The Pioneer Merchants of Singapore

Johnston, Boustead, Guthrie and Others
by R E Hale (Author)
Buy for $94.00 Excerpt

Pioneer Merchants of Singapore tells the stories of some of Singapore's earliest merchants, including Alexander Laurie Johnston, Edward Boustead, Alexander Guthrie, and eleven others, including Tan Che Sang, Dr Jose d'Almeida, and D S Napier. Much has been written about Sir Stamford Raffles and Lt. Col. Farquhar, but almost nothing has been published about these merchants of all races operating in Singapore during the first few years following its acquisition by the East India Company in 1819. It includes never-before-published information drawn from letters dating back to 1818. These, including letters from Johnston's first employee and business partner Andrew Hay and a previously unrecorded letter from Raffles himself, shed light on much which otherwise would have been lost to us.

This book aims to fill a gap in our knowledge of the early days of Singapore and the challenges faced by its early residents. It is a must-read for those who are interested in the history of Singapore's early years as a trading colony.


  • Alexander Laurie Johnston:
    • Alexander Laurie Johnston — Biography
    • A L Johnston's Recollections in 1848 (Based on the Author's Research)
    • Troublemakers. New Partners. Chinese Merchants. Coinage
    • Raffles' Reorganisation. Property Matters. Farquhar's Problems
    • Impressions of John Crawfurd. Fundraising. Problems with Property Sales. Chinese Junks
    • 1824 Floods. John Morgan. Rhio
    • Education. Effects of Loss of Bencoolen. New Government. Sam Bonham
    • John Prince. Court House Matters. Defence
    • Judicial Problems. Jail. Bridges
    • Old Friends. Fire. Palmer & Co., Failure. Government
    • Piracy
    • Americans. Tan Che Sang's Funeral
    • China. Tigers. Flooding Problems. China Expedition Forces Arrival
  • Edward Boustead:
    • Early Days
    • United Kingdom
    • Janedah
    • The Company
    • United Kingdom Again
    • Afterwards
  • Alexander Guthrie:
    • Biography
  • Other Merchants:
    • Other Merchants — 1819 — 1829

Readership: General readers interested in the early days of modern Singapore, students, researchers and university professors.

Key Features:

  • Aims to fill a gap in our knowledge of the early days of Singapore and the challenges early residents faced
  • Brings in new information on Singapore's pioneer merchants and other individuals which have never before been published

DRM Protected
Publication date
July 20, 2022
Page count
File size
17 MB

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