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Hamengkubuwono I

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Death230 years ago
Date of birth August 6,1717
Zodiac sign Leo
Born Kartasura
Date of died March 24,1792
BuriedImogiri, Indonesia
Parents Amangkurat IV of Mataram
Mas Ayu Tedjawati
Children Hamengkubuwono II
Paku Alam I
BRAy Danukusumo
Place of burialImogiri, Indonesia
Siblings Pakubuwono II
Date of Reg.
Date of Upd.
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Hamengkubuwono I Life story

Hamengkubuwono I, born Raden Mas Sujana, was the first sultan of Yogyakarta, reigning between 1755 and 1792.

Hamengkubuwono I (Javanese script: ꦱꦸꦭ꧀ꦠꦤ꧀ꦲꦩꦼꦁꦏꦸꦧꦸꦮꦤꦆ, Bahasa Jawa: Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I), born Raden Mas Sujana (Kartasura, 16 August 1717 – Yogyakarta, 24 March 1792), was the first sultan of Yogyakarta, reigning between 1755 and 1792.


Raden Mas Sujana was known as Prince Mangkubumi prior to becoming sultan of Yogyakarta Sultanate. He was the son of Amangkurat IV of Mataram and his concubine, Mas Ayu Tejawati, daughter of Ngabehi Handaraka.

In 1740, a rebellion by Chinese Indonesians in Batavia, Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia), spread across Java, precipitated by the 1740 Batavia massacre. Initially, Pakubuwono II (Prince Mangkubumi's half-brother) supported the rebellion. However, he changed his mind after seeing the Dutch superiority over Javanese troops.

In 1742, Kartasura Palace was attacked and occupied by rebels. Pakubuwono II was forced to build a new palace in Surakarta, after which the rebellion was suppressed by the Dutch East India Company and Cakraningrat IV of Madura.

The remaining rebels, led by Raden Mas Said (Pakubuwono II and Prince Mangkubumi's half-nephew) successfully occupied Sukawati (now Sragen). Pakubuwono II announced a swayamvara (prize contest) for those who could expel the rebels from Sukawati. Prince Mangkubumi successfully expelled Raden Mas Said in 1746, but Pakubuwono II cancelled the prize due to provocation of Patih Pringgalaya.

Governor-General Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff also appeared to disturb the situation. He persuaded Pakubuwono II to lease coastal areas to the Dutch East India Company at the price of 20,000 reals for paying royal debt to the Dutch. Prince Mangkubumi opposed this, and a quarrel occurred in which Baron Van Imhoff publicly humiliated Prince Mangkubumi.

The resentful Prince Mangkubumi left Surakarta in May 1746, and joined with Raden Mas Said. To cement their alliance, Prince Mangkubumi married Raden Mas Said to his daughter, Rara Inten, also known as Gusti Ratu Bendara.

Third Javanese War of Succession

The war that ensued was known to historians as the Third Javanese War of Succession. In 1747, Prince Mangkubumi was possibly supported by 13,000 soldiers.

During the war Prince Mangkubumi was aided by legendary army commander Raden Mas Said, who fought in an effective strategic manner. Mangkubumi won decisive battles at Grobogan, Demak and the Bogowonto River. At the end of 1749, Pakubuwono II was severely ill and felt his death become nearer. He completely gave the state's sovereignty to the Dutch East India Company as Surakarta's protector on 11 December.

In the meantime, Prince Mangkubumi had declared himself as Pakubuwono III on 12 December at his post, when the Dutch East India Company appointed RM Suryadi (Pakubuwono II's son) as Pakubuwono III on 15 December; thus, there were two Pakubuwono IIs. The former was nicknamed Susuhunan Kabanaran (from his post in Banaran village in Sukawati), and the latter was nicknamed Susuhunan Surakarta.

The war continued. At the Battle of Bogowonto River in 1751, the Dutch Army under De Clerck, dubbed as Kapten Klerek by Javanese people, was destroyed by Prince Mangkubumi's forces.

Partition of Mataram

In 1752, Prince Mangkubumi was in conflict with RM Said to rule Mataram. In voting done by Javanese elites, RM Said won over Prince Mangkubumi. Prince Mangkubumi waged war against RM.l Said, but lost, so he joined with the Dutch East India Company, and stood against RM. Said.

Prince Mangkubumi's offer was accepted by the Dutch East India Company in 1754, represented by Nicolaas Hartingh, Dutch governor of northern Java. Sheikh İbrahim of Turkey acted as mediator. Negotiations reached an agreement; Prince Mangkubumi immediately met Hartingh in September 1754. In the agreement, Prince Mangkubumi got half of Pakubuwono III's realm, and allowed the Dutch East India Company to lease the northern coast for 20,000 real, evenly divided between Pakubuwono III and Prince Mangkubumi.

The Succession War ended when the Treaty of Giyanti was signed on 13 February 1755, in Giyanti, an area east of Surakarta (capital of the Mataram Empire). According to the Giyanti Treaty, Mataram was first divided into two kingdoms, Surakarta Sunanate with Pakubuwono III as ruler, and Yogyakarta Sultanate with Prince Mangkubumi as sultan with the title Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I Senopati Ing Ngalaga Sayidin Panatagama Kalifatulah. Yogyakarta became his capital, and a new palace was built with a water palace in the west of his grounds, Taman Sari.

The treaty became a new agreement of alliance between Pakubuwono III and Prince Mangkubumi (Hamengkubuwono I) to suppress RM Said's rebellion. For the Dutch East India Company, the partition of Mataram maintained their presence, to their benefit.

RM Said was still fighting his revolt since he was excluded from the treaty. He only agreed to cease hostility after the Dutch invited him to sign another treaty in Salatiga, which granted him Royal Appenages (Mangkunegaran) and the principal title of Mangkunegara I.

Foundation of Yogyakarta

Since Treaty of Giyanti, Mataram's territory was divided into two states. Pakubuwono III still ruled Surakarta, and Prince Mangkubumi ruled Yogyakarta as Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. To build a new palace, Prince Mangkubumi proposed a cash advance of on the lease of Northern Java to the Dutch, but they didn't pay him yet.

In April 1755, Hamengkubuwono I decided to clear Pabringan Forest to found a new capital for his sultanate. Historically, there was a resthouse named Ngayogya, as a rest place for those who carried Mataram ruler's corpse to Imogiri. Because of that, the capital of his newly founded sultanate was named Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, abbreviated as Yogyakarta.

Beginning 7 October 1756, Hamengkubuwono I moved from Banaran to Yogyakarta. As the time passed, the name Yogyakarta as his royal capital became more popular. The state ruled by Hamengkubuwono I was then known as Sultanate of Yogyakarta.

Effort to subdue Surakarta

Although having promised peace, Hamengkubuwono I still sought to unite the former Mataram territory. Surakarta itself, although ruled by a weak Pakubuwono III, was protected by the Dutch East India Company, making his ambitions difficult to realise. Besides, Mangkunegara I also intended to reunite Mataram. Hamengkubuwono I also attempted to marry his son to one of Pakubuwono III's daughters as a means to reunite Mataram, but failed.

In 1788, a more capable Pakubuwono IV ascended the throne of Surakarta. Pakubuwono IV also shared with Hamengkubuwono I an ambition to reunite Mataram. In his political step, Pakubuwono IV disregarded Yogyakarta by appointing his brother as Prince Mangkubumi, which caused tension between him and Hamengkubuwono I. After appointing his brother as a prince, Pakubuwono IV also didn't recognize the succession rights in Yogyakarta, making the Dutch East India Company restless due to potential war which used up their finances.

Pakubuwono IV refused to relinquish the name Mangkubumi from his brother. Indeed, in the Treaty of Giyanti, there was no permanent rule about succession in Yogyakarta, thus his confrontative attitude was understandable as the Surakarta ruler understood the responsibility of his kingdom.

Pakubuwono IV took a confrontational attitude after being advised by his spiritual advisors that it would cause restlessness of the Dutch and two other rulers, due to the threat of another great war that would potentially devastate Java.

In 1790, Hamengkubuwoni I and Mangkunegara I cooperated again for the first time since the rebellion era. They and the Dutch East India Company besieged Surakarta Palace. Pakubuwono IV eventually surrendered and allowed his spiritual advisors exiled.


Sultan Hamengkubuwono died in 1792 and was interred in the Royal cemetery of Astana Kasuwargan in Imogiri. He was succeeded by Hamengkubuwono II, his son. Another son, Prince Natakusuma, was appointed as Paku Alam I (duke of Pakualaman) during the British era (1813).


Hamengkubuwono I was viewed as the founder of Yogyakarta Sultanate. He was considered as the greatest ruler of Mataram dynasty since Sultan Agung's era. Although a new state, the grandeur of Yogyakarta surpassed Surakarta. Its war force was even greater than the Dutch force in Java.

Other than a tactical war commander and wise ruler, Hamengkubuwono I also showed a great interest in art. The monumental architectural work built in his era was Taman Sari, designed by a Portuguese architect, went aground in southern coast, who was usually known by his Javanese name, Demang Tegis.

Hamengkubuwono I still showed a hostile attitude towards the Dutch East India Company even though the Treaty of Giyanti was signed. He constantly attempted to prevent them from building a fortification near Yogyakarta Palace, and prevented them from interfering in the internal affairs of Yogyakarta. The Dutch East India Company admitted that the Third Javanese War of Succession was the hardest war for them in Java.

Hamengkubuwono II inherited his father's animosity toward the Dutch. On 10 November 2006, some months after 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, the government of Indonesia declared Hamengkubuwono I a national hero.


Further reading

Ricklefs, M.C. (1974) Jogjakarta under Sultan Mangkubumi, 1749–1792: A History of the Division of Java. London Oriental Series, vol. 30. London: Oxford University Press (Revised Indonesian edition 2002).

Ricklefs MC. 2001. A History of Modern Indonesia: 3rd Edition. Palgrave and Stanford University Press.

Purwadi. 2007. Sejarah Raja-Raja Jawa. Yogyakarta: Media Ilmu.

Heryanto F. 2004. Mengenal Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. Yogyakarta: Warna Grafika.

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