Welcome to the story of Raub Gold

Copyright © Victor R. P. Bibby 2012 All rights reserved.

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This section includes a selection of articles from the period from 1891 to 1894. There were floods and a local uprising, called the ‘Pahang Rising” both of which had a severe impact on the development of the Raub Mine. The Pahang Rising caused the blockading of the Managers House at Raub, however, there was very little bloodshed and, it seemed, the cause was more about local power shifting, politics and sharing of wealth rather than a serious threat to the Colony and the ‘Resident’ meaning the Governor and the Crown (Empire).

Early in the ‘Rising’ William Charles, Williams eldest son who was called William Jnr by the press, was captured but released. He was unharmed and given a ‘chop’ by the rebel leader, which was a safe conduct pass, for his return to Raub which he made alone by river using one of the company boats. This was only after being made to sit all of the night with one of the Orang Kaya’s* Chiefs and write down all the Orang Kaya’s grievances which he was asked to pass on to the Government. This event made world news and appeared in most of the major British Empire newspapers of the time. Many reported that it was William who had been kidnapped and one report said he had been murdered. William came down to Singapore soon afterward and had an interview with the press which put the record straight.

At he same time, several new sites were opened to follow the lodes discovered beyond the original “Raub Hole.” The mine continued to operate throughout but closure was threatened through mainly of the lack of labour and the ability to get supplies up the Bilut River. Reports on the Brisbane shareholders meetings displayed a cautious optimism, but there was no doubt that the enterprise should proceed, however the seeds of caution in funding were sown early and grew to make life very difficult for William in getting funds for more crushers to work the large quantities of mined quartz accumulating.

* Sometimes spelt as Kayah by the press, the former being more correct.

Early Years

Barricaded Mine Managers House at Raub June 1892. The veranda barricades were up to breast height and early in the so-called Rebellion, a large number of Sikh police from Selangor under the command of a Colonel Walker were encamped thereon.

The structures at the corners show William’s awareness of forcing any assaulting so-called rebels into enfilade, a carryover probably of his Crimea experience. These preparations were later to be found unnecessary as the mine was never under threat from the Oran Kayah.

This photograph came from a family collection passed to the author in 1963 by the daughter of William’s second son Harry Thomas, Nellie. The photograph of William used extensively on this website came with it. Nellie became a Schoolteacher and never married. The author continues to be amazed that they survived his nomadic life.