Sunday, June 1, 2008

A blot on the map, 1905

Written by Arimi Sidek

Brunei in time 5

Just what the 'mighty empire' elements think about Brunei, officially and unofficially , you may wonder.

Rajah Brooke

As a matter of fact, 'The Arrogant One' did NOT hide it feelings toward a dying kingdom that lies in the territory of 'British' Borneo.

Bampfylde (1856 – 1918) said Brunei was a mere kingdom “that blot on the map”.

Sir Charles Brooke had understood that Brunei was within his 'sphere' and should fall to him.

As minuted by G.V. Fiddes (1905) at Colonial Office, Brunei was regarded as a nuisance by the British government, which had no wish to become further involved in its 'squalid' affair.

British government in London aims to integrate Brunei into Sarawak, the most healthy and viable State in British Borneo at the time.


Bampfylde, C.A, 1905. Mr. Charles Agar Bampfylde FRGS (1856 – 1918). One of the Sarawak Rajah's most trusted adviser. This is his exact phrase in his reference to Brunei, in Horton (1986). Bamfylde was Rajah Charles Brooke's "Political Agent" in England, 1903-1912. He was Member of the Sarawak State Advisory Council, 1912-1918. Has a road named after him in Kuching (MBRAS 1999:1, No. 16).
In the "Preface" to Baring-Gould and Bampfylde (1909:viii), Rajah Charles refers to Bampfylde as "my friend" and "my old and much-esteemed officer"; Baring-Gould, for his part, is "the distinguished author."

Fiddes, G.V., 1905. C.O 144/79 (10323); minute by G.V. Fiddes (1858-1938) 15 April 1905, in Horton (1986).

Horton, 1986. British Administration in Brunei 1906 - 1959 by A.V.M Horton. Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 20, No.2., (1986), pp. 353-374. Cambridge University Press.

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