Walter H Wills.

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

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of the minor offence of Lcesce majestatis, and
sentenced to two years' imprisonment, 2,000
fine, and three years' banishment. After



serving about one month's imprisonment his
sentence was commuted to a fine of 2,000.
Towards the end of 1896 he gave up business
in Johannesburg, and went to England for rest
and change. In 1898 he became Chairman of
the Estate Finance and Mines Corporation,
Ld., in London, which position he resigned at
the end of 1899, and went back to S.A., and
devoted himself to improving the '' Cape Law
Journal," and also compiled his " Digest of the
Cape Law Journal," a work of about 600 pages,
published 1901. In that year he altered the
name of the " Cape Law Journal " to the
" South African Law Journal," and in June of
the same year he resumed in Johannesburg his
practice as a solicitor. He joined the Rand
Rifles, and was a captain in the force at the
time it was disbanded. In 1902 he, in conjunc-
tion with Mr. Manfred Nathan, LL.D., com-
piled aad published the " Legal Handbook of
British South Africa" (about 750 pp.). He
was one of the representatives of the O.R.C.
in the Inter-Colonial conference on the Com-
panies' Law.

He was a member of the firm of Ayliff, Bell
& Hutton, and later of Bell & Hutton, in
Grahamstown ; of Caldicott & Bell, in Kim-
berley ; of Bell & Mullins, in Johannesburg ;
and since 1901 he has been a member of the
firm of Bell & Tancred, of Johannesburg. He
has been a member of the Council of the Incor-
porated Law Society of the Transvaal for many
years ; he is also a member of the Council of the
Incorporated Law Society of the Cape Colony.
He is a director on several companies, and Chair-
man of the African Book Co., Ltd. He married
Aug. 3, 1880, Charlotte Elizabeth, dau. of the
late Geo. Wood, junr., of Grahamstown.

R.A., of the United Service Club, London, was
born Nov. 12, 1869, at Gibraltar. He is son of
Lieut.-Gen. Sir William Bellairs (q.v.) ; was
educated at Clifton Coll. ; served in the
S.A. War 1901-2, commanding the R.G.A.
in the O.R.C. towards the end of the war. He
subsequently was appointed Adjt. of the Cape
Garrison Artillery.

K.C.M.G., C.B., Knight of the Legion of Honour,
and Order of the Medjidie, of Clevedon, Somer-
setshire, and of the National Liberal Club, was
born August 28, 1828, at Honfleur. He is de-
scended from the ancient family of de Beler,
Bellers, or Bellars (as formerly variously spelt),

of Melton Mowbray, and Kirby Bellars, Leicester-
shire, in which churches are still to be seen
effigies of his ancestors. He is a son of Sir
William Bellairs (d. 1863), a distinguished
officer of the 15th King's Hussars, who saw
much service during the Peninsula and Water-
loo, and was afterwards Exon of the Yeomen
of the Guard at the Court of Queen Victoria.
Sir William was educated privately, and entered
the army in 1846, retiring as a Lieut.-Gen. in
1887. As Adjt. of the 49th (now the Royal
Berkshire) Regt., he was present at the battle
of the Alma ; as Capt. at the Inkerman com-
bat of the 26th October, and at the battle of
Inkerman, where he led a charge with only three
attenuated companies, which overthrew and
dispersed a strong Russian column an episode
related in Kinglake's brilliant pages. Later,
when on the Q.M.-Gen.'s staff, he was present
at the attacks on the Redan and fall of Sebasto-
pol, being then rewarded with a brevet majority,
French and Turkish honours, medals and clasps.
He was one of the comparative few (about 100)
combatants who fought through the Crimea
from first to last. He subsequently served on
the staff of the Adjutant and Q.M.-Gen.'s
departments in the West Indies, Ireland, Gibral-
tar and South Africa ; throughout the Kafir
and Zulu campaigns (S. African medal, 1877-9,
and distingushed service reward). Then, as
Brig. -Gen. commanding the troops which suc-
cessfully defended their seven isolated posts in
the Transvaal Pretoria, Potchefstroom, Rust-
enburg, Marabastaal, Lydenburg, Standerton,
and Wakkerstroom surrounded as they were,
for three months, by greater Boer forces. Sir
William has likewise acted in various civil
capacities as Inspector-Gen, of Police, Bar-
bados, 1857 ; Local Inspector of Army Schools,
Gibraltar, 1868-73 ; Col. Secretary, 'Gibraltar,
1872 ; Administrator, Natal, 1880 ; Member of
Executive Council, Transvaal, 1880-1 ; and
Administrator, Transvaal, 1881, after the war.

Sir William wrote the " Transvaal War,
1880-1," published in 1885 (Blackwood). In
1902 the King selected him for the Colonelcy of
the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and
Derbyshire Regt.). Sir William was married:
first, in 1857, to Emily Craven, daughter of
Wm. Barton Gibbons, J.P., and second, in 1867,
to Blanch St. John, daughter of F. A. Mosch-
zisker, Ph. D. Sir William's eldest son,
William G. Bellairs (q.v.) is a C.C. and R.M.
in the Cape Colony. He has another son, Capt.
N. E. B. Bellairs, R.A., attached to the Cape
Artillery, and a daughter married to Sir David



Tennant, late Speaker of the Cape House of

BELLAIRS, WILLIAM G., eldest son of Lieut. -
Gen. Sir Wm. Bellairs (q.v.) ; is C.C. and
R.M. in the Cape Colony. He married in 1901
to Augusta Chiappini, dau. of a former member
of the Cape Legislative Assembly.

M.L.C., was born in 1834 at Uitenhage, which
he represented for many years on the Divisional
Council. He was an office-bearer in the D.R.
Church, and a prominent Bond leader in his
division. He was returned at the head of the
poll in 1891 for the South-Eastern Province
in the Cape Legislative Council. Mr. Balling-
ham still represents this division.

BELLIS, THOMAS K., of Croydon, Surrey,
was born in Liverpool in 1841, and educated at
the Liverpool Coll. At the early age of fifteen
he entered the Liverpool office of Messrs. Forbes,
Forbes & Co., East India merchants of London.
Mr. Bellis shortly afterwards came to London,
where he entered seriously upon a business
career. For eighteen years he remained with
a well known firm then doing an important West
Indian trade, and rose from the lowest position
to that of manager. On the dissolution of the firm
in the West India trade, he started for himself
in 1874, and forseeing the great future of the
turtle trade, he kept it well before him in the
midst of his other undertakings. To a man of
his enterprising character and business capacity
a scheme for the importation of the living animal,
upon a scale never before attempted, was no
sooner thought of than he made extensive
arrangements to carry it out. Mr. Bellis has
earned the sobriquet of " Turtle King." That
title is beyond dispute, for throughout the
length and breadth of the land there is not
another merchant dealing on the same colossal
scale, as a visit to the present offices in Bury
Street, St. Mary Axe, will quickly prove. Every
fortnight the West India Royal Mail brings a
supply, dealers throughout the country looking
to Mr. Bellis for the fulfilment of their orders.
Not only is he acknowledged as the head of the
business in England, but his fame is equally
recognized throughout Europe, and he controls
the schooners which catch the turtles from
amongst the coral islands in the Mexican Gulf.
With the energy and enterprise characteristic
to him, Mr. Bellis has not limited his efforts

to one branch of trade. He is now taking a
keenly active part in opening a trade with
Tarkwa, on the Gold Coast, and the results up
to the present time have amply justified his
foresight. He has also for the past seventeen
years been engaged in importing Turkish leaf
tobacco, at first only on a small scale, but it
has developed very considerably, and is now
quite an important business. He is pro-
moter and director of the Tarkwa Gold Coast
Trading Co. now a successful company. His
name is also well known in connection with
the exploitation of the Welsbach Incandescent
Light. Many other minor inventions were
also brought out by him, including the Fleuas
Tubeless Tyre, the original syndicate proving a
great success, as was the case with all the ven-
tures to which he has lent his name and given
his consideration. Mr. Bellis has resided for
many years in Croydon, and has taken an active
part in the local life of the town, but has never
been persuaded to accept public office in Croydon
or elsewhere.

Great Cumberland Place, W., and of the Ladies'
Empire Club, is a daughter of Robert Westley
Hall-Dare, D.L., of Theydon Bois, Wenning-
ton Hall, Essex, and Newtownbarry House,
co. Wexford. She was married Aug. 2, 1877,
to the late Theodore Bent, of Baildon House,
Yorks. Mrs. Bent accompanied her husband
in all his explorations, and took part in the
excavations with which he was associated in
the Greek and Turkish Islands, Asia Minor,
Abyssinia, the Great Zimbabye (Mashonaland),
Persia, and elsewhere. She is the authoress of
" Southern Arabia, Soudan, andSokotra," compil-
ed from her own and Mr. Theodore Bent's notes.

F.R.C.I., F.S.A., is the son of A. D. Berring-
ton. late Secretary of Fisheries. He was bom
March 6, 1861, at Pant-y-goitre, near Aberga-
venny, and was educated at Clifton Coll.
and Geneva Univ. Mr. Berrington has been
conected with gold mining since 1882 in various
parts of the world. He was in Venezuela
1882-3, in Florida, U.S.A., 1884-6, and in
Johannesburg 1887-8. He joined the pioneer
force into Mashonaland in 1890, and was in
Johannesburg and Matabeleland from 1894 to
1899. He acted as manager to the Lomagunda
Reefs, Ltd., and the Ayrshire Mine in Mashona-
land from 1899 to 1903. He married, June 2,
1894, Miss Eleanor A. Witterton.


M.L.A., M.A., M.D., of Speaker's Chambers,
Parliament House, Cape Town ; Ebden Street,
Queenstown, and the Civil Service Club (C.T.) ;
was born at Aberdeen, Scotland, 1839. He
had a public school and university education,
and followed the medical profession from 1864
for many years at Queenstown, Cape Colony,
which he was elected to represent in the Cape
Parliament in 1893, being last re-elected at the
general election in 1904. In politics he is an
ardent Liberal, an occasional speaker, and is
identified with every movement for the better-
ment of the people. He has been Speaker of
the Cape House of Assembly since 1898, and is
on the Council of the Cape University.

He has contributed largely to the medical
press, and married, in 1864, a dau. of Wm.

BESTER, A. J., of Bethlehem, O.R.C., was
formerly a member of the Orange Free State

BIG-HAM, WILLIAM R., of White City,
Morris County, Kansas, U.S.A., the U.S. Con-
sulate-General, Cape Town, and the City Club,
Cape Town, was born at Hamilton, Ohio, U.S.A.,
April 12, 1841 ; is of Scotch origin on both his
father's and mother's side, and was educated
at Hamilton, Ohio. He acted as Mayor of the
city of El Porso, 111., for three terms ; com-
pleted three years and three months in the 4th
Regt. of 111. Cavalry ; served as representative
for the 60th district of Kansas two terms ;
Alderman in the city of White City two terms ;
and was on the Education Board of that city
for a similar period ; was a director of Badger
Lumber, Kansas City, Mo., for eleven years. In
the year, 1887-8 he travelled in S. America,
Europe and the U.K., and was appointed U.S.
Consul-General in Cape Town in Aug. 1901, by
Pres. McKinley.

Mr. Bigham has the Masonic Orders Blue
Lodge, Chapter, Comandry and Schrine ; also
the Grand Army of the Republic and the Ancient
Order of United Workmen, the latter being an
insurance order. He married Miss Elizabeth
H. Bingham, Sept. 1, 1868.

BINNS, HENRY; went to Natal in 1858,
and engaged in planting. He was a nominee
member of the Natal Council in 1879, and was
elected to the Assembly in 1883. Was Chair-
man of the Indian Immigration Trust Board,
and Delegate to the Bloemfontein Conference
in 1889.

BIRCHALL, CHARLES, of Liverpool ; was
born in 1842, and entered the service of the
London and North-Western Railway Company
at a very early age, and the business training
he received in the few years he remained with
that concern stood him in such good stead that
the intricacies of commercial life thereafter
came extremely easy. At the end of twenty
years' faithful work in the service of the founder
of the " Journal of Commerce," he became sole
proprietor of this well-known organ.

In a quiet and unobtrusive way he has done
a great deal towards the improvement of South
and West Africa, for as proprietor of the Liver-
pool and Manchester " Journal of Commerce "
and Chairman of the company which owns the
" Financier and Bullionist." all the weight of
his influence has for many years past been
exerted in the direction of promoting a better
knowledge of the Dark Continent on the part
of Englishmen, and a greater development of
the vast resources of Africa by the aid of British
capital. At a time when Western Africa was a
terra incognita to the vast mass of the people of
this country, the newspapers which Mr. Birch-
all so ably controls in the North of England
loudly proclaimed its great possibilities, and
boldly asked for railways, better government,
and more general recognition, an advocacy
which can claim to have been the chief means
of the wonderful latter-day development of
such places as Ashanti and the Gold Coast. As
one of the principal personages who regulate
the policy of the " Financier and Bullionist,"
both South and West Africa have to thank him
for the uncompromising and unflinching manner
in which the interests of that country have
always been placed before the public, whilst his
belief in the future of Africa has ever been
very practically demonstrated by the posses-
sion of large financial interests in many of the
concerns at present engaged in gold production
and general development. Mr. Birchall is
one of the most popular and influential men
in the city of Liverpool, where, besides pro-
ducing the " Journal of Commerce," he con-
ducts a large advertising and printing business.
The whole of his commercial career has been
lived in the great city on the Mersey, and a
nearly equally long residential connection with
the Wirral Peninsula on the other side of the
river has led to his taking quite a number of
public duties, including that of County Council-
lor for Cheshire, and Chairman of the School
Attendance Committee of the local School
Board. Perhaps Mr. Birchall's future repu-


tation rests more on his philanthropic work
than on anything else, for in establishing the
famous Christmas " hot-pots " at Liverpool,
he has founded a benevolent scheme whose
fame has travelled all over the world. In
almost every plan for helping the poor and the
needy in Liverpool and in Wirral he takes the
keenest interest, and on the School Board and
the County Council, with which he has been so
long associated, there is no harder worker.

J.P. for Middlesex, Barrister-at-Law, of Dalkeith
House, Cambridge Park, Twickenham ; the
National Liberal. Mid- Surrey Golf, and various
Indian Clubs, was born at Belgaum, Bombay
Presidency, May 29, 1837, and is son of the
late Gen. Christopher Birdwood, Bombay
Army. He was educated at Plymouth New
Gram. Sch., Mount Radford Sch., Edin.
University, and Peterhouse, Camb., where he
took his M.A. and LL.D. He is also Hon.
Fellow of Peterhouse. He entered the Indian
Civil Service (Bombay Establishment) Dec. 26,
1858 ; retired April '24, 1897 ; held office as
Asst. Collector and Magistrate, 1859-62; Asst.
Judge, 1862-3 ; Under-Secy. to the Bombay
Govt., 1863-6 ; Political Assistant in Kattir-
awad, 1866-7 ; Registrar of the High Court,
Bombay, 1867-71 ; District Judge and Sessions
Judge in various districts, 1871-80; Judicial
Commissioner in Sind and Judge of the Sadar
Court, ^1 881-85 ; Judge of the High Court,
Bombay, 1885-92 ; Vice-Chancellor of the
Bombay University, 1891-2 ; and Member of
the Executive Council of the Governor of Bom-
bay, 1892-97, during which period he was
appointed Acting-Governor of Bombay, Feb.
17, 1895.

Mr. Birdwood is a Commissioner of Rich-
mond Bridge, a Member of the Twickenham
Urban Dist. Council, and a director of a few
Rhodesian companies. He edited certain vols.
of the Laws and Regulations in force in the
Bombay Presidency, and is the author of
various papers and articles on subjects con-
nected with Indian administration and Indian
Botany. He married, Jan. 29, 1861, Edith
Marian Sidonie, dau. of the late Surgeon -Maj.
Elijah Impey, Bombay Army, some time P.M.G.
of Bombay.

Transvaal, was born in Pietermaritzburg in
1853. In 1876 he was selected by the Trans-
vaal Govt. to accompany G. M. Rudolph and

G. van Staden on the last mission to Cetewayo.
He acted as Secy, to C. Joubert and Rudolph on
the visit to Swazieland to crown Umbandine
as king in 1875. He joined the opposition
during the annexation of the Transvaal, and
fought at Laing's Nek in the War of Inde-
pendence. In 1884 he trekked to Zululand.
He assisted in establishing the New Republic,
and was chairman of its Volksraad of twelve
till shortly before its incorporation with the
Transvaal. He was elected in 1890 to represent
Vryheid in the First Volksraad, of which he
was one of the most progressive members, and
a worthy colleague of the late Gen. Lucas
Meyer whom he greatly admired.

BIRT, HOWARD HAWKINS, of Bloemfontein,
was born at London, Aug. 17, 1875, and is the
descendant of an old Baptist family. He was
educated at Devizes, Wilts., and lost no tune
in turning his talents in the direction of journal-
ism. For some years connected with the London
Press, he is now ed. of the " Bloemfontein Post."
He has also published various short stories,
articles, and pamphlets, mainly, in connection
with criminal identification, the work of the
London Police, and the investigations of the
Theosophical Society. He married, in 1897,
Emily, dau. of H. Becker, of London.

BLACK, STEPHEN COPE, of Johannesburg,
and the Rand Club, is descended on the paternal
side from a Scottish family who settled early
in the 19th century in the Cape, where Mr.
S. C. Black was born. He left the Western
Province in 1889, attracted by the prospects
of the Rand, where he has resided ever since.
He is a member of the Johannesburg Stock
Exchange ; an executive mem. of the Chamber
of Mines, and director of the Henry Nourse,
New Modderfontein, Jumpers, Wolhuter, and
other mining and industrial companies, besides
being joint manager in S.A. of the Transvaal
Gold Fields, Ltd.

of Posno Street, Beaconsfield, Cape Colony,
and of the Kimberley Club, was born at Gra-
hamstown, Dec. 19, 1848, his grandparents
having settled in the Colony in 1820. He is an
old resident on the Diamond Fields, has for
many years taken a prominent interest in the
municipal affairs of Beaconsfield, for which
town he was several times elected Mayor. He
was re-elected in 1902. He is also Chairman
of the local Public School ; the local branch of


the S.A. League ; and of the Kroonstad Coal
and Estate Co., and Director of the Griqualand
West D.M. Co. In freemasonry he is D.D.G.M.
of Central South Africa, and Eminent Preceptor
"Diamond of (he Desert." He served as a
trooper in the D.F.H. in the Kafir war of 1877-8 ;
became Capt. in that corps in 1889, and served
as Capt. and Adjt. in the Beaconsfield Town
Guard during the siege in the S.A. War, and was
mentioned in Col. Kekewich's despatches. He
married, Dec. 8, 1875, Miss Annie Robinson

BLACKBURN, DOUGLAS ; of Loteni Valley,
via Fort Nottingham, Natal ; eldest son of the
Rev. Geo. Blackburn ; was born at Aix, Savoy,
Aug. 6, 1857. He was educated at Wylde's
King Edward Gram. Sch., Lowestoft, and
read for the Bar. He has been connected with
journalism since 1892, and is founder of "The
Sentinel," a Progressive Boer journal, and has
incidentally been engaged in numerous criminal
and civil actions for libel brought by the Trans-
vaal Govt. officials. He is author of two books
which have gained him a very favourable
notoriety, " Prinsloo of Prinsloosdorp," and " A
Burgher Quixote" (Blackwood), and he has now
in the press " Richard Hartley, Prospector." Mr.
Blackburn has travelled considerably. He
has written about sailing subjects, and has
performed several unusually long single-handed
voyages in small boats in British and Contin-
ental waters. Unmarried.

ELAINE, GEORGE, M.L.A., represents the
electoral division of Cathcart in the Cape
Legislative Assembly, and votes with the
Progressive party.

burg, was born at Harbury, Yorks., Nov. 8, 1867 ;
is the son of Wm. Blakeley, J.P., was educated
&t Repton, and served with Roberts' Horse
during the S.A. War, when he was taken
prisoner at Sanaa's Post (Queen's and King's
medals, 5 clasps). He is very fond of cricket,
-football, and hockey ; is an authority on the
Rugby game, and was for seven years Hon.
Secy, of the Transvaal Rugby Football Union.

BLANE, WILLIAM, F.R.C.I., of 31, Karl

Street, Jeppestown, Johannesburg ; of the New
Club, Johannesburg, and of the Junior Con-
servative Club, London, is the eldest son of
Robert Blane, of Galston, Ayrshire, and grand-
son of William Blane, of Ayr, who was the first

engineer for William Baird & Co., and one of the
most successful engineers of his time. He was
born May 28, 1858, at Galston, and trained in
mining and engineering with Boyd, Gilmour
& Co., Kilmarnock. After taking various
distinctions and prizes for scientific studies he
went to S.A. in 1883. After being in various
parts of the country he went to Johannesburg
in March, 1890, and was gen. manager of various
gold mining companies to the end of 1893.
From that year until 1899 he was senior partner
of the firm of Blane & Co., Engineers, Johannes-
burg. Since 1899 he has been Managing Director
of Blane & Co., Ltd. In 1901 he was selected
by the Govt. of Queensland to inspect the gold
fields of that country and to report on the con-
ditions and mode of working them. He is
director of several companies, and is a member
of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, London ;
of the Federated Institute of Mining Engineers,
England ; of the S.A. Association of Engineers ;
and of the Mechanical Engineers' Association of
the Witwatersrand, Under the nom de plume
of " Beta " he was a frequent contributor of
verses to " Excalibar " in the eighties. About
this period a volume of his verses was published
in Scotland under the title of " Lays of Life and
Hope," which were mostly gathered from the
columns of local journals and papers. He is
also the author of a number of technical articles
on mining and engineering subjects for various
publications, but still occasionally devotes a
spare hour to the Muses. He married : first,
Miss Jane Kerr, of Corshill, Kelwinning, in
December, 1879; and in April, 1902, he married
Bertha, third dau. of W. H. Roberts, of Somer-
set House, London, and sister to Morley Roberts,

Hazleyshaw, Albemarle St., Kensington,
Johannesburg, and of the New Rand, and
Athenaeum Club, London, was born in London,
Oct. 2, 1863 ; is son of Robert Bleloch, of
Hazleyshaw, Clackmannanshire, Scotland ; and
was educated at Saline Public Sch., Fifeshire.
He entered commercial life at Glasgow in
1879 ; went to S.A. in 1889 ; spent five years
travelling in Cape Colony, Orangia, and the
Transvaal ; settled in Johannesburg in 1894,
and engaged in mining. On outbreak of war
in 1899 he acted as war correspondent for the
''Standard" with Lord Methuen's Kimberley
Relief Column, then with Lord Roberts' Army
to Bloemfontein and Pretoria. He was present
at Graspan, Modder River, Magersfontein,



Paardeberg, Poplar Grove, Driefontein, and all
the fights up to Pretoria. He became Special
Correspondent for the "Morning Post," Sept.
1 900, continuing to the end of the war. He wrote
' 'The New South Africa," published by Heinemann
(1901). In 1902 he served on the Commission
appointed to inquire into the Gold Laws of the
Transvaal, and in May, 1902, became Joint
Manager in Johannesburg of the United South

Online LibraryWalter H WillsThe Anglo-African who's who and biographical sketch-book → online text (page 4 of 49)