elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Cecil Rhodes, Neville Pickering & Leander Starr Jameson

Not many people have had an entire country named after them—only Columbus, Bolivar, Vespucci, and Rhodes come to mind. Of those four, only one is thought to have been gay: Cecil Rhodes, who made his fortune exploiting the labor of black South Africans in his Kimberley diamond mines. His business empire became the nation of Rhodesia.

Although the country has been called Zimbabwe since the end of white rule in 1980, Rhodes’ name lives on in a far more charitable context as the benefactor of the Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford. An indication of Rhodes’ predilections can be found in the guidelines for scholarship selection: candidates must display a “fondness for success in manly outdoor sports, such as football and cricket.”

Rhodes’ longtime live-in lover was Neville Pickering, the first secretary of the De Beers Diamond Corporation. Their relationship was well known to their peers in South Africa. Rhodes and Pickering met in Kimberley in 1880, when Rhodes was living in a notoriously rowdy bachelor establishment with a group of about a dozen Englishmen known to the townspeople as “Rhodes’ apostles.” Rhodes moved out and he and Pickering set up house together in a cottage opposite the Kimberley Club. Pickering acted as his secretary, and the two were inseparable companions. 

Rhodes was a man of immense wealth whose various wills are evidence of an intense interest in his legacy. Shortly after he and Pickering bonded, he took a few days’ rest in Kimberley, where he made a new will on October 27, 1882, which was a complete reversal of his carefully crafted testament of 1877. The new will read simply: “I, C.J. Rhodes, being of sound mind, leave my worldly wealth to N.E. Pickering.”

Cecil Rhodes & Sir Leander Starr Jameson are buried together on Malindidzimu Hill or World's View. Burial: World's View Lookout, Gwanda, Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe. Leander Starr Jameson died in England in 1917, but in 1920, his body was transferred to a grave beside that of Cecil Rhodes.
Cecil Rhodes was very close to Leander Starr Jameson. In 1896, Earl Grey came to give Rhodes bad news. Rhodes instantly jumped to the conclusion that Jameson, who was ill, had died. On learning that his house had burnt down, he commented, "Thank goodness. If Dr. Jim had died I should never have got over it." Jameson nursed Rhodes during his final illness, was a trustee of his estate and residuary beneficiary of his will, which allowed him to continue living in Rhodes' mansion after his death. 

The new will was not as simple as it seemed, however. On the day after it was made, Rhodes gave Pickering a letter containing a sealed copy of the new will. The letter read: “My dear Pickering,—Open the enclosed after my death. There is an old will of mine with Graham [Rhodes’ attorney in Griqualand West], whose conditions are very curious and can only be carried out by a trustworthy person, and I consider you one.—Yours, C.J. Rhodes. You fully understand you are to use interest of money as you like during your life. C.J.R.” The “curious” conditions included setting up a secret society devoted to British domination of the world. However, Rhodes outlived his designated heir, and Pickering died in the arms of his benefactor only four years later. It’s said that Rhodes passed up a deal worth millions to be at his ailing companion’s bedside.

Pickering was one of a number of young men to whom Rhodes became attached during his lifetime, several of whom were given jobs as his secretary. “Rhodes’ lambs” included Harry Currey, Jack Grimmer, and Philip Jourdan (who confessed his love for Rhodes in his autobiography). None of these later relationships affected Rhodes so deeply as his intimacy with Pickering.

Rhodes never married, pleading "I have too much work on my hands" and saying that he would not be a dutiful husband. Some writers and academics have suggested that Rhodes may have been homosexual. The scholar Richard Brown observed: "there is still the simpler but major problem of the extraordinarily thin evidence on which the conclusions about Rhodes are reached. Rhodes himself left few details... Indeed, Rhodes is a singularly difficult subject... since there exists little intimate material – no diaries and few personal letters."

Brown also comments: "On the issue of Rhodes' sexuality... there is, once again, simply not enough reliable evidence to reach firm, irrefutable conclusions. It is inferred, but not proven, that Rhodes was homosexual and it is assumed (but not proven) that his relationships with men were sometimes physical. Neville Pickering is described as Rhodes' lover in spite of the absence of decisive evidence." Rhodes was close to Pickering; he returned from negotiations for Pickering's 25th birthday in 1882. On that occasion, Rhodes drew up a new will leaving his estate to Pickering. Two years later, Pickering suffered a riding accident. Rhodes nursed him faithfully for six weeks, refusing even to answer telegrams concerning his business interests. Pickering died in Rhodes's arms, and at his funeral, Rhodes was said to have wept with fervour.

His successor was Henry Latham Currey, the son of an old friend, who had become Rhodes's private secretary in 1884. When Currey was engaged in 1894, Rhodes was deeply mortified and their relationship split.

Rhodes also remained close to Leander Starr Jameson after the two had met in Kimberley, where they shared a bungalow. In 1896 Earl Grey came to give Rhodes bad news. Rhodes instantly jumped to the conclusion that Jameson, who was ill, had died. On learning that his house had burnt down he commented, "Thank goodness. If Dr. Jim had died, I should never have got over it." Jameson nursed Rhodes during his final illness, was a trustee of his estate and residuary beneficiary of his will, which allowed him to continue living in Rhodes' mansion after his death. Rhodes' secretary, Jourdan, who was present shortly after Rhodes' death said, "Jameson was fighting against his own grief ... No mother could have displayed more tenderness towards the remains of a loved son". Jameson died in England in 1917, but after the war in 1920 his body was transferred to a grave beside that of Rhodes on Malindidzimu Hill or World's View, a granite hill in the Matopo National Park 40 km south of Bulawayo.

Source: Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 10155-10162). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Henry Latham Currey (1863 – 1945), also known as Harry Currey was a British politician in the Cape Colony.

Currey was the son of John Blades Currey and Mary Margaret Christian, daughter of Ewan Christian. He was educated at The King's School, Canterbury and went then to Winchester College.

Currey joined the Cape Civil Service in 1880, where he worked for six years. He became private secretary to John X. Merriman in 1883 and then after one year to Cecil Rhodes, both personal friends of his father. In 1887, Rhodes made him additionally secretary of the Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa Ltd., a post he held until 1894, when they split over Currey's engagement. Despite however the rift between them, Rhodes's friendship to the father did not change.

In 1897, Currey was called to the bar by the Inner Temple. He was elected to the Cape House of Assembly for George, Western Cape in 1902, sitting until 1910; the last two years as Minister without Portfolio in Merriman's government. Following the formation of the Union of South Africa, he was returned to the House of Assembly of South Africa until 1915.

He married Ethelreda Fairbridge, daughter of Charles Aken Fairbridge at St Paul's Church in Rondebosch and had by her three sons and two daughters. Currey's wife died in 1941 and he survived her for four years, dying in Kenilworth, Cape Town.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Latham_Currey

The Rt. Hon. Sir Leander Starr Jameson, 1st Baronet, KCMG, CB, PC (9 February 1853 – 26 November 1917), also known as "Doctor Jim", "The Doctor" or "Lanner", was a British colonial politician who was best known for his involvement in the Jameson Raid. (P: Ball. Sir Leander Starr Jameson)

He was born on 9 February 1853, of the Jameson family of Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Robert William Jameson (1805–1868),[2] a Writer to the Signet, and Christian Pringle, daughter of Major-General Pringle of Symington House. Robert William and Christian Jameson had twelve children, of whom Leander Starr was the youngest, born at Stranraer, Wigtownshire (now part of Dumfries and Galloway), in the south-west of Scotland, a great-nephew of Professor Robert Jameson, Regius Professor of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh.." Fort's biography of Jameson notes that Starr's '...chief Gamaliel, however, was a Professor Grant, a man of advanced age, who had been a pupil of his great-uncle, the Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh.

Leander Starr Jameson's somewhat unusual name resulted from the fact that his father Robert William Jameson had been rescued from drowning on the morning of his birth by an American traveller, who fished him out of a canal or river with steep banks into which William had fallen while on a walk awaiting the birth of his son. The kindly stranger named "Leander Starr" was promptly made a godfather of the baby, who was named after him. His father, Robert William, started his career as an advocate in Edinburgh, and was Writer to the Signet, before becoming a playwright, published poet and editor of The Wigtownshire Free Press.

A radical and reformist, Robert William Jameson was the author of the dramatic poem Nimrod (1848) and Timoleon, a tragedy in five acts informed by the anti-slavery movement. Timoleon was performed at the Adelphi Theatre in Edinburgh in 1852, and ran to a second edition. In due course, the Jameson family moved to London, England, living in Chelsea and Kensington. Leander Starr Jameson went to the Godolphin School in Hammersmith, where he did well in both lessons and games prior to his university education.

L.S. Jameson was educated for the medical profession at University College Hospital, London, for which he passed his entrance examinations in January, 1870. He distinguished himself as a medical student, becoming a Gold Medallist in materia medica. After qualifying as a doctor, he was made Resident Medical Officer at University College Hospital (M.R.C.S. 1875; M.D. 1877).

After acting as house physician, house surgeon and demonstrator of anatomy, and showing promise of a successful professional career in London, his health broke down from overwork in 1878, and he went out to South Africa and settled down in practice at Kimberley. There he rapidly acquired a great reputation as a medical man, and, besides numbering President Kruger and the Matabele chief Lobengula among his patients, came much into contact with Cecil Rhodes.

Jameson was for some time the inDuna of the Matabele king's favourite regiment, the Imbeza. Lobengula expressed his delight with Jameson's successful medical treatment of his gout by honouring him with the rare status of inDuna. Although Jameson was a white man, he underwent the initiation ceremonies linked with this honour.

Jameson's status as an inDuna gave him advantages, and in 1888 he successfully exerted his influence with Lobengula to induce the chieftain to grant the concessions to the agents of Rhodes which led to the formation of the British South Africa Company; and when the company proceeded to open up Mashonaland, Jameson abandoned his medical practice and joined the pioneer expedition of 1890. From this time his fortunes were bound up with Rhodes' schemes in the north. Immediately after the pioneer column had occupied Mashonaland, Jameson, with F. C. Selous and A. R. Colquhoun, went east to Manicaland and was instrumental in securing the greater part of the country, to which Portugal was laying claim, for the Chartered Company. In 1891 Jameson succeeded Colquhoun as Administrator of Mashonaland. In 1893, Jameson was a key figure in the First Matabele War and involved in incidents that led to the massacre of the Shangani Patrol.

Despite the Raid, Jameson had a successful political life following the invasion, receiving many honours in later life. In 1903 Jameson was put forward as the leader of the Progressive (British) Party in the Cape Colony. When the party was successful he served as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony from 1904 to 1908. His government was unique in Cape history, as being the only Ministry to be composed exclusively of English politicians.[11] During the Conference of Colonial Premiers held in London in March 1907, he was made a Privy Counsellor. He served as the leader of the Unionist Party (South Africa) from its founding in 1910 until 1912. Jameson was created a baronet in 1911 and returned to England in 1912.

According to Rudyard Kipling, his famous poem "If—" was written in celebration of Leander Starr Jameson's personal qualities at overcoming the difficulties of the Raid, for which he largely took the blame, though Joseph Chamberlain, British Colonial Secretary of the day, was, according to some historians, implicated in the events of the raid. Jameson is buried at Malindidzimu Hill,[12] or World's View,[13] a granite hill in the Matobo National Park, 40 km south of Bulawayo. It was designated by Cecil Rhodes as the resting place for those who served Great Britain well in Africa. Rhodes is also buried there.

Sir Leander Starr Jameson, 1st Bt., died on the afternoon of Monday, 26 November 1917, at his home, 2 Great Cumberland Place, Hyde Park, in London. His body was laid in a vault at Kensal Green Cemetery on 29 November 1917, where it remained until the end of the First World War.

Ian Colvin (1923) writes that Jameson's body was then:
"...carried to Rhodesia and on 22 May 1920, laid in a grave cut in the granite on the top of the mountain which Rhodes had called The View of the World, close beside the grave of his friend.'Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.'

There on the summit those two lie together."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leander_Starr_Jameson

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher

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Tags: days of love, eccentric: cecil rhodes

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