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Cetywayo and his white neighbours ; or, remarks on recent events in Zululand, Natal, and the Transvaal online

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Croivn Svo, y. dd. each.

Vol. I. PHYSICS AND POLITICS ; or, Thoughts on
the Application of the Principles of "Natural
Selection " and " Inheritance " to Political
Society. V,y Walter Bagehoi. Nintli Tliousand.

Vol. II. LOMBARD STREET: A Description of the
Money Market. By Walter Bagehot. Twelfth


Bagehot. liighth 'J'housand.


By Walter Bagehot.

BOURS ; or, Remarks on Recent Events in Zulu-
land, Natal, and the Transvaal. By H. Rider
Haggard. Sixth Edition.


Bentham. Translated from the Trench of Etienne Dumont
by R. HiLDKETH. Tenth Edition.

To befoUozved at intervals by further Volumes.











"1 am told that iheso men (the Boer^) arc told to keep oii
Rgit.itiiig in this way, for a change of Government in England
may give them again the old order of things. Nothing can show
greater ignorance of English politics than such an idea. I tell
you there is no Government — Whig or Tory, Liberal, Conser-
vative, or Radical — who would dare, under any circumstances,
to give back this country (the Transvaal). They would not dare,
because the English people would not allow them." — (Extract
from Speech of Sir Gcwiiet WoUeley, delivered at a Public Banquet
in Pretoria, on the lyth December iSyg.)

"There was a still stronger reason than that for not receding
(from the Transvaal) ; it was impossible to say what calamities
such a step as receding might not cause. . . . For such a risk he
could not make himself responsible. . . . Difficulties with the
Zulu and the frontier tribes would again arise, and looking as
they must to South Africa as a whole, the Government, after a
careful consideration of the question, came to tlie conclusinn
tliat wo could not relinquish the Transvual." — (Extract from
Speech of Lord Kimberley in the House of lords, z^lh May iSSo.
It. /'. D., vol. cclii., p. zoS.)

The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved.


Introduction . . xi

Preface Ixxiii


Claims of affairs of Zululand to attention — Proposed visit of Cety-
wayo to England — Chaka — His method of government — His
death — Dingaan — Panda — Battle of the Tugela — John Dunn
— Nomination of Cetyvrayo — His coronation — His lady ad-
vocates — Their attacks on officials — Was Cetywayo blood-
thirsty ? — Cause of the Zulu war — Zulu military system —
State of feeling amongst the Zulus previous to the war —
Cetywayo's position — His enemies — His intentions on the
Transvaal — Their frustration by Sir T. Shepstone — Cety-
wayo's interview with Mr. Fynney — His opinion of the Boers
— The annexation in connection with the Zulu war — The
Natal colonists and the Zulu war — Sir Bartle Frere — The
Zulu war — Cetywayo's half-heartedness — Sir Garnet Wolse-
ley's settlement— Careless selection of chiefs — The Sitimela
plot — Chief John Dunn — Appointment of Mr. Osborn as
British Resident — His difficult position — Folly and cruelty
of our settlement — Disappointment of the Zulus — Object
and result of settlement — Slaughter in Zululand — Our re-
sponsibilities to the Zulus — Lord Kimberley on Zululand
— Cetywayo's son — Necessity of the proper settlement of
Zululand — Should Cetywayo be restored ? . . . 1-57




Nutal — Cauaoa of increase of the native population — Happy
condition of the Natal Zulus — Polygamy — Its results on
population — The impossibility of eradicating it — Relations be-
tween a Zulu and his wives — Connection between polygamy
and native law — Missionary work amongst the Zulus — Its
failure — Reasons of its failure — Early days of Natal — Growth
of the native question— Coming struggle between white and
black over the land question — Difficulty of civilising the Zulu
— Natal as a black settlement — The constitution of Natal —
Request for responsible government — Its refusal ^The request
renewed and granted — Terms and reason of Lord Kimberley'a
offer — Infatuation of responsible government party in Natal
— Systematic abuse of colonists in England — Colonial specu-
lators — Grievances against the Imperial Government — Sir
Henry Bulwer — Uncertain future of Natal — Its available
force — Exterior dangers — The defence question shirked by
the " party of progress " — The confederation question — The
difficulty of obtaining desirable immigrants — The only real
key to the Natal native question — Folly of accepting self-
government till it is solved ...... 58-83


Chapter I. — Its Inhabitants, Laws, and Costomb.

Invasion by Mosilikatzi — Arrival of the emigrant Boers — Estab-
lishment of the South African Republic — The Sand River
Convention — Growth of the territory of the republic — The
native tribes surrounding it — Capabilities of the country —
Its climate — Its inhabitants — The Boers — Their peculiarities
and mode of life — Their abhorrence of settled government
and payment of taxes — The Dutch patriotic party — Form
of government previous to the annexation — Courts of law
— The commando system — Revenue arrangements — Native
races in the Transvaal 85-108


Chapter II. — Evknts Preceding the Annexation.


Mr. Burgers elected president — His character and aspirations —
His pension from the English Government — His visit to
England — The railway loan — Relations of the republic with
native tribes — The pass laws — Its quarrel with Cetywayo
— Confiscation of native territory in the Keate Award —
Treaty with the Swazi king — The Secoccsni war — Capture
of Johannes' stronghold by the Swazi allies — Attack on
Secocoeni's mountain — Defeat and dispersion of the Boers
— Elation of the natives — Von Schlickmann's volunteers —
Cruelties perpetrated — Abel Erasmus — Treatment of natives
by Boers — Public meeting at Potchefstroom in 1868 — The
slavery question — Some evidence on the subject — Pecuniary
position of the Transvaal prior to the annexation — Internal
troubles — Divisions amongst the Boers — Hopeless condition
of the country ..,,..,. 109-135

Chapter III. — The Annexation.

Anxiety of Lord Carnarvon — Despatch of Sir T. Shepstone as
Special Commissioner to the Transvaal — Sir T. Shepstone,
his great experience and ability — His progress to Pretoria,
and reception there — Feelings excited by the arrival of the
mission — The annexation not a foregone conclusion —Charge
brought against Sir T. Shepstone of having called up the
Zulu army to sweep the Transvaal — Its complete false-
hood — Cetywayo's message to Sir T. Shepstone — Evidence
on the matter summed up — General desire of the natives
for English rule — Habitual disregard of their interests —
Assembly of the Volksraad — Rejection of Lord Carnarvon's
Confederation Bill and of President Burgers' new con-
stitution — President Burgers' speeches to the Raad — His
posthumous statement — Communication to the Raad of Sir
T. Shepstone's intention to annex the country — Despatch of
Commission to inqiiire into the alleged peace with Secocceni
— Its fraudulent character discovered — Pi-ogress of affairs in
the Transvaal — Paul Kruger and his party — Restlessness of
natives — Arrangements for the anne.xation — The annexation
proclamation 136-172


CHAri'KR IV.— The Thansvaal under British Rdlk.


lleception of the annexation — Major Clarke and the Volunteers
— Effect of the annexation on credit and commerce — Hoist-
ing of the Union Jack — Ratification of the annexation by
Parliament — Messrs. Kruger and Jorissen's mission to
England — Agitation against the annexation in the Cape
Colony — Sir T. Shepstone's tour — Causes of the growth of
discontent among the Boers — Return of Messrs. Jorissen
and Kruger — The Government dispenses with their services
—Despatch of a second deputation to England — Outbreak
of war witii Secocoeni — Major Clarke, R.A. — The Gunn of
Gunn plot — Mission of Captain Paterson and Mr. Sergeaunt
to Matabeleland — Its melancholy termination — The Isand-
hlwana disaster— Departure of Sir T. Shepstone for England
— Another Boer meeting — The Pretoria Horse — Advance of
the Boers on Pretoria — Arrival of Sir B. Frere at Pretoria
and dispersion of the Boers — Arrival of Sir Garnet Wolse-
ley — His proclamation — The Secocoeni expedition —Proceed-
ings of the Boers — Mr. Pretorius — Mr. Gladstone's Mid-
Lothian speeches, their effect — Sir. G, Wolseley's speech at
Pretoria, its good results — Influx of Englishmen and cessation
of agitation — Financial position of the country after three
years of British rule — Letter of the Boer leaders to Mr.
Courtney ......... 1 73-205

Chapter V. — The Boer Rebellion.

Accession of Mr. Gladstone to power — His letters to the Boer
leaders and the loyals — His refusal to rescind the annexation
— The Boers encouraged by prominent members of the Radical
party — The Beznidenhout incident — Despatch of troops to
Potchefstroom— Mass meeting of the 8th December 1880 —
Appointment of the Triumvirate and declaration of the re-
jiublic — Despatch of Boer proclamation to Sir 0. Lanyon —
His reply — Outbreak of hostilities at Potchefstroom — De-
fence of the court-house by Major Clarke — The massacre of
the detachment of the 94th under Colonel Anstruther — Dr.
Ward — The Boer rejoicings — The Transvaal placed under
martial law — Abandonment of their homes by the people of



Pretoria — Sir Owen Lanyon's admirable defence organisation
— Second proclamation issued by the Boers — Its complete
falsehood — Life at Pretoria during the siege — Murders of
natives by the Boers — Loyal conduct of the native chiefs —
Difficulty of preventing them from attacking the Boers —
Occupation of Lang's Nek by the Boers — Sir George Oolley's
departure to Newcastle — The condition of that town — The
attack on Lang's Nek — Its desperate nature — Effect of vic-
tory on the Boers— The battle at the Ingogo — Our defeat
— Sufferings of the wounded — Major Essex — Advance of the
Boers into Natal — Constant alarms — Expected attack on
Newcastle — Its unorganised and indefensible condition —
Arrival of the reinforcements and retreat of the Boers to the
Nek — Despatch of General Wood to bring up more rein-
forcements — Majuba Hill — Our disaster, and death of Sir
George C<illey — Cause of our defeat — A Boer version of the
disaster — Sir George Colley's tactics .... 206-243

Chapter VI. — The Retrocession of the Transvaal.

The Queen's Speech— President Brand and Lord Kimberley — Sir
Henry de Villiers — Sir George Colley's plan — Paiil Kruger'a
offer — Sir George Colley's remonstrance — Complimentary
telegrams — Effect of Majuba on the Boers and English
Government — Collapse of the Government — Reasons of the
surrender — Professional sentimentalists — The Transvaal In-
dependence Committee — Conclusion of the armistice — The
preliminary peace — Reception of tlie news in Nat.1l — New-
castle after the declaration of peace — Exodus of the loyal
inhabitants of the Transvaal — The value of property in
Pretoria — The Transvaal officials dismissed — The Royal Com-
mission — Mode of trial of persons accused of atrocities —
Decision of the Commission and its results — The severance
of territory question — Arguments pro and con — Opini(m of
Sir E. Wood — Humility of the Commissioners and its cause
— Their decision on the Keate Award question — TheMontsioa
difficulty — The compensation and financial clauses of the re-
port of the Commission — The duties of the British Resident
— Sir E. Wood's dissent from the report of the Commission
— Signing of the Conventiim — Burial of the Union Jack —
The native side of the question — Interview between the



Coiiirnissionera and the native chiefs— Their opinion of the
surrender — Objections of the Boer Volksraad to the Con-
vention — Mr. Gladstone temporises — The ratification — Its
insolent tone — Mr. Hudson, the British Resident — The Boer
festival — The results of the Convention — The larger issue of
the matter — Its effect on the Transvaal — Its moral aspects
— Its effect on the native mind ..... 242-288


I. The Potchefstroom Atrocities, &c. ..... 2S9

II. Pledges given by Mr. Gladstone's Government as to the

Retention of the Transvaal ..... 299

III. The case of Indabezimbi 301

IV. A Boer Advertisement ....... 308

v. " Transvaal's " Letter to the Standard .... 309


A NEW edition of this book having been called for
after the lapse of more than five years from the date
of its first appearance, I have found myself in some
difficulty as to the matter. In the course of five
years many things happen in South Africa, and re-
marks which applied to a certain anterior condition
of affairs necessarily lose most of their freshness and
some of their weight. It would not be convenient to
rewrite the book, for to do so would be to destroy
whatever value it may possess as a contemporaneous
historical record. It appears, therefore, that the only
suitable course is to add an introduction, or rather
a brief summary, of such important events as have
occurred between 1882 and the present date.

Prophecy is a dangerous thing. Probably there are
few writers who could turn after a lapse of years to a
political history dealing with interests so various as
those with which we are confronted in South Africa,
without a secret fear that somewhere in its pages they
would find their sage predictions utterly confounded


by the development of events. I confess that such a
fear was present to my mind. It is therefore with
some relief and yet with sorrow that I find it to be
in the main unfounded. In some cases, as in that of
Zululand, the clouds to which I pointed have burst ;
in some, as in that of Natal, they still gather and
darken/ On one point, however, I have fallen into
signal error. I predicted, as can be seen by reference,
that financial ruin would overtake the Transvaal.
This has not happened ; on the contrary, the country
is very prosperous. The reason of this prosperity is
not far to seek, though I failed to foresee it. The
vast gold-fields of the Transvaal have been opened up,
and its coffers are being filled to overflowing by the
enterprise of the diggers. On the other hand, a chance
remark that I made in connection with this country
has been signally verified. I suggested that a close
parallel existed between the case of the Transvaal and
that of Ireland, and that the state of affairs which
was held to justify the surrender of the one country
might equally well be advanced in excuse of the sur-
render of the other. But here also I made a mistake.
After driving my parallel — which was, I remember,

^ As I have pointed out in my chapter on " Natal and Responsible
Government," there seems to be only one possible solution of the native
question in that colony, namely, the removal of the natives to Zulu-
land. Since that chapter was written, however, a considerable portion
of the best and most fertile country in Zululand has been seized by the
Boers, and as the Zulu people must live somewhere themselves, there
is naturally less room left in which to try the experiment of trans-
planting the native hordes of NataL


treated with contempt, not to say contumely, in some
quarters — as far as I conveniently could, I remarked
that it must break down at last, because " it mattered
little to England whether or no she let the Transvaal
go, but to let Ireland go would be more than even
Mr. Gladstone dare attempt." So I thought in 1882,
in common with most Englishmen, In 1888 ex-
perience has shown how gratuitous was any such

In concluding my chapter on Zulu history and
affairs, which was written just before Cetywayo's visit
to England, I said : " On the whole, I am of opinion
that the Government that replaces Cetywayo on the
throne of his fathers will undertake a very grave
responsibility, and must be prepared to deal with
many resulting complications." That the responsibility
was grave indeed the following pages will show.

It will be remembered that on the conclusion of
the Zulu war. Sir Garnet Wolseley, acting no doubt
under instructions, settled Zululand in a fashion that
did not commend itself to the common sense or ideas
of justice of most people acquainted with the circum-
stances. In the place of one king he set up thirteen,
who, of course, did not altogether agree. No sooner,
however, was this settlement announced than a strong,
and in some ways a natural agitation sprang up
against it. As it became more and more clear to the
English mind how ill-judged, I might almost say how
unjust, was the Zulu war, this agitation gathered


strength, and with singular unreason took the form of
a demand for the restoration of Cetywayo. Now,
whatever personal sympathy one may have with the
late king, there is no doubt that he was in a degree
doubly an offender. He was an offender against the
Imperial Power in that he had not kept the promises
which he solemnly entered into at the time of his
coronation, and he was a much deeper offender against
his own people, whom he had ruled with considerable
cruelty. Therefore the war against him could to some
extent be justified ; whereas the war against the Zulu
people, who were never other than our friends, admits
of no possible justification. Sir Bartle Frere recognised
this when he declared that he made war on Cetywayo,
not on Zululand. If, then, we could in any way be
held to owe reparation to Cetywayo, how much greater
was the reparation that we owed to his unfortunate
people, which could, of course, have been fully made
by extending the blessings of British rule over Zulu«
land. But the agitation never took this form, at least
not in England. Nobody thought about the Zulus,
while everybody's voice was raised on behalf of the
dethroned king. A monarch, black or white, is an
interesting person, especially when he appears in the
streets of London ; but his war-smitten people, mourn-
ing their dead, seven thousand miles away, do not
appeal so actively to the imagination. " The Zulu
people," says Sir Henry Bulwer, on 25th August 1882,
in his exhaustive and most valuable report on the


settlement of the Zulu country,^ " there is little doubt,
would have gladly come under the direct rule of the
British Government. They would have accepted that
rule without question and without misgiving. They
would have accepted it for all reasons, not only because
it was the rule of the Government that had conquered
them, but because they knew it to be a just and
merciful rule. . . . ' The Government conquered us (they
say) ; we belong to the Government.' " And again ^
he says : " Great numbers of the Zulu people have no
wish to return under his (Cetywayo's) rule, and would
regard any obligation to do so as one of the greatest
misfortunes that could befall them."

These considerations, however, were not allowed
to weigh with Her Majesty's Government. In spite
of the Wolseley settlement, to which, such as it was,
we had solemnly pledged ourselves; in spite of the
cautious but none the less marked disapproval of Sir
Henry Bulwer, and of the outspoken protests of the
entire white population of Natal (the ex-king's friends
and agents alone excepted), it was determined to restore
Cetywayo. In vain did Sir Garnet Wolseley write to
the Colonial office ^ to place on record liis " strong
conviction that the return of Cetywayo to Zululand
would be fraught with considerable danger to Natal,
and would give rise to serious trouble and bloodshed
in Zululand itself, whilst it would be in direct con-

' [C. 3466], 1883, p. 139- ' [0. 3466I, p. 199.
3 Ibid. 1883, p. I.


travention of the guarantee that I gave to all the
thirteen existing chiefs of Zululand, viz., that under
no circumstances should Cetywayo be ever allowed to
settle again in the country." In vain did he on a
subsequent occasion ^ feel bound to state that Mr. Dunn
" would not have accepted the position of Chief had I
not, as Her Majesty's High Commissioner, given him
a promise in the name of the Government of England
that under no circumstances should Cetywayo be ever
allowed to return to Zululand, a promise approved of
by the Government of the day." It is, by the way,
impossible not to sympathise with Sir Garnet Wolseley,
for this is the second occasion upon which promises
solemnly uttered by him in the name of the Queen
and by order of the British Government were within
a few years deliberately set aside. For the other
instance I refer to his famous proclamation in which
he announced, on behalf of the Queen, that the Trans-
vaal should continue a British possession for ever. It
is dangerous to make promises on behalf of a country
governed by party.

All these protests, together with those of a multi-
tude of smaller folk, went by Lord Kimberley like the
wind. Acting on the sacred principle that agitation
must be acceded to, he determined to restore Cetywayo.
Even the request of the Transvaal Government, made as
usual " in the interests of humanity," that the ex-king
should be re-established, did not put him on his guard.
» [C. 3466], 1883, p. 269.


But it was found impossible, with tlie best will in
the world, to re-establish Cetyvvayo in the position of
sole Zulu king, which he held before the war. As
Sir Henry Buhver pointed out in various despatches,
out of the thirteen chiefs established under the
Wolseley settlement only five showed any disposition
to welcome their departed king. It therefore became
necessary to reserve some territory, where the dis-
sentients could take refuge. Lord Kimberley did not
like this. Indeed he positively refused to allow any
part of Zululand to be annexed to the Empire or to
Natal,^ but, taking refuge in one of those half measures
that have done so much harm in South Africa, stated,
characteristically enough, that Her Majesty's Govern-
ment " would not object to such arrangements for the
control of chiefs by a Commissioner as you (Sir Henry
Bulwer) might consider indispensable for the peace
and security of that part of the country not placed
under the rule of Cetywayo." Sir Henry Bulwer pro-
posed a boundary to this Eeserved Territory, which
finally came under English protection for native pur-
poses only, though nominally in so vague a fashion
that it is not possible to define its status with reference
to the Empire. This boundary was, however, rejected
as taking too much territory from Cetywayo. A
narrower one was then proposed, including the terri-
tories of Hlubi and John Dunn, and cutting off about a
fourth part of Zululand from its southern side where it
1 [C. 3466], p. 91.


marclies on Natal. This line was ultimately accepted,
and the country so cut off became a most successful and
self-sujsporting native state, under the direct rule of Mr.
Osborn, who took his orders from the Governor of Natal.
Another portion in the north of Zululand, of about
half the area of the Eeserved Territory, was set apart
for the occupation of the chief, Usibepu, who alone of
the kinglets now remained in an independent position.
Usibepu is a cousin of Cctywayo's, and the hereditary
chief of the Manhlagasi tribe. Of all the Zulu chiefs
living at the date of which I write he was recognised
to be the best. Sir Henry Bulwer speaks of him as
"a man of considerable force of character, moderate in
counsels, strong in action, straightforward in his con-

Online LibraryH. Rider (Henry Rider) HaggardCetywayo and his white neighbours ; or, remarks on recent events in Zululand, Natal, and the Transvaal → online text (page 1 of 27)