Correspondence of Sir Reginald L. Antrobus relating to Dinuzulu

Scope and Content

Correspondence between Reginald L. Antrobus, E. Fairfield, Sir Charles Mitchell and Lord Knutsford relating to Dinuzulu and his exile on St. Helena. Also includes 3 letters from Dinuzulu to Antrobus (some in Zulu).

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Reginald Laurence Antrobus, CB (1898) KCMG (1911), was born at St. John's Withyham, Sussex, England, on the 5 September 1853. He was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford. In 1877 Antrobus entered the Colonial Office as a clerk, and in 1880 he became Assistant Private Secretary to the 1st Earl of Kimberley (1880-1882). He was Private Secretary to the 15th Earl of Derby (1882-1885), to Frederick Arthur Stanley, MP (later 16th Earl of Derby, 1885-1886), and to the 2nd Earl Granville (1886). After a brief period as acting Governor of St. Helena (1889-1890) Antrobus became Assistant Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (1898-1909). His final post before retiring in September 1918 was as Senior Crown Agent for the Colonies (1909-1918). Antrobus died on the 29 July 1942.

Dinuzulu was born in Zululand in 1870. Following the death of his father Cetewayo in 1884, Dinuzulu's uncles gained the support of the Transvaal Boers to have their young nephew proclaimed paramount chief of the Zulu. In exchange for their support the Boers were granted land on which they established an independent state - their 'New Republic'. Three years later Dinuzulu and his uncles resisted the annexation of Zululand by the British, were captured, tried for treason and, in 1889, exiled to the island of St. Helena. In 1897 Dinuzulu was permitted to return to Zululand, though not as ruler. Following the rebellion by Bambatha in 1906, Dinuzulu was tried for his alleged part as chief instigator of the revolt and sentenced, unjustly, to 4 years imprisonment. He was released and granted a farm near Middelburg when Louis Botha, who had been one of the recipients of the New Republic land, became first premier of the Union of South Africa in 1910. Dinuzulu died in Middelburg in 1913.

Access Information

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Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Administrative/Biographical History compiled with reference to Who Was Who (volume IV) and A Concise Dictionary of South African Biography by Peter Joyce (1999).

Other Finding Aids

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

Listed as no. 813 in Manuscript Collections of Africana in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1968).

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Listed in Private Papers of British Colonial Governors, 1782-1900, by The Historical Manuscripts Commission (1986).