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Today in History: Sir Stamford Raffles lands in Singapore; 5 facts about our founder

Published on Jan 28, 2014 7:44 PM
 
A statue of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles stands at the Raffles’ Landing Site. -- FILE PHOTO: NHB

Most Singaporeans know that Sir Stamford Raffles founded our nation in 1819, but did you know that he first landed here on Jan 28?

The National Heritage Board's I Love Museums Facebook page shared this fact on Tuesday, stating the exact time and place as well - 4pm at St John's Island.

Here are five lesser known characteristics about Singapore's founder:

1) The London Zoo, the world's oldest, was the brainchild of Raffles. It was founded in 1826.

2) Raffles was quite the nature-lover; collecting flora and fauna wherever he travelled to. He started the first Botanic Gardens in 1822 in Fort Canning.

3) The Freemasons, one the world's most secretive and exclusive groups, counts Raffles as one of its members.

4) Raffles might have had the foresight to discover Singapore but when it came to making money, he failed miserably. He died heavily in debt.

5) Mount Sophia was named after Raffles' second wife, Sophia Hull.

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