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History
Since the 15th century, the north and west coast of including the island of was part of the Bruneian Empire. In the 18th century, attracted British interest. James Brooke acquired the island for Britain in 1846 through a treaty with the Sultan of Brunei, Omar Ali Saifuddin II on 18 December 1846. A British naval officer, Rodney Mundy visited Brunei with his ship HMS Iris to keep the Sultan in line until the British Government made a final decision to take the island and he took Pengiran Mumin to witness the island’s accession to the British Crown on 24 December 1846. Some sources state that during the signing of the treaty, the Sultan had been threatened by a British navy warship ready to fire on the Sultan’s palace if he refused to sign the treaty while another source says the island was ceded to Britain as a reward for assistance in combating pirates.

The main reason why the British possessed the island was to protect their own interest in the region as a naval base and to suppress Piracy in the South China Sea. The British also believed the island could be the next Singapore. The island became a Crown in 1848 with James Brook appointed as the first governor and commander in chief, with William Napier as his lieutenant-governor. In 1849, the became the first of several British companies to try to exploit Labuan coal deposits. The company was formed to exploit coal deposits on the island and adjacent coast of Borneo but soon became involved in a dispute with James Brooke. Not proving itself a great commercial or strategic asset, administration of Labuan was handed to the in 1890.

Year Description
1879 Type 1, Crown, 2c, 6c, 12c, 16c
1880 Type 1, Crown CC, 2c, 6c, 8c, 10c, 12c, 16c,
1880 Type 2, Stamp No 9, 8c on 12c
1880 Type 3, 6c on 16c, 8c on 12c
1880 Type 4, 8c on 12c
1881 Type 5, 8c on 12c
1883 – 1886 Type 6, Crown CA, 2c, 8c, 10c, 16c, 40c
1883 Type 7, $1 on 16c
1885 Type 8, 2c on 8c, 2c on 16c
1885 Type 9, 2c on 16c
1885 Type 10, 2c on 8c
1885 – 1886 Type 6, Crown CA, 2c, 8c, 10c, 16c
1891 Type 11, 6c on 8c, 6c on 16c, 6c on 40c
1892 – 1893 Type 12, No Wmk, 2c, 6c, 8c, 10c, 12c, 16c, 40c,
1892 Type 13+14, 2c on 40c, 8c on 16c
1894 Type 12, 2c, 6c, 8c, 10c, 12c, 16c, 40c
1894 Stamps of North Borneo, engraved “LABUAN”, Type 15 or 16, 1c, 2c, 3c, 5c, 6c, 8c, 8c, 12c, 18c, 18c, 24c, 24c
1895 Stamps of North Borneo, Type 17, 4c on $1, 10c on $1, 20c on $1, 30c on $1, 40c on $1
1895 Stamps of North Borneo, Type 18, 25c, 50c, $1
1896 Jubilee 1896, Type 19, 1c, 2c, 3c, 5c, 6c, 8c
1897 Stamps of North Borneo, Types 20+21, overprinted “LABUAN”, 1c, 2c, 3c, 5c, 6c, 8c, 12c, 18c, 24c
1897 Type 16 colour changes, overprinted “LABUAN”, 12c, 18c, 24c, 18c
1899 Contemporary stamps, Type 22+23, 4c on 5c, 4c on 6c, 4c on 8c, 4c on 12c, 4cc on 18c, 4c on 24c, 4c on 25c, 4c on 50c, 4c on $1
1899 Type 24, Surcharged and Optd “Specimen”, 4c on 1c, 4c on 2c, 4c on 3c
1900 – 1902 Stamps of North Borneo, Type 27+29, overprinted “LABUAN” as Type 25, 2c, 4c, 4c, 5c, 10c, 16c
1901 Stamps of North Borneo, Type D1, overprinted “POSTAGE DUE”, 2c, 3c, 4c, 5c, 6c, 8c, 12c, 18c, 24c
1902 Type 26, 1c, 2c, 3c, 4c, 8c, 10c, 12c, 16c, 18c, 25c, 50c, $1
1904 Type 27 (Issue of 1895 and 1897-1898, 4c on 5c, 4c on 6c, 4c on 8c, 4c on 12c, 4c on 18c, 4c on 24c, 4c on 25c, 4c on 50c, 4c on $1
1905 Type 28+29, Stamps of North Borneo overprinted “LABUAN”, 25c, $1, $2, $5, $10

 

Link: The Sarawak Specialists´ Society Philatelic and Postal History of Labuan
Labuan – British Colony 1848-1906

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