Captain Francis Light began advocating to the British to establish a settlement on today’s Penang Island in 1771. 15 years later, he negotiated a lease from Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah and became the island’s first superintendent. One of his first initiatives on behalf of the British East India Company was to build Fort Cornwallis. The fort’s namesake was Charles Cornwallis. He was the British army general who surrendered to George Washington in 1781 during the American Revolutionary War. The wooden foundations for Fort Cornwallis were finished in 1786. It was strengthened with brick and a moat in 1810. Although the moat is gone, this modified drawbridge is still the entrance. Inside you will be treated to colonial buildings, old British military hardware including 17 cannons and staff dressed in colonial costumes.