of the place.
From 1530 the Portuguese kept up a regular intercourse with Bruni from
Malacca, which the great Alfonso d'Albuquerque had conquered in 1511,
until they were expelled from that place by the Dutch in 1641. Then they
diverted the trade, which was chiefly in pepper, to their settlement at
Macao, where they had placed a Factory in 1557, and from whence a Roman
Catholic mission was established at Bruni by Fr. Antonio di Ventimiglia,
who died there in 1691. It seems certain they had a Factory at Bruni,
probably for a short time only, in the seventeenth century, though it is
impossible now to do more than conjecture the date; but that they
continued their trade with Bruni up to the close of the eighteenth
century appears to be without doubt; and also that they had a Factory at
Sambas out of which they were driven by the Dutch in 1609. On Mercator's
map, alluded to in the first footnote of this chapter, are the words
"Lave donde foÿ Don Manuel de Lima," or Lave where Don Manuel of
Lima[52] resided. Lave is Mempawa, sometimes spelt Mempava in recent
English maps, a place between Sambas and Pontianak—so the Portuguese
were even farther south than Sambas in the sixteenth century.

In 1565, the Spanish took possession of the Philippines, conquered
Manila in 1571, and, five years later, according to both Spanish and
Bruni records, were taking an active interest in Bruni affairs, which,
however, does not appear to have lasted for long. In 1576, Saif ul Rejal
was Sultan. In the Bruni records[53] it is stated that a noble named
Buong Manis, whose title was Pangiran Sri Lela (Sirela in the Spanish
records), was goaded into rebellion by the Sultan's brother, Rajah
Sakam, by the abduction of his daughter on the day of her wedding. To
gain a footing in Bruni the Spaniards took advantage of this, and Don
Francisco La Sande, the second Governor of the Philippines, conquered
Bruni, and set Sri Lela on the throne. Four years later the Spaniards
again had occasion to support their _protégé_ with an armed force; but
it ended in the rightful Sultan being restored through the efforts of
the Rajah Sakam, aided by a Portuguese, who had become a Bruni
pangiran,[54] and the usurper taking refuge in the Belait, where he was
slain. To close the history, so far as it is known to us, of the Spanish
connection with Bruni, in 1645, in retaliation for piracies committed on
the coasts of their colonies, the Spanish sent an expeditionary force to
punish Bruni, which it appears was very effectually done.

The first Dutchman to visit Bruni was Olivier Van Noort, in 1600. He
seems to have been impressed by the politeness and civility of the Bruni
nobles, but, fortunately for himself, not to the extent of trusting them
too much, for treachery was attempted. Nine years later, as we have
noticed, the Portuguese had to make room for the Dutch at Sambas, and
here the latter established a Factory, which was, however, abandoned in
1623. They returned to this part of Borneo in 1778, and established
Factories at Pontianak, Landak, Mempawa, and Sukadana, but these proving
unprofitable were abandoned in 1791. In 1818, an armed force was sent to
re-establish these Factories, two years after Java had been restored to
Holland by England, and from these, including Sambas, the Dutch
Residency of Western Borneo has arisen.

A certain Captain Cowley appears to have been the first Englishman, of
whom we know anything, to visit Borneo, or at least that part of it with
which this history deals, and in 1665 he spent some little time at "a
small island which lay near the north end of Borneo,"[55] but he did not
visit the mainland; perhaps, however, he may not have been the first. As
far back as 1612, Sir Henry Middleton projected a voyage to Borneo. He
died at Bantam in Java, where the East India Company had established a
Factory in 1603, but it was not until 1682 that the Dutch expelled the
English from that place, and from thence to Borneo is too simple an
adventure not to have been attempted and accomplished by the daring old
sea-dogs of those days. According to Dampier, a Captain Bowry was in
Borneo in 1686;[56] some English were captured by the Dutch when they
took Sukadana in 1687; and there were probably others there before, but
no settlement on the north and north-western shores was effected by the
English until 1773, when the East India Company formed a settlement at
Balambangan, an island north of Marudu Bay, the same probably as that on
which Captain Cowley had stayed. This settlement, however, was but short
lived, for in February 1775 it was attacked by a small force of Sulus
and Lanuns led by a cousin of the Sultan of Sulu, Datu Teting. The
garrison of English and Bugis was more than sufficient to have repelled
the attack, but they were taken completely by surprise; the Resident and
the few settlers managed to escape in what vessels they could find.[57]
A number of cannon and muskets, and considerable booty, fell into the
hands of the raiders. The motive for this act was revenge; the English
had behaved badly to the natives of the neighbouring islands, and Datu
Teting had himself suffered the indignity of being placed in the stocks
when on a visit to the settlement. The Company had established a Factory
at Bruni as well, having obtained from the Sultan the monopoly of the
pepper trade, and to this Factory the survivors retired, but some
settled on the island of Labuan, where they made a village. In 1803, the
Company again established themselves at Balambangan, but after a short
occupation abandoned the island, together with the Factory at Bruni. No
punishment followed Datu Teting's act, and British _prestige_ in
northern Borneo was destroyed.

This is briefly the whole history of British enterprise in that part of
Borneo lying north of the equator, and it reflects little credit on the
part played by our countrymen in Eastern affairs in those days.

We have shown that Bruni early in the fourteenth century possessed a
population of at least 100,000. According to Sir Hugh Low, two hundred
years after Pigafetta's visit, the population was estimated at 40,000,
with a Chinese population in its neighbourhood of 30,000, engaged in
planting pepper.[58] In 1809, the city had shrunk to 3000 houses with a
population of 15,000.[59] In 1847, Low placed the population at 12,000;
the Chinese had then disappeared, excepting a few who had been reduced
to slavery. The population, still diminishing, is now under 8000.

On the picturesque hills that surround the town are still to be found
traces of thriving plantations which formerly existed there, and which
extended for many miles into the interior. These have totally
disappeared, with the population which cultivated them. In 1291, two
centuries before the first European vessel rounded the Cape,[60] Ser
Marco Polo visited the Archipelago. He gives us the first narrative we
possess of the Chinese junk trade to the westward, and mentions a great
and profitable traffic carried on by the Chinese with Borneo,[61] and
this trade throve for many years afterwards; even in 1776 the commerce
with China was considerable,[62] though then it must have been
declining, for it had ceased before the close of that century. Hunt
records that in his time there were still to be seen at Bruni old docks
capable of berthing vessels of from 500-600 tons. Now the most striking
feature of the place is its profound poverty. Nothing remains of its
past glory and prosperity but its ancient dynasty.

Sir Hugh Low tells us that these old Malay kingdoms appear to have risen
to their zenith of power and prosperity two hundred years after their
conversion to Islam, and then their decline commenced, but he should
have added half a century to this epoch. The late Rajah was of opinion
that perhaps the introduction of Muhammadanism may have been the cause
of their deterioration. Two hundred and fifty years after the conversion
of the Malays to Muhammadanism, and under the ægis of this religion, all
the Malayan States attained their zenith. This period was coetaneous
with the appearance of what may fairly be described as their _white
peril_, and the introduction of Muhammadanism, a religion which
Christians, in their ignorance of its true precepts, are too apt wholly
to condemn, brought with it the pernicious sherips, the pests of the
Archipelago. The decay of the old Malayan kingdoms was due primarily to
the rapacious and oppressive policy adopted by Europeans in their early
dealings with these States, which was continued in a more modified form
until within recent times. How this was brought about, and how the
sherips contributed to it, is in the sequel.

Prior to the advent of the late Rajah in 1838, Sarawak appears to have
attracted no attention, except that Gonsavo Pereira, who made the second
Portuguese visit to Bruni in 1530, says that Lave (Mempawa), Tanjapura
(which cannot be identified), and Cerava (Sarawak) were the principal
ports, and contained many wealthy merchants; and Valentyn relates that
in 1609 the Dutch found that Calca (Kalaka), Saribas, and Melanugo had
fallen away from Borneo (Bruni) and placed themselves under the power of
the king of Johore.[63] Melanugo is also difficult to identify, but it
may be that a transcriptive error has crept in somewhere, and that it
refers to the Malanau districts beyond Kalaka.[64]

The Sarawak Malays claim their origin from the ancient Kingdom of
Menangkabau in Sumatra. Fifteen generations back, one Datu Undi, whose
title was Rajah Jarom, a prince of the royal house of Menangkabau,
emigrated with his people to Borneo, and settled on the Sarawak river.
This prince had seven children, the eldest being a daughter, the Datu
Permisuri.[65] She married a royal prince of Java (this was after the
downfall of Majapahit), and from them in a direct line came the Datu
Patinggi Ali, of whom more will be noticed in the sequel, and the
lineage is now represented by his grandson, the present Datu Bandar of

The Datu Permisuri remained in Sarawak. Rajah Jarom's eldest son
established himself in the Saribas; his third son in the Samarahan; the
fourth in the Rejang;[66] and the fifth up the right-hand branch of the
Sarawak, from whence his people spread into the Sadong. These
settlements increased within their original limits, but were not
extended beyond the Rejang.

Beyond this the Malays of Sarawak know little; but that these
settlements must have early succumbed to the rising power of Bruni is
evident. But it is also evident that after that power had commenced to
wane, its hold over Sarawak gradually weakened until it became merely
nominal. In 1609, the year they established themselves at Sambas, the
Dutch found that these districts had fallen away from Bruni, as we have
noticed. There may have been, and probably were, spasmodic assertions of
authority on the part of Bruni, but it seems fairly evident that the
Sarawak Malays managed to maintain an independence more or less complete
for many years, up to within a very short period of the late Rajah's
arrival, and then they had placed themselves again under the sovereignty
of the Sultan, only to be almost immediately driven into rebellion by
Pangiran Makota, the Sultan's first and last governor of Sarawak.

Just a century after the Portuguese had shown the way, and had won for
their king the haughty title of "Lord of the Navigation and Commerce of
Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and India," the English and the Dutch appeared
in the Archipelago. The latter under Houtman, who had learnt the way
from the Portuguese under whom he had served, were the first, in 1595,
if we exclude Drake, 1578, and Cavendish, ten years later, and both
merely passed through the southern portion of the Archipelago on their
way home on their voyages round the world.

During the seventeenth century the English confined their energies to
buccaneering and trading, and established only two Factories, at Bantam
1603, and at Bencoolen 1685. The Dutch went in for conquest, established
themselves strongly at Jakatra, renamed by them Batavia, in 1611, and
then proceeded to drive the Portuguese out of their settlements. The
power of Portugal had been humbled by Spain, and the courageous spirit
of the old conquistadores had departed. One by one her settlements were
wrested from her, and by the end of the century Holland was paramount in
the Archipelago. Beyond one or two abortive descents upon Luzon, one,
probably the last, under the famous Tasman, the Dutch had left the
Spaniards undisturbed in the Philippines, but to the English was left
Bencoolen only, Bantam having been taken away from them in 1682, and to
the Portuguese a portion of the island of Timor.

During the latter half of the eighteenth century commenced the rise of
Great Britain as a political power in the Malayan Peninsula and
Archipelago. In 1760, her only settlements, those on the western coast
of Sumatra, had been destroyed by the French, but these were
re-established in 1763, and Bencoolen was fortified. In 1786, the colony
at Penang (Prince Edward's island) was established; and nine years later
Malacca was captured from the Dutch.

Early in the nineteenth century came the temporary downfall of Holland.
In 1811, Java was taken by the British, and the Dutch settlements and
dependencies passed into their hands, though these were soon to be
restored. After subjugating the independent princes of the interior and
introducing order throughout Java, which the Dutch had so far failed to
accomplish, all her possessions in the Archipelago were restored to
Holland in 1816; and in 1825 Bencoolen was exchanged for Malacca.
Singapore was founded in 1819.

In Borneo south of the equator, excepting Sukadana, which has already
been mentioned, Banjermasin had been the only country to attract
attention, and in this formerly rich pepper country the Dutch and
English were alternately established. As early as 1606, the former, with
disastrous results, attempted to establish a Factory there, and after
that experience they appear to have left the place severely alone, and
the Banjers were free of the _white peril_ for another century. Then, in
1702, the East India Company established a Factory there. As this
venture is an interesting illustration of the methods adopted by the
English, and an example of their common misconduct and mismanagement, we
give a few particulars. The old Dutch chronicler, Valentyn, tells us how
the Factor, Captain Moor, who lived in a house constructed on a raft,
with only a wretched earth rampart ashore, and a handful of English and
Bugis (of the Celebes) soldiers, laid a heavy hand on the people, but
managed to hold his own, until in 1706 a Captain Barry commenced
building a proper fort, but he died before it was completed. Then a
surgeon, who was more interested in natural history than anything else,
became Factor. The aggression of the English increased, and the Sultan
drove them out with the loss of many men and two ships. Captain
Beeckman, of the H.E.I. Company's service, who was there in 1713,
ascertained that Captain Barry had been poisoned, and he tells us so
hateful had their servants rendered the name of the Company to the
Banjereens that he had to pretend his ships were private traders. They
had promised the Sultan to build no forts nor make soldiers. They
grossly ill-treated, and even murdered the natives, imposed duties, and
finally insulted the Sultan, and attempted to capture the queen-mother.
The English, taken by the natives, including a Captain Cockburn, were
put to a cruel death.[67]

Then came the Dutch once more, in 1747. They left in 1810, and the
Sultan then petitioned the English to settle there again. This was done,
but, simultaneously with their evacuation of Java, the English retired
from Banjermasin, and it was transferred to the Dutch, who shortly
afterwards re-established their old stations in western Borneo up to

The Dutch continued to extend their influence, till, in process of time,
they had acquired control over two-thirds of the island.

Necessarily this is but a brief summary of the political history of
Borneo, and of the countries adjacent to it up to the time when
commences our story of the north-western portion of the island, but it
may be deemed sufficient to afford the reader a clearer insight into the
narrative that follows.

The system of trade adopted by the Dutch, following in the footsteps of
the Portuguese, was bad. Each in turn made of trade a monopoly,
excluding the vessels of every other nation. Such produce of the country
as was suitable for the Chinese market had to be sent first to one of
their own depôts, thence to be transhipped to China, and all direct
intercourse with China was checked. This cessation of direct trade
affected the prosperity of the ports, among others Bruni, in a variety
of ways. First, by the circuitous direction of the trade the exports
became too expensive to fetch the cost of the double carriage, and in
course of time dwindled to nothing. In the next place, the cessation of
immediate intercourse with China arrested the flow of immigrants,
hard-working and frugal men, who would have exploited the industries and
natural products of the island. A third, and that the most serious
effect of all, as a result of the extinction of honest trade and
internal development, was the encouragement given to piracy. The sultans
and rajahs were unable to maintain their state, and the people to
satisfy their requirements by just means, and so commenced to live by
piracy. So long as immediate requirements were satisfied by this means,
they gave no thought to the morrow; it did not occur to them, or they
were too ignorant to consider, that they were pulling up by the roots
that on which the future prosperity of their countries depended.

"The Dutch had no sooner established themselves at Batavia than, not
satisfied with transferring to it the emporium of Bantam, they conceived
the idea of making it the sole and only depôt of the commerce of the
Archipelago.... The destruction of the native trade of the Archipelago
by this withering policy may be considered as the origin of many of the
evils and of all the piracies of which we now complain. A maritime and
commercial people, suddenly deprived of all honest employment, or the
means of respectable subsistence, either sunk into apathy and indolence,
or expended their natural energies in piratical attempts to recover by
force and plunder what they had been deprived of by policy and fraud."
So wrote Sir Stamford Raffles in 1821.

That bold, old west-country buccaneer, and erstwhile captain of the
King's Navy, William Dampier, who besides being a shrewd fighter and
trader, appears to have been equally as shrewd an observer, draws a sad
picture of the degradation of flourishing states under the grinding
power of the Dutch. He relates that the natives had ever been willing to
trade with all nations, but the Dutch East India Company not only
monopolised all the trade of those countries under their immediate
control, but by means of their guard-ships prevented the adjacent
countries trading with others than themselves, even with those of their
own countrymen who were not connected with the Company, though they were
not in a position to supply these countries with all the commodities
their inhabitants needed, or to purchase or load all their produce.[68]
The cultivation of pepper naturally declined,[69] and in some places the
natives were prevented planting more than the Company would require. So
it was with spices. In October every year the Dutch would send a large
force throughout the spice islands to destroy trees, so as to keep the
production down, and small garrisons were scattered about, whose sole
duty appears to have been to see that the cultivation of spices was
restricted to the requirements of the Dutch alone.[70]

"The people, though they are Malayans, yet they are civil enough,
engaged thereto by trade; for the more trade the more civility; and, on
the contrary, the less trade the more barbarity and inhumanity. For
trade has a strong influence upon all people, who have found the sweet
of it, bringing with it so many conveniences of life as it does. I find
the Malayans in general are implacable enemies to the Dutch; and all
seems to spring from an earnest desire they have of a free trade, which
is restrained by them where they have any power. But 'tis freedom only
must be the means to encourage any of these remote people to trade,—
especially such of them as are industrious, and whose inclinations are
bent this way, as most of the Malayans are.

"Where there is any trade to be had, yet not sufficient to maintain a
Factory, or where there may not be a convenient place to build a fort,
so as to secure the whole trade to themselves, they (the Dutch) send
their guard-ships, which, lying at the mouth of the rivers, deter
strangers from coming thither, and keep the petty princes in awe of
them. This probably causes so many petty robberies and piracies as are
committed by the Malayans.

"Being thus provoked by the Dutch, and hindered of a free trade by their
guard-ships, it is probable they therefore commit piracies themselves,
or connive at and encourage those who do. So that the pirates seem to do
it as much to revenge themselves on the Dutch for restraining their
trade, as to gain this way what they cannot obtain in way of traffic."

So wrote Dampier, and if we go on to seventy years ago, when Sir James
Brooke commenced, unaided, that counter-move which resulted in the
salvation of the northern part of Borneo from the then hurtful and
narrow-minded rule of the Dutch, and to its being opened to British
trade and influence, we learn from his own words "how the policy of the
Dutch has at the present day reduced this 'Eden of the Eastern Wave' to
a state of anarchy and confusion, as repugnant to humanity as it is to
commercial prosperity.... It is the direct influence which it exerts
that has proved baneful to the Archipelago under the assumed
jurisdiction of this European power. Her unceasing interference in the
concerns of the Malay governments and the watchful fomenting of their
internal dissensions have gradually and effectually destroyed all
rightful authority, and given rise to a number of petty states which
thrive on piracy and fatten on the slave trade. The consequent
disorganisation of society arising from these causes has placed a bar to
commercial enterprise and personal adventure, and has probably acted on
the interior tribes much in the same way as this fatal policy has
affected the Malays. As far as can be ascertained, the financial and
commercial concerns of the Dutch have not been prosperous; it is easy to
conceive such to be the case, as it will be conceded that oppression and
prosperity cannot co-exist. In short, with the smallest amount of
advantage, the Dutch Government has all along endeavoured to perpetuate
an exclusive system, aiming more at injury to others than any advantage
to themselves or to the nations under their sway; for where an
enlightened administration might have produced the most beneficial
results, we are forced to deplore not only the mischief done and the
mass of good neglected, but the misery and suffering inflicted on
unhappy races, capable, as has been proved, of favourable development
under other circumstances."

In Borneo, as elsewhere, the Malays had for long been notorious pirates,
but the Sea-Dayaks, only so far as consisted in spasmodic raids for the
acquisition of heads.

The Malay governors, now under the influence of the Arab pseudo-sherips,
diverted whole tribes of Dayaks from their peaceable avocations, and
converted them into sea-robbers. The cultivation of their lands to
produce saleable goods, for which there was now no sale, was abandoned,
and fertile districts that had grown abundant crops were reduced to
unprofitable jungle.

But it was not only on trading vessels in the China seas that they were
taught to prey. The Malay princes and nobles sent those tribes whom they
had demoralised to ascend the rivers and plunder and exterminate the
peaceful tribes in the interior.

Among the tribes thus changed from an agricultural people into pirates
were the Sekrang and the Saribas. When the Malay Muhammadan princes
wanted slaves they summoned their Dayak nominal subjects to follow them,
and led them against other tribes, either to harry the coasts or to
penetrate up the rivers ravaging; and then, from this first stage to a
second, converted them into pirates who swept the seas, falling on
trading vessels, murdering the crews, and appropriating the plunder.
According to agreement the Malay princes received two-thirds of the
spoil, and their Dayak subjects, whom they had trained to be pirates,
were granted one-third of the plunder and all the heads they could take.

About this head-hunting something has been said already, more will be
said presently. As a Dayak said to a European, "You like books, we like

In the latter half of the seventeenth century, the Sultan of Bruni,
Muadin, was constrained to call in the aid of his neighbour, the Sultan
of Sulu, to quell an insurrection, and in consideration of this
assistance ceded to him the land from the north as far as the Kimanis

Sultan Abdul Mubin had murdered his uncle, Sultan Muhammad Ali, and
usurped the throne. Pangiran Bongsu, under the title of Sultan Muadin,
with the assistance of the Sulus, defeated Abdul Mubin, who was
executed. Muhammad Ali was murdered in 1662, and a war ensued that
lasted about twelve years.[71]

The Spaniards attacked Sulu, captured the capital, and carried off the
Sultan to Manila. When the English took Manila, under Sir William Draper
in 1762, they released the Sultan Mumin, and he ceded the territory that
had been granted to his predecessors by the Sultan of Bruni in or about
1674 to the East India Company, by deed signed in 1763, in consideration
of an engagement entered into by the Company to protect him from the

Sultan Jemal ul Alam, of Bruni, who died in 1796, married Rajah Nur
Alam, daughter of his uncle Sultan Khan Zul Alam, 21st Sultan of Bruni,
by his first wife. By her he had one legitimate son, Omar Ali Saif Udin.
The wife of Sultan Jemal had a full brother, Sri Banun Muda (usually
called Rajah Api), and also half-brothers Hasim and Muhammad, sons of
Khan Zul Alam by his second wife, and Bedrudin and two other sons by his
third wife, a Lanun lady of rank.

On the death of his grand-uncle, also grandfather, and predecessor, Khan
Zul Alam, Omar Ali was but a child, and Rajah Api claimed the throne,
under the title of Sultan Muhammad Alam, and there were years of trouble
in Bruni. Sir Hugh Low describes him as a madman with the most cruel
propensities, whence probably his nickname Api, which signifies "Fire."
He treated his nephew with great roughness, and often threatened him
with a drawn sword, and Omar ran whimpering to his mother to complain.
The prince's mother had long been jealous of the assumption of the
sultanate by her brother, and, her son being almost imbecile, she hoped,
by getting rid of Api, to exercise great power in the state.
Accordingly, about the year 1828, she summoned those of her party and
surrounded the residence of the Sultan Muhammad Alam, or Api, who
finding himself deserted escaped in a boat. His sister sent after him a
pangiran, or noble, with professions of friendship, and this pangiran
persuaded him to assume the disguise of a woman to facilitate his
escape. Then he got him into a little skiff, and led him into an ambush,
where he was ordered to be put to death. He received the intimation with
firmness. "Observe," said he, "when you strangle me, on which side my
body shall fall—if to the right it prognosticates good for Bruni, if to
the left it foretells evil." The bow-string was twisted, and Api sank on
his left side. As we shall see that omen proved true.

Api's brother, Rajah Muda Hasim, an amiable, courteous, feeble man, was
installed as Regent; and some time later was sent to Sarawak, where a
rebellion had broken out, caused by the exactions and cruelty of the
Pangiran Makota, who had been appointed governor of Sarawak by the
Sultan. Hasim found the whole district a prey to anarchy, and those who
should have reduced it to order were incompetent and too cowardly to
fight. All he was able to do was to maintain a nominal sovereignty in
the capital, Kuching.

The Malays and Arabs being Muhammadans, looked down on the pagan
Land-Dayaks, subject to their domination, as mere bondsmen, to be
slaughtered, fleeced, or enslaved—to be treated, in a word, as their
caprice dictated, without being taken to task for their misdeeds. The
limit of their exactions was fixed by necessity. The point beyond which
oppression ceased was that where nothing was left to be extorted. But
over the Sea-Dayaks of Sekrang, Saribas, and Kanowit they had no power.
These tribes were far too independent in character and powerful to
submit to oppression. These Sea-Dayaks would follow their so-called
masters on a piratical expedition, and would obey them only so far as it
pleased themselves to do so. As to the Kayans, they were too greatly
feared to be molested. The late Mr. H. B. Low[72] in 1879 was refused
permission by the Sultan to cross into the Baram by the Limbang, for
fear lest this should show the Kayans a way into Bruni. The Malay rulers
oppressed their own people and the Melanaus almost as badly as they did
the Land-Dayaks, murdering, robbing, and enslaving them.

The Land-Dayaks in Sarawak were governed by local Malay datus called
Patinggi, Bandar, and Temanggong. These officers monopolised the trade.
When the Dayaks had collected rice, edible birds' nests, wax, etc., the
Patinggi claimed the right to buy the produce at a price fixed by
himself, and one that barely allowed the seller enough to pay for his
own necessaries. And not only did the Patinggi claim the right of
pre-emption, but so did all his relatives, and in the end so did every
Bornean Malay of any position. If the poor Dayak did not produce
sufficient to satisfy the Patinggi, girls and children were taken to
make up the deficit and sold into slavery.[73]

He would sometimes send a bar of iron to a headman of a tribe, whether
the latter wanted it or not, and require him to purchase it at an
exorbitant price fixed by the sender. The man dared not refuse; then
another bar was sent, and again another, till the Dayak chief was
reduced to poverty.

If a Malay met a Dayak in his boat, and the boat pleased him, he would
cut a notch in the gunwale in token that he appropriated it to his own
use. Possibly enough some other Bornean Malay might fancy the same boat
and cut another notch. This might occur several times. Then the Dayak
was required to hand over his boat to the first who had marked it, and
to indemnify the other claimants to the value of the vessel.

Any injury done, or pretended to have been done, however accidentally,
by a Dayak to a Malay, had to be paid for by a ruinous fine. There was
no court of appeal, no possibility of redress. A Malay could always, and
at any time, enter the house of a Dayak, and live there in free quarters
as long as he pleased, insult or maltreat the wife and children of his
unwilling host with impunity, and on leaving carry away with him any of
the Dayak's property to which he had taken a fancy; and, when the
novelty of the possession wore off, force his late host to buy it back
again at an extravagant price. But this was not all. When antimony was
found, the unfortunate Land-Dayaks were driven to mine it at no wage at
all, and their hard taskmasters did not even trouble themselves to
provide them with food.[74] The consequence was that many of them died,
and others fled to the jungle. As one of them pathetically said, "We do
not live like men; we are like monkeys; we are hunted from place to
place. We have no houses, and when we light a fire we are in fear lest
the smoke should betray to our enemies where we are."

Of Dayaks there are, as already stated, two sorts, the Land-Dayak and
the Sea-Dayak, the first of Indonesian, the second of proto-Malay stock.
The former are a quiet, timid, industrious people, honest, and by no
means lacking in intelligence, living on hill-tops to which they have
fled from their oppressors; the latter throve on piracy, having been
brought to this by the Muhammadan Malays and the half-bred Arabs. But
even among the Sea-Dayaks a few tribes had not been thus vitiated, and
upon these the late Rajah could always rely for support.

Their Malay masters furnished the Sea-Dayaks, whom they had converted
into predatory savages, with ammunition and guns, and sent them either
to sea to attack merchant vessels, or up the rivers to fall upon
villages of peaceful tribes; then the men were slaughtered, the women
and children carried off into slavery. The villages were burnt, and by a
refinement of cruelty the fruit trees cut down and standing crops
destroyed, from which the principal provision of the natives was
gathered, so as to reduce to starvation those who had escaped into the
jungle. Land-Dayak tribes that formerly had been numerous and prosperous
were reduced to small numbers and to poverty. One that reckoned 230
families dwindled to 50. Three whole tribes were completely
exterminated. One of 120 families was brought down to two, that is to
say, of 960 persons only 16 were left. The population that had consisted
of 1795 families, or, reckoning eight persons to each family, 14,360
souls, in ten years was reduced to 6792 souls showing a decrease in
these ten years of 946 families, or of 7568 persons. On Sir James (then
Mr.) Brooke's visit to the country in 1840, in converse with the chief
of one of the native tribes, the man told him, "The Rajah takes from us
whatever he wants, at whatever price he pleases, and the pangirans take
whatever they can get for no price at all." "At first," says Mr. Brooke,
"the Dayak paid a small stated sum as an acknowledgment of vassalage, by
degrees this became an arbitrary and unlimited taxation, and now, to
consummate the iniquity, the entire tribes are pronounced slaves and
liable to be disposed of."

The natural result of such treatment was that those natives who escaped
spoilation and slaughter fled up the country beyond reach of their
persecutors. The depopulation from the same cause went on in the
neighbourhood of Bruni as well as in Sarawak. Mr. Spenser St. John says
in 1858: "It is melancholy to see this fine district (Limbang), once
well cultivated, now returning to jungle; formerly where the population
extended a hundred miles beyond the last village at present inhabited,
the supply of provisions was ample at Bruni. Now that the natives are
decreasing, while Bruni is perhaps as numerous as ever, the demands made
by the nobles are too great even for the natives' forbearance, and in
disgust they are gradually abandoning all garden cultivation. Already
brushwood is taking the place of bananas and yams, so that few of either
are to be had. The people say it is useless for them to plant for others
to eat the whole produce. Then as the natives cannot furnish the
supplies exacted of them by the pangirans, these latter take from them
their children; the lads are circumcised and made Mahomedans and slaves,
and the girls are drafted into the already crowded harems of the
rajahs." The same writer gives an instance or two of the manner in which
the subject natives were treated. In 1855, the warlike Kayans of the
interior descended the Limbang river and threatened a tribe of Muruts.
The Pangiran Makota,[75] virtual governor of Bruni, met them and
arranged with the chiefs that for the sum of £700 they should spare
these Muruts. Then he set those who were menaced to collect the money.
When they had done this and placed the sum in his hands, he pocketed it
and returned to Bruni, leaving the Kayans to deal with the tribe after
their own sweet will.

Again, in 1857, the same head-hunters threatened another Murut village.
Makota had a secret interview with the Kayan chiefs, and then gave out
that peace had been concluded. What he had actually done was to deliver
over to them to pillage and exterminate the Murut village of Balal Ikan,
against which he bore a grudge for having resisted his exactions.

The whole of the north and west of Borneo was in a condition of
indescribable wretchedness and hopelessness when Mr. James Brooke
appeared on the scene. Oppression the most cruel and grinding,
encouragement of piracy and head-hunting by the selfish, unscrupulous
pangirans sent from Bruni, were depopulating the fair land. Sarawak,
then a very small province, was, as we shall see, in insurrection.
Single-handed, with but a comparatively small capital, the whole of
which he sank in the country, with no support from the British
Government, with no Chartered Company at his back, he devoted his life
to transform what had become a hell into what it has become, a peaceful
and happy country.

                         APPENDIX TO CHAPTER II

Taken from the _Selesilah_ (Book of the Descent), preserved in Bruni, by
the late Sir Hugh Low, G.C.M.G. Published in the Journal No. 5 of the
Straits Branch R.A.S.

  1. Sultan Mahomed, who introduced the religion of Islam.

  2. Sultan Akhmed, brother of above, married to the daughter of Ong
    Sum Ping, Chinese Raja of Kina-batangan. No sons, but one daughter
    married to—

  3. Sultan Berkat, from Taif in Arabia. A descendant of the prophet
    through his grandson Husin. Berkat, the blessed. His real name was
    Sherif Ali.

  4. Sultan Suleiman, son of above, who was succeeded by his son—

  5. Sultan Bulkeiah;[76] towards the end of his reign Pigafetta's
    first visit to Bruni in 1521 probably took place.

  6. Sultan Abdul Kahar, son of above. Had forty-two sons, of whom—

  7. Saif-ul-Rejal succeeded him. During his reign the Spaniards
    attacked Bruni in 1576 and 1580, taking it on the second occasion.

  8. Sultan Shah Bruni, son of above. Having no children he abdicated
    in favour of his brother—

  9. Sultan Hasan, succeeded by his son.

  10. Sultan Abdul-Jalil-ul-Akbar, succeeded by his son.

  11. Sultan Abdul-Jalil-ul-Jehar, who was succeeded by his uncle—

  12. Sultan Mahomet Ali, son of Sultan Hasan.

  13. Sultan Abdul Mubin. Son of Sultan Mahomet Ali's sister. He
    murdered his uncle and usurped the throne. He was worsted in a
    revolution that lasted twelve years, and was executed.

  14. Sultan Muaddim, fourth son of Sultan Jalil-ul-Akbar, nephew and
    son-in-law of Sultan Mahomet Ali. Succeeded by his nephew
    (half-brother's son)—

  15. Sultan Nasr Addin, grandson of Sultan Jalil-ul-Akbar.

  16. Sultan Kemal-Addin, son of Sultan Mahomet Ali, who abdicated in
    favour of his son-in-law—

  17. Sultan Mahomet Ali-Udin—on his father's side grandson of Sultan
    Muaddin, on his mother's side great-great-grandson of Sultan
    Jalil-ul-Akbar. He died before his father-in-law and great uncle,
    Sultan Kemal-Addin, who again ascended the throne and was
    succeeded by his son—

  18. Sultan Omar Ali Saif-udin. Died 1795. Succeeded by his son—

  19. Sultan Tej-Walden. Died 1807. He abdicated in favour of his son—

  20. Sultan Jemal-ul-Alam, who reigned for a few months only, and
    died in 1796, when his father reascended the throne and was
    succeeded in 1809 by his half-brother—

  21. Sultan Khan Zul-Alam, succeeded by his great-nephew and

  22. Sultan Omar Ali Saif-udin, second son of Sultan Mahomed
    Jemal-ul-Alam. Died 1852. He left the throne, by will and general
    consent of the people, to

  23. Sultan Abdul Mumin, who was descended from Sultan Kemal-Addin.
    Died 1885, succeeded by

  24. Sultan Hasim-Jalilal Alam Akamaddin, son of Sultan Omar Ali
    Saif-udin. Died 1906.

  25. Sultan Mahomet Jemal-ul-Alam, son of above.

The above are abridged extracts. The last two sultans were not included
in Low's list, which was made in 1893. Low's spelling of the names is

Forrest, _op. cit._, who obtained his information from Mindanau records,
states that about 1475 a Sherip Ali and his two brothers came from
Mecca. Ali became the first Muhammadan prince in Mindanau; one brother
became King of Borneo (Bruni) and the other King of the Moluccas. As
regards the date this agrees with the Bruni records, and the brothers
might have borne the same name. (See Mahomet Ali, Omar Ali above.)

According to Chinese records, a Chinese is said to have been King of
Bruni in the beginning of the 15th century.[77] This would have been in
Ong Sum Ping's time, and it probably refers to him.


Footnote 44:

  Named by the Spaniards Mount St. Paul according to Pigafetta. J. Hunt
  gives St. Peter's Mount in his _Sketch of Borneo_, 1812, and a map by
  Mercator published in about 1595 gives St. Pedro, and old maps of
  subsequent dates also give the latter name.

Footnote 45:

  But Mr. C. Vernon-Collins, of the Sarawak Civil Service, recently
  found a bead which has been pronounced at the British Museum to have
  been made in Venice prior to A.D. 1100. A similar one of the same date
  was presented by H.H. the Ranee to the British Museum some years ago.
  It is a bead highly esteemed by the Kayans.

Footnote 46:

  "Book of the Descent," Sir Hugh Low.—_Journal of the Straits Branch of
  the R.A.S._, No. 5.

Footnote 47:

  Jewata is the Land-Dayak name of a god from the Sanskrit word
  _dewata_, divinity, deity, gods. The Sea-Dyaks also have Jewata in
  their mythology, likewise Batara, from the Sanskrit _bhatar_, holy;
  neither means God, as some writers appear to think. The Dayaks have no
  idea of theism.

Footnote 48:

  The late Rajah has recorded a tradition of several of the Land-Dayak
  tribes that in the old times they were under the government of Java,
  and their tribute was regularly sent there.

Footnote 49:

  The title assumed by the rulers of Majapahit, from "Bhatara," noted

Footnote 50:

  According to Crawfurd. Sir Stamford Raffles gives 1475.

Footnote 51:

  Formerly a monarchy whose jurisdiction comprehended all Sumatra, and
  whose sovereign was talked of with respect in the farthest parts of
  the East.—Marsden's _History of Sumatra_.

Footnote 52:

  Lima is a small town on the north coast of Portugal.

Footnote 53:

  Sir Hugh Low, _Book of the Descent_, _op. cit._

Footnote 54:

  See note 2, p. 45.

Footnote 55:

  _A Collection of Voyages_, 1729, Dampier.

Footnote 56:


Footnote 57:

  Forrest's _Voyage to New Guinea_, 1779.

Footnote 58:

  _Sarawak_, Hugh Low, 1848.

Footnote 59:

  Hunt, _op. cit._

Footnote 60:

  Dias, in 1487.

Footnote 61:

  "Antiquity of Chinese Trade," J. R. Logan in the _Journal of the
  Indian Archipelago_, 1848.

Footnote 62:

  Forrest, _op. cit._

Footnote 63:

  Logan, _op. cit._

Footnote 64:

  Mercator's map gives Melano, which confirms this supposition. Other
  places on the Sarawak coast mentioned in this map are Tamaio-baio,
  Barulo (Bintulu), Puchavarao (Muka), Tamenacrim, and Tamaratos. The
  first and two last cannot be identified. Tama is of course for
  _tanah_, land, and the last name simply means in Malay, the land of
  hundreds—of many people, which the first name may also imply. _Varao_
  being man in Spanish and Portuguese, Puchavarao means the place of the
  Pucha (Muka) people—Pucha also being a transcriber's error for Puka.
  It was near this place that the Portuguese captain, who afterwards
  became a Bruni pangiran (p. 42) was wrecked, and also near this place
  on Cape Sirik, a point which is continually advancing seaward, that
  some forty to fifty years ago the remains of a wreck were discovered a
  considerable distance from the sea, and so must have belonged to a
  ship wrecked many years before. When Rentap's stronghold in the
  Saribas was captured by the present Rajah in 1861, an old iron cannon
  dated 1515 was found there. Traditions exist pointing to wrecks and to
  the existence of hidden treasure at two or three places along the

Footnote 65:

  Meaning queen-consort.

Footnote 66:

  Probably the Kalaka; the Malays in the Rejang came from that river.

Footnote 67:

  _A Voyage to and from the Island of Borneo_, 1718.

Footnote 68:

  The Dutch confiscated all foreign ships they could seize found trading
  in the Archipelago without permission from them to do so.

Footnote 69:

  Borneo and Sumatra were then the great pepper producing countries.

Footnote 70:

  Forrest, _op. cit._, confirms this, and adds "the Dutch forbid the
  natives to manufacture cloth."

Footnote 71:

  Sir Hugh Low, _op. cit._

Footnote 72:

  Son of the late Sir Hugh Low, G.C.M.G. He served in the Sarawak Civil
  Service from 1869 to 1887, in which year he died. His knowledge of the
  natives, their languages, and customs, was unsurpassed. The notes he
  left formed the basis of Ling Roth's work, _The Natives of Borneo_,

Footnote 73:

  This was the _serah_, or forced trade formerly in force in all Malayan
  countries; and it appears to be still so, in a modified form, in

Footnote 74:

  The Sarawak Malays were also so forced to mine by Pangiran Makota, and
  this forced labour was one of the principal causes of the rebellion of
  1836-40 against the Sultan's Government.

Footnote 75:

  This happened after this man had been banished by the late Rajah from
  Sarawak. See Chap. III. p. 87, for the fate he met and so richly

Footnote 76:

  Famous in Malay legends throughout the East as Nakoda Ragam, a
  renowned sea rover and conqueror.

Footnote 77:

  W. P. Groeneveldt, _Essays relating to Indo-China_, 1887.


  KUCHING IN 1840.

  (The picture at the end of this chapter is taken from exactly the same
    point of view.)]

                              CHAPTER III
                         THE MAKING OF SARAWAK

James Brooke was born at Benares on April 29, 1803, and was the son of
Thomas Brooke of the East India Company's Civil Service. He entered the
Company's army in 1819, and took part in the first Burmese war, in which
he was severely wounded, and from which he was invalided home in 1825.
He had been honourably mentioned in despatches for conspicuous services
rendered in having raised a much needed body of horse, and for bravery.
Then he resigned his commission, and visited China, Penang, Malacca, and
Singapore. There he heard much of the beauty and the wonders of the
fairy group of islands forming the Eastern Archipelago, and of the
dangers to be encountered there from Malay pirates; islands rich in all
that nature could lavish in flower and fruit, in bird and gorgeous
butterfly, in diamond and pearl, but "the trail of the serpent was over
them all." Very little was known of these islands, few English vessels
visited them, the trade was monopolised by the Dutch, who sought to
exclude all European nations from obtaining a foothold. They claimed
thousands of islands from Sumatra to Papua as within their exclusive
sphere of influence, islands abounding in natural products which they
exploited imperfectly, and did nothing to develop. This was a
dog-in-the-manger policy to which Great Britain submitted.

The young man's ambition was fired; he longed to explore these seas, to
study the natural history, the ethnology, to discover gaps in the Dutch
imaginary line through which English commerce might penetrate and then

Mr. Brooke made a second voyage to the East in a brig which, in
partnership with another, he had purchased and freighted for China; but
this venture proved a failure, and the brig and cargo were sold in China
at a loss.

In 1835, Mr. Thomas Brooke died, leaving to his son the sum of £30,000.
James now saw that a chance was open to him of realising his youthful
dream, and he bought a yacht, the _Royalist_, a schooner of 142 tons
burden, armed with six-pounders and several swivels, and, after a
preliminary cruise in the Mediterranean to train his crew, he sailed in
December 1838, flying the flag of the Royal Yacht Squadron, for that
enchanted group of islands—

                            Those islands of the sea
            Where Nature rises to Fame's highest round.[78]

And as he wrote, to cast himself on the waters, like Southey's little
book; but whether the world would know him after many days, was a
question which, hoping the best, he could not answer with any degree of

He arrived in Singapore in May, 1839. The Rajah Muda Hasim of Sarawak
had recently shown kind treatment to some English shipwrecked sailors,
and Mr. Brooke was commissioned by the Governor and the Singapore
Chamber of Commerce to convey letters of thanks and presents to the
Rajah Muda in acknowledgment of his humanity, exceptional in those days,
and a marked contrast to the treatment afforded to the crew and
passengers of the Sultana a little later by his sovereign, the Sultan of
Bruni, which is recorded further on.[79] This chance diverted Mr. Brooke
from his original project of going to Marudu Bay, the place he had
indicated as being the best adapted for the establishment of a British
settlement, and took him to the field of his life-long labours.



He left Singapore on July 27, 1839, full of hope and confidence that
something was to be done, and reaching the West Coast of Borneo surveyed
some seventy miles of that coast before entering the Sarawak river,
which was not then marked on the charts; for of Borneo at that time very
little was known; its interior was a blank upon the maps, and its coast
was set down by guess work on the Admiralty charts; so much so, that Mr.
Brooke found Cape Datu placed some seventy to eighty miles too far to
the east and north, and he was "obliged to clip some hundreds of miles
of habitable land off the charts."

Kuching,[80] the capital of Sarawak, is so called from a small stream
that runs through the town into the main river, that a few miles below
expands and forms a delta of many channels and mouths. The town, which
is seated some twenty miles from the open sea, was founded by Pangiran
Makota, when Bruni rule was established in Sarawak, and he was sent down
as the Sultan's representative a few years previously to the arrival of
Mr. Brooke. At this time the population, with the exception of a few
Chinese traders and other eastern foreigners, consisted entirely of
Bruni Malays to the number of about 800. The Sarawak Malays lived at
Katupong,[81] a little higher up, and farther up again at Leda Tanah,
under their head chief, the brave Datu Patinggi Ali.

A distinction must be made, which it will be as well to again note here,
between the Malays of Bruni and those of Sarawak, in other works
described—the former as Borneans, and the latter as Siniawans. They are
very different in appearance, manners, and even in language. There are
not many Brunis in Sarawak now. Most returned to their own country with
Rajah Muda Hasim when he retired there in 1844, and others drifted
thither later. All the Malays in Kuching, except a sprinkling of
foreigners, are Sarawak Malays, the descendants of the so-called

  The bay that lies between Capes Datu and Sipang is indeed a
  lovely one. To the right lies the splendid range of Poé,
  over-topping the lower, but equally beautiful, Gading hills;
  then the fantastic-shaped mountains of the interior; while to
  the left the range of Santubong end-on towards you looks like a
  solitary peak, rising as an island from the sea, as Teneriffe
  once appeared to me sailing by in the _Mæander_. From these
  hills flow many streams which add to the beauty of the view. But
  the gems of the scene are the little emerald isles that are
  scattered over the surface of the bay, presenting their pretty
  beaches of glittering sand, or their lovely foliage drooping to
  kiss the rippling waves. There is no prettier spot (than the
  mouth of the Sarawak river); on the right bank rises the
  splendid peak of Santubong, over 2000 feet in height,[82]
  clothed from its summit to its base with noble vegetation, its
  magnificent buttresses covered with lofty trees, showing over a
  hundred feet of stem without a branch, and at its base a broad
  beach of white sand fringed by graceful casuarinas, waving and
  trembling under the influence of the faintest breeze, and at
  that time thronged by wild hogs.[83]

On August 15, the _Royalist_ cast anchor off the capital, and Mr. Brooke
had an interview with the Rajah Muda, presented the letters and gifts,
and was very graciously received. He was allowed to make excursions to
Lundu, Samarahan, and Sadong, large rivers hitherto unknown to
Europeans, and he added some seventy miles to his survey of the coast;
but as the Malays and most of the Dayak tribes were in insurrection in
the interior, travelling there was unsafe.

The Rajah Muda Hasim, the Bandahara of Bruni and the heir-presumptive to
the throne, was a plain, middle-aged man, with gracious and courtly
manners, amiable and well disposed, but weak and indolent. He was placed
in a difficult position, which he had not the energy or the ability to
fill. The Sultan of Bruni had confided the district of Sarawak some
years previously to the Pangiran Makota as governor, a man utterly
unprincipled, grasping, selfish, cruel, and cowardly, but "the most
mild, the most gentlemanly rascal you can conceive";[84] and by his
exactions and by forced labour at the antimony mines, he had driven the
Sarawak Malays, as well as the Land-Dayaks, into open revolt. They
proclaimed their independence of Bruni, and asserted that submission to
the Sultan had been voluntary on their part, and on stipulated
conditions that had not been carried out. For three years they had
carried on their struggle against the Bruni tyrants, but, though far
from being reduced, it became evident to them that unaided they could
not attain their freedom. Surrender meant death to the chiefs and abject
slavery to the people, and to their womankind something far worse than
either, so in their extremity they appealed to the Dutch. A year before
Mr. Brooke's arrival they had invited the Dutch to plant the Netherlands
flag in their camp, and afterwards had sent an emissary to Batavia to
beg the assistance of the Governor-General, but open assistance was
refused, though the Sultan of Sambas appears to have constantly supplied
the rebels with ammunition and provisions. As Mr. Brooke had warned the
Pangiran Makota, who had reason to fear Dutch aggression, the danger was
not an open violation of their independence, but their coming on
friendly terms—they might make war after having first gained a footing,
not before. The Dutch had made great efforts to establish trade with
Sarawak, in other words, to monopolise it, and through their vassal, the
Sultan of Sambas, had offered assistance to open the antimony mines.

The Sultan of Bruni had sent his uncle, the Rajah Muda Hasim, to reduce
the rebels, but without withdrawing Makota and checking his abuse of
authority. A desultory war had been carried on without success under the
direction of Makota, who was too cowardly himself to lead his Malay and
Dayak levies into action, to storm the stockades of the insurgents, and
to pursue them to their strongholds. The consequence was that anarchy
prevailed, except in the immediate neighbourhood of the capital.

There was something in the frank eye, in the cheery self-confidence of
Brooke that captivated the timid little Rajah Muda, who was not only
unable to cope with the Malays in revolt, but was afraid of his
neighbours, the Dutch, lest they should make the disturbances an excuse
for intervention and annexation, and he hoped in his extremity to obtain
some help from the British.

"Which is the cat and which is the mouse?" he asked in reference to the
rival powers. "Britain is unquestionably the mouser," replied Brooke.
But he did not add that the mouser was so gorged and lazy as only
occasionally to stretch forth a paw.

Mr. Brooke bade his friends good-bye on September 20, after having
received a pressing invitation from the Rajah Muda to revisit him, and
he begged Brooke not to forget him. Leaving the _Royalist_ at
Muaratebas, Brooke visited the Sadong river, where he made the
acquaintance of Sherip Sahap,[85] a powerful half-bred Arab chief and
ruler of that river, who in later days was to give Brooke so much
trouble. He returned to the _Royalist_ on the 27th, and intended to sail
the next morning, but was delayed by a startling incident that gave him
his first experience of the piratical habits of the Saribas Dayaks. The
boat of Penglima Rajah (the Rajah's captain), who was to pilot the
_Royalist_ over the bar, and which was lying inshore of the yacht, was
attacked in the middle of the night, but the report of a gun and the
display of a blue light from the yacht caused the Dayaks to decamp
hurriedly, though not before they had seriously wounded the Penglima and
three of his crew. Mr. Brooke waited until the wounded were sufficiently
recovered to be sent to Kuching, and, after he had paid a flying visit
to that place at the urgent request of the Rajah, sailed for Singapore
on October 3.

The history of his late cruise, to quote Mr. Brooke, had agitated the
society in Singapore, and whilst the merchants presented him with an
address of thanks, the Governor became cooler towards him. The former
foresaw an access of trade, the latter was nervous of political

  _He_ would fain have me lay aside all politics, but whilst I see
  such treachery and baseness on one part (the Dutch), and such
  weakness, imbecility, and indifference on the other (the English), I
  will continue to upraise my voice at fitting seasons. I will not
  leave my native friends to be deceived and betrayed by either white
  nation, and (what the governor does not like) I will speak bold
  truths to native ears.

The Dutch trading regulations weighed on this island as they did on all
others within their influence. Sir Stamford Raffles, in his _History of
Java_, 1830, tells us that by an edict of 1767, trading in opium,
pepper, and all spices was prohibited in the Archipelago to all persons
under _pain of death_, and other severe penalties were imposed upon
those trading in other commodities. The quantity of gunpowder and shot
that might be carried by any vessel was restricted, and the punishment
for carrying more than was permitted was the confiscation of the vessel
and corporal punishment. Vessels were not allowed to sail from any part
of the Java coast where there was not a Company's Resident. Those from
Banka and Beliton could only trade to Palembang (Sumatra). Navigation
from Celebes and Sumbawa was prohibited under pain of confiscation of
vessel and cargo. The China junks were permitted to trade at Batavia and
Banjermasin alone. In all there were thirty-one articles of restriction,
"serving to shackle every movement of commerce, and to extinguish every
spirit of enterprise, for the narrow, selfish purposes of what may be
called the fanaticism of gain." The consequence was that honest traffic
was paralysed, and an opportunity and indirect encouragement given to
piracy. Indeed, the Dutch winked at this as it hampered smuggling by
European and native traders. They resented it only when their own trade
was interfered with by the marauders.

After visiting the Celebes, where he spent four months, Mr. Brooke
sailed for Sarawak from Singapore on August 18, 1840. His kindly feeling
for the Rajah Muda Hasim prompted him to pay another visit to Sarawak,
taking it on his way to Manila and China. He found the condition of the
country as distracted as ever, "with no probability of any termination
of a state of affairs so adverse to every object which I had in view,"
and so decided to quit the scene and proceed on his voyage. On notifying
his departure to the Rajah, he was urgently pressed to remain; every
topic was exhausted to excite his compassion. The Rajah laid his
difficulties before him, and expressed "his resolution to die here
rather than abandon his undertaking—to die deserted and disgraced"; and
it was compassion for his miserable situation that induced Mr. Brooke to
alter his intention.

The rebellion had lasted for nearly four years, and for the efforts made
to quell it might well last for a century, and the whole country, except
Kuching, become independent. Starvation had compelled many of the
Land-Dayaks to submit, but that was the only advantage that had been
gained. Hasim was in ill odour at Bruni because he had effected nothing,
and the Orang Kaya di Gadong, a Bruni minister, had been sent by the
Sultan to stir him up to greater activity. But how to exert himself, how
with cowardly pangirans to come to close quarters with the rebels he
could not see, and in his helplessness and discouragement he caught at
the opportunity offered by the arrival of Brooke.

With some reluctance Mr. Brooke consented to assist Hasim against the
insurgents, and proceeded to Siniawan; but after having been up-river a
short time he returned to Kuching, disgusted by the supineness and
inertness of Makota and the other leaders, and announced his intention
of sailing for Manila. Hasim saw that Brooke's departure would deprive
him of his last chance of reducing the rebels, and that he would have to
return to Bruni in disgrace. Again he urged Brooke to stay, and he
offered him the country if he would return up-river and take command of
his forces. "He offered me," wrote Brooke, "the country of Siniawan and
Sarawak, with its government and trade;" in addition he offered to grant
him the title of Rajah.

Hasim had been placed in Sarawak for a purpose, which he was wholly
unable to effect; as he was heir-presumptive[86] to the throne of Bruni,
he was impatient at what he considered his exile from the capital. Could
the insurrection be subdued he would be reinstated in the favour of his
nephew, and might return to Bruni to defeat the machinations of his
enemies there, leaving the government of Sarawak in the strong hands of

Mr. Brooke hesitated for some time, as the offer had been imposed by
necessity, but finally agreed, and promised the assistance required.
With ten of his English crew and two guns, he joined the Rajah's mixed
force of Malays, Dayaks, and Chinese, and proceeded against the
insurgents. As was their wont, the pangirans in command hung back and
would not expose their precious persons to danger, with the notable
exception of the Pangiran Bedrudin, half-brother to the Rajah Muda
Hasim. This was Brooke's first meeting with Bedrudin. He was greatly
impressed with his frank but overawing and stately demeanour, and a warm
friendship soon sprang up between them, which lasted until the death of
this ill-fated prince, who justly earned a reputation for bravery and
constancy, the only one of the royal princes of Bruni in whom these
qualities were combined.

To Mr. Brooke's regret, Bedrudin was shortly withdrawn by his brother,
and the other pangirans, led by Makota, thwarted him in every forward
movement, to disguise their own cowardice. Finally, after several
bloodless engagements and bombardments, communication was opened with
Sherip Mat Husain,[87] one of the rebel leaders, and he came to see Mr.
Brooke under a flag of truce, which would have received little respect
had it not been for the stern measures taken by the latter. This meeting
led to an interview between the Malay rebel chiefs and Mr. Brooke, and
they submitted, but only on the understanding that Brooke was henceforth
to be the Rajah, and that he would restrain the oppression of the
pangirans. On these terms they laid down their arms, and then it was
with great difficulty that Brooke succeeded in wringing from the Rajah
Muda a consent that their lives should be spared, and that consent was
only reluctantly given on Brooke rising up to bid the Rajah Muda
farewell; but the wives and children of the principal chiefs, to the
number of over one hundred, were taken from them by Hasim as hostages.
They "were treated with kindness and preserved from injury or

Some delay ensued in the investiture of Brooke with the governorship.
Hasim was disposed to shuffle, and Makota, who feared his exactions
would be interfered with, used all his power to prevent it. Hoping it
would content Brooke, the Rajah Muda had drawn up an agreement which was
only to the purport that he was to reside in Sarawak in order to seek
for profit, an agreement which the Rajah Muda explained was merely to be
shown to the Sultan in the first place, and that it was not intended as
a substitute for that which had been agreed upon between themselves, and
would be granted in due course. Hasim was between two stools: his duty
in respect to his promise to Brooke, whose friendship and support were
necessary to him; and his fear of the party led by Makota in Sarawak,
but still more powerfully represented in Bruni, who foresaw, as well as
he did himself, the end of their rule of tyranny if once such an
advocate for reform as Mr. Brooke were allowed to gather up the reins of

Brooke accepted this equivocal arrangement, and, trusting in the Rajah
Muda's good faith, to establish trade and communication with Singapore,
went to the expense of buying and freighting the schooner _Swift_ of
ninety tons with a general cargo. On her arrival from Singapore the
Rajah Muda took over the whole cargo, promising antimony ore in
exchange, but this promise also he showed no intention of fulfilling—in
fact it never was fulfilled. After this cargo had been obtained the
Rajah Muda became cool to Brooke, evaded all discussion about the
settlement of the country, and even went so far as to deny that he had
ever made the unsolicited promise to transfer the government to him; and
a plot was attempted to involve him in a dispute with the Dutch at

To ruin Mr. Brooke's prestige with the Land-Dayaks, Malays, and Chinese,
as their protector, a crafty scheme was devised by Makota, to which he
induced the Rajah to grant his consent. He invited a party of 2500
Sea-Dayaks from Sekrang to ascend the Sarawak river and massacre the
Land-Dayaks, Malays, and Chinese in the interior. They arrived at
Kuching, and, with the addition of a number of Malays as guides, started
up the river. But Brooke, highly incensed, retired to the _Royalist_,
and at once prepared that vessel and the _Swift_ for action. This had
the desired effect. Hasim was cowed; "he denied all knowledge of it; but
the knowledge was no less certain, and the measure his own."[89] He
threw the blame on Makota, and, yielding to Brooke's insistence, sent a
messenger up river after the fleet to recall it,—a command that could
not be disobeyed, as Brooke held command of the route by which they must
return. Sulkily and resentfully did the Sekrang Dayaks return, without
heads, and without plunder. And for Makota it was a case of the biter
bit, as he had unwittingly enhanced Brooke's prestige. The oppressed
people now learnt that Brooke was not only determined to protect them,
but that he had the power to do it—a power greater than Makota's; and
this strengthened his hands, for many who had wavered through doubt on
this point and fear of Makota, now threw in their lot with him, as
Makota was shortly to discover to his cost.

  "The very idea," wrote Brooke in his Journal, "of letting 2500 wild
  devils loose in the interior of the country is horrible. What object
  can the Malays[90] have in destroying their own country and people
  so wantonly? The Malays take part in these excursions, and thirty
  men joined the Sekrangs on the present occasion, and consequently
  they share the plunder, and share largely. Probably Muda Hasim would
  have twenty slaves (women and children), and these twenty being
  redeemed at the low rate of twenty reals each makes 400 reals,
  besides other plunder amounting to one or two hundred reals more.
  Inferior pangirans would, of course, take likewise."

Mr. Brooke had now been put off for five months, and for six weeks had
withdrawn from all intercourse with Rajah Muda Hasim. As he wrote, "I
have done this man many benefits; and, if he prove false after all his
promises, I will put that mark of shame upon him that death would be
lighter." This was no idle threat, for he sent a final demand to the
Rajah Muda either to perform his promise or to repay him all his outlay,
and a warning that should Hasim do neither he would take sure means to
make him; and the means were at hand, for on his return from Singapore
Mr. Brooke had found the people of Sarawak again at issue with their
ruler, and had once more thrown off their allegiance to the Sultan. They
then offered him that allegiance, and their support to drive Rajah Muda
Hasim and his followers out of the country; this offer was, however,
declined. But a circumstance occurred that precipitated matters. Makota
attempted to poison Brooke's interpreter by mixing arsenic with his
rice. Through the indiscretion of a subordinate the plot was discovered,
and Brooke immediately laid the facts before the Rajah Muda, as well as
"a little treasury" of grievances and crimes against Makota, and
demanded an inquiry. "The demand, as usual, was met by vague promises of
future investigation, and Makota seemed to triumph in the success of his
villainy, but the moment for action had now arrived, and my conscience
told me that I was bound no longer to submit to such injustice, and I
was resolved to test the strength of our respective parties."[91] The
_Royalist's_ guns were loaded, and her broadside brought to bear, and
Mr. Brooke landed with a small armed party. He demanded and immediately
obtained an audience, and pointed out Makota's tyranny and oppression of
all classes, and his determination to attack him, and drive him out of
the country. Not a single man upheld Makota, whilst the Malays rallied
around Mr. Brooke. This was a test of public opinion to which Makota had
to bow, and he was deposed from his governorship. Mr. Brooke's public
installation immediately followed, the Rajah Muda Hasim informing the
people that he was henceforth to rule over them. On the 24th of
September, 1841, a memorable day in the history not only of Sarawak but
of the whole of North-Western Borneo, he was declared Rajah and Governor
of Sarawak, amidst the roar of cannon and a general display of flags and
banners on the shore and the vessels on the river.[92]

On that day he became Rajah of Sarawak, though a feudatory Rajah, a
position which he was not content to hold for long, as such a position
would have proved untenable.

Sarawak was then of very limited extent; it was a little governorship
extending from Cape Datu to the mouth of the Sadong, and included,
besides smaller streams, the Lundu, Sarawak, and Samarahan rivers; and
this district, about 3000 square miles in area, is, with the inclusion
of the Sadong river, now known as Sarawak Proper. In the days of Hasim
Sarawak was not a raj, but a province under a governor. Hasim was not
actually the Rajah of Sarawak, though his high birth gave him the right
to the courtesy title of Rajah. His real title was the Pangiran
Muda;[93] Muda is inseparable from the title, and was not a part of his
name. Pangiran Muda, the heir to the throne, is the correct Bruni title.
Rajah Muda (young Rajah) also means heir-apparent.

The districts from Sarawak up to Bintulu, and beyond, formed separate
provinces, and were under separate governors, but Hasim's high rank
naturally gave him some influence over these officials. Sadong was
governed by Sherip Sahap, his subjects being Land-Dayaks; his power,
however, extended to the head of that river. Sherip Japar of Lingga,
Sherip Mular of Sekrang, and Sherip Masahor of Serikei, held nominal
authority only over the main population of their respective districts
occupied by the Sea-Dayaks, for these people acknowledged no government,
and lived in independence even in the vicinity of the Malays. Such,
moreover, was the case with the Saribas, which was nominally governed by
Malay chiefs. The districts of Muka, Oya, and Bintulu were under Bruni
pangirans, but, having only Melanaus to govern, their control was
complete. In the Baram, a river inhabited by warlike Kayans and Kenyahs,
the Malays, nominal rulers and traders, lived on sufferance alone, and
so it was in the Sea-Dayak countries of the Batang Lupar, Saribas, and
Rejang. Over the Malays, the Land-Dayaks, and the Melanaus, the Bruni
Government had power—the Sea-Dayaks and Kayans scorned it. The sherips,
as the title denotes, are of Arab origin, and they claim descent from
the Prophet. They are half-breeds, and were dangerous men. Earl, in his
_Eastern Seas_, 1837, says:—

  "The pirates who infest the Archipelago consist wholly of the free
  Mahomedan states in Sumatra, Lingin, Borneo, Magindano, and Sulu
  (and he should have added of the Malay Peninsula), those natives who
  have remained uncontaminated by the detestable doctrines of the
  Arabs, never being known to engage in like pursuits."


  The genuine Arabs are often high-minded, enterprising men, but their
  half-caste descendants who swarm in the Archipelago comprise the
  most despicable set of wretches in existence. Under the name of
  religion they have introduced among the natives the vilest system of
  intolerance and wickedness imaginable; and those places in which
  they have gained an ascendency[94] are invariably converted into
  dens of infamy and piracy.

Sir Stamford Raffles says "they are commonly nothing better than
manumitted slaves, and they hold like robbers the offices they obtain as
sycophants, and cover all with the sanctimonious veil of religious

And such were the sherips of Borneo with whom the English Rajah had to
deal, and whose power he eventually broke. There are many of these to
this day in Sarawak, but they have been converted into harmless members
of the community, and some have been good Government officials, notably
Sherip Putra, who died in June, 1906, after having served the Government
well and faithfully for twenty-two years; and he was the son of Sherip
Sahap, and the nephew of Sherip Mular.

The condition of the country on Rajah Brooke's accession is best
described in his own words. After relating the devastations committed by
the piratical and head-hunting Dayaks of Saribas and Sekrang, the Rajah
goes on to say:—

  It is of the hill Dayaks,[95] however, I would particularly write,
  for a more wretched, oppressed race is not to be found, or one more
  deserving the commiseration of the humane. Though industrious they
  never reap what they sow; though their country is rich in produce,
  they are obliged to yield it all to their oppressors; though
  yielding all beyond their bare sustenance, they rarely can preserve
  half _their children_, and often—too often—are robbed of them all,
  with their wives.[96] All that rapacity and oppression can effect is
  exhausted, and the only happiness that ever falls to the lot of
  these unhappy tribes is getting one tyrant instead of five thousand.
  Indeed, it is quite useless to try to explain the miserable
  condition of this country, where for the last ten years there has
  been no government; where intrigue and plunder form the occupation
  of all the higher classes; where a poor man to possess beyond his
  clothes is a crime; where lying is a virtue, religion dead, and
  where cheating is so common; and last, where the ruler, Muda Hasim,
  is so weak, that he has lost all authority except in name and



And further:—

  All those who frequent the sea-shore lead a life of constant peril
  from roving Dayaks and treacherous Malays, and Illanuns and
  Balaninis, the regular pirates. It is a life of watchfulness,
  hide-and-seek, and fight or flight, and in the course of each year
  many lose their lives or their liberty.

  This is the country I have taken upon myself to govern with small
  means, few men, and, in short, without any of the requisites which
  could insure success; I have distraction within and intrigue abroad,
  and I have the weakest of the weak,[97] a rotten staff to depend
  upon for my authority.

To add to his troubles, the season was one of famine following on
intestine troubles. So poor were the people, that, again to quote the
Rajah: "daily, poor wretches in the last stage of starvation float down
the river, and crawl to my house to beg a little, little rice."

One of the first acts of the Rajah was to obtain the return to their
families of the women and children of the late rebel Malay chiefs, who
had been detained by Hasim now for nine months. He then recalled the
Sarawak Malays, who, after submission to Hasim, had retired with their
chiefs to distant parts, not trusting the good faith of their Malay
Rajah and his right-hand man, Makota. The Bruni datus appointed by the
former Governor were displaced, and the old Sarawak Malay datus, who had
been in rebellion against the Bruni Government, and who owed their lives
to Rajah Brooke's intercession, were reinstated, and in their families
the offices remain to this day. Who these chiefs were at that time there
seems to exist some doubt, with the exception of the premier datu, the
Datu Patinggi Ali, who fell gallantly fighting for the Government three
years after he had been reinstated, and the Datu Temanggong Mersal. The
old Datu Bandar, Rancha, had died before this, and no one appears to
have succeeded him directly, but Datu Patinggi Ali's son-in-law, Haji
Abdul Gapur, and his son Muhammad Lana, evidently held office of some
kind as native chiefs. On the Datu Patinggi's death, Haji Gapur
succeeded him in office, and Muhammad Lana became the Datu Bandar. When
Haji Gapur was dismissed in 1854, another son of the Datu Patinggi Ali,
Haji Bua Hasan, was made the Imaum, and a few years afterwards Datu
Imaum, but no one was then, or has since been, appointed to the office
of Datu Patinggi.

On Muhammad Lana's death, his brother Haji Bua Hasan became Datu Bandar,
and, shortly afterwards, another relative, Haji Abdul Karim, was
appointed Datu Imaum, and he was succeeded on his death in 1877 by Haji
Muhammad Taim, the youngest son of the Datu Patinggi Ali. The Datu
Bandar, Haji Bua Hasan, died in harness in 1905, over one hundred years
of age, and has been succeeded by his son, Muhammad Kasim, formerly the
Datu Muda; another son, Haji Muhammad Ali, is the Datu Hakim. These
offices are not hereditary, so this narration will show how well the
family of gallant old Patinggi Ali, the direct descendant of the
original founder of Sarawak, Rajah Jarom, with the sole exception of
Haji Gapur, have earned and retained the confidence of the Government,
and how honourably they have maintained their position.

The Datu Temanggong Mersal belonged to another family, but he and his
sons were not the less staunch; the eldest, brave Abang Pata, rendered
the Government very signal services, and the younger, Muhammad Hasan,
succeeded his father as Temanggong.

The only one who betrayed the trust reposed in him was the Datu Patinggi
Haji Gapur. Of him, as well as the others, we shall hear more in the

About the same time that the old chiefs were reinstated the Rajah
instituted a Court of Justice, in which he presided, and was assisted in
dispensing justice by the brothers of Rajah Muda Hasim, and he
promulgated the following simple laws, of which this is a summary:—

  James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, makes known to all men the following

  1. That murder, robbery, and other heinous crimes will be punished
    according to the written laws of Borneo;[98] and no man committing
    such offences will escape, if, after fair inquiry, he be found

  2. All men, whether Malays, Chinese, or Dayaks are permitted to
    trade or to labour according to their pleasure, and to enjoy their

  3. All roads will be open, and all boats coming from other parts are
    free to enter the river and depart without let or hindrance.

  4. Trade, in all its branches, will be free, with the exception of
    antimony ore, which the Governor holds in his own hands, but which
    no person is forced to work, and which will be paid for at a
    proper price when obtained.

  5. It is ordered that no persons going amongst the Dayaks shall
    disturb them or gain their goods under false pretences. The
    revenue will be collected by the three Datus bearing the seal of
    the Governor, and (except this yearly demand from the Government)
    they are to give nothing to any other person; nor are they obliged
    to sell their goods except they please, and at their own prices.

  6. The revenue shall be fixed, so that every one may know certainly
    how much he has to contribute yearly to support the Government.

  7. Weights and measures shall be settled and money current in the
    country, and doits[99] introduced, that the poor may purchase food

  8. Obedience to the ordinances will be strictly enforced.

The Rajah's next step was to redress some of the wrongs to which the
unhappy people had been subjected, and by ameliorating their condition
to gain their confidence. The Rajah Muda Hasim and his brothers were in
his way, "and the intriguing, mean, base Brunis, who depended upon the
support of the pangirans to escape punishment when guilty;"[100] but,
nevertheless, at the end of the year he was able to write that he had
done much good—that he had saved the lives of many people, restored many
captives to their families, and freed many slaves from bondage, and
above all, that he had repressed vice, and had assisted the distressed.

The Rajah had also to safeguard his country; to prepare to take the
offensive against the Malays and Sea-Dayaks of the Sekrang and Saribas;
and to guard against the plots and designs of his neighbours the
sherips, who viewed with no friendly eye the establishment of a
government in Sarawak, having as its principal objects the suppression
of piracy and lawlessness. It was a menace to them, and they knew it,
and to retain their power they were prepared to go to any length.
Already Sherip Sahap and his brother Sherip Mular had sent people
against the Sempro and Sentah Dayaks; and the former had endeavoured to
withdraw the allegiance of the datus from the Rajah, but in this he
failed. As a defensive measure the Rajah built a fort and palisaded his
little town. He also constructed war-boats for the protection of the
coast, and to take the offensive, which he saw must be inevitable.

The Rajah soon showed the Saribas the power of his arm. Thirteen of
their large war-boats appeared off the coast on a piratical cruise, and
these were met and attacked by three of the Rajah's well-armed boats and
driven back with heavy loss. Retaliation was threatened, and the Dayaks
prepared, but it was a long time before they again appeared, and the
terror of Brooke's name kept them off Sarawak. At this time Sherip Sahap
also received a lesson. He had sent a Pangiran Bedrudin to Kuching on a
secret mission, and the pangiran on his way down river fell in with and
attacked a Chinese boat, wounding two of the crew, one mortally. The
Rajah immediately gave chase, and after eight days came up with them.
One of the pangiran's crew, a Lanun penglima, amoked, but was killed by
the Datu Patinggi Ali before he could do any harm; the rest surrendered,
and were taken to Kuching, where the pangiran, and another, a relation
of his, were executed, and the crew imprisoned.

A month later, two Singgi Dayak chiefs, Pa Rimbun and Pa Tumo, for
killing Segu Dayaks within the State, were arrested and executed. These
examples showed his neighbours that the Rajah was determined to protect
his people; and it showed the people that the law would be administered
with an equal and firm hand.

But as yet the ratification of his appointment had not been made, and on
July 14th, 1842, the Rajah left for Bruni to obtain from the Sultan the
confirmation of his nomination by Hasim, and to effect, if possible, a
reconciliation between the Sultan and his uncle, as he was naturally
desirous to get the latter, his brothers, and their Bruni followers,
away from Sarawak, so as to give stability to the Government, and to
prevent a needless drain upon the treasury. Another object the Rajah had
in view was to obtain the release of about twenty-five Lascars belonging
to an English ship, the _Lord Melbourne_, which had lately been wrecked,
and who had found their way to Bruni, where they were being detained in

As it happened, another English ship, the _Sultana_, had about eighteen
months previously been wrecked on the N.W. coast, struck by lightning,
and the captain, his wife, two passengers, one a lady, and some English
seamen, had escaped to Bruni in the long boat; the Lascars had landed
farther north, and had been captured and sold into slavery by Sherip
Usman. The Sultan seized these unfortunate people, and robbed them of
their money, some jewels, and their boat. He further compelled them to
sign bonds to himself for considerable sums of money, and he had treated
them with harshness and inhumanity.



On hearing of this Mr. Brooke had sent his yacht, the _Royalist_, to
Bruni to obtain their release, but this had been refused by the Sultan,
and then he communicated with Singapore. The East India Company's
Steamer _Diana_ was despatched to Bruni, ran up the river and pointed
its guns on the palace. The Sultan was so thoroughly alarmed that he
surrendered the captives, after a detention of eight months, and the
dread of the "fire-ship" remained on him, so that when the Rajah arrived
he was in a compliant mood, and received him most cordially.

It may be as well here to give a description of Bruni and of its Court.

The Bruni river flows into a noble bay, across which to the north lies
the island of Labuan. Above the town the river is very small, and rises
but some fifteen to twenty miles inland. Where the town is, the river is
very broad, forming a large lake. The town is commanded by hills once
under cultivation; on an island at the mouth of the entrance are the
shattered remains of an old Portuguese fort, which was still standing,
though ruinous, when Hunt visited the place in 1809. The town itself has
been designated the "Venice of Borneo" by old writers, a description to
which the Italian Beccari rightly objected,[101] and is mainly built on
piles driven into the mud on a shallow in the middle of the lake, the
houses occupying wooden platforms elevated some ten feet above the reach
of the tide. Communication between them is effected by canoes, in which
the women daily go through the town selling provisions. It is, in a
word, similar to the palafitte villages found in prehistoric times in
the lakes of Switzerland and Lombardy. A part of the town, including the
houses of the Sultan and the wazirs, is situated on the left bank of the
river. It is the Bruni of Pigafetta's time, though sadly reduced in size
and importance. Then the Sultan's palace was enclosed by a strong brick
wall,[102] with barbicans mounting fifty-six cannon, now it is but a
roughly built barn-like shed. Gone are the richly caparisoned elephants,
and gone too is all the old pride, pomp, and panoply, including the
spoons of gold, which particularly struck the old voyager.[103] Bruni
has no defences now, but, at the period of which we are writing, there
were batteries planted on each side of the inlet commanding the
approach, also two forts on the heights, and one battery on a tongue of
land that looked down the estuary, and which could rake a fleet
advancing towards the town, whilst the batteries on the two banks poured
in a flank fire.

When the tide goes out the mud is most offensive to European nostrils,
as all the filth and offal is cast into it from the platforms, and left
there to decompose. The town at the time of the Rajah's visit, was in a
condition of squalid wretchedness—the buildings, all of wood and leaf
matting, were in a tumbledown state; and the population was mainly
composed of slaves and the hangers on of the Sultan, the nobles, and
other members of the upper classes. The Sultan was a man past fifty
years of age, short and puffy in person, with a countenance indicative
of imbecility. In his journal the Rajah wrote:

  His right hand is garnished with an extra diminutive thumb, the
  natural member being crooked and distorted.[104] His mind, indexed
  by his face, seems to be a chaos of confusion, without dignity and
  without good sense. He can neither read nor write, is guided by the
  last speaker; and his advisers, as might be expected, are of the
  lower order, and mischievous from their ignorance and their
  greediness. He is always talking, and generally joking; and the most
  serious subjects never meet with five minutes' consecutive
  attention. His rapacity is carried to such an excess as to astonish
  a European, and is evinced in a thousand mean ways. The presents I
  made him were unquestionably handsome, but he was not content
  without begging from me the share I had reserved for the other
  pangirans; and afterwards solicited mere trifles such as sugar,
  pen-knives, and the like. To crown all he was incessantly asking
  what was left in the vessel, and when told the truth—that I was
  stripped bare as a tree in winter—he frequently returned to the

The Court at Bruni consisted of the Pangiran Mumin, the Sultan's uncle
by marriage, a fairly well-disposed man, though a friend of Makota, but
of no ability, avaricious, and with the mind of a huckster, who
afterwards became Sultan. There were several uncles of the Sultan, but
they were devoid of influence, and were mostly absent in Sarawak,
whereas the Pangiran Usup, an illegitimate son of Sultan Muhammad
Tejudin, and consequently a left-handed uncle to the reigning Sultan,—a
man crafty, unscrupulous, and ambitious,—held sway over the mind of his
nephew, and induced him to look with suspicion on his uncles of
legitimate birth. This man was in league with the pirates, and a
determined opponent of British interference. Consequently, though
outwardly most friendly, he was bitterly opposed to the white Rajah,
against whom he was already plotting to accomplish his eviction, or his
death. Though Pangiran Usup was well aware of the Rajah's determination
to stamp out piracy and oppression, yet he was not wise enough to
foresee that to measure his strength against a chivalrous and resolute
Englishman, who had even a stronger support behind him than those forces
he was already slowly and surely gathering around himself, must be
futile, and that it would end in his own ruin. Among the Sultan's
legitimate uncles the only man of ability and integrity was the Pangiran
Bedrudin, who had accompanied the Rajah to Bruni, and who was always
frank with him and supported his schemes.

The Rajah had daily interviews with the Sultan, who expressed a great
personal regard for him, and frequently swore "eternal friendship,"
clasping his hand and repeating "_amigo saya, amigo saya_."[105] He
readily confirmed the cession made by Rajah Muda Hasim, being satisfied
with the amount promised as his share of the Sarawak revenue, and said,
"I wish you to be there; I do not wish anybody else; you are my _amigo_,
and it is nobody's business but mine; the country is mine, and if I
please to give you all, I can."

The deed to which Rajah Muda Hasim had affixed his seal on September 24,
1841, was to the following effect:—

  That the country and government of Sarawak is made over to Mr.
  Brooke (to be held under the crown of Bruni), with all its revenues
  and dependencies, on the yearly payment of 500. That Mr. Brooke is
  not to infringe upon the customs or religion of the people; and in
  return, that no person is to interfere with him in the management of
  the country.

The confirmatory deed was executed on August 1, 1842, and was in tenor
and purport similar to that granted by Hasim, with the exception of an
additional clause precluding the alienation of Sarawak by the Rajah
without the consent of the Sultan.

The Sultan also told the Rajah that it would be a delight to him to
welcome both his uncles, Hasim and Bedrudin, back to Bruni, and begged
the Rajah to carry for him a friendly letter to the former, conveying
assurance that he was completely reconciled to him. Bruni, he said,
would never be well until his return. The Lascars of the _Lord
Melbourne_ were at once given up, and the Rajah also procured the
release of three of the _Sultana's_ Lascars, who had been transferred to
Bruni masters. He remained at Bruni for ten days—a period, as he wrote,
"quite sufficient to discover to me the nakedness of the land, their
civil dissensions, and the total decay of their power, internal and

On his return the Rajah received a cordial welcome, for it was believed
that he would certainly be killed in Bruni; and on September 18, the
deed was read appointing him to hold the government of Sarawak. The
ceremony was impressive, but it nearly became tragical. We will give the
Rajah's own description of it. After the deed had been read—

  The Rajah (Muda Hasim) descended, and said aloud "If any one present
  disowns or contests the Sultan's appointment, let him now declare."
  All were silent. He next turned to the Patinggis and asked them.
  They were obedient to the will of the Sultan. Then came the other
  pangirans. "Is there any pangiran or any young Rajah that contests
  the question? Pangiran der Makota, what do you say?" Makota
  expressed his willingness to obey. One or two other obnoxious
  pangirans, who had always opposed themselves to me, were each in
  turn challenged, and forced to promise obedience. The Rajah then
  waved his sword, and with a loud voice exclaimed, "Whoever he is
  that disobeys the Sultan's mandate now received I will separate his
  skull." At the moment some ten of his brothers jumped from the
  verandah, and, drawing their long krises, began to flourish and
  dance about, thrusting close to Makota, striking the pillar above
  his head, and pointing their weapons at his breast. This
  _amusement_, the violence of motion, the freedom from restraint,
  this explosion of a long pent up animosity, roused all their
  passions; and had Makota, through an excess of fear or an excess of
  bravery, started up he would have been slain, and other blood would
  have been spilt. But he was quiet, with his face pale and subdued,
  and, as shortly as decency would permit after the riot had subsided,
  took his leave.

The Rajah now ordered Makota to leave the country, an order that could
not be ignored, though he kept deferring his departure on one pretext
after another, and it was not until the arrival of the _Dido_ some eight
months later that he quitted Sarawak, and that suddenly. He then joined
Sherip Sahap at Sadong, and when that piratical chief's power was
broken, he retired along with him to Patusan. Makota was captured after
the destruction of that place in 1844, but, unfortunately, the Rajah
spared his life. He then retired to Bruni, there to continue his plots
against the English, and in 1845 was commissioned by the Sultan to
murder Rajah Brooke, but found that the execution of this design would
be too distinctly dangerous; and, though he bearded the lion in his den,
it was only in the guise of a beggar. At Bruni he rose to power, and, as
already related in chapter II., became a scourge to the natives in that
part of the sultanate. His end was this:—In November, 1858, he headed a
raid at Awang in the Limbang to sweep together a number of Bisaya girls
to fill his harem, when he was fallen upon by the natives at night time
and killed.

The Rajah now set to work in earnest to put the Government on a sound
footing. He made no attempt to introduce a brand new constitution and
laws, but took what already existed. He found the legal code was just
enough on paper, but had been over-ridden and nullified by the lawless
pangirans. All that was necessary was to enforce the existing laws,
modifying the penalties where too cruel and severe, and introducing
fresh laws as occasion required. "I hate," he wrote in October, "the
idea of an Utopian government, with laws cut and dried ready for the
natives, being introduced. Governments, like clothes, will not suit
everybody, and certainly a people who gradually develop their
government, though not a good one, are nearer happiness and stability
than a government of the best which is fitted at random. I am going on
slowly and surely, basing everything on their own laws, consulting all
the headmen at every step, instilling what I think right—separating the
_abuses_ from the customs." The government which he had displaced was so
utterly bad that any change was certain to be accepted by the people
with hope of improvement; and when it was found, that by the
introduction of a wise system of taxation, which actually doubled the
revenue, whilst to the popular mind it seemed to halve their burden—
when, moreover, they found that justice was strictly and impartially
administered in the courts—they welcomed the change with whole-hearted
gratitude. The Rajah associated the native chiefs with himself in the
government, and found them amenable to wholesome principles, and on the
whole to be level-headed men. By this means mutual confidence was
inspired, and the foundation laid of a government, the principle of
which was and has ever since been "to rule for the people and with the
people," to quote the Rajah writing twenty-two years later, "and to
teach them the rights of freemen under the restraints of government. The
majority of the "Council"[106] secures a legal ascendency for native
ideas of what is best for their happiness, here and hereafter. The
wisdom of the white man cannot become a _hindrance_, and the English
ruler must be their friend and guide, or nothing. The citizen of Sarawak
has every privilege enjoyed by the citizen of England, and far more
personal freedom than is known in a thickly populated country. They are
_not_ taught industry by being forced to work. They take a part in the
government under which they live; they are consulted upon the taxes they
pay; and, in short, they are free men.

"This is the government which has struck its roots into the soil for the
last quarter of a century, which has triumphed over every danger and
difficulty, and which has inspired its people with confidence."

The revenue of Sarawak was in utter confusion. Over large tracts of
country no tax could be enforced, and the Rajah, as he had undertaken,
was determined to lighten the load that had weighed so crushingly, and
was inflicted so arbitrarily on the loyal Land-Dayaks—loyal hitherto,
not in heart, but because powerless to resist. To carry on the
government without funds was impossible, and the want of these was now,
and for many years to come, the Rajah's greatest trouble. Consequently
the antimony ore was made a monopoly of the government, which was a fair
and just measure, and to the general advantage of the community, though
it was subsequently seized upon as a pretext for accusing the Rajah of
having debased his position by engaging in trade. But it was years
before the revenue was sufficient to meet the expenditure, and gradually
the Rajah sacrificed his entire fortune to pay the expenses of the

In undertaking the government he had three objects in view:—

(1) The relief of the unfortunate Land-Dayaks from oppression.

(2) The suppression of piracy, and the restoration to a peaceable and
orderly life, of those tribes of Dayaks who had been converted into
marauders by their Malay masters.

(3) The suppression of head-hunting.

But these ends could not be attained all at once. The first was the
easiest arrived at, and the news spread through the length and breadth
of the island that there was one spot on its surface where the native
was not ground to powder, and where justice reigned. The result was that
the Land-Dayaks flocked to it. Whole families came over from the Dutch
Protectorate, where there was no protection; and others who had fled to
the mountains and the jungle returned to the sites of their burnt

How this has worked, on the same undeviating lines of a sound policy,
under the rule of the two Rajahs, the following may show. Writing in
1867, on revisiting Sarawak, Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel said:

  It brought back to my mind some four-and-twenty years ago, when I
  first came up in the _Dido_ with Sir James Brooke on board, and
  gave the first and nearly the only help he had in securing his
  position, thereby enabling him to carry out his philanthropic
  views for the benefit of a strange race. If he had not succeeded
  to the full extent of his then sanguine hopes, still there is no
  man living, or to come, who, single-handed, will have benefited
  his fellow-creatures to the extent Brooke has. In 1842, piracy,
  slavery, and head-hunting were the order of the day. The sail of a
  peaceful trader was nowhere to be seen, not even a fisherman, but
  along the length of this beautiful coast, far into the interior,
  the Malays and Dayaks warred on one another. Now how different!
  Huts and fishing stakes are to be seen all along the coast, the
  town of Kuching, which on the visit of the _Dido_, had scarcely
  800 inhabitants, now has a population of 20,000. The aborigines,
  who called themselves warriors, are now peaceful traders and
  cultivators of rice. The jungle is fast being cleared to make way
  for farms.

Head-hunting, the third aim which Rajah Brooke held before his eyes, was
an ingrained custom of the race which could not be eradicated at once.
The utmost that he could effect at first was to prevent the taking of
heads of any of the subjects under his rule. All the tribes that were in
his raj were to be regarded as friends, and were therefore not to be
molested. Any breach of the peace, every murder was severely punished.
In a short time head-hunting and intertribal feuds amongst the Sarawak
Dayaks were extirpated, and the raj ceased to be a hunting-field for the
Sekrang and Saribas Dayaks; but they continued to haunt the coast
together with the Lanun and Balenini pirates, and the suppression of
piracy was the most serious undertaking of the three, and took many
years to accomplish.

Early in 1843, the Rajah visited Singapore to further the interests of
his raj, and for a change. His main wish, which he had repeatedly
expressed, was to transfer Sarawak to the Crown, and he likewise
impressed upon the Government the policy of establishing a settlement at
Labuan, and of obtaining a monopoly of the coal in the Bruni Sultanate.
He was able to interest the Chinese merchants in the trade of Sarawak.
But the most important matter was the immediate suppression of the
ravages committed by the pirates, both Dayak and Malay; and here
Providence threw across his path, in the person of Captain the Hon.
Henry Keppel,[107] the very assistance he required. Between the white
Rajah and the Rajah Laut (Sea King), the title by which Keppel became
known, and was ever afterwards remembered in Sarawak, a sincere
attachment arose. Keppel was attracted by the Rajah's lovable
personality, and sympathised with his objects; and, being chivalrous and
always ready to act upon his own responsibility, he at once decided to
lend all the support in his power, which any other naval officer might
have hesitated to have done. The aid he so nobly rendered came at an
opportune time, for it not only administered to the pirates a severe
lesson, but also taught those inimical to his rule that the white Rajah
was not held aloof by his own countrymen, and thus consolidated his
power by reassuring the waverers and encouraging the loyal. The kindly
and gallant Keppel stands foremost amongst the friends of Sarawak, to
which State he rendered not only the splendid services to be recorded in
our next chapter, but ever evinced a keen and kindly interest in its
welfare, and in its Rajahs, to whom he was ever ready to lend his able
support and influence, and of whom the Rajah wrote, "He is my friend and
the benefactor of Sarawak."




Footnote 78:

  Camoen's _Lusiad_ (Sir Richard Burton's translation.) Camoen here
  refers to the islands of the Malayan Archipelago, which he visited in
  his exile some 350 years ago.

Footnote 79:

  St. John tells us that a few years before this an English ship that
  had put into the Sarawak river to water was treacherously seized; the
  Englishmen were murdered, and the Lascars sold into slavery.

Footnote 80:

  _Anglice_, cat.

Footnote 81:

  A short time before the commencement of this history this place had
  been attacked by the Saribas Dayaks, and 120 people were slain.

Footnote 82:

  3000 feet.

Footnote 83:

  Spencer St. John, _Sir James Brooke_, 1879.

Footnote 84:

  Mr. Brooke. He was a good-looking man. Capt. the Hon. H. Keppel gives
  his portrait, the frontispiece to vol. i. of his _Expedition to Borneo
  of H.M.S. Dido_, which is incorrectly entitled the portrait of Rajah
  Muda Hasim.

Footnote 85:

  Spelt Sahib by Mr. Brooke in his letters and journals, and by others,
  but correctly his name was Sahap. He had a reputation for bravery, and
  was styled by the Sekrang Dayaks "Bujang Brani," the brave man.

Footnote 86:

  There is no strict law of primogeniture in Bruni, otherwise Rajah Muda
  Hasim could not have been heir-presumptive. As he was of royal blood,
  and the prince most fitted to succeed, he was looked upon as the heir
  to the throne, and was so acknowledged (publicly in 1846) by the
  Sultan, and was therefore more correctly heir-apparent. At this time
  Sultan Omar Ali had two sons, and the eldest, also named Hasim, must
  have been about thirty-five years of age. There was a disgraceful
  harem scandal in connection with their birth, which pointed to their
  having been the sons of a Nakoda, or merchant. Though this appears to
  have been generally credited, Hasim nevertheless became the 24th
  Sultan in 1885.

  It may be noted here that Omar Ali himself was only _de facto_ Sultan,
  as he was never able to obtain the legal investiture which in Bruni
  constitutes an election to the throne _de jure_, and which confers
  upon the sovereign the title of _Iang de Pertuan_, the Lord who rules,
  the most exalted title, and one which he never assumed.

Footnote 87:

  Or an abbreviation of Muhammad Husain. In former works he is
  incorrectly styled Moksain (for Matsain), following Mr. Brooke's
  published letters and journals, which were badly edited in regard to
  native names and words.

Footnote 88:

  Mr. Brooke.

Footnote 89:

  Mr. Brooke.

Footnote 90:

  The Bruni, not the Sarawak Malays.

Footnote 91:

  Mr. Brooke.

Footnote 92:


Footnote 93:

  By which he was generally referred to, both in documents and verbally,
  by the Malays of Bruni and Sarawak. "Rajah of Sarawak" was a
  complimentary title given to him by Europeans only. He has been
  frequently styled _Muda_ Hasim by former writers; this would be
  unintelligible to a Malay.

Footnote 94:

  Such was this ascendency that they became the founders of the present
  ruling dynasties of Bruni (Chap. II., p. 1), Palembang (Sumatra),
  Pontianak, Sambas, Mindanau, and Sulu, and probably of other native

Footnote 95:


Footnote 96:

  Shortly before Rajah Brooke's arrival, Sherip Sahap with a large force
  of Sekrang Dayaks had attacked the Sau tribe of Land-Dayaks in Upper
  Sarawak. Many were killed, their villages plundered and burnt, and
  nearly all the surviving women and children, to the number of some two
  hundred and fifty, carried off into slavery. The Rajah eventually
  recovered nearly all.

Footnote 97:

  Meaning Rajah Muda Hasim.

Footnote 98:


Footnote 99:

  _Duit_, Malay for a cent.

Footnote 100:

  Rajah Brooke.

Footnote 101:

  "I admit that Bruni has its points, but what irony to compare for a
  moment the city of marble palaces with the mass of miserable huts
  which a single match could easily reduce to ashes."—Beccari, _op.
  cit._ The Rajah called the place a "Venice of hovels." Mercator in his
  Atlas describes it as "being situated on a saltwater lagoon like
  Venice," hence probably it became known as the Venice of Borneo.

Footnote 102:

  _Kota batu_, stone fort. The name still remains. It was built towards
  the close of the fifteenth century by Sherip Ali, the first Arab
  Sultan, with the aid of the Chinese subjects his wife's mother had
  brought to Bruni. The city was then nearer the mouth of the river. It
  was moved to its present position by Sultan Muadin about 200 years

Footnote 103:

  Magellan, _Hakluyt Society_, and the Portuguese Jorge de Menezes, who
  visited Bruni five years after Pigafetta, notices that the city was
  surrounded with a wall of brick, and possessed some noble edifices.
  Other early voyagers describe the sultans and rulers of Malayan States
  as maintaining great style, and their equipments,—such as swords of
  state, saddles, chairs, eating and drinking utensils—as being of pure
  gold. Allowing for some exaggeration, this would still point to a
  former condition of prosperity which enabled rulers and nobles to keep
  up a pageantry which has long since vanished.

Footnote 104:

  This malformation, according to the laws of Bruni, would have
  disqualified him for the throne, for these provide that no person in
  any way imbecile in mind or deformed in person can enjoy the regal
  dignity, whatever title to it his birth might have given him.—Sir Hugh
  Low, _op. cit._ p. 108.

Footnote 105:

  _Saya_, or more correctly, _sahaya_ (mis-spelt _suya_ in the Rajah's
  badly edited journals) is the Malay for I, mine; so _amigo saya_ would
  be, My friend. _Amigo_ was one of the few Spanish words the Sultan

Footnote 106:

  Established in 1855.

Footnote 107:

  Afterwards Admiral of the Fleet. He died, January 1904.


                               CHAPTER IV
                              THE PIRATES

As we have already mentioned, the second, and by far the most difficult,
task that Rajah Brooke had set before him, and was determined to
accomplish, was the suppression of piracy, which he rightly described as
an evil almost as disgraceful to the European nations who permitted it
as to the native States engaged in it.

The principal piratical peoples at the time were the Illanun, or Lanun,
the Balenini, the Bajaus, and the Sulus, all living to the north or
north-east of Bruni, and consequently far beyond the jurisdiction of the
Rajah. To these must be added the Sea-Dayaks of the Saribas and Sekrang,
who, led by their Malay allies, though less formidable to trade, were
far more destructive of human life.

The Sambas Malays had also been pirates, but at this period had ceased
to be such. Earl, who visited Sambas in 1834, says, that "before the
arrival of the Dutch Sambas was a nest of pirates. In 1812, having
attacked an English vessel, several British men-of-war were sent from
Batavia to attack the town. The inhabitants resisted, but were defeated,
the fort was razed to the ground, and the guns tumbled into the river."
The reoccupation by the Dutch shortly afterwards of this place,
Pontianak, and Banjermasin, put some check upon the piratical habits of
the Malays in the western and southern States,[108] but the Malays of
the eastern shores of Borneo, especially those of Koti, to the north and
north-west, were all pirates; and even the people of Bruni were imbued
with piratical habits, which were generally inherent in the Malay
character, though they were not enterprising enough to be openly
piratical, or to do more than encourage their bolder neighbours, from
whom they could obtain plunder and slaves cheaply; and near Bruni,
within the territory of the Sultan, were several piratical strongholds.
All these were under the control of half-bred Arab sherips, as also were
the Saribas and the Sekrangs.

The Lanuns are natives of the large island of Mindanau, or Magindanau,
the southernmost of the Philippine group. They were known to the
Spaniards as "Los Illanos de la laguna," and, in common with all
Muhammadans, were classed by them as Moros or Moors. On the lagoon, or
bay, of Lanun they live. They were the boldest and most courageous of
the pirates, and the most dangerous to Europeans, whom they never
hesitated to attack, not even the Dutch gunboats, and to whom, unlike
the Balenini pirates, they would never give quarter, owing to a hatred,
born of former injustice and inhumanity, received at the hands of those
whom they could only have regarded as white barbarians. They became
incorrigible and cruel pirates, looking upon piracy as a noble
profession, though Dampier, who spent six months amongst them in 1686-7,
and who was very hospitably treated, says nothing of piracy, and he
gives a full and intelligent account of the island, its inhabitants, and
products. He describes the "Hilanoons" as being a peaceable people, who
bought foreign commodities with the product of their gold mines. The
Spaniards had sometime before occupied the island, but the garrison had
to be suddenly withdrawn to Manila, in consequence of a threatened
invasion of that place by the Chinese. The Sultan then seized their
cannon, demolished their forts, and expelled their friars. Then it was
the Dutch they feared; they wished the English to establish a Factory
there,[109] and subsequently, in 1775, ceded a small island to the
H.E.I. Company for that purpose.

Though the Spanish had a settlement on the western end of the island
they were unable to keep the Lanun pirates in check, and on occasions
were severely handled by them, as were also the Dutch.

With these pirates were associated the Bajaus or sea-gipsies, a roving
people, who lived entirely in their prahus, with their women and

The vessels employed by Lanuns on marauding expeditions were sometimes
of 60 tons burden, built very sharp in the prow and wide in beam, and
over 90 feet in length. A double tier of oars was worked by slaves to
the number of 100, and the fighting men would be from 30 to 40; the
prahus of the smallest size carried from 50 to 80 in all. The bows of
the vessels were solidly built, and fortified with hard wooden baulks
capable of resisting a 6-pounder shot; often they were shod with iron.
Here a narrow embrasure admitted a gun for a 6 to a 24-pound shot. In
addition to this, the armaments consisted of several guns, usually of
brass, of smaller calibre. Sometimes the piratical fleets comprised as
many as 200 prahus, though the Lanuns usually cruised in small fleets of
20 to 30 sail. They would descend on a coast and attack any village,
sack and burn it, kill the defenders, carry away men, women, and
children as slaves, slaughter the cattle, and ravage the plantations. A
cargo of slaves captured on the east coast of Borneo would be sold on
the west coast, and those taken in the south would find a ready market
in the north, in Sulu[110] and the Lanun country. Their cruising grounds
were extensive—around the coasts of the Philippine islands, Borneo, and
Celebes to Sumatra, Java, and the Malay peninsula, through the Moluccas
to New Guinea, and even up the Bay of Bengal as far as Rangoon. In 1834,
a fleet of these Lanuns swept round the coast of a small island in the
Straits of Rhio, opposite Singapore, and killed or carried away all the
inhabitants.[111] In addition to their original home in the bay of
Lanun, they had settlements in Marudu Bay in the north of Borneo, and
towns along the west coast almost as far south as Ambong, and on the
east coast to Tungku, and on to Koti. In Marudu their chief was Sherip
Usman, who was married to a sister of the Sultan Muda of Sulu, and who
was in league with Pangiran Usup, uncle to the Sultan of Bruni, and his
principal adviser. Usman supplied the pirates with powder, shot, and
guns, and they, on returning from a piratical expedition, paid him at
the rate of four captives for every 100 rupees worth of goods with which
he had furnished them. Such captives as had been taken in the vicinity
of Bruni he would sell to Pangiran Usup for 100 rupees each, who would
then demand of their friends and relations Rs. 200 for each. "Thus this
vile Sherip, not reckoning the enormous price he charged for his goods
in the first instance, gained 500 per cent for every slave, and the
Pangiran Usup cleared 100 per cent by the flesh of his own countrymen."

In 1844, Ambong was a flourishing town occupied by an industrious and
peaceable people, subjects of the Sultan of Bruni. In 1846, Captain
Rodney Mundy, R.N., visited it, and the town was represented by a heap
of ruins alone; the inhabitants had been slaughtered, or enslaved to be
passed on to Usup, that he might make what he could out of them, by
holding them to ransom by their relatives.

The Balenini were hand in glove with the Lanuns, and often associated
with them in their expeditions. They issued from a group of islands in
the Sulu sea, and acted in complicity with the Sultan of Sulu, whose
country was the great nucleus of piracy. They equipped annually
considerable fleets to prey upon the commerce with Singapore and the
Straits; they also attacked villages, and carried off alike crews of
vessels and villagers to slavery, to be crowded for months in the bottom
of the pirate vessels, suffering indescribable miseries. Their cruising
grounds were also very extensive; the whole circuit of Borneo was
exposed to their attacks, except only the Lanun settlements, for hawks
do not peck out hawk's een. When pursued and liable to be overtaken,
they cut the throats of their captives and threw them overboard, men,
women, and children alike. Up to 1848, the principal Balenini
strongholds were in Balenini, Tongkil, and Basilan islands, but they
were then driven out of the two former islands by the Spaniards, and
they established themselves on other islands in the Sulu Archipelago;
and Tawi Tawi island, which had always been one of their strongholds,
then became their principal one.

Trade with Borneo and the Sulu Archipelago was rendered almost
impossible, or at least a very dangerous pursuit, and even merchantmen
using the Palawan passage to China, which takes them close along the
coast of Borneo, often fell a prey to these pirates.

Earl, writing a year or two before the advent of the late Rajah to
Sarawak, remarks in connection with Borneo, that it ought to be
considered but "an act of justice to the natives of the Indian
Archipelago, whom we have enticed to visit our settlement of Singapore,
that some exertion should be made towards the suppression of piracy." He
blames the unaccountable indifference and neglect which the British
Government had hitherto displayed, and expresses his sympathy for the
natives. He considered it his duty to point the way—it was left to the
late Rajah to lead in it.

The Natuna, the Anamba, and the Tambilan islands, which stretch across
the entrance of the China sea between Borneo and the Malay peninsula,
were common lurking haunts of the pirates. Amongst these islands they
could find water and shelter; could careen, clean, and repair their
prahus; and they were right in the track of vessels bound to Singapore,
or northward to the Philippines or China. To replenish their stores and
to obtain arms and ammunition they would sail to Singapore in
innocent-looking captured prahus, where they found a ready market for
their booty amongst the Chinese. Muskets of English make and powder from
English factories were found in captured prahus and strongholds. At
Patusan a number of barrels of fine gunpowder from Dartford were
discovered exactly as these had left the factory in England.

Against these the Rajah was powerless to take the offensive. They had to
be left to be reduced or cowed by the spasmodic efforts of British
men-of-war. What he urged, though ineffectually, was that a man-of-war
should patrol the coast and curb the ruffians. What was actually done,
but not until later, was to attack and burn a stronghold or two, and
then retire. The pirates fled into the jungle, but returned when the
British were gone, rebuilt their houses, and supplied themselves with
fresh vessels.

Near at hand were the Saribas and Sekrang Sea-Dayaks occupying the
basins of rivers of these names, the Sekrang being an affluent of the
Batang Lupar.

In each of these rivers was a large Malay community of some 1000
fighting men who lived by piracy, and who trained the numerous Dayaks,
by whom they were surrounded, to the same lawless life that they led
themselves, and guided them on their predatory excursions. Here again
both Dayaks and Malays were under the influence of Sherips, Mular, his
brother Sahap, and others. In course of time these Dayaks became expert
seamen, and, accompanied by the Malays, yearly issued forth with fleets
composed of a hundred or more bangkongs,[112] sweeping the seas and
carrying desolation along the shores of Borneo over a distance of 800

The Sea-Dayaks soon became aware of their power; and accordingly, both
in their internal government and on their piratical expeditions, their
chiefs attained an authority superior to that of the Malay chiefs, their
titular rulers.

In May, 1843, H.M.S. _Dido_ started on her eventful cruise to Borneo,
having the Rajah on board. After passing Sambas, Captain Keppel
dispatched the pinnace and two cutters under the first lieutenant, with
whom went the Rajah, to cruise along the coast. Lanun pirates were seen,
but, easily outsailing the flotilla, escaped. Off Sirhasan, the largest
of the group of the Natuna islands, whither the boats had been directed
to go, six prahus, some belonging to the Rajah Muda of Rhio (an island
close to Singapore, belonging to the Dutch, and under a Dutch Resident),
and some to the islanders, mistaking the _Dido's_ boats for those of a
shipwrecked vessel, and expecting an easy prey, advanced with boldness
and opened fire upon them. They were quickly undeceived, and in a few
minutes three out of the six prahus were captured, with a loss of over
twelve killed and many wounded. Neither the Rhio Malays nor those of the
islands were pirates, and the former under an envoy were collecting
tribute for the Sultan of Lingin, but the temptation was irresistible to
a people with piracy innate in their character. They protested it was a
mistake, and that with the sun in their eyes they had mistaken the boats
for Lanun pirates! The little English flotilla had suffered no
casualties, and a severe lesson had been administered, which was rightly
considered to be sufficient. The wounded were attended to, and, having
been liberally supplied with fresh provisions, Lieutenant Wilmot Horton
left for Sarawak to rejoin the _Dido_.

After having been cleverly dodged by three Lanun prahus, the _Dido_
anchored off the Muaratebas entrance on May 13th, and proceeded up to
Kuching on the 16th. Keppel described the Rajah's reception by his
people as one of undisguised delight, mingled with gratitude and
respect, on the return of their newly elected ruler to his country.

The temerity of the pirates had become so great that it was deemed
advisable to despatch the little Sarawak gunboat, the _Jolly Bachelor_,
under the charge of Lieutenant Hunt, with a crew of eighteen marines and
seamen, to cruise in the vicinity of Cape Datu, and there to await the
arrival of a small yacht which was expected from Singapore with the
mails, and to escort her to Kuching. Two or three days after they had
left, at about 3 o'clock one morning, writes Captain Keppel:—

  The moon being just about to rise, Lieutenant Hunt, happening to
  awake, observed a savage brandishing a kris, and performing his
  war-dance on the bit of deck in an ecstasy of delight, thinking in
  all probability of the ease with which he had got possession of a
  fine trading boat, and calculating the cargo of slaves he had to
  sell, but little dreaming of the hornets' nest into which he had
  fallen. Lieutenant Hunt's round face meeting the light of the rising
  moon, without a turban surmounting it, was the first notice the
  pirate had of his mistake. He immediately plunged overboard; and
  before Lieutenant Hunt had sufficiently recovered his astonishment,
  to know whether he was dreaming or not, or to rouse his crew up, a
  discharge from three or four cannons within a few yards, and the
  cutting through the rigging by the various missiles with which the
  guns were loaded, soon convinced him there was no mistake. It was as
  well the men were still lying down when this discharge took place,
  as not one of them was hurt; but on jumping to their legs, they
  found themselves closely pressed by two large war-prahus, one on
  each bow. To return the fire, cut the cable, man the oars, and back
  astern to gain room, was the work of a minute; but now came the
  tug-of-war, it was a case of life and death. Our men fought as
  British sailors ought to do; quarter was not expected on either
  side; and the quick and deadly aim of the marines prevented the
  pirates from reloading their guns. The strong bulwarks or
  barricades, grapeshot proof, across the fore part of the Lanun
  prahus, through which ports are formed for working the guns, had to
  be cut away by round shot before the muskets could bear effectually.
  This done the grape and cannister told with fearful execution. In
  the meantime, the prahus had been pressing forward to board while
  the _Jolly Bachelor_ backed astern; but as soon as this service was
  achieved, our men dropped their oars, and seizing their muskets
  dashed on: the work was sharp but short, and the slaughter great.
  While one pirate boat was sinking, and an effort made to secure her,
  the other effected her escape by rounding the point of rocks where a
  third and larger prahu, hitherto unseen, came to her assistance, and
  putting fresh hands on board and taking her in tow, succeeded in
  getting off, although chased by the _Jolly Bachelor_, after setting
  fire to the crippled prize, which blew up and sank.[113]

None of the crew of this prahu survived, and so few in the second prahu,
that, when she separated from her consort, the slaves arose and put them
to death. They were the same three prahus that had eluded the _Dido_.

Having satisfied himself as to the character of the Saribas and Sekrang
Dayaks, and how the chiefs governing them encouraged their depredations,
and having received an appeal from the Rajah Muda Hasim[114] to relieve
the cost of the perils it underwent, Captain Keppel resolved to attack
the Saribas first, as being the most formidable of the two piratical

Preparations for the expedition were soon commenced. It was to consist
of a native force of 300 Malays, the _Dido's_ three large boats, and the
_Jolly Bachelor_, manned by blue-jackets and marines, all under the
command of Lieutenant Wilmot Horton. The datus were opposed to the Rajah
going—they thought the risk too great, but on his expressing his
determination to do so, and leaving it to them to accompany him or not,
their simple reply was, "What is the use of our remaining? If you die,
we die; and if you live, we live; we will go with you."[115] The Rajah
and Captain Keppel accompanied the expedition in the _Dido's_ gig.

Intelligence of the design was carried far and wide. The Saribas
strengthened their defences, and several of the half-bred Arab sherips
living nearer Sarawak sent in promises of good conduct. Tribes that had
suffered from the depredations of the pirates offered to join in
attacking them, and the force thus augmented by several hundreds of
Dayaks started early in June.

The first skirmish fell to the lot of Datu Patinggi Ali, who, having
been sent on ahead, met a force of seven prahus at the mouth of the
Saribas, which he attacked and drove back, after capturing one. Padi, a
stockaded town some 60 miles up the Saribas river, and the furthest up
of the piratical strongholds, reputed also to be the strongest and most
important, was the first attacked, and though defended by two forts and
two booms of forest trees stretched across the river, and being crowded
with Malay and Dayak warriors, it was carried on the evening of June 11,
and the place committed to the flames. The next day some 800 Balau
Dayaks,[116] under Sherip Japar of Lingga, joined the force, keen to
make reprisals for past injuries.

The enemy, reckoned at about 6000 Dayaks and 500 Malays, had retired
up-river, and against them a small force of about 40 blue-jackets and
the same number of Malays, under the Rajah and Lieutenant Horton,
started the next day. During the night they were repeatedly attacked by
the pirates, who, under cover of the darkness, closed in on their
assailants, especially where some marines held a post on a cleared
height overlooking the river. The pirates lost a good many men, and the
next morning, seeing the force again preparing to advance, sent in a
flag of truce and sued for mercy. The Rajah then met their chiefs and
explained to them that it was in consequence of their acts of piracy
that they were now punished; that they had been cautioned two years
previously to abstain from these marauding expeditions, and that they
had disregarded this monition; he assured them that they would be
unmolested if they abstained from molesting others, but that if they
continued to prey on their neighbours and to interfere with trading
vessels they would receive further castigation.

It was proposed to these people that the towns of Paku and Rembas should
be spared, if they would guarantee the future good conduct of the
inhabitants. They coolly replied that those people deserved the same
punishment, which had better be administered, otherwise they would
continue pirating, and would lead the Padi people astray again.

Paku was taken on the 14th, and burnt; here no resistance was met with.
The next day the chiefs submitted. On the 17th, Rembas was attacked and
taken, the Balau Dayaks, under Sherip Japar, having all the fighting to
do. This was the largest and strongest town, and much plunder was
secured. After receiving the submission of the Rembas chiefs the
expedition returned to Kuching, having, in seven days, destroyed the
strongholds of the most powerful and dreaded pirates on the north-west
coast of Borneo, who for years had defied both Bruni and Sarawak. Such
an impression was produced, that the Sekrangs sent messages promising to
abstain from piracy, and offering, if they were spared, to give up a
hundred women and children captives; and Sherips Mular and Sahap,
fearing the punishment they so richly deserved, sent professions of
future good conduct. These were not accepted, but the day of reckoning
had to be deferred, for Keppel had received orders to return to China.

The Saribas had suffered, but not the redoubtable Sekrangs, and the
former not so severely but that in a couple of years all their losses
could be repaired, their stockades be rebuilt, and fresh prahus
constructed, and the old story of blood and rapine continued with little
intermission, not only by them, but by the Lanuns and Sekrangs as well.

A year was to elapse before Keppel's return; and we will now record in
their sequence the few events of interest that happened during this
short period.

About a month after the departure of the _Dido_, the _Samarang_, Captain
Sir Edward Belcher, arrived at Kuching. Sir Edward had been sent,
consequent on Rajah Brooke's actions and recommendations, to inquire
personally into and report officially upon the affairs and capabilities
of north-west Borneo. As Sir Spenser St. John writes—[117]

  This visit was as useless as such visits usually are. What can the
  most acute naval officer understand of a country during a few days'
  or weeks' visit? He can describe more or less accurately its outward
  appearance; but to understand its internal politics is not possible
  in the time. And yet on such comparatively valueless reports the
  British Government relies in a majority of cases. Mr. Brooke
  suffered more than any other pioneer of civilisation from the

On getting under way to proceed to Bruni the _Samarang_ grounded on a
rocky ledge off the town, and Sir Edward's brief visit was protracted by
a fortnight. The ship, which lay in an extremely critical position, was
righted and got off the rocks before the _Harlequin_, _Wanderer_,
_Vixen_, and _Diana_ arrived to assist her. Accompanied by the Rajah,
Sir Edward proceeded to Bruni towards the end of August, but the
latter's visit was very short; he saw the Sultan for two hours only, and
then, as small-pox was raging in Bruni, departed for Singapore.[118] The
principal object of the Rajah's visit was obtained, as he was enabled to
bear away a deed granting Sarawak in perpetuity to him and to the heirs
of his appointment.

In December the Rajah left for Singapore, and there the next month he
received the news of his mother's death. To quote the Rajah, after the
first shock, he resolved to seek in activity a relief from the lowness
of spirits which he suffered. This led him to join an expedition to
punish certain pirates on the coast of Sumatra for injuries done to
British ships. The ships employed were the _Harlequin_, Captain the Hon.
G. Hastings; the _Wanderer_, Captain Seymour, with whom the Rajah
sailed, and the East India Company's steamer, the _Diana_. At Achin[119]
they found the once powerful Sultan unable to control or punish his own
subjects, and the ships then proceeded to Batu and Murdu, the
strongholds of the pirates. The former town was burnt without offering
much resistance, but the latter gave them a tough fight of five hours
before it was taken. The pirates lost from fifty to seventy men killed
and wounded, the English two killed, and about a dozen wounded, amongst
whom was the Rajah, who was shot inside the right arm, and had an
eyebrow cut in two by a spear. This was on February 12, 1844.

In Singapore the Rajah purchased a new vessel, the _Julia_, having sold
the _Royalist_; the _Julia_ was fitted as a gunboat. Early in June he
returned to Sarawak in the _Harlequin_.

He found that during his absence, his old enemy, Sherip Sahap, had built
many war-boats, and had made great preparations for offensive
operations. Kuching was supposed to be his object, and it had been put
in a state of defence, but on the Rajah's return Sahap deemed it
advisable to retire to the Batang Lupar, and taking with him a large
force marked his course with bloodshed and rapine. He then fortified
himself at Patusan, below the Sekrang, and the Dayaks were sent out
ravaging in every direction. Eight villages were burnt in the Sadong,
the Samarahan people were attacked, and many women and children were
captured. A party even ventured into Sarawak, and cut off two Singgi
Dayaks on their farm, but they did not get off scot free, for the Rajah,
starting in the middle of the night, intercepted their return and gave
them a sharp lesson.

Patusan,[120] the stronghold of Sherip Sahap, with whom was Pangiran
Makota, was on the left-hand bank of the Batang Lupar, about fifteen
miles below the Undup stream, up which, about seven miles from the
mouth, was the stockaded town of Sahap's brother, Sherip Mular. Besides
numerous Malays, these sherips were supported by the Sekrang Dayaks,
then estimated to number some 10,000 fighting men, and these warriors,
though they might not recognise the power of the sherips over them in
other matters, were always ready to respond to a summons to engage in a
plundering raid.

Captain Keppel had been long expected, but the _Dido_ had been detained
in India, and when she arrived on July 30, with the welcome addition of
the H.E.I.C.'s steamer _Phlegethon_, preparations for the coming
expedition against the Batang Lupar were so well forward that it was
enabled to start almost immediately. On board the _Dido_ was the Rajah's
favourite nephew, midshipman Charles Johnson, who eight years later
became the Tuan Muda of Sarawak, and who ultimately succeeded his uncle
as Rajah.

The combined force of blue-jackets, Malays, and Dayaks, headed by the
_Phlegethon_, started from Kuching on August 5th, and on the 7th were
off Patusan. This place was well fortified, sixty-four brass besides
many iron guns were taken there,[121] and its five forts were captured,
with heavy loss to the pirates. The attacking party lost only one man
killed, the captain of the main-top of the _Dido_, who was cut in two by
a cannon-shot whilst loading the bow-gun of the _Jolly Bachelor_; close
to him was the present Rajah, who fortunately escaped unhurt.

So confident had Sherip Sahap and Pangiran Makota been in the
impregnability of their strongholds that they had not taken the usual
precaution of sending their women, children, and property of value, to a
distant place of refuge. On their flight the unfortunate children were
placed in different nooks and corners.



After having completely destroyed the town of Patusan, and Makota's town
about a mile above, the expedition moved on upon the 10th. The
_Phlegethon_ was taken up as far as the Sekrang, a very bold proceeding
considering the dangerous nature of the river, and the force was divided
into three divisions, to ascend the Undup, the Sekrang, and the
main-river; but the pirates, chiefly Malays, offered such a stubborn
resistance in the Undup that these divisions had to be reunited to make
a simultaneous attack. The gallant Datu Patinggi Ali here distinguished
himself in a hand-to-hand fight with the enemy; it was witnessed by the
blue-jackets, who hailed him with three hearty British cheers on his
return. It took the force the whole day to cut through the heavy log
barriers that had been placed across the river below Mular's town, which
the enemy deserted during the night, retiring to a Dayak village some
twenty-five miles farther up the river. After an arduous journey of two
days the landing-place of the village was reached; here occurred a brush
with the pirates, who were pushed back, and old Datu Patinggi nearly
covered himself with glory by almost capturing Sherip Mular, who saved
himself by ignominiously jumping into the river and swimming ashore. A
little later, Captain Keppel and Lieutenant Wade with some seven men
surprised a large force of pirates waiting behind a point; these were so
taken by surprise that they were easily routed, but Lieutenant Wade
rushing on in pursuit was struck by two rifle-shots, and fell at his
commander's feet mortally wounded. The Dayak village was then attacked,
and the enemy scattered.

On the 15th, the _Phlegethon_ was reached, and on the 17th, a force
started up the Sekrang to administer a lesson to the notorious Dayak
pirates of that river, who had been making their presence felt in an
unpleasant manner, continuously annoying the force at night time by
hanging about on the river banks and killing and wounding several of the
Malay and Dayak members of the force. The expedition consisted of seven
of the _Dido's_ and _Phlegethon's_ boats, and the _Jolly Bachelor_, with
a division of a few light native boats under Datu Patinggi Ali as a
vanguard, and the rest of the Sarawak contingent behind as a reserve. On
the 19th, the enemy made a determined stand, blocking the advance of
Patinggi Ali's division with a formidable array of war-boats, and with
thousands of men on each bank, who had selected positions where they
could effectively use their javelins and blow-pipes. Instead of falling
back upon the main body, old Ali bravely dashed on, followed by his
little contingent. A desperate encounter against fearful odds ensued,
and before the ships' boats could come to his support the fine old Malay
chief[122] had fallen along with a Mr. Steward,[123] and twenty-nine of
his devoted followers, fifty-six more being wounded. The gun and rocket
fire of the boats soon turned the tables, and the Dayaks retreated from
their position with considerable loss. The same day their town was
destroyed, and the expedition returned. At Patusan, which was reached on
the 22nd, Captain Sir Edward Belcher, with the boats of the _Samarang_,
joined them, but too late to render any service. At Kuching there was
barely time to get the sick and wounded into comfortable quarters before
news arrived that Sherip Sahap had joined Sherip Japar at Lingga, and
was again collecting his followers. With the addition of the
_Samarang's_ boats, the force immediately started for Lingga; Sherip
Sahap hastily retired, and, though closely pursued, escaped over the
border; Sherip Japar was deposed from his governorship of Lingga; and
Pangiran Makota was captured and sent a prisoner on board the
_Phlegethon_. The Rajah then held a meeting of all the Malay chiefs of
the surrounding country, and in an eloquent speech impressed upon them
the determination of the British Government to suppress piracy; dwelt
upon the blessings arising from peace and trade, and concluded by saying
that the measures lately adopted against piracy were taken for the
protection of all the peaceful communities along the coast. "So great
was the attention bestowed during the delivery of his speech that the
dropping of a pin might have been heard."[124] On September 4th, the
force again reached Kuching.

Sherip Sahap, after residing for a short time in the Kapuas, in Dutch
Borneo, died of a broken heart at Pontianak. Sherip Mular, who also
escaped over the border, subsequently sued for forgiveness, but this was
then refused.[125] Sherip Japar, who the previous year had rendered good
service against the Saribas pirates, was removed to Ensingai in the
Sadong. Pangiran Makota, who so richly deserved death, and who as a
matter of policy alone, as well as in the interests of humanity, should
have been executed, was spared by the Rajah, and allowed to retire to
Bruni, with what results we have already noted.

Early the next year the Saribas and Sekrang Dayaks visited the Rajah at
Kuching and formally tendered their submission. The promises then made
of future good behaviour would probably have been observed, and those,
of which there was now a large party, in favour of peace have been
upheld, had the British Government afforded the Rajah continuous support
for a short time, even in the shape of a small brig-of-war. "We must
progress or retrograde" was the Rajah's timely, though unheeded warning.
But the desired support was denied, and gradually the piratical party
again became dominant, and in less than two years found themselves in a
position once more to defy the Rajah, and to spread terror along the
coast. But with this, and their final, though tardy punishment, we shall
deal later.

The Rajah seeing how precarious his position was, had offered the
cession of Sarawak to the British Crown without remuneration, though he
had now laid out £10,000 upon its development. He showed how by
developing the trade and the natural wealth of the land through British
influence, river after river might be opened up to commerce. He
entreated that steady and unremitting efforts should be made for the
suppression of piracy. But the Government shrank from the extension of
its Colonies, it was afraid of being dragged into a second New Zealand
scheme, and it consented, reluctantly, to afford him help, and that but
inadequate, against the pirates.

  "It is easy," wrote the Rajah at the close of the previous year,
  "for men to perform fine feats with the pen; it is easy for the rich
  man to give yearly thousands in charity; it is easy to preach
  against the slave trade, or to roar against piracy; it is easy to
  bustle about London, and get up associations for all kinds of
  objects—all this is easy, but it is not easy to stand alone—to be
  exiled—to lay out a small fortune—to expend life and health and
  money—to risk life itself, when the loss would be without glory and
  without gain.... I am enabled to dispense happiness and peace to
  many thousand persons. I stand alone; I appeal for assistance and
  gain none; I have struggled for four years bearing my life in my
  hand. I hold a commanding position and influence over the natives; I
  feel it my paramount duty to gain protection and some power. I state
  it in so many plain words, and if, after all, I am left to my own
  resources the fault of failure is not with me. This negotiation with
  Government is nearly at an end, or if protracted, if I perceive any
  intention of delay, or any coolness, I will myself break it off and
  trust to God and my own wits.... If they act cordially they will
  either give me a plain negative or some power to act, in order that
  I may carry out my views. If they haggle and bargain any further I
  will none of them, or if they bother me with their suspicions, or
  send any more gentlemen for the purpose of espionage, I will assert
  the independence I feel, and send them all to the devil."

This, it must be remembered, was in a private letter. His position was
precarious. He, with less than half-a-dozen Englishmen, had established
himself as reigning prince over Sarawak; its population consisted mainly
of timid Land-Dayaks, useless in warfare, and there were only a few
hundred Malays and Sea-Dayaks upon whom he could rely to protect the
little State against its powerful and actively hostile neighbours. Even
his own people were in a condition of tension and hesitation, not
knowing whether the arm of England would be extended in his support, or
be withdrawn, leaving him to succumb under the krises of assassins.

It is perhaps as well that the British Government did leave the Rajah so
much alone; that he was able to exercise a free hand to carry out his
own ideas, and that he was not crossed or hampered by the changing
policies of the different Cabinets that came into power—some ready to
extend the limits of the Empire, others shrinking from responsibilities,
and seeking to contract the sphere of British influence within the
narrowest limits, but all timid and nervous of opposition from the
adverse party. The little State has thus had the advantage of having
been governed for just seventy years _directly_ by two of the ablest
rulers of Orientals, having an intimate knowledge of their subjects and
their requirements, and governing with their people, instead of having
been subject to the capricious and often stupid government of the
Colonial Office, and of ever-changing governors. Unfortunately the late
Rajah was subsequently "crossed and hampered" from home, notably by the
little England party at whose head stood Mr. Gladstone, and the greatest
evil was done to Sarawak by his own countrymen supported by a timorous
Government. Happily, the English rajahs, the second as well as the
first, by their honesty of purpose and their inflexibility of resolution
gathered about them a host of native adherents; these they inspired with
self-respect, and confidence in their rulers, and thus formed a mass of
public opinion that went far towards making their rule permanent, and
enabled it to withstand checks from within and from without.

The Dutch at this time had been making praiseworthy efforts to check the
Lanuns; they had destroyed several piratical fleets, and were preparing
on a large scale to drive them off the seas; in this, however, they

For some time the Rajah was free from his troublesome neighbours, and he
devoted his time to the affairs of his little State, the population of
which had just received an addition of 5000 families of Malays from the
disturbed districts along the coast.

Not till Hasim and his train of obstructive and rapacious hangers-on had
departed from Sarawak could the benefits of the Rajah's administration
take complete effect. So long as these men remained, with their
traditions of misrule, and their distorted ideas of the relation between
the governor and the governed, a thousand difficulties were interposed,
thwarting the Rajah's efforts, and these had to be circumvented or
overcome. The pangirans, great and small, great in their
self-confidence, proud of the mischief they had wrought, small and mean
in their selfish aims, viewed the introduction of reform with
ill-disguised hostility; and the Rajah Muda Hasim in their midst formed
a nucleus about whom disaffection and intrigue must inevitably gather
and grow to a head. Only Bedrudin was heart and soul with the Rajah, so
far as his lights went. He was a man of intelligence and generous
spirit, who had taken the lesson to heart that by good government, the
encouragement of commerce and the peaceful arts, the country would
thrive and the revenue in consequence largely increase, and that his
brother pangirans were blindly and stupidly killing the goose that laid
golden eggs. To him the Rajah was sincerely attached, and the attachment
was reciprocated. Personally, the Rajah was sorry when Bedrudin had to
return with his brothers to Bruni; but the Sultan's recall was
imperative, and it obviated all risk of the prince being made,
unwillingly, a gathering point of faction. It was advisable, moreover,
that there should be near the Sultan's ear a man like Bedrudin, who
would give wise counsel; and Hasim, weak and vacillating as he was,
could show his nephew by his own experience that advantage would accrue
to him by adopting a policy favourable to British enterprise, and by
warning him that disaster, though approaching with lagging feet, must
overtake him inevitably if he attempted to thwart it. Furthermore, the
Sultan had been loud in his professions of affection for his dear absent
uncles, and of his desire to have them about his person.

Early in October, H.M.S. _Samarang_, Captain Sir Edward Belcher, and the
H.E.I.C.'s steamer _Phlegethon_, arrived to convey to Bruni, Rajah Muda
Hasim, his brothers, and their numerous families, retainers, slaves, and
hangers-on. The Rajah himself went up in the _Samarang_. On approaching
Bruni there were signs of hostility from four forts on Pulo Cheremin,
which Pangiran Usup had frightened the Sultan into building, but the
flag of Hasim reassured the Brunis. The exiles were well received. The
Sultan declared he would listen to no other adviser than Hasim, and the
people were in favour of him. Though Pangiran Usup had gained great
influence over the Sultan he deemed it prudent to dissemble, and
declared himself ready implicitly to obey Hasim, and as a proof of good
faith at once dismantled the new forts on Hasim ordering him to do so.
The poorer classes, who had heard of the peace and security enjoyed by
the inhabitants of Sarawak, openly expressed their desire that the Rajah
should remain and govern conjointly with Pangiran Muda Hasim. Labuan
island, which the Sultan now offered the Rajah, was examined, and the
Rajah considered it superior to Kuching for a settlement, as being in a
more central and more commanding position.[126]

In February, 1845, Captain Bethune of H.M.S. _Driver_, anchored in the
Sarawak river, and brought a despatch from Lord Aberdeen appointing the
Rajah confidential agent in Borneo to her Majesty, an appointment made
mainly upon the Rajah's own suggestion that official recognition would
go far to help him. He at once proceeded to Bruni in the _Driver_,
bearing a letter from the Foreign Office to the Sultan in reply to his
letters requesting assistance to suppress piracy; and Captain Bethune
had been directed to select a suitable locality on the N.W. coast for
the formation of a British settlement, whence the sea along the north
and west coasts might be watched, and where there was coal suitable for
a coaling station.

The letter was received by the Sultan and his pangirans with due
honours, and the Rajah told them that he "was deputed by her Majesty the
Queen to express her feelings of goodwill, and to offer every assistance
in repressing piracy in these seas." The Sultan stared. Muda Hasim said,
"We are greatly indebted; it is good, very good."[127] And the Sultan
had reason to stare. Pangiran Usup, who was also present, was no doubt
likewise too much taken aback to do anything else, ready as he was with
his tongue, for such a proffer was as unexpected as it was unwelcome.
Hitherto they had imagined, and with some reason, that owing to its
slowness and inaction, the British Government was lukewarm in its
intentions to suppress piracy; that outward professions would not be
taken seriously, and were all that was needed of them to cover their
secret encouragement of their piratical neighbours. The Sultan, however,
was a clever dissembler; he joined with Hasim in expressing a hope that
with the Rajah's assistance the government of Bruni might be settled,
piracy suppressed, and trade fostered.

The Rajah then went to Singapore to meet the Admiral, Sir Thomas
Cochrane, and to endeavour to interest him in Bornean affairs, to gain
his assistance against the pirates, and in support of the party in Bruni
that was in favour of reform. He was successful as the sequel will show,
and in May returned to Bruni in the _Phlegethon_. He then discovered to
his no little concern that the Princes Hasim and Bedrudin were in such
danger that their brothers begged to be allowed to return to Sarawak.
They were exposed to the intrigues of Pangiran Usup, who had not only
poisoned the mind of the Sultan against his uncles of legitimate blood,
but who was also bitterly hostile to English interference with piracy,
which was the main source of his revenue. The imbecile Sultan, vicious
at heart, and himself a participator in the spoils of piracy, was of too
contracted a mind to be able to conceive the advantages that could be
obtained were his capital converted from a nest of brigands and slaves
into an emporium of commerce; and he was totally indifferent to the
welfare of the greater portion of his subjects, who being pagans, were
created by Allah to be preyed upon by the true believers.[128] He was
accordingly induced to listen to Usup, of whom he was really frightened,
and to mistrust Hasim and Bedrudin. To add to Hasim's troubles, the
pirate chief of Marudu, Sherip Usman, had sent a defiant message
threatening to attack him for favouring the English. If unsupported, the
Rajah foresaw that Hasim would be dragged into a civil war which might
end in his downfall. His life was in peril owing to his leaning towards
the British Government, and the Rajah was determined to uphold him; if
necessary, by bringing a force from Sarawak to carry Bruni. If too late
to save him and Bedrudin, he resolved to burn Bruni from end to end, and
take care it should remain afterwards in desolation.

The Rajah again proceeded to Singapore, and sufficiently interested the
Admiral in Bruni affairs to induce him to call at that place with his
squadron on his way to China. A fresh outrage by Sherip Usman in
plundering and burning a brig decided the Admiral to take measures
against him, and by his detention in slavery of two British subjects
Pangiran Usup himself gave sufficient cause to call for punishment;
these captives he had placed in confinement whenever a man-of-war

On August 9, Sir Thomas Cochrane had an interview with the Sultan, and
the following morning called upon him for the restoration of the
captives held by Usup, and for his punishment. The Sultan replied that
Usup refused obedience to him, and that he was powerless to enforce it,
and, as the offence was committed against the British, he requested the
Admiral himself to take Usup in hand. Though the Admiral had brought a
line-of-battle ship, two frigates, two brigs, and three steamers, Usup,
"strong in the idea of his strength," was foolhardy enough to defy him,
and prepare for resistance. A shot was fired over his house from the
_Vixen_, which was replied to by the guns of his fortified house,
thereupon the steamer poured in a broadside and knocked the house to
shivers. Usup fled with the few retainers he had with him—he had taken
the precaution to send away his women and treasure the day before. We
will return to him shortly.

The fleet then sailed to call Sherip Usman to account. His stronghold in
Marudu Bay was attacked by a force of 550 men in twenty-four boats, and
after a stout resistance was taken with a loss of some twenty killed and
wounded. Amongst the former was Lieutenant Gibbard, and near him, when
he fell, was the present Rajah, then a midshipman on the _Wolverine_.
The pirates suffered heavily. Many sherips and chiefs were killed, and
Sherip Usman was himself mortally wounded—he was carried away to die in
the jungle. As in the Batang Lupar the year previously, several proofs
of piracies committed upon European vessels here came to light in the
shape of articles taken from ships; and such articles would probably
have been more numerous had there not been a market in Singapore for the
more valuable commodities.

The Rajah now returned to Sarawak in the _Cruiser_, visiting Bruni on
his way. Here he learnt that two days after he had left the town,
Pangiran Usup, full of rage and resentment, had gathered a force to
attack Bruni and take and kill Pangiran Muda Hasim, and his brother
Pangiran Bedrudin, but the latter met him, inflicted on him a signal
defeat, and Usup was constrained to fly to Kimanis, some seventy-five
miles to the north-east of the capital, over which district he was
feudary lord. Then the two uncles insisted upon their nephew the Sultan
issuing a decree for his execution. This was done, and the order
transmitted to the headman at Kimanis. It was carried out by him with
characteristic perfidy. Pretending to entertain a lively friendship for
the refugee, he seized an opportunity, when Usup had laid aside his
weapons in order to bathe, to fall upon him and strangle him. His
brother, Pangiran Yakub, was executed at the same time.

At the close of 1845, Sarawak was at peace within and without. Trade was
flourishing, and by immigration the population had increased fourfold,
and what had been but a few years before a most miserably oppressed
country was now the happiest and most prosperous in Borneo.

The Rajah felt more secure, but he still wished for a man-of-war to
guard the coast, and, above all, for British protection, and a flag with
the Union cantoned in it.

In October, Sherip Mular, with Sherip Ahmit,[129] was again amongst the
Sekrang Dayaks, and had induced them to go on a piratical expedition
with Sherips Amal, Long, and their father Sherip Abu Bakar, but this
rising the Rajah was easily able to suppress with his own Malays aided
by the Balau Dayaks. The marauders were met and defeated by the Balaus,
who captured their eighteen boats, arms and ammunition, and slew the
Sekrang Dayak chief, Apai Beragai, but the three sherips unfortunately
escaped into the jungle, and fled to Saribas. Timely warning of Sherip
Mular's conduct had been sent the Rajah by the well-disposed Malay and
Dayak chiefs of the Sekrang, of whom there were now many. But the
sherips returned, and again gaining confidence and ascendency over the
well disposed, in February, 1846, the Sekrang Dayaks once more burst
out, and with a force of some 1200 men laid waste the coast, burning
villages, killing men, and carrying women and children into slavery.
They had fortified themselves up the Sekrang, and felt themselves to be
in a position to repel the attack of any force that might be sent
against them.

In the Sadong, on the Rajah's recommendation, a Malay chief named Abang
Kasim had been appointed governor by the Bruni Government in succession
to Sherip Sahap, with the title of Datu Bandar;[130] he was a man weak
in character, but with brains enough to be mischievous and get himself
into trouble; and the Land-Dayaks there were again being so oppressed by
the Malays that the Rajah found it necessary to warn the latter that
they would be punished and turned out of the river if they did not

The Sea-Dayaks of the Kanowit river, a large affluent of the Rejang
running towards the head of the Sekrang, by reason of their raids on the
Melanaus of Muka, Oya, Matu, and the Rejang delta, now came under the
Rajah's notice. The Datu Patinggi Abdul Rahman,[131] who was the nominal
Bruni governor of this large river, had sent letters to the Rajah
stating his desire to put down piracy; these were accepted as an
expression of good faith, though he was suspected of conniving in these
raids, and the Rajah promised him assistance. The Kanowit Dayaks were
from the Sekrang, and were joined in their expeditions by the Saribas
and Sekrang Dayaks, who marched overland to join them, so as to obtain a
safer outlet to the sea than was now afforded by the mouths of their own
rivers. They had lately destroyed Palo, in the delta, killed the men,
and had carried the women and children into captivity.

After the death of Pangiran Usup it might have been supposed that the
Sultan, feeble and irresolute, would have fallen under the influence of
his uncles, Hasim and Bedrudin, and would have been led to favour the
English alliance, but this was not so. He was angry at the rout of the
pirates of Marudu, and sore at being constrained to sign the death
warrant of Usup, his favourite and adviser; as also at the shrinkage of
the profits derived from the pirates, though at the expense of the lives
and persons of his own subjects. He bore towards Hasim and Bedrudin that
dislike which a narrow and dull mind feels towards those who are morally
and intellectually his superiors, and such as a reigning prince not
infrequently entertains towards the man who will succeed him on his
throne. Accordingly he surrounded himself with a number of scoundrels,
led by one Haji Seman, a man of low birth, the successor of Pangiran
Usup as the Sultan's chief adviser, who fawned on and flattered him, and
to whom he could pour forth his grievances; and these men, many of them
pangirans and chiefs, fanned his animosities, and encouraged him in his
evil courses, for they were still favourable to the piratical party, and
were desirous of avenging the death of Pangiran Usup and the destruction
of Marudu. The princes, especially Hasim, who had recently been publicly
declared successor to the throne by the Sultan, with the title of Sultan
Muda, and Bedrudin, were well aware that they were regarded with
disfavour, and that there was a powerful party against them; they knew
they were in danger, though they did not suspect that the danger was so
imminent, and had applied for protection or release from their
engagements, but, to quote the Rajah, "they were not protected, they
were not released, except by a bloody death in their endeavour to carry
them out." The Sultan detested them as favouring the English Rajah, and
inclined to a pro-British policy, and he resented having these men so
near the throne, and that the succession should devolve on Hasim to the
prejudice of his own reputed son, so he resolved to sweep them from his
path, and to break his engagements with and to defy the English. As a
further incentive his avariciousness was played upon, and it was pointed
out to him how much he would gain by acquiring the riches of his uncles
were he to put them to death. Swayed by his own atrocious motives, this
wretched imbecile, "brutal in spite of his imbecility," who had "the
head of an idiot and the heart of a pirate," readily yielded to the
promptings of his perfidious counsellors, and issued orders for the
despatch of all his uncles. So secretly were preparations made to carry
out the execution of this mandate that the doomed princes were taken
completely by surprise by the well-armed bands that silently and
simultaneously surrounded their houses in the darkness of the night.
With most of the brothers resistance was impossible, and they were soon
butchered, but Bedrudin fought heroically. He could, however, do little
against the large body of murderers opposed to him, with only a few
followers to assist him. These latter were soon cut down or had fled.
His sister and a favourite concubine remained, and fought by his side,
as well as a faithful slave, a lad named Japar. Desperately wounded,
having had his left wrist broken by a shot, his shoulder and chest cut
open so as to disable his right arm, and his head and face slashed, but
not before he had cut down several of his assassins, Bedrudin, with the
women and the lad, who had also all been wounded, retired into the house
and barred the door. He bade the lad bring him a keg of powder, break in
the head, and strew some of the contents about himself and his female
companions; then he drew off his signet ring, and ordered Japar to
escape and bear it to his friend the Rajah, with the message that he
should tell the Queen of England of his fate, that he had been true to
his engagements, and begging his friend, with whom his last thoughts
were, never to forget him. Japar slipped through an aperture in the
floor, dropped into the water, and swam to a canoe, in which he escaped.
Then, whilst the murderers, awed by his courage and desperation, were
hesitating to break into the house, the true-hearted prince applied the
match which blew himself and his two noble companions into

The Sultan Muda Hasim, though wounded, managed to escape from his
burning house to the opposite side of the river with several of his
brothers, his wife and children, but he was pursued and surrounded by
numbers. Most of his brothers had been killed, and others wounded, and
no hope remained to him but to throw himself on the mercy of his nephew,
the Sultan. He sent messages to him to beg that his life might be
spared, but this was peremptorily refused. Death being inevitable, he
retreated to a boat that chanced to be moored to the bank, and placing a
cask of gunpowder in the cabin called upon his three brothers and his
sons who were with him to enter, and immediately firing the train, the
whole party was blown up. Hasim, however, was not killed by the
explosion, but, determined not to be taken alive, he put a pistol to his
head and blew out his brains.

Of the many uncles of the Sultan but four escaped, and many of their
relations, as well as other chiefs, were sacrificed. Hasim's full
brother, Muhammad, was desperately wounded, and so cowed as to have his
spirit broken. He was spared as being harmless. Another brother went
permanently mad with terror. Thus the royal family had been nearly
exterminated, and the omen of the death of Rajah Api fulfilled.

Japar escaped on board H.M.S. _Hazard_, which had arrived and anchored
below Bruni some three months after the tragedy, and was taken in her to
Kuching. He was instrumental in saving the life of Commander Egerton by
warning him not to land, as a plot had been formed to take his life.

When news of this crime, which took place at the end of December or the
beginning of January, 1846, reached the Rajah he was deeply moved. Of
Bedrudin, whose loss he considered irreparable, he wrote:—

  A nobler, a braver, a more upright prince could not exist. I have
  lost a friend—he is gone and I remain; I trust, but in vain, to be
  an instrument to bring punishment on the perpetrators of the
  atrocious deed.... My suzerain the Sultan!—the villain Sultan!—need
  expect no mercy from me, but justice he shall have. I no longer own
  his authority, or hold Sarawak under his gift ... he has _murdered
  our friends_, the faithful _friends_ of Her Majesty's Government,
  _because they were our friends_.

The Rajah trusted the British Government would take action against the
Sultan, but if not, remembering he "was still at war with this murderer
and traitor," he would make "one more determined struggle" to punish him
and to rescue the survivors of the Sultan Muda's family, and if that
failed, then Borneo[133] and all for which he had so long, so earnestly
laboured, he considered must be abandoned. But help was drawing near,
for Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane on hearing of these troubles
hastened from India with his squadron to support the Rajah,[134] and to
bring the Sultan to account. The fleet arrived off Sarawak at the end of
June, and, picking up the Rajah, the Admiral at once proceeded to Bruni,
visiting Serikei and Kanowit up the Rejang on the way, to administer a
warning to the people there. The Sultan, frightened at what he had done,
and expecting reprisals, which, however, he was determined to oppose by
force, strengthened the existing defences, threw up new ones, and called
together 5000 men for the defence of the capital. He proclaimed that he
was determined to have no more dealings with the English, and that he
purposed to drive the English Rajah from Sarawak.

On the arrival of the fleet at the mouth of the Bruni river the Sultan
made a clumsy attempt, similar to that he had made on Commander Egerton,
to get the Admiral into his power. He sent two men, who represented
themselves to be pangirans, in a gaily decked prahu to welcome the
Admiral, with a letter to the Rajah, expressing hurt surprise at the
conduct of Commander Egerton in not having visited him and in having
refused his presents, and begging the Rajah to put no faith in Japar's
tales. The messengers said that the Sultan would not permit the Admiral
to take up more than two boats with him; but these men were detected by
the Rajah to be men of no rank, so they were detained on board, and
their prahu was secured astern.

On the 8th, having transferred his flag to the steam frigate _Spiteful_,
the Admiral proceeded up to Bruni with the _Phlegethon_ leading the way,
and the _Royalist_ which was towed by the _Spiteful_. The gunboats of
the ships left behind also attended, and the total number of
blue-jackets and marines was 600; yet the Brunis, trusting to their
superiority in numbers, and to the really efficient steps they had taken
to fortify the town and its approaches, felt confident that they could
successfully oppose this formidable force, and opened fire on the
_Phlegethon_ as she approached the lower batteries. Fortunately the guns
were aimed too high to do damage. The fire was at once returned,—guns,
rockets, and muskets responding; the blue-jackets and marines dashed
ashore, and the enemy, commanded by Haji Seman, not awaiting their
onslaught, fled into the jungle, abandoning the guns. The squadron then
advanced, silenced battery after battery, seven or eight in number, and
captured the cannon in them, consisting of 68, 42, and 32 pounders,
which, had they been well laid and served, would have seriously crippled
the ships; and the forts were so strongly constructed and so well
placed, that they would have been difficult to capture had they been
manned by a less despicable foe. As it was, the loss incurred on both
sides was but slight.

The Sultan, his army, and the population fled, and as night fell, Bruni
was an empty shell. A week was spent by Captain Mundy of the _Iris_,
with whom went the Rajah, in a fruitless endeavour to capture the
Sultan, but he scampered away beyond reach, and the force, after
destroying his inland stronghold, returned to the ships.

The people soon began to return, and a provisional government was formed
by the Rajah with Pangiran Mumin, who afterwards became Sultan, and
Pangiran Muhammad at its head, and a message was despatched to the
Sultan with assurances of safe-conduct, if he would return to Bruni,
govern wisely and justly, and observe his engagements with the English
to do all in his power to keep the piratical party in check. Sir Thomas
Cochrane regretted that he had not the authority, as he had the power,
to place the Rajah on the throne, a measure which he was convinced would
have been hailed with acclamation by the whole people. After having
completely destroyed all the batteries,[135] the Admiral sailed on July
20 to look up the piratical villages to the north-east of Bruni, taking
the Rajah, and leaving the _Hazard_ as a guard-ship at Bruni. Off
Tempasuk a Lanun prahu was captured, having two Spanish captives on
board, who had been taken off Manila; the crew of this prahu were sent
in irons to Manila to be dealt with by the Spanish authorities—we may
presume they never returned. Tempasuk was burnt on August the 1st, and
Pandasan the next day. Both the _Royalist_ and the _Ringdove_ had
brushes with pirate vessels, the former destroying two with their crews,
and the latter one, but with the loss of her master and a marine.

After visiting the late Sherip Usman's town in Merudu, which it was
found had not been occupied since its destruction just a year
previously, the Admiral passed on to China, leaving Captain Mundy, whom
the Rajah now joined on the _Iris_, to take any further operations
against the pirates that might be found necessary. One pirate prahu was
met with and destroyed, also another small Lanun stronghold near
Pandasan. At Kimanis information was received that Haji Seman, after he
had fled from Bruni, had fortified himself at Membakut, near the Kimanis
river; he was attacked and driven into the interior. The Lanuns shortly
afterwards abandoned the north-west coast, and established themselves at
Tungku on the east coast, where they were long left unmolested.

On the return of the Rajah to Bruni in the _Phlegethon_ on August 19, he
found the Sultan still absent, so sent him a message that if he returned
he would be answerable for his safety, and in reply the Sultan sent a
humble letter laying his throne and kingdom at the Rajah's feet. He at
once returned and sued for pardon. The Rajah would not see him until the
murderers of his uncles had been brought to justice, and until he had
given convincing proof of his intention to govern his country uprightly,
with the assistance of advisers worthy of trust; pardon he must ask of
the Queen, upon whose flag he had fired, and the agreements he had
previously made must be re-ratified. All this the Sultan engaged to do.
In addition, he paid royal honours at the graves of his murdered
relatives; and, taking the most humble tone and position, gave Sarawak
to the Rajah unconditionally, and granted him the right of working
coal.[136] But even then the Rajah refused to see him.

To conclude the story of Sultan Omar Ali, he gave little more trouble
after the severe lesson he had been taught, became afflicted with cancer
in the mouth, and died in 1852, when Pangiran Mumin succeeded to the
throne. He was a brother-in-law to the murdered princes, but only
remotely connected with the royal family, being descended from Muhammad
Ali the twelfth Sultan of Bruni, in or about 1660, brother of the Sultan
Abdul Jalil ul Akbar, the ancestor of Omar Ali, who was seventh in
descent from him. The feeble-minded Abdul Mumin died at a great age in
1885, when he was succeeded by Hasim Jalil ul Alam Akmadin, the reputed
son of Omar Ali; he died in 1906, over 100 years of age, and was
succeeded by his son, the present Sultan, Muhammad Jamal ul Alam.

The Rajah returned to Kuching at the end of August in the _Phlegethon_,
with "a perfect menagerie of old women and children," the unhappy
survivors of the Sultan Muda's family.[137] Many other families had
already fled from Bruni to seek a refuge in the universal haven,

By the deed which the Rajah now bore back with him, the one under which
Sarawak Proper is still held, the sovereignty of James Brooke and his
heirs in perpetuity over the raj was acknowledged absolutely, and by it
the Sultan surrendered his claim to suzerainty. No yearly payment was to
be made for the province,[138] and it was left to the Rajah to dispose
of as he pleased; hence he was at liberty to hand it over to a foreign
government if he so wished.[139] Sarawak now became _de jure_
independent; _de facto_, it had been independent for some years; and the
Rajah "held a double claim to its possession—the will of a free people
strengthened by the cession made by a sovereign, who was unable to rule
his subjects."[140] Such being the position of the Sultan, the Rajah
maintained the title _de jure_ to be of small value, whilst the title
derived from the election and support of a free people he considered of
superior importance. The power of Bruni had become but a shadow, not
only in Sarawak but along the coast as far as Oya, and the prerogative
of the Sultan to grant their country to any one was disavowed by the
people of Sarawak. Their ancestors had been free, and they had but a few
years previously voluntarily placed themselves under the Bruni
Government, upon certain conditions, but in the decay of the Government
of Bruni these had been disregarded, and misrule succeeded. They
rebelled and successfully maintained an independent position; they had
offered their country to Holland; and had finally surrendered to Mr.
Brooke, conditionally upon his becoming their ruler. All possession of
territory in Borneo was a question of might, and the Sultan himself
looked to the Rajah "to support his throne, and to preserve his
government."[141] Though the question of the independence of
Sarawak[142] has been placed beyond doubt by its recognition by the
British Government in 1863 as an absolutely independent State, yet it
has been maintained, and by some who should know better, that the
country is still under the suzerainty of Bruni.

To conclude the eventful year of 1846, Captain Mundy returned to Sarawak
in December with instructions from the Secretary for Foreign Affairs,
Lord Palmerston, conveyed through Sir Thomas Cochrane, to occupy the
Island of Labuan, after consulting with the Rajah as to the best mode of
carrying out his instructions.[143] He at once proceeded to Bruni, the
Rajah going to Singapore. Labuan was ceded on the 18th, and the British
flag was hoisted on the island on December 24.

The Dutch Government had viewed the Rajah's elevation and settlement at
Sarawak, as well as the past and recent operations of the British on the
north-west coast, with unfeigned jealousy, and had, during the last two
years, repeatedly remonstrated with the British Government for
countenancing these proceedings, which the Dutch Minister, by a stretch
of imagination, exaggerated into having been the cause of a general
uneasiness arising in Holland "as to the security and integrity of the
Netherlands possessions in the Eastern Archipelago," and a suspicion of
"the Government having surrendered, or very nearly so, the Eastern
Archipelago to England." Further, "the King's Government," extravagantly
wrote the Minister, "cannot forget how much it has had to suffer at
different epochs in India from the practices of this individual (the
Rajah), whom the Netherlands authorities have everywhere found in their
way, and constantly in opposition to them." In his position as H.M.'s
Political Agent, "combined with his long experience and intimate
knowledge of Borneo," with "his desire to annoy, and his ill-will
towards the Netherlands," the Minister considered him a very
inconvenient and harassing personage to the Netherlanders and their
Government. The Netherlands Government alleged that the Rajah's action
in Sarawak and the occupation of Labuan were an abandonment of the
spirit of the Treaty of 1824, if not of the letter. But by that Treaty
the Dutch sphere of influence in Borneo had been limited to the equator,
north of the line remaining within the sphere of British influence. As
the Minister foresaw, Lord Aberdeen, on these grounds, denied that the
recent measures taken in Borneo were in any way a contravention of the
treaty or inimical to Dutch interests. Lord Aberdeen, in supporting the
Rajah, eulogised him as a gentleman of high character, whose "efforts
have been directed to the furtherance of civilization, to the
discouragement of piratical pursuits, and to the promotion of the
welfare of the native population," and contended that he had obtained
his possessions "in the most legitimate manner." He further implied that
the Rajah's legitimate objects and pursuits having met with undue
interference by the Netherlands authorities, occasion had perhaps been
given for disputes arising between him and the Netherlands Government,
for he was naturally "not favorably disposed to the extension of Dutch
influence in the parts where he had acquired possessions";[144] an
influence which the Governor-General of Netherlands India in his
rescript of January 1846, mentioned in footnote, p. 93, said his
Government did not exercise in the State of the Sultan of Bruni, which
extended from cape Datu to the Kimanis river.

The Rajah wrote:—

  The Netherlands Government has made an attack upon me, but it has
  failed. I am astonished at the misrepresentations to which it
  stoops.... I never had any dispute with the Dutch authorities; and
  the only communications which have passed between the Resident of
  Sambas and myself have been of a most friendly kind.[145]

But though she failed, it was some years before Holland gave up her
pretensions to Sarawak, pretensions which twice before they could have
realised—in 1833, when Pangiran Usup offered her the country, and, a few
years later, when the Sarawak people asked for her protection; but the
one involved a monetary equivalent, and the other military support, and
she thought to acquire the country by cheaper methods, which the Rajah
knew she still meant to do after his death if she could. Without his
influence, and without his influential friends, he did not think that
Sarawak could subsist after he was gone, and this it was that made him
so urgent to be put under British protection. When, finally, the British
Government did recognise Sarawak as an independent State, the
Netherlands Minister was asked if he were aware of the recognition. The
reply was, "Holland will not recognise Sarawak, as the Government is
convinced that Sarawak cannot last beyond the lifetime of Sir James
Brooke." He added, "I told you this seven years ago, and I see no
reason, from recent events, to alter my opinion."[146] This was in 1863.

The early part of 1847 was spent by the Rajah recruiting his health on
Penang hill, where a letter was received from the Sultan notifying that
Haji Seman had given himself up at Bruni, and asking for instructions of
the Admiral and the Rajah as to his disposal. It was not considered that
his execution was now necessary as an example, and the Sultan was
informed that the past could be buried in oblivion, but that misconduct
in the future would revive its recollection.[147]

In Singapore the Rajah received instructions from the Foreign Office to
proceed to Bruni to conclude a treaty with the Sultan for the
arrangement of commercial relations, and for the mutual suppression of
piracy; to reserve to H.M.'s Government power and jurisdiction over all
British subjects residing within the Sultanate, and to bind the Sultan
not to alienate any portion of his dominions to any foreign power or to
others without the sanction of her Majesty's Government. The Rajah
proceeded to Bruni in the _Nemesis_, touching at Kuching on his way, and
the treaty was signed on May 27. On the 30th, when leaving the Bruni
river, the _Nemesis_ was hailed by a passing canoe, and received the
information that a fleet of pirates was in the offing. The steamer
immediately started in pursuit, and the pirates, finding escape
impossible, came to anchor in a small bay with their bows seaward, and
secured their prahus, eleven in all, together with hawsers. The
engagement which followed, and which lasted several hours, the pirates
fighting desperately, resulted in five of the pirate prahus being
destroyed, and six effecting their escape.[148] The _Nemesis_ lost two
killed and six wounded, and the pirates about sixty killed. Fifty more,
who had escaped inland, were captured by the Sultan's men, and executed
in Bruni. About 100 captives, mostly Chinese and Malays, were rescued
and sent to Singapore. The pirates, who were Baleninis, were on their
return from a year's cruise laden with plunder and captives. They had
proposed to attack Kuching, but had thought better of it.[149]

The desire to visit England was now strong upon the Rajah. Besides
personal reasons, the wish to see his relations and friends, and to
obtain change and rest, he also felt that he could effect more than by
correspondence were he personally to interest Ministers in Bornean
affairs and urge on them the necessity of a decided course for the
suppression of piracy, which could be put down were a steady course
pursued instead of mere convulsive efforts, and Sulu he wished to see
crushed.[150] Sarawak, where all was peaceful, would be safe under the
administration of his connection, Mr. A. C. Crookshank.[151] Labuan was
established as a naval station under naval administration. Bruni had
been reduced to subjection, and was powerless to give further trouble,
and the coast was generally quiet; so, there being nothing requiring
attention in the immediate future, he sailed from Singapore in July, and
arrived in England early in October.

And now honours rained on him. He was presented with the freedom of the
City of London; Oxford University conferred upon him the degree of
LL.D.; he was graciously received at Windsor by the Queen and the Prince
Consort; was appointed Governor of Labuan, and Commissioner and
Consul-General in Borneo, and made a K.C.B.[152] The United Service, the
Army and Navy, the Athenæum, Travellers, and other Clubs elected him an
honorary member. He was lionised and fêted, and was received with marked
distinction by every one, including Ministers.

He sailed from England on February 1, 1848, with his Labuan staff, in
the _Mæander_, commanded by his old friend and ally, Captain Keppel, and
having the present Rajah on board as sub-lieutenant.[153] After spending
a few months in Singapore making preparations for the establishment of
his new colony, he arrived at the Muaratebas entrance of the Sarawak
river in September; here he left the _Mæander_, and was triumphantly
escorted up-river by the whole Kuching population amidst general

He found affairs in his little raj had not been conducted quite so well
as he could have wished, and that there were evidences of renewed
activity on the part of the pirates. Pangiran Makota was in power at
Bruni, and that was a menace to the good conduct of both the external
and internal affairs of the Sultanate. The Sultan had been in direct
communication with the Sekrang Dayaks, amongst whom both Sherip Mular
and Sherip Ahmit were busy intriguing, and collecting the dissatisfied
party which had been scattered. Hostile operations on the part of the
Saribas were only checked by the arrival of the _Mæander_.

On September 14, the Rajah was joined by his nephew, Captain James
Brooke-Johnson,[154] of the Connaught Rangers, as his official A.D.C. He
assumed the surname of his uncle, and was given the title of Tuan Besar.
Although he was always looked upon as the heir-presumptive, the title of
Rajah Muda was only conferred upon him when he was officially and
publicly recognised by the Rajah as his heir in 1861.

"To give a spirit of national pride to the natives," the Rajah now
granted the country a flag,[155] and this was hoisted with due ceremony
on September 21. Viscount Palmerston, in a despatch dated June 20, 1849,
subsequently conveyed the approval of H.M.'s Government of the flag
having been hoisted, in order, with the sanction of the British
Government, to afford a recognised permanency to the country.

The Rajah then sailed in the _Mæander_ to Labuan, where he was busy for
some time arranging and organising the colony, but, falling a victim,
with many others, to the insalubrity of the climate, he took a sea
voyage in the _Mæander_, visiting several places on the north-west coast
and passing on to Sulu, where he established friendly relations with the
Sultan, and paved the way to a treaty being effected, by which Sulu
would be placed within the sphere of British influence. He returned to
Labuan in January, 1849, nearly recovered, and the next month was back
in Sarawak again, to face an anxious time, a year of trouble and strife.

The Rajah had done all he could in England to move the British
Government to take energetic action effectually to stamp out piracy,
especially in regard to the Saribas and Sekrang, amongst whom the
peaceable party had now been completely overborne by the piratical
faction, and this would have been prevented had the British Government
sanctioned the Rajah's scheme of building a fort in the disturbed
district. Alone, he was powerless to effect much, if anything. The
_Mæander_ had been specially fitted for taking action against these
pirates, and her captain specially appointed on account of the
experience he had already gained in dealing with them, as it was
intended that the frigate should be detailed for this service; but
trouble having occurred in China, she was recalled by the Admiral, and
the Rajah was left with the H.E.I.C. _Nemesis_ only, a steamer quite
inadequate for the purpose; and, being required to keep up communication
between Labuan and Singapore, her station being at the latter place, she
could be only occasionally placed at his disposal.

The departure of the _Mæander_, and the Rajah's long absence in the
north, had emboldened the Saribas and Sekrangs to prepare for fresh
atrocities. Their insolence had, moreover, so increased that they went
so far as to send the Rajah a message of defiance, daring him to come
out against them, taunting him with cowardice, and comparing him to a

On March 2nd, the Rajah received news that a large pirate fleet of one
hundred prahus had put to sea, and, after having captured several
trading vessels, the crews of which they had put to death, had proceeded
up the Sadong river, where they had killed upwards of one hundred or
more Malay men, women, and children, and had carried others into
slavery. Within the three previous months they had killed three hundred
persons, burnt several villages, and captured numerous prahus.[157] This
expedition was led by the Laksamana, the Malay chief of the
Saribas;[158] it was checked at the town of Gedong, which was well
prepared for defence, and too much on the alert to be taken by surprise.

An artifice of these pirates, and they never attempted by force what
could be acquired by stratagem, was this: some of the party remained
behind and assumed the clothes of their victims, and the umbrella-shaped
hats of palm leaf commonly used by those harvesting in the sun, which
would completely conceal their features; thus disguised they paddled
down stream, and called in Malay to the women to issue from their
hiding-places, as they had come to convey them to a place of safety. The
poor creatures, supposing that these were of their own tribe, ran down
with their children in their arms only to be speared and their heads
hacked off by these wolves in sheep's clothing.[159] On the last day of
February, a numerous and industrious population was gathering in the
harvest, and on March the 1st every house was plundered, and scattered
about the fields were the mangled bodies of the reapers, and in the
villages lay the headless trunks of men, aged women, and children too
young for captivity.

Not a day passed without news reaching Kuching of some village burned or
of some trading vessel captured. After the attack on Sadong, while the
Saribas hovered along the coast, crowds of refugees arrived in Kuching.
From all parts they came; from the river of Matu alone twenty prahus
full of men, women, and children, and from Kalaka many hundreds. They
said that they could endure life no longer in their own country,
continually engaged in resisting these murderous attacks, and losing
numbers of their people at the hands of the Sekrangs and Saribas.

"No news except of Dayaks, and rumours of Dayaks. Dayaks here, Dayaks
there, and Dayaks everywhere," so wrote the Rajah.

The Kalaka river had also been laid waste. Hunt in 1812 described Kalaka
as being one of the principal ports of trade on the north-west
coast,[160] and the country as producing large quantities of grain. But
this was before the Sea-Dayaks had become pirates. In 1849, the river
had been so devastated by piratical attacks that all cultivation had
been abandoned, and its once flourishing town and villages deserted,
with the exception of two that were small. "Never before had I been so
struck with the irreparable mischief done by the piratical tribes, as
when I saw this lovely country so completely deserted," so wrote Mr. S.
St. John in 1849.

The ravages of these murderous Dayaks had been peculiarly destructive in
the delta of the Rejang, once well populated by the quiet and
industrious Melanaus, the producers of the Bornean sago brought to the
market of Singapore. The pirates not only destroyed the villages and
plantations, but captured many richly laden prahus, freighted with the
produce of this district on their way to dispose of their lading in the
British Settlement of Singapore, and in Sambas and Pontianak. Like the
Malays of Kalaka, nearly all the inhabitants had fled, most to Sarawak,
some to other places.

During the first six months of 1849, some 600 persons fell victims to
these savages; it must be borne in mind that the districts inhabited by
these people and those attacked by them were then in Bruni territory,
and outside the raj of Sarawak.

In 1849, it was reckoned that the Saribas had 6000 fighting men, the
Sekrangs an equal number, and those Sekrangs and Saribas who had moved
across to the Kanowit, Katibas, and Poi, affluents of the Rejang river,
could muster 8000 warriors,[161] making, with their Malay allies, a
total of 25,000 men living on piracy and murder. Secure on their rivers,
in their stockades, in their jungles, in their large and
well-constructed boats, and in their numbers, they scoffed at warnings,
and proceeded from crime to crime until the whole country from Bruni to
Sarawak was nearly their own.

In desperation, and with the hope of checking these outrages, the Rajah
at once started against the pirates with his own little flotilla of some
twenty-four war prahus manned by 800 Malays, but he was driven back by
the north-east monsoon, perhaps fortunately, as his force was totally
inadequate. Then the _Nemesis_, under Commander Wallage, arrived, and
the Rajah, feeling he was now strong enough to effect something, sallied
forth again on March 25, with the same native force and four of the
boats of the _Nemesis_. The bala[162] was augmented by eighty-four
native prahus with over 2000 friendlies, all thirsting for revenge. Both
branches of the Kalaka were ascended, and from the left-hand branch the
native levies crossed over into the Rembas, a large affluent of the
Saribas, and here several strongholds were destroyed, with large
quantities of rice and salt; the enemy were, however, absent on an
expedition, and but few fighting men were left behind. The Rajah then
proceeded up the Saribas, the entrance of which the _Nemesis_ had been
sent on to guard, and at the mouth of the Rembas branch met a large
force of Saribas Dayaks which hurriedly retreated. These were on their
way to effect a junction with the Sekrangs, the Malay town of Banting up
the Lingga being the objective. Ten prahus of Sadong friendlies on their
way home were met and attacked at night by these Sekrangs, who had a
force of 150 bangkongs, but, the Balau Dayaks opportunely coming to the
assistance of the former, the Sekrangs were defeated and driven back to
their own country. This well-contrived expedition then terminated in a
return to Sarawak, and though the pirates had not suffered any great
loss, especially in lives, a severe check had been administered, and by
preventing a junction between the Saribas and Sekrangs their piratical
venture for that occasion had been spoiled.

After his return from this expedition the Rajah took advantage of the
lull that was certain to follow, for the Dayaks would lie low for a time
fully expecting to be again attacked, and proceeded to visit his little
colony at Labuan. From thence he passed on to Sulu, where he concluded a
commercial treaty with the Sultan, returning to Kuching at the end of
May. In the meantime Admiral Sir Francis Collier had despatched the
_Albatross_, Commander Farquhar,[163] to Sarawak, to take the
_Mæander's_ place, and she had arrived at Kuching before the Rajah's
return in the _Nemesis_, and had there been joined by the _Royalist_,
Lieutenant Everest. Preparations were pushed forward to deliver a final
blow to the Saribas and Sekrang pirates, who, now the Ramathan, or fast
month, had commenced, considered themselves safe, under the firm
persuasion that the Rajah would not move against them so long as it
lasted, out of regard for the religious scruples of the Malays.

The expedition started on July 24. It comprised the _Nemesis_, the
_Royalist_, and the _Ranee_ (the _Mæander's_ little steam tender), seven
men-of-war boats, and the Rajah's Malay force of eighteen war prahus
manned by 640 Malays. At the mouth detachments of Lundu and Balau
Sea-Dayaks, and Malays from Samarahan and Sadong joined, which brought
the native force up to a total of seventy prahus with 2500 men. The
_Royalist_ was towed by the _Nemesis_ into the Batang Lupar, and left to
guard that river off the mouth of the Lingga, and the latter went on to
the entrance of the Saribas, where, with the ships' boats, she took up
her position. The main force joined her on the 28th, and the same
evening information was received that a large piratical bala, under the
command of the Datu Patinggi of Saribas and the principal Malays, had
left the Saribas two days previously and had gone northwards. The Rajah
and Captain Farquhar immediately determined to intercept them on their
return. With twelve war prahus and two men-of-war cutters the Rajah took
up a position across the mouth of the Kalaka, to prevent the pirates
gaining their way home by that river. The _Nemesis_, with the rest of
the force, blocked the Saribas, and the only other route open to them
_via_ the Batang Lupar was guarded by the _Royalist_. There was an
alternative way back, a long one, up the Rejang and Kanowit, but they
were not likely to take this. On the evening of the 31st, a rocket sent
up from the _Rajah Singha_,[164] the Rajah's war prahu, announced the
approach of the enemy. They came on boldly, and, perceiving the force at
the entrance of the Kalaka, but not the more formidable one hidden by
the long promontory separating the mouths of the two rivers, dashed on
for the Saribas with defiant yells, to encounter in the growing darkness
greater peril, and thus commenced the most famous fight in the Sarawak
annals, which brought a just retribution on these savage pirates and for
ever broke their power, the battle of Beting Maru.[165] Met with showers
of grape, cannister, rockets, and musketry from the _Nemesis_ and the
boats, and the savage onslaughts of the native levies mad for revenge,
well led by the Rajah's English and Malay officers, and with their
retreat intercepted by the Rajah's division, the pirates were soon
thrown into confusion, and thought only of escape. But cut off in all
directions, for five hours, in bright moonlight, they had to sustain a
series of encounters extending over a distance of ten miles. At midnight
all was over. About a dozen bangkongs escaped, whilst over a hundred
were destroyed, and the enemy had lost about 300 killed. This loss would
have been far heavier had the Rajah allowed his native forces to
intercept the retreat of the great numbers who had landed and escaped
into the jungle, and this could have easily been effected; as it was,
500 died of wounds, exposure, and starvation, or were cut off before
they could reach their homes. Of those who succeeded in escaping up the
Saribas that night was the famous Dayak chief Linggir, who, with
seventeen war-boats, had made a desperate attack on the _Nemesis_, which
resulted in the destruction of all the boats with their crews except

Had this expedition started but a few days earlier, the mischief that
had been done would have been prevented, though that mischief was far
less than it would have been had not the pirates been forced to beat a
hasty retreat on receiving news that so powerful a force was out against
them. They had attacked Matu, but that town was found to be too well
prepared to be carried without considerable loss, and, their aim being
not glory but to procure heads, captives, and plunder, with the least
possible risk to themselves, they retreated in search of easier prey
after sustaining a loss of ten killed, but not before they had taken a
detached house in which they obtained seven heads and captured four
girls. Palo they had plundered, and had there seized three girls;[167]
they spared the place as being the main source of their salt supply. Two
vessels trading to Singapore were captured, and the crew of one were all
killed. Serikei proved too strong for them. A detachment had gone
westward, and off Sambas they killed some Chinese fishermen and took
their heads. At Sirhasan, one of the Natuna islands, they captured a
trading vessel, and on their way back to join the main fleet attacked
the Malays living at the mouth of Muaratebas, but were repulsed after a
desperate fight. A trading prahu was there seized, the owner and five of
the crew being killed. Coming across Abang Husin, a nephew of the Datu
Temanggong, they killed him and his boat's crew of six, after a gallant

A couple of days having been spent in destroying the captured bangkongs
and securing prisoners, the expedition proceeded up the Saribas river.
After some exciting episodes and hard work in cutting their way through
innumerable trees, which had been felled across the river to impede
their progress, the force reached Paku, which was taken and burnt for
the second time. The expedition then proceeded up the Rejang, to punish
the Sekrang Dayaks living in the Kanowit. Eighteen villages were
destroyed, and the country laid waste for a hundred miles. This done,
the Rajah returned to Kuching with the whole force, arriving there on
August the 24th. With him came many Serikei people, who wished to escape
from the tyranny of Sherip Masahor,[168] an infamous and intriguing
half-bred Arab chief, who appears to have but lately settled in the
Rejang as the Bruni governor, and who in the near future was to cause
the Sarawak Government considerable trouble.

After the battle of Beting Maru, the well-inclined Malay and Dayak
chiefs of the Sekrang were once more raised to power, and the Rajah
built a fort at Sekrang, of which Sherip Matusain, who has been before
mentioned as having taken a prominent part on the side of the Sarawak
Malays in the rebellion against Bruni, was placed in charge. The fort
was built to uphold the friendly and non-piratical party against the
interior piratical tribes, to prevent the latter passing down to the
sea, and as a position for the advancement of commerce. It was built
entirely by Sekrang Malays and Dayaks under the supervision of Mr.
Crookshank, and when Mr. Brereton[169] went there shortly afterwards to
take charge, at the request of the natives that a European might be
placed over them, he was entirely dependent on their goodwill, having no
force of any sort, to support his authority.

The Saribas and the Sekrangs now submitted, the former too utterly
broken to do further mischief by sea, and the latter frightened by the
lesson that had been administered to their allies and themselves,[170]
and by the establishment of a Government station in their district. Such
was the effect of this chastisement that piracy was almost completely
put an end to in these turbulent tribes; then had the land rest to
recover, the waste places to revive, the towns to be rebuilt, and the
population to increase. In but a very few years the bulk of these very
tribes which had been the scourge of the country were reduced to
peaceable and industrious citizens.

But trouble far-reaching, on which he had not calculated, was in store
for the Rajah through this expedition. It came at a time when he was
weakened in health from continuous exposure and the severe strain he had
undergone, which had brought him near death's door, and it came from a
quarter the least expected. He "had risked life, given money, and
sacrificed health to effect a great object;"[171] and had made the coast
from cape Datu to Marudu bay as safe as the English Channel to vessels
of all flags and all sizes, and now he had to bear with the malicious
tongues and persecutions of the humanity-mongers of England, who were
first prompted to attack the Rajah by his discarded agent, Mr. Wise.
This man was embittered against the Rajah for his refusal to sell
Sarawak to a company; by being called to account for a loss he had
caused the Rajah of some thousands of pounds; and by some unfavourable
comments the Rajah had made on his actions, which had come to his
knowledge owing to certain private letters of the Rajah not intended for
his eyes having fallen into his hands. Wise had offered to make the
Rajah "one of the richest commoners in England," and presumedly saw his
way to becoming one too, but the Rajah preferred "the real interests of
Sarawak and the plain dictates of duty to the golden baited hook."[172]

Cobden, Hume, Sidney Herbert, and afterwards Gladstone, as well as
others of that faction, took up the cause of the pirates, and the Rajah
and the naval officers who had been engaged since 1843 in suppressing
the Saribas and Sekrangs were attacked with acrimony as butchers of
peaceful and harmless natives—and all for the sake of extending the
Sarawak raj. The _Spectator_ and the _Daily News_ bitterly assailed the
Rajah, relying upon information supplied through the medium of a
Singapore newspaper; and the Peace Society and the Aborigines Protection
Society, laid on a false scent by those whom they should not have
trusted, became scurrilous in their advocacy of cold-blooded murderers
and pirates.

After having brought the "_cruel butchery_" of Beting Maru to the
attention of the House of Commons on three occasions, Joseph Hume, on
July 12, 1850, moved an address to her Majesty, bringing to the notice
of the House "one of the most atrocious massacres that had ever taken
place in his time." He supported the motion with glaring and wilful
mis-statements, and brought disgraceful charges against the Rajah, whom
he branded as "the promoter of deeds of bloodshed and cruelty." The Navy
he charged with wholesale murder, and the poor victims of the massacre
he described as a harmless and timid people.[173]

Cobden, who supported the motion, called the battle of Beting Maru a
human battue, than which there was never anything more unprovoked. He
could not do homage to the Rajah as a great philanthropist seeing that
he had no other argument for the savages than extermination.

The Rajah was ably defended by Mr. Henry Drummond, who exposed Wise's
conduct; and the motion was lost by a majority of 140 in a House of 198.

At Birmingham, Cobden asserted that the Rajah, "who had gone out to the
Eastern Archipelago as a private adventurer, had seized upon a territory
as large as Yorkshire, and then drove out the natives; and who, under
the pretence that they were pirates, subsequently sent for our fleet and
men to massacre them ... the atrocities perpetrated by Sir James Brooke
in Borneo had been continually quoted in the Austrian newspapers as
something which threw into the shade the horrible atrocities of Haynau

The following year, on July 10, Hume moved for a Royal Commission to
enquire into the proceedings of Sir James Brooke, but this was negatived
by 230 votes to 19. He went a little further this time, and drew
harrowing pictures of "cruel butcheries, and brutal murders of the
helpless and defenceless." Sir James Brooke, he said, attacked none but
the poor Dayaks, and even their wives and children were destroyed. He
even went so far as to deny that the Saribas were head-hunters.

Gladstone bore high testimony to the Rajah's character and motives. His
entire confidence in the Rajah's honour and integrity led him to accept
his statements with unqualified and unreserved belief. He adjudged the
Dayaks of being addicted to barbarous warfare and piracy, and maintained
that there were not sufficient grounds for the motion, against which he
voted. He, however, contended that most of the pirates were killed when
not resisting, and had been deliberately sacrificed in the act of
fleeing. This unhappily gave rise to doubts, which subsequently caused
him to entirely change his opinions, and to completely veer round to the
other side.

Lord Palmerston denounced the charges against the Rajah "as malignant
and persevering persecution of an honourable man," and Mr. Drummond
rightly denied "that, from beginning to end, this motion had any other
foundation than a personal determination to ruin Sir James Brooke." "The
whole of this transaction from first to last was a very discreditable
affair," he said. "The gentlemen of England echoed him,"[174] and the
nation too, judging by the tone of the press, which (with the exception
of one or two papers), from _The Times_ downwards, supported the

Her Majesty's Government had notified the Rajah of their approval of all
he had done, and he was instructed to follow the same course should a
similar necessity arise.

But Wise, Hume, Cobden, and their adherents were only checked, and,
huffed by their defeats, continued their efforts to ruin the Rajah's
character and administration with increased bitterness, unfortunately in
the end to obtain a partial success; but we will leave this subject for
a while, to turn briefly to events in Sarawak.

As a commentary on Mr. Cobden's assertion that the natives were being
driven out of Sarawak, the population of the raj in 1850 had increased
to 50,000 from 8000 in 1840, and this increase was due to immigration
from the neighbouring countries, where the people had been the constant
prey of pirates, head-hunters, and their own oppressive rulers, and for
these over-burdened people the Rajah had supplied a haven. The Chinese
colony in upper Sarawak was augmented by the arrival of five thousand
Chinese refugees from Pemangkat in Dutch territory, who had come to
Sarawak to escape the tyranny of their more powerful neighbours and
rivals, the Chinese of Montrado. These latter had successfully rebelled
against the authority of the Dutch, and were now oppressing their weaker
neighbours, both Chinese and Dayak. The Kayan and Kenyahs of the Baram,
who had been in rebellion against the Sultan, had sent messages offering
to accept the Rajah as their chief, and those of the Rejang assisted in
building the new fort at the mouth of the Kanowit. This fort was erected
by the Rajah to protect the inhabitants of the Rejang delta, and of Oya
and Muka, by blocking the egress by the Kanowit river to the Sekrang and
Saribas Dayaks. All these countries, including the Sekrang, where a
station had already been established, were under the _de jure_ rule of
the Sultan, but the inhabitants now looked upon the Rajah as their
ruler. The Sultan had long been helpless to govern the disturbed
districts; his authority was not recognised by the population, and the
chiefs appointed by him acted to gain their own ends, the enriching of
themselves at the expense of the people. The Sultan had placed himself
in the Rajah's hands, and was well pleased that he should pacify and
introduce order into these districts, more perhaps in his own interests
than in those of his own people, for whose welfare he cared little; they
paid him no revenue, and that he hoped the Rajah would secure for him.

Bandar Kasim, in spite of warnings, was again oppressing his people in
the Sadong. The Rajah had deposed him in 1848, and had appointed his
brother, Abang Leman,[176] in his place, but the change brought no
benefit to the people, it gave them but an additional tyrant, for both
were now behaving badly, and the Bandar had to be removed.

After visiting Labuan, the Rajah went to Penang for a much-needed
change, and there received instructions from the Foreign Office to
proceed to Siam on a diplomatic mission. He left for Bangkok in August.
To quote his own words: "The mission was a dead failure, as the Siamese
are as hostile and opposed to Europeans as any people can well be. I had
a very trying time of it, and altogether got rid of an unpleasant and
critical position without loss of national and individual credit." A
short time before an American mission had also been similarly repulsed.

During the Rajah's absence, an envoy from the United States had arrived
at Kuching bearing a letter from the President addressed to him as
Sovereign Prince of Sarawak, and expressing a desire to enter into
friendly relations. The envoy informed the Rajah by letter that having
been entrusted with full powers he was ready to sign a treaty with
Sarawak, and that he was to thank the Rajah "in the name of the American
nation for his exertions in the suppression of piracy," and to
compliment him on his noble and "humane endeavours to bring his subjects
and the neighbouring tribes of Malays into a condition of civilisation."
Lord Palmerston saw no objection to the Rajah entering into diplomatic
relations as Rajah of Sarawak with the United States.[177]

In January, 1851, the Rajah, leaving Captain Brooke in charge, again
left for England on account of the bad state of his health. He came home
for rest and quiet, but this was denied him, and he had to sum up all
his energies, and expend time and money to contend against the active
and bitter hostility of his Radical opponents in England, who in spite
of adverse majorities in the House of Commons and the opposition of some
of the most prominent politicians in both Houses, continued their
malignant persecution with great persistency both in and out of

In 1853, the Aberdeen coalition Ministry came into power, which, like
all coalitions, was feeble and lived by compromise. This Ministry agreed
to give what Hume and his faction asked, and had thrice been refused by
the House by large majorities,[178] a commission of enquiry into the
conduct of the Rajah, before which he was to be called upon to defend
himself against allegations scouted by the House, the incorrectness of
which could be proved by the leading statesmen of the day, including
such men as the Earl of Derby, Earl Grey, Viscount Palmerston, and Lord
John Russell.[179] The Ministry most disingenuously kept their decision
a secret from the Rajah until after he had left England, though not from
Hume, who was able to send information to his coadjutors in Singapore
that it was granted. They had got up an address to him, by the most
unscrupulous devices, expressing disapproval of all that he had done,
and urging that an enquiry might be instituted into the conduct of the
Rajah by a Commission sent from England. This address was purported to
have been signed by fifty-three merchants of Singapore. Afterwards, when
the Commission sat in Singapore, only twenty-seven merchant firms were
found to exist there, and of these twenty-two had signed an address of
confidence in the Rajah. Some of those who had signed the address to
Hume, and who put in an appearance before the Commission, exposed the
way in which their signatures had been obtained by misrepresentations.

On April 30th, 1852, a great dinner was given to the Rajah at the London
Tavern, to mark the sense entertained of the eminent services rendered
by him in the interests of commerce and humanity, by his endeavours to
put down the evils of piracy in the Eastern Archipelago, and by his
labours to advance civilisation in that part of the world. The company,
which numbered two hundred, included members of Parliament, Governors of
the Bank of England, East India Company Directors, officers in the Army
and Navy, and many others.

  The Rajah delivered a speech, which, for truth and feeling, language
  and action, will never be forgotten by those who had the privilege
  of hearing him; ... and the feeling was current that should a crisis
  ever arise in the fortunes of this country, he would be the man of
  action, who ought forthwith to be called to the councils of the

Only the opening passages of this speech can be given, made in response
to the toast of his health:—

  I will not pretend, gentlemen, to that species of pride which apes
  humility. I will not say that I am wholly unworthy of your regard,
  but I will tell you something of the position I hold in the East.
  Your approval of my conduct is no light condemnation of the conduct
  of those who have sought by every means, fair or unfair, to blast my
  reputation, even at the risk of injuring their own; who under the
  pretence of humanity have screened injustice, and on the plea of
  enquiry, have been unscrupulous enough to charge murder. It is now
  but a little more than five years since I was the idol of a spurious
  popularity; it is more than three years that I have been the object,
  but happily not the victim, of an unprecedented persecution, and it
  will afford me no light satisfaction if this night a fair and
  moderate estimate can be formed of my motives and conduct. Praise
  and blame have been lavished upon me with no sparing hand. I have
  been accused of every crime from murder to merchandise. I have been
  held up as a prodigy of perfection, and I have been cast down as a
  monster of iniquity. These, gentlemen, are the extremes which human
  folly delights in; these are the distortions which the tribunes of
  the people represent as Bible truths to the multitude, these the
  delusions which a hackneyed politician uses lightly, to wound
  feelings he has long outlived, and to cast a slur upon Her Majesty's
  servants. The evil, I fear, is inevitable, but it is no less an
  evil, that public morals, in such hands, should sink like water to
  its lowest and dirtiest level.

In replying for the Bench, the Hon. Baron Alderson said:—

  I am sorry to say that in one respect I differ from Sir James Brooke
  and the Chairman, in that they expressed something of regret that
  our distinguished guest had not the approbation of all mankind. I do
  not think Sir James Brooke would deserve it if he had it; for I have
  always observed—and I believe history will confirm me—that the
  greatest benefactors of the human race have been the most abused in
  their own time, and I therefore think Sir James Brooke ought to be
  congratulated _because_ he is abused.

In England, especially, it is the case that the little men who bray
their philanthropic sentiments on platforms are almost always found in
opposition to and decrying those men who are doing mighty deeds for the
advancement and happiness of mankind. There exists in narrow minds a
mean pleasure in decrying those who tower above them intellectually and
morally. They do not blow themselves up to equal the ox, but they spit
their poison at him in hopes of bringing him down to their level. And
the unfortunate result of the weakness of party government is that the
party which is in power is always, or almost always, ready to throw over
a great public servant to silence the yelping of the pack that snarl
about his heels. It was so with Governor Eyre, it was so with Sir Bartle
Frere, it was so with General Gordon, and it was so with Sir Bampfylde
Fuller. "The time will come in our country when no gentleman will serve
the public, and your blackguards and your imbeciles may have a monopoly
of appointments," so in indignant sorrow wrote the Rajah. Though
surprised and hurt at what had been said and done, he was not disturbed,
and he treated his defamers with contempt and indifference, "conscious
of right motives, and firm in right action."[181]

The Rajah left England in April, 1853. On his arrival in Sarawak he was
attacked by small-pox. There was no doctor in Kuching at the time, but
he was successfully nursed through his illness by his devoted officers,
both English and native, amongst the latter being Sherip Matusain, who
had lately been recalled from Sekrang in disgrace, and who now became
one of his doctors. Prayers for his recovery were nightly offered in the
mosque, and Malay houses. Offerings for his recovery were made in the
shape of alms by the Indians; and votive oblations were made in their
temples by the Chinese. The Rev. A. Horsburgh, who did so much to pull
him through his illness, wrote:—

  The joy in Sarawak when all danger was over was very great, for all
  had been equally distressed, and many fervent prayers in church,
  mosque, and temple, were offered for his recovery.

But we will here briefly interrupt the sequence of events to give in
unbroken record the sequel that happily terminated the unprecedented
persecutions which the Rajah was subjected to for over five years, for
the miserable fiasco of the Commission, the direct result of these
persecutions, left the Rajah's defamers powerless and humiliated, and
the Government in a disgraceful dilemma.

The Commission sat in Singapore during the months of September and
October, 1854. It consisted of two gentlemen, Mr. C. R. Prinsep,
Advocate-General at Calcutta, already afflicted with the mental malady
to which he soon after succumbed, and the Hon. Humphrey B. Devereaux, of
the Bengal Civil Service. At the first and second meetings, of which due
notice had been given, to the surprise of the Commissioners no one
appeared to support the charges contained in the address to Mr. Hume,
and subpœnas had to be served on several of the subscribers to that
address. As a result, sixteen witnesses were produced in support of
these charges, and not one of them deposed to any acts within his own
knowledge which negatived the practice of piracy by the Saribas and
Sekrangs; three deposed to specific piratical acts of those tribes; and
one rather established than controverted their piratical character. On
the other hand, twenty-four witnesses called by the Commissioners, with
Mr. J. Bondriot,[182] late Resident of Sambas, Dutch Borneo (who
volunteered his evidence) deposed expressly to acts of piracy on the
part of these people. Traders and nakodas from Borneo, who were present
in Singapore, were deterred from coming forward to give evidence by
reports disseminated amongst them by the personal opponents of the Rajah
that their attendance would lead to detention and inconvenience. The
contention that the attacks of the Saribas and Sekrang Dayaks were
merely acts of intertribal hostility was not upheld. The charge of
wrongful and causeless attack and massacre wholly failed of proof, and
was sufficiently negatived.[183] This was the judgment of Mr. Prinseps,
and so far his brother Commissioner was with him, for, after dealing
with their general character, Mr. Devereaux sums up by saying that the
Saribas and Sekrang were piratical, and deserved the punishment they
received, and that in conflicts with such men atrocities, in the
ordinary sense of the term, are not easily committed.[184] These were
the main points which mostly concerned the public, and upon which were
based the grave accusations that it had been the pleasure of Mr. Hume
and his adherents to formulate upon totally inadequate and most
unreliable evidence. The other points brought by their instructions to
the notice of the Commissioners were matters more between the Crown and
the Rajah than of general interest to the public. Whether the position
of Sir James Brooke as Rajah of Sarawak was compatible with his duties
as British Consul General and Commissioner, and with his character as a
British subject; was the Rajah engaged in trade? and whether the Rajah
should be entrusted with a discretion to determine which tribes are
piratical, and to call for the aid of her Majesty's Naval forces for the
punishment of such tribes, were points upon which the Commissioners had
to decide, and upon which they differed. They, however, agreed that the
Rajah was not engaged in trade, and the other questions, except the
involved one of the independence of Sarawak, had been solved by the
Rajah's resignation of his appointments under the Crown, which was,
however, only accepted late in 1855, long after he had in weariness of
spirit ceased to exercise the functions of those offices.

"Upon the question of the independence of Sarawak, Mr. Prinseps found
the Rajah's position to be no other than that of a vassal of the Sultan,
holding indeed by a tenure very bare, and easy to be thrown off
altogether." Mr. Devereaux could give no definite opinion; but it was a
question to be submitted only to the highest legal authorities, and the
Rajah justly protested against the Commissioners dealing with it; and it
is a question that has long since been settled.

One result of this senseless outcry in England against the Rajah was
that no help was thenceforth accorded him by the fleet in the China and
Straits waters. Were an insurrection to take place; were the Sekrangs
and Saribas to send round the calling-out spear and muster their clans,
not a marine, not a gun would have been afforded him by her Majesty's
Government for his protection, and such was the case during the Chinese

An evidence of the confidence felt after the quelling of the pirates was
the increase in trade, the tonnage of merchant vessels in 1852 having
risen to 25,000 tons, whereas in 1842 the whole trade was carried on by
a few native prahus. Traders were secure along the coast, and, as was
testified to before the Commission, the people of Sambas and Pontianak
blessed the Rajah for the protection he had given them against the
depredations of the piratical Dayaks; and those of Muka and Oya were
thankful that he had settled near them—a little later they had more
reason to be thankful, when he relieved them of their oppressive rulers.
The Singapore _Free Press_ in February, 1850, said:—

  A few, a very few years ago, no European merchant vessels ventured
  on the north-west coast of Borneo; now they are numerous and safe.
  Formerly shipwrecked crews were attacked, robbed, and enslaved; now
  they are protected, fed, and forwarded to a place of safety. The
  native trade now passes with careless indifference over the same
  track between Marudu and Singapore where, but a little while ago, it
  was liable to the peril of capture; the crews of hundreds of prahus
  are no longer exposed to the loss of life and the loss of property.
  The recent successful proceedings on the coast of Borneo have been
  followed by the submission of the pirate hordes of Saribas and

So late as June, 1877, when the Rajah had long been dead, Mr. Gladstone
in addressing the House on the question of Turkey and Bulgarian
atrocities, and probably as a comparison, said, "I cannot recollect a
more shameful proceeding on the part of any country than the slaughter
of the Dayaks by Her Majesty's forces and by Sir James Brooke."

Earl Grey and Admiral Farquhar published indignant replies. Mr.
Bailie-Cochrane[185] took Mr. Gladstone to task in the House, whereupon
the latter shuffled out of what he had said with less than his usual
ingenuity, by saying that he never meant to blame the Rajah personally,
but only the Government. The following is from Earl Grey's reply:—

  The additional information respecting him which I have since gained
  has only tended to confirm the impression I then received that his
  character was a truly noble one, and I am sanguine enough to believe
  that it would be regarded in the same light by yourself if you would
  be induced to read the letters he addressed to his mother in the
  early part of his career as Rajah of Sarawak. These, to my mind,
  most beautiful letters are to be found in the very interesting life
  of Sir James Brooke published some months ago by Miss Jacob. They
  were written while the events they describe were going on, to a
  mother whom he passionately loved, obviously without the remotest
  idea that they would ever be published, and contain an account,
  bearing the clearest impress of truth and sincerity of all that he
  did, and of the feelings and motives by which he was guided. We find
  in them a touching record of his pity for the oppressed Dayaks,[186]
  of his righteous indignation against the oppressors, of his noble
  self-devotion, and of his fixed determination to hazard, and if
  necessary to sacrifice for their welfare, not only the whole of his
  moderate fortune, but ease, health, and life itself, while he
  steadily refused to listen to all attempts that were made to induce
  him to use the position he had acquired for his own personal



The Commission had done no serious harm with his own loyal people. They
heard with bewilderment that the man on whom their prosperity, and
indeed their security, depended, had been maligned in England, and was
to be tried as a malefactor in Singapore, and their dread was lest he
should be taken from their head, or should throw up his task in disgust,
and the country be allowed to relapse into oppression and anarchy; for
so surely as the Rajah left, would the pangirans return and resume their
blood-sucking operations on one side, and on the other the pirates
recover from their humiliation and recommence their depredations, and so
they would perish between the upper and nether millstone.

The Ministry made no attempt to remove the harmful impressions caused by
the false step they had so weakly been induced to take; they but
confirmed these by making no _amende_, and by withdrawing all support,
and as the sequel will show, the Commission paved the way for the
rebellion of the Chinese, and for the outbreak of disaffected Malays and
other natives, aided and incited by intriguing Brunis, which were to
follow, and which cost the lives of many Europeans, and great numbers of
Chinese and natives, and nearly resulted in the extinction of the raj.
With justice the Rajah wrote: "It is a sad thing to say, but true as
sad, that England has been the worst opponent of the progress of
Sarawak, and is now the worst enemy of her liberty."


Footnote 108:

  The Governor-General of Netherlands East Indies in a rescript, dated
  January 23, 1846, acknowledged that the exertions during the past
  twenty-five years effectually to suppress piracy on the coasts of
  Borneo had not been successful for want of combination, and for having
  been limited to the western coast.

Footnote 109:

  _A Collection of Voyages_, 1729.

Footnote 110:

  Sulu was the principal market for the disposal of captives and

Footnote 111:

  A son of Captain Francis Light, who founded Penang in 1786, was named
  Lanoon, he having been born on the island at the time it was being
  blockaded by Lanun pirates.

Footnote 112:

  Dayak war-boats, some having as many as 75 to the crew.

Footnote 113:

  _Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido_, 1847.

Footnote 114:

  On behalf of the Sultan, Saribas and Sekrang being beyond Rajah
  Brooke's jurisdiction.

Footnote 115:

  Keppel, _op. cit._

Footnote 116:

  These Sea-Dayaks, together with those of the Undup, also an affluent
  of the Batang Lupar, subsequently became the mainstay of the
  Government against the Saribas and Sekrangs.

Footnote 117:

  _Life of Sir James Brooke_, p. 84.

Footnote 118:

  Sir Edward's report upon Sarawak appears to have been favourable; he
  pronounced the coal at Bruni, which he never examined, to be
  unworkable, and the Sultan to be a savage.

Footnote 119:

  Pronounced by the natives _Achi_.

Footnote 120:

  More correctly Putusan, or Pemutus. We retain the old spelling.

Footnote 121:

  These guns realised £900 at public auction in Singapore.

Footnote 122:

  The Patinggi was always ready and ever to the fore where tough work
  and hard knocks were going, and he was the guiding and leading spirit
  in such expeditions as was this. "Three fingered Jack" the _Dido's_
  crew had dubbed him, having that strong regard for him that brave men
  bear towards another though his skin be of a different complexion—for
  he had lost two fingers in a former encounter. The type has since
  changed, and the courtly, intrepid, and determined fighting Malay
  chief has gone—and he is missed. "I sigh for some of the old hands
  that could not read or write, but _could_ work, and had more sound
  wisdom in their little fingers than many popinjay gentlemen of the
  present day carry in their heads," so wrote the present Rajah ten
  years ago.

Footnote 123:

  Mr. George Steward, formerly of the H.E.I.C.'s maritime service, had
  been sent out by the Rajah's agent, Mr. Wise, on a trading venture. He
  joined the expedition as a volunteer, and had concealed himself in
  Patinggi Ali's boat, where he should not have been.

Footnote 124:

  Keppel, _op. cit._ We have taken our account of the expedition up the
  Batang Lupar mainly from Keppel's narrative, the only original history
  of these operations hitherto published.

Footnote 125:

  He was afterwards pardoned and permitted to reside at Sekrang town,
  where he died.

Footnote 126:

  Labuan, however, proved a failure as a trading centre, and in that
  respect has taken a very secondary position to Kuching.

Footnote 127:

  Journals, Keppel, _op. cit._

Footnote 128:

  The pirates and their supporters, however, preyed upon Islams as well
  as infidels, and religion was a dead letter to them in this respect.
  Quite contrary to the tenets of their faith, true believers who were
  captured were sold into slavery.

Footnote 129:

  The son of Sherip Japar. S. Japar died the following year.

Footnote 130:

  He was married to a niece of Datu Patinggi Gapur.

Footnote 131:

  His son Haji Usup joined the Government service in 1862, and was
  afterwards appointed Datu Bandar in the Rejang. He died April 1st,
  1905, after having served the Government faithfully and with
  distinction for over forty years. As a magistrate he bore a high

Footnote 132:

  The ring Bedrudin sent had been given him before he left Sarawak by
  the Rajah, who told Bedrudin to send it to him when he had need of
  him; it was seized by the Sultan before Japar escaped from Bruni.

Footnote 133:

  He meant Bruni, which he had hoped to have restored to its former
  state of prosperity.

Footnote 134:

  Reports had been published that the Rajah was closely besieged in
  Kuching by the Sultan's forces.

Footnote 135:

  The foregoing details are mainly taken from Mundy's _Rajah Brooke's
  Journals_. The captured cannon were sent to England. St. John says
  some were melted up to construct cannon for the Crimea.—_Forests of
  the Far East_ Brunis were famous brass-founders, and many of these
  guns must have been very old.

Footnote 136:

  _Private Letters of the Rajah._

Footnote 137:

  His son, the Pangiran Muda, is still alive in Bruni.

Footnote 138:

  The tribute was cancelled by the release of a debt due to the Rajah by
  the Sultan, the interest upon which was equivalent to the yearly

Footnote 139:

  Though this deed bore the seal of Pangiran Abdul Mumin, he confirmed
  it by another granted in 1853, after he had become Sultan. Only
  copies, attested by H.M.'s Consul-General, exist now, the originals,
  together with the two previous grants, having been burnt during the
  Chinese rebellion of 1857.

Footnote 140:

  Letter to the Earl of Clarendon, September 27, 1853.

Footnote 141:

  Captain Mundy said truly of the Rajah that he was the _de facto_
  sovereign of the whole coast of Borneo from point Api (he should have
  said Cape Datu) to Marudu, 700 miles in extent.

Footnote 142:

  The territory of Sarawak then extended to Cape Kedurong.

Footnote 143:

  Mundy, _op. cit._

Footnote 144:

  From _Blue Book_, March 2, 1854.

Footnote 145:

  _Private Letters._

Footnote 146:

  Letter from the Rajah to the Tuan Muda, 1864.

Footnote 147:

  From Mundy, _op. cit._

Footnote 148:

  Of these, three foundered from injuries received during the
  engagement, so that few returned home to tell the tale. It took the
  Balenini about fifteen years to forget the lesson.—_Sir James Brooke_,
  St. John.

Footnote 149:

  Mundy, _op. cit._

Footnote 150:

  _Private Letters._

Footnote 151:

  He joined the Rajah in March, 1843, having previously served in the
  H.E.I. Co.'s Navy, and became Police Magistrate and Government
  Secretary. In 1863 he was appointed Resident of Sarawak. He frequently
  administered the Government during the absences of the late and the
  present Rajah. He retired in 1873, and died in 1891.

Footnote 152:

  The warrant of investiture was issued by her Majesty on May 22, 1848.

Footnote 153:

  Amongst others who came out with the Rajah in the _Mæander_ were Mr.
  Spenser St. John, afterwards Sir Spenser St. John, G.C.M.G., the
  Rajah's Secretary; and Mr. Hugh Low, afterwards Sir Hugh Low,
  G.C.M.G., Colonial Secretary at Labuan. Mr. St. John was
  Consul-General at Bruni from 1853-1861; he left Borneo the latter year
  upon promotion. Mr. Low had before spent some three years in Sarawak
  botanising. He left Labuan in 1877, when he was appointed Resident of

Footnote 154:

  The eldest son of the Rev. Francis Charles Johnson, Vicar of White
  Lackington, Somersetshire, by Emma, the Rajah's second sister.

Footnote 155:

  Yellow ground, with black and red cross, as shown in illustration—the
  arms of the Brookes. The Government flag is distinguished by a crown
  in the centre; the Rajah's flag is a burgee, or swallow-tailed flag.

Footnote 156:

  Keppel, _Voyage to the Indian Archipelago_.

Footnote 157:

  _Private Letters._

Footnote 158:

  Of his fifteen sons, Abangs Apong, Chek, Tek, and Bunsu all served the
  Government afterwards; they were distinguished more for bravery than
  for rectitude, but they were faithful and useful servants. Another son
  was killed during the operations up the Saribas subsequent to the
  action of Beting Maru. The Laksamana lived for years after these
  events, and was about ninety when he died.

Footnote 159:

  Keppel, _op. cit._

Footnote 160:

  The plains on both banks of the river evidence a former cultivation on
  an extensive scale.

Footnote 161:

  St. John, _Life of Sir James Brooke_.

Footnote 162:

  An army in Malay and Dayak.

Footnote 163:

  Afterwards Admiral Sir Arthur Farquhar, K. C. B. He died in 1908, aged

Footnote 164:

  Anglice, King Lion.

Footnote 165:

  Beting Maru is the name of a long sand-spit running into the sea
  between the Kalaka and Saribas rivers off the Maru river.

Footnote 166:

  This same Linggir in 1845 attempted to murder the Rajah and his
  officers and other English guests whilst at dinner in the Rajah's
  house at Kuching. He marched into the dining-room with eighty armed
  men, pretending to pay a friendly visit. The Rajah and his guests
  adopted the only policy open to them, and pretended as well to be
  friendly, for they were completely at the mercy of the Dayaks. They
  entertained their unwelcome guests with wine and cigars whilst waiting
  for the Datus, to whom the Rajah had contrived covertly to send a
  message. The Datu Temanggong arrived first with thirty men, and then
  came the Datu Bandar with fifty men. The Datus wished to kill Linggir
  for his intended treachery, the Rajah, however, spared him, perhaps
  unwisely, but he had to slink away to his boat with a flea in his ear.
  He had actually brought with him a basket to contain the Rajah's head.
  He afterwards became a peaceable citizen, and very friendly to the
  white men.

Footnote 167:

  These unfortunate girls, and those taken at Matu, were barbarously
  murdered by the pirates to prevent their being rescued.

Footnote 168:

  Or better, Mashhor, an Arabic word meaning illustrious.

Footnote 169:

  Mr. W. Brereton first came to Sarawak in the _Samarang_, as a
  midshipman, in 1843. In 1848 he left the Navy and joined the Rajah. He
  was first stationed at Labuan. He was only twenty years of age when
  appointed to take charge of Sekrang.

Footnote 170:

  The Sekrangs lost heavily at the battle of Beting Maru.

Footnote 171:

  _Private Letters._

Footnote 172:

  _Private Letters._

Footnote 173:

  To show how these charges were supported by wilful and gross
  exaggerations, that could only have been made for the express purpose
  of deceiving the public, and which were as ridiculous as they were
  mischievous, Hume stated that it was doubtful whether a portion of the
  Royal Navy of China, which was reported to be off the coast at the
  time for the purpose of making peace with these people (the Saribas
  and Sekrangs), had not been destroyed by the expedition!

Footnote 174:

  Keppel, _Voyage to the Indian Archipelago_.

Footnote 175:

  The important fact that in all their marauding expeditions the Saribas
  and Sekrang Dayaks were mixed up with the Malays of the Saribas and
  Batang Lupar, who not only commanded and led them, but accompanied
  them in large numbers seems to have been quite overlooked by both the
  Rajah's accusers and his supporters. This in itself is a sufficient
  indication of the piratical nature of these expeditions. The character
  of these Malays as pirates was at least beyond question, and to assert
  that they went with these poor "harmless and timid" Dayaks to assist
  them in their intertribal feuds would be a very wide stretch of
  imagination. We have shown that the force routed on Beting Maru was
  led by Malays.

Footnote 176:

  Married to a daughter of the Datu Patinggi Gapur. He was afterwards
  selected by Sherip Masahor's party to murder the present Rajah, but
  the task was not to his liking.

Footnote 177:

  From _Life of Sir James Brooke_, St. John.

Footnote 178:

  May 1850, 145 to 20; June 1850, 169 to 29; July 1851, 230 to 19.

Footnote 179:

  The Rajah to Lord Clarendon, December 25, 1853.

Footnote 180:

  John C. Templar, _Private Letters of the Rajah_, v. iii. p. 117.

Footnote 181:

  _Private Letters._

Footnote 182:

  The Dutch Resident of Western Borneo, not of Sambas only. He certified
  that on one raid the Saribas and Sekrangs killed four hundred people
  on the Dutch coast. Referred to by Earl in his _Eastern Seas_; he
  relates that the Dayaks swept the whole coast from Sekrang to Sambas,
  killing the entire population of Selakau. As far back as 1825, the
  Resident of Sambas (Van Grave) and his secretary were killed on their
  way to Pontianak in a small vessel. Keppel tells us the Saribas once
  laid in wait for "the (Dutch) man-of-war schooner _Haai_, and in one
  engagement killed thirty-seven of the Dutch, losing eighty of their
  own force." Keppel's book, _A Voyage to the Eastern Archipelago in
  1850_, contains an able refutation of the charges made by Hume and

Footnote 183:

  The foregoing particulars are taken from Mr. Prinseps' report, dated
  January 6, 1855.

Footnote 184:

  From Mr. Devereaux's report.

Footnote 185:

  Son of the late Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane.

Footnote 186:

  The Land-Dayaks.



                               CHAPTER V

With this chapter commences the history of the life of the present
Rajah, in itself an epitome of the history of the raj, who in 1852, at
the age of twenty-three, obtained two years' leave of absence to try his
fortunes in Borneo at the invitation of his uncle the Rajah. He arrived
at Kuching on July 21, 1852, at the commencement of a new era in the
history of Sarawak. Hitherto the raj extended only as far as the
Samarahan river, and within this little state order had been established
and peace reigned. Without, it had been freed from its enemies, the
result being an increasing trade which brought prosperity. But the Rajah
could not leave incomplete the work that he had undertaken and begun,
and these benefits had to be more fully extended to the neighbouring
districts, which were shortly to be added to the raj. This could be done
only by first reducing to order the turbulent and restless Sea-Dayaks
and Malays who inhabited these districts. Sarawak, too, had now been
left to fight its own battles alone, and to surmount the additional
troubles that had been thrown across its path by the blind and weak
policy of the British Government that should have been its protector. In
the severe trials that followed, and which had to be faced unhelped, the
Rajah found that assistance which he so much needed in the able and
devoted support of his nephews, the Tuan Besar, and, more notably, the
Tuan Muda, for so the present Rajah was entitled by the datus on his
arrival.[187] On the expiration of his leave the Tuan Muda finally
quitted the Navy, and Sarawak became the scene of his life-work; he was
to become the Rajah's right-hand man, and, a few years later, his
trusted deputy.

Charles Anthoni Johnson, the Tuan Muda, was the second son of the Rev.
Francis Charles Johnson, and was born on June 3, 1829, at Berrow
Vicarage, near Burnham, Somersetshire. Educated in Crewkerne Grammar
School for a few years only, he was withdrawn at the age of a little
over twelve, and entered the Navy on January 18, 1842, as a volunteer of
the first class, under his uncle, Commander Willes Johnson of the sloop
_Wolverine_. He served on this ship until June, 1844, gaining two steps
as midshipman in that year, when he was transferred to the _Dido_,
Captain the Hon. Henry Keppel. He rejoined the _Wolverine_, serving
under Commander John Dalrymple Hay,[188] until his transfer to the
_Mæander_, Captain the Hon. H. Keppel, in November, 1847, as
sub-lieutenant. He joined the _St. Vincent_ in 1848, and in June the
next year was promoted to be senior mate of the _Terrible_. He became
lieutenant in 1852. He served mostly on the China station; and the only
active service he saw was with Keppel's expedition and Sir Thomas
Cochrane's squadron in Borneo waters, as we have already recorded.

The Tuan Muda was appointed to Lundu in January, 1853, but he had not
been there long before news arrived of the death of Mr. Lee, the
Resident at Lingga. The circumstances were these: Ever since the severe
lesson taught the Saribas and Sekrangs in 1849, the piratical tribes had
been divided into two parties: one that was content to submit to the
Government of Sarawak, and abandon its former lawless practices, and the
other, consisting of the irreconcilables, the wild and fiery bloods, who
loved slaughter and rapine above everything, and who could not be
prevailed upon to beat their spears into ploughshares. At their head
stood a peculiarly daring and turbulent Dayak chief called Rentap; and
these had retreated farther up the country to the head-waters of the
Saribas. There Rentap had established a strong stockade on Sadok, a
mountain ridge, up the Sungei (River) Lang, which was regarded as an
impregnable fastness, for access could not be obtained to it by boat, on
account of the rapids, and the country that would have to be traversed
by an expedition was covered with dense jungles, and broken up by rugged
limestone chains of hills.

The Sekrang pirates could no longer shoot down to the sea in their war
prahus, for the forts of Sekrang and Lingga commanded the river,
consequently they exerted their mischievous energies in attacking the
peaceful Dayaks in their districts, and they were especially irate
against those of their own tribe who had submitted to the white man's

Sekrang station under the able management of Mr. Brereton had made great
advances, and around the fort a Malay town had sprung up, and there
Chinese traders had also established themselves. Mr. Brereton was ably
supported by two of the best and most capable Malay chiefs, Pangiran
Matali,[189] a Bruni of rank, and Abang Aing,[190] a Matu Melanau, who
had long been settled in the Batang Lupar with his father the Laksamana
Menudin, and who had the good fortune to have for a helpmate an upright
and determined woman, Dayang Kota; she was strong in council, and so
trustworthy that when Mr. Brereton and the chiefs were away she was
often left in charge of the fort.

The fort at Lingga had been built in 1852 to protect that river against
marauding bands of Saribas, and had been placed in charge of Mr. Alan

Brereton and Lee were both men of independent means, who had joined the
Rajah to assist him in his great work, and who never drew a penny from
the Sarawak Government. The former was hot and impetuous; both were men
of noble and generous natures.

The position of Mr. Lee at Lingga was fairly safe. He had been for a
short time coadjutor with Brereton at Sekrang; at Lingga he had plenty
of Malays, and only friendly Dayaks, the Balaus, about him. But Mr.
Brereton was in a more dangerous position, a single Englishman among
many thousand natives but partially reclaimed in hardly five years, and
all passionately attached to their ancestral custom of head-hunting. It
is true he had about him a number of Malays, and on an emergency might
call in the assistance of those Dayaks of the Sekrang tribe who
professed allegiance, but many of these were waverers, and on a few only
could any reliance be placed.

Early in 1853, reports reached Brereton that Rentap, at the head of a
war party, was on his way down the river to attack his fort, and force
an opening to the sea, so that again he might pursue his piratical
expeditions along the coast; and Brereton sent a message to Lee at
Lingga to come to his assistance.

The request was at once complied with, and, thinking the case urgent,
Lee hurried up the river with a scratch party, insufficiently armed; but
he left orders that a large force was to follow with all possible speed.

On reaching Sekrang, Lee learned that the force under Rentap was
approaching, and he strongly urged Brereton to stand solely on the
defensive, and not to attack the enemy till his auxiliaries had arrived.
Brereton, however, had built a small stockade a few miles above Sekrang
fort, and to this he insisted on going, and was accompanied by Lee. On
the morning after reaching it, a few boats of the Sekrang pirates were
seen descending the river and approaching the stockade. A gun was fired
to signal them to desist, but as this was disregarded, a charge of grape
was poured into them, throwing them apparently into confusion.
Unfortunately, the Malays in the fort were not to be restrained, and
Brereton was for at once dashing forth to attack the enemy in the open
on the river. Lee saw the injudiciousness of such a proceeding. He was
convinced that the two prahus had been sent forward tentatively, and
that the main body of the enemy was concealed behind the point of land
farther up. He expostulated with Brereton, who taunted him with a lack
of courage, and then left the fort with his Malays, and in their boats
they ran in upon the main fleet that was lurking in an upper reach, and
which now swung down, assisted by the ebb-tide, on Brereton's light

Lee, nettled at the taunt, and seeing the peril in which his friend and
fellow-officer had so inconsiderately placed himself, at once left the
fort and hastened to his assistance.

The small boats in which were the Malay garrison were being swamped by
the heavy bangkongs or war prahus of the Sekrangs filled with armed men.
Brereton's boat upset, and with difficulty he reached the bank. Lee
refused to retreat, and calling out, "Save yourselves, I must stand,"
dashed on. His boat was boarded by the enemy; he fought with
desperation, but was overpowered and fell into the water with his head
nearly severed from his shoulders. Meanwhile the force of the current
had carried the fleet under the guns of the stockade, and these opened
fire upon it, and compelled Rentap reluctantly to withdraw and abandon
his undertaking.[191] He was followed up and attacked by the Sekrang
Dayak chief Gasing, who, acting on his own initiative, burnt twenty
villages belonging to Rentap's followers.

When the news of this disaster reached Kuching, the Tuan Muda was
recalled from Lundu and ordered to replace Lee at Lingga, and he arrived
there in June, 1853. A stronger fort was now built there, and the Malays
living at Banting were ordered to move down. He was succeeded at Lundu
by Mr. Charles Grant.[192]

Lingga, which is just at the mouth of the river of that name that flows
into the Batang Lupar about sixteen miles above its mouth, is seated on
a mud bank; the land for miles around is a dismal swamp, and is the most
dreary station in the State. It is, however, a healthy place, and
another redeeming point is the fine expanse of water which forms the
estuary of the Bantag Lupar, stretching from Lingga, where it is three
miles broad, straight to the mouth.

The Dayak population of the Lingga river was then about 5000, all
Balaus, whom the Tuan Muda found to be "braver than most Dayaks, and
true-hearted." From the first, they and the Seboyaus, a relative tribe,
residing some at Seboyau, below Lingga, but most at Lundu, had sided
with the Rajah against their direst foes, the Saribas; and these pages
record many great services rendered by them. Besides these Dayaks there
was a considerable number of Malays, and the latter increased, for
Lingga became to them a place of refuge.

Indra Lila[193] had been the chief here since his forced departure from
the Rejang (see footnote, p. 16). He had died a few months before, and
had been succeeded by his brother, Lila Pelawan,[193] who died a
centenarian in 1897. There was another brother, Lila Wangsa,[193] who
had joined the piratical Saribas Malays. Lila Pelawan was only the
nominal chief of the river, for it was really ruled by two despotic old
Malay ladies of rank, Dang Isa and Dang Ajar. These sisters claimed all
the land as their inheritance, and all the dwellers thereon as their
slaves. Though they were cruel and tyrannical in their methods, these
masterful old ladies had the redeeming point of being brave, and,
attired in men's clothing, with sword and spear, had often led the men
in resisting the attacks of the Saribas. Dang Ajar was the most
troublesome. It was she with whom the Kayan chief, Akam Nipa, had fallen
in love, and a pity it was that his threat to abduct her was frustrated
by the flight of the Malays from Ngmah. Though professing a strong
regard for the Tuan Muda, whom they honoured by styling him their son,
they feared and hated him, for they saw that he would soon deprive them
of all power to do evil, and to prevent this they even attempted to
resort to poison. This was the method by which they were commonly
reputed to have removed Indra Lila out of their way, as they would
certainly have done to his little son, so as to acquire his inheritance,
had not the Tuan Muda taken him under his protection. This lad was Abang
Abdul Gani, who became the Tuan Muda's constant follower for years, and
who afterwards gained for himself the reputation of being one of the
bravest and most honest of the Government Malay officials.

As they themselves foresaw, the power of these two old ladies was soon
brought to an end, and they retired into seclusion to solace themselves
with religion.

In August, 1853, the Rajah went to Bruni, where he found that his power
and his popularity had not waned, though discarded by the British
Government, and discredited by his own countrymen, and though he arrived
in a small merchant ship instead of in one of her Majesty's men-of-war.
He stayed some time in Bruni, and was warmly received by the new Sultan,
Abdul Mumin, for Omar Ali had departed to answer for his sins, "and was
fully and firmly reinstated as their friend and adviser." Those
districts outside Sarawak, namely the Sadong, Batang Lupar, Saribas, and
Kalaka rivers and their tributaries, with a coast-line of some
seventy-five miles, in area about three times the size of the raj, were
now incorporated with it by a cession granted by the Sultan, the Rajah
agreeing to pay the Sultan half of any surplus revenues that might
accrue. We may note here for convenience that this was altered
afterwards in 1861, when the territories as far as Kedurong point were
ceded, thereby giving the State a further coast-line of 180 miles, and
the rivers Rejang, Oya, Muka, Tatau, and Bintulu. For this additional
cession and that of 1853 a fixed yearly sum was to be paid to the Sultan
as compensation for loss of revenue; and these cessions, having been
made subsequent to the treaty of 1847, contain a clause to the effect
that none of the districts ceded by them may be transferred by the Rajah
or his successors to any other government, company or persons without
the sanction of the British Government, but the Sultan's sanction is not
required. In the event of the cession money not being paid for three
consecutive years, the districts ceded would revert to the Sultan;
otherwise the sovereign and territorial rights over these districts are
absolutely invested in the Rajahs of Sarawak, the Sultan having reserved
no rights or power whatever over them. The cessions subsequently
obtained by the present Rajah, which will be noted in their proper
places, were granted on the same terms.

In December, the Rajah arrived at Lingga on his way to Sekrang and
farther up the river, with the object of opening up communication with
the turbulent members of the Dayak tribes in the interior, under Rentap
and Bulan. These chiefs were men of very different character, and headed
native bodies of like diversity.

Rentap was an active, crafty, and determined man, rootedly opposed to
the interference of Europeans and the putting down of piracy and
head-hunting. On the other hand, Bulan was the figure-head of a party
that hesitated, uncertain which direction affairs would take, and
watching to see which way the cat jumped. Bulan and his faction would
not engage in active hostility against the Rajah's government, unless
they saw that the tide of affairs was setting strong against it. But
also they would not profess friendship, or lend help against the
turbulent party.

The Tuan Muda attended the Rajah to Sekrang, and several meetings were
contrived with the leaders of the two factions, but with no satisfactory
results. In April, 1854, owing to the representations of Mr. Brereton,
an expedition was organised against a chief called Apai[194] Dendang at
Dandi, on the backbone or watershed between the Saribas and the Sekrang
river, a hotbed of mischief, whence several incursions had been made
into the pacified country, with the usual results of rapine and murder.

The Tuan Muda brought up a contingent from Lingga, and this, united with
a force from Kuching, proceeded up the Sekrang, passing troublesome and
dangerous rapids, till the point Lipat was reached, where the boats had
to be left. The backbone of hills was at some considerable distance, and
to reach it much thorny jungle had to be traversed. After a day's march
inland it was arranged that the Europeans and the Sarawak Malay
contingent should remain behind, and that a fighting division of Dayaks
should be sent forward under their chiefs to attack Dandi, which
consisted of one long Dayak house. The plan adopted was not the most
judicious, and the result was disappointing. We will describe what
followed in the Tuan Muda's own words.

  Late in the afternoon of the third day, when we anxiously awaited
  the return of the advanced division, our outposts first of all
  descried two or three small parties of Dayaks evidently of our
  force, wending their way slowly over hill and dale. On their nearer
  approach, we plainly saw wounded men carried by them. Whispers
  spread—gradually and quietly at first, but they soon became more
  distinct—that our party had failed. In the evening the chiefs
  arrived and came forward to report progress, looking haggard, thin,
  and exhausted. The story was as follows—they had walked at a fast
  pace the whole of the first day over the steepest hills, sometimes
  without any path, and the guides at a nonplus for the proper
  direction; from morning till night they scarcely halted, under a
  scorching sun; and parched with thirst without any hope of water. At
  night, by moonlight, they pushed on again, until they nearly fell
  from exhaustion, when they slept in any position with their arms on.
  About 3 A.M. they again advanced, and, at the opening of dawn, the
  most active Dayaks, reaching the enemy's house, advanced upon it
  without order, and as the leaders were mounting the ladder, they
  were struck off one after another by hundreds of men inside, dressed
  in fighting costumes, and headed by the whole of the Saribas tribe,
  men heretofore on every occasion on land, victorious. Our poor
  leaders had to retire to guard their wounded and dying, while the
  enemy were yelling, cheering, and beating gongs; and even their
  women, dressed in their best clothes, were clapping their hands, and
  urging their sweethearts to the encounter.

  As the sun rose, some of the strongest of the Malay force came up
  within shot, and took up quarters behind trees and opened fire upon
  the house. This stopped the cheering within, but in no way daunted
  the enemy. About an hour after, our elderly chiefs came up, viewed
  the house of the enemy, sat down on the hillside in a sheltered
  position, and were so exhausted that children might have hacked
  their heads off. They stopped all advance of their party, and while
  the oldest chiefs were suffering severely from fatigue, a palaver
  was opened, the result being that some of the enemy came down, mixed
  with our people, then partook of sirih and betel-nut in a friendly
  manner, and promised to show our party the nearest way back, and
  provide them with provisions for their journey. On their part they
  engaged to be answerable for the payment of a "death fine" for the
  men they had killed some months previously.

News that a large expedition had been organised against Dandi had
reached Apai Dendang before the departure of the force from Sekrang, and
he had summoned to his assistance all the bravest men of the Saribas
tribe, and the principal leaders of every head-hunting expedition for
some time past; nevertheless he was unwilling to drive matters to an
extremity, having a wholesome dread of the white men. This rendered him
ready to treat and buy off the expedition with a promise of indemnity
for murders recently committed.

A fatal want of discretion had been shown in the whole affair, no
trustworthy guides had been engaged, no inquiry made as to whether the
Saribas were coming up to the succour of Apai Dendang, no English
leaders were sent forward with the rabble of assailants, and that rabble
had attacked in straggling detachments, when exhausted with hard
marching and with thirst.

  We returned home with feelings that can be better imagined than
  described. The Dayaks said that the omens had been bad from the
  outset; the Malays said if they had only been there, the result
  would have been different; and the Europeans said—nothing.

In August, 1854, the Rajah arrived at Lingga with a large force which
had been collected at Kuching, and proceeded to Sekrang, taking with him
the Tuan Muda; The Tuan Besar, together with other European officers,
who had come with the Rajah, also lent their aid. The object was to
attack Rentap in his fastness in Sungei Lang. The whole force numbered
7000 Malays and Dayaks. To prevent the Saribas from sending their
fighting men to the assistance of Rentap, the Datu Temanggong was
despatched with a flotilla up that river to menace their villages and to
hold the Saribas warriors in check. Mr. Steele[195] was to lead another
party up the Kanowit to threaten the Dayaks of that river and its
branches the Kajulau and Entabai, with a rear attack should they cross
over to the Saribas. Mr. Steele had been thrice attacked at Kanowit
fort, but now he could muster fifteen hundred men and take the
offensive, and, though possibly he would have to do no fighting, his
force would deter the Kajulaus from sending aid to Rentap. The
expedition was thoroughly well thought out.

The Rajah, with the main body, leaving the Sekrang fort, ascended the
river for about thirty miles to a place called Entaban. The heavy prahus
were brought thus far with great difficulty, owing to the rapids, and
beyond that point it was impossible to proceed in them. Accordingly a
stockade was erected, and the Tuan Besar was placed in command of the
expedition by land to Sungei Lang, with his brother, the Tuan Muda, Mr.
Crookshank, Mr. Brereton, and four other English officers to assist. The
Rajah's health would not admit of his undertaking the arduous march. He
remained behind with a strong force to protect the flotilla.

Although the heavy war boats could ascend no farther, it was possible
for part of the force to continue the ascent of the river in light
boats, and this was done, the Europeans and Malays marching.

To continue the narrative from the Tuan Muda's description:—

  We had Dayak guides, and could not have proceeded without them. Our
  land force consisted mostly of Malays, and numbered about 500 men—
  the Sekrang Dayaks were in their boats. About 4 P.M. we halted on
  the brink of the river and prepared to spend the night with a
  stockade around. This was in the enemy's country, although there
  were many people living near who were neither the one thing nor the
  other. The following morning we proceeded again in the same order,
  but before mid-day many of our party were quite exhausted, and there
  was really no road to follow but the muddy banks of the river, so we
  halted, and after our mid-day meal it was decided that we were all
  to crowd in with the floating force. And thus we pushed on, but in a
  most comfortless condition with regard to space. We spent the night
  at Tabbat, and fortified ourselves here also. My subsequent
  experience of the localities has proved that we should never have
  reached our destination on foot, keeping company with the boats. On
  the fourth day we spied the enemy's position, situated on a hill
  cleared of all old jungle and showing recent preparations of defence
  around their dwellings. Our heavy armament consisted of 4- and
  3-pounder guns and rocket tubes.

  The enemy showed no opposition outside, and after marching about
  four miles, we arrived at a hill in their vicinity. It was a fiery
  hot morning without a cloud, and the hills, though low, were very
  precipitous. The Europeans kept near the guns, to assist in their
  progress up the steeps, and when we were mounting the last rising
  ground on which the enemy was fortified, we found some of the
  leaders of our force had foolishly advanced too near, and a few had
  been killed and wounded, and were now being carried to the rear. The
  enemy had two long houses on the ridge of a hill, surrounded by
  steep ground excepting at the end. Here high stakes were driven into
  the earth, and around all a firm and thick stockade. The 4-pounder
  gun was mounted after considerable delay, and, when the rocket tube
  was in place, we opened fire on one end, while the 3-pounder played
  away on the other. The enemy answered our fire pretty briskly with
  their lelahs.[196] We could see the men rushing to and fro covered
  with their shields, also parties dancing to the music of the gongs.
  Some of their voices we heard distinctly, saying they would never
  succumb to the tight-breeched men (white men) or to any other
  strangers. Mr. Crookshank (at considerable risk) took charge of the
  rockets, which were of ancient make, and a few that were fired
  entered the fort and did great execution, but the majority whizzed
  round and round and sometimes lodged in the ground among our own
  party; we were all more afraid of these missiles than anything the
  enemy could produce. Early in the afternoon there was a commotion
  among the enemy, and we could discern women and children leaving on
  the opposite side of the hill, but the men stood fast and kept their

  Our old Penglima[197] was biding his time, for he yet knew that he
  might lead, but others would not follow. He worked steadily and
  quietly, amid many jeers from some of our own native party, who
  asked why the warrior did not make an advance: his reply between his
  teeth was—"Your words are more than your deeds." As the sun drew
  near to the horizon, the Penglima moved up to the enemy's stockade,
  silently opened the palisade, and, after a moment's peep, jumped in,
  followed by others, who gave a loud cheer and drew their swords. The
  enemy, finding a lodgment had been made inside, immediately took to
  their heels and fled down the hill. We followed in close to the
  leaders; the entrance was so narrow that many received contusions
  when passing through. About fifty or sixty of the enemy were tearing
  away over the open ground, covering their bodies with their shields.

These were followed by all the defenders of the stockade, who rolled
down the side of the hill, a living wave, bearing away with them their
chief Rentap, who had been wounded. The stockade was taken, and within
its defences the victors passed the night, whilst the enemy fled
precipitately to a second and still stronger fastness on the summit of
the mountain Sadok, which loomed in the distance. One of the most
curious and significant features of the conflict was that, whilst it was
in progress, the hills and every commanding position around were crowded
with Dayaks, the adherents of Bulan, as well as others, who watched it
with lively interest, taking no part on one side or the other, but
waiting to see to which side the scale would incline. Had the attacking
force met with discomfiture, these men would have fallen on it and
harassed the party as it retreated.

If, after the defeat of Rentap and the capture of the stockade in the
Lang, they did not tender allegiance to the Government, it was because
the expedition retired immediately after having achieved its first
success, and, therefore, it gave the waverers no permanent assurance of
protection against Rentap's resentment.

To have crushed Rentap, it would have been necessary to have pursued him
to his second stronghold at Sadok, but this was not done. Captain Brooke
in command doubtless saw the expediency of following up a routed foe,
but Dayak warriors are wont to rest content with a single victory, and,
that gained, to become uncontrollably impatient to return home; besides,
the force was in too disturbed a state to undertake any organised
attack; accordingly, after making a circuit of devastation, it returned.

The result was that Rentap continued to give trouble for seven years.

Brereton died of dysentery, brought on by exposure, shortly after this
expedition, and the Tuan Muda was placed in charge of the Batang Lupar
in October, 1854. The district was in a very disturbed state, and to
establish order by putting an end to intertribal feuds and promiscuous
head-hunting required an unceasing watch being kept on all, and
necessitated many punitive expeditions being made. The Tuan Muda had but
a handful of fortmen, for there was no money to spend; not more than £30
per mensem being allowed even so late as 1860 for the upkeep of the
district, and it must have been less then. Little support could be
expected from the capital. On the Kajulau expedition the Tuan Muda could
muster no more than 100 antiquated muskets and a few rifles, which
included twelve flint and six percussion muskets, all that could be
spared from Kuching. There was much to be done, but there was deficiency
of means to do the work. The Rajah's advice to him was: "to encourage
the good, intimidate the bad, and confirm the wavering." The
difficulties were so many, and the means at hand so limited, that the
position would have been hopeless except to a man of great tact,
patience, daring, and untiring activity, able to bear all the
responsibility, all the anxiety, and all the work upon his own
shoulders. It must be borne in mind that Kuching was some 125 miles
away, that those were the days when there were no steamers, and that
during the north-east monsoon navigation was dangerous to boats. How the
Tuan Muda succeeded will be told in this record of his career; here it
will be sufficient to say, quoting the late Rajah, "that he was the
right man in the right place, and that we are all children in Dayak
management compared to him."

In 1856, the Tuan Muda writes (in _Ten Years in Sarawak_):—

  We are almost daily having alarms in one place or another; sometimes
  on water and sometimes on land. And upon one side of the whole
  length of the river, the inhabitants dare not farm or live, fearing
  attacks from the interior of Sekrang and Saribas. Small parties make
  their foraging excursions and run away with a head here and there,
  and are far distant before we can follow them up.

Intertribal feuds, which had been more or less dropped in the common
cause of piracy—and the plethora of heads it afforded—had now broken out
again, and were growing in intensity. Besides these troubles in the
Batang Lupar and Saribas, the Dayaks of the Rejang living on the Serikei
and Kajulau rivers were giving considerable trouble. These Dayaks had
moved over from the Sekrang and Saribas and were hand-in-glove with
Rentap's rebels. They were open and declared enemies of the Government.
The Kajulau was considered to be the centre of the enemy's country, and
also to be inaccessible to attack. Confident in their impunity, they
were becoming a terror to the peaceable inhabitants of the Rejang delta,
so the Tuan Muda determined to attack them, and organised an expedition—
the first to act independently of Kuching assistance, except for the
loan of the dozen old muskets above mentioned.

On June 6, 1856, the force, comprising a few Malays, and some 3000
Dayaks, started. To take the enemy by surprise the Tuan Muda decided to
go up the Kalaka and march overland. Though the Malays of this river had
suffered severely at the hands of the Kajulaus, they at first refused to
accompany the expedition, regarding the difficulties as insuperable, and
the danger as overwhelming. The result was that half the Malay force the
Tuan Muda had brought with him were intimidated, and began to cry off;
but Abang Aing restored their confidence, and shamed the Kalakas into
accompanying the expedition. On the 14th, after having encountered great
difficulties in passing the rapids, the force reached the Budu stream,
and here the boats were left, but as there were enemies ahead and
enemies to the right (the Saribas) a strong stockade was erected and
garrisoned, to serve as a base and to guard the rear. Near this base
were two long Dayak houses, and in one of them was staying a notorious
Saribas Dayak chief named Saji. As the people were not declared enemies,
though very doubtful friends, Saji could not be touched, but he remained
a danger to be reckoned with, and against whom precautions had to be
taken, for as soon as the expedition started overland he would be able
to follow it with hundreds of men. But Saji was cautious. He preferred
to wait to make his attack till the return of the expedition, when it
would be easier to surprise, for, if not defeated, it would probably be
disorganised. The march commenced on the 16th. The bala formed in three
columns with the Malays in the centre, and at evening the tawaks (gongs)
of the enemy could be heard in the distance sounding the alarm. But it
was not until the 18th, after a tedious march over hilly land, that the
verge of the enemy's country was reached. At 3 P.M. a sharp encounter
took place, and the enemy were driven off, leaving a few dead on the
field, and several long houses that had been abandoned in haste were
entered and plundered. One of these houses the Tuan Muda occupied; and,
finding that the enemy, taken by surprise, attempted no attack and
offered no organised resistance, the force was divided up and despatched
in different directions under their own leaders to burn and destroy.

Here an episode occurred which nearly proved disastrous. On the
afternoon of the 19th, an attack was expected, and the house occupied by
the Tuan Muda was greatly crowded with warriors to defend it. At 7
o'clock it was observed that the posts supporting the house were sloping
considerably, and it was found that this had been caused by the Dayaks
having stowed away in it overmuch of their heavy plunder, such as brass
guns, jars, and gongs, and hundreds had gone up into the house, though
by custom they ought to have remained without on the ground. A collapse
would have meant the loss of many lives, and would have been taken
advantage of by the watchful enemy. Upon the insistence of Abang Aing,
the Tuan Muda left the house, and the Malays were directed to turn the
Dayaks out instantly. But this was by no means easy to be done; indeed
the Dayaks resisted being made to evacuate the house and leave their
plunder there.

Whilst the Tuan Muda was sitting out in the moonlight, a sudden din and
the sounds of strife arose from the house. Men came flying down the
ladder, and others hurried up it. Then three Balau Dayak chiefs begged
the Tuan Muda to go up immediately. Against the protests of Abang Aing,
with sword and gun in hand, he ascended, and found Dayaks and Malays in
a heated and dangerous condition, opposed to one another with drawn
swords in their hands. Planting himself between the antagonists, the
Tuan Muda ordered silence, and cocking his double-barrelled gun and
placing the muzzle within two inches of the leading Dayak's head, he
ordered him to leave the house. Amidst a dead silence the chief went,
followed by the Tuan Muda, the Dayaks edging away and making a path for
them along the verandah to the ladder. Thus ended the disturbance, and
by the morrow it was forgotten. It was arrested just in time to prevent
a desperate encounter between the Malays and Dayaks, which would have
been taken up by the other Dayak factions—for in the bala were Dayaks of
different tribes, only held together by the controlling influence of
their white chief—and there would have been fighting among themselves.
The enemy, taking advantage of this, would have fallen upon and routed
them, and the survivors flying to regain the boats would have been cut
off by Saji and his Saribas. The power of the Government among the
Sea-Dayaks would have been broken completely, and it would have taken
many years to recover it, a calamity which was averted by the bold and
prompt action of the Tuan Muda, and his personal power over Malays and
Dayaks alike.

On the 20th, the attacking parties returned after having destroyed
twenty-five villages, and having secured an immense amount of plunder.
There were but few killed on either side; the enemy had given way,
cowed, and had offered but little resistance.

Thus was a severe lesson administered to the Sea-Dayaks, which they
never forgot, and it showed them that they could and would be treated
even as they had so long treated others with impunity.

  "There is no way," wrote the Tuan Muda, "but burning them out of
  house and home—dreadful as this may appear. The women too must
  suffer, for they are the principal inciters of these bloody
  exploits.[198] An attack on a Dayak force, the destruction of the
  whole of it, with the lives of the men, is no permanent advancement
  towards cessation of head-taking. But the burning down of a village,
  loss of goods, old relics, such as heads, arms, and jars,[199] and
  putting the inhabitants, male and female, to excessive
  inconvenience—all this fills them with fear and makes them think of
  the consequences of taking the heads of strangers. These inland
  abodes have been and are everlasting fastnesses in their
  imagination. Besides, they always express very freely their opinion
  of white men; 'they are powerful, having arms and ships at sea, but
  it is only we Dayaks who can walk and fight on land and clamber
  steep mountains.'"

On the 21st, the march home was commenced, the leaders in the advance
becoming now the rearmost. These were the most trusted and bravest
chiefs; conspicuous among them was Pangiran Matali. Their instructions
were positive—to keep a sharp look-out for the enemy, and to permit no
one to lag behind. Most of the Dayaks were heavily laden with plunder,
and the enemy was hovering about their track in the hope of cutting off
the stragglers.

On the return to the stockade:

  A delicious bathe, and some wine and water were the first things to
  have. Then a lounge in the boat in thin clothing, with that
  exhilarating feeling of lightness which one experiences after a
  Turkish bath. During my enjoyment in the satisfaction that our
  trials were well-nigh over, a rush was heard with tumultuous yells,
  and armed people were dashing back over the path by which we had
  come. I soon learnt that "Iron Anchor"[200] and Pangiran Matali had
  been attacked in the rear, and within five minutes two Dayaks rushed
  to my boat carrying a head yet gory and dripping. The yells and
  cheers were deafening, and it was some time before I could get the
  particulars of what had happened. After the noise had somewhat
  subsided "Iron Anchor" and the Pangiran came to me and told me that
  as they were marching and bringing up the rear, about three miles
  off, a party of Dayaks came down the hill close to them. The
  Pangiran hailed and asked them who they were; the answer was, "We
  are of one bala (force)." Our party hailed again and then fired. Two
  of the strangers fell dead, the others took to flight. On
  Sandom[201] following them up, he saw Saji with a large party fully
  armed for the purpose of making an onslaught on our rear. The
  Pangiran fortunately could recognize the Dayak tribes, and well knew
  their craft and different costumes. Our party escaped unhurt, and
  Saji, who had, I subsequently was told, vaunted that he would get
  forty of our heads, mine amongst the number, ran for his life,
  leaving two dead behind him.

In February, 1857, the Tuan Muda received the startling news that the
Chinese had risen and fallen upon Kuching. He was told that the Rajah
had been killed, along with Mr. Crookshank and many other Europeans.
Before ten minutes had passed, Sekrang fort was crowded with armed men
breathing vengeance, and within an hour, boats had been launched and the
Tuan Muda with Abang Aing had started. Below Lingga next morning they
met the vessel bearing the English refugees—the Bishop, his family, and
others, and from them the Tuan Muda learnt the glad tidings of the
Rajah's safety. Knowing that his force would be sufficient to crush the
rebels and re-establish the Rajah's rule, he pushed on with his mind now
more at ease. He arrived at Kuching to find the town in ruins, but the
Rajah in charge again on board the Borneo Company's steamer _Sir James
Brooke_. As a full account of the insurrection and of the subsequent
events will be found in the following chapter, we will now return to the
subject of this one to preserve a continuous record of the events that
led to the downfall of Rentap.

On the afternoon of the Tuan Muda's return from Kuching, after an
arduous time driving the Chinese rebels over the border, he received
information that the notorious Saji was out with a head-hunting party
along the coast. Prompt action was necessary, and the Tuan Muda by
sunset had started in his war-boat, leaving Abang Aing and the Malays to
follow. Whilst waiting inside the mouth of the Ludam, a little stream
half-way between the mouths of the Batang Lupar and Saribas, for his
Malay and Dayak contingents, a boat dashed past towards the Saribas.
This the Tuan Muda subsequently learnt was Saji, who off Lingga had
fallen in with a small boat containing a man, his wife, and their
daughter. Feigning friendliness Saji approached, and when near enough
attacked the little party. The man escaped by taking to the water, his
wife was cut down and her head taken, and the girl was captured. When
passing the Ludam Saji had noticed the Tuan Muda's boat-flag over the
bank, the tide being high, and he sat with his drawn sword across the
girl's throat prepared to take her life immediately if she attempted to
call out, or should any notice be taken of them. On being joined by the
Malays and the Balau Dayaks the coast was patrolled, and the Saribas was
searched for some way up, but the head-hunters had retired.

Sadok, Rentap's stronghold, was regarded by the Dayaks as impregnable.
Since the destruction of the stockaded village at Sungei Lang, he had
strengthened his position there. In legend and song the Dayaks
represented this place as a mountain so inaccessible, and so protected
by magic, that no enemy would ever dare to assail it. Rentap had
gathered about him all the disaffected Sekrang Dayaks and some of the
Saribas of the interior, who offered him aid so long as he occupied this
eyrie, which stood as an unapproachable nucleus and basis far removed
from danger, and to which they might all retire in case of need from the
rule of the white man, that thwarted their head-hunting and marauding
propensities. Rentap was entitled the Inland Rajah, and was the centre
of all opposition to the rule of the Rajah of Sarawak. His fortification
was near 5000 feet above the sea, with precipitous approaches on almost
every side.

The Tuan Muda had obtained permission to undertake another expedition
against this stronghold. His intention was to pass over the mountain,
lay waste the country at the head of the Saribas, and, after so cutting
off Rentap's supplies and reinforcements, to attempt the chief's
position on his return.

In the Saribas, which was still a hornet's nest, affairs were coming to
a head. The Dayaks were about to retire into the interior with the Datu
Patinggi of Saribas, who, together with the Laksamana, was encouraging
the Dayaks to continue in their evil courses. But for the Malays, and
even amongst them there were many inclined to a life of peace, though
these were in a minority, the Dayaks of the lower Saribas would have
submitted to the Government, and amongst the latter the Rajah could now
count many adherents; but the power of the evilly disposed Malay chiefs,
headed by the Patinggi, and of the Dayak chiefs, headed by Rentap, was
dominant in the Saribas. To check them the Rajah took a large force to
that river, and went at the time that the Tuan Muda was starting on his
expedition, so as to disguise the object of the latter's preparations,
by leading the people to suppose that his intention was to support the
Rajah; and to be at hand to attack the Saribas Dayaks in rear should
they muster in force to assist Rentap. The Tuan Besar at the same time
went to the Rejang, to hold the Dayaks of that river in check.

The Tuan Muda took no Europeans with him, fearing that the fatigue of
the difficult overland march might knock them up, and cause them to
become encumbrances; his force consisted of 3500 Dayaks, and 500 Malays,
all willing volunteers, though many conceived the task to be beyond
their powers; but where he went they were ready to follow, confident
that under his direction they would be well led.

The expedition started on June 2, 1857, a little over three months after
the Chinese insurrection, and left Sekrang in drizzling rain; throughout
it encountered miserable weather, which damped the ardour of the force.
The Malays especially cannot endure wet, a few days' exposure brings on
fever and ague, and the cold, to which the Dayaks would be exposed on
the mountain, was likely to so numb them as to render them useless.

Old Sandom was once more the guide. He had his personal wrong to avenge,
as we have already stated. "Iron Anchor" and Pangiran Matali were again
the leaders.

On June 5, the boats were drawn up at Sungei Antu, on a little island of
rubble and brushwood, upon which a stockade was erected, and where the
flotilla was to be left. Forty men, well armed, were deputed to take
charge of the boats and baggage in this extemporised fort, whilst the
rest moved overland in the direction of the mountain. On the 7th of
June, a height, the bold ridge on which the enemy had established
himself, came in sight, with a succession of hills intervening like a
chopping sea turned to rock. It was resolved to push on that day to
Rapu, the northern termination of the mountain, and there to establish a
stockade from which parties might descend and devastate the country of
the hostile Saribas, on which Rentap had to depend for supplies. But it
was not found possible to do in one day what was determined. The
mountain was indeed reached, but ascended only by some of the advance
party of Dayaks, who could not be restrained, and who scrambled up the
side to the summit of the hogs-back, to be driven back with great loss,
not of lives only, but of confidence and courage as well. The bulk of
the force was constrained to bivouac in rain and cold on the mountain

  The last hundred yards were almost perpendicular, and when mounting
  I had to pull myself up with one hand by the stunted trees; added to
  this, there was a declivity of thousands of feet on each side. In
  ascending this part not more than twenty men were with me. My best
  fort-man was wounded by a spear, and to assist him many of the
  others had left me. And now I must give credit to the Lingga people,
  for they were close at hand. I was within about five yards of the
  enemy, who were pitching spears from behind some wood on the brow of
  the hill, while we were underneath, and the spears went flying over
  my head and struck some of our party in the rear. Here I stood
  propped up against a tree, and poured thirty rounds from my smooth
  bore as fast as I could load. After this I tried to ascend, but the
  Linggas literally collared me. The enemy were quieted, so here we
  sat on the side of this hill, at an angle of 80°, the whole night. A
  few cross sticks were placed for me to sit on. One man held a shield
  at my back.

When morning broke the Tuan Muda and his followers succeeded in reaching
the summit of the mountain, and could look along the brow to the
opposite end, where stood the stronghold of the redoubtable Rentap, to
which the enemy had retired. Several of the attacking force had been
killed or wounded on the previous day, and over a hundred had rolled
down the steep sides, and in so doing lost arms and ammunition.

The "Iron Anchor" maintained his position manfully, and well merited his

On that day, June 8, the force proceeded to stockade the position gained
at the Rapu end of the mountain, confronting that occupied by the
fortress of Rentap, which was not above four hundred yards off. This
latter was a formidable stockade of iron-wood, impervious to rifle
shots, with precipices to the right and left; and the stockade was
commanded by the high-placed houses inside, from which volleys could be
poured on an attacking army, that must advance in a narrow file along
the backbone of rock leading to it. Indeed, to assail the fort from the
northern extremity seemed doomed to failure, the few men leading could
be picked off and would roll down the declivities on this side or that,
or encumber the path by which those behind were pressing on, and expose
them also to be shot down, for the enemy possessed muskets, cannon, and
also a swivel captured when Lee was killed.

During the eight days they remained on the hill it rained incessantly,
and the force suffered severely from cold, finding little shelter in
their leaking huts, the earth floors of which were soon converted into
pools of mire. On the 9th, thinking that the force in advancing towards
Rentap's fortification, had left its rear unguarded, a body of the enemy
that had marched to Rentap's assistance made an attack on the camp, but
they soon found out their mistake, and were easily beaten off. The next
day a division of Dayaks and Malays proceeded against Rentap's allies,
whom they drove back, and whose houses they plundered and burnt. On the
following days other parties were sent out to do the enemy as much harm
as possible, and to deter them from joining Rentap's party in the
stockade, or harassing the main assailing force. In the meantime the
Tuan Muda had attempted to get his men to storm the fortress at night,
promising to lead the way himself; but they would not face the risk,
though later on they consented to attack the place in force. Three days
were spent in constructing portable screens of laths and bamboos, under
the cover of which parties could progress along the dangerous ridge and
make an attempt to set fire to the stockade. At mid-day on the 15th the
attack commenced.

  I took up my position with a rifle, and watched for movements among
  the enemy, but the active work I left to Aing, who, drawn sword in
  hand, superintended with much activity. The sounds were deafening,
  and the fellows carried the wood and materials under the fire of
  Rentap's guns. At 4 P.M. my party had attained to within six or
  seven yards from the outer fort, and the scene was truly exciting.
  Our enemies evidently were not numerous. They threw stones from the
  inside which fell on the heads of our fellows, and used muskets,
  together with a swivel. At half-past five our leader, crouching
  under the moving stockade, called for fire, and the wood collected
  was in considerable quantities. At this juncture Aing fell, wounded
  by a musket shot. Then evening set in, and we were obliged to return
  to our quarters. The enemy yelled in triumph at our departure.

The wood collected had been so saturated with rain that it refused to

  As I lay down to rest at night, I gave up all thought of gaining
  Rentap's fortress, but resolved to see what could be done elsewhere.
  When I rose the last morning, the enemy was yelling, and my first
  desire was to get about a hundred of the strongest young fellows
  together, command myself, and proceed to Atui, where there were
  three long houses of enemies, about six hours' walk distant. This I
  promised to do in three days, when I would return here and march
  back with the whole force. I could obtain no volunteers; some said
  they were sick, others out of provisions, and I was obliged to bow
  to circumstances, and at eight o'clock our party began to descend
  the mountain.

The retreat was conducted without serious molestation by the enemy, but,
on reaching Antu, it was found that owing to the rain a freshet had come
down, the river rising twelve feet, and had swept the stockade away and
carried off over seventy of the boats. The discouragement was great, and
the return down the river was not effected without some annoyance from
the enemy, who hid in the jungle and fired on the party as, in
overcrowded boats, it descended the Sekrang. None were thus killed, but
some were drowned.

Thus ended the first expedition against Sadok. It had done something,
though no serious damage, but it exalted the confidence of Rentap in the
impregnability of his stronghold. Practically it had been a failure, and
so it was felt to be among Malays and Dayaks generally. The unrest in
the country became more accentuated, and the daring of the Saribas

In April, 1858, the Tuan Muda says:

  I had for many months been tormented by the affairs in Saribas,
  which had been for generations the hotbed of head-hunters and piracy
  in every shape. The people were becoming more audacious, and I found
  it had been to no purpose holding communication with even the
  Malays, who, a few days ago, refused to receive a letter, and
  declared they intended shortly to ascend the river and live with the
  Dayaks, and eat pork as they did. It was evident that a crisis was
  approaching which would require resolute action, or our _prestige_
  would be injured in this quarter. This we could by no means afford
  to lose, as stoppage of all trade and communication on the coast
  would inevitably ensue.

A fleet of forty Saribas pirates' vessels was known to be ready to
descend the river for a foray on the coast under Saji and another
notorious Dayak chief, Lintong;[202] and was only detained till the boat
of the former was ready at Paku, forty miles from the mouth. No time was
to be lost to prevent this force from reaching the sea, and the Tuan
Muda sent to Kuching for aid. Meantime he manned his big boat with sixty
men, and a 3-pounder was placed in her bows. Thus equipped, he sped to
Lingga, where he fortunately found the small gunboat schooner, the
_Jolly Bachelor_, commanded by John Channon.[203] He now started up the
Saribas river with a picked crew, and with numerous native boats
following. The flotilla advanced as far as the mouth of the Padi river,
on which was the village of Saji. Here they anchored, and a 6-pounder
gun was pointed up the Saribas in case the enemy's forty war-boats
should come down. Thence a party was detailed inland to attack Saji and
his pestilent horde. This was done. The enemy was driven back with loss,
and their houses destroyed. A more dreaded enemy than the Saribas now
assailed the expedition, and that was cholera. In consternation the
force began to break up and return home. The Tuan Muda resolved on
constructing a fort and establishing a government on the river, and for
that purpose retired down to Betong, a site he had selected as most
suitable for a station.

Whilst engaged in collecting materials for the fort, the reinforcements
from Kuching arrived under the charge of young Mr. J. B.
Cruickshank,[204] but too late to be of any use. The cholera prevented
any further action being taken; but the time was usefully spent in
completing the fort. Leaving Cruickshank in charge, the Tuan Muda
returned to Sekrang, and while there heard that the Saribas were again
in motion for a coast raid, their destination being unknown.

This was led by the redoubtable Linggir again. The Tuan Muda at once
sent orders for the Balau Dayaks to muster and intercept the force. The
order was promptly carried out, and Linggir's bala was defeated with a
loss of fourteen men, Linggir himself having another very narrow escape.
But other parties were out, and the Tuan Muda himself set forth for the
Saribas to intercept some of these marauders. Here he was joined by Mr.
Watson[205] on his way to take charge of the new fort—a welcome addition
for the reinforcement of that establishment.

The Tuan Muda warned the Malay villagers at the mouth of the Saribas,
who were restless and desirous of encouraging the pirates, that they
would be held responsible should any pirate boats be suffered to pass,
and then returned to Sekrang to hasten preparations for an ascent of the
Saribas river with a large body of men to chastise the turbulent natives
who, led by Saji, had attacked Betong fort on July 14, 1858, and to
press on and again try conclusions with Rentap.

After some delay the Kuching force started, and reached the rendezvous
at the mouth of the Saribas river, but the Tuan Muda had been delayed,
waiting for his Dayaks, and it proceeded to Betong. The leading division
was a force from Kuching under the Tuan Besar, who commanded this
expedition. It passed on several days before the Tuan Muda with the main
force arrived at Betong fort, but was soon overtaken. The river was
found to have been purposely obstructed. Large trees standing low on the
banks had been felled so as to fall across, and, where narrow, block the
stream. And this had been done for several miles. They were not formed
into a boom, but left to lie where they fell. This is a favourite plan
of the Dayaks for hindering the progress of an enemy up stream.
Moreover, by cutting trees inclining to the river nearly through to the
breaking point, and then sustaining them by means of rattans, they can
in a moment sever these strings and let the trees fall on and crush the
leading boats. Some thirty-five years ago, a Dutch gunboat whilst
steaming up the Kapuas river was sunk in this manner, and her crew

Notwithstanding the obstructions, the flotilla advanced, and the enemy
retired up stream. During five days' hard rowing, it progressed till it
reached Pengirit, just below the Langit river, and here the vanguard
fell in with the enemy under Saji. Saji gallantly attacked, and met the
fate he so richly deserved. "Saji's name and acts had been in my ears
for years past," wrote the Tuan Muda. "Many a bloody deed had been
perpetrated, and he always had boasted that the White Men's powder and
shot would take no effect on his body." So fell one of the most cruel
and treacherous head-hunters of those days.

At the mouth of the Langit river a stockade was erected. Here on a clear
night the moon was eclipsed. The Tuan Muda had seen by his almanack that
this would occur, and had announced to the host that it would take
place. If this had not been done a panic would have ensued, and the
natives would have insisted on leaving; but as it was, they conceived
that the phenomenon had been ordered by the white chief, to strike
terror into the hearts of their foes, as also to encourage them; they
were accordingly in good heart to advance.

They pushed on readily enough to Nanga Tiga,[206] the junction of three
rivers, one flowing from Sadok, one from the watershed where rises the
Kanowit river, and the third the main Saribas. Here the boats were to be
left, and a stout stockade was erected. Thence preparations were made to
advance up-country towards the Rejang. The Tuan Muda, with whom went
Cruickshank, was in command and led the van. Messrs. Steele and Fox[207]
were to take charge of the rear division. The whole party comprised 200
Malays and 2000 Dayaks.

From Nanga Tiga this party made for the head-waters of the Kajulau, to
lay waste the territory of the troublesome natives there. It may seem,
and it does seem at first sight, and to such as are not acquainted with
native warfare, a barbarous process to burn villages and destroy the
padi-fields with the crops on which the natives subsist. But, as already
said, it is the only way in which these savages can be brought to
submission. The women indeed suffer, but then they are the principal
instigators of all the attacks on inoffensive tribes. They rather than
the men were greedy after heads, and scoff at their husbands or
sweethearts as milksops if they remain at home, and do not go forth to
massacre and plunder. In fact, the destruction of their homes strikes
the women to the heart, and turns them into advocates of peace. Among
the Dayaks the women are a predominant power. The Dayaks are as
woman-ridden and as henpecked as are Englishmen. Moreover, the
destruction of native buildings is a more merciful proceeding than the
slaying of a number of men in battle.

After the return of this ravaging party, which had done a circuit of
thirty miles, a day was given to rest, and then the main body prepared
to march to Sadok; and this time the expedition was furnished with a
mortar that was expected to bring down Rentap's fortification. It was a
six-pounder and only a few inches long, and was carried by Dayaks slung
in a network of rattans.

Without opposition the host approached the fort of Sadok.

  We met with no obstacles in mounting to the summit, which we reached
  at a little past ten in the morning. Rentap's party were within his
  wooden walls, and not a living being could be seen. Our force set to
  collect wood, and within an hour a small stockade was erected, in
  which our mortar was arranged; it was mounted within easy firing
  distance of the enemy's fortress, and, under the superintendence of
  Mr. John Channon, the firing commenced. The shells were thrown with
  great precision, often lodging under the roof of the enemy's fort;
  at other times bursting over it, and more than once, we heard them
  burst in the middle inside. Not a word was spoken by them, and some
  were under the impression that the place was deserted, when the
  tapping of the old gong would recommence as blithe as ever. Fifty
  rounds of shell were fired, besides hollow ones with full charges of
  powder, all of which appeared to take no more effect than if we were
  pitching pebbles at them. None of our party yet dared venture too
  near, but some of the most energetic pushed on to another stockade,
  within a few fathoms of the fort, when the enemy commenced firing,
  but the shot did not penetrate the wood. Our young Dayaks advanced,
  and two were immediately knocked over and others wounded. Other
  parties also advanced, and an active scene ensued; some reached the
  planking of the fortress, sheltering their heads with their shields,
  showers of stones were thrown from the inside, and spears were
  jabbed from a platform above. There was such a commotion for a few
  minutes, that I made certain our party were effecting an entrance,
  and, for the purpose of supporting them, I rushed out of our
  stockade, followed by a few, but had not passed on over more than
  four or five feet, before the enemy fired grape, wounding a fine
  young Dayak behind me, whom I had just time enough to save from
  falling down the precipice by seizing him by the hair, and passing
  him on to others behind the stockade. My brother and I advanced a
  few steps, but found our following was too inadequate for storming,
  and many were already retreating. Volleys of stones were flying
  round our heads, and as we retired again behind the stockade another
  charge of grape poured into the wood now at our backs. The chiefs
  had congregated to beg us to desist from making any further advance,
  and I must admit that we only risked our lives needlessly. The
  natives wisely observed, "We cannot pull these planks down with our
  hands, we cannot climb over them, and our arms make no impression on
  the enemy."

It was therefore resolved to abandon the attack. The retreat was begun
at once, Rentap's followers shouting after the party the mocking words,
'Bring all your fire-guns from England, we are not afraid of you,' and
discharging shot and spears and poisoned arrows. The enemy, yelling in
triumph, threatened the assailants as they retired down the hill, but
kept at a decent distance or hid behind cover for fear of the firearms.

Thus ended the second attempt on Sadok, again a failure. The mortar had
not answered its purpose, nothing but a cannon could effect a breach in
the solid palisading of the fortress. This venture was made in 1858, and
no further attack on Sadok was attempted till 1861. There were other
grave matters to engage the attention of the Rajah and his nephews, and
although the upper Saribas were continuously troublesome, and had to be
checked and reprisals made for their onslaughts on the peaceable Dayaks,
for three years no attempt could be undertaken to dislodge Rentap.

But in 1861, it was resolved finally to assault and humble him.
Meanwhile a good many of Rentap's followers had deserted him, and he was
no longer popular. His violence and wilfulness had alienated many, and
more had come to see that under the Sarawak Government the Dayaks who
submitted were contented and flourishing. He had moreover offended their
prejudices. He had descended from his eyrie, carried off a girl,
discarded his old wife, and elevated the young one to be Ranee of Sadok.
This was a grave violation of Dayak custom, and was resented

On September 16, 1861, an expedition under the command of the Tuan Muda
was ready to start up the Saribas river to dislodge Rentap. According to
the received axiom, a third time is lucky, and on this occasion success
was achieved.

The new expedition was to be better furnished than had been those which
preceded it, and was to take with it rockets, a 12-pounder gun, and a
6-pounder; a working party of twenty Chinamen to make roads and throw up
earthworks, a force of Sidi boys or negroes, daring fellows, ready to
storm the stockade, and numerous Malays and Dayaks. On October 20, the
expedition reached Nanga Tiga, the old position in 1858, and there once
more the boats were left, a stockade erected, and the 6-pounder mounted
in it. The land party then advanced over the same ground as before, the
guides leading the way, followed by the Chinese and the Sidi boys; the
Europeans being placed in the centre. Rain came down in torrents, as on
the former occasion, and a difficulty ensued in getting the Chinamen to
keep the powder dry.

On the 25th, the foot of Sadok was reached, whereupon two chiefs, the
brothers Loyoh and Nanang, came in and made their submission, but this
was accepted only after the payment of a fine of forty rusa jars worth
£400, which were to be retained for three years, and then returned to
the tribe, or their chiefs, should they remain loyal; and eventually
they were restored. Rentap got wind of this, and sent out a party who
set fire to Nanang's house, which was close to his on Sadok.

The gun was slung on a long pole, and sixty men were detailed to convey
it up the mountain, but this could be effected by the means of ropes
alone. No opposition was offered by Rentap, although four hours were
consumed in transporting the gun to the summit. At 4.30 A.M. of the
28th, it was in position, but as a dense mist had rolled down enveloping
the mountain top, nothing could be done with the gun till 7.30, when the
mist had cleared away; and then such a raging wind was blowing, that the
rockets could not be used. The gun was discharged, but, after the
seventeenth round, the carriage gave way; however, it had effected the
purpose for which it had been brought up, by tearing gaps in the
stockade of Rentap's fortress, and now, under cover of a volley of
musketry, the storming party rushed over the neck of rock, and dashed in
at the gaps that had been made. They found the fortress deserted by all
but the dead and dying. Rentap, perceiving that it was no longer
tenable, had fled with his men down the opposite end of the mountain. In
the fortress were found the arms captured when he fought with Brereton
and Lee, in 1853, and a large quantity of ammunition, which had been
supplied by Sherip Masahor; also, amongst others, a brass cannon taken
from a gunboat belonging to the Sultan of Pontianak that had been
captured by Rentap in 1837 off Mempawa, in sight of her consort, a Dutch
gunboat. In the afternoon of the same day, fuel was heaped about the
stockade and long houses; a gun was fired, and in ten minutes a column
of fire mounted and was carried in blazing streamers before the wind. As
the darkness settled down, the summit of Sadok was glowing and shooting
up tongues of flame like a volcano, visible for miles around, and
proclaiming unmistakably the end of Rentap's domination as Rajah of the

Rentap will not be noticed again. Broken, and deserted by all, he
retired to the Entabai branch of the Kanowit, where he died some years




Footnote 187:

  This is now the established title of the second sons of the Rajahs.

Footnote 188:

  Now the Right Hon. Sir John Dalrymple Hay, Bart., P.C.

Footnote 189:

  Pangiran Matali (Muhammad Ali) was a brave man, honest and faithful.
  He was a Government chief and magistrate, and his death, a few years
  ago, was felt as a severe loss. He had a very thorough knowledge of
  the Dayaks, and was a capable man in handling them. He was a prince by
  birth of the royal blood of Bruni. He stands out as an example of what
  such princes were capable of becoming under a just government.

Footnote 190:

  Abang Aing was the head Government chief and native magistrate at
  Sekrang, a post he held with distinction, noted for his fair and
  impartial judgments, till his death, which took place in December,
  1884. He and Pangiran Matali were the present Rajah's main supporters
  and most trusted servants in the old troublesome days; and their names
  stand foremost amongst those Malay chiefs who won an honourable place
  in the annals of Sarawak for devotion to the cause of law and order.

Footnote 191:

  S. St. John, in his _Life of Sir James Brooke_, says that Rentap took
  Lee's head, but this was not the case.

Footnote 192:

  Mr. C. Grant of Kilgraston, N.B., was a midshipman on the _Mæander_
  when that ship brought the Rajah out from England. He became the
  Rajah's private secretary in September, 1848. He retired in 1863.

Footnote 193:

  These are titles of Sanskrit origin bestowed by the Sultan, the
  meanings of which are somewhat obscure. The first probably means "the
  revered Lord"; the third "high in eminence"; as regards the second,
  Pelawan may mean the name of a place, otherwise it is untranslatable.

Footnote 194:

  Apai = the father of.

Footnote 195:

  As in the case of Mr. Lee, little has been recorded of Mr. H. Steele.
  He did good service at the battle of Beting Maru, and probably joined
  in 1848. He was selected by the Rajah to take charge of the fort at
  Kanowit when it was built, and there he was murdered in 1859. He was a
  noted linguist.

Footnote 196:

  Brass cannon of Malay manufacture.

Footnote 197:

  Seman was a Kalaka Malay living in Kuching, and had been made a
  penglima by the Rajah for his courage and dash. His name still
  survives in Kampong Penglima Seman—the village, or parish, of Penglima
  Seman, within the township of Kuching.

Footnote 198:

  The brutal and disgusting behaviour of the women on the arrival of a
  fresh "trophy," to one who has witnessed it, would choke off any pity
  for them.

Footnote 199:

  These articles and other valuables, though a bitter loss, can be
  replaced. But the destruction of their homes, rice-stores and standing
  crops, household goods, cooking utensils and clothing, pigs, poultry,
  and hunting dogs, boats and paddles, and farming implements are losses
  that it takes two years to regain, and which reduces them for the time
  to a condition of beggary.

Footnote 200:

  Sauh Besi, a powerfully built Malay.

Footnote 201:

  Sandom was the guide. He was a plucky Sekrang Dayak, and thirsted for
  Rentap's blood in revenge for the murder of his brother, who had been
  put to a cruel death by Rentap.

Footnote 202:

  His _nom de guerre_, or _ensumbar_ in Dayak, was Mua-ari, literally
  the Face of the Day. He was sometimes foe and sometimes friend, and
  will be mentioned again. The _ensumbar_ is frequently, not always,
  given to or adopted by warriors who have in some way or another gained
  renown. Some writers have confused it with the _julok_, or nickname,
  which refers to some bodily defect or peculiarity, and with names
  given to children at birth, such as Tedong, the cobra; Bulan, the
  moon; Matahari, the sun; Besi, iron. Malays are sometimes given a _nom
  de guerre_, such as Sauh Besi, above mentioned, and Sherip Sahap was
  known as Bujang Brani, the Brave Bachelor, which is also a Dayak
  _ensumbar_; others are the White Hawk, the Hovering Hawk, the Torrent
  of Blood, etc. The totem is unknown amongst the Sea-Dayaks.

Footnote 203:

  John Channon, a merchant seaman, served the Government for many years.
  Of him the Tuan Muda wrote in 1859: "John had been my companion for
  many dreary months in the hot cabin of his vessel. He had charge of
  the _Jolly_ for years, and many a creek and dangerous cranny had she
  become acquainted with in our expeditions. His valuable services, as
  well as steady and brave conduct, both on board and in the jungles,
  cannot be too highly praised in the annals of Sarawak."

Footnote 204:

  James Brooke Cruickshank, a godson of the Rajah. He joined in
  February, 1856, when about fifteen years of age; and at this time was
  stationed in the Sadong. He served for many years in the Dayak
  countries; and ultimately became Resident of the 3rd Division. He
  retired in 1875, and died in 1894.

Footnote 205:

  Mr. W. C. Watson joined October, 1857, and resigned in 1869.

Footnote 206:

  Nanga = the mouth of a river in Sea-Dayak; tiga = three.

Footnote 207:

  Mr. C. Fox came to Sarawak from India in 1851, as master of the
  Mission School; he shortly afterwards joined the Rajah.


  GOVERNMENT STATION, BAU (Gray's ridge).]

                               CHAPTER VI

We must take a retrospective glance before proceeding with the subject
of this chapter, in order to note briefly some important incidents,
which have not been recorded in their proper sequence, so as not to
interrupt a connected narrative of the events related in the preceding
chapter. During the period covered by that chapter happened the grave
disturbances caused by Sherip Masahor, aided by the disaffection of the
Datu Patinggi Gapur, and backed by Bruni intrigue; also the troubles at
Muka, which ended in the cession to the raj of that and neighbouring
towns, with the intermediate country up to point Kedurong. Both occurred
previously to Rentap's overthrow, but subsequently to the Chinese
insurrection, and both will be fully related in the two following

In 1850, as we have already recorded, the Chinese colony in Upper
Sarawak had been greatly augmented by the arrival of some thousands of
Chinese refugees from Pemangkat in Dutch territory, who had come over
into Sarawak to escape the tyranny of their stronger rivals, the Chinese
of Montrado.

These Chinese were mostly gold miners, and had established themselves at
Bau, Bidi, Paku, and Tundong, under one Kongsi, or company, to exploit
the mines in the vicinity of these villages. Bau, their principal
village, was the headquarters of the Kongsi. Others had settled at
Siniawan, and Segobang, but these were agriculturists, and harmless
people, though they were reluctantly dragged into rebellion by the
machinations of the Secret Society formed by the turbulent mining
communities, and became involved in the ruin that followed its attempt
to overthrow the Government.

In Kuching there was also a fairly large number of Chinese, consisting
mainly of merchants and traders, mostly well-to-do people, whose
interests, as well as racial antagonism, placed them, then as now, in
opposition to the principles of such secret societies, which aimed at
the subversion of all constituted authority, and the substitution of

For years past a secret society had been forming in Upper Sarawak, with
its headquarters at Bau. It was not the product of any discontent with
the Rajah's Government, to which its members had fled for protection
from the tyranny to which they had been subjected over the border, but
was formed by a few ambitious and unscrupulous men and their adherents
to gain power, and these were principally the scattered remains of
societies which had been driven out of Dutch territory.

The name of the Society was the Sam-Tiau-Kiau Hueh,[208] and it was
amalgamated with the great Thien-Ti[209] Hueh, or Triad Society of
China, which was firmly established in Singapore, and had its
ramifications throughout the East. The Thien-Ti Hueh had its rise in the
17th century, and had a political origin. The object was the restoration
of the Ming dynasty, which in the person of Tsung-Cheng was cut off by
the Manchus in or about 1628. The Society is called "Triad," it being
also known by the name of Sam-hap or "three united"—a Triad of Heaven,
Earth, and Man; and these forces, where brought into perfect unity,
produce peace and harmony. But it has entirely lost its political
character, and has become socialistic and anarchical.[210] Although the
maxim or motto of the Society is "Obey Heaven and work Righteousness,"
these objects are the very last sought by the members. Both in China and
in the Dutch Colonies the League is forbidden by severe laws, and in
Sarawak since 1870 the punishment for being the leader of any secret
society is death. In China itself, to be found in possession of any
books, seals or insignia of the Triad Society would render a person
liable to decapitation, or subject him to a persecution to which even
death would be preferable. The sure sign of the beginning of activity of
a Society for some object it has set before it is a series of murders of
those Chinese who have refused to join it, who have incurred its
displeasure, or who are mistrusted. His blood is drunk, and an ear sent
to the head of the Society, in token that he has been put to death. In
Singapore it is now less noxious. There, every Society has to be
registered and reported; and no secret society is allowed to meet that
has not conformed to regulations, that deprive it of half its

There is not a shrewder or more industrious man under the sun than the
yellow Chinaman. "Il engraisse le sol où il est planté," as Napoleon
said of the Englishman. He is an admirable market-gardener, and will get
more out of half an acre of land than any man else. He is a diligent
planter, miner, and artisan, possesses great ability as a merchant, and
is indispensable for the proper development of tropical countries. But
in a good many exists an invincible love of belonging to a secret
society, and such a society, although nominally a benefit-club, is
really a hotbed of anarchy.

As it gathered strength the Sam-Tiau-Kiau Hueh became contumacious and
insolent. As early as the close of 1850 it had brought itself
conspicuously to the attention of the Rajah, and the principal men were
warned to desist in time. This warning was unheeded, and a little later
it was discovered that members were being enrolled by persuasion and
threats, and that an agent of the Triad Society had come over from
Singapore to further its objects. This man, Kah Yun, was arrested and
sentenced to death, and others were fined and flogged. In 1852, the
Chinese in Upper Sarawak, who had more than once before been turbulent
and rebellious, openly resisted a Government officer, and prevented him
from arresting a criminal, a member of the Hueh. The Tuan Muda was sent
to the spot with a force, but, though well armed, the Chinese did not
then feel themselves strong enough to resist, and offered the most
humble obeisance, delivering up the culprit. They were then ordered to
build a fort at Belidah, below Siniawan, to equip it with arms and
ammunition, and to pay the wages of the fortmen. The fort, which was to
be a check on the Chinese, was built, and placed in charge of Sherip
Matusain, with a small garrison of Malays. The Chinese had been steadily
collecting arms and ammunition for some time past, and they were now
ordered to deliver up a hundred muskets, but the demand was afterwards
relinquished. This was a mistake, as they had no need of firearms for
their protection, living as they did amongst the peaceable Land Dayaks,
and the Tuan Muda was rightly of opinion that they had not been
sufficiently humbled, nor their power sufficiently weakened. To the
Hueh, however, the lesson was useful—it showed them the strength of the
Government, and taught them that submission would be wise until they
were better prepared.

In Sarawak in 1857 there were about 4000 of these yellow men, located
mainly in the mining district. There were numerous settlements over the
frontier in the territories of the Sultan of Sambas, where also the
people were engaged on the gold mines, and the Hueh could rely upon
their active aid.

A good deal of smuggling of opium had been in progress, and evidence was
obtained that convicted the Kongsi of gold-miners at Bau of having been
engaged in this illicit trade; whereupon it was fined £150, a small sum
considering the amount that the revenue had been defrauded by their
means. This fine was imposed a month only before the outbreak occurred;
it was paid, and the Hueh feigned submission.

The Sultan of Sambas had long been jealous of the growing prosperity of
Sarawak, and of the contrast afforded to his own misrule by the liberal
and good government there. Moreover, numerous Land-Dayaks from Sambas
had moved into the Rajah's territories for the sake of the protection
there afforded, which they could not obtain under the Sultan. He was
accordingly willing to encourage any attempt made to overthrow the
government of the Rajah.

In October, 1856, trouble with China began, and Commissioner Yeh,
defying Sir John Bowring and Admiral Seymour, publicly offered a reward
of thirty dollars for every English head. Rumour of this, greatly
magnified into a general slaughter and expulsion of the English, had
reached the Chinese in Singapore, where an outbreak took place in 1857,
and Sarawak, where signs of unrest among the Chinese became apparent.
The Commission of Inquiry into the conduct of the Rajah greatly tended
to encourage the Chinese to revolt. They believed that the British
Government strongly disapproved of the rule of the Rajah, and would not
lift a finger to maintain it. There was but a handful of white men in
Sarawak, and the Land-Dayaks were well known to be a timorous people,
indisposed to war. It was also thought that there was a body there of
disaffected Malays, under the influence of the Rajah's old adversary,
the Pangiran Makota, who was now supreme in Bruni, governing the mind of
the imbecile Sultan, and watching for every opportunity of upsetting the
rule of the English Rajah in the south.

The headmen of the Kongsi accordingly resolved upon striking a sudden
blow, mastering Kuching, and sweeping the Rajah and all his officials
out of the place. But, so as not to give occasion to the British
Government to interfere, they determined to massacre them only, and to
spare the lives of the few English merchants and missionaries resident
at Kuching, and not members of the Rajah's staff.

At the close of 1856, the Rajah was at Singapore, whither he had gone to
recruit, as he was much out of health. His nephew, the Tuan Muda, was at
Sekrang, engaged on the construction of a new fort, when he received a
letter from the principal official in Kuching, requesting him to be
present at the Chinese New Year, and informing him that he had received
disquieting intelligence about the Chinese gold-miners, who, under the
plea of erecting a new joss or idol, or Tai-pi-kong,[212] meditated an
attack on Kuching, and an attempt to overthrow the Government and
establish their own independent rule. The Tuan Muda at once sought Abang
Aing, the principal Sekrang chief, a man to be thoroughly trusted, but
he was laid up with small-pox, and unable to help.

"He spoke very kindly and to the purpose, telling me plainly that he did
not like the sound of the reports, and begged me to be careful. He
regretted that he could not go himself, but would send a younger
brother, and urge the Orang Kaya to accompany me, and he promised to
arrange so as to follow me if anything serious really occurred. No
Christian could have offered advice in a kinder tone or better spirit."

Accordingly the Tuan Muda hastened to Kuching, but found that all was
quiet there, and it was supposed that the reports were unnecessarily
alarming. Thus satisfied, he departed, and returned to Sekrang. Mr.
Arthur Crookshank, then in charge at Kuching during the absence of the
Rajah and the Tuan Besar, who was in England, however, took the
precaution to man the small stockades, which constituted the only
defences of the town, with a sufficient garrison.

On February 14, 1857, four days before the insurrection broke out, a
Chinaman, who had formerly been expelled from Sarawak territory for
joining a secret society, appeared in Bruni, and was detected attempting
to induce the Chinese servants of Mr. Spenser St. John, then
Consul-General there, to enter the Thien-ti Secret Society; and
encouraging them to do so with the assurance that a general massacre of
the white men in Sarawak was in contemplation, and that the Chinese
would establish their own supremacy there. It is therefore by no means
improbable that he was an agent of the Kongsi sent to Bruni, to
communicate the plan of insurrection to Makota. Moreover, it was
ascertained that overtures had been made to certain disaffected Malays
in Sarawak to shut their eyes, if they did not feel inclined for actual
co-operation in the attempt.

On the Rajah's return to Kuching from Singapore, Mr. Crookshank told him
of the disquieting rumours, and of what he had done for the protection
of the capital. And, although Mr. Middleton, the Inspector of Police,
confirmed his opinion that precautions should be taken, the Rajah could
not be induced to believe that there was danger, and unwisely dismissed
the garrison from the forts, and no efficient watch was kept.

On February 18, the chief of the Kongsi assembled about six hundred of
the ablest-bodied Chinamen belonging to the Society at Bau, armed them
and marched to Tundong on the Sarawak river, where a squadron of large
boats had been prepared to carry them to Kuching.

  "During their slow passage down the river," says Mr. St. John, "a
  Malay who was accustomed to trade with the Chinese overtook them in
  a canoe and actually induced them to permit him to pass, under the
  plea that his wife and children lived in a place called Batu Kawa,
  eight miles above the town, and would be frightened if they heard so
  many men passing, and he not there to reassure them. Instead of
  going home, he pulled down as fast as he could till he reached the
  town of Kuching, and going straight to his relative, a Malay trader
  of the name of Gapur, who was a trustworthy and brave man, told him
  what he had seen; but Gapur said, 'Don't go and tell the chief or
  the Rajah such a tissue of absurdities,' yet he went himself over to
  the Bandar and informed him, but the Datu's answer was, 'The Rajah
  is unwell, we have heard similar reports for the last twenty years—
  don't go and bother him about it. I will tell him in the morning
  what your relative says.' This great security was caused by the
  universal belief that the Chinese could not commit so great a folly
  as to attempt to seize the government of the country, considering
  that they did not number above 4000, while at that time the Malays
  and Dayaks within the Sarawak territories amounted to 200,000 at
  least. It is strange, however, and was an unpardonable neglect of
  the Bandar, not to have sent a fast boat up the river to ascertain
  what was really going on. Had he done so, the town and numerous
  lives would have been saved."

Shortly after midnight the squadron arrived unnoticed, and dividing into
two parties proceeded to surprise the Government buildings and the
stockades. The details of the attack on the Rajah's house and of his
escape are given in an account by his steward, Charles Penty. Mr. Penty

  I was sleeping in a room near the Rajah, who had not been well for
  some days. The attack took place about midnight, with fearful
  yelling and firing. I hurried out of bed, and met the Rajah in the
  passage in the dark, who at the moment took me for one of the
  rebels, grappled me by the throat, and was about to shoot me, when
  he fortunately discovered it was me. We then opened the venetian
  window of my room and saw poor Mr. Nicholetts murdered before our
  eyes. The Rajah said, "Ah, Penty, it will be our turn next."

  Then we went to another part of the house, where the crowd of rebels
  was even thicker. The Rajah seemed determined to fight. While he was
  loading a double-barrel gun for my use, our light went out and he
  had to do without. The Rajah then led the way to his bathroom, under
  his bedroom, and rushed out of the door. The rebels, having gathered
  round poor Mr. Nicholetts' body, left the way pretty clear, and the
  Rajah, with his sword and revolver in hand, made his way to a small
  creek and swam under the bow of a boat that had brought the
  rebels.[213] Being unable to swim, I ran up the plantation and
  rushed into the jungle. The Rajah's beautiful house was blazing from
  end to end, and the light reflected for a great distance. Mr.
  Crookshank's and Mr. Middleton's houses were also burning. At
  daybreak I heard Malay voices; they, like myself, were running away
  from the town, which was in the hands of the rebels. They kindly
  clothed me and took me to the Rajah.

After diving under the Chinese boat, the Rajah had swum across the
creek, where he lay exhausted on the mud bank for a while, until
sufficiently recovered to be able to reach the house of a Malay
official, where shortly after he was joined by Mr. Crookshank and Mr.
Middleton. The Mr. Nicholetts who was murdered before the eyes of the
Rajah was a promising young officer, who had just arrived from Lundu on
a visit, and was lodged in a cottage near the Rajah's house.[214]
Startled from his sleep by the yells of the Chinese, he rushed from his
door, when the rebels fell on him, hacked off his head, and, putting it
on a pike, paraded the town with it, shouting that they had killed the
Rajah himself.

Imminent as their own danger was, the Malays did not forget the Rajah,
and a gallant little band led by Haji Bua Hasan, then the Datu Imaum,
hastened to his aid, though they were too late; and they had to fight
their way back.

  "The other attacks," says Mr. St. John, "took place simultaneously.
  Mr. and Mrs. Crookshank, rushing forth on hearing this midnight
  alarm, were cut down—the latter left for dead, the former seriously
  wounded. The constable's house was attacked, but he and his wife
  escaped, while their two children and an English lodger were killed
  by the insurgents. Here occurred a scene which shows how barbarous
  were the Chinese. When the rebels burst into Mr. Middleton's house,
  he fled, and his wife following found herself in the bathroom, and
  by the shouts was convinced that her retreat was cut off. In the
  meantime the Chinese had seized her two children, and brought the
  eldest down into the bathroom to show the way his father had
  escaped. Mrs. Middleton's only refuge was a large water-jar; there
  she heard the poor little boy questioned, pleading for his life, and
  heard his shriek when the fatal sword was raised which severed his
  head from his body. The fiends kicked the little head with loud
  laughter from one to another. They then set fire to the house, and
  she distinctly heard the second child shrieking as they tossed him
  into the flames. Mrs. Middleton remained in the jar till the falling
  embers forced her to leave. She then got into a neighbouring
  pond, and thus escaped the eyes of the Chinese, who were
  frantically rushing about the burning house. Her escape was most

  "The stockades, however, were not surprised. The Chinese, waiting
  for the signal of attack on the houses, were at length perceived by
  the sentinel, and he immediately roused the treasurer, Mr. Crymble,
  who resided in the stockade, which contained the arsenal and the
  prison. He endeavoured to make some preparation for defence,
  although he had but four Malays with him. He had scarcely time,
  however, to load a 6-pounder field-piece, and get his own rifle
  ready, before the Chinese with loud shouts rushed to the assault.
  They were led by a man bearing in each hand a flaming torch. Mr.
  Crymble waited until they were within forty yards, he then fired and
  killed the man who, by the light he bore, made himself conspicuous,
  and, before the crowd recovered from the confusion in which they
  were thrown by the fall of their leader, discharged among them the
  6-pounder loaded with grape, which made the assailants retire behind
  the neighbouring houses, or hide in the outer ditches. But, with
  four men, little could be done; and some of the rebels having
  quietly crossed the inner ditch, commenced removing the planks which
  constituted the only defence. To add to the difficulty, they threw
  over into the inner court little iron tripods, with flaming torches
  attached, which rendered it as light as day, while they remained
  shrouded in darkness.

  "To increase the number of the defenders, Mr. Crymble released two
  Malay prisoners, one a madman who had killed his wife, the other a
  debtor. This latter quickly disappeared, while the former,
  regardless of the shot flying around, stood to the post assigned
  him, opposite a plank which the Chinese were trying to remove. He
  had orders to fire his carbine at the first person who appeared,
  and, the plank giving way, a man attempted to force his body
  through, he pulled the trigger without lowering the muzzle of his
  carbine, and sent the ball through his own brains. Mr. Crymble now
  found it useless to prolong the struggle, as one of his few men was
  killed, and another, a brave Malay corporal, was shot down at his
  side. The wounded man begged Mr. Crymble to fly and leave him there,
  but asked to shake hands with him first, and tell him whether he had
  not done his duty. The brave Irishman seized him by the arm and
  attempted to drag him up the stairs leading to the dwelling over the
  gate, but the Chinese had already gained the courtyard, and pursuing
  them, drove their spears through the wounded man, and Mr. Crymble
  was forced to let go his hold, and with a brave follower, Daud,
  swung himself down into the ditch below. Some of the rebels, seeing
  their attempt to escape, tried to stop Mr. Crymble, and a man
  stabbed at him, but only glanced his thick frieze coat, and received
  in return a cut across the face from the Irishman's cutlass, which
  was a remembrance to carry to the grave.

  "The other stockade, though it had been but a corporal's watch of
  three Malays, did not surrender, but finding that every other place
  was in the hands of the Chinese, the brave defenders opened their
  gates and, charging the crowd of rebels, sword in hand, made their
  escape, though they were all severely wounded in the attempt.

  "The confusion which reigned throughout the rest of the town may be
  imagined, as, startled by the shouts and yells of the Chinese, the
  inhabitants rushed to the doors and windows, and beheld night turned
  into day by the bright flames which rose in three directions, where
  the Rajah's, Mr. Crookshank's, and Mr. Middleton's houses were all
  burning at the same time."

Those English whose dwellings had not been attacked gathered in the
Mission-house, to the number of six men with eight or more children. All
the men had guns, and it was resolved that they should endeavour to keep
the Chinese back till the ladies had made their escape into the jungle.
The Bishop, armed like the rest, gave his blessing to the whole party
that united in brief prayer; but with the first streaks of daylight a
party of seven Chinese came to the Mission-house, saying that their
quarrel was with the Government only, and not with the English
generally. They requested the Bishop to go with them to the hospital to
attend to some thirteen or fourteen[216] of their men who had been
wounded in the attack upon the fort.

  The Rajah as soon as possible proceeded to the Datu Bandar's house,
  and being quickly joined by his English officers, endeavoured to
  organise a force to surprise the victorious Chinese, but it was
  impossible. No sooner did he collect a few men than their wives and
  children surrounded them and refused to be left,—and being without
  proper arms or ammunition, it was but a panic-stricken mob; so he
  instantly took his determination with that decision which had been
  the foundation of his success, and giving up the idea of an
  immediate attack, advised the removal of the women and children to
  the left-hand bank of the river, where they would be safe from a
  land attack of the Chinese, who could make their way along the
  right-hand bank by a road at the back of the town.[217]

By the morning the women and children had been moved across, and the
Rajah and his officers, having been joined by Abang Buyong[218] and some
armed Malays, proceeded to the Samarahan, intending to go on to the
Batang Lupar, and fall back on the well-equipped forts there to organise
a force to drive out the rebels.

The next morning the Chinese chiefs summoned the Bishop; Mr. L. V.
Helms, Manager of the Borneo Company Limited; Mr. Rupell, a merchant,
and the Datu Bandar, to appear before them in the Court-house. Seated on
the Rajah's chair, the head Chief, supported by his secretaries, issued
his orders that Mr. Helms and Mr. Rupell were to rule the foreign
portion of the town, and the Datu Bandar the Malays, under the Kongsi as
supreme rulers. The Bishop now warned the Chinese that they were playing
a desperate game, that the Tuan Muda would be coming down upon them,
with his host of Sekrang and Balau warriors, to avenge the death of his
uncle and his friends—for most of them supposed the Rajah dead.
Discouragement fell upon the Chinese, for they remembered that the Tuan
Muda was the daring and popular leader of the Sea-Dayaks, and could
bring many thousands of these wild warriors against them. They therefore
decided to send him a letter to the effect that they would not interfere
with him so long as he did not interfere with them, and confined himself
to the districts under his government.



The leaders also knowing that the Rajah was not killed, had offered a
large reward for his capture, dead or alive, for what he was preparing
they knew not. They were now doubly anxious to leave Kuching with their
plunder, they therefore called upon the Europeans and the Malay chiefs
present to swear fidelity to the Kongsi, and this they were forced to do
under fear of instant death.

The next day at noon the Chinese retired up-river with their boats
heavily laden with cannon, rifles, plate, money, and all the valuables
upon which they could lay their hands. The Malay chiefs at once held a
meeting at the Datu Bandar's house, when sturdy Abang Pata, the Datu
Temanggong's son, avowed his determination to remain faithful to the
Rajah and at once to wreck vengeance on his enemies. Though all were as
faithful, wiser counsels prevailed, the Malays being so scattered,
conveying their women and children to places of safety, that no
organised attack could yet be made; but Pata impetuously dashed off with
a dozen men in a small canoe, and following the Chinese, captured one of
their boats, killing five of the crew. This, and the news reaching them
that the Malays were preparing to resist, brought the Chinese back,
recruited by several hundreds from Upper Sarawak, and the agriculturists
of Segobang, whom they had forced to join them, and when the Rajah
returned at the earnest request of the chiefs to lead them against the
Chinese, a request he complied with, though he knew it was useless, he
found the rest of the English flying, the town in the hands of the
Chinese, and the Malay houses burning.

As soon as the Chinese boats were seen rounding the point above the
town, the Malays gallantly dashed at them, and succeeded in capturing
ten of their largest barges. They were, however, pressed back by the
more numerous and better armed Chinese, and, though they lost heavily,
they doggedly retreated retaining their prizes, which were laden with
valuable plunder, and, what was of more use to them, a quantity of arms
and ammunition, and secured them to a large trading vessel anchored in
the centre of the river. Here they maintained a determined resistance,
which they were now better able to do, and effectually defied the
Chinese to dislodge them. They were commanded by the Datu Bandar
Muhammad Lana, a grave and gentle Malay, who now showed the courage of
his father, the late Datu Patinggi Ali. The Chinese still held the town
in force.

The Rajah was again forced to retire, to carry out his original
intention of rallying his people up the coast, but his first care was to
see to the safety of the ladies, the English non-combatants, and the
wounded, and to send them off to safety at Lingga fort under the care of
the Bishop in a schooner. Despondently he prepared next day to follow
with a small flotilla of Malay boats, but at the mouth of the river, to
his intense relief, the Borneo Company's steamer, the _Sir James
Brooke_, arriving from Singapore, met them. The vanguard of the Tuan
Muda's force, which was quickly coming to his relief, was also arriving,
and now the tide had changed, and the day of reckoning had come.

The sight of the steamer and the Dayak bangkongs eagerly following was
quite sufficient for the Chinese. They fired one wild volley, and fled
panic-stricken, with the ships' guns playing on them, and pursued by the
Dayaks and Malays.

The Datu Bandar's gallant band on board the trader and in war-boats
around her had stood their ground in spite of heavy guns having been
brought to bear upon them, and they now assumed the offensive. The
Chinese, that morning, had crossed the river to destroy the Malay town
on the other side; their boats were now seized, and the Dayaks pursued
them into the jungle. Of that large party, not one can have escaped.
Those who were not killed wandered into the jungle and died of
starvation, or hanged themselves. Their bodies were eagerly sought for,
as on many were found from five to twenty pounds sterling, besides
silver spoons, forks, or other valuables, the plunder of the English

The main body of the Chinese retired by road to Segobang, and from
thence up-river in their boats.

We have already recorded how the news had been brought to the Tuan Muda
at Sekrang, and how he hurried with his Dayaks to the Rajah's rescue, to
find him safe and in good health, though crippled by the injuries he had
received, on board the _Sir James Brooke_, which he had made his
headquarters. Kuching was wrecked—"a mass of ashes, and confusion and
ruin lay around. Half-habitable débris of houses only were left. The
trees for many hundred yards around the fires were nearly all burnt
black and leafless, and those remaining alive were drooping," so the
Tuan Muda wrote, and we will now follow his account of the retribution
which the rebels so deservedly met.

To check the pursuing boats of the Dayaks and Malays, the Chinese had
thrown up a strong stockade at Lidah Tanah (lit. the tongue of land), a
point of land at the junction of the right and left hand branches of the
river. Here they placed a picked garrison under trusted leaders, and the
stockade was well armed with guns and rifles that had been taken from

A small force of Malays, and several hundreds of Sekrang and Saribas
Dayaks were organised to attack it, and the mild Datu Bandar, in his new
rôle of a redoubtable warrior, led them with such dash that the position
was soon carried. Amongst the trophies that were brought back by the
Dayaks the Chinese merchants recognised the heads of some of the
principal leaders of the rebels, and showed marked satisfaction that
such was the case.

The Rajah and the Tuan Muda then pushed on to Belidah, about eight miles
above Lidah Tanah. Here the fort was found to have been destroyed, the
rebels having left little behind them in their retreat but desolation
and misery. The Malays and Dayaks were then despatched under Abang
Buyong to attack the Chinese, but these latter were in full retreat from
Bau, and their other villages, towards the border; once across they
would be safe:

  but the dogs of war were at their heels, harassing and cutting them
  off at every opportunity. Their plan of retreat was very skilfully
  arranged, and a fanatical idea of the infallibility of their Joss
  (idol), which they carried with them, kept them in order. We were
  helpless to a certain extent, in being unable to gather together an
  organised force, or we should have routed them without doubt, and
  fearful loss of life would have been the consequence. In looking
  back on these events, it was perhaps fortunate that we were not able
  to act more unitedly against them, but if it had been within our
  power at that time, the Joss undoubtedly would have been overturned,
  and the people exterminated. The most merciful of men could not deny
  that they had richly merited such a punishment. They protected this
  image with the utmost caution, keeping their women and children
  around it, while their bravest men acted as a guard on the outside.
  They had advanced a considerable distance before the Dayaks
  approached. The Dayak leaders on closing were at once shot down.
  This made the others more cautious. But the Chinamen had our best
  rifles and arms, with all the necessary accoutrements belonging to
  them. The Dayaks then changed their tactics, and did not dare appear
  in the open road again, but entered the jungle on each side of the
  enemy, and thus harassed them continually, cutting off every
  straggler without mercy. The Chinamen were powerless to follow these
  wild cat-like fellows into the close jungles, and were obliged to
  submit to their fate as best they might. The road over which the
  rebels were retreating was one continued track of clothes,
  valuables, silver plate, and dead bodies. To enable their retreating
  force to gain a few minutes whilst passing precipitous places, they
  strewed the road with rice, and threw here and there a valuable
  article to retard and keep off their pursuers. This continued for
  several successive days, during which the Chinese must have suffered
  intensely. They were not even able to cook or sleep by night or day.
  They now arrived at a point which must have ended their career, if
  it had been properly held. This was Gombang Hill, which forms the
  frontier between Sambas and Sarawak: here was a long Dayak house,
  past which the Chinese could not go unless the inhabitants were
  favourably disposed to them;[219]—

but these suffered themselves to be bribed into permitting the rebels to
pass unmolested. Thus the survivors of the Chinese escaped into Sambas

But no sooner were they there than those of the Chinese who did not
belong to the Secret Society, filled with resentment against the members
of that league for having involved them in such disaster, fell upon
them, and killed many of them, reducing the hundred of the original band
of 600, who had survived the muskets and spears of the Dayaks, to
between thirty and forty. To add to their discomfiture, the Dutch
officers came upon them and despoiled them of all the arms and plunder
they had succeeded in bringing with them, and placed them under strict
surveillance. The Dutch Government sent back to Kuching everything which
was considered to be public or private property.[220]

How many of the rebels were killed it has not been possible to estimate,
but it could not have been far short of 1000. Sir Spenser estimates that
2000, of which half were women and children, escaped over the borders,
but this is probably an under-estimate.

"It was the madness," wrote the Rajah, "the stark staring folly of the
attempt that caused it to succeed. With mankind in general we may trust
to their not doing anything utterly opposed to reason; but this rule
does not hold good with the Chinese," who in their blindness of
consequences become daring and audacious, and, when possessed of power,
contemptuous of their adversaries, but who lose spirit on the first

April 15, witnessed the closing scene of the drama. A prahu gaily
decorated with flags and the yellow umbrella, the symbol of authority,
went up and down the river. A gong was beaten, and then a man, standing
among the flags and umbrella, proclaimed peace, and announced that all
danger was at an end, and that every one might now put away his arms.

On March 28, when peace had been restored, H.M.S. _Spartan_ arrived,
under Captain Sir William Hoste, from Singapore, with instructions to
protect British lives and property, but with no orders to fire a gun, or
to lend a marine or blue-jacket for the protection of the Sarawak
Government. There was no knowing what the humanitarians at home might
say, should a finger be held out to assist the Rajah. Those who lifted
up their voices to justify the pirates might now espouse the cause of
the Chinese, and again be loud in condemnation of the Rajah for having
summarily suppressed the insurrection. There will always be found a man,
as says Cordatus in Ben Jonson's _Every Man out of his Humour_, "who
will prefer all countries before his native," and thinks every man right
except an Englishman.

The Dutch Resident at Pontianak behaved very differently from the
English authorities. He at once sent a gunboat and troops to Sarawak
with offers of assistance, which, however, were not then required.

The rebellion was "the direct outcome of the loss of prestige and
strength which followed the appointment of the Commission sent to try
the Rajah for high crimes and misdemeanours, the favourable findings of
which had never been brought home to the native mind by any act of
reparation made by the British Government."[221] The Chinese knew that
the Rajah had been left to his fate by his country, and, as _The Times_

  had they (the Chinese) had the opportunity of reading recent debates
  in the British Parliament, their more subtle spirits might have
  received further encouragement from the belief that we were not only
  an ultra-peaceful, but an ultra-punctilious people, and that the
  cutting of Rajah Brooke's throat and the burning of the town might
  be considered matters beyond our cognizance, until the precise
  colonial status of Sarawak was determined, and whether a Kunsi
  Chinese (_sic_, Chinese Kongsi) was under the jurisdiction of any
  British court.

And, the _Daily News_, which through ignorance of the true circumstances
had voiced the hostile opinion of the cranks against the Rajah in the
matter of the suppression of the Saribas and Sekrang pirates, was candid
enough to admit

  having in the earlier part of Sir James Brooke's career felt it our
  duty to express our dissent from, and disapproval of, certain parts
  of his policy, we have sincere pleasure in proclaiming our
  unreserved admiration of the manner in which he must have exercised
  his power to have produced such fruits.

But it was precisely that part of his policy that had been condemned by
Mr. Gladstone and the _Daily News_ which had produced these present
marked effects.

The condition of the Sarawak Government was now serious, and surrounded
with difficulties. The revenue was gone. There was not a shred of a
document extant to tell the tale of former times. So complete was the
ruin that the Rajah had to wear native costume, which he borrowed here
and there.

  But there was a bright spot amid the gloom, in the devotion of the
  natives; their sympathy, their kindness, their entire willingness to
  do what they could, are all balm to a wounded spirit. We have lost
  everything but the hearts of the people, and that is much to

The fidelity of the natives of all races and classes was exemplary. They
everywhere took up arms to support the Rajah and their Government, and
had the Chinese been twenty times as numerous, they would have been
driven out.

The whole of the Rajah's private capital had been long ago exhausted,
and how were the ruins to be cleared away and the Government buildings
to be rebuilt? how were the servants of the State to be paid?
Nevertheless the Rajah and his staff faced their difficulties with
courage and confidence; but, deserted by the British Government, he was
sorely tempted to appeal to that of another power. Happily, after a
period of discouragement and resentment, he resolved to face his
difficulties, relying only on himself and his few English assistants. He
had on his right and left hand two stout and able men, his two nephews.

Within a short period many of the Chinese refugees, particularly those
of the agricultural class, returned and rebuilt their old homes.
Gradually their numbers were added to by others from over the border,
from the Straits, and from China, until in time Upper Sarawak recovered
its former prosperity. The severe lesson they had learnt, which had
taught them how powerless they were to cope with the forces at the call
of the Government, that were not represented merely by a handful of
fortmen and policemen as they had blindly imagined, did not, however,
deter them from forming another Hueh, which decreased and increased in
strength in proportion to the number of people in the district. But the
power of the Government has been steadily growing, and what chance the
Hueh may have ever hoped to obtain of successfully opposing it has long
ago vanished. Dangerous and mischievous, however, these secret societies
can still be, unless vigilantly watched and swiftly suppressed, and the
Chinese population in Upper Sarawak has since increased five-fold.

For years the Bau Hueh remained dormant, though it had a perfect
organisation, but in 1869 it raised its hand in opposition to the
Government, and barbarously murdered an informer. Mr. Crookshank, who
was administering the Government in the absence of the present Rajah,
took prompt and energetic measures, and all the headmen of the Hueh were
arrested. They were condemned to long terms of imprisonment and to be
flogged. When their terms had expired they were banished the country
under a penalty of death should they return; but the Hueh in Dutch
Borneo, of which this was a branch, immediately re-organised the Society
and appointed other office-bearers. Unfortunately the register and
records of this Hueh could not be found. They had been cleverly
concealed in the double-planked floor of a bed-place which had been
overturned in the search.

In 1884-85, the Secret Society was in active revolt against the Dutch
Government, which was at first only able to hold the rebels in check,
not having sufficient forces to quell them. At Mandor, a large Chinese
town, they killed the Dutch official in charge, and burnt down the
Government buildings. After some hard fighting with great loss on both
sides, Mandor was surrendered by the rebels, upon the false promise of
an amnesty held out to them by the Sultan of Sambas. Finding themselves
deceived, the Chinese again broke out in rebellion, and seized the
important town of Mempawa, killing, amongst others, the Dutch officer in
charge, and driving the Dutch troops back. But their triumph was
short-lived, for upon the arrival of strong reinforcements the rebellion
was quelled. One of the principal leaders, the man who had shot the
Dutch controller of Mandor, was subsequently arrested in Sarawak, but
rather than face his fate he hanged himself by his queue in his cell the
day a Dutch gunboat had come round to fetch him.

In 1889, a secret society, allied with the Sam Tiam[223] or Ghee Hin
Hueh, a branch of the Triad Society of China, was established at
Segobang, the centre of a large district of Chinese pepper planters.
This Hueh had been formed by criminals and expelled members of the
Society from Mandor and Montrado. Their primary intention was to raise
another rebellion in Dutch territory, but they were banded by oath to
exterminate _all people without queues_. On July 15, the houses of the
chief and other known leaders were surrounded and searched, and the
inmates arrested. The documents seized clearly showed the objects of the
Society; that they had hundreds of men organised and ready for service;
and that they were in correspondence with the Ghee Hin Societies at
Mandor and Singapore. Six of the leaders were executed, and eleven
sentenced to penal servitude for life. One of the principals, who had
taken a leading part in the Mandor rebellion of 1884, was handed over to
the Dutch.



As late as 1906, one or two mysterious murders of Chinese in the Rejang
aroused the suspicions of the authorities, and it was found that a
secret society existed on that river. Valuable help was afforded the
Government by anonymous letters sent by law-abiding Chinese containing
minutely accurate information as to the members and their doings, which
led to the arrest of many, and to the discovery of incriminating
documents. This Society was called the Golden Orchid or Lily Society,
and was established at various places along the coast, from the Rejang
to Simatan. This was also a branch of the Triad Society, professing the
same great purpose, the reinstatement of the Ming dynasty in China, but
in practice its objects were murder, robbery, and violence. Eight of the
ringleaders were executed, and ten others sentenced to long terms of


Footnote 208:

  Hueh, or Hui, is the Chinese word for a secret society.

Footnote 209:

  Tien, heaven—ti, earth.

Footnote 210:

  It is still part of the oath of the initiated, "I will use my utmost
  endeavour to drive out the Chheng and establish the Beng dynasty."—
  "Pickering, Chinese Secret Societies," in the _Journal_ of the Straits
  Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1878.

Footnote 211:

  Pickering, who knew a good deal about the Society and wrote thereon,
  had his life attempted, and, though not killed, was badly crippled.

Footnote 212:

  Tai-pi-kong was the name of the joss.

Footnote 213:

  The Chinese, holding the Rajah to be invulnerable, and being greatly
  in fear of him, purposely left the exit by the door of the bathroom

Footnote 214:

  He had joined the Sarawak service the year before. He was a brother of
  Colonel Nicholetts, who was married to a sister of the present Rajah.

Footnote 215:

  A Mr. Wellington was killed trying to defend Mrs. Middleton and her
  children. He was a clerk in the Borneo Company, and had only lately

Footnote 216:

  St. John says thirty-seven, five of whom died before the Bishop's

Footnote 217:

  Spenser St. John, _Life of Sir James Brooke_, to whom we are mainly
  indebted for the following particulars we give of the insurrection.

Footnote 218:

  A Saribas Malay Chief, and a staunch supporter of the Government.

Footnote 219:

  _Ten Years in Sarawak._

Footnote 220:

  Sir Spenser St. John, _op. cit._

Footnote 221:

  Sir Spenser St. John, _Rajah Brooke_.

Footnote 222:

  The Rajah to Mr. Templer.

Footnote 223:

  Three Dots.



                              CHAPTER VII
                           THE SHERIP MASAHOR

When the Rajah assumed the Government of Sarawak, he had to look out for
suitable officials among the Malays to carry on the Government, and
suitable officials were not easily to be found where hitherto all had
been corruption and oppression. There is not much choice in rotten

There were three offices of importance to be filled: that of Datu
Patinggi, he who had the supervision and control over the tribes on the
left-hand branch of the river; that of Datu Bandar, he who held sway
over those on the right hand; and the Datu Temanggong, who had to look
after the tribes on the coast.[224]

It will be remembered that before the rebellion of the Sarawak people
against the Government of Bruni these offices had been held by three of
their chiefs, who, in 1841, were reinstated in their old positions by
the Rajah, and made collectors of the revenue in their several
districts.[225] This was a tax levied on the head of a family of a
bushel and a half of rice. Hitherto the officers of Government, the
Bruni Pangirans great and small, had exercised the right of pre-emption
of whatever the Dayak produced, and that at the prices they themselves
fixed. Rajah Brooke modified, but could not wholly abolish, this
privilege. He suffered these three officials, and them alone, to have
the right to buy before all others what the Dayaks had to dispose of,
but only at market price. With the others, the Datu Patinggi Gapur had
been in disgrace under Rajah Muda Hasim and the Pangiran Makota. Any one
who was looked on with an evil eye by that arch-scoundrel Makota had a
claim to be regarded as an honest man, and for a while the Datu Patinggi
did fairly well, but this was only till he had, as he thought,
established himself firmly; and then he began to oppress the natives in
the old way, by enforcing sales to himself on his own terms; and the
timid people, accustomed to this sort of treatment, and afraid of the
consequences should they protest, submitted without denouncing him to
the Rajah. He was a man plausible and polite, and some time elapsed
before the Rajah obtained sufficient evidence to convict him. But when
he did, instead of deposing him from office, he announced his
determination to pay each of these officials a fixed salary, in lieu of
the enforced first trade with the Dayaks, and of their share in Dayak

The Datu Patinggi had a handsome daughter who was sought in marriage by
a certain Sherip Bujang, brother of Sherip Masahor of Serikei, who had
assumed the government of the Rejang river,[226] and had long been in
league with the Saribas and Sekrang pirates—an evil-minded and
intriguing man. The Rajah was very averse to this marriage, but could
not forbid it. And the result was that Gapur and Masahor put their heads
together, confided to each other their mutual grievances, and commenced
plotting against the Rajah and his officers. Serikei is 20 miles up the
Rejang river, which was not yet within the jurisdiction of Sarawak, but
Saribas and Sekrang were, and Masahor was a source of annoyance and
danger by incessantly fomenting agitation among the people of these
rivers against the Rajah's government, and supplying them with powder
and arms. For a while the Sadong district had been placed under the
charge of the Datu Patinggi as well as his own, but it was found that,
not satisfied with the salary paid by the Government in lieu of the
right of pre-emption, he was enforcing that same right and using great
oppression in both districts. The Tuan Besar, who was then administering
the Government, went from Kuching to make a tour in both these, and to
ascertain whether the rumours relative to the misconduct of Gapur were
true, and by this means sufficient proof of his illegal exactions was

The Datu Patinggi had indeed pursued a course of oppression ever since
1851, when the marriage between Sherip Bujang and his daughter took
place. He had levied imposts on the Sarawak Dayaks, forced trade on the
Matu people, oppressed the Sadong Dayaks, and interfered at Lingga and
Serikei, and had even proceeded so far as to assume the insignia of
royalty by displaying a yellow (the royal colour) flag and unfurling a
yellow umbrella. He was then, in November 1853, brought up in Court,
publicly reprimanded, and made to disgorge his plunder. He submitted
with outward tokens of goodwill, but he had been publicly disgraced, and
this he did not forget. His feeling against the Government of the White
Man became more intensely bitter.

Early in 1854, the Rajah and Captain Brooke, the Tuan Besar, went up the
Batang Lupar river to visit the Tuan Muda at Lingga, and Brereton at
Sekrang; Mr. Spenser St. John was then at Kuching. This latter says:—

  One day, whilst sitting alone in my little cottage, the eldest son
  of the Temanggong, Abang Patah, came in to have a talk. He was one
  of the best of the Malay chiefs—frank, loyal, honest, brave as a
  lion. He subsequently lost his life gallantly defending the Rajah's
  Government.[227] I saw by his manner that he had something to
  communicate, so after answering a few leading questions he said, "It
  is no use beating about the bush, I must tell you what is going on."
  He then unfolded the particulars of a plot which the Patinggi Gapur
  had concocted to cut off the Europeans in Sarawak. The Patinggi had
  confided his plans to the other chiefs, but they had almost
  unanimously refused to aid him, and had determined to keep a watch
  over his proceedings, but they had not the moral courage to denounce
  him to the Government. At length Abang Patah said, "I have become
  alarmed. The Rajah and Captain Brooke are away together. The
  Patinggi is with them with all his armed followers, and in an
  unsuspecting moment all the British officers might be cut off at a
  blow." I promised, as he desired, to keep his communication a secret
  from all but the Rajah, to whom I instantly wrote, giving not only
  Patah's story, but other indications which had come to my knowledge.
  An express boat carried my letter to its destination. The Rajah read
  the letter, and, without a word, passed it to Captain Brooke. The
  latter, having also read it, said, "What do you think?" "It is all
  too true," answered the Rajah, to whom conviction came like an
  inspiration. They had noticed some very odd proceedings on the part
  of the Patinggi, but, having no suspicions, had not been able to
  interpret some of his armed movements, but now it was quite clear
  that he was trying to get the Europeans together to strike one
  treacherous blow. Nothing, however, was said or done publicly. The
  faithful were warned to watch well, and a few judicious inquiries
  brought the whole story out.

The Commission had been despatched to sit at Singapore, on the conduct
of the Rajah. Gapur was well aware that the British Government was
indisposed to support the Rajah, and that there existed a body of
opinion in England distinctly and bitterly hostile to him, and certain
to apologise for any insurrectionary movement made to depose him, even
if it involved, as Gapur supposed, his being massacred along with his
English officers.

Mr. St. John goes on to say that upon his return to Kuching the Rajah
intended to bring the Patinggi to justice for this contemplated act of
treachery; but this was not done immediately. Before publicly convicting
and punishing the leading chief of the State, amongst whose relations
the Rajah could count so many staunch friends, it was thought advisable
to wait for some overt act which would afford clear and convincing proof
to all of the Datu's treachery.

The Rajah had not long to wait. Towards the close of June he appointed
chiefs over the various kampongs (districts) in Kuching, each to be
responsible for the good order of his kampong, and with power to arrest
evil-doers. These chiefs had been given their commissions publicly in
Court; however, the Datu Patinggi promptly summoned them to his house,
exacted the surrender of their commissions into his hands, and dismissed
them with the remark that he was not going to allow everybody to be made
a datu. This was open and public defiance, and the Rajah then determined
to disgrace him publicly.

Measures were taken to prevent even a show of resistance being made.
Though Gapur was head of the party that existed in favour of Bruni, and
of a restoration to the old condition of affairs, yet in Kuching he had
but few adherents upon whom he could safely rely, even amongst his own
people; but Malays when forced into a corner often resort to desperate
deeds of folly, and it was to guard against such an act that precautions
were taken.

In a letter the Rajah describes both Gapur and what his proceedings

  As he got rich there was no keeping him straight. His abuse of
  power, his oppression of the people, his revival of ancient evils,
  his pretensions, his intrigues, and his free use of my name for
  purposes of his own, had been often checked but never abandoned, and
  ever recurring. Some time ago he was seriously warned, and made to
  disgorge some of his ill-gotten wealth; but this, instead of
  preventing him, only urged him forward, and he not only intrigued
  against the Government, but by threatening the better class of
  Sarawak people, thwarted our measures, and used language which was
  treasonable against every constituted authority.

  I resolved, therefore, at once to degrade him from his office, so as
  to crush the seeds of discontent in the bud. I ordered a great
  public meeting of the country for an important business, but,
  excepting Captain Brooke, St. John, the Datu Bandar, Datu
  Temanggong, and a few others, no one in the country knew my object.
  The court was crowded, many hundreds being present. I gently
  explained the duty of the people towards the Government. I alluded
  to the past, the present happiness of all classes, and the crime
  committed by any one who failed in obedience to constituted
  authority, or desired to disturb the public peace. I pointed out to
  the elders of the Kampongs that, having received authority from the
  Government, they should not have yielded it to the Patinggi, but at
  the same time I acquitted them of all evil intention, and declared—
  which was strictly true—that I knew their attachment to the

  I then turned to the Patinggi, I reminded him of the past, the
  warnings he had received and neglected. I detailed the charges
  against him, and concluded by saying, "I accuse you before the
  people of treason, and I give you the option of publicly declaring
  your submission to the Government or of death." He submitted. I then
  said, "I do not seek your life, for you are the Bandar's
  brother,[228] and have many relatives my friends. I do not
  confiscate your property, for your wives and children have not
  shared your offence. For the safety of the Kingdom I order you to
  sit in your place in this court, whilst proper persons bring to the
  fort all the arms and ammunition which belong to you." He sat quiet.
  I requested his relatives to go and bring the guns and powder, and,
  after a couple of hours, the things were brought. I then shook hands
  with the culprit, told him what I had done was for the good of the
  people, and that he should hear further from me through the proper
  channel. He then returned to his house.

There was still a difficulty to be overcome, how to get rid of him. The
Rajah bethought himself of proposing a pilgrimage to Mecca, and Gapur
jumped at it. This would remove him from Sarawak for some time, and,
before his return, it was hoped his influence would be broken, and his
opportunities of doing mischief be removed, through his position being
given to his brother-in-law, the Datu Bandar.[229] The Bandar's brother
was made the Imaum, the head of the Muhammadan priesthood, and was added
to the list of the Rajah's trusted councillors. He remained true and a
mainstay to English influence among the Malays in subsequent difficult
times.[230] As to Gapur, on his return in 1856 from Mecca, now a Haji,
he was repudiated by his relations, who refused to be responsible for
his conduct, so that he had to be banished to Malacca. We shall hear of
him again, but for the moment must look at the proceedings of the Sherip
Masahor, whose brother had married the daughter of Gapur.

Muka was then a town of considerable importance, at the mouth of the
river of that name. It has since increased considerably, and is now as
large as Bruni. Then, as now, it had a great trade in raw sago, which is
shipped to Kuching, where it is converted into sago flour in the Chinese
factories, in which form it passes to Singapore. Oya comes next in
importance, then Bintulu, and then Matu and Bruit. These places supply
more than half the world's consumption of sago. The trade in this had
always been the principal one of Kuching until a few years ago, when
pepper took the first place, but the sago trade is still increasing.

For years past numerous trading vessels from Kuching visited Muka to
obtain this article of commerce, but in 1854 much difficulty had been
felt in getting it, as at that time civil war was raging, and anarchy
existed in Muka, so that trading vessels were debarred from entering the
river, being liable to plunder by one party or the other.

The Pangiran Ersat had been placed there in authority by the Sultan, and
he had oppressed the people incessantly. But beside him there was the
Pangiran Matusin, his cousin, also of royal blood, who had been brought
up among the Muka people, where he had many relations through his
mother, who was of inferior class. A feud had long existed between these
two Pangirans, both of whose houses were fortified. Ersat had expelled
his cousin from Muka, but the latter had been allowed by the Sultan to

Matusin, though unprincipled himself,[231] could not countenance the
extortions of the other, and he supported his own people against the
injustice of his rival.

On one occasion, as Matusin was returning home from the river mouth, he
passed the abode of Ersat, when this latter, with his followers and
relatives, mocked him from the platform in front of the long house,
brandishing their spears and daring him to attack them. Matusin was
filled with rage. Of all things that a Malay can least endure is insult.
Seizing his arms, he rushed into the house, and, running amuck, cut down
Ersat himself, and, in the promiscuous onslaught that followed, killed
one of the Pangiran's daughters and wounded another. He then made his
way forth, no one daring to oppose him, as he was a man of prodigious
strength. On reaching his house, he strengthened the fortifications and
prepared for an attack. In the course of a month, a large force had
assembled in Muka to avenge the death of Pangiran Ersat, led by the
Sherip Masahor, who had called out the Saribas Dayaks, under the
jurisdiction of the Rajah of Sarawak, as well as the Kanowit Dayaks on
the Rejang. They numbered more than a thousand, exclusive of Malays.

This host surrounded the fortified house of Matusin, and Masahor, in the
name of the Rajah, called upon the former to surrender. He undertook, if
Matusin and his followers would come forth, with all the women and
children, and give themselves up, that their lives would not only be
spared, but that thenceforth they should all dwell together in amity. It
was agreed that this was to take place on the following morning. But
during the night a member of Masahor's party managed to get into the
house of Matusin to warn him that treachery was intended, and to urge
him to escape. This Matusin did in the dark, attended by six men only;
he fled up country, and made his way to Kuching, where he threw himself
on the protection of the Rajah. Next day Sherip Masahor, with his
ruffians, took most who remained in Matusin's house, and many of the
relations of the Muka chiefs who had supported him, to the number of
forty-five, chiefly women, massacred every one, and gave their heads to
his Saribas and Kanowit followers. As soon as the news reached Kuching,
the Tuan Muda was sent to Muka to inquire into matters. He says: "The
scene where the murders took place was then fresh with the marks of the
slaughtered wretches. Their torn clothes, the traces of blood and tracks
of feet, were plainly visible on the ground. In pulling up through the
Muka village, most of the houses were burnt down, and the graveyards
pillaged by Dayaks." Melanaus adorn their dead with costly gold
ornaments, which are buried with the bodies; this the Dayaks knew; to
attain these and the heads of the dead were their object in desecrating
the graves.

The people had lost their favourite leader and relative, Pangiran
Matusin; besides relations they had lost their homes and property, burnt
and pillaged by Masahor's followers on the ground that the owners had
favoured the slayer of Pangiran Ersat, and they were well aware that
they themselves were doomed, and all would most surely have been put to
death but for the arrival of the Tuan Muda. And now the poor creatures
surrounded him, and implored that an Englishman might be sent to govern
the place, and deliver them from the tyranny of the Bruni officials.
Having seen to the safety of Matusin's wife and children, who, with
other surviving relations and followers, were sent to Kuching, the Tuan
Muda returned to Sekrang. A fine was imposed on Sherip Masahor, and he
was forced to release 100 captives, and was deposed from his
governorship for having called out the Saribas under Sarawak rule for
warlike purposes. He was in league with the piratical party in the
Saribas, and not only supplied them with salt, which is an absolute
necessity to a Dayak, and which it was now difficult to obtain on the
Sarawak side, where the markets were closed to them, but also with
ammunition, and in other ways encouraged them in their opposition to the
Government. He left Serikei immediately, fearing further consequences.

A party of malcontent Saribas Dayaks had been induced by the Sherip to
settle in the Serikei river, to be handy agents for the execution of his
oppressive exactions, and the intrepid Penglima Seman was sent by the
Rajah to drive them out. This he did very effectually, and destroyed
their houses and stores. Shortly afterwards the Datu Temanggong and the
Datu Imaum dispersed a flotilla of some forty Saribas bangkongs which
they had met in the main river below Serikei.

The unsatisfactory condition of affairs in the Muka and adjacent
districts led the Rajah to pay another visit to Bruni, and thither he
sailed in June, 1855, after having despatched the Tuan Muda to Muka. He
went up in his little gunboat, the _Jolly Bachelor_, alone, and with no
retinue, no longer holding high offices under the Crown, "the castaway
of his own country." But he was most cordially received, and entertained
with due honours by the Sultan, by the Rajahs of both the hostile
factions, and by the people. All saw in the Rajah the possible
instrument to relieve them of the dissensions with which Bruni was
troubled, and which now verged upon civil war. Of the opposing factions,
which had existed ever since the days of Pangiran Usop, one party, and
by far the most powerful, was led by the Pangiran Anak Hasim, the late
Sultan's reputed son (who became Sultan in 1885), and this party was in
opposition to the Sultan, who had lost the support of nearly all his
people by becoming the tool of his cunning and grasping minister,
Pangiran Makota. "Trade had become a monopoly and thus been
extinguished; the exactions on the coast to the northward had produced
dissatisfaction and rebellion; the unfortunate people of Limbang, which
country is the granary of Bruni, was reduced to extremity, cruelly
plundered by Makota and his sons, and attacked by the Kayans, sometimes
at the instigation of Makota, sometimes on their own account; in short,
what Sarawak was formerly, Bruni was now fast becoming; and when I
pulled into the city in my little gunboat of thirty-five tons, four of
the Kampongs had their guns loaded and pointed against each other." Such
was the unhappy condition of the country as described by the Rajah.

The day after his coming the rival parties disarmed their
fortifications. The Sultan and the Rajahs placed the government in his
hands, with a request that he would endeavour to establish it on a
proper and firm basis, and promised obedience to all his directions.

Makota was absent, having been ordered by the Sultan to Muka to look
into matters there, which meant that he had been sent to plunder the
people of that and the neighbouring districts, but, though it angered
the Rajah, it rendered his task the easier.

Makota was now the sole minister, and the Rajah arranged that the old
executive system should be restored so as to counterbalance his
influence. The offices of the four ministers of State, or wazirs,
established by the ninth Sultan Hasan, early in the seventeenth century,
were revived; these were the Temanggong, the Bandahara, the di Gedong,
and the Pemancha. Though of ancient origin, by the will of autocratic
Sultans they had been in abeyance for many years, and their revival gave
confidence to nobles and people alike. They were never allowed again to

Besides the above-mentioned functionaries, there are eight ministers of
the second class, all nobles; and lastly, a council of twelve officers
of state, chosen from among the leading people, the chiefs of the
different divisions or parishes of the city. These chiefs being elected
by the people renders this council representative.

Pangiran Anak Hasim became the Pangiran Temanggong. Though stern, he was
popular, governed well and fairly, and encouraged trade. His only
brother, the other doubtful son of Sultan Omar Ali, was made the
Pamancha. Now that the Rajah had succeeded in reconciling the hostile
factions, he trusted that the Pangiran Temanggong, with the assistance
of the other wazirs, supported by his own pledge to uphold them, with
force if necessary, against all disturbers of peace, would be able to
preserve the Sultan from the evil influence of Makota; indeed the Sultan
had a desire to act rightly, and his disposition was not altogether bad,
but avariciousness was his failing, and the means by which his evil
counsellors gained his ear.

The Rajah was pressed to take up his residence in Bruni, and, could he
have done so, all might have gone well, but he could not hope that his
present intervention would do more than postpone the downfall of the
worn-out and vicious Government, for the elements of discord and decay
were rife. And directly his back was turned the Sultan failed him. He
set aside the advice of his wazirs, and, to gratify his greed, upheld
Makota. He had promised that this man should be recalled from Muka, but,
instead of doing so, gave him a free hand to deal with the wretched
people as he pleased—to plunder for both himself and his master. The
Rajah then determined himself "to manage Makota, and to leave the Sultan
to rue his own folly"; the two factions in Bruni he trusted "would join
together to resist oppression, or, at any rate, forbear with each

Early in 1856, the Tuan Muda went with a force from Kuching to erect a
fort at Serikei, now deserted by Masahor, and half burnt down by the
Dayaks. This was soon built, and an Englishman was placed in charge, who
was shortly afterwards replaced by Mr. Fox. The Dayaks around were
numerous and hostile. The Tuan Muda found that "in all directions around
Serikei and Kanowit there were enemies." Some few came to trade, but
refused to pay revenue or obey the orders of the officials. They lived
in independence, and the two branches of Dayak employment were simply
heads and salt. "As these two requirements could not be found in the
same quarter, they in former times usually made peace with one petty
Malay chief for the purpose of obtaining salt, while the heads were
brought from some other petty Malay chief's village lying in another
direction. By this means the Malays obtained a trade with Dayaks as well
as a following."

The imposition of a fine on Masahor and the erection of a fort at
Serikei may have been regarded as an infringement of the rights of the
Sultan. There existed, however, an understanding between the Sultan and
the Rajah in respect to the Rejang, the main object of which was, so far
as the former was concerned, that the sago districts should be protected
from the ravages of the Rejang Dayaks. The Sultan Mumin, a poor, feeble
creature, was totally incapable of keeping these unruly subjects of his
in check, and the Rajah undertook to do it for him. It, of course,
followed that the Rajah had authority over, and a right to punish, these
people. Kanowit fort and then Serikei were erected to keep the Dayaks
and Sherip Masahor in check. All that was done was done in the mutual
interests of Bruni and Sarawak, and at the sole expense of the latter,
for the Rejang in those days yielded no revenue.

The house of Ucalegon was in flames, and the fire would extend to
Sarawak, unless it were extinguished by Sarawak hands, for their own

Muka and Oya, where Pangiran Nipa had succeeded his father, Pangiran
Ersat, in power, being still in a very distracted condition, and the
Rajah, now being free of the troubles that had shaken the very
foundations of his own Government, and which had unavoidably withdrawn
his attention from these places, determined to make another effort to
establish order there in the interests of the suffering population, and
of the important trade between those places and Sarawak, which had now
almost ceased. For this purpose he again proceeded to Bruni in
September, 1857, and obtained full power to act at Muka, and authority
to intervene was granted him. At Muka the Rajah called together into his
presence the rival factions which had been murdering each other, and
disturbing the trade for the last four years. There were four hundred
persons present, including the Pangirans Matusin and Nipa, besides the
chiefs of the country, whose relatives had been put to death by Sherip
Masahor. The _chaps_[232]—the Sultan's mandates—were read, ordering
peace, and authorising the Rajah to punish any breach of it. The Rajah
then spoke to the people, pointing out the advantage of peace, and
pledging himself to punish any persons who by their actions should
disturb it. This visit of the Rajah was attended with good results, and
Muka enjoyed rest for a brief period.

In October, the Rajah proceeded to England, leaving the government in
the hands of the Tuan Besar; upon this visit, which was of necessity a
prolonged one, owing to the complete breakdown of his health, we will
touch later.

The month following the Rajah's departure, Pangiran Makota was violently
removed from the scene of his life's iniquities. We have already
recorded the manner of his well-merited death.[233] Of him the Rajah
wrote, "A greater villain it would be impossible to conceive, with heart
blacker, head more cunning, and passions more unrestrained. I say this
deliberately of a dead man." A fitting epitaph.

In December, Mrs. Brooke died, and the Tuan Besar left for England early
in 1859. Upon the Tuan Muda now fell the burden of the government at
perhaps the most critical period in the history of the raj. Plot was
heaped upon plot, and deceit and treachery faced him on all sides, but
by his courage, untiring energy, and determination the State was
successfully piloted through these grave troubles, its enemies
dispersed, and confidence restored to a panic-stricken people.

Two years previously, Sherip Masahor and the Datu Patinggi Haji Gapur,
now known as the Datu Haji, had been pardoned. The former had been
allowed to return to Serikei, and the latter to live in retirement at
Kuching. It was a mistaken and highly imprudent policy, for neither had
forgotten his humiliation, and both commenced active intrigue against
the Government; and the party of pangirans at Bruni, hostile to all
reforms, were privy to these plots, of which the Sultan himself was
aware, and at which he probably connived. Constant intercourse was being
kept up between the Sultans of Bruni and Sambas, which could omen no
good to Sarawak; and Bruni alone, now once more relapsed into its former
evil condition, was without the means of open aggression.

In 1859, the Europeans in Sarawak were startled by a report of the
wholesale massacre of Europeans, men, women, and children, at
Banjermasin, succeeded by further reports that all white men were being
killed in the other Dutch settlements, and that the same fate was to be
meted out to those in Sarawak and Labuan.

In March, the Tuan Muda, owing to disquieting rumours having reached
him, resolved upon making a tour to the different stations on the coast,
and first visited the Rejang. At Serikei he was joined by Mr. Fox, and
then proceeded to Kanowit, a hundred miles up the broad Rejang river.
The village and fort together formed a picturesque piece of irregularity
and dilapidation. Here were settled a few Malays, a gang of cut-throats
who lived by swindling the Dayaks, and stood by the fort as their only
means of security. Some few Chinese traders had ventured to settle in
the place, but they were a mob of rapscallions. Above the village was
the mouth of the Kanowit river, and on the opposite bank of this river
was the large village of the Kanowit tribe, adherents of Sherip Masahor.
The Kanowit, as well as the Poi and Ngmah, two branches of the main
river above Kanowit, was inhabited by Sea-Dayaks from the Batang Lupar
and Saribas, unfriendly to the Government. Mr. Steele had been in charge
of Kanowit for eight years. It was a vastly solitary place for an
Englishman during the north-east monsoon. For three or four months of
the year no communication was to be had with Kuching, owing to the
strong freshes and heavy seas on the coast; but Mr. Steele had grown so
accustomed to the life that he would not have exchanged it for another.
The fort had been often attempted both secretly and openly, people close
around had been killed, and Mr. Steele had met with several narrow
escapes. His fortmen were not of the best class, but they were of his
own selection. The Tuan Muda felt uneasy about the place. "There was too
smooth an appearance, without any substantial base." There were no
reliable Malay chiefs; and he left Mr. Fox to support Mr. Steele.

On his return to Serikei, the Tuan Muda received letters from the
Sarawak traders at Muka saying that it was useless their attempting to
procure sago there, as the country was in commotion, war being carried
on between Pangiran Matusin and Pangiran Nipa, and they entreated his
support and aid; otherwise the trade must be stopped. Not only so, but
the Sarawak flag had been fired on by a badly-disposed pangiran. This
was an insult that could not be passed over, and the Tuan Muda at once
proceeded to Muka in the _Jolly Bachelor_. As he passed Igan, the Sherip
Masahor, who had a residence there also, pushed off and asked leave to
join him. His object was not obvious, but he protested sincere
friendship, and a desire to see trade re-established.

On reaching Muka it was found that the place was in a most disturbed
state, and that everybody was armed. A demand was at once made that
Pangiran Serail, who had fired on the Sarawak flag, should be fined, and
to this the Pangiran Nipa consented.

  Towards the close of the day, a message came from Pangiran Matusin
  begging me to proceed to his assistance as soon as possible, as that
  night there was some probability of Nipa's party taking his
  fortification, which was defended by twenty-six men only against
  about six hundred, who had built movable stockades all around, and
  were gradually closing on him each night, and were now within about
  fourteen yards of his house. We warped up and arrived late at night,
  and let go our anchor off Matusin's landing-place. It was the 27th
  night of the Mahomedan fast month, and the place being brilliantly
  illuminated, blazed out as strange a looking pile of fortifications
  and habitations as it has ever fallen to my lot to witness. Matusin
  came aboard and showed his gratitude more by manner than by words.
  He was thin and haggard, and said, "Tuan, I thought I should have
  been a dead man to-night, as they intended adding to the
  illumination by the blaze of my house, but I did not fear death, and
  would never have run away."

On the first appearance of light we were all up, and ready to proceed to
work, in order to have the business over as soon as possible. Our
gunboat's deck was crowded with armed men, and the bulwarks were closed
in around by oars and logwood. The first step we took was to dislodge a
floating battery, placed so as to guard Matusin's landing. After
destroying this I sent a party to pull down the other stockades,
numbering some twenty-five of all shapes and sizes. Pangiran Matusin's
fort was being pulled down also, and before mid-day there was a
clearance and change in the aspect of affairs.

Excuses were then made for the payment of the fine. The gunboat was
promptly hauled up in front of Pangiran Nipa's house, "and the muzzle of
our 6-pounder was looking upwards loaded and primed. It would have been
close quarters if we had played with firearms, as we could jump from the
deck to the banks." The Sherip Masahor was with the Tuan Muda, and
professed the most ardent friendship and desire to assist. The fine was
soon paid, and after seeing Pangiran Matusin safely on his way to
Kuching the Tuan Muda left for Saribas.

Trade with Muka during the remaining months of the year was brisk;
matters there settled down quietly; and Pangiran Nipa kept up a friendly
correspondence with the Tuan Muda.

The Pangiran Serail, who had been fined, was an envoy of the Sultan
Mumin; he returned to Bruni, gave a plausible account of his conduct,
and loudly complained of the conduct of the Tuan Muda. The Sultan was
irritated, and Mr. St. John, who was now British Consul-General at
Bruni, heard only Serail's story, and considered the proceedings
high-handed and reprehensible. He afterwards expressed his opinion that
it was so to both the Tuan Muda and to the Rajah. Thereupon the latter
ordered the fine to be paid over to the Sultan "as a peace offering."

Sir Spenser St. John, in his _Life of Rajah Brooke_, speaks of the
interference in Muka in 1858 and 1859 as unjustifiable, but we have
already shown that the Rajah had received full authority from the Sultan
to act in Muka, and what was done was entirely in the cause of peace and
order, though Sir Spenser does not question the motives.

In the following June, when on a visit to Sekrang, the startling news
was brought to the Tuan Muda that Steele and Fox had been killed, and
that Kanowit was in the hands of enemies and murderers. It was the first
stroke of a foul conspiracy, which had as its objects the extermination
of all the Europeans and the overthrow of the Government. But it had
been struck too soon. The aim of the conspirators, "deep and subtle as
men or devils could be," was to strike simultaneous blows in Kuching and
the out-stations, and this premature action of Sherip Masahor's party
before the Datu Haji Gapur, Bandar Kasim, and other conspirators were
prepared to act led to the original scheme being broken up into
disconnected action. This to some extent lessened the difficulties with
which the Tuan Muda found himself confronted. As yet he could but
conjecture as to the compass of the conspiracy, and could only suspect
the conspirators, but he was on his guard, and he prepared for the

A few words may be said here with regard to the situation generally, and
the attitude of the population. From Muka, the Sherip Masahor, the
friend and connection of Pangiran Nipa, could look for strong support.
In the Rejang he had on his side the Kanowits, the Banyoks, and the
Segalangs, the last a hot-headed and treacherous people, who had always
been the Sherip's most active partisans, and were afterwards his only
sympathists; upon the Dayaks it was naturally thought he could count,
but, as regards those of the Kanowit, events proved this to be a
mistake; amongst the Melanaus of the delta he had a strong following at
Igan, Matu, and Bruit, but not at the other villages; and the Malays of
Serikei feared and obeyed him, though from their chiefs downwards they
hated him. The Kalaka Malays, under a bad leader, were very doubtful.
Those in Saribas were held in check by the Dayaks, who had been
converted by the Tuan Muda from stout enemies into staunch friends; the
Sea-Dayaks generally were as true as steel to their white chief, though
some were led astray. The Sekrang Malays were faithful, but the Lingga
Malays had allowed themselves to be awed by letters that had been sent
them by the conspirators, calling upon them to assist in killing the
English or to expect the consequences. Though they received these
letters they made no response to the overtures, and were at heart with
the Government. Sadong, where there had been no English officer for some
time, was, under the Bandar Kasim, a hotbed of anarchy, and here were
the Datu Haji's principal adherents, as also were the Land-Dayaks of

In Kuching and its neighbourhood the Malays were as usual loyal, from
their Datus, the Bandar, Imaum (whose sister the Datu Haji had married)
and the old fighting Temanggong downwards. Here the Datu Haji had a
small clique only, but men's minds were becoming disturbed by the
baneful rumours that were being sedulously spread about of the impending
downfall of the Government. It was brought home to their minds, and
insisted on, that the Rajah had forfeited the confidence of the British
Government, which was prepared to leave him to his fate. No more
men-of-war had been sent to Sarawak, and no help had been offered the
Rajah for the suppression of the Chinese insurrection; all this
exercised a bad influence on some who wavered, though at heart loyal,
and it discouraged the faint-hearted, just as it encouraged hopes in the
disaffected Malay chiefs and the Sherips that they might recover their
lost supremacy. Any signal reverse to the Government, or any indecision
shown by it, would have produced the gravest consequences, which must
have resulted, however the issue went, in the ruin of the country. The
crisis was critical, and without a strong man at the helm, disaster
would have followed—a leader to counterbalance the influence of the
conspirators—a leader for the loyal to rally around and to inspire the
timid, was wanted, and was at hand.

Upon receiving news of the disaster at Kanowit, after having despatched
an express to Mr. Watson in Saribas to be strictly on his guard, the
Tuan Muda at once proceeded to Kuching. There an assembly of all the
chiefs and head men was held, and to them, with a sword in front of him,
he declared his stern resolution that there should be no haven for the
murderers of his officers and friends. Before he left Kuching, Abang
Ali, of Serikei,[234] had arrived direct from Kanowit; he reported the
whole place to be burnt down and deserted, and that the murderers had
left; and he was able to give a full account of the tragedy.

One afternoon, as Mr. Fox was superintending the digging of a ditch, and
Mr. Steele was walking about inside the fort, both unarmed, they were
attacked, Steele by two men, Abi and Talip, whom he had known and
trusted, though their previous characters had been extremely bad. Talip
drew his sword and struck at Steele, but the latter, being an active
man, seized the weapon, whereupon Abi cut him down, killing him

At the same moment a party of Kanowits, led by their chiefs, Sawing and
Sakalai, rushed out of a Chinaman's house, in which they had been
concealed, and killed Mr. Fox. Sawing and Sakalai struck the first
blows, followed by many others, for his body was terribly mutilated, as
was also that of Steele. They then proceeded to rifle the fort, the
garrison offering no resistance, except at the commencement, when the
sentry fired and killed one of the murderers.

After a stay of a few days in Kuching, organising his party, the Tuan
Muda proceeded with the _Sarawak Cross_[235] and _Jolly Bachelor_ to the
Rejang river. At Rejang he learnt from Abang Ali that Tani, the chief of
the Banyoks, who, to cover his tracks, was the first to report the
murders to the Tuan Muda at Sekrang, though not actively participating,
had been a principal speaker inciting to the murders. He learnt further
that Penglima Abi and Talip, two of the actual assassins, had gone
straight to Sherip Masahor, had apprised him of their deed, and had told
him the country was now his own. The Sherip promptly killed Abi, but
Talip escaped and went to Bruni, where he complained that the Sherip
wanted to kill him to prevent him from telling the white men that it was
his (the Sherip's) order that Fox and Steele should be put to death.
Other conspirators on arriving at Serikei were also put to death by the

Abang Ali was at once despatched to Serikei in a fast boat, the Tuan
Muda following in the schooner _Sarawak Cross_. He was to put to death
all those at Serikei who were proved to have been guilty of complicity
in the murder of Fox and Steele. He found that the Malays who had been
accessories, under the Penglima Abi, had decamped and fortified
themselves in a creek, there he attacked and slew them; the few who had
remained were seized and krissed.[236]

Tani was caught and executed, though he protested his innocence, and on
being conveyed to death declared solemnly, "I am not guilty, before long
the true culprits will be discovered." It is perhaps to be regretted
that his life was not spared on condition of revealing the prime movers
of the plot. The case was most carefully investigated by the Tuan Muda
before sentence was passed, and the words he employed on his way to
execution showed that he had a knowledge of the conspiracy.

Mr. St. John more than hints that Tani was innocent. But at the time he
was not in Sarawak, but at Bruni, and did not again visit the Rejang.
There the justness of the execution of Tani has never been questioned,
even by his son, Buju, who succeeded him, and he was always spoken of as
one of the most active instigators of the murders. The Malays who were
in charge of the fort were also put to death for surrendering it without
a shred of resistance to the assassins, and allowing it to be plundered
of arms and ammunition, and everything it contained, and to be set on
fire. It was complicity, and not cowardice; and poor Steele had been
unwise in his selection of fortmen.

The Tuan Muda had brought the Datu Haji Gapur along with him,[237] not
deeming it prudent to leave him in Kuching unwatched, and now at Serikei
the Sherip Masahor came on board, and expressed his earnest desire to
accompany him up the river, and assist in the pursuit of the assassins
who had fled. He was urgent that his own armed men should surround the
Tuan Muda and act as bodyguard, but the offer was prudently declined.

  This man was deeply suspected, but I could not find a clue, or a
  tittle of evidence through which he might be brought to trial. I
  thought all in this large river were more or less implicated, but we
  could not put all to death, though conspiracy was rife. Some were
  originators and instigators, some again the active workers; others
  merely dupes, and some again only listeners, but none talebearers.
  So my course was to meet the Sherip in a friendly manner without a
  shadow of suspicion on my brow, and as he sat on one chair, I sat on
  another within a foot of him. He had his sword, I had mine; both had
  equally sharpened edges.

There were also present on deck a guard of armed blunderbuss men, and
the redoubtable old Subu,[238]

  although I beckoned him away, he would take up his seat close to me,
  with his gigantic sword at his waist. We sat and talked cordially on
  various topics, and he (the Sherip) particularly recommended every
  precaution, as he said he feared badly-disposed men were about. So
  after an hour of this hollow friendship we separated, he going on
  shore again. What would he not have given for my head!

The executions previously done by Masahor had been to get rid of awkward
witnesses to his having been an instigator of the crime.

  Something had already been done, but much more yet remained. My wish
  was to punish those immediately implicated, before touching the
  instigators. I could only get at the former by the assistance of the

  I felt apprehensive that I should have difficulties with my own
  people after they had witnessed such severe proceedings, but was
  determined to carry out my original resolve, and permit nothing to
  shake me. I felt, while in this state, no more fear of danger or
  death than of washing my hands in the morning. A man with arms
  constantly about him, and death staring him in the face, soon loses
  the sensation of what people improperly style nervousness. An
  express boat was despatched to Kanowit for the remains of our late
  friends, and they were buried at Serikei near the fort.[239]

The Tuan Muda lingered at Serikei as long as he could, waiting for the
Sekrang force, but as there were no signs of its coming he pushed on to
Kanowit, "where there was nothing to be seen but black desolation. The
poles and some fragments of the old houses were left, but nothing else.
The place looked as if it had been blighted by evil spirits."

Here he was informed that the Kanowits and others under Sawing and
Sakalai, two of the principals in the raid on Kanowit, had retired up
the Kabah, a branch stream of the Rejang a short distance above, and had
strongly fortified themselves there. Hundreds of Dayaks from the Kanowit
river now came and placed themselves at the Tuan Muda's disposal, but
they were his quondam enemies, and were but doubtful friends. To test
their professions of loyalty the Tuan Muda ordered them to proceed to
attack the enemy's fortification, and should they fail to take it they
were to surround it, so as to prevent the enemy decamping, and to await
his arrival. In the morning they left to execute this order.

Two days the Tuan Muda waited for his Sekrang reinforcements, whilst the
Malays were busy erecting a new fort, and then a young Dayak chief from
the advance party arrived with the information that they had failed in
their attack on the stockades, and had lost some killed and many
wounded, but they had obeyed the Tuan Muda's instructions, and had taken
up positions out of range all round the enemy's position—they begged
that he would speedily come to their assistance. They thus proved that
their hearts were well inclined; and these were the people that the Tuan
Muda had so severely punished three years previously.

Accordingly early next morning, the Tuan Muda, without waiting for the
reinforcements, started up-stream in the _Jolly Bachelor_ with a small
party, and joined the Dayak force, which he now felt that he might
trust. The Dayaks willingly took one of the 6-pounders and the
ammunition out of the gunboat, and, leaving her in charge of the Datu
Temanggong, the Tuan Muda marched inland, with a bodyguard of only forty
Malays, and these, though otherwise trustworthy, not the best kind of
warriors. With the exception of Penglima Seman and Abang Ali he had no
reliable leaders.

The enemy's position was reached at 1 P.M., and it looked an ugly place
to take. The Dayaks had built huts around, and they now numbered some
three thousand. A stockade was erected 300 yards from the fortification,
the gun mounted, and a summons sent to surrender Sawing, Sakalai, and
others deeply compromised in the murder of Steele and Fox. This was
refused, and the gun opened fire, which was returned, but the rebels'
shot went high and told amongst the Dayaks in the rear. After forty-five
rounds had been fired darkness set in. The chief, Sawing, had been heard
giving directions right and left. He had previously sent a message to
the Tuan Muda to say that he awaited his arrival and would slaughter all
his followers—the Malays—for he did not regard the Dayaks as his
enemies. And he had reason for this, for these Dayaks had before been
hand-in-glove with the Sherip; but they had turned, and that at a time
when an opportunity offered of possible retaliation for the punishment
formerly inflicted upon them.

  In the dusk of the evening a few of our party spoke to the enemy,
  who had suffered much from our shot, and were, they said, willing to
  come to terms. It was now an impossibility, as our force of Dayaks
  would be uncontrollable, and I would never receive them except to
  hang them all, _minus_ the women and children. I did not trust much
  to their hollow words, so despatched a party to bring up more
  ammunition in the morning. The night closed in quiet and tranquil.
  Next morning, my wish was to interfere so as to save the women and
  children, if possible, and I despatched a messenger within speaking
  distance of the house, to demand the Government arms and goods that
  had been taken from the Kanowit fort. After some time a few dollars
  and old muskets were given up; then I sent to tell the women and
  children to leave. They replied that they were afraid of the Dayaks.
  So, after giving them a certain time, and knowing that then further
  delay was useless, I ordered Abang Ali to advance and take the house
  if he could. The fellows rushed on, yelling terribly. I kept our
  small Malay force together in the stockade with Penglima Seman, as a
  panic might arise among them, and the besieged become desperate, and
  charge us; so the gun was ready with grape and canister to be
  discharged at a moment's notice.

After a furious attack, the stockade was entered, and there was
desperate fighting within between those defending it and those entering
by climbing the poles that sustained it. Then fire was applied, and both
ends of the building kindled and began to blaze furiously.

  Now came the horror of war indeed. Some were burnt, some killed,
  some taken prisoners, and some few escaped. So ended that
  fortification. Its roof fell with a crash, leaving only its smoking
  embers to tell where it had stood. Our Dayaks were mad with
  excitement, flying about with heads; many with frightful wounds,
  some even mortal.

Unhappily the leading murderers escaped; they succeeded in cutting their
way through the attacking force. The Tuan Muda's party suffered heavily,
and about thirty-five Dayaks were killed by poisoned arrows. The
puncture shows no larger than if it had been made by a pin. Drowsiness
ensues, and death follows in half an hour. One of the Malays, who was
thus wounded, was saved by being given a glass of brandy, and being kept
to his feet, walking, in spite of his entreaties to be allowed to lie
down and sleep. Sakalai's wife and some of the women were saved, and
were sent to their friends.

After remaining some time at Kanowit to establish confidence among the
Dayaks, and to set a guard in the new fort, of which Abang Ali was
placed in charge, the Tuan Muda returned to Kuching, stopping on his way
at Serikei, when again Sherip Masahor dissembled, and received him with
marked respect and attention; he subsequently learnt that this visit was
near being his last to any one on earth. At Kuching the Tuan Muda was
welcomed by his countrymen, the Malays and Chinese, with every honour;
what he had effected had gladdened the hearts of all, but the troubles
were not at an end.

The rumours we have mentioned of the massacre of Europeans in Dutch
Borneo had caused extreme disquiet amongst the natives generally, and
the murders of Steele and Fox led them to believe that the fate
wherewith all Europeans were threatened was to overtake those in Sarawak
as well, and that the Bruni Rajahs were about to resume possession of
the country. Reports calculated to disturb the minds of the people were
diligently spread, and one, which came from Bruni, was that the Queen of
England was so incensed against the Rajah that she had ordered his
execution, and that his life was spared only by the intervention of the

A deep and intricate plot had been formed, the active principals in
Sarawak being the Sherip Masahor, the Datu Haji, and the Bandar Kasim,
and trustworthy intelligence was subsequently received that they were
being backed up by the Bruni Government, or rather the dominant party
there, by whom an agent had been despatched along the coast to extort
goods from the natives, and to communicate with the Sherip, to whom a
kris was presented with which the white men in Sarawak were to be put to
death. There was unity of action, moreover, between the conspirators and
their friends in Western or Netherlands Borneo, and of this the Dutch
were aware. They had early intelligence of the plotting, and warned the
Sarawak Government. But the precipitate action at Kanowit and the
subsequent proceedings of the Tuan Muda had for a time hindered the
conspirators, and rendered it necessary for them to dissemble, even to
the extent of sacrificing some of their own supporters, which served a
double purpose—to throw off suspicion from themselves, and to silence
dangerous tongues. But within a short time they were again active,
though lack of concerted action, as in the case of so many other
conspiracies designed to act simultaneously at various points, led to
failure, through too great precipitation of some of the plotters.

The Datu Haji was the first to commence. He had remained at Serikei when
the Tuan Muda left that place on his return from Kanowit, and his object
in accompanying the Tuan Muda there was, while professing loyalty, to
deliberate with the Sherip. On his return to Kuching he proceeded to
Lundu, and there incited the Land-Dayaks to insurrection, telling them
that 2000 white men had already been killed, and the rest were to be cut
off immediately; he further threatened the Dayaks that if they did not
become Muhammadans they would share the same fate. This story he had
told also to Dayaks in the neighbourhood of Kuching. A subtle plan was
formed to march overland on the town, and in the dead of night quietly
to fire some houses and then fall on the English, who would be certain
to turn out to help to extinguish the fires, and so would fall easy

The old Datu Temanggong was the first to warn the Tuan Muda. He went to
him, and, after taking the precaution of ordering all his followers out
of the room, told him to take care of himself, and not to ride and walk
about unarmed. He further observed that many suspicious reports were
flying about. The chiefs were at once assembled, and were unanimous in
recommending that the English officers should wear arms. "Why do we wear
arms?" they said, "because we cannot trust our neighbours." The Datu
Imaum added that he, being a haji, was not supposed to wear a sword, and
opening his robe showed a hidden kris, sharp as a razor. The Tuan Muda
was aware that it was useless asking them at this stage to give their
authority for these suspicions; he knew they were not yet prepared
openly to go further than to warn him to be on his guard—what had come
to their ears would be told him privately, and in due course of time.
Natives are extremely reticent and cautious at such times. The datus did
not wish to warn foes as well as friends, and were on their guard
against unsuspected spies and babbling tongues. The warning was rightly
regarded, and the Tuan Muda and his officers prepared to meet the
dangers that were brewing.

A few days later the Datu Haji's plot was revealed to the Tuan Muda, and
he acted with promptitude. "I assembled the chiefs, and acquainted them
that I should turn him out of the country immediately he returned, and
should prepare at once in case any opposition was shown." The chiefs
seemed satisfied, and said they were powerless with such an old and
morose man, and recommended me to use my own judgment in dealing with
him, engaging to assist me. Guns were loaded, and gunboats fenced in,
but everything was done quietly and without bustle. A guard was placed
in Government House, and the apertures were barred to prevent sudden
rushes. The day after the culprit returned and was informed that he had
to leave the country. Friendly people were mustered from neighbouring
rivers, and were lounging about in groups, ready at a moment's notice.
All wore arms and work was suspended. Next morning came, and the Sarawak
chiefs assembled the Nakodas (merchants) and population in the Native
Court.[240] The Bandar addressed them in these curt words: "I follow the
Sarawak Government; there is business to be done. All those who are
disposed to follow and assist me, hold up their hands." They all
responded favourably, and he then made known, "The Government banishes
Datu Haji and Nakoda Dulah,[241] as they are considered too dangerous to
live amongst us." Some of his relatives conveyed the news to him, and
told the Haji he had to leave the next day; an allowance would be
granted to him by the Government. Resistance was useless on his part. So
terminated this affair. He had been condemned in open court and by his
own connections, the Bandar and the Imaum. Although he had no, or very
little, influence in Kuching, he had in the country, for he was
hand-in-glove with the malcontents amongst the Saribas and Sadong
Malays, and was the cause of the revolt in the Sadong, due to his
connection the Bandar Kasim. He was at once sent to Singapore, not,
however, to remain there for long; and he shortly afterwards got himself
into further and more serious trouble. He had failed, but he knew others
would shortly be active, and he trusted to them to retrieve his failure,
and so prepared to join them directly they moved. Bayang, the principal
chief of the Dayaks, who had joined him, was imprisoned.

The discovery of this conspiracy, the murders of Steele and Fox, and the
knowledge that other plots were certainly brewing naturally created
great alarm amongst the English residents. No one felt safe, for none
knew the actual extent of these plots, or could distinguish between
friend and foe. The Government Officers were discouraged, for they felt
that the confidence created by long years of labour, anxiety, and kindly
intercourse between themselves and the natives was fast vanishing. Some
of the piratical Dayaks, who were being slowly but surely weaned from
their evil ways and induced to trade and plant, led astray by cunningly
devised reports, retired again to their fastnesses in the interior and
defied the Government; and it was feared that this disaffection might
spread.[242] Sir Spenser St. John writes:—

  The gentlemen, to a man, stuck to their posts with firmness,[243]
  the second class lost all courage; while the Bishop and some of the
  missionaries left, the former taking home news that it was a
  Mahomedan plot, with the Datu Imaum (the rival Mahomedan Bishop) at
  the head of it—whereas the Datu Imaum showed himself, as ever, the
  true and faithful friend of the English[244]—

and, we may add, true and faithful he remained for nearly fifty years

The year of anxiety and careful watching closed without any further
outbreaks, but early in 1860 came the final episode, which ended in the
complete dispersion of conspiracies and conspirators.

This was a mad and badly-concerted effort to carry through the
disorganised plot. It was a plot not only to overthrow the Sarawak
Government and murder all the English, but to massacre the Dutch in
Western Borneo as well. By industriously spreading false reports, Sherip
Masahor prepared the way for a rising of the natives against their
English and Dutch rulers, knowing that if successful at one point it
would become general. He was well aware how easy it would be to impose
upon the ignorant and sheepish people along the coast, and his bold
project was to despatch thither a specious and clever Bruni rogue, a
runaway of rank from Bruni, named Tunjang, who was to personate the
Pangiran Temanggong, the Prime Minister of Bruni, and no less a
personage than the late Sultan's son, and the heir to the throne, who
had now come from Bruni to exterminate all Europeans. He was to join the
Bandar Kasim at Sadong, and advance up that river, raising the people to
revolt during his progress, and to follow him. He was to cross over into
Netherlands Borneo, where he would find many disaffected against their
rulers ready to rally around him, and then proceed down the Kapuas and
attack Pontianak, whither the Datu Haji was to proceed from Singapore to
organise a second branch of the conspiracy, and to be ready to assist
him from within when he appeared off that place. They were then to
return and attack Kuching from the interior, whilst the Sherip made a
simultaneous attack from the sea.

The relation of events which followed we take from the Tuan Muda's
narrative[246] and from official records.

Early in January, Pangiran Matusin brought the Tuan Muda a letter sent
him by the impostor, Tunjang, purporting to be from the Pangiran
Temanggong, ordering him to proceed to Sadong and there to join this
prince, who was waiting for a numerous force, which was to number many
thousands. The Pangiran, the bearers of the letter had told him, was
exacting and authoritative, and his orders were being readily obeyed by
the people. Matusin supposed that the Temanggong had really come. The
letter was a clever forgery executed by the Sherip together with others,
which were subsequently sent to the datus and chiefs calling upon them
to assist in exterminating all Europeans. The Tuan Muda saw in this a
dangerous plot, and the hand of an impostor, and this was the view taken
by the members of council. At once strong parties were despatched to cut
off the evil-doer, whoever he was, and who, false as he might be, was
capable of doing incalculable harm amongst the simple-minded people
up-country, and had therefore to be dealt with promptly.

Rightly conjecturing that he might be making for the Kapuas, the Tuan
Muda despatched one party under Mr. Hay to the head of the Sadong by the
Sarawak river to prevent this, and an express was sent by Sherip
Matusain to warn the Dutch officials. Though Mr. Hay pressed on, he was
too late to intercept this pseudo prince, who had crossed the border,
two days before he arrived, at the head of a strong following of Malays
and Dayaks. In regal style this _prince_ was borne in a litter, as
became one of his exalted rank, and he now styled himself Sultan.
Everywhere he was treated with marked respect. Men gladly enrolled
themselves in his service, and accorded him the large contributions in
goods and slaves that he exacted. It was arranged that the chiefs over
the border—of Landak, Sanggau, and Pontianak—were to rise along with
their people under his command against the Dutch; and, indeed, it is
probable that many might have done so, for at Sanggau he was received
with salutes and all honours. But the rôle of a prince was to be
speedily changed for the more fitting one of a malefactor in chains. The
Dutch acted promptly, and one fine morning he found the place invested
by troops, and the house in which he was staying surrounded. Some of his
supporters appear to have flown to his aid, for one pangiran was killed
and another wounded—these were genuine pangirans. The impostor
surrendered, was placed in irons, and conveyed to prison in Batavia;
here he was soon joined by the Datu Haji in the same unhappy plight. The
latter had gone to Pontianak to carry out the part assigned to him, and
had unwittingly run into a trap, for on landing he was immediately
arrested. His departure from Singapore was known to Mr. Grant, who was
then at that place, and reported by him to the Dutch Consul there, who
immediately telegraphed the news to Batavia.

The countries Tunjang had passed through were in a most unsettled state,
and the minds of the people were over-filled with false reports. Some of
the head men were prepared to live, and, if needs be, die in support of
the mock Temanggong. Sadong was in revolt, and the Bandar Kasim had sent
an open defiance to Kuching. It was now known that Sherip Masahor was,
and had been from the first, the leading spirit of the conspiracy, and
Tunjang had confessed as much to the Dutch.[247]

Little suspecting the fate that had overtaken his fellow-conspirator and
trusty agent, and deeming that the time had come for him to perform his
part—the third branch of the conspiracy—Masahor moved on Kuching with a
well-selected mob of his particular desperadoes. But the Tuan Muda was
warned of his approach. The chiefs "earnestly breathed their anxieties
about this individual, saying, 'Do what you think best for the safety of
the country, we are ready to follow you.' All our guns were loaded and
we never moved without being armed, which gave our friends great
confidence, and the doubtful ones considerable fear." The Sherip was
warned that he would be looked upon as an enemy and fired upon if he
entered Sarawak territory, but this warning, if received in time, was
unheeded. The Tuan Muda now started with a sufficient force to bring the
Sadong people to their senses, but he had not proceeded far down the
river before he encountered the Sherip advancing towards Kuching with
two large prahus crowded with men. The Sherip was brought up and ordered
to turn his boats and follow the Tuan Muda's flotilla, and this order he
dared not disobey. The Tuan Muda had no time to deal with him then,
unless it had been done summarily, which would have entailed unnecessary
loss of life, so Masahor was escorted out of the river, and bidden
return to his own country: he was warned not to follow into the Sadong.

The Government station in the Sadong is at Semunjan, about twenty miles
up the river. The Malays of this place were well-disposed. On the Tuan
Muda's arrival early next night he was immediately warned that the
Sherip's sole intention in going to Kuching was to put all the white men
to death, and that he intended to strike at him first,[248] and a little
later came news that the Sherip was anchored in the river just below.
With enemies before him this rendered the situation critical, for the
force with him was not large. He resolved to deal with the Sherip at
once; "he is the enemy to strike, the rest are mere trifles," was the
opinion of the chiefs with him.

No time was lost. The _Jolly Bachelor_ and the prahus at once silently
dropped down the river, and took up positions around the Sherip's large
prahus; fearing the culprit might escape during the night, the sampans,
or canoes, attached to his prahus were at once taken away.

The Tuan Muda had only Muhammadan Malays with him; to them the person of
a Sherip, a descendant of the Prophet, was sacred, and to have him
seized and put in irons was simply impossible. At dawn he called upon
those who did not court destruction to leave the Sherip's prahus, which
several did, and then he opened fire with round shot; so as to spare
life, grapeshot was not used. The Sherip's vessel was struck about the
water-mark, and soon began to fill, when a breeze springing up, he cut
his cables and drifted ashore, escaping into the jungle with a few
followers. The Tuan Muda's men were reluctant to follow him; some
thought the Sherip invulnerable, others that he had the power of damping
powder and blunting weapons from a distance, and the search for him was
but half-hearted. Three times the Tuan Muda had raised his rifle and
covered the Sherip as he climbed the bank, but spared him. It is a pity
he was merciful, for wandering down the banks of the river the Sherip
and his followers came across a boat from which two Malays had landed.
The boat they seized, and in it escaped to Muka—the Malays they wantonly
murdered to cover their tracks. Among other articles found in his prahu
was the Sherip's long execution kris; his bringing this was significant.

Then the Tuan Muda returned up the river. At Semunjan he learnt that the
Bandar Kasim had incited the Malays there to rush the fort whilst he,
the Tuan Muda, was engaged with the Sherip, but they had declined to
have anything to do with him. On arriving at Gadong, then the principal
Malay settlement, the Tuan Muda found that the Bandar Kasim and his
rebellious clique had decamped over the border. He assembled the now
thoroughly cowed people, and told them they had all been imposed upon by
a man, passing himself off as a Bruni Rajah, and that he did not blame
the lower class people. As Bandar Kasim had disavowed and challenged the
Government the whole of his property was confiscated, and all his slaves
were liberated. The people were assured by the Tuan Muda that he had no
intention of taking steps to punish their misconduct, though he plainly
told them they should have known better, and he begged them to be more
careful in future. They loudly upbraided their chiefs for having misled
them, and one man angrily turning to the people, exclaimed, "You are all
a parcel of babies, only fit to crawl, instead of standing upright." He
spoke the truth, but these poor ignorant creatures had not yet learnt to
stand upright. The words of their chiefs were still law to them, and
years of oppression had taught them to submit without murmur to the rule
of the great over their lives and property. But the spell was broken.
Their chiefs had fled before the Tuan Muda, and the greatest Sherip in
the land had been utterly routed. The agent of the Bruni Government,
whose presence on the coast has been mentioned, on hearing that the
Sherip had been fired upon, left his large prahu and fled in fear to
Bruni in a small boat, declaring that he believed the heavens would
collapse next. Shortly afterwards the Bandar Kasim arrived at Kuching
with his whole family, and delivered himself up to the mercy of the

The Tuan Muda then proceeded to Sekrang, and there received a letter
from the Malay chief of Serikei, Abang Ali, urging him to come to their
assistance, as Sherip Masahor had returned, and was again oppressing the
people. At once the Tuan Muda collected a flying force of 150 large
bangkongs, manned by his faithful Dayaks. Serikei was found to be
deserted, and the Sherip had fled to Igan. His fine house was burnt
down. After ascertaining that Kanowit was safe in the keeping of the
people there, the Tuan Muda proceeded to Igan, the Sherip's actual
stronghold, which was reported to be strongly fortified. This place with
the district around was his own particular property, and was the centre
of his followers, but he had no heart to face the Tuan Muda again, and
fled to Muka. Igan was looted and burnt. Much of the Sherip's property
was seized, including many long brass guns, or native cannon, of
handsome design, which had been heirlooms in his family for generations,
and some of these now adorn the Court House in Kuching.

The expulsion of Sherip Masahor completed the discomfiture of the
conspirators and their adherents, and brought their conspiracies to an
end. Though lacking unison and proper disposition these had menaced
extreme danger. But the crisis past left the Government more firmly
established than ever. The Sherips, the Bruni nobles, and the
disaffected Sarawak chiefs now realised that their power to do harm and
to mislead the people was for ever broken. Dispelled was all existing
doubt as to the power of the Government to endure without extraneous
assistance; and dispelled from the minds of the people was the myth of
the might of the Sultan and his nobles. Confidence was established in
many who were at heart in sympathy with a Government which brought them
justice and security, but who, doubting its stability as a bulwark
against the oppression of their chiefs, had been prepared again to
resign themselves to their power.

The repression by the Tuan Muda of this last effort of the supporters of
extortion and misrule inaugurated an epoch of peace and freedom for all
time. He had acted with vigour, and without delay. His resourcefulness
and influence over the people enabled him to tide over a most difficult
time with but poor material, and under the most trying circumstances. "I
will not praise you, for words fall flat and cold, but you have saved
Sarawak, and all owe you a deep debt of gratitude," were the words in
which his uncle and chief conveyed his deserved appreciation of the
services that had been rendered by him; and he won for himself the
entire trust of the people of all classes, a trust that remains
unimpaired to this day.

Indifference to the fate of Sarawak had been openly expressed by the
British Government; consequently no helping hand had been proffered,
though the troubles with which the State was beset were well known. Even
the presence of a man-of-war, though she lent no active support, would
have exercised great moral effect. "Sarawak has been encouraged and
betrayed,"[249] in mournful anger wrote the Rajah, "England has betrayed
us beyond _all doubt_, and in the time of urgent peril cares nothing
whether we perish or survive."

In April, Captain Brooke, the Tuan Besar, returned to Sarawak and
resumed his duties as head of the Government. His brother's arrival
released the Tuan Muda from his duties at the capital, and left him free
to devote his time to the more active work yet to be done in the
provinces, where his presence was needed to reassure the people; and
there were still the refractory Dayaks of the Serikei and Nyalong to be
subjected, and Rentap to be smoked out of his lair.

Tunjang's fate is not recorded. The Dutch offered to deliver him up for
punishment, but it was left to them to deal with him, and no doubt they
dealt severely. The Datu Haji died at Malacca, and Bandar Kasim in
Kuching. The confiscation of his property was deemed sufficient
punishment, but he was not permitted to return to Sadong. The last phase
of Sherip Masahor is recorded in the next chapter.

We will now briefly follow the Rajah's movements in England, whither he
had gone mainly for a rest, which was, however, denied him. To add to
the mental worries caused by intense desire to safeguard the future of
his adopted country, he was visited by a grave bodily affliction.

His reception by Court and by Ministers was more cordial than on his
previous visit to England, and he was publicly entertained at Liverpool
and Manchester, but shortly afterwards he was struck down by a stroke of
paralysis. Though some months passed before he recovered his bodily
strength, the vigour of his mind remained unimpaired.

In his efforts to obtain protection he was backed by many influential
friends, and by public bodies. The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce
memorialised the Government to restore the protection afforded to
Sarawak up to 1851, and a large and influential deputation, representing
the mercantile interests of Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, and, to some
extent, London, with several members of Parliament, waited upon Lord
Derby with the same object. Lord Derby's refusal was severely commented
upon by the _Times_, and it occasioned a difference in the Cabinet. The
subject would again have been entertained, had not the Government
shortly afterwards gone out on their Reform Bill.[250]

The Rajah was left with but little hope. He felt that the Government of
both parties desired to be rid of Sarawak, and that the country was
indifferent; moreover he was fully assured that Sarawak could not stand
alone. England failing, Holland was tried, but "Holland," he writes,
"declares openly that there is an understanding the country shall fall
to them after my death." Then France was tried; and the protection of
France, the Rajah was of opinion, could have been gained had the Tuan
Besar been whole-hearted in the negotiations. But the Tuan Besar did not
share the Rajah's opinion that Sarawak could not maintain its
independence unsupported, and disliked the idea of handing the country
over to a Foreign Power, and in this he was supported by the Tuan Muda.
The Rajah wisely gave way to what has since proved to be the better
judgment of his nephews, and he wrote to the Tuan Muda, "as my views for
Sarawak are at an end, and as we are now to run the risk, with a
rational prospect of success, to sustain the Government I will loyally
and cheerfully work to falsify my own convictions. Time brings changes,
and may work upon the British Government. But it was a fatal mistake to
let slip an opportunity of safety, recognition, and permanency,[251] and
to allow an English prejudice to interfere with Sarawak. However, it is
past, and the juncture requires union, and united we will cheerily
work,"—and time was very shortly to work on the British Government in
favour of Sarawak.

But pecuniary failure was also staring Sarawak in the face. The Borneo
Company, Limited, suffering under severe losses consequent on the
Chinese insurrection and the continued disturbed state of the country,
were losing heart; they considered it advisable to withdraw from
Sarawak, and such a step on their part would have been fatal to the
investment of further British capital in the country. In the next place,
the Rajah was being pressed for repayment of a large sum of money,
which, for the purposes of the Government, he had found it necessary to
borrow after the ruin caused by the Chinese insurrection. But "the
Borneo Company persevered, and has long since reaped the benefit of so
doing,"[252] and a kind and ever staunch friend, Miss (afterwards
Baroness) Burdett-Coutts, relieved him of his pressing debt by a loan
free of interest. She further advanced the money to purchase a steamer,
a very urgent need, and the Rajah bought a little vessel which he named
the _Rainbow_—"the emblem of hope," and never was a rainbow after a
storm more welcome. Of her the Tuan Muda wrote that "she was welcomed as
a god-send of no ordinary description, whereby communication could be
quickly carried on and outposts relieved or reinforced within a short
time. She was the small piece of iron and machinery which could carry
Sarawak's flag, and raise the name of the Government in the minds of the
people along the coast."



A testimonial to the Rajah had also been raised by public subscription
"as a simple, earnest, and affectionate testimony of friends to a noble
character and disinterested services—services which, instead of
enriching, had left their author broken by illness and weariness of
heart, with threatening poverty."[253] With a portion of this fund he
purchased Burrator, a small estate in the parish of Sheepstor, on the
fringe of Dartmoor, in Devon. It was then very much out of the world,
having no station nearer than Plymouth, some miles off, and the
intervening roads were steep, narrow, and bad. The situation is
singularly picturesque; a moorland village, with a church of granite
under the bold tor that gives its name to the place. Its wildness and
seclusion charmed him, and there he settled in June, 1859, "trusting to
live in retirement, in peace; but there is no peace for me with Sarawak
in such a state," for the news of the Malay conspiracies caused him
further distress of mind, and he resolved to return to Sarawak.


Footnote 224:

  In addition to their other duties in the capital. See list of titles,
  p. xi.

Footnote 225:

  See chap. iii. p. 77, for particulars of these Datus.

Footnote 226:

  The Datu Patinggi Abdul Rahman was the rightful Malay chief of the
  Rejang, and the Sultan's representative. Sherip Masahor had originally
  settled at Igan, which place, with the surrounding district, belonged
  to him. At Serikei he was an interloper. He usurped authority wherever
  he could do so, and the Sultan, whose power in the Rejang was but a
  shadow, was constrained to put up with the Sherip's pretensions.

Footnote 227:

  This is incorrect. On more than one occasion he greatly distinguished
  himself fighting for the Government, especially at the time of the
  Chinese insurrection, but he died a natural death.

Footnote 228:

  An error—he was the Bandar's brother-in-law.

Footnote 229:

  He did not change his title. There has been no Datu Patinggi since.

Footnote 230:

  Haji Bua Hasan, who afterwards became Datu Bandar (_vide_ Chap. III.
  p. 77). It was not until 1860 that he was raised to the rank of Datu
  under the title of the Datu Imaum.

Footnote 231:

  His was a turbulent nature; a useful man in the time of trouble, but
  apt to be troublesome in the time of peace. He had some fine
  qualities, being brave and staunch, but even his best friend could not
  have called him honest. A well-built muscular man, never ruffled, and
  utterly impervious to fear, but somewhat cold-blooded—he was covered
  with the marks of old wounds. When Muka fort was built, he was
  appointed to be native Magistrate under the Resident, but he was
  removed in 1868, being unprincipled, dishonest, and unjust (to quote
  the present Rajah). He was invaluable in dealing with the turbulent
  Dayaks in the upper waters of the Rejang, as they absolutely feared
  him, but he could not keep his hands clean, and had to be removed from
  Baleh in 1876, when he was pensioned and placed out of harm's way at a
  little village near Santubong. He was a staunch supporter of
  Government and a hard fighter in helping to maintain it; he died some
  twenty years ago.

Footnote 232:

  Chap (Hindustâni) meaning a seal. Hence a firman, edict, licence,

Footnote 233:

  See Chap. III. p. 87.

Footnote 234:

  A young man then, and one of the well disposed Malay chiefs of
  Serikei. He shortly afterwards became the principal native officer in
  the Rejang, a position which he held until his death in 1874. He
  earned the fullest confidence of the Government, and the respect not
  only of his own people, but of the Dayaks, Kayans, and other tribes.

Footnote 235:

  A schooner belonging to the S.P.G. Mission.

Footnote 236:

  The national method of execution.

Footnote 237:

  From a letter from the Tuan Muda to his uncle, giving an account of
  these events, it is, however, evident that Haji Gapur had wheedled
  himself into the Tuan Muda's good graces, and had to a large extent
  regained his confidence. The Haji begged to be with him, and was

Footnote 238:

  A Singapore Malay, better known as Inchi Subu. He was one of the Malay
  sailors engaged by the Rajah to serve on the _Royalist_ when he first
  arrived at Singapore. He was remarkable for his size and strength. He
  became personal orderly to the late Rajah; and afterwards to the
  present Rajah, and was also the executioner. A brave and trustworthy
  man, he was generally popular with Europeans as well as natives. He
  died some years ago.

Footnote 239:

  Afterwards re-interred in the Kuching cemetery.

Footnote 240:

  A Court set apart for the settlement of Probate and Divorce cases and
  other civil suits arising amongst Muhammadans, and which are settled
  in accordance with Muhammadan law. Presided over by the Datus.

Footnote 241:

  A relation of the Datu Haji. He had been very active inciting the
  people of Lundu to revolt.

Footnote 242:

  It must be borne in mind that Rentap was still at Sadok defying the

Footnote 243:

  Messrs. Watson and Cruickshank at Saribas, and Mr. Grant at Belidah.
  In Kuching Messrs. Crookshank, R. Hay (who had joined in May 1857),
  and Alderson, a son of Baron Alderson, who served for a short time

Footnote 244:

  _Life of Sir James Brooke._

Footnote 245:

  He was better known in later days as the Datu Bandar.

Footnote 246:

  _Ten Years in Sarawak._

Footnote 247:

  The Sultan of Bruni affirmed to Consul-General St. John that the
  Sherip was responsible for the murder of Steele and Fox.

Footnote 248:

  A pension of 300 reals per mensem had been offered to any one taking
  the Tuan Muda's head; the danger attached to such an undertaking was
  evidently duly appreciated.

Footnote 249:

  "Sarawak became virtually a protected State. Her ruler was appointed a
  public officer of the Crown, and such unequivocal countenance and
  support were given as to assure the natives, and to induce British
  subjects to embark their lives and fortunes in the country."—The Rajah
  to the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Nevertheless protection
  and support were withheld.

  The Governor of Singapore sent the H.E.I.C.'s steamer, _Hooghly_, in
  November 1859, to safeguard British interests, but there was no need
  of her services then, and she left almost immediately.

Footnote 250:

  From Miss Jacobs, _The Raja of Sarawak_.

Footnote 251:

  Referring to the protection of France.

Footnote 252:

  Miss Jacobs, _op. cit._ For a special account of this Company see
  Chap. XVI.

Footnote 253:

  Sir Thomas Fairbairn, Bart.


                              CHAPTER VIII

In 1856, the Honourable G. W. Edwardes had been appointed Governor of
Labuan; Mr. Spenser St. John being Consul-General at Bruni. The Governor
was known to have imbibed all the prejudices and antipathies fostered in
England by Mr. Gladstone and his tail; and he was eager in everything to
hamper the development of the little State of Sarawak. He was not,
however, authorised to interfere in the relations between Bruni and
Sarawak, nor in the internal affairs of these States, where he had no
jurisdiction; but when the Consul-General left on leave early in 1860,
the Consular Office was handed over to him, and he was then placed in a
position to give vent to his bias, and, as Sir Spenser St. John remarks,
"he was delighted to get a chance of giving a blow to Sarawak." With
regard to Sherip Masahor, "he acted against his better judgment," and
with regard to the subsequent events at Muka "against the strong advice
of his own experienced officers."[254]

Sherip Masahor, after having been driven out of Sarawak, retired to
Muka, and, having established his family and numerous followers there,
passed on to Bruni to lay his case before the Sultan. Consul-General St.
John was then on the point of leaving, but before his departure he
received information from the Sultan which left little doubt "that
Masahor had instigated the murder of—had, in fact, by his paid agents,
murdered—Messrs. Fox and Steele."[255] On his way to England Mr. St.
John visited Kuching, and there obtained evidence which quite convinced
him of the Sherip's guilt, and he then wrote to the Sultan, calling upon
him to deliver up the Sherip to the Sarawak Government. But this letter
passing into acting Consul-General Edwardes' hands was suppressed by
him. He had seen the plausible Sherip, who had been sent to him by the
Sultan, and not only declined to believe in his guilt, but advised the
Sultan that his detention was not justifiable, and that he should be
permitted to return to Muka; there to watch and if needs be oppose the
aggression of the Rajah's nephews. To add fuel to the flame, he led the
Sultan to believe that prosperous Sarawak would soon be restored to
Bruni—a tempting prospect for the covetous and plundering nobles.

Writing to the Tuan Besar, under date July 4, 1860, Governor Edwardes

  After careful consideration of the documents sent, and examination
  of the case, I am unable to arrive at the conviction that Sherip
  Masahor is guilty of instigating the murders of Messrs. Fox and
  Steele, or of such complicity to justify me to induce his Highness
  to surrender him.

  His Highness, and the Rajahs, have expressed the most earnest desire
  to further the ends of justice, and to afford every assistance to
  the Sarawak Government. I have full confidence in their sincerity.

  I have not hesitated to inform his Highness and the Rajahs that I
  consider the evidence insufficient and that he (Sherip Masahor)
  could not with justice be surrendered.

As regards the Tuan Muda's actions in attacking and driving Sherip
Masahor out of Sarawak, Mr. Edwardes wrote that these "have greatly
prejudiced the British name and character in this country, and have
engendered a strong feeling of hostility to this colony (Labuan)."

In obedience to instructions the poor Sherip had gone to Kuching from
Serikei, taking certain Government monies and properties. In the Sarawak
river he had met the Tuan Muda coming down, and he then received orders
to follow him and join in an attack on Sadong. He obeyed, and on
entering the Sadong river brought up and anchored, the Tuan Muda going
on. The same evening the Tuan Muda dropped down, anchored close to his
prahu, sent and _borrowed_ his small boat, and the next morning
unexpectedly fired upon him. This is the story the Sherip told the
Governor at Bruni, and this is the story the Governor found it suitable
to his purpose to believe, though he _hoped_ it was not true, and that
he would be able "to clear away so great a stain upon the British

The energetic Sherip, before he left Muka had stirred up his
brother-in-law, the sleepy Pangiran Nipa, in charge there, to
reconstruct and strengthen the defences of the place, and there he was
joined by his Igan and Segalang people. No Sarawak traders were allowed
to enter the port to obtain raw sago, and the Muka people were forbidden
to have any commercial dealings with Kuching. A vessel chartered by a
Madras trader, a British subject, was prohibited under the heaviest
penalties from entering the Sarawak river, and two of his companions,
also British subjects, were detained as hostages against his doing so. A
fleet of twenty-five Sarawak vessels had been forced to collect at
Bruit, permission having been refused to enter Muka to load sago; and
the sago factories in Kuching were rendered idle.

From Bruni two agents had arrived at Muka, the Bandari Samsu and Makoda
Muhammad, whose sole business was to spread false reports for the
purpose of stirring up feelings of hostility against the English in
Sarawak. A spear (the usual token of a call to arms) had been sent
through the Sea-Dayak countries under Sarawak rule by the Sherip to
order the Dayaks in the names of the Bruni Rajahs to repair to Muka, and
that would have led to the coast, from Rejang to Bintulu, under the
Sultan's rule, being ravaged by thousands of Dayaks, and the heads taken
of every man, woman, and child met by them; fortunately, however, the
Sarawak officials were able to keep the Dayaks in.

The Tuan Muda had received a letter from the Pangiran Temanggong couched
in the most friendly terms, repudiating the acts of Nipa, and informing
him that the Muka river was to be opened for trade to all alike; but in
the meantime the Bruni Court, always playing a double game, had
despatched the two agents above mentioned, with an order that the
Sarawak nakodas were not to be allowed to fly the Sarawak flag at Muka,
nor to trade directly with the Muka people, but only through the Bruni

Acting upon the Temanggong's assurance, the Sarawak vessels had gone to
Muka, but off the mouth the nakodas had been warned that they would be
fired on if they entered, and the bearer of a friendly letter from the
Tuan Besar to the Pangiran Nipa was refused admittance. With the aid of
the Temanggong's letter, the Tuan Besar determined to try by friendly
negotiations to get Pangiran Nipa to be reasonable, and failing that to
send the Tuan Muda on to Bruni to complain to the Sultan.

In June, 1860, they anchored off the bar, and a Sambas Malay, the nakoda
of a vessel flying Dutch colours, was commissioned to take in a letter
saying that the Tuan Besar had come as a friend, and as bearer of a
letter from the Pangiran Temanggong of Bruni, to the effect that Muka
was not to be closed to Sarawak traders. No reply was vouchsafed, and
with telescopes it was observed from the gunboats that earthworks were
being thrown up at the mouth of the river. The Tuan Besar then decided
to take up the message himself, and two small boats were sent in to
sound the bar, upon which a large war prahu came out and fired at them.
This was a declaration of war, and the Tuan Besar resolved to let them
have what they invoked.

The following is an account of the affair as given by the Tuan Muda in
his book, _Ten Years in Sarawak_, 1866:

  We plainly perceived that the enemy was preparing in earnest for
  opposition. Temporary stockades were being erected at the entrance
  and many hundreds of people were collecting heaps of wood in various
  places on the shore; these were to be burnt, and their intention was
  to raise a strong breeze to drive us from our anchors and drift us
  on to the coast. The idea of the effect was correct, that excess of
  heat would produce a vacuum, and cause an inshore current of air.
  However, their fires were not sufficient, and the expected effect
  did not follow.


The town of Muka lies about two miles up the river of the same name, and
is situated on both banks of that river and of another, the Telian,
smaller in volume, that here flows into it. At the mouth was not only
the usual bar, the channel through which had been staked to obstruct the
entrance, but also a long sandy finger of land on the north side, which
at that time deflected the tortuous stream. Behind the gunboats was a
fleet of traders impatient to enter and obtain their cargoes; for which
they were more eager than for exposure to danger.

  We had received an announcement of a large party among the enemy
  being in favour of at once making peaceful overtures; and even the
  headman's brother, Pangiran Lada, advised the opening of their
  river, and admission of our boats to trade; but the headman himself,
  Pangiran Nipa, was firm in the grasp of Sherip Masahor's mother and
  sister, who were hostile to any approach to friendly relations. Many
  of our people had relatives among the enemy, some even had wives
  living in Muka. A council of war was held on board the _Venus_[257]
  in the evening, at which all the chiefs and Europeans were present.
  It was decided that an advance should be made next morning for the
  entrance to the Muka river. A landing party was appointed to cut off
  the narrow point which extends to the mouth. By landing there and
  making a demonstration, the enemy would give up their lower
  stockade, and the pinnaces might then have free ingress over the bar
  and through the narrow channel.

The Tuan Besar took charge of the landing party, which, however, could
not effect much, as it was so small, and a despatch was sent off to
Kuching to hurry up reinforcements. The Tuan Muda was in command of the
little fleet of three small gunboats.

  Morning came, and we were on the alert before the sun had given any
  signs of approaching the horizon, and within a few minutes we were
  gliding along (the Tuan Muda aboard the _Venus_), with a light
  though full breeze steering to the nearest point for crossing the
  bar; then we again came to anchor. Our first work was to draw the
  spikes, which were soon shaken with bowline knots let down to their
  base. We opened a passage wide enough for an entry, and with one
  boat in tow we advanced towards the mouth. The sea was as calm as a
  pond, and the morning bright without a cloud. We had crossed over
  the bar with only six inches under our keel, and a stake had dragged
  along under our bottom without doing injury even to the copper.

  One boat, commanded by a gallant native, Penglima Seman (who has so
  often been mentioned before), was ahead of us, and drawing towards
  the enemy's stockades, at which we opened fire directly we were
  within range. The enemy soon abandoned this position and made off up
  the river as fast as boats would carry them. We then entered the
  river, and anchored about half-way between the mouth and the enemy's
  fortifications to await further orders, and become better acquainted
  with the position of what forts and obstacles they might have thrown
  in our way, to allow time also for the remainder of our flotilla to
  join us. We inspected the enemy's fortifications in the afternoon,
  and found that they were holding a high and formidable-looking
  stockaded house of two stories, the lower having port-holes for
  large guns, and the upper pierced with small apertures for the
  firing of lelahs (brass ordnance of native manufacture). There were
  also small stockades, protected with sacks full of raw sago.

  The position was well chosen, and had thorough command of a long
  reach in the river. A few yards below the fort were two large booms
  fastened across the river, with no apparent passage for boats to
  pass through.

  A landing party was despatched in the morning to reconnoitre the
  enemy's position, and a temporary enclosure was then thrown up by
  our party beyond the range of the enemy's guns, to form a basis for
  active operations, from which nearer stockades could be fed and

that is to say, advanced stockades could be thrown up and kept supplied
with men and ammunition.

The Tuan Besar was at the head of two hundred men, but on a good many of
these no reliance could be placed. After having established a basis of
operations on the spit of land at the mouth, he was to advance in the
direction of the town. This was done, and as the force approached it was
saluted with fire from the guns in the stockades and houses, but that
did little damage, and the party set to work intrenching itself. "Nearly
the first shot fired entered a prog-basket and smashed a bottle of gin.
A few only were wounded, and the escape from further casualties was

The Tuan Muda was now resolved on running the gauntlet past the town, up
the river, so as to place it between himself and the land force under
the Tuan Besar, whose position was in danger. It would be a hazardous as
well as a daring attempt, but he prepared for it in an ingenious manner,
by constructing a stockade round the _Venus_. Long beams were placed
across the schooner, and to them a framework was attached horizontally,
and upon this frame a stockade was erected, screening the deck and the
sides to the water's edge, so that the _Venus_ assumed the appearance of
a monstrous "Jack in the Green" or haystack. The thick planks reached to
five feet above the bulwarks, and were pierced with holes through which
the guns could play on the enemy's fortified houses as the _Venus_
drifted up-stream with the tide. This took two days to accomplish.
Meanwhile on shore the land party had thrown up a bank for protection,
and further the natives had dug pits about two feet deep in which they
lay after duty, and were thus completely protected from the enemy's

But no progress up the river could be effected till the booms had been
removed, and this would not be an easy matter, as they were commanded by
the forts. It could be effected only at night, and by expert and daring
swimmers. The Tuan Muda, Pangiran Matusin, and a nakoda, undertook the
task. Under cover of the darkness, in a small canoe, they stole softly
up the bank, unobserved, and then the pangiran and nakoda entering the
water, with their swords set to work to sever the rattans that held the
booms in place. These rattans had been twisted together to the thickness
of a hawser cable, and had to be cut under water. It was an anxious time
for the Tuan Muda, as any moment might have brought a volley on their

  In an hour they were severed. Towards the latter part of the time,
  the enemy were on the alert, and one boom moved slightly with the
  tide, when a few harmless shots ensued, which we heard pass over our
  heads among the leaves. At length the two men returned, and the
  enemy cried out, "Our booms are adrift," and forthwith banged away,
  but never caught sight of us. Matusin was so exhausted that I had to
  assist him into the boat, and at first I thought he was wounded.

The tide was ebbing, and the booms, now disengaged, floated downwards
towards the sea. The passage was clear for the venture upwards of the
_Venus_. Messrs. Watson and John Channon accompanied the Tuan Muda, who
had a crew of nine Europeans, besides the Malay complement.

On that night the attempt was to be made, anchor to be raised half an
hour before midnight, when the tide was flowing. Happily the weather
favoured, as a thick mist and drizzling rain set in.

  We triced up the awnings and up anchor, when the tide swept us on so
  swiftly that I soon found it would be hopeless trying to turn the
  vessel, so we drifted stern first, with two oars out on each side to
  assist in steering. Our guns were loaded and ready, and not a voice
  was to be heard as we silently and swiftly drifted along. I stood on
  the top of the stockade to pilot the vessel. We were soon off the
  camp (of the land force under the Tuan Besar), from which I was
  hailed to look out as the enemy would fire on us directly. I replied
  "All right," and then stepped on deck to be under cover. Just as I
  was so doing, a shot was fired from the bank close abreast of us.
  Another five minutes, and we were fairly in the fray. I heard the
  enemy call "Look out, the pinnace is drifting up," and they blazed
  on us volley after volley, as we lay within five or six yards of
  their fortifications. Watson watched to fire as the enemy opened
  their ports, but the haze was far too dense for us to discern
  anything at all; I soon found, however, that we were not
  progressing, and had fouled something. We swung to and fro, at times
  close under the enemy's guns, and then away into the centre of the

  We let go our anchor and hauled it up again, but all to no purpose,
  and we were at a loss to know what had fouled us. We then laid out a
  kedge and hove it home, without moving clear, and every now and then
  we blazed our 6-pounder of grape into the enemy, while they peppered
  us incessantly. The position was far from pleasant with guns banging
  all around and the fog and smoke so dense as to preclude a
  possibility of making out our position. At length I found that a
  large rattan made fast to one of the booms which had been cut adrift
  was holding us. The rattan was across the river, and the enemy had
  evidently entertained the intention of reconstructing their booms
  that night. I ordered a plucky young native[258] to jump down and
  cut it, which he did with two strokes of his sword. This had been
  holding us now for more than two hours under the enemy's fire.

Directly the rattan was gone, the schooner swung sufficiently to bring
the guns to bear on a lofty building whence most of the firing had come,
and, after a round of grape, the wailing of women was heard issuing from
it, and the enemy's fire was silenced. Next morning it was ascertained
that the Pangiran Lada, brother of Pangiran Nipa, and some of his
followers had been killed. The tide was still flowing, and the _Venus_
drifted on above the town, and anchor was cast within range of all the
houses. Only one small stockaded place continued to fire on her.

  Four hours had elapsed since we started; for three we had been
  exposed to fire. When we had passed the danger, our men gave three
  hearty cheers, which was answered by the party in the camp. At
  daylight we found a goodly mess on our decks, shot, pieces of iron,
  and nails in bucketfuls; our spars and ropes had been considerably
  damaged and cut about. The awnings were riddled with grape and
  nails; scarce a square foot had escaped uncut, but only two men were
  wounded, one, an Englishman, in the face. The other was struck in
  the leg by a splinter; but the barricading of wood had most
  effectually saved us all; without it, I don't think one would have
  lived to tell the story.

  After an hour's work, the deck had been cleared, and then we opened
  fire upon the enemy's village, or rather on the headman's house
  (Pangiran Nipa's), which had guns mounted on the roof. The women and
  children had all been taken up a small stream on which the village
  is situate.[259] The only return was kept up by the small stockade
  which had troubled us on the previous night, and this place must
  have been guarded by some very determined fellows.

  The whole country—if only we had an available force with us—was in
  our hands. To all appearance the place was deserted, and it provoked
  us beyond measure not to be able to take the initiative. In the
  course of the afternoon we determined to pull higher up the river,
  and take up a position to communicate with our force at the mouth.
  We should also be above the enemy's fortifications, and enabled to
  receive and support those who were inclined to favour our cause.

Here the Tuan Muda was constrained to remain for over a month, as was
also the Tuan Besar below the town, waiting for reinforcements from

Desultory fighting, firing at the forts and from them, and attempts made
to waylay those who passed between the camp and the _Venus_ occupied the
tedious interval, but at length the desired help came; and those who
arrived were divided between the force under the Tuan Besar, which would
be engaged in a frontal attack on the town, whilst the other force,
under the Tuan Muda, would march inland to make a flanking movement.

Everything being ready, the Tuan Muda started, drawing with him a
6-pounder gun. The Englishmen of his party numbered nine. The advance
was by no means easy. The ground was rough and treacherous, full of
bog-holes, and the enemy hovered around, and kept blazing at the party
from every cover.

"Pangiran Matusin was indefatigable; no weight seemed too heavy for his
powerful limbs to lift, and although a man of rank, he worked as one of
his slaves. At midnight we fitted our 6-pounder brass gun, and fired one
shot to see that it was ready. The enemy fired all night, and the
quantity of ammunition expended must have been considerable."

On the morrow, at daybreak, all preparations were made for a further
advance, when a messenger arrived from the Tuan Besar ordering the
cessation of further hostilities, as Mr. Edwardes, Governor of Labuan,
had arrived off the mouth of the Muka in the H.E.I.C.'s steamer
_Victoria_, had peremptorily forbidden them, and had threatened, unless
he were instantly obeyed, that he would fire a broadside upon the
Sarawak camp. He further sent a messenger into Muka to inform the
Pangiran Nipa that he and his were taken under British protection, and
to forbid any more hostilities whilst the Sarawak forces were

The indignation and consternation produced by this interference can be
better imagined than described. The Tuan Muda was of course obliged to
withdraw and descend the river, jeered at by the enemy at every point,
who, regardless of the orders of the Governor of Labuan, continued to
fire at the party, which fire they did not venture to return.

  We reached the headquarters shortly after mid-day, and I was present
  at a discussion before the Governor, an old and infirm man, who most
  doggedly attempted by every means in his power to bring disgrace on
  our little State. He expressed himself with marked favour towards
  the Sherip Masahor and his followers here, notwithstanding that they
  had been the murderers of two Englishmen only the year before. The
  Governor held interviews in the houses of the natives of Muka (our
  enemies), and reports were listened to, even credited, of the
  demands and deceits of the Sarawak government. None but the most
  blind and prejudiced could have entertained a doubt of the absurdity
  of these assertions, but the Governor's duty appeared to be a
  preconcerted business to disgrace our flag,[260] and to defeat our
  objects, which were, firstly, to open trade; secondly, expel Sherip
  Masahor and his myrmidons, and establish some creditable government
  that would enable traders to hold their property and lives in

  He found fault with the proceedings of Pangiran Matusin, and was
  startled when told the man in question was sitting opposite him. A
  few papers were immediately produced by the Pangiran to justify his
  acts. The signatures of the Rajahs of Bruni were attached to the
  documents, and the old Pangiran's quiet, gentle voice, under as
  resolute an eye and countenance as could be seen, softened the
  Governor's heart towards him.

  If this untimely interference had not taken place, the country would
  have been in our hands in three days.

Under protest, and with an intimation that the matter would be referred
to the Foreign Office, the Sarawak force retired, followed by boatloads
of the more peaceful inhabitants, who entreated not to be left to Sherip
Masahor's vengeance.

Governor Edwardes informed the Tuan Besar that he had received power
from the _Sultan_ to interfere, and then called upon him in the name of
the _Queen_ to retire from Muka; he was acting as a minister of Bruni as
well as a British official.

The Tuan Besar was unwilling to risk a collision.

  He need not have paid any attention to the Governor's summons, and
  it is probable that had he refused to listen to it, Mr. Edwardes
  would not have dared to interfere with violence. But Captain Brooke
  took the wise course of withdrawing his force and appealing for
  justice to the British Government. For this conciliatory and prudent
  step he received Lord Russell's thanks. I will not enlarge on Mr.
  Edwardes' conduct, but his constant association with the murderers
  of his countrymen was very much commented upon.[261]

Protesting against the action of the Governor "as seriously affecting
British trade and compromising the safety of British subjects," the
Singapore Chamber of Commerce wrote to Lord John Russell, October 5,
that the Governor was actuated by jealousy of Sarawak, "the interests of
that colony (Labuan) being in some degree opposed to that of the
settlement of Sarawak, the latter having attracted to it a large trade,
part of which might but for the existence of Sarawak be expected to find
its way to Labuan."

Before the Tuan Besar left Muka, the Governor, both by word and in
writing, pledged himself not to leave Muka until all the forts there had
been demolished, and he guaranteed that trade should be opened, and that
all those, both at Muka and Oya, who had sided with the Sarawak
Government should not in any way be punished. But these were promises he
had no intention to perform, neither had he any power to do so, for he
returned to Labuan the day after the Tuan Besar had departed, and left
Sherip Masahor under the ægis of the British flag to work his own sweet
will on the people. By a significant coincidence the Sherip's arrival
there had been simultaneous with his own.

Furthermore, Mr. Edwardes had brought down with him a Bruni minister,
the Orang Kaya de Gadong, the head of the Council of Twelve, known as "a
consistent opponent of any intercourse with Christian nations; and when
forced by business to sit and converse with Europeans, the expression of
his face is most offensive, and he was one of the few natives I have met
who appeared to long to insult you. He was one of the most active of
those engaged in the conspiracy to assassinate the Rajah Muda Hasim,
partly on account of his supposed attachment to the English
alliance."[262] This was the man who was to act as the Sultan's agent,
and when the Governor had left he cruelly vindicated his authority in
the usual Bruni fashion. He levied heavy fines which he wrung from these
poor people, returning to Bruni with many thousand dollars' worth of
property, and taking with him the names of thirty _rebels_ to be
submitted to the Sultan as deserving of death. But rebels against the
Sultan they were not. They had heard three years before the Sultan's
mandate empowering the Rajah to guard and guide their affairs, ordering
peace, and authorising the Rajah to punish any breach of it; they had
heard the Rajah pledge himself to punish any who by their actions should
disturb it. Now for forming a party in favour of peace and order, and
for holding themselves aloof from the real disturbers of peace, they
were handed over for punishment to the latter by a British official.
These unfortunate people could not resist. Resistance was rendered
impossible, as the Orang Kaya and the Sherip had come down backed by a
man-of-war, which represented a power which they well knew was far
stronger than the Sarawak Government, to which they would have otherwise
looked for help.

This, however, was not the only evil caused by the wanton and capricious
act of Governor Edwardes. The whole country was disturbed. The peaceably
disposed were filled with apprehension, and all the restless and
turbulent Sea-Dayaks encouraged by reports, which, though exaggerated,
were but the natural consequence of the Governor's action, coupling his
name and the Sherip's together as the real Rajahs of the country,
prepared to protect the enemies of the Sarawak Government with
men-of-war. The Sherip's henchman, Talip, the actual murderer of Steele,
led a large force of Kayans down the Rejang river, attacked the Katibas,
and destroyed fourteen Dayak villages. This was done because these
Dayaks had been staunch to the Tuan Muda against the Sherip. The Malays
at Kanowit were seized with a panic, and the Tuan Besar seriously
entertained the idea of abandoning the station, which would have meant
the sago districts being again exposed to the raids of the Dayaks.
Sherip Masahor was left at Muka, with all the prestige of having the
Governor on his side, to reorganise his plots, with tenfold more power
to do mischief than before; and just as confidence had been again
established after the late troubles, the lives of the Europeans were
again endangered. The sago trade was ruined. The Sarawak vessels had to
return empty; the factories in Kuching to suspend work; and the
Singapore schooners to sail without cargoes.

Whilst the Tuan Besar returned to the capital to direct affairs there,
the Tuan Muda remained on the coast to oppose any aggressive action the
Sherip and his Bruni colleagues might conduct against those within the
borders, as also to counteract their growing influence. The Melanaus of
Rejang village, who were not safe where they were, to the number of
2000, he saw safely moved to Seboyau. Numbers of Muka, Oya, and Matu
people also abandoned their homes, and shifted into Sarawak territory.
The Kalaka Malays, although in Sarawak territory, were so near the
borders that they did not deem themselves safe, and sent an urgent
message to the Tuan Muda for protection whilst they made their
preparations for moving. He at once went to them, remained with them
until they were ready, and then in the _Venus_ escorted them to Lingga.
All these wretched people had to abandon their sago estates and gardens,
but they deemed anything preferable to constant danger to life and
liberty, and to being ground down to supply the rapacity of the Bruni

Fearing that many of their people would be led astray by the agents of
Sherip Masahor, who were now all over the country withdrawing people
from their allegiance to the Government, the well-disposed Dayak chiefs
of the Kanowit earnestly begged that an English officer should be
stationed there. The Tuan Muda visited Kanowit without delay, and with
the aid of the people built a new fort in a better position. Having
obtained the sincerest promises from the Dayaks to protect and support
him, the Tuan Muda left young Mr. Cruickshank in charge, and then
returned to Sekrang. Active measures had also to be taken against a
large party of Dayaks in the Saribas who had fortified themselves in
preparation for the coming of the Sherip, and these were driven out. But
the Saribas Malays were surprisingly staunch. "Enemies were numerous up
the rivers Sekrang, Saribas, Kalaka, Serikei, and Kanowit, numbering
many thousands of families, all of whom relied on the support of Sherip
Masahor,"[263] and these had to be watched and kept in check by punitive
forces despatched in different directions. The heads of these rivers
have one watershed, and the focus of the malcontented Dayaks was
Rentap's reputed impregnable stronghold on Sadok. Owing to its
situation, almost in the centre of this watershed, it was at once a
support and a refuge to those Dayaks, and around it they gathered. The
powers of the Government during the past few years had been taxed to
their utmost, so that Rentap of necessity had been left undisturbed, and
with the munitions of war supplied by the Sherip, and the staunch
support of the Kayans his power had increased. But the Tuan Muda was not
to be denied, and his fall was near.

In November, 1860, the Rajah left England, and with him went the
Consul-General, Mr. S. St. John, and Mr. Henry Stuart Johnson[264] to
join his uncle's service. After a short detention in Singapore waiting
for the _Rainbow_, he arrived at Kuching on February 12, 1861.

The Consul-General now officially informed the Council of Sarawak that
the British Government disavowed and totally disapproved of Governor
Edwardes' proceedings. But though they reprimanded him, they supported
him in office. His term as Governor was, however, very shortly to
expire, but not till he had seen, what must have been gall and
bitterness to his soul, as it certainly was to his backers in England,
the cession by the Sultan to Sarawak of Muka and all the region of the
sago plantations, the produce of which he had hoped to secure for
Labuan, and the banishment of Sherip Masahor from Borneo.

Mr. St. John went on to Bruni and relieved Mr. Edwardes of his position
as Consul-General, and was the tactful and just medium for arranging the
difficulties produced by the conduct of the latter. He says:

  I established myself in the capital, to find the Sultan sulky at the
  failure of Mr. Edwardes' promises. I remained quiet for a few weeks,
  when I found his Highness gradually coming round, but it was long
  ere I was again established first adviser to the Crown, for Mr.
  Edwardes' promises had either been great, or had been misunderstood,
  and they thought that the British Government was about to remove the
  English from Sarawak, and return the country to them.[265]

In April the Rajah went to Bruni. The Sultan and the wazirs received him
warmly, and the good understanding between the two countries was
established anew. The Sultan was now anxious to place Muka and the
intermediate places under the Rajah's rule, but the latter waived this
consideration until hostilities were over. The Rajah then went to Oya,
Mr. St. John accompanying him, also the Sultan's envoy, Haji Abdul
Rahman, bearing private letters and messages from the Sultan pressing
Pangiran Nipa not to fight. Here the principal chiefs were seen, and the
Sultan's commands that hostilities should cease and that Sherip Masahor
was to be banished were read to them.[266]

Mr. St. John then went to Singapore to obtain a man-of-war from which to
deliver the Sultan's decree at Muka, and the Rajah made every
preparation to assume the offensive against Muka, as it was not expected
that the Sherip would quietly submit to even the Sultan's mandate.
Masahor had defied both the Sultan and the Bruni Rajahs, and had heaped
insults upon them so often before when in the plenitude of his power in
the Rejang, where he had been practically an independent prince, with
the dreaded and powerful Kayans and the Dayaks at his back, that his
submission was doubtful. This was no idle supposition, as one writer has
suggested, for when, two months after Mr. Edwardes' ill-advised action
at Muka, the _Victoria_, conveying Messrs. A. C. Crookshank and L. V.
Helms (of the Borneo Company), again visited Muka, to endeavour once
more by peaceable means to re-open trade with Kuching, these gentlemen
and the captain, who had foolishly gone up to the town unarmed and
without a guard, met with a hostile reception on the part of the Sherip,
and would have fared badly at his hands, had not his adherents been
prevailed upon to desist by the wiser counsel of Pangiran Nipa.

Mr. St. John went to Muka in H.M.S. _Charybdis_, and with Captain Keane
and an armed force of 200 blue-jackets and marines proceeded up to the
town. The Sultan's _titah_ (decree), "advising a cessation of
hostilities, and that Sherip Masahor and his men were to leave the
country," was read, and both Pangiran Nipa and the Sherip promised
obedience. They were told that Mr. Edwardes' interference had not met
with the approval of her Majesty's Government, and "Captain Keane's
judicious conduct in taking an overpowering force up the river to the
middle of the town showed them that Mr. Edwardes' support was no longer
to be relied upon."[267]

The Rajah then went to Muka with a large force to ensure that there
should be no resistance, and Muka was surrendered to him. Pangiran Nipa
and the Bruni aristocracy were sent to Bruni, and Sherip Masahor was
deported to Singapore. The Rajah wrote: "He will never trouble Sarawak
more, and I am not lover enough of bloody justice to begrudge him his
life on that condition. He deserved death, but he was a murderer for
political ends."

The Rajah now established himself at Muka, and spent a month working to
bring order into the district, so torn by civil war and crushed by
oppression that everything was in confusion, and where there had been no
protection for either person or property, and justice had not been
administered. The effect of opening the port was immediate. Numbers of
vessels entered bringing goods from Kuching to traffic with the natives
for raw sago.

Early in August the Rajah went to Bruni again, and for the last time.
The concession to Sarawak of the coast and districts from the Rejang to
Kedurong point was then completed. For many years the Sultan had derived
little or no revenue from these parts, for what had been squeezed out of
the natives by the pangirans went to fill their own pockets, and he was
more than satisfied to receive a sum down and an annual subsidy, which
would be paid into his own hands. And the natives rejoiced, for they
were now freed from the rapacity of these Bruni pangirans.

"And thus," says the Tuan Muda, "were about 110 miles of coast annexed
to the Sarawak territory—valuable for the sago forests, but in a most
disturbed state, owing to a prolonged period of the worst anarchy and
misgovernment. Its inhabitants had many redeeming qualities when once
relieved from the Bruni tyranny and oppression, as they were industrious
and clever in different trades, particularly that of working wood, and
the rougher kinds of jungle labour. But they required a severe hand over
them, although one that was just, and were scarcely able to appreciate
kindness. They had considered it a merit to a certain extent to be the
Sultan's slaves, although they had many times smarted under the foulest
injustice, and been deprived of their wives and daughters; the majority
of the latter class were often taken for the Bruni Rajahs' harems.

"The women were considered better looking than most others on the coast,
having agreeable countenances, with the dark open rolling eye of
Italians. The men are cleanly and generally well dressed, but not so
nice looking as those of many other tribes."

After the Rajah had laid the foundations of good government, he
appointed Mr. Hay as Resident,[268] and in a few years the aspect of the
place, the condition of the people, and even their character was changed
for the better. A fort had also been planted at Bintulu, then at the
extreme north of the coast now under the sway of the Rajah, and a
Resident appointed there.

Sherip Masahor, exiled to the Straits Settlements, lived the rest of his
life in Singapore. He was granted a small pension by the Sarawak
Government, which he eked out by boat-building, and died in February,
1890. To the end he continued to intrigue, through his relatives, in
Sarawak affairs, but to no purpose.

He was an arch-fiend, and the murderer of many of his countrymen. He
butchered in cold blood the relatives and followers of Pangiran Matusin;
he executed his own trusted agents in the murder of Fox and Steele to
silence their tongues. One further instance of his cruelty may be
quoted. Jani, a noted Sea-Dayak chief of Kanowit, visited Sherip Masahor
at Muka, and told him that Abang Ali had sent him to murder him,
Masahor, treacherously, which was absolutely false, and that he revealed
the fact to convince the Sherip of his own loyalty to his person.
Masahor bade him prove his loyalty by attacking the fort at Kanowit.
Jani promised to do this, but asked to be given a head so that he might
not return empty-handed to his people. The Sherip ordered up a young
lad, the adopted son of a Malay of rank, a follower of the Sarawak
Government, whom he had already mutilated by cutting off his hands, and
he bade Jani then and there decapitate the poor boy and take his head.
This is but one instance of his ruthlessness. Backed by his Segalangs he
had always been a terror to the Malays and Melanaus of the Rejang.

The Rajah's work was now done. What he had come out to do had been
accomplished, and his failing health led him to seek peace and repose at
his refuge, Burrator. "I am not strong, and need to be kept going like
an old horse," he wrote to the Tuan Muda. After publicly installing the
Tuan Besar, Captain Brooke-Brooke, as the Rajah Muda and his heir, he
sailed towards the end of September, leaving the government with
confidence in the hands of his nephews.

Shortly after his arrival in England the Rajah received the good news of
the fall of Sadok, and the remaining cause of anxiety was removed from
his mind. "Though confident of the result, the great difficulty of the
undertaking, and the chances of war, caused me some anxiety. It is well
over, and I congratulate you upon this success, which will lead to the
pacification of the Dayaks and the improved security of Sarawak. You
have the warm thanks of your Rajah and uncle, who only regrets he has no
other reward to bestow but his praise of your ability, zeal, and
prudence. You deserve honour and wealth as the meed due to your merit,"
so wrote the Rajah to the Tuan Muda on receipt of the news.

The Serikei and Nyalong Dayaks had received due punishment at the hands
of the Tuan Muda, and peace now reigned along the coast and in the
interior. The Kayans alone remained to be humbled, and the remaining
actual murderers of Steele and Fox, Sakalai, Sawing, and Talip, whom
they were harbouring, to be punished.

In the beginning of February, 1862, after a month's detention in Kuching
suffering from jungle fever, the Tuan Muda left for England. After an
arduous journey to the head-waters of the Batang Lupar and overland to
the Katibas, by which river and the Rejang he returned, his health had
broken down, and it became necessary for him to return to Europe to
recruit. He had now been in Sarawak for nearly ten years, for the
greater part of the time at Sekrang, and had been engaged in many very
trying expeditions.

  I left Sekrang and Saribas in perfect confidence in Mr. Watson's
  ability to manage affairs during my absence, and felt sure the
  natives would support him to the uttermost. For a few days
  previously I had conferred with all the Dayak chiefs, and begged
  them to desist from head-hunting and prevent their people running
  loose as in former times. They spoke well, and assured me of their
  staunch support.

Amongst the many who had collected to bid him farewell was the
octogenarian Sherip Mular, the intrepid enemy of former days, but who
had long since become a peaceful member of society, and a friend of the
Tuan Muda.


Footnote 254:

  _Life of Sir James Brooke._

Footnote 255:


Footnote 256:

  Extracted from Governor Edwardes' letter to the Tuan Besar of May 25,

Footnote 257:

  A sailing gunboat of 50 tons, just launched, and manned with a crew of
  twelve Englishmen and twenty Malays.

Footnote 258:

  Dagang, a brave Balau Dayak, who subsequently filled many positions of
  trust, as Police Sergeant and native officer, now retired on pension.

Footnote 259:

  The Telian.

Footnote 260:

  Under the pretext of "having a proper regard for British interests,
  and the honour of my country."—Governor Edwardes to the Tuan Besar,
  July 31, 1860.

Footnote 261:

  St. John, _op. cit._

Footnote 262:

  St. John, _Life in the Forests of the Far East_.

Footnote 263:

  _Ten Years in Sarawak._

Footnote 264:

  Youngest son of the Rev. Charles Johnson. He was at first styled _Tuan
  Adek_ but this was afterwards changed to the more correct Malay title
  of Tuan Bongsu, now held by the present Rajah's third son. (Adek =
  younger brother; bongsu = youngest born.) He served principally in the
  Saribas, until 1868, when his health having broken down he retired. He
  became Deputy-Governor of Parkhurst and Chatham Prisons in succession,
  and then Chief Constable of Edinburgh. He died March 31, 1894.

Footnote 265:

  St. John, _Life of Sir James Brooke_.

Footnote 266:

  From a letter to the Tuan Muda of May 5.

Footnote 267:

  St. John, _op. cit._

Footnote 268:

  He retired in 1863.

                               CHAPTER IX
                        THE LAST OF THE PIRATES

As we have already noticed, the action of the _Nemesis_ with a fleet of
Balanini pirates off Bruni in May, 1847, following on the destruction by
Admiral Cochrane of the pirate strongholds in North Borneo, for some
years effectually checked the marauding expeditions of the pirates down
the north-west coast of Borneo. This lesson was shortly afterwards
followed up by the destruction of the Balanini strongholds by the
Spanish, who a few years later destroyed Tianggi, or Sug, the principal
town in Sulu. The Dutch had also been active. The pirates were crippled
and scattered, and a period of immunity from their depredations followed
these vigorous measures. But the efforts of the three powers mainly
concerned in the suppression of piracy subsequently relaxed, and the
pirates, who had gradually established themselves in other places on the
coast of Borneo and in neighbouring islands, gained courage by the
absence of patrolling cruisers, and again burst forth.



  The year 1858 was marked by a great revival of Lanun and Balagnini
  piracy. Among others, a Spanish vessel was taken in the Sulu seas by
  Panglima Taupan of Tawi-Tawi: a young girl, the daughter of a
  Spanish merchant, was the only one on board not massacred. Taupan
  took her for a wife; and, as I wrote at the time,—"Alas for the
  chivalry of the British Navy! Sir ——, who was present when this
  information was given, said it was a Spanish affair, not ours."
  Another fruit of the Commission—officers dared not act.[269]

No more terrible fate can be conceived than that to which this poor
girl, who had witnessed the murder of her father, was dragged, but had a
British man-of-war been present it is doubtful whether her Commander
would have interfered, unless he were prepared to sacrifice duty to
compassion. For, after the notorious Commission, the Admiralty had
issued stringent commands that unless a vessel should have, within view,
attacked some _British_ vessel or subject, or that there was proof that
she had done so, she was not to be molested. It was a revival of the
former order of 1844, which, though it contained the same strict limit,
allowed some latitude to a Commander.

The Rajah was rightly of opinion that

  These orders are a direct violation of our treaties with Holland and
  with Bruni.[270] Such a course of action with pirates has never been
  pursued before by any civilised nation, and is manifestly calculated
  to destroy our commerce, wherever it may be practically acted upon.
  Let either the Lanun or Chinese pirates know that we shall not
  molest them unless they commit depredations on the English flag, and
  they would sweep away a million of commerce on these seas, which was
  bound to English markets in native bottoms.

Though the inhabitants and commerce of neighbouring countries continued
to suffer, up to 1861 the pirates gave Sarawak a wide berth. Then they
began to appear on the coast again, but the little Sarawak gunboats were
on the alert. The principal object of the pirates was not to fight, but
to obtain plunder and captives, and they afforded the gunboats only a
few long shots. Still they managed to capture a few people, including
some natives of Madras, British subjects. But in 1862 they were out in
increased numbers.

In that year Captain Brooke, the Rajah Muda, met with a great loss, his
second wife died at Kuching, after having given birth to her first
child.[271] This occurred on May 6, and after a few days it was thought
by his friends that he might find some mental relief in change of scene
and active work. Accordingly he was persuaded to undertake a voyage to
Bintulu, and Bishop McDougall volunteered to accompany him so as to
cheer and support him. Mr. Helms, agent of the Borneo Company, joined
the party and was dropped at Muka. On the second day after the arrival
of Mr. Helms, and when the Rajah Muda had left in the _Rainbow_, a
piratical fleet of Lanuns, consisting of six large and many small
vessels, appeared off the mouth of the Muka river and blockaded the
place. For a couple of days they remained there, making excursions on
land, and capturing thirty-two persons. Mr. Helms despatched a party of
natives in a fast boat that succeeded in eluding the pirates, though
they narrowly escaped capture, to make known the state of affairs to the
Rajah Muda, and they found him still at Bintulu.

On May 25, the little screw-steamer _Rainbow_, carrying two 9-pounder
guns, steamed out of Bintulu, and at once engaged a detachment of three
Lanun prahus, one of which was sunk, and another captured; the third was
engaged by the _Jolly Bachelor_ and driven on the rocks off Kedurong
point, and her crew taking refuge ashore were hunted down and killed by
the Bintulu people. Learning from the captives the direction taken by
the remainder of the fleet, the Rajah Muda stood out to sea in search of

  After an hour or so, wrote the Bishop, the look-out at the mast-head
  reported three vessels in sight, right ahead. At this time it was
  quite calm, and when we came near enough to see them from the deck,
  we saw them sweep up to the central vessel and lay themselves side
  by side, with their bows at us, as if they meant to engage us in
  that position. However, as we went on towards them the sea-breeze
  sprang up, so they changed their tactics, and opened out in line
  with their broadsides towards us to rake us as we came up. Our plan
  was, as before, to shake them first and run them down in detail.
  Brooke did not give the order to fire until we came within 250 yards
  of them, and they opened their lelahs (brass swivel-guns) upon us
  some time before we commenced firing. They fired briskly and did not
  attempt to get away, even when we got all our guns to bear upon
  them; but as we steamed round to get our stem fairly at the
  sternmost vessel, they seemed to think we were retreating, and
  pelted us with shot more sharply than ever, directing their chief
  attention to us on the poop, where we had one man killed and two
  severely wounded in no time, and we should have suffered more if the
  temporary bulwark of planks, etc., had not stopped their balls.

  After the first prahu was run down, I had to go below to attend to
  our own wounded as they came in, but I plainly felt the concussion
  as we went into the others. One of the vessels was cut right in two;
  the steamer went straight on without backing, and she sank the
  other, one half on each side of us. She was the largest, and had a
  valuable cargo, and much gold and bags of Dutch rupees. The pirates
  fought to the last, and then would not surrender, but jumped into
  the sea with their arms; and the poor captives, who were all made
  fast below as we came up to engage them, were doubtless glad when
  our stem opened the sides of their ships and thus let them out of
  their prison. Few, comparatively, were drowned, being mostly all
  good swimmers. All those who were not lashed to the vessels or
  killed by the Illanuns escaped. Our decks were soon covered with
  those we picked up, men of every race and nation in the
  Archipelago,[272] who had been captured by the pirates in their
  cruise. One poor Chinese came swimming alongside, waving his tail
  over his head, and the other captives held up the cords round their
  necks to show they were slaves, lest they should be mistaken for
  Illanuns and shot or left to their fate. We soon picked up the poor
  fellows, and the Chinaman came under my hands, being shot through
  the arm. Many of the pirates we took were badly wounded, some
  mortally, the greater part were killed or disabled by our fire
  before we closed.

  It is a marvel how these poor creatures live at all under the
  terrible tortures and ill-treatment they endure, sometimes for
  months, before they reach their destination and settle down as
  slaves to the worst of masters—very demons, not men. The captives
  state that when the pirates take a vessel, they kill every one who
  makes any resistance, plunder and sink their boats or ships, and
  when those they spare are first taken on board their own prahus,
  they put a rattan, or black rope-halter, round their necks, beat
  them with a flat piece of bamboo on the elbows and knees and the
  muscles of the arms and legs, so that they cannot use them to swim
  or run away. After a while, when sufficiently tamed, they are put to
  the sweeps and made to row in gangs, with one of their
  fellow-captives as a mandore or foreman over them, who is furnished
  with a rattan to keep them at their work; and if he does not do this
  effectually, he is "krissed" and thrown overboard, and another man
  put in his place. If any of the rowers jump overboard, the pirates
  have a supply of three-pronged and barbed spears, with long bamboo
  handles, ready to throw at them. When hit by one of these they can
  neither swim nor run, and are easily recaptured. They are made to
  row in relays night and day, and to keep them awake they put cayenne
  pepper in their eyes or cut them with their knives and put pepper in
  their wounds.

  We found, on reckoning up, that we had picked up 165 people, and
  that 150 to 200 men had got to land from the vessels we sank near
  the shore. In every pirate vessel there were forty or or fifty
  Illanuns, fighting men, all well armed, each having a rifle or
  musket besides his native weapons, and from 60 to 70 captives, many
  of whom were killed by the pirates when they found themselves
  beaten; among them two women. Seven of the women and four of the
  children were our own Muka people[273] and it was indeed most
  touching to witness the joy and gratitude of them and their
  relations when we returned them to their friends. Of the Illanuns we
  captured 32, ten of them boys. Some have died since of their wounds,
  the remainder are in irons in the fort here. The boys have been
  given out by Brooke for five years to respectable people to train
  and bring up. Very few of the pirates live to tell the tale; some
  captives assured us in the boat they were in there were only two out
  of the forty fighting-men who had not been killed or wounded by our
  fire, when we gave them the stem and cut them down.

  Under the present system at Labuan, and the difficulties thrown in
  the way of our men-of-war against attacking these wretches when
  they are known to be in the neighbourhood, England with all her
  power and philanthropy is doing absolutely nothing towards putting
  an end to this abominable and most extensive system of rapine,
  murder, and slavery. It is impossible to estimate the destruction
  and the havoc, the murder and the amount of slave-dealing carried
  on by these wretches in their yearly cruises. The prahus we met
  were but one of the many squadrons that leave Sulu every year.
  Seven months had these wretches been devastating the villages on
  the coast, capturing slaves, taking and sinking trading vessels.
  Their course was along the coasts of Celebes, down the Macassar
  Straits to Madura and then along the Northern coast of Java, and
  the South of Borneo, up the Caramata passage to Borneo, to go home
  by Sarawak and Labuan. The other five pirate vessels parted
  company from them to go over to Balliton[274] and Banca Straits,
  and doubtless they too will carry their depredations right up into
  the Straits of Singapore and pick up English subjects and injure
  English trade, as those we met have done. But apart from all our
  local feelings, and danger from these people, it makes an
  Englishman out here ashamed to feel that his own dear country,
  which we would fain regard as the liberator of the slave and the
  avenger of the wronged, is in truth doing nothing against the
  system, fraught with incalculable misery to so large a section of
  the human race. For it must be remembered that the slavery these
  people suffer is far more crushing to them than the African who is
  taken as a savage to serve civilised and at least, nominally,
  Christian masters; but these are generally well-to-do men of
  civilised nations who are made the slaves of utter fiends, who
  work and torture them to death one year, only to replace them by
  fresh victims whom they capture the next. It is indeed _vae
  victis_ with them, and I think it is the duty of every Christian
  man and every Christian nation to do all that can be done to rid
  the earth of such horrible and dangerous monsters, and to punish
  the Sultan of Sulu and all who abet and aid them. The Dutch and
  Spaniards are always doing something, but not enough, and during
  the last four or five years, these pirate fleets have been
  gradually getting more and more numerous and daring on these
  coasts, and now it is for England to rouse herself and complete
  the work of putting them down. Labuan is near their haunts and it
  might be done from thence. A few thousands spent out here yearly
  for the purpose would, I believe in my heart, soon effect more
  real and lasting good than the millions which are being spent on
  the coast of Africa. All honour is due to Sir James Brooke and his
  nephew, the Rajah Muda, and the other officers of the Sarawak
  government, who in spite of misrepresentation and factious
  opposition, through evil report and good report, have persevered
  for years in constant, steady, and systematic efforts to put down
  piracy on this coast and chastise these villainous marauders
  whenever they come into Sarawak waters. If the English government
  will now act with and assist us, we shall soon clear the Sarawak
  and Labuan waters of these pests. Assisted by the knowledge and
  experience of our natives, the work would be done surely and
  effectually; but single-handed the Sarawak government
  notwithstanding all it has done, cannot carry it out. We want
  means; if England or Englishmen will give us that, we shall gladly
  do the work, and feel that we are delivering our fellow-men, and
  doing our duty to God, who has commanded us to free the captive
  and deliver the oppressed. While at the same time we shall be
  averting a danger which is ever threatening us at our own doors,
  and has so long crippled the energies and resources of this

The original fleet of Lanuns had consisted of eleven prahus, but off the
western coast of Borneo five had parted company and stayed behind to
cruise around Banka and Belitong. Shortly afterwards one of her
Majesty's ships fell in with three of them and attempted to take them,
but the pirates managed to effect their escape.

On board the little steamer were at the time eight Europeans, the
stalwart Pangiran Matusin, a fighting haji, and fifteen natives. But
though the pirates were far more numerous, and were all well armed, yet
the steamer had the preponderating advantage of her screw, enabling her
to ram each native vessel, cut her in half and send her to the bottom,
so that there could not be doubt for a moment what would be the outcome
of such a conflict.

The results of the fight were these:—

    Pirates killed or drowned                                   190
    Escaped                                                      19
    Brought prisoners to Sarawak                                 31
    Captives killed or drowned                                  140
    Captives liberated                                          194
    Captives run away into the jungle, and subsequently rescued  56

The prisoners, with the exception of the lads, were all executed. The
lads were put to work on the gunboats, and became excellent and
trustworthy sailors—one, who was the son of a Lanun of rank,
subsequently commanded the present Rajah's former yacht the _Aline_.
Some of the captives were Dutch subjects, and some were British subjects
from Singapore. In the captured pirate prahu there were found five Dutch
and one Spanish ensign.

Sailing along past the delta of the Rejang, when off the pretty little
village of Palo, which was hidden from their view, the pirates had
observed a long canoe laden with nipah palm leaves, with a man in the
stern and a woman in the bows, paddling for dear life to escape. A light
canoe manned by half-a-dozen men was at once despatched in chase, and
quickly overhauled the poor couple, the man crying out that he
surrendered, and the woman screaming with fear. It was a pretty example
of the biter bit—a neatly contrived trap. Gliding alongside to secure
their apparently helpless captives, without troubling to exchange
paddles for weapons, to their amazement the pirates saw an upheaval of
the leaves and several armed men spring up, together with the steersman
and the disguised man in the bows. This startling development took the
pirates so completely by surprise that they were all speared before they
could seize their weapons. The Melanaus then quickly disappeared up a
creek. Their leader was the late Atoh, a young man then, who afterwards
became the Government chief of Palo. He is perhaps better known to the
present generation as Haji Abdul Rahman.

The following translation of a paper written by a Nakoda Amzah, one of
the rescued captives, and found amongst his papers after his death,
gives a good account of the voyage of this fleet, and of its
destruction. He was a Kampar (Sumatra) Malay, who lived in Sarawak since
his rescue. He, his grandson, and another Malay were killed in the
Rejang in 1880 by a head-hunting party of Dayaks. He was noted for his
courage. He had been twice before captured by pirates. In this
translation the word "pirate" is substituted for Bajau, Lanun, and
Balanini, which the writer uses indiscriminately, and no doubt the crews
of the piratical prahus were an admixture of these tribes.

  Thursday, the 17th day of the month Sawal in the year of the Hejira
  1278 (A.D. 1862). On this day Nakoda Amzah who was on a voyage to
  Samarang, with a crew of twelve men, was attacked off the mouth of
  the Jali by piratical prahus. These must have been eleven in all;
  they afterwards separated, six going along the coast of Borneo, and
  five coasting to Bangka. The attack was sudden, and they did their
  best to beat the pirates off, but after having fought them for about
  an hour, three of Nakoda Amzah's men were killed, and he himself was
  wounded in the head by a bullet. They then surrendered and were
  captured by the pirates; their own prahu was destroyed, and they
  were transferred to the pirates' prahus. The pirates then sailed to
  Pulo Kelam, where they hauled their prahus up a creek out of sight,
  there being a Dutch war vessel out of Benjarmasin on the look out
  for piratical prahus. This vessel steamed round the island without
  detecting them. They stayed here three days, and on the fourth
  launched their prahus and sailed northwards. The next day they again
  saw the steamer to the westward, so bore down to the island of
  Jempodi, where they stayed in hiding for six days. Sailing on,
  between Pakar and Kaiong the pirates captured a sampan with five
  men, and they also captured a woman. In two days more they reached
  the mouth of Katapang, and Kandang Krabu, where they made an
  unsuccessful raid; but they captured two men who were out fishing.
  Two days afterwards they arrived at and attacked Pulo Kumbang, but
  the people were away inland, so no captures were effected. The next
  day they made a descent on Sati point, and captured three Chinese
  and three Malays. They sailed on for two days more, and then tried
  at Mas Tiga, but did not succeed in capturing any one. Two days
  afterwards they fell in with a Dutch Government coastguard,
  commanded by one Rasip. They engaged the coastguard, but owing to a
  strong westerly wind were forced to leave her. After four days,
  between Karamata and Pulo Datu, they fell in with a Sambas prahu
  belonging to Haji Bakir, she proved to be from Belitong, loaded with
  dry fish, sago, etc. The pirates captured her and her crew of five
  men. The whole of the next day they were chased by a war steamer,
  but they escaped by keeping in shoal water, and by night falling.
  Five days afterwards, off Cape Baiong, they fell in with Nakoda
  Daud's prahu from Sambas, but did not molest her. Three days later
  they had passed Cape Datu, and brought up for two days in Serabang
  bay and read the Ruah Selamat.[275] A three days' sail brought them
  to Cape Sirik, just before reaching which they fell in with two
  prahus which they attacked but were beaten off; they also chased a
  small boat but that escaped inshore. The next night at Bruit they
  killed two Melanaus, and captured two men and two women. Two nights
  after, off the mouth of Oya, they captured four Melanau women and
  two men. At Muka, which they reached next day, they captured four
  Chinese and two Melanaus, and the next night they brought up off
  Bintulu.[276] The following day was a fatal day for the pirates, for
  in the morning a steamer (the _Rainbow_) came out of Bintulu
  accompanied by a pinnace (the _Jolly Bachelor_). There was a pirate
  prahu lying close in shore and upon her the steamer immediately
  fired; twice the steamer fired and then the prahu's crew ran her
  into shoal water, she was followed and attacked by the pinnace, and
  her crew then escaped ashore, but were all killed by men from
  Bintulu and Miri. The steamer then attacked another prahu—and after
  firing into her twice rammed and sank her. Her crew were all
  drowned, killed, or captured, and the captives, about twenty in
  number, escaped on board the steamer. A similar fate overtook a
  third prahu, all her crew perishing, and her captives, about
  twenty-five in number, were rescued by the steamer. The steamer then
  gave chase to the three prahus in the offing and overtook them.
  These three prahus were lashed together, but separated after being
  fired into. A short engagement ensued, which resulted in all three
  of the prahus being sunk, and their crews being killed or captured.
  Twenty-one captives were rescued from their prahus. And thus were
  the pirates destroyed off Bintulu by the Rajah of Sarawak's steamer
  the _Rainbow_.

  Moreover it is estimated that the pirates lost forty men killed, and
  the steamer lost but one man killed and one wounded. And thus Nakoda
  Amzah and three of his men were rescued, and reached Kuching in
  safety. The remaining six were taken away in the other five prahus
  that sailed to Belitong and Bangka, and were probably taken by their
  captors to Sulu during the month of Haji.

  Written in Kuching on Friday the 6th day of Dulkaidah, 1278 of the
  Hejira (A.D. 1862).

This was a lesson the pirates never forgot. From one of their prahus
nineteen men escaped in a fast boat to carry the tale back with them,
soon to spread to all the pirate haunts. Only once since, some seven
years later, did the pirates venture down to the Sarawak coast, and then
in no great force. They were attacked in Kedurong bay, and slain to a
man by the Bintulu people led by their own chiefs. No more pirates were
seen on the Sarawak coast afterwards.

The next year a squadron of steamers was sent from China to attack and
root out all these pirates; but they came for no end except to sport
their bunting, for nothing was effected. They could have had no
intelligence officer with them with a knowledge of the positions of the
piratical strongholds, and acquainted with the languages, habits, and
appearance of the inhabitants of the northern coast of Borneo and the
Sulu archipelago.

Though the pirates never troubled Sarawak again, they continued their
operations in other parts for many years afterwards. As late as 1872,
Dutch squadrons had to be sent out against them along the east coast of
Borneo. And in 1874 piracy was so rife in the Sulu seas, and the Spanish
gunboats so unable to suppress it, that the Governor-General of the
Philippines issued an edict dooming the "Moorish marine" to destruction.
The Spanish cruisers were to destroy _all_ prahus proceeding from the
Sulu islands or Tawi Tawi. Their crews were to be conveyed to Manila to
labour on public works, and those found armed were to be punished by the
Military Courts. It was hoped that these untameable and seafaring races
would be thus compelled to live by agricultural pursuits alone. This
merciless condemnation of peaceable traders and voyagers as well as the
evil-doers naturally led to gross injustice, and to intense hatred of
the Spaniards. Even those not bearing arms, engaged in peaceful
pursuits, if apprehended, were doomed to compulsory labour; whereas
those found armed, met with short shrift—and all were compelled to be
armed for their own protection.

In 1879, the pirates of Tungku, a place near Sandakan, the last
stronghold of the Balanini and Lanun pirates in northern Borneo, made
several excursions along the coast capturing as many as 200 people. Then
the place was destroyed by H.M.S. _Kestrel_. (It had been attacked
before by the _Cleopatra_ in 1851.) Shortly afterwards the British North
Borneo Company established their government in North Borneo, and piracy
virtually ceased along the coasts of Borneo.


Footnote 269:

  St. John, _Life of Sir James Brooke_.

Footnote 270:

  By Article III. of the Treaty of May, 1847, the British Government
  engaged to use every means in their power to suppress piracy within
  the seas, straits, and rivers subject to Bruni.

Footnote 271:

  Miss Agnes Brooke.

Footnote 272:

  Some were from the Celebes; some from both Southern and Western
  Borneo; some Javanese; some from the Natuna islands. Amongst them were
  a nadoka and the crew of a Singapore vessel, and a Malay woman of
  Singapore and her family. (From an account by the Rajah Muda, which is
  practically the same as the Bishop's.)

Footnote 273:

  Some fifty people from Matu, Oya, and Muka were rescued.

Footnote 274:


Footnote 275:

  Ruah Selamat—a prayer of thanksgiving. The pirates now calculated upon
  being quit of men-of-war, and that the rest of their voyage would be
  free from danger.

Footnote 276:

  There were many more people captured between Bruit and Bintulu, but
  the narrator probably only knew of those captured by the prahu on
  board of which he was a prisoner; he is at fault, too, as to the
  number of pirates killed, and captives rescued.



                               CHAPTER X
                          THE KAYAN EXPEDITION



Early in 1863, the Rajah was again obliged to leave for Sarawak, owing
to certain complications having arisen, due to the acts of his nephew,
the Rajah Muda.

Into this matter it is not our intention to enter at length. It has
already been dealt with fully in both Miss Jacob's and Sir Spencer St.
John's biographies of the Rajah, and it is sufficient to say here that
it was mainly the result of an inexplicable misconception of the policy
being pursued by the Rajah in England.

The formal recognition of Sarawak was the sole proposal before the
British Government. It is true the Rajah trusted that having once gained
this England would not leave Sarawak to her fate in the event of the
failure of his Government; but he wrote: "On every account of feeling of
pride, of attachment to the people, I desire the Government to be
continued." The negotiations had not extended to any overtures for a
transfer, or proposals of protection. Recognition at this time was all
important, not only to give a status to the Government, and confidence
to the people, but to encourage the introduction of capital, without
which the country could not advance.

It was against the mistaken idea of a transfer of the country to England
that the Rajah Muda protested. Yet a short time before he himself had
suggested such a transfer to Belgium, and, a few years previously that
the country should be sold either to England or to the Borneo Company.

We may mention here that the negotiations with Belgium had fallen
through the previous year. The reason is not difficult to discover, for
the Rajah wrote: "I wrote to you about the Duke of Brabant and my talk
with him. His views must change greatly before I entrust our people to
his guardianship."

The Premier, Lord Palmerston, and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs,
Lord John Russell, with other influential members of both Houses, were
now very favourably inclined towards the Rajah and Sarawak. Lord John
Russell had pledged himself to lay the statement of facts as prepared by
the Rajah before the Law Officers of the crown for their opinion, and
should it be favourable to bring the question of recognition of Sarawak
before the Cabinet.[277] The Law Officers were called upon to decide
whether Sarawak was independent of or feudatory to Bruni. The decision
was favourable, for Lord John Russell subsequently wrote to the Rajah:
"If your authority is undisputed, he (Lord Russell) is now ready at once
to propose to the Cabinet the recognition of Sarawak as an independent
State under your rule and Government."

Before his return to England the Rajah heard that recognition had been
granted, though he was not officially notified of the fact until his
arrival there. It was full and complete; and a Consul was appointed to
Sarawak for whom an _exequatur_ was asked of the Rajah.[278] The Rajah's
forethought, which we have already recorded, that "time brings changes,
and may work on the British Government" was thus fully justified. The
Duke of Newcastle, Lords Palmerston and John Russell, Sir G. Grey, the
Honble. Sidney Herbert, and Mr. Gladstone had been members of the
Cabinet that issued the Commission, as they were now members of the
Cabinet that granted the long refused recognition.

The Tuan Muda had accompanied the Rajah from England. He had assumed the
surname of Brooke by the desire of his uncle, and this had been decided
upon before the defection of his brother had been known. The Rajah
desired it because it was the name of the ruling family, and it would
remove confusion and ambiguity, and place his nephew in a clearer
position before the world. The Tuan Muda refused to take the title of
Rajah Muda, or to be formally recognised as his uncle's heir, trusting
that his brother might pave the way to reconciliation and to his

Whilst the Rajah remained at Kuching to restore order, and to introduce
proper systems into the various departments, the Tuan Muda returned to
Sekrang, where he was received with many demonstrations of good feeling.
The population turned out and towed and escorted his pinnace up the
river, and salutes were fired wherever he passed. But they were not more
glad to welcome him, than he was to see them. He then visited all the
out-stations as far as Bintulu. Muka he found prosperous, and the people
happy. He then returned to Sekrang to prepare for the expedition against
the Kayans.

This powerful tribe has already been spoken of as living far inland on
the head-waters of the Rejang. They were a continual trouble to the
Dayaks who lived on that same river, but lower down, raiding their
country, taking heads, and making captives, whom they tortured to death.
Their country was not easily accessible, on account of the rapids in the
river. The first rapids on the Rejang are about 170 miles from the
mouth; these passed, the river is navigable for sixty miles, then ensue
further rapids for about five miles, and then again it is navigable for
fifty more. The upper rapids, called those of Makun, are the most
serious and difficult to overcome, so serious, indeed, that the Kayans
did not suppose it possible that an enemy could ascend above them.

But it was necessary to chastise and bring these troublesome neighbours
into subjection. Before the Tuan Muda had left for England an ultimatum
had been sent to Akam Nipa to deliver up the murderers of Steele and
Fox. They had been committing great depredations on the lower Rejang,
and Mr. Cruickshank, the Resident there, had appealed to the Government
at Kuching to bridle them. Not only were the murderers of Messrs. Steele
and Fox with them, but, as we have previously mentioned, they had lately
descended and made a treacherous attack on the Katibas Dayaks, who had
stood true to the Sarawak Government. Professing friendship, they had
seized an occasion when most of the men of Katibas were absent, and had
killed seventeen of the men who had remained at their homes, and a
hundred women and children. Their captives they tortured in the most
horrible manner, hacking them with knives and gouging out their eyes
before putting them to death. And not only were the men thus treated,
but also most of the women. They burnt fourteen long houses, or
villages, and decamped.

Then they had engaged a man named Paring to lure some of the Dayaks into
an ambush. Paring, a Kayan, had married a Dayak wife, and when he came
to Katibas to visit his wife's relations he persuaded eighteen men to
accompany him into the Kayan country to propose terms of peace, and when
they demurred he made himself responsible for the safety of the whole
party. Having thus overcome their fears he led them to a place where the
Kayans, under their chief Oyong Hang,[280] were lurking in waiting for
them. Eleven were at once bound hand and foot, but seven managed to
escape into the jungle, and after several days returned in a famished
condition to Katibas. The eleven were conveyed up the river, and on
their way were carried into every Kayan house to be tortured by the
women. On arriving at Oyong Hang's abode, one of them named Boyong was
singled out to be sacrificed so as to attend in the abode of spirits the
soul of Oyong Hang's son, who had lately died. He was to be buried alive
under a huge wooden pillar, the mausoleum of Oyong Hang's son, early on
the following morning. However, during the night, Boyong and another
effected their escape, ran into the jungle, and found their way to the
foot of the first rapids after twenty days' wandering. They were then in
such an exhausted condition that they found it impossible to proceed
further on foot, accordingly they lashed themselves by rattans to a log
in the river, drifted down stream, and were eventually picked up and
rescued. All the remaining men were strangled by the Kayans. The
scoundrel Paring, not thinking that his villainy had been disclosed, had
the audacity to go among the Dayaks again, when he was seized and
brought to Kanowit, where he was sentenced to death. But when in
confinement, awaiting the approval of the sentence from Kuching, he
effected his escape. The alarm was, however, at once given, and he was
pursued into the jungle by the Dayaks and killed.



In an expedition such as was contemplated, the Rajah or his deputy was
obliged to obtain the voluntary assistance of his subjects. He had no
paid army, he did not even provision the host for the expedition.

On this occasion the Tuan Muda consulted some of the chiefs at Sekrang
as to the feasibility of attacking the Kayans. The Dayaks were never
unwilling to join in such an excursion, though the only inducement that
could be held out was loot, and relief from further annoyance. But it
was laid down by the Government that no woman or child was to be

As the chiefs thought that the proposed attack might be made,
arrangements were pressed forward, and on May 19, 1863, at sunset, two
guns were fired as a preparatory signal for the start from Sekrang, and
the Tuan Muda led the party that was to proceed thence down the Batang
Lupar and coast to the mouth of the Rejang, picking up on the way
contingents of volunteers. Mr. Watson was at Kabong (Kalaka) at the head
of a detachment, and Mr. Stuart Johnson was waiting at Kanowit, along
with Sergeant Lees in charge of guns, muskets, and ammunition.

At mid-day on the 20th, the expedition started from Sekrang, "My crew
were mostly old followers and servants who had been with me for years.
Our boat was in perfect order, well painted and decorated with flags;
for nothing tells so much as pride instilled and _esprit de corps_
encouraged in the minds of the people."[281]

On the 21st, Lingga was reached and Banting visited. The natives there,
the Banting or Balau Dayaks, were not eager to join the expedition as
they were behindhand in their farming operations; however, after some
hesitation and delay, they followed. On the 23rd, Kabong was attained,
the town at the mouth of the Kalaka river. Here were Malays, useful
fighting men, but for all that they showed reluctance to unite in the
expedition. This is easily explicable, as they were apprehensive of
attacking tribes at such a distance, and whom they had been bred up to
fear as the most powerful in Borneo. And the Malays, unlike the
Sea-Dayaks, though braver, do not love fighting for the sake of
fighting. They shirked, but they went.

On the 24th, at starting the contingent consisted of sixty boats, with
an average of forty men in each, and pushed up the mouth of the Rejang
to Serikei, and Mr. Watson had gone on with forty boats from Saribas. On
the following day Sibu was reached, where lived the Banyoks. Tani had
been their chief, the conspirator who had been sentenced to death by the
Tuan Muda, as mentioned in a previous chapter. But now Tani's son,
Buju,[282] at the head of his fighting men, readily joined forces to
those of the Tuan Muda. On the 29th at 2 A.M. by hard paddling, Kanowit
was reached. "At daylight our force had congregated about the village
and on each bank of the river, which was so broad that thousands of
boats would not have made much show. After having coffee, I commenced
work with Sergeant Lees in examining all the stores, arms, and
ammunition. The heavy guns and shot had been already despatched by the
Kanowit and Katibas boats, which were now two days' start ahead of us. I
had arranged that the foot of the first rapids should be our rendezvous,
and the enemy were reported to be six days distant above this point. It
took the greater part of the day distributing arms, ammunition, and
sundry other things to be carried by the force. Our Europeans of the
party were Messrs. Watson, Cruickshank, my younger brother, Sergeant
Lees, and Lucas (the Captain) of the _Venus_.

"_26th._—The principal natives persuaded me to remain over to-day or I
would have pushed on to lose no time in this fine weather. They require
time to settle many little matters with which they are particular. Some
made their wills, others sent letters to their nearest relatives,
acquainting them with their last wishes, and all our boats needed much
preparation. The one prepared for me, into which I had to shift all my
things, was sixty-six feet long, shaped like a coffin and totally devoid
of elegance and beauty. She consisted of a single tree hollowed out and
round at the bottom, but raised a little at her extremities. When the
hollowing out is done, a bow and a stern-piece are fastened with
rattans; they have not a nail in them; two light planks are also tied on
top and then they are complete. Some have much speed, and are capable of
carrying from forty to seventy men with a month's provision on board.
They are adapted for passing the rapids, are buoyant in the falls, and
the crews are able to use a long sweeping stroke with the paddles, such
as could not be managed in shorter boats.

"_29th._—As the fort clock struck eight, a gun was fired as a signal for
starting, and about eighty boats left together; others had been going on
during the night, and many were still behind. The current ran strong
against us, and we were forced to hug the bank.

"The banks above Kanowit are steep, and Kanowit itself may be said to be
the first pretty spot in the Rejang river, but above it is much variety
of scenery—windings of the river, hills and hillocks of every shape."

As they ascended, ruined habitations and deserted paddy-fields were
passed, that had been ravaged by the Kayans; to put a term to their
violence a fort had been erected at Ngmah, between Katibas and Kanowit.
This was now dismantled by the Tuan Muda on his way up, and he took the
men and guns along with him. Above the junction of the Katibas with the
Rejang for over a hundred miles the country was uninhabited.

On the 31st, the Baleh river, the left hand branch of the Rejang, was
passed. Here the character of the scenery changes, the sides become
craggy, and the river rolls over masses of rock, and through veritable
gorges, with a swift current.

On June the 1st, the foot of the first rapid was reached, where the
rendezvous had been appointed. Here all those who had gone on before
were assembled in thousands. "Groups of Dayaks in all directions—some
lounging on rocks, or on the patches of white sand in the bight, others
mending their boats which they had hauled up in the most favourable
places. Many were squatting round fires and cooking. Bright colours of
clothes, flags, and painted boats were interspersed among them."

A council was held that same afternoon, and further proceedings were
discussed. A hundred chiefs were present, and the Tuan Muda spoke,
arranging the order of the bala, and insisting that the lives of women
and children must be spared, and that the chiefs should be held
responsible for the conduct of their followers. He was followed by
Balang, "an ugly little broad man, with the jowl of a hog," the chief of
Katibas, whose house had been burnt by the Kayans, all his property
carried off, and many of his relatives and people killed. "I have no
wish to return," said he, "if this expedition is unsuccessful. They may
cook my head if I can't cook theirs."[283] The force then consisted of
300 boats carrying 12,000 men.

On the following day the ascent of the Pelagus rapids was begun. The
boats were forced up by the men with poles in their hands, and were
aided by others on the banks hauling with ropes; whilst others again,
where the water was shallow, were immersed in it pulling and shoving.

"Men seemed like ducks in the water. Swimmers and divers all had their
duties, and the amount of exertion of this kind which the natives will
undergo is simply wonderful. They keep it up hour after hour in the
coldest mountain stream, jumping on to and over places where an
Englishman could not gain a foothold, as the rocks are slippery as
glass, and many of the ridges are not over three inches wide, making one
giddy to look at them."

After a while the first portion of the rapids was safely surmounted, and
a basin of calmly flowing water was reached. But this was not far, it
afforded a breathing space before the next difficult point was reached,
a perpendicular fall of ten feet. Here was a portage; provisions, arms,
and ammunition had to be carried by land, and the boats hauled over
sixty feet of a steep rocky incline, covered with water when the river
was full, but now left dry. In the process, however, a good many of the
boats went to pieces, and the crews had to be partitioned among the

This was followed by another fall, that had to be surmounted in the same
way. "This last was a terrible job, and at every foot gained, I thought
my coffin would have gone in two, as she creaked piteously. But at last
we gained the summit of the first rapids. Here we stopped, as the crews
required rest, and the sun was piercingly hot." The whole length of this
first rapid is four miles, and the breadth of the river six hundred
yards. Not one third of the force had as yet surmounted it, and some
were discouraged and made no attempt to do so.



Next day, the 3rd, the Tuan Muda's thirty-fourth birthday, the coffin
was advancing up stream where the river was broken up by islets and
running between them, like a mill race, followed by the boat containing
Mr. Cruickshank and Mr. Stuart Johnson, when, in punting, it was driven
against a submerged rock and at once began to fill. Seizing his gold
watch and chain, the Tuan Muda sprang into the water and swam to the
boat that followed and was taken in; but provisions, the Tuan Muda's
sword, spyglass, rugs, etc., all new from England, were irretrievably
lost, and the whole crew were boatless; for the coffin was whirled down
the stream.

"_4th._—We advanced again as usual, and after about an hour's hard
pulling and many ropes, the stream became smooth and deep, and no more
rocks were in sight. The reaches were long and straight, with a steady
current of two and a half knots. The land was level without being
swampy, and the soil appeared to be a rich yellow loam. What land for
agriculture! and it extends for miles."

They were now on the fringe of the Kayan country, and they came on the
remains of the house of the chief Akam Nipa, which he had deserted. The
enemy had retired before the advancing force, and not one had as yet
shown himself; though a small party, consisting of seven men, that had
gone into the jungle hunting, three days before, thinking that the
Kayans had all retreated, had incautiously lain down to sleep, when they
were captured, tortured slowly to death on the spot, and then

On the 6th, the Tekok rapids were encountered, and another abandoned
Kayan village passed. The hills now began to show, and the river to flow
over rocks and between bluffs. Had this spot been held by the enemy, it
would have been most difficult to pass, but they had considered it best
to retreat.

On the 7th, the abandoned village of the Sekapans[284] was reached and
committed to the flames. There, farming grounds with the jungle freshly
cut were found on both sides of the river. The scenery was very
beautiful, but there was very little cultivation. The bays are sometimes
five hundred yards in width, giving the appearance of a landlocked lake
rather than a running river. The height of the hills varies under a
thousand feet. Many fruit trees were on the bank.

"We were pulling with all our sinews, having continued it since morning,
when at 3 P.M. we descried a sampan manned by a crew dressed in various
colours, steering for us. They brought news of the enemy being fortified
in a house[285] round the next point, and on the leading boats
approaching they were fired into, and some were killed and others
wounded. The enemy's house was already surrounded, they said, but every
time our fellows advanced some were shot down.

"Our crew pulled on, and on rounding the point, the stockaded dwelling
of the enemy hove in sight, situated on a low spit. We steered across,
out of the enemy's range into the bay, where all the boats of the
advance party had collected."

Nothing could be effected till more of the force had come up, and till
the field-piece could be mounted. This last was done during the night,
and all was made ready for demolishing the fortified place in the
morning; but the enemy, taking advantage of the darkness, had decamped
in the night. It was afterwards ascertained that the bravest of the
Kayans had been placed there, with strict orders to hold the place
against the advancing flotilla. All the worst characters and principal
leaders had been there too, and among them Sawing, Sakalai, and Talip.
The house was now burnt, after having been rifled, and parties of Dayaks
were sent in all directions to destroy the villages of the Kayans. Among
the spoil taken was a Gusi jar valued at £150. In all directions smoke
arose, and at night the flames could be seen leaping above the tree-tops
from the burning houses.

The Tuan Muda now pushed on and passed the Majawa rapids.

"When we had reached the upper end of the gorge we could plainly survey
the fall behind us—our force coming up one by one, with dense masses of
thousands on the rocks, others wending an ant-like pilgrimage around the
almost perpendicular banks and ledges. Toes and fingers often came in
useful for clinging to every niche.

"Above this point we again reached smooth and deep water, running
quietly. The crews were stopping and plundering things thrown aside by
the enemy as they retreated. We pulled in untroubled waters for only an
hour, and then arrived at dangerous rocky places, gradually getting
steeper and steeper. The stream rushed past, and numbers of the boats
were damaged. Fortunately we had picked up many native boats. The
channels wound circuitously among very sharp rocks, over which we had to
use ropes. Sergeant Lee's boat was smashed, and he and his crew were
deposited on a rock for some hours. We came to for the night in a bight,
surrounded in every direction by rocks. The leaders of our force lost
one man here; as he was taking out a rope, an enemy blew a poisoned
arrow into his chest, which knocked him down, when his head was cut

On the 11th, the foot of the Makun rapid was reached. But for some way
below the great cataract the river eddies and boils and plunges over
rocks, and races between projecting fangs and islets. Here for two hours
they had to toil with poles and ropes. The Makun rapid is a descent of
the river in one great slide, with swirls and whirlpools, and with such
force that it is only possible to ascend it, one boat at a time, pulled
by ropes, and with two or three in her punting to control her movements,
and prevent her being stove in against the rocks.

The ascent was begun on the 11th, and successfully accomplished. But
fifteen boats were lost.

"I resolved to push on with the force we had, viz. 150 Malays and about
100 Dyak boats. Watson and Stuart were now boatless, and they also had
to harbour in Fitz's boat, which had become the refuge of the destitute.
A satisfaction prevails at having overcome the greatest obstacle in the
approach to the Kayan confines. We proceeded about five miles, and
towards evening received news that some captives had been taken. The
enemy held nowhere and were pursued like sheep. I at once decided to go
no farther, as our work of destruction would serve as a sufficient
punishment for these people, who have proved themselves a most dastardly
set of cowards, running on every occasion, leaving their children and
women at the mercy of the Dyaks. These stupid inhabitants trusted to the
superstitious traditions of their forefathers to guard them without the
help of man, and now awakened to the mistake of their impregnability,
too late. They resorted to their heels on every occasion; and two young
boys yesterday chased up a hill two men equal to the boys in arms, both
parties having swords only.

"Our warlike munitions have been useless, and the gun only employed in
firing twenty-one rounds on the bank in the afternoon. A boat arrived
this morning, bringing three captives, one of whom I determined to leave
on the bank to take a message, after we had left, to Oyong Hang. At
sunset we collected the few chiefs, and the captive, a middle-aged
woman, was brought before us. I told her, by means of an interpreter,
that we attacked their country, because they had taken part against our
friends and the subjects of Sarawak, and had harboured the three chief
murderers of Messrs. Fox and Steele, named Sakalai, Sawing, and Talip.
Whoever befriended them must necessarily become our enemies; besides,
they had made several attacks on the Dyaks. I gave her a 12-pounder shot
and a Sarawak flag, which were to be presented to Oyong Hang for him to
make his choice. The latter was an emblem of peace, which would provide
him with a safe-conduct to Kanowit, in order to open peaceful relations.
The shot was an emblem of war, which we should conclude he had accepted
if he did not shortly make his appearance with the flag. All attacks by
Dyaks would be forbidden for the present, as it was our desire to be on
friendly terms.

"The Dyak from whom I took the captive complained bitterly, and said he
had lost a mother and sister, killed by the Kayans, and now wanted her
(head) in exchange. I gave them to understand plainly that whoever
touched her would suffer death.

"_13th and 14th._—We waited for loiterers, who provoked me by their
dilatoriness. Some had been wounded by poisoned arrows, but the only
effect was feverishness. A few had ghastly wounds from spears. There had
been more dreadful sights in this campaign than I had bargained for.
Many women and children even had been killed by our people, who state,
with some degree of truth, that in their excitement they had mistaken
them for men, as they wore head-dresses similar to the dress of the men
in this country. I resolved on any future occasion when I should have to
call out the Dyaks, that a heavy fine should be imposed on any one
perpetrating such acts. Still, at present, they can scarcely be expected
to comprehend such a rule, as many are now thirsting for revenge,
smarting under the loss of wives, mothers, and sisters, mercilessly
tortured and killed by the Kayans, who have always been in the habit of
practising the blackest treachery and making sudden attacks when
professing the staunchest friendship.

"On looking over our force, and counting those passing, I calculated
that we must number five hundred large boats, containing about fifteen
thousand men—Dyaks of some twenty different branch tribes, who had
mostly been each other's enemies in former times."

On the return of the expedition, Kanowit was reached on the 17th, and
thence the Tuan Muda went back to his station at Sekrang, and waited
there for nearly a month before a deputation of Kayans arrived, bearing
the flag that had been left with the captive woman. They numbered
seventy men, and came to profess their desire for peace in the future.
They reported that their chief Oyong Hang had summoned the people to a
conference, and then and there had cut down Talip, and his followers had
put Sakalai to death, but Sawing, suspecting what would be the
determination of the Kayans, had escaped a few days previously.[286]

Accordingly the month of August was appointed for the gathering of a
large assembly of the tribes to conclude a peace with the Kayans. There
were, however, several hitches, and the meeting did not take place until

"The Kayan peace was concluded this month, when the chiefs arrived at
Kanowit for that purpose. They met the Dyaks, and a pig was killed,
according to custom. The terms and points to be sacredly attended to
were all discussed before the Resident of the place. Some of the chiefs
of the Keniah country were also present, and expressed a desire for
trade and friendship. They talked of removing down the river. At this
meeting there were representatives of 25,000 souls, who were all
strangers to us, although living within the limits of Sarawak territory.
This peace had been the great event of the year 1863, and leaves Sarawak
without an enemy in her dominions, and without an intertribal war of any
description. This is the first time the country has had peace."

In December, Sawing, the last of the murderers of Fox and Steele, was
given up, tried, and executed.

"And now," says the Tuan Muda, "the deaths of those who were private
friends and public servants, and who had occupied a distant and isolated
out-station, have been completely avenged."

The Rajah remained in Sarawak till after the subjection of the Kayans,
and then, having handed over the Government to the Tuan Muda, left in
September, 1863, and "bade farewell to the people and the country he was
never to see again."


Footnote 277:

  From a letter of the Rajah's dated September 9, 1862.

Footnote 278:

  Mr. G. T. Ricketts was appointed Consul, January 19, 1864.

Footnote 279:

  Captain Brooke died the same year as the Rajah.

Footnote 280:

  Oyong Hang was the chief of the Bintulu Kayans, and was at one time
  friendly to the Government, but he had thrown off his allegiance and
  joined Akam Nipa.

  Oyong is prefixed to the name of a Kayan on the death of his
  firstborn; Akam, on the death of a younger child.

Footnote 281:

  _Ten Years in Sarawak_, from which this account is taken.

Footnote 282:

  See chap. vii. p. 107.

Footnote 283:

  For the fate of this chief see chap. xii. p. 320.

Footnote 284:

  Belaga, where is now a strong fort, and a Chinese and Malay trading
  station, is just above this.

Footnote 285:

  The village of the Kajaman tribe, a short distance above Belaga.

Footnote 286:

  Talip was a Matu Melanau of good birth; Sakalai was a chief of the
  Kanowit tribe; and Sawing was half Ukit and half Tanjong.



                               CHAPTER XI
                       THE END OF THE FIRST STAGE



We are drawing near to the close of the first stage in the History of
Sarawak. It had opened with great hopes. To his mother the Rajah had
written in 1841: "I trust there may be marked out for me a more useful
existence, that will enable me to lay my head on my pillow and say that
I have done something to better the condition of my kind, and to deserve
their applause," and again, "I hope that thousands will be benefited
when I am mouldering in dust," and these hopes have been fulfilled. But
the last period of the Rajah's life was clouded with sorrow,
disappointment, and pecuniary anxieties.

He had practically given up the government in 1863, though he reigned
for five years longer, and could make his will felt when need be. His
health had broken down, and he wrote on May 29, 1863: "I cannot stand
the climate and work," and in that year he left Sarawak for good, having
installed his nephew, the Tuan Muda, as administrator. He was then only
sixty, but for over twenty years his life had been full of anxiety, and
had been a continual struggle against adversities, the most serious
caused by the "malignant and persevering persecutions"[287] of his own
countrymen, to whom he had turned for a little sympathy and a little
help, which would have cost England nothing. In his policy and his
actions he had been guided by no personal ambition; the great desire of
his heart had been throughout the extension of British influence in the
Far East, the improvement of trade, the suppression of piracy, the
horrors of which he had witnessed, and the amelioration of the lot of
the oppressed and suffering natives, whom he had come to love and esteem
for their many good qualities.

With regard to the other countries included in the general policy of the
Rajah, this book has little to do. It suffices to note that had that
policy not been discredited, Siam,[288] the Sulu archipelago, the whole
of New Guinea, and a greater part of Borneo might now have been under
British influence. To the Rajah's unaided efforts, frowned upon at home,
England owes it that Sarawak, Bruni, and Labuan are not now Dutch
Residencies, and North Borneo, through conquest from the Spaniards, an
American colony.

By his enterprise Sarawak, weakened by civil war and oppression, was
converted into an independent and cogent State, and became a check upon
any further advance of the Dutch northwards; and their strong diplomatic
objections to the Rajah's presence in Sarawak shows what they had in
view. Moreover, the treaty he effected with the Sultan of Bruni in 1847
effectually prevented any settlements other than of an English character
being established in northern Borneo.

From southern Borneo England had retired in favour of the Dutch, and,
previous to this, after the disaster of Balambangan, and its withdrawal
from Bruni, had ceased to take any further interest in northern Borneo,
nor was any attempt made to re-establish its prestige there, or to
suppress piracy, even after Singapore had been founded in 1819. As
usual, England had to wait for a man of action and resolution, and
twenty years afterwards, though, fortunately, when not too late, he
appeared in the person of the late Rajah. Such a man also was Sir
Stamford Raffles, who saved Singapore and the Malay peninsula to
England. It is almost a parallel case.

  The members of the East India Board were furious, and the Ministers
  of the Crown were "excessively angry." Indeed had it not been for
  Raffles ... it is certain that Singapore would have been abandoned
  by the British. Raffles made it, and Raffles saved it.... Raffles'
  genius and patriotism were rewarded by endless worry, by the
  disapproval of his employers, and by public censure from his
  country's Ministers.[289]

But the Rajah abandoned the larger policy as hopeless, and devoted his
life and his means to his adopted country; and here the British
Government, influenced by Gladstone, Cobden, Sidney Herbert, and their
Little England followers, did its best to paralyse his efforts.

  "My duty has been done at any cost," he wrote sadly, "and the
  British Government will be responsible for the consequences which
  must follow upon its abandonment of Sarawak. I do not mention the
  treatment I have personally received at its hands, for I seek no
  favour, nor expect justice, and I shall close a troubled career with
  the conviction that it might have been useful to my country and
  honourable to myself and a blessing to the native race, but for the
  indifference, the inconstancy, and, I regret to say, the injustice
  of the British Government."[290]

In an introduction to his nephew the Tuan Muda's _Ten Years in Sarawak_,
written in January 1866, he expressed what had been the ambition of his
life, and his disappointment at its nonfulfilment.

  I once had a day-dream of advancing the Malayan race by enforcing
  order and establishing self-government among them; and I dreamed too
  that my native country would desire the benefit of position,
  influence, and commerce, without the responsibilities from which she
  shrinks. But the dream ended with the first waking reality, and I
  found how true it is, that nations are like men, that the young hope
  more than they fear, and the old fear more than they hope—that
  England had ceased to be enterprising, and could not look forward to
  obtaining great ends by small means perseveringly applied, and that
  the dependencies are not now regarded as a field of outlay, to yield
  abundant national returns, but as a source of wasteful expenditure
  to be wholly cut off. The cost ultimately may verify the old adage,
  and some day England may wake from the dream of disastrous economy,
  as I have awakened from my dreams of extended usefulness. I trust
  the consequences may not be more hurtful to her than they have been
  to me.

  Since this, I have found happiness in advancing the happiness of my
  people, who, whatever may be their faults, have been true to me and
  mine through good report and evil report, through prosperity and
  through misfortune.

From the very commencement of his career in Borneo he had invited the
support of the British Government "to relieve an industrious people from
oppression, and to check, and if possible, to suppress piracy and the
slave trade." He was anxious to see a British Settlement established,
under the direction of others if necessary, and he was prepared to
transfer his rights and interests to any successor. He looked upon
himself in the light of "an agent whom fortune had enabled to open the
path," and he felt "if a case of misery ever called for help, it is
here, and the act of humanity which redeems the Dayak race[291] from the
condition of unparalleled wretchedness will open a path for religion,
and for commerce, which may in future repay the charity which ought to
seek for no remuneration." His wish had always been that the country
should be taken under the wing of England, and, though he at first
justly asked that what he had sunk into it of his own private fortune
should be repaid him, he was finally prepared to waive this
consideration if only England would adopt the struggling little State.
Failing this, he desired that the British Government would extend a
protectorate over the State, so that capitalists should be encouraged to
invest money for the development of its resources. But even recognition
of Sarawak as an independent State was not granted till 1863. Protection
was not accorded till 1888, and then it was offered, not asked for, and
was granted, not in the interests of Sarawak, but for the safeguarding
of Imperial interests, lest some other foreign power should lay its
hands on the little State.



Recognition, for which the Rajah had striven for so many years, being at
last granted, filled him with the greatest satisfaction. But considering
the past history of Sarawak, and bearing in mind how well that country
has since done without extraneous aid, it would seem to have been a pity
that Sarawak ever attracted the attention of England, and that the Rajah
ever sought for encouragement or protection there. Sarawak has stood the
test of nearly seventy years as an independent State, and continues its
prosperous career, without owing anything to any one, and requiring only
to be let alone. But financial troubles had overtaken the State in the
latter days of the Rajah, and to him these were an endless source of
worry and anxiety. From 1863, to the time of his death in 1868, his
letters to his representative in Sarawak, the Tuan Muda, were almost
always on this subject. To matters relating to general policy, there is
in them little reference to be found; though throughout they express
constant forebodings in regard to the future of the raj. "Alone,
burdened with debts, with few friends and many foes, how are you to
stand without support," he wrote to the Tuan Muda; the last years of his
life were clouded by a dread of evils, for he placed too much weight on
public opinion, which was generally as erroneous as it was
inimical.[292] In 1863, the whole responsibility was thrown upon the
present Rajah's shoulders, to whom it was left to find a way to
establish the revenue on a sound basis, and to reduce a large debt
without sacrificing efficiency. The Government under the present Rajah
practically commenced in that year.

Sir Spenser St. John says, in his _Rajah Brooke_:—

  "In the autumn of 1866 he (the Rajah) received a severe shock. His
  nephew, the Tuan Muda, wrote that he had sold the steamer _Rainbow_
  to pay off a debt due to their Singapore agent—a debt incurred
  through careless extravagance in carrying out his many public works
  at a time when funds were scarce. For a moment it almost stupefied
  him, as this steamer had not yet been paid for," and "Sarawak
  without a steamer, he felt assured, would sink back into its old
  state of insecurity; and therefore another steamer must be had. By
  great exertion, he succeeded in raising the necessary funds, and
  purchased a vessel which was christened the _Royalist_."

Sir Spenser must have trusted to his memory, which played him false. The
Sarawak Government had then another and a larger steamer, the
_Heartsease_,[293] and the Rajah was having the _Royalist_[294] built in
England to carry mails and merchandise to and from Singapore. He was
consulted about the sale of the _Rainbow_ and sanctioned it, for he
wrote to the Tuan Muda on March 6, 1865, "We are quite agreed as to the
advisability of selling the _Rainbow_," the purchase money to go towards
paying for the new vessel he was having built. The Singapore agents were
instructed to remit the money home, but, without the knowledge of the
Tuan Muda, kept it to cover an over-draft. This over-draft was not
incurred to pay expenses of public works, but for absolute necessaries.
The Rajah had but little trouble to raise the balance due on the
_Royalist_; and even this was not necessary, for a Singapore Bank at
once advanced an amount equivalent to the balance due on the _Rainbow_,
which was remitted to England.

At Burrator, his little out-of-the-world Devonshire seat, on the edge of
the moors, the Rajah was perfectly happy so long as not troubled with
bad news from Sarawak. He devoted himself to the country-side folk, who
were greatly attached to him. His life was one simple and contented; he
enjoyed the exceeding quietude, and he was happy in trying to make
others happy. Riding and shooting, so long as his health permitted, were
his amusements, parish affairs, and the improvement of his little
property, his chief interests.

The longing to return to his people was strong upon him. But, as time
advanced and his strength diminished, he foresaw that what had become
the desire of his life would be denied him. Some three years before his
death he wrote to the Tuan Muda, "Farewell, think of me as well content,
free from anxiety, and watching your progress with pride and pleasure."

Largely assisted by the late Sir Massey Lopes, who owned the land in the
parish, he "restored" the Parish Church, and was instrumental in a new
school being provided. The church contained a magnificent rood-screen,
richly carved and gilt, extending across the nave and aisle; indeed it
was the finest specimen in that part of the county. Unhappily neither
the Rajah nor Sir Massey could appreciate its artistic and antiquarian
value, and it was ruthlessly swept away. No architect was employed, only
a local builder, and the new work done in the church is as bad as can be
conceived, such as was likely to proceed from the designs of a common
ignorant builder.

On June 11, 1868, Sir James Brooke died at Burrator, leaving the
succession of the raj to his nephew Charles Brooke, and his male issue,
failing such to his nephew H. Stuart Johnson and his male issue. In
default of such issue, the Rajah devised his said sovereignty, "The
rights, privileges, and power thereto belonging, unto her Majesty the
Queen of England, her heirs and assigns for ever."

He was buried in the churchyard at Sheepstor, and a memorial window to
him has been placed in the church.

Dr. A. Russel Wallace, in _The Malay Archipelago_, 1869, says:—

  That his Government still continues after twenty years,
  notwithstanding frequent absences from ill health, notwithstanding
  conspiracies of Malay chiefs, and insurrections of Chinese
  gold-diggers, all of which have been overcome by the support of the
  native population, and notwithstanding financial, political, and
  domestic troubles—is due, I believe, solely to many admirable
  qualities which Sir James Brooke possessed, and especially to his
  having convinced the native population, by every action of his life,
  that he ruled them, not for his own advantage, but for their good.

  Since these lines were written, his noble spirit has passed away.
  But, though by those who knew him not, he may be sneered at as an
  enthusiast, adventurer, or abused as a hard-headed despot, the
  universal testimony of every one who came in contact with him in his
  adopted country, whether European, Malay, or Dayak, will be that
  Rajah Brooke was a great, a wise, and a good ruler—a true and
  faithful friend, a man to be admired for his talents, respected for
  his honour and courage, and loved for his genuine hospitality, his
  kindness of disposition, and his tenderness of heart.

Writing in 1866, the old Rajah said of his nephew:—

  He is looked up to in that country (Sarawak) as the chief of all the
  Sea-Dayaks, and his intimate knowledge of their language, their
  customs, their feelings, and their habits far exceed that of any
  other person. His task has been successfully accomplished of
  stamping out the last efforts of piratical Malayan chiefs, and their
  supporters among the Dayaks of Saribas, and of other countries. He
  first gained over a portion of these Dayaks to the cause of order,
  and then used them as his instruments in the same cause, to restrain
  their countrymen. The result is that the coast of Sarawak is as safe
  to the trader as the coast of England, and that an unarmed man could
  traverse the country without let or hindrance. It is a great
  gratification to me to acknowledge my nephew's devotion to the cause
  to which my own life has been devoted. It is well that his strength
  has come to supply my weakness, and that his energies and his life
  (if needed) should be given to establish the governorship, and
  promote the happiness of the people of Sarawak. My career draws to
  its close, but I have confidence that no consideration will turn him
  from the work which I shall leave for his hand to do.

How deserved this trust was, has been made manifest by the present
Rajah's own life-long devotion to the interests of the people he was
ordained to govern. On his accession, no change was made in the wise and
liberal policy of his predecessor. Only such reforms and improvements,
administrative or otherwise, consistent with that policy have been made.
Up to the time of the first Rajah's death, no great progress
commercially and financially had been effected, and it was left to his
successor to promote the commercial and industrial advancement of the
State. The Sea-Dayaks and tribes of the interior still required a strong
hand and a watchful eye to keep them in order, and the subsequent large
additions of territory entailed greater responsibility and harder work.

In the gradual establishment of a government suitable to the country and
its people, the main principles that have guided the late and the
present Rajah are—that the natives should, through their chiefs, have a
full though subordinate share in its administration and its councils;
that their own laws and customs should be respected, though modified
where necessary in accordance with the first principles of justice and
humanity. That no sudden and wholesale changes disquieting to the native
mind should be made, and that reforms should be very carefully
considered from both the white man's and the native's point of view
before being introduced, and that if carried out, it should be done
gradually. Thus, without giving rise to any opposition or discontent,
slavery, which was at one time in a cruel and oppressive form, by a
gradual process of ameliorating the condition of the slaves, enlarging
their privileges, reducing the powers of owners and increasing their
responsibilities, in course of time ceased to be a profitable
institution, and died a natural death without any sudden and violent

How that was done will be shown in the following chapter.

Among the Spartans a drunken helot was produced, staggering and
imbecile, to show the young into what a disgraceful condition a man fell
who gave way to liquor. And in Borneo, in the Sultanate of Bruni, the
people had before their eyes a reminder of what was a bad, irresponsible

The old Rajah left behind him one of the noblest records of a life
devoted to the cause of humanity, and of a task completed, which has
been equalled by few men. His motives, untarnished by any desire for
honours or for worldly advancement, were as pure as was his chivalry,
which was without reproach. No better man, and few greater, have lived.

That those who vainly sought by the degradation of his position to
enrich themselves should have turned round upon him, and have vilified a
character whose humane and lofty views were foreign to their own, is not
so surprising as that ministers and politicians of the highest repute
should have lent ready ears to their libellous and unfounded statements,
and have treated with a total absence of a spirit of fair play a man
whose policy and methods merited their fullest recognition and support.

                 Ergo Quintilium perpetuus sopor
                 Urguet? cui Pudor, et Iustitiae soror,
                 Incorrupta Fides, nudaque Veritas
                     Quando ullum inveniet parem?

                                                      HORACE, Od. i. 24.


Footnote 287:

  Lord Palmerston, Debate in House of Commons, July 10, 1851.

Footnote 288:

  Sir Spenser St. John says that, "ever since our Mission to Siam (of
  which the Rajah was the head, having been appointed Special Envoy by
  the Government) in 1850, Chaufa Mungkat (then Prime Minister, but very
  shortly afterwards he became the King) had kept up a private
  correspondence with the Rajah of Sarawak, in whose doings he showed
  great interest." This King afterwards presented the Rajah with a
  Siamese State barge, still in use, and a gold snuff-box. We mention
  this to show the power of the Rajah's influence, and to what good
  purposes that influence might have been put.

Footnote 289:

  _British Malaya_, p. 71; Sir Frank Swettenham, K.C.M.G.

Footnote 290:

  Extract from a letter to Lord John Russell, dated December 10, 1859.

Footnote 291:

  The Land-Dayaks of the Sadong, Sarawak, and Lundu rivers.

Footnote 292:

  Mr. Templer to the Tuan Muda, March 1872.

Footnote 293:

  Built in Singapore, and commissioned in September 1865.

Footnote 294:

  Launched in March 1867.



                              CHAPTER XII



Charles Brooke was proclaimed Rajah on August 3, 1868, throughout the
territory. The ceremony in the capital and at the out-stations was
simple. The people were assembled, the proclamation read, and the
Rajah's flag saluted. He did not then take the oath, but this was
administered at the next meeting of the General Council, on October 11,
1870, when the Rajah solemnly bound himself to respect the religion,
rights, privileges, and institutions of the people; that no laws or
customary laws would be changed or modified without the sanction of the
chiefs assembled in Council, that he would uphold the late Rajah's will
in respect to the succession to the raj, that the people should have a
voice in the selection of their chiefs, and that all cases arising
amongst Muhammadans in respect to marriage, divorce, and inheritance
should be settled by the Malay chiefs in accordance with Muhammadan law.
At this meeting of the Council the English and native members took the
oaths to endeavour to the best of their abilities to advise truthfully
and justly for the good of the country, and to uphold the authority of
the Rajah. This oath is administered to every new member upon

As has been mentioned, the Rajah had already been ruling the State for
five years previous to his accession, and, though troubled with a few
internal disorders among the Dayaks in the far interior, the general
peaceful state of the country, which he had done so much to bring about,
left him free to devote more of his time and attention to many needed
improvements in the administration, and reforms in certain customary
laws, which could only be effected as time smoothed out party feelings,
racial jealousies and distrust, and all had settled down tranquilly
under a government acceptable to the whole population, and which all
were willing to uphold. How the Rajah succeeded as a wise and tactful
administrator, the sure and steady advance of the country, its revenue
and trade sufficiently testify. Not only has this been fully
acknowledged by outside witnesses in a position to judge, but, what he
values more, has won the approbation and confidence of his people.

No one was in a better position to bear testimony to this than the old
Datu Bandar, Haji Bua Hasan, who, in spite of evil report and good
report, won the respect of all classes. As already mentioned, he was a
son of the gallant Patinggi Ali, and was appointed Imaum when Haji Gapur
was degraded, and shortly afterwards was raised to the rank of Datu. He
held his rank and office for over sixty years, and became the trusted
friend of both Rajahs and of all his "English brethren." This is the
simple testimony he bore on the opening of the new Court-house and
public offices during the absence of the Rajah in England, acting as he
did as spokesman for his countrymen, and in the presence of many
hundreds of them.

  English brethren, datus, and people all at present within the Court.
  I am happy in being here in company with you to hail the anniversary
  of the Rajah's birthday, and to join with you in opening this our
  new Court-house.

  I am here to bear testimony to the fostering care which the Rajah
  has ever taken of his children; we, who in years gone by were not
  only poor, but sunk under oppression, and heaviness of heart, by his
  assistance have become rich, and our hearts have waxed light within
  us under the blessing of freedom.

  The Rajah is but following out the good work begun by his uncle in
  our regard many years ago.

  The Rajah, in succeeding his uncle, has not attempted to suppress,
  to interfere with, or to decry our religion, therefore I say to you
  all, follow that religion truly and adhere to its teachings. Whoever
  there be who shall forget what the Rajah has achieved for him and
  his, that man is not worthy to be accounted a friend of the
  Government, but shall be looked upon as an enemy, and whoever
  becomes an enemy of the constituted Government is an offender also
  against the faith.

  How is it possible for any of us, remembering all that the Rajah has
  done for our advancement, to go against him, or in any way to oppose
  him. On the contrary, it is our duty—the duty of all of us who
  subsist under the Government—to praise the Rajah, to pray for long
  life for him and his, and beyond this to ask that he may be blessed
  with fortune in his reign, so that we may long live happy, as we are
  now, under him.

It will be advisable here to give some account of the manner in which
Sarawak has been and is still governed, in regard to which Sir Spenser
St. John, who was out in Borneo, either in Sarawak or Bruni, for
thirteen years, wrote in 1899:

  The Government is a kind of mild despotism, the only government
  suitable to Asiatics, who look to their chief as the sole depositary
  of supreme power. The influence of the old Rajah still pervades the
  whole system, and natives and Europeans work together in perfect

For administrative purposes the country is divided into four Divisions,
with a Resident of the 1st Class, or Divisional Resident, in charge of
each, but of late years it has been necessary to appoint only Divisional
Residents to the 1st Division, the smallest in area, but the most
important, as containing the capital; and to the 3rd Division, which
extending from Kalaka to Kedurong Point, takes in about half the State,
and contains about half the population. The Divisions are divided into
Residencies, under charge of Residents of the 2nd Class, with Assistant
Residents, and junior officers under them, all under the supervision of
the Divisional Residents.

In Kuching the Divisional Resident is assisted by a Resident of the 2nd
Class, and the executive work is under the control of the usual
departments, directed by the Treasurer, Commandant, Commissioner of
Public Works, Postmaster-General, Magistrate Court of Requests,
Superintendent of Police, principal and junior Medical Officers,
Superintendent of Surveys, and Engineer in chief, with English,
Eurasians, Chinese, and native assistants. The Rajah is the supreme
judge, and the other judges of the Supreme Court are the Divisional
Residents, the Datu Bandar, the Datu Hakim, and the Datu Imaum. These
also form the Supreme Council, with his Highness as President. The
Supreme Council, which was instituted by the first Rajah, acting on the
advice of Earl Grey, October 17, 1855, meets once a month for the
consideration of all important matters in connection with the welfare
and administration of the State. It is an established rule that in this
Council the European members shall not outnumber the native members.

In addition to the Supreme Council is the General Council, or Council
Negri (State Council), which was instituted by the present Rajah in
April, 1865, to consolidate the Government by giving the native chiefs
more than local interest in the affairs of the State; to impress them
with a sense of responsibility; to establish an uniformity of customs;
and to promote a good feeling amongst them, and confidence in each
other. Before the Council was inaugurated the chiefs seldom met one
another, and were almost strangers except in name. Those in the
provinces rarely visited the capital; they knew little about, and took
but a slight interest in public concerns not directly affecting their
own districts. The members of this Council also form local, or
Residency, Councils in their respective districts, with the several
Residents as vice-presidents.

This General Council includes the above members of the Supreme Council,
the Residents of the 2nd Class, Treasurer, Commandant, principal Medical
Officer, and the leading Malay, Dayak, and Kayan governing chiefs, as
well as the chiefs of other tribes, who have proved deserving of being
appointed members. It meets once every three years, and at the last
meeting, in 1906, there were present thirteen (absent five) Europeans
and thirty-six native members. To quote from his Highness' speech made
at that meeting:

  The General Council was organised for the purpose of settling any
  serious question or dispute relating to the welfare of the country
  whenever such questions should arise, ... and he thought it was
  always a good thing that they should at least once in three years
  meet each other, exchange thoughts and views, and renew

Although it is the rule that the Council should meet at least once in
every three years, it is liable to be convened at any time should any
emergency arise, and this has been done upon more than one occasion.

Thus one was summoned in June, 1867,[296] to meet at Sibu, to discuss
and decide upon the course to be pursued to ensure protection for the
lives and property of Sarawak subjects trading in Bruni territory. A
letter was drawn up by the Rajah in Council to the Sultan, laying the
facts before him, and asking for justice and protection. This drew from
him the rude retort that "the Rajah he knew, but the members of the
Council he presumed were only his coolies."

Nor was this all. When the Rajah's principal Resident, with some of the
leading members of the Council, visited Bruni, the Sultan refused to
allow the latter into his presence, but relegated them to an outer
chamber with persons of low rank.

Hitherto the Sarawak chiefs of all ranks and races had entertained a
lingering sympathy and respect for the "Iang de Pertuan" (He that
rules), the Sultan's more correct title, but these insults completely
alienated their regard.

The details of administration in the out-stations are many and
diversified, and in some of the districts entail a considerable amount
of travelling. The Resident is the chief judicial officer in his
district. He is responsible for the proper collection of the revenue and
for the expenditure. The public works, the police, in fact the general
conduct of affairs throughout his district, are under his supervision,
and he has to be continually visiting the outlying villages. Usually
there is an Assistant Resident and one or more junior officers to assist
him. Besides his usual routine work, he must at all times be accessible
to natives of all races and of all degrees. Though irksome at times,
this duty is one of considerable importance. Some come to complain
against decisions of their chiefs; some for advice and assistance; and
some seek an interview under a trivial pretext, behind which, however,
may be important news, which they would hesitate to deliver before
others. The natives are the eyes and ears of a Resident, and through
them alone can he derive early intelligence of the doings and intentions
of his people. And not a less important duty is to become thoroughly
acquainted with the people under his care, to keep in close personal
touch with them, and to become conversant with their customs and ideas,
for the law he administers must be made more or less consonant with
these. Customs inconsistent with justice and common sense have long
since been discarded for more enlightened rules, but those conformable
to these principles, and suitable to the conditions of the people, have
become recognised customary laws, and these vary among the different

For the settlement of divorce and probate cases among the Muhammadans,
Courts have been established throughout the State. In Kuching the Court
is presided over by the datus, those in the out-stations by the Malay
Government chiefs, who also sit as magistrates in the Residency Courts.
Such cases are settled in accordance with Muhammadan law, modified as
the Supreme Council may see fit, and subject to appeal to the Supreme

Beside the permanent and salaried native officers, every Malay and
Melanau village has its tuah,[297] or chief, who is elected by the
people, and, if the selection is approved by the Government, he receives
a commission from the Rajah, appointing him chief for a term of three
years. These tuahs are responsible for the collection of dues and taxes,
and have power as sub-magistrates to settle small cases. As a rule they
are remunerated by commissions, though some receive salaries.

The Sea-Dayaks, Kayans, and Kenyahs have district-chiefs, as already
stated, called pengulus, who are appointed by the Government; and each
house or village has its recognised sub-chief. The powers and duties of
the pengulus are similar to those of the Malay tuahs, and they are
similarly remunerated.

In 1872, certain criticisms upon the administration drew forth a
rejoinder which appeared in the _Sarawak Gazette_ of September 2, and as
it so clearly lays down the Rajah's opinions and his policy we give it
in full:

  It is easy enough to find weak places in any system, and to give it
  credit on the whole for less than it deserves, because we disapprove
  of it in part. It is as easy, especially if one has played an
  important part in it oneself, to over-estimate its benefits. But in
  a semi-barbarous country, governed in conjunction with the old
  native authorities by a knot of foreigners, who are in advance of
  those they govern in knowledge and experience, it is hardest of all
  to judge impartially what has been done or is in progress. There are
  two widely different principles on which such a country can be
  judged; we will call them the Native and the European principle
  respectively. The first regards the old condition of things,
  established by custom and the character of race, as essentially
  natural, and is more or less adverse from changes, however slight,
  in what has these important sanctions. The second places the
  standard of Western civilisation before it, and is apt to judge
  rather harshly whatever falls far short of this, or is not, at
  least, in a fair way towards attaining it.

  The common mistake Europeans make in the East is to exalt the latter
  of these principles almost to the exclusion of the other, instead of
  using them as mutually corrective. And this mistake has its origin,
  not in reasoning or in justice, but in the imperious spirit which
  makes white men in the East believe themselves lords of creation,
  and their darker brethren kindly provided in more or less abundance
  for their profit and advantage. At any rate no man in his senses can
  expect a wilderness of barbarism to blossom like a rose in a day, or
  a perfect government to appear full grown at once; while it is as
  unjust to put the traditions of the natives and their social
  position out of the question and consult European notions only, as
  it is debasing to lower ourselves to the level of native ignorance
  and stolidity.

  In accordance with these two principles, there are two ways in which
  a government can act. The first is to start from things as we find
  them, putting its veto on what is dangerous or unjust, and
  supporting what is fair and equitable in the usages of the natives,
  and letting system and legislation wait upon occasion. When new
  wants are felt it examines and provides for them by measures rather
  made on the spot than imported from abroad; and, to ensure that
  these shall not be contrary to native customs, the consent of the
  people is gained for them before they are put in force.

  The white man's so-called privilege of class is made little of, and
  the rules of government are framed with greater care for the
  interests of the majority who are not Europeans than for those of
  the minority of superior race. Progress in this way is usually slow,
  and the system is not altogether popular from our point of view; but
  it is both quiet and steady; confidence is increased; and no vision
  of a foreign yoke to be laid heavily on their shoulders, when the
  opportunity offers, is present to the native mind.

  The other plan is to make here and there a clean sweep and introduce
  something that Europeans like better, in the gap. A criminal code of
  the latest type, polished and revised by the wise men at home, or a
  system of taxation and police introduced boldly from the West is
  imposed, with a full assurance of its intrinsic excellence, but with
  too little thought of how far it is likely to suit the circumstances
  it has to meet.

  We care not to set the two principles in stronger contrast, or apply
  either to the policy which prevails here, only when men set
  themselves to be critics their first business is to rate themselves
  at their proper level in the community, and remember that their own
  interest is not all that has to be considered.

The policy of ingrafting western methods on eastern customs by a gradual
and gentle process has been attended not only with marked success but
with appreciation by the natives themselves. It has been the means by
which old prejudices have been broken down, and reforms in laws and
administration have step by step, and without friction or difficulty,
been substituted for unjust and debasing customs. By preserving old
customs good in themselves, modifying these where necessary, avoiding
sudden and drastic changes, and, above all, by acting in conjunction
with the native chiefs and in sympathy with their ideas, a faith in the
integrity of the purpose of their white Ruler has been instilled into
the minds of the people, and a feeling that whatever change he may
advise will be primarily for their benefit.

  I do not exaggerate, the Rajah wrote in 1870, when I say our chief
  success has been owing to the good feeling existing between the
  Ruler and people, brought about by there being no impediments
  between them; and that the non-success of European governments
  generally in ruling Asiatics is caused by the want of sympathy and
  knowledge between the Rulers and the ruled, the reason being the
  distance and unapproachableness of the Leader. If I were to exclude
  myself from Court I must necessarily withdraw myself from hearing
  the complaints, either serious or petty, of my people, who would
  then be justified in drawing an unsatisfactory and unhappy
  comparison between myself and my uncle, who was _de facto_ the slave
  of the people, and left the country under _my_ charge expecting me
  to carry out _his_ policy.

Changes in laws and customs, which a few decades back would have been
viewed with sullen distrust, are now readily accepted by the Malay
chiefs, even those affecting their own strict religious laws. These as
enacted by Muhammad were adjusted to meet the requirements of the past,
but the Malay chiefs have so far advanced in their ideas that they are
ready to admit that some of these laws may no longer be in accordance
with present conditions. So by an Act passed in the Supreme Council an
important rule contained in that code regulating the succession to
property was modified as being opposed to modern ideas of fairness.

Before his accession, the Rajah had thoroughly gone into the question of
slavery; in this matter he invited the opinions of all, and on his
accession he was enabled to promulgate certain laws affecting the
slaves, that met with general approval. By these laws, the slave was
protected against ill-usage. He was granted civil rights, and the
privilege of freeing himself by the payment of a small amount, the
maximum price being fixed at about £7, an amount which could easily be
earned by a few months' hard work. The transfer of slaves from one
master to another could be made only in, and with the consent of the
Courts. No slaves could be sold out of the country, and no fresh slaves
might be imported. To quote the _Sarawak Gazette_ of December 12, 1872:

  Before the arrival of Sir James Brooke, the Illanuns and other
  pirates from North Borneo took yearly trips around the island,
  making midnight attacks on peaceful villages, killing old men and
  children, separating mother and child, husband and wife, and
  carrying away hundreds of miserable wretches to be sold into slavery
  in the Sulu archipelago.

  In Sarawak territory, Kayans and Melanaus sacrificed slaves to
  propitiate evil spirits. To ensure good luck to a chief's new house,
  the first post was driven through the body of a young virgin. When
  they were afflicted with epidemics, it was the custom to sacrifice a
  young girl by placing her in a canoe, and allowing her to drift out
  to sea with the ebb tide. At the death of a chief, slaves were tied
  to posts near the coffin of the deceased and starved to death, in
  order that they might be ready to act as attendants on their master
  in another world.[298]

  These and a host of other atrocities were formerly enacted here.
  Amongst the Malays was found slavery of a milder form. Masters and
  slaves were, as a rule, on amicable terms, and the latter were well
  treated. Where, however, there was no law, and masters held absolute
  power over their slaves,[299] ill-usage occasionally followed as a
  consequence; and we could fill pages with stories of cruelties
  practised by Malay slave-holders in olden days.

  Now on our coast piracy is a thing of the past. Inland, the
  barbarities we have described are no longer practised by wild and
  superstitious tribes; and although slavery is tolerated amongst the
  Malays, it is in such a mild form that the word is a misnomer.

  The Government protects the bondman against cruelty and ill-usage,
  and acknowledges his legal rights. He can now obtain justice in the
  Courts, and by a wise regulation of the Government he can purchase
  his freedom at a fixed moderate price, so that should he find his
  bondage irksome, he has an opportunity of freeing himself by energy
  and hard work.

  The result is that the number of slaves in the territory is steadily
  decreasing. Some of the Malays have been known to emancipate their
  slaves at their death. Those who are now nominally slaves are
  treated so well by their masters that they are probably happier and
  better off than they would be as free men.

One great cause for the reduction in the number of slaves was that,
knowing their masters no longer had power to drive them, and were bound
to support them, whether they worked or not, they became lazy and
unprofitable to their owners, who eventually found paid labour to be far
cheaper, and were only too glad to be rid of them.

These regulations gave the death-blow to slavery. It now practically
remained to the slaves themselves to choose whether they should change
their condition or not; for energy on the part of a slave would enable
him to procure the price of his freedom, as well as that of his wife and
children, and that could no longer be arbitrarily fixed or refused by
his owner; or by contracting his labour he could obtain an advance for
this purpose. By degrees many availed themselves of this advantage,
though others preferred to remain in a state of dependency. They were
well provided for, there was no necessity to work too hard, and proper
treatment was secured to them. Thus it came to pass that many owners
lost their diligent slaves, and were left with the lazy and useless
ones, who became an expensive nuisance. Their wives and children,
however, remained slaves, as did those of men too infirm to work, but of
these, too, boys freed themselves as they grew up, and girls by
contracting marriages with freemen, and these could free their parents.
But the Rajah was desirous of abolishing an institution that, though it
was becoming one in name only, still remained a blot upon the country,
and in this he had the support of the Malay chiefs, which many showed in
a practical manner by publicly and unconditionally manumitting all their
slaves. Having before prepared the minds of the people for the great
social change he wished to effect by bringing before the members of the
General Council a proposal to abolish slavery, in 1883 he brought
forward a bill for the gradual manumission of the slaves during the next
five years, and for the abolition of slavery at the end of that period.
But it became unnecessary to proceed to an enactment, for in 1886
domestic slavery had practically become a thing of the past, and at a
meeting of the Council in that year the Rajah withdrew the bill.

As to the relations with Bruni, we shall deal with them in a special
chapter. These relations, and those with the Netherlands Government,
comprise the whole of Sarawak foreign policy, and the latter have of
late years been conducted in a friendly spirit of co-operation in the
mutual interests of the two countries, without undue and restrictive
formality and red-tapeism—a marked contrast to the relations with
Singapore, which has ever been jealous of Sarawak.

The relations with the Dutch had not, however, always been friendly, for
on two occasions they had seized Sarawak trading prahus on the idle
pretext of these being pirates. The second time was as late as 1865, and
then two Sarawak and a Bruni prahu were seized in company by a Dutch
gunboat and towed into Sinkawang, where their crew were placed in prison
in irons, and the vessels and cargoes confiscated. This drew a strong
protest from the Sarawak Government, and after some detention vessels
and crews were released, but without considerable portions of their
cargoes. Heavy damages were claimed, but never paid, though the seizure
was admitted to be wrongful.

This was a poor return for the relief Sarawak had afforded the Dutch
coast, both from the ravages of the Dayaks of Saribas and Sekrang, and
the pirates from the north. Before the action off Bintulu in 1862, the
Dutch had been unable effectually to protect their own coasts, the many
captives from Dutch Borneo then rescued being a sufficient proof of
this, but after that action the pirates did not venture to pass Sarawak
again, and the north-western and western coasts were freed from their
visits. The action of the Dutch in seizing these prahus was the severest
blow Sarawak trade had suffered for many years; the fast-sailing prahus
might out-sail the pirates, or the well-armed ones beat them off, but
from men-of-war steamers there was no escape.

The Rajah has from his accession kept a strict supervision over all,
even the smallest details of revenue and expenditure; all accounts of
the Treasury and out-stations are submitted to him monthly, and no extra
expenses beyond those provided for by his orders may be incurred by any
department or in any out-station without his express sanction. His
guiding principle has always been the strictest economy within
limitations necessary to ensure efficiency. Upon his accession the
public debt amounted to about £15,000, a considerable sum, with a
revenue of only little over $100,000; this was exclusive of what had
been sunk by the late Rajah—the whole of his fortune, which Sir Spenser
St. John is wrong in saying stands to the credit of the Brooke family in
the Treasury. In 1870 the revenue was $122,842, in 1907, $1,441,195,
with a large surplus, and no public debt.

Besides the supervision of the Treasury, the Military, Naval, and Public
Works departments are under the direct control of the Rajah, his daily
routine in Kuching includes visits to the barracks, to the steamers and
engineer's workshop, and to the jail, all which would be the work of the
early mornings and evenings. The Rajah also presides in the Supreme and
in the Police Courts, hearing and settling all cases and receiving
petitions, and listening to complaints after the cases are disposed of;
seeing all, whoever they are, and whatever their occasion. After Court
he visits the offices of the various heads of departments, and attends
to any business they may have to bring before him. This is also done
when he visits out-stations, and in the absence of the Rajah the same
rule is observed by the Rajah Muda.

But little had been done by the first Rajah towards promoting the
commercial and industrial development of the State. He had, indeed,
induced the Baroness Burdett Coutts to start an experimental farm with
paddy-working mills at Lundu, and an experimental garden near Kuching,
to teach the natives a better system of farming, with the use of the
plough, and to introduce new products. But she had been unfortunate in
the selection of managers; the experiments proved failures, and were
abandoned in 1872.

Agriculture, the mainstay of all tropical countries, chiefly occupied
the present Rajah's mind, but to quote from a speech made by him a few
years after his accession:—

  I do not flatter myself when I say that I have tried my best to
  advance agriculture, but I have most signally failed, and am, in
  consequence, much disappointed. Nevertheless, I still entertain
  hopes that the time for its development is not far distant, and I am
  prepared to take any pains, to receive any amount of advice, and to
  undergo any trouble if only I can see my way to successfully spread
  gardens and plantations in the place of our vast jungles.

Many schemes to promote this industry had been attempted, and had
failed; but the Rajah never lost sight of his purpose, and how he was
ultimately rewarded with success a reference to the chapter dealing with
agriculture will show.

We shall now notice the disturbances that occurred in the period

In July, 1868, the Rajah led an expedition against the Delok Dayaks
living in the Upper Batang Lupar for causing trouble over the borders,
and another in May, 1870, against the Beloh Dayaks in the Katibas for
the same reason. The Katibas, who had hitherto been supporters of the
Government, had been led astray by the chief Balang[300] in 1866, who
then laid a well-planned trap to get the Resident, Mr. J. B.
Cruickshank, into his hands to murder him. He was captured by the Rajah,
and taken to Sibu, where he was executed.

Both these expeditions were successful, but no particulars of either are
to hand. These expeditions, however, did not result in a final
settlement of these disturbed remote districts. The Dayaks submitted,
only to break out again, and the lesson had to be repeated several
times. It will not be necessary or expedient to give an account of each
of these. There is a tragic monotony about them—so many villages burnt,
so many casualties to the punitive force, so many of the turbulent
natives killed, and then a hollow peace patched up between the tribes
concerned, with the usual ceremonies of killing of pigs.

The Sea-Dayaks still required to be watched and controlled, and "it
would be strange if the Government had not met with difficulties in
keeping in subjection 160,000[301] wild Dayaks, all possessing energetic
souls for warfare." The Saribas, the most troublesome and toughest in
holding out, eventually settled down into the most peaceful and
law-abiding of the tribes, and became great traders, and thoroughly
loyal. This was the case as far back as 1865, and in that year the
present Rajah was able to write: "What an altered country is Saribas to
what it was a few years ago. People are so quiet and peaceably disposed
there now, that never a word of head-hunting is breathed." And the same
may be said of the Sekrangs, who, with the exception of one lapse,
caused by the falsehood and treachery of a once trusted chief, have
remained true and faithful to the Government that had brought them into
subjection. And in regard to all the Sea-Dayak tribes, then as now, it
should be borne in mind that their uprisings, though bringing them into
conflict with it, are never directed against the Government, with the
above exception only, which is related in Chapter XIV. Like the
Highlanders of yore, we may class the various tribes of the Dayaks
having a community of language and customs as clans spasmodically at
feud with one another; and their feuds are confined to the far interior
of the State.

On the evening of November 28, 1868, the Resident at Muka, Captain W. H.
Rodway,[302] and Mr. E. Sinclair[303] went for a walk to the mouth of
the river, distant some two miles, leaving the fort in charge of the
Sepoy Sergeant of the guard. That morning a Malay named Ganti, an
ex-fort-man, had been sentenced to five years' imprisonment for a
serious crime. He at once formed a plan with the other prisoners to rush
the fort and effect their escape; and the culpable carelessness of the
Sepoy guard soon gave them their opportunity. At 5 P.M. the prisoners
were brought back from their work, and noticing that the whole of the
guard, with the exception of the sentry, were outside the fort variously
employed in the cookhouse, at the bathing place, etc., they walked in
and closed the doors, whilst Ganti, who on a plea of sickness had been
allowed by the Sergeant to leave his cell in the basement and sit on the
floor above under the charge of the sentry, with a handspike killed the
sentry. A Mr. Bain, a former employe of the Borneo Company, who was then
a trader at Oya, and was at the time ill in the fort, was murdered in
his bed by a Chinaman, whom he had imprisoned for debt.

The Resident hurried back to find that the fort with guns and ammunition
were in the hands of the prisoners, who were firing at the natives, and
whose position was impregnable. Nothing could be done but to send for
help from Bintulu. The prisoners amused themselves with firing at the
surrounding houses, but their aim was so badly directed that they did no
harm to life, and but little to property. At last, being aware that they
could not hold out against the force that they knew would be summoned to
reduce them, they broke into the Treasury safe, and collecting all the
property they could take with them, decamped in the night. The people,
who throughout had behaved loyally, promptly went in pursuit, overtook
the fugitives, killed every one of them, although some were Muka men,
and recovered all the cash, arms, and property that had been carried

Mention has been made of the Sepoys. It may be here said how that some
of these men came into the Rajah's service. Many of the Sepoys, who had
been mixed up with the rebellion in India, and were sentenced to death,
had their sentence commuted to penal servitude in the Andamans for life.
The Indian Government proposed to the late Rajah to take charge of some
of these in Sarawak, and to this he consented, and fifty arrived from
Port Blair in March, 1866. There were some soldiers, quite boys, and raw
recruits, some of various other trades, and one or two were of superior
rank. On reaching Sarawak, they all elected to join the military force,
and were distributed among the out-stations. With very few exceptions,
they proved themselves to be a steady and reliable set of men. They were
treated as free men, the only stipulation imposed upon them was that
they were not to leave the country. A few were pardoned and returned to
India, the rest died as pensioners of the Sarawak Government.[304]

On May 13, 1870, an attack was made on Sibu fort[305] by a force of some
3000 Kanowit Dayaks under the noted chief, Lintong or Mua-ari. Sibu
fort, which is situated on an island, was then in the charge of Mr. H.
Skelton,[306] with Mr. H. Brooke Low as his assistant, and was manned by
a force of about thirteen Sepoys. Mr. Skelton had been frequently warned
of the impending attack, but gave no credit to these warnings, and would
allow no extra arms to be loaded. That very evening, during dinner-time,
a noted Dayak chief, Unggat, had come in to inform Mr. Skelton that the
place was to be attacked. Mr. Skelton was angry at being interrupted
during his meal, and vowed, that if no assault was made, the man should
be imprisoned. When the place eventually was attacked, the chief paced
up and down in the fort and would take no part in the defence.

It was the custom of the Sepoys to go out by the back-door before
daybreak to perform their ceremonial ablutions, and of this the Dayaks
were aware, and lay in wait about the exit to surprise them. But the
Sepoys were on their guard, and the door was not opened. The Dayaks then
attacked the fort in force, endeavouring to cut their way in with axes,
but they were beaten off. Amongst the killed was Lintong's eldest son, a
boy who had been the inseparable companion of Mr. J. B. Cruickshank, the
Resident of the Rejang, who was then at home on leave.

The Sepoys behaved well, and had to be restrained from going out to
fight the Dayaks in the open. Had the fort been taken, the Chinese
quarters and the Malay villages would have fallen an easy prey to the
Dayaks, and a general massacre would have ensued, as the attack was
timed to take place when all the able-bodied Malays were away on their
farms. This is the sole occasion on which an out-station fort has been
attacked in force, and it revealed to the naked savages the fact that
with their primitive weapons it was futile making such an attempt,
except by surprise. But indeed, on this occasion, a surprise was



  (The Forts at Bintulu, Muka, and Kapit, are similar.)]

Lintong, the troublesome son of a troublesome father, had been a
constant head-hunter, and, before the establishment of the station at
Sibu, a scourge to the Melanaus living in the delta of the Rejang. He
had before attempted to surprise Kanowit fort, and it was from his spear
that Mr. Steele had had a narrow escape. He had, however, fought on the
side of the Government in former days; and, subsequent to the attack on
Sibu, after having been deprived of his liberty for some time, he again
became a supporter of the Government, and eventually a Pengulu. He died
of snake bite in September, 1887.

The Rajah left for England in 1869, and went to reside at Burrator. In
the same year he married Margaret Lili Alice de Windt, his cousin,
daughter of Clayton de Windt, of Blunsdon Hall, Highworth, Wilts, and
Dinnington, Northumberland, and sister to Mr. Harry de Windt, the famous
explorer, who served in Sarawak as A.D.C. to the Rajah in 1872-1873.


  H.H.S. "ZAHORA."]


Footnote 295:

  _Rajah Brooke._

Footnote 296:

  This was the first meeting of the Council.

Footnote 297:

  Literally, an elder.

Footnote 298:

  The poor creatures being solemnly admonished to attend well upon their
  masters in the next world.

Footnote 299:

  They held the power of life and death over their slaves.

Footnote 300:

  See chapter x. p. 287.

Footnote 301:

  This number includes the Kayan, Kenyah, and other inland warlike

Footnote 302:

  Afterwards Major Commandant S. R., joined the service 1862, retired

Footnote 303:

  Joined 1868; resigned 1873. He was at this time Assistant Resident of
  Bintulu, and was at Muka on a visit.

Footnote 304:

  The last in 1902.

Footnote 305:

  Built in 1863, when it became the Government headquarters in the
  Rejang. Sibu is the most important provincial town, and has a revenue
  larger than that of Labuan.

Footnote 306:

  Henry Skelton, joined 1866, died in 1873, immediately after being
  appointed Resident of Sarawak.



                              CHAPTER XIII



A good deal has already been said about that blot on the map of Borneo,
Bruni, and of its Rulers, and in this chapter shall be given the history
of the relations between the Sultans and the present Rajah since his
accession, as well as of the policy of the Foreign and Colonial Offices
in regard to that "wretched phantom the Bruni Government."[307]

Many chapters might well be devoted to the past and present history of
Daru'l Salam, the Haven of Peace, the sublime Arabic title by which,
with a characteristic disregard of the fitness of things, the Brunis
proudly dignify their unhappy city, as they do their Sultan with the
title of Kaadil-an, the Just. But like morning dreams, these go by
contraries. The story they would set forth would be a sad one, as may
well be judged from what has already been related and from what will be
told in this chapter, though a great deal more might be said. It would
be interesting, too, as another example of British indifference to
Eastern affairs. From the commencement, when nearly seventy years ago
the attention of the empire was so strongly drawn to this nest of
murderers and robbers, this haven of criminals, by the late Rajah, till
the end, when in 1905 the British Government elected to adopt the
bankrupt and depopulated remnant of the Sultanate, its policy in regard
to that State has been remarkable for neither consistency nor

During the last twenty years of his reign (1852-1885) the old Sultan,
Abdul Mumin, who has been described as having the soul of a huckster,
and who died at the age of over a hundred, devoted his life solely to
the pursuit of wealth, and the unscrupulous means he employed to enrich
himself produced great oppression and misery. Affairs of State were a
secondary matter with him, and the ministers and pangirans went their
ways unrestrained. Some of these pangirans, who are related to royalty,
a few closely, others more or less remotely, exercise "Tulin" or
hereditary feudal rights over districts, the ministers holding,
ex-officio, similar rights over other districts; the unhappy people
therein were completely in their power, and could be squeezed at their
own sweet will. Others, not possessing such rights but armed with
authority from the Sultan, easily obtained at a price, enriched
themselves by forced trading.

The poorer classes of the Bruni Malays are hard-working and law-abiding;
but when no man's property is safe from the rapacious grasp of the
chiefs, thrift and hard work cease to have an object, and the country
becomes dead to industry and enterprise. The inhabitants of the
interior, and the Kadayans, an industrious, agricultural people,
suffered under the same disadvantages. Like the Chinese, these people
once cultivated pepper, but for the same cause gave up doing so, which
is not surprising when even their harvests of rice were not spared to

The late Mr. C. A. C. de Crespigny,[308] who had a considerable
experience of Bruni and the country around it, writing upon the
condition of the place in the seventies, says:

"A Pangiran of high rank, but of small means, went from Bruni to Kalias,
and with his own hands murdered a Chinaman, his retainers keeping their
hands in by the slaughter of one or more of the man's relations and
dependants. The murderer then gutted the shop and returned to Bruni. It
was stated that the Pangiran belonged to a Chinese secret society, as
young Bruni in general is said to do, and that the head of the society,
having a trade grudge against the poor fellow at Kalias actually paid
the Pangiran $800 for the deed. Whether this was true or not would be an
interesting subject for investigation; but that the man was murdered by
the Pangiran's own hand, and his goods and chattels carried away to
Bruni, is undoubtedly the case; and further that the Pangiran was not
punished except by verbal reproof. Herein is anarchy.

"On another occasion at Kalias mouth, twenty-eight Chinese were killed
by a band of marauders from up the river and neighbouring streams. A
fine was imposed upon the river, but no murderers were caught. Herein
was want of power.

"On another and later occasion, a Chinaman, also living at Kalias, was
murdered by a band of ruffians from Padas Damit and other streams,
together with his wife, child, and only servant. On this occasion two of
the murderers were caught, taken to Bruni, and as they were men of no
consequence, summarily executed. Herein is inconsistency.

"Men are enslaved without proper cause, and slaves are torn from their
families and pass to other owners and other countries, against their

The Bruni of the old days, the Bruni of yesterday, and the Bruni of
to-day, are all one.

Although by treaty and by decree the trade of the coast of Bruni
territory was thrown open to all, the Bruni pangirans used their utmost
endeavours to retain it, and traders from Sarawak and Labuan were
incessantly obstructed and interfered with. Competition, coupled with
free trade, was not to the taste of these pangirans, and as the old
Sultan was himself too much mixed up in trading transactions to exert
himself to see that foreign traders received due protection, the
pangirans were left a free hand to deal with them, and their high-handed
proceedings were winked at by Sultan Mumin, if not actually encouraged.
A Sarawak Nakoda, who had been trading with Bruni for some time, was
suddenly attacked when leaving, and fired into by seven boats which had
been lying in wait for him. He managed to escape himself, but lost his
property to the value of $700. His boat was destroyed, and the Sarawak
flag torn to pieces. Orders were sent down the coast closing some of the
ports to Sarawak traders, and imposing prohibitive duties in others. One
order recommended the people to go out of the country and "live under
the white man in Sarawak till they rotted" if they would not pay the
exorbitant taxes demanded of them. Sarawak people, collecting produce in
the jungle, or even when fishing along the coast, had their goods and
boats seized.

In reply to the Rajah's despatches complaining of these outrages, the
Sultan expressed friendship for Sarawak and a desire to foster trade,
and in one or two cases actually made reparation; but he excused himself
in general by his helplessness to enforce his will on the turbulent and
headstrong nobles. And, in fact, the difficulties did not lie in lack of
a clear understanding and of formal agreements, perhaps not in a languid
desire on the part of the Sultan to stand on good terms with the Rajah,
but in the arbitrary conduct of the leading pangirans holding authority
along the coast. Respect for treaties and for fair dealing formed no
part of the mental equipment of these feudal tyrants, and the central
power at Bruni was either too weak, or too timid, or too deeply involved
to interfere with them.

In January, 1870, the Rajah wrote to Lord Clarendon:

"In regard to matters relating to the interests and welfare of the coast
of Borneo to the northward and eastward of the territory under my
control, I am led to understand that her Majesty's Government has no
desire to direct attention to this part, with a view to bringing about a
better system to further the ends of peace and trade, and to relieve the
honester and lower classes from the gross and degraded position to which
they are now reduced by the oppressive measures of the Bruni Government.
H.H. the Sultan permits anarchy and bloodshed throughout his dominions,
and there is no exaggeration in saying that this is carried on within
sight of the British flag at Labuan."

The authorities at Labuan, which was a fully constituted Crown Colony,
the Governor being also Consul-General for Borneo, were either purposely
blind to what was going on at Bruni, which was but a few miles off, or
were too much hampered in their actions by instructions from home to
effect any reforms in the State. But, to quote from the letter of a
Naval Officer of high rank, "Mr. J. Pope Hennessy" (afterwards Sir John
Pope Hennessy, who was Governor of Labuan from 1867-1871), "had an
object in upholding the Sultan and encouraging him in the oppression of
his subjects, as that caused many to take refuge in Labuan." A little
judicious advice, backed by the immense power which the Sultan and his
nobles knew the Governor had behind him, would have effected much
towards the amelioration of the lot of the natives, but nothing whatever
was done. The Bruni Malays must "stew in their own juice," it was no
concern of her Majesty's Government that Sarawak trade should be
interfered with, for what was Sarawak to Britain? It was no concern of
her Majesty's Government that the Sultan and his pangirans were breaking
the heart of the people, killing the incentive to industry. It looked on
with a cold eye, and with a callous heart.

As a colony Labuan was a failure. Only a few natives and Chinese had
settled there, and there was little trade. Instead of being the medium
through which reforms on the coast might be effected, Labuan for long
stood in the way, by checking the spread of the influence of Sarawak
along the coast. The Foreign Office was guided by the advice of their
Consul-General, and was rarely other than ill-advised, though the late
Sir Henry Keppel "had pleaded the cause of civilisation that the Rajah
of Sarawak should be encouraged and not thwarted in his attempt to
advance." And he expressed "a hope that he might live to see the Sarawak
territory extended to Bruni itself." Mr. J. Pope Hennessy in his address
to the Legislative Council of Labuan in June, 1871, said: "The policy
promulgated thirty years ago by some enterprising and benevolent
Englishmen that the Dayaks could be civilised, and that Europeans could
conduct the details of trade and administration in the rivers of Borneo
has proved to be visionary."

It is easy to imagine what would be the nature of advice tendered to the
Foreign Office upon Bornean affairs by such a man. At the time when he
made this statement Sarawak was in absolute tranquillity, and the trade
of 1870 had nearly doubled that of the preceding year.

And, with exceptions, the Governors of Labuan were always more or less
hostile to Sarawak, because jealous of it. Labuan was stagnant and
Sarawak steadily advancing in vigorous life.

In April, 1872, the Rajah, accompanied by a staff of English and Malay
officers, visited Bruni in the Government steamers _Heartsease_ and
_Royalist_. It was perhaps not unnatural that this visit was at first
regarded with suspicion as being in the form of a demonstration against
Bruni, to back unheeded protests against the maltreatment of Sarawak
subjects, and the nonfulfilment of treaty engagements. But this
impression was soon dispelled, and the Rajah was received by the Sultan,
"a fat, kindly-faced old man of some eighty years of age," with
cordiality and honour. The Rajah's main object in visiting Bruni was to
obtain an effective guarantee that his subjects trading in Bruni
territory should not be molested and unwarrantably interfered with. A
treaty conceding all that the Rajah asked for was accordingly drawn up
and ratified by the Sultan, and was satisfactory enough on paper. The
Sultan solemnly undertook the redressing of injuries, guaranteed
protection to traders, and the imposition of fair and moderate customs
duties only.

But this treaty, owing to the Sultan being powerless to enforce its
provisions outside the capital, soon became worse than useless; for,
relying on it being observed, Sarawak traders again ventured into the
Bruni ports, only to meet with the same treatment as before. The
extortion of outrageous customs dues went on as formerly. The Bruni
nobles, "the most useless race that ever encumbered the earth,"[309] set
themselves deliberately to frustrate every object aimed at in the
treaty, and, so that they might keep the trade with its enormous profits
to themselves, they plundered, and even killed those who ventured to
compete with them. But their day was not to last for ever. The Kayans,
driven to exasperation by the heavy fines and other extortions imposed
upon them, eventually rose against these tyrants, and drove them out.



Next to the Rejang, the Baram is the largest river that flows into the
sea on that coast. In its basin are congregated large populations of
Kayans and Kenyahs.

In 1872, the Rajah, accompanied by the Ranee, visited this river to
ascertain for himself how far it would be safe for Sarawak subjects to
trade there. He steamed a long way up the river, and was everywhere well
received by the natives, who had been much depressed by extortion and
were eager to be relieved from the thraldom in which they were held by
Bruni. There had been no encouragement given to them to work the jungle
produce in which their country was rich, except to purchase necessaries,
and these could be obtained through their Bruni masters alone, and that
at exorbitant prices. There was in consequence little trade at the time.
But what this river is capable of producing may be shown by its trade
returns at present. The exports, entirely of jungle produce, after the
district had been for twenty years under Sarawak, amounted in 1906 to

Although the Sultan had no real authority over the Kayans and Kenyahs
there still existed among them a certain regard for him, and of this the
Bruni Government took advantage. These races had never been subdued by
the Sultans by force of arms. They never had voluntarily tendered
submission. The restraint exercised over them was due mainly to the fact
that the Brunis held the mouths of the rivers and consequently
controlled the trade, and that trade was one in the very necessaries of
existence. It was inevitable that the rulers of Bruni should resent, and
resist to the utmost, the opening of the rivers to Sarawak traders,
which would involve, as they well saw, the drying up of the source of
their wealth.

The natives on the Baram had an exaggerated opinion of the power of
Bruni, but this illusion was dispelled after a feeble attack made on the
Kayans in September, 1870, which resulted in ignominious failure. Still,
they were prepared to submit to such demands which, though extortionate,
custom had taught them to regard as the Sultan's due, and they could not
do without the imports, which they were precluded from obtaining
elsewhere and from others, than Bruni and the hands of pangirans. But
the rapacity of the pangirans became at last intolerable; and we will
here give two instances illustrative of the methods adopted by them,
which were connived at by the Sultan.

In 1873, a mixed party of Dayaks, Tanjongs, and Bukitans from the Rejang
river, working produce in the Baram, were attacked by the Kayans. Six
were killed and one escaped. The survivor stated that the party had been
treacherously attacked; but on the other hand the Kayans asserted that
the behaviour of the strangers had been so suspicious that they had
satisfied themselves that they were a head-hunting party. The Rajah
complained and demanded redress. The Sultan sent an agent in his small
steamer to impose a fine, which in itself was excessive. The agent
proceeded to the house of the chief of the lower Baram Kayans, although
these people had nothing to do with the killing of the subjects of the
Rajah, but it was as far up as he dared to venture, and levied the fine
upon them, demanding double the amount he had been instructed to impose,
the difference, of course, to go into his own pocket. The Rajah had
fixed the fine, but the Sultan had put on his price as well, so that he
might have his pickings out of the affair, and now his agent doubled
that sum. It was in vain for the chief to protest that neither he nor
his people had been concerned in the murders. The Sultan's agent
threatened the chief that if he did not pay, the Rajah would send
several men-of-war, that others would be despatched from Labuan, and
more from Bruni, and that all their country would be laid waste and
their villages burned. After a stormy interview, the chief succeeded in
beating the agent down to a fine amounting to $8000, just thirty times
more than the amount demanded by the Rajah as compensation to the
relatives of those killed. And this fine the chief was constrained to

Upon the death of the Sultana, a commissioner was sent to Baram by the
Sultan to demand the customary aid towards the obsequies. A meeting of
all the chiefs was summoned by the commissioner, a haji, and, as it
happened, the late Mr. H. Brooke Low, who was then travelling in the
Baram, was present. The Sultan's mandate, requiring so much from each
man, was read and left with the chiefs, the haji not for a moment
suspecting that any one present could read it. Mr. Low, however, was
able to do so, and when it was shown to him he was shocked, though not
surprised, to discover that the haji had read into the mandate a
requirement for amounts more than double that demanded.

But the rebellion of the Kayans and the expulsion of the Brunis from
Baram ensued in the middle of 1874; the river was freed of its
oppressors, and the victorious Kayans menaced every settlement along the
coast from the Baram to Bintulu. The villages were deserted and the
Sultan was in despair, unable to reduce the Kayans, unable even to
protect the Malays. Not only could he draw no revenue thence, but he
dare not even ask for it. This prepared the way for the transfer of the
whole stretch of coast to Sarawak. So far as the Sultan was concerned he
was glad to commute the sovereignty of a district, from which little
before the revolt, and nothing after, could be squeezed by himself out
of the inhabitants, for a certain sum guaranteed to be paid to himself

To escape Bruni oppression, people were constantly migrating to Sarawak,
principally from the Semalajau, Niah, and Miri rivers, and in 1876 over
2000 came in. These poor people had to effect their escape by stealth,
and consequently had to abandon all their property. Shortly after this
upwards of 500 families of Kenyahs moved over into the Bintulu.

In accordance with the treaty with Great Britain of 1847 the Sultan was
debarred from ceding any territory to any foreign power without the
sanction of her Majesty's Government. This gave the British Government
the right, or rather the power, to prevent Sarawak acquiring the Baram,
and this it was prepared to do. As usual it proved obstructive, and
refused to sanction the transfer; it went so far as to express its
unwillingness to allow any territorial change to be made on the coast of
Bruni. This was insisted on again in 1876, though the Rajah wrote to the
Secretary for Foreign Affairs (March 20) "I may candidly state that a
most pernicious system of robbery and oppression is pursued by the
hirelings of the Bruni Government. It surely can scarcely be conceived
by her Majesty's Government that upholding the authority of the Bruni
Government is tantamount to supporting the cause of oppression and

Her Majesty's Government had refused to interfere in any way with that
of Bruni for the amelioration of the condition of the people, and the
maintenance of open ports and free trade; had stood aloof as not
disposed to interfere in the internal affairs of the Sultanate, and yet
now, most inconsistently, it stepped in to forbid the cession to Sarawak
of a portion of that miserably misgoverned and depopulated State.

The fact seems to have been that the Foreign Office had been
persistently misinformed as to the position and prospects of Sarawak,
and as to the conduct of the Rajah towards the Sultan. The latter had
agreed to the cession of Baram to Sarawak; he desired it for monetary
reasons, the only reasons that appealed to or swayed him. But when Sir
Edward Hertslet informed Mr. H. T. Ussher, C.M.G., who was Governor of
Labuan from 1875 to 1879, and who appreciated the motives which guided
the Rajah, that he "in common with others at the Foreign Office had
fancied that the acquisition of the Baram by Sarawak would lead to the
loss of its sago trade with Labuan," the cat was out of the bag.
Incidently we may remark that Baram exported no sago, and that there
could then have been little or no trade between that river and Labuan,
for during the first six months of Sarawak rule the exports amounted in
value to $9000 only. It was a dog-in-the-manger policy, what Labuan
could not have, that it was resolved Sarawak should not have, and the
interests of the people were left out of the question. It is possible
enough that this was inspired by jealousy. No man likes to see his own
field sterile and that of his neighbour producing luxurious crops.
Conceive the feelings of a small mercer in the same street as a Whiteley
or Harrod, who finds his own business dwindling, and is oppressed by the
extension and success of the great firm a few doors off. Such may have
been the feeling of a Governor of Labuan.

The Rajah visited England in 1874, and on July 16 handed in a memorandum
to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, pointing out that the
appropriation by foreign powers of north-west and north-east Borneo and
the Sulu Archipelago[310] should be guarded against, and recommended to
ensure this, and for the benefit of trade and of the native communities,
that Great Britain should assume the sovereign power over those
territories that remained to the Sultanate of Bruni, that the Sultan and
his heirs should be pensioned, as well as the five principal Bruni
Rajahs; and that a town should be built at the mouth of the Bruni river,
which should become the headquarters of her Majesty's Representative, in
place of Labuan. All that the Rajah asked for Sarawak was that Baram
should be incorporated with that State, owing to the fact that the
inland population of that river and that of the Rejang were greatly
intermixed, and should therefore be under one head and government.

A policy somewhat similar to that above indicated was, a year after,
inaugurated with great success in the Malay Peninsula, and it would
doubtless have met with equal success in Borneo had it found favour with
her Majesty's Ministers then, though thirty years afterwards they saw
reason to adopt it, but only after Bruni had become a bankrupt State,
stripped of most of its territories, and with its small remaining
revenue pawned. At the time when the Rajah made his proposal, the whole
of what is now the British North Borneo Company's territory, together
with Lawas, Trusan, Limbang, and Bruni, might have been acquired, and
the Sultan would then have become as powerless to do harm as one of the
native princes of the Federated Malay States, thus relieving the people
of the intolerable oppression of a government which had reduced the
population to a small remnant of what it had been formerly.

The policy adopted in regard to the native States of the Malay Peninsula
in 1875, referred to above, is generally known as that of Sir Andrew
Clarke, who was Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1873 to 1875.
It was the policy, however, that the late Rajah, many years before, had
advocated as one which should be introduced into all native States, and
he then wrote: "The experiment of developing a country through the
residence of a few Europeans and by the assistance of its own native
rulers has never been fully tried, and it appears to me, in some
respects more desirable than the actual possession of a foreign nation;
for if successful, the native prince finds greater advantages, and if a
failure, the European government is not committed. Above all it insures
the independence of the native princes, and may advance the inhabitants
further in the scale of civilisation by means of this very independence,
than can be done when the government is a foreign one, and their freedom

Compare this with the remark made by Sir Andrew Clarke in his speech
before the Legislative Council of Singapore on the government of the
native States: "We should continue a policy not of aggression upon our
neighbours, but of exercising our own influence, and by giving them
officers to help them."

Had the late Rajah's policy been adopted, Sumatra, or that part of it
which had not been relinquished to the Dutch in 1824, might now contain
many States as flourishing as those of the Malay Peninsula. On March 3,
1844, the Rajah wrote: "I was glad of the opportunity I had of seeing
the political state of Achin, as it fully confirmed my views, which I
made known to Sir ——, of the steps necessary to protect and enlarge our
commerce. Achin, like Borneo, is now in such a state of distraction that
no protection can be found for life or property. To protect our trade we
must _make a monarch_, and uphold him; and he would be a British servant
_de facto_. We could always raise the better and depress the worse, in
other words support those who will benefit ourselves."

A policy that both the Rajahs had advocated should be adopted towards

For many years, as we have seen, Sarawak had to contend with the
opposing influence of Governors of Labuan adverse to her advancement,
but in 1875 Mr. Ussher was appointed Governor, and he was not prepared
to take for granted all the stories of Sarawak aggression and
intimidation which were poured into his ears. He sought for independent
testimony, inquired into matters himself, and was not disposed to gloss
over the misdeeds of the Sultan and his pangirans, and to suppress all
mention of these in his despatches home.

Towards the end of his term of office Mr. Ussher wrote to the Rajah, "I
have had an important interview to-day with Mr. Meade at the Colonial
Office. The object in view was to ascertain the advisability of
permitting you to acquire Baram. I ascertained that the objections
against this step were reduced, firstly, to an idea that undue pressure
was put upon the Sultan; secondly, that resident (!) traders, British,
in that river would be damaged thereby.

"I also ascertained that the Colonial Secretary here was not at all
disposed to carry out the views obstructive of Sarawak advance, which
have animated his predecessors; but that, on the contrary, he was
disposed to allow you and the Sultan to arrive at your own terms, so
long as the Sultan was a perfectly free agent in the matter.

"In the course of a rather lengthy, and, I trust, not ineffective
address on my part, I successfully combated these trivial and groundless
objections, and exposed the fallacy of Sir Henry Bulwer's[311] and Mr.
Pope Hennessy's views with regard to your dealings with the Sultan. I
pointed out also the gross injustice and oppression of the Bruni rule in
these territories, and expressed my firm conviction of the general
desire on the part of the industrious and agricultural classes to pass
under your settled and civilised rule. I demonstrated that there were
_no_ resident British traders, either in Baram or elsewhere in these
parts, whose interests could be imperilled. Further, that so long as you
impose no restrictive export duties on native produce from the river,
there was nothing whatever to prevent the sago, etc., coming to Labuan
or anywhere else.

"I admitted that I had at first been disposed to adopt the Sultan's view
with regard to your relations with him generally, but that careful
inquiry and matured experience had proved to me, not only the untruth of
the accusations of intimidation brought against you, but also the
advisability of permitting you to extend your rule by all legitimate
means, instead of supporting from quixotic and mistaken motives the
effete and immoral rule of Bruni. Mr. Meade finally suggested to me,
that the question might be settled by allowing you to make your own
terms with the Sultan, with the proviso, that any agreement or treaty
made between the two should be subject to the ratification of her
Majesty's Government, who would thus have it in their power to nullify
any injustice either to Bruni or British interests.

"From Sir M. Beach's views, and from Mr. Meade's proposal, I argue that
the matter lies now at last in your own hands, as Lord Salisbury is
likely to accept the Colonial Office views in these comparatively small
matters, on account of its necessarily more detailed and minute
experience of the interests of Borneo generally.

"On the whole I think we may congratulate ourselves on the prospect of a
satisfactory solution of this unpleasant affair. You may always, as you
know, depend upon me never to allow an opportunity to pass of helping
you and Sarawak generally. Apart from our personal friendship, I act on
the conviction that Sarawak is the future regenerator of Borneo."

This was in January, 1879, but Government officials move slowly, and in
a mysterious way, and it was not till late in 1882 that the Foreign
Office sanctioned the annexation of Baram by Sarawak. Thus, at length,
after negotiating a transfer with the Sultan in 1874, the obstruction of
the British Government was overcome, but it took eight years to do this.

A new spirit had come over the Governors of Labuan, and the somewhat
ignoble spite, bred partly of ignorance and partly of jealousy, which
had characterised their conduct with regard to Sarawak, and the Rajah in
particular, was exchanged at last for generous and honest recognition of
the excellence of his rule, and of the injustice of forcing the natives
against their will to remain under the cruel oppression of this Old Man
of the Sea astride on their shoulders.

The subsequent administrators of Labuan were favourable to Sarawak, but
in 1889 the Colony was handed over to the British North Borneo Company.
Their officials had no authority outside of Labuan and did not
correspond with the Foreign Office, and Consuls were appointed to Bruni.

In June, 1883, the Rajah visited Bruni, and was received by the aged
Sultan with special marks of distinction. The Sultan waited at the
entrance of the audience chamber, and taking the Rajah by the hand, led
him to the throne where he seated him by his side. Negotiations for the
cession of Baram and the rivers and districts lying between that river
and Bintulu were at once entered upon, and speedily concluded, and on
the 13th, the deed of cession was finally sealed and delivered.

The cession of this district gave great satisfaction to the inhabitants,
and most of those who had migrated to Sarawak returned by degrees. A
fort was erected at Claudetown[312] (Merudi) about sixty miles up the
Baram river, and here Chinese and Malay traders soon settled, and a
brisk trade rapidly sprang up. Minor stations were also established at
Miri and Niah. The turbulent Kayans and Kenyahs speedily became
pacified, and existing feuds were settled. Now, this district is one of
the most peaceful and prosperous in the State.[313] The entrance to the
river is, and has been, a great hindrance to trade, the bar being very
shallow and exposed, so that it is unsafe for sailing vessels and screw
steamers. The Government accordingly had a special steamer of 200 tons
built in England to carry the trade. She is practically flat-bottomed,
and is propelled by paddles. Another, larger, was added as the trade
increased. In January, 1884, the Rajah was notified by Earl Granville
that her Majesty's Government had no objection to the exercise of
jurisdiction over British subjects by the judicial authorities of the
Government of Sarawak in this newly-acquired territory.

Only one chief in Baram gave any trouble; and he was Aban Jau, chief of
the Tinjar Kayans. He persistently interfered, and thwarted the policy
of Government as much as he could without bringing himself into open
conflict with the authorities. He maintained a position of
semi-independence, and flew his own flag. But in May, 1884, he committed
an intolerable act, and had to be humbled. As the affair is illustrative
of the iniquities allowed at Bruni until quite recently, the particulars
may be given. To appease the manes of his daughter-in-law, Aban Jau sent
to Pangiran Nipa of Tutong, asking for a slave, so that he might
immolate the unhappy wretch. His messengers went to Bruni, where two
pangirans, Matusin and Tejudin, handed them a slave, an old and decrepit
man, whom they sent as a present to Aban Jau. The Resident at
Claudetown, hearing of this, had the party intercepted and arrested, but
too late to save the slave. He had been killed and his head taken, as he
was too old to walk, and the messengers did not care to trouble
themselves to carry him. Aban Jau was severely punished; he submitted,
and his power was broken. He was no better than an aged savage, and
there was some excuse for him, as he was complying with ancestral
customs; but there was none for the Muhammadan Bruni pangirans for
despatching a miserable old slave to a death by torture.

In June, 1884, by the Sultan's orders, a Dusun village was attacked—the
time for the attack being chosen when nearly all the able-bodied men
were absent, and over twenty women and children were killed. Oppression
became so rife that many refugees crossed the frontier into Sarawak
territory, abandoning in so doing their property and plantations. In
August of the same year, the people of Limbang broke out into open

The Limbang river waters a wide district that is fertile and populous.
The people possessed extensive sago plantations, and were comparatively
prosperous. On this account they were all the more oppressed by the
pangirans. There was no protection for person and property, and women
and girls were carried off to fill the harems of Bruni. This was the
people that suffered such cruel wrongs at the hands of the Pangiran
Makota, and it was in this river that he met his death in 1860.

The trouble began with two of the agents of the Pangiran Temanggong, the
then Regent and heir apparent, being killed whilst extorting taxes. The
pangiran thereupon went up in his steam-launch with a large following,
and proposed that the chiefs should meet him at a certain place and
discuss matters. The proposal was made in guile, his real purpose being
to seize the opportunity for slaughtering them. But these people had had
many years' experience of pangirans and their little ways, and met guile
with guile. The proposal was acceded to, but whilst the pangiran was on
his way to the appointed rendezvous he himself fell into an ambuscade.

Fire was opened on his party, and he was forced to beat a retreat, his
launch damaged, seventeen of his men killed, and more wounded. Bruni was
thrown into panic, and stockades were erected to resist an expected
invasion. The Limbang people followed up their advantage by raiding the
suburbs of the town, and a house was attacked within half a mile of the
Sultan's palace.

The Sultan, then in his dotage, was helpless, and appealed to the acting
Consul-General, Mr. Treacher (now Sir William Treacher, K.C.M.G.), to
help him out of his difficulties. Mr. Treacher knew that the Limbangs
had been driven to rebellion by the intolerable exactions to which they
had been subjected, and he declined to interfere, unless the Sultan and
his wazirs should concede a charter releasing the Limbangs from all
arbitrarily imposed taxes, and limiting taxation to a small poll tax,
and a 5 per cent _ad valorem_ duty on gutta percha, granting them at the
same time immunity for their property and sago-plantations, and engaging
that no more tax-collectors should be sent from Bruni to the river, and
that a general amnesty should be accorded.

This charter, embodying so many radical reforms, was granted with
ill-concealed reluctance, and without the slightest intent of

Armed with this document, Mr. Treacher proceeded to the Limbang. But
already the Sultan had sent word to the Muruts to fall on the Limbangs
and kill and pillage as they liked.

Whilst Mr. Treacher was negotiating with the chiefs, news arrived that
these savages had murdered four Kadayan women and two men, and they were
consequently ill-disposed to accept the charter. They knew by experience
that they could not rely upon the good faith of the Sultan and his
wazirs. However, Mr. Treacher was urgent, and hesitatingly they appended
their marks to the document; relying rather on the white man to see that
its provisions were carried out, than feeling that any confidence could
be placed in the word of the Sultan.

And in fact, no sooner was the agreement signed, than the Sultan sent
his emissaries into the Baram district to invite the Kayans to raid the
Limbang, but the Sarawak Government got wind of this, and at once took
prompt and effective measures to prevent the tribes on the Baram from
answering the appeal.

In December, 1884, Mr. Frank R. O. Maxwell,[314] who was administering
the Government in the absence of the Rajah, when at Bruni heard that
sixteen Sarawak Dayaks and four Malays had been killed while collecting
produce in the neighbouring river, Trusan. The Sultan in his impotence
to act, suggested to Mr. Maxwell his willingness to cede the Trusan
district to Sarawak. The feudal rights over this district were held by
the Pangiran Temanggong, and he too consented. Bruni and Sarawak, he
said, were the same country, and in transferring his rights to Sarawak
he would be incorporating himself in the Sarawak Government. Subject to
the approval of the Rajah, Mr. Maxwell accepted this offer of the



The Sultan, the Pangiran Temanggong, and other wazirs and pangirans were
then all in favour of the cession of the Limbang, as well as the Trusan,
to Sarawak. The Chinese and Malay traders and the lower classes strongly
advocated the transfer; and the Regent and the wazir next to him in rank
gave Mr. Maxwell a written promise with their seals attached that,
pending the return of the Rajah, Limbang should not be transferred to
any foreign government. On the return of the Rajah early in 1885, Trusan
was occupied, and a fort and station established some thirty miles from
the mouth, to which English and native officers were appointed. The
Muruts up the river were a quarrelsome people, and blood-feuds were
common, and gave some trouble at first. The people generally had become
miserably poor through a long course of oppression.

Trusan is a good example of what tact and discretion can do in dealing
with natives, and the Muruts were the most savage of those in that part.
In a very few years they became peaceful, well-to-do, and contented,
enjoying the fruits of their labours in security. Trusan has now a
fairly flourishing trade, and the rich plains through which the river
winds, and which in days gone by had been extensively cultivated with
rice, but which had been rendered desolate by extortion, now afford
large grazing grounds for herds of water-buffaloes, which are bred for
export, and also excellent land for the cultivation of the sago palm.

Barely a month had elapsed since the peace had been patched up with the
Limbang people by the acting Consul-General, before the people were
again in revolt, and many Bruni Malays, men and women, were killed,
large numbers of buffaloes were mutilated, and again the capital, Bruni,
was menaced. Nothing further was done by the British Government, and
nothing could be done, except to establish a firm government in the
disaffected region, and the Foreign Office was not prepared to do this.
As for the authorities in Bruni, they were incapable of doing anything.
Their only idea of keeping rebellious subjects under control was to
invoke the aid of wild interior tribes, and invite them to butcher and
plunder all who resisted their exactions, and this they could no longer

On May 30, 1885, the old Sultan Mumin departed this life, at the
venerable age of over one hundred years, and the Pangiran Temanggong
Hasim, reputed son of the late Sultan Omar Ali,[315] the predecessor of
Sultan Mumin, was elevated to the throne. Sultan Hasim, who was past
middle age when he succeeded, was a shrewd man, though hard and
vindictive. His antecedents had not been exemplary, but hopes were
entertained that, being a man of strength of mind and of advanced ideas,
an improvement would be effected in the administration of Bruni, which
would lead to the establishment of good order and bring the place and
State out of absolute decay into comparative prosperity, but these
hopes, strong man as he was, he was powerless to fulfil.

In order to appreciate much that occurred during the reign of Sultan
Hasim it is necessary to understand the conditions under which he became
Sultan, and the effect that these conditions had upon his power and

His predecessor, Mumin, had an only son, the Pangiran Muda Muhammad
Tejudin, a semi-imbecile, nicknamed Binjai, literally the son of
misfortune, signifying an idiot. Much as Sultan Mumin would have liked
to have proclaimed his son heir to the throne, it was quite impossible
for him to do so in opposition to the natural objections of the nobles,
upheld, as these were, by the laws of Bruni, which preclude the
accession of any prince afflicted with mental or bodily infirmity. The
succession would therefore fall upon either of the Sultan's nephews, the
Pangiran Bandahara, or the Pangiran di Gadong, and both claimed it.
These two powerful princes and wazirs, with their feudal and official
territorial rights, and the many nobles and chiefs who owed them
allegiance, represented the most powerful factions in the country, and
the accession of either to the throne would have plunged the country
into bloodshed. To avert this, the British Government persuaded Sultan
Mumin, but not without bringing considerable pressure to bear upon him,
to nominate the Pangiran Temanggong Hasim, the senior wazir, as his
successor, and to appoint him Regent, the old Sultan being too
feeble-minded to govern.

Hasim's elevation to the throne gave profound offence to the Pangirans
Bandahara and di Gadong, and to the majority of the people, who believed
the story of his mean birth, and that he had no just title to the rank
he held as a prince of blood royal. That his accession was not disputed
was due only to its implied support of the British Government, though
that support would probably have failed him had he been forced to fall
back upon it. The Bandahara and di Gadong, though they retained their
offices, for many years refused him their support, and would neither
attend his Council nor maintain any kind of relation with him,
notwithstanding the fact that they were his two principal Ministers of
State; and he was powerless to force them to do so, or to deprive them
of their offices.

Moreover, his predecessor had left him in sore straits for the means
necessary for the support of his government, and even of his household.
None of the late Sultan's property came to him, and the whole of the
crown-lands in Bruni territory had been illegally granted to others, and
these, though his rightful appurtenances, he had no power to recover.

Sultan Hasim thus came to the throne practically shorn of everything
that goes to the support of a crown. Abandoned by his ministers, and the
loyalty of his people denied him, deprived of his revenues, and with but
a few followers, there was nothing left him but the sovereign rights,
shadowy in nature since he had not the means fully to exert them. A
pathetic picture; but in spite of his faults it says much for his
personal ability and strength of character that he was able, not only to
maintain his position, but gradually to gain sufficient power to exert
his authority, and to make his will felt. It must not be overlooked that
many of his worst acts were the direct outcome of his necessitous
condition, and the constant intriguing against him by his own ministers.

Owing to lack of power to chastise the rebels, though not of will,
Limbang had been let alone by the Sultan, and for some time there were
no aggressive acts committed by either side, but in November, 1885, the
people of Limbang were again in open rebellion and had killed two more
Bruni subjects. The Sultan thereupon sent the Rajah two pressing
messages asking him to visit Bruni, and this the Rajah did. The Sultan
laid the state of affairs before him, and declared that he saw no hope
of peace unless the Rajah would consent to attack the Limbang, and
reduce the people to order for him. Limbang was sufficiently near to be
a menace to the capital. Twice it had been threatened by them, and the
suburbs raided. The third time might be more disastrous. The town might
fall into their hands.

The Rajah, however, declined to interfere. The Limbang people were at
peace with Sarawak, and numbers of his subjects were working produce in
that river, and met with friendliness there. To reduce these people to
submission, and then to hand them over to oppression, after having
deprived them of the power to protect themselves, was what the Rajah
would never consent to do. That something must be done, and done at
once, he felt, but the question of what should be done was for the
representative of her Majesty's Government to decide.

As we have before pointed out, in the Sultanate of Bruni, there are
various rights claimed. The Sultan has his rights, some districts revert
to the holders of certain offices, and others are under the hereditary
feudal rule of the pangirans. Limbang pertained to this last category.
The Sultan was sovereign, but his sovereign rights consisted in this
alone, namely, to send his agents into the country and squeeze it. The
feudal lords were the pangirans, and as they could not oppress the
exasperated and revolted people any more, they were ready to surrender
their rights to the Rajah, but could not do this without the Sultan's
confirmation and seal. What the Sultan wanted was that the Rajah should
crush the rebellion, so that he might work his vengeance on the Limbang
people, and turn the screw on them till nothing more could be extracted
from them. This the Rajah perfectly understood, and he declined to do
the dirty work for the Sultan. The refusal of assistance by the Rajah
produced a coolness on the part of the Sultan. He would not, however,
receive this refusal as final, and he repeated his request to the Rajah
in an altered form; he requested him to place the gunboat _Aline_ with a
strong force of Sarawak Dayaks, also a large sum of money, at his (the
Sultan's) disposal, for the purpose of enabling him to reduce the
Limbang people under his own officers, if the Rajah himself would not
head the expedition.

The Rajah's refusal aroused an angry feeling in the breast of Hasim, and
this was fanned to bitter hostility, when the Consul-General informed
him and the Limbang people simultaneously, in reply to a petition of the
latter that they might be placed under the rule of white men, that her
Majesty's Government was prepared to consent to the transfer of Limbang
to Sarawak. The Sultan's hostile attitude was not shared by his
ministers, or by the Bruni people generally, or even by the hereditary
owners or rulers of the Limbang. These latter, as has been shown, unable
to extract more taxes from the people, hoped to receive from the Sarawak
Government an annual stipulated income in lieu of precarious and
uncertain exactions. They accordingly begged the Rajah to take over the
river. But the Sultan refused to consent, and his refusal was probably
actuated even then by motives other than those of revenge and resentment
as the sequel will show.

In September, 1886, two cold-blooded murders were committed in the
Tutong, within a day's journey overland from Bruni. Two young pangirans,
a man and a woman, had been living together without the sanction of
their respective parents. The girl, after a while, was ordered by her
father, Pangiran Nipa, to return to him. She did so, and he then put her
to death with his own hands. The young man, Pangiran Japar, was brother
to Pangiran Mat, who had been placed in charge of Tutong by the Pangiran
di Gadong, the ex-officio holder of feudal rights in that district.
Japar and Mat were both subjects of Sarawak. A short time after the
murder of the girl, Nipa's brother, the Pangiran Tejudin, son-in-law of
the Sultan, and uncle of the unfortunate girl, sent an armed party to
Pangiran Mat, to inform him that a mandate had been issued by the Sultan
for the execution of Japar. Pangiran Mat did not ask to be shown this
mandate, and in fact Tejudin had none, but was intimidated into allowing
his brother to be killed.

The Rajah was at the time at Bruni, and he at once demanded of the
Sultan that a fair trial of Pangiran Tejudin should be held. There was
very little doubt that the Sultan's name had been misused, and Japar was
a Sarawak subject. As no justice was likely to be obtained in Bruni, the
Rajah further demanded that the murderer should be handcuffed and sent
to Labuan for trial, when the truth would come out. But this was
refused. The Sultan naturally was determined to screen his son-in-law,
who had instigated the murder, and who was then in the palace enjoying
his protection. The Rajah indignantly declined to meet the Sultan so
long as the murderer was sheltered under his roof. So the matter ended,
but it widened the rift between the Rajah and the Sultan.

In June, 1887, Sir Frederick Weld, Governor of Singapore, went to Bruni
to settle a dispute between the North Borneo Company and the Sultan over
a debateable strip of land. Sultan Hasim seized the occasion to pour
into the ear of Sir Frederick a tissue of accusations against Sarawak,
and no Sarawak official was allowed to be present to refute them. The
Government of the Rajah was charged with disturbing the peace, and with
sending its emissaries into the Limbang to foster discontent, and to
keep the rebellion simmering, in the hopes of being able to find an
excuse for annexing the district. Sir Frederick listened, but apparently
believed little he heard, for he recommended the Sultan to hand over the
Limbang to the Rajah. He further strongly urged the Sultan to accept a
British Protectorate over his remaining dominions, and to receive a
Resident, who might act as adviser in the administration of the State.
The Sultan consented to this latter recommendation; his intention,
however, to accept a British Resident at Bruni, to prevent his misrule,
and to curb the tyranny of his adherents, was only pretence. Sir
Frederick Weld was perhaps acting beyond his instructions in proposing
the appointment of a Resident, but the proposal was sound. In September,
1888, the late Sir Hugh Low, then Resident of Perak, was despatched to
Bruni to conclude an agreement with the Sultan by which Bruni became a

In the Federated Malay States, as in the Indian Protectorates, British
Residents are placed who can advise as to the conduct of government, and
it is perfectly understood by the native rulers that their advice must
be followed. Now, a British Protectorate had been extended over Bruni,
and as a consequence a Resident should have been placed there to control
the Sultan and check the misdoings of his chiefs. But nothing of the
sort was done. The Limbang was left in a condition of disorder, and a
menace to its neighbours, and the Brunis to the arbitrary injustice and
cruelty of their rulers. Trusan now offered a near haven of refuge to
which many fled, both slaves and free-born people, the latter chiefly to
save their daughters from a fate worse than slavery—a short period in a
harem, and then domestic drudgery for life. The British Government would
do nothing, and looked very much as if it were not disposed to allow any
one else to do anything. Sir Hugh Low,[316] who had an exceptional
experience of Bruni and the people, had urged the Sultan to place the
Limbang under the Rajah, tendering the same advice as had Sir Frederick
Weld; but to this, also, Hasim turned a deaf ear.

The Limbang chiefs, after having maintained their independence for six
years, early in 1890 decided to settle the question of their future for
themselves. They assembled, and of their own free will and accord placed
their country under the protection of Sarawak, and themselves under the
authority of its Government; in token of which they hoisted the Sarawak
flag. In justice to the claims of the inhabitants, and in conformity
with a promise he had made to them to tender such assistance as lay in
his power, the Rajah accepted the responsibility thus placed upon him,
and annexed the country on March 17, subject to the approval of her
Majesty's Government.

The Rajah had already frequently approached the Sultan on behalf of
these unfortunate people to urge that justice should be done to them,
and that they should not be given over to be preyed upon by rapacious
pangirans. The Pangiran Muda, son of the late Rajah Muda Hasim, who by
birth was the nearest to the throne, and who possessed feudal rights
over a part of the Limbang, having abandoned all hope of being able to
exercise those rights and draw any revenue from the district, ascended
the river and openly proclaimed to his people that he had handed over
all his rights to the Rajah. The other hereditary holders of feudal
authority in the district had again approached the Rajah, and had
entreated him to annex Limbang, which had become not only unprofitable
to them, but a menace to Bruni. The Rajah would have been untrue to his
word passed to the Limbang chiefs had he left them to their fate, after
the failure of his negotiations and repeated attempts to intercede for
them with the Sultan. Although he was averse to taking this step, yet he
felt that it was not possible for him to refuse the appeals that came to
him from all sides to interfere, and it was the only solution of the
difficulty, failing the appointment of a British Resident, for the
people could not be expected to again place themselves under the power
of a Sultan who would keep no promises, and who intended no mercy.

The Sultan, however, mortified in his pride, and being thus prevented
from giving vent to his vindictive feeling, had remained obdurate. For
some time he had been accumulating arms and ammunition at Bruni for a
great attempt upon the Limbang, whilst through his minister, the di
Gadong, he was keeping up a pretence of peace. If he succeeded, the
horrors that would have ensued in the Limbang may well be conceived; but
if he failed, he would draw on Bruni hordes of desperate savages,
infuriated by years of ill-treatment, and the Brunis feared that the
capture of their town and a general massacre would be the result.

These were the reasons that led the Rajah to act promptly, and to appeal
to her Majesty's Government to sanction such action. The Foreign Office
approved, after having kept the Rajah in anxious suspense for a year,
and fixed the annual sum to be paid by the Sarawak Government for the
Limbang at $6000, but failing the Sultan's acceptance of this for three
consecutive years, this indemnity would be forfeited.

The Sultan declined to receive this compensation, not, however, so much
as a protest against the action of the Rajah,—a purpose with which he
has generally been accredited, with not a little misplaced sympathy,—but
mainly to punish his recalcitrant ministers, the Pangirans Bandahara and
di Gadong. Hitherto he had been quite powerless to do this, but an
opportunity was now afforded him, and he did not hesitate to avail
himself of it. The two pangirans were the principal holders of the
feudal rights over the Limbang, which of late years had yielded them
nothing, and they naturally desired, badly off as they were, that the
Sultan should sanction the acceptance of the indemnity, the greater part
of which would have reverted to them, and would have afforded them a
fixed and ensured revenue, even more than they had ever been able to
extort from the people. The remainder would have gone to the Pangiran
Muda, and not a cent of it would have gone to the Sultan. But by the
laws of Bruni, feudal rights cannot be alienated without the sanction of
the Sultan; and he subsequently informed the British Consul that he had
withheld his sanction, and would do so as long as he lived, a
determination to which he vindictively adhered, solely that he might
deprive his two ministers of the revenues to which they were entitled.
He went so far as to tell the Consul that he had no real grievance
against the Rajah, but it being necessary to find some plausible pretext
for his decision he had invented one, which no one in Bruni could call
into question.

Sir Spenser St. John, writing privately to the Rajah at this time said,
"If the Foreign Office could understand how the Bruni Rajahs govern
Limbang, they would make no objection to your taking it over. It is a
most interesting river, and when no longer harassed by Kayan raids[317]
and plundered by Bruni Rajahs, it will be one of the richest on the
coast. Sago can be planted to any extent, and it used to be famous for
its pepper gardens. In fact Chinese were working there nearly to the
foot of Mulu mountain"—over one hundred miles from the coast.

But in his life of _Rajah Brooke_ published in 1899, Sir Spenser St.
John alters his tone. He remarks that "unless we are to adopt the
principle that 'the end justifies the means,' it is difficult to approve
the action of Sarawak in seizing by force any part of the Sultan's
dominions. A little gentle, persevering diplomacy would have secured
Limbang without violating any principle of international law. I am
convinced, however, that the present Rajah was deceived by some one as
to the political position of that district, as he wrote that, for four
years previous to his action, Limbang was completely independent of the
Sultan, which his officers subsequently found was not the case."

As to the first part of this statement, Sir Spenser when he wrote it,
had severed his connexion with Borneo for nearly forty years, and it
shows how little he was kept in touch with Bornean affairs since he
left; or does Sir Spenser imagine that he would have succeeded where
such men as the Rajah and Sir Hugh Low had failed; both of whom had
continually urged reforms on the Sultan, to which he had turned a deaf

With regard to the second part of the statement, the Rajah certainly did
not place himself in a position in which he could be deceived. He
conducted all negotiations and all inquiries himself, and on the spot.
He was no more deceived as to the true state of affairs than were Sir
William Treacher, Dr. Leys (Consul-General), Sir F. Weld, and Sir Hugh
Low. It is, moreover, not correct that the Rajah's officers subsequently
made the great discovery that is attributed to them. Sir Spenser might
well have been a little more explicit as to this last remark. He agrees,
however, that there can be no doubt that the inhabitants of Limbang
rejoiced to be placed under the Sarawak flag.

"I knew them well, and how they suffered from the exactions of the
Pangirans, and their rapacious followers, and no one would have more
rejoiced than myself to hear that they had been put under Sarawak rule
in a less forcible way. As poverty increased in Bruni, so had the
exactions augmented, and Limbang, being near, suffered the most. Perhaps
some of my readers may think that in this case the 'end _did_ justify
the means.' At all events, that appears to have been the view taken by
the Foreign Office."

Sir Spenser might very well have accepted the view taken by the Foreign
Office, under which he has served with distinction for many years. The
Foreign Office judged upon facts that were placed before it, and these
facts Sir Spenser had not under his eye when basing this unfair
criticism upon the Rajah's proceedings.

The Limbang having been annexed in 1890, a Government station was
established some fifteen miles from the river's mouth, and settlers,
both Malay and Chinese, soon arrived, and took up their quarters there;
indeed, a good many quitted Bruni, and applied for sites upon which to
build shops and houses directly the flag was raised.

The station is now a flourishing little place, and has been well laid
out by Mr. O. F. Ricketts,[318] who has been Resident there since its
establishment. It is the prettiest out-station in Sarawak; has miles of
good riding roads, a bazaar that is well attended; and, being another
refuge for the oppressed, the Malay population is continually
increasing. Mr. Ricketts, who also has over-charge of the Trusan and
Lawas districts, has been eminently successful in his management of the
Muruts and Bisayas, of whom he has had some twenty years' experience,
and is popular with all classes at Bruni.

In reporting on Limbang in February, 1891, Mr. Ricketts observes: "since
the occupation of the river in March last, matters have progressed
satisfactorily, and the inhabitants have shown themselves well disposed
and satisfied with the new order of things, with the exception of three
or four of the Danau chiefs, who have been incited to be otherwise from

"Little has been done with the exception of visiting the people, who at
all times have been allowed to trade freely with Bruni; no import or
export duties have been collected. A number of Brunis have come into the
river at different times to wash sago, who previously were unable to do
so, owing to the unsettled state of the place.

"Most of the principal Chinese of Bruni have been over here at different
times, and have expressed their wish to commence business here. One firm
already holds one of the shops, of which there are six, the others being
held by Sarawak and Labuan Chinese; one sago factory is in course of

"There has been no revenue for the year; the expenditure amounting to
$11,812. No revenue was demanded, until the natives settled down, and
had recovered from their previous unsettled state. The expenditure was
chiefly in public buildings, bungalows, court house, barracks, etc." The
imports and exports in 1906 amounted to $282,277, against only $86,687
in 1891.

There is no fort at Limbang.

If the reader will look at the map he will see that a peninsula or horn
runs out from Bruni, sheltering the bay against the winds and waves from
the north-west. Labuan is actually a continuation of the same, but the
belt of land has been broken through, leaving only Labuan and a few
little islands rising above the surface of the ocean. At the extreme
point of the promontory is a lighthouse erected by the Rajah. This
promontory goes by the name of Muara. The coal-beds that come to the
surface in Labuan, continue in Muara, and Mr. W. C. Cowie[319] had
obtained from the Sultan Mumin a concession of the coal-fields in Muara,
and all rights over this district were ceded to him in perpetuity by the
late Sultan in 1887. These rights confer complete and absolute
possession of all the lands in the district, with power to sell, impose
taxes, rents, and assessments, the possession of the revenue farms, with
power to create new farms of any description, and certain judicial
rights conjoined with power to inflict penalties.

This Muara district, the town in which was founded by Mr. Cowie, and
named by him Brooketon in honour of the Rajah, is the richest portion of
the small and shrunken territory now remaining to the Sultanate of
Bruni, and it remains to it, as may be seen, attached by a thread only.
It is not large, but it is of much importance, as it possesses a good
colliery and an excellent harbour. Previous to the opening of this
colliery the population, consisting of a few Kadayan peasants and Malay
fishermen, was small and scattered, and, in common with the lower
classes throughout the Sultanate, led a miserable existence under

Mr. Cowie found that a much larger capital was needed to develop the
colliery than he possessed, without which the workings would be
unremunerative. Every year entailed increasing loss, and in 1888, two
years before the acquisition of the Limbang by the Rajah, he sold to him
all his rights in Muara.

Previous to the transfer, for want of capital, the mines had been worked
in a hand-to-mouth fashion by a few coolies under a manager with but
little experience, the output being confined to meeting the very limited
local demand in Labuan. There was practically no plant, and only a small
ricketty wharf, to which the surface coal was conveyed in buffalo-drawn
waggons over a roughly constructed line.

Those who knew Brooketon in those days and know it now, can testify to
the great improvements that have been made by the Rajah's persistent
efforts. The greatest possible benefits have been conferred upon the
people by the establishment of a large and growing industry among them,
but it has been effected at a heavy financial loss. The colliery has
been placed under experienced managers; expensive, though necessary,
machinery, locomotives, a steam collier, lighters, etc., have been
purchased, extensive and solid wharves built, and a new line laid down.
The cost of these, with the many other preliminary expenses incidental
to the proper working of a large colliery, have been heavy, and so far
it has proved an unremunerative speculation. The colliery employs
hundreds of miners and workmen, and through it, indirectly, many people
gain a livelihood, and the thriving settlement of Brooketon is solely
dependent upon it. Law and order have been effectively maintained by the
Rajah at his own cost, though in the name and with the consent of the
Sultan. Although financial improvement may be remote, closing the mines
down would mean a loss of all these benefits to the people; the place
would revert to its former condition, and the population would be
dispersed. This consideration has induced the Rajah to continue working
the colliery, with the hope of ultimately lessening the losses, and the
remoter hope of ultimate success. To Brooketon we shall again refer.

In March, 1905, a chief named Lawai, who had been dignified by the
Sultan with the title of Orang Kaya Temanggong, with some 400 of his
numerous following, removed into the Limbang river from the Baram, in
defiance of Government orders. In former days these people had been the
most forward amongst those employed by the Bruni Government to molest
the Limbang people, and a short time previous to their removal to the
Limbang had killed three Kadayans in Bruni territory, who had incurred
displeasure in certain high quarters. After these murders had been
committed, Lawai had been favourably received by the Sultan at Bruni,
and this no doubt encouraged him openly to resist the Government. A
small force was despatched against him, and, taken by surprise, he was

The rendezvous of this expedition was off Muara island, at the entrance
to Bruni bay, and, as its object was kept a profound secret,
considerable uneasiness arose in the suspicious minds of those at Bruni,
who with good reason feared the displeasure of the Rajah. A secret
meeting of the leading pangirans and chiefs was held; at which it was
decided that should it be the Rajah's intention to sweep away their evil
government they would kill the Sultan and hand over the city to him.

With this exception, from the day that the Sarawak flag had been
hoisted, there have been no disturbances in the Limbang. But in the
neighbouring river, the Trusan, the perpetual petty feuds amongst the
Muruts, which led to isolated cases of murder, wounding, and
cattle-lifting, caused the Government considerable trouble. In 1900, it
became necessary to administer a severe lesson. Some Muruts living in
the far interior under their chief, Okong, aided by those of the Lawas,
not then under the Sarawak Government, having killed twenty-one Muruts
of the lower Trusan, an expedition, with which the Rajah Muda went, was
sent to punish them. This was so effectually done, that it resulted in
the people of the interior coming in from all quarters to renounce their
feuds; and since that Trusan has also been free from such troubles.

Commenting upon Bornean affairs, the _Singapore Free Press_ in August,
1900, remarked that: "Bruni, though independent, is in a state of
bankruptcy and decay, and would not be a desirable acquisition for any
one. Its revenues, such as they are, are all leased and sold, and those
who should benefit from them have long parted with their interests. The
aged Sultan, troubled with debts and worried by creditors, has given
powers to the most importunate in their claims, which action has
alienated the support of those hereditary chiefs who are entitled to
share with him the government of the country. These chiefs assume
semi-independence, and each goes his own way unchecked, a method which
tends to bring affairs of State to chaos. It is erroneously supposed
that the British Government is responsible for this condition of the
country. As a matter of fact the British Government has no right, and
certainly no inclination, to interfere in the internal affairs of an
independent kingdom."

This is a very accurate description of the situation at Bruni; but,
unless we accept the theory that might makes right, how can the action
of the British Government in appointing a Resident to take charge of
Bruni a few years later on be justified? No one, however, can quarrel
with the statement that the British Government had no inclination to
interfere. That had been made manifest enough by many years of
indifference to the sufferings of a people, and of shirking moral
responsibilities. It is stretching a point to say that the British
Government had no right to interfere; it was their duty to do so, and
that duty involved the right. Not content with this neglect of an
obvious duty, the Government stood in the people's way, by preventing
them from turning to others for the aid they so sorely needed.

What these sufferings were, Mr. Keyser, who was Consul at Bruni, fully
sets forth in his report to the Foreign Office for 1899. He wrote: "Such
trade as there was has completely fallen off, and the monthly steamer
from Singapore has ceased its visits. The debts and difficulties of the
Sultan and his chiefs have so increased with time that this state of
affairs naturally reacts upon the people. With the exception of catching
fish, no one does any work, and all live in poverty and constant want of
food. Hundreds of families have left, and continue to leave, to escape
the seizure of their women and children by impecunious headmen, who wish
to relieve their own necessities by selling them as slaves.[320] Others
are driven from the country by the infliction of fines, and the
exorbitant demands of those Chinese and money-lenders to whom the
collection of taxes and all saleable rights have been long since
transferred for cash. Those traders have full power to oppress the
people, and they do so remorselessly. In a short space of time, if the
present Government continues, Bruni will be empty of inhabitants."

The two small provinces, the river districts of Tutong and Belait, now
remaining to the Sultan, have been in a constant state of revolt. In
June, 1899,[321] the people of these rivers openly threw off their
allegiance and hoisted the Sarawak flag, an act which caused some
excitement in the East, and a good deal of comment in English papers.
The principal chiefs then waited upon the Rajah, and begged him to take
over their country, a petition that was repeated shortly afterwards. The
British Consul was informed by them that they absolutely refused to
remain under Bruni rule, and they prayed to be placed under that of
Sarawak. But the Consul could only report; and that Government, which
had "no right and certainly no inclination to interfere," again proved
obstructive, and the people were forced to continue a hopeless effort to
gain their liberty.

A desultory war commenced, weak in attack from want of power,[322] and
weak in resistance from lack of ammunition and supplies. Treachery was
resorted to by those sent to suppress the revolt. As an instance of one
cold-blooded deed, Pangiran Tejudin, the Sultan's son-in-law, of whom
one infamous act has already been recorded, persuaded the inhabitants of
some of the Tutong villages to submit, under a guarantee that their
lives and property would be spared. To ratify the terms, the pangiran
took twenty-five men from these villages to the Tutong town, and there
they were bound and confined. Then one man from each village was
selected, placed bound within a fence, and there at intervals slashed at
until all had bled to death. Seven only managed to escape.

In October, 1902, many of the inhabitants of Belait and Tutong, unable
to continue the struggle, having sought a refuge in the Trusan and
Limbang rivers, and the Sultan being wearied into granting an amnesty on
the payment of a heavy fine, those remaining surrendered; their
principal chiefs, however, the Datus Kalim and De Gadong, with their
people, elected to place themselves under Sarawak rule by also moving
into the Limbang.

In January, 1905, the British North Borneo Company, with the sanction of
her Majesty's Government, transferred their cession of the Lawas river
to the Sarawak Government. The inhabitants of this river are closely
allied to those of the Trusan, and, in a lesser degree, to those of the
Limbang. It is a beautiful and fertile district, but sparsely inhabited.

If the yearly cession money paid upon the districts that have been
acquired by Sarawak during the sovereignty of the present Rajah is taken
into consideration, not one of these districts has yet paid its way, and
even Limbang, upon which no cession money is paid, showed a deficit of
expenditure over revenue in 1906, but the increased trade, of these
districts, which in 1906 amounted to just a million dollars in value
shows them to be in a flourishing state, and this has added to the
general prosperity of the raj.

In 1905, an agreement was made between his Majesty's Government and the
Sultan, by which the latter accepted a Resident, by whose counsel the
affairs of the State were to be guided, and on January 1, 1906, this
agreement came into effect, and the Sultan and his wazirs were
practically laid aside, the rule becoming British under the _de facto_
ruler, the Resident.

The reason given for this step was not so much that the iniquitous
conditions of affairs at Bruni could no longer be tolerated, but that
the country was bankrupt, and therefore something had to be done. There
were two alternatives presented, the absorption of Bruni by Sarawak, or
the introduction of the same system of government that prevails in the
Federated Malay States. The latter was adopted as being, in the opinion
of the Foreign Office, likely to be more beneficial to the Sultanate, as
well as being a healthy example to the neighbouring protectorates, and
it has been expressly stated by the Foreign Secretary that this was done
not merely with a view to the future interests of Bruni, but to those of
the other British Protectorates in Borneo.[323] The only pretext that
has been advanced for not allowing the natural absorption of Bruni by
Sarawak was the supposed animosity the Sultan bore towards the Rajah,
though, had it still existed, this might well have been regarded only in
the light of a compliment to the latter.



But undue importance has been placed upon the ill-feeling the Sultan had
formerly borne to the Rajah, and the fact that a complete reconciliation
had taken place long before this time appears to have been ignored.
Apart from this, however, the likings and dislikings of an isolated, and
now defunct, old tyrant were not quite a sufficient basis upon which to
establish a policy antagonistic to the natural fate of Bruni and the
pronounced wishes of the people. But, many months before it was proposed
to establish a British Residency in Bruni, the Sultan, completely at the
end of his resources, had confided to the British Consul his unfortunate
situation; had expressed his deep regret for the estrangement between
himself and the Rajah, and his desire for a reconciliation, which he
begged the Consul would bring about, for he had no one else to turn to
for the help he so sorely needed, and which he knew the Rajah would not
refuse him.

The Rajah, who had never lost his kindly feeling towards the Bruni
rulers, at once visited Bruni, and exchanged visits with the Sultan,
which were marked by extreme cordiality and confidence on the part of
the latter. But by no method short of a clean sweep of its debased
Government and corrupt officials, of whom the Sultan was the most
corrupt, could any improvement be effected in the sad condition of
Bruni, or in the Sultan's miserable plight, and therefore the Rajah,
through the British Consul, offered terms for the transfer of Bruni to
his Government, and these were far more generous to the Sultan than
those which the Foreign Office, with full knowledge of this offer,
subsequently forced the Sultan to accept.

The terms offered by the Rajah were placed before the Sultan by the
British Consul, and were well received by him and his family, and they
were anxious to accept these at once. They were, however, completely in
the power of three of the members of Council,—the Juwatan[324] Abu
Bakar, Orang Kaya Laksamana, and Orang Kaya di Gadong, who had battened
on the Sultan by lending him large sums of money on extortionate
interest, and who, seeing their way to further affluence, prevented the
Sultan accepting the Rajah's offer until he should have assigned to them
all the benefits it would convey to him, when he would have been called
upon to accept it for their advantage.

All who have read these pages will agree there can be no possible doubt
that the Sultan and his ministers had well deserved to have their powers
curtailed, even to the extent of absolute deprivation of all control in
the affairs of their country, but not a few will naturally wonder why
the Foreign Office had not arrived at such an obvious conclusion many
years ago. Then the reasons for interference were tenfold more weighty
than now. Successive years have seen the Sultanate stripped of its
territories, and the capacity of the Sultan and his bureaucracy to do
evil lessened in proportion to the loss of population, revenues, and
power. Then the British Government would have become possessed of a
large territory, nearly as large as England, with a numerous population,
and would have had a reasonable prospect before it of establishing a
State or Colony which might at this time be as flourishing as any of
those in the Malay peninsula; now they have unnecessarily hampered
themselves with a miserable bankrupt remnant of a formerly large State,
some 3000 square miles in area only, with a total population of not more
than 15,000; with no internal resources to develop, and with revenues so
slight as to be inconsiderable, an experiment which appears to be
proving costly.

To contend that the governmental system of the Federated Malay States
would be a good example to Sarawak is to presume a superiority in that
system, and to infer that the conditions prevailing in the former and
latter States are on a parity. So far there has been no convincing
evidence of the superiority of this system in its application to Bruni,
though that is not surprising, as the British Resident can hardly be
expected to make bricks without straw; and Sarawak, which has the credit
of having "the best form of government for a country populated by an
Oriental people of various races," would scarcely be wise to exchange
the simple methods that have been gradually built up to meet the
requirements of her population for an elaborated system, which, however
successful it has been in the States for which it was formed, might not
be altogether conformable to existing conditions in Sarawak. There is
almost as much difference between the populations of the Malay States
and Sarawak, as there is between that of the latter and Java or Ceylon,
and the same difference exists in regard to Bruni. To argue that a form
of government, because it is eminently adapted to the circumstance of
one country would necessarily be suitable to another, is to be
optimistic, and shows a want either of common sense, or of knowledge of
the respective conditions of the countries indicated.

Perhaps the mysterious profession of the Foreign Secretary in regard to
the future interests of all the British Protectorates in Borneo, which
has been noticed, conceals the real motives, yet to be revealed, for
this sudden departure, which red tapeism can hardly explain away, and
which has given rise to a political position that is peculiar, whether
viewed in the light of expediency or as a matter of sheer justice. The
professed motives appear to be scarcely logical, for this fresh policy
involved no obvious advantages to the Empire, was displeasing to the
natives, and unfair to the interests of Sarawak. But, unfortunately,
evidence is not wanting that there are other motives, which are not only
illogical but unwarrantable, and it is only by keeping these in view
that the policy of the British Government becomes intelligible. It is a
policy that has not originated at the Foreign or the Colonial Office,
but has been adopted by both "on advice given with entire knowledge of
place and people"—how, when, and by whom acquired, it would be
interesting to learn.

Whether Bruni was governed from Singapore or absorbed by Sarawak was a
question of little importance to the public, and should have been one of
minor importance to the Foreign Office, for either way its position as a
British Protectorate would remain unaffected. No one can assert that it
is possible to find a man with greater qualifications as a ruler of
natives or with a greater knowledge of Bruni and its people than the
Rajah of Sarawak, or one whose counsel would have greater weight with
chiefs and people, to whom the task of reforming and regenerating that
country might with wisdom have been entrusted. Then comes the question
of means, so necessary to the establishment of an effective government.
To set up such a government in Bruni, and to maintain it, requires a
considerable outlay, and an ever-recurring yearly subsidy. This the
Rajah knew, and this he was willing and able to bear, but those "with
entire knowledge of place and people" thought differently, with the
result that the overflowing Treasury chest of the Federated Malay States
has had to be drawn upon,[325] and within two years yet another burden
in the shape of a debt of some £24,000 has been needlessly put upon an
already bankrupt State; and still, with a newly-imposed tariff, which is
scarcely in harmony with that of the Federated Malay States, or of
Sarawak, Bruni is unable to make both ends meet, and has the pleasant
prospect before it of having to negotiate a further loan with no
security to offer. So much for expediency.

That the Sultan was not averse to Bruni being incorporated with Sarawak
has been shown, and the fact must not be overlooked that he _was_ averse
to the appointment of a British Resident, and the acceptance of the
agreement by himself and his Prime Minister and brother-in-law, the
Pangiran Bandahara, was obtained only under pressure, and was granted in
opposition to the forcibly expressed wishes of his own immediate
relations, of his chiefs, and of his people. He died shortly afterwards,
at a great age, though he retained his faculties until the end, and was
succeeded by his son, Muhammad-ul-Alam, a minor, who was placed under
the regency of his uncle, the Pangiran Bandahara.

That they might pass under the protection of the Rajah and share with
his subjects the liberties and privileges the latter have gained, has
always been and still is the desire of the people. With the methods of
his government they are familiar and in sympathy. They and their chiefs,
from the Regent downwards, have petitioned to be so placed. To them the
Rajah's name is a household word, and by them he is trusted. When the
change came in 1905, many of the principal nobles begged him to become
the guardian of their children, to safeguard their inheritance and
welfare. His great influence, acquired by an intercourse of half a
century, has always been exerted for their benefit, and it is an
influence that, together with his knowledge of the people and what is
best for them, can scarcely be equalled by ever-changing officials.

Between the populations of Sarawak and Bruni there exists community of
origin, and relationship of ideas and customs. Formerly the two
countries were one. Then in a corner of that country arose the little
independent raj of Sarawak, which gradually expanded up to, around, and
beyond Bruni. Now Bruni is but an enclave within Sarawak, and socially,
politically, and commercially, as well as geographically, is undoubtedly
within the sphere of her influence.

A short description of Brooketon has already been given, showing how the
prosperity of that flourishing little settlement is dependent upon the
working of its colliery, and that this has been the Rajah's main reason
for continuing to work it, though with a recurring annual loss which in
the aggregate during the past twenty years has exceeded $800,000; of
course exclusive of purchase money and interest thereon. In no one year
have the receipts exceeded the expenditure, and the chances of financial
improvement appear to be vastly remote; yet, in October, 1906, the
Colonial Office decided, presumably "on advice given with entire
knowledge of place and people," to further hamper this industry by
imposing a duty on the coal exported, thereby seriously compromising the
welfare of the district by taxing the sole factor in its prosperity.

The levying of such a "harsh and oppressive"[326] tax, was not only
unjust, but distinctly contrary to the terms of the deed under which the
Rajah holds his concession. Whilst protesting against the assumption
that the Bruni Government has the right to impose such a duty, the Rajah
informed the Colonial Office that if it was insisted upon he would be
compelled practically to close down the colliery. In the House, Sir
Edward Sassoon pointedly asked the Under-Secretary for the Colonies "on
what principle such a tax would be imposed upon a nascent industry which
is being created at a sacrifice in an impoverished country, while on the
other hand his Majesty's Government has recently withdrawn the duty
levied on all coal exported from Great Britain." To this question no
direct reply was or could have been given, but it was not until a year
afterwards that the Colonial Office decided that the tax would not at
present be imposed.

The reason given for the imposition of this tax was that all other
sources of revenue at Brooketon having been hypothecated to the Rajah,
it was therefore necessary to levy export duties. It has already been
stated (p. 357) how these revenues had reverted to the Rajah, but it
must not be supposed that they had been obtained for little or no
consideration. To protect his own interests by guarding against any
imposition of harassing taxes, the original lessee of the Brooketon
Collieries had leased the revenues of the district from the Sultan for
an annual sum, and this rent was subsequently capitalised by the payment
of a sum of money equivalent to ten years' rent; thus these revenues
passed from the Sultan's hands for ever, and subsequently became vested
in the Rajah by purchase. A careful consideration of the deed by which
these revenue rights were granted, combined with a competent knowledge
of the prerogatives of the Sultan, would leave little doubt in an
unprejudiced mind that the imposition of any import or export duties at
Brooketon by others than the Rajah would be an infringement of the
rights conveyed by that deed. The revenues derived by the Rajah under
this deed (and he has not exerted his powers to increase them) represent
but a very small return as interest on the purchase money; yet in face
of such kindly moderation, we find the Colonial Office attempting to
impose a tax on the Rajah's property, which would yield to them more
than three times the amount of the legitimate revenue arising from a
benevolent enterprise.

Previously to the appointment of a British Resident at Bruni, the Rajah
had, as we have noticed, administered the government in the Muara
district, with the full approval of the Sultan. In compliance with the
Rajah's desire, the Sultan had placed a Malay chief, as his
representative, at Brooketon, but even his salary had to be paid by the
Rajah. It has already been shown that certain judicial powers have been
vested in the Rajah under the revenue concession, in regard to which the
then British Consul at Bruni had occasion to write to the Rajah's agent
at Labuan in July, 1900, that "the acting High Commissioner for Borneo
believes in and acknowledges the right of Sarawak to exercise
magisterial powers in Brooketon." Nevertheless, on the appointment of
the British Resident at Bruni the Colonial Office called upon the Rajah
to withdraw his officials and police from Brooketon, and notified him
that the administration of the district would be carried on by the
Resident, in the Sultan's name. In a written reply to a question by Sir
Edward Sassoon, the Under-Secretary for the Colonies denied that by the
deed the Rajah was authorised to maintain a police force in Bruni
(_sic_), but passed over in silence the main point of Sir Edward's
question as to the Rajah's powers to adjudicate as well as to impose
fines throughout the district of Muara.

In a leading article which appeared in the issue of the _Straits Budget_
(Singapore) of January 10, 1907, the editor attempts to refute the
issues raised in the questions put by Sir Edward Sassoon in the House of
Commons, and the arguments advanced in an editorial article which
appeared in the _Standard_ dealing with the above matters. He writes
authoritatively in reply to Sir Edward and "the special pleading" of the
_Standard_, and presumably his article is therefore an inspired one, for
his own knowledge of Bornean affairs is restricted to what "the man in
the street" can tell him, and his leader displays a deeper insight into
the political aspect than can usually be found outside of a Government
office. He tells us that: "Bruni wanted better administration. There
were three possible ways of obtaining this—the Protectorate might have
been transferred to the British North Borneo Company; it might have been
handed over to the neighbouring Rajah of Sarawak; or it might have been
incorporated in the territories administered by the Colonial Office
through the Straits Settlements. Of the three alternatives the Foreign
Office chose the last. No doubt Sarawak is an object lesson in
administration, but it must not be forgotten that it has been fortunate
in having two successive rulers of marked capacity for dealing with
native races. It may not always be so fortunate, and perhaps the Foreign
Office, having this possibility in view, hesitated to add to the
territory of Sarawak. On the other hand, the experience of the Federated
Malay States and the Straits Settlements warranted the handing over of
Bruni to the Colonial Office, and we are sure that when consideration is
given to the larger interests involved it will have to be admitted, one
day, that the Foreign Office took the wiser course. There may come a day
when British interests in Borneo will have to be amalgamated and
concentrated under one administration; but until then Bruni affairs can
be best administered and the interests of the natives safeguarded under
the arrangement now in force."

The editor has ignored the fact that the natives of Bruni of all races—
and the small population is a very diversified one—desired incorporation
in Sarawak, and had petitioned for it; and he has overlooked the fact
that such incorporation, whilst saving the Straits Settlements both
money and trouble, could in no way have affected the position of Bruni
as a British Protectorate, or have interfered with any policy which the
Foreign Office may possibly have in view. So far as Sarawak is
concerned, "the possibility in view" can mean only one thing: future
interference with its independence, arising out of anticipated
maladministration by the present Rajah's successor. Such an inuendo is
as uncalled for, as it is unjust, however the suggestion may be
disguised; and it behoves the Foreign and Colonial Offices to dissociate
themselves from such expressions, which unfortunately have derived some
colour from their subsequent actions.

That the system of government in vogue in the Federated Malay States and
the Straits Settlements is irreproachable cannot be denied; but at the
same time it cannot fairly be contended—in the face of all evidence to
the contrary—that it is as well adapted to the requirements of Bruni as
is that in vogue in Sarawak, a system which the editor admits "is an
object lesson in administration," and which his local contemporary, the
_Singapore Free Press_, has before described as "a government for
natives second to none."

What are "the larger interests involved" which appear, in the editor's
opinion, to have necessitated the handing over of Bruni, against the
wishes of the people, to a government foreign to them? The editor
answers the question with a prophecy, which, unless it emanates from his
own fertile brain, throws light on the policy of the British Government,
and hints at a possible disregard of fair-play and treaties, which has
only been made possible by the acceptance of British protection by
Sarawak. The British Government as far back as 1863 fully acknowledged
the independence of Sarawak under the rule of its white Rajah, and the
agreement of 1888, by which the State was placed under British
protection, was not intended, nor accepted, as one which would militate
against that independence, and such a possibility can scarcely be
construed as following in the train of that agreement.



  (One of the small Government steamers for river work).]


Footnote 307:

  _Forests of the Far East_, S. St. John.

Footnote 308:

  Formerly of the Royal Navy, and the Labuan Civil Service. Joined the
  Sarawak Civil Service 1871. Was Resident at Muka, and subsequently
  Divisional Resident of the 3rd Division. Died 1884.

Footnote 309:

  St John's _Forests of the Far East_.

Footnote 310:

  It will be remembered that in 1849 the late Rajah, as her Majesty's
  Commissioner, had concluded a treaty with the Sultan of Sulu, but this
  had to be ratified within two years. The British Government, however,
  would not place a man-of-war at the Rajah's disposal, and he was
  unable to proceed to Sulu to effect this necessary ratification. The
  Spaniards, by force of arms, enforced another treaty upon Sulu, and
  before those two years had expired. But the British Government took no
  interest in Sulu, and this was allowed to pass unheeded.

Footnote 311:

  He had succeeded Mr. Pope Hennessy, and was Mr. Ussher's predecessor.

Footnote 312:

  Named after the late Mr. C. A. C. de Crespigny.

Footnote 313:

  In a great degree due to the able administration of Mr. Charles Hose,
  D.Sc., who served in this district for twenty years, during sixteen of
  which he was Resident in charge. In 1904 he became Divisional Resident
  of the 3rd Division; he retired in 1907.

Footnote 314:

  Joined 1872; was Assistant Resident, and Resident of Batang Lupar and
  Saribas, and in 1881 became Divisional Resident of Sarawak proper. He
  retired in 1895, and died in 1897.

Footnote 315:

  See footnote, p. 69.

Footnote 316:

  Sir Hugh Low, G.C.M.G., who was then British Resident of Perak, had
  for many years been Colonial Secretary at Labuan.

Footnote 317:

  These had long ceased.

Footnote 318:

  Mr. Ricketts, who is a son of the first British Consul to Sarawak,
  joined in 1881.

Footnote 319:

  Now Managing Director of the British North Borneo Company.

Footnote 320:

  For this reason a large number of Malays, men, women, and children, in
  April, 1904, moved into the Limbang. The men were the ironsmiths of
  Bruni, and this useful class was forced to leave to save their girls.
  And because some of their women had been seized and sold, the Kadayans
  of Bruni, who in former days had been the faithful followers of the
  Sultans and their main support, revolted in 1899.

Footnote 321:

  Two years previously a Sarawak Chinaman was murdered in the Belait,
  and that this was done at the instigation of an Orang Kaya, solely in
  the expectation that the murder of a Sarawak subject would lead to
  such active interference by the Government of that country in the
  affairs of the district that might end in annexation, was proved in a
  Court of inquiry held at Claudetown.

Footnote 322:

  Many of the peaceable Kadayans removed into the Limbang, having been
  driven from their homes, with the loss of all their property, by an
  emissary of the Sultan, for refusing to join him in an attack on the

Footnote 323:

  Sarawak and British North Borneo.

Footnote 324:

  High Chamberlain.

Footnote 325:

  In reply to a question on December 15, 1906, by Sir Edward Sassoon,
  the Under-Secretary for the Colonies found it convenient to take no
  notice of Sir Edward's reference to the F.M.S. in this connection.

Footnote 326:

  To quote the present Secretary for Foreign Affairs when addressing the
  House, but a few years ago upon the subject of an export duty on
  English coal.



                              CHAPTER XIV
                             THE SEA-DAYAKS



In an address to the Council Negri in 1891, the Rajah said that he might
divide his term of service of thirty-nine years into three periods of
thirteen years each. The first period had been almost wholly devoted to
the work of suppressing head-hunting among the Dayaks, involving
frequent expeditions by sea and by land, and a life of carrying arms and
keeping watch and ward against subtle enemies. The second period had
been divided between expeditions of the same nature, and the peaceful
pursuits of giving or amending law, and the establishment of its
supremacy. And the last period had been almost entirely taken up with
attending to the political and social affairs of a settled and peaceful
country. Those present who had been young with himself during the early
days of his service, had been strong and able to carry through the work
set before them, rough and perilous in the extreme, in mountainous
regions of jungle, subject to every kind of exposure; but now these
hardships were no more required, and that was well, for both they and
himself were waxing old. The character of his task was changed—he and
his old comrades on river and rock and in jungle could sit in their
arm-chairs, and attend to the political business and the commercial
progress of the country.

To these periods the Rajah has since added a fourth, and that the
longest of all, during which much has been done to extinguish the
lingering sparks of racial and intertribal hostility. These still break
out occasionally amongst the Sea-Dayaks, though at wider intervals, as
time goes on, but are confined to the remote interior, and to a very
limited district within the State and over the borders, of which Lobok
Antu is the centre. These occasional outbreaks, which but reveal the old
Adam, do not trouble or affect those living outside this district, and
indeed do not stir their interest any more than the border troubles in
India affect the population of that country generally.

It is an Arab proverb—Be content with bread and scrape till Allah sends
the jam. The first Rajah certainly had very hard scrape, and in the
first periods of the second Rajah's career, he had to be content with
bread and scrape, only slowly, though surely, came the jam.

The Ulu Ai[327] Dayaks, or, as the name implies, those inhabiting the
head-waters of the Kapuas, Rejang, and Batang Lupar, are nowadays the
sole offenders, and although they lead others astray, these troubles
involve but a small proportion of the Dayak population, but five per
cent, or one per cent of the entire population of Sarawak.

A quarter of a century ago, Malays were forced to live together in
villages, for their protection against the Sea-Dayaks, and were
constrained to move in strong and well-armed parties when visiting these
people for the purpose of trade. Now they occupy scattered houses on
their farms, where they can make gardens and plantations, and they mix
freely with the Dayaks without the least fear.

But even the Ulu Ai Dayaks, in spite of their occasional lapses, are far
from being inimical to the Government, for which they are ever ready to
work, and which they will as readily follow. At all times, its officers,
English and Malay, are quite safe amongst them, and are received with
respect and cordiality. Punishments, however severe, are submitted to,
and do not affect their feelings towards the Government. On the whole
these Ulu Ai Dayaks are well disposed, but they allow themselves to be
led astray by the more unruly and restless spirits in the tribes; yet
even of these latter, some have been brought to become staunch
supporters of the Government.

The Saribas Dayaks, formerly the most malignant and dreaded of pirates
and head-hunters, and the bitterest opponents of the Rajah, have long
since become the most peaceful subjects of the State, and have developed
into keen traders and collectors of jungle produce.

The Sekrangs, with the exception of one outbreak, noted on page 381, for
which a treacherous Government chief was solely responsible, have been
as peaceable and law-abiding as the Saribas. These, with the Undups and
Balaus, ever the faithful friends of the Government and the bravest—"a
more plucky and sterling set of bull-dogs there is not to be found," the
Rajah wrote of the former many years ago—are now the best-disposed
people in the State. With them perhaps may be included the Lemanaks, and
the Engkaris, who, however, have not gained for themselves the same
character for straightforwardness. The Ulu Ai are alone the
peace-breakers. Physically these men are the finest of all, but are
coarser in manners and not so brave. All these tribes, with the
exception of the Undups and Balaus, having greatly multiplied, have
spread over Sarawak, and become much mingled.



  With the exception of the Band (Philippines and Malays) and three
    Sergeants, the men shown here are all Sea-Dayaks. The battalion is
    composed of some 275 Sea-Dayaks, 100 Sepoys, 50 Malays, 25 Javanese,
    and 20 Philippine bandsmen, under an English Commandant and an
    Instructor (shown). The force was established in 1846 under a native
    officer of the Ceylon Rifles.]

Besides being very intelligent, the Sea-Dayaks are wonderfully energetic
and hard-working. They are thrifty, eager to become well-off, are
honest, and have few vices; but they lack channels for their energy.
Regular employment in their own country by the establishment of
industries, such as plantations and mines, would do more for their
redemption from savagery than years of labour among them by officials
and missionaries. At present, their energies are almost entirely
confined to working jungle-produce; though to seek this, they have now
to go into the far interior, and this is often the cause of their
getting into trouble with remote and wild tribes; they go also to North
Borneo, Dutch Borneo, Sumatra, the Malay peninsula, and even as far as
Mindanau, in the Philippines. These countries they visit in large
numbers, and abroad their honesty and energy have gained them a good
character. Many Dayaks place the money they have saved with the Chinese
on interest; some have erected shops, which they let for rent; but with
most the prevailing idea of riches is an accumulation of old jars and
brassware. There is no man keener on the dollar than the Dayak, or
keener upon retaining it when gained; and there is no better labourer,
but the employer of Dayak labour must be tactful and just. As they
become more prosperous they discover for themselves that it is more
conducive to their welfare not only to be on good terms with the
Government, but at peace with their neighbours.



The Dutch in the Kapuas have experienced considerable difficulty in
dealing with the many tribes of different races, especially with the
Sea-Dayaks, who inhabit that vast river, which runs past the heads of
the Batang Lupar and the principal left-hand branches of the Rejang
river, but they have made some advance in the pacification of these
people, though their methods are very different, far less energetic and
much slower, than those of the Rajah.

The highlands, the spine of Borneo, along which runs the frontier, is no
mountain ridge, but a broken upland district, that forms the watershed
of the great rivers of Sarawak on one side, and the still greater rivers
of Dutch Borneo on the other. It is a region difficult of access from
the coast on both sides, and long after the Dayaks living lower down had
become peaceful, turbulence and internecine warfare remained chronic in
the interior. And this was the more difficult to suppress because the
aggressors had but to step across the boundary, where they could not be
pursued by the forces of the Rajah. This was perfectly well understood
by these savages, and was taken advantage of repeatedly, and the efforts
of the Rajah were in consequence continually thwarted.

A series of expeditions was planned by his Highness that for this reason
met with but partial success. It is unnecessary to record the details of
each, for each repeated the experience of the former with painful
iteration, and we have already given an account of some of the earliest
of these punitive expeditions. But it will be necessary to record them,
to show how great were the difficulties the Government had to contend
with before the turbulent tribes of the interior could be brought to

A great many of the Ulu Ai Dayaks had settled in the Katibas river,
which is the highway from the Rejang to the Kapuas river in Dutch
territory, and these Dayaks were incessantly giving trouble by making
predatory raids against their enemies over the border.

The Dutch had complained of this, and the Rajah had attacked them in
1870, as we have recorded, but as they continued to give trouble, he
again attacked them, for the third time, in July 1871, taking them on
this occasion completely by surprise; and driving their chief, Unjup,
over the frontier, where he might have been captured. Unjup was the
brother of the powerful chief Balang, who had been previously executed
for plotting against the Government.[328] Later on he was allowed to
return, and was pardoned on making humble submission. He subsequently
became a Government chief or pengulu, but he was a useless character.
After the third attack, this tribe was moved to the lower waters of the
Katibas, and an interval of uninhabited jungle was put between them and
their enemies.

However, what is born in the bone must come out in the flesh, and, in
1874, they again broke away and attacked, on this occasion the Tamans
and Bunut Malays of the Kapuas. It was, however, a case of _lex
talionis_; and these people had brought it upon themselves by their own
treacherous conduct in inveigling six Dayaks, who were on a peaceful
visit to their country, into a Taman house, where they were seized and
bound. Thence these six had been sent to Bunut, a large Malay
settlement, and were there put to death in a most cold-blooded manner.
Nevertheless the Dayaks had to be taught not to take the law into their
own hands. But properly the Netherlands officials were the most
blameworthy for not having promptly secured and punished the Malay
murderers and their accomplices.

The following year the Batu Bangkai Dayaks of the Kapuas, in conjunction
with some Katibas Dayaks, made a determined attack on the Lemanak
Dayaks. The Lemanak is a confluent of the upper waters of the Batang
Lupar. The repeated outbreaks of these turbulent natives was entirely
due to their proximity to the Dutch frontier, and to their knowledge
that they had but to step across the border to escape the Government
forces; and at that time the Netherlands Government insisted upon the
border rights being strictly respected; moreover their troops, the only
forces they had at their disposal, were totally useless in acting
against Dayaks, who can only be tracked by fellow Dayaks. The
Netherlands officials in the Kapuas were themselves aware of their
inability, and were averse to the policy of their Government. Powerless
themselves, unwilling or unable to use Dayak auxiliaries, they were well
content to let the Rajah do the work for them which they could not do
themselves. But the central Government objected.

The Ulu Ai Dayaks of the upper Rejang, after having been peaceable for
many years, were encouraged by these circumstances to break out again,
and even those who were disposed for peace were terrorised into joining
in these forays by a threat of having their houses burnt down over their
heads, unless they came out upon the war-path.

In October, 1875, the Rajah led a large force against the upper Batang
Lupar Dayaks, who had been giving great trouble, and forty of their
villages were destroyed; but deeming this punishment inadequate, the
attack was followed up by another delivered two months later; the
rebels, completely surprised, suffered severely, and hastened to tender
their submission.



The turn of the Katibas was to follow shortly. The Kapuas Dayaks over
the border were still unchecked, and knowing how incapable the Dutch
officials were to subdue them, and secure as they believed themselves to
be behind the frontier, they became insolent, and in February collected
a large force of over 2000 fighting men to punish the Dayaks up the
Batang Lupar for having submitted to the Rajah. They came within two
hours' march of Lobok Antu fort, but here they found the Resident of the
district at the head of a large force blocking their way. The Dutch
Controleur in vain endeavoured to persuade these Dayaks to disperse and
return to their homes; and they had the insolence to send the Resident
an intimation that they would do so if he paid them a fine of eight old
jars, and declared that if this were refused, they would attack Lobok
Antu in force. As the Resident could not cross the border to punish
them, this was just what he wanted them to do, and he was perfectly
prepared to give them a hot reception. But they changed their minds and
withdrew, leaving him greatly disappointed that he had not been able to
administer to them a much-needed chastisement.

But these Dayaks were not to be allowed to play fast and loose much
longer, for towards the end of 1876, the Resident of Western Borneo
administered a severe lesson to the rebels, destroying all their
villages and killing a great number of the men. His expedition,
conducted with vigour and thoroughness, was completely successful.

In October, 1876, the Rajah for the fourth and last time attacked the
Katibas Dayaks with a small force of about a thousand Dayaks and Malays.
This led to the submission of these people, and they were forced to
leave the Katibas river, and move to the main river. Since then no
Dayaks have been allowed to live on the Katibas, and from the Rejang
side the border troubles almost ceased.

Early in 1879, led away by their principal chief, Lang Endang (the
Hovering Hawk), a Government pengulu, the Sekrang Dayaks prepared to
attack their old enemies, the Kantu Dayaks, in Netherlands Borneo. They
were prevented in time, information of their purpose having been
conveyed to the Government. Their war-prahus were destroyed, and a heavy
fine was imposed upon them. Lang Endang, whilst professing loyalty to
the Government, was secretly inciting the Sekrangs to resist, and they
refused to pay the fine. Lang Endang offered to attack the recalcitrants
if a party of Malays was sent to support him, but, as the Government was
well aware that treachery was meditated, the offer was declined. Acting
under instructions from headquarters, the Resident entered the Sekrang
at the head of a large body of Malays and Kalaka, Saribas and Batang
Lupar Dayaks in April. Lang Endang had assured the Government that he
would not allow the Sekrangs to make a stand in his district, but at the
same time he had collected them secretly around his long-house, and his
plan was to fall on the Government _bala_ and take it by surprise. This
he succeeded in doing. A large horde of armed savages surrounded the
punitive force and attacked it, but the Sekrangs were badly worsted and
lost many killed and wounded; the Government forces advanced, driving
the rebels before them, and Lang Endang's village was burnt to the
ground. The Sekrangs then submitted, paid the fine, and deposited
pledges for future good behaviour. Lang Endang was declared an outlaw.
He was driven from one place to another, and although he was burnt out
several times, he managed to escape with his life. Finally he was
suffered to settle by himself in the Kanowit, a broken-down old man,
without power to do more harm. The Sekrangs had for many years been the
Rajah's devoted followers; since this final outbreak they have given no
more trouble, and have regained their good character.

After the establishment of the fort at the mouth of the Baleh, since
removed down to Kapit in 1877, the Ulu Ai Dayaks gradually moved into
that river, and in 1880, it was thickly populated by them. Scattered
among the numerous Dayak villages on this river were small parties of
refractory Dayaks, who had been guilty of several murders to obtain
heads, and with heads renown. Though the majority of the Baleh Dayaks
were well affected, and had no sympathy with these young head-hunters,
they refused to give them up. Thereupon they were offered two
alternatives, either they must surrender these murderers, or else move
from the river to the lower waters and leave them and their followers to
their fate. They chose the latter alternative. Then the refractory party
retired up the Mujong branch of the Baleh, and established themselves at
the foot of a lofty, precipitous mountain called Bukit Batu. Upon an
almost inaccessible crag of this they erected a stockade, to which they
could retreat in the event of being attacked, and draw up their ladders
after them. Here they considered themselves to be secure from
punishment, and in a position to raid neighbouring tribes, carry off
heads, and to defy the power of the Rajah. To prevent this and to cut
off their supplies, a stockade was built at the mouth of the Mujong, and
again another at the mouth of the branch stream that flowed from the
mountain. A few were intimidated and came in, but the rest, though they
suffered great privations, held out and evinced their determination not
to surrender by cutting off three Malays, who incautiously had left the
upper stockade to go fishing. They were attacked by the Rajah in
February, 1881, several were killed, and their houses were burnt down;
but this punishment proving ineffectual, the Rajah again attacked them
in the following September, when they suffered heavier losses. After
this second lesson they sent in their women and children as hostages and
tendered submission. Then Bukit Batu was abandoned to its original
inhabitants, the wild Punans; and the Dayaks were not allowed to live
any more in the Baleh.

In 1884, a large force of Seriang Dayaks from Netherlands Borneo, under
the leadership of pates, chiefs appointed by the Dutch Government,
attacked Padang Kumang, also on the Dutch side, killing nine and
wounding five more, and in this expedition they were joined by a Batang
Lupar Ulu Ai chief, Ngumbang, with 300 followers. A heavy fine was
imposed upon Ngumbang, and he was ordered to remove farther down the
river, where he could be closely watched. He refused to pay and to move,
on the plea that the Dutch Dayaks had been the originators and leaders
of the raid, and that he did not see why punishment should fall on his
head, whereas they were allowed to go scot free. Similar attacks
continued to be made, not only on the Kapuas side of the frontier, but
also upon the Lemanaks and Sekrangs on the Sarawak side, and the whole
of this part of the country was in a ferment and disorder. On Kadang
ridge, upon the border, and in its vicinity, numbers of unruly Ulu Ai
Dayaks had settled, some on one side, some on the other, taking
advantage of their position to slip across when fearing molestation.
These Dayaks were being continually augmented by impetuous young bloods
eager to acquire reputation for bravery. Nothing could be done to reduce
them without the consent, if not the co-operation, of the Dutch
authorities, and the Rajah applied to the Netherlands Government to
permit him to disregard the border, for this once at least. And as this
hornet's nest had become a menace to the peaceful in Dutch Borneo as
well as in Sarawak, consent was given.

In March, 1886, the Rajah advanced against Kadang with a large force of
12,000 men. The whole country in the vicinity of Kadang on both sides of
the frontier was laid waste; eighty villages were burnt, and although
the rebels made no determined stand, many were killed or wounded. This
expedition was eminently successful, as it not only resulted in the
submission of the rebel Dayaks on the Sarawak side, including the chief
Ngumbang, but also caused consternation among those over the border, who
found that they were no longer safe there, and they were prepared to
submit to any conditions the Rajah might impose upon them, rather than
incur the risk of another attack.

In appreciation of the signal services rendered to the country under his
control by the success of this expedition, in September, 1886, the
Netherlands Resident of Western Borneo wrote to the Rajah:—

  Yesterday I received from the Comptroller the important information
  that the last inhabitants of Bukit Kadang, who till now have refused
  to submit, have been taken prisoners and brought to Sintang,[329]
  where they will be tried before the competent judge. On Netherlands
  Territory in the frontier lands there are now no more rebellious
  Batang Lupars. Whilst congratulating you once more, dear Rajah, with
  this result, being due to the success of your expedition, I assure
  you that my functionaries will always earnestly co-operate for the
  conclusion of the Batang Lupar question.

The united efforts of the Netherlands and Sarawak Governments have done
much towards suppressing the border troubles. A clear understanding has
been arrived at in regard to the mutual management of these turbulent
Ulu Ai Dayaks. The Netherlands and Sarawak officials frequently
correspond and meet to discuss arrangements, and the assistance afforded
by the former has been fully recognised and acknowledged in the pages of
the _Sarawak Gazette_.

Not only in connection with these particular border-troubles, but in all
other matters, the relations between the two Governments have for years
past invariably been conducted in a spirit of mutual consideration and
support, and with a wholesome absence of red-tapeism.



On June 27, 1888, in Lobok Antu fort, peace was formally made in the
presence of the Netherlands and Sarawak officials, with the usual
ceremonies of pig-killing between the Ulu Ai Dayaks and the Malohs of
Kapuas, thus bringing to an end a feud that had existed for many
generations, and at the same time peace was made between the Ulu Ai and
the Kantu Dayaks of Kapuas. A similar peace between the Ulu Ai of the
Rejang and the Malohs and Tamans had been concluded at Kapit fort a
short time before.

After a long term of peace, in 1890, five young Ulu Ai Dayaks, whilst on
a visit to the Kapuas, came across and killed eight Bunut Malays, but
bearing in mind the former act of treachery of these Malays, the people
had no sympathy with the victims; however, the chiefs averted serious
consequences to their country by themselves arresting the murderers and
surrendering them to the Government for punishment.

In March of the same year, some Dayaks from Samunok, on the Dutch side,
made a raid into Sarawak territory and killed twelve Kunjong Dayaks on
their padi-farm. Two of these murderers were killed by Dutch soldiers,
and a heavy fine was imposed on the rest.

The district watered by the great Rejang river, after which it is named,
is, regarding it from a political point of view, the most important one
in the State; and, owing to its large and diversified population, is the
most difficult to govern. It contains about half the native population
of Sarawak. Into it the Sea-Dayaks have spread from the Batang Lupar,
and in a lesser degree from the Saribas, and have so multiplied that in
numbers they now far exceed those in the adjacent districts of Kalaka,
Saribas, and Batang Lupar together, without any diminution in the
Sea-Dayak population of these districts, which has for years been
steadily increasing.[330] Besides the many Kenyahs and Kayans, more
numerous than they are in the Baram, scattered over the interior are the
more aboriginal and wilder tribes, such as the Punans, the Ukits, the
Bukitans, and others not found elsewhere than in the Rejang. In the old
days these tribes were at feud with each other, and all were at feud
with the Dayaks. The intertribal feuds between themselves have been
brought to an end, but those between them and the Dayaks keep on
breaking out spasmodically. These are old blood-feuds, which undoubtedly
originated with the interior tribes, and arose probably from an
instinctive fear of the gradual advance of a more dominant race into
their country, and from a not unnatural desire to check it. So far as
the main population of the Sea-Dayaks is concerned these feuds have long
ceased, but with the Ulu Ai Dayaks of the Rejang, those living on the
head-waters, brought as they are by their situation in contact with
these interior tribes, the case is different. The Ulu Ai Dayaks have not
always been the aggressors, even in recent times, but of late it has
been mainly due to their vindictiveness that all attempts to put an end
to these feuds have been frustrated. For this the young men have been
mostly to blame, who, when away in the remote interior collecting jungle
produce, and beyond even the weak control of their own chiefs, meeting
with detached parties of their old foes take such opportunities of
gaining renown as warriors, which awaits the return of a Dayak with a
head trophy, however meanly obtained. Indiscriminate retaliation follows
in the train of these acts, the victims being the first Dayaks met with,
nearly always men guiltless of any hostile act, and often peaceable
produce collectors from other parts of the country. So fresh feuds are
established. Several wanton crimes of this nature committed by the
Dayaks of the Upper Rejang led to their being attacked by the Rajah in
May, 1894, all other forms of punishment, even the extreme penalty of
death, having failed to deter them from repeating these acts.

The Ulu Ai Dayaks have always been the most troublesome, and, as we have
pointed out, are now the sole offenders. Not only are these people at
enmity with the alien tribes above them, and those inhabiting the
head-waters of the Mahkam (Koti), the Batang Kayan (Belungan), and the
Kapuas, but also with the Dayaks living below them. Yet they have their
redeeming points, especially those of the upper Rejang, who are a
hard-working people. Many thousands of dollars worth of gutta-percha,
india-rubber, and rattans annually pass from their hands to the Chinese
traders, and the bulk of the jungle produce exported comes from the
Rejang. The money so earned by them is not always converted into useless
old jars and brassware, the usual outward signs of richness amongst
Dayaks, but is placed with the Chinese on interest, and upon good
security; and in such transactions the Dayaks are safeguarded by a
Government regulation, which they are careful to see is not evaded.

After several years of tranquillity, in 1897 troubles again arose in the
Batang Lupar. An Ulu Ai named Bantin, a man of no rank, collected a few
kindred restless and badly disposed Dayaks, and, under the pretence of
wrongs, more or less imaginary, done to him and his people in former
times, made several petty raids against Dayaks living farther
down-river. Trifling as the successes were that he obtained they were
sufficient to gain for him renown as a leader, and not only the addition
of more followers, but the co-operation of a few chiefs living in his
neighbourhood,—turbulent characters who had been subdued before, but who
were only waiting for a favourable opportunity to break out again. The
people were attacked in March, 1897, and, amongst others, Bantin's
eldest son was killed. A few months later he was severely handled again
for attacking some Dayaks living below Lobok Antu, and this lesson was
apparently sufficient to keep his hands off his neighbours for a few

But in March, 1902, he again broke out, and on two occasions attacked
inoffensive Dayaks below Lobok Antu, killing four; and this led to
perhaps the most tragic event that the annals of Sarawak record.

The Rajah at once organised an expedition with the object of crushing
and scattering this nest of rebels. To do this successfully a large
force was necessary to block all roads by which the rebels could escape,
especially those leading over the border; but, unfortunately, an
unprecedented number of Dayaks, some 12,000, turned out at the bidding
of their Ruler, far more than were wanted or expected.

Leaving Simanggang Fort on June 9, under the command of Mr. H. F.
Deshon, the Resident of the 3rd Division,[331] with whom was the Rajah
Muda and Mr. D. J. S. Bailey, the Resident of Batang Lupar and
Saribas,[332] the force reached Nanga Delok on the 12th. Here the boats
were to be left, and the _bala_ was to march inland in divisions. With a
company of Rangers, a strong and well-equipped body of Malays, and an
overwhelming force of Dayaks success seemed assured; but a foe more
dreadful than any human enemy attacked the camp, and in a few hours had
claimed many victims. Cholera had broken out, and rapidly spread.
Panic-stricken, with their dead[333] and dying, the Dayaks at once
turned their bangkongs homewards, and by mid-day of the 14th, of 815
boats that had collected at Nanga Delok, but nineteen remained, with the
Malay contingent, and the Rangers, who lost eight of their comrades, and
their senior non-commissioned officer. Of the small force of Dayaks who
had so bravely stood by their leaders, only a hundred, or under one
half, were available for service. These, under their plucky leader, the
Pengulu Dalam, attempted to effect something, but the rebels had
retreated farther than they dared follow, and after burning a few houses
in the vicinity they were compelled to retreat to their boats. Then the
small remnant of the expedition returned, passing on their way down many
empty boats, and other gruesome testimony of the sad havoc caused by the
cholera, to which it was subsequently ascertained at least one thousand
had fallen victims.

Bantin was soon on the war-path again, harassing the lower Dayaks on a
larger scale than before. Mr. Bailey twice attacked him, on the first
occasion burning twenty-four villages, and forty on the second, in
co-operation with a _bala_ from the Rejang under Pengulu Dalam, when
many of the rebels were killed, but these punishments failed to bring
Bantin and his band to their senses.

An expedition led by the Rajah in March, 1903, the last one he has led
in person, resulted in submission; it, however, proved but hollow,
having been made by the rebels to gain time to recover from their
losses. In February the following year, during the Rajah's absence in
England, the Rajah Muda was compelled to attack these rebels again; and,
though this expedition was successful, another had to be despatched
against them in June. On this occasion a column led by Mr. J.
Baring-Gould[334] was attacked by the rebels, who were driven off with a
heavy loss. Nearly fifty long-houses were destroyed.

Then a large party of these wild Ulu Ai Dayaks of the Rejang and Batang
Lupar settled upon Entimau hill near the head of the Katibas, and there
built a strong stockade, but by a frontal attack delivered by the
Pengulu Dalam, quickly followed up by an attack from their rear under
Pengulu Merum, these rebels were driven out with a heavy loss. They then
retired to the head of the Kanowit, where they were again severely
handled by the Pengulu Dalam.

It is sometime now since Bantin with many others finally submitted to
the Rajah at Kapit Fort; and though the peace that followed lasted for
some little time, other outbreaks have occurred, though these have been
less frequent and serious.

By establishing outposts and so bringing these warlike people more
immediately under Government control it is expected that they will now
soon be brought into line with the great majority of the Sea-Dayaks.
But, though time and circumstances may alter the nature of these
semi-savages, and head-hunting will gradually become less popular, as
the danger to those indulging in it is increased, still the savage old
Adam will remain dormant in the nature of the Sea-Dayaks for many years
to come, and at times must break out, as surely, and for the same
reason, as it does in other parts of the world, and amongst far more
civilised people; as it will continue to do until the millennium.

There is a bright side to the picture, as there is to every picture, and
the dark spot is to be found in one corner only. The total Sea-Dayak
population may be computed at a little under 120,000, and of these over
80 per cent are now a peaceable and well-behaved people. Those with any
real experience of them can testify to their many and predominating good
qualities. Crime is rare amongst them; they are an easy and a pleasant
people to rule, and to associate with, being by nature bright,
intelligent, and kindly. "Untutored and unaffected by extraneous
influences, and consequently primitive, simple, and natural, one can but
be agreeably struck by their kind and hospitable manners, and by the
open welcome offered when visiting them. And those well acquainted with
the better qualities of these people must reflect whether any change
that may be effected by civilisation and education will ameliorate their
manners and their mode of living, both socially and morally, and will
prove of any paramount or real benefit to them. Education, so far as it
involves improvement in agriculture and crafts must be brought about in
the natural sequence of events, and as a simple consequence of mixing
with other and superior races. Such developments will be slow, but they
will be natural ones, ensuring changes only for the good of, and
acceptable to, the people, and therefore beneficial, being better
adapted and better in effect than radical changes foreign to their minds
and character." With these words from the greatest authority upon these
people, we will conclude our notice of the Sea-Dayaks.



Of the Kayans, Kenyahs, and other inland tribes, there is little to be
said. Troubles amongst these people have rarely occurred; and occasional
outbreaks have been the result of anger caused by injuries suffered,
unaggravated by any desire for heads. The Kenyahs and Kayans are more
disciplined than the Sea-Dayaks, and better subject to the control of
their chiefs, amongst whom are to be found some fine characters. Notably
such an one was the Kenyah chief, Tama Bulan, of the Baram. Loyal,
powerful, and intellectual, he rendered inestimable services in the
introduction of order into his country when it was acquired by the
Government, and he continued these services unabated until his death in
1906. It was his earnest desire that "the Rajah, and everybody else,
should know that the Kenyahs could be trusted to carry out his
instructions, and were as loyal to his Government as any of his Dayaks;"
and on the eve of his death, old and enfeebled, at a large meeting of
Kenyahs and Kayans, he managed to deliver a short address of farewell,
in which he exhorted the people not to give trouble, and after his death
to remain loyal to the Rajah.[335]


Footnote 327:

  Lit. upper waters.

Footnote 328:

  Chap. XII. p. 320.

Footnote 329:

  A large town in the Upper Kapuas—the Dutch headquarters there.

Footnote 330:

  In 1871 there were only 3000 families of Sea-Dayaks in the Rejang,
  there are now over 8000.

Footnote 331:

  Mr. Deshon joined the Sarawak service in 1876. In 1883 he was
  appointed Resident of Batang Lupar and Saribas; Divisional Resident of
  the 4th Division in 1892; of the 3rd Division in 1896; and in 1903, he
  succeeded Mr. C. A. Bampfylde as Resident of Sarawak. He retired in
  1904, and was succeeded by Sir Percy Cunynghame, Bart., the present

Footnote 332:

  Entered the Sarawak service in 1888. Resident of Batang Lupar and
  Saribas 1894.

Footnote 333:

  They could not bury their dead in an enemy's country—the bodies would
  have been dug up and the heads taken.

Footnote 334:

  Then Resident 2nd Class 2nd Division. Now Resident of the Rejang. He
  joined the service in 1897.

Footnote 335:

  _The Sarawak Gazette._



                               CHAPTER XV
                          THE RAJAH AND RANEE

The Rajah shortly after his marriage returned to Sarawak with the Ranee.
This was in 1870.

When the Ranee arrived in the country which was to be her home for many
years, and where by the exercise of a kindly and tactful influence she
was soon to gain the enduring affection and esteem of all her people,
Kuching presented a very different appearance to what it does now. It
was a small place then, with but few roads, with no places of recreation
or amusement, and with a very limited society. But it possessed the
charm of romance, of beautiful though sometimes to the English exile
wearying scenery, and above all an interesting and lovable people, proud
and courteous, yet simple and childlike in many ways. Kuching is more
than double the size now, and all the recreations and amusements in
which Britons delight can now be indulged in there.



As the _Royalist_, on board which were the Rajah and Ranee, rounded a
tree-covered point, the lower suburbs of the town opened up. On the
right hand, Malay Kampongs, set in groves of dark-foliaged fruit trees,
enlivened by groups of welcoming Malays on the verandahs and on the
banks, dressed in their best garments of bright colours, and by little
brown children sporting in the wash of the steamer. Opposite, the
Chinese sago factories, gay with strips of Turkey-red cloth embossed
with words of welcome, and enveloped in the smoke of an incessant salute
of crackers and bombs. At the head of the long and broad reach the river
banks on both sides rise to small hills, as if guarding the entrance to
the main town. At the foot of the hill on the left are the Borneo
Company's offices and godowns,[336] above, their bungalows set in deep
verdure. On the hill opposite, where now Fort Margherita domineers over
the town like a castle with its square tower and flanking turrets, were
the Residency (now the Commandant's house) and the barracks. Rounding
the bend between these hills, the main town, seated on the banks of a
broad stretch of river, broke into view, the Chinese bazaars, or town,
and the public buildings on the left, with the old white fort (now the
jail) on the point above. On the right, the Astana, or palace, standing
in park-like gardens amid tall palms and other trees. On both banks
above are the upper Malay Kampongs, and in the distant back-ground the
jungle-clad range of Matang in sapphire blue, rising to the noble peak
of Serapi.

The bazaars were gaily decorated in the showy and profuse fashion
affected by the Chinese, and the native shipping—brigs, schooners,
junks, and prahus of all descriptions—were gay with bunting, the ensign
of Sarawak predominating, and here and there the red, white, and blue
flag of the Netherlands; the Natuna flag, black with a white canton; and
the triangular mercantile flag of China, a green three-clawed dragon on
a yellow ground. From the British Consulate only flapped in the light
wind the Union Jack.

As the _Royalist_, with the Rajah's flag flying at the main, steamed
slowly up to her anchorage, the booming of cannon announced to the
people far and wide the return of their Ruler with his bride, and
simultaneously with the first gun, down the whole length of the town
burst forth a deafening crash of crackers and bombs—the Chinese
time-honoured method of saluting.

From the parade-ground, led by the Commandant, defiled a line of white
uniformed Rangers, with black facings and belts, the guard of honour
marching to the Astana. The Siamese state-barge[337] manned by Rangers,
and with the Resident on board, shot alongside to convey their
Highnesses ashore, and, as they landed, an orderly[338] unfurled the
symbol of sovereignty—the large yellow umbrella.

At the Astana landing-place were all the English residents, Malay
chiefs, the leading Chinese, and a few Indian merchants. A bright
picture this assembly presented, with the handsome uniforms of the
officials, the rich-coloured robes and turbans of the hajis, and the
loose silk costumes of the Chinese. Above was seen a knot of brown
Dayaks, the men wearing long decorated waistcloths of gay colours, black
leglets and ivory armlets; the women in short petticoats fringed with
silver coins, and in all the splendour of their brass and copper
corselets, armlets, anklets, and coronets, burnished and sparkling in
the sun.

With a tear on his bronzed cheek, a tear of joy, the old Datu
Bandar,[339] the worthy son of a gallant father, steps forward to
welcome his beloved Chief with his beautiful bride, and his was not the
least valued of the many fervent greetings they received that day.

As the Rajah and Ranee passed on to the Astana the Royal salute was
given by the guard of honour in a manner worthy of the best-drilled
troops; but one thing was lacking,—a national anthem,—and little did any
one there present dream that the accomplished lady then stepping for the
first time on Sarawak soil would shortly supply that want by composing
one for the country, which was to become so dear to her.[340]

Something must be said of the Astana,[341] the residence of the Rajah
and Ranee, which had then just been completed. It is built of brick in
three separate sections, with a roof of iron-wood shingles, in
appearance closely resembling slates. The illustration will best convey
an idea of its exterior appearance, which in the opinion of some has
been sacrificed for the sake of internal comfort. However that may be,
no more comfortable or cooler house exists in the East. On the first or
upper floor of the centre section are the drawing-rooms and dining-room,
spacious and lofty, and surrounded by a broad verandah. At the back of
the house, off the dining-room, is the library. The side blocks contain
the bedrooms, the lateral verandahs of which are connected with those of
the central block by covered bridges. In the basement are the Rajah's
office, guard-room, household offices, bathrooms, etc. The entrance is
in the tower, in the lower part of which is the main staircase, and
above is the billiard room. In a separate building, connected with the
main building by a covered passage, are the bachelors' quarters.





The well-laid-out gardens are extensive, and contain many beautiful
tropical plants. Behind the Astana is the old graveyard of the former
Malay Rajahs, in which are some well-carved monuments of iron-wood.
Beyond the gardens are grazing lands. The Rajah has two cattle farms,
and he takes a great interest in rearing cattle, importing pedigree
bulls from England to improve the stock in the country. Kuching is
almost wholly supplied with milk and butter from the Astana dairies.

Above the Astana are Malay Kampongs, below, the fort and barracks, and
beyond these more Malay Kampongs. On the opposite side of the river is
the town, the upper part of which is comprised of the principal Malay
Kampongs, where reside the datus; and these stretch along the river for
a mile on each side of the road which runs parallel with it down to the
Malay Mosque. This is a square building of some dignity, with a
pyramidical roof supported inside by noble pillars, and near the mosque
is the Datus' Court-house, and one of the Government schools for Malays.
Adjoining this is the business portion of the town, substantially built
of brick, whitewashed and clean, which extends down to the creek, from
which the town takes its name, in two long streets with cross-connecting
streets. In the centre is the Court-house with the Government offices;
the markets are on one side, and the jail on the other; behind are the
Police Station and the Government Dispensary. Beyond the Kuching creek
are the Borneo Company's offices and godowns, above which, on the hill
behind, are the houses of the manager and his assistants. Beyond again
another Kampong, in which there are a good many houses of foreign Malays
and some Chinese, and this portion of the town extends to the
race-course. Between these and the river are the sago factories.

Behind the central portion of the town is the S.P.G. Mission ground,
upon which are the church, Bishop's House, and Vicarage, the Boys' and
Girls' Schools, and the Public Library. On the opposite side of the road
is the esplanade with the band-stand, and beyond the police barracks.
Then, landwards, are bungalows, club-houses, the Museum, and the
Residency, behind which is another Malay Kampong, and farther on the
Roman Catholic church, convent, and schools, and beyond these the golf
links. The town reservoirs and the General Hospital are beyond the
S.P.G. Mission ground. Dotted about in the suburbs are the houses and
bungalows of Europeans and well-to-do Chinese, standing in pleasant
gardens, and intermingled with these are the humbler homes of Chinese
and Malay gardeners.



Kuching is well supplied with roads, and is the only town in Borneo in
which wheel-traffic is general. It has practically an inexhaustible
water-supply, the water being brought down in pipes a distance of 11
miles from Matang mountain, a work lately completed at great cost. It
has a telephone service, which extends to upper Sarawak, and which will
be gradually extended along the coast to all the principal out-stations.
The town is lighted with Lux lamps. Its public buildings are well
constructed and adequate for their purposes. In addition to the Mission
schools are three Government schools, of which notice shall be made in a
following chapter. The Museum is a handsome building, and contains both
an ethnographical and a natural history collection, which have gained a
wide reputation.

In 1839, Kuching was nothing but a small collection of wooden thatched
hovels, now it is one of the largest towns in Borneo, if not the
largest, and is commercially the most important. On pages 61 and 91 will
be found illustrations showing what Kuching was then, and what it is
now. Then, Bruni, though fast declining from its former prosperous
state, was in a far more flourishing condition than Kuching, which had
been reduced to desolation by oppression. Fifty years later an anonymous
writer, evidently a naval officer, after giving a good account of Bruni
and its circumstances, wrote:—

  When we left we could not but draw an unfavourable contrast between
  the ancient town and the young capital of the adjacent State of
  Sarawak, Kuching, which we had lately visited. There, under European
  rule, the jungle has been cleared, and a well built and planned town
  has sprung up, with good roads, handsome public buildings, an
  efficient police—all the essentials of civilisation in fact; Malays,
  Dayaks, and Chinese live and trade amicably together, and all the
  resources of a rich country are being opened up; while the
  river-banks are beautified with picturesque bungalows nestling among
  the trees, with green lawns, such as one rarely sees out of England,
  stretching down to the water's edge.[342]

On September, 21, 1870, was born to the Rajah a daughter, Ghita, and on
February 20, 1872, twin sons, James and Charles. The birth of these sons
was a cause of general rejoicing among the natives of all classes in
Kuching; but Ghita, a very charming child, was the principal pet among
the Malays, who entertained a lively and tender affection for her, which
she reciprocated, for the little girl seemed to be never so happy as
when in their company.

In August, 1872, the Rajah and Ranee visited Pontianak, where they met
with a very cordial reception by the Dutch Resident, Mr. Van der Shulk,
and the civil, naval, and military officers; in November, in the same
year, they paid a visit to the Governor-General of Batavia, by whom they
were also most cordially received. The Dutch had long since given up
their expectation and hope of acquiring Sarawak.

In September, 1873, the Rajah and Ranee left for England, leaving the
administration of the country in the hands of Mr. J. B. Cruickshank and
a Committee of Administration.

In ascending the Red Sea in the _Hydaspes_ the heat was intense.

                   All in a hot and copper sky,
                   The bloody sun at noon
                   Right up above the mast did stand,
                   No bigger than the moon.

The poor children, parched, panting, struck with heat apoplexy, died one
after another. James on October 11, Ghita on October 14, and Charles on
October 17, and were committed to the deep.

The Rajah was created a Commander of the Crown of Italy in April, 1874,
and in July, 1899, was promoted to be Grand Officer.

On September 26, 1874, Charles Vyner, the Rajah Muda, was born. The name
Vyner was taken from Sir Thomas Vyner, Lord Mayor of London in 1654, who
entertained Oliver Cromwell in the Guildhall. His only son, Sir Robert
Vyner, on the contrary was a zealous Royalist, and sacrificed some
wealth for the cause of the King, and being also in turn Lord Mayor,
entertained King Charles II. in 1670. He had been created a baronet, but
the baronetcy became extinct in his only son, George, and then the
estate of Eastbury in Essex, purchased by the profit of the old
Puritan's merchandise, passed to the two daughters of the grandson, the
founder of the family, and from one of them, Edith, the Brookes claim
descent, through Elizabeth Collet, great-great-granddaughter of Edith,
who married a Captain Robert Brooke (son of Robert Brooke of
Goodmansfields, London), and Mr. Thomas Brooke, father of the first
Rajah, was their grandson.

Whilst the Rajah was in England, the late Lord Derby was at the Foreign
Office. He was always very friendly towards Sarawak, and paid the Rajah
the compliment of saying that the British Government could never have
made such a success of Sarawak, as he had done. This was a fact _qui
saute aux yeux_ of all such as knew anything of Foreign Office and
Colonial Office ways, but it was none the less satisfactory that the
obvious truth should be admitted. Lord Derby and Lord Clarendon were the
only two Foreign Secretaries who displayed any appreciation of the work
that was being done in Sarawak, and who did not consider its Ruler as
beneath their notice.

Lord Grey, formerly Secretary for Colonial Affairs, and the reformer of
Colonial administration, was another Minister who extended his
sympathies towards Sarawak, and continued to do so long after he had
ceased to hold office. In 1894, a few years before his death, he wrote
to the Rajah, "Though I do not remember ever having had the advantage of
meeting you, the long friendship with your uncle, which I enjoyed,
induces me to write you a few lines for the purpose of expressing the
great pleasure with which I have read the account of the present state
of Sarawak in the _Pall Mall Gazette_. From the first, as you may be
aware, I have taken a deep interest in the work done by Sir James Brooke
in Borneo, and have never ceased to follow up the history of the
Settlement he formed. I am glad to learn how wisely and successfully you
have been carrying on his work, and it has been a great satisfaction to
me to read the account of the continued prosperity of your little
State." Little in regard to population perhaps, but as large in area as
the four Federated Malay States along with Johore.

The Rajah and Ranee returned to Sarawak in June, 1875, and were received
with demonstrations of the greatest joy, but at the same time with
tokens of sincere sympathy for their loss.

The difficulties that the Rajah had to overcome in suppressing the many
intertribal feuds still existing among the thousands of warlike natives,
of so many different tribes and races, comprising the interior
population of Sarawak, receive illustration from the grievances
presented to him on his visiting Baleh fort in the same year. This fort
was 180 miles up the Rejang, and had been constructed during his absence
in England. It has since been moved down to Kapit.

The complaints made were these:—

Uniat, a Kayan chief, complained that fourteen of his women and
children, among the latter two of his own, had been killed by the Poi

Kanian, a Dayak chief, complained of six of his people having been
killed by Kayans of the Tinjar (Baram) then in Bruni territory. No
redress could be promised in such a case as this.



Apai Bansa, a Dayak, brought as his grievance that seven of his people
had been murdered by Lisums, a wild tribe living far in the interior. In
this case also, the Rajah was not in a position to afford help.

Ingan, a Dayak, complained about the murder of his father and fifteen
companions, by Pieng Kayans of the Mahkam or Koti in Dutch territory.

Madang, a Dayak, complained that one of his followers had been murdered
by another Dayak.

Among other matters gone into was the attack in force of Rejang Dayaks
upon the Tamans and Bunut Malays of the Kapuas, provoked by the
treacherous and cold-blooded murder of six Dayaks who had gone on a
peaceful errand to that river to search for some lost relatives, who had
been captured by Tamans on a former raid. This matter has already been
referred to in the preceding chapter.

  If it has been found impossible in half a century to crush out
  completely all traces of head-hunting in a country larger than Great
  Britain and Ireland put together, one cannot forget that it is not
  so many generations since the wild Highlander was seen descending
  upon fold and shepherd, willing to risk his own life, and when needs
  must be, to take that of another, provided he could but return to
  his own filthy hovel, laden with spoil.

  All praise then be to those whom philanthropy has induced to lend a
  helping hand to this once wretched spot, so long shut out from
  civilising influence, and to those, who in the face of a life of
  isolation and discomfort, are still found willing to grapple with
  barbarism in its most hideous form—to him who rules the country,
  whose entire life has been devoted to the interests of his people,
  as is now that of his Ranee, beloved by all who know her; and let
  him, too, be remembered whose genius, enterprise, and unselfishness
  founded this plucky little kingdom of Sarawak, the good Sir James
  Brooke, who died battling hard—as his successor still earnestly
  strives—to instil into the minds of his wild subjects that beautiful
  precept "Pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis."[343]

On August 4, 1875, the Rajah wrote to the Netherlands Resident of
Western Borneo:—

  I fear the time has not yet arrived for peace in these inland
  regions, and that years of disquiet will take place before these
  people turn their minds entirely to peaceful pursuits, but I am
  fully aware it is utterly beyond the power of any civilised power to
  put a stop to the proceedings of these wild and unapproachable

—referring to the distant tribes living on the borders. "Time and
continual exertion must work out the problem of improvement," was the
opinion the Rajah expressed somewhat later, who years before, whilst
condemning arbitrary measures, stated his opinion that "forbearance
should not go beyond a certain point in dealing with Dayaks, who have
the feelings of children; kindness and severity must proceed hand in
hand with such a people," and no better authority upon the management of
such people exists.

On August 8, 1876, Bertram Willes Dayrell Brooke, the Tuan Muda, was

Upon April 11, 1877, the Rajah had a very narrow escape from drowning
whilst ascending the Rejang, accompanied by Messrs. M. G. Gueritz[345]
and Deshon, in a small Government steamer, the _Ghita_.

Upon approaching Baleh fort, a heavy fresh was coming down the river
Baleh, and, on attempting to cross this to gain the anchorage in the
main river, the steamer was driven into the bank. She was almost pressed
under water, and as a general smash appeared imminent, the Rajah seized
a branch, hoping to swing himself ashore. It snapped, by the vessel
being rammed against it, and he was precipitated into a whirlpool, which
sucked him under and swept him away. Fortunately, as he rose for the
last time, a boat coming from the fort was carried by the stream past
him, he was laid hold of, and pulled on board, unconscious from
exhaustion. Messrs. Gueritz and Deshon stuck to the steamer, which had
been forced on her beam ends, and had her funnel, awnings, and
stanchions torn off by the overhanging boughs. Nearly all on board were
forced into the current, but were saved by the Dayak boats that came
hurrying to the rescue.

As is the case in these inland rivers, the force of the fresh quickly
subsided, and with the help of many willing Dayaks the steamer was
extricated from her perilous position and towed to her anchorage.

Harry Keppel Brooke, the Tuan Bongsu, was born on November 10, 1879.

In June, 1882, as already related in the preceding chapter, the Rajah
visited Bruni, and obtained from the Sultan the cession of the districts
lying between Kedurong Point and the Baram.

Owing to the disturbed condition of Limbang and Bruni, the Rajah left
for England in September 1887, to watch the interests of Sarawak, and to
lay before the British Government the true state of affairs in these
places. He was accompanied by the Ranee and their three sons, who had
joined him in Sarawak a few months previously. He wished to impress upon
the Government the real feelings of the Limbang people in regard to
annexation to Sarawak, and to remove the impression that his Government
had been fostering discontent in the former place with a view to
encroachment. Before leaving Singapore, the Rajah wrote the following
note to Mr. F. R. O. Maxwell, in whose charge the Government had been

  Before leaving this for England, I must express my very sincere
  gratification for the kind way all Europeans, Datus, and Natives
  have received our sons in Sarawak. I can assure you and all, it has
  given both the Ranee and myself great satisfaction, and we feel we
  cannot be too thankful to the whole community for this mark of their
  confidence and good feeling.

The Rajah returned to Sarawak in May, 1888, and laid before the Supreme
Council a memorandum which had been agreed upon by her Majesty's Cabinet
Council granting protection to Sarawak. Subject to one alteration, the
memorandum was accepted. This alteration was admitted by the Cabinet
Council, and on the 14th June, the agreement affording British
protection to the State was signed and sealed by the Rajah in Council.
This agreement acknowledges the Rajah as the lawful Ruler of the State
of Sarawak, which shall continue to be governed and administered by him
and his successors as an independent State under the protection of Great
Britain, and confers no power on her Majesty's Government to interfere
with the internal administration of the State. Any question arising
respecting the succession to the present or any future Ruler of Sarawak
is to be referred to her Majesty's Government for decision. The foreign
relations of the State are to be conducted by her Majesty's Government,
and in accordance with its directions. Her Majesty's Government have the
right to establish British Consular officers in any part of the State,
but these are to receive exequaturs from the Rajah. It confers the
rights of the most favoured nations upon British subjects, commerce, and
shipping, and such rights and privileges as may be enjoyed by the
subjects, commerce, and shipping of Sarawak. It, moreover, provides that
no cession or alienation of any part of the territory of Sarawak shall
be made to any foreign State, or to the subjects and citizens thereof,
without the consent of her Majesty's Government.



  From left to right—The Datu Hakim (Haji Muhammad Ali), The Datu Bandar
    (Muhammad Kasim), The Datu Imaum (Haji Muhammad Rais), and Inchi
    Muhammad Zin.]

Sarawak, for nearly fifty years, without protection, assistance, or
encouragement of any kind, had gone on her way progressing slowly but
surely, and maintaining her independence in spite of many reverses and
misfortunes; and, long before the protection was granted, had developed
into a prosperous State with a bright future before her. For her
advancement and security, that protection which the late Rajah had so
ardently desired and so sorely needed, time has shown was not really
necessary. Could he have foreseen this in the days of his country's
adversity, he might have spared himself many rebuffs from those who
should have upheld him in his noble work, but who chose either to flout
or to obstruct it. He was impressed with the conviction, not
unreasonably entertained, that the Dutch cast a lickerish eye upon
Sarawak, and he was afraid that, failing England, Sarawak would have to
fall back on the Netherlands Government for help in the event of an
insuperable reverse or of bankruptcy. That would lead to the little
State being annexed to the Dutch possessions in the island; and he was
by no means confident that the British Government would not allow this
to take place. But since that period, in the desire for colonial
extension, which has grown in foreign nations, appeared another danger
to the independence of the State, a danger which, if it arose, it would
have been impossible for its Ruler to have averted unless protected, and
state-craft offers many methods, and has shown many examples of a strong
power starting a quarrel with one that is weak, that has led to
annexation. Consequently, for Sarawak protection was needed; and for
England it seemed to be imperative, to prevent a country in such a
commanding position and with so many conveniences falling into the hands
of a foreign power.[346]

On August 15, 1889, the fiftieth anniversary of the landing of Sir James
Brooke, in a speech the Rajah said:—

  That he had had the honour, and perhaps the misfortune, to figure in
  the Government through the greater portion of that time. No country
  could traverse so long a period without great changes taking place
  in her for better or for worse. A half century is long enough to
  make or to break any nation or government, any man or people.
  Fortunately, we are all here to witness the fact that Sarawak has
  weathered the storms and escaped the breakers that were deemed
  likely to wreck her. She rode safely to port, or, to change the
  metaphor, she stood now, he believed, upon a surer and more solid
  basis than ever before. He would not say that this country had
  advanced with rapidity, though many might entertain a contrary
  opinion, but we knew that we have been left to work out the problem
  of government and development of commerce for ourselves, and, if he
  might say so, to paddle our own canoe, with but scant assistance
  from without. It was just that slow and gradual development—first
  the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear—the law
  of all healthy growth—which had taught us how to govern this country
  with its many dusky races. There is give and take in all departments
  of life, and the native inhabitants had taught us, and we had taught
  them, till both ourselves and they had acquired, and he might say,
  been saturated with perfect mutual confidence, the one with the
  other. This perfect mutual confidence was the true basis on which
  the prosperity and security of the State reposed, and none more
  solid could be conceived; none of which all present had a greater
  right to be proud. Nothing, he would venture to say, had been rushed
  or pushed forward with inordinate precipitation, so as to cause
  reaction or to injure the prospects of the future.



  The total police of the State numbers about 225 men; of which about 80
    are Sikhs and Sepoys, the rest being Malays.]

Writing on the subject of Sarawak for the Geographical Society of
Australia, the French writer and explorer, Edmond Cotteau, who visited
Sarawak in 1884, says:—

  In reality thirty Englishmen, no more, govern and administer
  economically the country, and that with only a few hundred native
  soldiers and policemen, and almost without written laws. A handful
  of men of a strange race is blindly obeyed by 300,000 Asiatics! To
  what must we attribute this great result if not to the justice and
  the extreme simplicity of the Government? What better example could
  be followed in the future when the great island of New Guinea
  becomes a dependency of some European Power?

The Rajah was created a G.C.M.G. at the time that protection was

In October, 1889, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, issued
instructions that her Majesty's ships were in future to salute the Rajah
with twenty-one guns.

His Highness left for England in October, 1889, again to confer with the
Foreign Office on the Limbang question, and returned in February, 1890,
when he at once proceeded to Limbang, which river was annexed to Sarawak
by him on March 17. The events that led up to this step being taken, and
the reasons that induced the Rajah to take them, have been fully
explained in the chapter on Bruni. Though it was evident to all with the
smallest acquaintance with Bornean affairs that the Rajah's action was
purely protective in the interests of the inhabitants of Limbang, and
was taken at their earnest desire; that it was even to the advantage of
Bruni itself, menaced as it was by the rebels in the Limbang, the
British Government having declined to interfere, yet this action was
generally condemned by the English public, who knew nothing of the
circumstances, and regarded it as an injustice done to the Sultan, the
very person, and about the only person, against whom his subjects needed
protection. The British Government had offered the Sultan assistance,
but the acceptance of this would have involved the appointment of a
British Resident, and the consequent adoption of a just Government; this
did not in anywise accord with the views of the Sultan. He then turned
to the Rajah, who was willing to assist him in bringing about peace by
peaceful means, but this also was not what the Sultan wanted. An
agreement exists between Bruni and Sarawak that the latter shall help
the former if troubles beset her, but the Sultan's view, that Sarawak
should reduce the Limbang people to submission by force of arms and
subject them to a crushing tyranny, was not an interpretation of this
agreement which the Rajah could or would accept.

Mr. L. V. Helms,[347] a Dane, twice visited the Limbang river a short
time before its annexation, and he wrote:—

  I have come in contact with many of the principal chiefs, and have
  heard from them a story of misrule which is a scandal even in an
  Asiatic country, and should disentitle the rulers to be considered a
  government, or to enjoy the rights and privileges as such. When the
  subject has to abandon his house and property and seek concealment
  in the jungle to avoid being robbed of his goods and perhaps of his
  children by the Sultan and his menials, then they rightly forfeit
  their position as rulers. The present state of things in this river
  is very deplorable, and unjust to the natives, who sit on the rail,
  uncertain who will be their master, anxious to give allegiance to
  Rajah Brooke's government, but dreading lest they should be handed
  back to their old taskmasters.

  For the sake of humanity it is to be hoped that this suspense may
  soon be terminated by the transfer of the river to the Sarawak
  Rajah's government, who may justly point to the history of Sarawak
  and its position to-day as a good title to the last territory of a
  Ruler who has long ceased to perform the duties of that office to
  his subjects.

On July 31, 1891, the Rajah, at a meeting of the Council Negri,
proclaimed his son, Vyner, as his successor, whenever it should please
God to take him hence; and decreed that seven days after his own death
the Rajah Muda should be proclaimed Rajah of Sarawak. This duty he
entrusted to the members of Council, both European and native, to see
that it was solemnly carried out.

Having bought up some questionable rights over North Borneo, which do
not appear to have been utilised, granted by the Sultan to some
Americans in 1865, Mr. (now Sir Alfred) Dent and Baron Von Overbeck, an
Austrian, in 1877 and 1878, obtained from the Sultans of Sulu and Bruni
the cession of North Borneo, from the Sibuku river on the east coast to
the Kimanis on the west coast,[348] a territory containing some 30,000
square miles, with a population of about 150,000; and this led to the
formation of the chartered British North Borneo Company in 1881.

During the first few years of its administration, the Company made such
tardy advance towards the realisation of the bright promises that had
been held out by its promoters, and the prospects before it being
considered by many to offer but little hope of ultimate success, in 1893
it was proposed by some persons interested in North Borneo, that the
country should be incorporated with Sarawak, provided that the Rajah
would guarantee to the shareholders a small interest upon the capital
paid up, to be increased _pro rata_ with the increase of the revenue.
The capital invested was to be viewed in the light of a loan to the
State, and was to be paid off as the Rajah could find the means to do
so. The shareholders, however, had so great a faith in the undeveloped
resources of their property that they declined to part with it. But,
being sensible of the benefit they would derive from the Rajah's
influence and experience in subjecting to order a people not altogether
satisfied with the new régime, as also in establishing a form of
government adapted to them and to the conditions of the country, they
empowered their Directors to offer him the position of Governor-General.
Needless to say, the Rajah could not accept this honour, and so the
matter dropped.

Had this measure been effected, whatever benefit the northern State
might have derived, it is obvious that it might in many ways have proved
detrimental to the interests of Sarawak. An union of the two States
would have ensured economy in administration to British North Borneo,
and probably a more beneficial government to its people. This was the
opinion of Lord Brassey, himself a Director of the Company, an opinion
which appears to have been shared by other Directors:—

  I hold strongly to the opinion, said his Lordship, that the North
  Borneo Company would do well to hand over its territory to Rajah
  Brooke. I believe the attempt to administer the affairs of the
  country by a Board of Directors in London is simply hopeless. The
  members of the Board have no local knowledge, they are entirely in
  the hands of their local officers, and the tendency is to increase
  the staff and create an expensive system of administration, which is
  not suitable to the circumstances of the country. North Borneo is an
  exceedingly poor country, and I see very little prospect for it.
  Rajah Brooke is a man of responsibility and high standing in those
  parts of Borneo, and would bring to bear upon the Government a
  life-long personal experience. He has a deep knowledge of the Malay
  population, with whom he has great influence. He could maintain an
  adequate authority with a much smaller staff of officials than we
  now require. He would have no need of a system of police such as we
  have created, consisting of Sikhs from the Army of India, who are
  necessarily paid at a high rate. The cost of the Sikh police is far
  beyond the resources of the country.



North Borneo has prospered beyond Lord Brassey's expectations; but the
country is burdened with a heavy debt.

Early in 1900, the veteran, the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, G.C.B., then
Admiral of the Fleet, paid his final visit to Sarawak. His last visit
had been in 1867, and we have noticed (Chap. III. p. 89) how he had been
impressed by the changes he saw, but considerable as the progress had
then been, he must have found some difficulty in recognising the town in
1900, and in discovering familiar landmarks.

The regard and friendship which the old Admiral bore for the late Rajah
was extended to his "old friend and shipmate," the present Rajah, whom
he has described as being "quiet, reserved, and gentlemanlike, with a
determination not to be surpassed, and with a keen sense of justice—
qualifications fully appreciated by the chiefs."

The last letter he wrote to the Rajah just before his death three years
later will be of interest to our readers.

  Many thanks, my dear Rajah, for your kind letter. I was wondering
  when or whether we were to meet again. I should like to see my most
  promising Mid again and shake him by the hand before I depart hence.
  Our late profession is disappearing, and few will ever see or know
  what we knew. May you long live to increase doing good, and few will
  have led a happier or more useful life.... Our last meet was in
  London when you were off to the country to look after your hunters,
  and with the coronation in view I hardly expected to see you again.
  I am here enjoying the climate I love so well, and care not at my
  age if I never return, but must I suppose put in an appearance in
  England, although unfit to attend the coronation. I am uncertain in
  my movements, and am afraid I shall be unable to pay you a visit;
  and for the few months I may be allowed to live I can form no future

Sarawak had no more faithful, no truer friend.

Partly on account of her having to superintend the education of her
sons, and of having to make for them a home in England, but mainly owing
to her health rendering any long sojourn in the tropics inadvisable, the
Ranee has not been able to reside in Sarawak for some years, a matter of
deep regret to all. Her last visit was one of six months, after an
absence of eight years, and of this visit the _Sarawak Gazette_ says:
"universally popular as her Highness always has been amongst all
classes, her visit has done much to maintain and increase the native
contentment and appreciation of the rule of an Englishman over the
country." Indeed her presence in Sarawak has always been greatly valued
by all, natives and Europeans alike. In the former she took the deepest
interest, an interest which has not been discontinued since her
departure from the country. To her the absence of most of the pleasures
and luxuries of a civilised life was more than counterbalanced by the
interests that occupied her time and thoughts in her adopted country,
and of her adopted people, amongst whom she was always happy and at
home, even under trying circumstances. She was the moving spirit in the
promotion of the social and industrial welfare of the women and
children, and was always an honoured and welcome guest at the social
functions of the Malays, to whom her receptions at the Astana were
always open. Writing of a levée at the Astana, Beccari[349] says:—

  It is pleasant to record the general reciprocity of good feeling
  which is such a characteristic of the Sarawak community, cordially
  uniting Europeans and natives in bonds of mutual consideration and
  esteem. The barriers of race and rank are obliterated in this mutual
  and cordial goodwill. Together with representatives of the people,
  there was at the Astana a large sprinkling of the Malay aristocracy,
  which has always shown itself faithful to the enlightened government
  of the Brookes, even at the most critical times.



In August 1897, having finished his education (Winchester and Magdalene
College, Cambridge) the Rajah Muda permanently joined the Rajah's staff
to learn the methods of his government, and to gain a knowledge of the
diversified races over which he is destined to rule. After having spent
several years in the provinces as Resident of different districts, on
May 12, 1904, by proclamation the Rajah decreed that the Rajah Muda
should in future share his duties, and make the capital his principal
residence. He was to preside in the Courts of Law, with the reservation
of right of appeal to the Rajah; to take the Rajah's place in the
Supreme and General Councils, when the Rajah was not present or unable
to preside; the direction of out-station affairs was to be placed in his
hands; he was to conduct all office routine as the Rajah had done; and
he was entitled to use the Rajah's flag and the yellow umbrella. The
Rajah retained the initiative control over the Treasury, Military,
Naval, Police, and Public Works Departments, and he made it known that
in advancing the Rajah Muda to a position in which he might share his
labours and to which he considered him to be entitled, he did not lay
down any of the rights or powers invested in himself as Rajah.

Since this the Rajah has divided his time between Sarawak and England,
spending the summer months in the former country, chiefly on his yacht,
visiting every corner of it, and the winter months in the latter, where
he passes his time in hunting, a sport to which he is devoted. During
his absence from Sarawak the Government is administered by the Rajah

Sarawak continued to be a haven for those seeking to escape from the
shackles of oppression. We have already recorded in Chapter XIII. how
many of the subjects of the Sultan of Bruni had taken refuge there; the
people of the Natuna Islands have done the same. These beautiful islands
are tributary to the Sultan of Rhio, and are under Dutch control, though
nominally so only, for the Sultan appears to work his own will unchecked
on the islanders through his agents, who are periodically sent to the
islands with the sole object of gathering in what they can for the royal
exchequer. Accompanied by a large force, the Sultan's heir, Rajah Ali,
on one occasion, honoured the island with a visit, and found pretext to
relieve the Datu of Sirhasan (one of the largest of these islands) of
all his property, to the value of some $3000, and to annex his cocoa-nut
grove containing 6000 palms. Even a gold watch and a telescope, given to
the datu by the captain of a shipwrecked steamer as a return for his
hospitality to crew and passengers, were not spared. A few years
previously the same datu had been similarly plundered. If such were the
treatment meted out to the chiefs, the lot of the common people may well
be supposed to have been hopeless. They had none to complain to but the
Rajah, and he could help them in no other way than by reporting their
grievances to the Dutch authorities, who did nothing. Any attempt on
their part to lay their complaints before the Resident at Rhio would
have been frustrated, and would have met with cruel chastisement.

We have little more of public interest to record concerning the history
of the Raj and the lives of its Rajahs. The commercial and industrial
progress is dealt with in a later chapter, and that will show the
gradual development of the country to its present prosperous condition,
and the achievement of an unique undertaking which has been carried into
effect slowly, but surely and with determination.

We quote the following extract from Consul Keyser's report to the
Foreign Office for 1899:—

  This country (Sarawak) makes no sensational advances in its
  progress. Reference to statistics, however, will prove that this
  progress is sure, if slow, and each year adds money to the Treasury
  in addition to the main work of extending a civilisation so gradual
  that it comes without friction to the people. It is because the
  ruler of the country regards his position as a trust held by him for
  the benefit of the inhabitants that this progresses necessarily
  slow, since sudden jumps from the methods of the past to the
  up-to-dateism of modern ideas, though advantageous to the pocket,
  and on paper attractive, are not always conductive to the happiness
  of the people when peremptorily translated. Yet all the time good
  work is being quietly done. Improvements are made and commerce
  pushed, wherever possible, without fuss or the elements of

The prosperity of the country has not been built up out of the great
natural riches of a State such as that of the Malayan peninsula, backed
by Imperial support, nor with the aid of the capital and credit of a
chartered company, but has followed in the train of a hard and
single-handed struggle to convert a desolated country into one happy and
contented, and it has succeeded so far as to place Sarawak foremost
amongst the Bornean States in commercial wealth.

We have shown how this has been achieved, and "if it is owing to Sir
James Brooke that Sarawak is now a civilised state, his nephew, the
present Rajah, has the high merit of having completed and extended that
work, following out the humane and liberal views of his uncle. The name
of Brooke will always have an honoured place in the history of the
development of civilisation in the Far East."[350]

We will give in the Rajah's own words his views as to the form of
government best adapted to the nature and requirements of an oriental
people, written in 1901:—

  To keep such people in order a just and impartial rule, in which
  both rulers and ruled alike do their portion of work, is required.
  Like all Easterns they need a government simply formed and tutored
  by experience gained in the country itself, experienced in the
  manners and methods of the people, devoted to their welfare and
  interests, an indigenous product of the country which it governs,
  untroubled by agents or officials sent from outside, who, partly
  owing to want of reciprocal feeling and sympathy with the people,
  partly through ignorance, and partly through adherence to
  impracticable laws are liable to make such fatal mistakes in their
  dealings with Easterns which naturally leads to discontent, and even
  to rebellion.

The success this policy has met with is borne out by the testimony of
Sir W. Gifford Palgrave, the Arabian scholar and traveller, and Mr.
Alleyne Ireland, as well as by that of many others whom we have already

The former, when British Minister at Bangkok, visited Sarawak in 1882,
and subsequently wrote to the Rajah:—

  It is a pleasure to me to think that I shall be able to bear
  personal witness, when in England, to the success of your
  administration, which by its justice, firmness and prudence seems to
  me to work up better towards that almost utopian climax of "the
  greatest happiness to the greatest numbers" than any Eastern
  government (white or brown) that I have yet seen.

Mr. Alleyne Ireland was sent out from the United States by the
University of Chicago to study British and other Tropical Colonies and
to report thereon. A preliminary report was published in 1905, under the
title of _The Far Eastern Tropics_. After commenting severely on the
mistaken methods adopted in the Philippines by the U.S.A., he turned to
Sarawak, where a method in all points the reverse had been steadily
pursued under the two Rajahs. This is what he says:—

  For the last two months (written in January 1903) I have been in
  Sarawak, travelling up and down the coast, and into the interior,
  and working in Kuching, the capital. At the end of it, I find myself
  unable to express the high opinion I have formed of the
  administration of the country without a fear that I shall lay myself
  open to the charge of exaggeration. With such knowledge of
  administrative systems in the tropics as may be gained by actual
  observation in almost every part of the British Empire, except the
  African Colonies, I can say that in no country which I have ever
  visited are there to be observed so many signs of a wide and
  generous rule, such abundant indications of good government as are
  to be seen on every hand in Sarawak.

And again:—

  The impression of the country which I carry away with me is that of
  a land full of contentment and prosperity, a land in which neither
  the native nor the white man has pushed his views of life to the
  logical conclusion, but where each has been willing to yield to the
  other something of his extreme convictions. There has been here a
  tacit understanding on both sides that those qualities which alone
  can insure the _permanence_ of good government in the State are to
  be found in the White Man and not in the Native; and the final
  control remains therefore in European hands, although every
  opportunity is taken of consulting the natives and of benefiting by
  their intimate knowledge of the country and its people.

The wise and essential policy of granting the natives through their
chiefs a part in the administration of the Government and in its
deliberations, and in the selection of these chiefs of regarding the
voice of the people, has always been maintained. Sympathy between the
ruled and the rulers has been the guiding feature of the Rajah's policy,
and this has led to the singular smoothness with which the wheels of the
Government run. It must always exist, as it has ever existed, and still
exists. That the country belongs to the natives must never be forgotten,
and the people on their part will never forget that they owe their
independence solely through the single-hearted endeavours of their white
Rajahs on their behalf.

  "The real strength of the Government," writes the Rajah, "lies in
  the native element, and depends upon it, though many Europeans may
  hold different views, especially those with a limited experience of
  the East. The unbiased native opinion, Malay and Dayak, concerning
  matters relating to the country is simply invaluable."

All with a true knowledge of natives, to whom his remarks may be said to
apply generally, as well as to the Malays, will agree with Sir Frank

  That when you take the Malay, Sultan, Haji, chief, or simple village
  headman into your confidence, when you consult him on all questions
  affecting his country, you can carry him with you, secure his keen
  interest and co-operation, and he will travel quite as fast as is
  expedient along the path of progress. If, however, he is neglected
  and ignored, he will resent treatment to which he is not accustomed,
  and which he is conscious is undeserved. If such a mistake were ever
  made (and the Malay is not a person who is always asserting himself,
  airing grievances, and clamouring for rights) it would be found that
  the administration had gone too fast, had left the Malay behind,
  left him discontented, perhaps offended, and that would mean trouble
  and many years of effort to set matters right again.[351]

Sir Frank Swettenham pays a high tribute to the Malays of rank of the
Malay Peninsula, quite as justly have those of Sarawak earned the same
praise. Foremost amongst these latter stood the old Datu Patinggi Ali,
the champion of his people's cause, before the deliverer from oppression
came in the person of the late Rajah, in whose service he gallantly
sacrificed his life. Of a different type was his eldest son, the Datu
Bandar Muhammad Lana, whose courage was masked by a gentle and retiring
disposition, though it flashed forth on many occasions, notably at the
time of the Chinese rebellion. His brother, who succeeded him on his
death, the late Datu Bandar Haji Bua Hasan, previously the Datu Imaum,
was one of the most trustworthy and faithful chiefs the Government has
had. By his long and faithful service of over fifty years he had won the
most honoured place amongst those chiefs who so nobly assisted the two
Rajahs in their work in laying the foundation of law, order, and
civilisation in Sarawak. He was held in esteem and respect by all
people, and his dignified and familiar figure is greatly missed. He died
on October 6, 1906, over one hundred years of age, another example of
longevity of life amongst Malays. As his descendants number exactly one
hundred and fifty, the continuity of old Rajah Jarom's line is ensured.
Two of his sons, Muhammad Kasim and Muhammad Ali, are now respectively
the Datu Bandar and the Datu Hakim. The third son of Datu Patinggi Ali,
Haji Muhammad Aim, became the Datu Imaum in 1877. He died in 1898,
justly loved by all for his kindly nature and strict probity; no truer
or more courteous gentleman could be found.


Of another family and of a very different type was the bluff old Datu
Temanggong Mersal, with the reputation of having been a pirate in the
bad old days, but who had "a fine spirit of chivalry which made up for a
hundred faults."[352] He was a stout and staunch servant. Of him the
late Rajah, referring to the Datu's Court, humorously wrote:—

  The old Temanggong is likewise a judge in Israel, and sometimes he
  breaks into the Court, upsets the gravity of all present by laying
  down _his_ law for a quarter of an hour—Krising and hanging,
  flogging and fining all offenders, past, present or future, and
  after creating a strong impression vanishes for a month or two.

Absolutely fearless as himself were his sons Abang Pata and Muhammad
Hasan. How the former distinguished himself we have already noticed. On
the death of his father in 1863 the latter succeeded him as Datu
Temanggong. He was a tall, handsome man of a distinct Arab type. Though
a good Muhammadan, he was the least bigoted of a broad-minded class, and
owing to his liking for their society he was probably the most popular
with Europeans of all the datus, and at their club he was a constant and
welcome guest. He died on the haj at Mecca in October, 1883.

Other native officials, whose names will ever live in the annals of
Sarawak, are some who served in the out-stations, and these have been
already noticed. The qualities which distinguished these men, and which
brought them to the fore, were grit, sound common-sense and
fearlessness, and upon their shoulders fell the hardest task of managing
the Sea-Dayaks and other interior tribes, a task fraught with danger and
discomfort, and one that gave them little rest, but which they shared
with their white leaders faithfully and without a murmur.

Sarawak has been exceptionally fortunate in having been able to draw
upon a good class of men capable of supplying the State with servants
fitted by intelligence and rank to become native officers. Though,
_autre temps, autre mœurs_, the type is changing, yet the people
generally are jealous of their country, and honour its traditions.
Contented, they seek no change, and they are ready to uphold their Rajah
and to maintain their independence as vigorously now as they have done
in the past—an independence which Lord John Russell had many years ago
graciously intimated they were at liberty to achieve and maintain as far
as it lay in their power; though he declined to hold out a helping hand.
These are wholesome and promising indications that good men will always
be found worthy to take the places which their forefathers so nobly



Sarawak owes its prosperity, and the people their rights and liberty, to
the Brookes, and to the Brookes alone. Equality between high and low,
rich and poor, undisturbed rights over property, freedom from the bonds
of slavery and from harsh and cruel laws are blessings which but for the
Brookes in all probability would have been denied them for many more
weary years of desolating tyranny.

In a country like Sarawak, peopled by Easterns of so great a diversity
of races, customs and ideas, an union of the people for their common
weal is an impossibility. For them the best and only practical form of
government is that which they now enjoy, a mild and benevolent
despotism, under a Ruler of a superior and exotic race, standing firm
and isolated amidst racial jealousies, as no native Ruler could do, and
unsuspected of racial partiality; a Ruler upon whom all can depend as a
common friend, and a Ruler who has devoted his life to their common

Strength of character and integrity of purpose, tact and courage,
firmness and compassion, combined with a thorough knowledge, not only of
their languages and customs, but of the innermost thoughts of his
people, to be gained only by a long experience, are qualities without
which a despotic Ruler must fall into the hands of the strongest
faction, and, eventually bring disaster on himself and his country; but
are those which have enabled the Rajah to tide over many political
troubles, to consolidate the many and diverse interests of his people,
and to guide the State to its present position of prosperity and



  The Rajah's residence in England.]


Footnote 336:

  From the Malay word gedong—a warehouse.

Footnote 337:

  See footnote 2, p. 296.

Footnote 338:

  Stout old Inchi Subu, mentioned before.

Footnote 339:

  Bua Hasan. He succeeded his brother Muhammad Lana, who had died some
  time before.

Footnote 340:

  The words were written by the Rajah—it is an ode in honour of the late

Footnote 341:

  Sanskrit. Asthana—palace.

Footnote 342:

  "The Lake City of Borneo," _St. James' Budget_, June 9, 1888.

Footnote 343:

  A. H. Gray, _Wanderings in Borneo_, 1874.

Footnote 344:

  Educated at Winchester, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He rowed in
  the Cambridge eight in 1900, and again in 1901, when he was President
  of the University Boat Club. Served in the Royal Field Artillery from
  1901 to 1904, when he retired. He was A.D.C. to the Governor of
  Queensland, 1905-1907. Married, July 1904, Gladys Milton, only
  daughter of Sir Walter Palmer, Bart., M.P., and has one daughter.

Footnote 345:

  Joined the Service in 1870; died at Baram, of which district he was
  the Resident, in 1884.

Footnote 346:

  As far back as 1865, Mr. Layard (afterwards Sir Henry), then
  Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, foresaw the possibility of the
  seizure of Sarawak by another country, and he "held decisively,
  looking at the progress of the French and the conduct of the Dutch,
  that Sarawak should not be allowed to pass into the hands of either of
  these nations." He was, therefore, in favour of protection, and his
  opinions were a reflection of those of Lord John Russell; but the New
  Zealand troubles again scared the Cabinet.

Footnote 347:

  Formerly manager of the Borneo Company, Limited, mentioned in Chaps.
  VI. and IX.

Footnote 348:

  The borders of British North Borneo now march with those of Sarawak,
  further cessions to the south having since been obtained by the
  former, and to the north by the latter State.

Footnote 349:

  _Wanderings in the Great Forests of Borneo_, p. 355.

Footnote 350:

  Beccari, _op. cit._ 260, 359.

Footnote 351:

  _British Malaya_, 1907.

Footnote 352:

  S. St John, _Forests of the Far East_.



                              CHAPTER XVI

A general review of the financial, commercial, and industrial progress
of Sarawak will probably convey to our readers a better conception than
the foregoing history may have enabled them to form of the uniform
advance of Sarawak along the path of civilisation: for no better
evidence of the prosperity of a country can be advanced than the growth
of its trade and industries, dependent as this is upon security to life
and property and liberal laws.

Of the revenue before the Chinese rebellion there are no records, as all
the archives were then destroyed. Three years later, in 1860, the
revenue was so insignificant as to be quite inadequate to meet the needs
of the country, which then for the first time became involved in debt; a
debt which was unavoidably increased in subsequent years, until it had
reached a somewhat high figure for such a young and striving State, but
from which, however, it has now been freed by the exercise of prudent
economy, and by improvement in its finances.[353]

         In 1870 the revenue amounted to And the expenditure to
                                $122,842               $126,161
            1880                 229,718                203,583
            1890                 413,113                362,779
            1900                 915,966                901,172
            1907               1,441,195              1,359,274

On January 1st, 1908, the Government balances amounted to a little over
$800,000, and the only liability was for notes in circulation, amounting
to $190,796.

In 1875, fifty-six years after its foundation, the revenue of Singapore
was but $967,235, and that of Penang, then established for eighty-nine
years, $453,029.[354] In 1900, the Raj of Sarawak had been in existence
for fifty-eight years. Since 1875, the effect of the development of the
rich tin deposits of the Malayan States of the Peninsula has been to so
enormously enhance the commercial prosperity of the Straits Settlements
that the present revenues of the "sister colonies" have quite surpassed
anything that Sarawak may perhaps hope to acquire in a corresponding
number of years.

The trade is mainly in the hands of the Chinese merchants, mostly
country born, who are successfully carrying on thriving businesses of
which the foundations were laid by their fathers in the early days of
the raj. These merchants are of a highly respectable class, and they
take the interest of intelligent men in the welfare of the country,
which they have come to regard as their own. They rarely visit China—
some not at all. They are consulted by the Government in all matters in
which their interests are concerned.

The only European Firm is the Borneo Company Limited, and the career of
this Company has for over fifty years been so closely linked with that
of the State, and so much to the advantage of the latter, that it fully
merits more than a passing notice in these pages, without which this
history would not be complete.

For a considerable period Mr. J. C. Templer, the late Rajah's old
friend, laboured very hard to meet the ignorant and cruel criticism
which had been cast on the Rajah's great work, and, in order that the
development of Sarawak might have financial support, he interested
friends in the city in the matter, chiefly Mr. Robert Henderson of
Messrs. R. and J. Henderson.

After considerable negotiation, the Borneo Company Limited was
registered in May, 1856. The attention of the Company was turned
primarily to supporting the Rajah, and to developing the resources of
the country. The first Directors were Messrs. Robert Henderson
(Chairman), J. C. Templer, J. D. Nicol, John Smith, Francis Richardson
and John Harvey (Managing Director).

Most unfortunately, immediately after the formation of the Company
troubles arose which nearly overwhelmed the State. The Chinese
insurrection the next year, and the later political intrigues obscured
for a time the prosperity of Sarawak, and left the prospects of the
Company very black indeed, but it struggled on bravely; and it cannot be
doubted that its formation before the insurrection was a matter of great
value in the history of the country.

The Company, as soon as they received news of the insurrection,
instructed their Manager in Singapore to supply the Rajah with all the
arms, ammunition, and stores he might require, and it was their steamer,
named after himself, that arrived at such an opportune moment, and
enabled him to drive the rebels out of Kuching, and to cut short their
work of ruin far sooner than he could otherwise have done; and it was
the Company which not only subsequently advanced the Rajah the means he
so sorely needed to carry on the government, but headed a subscription
list started in England to relieve the Government of pressing wants,
with a donation of £1000. Long before this the Rajah's private fortune
had been exhausted.

Some appear to have formed the opinion that the Company were
subsequently inconsiderate in pressing for payment of the loan, but more
consideration should have been given to the position of the Directors as
being a fiduciary one to the shareholders, who had invested their money
in a commercial enterprise, and at that time by no means a prosperous

Since the Company was formed over £200,000 has been paid to the
Government for mining royalties, and during the same period £2,000,000
has been paid out in wages, which has tended to the prosperity and
advantage of the country.

Until 1898, no balance of profit had been made by the Company from
Sarawak; indeed, there was a very considerable deficit, which had been
met from the profits of their other operations.[355] This persistence in
the original policy of the founders of the Company for forty years
without return has, however, been rewarded by considerable success in
the last decade. The enterprise that brought this success, the
extraction of gold from poor grade ores by the cyanide process, is
noticed further on, and we will conclude this notice of the Company by a
quotation from a speech by the Rajah given thirty years after the
foundation of the raj.

  The Company has held fast and stuck to its work through the perils
  and dangers and the adversity which Sarawak has experienced and
  encountered. It has shown a solid and stolid example to other
  merchants, and has formed a basis for mercantile operations; and the
  importance of the presence in a new State of such a large and
  influential body as the Borneo Company cannot be overrated.

Owing to the absolute lack of security to life and property, both within
and without, before the accession of Sir James Brooke to the raj,
Sarawak had no trade. After 1842 a small trade began to spring up, but
the Lanun and Balenini pirates and the Sea-Dayaks rendered the pursuit
of trade very difficult and dangerous. The lessons administered to the
latter by the Rajah and Sir Henry Keppel caused these to confine
themselves for some time to their homes, and the Foreign exports rose to
$60,000 in 1847. Then the coast again became insecure, and it was not
until after the battle of Beting Maru, in 1849, that trade made any
considerable advance, and it continued to increase until the Chinese
insurrection brought the country to the verge of ruin. A brief respite
followed, and then came the internal political troubles, and renewed
activity on the part of the Lanun and Balenini pirates. But in 1862, the
authority of the Rajah was paramount from Cape Datu to Kedurong Point,
and the defeat of the pirates off Bintulu in the middle of this year
freed the Sarawak coast for ever from these pests. So in 1862 the
increase in the value of the trade was over fifty per cent. In 1860, the
Foreign imports and exports amounted to $574,097; in 1880 to $2,284,495;
in 1900 to $9,065,715; and in 1905 to $13,422,267. Since 1905, in common
with all countries, the State has been suffering from commercial
depression, and in 1907 the decrease in the imports was $709,162, and in
the exports $823,682, compared with 1905, though only $2276 and $166,285
as compared with 1906. But though the exports have fallen off in value,
there has been an increase in the quantities of the products exported.
As prices fluctuate, the industrial progress of a country is, therefore,
better gauged by the quantity rather than by the value of its products,
and in 1907, 7000 tons more sago flour, 800 tons more pepper, 7000 oz.
more gold, and 150 tons more gutta and india-rubber were exported than
in 1905.

Practically Singapore has the benefit of the whole of the Sarawak trade,
which is borne in two steamers of 900 tons each under the Sarawak flag,
owned by the Sarawak and Singapore S.S. Company, and these maintain a
weekly communication between Kuching and Singapore. The coasting trade
is carried in three smaller steamers owned by the same Company. There is
a small trade in timber with Hong Kong; and a few junks come yearly from
Siam and Cochin China.

Agriculture is the foremost industry, and as it is a permanent one, only
requiring wise and liberal measures to foster and encourage it, Sarawak
is in this respect fortunate, for the natural products of a country,
such as minerals and jungle produce, must in time be worked out; and the
future of a country is therefore more dependent upon its industries than
on its natural products.

In 1907, the value of the cultivated products exported was $3,133,565.
Of these sago may be said to be the staple product, and the markets of
the world are mainly supplied by Sarawak with this commodity. From it
Borneo derives its Eastern name, Pulo-Ka-lamanta-an (the island of raw
sago).[356] The palm, the pith of which is the raw or crude sago, is
indigenous, and there are many varieties growing wild all over the
island that yield excellent sago. On the low, marshy banks of the
rivers, lying between Kalaka and Kedurong Point, are miles upon miles of
what might be termed jungles of the cultivated palm, where fifty years
ago there were but patchy plantations. The raw sago as extracted by the
Melanaus is purchased by the Chinese and shipped to the sago factories
in Kuching, where it is converted into sago flour, in which form it is
exported to Singapore. How the cultivation of the sago palm is
increasing, the following figures will show:—

             1870 exported        [357]tons, value $128,025
             1887 exported  8,734      tons, value  314,536
             1897 exported 14,330      tons, value  689,702
             1907 exported 20,388      tons, value  964,266

In 1847-48, only 2,000 tons were imported into Singapore, practically
all from Borneo.

In times immemorial pepper was very extensively cultivated in Borneo. In
the middle ages this cultivation attracted particular attention to the
island; and to obtain a control over the pepper trade by depriving the
Turks of their control over the trade in spices was one of the main
incentives to the discovery of a route to the East by the Cape. By many
the introduction of pepper into Borneo is attributed to the Chinese, and
from them the natives are supposed to have learnt its cultivation, but
this is doubtful, as pepper is not a product of China, and was probably
introduced by the Hindus; but that the Chinese, finding the industry a
profitable one, improved and extended the cultivation of pepper, there
can be no doubt. What the export of pepper was in the days when the
Malayan Sultanates were at their prime it is impossible to determine,
but that it must have been very considerable is indicated by the fact
that as late as 1809 Hunt estimated the export from Bruni at 3500 tons,
and at that time the country had been brought to the verge of ruin by
misrule and oppression, which led to the gradual extinction of the
Chinese colony, and to the deprival of all incentive to the Muruts and
Bisayas to carry on an industry for which they had once been famous—
indeed, Hunt notices that he saw _numbers of abandoned gardens_, and his
observations were restricted to a very limited area. In spite of the
harmful restrictions of the Dutch, in the south at Banjermasin, two
hundred years ago, the export was still from 2000 to 3000 tons.[358] Had
different conditions prevailed, had native industry been encouraged
instead of having been suppressed, then truly might Borneo have become
the "Insula Bonæ Fortunæ" of Ptolemy.

But Sarawak is placing Borneo once more to the fore amongst the pepper
producing countries of the far East, and in 1907 exported 5177 tons, as
against 400 tons in 1886. After many previous failures the foundations
of this large industry, which is entirely in the hands of the Chinese,
were laid in 1876 by the Rajah in conjunction with certain local Chinese

As with sago and pepper, Borneo is essentially a rubber producing
country, and it is to be hoped when the time arrives, and as yet it
appears to be far from being in view, that the natural product is worked
out, it will be more than replaced by cultivated rubber. The Borneo
Company have laid out extensive plantations, that give promise of a
paying and lasting industry.

With the exception of the cultivation of sago, agriculture in Sarawak
is, and will remain dependent upon imported labour. It is not in the
nature of the Malay, whose wants are so few and simple that they are
procured by a minimum of exertion, to undertake any work requiring
persistent and diligent labour; and no more is it in the nature of the
Sea-Dayak, though he is not afraid of hard work. Having finished his
farming and gathered his harvest the latter prefers an occupation that,
whilst bringing in a fair profit, will gratify his proneness for
roaming. The native methods of rice growing are crude and wasteful, and
attempts to improve these have failed, as have all attempts to introduce
Chinese for the purpose of cultivating rice, with the idea of
establishing an agricultural industry for which there is so much room
and need in Sarawak. The Malays and Dayaks, like the Kayans and
Melanaus, produce barely enough rice for their own consumption, and rice
figures as the biggest item in the imports of a country which is capable
of producing a considerable quantity more than it needs.

Sugar cane grows well, but enterprise in its production has probably
been damped by the failure, through mismanagement, of an English
Company, which, in 1864, started a large plantation on about the very
worst soil that could have been selected. Tobacco planting proved to be
a failure, and a costly experiment to the Government. Coffee and tea
grow well on high ground, but the country has little elevated plateau
land suitable for its cultivation. Gambir is a paying product, but the
cultivation of pepper has proved more attractive to the Chinese, though
the production of gambir has been fairly well maintained at over 1000
tons yearly. Tapioca, cotton (which in former days was largely exported
from Bruni), the cocoa-nut, the areca or pinang, and the oil or soap
palms all grow well. Ramie is being cultivated by an English Company in
the Lawas, and experiments have shown that this plant will grow well.
The sisal aloe grows freely, and on poor soil. Pine-apples are largely
cultivated for canning. The fruits and vegetables common to all
countries in the Malayan Archipelago abound in Sarawak.

The land regulations are liberal and fair. _Bona fide_ planters receive
every encouragement, though none is held out to speculators in land. The
indiscriminate alienation of large tracts of land for unlimited periods
and for indefinite purposes is an unsound policy, which does not find
favour in Sarawak. It leads to land being locked up, sometimes for a
long period, and to placing ultimately in the hands of a foreign
speculator profits which the State should reap, and to the natives it
causes many hardships. In 1890, such a concession was granted to a
company by the Dutch Government in the province of Sambas, quite
independently of any consideration for existing and long-established
rights of the natives, the real owners of the soil. This act drove many
families over the borders into Sarawak, when rudely awakened to the fact
that except by the permission of the employees of a company, only to be
obtained by payment, they could not farm, neither could they fish or
hunt, nor could they obtain the many necessities of life with which the
jungle supplies them.

In his report upon Borneo for 1899, Mr. Consul Keyser writes:—

  I should here like to dispel, once and for all, the idea so often
  heard suggested that the Ruler of Sarawak is averse to progress and
  the introduction of European capital. That the Rajah is anxious to
  discourage that undesirable class of adventurer, who descends upon
  undeveloped countries to fill his own purse regardless of the
  result, it is true. The fate of the adjacent country of Bruni, whose
  ruin and decay are not entirely disconnected with the unfulfilled
  promises and specious tales of selfish speculators, is in itself
  ample justification, if one were needed, for this attitude.

  At the same time, no _bona fide_ investor need fear to visit Sarawak
  if he is prepared to deal fairly with the natives and conform to the
  usages of the country. Such a man would be sure of welcome, and he
  himself equally certain of success.

Land is usually granted at a small rental in large or small areas, in
accordance with the capital and the objects of the grantee. The
proportion of the land which is to be brought under cultivation in
successive years is agreed upon. Any portion of the land that the
grantee may have failed to bring under cultivation within the stipulated
time, or, having cultivated, has abandoned it, reverts to the State;
though in the former case circumstances occasionally arise which justify
some latitude to the planter. But all land brought under cultivation
becomes the absolute property of a planter or his assigns, and remains
so, _as long as it is maintained under cultivation_. Abandonment of a
plantation is abandonment of the land, and it then reverts to the State;
and the State thus remains the real owner of the land, though not of the
plantation on it. This system is obviously of advantage to the planter.
He obtains his land, which he may select where he chooses, for next to
nothing, and he runs no risk of losing capital sunk in the purchase of
what might prove to be an unprofitable property, and therefore one that
is unsaleable. And it secures to the State a sufficient guarantee that
the land will be cultivated and kept under proper cultivation.
Practically the whole of the Chinese pepper and gambir planters hold
their land under these terms, and they are as secure in the possession
of their gardens, and the right to alienate them, as if they had bought
the land. Land is sold only for special purposes, such as for buildings
and gardens in a town or its suburbs.



Jungle produce, in spite of seemingly natural predictions that it must
soon be worked out, which have been yearly repeated for many years past,
figures yet as a very important item in the export trade, and its
collection not only remains a considerable industry, but is apparently
still a growing one. The exports have risen in value from $267,480 in
1877 to $1,626,427 in 1907, which is just double that of ten years
previously. The products are, in the order of their value, gutta,
india-rubber, cutch, rattans, timber and barks, edible birds'-nests,
camphor, and beeswax.

The supposed mineral wealth of Sarawak first brought it into notice. It
was known to produce gold and diamonds, though so did other Bornean
States, but in addition antimony ore was brought to the Singapore market
in native prahus from Sarawak, and that was not a production of any
other part of Borneo. It excited the interest of Europeans as well as
the cupidity of the Bruni Rajahs, but to the former, Sarawak was not a
safe place with which to trade, and the latter soon drove its people
into rebellion by forced labour at the antimony mines, and the supply
then ceased. After the accession of the late Rajah this natural product
was nationalised and became the main source of revenue, but
subsequently, with all other minerals, excepting gold, it was leased to
the Borneo Company. Since the days of large production in Sarawak,
antimony has been worked in many other countries, and this has sent the
value down, so that it is only very occasionally that the price of
antimony in consuming markets will admit of any export of the metal. The
large deposits that previously existed have apparently been exhausted,
but fresh rich deposits may still be found, though, as with cinnabar,
which was once largely worked by the Company at one place, the discovery
of these isolated pockets is greatly a matter of chance. Antimony has
been found in many other parts of the State, though not yet in paying
quantities, and cinnabar has been found here and there on the gravel
shallows of rivers, an indication of the existence, though not a
sufficient one to point to the position of other lodes.

It was entirely owing to the first Rajah that the Chinese had been able
to settle on the gold-fields in Upper Sarawak and to establish a large
and profitable mining industry; and it was entirely owing to their own
supreme folly and ingratitude that that industry was destroyed. It was
revived again after a time, but never to the extent of what it had been.
As the visible outcrops of gold gave out, the Chinese turned their
attention to the more profitable occupation of pepper-planting, and, ten
years ago, the mining district of Upper Sarawak had been changed into an
agricultural one—gold-mining had almost ceased, the cinnabar mines at
Tegora had long been worked out, and but little antimony was mined,
whilst pepper gardens had sprung up everywhere.



The Borneo Company had from time to time spent considerable sums on
experimental work on the gold deposits, but, owing to the character of
the ore, no method of working was found practicable on a mercantile
scale until the discovery of the cyanide process. But even treatment by
cyanide in any way then used was not found successful with Sarawak ore,
and the method ultimately adopted was formulated by the Company's
engineers themselves. The result has been considerable success, and it
is gratifying that after so many years of steady work through many
difficulties and disappointments, the Company have been able to place on
a prosperous footing an industry which has brought them good fortune,
and which is proving to be of so great advantage to the country.



Sarawak possesses extensive coal-fields, and anthracite and steam and
cannel-coal have been found throughout the country; but so far coal has
been mined only at Semunjan in the Sadong river.[359] This colliery has
been worked for many years by the Government. The coal is of good
steaming quality, leaving little ash, and there is plenty of it. Like
the Brooketon Mine, this mine would pay if a market could be found for
the coal. The average yearly output is now about 20,000 tons, a little
more than sufficient to supply local steamers. At Selantik, up the
Lingga river, very extensive coal seams have been proved; but to work
these a large outlay would have to be incurred in the construction of a
long railway over the swampy land lying between the Selantik hill and
the nearest place in the river where steamers could load.

Diamonds are found in the upper reaches of the Sarawak river, and these
are brilliant and of good water; the largest known to have been found is
seventy-two carats, and was named "The Star of Sarawak." Diamonds have
never been sought for in a systematic manner.

Iron ore abounds; and, as has already been noticed, it is smelted by the
Kayans and Kenyahs for the manufacture of weapons and tools.

Sarawak has no mechanical industries of importance or capable of much
development. Many Melanaus are able carpenters, boatbuilders, and
blacksmiths. Amongst Malays are to be found some good shipbuilders and
coppersmiths, and a few fairly skilful as silver and goldsmiths, but
almost all the skilled labour is in the hands of the Chinese. In such
domestic arts as weaving cotton and silk cloths, and plaiting mats,
baskets, and hats, the native women are expert, and produce very
excellent work.




Footnote 353:

  From 1876 the finances of the State were in the able hands of Mr.
  Charles S. Pearse (who joined in 1875), until 1898, when he retired.
  This most important post has since been well filled by the present
  Treasurer, Mr. F. H. Dallas.

Footnote 354:

  These figures are taken, being the only ones at hand.

Footnote 355:

  The Borneo Company have branches at Batavia, Singapore, and in Siam;
  formerly also in China and India. The head office is in London.

Footnote 356:

  Chap. 1. page 1.

Footnote 357:

  Quantity not given in published trade returns.

Footnote 358:

  Captain Beeckman, _op. cit._

Footnote 359:

  The Brooketon Colliery leased to the Sarawak Government is in Bruni
  territory. In Chap. XV. will be found a full account of this mine.



                              CHAPTER XVII

  Many changes of opinion must take place upon the subject of the
  education of natives before it is exhausted and the best way of
  teaching found, and such changes of opinion and the improvements in
  methods which follow in their train can only be the result of
  experience, or of conclusions drawn from successful or unsuccessful

So the Rajah wrote thirty years ago, but hitherto experience has taught
little that gives any encouragement to the expectation that the present
condition of the natives will be improved by any form of education based
upon accepted ideals. Though the difficulty lies perhaps not so much in
knowing what or how to teach the natives, but in getting them to come to
be taught; especially is this the case with the dominant Sea-Dayak race,
a fact which should not be lost sight of in considering how missionary
efforts in this direction have met with such small success.

If he _would_ learn, a Sea-Dayak could be taught almost anything; but
what should we teach him? A common school board education is of no value
to him. He may learn to read and write, and gain a little rudimentary
knowledge utterly useless to him after leaving school, and therefore
soon to be forgotten. If he is placed in one of the larger schools in
Kuching he will there receive impressions and imbibe ideas which may
render a return to his old surroundings distasteful to him, and unfit
him for the ordinary life and occupations of his people. He will be left
with one opportunity of gaining a living—he may become a clerk, though
the demand for clerks is limited; but if he is successful in obtaining a
clerkship he will be beset with temptations which he will be unable to
resist, and which will soon prove his ruin; and unfortunately this has
been the rule and not the exception. There are some who advocate
technical education, and who rightly point out that the Sea-Dayak would
make an excellent artisan, though the same argument applies equally
against the utility of such a training. He may become a clever carpenter
or smith, but there would be few opportunities for him to benefit
himself by his skill, for he could never compete with the Chinese
artisan, into whose hands all the skilled labour has fallen.

But if elementary and technical education were to meet with all the
success one could desire, that success would needs be exceedingly
limited, for, though some good would be done, only a few could be
benefited. A broader view must be taken, a view that has regard not to
the improvement of a few only, but of the people generally, and how this
can best be done is a question that has brought forth many and various
opinions, all more or less impracticable.

The Sea-Dayak has all he wants. He is well off, contented, and happy. He
is a sober man, and indulges in but few luxuries. He is hard-working and
he is honest, but he lacks strength of mind, and is easily led astray.
Therefore, the longer he is kept from the influences of civilisation the
better it will be for him, for the good cannot be introduced without the
bad. Perhaps the problem of his future will work out better by a natural
process. When his present sources of supply fail him and necessity
forces him into other grooves, then, and not before, will he take up
other industries, which his natural adaptability will soon enable him to

To learn how to read and write and a little simple arithmetic is as far
on the path of education as the average Malay boy can reach; and perhaps
it is far enough. There are two Government Schools in Kuching for
Malays, which are fairly well attended, though attendance is not
compulsory. For those who may desire an education of a higher class than
can be obtained in these schools, those of the S.P.G. and the R.C.
Missions are always open; and Malays, though Muhammadans, do not
hesitate to attend these schools, and even to be taught by the priests,
for they know that no attempt will be made to proselytise them. They are
encouraged to attend for their own good; they would be kept away if
there was the faintest suspicion that it was for the sake of converting
them. In Kuching, the Government has a third and larger school, the High
School, entirely secular in character, which is open to boys of all
races, who are taught by Chinese, Malay, and Indian schoolmasters, and
this school is well attended.



The large S.P.G. Boys' School is under the management of an English
headmaster, and the boys are well educated. The pupils are chiefly local
Chinese, and there are a few natives from the out-station missions. Old
boys from this school are to be met with throughout the Malay Peninsula
as well as in Sarawak, maintaining in positions of trust the credit
their school has so justly gained. The S.P.G. Mission has also a Girls'
School, conducted by two English Sisters, and here good work is also



Perhaps the largest school in Kuching is that belonging to the R.C.
Mission, which is very ably conducted by the priests. As in the S.P.G.
School, the pupils are chiefly Chinese boys. Attached to the Convent is
a Girls' School under the control of the Mother Superior and four

In the provinces, the S.P.G. Mission has schools at five different
places, but only two are now under the control of priests: the R.C.
Mission has the same number of Boys' Schools, all under the control of
priests, besides three convents where girls are taught. The Methodist
Episcopal Mission has a school at Sibu. All these schools receive State
aid. Chinese have their own little schools scattered about, for which
they receive small grants, and in Upper Sarawak there are two Government
Chinese Schools. Efforts to start schools amongst the provincial Malays
have not met with success; they have their own little village schools
conducted by hajis, in which the teaching of the Koran is the main



Writing in 1866, the present Rajah says:—

  Twenty years ago, the Sarawak population had little religion of any
  sort, and the first step towards bringing it to notice was when the
  English mission was established. The Christian Church gave rise to a
  Muhammadan mosque. Subsequent years of prosperity have enabled the
  Malays to receive instruction from the Mecca School. Those who are
  too old, or too much involved in the business of the country to go
  on the haj, send annual sums to the religious authorities there; but
  at the present time I feel sure there is no fanaticism among the
  inhabitants, and, excepting some doubtful points instilled into them
  in their education at Mecca, their religion is wholesome and happy.
  To the building of the mosque very few would come forward to

Forty years ago the pilgrimage to Mecca was a costly and a hazardous
venture. The sufferings that pilgrims for months had to undergo on
ill-found, overcrowded, and insanitary sailing ships, and the dangers to
which they were exposed on the overland journey from Jedah to Mecca and
back, were such that only fervent Muhammadans would face, and few Malays
are such. Not many had the means to undertake a journey which would take
the best part of a year to perform, as well as to satisfy the insatiable
extortions to which they were subjected from the moment they set their
feet in Arabia. Now, the welfare of the Muhammadan pilgrim is so well
safeguarded by Christian ordinances, that his voyage to Jedah and back
to Singapore presents to him but a pleasurable and interesting trip, on
which his wife and daughters may accompany him with safety and moderate
comfort. Steamers have taken the place of sailing ships, and competition
has made the fares cheap. At Jedah the Malay pilgrim is under the
protection of his Consul, and, beyond, the influence of a Great Power
will protect him at least as far as his life and liberty are concerned,
but he will suffer the common lot of all pilgrims, and be subjected to
exactions of every kind, returning to Jedah with empty pockets.

Though, owing to the facility with which the pilgrimage can now be made,
hundreds yearly go to Mecca and are brought into close contact with the
bigotry of western Muhammadans, yet the Malay remains as he was, with an
almost total absence of religious fervour. A sure sign of indifference
to their religion in the majority of Malays and Melanaus is found in the
mean, dilapidated buildings which are dignified by the name of mosques,
to be seen in most of the towns and villages along the coast. Kuching
practically owes its fine mosque to the benevolence of one man, the late
Datu Bandar. There are some devout Muhammadans amongst the Malays,
though not many, but there are no bigots. Some content themselves with a
loose adherence to outward observances; many do not even do this, and
not many attend the mosques for worship, but, however, all would be
united in bitter opposition to any intermeddling with their religion.

The remnants of a former paganism still cling to the Malay, who is
certainly more superstitious than he is religious. He still strongly
believes in spirits, witchcraft, and magic—a belief his religion
condemns; he will practise sorcery, and will use spells and charms to
propitiate, or to ward off the evil influence of spirits—practices which
his religion forbids.[361]

Toleration and a deficiency of zeal have made the Malays indifferent
propagators of their faith amongst the pagan tribes around them; and the
field has been left open to Christian missionaries, whose work of
conversion they look upon with unconcern, so long as no attempt is made
to convert a Muhammadan, and to do that is not allowed by the law of
Sarawak. Their feeling towards the Christian religion is one of respect.
They admit Christians readily to their mosques, and will attend church
on the occasion of a marriage or a funeral in which they may be
interested, and they will converse freely with Christians upon religious
subjects, without assuming or pretending to any superiority in their own

Mischievous and clever Arab impostors, usually good-looking men with a
dignified bearing, meet with short shrift in Sarawak, and such holy men
are very promptly moved on. The heads of the Muhammadan religion will
have none of them. Their ostensible object is to teach, but their sole
one is to make what they can by trading upon the superstition of the
simple-minded. In these men the Dutch see fanatical emissaries sent from
Mecca to preach a jihad or holy war, and have more than once warned the
Government that such men had gone to Sarawak for this purpose. They may
be right, but these pseudo Sherifs and Sayids[362] have never attempted
to do so in Sarawak, it would be a waste of their time, and be the ruin
of their business.

The Sea-Dayaks, as well as the Land-Dayaks, and those tribes inhabiting
the interior are alike pagans, and possess but a dim and vague belief in
certain mythical beings who, between them, made man and gave him life.
These gods are styled Batara or Patara and Jewata—Sanskrit names
introduced by the Hindus.[363] With them mythical legends, which vary
greatly, take the place of religion. They have no priests, no temples,
and no worship. They believe in spirits with controlling power over the
air, the earth, and the water, and they place implicit reliance on omens
as given by birds, animals, and reptiles, and in dreams, through which
the spirits convey warnings or encouragement in respect to the affairs
they may be engaged upon, or contemplate undertaking. They have a belief
in a future life, which will differ in little respect from their life on
this earth. These people are not idolaters; their religion is animistic.

The project of the establishment of a Church of England Mission in
Sarawak was started by the late Rajah in 1847. The Earl of Ellesmere and
others interested themselves in the project, and, sufficient funds
having been subscribed, the Rev. F. T. McDougall and two other
missionaries were sent out, and arrived in Sarawak in June, 1848. The
Church of St. Thomas, now the Diocesan Church, was completed and
consecrated by the Bishop of Calcutta in 1851. Two years later the
Mission was transferred to the Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel; and, in 1855, to complete the organisation of the Church in
Borneo, Mr. McDougall was consecrated Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak. He
resigned in 1867, and died in 1886. Mr. Chambers, who had for many years
been a missionary in Sarawak, succeeded him, and on his resignation[364]
the Venerable G. F. Hose, Archdeacon of Singapore, was consecrated
Bishop in 1881, and the full designation of the diocese then became
Singapore, Labuan, and Sarawak, by the inclusion of the Straits
Settlements and the Federated Malay States.

The headquarters of the Mission is at Kuching, where the Bishop and the
Archdeacon reside, the latter being also the Vicar of Kuching. The
Mission Stations are at Lundu, Kuap, Banting, Sabu in the Undup, and
Sebetan in the Kalaka, and at these places there are churches and
schools. Hitherto all these stations, which were established many years
ago, have been under the care of resident clergymen, but at present
there are four vacancies. Attached to these principal Stations, and
under the supervision of the missionary in charge, are many scattered
chapels with native catechists and teachers.

In Kuching the work of the Mission lies chiefly amongst the Chinese.
Kuap, which is within a day's journey of the capital, is a Land-Dayak
village; the other Mission Stations are in districts populated by
Sea-Dayaks, and the labours of the S.P.G. are chiefly confined to these

During the first six and a half years of Bishop Hose's episcopate, 1714
persons were baptized, and the number of native Christians had risen to
3480 in 1887.

For a full and interesting account of the work done by the Mission the
reader is referred to _Two Hundred Years of the S.P.G._ (1701-1900).

That the Church in Borneo has done, and is still doing good, no one will
dispute. It has not, however, extended its sphere of influence beyond
its original limits, and within those limits, from Lundu to Kalaka,
there is not only room, but the necessity for many more missionaries to
labour than the Church is at present provided with. Missionary
enterprise has not kept pace with the advance of civilisation. The large
districts that since 1861 have reverted to the raj have been totally
neglected by the S.P.G., and these districts, both in respect to area
and population, constitute by far the greater part of Sarawak. But the
Church in Sarawak is entirely dependent upon extraneous support, and
when funds appear to be wanting, even to maintain the former efficient
state of the Mission, and indications of retrogression are only too
evident, there can be little hope for progression. A bishop cannot find
missionaries, they must be sent to him, and he must be provided with the
means to support them and their missions, and unless he is so far
assisted he cannot be blamed for any shortcomings. To succeed, a
mission, like other undertakings, must be based upon sound business
principles. The isolated efforts of even the best men, men like
Gomes,[365] Chambers,[366] Chalmers,[367] and Perham,[368] who have left
their personal stamp upon the Mission, can be of little avail without
continuity of effort and purpose, and to insure this a system is
necessary, a system of trained missionaries, training others to take
their places in due time, and for want of such a system the S.P.G. is
now left with but two English missionaries in Sarawak.

To the deep regret of all in his diocese, failing health and advancing
years necessitated the retirement of Bishop Hose at the end of 1907,
after having spent the best years of his life in faithful service to the
Church in the East. As far back as 1868 he was appointed Colonial
Chaplain at Malacca. He was transferred to Singapore in 1872, and was
appointed Archdeacon in 1874. For a little over twenty-six years he had
been Bishop of a diocese of unwieldy size, over 120,000 square miles,
containing a population of about two and a quarter millions, the
supervision of which, with the two Archdeaconries separated by 450 miles
of sea, necessarily entails a great deal of hard work and a considerable
amount of travelling, and by reason of this it is proposed shortly to
subdivide the diocese.[369]

The great Spanish Jesuit, one of the founders of the Jesuit Society, St.
Francisco Xavier, the Apostle of India and the Far East, in 1542 laid
the foundations of a missionary enterprise that scarcely has a parallel.
Earnest and self-denying priests followed in his footsteps, and
eventually some reached Borneo. Of the work of the earlier missionaries
in Borneo we know hardly anything, but, as with Xavier at Malacca, they
probably met with little success. They wandered away into the jungles,
there to end their days amongst savage and barbarous people, at whose
hands we know some met with martyrdom. They have left no traces and no
records behind them, even their names are perhaps forgotten.

Fr. Antonio Vintimiglia, already mentioned in chapter ii. established a
Roman Catholic Mission at Bruni, where he died in 1691; there may have
been others there before him, but evidently he was the last Roman
Catholic priest for many years in that part of Borneo with which this
history deals.

In 1857, a Roman Catholic Mission was again established at Bruni,
Labuan, and Gaya Bay, under a Spaniard named Cuateron, as Prefect
Apostolic, who was assisted by two worthy Italian Priests. The romantic
story of how Senor Cuateron became a priest, how he established the
Mission, and how he obtained the means to do so, will be found in Sir
Spenser St. John's _Life in the Forests of the Far East_. St. John tells
us that the funds entrusted by Fr. Cuateron to the Papal Government as a
permanent support for his Mission were diverted to other purposes, and
the money he retained himself was dissipated in unsuccessful
speculations. In 1861, nothing remained but closed churches and Fr.
Cuateron. He remained for over fifteen years longer, and then he too

In July, 1881, a Roman Catholic Mission to Borneo was founded in
England, and attached to the foundation of this Mission there is also
some romance, but of a different character to that which centred upon
Fr. Cuateron. The Very Rev. Thomas Jackson, the first Vicar Apostolic,
had so distinguished himself in the field in succouring the wounded
during the last Afghan war as an acting Army chaplain, that he won a
practical and well-deserved recognition from officers and men in the
shape of a substantial testimonial, and this he devoted to the promotion
of missionary work in Borneo. After travelling through North Borneo and
Sarawak he selected Kuching as his headquarters. Supported by liberal
aid from home, and well aided by zealous and self-devoted priests and
sisters, before his retirement he had laid the foundations of a most
flourishing mission. The Vicar Apostolic is now the Very Rev. E. Dunn,
one of the first missionaries to join Mr. Jackson, and he, by his
earnestness and kindliness, has won the respect of all. In Sarawak there
are eleven European priests, two brothers, and eleven nuns and Sisters
of Charity.

At Sibu, in the Rejang, there is an American Methodist Episcopal Mission
under the charge of an American missionary. It was established in 1900,
to look after the welfare of a number of Foo Chow Chinese
agriculturists, who had been introduced from China and settled near
Sibu, and who are all members of the American Methodist Church.

From every point of view, few countries offer such facilities and
advantages for missionary work than are found in Sarawak. There is no
spirit of antagonism to Christianity. Converts are exposed to no
persecution, scorn, or even annoyance. By becoming Christians they do
not lose caste, or the respect of their people. The lives and property
of missionaries are absolutely safe wherever they may choose to settle,
and, more, their coming will be welcomed. A man gifted with good sense
and firmness, kindness of heart and courtesy, will soon make his
influence felt, and gain, what is of paramount importance to the success
of his undertaking, the respect of the people around him. Such a man
will not fail to do a great deal of good, as such men have done before,
but his labours will have been in vain unless there be another gifted
with the same good qualities ready to take his place in due course.




Footnote 360:

  _Ten Years in Sarawak._

Footnote 361:

  At Sibu, a few years ago, during an epidemic of cholera, medicines
  given to the Malays were smeared on the posts of their houses to
  hinder the evil spirits, that were supposed to be spreading the
  disease, gaining access to the houses by climbing up the posts; and
  windows were rigidly closed to prevent their entry.

Footnote 362:

  Two such impostors, who had commenced to reap a rich harvest at
  Bintulu, when pulled up short by the Resident, inadvertently answered
  a question put to them in English, and subsequently admitted that they
  had served as stokers on English steamers.

Footnote 363:

  Chap. II. p. 38, footnote 2.

Footnote 364:

  Bishop Chambers died in 1893.

Footnote 365:

  The Rev. W. H. Gomes, B.D. In Sarawak from 1853-68. Afterwards in
  Singapore to the time of his death in 1902.

Footnote 366:

  Who succeeded Bishop M^cDougall.

Footnote 367:

  Afterwards Bishop of Goulburn, N.S.W. He died November 1901.

Footnote 368:

  He became Archdeacon of Singapore, and retired some years ago. He is
  well known for his scholarly articles on the folk and mythical lore of
  the Sea-Dayaks.

Footnote 369:

  This has since been done.


 Aban Jau, a troublesome Kayan chief, 342

 Abdul Gani, Abang, 159

 Abdul Gapur, Haji, becomes Datu Patinggi, 77, 78;
   his exactions, 208;
   intrigues with S. Masahor, _ib._;
   his oppression and disloyalty, 209;
   is disgraced, _ib._;
   his plot to murder the Rajah and his officers, 210;
   his open contempt, 211;
   is publicly degraded, _ib._;
   is sent out of the country, 212;
   and banished, _ib._;
   pardoned, 220;
   he intrigues again, _ib._;
   the murder of Steele and Fox, 223;
   he dissembles, and is taken into confidence, 227;
   a deep plot, 231;
   his plan to seize Kuching, 232;
   the plot revealed, 233;
   he is again banished, _ib._;
   his part in the plot, 235;
   is arrested by the Dutch, 237;
   his end, 242

 Abdul Karim, Haji, becomes Datu Imaum, 77

 Abdul Mumin, Sultan, _see_ Mumin

 Abdul Rahman, the Datu Patinggi of Serikei, 117, 208

 Abi, the murderer of Steele, 225;
   his death, 226

 Aborigines Protection Society take up the cause of pirates, 140

 Abu Bakar, Juwatan, 364

 Abu Bakar, Sherip, 117

 Agriculture, 7;
   early efforts to promote, 320;
   present thriving condition, 429

 Ahmit, Sherip, 117, 130

 Aing, Abang, a distinguished native chief, 155;
   his wife, 156;
   is wounded, 176;
   the Chinese insurrection, 190

 Ajar, Dang, 158;
   and Akam Nipa, 159

 Akam Nipa, a famous Kayan chief, drives the Malays out of the Rejang,
    16, 159;
   in revolt, 282, 289

 Alderson, Baron, his speech at the London Tavern, 146

 Alderson, Mr., 234

 Ali, Abang, a Malay chief, 225, 226, 229, 230, 231

 Ali, Datu Patinggi, the descendant of Rajah Jarom, 45;
   reinstated as Datu, 77;
   kills a Lanun Penglima, 80;
   his skirmish with the Saribas Dayaks, 100;
   his gallantry, 107;
   his death, 108;
   the champion of his people, 420

 Amal, Sherip, 117

 Ambong, destroyed by pirates, 95

 American Methodist Episcopal Mission, 449

 _Amok_ by the Sea-Dayaks, 25;
   a bad case, _ib._;
   by Malays, 30

 Amzah, Nakoda, his account of the pirates, 275

 Antu-Jalan, The, a myth, 15

 Api, Rajah, usurps the throne of Bruni, 53;
   his execution, 54

 Astana, The, 396

 Atoh (Haji Abdul Rahman) outwits the pirates, 274

 Bailey, D. J. S., 388, 389

 Bain, Mr., murdered at Muka, 322

 Bajau pirates, 92;
   associate with the Lanuns, 94. _See_ also under Piracy

 Bakar, _see_ Abu Bakar

 Balambangan, Island, Hon. East India Company's settlement, 43;
   destroyed by Datu Teting, _ib._;
   re-established and abandoned, _ib._

 Balang, Sea-Dayak chief, 287;
   his execution, 320

 Balenini pirates, 92;
   in league with Lanuns and the Sultan of Sulu, 95;
   their methods, _ib._;
   cruising grounds, 96;
   strongholds, _ib._;
   haunts, _ib._ _See_ also under Piracy

 Bampfylde, C. A., 388

 Bandahara, Pangiran, heir to the Sultanate of Bruni, 347;
   loses his rights in the Limbang, 353;
   appointed regent, 367

 Banjermasin, English and Dutch alternately at, 47, 48;
   the English driven out, 48;
   reverts to the Dutch, _ib._

 Bantam, 42, 47

 Bantin, a rebel Sea-Dayak chief, 387, 388, 389, 390

 Banyoks, The, origin, 15;
   supporters of S. Masahor, 223

 Baram, in revolt against Bruni, 332, 335;
   relations with Bruni, 333;
   ceded to Sarawak, 335, 336, 339, 340, 341;
   order established, 341;
   Aban Jau, 342

 Baring-Gould, J., 389

 Bayang conspires with Datu Haji Abdul Gapur, 234

 Beach, Sir M., and the cession of Baram, 340

 Beads, old, 37

 Beccari, Signor Odoardo, on the Bornean forests, 7;
   on the natives, 14;
   the _Rafflesia Tuan Mudæ_, 21;
   old beads, 37;
   a levée at the Astana, 415;
   his appreciation of the first Rajah, 417

 Beeckman, Capt., his account of Banjermasin, 48, 431

 Bedrudin, Pangiran, his family, 53;
   meets James Brooke, 70;
   at Bruni, 84;
   his character, 112;
   his return to Bruni, 113;
   his life in danger, 114;
   he defeats P. Usup, 116;
   his death, 119

 Belait, _see_ Tutong

 Belcher, Capt. Sir Edward, R.N., sent to report on affairs in N.W.
    Borneo, 102;
   his ship ashore, _ib._;
   proceeds to Bruni, _ib._;
   his report, _ib._;
   at Patusan, 108;
   takes R. M. Hasim and his family to Bruni, 113

 Bencoolen, 46, 47

 Bethune, Capt., R.N., commissioned to select a site for a British
    settlement, 113

 Beting Maru, battle of, 136

 Betong fort built, 178;
   attacked, 179

 Bisayas, The, 20

 Bliuns, The, 12

 Bondriot, J., 148

 Borneo, description, 1-5;
   origin of name, 1;
   its jungles, 8;
   known to the Arabs in ancient days, 36;
   early Chinese settlements, 36, 37, 38;
   early Hindu settlements, 21, 38;
   the Empire of Majapahit, 21, 38, 39, 40;
   Sultanates established by Malays, 40;
   the Insula Bonæ Fortunæ of Ptolemy, 40;
   the Spanish and Portuguese, 40;
   the Dutch and English, 42;
   ancient Chinese trade, 44;
   the English and Dutch in the south, 47

 Borneo Co., Ltd., their steamer disperses the Chinese rebels, 198;
   early difficulties, 243;
   its history, 426;
   ultimate success, 437

 Brassey, Lord, in favour of the transfer of N. Borneo to Sarawak, 412

 Brereton, W., at Sekrang, 139, 155, 156;
   his fight with Rentap, 157, 163;
   his death, 166

 British North Borneo Company, established, 411;
   transfer Lawas to Sarawak, 362;
   proposed transfer of N. Borneo to Sarawak, 412

 Brooke, Bertram W. D., the Tuan Muda, 405

 Brooke, Charles (child of the second Rajah), his birth, 400;
   his death, 401

 Brooke, Charles Anthoni, second Rajah of Sarawak. Tuan Muda, 1852-1868.
    On the Chinese, 31;
   first visit to Sarawak, 104;
   on the Batang Lupar expedition, _ib._;
   at the attack on S. Usman's stronghold, 116;
   on board the _Mæander_, 130;
   joins the Rajah, 153;
   birthplace and parents, 154;
   retires from the Navy—his naval services, 154;
   becomes Tuan Muda, _ib._;
   is appointed to Lundu, 155;
   at Lingga, 158;
   the Dandi expedition, 161;
   the Lang expedition, 163;
   in charge of the Batang Lupar district, 166;
   his position and difficulties, _ib._;
   his expedition against the Kajulau Dayaks, 167;
   receives news of the Chinese rebellion, 171;
   goes to the Rajah's assistance, _ib._;
   after Saji, 172;
   first expedition against Sadok, 173;
   a failure, 176;
   the return, 177;
   attacks Saji, 178;
   builds a fort in the Saribas, _ib._;
   second Sadok expedition, 179;
   another failure, 182;
   third Sadok expedition, 183;
   success, 184;
   the Chinese troublesome, 190;
   to Kuching to suppress the Chinese rebellion, 198;
   the rebels driven over the border, 199;
   is sent to Muka, 214;
   saves the survivors of S. Masahor's massacre, 215;
   S. Masahor fined and deposed, _ib._;
   fort built at Serikei, 218;
   left in charge of the country at a critical time, 220;
   makes a tour through the country, _ib._;
   is uneasy about Kanowit, 221;
   more troubles at Muka, _ib._;
   the Sarawak flag fired upon, 222;
   he arranges matters there, _ib._;
   enforces payment of a fine for insulting the flag, _ib._;
   the Sultan irritated by his conduct, 223;
   the Consul-General supports the Sultan, _ib._;
   he receives news of the murder of Steele and Fox, _ib._;
   the situation and disposition of the people, _ib._;
   he assembles the chiefs at Kuching, 225;
   his resolution, _ib._;
   punishment of the murderers at Serikei, 226;
   he meets the S. Masahor, 227;
   the attack on Kabah, 228;
   the stockade taken, 230;
   an intricate plot, 235;
   he takes action, 236;
   advances against Sadong, 237;
   his encounter with S. Masahor, _ib._;
   he attacks the Sherip, 238;
   Bandar Kasim punished, 239;
   he proceeds to Sekrang, 240;
   further action against S. Masahor—Igan burnt, _ib._;
   repression of the plots—thanks of the Rajah, 241;
   is opposed to foreign protection, 243;
   his actions criticised by Gov. Edwardes, 247;
   the attack on Muka, 250;
   Gov. Edwardes' interference, 256;
   he removes the coast people to Lingga, 259;
   builds a new fort at Kanowit, 260;
   is thanked by the Rajah for his success at Sadok, 265;
   his overland journey, _ib._;
   he visits England, _ib._;
   he returns to Sarawak, 281;
   assumes the name of Brooke, _ib._;
   the Kayan expedition, _ib._;
   the start, 284;
   his boat swamped, 288;
   the return, 292;
   installed as Administrator in 1863, 294, 296;
   the commencement of his rule, 301;
   the Rajah's trust in him, 304;
   the task before him, _ib._;
   his main principle of government, 305

                            Rajah from 1868

   His accession, 307;
   his pledges to the people, _ib._;
   his administration, 308;
   the Datu Bandar's testimony, _ib._;
   his opinions on governing natives, and his policy, 313, 315, 418-420;
   the success of his policy, 315;
   how the abolition of slavery was effected, 315-318;
   his conduct of business, 319;
   liquidation of the public debt, 319;
   his efforts to promote agriculture, 320;
   punitive expeditions, 1862-1870, 320;
   he leaves for England, 325;
   his marriage, _ib._;
   his letter to Lord Clarendon on Bruni, 329;
   he visits Bruni and concludes a treaty, 331;
   he visits Baram, 332;
   his letter to the Foreign Office on Bruni, 335;
   his recommendations to the Foreign Office—adopted too late, 337;
   negotiations for the acquisition of the Baram, 339;
   false accusation of intimidating the Sultan, 340;
   the cession of the Baram sanctioned by the Foreign Office, _ib._;
   he visits Bruni—Baram ceded to Sarawak, 341;
   Trusan ceded, 344;
   the Sultan appeals to him (the Rajah) for help against the Limbangs,
   he declines to interfere, 348, 410;
   the Sultan resents his refusal, 349;
   he is asked to take over the Limbang, 350;
   the murder of P. Japar, _ib._;
   he annexes the Limbang—his reasons for doing so, 352;
   the Sultan admits he has no real grievance against him, 354;
   Sir Spencer St. John's opinion of the annexation of the Limbang, 354,
   he acquires the coal mines and certain rights in the Muara district,
   his improvements at Brooketon, 358;
   the expedition against O. K. Lawai, 359;
   a design to hand Bruni over to him, _ib._;
   he is begged by the chiefs to annex Tutong and Belait, 361;
   he is reconciled to the Sultan, 364;
   the Sultan willing to accept his offer to take over Bruni, 364;
   his influence at Bruni, 366, 367;
   his rights in Brooketon infringed, 368, 369, 370;
   the four periods of his labours, 373;
   punitive expeditions, 378, 381, 383, 384, 387;
   is complimented by the Resident of Netherlands, Borneo, 384;
   his last expedition, 389;
   his return with the Ranee to Sarawak, 393;
   their reception, 394; the Astana, 396;
   their first children, 400;
   they visit Pontianak and Batavia, _ib._;
   they leave for England—death of their children, 401;
   he is created a Commander of the Crown of Italy—Grand Officer, 401;
   birth of the Rajah Muda, _ib._;
   Lord Derby's compliment, _ib._;
   Lord Grey's interest in Sarawak, 402;
   he returns to Sarawak, _ib._;
   difficulties presented by intertribal feuds, 401-404;
   birth of the Tuan Muda, 405;
   his narrow escape from drowning, _ib._;
   birth of the Tuan Bongsu, _ib._;
   visits England to confer with the Foreign Office with regard to
      Limbang and Bruni, 406;
   British protection granted—terms of the agreement, _ib._;
   the advance of the State without extraneous aid, 407-409;
   he is created a G.C.M.G., 410;
   the salute to be accorded him by H.M.'s ships, _ib._;
   he annexes the Limbang, _ib._;
   he proclaims the Rajah Muda as his successor, 411;
   his offer to take over British North Borneo, 412;
   Keppel's opinion of him, 413;
   he entrusts the Rajah Muda with a share of his duties, 415;
   Consul Keyser's and Signor Beccari's testimony, 417;
   Sir W. G. Palgrave's and Alleyne Ireland's testimony, 418;
   what the people owe to the Brookes, 423;
   the Rajah as a despotic Ruler, 424;
   his reputed adverseness to the introduction of European enterprise
      denied, 433;
   the Rajah on education, 439;
   on the Muhammadan religion, 443

 Brooke, Charles Vyner, Rajah Muda, his birth, 401;
   with the expedition against the Muruts, 359;
   leads an expedition against Bantin, 389;
   is proclaimed the Rajah's successor, 411;
   joins the Rajah's staff, 415;
   is given a share in the Rajah's powers, _ib._;
   administers the Govt. in the Rajah's absence, 416

 Brooke, Ghita, her birth, 400;
   death, 401

 Brooke, Harry Keppel, 405

 Brooke, James, Rajah of Sarawak, his description of a Dayak village,
   on the character of the Malay, 28;
   on the decadence of Malayan States, 44;
   on the policy of the Dutch, 51;
   his birth, and early life, 61;
   death of his father, 62;
   he purchases the _Royalist_, and sails for the East, _ib._;
   first visit to Sarawak, 63;
   first meeting with Rajah Muda Hasim, 65;
   he warns P. Makota against the Dutch, 66;
   leaves Kuching and visits Sadong, _ib._;
   a brush with the Saribas Dayaks, 67;
   sails for Singapore, _ib._;
   receives an address of thanks at Singapore—the Governor's coolness,
   he visits the Celebes, 68;
   his second visit to Sarawak, _ib._;
   is pressed by R. M. Hasim to remain there, _ib._;
   he consents to assist against the rebels, 69;
   is offered the raj, _ib._;
   his first meeting with P. Bedrudin, 70;
   he suppresses the rebellion, _ib._;
   his investiture as Rajah delayed, 71;
   he accepts an equivocal arrangement, _ib._;
   purchases the _Swift_, _ib._;
   R. M. Hasim's dishonesty and coolness, _ib._;
   an attempt to involve him with the Dutch, _ib._;
   P. Makota's plot, _ib._;
   he frustrates it, 72;
   R. M. Hasim's procrastination, _ib._;
   the people offer him their allegiance, 73;
   P. Makota resorts to poison, _ib._;
   the downfall of Makota, _ib._;
   he becomes Rajah, _ib._;
   the condition of the country, 73-77;
   he releases the Siniawan hostages—recalls the Sarawak Malays—
      reinstates the Datus, 77;
   he institutes a Court of Justice and promulgates a code, 78;
   his first year's work, 79;
   steps to safeguard the country, _ib._;
   the Saribas Dayaks and S. Sahap receive lessons, 80;
   execution of pirates and head-hunters, _ib._;
   his first visit to Bruni, _ib._;
   grant of Sarawak confirmed, 85;
   shipwrecked sailors released, _ib._;
   his return and public installment, _ib._;
   he banishes P. Makota, 86;
   he reforms the govt., 87;
   his policy, _ib._;
   his three great objects, 88;
   Keppel's testimony, 89;
   his meeting with Capt. Keppel, 90;
   with the _Dido_, 97;
   action off Sirhasan, 98;
   his welcome at Kuching, _ib._;
   with Keppel against the Saribas, 100;
   the Padi chiefs admonished, 101;
   submission of the Dayaks and the Sherips, _ib._;
   Sir Edward Belcher arrives to report, 102;
   with Belcher to Bruni—Sarawak granted in perpetuity, _ib._;
   he goes to Singapore—his mother's death, 103;
   joins an expedition against Sumatran pirates—is wounded, _ib._;
   purchases the _Julia_, _ib._;
   S. Sahap's depredations _ib._;
   arrival of the _Dido_—the expedition against the Batang Lupar,
   submission of the Saribas and Sekrang, 109;
   lack of support of the British Govt.—the revival of piracy, _ib._;
   he offers Sarawak to the Crown—his precarious position, 110;
   R. M. Hasim in the way, 112;
   he goes to Bruni, 113;
   is appointed H.M.'s confidential agent, _ib._;
   a letter from the Foreign Office a surprise to the Bruni Court,
   he interests Sir Thomas Cochrane in Bornean affairs, 114;
   R. M. Hasim and his brothers in danger, _ib._;
   his determination to support them, 115;
   the Admiral's action at Bruni—P. Usup's discomfiture, _ib._;
   S. Usman's stronghold destroyed, 116;
   P. Usup's death, _ib._;
   prosperity of Sarawak—his desire for protection, _ib._;
   a rising of the Sekrangs incited by the Sherips suppressed, 117;
   Rejang affairs, _ib._;
   intrigues at Bruni against the Sultan Muda Hasim, _ib._;
   the murders of Hasim and his brothers, 119;
   P. Bedrudin's farewell message to the Rajah, _ib._;
   his opinion of Bedrudin, 121;
   with the fleet off Bruni, _ib._;
   Bruni attacked—the Sultan a fugitive, 122;
   the Rajah forms a provisional govt. at Bruni—Admiral Cochrane's
      regret, 123;
   with Cochrane and Mundy against the pirates, _ib._;
   his return to Bruni—the Sultan's submission, 124;
   Sarawak granted unconditionally, _ib._, 125;
   he returns to Kuching with the survivors of Hasim's family, 124;
   his independent position as Rajah, 125;
   the occupation of Labuan, 126;
   the jealousy of the Dutch, _ib._;
   Dutch pretensions, 127;
   at Penang, 128;
   he concludes a treaty with Bruni, _ib._;
   action with Balenini pirates, _ib._;
   he visits England, 129;
   honours bestowed on him, _ib._;
   becomes Governor of Labuan, Commissioner, and Consul-General, and is
      created a K.C.B., 130;
   his return to Sarawak, _ib._;
   is joined by Capt. James Brooke-Johnson, _ib._;
   he gives a flag to his country, 131;
   establishes Labuan, and visits Sulu, _ib._;
   is left with inadequate means to face the pirates, _ib._;
   is defied by the Saribas and Sekrangs, 132;
   they ravage the coast, _ib._;
   he attacks the Saribas, 134;
   he visits Labuan and Sulu, and concludes a commercial treaty with
      Sulu, 135;
   the great expedition, _ib._;
   the battle of Beting Maru, 136;
   his life attempted by Linggir, 137;
   the Dayaks of the Saribas and Rejang attacked, 138;
   a fort built at Sekrang, _ib._;
   submission of the Dayaks, 139;
   he is persecuted in England, _ib._;
   the action of his discarded agent, Wise, _ib._;
   the malignity of his accusers, 140;
   Hume moves an address to her Majesty—supported by Cobden, _ib._;
   the motion opposed by Henry Drummond and lost, 141;
   Cobden's speech, _ib._;
   Hume's motion for a Royal Commission negatived, _ib._;
   Gladstone's attitude, 140, 141;
   Lord Palmerston denounces the charges, 141;
   his actions approved by the British Govt., 142;
   a commentary on Cobden's assertions, _ib._;
   the Rajah removes Bandar Kasim, 143;
   he proceeds to Siam on a diplomatic mission, _ib._, 296;
   recognition by the United States, and complimentary letter from the
      President, 144;
   the Rajah leaves for England, _ib._;
   the bitter hostility of the Radicals, _ib._;
   a commission of inquiry granted, _ib._;
   the great dinner at the London Tavern—the Rajah's speech, 145;
   he returns to Sarawak—is attacked by small-pox, 147;
   the Commission sits in Singapore, _ib._;
   the findings of the Commissioners, 148;
   further assistance refused the Rajah, 149;
   Gladstone's later attack, 150;
   Earl Grey's reply, _ib._;
   England the worst opponent of Sarawak, 152;
   the Rajah is joined by his nephew, C. A. Johnson, 153;
   he visits Bruni—a further cession of territory, 159;
   the Dandi expedition, 161;
   the Sungei Lang expedition, 163;
   the Rajah's advice to the Tuan Muda, 166;
   he disregards warnings, 191;
   his house attacked by the Chinese—his escape, _ib._;
   he endeavours to organise a force—he retires to Samarahan, 195;
   his return, 197;
   he is again forced to retire, 198;
   he returns in the _Sir James Brooke_, and drives out the rebels,
   he pursues them, 199;
   English indifference—Dutch assistance, 201;
   the country impoverished—devotion of the natives, 202;
   the difficulties faced, 203;
   the Datu Patinggi Gapur gives trouble, and plots with S. Masahor,
   Gapur reprimanded, 209;
   the Rajah is menaced by Gapur, 210;
   he disgraces him, 211;
   he visits Bruni—the government placed in his hands, 216;
   he restores the old executive system—and is pressed to reside at
      Bruni, 217;
   the Sultan fails him, _ib._;
   he governs the Rejang for the Sultan, 218;
   his intervention at Muka, 219;
   he visits England, _ib._;
   his opinion of P. Makota, _ib._;
   he commends the Tuan Muda, 241;
   his opinion of England's attitude, _ib._;
   in England, 242;
   is stricken with paralysis, _ib._;
   his efforts to obtain protection from England, _ib._;
   from Holland, _ib._;
   from France, 243;
   he is opposed by his nephews, and gives way, _ib._;
   pecuniary troubles, _ib._;
   Miss Burdett-Coutts' assistance, _ib._;
   a public testimonial—he purchases Burrator, 244;
   is obliged to return to Sarawak, 245, 261;
   he visits Bruni, 261;
   he goes to Oya, _ib._;
   prepares to assume the offensive against Muka, 262;
   establishes order at Muka, 263;
   his last visit to Bruni, _ib._;
   obtains a further acquisition of territory, _ib._;
   he retires to Burrator, 265;
   receives the news of the fall of Sadok—his warm thanks to the Tuan
      Muda, _ib._;
   his opinion of Admiralty orders in respect to pirates, 269;
   his last visit to Sarawak, 279;
   the defection of the Rajah Muda, _ib._;
   negotiations for transfer of Sarawak to Belgium fall through, 280;
   Sarawak recognised by Great Britain as an independent State, _ib._;
   his farewell to Sarawak, 294;
   his hopes fulfilled—his last years clouded, 295;
   his policy and its effects, 296;
   a parallel case—Sir S. Raffles, 297;
   the Rajah's larger policy abandoned, _ib._;
   his dreams of extended usefulness, 298;
   his anxiety that England should adopt Sarawak, _ib._;
   is worried as to the future, 301;
   his life at Burrator, 302;
   his death, 303;
   his will, _ib._;
   Dr. A. R. Wallace's tribute to his memory, _ib._;
   the Rajah's trust in his successor, 304;
   his main principles of government, 305;
   a noble record, _ib._;
   the policy he advocated in regard to Malayan States, 338;
   Beccari's appreciation, 417

 Brooke, James (child of the present Rajah), his birth, 400;
   his death, 401

 Brooke, James Brooke, Rajah Muda, joins his uncle, the Rajah, 130;
   becomes the Tuan Besar, 131;
   left in charge of the raj, 144;
   on the Lang-river expedition, 163;
   leads an expedition up the Saribas, and against Sadok, 179;
   in charge of the government, 219;
   loses his wife, and goes to England, 220;
   returns to Sarawak, 241;
   is opposed to foreign protection, 243;
   attempts peaceful measures at Muka, 249;
   he attacks Muka, 250;
   Governor Edwardes' unwarrantable interference, 256;
   he is forced to withdraw, 257;
   he receives the thanks of Lord John Russell, 257;
   is made Rajah Muda, 265;
   death of his second wife, 269;
   his action with the pirates, _ib._;
   his retirement, 279;
   his death, 281

 Brooke, Thomas, father of the first Rajah, 61, 62

 Brooketon, the coal mines—the Rajah's rights, 357;
   development of the mines, 358;
   the Rajah's losses, 368;
   an oppressive tax, _ib._;
   an infringement of rights, 369;
   comments by the _Straits Budget_, 370

 Bruni, its name, 1;
   early Chinese intercourse, 36;
   its Sultan's Chinese ancestress, 38;
   formerly a powerful kingdom—becomes a dependency of Majapahit, 39;
   the Spanish and Portuguese arrive, 40;
   trade with the latter, 41;
   a Roman Catholic mission established, _ib._;
   the Portuguese factory, _ib._;
   Spanish interference, _ib._;
   the Dutch visit Bruni, 42;
   and the English, _ib._;
   the English factory, 43;
   decadence, _ib._;
   territory ceded to Sulu transferred to the East India Co., 53;
   Rajah Api, _ib._;
   Rajah Muda Hasim becomes Regent, 54;
   the Limbang oppressed, 57;
   list of the Sultans, 59;
   crews of English ships detained, 80, 81, 82;
   Bruni and its Court, 82;
   in sympathy with the pirates, 93;
   Rajah Muda Hasim reinstated, 113;
   P. Usup's intrigues, 114;
   Sir T. Cochrane deals with Usup, 115;
   murder of the princes, 119;
   Cochrane attacks Bruni, 122;
   the provisional govt., 123;
   submission of the Sultan, 124;
   his successors, _ib._;
   Labuan ceded to Great Britain, 126;
   dissensions—the Rajah establishes order, 216;
   P. Makota in power, _ib._;
   offices of the four wazirs revived, 217;
   the councils of Bruni, _ib._;
   the "Haven of Peace," 326;
   apathy of the British Govt., 327, 329, 330;
   Sultan Mumin, 327;
   hereditary rights, 327, 349;
   the people oppressed, 327;
   trade restriction, 329;
   the Sultan helpless, _ib._;
   treaty with Sarawak, 331;
   is worse than useless, 332;
   the Kayans revolt, 332, 335;
   relations with the Baram, 333;
   the cession of Baram to Sarawak—impeded by the British Govt., 335,
      336, 339, 340, 341;
   the Rajah's advice to the Foreign Office,—adopted too late, 337;
   massacre of Dusuns, 342;
   Limbang in rebellion, 343, 344, 346, 348;
   Trusan ceded to Sarawak, 344;
   murder of P. Japar, 350;
   Bruni becomes a British Protectorate, 351;
   Limbang annexed by the Rajah, 352;
   a design to depose the Sultan in favour of the Rajah, 359;
   comments by the _Singapore Free Press_, 359;
   Consul Keyser on Bruni, 360;
   policy of the British Govt., 360;
   Tutong and Belait in revolt, 361;
   the Kadayans revolt, _ib._;
   a British resident appointed, 362;
   a peculiar policy, 336, 337, 363, 365, 366, 371, 372;
   the Sultan prepared to transfer Bruni to Sarawak, 364;
   tardy action of the Foreign Office, 365;
   the _Straits Budget_ on Bruni affairs, 370

 Bua Hasan, Haji, becomes Datu Imaum—then Datu Bandar, 77, 193, 212,
    224, 232, 234, 308, 396, 420

 Buck, Q. A., 25

 Bujang, Sherip, 208

 Buju, Banyok chief, 227, 285

 Bukitans, the, 12, 13, 33

 Bulan, Sea Dayak chief, 160

 Bulwer, Sir Henry, Governor of Labuan—inimical to Sarawak, 339

 Burdett-Coutts, Baroness, assists the late Rajah, 243;
   her experimental gardens, 319

 Buyong, Abang, 195, 199

 Census, 32

 Chalmers, Bishop, 448

 Chambers, Bishop, 446, 448

 Channon, John, 178, 181, 253

 Chinese, The, their characteristics, 31;
   their early connection with Borneo, 36;
   traces of early settlers, 37;
   the Chinese ancestress of the Sultans of Bruni, 38;
   ancient trade with Borneo, 44;
   merchants in Sarawak, 426

 Chinese Rebellion, The Chinese colony, 185, 188;
   the Secret Society—its origin and objects, 186;
   it becomes arrogant, 187;
   and is punished, 188;
   fined for smuggling, _ib._;
   encouraged by the Sultan of Sambas, 189;
   the Chinese emboldened by false rumours, _ib._;
   precautions taken, 190;
   rumours disregarded, 191;
   the Chinese advance on Kuching, _ib._;
   Kuching attacked, 192;
   the Rajah's escape, _ib._;
   Nicholetts killed, _ib._;
   other English killed and wounded—the stockades taken, 193;
   the survivors gather at the mission-house, 195;
   the Chinese form a government, 196;
   they retire up river, 197;
   attacked by Abang Pata, they return, _ib._;
   the Malays under the Datu Bandar resist them, _ib._;
   escape of the English survivors, 198;
   return of the Rajah in the _Sir James Brooke_, _ib._;
   the flight of the Chinese, _ib._;
   brave stand made by the Datu Bandar, _ib._;
   loss sustained by the rebels, _ib._;
   arrival of the Tuan Muda, _ib._;
   the retreat of the rebels, 199;
   the survivors escape over the borders, 200;
   quarrel amongst themselves, and are arrested by the Dutch, _ib._;
   their total losses, 201;
   action of the English and Dutch authorities, _ib._;
   the rebellion a direct outcome of the Commission, 202;
   comments of the _Times_ and the _Daily News_, _ib._;
   the Government impoverished, _ib._;
   fidelity of the natives, _ib._;
   difficulties faced, 203;
   return of the Chinese, _ib._;
   further account of the Secret Societies, 203-206

 Clarendon, Lord, 329, 402

 Clarke, Sir Andrew, his policy and the late Rajah's, 338

 Cobden, Joseph, supports Hume against the Rajah, 140;
   his speech at Birmingham, 141;
   comments on his assertions, 142

 Cochrane, Mr. Bailie, takes Mr. Gladstone to task, 150

 Cochrane, Admiral Sir Thomas, interested in Bornean affairs, 114;
   punishes P. Usup, 115;
   destroys S. Usman's stronghold, 116;
   sails for Borneo to support the Rajah, 121;
   he attacks Bruni, 122;
   his wish to place the Rajah on the Bruni throne, 123;
   his cruise against the pirates on the N.W. coast, _ib._

 Collier, Vice-Admiral Sir Francis, 135

 Commission to inquire into the Rajah's proceedings, Hume's motion
    negatived, 141, 144;
   a Commission granted, 144;
   it sits in Singapore, 147;
   proceedings and findings, 148;
   its evil effects upon Sarawak, 151, 189, 202, 210, 224, 231, 268

 Cotteau, Edmond, on Sarawak, 409

 Cox, E. A. W., 20

 Crookshank, A. C., 129, 139, 163, 190, 192, 193, 195, 204, 234, 262

 Cruickshank, J. B., 178, 180, 234, 260, 282, 285, 288, 320, 324

 Crymble, Mr., 193, 194

 Cuateron. Fr., 449

 Cunynghame, Sir Percy, Bt., 388

 Dagang, 254

 _Daily News, The_, assails the Rajah, 140;
   commends him, 202

 Dallas, F. H., 426

 Dampier, on piracy and its cause, 50;
   on the Lanuns, 93

 Dandi, expedition against, 161

 Datus, The, the _serah_ or forced trade, 55;
   the Sarawak datus reinstated, 77;
   their duties, 207;
   their loyalty, 224;
   their faithful services, 420

 Dayak, meaning of the word, 33

 de Crespigny, C. A. C., 328, 341

 Derby, Earl of, 144;
   refuses protection, 242;
   his successor's compliment, 401

 Deshon, H. F., 388, 405

 Devereaux, Hon. H. R., 147

 de Windt, Margaret Alice Lili, _see_ the Ranee

 de Windt, H., 325

 Dias, 44

 Drummond, Henry, defends the Rajah, 141, 142

 Dulah, Nakoda, 233

 Dunn, The Very Rev. E., 449

 Dutch, at Bruni, 42;
   they replace the Portuguese at Sambas, 42;
   at Pontianak and other places in Borneo, _ib._;
   they found Batavia, 47;
   paramount in the Archipelago, _ib._;
   are checked by the English, _ib._;
   in Southern Borneo, _ib._;
   their oppressive policy induces piracy, 49;
   their aims in regard to Sarawak, 66;
   unjust trade regulation, 67;
   their jealousy of the Rajah, 126;
   their pretensions to N.W. Borneo, 128;
   their friendly offer of help, 201;
   warn the Sarawak Govt., 231;
   troubles with the Dayaks, 377;
   the border question, 379;
   the Dayaks receive a lesson, 381;
   they co-operate with the Sarawak Govt., 384;
   friendly relations, 318, 385

 Earl, G. W., on the Sherips, 74;
   on the Sambas pirates, 92;
   on piracy, 92

 Education, 439. _See_ under Schools

 Edwardes, Hon. G. W., Governor of Labuan—inimical to Sarawak, 246;
   he supports S. Masahor, _ib._, 247, 256;
   he blames the Tuan Muda, 247;
   his unwarrantable intervention at Muka, 256;
   his interview with P. Matusin, 257;
   his pledges, _ib._;
   he breaks his pledges, 258;
   he leaves the Muka people to the mercy of their oppressors, _ib._;
   the evil effects of his actions, 259;
   which are disavowed by the British Govt., 261

 Egerton, Commander, R.N., a plot to take his life, 120, 122

 English, The, the first in Borneo, 42;
   at Bantam, _ib._, 46, 47;
   at Balambangan, 43;
   at Bruni, _ib._;
   at Bencoolen, 46, 47;
   at Pulo Penang, 47;
   Java taken, _ib._;
   Singapore founded, _ib._;
   at Banjermasin, 47, 48;
   they seize Manila, 53;
   they destroy Sambas, 92

 Ersat, Pangiran, the Sultan's deputy at Muka, 213;
   is killed by P. Matusin, 214;
   S. Masahor avenges his death, _ib._;
   his son, P. Nipa, succeeds him, 219

 Everest, Lieut., R. N., 135

 Everett, A. H., 6

 Expenditure of the raj, 426

 Farquhar, Admiral Sir Arthur, K.C.B., at the battle of Beting Maru,
   his defence of the late Rajah, 150

 Fox, C., at Serikei, 218, 220;
   is murdered, 223, 225;
   his murder avenged, 294

 Gadong, Orang Kaya di, 258, 364

 Gadong, Pangiran di, claimant to the sultanate, 347;
   loses his rights in the Limbang, 353

 Gani, _see_ Abdul Gani

 Gapur, _see_ Abdul Gapur

 Genghis Khan, 36

 Geology of Sarawak, 4

 Gibbard, Lieut., R.N., killed in Marudu Bay, 116

 Gladstone, W. E., and the little England party, 111;
   his attitude towards the late Rajah, 140, 141;
   in 1877, 150, 202, 281

 Gomes, Rev. W. H., B.D., 448

 Grant, Charles, 158, 234, 237

 Granville, Earl, jurisdiction over British subjects granted, 342

 Gray, A. H., _Wanderings in Borneo_, 404

 Grey, Earl, 144;
   his reply to Gladstone, 150;
   his testimony, 402

 Grey, Sir George, 281

 Gueritz, M. G., 405

 Harvey, J., 427

 Hasim, Rajah Muda, Regent of Bruni, 54;
   sent to govern Sarawak, _ib._;
   his kindness to shipwrecked sailors, 62;
   his character and position, 65;
   offers Mr. Brooke the raj, 69;
   his procrastination and ingratitude, 71;
   he installs Mr. Brooke as Rajah, 73;
   his correct title and position, 74;
   he returns to Bruni, and is reinstated there, 113;
   his life menaced, 114;
   is threatened by S. Usman, 115;
   he becomes Sultan Muda, 118;
   his end, 120

 Hasim Jalil, Sultan of Bruni. His doubtful parentage, 69;
   in opposition to Sultan Mumin, 216;
   becomes Pangiran Temanggong, 217;
   he repudiates the action of P. Nipa at Muka, 249;
   oppresses the Limbang, 343;
   is caught in a trap, _ib._;
   agrees to the cession of Trusan to Sarawak, 344;
   in favour of ceding Limbang, 345;
   his accession, 346;
   his awkward position, 347;
   the nominee of the British Govt., _ib._;
   is unable to act against the Limbang—he seeks the Rajah's aid, 348;
   the Rajah refuses to help, 348, 410;
   his resentment, 349;
   the murder of P. Japar, 350;
   he opposes the cession of Limbang, 350;
   his true motive, 353;
   refuses compensation for the Limbang, _ib._;
   he encourages O. K. Lawai, 359;
   is reconciled to the Rajah—is prepared to transfer Bruni to Sarawak,
   is forced to accept a British Resident, 367;
   his death, _ib._

 Hay, Mr., 234, 236, 264

 Head-hunting, its origin, 25

 Helms, L. V., 6, 195, 262, 269, 410

 Henderson, R., 427

 Hennessy, Sir J. Pope, Governor of Labuan—his policy in regard to
    Bruni, 330;
   false representations, 331;
   mistaken views, 339

 Herbert, Sydney, supports Hume, 140, 281

 Hertslet, Sir Edward, 336

 Hewitt, J., 9, 34

 Hindu vestiges, 17, 21, 39

 Horsburgh, Rev. A., 147

 Horton, Lieut. Wilmot, R.N., 98, 100, 101

 Hose, Bishop, 446-448

 Hose, Charles, D.Sc., 341

 Hoste, Capt. Sir William, R.N., 201

 Hume, J., his proceedings against the late Rajah, 140, 141, 142, 144,

 Hunt, on Bruni, 44;
   at Bruni, 82

 Hunt, Lieut., R.N., 98

 Illanun, _see_ Lanun

 Indra Lila, The, expelled from Ngmah, 16;
   at Lingga, 158

 Ireland, Alleyne, on Sarawak, 418

 Isa, Dang, 158

 Jackson, Very Rev. T., 449

 Japar, Pangiran, murder of, 350

 Japar, Sherip, with the expedition against the Saribas, 100;
   his services at Rembas, 101;
   is deposed from his governorship, 108;
   deported to Sadong, 109

 Jarom, Rajah, the founder of Sarawak, 45;
   his descendants, 78, 421

 Jars, Old, 26

 Johnson, Rev. F. C., 130, 154

 Johnson, Henry Stuart, 261, 284, 288, 291, 303

 Jungle produce, 7, 434

 Kabah, The attack on, 228

 Kadayans, their origin, 20;
   meaning of the name, 33;
   they revolt against the Sultan, 361

 Kajulau expedition, 167

 Kanowit, Fort built, 143;
   description of, 220;
   the murder of Steele and Fox, 223

 Kanowits, 18;
   adherents of S. Masahor, 223

 Karim, _see_ Abdul Karim

 Kasim, Datu Bandar, at Sadong, 117;
   conspires against the Govt., 223;
   a deep plot, 231, 235;
   in open revolt, 237;
   his punishment, 239, 242

 Kayans, their origin, 16;
   their countries, _ib._;
   pressed back by the Sea-Dayaks, _ib._;
   customs, _ib._;
   cruelties, 17, 282, 316;
   chiefs, 18;
   meaning of name, 33;
   their independence, 55;
   they give trouble, 281;
   are attacked by the Tuan Muda, 284;
   they submit, 293;
   revolt of the Baram Kayans, 332, 335;
   Aban Jau, 342;
   a peaceable people, 391

 Keane, Capt., R.N., 262

 Kenyahs, their origin, 16;
   their countries, _ib._;
   customs, _ib._;
   chiefs, 18;
   a peaceable people, 391;
   their chief, Tama Bulan, 391

 Keppel, Hon. Sir Henry, on the Land-Dayaks, 21;
   his testimony, 89;
   interested in the Rajah's work, 90;
   gives his support, _ib._;
   the benefactor of Sarawak, _ib._;
   takes action against the pirates, 97;
   attacks the Saribas, 100;
   and the Batang Lupar, 104;
   on board the _Mæander_, 130;
   on Bruni, 331;
   his opinion of the Tuan Muda, 413;
   his last visit, _ib._

 Keyser, Consul, his report on Bruni, 360;
   on Sarawak, 417, 433

 Kina Balu, or Mt. St. Pedro, 2, 37

 Kota, Dayang, 156

 Kublai Khan, invades Borneo, 36

 Kuching, in 1839, 64, 400;
   meaning of name, 64;
   in 1867, 89;
   destroyed by the Chinese, 192;
   described, 394-400

 Labuan. Survivors from Balambangan settle there, 43;
   selected as a British settlement, 113;
   a failure, 113, 330;
   annexed by Britain, 126;
   the first Rajah appointed governor, 130;
   he establishes the Colony, 131;
   Governor Edwardes, 246;
   its governors obstructive to Sarawak, 331;
   a dog-in-the-manger policy, 336;
   an impartial Governor, 336;
   transferred to the British North Borneo Co., 341

 Lada, Pangiran, killed at Muka, 254

 Laksamana, Orang Kaya, 364

 Lanans, 18, 19

 Landak, Dutch Factory, 42

 Land-Dayaks, their districts, 21;
   traces of Hinduism, _ib._;
   traditions and character, 21;
   an oppressed people, 54, 55, 57, 75

 Land regulations, 432

 Lang Endang, 381

 Lang-river expedition, 163

 Lanun pirates, 92;
   their country and character, 93;
   once peaceable—Dampier's account, _ib._;
   their vessels—cruising grounds, 94;
   their settlements, 95;
   their haunts, 96.
   _See_ also under Piracy

 Lawai, Orang Kaya, 358

 Lawas, transferred to Sarawak, 362

 Lee, at Lingga, 155, 156;
   his death, 157, 184

 Leys, Dr., C.M.G., 355

 Lila Pelawan, The, 16, 158

 Lila Wangsa, The, 158

 Limbang river, its people oppressed by Bruni, 57, 216;
   they revolt, 343, 346, 348;
   annexed by Sarawak, 352;
   the Foreign Office approve of the annexation, 353;
   Sir Spencer St. John's views, 354;
   a station established, 355;
   expedition against O. K. Lawai, 358, 410

 Lingga, description of, 158

 Linggir, his encounter with the _Nemesis_, 137;
   attempts the Rajah's life, _ib._;
   his narrow escape, 178

 Lintong, or Mua-ari, 177, 323, 324

 Lisums, 12

 Logan, J. R., on an ancient Chinese trade with Borneo, 44

 _Lord Melbourne's_ crew detained at Bruni, 80

 Low, Sir Hugh, G.C.M.G., on Bruni, 38, 41, 43, 53;
   on Sultan Omar, 83;
   joins the staff at Labuan, 130;
   at Bruni, 351, 352, 355

 Low, H. B., 55, 323, 334

 Lugats, 12

 Madangs, 19

 Majapahit, The Empire of, its rule extended over Borneo, 21, 38, 39;
   its fall, 39, 40

 Makota, Pangiran, the rebellion in Sarawak caused by him, 46, 54;
   his oppression of the Limbang people, 58;
   his character and exactions, 65;
   his plot against Mr. Brooke, 71;
   he resorts to poison, 73;
   his downfall, _ib._;
   he is banished, 86;
   is commissioned to murder the Rajah, _ib._;
   joins S. Sahap, 104;
   is driven out of Patusan, _ib._;
   taken prisoner, 108;
   is allowed to retire to Bruni, 109;
   in power there, 130;
   his cruelties in the Limbang, 216;
   is sent to oppress Muka, _ib._;
   sole minister at Bruni, 217;
   his death, 87, 219, 343

 Malacca, settled by Malays, 39;
   conquered by Portugal, 41;
   its old trade with Bruni, _ib._;
   taken by Holland, _ib._;
   by England, 47

 Malays, the latest immigrants in Borneo, 28;
   their origin, 28, 39;
   their settlements in Sarawak, 28;
   character, _ib._;
   they settle at Singapore, 39;
   are expelled, _ib._;
   they retire to Malacca, _ib._;
   become Muhammadans, _ib._;
   their spread over the Archipelago, 40;
   they conquer Majapahit, _ib._;
   Malayan States in Borneo, 44;
   difference between the Sarawak and Bruni Malays, 64;
   education, 441;
   religion, 443

 Malohs, 18

 Manila, _see_ under the Philippines

 Marco Polo, on ancient Chinese trade, 44

 Masahor, Sherip, chief at Serikei, 74, 138, 208;
   supplies the Dayaks with powder, 184, 209;
   his connection with Datu Patinggi Gapur, 208;
   they plot together, _ib._;
   he becomes a source of danger, 209;
   his cold-blooded cruelty at Muka, 214;
   he is punished and leaves Serikei, 215;
   he is pardoned, and plots again, 220;
   his pretended friendliness, 221, 222;
   the murder of Steele and Fox, 223, 225;
   he executes some of the murderers, 226;
   he feigns loyalty, 227, 231;
   an intricate plot, 231, 235, 237;
   he advances on Kuching, and is stopped by the Tuan Muda, 237;
   his treachery exposed, 238;
   is attacked by the Tuan Muda, _ib._;
   his narrow escape, _ib._;
   is driven out of Sarawak, 240;
   is supported by Gov. Edwardes, 246, 256;
   his conduct at Muka, 248;
   left at Muka under the ægis of the British flag, 258, 259;
   the piratical Sea-Dayaks rely upon his support, 260;
   his independence of Bruni, 262;
   his hostile reception of English visitors at Muka, _ib._;
   he is banished, _ib._;
   his end, 264;
   his cruelties, _ib._

 Matali, Pangiran, 155, 170, 171, 174

 Matusain, Sherip, 70, 138, 147, 188, 236

 Matusin, Pangiran, at feud with P. Ersat, 213;
   his character, _ib._;
   he kills P. Ersat, 214;
   escapes from Muka, _ib._;
   at feud with P. Nipa, 221;
   his life in danger, 222;
   is relieved by the Tuan Muda, and retires to Kuching, _ib._;
   at the attack on Muka, 253, 256;
   he confronts Gov. Edwardes, 257;
   at the fight with the pirates, 273

 Maxwell, F. R. O., 344, 345

 M^cDougall, Bishop, the Chinese rebellion, 195-198;
   withdraws from Sarawak, 234;
   the fight with the pirates, 269;
   first missionary and bishop, 446

 Melanaus, their origin, 19;
   cultivators of the sago palm, _ib._;
   their country, _ib._;
   character, _ib._, 263;
   former cruelties, 316

 Menangkabau, the cradle of the Malay, 28, 39;
   one of its princes founds Sarawak, 45

 Mercator's map, 37, 41, 45

 Mersal, Datu Temanggong, 77, 78, 215, 224, 232, 422

 Middleton, P., 191, 192, 193, 195

 Minerals, 5-7, 435

 Missions, 446-450

 Mua-ari, _see_ Lintong

 Muara, _see_ Brooketon

 Muhammad, Nakoda, Bruni agent, 248

 Muhammad Aim, Haji, made Datu Imaum, 78, 421

 Muhammad Ali, Haji, made Datu Hakim, 78, 421

 Muhammad Hasan, Datu Temanggong, 78, 422

 Muhammad Jamal, present Sultan of Bruni, 124, 367

 Muhammad Kasim, Datu Bandar, 78, 421

 Muhammad Lana, Datu Bandar, 77, 196-199, 224, 233, 420

 Muhammad Tejudin, Pangiran Muda, 347

 Muka, its name, 19;
   trade, 213, 222, 248;
   invested by the Sarawak forces, 250;
   trade ruined, 259;
   its revival, 263;
   ceded to Sarawak, _ib._;
   the fort captured by prisoners, 321

 Mular, Sherip, chief at Sekrang, 74;
   is active against the Rajah, 79;
   feigns submission, 101;
   his stronghold, 104;
   its destruction, 107;
   again active with other Sherips, 117;
   his intrigue, 130;
   as a friend, 266;
   his end, 109

 Mumin, Pangiran, 84;
   becomes Sultan of Bruni, 124;
   encourages plots against Sarawak, 220;
   objects to interference at Muka, 223;
   insults the General Council, 311;
   the huckster, 327, 331;
   the Limbang revolt, 343;
   his treachery, 344;
   favours the cession of Limbang to Sarawak, 345;
   his death, 346;
   his imbecile son, and the succession, 347

 Munan, Pengulu Dalam, 23, 389, 390

 Mundy, Captain Rodney, R. N., at Ambong, 95;
   his operations against the pirates, 123;
   attacks Haji Seman, _ib._;
   he occupies Labuan, 126

 Muruts, 20, 346, 359

 Natuna Islands, the _Dido's_ boats attacked, 97;
   the people oppressed, 416

 Natural History of Sarawak, 8

 Ngmah, old Malay settlement, 16

 Ngumbang, 383, 384

 Nicholetts, H., his death, 192

 Nicol, J. D., 427

 Nipa, Pangiran, succeeds his father at Muka, 219;
   at feud with P. Matusin, 221;
   closes Muka to Sarawak traders, 248;
   is attacked, 250;
   is protected by Gov. Edwardes, 256;
   he checks S. Masahor, 262;
   is recalled to Bruni, 263

 Okong, 359

 Omar Ali, Sultan of Bruni, 53;
   his reputed sons, 69;
   his appearance and character, 83;
   his reception of the Queen's message, 113;
   is prejudiced against his uncles, 114, 118;
   causes them to be murdered, 119;
   prepares to resist the fleet, 121;
   his ruse to entrap the Admiral, _ib._;
   is driven out of Bruni, 122;
   his submission, 124;
   he cedes Sarawak unconditionally to the Rajah, _ib._;
   his death, _ib._

 Ong Sum Ping or Ong Ti Ping, governor of old Chinese colony, 38;
   his daughter marries the Sultan of Bruni, _ib._

 Oyong Hang, Kayan chief, 282, 283, 292, 293

 Padi destroyed, 100

 Paku destroyed, 101;
   a second time, 138

 Palgrave, Sir W. G., on Sarawak, 418

 Palmerston, Viscount, approves of Sarawak flag, 131;
   supports the Rajah in Parliament, 141, 144;
   and recognition, 280, 296

 Pata, Abang, 78, 197, 209, 422

 Patusan destroyed, 104

 Peace Society, scurrilous advocacy of the pirates, 140

 Pearse, C. S., 426

 Penty, Charles, 192

 Perham, Archdeacon, 448

 Philippines, The, annexed by Spain, 41;
   attacked by the Dutch, 47;
   Manila captured by the British, 53

 Pigafetta, on leaf insects, 8;
   on Bruni, 40

 Piracy, induced by trade restrictions, 49-52, 68;
   the Sea-Dayaks become pirates, 52, 55, 56;
   in Sarawak, 63, 76;
   Earl on piracy, 75, 96;
   repulse of the Saribas, 80;
   P. Bedrudin's case, 80;
   the pirates described, 92;
   Bruni encouragement, 93;
   Ambong destroyed by pirates, 95;
   apathy of the British, 96;
   their haunts, _ib._;
   Singapore their market, _ib._, 116;
   the Saribas and Sekrang pirates, 97;
   _Dido's_ boats attacked off Sirhasan, 98;
   the _Jolly Bachelor's_ fight, _ib._;
   expedition up the Saribas river, 100;
   expedition up the Batang Lupar, 104;
   piratical party in Sarawak dominant, 109;
   Dutch efforts, 93, 111;
   S. Usman's stronghold destroyed, 116;
   the Sea-Dayaks ravage the coast, 117;
   Cochrane operations against the pirates, 123;
   the _Nemesis_ destroys a pirate fleet, 128;
   fresh ravages by the Sea-Dayaks, 132;
   they are attacked by the Rajah, 134;
   the battle of Beting Maru, 136;
   the Saribas and Rejang rivers attacked, 138;
   Hume and Cobden indict the Rajah, 140;
   Balenini strongholds destroyed by the Spanish, 267;
   revival of piracy, 268;
   fate of a Spanish girl, _ib._;
   naval officers hampered, _ib._;
   pirates on the Sarawak coast, 269;
   their fleet destroyed by the Rajah Muda, 270;
   the biters bit, 274;
   Amzah's narrative, 275;
   the final lesson, 277;
   action of the Dutch and Spanish, _ib._;
   Tungku destroyed, 278

 Pontianak, Dutch Factory, 42

 Portuguese, at Bruni, 40;
   at Sambas, 41;
   expelled from Sambas, 42;
   and other settlements by the Dutch, 47

 Prinsep, C. R., 147

 Ptolemy's Insula Bonæ Fortunæ, 40

 Punans, 12, 13, 15

 Putra, Sherip, 75

 Raffles, Sir Stamford, on trade and piracy, 49;
   on Dutch trade regulations, 67;
   on the Sherips, 75;
   is censured for founding Singapore, 297

 Rahman, _see_ Abdul Rahman

 Rainfall of Sarawak, 34

 Rajahs of Sarawak, _see_ under Brooke

 Rajah Muda, _see_ James Brooke and Charles Vyner Brooke

 Ranee, The, 10, 37;
   her marriage, 325;
   arrives in Sarawak, 393;
   visits Pontianak and Batavia, 400;
   death of her children, 401;
   her life in Sarawak, 414

 Rejang river, the Rajah deputed by the Sultan to govern the district,

 Religions, Muhammadan, 443-445;
   Pagan, 446;
   Christian, 446-449

 Rembas destroyed, 101

 Rentap, at Sadok, 155;
   kills Lee, 157;
   his character, 160;
   attacked in the Lang, 163;
   is wounded, 165;
   the Inland Rajah, 172;
   his stronghold at Sadok, 172;
   first attack, 173;
   second attack, 181;
   third attack, 183;
   his defeat and end, 184, 260

 Revenue of Sarawak, 425

 Richardson, F., 427

 Ricketts, G. T., first British Consul of Sarawak, 281

 Ricketts, O. F., 356

 Rodway, Major W. H., 321

 Roman Catholic Mission, 441-449

 Rozario, F. de, 13

 Russel, Lord John, 144, 257, 280, 281, 423

 Sadok, _see_ Rentap

 Sahap, Sherip, his first meeting with the late Rajah, 66;
   governor of Sadong, 74;
   his cruelty to the Sau Dayaks, 76;
   is active against the Rajah, 79;
   he receives a lesson, 80;
   feigns submission, 101;
   he assumes the offensive, 103;
   retires to Patusan, _ib._;
   ravages the coast, _ib._;
   his stronghold, 104;
   its destruction, _ib._;
   he escapes, 108;
   his end, 109

 St. John, Horace, on the Malay, 29

 St. John, Sir Spencer, G.C.M.G., on the Malay, 29;
   on Bruni oppression, 57;
   on piracy in Sarawak, 63;
   his description of Datu Bay, 64;
   he joins the Rajah's staff, 130;
   his account of the Chinese rebellion, 193, 195;
   of Datu Patinggi Gapur's plot, 209;
   the interference of Sarawak in Muka affairs, 223;
   on Tani's execution, 226;
   on the Malay plots, 234;
   his opinion of Gov. Edwardes' conduct, 246, 257;
   his conviction of S. Masahor's guilt, 247;
   he arranges difficulties caused by Gov. Edwardes, 261;
   at Oya and Muka, 262;
   errors, 302, 319;
   on the Sarawak Govt., 309;
   on the annexation of the Limbang, 354

 Saji, a notorious head-hunter, 168;
   his treachery, 171;
   a cold-blooded act, 172;
   prepares for a foray, 177;
   is attacked, 178;
   he attacks Betong fort, 179;
   his death, 180

 Sakalai, the murderer of Fox, 225, 228, 229, 230, 290, 292;
   his death, 293

 Salisbury, Lord, 340

 _Samarang_, H.M.S., on the rocks at Kuching, 102

 Sambas, Portuguese Factory, 41;
   Dutch Factory, 42;
   a pirate stronghold, 92;
   destroyed by the British, _ib._

 Samsu, Bandari, Bruni agent, 248

 Sandom, 171, 174

 Santubong, meaning of name, 37;
   old Chinese settlement, _ib._;
   Hindu-Javan settlement, 38

 Sarawak, its rivers, 3;
   geology, 4;
   minerals, 5, 435;
   jungles, 7;
   natural history, 8;
   products, 9;
   crocodiles, _ib._;
   fish, 11;
   earlier inhabitants, 12;
   Indonesian tribes, _ib._;
   Land-Dayaks, 21;
   Sea-Dayaks, 22;
   Malays, 28;
   Chinese, 31;
   population census, 32;
   names of tribes, how derived, 33;
   area, 34;
   climate, _ib._;
   early Chinese Settlement, 37;
   Hindu-Javan colony, 38;
   early history, 45;
   in rebellion against Bruni, 54, 65, 68;
   Kuching in 1839, 64;
   Dutch aims, 66;
   end of the rebellion, 70;
   Mr. Brooke becomes Rajah, 73;
   its limited extent, _ib._;
   neighbouring countries, 74;
   the condition of the country, 75;
   the Datus, 77, 78;
   Mr. Brooke confirmed as Rajah, 85;
   the raj becomes a refuge for the oppressed, 89;
   is ceded to the Rajah in perpetuity, 103;
   increase of population, 112;
   in 1845, 116;
   the raj granted to the Brookes unconditionally, 124, 125;
   the question of its independence, 126, 149, 423;
   Dutch pretensions, 126;
   the Sarawak flag, 131;
   increased population, 142;
   recognition by the United States, 144;
   trade in 1842-1852, 149;
   extra territory obtained, 159;
   further cession of territory, 263;
   recognition by the British Govt., 280;
   the Government and administration, 309;
   its Councils, 310;
   the administration in out-stations, 312;
   Muhammadan Courts, _ib._;
   native officers, 313;
   abolition of slavery, 315-318;
   foreign relations, 318;
   public debt, 319, 425;
   cession of Baram, 335-369, 340, 341;
   Trusan ceded, 344, 345;
   Lawas acquired, 362;
   becomes a British Protectorate—terms of agreement, 406;
   unaided progress, 407;
   prosperity of the raj, 417;
   native officials, 420;
   what its people owe to the Brookes, 423;
   commercial progress—revenue, 425;
   its merchants, 428;
   agricultural industries, 429;
   land regulations, 432;
   jungle produce, 434;
   mechanical industries, 428;
   education, 439;
   schools, 441-443;
   religions, 443-449

 Sarawak Rangers, 376

 Saribas, _see_ Sea-Dayaks and Piracy

 Sassoon, Bt., Sir Edward, 367, 368, 370

 Sauh Besi, 171, 174, 175

 Sawing, murderer of Fox, 225, 226, 229, 290, 292, 293;
   his execution, 294

 Schools, 441-443

 Sea-Dayaks, press the Kayans back, 16;
   the proto-Malays, 22;
   their origin, _ib._;
   districts, _ib._;
   appearance and character, 23, 24;
   the dominant race, 24;
   their spread, _ib._;
   head-hunting, 25;
   old jars, 26;
   a Dayak village, 27;
   they become pirates, 52, 55, 56, 97;
   the Balaus and Undups, 100, 101, 375;
   Balaus and Seboyaus, 158;
   the Sea-Dayaks difficult to control, 321;
   the Ulu Ai Dayaks give trouble, 374, 375;
   well-disposed Dayaks, 375;
   their energy and thrift, 376, 387;
   they give the Dutch trouble, 377;
   punitive expeditions, 378;
   treachery of the Tamans and Bunut Malays, 379;
   expedition against the Upper Batang Lupar Dayaks, 380;
   insolence of the Kapuas Dayaks, _ib._;
   the Dutch administer a lesson, 381;
   fourth Katibas expedition, _ib._;
   lapse of the Sekrangs _ib._;
   their punishment, 382;
   the upper Rejang Dayaks, _ib._;
   are attacked, 383;
   raid by the Seriang Dayaks, _ib._;
   Kadang, attacked, _ib._;
   co-operation with the Dutch, 384;
   peace makings, 385;
   intertribal feuds, 386;
   the upper Rejangs again attacked, 387;
   the rebel Bantin, _ib._;
   he is attacked, 388;
   a tragical retreat, 389;
   Bantin again attacked, _ib._;
   the affair of Entimau hill, 390;
   Bantin submits, _ib._;
   good qualities of the Dayaks, _ib._;
   education, 440;
   religion, 446.
   _See_ also under Piracy

 Secret Societies, _see_ Chinese Rebellion

 Seduans, 15

 Segalangs, 12;
   S. Masahor's adherents, 223, 265

 Sekapans, 18

 Sekrangs, _see_ Sea-Dayaks and Piracy

 Seman, Haji, becomes the Sultan's counsellor, 118;
   attacked by Capt. Mundy, 123;
   is pardoned, 128

 Seman, Penglima, 165, 215, 229, 230, 251

 Serah, or forced trade, 55

 Serail, Pangiran, Bruni envoy, fires on the Sarawak flag, 221;
   is fined, 222;
   Mr. Spenser St. John's action, 223

 Seru Dayaks, 12

 Sherips, The, pest of the Archipelago, 44;
   teach the Sea-Dayaks to pirate, 52;
   their character, 74;
   their ascendency, 75;
   their strongholds, 93;
   religious impostors, 445

 Sians, 15, 18

 Sibu fort attacked, 323

 Sinclair, E., 321

 Singapore, founded by Malays in 1160, 39;
   conquered by Majapahit, _ib._;
   becomes a British Colony, 47;
   a market for the pirates, 96, 116;
   Sir Stamford Raffles, 297

 _Singapore Free Press_, 150, 359, 372

 Skelton, H., 323

 Smith, John, 427

 Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 441-449

 Spanish, at Bruni, 40;
   they annex the Philippines, 41;
   their interference at Bruni, _ib._;
   capture Sulu, 53;
   in Mindanau, 94.
   _See_ also under Piracy

 _Spectator, The_, assails the Rajah, 140

 Steele, H., 163, 180;
   at Kanowit, 221;
   is murdered, 223, 225;
   his murder avenged, 294;
   a previous escape, 325

 Steward, G., killed in the Sekrang, 108

 _Straits Budget_, 370

 Subu, Inchi, 227, 395

 Sukadana, Dutch factory, 42;
   English captured there, _ib._

 _Sultana_, detention of crew at Bruni, 81;
   their release, 82

 Sultans of Bruni, list of, 59

 Sulu, legends of the Chinese, 38;
   conquered by Bruni, 39;
   taken by the Spanish—the Sultan captured, 53;
   he is rescued by the British, _ib._;
   territory in Borneo ceded to the British, _ib._;
   piracy, 92, 95;
   treaty with Great Britain, 135, 337

 Swettenham, Sir F. A., K.C.M.G., on Sir Stamford Raffles, 297;
   on the Malays, 420

 Talip, murderer of Steele, 225, 226, 259, 290, 292;
   his death, 293

 Tama Bulan, 391

 Tani, 226, 285

 Tanjongs, 18;
   their name, 33

 Tejudin, Pangiran, his inhumanity, 350, 361

 Temanggong, Datu, _see_ under Mersal

 Temanggong, Pangiran, _see_ under Hasim Jalil

 Templer, J. C., 145, 301, 427

 Teting, Datu, drives the English from Balambangan, 43

 _Times, The_, supports the Rajah, 142;
   comments on the attitude of the British Govt., 202, 242

 Trade, monopolies induce piracy, 49, 50, 68;
   of Sarawak, 149, 428

 Treacher, Sir W. H., K.C.M.G., on the Malay, 29;
   the Limbang revolt, 343, 344, 355

 Trusan, ceded to Sarawak, 344;
   a flourishing district, 345;
   Murut feuds, 359

 Tuan Besar, The, _see_ under James Brooke

 Tuan Bongsu,