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North Borneo Chartered Company


North Borneo Chartered Company

Area of the Chartered Company's Property
The Board of Directors

The North Borneo Chartered Company or British North Borneo Company was a chartered company assigned to administer North Borneo (today's Sabah in Malaysia) in August 1881. The company also administered the island of Labuan for a temporary period in 1890 before it became part of the Straits Settlements.[1][2] North Borneo became a protectorate of the British Empire with internal affairs administered by the company until 1946 when it became the Crown Colony of British North Borneo.[3] The main motto was Pergo et Perago (Latin), which means "I undertake and I achieve". The first chairman of the company was Alfred Dent.

In 1882, the North Borneo Chartered Company established a settlement on Pulau Gaya, one year after the Chartered Company was given the mandate to rule Sabah. However, in 1897, this settlement was burnt to the ground during the raid led by Mat Salleh, a Sabah tribal Chief and it was never re-established. This company is also known as 'Syarikat Borneo Utara British' and was criticised by the locals for the taxes it collected.

Establishing law and order as well as recruiting Sikh policeman from North India was one of the early roles the NBCC initiated, as well as expanding trade, a system of government, courts to enforce laws and punishment and building both a railway line from Jesselton to Tenom and encouraging the harvesting and barter trade of both local agriculture produce and crops, as well as establishment of plantations.


  • Presidents of the Company 1
  • See also 2
  • References and sources 3
  • External links 4

Presidents of the Company

Head of the Company was the chairman of the board of Directors, since 1910 officially named as President:

Chairman of the British North Borneo Chartered Company
1881–1882 Alfred Dent
1882–1893 Sir Rutherford Alcock
1893–1903 Richard Biddulph Martin
1903–1909 Sir Charles James Jessel
1909 – 14 September 1910 William Clark Cowie
Presidents of the British North Borneo Chartered Company
1910–1926 Sir Joseph West Ridgeway
3 February 1926 – 15 July 1946 Sir Neill Malcolm

See also

References and sources

  1. ^ Alexander Wood Renton; Maxwell Anderson Robertson; Frederick Pollock; William Bowstead (1908). Encyclopædia of the laws of England with forms and precedents by the most eminent legal authorities. Sweet & Maxwell. 
  2. ^ United States. Hydrographic Office (1917). Asiatic Pilot: The coasts of Sumatra and the adjacent straits and islands. Hydrographic office under the authority of the secretary of the navy. 
  3. ^ "Sabah" in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., 15th edn., 1992, Vol. 10, p. 278.
  • Owen Rutter: British North Borneo - An Account of its History, Resources and Native Tribes, Constable & Company Ltd, London, 1922
  • Regina Lim: Federal-state relations in Sabah, Malaysia: the Berjaya administration 1976-85, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008, ISBN 978-981-230-811-5
  • W. H. Treacher: British Borneo - Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan and North Borneo, Singapore, Government print department, 1891
  • K. G. Tregonning: A History Of Modern Sabah (North Borneo 1881-1963), 2. Ausgabe, University of Malaya Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1965, Reprint 1967

External links

  • Original Text of the British North Borneo Company Charter
  • William Clarke Cowie in the German WorldHeritage
  • Sir Charles James Jessel in the German WorldHeritage
  • Alfred Dent in the German WorldHeritage

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