George Town’s Light and Shadow
Chapter 4, Part 17
The 19th century in South Asia. It was a period of time in history when the British consolidated their colonial possessions in the Indian subcontinent. What started out as mere trade missions in the early 17th century, became a vast colonial entity called British India, encompassing regions which now make up India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore and parts of Malaysia. At the easternmost reach of the British governance – where the sprawling Dutch East Indies began – were the Straits Settlements, a collective unit of colonial lands comprising Singapore, Malacca and a small island off the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia called Prince of Wales Island, which is today known as Penang.
The settlements – strategically located at the busy trade route connecting the Spice Islands and China to India, the Middle East…
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