Papers of the Brookes of Sarawak
- Papers of Anthony Brooke and Lord Tanlaw, 1847-1971, including correspondence, photographs, records of libel and civil suits, notebooks and maps
- Files relating to the history of Sarawak, 1841-1968
- Papers of Lady Halsey, mainly correspondence, 1933-1962
- Papers of Lady Bryant, mainly correspondence, 1938-1964
- Papers of Mrs. Noble, mainly correspondence, 1913-1976
- Papers of Dame Margery Perham, mainly correspondence, 1939-1962
- Printed material, including Hansard reports of debates on Sarawak and press cuttings mainly concerning the Cession, 1913-1969
- Additional papers received from various sources, including correspondence, cuttings and copy wills, 1803-1977
42 volumes, 18 boxes
Language of Materials
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Pac. s. 83].
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Full range of shelfmarks:
MSS. Pac. s. 83
Collection ID (for staff)
CMD ID 967
Biographical / Historical
The papers cover the whole span of Brooke rule in Sarawak, as well as looking back to Thomas Cooke, father of Sir James, the first Rajah, and forward to the present day. Sir James Brooke ruled Sarawak from 1841 until his death in 1868. Although he had initially planned to make his nephew, John Brooke Brooke his heir and second Rajah, a rift developed between them over Sarawak's ability to maintain its independence unsupported and resulted in the passing of the title to another nephew, Charles Anthony Johnson Brooke, whose wife was the Ranee Margaret. Charles Brooke died in 1917, and was succeeded as third Rajah by Sir Charles Vyner Brooke. It was Sir Charles Vyner Brooke who oversaw the cession of Sarawak to the British Crown in 1946. His wife was the Ranee Sylvia. Until 1946 the Rajah Muda (heir-apparent) had been Anthony Brooke, the third Rajah's nephew, who initiated a ten-year span of correspondence with Dame Margery Perham in 1939. The Tuan Muda (heir-presumptive) had been Bertram Brooke, father of Lady Halsey and Lady Bryant. Lord Tanlaw, formerly Simon MacKay, was the Rajah's grandson. A large part of the collection was deposited by Margaret Noble, a close friend of the Brooke family, and includes her own papers.
Other Finding Aids
Listed as no. 82 in Manuscript Collections (Africana and non-Africana) in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Supplementary accessions to the end of 1977..., compiled by Wendy S. Byrne (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1978). The library holds handlists for the main collection and the two collections of supplementary papers.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were initially contributed prior to 1978 by nine members or friends of the Brooke family, including Anthony Brooke, Lord Tanlaw, Mrs. Evelyn Hussey - the third Rajah's executor, Margaret Noble, and Edward Banks - Curator of the Sarawak Museum in Kuching 1925-1946. The Department of Archives in Barbados also contributed material. Supplementary contributions were made by Mrs. Elizabeth Maunsell - sister of Anthony Brooke, Margaret Noble, and Mrs. Kathleen Brooke - former Ranee Muda, prior to 1980, and by Mrs. Angela Kerr-Moller, Kathleen Brooke's eldest daughter, in 1981. Several smaller deposits dating to 1999 are described in the library's correspondence files. Futher information on all additional and supplementary papers is listed here under accruals. The library's handlists for the collection contain more detailed descriptions of its archival history and source of acquisition.
Existence and Location of Copies
Some parts of the collection are held on microfilm by the Brunei High Commission.
- Japanese empire in the tropics. selected documents and reports of the Japanese periode in Sarawak Northwest Borneo 1941-1945 edited and introduced by Ooi Keat Gin (Athens, Ohio, Center for International Studies, Ohio University, c1998); Ten years in Sarawak by Charles Brooke (Oxford, Singapore, Oxford University Press, 1990).
- Papers of the Brookes of Sarawak
- Paul Davidson
- Language of description
- Script of description