Farquhar Street was named after Robert Townsend Farquhar (or R.T. Farquhar) the Lieutenant Governor of Penang in 1804-1805. However, the street already existed before 1804. In the early George Town map of Lieutenant Governor George Leith, Farquhar Street was known as Penang Road. It was only renamed during or after the term of R.T. Farquhar. It was R.T. Farquhar who, in an attempt to strengthen the position of the British port settlement of George Town, recommended that Malacca be abandoned. To ensure that the Dutch did not get back a strong Malacca, the Malacca fort was to be demolished. The person tasked with the demolition is another Farquhar, Major William Farquhar, who was the Resident of Malacca.
R.T. Farquhar is also remembered for constructing a four-mile long aqueduct to channel the water of the (now Penang Botanic Gardens) waterfall along Burmah Road (at that time, just a dirt road) to a reservoir where the E & O Hotel is located. From there, the water was sold to passing ships that needed to refill.
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