Reference Entry

Raffles, (Thomas) Stamford

in Oxford Art Online

ISBN: 9780192807007
Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T070563
Raffles, (Thomas) Stamford

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(b off Port Morant, Jamaica, July 6, 1781; d Barnet, Herts, July 5, 1826).

English colonial administrator. He was educated at the Mansion House School, London, and in 1795 entered the East India Company. In 1800 he became a permanent clerk, and in 1805 he was posted to the presidency of Prince of Wales Island, Malaya (now Penang, Malaysia). During the Napoleonic Wars (1801–15) he took part in the conquest of the Dutch colony of Java and was its lieutenant-governor throughout its British occupation (1811–16). While in office he attempted to reform the Dutch colonial system and thereby improve the conditions of the Javanese population. In 1814 the Buddhist monument of Borobudur (c. ad 800) in central Java was seen for the first time by European visitors. Unlike many 19th-century colonial officials, Raffles did not desecrate the site by removing statuary for his personal collection; he had Borobudur cleared and properly surveyed and in 1815 made the arduous journey to visit the site. In ...

Reference Entry.  374 words. 

Subjects: Latin American and Caribbean Art ; 19th-Century Art ; South and Southeast Asian Art

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