Cecil John Rhodes was born on the 5 July 1853 at Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire and educated at Bishop's Stortford Grammar School. In 1870 he emigrated to Natal and made a fortune in the Kimberley diamond mines. In 1880 he founded the De Beers Mining Company. Rhodes dreamed of building a British Empire in Africa that stretched from the Cape to Cairo. In 1885 he persuaded the British government to form a protectorate over Bechuanaland (now Botswana). In 1889 he founded the British South Africa Company, which occupied Mashonaland and Matabeleland, thus forming Rhodesia (now Zambia and Zimbabwe). Rhodes was prime minister of Cape Colony (1890-1896). The discovery of his role in Leander Starr Jameson's attempt to overthrow Paul Kruger in the Transvaal (Jameson's Raid, 1895-1896) led to his resignation. He died on the 26 March 1902 in Muizenberg, Cape Colony. By his will he established the Rhodes scholarships at Oxford University.
A more detailed administrative/biographical history of Cecil John Rhodes can be found under reference GB 0162 MSS.Afr.s.227.
Reproduced typescript entitled "Yrs., C.J. Rhodes: the letters of an imperialist", a collection of many of Rhodes' letters, edited by Thomas William Baxter.
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The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.
Listed as no. 796 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).
Baxter | Thomas William | fl 1974
Rhodes | Cecil John | 1853-1902 | Imperialist and Benefactor
Letters | Collections