Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, is considered the social, cultural and commercial centre of the Midlands, it is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city". A market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew in the 18th-century Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".
Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided an economic base for prosperity, to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham; the resulting high level of social mobility fostered a culture of political radicalism which, under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain, was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, a pivotal role in the development of British democracy. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz; the damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive urban regeneration in subsequent decades. Birmingham's economy is now dominated by the service sector.
The city is a major international commercial centre, ranked as a beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn, its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham's major cultural institutions – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations, the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music and culinary scenes. Birmingham is the fourth-most. People from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city's nickname of "Brum", which originates from the city's old name, which in turn is thought to have derived from "Bromwich-ham"; the Brummie accent and dialect are distinctive. Birmingham's early history is that of a marginal area; the main centres of population and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon.
The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the densely wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. There is evidence of early human activity in the Birmingham area dating back to around 8000 BC, with stone age artefacts suggesting seasonal settlements, overnight hunting parties and woodland activities such as tree felling; the many burnt mounds that can still be seen around the city indicate that modern humans first intensively settled and cultivated the area during the bronze age, when a substantial but short-lived influx of population occurred between 1700 BC and 1000 BC caused by conflict or immigration in the surrounding area. During the 1st-century Roman conquest of Britain, the forested country of the Birmingham Plateau formed a barrier to the advancing Roman legions, who built the large Metchley Fort in the area of modern-day Edgbaston in AD 48, made it the focus of a network of Roman roads. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era.
The city's name comes from the Old English Beormingahām, meaning the home or settlement of the Beormingas – indicating that Birmingham was established in the 6th or early 7th century as the primary settlement of an Anglian tribal grouping and regio of that name. Despite this early importance, by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 the manor of Birmingham was one of the poorest and least populated in Warwickshire, valued at only 20 shillings, with the area of the modern city divided between the counties of Warwickshire and Worcestershire; the development of Birmingham into a significant urban and commercial centre began in 1166, when the Lord of the Manor Peter de Bermingham obtained a charter to hold a market at his castle, followed this with the creation of a planned market town and seigneurial borough within his demesne or manorial estate, around the site that became the Bull Ring. This established Birmingham as the primary commercial centre for the Birmingham Plateau at a time when the area's economy was expanding with population growth nationally leading to the clearance and settlement of marginal land.
Within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years; the principal governing institutions of medieval Birmingham – including the Guild of the Ho
Robert Stephenson FRS HFRSE DCL was an early English railway and civil engineer. The only son of George Stephenson, the "Father of Railways", he built on the achievements of his father. Robert has been called the greatest engineer of the 19th century. Robert was born in Willington Quay, on the Northumberland coast, the son of George Stephenson and his wife, Frances Henderson; the family moved to Killingworth. Robert attended the middle-class Percy Street Academy in Newcastle and at the age of fifteen was apprenticed to the mining engineer Nicholas Wood, he left before he had completed his three years to help his father survey the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Robert spent six months at Edinburgh University before working for three years as a mining engineer in Colombia; when he returned his father was building the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, Robert developed the steam locomotive Rocket that won the Rainhill Trials in 1829. He was appointed chief engineer of the London and Birmingham Railway in 1833 with a salary of £1,500 per annum.
By 1850 Robert had been involved in the construction of a third of the country's railway system. He designed Royal Border Bridge on the East Coast Main Line. With Eaton Hodgkinson and William Fairbairn he developed wrought-iron tubular bridges, such as the Britannia Bridge in Wales, a design he would use for the Victoria Bridge in Montreal, for many years the longest bridge in the world, he worked on 160 commissions from 60 companies, building railways in other countries such as Belgium, Norway and France. In 1829 Robert married Frances Sanderson who died in 1842. In 1847 he was elected Member of Parliament for Whitby, held the seat until his death. Although Robert declined a British knighthood, he was decorated in Belgium with the Knight of the Order of Leopold, in France with the Knight of the Legion of Honour and in Norway with the Knight Grand Cross of the order of St. Olaf, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1849. He served as President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Institution of Civil Engineers.
Robert's death was mourned, his funeral cortège was given permission by Queen Victoria to pass through Hyde Park, an honour reserved for royalty. He is buried in Westminster Abbey. Robert Stephenson was born on 16 October 1803, at Willington Quay, east of Newcastle upon Tyne, to George Stephenson and Frances née Henderson known as Fanny, she was twelve years older than George, when they met was working as a servant where George was lodging. After marriage George and Fanny lived in an upper room of a cottage. Fanny was suffering from tuberculosis, so George would take care of his son in the evening. Robert recalled how he would sit on his father's left knee with his right arm wrapped around him while he watched him work or read books. In autumn 1804 George became a brakesman at the West Moor Pit and the family moved to two rooms in a cottage at Killingworth. On 13 July 1805 Fanny gave birth to a daughter who lived for only three weeks, Fanny's health deteriorated and she died on 14 May 1806. George employed a housekeeper to look after his son and went away for three months to look after a Watt engine in Montrose, Scotland.
He returned to find. He moved back into the cottage with his son and employed another housekeeper before his sister Eleanor moved in. Known to Robert as Aunt Nelly, Eleanor had been engaged to be married before travelling to London to work in domestic service. However, returning to get married Eleanor's ship was delayed by poor winds and she arrived to find her fiancé had married. Eleanor attended the local Methodist church, whereas George would not attend church, preferring on Sundays to work on engineering problems and meet his friends. Robert was first sent to a village school 1 1⁄2 miles away in Long Benton, where he was taught by Thomas Rutter. On his way to school, he would carry picks to the smith's at Long Benton to be sharpened. George was promoted in 1812 to be enginewright at Killingworth Colliery with a salary of £100 per annum, he built his first steam locomotive, Blücher, in 1814 and the following year was earning £200 per annum. George had received little formal education but was determined that his son would have one, so sent the eleven-year-old Robert to be taught by John Bruce at the Percy Street Academy in Newcastle.
Most of the children came from middle-class families, it was while he was at the academy that Robert lost most of his Northumberland accent. At first Robert was liable to catch a cold. Robert became a member of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society and borrowed books for him and his father to read. In the evening he would work with George on designs for steam engines. In 1816 they made a sundial together, still in place above the cottage door. After leaving school in 1819, Robert was apprenticed to the mining engineer Nicholas Wood, viewer of Killingworth colliery; the following year Robert's Aunt Nelly married and George married Elizabeth Hindmarsh. George had courted Elizabeth before he had met Fanny, but the relationship had been put to an end by Elizabeth's father; as an apprentice Robert work
Robert Francis Fairlie
Robert Francis Fairlie was a Scottish-born railway engineer. Fairlie was born in the son of T. Archibald Fairlie and Margaret Fairlie, he trained at Crewe and Swindon railway works joined first the Londonderry and Coleraine Railway as Locomotive Superintendent in 1852, four years the Bombay, Baroda & Central India Railway before returning to London in 1859 to establish himself as a railway engineering consultant. He is chiefly known for the invention of the Fairlie double-bogie articulated locomotive, associated with curved railways and narrow gauge mountain lines; the first such, the Pioneer, was built in 1865 for the Neath and Brecon Railway, but it was with the Little Wonder built in 1869 for the Festiniog Railway that Fairlie made his name as the inventor of something special. On the Festiniog Railway the new engine could be tested against not one but six engines all of the same tried and tested and improved design and they all came from the locomotive works of George England and Co. the Hatcham Ironworks, Pomeroy Street, New Cross, where the Little Wonder was built.
A series of tests, for which detailed performance records survive, were held between 18 September 1869 and 8 July 1870. It was to the Festiniog Railway in north Wales, the first and the narrowest of narrow gauge railways, on 11 February 1870, in the middle of winter, that Fairlie invited locomotive engineers, their principals, from all over the world, from all over the world they came, as reported by the north Wales newspapers: The Duke of Sutherland. Sir William Baker, K. C. B.. P. connected with the Vera Cruz Railways. E. London. Thornton, ditto. Further parties of engineers and managers came to Porthmadog on four occasions in 1870 to observe the locomotive at work; the success of those public trials gave new heart to all those civil servants challenged with the task of approving one standard gauge line or two narrow gauge lines for the same total budgeted cost. Fairlie was richly rewarded with orders and commissions from overseas including one involving work in Venezuela in 1873/4, which resulted in a serious illness.
By 1876 forty three railways operated Fairlie's patent locomotives, not always successfully. For the story of his patent articulated engine see the Fairlie locomotive entry. However, Robert Fairlie's professional career and social standing had been threatened eight years earlier by a remarkable case brought against him in the Central Criminal Court by his longtime business associate, George England, who alleged perjury on the part of Robert Francis Fairlie who had eloped with England's daughter Eliza Anne England and, to procure a marriage licence, had sworn a false affidavit that her father, Mr George England, had consented to the union, not true. After this marriage they had run away to Spain; this accusation would, have resulted in a prison sentence. Under cross-examination by Sergeant Ballantyne, George England was forced to admit that he had run away with his present wife, the mother of the young lady in question, that he had a wife living at that time, he could not marry her until his wife died.
By a quirk of English law, at that time, a child born out of wedlock was considered nobody's child. In law she could marry whom she pleased. There was no case to answer and therefore a verdict of not guilty was returned, but none of this stopped George England building Robert Fairlie's remarkable double-engine for the Ffestiniog Railway seven years later. Fairlie's Little Wonder was delivered to the FR in the summer of 1869 and George England retired. In September 1869 Robert Fairlie joined with George England's son and J. S. Fraser to take over the Hatcham Works and to form the Fairlie Engine & Steam Carriage Co. but George England junior died within a few months. Locomotive production ceased at the end of 1870 but the Fairlie Engine & Rolling Stock Co. continued as an office for design and for the licensing of Fairlie locomotive manufacture. By 1881, George England was dead and Robert Fairlie and his wife Eliza were living at 13 Church Buildings, Clapham with their <see the Charterhouse School census for 1881.
Minffordd railway station
Minffordd railway station station, is two adjacent stations operated independently of each other. The mainline station opened as Minfford Junction on 1 August 1872 at the point where the newly built Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway line from Dovey Junction to Pwllheli passes under the existing narrow gauge Festiniog Railway built in 1836 to carry dressed slate from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog for export by sea, which had carried passengers from 1865 onwards, it was renamed Minffordd in 1890. A short walk, advertised near the station, leads to Portmeirion; the standard gauge station consists of a single platform with a simple shelter linked to the narrow gauge station by way of an underbridge and a pedestrian ramp. Access to the Cambrian Line is thus by way of the Ffestiniog Railway "Up" platform. Passenger service on the Ffestiniog Railway was withdrawn on 15 September 1939, reopened to Minffordd 19 May 1956, but easy pedestrian access to the Cambrian Line was maintained throughout the closed period.
Mr Parry, GWR and BR stationmaster at Minffordd for 40 years, retired in 1964 and the BR station became an unstaffed halt. At some point the facilities were replaced by the standard small halt "bus stop" shelter; the present substantial stone built Ffestiniog Railway station buildings, at a height of 85 metres above sea level and a distance of just over 2 miles from Porthmadog Harbour, are on the "Up" platform and date from 1887, but there is as yet little evidence of earlier buildings. There was a small wooden building on the "Down" platform and this building was in a derelict condition when it was demolished in 1956. A replica was completed in spring 2002 and was shortlisted in the National Railway Heritage Awards. At the beginning of 2011 the line was temporarily severed at the north east end of the station between the end of the loop at Cae Ednyfed Cottage and Bron Turner crossing for the construction of the Porthmadog bypass; the new bridge is wide enough for the passing loop to be extended.
Passenger interchange between standard gauge and narrow gauge railways in the UK has never been common. The facility at Minffordd with the close proximity of lines is the earliest, 1872, is still in regular use. There is no evidence of joint timetabling between the gauges here. During the late 1950s and the 1960s the interchange saw much use by chartered trains bringing visitors to the Ffestiniog Railway but following the reopening of the joint Blaenau Ffestiniog railway station in 1982 most chartered trains now operate by that route. There have been several notable visitors using Minffordd station; the first was on 27 August 1889 when Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg arrived from Barmouth by Cambrian Railways Royal Train. They were received at Minffordd Junction by Mrs Williams of Castell Deudraeth. A Guard of Honour was mounted by the 2nd Volunteer Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers and The Royal Party were conducted by Mr Williams to the Ffestiniog railway station where they joined a special train to Tan-y-Bwlch.
They took tea at Plas Tan-y-Bwlch with Mr & Mrs Oakeley while the Oakeley Silver Band played on the terrace. Mr Oakeley afterwards drove the Prince and Princess to Maentwrog Road station, for their return by The Great Western Railway Royal Train to Llandderfel. Dr Hastings Banda, President of Malawi accompanied by Lord Snowdon and the Secretary of State for Wales visited the railway on 23 May 1968. Seven years on 25 July 1975, The Princess Margaret, Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones travelled from Minffordd in a special train to view the Festiniog Railway Deviation. Lord Linley travelled on the footplate for part of the journey. After first inspecting Barmouth Bridge, The Chairman of the British Railways Board, Sir Peter Parker, arrived at Minffordd on 17 June 1980 in an inspection saloon hauled by a motor parcels van, as locomotives were not at that time allowed over the Barmouth Bridge. On the Festiniog Railway, Sir Peter travelled on the footplate from Minffordd as far as Tan-y-Bwlch before continuing to Tanygrisiau and by road to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
To the railway historian and indeed the railway archaeologist the railways at Minffordd are of considerable interest with several unique features - at least in the UK. The adjacent Minffordd Yard, the former exchange yard between standard gauge and narrow gauge railways, can only be accessed by rail from the down platform of Minffordd station; the exchange sidings laid out in 1872 to the design of Charles Easton Spooner the great advocate of narrow gauge railways, whose book "Narrow Gauge Railways" was published in 1871, were extensive and at first were used for the transshipment of coal and goods destined for Blaenau Ffestiniog. This traffic declined after the LNWR reached Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1879. Outwards slate traffic by rail from Minffordd did, develop and in time surpassed the sea bound traffic via Porthmadog as the volume being exported declined; this slate traffic by rail from Minffordd lasted until the early 1960s. Minffordd yard is now used for Ffestiniog Railway purposes and the standard gauge connection was removed in 1973.
A new and purpose designed volunteers’ hostel was built between 1992 and 1998 in two stages on land between the railway and the exchange sidings. This hostel replaced a temporary hostel established in Minffordd Yard in 1978; the hostel provides residential accommodation for volunteer staff working on this heritage railway. This Grade 2 Listed building was the crossing keeper's house and was the home of the late Mrs Lottie Edwards, for many years
Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad
The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad shortened to Rio Grande, D&RG or D&RGW the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, was an American Class I railroad company. The railroad started as a 3 ft narrow-gauge line running south from Denver, Colorado in 1870, it served as a transcontinental bridge line between Denver, Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rio Grande was a major origin of coal and mineral traffic; the Rio Grande was the epitome of mountain railroading, with a motto of Through the Rockies, not around them and Main line through the Rockies, both referring to the Rocky Mountains. The D&RGW operated the highest mainline rail line in the United States, over the 10,240 feet Tennessee Pass in Colorado, the famed routes through the Moffat Tunnel and the Royal Gorge. At its height in the mid-1880s, the D&RG had the largest narrow-gauge railroad network in North America with 2,783 miles of track interconnecting the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah. Known for its independence, the D&RGW operated the Rio Grande Zephyr until its discontinuation in 1983.
This was the last private intercity passenger train in the United States until Brightline began service in Florida in 2018. In 1988, the Rio Grande's parent corporation, Rio Grande Industries, purchased Southern Pacific Transportation Company, as the result of a merger, the larger Southern Pacific Railroad name was chosen for identity; the Rio Grande operated as a separate division of the Southern Pacific, until that company was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad. Today, most former D&RGW main lines are owned and operated by the Union Pacific while several branch lines are now operated as heritage railways by various companies; the Denver & Rio Grande Railway was incorporated on October 27, 1870 by General William Jackson Palmer, a board of four directors. It was announced that the new 3 ft railroad would proceed south from Denver and travel an estimated 875 miles south to El Paso via Pueblo, westward along the Arkansas River, continue southward through the San Luis Valley of Colorado toward the Rio Grande.
Assisted by his friend and new business partner Dr. William Bell, Palmer's new "Baby Road" laid the first rails out of Denver on July 28, 1871 and reached the location of the new town of Colorado Springs by October 21. Narrow gauge was chosen in part because construction and equipment costs would be more affordable when weighed against that of the prevailing standard gauge. Palmer's first hand impressions of the Ffestiniog Railway in Wales buoyed his interest in the narrow-gauge concept which would prove to be advantageous while conquering the mountainous regions of the Southwest; the route of the D&RG would be amended and added to as new opportunities and competition challenged the railroad's expanding goals. Feverish, competitive construction plans provoked the 1877–1880 war over right of way with the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway. Both rivals hired gunslingers and bought politicians while courts intervened to bring settlement to the disagreements. One anecdote of the conflict recounts June 1879 when the Santa Fe defended its roundhouse in Pueblo with Dodge City toughs led by Bat Masterson.
In March 1880, a Boston Court granted the AT&SF the rights to Raton Pass, while the D&RG paid an exorbitant $1.4 million for the trackage extending through the Arkansas River's Royal Gorge. The D&RG's possession of this route allowed quick access to the booming mining district of Leadville, Colorado. While this "Treaty of Boston" did not favor the purist of original D&RG intentions, the conquering of new mining settlements to the west and the future opportunity to expand into Utah was realized from this settlement. By late 1880 William Bell had begun to organize railway construction in Utah that would become the Palmer controlled Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway in mid-1881; the intention of the D&RGW was to work eastward from Provo to an eventual link with westward bound D&RG in Colorado. This physical connection was realized near Green River, Utah on March 30, 1883, by May of that year the D&RG formally leased its Utah subsidiary as planned. By mid-1883, financial difficulties due to aggressive growth and expenditures led to a shake up among the D&RG board of directors, General Palmer resigned as president of the D&RG in August 1883, while retaining that position with the Western.
Frederick Lovejoy would soon fill Palmer's vacated seat on the D&RG, the first in a succession of post Palmer presidents that would attempt to direct the railroad through future struggles and successes. Following bitter conflict with the Rio Grande Western during lease disagreements and continued financial struggles, the D&RG went into receivership in July 1884 with court appointed receiver William S. Jackson in control. Eventual foreclosure and sale of the original Denver & Rio Grande Railway resulted within two years and the new Denver & Rio Grande Railroad took formal control of the property and holdings on July 14, 1886 with Jackson appointed as president. General Palmer would continue as president of the Utah line until retirement in 1901; the D&RG built west from Pueblo reaching Cañon City in 1874. The line through the Royal Gorge reached Salida on May 20, 1880 and was pushed to Leadville that same year. From Salida, the D&RG pushed west over the Continental Divide at the 10,845 feet Marshall Pass and reached Gunnison on August 6, 1881.
From Gunnison the line entered the Black Canyon of the
The term "British Malaya" loosely describes a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries. Unlike the term "British India", which excludes the Indian princely states, British Malaya is used to refer to the Malay States under indirect British rule as well as the Straits Settlements that were under the sovereignty of the British Crown. Before the formation of Malayan Union in 1946, the territories were not placed under a single unified administration, with the exception during the immediate post-war period when a British military became the temporary administrator of Malaya. Instead, British Malaya comprised the Straits Settlements, the Federated Malay States, the Unfederated Malay States. Under British rule, Malaya was one of the most profitable territories of the Empire, being the world's largest producer of tin and rubber. Japan ruled a part of Malaya as a single unit from Singapore during the Second World War.
The Malayan Union was dissolved and replaced by the Federation of Malaya in 1948, which became independent on 31 August 1957. On 16 September 1963, the federation, along with North Borneo and Singapore, formed into a larger federation of Malaysia; the British first became involved with Malay politics formally in 1771, when Great Britain tried to set up trading posts in Penang a part of Kedah. The British were in complete control of the state at that time. In the mid-18th century, British firms could be found trading in the Malay Peninsula. In April 1771, Sulivan and de Souza, a British firm based in Madras, sent Francis Light to meet the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II, to open up the state's market for trading. Light was a captain in the service of the East India Company; the Sultan faced external threats during this period. Siam, at war with Burma and which saw Kedah as its vassal state demanded that Kedah send reinforcements. Kedah, in many cases, was a reluctant ally to Siam.
Through negotiation between the Sultan and Light, the Sultan agreed to allow the firm to build a trading post and to operate in Kedah, if the British agreed to protect Kedah from external threats. Light conveyed this message to his superiors in India; the British, decided against the proposal. Two years Sultan Muhammad Jiwa died and was succeeded by Sultan Abdullah Mahrum Shah; the new Sultan offered Light the island of Penang in return for military assistance for Kedah. Light informed the East India Company of the Sultan's offer; the Company, ordered Light to take over Penang and gave him no guarantee of the military aid that the Sultan had asked for earlier. Light took over Penang and assured the Sultan of military assistance, despite the Company's position. Soon the Company told Light that they would not give any military aid to Kedah. In June 1788, Light informed the Sultan of the Company's decision. Feeling cheated, the Sultan ordered Light to leave Penang. Light's refusal caused the Sultan to strengthen Kedah's military forces and to fortify Prai, a stretch of beach opposite Penang.
Recognising this threat, the British razed the fort in Prai. The British thereby forced the Sultan to sign an agreement that gave the British the right to occupy Penang. On 1 May 1791 the Union Flag was raised in Penang for the first time. In 1800, Kedah ceded Prai to the British and the Sultan received an increase of 4,000 pesos in his annual rent. Penang was named Prince of Wales Island, while Perai was renamed Province Wellesley. In 1821, Siam invaded Kedah, sacked the capital of Alor Star, occupied the state until 1842. Before the late 19th century, the British practised a non-interventionist policy. Several factors such as the fluctuating supply of raw materials, security, convinced the British to play a more active role in the Malay states. From the 17th to the early 19th century, Malacca was a Dutch possession. During the Napoleonic Wars, between 1811 and 1815, like other Dutch holdings in Southeast Asia, was under the occupation of the British; this was to prevent the French from claiming the Dutch possessions.
When the war ended in 1815, Malacca was returned to the Dutch. In 1824 the British and the Dutch signed a treaty known as the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824; the treaty, among other things transferred Malacca to British administration. The treaty officially divided the Malay world into two separate entities and laid the basis for the current Indonesian-Malaysian boundary. Modern Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles with a great deal of help from Major William Farquhar. Before establishing Singapore, Raffles was the Lieutenant Governor of Java from 1811 till 1815. In 1818 he was appointed to Bencoolen. Realising how the Dutch were monopolising trade in the Malay Archipelago, he was convinced that the British needed a new trading colony to counter Dutch trading power. Months of research brought him to an island at the tip of the Malay Peninsula; the island was ruled by a temenggung. Singapore was under the control of Tengku Abdul Rahman, the Sultan of the Johore-Riau-Lingga Sultanate, in turn under the influence of the Dutch and the Bugis.
The Sultan would never agree to a British base in Singapore. However, Tengku Abdul Rahman had become a sultan only because his older brother, Tengku Hussein or Tengku Long, had been away getting married in Pahang when their father, the previous sultan, died in 1812. In Malay cultural traditions, a person
Blaenau Ffestiniog is a historic mining town in Wales, in the historic county of Merionethshire, although now part of the unitary authority of Gwynedd. The population of the community of Ffestiniog was 4,875 according to the 2011 census, including the nearby village of Llan Ffestiniog, which makes it the fourth most populous community in Gwynedd, after Bangor and Llandeiniolen. Llan Ffestiniog's population of 864 puts the population of Blaenau itself at around 4,000. Blaenau Ffestiniog was at one time the second largest town in North Wales, behind only Wrexham. After reaching 12,000 at the peak development of the slate industry, the population fell with the decline in the demand for its slate. Today the town relies on tourists, who come for attractions that include the nearby Ffestiniog Railway and Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Before the slate industry developed, the area now known as Blaenau Ffestiniog was a farming region, with scattered farms working the uplands below the cliffs of Dolgaregddu and Nyth-y-Gigfran.
A few of these historic farmhouses survive at Cwm Bowydd, Pen y Bryn and Cefn Bychan. Much of the land was owned by large estates; the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog was created to support workers in the local slate mines. In its heyday it was the largest town in Merioneth. In the 1760s men from the long established Cilgwyn quarry near Nantlle started quarrying in Ceunant y Diphwys to the north east of the present town; this valley had for a number of years been known for its slate beds and had been worked on a small scale. The exact location of this original quarry has been obliterated by subsequent mining activity, but it is that it was on or near the site of the Diphwys Casson Quarry. Led by Methusalem Jones, eight Cilgwyn men formed a partnership and took a lease on Gelli Farm where they established their quarry. In 1800, William Turner and William Casson, quarry managers from the Lake District, bought out the lease and expanded production. In 1819, quarrying began on the slopes of Allt-fawr near Rhiwbryfdir Farm.
This was on land owned by the Oakeley family from Tan y Bwlch. Within a decade, three separate slate quarries were operating on Allt-fawr and these amalgamated to form Oakeley Quarry which would become the largest underground slate mine in the world. Quarrying expanded in the first half of the 19th century. Significant quarries opened at Llechwedd and Votty & Bowydd, while Turner and Casson's Diphwys Casson flourished. Further afield and Wrysgan quarries were established to the south of the town, while at the head of Cwm Penmachno to the north east a series of quarries started at Rhiwbach, Cwt y Bugail and Blaen y Cwm. To the south east another cluster of quarries worked the slopes of Manod Mawr; the workforce for these quarries was taken from nearby towns and villages such as Ffestiniog and Maentwrog. Before the arrival of railways in the district, travel to the quarries was difficult and workers' houses were built near the quarries; these grew up around existing farms and along the roads between them.
An early settlement was at Rhiwbryfdir, serving the Llechwedd quarries. As early as 1801, new roads were being built to serve the quarries. By 1851, there were 3,460 people living in the new town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. During the 1860s and 1870s the slate industry went through a large boom; the quarries expanded as did the nascent town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. The town gained its first church and first school, saw considerable ribbon development along the roads. By 1881, the town's population had soared to 11,274; the boom in the slate industry was followed by a significant decline. The 1890s saw several quarries lose money for the first time, several failed including Cwmorthin and Nyth-y-Gigfran. Blaenau Ffestiniog hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1898. Although the slate industry recovered from the recession of the 1890s, it never recovered; the First World War saw many quarrymen join the Armed Forces, production fell. There was a short post-war boom, but the long-term trend was towards mass-produced tiles and cheaper slate from Spain.
Oakeley Quarry took over Cwmorthin, Votty & Bowydd and Diphwys Casson, while Llechwedd acquired Maenofferen. Despite this consolidation, the industry continued to decline; the Second World War saw a further loss of available workers. In 1946, the Ffestiniog Railway closed. In August 1945 the secluded farmhouse of Bwlch Ocyn, at Manod, which belonged to Clough Williams-Ellis, became the home, for three years, of the famous writer Arthur Koestler and his wife Mamaine. During his time at Bwlch Ocyn, Koestler would become a close friend of fellow writer George Orwell; the slate quarries continued to decline after 1950. The remaining quarries served by the Rhiwbach Tramway closed during the 1960s. Oakeley closed with the loss of many local jobs, it re-opened in 1974 on a much smaller scale and was worked until 2010. Maenofferen and Llechwedd continued to operate, but Maenofferen closed in 1998. Llechwedd is still a working quarry; as the slate industry declined, the population of Blaenau Ffestiniog has declined, to 4,875 in 2011.
At the same time the tourism industry has become the town's largest employer. The revived Ffestiniog Railway and the Llechwedd Slate Caverns are popular tourist attractions, as is the Antur Stiniog downhill mountain biking centre. Recent attractions include the Zip World Titan zip-line site, which now features the Bounce Below slate mine activity centre; the English pronunciation of Blaenau Ffestiniog suggested by the BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names is, but the first word is pronounced by locals. Located