Today in History

Queen Victoria of Britain approves charter for Rhodes

Thursday, 14 November 1889
On this date the British Colonial Secretary addressed a dispatch that Queen Victoria has approved a Royal Charter creating the British South Africa Company (BSAC). This was the final step in the process of the formation of Zambesia (as it was then called); the first being the granting of the charter on 29 October 1889. The Charter granted almost sovereign-like powers to the BSAC, under Cecil John Rhodes. On 30 October 1888 King Lobengula of the Matabele (Ndebele) had signed the famous Rudd concession with C.D. Rudd, a partner of Rhodes, by which, in return for a thousand Martini-Henry rifles, 100 000 rounds of ammunition, £1200 annually and a steamboat with guns, Lobengula had given Rhodes and his partners a monopoly of all the metals and minerals in his kingdom and the right to mining companies to do anything necessary to further their operations. When Lobengula later discovered what the concession really meant, he tried to renounce it, but the British Government paid no heed to him. After 1894 the country was renamed Rhodesia in honour of Rhodes. After several name changes, it became known as Zimbabwe on achieving independence in 1980.


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Source: SA History

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