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Coordinates: 3.8127211°S 102.24979°E
Present Day Details
Place Name: Benkulu City
State/Province: Benkulu, Southwest Sumatra
Country: Indonesia
Transport links

A settlement originally established in 1685 by the East India Company on the south side of the island of Sumatra, following the expulsion of the EIC from Bantam by the Dutch. In 1714, the EIC built Fort Marlborough to protect its interests.

In 1825, the EIC exchanged Benkulen with the Dutch for Malacca which was more strategically useful to the British. Benkulen remained a Dutch possession until after World War 2.

Spelling Variants

Modern name: Bengkulu
Variants: Benkulen, Bencoolen

FIBIS resources

  • "The Assassination of Thomas Parr, Resident of Bencoolen" by Joanna C Fennell FIBIS Journal Number 28 (Autumn 2012) pages 32 -38. The muder took place in December 1807. See FIBIS Journals for details of how to access this article
  • "Distant Relations Discovered - A Bencoolen Family Reunited" by James T Day FIBIS Journal Number 29 (Spring 2013) pages 15- 18. "The story begins way back in 1794". See FIBIS Journals for details of how to access this article


  • Held at British Library
    • Deaths at Benkulen 1691 IOR/E/3/48 f.252
    • Baptisms, Marriages and Burials at Benkulen 1740-1742, IOR/G/35/9
    • Ecclesiastical Returns: Baptisms, Marriages and Burials. Fort Marlborough [Bencoolen, Sumatra] 1759-1825, reference IOR N/7. These records are included in the digitised records now available on the commercial site FindMyPast. The LDS film of this data is 498606. Data for the baptisms and marriages has been transcribed on the LDS website Family Search. Enter batch number C310011 for the baptisms and batch number M310011 for the marriages, and baptismal and marriage records for Bencoolen on film 498606 will be shown. It is not known whether the data is a complete transcription or not. These records are in the World category (All Records Collections) in a group of records called World Miscellaneous.
  • The BACSA publication entitled Bencoolen: The Christian Cemetery and the Fort Marlborough Monuments by Alan Harfield 1985 is now out of print but can be found in the British Library on the open shelves or amongst the BACSA files under reference MssEur F370/1243. Indexes from this book are online (for free) at BACSA search. BACSA also have a cemetery file under reference MssEur F370/823
    • FamilySearch have digitised the above BACSA book, which has restricted access, but which may be viewed on a FamilySearch computer at a FamilySearch Centre. catalogue entry. For more information, see FamilySearch Centres. Update June 2018. It appears that FamilySearch digital viewing is no longer possible. To be clarified.

Recommended Reading

  • Letters from Bencoolen 1823-28 by Thomas Day and William Day with an intro by James Trelawny Day (Cambridge Asia Series , Hardinge Simpole 2008) Book reviewed in FIBIS Journals no 26.

External links

Historical books online