Friday, September 30, 2011



Sir Stamford Raffles, of the East India Company, brought death and destruction to Java in Indonesia.

He sacked and looted cities.

He supported slavery.

He promoted the trade in Opium.

He bankrupted Javanese farmers.

He was a bit of a fascist.

Tim Hannigan (Words and Images), at History Today, has written "When Raffles Ran Java." (When Raffles Ran Java History Today).

Hannigan points out that the official version of the British takeover of Java is less than accurate.

Raffles invaded Java in 1811.

He provoked trouble with the leading Javanese sultan.

He then sacked and looted Yogyakarta.

The courtiers of the exiled Sultan were forced to kiss Raffles's knees.

Raffles continued the practice of slavery in Java.

Raffles demanded money from Java's farmers.

The result was that farmers got heavily into debt and had to turn to money lenders.

While raffles was in charge, British opium barons moved in and opium use took off.

In 1813, Raffles was in trouble, being accused of corruption.

Raffles was sacked and left Java in 1815.

In Bogor, in Java, there is a monument in memory of Raffle's wife, Olivia, who died of a tropical disease in 1814.

The beautiful Olivia was rumoured to have had an affair, prior to the marriage, with one of Raffles' superiors, a man called Ramsay.

Four of Raffles' five children died in Sumatra of tropical diseases.


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