March 27, 2016

2416 MALAYSIA (Penang) - The statue of Captain Francis Light

In 1771, the british Francis Light, the then a private country trader, aged 31 years, proposed the idea of a British settlement in the neighbourhood of the Malay Peninsular to Warren Hastings, the East India Company's Governor of the Presidency of Fort William. He suggested that the island of Penang might serve as a "convenient magazine for the Eastern trade" but at that time his idea gained no ground. For about ten years he had his headquarters in Salang, where he revived a failed French trading post.

Following the war that ended in the Peace of 1783 with France and Spain during which Britain had struggled with France for naval superiority, Light's suggestion took on a new significance. In 1786, Light leased Penang Island from Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah of Kedah Sultanate, renaming it Prince of Wales Island, and the capital, George Town. Under the administration of Governor-general Sir John Macpherson, Light was entitled Superintendent and put in charge of the settlement.

The multicultural colony of Penang became extraordinarily successful and Light served as Superintendent of the settlement until his death, in 1794, from malaria. In 1936, a statue of Francis Light was built to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Penang. It was actually modelled after Francis Light's son, William Light, since no picture could be found of the senior Light. William Light founded the Australian city of Adelaide fifty years after the founding of Penang.

About the stamps

The stamps are the three of the series Grand Knight Of Valour, issued on July, 31, 2010.

Francis Light - Wikipedia

Sender: Pumipat
Sent from George Town (Penang / Malaysia), on 23.02.2016

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