Rhodesian Study Circle: Memoir 23 – Letters to and from Bulawayo in 1890

Rhodesian Study Circle

Memoir 23 – Letters to and from Bulawayo in 1890

This Memoir provides and interesting insight into a fascinating correspondence relating to Lobengula, the King of the Matabele in the 1890’s struggle by Cecil Rhodes to expand British influence into Central Africa.

It involves the British South Africa Company’s representatives in Bulawayo, Sam Edwards in Tati, Cecil Rhodes, Leander Starr Jameson, and Lobengula himself, dating from the time the Pioneer Column assembled in Bechuanaland in July 1890 and set out for Salisbury which it reached in September, 1890.

The material comes from private correspondences that only came to light in the 1980’s that substantially add to the picture given by other letters dating from the 1890’s held by the Zimbabwe National Archives.

There was concern that Lobengula might react violently to what he regarded as a large-scale invasion, and the letters describe the apprehension felt by the European residents of Bulawayo and Tati, the attempts by the company’s representatives to persuade Lobengula not to rescind the Rudd Concession, by which he had granted permission for the Pioneer Column to move to Mashonaland, and that the Column was not a threat to his kingdom, Matabeleland.

This Memoir will appeal to those interested in the way a collection of postal history which contains original letters can fill in the background to historical events, as well as those who have an interest in these actual events.

The Memoir is 50 pages with 23 illustrations, photocopied on A4 with card and transparent plastic covers and spiral bound.


  • Memoir: 23
  • Author: Alan Drysdall, Keith Harrop and Ian Johnstone
  • Prices:
    • PDF – N/A
    • Print Copy – £10+P&H

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