British Singapore

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Singapore was ruled by the British, first under the Straits Settlements from 1826 - 1942, and as a Crown Colony from 1946 - 1959.

Bencoolen and Bengal

Singapore was first ruled as a division of Bencoolen, which was the East India Company's principal station in Sumatra. In 1823, administration of Singapore was passed to Bengal.

Straits Settlements

Singapore, Malacca, Prince of Wales Island (now Penang) and Dinding were administrated as the Straits Settlements from 1826 until the Second World War. From 1830 to 1867, the Straits Settlements were a residency (sub-division) of of the Presidency of Bengal in British India. This meant that the Governor of India was in charge of the Straits Settlements, rather than a separate Governor, as in the case of a Crown Colony. Bureaucracy, red tape, and lacklustre administration on the part of the Bengali Presidency invoked requests from the merchants of Singapore to establish her as a separate Crown Colony, receiving orders directly from the Colonial Office in London. This was granted on 1 April 1867.

British Military Administration

Immediately after the Second World War, and before the return of British rule in September 1945, there was considerable chaos. From September 1945 to March 1946, the country was ruled by the British Military Administration.

Crown Colony of Singapore

The Straits Settlements were dissolved on 1 April 1946 and Singapore became a Crown Colony.