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.
The Groote Schuur Estate (named after its original building, a "large barn") was established in 1657 on the slopes of Devil's Peak, southeast of Cape Town, South Africa. After undergoing numerous subdivisions and changes of ownership, the estate was acquired in 1891 and enlarged by Cecil John Rhodes, who bequeathed it to South Africa in 1902. It is the site of the Rhodes Memorial.
Album of photographs of the Groote Schuur Estate including some showing the aftermath of the fire of 1896.
Bodleian reader's ticket required.Reproduction Restrictions
No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.
The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.
Listed as no. 1210 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).
Rhodes | Cecil John | 1853-1902 | Imperialist and Benefactor
Groote Schuur (Cape Town, South Africa) | Photographs