Harold Stephens to Frederick Chesson, 27 April 1883

Harold Stephens to Frederick Chesson, 27 April 1883

Archive location: Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18 / C148 – 71

Author(s): Harold Stephens

Recipient(s): Frederick Chesson

Sent from: Cape Colony

Date: 27 April 1883

Knights and Hearle

Attorneys, Notaries, and Conveyances


Kimberley, South Africa

April 27th 1883


Dear Sir,


I am tempted to write you a few lines altho I have really very little news to give you.


I see by the telegrams that Dr [Jorissen?] has had an interview with Lord Derby and I am afraid that he will endeavour to glass over matters and throw dust in the eyes of the English government, more especially as there is no one in England who has sufficient knowledge of matters at Pretoria to contradict him. If I don’t know what he may say and therefore cannot contradict him by anticipation but I know that he is was that urged on the Transvaal government to break the Convention telling them that England could do nothing against them. To him, more than to any other single person, can be traced the trouble that now exists thro the native difficulties. [Jorissen?] is s Hollander and not a Boer and as such the Boers have little love for him and of late his influence over them has been on the wane owing to the many blunders he has committed. At the present time there is not a man in the Transvaal who is less popular than he is. I mention this because the English government may take him at his own valuation and be disposed to treat with him. Many crimes committed by Boers against Kaffirs (such as the one where a Boer twisted a Kaffir lad’s neck round until he died) have been hushed up by this gentleman, who as the State Attorney was bound to prosecute.


I sincerely trust that the English government will be careful in their dealings