Early History 
of 
George Town 
AUNESCOWorld Cultural Heritage Site 
This is an educational and non-commercial slide. No p...
Map source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/doremon360/3730036366/in/photostream/ 
1st Century: The Straits of Malacca is par...
5th-18thCentury: 
Growth of several small ports in the Straits of Malacca. 
Kedah 
Palembang 
Singapore 
Melaka 
Penang 
S...
Photo source: The Encyclopedia of Malaysia: Early History 
Bujang 
Valley 
5th-13thCentury: Sungai Batu(BujangValley) of K...
Photo source: Malaysia: A Pictorial History 1400-2004 
In the 15th century,the port of Melaka prospered and overshadowed B...
Photo source: Historical Origins of Malaysian States 
The 15th century navigational chart by the Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho ...
Photo source: Glimpses of Old Penang 
In the late 16thcentury, a British investor James Lancaster, in search of spices, st...
Afonsode Albuquerque -1511 
First Portuguese Governor 
in Melaka 
Johan van Twist -1641 
First Dutch Governor 
in Melaka 
...
Photo source: Penang under the East India Company 1786-1858 
The island of Penang (belonging to the Sultanate of Kedah) wa...
Photo source: Malaysia: A Pictorial History 1400-2004 
August 11, 1786 -Light took possession of the island in the name of...
Photo source: “Penang Views 1770 –1860 “ 
1790s -To kick-start the trading settlement Francis Light invited prominent trad...
This trading settlement,governed by the British, attracted several waves of migrants from Asia and Europe. Peoples of diff...
The majority of early Europeans were from the Asian region. They were EIC officials and their relatives, merchants, trader...
English 
Scottish 
German 
Swiss 
Austrian 
Photosource:TinMiningDynasty 
Arrival of steamships brought investors, merchan...
Bugis 
Minangkabau 
Achenese 
Javanese 
Boyanese 
Photo source: Malaya Lifestyle-1900-1930 
•Indigenous native settlers fr...
•Malay refugees escaping from Siamese attacks on the Siamese vassal states of Kedah, Perlis, Satul, Yala and Pattani. 
•Th...
•Chinese merchants from the ports along the Straits including Straits- born Chinese from Kedah and Melaka. 
•Labourers and...
•George Town became an entrepot for contract coolies from mainland China (Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan provinces) brought in ...
•Sepoyswho came with Francis Light in 1786. 
•Chuliamerchants from the ports along the Straits. Labourersand boatmen from ...
Punjabi 
Malayalee 
Bengali 
Tamil 
Sindhi 
Gujerati 
Marwari 
Parsee 
Second Wave of IndiansEarly 19th–Early 20thcentury ...
Second Wave of IndiansEarly 19th–Early 20thcentury 
Photo source: Encyclopedia of Malaysia: People and Traditions 
Punjabi...
Burmese 
Jew 
Arabs 
Japanese 
Armenian 
Siamese 
Filipino 
In the 19thcentury, thriving entrepot activities in George Tow...
With the contributions from all these migrants, George Town grew into a sizeable town. 
Photo source: Penang Postcard Coll...
Physical Development of the Trading Settlement 
1786 
A grid of streets was laid by Francis Light to mark the commercial c...
Physical Development of the Trading Settlement 
1795- 1798 
The haphazard streets were later straighten by Light’s success...
Growth of George Town Beyond the Trading Settlement 
A Map of George Town 1883 
Map source: Penang Past and Present 
1881-...
A Fully Developed City 
A Map of George Town 1961 
Map source: Penang Past and Present 
1957 
George Town was granted city...
Urban Cultural Landscape of George Town in the 1840s. 
Photo source: Penang Views 1770-1860
Photo source: Penang Postcard Collection 1899-1930s 
George Town in the 1930s
George Town in the 1960s 
Postcard courtesy of Ng Wee Theng
Restoration of the Inner City 2010 
© Leonard Kong
The Historic Urban Landscape of George TownA World Heritage Site 
Courtesy of UNESCO
Researched and produced by: 
Community-based Arts & Culture Education Programme 
Copyright © 2009-2014 
No part of this pr...
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Early History of George Town, Penang

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Early History of George Town, Penang

  1. 1. Early History of George Town AUNESCOWorld Cultural Heritage Site This is an educational and non-commercial slide. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the producers. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct at the time of publication, the producers shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions, inaccuracies or accidents which may occur. Academic sharing encouraged, please acknowledge Arts-ED and CHAT in full. New or updated research is welcome. For more about Penang Shophouse, see www.penangshophouse.com.my
  2. 2. Map source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/doremon360/3730036366/in/photostream/ 1st Century: The Straits of Malacca is part of the historic trading route between East and West.
  3. 3. 5th-18thCentury: Growth of several small ports in the Straits of Malacca. Kedah Palembang Singapore Melaka Penang Siak Acheh Jambi Map source: http://www.pinebrookmaps.com/servlet/the-2347/antique-Indochina-Southeast-Asia/Detail
  4. 4. Photo source: The Encyclopedia of Malaysia: Early History Bujang Valley 5th-13thCentury: Sungai Batu(BujangValley) of Kedahwas a popular transhipmentcentrefor merchant ships traveling between Arab, India and China.
  5. 5. Photo source: Malaysia: A Pictorial History 1400-2004 In the 15th century,the port of Melaka prospered and overshadowed BujangValley as an important entrepotin the Straits of Malacca.
  6. 6. Photo source: Historical Origins of Malaysian States The 15th century navigational chart by the Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho - marked Melaka as a significant port & PuloPinang as a rest and re- fitting stop in the Straits of Malacca.
  7. 7. Photo source: Glimpses of Old Penang In the late 16thcentury, a British investor James Lancaster, in search of spices, stopped at “the isles of PuloPinaom” (Penang Island) for water and supplies.
  8. 8. Afonsode Albuquerque -1511 First Portuguese Governor in Melaka Johan van Twist -1641 First Dutch Governor in Melaka European traders competed to capture the existing ports in the Straits of Malacca in order to control the lucrative trade. Francis Light -1786 First British Governor in PulauPinang In the 16thcentury, the Portuguese captured the port of Melaka. In the 17thcentury, the Dutch captured Melaka from the hands of the Portuguese. In the 18thcentury, the British set their eyes on Penang with intention to exert their control over the Straits.
  9. 9. Photo source: Penang under the East India Company 1786-1858 The island of Penang (belonging to the Sultanate of Kedah) was inhabited by indigenous Malay communities from the region. In 1786 (18thcentury) Captain Francis Light, on behalf of the EIC, negotiated the rental of Penang Island from the Sultanate of Kedah. He developed TanjongPenaga, a cape on the northeast of the island, as a trading settlement. Penang Island State of Kedah
  10. 10. Photo source: Malaysia: A Pictorial History 1400-2004 August 11, 1786 -Light took possession of the island in the name of King George III of England for the EIC. The island was named “Prince of Wales Island” and the town “George Town”.
  11. 11. Photo source: “Penang Views 1770 –1860 “ 1790s -To kick-start the trading settlement Francis Light invited prominent traders and settlers from other ports along the Straits to set up business and settle down in George Town. Photo source: Penang Views 1770-1860
  12. 12. This trading settlement,governed by the British, attracted several waves of migrants from Asia and Europe. Peoples of different origins contributed to the settlement’s growth. Photo source: Penang Views 1770 –1860
  13. 13. The majority of early Europeans were from the Asian region. They were EIC officials and their relatives, merchants, traders, plantation owners and some professionals such as doctors, churchmen and teachers. European Settlers in George Town First Wave of EuropeansLate 18th –Early 19th Century Europeans already in the Asian region Photo source: Penang Views 1770 –1860
  14. 14. English Scottish German Swiss Austrian Photosource:TinMiningDynasty Arrival of steamships brought investors, merchants and traders, government officials and employees of European companies. They brought European women and family members. Second Wave of EuropeansMid-19th Century Photosource:Malaysia:APictorialHistory1400-2004
  15. 15. Bugis Minangkabau Achenese Javanese Boyanese Photo source: Malaya Lifestyle-1900-1930 •Indigenous native settlers from the Malay Peninsula. •Nusantara Melayu traders, e.g. Acehnese, Minangkabau and other Sumatrans, Bugis, Javanese, etc. Nusantara Malay Settlers in George Town First Wave of MalaysLate 18th –Early 19th century
  16. 16. •Malay refugees escaping from Siamese attacks on the Siamese vassal states of Kedah, Perlis, Satul, Yala and Pattani. •The second generation of 1stwave Indian Muslim-Malay intermarriages formed the urban Malay community known as Jawi Peranakan. Second Wave of MalaysMid 19th century Malay refugees and 2ndgeneration Indian-Muslim Indian-Muslims Photo source: www.mandailing.org Photo source: Images of Jawi Perakan In Malaysia
  17. 17. •Chinese merchants from the ports along the Straits including Straits- born Chinese from Kedah and Melaka. •Labourers and artisans from mainland China (Fujian and Guangdong provinces). Cantonese Photo source: The Chinese in Penang First Wave of ChineseLate 18th–Early 19thcentury Chinese Settlers in George Town Hokkien Chinese merchants along the Straits
  18. 18. •George Town became an entrepot for contract coolies from mainland China (Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan provinces) brought in to meet the high demand for labour in the Perak tin mines. •Second generation of 1stwave Chinese- Malay intermarriages formed urban Chinese elite community known as Baba Nyonya. Hokkien Hakka Teochew Cantonese Hainanese Photo source: The Chinese in Penang Photo source: The Chinese in Penang Second Wave of ChineseEarly 19th–Early 20thcentury
  19. 19. •Sepoyswho came with Francis Light in 1786. •Chuliamerchants from the ports along the Straits. Labourersand boatmen from Coromandel coast. •Convicts brought in as early as 1789 as labourers. •Merchants and traders from North and South India. Punjabi Malayalee Bengali First Wave of IndiansLate 18th–Early 19thcentury Indian Settlers in George Town Indian merchants along the Straits Photo source: Penang Views 1770-1860 Sindhi Gujerati Tamil Parsee
  20. 20. Punjabi Malayalee Bengali Tamil Sindhi Gujerati Marwari Parsee Second Wave of IndiansEarly 19th–Early 20thcentury •Influx of South Indian contract labourmainly to work in rubber estates in Peninsula Malaya •Some recruited as stevedores in George Town. Photo source: Malaya Lifestyle 1900-1930 Photo source: Penang Postcard Collection 1899-1930s
  21. 21. Second Wave of IndiansEarly 19th–Early 20thcentury Photo source: Encyclopedia of Malaysia: People and Traditions Punjabi Malayalee Bengali Tamil Sindhi Gujerati Marwari Parsee Photo source: Chettiar Heritage •English-educated South Indians recruited by the British for civil services. •Punjabis and Pathansrecruited as police and Malay States Guides. •More Indian merchants came attracted by economic boom during the mid-19thto early 20thcentury. •White collar Indians came as lawyers, doctors, journalists, teachers etc. beginning 1930s.
  22. 22. Burmese Jew Arabs Japanese Armenian Siamese Filipino In the 19thcentury, thriving entrepot activities in George Town also attracted settlers from other parts of the world including: •Armenia •Arabia •Burma •Thailand •Philippines •Japan •Sri Lanka Other Early Settlers in George Town
  23. 23. With the contributions from all these migrants, George Town grew into a sizeable town. Photo source: Penang Postcard Collection 1899-1930s
  24. 24. Physical Development of the Trading Settlement 1786 A grid of streets was laid by Francis Light to mark the commercial centreof the trading port. Plan of Fort Cornwallis and a map of George Town. A detail from a 1798 Laurie and Whittle map which was based on the survey work by Captain H.R. Popham in 1792. Map source: Penang Under the East India Company 1786-1858
  25. 25. Physical Development of the Trading Settlement 1795- 1798 The haphazard streets were later straighten by Light’s successor, Lieutenant Governer Major MacDonald. Plan of Fort Cornwallis and a map of George Town. A detail from a 1798 Laurie and Whittle map which was based on the survey work by Captain H.R. Popham in 1792. Map source: Penang Under the East India Company 1786-1858
  26. 26. Growth of George Town Beyond the Trading Settlement A Map of George Town 1883 Map source: Penang Past and Present 1881- 1904 The coast beyond Beach Street was reclaimed for the development of Weld Quay as part of the port expansion project.
  27. 27. A Fully Developed City A Map of George Town 1961 Map source: Penang Past and Present 1957 George Town was granted city status by royal charter from Queen Elizabeth II.
  28. 28. Urban Cultural Landscape of George Town in the 1840s. Photo source: Penang Views 1770-1860
  29. 29. Photo source: Penang Postcard Collection 1899-1930s George Town in the 1930s
  30. 30. George Town in the 1960s Postcard courtesy of Ng Wee Theng
  31. 31. Restoration of the Inner City 2010 © Leonard Kong
  32. 32. The Historic Urban Landscape of George TownA World Heritage Site Courtesy of UNESCO
  33. 33. Researched and produced by: Community-based Arts & Culture Education Programme Copyright © 2009-2014 No part of this presentation can be reproduced without permission from Arts-ED Email: arts_ed_penang@yahoo.comI Website: www.penangshophouse.com.my

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