Letters from Cecil Rhodes to S. Le Riche, 1894 - 1928
Scope and Contents
Two autograph letters on paper headed 'Kimberley Club' written to Mr Le Riche, apparently a political agent in Rhodes' constituency, with undated typescript copies. There is an accompanying letter from Evans Lewin, R.C.S. Librarian, 26 October 1928, thanking Mr Le Riche for his gift of the letters to the Society.
- 1894 - 1928
Conditions Governing Access
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Biographical / Historical
Cecil John Rhodes (1853-1902) was born on 5 July 1853 at Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire, where he attended the local grammar school, 1861-1869. He was sent to South Africa in 1870, and moved to Orange Free State in 1871 to exploit the discovery of diamonds. Rhodes matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford, in 1873, and revisited Oxford regularly until he graduated B.A. and M.A. in 1881. He steadily increased his holdings in the Kimberley diamond fields, and helped to found the De Beers Mining Company in 1880. He was elected to the Cape legislature for Barkly West in 1880, and held the constituency for the rest of his life. Rhodes helped to secure Bechuanaland for the Cape government in 1884, and was made its Deputy Commissioner. He became Chairman of the De Beers Consolidated Mines in 1888, and helped to form the corporation Consolidated Goldfields of South Africa. After Rhodes agreed terms with Lobengula, King of Matatabeleland, in 1888, the British South Africa Company assumed responsibility for Rhodesia in 1889. Rhodes helped with the organisation of the new territory, and directed the war against the Matabeles, 1893-1894, which extended its boundaries. He was Prime Minister of the Cape, 1890-1896, but was forced to resign following his involvement in the Jameson Raid in December 1895. Thereafter, he continued to develop Rhodesia, and in 1896 established a permanent peace with the Matabeles. Rhodes died on 26 March 1902 at the village of Muizenburg.
8 page(s) : paper
Language of Materials
Former / Other Reference
Other Finding Aids
Donald H. Simpson, ed., 'The manuscript catalogue of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society' (London, 1975), p. 116.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Presented by Mr S.A. Le Riche, 1928.
This collection level description was created by RAS using information from Donald Simpson's R.C.S. catalogue. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Cecil Rhodes in Sidney Lee, ed., 'Dictionary of national biography', vol. III, 1901-1911 (Oxford University Press, 1927), pp. 181-191.
Rhodes, Cecil John, 1853-1902, imperialist and benefactor
Finding aid date