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Sir Stamford Raffles

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Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen
In office
1818–1824
Preceded by Newly Created
George John Siddons
Resident of Bencoolen
Succeeded by Abolished
John Prince
Resident of Bencoolen
2nd Lieutenant-Governor of the Dutch East Indies
In office
1811–1816
Appointed by Earl of Minto
Preceded by Robert Rollo Gillespie
Succeeded by John Fendall Jr.
Personal details
Born
Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles

(1781-07-05)5 July 1781
Off the coast of Port Morant, Jamaica
Died 5 July 1826(1826-07-05) (aged 45)
Highwood House, Highwood Hill, Middlesex, London, England
Cause of death Brain tumour
Resting place St Mary's Church, Hendon, London, England
Nationality British
Spouse(s)
Olivia Mariamne Devenish
(m. 1805; died 1814)

Sophia Hull (m. 18171826)
Children
  • Charlotte Raffles (1818–1822)
  • Leopard Raffles (1819–1821)
  • Stanford Marsden Raffles (1820–1822)
  • Ella Sophia Raffles (1821–1840)
  • Flora Nightingale Raffles (1823–1823)
Mother Anne Lyde
Father Benjamin Raffles
Relatives William Charles Raffles Flint (nephew)
Residence Highwood House, Highwood Hill, Middlesex, London, England
Occupation British Colonial Official
Known for Founding of Singapore
Notable work The History of Java (1817)

Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, FRS (5 July 1781 – 5 July 1826) was a British statesman, Lieutenant-Governor of the Dutch East Indies (1811–1816) and Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen (1818–1824), best known for his founding of modern Singapore and the British Malaya.

He was heavily involved in the conquest of the Indonesian island of Java from Dutch and French military forces during the Napoleonic Wars and contributed to the expansion of the British Empire. He also wrote The History of Java (1817).

Early years

Raffles was born on a ship Ann to Captain Benjamin Raffles and Anne Raffles. Although his family was in debt, they managed to give him money for his education. When he was 14, he started working as a clerk in the British East India Company. The company sent him to Southeast Asia to look for another port as the trade between Britain and China is increasing.

He married Olivia Mariamne Fancourt, who was a widow of Jacob Cassivelaun Fancourt, an assistant surgeon in Madras who had died in 1800.

Founding of Singapore

When the British East India Company sent Raffles to Southeast Asia to look for a port, the company already had two ports, Penang and Bencoolen. However, these two ports were at a place far from the main trading area, the Straits of Melaka. Dutch's ports, Melaka and Java, were closer to the trading area, which made them able to control the trade. They cut off the trade between Penang and the important trading centres at the Malay Archipelago.

The British East India Company thus needed a new port south of Melaka to protect British ships, and so they chose Singapore for it had a lot of drinking water and a good location, in the centre of the Straits of Melaka.

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