William Ashton to Hercules Robinson, 16 January 1883

William Ashton to Hercules Robinson, 16 January 1883

Archive location: Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18 / C125 – 40

Author(s): William Ashton

Recipient(s): Hercules Robinson

Sent from: Cape Colony

Date: 16 January 1883

Barkly, Griqualand West
Jan 16 1883

His Excellency
Sir H. Robinson
High Commissioner


I beg to lay before your Excellency as High Commissioner a copy of a letter which I have just received from Rev. A. J. Wookey, one of the missionaries of the London Missionary Society residing at Kuruman, in the hope that these lawless Boers and Englishmen will be prevented by the Imperial Government from either annexing the country of Manqkorowane, herein mentioned, either to the Transvaal state or from setting up as a separate and independent republic in said country.

“Kuruman, December 29 1882

Molale has been here this week. He says that the stealing at Taung is very bad. The Boers are really marking off a large tract of country for themselves. The line passes near Takoon and Motito to Moshaweng and to Nyesa and Molapo. There can be no doubt about their being in the act. Last Saturday they were near Takoon.

A.J. Wookey”

I may mention that this Molale – Mr. Wookey’s informant, is the eldest son and heir of Manqkorowane. I know from other sources that this news is true, the country being surveyed, and one of the new towns laid out is called ‘Vryburg.’

I may also inform your Excellency that in consequence of these Boers having been allowed by the Imperial Govt to have their own way with the natives so long, and seeing that Manqkorowane cannot, without help, put them down, his own volunteers have now gone over to the Boers in the prospect of getting farms and (oxen?) from them in the newly stolen territory: among these volunteers are …King and Smith, the former lately a Govt official at Taung, in the interest of Manqkorowane, and the latter, until lately, signed himself as his secretary.

There will be no peace along the border of this province, both within and without, unless these freebooting Boers and English are put down by our Government. And … hoping your Excellency will use your influence for … end.

I remain,
Your obedient servant,
William Ashton