Brooke Sir James
Brooke, Sir James, Rajah of Sarawak, was born in 1803 at Benares, where his father was in the Bengal civil service. At the age of sixteen he was appointed a cadet in the East India army, and served in the Burmese war, where he received a wound in the lungs. In 1830 he resigned his post in the service of the East India Company, and after his father's death in 1835, when he inherited £30,000, he sailed in 1838 for Sarawak in Borneo. He assisted the Sultan's uncle, Muda Hassim, of Borneo, in putting down some rebel tribes, and was rewarded with the title of Rajah of Sarawak in 1841, the former rajah being deposed in his favour. He thenceforth set himself vigorously to work to reform the natives, made head-hunting a capital offence, got them to abandon their lawless and piratical mode of life, and to devote themselves to agriculture and trade. His efforts were strikingly successful, the chief town of his province under his administration growing from a place of 1,000 inhabitants to a place of 25,000, and its exports to Singapore rising from £25,000 annual value to £300,000. He finally returned to England in 1863, and in 1868 died at Burrator, Devonshire, being succeeded in the government at Sarawak by his nephew, Charles Brooke.