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Letters from Cecil Rhodes to S. Le Riche, 1894 - 1928

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 113/85

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

MSS 5c99

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.

Related Materials

The R.C.S. Manuscripts Collection includes other material relating to Cecil Rhodes, RCMS 113/86 and 113/99. The R.C.S. Photograph Collection includes photographs of Rhodes, Y3011T/45-48.


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

2004-01-26 15:16:08+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.