The Playful Parents

Love at Play

Sir Stamford Raffles Had An Ark


If you were at Dreams on Parade held at My Tree House, Central Library (B1), at this year’s Voyage of Dreams, you would have seen our big cardboard ship – Voyager of Dreams.

This is the story behind why we chose to have a ship and animal crafts at the festival.

{Crafted by Roy Lee & Business Students from ITE College Central} 

The Inspiration For The Ship
The following story is extracted from the book,
‘Raffles’ Ark Redrawn’ by H.J. Noltie. ( SING 508.0222NOL)

Click on the highlighted words to see the original engraving of the boat and news clipping of the tragedy.

Sir Stamford Raffles was an avid patron of Natural Science.
In February 1824 Sir Raffles and his wife, Sophia, set sail for Britain on the H.C.C. Ship, Fame, with the collections made during his six years on Sumatra.

These included two to three thousand drawings, priceless Malay manuscripts and living animals including a tiger tamed for the voyage.  Sir Raffles nicknamed the ship a ‘perfect Noah’s ark’.

Tragically the ship caught fire due to a drunken sailor’s carelessness. All the collections onboard were lost.

Raffles’ devout Christianity allowed him to overcome this “overwhelming calamity”.
After the tragedy, Sir Raffles “publically returned thanks to God for having preserved the lives of all…”

The morning after his loss, Sir Raffles set to work immediately to make new drawings and collect new specimens. More living animals, including a tiger, two ‘tiger cats’, a clouded leopard, and other preserved specimens were collected in the ten weeks before sailing for a second time from Bencoolen on the Mariner on 10 April 1824.

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