Alfred Bellville to Frederick Chesson, 14 October 1883, C125/165

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Bellville, Alfred









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C125-165


Sand Hill, Bellaire, Natal
Oct 15 1883

Mr Chesson
Secretary of A.P. Society

Dear Sir,

I take the liberty of enclosing for your perusal a paragraph cut from yesterday’s ‘Natal Mercury’ of horrible Kafir cruelty in a territory over which I believe England holds some sovereignty.

May I request that the Society you represent will take the matter up, and enquire into it, and bring pressure upon the present time serving government, … them up to their duty in extending England’s protection to the weak and oppressed that we some way acknowledge her rule. Excuse one but I feel strongly on the matter, I see a Society which I formerly honoured giving their countenance to a brutal despot like the Zulu King, and yet passing unnoticed such things as this.

I never was more surprised in my life when the A.P.S. took Ketchwayo’s side. Send an unknown delegate to Natal, let him go and live on the border than then believe his word, about not the words merely of a Bishop now dead who was false to his trust as a Xtian and yet believe sooner than any one else. I presume you are a Xtian for, then think you that he whose name we bear, can be pleased at the [credit?] given to the infidel and the disrepute in which his loyal servants are held.

In order that you may not think that I am unknown altogether and therefore not worthy of notice, I can refer you to Revd Horace Waller F.R.G.S., Revd John James MA of Avington, Revd … of Livingstone and a host of others connected with African missionary work and geographical research.

I do hope something will be done for the honour of our faith and protestant England to put a stop to such horrid cruelty.

Yours faithfully
Alfred Bellville F.R.G.S.
Assistant Curate Umklalyaua Natal
Late lay superintendent of the late Bishop Steeres Nyassa Party 1875
Universities Mission to C.A.

[Natal Mercury extract]
Smelling Out.

The Umtata correspondent of the Kokstad Advertiser writes as follows: -A horrible case of murder has been reported to me from Pondoland, Giradiso’s location. It appears that an unfortunate native, who had doubtless offended some dirty, petty, Pondo chief (?) was ‘smelt out’ in the accustomed kafir fashion; taken into the veldt and staked out in the ground in the vicinity of numerous ant heaps. The wretched creature was then smeared all over with fat and two of the ant heaps were broken over his naked body. The black ants at once commenced work on the prostrate and bound man and ere long had crawled into his ears and nostrils and eaten out his eyes, causing him to become raving mad. He did not die till the expiration of the third day. How long are diabolical outrages like this to continue unnoticed? The spirit of lawlessness prevails through the length and breadth of Pondoland. What is the end to be?