Bengkulu is situated in Sumatra Island, and it is one of province of Indonesia and its capital is situated in Bengkulu city. Bengkulu derives from Dutch, Bengkoelen or Bengkulen, in English it is Bencoolen and in Malay is called as Bangkahulu. Some say that Bengkulu derives from Malay words: Bang means “coastal” and kulon means “west”. Traditional source say that Bengkulu or Bangkahulu derives from Bangkai and Hulu which means carrion or carcass or corpse at the upstream.
According to word of mouth, there was a battle between kingdoms in Bengkulu that both sides had lost their troops they became corpse that were unburied at the upstream that people call it Bangkahulu or Bengkulu. There was a story about war between Aceh people who came to mary Princess Gading Cempaka, the daughter of King Agung Sungai Serut. The king rejected the proposal that later it became war. Anak Dalam, the sibling of the princess who would come to throne as king screamed ” Empang ka hulu.” which means “block them, do not let them enter our land.”
Small kingdoms in Bengkulu existed in the 12th to 13th Century. Selebar Kingdom was situated at the port of Baai and Jenggalu Island, Sungai Serut Kingdom and Sungai Lemau Kingdom were situated in Pondok Kelapa, Empat Petulai Kingdom in Rejang Lebong, Indra Pura Kingdom and Sungai Itam Kingdom in Lebak, Gedung Agung Kingdom and Manau Kingdom in South Bengkulu. In the 15th Century, those kingdomes were controlled by Majapahit Kingdom in Java after it defeated Sriwijaya Kingdom in the 13th Century. In the mid of 16th Century, Bengkulu was ruled under Banten Sultanate. In 1685, British arrived with their 3 ships: The Caesar, The Resolution and The Defence and they colonialized Bengkulu for 139 years, until 1824. During this period, British troop died of cholera, malaria and dysentery. There was a battle as well between British and the locals. In 1714-1719, British built Marlborough Fortress led by Governor England Indische Company (EIC), Josep Collet. When the fortress was finished, Prince Jenggalu let his people to attack British in Ujung Karang and Marlborough Fortress, that the British left Bengkulu. This heroic event is commemorating annually as the anniversary of Bengkulu. Dutch occupied Bengkulu in 1824-1942. And Japan occupied Bengkulu from 1942-1945.
Source : Kompas