Raffles too was queried about his finances

In Accounting on 31/08/2015 at 4:51 am

When I read the latest attacks on the WP’s management of AHPETC, I couldn’t help remembering the attacks on Raffles by other East India Company officials that in one instance led to his impeachment. He was cleared of all impropriety in all the cases.

But when he retired, he was not only not granted a pension (he had asked for £500 a year), but was sent a bill for £20,000 (worth £2m today) for allegedly over-claiming expenses during his administrations (principally relating to the British occupation of Java).

He died two months after receiving the bill and was not able to defend himself.

His estate amounted to around £10,000, which was paid to the Company to cover his outstanding debt. His widow was left destitute.

Historians take the view that the bill was a mean-spirited attempt by his employer to “fix” him. He was a difficult (somes a rogue) employee and neither Java nor S’pore made money for the Company despite his promises to the contrary. Java was a huge drain on the East India Company but the occupation of Java had the backing of the then Governor-General in India, Lord Minto.

Raffles was more interested in extending British influence in the region, while the East India Company was interested in profits to pay dividends to its shareholders. It had soldiers, sailors and territory, but these were means to the end of making money for shareholders.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: