- Cecil John Rhodes : a visionary, founder of Rhodesia, diamond prospector -
Cecil John Rhodes: from Childhood to the grave
Cecil John Rhodes was the son of a Hertfordshire clergyman. He first arrived to South Africa in 1870, to join his oldest brother, Herbert, in Natal. 
Cecil John Rhodes In the early 1870's the brothers staked a claim in the newly opened Kimberley diamond fields. Close to the mid 1870's Rhodes decided to return to England were he enrolled into Oxford University. He didn't get his degree until the early 1880's due to the fact that his studies were punctuated with repeated visits to South Africa. A trip in 1875 through the rich territories of Transvaal and Bechuanaland (now Botswana) apparently helped to inspire Rhodes with the dream of British rule over all southern Africa; later he spoke of British dominion “from the Cape to Cairo.” His power and strength in the diamond-mining industry developed until, in 1880, he formed the De Beers Mining Company. 
With time Rhodes were focused more towards the lands in the north of the Limpopo river, to what was become Rhodesia. John Smith Moffat, at the instigation of Rhodes persuaded Lobengula, to sign the Moffat Treaty. In terms of the treaty the Matebele agreed not to enter into correspondence or treaty with any foreign power without the sanction of the British High Commissioner for South Africa. The Transvaal and Portuguese Governments both objected to the Moffat Treaty, but the British Government remained adamant.
Armed with mineral rights and various influences based on treaties, Rhodes used his considerable financial resources, derived from control of De Beers and Gold Fields of South Africa, to form the British South Africa Company (BSAC). Under the name of British South Africa Company, Rhodes used agents to obtain concessions. The five all embracing major concessions covering the period 2 September 1880 to 6 October 1888  that were concluded by agents of Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company (BSAC), are :
1. H. Y. Dobie Concession
2. Dobie, Francis, Francis, Dodd Concession
3. Samuel Howard Edwards Concession
4. Samuel Howard Edwards Concession
5. C. D. Rudd Concession
2 September 1880
2 September 1881
24 February 1887
15 November 1887
30 October 1888
Of all the concessions, the most critical was the Rudd Concession, the previous had been used mainly to get the trust the Matebele King Lobengula. The ploy had worked, setting the stage for Rhodes’ British South Africa Company (of which he was a Director) to mastermind the coup d’ grace in the form of the Rudd Concession. The Rudd Concession also conferred sweeping commercial and legal powers on Rhodes. Furthermore to in order to weaken any possible resolve on Lobengula’s part, scouts in the Rudd party secretly agitated the neighboring Shona, who believed that the emerging problems were precipitated by the Matebele.
cecil john Rhodes Travelling bag
Cecil John Rhodes Pink tshirt
Cecil Rhodes White Hoodie
So in 1888 Rhodes had tricked Lobengula , the Ndebele (Matebele) ruler, into an agreement by which Rhodes secured mining concessions in Matebeleland and Mashonaland. He exploited these through the British South Africa Company (organized 1889), which soon established complete control of the territory. In 1888, Rhodes had also secured a monopoly of the Kimberley diamond production by the creation (with Barnato) of the De Beers Consolidated Mines, which reputedly had the largest capital in the world.

Rhodes next mission was to obtain a charter that granted the British South Africa Company the right to operate in all Southern Africa, north of Bechuanaland (Botswana), north and west of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek (Transvaal), and west of the Portuguese possessions. No northern limit was stipulated.
 Rhodes rapidly prevailed upon BSAC paid government officials in London to push through various finalizing documents which eventually resulted in full BSAC political, administrative, economic and military authority over all land north of the Limpopo River. Queen Victoria granted THE ROYAL CHARTER to BSAC in July, 1889. The first pioneer column, 180 men and 500 troops in employ of the BSAC left Kimberley for Rhodesia in May 1890, and established Fort Victoria in August 1890. A party of pioneers, including the renowned hunter, Courtney Selous, continued further northwards, and in September 1890 raised the British flag at what was then Salisbury (now Harare).
In 1881, Rhodes entered the Parliament of Cape Colony, in which he held a seat for the remainder of his life, Rhodes became the prime minister, and virtual dictator, of Cape Colony in 1890. He conspired to overthrow of the South African government of Paul Kruger. In the late 1890's a committee of the British House of Commons pronounced him guilty of grave breaches of duty as prime minister (of the Cape Colony) and as administrator of the British South Africa Company. Thereafter he devoted himself primarily to the development of the country that had been named Rhodesia (since 1980, Zimbabwe) in his honor. In the South African War he commanded troops at Kimberley and was besieged there for a time, He died in South Africa. Cecil Rhodes was buried at the Matopos Hills of Zimbabwe. Rhodes left nearly all his fortune of millions in sterling pounds to public service, of which the chief benefactions is the Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford.
Summary of the critical events in  Cecil John Rhodes life
1853 He is born on the 5th of July in Bishops Stortford, England.
1870 For health reasons he moves to Natal, South Africa; he acquires a fortune  after he becomes a diamond prospector.
1873 Begins a degree at the University of Oxford.
1881 Joins the Cape Colony Parliament.
1885 Assists in the addition of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) as a colony of the British Empire.
1888 He founds De Beers Consolidated Mines, which eventually monopolized diamond production in Kimberley.
1888 Instigates the acquisition of the Ruud concession
1889 Using the Rudd concession acquired the previous year, he gets a charter to develop and mine in  Matabeleland.
1890 He becomes Prime Minister of Cape Colony, South Africa.
1895 He hatches a plot to overthrow the South African Republic.
1896 Fails in plot and is forced to resign his role as prime minister.
1899-1902 Defends Kimberley in South African Wars (Boer Wars).
1902 He dies on March 26.
Related documents:
Cecil Rhodes burial at the Matopos Hills of Zimbabwe
The Last Stand a.k.a Shangani Patrol
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