12 Facts About Jameson Raid


Jameson Raid was a botched raid against the South African Republic carried out by British colonial administrator Leander Starr Jameson, under the employment of Cecil Rhodes.

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However, while Jameson Raid waited for the insurrection to begin, differences arose within the Reform Committee and between Johannesburg Uitlander reformers regarding the form of government to be adopted after the coup.

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At a point, certain reformers contacted Jameson Raid to inform him of the difficulties and advised him to stand down.

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Jameson Raid sent a telegram on 28 December 1895 to Rhodes warning him of his intentions - "Unless I hear definitely to the contrary, shall leave to-morrow evening" - and on the very next day sent a further message, "Shall leave to-night for the Transvaal".

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Jameson Raid rushed back to London and ordered Sir Hercules Robinson, governor-general of the Cape Colony, to repudiate the actions of Jameson and warned Rhodes that the company's charter would be in danger if it were discovered the Cape Prime Minister was involved in the raid.

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Jameson Raid's force spent some hours exchanging fire with the Boers, losing several men and many horses in the skirmish.

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The tired raiders initially exchanged fire with the Boers, losing around thirty men before Jameson realized the position was hopeless and surrendered to Commandant Piet Cronje.

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Dr Jameson Raid was lionised by the press and London society, inflamed by anti-Boer and anti-German feeling and in a frenzy of jingoism.

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Later, Jameson Raid became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and one of the founders of the Union of South Africa.

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Jameson Raid was made a baronet in 1911 and returned to England in 1912.

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Jameson Raid believed that, as he had given Rhodes his word not to divulge certain private conversations, he had to abide by that, while at the same time he was convinced that it would be very damaging to Britain if he said anything to the parliamentary committee to show the close involvement of Sir Hercules Robinson and Joseph Chamberlain in their disreputable encouragement of those plotting an uprising in Johannesburg.

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Jameson Raid's name was never cleared during his lifetime, and Bower was never reinstated to what he believed should be his proper position in the colonial service: he was, in effect, demoted to the post of Colonial Secretary in Mauritius.

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