1835 Beginning of the Sarawak Rebellion (against the Sultan of Brunei) led by Sarawak chief Datu Patinggi Ali.
1839 James Brooke arrives in Kuching on the Royalist carrying a message of thanks and presents from the Governor of Singapore to Rajah Muda Hassim in Sarawak.
He returns later and at the request of the Rajah Muda Hassim, the Sultan of Brunei, suppresses the rebellion.
Sept 21 1841 Brooke made rajah and governor of Sarawak after Rajah Muda Hassim dismisses Makota.
1845 The battle of Marudu Bay sees Brooke enlisting the help of the British Royal Navy in Singapore to defeat Sherif Osman, a famous pirate leader from North Borneo, effectively ending his piracy.
1846 Sultan of Brunei unhappy with the English and Brooke.
His fi rst move against Brooke is to order the killing of Englishmen and everybody in Brunei close to him, which includes Rajah Muda Hassim, his brother Badruddin and other leaders in Brunei.
Brooke attacks Brunei in retaliation. Assisted by the British navy, they capture the city.
The Sultan is allowed to return to his palace after surrendering.
In addition he gives Sarawak completely to Brooke and his heirs forever without payment of any more money.
In memory of Rajah Muda Hassim and Badruddin, he gives two streets in Kuching their names: Jalan Muda Hassim and Badruddin Road. Later, two of his nephews, James and Charles Johnson come to Sarawak to help him.
James is given the title Tuan Besar and later, Rajah Muda.
Charles Johnson is called the Tuan Muda and changes his name to Charles Brooke later when he becomes the second rajah of Sarawak.
1849 The Battle of Beting Maru sees Brooke defeating Iban pirate chief named Linggir.
He is helped by Captain Farquhar, his ships of the Royal Navy and by Malay and Dayak in prahus.
Altogether there are about 75 boats and 3,500 men on Brooke’s side.
After a hard fight for several hours in the darkness, many pirate ships are sunk and hundreds of pirates killed or captured.
Brooke builds forts at Lingga and the mouth of the Skrang River on Batang Lupar to prevent more attacks.
1850 The US recognises Sarawak.
1852 Sarawak’s territory expands.
1853 Sarawak extended to the Krian River.
1855 Brooke starts the Supreme Council made up of a small group of important officers in Sarawak to help him govern the country.
1857 Kuching sacked by Chinese rebels.
Six hundred Chinese miners from Bau sail down the Sarawak river at night to attack the Astana, the government buildings and the fort. Much of Kuching is razed to the ground except for the Chinese areas.
Brooke retaliates by enlisting the help of loyal Malays.
Charles sails quickly from Lingga with Iban soldiers.
The rebels retreat up river and are chased to Bau and to the Dutch Borneo border where they try to escape to Sambas and Pontianak.
As many as 1,000 Chinese rebels and their families are killed.
1861 After their defeat at sea, pirates move farther inland to continue attacking villages and capturing heads.
The chief leader is an Iban named Libau, better known as Rentap.
From his Bukit Sadok fort, he leads his men to attack villages or the Rajah’s forts along the Batang Lupar.
After two unsuccessful counter-attacks, Charles becomes more determined to capture Rentap’s fort at Bukit Sadok.
He builds a twelve-pounder cannon in Kuching which takes 500 of his men to pull through the jungle to Bukit Sadok. Once there, 60 of his strongest men lift the cannon on poles and carry it to the top of Bukit Sadok 3,000 feet high.
The cannon fi re penetrates Rentap’s sturdy fort made of thick belian wood.
They discover, however, that the pirate leader has run off into the jungle and burn his fort.
Rentap is never to be heard of again.
1861 Sarawak is extended to Kidurong Point.
An offer by King Leopold I. of Belgium to purchase Sarawak is not successful.
1862 The Sarawak regiment.
1863 Sarawak Dollar introduced.
1864 Britain recognises Sarawak as an independent principality.
1865 Charles forms the Council Negri which include people in the Supreme Council, other officers of the rajah’s government and the most important native chiefs.
1867 Council Negri holds its first meeting in Sibu.
1868 James Brooke is succeeded by his nephew Charles.
Brooke returns to England due to ill health and dies there.
1869 Sarawak begins issuing postage stamps.
1870 Sarawak Gazette begins publication.
1872 The name of the town of ‘Sarawak’ is changed to Kuching where it reportedly gets its name from a small brook which ran into the Sarawak River near the present Chinese Chamber of Commerce Building at the end of Main Bazaar.
1883 Sarawak extended to Baram River.
1884 Great fi re of Kuching. 1885 Acquisition of the Limbang area, from Brunei.
1888 Sarawak declared a British protectorate.
1890 Limbang added to Sarawak.
1891 Opening of the Sarawak Museum.
The border between Sarawak and Dutch Borneo is decided at a meeting between Great Britain and the Netherlands (Holland) whereupon it is decided that the border would follow as closely as possible the line of the highest mountains between Sarawak and Dutch Borneo.
1901 Sarawak’s population is 320,000 1903. Oil discovered in Sarawak.
1905 Acquisition of the Lawas Region, from Brunei.
Sarawak spans 47,000 square miles.
1912 Brooke Dry Dock opened. 1915 First railway line in Sarawak opened.
1915 Committee of Administration, seated in Kuching, established.
A 10-mile railway going south from Kuching fi rst used.
1917 Charles Vyner Brooke succeeds his father Charles as Rajah.
1924 Sarawak Penal Code introduced.
1925 Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China builds its first offi ce in Kuching to take care of the payment for Sarawak;s increasing business with other countries. 1931 Penghulu Asun leads a small rebellion among the Ibans against the government in the headwaters of the Kanowit, Entabai and Julau Rivers.
Vyner Brooke sends a police expedition up the Kanowit River and captures Asun and most of the other leaders.
Fort Brooke is built at Nanga Meluan on the Kanowit River.
Asun dies of old age in 1958. 1938 Kuching airport opened.
1941 Written constitution granted.
1941 Sarawak has a population of 490,000.
Dec 161941 Japanese occupy Miri.
Dec 19 1941 Japanese bomb Kuching.
Dec 24 1941 Japanese attack and capture Kuching.
1942-1945 Japanese occupation.
August 14 1945 Japanese surrender.
Sept 11 1945 Australian forces liberate Sarawak.
1945-1946 Sarawak is put under Australia’s military administration.
May 1946 Council Negri meets to talk about cession to British government.
They agree that Sarawak should become a colony by a vote of 19 to 16.
July 1 1946 Government passes a law that accepts Sarawak as a British Crown Colony.
1946 Sarawak becomes British crown colony.
1949 Governor Duncan Stewart is assassinated.
1957 Sarawak gets a new constitution which changes the size and powers of the Council Negri.
Council Negri is increased to 45 members.
1959 First general election held in Sarawak.
1961 May 27 Tunku Abdul Rahman, Prime Minister of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, at a Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Southeast Asia press conference in Singapore, says the Federation of Malaya should have a close understanding with Britain and the people of Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah.
June 20 Sir Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister, in a reply to a question in Parliament, says he is interested in the suggestion made by Tunku.
June 26 British offi cers from Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah, consisting of governors, hold a meeting in Singapore until June 27.
July 1 Tunku Abdul Rahman accompanies the Yang Di- Pertuan Agong of Malaya to offi cially visit Brunei and Sarawak. July 9 Azahari (Partai Rakyat Brunei), Ong Kee Hui (Sarawak United People’s Party) and Donald Stephens (Sabah) establish the United Front and disagrees with the proposal by Tunku Abdul Rahman and Britain.
July 12 Tunku Abdul Rahman exposes communist threats in South East Asia as an important factor in his proposal.
July 22 Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore chief minister, proposes that representatives from Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah present their views at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) on the Malaysia proposal.
July 28 Establishment of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (MSCC) in Singapore during the CPA Conference.
August 12 First visit of leaders from Sarawak and Sabah – Datu Bandar Abang Mustapa, Temenggong Jugah, Donald Stephens and Dato Mustapha – to Malaya to see the progress for themselves.Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Chronology of Sarawak throughout the Brooke Era to Malaysia Day