Catalogue of the papers of Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams and Elizabeth Main

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Table of Contents

A    Correspondence and papers of Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams
B    Correspondence and papers of Elizabeth Main
C    Photographs, negatives and slides

Catalogue of the papers of Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams and Elizabeth Main, 1880-2001

Papers of colonial governor Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams (1858-1920) and of his daughter, Elizabeth Main (1918-2010).

Shelfmarks: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 588

Extent: 7 boxes

Biographical History

Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams was born in 1858 in County Cork, Ireland. In 1911 he married Elsie Riordan of Montreal, Canada, and they had two children, Richard and Elizabeth.

In 1878 Goold-Adams joined The Royal Scots Regiment and served in India, Ireland, Malta and the West Indies. In 1884 he travelled to Africa as part of the Bechuanaland Expedition led by Major-General Sir Charles Warren and in 1885 was seconded to the newly formed Bechuanaland Border Police. In 1896 he was appointed Administrator of the Bechuanaland Protectorate and became Resident Commissioner the following year. He saw active service during the South African War (mentioned in despatches) and was Commandant of the Town Guard during the siege of Mafeking. In 1901 he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Orange River Colony and became Governor in 1907.

Following the formation of the Union of South Africa (1910) Goold-Adams left Africa to take up the post of High Commissioner of Cyprus (1911). In 1914 he moved to Australia as Governor of Queensland, a post he held until retirement in 1920. He died the same year whilst on a visit to South Africa en route back to England.

Scope and Content

The papers of Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams mainly relate to Africa but also include a small amount of material relating to his work in Cyprus and Australia. There are also letters of condolence sent to Lady Goold-Adams following her husband's death in 1920.

Elizabeth Main's papers mainly relate to her biography Man of Mafeking. The Bechuanaland Years of Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams 1884-1901 which was published in 1996 but which she had begun researching in the 1970s.


Purchased in 2002.

Restrictions on Access

Bodleian reader's ticket required.

Restrictions on Use

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

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 588 / 1, fols. 1-2].

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Adams | Sir | Hamilton John Goold- | 1858-1920 | Knight | colonial governor
Main | Elizabeth Mary | 1918-2010 | daughter of Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams

Corporate names (NCA Rules)

Great Britain | Colonial Administrative Service

Place names (NCA Rules)

South Africa

Subjects (LCSH)

Colonial administrators
Politics and government
South African War, 1899-1902

A   Correspondence and papers of Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams

Shelfmark: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 588 / 1
Extent: 1 box (305 leaves)

Scope and Content:

Correspondents include:

  • (fols. 1-44) Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams, 1896-1920
  • (fols. 49-50) Sir Joseph Chamberlain, 1904-1906
  • (fols. 51-52) Sir G. Pomeroy-Colley to Mr. Brand (typed signature spelt "G. Pomery Colley"), 1880
  • (fols. 55-61) Ronald Crauford Munro Ferguson, Viscount Novar, 1919
  • (fols. 69) Howell Arthur Gwynne, 1906
  • (fol. 70-75) Lewis Vernon Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt, 1914-1915
  • (fols. 76-77) James Barry Munnik Hertzog, 1909-1910
  • (fols. 80-86) Henry Thurstan Holland, 1st Viscount Knutsford, 1888-1892
  • (fols. 91-94) Sir Leander Starr Jameson, 1906
  • (fols. 95) John Daniel Kestell, 1910
  • (fols. 96-98) Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, 1901
  • (fols. 99-100) Lewanika, 1902-1907
  • (fols. 101-104) Henry Brougham Loch, 1st Baron Loch of Drylaw, 1893-1894
  • (fols. 105-214) Alfred Milner, 1901-1919 and two undated
  • (fols. 223-237) William Waldegrave Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne, 1906
  • (fol. 241) Cecil John Rhodes (telegram), undated
  • (fols. 242-243) Sir Joseph West Ridgeway, 1906
  • (fols. 244) Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, 1911
  • (fols. 245-246) George Frederick Samuel Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon, 1894-1895
  • (fols. 247-248) Hercules George Robert Robinson, first Baron Rosmead, 1886
  • (fols. 249-251) Sidney Godolphin Alexander Shippard, 1886
  • (fols. 259) Sir Herbert James Stanley (brief note), 1920
  • (fols. 260-263) Martinus Theunis Steyn, 1901-1909
  • (fols. 268-269) Christiaan Rudolf de Wet, 1910

This box also contains:

  • (fols. 272-276) correspondence where the author is unknown
  • (fols. 277-305) correspondence of Lady Goold-Adams (mainly letters and telegrams of condolence sent to her following the death of her husband), 1920-1921, 1949

Shelfmark: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 588 / 2
Extent: 1 box (256 leaves)

Scope and Content:

The papers comprise:

  • (fols. i + 119) presentation addresses marking Goold-Adams' official visits to towns and events, 1901-1910
  • (fols. 120-122) speech given to the members of the Legislative Council of Cyprus, 1912
  • (fols. 123-165) lectures given to the Royal Society of Queensland and the Irish Association in Brisbane, 1915-1916
  • (fols. 166-172) seven certificates (five are photocopies), 1881-1894
  • (fols. 173-196) handwritten copy of the 'private note book of Chris Liebenberg Adjutant to General Liebenberg operating in the district of Potchefstroom, Transvaal', 1 Jan-18 Apr 1902
  • (fols. 197-206) minutes of a meeting between Goold-Adams, Lord Lovat (representing the Imperial South African Association) and Major Apthorp (Secretary of the Land Settlement Board), 1904
  • (fols. 207-212) 'personal notes in connection with the "Stanley" case', 1918
  • (fols. 213-220) memorandum setting out a scheme for developing the Kalahari as a cattle ranch, [1920]
  • (fols. 221-256) newspaper cuttings, including obituaries of Goold-Adams, 1905-1920

B   Correspondence and papers of Elizabeth Main

Shelfmark: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 588 / 3
Extent: 1 box (519 leaves)
Restrictions on Access: Some letters from, or discussing, living individuals are closed.

Scope and Content:

Correspondence, with some related papers, mainly discussing Main's book Man of Mafeking. Includes:

  • (fols. 58-88) letters of condolence following the death of her mother, Lady Goold-Adams, 1952
  • (fols. 267-411) correspondence with Otto Reitz discussing the Bechuanaland Border Police, 1974-1993
  • (fols. 236-245) memorandum on the siege of Mafeking inspired by the reminiscences of Annie Rayne, 2000

Notebooks and background papers
Shelfmark: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 588 / 4
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content:

Notebooks, newspaper cuttings, photocopies of articles and other material gathered by Main whilst researching her book, Man of Mafeking. Includes:

  • cutting from the journal South Africa featuring a photograph of "Some well-known South-Africans" (Goold-Adams with Compton, Craven, Gardner Williams, Haarhoff, Harris, Harris, Jameson, Lange, Newton, Nind, Solomon, Robinow and Rhodes), 1894
  • maps of the Western Transvaal, Orange Free State and Mafeking taken from the books The Times History of the War in South Africa and the History of the War in South Africa, 1899-1902, [1900-1910]
  • The Place of Stones. A Short History of Mafeking/Mafikeng, booklet by the Bophuthatswana National Development Corporation, [1980]

Shelfmark: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 588 / 5
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content:

Typescript articles by Main, some with handwritten corrections and notes, comprising:

  • 'The Highlanders at Magersfontein, 11th December 1899', with a compliment slip from The Scotsman rejecting it for publication, 1974
  • untitled article based on a lecture Goold-Adams gave to the Irish Association in Brisbane about his experiences in South Africa, [1970s]
  • 'Sentimental Journey - In the Steps of My Father', recalling a trip to South Africa, [1970s]
  • 'Mafeking Centenary', 1985
  • 'Visit to Ferring-on-Sea', where Main lived as a child, with 13 photographs (and 4 negatives) and a booklet about St. Andrew's Church, 1989
  • 'Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams and the Abolition of the Legislative Council of Queensland', with a letter to The Courier Mail (Brisbane) about possible publication, 1991
  • 'Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams (Governor of Queensland 1915-1920)', with notes on the presentation of honours after the First World War, 2001
  • 'Chris Liebenberg's Diary', with biographical notes about Liebenberg, undated
  • 'Letters - Lord Milner to Major Goold-Adams, February 1902 to January 1905', with biographical notes about individuals mentioned, undated

C   Photographs, negatives and slides

Photographs (album)
Shelfmark: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 588 / 6
Extent: 1 volume (60 pages)

Scope and Content:

Album of photographs (captioned) mainly in and around Orange River Colony but also including views of the Zambesie (sic) river and Goold-Adams' visit to Bourbon-Lancy, Saône-et-Loire, France in 1904.

People featured in the photographs include: Louis Botha, Sir Walter Francis Hely-Hutchinson, Horatio Herbert Kitchener, Sir Henry Edward McCallum, Alfred Milner, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the Duke and Duchess of Westminster and members of the Orange River Colony Legislative Council.

Subjects and events include: the South African War, 1899-1902 (including a view towards East London Concentration Camp and scenery around Sanna's Post, 4-5 years after the battle, with Francis William "Frank" Rhodes in the background), the 1904 Bloemfontein flood, official events attended by Goold-Adams (including the opening of new railway lines) and photographs of horses.

Photographs (loose), negatives and slides
Shelfmark: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 588 / 7
Extent: 1 box (80 photographs, 18 negatives, 4 slides)

Scope and Content:

Photographs of Sir Hamilton and Lady Goold-Adams and Elizabeth Main (including one with her husband, Donald). Also:

  • Charles Goodyear and Goold-Adams, [1885-1900]
  • the Acheiropoietos Monastery in Cyprus with Sir Hamilton and Lady Goold-Adams and priests in the background, [1911-1914]
  • officers of the Bechuanaland Border Police (Goold-Adams, C. Ellis, A. P. W. Williams and E. C. F. Garraway), 1893 (reprint made in the c.1990s)
  • G. L. J. Goff of the 1st Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, [1899] (reprint made in the c.1970s)
  • Chris Liebenberg and the Liebenberg family, [1901-1904] (reprints made in the c.1970s)
  • snapshots taken during a trip to Africa, mostly scenery but also including "the cottage at Muizenburg" and the foundation stone at Mafeking Hospital which was laid by Goold-Adams in 1898, [1970s]
  • ruins of Fort Matlaputla, overgrown with thorn scrub, 1991

Negative and slides include:

  • the Highland Brigade Memorial, Magersfontein, 1974 (slide)
  • Sir Hamilton and Lady Goold-Adams arriving at Government House, Brisbane, 1915 (two slides, one negative)

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
30 October 2013