THE NATAL SOCIETY OFFICE BEARERS 2002 – 2003

President Vice-Presidents Trustees Treasurers Auditors Director Secretary S.N. Roberts T.B. Frost Professor A.M. Kaniki M.J.C. Daly Professor A.M. Kaniki S.N. Roberts KPMG – A.L. Norman Messrs Thornton-Dibb, Van der Leeuw and Partners J.C. Morrison Mrs M. Maxfield/Ms S. Khan

COUNCIL Elected Members S.N. Roberts (Chairman) Professor A. Kaniki (Vice Chairman) M.H. Comrie P. Croeser M.J.C. Daly J.M. Deane M. Francis Mrs M. Msomi Ms N. Naidoo A.L. Norman S.N. Roberts A.L. Singh Ms P.A. Stabbins EDITORIAL COMMITTEE OF NATALIA Editor M.H. Comrie Dr W.H. Bizley J.M. Deane T.B. Frost Mrs S.P.M. Spencer Dr S. Vietzen G.D.A. Whitelaw

Natalia 32 (2002) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

Natalia
Journal of the Natal Society
No. 32 (December 2002)

Published by Natal Society Library P.O. Box 415, Pietermaritzburg 3200, South Africa

SA ISSN 0085-3674

Cover Picture
Portrait of Cetshwayo by Helene Train, winner of the Tatham Art Gallery National Portrait Competition

Page design by M.J. Marwick Printed by Intrepid Printers (Pty) Ltd

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Editorial
Natalia 32 appears at a time when the affairs of the Natal Society are in a state of flux. Negotiations are far advanced for the transfer of the Library from the custodianship of the Society to that of the Umsunduzi Municipality. This will bring the Pietermaritzburg public library into line with similar amenities elsewhere in the country and, given that the funding granted to the Society by the province and the city has become wholly inadequate in recent years, it is perhaps just as well that local government should now take direct responsibility for this service to the community. The Natal Society Trust, however, is independent of the Natal Society Library, and it will continue to fund the publication of Natalia into the future. An immediate concern of those who have known and valued the Natal Society Library will be the fate of the special collections. David Buckley, who retired from the library a year ago, has provided a reassuring note on that subject. This will be found amongst our usual ‘Notes and Queries’. As our reprinted article we have a selection from John William Colenso’s account of his impressions of Natal when he visited the colony to assess the needs of the new Anglican diocese to which he had been appointed as its first bishop. As our previously unpublished piece we have a set of letters written by Frank Colenso, second son of the Bishop, describing some of his experiences when on a visit to his sisters at Bishopstowe in 1900. John Deane provides an introduction to these letters. We have three major articles in this number. With South Africa having hosted the cricket World Cup during the early months of 2003, it is perhaps appropriate that we should publish Christopher Merrett’s appraisal of the career of C.B. Llewellyn, the first black person to play test cricket for this country. In his ‘Tale of a White Elephant’, J.L. McCracken writes of the abortive efforts to provide the colonial governors of Natal with a marine residence. For the third article, we are indebted to John Conyngham, editor of The Natal Witness, for permission to adapt his article on the death of Hilton schoolboy Guy Falcon at the Gordon Falls. Conyngham’s research was prompted by a reference to this incident in Jolyon Nuttall’s memoir of the friendship between his father, Neville Nuttall, and Alan Paton – an extract from which was published in Natalia 31. Amongst the obituaries is that of Ronald Brown, former Librarian at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg and member of the Natal Society Council. His Natal Notes and News was the forerunner of Natalia, and he was a member of our editorial board before his retirement to England. We note with regret the resignation from the editorial board of Gavin Whitelaw, who has found himself under increasing pressure in his work at the Natal Museum. His contributions to the deliberations of the board will be missed, but we can hope that he

v will continue to keep our readers informed about developments in his specialist field. We can anticipate that while the Natal Society Trust will continue to publish Natalia, the changes in the governance of the library will have an impact on the production of the journal in the years ahead. MORAY COMRIE

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Ten Weeks in Natal

Ten Weeks in Natal
Bishop Colenso reconnoitres
On 30 November 1853 John William Colenso, then rector of a country parish in Norfolk, was consecrated first Anglican bishop of Natal. From January to April of the following year he visited Natal to assess the needs of his new diocese, and especially the possibilities of missionary work among the Zulus. He travelled far and wide in the Colony, meeting a wide cross-section of its population, and on his return to England wrote the 271-page Ten Weeks in Natal. It was published by Macmillan & Co. in 1855 and is now something of a collector’s item. It is appropriate that Natalia should devote its Reprint section in this issue to a brief selection from the book, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Natal. Arrival and first impressions Monday 30th January 1854. As the sun rose…the mist and rain cleared away; and when I next mounted the deck the coast was before me, green as an emerald, and the hills so beautifully sloped that I can only compare the scenery with that of Devonshire and Cornwall, except that here in Natal, as in Kafraria (sic), the green heights go down to the very edge of the white beach, which margins the shore all along for miles. What surprised us most was the greenness of everything, in the very midst of the hot season; whereas at the Cape we had left everything burnt up, and brown, and dusty…But this difference, it appears, arises from the fact that, in these eastern parts of South Africa, the summer season is also the rainy season, and therefore perpetual verdure covers the land, except, of course, where the natives burn the grass. About 10 a.m. we reached the Natal Bluff, behind which lay the bay. Upon this stood a light-house and signal-station, to which we made signs for a boat to come off. And then, gliding gently by the Bluff Head, we came in view, gradually, of the outer bay of Durban, with its white line of breakers stretching across the middle, and indicating the presence of the notorious ‘bar’. The entrance to the inner, or real, bay of Durban, is about 300 yards wide at high water, but was so hidden from view as to be scarcely discernible. A boat, however, soon came out, in which I landed, having crossed the bar with a little tossing, but no real danger or difficulty. The distance from Table Bay to Port Natal (or Durban) is about 800 miles; and the whole sea-voyage from England occupied just six weeks, besides half a week spent at Capetown. At noon…I stepped out upon the jetty at Port Natal, a stranger among strangers; but
Natalia 32 (2002), Bishop Colenso pp. 2–9
Natalia 32 (2002) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

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I was very soon relieved from all uncertainty as to my future movements, by the kind attentions of Mr Middleton,1 one of the churchwardens of Durban, who had come down to the Custom House to meet me, with a horse for my use. … A ride of half-an-hour brought us to the town of Durban, of which I can hardly yet form a judgement. I have seen a number of detached pretty-looking cottages, very small; also some shabby-looking huts, which I take to belong to Kafirs, but am not quite sure of this.2 On reaching McDonalds’s Hotel,3 where I decided to remain while in Durban, I very soon received a visit from the Rev. W.H.C. Lloyd,4 Colonial Chaplain, and procured from him a full account of the state of things in this place, as regards the progress of the Church and the educational wants of the inhabitants. I find that there are about 400 houses in Durban, and 1,200 white inhabitants, almost all English, besides a great number of Kafirs employed in service. Opposite to my window, which looked out upon the market-square, stood the unfinished church of St Paul’s,5 the walls of which had risen to the top of the windows, but were there arrested for want of funds. I had hoped to have found this church at least completed, and ready for consecration on my landing; but many unfortunate circumstances had contributed to hinder the progress of the works. Among others, the original contractor had failed,6 and, finding himself in a difficulty, had sold off the 30,000 bricks which he had ready for the finishing of the church. … The town of Durban Thursday 2nd February 1854. I have now seen the town sufficiently to know that it may be described as a large collection of cottages, with a few small villa-like buildings and other houses – interspersed with green foliage, little gardens, and remnants of the old “bush”, and apparently scattered about without any order, but really arranged in streets, or along roads, which cross each other at right angles, and are of considerable width, but are covered a foot deep, as is also the Market Square, with white sand, which in this strong easterly wind is blowing about disagreeably enough.…This quantity of sand, under foot always, and sometimes, as now, in the eyes and mouth, is certainly a drawback to Durban as a place of residence…A greater evil in Durban is the water, which is taken usually from wells that are not sunk deep enough, and, consequently, abounds with decaying vegetable, if not animal, matter, and innumerable animalcules and worms. The effect is by no means favourable to the health of the residents, more especially that of the children, who have no refuge, I suppose, as their parents have, in stronger beverages. Some wells have been sunk deeper, and the water has been found to be brackish. Deeper still, no doubt, it would be pure enough. At present the remedy is to drink rain water, or the water of the Umgeni River, which is brought by carriers a distance of four miles, and is excellent. Indeed, had the Dutch founded the town of Durban, as they did that of Maritzburg, they would long ago have had the Umgeni pouring its beneficent streams through every street, and bringing health and cleanliness to every door…. The Zulu language commission Had an interview with His Honour, the Lieutenant Governor, B.C.C. Pine, Esq.,7 who, with Captain Struben,8 the magistrate of the Klip River Division, and Mrs Struben, rode into Durban this evening from Maritzburg. He has, I find, appointed a commission to prepare a Kafir grammar and vocabulary; and he desires as soon as possible to enforce

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the rule, as in India, that all functionaries of the Government, engaged among the natives, shall pass an examination in the Zulu language. His Honour expressed a wish to place me on the commission, to which, of course, I gladly assented, though I can do nothing in this matter, I fear, until my return from England. The only Zulu grammar as yet published, is that of Mr. Schroeder,9 written in the Danish10 language – the work of an excellent missionary and an able philologist, but not suited for beginners, or for English students generally.… The custom of lobola The Zulu servants are exceedingly thrifty, and careful of their money: they never spend it on themselves, I am told – are never, or very rarely, seen intoxicated. They hoard their four months’ saving, and bury it, until they can buy a cow; and eight or nine cows will buy a common wife. A chief’s daughter’s price will be, perhaps, 150 cows. ‘And yet,’ says Mr Fynn,11 in his evidence before the late Kafir Commission,12 ‘it is a mistake to suppose that this price is paid for the purchase of a wife. That is not the native idea of the transaction. Or, at least, whatever may be the present notion, the original intention was, that it should be a kind of deposit or pledge for the proper treatment of the woman, and an assurance of the husband’s regard paid down to the parent. And, accordingly, the girl feels herself slighted and contemned if not paid for. One ran away from her husband, and left him, as not having been duly married to him, when she found she had not been paid for. “If she was not worth paying for,” she said, “she was not worth having.” ’ A musical evening in Durban This evening I attended the first meeting of the ‘Durban Philharmonic Society’. I could not well spare the time; but, indeed, I was very desirous to assist the movement, and to help forward the young people of this place, in their efforts for rational and social amusements of this kind. I was glad also of an opportunity of showing practically from the first, that I do not consider true religion to consist in a system of restrictions and negations, but in a real spirit of devotion to God’s service and love to our fellow-men. There was a regular programme of two parts, with eight pieces in each – from Handel, Rossini, Beethoven, &c. The music hall was a large store, fitted up ingeniously for the occasion with flags and evergreens. But I was rather amused when, in the middle of the performances, the ladies were requested to step aside for a few minutes, while part of the roof was taken off to cool the room! En route to Maritzburg Monday 6th February 1854.…Shortly after leaving Pinetown, but not till we had ascended a capital new piece of road, through the same beautiful scenery as before, and had taken our last view of the sea from the summit of the hill, the character of the country began to change, and it became very grassy, and gradually more and more clear of trees. The surface of the ground still undulated in large bold slopes; but the aspect of the whole was not that of a soil, so rich and exuberantly fertile, as it had been nearer Durban. I saw, however, quantities of fine-looking clover in the grass, and gathered some very elegant wild flowers. In one place enormous surfaces of granite cropped out, which we had to ride over, as they were level with the road. But ever since leaving Durban, except while passing through the valley of Pinetown, it has been all up and down; and

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I am often reminded of my native Cornish hills, except that here the proportions of the scenery are so much more gigantic. First sight of the capital Tuesday 7th February 1854. [The Bishop had spent the night at a little inn at Stirks Spruit13 (sic).]…At Uys Doorns,14 rather more than five miles from the city, I was met by a large party of gentlemen, who had kindly ridden out to receive and welcome their Bishop. After the reading of an address, to which I briefly replied, we rode on together, our numbers being swelled by additions, including a few ladies and two Kafir chiefs, with their attendants, until we formed a body of some sixty or more equestrians. At last, said one to me, ‘There is Maritzburg!’ and there indeed it was, seeming to be only about half-a-mile off, down in the valley directly before us; but, to my surprise, I was told it was still five miles off. It looked a long white town, sloping gently down from the left to the right of the picture, with the military camp15 posted on a little eminence at the extreme left, and one conspicuous tower rising from the centre, which belongs to the Presbyterian Church, while the bell-turret of the Wesleyan Chapel was also visible, and even that of the Roman Catholic Chapel; but no trace was yet discernible of the little church, or any buildings of the Church of England. … Impressions of Maritzburg As we drew nearer, the town looked exceedingly pretty from the number of trees, with dark green foliage, which rise up in every part of it, and, I am told, are growing rapidly, and adding every year to the picturesque beauty of the place. Certainly, the surrounding scenery, consisting of huge downy hills, in the bosom of which Maritzburg is settled, is very inferior to that about Durban. But the former town, for the size and character of its buildings, and especially as regards cleanliness, from the stream of water which runs on each side through every street, must be considered to have at present many advantages over the latter. Being almost in the very centre of the colony, it is probable that Maritzburg will always continue to be the seat of Government; but notwithstanding this, and though the traffic to and from the Klip River district must pass through it, it appears to be a much quieter place than the busy trading town and port of Durban. … Maritzburg mud Wednesday 8th February 1854. A thoroughly wet day, and the streets of Maritzburg thick with cloggy mud. This mud, I find, is the disagreeable [feature] of this place, as the sand was of Durban. …. Bishopstowe-to-be? Friday 10th February 1854. Rode out with Dr. Stanger,16 the surveyor general, to inspect a site, about 2½ miles out of the city, where I might probably obtain from the Government a grant of land, on which to build an episcopal residence…. Zulu nicknames The Kafirs invariably give some name of their own to any one who is brought into some special relation with them…and those names are often very ingeniously formed, to express some peculiarity in their personal appearance, manners, character or office. Thus

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a tall, slight, English lad received the name of umKonto, or ‘Javelin’; an English lady is very likely to be distinguished by the title of ‘the great white elephant’ – the greatness, however, it may be as well to add, having reference to her dignity, not her dimensions. Miss Barter17 once rejoiced in this appellation; but it has latterly been exchanged by them for one far more appropriate, namely, No-musa, ‘Mother of Mercy’. Discussion on polygamous converts, with Revd Mr Posselt at Emmaus Mission Wednesday 1st March 1854. …. We had a conversation upon the much-vexed and difficult question of the treatment of polygamy among Christian converts from heathenism. The most painful case, Mr. Posselt18 told me, which he had ever had before him, was that of a young man, who had two wives, both of whom he loved, and both loved him. The man wished to be baptized, and so did one of the wives – the other not. As the two converts gave evident signs of their sincerity, he said, he knew not what to do, but at length decided to marry them. ‘The word of God was sharper,’ he thought, ‘than any two-edged sword.’ He ‘could not, with the examples of the holy men of old, enforce separation, as if polygamy were in itself sinful.’ But he ‘set before them the Lord’s will – one husband, one wife – under the order of the Church;’ and then said that ‘though, for the present necessity, their state was permitted, yet it was not sanctioned by Christianity; and he hoped the good Lord would teach them what to do in the matter.’ The two, accordingly, were baptized, and admitted to Holy Communion. But the man’s mind, after his pastor’s words, was uneasy; the congregation complained of his being allowed to have two wives; and the baptized wife threatened to leave him if he did not put the other away. At last he did so; but the poor woman bitterly felt the separation; for ‘she loved him best,’ his mother said, ‘and was the most dutiful daughter to her;’ and she came to the Missionary, with tears in her eyes, to say, ‘You have not only taken my husband from me, but you have taken my child also,’ – which, by law, became the property of the father. I must confess, that I feel very strongly on this point, that the usual practice of enforcing the separation of wives from their husbands, upon their conversion to Christianity, is quite unwarrantable, and opposed to the plain teaching of our Lord. It is putting new wine into old bottles, and placing a stumbling-block, which He has not set, directly in the way of their receiving the Gospel. Suppose a Kafir-man, advanced in years, with three or four wives, as is common among them, – who have been legally married to him according to the practice of their land, (and the Kafir laws are very strict on this point, and Kafir wives perfectly chaste and virtuous,) have lived with him for thirty years or more, and served him faithfully and affectionately…– what right have we to require this man to cast off his wives, and cause them, in the eyes of all their people, to commit adultery, because he becomes a Christian? What is to become of their children? Who is to have the care of them? And what is the use of our reading to them the Bible stories of Abraham, Israel and David, with their many wives? I have hitherto sought in vain for any decisive Church authority on the subject. Meanwhile, it is a matter of instant urgency in our Missions, and must be decided without delay, one way or other. …19 A Zulu’s impressions of London Monday 6th March 1854. …. Mr Shepstone20 gave me an amusing account of the

Ten Weeks in Natal

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manner in which one of the party of Zulus, who were exhibited in London last year, had discoursed to some of his black brethren in Natal about the wonders of England.21 He had been sent back before the rest, on account of his health. …. He spoke of railways. ‘They fastened together twenty great wagons, heavily laden, and then they tied on in front a little strong bull, and then they let him go; and off they went at such a rate, that, if he had been let go by himself, he did not know where he would have got to.’ ‘London was so big that he never saw the end of it. People, and cattle and wagons, were always coming in, but he never saw any going out;’ the fact being, no doubt, that he and his companions were only taken to walk in the Park at the early hour of 10 a.m. when few would be about to see them; and thus he had drawn a very proper inference from the fact, that he always saw at that hour the stream of life pouring in to London. ‘They had got a bridge over the great river, and had got boats to cross it; but they were not content with that – they must have a hole to go under it (the Thames Tunnel).’…He saw Her Majesty the Queen. ‘When she was in a room, she was very much like any other umFazi; but when she came out among her people, then he saw that she was Queen of them all; for they took off their hats to her, and, when there was no room for him or anybody else, they made plenty of room for her.’ ‘There was something very wonderful up pezulu – high in the clouds. It was continually going, going, going, making a sound. He supposed it must be the amaTongo – spirits of the dead.’ Mr. S.22 imagines that he must have meant bells. Certainly he could never have heard a peal of bells in Natal, and I fear it must be long before we can hope to have the sweet home-music there. … The concluding words Monday 10th April 1854. At noon I received an affectionate farewell address from a large party of the townspeople; and then, after taking refreshment, provided by the kindness of His Honour the Lieutenant Governor, I rode down, accompanied by himself and Mr Shepstone, and about forty friends on horseback, to the Point, from which a boat took me to the steamer23 – just at the very same hour, and on the same day of the week, as that on which I had landed from the Calcutta, – having spent, in the interval, through God’s Grace, a not inactive, and, I would hope, not unprofitable, TEN WEEKS IN NATAL
NOTES 1. William Henry Middleton (1825–1911), a Durban merchant, was on the building committee for St Paul’s. At about this time he went farming at Snaresbrook in the present Northdene area, growing coffee, arrowroot, tobacco, groundnuts, and later sugar. Like many others, he was a casualty of the economic difficulties in the mid-1860s, and had to sell Snaresbrook. A couple of years as the station-master at Umgeni, Durban followed, then in 1871 he moved to the Orange Free State. Here he recouped his finances enough to retire in 1880. 2. Colenso was right to be dubious. Newly-arrived immigrants often engaged Africans to erect traditional huts to serve as temporary abodes for themselves. 3. i.e. the Commercial Hotel in Smith Street, then run by Ann, the widow of Hugh McDonald (c.1797– 1853). McDonald had been captain of the coasting vessel Pilot before taking over the hotel in 1846. In 1857 the name was changed to the Masonic (it was the Freemasons’ meeting place), and in 1860, after Prince Alfred had stayed there, it became the Royal, a name it still retains. The property remained in the McDonald family until September 1878. 4. William Henry Cynric Lloyd (1802–1881), AM (Oxon.). Durban’s Anglican minister from 1849 to 1878. Archdeacon of Durban from July 1869. During the dissensions in the Natal Church, Lloyd initially opposed Colenso, but when the latter was confirmed in his see by the judicial committee of the Privy

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Council, Lloyd gave him his allegiance. 5. St Paul’s, in an unfinished state, was used for the first time for Divine Service in April 1855. 6. William Parker Downs (c.1814–1878) received the contract in early March 1853, the foundation stone being laid on 17 March. By October there were problems with the supply of bricks. R.S. Upton was the architect. 7. Benjamin Chilley Campbell Pine (1809–1881), MA (1840), barrister, Grey’s Inn (1841). After a short stint as Acting-Governor, Sierra Leone, became Lt.-Governor of Natal 1850–1855. Knighted 1856. After gubernatorial posts in the Gold Coast, St Christopher, and the Leeward Islands had a second term in Natal, July 1873 to April 1875. He was recalled because of the Natal government’s harsh reaction to the Langalibalele ‘Rebellion’. Retired 1875. 8. Johannes Hermanus Marinus Struben (1806–1869), a retired ship’s captain, and naturalised British citizen. Appointed to Klip River Division magistracy in August 1850, and retained the post until February 1856 when he absconded to the Transvaal pending an enquiry into the 1854 theft in Ladysmith of public monies. He was chosen for his strong personality and his Dutch background, which it was considered would endear him to the Boers who, among the whites, were in the majority in this division. 9. Revd Hans Paludan Smith Schreuder (1817–1882). First arrived in Natal in c.1843/44, and in 1846 joined the Norwegian Missionary Society. In 1847, after unsuccessfully seeking permission from King Mpande to work in Zululand, he went to China. Here again he was rejected, so returned to Natal in Dec. 1848. In 1850, after healing Mpande of an ailment, he received the opening he needed, establishing the Empangeni mission station in 1851. Five others followed He was appointed bishop in 1866. 10. Danish [sic i.e. Norwegian]. This was grammatik for Zulu-sproget, published in 1850. 11. Henry Francis Fynn (1803–1861) One of the original 1824 Cape hunter/traders. He had good relations with King Shaka, but by 1834 found conditions under King Dingane no longer commercially viable so returned to the Cape. There he held various posts in connection with African administration, the last being British Resident with Chief Faku in Pondoland. This ended in early in 1852, and from there he returned to Natal. He entered the Natal magisterial service, his final posting being in the Lower Umkomanzi Division of Durban County (May 1855). 12. Commission appointed to enquire into the past and present state of the Kafirs in the District of Natal, and to report upon their future government, and to suggest such arrangements as will tend to secure the peace and welfare of the District. (1852). 13. Sterk Spruit is the river on the Pietermaritzburg side of Key Ridge on the Pietermaritzburg/Durban road. At this time the accommodation house was run by William Tate. 14. At Uys Doorns was the first accommodation house outside Pietermaritzburg en route to Durban. It was in the Ashburton area, near present Lynnfield Park. Mine host at that time was Charles Boulton. 15. i.e. Fort Napier. 16. William Stanger (1811–1854) MD (Edinburgh), FRGS – arrived in Natal in March 1845 as SurveyorGeneral, having previously been Surveyor to the Central Board of Roads in the Cape Colony. An amateur geologist and botanist. Died a month after this meeting with Colenso of ‘inflammation of the lungs’. Durban’s Stanger Street and the town of Stanger (now Kwa Dukuza) were named after him, while the Inchanga Cutting on the Pietermaritzburg/Durban road was known to contemporaries as Stanger’s Pass. 17. Catherine Barter (c.1818–1895) came to Natal in 1852 with her brother Charles, to keep house for him and to fulfil her desire to evangelise ‘the heathen’. Charles’s marriage in 1856 left her free to concentrate more fully on missionary work. Wrote Alone among the Zulus (1866) and Home in South Africa (1867), both under the pseudonym ‘A plain woman’. 18. Carl Wilhelm Posselt (1815–1885) of the Berlin Missionary Society. In 1847, together with Revd W. Guldenpfennig, established the Emmaus mission station west of today’s Winterton. In July 1848 moved to what became New Germany to minister to the newly-arrived German settlers brought out to grow cotton by the company of Jonas Bergtheil. After cotton failed, and a number of the emigrants left New Germany, he returned, with his black congregation, to Emmaus in September 1852. In May 1854, some of the Germans having gone back to New Germany, and a petition having been sent to the management committee of the Berlin Missionary Society, Posselt finally returned to New Germany, where he ministered to both the Germans and his African congregation at nearby Christianenburg (the nucleus of today’s Clermont). 19. Colenso’s final stand allowed baptized polygamists to keep all their wives, but to refrain from taking further wives. 20. Theophilus Shepstone (1817–1893) CMG (1871), KCMG (1876), started his official career in the Cape Colony in 1834 as an interpreter, and after several posts, all in African administration, came to Natal

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in 1846 as Diplomatic Agent to the Native Tribes. When Natal was separated from the Cape in 1856 and representative government was introduced, the post was redesignated Secretary for Native Affairs, and carried with it a seat on the Executive Council, as well as an ex officio position in the Legislative Council. During Colenso’s visit he accompanied him on a two-week journey to the northern regions of the Colony, and from this grew a firm friendship which lasted 20 years. It came to a dramatic close when Colenso realized that he and Shepstone were poles apart in their attitudes to the treatment being meted out to the amaHlubi and amaNgwe tribes after the Langalibalele ‘Rebellion’. In 1876 Shepstone resigned, and in April 1877 annexed the Transvaal to Britain. He retired as Transvaal Administrator in 1880. Thereafter he could be described as L’Eminence grise behind Natal’s African administration in both Natal and Zululand. 21. These Zulus, 12 in number, left Natal in December 1852 in the care of Alphonzo Torkington Caldecott (1803–1862), with his son Charles as interpreter. The aim was to make ‘the people of England better acquainted with the native character of Natal’. In London they were exhibited at St George’s Gallery, Hyde Park Corner, and in June 1853 were visited by Queen Victoria and family. The Caldecotts were permitted to take the Africans on condition that Caldecott stood £500 surety for their good treatment, and that he find two others to stand surety as well, each for £250. 22. Shepstone. 23. The Natal, which sailed that same day.

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Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900

Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900
Francis Ernest Colenso BA, LLD (Cantab.) (1852–1910) was the second son of Bishop J.W. Colenso. He was a barrister of the Supreme Court in Natal, but in 1879 went to live in England, where he worked as an actuary associated with Norwich Union, with which he had family connections. (His maternal great-grandfather Bignold had been one of its founders in 1797, and his maternal grandfather Bunyon head of its London office.) He did all he could to assist and support his sisters Harriette and Agnes in their fight for justice, both for the Zulu Kingdom and for themselves as they resisted being dispossessed of the Bishopstowe property. (They eventually lost it after the passing of the Church Properties Act of 1910.) In 1900 Frank visited his sisters at Bishopstowe after a long absence. His wife Sophie (née Frankland) did not accompany him, and these letters to her describe some of his experiences and impressions during his weeks in South Africa. In order to have the material on disk, this transcription has been copied from one made by Mrs Diane Scogings in 1994, with this introduction and a few bracketed notes added. The pages of the originals are indicated {1} {2} etc. The letters are held by the Rhodes House Library, Oxford, as Frank Colenso to his wife Sophie: Colenso Papers, Box II, Vol 1285(2), items 751–772(b). Photocopies are held in the Natal Diocesan Archives, Pietermaritzburg, and were obtained in 1994 through the good offices of Dr Brenda Nicholls of the Dept of History, Rhodes University, Grahamstown and Dr Charles Swaisland of the Rhodes House Library. John Deane Chairman:Colenso Homestead Restoration Project March 2002 {1} East London 10th April 1900 Our ship’s letter bag missed the mail train at Port Elizabeth yesterday, this having been dispatched to Capetown at 5 a.m. . You are likely, too, my beloved wife, to get nothing between the transhipped letter which ought to be reaching you in a couple of days now,
Natalia 32 (2002), Francis Ernest Colenso pp. 10–18
Natalia 32 (2002) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900

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and the letter that I left behind me in Capetown. For it appears now that of the 600 bags on board the Mexican only 100 were saved, and, I understand no Capetown bags. This last seems curious, but I have in any case increased your chance of hearing something of me {2} by carrying your letter, with Sylvia’s out to Wynberg, and posting it there, after posting the cards etc. in Capetown. So much on the question of mails, which seems an inevitable subject when one is in the colonies. We spent a tiresome day at Port Elizabeth yesterday. I did not go ashore, but sat reading and trying to sleep when I was not walking. The noise of the windlasses was, however, very disturbing. It seems that one escapes all this dawdling along the coast if one travels by the direct line of steamers, which only take a couple of days long over the whole voyage, are more gemutlich and some £10 per head cheaper. The cabin accommodation is also more roomy, and {3} general arrangements, according to a gentleman on board, more satisfactory if one is travelling with children. At P.E. came on board a Pietermaritzburger and wife, very pleasant people in their way whom I shall be able to do a service by getting particulars for them from Balliol respecting the question of their son’s entering there. They are very pleased about this. He is a Congregationalist, and expressed great sympathy with the Ch. of E. position. ‘Miss Colenso is fighting a wonderful battle,’ he said. ‘She has just won her action at Durban against Bishop Baynes.’ Bravo H.E.C. Loram, I think is his name. He has given me all sorts of information about people. {4} His wife seems a kindly old lady and no points of difference have manifested themselves between us, as I have kept off the origins of the war. Mr L. has shown me high consideration, no doubt in acknowledgement for my letter to Evelyn Abbitt, by offering me a ride out to Bishopstowe on a thoroughbred mare of his, ‘a very gentle creature’. Bishopstowe 12th April 1900 I cannot go to rest tonight, most beloved wife, without writing something to you about the wonderful position in which I find myself. It is nearly 10p.m.. We have just had prayers, a transcendentally beautiful evening after a splendid thunderstorm – one to suit you, sky alight for several hours with lovely flashes, none {5} dangerously near, and abundance of rain after several days of very dry heat. But how can I describe the scene that meets my eye as I look out of the french windows of these rooms across the dear old verandah, and see the same old trees and mountain, illuminated by a heavenly moon, which shines through fleecy clouds out of a firmament that really seems vaster than that of the old country. The calm beauty of my surroundings all under this light just as they used to be, the sounds and scents of the night, the note of a Zavolu (whippoor-Will in Zulu ‘Zavolu sengela {6} abantubami = Z milk for my children’) coming up from the valley, the breeze soughing in the old trees as of yore, grillidae gently chirping – it seems all a dream, and I wake from it to long for your presence, and wish, oh how intensely, that I had brought you with me, and I am touched to tears to think of your being at home full of thoughts of my being now here. But I must continue this with particulars tomorrow. Goodnight, my beloved. 13th April I must now give you ‘hair small’ particulars, darling, of my experience since {7} I was disturbed in my writing on board the D[unottar] by the news that we should be in the

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Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900

outer Bay of Natal in less than an hour. The exertion of putting final touches to my luggage was, in the heat of the cabin, a matter of diaphoresis. The Bluff came in sight with the old face on it but on the right the Berea seemed to have erupted with a disease of white houses. There is plenty of bush however and in this there are still animals and birds, including many monkeys. We waited a weary time before a tug came off for ourselves and luggage. The sea was like glass, bar nil [This probably refers to the notorious sand bar at Durban harbour mouth] so that {8}no basket work was needed but we stepped upon a gangway. I was glad Agnes had not come out, but there she was on the pier looking exactly the Agnes of years ago. With her was a Table Mountain young man who saw salt water for the first time, and whom Agnes had just taken over a hospital ship. [The Second Anglo–Boer War was being fought in South Africa, but Frank Colenso makes virtually no reference to it.] The custom house business was fearful. Heat, just waiting for luggage to turn up etc. In interval we had tea nearby, good. Bottle of lemonade for Ngitshwa. In time we took a tram for Durban. The Point is now a busy place indeed and so is the town. Very picturesque and particularly good looking Zulus all about in rickshaws. {9} In Durban my first visit was to D. Currie’s office to arrange about cabin on Kinfarn’s for 14 May only 2 single berth ones on board, of which one, No.3, assigned to me up on promenade deck as on Dunottar; said by the clerk to be first rate one. Called at Royal Hotel and saw Sir Michael Gallwey. Hardly changed at all. Reminded him that he had broken his promise – he had agreed we should swap photographs. After this to Railway Station to look out for luggage which turned up close on 6 o’clock in nick of time. Agnes saw Ngitshwa carefully into 2nd class carriage. The first which they chose {10} had white boy, wife and children in it who deprecated a black boy’s entry. Agnes said ‘He has got his 2nd class ticket.’ ‘Oh has he,’ said the guard, ‘then he can sit here,’ and gave him a more comfortable seat with another native in an empty 2nd. Harrie interposes to say that there is not as yet anything like the separation of colour that exists in America. But there is an entrance for Natives at Durban where also there is a separate ticket office. At P.M.B. the tickets are bought at one office. Agnes approves of the separation as much safer and nicer for the black folk, {11} white ones being so often dirty and dishonest, since at least Johannesburg days. The journey up in the train, which was extremely well appointed though slow, was most exciting to me. Twilight was too short to admit of distant views, but there was a moon, and the mountain sides looked as of old, the cicadas shrilling from every bush as we passed. There was also distant lightning and thunder, but they passed off. At Inchanga station we had 20 mins refreshments – soup, fish and lamb apollinaris. We reached P.M.Burg at 10, Harrie being on the platform well and cheerful, {12} looking not one hour older than when she left us. [Frank had last seen Harriette three years previously when she visited England from April 1895 to December 1897.] Our omnibus took us to the Imperial Hotel, (Mrs Thrash) where I was made extremely comfortable [by] the usual crowd of turbaned coolies with nice looking ‘Zulu boys’. Slept fairly well but disturbed by late train arrivals and early boot droppings. Table Mountain not visible. P.M.Burg not very different – no trams or other vehicles than the rickshaws with the familiar old ox wagons. Sluits now all running through pipes. Otherwise the old streets and houses. Dust smells with old perfume. No fresh public buildings {13} worth mentioning but suburbs spread rather. After breakfast in huge room with a few khakis and haughty cigar smoking products of civilisation (fish, toast, marmalade, oatmeal porridge and good tea) joined

Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900

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by Harrie who accompanied me through town to call on (1) Hathorn her advocate, whose late wife and her sister were our guests at Norwich, (2) H.C. Campbell, late a magistrate, now one of the Reformed Native High Court judges, and (3) last but not least my Father’s old dean, Green. Him I found, like Campbell,{14} in a pretty little residence and as he came into the room evidently gratified at my and H’s call, I was astonished to find him so perky instead of the pathetic old man whom I wished to call on. After a pleasant chat he said ‘Was Bishop Baynes (sic) on the Dunottar?’ As we parted the old fellow, who looked, I must say, extremely foxy, wanted to know where I was staying and hearing Bishopstowe, expressed a hope we should meet again before I left. All this sojourn in Pietermaritzburg was pending the arrival of an ox wagon, which after selling a load of forage, would {15} take out my baggage, and the appearance of a boy with two Bishopstowe horses. On these H. and A. were to ride out, I accompanying them on a third horse which they have bought for my use, alleging that they felt the need of such an animal for the use of their native escort hereafter. While Agnes gave instructions to the native driver at the hotel H. took me to Miss Giles’s shanty. It is really a most comfortable dwelling. H. and A. rent two rooms. One a ‘sack’ room where A. sleeps when in town. There is quite a considerable garden separating the house from the street, and as much behind, with a stable, all rather ram-shackly {16}of course, natives and coolies coming through back garden with offers of various articles for sale, 2 cats, one with amber eyes. Miss Giles much as before, a little stouter [illegible word]. Received me very kindly and gave us scratch lunch with excellent soup. Then went up street with H. to fruit shop. Bought 2 dozen oranges and 1 dozen limes for 1/6 [one shilling and sixpence]. Oranges very refreshing, a tip top flavour though still green in colour. Shall desist from bananas at present. Little wagon with 8 touching little oxen came up; all my belongings on board. We the mounted. Horse a strong but not very tall beast. Seem to have sat it y’day, no difficulty at all. We walked horses through deep dust of outskirts and over stream which crosses entrance to town. Then {17} we set off at a canter, my horse’s paces proving excellent. It cost £20, and was one of three belonging to an officer who needed only 2. It is particularly well behaved, a strong test being that Agnes’ beast, which was a present to her, shied right across the street at a barrow, mine being alongside and hardly stirring in sympathy. It trots free and sure footedly, you may feel very comfortable about it. I shall only use it for home drawn locomotion. Well my emotion was great when Table Mountain, beautiful as ever, came in sight. Once out of town everything looks the same. We cross the flats which extend to the marsh at the bottom of the ‘long hill’. As we ride up that we are overtaken by the son of the Dutchman {18} Maartin (sic) who lives between Bishopstowe and Table Mountain, and who has been very neighbourly to H. and A. He is, or was, a suspect. [This possibly means he was a suspected Boer sympathiser.] Then comes the full view of Table mountain and of Bishopstowe. Of the latter nothing but trees is visible. Down the hill we go to the Willow Bridge. Although the summer heat and foliage are also still with us, the veldt flowers are no longer numerous, nor is the bed of the stream decorated with Natal lilies and arums. But the green trees are in fine case, and many flowers are shining at Bishopstowe, in particular the lovely blue convolvulus. How can I describe my emotions on riding up to the dear old grounds so little and yet so much changed. As I sit on the front verandah, it is quite {19} easy, if I ignore the ruined walls to my right, and do not too closely regard the rebuilt portion of the premises on my left, to imagine myself at the

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Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900

old Bishopstowe. I am astonished at what my dear sisters have done. They have expended £700 to £800, and put up on the foundations of the north half of the ruins, a neat zinc roofed dwelling which reproduces not a few of the features of the old habitation. If you look at the photograph of the front, the restored portion is on your right – and extends up to and including the middle hall. This is, however, rebuilt as a very charming room in which I am now located. French windows onto the verandah, neat wooden ceiling, walls distempered grey. Length of {20} room from window backwards a little over 9 of my strides length in width, i.e. 18ft–12ft. Height 11ft3. The length of the front verandah is exactly 50 of my strides, i.e. 101ft 4. Next my room is the drawing room (Mother’s bedroom of yore). Next H.’s study (the ‘old’ drawing room of yore) Then the ‘old’ hall reproduced. Then H.’s bedroom in which A. also now sleeps, exactly reproduced even to the inset bookshelves which were delight when I had measles and read ‘Bell on the hand’ the identical volume of which was among the few books saved from the fire and is in the shelves here together with several other relics, including the ancient dining room piano, {21}the mechanism of which is a dead fixture all blocked together and decayed, except one octave in the extreme treble which curiously enough can be played. The North wing is also nearly all rebuilt, but the rooms are somewhat unfinished. The height of all the walls must be nearly that of the old house, but the zinc roof is not highpitched. All the rest of the rooms are left untouched except that the end of the South wing has been rebuilt. This used to be the dining room, and has been reproduced so as to form a fine large room used as a chapel and school room. From the {22} zinc roof is collected a splendid supply of rain water in tanks. These are carefully guarded and cleaned and nothing could be more delicious than their contents. These suffice for all purposes, and I am revelling in my morning tubs – so cold and pure. The grounds are still very much run to wilderness, but some of the most conspicuous trees are old friends and the general appearance of things is as of old. In the early morning the duiker antelopes appear in the garden. The shrubbery trees are vocal with doves and I hope to record their cooings, but there are several varieties, on {23} the phonograph. I have seen no disagreeable insects yet, and only one snake, a smallish and probably not poisonous variety. I believe I shall be able to report bang sleeps next week. The nights are peace itself. Thursday and yesterday were spanking hot, and I have been doing dolce far after the grind of getting away from Durban etc. We all attended the sermon and a great part of the service, including 3 hymns, in the chapel yesterday. Sotenjwa officiated and there were over 80 present, women and children on the one side and men on the other. It was almost too {24} affecting. The last hymn, with which of late they have always wound up, was the National Anthem. H. has explained to the natives that the ‘enemies’ whose ‘knavish tricks’ we ask to be ‘confounded’ are those who give bad advice to the Queen. [Frank was not quite accurate in his reference. The verse in question says ‘Confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks’.] After the service the congregation left their seats to speak with me. I explained my visit and circumstances, and was asked why, now they had got me, I need return. The photographs of my sweet wife and children were handed round, duly protected against the thumbs by pieces of paper. {25} 3 or 4 old friends – not much older, I told them – came round afterwards to shake and kiss my hand. In my bedroom I find a lady’s bicycle. What do you think? Agnes has had it out to try and learn it, imagining that I might be bicycling! Very much relieved is she to discover that I have not the slightest wish to mix up such incongruous things as Natal

Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900

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and bicycles. Y’day evening H. and I walked Tina to the waterfalls. It was a perfect evening with a nearly full moon. Nothing has changed except that a certain {26} black ants nest has gone. The tree which bore it is covered with hanging birds’ nests which I will photograph. I see that when I bring you all out, Darling, Bishopstowe will be more itself, and the wild scenes as of yore. H. and A. had intended that you 4 and one of them should sleep in the school room. They are hardly ready yet, however, for so many, and on the whole I am confirmed in my view that it would not have done to bring you all out this time. But I recognise more clearly than ever that my mind cannot {27} rest until you have participated with me in my experiences here. My precious Wife, today 4 weeks since we parted. 1/3 of our separation gone. How touching it was of you to telegraph all on my account because you imagined that I might worry at hearing nothing, and that it would start me off satisfactorily to know all was well. I fear my first Capetown mail all went down. There are no illustrated post cards here I am told! Another spanking day but no signs of more {28} lightning. As I am nervous about the messenger not starting off early, I must close this now, dearest. Fond kisses for you and my darlings. There are two cats here and a hawk. We met some native women and two absolutely naked little boys some 6 or 7 years old in the long grass near the waterfalls. They said they were not frightened of snakes. Ever my own Wife’s tender and loving Husband. You must not expect all details by this mail. {29} Bishopstowe Wednesday 18.4.00 My own most precious Wife I ought to have been making daily jottings for your better information [in] the shape of a diary, and hope to continue this in that form. The event since I posted my letter on Saturday has been the arrival of your dear 16 page letter which was brought out to me the last thing on Monday night. How precious are your words of love to me my darling, and how I long for the moment when I can embrace you again, and take you off for your visit to Germany. Remember, I rely upon your getting your lists of things all together, so that we may go off at once. It {30} will be much more important that your time alone with me should not be curtailed than that I should have an extra evening with the bairns on my return. The fortnight abroad will go quickly enough, as these days of distant separation are going. I despair of bringing you back any adequate representation of the mountains and hills which surround me. My photographs will I am certain, flatten down all the foregrounds. We are here perched on a hill and yet have a horizon of loftier hills. I am more than ever struck with the imposing aspect of these and I have been viewing them under imposing conditions of the sky. My ambition is to take views comprising the whole {31} of the Bishopstowe horizon, but there are several difficulties, one being that the trees very much [several words illegible] horizon, especially in front and to the North. I have done little, if anything, so far, in the way of landscapes, save feast my eyes upon scenes that I want to ‘take’. On Saturday towards sundown H., A. and I walked down South through the farm buildings, now deserted and dilapidated indeed, yet once the residence of my dear Mother, on to the Umzinduzi River. Twilight vanished rapidly, but we had a grand moon. In all directions the veld is covered with thistle and often very high grass. Our first stage runs down about a mile of this when we reached {32} a stone cottage which used to be occupied by the women of Langa’s

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Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900

[i.e. Langalibalele’s] tribe, and is now the residence of a lady who was one of those looked up by Agnes on the occasion of Miss Fin’s arrival as being likely to remember her. This lady, Meli by name, arrived at Bishopstowe to greet Miss F. carrying a live fowl which Agnes supposed was for sale. On Meli’s being introduced, however, she promptly placed the fowl in Miss F’s arms, saying ‘Take it, it is yours.’ Imagine the old lady’s embarrassment. ‘You know I hate live fowls’ she said to me, i.e. as armfuls. ¼ of a mile back of this cottage is the little old Bishopstowe cemetery. The plantations which lie {33} between the cottage and ‘other farm’ used to comprise a fine orchard. All is now surging in the direction of savagery, except that some fine oaks are being preserved with other trees. Eric’s wild fig tree up against the house has developed well. [This tree was probably planted about 1880, about the time when Bishop Colenso’s first grandchild Eric – Robert’s son – was born in Durban. It is still there in 2002.] The mile or half between the farms and the Umzinduzi is much as it used to be, only more dense with long grass. The character of the hillsides is attributed to the lack of cattle to keep the grass down. There will certainly be famous fires this winter, and unless there is careful burning in between there will be miles {34} of mighty conflagration. Rob will know what I mean when I say that the uqubuli will constitute a veritable powder in a magazine. [iqubula (amaqubula) = grass that hasn’t been burned for a year.] H. is quite alive to this and will take early precautions, but they had rather a scare last year. There are good mealie gardens however to protect them on the North, and in front a comparatively recent burn has given them a great expanse of green grass. At present all things are still green though seeds innumerable and the long grass show the progress of the Autumn. In addition to the thunderstorms which I {35} mentioned we have had some beautiful distant storms on several evenings, and on Tuesday night much ‘summer lightnings’ was succeeded by a deluge of rain that has thoroughly soaked the country and filled up the tanks. To resume – we picked up Magema our whilom printer on the way to the river. He is little changed in appearance. The Umzinduzi soon lay before us at the foot of the steep hill on which we stood. The old rocks with Vanderplank’s Island before us and the rock rabbit kloof on our left, were unchanged in appearance. It was {36} almost uncanny to be back by moonlight among the old scents and sounds. I must spend a day snap shotting down here. Here are 2 of the first fruits of Mr Kodak. These are not of course ‘snaps’, as the illumination was that of an interior. The square mouthed Rhino, commonly called the white rhinoceros (though not less black than the other) a now nearly extinct variety, will amuse the children. [If this was an ‘interior scene’ and the subject was a white rhino, did Frank Colenso possibly take the picture in the museum in Pietermaritzburg? The Natal Museum building in Loop St was not begun until 1902, but in 1900 there was already a large collection of natural history exhibits, which could well have included a rhino, displayed in a museum hall attached to the Natal Society Library.] Its body is gigantic. I shall try to put in two ‘snaps’ as well, one of the little spring on the arid mountain side where I got my drink on the day of the excursion up Table Mountain, and the other {37} a view that I took from under the precipice of the mist which was trying to roll over a depression at the end of the mountain so as to lay its cloth. The mountain was too hot, however, and the mist could get no further that day. On Sunday the morning service was held under ‘the oaks’, and it was a touching sight to see the procession which carried forms, harmonium etc. from the chapel. We had no sermon upon this occasion, but after the morning service a good many of the adults

Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900

17

stayed to the Holy Communion, Harrie administering the {38} bread and wine with the assistance of Sotenjwa. The latter is an Uncle Tom looking old catechist not ‘in orders’, and it was most touching to receive the cup from him to the dear old Zulu words, which being a novice at this part of the service he was a little nervous over. After the service the bell was rung in order that all might again assemble to enable me to photograph the ibandhla or congregation so that friends in England might see them. Here are the results which are decidedly bad photography because I left out that wretched yellow screen, and over exposed. However, they are intelligible, especially if you use a hand glass for their inspection. {39} At the end of the verandah climbs a large convolvulus which is simply glorious. I have taken 2 photographs of this end of the verandah. After developing the more successful of the 2 I found that the plate, as has happened before with Ilfords, was cracked. However, I have hopes of the second one. On Sunday after a broiling day, had evening ramble alone down the waterfalls valley and took several snaps. I tried in vain at night to get a good lightning flash on my Kodak. Monday afternoon A. and I rode with H. half the way to P.M.B. H. went on to Miss Giles where she is likely to be until Saturday as she is taken up with a disputed {40} succession case in the Native High Court! She certainly occupies a unique position here, and having the [words illegible] like some of his Episcopal functions it must be a terrible grind for her to attend to these ‘cases’. I found it bad enough even with the prospect of fees. Various natives call here to see H. and also in some cases to pay their respects to me. A nice catechist who rode out from P.M.B. to see me has been kodaked. He was very touching, said it was like seeing a piece of Sobantu to see his children. He is one of H’s most {41} staunch adherents and has a low opinion of Baynes, who is apparently no favourite of anyone’s. There is something very pathetic in the work of this Mission Station. There is no make belief about it; no outside help, no loaves and fishes. The people with H. and A. to guide them, depend on themselves. I have kodaked the school with Miss Fin and Sotenjwa in charge thereof. H. and A’s position here is that of ‘missionaries in charge’. They claim to be carrying out the purposes for which the Ekukhanyeni lands were granted, and {42} have a position here which is all the stronger for not being defined. The land is legally vested in the Curators. A year ago these gentlemen after disclaiming any responsibility in respect of the monies expended by H. and A. in rebuilding, moved the Supreme Court to restrain them from putting up a wire fence round the grounds and plantation, etc. The Court, while saying nothing one way or the other about the Miss Colensos’ tenure of the mission station, refused the interdict with costs. {43} This has impressed the natives, of course. It is not at all likely, H. thinks, that the Curators would take a step so unpopular as that which would be involved in proceeding for ejectment, especially as they did not actually forbid the rebuilding, and would have to provide for the continuation of missionary work here on C of E principles, so that things seem likely to go on in their present grooves, the position of the C of E party in the Colony being now weaker but probably stronger than it was. Friday evening. {44} Agnes is sending in [the] cart tomorrow morning with the mail so that I cannot write much more. A. and I rode in pretty early on Tuesday. I paid calls to various old acquaintances amongst officials and had lunch at the Club with the Surveyor General who seems to be very sympathetic about native matters. We finished up with a call on Mme Daumas, mother of my old flame, who was out walking. The old lady and her son, a doctor, who gives his services to Agnes and natives gratis, are charming, probably

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Some letters of Frank Colenso from Bishopstowe in 1900

the most refined people in {45} P.M.B. I am glad to get back to these hills again. All here is so pure and lovely. The first necessities of life, air and water are simply perfection. The rain water from the tanks will more than suffice while I am here, but there is a spring down the hill side. We have been having superb weather with quite a summerlike display of electricity, though none near enough to alarm. Last night Table Mountain was for several hours illuminated by glorious lightning, storms having skirted us to north and south {46} and joined behind the mountain. We had however about sundown a few good claps which brought me back from the waterfalls and were followed by torrential rains, so that in spite of a spanking hot day today all is still, soft and moist below. I have never seen a more glorious spectacle than the firmament over us tonight. It is simply thickly studded with blazing stars. The distance vibrates with grillidae, while mysterious voices of the night come up from the garden. We had a very successful trial of the phonograph this afternoon, {47} but it will not, I fear, lend itself to reproducing our bush sounds. I believe I am now getting back my old nights – slowly but surely. Nothing could be more comfortable than my quarters. I have said nothing directly on the subject, but you know how every requirement of mine is anticipated by my dear sisters. Agnes has just rigged me up a muslin apparatus to be put in use in the early morning when the attentions of the common house fly become annoying. I have heard no mosquito at present. Speaking generally I {48} feel that this experience must pay well. It has been, and is, hot certainly, but I have not exerted myself and the air up here is delicious. I had meant to write my Sylvia a letter to make up for the one that reposes at the bottom of the sea off Capetown, but I am too late and must do it next week. I cannot moreover manage more prints, as I want to keep some of my [word illegible] for Nomsimekwane (?) [The word is not entirely legible, but this is the most likely reading. It is the name of a well-known pool in the river nearby.] I may send you all my gelatines to date next week. Old Miss Rhodes is all right! The children’s letters were a great pleasure to me. I fear they were disappointed about Loch! I could find no German

Sport and Race in Colonial Natal

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Sport and Race in Colonial Natal
C.B. Llewellyn, South Africa’s First Black Test Cricketer
As the nineteenth century drew to a close in Natal, a combination of factors led to an intensification of racist attitudes which manifested themselves in all aspects of life including sport and recreation. Cricket, the imperial sport par excellence, carried with it immense moral metaphor and political symbolism deemed to supply the character necessary to rule large populations of subject peoples.1 Attitudes implicit in cricket engendered a superior sense of group cohesion and feelings of great self-assurance.2 Cricket and Empire were conflated in the popular imagination: ‘The empire, like cricket, was hard to explain to outsiders, but like cricket it was a game that the British played’.3 Its nobility, sense of fair play and generosity provided, it was popularly thought, a set of symbols for belief and action that created a system in which every white man would get his chance.4 Cricket as the British national game provided the ‘cultural bond of white imperial fraternity’5 and promoted ethnic unity, self confidence and ascendancy while encouraging social distance. Sport differentiated the British from everyone else and encouraged overblown sentiments such as that expressed by ‘Cypher’ at the outbreak of the Great War: ‘with such traditions as Natal now possesses nothing less than a German occupation of the Province will kill the spirit of cricket which prevails’.6 There was but a short step from this set of values to open racism and a sense of otherness. The mystique associated with cricket in particular provided psychological comfort in settler societies where the authority of the white minority was always fragile. The C.B. Llewellyn myth included not just ability but also style:
Natalia 32 (2002), Christopher Merrett pp.19–35
Natalia 32 (2002) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

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Sport and Race in Colonial Natal

‘the goal was not the back of the net but ascendency to a higher plane of awareness of one’s individual and collective role in life.’7 This being so, imperial sport ‘sought to simultaneously impress and intimidate locals with its power and superiority’.8 Touring teams from England promoted this ideology: Pelham Warner, having captained England on its 1905–6 tour of South Africa, wrote of ‘fighting spirit’, ‘British manhood’, ‘fair play’ and ‘hearty good fellowship’.9 The concept of Home was frequently invoked in relation to sport. A book of biographical sketches of England players on the 1909-10 cricket tour describes them as arriving at the ‘short end of the Dark Continent’.10 The locals were routinely referred to as colonials and the essential image was that of parent and child: ‘The Mother Country and her sturdy Australian and South African sons’.11 Even when South Africa beat England for the first time in a cricket test match, this was turned to imperial advantage as it was held to show ‘that grit and courage which we are so proud of saying are inherent in the British race’.12 Local identity manifesting itself as white nationalism thus co-existed with imperial sentiment; although in ways which might be interpreted as deferential, creating a ‘mutual self-congratulation’ also noted in Australian sports history.13 Perkin argues that beating England, the Mother Country, was a rite of passage for settler communities and an indicator, perhaps, of suitability for eventual dominion status.14 Metropolitan approval in the sphere of sport has also been noted in the context of the Caribbean, with ‘white West Indian colonials seeking approval and recognition of their achievements from their “motherland” in this cultural arena…frantic…in the quest for approval from the MCC’.15 Sport proved a suitably elastic bond, one which was durable but allowed leeway for pupil to beat master, thus ensuring a safety valve for local nationalist aspirations as long as metropolitan ascendancy was maintained overall. Sport was a major factor in defining British space throughout an empire in which ‘there was little of substance to bind together geographically divided and quite distinctive colonial locales’.16 Although one quarter of the World’s land mass was British, psychological security required the regularising of local conditions and the familiarity of established customs. As Spufford points out, the red portions of the map were no longer ‘abroad’ in the strict sense of the term: exotic and widely spaced parts of the World were ‘ultimately gathered in a British hand’.17 Baucom writes about the ‘geographic assurance’ of the Edwardian era which would have been sustained by ‘contagiously English places scattered throughout the British Empire’ making up ‘England’s authentic and auratic architecture of belonging’.18 One may even go so far as to emphasise the territoriality of the individual sports field and the psychological significance of the boundary. Certainly the club was a ‘comforting enclave of Englishness’ for people who were often, albeit subconsciously, fearful of their colonial surroundings.19 Anywhere in the world a cricket ground, in particular, would be interpreted as a distinctive space of unquestionable British origin.20 As Barnett puts it, the playing field was ‘a powerful instrument for inculcating common responses, common values and a common outlook’.21 The consequential ‘accentuated Englishness’22 produced sentiments of security and togetherness but in the process demanded social conformity and racial exclusivity. Bose notes the same process on the sub-continent: ‘...the British saw cricket as a way of keeping their own community together with little or no place there for the Indians’.23 As Katz emphasises, imperial psychology was a mixture of insecurity and aggression both of which found meaning in comforting symbols and familiar space. This in turn

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induced complacency and ‘protected markets of the mind’ such that ‘The values and beliefs of the imperial world settled like a sediment in the consciousness of the British people’.24 For the British colonial settler, sport was one of the storehouses of national memory. K.S. Ranjitsinhji, writing in the 1890s, captured this well in the South African context: ‘No doubt when people play the game on a rough jumble of veldt-grass and mine-tailings on the outskirts of Johannesburg, half the pleasure they find is the result of association of ideas. The feel of a bat and its sound against the ball bring back memories of the green turf and cool breezes of England’.25 This perpetuated social, and in colonial societies racial, distance. But simultaneously technological change shrank effective geographical distance during the last years of the nineteenth century. In Edwardian England, ‘middle-class bodies established a spatial hegemony, increasing significantly the number of places from which the non-select were excluded’.26 Indeed, this very process in the sphere of recreation may have helped to define the middle classes more tightly. In Natal, of course, a segregationist policy was well entrenched during the nineteenth century and exclusive social institutions were the norm. Where blacks had been integrated into South African recreation as in the Cape they were increasingly removed. Throughout the Empire, ‘Social distances were considered an important and integral part of maintaining order’.27 Marina Warner provides a startlingly apposite example from West Indian cricket which might equally well apply to Natal: ‘the lime demarcation lines in the turf that divided Englishmen from foreigners and natives could be rubbed out in the climate of the islands all too easily by passing feet’.28 As Jarvie points out, the delineation of recreation was not predicated simply upon race but on an ‘ensemble of social relations characterizing the…social formation’.29 Indeed, as cricket’s most famous writer, C.L.R. James, pointed out (before globalisation), sport reflected local society. The racism of mid-Victorian England, the origin of Natal’s social mores, centred around the acceptance of stereotypes and, illogically in an entrepreneurial age, the denial of individualism and self-improvement. People were confined from birth to pre-determined and rigid groups in what Lorimer describes as a ‘new pessimism about human nature’.30 Paternalist tendencies and a colour-class dichotomy in the colonies engendered amongst ‘the…articulate, influential wealthy middle class the cult of gentility…[and]…a greater social exclusiveness and arrogance.’31 In Natal the reaction of a self-perceived beleaguered minority was to assert its homogeneity while exaggerating, via gross stereotyping, the otherness of communities that were not white. The frontier behaviour of South African white society impelled ‘religious, moral and cultural barriers between itself and its neighbours’.32 The emergence of an aggressive nationalism, based on the concept of the British Race, may be described in terms of a sporting metaphor: ‘the Empire was less about “fair play” and equality before the law than about racial differentiation and inequality based on colour.’33 The spirituality that was assumed to be implicit in the British Empire merged seamlessly into moral superiority,34 nowhere better illustrated than in Natal: ‘feelings of white, if not Anglo-Saxon, uniqueness imbued what was really just another tawdry form of racism with the aura of a religious movement’.35 Policy towards those who were not white in Natal at the turn of the century was characterised by growing control designed to protect the ‘civilised’ population. The perceived threat by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, particularly those urbanised

22

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free individuals known as ‘Arabs’, led to virulent racism. Stereotypical attitudes held by whites of Indians included disease, lack of sanitation, low moral fibre and a poor standard of living. They were useful as labourers but not welcome as permanent, especially urban, settlers.36 The real, underlying fear was that of commercial competition and the regulatory reaction was fierce. As late as 1880 the by-laws of both Pietermaritzburg and Durban required Indians to have a pass to be on the streets after 9 p.m.37; and they were denied the franchise, subject to harsh licensing laws and legally declared to be ‘uncivilised’. Indians were treated abusively and described as the ‘Asiatic curse’ and the ‘scum of Madras and Calcutta,’ even in the Natal Legislature. In a significant indicator of territoriality they were sometimes pushed off pavements. In the conflict over street trading in Durban, Indians were portrayed as ‘distasteful…repulsive…and an impediment to achieving a “beautiful” modern city’38 in terms of white notions of cleanliness, attractiveness and orderliness. Freund describes anti-Indian racism as ‘often crude, and even violent’39: ‘The British Indian was penalized not for his vices but for his virtues’,40 even when he displayed the requisite measure of deference. Although Indians were vital to the economy of Natal, ‘The coolie is at once the salvation and the danger of Natal’.41 Neame goes on to point out that the value of Indians as unskilled labourers was resented when they became competitors: ‘He is taking up work which, in the climate of Natal, could be and should be performed by the white man’.42 The ambition and ability of Indians also encroached upon clerical work as well as agriculture and commerce and seriously threatened the concept of Natal as a White Man’s country. Sir Abe Bailey, the influential sports benefactor, believed that Indians should have no rights in South Africa. The overall effect of regulations and public opinion was to encourage the idea that the Indian population was not permanent. This idea had popular support, as explained by Huttenback: ‘God had preserved certain unique qualities to the “British race” and they were lacking…in…Indians’.43 Many whites displayed greater antipathy towards Indians than they did towards Africans. Africans were treated as minors and with a ‘curious blend of paternalism, fear and contempt’ that reinforced their subordinate status.44 A writer associated with the Hilton College Mission noted an ‘inclination amongst schoolboys…to be familiar with a Native one minute and kick him the next’.45 The bitter controversy that took place in Pietermaritzburg in 1904 and 1905 about the use of pavements is a significant example of the dynamics of the race-space conflict that has a bearing on sport. As the local paper described it, ‘The majority of persons are agreed in condemning the practice of allowing natives and coloured persons generally to walk on the pavements of the City’. Their presence was described as ‘impertinent obstruction’ and a health hazard. There were now enough whites in Pietermaritzburg, it was argued, to ban blacks altogether from the pavements ‘to effectively prevent ladies and white men being impertinently jostled by offensive blacks’. By-law 2 gave the municipality powers in this regard, but enforcement required prosecution under a sympathetic magistrate.46 Letter writers to the press panicked about health, complaining about ‘contagion from unsavoury blacks’ and ‘Indians, who are usually filthier and more objectionable than the natives’; and even threatened vigilante action. When one correspondent attacked these racist sentiments, the editor defended them on the grounds that the issue was one of smell, not race.47 Another objection was to recreational use made of the street, for instance ‘boys practi[sing] their war dance on the pavement to the strains of a mouth organ’.48 Less extreme opinion

Sport and Race in Colonial Natal

23

argued that blacks needed civilising by drawing them into the market economy as customers at segregated counters; and suggested that pavement segregation could be achieved by the use of a white line.49 On 9 November 1904, three black prison warders walking side by side in Church Street, Pietermaritzburg were ordered off the pavement. When they refused on the grounds that they were impeding no-one, they were arrested and charged. Magistrate Moe acquitted them, ruling that by-law 2 could not be applied arbitrarily and unreasonably – if they had been obstructing anyone, they could have been ordered into single file, for instance. He decreed that the constable had exceeded his powers but it is clear that he regretted arriving at this conclusion, advocating a law to prevent ‘outrages on white women’.50 A major influence on attitudes towards Africans was provided by the 1905 South African Native Affairs Commission (SANAC) chaired by Godfrey Lagden. This took a decidedly paternalistic view of Africans without any real understanding of the social problems attendant upon rapid urbanisation. The emphasis was upon labour supply, the health threat to whites, the fear of low moral standards and the need to limit the drinking of Africans to beer with an alcohol content of less than 4% in view of the fear that intoxication would lead to savagery. SANAC concluded that distance of all types from Africans was the solution except in the case of a selected few capable of absorbing Western mores (the doctrine of ‘equal rights for civilised men’). Integration, SANAC decided, was not feasible because of the tendency of Africans to revert to an uncivilised state thus confirming their status as inferior beings requiring a firm hand and lessons in self control and morality.51 Urban white Natal was dependant upon African labour but perceived security, sanitation and moral issues required the restriction of its free movement. As the Transvaal magistrate and member of the Aborigines’ Protection Society, A.E. Pease, put it: ‘[The African] was forbidden the sidewalk, footpath, and public park.’52 The place of Africans in the political economy of Natal tended to produce amongst whites a level of concern often amounting to hysterical panic. The colony was run by ‘an aristocracy of white men…’ at the time of Union and ‘[Africans] could not venture into most parks or watch sports contests on athletic grounds frequented by whites’.53 The idea of racial segregation in urban areas was well established in liberal thought by the turn of the century in terms of trusteeship and the ‘maintenance of social discipline and control’.54 Writing at the end of the Great War, J.S. Marwick put the popular view that ‘…we stand in loco parentis to the Natives, whom we must guide and restrain like children’.55 The aim of the majority of whites during the first two decades of the century was the simple one of supremacy through domination and a policy of divide and rule.56 The broad consensus about this resulted in a demand for docile labourers at low wages, freedom from their competition in skilled trades or commerce, and protection from their ‘barbarism’ or ‘demoralization’…White popular opinion was almost entirely hostile to African advancement or Indian enterprise, but it was also jealous of its own constitutional rights and economic liberties.57 Parallel to, and reflective of, the increasing popularity of the idea of putting geographical distance between white and black was the growing veneration of sport by whites, a tendency which was most noticeable at the leading schools of the colony. Cricket and rugby in particular became icons of white virility. The first headmaster of Hilton Col-

24

Sport and Race in Colonial Natal

lege, the Reverend W.O. Newnham, ‘was a strong supporter of [cricket] which taught a boy to play with a straight bat…and to respect the rules of the game’. His successor, H.V. Ellis, ‘welcomed organised games on account of the moral qualities which they were held to inspire’.58 The qualities which these men admired and propagated would only be required by those born to rule and lead. In Ellis’ view, the Sons of England and the Mother Country had a number of clear and heroic duties: to unify the whites, deal with the barbarism and heathenism of the Natives, and train those of Asiatic descent; all of this ‘in spite of the enervating influence of a semi-tropic sun’.59 Central to sport in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Natal is the issue of identity. Sport simultaneously played the role of unifier (amongst whites) and separator (from everyone else) and with imperial self confidence and a sense of moral superiority marked off both social and geographical space. Sport amongst whites evoked perceptions of Home but at the same time encouraged a growing local nationalism; two trends which ironically reinforced one another. Underlying these developments was an allpervasive racism whose foundation was gross stereotyping and led to bizarre attitudes and behaviour towards persons of colour. Charles Bennett (Buck) Llewellyn60 was born in Pietermaritzburg out of wedlock on 29 September 1876. His parents were married in community of property by special licence on 15 February 1877. His father, Thomas Buck Llewellyn, had been born in Pembroke in August 1845 so the question of Llewellyn’s race rests on the origins of his mother, born Ann Elizabeth Rich in 1845 at Jamestown, St Helena.61 In 1833 St Helena had been summarily transferred from the rule of the Honourable East India Company to that of the British Government with the consequence that ‘Almost everybody in the island was suddenly thrown into a state bordering on penury’.62 From 1838 onwards hundreds of Saint Helenans emigrated to the Cape and some moved on to Natal where they were regarded as being of mixed race.63 In 1871 ‘About 100 persons emigrated to the Cape of Good Hope, owing to the great distress of traders here’ and another two hundred more followed shortly afterwards. Jackson attributes this to a reduction in the British military presence and the opening of Suez.64 A Thomas Llewellen [sic] of 16 Berg Street is noted as a house painter and decorator in the late 1870s at the time of Charles’ birth. During the 1890s he occupied various premises in Boom Street (including 234 which is still standing today) and by 1904 had offices at 14 Printing Office Street. By 1912 the address was given as 10–14 Printing Office Street suggesting that business was flourishing. In 1904 he bought a house at 5 Stranack Street with a substantial bond of £500. Thomas died in Grey’s Hospital on 17 November 1914 at the age of 69 and Anne on 30 March 1920 aged 75. On Thomas’s death (his will was signed on the day itself) he left his business to the third son of five, Walter Hunter, but the latter decided to decline the bequest as it carried with it a net debt of £70.65 His mother paid this off and continued running the business under the management of her son. Charles and Arthur, the youngest son, were left tokens but the two other sons, John and Joseph inherited nothing and seem to have lost contact with the family. Wilfred Rhodes, the Yorkshire all-rounder, described Charles Llewellyn as ‘like a rather sunburned English player’; and, J.M. Kilburn, the most convincing source on the player he idolised, said of him that he was tidy-looking and of sturdy medium height but ‘dark-eyed and dark-skinned and South Africans called him coloured’.66 Neverthe-

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less, Llewellyn participated in cricket in Natal as a white man for the seasons 1894/5 to 1897/8, during which time he played in seven matches, having made a somewhat ineffective debut (24 and 0 batting last and 1–32 and 3–3967) ‘as a dusky eighteen year old’68 for Natal against Transvaal in March 1895. The following season he played for a Pietermaritzburg XV against Lord Hawke’s touring England team and impressed the Hampshire batsman Major Robert Montagu Poore with match figures of 7 for 150. For Natal he was prominent as a bowler with a record of 355,3 overs, 115 maidens and 50 wickets at an average of 15,36, tenth in the list of players from the pre-Great War period. Crowley credits him with being the first of a line of South African slow left armers.69 In 1897 he achieved match figures of 9 for 128 against Western Province (but still ended up on the losing side by a wide margin) and 11 for 123 versus Eastern Province. Remarkably, he took five wickets in an innings five times out of a theoretical maximum of 14. His batting record was less memorable for in fifteen innings, twice not out, he scored 176 runs (with one fifty, his highest score of 65) at an average of only 13,53. During this period he was employed by the father of the cricketer Herby Taylor in Durban as a Coloured clerk, although there is no evidence that he ever played cricket within that community.70 In 1899 he effectively emigrated to England as a professional for Hampshire, details of which are given in the appendix, although he continued to play test cricket spasmodically for South Africa until 1912. His lengthy, disrupted test career of 15 matches for South Africa (five against England and ten versus Australia) lasted from the second test versus England at Johannesburg in March 1896 aged 19 until the Triangular Tournament of 1912 in England.71 His test record was a modest one by modern standards: 544 runs at 20,14 (with 3 half centuries and a highest score of 90); 48 wickets at 29,60 (with 5 wickets in an innings on 3 occasions, 10 wickets in a match once and a best bowling analysis of 6 for 92); and seven catches. Of his first appearance for South Africa, Routledge wrote: ‘Although he did not succeed in getting a wicket, he bowled fairly well and deserved a little success;’72 and on the same occasion C.B. Fry mentioned him as a ‘boy left-hander’.73 In this match he scored 24 and took 0–71 as South Africa went down by an innings and 197 runs. Wisden notes that he was crucially missed in the Cape Town test of April 1899 when South Africa suffered their eighth consecutive defeat and lost to England by 210 runs.74 On Bissett’s 1901 tour of England he did not play in the premier match against MCC but headed the overall batting and bowling averages. In the home series against Australia in 1902–3 he scored 94 runs (90 batting first wicket down in the first innings including a second wicket partnership of 173 with L.J.Tancred) and took 9–216 in the first test at Johannesburg (his victims including Gregory (twice) as well as Trumper and Darling); 10–116 in the second test (also in Johannesburg); and another 6, this time for 97, in the third test at Cape Town. His 25 wickets in this series were taken at 17,92 each75 thus topping the South African averages; and he opened the bowling in the Cape Town test as he was later to do on the 1910–11 tour of Australia in four of the five tests. This series has been described as an ‘abject disappointment from a playing and financial point of view.’76 It was, however, central to Llewellyn’s identity as a South African test player. An intimation of his ‘otherness’ and mixed ancestry is contained in the suggestion that during the 1910–11 tour he was ‘ostracized and bullied by his team mates’, particularly by J.H. Sinclair from whom he had to hide in the toilet.77 The origins of this story are lost in the mists of time but its authenticity is called into question

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by the fact that Sinclair had seconded a suggestion by Pegler that Hampshire CCC be cabled asking for confirmation of Llewellyn’s availability for the tour. Indeed, Sinclair proposed a salary of £250 plus travel and hotel expenses. Opposition to Llewellyn’s inclusion came, significantly, from his home province of Natal which wrote to the South African Cricket Association (SACA) suggesting that ‘he can no longer be looked upon as a South African player and the objective…should be to encourage the younger players.’ He was later referred to during the Australian tour as a ‘naturalised Englishman’ and a proposal was put forward that SACA should cease to consider players for South Africa after four years absence from international competition. His selection and salary were confirmed but the expenses were amended, which caused an ongoing dispute and rejection of the idea at the end of the tour that Llewellyn should receive a bonus. A meeting chaired by Pegler on 3 October 1911 subsequently raised the question of his availability for the 1912 tour of England.78 His bowling fell away towards the end of his career for South Africa: in the Triangular Tournament it was described as a ‘sad failure’ with 4–244 at an average of 61,0079. He did, however, redeem himself with two half centuries, one each against England and Australia, in a total of 167 runs scored at 18,55, although in his last test he made a pair.80 The idea that he was Coloured and had been persecuted by white South African cricketers was hotly denied by his daughter in the cricket press in the mid 1970s.81 She argued that her grandfather was born in Bootle, Lancashire of Welsh descent and her grandmother in Essex82 and that neither was coloured: ‘He was of white stock’. She described the claim that he was not on good terms with his fellow cricketers as ‘utter nonsense’and said that when playing league cricket in later life in Accrington and in the Bradford League he was visited by members of South African touring teams. Whether or not the latter is true, she had a totally erroneous picture of her grandparents which is hard to account for unless she had been deliberately misinformed. The supposed origins of her grandparents in Lancashire and Essex are hard to fathom unless there was a deliberate attempt to confuse St Helena with the St Helens of the former county which is only a few miles from Bootle. But if this were an attempt at dissimulation, it should have been applied to the grandmother, not the grandfather about whose origins there has never been any question. At the turn of the century qualifying rules were relatively lax and Llewellyn was named in the England squad of 14 for the first test against Australia at Edgbaston in 1902, although he did not in the end play.83 His call up by England ‘would have been acceptable…by the custom and opinion of that time’.84 Given that his father had been born in Wales, it would also be acceptable today although he had of course already appeared in test cricket for South Africa. However, at Birmingham in 1902 the Australian batsman Warwick Armstrong is reputed to have passed a sarcastic comment questioning whether he was playing England or South Africa.85 By 1905 Llewellyn was being described as an ‘ex-South African’86; although in 1909 Wisden, recording his benefit match in 1908 versus Kent, was still writing about him as ‘The South African…’87 In his entire first class career from 1894 to 1912, Llewellyn scored 11 425 runs at an average of 26,75 and took 1013 wickets at 23.41 together with over 200 catches.88 The scorer of 18 centuries, he took five wickets in an innings 82 times and ten in a match 20 times. He was thus a genuine all-rounder in a Golden Age of cricket – a left arm orthodox slow medium bowler with a high arm action, a forcing left hand batsman who favoured

Sport and Race in Colonial Natal

27

the drive and the cut (he hit Blythe for 5 sixes at Dover in August 1910) and a specialist mid-off – whose talents unfortunately did not always flourish in tandem.89 Possibly he was over-bowled by a Hampshire team lacking resources.90 Pelham Warner called him a ‘fine all-rounder’; and Wisden as ‘in the fullest sense of the words an all-round cricketer…’.91 The references to his batting are relatively sparse but Wisden commented in 1911 that he was a punishing left hander, his ‘driving power being tremendous.’92 On the other hand, his bowling was widely praised: A.D. ‘Dave’ Nourse described him as ‘the best left hand bowler we ever had. He turned the ball so well and kept a wonderful length’93 even on good wickets. As one of Wisden’s cricketers of the year in 1911 his ‘medium pace bowling’ was described as ‘full of life and spin’.94 His control of length, pace and spin brings to mind a turn-of-the-century Derek Underwood: ‘On the slow side of medium…if the pitch helped him, his spin was vicious.’95 Altham names him as the cricketer who ‘until the appearance of Fleetwood-Smith, was the only left-hander known to bowl the googly’96 which he describes elsewhere as the Chinaman. He is said to have spent several years practising this based on advice given by Reggie Schwarz, another South African test spin bowler. The quintessential Hampshire man of letters, journalist and cricket writer John Arlott suggests that on plumb wickets where ‘natural’ spin failed to persuade the ball to turn, he bowled wrist spin to induce off breaks and mixed this with the googly.97 Kilburn, who had the advantage of having watched him frequently, said he was orthodox left arm and reserved judgement on the question of the googly, commenting whimsically that ‘perhaps…the occasional chinaman was simply an indulgence of Llewellyn’s momentary fancy.’98 He also recorded the fact that Llewellyn bowled in a cap, which is borne out by photographs.99 Llewellyn broke his thigh in 1960 and was crippled for the rest of his life, dying at Chertsey in Surrey on 7 June 1964 at the age of 87, an event recorded by Wisden but ignored by the South African Cricket Annual for five years.100 A South African obituary has yet to appear. It was an interesting reflection on Llewellyn’s anonymity and the deference of the South African cricket authorities to their imperial masters that SACA had quickly noted the death of Lady Warner in 1955. It is instructive to compare the cricket career of an Australian Aboriginal nearcontemporary of Llewellyn, the fast bowler Jack Marsh, who was born at Yulgilbar in northern New South Wales in 1874. Marsh was first involved in the suspect world of professional running but started playing club cricket in Sydney in 1896. The following year, amidst much controversy, he was no-balled for throwing as later happened in a colonial trial match in November 1900, an event which has been scrutinised closely. There is a school of thought that sees Marsh victimised as an outsider capable of dismissing star batsmen like Victor Trumper on good wickets: ‘It is possible that [the umpire] could have felt that retribution was necessary or was prevailed upon to put Marsh in his place’.101 Marsh’s opportunities to play for New South Wales were restricted and he never played for Australia, although he came close to selection against England at Sydney in the 1901-2 season. He was selected for the match between Western Cricket Union v England at Bathurst in February 1902 but the England captain Archie McLaren demanded that Marsh be withdrawn, ostensibly as a danger to his players. The professionals in the England team were, however, prepared to play and there were strong suspicions at the time that this was a matter of racial and class prejudice. It is also possible that undue influence was wielded by the Australian player and New South Wales captain M.A.

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‘Monty’ Noble for whom Marsh was a rival and who was also suspected of throwing. The role of umpire Bob Crockett is also questionable, as other officials consistently failed to no-ball Marsh. There was a measure of popular anger at Marsh’s exclusion from the test team and some barracking at the Sydney test. In spite of public questioning, ‘A conspiracy of silence prevailed’.102 The Bathurst incident virtually ended Marsh’s career and he played his last first-class game in November 1902. He subsequently excelled in Sydney grade cricket with virtually unplayable fast-medium off cutters that started with movement through the air. He played against the 1904 England touring team, Pelham Warner making no objections to his participation. English players were divided in their opinion of Marsh: some thought him the best bowler in the world; others said that he had an illegitimate action. The case for conspiracy is strong and underlying everything was a consistent strain of racial stereotyping with Marsh described in the press as ‘dusky’, a ‘darkie’ and a ‘coon’ (quoting an England player on the 1904 tour) attributing to him attitudes such as ‘devious’, ‘helpless’ and ‘childlike’.103 His acceptability in grade cricket has been attributed to the fact that his presence had to be tolerated only on Saturday afternoons whereas first-class and test level cricket would have required social contact lasting several days. From 1905 onwards it seems that Marsh led the life of an itinerant casual worker compounded by the restrictions set by the 1909 Aborigines Protection Act which codified segregation tendencies in Australian life. He found work in a circus but by 1909 was in prison in Melbourne convicted of assault. He died in May 1916 aged 42 at Orange after being beaten in a billiard room brawl.104 What is to be made of Charles Bennett Llewellyn? Clearly he was an ordinary man of humble origins who, sporting ability apart, made no lasting impression upon the long march of history. With sufficient talent to become a successful, long-term cricketing journeyman, he is mentioned frequently and repetitively in the literature but left no real personal imprint. This silence will presumably never be penetrated but the evidence suggests that his experience was emblematic of the time. He and his brothers were undoubtedly, in terms of Natal’s social custom, considered to be of mixed blood, although his family was apparently able to pass itself off as white. In late nineteenth century Pietermaritzburg this would not have been difficult as the small Coloured community was relatively well integrated. Evans records the fact that many were store workers passing themselves off as Europeans. According to the same contemporary source, they were recognised as ‘good citizens in every sense’105 although they kept apart socially. St Helenans (and Mauritians) tended to be English-speaking, Roman Catholic, relatively prosperous and ‘respectable’. In late Victorian Pietermaritzburg an important distinction was made between people who were Westernised and those who were not, a judgement based on appearance and dress, and cultural similarity placed St Helenans in the former category. In terms of legal standing they profited from this, retaining the franchise when people of Asian origin lost it in 1893. But race consciousness was deepening for a number of reasons and social custom was beginning to be reflected in law, a process that would end in the mid-twentieth century with the enforcement of apartheid. Coloured Natalians fought in the Anglo-Boer War but from 1904 separate schools were provide for their children and by the 1920s competition with Africans and Indians for jobs was becoming increasingly intense. From 1904 until 1948 Coloured people in Pietermaritzburg were relatively privileged but increasingly segregated. The Coloured population of Natal was small in both absolute

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and proportionate terms (in 1906 it amounted to 6 700 persons, or 0,6% of the total) so Llewellyn’s awareness of his standing in the racial hierarchy is almost certainly likely to have been suppressed most of the time. The fact that his daughter, then an elderly woman living in Britain in the mid 1970s, vehemently refuted his origins is, arguably, further proof of the very fact she was denying so hotly. The Natal Almanac for the last years of the nineteenth century holds a clue to the question of Llewellyn’s standing in Pietermaritzburg. Population figures for Natal are given under three headings: European, Indians and Natives. But to the first heading is appended, ‘including St Helenans, etc.’106 Charles Llewellyn, in social if not official terms was deemed ‘et cetera’, of another category; considered, grudgingly perhaps, a white man but marked as different on account of his mother’s origins. The Almanac was a well-used reference tool, a compendium of annual information about the province and Pietermaritzburg, and this categorisation of the population would have been widely known. Nor was it simply notional. The Corporation, for instance, made a point not only of classifying its employees of St Helenan origin on the next rung down the ethnic ladder from whites (‘coloured persons enjoying European privileges’107), but also discriminating against them. During the Great War they were awarded just half the 25/- monthly War Bonus granted to white married employees.108 Dickie-Clarke sums up the situation thus: ‘their situation was clearly a marginal one in that there was complete cultural similarity but incomplete acceptance and participation in the White system of social relationships’. Ultimately, ‘the claim of cultural similarity to equality of treatment [was] swept aside.’109 There are indications of the ambivalence of South Africa towards Llewellyn during his cricketing life. First, he chose to go into virtual exile to pursue a professional career as a cricketer at a time when this was relatively rare. Other examples that spring to mind during Llewellyn’s playing career are Frank Mitchell (Cambridge University and Yorkshire) but he was English born, stayed in South Africa after the Hawke tour of 1898–9 and served in the South African War; and Reggie Schwarz (Middlesex and Transvaal) whose education was at St Paul’s School and Oxford University. Both of these players were amateurs. His absence overseas may of course have been for purely financial reasons and the distinction of South Africa’s pioneer professional cricketer is also due to him, but as Crowley puts it, ‘Although there is no confirmed record of any strife with his contemporaries due to the colour of his skin, this fine South African player did not return to his homeland after a long professional stint but chose to remain in England…’110. During his playing days in the first decade of the twentieth century there was an air of considerable ambiguity about his nationality. Interestingly, he was persistently referred to as G.C.B. Llewellyn in Britain based on an early error by a captain. Second, in spite of clear cricketing ability and the praise accorded him by authoritative judges, his career with Natal was extremely short and lasted only four seasons. He tried to play for Transvaal during the 1903–4 season but was debarred by the South African Cricket Association on the grounds that he was a professional. Transvaal argued that in South Africa he was an amateur on the cricket field including the matches he had participated in against Australia during the 1902–3 series. His attempts to resuscitate his South African domestic career foundered on the votes of the three Cape unions opposed by Transvaal and Border and the crucial abstention of Natal.111 It is reasonable to assume that Llewellyn would have been aware of the case of J. ‘Krom’ Hendricks, a Malay left arm fast bowler from the Western Cape. He was more obviously Coloured and from an

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ethnically distinctive group. The English batsmen reckoned he was one of the fastest bowlers they had faced in South Africa, taking 4 for 50 in 25 overs in the match against MCC in 1891. In spite of this excellent performance against the MCC, Hendricks was excluded from a side to tour England (having been named in a party of 15, his selection was deemed ‘impolitic’) as well as from a South African tour of Rhodesia in 1894 and from the Colonial Born versus Mother Country match. By 1897 he was even excluded from his club team, Woodstock, by the Western Province Cricket Union.112 Llewellyn’s effective emigration put paid to any possible similar fate. Third, there is little consistency in his selection for South Africa with 15 tests spread out over 16 years, unusual even by the erratic standards of the time, and of course compounded by his selection for England as early as 1902. The negative attitude of officials of his home province to his selection for South Africa despite the fact that he was good enough to earn a living from county cricket embodies a hostility to a person who was clearly different. It is probable that while the roots of this lay in racial prejudice, it was reinforced by a disdain for professionals in an age of high amateurism.
APPENDIX

Most of Llewellyn’s cricket was played for Hampshire between 1899 and l910, when he left because he could no longer afford to play county cricket. During his qualifying seasons of 1899 and 1900 he stayed at the training ship Mercury later owned by C.B. Fry; and in the 1899 fixture against the touring Australians took 8 for 132 in the match and scored 72 and 21. His bowling promise was shown as a member of Ranji’s 1900 touring team to North America when he took 22 wickets at 11,13 but batted badly with 39 runs at 9,75. In 1900 he played against the first West Indian side to tour England, scoring 93 in the first innings and taking 13 wickets for 187 in the match. In his initial full county season he scored 717 runs and took 115 wickets in the championship, bowling four times as many overs as any other player, and achieved the double in all matches, the first Hampshire player to achieve this.113 In doing so he changed ‘the face of Hampshire cricket’.114 His bowling average of 23 in that season was the best for Hampshire since it had become a first class county in 1895. At the same time he assisted the touring South Africans in matches versus London County and Liverpool and District: in two matches he took 25 wickets for 371 runs.115 As an all-rounder in 1901 he was considered inferior only to George Hirst (Yorkshire) and J.R. Mason (Kent)116 and the following year he collected 170 wickets. But in mid career with Hampshire he lost his bowling ability and was pronounced ‘an utter failure’.117 In the course of his career with Hampshire in 196 matches and 341 innings he scored 8 722 runs at an average of 27,58 (highest score 216, 15 centuries and 37 half centuries); took 711 wickets in 33 407 balls at an average of 24,66 (including 5 wickets in an innings 55 times and 10 wickets in a match eleven times); and held 135 catches. In his last season he and Jack Newman took 299 of the 414 wickets to fall to Hampshire in the county championship. During nine consecutive innings the pair took all but one wicket and in three successive matches no other bowlers were used. Not only did he take 133 wickets at 20,45 in this season but he also scored 1 100 runs at 29,21 with one century, performing in his 35th year at a level as bowler and batsman well above his career average. Overall he captured 100 wickets in a season five times and in four of them (1901 and 1908 to 1910) he achieved the double.118 Llewellyn was described as the ‘best all-round player who had yet appeared for the

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county’119, albeit one of the weakest teams in the first decade of the century, finishing bottom of the championship no less than five times. Highlights of his career were match figures of 10–183 and 153 runs in 100 minutes versus Somerset at Taunton in 1901; 6–105, 216 in three hours (the highest of his centuries with 30 boundaries) and three catches versus South Africa at Southampton also in 1901; 14–171 versus Worcestershire in the same year at Southampton; 102 and 100 versus Derbyshire at Derby in 1905; 130 and 101 not out (in 60 minutes) versus Sussex at Hove in 1909; 91 in an hour against Kent at Dover in 1910 including six sixes. He shared in a number of massive fifth wicket stands, the highest of which was 231 with E.I.M. Barrett versus Derbyshire at Southampton in 1903.120 In 1905 he also scored 186 for Players of South v Gentleman of South at Bournemouth. In 1908 Llewellyn received a then record benefit of over £500. He remained in England after the end of his career with Hampshire and in 1911 signed for Accrington, the first test player to join the Lancashire League.121 He left Accrington in 1915 and joined Undercliffe CC in the ‘grimy city of Bradford’ at a time when the Bradford Cricket League was able to attract high calibre players as others had closed down on account of the Great War.122 He re-joined Accrington in 1921 but finally left the club in 1926 to play for Radcliffe in the Bolton and District League until 1932. Williams records his pay in 1928 as £9 per week plus talent money.123 In 1934 he was playing for East Lancashire again in the Lancashire League. It is unclear how long he remained an active player after 1935 but his association with the club seems to have ended in 1938 when he was 62. As might be expected, he scored freely and proved a devastating performer in league cricket. Over 28 seasons he scored at least 9962 runs at a respectable average of just under 30, over 60% of them in his 12 seasons at Accrington including ten centuries. True to character he established a number of records including the highest score in the Lancashire League (188 not out for Accrington v Bacup, 1913) which stood until 1939. As a bowler he was even more successful, taking 1886 wickets off 7 294 overs at the remarkable average of just over 10. He was at his peak as a bowler with Radcliffe taking 35% of his wickets in eight seasons. He was the first player to reach 100 wickets in a season (1927) for East Lancashire. For Undercliffe against Bankfoot in 1917 he performed the unusual feast of a hat trick, all stumped. The wicketkeeper as a matter of historical interest was William Close, grandfather of the England player of the 1960s, Brian Close.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author’s grateful thanks are due to Andrea Jones of the County Library, Gloucester; Chris Coley of Cheltenham; Mrs V. Russell of the Hampshire Local Studies Collection, Winchester; Neil Jenkinson, Honorary Archivist, Hampshire County Cricket Club; Krish Reddy, cricket statistician of Durban; Jack Williams of John Moores University, Liverpool; the staffs of the Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository and the Office of the Master of the Supreme Court in Pietermaritzburg; Bruce Murray of University of the Witwatersrand; and Nazim Gani and Omraj Deoparsad of the Inter Library Loans section of the University of Natal Library, Pietermaritzburg. CHRISTOPHER MERRETT
NOTES

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1. Guttmann, A. Games and empires: modern sports and cultural imperialism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994, p.64. 2. Kirk-Greene, A. Imperial administration and the athletic imperative: the case of the district officer in Africa in Baker, W.J. and Mangan, J.A. (eds.) Sport in Africa: essays in social history. New York: Africana, 1987, p.107. 3. Birley, D. Playing the game: sport and British society, 1910–45. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995, p.126. 4. Mangan, J.A. Play up and play the game: Victorian and Edwardian public school vocabularies of motive. British journal of educational studies 23(3) 1975, p.333. 5. Mangan, J.A. The games ethic and imperialism: aspects of the diffusion of an ideal. London: Viking, 1986, p.110. 6. Cypher [E.H. Holmes]. History of Natal cricket in Luckin, M.W. The history of South African cricket. Johannesburg: Horton, 1915, p.81. 7. Vasili, P. The first black footballer: Arthur Wharton 1865–1930: an absence of memory. London: Cass, 1998, p.78 [this writer’s emphasis]. 8. Black, D.R. and Nauright, J. Rugby and the South African nation: sport, culture and the new South Africa. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998, p.26. 9. Warner, P.F. The MCC in South Africa. London: Chapman & Hall, 1906 10. Leverson Gower, H.D.G. The MCC’s South African tour, 1909–1910. Cape Town: Metropolitan Advertising, 1909. 11. Warner, P.F. Imperial cricket. London: London and Counties Press Association, 1912, p.315. 12. Warner, P.F. (ed.) The MCC in South Africa, p.68. 13. Adair, D. and Vamplew, W. Sport in Australian history. Melbourne: OUP, 1997, p.11. 14. Perkin, H. Teaching the nations how to play in Mangan, J.A. (ed.) The cultural bond: sport, empire and society. London: Cass, 1992, p.217. 15. Stoddart, B. Sport, cultural imperialism and colonial response in the British Empire. Comparative studies in society and history 30(4) 1988, p.659. 16. Adas, M. ‘High’ imperialism and the ‘new’ history. Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association, [1993], p.15. 17. Spufford, F. I may be some time: ice and the English imagination. London: Faber, 1996, pp.249–250. 18. Baucom, I. Out of place: Englishness, Empire and the location of identity. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999, pp.17–18. Baucom argues that a sense of place was particularly important to the British as a ‘mongrel race’ (p.17). 19. Morris, J. Pax Britannica: the climax of an empire. London: Faber, 1968, p.290. 20. Bale, J. Landscapes of modern sport. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1994, pp.153–155. 21. Barnett, C. The collapse of British power. London: Eyre Methuen, 1972, p.35. 22. Katz, W.R. Rider Haggard and the fiction of empire: the manipulation of British public opinion. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984, p.82. 23. Bose, M. A history of Indian cricket. London: Deutsch, 1990, p.19. 24. McKenzie, J.M. Propaganda and empire: the manipulation of British public opinion. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984, p.258. 25. Ranjitsinjhi, K.S. The jubilee book of cricket. Edinburgh: Blackwood, 2nd ed., 1897, p.449. 26. Lowerson, J. Sport and the English middle classes, 1870–1914. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993, p.16. 27. Stoddart, B. Sport, cultural imperialism and the colonial response to the British Empire, p.662. 28. Warner, M. Between the colonialist and the creole: family bonds, family boundaries in Chew, S. and Rutherford, A. (eds.). Unbecoming daughters of the empire. Sydney: Dangaroo, 1993, p.199. Marina Warner is the granddaughter of Sir Pelham. 29. Jarvie, G. Sport, racism and ethnicity. London: Falmer, 1991, p.182. 30. Lorimer, D.A. Colour, class and the Victorians: English attitudes to the Negro in the mid-nineteenth century. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1978, p.202. 31. ibid., p.210. 32. De Kiewiet, C.W. A history of South Africa: social and economic. London: OUP, 1941 (1975 printing), p.211. 33. Huttenback, R.A. No strangers within the gates. Journal of imperial and Commonwealth history 1, 1973, p.298. 34. Huttenback, R.A. The British Empire as a ‘white man’s country’. Journal of British studies 13(1) 1973,

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p.109. 35. ibid., p.136. 36. Huttenback, R.A. Indians in South Africa, 1860–1914. English historical review 81, 1966, pp.273– 277. 37. Ferguson-Davie, C.J. The early history of Indians in Natal. Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations, 1977 printing, p.18. 38. Vahed, G.H. A ‘public health nuisance’: the Victoria Street early morning squatters market, 1910–1934. South African history journal 40, 1999, p.152. 39. Freund, W. Insiders and outsiders: the Indian working class in Durban, 1910–1990. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1994, p.39. 40. Sacks, B. South Africa: an imperial dilemma: non-Europeans and the British nation, 1902–1914. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1967, p.233. 41. Neame, L.E. The Asiatic danger in the colonies. London: Routledge, 1907, p.86. 42. ibid., p.29. 43. Huttenback, R.A. No strangers within the gates, p.283. 44. Marks, S. Reluctant rebellion: the 1906–8 disturbances in Natal. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970, p.11. 45. Proposed amendment (Hilton Mission). Hiltonian 9, 1906, p.49. 46. Preserving the pavements. Natal Witness (hereafter NW) 24 August 1904, p.5; For whites only. NW 26 August 1904, p.5. 47. Letters from Asterisk, W.A. Goodwin and Satis Verborem. NW 26 August 1904, p.5. 48. Letter from J.M.P. NW 30 August 1904, p.6. 49. Letters from W.A. Goodwin. NW 5 September 1904, p.3; and Z. NW 12 September 1904, p.7. 50. Blacks on sidewalks. NW 14 November 1904, p.6. 51. Sacks, B. South Africa, pp.145–147, 151–153. 52. ibid., p.158. 53. ibid., pp.190 and 191. 54. Dubow, S. Racial segregation and the origins of apartheid in South Africa, 1919–1936. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989, p.23. 55. Marwick, J.S. The natives in the larger towns. South African Journal of Science 15 (1918–1919), p.599. 56. Mesthrie, U. White dominance and control in Natal 1893 to 1903. Journal of Natal and Zulu history 7, 1984, pp.41 and 44. 57. Swanson, M.W. The Durban system: roots of urban apartheid in colonial Natal. African studies 35(3–4) 1976, p.162. 58. Hattersley, A.F. Hilton portrait: South African public school, 1872–1945. Pietermaritzburg: Shuter and Shooter, 1945, p.53. 59. Hiltonian 3, 1902, p.13. 60. General sources of information on Llewellyn are S.H.P. Charles Bennett Llewellyn in Five Cricketers of the Year. Wisden 1911, pp.172–3 and Wisden 1964, p.968 (obituary). Llewellyn was known by a number of names. The cricket literature lists his initials endlessly as G.C.B. but this is now known to have resulted from a careless compilation of a team list early in his career. The name Buck is also attributed to him, presumably after his father. However, in a letter written to his mother dated 8 January 1915 about a Bible left to him in his father’s will and sent from 218 Burnley Road, Accrington, he signed himself Charlie (Deceased estate, Office of the Master of the Supreme Court, Pietermaritzburg, volume 53/239). 61. Deceased estate 5108 at the Natal Archives Depot, Pietermaritzburg contains a death notice dated 7 April 1920 which shows (clearly typed) her birthplace as St Helena. Her marriage declaration in CSO 2286 (also Natal Archives Depot) has a handwritten entry for place of birth which is given as James Town, St Helena. Anne Elizabeth Llewellyn died intestate, left £1000 and was buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery. No trace of the Rich family has been found by the writer but at the turn of the century a J. Rich was active at St Helena in the Poor Society and the Ancient Order of Foresters (Jackson, E.L St. Helena: the historic island from its discovery to the present date. London: Ward Lock, 1903, pp.102–103). 62. Gosse, P. St Helena 1502–1938. Oswestry: Anthony Nelson, 1990, p.302. 63. Natal Almanac and Register 1876, p.164. 64. Jackson, E.L. St. Helena, pp.88–89. 65. Deceased estate v.53, no.239, Office of the Master of the Supreme Court, Pietermaritzburg. His death notice gives the place of birth as Pembroke, England. 66. Kilburn, J.M. Overthrows: a book of cricket. London: Stanley Paul, 1975, pp.11, 13. 67. Luckin, M.W. The history of South African cricket. Johannesburg: Horton, 1915, p.71.

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68. Crowley, B. Currie Cup story. Cape Town: Nelson, 1973, p.32. 69. ibid., pp.74, 85. 70. Odendaal, A. Cricket in isolation: the politics of race and cricket in South Africa. Cape Town: the Author, 1977, p.326. 71. Bassano, B. South Africa in international cricket, 1888–1970. East London: Chameleon, 1979, pp.30, 46, 51; South African cricket annual 1, 1951–2. 72. Routledge, T. The third English team in South Africa, 1895–6 in Luckin, M.W. (ed.) The history of South African cricket. Johannesburg: Horton, 1915, p.521. 73. Fry, C.B. A life worth living: some phases of an Englishman. London: Pavilion, 1986, p.117. 74. Wisden 1911, p.172. 75. Swanton, E.W. Barclays world of cricket: the game from A to Z. London: Collins, rev. ed., 1980, p.234. 76. Crowley, B. Currie Cup story, p.63. 76. Archer, R. and Bouillon, A. The South African game: sport and racism. London: Zed, 1982, p.90. 77. Bowen, R. Cricket: a history of its growth and development throughout the world. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1970, p.150. 78. South African Cricket Association minutes dated 19 August 1910; letter from Natal Cricket Association (NCA) to SACA dated 28 August 1910 included in minutes dated 19 September 1910; minutes dated 23 September 1910, 6 January 1911, 27 June 1911 and 3 October 1911. 79. Wisden 1913. 80. Martin-Jenkins, C. The complete who’s who of test cricketers. Johannesburg: Stanton, 1980, p.265. 81. Anderton, A. C.B. Llewellyn [letter] Cricketer 57(3) March 1976, p.29. 82. This error has entered the literature; see Hayes, D. Famous cricketers of Hampshire. Tunbridge Wells: Spellmount, 1993, p.100. 83. Bassano, B. South Africa in international cricket, 1888–1970, p.30; SHP. Charles Bennett Llewellyn, pp.172–3. Tom Hayward and J.R.Mason were also left out. The Edgbaston test was drawn and England used only four bowlers. In Australia’s first innings of 36, Hirst and Rhodes bowled 22 of a total 23 overs. The batting line up is regarded as probably the strongest ever to start a test for England and Llewellyn’s presence is testimony to the high regard in which he was held. The team comprised A.C. McLaren, C.B. Fry, K.S. Ranjitsinhi, F.S. Jackson, J.T. Tyldesley, A.F.A. Lilley, G.H. Hirst, G.L. Jessop (batting at 8), L.C. Braund, W.H. Lockwood and W. Rhodes. 84. Kilburn, J.M. Overthrows, p.10. 85. Tennant, I. Henry’s breakthrough recalls mystery of C.B. Llewellyn. SundayTimes (London) 18 January 1987. 86. South African cricketers annual 1905–6, p.89. 87. Wisden 1909, p.157. 88. Martin-Jenkins. C. The complete who’s who, p.265. 89. Allen, P. C.B. Llewellyn: an early D’Oliveira. The Cricketer 57(2) February 1976, p.21. 90. S.H.P. Charles Bennett Llewellyn, p.173. 91. Warner, P. Long innings: the autobiography. London: Harrap, 1951, p.50–1; S.H.P. Charles Bennett Llewellyn, p.173. 92. Wisden 1911, p.173. 93. Nourse, A.D. A peep into the past in Luckin, M.W. South African cricket, 1919–1927. Johannesburg: the Author, 1927, p.48. 94. Wisden 1911, p.173. 95. Altham, H.S. et al. Hampshire county cricket: the official history. London: Phoenix, 1957, p.54. 96. Altham, H.S. A history of cricket. London: Allen and Unwin, 1962, v.1, p.268. 97. Arlott, J. C.B. Llewellyn. Hampshire handbook 1960, p.35. 98. Kilburn, J.M. Overthrows, p.11. Kilburn, by his own admisssion, hero-worshipped Llewellyn. 99. ibid., p.13. The Chinaman, in British parlance, is the left arm wrist spinner’s googly, in effect a leg break which would in any case have been Llewellyn’s stock delivery using his natural finger spin action. He would presumably have possessed an arm ball (Rundle, M. The dictionary of cricket. Oxford: OUP, 1995, p.37). He was not the only test cricketer to bowl in a cap. ‘Dave’ Nourse also did so as shown by a picture from Old Trafford in the South Africa v. Australia test of the 1912 Triangular Series (Frith, D. The golden age of cricket, 1890–1914. London: Omega, 1983, p.153).

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100. South African Cricket Annual 16, 1969. 101. Whimpress, B. Passport to nowhere: Aborigines in Australian cricket 1850–1939. Sydney: Walla Walla, 1999, p.171. 102. ibid., p.184. 103. ibid., p.188. 104. ibid., pp.164–200; Tatz, C. Obstacle race: aborigines in sport. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 1995, pp.72–75. 105. Evans, M.S. Black and white in south east Africa: a study in sociology. London: Longmans, Green, 2nd ed., 1916, p.298. 106. Natal Almanac, Directory and Yearly Register, 1896, p.607. 107. Corporation yearbook 1912, p.42. 108. Pietermaritzburg. City Council minutes 14 August 1916 and 10 September 1918. Corporation yearbook 1917, p.10. 109. Dickie-Clarke, H.F. The marginal situation: a sociological study of a Coloured group. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966, pp.56 and 74. 110. Crowley, B. Currie Cup story, p.33. 111. Hayes, D. Famous cricketers of Hampshire, p.101; Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting of the South African Cricket Association at the EP Cricket Union, Port Elizabeth, 10 April 1903. 112. Swanton, E.W. and Woodcock, J. (eds.) Barclays world of cricket, p.108; Bassano, B. South Africa in international cricket, p.17; Bowen, R. Cricket, p.149; Bickford-Smith, V. Ethnic pride and racial prejudice in Victorian Cape Town, Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1995, p.149. 113. Wynne-Thomas, P. The history of Hampshire County Cricket Club. London: Christopher Helm, 1988, p.109. The double comprises one hundred wickets and one thousand runs in a season. 114. ibid., p.65. 115. Hayes, D. Famous cricketers of Hampshire, p.101. 116. Altham, H.S. et al. Hampshire county cricket, pp.53–4. 117. Wisden 1904, p.237. 118. Altham, H.S. et al. Hampshire county cricket, pp.65–6; Isaacs, V.H. Hampshire County Cricket Club: first-class records, 1864–1992. Royston: Limlow, 1993, p.80; Association of Cricket Statisticians. Hampshire cricketers, 1800–1982. Retford: ACS, [1982], p.33. 119. Altham, H.S. A history of cricket, p.268. 120. Isaacs, V.H. Hampshire County Cricket Club, p.52. 121. Kilburn, J.M. Overthrows, p.10; Hill, J. Cricket and the imperial connection: overseas players in Lancashire in the inter-war years in Bale, J. and Maguire, J. (eds.) The global sports arena: athletic talent migration in an interdependent world. London: Cass, 1994, p.51; Allen, P. C.B. Llewellyn, p.23. 122. Duckworth, L. S.F. Barnes: master bowler. London: Hutchinson, 1967, p.13; Kilburn, J.M. Overthrows, p.11. George Gunn and Cecil Parkin also played for Undercliffe. 123. Williams, J. Cricket and England: a cultural and social history of the inter-war years. London: Cass, 1999, p.177.

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The tale of a white elephant

A marine residence for the Governor of Natal
When the British annexed Natal in 1843 Pietermaritzburg was already the administrative centre of the territory. By building Fort Napier they made it also a military base. When the first lieutenant-governor arrived he took up residence in Pietermaritzburg, the officials constituting the executive council functioned from there and in 1846 a district court was set up. The priority of Pietermaritzburg over the coastal village of Durban was thus firmly established. A social consequence of the acquisition of metropolitan status was the early emergence in Pietermaritzburg of a colonial élite composed of the officials, military officers and the more affluent citizens, presided over by the queen’s representative, the lieutenantgovernor, one of whose functions was to overawe the indigenous peoples and impress and gratify the settlers by a display of pomp and ceremony. The influx of colonists by sea between 1849 and 1852 stimulated the development of Durban but it still had a smaller white population than Pietermaritzburg in 1852, 1 140, as against 1 520.1 Durban was forging ahead, however. When Marianne Gillespie got back in 1861 from a visit to England she found that much had happened during the year she was away: there were many new arrivals, more respectable houses were being built, many with two storeys, some large shops had appeared and there was ‘a greater variety of business and usefuls’ than there had been.2 Marianne Gillespie was the wife of Hugh Gillespie and the sister of Joseph Fleetwood Churchill, whose wife was Gillespie’s sister. Both men were fifties immigrants, both highly successful Durban merchants. Churchill became a member of the legislative council and Gillespie twice served as mayor of Durban. By the 1860s both were in a position to indulge upwardly mobile social inclinations: Churchill retired at the age of 33 to devote himself to public affairs, Gillespie set about building a residence more appropriate to his status than the modest wood and iron house he was occupying. He relied on his brother-in-law William Churchill in England to send out essential material for the large house he was building in St Andrew’s Street. He was hoping to have it finished in time for the arrival of the new Lieutenant-Governor, Colonel John Maclean, in mid-1864 because he wanted to give a ball in honour of his arrival.3 Much to his annoyance the material from England was slow in arriving; essentials like felt roofing, lead piping, a water closet and banisters had not even been sent off by September 1863, meaning at best another six months’ delay. By the following April the house was habitable but the temporary stairs were so steep that his pregnant wife went up and down only once a day, spending the daytime in the old house.4 It was not until December 1864 that the Gillespies were able to hold a housewarmNatalia 32 (2002), J.L. McCracken pp. 36–42
Natalia 32 (2002) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

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The tale of a white elephant

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ing party. But at last they had a superior house. Joseph Churchill said it was quite a mansion, very cool and comfortable, and undoubtedly the finest house in Durban. There was a splendid view over the bay from the balcony on one side and a ‘picturesque’ one on the other. When Lieutenant-Governor Maclean and his lady called on the Gillespies they were enchanted with the beautiful view from the portico and thought the house very superior for a colony. This is the house that was to become the governor’s maritime residence.5 Interest in the provision of a Durban residence for the governor was expressed in two

The Governor’s Marine Residence – front elevation with the main entrance. The side elevation visible faces on to St Andrew’s Street.

quarters, by the leading citizens of Durban and by some of the governors themselves. As Durban grew in population, wealth and sophistication an élite with social ambitions became increasingly aware of how disadvantaged they were in comparison with their counterparts in Pietermaritzburg through not having the governor more frequently among them. Equally, some of the governors, notably the long-serving Pine, expressed a desire to spend at least a portion of their time in what by the end of the seventies had become the larger of the two centres of population. The first lieutenant-governor, Martin West, had no official residence, even in Pietermaritzburg. He lived in rented accommodation there, but when his successor, Benjamin Pine, arrived in April 1850 it was said that he intended spending half the year in Durban to prevent jealousy between the two places.6 Nothing came of the suggestion, however. When Pine went to Durban in pursuit, his enemies said, of his womanising inclinations, he stayed in a boarding house.7 His successor, John Scott, showed no interest in Durban; he was criticised for scarcely ever visiting it.8 It was more than twenty years before the matter came up again but when it did it was more than a speculative rumour: The Durban town council’s address of welcome to the newly-arrived Lieutenant-Governor Musgrave

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in 1872 referred to the necessity of a marine residence for the governor in Durban.9 The proposal was so much to Musgrave’s liking that he did not wait for an official residence. In February of the following year he and his family left Pietermaritzburg for a two or three months’ stay at Overport, the grand residence on the Berea in Durban of William Hartley, one of Durban’s wealthiest citizens, which was taken over by the lieutenant-governor, his suite and his servants. He was formally received by the mayor of Durban, J. Goodliffe, the Secretary for Native Affairs, Theophilus Shepstone and Mr Hope, Hartley’s son-in-law. There the Musgraves held weekly at-homes and performed public functions like a visit to Mr Clarence’s sugar mill at Clare, to the Point and to the Botanic Gardens. A new road across the Berea was nearing completion at the time and the town council decided to call it Musgrave Road in honour of the visit. Towards the end of March Shepstone sent down the government mule wagon to bring them home.10 Musgrave’s tenure of office was brief; after only nine months he was appointed to South Australia, but Durban had one more viceregal occasion, for the Musgraves stayed in Overport again in April en route to Australia and Mrs Escombe, the wife of the town solicitor and standing counsel, was able to give a quadrille party in the masonic hall for the governor’s party and 180 guests.11 When Sir Benjamin Pine was appointed to succeed Musgrave for a second term of office, the Natal Mercury announced that he intended to live mainly in Durban, that he had taken a house on the Berea for a long term and that he had purchased property there.12 Pine lost no time in pursuing his objective. In his speech at the opening of the legislative council a month later he spoke of the need for a marine residence. In reply the council expressed its willingness to vote £2 500 for the building of a house in Durban and asked him to approach Durban town council about a site. Meanwhile, the executive council was ready to sanction £250 for hiring a house. After Pine had raised the matter again in the executive council a figure of £3 000 was put on the estimates for 1875.13 This and a government notice inserted in the press led to a number of properties being offered for sale to the government. The recall of Pine over the Langalibalele affair delayed proceedings for a few months but after the arrival of Sir Henry Bulwer as lieutenant-governor the executive council referred four of the offers to a committee: a building and land in Field Street, Durban owned by the attorney J.R. Goodricke, William Hartley’s Overport House, a house belonging to H.E.C. Behrens, a businessman and banker, and the house in St Andrew’s Street which Hugh Gillespie had built, Gillespie having died in a drowning accident in 1869. Goodricke wanted £10 000 for his house, an amount ‘out of the question’ in the opinion of the committee, especially as the buildings were unsuitable, Overport was thought to be too far from the town and expensive at £6 000; Behrens’ house was ‘altogether unsuitable’ so Gillespie’s house was chosen on the grounds of its ‘eligible site, convenient accommodation and moderate price’. By 13 votes to 8 the legislative council agreed to the purchase of the house for £4 600 and a further £1 000 was approved for furniture.14 The deal was agreed on 7 June 1876. Just a year later serious misgivings were being experienced. Two sets of problems had emerged, one relating to the governor’s reservations about a Durban residence and the other to the house itself. At Bulwer’s request a committee of the executive council, consisting of the Colonial Secretary, the Colonial Engineer and the Colonial Treasurer, was set up to advise on the matter. Bulwer had felt duty bound to use the house on a

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number of occasions, including a protracted stay of almost three months at the end of 1876 and beginning of 1877; the experience left him concerned about the inconvenience and extra work his absence from the capital entailed for officials and civil servants; he feared, too, that he would be obliged to make his coastal visits at the least desirable times of the year because he had to be in Pietermaritzburg during the cooler season for the meetings of the legislative council; and most serious of all, he believed that his salary simply would not enable him to duplicate in Durban the sort of hospitality he was expected to provide in Pietermaritzburg. The suitability of the house itself was also called in question by Bulwer; he found neither its location nor its accommodation good. The committee, nevertheless, recommended the retention of the house, though it agreed with Bulwer about entertainment, stipulating that the governor must not be expected to provide hospitality on the scale he did in Pietermaritzburg, especially balls, which cost hundreds of pounds. The inconvenience caused by his absence from headquarters was not considered insuperable. The house itself, the committee thought, was structurally sound, though repairs were required to ceilings and windows; ideally, it needed a larger dining room, new stables and an improved kitchen, but it was not an unhealthy site or more unpleasant in warm weather than the neighbouring houses on the Bayside. The bad smell from a kitchen drain could be put right. Besides, there was nothing better available and since few people in Durban could afford to live in such a house it could not be sold for anything like the price paid for it. The small house on the property could be let for £8 or £9 a month to offset maintenance costs. The Colonial Secretary Charles Mitchell shared the governor’s qualms about the maritime residence. It was proving to be of no practical use, it was falling into disrepair, it was costing £84 a year for a caretaker/gardener – in short, it was ‘such a perfect white elephant’ that he was glad to make a stop-gap arrangement with a gentleman who was looking for accommodation in Durban. This was Captain Edward Baynton who had been commodore of the Union Steam Ship Company’s fleet and who had just arrived in Durban to become the company’s agent. Under the agreement, which dated from the beginning of 1879, Captain Baynton rented the two houses on the property on the understanding that while the smaller house was to be his residence he would have the use of the larger one except when it was required by the governor or for a distinguished visitor; he might then be required to vacate it on two days’ notice.15 While the arrangement with Baynton was under discussion the house was used to accommodate Sir Bartle Frere when he came to Durban in mid-September 1878 in his capacity as high commissioner for discussions on Zululand. General Thesinger and Colonial Secretary Mitchell decided at the last minute to install him in the new Government House and not, as originally intended, at the Belgrave Hotel in West Street. However, the catering arrangements during his seventeen-day stay were entrusted to Mr Frye of the Belgrave.16 Six months later the Prince Imperial of France arrived and from 3 March to 19 April was the guest of Captain and Mrs Baynton in Government House. When his mother, the Empress Eugénie, made her pilgrimage to Natal the following year she too was the guest of the Bayntons in appreciation of their kindness to her son. The governor, Sir Garnet Wolseley, came down from Pietermaritzburg to meet the empress and stayed in the small house on the property, dining with the company in Government House. Wolseley expressed concern about Mrs Baynton who, he said, was a lady of about 20 stone and was so agitated by the prospect of her royal visitor

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The Governor’s Resident – front elevation, taken from across the waters of the bay.

that he feared apoplexy. The house had official occupants again when General Colley and his wife arrived in Durban to take up his governorship on 28 June 1880 and spent two days in it before proceeding to Pietermaritzburg.17 When Sir Henry Bulwer returned to Natal in 1882 for his second term as governor he found the Bayntons still in occupation of Government House in Durban. No governor or administrator ever had, or in his opinion ever would, exercise the right of evicting them on two days’ notice. It was unbefitting the dignity of a colonial governor to place him in such a position. He was further annoyed to hear that Baynton had sublet the smaller house at £15 a month – a rate of £180 a year, though he paid only £100 a year for the two houses. The whole arrangement was not to the advantage of the government and should be terminated and the houses sold or let at an economic rent. The Colonial Secretary agreed with him. All that could be said for the arrangement was that Baynton’s rent had paid for new stables and had put and kept the house in repair. There followed a great spurt of activity, inquiring into expenditure on the property, its current value, whether to sell or lease, whether to dispose of it in one lot or two, whether an alternative use could be found for it. Sir Bartle Frere had suggested it might be used by the army for officers’ quarters. A proposal that it might serve as a court house for the Umlazi magistracy was rejected on the grounds that it was too far from the jail and the Durban courthouse. It was not until 7 June 1887, eleven years to the day since it had been bought, that the property was purchased by John Millar on behalf of Mrs Natalia Grice for £3 000. It had cost, with transfer fees and interest £4 858-4-7 and an estimated £700 had been spent on it.18 There is an appendage to the tale: the sale of Government House in Durban was not the end of the quest for a seaside residence. Long before the house was disposed of, it had largely ceased to function as the governor’s Durban headquarters. It did not figure in Bulwer’s leave-taking of Durban in October 1885. A farewell banquet was hosted

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by the mayor in the Durban Club and afterwards Mrs Harry Escombe held an at-home to which upwards of 300 guests were invited. When the next governor, Sir Arthur Havelock, arrived in the following February he was taken by special train straight to Pietermaritzburg after a welcoming ceremony in the town hall.19 When he returned for a three-day visit the following month he and his party stayed at the Royal Hotel20, though a reception at the conclusion of the visit was held in the St Andrew’s Street house which had been ‘put in a proper state for the occasion’.21 Havelock revived the practice of renting accommodation in Durban, although he still had an official residence there; when he went with his family to Durban in June 1886 it was to Hartley’s Overport House.22 Overport House was used on subsequent occasions but so too were other places. When Governor Mitchell was contemplating a visit to Durban in July 1890 he was expected to take J.J. Grice’s house on the Bayside (i.e. the former Government House).23 In the event, he went instead to the port captain’s house at the Point.24 The Durban Club and hotels like the Alexandra and the Royal were also sometimes chosen. The advent of the railway also made it possible for a governor on his way to Zululand to pass through Durban and be the guest of some prominent person on the north coast. None of these arrangements was acceptable to the maritime residence lobby. Greater wealth, expanding ambitions and a livelier interest among later governors favoured their cause. Yet it took fifteen years for Durban’s second governor’s residence to materialise. The process began just two years after the St Andrew’s Street house was sold, when the government purchased a leasehold site on the Berea which had originally been part of William Hartley’s Overport estate. The sum of £15 000 to build a house was then put on the estimates for 1890. But there was considerable opposition both to the site and to the proposed expenditure. Though it commanded a splendid view the site was said to be difficult of access, about four miles from the town and so exposed that it would be ten years before a protecting screen of trees made it liveable on. It was likely to cost guests 20 to 50 shillings to hire a trap to get there and they would be exposed to the dangers of going so far on a dark night. Upcountry members especially were concerned about the initial cost of the building and about the cost of equipping, staffing and maintaining it. After proposing first to reduce the estimate figure to £6 000 it was eventually decided instead to provide in the meantime a grant of £400 a year to enable the governor to hire accommodation for a season in Durban.25 In 1897 the corporation was still pressing the government to accept its offer of freehold and build a governor’s house but it was not until the wartime session of 1901 that the legislative assembly at last agreed to proceed. Though the plans were ready by October 1901 the house was not finished until 1904, much to the annoyance of the governor, Sir Henry McCallum, who said the work could have been carried out in a third of the time.26 A luncheon to celebrate the opening on 29 June 1904 was presided over by Sir Henry Bale, the chief justice of the supreme court who was acting as administrator in the absence of the governor. A note from the prime minister’s secretary on 21 December 1904 informed the postmaster general that in future the house would be called King’s House, Durban.27
NOTES 1. Statistical tables relating to the colonial possessions of the United Kingdom, H.C. 1856 (2127) 2. Killie Campbell Library, Churchill papers, Ms 30 (8), Marianne Churchill to William Churchill, May 1861.

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3. D. Child, A merchant family in early Natal: Diaries and letters of Joseph and Marianne Churchill, Cape Town, 1979, p. 162. Hugh Gillespie to William Churchill, 2 July 1864. 4. Killie Campbell Library, Churchill papers, Ms 34(12) and Ms 39(13), Hugh Gillespie to William Churchill, 28 September 1863 and 1 April 1864. 5. Killie Campbell Library, Churchill papers, Ms 33(8) and Ms 33(9), J.F. Churchill to William Churchill, 31 July 1864 and 29 August 1864; Ms 28(8), Emma Churchill to William Churchill, 29 December 1868. 6. Killie Campbell Library, Ms 99/45, Diary of William Todd, 20 April 1850. 7. Child, A merchant family in early Natal, p.14. 8. Alan F. Hattersley, A camera on old Natal, p.73. 9. W.P. Henderson, Durban: Fifty years of municipal history, Durban, 1904, p.81. 10. Natal Colonist, 21 and 25 February 1873; South African Archives, Pietermaritzburg, A96, Shepstone’s diary, 17 and 18 February and 25 March 1873; Killie Campbell Library. Ms 89/20 Hartley papers, files 1 and 2; Colenso papers, file 21, Mrs Colenso to Lady Lyall, 12 February 1873. 11. Natal Colonist, 10 April 1873 12. Natal Mercury, 11 September 1873 13. Votes and proceedings, legislative council, 1874, p.323, 30 October 1874 and p.441, 18 November 1874; ibid, 1875, p.18, 13 May 1875. 14. South African Archives, Pietermaritzburg, Executive Council papers, Minutes of executive council, vol. 10, p.146, 18 June 1877; CSO 599. 15. South African Archives, Pietermaritzburg, CSO 599; CSO 1125. 16. Natal Mercury, 25 and 27 September 1878. 17. Natal Witness, 29 June 1880. 18. South African Archives, Pietermaritzburg, CSO 1125 and AGO 1/8/35. 19. Natal Witness, 19 and 24 October 1885 20. Natal Witness, 17 and 18 February 1886 21. Natal Witness, 18 March 1886 22. Natal Witness, 22 May and 12 June 1886 23. Natal Mercury, 9 July and 4 September 1890 24. Natal Witness, 21 January 1890 25. Votes and proceedings, house of assembly, 1889, xiii.379–380, 399–401 and 440, and Assembly debates, 1889, pp.379–380, 388 and 397–401. 26. Natal Mercury, 4 October 1902 27. South African Archives, Pietermaritzburg, PM/51/2102

J.L. MCCRACKEN

A boy and a waterfall

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A boy and a waterfall
Natalia here republishes an edited version of two articles written by Natal Witness editor John Conyngham, about the Gordon Falls. In the grounds of Hilton College there are two memorials to Guy ‘Dido’ Falcon. One is a drinking fountain near the classrooms which bears a brief inscription: In loving remembrance of a Hilton boy, erected by his mother. The other is a brass plaque in the dining hall, mellowed now by years of burnishing, that hints at how, one fateful Saturday in 1922, he fell to his death over the Gordon Falls. For the past 80 years, both memorials have been familiar to generations of boys who have passed through the school. Yet invariably the question is asked: where are the Gordon Falls? Over the decades no amount of enquiry has produced a location but late in 2001, quite by chance, a fleeting reference in a book revived the search. Jolyon Nuttall – onetime manager of the Daily News, and twin brother of Michael, former bishop of Natal – has published a memoir* about the literary friendship between his father Neville and Alan Paton. In the book, a quote from Neville Nuttall’s diary, dated Sunday, February 24, 1924, states: ‘On Thursday, Alan and I had another trip to the Gordon Falls – almost exactly a year since we last went there.’ No more is said about the place where, two years earlier, young ‘Dido’ Falcon had fallen to his death. But who was Guy ‘Dido’ Falcon? He was the 14-year-old son of William Falcon, headmaster of Hilton College, and a pupil at the school. William Falcon was a man of many parts. He had been a classics scholar and sportsman at Cambridge, a member of Lord Milner’s Kindergarten, and was an experienced schoolmaster, but he also had a great interest in natural history, specifically terrestrial molluscs (land snails). And, fatefully, as it turned out, he had passed on this love of nature to his son Dido who was a passionate butterfly collector. And so it was on an expedition to find specimens that the two of them, accompanied by a number of schoolboys, set out early on the morning of February 26, 1922 for the Gordon Falls. For what happened next we must turn to a letter written by one of the party, 13year-old Bowen II, to his parents**. It is dated two days after the tragedy and describes the falls as being about 12 miles (19 kilometres) away from the school. It also says that, from top to bottom, the falls were divided into three ‘drops’ of about 30, 80 and 40 feet respectively. The party left early in the morning and travelled part of the way by car and on foot,
*A Literary Friendship by Jolyon Nuttall – The Valley Trust, Cape Town 2001. **Lift up your Hearts by Neville Nuttall – The Hiltonian Society 1971.

Natalia 32 (2002), John Conyngham pp. 43–47
Natalia 32 (2002) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

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A boy and a waterfall

A long-range aerial shot showing the Gordon Falls nestling in their defile beneath the Swartkop massif.

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reaching their destination in time for a camp breakfast before breaking up and heading off in different directions. Bowen spent about an hour searching for shells for the headmaster before joining up with Dido at the top of the bottom falls. He said that he then suggested going down for lunch but Dido replied that he wanted to catch just one more butterfly. Minutes later, as Bowen was descending to the bottom of the falls, he ‘heard a terrible crash, as though someone had thrown a big stone into a pool of water’. He thought nothing of it until he heard the headmaster being told that Dido had fallen over the falls. Bowen then rushed down through the undergrowth until he could ‘see poor Dido lying on his back between two jagged rocks, with his head hanging over the rock, shaking about’. When he finally reached his stricken friend and lifted his head, he discovered that Dido was already unconscious. He had a deep gash in his skull and his eyes appeared to be protruding from their sockets. Bowen goes on to tell his parents about how Dido was carried to the car, placed across his father’s lap on the back seat, and then driven back to the school sanatorium where he was dead on arrival. ‘I can’t write any more because my hand is getting shaky. I will try to write a little more. We then got changed and had prayers and went to bed. I don’t think that I slept an hour during the whole night.’ Nevertheless, Bowen writes briefly about the funeral in the school cemetery the following day, recounting how the minister, the Reverend Griffith Jeudwine of the parish of Kirby-Hilton, recited the 23rd Psalm, how the cadets fired three volleys over the coffin, and how he, Bowen II, was given two bouquets of flowers to place on the grave. Intrigued by the reference in Neville Nuttall’s diary, several Witness staffers undertook to locate the mysterious falls. First, someone contacted an elderly member of the Rambler’s Club who recollected visiting them long ago on the Edendale valley side of Swartkop, the landmark mountain between Sweetwaters and Cedara. Next, someone mentioned the name of a Johannesburg gunsmith, who happens to be compiling a register of the waterfalls in KwaZulu-Natal, and who had once unsuccessfully attempted to reach the falls. He confirmed the general whereabouts, as did the article in The Natal Witness that had reported the tragedy. It spoke of how Dido’s ‘whole-hearted devotion to Nature’ had led to the fatal accident at ‘the Gordon Falls near Edendale’. A map in the Natal Society Library’s cartographic collection, drawn up in 1897 by a Captain C.B. FitzHenry of the 7th Hussars, added another piece to the jigsaw with its reference to a headland called the Gordon Spur in the vicinity of present-day KwaBanjwa and Smero. Marked to the east of the headland was a river called the Skinsdale Spruit with an unnamed waterfall indicated in a wooded gully. A further clue came from a map in the Surveyor-General’s office in Pietermaritzburg on which the sites of waterfalls were pinpointed on the western watershed of Swartkop mountain. While there was no mention of the Gordon Spur or even a waterfall, the topographic features indicated the location of both, although the river was called the Mabane. Given the relative inaccessibility of the area, the logical next step was an aerial reconnaissance. Thanks to the generosity of a member of the Pietermaritzburg Aero

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A boy and a waterfall

Club, a flight was arranged for one Saturday morning. No sooner had the plane risen from the Oribi tarmac than it was banked westwards up the Edendale valley. Far below, the Umsunduzi River wandered through the foothills. As it had rained several days before, the tumble of the Georgetown Falls and the expanse of Henley Dam were easily discernible. Guided by the Surveyor General’s map, the pilot swung northwards from Georgetown and up a tributary towards the distant bulk of Swartkop. The densely populated valley soon gave way to rural uplands with scattered homesteads and herds of cattle grazing on the hillsides. After swooping low across a plateau, the plane rose up and over a headland and then descended into the adjoining valley. There, nestled in a forested cleft, with its height foreshortened from above, was a waterfall with the telltale three ‘drops’ that Bowen II had described so many years before. As the inscription on the old brass plaque in the Hilton College dining room commemorates, far below was clearly the place where, on the morning of February 26, 1922, young Guy ‘Dido’ Falcon, ‘with laughter on his lips and innocence in his heart, chased a butterfly over the Gordon Falls and into eternity’. John Conyngham appended a footnote to the article asking for further information and several people wrote in to the Witness. Among them was Natal Museum malacologist Dai Herbert. Although not a scientist himself, ‘Dido’s’ father, William Falcon, was an avid collector of molluscs (land snails), and on his death his collection had been donated to the museum. Herbert had long wondered about the whereabouts of the Gordon Falls as they are frequently listed as the place where various snails were found. Another letter writer, Rob Guy of Underberg, remembered hiking from Blackridge to the falls in about 1944. He also raised the surmise that they may have been named after a Major George Hamilton Gordon of the Royal Engineers who was a watercolourist and had been stationed at Fort Napier in the 1860s. Thanks to this lead and the staff at the Pietermaritzburg Archives, watercolours of the falls have been found, strengthening the theory that they were named after him. Someone else with a link to the Falcon drama is Pietermaritzburg resident Colleen Williams. Her father, Robert Bowen, was the 13-year-old Bowen II who had been one of the group of schoolboys at the Gordon Falls that fateful Saturday morning who wrote about it in the letter quoted above. His twin brother Humphrey – Bowen I – had been at the top of the third ‘drop’ of the waterfall and had seen Falcon plunge headlong over it. While this happened, Robert Bowen had been on his way down through the undergrowth and was consequently the first person to reach the mortally injured Dido on the jagged rocks beneath. Williams says that in February 1967, almost exactly 45 years after the incident, her father Robert Bowen, then a Bantu Affairs Commissioner in Pietermaritzburg, made a pilgrimage to the Gordon Falls. While at the place where his friend Dido had died, Bowen took a number of photographs. One shows Swartkop and the cleft of natural bush where the falls are located. Others show the place where Dido slipped on the wet stone and the rock on which he landed. In yet another letter, Jolyon Nuttall from Cape Town, whose memoir about his father Neville and Alan Paton had been the catalyst that started the research, quotes a memorable description from this father’s diary after a visit to the falls on Saturday,

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February 24, 1923, almost exactly a year after Falcon’s death. ‘We had a fine day yesterday. Left at 6.30 am and arrived at 10 – after a great deal of climbing over hillsides and tramping through bush – at one of the loveliest places I ever saw. A deep, thickly-wooded valley – quite a big stream – tumbling over falls – and rushing down in one glorious cascade after another. The sort of thing one sees sometimes in bioscope films of Canada but hardly credits. But this was it – Alan and I alone here – and with a thousand sounds and scents around and the stream and those cascades. ‘We sat on shaded rocks in the middle of the stream and ate lunch with relish and talked. Walked back in the afternoon after a splendid day – another rosy bead in my chain of memories.’ Another lyrical reminiscence about the falls was written by Eunice Walls of Plettenberg Bay. Now in her mid-seventies, she used as a girl to stay with an aunt and her family on a farm in the Plessislaer area. She remembers a highlight of those holidays being the expeditions to the Gordon Falls. The party would inevitably set out at dawn and only reach their destination after an arduous trek across the hills. ‘In the lush cool surrounds at the base of the falls, we rested, drank tea and started eating our haversack rations. Once [we had] cooled down, we changed into swimsuits and cavorted in the cool, deep pool at the bottom of the falls. We would edge along the rocks until we were behind the spilling curtain of water, thrilled to be in a whooshing, hidden-from-the-world place. ‘Later, lying on the sun-dappled rocks, we would warm up, finish our rations and, too soon, have to change back into our clothes to start the long walk home ....’ Why do the falls appear to have ‘vanished’ in recent years? Perhaps the reason is because of apartheid – their location in the vicinity of present-day KwaBanjwa and Smero made them inaccessible as a picnic destination for white hikers. Furthermore, a colonial name seems linked to a past era because the people who now live around the falls refer to them differently. But so memorable were her visits to that particular landmark that Walls – like many other people – has carried them with her ever since. ‘Throughout my adult life the enchantment of the hidden Gordon Falls has sustained me and, in fantasy, I am often transported back to that most magical place.’ JOHN CONYNGHAM

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Obituaries

Obituaries
Ruth Gordon (1910–2002)
Ruth Gordon (nee Ralls) (91) who died in Kendal in the English Lake District after a brief illness, was well known in Pietermaritzburg as an historian, author, lecturer and populariser of history and as a pillar of amateur music-making. Indeed, so closely was Gordon associated with Pietermaritzburg until she left in 1998 to join her daughters in England and so authoritative was she on its history that it comes as a mild shock to realise that she was born in East London of 1820 Settler stock and spent her infant years in Durban and a considerable portion of her childhood in various small Free State dorps. It was only in her student days at Natal Training College and the then Natal University College that she first became a permanent Ruth Gordon resident of the city. Overseas study – she won the A.B. Webb scholarship – took her to London, her first teaching post to Vryheid and marriage to Ixopo and later Durban before, with her family life disrupted by divorce, she returned to Pietermaritzburg. After two years teaching at what was then known as the Oribi Government School she was appointed to Girls’ High School where she ran the history department for 10 years. Promotion to a lectureship and later head of department at Natal Training College followed, from where she very reluctantly departed in 1975 only because of reaching the mandatory age of retirement. Twelve years later, in her 77th year, she cheerfully returned to do a locum for a term to allow her successor to take long leave. And the loss of a formal lecturing post did not prevent her continuing to deliver numerous talks on a wide variety of historical subjects, often related to her travels, to many different organisations, notably the Minerva Club. While at Training College, Gordon completed her doctorate in 1966 with a thesis

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on the Shepstone family, later published as Shepstone, the first of her many books. Research on the Byrne settlers and the discovery of unpublished letters by one Ellen McLeod resulted in the publication of Dear Louisa which proved so popular that it had to be reprinted several times. Other books included From Dias to Vorster, a source book of South African history (produced in collaboration with Clive Talbot), Honour without Riches, a narrative based on the letters and diaries of the Archibald family of Umzinto, The Place of the Elephant, a history of Pietermaritzburg and Natal’s Royal Show, a history of the 125-year history of the Royal Agricultural Society. She also wrote her autobiography, Alive, Alive-O. In 1968 Gordon started a recorder group in her home in Deanery Lane which met regularly for the next 30 years until she left the city. It came to include flute, violins and pianos. Gordon taught herself the flute and in her eighties donned military uniform to become an improbable member of the Carbineers’ Band. In her last three years in England she continued a similar pattern of life, setting up musical groups and giving lectures and teaching English to immigrants. Gordon was able to achieve as much as she did because of her highly organised and disciplined lifestyle. Teachers were required to keep a ‘daily forecast’ indicating what work they intended to cover with each class in each period of the day. In retirement Gordon maintained this practice, dividing each day into half-hour periods and indicating what she intended to achieve in each. She maintained this organisation and control to the very end of her life, finally telling her caregivers when to switch off the oxygen! Dr Sylvia Vietzen, former head of Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School, said of Gordon: ‘She had a great gift for inspiring enthusiasm. Whether teaching history to the young or recorder-playing to the elderly, or as a travel companion or as a friend, she left one feeling enriched and energised. Her contribution to a love of local and popular history among the general reading public was incalculable.’ Gordon leaves her two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, and several grandchildren. (Reprinted from The Natal Witness, with permission.)

Charles Henderson (1913–2001)

Charles Henderson (88), who died in Ladysmith, was a prominent farmer in northern KwaZulu-Natal and a veteran of political opposition to Afrikaner nationalism, serving in the Senate for 20 years. Born in Dundee in 1913, he was educated by private governesses and at Dundee High School before matriculating from Durban High School in 1930. He was then taken to Scotland to become co-heir with his brother of a 400-year-old family estate, but elected rather to return to his native South Africa to join his father on the Biggarsberg farm Balbrogie. Here he expanded the family holdings by the acquisition of neighbouring farms and became noted for his progessive farming methods. Only in 1997, when Balbrogie celebrated its centenary, did Henderson hand over to his son James. Henderson was a strong supporter of efforts to eradicate invasive aliens. He also led the way in veld management, field contouring, drainage schemes and donga reclamation. He headed the innovative development by the former Natal Parks Board of private game conservancies as founder chairman of the Conservancies Association in

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KwaZulu-Natal. He also chaired the Biggarsberg Conservancy where he promoted foot and horse trials, fish and game stocking and controlled hunting. His contribution to agriculture and conservation were recognised at various times by the Elandslaagte Farmers’ Association, the Natal Agricultural Union, Stock Owners, the Natal Parks Board and the Department of Agriculture. From 1933 when, at the age of 21, he became founder secretary of the Elandslaagte branch of the South African Party, Henderson spearheaded opposition to Afrikaner nationalism in northern KwaZulu-Natal. His vigorous campaign against a republic in the 1960 referendum led to his being elected as senator, a post which he held for the next 20 years until the Senate was dissolved in 1981. As a senator, he was deeply involved during Charles Henderson the 1960s in the fight against forced ‘black spot’ removals in Northern Natal. Henderson was greatly concerned with the preservation of South Africa’s heritage. His 1969 private member’s motion in the Senate deploring the state’s neglect of our national heritage elicited the extraordinary response of a standing ovation from the Nationalist benches and led directly to that year’s new National Monuments Act. Henderson was in the House and witnessed the assasination of Dr Hendrik Verwoerd in 1966. He was also in the House (as a guest) 24 years later when President F.W. de Klerk made his historic announcement of the release of Nelson Mandela. He remarked: ‘I have been waiting 40 years to hear sense like this.’ Henderson served as a captain during World War II with the 2nd Battalion of the Natal Carbineers (of which his elder brother Colin was the commanding officer) in North Africa in armoured cars. After the war he rejoined with the rank of major until the 2nd Battalion was disbanded by the Nationalist government in 1954. Thereafter he served briefly with the 1st Battalion, including a stint as acting officer commanding. Advocate Adrian Rall, son of long-time former political colleague Horace Rall, said of him: ‘Charles Henderson was one of a rare breed of politician, now all but extinct in South Africa. He was a man of integrity and principle, a courageous fighter for justice; his life was one of selfless public service. That service was immense, covering a wide variety of fields, and his passing will be deeply mourned by the many people whose lives he touched.’ Henderson leaves his wife Sheila (whom he married in 1948), a son and four daughters. (Reprinted from The Natal Witness, with permission.)

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Dr John Pringle, a former director of the Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg, died on 4 July 2002, in his 92nd year. He was born in Warrenton near Kimberley, but grew up on a farm near Lake Chrissie in the Carolina district of Mpumalanga. He had an active outdoor life there, where his interest in wildlife began. After schooling in Carolina, he attended the University of the Witwatersrand, majoring in Zoology and Botany. In 1935 he was awarded the M.Sc. degree for his thesis on the remarkable life history of a minute beetle called Micromalthus debilis which was breeding in pit props in the local gold mines. His thesis was published in the Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London in 1935, and is still cited in scientific writings. His doctorate came John Pringle in 1954, and dealt with aspects of snake (Photograph: The Natal Witness) embryology. Dr Pringle’s mother had a notable career in the Kimberley Museum before her marriage, so perhaps it was not surprising that his first appointment was as an Assistant at the Port Elizabeth Museum. At that time, the museum was directed by Dr F.W. FitzSimons, the authority on South African snakes and their venoms, who founded the famous Snake Park in the grounds of the museum. Dr FitzSimons had also built a large enclosure for live seals, but this caused problems. In those days the museum was located in a prime residential part of the city, and the noise made by the seals so disturbed neighbours that they took the matter to court. The museum lost the case and had to dispose of the seals. Dr FitzSimons was offended and abruptly resigned. Despite John Pringle’s limited experience, he was soon appointed Director and was launched on his long career in museology. During the Second World War, Dr Pringle expanded the programme of collecting snake venoms for serum production that had been instituted by Dr FitzSimons. This was considered by the Government to be important because of possible exposure of South African troops to snake bites in the war theatres of North Africa. To ensure a constant supply of the venoms, he built up a network of snake catchers in the farming community. Many different biological specimens were collected for scientific study. Dr Pringle encouraged local trawlermen to keep anything unusual brought up in their nets, and this resulted in a spectacular new species of seashell being named Afrivoluta pringlei. Fishes were also obtained for Professor J.L.B. Smith, then preparing the first edition of his book on the seafishes of Southern Africa, who named the species Palinurichthys pringlei in his honour. A distinctive new subspecies of the African Spitting Cobra was

John Adams Pringle (1910–2002)

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discovered and later described and named by Dr Pringle, and also a new species of fossil Cretaceous mollusc. Another notable event was the successful defence he organised of the Addo Elephant Park, in the face of agitation by farmers to have it deproclaimed. Then there was the visit to the Snake Park by the British Royal Family during the Royal Tour of 1947. This was widely reported by the media, and the London Illustrated News published a large centre-page photograph showing Dr Pringle earnestly telling the King and Queen about the different live snakes held up for their inspection, while the clearly horrified Princesses looked on. After 16 years in Port Elizabeth, Dr Pringle was appointed Director of the Natal Museum, and he arrived with his family in Pietermaritzburg in mid-1953. Although a national museum, it was understaffed and underfunded. Gradually he was able to enlarge the staff, and he planned new developments, especially after an inspiring visit to American museums funded by a Carnegie Grant. But there was limited space for growth, and modern laboratories, workshops and library accommodation were badly needed. Through his persistence in negotiations with obdurate State Departments, a large extension to the building eventually was approved, and was completed in 1967. This transformed the institution. Dr Pringle embarked on an extensive programme of collecting items relating to the 19th century settlers in Natal. His most remarkable acquisition was all of the surviving furniture and domestic articles that had been in use in Government House while successive Governors of Natal had been in residence up to 1910. Old farming implements and vehicles were also collected. As a result, it was possible for the technical staff of the museum to create the much acclaimed History Hall. While all this went on, Dr Pringle undertook a survey of the small mammals of Natal, and built up a significant collection of over 2 000 specimens, on which he based two publications in the Annals of the Natal Museum. It is now housed in the Durban Natural Science Museum, and has been named The Pringle Collection. During those years, Dr Pringle also was active in the Southern African Museums Association, of which he was a founder-member; he served often on its Council and for a term as President. On his retirement, he was elected as an Honorary Life Member. Having a deep concern for nature conservation, Dr Pringle was a longtime member of the Wildlife Society of Southern Africa, and was instrumental in establishing branches in Port Elizabeth and Pietermaritzburg. He served as National President for two years, and assembled the archives of the Society. For seven years he worked on the manuscript of his most important book, The Conservationists and the Killers, which was a history of wildlife protection in South Africa. Always interested in historical matters, Dr Pringle wrote a history of St John’s Presbyterian Church in Pietermaritzburg, and shared authorship of a book on the short-lived Vryheid Republic with the Archivist Dr Basil Leverton. Being descended from 1820 Settler stock in the Eastern Cape, he maintained contact with Pringle families farming in the Bedford district, and was co-author of a family history called Pringles of the Valley. He even succeeded in arranging the transfer of the mortal remains of the renowned 19th century poet and journalist Thomas Pringle from Britain, to be reinterred during 1970 in a chapel on a family farm Eildon near Bedford.

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Shortly after his arrival in Pietermaritzburg, Dr Pringle joined the local Rotary Club and soon became its Secretary. Later he served a term as President, and he wrote a history of the club. For his services over many years, he was admitted to the Paul Harris Fellowship, Rotary’s highest honour. John Pringle was gregarious, warmly hospitable, a relaxed public speaker, and well known in the city. Being rather tall, erect, and favouring formal clothing, he was a distinctive figure. He had an abiding concern for the welfare of his staff, and took pride and pleasure in their achievements. He was married, first to Alma who predeceased him in 1984, then to Ingrid, widow of Dr Ashton Tarr, a former Mayor of Pietermaritzburg. They moved to Amberfield in Howick, where, never inactive, he began a study of the endangered Hilton Daisy. His richly productive life closed after a short illness. He left his wife, two children, three step-children, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. BRIAN R. STUCKENBERG

The death occurred at the beginning of August of Anthony (Tony) Barrett (77), well-known educationist and former Professor of Education at the University of Natal. Barrett was born in Dundee, the son of an inspector of mines. He was educated at Merchiston and Michaelhouse and during the war served in the South African Navy as an officer aboard a minesweeper. Returning to civilian life, he studied at the University of Natal, obtaining his BA in 1947 (with distinction in History) and winning the prestigious Elsie Ballot Scholarship to CamTony Barrett bridge. Here he gained his BA (Hons) in 1950, (Photograph: Natal Society Collection) a degree converted to MA (Cantab) in 1954. Back in Pietermaritzburg, he took up a post at Maritzburg College where he remained for 10 years, teaching English, History and Latin. In 1962 he was appointed senior lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of Natal, where he was to remain until his retirement in 1990, becoming successively associate professor (1971), professor (1972) and head of department (1983). He served as dean of education from 1974 to 78 and again from 1980 to 82. Barrett wrote a thesis in 1969 on the history of Michaelhouse which was subsequently published as Michaelhouse: 1896–1968. It was an endeavour which involved a great deal of primary research because at that time the school had no archives from which he could work. At the time of his death, Barrett was a member of the board of governors of St Nicholas School and the council of the Natal Society Library, on which he had served for some 20 years. He was also a governor of St John’s DSG for 25 years and, during

Tony Barrett (1925–2002)

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his term at the university, a member of the Joint Matriculation Board. Professor Emeritus Robert Muir, for nearly 20 years a colleague of Barrett’s in the faculty of education at the university, said of him: ‘He was democratic and encouraged all staff to engage in decision-making, as well as giving them individually a great deal of control over their professional lives. He was also wise in his counsel and a powerful advocate for education in the decision-making bodies of the University.’ Barrett was a staunch member of the Anglican church, for many years in the Parish of St David’s in Prestbury. He leaves his wife Gwen, three children and one grandchild. (Reprinted from The Natal Witness, with permission)

Ronald Arden Brown (1914–2002)

Ron Brown died in Oxford on 14 December 2002. He was the University Librarian in Pietermaritzburg from 1962 to 1973, and a member of the Natal Society Council for the whole of this period. His was the idea that the Natal Society should produce a regular publication on matters relating to Natal. To this end, in 1969 he compiled and edited the bulletin Natal notes and news. Four quarterly issues were published in a roneoed form. The intention was five-fold: to concentrate on the natural environment, the early inhabitants, European and Indian settlers, buildings and places, artefacts and plans for the future. In the second issue he referred to the set of rules adopted by the Natal Society in 1865, reaffirming the Society’s objects, which included ‘the acquisition and preservation of information of local value and Ron Brown interest, and the general encouragement of habits of study, investigation and research within the colony’. He pointed out that these objects were at present being carried out by a large number of organisations, but, in many cases, these organisations and other interested persons did not know what one another were doing. An added purpose of Natal notes and news was to inform ‘interested persons’ of research being done in Natal. In the December number notification was given that this was the bulletin’s last appearance in its present form, and from the second half of 1970 it was planned to issue it in ‘a superior format’ – thus Natalia was born. Professor Colin de B. Webb was the first editor, assisted by an editorial board of three. Ron was not a board member for the first issue, but joined it in 1972. On his retirement in 1973 he returned to England, where for some years he worked for Blackwell’s in Oxford. He was much involved in the local activities of the National Trust. The son of a Stroud, Gloucestershire, medical doctor with strong Oxfordshire roots, Ron had an MA from Oxford. His first post in South Africa was as a teacher at

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Michaelhouse. The Second World War intervened and he enlisted in the British army . Afterwards he returned to South Africa. Immediately, prior to accepting the Pietermaritzburg post he had been the Deputy Librarian at Rhodes University. He was an excellent organiser (shades of his officer’s training?), and had a refreshing attitude towards librarianship. He had a straightforward, no-nonsense approach, which while ensuring accuracy, eschewed the excess of detail that the exacting nature of the profession sometimes engenders. On many a weekend afternoon Ron could be seen carrying his deck-chair along Alexandra Road as he headed for cricket at the Oval or some other sporting event. To my mind employees are the best judges of the true characters of their superiors and Ron had a happy working team. That speaks for itself. SHELAGH SPENCER

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Notes and Queries
POLITICS ON A NATAL OBSERVATION CAR A note for those who can still wax nostalgic for the days when it was on the luxury cars of international expresses, in an aroma of teak and leather, that the negotiations and intrigues of political history played themselves out. Did such closet drama ever occur in Natal? For ‘international’, here, read the 1909 train service from Johannesburg to Durban – between two independent states, after all – and for ‘luxury car’ read Mr Hendrie’s latest observation coach, especially built for the ‘corridor’ mail train, the pride and joy of the Natal Government Railways. For ‘political intrigue’ read the build-up to the South African Convention of 1909, on whose decision rested the fate of Southern Africa. The drama turns on three characters assembled in the observation car: Louis Botha, prime minister of the Transvaal, J.C. Smuts, his right hand man, and their colleague from the field of war, the old republican General de la Rey. These – the three chief delegates of the Transvaal – were the ones who would make or break the forthcoming conference. After travelling through eastern Transvaal through the night, the delegates spent most of the next day in the congenial pursuit of observing Natal through the windows of the observation car. This being a Natal train, the luxury car, the balcony coaches and the locomotive itself would have been designed by that talented Scotsman, Mr D.A. Hendrie, the colony’s Chief Mechanical Engineer. It was after leaving Ladysmith that Botha realised – from the leather luxury of the observation car – that the train was now curving through the old battle-haunts that had made him famous. To get the point of this tale, you must understand that both Smuts and Botha had had to work long hours to get General de la Rey to give his assent to the scheme for union, and to gain his prestige for the Transvaal delegation. Now, as the train wound through Natal, Botha’s mood became more that of the historian rather than the sensitive politician. All sorts of war reminiscences came crowding back, and he expanded at length on the tactics he had used so successfully. They passed station names that had carved themselves into history. The train squeezed along the narrow defile next to the Tugela River at Pieters, crossed the river at Colenso, and fetched far-off glimpses of Spioen Kop. De la Rey sat sullenly in the corner, listening to Botha unbuttoning himself on his old triumphs, which the Natal line was now bringing back so vividly. Suddenly, with an icy change of tone, De la Rey turned on Botha (an ‘upstart’ general, after all, twenty years his junior) and started coldly and logically to analyse various mistakes in his campaign. On and on he went, dismembering each manouevre, and sarcastically making comparisons with his own style of command. The atmosphere in the observation car grew more and more tense – Botha was fast reaching the point of explosion. Was the Transvaal delegation going to fragment ig-

Natalia 32 (2002) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

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nominiously before it reached Durban? (If the Transvalers were not unified, there was certainly no hope of a Union of South Africa.) Smuts, sitting with some papers that he was working at, realised that the observation car was getting very hot (politically) and tried again and again to lead the conversation elsewhere. But back came de la Rey to the attack, and the upholstered coach, gliding through old battlefields, began to resemble a battlefield itself. At last, Smuts told a joke – something that ‘slim’ Jannie was never very good at – a poor joke, but which allowed him to laugh long and uproariously at his own weak humour, until the others had no option but to join in. The atmosphere gradually changed. By the time they reached Durban, the three Transvaal leaders could face the photographers on the platform, all smiles. The tension had been smoothed and the future of South Africa consolidated! One of the effects of the Union of South Africa was to give Natal’s talented railwayman, Mr D.A. Hendrie, a final glorious decade in locomotive design as the country’s first Chief Mechanical Engineer. One can travel behind some of his steam offspring of those years even at the present day. I was lucky enough to chat with Hendrie’s son in his last years, in the 1970s, and he had stories of accompanying his father on inspection trips through the Union of South Africa. For example: remember that Hendrie senior was to be controversial at this time for designing passenger coaches with balconies at their ends. Well, Hendrie junior remembered how once, on leaving Bloemfontein for Johannesburg, he and his father were summoned to the end of their coach to have a long chat with the warm and jovial Premier of all South Africa, Louis Botha himself. Leaning on the railings of adjacent balconies, the three continued their merry conversation long after the train had started. There was no better place for a smoke and a chat! But I am sure the conversation was on more mundane things than saving the Union of South Africa! W.H. BIZLEY

PHOTOGRAPH OF THE WRECKED MINERVA In the Local History Museum in Durban there is a photograph purporting to be the stranded Minerva. It was presented in about 1925 by Mr H.P. Waller of Ixopo, who found it among his late parents’ papers. On the back is written, ’22. Wreck of the Minerva, July 1850’. Durban’s Bluff rocks were the scene of the Minerva’s end on the night of 4–5 July 1850. At 987 tons she was the largest of J.C. Byrne & Co.’s emigrant ships, carrying 287 passengers. She was an old ‘East Indiaman’, i.e. a ship used by the English East India Co. for merchandise and passengers on the Indian route, and also, if necessary, as a warship (she had gunports on her lower deck). The ship anchored on 3 July north-west of the Bluff. Another of the Byrne ships, the brig Conquering Hero, had preceded her by a few days, and was also in the outer roadstead, further north, and about 600 feet nearer land. At 4.30 p.m. on 4 July the Byrne ship Henrietta arrived, and anchored about 600 yards nearer the Bluff than the Minerva, but about the same distance from the breakers. The Henrietta’s captain later calculated that he must have been about a mile and a half from the Bar.

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The Defiance photograph in the Local History Museum, Durban. This is a sepia copy 21,2 cm x 16 cm.

During the 4th the wind was blowing a ‘moderate’ gale east or north-east, and became ‘squally’ between 8 and 10 p.m. There was a strong swell from seaward and the Minerva pitched heavily. She parted her anchor at about 11.30 p.m. The other anchor (starboard) was put down, which stayed her for about a minute, but then she continued being driven fast broadside on to the swell. In her involuntary progress she passed within 40 yards of the stern of the Henrietta. The captain, James Moir, being anxious she would get too close to the Bar (he later estimated they were about two ship-lengths away), had her headsails set, and slipped both anchor cables. By this time they were about a quarter of a mile from the Bluff. The headsails took the wrong way, the wind having veered to north-north-east, and she canted with her head to shore. She was given more sail in an attempt to turn her round completely, but there was not enough space for this, and the strong tide forced her on to the Bluff reef. She was stove in at the stern, her rudder being forced up on to the gun deck. The captain then ordered the headsails down, and the activation of the pumps. The latter made no headway. Then the topsails were hoisted to prevent the vessel falling broadside into deep water. At first light next morning (5 July) the evacuation of passengers began, and went on until 4 p.m. The last two boatloads were upset as the current was strengthening, but all managed to get to shore. (The only casualty was one of the Henrietta crew, when their lifeboat was overturned in trying to reach the Minerva.) At 4.20 p. m. the captain received a note from the Port Captain ordering everyone off the ship as she would prob-

The reversed writing as it appears at the top of the Local History Museum’s Defiance photograph. The word ‘Sepia’ is legible.

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ably break up during the night. The sailors left immediately, the officers following five minutes later. According to the correspondence of J.S. Moreland (Byrne’s immigration agent on the spot) the Minerva had started to break up by 1 a.m. on the morning of the 6th, the beach being strewn with fragments of ship and contents.

The Defiance photograph turned round.

The Minerva photograph in the Local History Museum, Durban.

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At the subsequent enquiry Moir attributed the wreck to one of the flukes of the port anchor giving way. In their report the commissioners, the Collector of Customs (W.S. Field), the Port Captain (W.D. Bell) and the Immigration Agent (George Macleroy) stated that the ship’s officers’ testimony as to the amount of cable played out differed, and they came to the conclusion that had the ship had sufficient cable on deck to ‘veer’ out for the two anchors (hauling same on deck from the lockers being a lengthy process), the vessel would probably have been saved. To return to the photograph. Some have always had their doubts that it was of the Minerva because: 1. It seems to be too early for a photographer to have been in Natal. Furthermore, had someone photographed the wreck, this would have been a noteworthy event for the press (the Natal Witness and the Natal Independent then being the only newspapers) to have added to their reports of the wreck. The first indication found in the press of the presence of a photographer in the Colony dates to May 1851, when a Mr Waller announced in the Witness that he would remain in Pietermaritzburg for a few days to take daguerrotype portraits.* Another itinerant and transient photographer, a Mr O’Brien, arrived on the coasting vessel, Gitana in June 1856, and in December advertised that he was available at Mr J.O. Wirsing’s premises in Durban and would execute portraits. The resident photographers who advertised their services in the 1850s were W.H. Burgess (Durban, October 1857), James Lloyd (Durban, July 1858), and Pietermaritzburg men, Edward Collier, October 1858), William Frank Ellis (July 1859) and John Hodson (September 1859). From this it appears that, in Natal, it was only in the late 1850s that the photographic profession ‘took off’. George Russell, in his History of old Durban, mentions a ‘photographic artist’, James Pulleyn, who was working in Durban c.1857. It is Pulleyn who is tentatively accredited with taking the Minerva photo, both by the Local History Museum and by Dr A.D. Bensusan in his1969 article entitled, ‘The wreck of the Minerva, Durban, 1850’, in Africana notes and news. However, Pulleyn arrived in Natal only in September 1850. 2. The Minerva broke up during the night of the 5–6 July, so a photograph would have had to have been taken during daylight on the 5th. The Local History Museum photograph does show a number of people on the shore, but there is no sign of the frenetic activity saving passengers would have entailed. 3. The photograph shows a ship with a number of sails on the masts, whereas, the Minerva’s captain specifically mentions the headsails being taken down, and the hoisting of the topsails to keep the vessel upright**. Also in the Local History Museum is a sepia photograph of the Defiance (1 001 tons), an iron ship, which was wrecked just north of the Umzimkulu river mouth on 6 October 1871. She had left Bombay on 31 August, and was bound for Liverpool. The image is
*Presumably he is the William Waller, for whom a letter was lying unclaimed at the Durban Post Office in Mar. 1852, and the William Waller, photographer in Bathurst (1862) and Grahamstown (1878). **John Sanderson is the only person known to have drawn the wreck at the time. His sketch used as an illustration in Bensusan’s article shows two of the three masts with topsails only. Sanderson made

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very similar to the Minerva photograph, except that the ship is facing down the coast instead of up. However, at the top of the picture is some writing which is back-tofront – one of the words that can be deciphered is ‘sepia’, so presumably it was a note scribbled by the photographer. When this photograph is reversed, it is, to all intents and purposes, the 1850 photograph of the Minerva, perhaps taken at a slightly later time, as the sails appear more torn. Assistance in preparing this piece is gratefully acknowledged to Capt. I.W. Edwards of Somerset West (former Durban Port Captain), and Professor J. L. McCracken of

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN NATAL CELEBRATES In 2002 the Catholic Church celebrated the arrival of the first missionaries. On 15 March 1852 a group of French-speaking Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, led by Bishop Francois Allard, arrived on the cutter Gem. There were about 60 Catholics living along the coastal belt and about three times that number in the Pietermaritzburg area, including Irish soldiers at Fort Napier. Allard’s vicariate encompassed the eastern side of South Africa from the Kei River to Inhambane and from the Indian Ocean to longitude 22° east. From this huge vicariate three archbishoprics and twenty six vicariates were eventually carved. The 150th anniversary was celebrated in May by the OMI Congregation in Natal and in August by the Archdiocese of Durban led by Wilfred, Cardinal Napier. Visit of the Oblate Superior-General and his Council In May 2002 the Superior-General of the OMI and his council travelled from Rome to meet the Provincials of all the OMI missionary countries in Africa. After holding a series of meetings at Hartebeespoort, they travelled to Durban. On the morning of 25 May 2002 the party visited St Joseph’s Theological Institute at Cedara, where they met and lunched with staff and students. Then they set out for Pietermaritzburg for a celebration at the original chapel in Loop Street, which was opened in December 1852. It was here that the Prince Imperial lay in state in June 1879. It has now been completely restored, renamed Allard Chapel and a section of it has been turned into a museum. Portraits of the pioneer bishops and priests have been etched into the glass partition which separates the chapel from the museum. The historic building was blessed and officially opened by the Superior-General, Father Wilhelm Steckling OMI. This was followed by tea and then a Mass of thanksgiving which was said in a huge marquee. Father Stuart Bate OMI was the preacher and the choir of St Joseph’s led the singing. On their way back to Durban the official party visited Ntshongweni where the annual pilgrimage was in full swing. They were amazed and impressed by the large and enthusiastic crowd which was present at the all-night service. The following day, Sunday 26 May, Mass was said at Emmanuel Cathedral, with
two sketches of the wreck, both on 5 July – one of the ship alone (the one in the Bensusan article) and one showing the vessel at a distance, with the Bluff, and boats plying between ship and shore. According to Bensusan the ship in the two drawings is similar. The problem with Sanderson’s sketches is that he pictures the Minerva as a barque, not a ship, according to maritime authorities consulted by Bensusan. The solution suggested in the article is that he drew the outlines on the spot, and filled in the details later.

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Cardinal Napier presiding and Archbishop Denis Hurley as preacher. In the evening the ladies of St Anne’s Parish, Sydenham, arranged a display of floral art around the arrival of the first missionaries and the youth presented a musical entitled ‘The Witness’. The final celebration took place on Monday 27 May, the feast day of Bishop St Eugene de Mazenod, founder of the OMI congregation, and also of Blessed Joseph Gerard, pioneer missionary of Lesotho, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998. This was held at St Anne’s Church and was attended by all Natal’s OMI priests, many religious superiors, and laity. It was followed by lunch which brought the Superior-General’s visit to an end. A short illustrated history of the Natal vicariate from 1852 to the present, written by Joy Brain, was published by the OMI to mark the 150th anniversary. Archdiocesan Celebrations In August 2002 the Archdiocese of Durban organised their celebration to coincide with the plenary session of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference held at Mariannhill. A Jubilee Mass of thanksgiving was said at the Durban Exhibition Hall on August 25 and during the ceremony Jabulani Nxumalo OMI was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Durban. Bishop Nxumalo is well known in Pietermaritzburg, where he served as parish priest of St Mary’s for several years before being elected as Provincial of the OMI in Natal; after this he was called to Rome and appointed OMI counsellor for Africa. All the seventy-five parishes of the Archdiocese of Durban participated in the ceremony by producing a 75-metre ‘Walk of Thanksgiving’ built up from their parish banners embroidered or appliqued in bright colours. The occasion was a very happy one and brought the sesquicentennial jubilee celebrations to a close. We are now sitting back to await the two-hundredth anniversary! THE FUTURE OF THE NATAL SOCIETY’S SPECIAL COLLECTIONS As the Msunduzi Municipality is considering taking over the library activities of the Natal Society and running them as a municipal library, the Natal Society Council has decided that the special collections it has built up over the years would be better administered, and have more chance of survival and use, if they were given on permanent loan to the University of Natal. These collections have therefore been relocated to the Alan Paton Centre at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg. There are four main collections. The Africana and rare book collection contains books and pamphlets published in South Africa prior to the passing of the first Legal Deposit Act in 1916, and books about South Africa published prior to about 1900. It includes some of the books given to the Natal Society by Henry Cloete and Robert Moffat Jnr at the time of its foundation in 1851, a substantial collection of works by and about Bishop Colenso, especially his theological controversy, and a fairly complete collection of works dealing with Natal. Secondly there is the O’Brien Collection. This was the private library of Senator W.J. O’Brien, a city councillor, mayor, member of Parliament and senator for Pietermaritzburg for many years. He was a staunch supporter of the Natal Society, and after his death at the age of 99 his daughters gave his library to the Society, together with an endowment. It is a fine example of a Victorian/Edwardian gentleman’s library, catholic

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in scope but particularly rich in English and French history and literature. Being an Irishman, O’Brien had also much on Irish history and culture. The endowment has been used to develop his library as a collection of Victorian life and thought. The third collection is that of Professor Alan Hattersley, the ‘father’ of Natal history. It contains mainly historical works. Fourthly there is the Photograph Collection. Thanks mainly to the enthusiasm of Miss Sue Judd, the Natal Society has a fine collection of photographs of early Pietermaritzburg and Natal, including some spectacular photographs of the City Hall burning down in 1898. These collections are probably too ‘Eurocentric’ to be considered politically correct in the present climate of South Africa. If, however, they can be kept intact until political passions have died down and ‘Eurocentricity’ is not longer regarded as a disease, they will form an invaluable source of information on life and thought in Victorian Natal. DAVID BUCKLEY THE WITNESS AT WILLOWTON The first edition of The Natal Witness (a four-page spread) was handed out free of charge by its editor, David Dale Buchanan, from the window of his cottage on Erf 27 Church Street to such passers-by as would take it on the afternoon of Friday 27 February 1846. In 1863 the paper moved to 244 Longmarket Street, a site it was to occupy uninterruptedly until September 2002. Situated over the road from the colonial parliament (and since 1994 , the provincial parliament) it was at the heart of things. In 1876 the paper began to be printed on the first steam press in Natal. It was reported that “the engine is nominally of four horsepower, but can work to nearly three times that strength. It drives three printing presses, viz., a double-royal ‘Belle Sauvage’, a demifolio ‘Bremner’ and a foolscap platten. Besides that, it works a very powerful cutting machine and a circular saw and even then half of its strength is to spare.” A century later, however, steam technology was thoroughly outmoded. It was clear that if the Witness wished to stay abreast of the times, what its historian described as ‘a quantum leap in the technology of production’ had to be taken. It was accordingly decided to install a new Albert press, one of the first rotary-litho presses in the country at the time and also to reclocate the printing of the paper to the new Willowton industrial area to the east of the city. The Royal Show supplement of 1981 was the first product of the new equipment. Twenty years later, however, the Albert was dated and in February 2002 it, in turn, was superceded by the KBA Comet web offset press, reputedly the most technologically-sophisticated on the African continent. Koenig and Bauer, its makers, is the oldest press manufacturer in the world, established, unbelievably, in 1817, two years after the battle of Waterloo! With the acquisition of 50% of the Witness shares by the Naspers group in August 2001, the paper had the financial muscle not only to make such an investment, but also to proceed to a seond phase of the project, namely to move the entire editorial operation to Willowton. The last edition produced from Longmarket Street appeared on Saturday September 14 2002. That of the following Monday came from the new premises, the absence of any break in production representing little short of an organisational miracle.

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The new Witness at Willowton represents a total investment approaching R60 million. What the move says about the decline of the inner city, however, is another story. Circulation of the paper is deemed unlikely to increase much. Growth potential now lies in the press and already contracts to print other publications, most notably the Zululanguage bi-weekly Ilanga, have been secured. JACK FROST THE TATHAM ART GALLERY NATIONAL PORTRAIT COMPETITION: KING CETSHWAYO The Tatham Art Gallery’s collection was begun in 1903. To celebrate this event the Gallery hosted a national portrait competition to paint a portrait of the Zulu monarch, King Cetshwayo in traditional dress. The intention was to address an obvious historical imbalance; not to hide any aspect of the history of the province, but to acquire a companion for the portrait of Queen Victoria – an equally impressive portrait of one of the Zulu kings. King Cetshwayo was deemed to be the most appropriate subject. The criteria were that a work in oil or acrylic paints, showing highly competent painting skills, should be an accurate physical likeness of King Cetshwayo and an accurate rendition of his traditional attire and any artefacts included in the painting. It should be a full length portrait of the King, standing or seated in a suitable setting, and giving an indication of his personality and dignity as a Zulu king. The majority of the selection panel were in favour of a portrayal of King Cetshwayo which communicated his likeness and stature without any fussiness of ceremonial dress or setting. The competition was open to South African artists resident for most of the year in South Africa. Over a hundred entries were finally received, and all of these were exhibited in the gallery during February and March 2003. The selection panel consisted of the Gallery’s Acquisitions Committee (Mr Brendan Bell, Director of the Tatham Art Gallery, Mr Malcolm Christian, master printer at the Caversham Centre for Artists and Writers, Ms Juliette Leeb du Toit of the Centre for Visual Art at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, Mrs Valerie Maggs , an art teacher, and Mr Suren Naidoo, a school teacher and vice-chair of the Tatham Art Gallery Board of Trustees.) This committee was supplemented by a number of invited panellists: Dr Godshero Donda, a school principal, Dr Reginald Khumalo of Radio Ukhozi, Prof Jabulani Maphalala of Emandulo Consulting, Mr Sibongiseni Mkhize, the director of the Voortrekker Museum, and Prof Siza Ndlovu, Managing Director of the Playhouse Company. Through an exhaustive selection procedure the entries were sifted to a group of fourteen, from which five finalists were chosen by consensus. Further discussion led to consensus on the elimination of two further paintings. The eventual winner was chosen by a clear majority vote. The winner was Helene Train from Cape Town, whose winning entry is the cover illustration of this number of Natalia. In addition to the prize of R100 000, Ms Train wins a commission to paint a massive two-and-a-half metre by one-and-a-half metre portrait to hang in the main stairwell of the Gallery beside the portrait of Queen Victoria by the Edwardian painter Charles van Havermaet. Her portrait of former president Nelson Mandela hung in Tuinhuis while he was in office. She is also currently working on a portrait of Nobel Laureate Sir James Black for the University of Edinburgh. MORAY COMRIE

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Book Reviews and Notices
THROUGH DESERT, VELD AND MUD: A HISTORY OF 15 MAINTENAN CE UNIT 1899–1999 by H.R. PATERSON and M. LEVIN. 15 Maintenance Unit, Durban. 2000. Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach. This is the story of the endeavours of a volunteer unit to feed a variety of stomachs over a century. From its origins at the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War, the men of 15 Maintenance Unit have kept their fellow soldiers supplied with rations, equipment, fuel and ammunition. To do so they have used every conceivable type of transport: ox wagon, mule cart, camel, sled and every type of truck to ensure that the supply lines never faltered. 15 Maintenance Unit has only held that name since 1971. It had a number of titles before that, going back to its original incarnation as the Natal Volunteer Transport and Commissariat Department in 1899. It was brought into being two months before the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War as a special service or irregular unit of the Natal Volunteer Force, in effect a militarisation of the Public Works Department transport section with all its expertise in handling mules and wagons. Within a month of mobilisation it was under fire in the siege of Ladysmith. Its record in the year during which it went through the siege, followed by the campaign to drive the Boers from Natal must surely be unprecedented in the annals of warfare. It had started out with 300 mules; when it was demobilised in October 1900 it still had 290 of them. When one considers that the British army lost over 400 000 horses, mules and donkeys during the war, this achievement is well-nigh miraculous. The unit, now artificially divided into the Natal Service Corps and the Natal Militia Transport Department, again saw service in the so-called Bhambatha ‘Rebellion’ in Natal and in World War I in German South West Africa and German East Africa. It went through World War II as No.1 supply Company. The authors take one deftly through these campaigns, though in each case the understanding of the reader would have been considerably enhanced by the provision of maps. It does not require a map, however, to enter into what the brigade trains suffered. In German South West Africa it was extreme heat by day, bitter cold at night, dust storms, thirst, shortages of wagons, mules and drivers. In German East Africa the logistical problems posed by swamp, mud, jungle and disease were, if anything, even more formidable. By World War II transport was slightly more sophisticated, but the conditions under which the men had to operate just as challenging. In the campaign against the Italians in East Africa and Abyssinia, for instance, few drivers would forget the Chalbi Desert, a vast, flat, white waste of soda and lava dust, completely devoid of vegetation and unbearably hot. Repairs to vehicles had to be improvised. There were times when trucks had

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trunks of trees wired between the back axle and the underside of the three-ton body to make a rigid fix. The back axle then had to be wired with towing cables to the forward cross parts of the chassis to prevent the back wheels and axle from being left behind! After the heat and sand of the deserts of East and North Africa the snowy conditions of Italy in winter provided no less of a challenge. Some drivers considered driving on icy roads their greatest difficulty – and the vehicles of one company were averaging 21 000 kms each per month! And where motorised transport could not reach the forward areas, resort was again had to animal transport in the shape of mule trains which alone were able to negotiate the steep mountain paths. 15 Maintenance Unit was, of course, involved in South Africa’s border war in Angola. One of its exploits was conveying 44-gallon drums of tar from Grootfontein to Mavinga, 480 km away inside Angola, for tarring the dirt airstrip, the biggest single logistic convoy ever undertaken there. The expedition was to involve no less than 20 days of driving through the Angolan bush. One of the most attractive and interesting features of the book is its well-nigh unparalleled collection of photographs. There is one, sometimes two, on virtually every page. Readers in Pietermaritzburg, for instance, will be intrigued by a shooting competition at Bisley in 1911 showing the hillside, on which the targets can be made out, entirely devoid of vegetation – a far cry from today’s bush-covered reserve. For this rich treasure not only the two authors but the commanding officer at the time of the centenary, Lt-Col Steve Camp, must receive credit. Camp’s maternal grandfather, Pte. Geoff Lidgett, served with the regiment during World War II and clearly family albums as well as official archives have been thoroughly trawled. After 1994 and the ending of conscription, 15 Maintenance Unit, as indeed the entire Citizen Force, experienced a dramatic decline in members who were prepared to volunteer for service – as well as drastic budget cuts. One of the most dangerous times, however, for any peace force is the absence of any perceived threat. It is in facing this danger that the unit enters its second century. T.B. FROST FROM BOYS TO GENTLEMEN: SETTLER MASCULINITY IN COLONI AL NATAL 1880–1920 by ROBERT MORRELL Pretoria, University of South Africa, 2001, 322pp. illus. R104,20 Gender studies, or the study of power relationships between men and women, have become increasingly important in many social disciplines over the past two decades. The tendency has been to focus on the study of women, but, more recently, masculinity studies have restored the balance and made possible a more authentic approach to examining gender relationships. Robert Morrell has been a prime mover in bringing issues of masculinity to public attention in South Africa. In 1997 he organised a Colloquium on Masculinities at the University of Natal. Leading international gender theorists took part, though most of the 29 papers were presented by South Africans. A quarter of the delegates were women. Morrell edited and published 18 of the papers – ranging right across South African society – in a book entitled Changing Men in Southern Africa (Pietermaritzburg, University of Natal Press, 2001).

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Interesting questions emerged from these studies. For example, is the acquisition of gender identity a psychological process, or does the social context play a vital role? What exactly is the power that is central to gender relationships? What, in fact, is patriarchal power? Is the family, seen by early feminists as the centre of patriarchal power, more influential than single-sex environments such as the military, sports associations and age groups? It is these and other questions which come together in Morrell’s fascinating book, From Boys to Gentlemen: Settler Masculinity in Colonial Natal 1880–1920. It was, in fact, his doctoral research into settler families in the Natal Midlands that contributed substantially to his interest in the broader topic of masculinity. From Boys to Gentlemen is much more than its title suggests. There is the pure social interest of reading about the ‘Old Natal Families’ in and around Pietermaritzburg. This is the name that has been coined for families who can successfully claim a connection with Natal’s colonial past. Anyone reading the book, who has lived in the Natal Midlands, or had ties with the region, is likely to experience some form of emotional response, probably nostalgia, as the familiar names, schools, agricultural shows, volunteer regiments, clubs, societies – and way of life – come alive in these pages. While it is the period 1880-1920 which is the context, it says something about the strength of these traditions that many lived on well into the 20th century and are, indeed, recognisable even today. The central interest of the book is Morrell’s thesis that Natal’s white settler population cultivated an identity which combined gender and class to produce a community of the English gentry type. From its ranks came the leaders in public life, the law, the church and the military. Its ethos was imposed from childhood through adulthood by means of a network of structures. Prominent among these were the all-male schools, most significantly Michaelhouse, Hilton College and Maritzburg College. With them went the volunteer regiments, such as the Natal Carbineers and Umvoti Mounted Rifles, old boys’ associations, the influential farmers’ associations, sporting clubs and other male groupings, at the pinnacle of which was the Victoria Club in Pietermaritzburg. A ‘settler masculinity’ became the norm for ‘proper male behaviour’ in Natal. It was tough, exclusive, competitive, militaristic and sexist, but also hard-working and dutiful. It contributed in no small way to bolstering a racially exclusive society in Natal. Its power was unleashed on the indigenous population from time to time, as in the Bambatha disturbances of 1906. Patriarchy was at the heart of it. Morrell indicates that, of the 25 271 whites living in Natal by 1880, 6 395 lived in the Midlands and ‘most lived unquestioningly in a world where their race and gender gave them power and privilege’ (p.18). This dominant mould is given even more clarity by the author’s delicate treatment of those who did not fit it, in a chapter entitled ‘The forgotten and the excluded – the secret history of the ONFs’. It follows that the position of women within this view of Natal settler society provides another sphere of interest. While the author handles this in relation to his topic, there is clearly scope for a detailed study of white colonial women in Natal in their own right, something which is being done extensively at present in relation to women in other parts of the British Empire. Morrell’s evidence tends to show how women fitted into the patriarchal pattern. Their roles were defined. Wives and mothers supported and fostered the male image in the family and in the community. Hence their supportive roles at agricultural shows, cattle sales, rugby and cricket matches, and other key

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events. Few women held public positions beyond the home environment. Those few who were admitted to the colonial service, industry or business at the beginning of the 20th century held only junior positions. And without the vote, women suffered gender inequality that was only partially compensated for by the protection given them by their menfolk. The author does, however, recount interesting stories given to him by relatives, of strong, adventurous and resourceful women, many of whom where competent with rifles, who proved that generalisation can be dangerous. He gives instances, too, of men who, contrary to the trend, divided their estates equally among their sons and daughters, not simply among their sons. How the author has researched this highly complex and sensitive subject is also of considerable interest. He traces the historiography of Natal settler society. It began with the work of early historians such as A. F. Hattersley, which was largely descriptive and uncritical. He moves through to the work of the revisionists, which is highly critical of settler communities on the basis of their racial attitudes. Morrell makes a valid case for a new approach to understanding how these communities functioned. He delves deeply into the factors which influenced their consciousness using a wide variety of intimate evidence specific to the institutions, organisations and the families themselves. This includes interviews with many individuals. If there are any reservations regarding this immensely worthwhile study, they would relate to the author’s use and interpretation of the oral evidence, especially of casual remarks made by interviewees. Similarly, there is the occasional sloppy deduction such as the one on p.75, which observes that, by 1880, St Anne’s College was operating at Hilton. The source quoted makes clear that St Anne’s started in Pietermaritzburg in 1877 and moved to Hilton in 1904. One is tempted, too, to question, on occasion, whether the evidence does point so strongly to the class aspect of the Old Natal Family concept. There must surely have been settler farmers who would have considered it snobbish and extravagant to aspire to Michaelhouse or Hilton College for their sons. And what of the ones who were gentle, unaggressive and unsuited to the author’s gender label? One can also, at times, wonder if the ‘masculinity’ argument is not a little contrived. Will ‘boys not be boys’ one way or another even without social engineering? These are quibbles which are far outweighed by the huge interest and value of this searching and seminal work. Slow reading though it is – because of its weighty research – From Boys to Gentlemen and its author are worthy winners of the Hiddingh-Currie award for academic excellence. SYLVIA VIETZEN (D)URBAN VORTEX: SOUTH AFRICAN CITY IN TRANSITION edited by BILL FREUND and VISHNU PADAYACHEE Pietermaritzburg, University of Natal Press, 2002. 345pp. ISBN 1-86914-013-3. To Maritzburgers, Durban often feels as if it might be in another country and this impressive edited collection by sixteen contributors provides good reasons for this perception. For instance, the metropolis controls a budget larger than the rest of KwaZuluNatal province. It also boasts the major cargo port of Africa, the container hub of the western Indian Ocean and a facility of hemispheric significance: the passage of one standard container vessel alone is worth R800 000, although some of this leaks out of

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the local economy. During the years of siege economics from the 1960s, Durban was well placed to be a centre of import substitution, which cemented its manufacturing base. Furthermore, it is one of South Africa’s few debt-free municipalities, for long a place of “financial discipline and innovation” in the words of Michael Sutcliffe, now the city’s manager (p.161). The origins of Durban’s political economy lie in race-based intervention of the most severe, discriminatory – but highly successful – kind in search of cheap labour that resulted in an eponymous system of municipal economics. Hemson points out that traces of this live on in the togt labour market and a continued, harshly etched division between a settled, primary labour force and the socio-economically marginalised population, even though Durban passed through a relatively benign period of progressive local government before the final collapse of apartheid. He dwells on the irony of the political significance of the Durban strikes of the 1970s and 80s and their long-term economic hollowness. The anti-union Frame Group, for instance, which dominated textiles and employed thousands, is now but a shadow of its former self and its Jacobs headquarters has been sold off as real estate. By far the most interesting chapters in this book are the last, about the poor: Wendy Annecke on the Canaan informal settlement that grew out of violent conflict in the 1990s in the hinterland; Stein Nesvag on street trading in the city centre; and Harald Witt on Durban’s fresh food distribution. These are stark and fascinating accounts of reality for so many South Africans: the economics of the rubbish dump, the spaza shop and the extended family; the role of wood and paraffin in energy provision; the re-conquering of central Durban by female street traders and the importance of the muthi trade; and urban agriculture and the transformation of the agricultural produce supply network. Annecke illustrates interesting trends in government policy regarding electrification and energy provision, Nesvag shows the resilience of traditional medicine, and Witt touches on the world of fresh produce speculators such as the‘chili kings’ and the‘madumbi kings’. This book also clearly demonstrates some of the structural problems, historical and contemporary, inhibiting the city’s development. The port, for instance, is a national asset and its policies are frequently at odds with local need regarding commerce and tourism. Draught has always been a problem, while containerisation has been a more modern issue for a port whose strengths lie in cargo handling. Jones provides an absorbing and thorough account of the harbour in the context of past and present shipping economics. Financial institutions have long treated Durban as a‘branch economy’ of the Reef and even Cape Town, as a bank-by-bank analysis and examination of local economic giants such as Tongaat-Huletts show. Padayachee provides a tantalising and short glimpse of the Provincial Building Society, the first lender to deal with Africans and Indians, in the mid-twentieth century. Historically, local government and para-statals such as the railways played a hugely interventionist role in development, but globalisation has lessened this potential. Durban’s industrial strengths in clothing, textiles and wood are all vulnerable in this regard and these sectors have had to make major structural adjustments such as targeting more sophisticated markets to compete in the export trade. Similarly, the automotive components industry (catalytic converters, exhausts, tyres and seat covers) has successfully fitted into a global pattern but has experienced problems regarding inventory levels, defect rates and labour absenteeism. A less predictable but beneficial effect of globalisa-

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tion has been the reach of international environmental monitoring groups which have helped to tackle the problems created by air and groundwater pollution to the south of Durban presented by the Umlazi landfill site and the Engen refinery. These have kept alive an old tradition concerning the right and the organisational strength to confront powerful industrial interests. The general reader needs to persevere to make best use of this book, but will eventually be rewarded for persistence. Unfortunately the index will be of no great help. While serviceable, it clearly lacks a final edit: the entry for‘Indians’, for instance, has over 50 page references, which obviously require subdivision. It contains a number of names of authors, citation references reflecting the Harvard system that are meaningless in an index; and presents a number of indexing howlers such as a mix up between the entries for‘hawkers (and street traders)’,‘informal sector’ and‘street trading’. Durban is a remarkably well-documented city and this book maintains a fine tradition started by Kuper, Watts and Davies in the 1950s subsequently maintained by Beall, Maylam and Edwards, amongst others (including Freund himself in earlier writings, especially on the Indian community). The comparable lack of work on the capital city is glaringly and sadly only too apparent. CHRISTOPHER MERRETT FOOTPRINTS IN GREY STREET by PHYLLIS NAIDOO Durban, Far Ocean Jetty, 2002. 246pp.. illus. R80 Anyone expecting to find in this book an urban or cultural study of Durban’s Grey Street would be mistaken. It is about people, ordinary people, some now in positions of authority in South Africa, others hardly known, but to their immediate compatriots. These were the people who were left-wing activists in the struggle against apartheid and whose lives touched Grey Street, either literally or figuratively. Phyllis Naidoo, veteran freedom fighter, lawyer, social worker and 75 year-old-grandmother, has gathered together her intimate memories of these ‘heroes of the struggle’. In so doing she has given us a near primary source of considerable interest and value. Interspersed between chapters are several poems by the Sunday Times journalist, Molly Reinhardt who, in her weekly column entitled ‘With Love and Hisses’, did a service to those who were banned by her jibes at the apartheid regime. Written in blunt and colloquial language, almost to a fault, Naidoo brings the reader into the harsh reality and human intensity of the ‘struggle’. Gone are any sentiments about the Ajmeri and Madressa arcades, the monuments and landmarks, the trees and the flowers of the Grey Street precinct; rather we read of the ‘comrades’ who lived here, visited, passed through, hid underground, worked here, or registered their protests here. Some 60 people enter into Naidoo’s memories: Archibald Gumede, her legal partner; Mac Maharaj, with whom she was a part-time student at the ‘Non-European’ section of the University of Natal; Cynthia Phakathi, Chief Albert Luthuli, Denis Goldberg, Errol Shanley, Dorothy Nyembe, Eli Weinberg, Richard Turner, Jane Turner, Govan Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, George Ponnen and Justice Hassam Mall, to name a few. So widely does the network spread that it is regrettable that the book has no index. Phyllis Naidoo, herself, was deeply involved. She hosted, fed, rescued, accompanied, defended, be-

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friended, employed, was a relative, or in some way crossed their paths. She spent ten years under house arrest in Durban and 13 years in exile during which time she worked as legal advisor to those escaping from the state. She acted as attorney for Robben Island prisoners, including Harry Gwala. She survived a parcel bomb in 1979 and endured the assassination of her son in Lusaka in 1989. It is with palpable authenticity that she enables the reader to encounter, at close quarters, the suffering and the human bonding of those agonising but vibrant times. A substantial body of ‘struggle’ and prison literature has appeared in South Africa since 1994. It is engrossing reading, but it is painful in the extreme to observe the human travail which unlimited power can generate. It is painful, too, to realise how long it takes for resentments, especially racial ones, to heal. Hope has to be placed in the commitment of our constitution to a South Africa which belongs to all its people. Footprints in Grey Street cries out for more precise proof-reading and editing. However, praise must go to the publisher, Far Ocean Jetty, for making grassroots, home-grown material such as Phyllis Naidoo’s candid memories of those crucial times, available to the reading public at a reasonable price. Only in this way will we foster understanding and empathy and build the South Africa we all long for. SYLVIA VIETZEN

WINNEFRED AND AGNES: The true story of two women by AGNES LOTTERING Cape Town, Kwela Books, 2002. 248pp. illus. paperback. R92. In the opening sentence of the introduction to her book Agnes Lottering says :‘I am a Coloured: designated by the apartheid regime an “Other Coloured”. For I am a true half-and-half mixture of black and white, of Zulu and Irish to be precise – and extremely proud of that.’ Her paternal great-grandfather was Jim Rorke, whose trading post gave Rorke’s Drift its name, and her grandfather James Michael Rorke married a daughter of Chief Myeni of Ubombo. Her father Benjamin Rorke married Winnefred Nunn, daughter of George Nunn and Roselina Dhlomo. (George Nunn’s father, an Englishman, had been Dinuzulu’s blacksmith and armourer.) Here, as with the better-known Dunn family, is a domestic and familial meeting of African and European. In the history of Natal and Zululand the group relations of Zulu, Boer and Briton loom so large that the small group which resulted from the intermarriage of white and black is often invisible. Winnefred and Agnes illustrates various other interfaces, too: between Zulu and Swazi; Roman Catholic Christianity and witchcraft; cruel male domination and submissive female acceptance; a generally westernised way of life and rural tribal customs; country (the family farm at Ngome between Vryheid and Nongoma) and town (Vryheid and later Durban). In the first part of the book Agnes Lottering tells the story of her mother, Winnefred Rorke, from her brief teenage love affair which left her with an illegitimate child, through her marriage to the young widower Benjy Rorke in July 1934, to her death aged 61 in Addington Hospital in Durban. Rorke’s prolonged and almost pathological grief at the loss of his first wife Katrina, an Afrikaans girl from Utrecht, was mixed with unbelievable physical and mental cruelty to the young woman who took her place. This was the

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family into which Agnes was born, with all its ignorance, guilt, jealousy, cruelty and superstition set in the idyllic beauty of the Ngome Forest – a beauty from which Agnes was to draw strength and comfort throughout her life. As a child Agnes was aware of the cold and brutal way her father often treated her mother, but not until she came to write this book did she beg a very old aunt to explain some of the reasons for the tensions and violence that existed in her childhood home. This information, together with the natural closeness there had always been between mother and daughter, enables Agnes to write her mother’s story as a convincing first-person narrative. It also gives her some understanding of her moody, violent and domineering father, and softens her judgement of him. Agnes’ own life was perhaps even more difficult than her mother’s had been. After she suffered a traumatic miscarriage, her lover Pieter, a young Afrikaner farmer, vowed he would take her away to Swaziland and marry her, but in 1952 he was killed in an accident. This had been the great love and passion of her young life, and the loss of it echoes down the years of her later unhappiness. Unable to bear any longer the harsh regime at home, she ran away to Vryheid, found a job, and married Lemmy Lottering, a young Coloured printer at the Vryheid Gazette. He, although skilled and in a good job, proved to be an incorrigible drunkard and wife-beater. The home deteriorated to such an extent that Social Welfare took the children to places of safety in Durban. A move to Durban to a better job in a large printing works brought with it a reformation in Lemmy, but it was short-lived. Having irreparably damaged his brain with alcohol, he was later admitted to Town Hill Mental Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, where he remained, incurable. Despite the grimness, there is hope, humour and resilience in the lives Agnes describes. She writes without any literary pretensions – in fact with a naivity of style and directness unusual in biographies. Winnefred and Agnes, besides being the story of two women and the adversities they faced, is a window on to the life of a little-known sub-group in the so-called Coloured community. Its very existence is rooted in this province and the meeting of British and Zulu, and the book is an interesting addition to the broadening documentation of KwaZulu-Natal’s social history. J.M. DEANE

A FORTUNATE MAN by ISMAIL MEER Cape Town, Zebra Press, 2002. 368 pp. illus. index. R159.95 The autobiography of Ismail Meer is an important addition to the growing body of South African liberation literature. Meer began the book two years before his death in 2000 and his wife, sociologist Fatima Meer, completed it using his rich autobiographical writings and his spoken memories. Here is the testimony of a man of great stature, a great South African. It tells of a family, a community, and of a man, grappling with the day to day issues of living while working to build an honourable nation. Meer’s unqualified commitment to the equality of all human beings permeates the book. Nelson Mandela, in the foreword, writes, ‘Ismail was my friend. I learnt a lot from Ismail – he was a universalist who loved humanity without distinction’ (p. vii).

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Ismail Chota Meer was born on 5 September 1918, the son of a general dealer in the small village of Waschbank near Dundee. His descriptions of community life and local people are precious memorabilia of rural Natal. In 1931 the family business failed and Meer found himself in Durban. There, while working in the clothing industry, he finished his primary school education at the age of 17. With the help of M.I. Meer, proprietor and editor of Indian Views, he spent his high school years at Sastri College. This was a happy time during which his social and political interests were nurtured. He also launched into journalism with articles for Indian Views. Soon he was extending his journalistic flair to New Outlook and Indian Opinion, entering vigorously into the complexities of local Indian politics at the time. In 1940 Meer enrolled at the Natal University in Durban. This meant being a parttime student in the ‘Non-European Section’ which had been tenaciously pioneered and organised by Mabel Palmer since 1936. Through her teaching, he became acquainted with the Fabian socialist views of Bernard Shaw and Sidney and Beatrice Webb, together with the internationalism and profoundly intellectual approach which Palmer cultivated. In order to hold these classes at all, Mabel Palmer walked the tight rope between placating the University’s ‘white’ policy and giving her ‘Non-Europeans’ the best she could with the help of loyal academic friends like Florence Macdonald and Elizabeth Sneddon. In 1942, law lectures for ‘Non-European’ students were cancelled through the influence of the Natal Law Society. Mabel Palmer’s protestations – and Meer’s own as president of the Non-White Students Representative Council – were of no avail and Meer left to complete his legal studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. There his firm friendship with his classmate, Nelson Mandela, began and his resistance politics entered a new phase. From this period, through to the establishment of his legal practice in Verulam and his life in Durban, Meer recounts his involvement in ‘the struggle’. There was the 1946 Passive Resistance campaign, the 1952 Defiance of Unjust Laws campaign, the launch of the Freedom Charter and the birth of Umkhonto we Sizwe. He was an accused in the 1956 treason trial until charges against him were withdrawn in January 1958. He describes vividly his family’s experience of house arrests, imprisonment and petrol bombs, the most painful of which came in his latter years when his wife, Fatima, and son, Rashid, were detained for lengthy periods. It was probably his readiness to work behind the scenes – from mediating to painting posters – which has given the impression that he was perhaps an ‘unsung hero’ of the struggle. This seems hardly true when one reads that it was Ismail Meer who accompanied Nelson Mandela on his extensive trips to meet world leaders in 1990, after his release from prison. And from 1994 until his death, Meer held an African National Congress seat in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislative Assembly. One of the attractions of this memoir is Meer’s conversational style. It is as if he is talking to the reader. Those who knew him personally will re-live his ability to tell a good story, with all the humour and anecdotal charm of one who valued human beings but was not blind to their faults and foibles. At the same time, the detail can be overwhelming, and sorting out the numerous family members by initials and interpreting the many acronyms requires perseverance. His deep love for his wife, Fatima, yet candid and realistic handling of both his and her idiosyncrasies is endearing, as are his fond stories of his children, Shamim, Shehnaz and Rashid. His ability to recreate the local colour – of Bamboo Lane and the poinsettias in Pinetown, of the markets and spicy

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aromas of Grey Street and its environs in Durban, of his lively law practice in Verulam and the inevitable anecdotes that went with it: these, together with so much else, make this a gem in Natal local history and culture. One meets so many people across the spectrum: Indira Gandhi, Alan Paton, Chief Albert Luthuli, the Cachalia family, A.W.G. Champion, Dr Yusuf Dadoo, the Pahad family, Dr Goonam, Hilda and Leo Kuper, Dr Monty Naiker, J.N. Singh, even Bernard Shaw when he visited Durban during Meer’s student days. There are inside views of Indian life, of the Passive Resistance campaign, of the 1949 riots, and of the experience of being banned, which give a new dimension to the Durban twentieth century scene. Ismail Meer was one who could cut through and rise above ideological and religious divisions in the interests of the ultimate human good. Thus, when the African National Congress restricted its membership to African people, Meer joined the Non-European United Front in 1938 and the South African Communist Party in 1941 until, partly through his influence on Nelson Mandela, ANC membership was opened to all races. At the same time he moved freely with Alan Paton and members of the Liberal Party of South Africa, and participated readily in the International Club in Durban. Similarly, he was a committed Muslim but associated freely with all, of whatever outlook, who sought a more just South Africa. One of his consistent endeavours was the ‘liberalisation’ or ‘freeing’ of people’s minds. Thus, as early as his Sastri College days, he formed the Liberal Study Group, a ‘non-racial think tank’ (p. 36). And one of the efforts of his latter days was the Liberal History Foundation which he described as ‘bringing bodies and personalities together’ and providing ‘a platform for celebrating our past heroes and politically significant days, which are now entrenched in our non-racial, democratic calendar’ (p. 262). In the same spirit he established the Democratic Education Advancement League. Through all of this, his lifelong love of journalism kept his ideas flowing and circulating. A Fortunate Man is packed with detail and requires concentrated reading. But, as a personalised account of the highways and byways of the liberation struggle in South Africa, from its early days into the years immediately following its victory in 1994, particularly in its Natal context, it is a document of immense value and gripping interest. Its author has been justly described by Nelson Mandela as ‘…a man of great integrity, both in his personal life and his political thinking’. SYLVIA VIETZEN

A GUIDE TO THE ARCHITECTURE OF DURBAN AND PIETERMARITZ BURG by DENNIS RADFORD Cape Town: New Africa Books, 2002. vi, 121pp., soft cover, R153,00 Here at last is a handy portable guide to the best examples of urban architecture in the province. Only 13 x 24 cm and 120 pages, it will fit into a wide pocket or purse, and should be carried about by any resident or visitor intent of seeing these fine buildings

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in Durban and Maritzburg. What is refreshing and new about this guide is that it gets away from just the Victorian and Edwardian. Indeed, while there is much of these, there is much more of the rest, and domestic or residential architecture receives at least as much attention as public architecture. Only industrial architecture comes up short, but the author reiterates that is because there is precious little of it with real merit. The guide is divided into six sections: five for different parts of Durban (including suburbs) and one for Pietermaritzburg. Each page has a major building, of which there is a colour photograph and below that is a descriptive paragraph and often a sketch of a floor plan or of an elevation or an historic photograph of it. Below, smaller in size and with only essential data, are colour cameos of nearby buildings of interest. The author has tried to be representative of all kinds of architecture, but inevitably his selection is very personal, although all of the civic and religious showpieces are included. There is no potted history of architecture or styles to start with, and the author’s prose is sophisticated – this is not a book for the ignoranti – sometimes idiosyncratic and even tart, as when he writes of 88 Field Street: ‘On a hot summer’s day the energy being used to cool the curtain-walled building must make even the mildest “greenie” wince’. Or: ‘The overall effect [of Paradise Valley Apartments] is not far removed from the socialist architecture of the Eastern Bloc countries but in this case slightly redeemed by the dramatic setting and the surrounding green of the remaining vegetation’. The sites are grouped by area, as indicated – sections for Durban City Centre, Inner Suburbs, North, West, South, and then for Pietermaritzburg. There are indexes categorising the buildings by type – commercial, community and educational, industrial, residential apartments, residential houses, and religious – and by styles – Victorian and Edwardian, Interwar historicist, Art Deco, International Style, Traditional, Modernist, Postmodern (1980s) and Contemporary (1990s and early 2000s). There is also an index of architects, for in every case the architect as well as the date of building is given. Thus the reader can reorientate visits selectively and on any number of lines. Faults are very few. On page 107 Maritzburg’s South African War memorial is misidentified as the Anglo-Zulu War one, and ‘Sydenham’ gets an extra ‘n’ on page 24. Ten or so of the photographs are rather too much on the dark side, and in four or five instances plans or historic photographs don’t seem to jibe with the main photograph on the same page. I have doubts about the viability of the stylistic category ‘Interwar historicist’, which seems to include the so-called Berea style, some Cape Dutch Revival and even some Art Deco. The term really seems a catch-all for ‘other’ architecture of the interwar period. I also think we are shortchanged on Art Deco and the International Style. And ‘Traditional’ for the most part just means Hindu temples. I have read this book three times and dip into it again and again with great pleasure. There is no other one like it. And since the author has just emigrated, it seems unlikely that it will be extended. Let’s hope the stocks last. PAUL THOMPSON

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ZULU VICTORY: THE EPIC OF ISANDHLWANA AND THE COVER-UP by RON LOCK and PETER QUANTRILL London: Greenhill Books, and Mechanicsburg, Pa, USA: Stackpole Books, 2002. 336 p. Illus. Maps. No sooner did John Laband, editor of Lord Chelmsford’s Zululand Campaign 1878–1879 and author of Rope of Sand and Kingdom in Crisis and at least a dozen other books on Zulu and Anglo-Zulu war history, write that the field of Anglo-Zulu War studies was practically exhausted than he emended the statement upon reading Ron Lock’s and Peter Quantrill’s manuscript. ‘Zulu Victory is no tired, familiar rehash of the battle of Isandhlwana… . Rather, is it controversial in the most positive sense of that word… . [Its] great virtue is that it genuinely opens up the debate once more on a number of key issues with well-considered speculation combined with solid forensic argument…’. Zulu Victory: the Epic of Isandhlwana and the Cover-Up is a very readable book in the popular history genre. Its main themes are that Lord Chelmsford, commander of the British imperial forces invading the Zulu country, displayed egregious generalship, whereas his counterpart Ntshingwayo was superior to him in strategy and tactics, and that the clash of arms at Isandhlwana should be remembered first as a Zulu victory and second as a British defeat. Indeed, in the foreword Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi congratulates the authors for giving a new Zulu slant on events. But British defeat it certainly was, and Chelmsford sought to shift the blame to his subordinate Colonel Anthony Durnford, who died in the battle but was not in command there. Hence the ‘cover-up’. The first three chapters tell how the war began and the composition and qualities of the opposing armies. The next two carry the central invading column into the Zulu country and tell of the initial manoeuvres and encounters. The heart of the book is in the following two chapters which describe the events of the battle in some detail and with some criticism. The last two chapters expose the cover-up. The text is followed by a section with end notes and a bibliography and several appendices. There are more than enough maps – which is usually not the case in such works – and the cartography is excellent. There is nothing new at all in blaming Lord Chelmsford for bad generalship or in exonerating Colonel Durnford for responsibility for the defeat, but so long as the battle is kept before us these matters should be made clear, and the authors do, of course, just that. The ‘key issue’ is what the opposing generals knew and when they knew it, and very much attention is given to reconnaissance and the use of mounted troops and scouts. In consequence, Ntshingwayo appears quick to apprehend and quick to act, whereas Chelmsford, who should have known better, persisted in false notions of what his enemy is about. Among the more interesting speculative items, the authors consider how long it would take a scout to climb Isandhlwana hill and report back on what he had seen, how long it would take a mounted man carrying a flag (furled) to ride from the battlefield to the so-called Fugitives’ Drift, and why Colonel Pulleine, in command of the camp, did not strike tents, as he should have, as the battle loomed. Also, the account includes much on the Natal Native Contingent, which has received little attention until recently. About half the imperial units engaged in the battle were of the contingent, and were just as important as the British regulars in determining its course. The authors have striven to give the contingent its due, and if their picture is

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incomplete or blurred in places, it is not for want of trying to do the subject justice. There are, of course, some problems with the account, and these are most readily explained by a glance at the bibliography and the end notes. The apparatus is not properly laid out and leaves out much that would be required in a scholarly work, but then this is not a scholarly history but a popular history, and popular historians are normally excused from such academic bric-a-brac. None the less it is striking that the Chelmsford Papers are not cited, nor are colonial government records, both of which are accessible in the archives in Pietermaritzburg. It is also not clear what the authors mean by ‘various papers’ in the repositories at Kew and Windsor. They should specify what these are. The notes indicate a partiality to later rather than earlier works by participants in events, which methodologically is questionable. The authors are idiosyncratic in what and how they cite: quotations are rarely attributed, significant statements are unsubstantiated, and page numbers are rarely given. Fortunately, the section on the cover-up is so written that the sources are usually made evident in the text. The problem of lax or spotty attribution is serious in the narrative parts of the book. For instance, in the crisis of the battle, it is not quite clear to the reader where the British line is, whether it has been flanked, overrun or broken through, or all three. In this case the map of the battle is a great help. Yet it is not clear, even with the aid of several beautifully done maps, who started the battle just where. In other instances, imagination supersedes fact. The genius of Ntshingwayo is simply inferred and then reified. Colonel Pulleine’s emotions and reactions in command of the camp seem to be of similar invention. Speculation of this sort needs to be curbed. Methodology is important. Good notes are essential. Without them curious things will happen. For example, it is stated three times that Captain Murray’s detachment of NNC returned to camp during the night of the 21st–22nd with cattle taken during Lonsdale’s reconnaissance of Malakatha and Hlazakazi, and that they participated in the battle. This is the authors’ supposition. There are no citations. There is no solid evidence to support the statement. What Professor Laband has told us about the book is true enough, but obviously some qualification is necessary. For the scholar the book is rather like the curate’s egg. For the average reader it may be quite otherwise. What is demanded of a scholarly work is not demanded of a popular one, and if the popular work is correct in the main and, above all, stimulating, then it is to be recommended. Consider Donald Morris’s Washing of the Spears. This book, too, will probably be read and enjoyed by this generation’s military history buffs. PAUL THOMPSON

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Select List of Recent KwaZulu-Natal Publications

Select List of Recent KwaZulu-Natal Publications
BASSETT, Stephen Townby. Rock paintings of South Africa. Cape Town: David Philip, 2001. 144 p. ISBN 086486 500 7. R279,00 BADSHA, Omar. Imperial ghetto: ways of seeing in a South African city. ISBN 0 620 27056–X. R189,00. About Durban’s Grey Street. BRAIN, Joy B. and DENIS, Philippe, eds. The Catholic Church in contemporary Southern Africa. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster publications, 1999. 427 p. illus. ISBN 1 875053 18 2. R101,00 BRAIN, Joy B. The Catholic Church in Natal over 150 years. Durban: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 2002. 147 p. illus., maps. ISBN 0 620 29075 7 COOMES, Anne. African harvest. London: Monarch Books, 2002. 552 p. ISBN 1 85424599 6. R135,00. A history of African Enterprise. COOVADIA, Imraan. The wedding: a novel. New York: Picador WA, 2001. ISBN 0 312 272197. R140,00. Partly set in Durban. CURLING, Henry. The Curling letters of the Zulu War; edited by Brian Best and Adrian Greaves. Barnsley: Leo Cooper, 2001. 158 p. illus., maps. ISBN 0 85052 849 6. R290.00. Henry Curling was in the Royal Artillery. DERWENT, Sue. The very best of KwaZulu-Natal. Cape Town: Struik, 2000. 144 p. illus., maps. ISBN 1 86872 415 8. R133,00 ELLIS, Chris. Despatches from the Last Outpost. Parktown North: Sue McGuinness publications, 2000. 52 p. illus. ISBN 0 620 25504 8. R62,00 EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE. Kwazulu-Natal: a celebration of biodiversity. Johannesburg: Jalana, 2002. ISBN 1 919777 40 17. R145,00 GAMLEY, Anthony M., ed. Denis Hurley: a portrait by friends. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster publications, 2001. 183 p. illus. ISBN 1 875053 29 8. R75,00 GREAVES, Adrian. Isandlwana. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2002. 216 p. ISBN 1 868 842 117 1. R254,00 GREAVES, Adrian. Rorke’s Drift. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2002. 446 p. illus. ISBN 1 868 842 126 0. R200,00 GUSH, Reg. Mkhuze, the formative years: the story of Mkhuze game reserve, KwaZulu-Natal. Hilton: the Author, 2000. 160 p. illus., map. ISBN 0 620 26553 1. R87,00 HART Gillian. Disabling globalization: places of power in post-apartheid South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal press, 2002. 385 p. maps, tables. ISBN 1 86914 015 X. R195,00

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HOLLEY, James and TREN, Judy. Boom: an appreciation of Hunt Holley and some of his pioneer friends and relations. Pietermaritzburg: the Authors, 2002. 232 p. illus., maps, tables. ISBN 0 620 29209 1. R175,00 KHOZA, Makhosi. A cry from the heart: viewing the past, walking in the present and living in the future. Johannesburg: Kairos Publications, 2002. 74 p. ISBN 1 919857 35 4. R62,00 KHOZA, Makhosi. Being yourself, representing others: a guide for local government councillors in South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: Flame Tree Media, 2001. 130 p. illus. ISBN 0 86980 988 1. R52,00 KNIGHT, Ian, ed. The Anglo-Zulu War, 1879. London: Archival publications international, 2000. 6 vols. (Archives of Zululand; series ed. John Laband). ISBN 1 903008 X. £900,00 KNIGHT, Ian. With his face to the foe: the life and death of the Prince Imperial, Zululand 1879. Staplehurst: Spellmount, 2001. 290 p. illus., maps. ISBN 1 873376 99 5. £20,00 KOOPMAN, Adrian. Zulu names. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal press, 2002. 324 p. illus. ISBN 1 86914 003 6. R160,00 LEVINE, Lou, ed. Hope beyond apartheid: the Peter Kerchhoff years of PACSA, 1979–1999. Pietermaritzburg: PACSA, 2002. 242 p. illus. ISBN 0 9584414 6 4. MARTIN, Julia. Writing home. Plumstead: Carapace Poets, 2002. 45 p. ISBN 1 87492 358 2 MEER, Ismail. A fortunate man. Cape Town: Zebra press, 2002. 287 p. ISBN 1 86872 664 9 O’GRADY, John. It’s a vet’s life. Pietermaritzburg: Robin Bamber, 2002. 159 p. ISBN 0 620 29561 X. R120,00 PROJECT GATEWAY. I was hungry and you fed me: Project Gateway 10 years on. Pietermaritzburg: Project Gateway, 2002. 47 p. illus. R15,00 SHEMBE, Isaiah. The man of heaven and the beautiful ones of God; tr. and ed. by Elizabeth Gunner. Leiden: Boston: Brill, 2002. 245 p. ISBN 90041225426 STEINBERG, Jonny. Midlands. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2002. 259 p. ISBN 1 86842 124 4. R120,00 STEVENSON, Lee. The Rorke’s Drift doctor. Priv. print, 2002. A biography of army surgeon James Henry Reynolds. THOMPSON, Paul S. An historical atlas of the Zulu rebellion of 1906. Pietermaritzburg: the Author, 2001. 73 p. maps. ISBN 0 620 29275. R140,00 WALDHEIM, Justin, ed. Together, standing tall: St Charles College 1875–2002. Pietermaritzburg: St Charles’ Board of Governors, 2002. 232 p. ISBN 0 620 28860 4. R228,00 WASSERMAN, Johan and KEARNEY, Brian, eds. A warrior’s gateway: Durban and the Anglo-Boer War 1899–1902. Pretoria: Protea House, 2002. 416 p. illus., maps, diagrs., tables. ISBN 1 919825 85 1 WEINBERG, Paul, ROBBINS, David, and MHLOPE, Gcina. Durban, impressions of an African city. Brixton: Porcupine Press, 128p. illus. ISBN 0 6202 8789 6 WIMBUSH, Bev. Midlands mischief: stories from the Natal Midlands. Howick, the Author, 2002. 109 p. illus. ISBN 0 620 29081 1. R45,00