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50 years after the death of Shaka Zulu, The Zulu nation would take on the British Empire. This narative by the daughter of Bishop John Colenzo Gives a great historical account of the events.



Shaka Zulu

The Zulu War



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IT is probable that the Bishop of Natal may be held respon- sible for the contents of a volume written partly by his daughter, and having for its subject the Zulu War ; more especially if a general coincidence can be traced between what are known to be his views and those which are expressed in this history. My father's opinions have, naturally, consider- able influence over those held or expressed by his family, and I do not imagine that much will be found in these pages from which he will dissent. Nevertheless, it is desirable that my readers should understand from the first that he is in no sense responsible for their contents.

When I left Natal, in September last, the idea of writing upon the subject of the Zulu War had hardly occurred to me ; it has developed since to an extent quite beyond my original intentions, and I find that its fulfilment has rather taken my father by surprise. I had no opportunity of consulting him upon the subject, nor has he yet seen a word of what I have written, for on reaching England I found that, to be of any use at all, the book should appear almost at once.

I made, indeed, ample use of the pamphlets which the Bishop of Natal has written on behalf of Langalibalele and Cetshwayo, which have saved me many hours of weary search. Consequently, while the Bishop is in no way responsible for such errors or omissions as may occur in this volume, any merit or usefulness which my portion of the book may contain is due chiefly to his labours.

The general plan of my history was laid out, and the first few chapters were written, during the voyage from Natal, and upon reaching England I obtained the assistance of my friend Lieut. -Colonel Edward Durnford in that portion of the work which deals with the military conduct of the war. While it was desirable that a record of military events should be made by one whose professional knowledge qualified him for the duty, there was an additional reason which made his help appropriate. It may easily be understood from his name that the interest taken by him in his task would be of no ordinary kind. Colonel Durnford has written the military portions of the book, but is not responsible for any expressions of opinion upon matters strictly political.

I am far from feeling that I am the best person to under- take such a work as this, which my father himself would look upon as a serious one, and which he, or even my sister, who has worked with him throughout, would do so much better than I ; but they were not at hand, and I have thought it my duty to do what I could, while I could have had no better aid than that given me by Colonel Durnford.

However insufficient the result may prove, we shall at least hope that our work may give some slight assistance to that cause of justice, truth, and mercy, the maintenance of which aione can ensure the true honour of the British name.


January 22nd, 1880.
















ISANDHLWANA . . . . . . . . .23

















ULUNDI . ... 433






ENGLAND'S collisions with the savage races bordering upon her colonies have in all probability usually been brought about by the exigencies of the moment, by border-troubles, and acts of violence and insolence on the part of the savages, and from the absolute necessity of protecting a small and trembling white population from their assaults.

No such causes as these have led up to the war of 1879. For more than twenty years the Zulus and the colonists of Natal have lived side by side in perfect peace and quietness. The tranquillity of our border had been a matter of pride as compared to the dis- turbed and uncertain boundaries between Zululand and the Transvaal. The mere fact of the utterly unprotected condition of the frontier farmers on our border, and the entire absence of anything like precaution, evinced by the common practice of building houses of the most combustible description, is a proof that the colonists


felt no real alarm concerning the Zulus until the idea was suggested to them by those in authority over them.* The only interruption to this tranquil condition of the public mind about the Zulus was in the year 1861, when a scare took place in the colony, for which, as it afterwards proved, there were no grounds whatsoever. A general but unfounded belief was rife that Cetshwayo,t king, or rather at that time prince, ruling Zululand, was about to invade Natal, in order to obtain possession of his young brother Umkungo, a claimant of the Zulu crown, and who had escaped over the border at the time of the great civil war of which we shall presently treat. This young prince had been placed by the Secretary for Native Affairs, Mr. Shepstone at Bishop- stowe,J for his education in the Native Boys' School there ; and it was not until he had been there for years that the fancy arose, suggested and fostered by the border farmers and traders in Zululand, that Cetshwayo intended to take him by force from amongst us, or at all events to make the attempt.

Under the influence of this belief the troops then X" stationed in Natal were ordered to the frontier, the colonial volunteers were called out, the defence of the principal towns became a matter for consideration ; while

* "Few things struck me more than the evident haste and temporary character of the defensive measures undertaken by the English part of the population " in the border districts of Natal. (See letter from Sir Bartle Frere to Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, dated March 28th, 1879. P. P. [C. 2318] p. 32.) f Spelt thus to give the nearest proper pronunciation of Cetywayo." J Eesidence of the Bishop of Natal.


outlying farmers, and residents in the country, hastened to remove their families to places of comparative safety. Bishopstowe was supposed to be the special object of the expected attack ; but the Bishop himself, having occasional opportunities of learning the state of things in Zululand, through his missionary there, could never be brought thoroughly to believe in the gravity of the danger. It is true that, as a matter of precaution, and in defer- ence to the strongly- expressed opinion of the Lieut. - Governor of the Colony and of Mr. Shepstone, he sent away the threatened boy to some of his own people, in a more remote and safer part of the colony. But he was extremely reluctant to take the further step, strongly urged upon him, of removing his family and people to the adjacent city of Pietermaritzburg, and only con- sented to do so under protest. During the night following his consent, but before the project had been carried out, he had reason for a few hours to suppose that he had been mistaken in his own judgment. The family at Bishopstowe was knocked up at one o'clock in the morning by a messenger from a passing Dutch farmer, who, on his way into town with his own family, had sent word to the Bishop that Cetshwayo's army had entered the colony, was already between him and Table Mountain that is to say within a distance of nine miles and was burning, killing, and destroying all upon the way to Bishopstowe. There seemed to be no doubt of the fact ; so, hastily collecting their native villagers,'"" the

* These people had refused to leave their homes, or desert their Bishop, as long as he and his family remained at Bishopstowe, although both black and white, for miles around, had sought shelter elsewhere. B 2


Colensos left tlieir homes and started for the town, which, they reached, most of them on foot, about daybreak. The consequence of their being accompanied and followed by a considerable party of natives (of both sexes and all ages !) was that the townspeople im- mediately supposed that the " Zulus had come ; " and some of them actually left their houses, and took refuge in the various places of safety such as the fort, the principal churches, and so on previously decided upon by the authorities in case of necessity. In common South African terms they " went into laager."

As the day passed, and still no further tidings arrived of the approach of the Zulus or the destruction of Bishopstowe, the Bishop began to have strong suspicions that, after all, he had been right in his original opinion, and that " the killing, burning, and destroying " had been conjured up by some excited imagination. This opinion was confirmed, if not com- pletely established, in the course of the day, by the reception of a letter from the missionary in Zululand before mentioned, in which he inquired, on the Zulu king's behalf, what fault the latter had committed towards the English, that they should be preparing to invade his country. The missionary added that all was perfectly quiet in Zululand, until the border tribes, seeing the British troops approaching, fled inland in alarm, killing their cattle to prevent their falling into the hands of the invaders, and burying their other possessions where they could not carry them away. In point of fact the " scare" had no foundation whatsoever, and the Zulus were quite as much alarmed by the actual


approach of the British troops as the Natalians had been by the imaginary Zulu army. The worst im- mediate consequence of the mistake was the want, almost amounting to famine, produced amongst the border Zulus by the loss of their cattle. A later and more serious result has been that general impression, which has long obtained credence at home in England, that the colonists of Natal have not only been in fear of their lives on account of the Zulus for many years, but have also had good and sufficient reason for their alarm. But for this fixed, though groundless idea, England would hardly have been in such a hurry to send out additional troops for the protection of the colony as she was in the summer of 1878 ; to her own great loss and to the very considerable injury of the colony itself, not to speak of its unhappy neighbours and heretofore friends the Zulus.

It is certainly true that during the year 1878 the inhabitants of Natal did honestly feel great fear of the Zulus, and of a possible invasion of the colony by them, the alarm in many cases amounting to absolute panic. But this feeling was produced by no warlike menaces from our neighbours, no sinister appearances on our borders. The panic or " scare/' as it would popularly be called in Natal w r as forced upon the people by the conduct and language of their rulers, by the preparations made for war, troops being sent for from England " for defensive purposes" (as was so repeatedly asserted by both Sir Bartle Frere and Lord Chelmsford, then Lieut. - General the Hon. F. A. Thesiger), and by the perpetual agitation of the local newspaper editors. 6 THE ZULU WAR. It is true indeed that a certain section of the colonists eagerly desired war. To some the presence of the troops was a source of actual fortune, to others the freedom and independence of so large a body of black people, whom they could neither tax nor force to work for them, was, and had long been, odious ; the revenue to be derived from a hut-tax levied upon the Zulus, and the cheap labour to be obtained when their power and independence should be broken, formed one of the chief subjects for speculation when the war was first suggested. To others, again, the prospect of war was simply a source of pleasurable excitement, a hunt on a large scale, martial glory to be won, with just spice enough of danger to give zest to the affair ; as had been the case in the war just concluded in Kaffraria. Naturally this feeling was commonest amongst the volunteers and their friends. Some of them looked upon the matter in a light which would meet with utter condemnation in any civilised society ; but many others, especially the young lads who filled up the ranks of the volunteer corps, were simply dazzled by visions of military distinction, excited by the popular phrases in perpetual use about " fighting for their country, and doing their duty as soldiers," to the extent of losing sight altogether of the question as to whether or no their country really required any defence at all. Natal cannot honestly claim to be guiltless in bringing about the war with the Zulus, and will hardly deny that in 1878 the prospect was a most popular one amongst her sons. Perhaps Sir Bartle Frere could not so easily have produced a war out of the materials FIRST CAUSES. 7 which he had at hand but for the assistance given him by the popular cry in the colony, and the general fear of the Zulus, which called forth England's ready sympathy and assistance. But it must be remembered that the panic was not a genuine one, nor even one like that of 1861, produced by the folly of the people themselves. It was distinctly imposed upon them by those in authority, whose policy was to bring about a collision with the Zulus, and who then made use of the very fears which they had themselves aroused for the furtherance of their own purpose. The subjugation of the Zulus and the annexation of their country, formed part of a policy which has occupied the minds of certain British statesmen for many years. The ambition of creating a South African Empire, to be another jewel in Victoria's crown, which, if no rival, should at least be a worthy pendant to the great Indian Empire, was a dazzling one, and towards that object all Government action in South Africa has apparently tended since the year 1873. When the idea was first conceived those only know who formed it, but it took practical and visible form in 1873. In that year by crowning the Zulu king we assumed a right to interfere in the internal management of the country, thereby establishing a possible future cause of offence, which, as the Zulus obstinately refused to put themselves in tlje wrong by any sort of interference with us, was necessary in order to bring about a state of things which should eventually give us a sufficient excuse for taking possession of the country altogether. The origin of this performance was as follows. In 8 THE ZULU WAR. the year 1856 a great revolution took place in Zululancl, and a civil war broke out between two claimants to the heirship of the throne (then filled by Umpande), namely, the present king, Cetshwayo, and his brother Umbulazi. Cetshwayo was quite young at the time, and appears to have been put forward by some ambitious warriors, who intended to rule in his name, and did not expect the remarkable power and talent which he afterwards developed. Umbulazi's party was beaten, he himself being killed in battle, great carnage ensuing, and many fugitives escaping into Natal. Amidst all the bloodshed and horror which naturally attends such a warfare as this between savages, there stands out the singular, perhaps unprecedented, fact that Cetshwayo, although victorious to the extent of carrying the nation with him, not only never made any attempt upon the old king, his father's, life, but did not even depose him or seize his throne. The old man lived and nominally, at all events reigned for many years, though, owing to his age and obesity, which was so great as to prevent his walking, he seems to have been willing enough to leave the real authority in the hands of his son, while retaining the semblance of it himself. He was treated with all due respect by Cetshwayo and his followers until he died a natural death in the year 1872, when Cetshwayo ascended .the throne which had long been virtually his own, and was proclaimed king of Zululand. This was looked upon as a fitting time for a little display of authority by ourselves, hence the friendly expedition to Zululand of 1873, when we gave FIRST CAUSES. 9 Cetshwayo to understand that, however it might appear to him, he held his power from us, and was no true king till we made him such. It was also rightly thought to be an opportunity for suggesting to the Zulu king such reforms in the government of his country as would naturally commend themselves to English ideas. We considered, and with some reason, that capital punishment was an over-frequent occurrence in Zulu- land, and that, on the other hand, judicial trials before sentence should be the universal rule. It was also desirable, if possible, to decrease the belief in witchcraft, by which so much power was left in the hands of the witch-doctors or priests;"'" and finally it was thought necessary to provide for the safety of the missionaries resident in the land.t How far this was a desirable step depends entirely on whether the men themselves were earnest, self-sacrificing, peace-loving teachers of the gospel of Christ, or mere traders for their own benefit, under the cloak of a divine mission, ready to hail a bloody war. " Only the utter destruction of the Zulus can secure future peace in South Africa .... we have the approbation of God, our Queen, and our own conscience." (See letter from a missionary clergy- man to Sir Bartle FrereJ dated December 17th, 1878. (P. P. [C. 2316] p. 3.)) It was frequently asserted at the time in Natal that this coronation ceremony (1st September, 1873) was * A system not unlike the Inquisition in its evil results. t Who, it may be remarked, have always been well treated in Zululand. J Portions of this letter are omitted from the Blue-book. It would be interesting to see the letter as originally received. 10 THE ZULU WAR. nothing better than a farce, and the way in which it was carried out seems hardly to have been understood by the king himself. The Natalians were puzzled as to what could be the meaning or intention of what seemed to them a hollow show, and were on the whole rather inclined to put it down to Mr. Shepstone's supposed habit of " petting the natives/' and to " Exeter Hall influences," resulting in a ridiculous fuss on their behalf. From Mr. Shepstone's despatch on the subject of the coronation of Cetshwayo (P. P. [C. 1137]), and from mes- sages brought from the latter to the Government of Natal after his father's death, there appears to have been a strong desire on the part, not only of the people, but of the king himself, that his formal succession to the throne should be unattended by bloodshed and disorder, such as had ushered in the rule of his predecessors for several generations. How greatly the character of the Zulu rule had improved in a comparatively short period may be judged by a comparison of the fact [p. 5, ibid.'] (mentioned by Mr. Shepstone), that during the reigns of XJhaka and Dingana (grandfather and great-uncle to Cetshwayo), all the royal wives were put to death either before the birth of their children, or with their infants afterwards, with the behaviour of Cetshwayo, both to his father and to his father's wives. * And Mr. Shepstone himself speaks of Cetshwayo on the occasion of this visit in the following manner : " Cetywayo is a man of considerable ability, much force of character, and has a dignified manner ; in all my conversations with him," * One put to death in 1861 was condemned on a charge of high treason. FIRST CAUSES. 11 the Secretary for Native Affairs continues, " lie was remarkably frank and straightforward, and he ranks in every respect far above any native chief I have ever had to do with." Throughout the despatch, indeed, Mr. Shepstone repeatedly speaks of the king's " frank- ness " and " sagacity," in direct opposition to the charges of craft and duplicity so recklessly brought against the latter of late. King Umpande died in October, 1872, having reigned nearly thirty-three years, and on the 26th February, 1873, messengers from Cetshwayo brought the news of his father's death to the Governor of Natal, requesting at the same time that Mr. Shepstone might be sent to instal Cetshwayo as his successor,'* in order that the Zulu nation should be "more one with the government of Natal/' and be "covered by the same mantle." The message ended with the request which Cetshwayo never lost an opportunity of making, that we would protect his country from Boer aggressions.! " We are also commissioned," say the messengers, " to urge, what has already been urged so frequently , that the government of Natal be extended so as to intervene between the Zulus and the territory of the Transvaal Eepublic." The mere fact that this proposition was frequently and earnestly pressed upon the Natal Government by the Zulus, is in itself a proof positive that the aggressions were not on their side. They desired to place what they * As he had previously, in the year 1861, visited Zululand for the purpose of fixing the succession upon the house of Cetshwayo. t Since by our desire he refrained from protecting it by force of arms. 12 THE ZULU WAR. looked upon as an impassable barrier between the two countries, and could therefore have had no wish themselves to encroach. Further messages passed between Cetshwayo and the Natal Government upon the subject, until it was finally arranged that the coronation should be performed by Mr. Shepstone, in Zululand, and, with a party of volunteers as escort, he crossed the Tugela on the 8th August, 1873, accompanied by Major Durnford, K.E., Captain Boyes, 75th Kegiment, and several other officers and gentlemen. Mr. Shepstone's long despatch, already quoted from, and in which he describes, with true native minuteness, the most trivial circumstances of the journey, and subsequent proceedings, gives the impression that he looked upon his mission as a service of danger to all concerned. It was, however, carried out without any break in the friendly relations between the Zulus and his party, who returned to Pietermaritzburg " without unpleasant incident " on the 19th September. The coronation mission was carried out how far successfully entirely depends upon the results expected or desired by those in command. The king himself, while looking upon the fact of his recognition as sovereign of Zululand by the English as important, is quite keen enough to have detected certain elements of absurdity in the proceedings by which they invested him with his dignity. There was perhaps a little good- humoured scorn in his reception of the somewhat oddly- chosen presents and marks of honour offered him. Without losing that respect for and faith in the FIE8T CAUSES. 13 English which has always characterised his dealings with them, he felt impatiently that they were rather making a fool of him ; especially when they put upon his shoulders a little scarlet mantle formerly a lady's opera-cloak the curtailed dimensions of which made him ridiculous in his own eyes ; and upon his head a pasteboard, cloth, and tinsel crown, whose worthless- ness he was perfectly capable of comprehending. Mr. Shepstone's despatch represents him as greatly impressed by the ceremony, etc. ; but the impression on the minds of many observers was that he put up with much which both seemed and was trifling and ridiculous, for the sake of the solid benefits which he hoped he and his people would derive from a closer connection with the English. The portion of Mr. Shepstone's despatch, however, which it is important that we should study with attention is that which refers to the " coronation pro- mises" (so called) of Cetshwayo, and treats of the political subjects discussed between king and king- maker. Sir Bartle Frere repeatedly speaks of the transaction as " a solemn act by the king, undertaken as the price of British support and recognition ; " of Cetshwayo as having " openly violated his coronation promises ; " of his " undoubted promises ; " while Sir Garnet Wolseley, in his speech to the assembled chiefs and people of the Zulu nation, speaks of the coronation promises as though the want of attention to them had been the chief, if not the only, cause of the king's misfortunes ; and the same tone is taken in all late despatches on the subject. 14 THE ZULU WAR. And now let us turn to Mr. Shepstone's own report, prepared at the time, and see whether we gather from it the impression that the conditions of his treaty with Cetshwayo were thought of, or intended by him, to stand as solemn and binding promises, of which the infraction, or delay in carrying out, would render the king and his people liable to punishment at our hands. After giving his reasons for objecting to " formal or written " treaties with savages,"'' Mr. Shepstone himself remarks, " Ours is an elastic arrangement." This is a singularly candid confession, of the truth of which there can be little doubt. Whether such a term should be applicable to the treaties made by an English Govern-, ment is quite another question, to which we will leave the English public to find an answer. We have, however, but to quote from Mr. Shepstone ? s own despatch to prove the convenient " elasticity " of his propositions, and how greatly they have been magnified of late in seeking a quarrel against the Zulu king. At p. 16 of the report, after enumerating the " arrange- ments and laws " proposed by him, and heartily approved by the Zulus, Mr. Shepstone remarks : " Although all this was fully, and even vehemently, assented to, it * He gives as reasons for his objections : first, that such treaties " involve an admission of equality between the contracting parties," and therefore " encourage presumption " on the part of the inferior, etc. ; secondly, that " men who cannot read are apt to forget or distort the words of a treaty." A third reason, which does not seem to have occurred to Mr. Shepstone, lies in the ease with which a savage may be deceived as to the contents of a written document, which facility we shall soon largely illustrate in the matter of Boer treaties with the natives. FIE8T CAUSES. 15 cannot be expected that the amelioration described will immediately take effect. To have got such principles admitted and declared to be what a Zulu may plead when oppressed, was but sowing the seed, which will still take many years to grow and mature." And at p. 17 he says : "I told the king that I well knew the difficulties of his position, ind that he could overcome them only by moderation and prudence and justice, but without these they would certainly overcome him." And again (p. 18, par. 82) he explains that when he left Natal he had looked upon the " charge " which he knew that he would be expected to deliver to Cetshwayo on his installation, as something in the nature of an ordination sermon, or bishop's charge to candidates for confirma- tion, likely to influence only in so far as the consciences of those addressed might respond, etc. ; but that, on entering Zululand, he found that the people thought so much of this part of the duty he had undertaken that he felt himself to have "become clothed with the power of fundamental legislation," and thought it right to take advantage of the opportunity for introducing improve- ments in the government of the people. "I have already described my success," he continues, " and I attribute it to the sagacity of Cetywayo." But in all this there is no mention of "solemn promises," to break which would be an insult to the majesty of England, and an excuse for war ; nor is there, from beginning to end of the despatch, any token that Mr. Shepstone looked upon them in that light, or had any immediate expectation of proving the usefulness of his " elastic " arrangement. 16 THE ZULU WAR. In describing his interviews and political discussions with the Zulu king, Mr. Shepstone speaks repeatedly in high praise of the ability and behaviour of the former. He says in one place : " Cetywayo received us cordially as before. . . . Major Durnford and my son, with the Natal Native Indunas, sat down with me to an inter- view with Cetywayo and the councillors, that lasted for five hours without intermission. It was of the most interesting and earnest kind, and was conducted with great ability and frankness by Cetywayo. Theoretically, my business was with the councillors who represented the nation ; but, had it not been for the straightforward manner in which Cetywayo insisted upon their going direct to the point, it would have been impossible to have got through the serious subjects we were bound to decide in the time we did." x/Of the points discussed in this way the most important was that which, a little later, led directly up to the Zulu War namely, the aggressions of the Transvaal Boers and the disputed boundary between them and the Zulus. " The whole of the afternoon," says Mr. Shepstone, " was occupied with this subject, about which he occasionally grew very earnest, and declared that he and every Zulu would die rather than submit to them viz. the Boer encroachments. He reproached the Government of Natal for not having taken up the Zulu cause, and for not even having troubled themselves to examine whether their state- ments were true or not, while they treated them as if without foundation." FIRST CAUSES. 17 In fact, on this, as on every other occasion, the Zulu king lost no opportunity of protesting against the encroach- ments of the Boers, lest his peaceable conduct towards these latter, maintained in deference to the wishes of the Natal Government, should be brought up against him later as a proof of their rights. Whatever may have been the intentions and opinions of Mr. Shepstone on the subject of the " coronation promises," he left Cetshwayo unfettered in his own opinion, having merely received certain advice as to the government of his people from his respected friends the English, to whose wishes he should certainly give full attention, and whose counsel he would carry out as far as was, in his opinion, wise or feasible. As already stated, the principal item of the English advice related to capital punishment, which we, with some justice, considered a too frequent occurrence in Zululand, especially in cases of supposed witchcraft, this superstition being undoubtedly the bane of the country. But in judging of the king's acts in this respect, it should be remembered that, to rule a nation without any assistance in the form of gaols or fetters, capital punish- ment must needs be resorted to rather more frequently than in our own country, where, indeed, it is not so long since we hung a man for stealing a sheep, and for other acts far short of murder. And as to the superstition con- cerning witches, it can hardly have led to more cruelty and injustice in Zululand than in civilised European countries, where at Treves 7000 victims were burned alive for witchcraft; 500 at Geneva in three months; c 18 THE ZULU WAR. 1000 in the province of Como ; 400, at once, at Toulouse ; with many other like cases on official record/'" The practice of smelling out a witch, as it is called, is one to be put a stop to as soon as possible by gradual and gentle means, and Cetshwayo himself had arrived at that conclusion without our assistance, as shown in his conversation with the native printer Magema, whose account of a visit paid to the Zulu king appeared in " Macmillan's Magazine " for March, 1878. But the custom of a people the law of a land is not to be done away with or altered in an hour ; nor could we English reasonably expect such radical changes in the administration of a country to follow our orders as immediately and naturally as we should expect a new ordinance to be received by the natives of Natal living under our own rule. Neither could we justly consider the non-fulfilment of our wishes and commands a sufficient cause for attacking Zululand, although such supposed non-fulfilment was the first, and for a long time the * See Lecky's " Eationalism in Europe" : 7000 at Treves ; 600 by a single Bishop of Bamberg ; 800 in one year, in the bishopric of Wurtzburg ; 1000 in the province of Como ; 400 at once, at Toulouse ; 500 in three months, at Geneva ; 48 at Constance ; 80 at the little /town of Valary in Saxony ; 70 in Sweden ; and one Christian judge boasted that he himself had been the means of putting to death, in sixteen years, 800 witches ! In Scotland, two centuries ago, but after many centuries of Christianity and civilisation, John Brown, the Ayrshire carrier, was shot, and, within a fortnight, an aged widow and a young maid were tied to stakes in the Solway and drowned by the rising tide, for the crime of neglecting episcopal worship, and going aside into the moor to spend the Sabbath day in prayer and praise. FIRST CAUSES. 19 only casus belli which could be found against the Zulu king. The first occasion on which the solemnity of these " coronation promises " was made of importance was in 1875, when Bishop Schreuder undertook to pay Cetsh- wayo a visit for the purpose of presenting him with a printed and bound copy of Mr. Shepstone's Eeport upon the coronation in 1873, and impressing him fully with the wishes of the English Government. Even then, judging from Bishop Schreuder's account of his inter- view, neither king nor councillors were thoroughly satis- fied with the result.*''" Cetshwayo, while admiring the exact report given of what took place during Mr. Shep- stone's visit, objected that he had reserved his own royal prerogatives and the right of putting criminals to death for certain serious crimes, and pointed out that Mr. Shepstone had neglected to inform the Queen of this fact. Bishop Schreuder, from his own account, appears to have overruled all objections with a very high hand, and almost forced the "book," with his own interpretation of it, upon the seemingly reluctant king, who, he says, " evidently felt himself out of his depth." * P. P. [C. 1401] p. 30. c 2 CHAPTER II. LANGALIBALELE. MEANWHILE in Natal mischief was brewing. A certain chief in the north of the colony was supposed to be in a very rebellious frame of mind, and it was rumoured that force of arms would prove necessary in order to bring him to his senses. This chief was one Langalibalele, who, with his tribe, the Ama-Hlubi, had been driven out of Zululand by Umpande in the year 1848, and had taken refuge in Natal. He was located by the English Government in the country below the Draakensberg Mountains, with the duty imposed upon him of defending Natal against the attacks of the predatory hordes of Bushmen who, in the early days of the colony, made perpetual and destructive raids over the mountains. From this point of view it would seem reasonable that the Hlubi tribe should be permitted the use of firearms, prohibited, except under certain restrictions, to the natives of Natal ; inattention to which prohibition was the ground upon which the original suspicions concerning Langalibalele's loyalty were based. The law, however, by which this prohibition and these restrictions were made was one of LANGALIBALELE. 21 those enactments which, even when theoretically wise, are often practically impossible, and to which new communities are so prone. Theoretically no native can possess a gun in Natal which has not been registered before a magistrate. Practically, in every kraal, in every part of the colony, there were, and doubtless still are, many unregistered guns, bought by natives, or given to them in lieu of wages by their masters (a common practice at the Diamond Fields), with very vague comprehension or total ignorance on the part of the native that any unlawful act had been committed. This would be more especially natural when the masters who thus furnished their men with the forbidden weapon were themselves in some way connected with the government of the country (Natal), whose sanction would therefore be looked upon by the natives as an equivalent to the permission of Government itself. But in point of fact the law had always been enforced in such an extremely lax way, the evasions of it were so easy and numerous, and so many white men of position and respectability in the colony were party to the infraction of it, that it is no wonder that its reality and importance was but lightly engraved upon the native mind. The special accusation, however, brought against v^ Langalibalele to prove his rebellious tendencies was that young men of his tribe were in possession of unregistered guns, which, in addition, had not been brought in to the magistrate, when demanded, for registration. The reason for this unwillingness (on the part of the young men) to comply with the above demands, appeared 22 THE ZULU WAR. afterwards in the fact that other guns which had been properly produced for registration, had, after consider- able delay, been returned to their owners in an injured condition, rendering them unfit for use. As these guns were the well-earned reward of hard labour, and greatly valued by their possessors, it is little to be wondered at that there should be considerable reluctance on the part of others to risk the same loss. A little forbearance and consideration on the part of those in authority might, however, easily have overcome the difficulty. But in this case, as in others, the mistake was committed of requiring prompt and unquestioning obedience, without sufficient care being taken to protect the rights of those who rendered it. As usual we would not stop to reason or deal justly with the savage. Carelessness of the property of the natives, the overbearing impatience of a magistrate, the want of tact and good-feeling on the part of a commonplace subordinate all these led to an indefinitely uneasy state of things, which soon produced considerable anxiety in the colonial mind. This feeling prevailed during Mr. Shepstone's absence in Zululand, and it was generally understood that the Secretary for Native Affairs' next piece of work after crowning Cetshwayo would be that of " settling Langalibalele." But beyond the reluctance to produce their guns for registration, there was nothing in the behaviour of the Hlubi tribe to give the colonists cause for apprehension. No lawless acts were committed, no cattle stolen, no farmhouse fired, and the vague fears which existed amongst the white inhabitants as to what might happen LANGALIBALELE. 28 were rather the result of the way in which "Government" shook its head over the matter as a serious one, than justified by any real cause for alarm. It was in fact one of those "Government scares" which occasionally were produced from causes or for reasons not apparent on the surface. On Mr. Shepstone's return from the coronation of Cetshwayo, Government native messengers were sent to Langalibalele, requiring the latter to come down in person to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Natal, to answer for the conduct of his tribe concerning their guns. The message produced a great and to those who were ignorant of the cause of it a most unreasonable panic in the tribe, in which the chief himself shared considerably. The Ama-Hlubi appeared exceedingly suspicious, even of the designs of the Government messengers, who were made to take off their great-coats, and were searched for concealed weapons before being admitted into the presence of Langalibalele. Such distrust of British good faith was held in itself to be a crime, the insolence of which could not be overlooked. Furthermore it was soon evident that the tribe would not trust their chief, nor he his person, in the hands of the Government, now that he was in disfavour. Without actually refusing to obey the orders he had received and proceed to Pieternmritzburg, Langalibalele sent excuses and apologies, chiefly turning upon his own ill-health, which made travelling difficult to him. This answer was the signal for the military expedition of 1873, which was entered upon without any further attempts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the affair, or to find 24 THE ZULU WAE. out the real grounds for the evident fear and distrust of the Hlubi tribe. In October, 1873, the force, partly of regulars, partly colonial, a few Basuto horse, with an entirely unorganised and useless addition of untrained Natal natives, started from Pietermaritzburg, with all the pomp and circumstance of war ; and much to the delight of the young colonial blood on the look-out for martial distinction. The tribe, however, far from having the least wish to fight, or intention of opposing the British force, deserted their location as soon as the news reached them that the army had started, and fled with their chief over the Draakensberg Mountains. Our force, commanded by Colonel Milles of the 75th Eegiment, and accompanied by the Lieut. -Governor Sir B. C. C. Pine and Mr. Shepstone, reached a place called Meshlyn, situated on the confines of the district to be subdued, on October 31st ; but the " enemy " had vanished, and were reported to be making the best of their way out of the colony, without, however, committing ravages of any description on their way, even to the extent of carrying off any of their neighbours' cattle. In fact they were frightened, and simply ran away. Our object now was to arrest the tribe in its flight ; and a plan was formed for enclosing it in a network of troops, seizing all the passes over the mountains, and thus reducing it to submission. Positions were assigned to the different officers in command, and the scheme looked extremely well on paper, and to men who were not acquainted with the district and the exceeding difficulty of travelling through it. Unfortunately, with the same lamentable failure in LANGALIBALELE. 25 the Intelligence Department which has characterised the more important proceedings of 1879, very little was known, by those in command, of the country, or of what was going on in it. Mr. Shepstone himself, whose supposed knowledge of the people, their land, and all concerning them was so greatly and naturally relied upon, proved totally ignorant of the distances which lay between one point and another, or of the difficulties to be overcome in reaching them. In consequence of this singular ignorance a little force was sent out on the evening of November 2nd, under command of Major Durnford, RE., chief of the staff, with orders to seize and hold a certain pass known as the Bushman's Eiver Pass, over which Langalibalele was expected to escape ; the distance having been miscalculated by about two-thirds, and the difficulties of the way immensely underrated. Major Durnford was himself a new-comer in the colony at that time, and had therefore no personal knowledge of the country ; but he was supplied with full, though, as it soon appeared, unreliable information by those under whose command he served, and who were in possession of a plan or diagram of the district which turned out to be altogether incorrect. He did, indeed, reach his assigned post, though four-and-twenty hours after the time by which he expected to be there ; while those sent out to take up other positions never reached them at all, owing to the same incorrect information concerning locality. Major Durnford was in command of a party com- posed of 2 officers, 6 non-commissioned officers, and 26 THE ZULU WAR. 47 rank and file of the Natal and Karkloof Carbineers, 24 mounted Basutos,* and a native interpreter. His orders weref to seize and hold the Bushman's Eiver Pass, " with a view to preventing the entrance in or out of the colony of any natives until the expedition is ready to cross over." Special orders were also given to him that he was on no account to fire the first shot. There was one excellent reason, not generally taken into consideration, for this order, in the fact that the three days given by Government to the tribe in which to surrender would not be over until midday on the 3rd of November. Starting at 8.30 P.M. on the 2nd November, Major Durnford's force only reached its destination at 6.30 A.M. on the 4th, having traversed a most difficult country, broken, pathless, and well-nigh inaccessible. On the line of march many men fell out, utterly unable to keep up ; pack-horses with provisions and spare ammunition were lost; and Major Durnford had his left shoulder dislocated, and other severe injuries, by his horse falling with him over a precipice on the 3rd. He pressed on for some hours, but became quite exhausted at the foot of the Giant's Castle Pass, where he lay some time ; he was then dragged up with the aid of a blanket, reaching the top of the pass at 2 A.M. At 4 A.M. Major Durnford was lifted on his horse, and with his force reduced to 1 officer, 1 non-commissioned officer, 33 troopers, and the Basutos pushed on to the Bushman's Eiver Pass, * Natives of Basutoland, resident for many years in Natal, t See Field Force Order, 1873. LANGALIBALELE. 27 and occupied it at 6.30 A.M., finding Langalibalele's men already in the pass. Major Durnford posted his men, and went forward with the interpreter to parley with the chiefs, and induce them to return to their allegiance. This was a service of danger, for the young warriors were very excited. Seeing that the enemy were getting behind rocks, etc., commanding the mouth of the pass, he made every preparation for hostilities, though restricted by the order not to fire the first shot. Finding that, although the natives drew back when he bade them, they pressed on again when his back was turned, and that the volunteers were wavering, he at last reluctantly directed an orderly retreat to higher ground, from whence he could still command the pass. Upon a shot being fired by the natives, the retreat became a stampede, and a heavy fire being opened, three of the Carbineers and one Basuto fell. The horse of the interpreter was killed, and, while Major Durnford was endeavouring to reach the man and lift him on his own horse, the interpreter was killed by his side, and Major Durnford was surrounded and left alone. Dropping the reins, he drew his revolver, and shot his immediate assailants, who had seized his horse's bridle, and, after running the gauntlet of a numerous enemy at close quarters, escaped with one serious wound, an assegai-stab in the left arm, whereby it was permanently disabled. He received one or two trifling cuts besides, and his patrol-jacket was pierced in many places. Getting clear of the enemy, Major Durnford rallied a few Carbineers and the Basutos, and covered the retreat. The head-quarters camp was reached about 1 A.M. 28 THE ZULU WAR. on the 5th. At 11 P.M. on that day, Major Durnford led out a volunteer party artillery with rockets, 50 men of the 75th Eegiment, 7 Carbineers, and 30 Basutos to the rescue of Captain Boyes, 75th Eegi- ment, who had been sent out with a support on the 3rd, and was believed to be in great danger. Major Durnford had received such serious injuries that the doctor endeavoured to dissuade him from further exer- tion, but as those sent to his support were in danger and he knew the country, he determined to go. He was lifted on his horse, and left amid the cheers of the troops in camp. Having marched all night resting only from 3 to 5 A.M. they met Captain Boyes' party about mid- day ; they had lost their way, and thus did not find the Giant's Castle Pass. After this, Major Durnford, with a considerable force, occupied Bushman's Eiver Pass, recovered and buried the bodies of his comrades, and held the pass. He afterwards patrolled the disturbed districts. The Lieut.-Governor, Sir B. C. C. Pine, in a despatch dated 13th November, 1873, accepted the responsibility of the orders not to fire the first shot, and said of Major Durnford : " He behaved, by testimony of all present, in the most gallant manner, using his utmost exertions to rally his little force, till, left absolutely alone, he was reluctantly compelled to follow them wounded." Colonel Milles, commanding the field force, published the following order : " CAMP MBSHLYN, 7th November, 1873. "The Commandant, with deep regret, announces LANGALIBALELE. 29 to the field force under his command the loss of three Carbineers, viz. : Mr. Erskine, Mr. Potterill, and Mr. Bond, and of one native interpreter, Elijah, who formed part of the small force sent up with Major Durnford, K.E., to secure the passes, and who were killed during the retreat of that party from the passes, which, although they had gallantly seized, they were unable to hold, the orders being for ' the forces not to fire the first shot/ and so having to wait till they were placed at a great disadvantage. The brave conduct of those killed is testified to by all their comrades, and there is consolation alone in the thought that they died nobly fighting for their country. The Commandant must, however, publicly render his thanks to Major Durnford for the way in which he commanded the party, for his courage and coolness, and especially for the noble way in which, after his return from the passes, being almost exhausted, he mustered a volunteer party and marched to the relief of Captain Boyes, who was considered in great danger. " By command, "A. E. ARENGO CROSS "(For Chief of the Staff)." Although the main body of the fighting-men of the tribe had left Natal, most of the women and children, the sick and infirm, with a few ablebodied men to watch over them, had taken refuge in holes and caves, of which there are a considerable number in that mountainous part of the colony. The men of the tribe, indeed, were in disgrace with the Government, and thought it best 30 THE ZULU WAR. to be out of the way when the British force paid their homes a visit, but it was not for a moment imagined that the soldiers would make war upon women and children. The latter, in any case, could not have taken that tremendous and hurried journey across the great mountains ; and, with what soon proved a very mistaken confidence on the part of the people, all who could neither fight nor travel were left in these hiding-places, from which they expected to emerge in safety as soon as the troops, finding no one to oppose them, should have left the district. " The English soldiers will not touch the children,""* was the expression used. So far, however, was this idea from being realised, that the remainder of the expedition consisted of a series of attempts, more or less successful, to hunt the unfor- tunate " children " out of their hiding-places and take them prisoners. During these proceedings many acts were committed under Government sanction which can only be charac- terised by the word cc atrocities," and which were as useless and unnecessary as they were cruel, f Poor frightened creatures were smoked to death or killed by rockets in caves which they dared not leave for fear of a worse fate at the hands of their captors ; women and children were killed, men were tortured, and prisoners put to death. On one occasion a white * In the Zulu language the word abantwana (children) is a general one, including both women and children. f It is only fair to Major Durnford to state that during the whole of these proceedings he was away over the mountains, in vain pursuit of an enemy to be fought. LANGALIBALELE. 31 commander of native forces is said to have given the significant information to his men that he did not wish to see the faces of any prisoners ; and it is reported that a prisoner was made over to the native force to be put to death as the latter chose. The colonial newspapers apologised at the time for some of these acts, on the score that they were the result of the youthful enthusiasm of " Young Natal " fleshing his maiden sword. These acts were chiefly committed by the irregular (white) troops and native levies, and are a signal proof of how great a crime it is to turn undisciplined or savage troops, over whom no responsible person has any real control, loose upon a defenceless people. The excuse made by those in authority in such cases is always "We did not intend these things to take place, but horrors are always attendant on savage warfare." But such excuses are of small value when, in campaign after campaign, it has been proved that the use of colonial troops under their own officers, and of dis- organised masses of armed " friendly natives," is in- variably productive of scenes disgraceful to the name of England, without any attempt being made to introduce a better system. Certainly if " horrors " beyond the fair fortune of war are necessarily attendant upon savage warfare, they should not be those inflicted by British troops and their allies upon unarmed or solitary men, women, and children. So many women were injured in dislodging them from the caves that Major Durnford, on his second return from the mountains, instituted a hospital-tent 32 THE ZULU WAE. where they might be attended to; but such humanity was by no means the general rule. If acts of barbarity were for the most part committed by the irregular troops, there is one instance to the contrary which can never be forgotten in connection with this affair so flagrant a case that the friends of the officer in command, when the story first appeared in the colonial papers, refused to believe in it until it was authenticated beyond a doubt. A body of troops infantry, irregular cavalry, and undisciplined natives upon one occasion during this expedition were engaged for some hours in trying to dislodge a solitary native from a cave in which he had taken refuge. The force had discovered the hiding- place by the assistance of a little boy, whom they captured and induced to betray his friends. The " rebel " (in this case there was but one) refused to surrender, and for a long while defended himself gallantly against the attacks of the whole force. Shots were fired through the apertures of the cave, rockets (a new and horrible experience to the poor creature) were discharged upon him. At last, after holding out for some hours, the man gave up the struggle, and coming out from his insufficient shelter, begged for mercy at the hands of his numerous foe. He had a good many wounds upon him, but none sufficiently severe to prevent his walking out amongst his captors, and asking them to spare his life. After a short consultation amongst the officers, a decision was arrived at as to the proper treatment of this man, who had proved himself a brave soldier and was now a helpless captive. LANGALIBALELE. 33 By order of the officer commanding, a trooper named Hoodie put his pistol to the prisoner's head and blew out his brains. A court-martial sat upon this officer in the course of the following year, and he was acquitted of all blame. The defence was that the man was so seriously injured that it was an act of humanity to put an end to him, and that the officer dared not trust him in the hands of the natives belonging to the English force, who were exasperated by the long defence he had made. But the prisoner was not mortally . nor even dangerously wounded. He was able to walk and to speak, and had no wound upon him which need necessarily have caused his death. And as to the savage temper of the native force, there was no reason why the prisoner should be left in their charge at all, as there was a considerable white force present at the time."" * 1. The following account of the above transaction was given by one of those concerned, in a letter to The Natal Times of that date : " Twenty of us volunteered yesterday to go up and into a cave about eight miles from here. We found only one native, whom we shot, took a lot of goats (eighty-seven), and any amount of assegais and other weapons. "We also searched about the country and killed a few niggers, taking fourteen prisoners. One fellow in a cave loaded his rifle with stones, and slightly wounded Wheelwright and Lieutenant Clarke, R.A. We, however, got him out, and Moodie shot him through the brains. Fifteen of ours have just volunteered to go to a cave supposed to contain niggers. We are gradually wiping out the three poor fellows who were shot, and all our men are determined to have some more." 2. The Natal Government Gazette, December 9th, 1873, contains the following enactment : " All officers and other persons who have acted under the authority of Sir Benjamin Chillay Campbell Pine, K.C.M.G., as Lieut.-Governor of the colony of Natal, or as Supreme Chief over the native population, or have acted bond fide for the purposes 34 THE ZULU WAR. The result of the expedition against the Hlubi tribe was so little satisfactory that those in authority felt themselves obliged to look about for something else to do before taking the troops back to Pietermaritzburg. They found what they wanted ready to their hand. Next to Langalibalele's location lay that of the well-to- do and quiet little tribe of Putini. " Government " had as yet found no fault with these people, and, secure in their own innocence, they had made no attempt to get out of the way of the force which had come to destroy their neighbours, but remained at home, herded their cattle, and planted their crops as usual. Un- fortunately, however, some marriages had taken place between members of the two tribes, and when that of Langalibalele fled, the wives of several of his men took refuge in their fathers' kraals in the next location. No further proof was required of the complicity of Putini with Langalibalele, or of the rebellious condition of the smaller tribe. Consequently it was at once, as the natives term it, " eaten up," falling an easy prey owing to its unsuspecting state. The whole tribe men, i/women, and children were taken prisoners and carried down to Pietermaritzburg, their cattle and goods were confiscated, and their homes destroyed. Several of the Putini men were killed, but there was very little resist- ance, as they were wholly taken by surprise. The colony and during the time aforesaid, whether such acts were done in any district, county, or division of the colony in which martial law was proclaimed or not, are hereby indemnified in respect of all acts, matters, and things done, in order to suppress the rebellion and prevent the spread thereof ; and such acts so done are hereby made and declared to be lawful, and are confirmed. LANGALIBALELE. 35 was charmed with this success, and the spoils of the Putini people were generally looked to to pay some of the expenses of the campaigu. Whatever may have been the gain to the Government, by orders of which the cattle (the chief wealth of the tribe) were sold, it was not long shared by the individual colonists who pur- chased the animals. The pasture in that part of the country from which they had come is of a very different description from any to be found in the environs of Pietermaritzburg, and, in consequence of the change, the captured cattle died off rapidly almost as soon as they changed hands. But this was not all, for they had time, before they died, to spread amongst the original cattle of their new owners two terrible scourges, in the shape of " lung-sickness " and " red- water/ 1 from which the midland districts had long been free. One practical result of the expedition of 1873 seems to be that neither meat, milk, nor butter have ever again been so cheap in the colony as they were before that date, the two latter articles being often unobtainable to this day. The unhappy prisoners of both tribes were driven down like beasts to Pietermaritzburg, many of the weaker dying from want and exposure on the way. Although summer-time, it happened to be very wet, and therefore cold ; our native force had been allowed to strip the unfortunates of all their possessions, even to their blankets and the leather petticoats of the women. The sufferings of these poor creatures many of them with infants a few days old, or born on the march down were very great. A scheme was at first laid, by those in authority, for " giving the women and children D 2 36 THE ZULU WAE. out " as servants for a term of years that is to say, for making temporary slaves of them to the white colonists. l Xfhis additional enormity was vetoed by the home Government, but the fact remains that its perpetration was actually contemplated by those entrusted with the government of the colony, and especially of the natives, and was hailed by the colonists as one of the advantages to accrue to them from the expedition of 1873. Several children were actually given out in the way referred to before the order to the contrary arrived from England, and a considerable time elapsed before they were all recovered by their relatives. The unhappy women and children of the Langali- balele tribe were mere emaciated skeletons when they reached the various places where they were to live under surveillance. They seemed crushed with misery, utterly ignorant of the cause of their misfortunes, but silent and uncomplaining. Many of the women had lost children few knew whether their male relatives were yet alive. On being questioned, they knew nothing of Mr. Shepstone, not even his name, which was always supposed to command the love and fear of natives throughout the length and breadth of the land. They did not know what the tribe had done to get into such trouble ; they only knew that the soldiers had come, and that they had run away and hidden them- selves ; that some of them were dead, and the rest were ready to die too and have it all over. A considerable number of these poor creatures were permitted by Government to remain upon the Bishop's land, where most of them gradually regained health and spirits, LANGALIBALELE. 37 but retained always the longing for their own homes and people and their lost chief which characterises them still."" * It is hard to understand why these people should yet be detained and their harmless old chief still kept prisoner at Capetown. The common saying that they are all content and the chief better off than he ever was before in his life, is an entirely and cruelly false one. Langalibalele is wearying for his freedom and his own people ; the few women with him are tired of their loneliness, and longing to be with their children in Natal. The present writer paid the chief a visit in September of this year (1879), and found him very sad. "I am weary ; when will they let me go 1 " was his continual question. CHAPTER III, TRIAL OF LANGALIBALELE. MEANWHILE the fugitive chief had at last been captured by the treachery of a Basuto chief named Molappo, who enticed him into his hands, and then delivered him up to Mr. Griffiths, resident magistrate in that part of British Basutoland. When he and his party were first captured they had with them a horse laden with all the coin which the tribe had been able to get together during the last few days before the expedition started from Pietermaritzburg, and which they had collected to send down as a ransom for their chief. Their purpose was arrested by the news that the soldiers had actually started to attack them ; when, feeling that all was lost, they fled, carrying the chief and his ransom with them. What became of the money, whether it became Molappo's perquisite, or whether it formed part of the English spoil, has never been publicly known. But it can hardly be denied that the readiness of the people to pay away in ransom for their chief the whole wealth of the tribe earned by years of labour on the part of the working members, is in itself a proof that their tendencies were by no means rebellious. TRIAL OF LANGALIBALELR 39 Langalibalele, with seven of his sons and many indunas (captains) and head-men, was brought down to Pietermaritzburg for trial, reaching the town on the 21st December. So strong was the unreasoning hatred of the colonists against him on account of the death of the three Carbineers which had resulted from the expedition, that the unhappy man, a helpless captive, was insulted and pelted by the populace as he was conveyed in irons to the capital ; and again, after sentence had been passed upon him, upon his way to Durban. It was at this stage of affairs that the Bishop of Natal first came upon the scene, and interfered on behalf of the oppressed. Until 1873, while earnestly endeavouring to do his best as teacher and pastor amongst the natives as well as amongst their white fellow-colonists, he had not found it to be his duty to go deeply into political matters concerning them. He had great confidence at that time in the justice and humanity of their government as carried on by Mr. Shepstone, for whom he had a warm personal regard, based on the apparent uprightness of his conduct ; and he had therefore contented himself with accepting Mr. Shepstone's word in all that concerned them. That so many years should have passed without the Bishop's having discovered how greatly his views and those of his friend differed in first principles as to the government of the people, is due partly to the fact that the two met but seldom, and then at regular expected intervals, and partly because no great crisis had 40 THE ZULU WAR. previously taken place to prove the principles of either in that respect. Their regular interviews were upon Sundays, when the Bishop, going into Pietermaritzburg for the cathedral service, invariably spent a couple of hours with his friend. During these comparatively short meetings doubtless Mr. Shepstone's real personal regard for the Bishop caused him temporarily to feel somewhat as he did, and, where he could not do so, to refrain from entering upon political discussion. The sympathy with Mr. Shepstone which existed in the Bishop's mind prevented the latter from looking more closely for himself into matters which he believed to be in good hands, and which did not naturally fall within the sphere of his duties; while the com- paratively trivial character of the cases with which the native department had hitherto dealt, was not such as to force their details before a mind otherwise and fully employed. The Laugalibalele expedition, however, opened the Bishop's eyes. While it lasted, although deeply deploring the loss of life on either side, and feeling- great indignation at the atrocities perpetrated on ours, he did not doubt that Mr. Shepstone had done all he could to avert the necessity of bloodshed, and expected to find him, upon his return to Pietermaritzburg, much grieved and indignant at the needless amount of suffering inflicted upon his people, the greater portion of whom must be entirely innocent, even although the charges against their chief should be proved. The discovery that Mr. Shepstone entirely ratified TRIAL OF LANGALIBALELE. 41 what had been done* was the first blow to his friend's reliance on him. The mockery of justice termed a trial, granted to Langalibalele, was the next ; and the discovery of how completely he had misconceived Mr. Shepstone's policy closed the intimacy of their friendship. It soon became apparent that the trial of the chief was indeed to be a farce a pretence, meant to satisfy inquiring minds at home that justice had been done, but which could have but one result, the condemnation of the prisoner, already prejudged by a Government which, having declared him to be a rebel and having treated him as such, was hardly likely to stultify itself by allowing him to be proved innocent of the charges brought against him. That there might be no doubt at all upon the subject, the prisoner was denied the help of counsel, -r white or black, in the hearing of his case, even to watch the proceedings on his behalf, or to cross-examine the witnesses ; consequently the official record of the trial can only be looked upon as an ex parte statement of the case, derived from witnesses selected by the Supreme Chief, t examined by the Crown Prosecutor, and not cross-examined at all on the prisoner's behalf, although the assistance of counsel was recognised by the Crown Prosecutor himself as being in accordance with Kafir k,w4 * Not including those individual acts of cruelty which no one could defend, although many speak of them as unavoidable. t The Lieut. -Governor of the colony. J Kafir law, under which Langalibalele was tried, because most of the offences with which he was charged were not recognisable by English law. 42 THE ZULU WAR. But the formation of the court and its whole pro- ceedings were palpably absurd, except for the purpose of securing a conviction ; and that this was the case was generally understood in Natal. Even those colonists who were most violent against the so-called "rebel," and would have had him hanged without mercy, asserting that he had been " taken red-handed/' saw that the authorities had put themselves in the wrong by granting the prisoner a trial against the justice of which so much could be alleged. In point of fact, the Lieut. -Governor had no power to form a court such as that by which Langalibalele was tried, consisting of his excellency himself as Supreme Chief, the Secretary for Native Affairs, certain administrators of native law, and certain native chiefs and indunas. Besides which the Lieut. -Governor was not only debarred by an ordinance of the colony*" from sitting as judge in such a court, from which he would be the sole judge in a court of appeal, but had already committed himself to a decision adverse to the prisoner by having issued the proclamation of November llth, 1873, declaring that the chief and his tribe had " set themselves in open revolt and rebellion against Her Majesty's Government in this colony," and " proclaiming and making known that they were in rebellion, and were hereby declared to be outlaws," and that " the said tribe was broken up, and from that day forth had ceased to exist," and by further seizing and confiscating all the cattle and property of the said tribe within reach, deposing Langalibalele from * Ordinance No. 3, 1849. TEIAL OF LANGALIBALELE. 43 his chieftainship, and otherwise treating him and his tribe as rebels. His Excellency, therefore, could not possibly be looked upon as an unprejudiced judge of the first instance in the prisoner's case ; nor could the Secretary for Native Affairs, Mr. Shepstone, by whose advice and with whose approval the expedition had been under- taken. As to the minor members of the court, they 4 ^\^^\ In face of these facts~ it strikes one as strange that the temporary presence of this Zulu army on the Transvaal borders, manifestly in our support (whether by request or not), and which retired without giving the least offence, or even committing such acts of theft or violence as might be expected as necessary evils in the 9 neighbourhood of a large European garrison, should have been regarded, later, as a sign of Cetshwayo's inimical feeling towards the English* Mr. Pretorius, member of the Dutch executive council, and other influential Transvaalers, assert "tnat' v Sir T. Shepstone threatened to let loose the Zulus upon them, in order to reduce them to submission ; but the accusation is denied on behalf of the Administrator of the Transvaal. And Mr. Fynney (in the report of his mission to Cetshwayo from Sir T. Shepstone, upon the annexation of the Transvaal, dated July 4, 1877) gives the king's words to him, as follows : "I am pleased that Somtseu (Sir Theophilus Shepstone) has sent you to let me know that the land of the Transvaal Boers has now become part of the lands of the Queen of England. I began to wonder why he did not tell me something of what he was doing. I received one message from him, sent by Unkabano, from Newcastle, and I heard the * Mr. John Dunn is said to have stated to the Special Corre- spondent of The Cape Argus, and to have since reaffirmed his state- ment, that Sir T. Shepstone " sent word to Cetshwayo that he was heing hemmed in, and the king was to hold himself in readiness to come to his assistance." This assertion has also been denied by- Sir T. Shepstone's supporters, --.(iruoo &,< *. t<*n M oo vJL tfhCft U/J" 124 THE ZULU WAR. Boers were not treating him properly, and that they intended to put him into a corner. If they had done so, I should not have wanted for anything more. Had one shot been fired, I should have said, ' What more do I wait for ? they have touched my father/ ' But all doubt upon the subject of Sir T. Shepstone's intention was quickly and suddenly set at rest the silken glove of friendly counsel and disinterested advice was thrown aside, and the mailed hand beneath it seized the reins of government from the slackened fingers of the President of the Transvaal. On the 22nd January, 1877, Sir Theophilus Shepstone entered Pretoria, the capital of the country, where he was received with all kindness and attention by the pre- sident, Mr. Burgers, and other important men, to whom he spoke of his mission in general terms, as one the object of which was "to confer with the Government and people of the Transvaal, with the object of initi- ating a new state of things which would guarantee security for the future." * On April 9th, 1879, Sir T. Shepstone informed President Burgers that "the extension over the Trans- vaal of Her Majesty's authority and rule " was imminent. The following protest was officially read and handed in to Sir T. Shepstone on the llth April : " Whereas I, Thomas Francois Burgers, State Presi- dent of the South African Kupublic, have received a despatch, dated the 9th instant, from Her British Majesty's Special Commissioner, Sir Theophilus Shep- stone, informing me that his Excellency has resolved, * P. P. [C. 1776] p. 88. THE ANNEXATION OF THE TRANSVAAL. 125 in the name of Her Majesty's Government, to bring the South African Kepublic, by annexation, under the authority of the British Crown : "And whereas I have not the power to draw the sword with good success for the defence of the inde- pendence of the State against a superior power like that of England, and in consideration of the welfare of the whole of South Africa, moreover, feel totally disinclined to involve its white inhabitants in a disastrous war, without having employed beforehand all means to secure the rights of the people in a peaceable way : " So, I, in the name and by the authority of the Government and the people of the South African Kepublic, do hereby solemnly protest against the intended annexation. "Given under my hand and under the Seal of the State at the Government Office at Pretoria, on this the llth day of April, in the year 1877. (Signed) " THOMAS BURGERS, " State President." A strong protest was handed in on the same date by the Executive Council, in which it was stated " the people, by memorials or otherwise, have, by a large majority, plainly stated that they are averse to it" (annexation). On April 17th, 1877, Sir T. Shepstone writes to Lord Carnarvon : " On Thursday last, the 12th instant, I found myself in a position to issue the proclamations necessary for annexing** the South African Kepublic, * It may be interesting to compare the above with the wording of Sir T. Shepstone's "Commission''?. P. [C. 1776] p. 111. 126 THE ZULU WAR. commonly known as the Transvaal, to Her Majesty's dominions, and for assuming the administration thereof." P. P. [C. 1776] pp. 152-56. His intentions had been so carefully concealed, the proclamation took the people so completely by surprise; that it was received in what might be called a dead silence, which silence was taken to be of that nature which " gives consent." It has been amply shown since that the real feeling of the country was exceedingly averse to English inter- ference with its liberties, and that the congratulatory addresses presented, and demonstrations made in favour of what had been done, were but expressions of feeling from the foreign element in the Transvaal, and got up by a few people personally interested on the side of English authority. But at the time they were made to appear as genuine expressions of Boer opinions favour- able to the annexation, which was looked upon as a master-stroke of policy and a singular success. It was some time before the Transvaalers recovered from the stunning effects of the blow by which they had been deprived of their liberties, and meanwhile the new Government made rapid advances, and vigorous attempts at winning popularity amongst the people. Sir T. Shep- stone hastened to fill up every office under him with his , . | own men, although there were great flourishes of trumpets concerning preserving the rights of the people to the greatest extent possible, and keeping the original men "y Kin office wherever practicable. The first stroke by which popularity was aimed at was that of remitting '* L the war taxes levied upon the white population (though THE ANNEXATION OF THE TRANSVAAL. 127 unpaid) to meet the expenses of the war with Sikukuni. It became apparent at this point what an empty sham was our proposed protection of Sikukuni, and how little the oppression under which he and his people suffered had really called forth our interference. Sir T. Shep- stone, while remitting, as stated, the tax upon the Boers, insisted upon the payment in full of the fine in cattle levied by them upon Sikukuni's people. So sternly did he carry out the very oppressions which he came to put an end to, that a portion of the cattle paid towards the fine (two thousand head, a large number, in 7^ the reduced and impoverished state of the people) were sent back, by his orders, on the grounds that they were too small and in poor condition, with the accompanying message that better ones must be sent in their place, O JT A commission (composed of Captain Clarke, R.A., and Mr. Osborne) was sent, before the annexation, by Sir T. Shepstone, to inquire into a treaty pressed by the Boers upon Sikukuni, and rejected by him, as it contained a condition by which he was to pay taxes, and thereby come under the Transvaal Govern- ment.'''" To these gentlemen " Sikukuni stated that the English were great and he was little [C. 1776, p. 147], that he wanted them to save him from the Boers, who hunted him to and fro, and shot his people down like wild game. He had lost two thousand men" (this included those who submitted to the Boers) "by the * The chief repeatedly refused to sign any paper presented to him by the Boers, on the grounds that he could not tell what it might contain, beyond the points explained to him, to which he might after- wards be said to have agreed ; showing plainly to what the natives were accustomed in their dealings with the Transvaal. 128 THE ZULU WAR. war, ten brothers, and four sons. ... He could not trust the Boers as they were always deceiving him." After saying that " he wished to be like Moshesh " (a British subject), and be "happy and at peace," he " asked whether he ought to pay the two thousand head of cattle, seeing that the war was not of his making." " To this we replied," say the Commissioners, " that it was the custom of us English, when we made an engagement, to fulfil it, cost what it might ; that our word was our word." Small wonder if the oppressed and persecuted people and their chief at last resented such treatment, or that some of them should have shown that resentment in a manner decided enough to call for military proceedings on the part of the new Government of the Transvaal. In point of fact, however, it was not Sikukuni, but his sister a chieftainess herself whose people, by a quarrel with and raid upon natives living under our protection, brought on the second or English " Sikukuni war." Turning to the other chief pretext for the annexation of the Transvaal, the disturbed condition of the Zulu border, we find precisely the same policy carried out. When it was first announced that the English had taken possession of the country of their enemies, the Zulus, figuratively speaking, threw up their caps, and rejoiced greatly. They thought that now at last, after years of patient waiting, and painful repression of angry feelings at the desire of the Natal Government, they were to receive their reward in a just acknowledgment of the claims which Sir T. Shepstone had so long supported, and which he was now in a position to confirm. TEE ANNEXATION OF THE TRANSVAAL. 129 But the quiet submission of the Boers would not have lasted, even upon the surface, had their new Governor shown the slightest sign of leaning to the Zulu side on the bitter boundary question ; and as Sir T. Shepstone fancied that the power of his word was great enough with the Zulus to make them submit, however unwillingly, there was small chance of their receiving a rood of land at his hands. He had lost sight of, or never comprehended the fact, that that power was built upon the strong belief which existed in the minds of the Zulu king and people with regard to the justice and honesty of the English Government. This feeling is amply illustrated by the messages from the Zulu king, quoted in our chapter upon the Disputed Territory, and elsewhere in this volume, and need therefore only be alluded to here. But this belief, so far as Sir T. Shepstone is con- cerned, was destroyed when the Zulus found that, far from acting according to his often-repeated words, their quondam friend had turned against them, and espoused the cause of their enemies, whom, at his desire, they had refrained these many years from attacking, when they could have done so without coming into collision with the English. The Zulus, indeed, still believed in the English, and in the Natal Government ; but they considered that Sir T. Shepstone, in undertaking the government of the Boers, had become a Boer himself, or, as Cetshwayo himself said, his old friend and father's back, which had carried him so long, had become too rough for him if he could carry him no longer he would get down, and go 130 THE ZULU WAE. to a man his equal in Pietermaritzburg (meaning Sir Henry Bulwer, Lieut. -Governor of Natal), who would bo willing and able to take him up. . It is a curious fact, and one worthy of note, that Sir T. Shepstone, who for so many years had held and expressed an opinion favourable to the Zulus on this most important boundary question, should yet have studied it so little that, when he had been for six months Administrator of the Transvaal, with all evidence, written or oral, official or otherwise, at his command, he could say, speaking of a conversation which he held with some Dutch farmers at Utrecht Parl. p. (2079, p. 51-4) : "I then learned for the first time, what has since been proved by evidence the most incontrovertible, overwhelming, and clear, that this boundary line* had been formally and mutually agreed upon, and had been formally ratified by the giving and receiving of tokens of thanks, and that the beacons had been built up in the presence of the President and members of the Executive Council of the Republic, in presence of Commissioners from both Panda and Cetshwayo, and that the spot on which every beacon was to stand was indicated by the Zulu Commissioners themselves placing the first stones on it. "I shall shortly transmit to your Lordship" (the Secretary of State for the Colonies) " the further evidence on the subject that has been furnished to me." This " further evidence," if forwarded, does not appear in the Blue-books. It is plain that the Border Commis- sioners of 1878 found both the " evidence the most incontrovertible, overwhelming, and clear," and the * That claimed by the Boers. THE ANNEXATION OF THE TRANSVAAL. 131 "further evidence" promised, utterly worthless for the purpose of proving the case of the Boers ; but, even had it been otherwise, Sir T. Shepstone's confession of ignorance up to so late a date on this most vital question is singularly self-condemnatory. " When I approached the question," * he says, " I did so supposing that the rights of the Transvaal to land on the Zulu border had very slender foundation. I believed, from the representations which had been systematically made by the Zulus to the Natal Govern- ment on the subject, of which I was fully aware from the position I held in Natal, that the beacons along the boundary line had been erected by the Eepublican Government, in opposition to the wishes, and in spite of the protests, of the Zulu authorities. t " I, therefore, made no claims or demand whatever for land. I invited Cetshwayo to give me his views regarding a boundary, when I informed him from Pretoria that I should visit Utrecht on the tour I then contemplated making. When I met the Zulu prime minister and the indunas on the 18th October last " (six weeks before he discovered, in conversation with some Boers, the " evidence incontrovertible, overwhelm- ing, and clear"), "on the Blood Kiver, I was fully pre- pared, if it should be insisted on by the Zulus, as I then thought it might justly be, to give up a tract of country which had from thirteen to sixteen years been occupied by Transvaal farmers, and to whose * P. P. (2079, pp. 51-54). f The conclusion arrived at, after a careful consideration of all producible evidence, by the Korke's Drift Commission, in 1878. K 2 132 THE ZULU WAR. farms title-deeds had been issued by the late Govern^ ment ; and I contemplated making compensation to those farmers in some way or another for their loss. I intended, however, first to offer to purchase at a fair price from the Zulu king all his claims to land which had for so many years been occupied and built upon by the subjects of the Transvaal, to whom the Govern- ment of the country was distinctly liable." Sir T. Shepstone, when he met the Zulu indunas at the Blood Eiver, was prepared to abandon the line of 1861 (claimed by the Boers), for that of the Blood Eiver and the Old Hunting Eoad ("if it should be insisted on by the Zulus," as he " then thought it might justly be "), which, in point of fact, would have satisfied neither party ; but he does not say by what right he proposed to stop short of the old line of 1856-7 viz. the Blood Eiver and insist upon the " Old Hunting Eoad." If the half- concession were just, so was the whole or neither. To these half-measures, however, the Zulus would not submit, and the conference failed of its object. " Fortunately, therefore, for the interests of the Transvaal," says Sir T. Shepstone, " I was prevented by the conduct of the Zulus themselves from sur- rendering to them at that meeting what my information on the subject then had led me to think was after all due to them, and this I was prepared to do at any sacrifice to the Transvaal, seeing, as it then appeared to me, that justice to the Zulus demanded it." * A liability transferred to the Zulu king by Sir Bartle Frere in his correspondence with the Bishop of Natal. THE ANNEXATION OF TEE TRANSVAAL. 133 In spite, however, of the concession to the Boers, made in Sir T. Shepstone's altered opinion on the border question, they were by no means reconciled to the loss of their independence, although Captain Clarke says (C. 2316, p. 28), in speaking of the Boers in Lydenburg district, "they, in the majority of cases, would forget fancied 'wrongs if they thought they had security for their lives and property, education for their children, and good roads for the transport of their produce." * The following " agreement signed by a large number of farmers at the meeting held at Wonderfontein," and translated from a Dutch newspaper, the Zuid Afrikaan, published at Capetown on the 15th February (C. 2316, p. 1), gives a different impression of the state of feeling amongst the Boers : "In the presence of Almighty God, the Searcher of all hearts, and prayerfully waiting on His gracious help and pity, we, burghers of the South African Eepublic, have solemnly agreed, and we do hereby agree, to make a holy covenant for us, and for our children, which we confirm with a solemn oath. " Fully forty years ago our fathers fled from the Cape Colony in order to become a free and independent people. Those forty years were forty years of pain and suffering. " We established Natal, the Orange Free State, and the South African Eepublic, and three times the English Government has trampled our liberty and dragged to the ground our flag, which our fathers had baptised with their blood and tears. * That is to say, that they may be bribed by substantial benefits to acquiesce in the loss of their liberties. Q 134 THE ZULU WAR. "As by a thief in the night has our Republic been stolen from us. We may nor can endure this. It is God's will, and is required of us by the unity of our fathers, and by love to our children, that we should hand over intact to our children the legacy of the fathers. For that purpose it is that we here come together and give each other the right hand as men and brethren, solemnly promising to remain faithful to our country and our people, and with our eye fixed on God, to co-operate until death for the restoration of the freedom of our Republic. "So help us Almighty God.' 7 , 'Wi^vcu^ These pious words, side by side with the horrible accounts of the use made by the Boers of their liberty while they had it, strike one as incredibly profane ; yet they are hardly more so than part of the speech made by Sir T. Shepstone to the burghers of the Transvaal on the occasion of the annexation. " Do you know," he asks them, " what has recently happened in Turkey ? Because no civilised government was carried on there, the Great Powers interfered and said, ' Thus far and no farther/ And if this is done to Empire, will a little Republic be excused when it ,VQ misbehaves ? Complain to other powers and seek justice 'jr there ? Yes, thank God I justice is still to be found even for the most insignificant, but it is precisely this justice which will convict us. If we want justice we must be in a position to ask it with unsullied hands." * * Was it by inadvertence that Sir T. Shepstone speaks of " us " and "we," thus producing a sentence so strangely and unhappily applicable 1 THE ANNEXATION OF THE TRANSVAAL. 135 Our first quotation was from the words of ignorant Boers, our second from those of a man South African born and bred, South African in character and educa- tion. But perhaps both are surpassed by words lately written by an English statesman of rank. Let us turn to a " minute " of Sir Bartle Frere's, forwarded on November 16th, 1878 (2222, p. 45), and see what he says in defence of Boer conquests and encroachments. "The Boers had force of their own, and every right of conquest ; but they had also what they seriously believed to be a higher title, in the old commands they found in parts of their Bible to exterminate the Gentiles, and take their land in possession.* We may freely admit that they misinterpreted the text, and were utterly mistaken in its application. But they had at least a sincere belief in the Divine authority for what they did, and therefore a far higher title than the Zulus could claim for all they acquired" * (P. P. [0. 2222] p. 45). If the worship of the Boers for their sanguinary deity is to be pleaded in their behalf, where shall we pause in finding excuses for any action committed by insane humanity in the name of their many gods ? But the passage hardly needs our comments, and we leave it to the consideration of the Christian world. A paragraph from The Daily News of thia day, November 8th, 1879, will suitably close our chapter on the Transvaal. It is headed " Serious Disturbance in the Transvaal," and gives a picture of the disposition of the Boers, and of the control we have obtained over them. * Italics not Sir B. Frere's, 18(3 . THE ZULU WAR. " PRETORIA, October 13th. "A somewhat serious disturbance lias occurred at Middleberg. A case came in due course before the local court, relating to a matter which took place last July. A Boer, by name Jacobs, had tied up one of his Kaffir servants by his wrists to a beam, so that his feet could not touch the ground. The man was too ill after it to move for some days. The case against the Boer came on on October 8th. A large number of Boers attended from sympathy with the defendant* and anxious to resist any interference between themselves and their Kaffirs. The Landrost took the opportunity to read out Sir Garnet's proclamation, declaring the permanency of the annexation of the Transvaal. The attitude of the Boers appeared to be so threatening that after a time the Landrost thought it better to adjourn the hearing for a couple of hours. " On the court's reassembling, he was informed that five-and-twenty Boers had visited two of the stores in the town, and had seized gunpowder there, gunpowder being a forbidden article of sale. The following day a much larger attendance of Boers made their appearance at the court. Seventy of them held a meeting, at which they bound themselves to protect those who .had seized the gunpowder, and their attitude was so threatening that the Landrost, on the application of the public prosecutor, adjourned the case sine die, A fresh case of powder seizing was reported on the same day. Colonel Lanyon has already gone to the scene of disturbance, which will be dealt with purely, * Author's italics throughout. THE ANNEXATION OF THE TRANSVAAL. 137 at all events at present, as a civil case of violence exercised against the owners of the stores. At the same time a troop of dragoons will be there about the day after to-morrow, and a company of infantry in a few days more, while a considerable number of the 90th Eegiment will in a short time be, in regular course, passing that way. The spark will therefore no doubt be stamped out quickly where it has been lighted. The only danger is in the tendency to explosion which it perhaps indicates in other directions." CHAPTER IX. THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. WE must now look back and gather up the threads hitherto interwoven with accounts of other matters connected with what has been rightly called the " burning question" of the disputed territory, which led eventually to the Zulu War. The disputes between the Boers and Zulus concerning the boundary line of their respective countries had existed for many years, its origin and growth being entirely attributable to the well-known and usually successful process by which the Dutch Boers, as we have already said, have gradually possessed themselves of the land belonging to their unlettered neighbours. This process is described by Mr. Osborn, formerly resident magistrate of Newcastle, now Colonial Secretary of the Transvaal Government, September 22nd, 1876 (1748, p. 196). " I would point out here that this war (with Sikukuni) arose solely out of dispute about land. The Boers as they have done in other cases, and are still doing encroached by degrees upon native territory ; commencing by obtaining permission to graze stock THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 139 upon portions of it at certain seasons of the year, followed by individual graziers obtaining from native headmen a sort of license to squat upon certain defined portions, ostensibly in order to keep other Boer squatters away from the same land. These licenses, temporarily extended, as friendly or neighbourly acts, by unautho- rised headmen, after a few seasons of occupation by the Boer, are construed by him as title, and his permanent occupation ensues. Damage for trespass is levied by him upon the very men from whom he obtained right to squat, to which the natives submit out of fear of the matter reaching the ears of the paramount Chief, who would in all probability severely punish them for opening the door of encroachment to the Boer. After awhile, however, the matter comes to a crisis, in con- sequence of the incessant disputes between the Boers and the natives ; one or other of the disputants lays the case before the paramount Chief, who, upon hearing both parties, is literally frightened with violence and threats by the Boer into granting him the land. Upon this, the usual plan followed by the Boer is at once to collect a few neighbouring Boers, including an Acting Field Cornet, or even an Acting Provisional Field Cornet, appointed by the Field Cornet or Provisional Cornet, the latter to represent the Government, although without instructions authorising him to act in the matter. A few cattle are .collected among themselves, which the party takes to the Chief, and his signature is obtained to a written instrument, alienating to the Eepublican Boers a large slice of, or all, his territory. The contents of this document are, so far as I can make out, never clearly 140 THE ZULU WAR. or intelligibly explained to the Chief, who signs it and accepts of the cattle, under the impression that it is all in settlement of hire for the grazing licenses granted by his headmen." "This, I have no hesitation in saying, is the usual method by which the Boers obtain what they call cessions of territories to them by native Chiefs. In Sikukuni's case, they say that his father, Sikwata, ceded to them the whole of his territory (hundreds of square miles) for one hundred head of cattle." Also Sir H. Barkly, late Governor of the Cape, writes as follows, October 2nd, 1876 (1748, p. 140) : "The following graphic description of this process (of Boer encroachment) is extracted from a letter in the Transvaal Advocate of a few weeks ago : ' Frontiers are laid down, the claim to which is very doubtful. These frontiers are not occupied, but farms are inspected (" guessed at " would be nearer the mark), title-deeds for the same are issued, and, when the unlucky purchaser wishes to take possession, he finds his farm (if he can find it) occupied by tribes of Kafirs, over whom the Government has never attempted to exercise any juris- diction/ f Their Chief/ it adds, 'is rather bewildered at first to find out that he has for years been a subject of the Transvaal.' ' The Chief in question is one Lechune, living on the north-west of the Eepublic. But the account is equally applicable to the case of Sikukuni, or Umswazi, or half-a-dozen others, the entire circuit of the Kepublic, from the Barolongs and Batlapins on the west, to the Zulus on the east, being bordered by a series of encroachments disputed ly the natives.' " THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 141 A memorandum from Captain Clarke, E.A., Special Commissioner at Lydenburg, dated April 23rd, 1879 (C. 2367, p. 152), also gives an account of the way in which the Boers took possession of the Transvaal itself, highly illustrative of their usual practice, and of which the greater part may be quoted here, with a key to the real meaning of phrases which require some study to interpret. "On the entrance of the Fou Trekkers into the Transvaal, they were compelled against their hereditary instincts to combine for self-defence against a common foe." (That is to say, that, having forced themselves into a strange country, they necessarily combined to oust those they found there.) " External pressure was removed by success, and the diffusive instinct asserted itself" which being translated into ordinary English simply signifies that, having conquered certain native tribes, they settled themselves upon their lands, and returned to their natural disunited condition. " Isolated families, whose ambition was to be out of sight of their neighbours' smoke, pushed forward into Kafir-land " (as yet unconquered). " Boundaries were laid down either arbitrarily or by unsatisfactorily recorded treaty with savage neighbours. The natives, forced back, acquired the powers of coalition lost by the Boers, and in their turn brought pressure to bear on their invaders and whilom conquerors ; farm after farm had to be abandoned, and many of the Boers who remained acknowledged by paying tribute that they retained their lands by the permission of neigh- bouring chiefs. The full importance of this retrograde 142 THE ZULU WAR. movement was not at once felt, as a natural safety-valve was found." "A considerable portion of the east of the Transvaal is called the High Veldt, and consists of tableland at a considerable elevation, overlying coal-measures ; this district appears bleak and inhospitable, overrun by large herds of game and watered by a series of apparently stag- nant ponds which take the place of watercourses. . . . From various sources, within the last six years, it has been discovered that the High Veldt is most valuable for the grazing of sheep, horses, and cattle ; and farms which possess the advantage of water are worth from 1,000 to 1,200, where formerly they could have been bought for as many pence." " This discovery has opened a door of escape for many of the native-pressed borderers. The pressure on those that remain increases, and on the north-east and west of the Transvaal is a fringe of farmers who live by the sufferance or in fear of the interlacing natives." The phrases which I have italicised seem to indicate that the writer has lost sight of the fact that, if the border farmers are " native-pressed," it is because they have intruded themselves amongst the natives, from which position a just arid wise government would seek to withdraw them, instead of endeavouring to establish and maintain them in it by force. This latter course, however, is the one which Captain Clarke recommends. The remainder of his memorandum is a series of sugges- tions for this purpose, one of which runs as follows : " To take away the immediate strain on the border farmer, and the risk of collision which the present state THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 143 of affairs involves, I would suggest the establishment of Government Agents, who should reside on or beyond the border now occupied by the farmers* .... Each Eesidency should be a fortress, built of stone r and prepared for defence against any, native force." Sir Bartle Frere's version of Captain Clarke's account, given to the Secretary of State in a despatch enclosing the above, runs as follows : " Most of the native chiefs now there have gradually crept in, under pressure from the northward, and finding no representatives of the Transvaal Government able to exercise authority on the spot, have gradually set up some sort of government for themselves, before which many of the Boers have retired, leaving only those .who were willing to pay a sort of tribute for protection, or to avoid being robbed of their cattle." With whatever oblique vision Sir Bartle Frere may have perused the enclosure from which he gathers his facts, no unbiassed mind can fail to detect the singular discrepancy between the account given by Captain Clarke and that drawn from it by the High Commissioner in his enclosing letter. He makes no mention of the driving out of the natives which preceded their creeping in, and which figures so largely in Captain Clarke's memorandum, of which he professes to give a sketch. And he introduces, entirely on his own account, the accusation against the natives implied in the phrase " or to avoid being robbed of their cattle.," of which not a single word appears in the memorandum itself. * Author's italics. 144 THE ZULU WAP. Properly speaking, there were two disputed boundary lines up to 1879, the one being that between Zululand and the Transvaal, to the south of the Pongolo Biver ; the other that between the Zulus and the Swazis, to the north of, and parallel to, that stream. * The Swazis are the hereditary enemies of the Zulus, and there has always been a bitter feeling between the two races, nevertheless the acquisitiveness of the Transvaal Boers was at the bottom of both disputes. They profess to have obtained, by cession from the Swazi king in 1855, a strip of land to the north-east of the Pongolo Eiver and down to the Lebomba Mountains, in order that they might form a barrier between them and the Zulus ; but the Swazis deny having ever made such cession. In addition to the doubt thrown upon the transaction by this denial, and the well-known Boer encroachments already described, it remains considerably open to question whether the Swazis had the power to dispose of the land, which is claimed by the Zulus as their own. The commission which sat upon the southern border question was not permitted to enter upon that to the north of the Pongolo, which therefore remains uncertain. The one fact generally known, however, is undoubtedly favourable to the Zulu claim. The territory in question was occupied until 1848 by two Zulu chiefs, Putini of the Ama-Ngwe, and Langalibalele of the Ama-Hlubi tribe, under the rule of the Zulu king Umpande. These chiefs, having fallen into disgrace with the king, were attacked by him, and fled into Natal. They were ultimately settled in their late locations under the * "Ama-Svrazi " for the plural correctly, as also " Ama-Zulu." THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 145 Draakensberg, leaving their former places in Zululand, north and south of the Pongolo, the inNgcaka (Mountain), and inNgcuba (River) vacant Sir Henry Bulwer remarks on this point (P. p. 2220, pp. 400-2) : "Sir T. Shepstone says indeed, that there is no dispute between the Transvaal and the Ama-Swazi ; but, as he adds that, should questions arise between them, they may be settled on their own merits, it is not impossible that questions may arise ; and I am certainly informed that the Ama-Swazi used formerly to deny that they had ever ceded land to the extent claimed by the Republic." But that the western portion, at all events, of the land in dispute was at that time under Zulu rule, is apparent from an account given by members of the house of Masobuza, principal wife of Langalibalele, and sister to the Swazi king, who was sheltered at Bishopstowe after the destruction of the Hlubi tribe, and died there in 1877. " In Chaka's time, Mate, father of Madhlangampisi, who had lived from of old on his land north of the Pongolo, as an independent chief, not under Swazi rule, gave, without fighting, his allegiance to Chaka ; and from that time to this the district in question has been under Zulu rule, the Swazi king having never at any time exercised any authority over it." The same state- ment applies to several other tribes living north, and on either side of the Pongolo, amongst them those of Langalibalele and Putini. " Madhlangampisi's land was transferred by the Boer Government as late as January 17th, 1877, to the 146 THE ZULU WAR. executors of the late Mr. M'Corkindale, and now goes by the name of 'Londina/ in which is the hamlet of ' Derby/ . . . We are perfectly aware that the southern portion of the block is held by command of the Zulu chief, and the executor's surveyors have been obstructed in prosecuting the survey." Natal Mercury, July 23rd, 1878. In 1856 a number of Boers claimed Natal territory west of the Buffalo, as far as the Biggarsberg range, now the south-west boundary of the Newcastle County, and some of them were in occupation of it ; and, a commission being sent to trace the northern border of the colony along the line of the Buffalo, these latter opposed and protested against the mission of the Commissioners ; but their opposition spent itself in threats, and ended in the withdrawal from Natal of the leaders of the party. Other Boers had settled east of the Buffalo, in the location vacated by the tribe of Langalibalele, as to whom the aforesaid Commissioners write : " During our stay among the farmers it was brought to our notice by them that they had obtained from Panda the cession of the tract of country beyond the Buffalo (inNcome), towards the north-west ; they had subscribed among themselves , one hundred head of cattle for this land, which had been accepted by Panda." And Sir T. Shepstone says : " Panda never denied this grant (N.B. in respect of what lay west of the Draakensberg), but repudiated the idea that he had sold the land. His account was that, when the farmers were defeated by Her THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 147 Majesty's troops in Natal, some of them asked him for land to live upon outside the jurisdiction of the British Government, and that he gave them this tract ' only to live in, as part of Zulularid under Zulu law " (P. p. 1961, p. 28). " The cattle they say they paid for it, Panda looked upon as a thank-offering, made in accordance with Zulu custom" (1961, pp. 1-5). In reply to messages sent by the Zulu king to the Natal Government, complaining of the encroachments of the Boers on the north, as well as the west of Zululand, and begging the friendly intervention and arbitration of the English, the advice of the Natal authorities was always to " sit still," and use no force, for England would see justice done in the end.'* From all this it would appear that the claim of Cetshwayo to land north of the Pongolo was not an aggressive act," without any real foundation in right, and merely a defiant challenge intended to provoke war ; but was a just claim, according to the tests applied by Sir Bartle Frere (P. p. 2222, p. 29) viz. "actual occupation and exercise of sovereign rights." * Sir Henry Bulwer, speaking of the disputed territory generally, writes as follows : " The Zulu king had always, in deference very much to the wishes and advice of this Government (Natal), forborne from doing anything in respect of the question that might produce a collision, trusting to the good offices of this Government to arrange the difficulty by other means. But no such arrangement had ever been made ; and thus the question had drifted on until the formal annexation of the disputed territory by the Government of the Eepublic last year, and their subsequent attempt to give a practical effect to their proclamation of annexation by levying taxes upon the Zulus residing in the territory, provoked a resistance and a feeling of resentment which threatened to precipitate a general collision at any moment." SIB H. BULWER, June 29ta, 1876 (C. 1961, p. 1). L 2 148 THE ZULU WAR. The subject is fully gone into, and further evidence produced, in the Bishop of NataTs pamphlet, " Extracts from the Blue-Books ; " but the main facts are as here stated. On turning to the subject of the better known border dispute, between the Zulus and the Transvaal Boers on the east, we are confronted at once by the fact that the decision of the Commissioners, chosen by Sir H. Bulwer to investigate the matter, was decidedly favour- able to the Zulu claim ; which, after careful consideration of all the evidence on either side, they found to be a just and good one. This decision should, in itself, have been sufficient to relieve the Zulu king from the accusa- tion of making insolent demands for territory with aggressive and warlike intentions. But as, up to July, 1878, the above charge was the sole one brought against him, and on account of which troops were sent for and preparations made for war ; and as, also, Sir Bartle Frere has thought fit to cast a doubt upon the judgment of the Commissioners by the . various expressions of dis- satisfaction which appear in his correspondence with the Bishop of Natal ; it will be necessary for us to enter fully into the matter, in order to understand the extent to which the question bore fruit in the Zulu War. In 1861 Cetshwayo demanded from the Transvaal Government the persons of four fugitives, who had escaped at the time of the Civil War of 1856, and had taken refuge amongst the Boers. One of these fugitives was a younger son of Umpande, by name Umtonga, who took refuge at first in Natal ; from whence, how- ever, he carried on political intrigues in Zululand, with THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 149 the assistance of his mother, which resulted in the death of the latter and in a message from Cetshwayo to the Natal Government, complaining of Umtonga's conduct, and requesting that he should be placed in his hands. This was refused, but the Government undertook to place the young man under the supervision of an old and trusted colonial chief, Zatshuke, living in the centre of the colony. Umtonga professed to accept and to be grateful for this arrangement ; but, upon the first step being taken to carry it out, he fired twice at the police- man who was sent to conduct him to Zatshuke, but missed him, and then escaped to the Transvaal territory. From thence he, with another brother, and two indunas (captains) were given up to Cetshwayo by the Boers, who required, in return for their surrender, the cession of land east of the Blood Kiver, and a pledge that the young princes should not be killed. Cetshwayo is said by the Boers to have agreed to both conditions, and he certainly acted up to the latter, three of the four being still alive, and the fourth having died a natural death/" It is this alleged bargain with Cetshwayo (in 1861) on which the Boers found their claim to the main portion of the disputed territory a " bargain in itself base and immoral ; the selling of the persons of men for a grant of land, and which no Christian govern- ment, like that of England, could recognise for a * Umtonga escaped again, and is now living in the Transvaal. His brother was still living in Zululand, as head of Umtonga's kraal, at the beginning of the war, and no injury appears to have been done to any of the four. 150 THE ZULU WAR. moment as valid and binding," even if it were ever made. But it is persistently denied by the Zulus that such a bargain was ever consented to by them or by their prince. On this point Cetshwayo himself says : " I have never given or sold any land to the Boers of the Transvaal. They wished me to do so when I was as yet an umtwana (child, prince). They tried to get me to sign a paper, but I threw the pen down, and never would do so, telling them that it was out of my power to either grant or sell land, as it belonged to the king, my father, and the nation. I know the Boers say I signed a paper, and that my brothers Hamu and Ziwedu did also. I never did, and if they say I held the pen or made a mark, giving or selling land, it is a lie ! " The Prince Dabulamanzi, and chiefs sitting round, bore out the king in this statement. (From Eeport of Mr. Fynney on July 4th, 1877 P. p. 1961, p. 45.) And so says SirT. Shepstone (1961, p. 5) : "Panda, who is still living, repudiated the bargain, and Cetshwayo denied it. The Emigrant Farmers, however, insisted on its validity, and proceeded to occupy. The Zulus have never ceased to threaten and protest. And the Govern- ment of Natal, to whom these protests and threats have been continually made, has frequently, during a course of fifteen years, found it very difficult to impress the Zulus with the hope and belief that an amicable solution of the difficulty would some day be found, provided that they refrained from reprisals or the use of force." The first message from the Zulus on the subject of the disputed territory was received on September 5th, 1861, in the very year in which (according to the Boers) THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 151 the cession in question was made (1961, p. 7). The Bishop of Natal, in his " Extracts " already mentioned, records eighteen messages on the same subject, com- mencing with the above and concluding with one brought on April 20th, 1876 (1748, p. 49), showing that for a period of fifteen years the Zulu king (whether represented by Umpande or by Cetshwayo) had never ceased to entreat " the friendly intervention and arbitra- tion of this Government between them and the Boer Government" (1961, p. 9). These eighteen messages acknowledge the virtual supremacy of the English, and the confidence which the Zulus feel in English justice and honour, and they request their protection, or, failing that, their permission to protect themselves by force of arms ; they suggest that a Commission sent from Natal should settle the boundary, and that a Eesident or Agent of the British Government should be stationed on the border between them and the Boers, to see that justice was done on both sides. They report the various aggressions and encroachments by which the Zulus were suffering at the hands of their neighbours, but to which they submitted because the question was in the hands of the Government of Natal ; and they repeatedly beg that the English will themselves take possession of the disputed country, or some part of it, rather than allow the unsettled state of things to continue. " They (the Zulus) beg that the Governor will take a strip of country, the length and breadth of which is to be agreed upon between the Zulus and the Commissioners (for whom they are asking) sent from Natal, the strip to abut on the Colony of Natal, and to run to the northward and 152 THE ZULU WAR. eastward in such a manner, in a line parallel to the sea- coast, as to interpose in all its length between the Boers and the Zulus, and to be governed by the Colony of Natal, and form a portion of it if thought desirable. " The Zulu people earnestly pray that this arrange- ment may be carried out immediately, because they have been neighbours of Natal for so many years, separated only by a stream of water, and no question has arisen between them and the Government of Natal ; they know that where the boundary is fixed by agreement with the English there it will remain. " Panda, Cetshwayo, and all the heads of the Zulu people assembled, directed us to urge in the most earnest manner upon the Lieutenant-Governor of Natal the prayer we have stated." This is the concluding portion of the fourth message, received on June 5th, 1869 (1961, p. 9). The fifth, reporting fresh Boer aggressions, was received on December 6th, 1869. In the course of the same year Lieutenant-Governor Keate addressed the President of the South African Eepublic on the subject, and suggested arbitration, which suggestion was accepted by the President, pro- vided that the expenses should be paid by the losing party ; and during the following two years repeated messages were sent by Mr. Keate reminding the Presi- dent that being "already in possession of what the Zulu authorities put forward as justifying their claims," he only awaits the like information from the other side before " visiting the locality and hearing the respective parties." (P. p. 1961, p. 24). THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 153 Oa August 16th, 1871, the Government Secretary of the South African Kepublic replies that he has " been instructed to forward to the Lieutenant-Governor of Natal the necessary documents bearing on the Zulu question, together with a statement of the case, and hopes to do so by next post ; but that, as the session of the Volksraad had been postponed from May to September, it would be extremely difficult to settle the matter in 1871," he therefore proposed January, 1872, as a convenient time for the purpose. Nearly eight weeks later (October 9th) Lieutenant- Governor Keate informs the President that the docu- ments promised, upon the Zulu-border question, have not yet reached him ; but sees nothing, at present, likely to prevent his " proceeding, in January next, to the Zulu-border for the purpose of settling the matter at issue." But the promised papers appear never to have been sent. The arbitration never took place. Lieutenant- Governor Keate was relieved from the government of Natal in 1872; and the next stage of the question is marked by the issue on May 25th, 1875, of a procla- mation by Acting-President Joubert, annexing to the dominion of the South African Kepublic the territory, the right to which was to have been decided by this arbitration. In this proclamation no reference is made to the (alleged) Treaty of 1861 (see p. 176), by which "what is now and was then disputed territory had been ceded to the South African Republic," though it certainly annexes to the Republic all the country in- 154 THE ZULU WAR. eluded in the Treaty, and seems to annex more. But no ground of claim is set forth or alluded to upon which the right to annex is founded, " with reservation of all further claims and rights of the said Republic," nor any reason assigned for the act, except to " prevent disagreement " between the Boers and the Zulus. And Sir T. Shepstone goes on to say (1961, p. 5) : " The officers of the South African Republic pro- ceeded to exercise in this annexed territory the ordinary functions of government, and among these, the levying taxes on natives. The Zulus, who had been persistent in repudiating the cession, and who have continued to occupy the territory as theirs, resisted the demand by Cetshwayo's directions, and a collision appeared immi- nent, when the difficulty was avoided by the officers withdrawing the order they had issued." Nevertheless, in spite of the repeated disappoint- ments with which they met, the Zulus continued to send complaints and entreaties to the Government of Natal; which messages, although they never varied in their respectful and friendly tone towards the English, show plainly how deeply they felt the neglect with which they were treated. The English "promises" are spoken of again and again, and the thirteenth message contains a sentence worth recording, in its simple dignity. " Cetshwayo desired us," say the messengers, "to urge upon the Governor of Natal to interfere, to save the destruction of perhaps both countries Zulu- land and the Transvaal. He requests us to state that he cannot and will not submit to be turned out of his own houses. It may be that he will be vanquished ; THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 155 but, as he is not the aggressor, death will not be so hard to meet" (1748, p. 14). Sir Henry Bulwer's answers to these messages con- tain passages which sufficiently prove that up to this time the Government of Natal had no complaints to make against the Zulu king. " This is the first oppor- tunity the Lieutenant-Governor has had," he says, " of communicating with Cetshwayo since his (Sir H. Bulwer's) arrival in the Colony. He therefore takes the opportunity of sending him a friendly greeting, and of expressing the pleasure with which he had heard of the satisfactory relations that have existed between this Colony and the Zulus," November 25th, 1875 (1748, p. 15). " This Government trusts that Cetshwayo will maintain that moderation and forbearance which he has hitherto shown, and which the Government has great pleasure in bringing to the notice of the councillors of the great Queen, and that nothing will be done which will hinder the peaceful solution of the Disputed Territory question," July 25th, 1876 (1748, p. 97). Meanwhile repeated acts of violence and brutality on the part of the Boers are reported, and in the Blue-books before us the Zulu complaints are confirmed from various official sources, by Mr. Fynn, Resident Magistrate of the Umsinga Division (1748, p. 10), by Sir Henry Bulwer (1748, pp. 8, 11, 12, 25), by Sir T. Shepstone himself (1748, pp. 10, 24, 29, 52, 56), by Mr. Osborn (1748, p. 82), and by Sir Henry Barkly (1748, p. 25). No attempt at settlement, however, had been made in answer to these appeals up to the time of the annex- 156 ; THE ZULU WAR. ation of the Transvaal, in 1877, by Sir T. Shepstone ; after which so great a change took place in the tone of the latter upon the subject of the disputed territory. Upon this question we may quote again from Mr. Fynney's report of the king's answer to him upon the announcement of the annexation of the TransvaaL " I hear what you' have said about past disputes with the Boers, and about the settlement of them," said the king ; " the land question is one of them, and a great one. I was in hopes, when I heard it was you who visited me, that you had brought me some final word about the land, as Somtseu had sent from Newcastle by Umgabana to say that his son would come with the word respecting the land so long in dispute, and I felt sure it had come to-day, for you are his son. Now the Transvaal is English ground, I want Somtseu to send the Boers away from the lower parts of the Transvaal, that near my country. The Boers are a nation of liars ; they are a bad people, bad altogether ; I do not want them near my people ; they lie, and claim what is not theirs, and ill-use my people. Where is Thomas (Mr. Burgers) ? " " I informed him," says Mr. Fynney, " that Mr. Burgers had left the Transvaal." " Then let them pack up and follow Thomas," said he, " let them go. The Queen does not want such people as those about her land. What can the Queen make of them or do with them ? Their evil ways puzzled both Thomas and Kudolph (Landdrost of Utrecht) ; they will not be quiet. They have laid THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 157 claim to my land, and even down to N'Zalankulu (you saw the line), burned it with fire, and my people have no rest." "Umnyamana (Prime Minister) here remarked,'' continues Mr. Fynney, " we want to know what is going to be done about this land ; it has stood over as an open question for so many years. Somtseu took all the papers to England with him to show the great men there, and we have not heard since." To which Mr* Fynney, of course, had no reply to make. Within a fortnight of the annexation the Boers on the Zulu border presented Sir T. Shepstone with an address, stating that during the last ten or twelve years (i.e. from 1861, when this encroachment was begun by the Boers) they had " suffered greatly in consequence of the hostile behaviour of the Zulu nation, but more so for the last two years" (i.e. from 1875, when the Boer Government proclaimed the disputed territory to belong to the Transvaal, and proceeded to levy taxes upon its Zulu inhabitants), so that, they said, their lives and goods were in danger (1814, p. 14). Accordingly Sir T. Shepstone writes to Lord Carnarvon as follows : " I shall be forced to take some action with regard to the Disputed Territory, of which your lordship has heard so much, but I shall be careful to avoid any direct issue."''' " It is of the utmost importance," he continues, * Thereby pointing the truth of his own remark at a previous date March 30th, 1876 (1748, p. 24) : " But messages from the Zulu king are becoming more frequent and urgent, and the replies he receives seem to him to be both temporising and evasive." (Author's italics). 158 THE ZULU WAR. " that all questions involving disturbance outside of this territory should be, if possible, postponed until the Government of the Transvaal is consolidated, and the numerous tribes within its boundaries have begun to feel and recognise the hand of the new administra- tion." These remarks already show the change in sentiment, on Sir T. Shepstone's part, which was more markedly displayed at the Blood Eiver meeting between him and the Zulu indunas. The conference proved an utter failure, as also did several other attempts on Sir T, Shepstone's part to persuade the Zulus to relinquish to him, on behalf of the Transvaal, the claims upon which they had so long insisted. On December 5th, 1877, two indunas came from Cetshwayo to the Bishop of Natal with a request that he would put the Zulu claim in writing, to be sent to Sir H. Bulwer and the Queen. The same indunas, a few days later, with Umfunzi and Nkisimane messengers from Cetshwayo appointed, before a notary public, Dr. Walter Smith and Mr. F. E. Colenso to be " diplomatic agents " for Cetshwayo, " who should communicate on his behalf in the English language, and, when needful, in writing," and especially to "treat with the British Government on the boundary question" (2000, p. 58) ;"* which appointment, however, Sir H. Bulwer and Sir T. * Immediately after they had signed the instrument of appoint- ment the two Zulu messengers were sent in to the Government by Messrs. Smith and Colenso, and took with them a letter (C. 2000) which mentioned them as its bearers, and announced what they had done. THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 159 Shepstone refused to recognise ; and the former, having proposed the Border Commission before receiving notice of this appointment though the Commissioners had not yet started from 'Maritzburg did not feel it advisable, as "no such appointment had been made by the Zulu king,"* to communicate to Messrs. Smith and Colenso Lord Carnarvon's despatch (January 21st, 1.878), which said : " I request that you will inform Mr. Smith and Mr. Colenso that the desire of Her Majesty's Government in this matter is that the boundary question shall be fully and fairly discussed, and a just arrangement arrived at, and that you will refer them to Sir T. Shepstone, to whom has been committed the duty of negotiating on the subject."! * Mfunzi and Nkisimane were sent down again to 'Maritzburg by Cetshwayo, at the request of Sir H. Bulwer, and denied the whole transaction, though it was attested by the signatures of the notary and two white witnesses. It was afterwards discovered that they had been frightened into this denial by a Natal Government messenger, who told them that they had made the Governor very angry with them and their king by making this appointment ; and John Dunn also, after receiving letters from 'Maritzburg, told them that they had committed a great fault, and that he saw that they would never all come home again. t Messrs. Smith and Colenso's explanatory letter to Sir M. Hicks- Beach, dated June 9th, 1878, concludes as follows : " This business, as far as we are concerned, is, therefore, ended. We had hoped to be instrumental in embodying in a contract a pro- posal which we knew was advantageous to both parties. To do so only required the intervention of European lawyers trusted by Cetewayo. We knew that he trusted us, and would trust no others. The task of acting for the king was, therefore, imposed on us as lawyers and as gentlemen. Of pecuniary reward, or its equivalent, our labours have brought us nothing. We do not require it. Honour 160 TEE ZULU WAR. Meanwhile, however, Sir T. Shepstone's ''negotia- tions " had proved unsuccessful, and Sir Henry Bulwer writes to Sir Bartle Frere (2000, p. 68) : " It seems but too clear, from all that has now happened, that the prospect of a settlement of the question by direct negotiations between the Government of the Transvaal and the Zulu king is at an end. The feeling against the we did not desire, nor had a savage prince any means of conferring it. The duty thus undertaken we give up only in despair, and we have nothing to regret. " Such information, however, as we have gleaned in the course of our agency you are entitled to hear from us, as we are British subjects. " The Zulus are hostile to the Boers of the Transvaal, and would fight with them but for fear of being involved in a quarrel with the English. But neither Cetewayo himself, who is wise and peaceful, nor the most hot-blooded of his young warriors have any desire to fight with England, i.e. Natal. " If they wished to do so there is nothing to prevent them, and never has been. As they march, they could march from their border to this city or to Durban in a little more than twenty-four hours. Their only fear is, that the English will come with an army f to make them pay taxes.' They say they will rather die than do so. The king says the same. Almost every man has a gun. Guns and ammunition are cheaper at any military kraal in Zululand than at Port Natal. These goods are imported by Tonga men, who come in large gangs from Delagoa Bay, for white merchants. An Enfield rifle may be had for a sheep of a Tonga man ; many have breech-loaders. The missionaries, whose principal occupation was trading, deal in ammunition. The missionaries have recently lost most of their con- verts, who have gone trading on their own account. "Without these converts the missionaries cannot do business, and they have left the country, except Bishop Schreuder, who has gone back, that it may not be said that a white man is not safe there. Cetewayo says that he has asked the missionaries to stop. They have certainly not been turned out or threatened. Their going makes the Zulus think that we are about to invade the country. " Nothing but gross mismanagement will bring about a quarrel between England and the Zulus." (P. p. [C. 2U4] pp. 215, 216). THE DISPUTED TERRITORY. 161 Boers on the part of the Zulu king and people is too bitter, and they are now scarcely less angry against the new Government of the Transvaal than they were against the old Government." He then suggests arbitra- tion as a way by which the Zulu king " can escape the alternative of war, by which he can obtain justice, and by which, at the same time, he can avoid direct negotia- tions with the Government of a people whom he dislikes and distrusts." The diplomatic agents were never recognised by the colonial authorities, or allowed to exercise their func- tions ; but a visit which Mr. Colenso paid to the Zulu king in connection with the appointment is worth recording for the sake of the glimpse it gives of Cetshwayo's habits and daily life, as told by a dis- interested eye-witness. The king, it appears, whom so many have delighted to represent as a corpulent unwieldy savage, to whom movement must be a painful exertion, was in the habit of taking a daily constitutional of about six miles out and back. Mr. Colenso observed that this was his regular habit, and during his stay at the royal kraal he daily saw Cetshwayo start, and could trace his course over the hills by the great white shield carried before him as the emblem of kingship. On his return the king regularly underwent a process of ablution at the hands of his attendants, who poured vessels of water over him, and rubbed the royal person down with a species of soft stone. This performance over, Cetshwayo ascended his throne or chair of state, upon which he remained, hearing causes, and trying cases x 162 THE ZULU WAR. amongst his people, until the shades of evening fell, before which time he did not break his fast.- This description, of the accuracy of which there can l)e no question, gives a picture of a simple, moderate, and useful kingly existence, very different from the idea commonly received of a savage monarch, wallowing in sloth and coarse luxury, and using the power which he holds over his fellow-creatures only for the gratification of every evil or selfish human passion. Cetshwayo ruled his people well according to his lights : let us hope that, now we have wrested his kingdom from him, our government may prove a more beneficent one. CHAPTER X. THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. SIR HENRY BULWER'S message proposing arbitration was sent to Cetshwayo on December 8th, 1877 (2000, p. 67). In this message he makes it plain to the king that " the Governments of Natal and the Transvaal are now brothers, and what touches one touches the other." " Therefore," he continues, " the Lieut. -Governor of Natal sends these words to Cetshwayo that he may know what is in his mind, and that Cetshwayo may do nothing that will interrupt the peaceful and friendly relations that have existed for so many years between the English and the Zulus." He then proposes that he should write to " the Ministers of the great Queen in England, and also to the Queen's High Commissioner who resides at Capetown, in order that they may send fit and proper persons, who will come to the country with fresh minds, and who will hear all that the Zulus have to say on the question, and all that the Transvaal Government has to say, and examine and consider all the rights of the question, and then give their decision in such manner that all concerned may receive and M 2 164 THE ZULU WAR. abide by that decision, and the question be finally set at rest. " Meanwhile/' he says, "no action should be taken to interfere with the existing state of things or to disturb the peace. But the disputed territory should be considered and treated as neutral between the two countries for the time being." Before this communication reached him, Cetshwayo had already sent messengers to the Bishop of Natal, asking advice how to act in his present difficulties. And they had carried back " a word," which would reach the king about November 19th, to the effect that he must on no account think of fighting the Transvaal Government, and that he had better send down some great indunas to propose arbitration to Sir Henry Bulwer, in whose hands he might leave himself with perfect confidence, that the right and just thing would be done by him. The Bishop knew nothing of Sir Henry's intentions when he sent this reply ; and, in point of fact, the two had separately come to the same conclusion as to what would be the wisest course to follow. Cetshwayo therefore was prepared to receive Sir Henry's proposition, which he did, not only with respect, but with delight and relief (2000, p. 138). His answer to the message contained the following passages : " Cetshwayo hears what the Governor of Natal says .... and thanks him for these words, for they are all good words that have been sent to Cetshwayo by the Governor of Natal ; they show that the Natal Govern- ment still wishes Cetshwayo to drink water and live." THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 165 He suggests, however, that before sending for people from across the sea to settle the boundary, he should be glad if the Governor would send his own representa- tives to hear both sides of the dispute, and if they cannot come to a decision, " a letter can be sent beyond the sea " for others to come. The message continues : " Cetshwayo thanks the Governor for the words which say the ground in dispute should not be occupied while the matter is talked over." " Cetshwayo says he hears it said that he intends to make war upon the Transvaal. He wishes the Natal Government to watch well and see when he will do such a thing. For, if he attended to the wish of the English Government in Natal when it said he must not make war on the Transvaal Boers, why should he wish to do so upon those who are now of the same Great House as Natal, to whose voice he has listened ? " " Cetshwayo is informed that he is to be attacked by the Transvaal people. If so, and if he is not taken by surprise, he will, as soon as he hears of the approach of such a force, send men who will report it to the Natal Government before he takes any action." " Cetshwayo says he cannot trust the Transvaal Boers any longer ; they have killed his people, they have robbed them of their cattle on the slightest grounds. He had hoped Somtseu would have settled all these matters. But he has not done so ; he wishes to cast Cetshwayo off; he is no more a father, but a firebrand. If he is tired of carrying Cetshwayo now, as he did while he was with the Natal Government, then why does he not put him down, and allow the Natal 166 THE ZULU WAR. Government to look after him, as it has always done ? " Sir Henry Bulwer expressed his satisfaction at this reply, speaking of it as a far more satisfactory one than they had been led to expect (2000, p. 138), and he writes of it to Sir T. Shepstone thus : " You will see by the king's reply that he has met my representations in a very proper spirit. ... I have no reason to think that what the king says is said otherwise than in good faith ; and, if this be so, there seems to me to be no reason why this dispute should not be settled in a peaceable manner" (2097, p. 26), and he says to Cetshwayo himself, " The Lieutenant- Governor has heard the words of Cetshwayo. He is glad that the words which he lately sent to Cetshwayo were welcome. They were words sent in a friendly spirit, and Cetshwayo received them in a friendly spirit. This is as it should be," and he agrees to the king's proposal concerning commissioners from Natal, provided that the Transvaal Government agree also. The following is the account given by the Govern- ment messengers, who carried Sir H. Bulwer 's message to Cetshwayo of the manner in which it was received by the king and his indunas (2079, p. 25) : " While we spoke to Cetshwayo, we saw that what we were saying lifted a great weight from his heart, that they were words which he was glad to hear ; and what he said to us as we finished showed us we were right in this belief. . . . " We could see, when we arrived at the great kraal, that the indunas, and even the king, were not easy in THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 167 their hearts, and from all we could see and gather, the chief men under the king did not wish for war. After the message was delivered, all of them appeared like men who had been carrying a very heavy burden, and who had only then been told that they could put it down and rest." It is best known to himself how, in the face of these words, and with nothing to support his statement, Sir Bartle Frere could venture to assert in his fourth letter to the Bishop, " The offers to arbitrate originated with the Natal Government, and were by no means willingly accepted by Cetshwayo ;" Cetshwayo having, in point of fact, earnestly asked for arbitration again and again, as we have already shown, and rejoicing greatly when at last it was offered him. Mr. J. Shepstone's observa- tion also (2144, p. 184), that "To this suggestion Cetshwayo replied f that he had no objection/ " hardly gives a fair view of the state of the case. But, before this satisfactory agreement had been arrived at, Sir T. Shepstone had managed still further to exasperate the feelings of the Zulus against the new Government of the Transvaal, while the fact that Natal and the Transvaal were one, and that to touch one was to touch the other, and to touch England also, had not been brought home to the king's mind until he received Sir H. Bulwer's message. Before the "receipt of that message, Cetshwayo had every reason to believe that the negotiations con- cerning the disputed territory were broken off. Sir T. Shepstone's tone on the subject had altered; he had parted with the king's indunas at the Blood Eiver 168 THE ZULU WAR. in anger, and the messenger whom he had promised to send to the king himself had never appeared. Meanwhile, the Boers had gone into laager, by direc- tion, they say, of Sir T. Shepstone himself, and with the full expectation that he was about to make war upon the Zulus. No offer of arbitration had yet been made. Cetshwayo had been played with and baffled by the English Government for sixteen years, and to all appearance nothing whatever was done, or would be done, to settle in a friendly manner this troubled question, unless he took steps himself to assert his rights, and he seems to have taken the mildest possible way of so doing under the circumstances. According to the official reports at the time, he sent a large force of armed men to build a military kraal near Luneburg, north of the Pongolo, in land which was also disputed with the Transvaal Government, but formed no part of the (so called) disputed territory to the south of that river, or as Lord Carnarvon said to a deputation of South African merchants (Guardian, January 9th, 1878): "He (the Zulu king) had proceeded to con- struct, in opposition to Sir T. Shepstone's warnings, a fortified kraal in a disputed territory abutting upon English soil." But this was a very exaggerated way of describing a comparative trifling circumstance. The erection of a kraal not, as so frequently asserted, a*military one, but merely an ordinary Zulu kraal for the residence of a headman, to keep order among the 15,000 Zulus who lived in that district had long been contemplated, and THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 169 had once, during Umpanda's lifetime, been attempted, though the Boers had driven away the Zulu officer sent for the purpose, and destroyed the work he had commenced. Cetshwayo himself explains his reason for sending so large a force for the purpose, on the grounds that he wished the kraal to be built in one day, and his men not to be obliged to remain over a night, while, as Colonel Durnford, K.E., says (2144, p. 237), " the fact that the men at work are armed is of no significance, because every Zulu is an armed man, and never moves without his weapon." Sir T. Shepstone, however, was greatly alarmed when he first heard of the building of this kraal, and writes concerning it November 16th, 1877 (1961, p. 224) : "I feel, therefore (because of the irritating effect of it upon the Transvaal), that the building of this kraal must be prevented at all hazards." The " hazards " do not appear to have proved very serious, as a simple representation on the part of Captain Clarke, K.A., and Mr. Eudolph, sent to the spot by Sir T. Shepstone, resulted in the Zulu force retiring, having made only a small cattle kraal and chopped and collected some poles, which they left on the ground, to be used for the building of the huts hereafter, but which were very soon carried off Imd used as firewood by the Luneburg farmers. But this did not satisfy Sir T. Shepstone, who sent messengers to Cetshwayo, complaining of what had been done, and of " finding," as he says, " a Zulu force in the 170 THE ZULU WAR. rear of where he was staying ; " * and saying that, in consequence, and in order to restore confidence amongst those Boers living on the Blood Eiver border, he (Sir T. Shepstone) had decided to send a military force down to the waggon-drift on the Blood Eiver, to encamp there on our side of the river. Cetshwayo replies that he did not send to have the kraal built that trouble might arise, but because his people were already living on the ground in dispute. He admits that of course the administrator could do as he pleased about sending an armed force to encamp on his own borders ; but he urges him to think better of it, saying that the Zulus would be frightened and run away, and, if he in his turn should send an armed force to encamp just opposite Sir T. Shepstone's encampment, to put confidence into his people's hearts, he asks, somewhat quaintly, " would it be possible for the two forces to be looking at one another for two days without a row ?" Many expressions are scattered through the Blue- books at this period concerning " Zulu aggressions ; " and Sir T. Shepstone makes frequent, though vague and unproven, accusations concerning Cetshwayo's " mischievous humour/' and the terror of the Boer frontier farmers. But, so far as these remarks allude to the border squabbles inseparable from the state of affairs, the score is so heavily against the Boers that the counter- charges are hardly worth considering. The only acts chargeable * This is apparently a figure of speech, since Luneburg, near which the kraal was being built, would seem by the map not to lie " to the rear " as seen from Zululand of Utrecht, where Sir T. Shepstone was staying. TEE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 171 upon the king himself are, first, the building of this kraal, which really amounted to no more than a practical assertion of the Zulu claim to land north of the Pongolo ; and, secondly, the execution of a (supposed) Zulu criminal there, which was an exercise of Cetsh- wayo's authority over his own people living in the district. For the acts of violence committed by the robber chief Umbilini, the Zulu king could not justly be considered responsible ; but of this matter, and of the raid committed by the sons of Sihayo, we will treat in a later chapter. Sir T. Shepstone himself allows that Cetshwayo's frame of mind was a better one after the reception of Sir Henry Bulwer's message offering arbitration (2079, pp. 51-54) ; and says that his (Sir T. Shepstone's) mes- sengers " describe Cetshwayo as being in a very different temper to that which he had on former occa- sions exhibited ; to use their own expression, " it was Cetshwayo, but it was Cetshwayo born again." . . . "They gleaned from the Zulus .... that a message from the Governor of Natal had been delivered, and they concluded that the change which they had noticed as so marked in the king's tone must have been produced by that message." The fact that Cetshwayo joyfully and thankfully accepted Sir Henry Bulwer's promise not to give him the land he claimed, but to have the matter investigated and justice done is sufficiently established ; but from the Boers the proposal met with a very different reception. 172 THE ZULU WAR. Sir T. Shepstone acknowledged the receipt of Sir H. Bulwer's despatch of December llth, "transmitting copy of a message " which he " had thought fit to send to the Zulu king," and then summoned a few leading men in the district, and laid the proposition before them. He reports that after some pretty speeches about the " Christian, humane, and admirable proposal," which they should have " no excuse for hesitating to accept, if Cetshwayo were a civilised king and the Zulu Govern- ment a civilised government," etc. etc., they proceeded to state their objections. They had, they said, no misgiving regarding the justice of the claim of the State ; and they believed that the more it was investi- gated, the more impartial the minds of the investigators, the clearer and more rightful would that claim prove itself to be. Nevertheless, they professed to fear the delay that must necessarily be caused by such an investigation 4 " (the dispute having already lasted fifteen years !) and to doubt Cetshwayo's abiding by any promise he might make to observe a temporary boundary line. To place the two parties to the dispute on equal terms, they said, the land in question should be evacuated by both, or occupied by both under the control of Sir Henry Bulwer, who, they proposed, as an indispensable condition of the proposed arbi- tration, should take possession of the land in dispute or of some part of it. And Sir T. Shepstone remarks : * Compare the account of the delay on the part of the Boer Government when Mr. Keate proposed to arbitrate. See last chapter, p. 182. THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 173 "My view is that the considerations above set forth are both weighty and serious. " I do not anticipate that, under the circumstances, Cetshwayo would venture to make or to authorise any overt attack. I do fear, however, the consequences of the lawless condition into which the population all along the border is rapidly falling. Cetshwayo, I fear, rather encourages than attempts to repress this tendency; and, although he will not go to war, he may allow that to go on which he knows will produce war." The condition of the border seems, as we have already shown, to have been " lawless" for many years, though the fault lay rather, with the Boers whose many acts of violence are recorded in the Blue-books than with the Zulus, and Sir T. Shepstone has ap- parently overlooked the fact that he himself had just summarily put a stop to an attempt on Cetshwayo's part to " repress" any lawless " tendency" amongst his own people (of which the Administrator complains) by placing a headman, or responsible person, amongst them to keep order. Under the above-mentioned conditions Sir T. Shep- stone accepts Sir Henry Bulwer's proposal, and informs him that, under the circumstances, he shall not carry out his expressed intention of placing a military post in the neighbourhood of the Blood Eiver. And again he writes January 1 7th, 1878 (2079, It was, however, necessary to point out to Sir H. Bulwer the difficulties and dangers, as well as the loss 174 THE ZULU WAE. of property, which the white people (Boers ?) feel that they will be subjected to by the acceptance of His Excellency's proposal, unless he can devise some means by which their safety and interests can be protected during the pending of the investigation, which under existing circumstances it is Cetshwayo's interest to prolong indefinitely" The words which I have italicised show that Sir T. Shepstone took for granted beforehand that the decision of the Commissioners would be unfavourable to the Zulus. Sir Henry Bulwer, however, did not see his way to falling in with the conditions of the Boers, and replies as follows (2079, p. 128) : " I do not see that I am in a position, or that, as the Lieutenant-Governor of this colony, I should have the power to take actual possession of the country in dispute. And if to take over the country, and hold possession of it, is considered by your Government an indispensable condition for the acceptance of the mediating course I have proposed, I feel that my proposal falls short of the requirements of the case." On January 29th, Sir T. Shepstone writes to Sir Henry again, saying that " It was felt that, in consequence of the step which you have thought it right to take in your communication to the Zulu king of the 8th December last, the Government of the Transvaal is placed at a disadvantage, and that the longer action on your part is delayed, the greater that disadvantage grows. It follows, therefore, that any action in the direction of your proposition is better than no action at all ; and I was THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 175 urged to beg your Excellency to take some step in the matter without delay." Accordingly Sir Henry at once sends a message to Cetshwayo, suggesting the observance of a " neutral belt," pending the settlement of the boundary question (2079, p. 132), and mentioning the two lines, from point to point, which he proposed for the purpose. The same suggestion was made, of course, to Sir T. Shepstone, who replies as follows : " You have rightly assumed the concurrence of this Government, and I trust that Cetshwayo will see in your message the necessity that is laid upon him to prove that he was sincere in asking you to undertake the inquiry." This ready acquiescence is fully accounted for by the fact, shortly apparent, that both the lines mentioned by Sir Henry, between which 'neutrality should be observed, were within what was claimed by the Zulus as their own country, and Sir T. Shepstone says: "At present the belt of country indicated is occupied solely by Zulus. The whole of it has been apportioned in farms to Transvaal subjects, but has not been occupied by them." Small wonder that the Zulu king, in reply to this proposal, " informs the Governor of Natal that the two roads mentioned in His Excellency's message are both in Zululand, and therefore the king cannot see how the ground between the roads can belong to both parties." Nevertheless Sir Henry Bulwer hardly seems to fall in with Sir T. Shepstone's suggestion, that Cetshwayo's consent on this point should be looked upon as a test of his sincerity: "Either," he says (2100, p. 73), "he has misunderstood the real nature of the proposal, or he is 176 THE ZULU WAR. disinclined to accept anything which may in his opinion be taken to signify a withdrawal of one iota of his claim." And, in point of fact, though no "neutral ground " was marked off, the Commission went on just as well without it ; all the apprehensions of disturbance and disorder having been falsified by the event. Sir T. Shepstone repeatedly speaks of the border Boers having been forced by Zulu acts and threats of aggression to abandon their farms and go into laager, etc. etc. ; but, on investigation, it is apparent that this abandonment of farms, and trekking into laager, took place in consequence of an intimation from the Landrost of Utrecht, under instructions from Sir T. Shepstone himself; as appears from the following passages of an address from seventy-nine Boers, protesting against arbitration as "an absurdity and an impossibility," which was presented to Sir T. Shepstone on February 2nd, 1878 (2079, p. 140): "The undersigned burghers, etc. . . . take the liberty to bring to your Excellency's notice that they, in consequence of intimation from the Landrost of Utrecht, dated 14th December last, on your Excellency's instructions, partly trekked into laager, and partly deserted their farms, in the firm expectation that now a beginning of a war would soon be made. ... That they have heard with anxiety and understand that arbitration is spoken of, which would have to determine our property and possessions ; which we fear will decide in favour of a crowned robber, murderer, and breaker of his word, who knows as well as we that he is claim- ing a thing which does not belong to him .... for THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 177 which reason we are sure that such arbitration is an absurdity and an impossibility. We therefore hereby protest against all proposed or to be undertaken arbitra- tion ; and we will, with all legal means at our disposal, etc., resist a decision, etc., over our property which we know would be unlawful and unjust. " They give as a reason for presenting the address from which these phrases are taken, " because it is impossible for us to remain any longer in laager without any object" which hardly looks as though they thought themselves in daily danger from the Zulus, unless the " beginning of a war " should "soon be made" by Sir T. Shepstone. They request His Excellency " to commence without any further delay defending " their " rights and property and lives ; " and should His Excellency " not be inclined or be without power " to do so, they further signify their intention of requesting him to assist them with ammunition, and not to hinder them seeking assistance, of fellow-countrymen and friends, to maintain their "rights," and to check their "rapacious enemies and to punish them." And they conclude : " We, the undersigned, bind ourselves on peril of our honour to assist in subduing the Zulu nation, and making it harmless." Sir T. Shepstone encloses this in a sympathising despatch, but Sir Henry Bulwer remarks upon it and upon a subsequent memorial''" of the same description February 23rd (2100, p. 67) : " Of course, if the- object of the memorialists is war, if what they desire is a war with the Zulu nation, it is * 2144, p. 191. 178 THE ZULU WAR. not to be wondered at that they should find fault with any steps that have been taken to prevent the necessity for war. Nor, if they desire war, is it to be expected that they should be favourable to arbitration, though I find it difficult to reconcile the expression of the apprehensions of the memorialists that arbitration would decide against them, with the unanimous expression of opinion, previously given to your Excellency by some of the leading men of the district, that the proposal made by me was a Christian, humane, and admirable one ; that they had no misgivings regarding the justice of the claim of the State, and that they believed the more it was investigated .... the clearer arid more rightful would that claim prove itself to be. Your Excellency observes that the deep feeling of distrust shown by the memorialists is scarcely to be wondered at, when it is remembered that they are compelled to occupy with their families fortified camps, while their farms in the neighbourhood are being occupied by Zulus, their crops reaped, and their cultivated lands tilled by Zulus, and the timber of their houses used as Zulu firewood. "I do not quite understand what farms and cultivated lands are referred to ; because in a previous despatch your despatch, No. 7, of February 5th your Excellency, in referring to the disputed territory, states, so I understand, that it 'is at present occupied solely by Zulus? and that, although the whole of it has been apportioned in farms to Transvaal subjects, it has not been occupied by them? ' The matter was referred to the High Commissioner, Sir Bartle Frere, and the appointment of a commission THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 179 was approved by him. He plainly took it for granted that, as Sir T. Shepstone had said, the Transvaal claim was based on " evidence the most incontrovertible, overwhelming, and clear," and looked to the commission for the double advantage of enabling Sir T. Shepstone " to clear up or put on record, in a form calculated to satisfy Her Majesty's Government, an answer to all doubts as to the facts and equity of the question," and of gaining time for preparing a military force to silence and subjugate the Zulus should they object (as he expected) to such an award. That nothing short of military coercion of the Zulus would settle the matter, was evidently Sir Bartle Frere's fixed idea ; in fact that was the foregone conclusion with him from beginning to end. On February 12th, Sir Henry Bulwer sent a message to Cetshwayo (2079, p. 140), to this effect : "The Lieut.-Governor now sends to let Cetshwayo know that he has selected, for the purpose of holding this inquiry, the Queen's Attorney-General in Natal (Hon. M. H. Gallway, Esq.), the Secretary for Native Affairs (Hon. J. W. Shepstone, Esq.), and Colonel Durnford, an officer in the Queen's army. "These gentlemen will proceed by-and-by to the place known as Rorke's Drift, which is on the Buffalo River, and in Natal territory, and they will there open the inquiry on Thursday, March 7th. " The Lieut.-Governor proposes, as the most con- venient course to be taken, that the Zulu king should appoint two or three indunas to represent the Zulu king and the Zulu case at the inquiry, and that these should N 2 180 THE ZULU WAR. be at Rorke's Drift on March 7th, and meet the Natal Commissioners there. The same thing also the Governor proposes shall be done by the Transvaal Government." And the king's reply to the messengers was expressive : " I am very glad to hear what you say I shall now be able to sleep." On March 7th the Commission met at Rorke's Drift, and sat for about five weeks, taking evidence day by day in presence of the representatives deputed, three by the Transvaal Government, and three by the Zulus. Of the three gentlemen who formed the Commission, one was Sir T. Shepstone's brother, already mentioned in this history, whose natural bias would therefore certainly not be upon the Zulu side of the question ; another was a Government official and an acute lawyer ; and the third, Colonel Durnford, to the writer's personal know- ledge, entered upon the subject with an entirely unbiassed mind, and with but one intention or desire, that of discovering the actual truth, whatever it might be. The only thing by which his expectations rather than his opinions were in the least influenced before- hand, was the natural suppositioD, shared by all, that Sir T. Shepstone, who had the reputation of being in his public capacity one of the most cautious of men, must have some strong grounds for his very positive statement of the Transvaal claim. There was, plainly, some slight confusion in the minds of the three Transvaal delegates, as to their position relative to the Commissioners, with whom they apparently expected to be on equal terms, and in a different position altogether from the Zulu dele- THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 181 gates on the other side. This, however, was a manifest mistake. It was particularly desirable that the Zulus should be made to feel that it was no case of white against black ; but a matter in which impartial judges treated either side with equal fairness, and without respect of persons. One of the Commissioners was the brother of their chief opponent, one of the Transvaal delegates his son ; it would naturally have seemed to the Zulus that the six white men (five out of whom were either Englishmen, or claimed to be such) were combining together to outwit them, had they seen them, evidently on terms of friendship, seated together at the inquiry or talking amongst themselves in their own language. The Commissioners, however, were careful to avoid this mistake. Finding, on their arrival at Korke's Drift, that the spot intended for their encampment was already occupied by the Transvaal delegates, who had arrived before them, they caused their own tents to be pitched at some little distance, in order to keep the two apart. The same system was carried out during the sitting of the Court, at which the Com- missioners occupied a central position at a table by themselves, the Transvaal delegates being placed at a smaller table on one hand, mats being spread for the Zulu delegates, in a like position, on the other.* * The Zulus, of course, would not have appreciated the con- venience of a table and chairs ; they had no " documents " to lay upon the former ; and their opinion of the pornfort of the latter is best expressed by the well-known Zulu saying that, " Only Englishmen and chickens sit upon perches" The mats provided for them were, therefore, a proper equivalent to the tables and seats placed for the other delegates. 182 THE ZULU WAR. Care was also necessary to prevent any possible" altercations arising between the Boer and Zulu at- tendants of either party of delegates, who, in fact, formed the one real element of danger in the affair. On one occasion, during the sitting of the Commission, Colonel Durnford observed a Boer poking at a Zulu with his stick, in a manner calculated to bring to the surface some of the feelings of intense irritation common to both sides, and only kept under control by the presence of the Commissioners. The Colonel at once put a stop to this, and placing a sentry between the two parties, with orders to insist on either keeping to its own side of the ground, no further disturbance took place. Popular rumour, of course, greatly exagge- rated the danger of the situation, catching as usual at the opportunity for fresh accusations against the Zulu king, who, it was once reported from Durban, had sent an impi to Eorke's Drift, and had massacred the Commissioners and all upon the spot. Fortunately the same day that brought this report to Pietermaritzburg, brought also letters direct from the Commissioners them- selves, of a later date than the supposed massacre, and in which the Zulus were spoken of as "perfectly quiet." That the impartial conduct of the Commissioners had the desired effect is manifest from Cetshwayo's words, spoken after the conclusion of the inquiry, but before its result had been made known to him. His messengers, after thanking Sir Henry Bulwer in the name of their king* and people for appointing the com- mission, said that " Cetshwayo and the Zulu people are perfectly satisfied with the way in which the inquiry THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 183 was conducted throughout, the way in which everything went on from day to day in proper order, and without the least misunderstanding ; but that each party under- stood the subject that was being talked about. "Cetshwayo says," they continued, "he now sees that he is a child of this Government, that the desire of this Government is to do him justice. . . . " Cetshwayo and the Zulu people are awaiting with beating hearts what the Lieut. -Governor will decide about the land that the Boers have given the Zulus so much trouble about ; for the Zulus wish very much now to reoccupy the land they never parted with, as it is now the proper season (of the year) for doing so." Such was Cetshwayo's frame of mind (even before he knew that the decision was in his favour) at a time when he was popularly represented as being in an aggressive, turbulent condition, preparing to try his strength against us, and only waiting his opportunity to let loose upon Natal the " war-cloud " which he was supposed to keep "hovering on our borders." The boundary question resolved itself into this : 1. To whom did the land in dispute belong in the first instance ? 2. Was it ever ceded or sold by the original possessors ? 1. In answer to the first question, the Commissioners took the treaty made in 1843, between the English and the Zulus, as a standpoint fixing a period when the territory in dispute belonged entirely to one or other. There was then no question but that the Zulu country extended over the whole of it. 184 THE ZULU WAR. 2, The Zulus deny ever having relinquished any part of their country to the Boers, who on the other hand assert that formal cessions had been made to them of considerable districts. With the latter rested the obligation of proving their assertions, which were simply denied by the Zulus, who accordingly, as they said themselves, " had no witnesses to call," having received no authority from the king to do more than point out the boundary claimed* (2242, p. 80). The Boer delegates brought various documents, from which they professed to prove the truth of their asser- tions, but which were decided by the Commissioners to be wholly worthless, from the glaring discrepancies and palpable falsehoods which they contained. One of these documents, dated March 16th, 1861, "purporting to give an account of a meeting between Sir T. Shepstone, Panda, and Cetshwayo," they decided to be plainly a fabrication, as Sir T. Shepstone did not arrive at Nodwengu,t from Natal, to meet Panda and Cetshwayo, until May 9th, 1861. Other records of cessions of land professed to be signed by the king, but were witnessed by neither Boer nor Zulu, or else by Boers alone. A definition of boundaries was in one case ratified by one Zulu only, a man of no rank or importance ; and in other documents altera- tions were made, and dates inserted, clearly at another time. * Sir Bartle Frere gives a very unfair account of this matter-of- course fact when he transmits to the Secretary of State the above despatch, " informing me of the incomplete result, in consequence of the attitude of Cetshwayo's representatives at the Commission of Inquiry." f The king's kraal at that time. THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 185 Meanwhile it was apparent, from authentic Boer official papers, that the Zulus were threatened by the Boer Government that, if they dared to complain again to the British Government, the South African Eepublic " would deal severely with them, and that they would also endanger their lives ; " while such expressions used by the Volksraad of the South African Kepublic as the following, when they resolve "to direct the Government to continue in the course it had adopted with reference to the policy on the eastern frontier, with such caution as the Volksraad expects from the Government with con- fidence ; and in this matter to give it the right to take such steps as will more fully benefit the interests of the population than the strict words of the law of the country lay down " (2220, p. 337), convicts them of dishonesty out of their own mouths. Finally the Commissioners report that in their judgment, east of the Buffalo, " there has been no cession of land at all by the Zulu kings, past or present, or by the nation." They consider, however, that as the Utrecht district has long been inhabited by Boers, who have laid out the site for a town, and built upon it, and as the Zulu nation had virtually acquiesced in the Boer authority over it by treating with them for the rendition of fugitives who had taken refuge there the Transvaal should be allowed to retain that portion of the land in dispute, compensation being given to the Zulus inhabiting that district if they surrendered the lands occupied by them and returned to Zululand, or permission being given them to become British subjects and to continue to occupy the land. 186 THE ZULU WAR. Sir Bartle Frere's version of this is as follows : "The Commissioners propose to divide the area in dispute between the Blood Eiver and the Pongolo, giving to neither party the whole of its claim." He then quotes the recommendation of the Commissioners, that compensation should be given to Zulus leaving the Utrecht district, and wants to know what is to be done for the farmers who " in good faith, and relying on the right and power of the Transvaal Government to protect them, had settled for many years past on the tract which the Commission proposes to assign to the Zulus." He wishes to know how they are to be placed on an equality with the Zulus from the Utrecht district. To this Sir Henry Bulwer ably replies by pointing out that compensation to the said farmers lies with their own Government, by whose sanction or permission they had occupied land over which that Government had no power by right. In fact, far from " dividing the area in dispute," and. giving half to either party on equal terms, the reservation of the Utrecht district was rather an unavoidable concession to the Boers who had long had actual possession of it which, with due compensation, the Zulus would have been ready enough to make, while receiving back so much of their own land than an acknowledgment that they could make good their original claim to it. The Commissioners indeed say distinctly " there has been no cession of land at all by the Zulu king, past or present, or by the nation" But indeed, after the decision in favour of the Zulus was given, Sir Bartle Frere entirely changed the complacent tone in which he had spoken of the Commission before- THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 187 hand. To all appearance his careful schemes for subju- gating the Zulu nation were thrown away the war and the South African Empire were on the point of eluding his grasp. He had sent to England for reinforcements in direct opposition to the home policy, which for some years had been gradually teaching the colonies to depend upon themselves for protection, and therefore to refrain from rushing headlong into needless and dangerous wars, which might be avoided by a little exercise of tact and forbearance. He and his friend General Thesiger had laid out their campaign and had sent men-of-war to investigate the landing capabilities of the Zulu coast, and he had recommended Sir Henry Bulwer to inform the Zulu king when the latter expressed his disquietude on the subject of these men-of-war that the ships he saw were "for the most part English merchant vessels, but that the war-vessels of the English Government are quite sufficient to protect his (Cetshwayo's) coast from any descent by any other power" (October 6th, 1878, 2220, p. 307). Sir Henry Bulwer was too honest to carry out this recommendation, even had he not had the sense to know that Cetshwayo was accustomed to the passing of merchantmen, and was not to be thus taken in (sup- posing him to be likely to fear attacks from " foreign foes"). But the fact remains that, an English official of Sir Bartle Frere's rank has put on record, in an official despatch under his own hand, a deliberate proposal that the Zulu king should be tranquillised, and his well- founded suspicions allayed by a " figure of speech," shall we say ? 188 THE ZULU WAR. Every possible objection was made by Sir Bartle Frere to the decision of the Commissioners, and it was with the utmost difficulty that he was at last persuaded to ratify it, after a considerable period employed in pre- paring for a campaign, the idea of which he appears never for a minute to have relinquished. Sir T. Shep- stone protested against the decision, which, however, Sir Henry Bulwer upheld ; while Sir Bartle Frere finally decides that " Sir H. Bulwer and I, approaching the question by somewhat different roads, agree in the conclusion that we must accept the Commissioners' verdict." Their report was made on June 20th, 1878, but it was not until November 16th that Sir H. Bulwer sent to Cetshwayo to say that "the Lieut. -Governor is now in a position to inform Cetshwayo that His Excellency the High Commissioner has pronounced his award, etc.," and to fix twenty days from the date of the departure of the messengers carrying this message from Pietermaritzburg, as a convenient time for a meeting on the borders of the two countries at the Lower Tugela Drift, at which the decision should be delivered to the king's indunas by officers of the Government appointed for the purpose. But before this conclusion was arrived at another attempt had been made to bring accusations against Cetshwayo, who said himself at the time (June 27th, 1878) : "The name of Cetshwayo is always used amongst the Boers as being the first to wish to quarrel." Alarming accounts reached the Natal Government of a fresh military kraal having been built by the king, and notices to quit being served by him upon Boers within THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 189 the disputed territory, in spite of his engagement to await the decision of the Commissioners. The farmers complained of being obliged to fly, "leaving homes, homesteads, and improvements to be destroyed by a savage, unbridled, revengeful nation."* Sir T. Shep- stone re-echoed their complaint (2220, p. 27), and Sir Bartle Frere comments severely upon the alleged Zulii aggressions. The matter, however, when sifted, sinks into insig- nificance. Some squabbles had taken place between individual Boers and Zulus, such as were only natural in the unsettled state of things; and Cetshwayo's ex- planation of the so-called " notices to quit" placed them in a very different light. Sir Henry Bulwer writes to Sir Bartle Frere as follows on this point (July 16th) : " The Zulu king says that all the message he sent was a request that the Boers should be warned not to return to the disputed country, as he was informed they were doing since the meeting of the Commission. We know that some of the Boers did return to the disputed territory after the Commission broke up ; t and this, no doubt, was looked * The homestead specially spoken of in this case does not appear to have been destroyed or injured till March, 1879, in the midst of the war, nor was any human being, white or black, belonging to these farms, killed by this " savage, unbridled, revengeful nation," before the war began. t Apparently by Sir T. Shepstone's orders, as the following phrase appears in one of the Boer protests against arbitration, April 25th, 1873 : " The majority of the people have, by order of your Excellency, trekked into laager on December 14th last, and after having remained in laager for nearly five months, we are to go and live on our farms again" 190 THE ZULU WAR. upon by the Zulus as an attempt on the part of the Boers to anticipate the result of the inquiry, and led to the giving those notices. . . . The fault has been, no doubt, on both sides." The military kraal, also, turned out to be no more of the nature ascribed to it than was its predecessor : "An ordinary private Zulu kraal" see report of Mr. Eudolph (2144, p. 186) " built simply to have a kraal in that locality, where many of Cetshwayo's people are residing without a head or kraal representing the king .... the king having given instructions that neither the white nor the native subjects of the Transvaal were in any way to be molested or disturbed by the Zulus ; " and having sent a small force to do the work, because the large one he had sent on a previous occasion had frightened the white people. Colonel Pearson, commanding the troops in Natal and the Transvaal, writes, June 8th, 1878 (2144, p. 236) : " The Landrost of Utrecht I know to be somewhat of an alarmist, and the border farmers have all along been in a great fright, and much given to false reports. I allude more particularly to the Boers. I enclose Lieut.-Colonel Durnford's views of the kraal question. He is an officer who knows South Africa intimately, and his opinion I consider always sound and intelligent." And the following is the statement of Lieut.-Colonel Durnford, K.E., June 8th, 1878 (2144, p. 237) : " I know the district referred to, in which are many Zulu kraals, and believe that, if such a military kraal is in course of erection on the farm of one Kohrs, believed to be a field-cornet in the Wakkerstroom district, TEE BOUNDARY COMMISSION. 191 residing about fifteen miles from the mission station of the Rev. Mr. Meyer, it is being constructed that order may be kept amongst the Zulus here residing who owe allegiance to the Zulu king alone and in the interests of peace. ... I further believe that, if the German or other residents at or near Luneburg have been ordered to leave, it is not by orders of the King of Zululand, who is far too wise a man to make a false move at present, when the boundary between himself and the Transvaal is under consideration." The excitement concerning the "notices to quit," and the second " military kraal," appears to have been as unnecessary as any other imaginary Zulu scare ; and there are no proofs to be extracted from the official papers at this period of the slightest signs of aggressive temper on the part of the Zulu king. On the contrary ; if we turn to the " Message from Cetywayo, King of the Zulus, to His Excellency the Lieut.-Governor of Natal," dated November 10th, 1878, we find the concluding paragraph runs : " Cetywayo hereby swears, in presence of Oham, Mnyamana, Tshingwayo, and all his other chiefs, that he has no intention or wish to quarrel with the English." (P, P. [C. 2308] p. 16). CHAPTER XL SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES IN ZULULAND. MUCH has been said of late years concerning the duty imposed by our superior civilisation upon us English, in our dealings with the South African races, of checking amongst the latter such cruel and savage practices as are abhorrent to Christian ideas and practices. We will proceed to show how this duty has been performed by the Government of Natal. One of the commonest accusations brought against the Zulus, and perhaps the most effectual in rousing English indignation and disgust, is that of buying and selling women as wives, and the cruel treatment of young girls who refuse to be thus purchased. Without entering into the subject upon its merits, or inquiring how many French and English girls yearly are, to all intents and purposes, sold in marriage, and what amount of moral pressure is brought to bear upon the reluctant or rebellious amongst them ; or whether they suffer more or less under the infliction than their wild sisters in Zululand do under physical correction ; we may observe that the terrors of the Zulu system have SIHAYO, UHBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 193 been very much exaggerated. That cruel and tyrannical things have occasionally been done under it no one will deny, still less that every effort should have been made by us to introduce a better one. Amongst the Zulus, both in their own country and in Natal, marriages are commonly arranged by the parents, and the young people are expected to submit, as they would be in civilised France. But the instance which came most directly under the present writer's own observation, is one rather tending to prove that the custom is one which, although occasionally bearing hardly upon individuals, has been too long the practice of the people, and to which they have always been brought up, to be looked upon by them as a crying evil, calling for armed intervention on the part of England. In the early days of missionary work at Bishopstowe (between 1860-70), five girls took refuge at the station within a few days of each other, in order to avoid marriages arranged for them by their parents, and objected to by them. They dreaded pretty forcible coercion, although of course, in Natal, they could not actually be put to death. They were, of course, received and protected at Bishopstowe, clothed, and put to school, and there they : might have remained in safety for any length of time, or until they could return home on their own terms. But the restraint of the civilised habits imposed on them, however gently, and the obligation of learning to read, sew, and sweep, etc., was too much for these wild young damsels, accustomed at home to a free and idle life.*" Within a few weeks they all elected to return * The married women work in the uiealie-gardens, etc., and the little girls carry the babies ; but the marriageable young women seem to have an interval of happy freedom from all labour and care. 194 THE ZULU WAR. home and marry the very men on whose account they had fled ; and the conclusion finally arrived at concern- ing them was, that their escapade was rather for the sake of attaching a little additional importance to the surrender of their freedom, than from any real objection to the marriages proposed for them. Now let us see what means had been taken by the English to institute a better state of things and greater liberty for the women. In Natal itself, of course, any serious act of violence committed to induce a girl to marry would be punished by law, and girls in fear of such violence could usually appeal for protection to the magistrates or missionaries. Let us suppose that a girl, making such an appeal, receives protection, and is married to the man of her own choice by English law and with Christian rites. What is the consequence to her ? She has no rights as a wife, in fact she is not lawfully a wife at all, nor have her children any legal claims upon their father ; the law of the colony protects the rights of native women married by native custom, which it virtually encourages by giving no protection at all to those who contract marriages by the English, or civilised system.* So much for our dealings with the Zulus of Natal ; and even less can be said for us concerning those over the border. Until quite lately the practice existed in the colony * This was comprehensible during the attempt, which proved so signal a failure, on the part of Sir T. Shepstone, to impose a marriage tax upon the natives. The tax was so extremely unpopular that it was thought advisable to relinquish it, and to make the desired increase in the revenue of the colony by doubling the hut-tix. SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 195 of surrendering to Zulu demands refugee women, as well as cattle, as " property," under an order from the Natal Government, which was in force at the time of Sir H. Bulwer's arrival, but was at some time after rescinded.* It was well known that, by the laws of Zululand, the offence of a woman's escaping from her husband with another man was punishable by death, therefore unhappy creatures thus situated were delivered up by the Natal Government to certain death, and this practice had been continued through a course of many years. The law being altered in this respect, and cattle only returned, Sir H. Bulwer writes, on February 3rd, 1877 : "Some few weeks ago I had occasion to send a message to Cetywayo on account of the forcible removal from Natal territory of a Zulu girl, who had lately taken refuge in it from the Zulu country. A party of Zulus had crossed the Tugela Eiver in pursuit, and taken the girl by force back to Zululand. I therefore sent to inform Cetywayo of this lawless act on the part of some of his subjects" (1776, pp. 86, 87) ; and Cetshwayo replies with thanks, saying that he knew nothing previously of what had happened, and that " should anything of the same kind take place to-morrow he (the Governor of Natal) must still open my ears with what is done by my people." This is apparently all. There is no attempt to make a serious national matter of it ; no demand for the surrender of the offenders, nor for the payment of a * Sir T. Sliepstone, when he says (1137, r p. 18) "Natal gives up the cattle of Zulu refugees. . . . The refugees themselves are not given up," plainly includes -women amongst the cattle or " property " of the Zulus. o 2 196 THE ZULU WAR. fine. Nor is there even a warning that any future occurrence of the same description will be viewed in a more severe light. Sir Henry " informs " Cetshwayo of what has taken place, and Cetshwayo politely acknow- ledges the information, and that the action taken by his people deserves censure. "I do not send and take by force/' he says ; fc why should my people do so ? It is not right." Eighteen months later, on July 28th, 1878, a similar case was reported. A wife of the chief Sihayo had left him and escaped into Natal. She was followed by a party of Zulus, under Mehlokazulu, the chief son of Sihayo, and his brother, seized at the kraal where she had taken refuge, and carried back to Zululand, where she was put to death, in accordance with Zulu law. The Zulus who seized her did no harm to Natal people or property ; in fact their only fault towards England was that of following and seizing her on Natal soil, an act which for many years, and until quite lately, they would have been permitted to do, and assisted in doing, by the border Government officials. A week later the same young men, with two other brothers and an uncle, captured in like manner another refugee wife of Sihayo, in the company of the young man with whom she had fled. This woman was also carried back, and is supposed to have been put to death likewise ; the young man with her, although guilty in Zulu eyes of a most heinous crime, punishable with death, was safe from them on English soil they did not touch him. But by our own practice for years past, of surrendering female refugees as property, we. SIHAYO, UHBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 197 had taught the Zulus that we regarded women as cattle. While fully acknowledging the savagery of the young men's actions, and the necessity of putting a stop to such for the future, it must be conceded that, having so long countenanced the like, we should have given fair notice that, for the future, it would be an act of aggression on us for a refugee of either sex to be followed into our territory, before proceeding to stronger measures. Sir Henry Bulwer, indeed, though taking a decided view of the young men's offence, plainly understood that it was an individual fault, and not a political action for the performance of which the king was responsible. " There is no reason whatsoever as yet to believe that these acts have been committed with the consent or knowledge of the king,""'" he says (2220, p. 125), and his message to Cetshwayo merely requests that he will send in the ringleaders of the party to be tried by the law of the colony. On a previous occasion the king had, of his own accord, sent a Zulu named Jolwana to the Natal Government to be punished by it for the murder of a white man in the Zulu country. Jolwana was returned upon his hands with the message that he could not be tried in Natal as he was a Zulu subject. Under these circumstances it was not unnatural that Cetshwayo * And later, tfov. 18, 1878 (2222, p. 173), he says: " I do not hold the King responsible for the commission of the act, because there is nothing to show that it had his previous concurrence or even cogni- zance. Eut he becomes responsible for the act after its commission, and for such reparation as we may consider is due for it." 398 THE ZULU WAE. should have taken the opportunity, apparently offered him by the use of the word request, of substituting some other method of apology for the offence committed than that of delivering up the young men, who, as he after- wards said, he was afraid would be "sjambokked" (flogged). Cetshwayo's first answer is merely one acknow- ledging the message, and regretting the truth of the accusation brought by it. He allows that the young men deserve punishment, and he engages to send indunas of his own to the Natal Government on the subject; but he deprecates the matter being looked upon in a more serious light than as the " act of rash boys," who in their zeal for their father's house (? honour) did not think what they were doing. About this date, August, 1878, when all sorts of wild reports were flying about, in and out of official docu- ments, relative to Cetshwayo's supposed warlike pre- parations, he had ordered that none of his people should carry arms on pain of death. This was in consequence of a circumstance which had occurred some months before (January, 1878), when during the Umkosi, or feast of first-fruits, a great Zulu gathering which annually takes place at the king's kraal, two of the regiments fell out and finally came to blows, resulting in the death of some men on either side. Sir B. Frere says, in his correspondence with the Bishop (p. 4), that many hundred men were killed on this occa- sion ; but Mr. F. Colenso, who happened to be there a few days after the fight, heard from a white man, who had helped to remove the dead, that about fifty were SIHAYO, UMBILINI,AND THE MISSIONARIES. 199 killed. In consequence of this, " an order had gone forth, forbidding native Zulus, when travelling, to carry arms, nothing but switches being allowed. A fire took place, which burned the grass over Panda's grave,'* and the doctors declared that the spirits of Dingane and Chaka had stated that they view with surprise and disgust the conduct of the Zulus at the present day in fighting when called before their king; that this was the reason Panda's grave was burned ; and such things would continue until they learned to be peaceful among themselves, and wait until they are attacked by other natives before spilling blood." Cetshwayo's next message, September 9th (2260, p. 32), after he had inquired into the matter of Sihayo's sons, acknowledges again that they had done wrong, but observes that he was glad to find that they had hurt no one belonging to the English. "What they had done was done without his knowledge. The request of the Natal Government concerning the surrender of the offenders, he said, should be laid before the great men of the Zulu people, to be decided upon by them ; he could not do it alone, He finally, with full and courteous apologies in the same tone, begs that the Natal Government will accept, instead of the persons of the young men, a fine of fifty pounds, which he sent down by his messengers, but which was promptly refused. Sir Henry Bulwer appears to have been inclined to allow of the substitution of a larger fine for the surrender of the culprits (2222, * Since rifled by our troops, and the bones of the old king brought over to England. 200 THE ZULU WAR. p. 173) ; but Sir B. Frere insists on severer measures, saying : " I think it quite necessary that the delivery up to justice of the offenders in this case should have been demanded* and should now be peremptorily insisted on, together with a fine for the delay in complying with the reiterated demand. John Dunn, who is supposed to have advised the king to send money as an atonement, affirms that the in- vasion had been mutual, fugitives from justice having been fetched out of Zululand by Natal officers ; and he (Dunn) asks whether outraged husbands, even amongst civilised people, are prone to pay much respect to the rights of nations when upon the track of their unfaithful spouses. Plainly, neither he nor the king looked upon the matter in so serious a light as Sir Bartle Frere chose to do when he said, September 30th, 1878 (2220, p. 280), " and, unless apologised and atoned for by compliance with the Lieut. -Governor's demands (?) that the leader of the murderous gangs shall be given up to justice, it will be necessary to send to the Zulu king an ultimatum, which must put an end to pacific relations with our neighbours."^ Sir M. Hicks-Beach, in reply to Sir B. Frere's last- quoted despatch, writes, November 21st : " The abduction and murder of the Zulu woman who had taken refuge * Xo " demand " was made until it appeared in Sir B. Frere's ultimatum. f On perusing the above italicised words, one learns for the first time that the ultimatum, which Sir Bartle Frere sent to the Zulu king a few months later, was actually sent for the express purpose of putting " an end to pacific relations with our neighbours." This is hardly the light in which the British public has been taught to look upon the matter. SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 201 in Natal is undoubtedly a serious matter, and no sufficient reparation for it has yet been made. But I observe that Cetshwayo has expressed his regret for this occur- rence ; and although the compensation offered by him was inadequate, there would seem to have been nothing in his conduct with regard to it which would preclude the hope of a satisfactory arrangement." (P. P. [C. 2220], p. 320). But the whole of Sir Bartle Frere's statements at this period concerning Cetshwayo are one-sided, exaggerated, or entirely imaginary accusations, which come in the first instance with force from a man of his importance, but for which not the slightest grounds can be traced in any reliable or official source. He brings grave charges against the king, which are abso- lutely contradicted by the official reports from which he draws his information ; he places before the public as actual fact what, on investigation, is plainly nothing more than his own opinion of what Cetshwayo thinks, wishes, or intends, and what his thoughts, wishes, and intentions may be at a future period. Every circum- stance is twisted into a proof of his inimical intentions towards Natal, the worst motives are taken for granted in all he does. When the king's messages were sent through the ordinary native messengers between him and the Government of Natal, they are termed mere " verbal " messages (as what else should they be ?), not " satisfactory or binding ; " when they were sent through Mr. John Dunn they were called " unofficial,'"' although Mr. Dunn had been repeatedly recognised, and by Sir B. Frere himself, as an official means of communication 202 THE ZULU WAR. with Cetshwayo on matters of grave importance ; and, when Mr. Dunn writes, on his own account, his opinion that the "boys" will not be given up, Sir B. Frere calls his letter "a similar informal message (i.e. from the king), couched in insolent and defiant terms." In nothing that passed between the king and the Govern- ment of Natal during this whole period is there one single word, on Cetshwayo's part, which could possibly be thus described. There are, indeed, many apologies and entreaties to the Government to be satisfied with some other atoDement for the fault committed than the surrender of the culprits, and there is a great deal from various sources, official and otherwise, about cattle collected, even beyond the demands of the Government, as a propitiation ; but of Sir B. Frere's " semi-sarcastic, insolent, and defiant " messages not one word. It would take many pages to point out how utterly misleading is every word spoken by the High Com- missioner on this subject, but to those who are curious in the matter, and in proof of the truth of our present statements, we can only recommend the South African Blue-books of 1878-79. We cannot, however, better illustrate our meaning than by a quotation from Lord Blachford (Daily News, March 26th, 1872): "What did Sir B. Frere say to all this ? He was really ashamed to answer that he did not know. He had studied the series of despatches in which Sir B. Frere defended his conduct, and he willingly acknowledged the exuberance of literary skill which they exhibited. But when he tried to grapple with them he felt like a man who was defending himself with a stick against a cloud of locusts. SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND TEE MISSIONARIES. 203 He might knock down one, and knock down another, but 'the cry is still they come/ His only consolation was, that they did not appear to have convinced Her Majesty's Government, whose replies were from beginning to end a series of cautions, qualifications, and protests." On turning to the subject of the robber chief, Umbilini, and his raids, we are at once confronted by the fact that he was not a Zulu at all, but a Swazi, and a claimant to the Swazi throne. His claim had not been approved by the majority of the Swazi nation, and his brother Umbandeni, the present king, was appointed instead. Umbilini, however, was not a man to quietly sink into an inferior position, and having taken posses- sion, with his followers, of some rocky caves in the borderland, forming an almost impregnable fortress, he lived for many years, much in the fashion of the border freebooters of whose doings we read in Scottish history, making raids upon his neighbours on all sides, and .carrying off cattle, women, and children. His expe- ditions were most frequently directed towards the party against him in his own country, but neither his Boer nor Zulu neighbours escaped entirely. On first leaving Swaziland he went to offer homage to the Zulu king, and was given land to settle upon in Zululand. No doubt Cetshwayo looked upon a warrior of Umbilini's known prowess as rather an important vassal, especially in the event of a war between him and his ancient enemies the Swazis, in which case Umbilini's adherence would probably divide the enemy amongst themselves. But he appears to have been in perpetual trouble on account of his turbulent vassal, and to have given him 204 THE ZULU WAR. up altogether at one time. After a raid committed by him upon the Dutch, the latter applied to Cetshwayo to have him delivered up to them. " I could not do this/' says Cetshwayo ; "I should have got a bad name if I had done so, and people would have said it was not good to Jconza (pay homage) to Cetshwayo. I therefore refused, but paid one hundred head of cattle for the offence he had committed;""" and Cetshwayo's own account to Mr. Fynney is as follows (1961) : " Umbilini came to me for refuge from his own people, the Ama-Swazis, and I afforded him shelter ; what would the world have said had I denied it to him ? But, while allowing him to settle in the land as my subject, I have always been particularly careful to warn my people not to afford him any assistance or become mixed up in any quarrel between him and the Boers ; and although I do not deny that he is my subject, still I will not endorse his misdeeds. When Mr. Rudolph complained to me of the trouble Umbilini was giving, I told Mr. Rudolph to kill him I should not shield him ; this the Boers tried to do, but, as usual, made a mess of it." In fact, on a repetition of Umbilini's offence against the Boers, Cetshwayo refused to be longer responsible for his acts, and gave the Dutch permission to kill him. They fought him, and were beaten by him with his small band of only nineteen men. On a subsequent occasion, after a raid committed by Umbilini upon the Swazis, Cetshwayo was so incensed that he sent out a * Mr. H. Shepstone (Secretary for Native Affairs in the Transvaal) acknowledges that this fine was paid (2222, p. 99). SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 205 party to take and kill him ; but he got notice beforehand, and escaped. Sir Bartle Frere chooses to consider the king respon- sible for all Umbilini's doings, and even Sir H. Bulwer says : " The king disowned Umbilini's acts. . . . But there is nothing to show that he has in any way punished him, and, on the contrary, it is quite certain (of which ' certainty/ however, no proofs are forth- coming) that even if Umbilini did not act with the express orders of Cetshwayo, he did so with the know- ledge that what he was doing would be agreeable to the king " (2260, p. 46). This accusation was made in January, 1879, and refers to raids of the previous year, by which time, as the Swazis were our allies and the Boers our subjects, Umbilini's raids in all directions except those on the Zulu side had become offences to us for which Cetshwayo was held responsible. In point of fact, it was no such simple matter to " punish " Umbilini, whose natural fortress could be held by a couple of men against any- thing short of the cannon which Cetshwayo did not possess. Nor was it singular that, at a time when the king had already strong suspicions that his country was about to be attacked, he should not have wasted his strength in subduing one who, in the event of war, would be most useful to himself. That, when the evil day came and his country was invaded, Cetshwayo should have made common cause with all who would or could assist him is a mere matter of course, and it was but natural that so bold and skilful a leader as Umbilini has proved himself to be should then 206 THE ZULU WAR. have been promoted and favoured by the unfortunate king. We need scarcely say more upon this point, beyond calling our readers' attention to the fact that the expres- sions "Zulu raids" "indiscriminate massacres" "viola- tion by the Zulus of Transvaal territory" " horrible cruelties" (2308, p. 62, and elsewhere), so freely scattered through the despatches written to prove the criminality of the Zulu king, all, without exception, apply to acts committed either by Umbilini and his (chiefly) Swazi followers, or by Manyonyoba, a small but independent native chief, living north of the Pongolo.* The " case of Messrs. Smith and Deighton " is the only charge against the Zulu king, in connection with Natal, which we have now to consider, and it is one in which, as we shall see, a great deal was made of a very small matter. Mr. Smith, a surveyor in the Colonial Engineer's department, was on duty inspecting the road down to the Tugela, near Fort Buckingham. The Zulu mind being in a very excited state at the time owing to the obvious preparation for war, of which they heard reports from Natal, troops stationed at Grey town, and war-ships seen close to the Zulu shore, as though looking for a landing-place Mr. Smith was specially instructed to proceed upon his errand alone, and with great discre- * Manyonyoba owed allegiance to Cetshwayo (as did Umbilini). He lived north of the Pongolo, in a part of the country over which Sir Bartle Frere and Sir Henry Bulwer altogether deny Cetshwayo's supremacy, and was claimed as a subject of the Transvaal Government. SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 207 tion. By way of carrying out these directions he took with him only a trader Deighton by name and their discretion was shown by "taking no notice" when, having arrived at the drift into Zululand, they were questioned by Zulus, who were on guard there in con- sequence of rumours that our troops were about to cross. rr Mr. Wheelwright (a Government official), to whom the matter was reported a week after it occurred, not by Mr. Smith, the principal person concerned, but by Mr. Deighton, says : "The fact that the two white men took no notice of ' lots of Zulus shouting out ' from their own bank, ' What do you want there ? ' but ' walked quietly along/t as if they had not heard, or as if they were deaf, very naturally confirmed the suspicion that they were about no good." The consequence was, that when the white men reached an islet in the middle of the river (or rather one which is generally in the middle of the stream when it is full it was low at the time), they were seized by the Zulus, and detained by them for about an hour and a half, whilst all sorts of questions were asked : " What are you doing there ? " " What had the soldiers come to Grey town for ? " " What did the white men want coming down there ? There were two down not long * Sir H. Bulwer says " they have suspected, quite wrongly, that we had some design against them in making it " (the new road to the drift). It is to be questioned how far their suspicion was a wrongful one, seeing that it was understood from the first that the drift was intended especially for military purposes, and was undoubtedly inspected by Mr. Smith for the same. t Quotations from Mr. Deighton's report to Mr. Wheelwright. 208 THE ZULU WAR. ago, then other two only a few days since, and now there is other two ; you must come for some reason." However, after a time, they were allowed to depart, an attempt made to take their horses from them being prevented by the induna of the Zulus. Sir Bartle Frere does not seem to have thought very much of the matter at first, for Sir M. Hicks-Beach, when acknowledging his despatch reporting it, says (2220, p. 320) : "I concur with you in attributing no special im- portance to the seizure and temporary arrest of the sur- veyors, which was partly due to their own indiscretion, and was evidently in no way sanctioned by the Zulu authorities." But a little later although with no fresh facts before him Sir B. Frere takes a very different tone (2222, p. 176). " I cannot at all agree with the lenient view taken by the. Lieut.-Governor of this case. Had it stood quite alone, a prompt apology and punishment of the offenders might have been sufficient. As the case stands, it was only one of many instances of insult and threaten- ing, such as cannot possibly be passed over without severe notice being taken of them. What occurred," he says, " whether done by the king's order, or only by his border-guards, and subsequently only tacitly approved by his not punishing the offenders, seems to me a most serious insult and outrage, and should be severely noticed." There is no sign that it was ever brought to the king's knowledge, and when Sir B. Frere speaks of its being " only one of many instances of insult and threatening," SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 209 he is drawing largely on his imagination, as there is no other recorded at all, unless he means to refer to the " notices to quit " in the disputed territory of which we have already treated. We must now consider the points connected with the internal management of the Zulu country, which have generally been looked upon as a partial excuse for our invasion. Foremost amongst these is the infraction of the so-called " coronation promises," of which we have spoken in a previous chapter. Frequent rumours were current in Natal that the king, in defiance of the said promises, was in the habit of shedding the blood of his people upon the smallest provocation, and without any form of trial. Such stories of his inhuman atrocities were circulated in the colony that many kind-hearted and gentle people were ready to think that war would be a lesser evil. Yet, whenever one of these stories was examined into or traced to its source, it turned out either to be purely imaginary, or to have for its founda- tion some small act of more or less arbitrary authority, the justice of which we might possibly question, but to which no one would apply the words " barbarities," " savage murders," etc. An instance of the manner in which the Zulu king has obtained his character of " a treacherous and blood- thirsty sovereign,""'' came under the notice of the present writer about December of last year (1878). Happening to be on a visit to some friends in Pieter- maritzburg, and hearing them mention Cetshwayo's * Words applied to him by Mr. Brownlee, late Secretary for Native Affairs of the Cape Government. p 210 THE ZULU WAR. cruelties, I observed that I did not much credit them, as I had never yet met anyone who knew of them from any trustworthy source. I was met with the assurance that their " kitchen-Kafir," Tom, from whom they had received their accounts, was a personal witness, having himself escaped from a massacre, and they vouched for the truthfulness of the man's character. I asked and obtained permission to question the man in his own language, being myself anxious to find any real evidence on the subject, especially as, at that time with military preparations going on on every side it was apparent to all that "we" intended war, and one would have been glad to discover that there was any justification for it on our side. The same evening I took an opportunity of interrogating "Tom," saying, " So I hear that you know all about this wicked Zulu king. Tell me all about it." Whereupon the man launched out into a long account of the slaughter of his people, from which not even infants were spared, and from which he was one of the few who had escaped. He had plainly been accustomed to tell the tale (doubt- less a true one), and there were touches in it concerning the killing of the children which showed that he had been in the habit of recounting it to tender-hearted and horror-struck English mothers. When he had finished his tale I asked him when all the horrors which he had described had taken place. " Oh ! " he replied, "it was at the time of the fight between Cetshwayo and Umbulazi (1856) ; that was when I left Zululand." " And you have never been there since ? " SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 211 " No ; I should be afraid to go, for Cetshwayo kills always." "How do you know that?" I inquired, for he had started upon a fresh account of horrors relating to the time at which he was speaking. " Oh ! I know it is true," was the ready and confident reply, " because the white people here in 'Maritzburg tell me so out of the papers." In point of fact the man, on whose word to my own knowledge rested the belief of a considerable circle of the citizens, could only give personal evidence concerning what happened at the time of the great civil war, when Zululand was in such confusion that it would not be easy to distribute responsibility, and when Cetshwayo himself was a young man in the hands of his warriors. All he could tell of a later date he had himself learnt from " white people " in the town, who, again, had gathered their information from the newspapers; and Bishop Schreuder, long resident in Zululand, says : "I had not with my own eyes seen any corpse, and per- sonally only knew of them said to have been killed. . . . I myself had my information principally from the same sources as people in Natal, and often from Natal newspapers." The king's own reply to these accusations may be taken entire from Mr. Fynney's report on July 4th, 1877 (1961), with the portions of the message delivered by the latter to which it refers : "You have repeatedly acknowledged the house of England to be a great and powerful house, and have expressed yourself as relying entirely upon the good- p 2 212 THE ZULU WAR. will and power of that house for your own strength and the strength of the country over which you are king ; in fact you have always looked towards the English Government. "Which way is your face turned to-day? Do you look, and still desire to look, in the same direction ? Do you rely on the good-will and support of the British Government as much as you formerly did ? " The Government of Natal has repeatedly heard that you have not regarded the agreements you entered into with that Government, through its representative, Sir Theophilus Shepstone, on the occasion of your coronation. These agreements you entered into with the sun shining around you, but since that time you have practised great cruelties upon your people, putting great numbers of them to death. What do you say?" In reply to the above, Cetshwayo said : "I have not changed ; I still look upon the English as my friends, as they have not yet done or said anything to make me feel otherwise. They have not in any way turned my heart, therefore I feel that we have still hold of each other's hands. But you must know that from the first the Zulu nation grew up alone, separate and distinct from all others, and has never been subject to any other nation ; Tyaka (Chaka) was the first to find out the English and make friends with them ; he saved the lives of seven Englishmen from shipwreck at the mouth of the Umfolosi, he took care of them, and from that day even until now the English and Zulu nations have held each other's hands. The English nation is SIHAYO, UHBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 213 a just one, and we are together " (we are at one with each other). "I admit that people have been killed. There are three classes of wrong- doers that I kill (1) the abatakati witches, poisoners, etc. ; (2) those who take the women of the great house, those belonging to the royal household ; and (3) those who kill, hide, or make away with the king's cattle. I mentioned these three classes of wrong-doers to Somtseu (Sir T. Shepstone), when he came to place me as king over the Zulu nation, as those who had always been killed. I told him that it was our law, and that three classes of wrong-doers I would kill, and he replied : ' Well, I cannot put aside a standing law of the land.' I always give a wrong- doer three chances, and kill him if he passes the last. Evil-doers would go over my head if I did not punish them, and that is our mode of punishing. ... I do not see that I have in any way departed from, or broken in anything, the compact I made with the Natal Government through Somtseu." The next subject to be considered is that of the treatment of the missionaries and their converts in Zululand. Sir T. Shepstone, in his account of what passed at the installation of Cetshwayo, writes as follows (C. 1137, p. 19) : " The fourth point was the position of Christian missionaries and their converts. Cetywayo evidently regretted that they had ever been admitted at all, and had made up his mind to reduce their numbers by some means or other. ... He said they had committed no actual wrong, but they did no good, and that the tendency of their teaching was mischievous ; he added 216 THE ZULU WAR. converts, or even retaining those around them, were for the present at an end. ... I find there were all sorts of wild (?) rumours going about from station to station one that the British Government intended to annex Zululand at once. I am afraid that this and the like rumours have done harm. Several of the missionaries have been frequently to the king of late, and, as he told me, have worried him to such an extent that he does not want to see them any more."* In August of the same year Lord Carnarvon requests Sir Henry Bulwer to make a special point of causing "the missionaries to understand distinctly that Her Majesty's Government cannot undertake to compel the king to permit the maintenance of the mission stations in Zululand," and to recommend them, if they cannot carry on their work without armed support, to leave it for the present. Sir Henry Bulwer writes (2000, p. 33) : " The action taken by some of the missionaries in leaving that country has apparently proved not only unnecessary, but ill-advised for their own interests. The king was not sorry that they should go, but he was angry with them for going/' t and on January 26th, 1878, a message arrived from Cetshwayo, concerning those that remained, to this effect (2100, p. 61) : * On one of these visits a missionary is reported to have said to the king coarsely in Zulu, "You are a liar !" (unamanga !) upon which Cetshwayo turned his back to him, and spoke with him no more. f Or rather he was angry with them for the rudeness which they committed in going without taking leave. He said they had never received anything but kindness from him, and might as well have paid him the compliment of a farewell salutation. SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 217 " Cetshwayo states that he wishes His Excellency to know that he is not pleased with the missionaries in the Zulu country, as he finds out that they are the cause of much harm, and are always spreading false reports about the Zulu country, and (he) would wish His Excellency to advise them to remove, as they do no good." Shortly after the Kev. Mr. Oftebro and Dr. Oftebro, Norwegian missionaries from Zululand, were granted an interview by the Lieut. -Governor of Natal for the purpose of laying their case before His Excellency. The king, they said, had informed them that he was now quite persuaded that they had communicated to the governors of Natal and the Transvaal, and to the editors of the public papers in Natal, all important matters that occurred in the Zulu country that the accounts they sent were not even truthful and that he had believed these missionaries were " men," but that he now found them to be his enemies. They believed that amongst the " white men," from whom he had obtained his information, were Mr. John Mullins, a trader, and Mr. F. E. Colenso, a son of the Bishop of Natal, who had been at the king's kraal for some six days and who, they said, "had translated, for the king's information, accounts of doings in the Zulu country, from several newspapers of the colony." This last, as it happens, was pure fiction. Sir Henry Bulwer, indeed, believed it at the time, and wrote upon it as follows (2100, p. 89) : " I notice in Messrs. Smith and Colenso's letter to the Earl of Carnarvon, a statement to the effect that the disposition and dealings of Cetshwayo had been 218 THE ZULU WAR. sedulously misrepresented by the missionaries and by the Press. And this statement tends, I am afraid, to confirm the belief that Mr. F. E. Colenso, when he lately visited the Zulu country, . . . made certain representations regarding the missionaries in Zululand, which were greatly calculated to prejudice the king's mind against them, or against some of them." But Mr. Colenso, on seeing for the first time the above statements in the Blue-book, wrote to Sir M. Hicks-Beach as follows (2220, p. 318): " The suspicions expressed by the missionaries as to my proceedings are entirely without foundation in fact. So far from attempting to prejudice the king's mind against them, I confined myself, in the little I did say to Cetshwayo on the subject, to supporting their cause with him. The king had received, through some of his various channels of information, an account of the numerous contributions made by missionaries and others living under his protection in Zululand, to the colonial newspapers, and in particular, of an exaggerated and sensational report, written by the Zululand corre- spondent of The Natal Mercury, of the catastrophe which occurred at the annual Feast of Firstfruits some ten days before my last conversation with the king, which report he attributed to the Eev. Mr. Eobertson, from the fact that his waggon -driver was the only white man present on the occasion, except Dr. Oftebro, Mr. Mullins, and Mr. Dunn. Cetshwayo expressed himself as indignant at the conduct of Mr. Eobertson, who, he said, had never, during his long residence in Zululand, received anything but good treatment at the SIHAYO, UMBILIN1, AND TEE MISSIONARIES. 210 hands of his (Cetshwayo's) father and himself, and, he added, ' I have borne with him too long/ To this I replied that, if he had any distinct ground of complaint against Mr. Eobertson, he (the king) should get it set down in writing, and send it to His Excellency the Lieut. -Governor of Natal; and I wished him to understand that any different course would be pro- ductive of no good effect. I then told Cetshwayo, omitting further reference to Mr. Kobertson, that in my opinion the presence of the missionaries as a body in his country was a great advantage to him, and that they merited his protection. He disclaimed having ever treated them with anything but great con- sideration." The particular statement of the two missionaries Oftebro, concerning the translation of newspapers, also Mr. Colenso specially and distinctly contradicts, saying that he had no newspapers with him nor extracts of newspapers, nor were any such read to Cetshwayo in his presence. Sir H. Bulwer states, at the request of the Messrs. Oftebro (2100, p. 61), that no member of the Norwegian mission had supplied this Government with information as above. But it does not follow that no such commu- nications had been made to Sir B. Frere and Lord Carnarvon. Missionaries had written anonymously to the colonial papers, and the account in The Natal Mercury of the fight at the Umkosi was attributed by Cetshwayo, not without reason, to the Eev. R Kobertson. The tone of this letter, and its accuracy, may be gathered from the following extract, referring to the land which, 218 THE ZULU WAR. sedulously misrepresented by the missionaries and by the Press. And this statement tends, I am afraid, to confirm the belief that Mr. F. E. Colenso, when he lately visited the Zulu country, . . . made certain representations regarding the missionaries in Zululand, which were greatly calculated to prejudice the king's mind against them, or against some of them." But Mr. Colenso, on seeing for the first time the above statements in the Blue-book, wrote to Sir M. Hicks-Beach as follows (2220, p. 318): " The suspicions expressed by the missionaries as to my proceedings are entirely without foundation in fact. So far from attempting to prejudice the king's mind against them, I confined myself, in the little I did say to Cetshwayo on the subject, to supporting their cause with him. The king had received, through some of his various channels of information, an account of the numerous contributions made by missionaries and others living under his protection in Zululand, to the colonial newspapers, and in particular, of an exaggerated and sensational report, written by the Zululand corre- spondent of The Natal Mercury, of the catastrophe which occurred at the annual Feast of Firstfruits some ten days before my last conversation with the king, which report he attributed to the Eev. Mr. Kobertson, from the fact that his waggon -driver was the only white man present on the occasion, except Dr. Oftebro, Mr. Mullins, and Mr. Dunn. Cetshwayo expressed himself as indignant at the conduct of Mr. Eobertson, who, he said, had never, during his long residence in Zululand, received anything but good treatment at the BIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 210 hands of his (Cetshwayo's) father and himself, and, he added, ' I have borne with him too long/ To this I replied that, if he had any distinct ground of complaint against Mr. Eobertson, he (the king) should get it set down in writing, and send it to His Excellency the Lieut. -Governor of Natal; and I wished him to understand that any different course would be pro- ductive of no good effect. I then told Cetshwayo, omitting further reference to Mr. Eobertson, that in my opinion the presence of the missionaries as a body in his country was a great advantage to him, and that they merited his protection. He disclaimed havino- ever treated them with anything but great con- sideration." The particular statement of the two missionaries Oftebro, concerning the translation of newspapers, also Mr. Colenso specially and distinctly contradicts, saying that he had no newspapers with him nor extracts of newspapers, nor were any such read to Cetshwayo in his presence. Sir H. Bulwer states, at the request of the Messrs. Oftebro (2100, p. 61), that no member of the Norwegian mission had supplied this Government with information as above. But it does not follow that no such commu- nications had been made to Sir B. Frere and Lord Carnarvon. Missionaries had written anonymously to the colonial papers, and the account in The Natal Mercury of the fight at the Umkosi was attributed by Cetshwayo, not without reason, to the Kev. E. Eobertson. The tone of this letter, and its accuracy, may be gathered from the following extract, referring to the land which, 220 THE ZULU WAR. in the opinion of the Commissioners, " was by right belonging to the Zulus." "Never was a more preposterous demand made upon any Government than that which Cetshwayo is now making upon the English Government of the Transvaal. . . . For be it remembered that, until very lately, the Zulus have never occupied any portion of it, (!) and even now very partially. It is most earnestly to be hoped that Sir T. Shepstone, while doing all in his power to keep the peace, will be equally firm in resisting the unjust pretensions of the Zulus"' How far the Zulu king was justified in his opinion that the missionaries were not his friends may be gathered from the above, and from the replies to Sir B. Frere's appeal to the " missionaries of all denomina- tions " for their opinions on native politics, as published in the Blue-books (2316), of which the following examples may be given : From letter of the Eev. P. D. Hepburn, December 1 7th, 1878: "All in these parts are quiet, and are likely to remain quiet, if His Excellency overthrows the Zulu chief, and disarms the remaining Zulus. The Zulus are very war- like; will attack in front, flank, and rear. They are, and have been, the terror of the neighbouring tribes since the days of Chaka.f Only the utter destruction of the Zulus can secure future peace in South Africa. May His Excellency not allow himself to be deceived by the Zulu chief Cetywayo." " On full inquiry it will be found that our late war, * Author's italics. t " Our Correspondent " of The Daily News speaks, in to-day's issue (November 17th, 1879), of the " tranquillising fear" of Cetshwayo having been removed from " our own native population." SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES, 221 (KafFraria) here was to a great extent attributable to Zulu influence. ~* If our forces suffer defeat at Natal, all native tribes in South Africa will rise against us. I am a man of peace ; I hate war; but if war, let there be no dawdling and sentimental nonsense. "True and faithful to God, our Queen, and the interests of the empire, we have the approbation of God, our Queen, and our own conscience. I would have much liked had there been a regiment of British cavalry at Natal. Sword in hand, the British are irresistible over all natives. The battle at the Gwanga in 1846, under Sir Henry Darrell, lasted only about fifteen minutes; about four hundred Kafirs were cut down. . . . " God, our God, put it into the minds of our rulers that all tribes in south-east and east Africa must submit to British power, and that it is the interest of all Africans to do so. Heathenism must perish ; God wills it so."t These remarks are from a missionary in Kaffraria, but the tone of these in Zululand is the same, or even worse. Compare the following statement made to the Natal Government by two native converts from the Etshowe mission station Mr. Oftebro's (1883, p. 2): "We know that as many a hundred (Zulus) in one day see the sun rise, but don't see it go down. . . . The people, great and small, are tired of the rule of Cetshwayo, by which he is finishing his people. The Zulu army is not what it was, there are only six full regiments. Cetshwayo had by * A mere assertion, often made, but never supported by the slightest proof. f And so the Rev. Mr. Glockner, speaking of the late war, says that they (the missionaries) had often warned the native chiefs of what would befall them, if they refused to become Christians. Vide The Scotsman, February 5th, 1880. 222 THE ZULU WAE. his rule made himself so disliked, that they knew of no one, and especially of the headmen, who would raise a hand to save him from ruin, no matter from what cause." Mr. John Shepstone adds, April 27th, 1877 (p. 4) : "The above was confirmed only yesterday by reliable authority, who added that a power such as the English, stepping in now, would be most welcome to the Zulus generally, through the unpopularity of the king, by his cruel and reckless treatment of his subjects." And Mr. Fynney, in the report already quoted from, says : " The king appeared to have a very exaggerated idea both of his power, the number of his warriors, and their ability as such. . . . "While speaking of the king as having exaggerated ideas as to the number of his fighting-men, I would not wish to be understood as underrating the power of the Zulu nation. ... I am of opinion that King Cetywayo could bring six thousand men into the field at a short notice, great numbers armed with guns ; but the question is, would they fight ? . . . I am of opinion that it would greatly depend against whom they were called to fight. . . , While the Zulu nation, to a man, would have willingly turned out to fight either the Boers or the Ama-Swazi, the case would be very different, I believe, in the event of a misunderstanding arising between the British Government and the Zulu nation. ... I further believe, from what I heard, that a quarrel with the British Government would be the signal for a general split up amongst the Zulus, and the king would find himself deserted by the majority of those upon whom he would at present appear to rely." SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 223 While Sir T. Shepstone says, November 30th, 1878 (2222, p. 175) : " I will, however, add my belief that the Zulu power is likely to fall to pieces when touched." Such were the opinions given by men supposed to be intimately acquainted with Zulu character and feeling, one of them being the great authority on all native matters ; and on such statements did Sir Bartle Frere rely when he laid his scheme for the Zulu War. How absolutely ignorant, how foolishly mistaken, were these " blind leaders of the blind " has been amply proved by the events of 1879. We need not enter very fully into the accusations brought by the missionaries against the Zulu king of indiscriminate slaughter of native converts for their religion's sake. They were thoroughly believed in Natal at the time; but, upon investigation, they dwindled down to three separate cases of the execution of men (one in each case) who happened to be converts, but of whom two were put to death for causes which had nothing whatsoever to do with their faith (one of them being indeed a relapsed convert) ; and the third, an old man, Maqamsela, whose name certainly deserves to be handed down to fame in the list of martyrs for religion's sake, was killed without the sanction or even knowledge of the king, by the order of his prime minister Gaozi."* * Story of Maqamsela, from The Natal Colonist of May 4th, 1877 : " Another case referred to in our previous article was that of a man named Maqamsela, particulars of which, derived from eye-witnesses, we have received from different sources. On Friday, March 9th, ho attended morning service at Etshowe mission station as usual, went home to his kraal, and at noon started to go over to the kraal of Minyegana, but was seized on the road and killed because he was a Christian ! 224 THE ZULU WAE t That the latter received no punishment, although the king disapproved of this action, is not a fact of any im- portance. It is not always convenient to punish prime ministers and high commissioners, or powerful indunas, " For many years he had wished to become a Christian, and this at his own desire was reported to Gaozi, his immediate chief, who scolded him, saying, ' it would occasion liim (Gaozi) trouble.' The earnest and repeated solicitation of Maqamsela was that the missionary (Mr. Oftebro) would take him to the king to obtain his permission to profess Christianity. Last winter the missionary consented to mention it to the king ; but, failing to see Gaozi first, deemed it imprudent to do so at that time. Maqamsela was greatly grieved at this, saying, * I am not afraid of death ; it will be well if I am killed for being a Christian.' When an opportunity occurred of speaking to Gaozi about Maqamsela's wish to be baptized, lie would give no direct answer, but complained of his bad conduct. Maqamsela, however, persisted in his entreaties that his case should be reported to the king. ' If they kill me because I believe, they may do so ; the Lord will receive me. Has not Christ died for me 1 Why should I fear 1 ' A favourable oppor- tunity of naming the matter to the king presented itself some time after. Cetshwayo appeared very friendly, and proposed that the Christians should pay a tax, but said that their service should be building houses for him when called ; otherwise they might remain in peace. Maqamsela was then mentioned as being desirous to become a Christian. He was an old man, who could not leave his kraal, and could not come up to serve. He had therefore been eaten up, and had not now a single head of cattle. On his name being mentioned, the king replied that he would say nothing, Gaozi, Minyegana, and Xubane not being there. Maqamsela was glad when he heard what had been done, and said, ' If they kill me now, it is all right.' " A week later his time came. An induna, named Jubane, sent for him, and on his return from Jubane's, an impi came to him, saying they had orders to kill him. He asked for what reason, and being told it was because he was a Christian and for nothing else, he said again, ' Well, I rejoice to die for the word of the Lord.' He begged leave to kneel down and pray, which he was allowed to do. After praying, he said, ' Kill me now.' They had never seen any man act in this manner before, when about to be killed, and seemed afraid to touch him. After a long pause, however, a young lad took a gun and shot him, and they all ran away." 8IHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 225 Sir Bartle Frere of course takes the strongest possible view of the matter against the king, and speaks of his having killed Zulu converts (2220, p. 270), "at first rarely, as if with reluctance, and a desire to conceal what he had ordered, and to shift the responsibility to other shoulders, latterly more frequently, openly, and as an avowed part of a general policy for re-establishing the system of Chaka and Dingane." This little phrase is of a slightly imaginative nature, resting on no (produced) evidence. It is, in fact, a " statement." * Sir Henry Bulwer's reply November 18th, 1878 (2222, p. 171) which forms an able refutation of various statements of Sir B. Frere, contains the following sentence : " I took some pains to find out how the case really stood, and ascertained that the number of natives, either converts or living on mission stations, who had been killed, was three. I have never heard since that time of any other mission natives being killed. ... I was, therefore, surprised, on reading your Excellency's despatch, to see what Messrs. Oftebro and Staven had said. I have since made particular inquiries on that point, but have failed to obtain any information showing that more than three mission natives have been killed. Among others to whom I have spoken is the Eev. Mr. Eobertson, of Zululand, who was in 'Maritzburg a few weeks ago. He told me that he had not heard of any other than the three cases." Sir Bartle Frere replies, December 6th, 1878 (2222, * This indiscriminate killing is disproved and denied by Cetshwayo himself and his principal chiefs (vide " A Visit to King Ketshwayo," " Macmillan's Magazine," March, 1878). Q 226 THE ZULU WAR. p. 175) : * "I have since made further inquiry (he does not say what), and have no doubt that though His Excellency may possibly be right as to the number regarding which there is judicial evidence (Sir H. Bulwer plainly decides that there was no evidence at all) ; the missionaries had every reason to believe that the number slain on account of their inclination to Christianity was considerably greater than three. One gentleman, who had better means of obtaining the truth than anyone else, told me he had no doubt the number of converts killed was considerable." This gentleman, Sir Bartle Frere assures us, " knows the Zulus probably better than any living European ; he is himself an old resident in Zululancl, and a man above all suspicion of exaggeration or misrepresen- tation (!). He gave me this information, under stipu- lation that his name should not be mentioned, otherwise it would, I am sure, at once be accepted as a guarantee for the accuracy of his statements." With such phrases, " I have no doubt," " every reason to believe," "I feel sure," etc. etc,, has Sir Bartle Frere continually maligned the character of the Zulu king, called since the war by Mr. John Dunn, "the most injured man in South Africa." One is rather puzzled who the man may be to whom Sir Bartle Frere gives so high a character, his opinion of which he evidently expects will quite satisfy his readers. We should much like to have the gentleman's name. The number of gentlemen "long resident in Zululand " are not so many as to leave a wide field for * Author's italics throughout. SIHAYO, UHBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 227 conjecture. Besides the missionaries, the only names that occur to us to which the phrase can apply are those of Mr. John Shepstone, Mr. John Dunn, and Mr. Eobertson. The only point in the indictment against Cetshwayo which we have now to consider, is that of the killing of girls under the Zulu marriage law, and the reply to Sir Henry Bulwer's remonstrance on the point, which Sir Bartle Frere speaks of in his final memorandum as expressed "in terms of unprecedented insolence and defiance;" while The Times of Natal (generally recognised as the Government organ) went still further, and has twice charged the Zulu king with sending repeatedly, insolent messages to the Natal Government. As to the repetition of the offence, it need only be said that there is no foundation in the Blue-books for the assertion. And as to this particular offence it is enough to say that no notice had been taken of it to Cetshwayo himself, till two years afterwards it was unearthed, and charged upon him, as above, by the High Commissioner, notwith- standing that, whatever it may have been, it had been subsequently condoned by friendly messages from this Government. The marriage law of Zululand is thus described by Sir T. Shepstone (1137, p. 21) : The Zulu country is but sparsely inhabited when compared with Natal, and the increase of its population is checked more by its peculiar marriage regulations than by the exodus of refugees to surrounding governments. Both boys and girls are formed into regiments, and are not allowed to marry without special leave from the king, or until the regiments to which they belong are fortunate enough to Q 2 228 THE ZULU WAR. receive his dispensation. Caprice or state reasons occasionally delay this permission, and it sometimes happens that years pass before it is given. Contraven- tion of these regulations is visited by the severest penalties."* The history of the case which we are now considering may be given in the following extracts : On September 22nd, 1876, Mr. Osborn, resident magistrate of Newcastle, writes: "The Zulu king lately granted permission to two regiments of middle-aged men to marry. These were, however, rejected by the girls, on the ground that the men were too old ; upon which the king ordered that those girls who refused to marry the soldiers were to be put to death. Several girls were killed in consequence, some fled into the colony, others into the Transvaal Eepublic, and on October 9th, Government messengers report (1748, p. 198) : " We heard that the king was causing some of the Zulus to be killed on account of disobeying his orders * Two Zulu prisoners, captured while on a peaceful errand, just before the commencement of hostilities, and who were permitted to reside at Eishopstowe when released from gaol, until they could safely return home, were questioned concerning these regulations, and said that they applied only to those who voluntarily joined the regiments, concerning which there was no compulsion at all, beyond the moral effect produced by the fact that it was looked upon, by the young people themselves, as rather a poor thing to do to decline joining. Once joined, however, they were obliged to obey orders unhesitatingly. These young men said that in the coast, and outlying districts, there were large numbers of people who had retained their liberty and married as they pleased, but that strict loyalty was the fashion nearer the court. It was in these very coast districts that the Zulus surrendered during the late war, the loyal inhabitants proving their loyalty to the bitter end. SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 229 respecting the marriage of girls, and we saw large numbers of cattle which had been taken as fines. Otherwise the land was quiet." As far as the most careful investigations could dis- cover, the number killed was not more than four or five, while the two Zulus already quoted said that, although they had heard of the matter, they did not know of a single instance; and as these young men themselves belonged to one of the regiments, it can hardly be sup- posed that any great slaughter could have taken place unknown to them. At the time, however, report as usual greatly exaggerated the circumstances, and Sir Henry Bulwer speaks (1748, p. 198) of "numbers of girls and young men" and " large numbers of girls and others connected with them" as having been killed. He sent a message to Cetshwayo on the subject, which in itself was a temperate and very proper one for an English governor to send, in the hope of checking such cruelty in future, and was not unnaturally some- what surprised at receiving an answer from the usually courteous and respectful king, which showed plainly enough that he was highly irritated and resented the interference with his management of his people. Sir Henry had reminded him of what had passed at his coronation, and Cetshwayo replies that if Somtseu (Sir T. Shepstone) had told the white people that he (the king) had promised never to kill, Somtseu had deceived them. " I have yet to kill," he says. He objects to being dictated to about his laws, and says that while wishing to be friends with the English, he does not 230 THE ZULU WAR. intend to govern his people by laws sent to him by them. He remarks, in a somewhat threatening way, that in future he shall act on his own account, and that if the English interfere with him, he will go away and become a wanderer, but not without first showing what he can do if he chooses. Finally he points out that he and the Governor of Natal are in like positions/"' one being governor of Natal, the other of Zululand. It is plain that this reply, as reported by the Govern- ment messengers, produced a strong effect on Sir H. Bulwer's mind, and considerably affected his feeling towards the king, though, as already stated, he never brought it, at the time or afterwards, to the notice of Cetshwayo, and has since exchanged friendly messages with him. And no doubt the reply was petulant and wanting in due respect, though a dash of arrogance was added to it by the interpreter's use of the expression "we are equal," instead of "we are in like positiors" each towards our own people. But that the formid- able words "I have yet to kill," " I shall now act on my own account," meant nothing more than the mere irrita- tion of the moment is plain from the fact that he never made the slightest attempt to carry them out, though recent events have taught us what he might have done had he chosen to ff act on his own account." The tone of the reply would probably have been very different had it been brought by Cetshwayo's own messengers. By an unfortunate mistake on the part of the Natal Government, one of the messengers sent was a Zulu refugee of the party of Umbulazi and Umkungo, * " We are equal/' said the interpreter ; but the expression used is more correctly translated as above. 8IHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 231 between whom and the king there was deadly hostility, which had lately been intensified by the insulting manner in which Umkungo's people had received Cetshwayo's messengers, sent in a friendly spirit to inform them of King Umpande's death. The very presence of this man, bringing a reproof from the Government of Natal, would naturally be resented by the Zulu king, who had already declined communications from the Transvaal sent through refugee subjects of his own (Sir Henry Bulwer 1748, p. 10); and was now obliged to receive with courtesy, and listen to words of remonstrance from, one of these very refugees who had fled to Natal, and, under Zulu law, was liable to be put to death as a traitor, when he made his appearance in Zululand. The king's words, exhibiting the irritation of the moment, whatever they may have been, would lose nothing of their fierceness and bitterness by being conveyed through such a medium. We do not wish to defend such practices as those of forcing girls into distasteful marriages, or putting them to death for disobedience in that respect. But we must remember that, after all, the king, in ordering these executions, was enforcing, not a new law laid down by himself, but "an old custom" (1748, p. 198). From his point of view the exercise of such severity was as necessary to maintaining his authority as the decimation of a regiment for mutiny might appear to a commander, or the slaughter of hundreds of Langalibalele's people, hiding in caves or running away, which we have already described, appeared to Sir B. Pine and Sir T. Shepstone in 1873-74. The king himself gave an illustration of his diffi- 232 THE ZULU WAR. culties in a message sent to Sir H. Bulwer early in 1878 (2079, p. 96). He reported to His Excellency that two of his regiments had had a fight, and many of his men had been killed, at which he was much annoyed. He reports this to show His Excellency that, although he warned them that he would severely punish any regiment that caused any disturbance at the Umkosi, he cannot rule them without sometimes killing them, especially as they know they can run to Natal. We have now considered in turn every accusation brought against the Zulu king up to the end of 1878, when Sir Bartle Frere delivered his ultimatum, which he had said beforehand would put an end to our peaceful relations with our neighbours. We venture to assert that, with the exception of the last, every one of these accusations is distinctly refuted on evidence gathered from official sources. Of that last, we would observe, that, although it cannot be entirely denied, the fault has been greatly exaggerated; while that part of it which referred to the sole instance of a hasty reply to the Natal Government, has been condoned by two years' friendly relations since the offence, before it was raked up by Sir Bartle Frere as an additional pretext for the war. And, at all events, had Cetshwayo's severity to his people been a hundred times greater than it ever was, he could not in a lifetime have produced the misery which this one year's campaign has wrought. Yet these accusations were the sole pretexts for the war, except that fear of the proximity of a nation strong enough and warlike enough to injure us, if it wished to SIHAYO, UMBILINI, AND THE MISSIONARIES. 233 do so, which Sir Bartle Frere declared made it impossible for peaceful subjects of Her Majesty to feel security for life or property within fifty miles of the border, and made the existence of a peaceful English community in the neighbourhood impossible."'" He speaks in the same despatch (2269, pp. 1, 2) of the king as "an irre- sponsible, bloodthirsty, and treacherous despot," which terms, and others like them, do duty again and again for solid facts, but of the justice of which he gives no proof whatever. We cannot do better than give, in conclusion, and as a comment upon the above fear, a quotation from Lord Blachford's speech in the House of Lords, March 26th, 1879, which runs : " Some people assumed that the growth of the Zulu power in the neighbourhood of a British colony consti- tuted such a danger that, in a common phrase, it had to be got rid of, and that, when a thing had to be done, it was idle and inconvenient to examine too closely into the pretexts which were set up. And this was summed up in a phrase which is used more than once by the High Commissioner, and had obtained currency in what he might call the light literature of politics. We might be told to obey our c instincts of self-preservation/ No doubt the instinct of self-preservation was one of the most necessary of our instincts. But it was one of those which we had in common with the lowest brute one of those which we are most frequently called on to keep * The natives of Natal, " peaceful subjects of Her Majesty," were living in perfect security on one side of the border, and the Zulus on the other, the two populations intermarrying and mingling in the most friendly manner, without the smallest apprehension of injury to life or property, when Sir B. Frere landed at Durban. 234 THE ZULU WAR. in order. It was in obedience to the ' instinct of self- preservation that a coward ran away in battle, that a burglar murdered a policeman, or, what was more to our present purpose, that a nervous woman jumped out of a carriage lest she should be upset ; or that one man in a fright fired at another who, he thought, meant to do him an injury, though he had not yet shown any sign of an intention of doing so. The soldiers who went down in the Birkenhead what should we have thought of them if, instead of standing in their ranks to be drowned, they had pushed the women and children into the hold and saved themselves ? A reasonable determination to do that which our safety requires, so far as it is consistent with our duty to others, is the duty and interest of every man. To evade an appeal to the claims of reason and justice, by a clamorous allegation of our animal instinct, is to abdicate our privileges as men, and to revert to brutality." CHAPTER XII. THE ULTIMATUM, DECLARATION OF WAR, AND COMMENCEMENT OF CAMPAIGN. ON December llth the boundary award was delivered to the Zulus by four gentlemen selected for the purpose, who, by previous arrangement, met the king's envoys at the Lower Tugela Drift. The award itself, as we already know, was in favour of the Zulus ; nevertheless it is impossible to read the terms in which it was given without feeling that it was reluctantly done. It is fenced in with warnings to the Zulus against transgressing the limits assigned to them, without a word assuring them that their rights also shall in future be respected ; and, while touching on Zulu aggressions on Boers in the late disputed territory, it says nothing of those committed by Boers. But perhaps the most remarkable phrase in the whole award is that in which Sir Bartle Frere gives the Zulus to understand that they will have to pay the com- pensation due to the ejected Transvaal farmers, while he entirely ignores all that can be said on the other 236 THE ZULU WAR. side of injuries to property and person inflicted on Zulus in the disputed territory (of which, the Blue-books contain ample proof), not to speak of the rights and advantages so long withheld from them, and now decided to be their due. Sir Henry Bulwer plainly took a very different view on this point when he summed up the judgment of the Commissioners (2220, p. 388), and added as follows : " I would venture to suggest that it is a fair matter for consideration if those Transvaal subjects, who have been induced . . . under the sanction, expressed or tacit, of the Government of the Eepublic, to settle and remain in that portion of the country, have not a claim for compensation from their Government for the individual losses they may sustain." Sir Bartle Frere, starting with phrases which might be supposed to agree with the above, gradually and ingeniously shifts his ground through propositions for compensation to be paid to farmers " required or obliged to leave " (omitting the detail of ivlio is to pay], and then for compensation to be paid to farmers wishing to remove, until he finally arrives, by a process peculiarly his own, at a measure intended to " secure private rights of property," which eventually blossomed out into a scheme for maintaining, in spite of the award, the Boer farmers on the land claimed by them, which we shall presently relate in full. Although nothing appeared in the award itself on this point, the whole tone of it was calculated to take the edge off the pleasure which the justice done them at last would naturally give the Zulus, and it was promptly followed up by an " ultimatum " THE ULTIMATUM AND DECLARATION OF WAR. 237 from the High Commissioner calculated to absorb their whole attention. This " ultimatum" contained the following thirteen demands, and was delivered on the same day with the award, an hour later : 1. Surrender of Sihayo's three sons and brother to be tried by the Natal courts. 2. Payment of a fine of five hundred head of cattle for the outrages committed by the above, and for Ketshwayo's delay in complying with the request (KB., not demand) of the Natal Govern- ment for the surrender of the offenders. 3. Payment of a hundred head of cattle for the offence committed against Messrs. Smith and Deighton (KB., twenty days were allowed for compliance with the above demands, i.e. until December 31st, inclusive). 4. Surrender of the Swazi chief Umbilini, and others to be named hereafter, to be tried by the Transvaal courts (N.B., no time was fixed for compliance with this demand). 5. Observance of the coronation " promises." 6. That the Zulu army be disbanded, and the men allowed to go home. 7. That the Zulu military system be discontinued, and other military regulations adopted, to be decided upon after consultation with the Great Council and British ^Representatives. 8. That every man, when he comes to man's estate, shall be free to marry. 9. All missionaries and their converts, who until 1877 lived in Zululand, shall be allowed to return and reoccupy their stations. 10. All such missionaries shall be allowed to teach, and any Zulu, if he chooses, shall be free to listen to their teaching.* 11. A British Agent shall be allowed to reside in Zululand, who will see that the above provisions are carried out. 1 2. All disputes in which a missionary or European (e.g. trader or * Compare with 9 and 10 the distinct instructions on this point given by Lord Carnarvon during the previous year (1961, p. GO): " I request, therefore, that you will cause the missionaries to under- stand distinctly that Her Majesty's Government cannot undertake to compel the king to permit the maintenance of the mission stations in Zululand." Yet here the clause is made one of the conditions of an ultimatum, the alternative of which is war. 238 THE ZULU WAR. traveller) is concerned, shall be heard by the king in public, and in presence of the Resident. 13. No sentence of expulsion from Zululand shall be carried out until it has been approved by the Resident. N.B. Ten days more were allowed for compliance with the above demands (4-13). The Natal Colonist, August 21st, 1879, condenses the opinions of Sir B. Pine upon the ultimatum from his article in "The Contemporary Keview," June, 1879 * thus : " He thinks the depriving Messrs. Smith and Deighton of their handkerchiefs and pipes hardly a matter deserving of a place in such a document ; that the Sihayo and Umbilini affairs were more serious, but that ' full reparation .... might have been obtained by friendly negotiations/ He does not attach to the promises alleged to have been made by Cetshwayo ' the force of a treaty which we were bound to see executed.' And while approving of a British Eesident being placed in the Zulu country, he frankly recalls the fact that ' Cetshwayo has himself, on more than one occasion, requested such an arrangement.' ' At the same time/ he adds, f I think that the powers proposed to be invested in this officer are more than are necessary or expedient, and I would especially refer to those relating to the protection of missionaries. Christianity ought not to be enforced at the point of the sword.' In reference to Cetshwayo's alleged coronation promises, we may note in passing that Sir B. Pine is careful to point out that one chief reason for his sanctioning that expedition was ' out of deference to Mr. Shepstone's judgment ; ' and that it was expressly stipulated by the High Com- missioner that no British troops should accompany THE ULTIMATUM AND DECLARATION OF WAR. 239 Mr. Shepstone, 'so that Her Majesty's Government might not be compromised in the matter.' With such a stipulation it is amazing that anyone should still contend that Cetshwayo entered into engagements so solemn as to call for invasion of his country to punish the breach of them." And the Special Correspondent of The Cape Argus writes : " As regards the alleged coronation engagements, Dunn affirms that no undertaking was made by, or even asked from, Cetshwayo. In the act of coronation, Mr. (now Sir T.) Shepstone gave to the king a piece of paternal counsel, and the conditions were in reality nothing more than recommendations urged upon his acceptance by the Special Commissioner. " Lord Kimberley, who was Secretary of State for the Colonies at the time of Sir T. Shepstone's installation of Cetshwayo, spoke upon this subject in the House of Lords;" which The Daily News, March 26th, 1879, reports as follows : " With respect to the so-called coronation promises, nothing had more astonished him in these papers than to learn that these promises were supposed to constitute an engagement between us and the Zulu nation. He happened to have had some concern in that matter ; and if he had supposed that Sir T. Shepstone, in asking for these promises from Cetshwayo, had rendered us responsible to the Zulu nation to see that they were enforced, he would not have lost a mail in disavowing any such responsibility. He was supported in the view which he took by the late Colonial Secretary (Lord Carnarvon). The fact was that these were friendly assurances, given in response to friendly advice, and 240 THE ZULU WAR. constituted no engagement. But Sir B. Frere put these / coronation promises ' in the foreground." Sir M. Hicks-Beach, also, says (2144, p. 1) : " It is obvious that the position of Sir T. Shepstone in this matter was that of a friendly counsellor, giving advice to the king as to the good government of the country." The demands which we have recorded were delivered to the Zulu envoys, who were not allowed to discuss or comment upon them, on the ground that the Commission had no authority for that purpose. The envoys, indeed, appeared seriously concerned by their import. They denied that the coronation stipulations had ever been disregarded, and said that they could not understand why the Zulu army should be disbanded ; the army was a national custom with them as with the English. They also asked for an extension of time, and considered that on such important matters no specified time should have been fixed ; the reply to which request was that the time was considered ample. Sir B. Frere, in his covering despatch to the Secretary of State, remarks that the " enclosed extracts from demi-official letters," from the Hon. Mr. Brownlee and the Hon. Mr. Littleton, " give an outline of the proceedings, and show that the messages were carefully delivered, well explained, and thoroughly understood, copies of the English text with Zulu translations being given to the Zulu envoys." On turning to "the enclosed extracts," however, we do not find in them a single word of the sort from either gentleman, while the extract from Mr. Littleton's letter consists of not a dozen lines describing the spot where the meeting took THE ULTIMATUM AND DECLARATION OF WAR. 241 place, and in which the writer's opinions are limited to these : " they (the Zulus) seemed to take the award very quietly," but " were evidently disturbed " by the ultimatum, and "Mr. Shepstone seemed to me to manage very well." The young gentleman could not well say any more, as he did not know a word of Zulu ; but one is puzzled to know how Sir B. Frere draws his deductions from either extract. How far the opinions of the other honourable gentleman are to be depended upon, may be gathered from the following asser- tion made by him some months after the Boundary Com- missioners had deliberately decided that the Boers had no claim whatever to the disputed territory, but that it would be expedient to allow them to retain the Utrecht district. " The falsehood of the Zulu king with regard to the Utrecht land question," says Mr. Brownlee, "is quite on a par with his other actions. After misleading the Natal Government upon the merits of the case, it is now discovered on the clearest and most incontrovertible proof* that a formal cession was made of this disputed land to the Transvaal Eepublic." The special correspondent of The Cape Argus, however, writes about this time as follows : " Dunn states that Cetshwayo does not, even now, know fully the contents of the ultimatum, and still less of the subse- quent memorandum^ The document was read over once, * Sir T. Shepstone's incontrovertible, overwhelming, and clear evidence, sifted and proved worthless by the Commissioners. f Sir Bartle Frere declares (Correspondence, p. 57) that Cetshwayo " could have known nothing of the memorandum," although (Hid. p. 6) ho himself asserts that " it was intended to explain for Cetsh- wayo's benefit what was the nature of the cession to him," and it was plainly very generally known, and therefore naturally by the king. 242 THE ZULU WAR, and its length was such (2222, pp. 203-9) six pages of the Blue-book that the messengers could not possibly fix the whole of it in their memory." True, a copy was given to Dunn himself ; but, for sufficient reasons of his own, he did not make known the contents of the document in person, but sent word to the king by his own messengers, between whom and the indunas there was a considerable discrepancy. According to Dunn, Cetshwayo was in a great fury upon hearing the word of the High Commissioner (? as to the maintenance of Boer " private rights " over his land) . He reproached his adviser with having thwarted his purpose to exact satis- faction at the hands of the Dutch, and doubly blamed him for having represented the English as just in their intercourse and friendly in their intentions. Until this time he had thought, as Dunn himself had, that the congregation of troops upon his borders represented nothing but an idle scare. But he saw at length that the English had thrown the bullock's skin over his head, while they had been devouring the tid-bits of the carcass. The three causes alleged in the ultimatum for war the raid of Sihayo's sons, the assault on Messrs. Smith and Deighton, and the proceedings of Umbilini occurred long after Sir B. Frere had been preparing for war, in the full expectation that the Border Commission would decide against the Zulu claims, and that Cetshwayo would not acquiesce peacefully in such a decision. It would seem, indeed, from his remarks on the subject (Corre- spondence, Letters n. and iv,), that he would have even set aside the decision of the Commissioners, if he had THE ULTIMATUM: AND DECLARATION OF WAR. 243 found it possible to do so. Although, he failed in doing this, he sought to attain practically the same end by means of a remarkable " memorandum," prepared and signed by himself not submitted to Sir Henry Bulwer, but "prematurely " published in the Natal newspapers. The memorandum in question was on the appoint- ment of a Kesident in Zululand, and, as Sir Bartle Frere himself says, " it was intended to explain for Cetshwayo's benefit what was the nature of the cession to him of the ceded territory," and it contained the following clause :