Hamengkubuwono I

Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I
Raden Mas Sujono.jpg
Sultan Yogyakarta
Reign 1755–1792
Coronation March 13, 1755[1]
Successor Sultan Hamengkubuwana II
Born Bendara Raden Mas Sujono
August 5, 1717
Died March 24, 1792(1792-03-24) (aged 74)
Kraton Yogyakarta Yogyakarta[1]
Astana Kasuwargan, Imogiri, Yogyakarta
Regnal name
Ngarsadalem Sampeyandalem Hingkang Sinuhun Kangjeng Sultan Hamengkubuwono, Senopati Ing Ngalaga Ngabdurrahman Sayidin Panatagama Kalifatulah, Hingkang Jumeneng Kaping I
House Mataram
Father Prabu Amangkurat IV
Mother Mas Ayu Tejawati[1]
Religion Islam

Hamengkubuwono I (Javanese script: ꦱꦸꦭ꧀ꦠꦤ꧀ꦲꦩꦼꦁꦏꦸꦧꦸꦮꦤꦆ, Bahasa Jawa: Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I), born Raden Mas Sujana (Kartasura, August 16, 1717 – Yogyakarta, March 24, 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, there was a rebellion by Chinese people in Batavia, Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia), which spread across Java, precipitated by massacre in Batavia. 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 expelled the rebels from Sukawati. Prince Mangkubumi successfully expelled RM. 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 Dutch East India Company at the price of 20,000 reals for paying royal debt to the Dutch. Prince Mangkubumi opposed this, and a quarrelsome occurred where Baron Van Imhoff publicly humiliated Prince Mangkubumi.

The resented Prince Mangkubumi left Surakarta in May 1746, and joined with RM. Said. To close their alliance, Prince Mangkubumi married RM. Said to his daughter, Rara Inten alias Gusti Ratu Bendara.

Third Javanese War of Succession

The war that eventuated was known as the Third Javanese War of Succession by historians. In 1747, it was thought that Prince Mangkubumi was 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 Bogowonto River. In 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 December 11.

In the meantime, Prince Mangkubumi had declared himself as Pakubuwono III on December 12 in his post, when the Dutch East India Company appointed RM. Suryadi (Pakubuwono II's son) as Pakubuwono III in December 15, thus, there was 2 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. The conflict was sourced from the determination for the next Mataram ruler. In voting done by Javanese elites, RM. Said won over Prince Mangkubumi. Because of this, Prince Mangkubumi waged war against RM. Said, but lost, which caused him to meet Dutch East India Company and joined with them, 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 in Northern Java. As a mediator was Sheikh İbrahim of Turkey. Negotiations with Prince Mangkubumi reached an agreement; Prince Mangkubumi immediately met Hartingh in September 1754. In the agreement, Prince Mangkubumi get a half of Pakubuwono III's realm, and Prince Mangkubumi allowed Dutch East India Company to lease the northern coast at the price of 20,000 real, evenly divided between Pakubuwono II and Prince Mangkubumi.

The Succession War ended when the Treaty of Giyanti was signed on February 13, 1755, in Giyanti, an area east of Surakarta (capital of Mataram Empire). According to the Giyanti Treaty, Mataram was firstly 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 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 made their presence maintained, meaning that the Dutch gained benefit from it.

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 2 states. Pakubuwono III stille ruled Surakarta, and Prince Mangkubumi ruled Yogyakarta as Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. To build a new palace, Prince Mangkubumi proposed a leasing cash advance of Northern Java to the Dutch, but they didn't have money requested by Prince Mangkubumi 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.

Since October 7, 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 former Mataram territory. Surakarta itself, although being ruled by a weak Pakubuwono III, was protected by the Dutch East India Company, causing his ideals to be difficult to realise. Besides, Mangkunegara I also had same intention, thus the desire to reunite Mataram wasn't a monopoly from one ruler. Hamengkubuwono I also ever attempted to marry his son with one of Pakubuwono III's daughter as a step to reunite Mataram, but failed.

In 1788, a more capable Pakubuwono IV ascended the throne of Surakarta. Pakubuwono IV also had same ideals with Hamengkubuwono I, restoring Mataram's wholeness. 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 right in Yogyakarta, making the Dutch East India Company restless due to potential war which used up their finances.

Pakubuwono IV take a confrontative step by refusing to relinquish the name Mangkubumi from his brother. Indeed, in Treaty of Giyanti, there was no permanent rule about succession in Yogyakarta, thus his confrontative attitude was understandable as 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, as the threat of a great war which would potentially devastate Java was repeatable.

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 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 being a new state, the grandeur of Yogyakarta had surpassed Surakarta one. Its war force was even greater than the Dutch one 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 ever attempted to prevent them to build a fortification near Yogyakarta Palace, and prevented them to interfere internal affair of Yogyakarta. The Dutch East India Company admitted that the 3rd Javanese War of Succession was the hardest war for them in Java.

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


  1. ^ a b c Biografi singkat HB I. kratonjogja.id. 2019. Accessed on June 19, 2019

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.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
New creation
Sultan of Yogyakarta
Succeeded by