The British Empire and its effect on Plymouth

The Rajahs' Graves

It feels strange that the graves of most of the Rajahs of Sarawak should be located in this Dartmoor village in the quaint graveyard of St Leonard's Church. The author of this article finds it interesting that members of his own family are buried in the same graveyard just yards away from these quintessential imperialists.

James Brooke
Charles Brooke
Charles Vyner Brooke


This was the beloved home of James Brooke who spent the last years of his life happily on the edge of Dartmoor. He became an active member of the local community and happily involved himself in the affairs of the local church. He had hoped that his heirs would take over the estate, but the parsimonious Charles Brooke was reluctant to take on additional expenses that he and his state of Sarawak could ill afford. However, Charles also ended up being buried there when he died in Britain during World War One and it was deemed too difficult to get his body back to Sarawak. As something of a tradition had been started, the third Raja, Charles Vyner Brooke, was also buried there upon his death. They are joined by many other relations of the Brooke family.

Empire in Your Backyard: Plymouth Article | Sarawak

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by Stephen Luscombe