venue: Screening Room, The Arts House, Old Parliament Lane
date / time: Saturday, 28 Feb 2009; 2.30–4.00pm
William Farquhar (1774–1839) was born at Newhall, Aberdeenshire, in Scotland. At the age of 17, he joined the
military service of the British East India Company and saw action in the Indian sub-continent in the early 1790s. In 1795, he was involved in the taking of Malacca from the Dutch and by 1803 was Commandant of the settlement. He spent the next 15 years successfully running that colony despite considerable difficulties. With Stamford Raffles,
he established British presence in Singapore and was left in charge of the new settlement after Raffles left for Bencoolen in Sumatra. He fell out with Raffles over the management of the settlement and Raffles arranged to replace him with
John Crawfurd. Farquhar was most unhappy, initially refusing to leave and later sued Raffles for his autocratic behaviour. He finally left in December 1823 and returned to Britain, where he settled in Perth in 1829. In 1837, he was given the rank of Major-General and he died at his home, Early Bank, and was buried in Greyfriars churchyard.
Despite his significant contributions to the early development of Singapore, Farquhar is today, a forgotten figure. Even the little street named in his memory is gone. Jean-Claude Fuchs shares his research on the life of this remarkable man
and his times.
Jean-Claude Fuchs was born in France and is currently a permanent resident in Singapore. Since retiring from his post as an executive with a Swiss multi-national, Jean-Claude has dedicated his time to researching the life and times of Major-General William Farquhar and his family line. The family tree he has constructed now include some 400 descendants of William Farquhar.
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