The Crag Hotel, Penang Hill.
About 3,000 miles of road, and about 960 miles of extremely comfortable railway, make the Peninsula excellently well adapted for tourists, and, as it is still comparatively unknown, its charms are as yet unspoilt. Yet they can be viewed without discomfort.
Captain Sir James Lancaster, in the beginning of June, 1592, being in need of a rest for his men and his ships, a came to an anker in a very good harborough between three islands.a a Here they stayed till August, but their a refreshing was very small, onely of oisters growing on rocks, greet wilks and some small fish which we took with our hookes.a He landed some of the men on these uninhabited islands for their healtha s sake, but twenty-six poor fellows died there. This is the first mention of Penang which can be traced amongst English writers.
As Malacca has Albuquerque, and Singapore has Sir Stamford Raffles, so has Penang Captain Francis Light. He is first heard of in 1771, wlien he wrote to Warren Hastings in India, suggesting Penang as a desirable repairing harbour in Malay
waters and a a convenient magazine for the Eastern trade.a But it was not until 1780 that the Governor-General in Council resolved on Penang, the merits of Junk Ceylon having been, in the interval, weighed against those of Penang. At this time the Island of Penang belonged to Kedah, which had cleared out the pirate-nest there about 1750, and for $6,000 a year Kedaha s Raja agreed to cede it to the Honourable East India Company. Captain Lighta s landing force consisted of ito a new-raised marines,a 30 lascars from Calcutta and 15 English artillerymen with 5 officers. With these he tcok formal possession on August 11, disembarking them upon what is now the Esplanade, and was then a low sandy point covered with wood. The sole inhabitants were 52 Malays, and they helped in clearing the forest. But a before we could get up any defence we had visitors of all kinds, some for curiosity, some for gain, and some for plunder.a
Early Penang eyed its visitors with suspicion, and no Malay wearing a kris was allowed ashore, and any tourist who was above using the axe on the jungle was confined to his boat. Captain Light was determined that his post should not have the common history of European trading posts in those days.
Botanical Gardens, Penang.