British Bencoolen was a British possession in Sumatra based in the area of what is now Bengkulu City. A presence was established in 1685.
Originally a Presidency within British India, in 1785 it was downgraded to Bencoolen Residency and placed under the Bengal Presidency.
On 15 October 1817, Stamford Raffles was appointed Governor-General of Bencoolen. During his time as Governor-General, Raffles enacted major reforms, including the abolition of slavery, as well as creating Singapore to provide a new trading port in the region.
In 1823, Singapore was removed from the control of Bencoolen. Bencoolen was ceded to the Netherlands in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824.