Chinese had spice plantations on Pearl’s Hill before the arrival of Stanmford Raffles in 1819

Pearl’s Hill was named after Lieutenant James Pearl Royal Navy owner and commander of the ship “Indiana” which brought Stamford Raffles to Singapore in 1819. Lt Pearl purchased the Hill in May 1822 from the East India Company. Later he sold it to the government after his retirement for 10,000 rupees.

On Pearl’s Hill the Chinese had their spice plantations before the arrival of Stamford Raffles in 1819. The first Pauper’s Hospital and Seamen’s Hospital were also located there. The Pauper’s Hospital later moved to Balestier Plain as tan Tock Seng Hospital before the Hospital was finally moved to its present site in Moulmein Road.

Pearl’s Hill became the Police Headquarters and later the Ministry of Interior and Defense after Singapore became a Republic in 1965. Subsequently the Ministry was separated into two Ministries – the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defense. The latter moved to Minden Road.