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24 British colonial administrator Raffles publishes The history of Java and turns
   his sights on Japan

RAFFLES, Thomas Stamford, Sir

The history of Java

London, 1817.


 Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826) was a British colonial administrator who was born at sea off the coast of Jamaica due to his father being a ship's captain. A hard worker who learned a great deal with the East India Company, first as an apprentice and then when hired as a full-fledged employee when aged 19, he mastered Malay when posted to the island of Penang in 1805. When the Dutch territory of Java was handed over to France following theNetherlands submission to Napoleon in Europe, Raffles joined the British expeditionary force dispatched from India to capture the island. The operation was a success and Raffles stayed in Java as lieutenantgovernor. When Java was handed back to the Netherlands following the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, Raffles returned to Britain where he published the present work. Although titled The history of Java, this work also describes the island’s geography and provides extensive zoological and botanical details.
 While stationed in Java, Raffles showed interest in trade with Japan and dispatched a vessel to Dejima. However, the mission was abandoned due to opposition from the Dutch commissioner of Dejima, Hendrik Doeff. As Raffles also laid the foundations for the development of Singapore when he landed on the island and established a trading post in 1819, and his name lives on to this day in the eponymous luxury hotel.
                            (28×23cm×2 vols.)

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