British Bencoolen

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Bencoolen Residency
Residency of British Empire
 •  Established 1785
 •  Anglo–Dutch Treaty 1 March 1824
Today part of  Indonesia

British Bencoolen was a British possession in Sumatra based in the area of what is now Bengkulu City. A presence was established in 1685.[1]

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 Governor-General of Bencoolen. During his time as Governor-General, 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] Bencoolen was ceded 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
  3. The Singapore Legal System - Kevin YL Tan
  4. Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 34.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>