Location of Balambangan Island in Sulu Sea
This island was one of the first locations in what is now Malaysia where British traders set up a trading post. At the time, the British referred to it as Felicia Island.
In 1761, British East India Company officer Alexander Dalrymple concluded an agreement with the Sultan of Sulu to allow him occupation of the island. A free port was then established here which was of importance for the interest of Britain in the east Asia region, namely, trade with China. The port however failed to become a long term success due to constant pirate attacks as well as for other reasons and the British left in 1805.
In December, 1805, five members of the ill-fated crew of shipwrecked schooner Betsey made it off Balambangan Island in a small boat despite being attacked by eleven natives; however, one sailor died in the boat due to his injuries.
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