The acquisition of Labuan, an uninhabited island originally part of the Sultanate of Brunei, was first proposed by James Brooke, the first white Rajah of Sarawak, in order to halt piratical activities and provide a naval base against increasing French and American interests in the South China Sea. In 1846, the Sultan ceded it to Britain, with Brooke Governor of the territory.
Henry Keppel, an admiral who became life-long friends with Brooke after becoming a senior naval officer in the Straits of Malacca, assisted his fight against Malay pirates and published the first version of his journals in 1846. Soon after Captain Mundy whilst in command of the British squadron in the Straits of Singapore and on the coast of Borneo also became acquainted with Brooke. “Mundy like so many sailors was enchanted with James and…was to edit the parts of his journals that were omitted in Keppel’s edition” (Runciman), but in doing so he published some of the his more sanguinary deeds glorying in his battles with pirates, which some saw as the massacring of innocent savages for material gains.
Two volumes, second edition, 8vo, , [ii], iii-xviii, 386pp., 2pp. ads at end; xii, 396pp., 8pp. ads at end numbered 1-4, 13-16, engraved portrait, with 17 wood-engraved or lithographed plates, 5 folding maps. Original red pictorial cloth gilt, yellow endpapers, volume II with small repair at head of spine, light wear, an excellent set.
Steven Runciman, The White Rajah: A History of Sarawak from 1841 to 1946, pg. 85.
Stock ID: 92014