KIMBERLEY, John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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'There is no other alternative but annexation'

KIMBERLEY, John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of (1826-1902). Secretary of state for foreign affairs.
Important Autograph Letter Signed headed 'Private', to Lord Reay, discussing the 'Ilbert Bill' and the Zulu king, Cetewayo, 8 pages 8vo, 10 October 1883. A relatively informal and personal letter reflecting Kimberley's views to a close colleague. At this time Kimberley had ceased to be colonial secretary and now held the India Office, hence perhaps the disparity of subjects.
'... I understand the Scotch pride in their educational past but I hope the danger of separatist tendencies will not be overlooked on the other side of the Tweed. There is really nothing new to be said about the 'Ilbert' Bill. Demonstrations in its favour will however be useful, and I was very glad to see that the working men repudiated "Mr Atkins". ...'
The 'Ilbert Bill' was a controversial measure proposed in 1883 that sought to allow senior Indian magistrates to preside over cases involving British subjects in India. The bill, severely weakened by compromise, was enacted by the Indian Legislative Council on 25 January 1884.
'... If you think it desirable to say anything about Cetywayo, I should (speaking for myself only) incline to point to the expediency of letting the Zulus work out for themselves the solution of their internal difficulties. There is no other alternative but annexation. The defence for sending back Cetywayo was, that it seemed possible that this authority might be recognised by the chiefs, except Usibebu, and that in that way the imminent civil war might be avoided. This hope has not been fulfilled. ...'
The Zulu king Cetewayo (sic, variously spelled) had been captured by the British but was eventually allowed to come to England to present his case to Queen Victoria. He turned out to be a dignified and courteous figure, much sought-after in society. The government restored him to his kingdom, but it had been split in three, of which he now ruled only two parts. He therefore made war on the chief, Usibepu (sic), but was defeated.
[No: 21081]


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