Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824
TypeBilateral treaty
Signed17 March 1824; 200 years ago (1824-03-17)
Full text
Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 at Wikisource

The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, also known as the Treaty of London (Dutch: Verdrag van Londen), was a treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in London on 17 March 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 British, George Canning and Charles Williams-Wynn.[1]


The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, designed to solve issues arising from British occupation of Dutch colonial possessions during the Napoleonic Wars, as well as trading rights existing for hundreds of years in the Spice Islands between the two nations, addressed a wide array of issues but did not clearly describe limitations of expansion by either side in maritime Southeast Asia.

Partition of the Johor Empire before and after the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824[2]

Under British influence:

Under Dutch influence:
  Indragiri Sultanate

The British establishment of Singapore on the Malay Peninsula in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles exacerbated tensions between the two nations, especially as the Dutch claimed that the treaty signed between Raffles and the Sultan of Johor was invalid and that the Sultanate of Johor was under the Dutch sphere of influence. Dutch trading rights in British India and former Dutch possessions in the area were also points of contention. In 1820, under pressure from British merchants with interests in the Far East, negotiations to clarify the situation in Southeast Asia started.

Negotiations between Canning and Fagel started on 20 July 1820. The Dutch were adamant that the British should abandon Singapore, but Canning was unsure exactly how Singapore had even been acquired. At first, only noncontroversial 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, when the commercial value of Singapore was understood by the British.

Negotiations resumed in December 1823, centred around establishment of clear spheres of influence in the region. The Dutch, realising that the growth of Singapore could not be curbed, pressed for an exchange in which they would abandon their claims north of the Strait of Malacca and their Indian colonies in exchange for confirmation of their claims south of the strait, including the British colony of Bencoolen. The final treaty was signed on 17 March 1824 by Fagel and Canning.

The treaty was ratified by the UK on 30 April 1824 and by the Netherlands on 2 June 1824. The ratifications were exchanged at London on 8 June 1824.



The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 officially demarcated two territories: Malaya, which was ruled by the United Kingdom; and the Dutch East Indies, which was ruled by the Netherlands. The successor states of Malaya are Malaysia and Singapore, and the successor state of the Dutch East Indies is Indonesia. The line that separated the spheres of influence between the British and the Dutch ultimately became the border between Indonesia and Malaysia (with a small segment becoming the border between Indonesia and Singapore).[3] The subsequent colonial influence also affected the Malay language that was commonly spoken as a regional language between these islands, diverging into Malaysian and Indonesian variants.

See also


  1. ^ H.R.C. Wright, "The Anglo-Dutch Dispute in the East, 1814–1824." Economic History Review 3.2 (1950): 229–239 online.
  2. ^ Peter Turner; Hugh Finlay (1996). Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 978-0-86442-393-1.
  3. ^ James Robert Rush (2018). Southeast Asia: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 58. ISBN 9780190248765.