Walter H Wills.

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

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Rhodes carried through this great scheme,
meeting with much opposition from the late
Mr. B. I. Barnato, who, however, ultimately
came to terms with the colossus, Messrs. Rhodes
and Barnato each being one of the four life
governors of the Co. In addition to the extra-
ordinary financial energy displayed by so young
a man in building up this gigantic diamond
corporation, his ability must also be recognized
in such details as the compound system
diminishing thefts by nigger workers, and the
syndicate controlling the price of diamonds.

During the final years in which Mr. Rhodes
was working on this, his great and initial scheme,
his attention was also attracted by the opening
of the goldfields in the Transvaal. There is no
doubt that, immersed as he was in his De Beers
and northern ideas, he did not devote so much
attention to the Rand as his financial genius,
with so stupendous an opportunity, would have
desired. But, in conjunction with C. D. Rudd,
he formed the great Consolidated Goldfields
of S.A., in 1887, with a capital of 250,000.
Mr. Rhodes' personal supervision was, of
course, not prominent, and the properties at
first acquired were, from subsequent Trans-
vaal mining experience, not first-rate. But
the Co. quickly found its true footing, and the
Consolidated Goldfields of to-day ranks with
the Rand Mines as having for years held the
pick of the coming mining areas on the Rand.
As evidence of the manner in which, in all Mr.
Rhodes' schemes, the success of one was made
to hasten the success of another, all on the road
to the acquisition of Rhodesia, one may mention
the well-known financial share which the De
Beers Co. has had in the backing up of the
Chartered Co. ; while the Consolidated Gold-
fields of S.A. gave similar assistance. In 1889
it acquired a half-interest in the Rudd Con-
cessions, presently represented by eight and
a-half units out of thirty in a consolidated com-
pany, merged once more into a company with
a very large share capital, and to be absorbed by
the Chartered Co. Under this arrangement the
Goldfields were to receive more than a quarter
of a million shares. In addition, the Goldfields
took 102,500 shares in the Chartered Co. Then
the capital was increased by 130,000 shares to
acquire the Johnson, Heany, & Borrow rights
in Mazoe, Hartley, etc., in Mashonaland. It

was in this way that the astute genius of Mr.
Rhodes, working its way stubbornly through
a maze of financial intrigues, used the un-
rivalled financial power of his earlier companies
in a country where financial opposition was not
to be feared for those men who had already
attained financial importance in the earliest
gold and diamond days he had arrayed beside
himself in carrying through the vast schemes
which, had he stood alone, would have been
too weighty even for himself, while his political
power also played an important part in the

So far, however, as the personal finance of
Mr. Rhodes is concerned, in 1892, on an amal-
gamation with other companies, and on the
raising of the capital of the Goldfields to
1,250,000, the founders (Messrs. Rudd and
Rhodes) received 80,000 shares, while in 1894
their rights to two -fifteenths of the net profits
were extinguished, by the payment to them
of 100,000 shares. From this point onward
it may be said that the career of Mr. Rhodes,
so far as the building of his personal fortune
was concerned, was finished. Thenceforward
his schemes concern the provision of ways and
means for the great Northern undertaking.
His hand was ever in his pocket, and it will
probably never be known how much, from his
private means, he has contributed towards the
exigencies of the infant territories. Especially
was this the case in regard to the northern
extension of the railway towards Rhodesia,
and on its way to Cairo, and on the preliminary
telegraph line which is already so far advanced.

In October 1901, Mr. Rhodes' health, which
had been in a precarious state for a year pre-
viously, began to show a serious turn for the
worse. Acting on medical advice, he started
for a trip in the Mediterranean, accompanied
by Mr. Beit and Dr. Jameson. He then visited
the land of the Pharaohs ; returned to England,
still an invalid, and soon left the English winter
for Muizenberg, a favourite watering place near
Cape Town. Here Mr. Rhodes developed heart
trouble, and eventually he had to lay aside all
business, although no serious result was antici-
pated, the medical attendants hoping that the
patient's vitality would prevail sufficiently to
enable him to undertake a voyage to England,
arrangements for which were actually made in
one of the mail steamers sailing from Cape
Town. Mr. Rhodes, too, was anxious to pro-
ceed to England, but his condition was such
that travelling under the circumstances was
absolutely out of the question. During the last



few days of his illness it was patent that he was
growing weaker and weaker, and although
there was a slight improvement occasionally,
Mr. Rhodes' friends prepared themselves for
the worst. From the Sunday before his death
he took little or no interest in matters which
before then he freely discussed ; but he was
constantly dozing, and the continually increasing
dropsy working upwards showed only too
plainly that the end was not far off. On Tues-
day, March 25, 1902, the first serious crisis was
surmounted ; but it left the patient so weak
that, when he had another severe attack on the
following day, it was evident the struggle was
almost over. Death, which was perfectly pain-
less, occurred at three minutes to six, conscious-
ness being retained till within three minutes of
the end. A few minutes previous to passing
away Mr. Rhodes faintly muttered the names
of his brother and some of the others around
him, evidently meaning to say good-bye. Dr.
Jameson, Dr. Smartt (Commissioner of Public
Works), Sir Charles Motcalfe, Colonel Elmhurst
Rhodes, and Mr. J. Walton (member of the
House of Assembly for Port Elizabeth) were
by his bedside, while all his attendants and
" boys" were also present. Of all those who
attended Mr. Rhodes during his illness Dr.
Stevenson was the only one absent at the end.
Among Mr. Rhodes' last utterances were the
words, " So little done. So much to do." A
post-mortem examination of the body revealed
an extensive aneurism of the heart. The place
of Mr. Rhodes' burial was not ill-chosen. In
a solid tomb in the Matoppo Hills, known now
as the World's View, the remains of the founder
of Rhodesia lie at rest.

Mr. Rhodes' will and codicils were character-
istic of the man. He made large provision for
scholarships for the advantage of American,
German, S.A. and other students, and set aside
ample sums for experimental farming, irriga-
tion, forestry, etc., and for the endowment of
an agricultural college. His executors are Lord
Miliier, Lord Rosebery, Sir Lewis Mitchell, Lord
Grey, Mr. Beit, Mr. B. F. Hawksley and Dr.
Jameson, the latter name having been added
in the last codicil. Mr. W. T. Stead had been
named previously as an executor, but that
gentleman's "extraordinary eccentricities" led
to his being removed from such a responsible post.

F.R.G.S., late of The Gables, Durban, Natal,
and of the Durban and Grosvenor (Lond. )
Clubs, was born in Hull, Eng., Mar. 17, 1839.

He was son of Geo. Robinson, of Hull, and
grandson of Geo. Cookman, J.P., of Stepney
Lodge, near Hull, and was educated privately.
Sir John was elected a member of the Natal
Legislative Council in 1863, and sat in the
Council or, after responsible govt. was intro-
duced, in the Assembly, with occasional inter-
vals until 1901. He was first Premier of Natal
in 1893, and acted as Colonial Secy, and Minis-
ter of Education in the first Responsible Ad-
ministration in the Colony. Ill-health caused
his retirement in 1897. He attended con-
ferences in London and Cape Town, and was
the author of " A Natal Guide Book," " George
Linton, or the Early Years of a British Colony,"
" A Lifetime in South Africa," etc., etc. Sir
John married, Dec. 28, 1865, Agnes, dau. of Dr.
Blaine, R.M., Natal. He^died at Durban on Nov.
5, 1903, from the results of a paralytic seizure.

who died early in June, was the son of a well-
known surgeon, his death occurring only a short
time before his intended retirement from his
arduous labours in Georgetown. Sir David,
when he had qualified in Edinburgh, joined the
Army Medical Service, and soon afterwards he
went to Jamaica, where he spent about twenty
years in various positions. His duties fell
chiefly among the coolie depots and the small-
pox hospitals, and in 1885 he was specially
selected for Sierra Leone. There he did much
good work in investigating and combating
tropical diseases of all kinds ; and what he has
accomplished in this important branch of
medical science has proved of the highest value.
On leaving Sierra Leone, Sir David was pro-
moted to the important office of Surgeon-
Gen, in British Guiana, where his presence
and experience have enabled the Govt. to
practically convert what many regarded as a
" plague spot" into a tolerably safe plane of
living for both white and coloured people. Sir
David, who was 62 at the time of his death,
married, in 1867, a dau. of the then Attorney-
Gen, of Jamaica, and one of his daughters
is now the wife of Lucie-Smith, the senior
Puisne Judge in British Guiana, and for the
moment acting as Chief Justice in the absence
on leave of his chief.

DERIC, M.L.A., of Friedrichs Ruh, Wynberg,
C.C., who died in April, 1904, was born at
Schweinfurth, Bavaria, in 1832, and was son
of the Hon. Christopher Schermbrucker, one



of the Judges of the Appellate Court of the
Province of the Palatinate. He was educated
at the Jesuit Institute of Neuburg, on the
Danube, was a Latin prizeman at that academy,
and entered the ranks of the Bavarian army as
a private, but with the privileges of a gentleman
cadet. He fought on the Royal side in the dis-
turbances of 1 850-2, and was made a Sub-Lieut.
in recognition of services in the field ; he volun-
teered to serve in the Crimea with the German
Legion. He went to the Cape in 1857 with the
rank of Ensign ; was for some time a teacher
of German before being appointed German
Interpreter in the office of the R.M. at King
Williamstown. Later he started as an
auctioneer, and from 1859 to 1866 took an
active part in opposing the annexation of
Kaffraria to the Cape Colony. He was one of
the accused in the famous Calabash case, and
was fined 100 for shooting a Kafir sheep-
stealer. He was elected a member of the Cape
Assembly in 1868. In 1872 he failed in business
and went to the diamond fields, to Lydenburg,
the Limpopo and Matabeleland, eventually be-
coming editor of the Bloemfontein " Express."
He left Bloemfontein (having been burned in
effigy there), and returned to King Williams-
town ; volunteered for service in the Frontier
War ; was appointed Comdt. of the Amatola
Division ; volunteered for service in the Zulu
War, arid commanded at Luneberg, being
present at the engagements of Zlobane and
Kambula, and distinguishing himself at the
Pemvani River. In 1880 he accompanied Sir
Gordon Sprigg to Basutoland to raise a police
force, but retired when the Sprigg Ministry was
overturned. In 1882 he was elected M.L.C. for
the Eastern Circle ; was re-elected two years
later, and in the same year joined Sir Thomas
Uppington's cabinet as Commissioner of Crown
Lands and Public Works, and continued this
office in the second Sprigg Ministry. He
successfully contested King Williamstown at
the General Elections for the Cape House of
Assembly in 1888, 1894, and 1904, and was
also a life member of the Executive Council
of the Cape of Good Hope. Col. Schermbracker
was a keen Imperialist, a clever speaker, a great
admirer of Cecil Rhodes, a loyal supporter of
Dr. Jameson, and a tower of strength to the
Progressive party. He was decorated with the
Pope's Order, "Pro Pontifice et Ecclesia," and
wore the medals for the Gaika War, the Basuto-
land Rebellion, and the Zulu War. He married
Lucy, second dau. of the late Patrick Egan, and
has had a large family of children.

SHEFFIELD, THOMAS, late of Johannes-
burg, started business in Grahamstown, C.C.,
in conjunction with his brother, as printer
and stationer, and also brought into exist-
ence the " Eastern Star," which he edited.
The paper was transferred to Johannesburg,
where it was eventually taken over by the
Argus Printing and Publishing Co. With
the change of proprietorship the word " East-
ern " in the title of the journal was dropped,
and the newspaper was carried on as the ' ' Star,' '
under which name it is still published, though,
of course, on a much larger and improved basis.
Some years ago Mr. Sheffield succeeded Mr.
F. J. Dormer as managing director of the Argus
Co., to which he devoted the greater part of
his time and abilities. Though of a literary
bent of mind, Mr. Sheffield did not find the
time to devote attention to literature. His
one production, entitled " My Impressions of
England," however, revealed his merits as a
capable writer. After a long illness Mr. Sheffield
died at Johannesburg on Feb. 6, 1904, leaving
a wife and a large family of daughters.

SHIELS, THOMAS, who died on March 10,
1904, was for many years a Director of De Beers
Consolidated Mines, and a strong supporter of
the late Mr. Rhodes. Owing to failing health,
Mr. Shiels resigned his seat at the De Beers
Board in 1903, and at the time of his death his
holding in the company had for some time
been quite a small one. When he died at Edin-
burgh, Mr. Shiels was within a day or two of
completing his 70th year. Mr. Shiels was one
of the pioneers of the S.A. Diamond Fields, and
at Kimberley, where he resided for a long period
of years, he was greatly respected for his many
good qualities.

ANDER, K.C.M.G., who died at his residence in
West Halkin Street, London, on March 29, 1902,
from the effects of influenza, was well known in
S. A., where for many years he filled responsible
positions. He was educated at King's Coll.
Sch. and Oriel and Hertford Colls., Oxford, and
was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple
in 1867. From 1873 to 1884 he held various
judicial appointments in Cape Colony, and in
the last-named year was appointed Adminis-
trator of British Bechuanaland. The next year
he became Resident Commissioner for Bechuana-
land, holding that post until 1895. On the
resignation of Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit from
the Chartered Co. after the raid, Sir Sidney




was appointed a Director, a post which he held
up to his death. Sir Sidney was a distinguished
jurist, and many of his judgments are regarded
as masterpieces of their kind. He was the
British Commissioner in the Angra Pequena
dispxite with Germany, and was created a
K.C.M.G. in 1887. Few men enjoyed a better
deserved popularity throughout the Cape
Colony, for Sir Sidney Shippard was a man of
culture and refinement, who made his influence
felt in whatever position he was called upon
to fill.

SKINNER, DR. W. A., who died at Pieter-
maritzburg, Natal, in the summer of 1904, was
born in Scotland, graduated at Edinburgh Univ.,
and took honours in London. He went to
Natal in 1900, and obtained the post of
Asst. Medical Officer at the Natal Govt. Asylum.
Dr. Skinner held this appointment until his
death, which occurred in his 31st year.

SMITH, NIGEL MAKTIN, who died in 1904,
was well known in financial circles as a Director
of the Standard Bank of South Africa, and upon
the amalgamation of Smith's Bank with the
Union Bank of London he was elected on the
board of the joint concern. He was a member
of the committee of the Victoria Hospital for
Children, and closely identified with other
similar institutions. He took a deep interest
in the young men employed in the banks, and
in their sports and recreations.

D.C.L. of Oxford, Camb. and Durham, LL.D.
of Edin., Ph.D. of Halle; late of 2, Richmond
Terrace, Whitehall, London, and of Furze Hill,
Pir bright, was born about the year 1841 in
Denbighshire, so far as is known, for his early
years are clouded by much obscurity. But it
is understood that he spent many years of his
childhood in the workhouse, and at the age
of fourteen shipped as a cabin boy for New
Orleans, where he found a generous patron in
the person of a Mr. Stanley, whose name he
adopted. On the outbreak of the American
War in 1861 Henry Morton Stanley joined the
Confederate forces, but afterwards fought on
the Federal side. In 1867 young Stanley went
as correspondent of the " New York Herald"
with the British troops in Abyssinia, and after
the fall of Magdala he represented that journal
in Spain. It was while he was there that a
telegram summoned him to Paris in October,
1869, and he was commissioned to go and find

Dr. Livingstone. He started on this vague
enterprise immediately, attending, en route,
the opening of the Suez Canal, visiting Sir
Samuel Baker in Upper Egypt, running over
to see Capt. Warren in Jerusalem, visiting
Stamboul, going over the old Crimean battle-
fields, visiting Trebizond, Tiflis and other places,
and eventually journeying through Persia, and
finding his way overland to Bombay, where he
embarked in Oct., 1870, for Mauritius. Thence
he procured a passage to Zanzibar, and began
in Jan., 1871, his inland journey in search of
the great missionary. In the following Novem-
ber the intrepid party found themselves on the
eastern shores of Tanganyika, and here, at a
village called Ujiji, they encountered Dr. Living-
stone. Upon his return to England, the bearer
of Livingstone's diary, Mr. Stanley (not yet
knighted) was universally lionized. The Queen
presented him with a gold snuS box with the
V.R. in brilliants. The King (then Prince of
Wales) gave him an audience ; King Humbert
of Italy presented a portrait of himself, while
from Victor Emmanuel he received a gold
medal. Learned societies and illustrious per-
sonages showered addresses, gifts and invita-
tions upon him, and Stanley realized to the full
the meaning of fame, and enjoyed the nation's
reward for long months of danger, fever, toil
and privations endured for the succour of a
fellow man.

A year or two later he returned to Africa to
represent the " New York Herald " in the
Ashantee War, and on his return the ever-
enterprising "Daily Telegraph" joined with
the "New York Herald" in sending Stanley
back to complete the discoveries of Speke, Sir
R. Burton and Livingstone (who was now
dead). As a result of the liberal means sup-
plied by Mr. J. M. Levy and Mr. Edward L.
Lawson of the " Telegraph," and Mr. James
Gordon Bennett of the " Herald," Mr. Stanley's
expedition resulted in the accomplishment of
three great achievements, each one of which
would have made the lifelong reputation of
any ordinary explorer. The Victoria Nyanza
was for the first time circumnavigated and its
shores accurately mapped out. The Tanganyika
was also circumnavigated, and the result of
the expedition showed, what before had been
unknown, that these two great inland seas were
not in any way connected with each other.
But the greatest of his African exploits remains
to be chronicled. Striking due west, Stanley
met the River Lualaba, followed the mys-
terious stream northward along its banks, and



ultimately embarked on its waters, finally
emerging by it on the Atlantic Ocean at the
mouth of the Congo. No more momentous
geographical discovery has ever been made in
modern days than the proof thus given that
the Lualaba and the Congo were the same river,
and that the latter was almost continuously
navigable, and certainly capable of being
utilized as a high road for future African com-
merce. During a great part of the journey
through Central Africa Stanley was accom-
panied by the great slave trader, Tippoo Tib,
and many conflicts with natives took place ;
but, although they met with censure in some
quarters, they could only be regarded as part
of the price of the advantages to science, civili-
zation, religion and empire which ultimately

In 1879 Mr. Stanley (as he still was) was
deputed by the newly formed African Inter-
national Association, of which King Leo-
pold II was the founder, to establish trading
stations 'and open up the land bordering on the
Congo, with the main object of promoting
commerce. In 1884 was founded the Congo
Free State, referred to in Mr. Stanley's " The
Congo, and the Founding of the Free State"
(1885), and the first Governorship of this terri-
tory was offered to, but declined by, the ex-
plorer and pioneer of commerce in West Africa.

In Jan., 1887, the Egyptian Treasury placed
10,000 at Stanley's disposal for the relief of
Emin Pasha, upon which he set out from the
Congo with many able lieutenants, pushing on
to the Aruwhimi River, where he established
a base. Stanley then took the greater part of
his force northwards, and after seemingly end-
less obstacles death, disease, hunger, desperate
conflicts with natives, struggles through virgin
forests, etc., he at length met Emin, and
brought him back in triumph.

But many and fatiguing journeys through
the worst parts of Africa, punctuated with over
a hundred attacks of fever, were telling upon
the explorer's health. Many tempting offers
of profitable employment were made, but he
resolved to settle down in England. He mar-
ried Dorothy, a dau. of Mr. C. Tennant, of
Cadoxton Lodge, Vale of Neath, Glamorgan-
shire, in 1880, and after one unsuccessful
attempt to enter Parliament, was elected in
the Liberal Unionist interest as member for
North Lambeth at the general election in 1895,
retiring in 1900, a year after receiving the
honour of knighthood. In 1898 he paid one
more visit to Africa on the occasion of the

opening of the railway to Bulawayo. Sir Henry
died on May 10, 1904, and was buried at Pir-
bright, lamented by numberless friends, and
honoured by all. Beside the book already
referred to, he was the author of " Coomassie
and Magdala," " How I found Livingstone,"
" In Darkest Africa," " Through the Dark
Continent," and " Through South Africa."

gallant soldier who so distinguished himself in
the Kafir War of 1846, and who did such fine
service for Lord Beaconsfield in connexion with
the Suez Canal in 1875, was born when George IV
was King, and was in his 77th year when he died.

STBAKOSCH, RUDOLPH, of Johannesburg,
was a junior member of the Johannesburg staff
of Messrs. A. Goerz & Co., Ltd., He was an
engineer of considerable promise, and came by
his death on June 7, 1904.

TARBUTT, PERCY, late of 23, St. Swithin's
Lane, London, E.G. who died early in 1904, was
originally in partnership with Mr. Cecil Quenton.
The latter some years ago retired from the firm,
and, devoting his leisure to his favourite hobby,
has since become famous in the yachting world.
Mr. Tarbutt, on the other hand, has died in
harness. On his own account he devoted him-
self more assiduously than ever to business,
and his directorship of the Consolidated Gold
Fields of South Africa, which he held till the
day of his death, was the first of a long series.
His capacity for work, his mastery of detail,
and what may be called his generalship, were so
remarkable that he held simultaneously director-
ships of no fewer than twenty four mining
development, and investment cos., not all of
which were African. He was chairman of
three of those cos. namely, the British
Gold Coast Co., Limited ; the Mashonaland
Agency, Limited ; and the Village Reef Gold
Mining Co. As a director he was able in
administration, with the advantage of practical
skill in mining matters, and he was not the
sort of man to be easily influenced by timid
counsels or peevish protests when he had made
up his mind for what he considered the best.

With W. African enterprises, however, he
had been pre-eminently associated. He was
a pioneer of the movement for the development
of W. Africa's gold resources a movement
which, though uneventful for the time being,
is still fraught with great potentialities. Those
potentialities were foreseen by him before the



big boom in W. Africans, and, being early in
the field, with his friend and colleague, Mr.

Online LibraryWalter H WillsThe Anglo-African who's who and biographical sketch-book → online text (page 38 of 49)