British Bencoolen

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Bencoolen Residency
Residency of British Empire
Flag of Bencoolen Residency
 • TypeResidency of British India
• Established
17 March 1824
Succeeded by
Dutch East Indies
Today part of Indonesia

British Bencoolen was a British possession in Sumatra based in the area of what is now Bengkulu City. The British East India Company (EIC) established a presence there in 1685,[1] and in 1714 the EIC built Fort Marlborough there.

Originally a Presidency within British India, in 1785 it was downgraded to Bencoolen Residency and placed under the Bengal Presidency.[2]

On 15 October 1817, Stamford Raffles was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen. During his time as Lieutenant-Governor, Raffles enacted major reforms, including the abolition of slavery, as well as creating Singapore to provide a new trading port in the region.

In 1823, Singapore was removed from the control of Bencoolen.[3] The British ceded Bencoolen to the Netherlands in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824.[4]


  1. ^ Olson JS, Shadle R, editors. Historical Dictionary of the British Empire, Volume 2. page 1074 (at entry for Sumatra). Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996. ISBN 9780313293672
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kevin YL Tan. The Singapore Legal System.
  4. ^ Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 34.

Coordinates: 3°47′14″S 102°15′07″E / 3.787093°S 102.251848°E / -3.787093; 102.251848