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Collection Level Description: Colenbrander Papers

Reference: MSS. Afr. s. 2330
Title: Colenbrander Papers
Dates of Creation: c1870-1995
Extent: 10 boxes
Physical Description: There was a house fire in 1968, which has left some of the early material donated by J.C.A.L. Colenbrander in a fragile state.

Language of Material: English



Administrative/Biographical History

Colonel Johan William Colenbrander (1856-1918) was born in Pinetown, Natal to a Dutch family who had settled there in 1849. During his lifetime he participated in a number of key events, including the Zulu War, the visit of Lobengula's indunas to Queen Victoria, Rhodes' expansion into Mashonaland, the Ndebele Rebellion, and the Anglo-Boer War (during which he raised and commanded a unit named 'Kitchener's Fighting Scouts'). After several unsuccessful business ventures, he obtained employment in 1917 with I.W. Schlesinger's film company, helping to organise labour for the filming of The Symbol of Sacrifice. He played the part of Lord Chelmsford in the film and was drowned as he tried to cross the Klip River on horseback. He was married three times, first to Mollie Mullens in 1883, secondly, in 1902, to Yvonne Nunn, with whom he had a daughter, and thirdly, in 1911, to Catherine (Kathleen) Gloster, with whom he had a son.

Scope and Content

Family correspondence and letters of condolence on J.W. Colenbrander's death, 1870-1918; press cuttings, etc., 1904-1995; correspondence of J.C.A.L. Colenbrander concerning biographies of his father, 1939-1977; other correspondence of J.C.A.L. Colenbrander, 1929-1986; transcripts of documents relating to J.W. Colenbrander, including photographs, [1870-1990]; annotated books and other printed material, etc., 1893-1994.

Administrative Information

Access Conditions

Bodleian reader's ticket required: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/services/admissions/.

Reproduction Restrictions

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Further Information

Finding Aids

A handlist is available in the library reading room.

Related Units of Description

J.C.A.L. Colenbrander sent photocopies of material relating to his father to the Killie Campbell Library in Natal, South Africa, the Zimbabwean National Archives, and Yale Library, U.S.A.. Yale Library also received some original photographs. Some artefacts relating to J.W. Colenbrander were housed at the Rhodes Memorial Museum, Bishops Stortford. A collection of love letters between J.C.A.L. Colenbrander's parents were retained by the family estate.

Access Points

Colenbrander | Johan William | 1856-1918 | Colonel soldier, adventurer and entrepreneur

Colenbrander | family | 1870-19--

Africa, Southern | History

Zululand (South Africa) | History

South African War, 1899-1902 | Participation, British


Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
27 June 2011