James ‘Rajah’ Brooke – 1854 – Council of Sarawak

James Brooke became the first White Rajah of Sarawak in 1841 after inheriting £30,000 and investing it in the schooner ‘The Royalist’ and sailing for Borneo. 

We are publishing a blog series that covers his adventures – taken from one of the books in our library called Rajah Brooke by Sir Spenser St John published in 1899.

Catch-up with earlier posts in the James Rajah Brooke series here.

James ‘Rajah’ Brooke – 1854 – Council of Sarawak

Our next six months were passed quietly. The Rajah was anxious about the report of the Commission, but he felt that in all essential points it must be in his favour. During this peaceful time he busied himself with the interior affairs of the country, or retired for recreation to his charming cottage among the hills.

No one who had not lived in close intimacy with the Rajah could form any idea of the charm of his society. His conversation was always attractive, whether he was treating of political or religious questions, and when he was in good spirits, his ordinary talk was enlivened by playful humour. His affectionate disposition endeared him to all, and although subsequently differences arose with some of his followers and relatives, no one among them but preserved a kindly feeling towards their old chief. Our visits to the hill cottage left so pleasant an impression on my mind that they can never be forgotten.

At this time, on the advice of Earl Grey, the Rajah created a Council of Sarawak, the first members of which were himself and his two nephews, to represent the English element, and four Malay chiefs to represent the native inhabitants of Sarawak. It proved a most useful measure, and the native members showed themselves highly efficient.

Excerpt from Rajah Brooke, published in 1899 by Sir Spenser St John

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Further Reading and External Links

James Rajah Brooke on Wikipedia

The Royalist Schooner