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Dr Leander Starr Jameson

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 25 JUNE

UPDATED: 25/06/2019

25 June 1876, Kimberley blanketed in 12 inches of snow.
25 June 1882, Five miners killed in an explosion at the KCBM Co claims in the Big Hole.
25 June 1900, Dr Leander Starr Jameson (pictured) elected MLA for Kimberley.
25 June 1906, Daniel Makobodi and John Murphy killed in a dynamite explosion at the 460 level, Wesselton Mine.

(Pictured is Dr Jameson as well as Kimberley under snow in 1876).

DID YOU KNOW

Kimberley-Mine-after-a-snow-storm-21-June-1876

Snowfall in Kimberley 1876

Despite the Raid of 1895-96, Dr Leander Starr Jameson had a successful political life following the ill-fated invasion of the then Transvaal,

A-snowfall-in-Kimberley-1876

Snowfall in Kimberley 1876

receiving many honours in later life. He became a member for Kimberley in the Cape Legislative Assembly in 1900, and in 1903 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. During the Conference of Colonial Premiers held in London in March 1907, he was made a Privy Councillor. 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. A baronetcy was conferred on him in 1911 (it lapsed upon his death, for he never married).

25 June 1876, Kimberley blanketed in 12 inches of snow.
25 June 1882, Five miners killed in an explosion at the KCBM Co claims in the Big Hole.
25 June 1900, Dr Leander Starr Jameson (pictured) elected MLA for Kimberley.

DID YOU KNOW

Dr Leander Starr Jameson, having survived the siege of Ladysmith despite contracting typhoid, was elected as a Kimberley (Progressive) member for the Cape Colonial Government in May 1900, standing unopposed for the seat vacated by the resignation of Dr Rutherfoord Harris.

He arrived in Kimberley from Cape Town, where he had convalesced at Groote Schuur, in the middle of May 1900, made only one speech (mostly about the infamous Raid of 1895/96) and had returned to the Cape by end June the same year. Jameson only took his seat in the assembly in 1902 as the Anglo-Boer war had forced its adjournment.

A little bit more about “Doctor Jim”, “The Doctor” or “Lanner”, who is best known for his involvement in the Jameson Raid.

Sir Leander Starr Jameson, 1st Baronet, KCMG CB PC was born on 9 February 1853, of the Jameson family of Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Robert William Jameson 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.

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.

In due course, the Jameson family moved to London, England, living in Chelsea and Kensington. Jameson went to the Godolphin School in Hammersmith, where he did well in both lessons and games prior to his university education.
He was educated for the medical profession at University College Hospital, London, for which he passed his entrance examinations in January, 1870, and 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.

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. He then went out to South Africa and settled down at Kimberley, joining the practice of Dr James Prince as his partner from January 1879.

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.

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. During the Conference of Colonial Premiers held in London in March 1907, he was made a Privy Councillor. 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.

(Various sources including Wikipedia adjusted and corrected where necessary).

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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