Straits Settlements

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The Straits Settlements were a collection of territories of the British East India Company in Southeast Asia, which were given collective administration in 1826. Initially, the Straits Settlements consisted of Penang, Singapore, and Malacca.

The establishment of the Straits Settlements followed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, by which the Malay archipelago was divided into a British zone in the north and a Dutch zone in the south. This resulted the exchange of the British settlement of Bencoolen for the Dutch colony of Malacca and for undisputed control of Singapore. Its capital was originally in Penang, but was moved to Singapore in 1832.

In 1867, the Settlements became a British crown colony, which was extended with the addition of Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands to Singapore, and the addition of Labuan in 1912. The Governor of the Straits Settlements also acted as High Commissioner of the Malay States and Brunei, which were British protectorates in the region.

The colony was dissolved in 1946, when Singapore became a separate crown colony, while Penang and Malacca joined the Malayan Union, which eventually became Malaysia. Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands came under Australian administration, while Labuan became part of British North Borneo, later also part of Malaysia.

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