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LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
RIVERSIDE



CHRONICLES OF UGANDA




CHRONICLES OF UGANDA




BY THE RE\'.



RV P: ASHE, M.A., F.R.G.S.

Author of '' 7~it'O Kings of Uganda "



WITH PORTRAIT AND TWENTY-SIX ILLUSTRATIONS



Tfaviitav

HODDER AND STOUGHTON
27, PATERNOSTER ROW

MDCCCXCIV



i/ hy ll<i-.il/, U'nt*<in, o I'iiu-y, Ld., l.ondnn <nui .lylesbmy.



ZTo

THE YEN. ARCHDEACON WALKER.

J/V DEAR FRIEND

/ venture to dedicate this book to you and your
felloiv-workers before I can receive your reply to my request
for permission to do so.

Since you have not even seen the book you are in no sense
sponsors for it. I can therefore only hope that when it reaches
you it may meet ivith your approval ; for, armed with that, I
shall have little fear of other critics less qualified than yourselves
to pronounce upon my work.

Believe me,

Yours affectionately,

ROBERT P. ASHE.
PORTISHEAD,

SOMERSET,

November 1894.



Co

ROBERT HENRY WALKER

AND

HIS FELLOW-MISSIONARIES

I DEDICATE

THESE CHRONICLES,

AS A TOKEN OF MY SYMPATHY

WITH THEM IN THEIR WORK

UGANDA.



PREFACE

T 11 THEN writing these Chronicles of Uganda I
was well aware that there were already in
existence a good many books dealing with Uganda,
and that a considerable literature has gathered about
the region of Africa wherein Uganda lies ; yet I felt
that there was still a distinct need for some book
which should represent, as a continuous story, the chief
events which led up to Uganda's becoming an English
Protectorate ; and this need I have endeavoured to
supply in the following pages.

In some measure, at least, I have tried to write from
the standpoint of the native actors in the scenes which
I describe.

In reading of the early days of Mwanga's rule, the
tragic horror of that period will only be appreciated by
those who will go back in imagination to that time
when the Uganda king was an impersonation of
relentless cruelty and absolute power. His very
silliness and weakness at that period lent a further



viii Preface

feature of horror to the situation of those who had the
misfortune to find themselves in his clutches.

I have necessarily been obliged to mention the
names of a number of persons whose views I could not
always endorse, and whose policy I could not in every
point approve. I trust that I have, however, avoided
attributing to them any unworthy motives, and I
venture to hope I have been able to show that a good
deal of what hasty partisanship or sheer misunder-
standing may have put in a sinister light, is capable of
a more charitable, and, at the same time, a more
natural interpretation.

I should like to remind my readers that, unless one
is prepared to exercise a good deal of self-restraint in
perusing a story of this kind, there is always a tendency
to forget that we are in possession of facts and data
which were necessarily absent from the minds of those
whose actions we are considering, and from our
standpoint of complete knowledge we are apt to form
harsh judgments upon those, who, if they erred at all,
may have done so largely owing to ignorance.

Moreover, I think I have been able to show that the
Uganda troubles of 1892-3 were due in some measure
to the uncertainty entertained in Uganda as to the
ultimate action of England with regard to withdrawal.



Preface ix

Though I have not considered it within the scope of
the work to chronicle only the events connected with
the Church Missionary Society's Mission, yet this
Mission, with its wonderful story of the triumphs of the
Gospel, necessarily finds a prominent place.

And here let me say that although Christendom
divided on so many other questions has almost
universally sanctioned a resort on the part of Christians
to the extremest violence provided that it be perpetrated
from conscientious motives, yet after reading such a
record as this of Uganda, one is driven to exclaim " The
pity of it ! " that even the very remotest result of the
coming of the heralds of " The Prince of Peace " should
have been such shedding of blood by Christians as I
have described.

I must acknowledge my indebtedness to the pages
of the C/nirc/i Missionary Society's Intelligencer, especially
for the period when I was not myself in the country.
I cannot help hoping that the vast mass of deeply
interesting and valuable material relating to Uganda
contained in this periodical may some day be collected
and published by the Society.

I must also acknowledge the value, as an independent
contemporary record of events during 1891-3, of the
second volume of Captain Lugard's book, "The Rise .



x Preface

of our East African Empire." (Messrs. Blackvvood &
Sons.)

I have availed myself of this interesting work in
writing of the period which it covers, though not
always taking the same point of view. I have also
availed myself of a small book of the greatest interest,
being a work in the language of Uganda, called " The
\Yars of the Ba-ganda " (people of Uganda), written by
the present Prime Minister, Kagwa Apolo, who was a
prominent figure in the wars of which he tells the story.

For the majority of the illustrations I am indebted
to the kindness of my friends, Mr. J. P. Nickisson,
Church Missionary Society of Nassa, and Mr. R. H.
Leakey, of Uganda, to whose skill in photography I
owe the pictures, excepting that of the Lions, which was
not taken with a camera.

For the representations of Uganda implements,
utensils, etc., and the descriptions, I am indebted to
Dr. Basil Woodd Walker, and his brother, Dr. Cyril H.
Walker, who arranged and photographed the collection.

Nor must I omit to mention the help of another
old friend, Mr. J. Spencer Hill, in furthering my
undertaking.

ROBERT P. ASHE.

PORTISHEAD,

SOMERSET,

November, 1894.



BOOK I
INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL

I. FROM LONDON TO MAMBOYA 3

II. MAMBOYA TO USAMBIRO 21

III. USAMBIRO TO UGANDA 39

BOOK II
A RETROSPECT

I. KINGS MUTESA AND MWANGA 55

II. REVOLUTION AND EXPULSION OF MWANGA . . 85

III. THREE KINGS Ill

IV. SCRAMBLING FOR UGANDA 131

V. A NEST OF HORNETS 149

VI. BRINGING OF THE SUDANESE 171

VII. UGANDA POLITICS 193

VIII. THE BATTLE OF MENGO 215

IX. THE TRAGEDY CF BULINGUGE . ..'-.-.. - . 237



xii Contents

BOOK III
UGANDA REVISITED

I. THE FLIGHT FROM BUDU 261

II. ENGLISH INTERESTS AND GERMAN OFFICIALS . . 283

III. THE KING'S RETURN 299

IV. THE MTHAMMEDAN QUESTION 317

V. THE RAILWAY SURVEY 331

VI. A JOURNEY TO KAVIRONDO 343

VII. QUESTION OF UNYORO AND UVU-MA . . . .373

VIII. THE MUHAMMEDAN REVOLT 393



BOOK IV
FROM UGANDA TO ZANZIBAR

I. PERILS OF WATERS

11. PERIL.- IN THE WILDERNESS



APPENDICES

A. INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LATE SIR GERALD PORTAL . 455
li. LETTER OF THE LATK SIR GKRALD PORTAL OX MISSION-
EXTENSION .^

C. I UK \V,\R AGAINST UNYORO 459

l>. CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO TORO AND UVUMA . 460



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

THE MISSION BUILDINGS AT NASSA, ON SPEKE GULF .... 40

REV. E. H. HUBBARD AT XASSA ...... 42

NOVEL COMPANIONS 45

UGANDA WEAPONS, IMPLEMENTS, MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, UTENSILS, ETC. 58

THE ISLAND OF UKEREWE . . . . . . . . 6 1

KING LUKONGE OF UKEREWE AND HIS WIFE ..... 64

KING MUTESA'S GREAT BURIAL HOUSE, NABULAGULA ... 65

MWANGA, KING OF UGANDA, 1893 QI

AN UGANDA MARKET . . . . . . . . . .113

BUYING AND SELLING. . . . . . . . . .115

MATAYO THE MUJASI, REV. H. W. D. KITAKULE, WASWA THE MUKWENDA,

KAGWA THK KATIKIRO WITH HIS WIFE AND SISTER . . . 137

NIKODEMO POKING, AFTERWARDS SEKIBOBO ..... 2OI

KING MWANGA'S FLIGHT ......... 253

UGANDA IMPLEMENTS, UTENSILS, ETC. ...... 264

REED WALL BEHIND " EDGAR " SHOWS THE UGANDA METHOD OF

BUILDING ........... 333

HE LEFT WITH ME TIMOTF.O 337

THE GREAT CHURCH OF ST. PAUL, ON NAM1REMBE HILL, UGANDA . 345
INTERIOR OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, SHOWING THE COMMUNION TABLE

AND RAILS 349



xiv List of Illustrations

I'AGE
CHURCH FURNITURE, ST. PAUL'S, UGANDA 351

MR. WILSON OF THE IMPERIAL BRITISH EAST AFRICA COMPANY, AND

F. C. SMITH OF CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY .... 359

SOME OF MY HOUSEHOLD 367

NASSA MISSION BOYS, ENKOKO, HALF MUHUMA, MUBASSA, HAI.F

ML'HUMA, HENRY MUKASSA, UGANDA TEACHER . . . -417

KAPONGO THE CHIEF OF NASSA 421

" EDGAR,'' SHOWING ALSO UGANDA ENTRANCE AND DOOR BEHIND . 425

REV. j. c. PRICE'S MISSION CHILDREN. THE GIRL HOLDING THE BOOK

IS DAUGHTER OF THE UGOGO CHIEF OF MPWAPWA . . . 443

TIMOTEO, MUDEMBUGA, R. P. ASHE, BADUBAZE, KAGWA, KANGIRI JIMMY,

ALBERT NAMENYEKA, A CHIEF ....... 447



BOOK I

INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL




Last News of MackayOur Party A sitetit City Port Said
Fiasco of Railway Point The Trowser Question Zanzibar
/// the Hands of Carriers Serious News Return of Greaves
The Iron Donkey Deserted Villages Avoiding a Mother-
in-Latu Vicarious Medicine Thieving Porters Arrive at
Mamboya.



iS 9 i]



CHAPTER I
FROM LONDON TO MAMBOYA

IN the year I 890 the sorrowful news reached me of
the death of Mackay, my friend and former
companion in many troubles, the great pioneer mis-
sionary of the Nyanza. The last news received of him
had been most hopeful. Stanley and Stairs had left
him the preceding September full of life and energy,
doing his work of teaching and translating in the
evenings, and busy by day erecting storehouses, boat
building, forging bolts, and riveting the boiler for the
steamer which he desired to put upon the Lake. And
now to hear that he is gone, stricken down by fever
from the Usambiro swamps. The news had been
received by telegram. A little later, and there came a
letter in the well-known hand that kindly hand which
would never more hold a pen or wield a hammer. It
was the letter of a valiant worker, which, while it told
of bitter disappointment, yet breathed a steadfast
purpose and an undying hope.

As I read Mackay's last letter the longing rose up
within me to go back to the Nyanza to see his
grave, to clasp once more the hands of old and tried



4 Our Party

and faithful friends, to see once more their kindly
dark faces, to hear once more their strange tongue
becoming almost unfamiliar to me from want of use.
Accordingly a month or two later I notified to the
Committee of the Church Missionary Society my
intention of returning to Africa, and my willingness,
should they invite me to do so, to return to Uganda
as their agent. The result was that the Committee
cordially invited me to work for the Society, and to go
with a reinforcement of missionaries, which they were
about to send out in the following May (1891) to the
Victoria Lake.

Our party of five was made up as follows : Dr.
Gaskoin Wright, who had relinquished a lucrative
practice to become a medical missionary ; the Rev. G.
Greaves, a young Cambridge man, who had held an
important curacy in Birmingham ; Mr. (now the Rev.)
E. H, Hubbard, a student of the Church Missionary
College ; and Mr. Walter Collins, who had formerly
been a local preacher of the Wesleyan body.

There is always more than the ordinary sadness of
farewell in embarking for the shores of Africa. And
we experienced a sense of relief when the last words
were spoken, and the sorrowful good-byes uttered, and
we had at length bidden England a final farewell.
Wright, Hubbard, and myself, in order to gain a few
extra days, had arranged to join our steamer at Naples.
Our journey thither presented a strong contrast to the
African wastes and wildernesses which we were shortly
to traverse on our way to the Victoria Nyanza.

We left London on May i/th, 1891, and travelled



1891] A Silent City 5

night and day to Rome, where we could only spend
a few hours enough, however, to visit the Colosseum,
the awe of whose stupendous ruin seems to oppress
one's mind with a sense of the vanity of man's
most solid handiwork ; to enter St. Peter's, and to
stand for a few minutes beneath its glorious dome ;
then a hurried visit to the Vatican Gallery, to have
rather a dream of its wonders than to realise what
they really are. From Rome we went to Naples, where
we spent two days, taking the opportunity of visiting
Pompeii, where in imagination one can re -people with
busy life those deserted streets and grass-grown temples,
and empty, dismantled palaces. In the magnificent
museum of Naples, and at Pompeii itself an unmistakable
hint of what the moral tone of that ancient city was is
conveyed by some of the pictures portrayed upon its
walls, and by the objects of art recovered from its
houses, so that one can understand the meaning of that
desolate and silent city over which Vesuvius hangs in
the glorious clear air, with its faint white cloud of smoke
floating upon the summit ; the ruined city and the
mountain from which poured the molten lava that
destroyed it, both enduring witnesses to the wrath of
God against the unrighteousness of men.

Bidding farewell to Naples, we went on board the
steamship Madura as second-class passengers. We did
not complain so much of the dirt and bad food on this
ship as of the horrible foulness of the air of the place
in which we were condemned to be while the hatches
were battened down during rough weather. Our fellow-
sufferers were a number of sergeants, private soldiers,



6 Port Said [1891

and servants connected with the various expeditions
which were to leave Zanzibar at about the same time
as ourselves. In spite, however, of the many discom-
forts, they and we had a pleasant time together.

The late Captain Stairs of the Katanga expedition
was also on this steamer, and I had the pleasure of
making his acquaintance. Though he appeared to be
naturally quiet and reserved, yet when he spoke of
Africa and the Africans his whole manner would
change, and his face light up with eager interest, as
he compared notes with other travellers, or told of
what he had experienced during his eventful journey
with Stanley. His early death, which took place not
long afterwards, means the loss of a true-hearted friend
to the cause of Africa.

On the fifth day out from Naples we reached Port
Said, now an important place, owing to its position at
the entrance to the Suez Canal ; but an evil city, and
the common sewer through which east and west seem
to pour their vileness and their filth. Gaming hells,
dancing saloons, drinking bars flaunt on every side,
while young boys accost the stranger, inviting him to
these haunts of vice, or endeavour to sell him obscene
pictures. Since I first passed through the Canal in the
year 1882 Port Said has more than trebled in size,
and contains now, I believe, a population of 36,000
souls. There are, I understand, twenty-five Romish
priests at work here, while Protestant Christianity is
represented by only one person, an agent of the
British and Foreign Bible Society.

Leaving Port Said in the evening, we passed through



1891] Fiasco of Railway Point 7

the Canal with the aid of the electric light, and reached
Suez the following day. Six days through the Red
Sea brought us to Aden, and in eight days more we
reached Mombasa, the headquarters of the British
Imperial East Africa Company, I had left England
full of enthusiasm for this Company. The fact that
such men as Sir Fowell Buxton and the late Sir
William Mackinnon were prominent directors of the
undertaking was an ample guarantee that, as far as
they were personally concerned, the Company was
primarily, if not a philanthropic undertaking, at any
rate one which chiefly sought the development and
civilisation of the countries to be administered,
and not one to attract hungry investors desiring
dividends.

On closer acquaintance with this corporation, however,
I came to the conclusion that there were other interests
than those of philanthropy represented, interests which,
though perhaps legitimate in themselves, could not but
be out of harmony with a benevolent undertaking. I
must confess after what I had read of the cutting of
the first sod of the railway, and of the grand doings on
that occasion, and of the intention on the part of
the Company to hasten on the work, I was shocked,
on visiting " Railway Point," to find the railway what
might not unjustly be termed a sorry fiasco. The work
accomplished was of the puniest and most paltry
description, and even what there was appeared to have
been abandoned.

At Freretown, near Mombasa, we were kindly enter-
tained by our fellow-missionaries. I learned here, to



8 The " Trowser Question" [1891

my surprise, that the " trowser question " * was a some-
what burning topic. Some of the missionaries con-
sidered it within their province to dictate to those to
whom they preached the gospel what kind of clothing
their converts might or might not wear. A small
matter, but very significant for a student of modern
missions. The converts were up in arms against this
senseless piece of arrogant tyranny. I do not know
how the controversy ended, or whether the trowsers or
the missionaries were victorious. Considered aesthetic-
ally, one might hope that the missionaries gained the
day ; but considered morally, one wishes that the
converts were able to vindicate their liberty.

Another day in the steamer brought us to the town
of Zanzibar, beautiful with its dazzling white buildings
set in the deep green of the luxuriant tropical vegeta-
tion which surrounds them on all sides. The little
island of Zanzibar, or Unguja as the natives call it
(from which place the start for Uganda was to be made),
is so well known that there is little need to describe it
here in detail. Gathered into the town is a very large
population, consisting of Arabs, Indians, and Negroes,
with a few European traders and the members of the
Consular staff of every nation which has representatives
in the island. The Negro portion of the population,
which is the largest, lives chiefly in thatched huts on the
outskirts of the Arab town.

Zanzibar, now a free port, has vastly improved in
late years, owing to the efforts of various British

* Native converts at Freretown were forbidden by the mission-
aries to wear trowsers !



1891] Zanzibar 9

Consuls and the energy of the Sultan's European
advisers, of whom at present the chief is General Sir
Lloyd Mathews.

The present Sultan, with whom I had the honour of
an interview on my return from Uganda, was placed
upon the throne by the English. He seems a man of
considerable refinement and enlightenment, and is, I
believe, something of a scholar. But his position is
really an anomaly, and there are many reasons which
would make the abolition of the Sultanate and the
annexation of the island desirable.

To the disgrace of England, who has always posed
as the liberator of the slave, slavery is actually recog-
nised in the law courts of Zanzibar, which is a British
protectorate, though in India legalised slavery has been
abolished as repugnant to humanity. In 1873 the
import of slaves to Zanzibar was absolutely forbidden
by a decree of the Sultan, which, however, has been
more or less of a dead letter. And now the Arab and
Swahili slave-owner is upheld in the Consular Courts
in his position of slave-holder on the ground that he
is a protected person, while the slave, also a protected
person, is denied his rights in the law courts.*

* A writer in Blackwood for June 1894 has put this matter very
clearly. He says :

" The large community of British Indians resident in East
Africa are not subjects but ' protected persons ' (from Cutch).
They are not, and never were, allowed to fly the British flag on
theirvessels. They were almost entirelyMuhammedans, and under
the law of the Sheria. And their case was exactly identical with
the present status of the protected Arabs and Swahilis. Yet in
spite of the fact that the British Indians were domiciled in a foreign



io In the Hands of Carriers [1891

We had not been in Zanzibar very long before we were
all in the hands of the doctor. Our indisposition was no
doubt induced by the extreme discomforts of the voyage
which we had made in the Madura.

Thinking the mainland would prove healthier to my
companions than Zanzibar, I suggested that three of
the party should cross to Sadaani, and make their way
to the rising ground on which the village of Endumi
is built. Endumi is the first stage of the journey to
the interior, and is situated some five miles from the
sea. In the meanwhile I remained with Collins at
Zanzibar to look after the caravan.

I found a system in vogue, for which the Imperial
East Africa Company were largely responsible, of
paying the caravan porters three months' wages (in our
case all they would receive) in advance, by which
means the unhappy traveller finds himself entirely in
the hands of his carriers, who, to do them justice, use
their power with remarkable moderation ; yet, taken at
its best, the system, as may well be imagined, is most
unsatisfactory. I strongly objected to taking the men
on such terms, with the result that they all simply

country (Zanzibar), in which we had then no jurisdiction, we
arbitrarily compelled them to release their slaves without com-
pensation, not merely refusing to recognise their rights of owner-
ship at law, but enforcing total emancipation, and making
it criminal for an Indian to hold a slave. Why, then, do we
hesitate to apply the same ruling to the Arabs, now that by our
proclamation of a protectorate over Zanzibar their status has
become identical with that of the British Indians ? "

It is to be hoped that such a state of things may soon be put a
stop to, and some serious effort made in the interior for the
suppression of the slave trade.



1891] Serious News \ i

walked off, and I was obliged to give way and eat
humble pie, and request them to come back again on
their own terms. This a few of them deigned to do.
The rest had joined some of the other caravans, and
the work of supplying their places proved a further
cause of delay. A whole book might be written upon
the difficulties, delays, annoyances, and miseries of
organising an expedition such as ours. We had the
serious disadvantage, moreover, of a mixed caravan, one
half of our porters being Zanzibaris, while the other
half were Wasukuma natives from Nassa on the Nyanza.
The result of this blending of nationalities was that the
two parties disagreed so badly together as sometimes
even to come to blows. We were always obliged to
have two camps one for each division.

Our missionary companions had not been gone more
than a few days, when a letter came from Hubbard
containing the serious news that Greaves and Wright
were down with severe dysentery, and that he himself
was far from well. I was myself in the hands of the
doctor, and Collins also was indisposed, so that things
looked not a little depressing. However, Collins and
I made all haste to embark in an Arab dhow, and
cross to the mainland, which we reached the following
day, and landed at Sadaani at about i I P.M. Here
we succeeded in borrowing a lantern from an Indian
merchant, who was acting as our agent, and by the
light of the lantern we walked the five miles to Endumi,
where our sick friends were encamped.

To our deep sorrow, we found that Greaves was in
a very dangerous condition, but Wright was slightly



1 2 Return of Greaves [1891

better. Next day there was no improvement in
Greaves, and we all felt that the only hope for his
life lay in taking him back to Zanzibar, where he
would have the advantage of careful nursing and
attention. We therefore placed him in a hammock, and
carried him to Sadaani. The German officers stationed
there showed us every kindness, and lent us the
Government dhow to convey our sick friend across to
Zanzibar, whither Hubbard accompanied him. Greaves
was received and tenderly nursed by the Sisters of the
Universities' Mission, but in spite of every attention
which kindness could suggest a week later he passed
peacefully away.

Hubbard, as soon as he had placed his sick com-
panion in the care of these true and generous friends,
rejoined us at Endumi. We had arranged that
Greaves, if well enough, should follow us with Roscoe,
another missionary who was to leave England for
Uganda a month later.

There was nothing now to prevent our making a
start, and we finally began the long march into the
interior July pth, 1891. The impossibility of procuring
carriers had made it necessary for us to leave many
of our loads behind, and, to add to our difficulties,
Dr. Wright and Collins were too ill to walk, and had
to be carried.

During my former journeys I had sometimes thought
that a bicycle might be utilised upon much of the
beaten caravan tracks, which connect village with
village and tribe with tribe, and on which the traveller



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