Rebel Princes, Sea Skirmishes, and a Royal Plot: 18th-century Singapore’s Changing Fortunes in Perspective


About the Webinar

What was going on in and around Singapore in the 18th century? Historians have often puzzled over this century of silence on the island, seemingly anomalous to the drama convulsing the region, which has given rise to much suggestion and speculation. Based on further finds in the archival records of the Dutch East India Company as well as a close reading of diplomatic letters, relations deposited in Melaka, and local chronicles, this talk will attempt to fill this gap by locating Singapore more narrowly as a place and player during the significant events of the Malay world. The focus will be on the elusive figure of the Raja Negara of Singapore and the role he played in the vicissitudes and crises in the lower half of the Straits in the 18th century. Far from being a sleepy fishing village, Singapore would come to be defined by the journeys of rebel princes, a series of sea skirmishes, and a half-remembered royal plot, which helped set the stage for its transformation in the early 19th century. The Temasek History Research Centre is pleased to bring you this talk.

This webinar is supported by Temasek Foundation.

About the Speaker

Mr Benjamin Khoo Jun Qi is a Research Officer at Temasek History Research Centre (THRC), ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He was previously Lee Kong Chian Research Fellow at the National Library of Singapore and has worked on several research and book projects on Singapore and the region before 1819. Benjamin holds a BA (Hons) from the National University of Singapore and a MA (cum laude) in Colonial and Global History from Leiden University.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.


Apr 25 2022


10:00 am - 11:15 am