Stamford Raffles Receives His Knighthood

Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer

I am grateful to the Prince Regent for awarding me a knighthood today at the Carlton House
From 1783, this neoclassical-styled mansion in London was the town residence of the Prince Regent for several decades. At the time when Stamford Raffles received his knighthood, George IV was the Prince Regent. He stood in and performed the duties of his father King George III, who was mentally ill but had not abdicated the throne. George IV spent a lot of money remodelling Carlton House, but it was demolished in 1826.
. I will continue to fulfil my grand ambitions for the Company’s future.
Reverend Thomas Raffles
Reverend Thomas Raffles

Raffles’ First Cousin

He was an English Congregational Minister and historian, who often exchanged letters with Stamford Raffles.

Raffles’ First Cousin
29 May 1817
My congratulations on your knighthood, dear cousin. You have shown your detractors at the Company your worth. Don’t be disheartened that you weren’t made a baron
A baron is the lowest of the five ranks of titled nobility in Britain. In ascending order, they are: baron, viscount, earl, marquess and duke. As a titled nobility, a baron would be above all the ranks of knighthood. From 1750 onwards, there was a new surge of members into the ranks on account of their services to the crown, such as Governor-General of India, James Andrew Broun-Ramsay Dalhousie.
this time around. Your time will come.
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In Search of a New Port

Lord Francis Rawdon-Hastings
Lord Francis Rawdon-Hastings

Governor-General of India

Born in 1754, Lord Hastings was a prominent figure who served as Governor-General of Bengal from 1813 to 1823, and also authorised Stamford Raffles’ establishment of a trading post in Singapore.

Governor-General of India

The actions of the Dutch in the Eastern Seas
The Eastern Seas refers to the Malay or Indian Archipelago, which is an extensive group of islands that sit between Southeast Asia and Australia, and divides the Indian Ocean from the Pacific Ocean.
leave no doubt that their policy is to control the whole archipelago by possessing all of the commanding stations in the area. Their success would completely exclude British shipping from the trade of the Eastern islands. They will have total dominance…
Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer
Nov 1818
I agree, Lord Hastings. At present, the Dutch possess the only passes through which ships must sail into the Archipelago, the Straits of Sunda and the Straits of Malacca. The British have now not an inch of ground to stand upon between the Cape of Good Hope and China, nor a single friendly port at which they can get water and obtain refreshment. I gladly accept your appointment and will set off to establish a post at Riau, Johor or some other point at the southern end of the Straits.

Raffles Arrives in Singapore

Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer

Dear John Adam
He was an East India Company official and the political secretary to Lord Francis Rawdon-Hastings.
, an official signing of the treaty is underway. Our search for a possible new station in the Straits is fruitful. I believe the island of Singapore is unrivalled in these Seas—it lays in direct route of our China seas and all other ships passing through the Straits.…
An Orang Laut
Circa 1819
When Sultan Mahmud Shah III died, he had no sons by his royal wives, but had two sons by his other two wives. The crown prince Tengku Long was favoured and had arranged marriages
The crown prince Tengku Long had a marriage agreement with the daughter of the Bendahara and the Temenggong’s sister, Enche Puan Bulang. At the time of his father’s death, he was in Pahang to marry the Bendahara’s daughter.
with daughters of the Sultanate’s leaders. He was in Pahang to attend one of his weddings when the Sultan died. The Bugis courtiers took advantage of his absence to install his brother Sultan Abdul Rahman, and the Bugis under-king Raja Ja’afar
When Tengku Long (the future Sultan Hussein Mohamed Shah) went to Pahang to get married, Raja Ja’afar took the opportunity of the Sultan’s death to appoint Tengku Abdul Rahman as the Sultan. In 1818, the Dutch gave their support to Raja Ja’afar, after he allowed them to reoccupy Riau on the promise of military support. This move denied Temenggong Abdul Rahman and his people a share in the ports’ wealth. Sidelined, the Temenggong left Riau and went to Singapore.
was able to rule by proxy. However, Sultan Mahmud’s widow refused to give up the regalia and so the formal installation ceremony could not be held.

The Treaty of Singapore is Signed

Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer

The East India Company will pay His Highness Sultan Hussein Mohamed Shah 5,000 Spanish dollars annually, and Temenggong Abdul Rahman
Temenggong Abdul Rahman had arrived in Singapore, and had established an economy of gambier planters by 1818. According to Munshi Abdullah, the Temenggong was exiled from Riau and withdrew to Singapore. The Temenggong traditionally oversees law and order, and commands the police and army of the Sultanate. Temenggong Abdul Rahman died in Singapore on 8 December 1825, and was buried at a mosque in Telok Blangah.
will receive 3,000 Spanish dollars every year. This is in exchange for the right to establish a post in Singapore. In turn, the Malay rulers will not establish treaties with…
Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer
Circa 1819
I have informed Jan Samuel Timmerman Thijssen
The Dutch Governor of Melaka. He assumed his role in 1818 after taking over from William Farquhar together with Vice-Admiral J.C Wolterbeek.
that the EIC has entered into and concluded a treaty and defensive alliance with Sultan Hussein Mohamed Shah and Temenggong Abdul Rahman. A British factory has been established at Singapore, and the port and island have been placed under the protection of the British flag.

Farquhar Becomes the First Resident of Singapore

Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer

Proclamation: A treaty had been concluded between the British Government and the native authorities. I am pleased to certify the appointment of Major William Farquhar to be the Resident, and to command the troops at Singapore and its dependencies. All persons are hereby directed to obey Major Farquhar accordingly.
William Farquhar
William Farquhar

The First Resident

The first Resident and Commandant of Singapore, who played an instrumental role in Singapore’s success as a thriving free port and modern city.

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The First Resident
7 Feb 1819
I am most heartily obliged to you for the appointment, Raffles. Rest assured I will fulfil my duties to the best of my ability.

The Dutch Threat

Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer

Lord Hastings
Lord Francis Rawdon-Hastings was a British soldier and colonial administrator who was the Governor-General of Bengal and commander-in-chief of the forces in India from 1813 to 1823. He also authorised Stamford Raffles' establishment of a trading post in Singapore.
, before I went eastward I had the repeated and public assurances of this government that though they differed in opinion, they felt it their duty to afford me men and every cooperation. I’ve established my port with only one company, yet I require two more to support it.…
Colonel John Alexander Bannerman
Colonel John Alexander Bannerman

Governor of Prince of Wales Island

From 1817 to 1819, he was governor of what is present-day Penang Island, Malaysia. He saw the establishment of Singapore as a threat to trade there.

Governor of Prince of Wales Island
Circa 1819
Stamford Raffles has occupied Singapore in violation of the orders of the Supreme Government. He knows that any opposition from his present small defence would be a useless and reprehensible sacrifice of men, when made against the overwhelming naval and military force of the Dutch. Under these circumstances, I am decidedly of the opinion that the Penang government will not be justified in reinforcing Major Farquhar in Singapore, and inciting him to resist the Hollanders by force of arms.

Raffles’ Final Return to Singapore

Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer

I’ve returned to Singapore after three long years. Much has changed, much has been lost
Three of Raffles’ four children, several relatives and close friends died in the span of six months between July 1821 and January 1822, while Raffles and his wife fell seriously ill. This great misfortune left Raffles feeling crushed, dispirited and numbed. His personal happiness was destroyed. By 1824, Raffles’ health was also suffering and visibly affecting him. He reportedly had bouts of intense headaches during this time. Historians have suggested that he might have had an arterio-venous malformation, which could have led to a fatal haemorrhaging that resulted in his death on 5 July 1826.
. I am afraid my dear friend Farquhar is a little annoyed because I do not approve of his town developments. I do understand that we both have great interest in the prosperity of Singapore. He…
William Farquhar
William Farquhar

The First Resident

The first Resident and Commandant of Singapore, who played an instrumental role in Singapore’s success as a thriving free port and modern city.

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The First Resident
5 Nov 1822
Nilson Hull, I understand that you’re Raffles’ acting secretary while he’s here. There seems to be some misunderstanding between us. Please assure your brother-in-law, the Lieutenant-Governor, that I would not allow current circumstances and disagreements to influence my conduct in the execution of my public duty, and his plans for permanent arrangements and improving the settlement. I shall cheerfully offer every assistance in my power to carry them into effect.

The Jackson Town Plan

Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer

My vision for Singapore is for her to be a place of considerable magnitude and importance. Hence, a proper town plan and allotment of the ground must be put into place before the island can flourish. I have therefore called upon Lieutenant Philip Jackson to draw up the first town…
Lieutenant Philip Jackson
Lieutenant Philip Jackson

Assistant Settlement Engineer

An Assistant Settlement Engineer who arrived in Singapore in January 1822.

Assistant Settlement Engineer
Jan 1823
Sir, the development of the town will soon be underway, but there’s a requirement for a laborious land reclamation of the North Boat Quay area to make way for the Commercial Square. This may be achieved by levelling the hillock located south of the Singapore River using troops and labourers.

Raffles Fires Farquhar

Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer

Forgive me, Lord Hastings
Lord Francis Rawdon-Hastings was a British soldier and colonial administrator who was the Governor-General of Bengal and commander-in-chief of the forces in India from 1813 to 1823. He also authorised Stamford Raffles' establishment of a trading post in Singapore.
, but I have to inform you that my patience for Farquhar’s conduct is wearing thin, and I fear that our differing views will not only impede the growth of Singapore, but may lay the foundation of inconvenience in the future. The Malay Connexion
William Farquhar lived with Nonio Clement, a woman of French-Malay descent, and had children with her. Stamford Raffles felt that this connection made him too sympathetic towards Malay rulers and that he had succumbed to the influence of certain powerful merchants. This, Raffles hinted, resulted in Farquhar showing undue favouritism to the locals.
which Farquhar is…
Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer
27 Jan 1823
Farquhar, the period for which you requested to postpone your departure for Europe having expired, I deem it proper to apprise you of the same to prepare you to deliver over charge of the civil duties of the Station whenever a successor may be appointed.

The Burning of The Fame

Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles

An East India Company Officer

An enterprising East India Company (EIC) officer looking to make his mark on the Eastern Seas. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen when he controversially set up an EIC trading post in Singapore.

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An East India Company Officer

Pray excuse the brevity of this post, for in truth, it is with the utmost difficulty that I write this. Our ship, the Fame, had gone up in flames in less than five minutes and sank within 10. While I am grateful that no lives were lost, everything else has…
Sophia Raffles
Sophia Raffles

Stamford Raffles’ Wife

The second wife of Stamford Raffles, whose biography of Raffles led to his posthumous fame.

Stamford Raffles’ Wife
5 Feb 1824
I remember lying in bed when we heard cries to abandon ship because of the fire. I only had time to throw on my pelisse and rushed to the boat. Fortunately, everyone else managed to escape too. Stay strong, my love—we have the rest of our lives together.
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