Cecil John Rhodes PC (5 July 1853 – 26 March 1902) was a British businessman, mining magnate and politician in southern Africa who served as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896. An ardent believer in British imperialism, Rhodes and his British South Africa Company founded the southern African territory of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and Zambia), which the company named after him in 1895. South Africa's Rhodes University is also named after him. Rhodes set up the provisions of the Rhodes Scholarship, which is funded by his estate. He also put much effort towards his vision of a Cape to Cairo Railway through British territory.
The son of a vicar, Rhodes grew up in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, and was a sickly child. He was sent to South Africa by his family when he was 17 years old in the hope that the climate might improve his health. He entered the diamond trade at Kimberley in 1871, when he was 18, and over the next two decades gained near-complete domination of the world diamond market. His De Beers diamond company, formed in 1888, retains its prominence into the 21st century. Rhodes entered the Cape Parliament at the age of 27 in 1880, and a decade later became Prime Minister. After overseeing the formation of Rhodesia during the early 1890s, he was forced to resign as Prime Minister in 1896 after the disastrous Jameson Raid, an unauthorised attack on Paul Kruger's South African Republic (or Transvaal).
One of Rhodes's primary motivations in politics and business was his professed belief that the Anglo-Saxon race was, to quote his will, "the first race in the world". Under the reasoning that "the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race", he advocated vigorous settler colonialism and ultimately a reformation of the British Empire so that each component would be self-governing and represented in a single parliament in London. Ambitions such as these, juxtaposed with his policies regarding indigenous Africans in the Cape Colony—describing the country's black population as largely "in a state of barbarism", he advocated their governance as a "subject race", and was at the centre of actions to marginalise them politically—have led recent critics to characterise him as a white supremacist and "an architect of apartheid".
Historian Richard A. McFarlane has described Rhodes "as integral a participant in southern African and British imperial history as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln are in their respective eras in United States history." After Rhodes's death in 1902, at the age of 48, he was buried in the Matopos Hills in what is now Zimbabwe.
Rhodes, c. 1900
|7th Prime Minister of the Cape Colony|
17 July 1890 – 12 January 1896
Sir William Gordon Cameron
|Preceded by||John Gordon Sprigg|
|Succeeded by||John Gordon Sprigg|
Cecil John Rhodes
5 July 1853
Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England
|Died||26 March 1902 (aged 48)|
Muizenberg, Cape Colony
(now South Africa)
|Relations||Reverend Francis William Rhodes (father)|
Louisa Peacock Rhodes (mother)
Frank Rhodes (brother)
|Alma mater||Oriel College, Oxford|
Rhodes was born in 1853 in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. He was the fifth son of the Reverend Francis William Rhodes and his wife Louisa Peacock Rhodes. His father was a Church of England clergyman who was proud of never having preached a sermon longer than 10 minutes. His siblings included Frank Rhodes, who became an army officer.
Rhodes attended the Bishop's Stortford Grammar School from the age of nine, but, as a sickly, asthmatic adolescent, he was taken out of grammar school in 1869 and, according to Basil Williams, "continued his studies under his father's eye (...). At age seven, he was recorded in the 1861 census as boarding with his aunt, Sophia Peacock, at a boarding house in Jersey, where the climate was perceived to provide a respite for those with conditions such as asthma. His health was weak and there were fears that he might be consumptive (or have tuberculosis), a disease of which several of the family showed symptoms. His father decided to send him abroad for what were believed the good effects of a sea voyage and a better climate in South Africa.
When he first came to Africa, Rhodes lived on money lent by his aunt Sophia. After a brief stay with the Surveyor-General of Natal, Dr. P.C. Sutherland, in Pietermaritzburg, Rhodes took an interest in agriculture. He joined his brother Herbert on his cotton farm in the Umkomazi valley in Natal. The land was unsuitable for cotton, and the venture failed.
In October 1871, 18-year-old Rhodes and his 26 year-old brother Herbert left the colony for the diamond fields of Kimberley in Northern Cape Province. Financed by N M Rothschild & Sons, Rhodes succeeded over the next 17 years in buying up all the smaller diamond mining operations in the Kimberley area. In 1873, he returned to Britain to study at Oxford, but stayed there for only one term, after which he went back to South Africa.
His monopoly of the world's diamond supply was sealed in 1890 through a strategic partnership with the London-based Diamond Syndicate. They agreed to control world supply to maintain high prices. Rhodes supervised the working of his brother's claim and speculated on his behalf. Among his associates in the early days were John X. Merriman and Charles Rudd, who later became his partner in the De Beers Mining Company and the Niger Oil Company.
During the 1880s, Cape vineyards had been devastated by a phylloxera epidemic. The diseased vineyards were dug up and replanted, and farmers were looking for alternatives to wine. In 1892, Rhodes financed The Pioneer Fruit Growing Company at Nooitgedacht, a venture created by Harry Pickstone, an Englishman who had experience with fruit-growing in California. The shipping magnate Percy Molteno had just undertaken the first successful refrigerated export to Europe. In 1896, after consulting with Molteno, Rhodes began to pay more attention to export fruit farming and bought farms in Groot Drakenstein, Wellington and Stellenbosch. A year later, he bought Rhone and Boschendal and commissioned Sir Herbert Baker to build him a cottage there. The successful operation soon expanded into Rhodes Fruit Farms, and formed a cornerstone of the modern-day Cape fruit industry.
In 1873, Rhodes left his farm field in the care of his business partner, Rudd, and sailed for England to study at university. He was admitted to Oriel College, Oxford, but stayed for only one term in 1873. He returned to South Africa and did not return for his second term at Oxford until 1876. He was greatly influenced by John Ruskin's inaugural lecture at Oxford, which reinforced his own attachment to the cause of British imperialism.
Among his Oxford associates were James Rochfort Maguire, later a fellow of All Souls College and a director of the British South Africa Company, and Charles Metcalfe. Due to his university career, Rhodes admired the Oxford "system". Eventually he was inspired to develop his scholarship scheme: "Wherever you turn your eye—except in science—an Oxford man is at the top of the tree".
While attending Oriel College, Rhodes became a Freemason in the Apollo University Lodge. Although initially he did not approve of the organisation, he continued to be a South African Freemason until his death in 1902. The shortcomings of the Freemasons, in his opinion, later caused him to envisage his own secret society with the goal of bringing the entire world under British rule. According to Carroll Quigley, he set up the Round Table movement to this end.
During his years at Oxford, Rhodes continued to prosper in Kimberley. Before his departure for Oxford, he and C.D. Rudd had moved from the Kimberley Mine to invest in the more costly claims of what was known as old De Beers (Vooruitzicht). It was named after Johannes Nicolaas de Beer and his brother, Diederik Arnoldus, who occupied the farm.
After purchasing the land in 1839 from David Danser, a Koranna chief in the area, David Stephanus Fourie, forebearer for Claudine Fourie-Grosvenor, had allowed the de Beers and various other Afrikaner families to cultivate the land. The region extended from the Modder River via the Vet River up to the Vaal River.
In 1874 and 1875, the diamond fields were in the grip of depression, but Rhodes and Rudd were among those who stayed to consolidate their interests. They believed that diamonds would be numerous in the hard blue ground that had been exposed after the softer, yellow layer near the surface had been worked out. During this time, the technical problem of clearing out the water that was flooding the mines became serious. Rhodes and Rudd obtained the contract for pumping water out of the three main mines. After Rhodes returned from his first term at Oxford, he lived with Robert Dundas Graham, who later became a mining partner with Rudd and Rhodes.
On 13 March 1888, Rhodes and Rudd launched De Beers Consolidated Mines after the amalgamation of a number of individual claims. With £200,000 of capital, the company, of which Rhodes was secretary, owned the largest interest in the mine (£200,000 in 1880 = £12.9m in 2004 = $22.5m USD). Rhodes was named the chairman of De Beers at the company's founding in 1888. De Beers was established with funding from N M Rothschild & Sons Limited in 1887.[a]
In 1880, Rhodes prepared to enter public life at the Cape. With the earlier incorporation of Griqualand West into the Cape Colony under the Molteno Ministry in 1877, the area had obtained six seats in the Cape House of Assembly. Rhodes chose the rural and predominately Boer constituency of Barkly West, which would remain loyal to Rhodes until his death.
When Rhodes became a member of the Cape Parliament, the chief goal of the assembly was to help decide the future of Basutoland. The ministry of Sir Gordon Sprigg was trying to restore order after the 1880 rebellion known as the Gun War. The Sprigg ministry had precipitated the revolt by applying its policy of disarming all native Africans to those of the Basotho nation, who resisted.
In 1890, Rhodes became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony. He introduced the Glen Grey Act to push black people from their lands and make way for industrial development. Rhodes's view was that black people needed to be driven off their land to "stimulate them to labour" and to change their habits. "It must be brought home to them", Rhodes said, "that in future nine-tenths of them will have to spend their lives in manual labour, and the sooner that is brought home to them the better."
Given the growing number of enfranchised black people in the Cape, Rhodes raised the franchise property requirements in 1892 to counter this preponderance. The change had drastic effects on the traditional Cape Qualified Franchise. By simultaneously limiting the amount of land which black Africans were legally allowed to hold, while tripling the property qualifications required to vote, Rhodes succeeded in disenfranchising the black population. To quote Richard Dowden, most would now "find it almost impossible to get back on the list because of the legal limit on the amount of land they could hold". In addition, Rhodes was an early architect of the Natives Land Act, 1913, which would limit the areas of the country where black Africans were allowed to settle to less than 10%. At the time, Rhodes would argue that "the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism, such as works in India, in our relations with the barbarism of South Africa."
Rhodes did not, however, have direct political power over the independent Boer Republic of the Transvaal. He often disagreed with the Transvaal government's policies, which he considered unsupportive of mine-owners' interests. In 1895, believing he could use his influence to overthrow the Boer government, Rhodes supported the infamous Jameson Raid, an attack on the Transvaal that had the tacit approval of Secretary of State for the Colonies Joseph Chamberlain. The raid was a catastrophic failure. It forced Cecil Rhodes to resign as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, sent his oldest brother Col. Frank Rhodes to jail in Transvaal convicted of high treason and nearly sentenced to death, and contributed to the outbreak of the Second Boer War.
In 1899, Rhodes was sued by a man named Burrows for falsely representing the purpose of the raid and therefore convincing him to participate in the raid. Burrows was severely wounded and had to have his leg amputated. His suit for £3000 in damages was successful.
Rhodes used his wealth and that of his business partner Alfred Beit and other investors to pursue his dream of creating a British Empire in new territories to the north by obtaining mineral concessions from the most powerful indigenous chiefs. Rhodes' competitive advantage over other mineral prospecting companies was his combination of wealth and astute political instincts, also called the 'imperial factor', as he often collaborated with the British Government. He befriended its local representatives, the British Commissioners, and through them organised British protectorates over the mineral concession areas via separate but related treaties. In this way he obtained both legality and security for mining operations. He could then attract more investors. Imperial expansion and capital investment went hand in hand.
The imperial factor was a double-edged sword: Rhodes did not want the bureaucrats of the Colonial Office in London to interfere in the Empire in Africa. He wanted British settlers and local politicians and governors to run it. This put him on a collision course with many in Britain, as well as with British missionaries, who favoured what they saw as the more ethical direct rule from London. Rhodes prevailed because he would pay the cost of administering the territories to the north of South Africa against his future mining profits. The Colonial Office did not have enough funding for this. Rhodes promoted his business interests as in the strategic interest of Britain: preventing the Portuguese, the Germans or the Boers from moving into south-central Africa. Rhodes's companies and agents cemented these advantages by obtaining many mining concessions, as exemplified by the Rudd and Lochner Concessions.
Rhodes had already tried and failed to get a mining concession from Lobengula, king of the Ndebele of Matabeleland. In 1888 he tried again. He sent John Moffat, son of the missionary Robert Moffat, who was trusted by Lobengula, to persuade the latter to sign a treaty of friendship with Britain, and to look favourably on Rhodes's proposals. His associate Charles Rudd, together with Francis Thompson and Rochfort Maguire, assured Lobengula that no more than ten white men would mine in Matabeleland. This limitation was left out of the document, known as the Rudd Concession, which Lobengula signed. Furthermore, it stated that the mining companies could do anything necessary to their operations. When Lobengula discovered later the true effects of the concession, he tried to renounce it, but the British Government ignored him.
During the Company's early days, Rhodes and his associates set themselves up to make millions (hundreds of millions in current pounds) over the coming years through what has been described as a "suppressio veri ... which must be regarded as one of Rhodes's least creditable actions". Contrary to what the British government and the public had been allowed to think, the Rudd Concession was not vested in the British South Africa Company, but in a short-lived ancillary concern of Rhodes, Rudd and a few others called the Central Search Association, which was quietly formed in London in 1889. This entity renamed itself the United Concessions Company in 1890, and soon after sold the Rudd Concession to the Chartered Company for 1,000,000 shares. When Colonial Office functionaries discovered this chicanery in 1891, they advised Secretary of State for the Colonies Knutsford to consider revoking the concession, but no action was taken.
Armed with the Rudd Concession, in 1889 Rhodes obtained a charter from the British Government for his British South Africa Company (BSAC) to rule, police, and make new treaties and concessions from the Limpopo River to the great lakes of Central Africa. He obtained further concessions and treaties north of the Zambezi, such as those in Barotseland (the Lochner Concession with King Lewanika in 1890, which was similar to the Rudd Concession); and in the Lake Mweru area (Alfred Sharpe's 1890 Kazembe concession). Rhodes also sent Sharpe to get a concession over mineral-rich Katanga, but met his match in ruthlessness: when Sharpe was rebuffed by its ruler Msiri, King Leopold II of Belgium obtained a concession over Msiri's dead body for his Congo Free State.
Rhodes also wanted Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana) incorporated in the BSAC charter. But three Tswana kings, including Khama III, travelled to Britain and won over British public opinion for it to remain governed by the British Colonial Office in London. Rhodes commented: "It is humiliating to be utterly beaten by these niggers."
The British Colonial Office also decided to administer British Central Africa (Nyasaland, today's Malawi) owing to the activism of Scots missionaries trying to end the slave trade. Rhodes paid much of the cost so that the British Central Africa Commissioner Sir Harry Johnston, and his successor Alfred Sharpe, would assist with security for Rhodes in the BSAC's north-eastern territories. Johnston shared Rhodes's expansionist views, but he and his successors were not as pro-settler as Rhodes, and disagreed on dealings with Africans.
The BSAC had its own police force, the British South Africa Police, which was used to control Matabeleland and Mashonaland, in present-day Zimbabwe. The company had hoped to start a "new Rand" from the ancient gold mines of the Shona. Because the gold deposits were on a much smaller scale, many of the white settlers who accompanied the BSAC to Mashonaland became farmers rather than miners.
When the Ndebele and the Shona—the two main, but rival, peoples—separately rebelled against the coming of the European settlers, the BSAC defeated them in the First Matabele War and Second Matabele War. Shortly after learning of the assassination of the Ndebele spiritual leader, Mlimo, by the American scout Frederick Russell Burnham, Rhodes walked unarmed into the Ndebele stronghold in Matobo Hills. He persuaded the Impi to lay down their arms, thus ending the Second Matabele War.
By the end of 1894, the territories over which the BSAC had concessions or treaties, collectively called "Zambesia" after the Zambezi River flowing through the middle, comprised an area of 1,143,000 km² between the Limpopo River and Lake Tanganyika. In May 1895, its name was officially changed to "Rhodesia", reflecting Rhodes's popularity among settlers who had been using the name informally since 1891. The designation Southern Rhodesia was officially adopted in 1898 for the part south of the Zambezi, which later became Zimbabwe; and the designations North-Western and North-Eastern Rhodesia were used from 1895 for the territory which later became Northern Rhodesia, then Zambia.
Rhodes decreed in his will that he was to be buried in Matobo Hills. After his death in the Cape in 1902, his body was transported by train to Bulawayo. His burial was attended by Ndebele chiefs, who asked that the firing party should not discharge their rifles as this would disturb the spirits. Then, for the first time, they gave a white man the Matabele royal salute, Bayete. Rhodes is buried alongside Leander Starr Jameson and 34 British soldiers killed in the Shangani Patrol. Despite occasional efforts to return his body to the United Kingdom, his grave remains there still, "part and parcel of the history of Zimbabwe" and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
One of Rhodes's dreams (and the dream of many other members of the British Empire) was for a "red line" on the map from the Cape to Cairo (on geo-political maps, British dominions were always denoted in red or pink). Rhodes had been instrumental in securing southern African states for the Empire. He and others felt the best way to "unify the possessions, facilitate governance, enable the military to move quickly to hot spots or conduct war, help settlement, and foster trade" would be to build the "Cape to Cairo Railway".
This enterprise was not without its problems. France had a rival strategy in the late 1890s to link its colonies from west to east across the continent and the Portuguese produced the "Pink Map", representing their claims to sovereignty in Africa. Ultimately, Belgium and Germany proved to be the main obstacles to the British dream until the United Kingdom seized Tanganyika from the Germans as a League of Nations mandate.
Rhodes wanted to expand the British Empire because he believed that the Anglo-Saxon race was destined to greatness. In his last will and testament, Rhodes said of the English, "I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. I contend that every acre added to our territory means the birth of more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence." These views struck a chord with Adolf Hitler, who claimed that Rhodes was the only Englishman who truly understood Anglo-Saxon ideals.
Rhodes wanted to make the British Empire a superpower in which all of the British-dominated countries in the empire, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Cape Colony, would be represented in the British Parliament. Rhodes included American students as eligible for the Rhodes scholarships. He said that he wanted to breed an American elite of philosopher-kings who would have the United States rejoin the British Empire. As Rhodes also respected and admired the Germans and their Kaiser, he allowed German students to be included in the Rhodes scholarships. He believed that eventually the United Kingdom (including Ireland), the US, and Germany together would dominate the world and ensure perpetual peace.
Rhodes's views on race have been debated. Critics have labelled him as an "architect of apartheid" and a "white supremacist", particularly since 2015. According to Magubane, Rhodes was "unhappy that in many Cape Constituencies, Africans could be decisive if more of them exercised this right to vote under current law [referring to the Cape Qualified Franchise]," with Rhodes arguing that "the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism, such as works in India, in our relations with the barbarism of South Africa". Rhodes advocated the governance of indigenous Africans living in the Cape Colony "in a state of barbarism and communal tenure" as "a subject race. I do not go so far as the member for Victoria West, who would not give the black man a vote. ... If the whites maintain their position as the supreme race, the day may come when we shall be thankful that we have the natives with us in their proper position."
However historian Raymond C. Mensing, notes that Rhodes has the reputation as the most flamboyant exemplar of the British imperial spirit, and always believed that British institutions were the best. Mensing argues that Rhodes quietly developed a more nuanced concept of imperial federation in Africa and that his mature views were more balanced and realistic. According to Mensing 1986, pp. 99–106, Rhodes was not a biological or maximal racist and despite his support for what became the basis for the apartheid system, he is best seen as a cultural or minimal racist.
On domestic politics within Britain, Rhodes was a supporter of the Liberal Party. Rhodes's only major impact was his large-scale support of the Irish nationalist party, led by Charles Stewart Parnell (1846–1891).
Rhodes worked well with the Afrikaners in the Cape Colony. He supported teaching Dutch as well as English in public schools. While Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, he helped to remove most of their legal disabilities.  He was a friend of Jan Hofmeyr, leader of the Afrikaner Bond, and it was largely because of Afrikaner support that he became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony. Rhodes advocated greater self-government for the Cape Colony, in line with his preference for the empire to be controlled by local settlers and politicians rather than by London
Oxbridge scholar and Zimbabwean author Peter Godwin, whilst critical of Rhodes, writes that he needs to be viewed via the prisms and cultural and social perspective of his epoch, positing that Rhodes "was no 19th-century Hitler. He wasn't so much a freak as a man of his time...Rhodes and the white pioneers in southern Africa did behave despicably by today's standards, but no worse than the white settlers in North America, South America, and Australia; and in some senses better, considering that the genocide of natives in Africa was less complete. For all the former African colonies are now ruled by indigenous peoples, unlike the Americas and the Antipodes, most of whose aboriginal natives were all but exterminated."
Godwin goes on to say "Rhodes and his cronies fit in perfectly with their surroundings and conformed to the morality (or lack of it) of the day. As is so often the case, history simply followed the gravitational pull of superior firepower."
Rhodes never married, pleading, "I have too much work on my hands" and saying that he would not be a dutiful husband. Subsequent historians such as Robin Brown have suggested that Rhodes was a homosexual who was in love with his private secretary, Neville Pickering. Rhodes made Pickering the sole beneficiary of his will, but an accident resulted in Pickering catching septicaemia, during which time Rhodes spent six weeks trying to nurse Pickering back to health. Pickering eventually died in Rhodes' arms.
In the last years of his life, Rhodes was stalked by Polish princess Catherine Radziwiłł, born Rzewuska, who had married into the noble Polish family Radziwiłł. The princess falsely claimed that she was engaged to Rhodes, and that they were having an affair. She asked him to marry her, but Rhodes refused. In reaction, she accused him of loan fraud. He had to go to trial and testify against her accusation. She wrote a biography of Rhodes called Cecil Rhodes: Man and Empire Maker. Her accusations were eventually proven to be false.
During the Second Boer War Rhodes went to Kimberley at the onset of the siege, in a calculated move to raise the political stakes on the government to dedicate resources to the defence of the city. The military felt he was more of a liability than an asset and found him intolerable. The officer commanding the garrison of Kimberley, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kekewich, experienced serious personal difficulties with Rhodes because of the latters' inability to co-operate;
Despite these differences, Rhodes's company was instrumental in the defence of the city, providing water, refrigeration facilities, constructing fortifications, manufacturing an armoured train, shells and a one-off gun named Long Cecil.
Rhodes used his position and influence to lobby the British government to relieve the siege of Kimberley, claiming in the press that the situation in the city was desperate. The military wanted to assemble a large force to take the Boer cities of Bloemfontein and Pretoria, but they were compelled to change their plans and send three separate smaller forces to relieve the sieges of Kimberley, Mafeking and Ladysmith.
Although Rhodes remained a leading figure in the politics of southern Africa, especially during the Second Boer War, he was dogged by ill health throughout his relatively short life.
He was sent to Natal aged 16 because it was believed the climate might help problems with his heart. On returning to England in 1872 his health again deteriorated with heart and lung problems, to the extent that his doctor, Sir Morell Mackenzie, believed he would only survive six months. He returned to Kimberley where his health improved. From age 40 his heart condition returned with increasing severity until his death from heart failure in 1902, aged 48, at his seaside cottage in Muizenberg.
The Government arranged an epic journey by train from the Cape to Rhodesia, with the funeral train stopping at every station to allow mourners to pay their respects. He was finally laid to rest at World's View, a hilltop located approximately 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Bulawayo, in what was then Rhodesia. Today, his grave site is part of Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe.
The continued presence of Rhodes's grave in the Matopos hills has not been without controversy in contemporary Zimbabwe. In December 2010 Cain Mathema, the governor of Bulawayo, branded the grave outside the country's second city of Bulawayo an "insult to the African ancestors" and said he believed its presence had brought bad luck and poor weather to the region. The grave site is considered an important national and historic monument on protected land which attracts many tourist visitors every year.
In February 2012, Mugabe loyalists and ZANU-PF activists visited the grave site demanding permission from the local chief to exhume Rhodes's remains and return them to Britain. This was considered a nationalist political stunt in the run up to an election, rather than representing any genuine national desire to remove the grave. Local Chief Masuku and Godfrey Mahachi, one of the country's foremost archaeologists, strongly expressed their opposition to the grave being removed due to its historical significance to Zimbabwe. Then-president Robert Mugabe also opposed the move.
At his death he was considered one of the wealthiest men in the world. In his first will, written in 1877 before he had accumulated his wealth, Rhodes wanted to create a secret society that would bring the whole world under British rule. The exact wording from this will is:
To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible, and promote the best interests of humanity.
Rhodes's final will left a large area of land on the slopes of Table Mountain to the South African nation. Part of this estate became the upper campus of the University of Cape Town, another part became the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, while much was spared from development and is now an important conservation area.
In his last will and testament, he provided for the establishment of the Rhodes Scholarship, the world's first international study programme. The scholarship enabled students from territories under British rule or formerly under British rule and from Germany to study at Rhodes's alma mater, the University of Oxford. Rhodes' aims were to promote leadership marked by public spirit and good character, and to "render war impossible" by promoting friendship between the great powers.
Rhodes Memorial stands on Rhodes's favourite spot on the slopes of Devil's Peak, Cape Town, with a view looking north and east towards the Cape to Cairo route. From 1910 to 1984 Rhodes's house in Cape Town, Groote Schuur, was the official Cape residence of the Prime Ministers of South Africa and continued as a presidential residence of P. W. Botha and F. W. De Klerk.
His birthplace was established in 1938 as the Rhodes Memorial Museum, now known as Bishops Stortford Museum. The cottage in Muizenberg where he died is a provincial heritage site in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The cottage today is operated as a museum by the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society, and is open to the public. A broad display of Rhodes material can be seen, including the original De Beers board room table around which diamonds worth billions of dollars were traded.
The residents of Kimberley elected to build a memorial in Rhodes's honour in their city, which was unveiled in 1907. The 72-ton bronze statue depicts Rhodes on his horse, looking north with map in hand, and dressed as he was when met the Ndebele after their rebellion.
Memorials to Rhodes have been opposed since at least the 1950s, when some Afrikaner students demanded the removal of a Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town. A 2015 movement, known as "Rhodes Must Fall" (or #RhodesMustFall on social media), began with student protests at the University of Cape Town that were successful in getting university authorities to remove the Rhodes statue from the campus. The protest also had the broader goal of highlighting what the activists considered the lack of systemic post-apartheid racial transformation in South African institutions.
Following a series of discordsprotests? and vandalism at the University of Cape Town, various allied movements both in South Africa and other countries have been launched in opposition to Cecil Rhodes memorials. These include a campaign to change the name of Rhodes University and to remove a statue of Rhodes from Oriel College, Oxford. However, Oxford University opted to keep the Rhodes statue despite the student protests. Oriel College claimed they would lose about £100 million worth of gifts if they removed the statue. A number of British academics came to the defence of Rhodes, including British historian Madeline Briggs, who claimed that some of the racist statements attributed to Rhodes are undocumented, if not spurious.
As part of his legacy, on his death, Rhodes left a significant amount of money to be used to finance talented young scholars in Oxford. Currently, in Oxford a number of those South African and Zimbabwean recipients of funds from his legacy are campaigning for his statue to be removed from display in Oxford. When asked if there was any double standard or hypocrisy in being funded by the Rhodes Scholarship fund and benefiting from the opportunity, whilst at the same time, campaigning against the legacy of Rhodes, one of the South African campaigners, Ntokozo Qwabe, replied that "this scholarship does not buy our silence...There is no hypocrisy in being a recipient of a Rhodes scholarship and being publicly critical of Cecil Rhodes and his legacy... There is no clause that binds us to find ‘the good’ in Rhodes’ character, nor to sanitise the imperialist, colonial agenda he propagated."
Sir John Gordon Sprigg
| Prime Minister of the Cape Colony
Sir John Gordon Sprigg
Cecil Rhodes King (January 13, 1898 – March 17, 1974) was an American businessman and politician. King, a Democrat, served as the first member of the United States House of Representatives from California's 17th congressional district for fourteen terms, serving from August 1942 to January 1969. King was first elected by special election on August 25, 1942 after previously serving out the term of Lee E. Geyer who had died in Washington, D.C. on October 11, 1941.Cecil Rhodes (cricketer)
Cecil Rhodes (12 August 1906 – February 1990) was an English cricketer active from 1937 to 1938 who played for Lancashire. He was born in England and died in New York City. He appeared in eight first-class matches as a lefthanded batsman who bowled slow left arm orthodox. He scored 11 runs with a highest score of 6 and held one catch. He took 22 wickets with a best analysis of four for 37.Cecil Rhodes (rugby league)
Cecil Arthur 'Johnno' Rhodes (1901-1966) was an Australian rugby league player from the 1920s and 1930s.
'Johnno' Rhodes played for the Western Suburbs Magpies for six seasons between 1928-1933. He is remembered as a member of the winning premiership team of 1930 and played in the team that were runners up in 1932. Cecil Rhodes died on 11 November 1966 at Petersham, New South Wales.Charles Rudd
Charles Dunell Rudd (22 October 1844 – 15 November 1916) was the main business associate of Cecil Rhodes.Dalham Hall
Dalham Hall is a Grade 2 listed country house and 3,300-acre (13 km2) estate, located in the village of Dalham, Suffolk, near Newmarket, and 13 kilometres (8 mi) west of Bury St Edmunds.
Simon Patrick (1626–1707), the Bishop of Chichester (1689–1691) and Bishop of Ely (1691–1707), purchased an estate at Dalham in December 1702, and commissioned the building of Dalham Hall.
John Affleck Esq. acquired the estate from the Bishop’s widow in 1714.
After remaining in Affleck's family for nearly 200 years, in 1901, the estate was bought by Cecil Rhodes, on the evidence of photographs, and tales of its game shooting prowess. After Rhodes died in 1902, before taking possession, his brother Francis William Rhodes and his family inherited the hall, and erected a hall in the village in Cecil Rhodes' memory.The estate was bought in 1928 by Laurence Philipps, a shipping magnate who established what became known as the Dalham Hall Stud.
In 1981 Major Jim Philipps sold the stud to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. After the major died in 1984, the estate was held in trust by his heirs until July 2009, when it was sold for £45 million to Sheikh Mohammed via estate agents Bidwells.First Matabele War
The First Matabele War was fought between 1893 and 1894 in modern day Zimbabwe. It pitted the British South Africa Company against the Ndebele (Matabele) Kingdom. Lobengula, king of the Ndebele, had tried to avoid outright war with the company's pioneers because he and his advisors were mindful of the destructive power of European-produced weapons on traditional Matabele impis (units of Zulu warriors) attacking in massed ranks. Lobengula had 80,000 spearmen and 20,000 riflemen, armed with Martini-Henry rifles, which were modern arms at that time. However, poor training meant that these were not used effectively. The British South Africa Company had no more than 750 troops in the British South Africa Company's Police, with an undetermined number of possible colonial volunteers and an additional 700 Tswana (Bechuana) allies. Cecil Rhodes, who was Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and Leander Starr Jameson, the Administrator of Mashonaland also tried to avoid war to prevent loss of confidence in the future of the territory. Matters came to a head when Lobengula approved a raid to forcibly extract tribute from a Mashona chief in the district of the town of Fort Victoria, which inevitably led to a clash with the Company.Franchise and Ballot Act
The Franchise and Ballot Act (1892) was an act of the Cape Colony Parliament, driven by Prime Minister Cecil Rhodes, which raised the property franchise qualification, thus disenfranchising a large proportion of the Cape's non-white voters, and a number of poor white voters.
It was a significant early step in overturning the Cape's liberal and multi-racial constitution.Glenborrodale
Glenborrodale (Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Bhorghdail) is a coastal community on Loch Sunart in the south of the Ardnamurchan peninsula in the Highland area of Scotland.
It gives its name to a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' reserve in the nearby oakwoods.
Glenborrodale Castle was built as a guest house by Charles Rudd, the main business associate of Cecil Rhodes, and was later owned by Jesse Boot, who was the proprietor of the Boots chain of chemist shops.
In May 1746, following the Jacobite rising of 1745 two French supply ships were attacked off Glenborrodale by three ships of the Royal Navy.Jameson Raid
The Jameson Raid (29 December 1895 – 2 January 1896) was a botched raid against the South African Republic (commonly known as the Transvaal) carried out by British colonial statesman Leander Starr Jameson and his Company troops ("police" in the employ of Alfred Beit's and Cecil Rhodes' British South Africa Company) and Bechuanaland policemen over the New Year weekend of 1895–96. Paul Kruger was president of the republic at the time. The raid was intended to trigger an uprising by the primarily British expatriate workers (known as Uitlanders) in the Transvaal but failed to do so. The workers were called the Johannesburg conspirators. They were expected to recruit an army and prepare for an insurrection. The raid was ineffective and no uprising took place, but it was an inciting factor in the Second Boer War and the Second Matabele War.List of companies of Zambia
The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, neighbouring the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, in the south-central part of Zambia. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest, the core economic hubs of the country.
The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper-mining industry. The discovery of copper is owed partly to Frederick Russell Burnham, the famous American scout who worked for Cecil Rhodes.Luau, Moxico Province
Luau is a municipality in Angola in the province of Moxico on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Until independence, the town was called Teixeira de Sousa, having been named after the Portuguese Prime Minister António Teixeira de Sousa. The town once had a population of nearly 90,000 due to its creation as a stopping point on the Benguela railway, however, the town has downsized considerably since independence. It was developed as a railroad town by Sir Robert Williams, who was a friend of Cecil Rhodes.Ohm Krüger
Ohm Krüger (English: Uncle Krüger) is a 1941 German biographical film directed by Hans Steinhoff and starring Emil Jannings, Lucie Höflich and Werner Hinz. It was one of a series of propaganda films produced in Nazi Germany attacking the British. The film depicts the life of the South African politician Paul Kruger and his eventual defeat by the British during the Boer War.
It was the first film to be awarded the 'Film of the Nation' award. It was re-released in 1944.Rhodes (TV series)
Rhodes is an eight part British television drama series about the life of Cecil Rhodes, a 19th century British adventurer, empire-builder and politician. It starred Martin Shaw as Rhodes, and was written by Antony Thomas. Rhodes received its British television debut on 15 September 1996, and concluded on 3 November. It was produced by Scott Meek and Charles Salmon, and directed by David Drury.Rhodes House
Rhodes House is part of the University of Oxford in England. It is located on South Parks Road in central Oxford, and was built in memory of Cecil Rhodes, an alumnus of the university and a major benefactor.Rhodes Memorial
Rhodes Memorial on Devil's Peak in Cape Town, South Africa, is a memorial to English-born, South African politician Cecil John Rhodes (1853–1902). The memorial was designed by the renowned architect, Sir Herbert Baker.Rhodes Must Fall
Rhodes Must Fall (#RhodesMustFall) was a protest movement that began on 9 March 2015, originally directed against a statue at the University of Cape Town (UCT) that commemorates Cecil Rhodes. The campaign for the statue's removal received global attention and led to a wider movement to "decolonise" education across South Africa. On 9 April 2015, following a UCT Council vote the previous night, the statue was removed.
Rhodes Must Fall captured national headlines throughout 2015 and sharply divided public opinion in South Africa. It also inspired the emergence of allied student movements at other universities, both within South Africa and elsewhere in the world.Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford. It was established in 1902, making it the first large-scale programme of international scholarship. The Rhodes Scholarship was founded by English businessman and politician Cecil John Rhodes, to promote unity between English speaking nations and instill a sense of civic-minded leadership and moral fortitude in future leaders irrespective of their chosen career paths. Although initially restricted to male applicants from countries which are today within the Commonwealth, as well as Germany and the United States, today the Scholarship is open to applicants from all backgrounds and from across the globe. Since its creation, controversy has surrounded both its former exclusion of women (thus leading to the establishment of the co-educational Marshall Scholarship), and Rhodes' Anglo-supremacist beliefs and legacy of colonialism.
Prominent recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship include former President of Pakistan Wasim Sajjad, former Australian Prime Ministers Tony Abbott, Bob Hawke and Malcolm Turnbull, and former President of the United States Bill Clinton, former United States National Security Advisor and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, as well as several Nobel laureates. Some people offered this scholarship have not accepted it; as a teenager Professor Sir Alimmudin Zumla declined the scholarship to study Medicine.Rhodes of Africa
Rhodes of Africa is a 1936 British biographical film charting the life of Cecil Rhodes. It was directed by Berthold Viertel and starred Walter Huston, Oskar Homolka, Basil Sydney and Bernard Lee.Rhodesia (region)
Rhodesia is a historical region in southern Africa whose formal boundaries evolved between the 1890s and 1980. Demarcated and named by the British South Africa Company (BSAC), which governed it until the 1920s, it thereafter saw administration by various authorities. It was bisected by a natural border, the Zambezi. The territory to the north of the Zambezi was officially designated Northern Rhodesia by the Company, and has been Zambia since 1964; that to the south, which the Company dubbed Southern Rhodesia, became Zimbabwe in 1980. Northern and Southern Rhodesia were sometimes informally called "the Rhodesias".
The term "Rhodesia" was first used to refer to the region by white settlers in the 1890s who informally named their new home after Cecil Rhodes, the Company's founder and managing director. It was used in newspapers from 1891 and was made official by the Company in 1895.
To confuse matters, Southern Rhodesia, which became a self-governing colony of the United Kingdom in 1923, referred to itself simply as "Rhodesia" from 1964 to 1979, and in 1965 unilaterally declared independence under that name. It thereafter briefly renamed itself "Zimbabwe Rhodesia" in 1979.
The usage of the term Rhodesia to refer to the historical region fell from prominence after Northern Rhodesia became Zambia in 1964. From then until 1980, "Rhodesia" commonly referred to Southern Rhodesia alone. Since 1980 the term has not been in general use, aside from in a historical context.