Some South African
Some South African
MRS. LIONEL PHILLIPS
With 36 Illustrations
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON
NEW YORK AND BOMBAY
All ripkts reserved
THIS LITTLE VOLUME TO MY
HAROLD, FRANK, AND
THESE recollections of a page in South African history
have been written as a record for my children of the
part played by their father in the Reform move-
ment in the Transvaal, as they were at the time
too young to understand or appreciate all he did
and suffered for the good cause. I have endeavoured
to explain the origin of that movement, and why,
for the moment, it failed. I venture to publish what
I have written, as I am led to believe there are many
people interested in the subject, but not sufficiently
informed as to the true course of events, who would
be glad to read the testimony of a South African.
LONDON, October 1899.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
(Reproduced from Photographs by permission of Messrs. G. W. WILSON,
Aberdeen ; GOCH, BARNETT, Johannesburg, and others.}
A TRANSVAAL "SPRUIT" Frontispiece
A SOUTH AFRICAN COACH to face page 7
ORANGE RIVER AT NORVAL'S PONT ... ,,8
JOHANNESBURG IN 1889 ,,11
WlTPOORTJE, NEAR KRUGERSDORP . ... ,,12
THE "Low VELD" IN TRANSVAAL . ,,15
A BOER "OUTSPAN" ,,18
ROSE DEEP ,,23
FERREIRA DEEP ....... ,,24
THE CROCODILE RIVER, NEAR JOHANNESBURG . 30
KAFFIRS ON THEIR WAY TO THE MINES . . ,,32
CYANIDE WORKS ON A MINE ,,43
A STAMP MILL, JOHANNESBURG .... ,,46
THE MORNING MARKET, JOHANNESBURG . ,,48
OX-WAGGON CROSSING A " DRIFT "... ,,60
A "PoNT," VAAL RIVER 61
JOHANNESBURG IN 1895 ,,63
CAPE TOWN, SHOWING TABLE BAY AND TABLE
MOUNTAIN . 83
x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
HALL, "HOHENHEIM" to face page 85
MEN ASKING FOR ARMS AT THE REFORM OFFICE . 98
A TROOP OF THE AUSTRALIAN CONTINGENT RAISED
FOR PROTECTION OF JOHANNESBURG . ,,99
BOER "COMMANDO" ,,106
PRESIDENT KRUGER LEAVING THE RAADZAAL . ,,113
COTTAGE AT SUNNYSIDE, PRETORIA, WHERE LIONEL
PHILLIPS, COLONEL RHODES, PERCY FITZ-
PATRICK, AND GEORGE FARRAR WERE KEPT . 114
MARKET BUILDINGS, PRETORIA .... 132
THE REFORM TRIAL IN MARKET HALL, PRETORIA 135
THE MARKET SQUARE, JOHANNESBURG ... 144
COMMISSIONER STREET, JOHANNESBURG ... 145
THE PRISON YARD, SHOWING CONDEMNED CELL
AND LEAN-TO 148
CHARLESTOWN, WITH MAJUBA IN THE DISTANCE . ,,153
REFORM PRISONERS AWAITING NEWS ... 156
REFORM PRISONERS TAKING EXERCISE ... ,,156
OUTSIDE THE PRISON GATE ,,158
ECKSTEIN'S OFFICES, JOHANNESBURG . . . ,,180
IN December 1895 I was with iny children at Brighton,
and had been very ill for five months. It was then
arranged that I should go to Florence for a thorough
change instead of returning to Johannesburg as I had
intended, this alteration of plan being due to the fact
that my husband Lionel, and the members of his firm
in England, had informed me that my return was useless,
as he himself intended coming to England at the end
of January. When my arrangements were made and
I was simply waiting until the holidays were over, I
saw a telegram in the Times of 27th December which
completely altered my ideas as to visiting Italy. I
telegraphed to Lionel, asking him to let me know the
exact state of affairs at Johannesburg, and received from
him the reply that it was impossible for him to define
them until after the 6th January, but that I was not to
be anxious, as there was no danger of any kind. Never-
theless as I felt that grave events were impending, and
2 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
that iny place was with him, I wrote to Mr. Wernher
and asked him to take my passage by the steamer leav-
ing for Cape Town on llth January. He replied that
he thought I was unnecessarily anxious, but that my
husband would at any rate regard me in the light of a
heroine, and advised me to take a costume de vivanditre,
as if it did not come in for the battle-field, it might
for the ball-room. In spite of that, my passage was
taken for the llth, and we prepared for departure.
I was only acting on my own fears, for it was quite
possible that nothing at all serious would take place,
and was actuated by my own knowledge and by what
I saw hi the papers, viz., that trouble had been brew-
ing for a long time, that after years of misgovernment
gradually becoming more intolerable, certain men in
Johannesburg had at last determined to give voice to
their grievances, and intended publicly to demand re-
dress from the Transvaal Government. The National
Union there had convened a public meeting for 6th
January, and had warned the Government that if on
this occasion they were refused what for the last time
they demanded in a constitutional manner, they would
have to resort to force. Knowing the temper of the
Boers, and knowing also that for the first time in its
history many members of the Uitlander community
were determined to stand together and risk everything
to get justice, I felt very nervous as to the result.
I have mentioned my long illness at Brighton, and
must now explain that I found myself without the
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 3
necessary clothes. I debated with iny maid as to where
I could get the desired articles most quickly, and decided
that in Paris I should find what I wanted.
We started via Dieppe (at night to save tune) on
New Year's Eve, she bewailing my recklessness in dar-
ing to travel during the first hours of the New Year,
prophesying in dismal tones that we should travel much
that year. And she proved right. I arrived hi Paris
more dead than alive, feeling very ill and disinclined
for the affairs of life (not to mention dressmakers), and
was still in bed when my sister-in-law came into my
room waving a French newspaper and exclaiming
" Have you seen the news ? Jameson has crossed
the Transvaal border, fought the Boers, and sur-
" Jameson ? I don't know what you are talking of.
What has Jameson to do with the Transvaal ? Non-
" Well, I only tell you what I see in the papers."
Then my horrified senses took in the awful fiasco
that had occurred, and I fell back in bed with a pain in
my back which for many a weary month since then my
doctor has known by the name of the " Jameson pain."
I realised the horror of the situation, which was for the
moment much increased in my case in that the cable
service was out of order, and neither I nor any one I
knew was able to get any news from Johannesburg. I
sent many cables to Lionel and to Mr. Beit in Cape
Town, begging for news, but most of these, as I after-
4 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
wards heard, were never received. For ten mortal days
we heard nothing. The most awful rumours filled the
air, and I pictured every horror Lionel killed, our
house in flames ; in fact, everything that imagination
could conjure up. To make matters worse, and com-
plete my perplexity and misery, I received a telegram
from Mr. Wernher, telling me that Mr. Dormer asserted
positively in London that Lionel had gone to Cape
Town. As soon as possible I returned to Brighton to
finish my preparations for departure. The wildest
assertions were printed in the newspapers at this time
that Jameson not only had crossed the frontier to
aid Johannesburg, but that he had been basely left
in the lurch by the men of that town, which was
called " Judasberg," among other names ; Jameson and
his friends, Sir John Willoughby, the Whites, and
others, being extolled as heroes, and every imaginable
virtue was attributed to them. In fact, the English
public lost all reasoning power at this juncture, as all
publics are apt to do at critical moments, and knew no
moderation in its judgments of either side. The simple
expedient of waiting until they were sure of the facts
never occurred to the great mass, and blindly believ-
ing a few partial telegrams from Pretoria and Cape
Town, they fell down and worshipped Dr. Jameson
and his partners in military glory ; they did not
even wish to know that there might be another side
to the question. Enormous excitement was caused
by the telegram sent to President Kruger by His
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 5
Imperial Majesty the German Emperor, which ran as
" I express to you my sincere congratulations that
without appealing to the help of friendly Powers you
and your people have succeeded in repelling with your
own forces the armed bands which had broken into your
country, and in maintaining the independence of your
country against foreign oppression."
But the climax was reached when the English
Government ordered out the Flying Squadron. Then
London literally went mad. People only talked and
thought of one thing, and I have been told that such
excitement had not prevailed since the days of the
Crimean war people rushing out bareheaded into the
street at all hours of the night, eager to read any scrap
of news that had come to hand. " 'Tis an ill wind that
blows nobody good," and surely the newspaper people
must have been thankful for such a windfall.
Now, to make matters clear to the reader, I must go
back a few years to explain how this state of affairs
came about how a sub-continent was plunged in
misery; how an almost unknown country like the
Transvaal could so suddenly spring into such promi-
nence; how it was possible that by the rash and
treacherous action of a few individuals a carefully-
considered plan was wrecked, and how so many lives
were lost or ruined.
WHEN the amalgamation of the diamond mines took
place in 1889, we were living in Kimberley, and Lionel
in consequence found himself without an occupation.
He was very much in doubt as to what he should
do, and hesitated between going up to Mashonaland,
regarding which a Royal Charter had been recently
granted, in connection with Mr. Rhodes, or to the
newly -discovered gold-mines of the Witwatersrand,
where Messrs. H. Eckstein & Co. had offered him a
post. As the former course would have necessitated
my return to the Colony or England with the
children, few white women having yet ventured
into that unsettled country, Lionel chose the other
alternative; and accordingly in September 1889, as
there was no railway, we started for Johannesburg by
special coach from Kimberley. We took all servants
with us, as the place being quite in its infancy, house-
keeping was more difficult and the amenities of life
scarcer than in most parts of South Africa. Coaching
in South Africa is not the easy and pleasant pastime
that it is in England. The very mention of a coach
journey recalls the memory of much fatigue brought on
by cramped positions, jolting roads, and the perpetual
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 7
knowledge of over- tired, jaded horses or mules being
thrashed and yelled at to keep them to their work.
Ordinarily a passenger coach accommodated twelve
people inside, and besides the driver and his assistant
with a long whip, six or seven outside, in addition to
luggage and the mail-bags. The more luxurious way
of travel that of hiring an entire coach was too
expensive to be indulged in by most people. Ten
horses or mules is the number generally used. The
vehicle itself is by no means uncomfortable, but the
leather springs give a peculiar rocking motion that
makes some people feel very ill, especially when one
adds to its charms an early morning start at three
o'clock, with all the curtains down to keep out the
clouds of dust, and every man smoking !
Whole histories could be written by those who have
travelled much by coach. Capsizes were numerous,
sometimes in the middle of a swollen river, and lives
were occasionally lost. A not uncommon and exciting
experience was when the coach arrived at a river too
swollen to be crossed, and the unhappy passengers had
to be hoisted across in a box. I have often sailed
above the Modder River in that inhuman fashion. A
rope would be stretched across, and a small packing-
case hung thereto, which was worked by pulleys. It
is a very curious feeling to dangle a hundred and fifty
feet up in the air, with a roaring torrent beneath, and
the knowledge that if the rope broke one would not
be left to tell the tale. On one occasion, when soaring
8 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
thus, the pulley would not work, and for a long time
I remained suspended in mid-air. But, as it chanced,
it was a broiling day, and the cool breeze up the river
proved so delightful that I did not mind the delay.
Once I saw an English lady who was so terrified at this
mode of transit that she fainted, and in this state had
to be tied into the box.
Talking of coach journeys also brings to my mind
that curious phenomenon, the mirage, which one sees so
often hi the boundless plains of the Free State and the
Karoo on hot days. Going along wearily and painfully,
with nothing to relieve the eye only the horizon on a
vast unbroken plain, one would suddenly see a beautiful
lake surrounded by trees, and so vivid would the scene
be that, in spite of past experiences, only when the spot
was reached could one realise that it was but a mirage.
Even cattle are deceived by it, and I have seen them
run towards it after a long and thirsty march as if
possessed, only to meet with bitter disappointment.
But though one remembers the unpleasant side of
these journeys, there is also a phase that leaves in-
effaceable memories, and that is the sunrises. To see
the whole limitless plain bathed in a golden glory,
changing to every shade of scarlet, and to feel the
peculiar exhilaration of the early morning air, often
made up for too little sleep, and I think that only on
the veld is one fully conscious of the peculiar sensa-
tion of being absolutely alone with Nature. Nowhere
have I ever realised to the same degree the vastness,
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 9
the stillness that is almost frightening, as in South
Africa. And this peculiar feeling is most vivid in the
autumn, when nature is more still than at other times.
" Veld fever " is a malady, a longing indescribable,
which comes over many South Africans who have lived
much on the veld, and about the month of April many
people feel it hi full force. I suppose it is the same
kind of home-sickness that the Swiss feel for their
mountains " Heimweh."
When I was a child the principal means of locomo-
tion were the Cape cart and the ox-waggon. Naturally
a whole family could not go by the former, so the more
tedious way was adopted. The coaches of course only
followed fixed routes. These long journeys have their
charm. Sometimes for days together we would not
"outspan" near a house, and had to sleep either in
the waggon or under it. On a bright starlit night
in that climate, it is no punishment to wrap oneself in
a kaross and sleep in the open. Even the melancholy
cry of the jackal is not unpleasant, if not too near.
The thunderstorms, however, are often very dangerous
and terrifying, and many people never get over their
nervous terror of the lightning and thunder, though a
grander sight it is impossible to see the whole heavens
a mass of living flame, the darkness only relieved by
the blue forked flashes ! Still, I think most people
prefer to be under more secure shelter than a waggon
when an African thunderstorm bursts. Torrents of
rain, accompanied by heavy gusts of wind, sweep the
10 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
parched earth, and in the twinkling of an eye every
little furrow becomes a miniature river. I have known
a flash of lightning to kill a whole team of oxen, the
current being doubtless conveyed by the " trek " chain ;
and the thunder succeeds it instantaneously, crackling
at first like pieces of stone in a fire, or the report of
numberless muskets, and finishing with a terrific crash
that seems to shake the very earth. It is not at all
unusual during such storms for hail suddenly to fall,
many of the stones equalling pigeons' eggs in size,
which causes the greatest havoc amongst fruit-trees and
cultivated lands, and kills many sheep.
With constant relays of horses and mules, we made
the journey very pleasantly in four days to Johannes-
burg, and settled down in the " mansion," as the news-
papers called the house that Mr. Hermann Eckstein had
built for himself. He being in Europe, we succeeded
to the mansion a bungalow built of corrugated iron,
containing four rooms, a verandah round three sides,
and a kitchen. We were delighted with the place.
Coming from arid Kimberley, where everything was
literally dried up and there was no rest for the eye,
the fact that there was a little green grass on the side
of the ridge facing our house, and that in the small
garden surrounded by a reed fence, roses and carnations
flourished, gave us infinite pleasure. Kimberley lies
in a desert where in summer the glare is intense, and
the hot wind soon shrivels up everything.
In spite of the discomforts, those were the happy
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 11
days of Johannesburg, for most of the people who first
established themselves there knew each other, and, the
place being very primitive, they were mutually depend-
ent; hence the opportunity for little acts of kindness
which formed bonds of friendship. But everything was
indeed very uncomfortable. There were not enough
hotels, and as newcomers were daily rushing in, many
and funny were their experiences. To sleep under a
billiard-table while the game was still going on was
a very common occurrence, and some friends of ours
who came up there told me they were obliged to pass
the night of their arrival in an unfinished house, with
damp walls and no roof.
Water was very scarce, and, when the rains were
at all delayed, regular famines often occurred. A lady
friend of ours staying at one of the hotels saw a tin
bath half-full of water standing outside her door, and
thinking that it was intended for her use, took posses-
sion of it. When the angry host discovered what she
had done, greatly to her dismay she learned that it
was the only water in the hotel, and was meant for
cooking; he added, "It would not have mattered so
much, only you have used soap!" Many tunes since
have people been reduced to washing in soda-water,
but in those early days that commodity was often un-
Just across the road hi front of our house was a
deep cutting, which we found had been made for a
railway, and completely spoilt the look of the town.
12 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
But the railway was not mentioned except with bated
breath, as this line was called a tram-line, and the trains
which ran on it trams. The reason for this was that
President Kruger was determined to have no train
into the country until the line from Delagoa Bay to
Pretoria (opened in 1895) was finished. By that means
neither the Cape Colony nor Natal would reap the
benefit of the Customs duties. The President wished
to force importers to bring in goods by the longer sea
route via Delagoa Bay, which is in Portuguese territory.
The line opposite our house ran between Johannesburg
and Brakpan, about fourteen miles distant, and was
used for bringing coal from the latter place. Later
on it was extended to Krugersdorp and the Springs, a
distance of about forty miles, and was on a line with
what every one was praying for, a continuation of the
railway from the Cape Colony. The need of a railway
was terribly felt, as the sudden rush of hundreds of
newcomers to a hitherto almost uninhabited country
made life very uncomfortable for every one, and the
necessaries of life were dreadfully scarce.
Although a most fertile country, market produce
was obtainable only in very small quantities, for the
few Boers living in the neighbourhood were too deeply
sunk in laziness and ignorance to realise that a fortune
lay under then- hands if only they chose to cultivate
some of the land they possessed in great tracts.
Those in immediate proximity to the gold reefs
found a much quicker way of making a fortune,
WlTPOORTJE, NEAR KRUGERSDORP.
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 13
namely, by selling parts of their farms for large sums
large to them, as they had hitherto lived in abject
poverty and as a Boer has quite as keen a sense of the
value of money as a Scotchman is said to have, it is
quite certain that they obtained full value for their
lands. They very rarely saw any money at all, as most
of their transactions were done by barter.
The Boers hi out of the way places usually do their
shopping at " Nachtmaal " (the Sacrament of the Lord's
Supper), which takes place every three months. It is
quite an event in their lonely lives. They come in from
the surrounding country in their ox- waggons, bringing
their entire families. The richer men have perhaps a
small town house which they keep for these visits, but
the majority draw up their waggons together on the
market-square or on the outside of the town. They
utilise this occasion for their marriages and baptisms
also, and these are almost the only social events of the
year. A propos of shopping, they generally go to one
of the large Boer stores in the town or village where
they can satisfy all their requirements, and run up long
accounts lasting over some years. They are not nice
in their perceptions of honesty. I remember a store-
keeper telling me that at Nachtmaal he always had
a large extra staff simply to watch what the customers
pocketed, the items being added to the account, without
remarks being made on either side. He also told me
that a store-keeper of his acquaintance had lost his
whole Boer connection for ever because he was not
14 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
so wise in his generation, but prosecuted one of these
I remember going occasionally in those early days
to a farm a few miles out of Johannesburg, on the Riet
River, the house and garden most beautifully situated
in a niche among the hills. Lionel's firm had bought
some of the farmer's ground lying on the river. This
homestead was very typical of the dwellings of the more
ignorant class of Boer, who form the majority of the
inhabitants of the Transvaal. The house consisted of
the voorkamer or hall, from which the kitchen and bed-
rooms, few in number, led. The walls were white-
washed, and the floors smeared with liquid cow-dung.
The furniture consisted of a large table hi the middle of
the room, and rude benches and chairs, with the seats
made of riem (hide) instead of cane, ranged round the
walls. The family comprised the farmer and his wife,
several married sons and daughters and their numerous
progeny, all in the most hopeless state of dirt and sto-
lidity. On entering the visitor would shake hands with
every one in turn down to the smallest child, and amidst
a chilling silence and solemnity, ask them their news,
which would be given in the fewest possible words.
These interviews are usually of a terrifying character,
and either entirely subdue one or produce a wild de-
sire to laugh, which if indulged would be fatal, as one
would never be forgiven. The Boers, living as they do
such solitary lives, have a morbid fear of ridicule, and as
those of this particular class speak no English, they are
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 15
rery suspicious of any one talking that language, and
are prone to think they are being criticised.
The people whom I have in mind told me that they
had come to the Transvaal in the great "trek" forty
years before, that they had settled there, and dug the
garden with spades until only the handles were left.
The whole family had to dress in the skins of wild
animals shot by the men, as in those days no shops
existed within hundreds of miles, and even the wander-
ing "Smouse" had not penetrated so far. Needless
to say, having once planted the garden, made the wall
of rough stones without mortar round it, built the
house of unburnt brick, and made the kraal (also of
stones), there was nothing more to be done for the
rest of their lives except to sit smoking the pipe of
peace and drinking bad coffee. Their fathers had done
the same: why should they try to improve on their
methods ? And this in a land blessed by nature
with a magnificent climate, fertile soil, and almost
every natural advantage, which even without its extra-
ordinary mineral wealth is one of the finest countries
To turn from this prospect to the many countries
over-populated with men and women eager to work,
but with no scope whatever, naturally gives rise to
the question : Is it right or proper that a very small
section of people should take possession of such a Ian d
and in their selfish conservatism rigorously exclude,
the toiling crowd? The Boer's ideal of never seeing
16 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
his neighbour's smoke is an Arcadian one, but in
the natural order of things impossible of realisation.
The contemplation of this handful of people, with
their stolidity and laziness, trying to stem the inrushing
tide of civilisation is pathetic as it is hopeless.
When one hears of people in England and elsewhere
talking of the way in which the newcomers dispossessed
the farmers of their land, and knows the reality of their
sordid selfish existence, which, making no advance hi
thought of any kind, of necessity becomes retrograde,
one wishes they could be transported for a few days
to one of these many filthy hovels to see for them-
I wish it to be particularly understood that the
Boers received substantial sums from the newcomers
for everything they sold to them, and the assertion,
often made abroad, that it was all very fine, but the
strangers had gone there, deceived the innocent Boers,
and taken their land from them for almost nothing, is
The older generation of Boers, those who came to
the Transvaal in the great " trek " of 1835, are of much
sterner stuff than those of to-day, and very interesting
as a class that is fast dying out. The hard life they
led, the struggles for existence, the constant warring
with nature and wild animals and Kaffirs, brought out
their many sterling good qualities courage, faith in
God, and marvellous endurance. But having once
gained their object, which was to found a home away
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 17
from all outside influences, these old voortrekkers re-
lapsed into their lazy habits, and their descendants,
not having the same incentives, lack many of their fine
qualities. Doubtless these are latent, and circumstances
might develop them, but the ordinary Transvaal Boer
of to-day is not an attractive personality.
VERY soon after our arrival in Johannesburg occurred
" the Famine," to which unpleasant event we owe the
railway. The winter months in that part of the world
are absolutely dry ; no rain falls from the beginning of
June until some time in October, and the veld conse-
quently does not support many cattle. As everything,
from the necessities of daily life, like flour to make
bread, down to machinery, had to be brought to Johan-
nesburg by ox-waggon, the rains were a very important
consideration. That year they were unusually late, and
as the daily-increasing population put an unusual strain
on the transport drivers, the most ordinary necessaries
were at a premium. Candles were quite unobtainable,
and we burnt one lamp for fear it should soon be im-
possible to buy paraffin. I remember going to every
shop in the place for white cotton in vain. Sugar rose
to 4s. 6d. per pound. Every one thought they would
prepare for the worst, and bought something in case of
emergencies. I paid o for a bag of meal, the ordinary
price being 25s. One lady in Cape Town sent her son by
post a packet of sandwiches, saying she would do so
every day while the famine lasted, not remembering
that after nearly a week's journey they might not be
A BOER " OUTSPAN."
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 19
palatable even to a starving man. Fortunately, this
state of things did not last long, as a bountiful Provi-
dence sent us rain, and very soon the much-needed
provisions were to be had in plenty. But it was a lesson
to be remembered, and people became more determined
than ever to dissuade the President from his decision
against the continuation of the railway, both from the
Colony and the Natal border. Consequently, he
listened to the petitions from all portions of the com-
munity, and condescended to come to Johannesburg
to hear the demands of the people, he being on tour
at the time.
Paul Kruger is so well known from the many por-
traits and caricatures that have appeared in recent years,
as well as descriptions of him, that one from me seems
superfluous. His clumsy features and small cunning
eyes, set high in his face, with great puffy rings beneath
them, his lank straight locks, worn longer than is usual,
the fringe of beard framing his face, even his greasy
frock coat and antiquated tall hat have been portrayed
times without number. He is a man of quite 75 years
of age now, and his big massive frame is much bent,
but in his youth he possessed enormous strength, and
many extraordinary feats are told of him. Once seen
he is not easily forgotten. He has a certain natural
dignity of bearing, and I think his character is clearly
to be read on his face strength of will and cunning,
with the dulness of expression one sees in peasants'
faces. "Manners none, and customs beastly" might
20 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
have been a life-like description of Kruger. The habit
of constantly expectorating, which so many Boers have,
he has never lost. He is quite ignorant of conversation,
in the ordinary acceptation of the word ; he is an auto-
crat in all his ways, and has a habit of almost throwing
short jerky sentences at you, generally allegorical in
form, or partaking largely of Scriptural quotations or
misquotations quite as often. Like most of the Boers,
the Bible is his only literature that book he certainly
studies a good deal, and his religion is a very large part
of his being, but somehow he misses the true spirit of
Christianity hi that he leaves out the rudimentary
qualities of Charity and Truth. As most of these
people learn very imperfectly, they naturally do not
always master the sense of what they read, but they
nevertheless love to read aloud in sonorous and long
drawn-out tones the parts of the Old Testament the
Kings and Chronicles for example and dwell on the
names of the old prophets and kings, pronouncing them
in a way that is enough to make those hapless ones
turn in their graves ! The Transvaal Boers are fully
persuaded that they are the chosen people of God, that
their country is the Promised Land, and are constantly
finding points of resemblance between themselves and
the Israelites of old.
The Dopper persuasion, of which Kruger is a
member, is not that to which the great mass of the
Dutch population subscribes, but more resembles the
Quakers, and to that sect as a rule only the very poor
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 21
and ignorant class of Boer belongs. The Doppers are
much more primitive in their way of life, and it is no
uncommon thing for all the members of a family,
representing three generations, to sleep in one room,
and their uncleanness of body is only equalled by their
Thousands of people assembled at the Wanderers'
Hall, and the President was to address them from the
platform. I, among many others, was there, and the
ludicrous affair is well graven on my memory. As it
has since become historical, and much capital has been
made of it, and as it is typical of all President Kruger's
actions and his attitude to the people of Johannesburg,
I relate it. I happened to have a seat just behind him.
He advanced to the platform, surrounded by some
officials and all the prominent men of the town. Just
as he was beginning to speak in his ponderous manner,
some youths in the crowd below began to sing " Rule
Britannia." He glared stolidly into space for a moment,
then roared out, as if speaking to a naughty child, " Blij
stil." (Be quiet !) A burst of laughter was the natural
response, as the ordinary untutored mind is not
accustomed to the paternal methods he employs with
his own people. Without a single word he turned his
back, walked off, and all the protestations of the serious
part of his audience were unavailing. He drove off to
the Landdrost's house in Government Square, not having
been five minutes in face of the thousands who were
anxiously awaiting his decision on a vital question, thus
22 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
ending one of the most childish exhibitions ever vouch-
safed to a suffering community. That night the Trans-
vaal flag flying over the Landdrost's house was pulled
down, and two wretched men were caught, put into
prison, and finally released six months after without
ever having been tried. People said that they were not
the offenders, which is quite possible, the town not being
lighted. Certainly the police, usually conspicuous by
their absence, were quite capable of anything, and even
in those early days were notorious for their want of
common honesty. However, this incident, always
spoken of as " The Flag Incident," has been used by
President Kruger as one of the main reasons for refus-
ing the franchise to the Uitlanders, and he has given it
over and over again. To those who were there at the
time, and who saw the insignificance of the whole affair,
it shed a strong light on his real character and his feel-
ings towards the place, and everything he has done
since has been equally unreasoning and blindly antago-
nistic towards a people to whom his country owes its
prosperity, and from whom he has exacted an enormous
and ever-increasing revenue, without allowing them any
voice in its expenditure. The oft-quoted rhyme of
" In matters of commerce the fault of the Dutch
Is giving too little and asking too much,"
There is one aspect of the question which does not
often strike people comfortably at home in England,
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 23
and that is the risks these newcomers took upon them-
selves, and the courage so often shown by pioneers. At
this day (1899), when the Witwatersrand mines have
been proved to be the richest ever known, one is apt to
forget that in the year 1889 all that was still unproved.
The few courageous men who then invested compara-
tively small amounts, though in many cases they risked
their all, in what are now fully-developed mines, deserve
much for their pluck. I well remember the dismal
tales in those early days of the mines giving out, and
now that the deep levels are a fully-established success
it is difficult to remember the heart-burnings and
doubts and fears expressed by many as to their future.
One may say now, " Oh yes, the greatest mining engi-
neers gave their opinion as to the mines being quite
positively rich," but equally great mining engineers
held an adverse view, and obviously engineers of repute
hesitated to predict as to the future in regard to a gold-
bearing formation which was quite unique. Even such
men as these have been at fault, and it is a recognised
fact that however bold one may be in investing one's
own money, it is quite another matter when one has
to deal with exigent and never-satisfied shareholders.
Thus I say all honour to the plucky men of the early
days, and may no one begrudge them their hard-earned
When we first went to Johannesburg the mining
industry was still in its infancy, many of the managers
being men who had simply taken to it through being
24 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
on the spot, and there were few who had any technical
education. Consequently much of the work was done
in a slipshod, unpractical, and extravagant manner, as
the training of a mine manager is a slow process, requir-
ing much energy, technical knowledge, and knowledge
of one's fellow-men. Owing to the want of a rail-
way, the necessary mining machinery was not forth-
coming, and there was much to contend with. Many
evenings do I remember Lionel corning home utterly
worn out and discouraged by the innumerable instances
of bad management and the hopeless material with
which he had to deal. The organisation of the work
was a very lengthy and often a very disheartening task ;
and in addition to the many natural difficulties, there
was the continual opposition of the Government to
everything conducive to the good of the place or its
advancement, and its varied devices to hamper the
work already in progress. Many and many were the
journeys by Cape cart that Lionel and his partners took
to Pretoria hi order to try and soften the obdurate heart
of the President and induce him to listen to reason.
But of no avail. He never did listen to reason ; that is
to say, he listened, and apparently acquiesced, and made
many promises, but as a matter of fact his whole policy
was directed to trammelling the gold industry, and by
this means restricting the foreign population. Here is
a striking example of his ignorant policy : When asked
to throw open town lands of Pretoria to prospectors, he
urged the Raad not to do so, as another Witwatersrand
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 25
might be discovered, and then where would they find
the police to manage the people ? He never listened to
the men who were honest, and of whom he might have
made good friends. No. The men to whom he listened
were of quite another type, and, unfortunately, they
were the people who have always had his ear, and who
worked upon his suspicious peasant nature with their
To be able to speak his language is a great lever
with a Boer, still more to speak it in just the particular
manner he affects a kind of familiar tone, with a
suspicion of deference in it. The wily Hollander and
German have long ago found this out, but unfortunately
the Englishman will not take the trouble to study
sufficiently the peculiarities of the people among whom
he goes; he always expects the other person to do as
he does. The Boer is always on the lookout for ridi-
cule ; that is a crime he never forgives, for he is utterly
lacking in the sense of humour, and his ignorance of
English makes him very suspicious. Amongst them-
selves the Boers indulge in a coarse kind of horseplay,
but a more refined sense of the ridiculous is quite
When I forget in what year some 5000 sovereigns
and half-sovereigns were struck (every one had always
used English money in the Transvaal), they were imme-
diately withdrawn from circulation, for two reasons. On
the one side the ox-waggon had been wrongly repre-
sented with shafts instead of a " disselboom " or pole,
26 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
and on the other side were the mystic initials " O. S."
the name of the designer. The word " os " is the
Dutch for "ox," and nothing would persuade Kruger
that it was not meant as a personal reflection on
This is the secret of much of the extreme dislike
with which the English are regarded by the Boers in
South Africa. They come out there, and instead of
studying the idiosyncrasies of the Africander, they
assirme a condescending and arrogant attitude towards
the people of the land, and expect them to act and
behave as if they were English. But as they are not
English, they naturally do not come up to the stranger's
expectations, and are consequently relegated into outer
darkness. This characteristic varies in intensity, of
course, according to the education and breeding of the
newcomer. Unfortunately, however, the hatred and
detestation felt towards the English by the Boers of
the Transvaal and out-of-the-way districts of the Cape
Colony is very real, and is hi a great measure due to
the thoughtless way in which the former behave, especi-
ally in the face of the poor opinion in which they are
generally held by the Boers. Living very solitary lives,
without literature of any kind, every person with
whom they come in contact makes a deep impression
upon them, and those who lead a busier and more
varied existence are often unable to fathom the sus-
picious pride of these people. Extremely independent
and really hospitable in the truest sense of the word, I
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 27
have known many instances where these qualities have
been ruthlessly trampled on through mere heedlessness.
Hospitality is ingrained in the nature of the people
they will share with you what they have, and it is
only during late years that they will accept payment.
On the lonely roads of South Africa travellers are often
dependent for food and shelter on the dwellers in the
few and scattered farms, and as a rule they are not
disappointed in at least a hearty welcome; and any
inconvenience you may put them to is looked on as
a matter of course. If they have not a spare bed or
kaross to offer, they will even go so far as to share
theirs with you ; not always to your gratification. The
experience of the English bishop, travelling in an out-
of-the-way up-country district, who was awakened in
the night by the peaceful snores of his fat host and
hostess, with whom he was sharing their bed, has often
been repeated, with variations.
The Boer is a highly intelligent person. I do not
think there is any class of person to be found hi the
world who more readily shows the advantages of educa-
tion. He differs widely from the ordinary peasant of
Europe in that he has always been independent, and has
no feudal traditions whatever. Having had to contend
with the forces of nature and to fight savages and wild
beasts for many generations, he has always had to
exercise his wits, and, moreover, his powers of observa-
tion have been developed and strengthened by the life
he has led. When he inhabits a town he is no longer
28 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
called a Boer (which is the Dutch for " farmer "), but an
Africander of Dutch, German, or English extraction.
The early days of Johannesburg were the happy
ones. As a rule the first immigrants were of a much
more respectable class than many who have followed,
and the majority were people from various parts of
South Africa, more especially from other mining centres,
anxious to try their luck in a new form of mining ; men
who brought their experience with them, who already
knew that rich nuggets were not to be picked up at
every turn, and who realised that to make a living hard
work would be necessary. Consequently, they expected
to make the place their home for some years to come,
and Johannesburg did not remain so long as Kimberley
in the tent or the iron-shanty stage. Very soon people
built more settled habitations of brick with the inevit-
able iron roof, and made gardens and planted trees.
The mention of trees brings to my mind an interest-
ing fact. The Witwatersrand is situated on what is
known as the High Veld, and was formerly only in-
habited during the summer by nomadic Boers, who
trekked with their sheep and cattle to the Bush Veld
before the inclement winter season. So there existed no
settled homesteads, and the country was absolutely tree-
less. The newcomers very soon began tree-planting, and
found that, unlike Kimberley, the soil and climate of
this hitherto treeless tract of country was admirably
adapted to their growth, which is more rapid than in
any other part of the world. So every one who had a
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 29
piece of ground immediately planted it, generally with
some variety of Eucalyptus or Pine. Lionel's firm was
interested in a farm situated about two miles out of
town, called Braamfontein, a considerable portion of
which they planted. Long before we left Johannes-
burg what had been veld, covered with tall grass, small
bushes, and ant-heaps, and over which I had enjoyed
many a pleasant canter in the early days, had become
quite a pleasant, shady plantation, with numberless
alleys in which to ride and drive.
That part of the country had been singularly devoid
of animal life, and it was very curious to note how as
the trees grew, hares and various other small animals,
and even a few buck, were attracted to the district. I
noticed many kinds of birds too, which were especially
numerous in the Braamfontein forest, their gay notes
making a very pleasant break in the curious silence
that was so apparent at one time on the veld.
It is very strange to think that forty years ago
this locality, which now struck every one as being so
particularly lifeless, was swarming with every variety
of game elephant, rhinoceros, lion, all sorts of ante-
An old Boer woman, who lived on the Klip River
not many miles from Johannesburg, told me that when
they first went there the " Wild " (wild animals) were
so numerous that they used to prowl round the house
and come up to the very door, and that the river in
front of the house was full of hippopotami.
30 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
An old Boer also related how once as they were
trekking in an ox-waggon along the Crocodile River
about twenty miles from where Johannesburg now
stands, a rhinoceros charged the waggon, and his horn
penetrating the sail, pierced the thigh of a woman of
the party. He added that she recovered, much to
every one's surprise.
JOHANNESBURG was a most wonderful place. When
it had been in existence only a very few years it pre-
sented quite a considerable appearance, and had a settled
aspect different from that of any other mining camp
either in South Africa or America. It was different
also in that many people began to look on it as their
established home, until the fatal day arrived when it
was borne in upon their minds that this could never be
under the existing laws or while they were described as
Uitlanders, whether of South African or European birth,
and treated as outcasts by the Transvaal Government.
Naturally there were a certain number of people who
openly said their only aim was to make money, and that
when they had enough they intended to go and spend
it in countries where the comforts of life were greater
and where a fuller intellectual life was possible ; but this
class of person, be it well understood, did not save and
hoard while living there. There were many who felt
a sense of duty towards the place, and who while living
in it earnestly did all in their power to better it.
Very large sums of money were spent by individuals to
further the cause of education, and in charity of all
kinds. In the establishment of philanthropic institu-
32 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
tions small fortunes were disbursed. As the place grew
and the population increased, both from within and
without, naturally the wants of the inhabitants in-
creased, as well as the necessity for laws suited to a
larger community. The laws as they stood were not
bad, but they were inefficiently applied.
The influx brought with it the scum of some of the
large European towns, an element hitherto unknown in
South Africa, and with whose undesirable habits and
customs existing statutes were unable to cope. Unfor-
tunately, a Transvaal Boer cannot distinguish between
different classes of men ; so long as they are white to
him they are all the same, except perhaps that he would
give the preference to those who did not speak English.
One of the most disastrous consequences of this
inroad of the lowest class is the utter demoralisation
of the Kaffirs, thousands of whom work in the mines,
coming immense distances for that purpose. These are
the despicable creatures who sell poison to the unfor-
tunate native ; they call it by various names, but in
reality it is raw potato spirit rendered still more terrible
by the addition of tobacco juice and other noxious in-
gredients. Even when we first went to Johannesburg,
I noticed how very different was the attitude of the
Kaffir towards the white person, especially the white
woman, from that to which I had been accustomed in
other mining centres.
To the Africander mind there is such a gulf between
black and white that the Kaffir, whatever his private
KAFFIRS ON THKIR WAY TO THE MIXES.
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 33
opinion may be, naturally keeps his distance, and the
white person is treated with respect, or the semblance
of it. Nowhere else, so far as I know, would a lady
passing a group of Kaffirs be subjected to insolent
looks and personal remarks. The Kaffir in his natural
state is a happy-go-lucky, rather childish, person, and
such a feeling as fear would never enter the ordinary
Colonial woman's mind when among them ; but in
Johannesburg it has always been very different. To
go on to one of the mines is a most unpleasant experi-
ence for a white woman, as she is openly stared at,
criticised, and most objectionable remarks passed on
her person, by Kaffirs who look in many instances
more like demons than men, or the smiling, cheery
creatures one had always been accustomed to see.
This was one of my earliest impressions, and asking
one day why there was that marked difference between
the Kaffirs of the Rand and elsewhere, I was told that
it was because the liquor laws were so badly adminis-
tered ; their provisions are good, but the police are most
inadequate and corrupt, and allow the illicit traffic in
liquor to be carried on under their eyes, it is even said
to their profit.
This state of affairs constitutes one of the most
crying evils of the Rand, because in its train so many
In South Africa, of course, people realise a little
what the Kaffir problem is, and what it is likely
to become, but it is almost impossible for those who
34 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
have never been in the country to understand it. With
this difficult question looming in the future, there is,
however, all the more reason that the less difficult one
of the Dutch in South Africa should be once and for
ever settled that is to say, if England wishes to retain
her supremacy there ; and that supremacy is necessary
for the retention of her interests in the far East.
The value of the Cape as a calling station to India
has been a little lost sight of in England since the
construction of the Suez Canal ; but in the event of a
war with Russia or any other European Power, were
the Suez Canal blocked, the Cape would at once
reassume its former importance.
And only to hold the Cape peninsula itself, which
is all that is considered necessary by a very prominent
politician in England, might fall short of the ideas
of Englishmen, who consider that one of her claims
to greatness consists in her colonial possessions. The
"tight little island," with her overflowing population,
would not fill quite so large a role in this world had
she not her colonial outlets.
As a matter of fact, in South Africa England has
always played rather a poor part, and the patience
of the white population under misgovermnent is in
a great measure due to division amongst themselves.
An Englishman will abuse his own Government as
much as he likes, but let a foreigner dare ! I am
convinced this is the reason why the English in
South Africa are amongst the most loyal of all
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 35
her Majesty's subjects; and by English I do not only
mean English-born men and women, for in the Cape
a great many who are not purely English call them-
selves so, from the fact that they speak the common
tongue. Indeed, it is the language of all educated people
there, Dutch being mainly spoken by the dwellers on
farms and in out-of-the-way places and by servants.
One hardly finds a colonial family of which the parents
are of the same extraction.
The Boer, like most people, admires pluck and
manliness, and those qualities he denies to the average
Englishman. He has never read history, and only
judges by what comes under his eyes. His experience
of the English in battle is a sad one for the latter.
The surrender in 1881 after defeat in their own terri-
tory, and the exhibition by Dr. Jameson at Doornkop,
have confirmed his opinion. Since the year 1848, when
Sir Harry Smith defeated the Boers at the battle of
Boomplaats, from one cause or another, the English have
invariably been worsted in every engagement. Even in
their encounters with the Kaffirs, victory has generally
been unnecessarily dearly bought. Naturally the Boers
do not analyse the cause : they only remember the result.
Being, as I said before, of a proud and independent
spirit, it galls them to be under a people to whom they
deny the quality of courage. Therefore the only solu-
tion of the South African problem is to establish the
reality of what at present in their eyes is only nominal,
and that is the supremacy of England.
36 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
The Boer is a fatalist, in every sense of the word
quite as much so as any Mohammedan and if he
is beaten, says, " It is God's will." He does not con-
sider it any use to combat further. When the English
were defeated at Majuba, the Boers on the whole
took their victory in a religious and modest spirit.
A schoolfellow of mine, whose father is a Dutch Re-
formed minister, and who went on a preaching mission
through the Transvaal just after the war, told me
at the time that they were not at all puffed up
about their victory. They all said, " It was God's will
that we should win. He is our General" I must
say that since that time (1881) some of this modesty
has disappeared, and they have come to think that
perhaps they had a little more to do with their victory
than they did at the moment. It is well known that
the Boer method of warfare is a guerilla one. While
he can sit behind a stone and "pot" men he is in-
defatigable, but the slightest reverse completely cowes
him. It is generally allowed throughout South Africa
that if once the English met the Boers on equal terms in
pitched battle on a plain, as at Boomplaats, and proved
themselves no such unworthy foes, it would do more
to restore English prestige than all the despatches of
years. The courage of the Boer is much impugned by
some. Personally, I think the average Boer is much
like the average free man of any other nation ; but in
a losing contest he gives in much sooner than another,
not to my mind for want of courage, but on account
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 37
of the inherent fatalism to which I have alluded. It
must also be remembered that in a fight the loss of a
man means much more to them than to any ordinary
force of paid soldiers. They are all known personally
to each other, and are frequently related, counting back
as they do for many generations, and hence each man
killed often means a double loss to his fellows.
The one great necessity for England in South Africa
is to show that she is the paramount power in more
than name. Many thoughtful South Africans con-
sider that once the English prove their supremacy,
the question will be solved. No one would feel
more respect for his conqueror, or be a better and
stauncher friend after defeat in fair fight than the
Boer. Those who have really studied the question
and know the country are well aware that the race war
about which so much nonsense is talked, is merely a
pretext a fine bogey with which to frighten the
It is the Little Englander in England and the
ambitious Bondsman at the Cape, anxious to gain glory
for himself, regardless of the fact that the country is
not fit to stand alone, who have invented the idea.
England's great safeguard in South Africa is that when
it comes to a question of black versus white, in the face
of a common danger there would be no subdivisions of
Dutch and English. But from his point of view the
Boer is right. How can he submit to be under a nation
he despises ? And during the last three years that feel-
38 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
ing has been shared by many besides the Boer. The
peculiar English characteristic of looking at the other
side of the question to the neglect of his own is amply
shown in the way they regard the treatment of English
subjects in the South African Republic. When discussing
the question the average Briton will begin with extol-
ling the numerous virtues of President Kruger and the
Boers, oblivious of the fact that in denying to his own
countrymen some of the same good qualities he is
damning himself. Why do English people think that
the moment their fellow-countrymen go abroad they
should become monsters of iniquity ? I believe the
quality arises from an exaggerated sense of justice in
the nature of an Englishman, but in times of stress it
is apt to become so exaggerated that all justice is left
out of the question.
Mr. Gladstone, of course, is always blamed (and
justly) for the absolute loss of English prestige in
South Africa, but how many of his fellow-countrymen
resemble him in the possession of the Nonconformist
conscience? When, to salve that delicate organ, he
gave up the Transvaal after Majuba, and ruined
hundreds of innocent British families, not to mention
the other innumerable ills that resulted, it was a
pity he did not remember that " charity begins at
home." But when that event occurred, excepting those
immediately concerned, how many people realised all
the disgrace ? I remember when I first came to
England many years ago talking to people who, I verily
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 39
believe, laboured under the delusion that the English
had won a glorious victory at Majuba. And at what a
cost to South Africa are the English at last beginning
to comprehend that there is another side to the ques-
tion than that raised by Kruger, and that their suffer-
ing fellow-countrymen also have a right to be heard ?
So much has been said of the Uitlanders' grievances
that at last the very phrase destroys belief in their
reality, but that they are very substantial has been
borne out by independent witnesses over and over
again. One of the characteristics of the people of
Johannesburg that always struck me as remarkable was
their extraordinary patience. The cause of this, no
doubt, was the fact that most of the men were married,
with families, which naturally made them chary of
running risks. It should also be borne in mind that the
great majority of the leading men were the so-called
capitalists, which, as Lionel once aptly remarked, " was
not a criminal offence," and that meant the interests
of thousands of shareholders to safeguard no trifling
responsibility, which he has since learned to his cost.
THE great curse of the Transvaal has been the
pernicious influence of the Hollanders in the begin-
ning, and certain Germans later. The two names that
head the list of the internal influences are Leyds and
Lippert. Kruger, had he had the good fortune to be
advised by ordinarily honest men, who had the real
interest of the country at heart, would never have
found himself in his present entanglements. But un-
luckily both for the Transvaal and the neighbouring
colonies, he was a splendid receptacle for the insidious
and poisonous advice of these unscrupulous men. His
ear was ready to listen to anything that could foster his
suspiciousness of any English-speaking person. Kruger
is a man who is quite illiterate, and though like many
Boers he may understand English, he will not acknow-
ledge it, and he certainly cannot speak it. It is easy,
therefore, to understand that any one speaking Dutch
at once has advantage over those who have to depend
upon an interpreter. Kruger once made desperate
attempts to learn English ; it was on the occasion of his
first voyage to England in 1878, I believe. A friend
who was on the steamer told me he used to sit for
hours poring over a Bible, one of the editions printed
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 41
in Dutch and English, the one language divided from
the other by a line drawn down the middle of the page.
As, of course, the business of the Government re-
quired men who could at least read and write, and as
Dutch is the official language of the country, Kruger,
following the example of the Orange Free State, im-
ported Hollanders to do the work. I must, however,
mention that in the Free State they have had for many
years such an enlightened system of education that
they are now able to employ their own countrymen to
do the work of the Government. In the Free State
the President has always been an educated man able
to judge of events for himself, and many of the highest
officials come from the Cape Colony as well as from
their own Free State. But unhappily, in Pretoria,
with very few exceptions, the Hollander is all-powerful.
Now, the average Hollander who comes to South Africa
dislikes the English, but for the Boer he has a most
wholesome contempt in addition; he is careful to tell
you that he does not understand their Dutch, and often
leaves you to infer of what little account he considers
them. However, the two languages are enough akin
for him very soon to acquire sufficient to keep alive all
the requisite dislike to the English. The Hollanders
are well aware that the further the two are kept apart
the better it is for their own purposes, which are to
make as much money as they can while in the country,
to keep in then* hands the most lucrative posts, irre-
spective of the mischief they do, and then retire com-
42 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
fortably to Europe. These men are ideal mercenaries,
and the pretended patriotism and friendship for the
Boer is a well-known sham. And many of them have
begun to realise this, but do not know the remedy.
A Boer of the better class put the matter in a nutshell
to me one day. Talking on the subject I said to him,
" You abuse the Hollanders and blame them for much
of your troubles, and still you employ them in the
Government. Why does not President Kruger employ
his own fellow-countrymen men with education from
the Cape Colony, who understand the country and the
people, instead of these imported Hollanders ? " And
he replied, "The fact is, if it came to a tussle with
England, Kruger would not trust the Africander, and
he knows he can always rely on the hate of the
One of the earliest abuses from which the people
of Johannesburg had to suffer was the granting of
concessions. These same wily persons of whom I have
just been writing, instilled into the old President's mind
the idea that the gold-mines would very soon give out,
and then all the revenue of the country would be gone,
but if he established manufactories a more stable and
lasting revenue would be the result. And there is
great sense hi the idea, but industries can only be
established with success where the conditions and pro-
ducts of the land favour such enterprises. To render
the population independent of the mines and to keep
them distributed over the country is sound policy, but
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 43
that was by no means the idea of these pernicious
advisers. By their method of working the matter, they
have amply shown that their only object was to bene-
fit concessionaires at the expense of the wretched
Uitlander. Once they had thoroughly imbued the
President's mind with the idea they were safe, as
nothing has ever been able to shake this conviction.
How little he really understood the matter the following
true tale will prove. Certain persons applied for a con-
cession for the manufacture of cyanide of potassium.
I must explain that this substance is a solvent of gold,
and is therefore largely used, but to manufacture it in
the Transvaal would have necessitated a greater expense
than importing it. A well-known gentleman tried to
represent this to Kruger, who replied, " Oh yes ; but
the gold will be finished some day, and then I shall still
have my factory," not being at all aware that when the
gold was finished there would be no use for cyanide of
His Hollander and German friends accordingly per-
suaded the President that by granting concessions to
various people he was really serving his country. One
of the first, and the greatest scandal of all the con-
cessions, was the one made to Lippert to manufacture
dynamite, which is so largely used in mines. I shall not
go into that pitiful story ; it is too well known. Suffice
it to say, that the concessionaire amassed a huge fortune
entirely out of the pockets of the Uitlanders, and when
the political horizon began to look a little black, he who
44 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
has done more probably than any other man to injure
the country, betook himself to his native land, Germany.
The other great influence working on the President for
evil was Dr. Leyds, who had political ambitions, which
by now he also has no doubt attained in his native land,
Holland. Both these patriots, be it understood, have
always been far over the seas when danger threatened
their beloved adopted country. Dr. Leyds was one of the
imported Hollanders, who rose to the position of State
Secretary in the Transvaal. Extremely clever and subtle,
these two men acting in concert moulded the poor,
ignorant, obstinate old Boer to their own way of think-
ing, so that to-day, when he is too old to learn wisdom,
it is a pitiable sight to see him struggling in his blind
and misguided way against the inevitable.
Since the reaction of opinion set in, people in Eng-
land have often said to me, " But I suppose the Boers are
monsters, and Kruger the worst monster of all." These
very same people, not three years ago, said, "But of
course Kruger is a Christian saint, and his people are
very good and religious." Neither of these portraits
is true. Kruger is not a monster, but he is also not a
saint nor a Christian in my acceptation of the term.
Nor is he the great man he is taken to be. He is a
strong man with a strong personality, but has strict
limitations. His point of view is quite different to an
Englishman's, and his actions in consequence are differ-
ent. For instance, he possesses one very characteristic
Boer trait, which in Europe is (or I should say was, as
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 45
everything lias changed so) generally regarded as the
height of genius, I mean the faculty of sitting still and
letting things take their course. There are times when
inaction has been described as "masterly." With the
Boer it is habitual through constitutional indolence of
mind and body. He does not live in the midst of
railways and telegraphs. The ox-waggon is his ordi-
nary method of locomotion, and just as slowly does his
mind work hi comparison with the European's. Nor
can he read the newspapers except through an inter-
preter ; hence he has not the usual outside influence of
civilisation to keep his mind active. When in 1895 and
at the beginning of 1896 he simply sat tight and let the
world in general make mistakes all round him, Kruger
was regarded as a great statesman. He was nothing of
the kind. His mind could not keep pace with events,
but luckily for him Fate played into his hands through
the folly and mistakes of some people, and his greatest
friend was the English public, who, as usual, only saw
the other side of the question until too late.
When Mr. Hermann Eckstein left Johannesburg,
Lionel was made President of the Chamber of Mines
in his place. This institution was formed by the large
firms in Johannesburg to supervise the general working
of the mines and to guard their interests, and has done
more to further the industry than any government
rules and regulations ; in fact, its history has been one
long contention with the powers at Pretoria to obtain
the merest justice. The history of all the shameful
46 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
over-taxation and corruption has been written else-
where, and this is obvious to any one who pays heed
to statistics. It is easy to understand that, to a con-
scientious man, such a position presented many diffi-
culties. I can only say that it is one which became
more and more onerous as time went on, and the mines
increased and the population with them. There arose
the absurd anomaly that men representing millions of
pounds and contributing nine-tenths of the taxes, who
had given many proofs of friendship to their adopted
country, had no voice in its government, not so much
even as an uneducated peasant who could neither read
nor write, and who exercised no influence on the
country except a retrograde one. Kruger's great fear
was that every one wanted to take his country from
him, especially England, and this has been the key-
note of all his actions.
In the early days of Johannesburg there was not, of
course, the strong political feeling that came with time
and growing misgovernment. The daily business of life
took up quite enough of men's thoughts. They were
there mainly for the purpose of making a living
possibly a fortune and did not trouble themselves
about political rights. I know that many of the first
settlers, and they represent some of the best men of
the place, did honestly strive in every way in their
power to make friends with the Boers, and for a good
many years themselves did for the place what they
could not get the Government to do. Enormous
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 47
sums were spent in private taxation, simply because
some one had to do something, aud the Government
I believe that, if in the early days they could have
foreseen even in a slight degree to what enormous
proportions the mining industry would grow, the
leading mining men would have acted more firmly
and formulated their demands sooner, but not the most
optimistic could fathom the riches of the Rand. And
naturally they were a little timorous as to the future,
and had to feel their way. Dismal prophecies as to the
mines giving out were constantly being recited, and so
for the first few years men's minds were more occupied
with the daily task of money-making.
But as time went on and the population increased,
and the town grew, the necessity arose for a little legis-
lation, but none was forthcoming. The streets were left
in a state of nature ; for years one saw quite fine shops
lining a dusty track, and no attempt made to improve
it. With heavy ox-waggon as well as the usual traffic
of a town, the state of dust in the dry season, and of
mud and deep ruts in the wet, is more easily imagined
than described. As Johannesburg is situated nearly
6000 feet above the sea, there is a constant breeze
blowing, and when this breeze becomes stronger, and
a good wind blew, the effects were awful. I have seen
dust-storms so thick that one could not see one's hand
before one's face. This red dust also was very un-
healthy, for the sanitary arrangements being of a
48 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
frightfully primitive kind, the place was very dirty,
and fearful odours abounded. The dust flying about
continually caused a great deal of illness of every kind.
That no epidemic ever visited the town is due probably
to the splendid dry temperate climate, and, I presume,
to the constant breeze. In South Africa the dust-
storms are known as " the doctor."
Johannesburg rejoices in a glorious climate. Al-
though so near the Equator, it is very temperate owing
to its altitude. During the winter, that is from June
to October, there is rarely any rain. There is a cold,
disagreeable wind, with rather a hot sun and plenty
of frost, and the nights and mornings are bitter. Of
course at that time of the year the dust is unsupport-
able, more especially in August and September. This
is caused principally by local traffic, and does not sweep
down, as in Kimberley, from a desert. Once the rains
begin a more heavenly climate cannot be imagined.
It has always gone to my heart to see a place so
favoured by nature gradually becoming, through man's
blind perversity, one of the most loathsome spots on
earth. No place was ever started with fairer prospects
or better chances.
The police were worse than useless; undisciplined, too
few in numbers, notoriously dishonest and hostile, they
were an element of disturbance rather than of order.
Consequently in Johannesburg, unlike other colonial
towns, it was customary for men to carry revolvers
at night, and to have one very near at hand in their
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 49
bedrooms. Sir Drummond Dunbar, one of the pion-
eers, very soon formed a Ladies' Revolver Club, as
it was felt to be necessary for women to know how
to protect themselves a little. An amusing and almost
tragic incident occurred at one of the first practices.
Sir Drummond, holding up his hand as a signal,
"Don't fire," a too eager learner, mistaking it, fired
and shot off his little finger !
In Natal, where they have 581,000 idle blacks to
49,000 whites, there has long existed what the news-
papers term "the social curse"; that is to say, the
crime of rape by Kaffirs on white women and children.
To the Kaffir a white woman is always an object of
desire, but the crime is rampant in Natal because of
the preponderance of the black and the often lonely
position of the farms. The horror of it is of course
apparent to all, and the punishment is death. Hence in
most parts of South Africa it is kept in check to a cer-
tain extent. But in Johannesburg the thing assumed
fearful proportions, becoming at one time quite an epi-
demic, and all women went in terror for their own and
their children's lives. The punishment in the Transvaal
is also death, but the sentence generally passed was six
months' imprisonment. That was no check at all, and
although I had faithful white servants, I remember
many a time when dining out I have hardly been able
to contain myself for fear of what might have happened
in my absence. A poor little white girl of two, living not
far from us, was violated one day by a coloured servant ;
50 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
and dozens of instances occurred which never appeared
in the papers through the horror and shame of it. I
knew one poor woman with four little girls, who could
not afford to keep white servants; she told me that
when she was obliged to go away from home for shop-
ping, &c., she used to lock them all in the house,
and was in an agony of terror until she got home
We had moved away from our early home in the
town on account of its unhealthiness, and had built
ourselves a house about two miles out. I kept in the
house a revolver for the women servants to take with
them when they walked into the town, warning them
if they went without it, and anything befell them, it
would be their own fault; they were also forbidden
to go alone. We kept some large dogs, which always
accompanied us on our walks. One plucky woman in
the town, happening to be in bed one night, and alone
in the house when a Kaffir entered her room, shot him
dead. But many instances occurred where women
found themselves in positions where they could not
defend themselves, and horrible tragedies occurred. In
most of these cases the offender was never discovered.
At times there were numbers of ghastly murders, and
little apparent effort was made to discover the murderers.
Verily, under such circumstances life was rendered need-
lessly hard, and the annoying part was that it was all
so unnecessary. People did what they could to help
themselves ; to appeal to the English Government was a
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 51
remedy that occurred to no one, as their utter indiffer-
ence and ignorance of matters hi South Africa had
been so often displayed, that the fact of England being
the suzerain power hi the Transvaal had almost been
lost sight of.
After making every available effort with the " powers
that be" at Pretoria, and having signed numerous
petitions for redress with absolutely no result with
everything, in fact, going from bad to worse, and life
becoming intolerable the conviction that it was high
tune to adopt more drastic methods began to take root
in men's minds. Not only did they contribute practi-
cally all the revenue, but when the Government found
themselves with more money than they were accus-
tomed to, they began squandering it hi the most ex-
travagant way, and always to the detriment of the
Uitlander. The Secret Service Fund was a perfect gulf
for swallowing up money, for which no account was
The President, who receives a yearly pay of 7000,
is well known to have amassed a huge fortune for
himself and his numerous family. Also almost the
entire staff of officials, down to the meanest policeman,
and a great many of the members of the Volksraad, were
notorious for their corrupt practices. There are a few
exceptions to this rule, but very few. These are not
wild statements, but can be proved over and over again.
But as yet the people had not formulated any system
of remedy, and their patience was wonderful. No
52 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
organised body was in existence except the National
Union, and as that was a political body, many of
the leading men of the place, for obvious reasons, had
not joined it. But people's eyes were opened suddenly,
and men became alive to the fact that action was
THE Boers had begun a war with Malaboch, a Kaffir chief
on their northern border, and "commandeered" men
to go and fight, as was their custom. Accordingly they
not only commandeered their own men but a good many
Uitlanders as well. Remember, these were men who
under no conditions whatever could obtain political rights
of any kind. So they very justly said to themselves, " If
we are always to remain aliens, with no rights, why
should we fight for the people who refuse them to us ? "
So all their protests being in vain, aided and abetted by
some courageous Wesleyan ministers in Pretoria and
Johannesburg, they refused outright to proceed to the
front, and were accordingly cast into prison: a few
men being sent up country by force to join the Boer
The result of this was that the British Government
interfered, and sent Sir Henry (now Lord) Loch up to
see into the matter. There was tremendous excitement
in Pretoria. Kruger went to the station to meet the
High Commissioner, and an incident occurred to em-
bitter him still more against the British Uitlander, for he
was too blind to see that it was entirely his own fault.
There was a scene of the wildest enthusiasm, thousands
54 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
being there to welcome the Queen's representative, and
when he and Kruger got into the carriage (which also
contained Dr. Leyds) to proceed to the hotel, some
Englishmen took out the horses and dragged it, one irre-
pressible person jumping on the box seat and waving a
Union Jack over Kruger's head ! When the carriage
arrived at its destination, Sir Henry, accompanied by
Dr. Leyds, entered the hotel, and the President was left
sitting in the horseless carriage. The yelling crowd
refused to drag the vehicle, and after some difficulty a
few of his faithful burghers were got together to draw
the irate President to his home. This was the more
significant, as it took place in Pretoria, which is well
known to be very matter of fact.
I shall never forget how frightened I was when
Lionel came home that night from Pretoria. I saw by
his face that something serious had occurred. His first
words were, " If I tell you to leave the place with the
children, if it is at an hour's notice, will you do it ? "
He then told me of this ominous incident ; also that
armed Boers had been parading the streets of Pretoria
that day, " looking as if they would willingly shoot down
any man, woman, or child." He also added that al-
though the Turf Club hi Johannesburg had invited Sir
Henry and his staff to come over to the races then
taking place, he sincerely hoped he would not do so,
as he was sure there would be a " row." Five hundred
armed Boers had also immediately been sent to remain
on the outskirts of Johannesburg, and they were vowing
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 55
vengeance on the rooineks. Then for the first time
I realised that, except for the two or three revolvers in
the house, we had no means of self-protection; that,
indeed, the whole population of the Rand was in an
utterly defenceless state in what was daily becoming a
hostile country. I insisted on Lionel buying a rifle the
next day, and a few others did the same, but it struck
me then and many a day after, that we were living on
a volcano. But the strangest part was that hardly
any one in the place attached any importance to the
matter, and, except by a few, the incident and its lessons
were soon forgotten.
Lionel again went to Pretoria the next day and
had a conversation with Sir Henry about what steps
the English Government would take in the contingency
of the Boers following out their threats and firing on
Johannesburg. It appeared that it would require several
days to bring troops from the border, and at the time
the garrisons were quite inadequate to meet any emer-
gency. Sir Henry did not come to the races, but went
back to Cape Town. From that day things marched
quickly. Kruger gave in about the commandeered
men, and apparently things were smoothed over. But
in the history of the Rand these events marked a
distinct epoch. Much seed for reflection had been
scattered, and with the more serious-minded remained
the thought that the town with its huge population
of women and children would be utterly defenceless in
the event of hostilities. The Boers now showed more
56 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
openly than ever their contempt and dislike for the
Uitlanders, who would be utterly at their mercy,
and remembering that chivalry is foreign to the Boer
nature, that was no pleasant prospect. The unhappy
arrangement with Jameson later is to be attributed to
the " Loch incident."
This sudden outburst of dislike had more in it than
appeared on the surface. The commandeering had also
been tentative, with a deep-rooted purpose. For some
time past the Germans had been showing great friend-
ship for the Transvaal, to which the President responded.
There are a great many Germans in South Africa, and
notably in the Transvaal. As Kruger was so friendly to
that nation, it occurred to the more astute among them
that here was a splendid opportunity for an outlet for
that overflowing country. The German Emperor is well
known to encourage colonisation, and so by degrees a
continually-increasing number of Germans had been
coining into the Transvaal, and were always most favour-
ably treated by the Government. I do not, of course,
include the Germans with English associations, but those
who came direct from Germany.
There was a great fuss when the Delagoa Bay Rail-
way was opened just before the Loch incident, when
the German Emperor sent Kruger a personal telegram
of congratulation, and at the banquet given in Pretoria
many assurances of friendship and amity were ex-
changed. Kruger took this occasion to emphasise his
contempt for Johannesburg. He had invited a great
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 57
many prominent people from all parts of South Africa
the Orange Free State, Natal, Cape Colony, and the
Portuguese possessions. From Johannesburg he selected
one man, and that was Lionel. He, as well as most of
the prominent men in Johannesburg, resented this open
slight, considering that that town had practically paid
for the railway. Naturally he did not accept the invi-
All this time Lionel with the rest of his firm had been
doing the best they could for the mining interest ; they
would not acknowledge themselves beaten, but continued
their futile and heartrending struggle with the Govern-
ment. But of no avail. There was a weekly journal at
Johannesburg called The Critic, whose criticisms on men
in general were often more scurrilous than true, and
among others who were the constant target for their
envenomed shafts were the partners hi Messrs. H. Eck-
stein & Co. Being capitalists, they could do nothing
right. The Critic was also a violent opponent of the
Government. About this time the editor wrote "An
Open Letter " to Lionel, which, to my mind, contained
many truths, and urged him to make a stand against the
ruling powers. We were staying at East London at the
time, and I remember on reading this "open letter"
I was furious at the abusive terms employed, but on
second thoughts felt that there was much truth in some
of the suggestions. I then said to Lionel, and repeated
the question several times afterwards, "Why do you
not take up a stand on political grounds, and show
58 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
the Transvaal Government that it is no longer possible
to endure this intolerable state of things?" And his
answer was the same invariably. "Do not talk non-
sense. I have to consider my firm, and we represent
the interests of far too many people to dare to risk
them." My argument was that the Boer, through
generations of dealing with Kaffirs, had imbibed many
of their characteristics, a marked one being that any-
thing in the shape of generosity or fairness is always
looked upon as a sign of weakness. A Boer, like a Kaffir,
must feel that you are prepared to enforce what you de-
mand, or he will bully you. " Magnanimity " has been
the bane of South Africa, and to the Boer the word is
synonymous with fear. Complaints also were made at
this tune by the workmen on the Rand, that the capi-
talists only thought of themselves, and ought to take a
more prominent part in politics and uphold their in-
terests. Poor men ! they were afterwards blamed by
this very class for trying to help them. About this tune,
too, the National Union lost its President, and many
people looked to Lionel to fill his place. But he per-
sisted in his refusal to take a prominent part in politics,
always for the same reason. I relate this particularly,
as he and many others have often been accused of work-
ing up an agitation for the sake of money.
The men who suffered most and dared all for the
sake of right in Johannesburg were the men who had
much to lose and very little to gain, at any rate in a
material way ; and remembering the futile endeavour of
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 59
years, and in the cause of justice, it makes my blood
boil to think how falsely and groundlessly they were
accused of one of the most sordid and mean of crimes.
When later on one was forced to hear and read all
the vile imputations made against those who risked
so much for their duty, when a paper called The
World, published an article headed " Murder for
Money," it seemed inconceivable that there could be
persons who judged their fellows by so low a standard.
I do not talk of all the daily annoyances we had to put
up with, nor all the various " grievances " which have
been so often described. But to people comfortably
settled at home in England, who do not know how
wretched life can be made by the deprivation of things
they look on as their right to people who like to know
that when they write a letter and send it by post it will
be delivered, the following tale will appeal. An old
housemaid of mine, who married, told me in quite a
casual way that her husband, who had been out of
work, had got a job at Christmas to help in sorting the
letters, which were too many for the usual clerks at the
post-office. And, she added, " when they were tired of
sorting them, they had a trap-door in the floor to an
underground place, through which they dropped those
that were left ! "
Having got their railway line finished from Delagoa
Bay, the Transvaal tried to force the merchants to use
it in preference to the more convenient and quicker
route from the Cape Colony, and to this end they made
60 SOtJTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
the rates prohibitive from Vereeniging, on the frontier,
to Johannesburg, which is only about forty miles. The
merchants found it much cheaper to bring their goods
by ox-waggon or mule-waggon from the border, so then
the Government, determined to have their way, closed
the drifts, and put armed men there to enforce the order.
I must explain this. In a new country, of course, the
rivers are not bridged, this being the case particularly
in the Transvaal. With all their immense revenues
they have never attempted a single public work except
under extreme coercion, and then always with a view
to the enrichment of some Dutch or German con-
On most of the South African rivers there are certain
places called " drifts " (fords), which can be crossed by
waggons. In cases where that is impossible there are
ponts or bridges. The Vaal and Orange rivers being
deep, are generally crossed by the latter methods.
A propos of this, I remember being very much
exasperated one day. After I had laboriously tried to
explain to a London journalist the enormity of the
action of the Transvaal Government hi closing the
drifts, he turned to me in the most innocent manner
and said, "But you have all these rich men on the
Rand, and if they are so anxious to do well for their
mines why don't they build bridges ? " not appearing to
understand that this was hardly the point, and that if
the authorities could close a drift they could even more
easily close a bridge. The English Government decided
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 61
that the closing of the drifts was contrary to the Con-
vention, and sent the Transvaal an ultimatum, upon
which they gave way. The few instances I have given,
however, will prove how very inimical they were to the
newcomers, or rather the old residents of Johannesburg,
for such many had now become.
I need not say that all this time no stone had been
left unturned by Lionel and many other leading men to
convince the Government of their folly how those men
were anxious to be their friends, and to help them to do
what was in the interest of the mines, and that meant
the country. Up to this time there were very few
Boers in Johannesburg, but many Africanders from all
parts of the colony, who felt even more deeply than
the Europeans the disgraceful state of subjugation in
which we were all living. It is unnecessary to go into
the details of the numerous petitions addressed to the
President and the Volksraad praying for redress. The
simplest action was misconstrued, and the petitions
were openly laughed to scorn in the Raad, one member
even going so far as to express the real, if unconfessed,
opinion of the Government, and inviting the Uitlanders,
if they wanted any rights, to come and fight for them !
The President, who is as cunning and untrustworthy
as he is stubborn, now made promises, now entirely
ignored what was represented to him. Certainly it
is a noteworthy fact that he has never kept a single
promise nor done anything for the good of the place
except under pressure, and he never will do anything
62 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
unless forced to. He knows too well how little reason
South Africans have to expect anything from England,
and this is the reason why so many loyal colonists, tired
of her half-hearted support of her subjects in South
Africa, have gone over to the party of the Africander
Bond, which almost openly supports Kruger in his
opposition to British subjects and British rule, and still
pretends to be loyal. It is this pernicious influence,
subtle and treacherous in that it fears the light of
day an influence always at work, which drew fresh
energy from the Raid that is most inimical to British
interests in South Africa. Many of the Bondsmen
are notorious turncoats, joining whichever party is
uppermost, and knowing neither truth nor courage. It
is this party at the Cape which, in England's vacillation
and want of a fixed policy, see a chance of fulfilling
their aspirations, and which find in Kruger a still
further aid to their ambitions. Hence their cry of
" Africa for the Africanders " is not entirely an illusory
one. And hence the danger.
Men in Johannesburg, and Mr. Rhodes in Cape
Town, began at last to see that unless the burning
questions of the hour were settled once and for all, the
whole country ran a risk of being embroiled, that the
uncertainty was paralysing trade and commerce, and
that the country could never prosper with this " fester-
ing sore," as some one has justly described the Transvaal,
in their midst. So men's minds in Johannesburg were
more and more drawn to the conviction that they would
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 63
have to work out their own salvation. Accordingly
they determined upon a plan for securing their just
rights, and this is how they went about it.
Remember that those who started the Reform move-
ment in Johannesburg were, most of them, serious men
with families men who, when they pledged themselves
to do their best for their adopted country, did not shut
their eyes to the gravity of the undertaking. Up to
this time Lionel, while doing all he could, had never
taken an active part in politics, except in so far as that
all business in the Transvaal is inseparable from politics.
But towards the end of 1895 he identified himself
with the Reform movement in conjunction with a
good many of the principal business and professional
I must interrupt this to relate that about June in
that year I left Johannesburg on a three months' visit
to England with the children, was taken ill on the way,
and for five months was practically on my back, being
at death's door once or twice. I also nearly lost my
little girl from inflammation of the lungs, the result of an
attack of measles, which was really the cause of my own
illness, besides having the two boys down with measles.
Lionel saw us on board the steamer at Cape Town, and
we came on to England alone, no one realising how ill
I was. I mention this particularly, as afterwards when
the fiasco came in January people on all sides accused
him of having sent us away expressly to be out of
danger ; but that was not the case. It was an old plan,
64 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
and I fully intended to return in three months, but
Fate willed otherwise. Had I done so, the bitter sus-
pense and agony of mind which I had to go through
would have been spared me. Although I was not in-
formed that any active movement was contemplated,
I knew as indeed the whole of South Africa knew
that the situation was very acute. When I reproached
Lionel afterwards for not telling me of the preparations
that were being made by the leading Uitlanders, he
told me that all the Reform party had sworn themselves
to secrecy. At one tune, when I was very seriously ill,
Lionel, with his portmanteau ready packed, only waited
for a telegram from me to start for England. As I took
a turn for the better, he did not come. He announced
to his fellow Reformers that, as I was dangerously ill,
he might possibly be obliged to leave at a moment's
notice. One of them (I will not mention his name) said
to him, "Phillips, you cannot do it; men would call
you a coward. In fact, if you heard your wife was
dead, you dare not leave now."
Lionel did not join the National Union, but he
publicly announced his views in a speech he made in
November at the opening of the new building of the
Chamber of Mines. Being President, he invited a num-
ber of ladies and gentlemen to the ceremony, but the
social gathering resolved itself into a much more serious
function than was expected. In his speech announcing
the building open, he took the opportunity of warning
the Government. It is too long to reproduce, but he
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 65
enumerated the burning grievances of the Uitlanders,
and ended with these words :
" All we want in this country is purity of adminis-
tration and an equitable share and voice in its affairs.
(Cheers.) I hope that wiser counsels may prevail, and
that the Government of this country may be induced
to see that the present policy will not do. Nothing is
further from my heart than a desire to see an upheaval
which would be disastrous from every point of view,
and which would probably end in the most horrible
of all endings in bloodshed. But I should say this,
that it is a mistake to imagine that this much-maligned
community, which consists, anyhow, of a majority of
men born of freemen, will consent indefinitely to remain
subordinate to the minority in this country (applause)
and that they will for ever allow their lives, property,
and liberty to be subject to its arbitrary will. I hope
that the Legislature of this country will recognise this
fact in time, and not attempt to do that which is im-
possible. If the population of this country were only
accepted in the spirit in which it has offered itself, it
would be a strength to the others instead of a weak-
ness. (Cheers.) "
I happened to go up to London from Brighton that
day, and I saw Mr. Beit, who was very unwell. He
showed me the Renter's cable summary of the whole
proceeding, and was very much agitated. He asked me
what I thought of it, and I told him I was delighted.
I thought it quite the right thing to do, and I cabled
66 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
out to Lionel to congratulate him on the course he had
taken. The speech created quite a sensation. In South
Africa it was universally applauded ; it was commented
on in most flattering terms, in many cases under the
headings, " The Writing on the Wall," " Mene Mene
Tekel," &c., and warnings were addressed to Kruger on
all sides. The English papers also noticed it favourably,
but there was much agitation on the Stock Exchange,
where I believe South African shares went down. I
met a man the same day, who said to me, " Every one is
going for your husband, and I believe if you appeared
on the Stock Exchange, even you would be mobbed."
That was one way of looking at the matter !
I SHALL now continue rny tale. The excitement in
London and everywhere else was intense, and every
scrap of news was eagerly read, but it took a long time
for the facts to reach us, and to this day many people
have but a hazy idea of what actually happened. It
appeared that the Johannesburg men had called on Dr.
Jameson to help them, and had then basely deserted
him, that in consequence he had surrendered to the
Boers, and with his men had been taken prisoner to
Pretoria. At the first blush it was indeed a fearful
tale of shame and treachery, and it was only natural
that one side should be extolled and the other side
abused. In fact, words were inadequate to describe
the behaviour of either side. Kruger was lauded to
the skies as possessing every Christian virtue. The
Poet Laureate distinguished himself by a pitiful effu-
sion in praise of Jameson's exploit, which did untold
harm to innocent people. I suppose the poor man
felt that his new official position necessitated a poem,
so before he or any one else in England was aware of
the truth, he rushed into print. This wretched jingle
was nightly recited at the Alhambra by a person dressed
as one of the Chartered Company's police, on a stage
68 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
decorated with tropical palms and intended to repre-
sent Krugersdorp, which place, by the way, -is arid to a
degree. But the audience liked it, and nightly went
mad, and nightly cursed Johannesburg. They criticised
neither the style nor the material of the Laureate's
poem : they had found a real live hero to applaud, and
so they were not critical but happy.
Meantime for days no news came, only the most
awful rumours poured in on all sides. No one received
any cable messages, and one moment it was said that
the cable was cut, the next that the Government had
monopolised it. Messrs. Wernher, Beit, & Co. were with-
out information for many days. When at last news
did come, it was but a succession of horrors. We heard
that Jameson, in response to a letter from some of the
leading Johannesburg men, had crossed the border
with 400 men to rescue the women and children. He
had been encamped on the borders of Bechuanaland
and the Transvaal for some time past, and on receiving
this letter had come helter-skelter. On hearing this
the Boers sent a grandson of the President to warn
Jameson not to proceed. The Government of the Cape
also tried to stop him, but without success. They took
no heed, and on January 1, 1896, were met by an armed
force of Boers, who, pursuing their usual tactics of
guerilla warfare, entrenched themselves behind rocks,
and after enormous bravery on all sides, Jameson, who
had expected the men of Johannesburg to reinforce
him, not seeing any sign of them, surrendered. I can-
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 69
not recount all the wild tales that were circulated :
that hundreds of Boers had been shot ; how eye-
witnesses had seen waggon-loads of dead bodies being
carted off, and the theme was only varied by the ac-
counts of heroism on the one side and the cowardice
and treachery on the other. I was in despair. No
words can picture the agonies of mind I went through,
and the suspense grew daily more and more terrible.
No explanation reached any one, and the wildest con-
jectures were heard on every side. Lionel and his
friends were accused of having worked the whole thing
up to make money out of it. It was alleged that they
wanted to make shares fall so as to buy in again, and
so make huge sums. The Government vouchsafed no
information, and gave no details, even if they knew any.
Then we heard of terrified women and children leaving
the place, of their sufferings, of the exodus of numbers
of miners, of the disaster to the Natal train, hi which
many women and children also flying from the place
were killed. Still there was no definite news of any
kind, and I thought I should have gone mad. Mr.
Rhodes, of course, was also accused of every crime
under the sun. Sir Hercules Robinson, then Governor
of Cape Colony, went to Pretoria to try and settle the
differences on behalf of the English Government, and
to do all in his power for the redress of the Uitlanders'
grievances, on condition that they not only gave up
their arms themselves, but persuaded the whole of
Johannesburg to do the same, as Jameson and his men
70 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
were in danger of their lives. This was done, but with
some little difficulty. We then read that Sir Hercules
had left for Cape Town. The storm of abuse against the
place increased, and sympathy for Jameson with it.
I did not know what to think. Remembering what
fears men had entertained the year before when Sir
Henry Loch was at Pretoria, and their many conjec-
tures as to what would happen in case of any sudden
need for outside help, I came to the conclusion that
the men of Johannesburg must have made some ar-
rangement with Dr. Jameson, and that he had come
to their assistance in response to some treacherous call,
and I for one gave him and his men all my sympathy.
Naturally, I knew that a mistake had arisen, as it was
not possible for the men hi Johannesburg to have
left them in the lurch, as it seemed they had done;
but altogether it was an awful time. Mr. Wernher
and his partners were staunch to their faith in Lionel
and his friends, but too much paralysed by events to
do anything. So for days the suspense dragged on, no
one knowing what was happening. Mr. Wernher gave
me stern orders to be careful as to what I said, as much
now depended on every one concerned silently await-
ing events. However, I am afraid I disobeyed him, and
wrote the following letter to the Times :
" To the Editor of the ' Times.'
" SIR, It may be of interest to your readers to hear
that I have to-day received the following message by
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 71
cable from my husband, Mr. Lionel Phillips, at Johan-
nesburg, dated this morning :
" ' Peace restored ; expect amnesty all concerned on
"I may add that during the last ten most anxious
days I have received no communications from my hus-
band except a telegram giving me news of his personal
safety. It is obvious to me, as it must be to every one else,
that cable messages have been largely tampered with by
the Transvaal authorities, as I am without reply to most
urgent questions addressed to my husband by cable.
" In certain quarters it appears to be considered that
the action of Johannesburg in not going to the assist-
ance of Dr. Jameson is greatly to be blamed. But any
one acquainted with the true feeling of the people of
Johannesburg, and the very real grievances from which
they suffer (not to mention the affection which all of
us who know him bear Dr. Jameson), must feel certain
that there lurks in the background some vile treachery
which has not yet come to light.
" Let us first hear by whom the ' urgent appeal ' was
sent to Dr. Jameson. It is certain that an enormous
sum has been spent in 'secret service' money during
the last few months by the Transvaal Government, and
is it not possible that a deliberate trap was planned and
carried into effect by the Boer authorities ? The de-
clarations of a three days' armistice by General Joubert,
just before the fight with Dr. Jameson's brave band, is,
to say the least of it, a curious coincidence.
72 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
" To show that the grievances of the Uitlanders are
indeed real, let me call your attention to a few facts.
What would women residing hi peaceful England say
to the fact that one cannot take a walk out of sight
of one's own house in the suburbs of Johannesburg
with safety ? The Kaffirs, who in other parts of South
Africa treat a white woman with almost servile respect,
there make it a most unpleasant ordeal to pass them,
and in a lonely part absolutely dangerous.
"Even little girls of the tenderest age are not safe
from these monsters. This is, of course, owing to the
utterly inadequate police protection afforded by the
Government, the ridiculously lenient sentences passed
on horrible crimes, and to the adulterated drink sold
by licensed publicans to the Kaffirs on all sides. What
would be said if, when insulted by a cab-driver, it was
found that the nearest policeman was the owner of the
cab in question, and refused to render any assistance or
listen to any complaint ?
" The educational grievance has been so widely
circulated that it is needless to mention it now; but
what is to be expected of a Government composed of
men barely able to write their own names ?
" Of course I, as a woman, do not wish to enter into
the larger questions of franchise, monopolies, taxation,
&c., but being myself an Africander, and well able to
recognise the many good qualities of the Boers, you
will quite understand that I do not take a prejudiced
view of the situation, and I am in a position better than
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 73
that of most people to understand the grave reality of
the Uitlanders' grievances. Yours faithfully,
" FLORENCE PHILLIPS.
" BUBLINGTON HOTEL, W.,
It was printed, and I got into dreadful hot water
with Mr. Wernher and Mr. Michaelis, and that day, I
think, was one of the most miserable I ever spent. I
did not know what indiscretion I had committed. The
idea that I might have betrayed State secrets over-
whelmed me, and anguish is the only word to express
my feelings as I reflected that, although I had acted
with the best possible motives, I might perhaps have
done some terrible harm to those I had meant to help.
In my despair I did not know where to turn. I had for
the moment hopelessly offended all Lionel's colleagues,
and Mr. Beit having gone to the Cape in November, I
did not know any one who could advise me as to what
I ought to do. In this dilemma my thoughts turned
to Miss Shaw, of the Times, whom I had first met in
Johannesburg. She, I knew, was a true woman, kind
and understanding, and could give me sound advice.
So weeping bitterly, I was just getting into a hansom
to go and see her, when I met a friend in need on the
pavement, the Duke of Abercorn, who said he had come
to congratulate me on my letter ! I told him my
trouble, and he reassured me considerably ; and I pro-
ceeded to see Miss Shaw, who also did not fail me in
74 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
iny need. All that kind womanly sympathy and a
grasp of the situation could give she gave me, and in
that she afforded more comfort and help than perhaps
she was aware of. She also reassured me, and told me
she thought I could not have done my husband any
harm ; in fact, she considered it a great pity that at that
particular moment more exertions were not made to set
the public right, as people were in the deepest ignorance
of the whole question, and naturally went blindly by
what they read in the papers. I blessed her, and she
still has my warmest gratitude for her help when I was
in such trouble. Miss Shaw then said to me, "You
have of course seen the letter that was sent by the
Johannesburg men to Jameson among the telegrams to
the Times?" " No," I said, " I had not. I had missed
it through travelling between Paris and London."
" And," she said, in rather a grave voice, " the signa-
tures of the men who sent it ? " My heart sank when
I read the names Lionel Phillips, Charles Leonard,
John Hays Hammond, Frank Rhodes, and George
Farrar. I do not know how I had missed reading the
letter some days before, and the ominous words sank
like lead on my heart.
I returned to my hotel feeling crushed in body and
mind and utterly perplexed. I found on the table of
my sitting-room several telegrams, and among them
the following one from Lionel : " The Transvaal Govern-
ment arresting many men here, so have given myself
up. Going to Pretoria prison to-day. Do not come
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 75
out on any account." My cup was full. My soul re-
belled at the idea of staying, but I did not feel justified
in disobeying. I felt that my only course was to do as
I was asked.
Most of our luggage had been sent on, as we were
leaving for South Africa the next day, and it had to
be brought back from Southampton. There were many
people who blamed me for not going out in spite of
Lionel's wishes, but to all I made the same answer,
" When any one is in deep trouble and wishes you ex-
pressly to do something for them, is it not a greater
proof of your desire to serve them to do as they wish
rather than the opposite ? " At any rate, that was my
idea of the matter. I did not know what Lionel's
motives were in not wishing us to go out, for I knew
there could be no personal danger for us ; but I thought
he probably had some private reason which he could
not divulge by cable, as the censorship was extremely
strict, and I did not know what means he would have
in prison for communication with any one.
I cannot describe the agony of mind I underwent
during those first weeks ; my nights were made hideous
by the thought of his sufferings in prison, for I was
well acquainted with Pretoria and its primitive in-
stitutions, the filthy habits of its inhabitants, and its
almost tropical climate in January. I did not know
what to do for the best; and my utter helplessness
overcame me. Also, I was quite alive to the treacherous
character of the Transvaal Boer, and knew that of
76 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
Lionel in particular Kruger was very jealous, and that
he would not be sorry to know that he was out of the
way. I knew that Kruger was aware that there were
people who, in writing or talking of Johannesburg, had
dubbed Lionel " King of Johannesburg," and that it was
gall to him. So knowing that he and his friends were
in prison, I felt extremely uneasy as to their safety.
As a good Colonial, my thoughts naturally flew to
the fountain-head, and I felt that if I could only see the
Queen and put the true state of the case to her set
out the wrongs of Johannesburg in fact all would be
well. So I telegraphed to a kind friend, Lord Montagu
of Beaulieu, to that effect, and he came up from South-
ampton on purpose to see me. He told me that under
the circumstances he considered such a step would be
useless, as her Majesty always acted in a constitutional
manner, and it was a question for the Colonial Office.
He added, "If it were a matter of life and death, I
should think she might listen, but not otherwise." So
I abandoned the idea, but was haunted by the know-
ledge that it might be a question of life or death.
The fact, however, remained that these men had
given up their arms with the result that they were
now imprisoned in obedience to Sir H. Robinson, who
had acted under orders from the Colonial Office, and
that consequently some one was responsible for their
unjust treatment. So I went to Downing Street, deter-
mined to interview Mr. Chamberlain and find out a
little of the truth.
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 77
I sent in my card and a note asking him to see me,
and was left waiting in a little room for some time. It
appears that there had been two very important meetings
that very afternoon one of the Cabinet and the other
with the Chartered Company but of this I was not
aware. The Duke of Abercorn again came to my assist-
ance, and took me off to see Mr. Fairfield, whom I found
unnecessarily flippant on an occasion which to me was
sufficiently grave, and who twitted me with the " nice
mess that Messrs. Lionel Phillips & Co. had made of
matters in Johannesburg." My reply, that they had
shown more courage by remaining in Johannesburg
than going out to meet Jameson, did not meet with his
approval So when I was told that Mr. Chamberlain
could not see me, but that Mr. Fairfield would tell me
anything I wanted to know, I did not feel inclined to
pour my woes into that gentleman's ears, and insisted
on seeing the Colonial Secretary himself. I thought
that as he, through the High Commissioner, had been
to a great extent responsible for the "nice mess" in
which my husband found himself, the least he could
do was to see me.
I was ushered into the huge room he occupied, and
I must admit that if he was not conversational he
was at least civil. He informed me that my husband's
life was safe, which was somewhat reassuring. He de-
clined to discuss the situation, which did not surprise
me, but when I told him that we had been " groaning
under Majuba Hill for fifteen years," I certainly was
78 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
not aware that he had been in the Liberal Cabinet
which was responsible for that " nice mess " the retro-
cession of the Transvaal.
Mr. Beit and Mr. Rhodes came over to England
about this time, and I was at last able to get at a
little of the truth, although even they, not having
been farther north than Cape Town, could not tell me
all or even half. Mr. Beit was a wreck, and utterly
cast down about the hideous failure of everything.
He told me that Jameson, in coming down to
Johannesburg, had disobeyed Rhodes's orders, but
probably felt that in doing so it would prevent the
Boers from hearing of the preparations in Johannes-
burg, and thought it was best to rush matters, " as," he
added, " if the Transvaal Government had got wind of
them (i.e. the preparations), and quietly imprisoned
your husband and the others, the world would never
have heeded the matter, the Colonial Office would not
have bothered, and they might have lingered there for
years." That, of course, is an extremely far-fetched
argument, but, in his loyalty to his friends, Mr. Beit felt
constrained to find a good reason for these unfortunate
actions. He, I know, was suffering tortures at the
thought of what some of his old friends were enduring
in the loathsome Pretoria gaol, and I am sure would
have been happy to change places with them. One
night I remember reading in an evening paper the
account of the sufferings of the " Reform " prisoners (for
by that name they were known) how the prison was
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 79
filthy, infested by vermin, that no sanitary appliances
were provided, that the men were herded together
and the whole hideousness of their case came over me
anew. Hearing that Mr. Beit was with Mr. Rhodes in
the same hotel as myself, I sent for him, and, I am
afraid, imbued him with my own misery, as I never
saw any one look so utterly, hopelessly wretched. I can
honestly say that I believe the sufferers and victims in
prison did not suffer as much for themselves as he did
for them. I must also add that Mr. Beit absolutely
relieved my mind of any lurking doubt I still felt as to
the mischief my letter to the Times might have done
my husband. His words, " Your motive was good, and
you are not to reproach yourself," were balm to my
By the way, this letter brought trouble on my de-
voted head in more ways than one, and I think I learnt
a lesson on the danger of writing to the papers which
will last me my lifetime. The fresh trouble took the
form of reporters and professional interviewers. Having
already got into trouble about my opinions, I was
careful not to plunge deeper, and was warned, hap-
pily in time, under no circumstances to receive any
one, for "so pertinacious are some of them that even
the minute it would take to tell them you cannot be
interviewed, would suffice to enable them to describe,
with some degree of accuracy, your person, the colour of
your eyes, or any trick of manner which would be quite
sufficient foundation for them to work on opinions and
80 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
conversations they supply themselves." Never under
any circumstances, therefore, did I see any of the numer-
ous people who came on behalf of their papers, and only
once did a lady interviewer in a most perfidious manner
get the better of me.
Naturally at a time of such excitement and general
interest in South African affairs, the papers were
anxious for anything to make " copy," and it amused
me immensely to be asked for my photograph. I
never could see how my photograph could throw any
light on the situation, and so, of course, invariably
refused. Apart from the horror of gaining a pitiful per-
sonal notoriety, I felt the real gravity and seriousness
of the matter and of Lionel's position far too deeply
to risk doing him any harm.
Another amusing experience at this time was the
number of anonymous letters I received on the Uit-
lander question, signed by " Briton," " A Mother,"
"A Sympathiser," &c., from all parts of the British
But I had not much inclination to laugh at this
juncture. The positive execration in which Johan-
nesburg was held at that moment, and my ignorance
of facts with which to refute the charges, made me
very sensitive. I can remember carrying home parcels
rather than give my name in a shop, and expose
myself to the stares of the assistants. I also refrained
from taking cabs or incurring unnecessary expenses, as
I had been informed we were utterly ruined. That,
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 81
however, did not worry me very much, although, of
course, it did not tend to increase iny happiness.
One of the things that took me out of my misery at
this time was the Pantomime. A kind friend used to
take me, and I saw " Cinderella " over and over again,
generally in a box behind a curtain, for fear of meeting
I tried several times to induce Lionel to allow us
to go to South Africa, but after receiving a cable
via Newcastle, in Natal, felt much easier in mind.
It was to the effect that he had positive private in-
formation that they were all coming out very soon, but
it was a dead secret, which I was not to breathe to any
one, and as he would leave for England immediately he
got out, I was to stay where I was. How many weary
times before they actually did come out was I to hear
this same tale, of the " positive private information from
some one in authority," and how many weary times was
I to realise that it was all part of the Boer game to keep
their prey on tenterhooks to their own profit !
But as time dragged on, and my passage had been
taken over and over again, and I was invariably stopped,
I began to realise that it was hopeless to wait, and so
finally one day in February I cabled to Lionel that I
was positively leaving with the children by the next
boat, and as this time he made no objections, we went.
Had I known then, what we all learned later to our
cost, that there would be eternal rumours of release,
eternal rumours of intervention by the British Govern-
82 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
ment to be invariably followed by disappointment, how
much unnecessary suspense and heart-burning we might
have spared ourselves !
Before I left England the British Government were
negotiating with Kruger, who had decided to keep the
Johannesburg men, numbering sixty-four in all, in order
to try them himself, and to send Dr. Jameson and his
fellow-raiders to England to be tried by their own
countrymen. The principals were Dr. Jameson, Sir
John Willoughby, the Hon. Henry White, his brother
Robert, Colonel Grey, and others. These were almost all
men in the employment of the Chartered Company. It
is not necessary for me to tell of all the thousand and
one attacks made on that Company. Suffice it to say
that most of its power was taken from it, and among
others Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit had to resign their
Mr. Rhodes's exclamation when he heard of the
Jameson Raid, "Jameson has been my friend for twenty
years, and now he has ruined me ! " ought to have con-
vinced many people, if no other arguments did, that
whatever else they may lay at his door, the instigation
of the raid does not rest with him. Many people are
also convinced that Jameson did it, thinking to serve
Rhodes, and that the latter really wished him to dis-
obey orders. This argument is quite as far-fetched as
the various conjectures as to what would have happened
to the Uitlanders if he had not crossed the border.
If one is to be judged entirely on other people's inter-
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 83
pretation of what we say, where is the use of truth-
In Pretoria the preliminary trial of the Reform
prisoners was proceeding. Mr. Chamberlain in his
negotiations with Mr. Kruger had not advanced very
far. He sent a very fierce despatch to the latter, and
published it in the English papers before it reached its
destination. The Boer Government, advised by the
astute Dr. Leyds, were not slow to take advantage
of and make the most of this diplomatic mistake,
principally by petty bullying of the Reform prisoners.
This kind of thing continued the whole time they were
in prison. Without reading the newspapers, they were
made aware of any little differences of opinion between
the two Governments by the way in which they were
treated. Their treatment was a kind of barometer.
After our three weeks' voyage, which was a very
anxious one, naturally I pined for news, but found
on my arrival at Cape Town that there was no change
whatever in the situation. The men were still under-
going the long drawn-out preliminary examination.
The majority had been let out on bail, but the four
ringleaders and Mr. Fitzpatrick were in a cottage hi
Pretoria with a guard, on 20,000 recognisances. I
found that the Cape Town people were much excited
against Johannesburg many men of the Ministry pub-
licly decrying every one concerned in the whole move-
ment, including Mr. Rhodes, who had long ere this
resigned the Premiership of the Cape Colony. This
84 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
is typical of the species, but it was a pitiful spectacle
nevertheless, considering the way in which they had
openly sympathised before the fiasco. Verily it was
a time for the sifting of the tares from the wheat, a
process of too painful a nature to make one wish for
There was great fun in Cape Town also over
the escape of one of the Reformers, who, poor man,
really did not deserve all the abuse he got. Being
a Consul for a European country with Eastern ideas,
it appears he was persuaded that, if he were found
guilty, it might cause an international crisis, and that
therefore he had better leave Johannesburg. So to
avoid being seen, he hid himself, with a lady friend's
connivance, under the seat of a railway carriage, and
safely reached Cape Town; but alas for his well-laid
plans he was ruthlessly brought back, and played his
part like a man during the rest of the time.
Lionel had asked our friend, Mr. Frank Robinow, to
come down to the Cape to escort us up to Johannes-
burg, as people had been going through unpleasant
experiences with the Customs officials at Vereeniging,
which is on the border, and he dreaded lest, being
the wife of a prisoner, I might be subjected to rather
bad treatment. The officials, it appeared, were most
zealous in their search for arms, and women were the
victims of dreadful indignities in consequence. But
our fears were groundless. They had evidently been
warned of our presence in the train. On our arrival
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 85
at eleven at night, some one came up at once and
asked if I was there, and on my declaring myself, in
a most polite manner asked me to follow him. They
were all perfectly civil, and, contrary to their habit,
even went so far as to allow the poor tired children
to sleep on, for which I felt sincerely grateful.
I had received one or two mysterious telegrams from
Lionel en route, and then before arriving at our destina-
tion, I got one telling me that he and the three others
had obtained a special permit for twenty-four hours,
and that he would be at our home, "Hohenheim,"
to welcome us instead of in Pretoria. A mysterious
action of the Government, which was as unexpected
as it was pleasant ! It appears that some of the
prisoners' friends had asked for the privilege, and it
was granted on condition that they did not enter
the town of Johannesburg, and were back by Sunday
night. By the way, in Pretoria they were escorted
to and from the station by a troop of cavalry, while
in Johannesburg they were left quite alone and un-
guarded. A childish performance, typical of all the
doings of the Government ! When we arrived at
Johannesburg at two in the morning, after our three
days' journey, it was very nice to find Lionel at
Hohenheim. He looked very thin, but quite well
and cheery. Colonel Rhodes was also there; the
other three men had gone to their homes. They
returned to their cottage in Pretoria next day.
AND now I must recapitulate and relate much that
hitherto had been absolutely unknown to me or un-
explained. I, in my turn, was able to explain many
things to Lionel and his friends beyond what appeared
in the papers, as they had heard very little news of the
outer world. They had received very few letters, if
any, from those who were cognisant of much that
had occurred, for a very general fear of committing
indiscretion prevailed everywhere. No one knew what
facts the Transvaal Government were in possession of,
so every one thought the less said and written the
better. But that sort of thing can be carried a little
too far, and I found these poor men, in spite of all
their pluck, were growing a little uneasy at their pro-
longed detention, and to suspect more and more that
they had got into a terrible mess through obeying the
injunctions of Sir Hercules. The fact that their loyalty
and obedience had cost them their liberty had not yet
dawned on them in all its significance ; it seemed im-
possible to be true. And many individuals also at this
period were unaware apparently that to be in prison is
a terrible thing the utter helplessness and dependence
of the prisoner make his plight one not to be laughed
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 87
at. Many people whom these men looked to and
thought their friends, had neither the moral nor the
physical courage to stand by them. Truly it was a
trying time for all. But, thank God, Lionel and the
majority of his fellow-sufferers showed themselves to be
men; whatever their mistakes, their credulity even, they
were honest, and all their actions bear the light of day.
Their loyalty to every one concerned, their patience
and pluck under the most trying circumstances, always
struck me very much. Hence, their failure in a good
cause, notwithstanding, these Reformers of Johannes-
burg may pride themselves on one thing, namely, that
they gained the respect of every one who had an oppor-
tunity of judging their conduct.
The Reform movement in Johannesburg failed be-
cause, as some one put it to me at the time, " they all
wanted to be a little too clever." They took too many
things into consideration; they wanted to provide for too
many contingencies ; there were too many in the secret,
and too many divergent interests. And also the mass
of the people had not been sufficiently educated on the
subject; it was too much restricted to one class. It
was a conspiracy to get right done for the Uitlanders
and for the mines and the mines are the life-blood
of Johannesburg and Johannesburg directly and in-
directly affects the whole of South Africa.
But the fact remains that there were three sets of
people concerned in this movement, each hi their way
meritorious, no doubt, and having one end, but actu-
88 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
ated by different motives, and this constituted a great
weakness to start with. This triangular movement
consisted of, first, the men on the spot, afterwards
called the Reform Committee of Johannesburg, who
were working for the Uitlanders and their interests;
Mr. Rhodes at Cape Town, who sympathised intensely
with Johannesburg, but who was more interested in
the whole of South Africa, and saw the necessity of
settling this burning local question ; and Dr. Jameson,
Mr. Rhodes's right-hand man in Mashonaland, who had
with him a number of irresponsible young men in-
different to either of the above-mentioned ideas, and
possibly anxious for personal glory. The probabilities
in a combination such as I have mentioned are, that
at some one moment or another the main idea might
be lost sight of, and the minor and personal one
substituted; and that is what happened. But to use
When the men of Johannesburg eventually deter-
mined to make a stand against their oppressors and to
demand their just rights, they knew perfectly well that
in a town of 80,000 inhabitants, with a very large pro-
portion of women and children, they, having no armed
force of their own and not knowing how many arms
they could smuggle in, would be utterly at the mercy
of the Boer rifles. Consequently, outside aid of some
sort was necessary, and aid that could be counted on
in an emergency.
Although the Boers have no standing force to speak
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 89
of, every male Boer, from the age of sixteen and up-
wards, is in a sense a soldier. Every one can shoot,
and generally well. He says it takes fifteen English-
men to beat one Boer, and certainly the ordinary
English Tommy Atkins usually sent out is not a
match for one Boer, of whom large numbers can be
mustered at short notice. As a rule, within an hour
after he has received a call to arms he is ready to
depart. He has no elaborate preparations to make.
He does not change his costume ; standing in a corner
of the voorhuis (front room) his gun is ready for use.
During the short time it takes him to catch his horse
in the kraal, or to get him out of the stable and " up-
saddled," his vrouw (wife) can fill his saddle-bags with
biltong (dried meat), and off he goes. No long farewells
even keep him, as the life the Boers have led for
generations ready for any emergency does not admit
of much sentimentality. In fact, it is well known that
at Majuba, and in their numerous Kaffir wars, the
womenfolk loaded the rifles while the men fought.
Knowing that in the neighbouring country the
Chartered Company had a large force at their com-
mand, the leaders of the Reform movement made a
compact with Mr. Rhodes, who was the master-mind
there the ruling spirit in every way that he was to
help them. Accordingly Dr. Jameson, who had been
Administrator for the Chartered Company, came to
Johannesburg, and the Reform leaders informed him
that on a given date (probably the 28th December)
90 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
they intended to present an ultimatum to the Trans-
vaal Government, stating that unless certain rights were
accorded to them they would take them by force. In
case of the latter alternative, Dr. Jameson, who would
be on the border with 1200 to 1500 men and 1000
spare rifles and some ammunition, would, at the signal
from Johannesburg, come to their aid. Remember
he left Pitsani with less than 500 men ! But as some
justification in the eyes of his Directors, and in
order not to implicate them, as well as to show to his
men, the Reform leaders drew up and signed in Dr.
Jameson's presence the so-called letter, which is here
"To DR. JAMESON.
" DEAR SIR, The position of matters in this State
has become so critical that we are assured that, at
no distant period, there will be a conflict between the
Government and the Uitlander population. It is
scarcely necessary for us to recapitulate what is now
a matter of history ; suffice it to say that the position of
thousands of Englishmen and others is rapidly becoming
intolerable. Not satisfied with making the Uitlander
population pay virtually the whole of the revenue of
the country, while denying them representation, the
policy of the Government has been steadily to encroach
upon the liberty of the subject, and to undermine the
security for property to such an extent as to cause a
very deep-seated sense of discontent and danger. A
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 91
foreign corporation of Hollanders is to a considerable
extent controlling our destinies, and, in conjunction
with the Boer leaders, endeavouring to cast them in
a mould which is wholly foreign to the genius of the
people. Every public act betrays the most positive
hostility, not only to everything English, but to the
"Well, in short, the internal policy of the Govern-
ment is such as to have roused into antagonism to
it, not only practically the whole body of Uitlanders,
but a large number of the Boers; while its external
policy has exasperated the neighbouring States, causing
the possibility of great danger to the peace and inde-
pendence of this Republic. Public feeling is in a con-
dition of smouldering discontent. All the petitions of
the people have been refused with a greater or less
degree of contempt ; and in the debate on the franchise
petition, signed by nearly 40,000 people, one member
challenged the Uitlanders to fight for the rights they
asked for, and not a single member spoke against him.
Not to go into details, we may say that the Government
has called into existence all the elements necessary for
armed conflict. The one desire for the people here is
fair-play, the maintenance of their independence, and
the preservation of those public liberties without which
life is not worth living. The Government denies these
things, and violates the national sense of Englishmen
at every turn.
"What we have to consider is, What will be the
92 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
condition of things here in the event of a conflict ?
Thousands of unarmed men, women, and children of
our race will be at the mercy of well-armed Boers, while
property of enormous value will be in the greatest peril.
We cannot contemplate the future without the gravest
apprehensions. All feel that we are justified in taking
any steps to prevent the shedding of blood and to insure
the protection of our rights.
"It is under these circumstances that we feel con-
strained to call upon you to come to our aid, should a
disturbance arise here. The circumstances are so ex-
treme that we cannot but believe that you and the men
under you will not fail to come to the rescue of people
so situated. We guarantee any expense that may reason-
ably be incurred by you in helping us, and ask you to
believe that nothing but the sternest necessity has
prompted this appeal.
" CHARLES LEONARD.
JOHN HAYES HAMMOND.
This letter was undated, the understanding being
that Dr. Jameson was to affix the date when authorised
to do so. But what happened in reality ? Dr. Ruther-
ford Harris, another Chartered employe, sent it from
Cape Town to the Times, adding the date himself
28th December the day Dr. Jameson started from
Pitsani, no doubt with the idea of giving people in
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 93
England a reason for Dr. Jameson's action and to
justify him. Let us hope that if the possibility of his
surrendering had occurred to any one, Dr. Harris might
have stayed his hand, as it was the publication of
this letter which aroused the fury of all men against
Johannesburg, and gained for it a reputation it was far
from deserving, which has never been effaced. The
Johannesburgers were the injured ones, the betrayed,
but they were put in a very wrong light through the
publication of this letter ; and by fostering the im-
pression that it had in reality been sent up post haste,
Dr. Jameson and his friends made most treacherous
use of it. The publication at the time is excusable, as
no one hi their wildest dreams could have thought of
surrender, the inexcusable thing being that it had been
in Dr. Jameson's possession for weeks, and that fact
was never elicited until the British Parliamentary
Inquiry months afterwards.
Most of the Reformers had known Dr. Jameson
many years. One of them was his own brother. But
they put him to too severe a test. Surrounded as he
was by a number of young men who had come to
South Africa fairly recently, to either try to make
their fortunes or have some fun (most of them were
soldiers), they became impatient at being kept on the
border so many weeks, and talked themselves into
believing that they could "walk through the Trans-
vaal with 500 men." They were told part of the truth,
and in London drawing-rooms weeks beforehand was
94 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
discussed a subject that in Johannesburg itself was
spoken of with bated breath by the few in the secret,
and on which hung the destiny of a sub-continent.
But one cannot blame these youths. One can quite
sympathise with their military ardour : the pity is that
they were not led by better men.
Colonel Rhodes was sent by his brother to Johannes-
burg, ostensibly to take a business position ; arms were
being smuggled in; and military men from Rhodesia
were sent down to help in preparations which the
Reform men, being civilians, were naturally not com-
petent to arrange themselves. Then Lionel made his
speech in November at the Chamber of Mines. So
far so well.
The Reform Committee had expressly stipulated
that the whole movement was to take place under the
Transvaal flag, but it came to their ears, through a
medium which they could not disregard, and of which
they obtained confirmation, that when he reached
Pretoria it was the intention of Jameson to raise the
English flag. Now, there were many Africanders,
Americans, Germans, and English interested hi the
movement who did not wish to see the Republic
abolished, but merely its bad system of government.
So this question of the flag was in reality a serious one.
Mr. C. Leonard and Mr. Hamilton were despatched
post haste by the Committee to Cape Town to confer
with Mr. Rhodes, and the latter assured them he had
no intention of changing the flag, but the day after
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 95
they arrived there Dr. Jameson made his fatal start.
Remember that in that large town of Johannesburg
there were scarcely any rifles, that the population was
comparatively unarmed, and every rifle to be used had
to be smuggled in a very tedious process. The arms
were mostly concealed in oil-tanks, and all the precau-
tions taken at the different mines to which they were
sent caused great delay. The Reformers counted on
getting about 2500 guns not a very large number
but they were playing a desperate game, and relied on
.those they would get out of the arsenal.
The original project was that about 2500 rifles
should be smuggled into Johannesburg, and that
Jameson should have on the border a force of from
1200 to 1500 men, thoroughly trained and equipped,
with about an equal number of extra rifles and a good
supply of ammunition, ready to advance when called
upon. An essential feature of the plan was the seizure
of the arsenal at Pretoria, which at that time was de-
fended by only ninety artillerymen (the standing army
of the Transvaal), so that the task seemed easy of
accomplishment. The arsenal consisted of a number
of tin shanties enclosed in a square surrounded by
sun-dried brick walls. In it were stored about 15,000
Martini-Henry rifles, a large supply of ammunition,
and some Maxims. With a view to carrying out this
project, 300 rifles were sent to a spot within ten miles
of Pretoria, and mule -waggons were kept there in
readiness. On the night of the outbreak the arsenal
96 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
was to be seized, all rifles and ammunition were to be
sent to Johannesburg, and any war material which
could not be removed was to be destroyed.
Thus, according to the original plan, what with the
smuggled rifles, those in private hands, the spare
weapons to be brought by Jameson's men, and those
men themselves, Johannesburg would have mustered
a little army of not less than 5000 men, to say nothing
of the guns which might possibly be captured in the
arsenal. It was believed that with this force the town
could be held against any attack that might be made
by the Transvaal forces, and that, upon a failure in
the first assault, the Boers would have adopted their
well-known tactics of cutting off supplies, with a view
to starving the town into submission. To meet this
contingency the town was provisioned for two months,
and it was supposed that the British Government
would never sit still and allow the Uitlanders to be
forced into capitulation hi the face of the wrongs which
they had suffered. In November, when Jameson came
to Johannesburg, the supporting force had dwindled
to 800. The telegrams apprising the Reformers of his
advance spoke of 700, and in reality he started with
less than 500 men.
In the midst of their preparations, the Reformers
heard that Jameson was getting impatient on the
border, but as he had agreed not to move without
the signal arranged upon, they felt pretty safe. Con-
scious of the disastrous effect upon South African
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 97
sentiment, so far entirely in their favour, of Dr.
Jameson taking the initiative, fully aware of their un-
preparedness, but owing to the reports they received
of his restlessness, they despatched Major Heany and
Captain Holden (two of Jameson's officers who were
sent to aid them in organising, and who were fully
aware of the position) by different routes to warn him
not to start until called upon. Both these gentlemen
duly reached him and delivered their message before
he " took the bit between his teeth and bolted," to use
Mr. Rhodes' description of his mad action. Lionel had
also telegraphed to Cape Town predicting disaster if
Jameson moved. These facts were not known until
long afterwards not, indeed, until the inquiry of the
All the negotiations were made in cipher, and it is
an astonishing fact that the authorities in Pretoria
suspected nothing of the arrangements made with
Rhodes and Jameson, and the whole evidence against
the Reform Committee was contained in the tin despatch-
box brought in by Jameson's secretary, Major Robert
But two unexpected delays took place towards the
end of the month. The most important was that the
majority of the expected rifles had not arrived, without
which nothing could be done ; and, secondly, the usual
December race-meeting was being held, and it was
estimated that the population of Johannesburg was
increased by about 10,000 strangers. So for two very
98 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
good reasons it was decided to postpone the fateful
meeting demanding their rights from the 28th Decem-
ber to the 6th January. The Government meanwhile
had received notice from the National Union of its
intentions, and for the first time in its existence found
that it was to be treated with firmness. The Govern-
ment got into a regular fright, and began making the
most enticing promises; in fact, as a member of the
Volksraad put it to me afterwards, "the Government
was giving them what they asked with both hands,"
when the awful news reached Johannesburg that
Jameson had crossed the northern border of the
Transvaal and was marching to Johannesburg. Natu-
rally, when they heard the disquieting rumours that
reached them, the utmost confusion reigned, and these
men realised the horror of having an unarmed popu-
lation on their hands, with no protection for the women
and children, and the knowledge that they were far
outnumbered by the thousands of Kaffirs in the neigh-
bourhood was an added anxiety.
But the internal question was all-absorbing. They
felt sure that, whatever his motives for disregarding
their wishes, Jameson, at any rate, was acting for
the best, and loyal they were to him and loyal they
remained many a month afterwards. The dreadful
truth ultimately dawned on them that they had placed
their trust in a very undeserving person.
They felt no particular uneasiness about Jameson.
He had promised not to venture over the border with
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 99
less than 800 men, and so they thought he was well
qualified to take care of himself, especially as the most
minute and careful preparations had been made before-
hand for providing food for man and beast all along
the road. So, working like slaves day and night,
the Johannesburg men did their best to arrange for
the safety of the town, and to provide shelter and
food for the hundreds who crowded in from the
neighbouring mines. The Government removed their
wretched police immediately the best thing they
could do the Reform Committee replacing them by
volunteers, and I believe neither before nor since was
such order maintained. Only one single instance of
crime is recorded. They also immediately sent out and
bought up all the liquor hi the hundreds of canteens
along the mines and destroyed it all. Companies of
volunteers were posted in trenches round the town.
Whatever the Reform Committee did themselves was
satisfactory, but it seemed as if the Fates were against
everything connected with Jameson. He had under-
taken to see upon starting that the telegraph wires were
cut, but one of the men sent out by him failed to do
this, with the result that the Boers received news of the
invasion eight hours before the Reformers. In those
precious hours Boers for many miles round flocked into
Pretoria, and rendered the project) of taking the arsenal
an impossible task. One of Dr. Jameson's trusted persons,
sent especially for the occasion, was ordered to go and
wrench up the railway line between Johannesburg and
100 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
Krugersdorp in order to interrupt communication from
Pretoria in the direction of the Chartered forces. This
man was discovered hours afterwards in the Rand
Club, dead drunk, and the train that would have been
prevented from coming was the one which brought the
ammunition that was used against the invading force !
When the fearful news came that Jameson had
encountered the Boers near Krugersdorp, that after the
loss of some men he had surrendered, and that they
had all been conveyed to Pretoria prison, a complete
panic set in in the town. Many of the remaining
women and children started off by the few trains for
the Cape in the utmost terror. Some of them had
good cause to know what it was to remain in a besieged
town from their former Transvaal experiences. Many
were too terror-stricken to care for appearances, and
went off in the airiest attire night-gowns and dressing-
gowns. The scenes at the station were most heart-
rending ; women waited for hours in dense masses ; and
the climax was reached when those disgraceful cowards,
that portion of the Cornish miners who left, " rushed "
the trains and kept out the women. At all the stations
down the line the same conduct was repeated. On
hearing of the suffering of these poor refugees of their
own sex, the colonial women assembled with food and
other necessaries for them, but in every instance these
brutes, unworthy of the name of men, used to rush
them and snatch everything for themselves. And these
were the creatures who, when they eventually arrived
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 101
in England, were interviewed and their opinions upon
the capitalists deemed worthy of record.
On these dreadful journeys in the heat of January,
carriages and cattle-trucks were so overcrowded that
children were suffocated and children were born. A
friend of mine who, with her two delicate little chil-
dren, was among the terrified runaways, told me that
if a similar crisis ever occurred again she would sooner
brave the horrors of a siege than endure the suffering
she went through. She was four days in an open
cattle-truck, hi which they were packed like herrings.
Many of those who first escaped got off at different
stations, hoping that the next trains would be less
crowded ; but just the reverse was the case, and hence
the frightful crush.
Then came the terrible accident on the newly-opened
Natal line. The train, which was full of refugees, ran
off the rails, and thirty-eight women and children were
killed. I heard of one poor man who sent his wife and
daughters away, and they were all killed. A friend
who was in that train, but who escaped, tells me that
the horror of it will never be effaced from her memory.
She with her two children and nurse were in a carriage
which capsized, but were unhurt, and she handed the
children out of the window. The anxiety lest the
boiler should burst was terrible, until happily the
engine got detached and ran down the line. The sight
of the many decapitated and injured people was one
never to be forgotten. Verily the New Year of 1896
102 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
is one that many people in South Africa have cause
to remember !
Lionel told me that those few days were a terrible
experience. For five days and nights most of the
Reform Committee had very little sleep, and he said
that he was so wearied in mind and body that if he
had heard he was going to be shot he would scarcely
have minded. A friend of ours told me that he
happened to go into the goldfields offices, which were
used by the Reform Committee at this time, and found
him asleep on the floor with nothing but the cold oil-
cloth under him, and that he took off his coat and
put it under his head without awaking him.
Meanwhile they were all in a great suspense about
Jameson and his friends, not being aware that before
surrendering they had stipulated for then- safety. That
was a little secret upon which much depended. Nor
were they informed that Major Robert White had
brought with him a despatch-box containing the key
to the cipher that had been used through most of the
negotiations, the copy of the so-called letter of invi-
tation, the names of various people, &c. Therefore in
Johannesburg the only anxiety was for the personal
safety of Jameson and his friends. They thought that
for themselves there was no danger, the Government
having no evidence whatever against them, as every
scrap of writing had been destroyed. They felt that
they had been working for the good of the place, that
they had taken all possible precautions for the safety of
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 103
the women and children, and the Government believed
they had 20,000 rifles.
Even after Jameson's frightful blunder they had
the game practically in their own hands, but lost it,
for two reasons. The first and principal one was the
interference of the High Commissioner, who, infected
apparently by the air of Pretoria, made promises
through the British Agent which were never kept;
and the second and minor one, that the Reform Com-
mittee did not realise at the time their own strength.
They knew that they had very few rules and a hope-
lessly small supply of ammunition, and did not then
realise that the Government was shaking in its shoes,
convinced that they had 20,000.
Sir Hercules Robinson (late Lord Rosmead) offered
his services to the Transvaal Government with a view
to a peaceful settlement, and to show that the latter
Government was most anxious for his intervention, it
is well to emphasise the facts that Jameson surren-
dered on Thursday morning, that the telegraph line
was in full working order, and that the Governor did
not leave Cape Town until Thursday night. Having
vanquished Jameson, clearly the Transvaal authorities,
had they felt able to deal with the Reformers, would
during that day have withdrawn their acceptance of
his services. Sir Hercules came up to restore order
and to do what he could for every one.
South Africa has been called " the Grave of Reputa-
tions," and when one thinks of the many good public
104 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
servants of the Crown who have come to grief over
its difficult problems, one sees much truth in the
sweeping title. Here we see the sad spectacle of a
careful Governor, a man beloved by all who knew him,
but physically unfit for his work, undertaking a most
difficult diplomatic mission, and making a dreadful
mess of it. Sir Hercules was old and in indifferent
health, and to make matters worse, the train he
travelled by met with an accident before reaching its
destination. The party arrived many hours late, much
shaken, and what little nerve he may have had for his
difficult task was quite gone. He stayed hi Pretoria
five days, and was seen by Kruger once. One little
interview to settle the difficulties of years !
Anyhow, he sent the British Resident, Sir Jacobus de
Wet, and Sir Sidney Shippard to Johannesburg, and they
in turn addressed the thousands assembled. The gist
of their speeches was that Sir Hercules had come as re-
presenting her Majesty's Government, and promised to
see that the Uitlanders got their just rights, but first and
foremost he must ask them to give up their arms, for
the lives of Jameson and his men depended upon it,
and without that preliminary no negotiations with the
Transvaal Government could be conducted. There was
strong opposition on all sides, but the leaders were
persuaded to use their utmost influence, as Jameson's
safety was absolutely at stake, and the matter urgent
They were promised, however, that their grievances
should be looked into and righted. So, naturally
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 105
believing what they were told, though in the teeth
of the most violent opposition from the mass of
the men, the disarmament was effected every man
gave up his gun, no matter what the kind, at the
bidding of her Majesty's representative. The lives of
the Reformers were in greater danger at that moment
from their fellows than they had yet been from the
When the guns were given up to the number of
2500 the Boers would not believe that was all. Even
the solemn word of the leaders would not convince
them, and for many months afterwards the vain search
for arms continued all over the town and in many of
the mines, naturally without result, as there were no
more. I remember some months afterwards when a
new recreation-room for the Robinson Mine had just
been finished, a search was ordered, and a square hole
was cut in the middle of the floor specially laid for
dancing, as somebody had made an affidavit that guns
were concealed underneath; also on another occasion
the water was pumped out of a mine at great expense
to try to find guns supposed to be concealed at the
Having done his gruesome work, Sir Hercules re-
turned to Cape Town, leaving Johannesburg absolutely
at the mercy of the Boers. He actually effected the dis-
armament of this large town without making one single
condition for its safety, and from that day the most
signal acts of tyranny and injustice were committed
106 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
over and over again by the Boer oligarchy, and there
was no one to say them nay. This was a critical event
for English supremacy in South Africa, this final act
of supreme weakness and folly! Many of her most
loyal subjects from that moment have wavered on the
brink, and some have gone over to the side of the
Africander Bond. It is such actions as these which
estrange the colonists, and which give a little reality to
the Bondsman's dream \of a united South Africa under
a Republican flag.
The Colonial Secretary has been considerably criti-
cised for this action and its consequences, but his
defenders say that through the action of the Governor,
who never found out the conditions of Jameson's sur-
render and hence effected the disarmament under false
promises, his hands were terribly tied, and that Sir
Hercules, losing a magnificent^ opportunity when the
game was still in his hands, completely handicapped
the} Home Government. As some one graphically put
it, " Sir Hercules was the stick that broke in Chamber-
BEING now masters of the situation, one of the first
acts of the Pretoria Government was to issue war-
rants against the principal Reformers, and consequently
sixty-four of the leading men of the town were arrested
and taken over to Pretoria prison. Remember that
these men had been assured by the British Agent that
" not a hair of their heads should be touched " ! From
the moment Sir Hercules left the place they were com-
pletely deserted by the English Government, and for
some time to come we were to have, La all its naked
hideousness, the painful spectacle of men who started
with a firm belief hi their country's justice and power,
arriving by slow and heartrending degrees, and after
months of agonised suspense, at the conclusion that
unless they worked out their own salvation, they might
spend the rest of their days in the prison where they
had been cast through the false promises of their own
countrymen. But that conviction had not yet forced
itself on their minds that was to come very slowly.
As to the redress of grievances promised by her
Majesty's representative, except for feeble suggestions
treated with contempt by Kruger, nothing was done,
and at the moment of writing, more than three years
108 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
after these events, Johannesburg is in a worse state than
it was before. Kruger, finding he could do exactly as
he liked, has made of the Transvaal a country abso-
lutely impossible for free men to live in. If the men
of Johannesburg could have foreseen that they were to
be deserted, how much heartburning and bitterness of
spirit they might have saved themselves !
The arrests were made very quietly and suddenly.
One gentleman, as he was walking down the street, was
informed by the Lieutenant of Police that he was ar-
rested. He calmly went with the Lieutenant, but being
a lawyer it dawned upon him that he had seen no
warrant, and asked where it was. He was told there
was no warrant out against him. " Very well," he said,
" I refuse to be arrested without one." So he was left
in peace, but lived for weeks under the disquieting
impression that at any moment he might be dragged
off to Pretoria, and I believe used to ask periodically
when they were going to take him. But they would
not have him at all, and he was never imprisoned.
Lionel, who was staying in Johannesburg at that
time, gave himself up when he heard that arrests of the
Reformers were being made. Mr. Rouliot, one of his
partners, and others have told me since, that at the
moment they were almost pleased at his detention in
prison, for the mob in Johannesburg were so enraged
with the Reform Leaders on account of the misery that
had fallen upon the town, that they really feared for
their safety. There were also people who whispered of
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 109
the danger of assassination it would be so easy some
dark night on that lonely road to Hohenheim to get rid
of a man who was troublesome to more than one party.
Therefore, in spite of everything, the imprisonment of
these men was a great relief to their friends.
The names of the sixty -four members of the
Reform Committee are too well known for me to re-
capitulate them. Among these were mining men,
doctors, lawyers, and financiers some very rich and
some very poor but they were in the majority of cases
serious, earnest men, having the cause they had taken
up much at heart. In so large a number there were a
few whom one would scarcely expect to find amongst a
reforming body, but such elements are apt to creep into
any movement of the kind. Still they were a very re-
presentative body of men, and, as time proved, bore
then* lot with patience and dignity. The prisoners
had a very uncomfortable journey to Pretoria, being
yelled at and threatened at all the stopping -places
en route, and on their way from the station to the
prison the escort rode on to them using every sort
of abusive epithet. An excited mob was there to yell
at and insult them, and Captain Mem, a man of nearly
sixty, was kicked and knocked down by a manly
I must now describe the gaol, where so many weeks
and months were to be spent, and which was to become
so well known to us. The head gaoler, Du Plessis, a
coarse brute, filthy in mind and body, was an absolute
110 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
autocrat on his own premises ; and as a connection and
intimate personal friend of Kruger's one can imagine
what were the prospects of the prisoners. Their one
safeguard through the whole of their imprisonment was
that the under-gaoler, Burgers, was a colonial Boer, a
good-natured, simple sort of man, a great deal more
humane than his superior officer, and that between the
two existed bitter jealousy and dislike. To him the
prisoners were indebted for many an act of kindness.
When they reached the gaol, one of them remarked to
Du Plessis, " Awful place, this gaol of yours." The
latter responded with enthusiasm, " Yes, you are right !
It is the only place the English built when they were in
occupation here, and it is a disgrace to any town." So far
the Boers had never had any white political prisoners,
nor any but of the worst character, and the accommo-
dation was of the most primitive order. The whole
place was surrounded by a high quadrangular wall of
sunburnt brick. Near the large gates stood, on the
one side, a small guard-room, on the other the head-
gaoler's house. Round the inside of the wall were the
cells, few in number, and falling far short of the
ordinary sanitary regulations. A little to the right,
on entering, was what became known as "Jameson's
cottage." Its two wretched little rooms were divided
by a passage, and had windows, whereas the other cells
only had oblong holes near the roof. As the building
was not suited to receive such a large number of white
men, who could not be left outside to brave all weathers,
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 111
the way they were treated beggars description. On
their reaching the gaol, they were thrust into what-
ever place they could be put, and were nearly stifled.
The next day they were sorted.
Lionel, George Farrar, Colonel Rhodes, and J. H.
Hammond were put into one cell, twelve feet square,
without windows, and were locked up there the first
three nights for thirteen hours. Then the prison
doctor insisted on more space being allotted to them,
and the door, which communicated with a court-
yard twenty feet square, was left open at night. This
was the space in which they were permitted to take
exercise. They were not allowed to associate with their
fellows at first. In January, in Pretoria, the heat is
intense, quite semi-tropical indeed, the temperature
varying from 90 to 105 degrees in the shade. As the
weather happened to be at its hottest, the sufferings of
these men were awful. The cells, hitherto devoted to
the use of Kaffirs, swarmed with vermin and smelt
horribly; while to increase their miseries, if that were
possible, one of their number was suffering from dysen-
tery, and no conveniences of any kind were supplied.
With these facts hi mind, any attempt to describe
what the prisoners underwent would be superfluous.
Add to all these hardships their mental sufferings, and
then judge of their state.
The English Government, I think, is better aware
than most people how very little these men's lives were
worth at that moment. It would have given Kruger
112 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
and his satellites the liveliest satisfaction to have shot
most of them, but especially the four I have mentioned.
The fifth of the signatories to the letter was Mr. Charles
Leonard, but as he had not returned to Johannesburg
after being sent to the Cape on a mission to Mr. Rhodes
in the latter part of December, and as Mr. Fitzpatrick
had taken a very prominent part in the movement,
having been the secretary of the Reform Com-
mittee, the Boer Government thought later that he was
a useful person to complete the quintette.
After the first few days the prisoners were treated
a little more leniently, and were allowed to have their
food sent in. Their friends also were allowed to come
and see them. Then the preliminary examination
began, and nothing very incriminating was forth-
coming. Jameson and his men were also imprisoned
in the same yard, although not in contact with the
others, but either did not, or could not, give the
Reform men sundry details which might have en-
lightened them as to their motives of action, nor
did they inform them of the capture of the famous
despatch - box. When the Reform prisoners heard
and read of the "Transvaal Government being in
possession of incriminating documents showing a
widespread conspiracy," they only laughed, knowing
that they had carefully destroyed all written evidence.
Hence their light-hearted attitude, which on my return
struck me, who had been undergoing agonies of mind
on their account, with dismay. Their physical dis-
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 113
comforts and daily humiliations they would not see;
so, believing the Boers had not much evidence against
them, and knowing that their own Government had
promised to protect them, beyond bitter disappoint-
ment they felt very little uneasiness. Hence Lionel's
unwillingness to allow me and the children to come
out to him. He was convinced they would be set free
for want of evidence against them, not suspecting for
one moment the double betrayal they had suffered.
When I arrived at Johannesburg the lengthy pre-
liminary trial was drawing to an unsatisfactory close. I
went over to Pretoria next day and visited the Raadzaal,
where it was being held, and was accommodated with a
seat. It was so strange, knowing they were prisoners, to
see these men come in in an indifferent manner, and take
their seats, and then listen to the dragging examination,
which was very slow and Boer-like in its methods, every
sentence being interpreted from Dutch into English.
It seemed also very strange to me, quite fresh to it all,
to see that some of the prisoners even did their best
to go to sleep; but, on second thoughts, it was not to
be wondered at. They had been enduring an ineffable
boredom for five weeks, and knowing what a hollow
farce it all was, and hearing the perjury committed in
the most barefaced way by many of the Boer officials,
they had grown heart-sick, and strove to drown it all
in slumber. Also, the heat was unbearable.
The majority of the men were then out on bail,
but the principal offenders were in a little cottage on
114 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
the outskirts of Pretoria. Mr. Hammond, who was not
very well, was in Cape Town on bail. He remained
away most of the time, and, except towards the end,
shared very little of the imprisonment of the others.
He had to thank his ill-health, his clever wife, and the
fact of being an American citizen for his immunity.
I went up to the cottage and found the four very
cheery and trying to hide their anxiety, but it was never-
theless apparent. Their continued detention, the absence
of news, either private or official, was beginning to take
effect. I must say it struck me then, as it did many
times afterwards, how loyal they were to all who had
been concerned in the movement, and that they were
positively optimistic in their reliance on Government
protection. The doubts that kept creeping in were
always overruled by one member or another of the
party. They encouraged in each other an optimism
they did not always feel, but had they not done so I
am quite sure they could not have borne up so cheerily
nor have come out of their troubles as unscathed as
they apparently did.
The cottage they occupied was a little bungalow,
consisting of four rooms three bedrooms and a dining-
room with a verandah all round, and had a pleasant
garden, full of roses and violets, as well as oleanders,
moonflowers, and some trees. A faithful servant of
ours cooked for them, and two of the men had their
valets, so they were in Paradise compared with the
gaol. They were watched by guards, who surrounded
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 115
the Compound, twelve by day and six by night. They
were nominally out on bail, but were kept under strict
surveillance, and, in addition, had to pay for the guards
at the rate of 1000 a month! The lieutenant, an
ignorant, blustering young Boer, was a thorn in their
side. Vulgar and omnipresent as he was, they had
no privacy of any kind. He was very fond of their
cigars and whisky, very often the worse for the latter,
and used to bully them in petty ways that only his
own mean little soul was capable of imagining. For
instance, I remember one day Lionel and I, with a
visitor from England, were sitting in the little dining-
room, when the lieutenant, booted and spurred, with
his hat on his head and his pipe in his mouth, came
into the room. We were all talking, but he rudely
interrupted us, standing in the middle of the room,
with his legs astride, and saying to Lionel in a bully-
ing tone, "What do you mean by looking at me like
that ? " It appears that Lionel had lent him his
bicycle that morning, which he had broken, being
probably hi his usual half-tipsy state, but the former
had taken no notice whatever of the matter. On
being questioned in this manner, Lionel replied, "I
was not looking at you, I was talking to this gentle-
man." " Oh," replied the lieutenant, " I know what it
is. You are in a rage with me because I broke your
bicycle, but I will make it hot for you if you dare
to look at me in that manner again," and with these
words he marched out of the room.
116 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
On another occasion the guards had been changed,
and the one stationed at the gate did not notice that
the prisoners had gone off on their bicycles before the
escort was ready. Mrs. Fitzpatrick and I happened to
be spending the day at the cottage. The lieutenant,
when he saw the disappearing forms of the prisoners,
got into a frightful rage, began using dreadful language
to the terrified guard, and I really was afraid he would
use personal violence. So adopting a bantering tone,
I said to the lieutenant, "Don't get into such a state
of mind. You know very well these men don't want
to run away," and a few arguments of that kind. Then
he burst out laughing, and said, "Oh, well, it doesn't
matter if they do run away. We have two of the
wives here, and we will take very good care to stick
The four Lionel, George Farrar, Colonel Rhodes,
and Fitzpatrick were a most united and happy quar-
tette, and their constant companion and untiring
errand runner was Percy Farrar, the brother of George,
who had come out from England expressly to be with
him. They were kept close prisoners, except for
their one hour's bicycle ride every afternoon, which
was always taken hi one direction, away from the town.
A very funny cortege they were too, when they went
out. None of them indulged in a very correct toilet.
The heat made them very thankful to patronise silk
shirts, no coats, and the most varied of headgear. They
used to start out in line on their " bikes " with the
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 117
redoubtable lieutenant and two of his men on horse-
back following them, and often this procession would be
increased by some chance visitors from Johannesburg,
following in little open flies, or also on bicycles. Their
bicycles were a real godsend to the prisoners, and a
good deal of their mornings used to be spent cleaning
them, or practising wonderful feats in the garden.
They were in too restless a frame of mind to read
much, and passed many hours playing whist. Their
lawyers, who appeared to be legion, also spent a good
deal of time with them preparing their defence. They
constantly had visitors from Johannesburg, who often
stayed to lunch, and among the most frequent of these
were their fellow-prisoners out on real bail.
So far, I had never told the children that their
father was a prisoner. I thought the very word, at
their age, might give them a shock never to be effaced.
So I was most careful that they should not come in
contact with any one who might tell them, thinking
that, until the necessity arose, there was no need.
Harold, especially, was then at an age nine to feel
the horror of it without analysing it. But, of course,
once we were back in Johannesburg the truth could
no longer be entirely suppressed. But it was not in
all its nakedness that they saw it being in the cottage
was not like being in a prison, and I was thankful.
Soon after our arrival, they went over to Pretoria to
see their father, and of course Harold's first question
was, " What are those guards all doing here ? " I then
118 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
took the opportunity to explain to them that their
father had been working for the good of Johannesburg,
and of the people there, that the Boers, who were
their wicked oppressors, had taken him prisoner in
consequence, but that they had only cause to be proud
of what he had done. This explanation sufficed, and a
great load was lifted from my mind.
During the time these men were in prison Pre-
toria reaped a golden harvest. The constant stream
of visitors from Johannesburg caused more activity on
the wretched little railway than had ever been known
before. (The journey of about forty miles, by the way,
took two and a half hours.) The hotelkeepers and
shopkeepers did not know themselves, and wished the
miserable affair might drag on for ever, as at times
it almost seemed that it would.
I must mention a very marked change which
had taken place in Johannesburg during my eight
months' absence. Formerly one saw very few Boers
in the place they had hitherto shunned the town
but now they seemed to abound, and also in the train
and on the platforms they were to be seen on every
side. There was a remarkable increase, too, in the
number of Germans and Russian Jews. The place had
indeed changed for the worse, and I could hardly realise
I was in South Africa. I was warned on my arrival
to be very careful in what I said, as spies were every-
where, and that also was such an un-colonial idea that
I felt more than ever how the place had fallen on evil
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 119
days. The waiters at all the hotels were credited with
being in the pay of the Government, and from their
conduct on occasions I was not surprised to hear it.
We found out afterwards that even our own chef, a
German, who had been with us for over two years, had
played the spy on Lionel, and had given information
of his movements to the Government before he was
arrested. When one saw what a den of iniquity the
town had become, and knowing that these methods,
being entirely foreign to the simple ones of the Boers,
were due to some of their German and Hollander in-
structors, it is no wonder that many of us were plunged in
despondency to see this happening under our very eyes.
Once or twice, while the prisoners were living in the
cottage, the relations between the English and Trans-
vaal Governments became very strained, and they as
usual were made aware of it by the methods already
described. But at one time, as their trial approached,
matters became quite serious, and we who were more
intimately connected with them had fears for their
personal safety. Negotiations between the two Govern-
ments were not progressing very favourably. It was
at the moment when Mr. Chamberlain had invited
Kruger over to England: the latter had refused, and
a feeling of great irritation reigned. So much bad
blood had been caused that the smallest thing gave
rise to ill-feeling. We, on our side, were becoming
more and more hopeless as to obtaining any assist-
ance from England.
120 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
Sinister rumours were spread about, and we often
heard the word " assassination." We also learned
that the beam on which in 1816 the five rebels of
Slachter's Nek in the Cape Colony had been hanged by
the English Government of that date, had been un-
earthed from its resting-place in the house of one of
their descendants in the Bedford district, and brought
to Pretoria. The information reached Sir Hercules
Robinson, and he wired from Cape Town to the British
agent to make inquiries. Sir Jacobus de Wet happen-
ing to belong to the district referred to, speedily dis-
covered that some Transvaal Boers had purchased this
beam from the owner of the house into which it was
built at Cookhouse Drift, paying the cost of its being
replaced by a new one. He called on the President,
who denied all knowledge of the matter. That night,
however, two of his faithful burghers informed him that
they had secured the historic beam to hang the leading
Reformers upon. Meanwhile the Colonial Office had
been made acquainted with the intention of some of
the Boers to seize the chief prisoners one night and hang
them before the trial. This drew forth a cable message
to Kruger, holding him and his Executive personally
liable for the lives of the prisoners. The English
Government had awakened at last. Kruger, when
again approached on the subject, admitted that the
beam was in Pretoria, but declared that it had been
purchased for the museum by his patriotic burghers !
I inquired of Lionel if precautions of any kind had
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 121
been taken in the event of their finding it necessary to
make a dash for the frontier. He informed me that
his partners in Johannesburg had made arrangements
for getting them over the Natal border ; but as I did
not consider the details nearer home in case of a
sudden flight very satisfactory, I took upon myself to
make certain preparations in case of need, though with
the exception of Lionel, who protested that in any case
they would never use them, and Percy Farrar, I kept
them to myself. I well knew the danger these men
would be in were the word " flight " even hinted at.
It was just what the Pretoria authorities were longing
for a good pretext to get rid of these troublesome
prisoners. It would so exactly have suited their tactics,
though not their protestations.
I made my preparations for the possible flight of the
prisoners, and began by getting a woman whom I knew
to be trustworthy to buy me four revolvers, as, since Sir
Hercules' visit, no one possessed such a thing. I then
sent for our doctor in Johannesburg, and had to tell
him what I wanted. My plan was to have ready some
drug to put into the whisky for the guards that would
render them useless in case of an emergency; as they
were much addicted to that liquid, and helped them-
selves freely to the prisoners', I hoped we might count
on disposing of some of them. I also thought that if
any of them should be seized with a fit of abstemious-
ness, some chloroform might be useful. So, promising
me his aid, the doctor departed. Next day he brought
122 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
me a good supply of chloroform and a large bottle of
solution of morphine, giving me directions how to use
the latter. It was a sign of the times that, in a most
matter-of-fact voice and manner, this extremely kind,
quiet man should ask me, " Would you prefer some-
thing that would kill them outright, as this will only
render them unconscious?" Not feeling inclined to
commit murder, I refused a more powerful drug, and
returned to Pretoria with my prizes. We kept them
under the boards (which we lifted) of one of the rooms,
but happily no occasion arose for the use of these des-
It is well known that one of Jameson's troopers on
the way down, falling ill, was taken prisoner by some
Boers, and kept at their farmhouse some days. He
was tied up, and forced to submit to all sorts of ill-
treatment, being given dirty water to drink, for instance,
when half dying of thirst. But his captor's wife had
compassion on him, and at the end of several days, to
his surprise, he was told that he was to be allowed to
go free. The Boers gave him his horse, mounted him,
and informed him the one condition they made was
that he was to ride away as fast as he could. He
naturally obeyed, and as he galloped off had several
bullets put into him, poor fellow. That is a very
favourite and well-known method of Transvaal Boer
assassination. It gives them the pretext that a prisoner
had been trying to escape.
A man who was concerned in the Reform move-
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
ment and was put into Krugersdorp gaol and kept
there some time, told me of a similar attempt they
made on his life, only he, knowing their character well,
saved himself. One morning in the prison yard one of
the guards said to him, " You see that post," pointing
to one a little way off, " try and see how fast you can
run to it." Harrington turned to him and said, " Yes,
so that you can shoot me in the back and say I was
running away." The dumbfounded Boer saw that this
joke was not to be practised on him.
I must here remark on a fact that is not always
known in England and elsewhere, and that is that
there is a considerable difference between the Boer
of the Transvaal and the Colonial Boer. Though
au fond their natures and character may be much
alike, there is at this day a considerable difference in
many of their ideas, owing to the different life they
have led for several generations; and it must also be
remembered that the Transvaal Boer is of a rebel
stock, "his hand against every man, and every man's
hand against him." In 1835, when the great "trek"
from the colony took place, these men's ancestors were
the men who defied the Government with great good
cause in many instances and whose hearts were filled
with bitterness and loathing, whose one idea was to
get away from their oppressors. The difficulties and
dangers they went through, fighting wild beasts as well
as Kaffirs, although it gave them a rugged independ-
ence, at the same time developed some of the very
324 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
qualities possessed by their new foes viz., treachery
and a callous cruelty.
Their treatment of the Kaffirs is barbarous in the
extreme. Perhaps remembering what they suffered at
their hands in their early struggles in Natal and the
Transvaal, hi course of time they have adopted some of
their methods, and hence one has to distinguish between
them and the Colonial Boer, who during the same period
has gradually been enjoying the advantages of settled
government and contact with a superior class of per-
son. The Boer, living on his solitary farm, has been
so exempt from laws, and has gone his own way for so
many years, that now force is the only argument that
appeals to him. The Kaffirs hate the Boers, and with
reason. The latter have never credited them with a
capacity for feeling in any form, describing them in
their laws as "creatures," and, when they dare, rule
them entirely by fear and cruelty. As a child, I
remember being fascinated and horrified by a tale
told at the Cape of a certain slave-owner there,
who, being displeased one day at some action of a
slave, put him into one of those huge outside ovens
that one sees there, which was heated, and shut the
door on him. Some time afterwards he looked in,
saw the slave grinning the grin of an agonised death,
and saying to the corpse, " Wat ? lach gij noch ? "
(What ? do you still laugh ?) slammed the door to again.
As cruelty is inherent in all human beings, and its
eradication is purely a question of education, one can
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 125
conceive that these men, who for several generations
have worked their will without let or hindrance on the
native of the Transvaal, partially exterminating tribes,
would become more and more callous.
The Transvaal Boer has also imbibed another Kaffir
characteristic, and that is his utter disregard of the
truth. He only feels ashamed of a lie if he is found
out, and so does a Kaffir.
I do not mean to say, however, that I consider the
English treatment of the Kaffir the right one either.
They go too far in the other direction, and treat a Kaffir
as if he were a white man. A Kaffir is, of course, quite
another creation, and must be treated as such. The
mistake the English make is in forgetting the centuries
which it has taken to make the white man what he
is centuries of religious and moral principle instilled
into him. They fancy the Kaffir, with his limited brain
development, must start from the point they themselves
have reached. Naturally it does not succeed : the point
of view is quite different. Ordinary kindness, unless ac-
companied by absolute unbending seriousness, is imme-
diately construed by the native into weakness. But there
is a great difference between the cruel callousness of the
Boer and the indulgent kindness of the English, which
almost acknowledges an equality of race. Rigid justice
and firmness are essential in dealing with the Kaffir, and
the full service for which he engages must be exacted.
He utterly lacks any sense of gratitude. I remember a
case where a "boy," who had been a long tune in the
126 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
service of an Englishman, became seriously ill with in-
flammation of the lungs. Eighty pounds were spent in
doctoring and nursing him. When convalescent, he de-
sired to visit his home, to which his employer consented.
One day prior to his departure, he went to his master
and said: "Baas, you owe me ten shillings for wages
before I got ill." The master asked him how he could
demand that ten shillings, knowing how much had been
spent during his illness ; and the native retorted : " Why
did you spend so much ; why did you not let me die ?
I did not ask you to ! "
I forgot to mention that when the Reform men were
taken prisoners, one of the first actions of the Govern-
ment was to search everywhere for concealed arms
or documents, and among other places our house in
Johannesburg was not exempt. By some unaccountable
oversight, a locked drawer in Lionel's study was allowed
to be broken open, and his private letter-book was taken.
It has always been a matter of bitter regret to me that
I was not there, as I am sure my first impulse would
have been to destroy any possibly incriminating docu-
ments. This famous book was a glorious find for the
Transvaal authorities, out of which they made much
capital, although it contained no reference to the pro-
jected revolt nor to any collusion with Jameson. There
were copies of private business letters containing many
allusions to the corruption and misgovermnent at Pre-
toria, and it is to be regretted that a few of the home
truths contained in them did not have more effect.
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 127
Lionel's private letters to his partners in England neces-
sarily included many unflattering comments on Boer
tactics and manners, but the Government made an un-
fair use of them by publishing extracts without the con-
text, thus wilfully distorting the meaning to suit their
own purpose. For example, that phrase which has been
so useful to them as well as to certain Liberals in Eng-
land, " There are many here who do not care a fig for
the franchise," assumes quite a different meaning when
the context is given. Then also the affairs of other
people mentioned in some of these letters were ruth-
lessly disclosed in the most dishonourable manner, one
of their own judges being ruined hi consequence.
Bur the trial of the prisoners was approaching. I
shall never forget the awful shock I received when,
having gone over to see Lionel, he came out of the
dining-room where they were all sitting hi conclave
with their lawyers, and taking me aside on the verandah,
said hi a solemn voice
" You reproached me before because I had not told
you everything, so now I wish to tell you something
you ought to know. We have decided that the four
principal prisoners are to plead Guilty Guilty to High
Treason ! We have all along thought the Government
had no evidence against us, but Dr. Coster (the State
Attorney) has informed Wessels (their advocate) that
the Jameson party brought in a despatch-box full of
papers, which the Government has got, and the evi-
dence against us is too great to make it worth while
disputing the case."
It appeared that the despatch-box contained not only
the key to the cipher used hi all the negotiations, but
a copy of the alleged letter of invitation which Major
Robert White had sworn on affidavit was a true copy,
and the signatures true ones thereby putting another
nail into the coffins of the Reformers, which to say the
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 129
least was a peculiar proceeding. Very ugly reasons are
given in Pretoria for this affidavit ; but whatever Major
Robert White's motives may have been, his action was
I thought I should never get over this fresh blow,
and did everything hi my power to persuade Lionel not
to plead guilty upon such a charge. They had not com-
mitted high treason, and it seemed to me but one of the
traps in which they had been caught so often. Lionel
argued with me for some time and then got angry, say-
ing to me, " You are most selfish."
I remember how I went away through the scented
tropical garden that lovely evening, weeping bitterly, for
my heart felt broken, and I was crushed with the hope-
lessness of it all. As I was going out of the gate,
Percy Fitzpatrick ran after me and tried to comfort
me, urging me not to lose my pluck.
Anyhow, my entreaties were of no avail, and there
was nothing to be done. The whole thing was kept
secret for a day or two, and then when it was finally
determined on by the four principals, the rest were in-
formed of the decision. The most plausible arguments
were used, and all the lawyers were against me, but
personally I shall always remain convinced that it was
The four prisoners were told that if they pleaded
guilty to high treason, a plea of guilty to quite a minor
charge would be accepted from the rest, and everything
would be much easier ; and if, instead of irritating the
130 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
judges by a long defence, they consented to take this
course, Mr. Wessels assured them that the State At-
torney would come to a compromise, and they could
rest assured that their own sentence would be a fine
and banishment, in terms of the Statute Laws, while
the remaining fifty-nine, some of whom were guilty of
very little, would have a nominal fine say about 100.
So Mr. Wessels and the State Attorney arranged the
matter, and the proposed compromise was considered
a settled thing. Everybody then went about with
light hearts, and the prisoners looked forward to a
speedy end of their imprisonment. Of course we
were told that the arrangement was not to be men-
tioned, for the sake of appearances, &c. ; in fact, it was
even suggested that the sending of the prisoners over
the border might be delayed a week or -two also
for the sake of appearances and a nominal punish-
ment, such as detention in a private house, insisted
on at first, as of course the Government must not
be made to look mercenary, and the feelings of the
burghers must be considered.
In this large body of men certain among them were
technically more guilty than others, although they were
all included in one charge, and the four signatories of
the letter thought that by taking the onus on their own
shoulders they would spare the others; moreover, as
Jameson and his fellows were still untried, they did not
wish any evidence to be elicited which might have dam-
aged them ! All this happened one week before the trial.
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 131
There had been much discussion as to which judge
should try the case, as the three judges in Pretoria
were disqualified two because they had given the
Government advice at the time of the raid, and the
third because he was a Scotchman, and known to be
friendly to the prisoners. This matter was felt to be
one of considerable importance. Just before the trial
we were informed that Judge Gregorowski, from the
Orange Free State, was coming, and the choice was
looked upon as a bad one for the prisoners.
All this time I had been living at Hohenheim with
my children, and Lionel's sister and her husband were
also staying with me. I had made several trips a week
to Pretoria to see him, but now we moved to that town,
leaving the children at home, and I took up my resi-
dence at the Transvaal Hotel, where, from first to last,
the proprietor, although a German and a friend of the
other side, showed me the greatest kindness and con-
sideration. I had a tiny bedroom leading on to a
verandah, and all the rooms were equally small, but
fortunately perfectly clean. The strain on the resources
of Pretoria was great at this tune owing to the unusual
influx of strangers, and the two hotels of the place were
crowded. I could not even get a sitting-room, and the
whole time I was there Mr. Jahn lent me his own
private room. It was real acts of kindness such as
this which softened much of the suffering we had to
Just before the trial, Mr. Hammond came up from
132 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
Cape Town to be present. The British Government
sent Mr. Rose-Innes, a barrister from Cape Town, to
watch the case for them. As there was no building
in Pretoria large enough for the purpose, the market-
house was turned into a court for the occasion. The
acoustic properties were so bad that the prisoners never
heard one word of the proceedings, and could not even
catch the voices of the counsel or judges. I must here
mention that all this time more than three months
all business had been at a complete standstill in
Johannesburg. To begin with, so many mine managers
and directors of companies were among the prisoners
that their continual trips to Pretoria sadly interfered
with work, and the absence of so many important pro-
fessional men was felt in various ways. Then the spirit
of unrest which was continually spreading was a great
deterrent to work, and caused incalculable harm to
trade. A feeling of absolute distrust of the Government
prevailed, and it is not to be wondered at that every-
body was on tenterhooks, and that from day to day one
never knew what might happen. The word " confisca-
tion " was constantly whispered, but every one felt that
this was too serious a matter for even the Transvaal
Government to contemplate lightly, since by the ruin of
these persons so many foreign shareholders would have
indirectly suffered. It was always considered a great
safeguard to the prisoners that among them were
Americans and other foreigners.
Then one Friday the trial began, and the huge
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 133
market-house was packed. The judge, with his evil
hawk-like face, seemed the very personification of
cruelty and malice. He^was seated in a sort of box ; in
front of him were the counsel for both sides ; on the
right, opposite the jury, but low down and far away, sat
the prisoners. A small space in front of the barristers
was reserved for ladies. My sister-in-law and I went
early to get good seats, and found most of the other
prisoners' wives and friends there, besides a number of
the Pretoria ladies, the wives of some of the Hollander
officials. Some of these latter looked on it as a most
exciting exhibition of toilette, and I heard one remark,
" Oh, I wish I had put on something else."
The first day was devoted to hearing the case for
the prosecution. A propos of the Pretoria ladies, I
must say that we poor " Reform ladies " were cordially
detested by many of them, and a little incident which
occurred the first day, miserable and trifling enough
hi itself, still helped to add its sting to my misery.
When we returned to the Court, I found all the seats
taken, quite half being occupied by Pretoria dames
who were there out of pure curiosity; but I wanted
most particularly to hear the speech for the prosecu-
tion, and not being very practised in Dutch, would not
have been able to follow had I been far off. So seeing
a vacant place in the front row, I requested the old
usher to put two chairs there for us, which he did.
Two women just behind (they were the daughter of the
French Consul Aubert and the wife of the correspon-
134 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
dent of the Temps) protested most vigorously, and
the usher said to me in Cape Dutch, " Hulle is bije
parmantige vrouwen" (They are very impertinent
women). I assured him that did not signify hi the
least, but as I and my sister-in-law took our seats,
the one lady remarked quite audibly, "Les femmes
des accuses." She evidently thought the wife of the
correspondent of a notoriously partisan paper had
more right than the unfortunate wife of a prisoner to
hear the argument on his life or death.
However, I scored my petty revenge through my
knowledge of Cape Dutch, as I requested the usher
to enforce their silence, which he did by standing
guard over them for the rest of the afternoon.
Dr. Coster, as counsel for the State, presented the
case against the prisoners in straightforward and
moderate speech, without any evidence of animus, and
appeared to conform to the understanding arrived at.
The next day was devoted to hearing the case for
the prisoners. Mr. Wessels read a statement prepared
by the four leaders, and then made a speech on
behalf of the whole body. Here, according to legal
etiquette, the matter should have rested until the
sentence was given, but in spite of protests from Mr.
Wessels and the barristers for the defence, the State
Attorney got up and, as it were, repenting his previous
attitude, made the most violent attack it is possible
to imagine on the prisoners. He advised the judge,
at least half-a-dozen tunes over, "to hang them by
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 135
the neck until they were dead" and to confiscate
their property. He did not stand in his place while
making these cheerful suggestions, but ran up and
down like one possessed, waving his arms in the ah*,
and evincing a hatred towards the prisoners so pas-
sionate that it made me feel cold and hopeless. The
prisoners themselves, however, not being able to hear
his voice, sat on in the calmest manner, feeling quite
safe in the promises that had been made them, and
thinking that his frantic gestures were but a part
of the old game of appearances. As, moreover, many
of the listeners did not understand a word he said,
his harangue did not produce much apparent effect.
But the awful words, "hangen bij den nek," repeated
many times with ferocious insistence, sank like lead
on my heart, and I could not speak, being now quite
certain what the sentence would be. He urged the
judge to sentence the prisoners under the Roman
Dutch Laws, ignoring the Transvaal local laws, and
thus violating the understanding arrived at with Mr.
Wessels. The sentence was to be delivered on the
Monday. When we got back to the hotel, I told my
sister-in-law the gist of the State Attorney's speech, and
confided to her my opinion. I also added, " In one
way, I rather hope that it will be the worst, awful as it
seems, as it will make friends for the prisoners of many
of the Johannesburg people who are now against them,
and who have never appreciated all they tried to do
on their behalf."
136 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
I do not like to remember the agony of mind I
suffered during the next thirty-six hours. Being ex-
tremely unwell I spent the time in bed, and may I
never again undergo such suffering and apprehension !
The very cheerfulness of the prisoners seemed an added
torture, and I lacked courage to tell Lionel what I
feared. He had insisted that I should not be present
hi the Court on the Monday to hear the sentence, and
I, feeling he was right, reluctantly consented. He said
over and over again, " You might get a shock. They
may give us a stiff sentence for form's sake, and it will
be easier for me if I know you are not there to hear it."
So on the Monday morning I drove up to the prisoners'
cottage to see Lionel a moment before they left for the
Court. He gave me all instructions about leaving the
country in case they were conveyed over the border
immediately. He told me he would then wait for me
in Cape Town, where I was to join him with the chil-
dren, after shutting up the house in Johannesburg and
arranging about servants, horses, &c. He also said to
me, " I am glad you are not coming into the Court, as
they might give us a stiff sentence they may give
us five years' imprisonment ; but let me beg of you not
to mind. Remember it is arranged with Coster that
we are to be put over the border, and that will in
any case be done in about a fortnight's time at the
latest." He also added how delighted he was to think
the fifty-nine prisoners were going to be let off so easily,
as it was a great relief to him. I could have laughed
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 137
aloud, knowing my own thoughts. I remember seeing
them all go off cheerily in their little hired flies to hear
their sentence, and if any of them had any suspicion
as to what it was to be they did not show it. Lionel
was humming " Una Voce " as he drove off. An Irish
friend of ours who was there said to me, as I went back
to my little room at the Transvaal Hotel, " I will go to
the Court, and as your husband will be the first to
receive his sentence, I will run back as fast as possible
and tell you what it is."
Mrs. Fitzpatrick was with me when, a very short
time afterwards, he appeared. I hardly realised he
had been to the Court at all, and said to him, "Oh,
I thought you were going to listen to the sentence
to tell me." Without speaking for a second he put
his hand on my shoulder, and, with a great gulp
in his voice, said, "You must be brave! you must
be brave!" Of course I knew what he meant, but
nevertheless the reality made me feel as though I
were turned to stone. He stared at me when I said
calmly, " You need not tell me ; it is death." And his
sobs were his answer. He then suggested I should
write Lionel a few lines, which I did, and he ran back
to the Court with the note. In a few minutes the
verandah outside my room was full of agitated people,
and I think the men on this occasion wept more than
the women. We heard that the four principal offenders
had received the same sentence; that the verdict on
the fifty-nine was extremely severe two years' im-
138 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
prisonment, ^2000 fine, or in default an extra year's
imprisonment and banishment for three years after-
wards. We were proud to know that all, without ex-
ception, had received their sentences like men. We
heard also they had all been sent from the Court back
to the loathsome, evil-smelling prison, which had been
carefully saturated with carbolic powder in an attempt
to disguise the other awful odours.
When I look back on that fearful time, I sometimes
wonder if it was not a hideous nightmare. I know
that for the moment a feeling seized me that I no
longer had any individual existence, that I had no
right to feel or think anything, that something awful
had happened which required all my immediate atten-
tion regardless of mysel I remember having but
one distinct idea, that I would not allow anything to
happen to Lionel, though I formulated no plan, and
then the gruesome vision of a gallows would obtrude
itself before my mind's eye. My sister-in-law came
into my room weeping. I think I shook her and said,
" This is not the time to cry. We want all our wits
about us." I felt that if I once gave way I should
have no powers of thinking left. How many tunes
afterwards was I asked the question, " But you did
not really think there was any danger for your hus-
band ; you did not really think they would hang him ? "
and my reply to it was, " No, I did not really think
they would hang him, but the danger was a nearer,
more real, more imminent one, and that was that
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 139
some ill-advised sympathisers would try to rescue
them or make some demonstration, and they would
have instantly been shot in the prison." That was
the real danger to these men, and the thought made
my heart stand still.
However, others realised this also, and Percy Farrar,
with a set and determined face, came to show me a
telegram he was sending in the name of the prisoners,
which was to be posted up all over the town and on
the Stock Exchange of Johannesburg. It begged the
inhabitants of that town, if they had any considera-
tion whatever for their safety, not to move hand or
foot in their interest that the moment was critical,
and that their lives depended upon the discretion of
their friends. I also immediately sent a telegram to
my butler in Johannesburg telling him to proceed with
the three children and nurse by that night's train to
Cape Town, which he did. I was afraid that in case
of a riot or any disturbance in Johannesburg our house
might be attacked, and if the children remained there
I knew they would be a constant source of anxiety to
me. Percy Farrar also left that night for Cape Town
to see the Governor in the interest of the prisoners.
Her Majesty's representative refused to see him, put-
ting him off by sending his secretary to him, and he
returned a week later from his fruitless mission, sick
How that awful day passed I scarcely remember.
We were not granted permission to visit the prisoners.
140 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
As "my prophetic soul" had foretold, on all sides
there was a complete revulsion of feeling in favour
of the prisoners when the brutality of their sentence
was made known. Some of the Boers themselves
were horrified, and immediately initiated petitions
on their behalf. The people of Johannesburg, who
had hitherto stood aloof for fear of being com-
promised, made a stand against the sentence. The
ordinary onlooker who waits to see how the wind blows
before he decides, the many who fancied they had
been ruined through the action of the Reformers, and
the many who always must blame somebody for the
sake of grumbling, all forgot their petty hesitations in
the face of this wicked sentence, and with one accord
went over to the side of the Reformers.
If the Transvaal Government had thought for years
they could not have discovered a more signal way of
making hundreds of enemies for themselves and friends
for these prisoners than by their cowardly, treacherous
sentence, and it is one of the few things we can thank
them for. The sentence on the leaders " to hang by the
neck until you are dead" dreadful as it was at the time,
and dangerous trifling as it was with men's lives, did more
to show the world in general, and Johannesburg and
Pretoria in particular, the unscrupulous nature of the
rulers of the Transvaal, and how little they are fitted
for the responsibilities they assume. If the abortive
revolution of 1896 was a fiasco, at least the workers
of it did signal service to South Africa, and that was
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 141
to expose one of the worst, most tyrannical, and
criminal governments that has existed in modern
times. And the good work begun by these devoted
men will still bear fruit, although they personally may
The manner in which the prisoners received their
sentence also gained them many friends; every one
who was present in the Court, without exception, said
that this was so. Lionel being the first on the list was
put to the severest test. He told me afterwards that
it never once entered his head that the sentence would
be death; the worst he feared was prolonged im-
prisonment. His suspicions were first aroused when
he saw some men bringing forward a little dock and
putting it near the judge ; in this the four leaders were
made to stand. The whole thing was very trying, and
the torture was prolonged. When Lionel was told to
stand forward, the judge first gave a long homily in
Dutch, which was interpreted into English. Then he
asked, " Do you know any reason why you should not
suffer death ? " and the reply was " No." He then put
on his black cap and gave the sentence. Lionel told
me that the only time when he felt as if he would break
down was when they were coining out. At that point
our friend Mrs. Spencer (whose husband was also a
prisoner) came up to him with the tears pouring down
her face, and shaking him by the hand, said, " Old
friend, you are a brave fellow." I was truly thankful
I was not there. The interpreter burst into tears,
142 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
women fainted in the Court, one man at the back had
a fit. Gregorowski was seen to smile ; evidently the
gruesome spectacle gave pleasure to one of the par-
ticipators. A propos of this, I remember frequently
hearing at that time the remark, " He laughs best who
I was told by a Frenchman of our acquaintance
that after the sentence was pronounced, the two French
women I have already mentioned went up to him,
laughing heartily, and said, "They are going to be
hanged," whereupon he, utterly disgusted by their
frightful inhumanity, replied, " I am ashamed of you ;
you are not worthy to be called women." I mention
these incidents, as the respective father and husband
of these women are the two men who have guided
French opinion as to events in the Transvaal, and
perhaps their womenkind, in expressing such inhuman
ideas, were only echoing the opinions of some members
of their family.
The whole trial was a monstrous farce, every scene
of which had been rehearsed beforehand. On arriving
in Pretoria, the first action of Gregorowski, the judge
imported from the Free State, had been to ask one of
the other judges if he had a black cap; this was before
he had heard or read one word of the evidence. Also
before receiving the coveted appointment he had re-
marked that he wished he could try the Reformers;
he would see that they got "what for." Doubtless
these sentiments publicly expressed gained him the
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 143
post. We had the poor satisfaction of knowing that
when a little later he returned to Bloemfontein on a
visit, he was hooted and howled at, and was forced
to escape by a back street, and that for many a day
afterwards he went in danger of being lynched by some
of the more lawless spirits.
WHEN the news of the sentences reached Johannesburg
tremendous excitement prevailed. Even that " Sleepy
Hollow," Pretoria, had been stirred out of its apathy for
once, and Johannesburg observed the day as a day of
mourning. Every shop and theatre was closed, as also
the Stock Exchange, and such masses of people thronged
the main parts of the town that all traffic was stopped. I
believe Commissioner Street and the Market Square and
all the streets in the neighbourhood were a surging mass
of human beings. Nor was it due to the Pretoria autho-
rities that desperate remedies were not applied at that
moment. Many threats were made, and would have
been carried out had it not been for the influence of
Percy Farrar's telegram, and a few calm spirits who
saw what frightful risks the prisoners ran. The de-
parture that night of twenty thousand men armed with
pickaxes and spades to effect the rescue of the prisoners
was quite seriously contemplated, and that day and
many a day afterwards quite respectable people might
have been heard discussing the power of dynamite as
an explosive, and suggesting that as they were dis-
armed the Uitlanders would have to resort to that
material if they wished to obtain any redress. I am
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 145
quite certain that the Volksraad buildings, the Pre-
sident's house, the State Secretary's house, and various
other places, together with their occupants, would not
have escaped at this period had it not been that the
prisoners' lives would as certainly have paid for it.
Johannesburg, as I have before remarked, is a town
not easily roused, and on this occasion the self-restraint
shown was not due to want of feeling, but to a genuine
consideration for the victims in prison, and once more
Kruger and his satellites had to thank these men
indirectly for much. It certainly was not due to fears
of personal safety, nor yet to consideration for him, that
Johannesburg stayed its hand. But the knowledge of
the real helplessness of the place was a bitter fact to
many. The guards in the Pretoria gaol were very
numerous, and bristled with arms, and whenever they
could make a display of their power, they were not slow
to do so. Kruger took the precaution to surround him-
self with trusty burghers, and the side street hi Pretoria
in which he lived was closed up. No one dared to pass
it in fact, one day a man was arrested for walking on
the public pavement in front of his house. Nor did
Dr. Leyds lead a cheerful life at this time. He received
so many threatening letters from various sources that
he never moved without a guard, and his house and
garden were always protected by men in. plain clothes,
who were concealed among the trees and bushes. But
these were poor consolations to us, and from the
moment the Reformers were put back into prison, they
146 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
and their wives were made to endure a life of positive
and systematic torture, which I am sure none of them
will ever forget.
The morning after the sentences had been passed,
the news was brought to us that the death penalty had
been commuted, but to what no one knew, and it was
not announced for a long time. Anyhow that was a
heavy load off our minds, and we could breathe again.
We also heard that if we went up to the Landdrost's
office and got a pass we would be allowed to see the
Just as I was going out for that purpose I was
told that some one wished to see me, and going into
the little sitting-room I saw an unknown, bearded
individual wearing new brown kid gloves. He in-
troduced himself to me, saying, "I am an Uitlander,
a Belgian, and I have numerous friends of different
nationalities, and we are going to rescue the prisoners.
But I thought I would come to tell you first." To
hear this crazy plan, to the danger of which we were
all so much alive, announced in this calm, matter-of-
fact manner, was too much for my brain, and I found
myself giggling inanely, not knowing how to deal with
the man. But a brilliant idea suddenly came to
me, and telling him to wait a moment, I fetched Mr.
Rose-Innes, to whom I made my visitor recount his
project. Mr. Innes did not deal very gently with him,
but used most forcible language as to his mad idea,
looking so fierce that the Belgian was glad to beat a
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 147
hasty retreat. That was the last of this hero, but it
gave me a fright.
I went up to the Landdrost's office, and got a pass
to go into the prison, and was told I could stay
ten minutes. Never shall I forget the scene. The
sight of that horrid, grey-looking prison-yard, filled
with little groups of men one had known in happier
circumstances, many of them personal friends, and the
dreadful humiliation of their position, was almost too
much for me. As I was led towards the condemned
cell, where Lionel and his three partners in misery
were, all the prisoners came up to me and shook
hands silently. They also had not long known the
news of the commutation of the original sentence,
and I took this for a mark of their sympathy. Lionel,
Colonel Rhodes, George Farrar, and Mr. Hammond
were in an inner cell used for prisoners condemned to
death, and guards were standing at the doors, rifle in
hand. The indescribable sickening odour that pervades
any place occupied by Kaffirs was here in all its vigour,
and it went to my heart to see these men, honourable
and upright, doomed to this humiliating captivity hi
these awful surroundings.
This was my first visit to the Pretoria gaol, and
as I shut my eyes every detail comes home to me,
the whole sordid scene even the very odour I have
mentioned which was so closely connected with all
their sufferings. The cell was windowless; holes high
up in the wall being the only means of ventilation ;
148 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
and on the mud floor four wretched stretchers, covered
with coloured Kaffir blankets, constituted the furni-
ture. Our meeting naturally was one full of emotion.
They were all very cheery, however, and full of pluck.
Lionel tried to comfort me by saying, " Well, any-
how, it is not every man who has had the experience
of being sentenced to death," but I am afraid the
effort failed in its object. When I asked him how
he had slept, he owned that he had had rather bad
dreams, but I heard no complaints. They remarked
that they could not eat the food, which was not
to be wondered at. Even Du Plessis had said that
it was not fit to give a dog, and that did not even
mean an English dog, but a Boer's dog, whose life is not
a pampered one. We were allowed but little oppor-
tunity for conversation, being ordered away before we
could say much, as other ladies were awaiting their
turn to come in, and only a few were admitted at a
time. The food, I learned, was the same as that given
to the Kaffir prisoners, and to judge by the living
skeletons one saw on every side, it could not be
tempting. It consisted of a tin pannikin of mealie
meal pap (porridge), at six in the morning when their
cell was unlocked, some dreadful-looking junks of beef,
which had previously been used to make soup, and a
tin pannikin of tea at twelve, and again in the evening
before being locked up a pannikin of pap similar to
that of the morning. These delectable meals used to
be served in a manner worthy of the prison. Convicts
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 149
used to bring in the things on a huge tray, place them
on the ground in the middle of the yard, and whoever
wanted to regale himself had to fetch it. We felt that
this meant starvation ; but hearing that, as these were
political prisoners, special regulations would be made,
we tried to console ourselves with the idea.
The other prisoners, I learned, were distributed about
the prison in batches. It appeared that so cut and
dried was the whole thing that the authorities had
built extra lean-to's of corrugated iron beforehand for
the reception of these men, and the official idea of
making the filthy places sanitary had been to strew
about broadcast carbolic powder, which was not only
very unpleasant to smell hi such quantities, but very
irritating to the olfactory nerves. I heard that the
men were herded together in far too great numbers
for it to be possible to be healthy, and that they were
all locked up for thirteen hours every night with no
ventilation, and scarcely any means of sanitation what-
We all came away from the prison most frightfully
depressed with the feeling that the more immediate
wants of poor humanity, like food and air, had for the
moment assumed an importance that made all the
greater evils fade into the background. I may remark
here that during all the time these men were im-
prisoned no rules were made for their diet at all,
notwithstanding the constant appeals made on all sides
by then* lawyers and friends ; and when at last we were
150 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
told that that came within the jurisdiction of the Land-
drost, that functionary remarked, "Oh, I shall see to
that question when I have time. So far I am so busy
giving out passes for the prisoners' wives that I have
no time for anything else." He never did find time
all those weary weeks, and so no order was given ; and
a most hateful system of smuggling had to be resorted
to by the womenkind, and all kinds of devices had to
be invented, and bribery of the most barefaced order
indulged in towards the rapacious jailers and guards.
It was all part of the blackmail and torture to which
we were subjected by these people, with the idea, on
the one hand, I presume, of making us feel our helpless
position, and in the hope, no doubt, of getting as much
as they could from the prisoners in the end.
As to the famous passes for the prisoners' wives and
friends, Mr.Schutte, the Landdrost, always had the excuse
of hard work in making these out till the end. We peti-
tioned to have one general pass made out for the wives,
at least, but were refused; and so every day except
Saturday and Sunday the ridiculous spectacle was seen
of numerous women besieging the Landdrost's office
for the pass into the prison, and generally two or three
hours would be taken up each morning waiting for this
little slip of paper, which at the most gave us five or
ten minutes' admission to the prison. We were at any
rate thankful to be able to get in to see them at all,
and therefore tried not to heed the unnecessary trouble
we were put to. The wives were allowed between two
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 151
and four every day except Saturdays and Sundays, and
the ordinary friends once a week. Saturday was the
day taken for cleaning the prison (after a fashion), and
Sunday, I presume, to give the officials a rest.
Pretoria always used to look very strange at the week
end. It is a most sleepy, dull little place ; but during
the time the Reformers were hi prison it became quite
lively with the influx of the many strangers who took
up their abode in the town in order to be near the
prisoners. Most of the near relatives of the prisoners,
if they did actually live in Pretoria, came over fre-
quently to see them, but the two days debarred they
mostly spent in Johannesburg. I had quite settled
myself at the Transvaal Hotel, but used to run over
to see how things were at home, though, as the children
were absent, only necessity took me thither.
The second and third days after sentence was passed
were very terrible ones, as we discovered to our dismay
that no regulations were forthcoming for the feeding of
the prisoners. The awful helplessness of their position
struck us anew. There was no one to appeal to, no one
to help. They were obviously deserted, to starve, unless
we ourselves took some means of helping them. To
appeal to the authorities at Pretoria was worse than
useless. They had us in their power and meant to use
it; and I here assert that no mediaeval barbarities can
ever again astonish me, when I remember how fiend-
ishly, even in the nineteenth century, so-called civilised
beings can behave to their fellows when their passions
152 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
are allowed unchecked play. There was a general look
of hopelessness on the faces of these men that day that
I shall never forget ; and to hear strong robust men
saying, "For God's sake, try and get us in somehow
something to eat, some Liebig's essence, anything, we
are starving," was bad enough, and to contemplate the
older and more delicate members of the party was still
This state of things went on for some days, although
the gaoler Du Plessis, being all-powerful here, could
easily have ameliorated their condition, but from the
first he showed his intention to wring as much money
as he could from these unfortunates. It was an aggra-
vation also, and one which he could not understand,
of course, that they must suffer in silence, for how
could they show an inferior such as he was what they
felt ? to be at his mercy was bad enough. I know I
went away from the prison that day feeling well-nigh
desperate. In addition to the starvation they were
suffering, the sanitary arrangements were so utterly in-
adequate that we really feared an outbreak of typhoid ;
indeed, how it was avoided I cannot imagine. The
vermin and the general filth were indescribable. As
an example of petty tyranny, I may mention that
whenever the whim seized him, he ordered the Re-
formers to be stood up in line and searched.
So far, the men had been allowed to retain their own
clothes, but there were constant threats of their being
put into convict garb. I think that if this had been
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 153
attempted there would have been a few corpses strewn
about the prison yard. The authorities went so far as
to have the clothes prepared I saw them coarse dark-
blue linen coats and trousers : but, for some inscrutable
reason, in this matter the Government never went
On leaving the prison, I sent Mr. Beit a cable
imploring him to inform the Colonial Office of the
desperate condition of the prisoners, but although,
as he told me afterwards, he did what he could, no
results were apparent. 1 So we women, all filled with one
idea, began devising every kind of plan for getting in
food to the prisoners, and I should imagine that we
must have emptied the few stores in Pretoria of their
supply of meat juices, sardines, and other tinned pro-
visions that did not take up space. I arranged with my
friend, Burgers, the under-gaoler, who came to see me
after dark, to take in as much as he could carry of what
I had obtained, and from that time he used to pay me
nocturnal visits, and go away laden with the most varied
kind of provisions imaginable. Naturally our great
desire was to avoid arousing the suspicion of the
authorities, more especially of Du Plessis, who was very
jealous of his subordinate, and did not wish him to
participate in any of the gains. But this Burgers was
1 To insure a telegram reaching its destination, one had to send
a special messenger to Charlestown in Natal, twelve hours by train,
as the Censor ruthlessly kept back everything he liked. As each
word cost five shillings and sixpence by cable, the expense was
154 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
a perfect godsend to us ; without him I do not know
how the prisoners could have existed at first. He told
me that his method of getting the food to the four men
was to go after dark, when Du Plessis had retired and
the lights were out, to the side where the air-holes
in the cell were, and tying a piece of string round
whatever he wished to deliver, to let it down to them.
It sounds too childish to believe, but this was one
of the means by which these men existed for some
Then after a few days the gaol people got a fright.
One of the prisoners became dangerously ill. He had
been unable to obtain supplies from outside, and the
prison food made him sick. The prisoners at first were
rigorously watched, and could not give each other any-
thing. To show how unprepared all these men had
been to go to prison, none of them had made any pre-
parations of any kind beforehand, and this particular
gentleman had a very curious experience. It appears
that he wore false teeth, which on the day of the trial
were at his dentist's hi Johannesburg, so he went to
prison minus his teeth. They were sent to him there
by parcel post, but Du Plessis naturally would not de-
liver them to him it was a good opportunity for the
infliction of a little extra torture. So not until the poor
man was in danger of dying did they let him have his
teeth, or grow less rigorous as to the smuggling of food.
Had they allowed the prisoners openly to receive enough
to support existence, it might have been possible to
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 155
conform to the regulations, but this farce of smuggling
in food was an unnecessary and humiliating hardship.
Every woman visiting the gaol used to secrete
something eatable for one or more men, and it is
one of the few occasions on record when we have been
thankful to wear petticoats. One lady especially lost
all vanity, and she used to look a very comical figure,
but she was most barefaced over it, and generally suc-
ceeded in getting in what she wanted. She invented
a kind of pocket that went quite round her skirt, and
one can imagine her shape when she conveyed a bottle
or two or any other bulky object. Occasionally, however,
we were searched on entering, and everything sternly
confiscated. Quite at the end of their imprisonment
the idea struck some of us of openly sending in food in
"three deckers" (tin or enamelled cans one above the
other, used by workmen, in which the food kept hot),
and to our surprise no objection was made by Du
Plessis. The hot food was a great boon, as cold tinned
food is very unhealthy even if one can take exercise
and has fresh air.
The men used to take exercise by walking round
and round the yard, but the close, fetid air of the
place and the continual use of tinned and cold food
was terribly trying, and only their determination to
make the best of it kept them up; the one blessing
they had was each other's companionship, and that
they were allowed to see their friends. This latter privi-
lege, however, was often turned to their torture, and in
156 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
this wise. All kinds of persons in Pretoria some well-
meaning, no doubt, made a regular practice of coming
to the anxious women to tell them " on the best autho-
rity" some piece of news about the prisoners' future
disposition, for it was generally understood that things
could not go on as they were, interminably. All busi-
ness was stopped at Johannesburg owing to so many
important business men being imprisoned; trade was
at a complete standstill, and the tension every day
became more dangerous, while in the Cape Colony
and the whole of South Africa every one was awaiting
the development of events with bated breath. Appar-
ently the only people who took matters calmly were
Kruger and the members of the Government. It must
be remembered that we were waiting every day to hear
to what the death sentences had been commuted. No
one knew, and the fact was that the authorities did not
dare to announce the monstrous decision at which they
It was held over our heads continually also that
the men were going to be distributed over the
country, as they would be less dangerous when separ-
ated. One benighted village on the borders of Zulu-
land even went so far as to petition the Government
that some of the Reform prisoners might be sent to
them they had just done up the jail, and they thought
the prisoners' wives would be so good for the trade
of the place. We all shivered inwardly as the awful
idea occurred to each of us that we might be the
REFORM PRISONERS AWAITING NEWS.
REFORM PRISONERS TAKING EXERCISE.
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 157
favoured benefactress of Vrijheid. As many of the
poor men said often afterwards, they would far rather
have supported a year's or even two years' imprison-
ment than go through the hourly and daily torture of
suspense in which they lived. What this was I cannot
describe it was terrible to us all. For many weeks
no one knew what might happen from one hour to
Once the men were thoroughly in the power of the
authorities, they invented every kind of petty tyranny
possible. The worst of all was the petition business.
To this day the very word " petition " recalls the most
hateful memories. They were informed that if they
wished anything done for them they must petition the
Government, but the mere idea was gall and wormwood.
Enormous pressure was brought to bear on these un-
fortunate men. Among their number were some who
indignantly refused, while others did not see any
indignity at all hi the proceeding. Outside pressure
of every kind was put upon them also, and notably
indirectly through their wives and friends. It seemed
as if they were to be forced to drink to the dregs the
cup of humiliation. At last formal applications for the
revision of their sentences were sent to the Government
by the prisoners, as they were informed that this was
required by law. In the meantime thousands of signa-
tures were obtained from every part of South Africa,
including the Transvaal, to a petition asking for the
release of the prisoners, Kruger giving out that it was
158 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
necessary for him to have many petitions " in order to
strengthen his hand with his burghers " the same old
tale we had already heard so often, and which we knew
was only said to cover the fact that he and he alone
swayed the burghers. But they were and have always
been a most useful tool to fall back upon. A man who
went into one of the country districts near Pretoria told
me that a great many of the farmers had never heard
of the Jameson Raid, and were in complete ignorance of
the political troubles of the moment.
And thus the days dragged on while matters seemed
to become more hopeless, and we all felt we could put
up with anything better than the continued uncertainty.
One of the bitterest things we women had to bear on
our own account was the daily wait at the prison gate
when we paid our visit. The gate was controlled by a
young Boer, generally half intoxicated, who was much
after the pattern of the head gaoler, and a thorough
bully. We always used to say that the hottest spot on
earth was just outside the prison gates the sun seemed
to have a power there I cannot remember to have felt
elsewhere. This place afforded a very strange sight
each afternoon during visiting hours with its motley
collection of cabs and carts, and waiting men and
women who would come and go by a small gate hi the
large one; while sometimes the large gates would be
opened wide, and gangs of convicts with their clanking
irons would pass hi or out.
On the whole the lady visitors were fairly well
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 159
treated. A limited number were allowed in for their
brief visit, but we always felt it was a favour, and
that its continuance depended upon our good be-
haviour. No matter whether the guards were in-
solent or complimentary after their clumsy fashion,
one had to smile through it all, as any little exhi-
bition of annoyance on our part would have been
immediately visited on the prisoners we had come to
see. But to the male visitors unbounded insolence was
shown. They were kept waiting for hours outside the
gates, although provided with the coveted pass, and
although in many cases they had purposely made the
journey from Johannesburg. One day when Sir Jacobus
de Wet, the British resident, went to pay an official
visit to the prisoners (armed with a pass, too) he was
refused admission by this functionary, and had to
submit. It was very important that the business men
should see those connected with them, and the few
minutes allowed to each visitor were very precious.
One day on going up to pay my daily visit I
remember finding hi the crowd Mr. Rouliot, one of
Lionel's partners, who wanted to see him on some
important business matter. In place of his usual
amiable expression he looked hot and angry, and he
told me he had been there for two hours in the baking
sun, and that the gatekeeper had let in many others
who had come after him. I was told to wait until some
of the ladies came out, and some one kindly giving
me a packing-case he had, I sat as near the gate as I
160 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
could, saying to Mr. Rouliot, " Stand close to me. When
the gate opens I will speak to the gatekeeper, and when
he lets me in, you make a dash after me." He did so,
but the irate gatekeeper, being determined that Mr.
Rouliot should not come in, gave him a great push,
and the latter rebounded like a ball ; then fortunately
descrying my friend Burgers in the distance, I ran
to him and told him that Mr. Rouliot had come in
on important business ; otherwise, he would never have
been admitted that day. Doubtless, it was a most
comical encounter, at which we all laughed ; but never-
theless the repetition of these scenes was not always
comical to the actors in them. Every day in the
prison there were new rules one day the visitors
were not allowed to go beyond the guard-room, and
although this was filled to suffocation, even the privacy
of the big open yard was denied to them. Another
time chalk lines would be drawn across the yard, and
one could not pass these imaginary barriers without
a rifle being lifted by one of the guards to enforce
obedience. The yard used to look very strange with num-
bers of straw mattresses strewn about. The prisoners
were in the habit of bringing them out to air them,
and also utilised them as seats in the daytime. We
were allowed later on to take them books and papers,
but as a rule they all felt too restless to read.
The lot of the men who were herded together in the
iron lean-to's was terrible. The yard sloped down in
that quarter, and consequently, as there were no founda-
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 161
tions, the floor was at a lower level than the ground
outside, and it was very damp. After some of the
tropical rains, especially as there was no flooring, these
mattresses were quite wet, and many of the prisoners
became very unwell. It was very strange to see the
interior of these cells, with their long row of mat-
tresses placed on the ground as closely together as
was possible. There was no ventilation at all except
a few holes cut in the iron, and at night I believe
it was suffocating. Another great discomfort to the
prisoners was the difficulty of washing themselves:
except for a very shallow furrow of most doubtful
water which ran through one end of the yard, there
were absolutely no means of ablution. That was not
intentional cruelty, however ; a Boer seldom washes, and
does not expect any one else to do so. On the con-
dition of strict secrecy and 5 Burgers consented
to take a small bath to Lionel.
I HAVE mentioned that, except at night, these political
prisoners were put with all kinds of criminals, black
and white, and if the contact was a very unpleasant
one, they at least gained an insight into Boer methods
of treating their ordinary prisoners, which of itself
alone is quite enough to prove how very far they are
from following the precepts of Christianity. The cruelty
witnessed on every side was revolting. On my visits
to the prison I often noticed the forms of Kaffirs
wrapped in a thin blanket, walking about, melancholy
objects that made my heart bleed, for they were so
attenuated that they were more like living skeletons
than men. On inquiry I found that they were ihe
chief Malaboch and a remnant of his followers, who
had been taken prisoners in the very war which had
occasioned the " commandeering " incident. The cruel
treatment they received beggars description. They
were forced to live out of doors in the yard, night
and day, summer and winter, and in all weathers, their
only protection being a thin Kaffir blanket. As the
extremes of climate are great, and these wretched
creatures, coming as they did from a much warmer
one than that of Pretoria, were doubly susceptible, it
is no wonder that an enormous proportion had died
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 163
in a very short time. Through the burning heat of
summer, the heavy tropical rains, and the cold winds
and frosts of winter, on the most miserable diet imagin-
able, these unhappy Kaffirs dragged out an existence
which fortunately for themselves was not a long one.
I also heard an instance of a " boy " who had been
imprisoned for some minor offence, and who whilst in
the gaol had been allowed to earn a little money by wash-
ing clothes for some of the Reformers. When his time
expired, his convict garb was replaced by his own, and
it appears that as he was going out of the prison, dis-
charged, some of the guards told him he must be
searched. He objected; they tried to do it by force.
He resisted with all his might, and fought five guards
like a wild animal. In the end he was worsted, his
money was taken from him, he was hauled back with
his clothes torn to some inner cell, and was never seen
again. But the most awful sounds were heard pro-
ceeding from the place one of my informants told
me it sounded exactly as if he had been put between
boards and was being flattened. The shameful scene
at the gate was witnessed by many who felt anew their
All this time no intimation whatever had been
given as to what steps were going to be taken as to
the disposition of the prisoners, and the suspense in-
creased. I remember some of them saying, one day,
that all they asked was that they might hear no more
news of their fate ; they could bear anything except
164 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
the everlasting rumours, and announced that they had
resolved to throw brickbats at the next informant. The
uncertainty had preyed frightfully on some of the men's
minds, and in many cases their health began to give
way ; a certain proportion were not too robust to begin
with, and in addition to their own trouble they were
oppressed by the knowledge that others had been
dragged into the mess. Some of them were not too
well off, so that sordid money troubles were added to
their misery. Very nearly all the Reform prisoners
were married, and the thought of the suffering brought
on their wives was galling. Among them, Mr. Gray
was one who took the whole thing very much to heart.
I had heard that he had lost all spirit, and was most
frightfully depressed; his fellow-prisoners were hoping
that the authorities would at any rate allow him to
go to a private house until he got better. But nothing
One Saturday morning we heard that he had com-
mitted suicide, and the awful news was a terrible shock
to us all. We were allowed to go into the prison that
morning although it was Saturday, and my heart bled
for all the men, as the ghastly deed had touched them
all very nearly, and the last sad offices were done with
their help. Mr. Gray was a young, strong-looking man,
over six feet in height. He had a wife and six children,
and was very well off. He looked one of the last per-
sons to take his own life, but the constant uncertainty
was too much for his brain, and his poor wife had had
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 165
many anxious moments about him. Some of his fellow-
prisoners had constituted themselves into a watch, and
not only removed all dangerous implements, but took
turns to be with him constantly. The prison surgeon
was fully warned of his state, and reported upon it to
the authorities, but no notice was taken, and hence
the unhappy result.
It appears that early that morning on rising, Mr.
Gray had asked one of his fellow-prisoners to lend
him a razor to shave with. This was done, as he
appeared quite rational. He retired to a place near,
and as he did not reappear after a few minutes, some
one went to look for him, and found him lying on
the ground with his throat cut. The poor man who
discovered him fainted away with horror, and one can
quite well imagine what his comrades felt at his
tragic end, as he had been liked by all.
It was a sad day in the prison. The bringing in of
the coffin and the removal of the body deepened the
gloom ; but worst of all was the thought of the terrible
shock to his poor wife, and her grief for his loss. That
he was one of those who had been arrested without a
warrant, was a circumstance that added to her sorrow.
He was buried in Johannesburg. I believe the funeral
was a most impressive one. Ten thousand men followed
the body to its last resting-place, and Mr. Darragh, the
Rector of St. Mary's there, made an oration over the
grave, in which he dwelt upon what was recognised as
a judicial murder.
166 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
The effect of this tragedy was very apparent in the
prison. The Government realised that if they were not
careful more such cases would follow. So several men
who were ailing were released, and among them Captain
Mein, who resisted to his utmost, saying he did not wish
to desert the others. But he had no option, and a most
affecting scene took place when he bade farewell to his
fellows. They, however, were sincerely glad to see him
quit the prison; he was not young, and had suffered
very bad health there.
Poor Mr. Gray's death really gave the Transvaal
authorities a fright, as it aroused afresh the indignation
of Johannesburg and the whole of South Africa, and so
at last they thought it time to give some little clue as
to their intentions.
I remember that morning so well. Mrs. Morice, the
judge's wife, who had been so kind and sympathetic to us
all, sent in word that she had some news for me. I went
out, and saw by her drawn and haggard face that it was
not good. She said, " I wish to tell you so that when
you hear it later it will not be such a shock. It is that
the death sentence on the four principal prisoners, who
include your husband, has been commuted to fifteen
Oh, merciful Heaven ! it was almost worse than
death, and the awful sentence had more reality in it
than the first one. I thought of all those long years
to be wasted in a prison, of men in their prime doomed
to such a fate, and felt crushed indeed. Imprisonment
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 167
is a terrible thing, and ever since that time in Pretoria,
I have had great sympathy for even the most guilty
criminals. The long-drawn out days, the hopeless
monotony, the silence, the ugliness and sordidness of
prison life ! No words of mine can describe the horror.
And to think of Lionel and his friends separated from
every one, and after a time being gradually forgotten
and probably relegated to some outlandish place in the
Transvaal, where they would be at the mercy of their
cruel and ignorant captors. I look back on that day as
one of the worst we went through.
I went up to the prison feeling utterly cast down,
and told Lionel what I had heard. While I was there
an official came in and announced that the Government
had determined to commute the sentences of all the
men some to three months', some to five, and some to
a year's imprisonment but at the time it was not
announced that at the end of this term they would fur-
ther reconsider their claim to clemency. So it was only
a sham after all ! The four leaders were not mentioned.
An incident took place which struck me very much.
As I stood listening to all this, some one came up to me,
the wife of one of the prisoners, her face blurred with
weeping. She shook my arm, and said passionately,
" Think of it, my husband has got three months' im-
prisonment ! " Poor woman. She did not seem to
realise that my husband's fate was too terrible even to
mention. She was one of those who always declared
her husband was innocent, as he had joined at the last
168 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
moment, and thought he was ill-used by the others.
She did not understand how much better for him it
would have been had she tried to help him to remain
true to his friends in distress.
To have arrived at some idea as to what the Transvaal
authorities really intended to do, was at least an advance.
Then a new theory was started, which was that any one
having influence with the officials should do all hi their
power to persuade them how wrong it was to keep these
men in prison, and how much harm was being done to
the country by the continued agitation.
So all kinds of people came to Pretoria to do what
they could. One case was rather funny. A certain
lady and her daughter had gained much sympathy
from the beginning of our troubles, when the latter's
husband had been imprisoned as one of the Reformers,
as they asserted that he had been induced to come out
from England for the purpose, that he had relinquished
a splendid military career, and had in consequence been
ruined. But as I happened to know, the facts of the
case were, that he had gone to Johannesburg to try and
make a living, as his income did not permit of his re-
maining in the army, and that being connected with
some of the Reform party, he joined the movement.
He is a charming fellow, but up to the present time his
military genius has remained unproved.
I heard this tale of woe on my arrival, and thinking
that the Reformers were being blamed for a little more
than they really deserved, I contradicted it, and Lionel
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 169
and the husband of the lady told her she was labouring
under a delusion. However, she had gained much
sympathy on all sides, and there were plenty of people
who were delighted to have something to add to the
Reform leaders' crimes. The mother of this lady was
one of those who had influence with the Dutch party,
being herself of that nationality, and she accordingly
went with her daughter to see what could be done with
General Joubert. He was obdurate, and when she re-
proached him with the fact that her innocent son-in-law
had received a year's imprisonment while some had only
got three months, he turned to her and said, " But you
know why he got a year?" "No," she said. "Why,
because he came out from England expressly for the
Revolution." Poor ladies; they swore by everything
that was sacred that that was not the case and what
is more, told the story all over Pretoria themselves.
So much for their sense of humour !
Even the old President received more lady visitors
at this time than he is in the habit of doing, as many
of the poor wives went up to " the Presidency " to see
if they could soften his heart. He listened to their
appeals, but I am afraid was not much influenced by
them. Some of them also tried "Tante Sanne" (as
Mrs. Kruger is called in Pretoria), and begged her to
do what she could for their husbands. One lady told
me the following story. After the Raid, when their
respective husbands were imprisoned, some ladies went
and begged Mrs. Kruger to use her influence with the
170 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
President in their behalf. She said, " Yes, I will do all I
can for you. I am very sorry for you all, although I know
that none of you thought of me that night when we heard
that Jameson had crossed the border, and we were afraid
the President would have to go out and fight, and when
they went and caught his old white horse that he had
not ridden for eight years. But all the same I am sorry
for you all."
But now for once South Africa was at one on a ques-
tion. Mr. Rose-Innes and Mr. Garrett of the Cape Times
got up a public meeting in Cape Town, which was
attended by thousands, and a general agitation was set
on foot all over South Africa hi favour of the release of
the Reform prisoners.
Meetings were held everywhere. South African
sentiment had undergone a complete change, and all the
sympathy that Kruger had obtained at the beginning of
the troubles was fast disappearing, as his fair promises
of reform were unfulfilled, and everything that could
conduce to the detriment of the Uitlander was done.
Johannesburg was daily becoming more and more un-
settled, no business was transacted, and every one was
afraid of entering on new undertakings for fear of further
trouble, while the helplessness of the prisoners alone
protected the Government at this time. We heard and
read that the Mayors or principal men of every town and
village of any importance in South Africa were coming
to Pretoria, and were bringing petitions to the President
for the release of the Reformers.
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 171
One Saturday morning, when some of these delegates
were actually on their way up, we were told that the great
bulk of the men were coming out that day. All were
to be released except the four principals and two others,
Mr. Wools-Sampson, an Africander, and Mr. "Karri"
Davies, an Australian. These two had persistently
refused to sign any petition whatever. They said they
had been cast into prison through obeying the Governor,
the representative of their Queen, and this being the
case, they considered it was but their due that he should
obtain their release. So when the others were let out,
it was announced to them that, as they had not peti-
tioned, their case could not be considered. Their fellow-
prisoners did their best to make them change their
decision, but they stood firm. They said they were
bachelors and had no one dependent upon them, and
that therefore they were free to act on principle. They
were quite right, but the others, from their own point of
view, were equally so. Most of the prisoners were married
and had children, and some were very poor, and it had
been proved that unless they tried to help themselves
they would remain in prison indefinitely, as the English
Government either could not or would not do so.
Having others to think of as well as themselves, they
had felt it to be their duty under the circumstances to
swallow their pride. 1
1 I may add that these two noble young Colonials, Sampson and
Davies, remained in Pretoria prison until June 1897, when Kruger,
not knowing what to do with them, and realising that their detention
was a continual cause of unrest, released them on the Queen's Jubilee.
172 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
When the good news came it seemed almost impos-
sible to believe, but it was true. They were released on
condition of paying the 2000 fine, and signing a pledge
not to interfere in politics for three years on pain of
banishment. That there was great rejoicing goes with-
out saying, and there was a general exodus from Pretoria
by the two o'clock train that day. After so many false
alarms, the release came at last quite unexpectedly,
and the day being a Saturday, there were not very
many visitors in Pretoria. The released prisoners had
but one idea to return to their homes as fast as
they could, and to shake off their feet the dust of
a town that had for them so many unpleasant asso-
That day was one of very mixed sensations for me
and for the relatives of the men who were still im-
prisoned. Being June, the weather had become very
wintry, with the peculiarly desolate effect produced by a
cold wind stirring up the dust. That it was a day of
this kind added perhaps to the depression which came
over me when everybody had gone off, and Pretoria
assumed an even more dull and deserted air than usual.
Returning from the prison, where I missed so many
familiar faces, my heart sank as I remembered its air of
desolation, the forlorn appearance of the whole place and
its remaining occupants. At this date my sister-in-law
had been gone some time, my children were still at the
Coast, even the hotel was almost empty, and I cannot
describe the dreariness of my sensations. Mrs. Ham-
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 173
mond was in Johannesburg ill, and Mrs. Farrar lived too
far away for much intercourse.
One little gleam of brightness I found that day, but
even this seemed to make everything else more dreary
by contrast. One of our friends, instead of going back
to Johannesburg with his fellow-prisoners, remained
in Pretoria, and went straight from the prison to the
house of a certain beloved young lady, proposed to her,
was accepted, and came down late in the afternoon
to tell me his good news, as I had already been let into
the secret of his aspirations.
My friend, Mrs. Hennen Jennings was a good angel
to me then, coming over to stay with me, and minding
no trouble. She and her husband were among the
most loyal of our friends, and we much appreciated
their sympathy. As I said before, these troublous days
estranged many. Friendships of years were broken,
and much bitterness of spirit roused, and in many
cases these sores have never been healed.
Once the fifty-six men were let out, the authorities at
Pretoria seemed to think there was nothing more to be
done. We heard also that there had been a tremendous
quarrel amongst the members of the Executive, and
that Kruger had entirely refused to mention the
subject. For some little time before this I had been
thinking of hiring a house in Pretoria and settling
there, and had even taken certain steps towards that
end. I had already sold our carriages and horses, and
was seriously thinking of shutting up the house in
174 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
Johannesburg and selling all the furniture. I had
given orders to my servants to begin dismantling the
house, and was looking out for a place in Pretoria, but
it was difficult to get one. Eventually I did succeed
through an agent who had not divulged my name,
for some of the townspeople had a pleasing habit of
charging us double. This chanced to be another case
in point, for as soon as the owners discovered who their
would-be tenant was, they tried to tie me down to
all kinds of ridiculous restrictions, and found various
devices for adding to the rent originally asked. I was
in too sore a frame of mind to put up with this black-
mail, and refused outright to have the house at any
I had all this time been pining for the children, but
feared to have them back, as in case of Lionel's release,
they would be on the spot for departure to England,
and I did not care for them again to make that long
journey of 1000 miles each way. My superstitious
maid had long been urging me to send for them, saying,
" You will never have any luck until the children come
back," but what her reasons were for this statement
I cannot say. The prospect of release at this tune
looked more hopeless than ever, so I accordingly sent
the order for them to return to me.
Lionel was obliged to go to the Pretoria Hospital
just at this moment. The cold wind sweeping through
the prison was very trying, and, weakened as he was by
many weeks of bad food, he was seized with an attack of
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 175
congestion of the lungs. There were no comforts of
any kind to be obtained, and although to the last he
resisted leaving his five companions, I insisted on the
doctor giving an order for his removal to the hospital,
which was done. After the release of the fifty-six men
the remaining prisoners grew very depressed; their
more fortunate companions, however, by no means
deserted them on the contrary, they were all doing
everything in their power to obtain then* release, and
Mr. King and Mr. Hull took up their abode in Pretoria,
declaring their intention of remaining there until their
former fellow-prisoners came out.
I cannot remember all the tiresome negotiations
that had been going on with the Government during
this time. The way in which everything was managed
was very funny. The authorities did not want it to
appear that they were anxious to have the matter
settled and to release the men, nor that it was a
question of their buying freedom at the highest possible
price. So all sorts and conditions of people were com-
missioned to convey to them suggestions as to what
they should do to obtain their release. Of course
Du Plessis, being entirely in Kruger's confidence, was a
fine go-between, and another who must not be forgotten
was a person who played, and may still do so, quite an
important rdle in Pretoria namely, Mr. Leo Weinthal,
the editor of The Press, the Government organ, Renter's
agent, and Kruger's bosom friend. I should not like
to guess what country lays claim to this gentleman
176 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
whichever it may be it is not to be congratulated.
I know that of all the many humiliations I had to
suffer none was more difficult to bear than that of
asking this individual into my sitting-room on one
occasion when he was negotiating the question of
When it was suggested that the Reform leaders
should buy their liberty, there was a great outcry.
" No, it would never do : it would be Blood-money."
But, with familiarity, the idea of blood-money appar-
ently lost its terrors, and then the main endeavour was
to get as much as possible.
This same Mr. Leo Weinthal was the President's
great resource. He used to go and read the papers to
him every evening and translate them. The President,
not being able to read English, was quite dependent on
those who would impart to him a little news from
the outside world, and it can easily be imagined how
tempting it must have been to any one not troubled
with scruples to impart the news in the way he desired
it to be received. I have often been amused, too, at
the telegrams this individual used to send hi his
capacity as Renter's agent. Being much in the Presi-
dent's confidence, he was able to represent matters
exactly as the latter wanted and to give just the right
colouring ; indeed, to those behind the scenes it was very
instructive to note how the telegrams from Pretoria
would be worded, conciliatory or otherwise, according
to the state of public feeling in England.
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 177
In the meantime all the various Mayors and repre-
sentative men from all parts of the Cape Colony, Orange
Free State, and Natal had arrived in Pretoria with
petitions from their respective towns. There were some
two hundred in all, and as their coming had been
awaited for some time and the journey was in all cases
an expensive and lengthy one, they had a right to
expect a speedy audience of the President. But that
was " counting without their host." They arrived on
the Wednesday ; the President announced that he could
not possibly see them until the Saturday. However,
there was nothing to be done, although the unexpected
delay was very tiresome to every one.
Lionel was now better, and had rejoined his com-
panions in the prison, but was still far from well. Both
he and I were looking forward very much to seeing the
children, whom I expected by the midday train from
Cape Town on the Thursday. As the tram was in-
variably late, and the prison was inaccesible to us
after four, I thought I would ask Du Pies sis a favour
for the first time. The gaol-yard looked particularly
dreary that morning. A lady who had lately come
out from England and was paying her first visit to
the prisoners with her husband, was with me when I
made my request to Du Plessis. In the politest manner
I could command I said, " I am expecting my children
to-day, but the train is certain to be very late. In that
case will you allow me to bring them in for a few minutes
after hours, as Mr. Phillips is ill, and has not seen them
178 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
for so many weeks ? I should esteem it a great favour."
His answer quite silenced me. He swore at me in the
loudest of voices (I suppose it was to impress the
stranger), and asked me how I dared to make such a
request, that it was out of the question, &c. It was as
much as I could do to restrain my tears at this unneces-
sary rudeness, and the strange lady, whose name I have
forgotten, told me afterwards she could not have believed
such a scene possible had she not witnessed it herself.
But on various occasions many people made similar
remarks ; indeed, I generally found that many who were
most incredulous as to all we underwent for the sake of
our cause, ultimately became our staunchest partisans.
When the children eventually arrived, much too late
to go into the prison to see their father, I personally felt
a little happier, as I had missed them much all those
dreadful weeks. As soon as possible the next morning
I took them to the prison. (Visiting hours had been a
little enlarged since there were so many less passes to
occupy poor Mr. Schutte.) Lionel was overjoyed to see
them, and was in the act of embracing them when we
heard a voice calling to us from the gate.
It was Mrs. Leonard's voice, and she said, " I have
come to tell you that you are coming out to-day. I
have it on the highest authority."
This time there was no mistake, and they actually
did come out that day. My maid's prophecy came
to my mind, and it certainly was a curious coincidence.
Mr. Schutte came to announce the news officially. It
was to the effect that the President in his magnanimity
was going to release them that day on the payment of
25,000 each, and banishment for fifteen years, this
latter part of the commuted sentence being held in
abeyance in consideration of a promise not to meddle
in politics for that period on pain of its enforcement.
When he had fulfilled his official business, Mr.
Schutte unbent very much, shook hands with Lionel
cordially, informing him that he had come to the con-
clusion that he was an honest man, and had really had
no intention of trying to take their country away from
the Boers. He ended by remarking that he was on the
point of going to the Warm Baths near Pretoria, but
that on his return he hoped we would invite him to
come and stay with us in Johannesburg, as he had
heard we had a very nice house !
A great many legal formalities had to be gone
through, but at five o'clock that afternoon, the llth
June 1896, Lionel and his three friends, Colonel Frank
Rhodes, George Farrar, and John Hays Hammond
were released, having been imprisoned five months.
As Colonel Rhodes was an Imperial officer, he could not
sign an undertaking not to meddle in the " internal or
external " politics of the Transvaal, so he was taken to
the train that night and escorted to the border of the
Transvaal, proceeding thence to Mashonaland. The
other three not deeming it advisable to sever their
connection with the country entirely, signed the
180 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
Mr. Hammond, whose wife was ill, left for Johannes-
burg at once ; the two others followed early the next
morning. They met with a reception which they are
not likely to forget, and if I had regretted that the
children should have come all that long way unneces-
sarily, only to see their father a few minutes in prison,
I changed my mind when they and I witnessed this
never-to-be-forgotten scene. When the train drew up
in the Park Station at Johannesburg, a dense mass of
people was to be seen as far as the eye could reach.
Lionel and George Farrar had no time to put foot to
the ground, but were lifted on men's shoulders, and
carried to waiting carriages, which were dragged up
to the Stock Exchange, where they received a regular
ovation and many congratulations on being once more
And so ended one of the many painful episodes in a
movement of which we have not yet seen the end.
The Mayors meanwhile had been awaiting the audi-
ence with Kruger. It was accorded them but not till
the day after the prisoners were released. So instead
of petitioning him for their release, they had to thank
the President for what he had done, and received one
of his characteristic allegorical homilies in return, which
I believe did not conduce to allay their feelings of
annoyance at his rudeness and want of common
Two days later Lionel and Mr. Fitzpatrick left the
Transvaal for England. They were in a hurry to get
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 181
there. Dr. Jameson and his fellows were going to be
tried, and they wished to be at hand to correct many
misstatements which had got into the papers; also
they felt sure that some misunderstanding still existed,
and they relied on Dr. Jameson's sense of honour to do
all he could to explain it away. Vain hope !
All they asked him to do was to get his counsel to
state that he and his force had never expected the
Johannesburg men to go out to meet them that on the
contrary he had disobeyed their explicit injunctions not
to come down, and thus to clear them of the charge
of cowardice still resting on them. They did not ask
him to make humiliating concessions only to say that
instead of expecting their help he had come against
their orders. He refused everything, and it was only
later on, before the Parliamentary Select Committee,
that the admission was dragged from him that he
regretted having, prior to the disastrous raid, imputed
motives of cowardice to them. So these men who from
beginning to end had scrupulously kept then* word to
Dr. Jameson, who had almost sacrificed Johannesburg
to save huii and his fellows from a danger that seemed
imminent, who even in their moments of confidence
in the prison refrained from blaming him for the
terrible ruin he had worked, always giving him credit
for some noble motive, were disappointed.
Dr. Jameson was the popular idol, and had not the
sense to see that at the moment of his trial there was
still an opportunity of admitting the truth without
182 SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS
detriment to his own reputation. He did not compre-
hend that so convinced of his heroism and chivalry
was every one whose opinion he valued, that he could
well afford to allow that the Reformers were not what
he had led the world to believe, and that the undated
letter which he had carried about for weeks was no
urgent call of the moment. He thus lost an oppor-
tunity which will never come again, and time will but
prove the wisdom of the old adage, " Truth will out."
If the whole miserable affair had to be lived over
again fifty times, I would only wish Lionel and his friends
to take the course they did when things went wrong ;
for whatever they or others had to suffer, they can feel
happy in one most vital matter they endeavoured to be
true to themselves and their duty when they were sorely
tried ; and, from my point of view, they succeeded.
About a year after the events related, Sir John
Willoughby attacked the Reform leaders of Johannes-
burg in an article in the Nineteenth Century. Lionel
replied to it in the same review, August 1897, defend-
ing himself and his comrades from the charges made.
In consequence of this action the Government of
the Transvaal enforced the sentence of banishment
from the country on him, notwithstanding the fact that
in the opinion of three of the first lawyers in England,
the article did not constitute any breach of the pledge.
By this act Kruger proved once more how short-sighted
is his policy, and how little he understands where the
SOUTH AFRICAN RECOLLECTIONS 183
true interests of his unfortunate country lie. It is not
by alienating the men who have given the thought and
hard work of years to the place, and who have honestly
striven to do their duty to Johannesburg, that Kruger
shows himself a serious statesman or a benefactor of his
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INDEX OF AUTHORS AND EDITORS.
Balfour (Lady Betty) 5
Corder (Annie) - 19
(T. K.) - -
Ball (John) - - 8
Buckton (C. M.)
Coutts (W.) - - i
Coventry (A.) - - ii
Acland (A. H. D.) -
S.) ... 27, 29
Burke (U. R.) -
Cox (Harding) - 10
Acton (Eliza) -
Barraud (C. W.) - 19
Crake (Rev. A. D.) - a6
Adeane (J. H.) -
Baynes (T. S.) - - 29
Butler (E. A.) -
Creiehton (Bishop)- 3,4
Beaconsfield (Earl of) 21
(Samuel) - 18, 2(
Crozier(J. B.) - - 7, 14
Ainger (A. C.) -
Beaufort (Duke of) - 10, n
Curzon of Kedleston
Albemarle (Earl of) -
Becker (W. A.) - 18
(Lord) ... +
Allen (Grant) -
Beddard (F. E.) - 24
Cameron of Lochiel
distance (Col. H. - 12
Beeslv (A. H.) - - 7
Campbell (Rev. Lewis)
Cutts (Rev. E. L.) - 4
Bell ('Mrs. Hutfh) - IQ
Camperdown (Earl of)
Bent (J. Theodore) - 8
Dallinger (F. W.) - 4
Besant (Sir Walter)- 3
Channing (F. A.)
Davidsoh (W. L.) 14, 16, 32
Bickerdyke (J.) - n Chesney (Sir G.)
Davies (J. F.) - - 18
Armstrong (G. F.
Bicknell (A. C.) - 8 ' Chola ' -
Dent (C. T.) - - n
Birt (A.) 21 Cholmondeley-Pennell
Deploige (S.) - - 17
(E.J. Savage) 7,
Blackburne (J. H.) - 12 (H.)
De Salis (Mrs.) - 48, 29
Arnold (Sir Edwin) -
Bland (Mrs. Hubert) 20 Churchill (W. Spencer)
De Tocqueville (A.) - 4
(Dr. T.) -
Boase (Rev. C. W.) - 4 Cicero
Devas (C. S.) - - 16
Ashbourne (Lord) -
Boedder (Rev. B.) - 16 Clarke (Rev. R. F.) -
Dickinson (G. L.) - 4
Boevey (A. W. Crawley-) 7 Climenson (Emily J.)
Diderot - - - 21
A-hlev (W. J.)-
Bosanquet (B.) 14 Clodd (Edward)
Doueall (L.) - - 21
Ayre (Rev. J.) -
Bovd (Rev. A. K. H.) 20, 12 Clmterbuck (W. J.)-
9 Dowden (E.) 31
Brassey (Lady) - " 9 1 Coleridge (S. T.) -
19 Dovle (A. Conan) - ai
7,14 -(Lord) 3, 8, ii, 16 Comparetti (D.)
30 Du'BoisfW. E. B.)- 4
Baden-Powell (B. H.)
3 Rrav (C.) - - 14 Conintfton (John) -
18 Dufferin (Marquis of) ii
Bagehot (W.) - 7,
16, 29 ; Bright (Rev. J. F.) - 3 ; Comvay (Sir W. M.)
ii Dunbar (Mary F.) - 20
Bagwell (R.) -
3 j Broadfoot (Major W.) 10 Conybeare (Rev. W. J.)
14 Browning (H. Ellen) 9
& Howson (Dean)
27 Eardley-Wiimot (Capt.
Baker (Sir S. W.) -
8,10 Buck (H. A.) - - ii
Coolidtfe (W. A. B.)
8 S.) - - - 8
Balfour (A. J.)
11,32 Buckland (Jas.) - 26
Corbett (Julian S.) -
3 Ebrington (Viscount) 12
INDEX OF AUTHORS AND EDITORS continued.
Ellis (J. H.) - - 12
Jefferies (Richard) - 30
Nansen (F.) - - 9
Steel G- H.) - - 10
(R. L.) - - 14
lekyll (Gertrude) - 30
Nesbit (E.) - - 20
Stephen (Leslie) - 9
Evans (Sir John) - 30
Jerome (Jerome K.)- 22
Nettleship (R. L.) - 14
Stephens (H. Morse) 6
Johnson (J. & J. H.) 30
Newman (Cardinal) - 22
(W. W.) - - 8, 17
Farrar (Dean) - - 16, 21
Jones (H. Bence) - 25
Stevens (R. W.) - 31
Fitzwygram (Sir F.) 10
' ordan (W. L.) - 16
Ogle(W.)- - - 18
Stevenson (R. L.) - 23, 26
Folkard (H. C.) 12
^ owett (Dr. B.) - 17
Onslow (Earl of) - n
Stock (St. George) - 15
Ford (H.) 12
' oyce (P. W.) - 5, 22, 30
Osbourne (L) - - 23
'Stonehenge 1 - - 10
Fowler (Edith H.) - 21
Justinian : - - 14
Storr (F.) - - - 14
Foxcroft (H. C.) - 7
Palgrave (Gwenllian F.) 8
Francis (Francis) - 12
Kant (I.) - - - 14
Park(W.) - 13
StubbsU. W.)- - 6
Francis (M. E.) - 21
Kaye (SirJ. W.) - 5
Suffolk & Berkshire
Freeman (Edward A.) 4
Kent (C. B. R.) - 5
R.) - ii, 13
(Earl of) - - ii
Freshfield (D. W.) - n
Kerr (Rev. J.) - - ii
Peek (Hedley) - - ii
Sullivan (Sir E.) - n
Frothingham (A. L.) 30
Killick (Rev. A. H.) - 14
Pembroke (Earl of) - u
Sully (James) - - 15
Froude (James A.) 4, 7, 9, 21
Kingsley (Rose G.) - 30
Sutherland (A. and G.) 6
Furneaux (W.) - 24
Kitchin (Dr. G. W.) 4
Phillips (Mrs. Lionel) 6
(Alex.) - - 15, 31
Knight (E. F.) - - 9, n
Pitman (C. M.) - ii
Suttner (B. von) - 23
Gallon (W. F.) - 17
Kostlin (J-) 7
Swinburne (A. J.) - 15
Gardiner (Samuel R.) 4
Pole(W.)- - - 13
Symes (J. E.) - - 17
Ladd (G. T.) - - 15
Pollock (W. H.) - 11,31
A. E.) - - 12
Lang (Andrew) 5, 10, n, 13,
Tavlor (Meadows) - 6
Gibbons (J. S.) - 12
17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 26, 30, 32
Poore (G. V.) - - 31
- (Una) - - 23
Gibson (Hon. H.) - 13
Lascelles (Hon. G.)
Potter (J.) - - 16
Tebbutt (C. G.) - n
(C. H.) - - 14
IO, II, 12
Powell (E.) - - 6
Terry (C. S.) - 7
(Hon. W.) - 32
Laughton (J. K.) - 8
Powys (Mrs. P. L.) - 8
Thornhill (W. J.) 18
Gleig (Rev. G. R.) - 8
Lawley (Hon. F.) - n Praeger (S. Rosamond) 26
Todd (A.) - - 6
Goethe - - - 19
Lawrence (F. W.) - 17 Prevost (C.) - - n
Toynbee (A.' - - 17
Gore-Booth (Eva) - 19
Layard (Nina F.) - 19
Pritchett (R. T.) - ii
Trevelyan (Sir G. O.) 6, 7
(SirH. W.) - ii
Lear (H. L. Sidney) - 29
Proctor (R. A.) 13, 24, 28
(C. P.) - 17
Graham (P. A.) - 12, 13
Lecky (W. E. H.) 5, 15, 19
(G. M.) - 6
(G. F.) - - 16
Lees (J. A.) - - 9
Raine (Rev. James) - 4
Trollope (Anthony)- 23
Granby (Marquis of) 12
Leslie (T. E. Cliffe) - 16
Rankin (R.) - - 20
Turner (ri. G.) - 31
Grant (Sir A.) 14
Levett-Yeats (S.) - 22
Ransome (Cvril) - 3, 6
TyndalKJ.) - -7,9
Graves (R. P.) - 7
Lillie (A.)- - - 13
Raymond (W.) - 22
Tyrrell (K. Y.) - - 18
Green (T. Hill) - 14
LindleyU.) - - 25
Reader (Emily E.) - 22
Greene (E. B.)- - 4
Lodge (H. C.) - - 4
Rhoades (I.) - - 18
Upton(F.K.and Bertha) 26
Greville (C. C. F.) - 4
Loftie (Rev. W. J.) - 4
Ribblesdale (Lord) - 13
Grose (T. H.) - - 14
Longman (C. J.) 10, 12, 30
Rich (A.) 18
Van Dyke (J. C.) - 31
Gross (C.) 4
(F. W.) - - 13
Richardson (C.) - 10
Verney (Frances P.
Grove (F. C.) - - 11
(G. H.) - - ii, 12
Richmond (Ennis) - 31
and Margaret M.) 8
(Mrs. Lilly) - 10
Lowell (A. L.) - - 5
Richter (J. Paul) - 31
Gurdon (Lady Camilla) 21
Lubbock (Sir John) - 17
Rickaby (Rev. John) 16
Vivekananda (Swami) 32
Gwilt (].) - - - 25
Lucan - - - 18
(Rev. Joseph) - 16
Vivian (Herbert) - 9
Lutoslawski (W.) - 15
Ridley (Sir E.) - - 18
Haggard (H. Rider) - 21, 30
Lyall (Edna) - - 22
Riley (J. W.) - - 20
Wagner (R.) - - 20
Hake (O.) 11
Lyttelton (Hon. R. H.) 10
Roget (Peter M.) - 16, 25
Wakeman (H. O.) - 6
Halliwell-PhilIipps(J.) 8 (Hon. A.) - - n
Romanes (G. J.)
Walford (L. B.) - 23
Hamlin (A. D. F.) - 30
Lytton (Earl of) - 5, 19
8, 15, 17, 20, 32
Walker (jane H.) - 29
Hammond (Mrs. J. H.) 4
(Mrs. G. J.) 8
Wallas (Graham) -
Harding (S. B.) - 4
Macaulay (Lord) 5, 6, 19
Ronalds (A.) 13
Walpole (Sir Spencer) 6
Harte (Bret) - - 22 Macdonald (G.) - 9
Roosevelt (T.) - - 4
Walrond (Col. H.) - 10
Harting(J. E.)- - 12 (Dr. G.) - -20,32
Rossetti (Maria Fran-
Hartwig (G.) - - 24 Macfarren (Sir G. A.) 30
Walter (J.) - - 8
HassalKA.) - - 6
MackaiKJ. W.) - 8, 18
Rowe (R. P. P.) - ii
Ward ( Mrs. W.) - 23
Haweis (H. R.) - 7, 30
Macleod (H. D.) 16 Russell (Bertrand) - 17
Warwick (Countess of) 31
Heath (D. D.) - - 14
Macpherson (Rev. H. A.)i2
(Alys) - - 17
Watson (A. E. T.)
Heathcote(J. M.and Madden (D. H.) - 13
(Rev. M.) - - 20
C. G.) - - ii Maher (Rev. M.) - 16
Webb (Mr. and Mrs.
Helmholtz (Hermann Malleson (Col. G. B.) 5
Saintsbury (G.) - 12
Sidney) - - 17
von) - - - 24 Mann (E. E.) - - 29
Samuels (E.) - - 20
(T. K.) - - 15, 19
Marbot (Baron de) - 7
Sandars (T. C.) 14
Weber (A.) - - 15
Col. G. F.) - 7
Marquand (A.) - - 30
Sargent (A. J.)- - 17
Weir (Capt. K.) - H
Henry (W.) - ii Marshman (I. C.) - 7
Schreiner (S. C. Cron-
Weyman (Stanley) - 23
Henty (G. A.) - - 26 Martineau (Dr. lames) 32
wright) - - 10
Whately(Archbishop) 14, 15
Herbert (Col. Kenney) 12 Maskelyne (J. N.) - 13
Seebohm (F.) - - 6, 8
(E. jane) - - 16
Hiley (R. W.) - - 7 Maunder (S.) - - 25
Selous (F. C.) - - 10
White (W. Hale) 20, 31
Hill (Sylvia M.) - 21 Max Mullen (F.)
Sewell (Kluibeth M.) 23
Whitelaw (R.) - 18
Hillier (G. Lacy) - 10 7,8,15,16,22,31,32
Shadwell (A.) - - 31
Wilcocksd. C.) - 13
Hodgson (Shadworth)i4, 30 May (Sir T. Erskinel 6
Shakespeare - - 20
Wilkins(G.) - - 18
Hoenig (F.) - - 30 Meade (L. T.) - - 26
Shnnd(A I.) - - 12
Willard (A. R.) - 31
Hogan(J. F.) - - 7 Melville (G. J. Whyte) 22
Sharpe (K. R.) - - 6
Williamson (W.) - 32
Homer - - - 18 Merivalc (Dean) - 6
Shaw (W. A.) - - 6 VVillich (C. M.) - 15
Hope (Anthony) - 22 Merrimi:i 'H. S.) - 22
Shearman (M.) -io,it Witham (T. M.) - ii
Horace - - - 18 Mill (lames) 15
Sinclair (A.) - - n Wood (Rev. J. G.) - 2J
Houston (D. F.) - 4 (John Stuart) - 15, 16
Smith (K. llosworth) 6 Wood-Martin (W. G.) 6
Howell (G.) - - 16 MilnerfG.) - - 31
(T. C.) - - 4 Wordsworth (William) 2-1
Howitt (W.) - - 9 MoffatlD.) - - 13
(W. P. Maskett) 9 Wright (C. D.) - 17
Hudson (W. H.) - 24 Monck (W. H. S.) - 15
Somerville (E.) - 23 Wyhe (J. H.) -
Hullahlj.) - - 30 Montague (F. C.) 6 Sophocles - - ib
Hume (David) - - 14 Montagu (Hon. John i Soulsby (Lucy H.) - 31 Youatt (W.) i>i
Hunt (Rev. W.) - 4 ; Scott) - - 12 j Southey (K.) - - 31
Hunter (Sir W.) - 5 ' Moon (G. W.) - - 20 Speddiiig (J.) - - 7. M Zeller (E.) - '5
Hutchinson (Horace G.) Moore (T.) - 25 Sprigge (S. Squire) - 8
11,13 (Rev. Edward) 14 Stanley (Mishoo) - 24
Morgan (C. Lloyd) - 17
Stanley (Lady) - 7
Ingelow (Jean) - 19 Morris (W.) 18,20,22,31
Statha'm (S. P. H.) - 6
(Mowbray) - n
Stebbing (W.) - - 23
James (W.) - - 14 Mulhall (M. G.) - 17
Steel (A. G.) - - 10
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