Ham Mukasa.

Uganda's Katikiro in England; being the official account of his visit to the coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII online

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all over this building, because it is held in high honour
all over the land of England which is ruled from it.

He took us into a great many places. We first went
into a very large room indeed, as large as the space
in front of the enclosure of a Muganda chief, and then
went into the hall of the rulers who ruled in old times,
and where all their pictures are kept; under each
picture they write the name of the man and the office
he held. After this we went into the courtyard outside,
and saw the River Thames quite close by. We then
went over many other parts of the building, and passed
through the hall of pictures, and reached a long passage
in which they put rebels who refuse to learn to be peace-
able they take photographs of them all, and put them
there as a reminder ; we then reached the room where
the great chiefs leave their umbrellas and macintoshes
and hats each man puts his name on the peg on which
he hangs his things. We then reached the Parliament
Hall itself, where they sit to discuss matters of the
State, and we looked all round it and saw the seats,
three rows on each side, and five seats in each row ; all
the seats are together ; they are not separated, but are

176 TH0niftA'0 Ikatilmo in

like those in a school, except that of the judge who sums
up the matters, which is between them and facing the
KIIIL; if lu- is present, but if he is absent it faces away
from the King's throne, since the King is not there himself
if the King is present, it is not possible to turn one's back
on him.

Behind the judge there is a table for the men who
write down all that is settled, and behind the writers there
are three rows of low seats, and above these they put the
seats of the ladies, the wives of the great lords, who may
want to come and listen to what is settled in the Parliament
of their country. The throne of the head of the people,
the King, is right in the centre, and that of the Prince of
Wales on the right side, and that of another prince or the
Queen Consort on the left ; in front of the King's throne
they put an iron railing, at which the children of the lords
stand when they come to the Parliament. Well, I have
told you all about this building.

There is also a robing chamber, and a hall in which the
King meets the princes who greet him on his way into
Parliament ; the wives of the lords have also their hall
where they greet the King on his way in. After this
we went to the other side of the building and saw where
they made King Charles stand the king whose head was
cut off because he would not listen to the Parliament.
We also saw where they beheaded him. We saw too a
church underground in which they used to pray in old
times, but which is not now used for the following reason.

of Xonfcon IReetaurants 177

There was a rebellious murderer who wished to avenge
himself on the rulers of the land, and brought some
gunpowder done up in a cloth to destroy them ; but a
policeman saw him with it, and went to seize him ; the
man threw the gunpowder down and it caught fire,
and as the policeman was carrying it out it burned him,
and blew off his leg, and he died, and so up to the present
they have given up using this church. After Sir Benjamin
Stone had taken us so nicely all round, he said good-bye to
us, and we went back home and rested awhile, and then
went to Captain Hobart's, and stopped there till one
o'clock in the morning, and then went back to the West-
minster Palace Hotel, Victoria Street.

The following day, July 3ist, we went on buying our
things, because we could not buy them quickly, since we
wanted to look at everything. In England it is hard to
distinguish what is good and what is bad, as everything
you see looks good. We went first to the house where
they sell useful iron goods, and bought plates and kettles
and cups, and many other things which we wanted.
We then went to lunch in a house where they cook food
for travellers ; not out of kindness you go with your
cowrie-shells, and when you have finished eating, you go
your way after giving them some of your cowrie-shells.
They give you a small piece of paper, and on it is written
the price you have to pay, and this is what you give them
as you go out one can buy all kinds of food in these


'0 fcatihiro in

After lunch we went to see the building where they try
cases in the City of London (Guildhall). We went all
over it, and saw it all ; these English buildings are just
like towns. We went into one room where they try cases,
and found about forty people in it ; they were trying a
case about a building in which a man refused to pay
the builders the price they had arranged ; we could not
understand the matter properly, as we only stayed a very
short time. They behave very well in court, and do
not all speak, but one man only speaks, and all the rest
listen, and the judge himself writes down what he hears
them plead. On our way home we passed a boot-shop
and bought some boots, and then went to visit Captain
Hobart, but did not find him at home ; we stayed a short
time with his wife, and then went back to our hotel.

On August ist we went on buying our goods, and then
went to Mr. Burdett-Coutts ; he was selling about a
hundred of his horses. When we arrived he first gave
us lunch in a tent on the grass in one of his fields. There
were about eighty people there, including three black
men Apolo Katikiro, Ham Mukasa, and an Indian.
After lunch we went to where they sold the horses.
They build a rough house and put in it a great many
seats for the buyers to sit on ; they build also a pulpit, on
which the man stands who prices the horses ; this pulpit
is high, so that the man's voice can carry well, and every
one can hear. We sat on the seats which we found there,
and they brought the horses, one at a time, and the price

a 1bor$e Sale 179

of each was stated, and the buyers bought it. English
horses are very expensive indeed, and are worthy of
England ; some horses were sold for 165, others for
120, or 100, or 80, or 70, but this last was a very old
one, and so was sold for so small a price as 70 or 1,050
rupees you see how expensive English horses are !
We did not stop there very long, but went out by a
back way, for one who is not a buyer should not stop
where they are selling things ; and then we went to a
shop where we bought clothes for our children, and then
went home.

In the evening the man who wanted to come to our
country to plant bark-cloth trees came to see us, and asked
us the best places for planting them, so that he might
purchase the land or rent it ; however, letting a rich man
rent one's land is the same thing as selling it all, unless
one is very clever. After he had talked for some time
he went away. Our tickets for the coronation arrived
during the day.

On August 2nd we went to choose a writing-desk for
the Katikiro, as our friend Sir T. Fowell Buxton wished
to give him one ; the Katikiro bought me a writing-desk
also, for which he paid 7. After this we went to give
the packers instructions as to how to send all our things
to Uganda, and then went home, while our friend
Mr. Millar went to the dentist.

After he had returned we got ready to go and stop
with Sir T. Fowell Buxton, and drove to Liverpool Street

i8o THanba'0 "katilnro in

>n and got into the train. At the end of our
journey we found a carriage, and another kind o*
called a motor-car, which was driven by gas that comes
off from some clu-miral, and was a very clever thing ;
however, we refused to go in it as it made so much dust,
and so we got into the carriage, and arrived safely to
find our friend awaiting us and tea ready. After tea
he took us round his garden and over a new church
which had just been built, but which was not quite
finished and was a very nice one. He also took us
over his stables, which were very fine indeed. It is
hard to tell Baganda about England, because those
who do not understand call all that one says absolute
lies. If you tell the Baganda that in Uganda there
is not a single nice house, even including those of the
chiefs and of the Europeans such as they live in at the
present time, though perhaps in a great many years
there may be a house as good as those in which a rich
Englishman would keep his horses those who hear
you think you are telling lies. Those who think thus
are not only the common people even the clever people
and some of the chiefs think this also ; doubt and stupidity
are not seen on the outside of a man like poverty and
deformity, but are perceived in the words which express
his thoughts, so that good words may come from a
common man or a countryman, while a chief may appear
to be a very fine man, but his words may be very bad
indeed ; and he himself may not understand how very

Pholo by C. W. Halleishy.


The pillars of which are formed of palm poles covered with polished reeds
sewn on with strips of bark.

[To face p. 180.

\Di0it to Sir Jfowell Sujrton 181

foolish his words are, and how they are not worthy of
his position. Long ago, in the year 1894, Archdeacon
Walker said to us, " You have not yet got in Uganda
a house as good as those in which we in England keep
our animals," and we all laughed, not because we dis-
believed him, but because we saw how backward we
were, though perhaps some may have laughed because
they did not believe him. When I reached England,
I remembered this, and saw far more than I had been

After dinner Sir Powell Buxton showed us some
of the things that had belonged to his ancestors, and
Lady Buxton also showed us some other things, and
the presents which the Queen had given her mother
a bag for books and a lock of her hair, which is now
treasured up. Lady Victoria Buxton's mother used
to wait on Queen Victoria just after she was married,
and Queen Victoria had been Lady Buxton's god-mother
at her baptism, as she was the daughter of her beloved
lady-in-waiting. The following were the presents which
she had given her a fine cap, a silk bag which the
Queen had worked with her own hands, a picture of the
Prince Consort, and many other things. Lady Buxton
had a glass box in which she kept all these things, and
in which we saw them ; but she took them out and showed
them to us because she was so kind, though she does
not show them thus to other people. After this we
went to our rooms. This house was as large as a castle,

182 1H0ant>a'0 Itatihirc in

though it is all one building. The ancestors of Sir T.
Powell Buxton brought in a law to free the people in
all lands from slavery ; therefore they should be always
remembered, since they freed us all from slavery.

The next morning, Sunday, August 3rd, we all went
to church to a place about three miles off that is, as
far as from Nakasero to Kabowa. Apolo Katikiro, Sir
Powell Buxton, and the Rev. E. Millarwent in one carriage,
and eight of us went in another ; we found a great
many people at the church who had come to look at
us and our clothing, which was of a kind they had not
seen. The church was eight hundred years old, and
thus it was a very old one. On the way home we got out
of the carriage, and Sir Powell Buxton took us through
the park to see the trees, and we stayed in the courtyard
some time and looked at a thing the children play on
(a see-saw). After lunch we went to see our host's eldest
son, who does not live with his father, but has his own
house very near, and has four children. He took us all
over his estate and showed us the stables, in which he
had nine fine horses, and we had tea with him and then
went to church at five o'clock, where Mr. Millar preached.

After dinner we talked about a great many things,
and the Katikiro asked Sir Powell Buxton how many
members there were in the House of Commons, and
he told him there were 646 ; and we asked if even
young people could sit there, and he said that they
could do so if their fathers were dead and they had

3nten>iew wttb %orb IRoeeber^ 183

come into the property, and they sat there to hear
what was debated, so that they could take their share
in the work when they had grown up. 1

The next morning, August 4th, we said good-bye to
Sir Fowell Buxton and drove to the railway station,
a distance of three and a half miles, and took the train
to London ; we left at 10.35 an( i reached London at 11.35,
a distance about as great as from Mengo to Kinakulya
(fifty miles) though it only took us an hour. After we
reached our hotel old Mr. Walker and Dr. Walker
came to say good-bye to us ; they were going away
to a part of the country called Wales, as at this time
of the year in England all the people on the first Monday
in August go off into the country, and all the shops are
shut and do not sell anything ; only the very small shops
are open.

The next morning, August 5th, we again went out
shopping. On our return we were asked to go and see
the Earl of Rosebery he is the man who settled to
make the British Protectorate over Uganda ; and our
friend Sir Harry Johnston came round himself to ask
us to go and see him, as he wished to see us. Sir
Harry Johnston told us how Lord Rosebery, when he
was Foreign Minister, settled to make the Uganda
Protectorate, and what a nice man he was, and how
some day he might be Prime Minister again.

1 The author has confused this with what had been told him by
Sir Benjamin Stone about the House of Lords.

f ik.uihiro in

After lunch we went to see Lord Rosebery, and he took
us all through two rooms in his house, and made us sit
down in the third, and asked us how things were going
on in Uganda, and how many soldiers were guarding
the country. He asked the Katikiro if he was the tallest
man in Uganda, and he told him that he was taller than
many others, but that there were others taller than he
was. He asked this question because he had read in some
book written by an Englishman that there were no tall
men in Uganda except the Katikiro, though this is not
true at all ; those who do not travel about the country
have many falsehoods told them about the country,
and perhaps the man who wrote this described the short
men whom he had first come across, and never saw any

Lord Rosebery also asked us how old our King was,
and we told him that he was six years old ; he asked
if he would be a wise man, and we said that he
would. The Katikiro told him how the King was trying
to learn English, and knew all the English salutations.
He asked also if our King would be crowned like the
King of England, and the Katikiro said that he would be
crowned when he reached the age of eighteen. He
also asked us what most astonished us in England, and
we told him that it was the number of the people, and the
large houses, and fine streets, and the speed of the railway
trains. After this he took us all over his house, which
was very beautiful and very large, and when we saw

Dinner witb tbe <5uart>0 185

this house we understood that the great men of England
and the rich men do not want kingdoms such as the
kingdoms in our countries, because many kings have
none of the comfort which these men have. After we
had been all round the house, Lord Rosebery asked his
daughter to come and see us, and we then went home
and rested a little while.

In the evening we went to dine with the soldiers who
guard the palace of the King ; the officer who asked us
to dine with them was Captain Hobart, D.S.O. who had
been in Budu, Uganda, and whom the people called Pati.
We drove there in Captain Hobart's carriage, which he
sent for us, and found a great many men in their fine
Guards' uniforms, and during dinner they told us about
the coronation. After dinner we waited a short time,
and then went home to the Westminster Palace Hotel.

The next morning, August 6th, we went to see the
soldiers who guard the King changing places with others,
who took their turn on guard. First of all one set of
soldiers came and drilled a little, and then some others
came ; there were also eight men on horses and a two-
horse carriage (these had come from Buckingham Palace
to get used to the soldiers in readiness for the coronation) ;
the soldiers blew twenty-two bugles, and played on ten
flutes and nine drums and four cymbals, and all played
one tune together which had a good swing to it. Captain
Hobart called the captain of the guard who was to relieve
him, and introduced him to us ; he was a very tall man,

186 iiganta'0 itatiluro in nolnni>

taller than the Katikiro. After the band had played
four tunes the two guards said good-bye to one another,
and those who were relieved went home as their turn was
over, and Captain Hobart said good-bye to us and went
away too, and we went home, and rested.

After a short while we went to see Sir Clement Hill,
whom we found in his room in the Foreign Office of
Africa, and talked to him about many things, and told
him what was going on in Uganda ; and he told us
what we ought to do to help forward our country, and
asked us what astonished us in England, and we told
him the speed of the trains, and the numbers of the
people, and the high houses that were like mountains
and the precipices which are on mountains. He said
to us, " Work hard at cultivation and at learning every-
thing that brings money to your country " ; he also said,
" Although our country is a very fine one and you praise
it very much, and it is a very rich country, yet it was
not so at first ; we were like you are once, or even worse
off, and you too if you work hard will be like we are
now. It is no good being in too much of a hurry to
learn, do not be in too great a hurry " ; he said also,
11 The book which you are going to write telling about
your travels, should be put into English, as a great
many people will want to hear about all you have seen ;
the Baganda and a great many English people, too,
will be glad to read it " ; and we agreed to do as he had
suggested. He also introduced us to some other officials

Sir Clement IbiU's abvtce 187

of the government the chief of the Treasury Depart-
ment, and the chief of the Legal Department of the
Foreign Office. He also told the Katikiro that the rifle
which he was going to buy, and the printing-press, would
be given to him as a present from the Government. We
were very pleased indeed to hear this, and went away
to look at some rifles to see what sort of one we should
buy ; and when we had chosen one we sent the bill to
him, and went home. He told us also that we two, Apolo
Katikiro and Ham Mukasa, were going to see the King
on August 8th, and we were filled with joy, for it is a
great thing with all people to see the King of the country
face to face and talk with him.


Windsor Castle Garden-party at Mrs, Murdoch's (*4t Speke) How we
aw the " Father of the Nation," King Edward VII. Tea with the
Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace The coronation

THE next day, August 7th, we went to Windsor to see
what the King's other palace was like. We started
from the station called Waterloo, and reached Windsor
and went to the house of the teacher who is called Dean,
and reads prayers for the King when he is at Windsor.
We found he was still in church, but his daughter and
her brother received us and welcomed us, and kept
us occupied until their father came. When he arrived
we talked to him for a short time, and he then handed
us over to some one to show us all we wished to see.
We first went into the great courtyard in front of the
house, in which there is a little hill with a cannon on
the top, and then entered the hall, where there were a
large number of suits of the old armour men used to
wear when they went to war iron coats, and old guns
and flint-lock muskets ; we saw one gun which had
seven barrels and only one trigger. These are the first
kind of guns they made when they began to invent
new ones breech-loading rifles came afterwards.

1 88

Windsor Castle 189

We next went into a room in which were pictures
of all the kings, and princes, and princesses, and great
men ; there were also the skins of wild animals called
bears that had been brought from other lands. This
room was wonderfully fine ; everything in it was of gold
gold chairs, and lamps of gold and precious stones.
We saw there, too, a great many pictures the Queen
being married to the Prince Consort, King Edward
being baptised when he was a little child, etc. and
many places where the King sits, and the chair upon
which the Queen (Victoria) used to like to sit after
dinner, which is in a long passage ; near it is a very
small and beautiful table. We saw there also a table
six hundred years old, the maker of which is unknown ;
it was very fine and very cleverly made, and had a great
many drawers in it, and the wood of it was like the
wood we have in our country which we call " mutogo " ;
it was quite as good as many of the tables that are made
at the present time, though it was made in 1303 A.D.

We saw also a very old book which had come from
Abyssinia, the country which in old days was called
Ethiopia, from whence came the eunuch whom Philip
baptised, as we read in the Acts ; and also many other
books which Queen Victoria read and which had been
given to her by her friends. We saw also a most mar-
vellous clock, which told the years and months and
days of the week and seasons of the year, and the stars
and the sun and moon in their courses ; there was also

190 Tfl0aitfa'0 Ixfittlnro in

a picture of all the earth, and all the changes \\
the earth goes through were gone through by this clock.
We saw also in this place the finest road in the country,
for it was three miles long and did not twist at all ; there
is no such other road in all the earth like this, and though
I have not been all over the world, yet this is what I
think. At the end of it there is a small house, which
is opposite to the King's palace of Windsor Castle,
and when one looks down the road from Windsor it is
a very fine sight. We saw too a picture of the present
King Edward and another prince on horseback going
along, and a picture of his mother, Queen Victoria, at
one side of it.

Windsor is the finest town in England, because there
is no noise there, and it is on a hill. It is raised up
like a pulpit, and there is a very good view from it in
all directions ; there are some beautiful trees which are
very fine to look at, and the grass also is beautiful.
The hill which has the cannon on it is very high,
and is in the courtyard of the King's palace ; there
are policemen guarding the place very carefully, as their
custom is to look after everything.

Ras Makonnen, the Abyssinian chief, who is prime
minister of his country, met us at Windsor, as he too
was going round the castle. He had with him about
ten companions, and an English guide who was taking
him round, and we greeted one another as we met.
After this we went to see where they bury all the English

St (Beorge'e (Tbapel

kings, and entered the church in which they bury them,
and saw their graves, about sixty in number. We saw
also the graves of great chiefs and brave men who
have conquered other countries, and the graves of
princes, and also many banners that told about each

We saw too the grave of the King's eldest son he is
buried in a very valuable stone, which had been hollowed
out ; but we did not see where the Queen (Victoria)
was buried, for they do not yet allow people to go
there ; she is buried in the same place as her hus-
band. After seeing all this we went back to the Deanery
for lunch, and then went to see the sister of Captain
Speke (who discovered Uganda), at the town called
Wokingham. We found there a great many people,
both ladies and gentlemen, though the ladies were more
in number than the gentlemen. Sir H. H. Johnston
was also there, and our friend Bishop Tucker. There
was a great deal of talking, and we enjoyed our visit
very much ; our hostess gave the Katikiro half-a-dozen
china coffee-cups, and after we had had tea our photo-
graphs were taken, and we then drove to the railway
station and went back to London, where we arrived at
8-35 P.m.

The following day, August 8th, was the greatest day
of our whole journey, because on it we saw the King.
At half-past eight we saw a letter from Sir Clement Hill,
which said

192 Tflflantw'0 Itatihtro in


" I tell you that the Katikiro and Ham Mukasa
will see the King at one o'clock, but you yourself cannot
go; Captain Hobart will take them."

When we heard this we were very joyful indeed, and
got ready, because we had thought that we should only

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Online LibraryHam MukasaUganda's Katikiro in England; being the official account of his visit to the coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII → online text (page 12 of 17)