Price: $75 / ticket
Singapore’s multi-faceted history reaches back over 700 years. The arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles on behalf of the British East India Company (EIC) in 1819 marked a turning point that set the island on a new trajectory, and launched it onto the global stage.
Learn the personal journeys of British East India men such as Raffles, Farquhar, and Crawfurd, and those of the many intrepid souls from all over the world — especially China, India, and the Middle East as well as neighbouring countries (today’s Malaysia and Indonesia) — who decided to take a gamble on this new outpost. As we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the EIC’s arrival, join us to explore not only its colonial and pre-colonial history, but also the impact these figures still make on today’s Singapore.
This is a multi-part series that may be purchased as either a one-off or a package of three tours.
Each tour will be held both on a Saturday & on a Tuesday in February.
Please also note that details of where exactly each tour will meet will be emailed to all those registered 2 or 3 days in advance.
PART 2: THREE MEN & A BABY — RAFFLES’ GAMBLE & RAJA MELAKA
The second part of our journey focuses on the Civic District with its wonderfully preserved colonial architecture. We fondly call this tour Three Men & A Baby because as you learn the story behind the founding of colonial Singapore, you meet the three men — Raffles, Farquhar, and Crawfurd — who nursed the “baby” settlement through its birth and infancy.
Following in Raffles’ footsteps, we’ll discover the importance he attached to city planning and civic society, and the impact that this had on our immigrant communities. We also explore the challenges faced by his co-founder, William
Farquhar, who was literally left holding the baby, but with limited resources to enable him to do this in the way that Raffles envisaged.
As we explore the role of the Singapore River in its rapid growth as a trading post we will delve into how both Raffles’ concept of a free port and Farquhar’s reputation as the “Raja of Melaka” helped to attract traders from the Malay peninsula and the rest of the world. And you’ll learn how these different approaches led to their falling out.
This tour will end at the Asian Civilisations Museum with the oppotunity to visit its new Raffles exhibition on your own.