Sherip Masahor was born in Brunei circa 1810. He was regarded as a Malay patriot for his fights against European colonialism. He used the title Sherip which was meant for descendants of Prophet Mohammed. Masahor means "the illustrious one". Note: Other spelling in old text include Manshor, Messahore, Musahor and Massahore.
He settled in Igan when he was young and had a strong following of Malays and Melanaus. Later he moved his headquarters to Sarikei where he made friends with Ibans. He seized control of Sarikei from Datuk Abdul Rahman (the Sultan of Brunei's rep) in 1849.
Sarikei Sherip Masahor
In Nov 1853, Brooke humiliated Gapur in front of his peers in Kuching for his heavy tax policy. Gapur partnered with Masahor to exact revenge. They plotted to kill all whites in Kuching while Brooke was in Singapore in 1854 to defend his usage of the British Royal Navy for land expansion. However, their plot was leaked out. Brooked sent Gapur on temporary exile to Mecca and Masahor returned to Sarikei.
In Mukah, a dispute between 2 leaders (cousins), Ersat and Matusin, resulted in the death of Ersat. Masahor led one thousand Ibans from Kanowit and Saribas to avenge the death of Ersat. Matusin requested help from James Brooke who decided to send Charles Brooke to Mukah. James deposed Masahor from Sarikei for selling salt and guns to the Ibans.
In June 1855, James went to the Sultan of Brunei to request for more concessions. In Sep 1855, the Sultan assigned the Brookes as custodians of Mukah. In return, he wanted Masahor to be reinstated to rule Sarikei. Charles Brooke went to Sarikei to build a fort in Jan 1856.
What other plots did Masahor have? To be continued ...
Men of Sarawak, A.M. Cooper, 1968.