BROOKE, Sir James, Rajah of Sarawak. 15483



Autograph Letter Signed ‘J.Brooke’, to Charles Steward, asking him to leave the parcel of papers at the United Service Club, promising that “I will send you back the papers and will consult you on the use I wish to make of them (should it be desirable or advantageous) before taking any step”, regretting Steward can not attend “the great dinner on the 30th.” 2 pp. 7 x 4½ inches, integral blank, fine. Brighton, 20 April 1852. Sir James Brooke (1803-1868), Rajah of Sarawak. It is probable that the parcel of papers concerns the major issue facing Brooke at that time, the dispute with the East India Company over the original Brunei coal grant, and the wider controversy about Brooke’s authority in Sarawak. In April 1852 Brooke sent in a protest against an exclusive privilege granted to the Company. See “The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido for the Suppression of Piracy”, by Henry Keppel & James Brooke, 1846, section VII, “Memoir of Mr. George Steward”. George Steward was educated at the Grammar School at Norwich, where he formed an acquaintance with James Brooke who became the Rajah of Sarawak. He was placed in the mercantile navy of the East India Company, where one of the private ships was commanded by his brother Capt. Charles Steward, and another by his cousin, Capt. Robert Fowler. He was killed fighting pirates in Sarawak for Brooke in his thirty-ninth year and unmarried.