Bodleian Library logo

Department of Special Collections
Contact Information
Search All Online Catalogues

Consulting material: To consult archives and manuscripts, a full and unrestricted Bodleian reader's card (Group A) is required. You should apply for your card at the Admissions Office.

Pre-ordering: Before your visit you may order up to ten items by emailing Please be advised that some collection material is held offsite; we advise pre-ordering at least two working days before your visit to ensure material is available on your arrival.

Collection Level Description: Jameson Raid Diary, Book and Papers belonging to Brigadier-General Hon. Robert White

Reference: GB 0162 MSS.Afr.s.220-222
Title: Jameson Raid Diary, Book and Papers belonging to Brigadier-General Hon. Robert White
Dates of Creation: 1895-1931
Extent: 3 volumes
Name of Creator: Robert White

Language of Material: English

Administrative/Biographical History

Robert White was born on the 26 October 1861 and educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1882 he joined the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers. White served in the Nile Campaign (1884-1885) and was Aide-de-camp and Military Secretary in Cork District (1886-1889) and York District (1889-1891). After Staff College (1886-1889), White served as a Staff Officer with the Rhodesia Horse Regiment (1894) and as a Magistrate in Bechuanaland (1894). He served in the South African War in 1900 (Staff of 6th Division) and raised and commanded the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in August 1914. White also served in France (1915-1918) where, from 1916-1918, he served as Brigadier-General commanding 184 Infantry Brigade. He died on the 19 November 1936.

White took part in the Jameson Raid (1895-1896), an abortive raid on the Afrikaner republic of the Transvaal led by Leander Starr Jameson and instigated by Cecil John Rhodes. Before the raid White planned to leave his despatch-box, containing his diary and other personal papers, at Pitsani from which point he joined Jameson's main column. In his absence, and unbeknownst to him, code-books, confidential letters and telegrams were placed in his despatch-box by somebody else for convenience and the box was inadvertently taken with the baggage which accompanied the column. Many of these documents, together with extracts from White's diary, were afterwards published by the official committees on the Jameson Raid; were used at the trial of Jameson and his officers in London; and supplied an important part of the evidence on which the Reformers (members of the Reform Committee in Johannesburg) were convicted at Pretoria. White himself was charged with having taken his box of confidential papers into battle although he was subsequently exonerated.

Scope and Content

This collection contains:

Of particular interest in this collection is a sketched map of the battlefield at Doornkop, 14 miles from Johannesburg, where Jameson and his men were forced to surrender to the Boer commandant P.A. Cronje.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Robert White bequeathed the volumes to George Dawson, Editor of the Times newspaper.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mrs. George Dawson.

Access Conditions

Bodleian reader's ticket required.

Reproduction Restrictions

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

Further Information

Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Access Points

White | Robert | 1861-1936 | Brigadier-General

Hole | Hugh Marshall | 1865-1941 | Colonial Administrator

Jameson | Leander Starr | 1853-1917 | Sir | Baronet South African Statesman

Jameson's Raid, 1895-1896

Transvaal (South Africa) | Politics and government

Johannesburg (South Africa) | Politics and government

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
16 December 2011