Walter H Wills.

The Anglo-African who's who and biographical sketch-book online

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Salisbury, Rhodesia, and Avoca District, Barkly
East, C.C., is the son of the late Rev. Charles
Edward Herbert Orpen, M.D., F.R.C.P. Lon-
don, F.R.C.S. Dublin, was born in Dublin,
Nov. 5, 1828, and educated privately.

Mr. Orpen is probably the oldest of the S.A.
Parliamentarians, and was until late in 1903
Surveyor-Gen, of Rhodesia, having administered
its Dept. of Lands and Agriculture since 1896.
He was also a member of its Legislative and
Executive Councils.

On Dec. 24, 1846, when just turned seven-
teen, he arrived with three of his brothers in
Table Bay. Thence they went to then 1 elder
brother's farm, " Taaibosch-fontein," in the
then Colesberg District, between Naauwpoort
and De Aar. After a few months' study with
his father, who arrived in the Colony with his
wife and the rest of the family in Jan. 1848,
Mr. Orpen, in 1849, passed his theoretical and
practical examinations for a Cape Govt. Land
Surveyorship, and received that appointment
as well as a Justiceship of the Peace early hi
1851. In the Kafir War of that year, he served
as a Lieut, of Volunteers. Early in 1852, he,
with his eldest brother, F. H. S. Orpen, under-
took to survey for the Govt. of the then " Orange
River Sovereignty " the Harrismith or Vaal
River District of that Colony. In Aug. 1853,
H.M. Ministers announced, through a Special
Commissioner sent to Bloemfontein, their
intention to abandon the territory immediately,
calling upon its European inhabitants to elect
delegates and constitute a Republican Govt..
Mr. Orpen and his brother were elected dele-
gates at Harrismith, and received instructions
from their constituents to protest against and
resist abandonment. This Assembly of Dele-
gates, of which Mr. J. M. Orpen is the only
surviving member, met on Sept. 5, 1853, and,
after a short session, passed a unanimous pro-
test against abandonment, and elected a stand-
ing committee to represent them permanently
in so doing. Of this committee Mr. Orpen and
his brother, who had each taken a prominent
part in the Assembly's proceedings, were



elected members. The committee supported a
public deputation, which proceeded to England
to petition Govt. against abandonment, but
on Sept. 23, 1854, H.M. Special Commissioner
formally abandoned the territory, removed the
troops and Govt. officers, and handed over the
administration to those who had, under his
encouragement, organized a movement in favour
of abandonment. In the Convention which
thus created the O.F.S. Republic, it
was, however, stipulated that an elective
constituent and Legislative Council should be
called together within three months, and Mr.
Orpen was at once re-elected by Harrismith
to represent it in the first Volksraad of the Free
State. He then took a leading part in the
framing of the Constitution of that State, which
lasted, with little modification, till the recent
fall of the two Republics. After the proro-
gation of that Volkrsaad (of which Mr. Orpen is,
likewise, the sole survivor), he was appointed
by the Pres. to conduct negotiations and open
up friendly relations with Moshesh, the aged
chief of Basutoland, which had been received
under the Queen's sovereignty and then aban-
doned by H.M. Govt. After Mr. Orpen had
successfully opened these negotiations and
relations, the Pres. at the public request of the
inhabitants of the District of Winburg, induced
him to accept the position of Landdrost of
that district. To it the District of Harrismith
was annexed by a resolution of the Volksraad
in its next session. Thus Mr. Orpen was given
the fiscal and magisterial administration of
two-thirds of the Free State, which, being
bounded by the Vaal River, then included a
considerable territory afterwards comprised
in the Transvaal Republic. His position in-
cluded an ex-officio membership both of the
Volksraad and of the Supreme Court of Justice
and Appeal, which was called " The Court of
Combined Landdrosts," and consisted of three
of those officials. In this court Mr. Orpen at
times presided, being then only twenty-four
years of age. Within a few months of his
appointment (in Sept. 1854), Mr. Orpen had
to deal with the first attempt on the part of
the adherents of Comdt.-Gen. Marthinus
Pretorius, of the Transvaal, to overthrow the
Govt. of the O.F.S. By diplomacy, however,
Mr. Orpen was successful in frustrating this
attempt, though it was renewed, in an armed
invasion by Pretorius and Kriiger, a few
years later. Co-operating with the Paramount
Chief of the Basutos, Mr. Orpen produced a
satisfactory state of affairs on the whole

Basuto border of his District, while he success-
fully repressed attempts by burghers of the
Free State to kidnap native children beyond
and within its borders. In connection with this
practice of kidnapping, Mr. Orpen was sent on
a mission to the territories north of Natal, and
so demonstrated the extensive nature of thafc
practice, that legislation against it was passed
in the Cape Parliament and the Free State
Volksraad. In 1856, Mr. Orpen was deputed
by the Pres. to represent him in giving direc-
tions on the spot to officers of a Free State
Commando, sent to coerce the native chief,
Wietzie, and remove him from the Harrismith
District, where he was occupying farms granted
to whites during the British regime. During
this commando, Mr. Orpen (with difficulty and
by his own action alone) restored to their
mothers a number of native children who had
been seized by members of the commando.
The first expeditionary force, having broken up
without accomplishing its object, the Pres.
gave Mr. Orpen authority to raise and take
command of another commando, with which
he carried the operations to a successful con-
clusion. In the Presidential speech at the
opening of the next session of the Raad, these
services were brought to the notice of the
Assembly, and at the conclusion of the session
a vote of thanks for these and other service,
was accorded to him. He soon afterwards
resigned and retired to the District of Aliwal
North, in the C.C., where the Governor,
Sir George Grey, entrusted him with extensive
surveys. Seeing that a war was imminent
between the Free State and the Basutos over
a question of disputed frontier, he used his
influence with the Paramount Chief, Moshesh,
to induce him to propose to the Pres. that all
questions at issue should be referred to the
arbitration of the Governor of the Cape. This
proposal was not accepted, and the Pres., after
repulsing an invasion by Pretorius and Kriiger,
declared war upon Moshesh, but being unsuc-
cessful, eventually proposed to Moshesh the very
mediation which he had before declined, also
begging Sir George Grey to press it upon
Moshesh. The latter at once accepted it,
and, acting on Mr. Orpen's advice, commenced
a series of petitions to the British Govt. to be
again taken under its sovereignty. This, after
some years and another war, led to the ulti-
mate annexation of Basutoland to the British

Mr. Orpen, in 1863, acquired landed property
in the District of Aliwal North, upon which he



still carries on farming operations on an exten-
sive scale. In Feb. 1872, he was chosen (in a
bye-election) to represent the division of Queens-
town in the Cape House of Assembly. Both be-
fore and after his election, he strongly advocated
the gradual and steady extension, with the con-
sent of the native tribes, of British authority
over the countries lying outside Colonial juris-
diction between the Cape Colony and Natal,
where native relations existed, entailing serious
responsibilities, without practical means of
fulfilling them. Murder and intertribal blood-
shed were rife, and general misgovernment
prevailed. During the sessions of 1872 and
1873, Mr. Orpen pressed his views in the Assem-
bly, and moved for select committees to con-
sider the state of the Colony's native relations,
and elicited much information through the
reports of those committees. He voted against
the introduction of Party Government, on the
grounds that it would lead, with disastrous
results, to native affairs becoming the football
of party politics.

After the dissolution of the Cape Parliament
in 1873, Mr. Orpen was asked by the first
Ministry of the C.C. to take office as British
Resident in the territory between the Umtata
and Natal, with the object of developing and
extending the authority and jurisdiction of
Govt. there. That territory was in a state of
war on his arrival in it in Aug. 1873, but before
Nov. of that year British authority had so far
advanced that on the outbreak of the rebellion
of Laiigalibalele, in Natal, Mr. Orpen was able
to raise a native army and take part in the
movements for suppressing the outbreak.
His services in this respect were honourably
mentioned in 1874, both by the Natal and Cape
Govts. in their reports to their respective
Parliaments. Without external support Mr.
Orpen succeeded in establishing authority,
jurisdiction, and just administration as far as
the borders of Natal, and was able to punish
some of the chiefs in those territories placed
under his charge for murders committed under
the pretext that the victims were guilty of
witchcraft, and thus to a great extent suppressed
that cruel system. Mr. Orpen's administration
in the territories mentioned, lasted from Aug.,
1873, to June, 1875. The last territory an-
nexed during that time was Griqualand East,
at that time governed by Adam Kok. He and
his people, the Griquas, had been permitted to
occupy it (it being land ceded to Govt.) on the
written stipulation that they should eventually
be placed under the direct administration of

the Govt. Adam Kok in Council now asked,
and caused the request to be recorded, that he
should be either placed under direct administra-
tion or made wholly independent. Governor
Sir Henry Barkly thereupon, acting on the
advice of his ministers, proceeded to Kokstad,
declared the Govt. of Adam Kok at an end,
accorded him a retiring pension of 1,000 a
year, and placed the administration in the hands
of Mr. Orpen. In 1875, after very honourable
mention in the Governmental report to Parlia-
ment, Mr. Orpen resigned his office and returned
to farming and the practice of his profession.

It was while he was engaged in a large survey
for Govt. in the District of Hay, in Griqualand
West, that a rebellion of the Griquas, Korannas
and Kafirs of that territory broke out in 1878.
Mr. Orpen was appointed at first Capt. of the
Corps of Guides, then Chief of the Intelligence
Dept. on the Staff, and afterwards Maj. in com-
mand, as well as a C.C. and R.M. over the seat
of the rebellion. He held these offices for six
months till the close of the rebellion and the
Bechuanaland War. He was engaged in several
battles and honourably mentioned in despatches
,by Lieut. -Governor Sir W. O. Lanyon, and by
Gen. Sir Charles Warren, on whose staffs he had

In 1879, Mr. Orpen was re-elected member of
the Cape House of Assembly for the Division of
Aliwal North. He retained that seat till Aug.
1881, when, after the impotent close of the cam-
paign in Basutoland, Col. C. D. Griffith, C.M.G.,
who had, before the rebellion, been a most suc-
cessful Governor's Agent and Chief Magistrate,
retired, as he did not consider the restoration of
authority possible by him, under existing circum-
stances. He advised that Mr. Orpen should suc-
ceed him, as he believed that only under his
administration was there any possibility of
success. In the admittedly difficult task of
administering Basutoland without extraneous
support, Mr. Orpen met with a considerable
measure of success. He collected a large
amount of Hut Tax, punished the Chiefs Jona-
than and Joel, who had fought against each
other, and restored authority over a considerable
portion of the population, but one of the Basuto
chiefs, Masupha, being opposed to the establish-
ment of Colonial authority, the Ministry gave
up the attempt to enforce it, withdrew all
magisterial jurisdiction, and determined to
appeal to the Imperial Govt. to undertake itself
the govt. of Basutoland, and allow the repeal
of the Act annexing it to the C.C. Upon
this, Mr. Orpen was retired, in March, 1883,



with expressions of high regard, and shortly
afterwards Basutoland reverted to the direct
rule of the Imperial Govt.

Mr. Orpen then went to reside on his property
in what is now the District of Barkly East. In
1889, he was again elected Senior Member for the
Electoral Division of Wodehouse to the Cape
House of Assembly, was re-elected in a subse-
quent general election, and held his seat till
1896, when he was called to be Surveyor-Gen, of
Rhodesia and Member of its Executive and
Legislative Councils. He married, March 31,
1859, Elise Pauline, dau. of the Rev. S. Rolland.

ORPEN, W. REDMOND, M.L.A., represents
Prieska in the Cape House of Assembly ; was first
elected in Feb. 1904, and supports the progressive
party in the House.

ORSMOND, M.C., M.L.A., represents Aliwal
North in the Cape Parliament ; was elected in
Feb. 1904, and is a Progressive member.

K.C.M.G. ; 1st class Osmanieh, 1st class Medji-
dieh, 1st class St. Saviour (Greece) ; of Cairo, .,
Egypt, and Park Mansions, Albert Gate, London,
is the son of Edward Palmer, He was born
March 3, 1852, and was educated at Lancing
Col. Sir Elwin served in the Indian Finan-
cial Dept. from 1870-1885, and occupied
the position of Acct. -General in Egypt,
1885-89, and was Financial adviser to H.H.
the Khedive, 1889-98. He is at the present time
Gov. of the National Bank of Egypt and
Pres. of the Agricultural Bank of Egypt.
He married Mary Augusta Lynch, dau. of Maj.
Clogstown, V.C.

PARK, MAITLAND HALL, of 17, Mill St.,
The Gardens, Cape Town, and of the Imperial
Colonies (London) and Civil Service and City
Clubs (C.T.), is the youngest son of the late
Rev. Hugh Park, and was born Oct. 10, 1862, at
Cumbernauld, Dumbartonshire, N.B. He was
educated at the Glasgow High Sch., and
Glasgow Univ. , where he headed the list in open
Bursary Competitions and graduated in Arts
some years later, in 1885, In 1885 he was ap-
pointed Sub-Editor of the " Glasgow Herald,"
and a year later he joined the staff of the
"Pioneer," Allahabad, N.W.P. India, and
remained there as Assistant Editor, Officiating
Ed. and Ed. -in-Chief until 1902 when he was
appointed Chief Editor of the " Cape Times "
in succession to Mr. Saxon Mills (q.v.) He is an

able journalist who has made his mark in India,
and who bids fair to worthily carry on the high
traditions of the " Cape Times."

PARKIN, DR. G. R., C.M.G., resigned the post
of Principal of Upper Canada Col. to accept
the position of Organizer of the Rhodes
Scholarships, a scheme which involves his
travelling round the world.

C.M.G., of Southbourne-on-Sea, and the Isth-
mian Club, is the fourth son of Major-Gen.
J. E. B. Parsons, Indian Army, who was the
fourth son of the late Lieut. -Gen. J. D. Parsons,
C.B., of the Indian Army, who was great-grandson
of Samuel Parsons, of Powerstown, County Tip-
per ary. He was born July 3, 1863, in London, and
was educated at Dulwich Coll. He joined the
" Queen's " Regt. in 1882 and saw active
service in the Burmese Campaign in 1887, re-
ceiving medal with two clasps, He joined the
Army Ordnance Dept., 1890, and was promoted
Capt in the following year. He was Chief
Ordnance Officer, Straits Settlements, 1894 to
1898, and in the latter year was promoted Maj.
He served in the S.A. Campaign in 1899-1902
with distinction. He held the appointment of
Chief Ordnance Officer of various districts, and
was mentioned in despatches. He received
his C.M.G. in 1800 and the Queen's medal with
three clasps and King's medal with two clasps.
He is now serving as Chief Ordnance Officer of
the Western District. He married, Feb 10, 1892,
Julia, second dau. of Thomas Archer, C.M.G.,
of Grassmere, Queensland, late Agent-Gen, for
Queensland. He has one son, Harold Archer
James, born 1895.

PEACE, SIE WALTER, K.C.M.G., Chevalier de
1'ordre de Leopold, of 39, Hyde Park Gate, S.W.,
and of the St. Stephen's, Junior Constitutional,
Imperial Service, Colonial, and Durban Clubs,
was born at Huddersfield, Oct. 19, 1840. He is
the son of James Peace, professor of music, of
Huddersfield, and was educated at a private
academy in that town. Sir Walter went to Natal
in 1863, and became head of the firm of Peace,
Blandy & Co., merchants. He was Consul for
Belgium at Durban, and Vice-Consul for Portugal,
1870-1879. He was appointed Natal Emigration
and Harbour Board Agent in London in 1880,
and Agent-Gen, for Natal in 1893, in which
year he was made C.M.G. , receiving the honour
of Knighthood in 1897. He is the anther of
" Our Colony of Natal " and " Notes on Natal."



Sir Walter is a fellow or member of various
Institutes, and Hon. Member of the Institute
of Marine Engineers. He was one of the Royal
Commissioners for the Paris Exhibition in 1900 ;
was a Commissioner for the Colonial and Indian
Exhibition in 1886 ; is a Member of the Advisory
Committee of the Board of Trade in connection
with the Imperial Institute, and is a member
of Mr. Chamberlain's Tariff Commission, He
married, April 24, 1869, Caroline, youngest dau.
of Wm. Tilbrook, of Woodham Lodge, near

Queenstown, C.C., and of the National
Liberal (Lond.) and City (C.T.) Clubs; is
son of George Peacock of Manchester, where he
was born, Feb. 22, 1831 ; was educated privately,
and proceeding to the Cape became senior
partner in the merchant firm of Peacock Bros.,
of London, Queenstown, and East London
(C.C). He represented King Williamstown
in the Cape House of Assembly from 1874 to
1877 ; was appointed by the Scanlen Ministry
a member of the Committee of Advice to Sir
Chas. Mills, the first Agent-Gen, for the Cape
of Good Hope in 1883 ; and sat in the Legislative
Council for the E. Circle, C.C., from 1891 to 1898.
Mr. Peacock married, Sept. 25, 1867, a dau. of
I. Hincksman, cotton spinner, of Preston, Lanes.

B.F.A., C.M.G.. 4th Class of the Imperial Orders
of the Osmanieh (1899) and Medjidieh (1896), of
Cairo, and of the Naval and Military, Boodle's,
and the Cavalry Clubs ; was born in London,
March 27 1865; is youngest son of Frederick
Peake, of Burrough, Melton Mowbray, Leicester-
shire, was educated at Charterhouse, and joined
the Egyptian army in July, 1895. He served
in the various campaigns of 1896,-97,-98,-99
for the recovery of the Sudan and the destruction
of the Dervish power. He received a brevet
majority in 1896, and was subsequently decorated
with the Medjidieh, the Osmanieh, and the Queen's
medal and the Khedive's medal with clasps for
Ferket, Hafir, Nile (1897), Atbara, Khartum
and Nile (1899). Major Peake commanded a
battery of artillery under Lord Kitchener
when Comdt. Marchand was encountered at
Fashoda in Sept. 1898, and had command of the
expedition sent to the Upper Nile in Dec. 1899
to clear the sudd away and open a waterway,
which was completed in May 1900, in which
month the first steamer from the north reached
Gondokow. For this service he was decorated

with the C.M.G. Ho now commands the artil-
lery of the Egyptian army, and is in charge of all
small arms and ammunition connected with the
Egyptian army and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
He married, June 20, 1900, Louisa, eldest dau.
of the late P. H. Osborne, of Currandooley, New
South Wales.

Lagos, and Old Calabar, N. Africa, was born in
the Colony of Lagos, Nov. 20, 1865, and is the
only surviving son of the late Rev. S. Pearse, of
the C.M.S. He was educated at the C.M.S.
Gram. Sch. at Lagos ; was trained to com-
mercial pursuits on the West Coast, and entered
into a partnership in 1890 with the late I. A.
Thompson, trading in Lagos and London. This
partnership was dissolved in 1894, when he
started on his own account at Lagos and after-
wards at Old Calabar. In 1897 he visited Benin
city and the adjoining forests, under Govt.
auspices, reporting on the rubber resources, etc.
He was elected hi 1901 a Life Fellow of the R.C.I.
He married, in June, 1897, Constance, eldest dau.
of J. P. Decker, of Lagos.

PEARSON, ALFRED NAYLOR, of Pietermaritz-
burg, was born May 17, 1856, at Leeds, Eng,
and was educated in his native town and at the
Royal Sch. of Mines, London. In 1874 he
obtained a Royal Exhibition at that Institution,
and for two years was at the head of the examina-
tions, thus gaining two additional scholarships.
In 1877 he accepted a position in Kutch, India,
in connection with the development of the
mineral resources of the State. After thirteen
months' service he resigned and was appointed
temporarily Curator of the Victoria and Albert
Museum, Bombay, and acting Prof, of Biology
of the Elphinston Coll. in that city. In 1880 he
was appointed Resident Engineer of the Wynaad
G.M.C., resigning that position in 1882 to assume
temporary charge for two and a-half years of
the Meteorological Department in Western
India. In 1884 he was made Fellow of the
University of Bombay ; at the end of that year
he left for Australia, and in the following year
was appointed Examiner for higher degrees in
various science subjects at the University of
Melbourne. In 1886 he was appointed Chemist
to the Dept. of Agriculture, Victoria, and
subsequently Chemist of Lands, Agriculture
and Water Supply in that Colony. In 1888
he was appointed Member of the Royal Inter-
colonial Commission to report on proposals by
Pasteur and others for suppressing the rabbit



pest in Australia. After serving on various
conferences and receiving a resolution of thanks
for " splendid services to the Agriculture of the
State," he was appointed in 1901 Director of
Agriculture in Natal, and subsequently gazetted
also as Commissioner of Industries for that

Under his direction a large experimental farm
of 3,600 acres is being laid out. He is the author
of many reports, papers, and other writings upon
the development of the mineral resources of
India, meteorological works on parts of India,
agricultural subjects connected with Australia,
also on various educational, scientific and literary
matters, and a scheme of agricultural settlement
for Natal, which he has written in co-authorship
with the Surveyor-Gen. He married : first,
in 1882, the eldest dau. of Dr. R. T. Corbett,
M.D., etc., Glas., and second, in 1896, the eldest
dau. of Richard Harding, and sister of Maj.
R. Harding, of Melbourne, Australia.

D.D., Lord Bishop of Mombasa, of Bishop's
Court, Mombasa, East Africa, and the Mombasa
Club, was born in N. India, in 1854. He is son
of Capt. Peel, who died in Calcutta of cholera.
He was educated at the Blackheath Proprietary
Sch., and at the Church Missionary Theological
Coll., Islington ; was ordained Deacon at St.
Paul's, London, in 1879 ; Priest, 1880 ; and was
consecrated Bishop in 1899. He was Curate,
Trowbridge, Wilts, 1879-80 ; Rugby Fox Master,
Noble Coll., Masulipatam, 1880-87 (Acting-
Principal for three years) ; Acting Secy. Church
Missionary Society, Diocese of Madras, 1888, '89
and '92, and was Secy, of the Church Missionary
Society, Diocese of Bombay, 1892-99. He
married, Aug. 3, 1880, Agneta Jane, dau. of the
Rev. R. Guy Bryan, late Principal of Monkton
Combe School, nr. Bath.

F.R.C.I., of Johannesburg (P.O. Box 561), of
2, Mitre Court Buildings, Temple, E.G., and of
the Royal Societies (London), the Rand, New,
Athenaeum and Wanderers' (Johannesburg)
Clubs, and the Jockey Club of S.A. ; was born
at Darlington, County Durham, July 31, 1865.
He is eldest son of Joseph Peirson, of Stokesley,
Yorks., and Margaret, dau. of Thomas Waldie,
of Darlington ; was educated at the High Sch.,
Pietermaritzburg, and at Dr. Ehrlich's Sch., at
Newcastle-on-Tyne. He is a Barrister of the
Inner Temple, and Advocate of the Supreme
Court of the Transvaal. He went to Natal in

1877, and to Johannesburg in 1889, where he is
on the boards of several G.M. Cos. He has been
member of the Provincial Synod of S.A. and
on the Diocesan Synods of Maritzburg and Pre-
toria on several occasions, and is Chancellor of
the Diocese of Pretoria (1903). He is also Vice-

Online LibraryWalter H WillsThe Anglo-African who's who and biographical sketch-book → online text (page 26 of 49)