Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Kt., LL.D., F.R.S., Founder of Singapore, 1819, and Some of His Friends and Contemporaries John Angus Bethune Cook

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Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Kt., LL.D., F.R.S., Founder of Singapore, 1819, and Some of His Friends and Contemporaries  by  John Angus Bethune Cook

Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Kt., LL.D., F.R.S., Founder of Singapore, 1819, and Some of His Friends and Contemporaries by John Angus Bethune Cook
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CHAPTER I.EARLY TRAINING.The work and worth of a truly great and good man will bear close and critical examination even after a century. Indeed, with the vision clarified by the lapse of time, the more correct perspective may be taken as, from aMoreCHAPTER I.EARLY TRAINING.The work and worth of a truly great and good man will bear close and critical examination even after a century. Indeed, with the vision clarified by the lapse of time, the more correct perspective may be taken as, from a knowledge of subsequent events as well as a review of his time and circumstances, the objects appear in their relative series of importance, while they can be seen as a harmonious whole.Raffles died young.

He was only forty-five at his death, but what a life he lived, and what an amount of work worth doing he accomplished ! Fully thirty years of his short life were spent in unremitting toil for the State, and for the Empire, of which he was a real master-builder.

He was a man of many parts, who gave himself without stint to a great variety of most congenial objects— philology, geography, natural science, philosophy, religion and philanthropy. Not only the patron, but the participant, in whatever would likely increase the sum of useful knowledge and benefit humanity.Off the harbour of Port Morant, Island of Jamaica, on board the ship Ann,^ to the wife ofMaster Mariner Benjamin Raffles, one of the oldest captains in the West India trade out of the port of London, on July 5th, 1781, was born a son.

He was dearly loved and cared for by his mother to whom he was ever devoted. He was the only surviving son.Not much is known of the Raffles family history. They were said to be a Yorkshire family who removed to Berwick-on-Tweed, and thence, in Stamford Raffles great-grandfathers time, they settled in London.

Lady Raffles records of Sir Stamford that his early years were a period of obscurity and labour, without friends to aid him, as well as without hope of promotion.In after years, when writing to his cousin, the Rev. Dr. Raffles of Liverpool, Sir Stamford said : The deficiencies of my early education have never been fully supplied, and I have never ceased to deplore the necessity which withdrew me so early from school. I had hardly been two years at a boarding school when I was withdrawn, and forced to enter on the busy scenes of public life, then a mere boy (at the age of fourteen at the East India House).

My leisure hours, however, still continued to be devoted to my favourite studies, and with the little aid my allowances afforded, I continued to make myself master of the French language, and to prosecute enquiries into some of the branches of literature and science : this was, however, in stolen moments, either before the office hours in the morning, or after them in the evening. I look back to those days of difficulty and application with some degree of pleasure.

I feel I did all I could, and I have nothing to re-proach myself with. All I have ever presumed to consider myself was that I was a lover and admirer of all that I could reach in literature and science. The high stations which I have held enable me to foster and encourage the pursuits of others, and if I have any merit it has rather been as the patron of science than in any other capacity.It was ever one of the most outstanding characteristics of Raffles that he disclaimed any pretensions to be regarded as more than a student, when he was often a past master in the subjects, not one but many, on which he wrote.

Modesty well accorded with sterling merit. He rejoiced to be a fellow-worker with others, and was as ready to learn as he was to pass on what he had acquired, in the way of first-hand knowledge. In reply to a letter from a friend who had made enquiry about some linguistic matters for that famous scholar, Mr. Samuel Marsden, Raffles concluded a long letter, in which he had given a great deal of information, by saying : Should you deem the replies to Mr.



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