The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, also known as the Treaty of London (one of several), was a treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in London on March 17, 1824. The treaty was to resolve disputes arising from the execution of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814. For the Dutch, it was signed by Hendrik Fagel and Anton Reinhard Falck and for the UK, George Canning and Charles Watkin Williams Wynn.


The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, designed to solve many of the issues that had arisen due to the British occupation of Dutch properties during the Napoleonic Wars, as well as issues regarding the rights to trade that existed for hundreds of years in the Spice Islands between the two nations, was a treaty that addressed a wide array of issues and did not clearly describe the limitations of expansion by either side in the Malay world. The British establishment of Singapore on the Malaya Peninsula in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles exacerbated the tension between the two nations, especially as the Dutch claimed that the treaty signed between Raffles and the Sultan of Johore was invalid, and that the Sultanate of Johore was under the Dutch sphere of influence. The questions surrounding the fate of Dutch trading rights in British India and formerly Dutch possessions in the area also became a point of contention between Calcutta and Batavia. In 1820, under pressures from British merchants with interests in the Far East, negotiations to clarify the situation in Southeast Asia.

Negotiations between Canning and Fagel started on 20 July 1820. The Dutch were adamant on the British abandonment of Singapore. Indeed, Canning was unsure of the exact circumstances under which Singapore was acquired, and at first, only non-controversial issues such as free-navigation rights and the elimination of piracy were agreed upon. Discussions on the subject were suspended on 5 August, 1820, and did not resume until 1823, by which time the commercial value of Singapore was well-recognized by the British. The negotiations resumed on 15 December, 1823, by which time the discussion became centered around the establishment of clear spheres of influence in the region. The Dutch, realizing that the growth of Singapore could not be curbed, pressed for an exchange in which they abandoned their claims north of the Strait of Malacca and its Indian colonies in exchange for the confirmation of their claims south of the strait, as well as the British colony of Bencoolen. The final treaty was signed on 23 March, 1824.


The treaty holds that subjects of the two nations are permitted to trade in territories of British India, Ceylon and modern-day Indonesia and Malaysia, on the basis of "most favoured nation", but they must obey local regulations. It limits the fees that may be charged on the subjects and ships of the other nation. They also agree not to make any further treaties with Eastern states that would exclude trade with the other nation. They agree not to use their civil and military forces to hinder trade. They agree to oppose piracy and not provide hiding places or protection to pirates or allow the sale of pirated goods. They agree that their local officials can not open new offices on East Indies islands without permission from their government in Europe.

  • British subjects to be given trade access with the Maluku Islands, in particular with Ambon, Banda and Ternate.
  • The Netherlands cedes all of its establishments on the Indian sub-continent and any rights associated with them.
  • The UK cedes its factory of Fort Marlborough in Bencoolen (Bengkulu) and all its property on the island of Sumatra to the Netherlands and will not establish another office on the island or make any treaty with its rulers.
  • The Netherlands cedes the city and fort of Malacca and agrees not to open any office on the Malay peninsula or make any treaty with its rulers.
  • The UK withdraws its opposition to the occupation of the island of Billiton by the Netherlands.
  • The Netherlands withdraws its opposition to the occupation of the island of Singapore by the UK.
  • The UK agrees not to establish any office on the Carimon Islands or on the islands of Batam, Bintan, Lingin, or any of the other islands south of the strait of Singapore, or to make any treaties with the rulers of these places.

All the transfers of property and establishments were to take place on March 1, 1825. They agreed that the return of Java to the Netherlands, as according to a Convention on Java of June 24, 1817, had been settled, apart from a sum of 100,000 pounds sterling to be paid by the Netherlands in London before the end of 1825. The treaty was ratified by the UK on April 30, 1824 and by the Netherlands on June 2, 1824.

Full Text of the Treaty

Article I

The high Contrasting Parties engage to admit the Subjects of each other to trade with their respective possessions in the Eastern Archipelago, and on the Continent of India, and in Ceylon, upon the footing of the most favoured Nation, their respective Subjects conforming themselves to the local Regulations if each Settlement.

Article II

The Subjects and Vessels of one Nation shall not pay, upon importation or exportation, at the Ports of the other in the Eastern Seas. Duty at a rate beyond the double of that at which Subjects and Vessels of the Nation to which the Port belongs are charged.

The Duties paid on exports or imports at a British Port on the Continent of India, or in Ceylon, on Dutch botooms (vessels) shall be arranged so as, in no case, to be charged at more than double the amount of the Duties paid by British Botooms

In regard to any article upon which no Duty is imposed, when imported or exported by the Subjects, or on the Vessels, of the Nation to which the Port belongs, the Duty charged upon the Subjects or Vessels of the other shall be in no case, exceed six per cent.

Article III

The High Contrasting Parties engage, that no Treaty hereafter made by Either, with Native Power in the Eastern Seas, shall contain any Article tending, either expressively, or by the imposition of unequal duties, to exclude the Trade of the other Party from the Ports of such Native Power; and that if any Treaty now existing on either Part any Article to that effect has been admitted, such Article shall be abrogated upon the conclusion of the present Treaty.

It is understood that before the conclusion of the present Treaty, communication has been made by each of the Contrasting Parties to the other, of all Treaties or Engagements subsisting between each of Them, respectively, and any Native Power in the Eastern Seas; and that the like communication shall be made of such Treaties concluded by Them, respectively, hereafter.

Article IV

Their Britannick and Netherland Majesties engage to give strict Orders as well as to Their Civil and Military Authorities, as to Their Ships of War, to respect the freedom of Trade, established by Articles I, II and III; and, in no case, to impede a free communication of the Natives in the Eastern Archipelago with the Ports of the Two Governments, respectively, or of the Subjects of the Two Governments with the Ports belonging to Native Powers.

Article V

Their Britannick and Netherland Majesties, in like manner, engage to concur affectually in repressing Piracy in those Seas; They do not grant either asylum or protection to Vessels engaged in Piracy, and They will, in no case, permit the Ships or merchandise captured by such Vessels, to be introduced, deposited, or sold, in any of their Possessions.

Article VI

It is agreed that Orders shall be given by the Two Governments to Their Officers and Agents in the East, not to form any new Settlements on any of the Islands in the Eastern Seas, without previous Authority from their respective Governments in Europe.

Article VII

The Moluccas Islands, and especially Amboyna , Banda, Ternate, and their Immediate Dependencies, are expected from the operation of the I, II, III, and IV Articles, until the Netherland Government shall think fit to abandon the monopoly of Spices; but if the said Government shall, at any time previous to such abandonment of the monopoly, allow the Subjects of any Power, other than Native Asiatic Power, to carry on any Commercial Intercourse with the said islands, the Subjects of His Britannick Majesty shall be admitted to such Intercourse, upon a footing previously similar.

Article VIII

His Netherland Majesty cedes to His Britannick Majesty all his establishments on India, and renounces all privileges and exemptions enjoyed or claimed in virtue of those Establishments.

Article IX

The Factory of Fort Marlborough and all the English Possessions on the Island of Sumatra, are herby ceded to His Netherland Majesty; and His Britannick Majesty further engages that no British Settlement shall be formed on that island, nor any Treaty concluded by British Authority, with any Native Prince, Chief, or State therein.

Article X

The Town and Fort of Malacca, and its Dependencies, are herby ceded to His Britannick Majesty; and His Netherland Majesty engage, for Himself and his subjects, never to Form any Establishments on any part of the Peninsular of Malacca, or to conclude any Treaty with any Native Press, or State therein.

Article XI

His Britannick Majesty withdraws any objections which have been made to the occupation of the Island of Billiton and its Dependencies, by the Agents of the Netherland Government.

Article XII

His Netherland Majesty withdraws the objections which have been made to the occupation of the Island of Singapore, by the Subjects of His Britannick Majesty.

His Britannick Majesty, however, engages, that no British Establishment shall be made on the Carimon Isles , or on the Island of Bantam, Bintang, Lingin, or on any of the other Islands South of the Straits of Singapore, nor any Treaty concluded by British Authority with the Chiefs of those Islands

Article XIII

All the Colonies, Possessions and Establishments which are ceded by the preceding Articles shall be delivered up to the Officers of the respective Sovereigns on the first of March, 1825. The Fortifications shall remain in the state in which they shall be at the period of the notification of this Treaty in India; but no claim shall be made, on either side, for ordinance, or stores of any description, either left or removed by the ceding power, nor for any arrears of revenues, or any charge of administration whatever.

Article XIV

All the Inhabitants of the Territories hereby ceded, shall enjoy, for a period of six years from the days of the Ratification of the present Treaty, the liberty of disposing, as they please of their property, and of transporting themselves, without let or hindrance, to any country to which they may wish to remove.

Article XV

The High Contrasting Parties agree that none of the Territories or Establishments mentioned in Articles VIII, IX, X, XI and XII shall be, any time, transferred to any other Power. In case of any of the said Possessions being abandoned by one of the present Contracting Parties, the right of occupation thereof shall immediately pass to the other.

Article XVI

It is agreed that all accounts and reclamations arising out of the restorations of Java, and other Possessions to the Officers of His Netherland Majesty in the East Indies – as well as those which were the subject of a Convention made at Java on the twenty-fourth of June, 1817, between the Commissioners of the Two Nations, as all others – shall be finally and completely closed and satisfied, on the payment of the sum of one hundred thousand pounds, sterling money, to be made in London on the part of the Netherlands, before the expiration of the Year 1825.

Article XVII

The present Treaty shall be ratified, and the Ratifications exchanged at London, within Three Months from the date hereof, or sooner if possible.

In witness whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and affixed thereunto the Seals of their Arms.

Done in London, the Seventeenth day of March, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-Four.

(L.S.) George Canning (L.S.) Charles Watkin Williams Wynn


The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 officially divided the Malay world into two; Malaya, which was ruled by the United Kingdom and the Dutch East Indies, which was ruled by the Netherlands. The successor states of Malaya and Dutch East Indies are Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively. The line which separated the spheres of influence between the British and the Dutch ultimately became the border between Indonesian and Malaysia.

The treaty came at a time as the influence of the British East India Company was waning and the individual merchant was gaining more influence within Great Britain. The emphasis on territory and sphere of influence is consistent with former EIC policies in India and elsewhere, but even as the four-years long negotiations went on, the existence of Singapore strongly started to favor the new independent merchants and their houses. As this came at the heels of the termination of the monopoly the EIC had on the area, the subsequent rise of Singapore as a free port and the first example of the new British free-trade imperialism can be seen as a direct result on the confirmation of its status in the treaty.




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