Bryan Thomas Knights to Frederick Chesson, 17 November 1886, C139/272

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Knights, Bryan Thomas








Cape Colony

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Bodleian Libraries

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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C139-272


Standard Bank Chambers
17 November 1886

Dear Sir,

I was sorry not to be able to see you whilst in London, but trust to be there before very long again and to make your personal acquaintance.

Thanks for your letter of 27th April which I found waiting me in Kimberley. Many events have occurred since then, notably the actions of the Natal people with regard to Zululand. We certainly thought that with the ascent to power of the present Govt Colonial interest would be preserved, but it is the old story, give everything to the Boers, they shoot too straight. As for the unhappy Zulus, when will those in authority understand that under Dutch Republican rule no native can … a title to ground. Farms should be given out to the Zulus and their titles made inalienable and they should be properly …, otherwise sooner or later they are certain to be … out of their land, either by the Dutch or Colonial government.

Sir Char Warren knows full well that this is the literal truth. Witness the Glen Gray natives and the action of the Cape Govt.

With regard to Moroka, I forward you herewith printed copy (to be kept please on record) of a protest of Samuel which was forwarded to the Free Stat Govt. This is really another case of [Naboth’s?] Vineyard, as far as I can see. The chief seems to have been entirely dispossessed. I wrote to Sir Charles Warren about [beating?] him in Bechuanaland, but he was unable to do anything, he would I think if he could have done something for him.

At the next general election in 1888 for the Cape Parliament probably a native member of parliament will be elected. This will no doubt cause legislation in the Cape for raising the franchise in order to exclude the native vote. Will the Home Govt stand firm and refuse to ratify such legislation? … Or will they weakly give in on the question of expediency. We much fear the latter, judging from past events. Right and wrong are evidently different matters according to latitude. Kindly do not use my name.

Yours faithfully,
B.T. Knights

F.W. Chesson Esq
Aborigines Protection Society
6 Broadway Chambers
London, S.W.