From “Looker on in London” By Mary Krout, 1899.
BOW STREET MAGISTRATE’S COURT.
After the ill-starred battle of Dornkoop resulting in the defeat and capture of Dr. Jameson and his officers, the prisoners, as has been stated, were handed over to the British authorities for trial and punishment by President Kruger, who also demanded heavy indemnity from the English government. They were detained in prison at Pretoria for four weeks, where their confinement was made as comfortable as possible; where they were permitted to converse freely, amuse themselves with various sports and were liberally supplied with wines and other luxuries, and were then sent back to England. Their comfort was also scrupulously considered throughout the voyage, Dr. Jameson spending much of his time in reading and writing. The return was by the way of the Red sea and the Mediterranean, and the London press was apprised of the state of their health and other matters of interest when the ship touched at Malta, although the newspaper correspondents were not permitted to go on board or to communicate with the men. The same rule was rigidly observed when the vessel anchored at Portsmouth on Sunday afternoon, February 2nd.
On Monday the arrival of Dr. Jameson was eagerly expected, and great crowds assembled around the Bow street police court, which was filled with people who waited there all day. In the evening a police launch went down the river with a detail of officers and met the "Victoria," upon which their passage had been taken; the warrant for [-207-] their arrest was read and Dr. Jameson and his associates were transferred from the ship to the tug Corruna which landed them at the Temple Pier. The men were haggard and exhausted from the long voyage, and were still clad in the brown uniforms and broad-brimmed grey felt hats which they had worn in the battle at Dornkoop; suffering keenly in the damp chill of the February evening after the heat of the South African summer. They arrived at nightfall, and were driven to the Bow street court without delay. No cards of admission had been required on that first evening, and the body of the court room was filled with a miscellaneous audience; upon the bench where he sat much of the time during the subsequent proceedings, was the Duke of Abercorn, the Honorary Chairman of the Chartered Company, with Lady Annaly, Lord and Lady Alington, Lord and Lady Chelsea and others of equal position. At half past six the Public Prosecutor arrived and at seven o'clock Sir John Bridge, the Magistrate took his seat upon the bench. Dr. Jameson and his twelve associates were immediately ushered into the Court room through the prisoner's door, and they were greeted with ringing cheers and with such enthusiasm that it was some time before order could be restored. The magistrate rebuked this demonstration with great severity, reminding those present that the men who had been so warmly applauded were there to answer for a serious offence, and he threatened to clear the court if it occurred again. Dr. Jameson and his confederates were then formally charged with having fitted out an expedition in December, 1895, within Her Majesty's dominions, without her permission and marching against a friendly state, the South African Republic.
The defendants gave bond in the sum of £1,000 for their re-appearance, and the magistrate again reminded them that the charge entered against them was a grave one, and they were advised to keep away from public places where their appearance might occasion excitement.
There was such a desire to witness the proceedings that the authorities were overwhelmed with requests for tickets of admission to the court room, which were somewhat difficult to secure. Mine was obtained through the courtesy of friends at the American Embassy, and I was instructed to present myself at the private entrance of the court at 9:30 o'clock, an unearthly hour in London where the shop shutters have only just been taken down, and the sober-minded part of the population are still at breakfast.
It was the 17th of March, St. Patrick's day, a bright, sunny morning, and along the sidewalks in Wellington street, men and women were selling tinsel ornaments, or sprigs of shamrock for the buttonhole, for which they found many purchasers whose nationality was patent. Three policemen stood guard at the main entrance of the Police court, and another at the gate leading into a wide, flagged court by which the private entrance was to be reached. Here the windows shone with much cleaning, and the bell and door-plate bore evidence of skilful polishing, while the door-step was of snowy whiteness. It was much more like the entrance to a private residence, whose mistress thoroughly understood the art of good housekeeping, than any police court that I had ever seen before.
When I took the seat assigned me, the clock upon the wall showed that it was just half past nine. Policemen were stationed at the doors, or came and went about their business; an artist at a desk made a rapid sketch of the interior of the court room for one of the illustrated papers, and was closely watched by several men who stood at his elbow, and whose close proximity and fixed scrutiny did not seem to disturb him. He remained at his post all day, and having completed his first task busied himself with the interesting personages who took part in the proceedings, or were seated with the magistrates upon the bench, none of whom apparently resented being sketched. Then the reporters of the great London news associations began to drop in, and seated themselves around a narrow table much too small and crowded for their needs. A good many of them, as would have happened in the United States, were unmistakably Irish, and wore the distinctive shamrock in the lapel. One lady sat at this table where she took occasional notes in a very small and elegant Russia leather note book, while many of the men who could not be accommodated there, wrote all day very laboriously and inconveniently upon their knees. The "lady journalist," to use the conventional English term, carried a volume of "Jude the Obscure" for mental refreshment when the proceedings of the trial began to pall, or between intervals of conversation with those of the reporters whom she knew.
On the opposite side of the court room was another small table for the reporters of the London newspapers, while behind them, writing on "blocks," which they also held upon their knees, were the representatives presumably of the provincial press. The court room was as tidy as a drawing room, and by no means gloomy. Upon the bench to the right and left of the magistrate, Sir John Bridge, were a number of people who had been permitted to occupy these seats during the trial, the Duke of Abercorn, the Dowager Marchioness of Londonderry, Viscountess Knutsford, Lady Coventry, Lady Rayleigh, Lady Cranborne, Lady Elizabeth Biddulph, Sir F. Dixon-Hartland, MP, friends of the Magistrate and the defendants. To the left were "the pews," as they were called, and to the right the witness stand; this was a conspicuous object with a fanciful canopy supported by slender brass columns. In the centre of the main floor, on a lower level than the witness stand, was a space for the table at which the cleric and other officials were seated. Mr. Cavendish, the clerk, rapidly recorded the evidence as it was rendered, and when it was finished, read it aloud, submitting it to the witness for his signature. This was written with a big quill, which seems to be used exclusively in English courts. Although the Magistrate was not to take his seat until eleven o'clock, the spectators who had been able to secure admission were all in their places long before that hour. The audience was strikingly distinguished in manner and appearance, even many who stood in the rear of the benches throughout the day having an air of great refinement and intelligence, very unlike the usual loiterers in ordinary court rooms. As it was only the preliminary hearing for committal, the magistrate and barristers appeared without wig and gown. At eleven o'clock the door in the rear of the bench opened and the magistrate entered and, in obedience to some indistinct command, the clerk, barristers and audience arose and stood until he was seated; it was a recognition of the majesty of the law that seemed to me respectful and dignified.
Opposite the table at which the clerk was seated was another door marked in conspicuous black letters: "For Prisoners Only." When Sir John Bridge had taken his seat this door opened and the defendants filed in; Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, Major Sir John Christopher Willoughby, Col. Raleigh Grey, Major the Hon. R. White, Major John B. Stracey, Major C. H. Villiers, Captain K. J. Kincaid-Smith, Lieut. H. M. Grenfell, Capt. C. P. Foley, Capt. C. L. D. Monroe, Capt. C. F. Lindsell, Capt. E. C. S. Holden, Major the Hon. Charles John Coventry and Capt. Audley Vaughan Gosling. Two rows of chairs had been placed for them outside the bar, upon the main floor, facing the bench, and to these they were conducted by Jailer White, Dr. Jameson at the head of the file and Major, the Hon. Charles John Coventry, bringing up the rear. All were bronzed by exposure to the African wind and sun; all were faultlessly dressed, and, with one or two exceptions, their demeanour was composed and well-bred. Dr. Jameson was very grave and he, alone, was somewhat ill at ease. As he entered the court room a dark flush mounted to his forehead, which slowly faded as he walked to his chair and seated himself with great deliberateness. He was a man somewhat below medium height, with a huge head carried a little to one side, showing a remarkable breadth of brow; the eyes were large, dark and sufficiently expressive, when not concealed by the heavy drooping lids that were frequently half, or wholly, closed; the nose was prominent and large and rather symmetrical, the chin and mouth indicated decided firmness; the whole expression and demeanour of the man evinced fearlessness that would be disposed to express itself in deeds rather than words. He, too, was carefully dressed in a dark frock coat and trousers, a spotless, white necktie and pale grey gloves-the conventional morning dress of an English gentleman. He walked with a heavy un elastic tread and a slightly swinging carriage, and sat much of the time obliquely in his chair, one cheek resting upon his elegantly gloved hand; his glance was often cast down or fixed at rare intervals upon his counsel, Sir Edward Clarke; not once during the day, so far as I could observe, did he give more than a passing look at the witnesses upon the stand; to whatever was being drawn out of them he seemed quite indifferent, and, except for that first dull flush, he was equally oblivious of the spectators about him to whom he was a manifest object of interest. Such was the hero of one of the most daring raids in all the annals of border warfare; to all appearance a quiet, modest gentleman, in faultless and fashionable dress, with civilian stamped upon him from head to foot, and who would have been recognized anywhere as the circumspect, model family physician. He seemed pre-eminently a man to whom healing of wounds was far more congenial and better suited than blood-letting with Maxim guns and Lee-Metford rifles, after the manner which he had so rashly undertaken.
A certain romance was associated with Major Coventry; he had been reported among the dead after the battle of Dornkoop, and a memorial service had been. announced to be held in the parish church at Croome, the residence of his father, the Earl of Coventry. On the evening preceding this service, the error was corrected and when it was learned that Major Coventry had been wounded, but was still living and would recover, the arrangements were hurriedly altered and a thanksgiving service was held, instead. His parents had received innumerable letters and messages of condolence, and Major Coventry was one of the few who had the doubtful privilege of reading his own obituary notice. He, too, was bronzed and tanned, but on the other hand showed little evidence, either of his wounds or his long journey. He, alone, of the thirteen defendants was disposed to take the situation humorously. And, aside from this facetiousness, which seemed a little ill-timed, he was a typical guardsman, tall, broad-shouldered with a marked military bearing. By some juggle of fate he appeared to have changed places with the mild and un aggressive physician; judging from appearances alone, one would have selected him as the leader, and would have said that Dr. Jameson accompanied the expedition against his sober judgment, solely to minister to the needs of men who might require his professional services. While Dr. Jameson sat indifferent and impassive, Coventry smiled frequently and laughed inaudibly whenever he was especially amused by any portion of the evidence. The fashionable audience was such [-213-] as might have been seen at a morning concert at St. James, or at a private view at the Royal Academy, and was accentuated by the uniformed police, the motley crowd of witnesses who sat behind the defendants - mere lads many of them - who blushed like school-girls when they stooped to kiss the Bible as the oath was administered. The one exception to this shy and embarrassed group was Inspector Brown, a middle-aged soldier, rather grave and stern of countenance. It was very apparent that the witnesses for the defence were nerved up to the highest pitch of excitement; but, nevertheless, they too exhibited perfect self-control and were resolutely on their guard, determined, even while mindful of their oath, that nothing should divert their vigilance or betray them into making statements, if it could be avoided, that should prove damaging to their leader. There was a pronounced esprit du corps among them which they made no effort to conseal. They shook hands cordially when they met, like doughty heroes in a common cause, advised by some officious individual who conspicuously marshalled them to and from their places; as each man was summoned to the witness stand this friend patted him encouragingly - on the shoulder, gave his hand a furtive grasp, whispered in his ear, and when he was dismissed and rejoined his comrades, openly and heartily congratulated him upon the manner in which he had acquitted himself.
The prosecution was conducted by the Attorney-General, Sir Richard Webster, QC, MP, Sir Charles Matthews, Mr. Horace Avory and Mr. Fulton. The counsel for the defence were Sir Edward Clarke, QC, MP, Sir Frank Lockwood, QC, MP, Mr. E. H. Carson, QC, MP, and Mr. C. F. Gill. In addition to this imposing array of eminent men, Mr. Howard Spensley appeared for. Dr. Jameson, the Hon. Alfred Lyttleton for Sir John Willoughby, Col. H. F. White and Major Robert White; Mr. Roskill for Major Coventry and Captain Gosling; the others also having retained special counsel.
The chief strength of the English bar - a body of the profoundest learning and of the highest professional skill, were thus arrayed upon one side or the other, in one of the greatest political causes that had been appealed to the courts of Great Britain since the days of Warren Hastings. It was what was known as a trial at bar, that is, a trial before a special bench, and it was the third that had occurred within the century.
It was one of the idiosyncrasies of the law which, the world over, abounds in perplexing technicalities - pits for the feet of the unwary and loopholes of escape for the cunning - that there had been some difficulty in ascertaining the precise nature of the offence which had been committed; a deed of such magnitude had not been anticipated in any existing statutes, and, like the secession of our Southern States, no adequate penalty had been found for the unforeseen conspiracy. It was none the loss patent that men holding the Queen's commission had marched with an armed force into the territory of a friendly people; a battle had ensued in which twenty lives had been lost, as nearly as could be ascertained, and the government had been involved not only in costly litigation, but in an international dispute where heavy and justifiable indemnity would be demanded, and which would require many months and, possibly years, finally to adjust.
It was at length decided that the case came properly within this section of the Foreign Enlistment Act which had been adopted in 1870 and was in force throughout British territory in South Africa:
"If any person within the limits of Her Majesty's dominion, without the license of Her Majesty, prepares or fits out a naval or military expedition to proceed against the friendly dominion of any friendly state he shall be liable to a fine and to imprisonment not exceeding two years;" any person aiding or abetting such an expedition was liable to the same penalty.
When the defendants were seated and the witnesses were in readiness to be summoned to the witness stand, as they were required, there was a subdued hum of conversation, the general air about the court room being decidedly cheerful and social. Many of the spectators present were known to each other, and exchanged compliments and inquiries as if they were at an "At Home in Belgravia," or visiting between the acts of an opera. The Duke of Abercorn sat at the right of the Magistrate, a man with delicately chiselled features and an expression of marked cleverness, quietly and tastefully dressed with a shamrock in his buttonhole. He listened with the greatest attention for five hours, as became the Chairman of the British South African Company, which was practically almost as much upon trial as Dr. Jameson, and his confederates. There had been no demonstration of any sort, this time, when the defendants appeared, the stern rebuke which the Magistrate had administered at the arraignment being doubtless fresh in the minds of those who were present; several women looked at the men steadily and unabashed through opera glasses, a scrutiny which the victims endured unflinchingly. Once or twice, when the testimony took a humorous turn, there was a ripple of laughter in which few of the prisoners, except Major Coventry, joined. This, with a slight stir around the door as telegraph messengers came and went, was instantly silenced by an admonitory "S-s-s-s-h," and the people thus cautioned, obeyed with the prompt obedience of tractable children. As the hours wore on, the defendants showed signs of weariness; Dr. Jameson's head drooped heavily and~ now and then he sighed as he shifted his position. Col. Willoughby and Col. White leaned forward, each with. his face in his hands, and, occasionally one of the women on the bench rose and stood a moment, apparently to obtain a better view. The first words uttered were a sharp passage at arms between Sir George Lewis and Sir Edward Clarke. Sir George Lewis turned to the bench and explained to the Magistrate that he had been instructed to appear on behalf of the South African Company. To this Sir Edward Clarke retorted, as if questioning the statement "Sir George Lewis appears here, as a spectator. It is pleasant to see him, but he has nothing to do with the case." To this the Magistrate replied with great courtesy and forbearance:
"I understand that he is here to watch," and to this Sir George responded politely: "Thank you, Sir John."
The Crown proceeded first, to establish the fact that the raid had been planned and in contemplation for some months, extensive preparations having been made to insure its success. The first witness called was Sidney George Buck, a mere slip of a lad whose parents lived in Surrey; and nothing could have exceeded his stubborn intention not to utter a single word more than was forcibly extorted by the ordeal of the examination and the cross-examination that followed. As he took his place on the stand he was the embodiment of alertness, and his eye never wandered for a moment; he stood erect and looked his examiner, Mr. Sutton, straight in the face. As often as it was possible he answered simply "yes'' and "no;" occasionally he paused as if weighing consequences, and giving himself time to discover if there were not some means of evading the question propounded, within the limits of his oath to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." His replies were uttered in a perfectly distinct tone, as monotonous as the continued repetition of the monosyllable in which they were conveyed. The gist of his evidence was that he had joined the Bechuanaland police force in 1895 in which he had been made sergeant, and which had been commanded by Col. Henry White; the force had been divided into troops, A. B. and C., the latter having eight Maxim guns and one twelve-pounder. Captain Stracey was troop commander and they had been ordered to march south. They arrived at Pitsani Potlugo, the first week in December, the other troops following and the artillery bringing up the rear. Before leaving Buluwayo their rifles had been changed, and carbines substituted for these at Potsani. At the latter place he saw Col. White, Sir John Willoughby, Captain Stracey and other officers, all of whom he named, and they remained at Pitsani throughout the month of December. On Sunday, the 28th of December, the troops were drawn up and formed in squares, but he was not present, and a letter from Dr. Jameson was read. The troops marched that evening. He was asked if he knew where they were going.
Sir Edward Clarke, for the defence, sharply objected to this, but the witness made a tacit confession that he did know; and that he had been told "by others." They had taken with them one day's rations and reached Malmani at day-break where they were joined by 120 men, all the staff officers being present. The order of march after leaving Malmani was: scouts in front, an advance guard, rear guard, and flanking columns. When asked what this order was called, technically, he replied:
"I do not know."
There were eight Maxims for the column, one seven-pounder and the twelve-pounder. The horses were fed during the halt at Malmani, the feed having been obtained at stores along the road. A limited supply of tinned meats, and the like, was procured for the men, and twenty five miles from Malmani forage was again obtained, with provisions for the troops at a store similar to that at Malmani. The column had marched incessantly on the 29th halting in the evening. On Tuesday they again marched until sundown. The capture of Captain Eloff of the South African Republic police was the chief incident of Tuesday. The witness was asked if he could recall another incident that occurred about midnight, and he replied quietly:
When he was asked to state what this incident was he replied concisely:
"The Boers fired on us."
The examiner then wanted to know, plainly, if this was the first that he had seen of the Boers and the witness again said : "Yes."
Sir Edward Clarke, keenly intent upon the examination, quickly interposed:
"It was midnight; how could he see them?"
But the lad said that they had not seen them before, and when fired upon, they returned the fire, a speech which moved Major -Coventry to laughter. It also raised sympathetic and deferential laughter in the court which was instantly silenced by the uplifted hand and the official "S-s-sh." On being asked what the Boers did in retaliation the young man said simply:
"They got out of the way as quickly as they could," at which there was more laughter, this also, being at once suppressed. The witness then continued his story, stating that after this encounter with the Boers the troops halted for the night. The march was resumed Wednesday morning and at noon that day-they reached a small hotel about four miles from Krugersdorp; there they found sixty or seventy Boers.
"Were they troopers?" asked the Magistrate.
"Yes, mounted men," was the reply.
On meeting them, the Witness Stated, the columns halted and the guns were brought up. He believed that the Boers fired first, and remembered that the fire was returned. When asked,
"What became of the Boers?" he replied with his former conciseness:
At this, Major Coventry again laughed heartily, but his humour was hardly in keeping with the suppressed anxiety which, by this time, disturbed the assumed nonchalance of the witness. A few Boers, it was explained, bad been seen at a mine near Krugersdorp. The mine was shelled for half an hour by the order of Col. White, who had planned to take possession of it and the fire was not returned. When asked if it was a hot fire the witness replied guardedly:
"Yes; pretty warm," and at this Dr. Jameson smiled faintly, for the first time.
At three o'clock in the afternoon the troops dismounted and lay down, making no further effort to approach the mine. The witness himself remained dismounted until sunset, lying down during the firing. Later in the evening the columns drew off and marched in what direction he did not know. His horse was shot, he became separated from the troop and retraced his steps over the hills on foot. In the morning he again heard firing and went in that direction, having walked about all night. On Tuesday morning he found himself in the vicinity of the mines at Johannesburg. The firing ended suddenly; he then changed his dress and having learned of the surrender of Dr. Jameson's forces, he went to Krugersdorp thence to Johannesburg and Cape Colony. This information was not given by the witness in any sort of a connected narrative, but was pieced together from the inquiries put to him by the examiner to whom, whenever it was possible, he answered "yes" or "no;" "I cannot say," "I could not say, or "I do not know." But the questions, in themselves, indicated very thorough knowledge of the case on the part of the prosecution. The evidence was not materially varied in the long and minute cross-examination which followed, and which was conducted by Sir Edward Clarke himself, nor did the Attorney-General, Sir Richard Webster's re-examination secure any new facts or any alteration in those already included in the first statement.
The second witness, Philip Leopold Hill, testified that he had seen Dr. Jameson and had heard him say that they were going to Johannesburg to protect the women and children; that they would have the aid of the Cape Mounted Rifles, and the Natal Mounted Police, although he hoped that they would be able to push through without fighting, before the Boers had time to collect. They were promised re-mounts, stores of food and were to be joined by the Bechuanaland Mounted Police. This was stated in a speech which Dr. Jameson delivered to the men and he also read from a letter which he held in his hand at the time. He said that he wanted to reach Johannesburg in forty-eight hours. The witness admitted that the volunteers were "all sorts of people," and said that he, himself, had seen "two sailors and some waiters."
This confession as to the Falstaffian character of Dr. Jameson's forces again disturbed the gravity of the court. The letter which had been seen in Dr. Jameson's possession was identified and was read aloud. It was as follows:
JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 20, 1895.
Dear Sir: The position of matters in this state has become so critical that we are assured that at no distant period there will be a conflict between the government and the Uitlander population. It is scarcely necessary for us to recapitulate what is now a matter of history. Suffice it to say that the position of thousands of Englishmen is rapidly becoming intolerable. Not satisfied with making the Uitlander population pay virtually the whole of the revenue of the country, while denying them representation, the policy of the government has been steadily to encroach upon the liberty of the subject and to undermine the security for property to such an extent as to cause a very deep-seated sense of discontent and danger. A foreign corporation of Hollanders is to a considerable extent controlling our destinies and, in conjunction with the Boer leader, endeavouring to cast them in a mold which is wholly foreign to the genius of the people. Every public act betrays the most positive hostility, not only to everything English, but with the neighbouring states as well. In short, the internal policy of the government is such as to have raised into antagonism to it, not only practically the whole body of Uitlanders, but a large number of Boers, while its external policy has exasperated the neighbouring states, causing the possibility of great danger to the peace and independence of this great republic. Public feeling is in a condition of smouldering discontent; all the petitions of the people have been refused, with a greater or less degree of contempt, and in the debate on the franchise petition signed by nearly forty thousand people, one member challenged the Uitlanders to fight for the rights they asked for, and not a single member spoke against him. Not to go into detail, we may say that the government has called into existence all the elements for armed conflict. The one desire of the people here is for fair play, the maintenance of their independence, and the preservation of those public liberties without which life is not worth living. The government denies these things and violates the national sense of Englishmen at every turn. What we have to consider is, what will be the condition of things here in the event of conflict. Thousands of unarmed men, women and children of our race will be at the mercy of well-armed Boers, while property of enormous value will be in the greatest peril. We cannot contemplate the future without the gravest apprehension, and feel that we are justified in taking any steps to prevent the shedding of blood and Insure the protection of our rights. It is under these circumstances that we feel constrained to call upon you to come to our aid, should a disturbance arise here. The circumstances are so extreme that we cannot avoid this step, and we cannot believe but that you, and the men under you, will not fail to come to the rescue of people who will be so situated. We guarantee any expenses that may be reasonably incurred by you in helping us, and ask you to believe nothing but the sternest necessity has prompted this appeal. We are,
JOHN HAYS HAMMOND.
There was some discussion over the propriety of reading this letter to which Sir Richard Webster finally consented.
But little evidence was brought out in the examination of the remaining witnesses called to the stand that day. Charles Henry Ribson testified that, in their encounter with the Boers, seventeen men had been killed and the survivors who surrendered were taken to Pretoria John William Brown, Inspector of the Police, said that, suspecting Dr. Jameson, he had watched his forces and saw them enter the Transvaal. He then sent a dispatch to the authorities at Mafeking which had involved a ride of fifty miles on horseback to Manbigo, the nearest station as the telegraph wires had been cut. This dispatch was identified by the next witness, Ernest Ormonde Butler. Five copies had been made of it. It was as follows: "From the High Commissioner to the President Commissioner, Cape Town, 30th, December, 1895. - It is rumoured here that Dr. Jameson has entered the Transvaal with an armed force. Is this so? If so, send official messenger on fast horses, ordering him to return immediately. A copy of this telegram should be sent to the officers with him, and they should be told that this violation of the territory of a friendly state is repudiated by Her Majesty's government, and that they are rendering themselves liable to severe penalties."
The witness had been orderly-room sergeant in the Bechuanaland police. He had also seen a copy of the following letter which had been addressed to Dr. Jameson by the resident Magistrate:
"Sir: I have the honour to enclose a copy of a telegram that I have received from the High Commissioner. I have accordingly to request that you immediately comply with His Excellency's instructions. I am, etc., yours,.
A copy of this telegram was enclosed in letters to Major Coventry, Captain Monroe and Captain Gosling, but the witness was uncertain as to Sir John Willoughby.
The Attorney-General then stated that the evidence of the next witness would be very lengthy and the Judge consented to postpone hearing it until the following week. As the court adjourned, and the defendants drove away in cabs waiting for them at the Bow street entrance of the court, a great crowd was collected along the sidewalk opposite, extending for some distance up and down the street; there were admiring exclamations, but no demonstrations were made. The first outburst of popular enthusiasm was over and the public, regaining their common sense, were beginning to take a rational view of the case.
The week following, March 24th, the hearing was resumed as had been decided upon. The scenes enacted in and around the court were a repetition of the first day. The same care was exercised as to the admission of spectators, the same newspaper reporters with their carbon paper and sharpened lead pencils, were present, even the "lady journalist" was in her old place, and, as before, jotted down occasional observations in her little Russia leather note-book.
A youth with a sallow complexion, a huge nose and a sloping forehead, arrayed in the most correct morning dress, had a conspicuous seat with which he was not pleased, and he called one of the polite good-tempered policemen, and taking out his card with an air of great importance ordered the officer "to hand that to the Attorney-General." He also sent a card to the Magistrate, which was passed from hand to hand; after a little delay the policeman returned and said something very indefinite about "a better place afterwards." The young man was observed, subsequently, not occupying a better place, but squeezed in amongst a dozen swarthy Africanders and apparently unable to extricate himself; he did not return after luncheon. Those who had been invited to sit upon the bench arrived in gay parties; the space at the rear was again packed by men and women who stood throughout the session. The Duke of Abercorn was present and deeply interested as before. The counsel were rather dilatory, and it was a quarter past eleven when the prisoner s door opened through which the defendants entered. Dr. Jameson's demeanour was unchanged, except that he appeared somewhat more weary and dejected than before. He was dressed with the same care, and as he crossed the threshold into the court room, once more the focus of inquisitive eyes, he again blushed painfully. He was seriously out of health, and his condition had been aggravated by the smoke and fog of London. Throughout that morning he looked frequently at the witnesses, but during the long examination and cross-examination of Mr. John Thomas White he closed his eyes and appeared to sleep. In its repose the face was troubled and melancholy, and one studied the heavy features in vain, for any trace of the martial spirit that had conceived the rash enterprise, which began so romantically in the Transvaal to terminate prosaically in Bow street and Holloway jail. From time to time throughout the day, -amusing incidents occurred; but so far as he was concerned, they passed unheeded, and Sir John Willoughby, Col. White and Col. Grey, who sat near him, were almost as grave as their leader. Captain Coventry, although it was said he still suffered from the effects of his wound which had so nearly proved fatal, was in his accustomed high good humour, laughing and joking sotto voce, and finding undiminished diversion in his surroundings.
The first witness that day was Francis William Panzera, fresh from the hands of a Bond street tailor, with a gardenia in his buttonhole. He was a major in the Bechuanaland Border Police, an Engineer and Superintendent of Public Works in Bechuanaland and the British Protectorate north of Bechuanaland to the Matabele border. He kissed the Bible when it was presented to him with much grace and dignity, very different from the awkward dive at the book which was made by the next witness. His testimony related chiefly to the topography of the country, and his readiness to make extended explanations was very different from the reticence of the witnesses who had preceded him. His evidence involved a tedious examination of maps on the part of the counsel and at intervals he was interrupted by the clerk, Mr. Cavendish, who asked him to spell difficult South African names like "Rametlhabama Spruit." He complied with the request and spelled name after name without a moment's hesitation-a rather remarkable feat, considering their length and their abounding consonants. In addition to this he displayed, not only a thorough knowledge of the country, but of the natives. He stated emphatically that the subsidy granted the projected railway to Bulawayo by the Chartered Company had been withdrawn, and he was unable to say when the line would be completed.
Another witness, a man named Canning, was recalled to testify as to the amount of ammunition which Dr. Jameson's forces had left when they surrendered, which he said was "about one--fourth." This was emphatically denied half audibly, by one of the Chartered Company's partisans who sat quite near me.
"That's a mistake!" he exclaimed, "We did not have an ounce. When asked by Sir Edward Clarke if John Thomas White, whose evidence consumed the remainder of the morning, was tall and spare, bronzed like his comrades. His manner, however, was very different; and where they had stood erect and composed, he twisted from side to side, leaning forward over the edge of the witness stand and then catching the supports in either hand and leaning backwards, as if he were going through some sort of gymnastic exercise, for the expansion of his chest. The Magistrate watched his gyrations with a somewhat puzzled expression, and one expected momentarily to hear him request the young man to stand still; but that probably would have been a breach of official decorum, and the gymnastics continued for two or three hours-until the witness was dismissed.
His story was by far the most dramatic that had been related, by any of the preceding witnesses, and this, like the rest was secured piece-meal, bit by bit, sentence by sentence. Sergeant White was a no less important person than the messenger who had been sent out to order Jameson to desist from carrying out the contemplated raid. He described, in a very straightforward manner, scenes and events in the Transvaal after the expedition had been set on foot - the deserted stores where they obtained seemingly abundant supplies for themselves and forage for their horses; the armed Boers whom he met and by whom he was stopped and disarmed. He first explained how he was approached with inducements to leave the Bechuanaland Mounted Police and join the Chartered Company's forces. From this portion of the evidence, an impression was left upon the mind of those present that the officers holding commissions in the British army had encouraged vigorous recruiting, inducing White and others to leave the troops in which they had enlisted and to which they properly belonged, to join the forces organized for the raid. Sergeant White said upon this point that Major Coventry, Captain Gosling and others had offered him promotion if he would come over to them, but he had declined.
"Are you married or single?" he was asked.
"Married," he replied; then he added with unconscious naiveté, "I told Captain Gosling that I was a married man and could not afford to knock about in those irregular corps."
This blunt estimate of Dr. Jameson's troops was greeted with a roar of laughter; even the Magistrate smiled and Coventry was convulsed. The only persons who failed to appreciate its humor were Dr. Jameson and his sober visaged associates on the front row of chairs.
A division was finally made, the witness explained when order was restored, and men like himself who refused to join the Chartered Company's troops, were transferred to what was called F Troop. This was ordered to parade at half past eight o'clock in the evening of December 29th. They were then marched between two hundred and three hundred yards from the main body by Major Coventry. Sergeant White made another statement which produced a subdued sensation. The destination of the expedition had been kept secret, and two or three of the men who had been asked to volunteer inquired:
"Are you going to fight for the Queen?"
Col. Grey replied:
"No; we are going to fight for the supremacy of the British flag in South Africa."
This astounding speech was followed by a pause, in which there was silence and even Coventry's eye fell - the first seriousness that he had displayed. The statement that the real purpose of the expedition was not generally known, was repeated; their orders were to proceed to Johannesburg, which they were told they must reach in fifty hours-orders that were given by Major Coventry. All the men who were willing to go were ordered to ride out to the front. As he and several others remained behind, Col. Grey came up and said:
"What is the matter with you men? Why don't you come?"
And when they were told that they were to fight, not for the Queen, but for the supremacy of the British flag in South Africa, twelve or fifteen men went over. The column commanded by Col. White, Major Coventry, Captain Gosling and Captain Monroe, finally left at ten o'clock in the evening of December 29th. About thirty officers and men who declined to go remained in the camp.
On the afternoon of December 30th Sergeant White was ordered to go to the orderly room where he found Captain Walford, Adjutant of the Bechuanaland Border Police and Mr. Newton, Commissioner for the Protectorate. He was asked by the Commissioner if he would carry a dispatch to Col. Grey in the Transvaal, making the journey unarmed, but wearing the uniform of the Bechuanaland Border Police. He consented to go if given a pass. He was asked by the examiner if he could recall the wording of the pass and he replied:
"Yes," it said: "To all whom it may concern: this is to pass Sergeant White, of the Bechuanaland Border Police, who is carrying dispatches from the High Commissioner to Dr. Jameson."
He went to the hotel in Mafeking where a packet was given him; it was tied up in waterproof. and there was no address on the cover. He was told to give this into the hands of "the Colonel" - not Dr. Jameson. He was left to infer that Col. White was meant; his name was not mentioned, and he was ordered to "reach the column at any cost and not to spare his horse." He left Mafeking between 2 and 2.30 o'clock on Monday afternoon, December 30th, the road having been designated, the distance from Mafeking to the Transvaal border being about twelve miles. After crossing the border he was stopped by ten armed Boers who took him to the house of Field Cornet Low at Molofo where the dispatches were taken from him; after some indecision they were given back and he was finally allowed to proceed under an armed escort. They rode all night passing two armed men, with two Kaffirs mounted on horses branded "C. C." They obtained food and forage for their horses at two deserted stores, then rode a distance of eighty miles and came up with the column the next morning, still under escort. The packet which contained five letters was given to Cal. Grey who ordered him to turn them over to Col. Willoughby and [-230-] he in turn sent the messenger with them to Dr. Jameson. Dr. Jameson also refused to receive them and sent White back to CoI. Willoughby who, he said, was in command. The letters were finally delivered amongst the officers, and he was told to wait an hour for an answer. Notwithstanding the fact that the letters had been read, the column mounted at noon and proceeded on its march to Johannesburg. They had 300 fresh horses and he was asked to take the tired horses, some 290 branded "C. C.," back to Mafeking, and six Cape boys were promised him by Col. Grey to help look after them. Before they started, half an hour after the column had left twenty armed Boers rode up and posted a guard around the kraal where the horses were collected. Sergeant White started back to Mafeking, still unarmed, and three hours after sunset met a Boer officer with 300 men who had come from Rustenburg, taken possession of the stores and were pursuing Jameson's column. They had captured the Kaffirs whom he had met with the mounted police, the night before.
John Frank Jones was called at this point in the narrative to identify the signature of Dr. Jameson that had been affixed to a letter, which, however, he had not written.
The cross-examination was conducted by Sir Edward Clarke and, contrasted with the somewhat brusque and direct method of the Attorney-General, his manner was suavity itself. He was a stout man, rather short of stature, with strong irregular features and thin lips which, in repose were tightly compressed. In the cross-examination Sergeant White was not quite so definite as he had been at first respecting the horses, which he had been asked to take back to Mafeking; he thought of the entire number perhaps one-third were fresh.
"You did not examine them closely," the Magistrate asked in his mild voice.
"I did not examine them carefully, but I should think that one-third were fresh."
Aside from this slight and unimportant discrepancy, the story which Sir Edward Clarke drew from the witness was the same that had been told the Attorney-General.
When he had finished the court took a short recess for luncheon, and rather a singular thing occurred. Throughout the morning it had been difficult to either see or hear the witnesses from the seat which I occupied, the view being obstructed by those who were standing. At last I also rose, when a tall, fair-haired young man, neatly though not fastidiously dressed, sitting on one of the front benches, rose also, and begged me to take his seat, which I hesitated to do. He politely insisted, and I then sat down while he stepped into the place I had vacated. When the court convened, after the recess, I apologized for having deprived him of his place and he replied:
"O you were quite welcome to it." Then he removed his hat and continued to talk, with a certain diffidence, for several minutes. Presently the name of Barend Daniel Bouwer was called and the young man rose and walked to the witness stand.
Another man, rather untidy and much embarrassed, took his place in a vacant space between the witness stand and the counsel. This proved to be the interpreter and the whole of Mr. Bouwer's testimony was given in Dutch and was translated by this interpreter. When chatting with me his English seemed so perfect, both in accent and in fluency, that I could not have supposed he was other than an educated Englishman. The young Boer's manner was modest and pleasing; there was nothing to indicate that rudeness and coarseness which certain chroniclers have attributed to his race; his bearing was that of an intelligent and well-bred man. He spoke in tones so low that it was almost impossible to hear him, and, although his speech was perfectly unintelligible, the Attorney-General felt impelled at last to ask him "if he could not speak louder".
The Dutch vernacular, from the lips of the interpreter, was very harsh and guttural and much interspersed with English. When he asked the witness if he went east or west he said:
"Oost or west?"
Bouwer testified that he was a clerk in the office of General Joubert, Commander-in-chief of the forces of the South African Republic. He knew Sir Jacobus de Wet, the British representative at Pretoria. On December 31st, he had received orders to look up two Africanders to take a dispatch to Dr. Jameson; he was asked to define the term "Africander."
"It is a Dutch resident who is entitled to vote," he replied, in his native tongue, which was put into English by the interpreter. He found one, he said, but could not find two.
"What!" exclaimed Sir Edward Clarke with the suavest irony, "You could not find two?"
Bouwer coloured with embarrassment at the laughter which this occasioned among the friends of the Chartered Company, and in which the Judge and the Duke of Abercorn and a few of the defendants also joined. Presently Bouwer resumed his story and said that he was ordered to go to Sir Jacobus de Wet and was informed that he was the man to carry a letter which was given him. He was told to place it in Dr. Jameson's hands and although the British representative did not know where Jameson was, Bouwer was told to ride in the direction of Rustenburg; nothing was said about Krugersdorp. Bouwer was accordingly given the letter and shortly after noon accompanied by the one Africander who had been detailed to accompany him, rode in the direction of Rustenburg as he was ordered. He was asked where he came up with Jameson's forces and, through the medium of the treble- voiced interpreter, replied:
"Close to the spot called Van Nit Hooriswinkle Spruit, or Van Nit Hooriswinkel."
"You had best get that right," said the Attorney-General, and not unreasonably, addressing the clerk of the court; "Have you got it, Mr. Cavendish?"
Mr. Cavendish, who sat at his desk behind the rail which separated the officials of the court from the audience, wrote rapidly for a moment, then critically inspected his work, after which, with something of an air of relief, he replied in the affirmative. This caused another laugh at which the witness and the interpreter smiled deprecatingly. The humour of the incident, failed, as usual, to amuse Dr. Jameson.
Van Nit Hooriswinkle Spruit, Bouwer explained, after Mr. Cavendish had finished dotting his "i's" and crossing his "t's," was eighteen miles northwest from Krugersdorp. When he reached the column they had halted; he, the witness, was unarmed and dressed in civilian's clothes. He asked a sentry where Dr. Jameson was and was told that he was in camp. He was allowed to proceed and met an officer whom he could not identify among the defendants, who asked his name, and was then taken to Dr. Jameson's house.
"Is that gentleman sitting at the end of the row Dr. Jameson?" asked the Attorney-General.
Bouwer leaned forward an instant, looked down at Dr. Jameson, who turned his face toward the witness that he might be more readily identified.
Then Bouwer replied: "Yes."
"What did you say to him?" he was asked.
"I said," replied Bouwer, "I have a letter for you from Sir Jacobus de Wet, and he explained that he spoke English. At the request of the Attorney-General he repeated the statement in English, just as he had made it to Dr. Jameson, and he did this so readily and intelligibly that the Magistrate remarked in rather a surprised tone:
"You speak English very well."
Bouwer smiled at the compliment, but continued to give his testimony in Dutch.
"Dr. Jameson read the letter," he went on, "and said he would give me a letter to take back."
It was written while Bouwer went out to look after his horse and given him when he returned. He had no further conversation with Dr. Jameson, and rode away accompanied by the Africander, who was afterwards discovered by a number of men whom they met, and who would not allow them to proceed. Bouwer went back, and this occurrence was reported to Dr. Jameson, who at once mounted his horse and rode with the witness to the place where he had been detained. Jameson told him that he thought he had been stopped by Col. White, and added:
"If Col. White will not let you go on you will have to go with the troops to Johannesburg." The Africander objected to this, and said that it was not right for the Chartered Company's forces to stop the messengers on their return; that Col. White had no right either to stop them or keep them prisoners.
At the request of Sir Richard Webster, Col. White rose, tall and broad chested, a man thirty years of age or more, of distinctly military bearing; he was at once identified by Bouwer and sat down again.
"Dr. Jameson spoke to Col. White, Bouwer continued, looking steadily at the defendant, then identifying him.
The Attorney-General next produced a document and asked Bouwer if Col. White had given it to him.
"No sir," he replied without hesitation, "It was given me by Sir John Willoughby. "
Col. Willoughby was asked to rise for identification, as Col. White had done-a slight, swarthy man, much less soldierly, and rather more embarrassed than Col. White had been. Captain Grenfell also rose and was identified as the man who had been with Col. Willoughby at the time Bouwer met him.
The document proved to be a pass which had been given Bouwer and the Africander to enable them to go through Dr. Jameson's lines and it had been signed by Sir John Willoughby. The Attorney-General turned to the Magistrate, after Bouwer had identified the pass, and said that he had in his hand, also, a letter which Dr. Jameson had commissioned Bouwer to carry.
"I will read it Sir John," he said, and permission being given, did so. It had been delivered to Sir Jacobus de Wet by Bouwer in Pretoria, and was as follows:
"Jan. I, 1896. To Sir Jacobus de Wet, Her Majesty's Agent at Pretoria:
"Dear Sir: I am in receipt of the message you sent from His Excellency the High Commissioner, and beg to reply, for His Excellency's information that I shall, of course, obey his instructions. I have a very large force both of men and horses to feed, and as I have finished all my supplies in the rear I must perforce go either to Johannesburg or Krugersdorp this morning for this purpose. At the same time, I must acknowledge that I am anxious to fulfil my promise on the petition of the principal inhabitants of the Rand to come to the aid of my fellow-men in their extremity. I have molested no one, and have-explained to all Dutchmen and all I have met that the above is my sole object, and that I then desire to at once return to the Protectorate. I am, Yours faithfully,
"L. S. JAMESON"
After some debate between the counsel for the Crown and for the defendants, it was directed to finish that day the examination of those witnesses who had arrived, after which a lengthy adjournment would be ordered until others could be summoned from South Africa.
With one or two exceptions the story had been related, in reality, by the prosecution; the witnesses merely confirming the statements of the counsel and concurring in a recital of successive events. There was, however, nothing that so much as suggested the bullying of a witness, and no display of autocratic authority on the part of the Magistrate. The eminent men employed on either side were as courteous as they were learned, and there was a marked disposition to get at the truth and to deal impartially with both the defendants and those who had been summoned to appear against them. There was no impatience, no hurry; sufficient time was given for the thorough investigation of any point that appeared confused or doubtful; those who were diffident and embarrassed were treated with a consideration that speedily restored their self-confidence, and there was no great elation over any advantage gained by either side. The entire proceedings forced one to feel the profoundest respect and admiration for the decency and dignity of an English court.
The trial was resumed the following week, the first week in April, and the evidence heard at that time simply corroborated what had been already stated relative to the cutting of telegraph wires, the recruiting, arming and mounting of the Chartered Company's forces.
There was then an interval of one month, pending the arrival of other witnesses from Cape Colony. Interest had not flagged, and, as before, a fashionable and attentive audience was present. The personnel of the spectators, however, was much changed. The enthusiastic sympathizer, who had been so outspoken in his championship of the reluctant witnesses on the first day, was again present, but was much more subdued and far less officious. Bouwer, Joubert's clerk, relieved of further responsibility was an attentive listener; but many of the swarthy, sunburned South Africans were missing, having returned to the Cape. A tall, muscular young man with waving dark hair and with a tinge of African blood in his veins gave a certain picturesque look to a group at one of the doors; there were more English officers than before and, these were accompanied by their friends. The Hebrew spectators, ardent and voluble sympathizers with Dr. Jameson, who were supposed to be stock-holders in the Chartered Company, were extremely intrusive. A lady who had been conducted to a seat reserved for her happened to leave it for a moment, when one of them, a fussy and noisy man with a scarlet necktie and a superabundance of diamonds, pounced upon it instantly, while the police were occupied elsewhere; he picked up the chair and brandishing the legs in dangerous proximity to the eyes of a row of people seated in a bench along the wall, squeezed it into a corner already crowded and there remained, complacent and well-satisfied.
Dr. Jameson had been visiting a number of hospitable country houses during the intervening Easter holidays, and his companions had enjoyed similar relaxation, so that they appeared to be much rested and refreshed. Dr. Jameson's improvement, apparently, was .only physical, for he was as depressed and as melancholy as ever, taking little interest in the progress of the trial and the incidents of the court-room. It was said that he had suffered keenly in his detention in England during the uprising of the natives in Matabeleland, which had followed, as a direct and immediate result of the raid.
Major General Sir Frederick Carrington had left London early in April, and a number of Dr. Jameson's officers were at the station to see him off, envying him the privilege of going out to the Cape, and expressing a strong desire to accompany his command.
The curiosity in regard to Dr. Jameson had increased rather than abated, and as he again entered the courtroom a red-faced matron asked excitedly:
"Which is he? Which is he?" and one of the officials obligingly pointed him out. A fashionably dressed woman pushed her son forward, a lad in an Eton jacket and collar, and approached so near his chair that her frank comments must have been plainly audible. The proceedings were opened by the Attorney-General who stated that but little new evidence had been secured, and after hearing the testimony of the witnesses that had recently arrived he asked another adjournment until June 11th - the earliest date that could be arranged, since the men subpoenaed could not leave Cape Town until May 20th.
Sir Edward Clarke objected very strongly to this delay, expressing a hope that the trial might be concluded before the long vacation. Moreover, he thought it time that the prosecution should give the defence some idea of the nature of the evidence which they had obtained. In addition to this, there was a number of the defendants against whom no charges could be sustained and these, he thought, should be discharged. This opinion was delivered with considerable emphasis and was heard by the Attorney- General with unruffled composure. He replied courteously that the prosecution had required but little time to subpoena witnesses, but time must be given after leaving the Cape for their arrival in England. If it was thought proper to discharge certain of the defendants, special application should be made in each case. He had heard nothing in the evidence that would justify him in differentiating the responsibility of the various defendants. Further development might justify such a course, but it could not be urged at that time. He said that he would consider carefully whether he could let the defence know what he would next attempt to prove, as he did not wish to take them by surprise. The Magistrate thereupon agreed to arrange his engagements in the court, so that he might resume hearing the case, when it was most convenient for the counsel.
The most interesting witness that day was Arthur Maynard Rowland, whose adventure surpassed in boldness, even the daring of Dr. Jameson himself, and whose courage and steadiness of nerve had made him something of a hero upon his return to London. His father was a Congregational clergyman living near London. Rowland was a stalwart, handsome young man, with very little in his manner or appearance to indicate the fearless adventurer that he was. He kissed the Bible with a sort of airy nonchalance, and once or twice laughed heartily at some episode which his testimony recalled; he seemed rather proud of the part he bad taken in the raid, and was not in the least reluctant to give an account of it. Like Sergeant White his behaviour upon the witness stand was, to say the least, unconventional. At first he stood erect, and then, as the hours wore away, he became more careless and leaned forward, resting his elbows upon the ledge in front of him and supporting his chin with his hands. His escapade was one of the most fool-hardy episodes of the entire Transvaal campaign, undertaken almost single-handed and with the knowledge that failure meant death.
Rowland testified that he was a mechanical engineer in Johannesburg, and was a member of a cycling club. He carried out the last dispatch sent to Dr. Jameson by the reform committee, hiding it in the saddle-pin of his machine. He was accompanied by a Boer named Cellier. They were overhauled by the Boers, after they had gone some distance, who, supposing them to be two cyclist out for a harmless run, not only let them pass through their lines but commissioned them to carry dispatches to their commandant at the front, which they readily consented to do. They obtained permits to continue on their journey after proceeding to the front, reaching Dr. Jameson in safety, delivered the Johannesburg message, and also informed him as to the purport of the message which they had left with the Boer commandant, and which they had not hesitated to read. In the course of the questioning, Mr. Rowland explained that he had helped to organize the bicycle corps of which he was a member, and had been commissioned to proceed to the Black Reef series of mines and ascertain if there were any armed Boers in that region. When they reached Krugersdorp they came across a number of well-armed Boers, the commandant retreating on the road before Dr. Jameson's troops. He was given a pass to deliver to Potgieter, the Boer commandant at the front and furnished a pass. At one of the mines they found a number of natives removing the timbers where an ambuscade was suspected. Near at hand was a company of Boers who had a party of prisoners. Their passes were produced and they were allowed to continue their journey without hindrance. Seven miles from Krugersdorp they came up with Commandant Potgieter and delivered the despatches which they had brought him and then, under the pretext of having had no breakfast, asked permission to go on in search of a hotel.
"You did not tell them you were carrying dispatches for Dr. Jameson, did you ?" asked Mr. Horace Avory, who was conducting the examination.
Rowland smiled suggestively but did not reply to this query. There was a burst of laughter, several of the defendants being highly amused; even Sir John Bridge seemed, to appreciate the ingenuousness of the question.
Rowland stated that the Boers warned them to look out for the British column which was advancing, and he laughed heartily at the recollection of the incident and the court and the spectators again laughed with him. He and his companion reached a hotel fifteen miles from Krugersdorp, rode on from there, telling the Boers whom they met from time to time that they were Potgieter's scouts, a ruse they were able to carry out successfully by means of the passes which had been furnished them. Shortly afterwards they saw Jameson's forces coming over a hill and when they reached the column they asked to be taken to the leader. The dispatches were delivered and read immediately.
"Who read them ?" Rowland was asked.
"I think that they were read by an officer who was standing beside Dr. Jameson," was the reply.
"Do you think you could recognize him among the defendants ?" was the next question.
Rowland who, at this juncture was bending forward in his favourite attitude, with his chin upon his hands, straightened himself, smiled, then replied very guardedly, still smiling:
"They were very differently dressed when I saw them, which would change their appearance."
The question of identification was not pressed. Rowland said that he was forced to read the dispatches committed to him in Johannesburg as a matter of self-protection, and was asked to give their substance, but his memory which, up to this point had been remarkable, suddenly failed him. At length, after much assistance from the' prosecution, he recalled that one had .been written by Col. Rhodes and another by George Farrar, two of the men whom the Kruger government subsequently sentenced to death and then pardoned. The dispatches described the situation in Johannesburg and the witness was also able to remember that Dr. Jameson was warned of the ambuscade at the mine, informed that no fight had occurred and that he was told that "they hoped to see him in the evening." In a conversation Dr. Jameson told Rowland that he "intended to go through the Boers."
He was asked to explain this statement.
"Well," replied the witness with some hesitation, "he said that he would not fire unless he was fired upon first."
On their return Rowland and Cellier were again stopped by the Boers who charged them with having communicated with Dr. Jameson and which Rowland said he at once denied.
When asked to describe the manner in which they were stopped he explained artlessly that the Boers had made them halt "by putting cartridges in their rifles and getting in the way generally.
This description again appealed to the humour of the court and the spectators and there was another laugh, Major Coventry, especially, enjoying it keenly.
Rowland and Cellier were arrested in spite of their denial that they had not seen Jameson who had given Rowland a dispatch to carry back, and which he had concealed as before, in the saddle-pin of his bicycle. At the hotel where they were taken, the Boers, as he put it "had a long palaver," as to what should be done with them. They were finally turned over to the men at the mine where they were told that they would be placed under Boer protection against the English. He and Cellier sat out upon the kopje all the afternoon and at half past six in the evening an armed escort started with them back to Krugersdorp. In an attempt to get rid of Dr. Jameson's dispatches he pretended to let his machine run away with him down hill. He had already walked up one hill pushing the machine before him, on the pretext that he was tired of riding, when the Boers rode back to him, ordering him .to remount and threatening to shoot him if he disobeyed. When the machine ran away he guided it close under the kopje, dismounted and let the air out of the tire; Cellier did the same, and the Boers again discussed the feasibility of shooting them, but at length decided to keep them under guard. Rowland and his companion then volunteered to do ambulance work should their services be required.
Jameson's column appeared in a little while after this, and the Boers immediately opened fire, which was promptly returned, and it was kept up on both sides all the afternoon. Rowland and Cellier, both being unarmed, took refuge from the bullets in the shaft of the mine and in the evening, while the fight was still going on, the march was continued. When they reached the town they were released on parole. Cellier went over to Johannesburg on Jan. 3rd and Rowland followed on the 7th and finally escaped, making his way to Pretoria. He was never formally released by the Boers and never learned what became of the bicycle. He made his escape upon a wheel which he managed in some way to secure.
"Were you paid for your services?" Mr. Avory asked. "I was paid-that is, the man who holds my power of attorney was paid, Rowland replied.
Sir Edward Clarke who endeavoured to show that a predatory raid had not been planned, the National Union hoping to establish justice by peaceable methods, asked if it was not generally believed that the Boers would attack Johannesburg.
"It was not shown certainly," was the reply, "but there were a great many rumours."
"Was there great alarm for the safety of the women and children ?" Sir Edward then asked.
"Yes, great alarm."
The witness stated, further, that he read the messages so that in case it became necessary to destroy them he could deliver them verbally. The Boer message was in Dutch and informed Potgieter that the Dutch column would reach the hill in the afternoon. This Rowland communicated to Dr. Jameson. In the re-examination by the Attorney-General, Rowland said that he received his instruction from the committee in Johannesburg December 31st. He also recalled the fact that one of the dispatches to Dr. Jameson "expressed the surprise of the reform committee that Dr. Jameson was coming through."
Rowland had been upon the stand for more than two hours, replying to the questions which were put to him, with scarcely a pause, and he seemed neither fatigued nor abashed when he was at last excused, and the usual recess was given for luncheon. Tea was served those who desired it in adjacent restaurants, and several ladies who had brought their lunch baskets with them remained seated, eating sandwiches and sipping their claret with a relish. The evidence of the afternoon related to the cutting of the telegraph wire, and contracts for horses made with Col. White and Alfred Henry Harbor, a livery stable keeper in Mafeking.
The first witness was Inspector Fuller of the Cape Mounted Police, who had notified the authorities that Dr. Jameson's forces had started. He was a tall, swarthy man with a heavy black moustache, rather irascible, and his irritability made a fine foil for the unruffled calmness of the Attorney-General. He testified that he had arrived at Mafeking from Vryberg, Sunday, December 29th, and found the column preparing to leave. He had a conversation with Major Coventry and Col. Grey and thereupon ordered Inspector Brown to watch the column. In the evening, learning that the column was falling in, he asked Major White where they were going, but got no satisfactory answer.
"What did he say?" asked the Attorney-General.
"I cannot recall it," replied the witness very testily.
"Can you give the substance of it ?"
"It is impossible for me to remember, after so long a time," was the reply.
"But cannot you give some idea - not the exact words," persisted the Attorney-General.
"I cannot remember it; I do not wish to attempt it," the Inspector said again, adding something under his breath about "such a place as this."
He admitted one fact, however, that produced a somewhat startling effect. It had been ascertained before this that the telegraph wires had been cut, shutting off communication with Dr. Jameson and the authorities empowered to order his immediate return. An effort had been made to place the blame upon the Boers. Inspector Fuller's evidence, reluctantly and haltingly given, conclusively disposed of this theory and showed that, if Dr. Jameson's officers had not been directly responsible, they were at least aware that the wires had been tampered with.
On Sunday evening prior to the departure of the column the witness had seen Major, the Hon. Robert White, who told him that some of the junior officers did not care to go with the troop, and the Inspector was asked to urge them to consent. Fuller said that he was unwilling because he was still wearing the uniform of the government service. When the column marched away Col. White bade him good-bye and, returning his salute, the Inspector remarked that he would be obliged to report the departure of the column. Col. White replied:
"You can do as you like; the wires are cut."
This speech created something of a sensation in the court-room and Col. White, a fine type of the British officer, towering head and shoulders above Dr. Jameson, was nonplussed for an instant and brushed his hand nervously across his face; there was also a little embarrassment in Major Coventry's ever-ready smile. Dr. Jameson alone appeared not to have heard the astonishing statement; he retained his phlegmatic composure and did not raise his down-cast eyes, although some of the officials of the court bent a look of dignified and polite disapproval upon the stalwart Inspector. Fuller's testimony concluded with an account of dispatching a message to Mafeking to send a telegram to Kimberly, which, as had been already stated, involved a roundabout journey of fifty miles upon horseback, and hours of delay.
When the court adjourned and the people poured out into Wellington street they were horrified by dispatches which had just been received from the Cape; newsboys were calling special editions of the evening papers with the latest telegrams announcing that four leaders of the reform committee, Mr. Lionel Phillips, Mr. John Hays Hammond, Mr. Percy Farrar and Col. Rhodes had been condemned to death by the Boers. It caused the utmost consternation; the papers were rapidly bought up and there were shocked and excited comments on the news. The day had been a very exciting one, of itself, within the court; and this last stroke seemed to complete the chapter of sensations that had followed, one upon another, through Rowland's long narrative and the briefer, but not less stirring admissions made by Inspector Fuller. The news undoubtedly fell upon Dr. Jameson, sad and troubled as he was, with crushing effect.
As had been agreed upon, an interval of seven weeks elapsed before the hearing of the case was resumed. If, as had been charged, there was a purpose in the repeated remanding of the defendants, the long delay between the arrival of successive detachments of witnesses, it had failed; public interest, although notoriously fickle in London, had not abated in the least; the demand for tickets of admission to the court-room was as great as ever, and Dr. Jameson was still the centre of not always polite observation. The number of Boers present was considerably augmented by new arrivals, all of whom had been smartly turned out by London tailors, and with their carnation boutonnières, might have walked Piccadilly like men to the manner born.
The main work of the day was the identification of dispatches which had already been given the public during the judicial proceedings in Pretoria, immediately following the raid. The letters, which were of the most compromising character, had been preserved where any man of ordinary prudence would have at once destroyed them. The cipher had been devised from the ordinary telegraphic and commercial code book, which was as familiar to the Boer authorities as to the English, and it required very little ingenuity to transcribe the messages. The first witness called was Lieut. Eloff, a grandson of President Kruger. As the young man took his place upon the stand, modest, reserved, vet perfectly sure of himself, he made a very favourable impression. He did not fidget or toss him self about, but stood quiet and attentive and replied in soft, well modulated tones; his English was excellent, almost without accent, and an interpreter was not required. Lieut. Eloff's testimony related to his encounter with the English forces under Jameson's command. He had received important information and had started, in consequence, for Mafeking; he was mounted and had with him nine men whom he left behind when he went, alone, to meet Jameson's column, which he came up with at Swaatlaagete. He paused a moment at this point to spell the long word for the clerk who was rapidly recording the testimony, and then continued, stating that he was stopped by Scouts and taken to one of Dr. Jameson's officers, who, he was told, was Col. Grey. When questioned a little more minutely Lieut. Eloff admitted to Col. Grey that he had been paroled, but refused to tell how many men he had with him, whereupon Col. Grey said that he would "find out for himself." Dr. Jameson's column had halted and the men dismounted. Eloff's horse was taken from him for a time, a receipt being given him for the animal, and an armed guard was placed over him with the promise that both his arms and his horse should be restored, either in Johannesburg or Pretoria.
Eloff said that when he asked to see Dr. Jameson the request was at first refused and then reconsidered and granted.
"What did you say to Dr. Jameson ?" the examiner asked, to which the young Boer replied with dignity and certainly with very convincing logic:
"I asked him if he had any right to arrest me, a Transvaal officer, when no war had been declared."
Dr. Jameson, he said, did not reply to this question directly, but replied after a pause:
"You shall have your horse back again, but we will keep your arms."
No conditions of any sort were made by Dr. Jameson, but the man who returned the horse informed Lieut. Eloff that he was to remain where he was for two hours after Dr. Jameson's column had resumed the march, and it was about nine o'clock when the last of Jameson's wagons left. At the expiration of the stipulated time, Eloff rode in the direction of Rustenberg, coming up with Commandant Malen at two or three o'clock in the morning. Malen had 300 men with him and went on to Queen's Battery, the mine, a quarter of an hour from Krugersdorp, which he reached about noon on January 1st. Jameson's column arrived between three and four o'clock in the afternoon, and a note was brought the Boer commandant, saying that if any resistance was offered the town would be shelled, and it was asked that the women and children be removed to a place of safety. The message was brought by a man who represented himself to be one of Jameson's prisoners.
"But," added Eloff naively, "he disappeared after that and we did not see him again."
This speech, delivered in a very mild voice, was greeted with laughter which seemed rather surprising to the witness.
In half an hour the first shell was fired'; there were then about 500 Boers upon the ground. The firing continued an hour and a half until it grew dark, Jameson charging the Boer outposts, a few of his men being killed and wounded in the manoeuvre. The Boers then began to fire both from their battery and outposts and drove Jameson back; part of the column they moved toward Randfontheim, and ultimately to Dornkoop where the battle took place. Eloff said that he was not present at the time of the surrender.
"Of course you knew they surrendered ?" asked the Magistrate.
"Yes," was the brief reply.
Sir Edward Clarke gave notice that he would not cross-examine the witness but would claim the privilege of recalling him in the future, with others, if it seemed necessary.
After Lieut. Eloff had been excused a small tin box painted yellow and grained in imitation of oak, was produced, with a black box and a large portfolio; the lid of the yellow box was crushed and dinted. Both boxes were identified by Paul Constant Paff, a sallow, fair-haired young man, with a mildness and composure of manner quite equal to that of his compatriot, Lieut. Eloff. The black box was marked with the name of Captain White. Both boxes had been brought in, with various other articles from Jameson's column after the surrender. They had been opened by order of Mr. Woolmaarens, a member of the Transvaal executive council, in the presence of Captain Erasmus and others. The boxes contained books, bank notes and writing material. The statement was corroborated by Albert Reinold Fleischack, of the civil division of the State's Attorney department in Pretoria. His English was not as distinct as that of Lieut. Eloff, but the slender, well-dressed gentleman, dark-haired, dark-eyed and with his straight, symmetrical features, London clothes and gold rimmed eyeglasses, was about as far removed from the Boer of popular fiction as could well be imagined. Walking along Regent Street he would not have been in any way conspicuous or remarkable. He promptly identified the boxes with the leather portfolio marked L. S. J., and said that, after the boxes had been examined, their contents had been replaced and they had been closed again; they were then sealed, the portfolio being delivered unsealed by the Inspector-General of Customs in whose keeping it had been placed; the seals on the boxes were broken by the Attorney-General.
Fleischack, had been commissioned to secure the signatures of the men who were then prisoners. This he evidently had no difficulty in doing; Dr. Jameson, Sir John Willoughby, the Hon. H. F. White and the Hon. Robert White obligingly writing their full names on a sheet of paper which was produced.
Fleischack also testified to having had an interview with the Hon. R. White concerning a letter from four inhabitants of Johannesburg. This was produced, with various maps and documents, which were also identified. The Hon. Robert White had asked to have his diary and the pay sheets of Dr. Jameson's forces returned to him, desiring the latter, especially, that he might pay the men. The list was accordingly given him, but the diary was retained for official use. And now came that which, for Dr. Jameson, must have been a very trying ordeal-the reading aloud of his letters in the court-room, in the hearing of the judges, counsel and spectators. There are very few private letters that do not suffer under such treatment; statements meant only for the eye of a friend seem to acquire another meaning when they are repeated casually, in the public ear. These letters were read in a distinct voice and in somewhat monotonous tones by the Attorney-General, from large type-written sheets of foolscap, which he held in his hand, the witness listening carefully, following the original text which had been given him. The first letter was not especially important but the interest increased as the reading progressed. Dr. Jameson could not conceal his distress and mortification; at the first word he flushed deeply, even his ears turning a blazing scarlet. But the Attorney-General went on remorselessly, as he was forced by the exigencies of the case to do.
"BLOKFONTEIN, Jan. 1.
"DEAR WOLFF: I am taking all necessary stores here for both men and horses. Yours,
"L. S. JAMESON."
The next, the witness said had been given him by the Transvaal State's Attorney; he believed that it was also in Dr. Jameson's hand writing. The Attorney-General was of the opinion that it ought to be read, and it was handed to the Magistrate who adjusted his eyeglasses and scanned the bit of paper very carefully, after which it was returned and, with his approval, read in the court. It was as follows:
"Dec. 30, 1895.
"I am in receipt of your protest of above date and have to inform you that I intend to proceed with my original plans, in which I have no hostile intentions against the people of the Transvaal. We are here in reply to an invitation from the principal residents of the Rand to assist them in their demand for justice and the ordinary rights of every citizen of a civilized state.
"L. S. JAMESON."
"To whom was this letter addressed ?" Fleischack was asked.
"To the Commandant of the Marico district, was the reply.
The Attorney-General then turned his attention to the rest of the correspondence, a thick packet, also type-written on sheets of foolscap, which were passed about amongst the counsel for inspection.
"DEAR BOBBY" - the Attorney-General began, then he hesitated and asked:
"Is it Bobby or Robby ?" emphasizing the first syllable of the diminutive. There was an unconscious and wholly unintentional irony in the question that sent the blood to Dr. Jameson's forehead again and caused him to shift uneasily in his chair. Fleischack said "Bobby," whereupon the Attorney-General repeated it - "Dear Bobby" and read the letter through.
"KIMBERLY CLUB, KIMBERLY, Nov. 5, 1895.
"DEAR BOBBY-I am writing you that Foley leaves tomorrow to join you in camp. Use him and keep him there. Not intentionally, but idiotically, he has been talking too much, Frank writes me, and that is the reason they have sent him on to me. Holden is here and is doing very good work. He is a capital chap. I have told Foley that, as you must have a man, and as Holden cannot go, he is to take his place. If you cannot do with him send him up with a message to Johnnie. Everything here seems to be going right, especially Gardner Williams' part of it. I go in again to-night and will let you know later.
"L. S. JAMESON.
"Do you know who Gardner Williams was ?" asked the Attorney-General pausing and looking toward the witness.
Fleischack replied that he knew him by reputation, and that he was the manager of the De Beers company at Kimberly.
The next two letters were from Major Willoughby who complained, in this strain, of the vagueness of Dr. Jameson's instructions:
BULUWAYO, Nov. 8, 1895.
"DEAR BOBBY: Kennedy and Dr. Jameson go by this coach to you. The former will look after all the stores, supplies and equipments as they arrive, and I think he may also take up the duties of camp quarter-master. Employ him in any way you think. I cannot get anything out of the doctor as yet except vague and disappointing telegrams. In the meantime, the days are slipping by. If you have not got mules or pack saddles don't do so, but get the refusal of them for a week or so, and go easy with the expenditure until you hear from me, or have instructions from the doctor. Your wire of mules, etc., was rather an open one.
"BULUWAYO, Nov. 18, 1895.
"My DEAR BOBBY: Why do you not write and tell me all you are doing? The doctor wires that everything is all right and that he is arranging for equipment and horses and that we should have 600 men including the Bechuanaland Border Police. It is important not to send any men, horses or equipments now. I wish that I could come down, but he will not let me just yet. Mind you drill the men inside out at outpost, advance guard work, skirmishing, etc. I hope that you are getting on well.
The climax of this interesting correspondence which, taken as a whole, seemed certainly to convey the idea of a premeditated foray, rather than an impulse of patriotic fervour, was from Dr. Jameson. It was greeted with a burst of laughter in which most of the officers joined. To the luckless writer the unavoidable reading must have been a species of torture, and his mortification was again very marked. His face burned painfully and he moved nervously in his chair, once raising his eyes with an expression that was almost appealing. The Attorney-General read the letter slowly and with the utmost distinctness.
"JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 9, 1895.
"DEAR BOBBY: Hope by the time you get this you will have our men in camp; also about 100 from Stevens. I shall arrive in about a fortnight or a little longer. The almost certain date will be December 26. From Willoughby's wire there ought to be 150 complete equipments on the way down, and now you had better find out from him when they are likely to arrive. I have wired to Willoughby that he is not to send down any men or anything further, as those people up there have been blabbing, and here, they are still getting letters on the subject; therefore I wired to Willoughby to stop all drilling but to give out all the horses, etc. Willoughby himself must not come down until much later, though I know he does not like it. Now you see the force ought to be about 600. If there are not enough saddles find out if Grey has any reserve; if not, tell Stevens he must get them below. I do not see that you want any more equipment or any horses, but if you require them they would also have to come from Stevens. Of course efficiency and proper equipment are important, but what is much more important, in fact vital, is that suspicion should not be raised in any way. Everything is in perfect order. I am going to the Cape on Friday, and shall be a week before coming to Mafeking, unless some unpleasant blabbing occurs, when we might have to hurry things. Wolff will tell you the rest. L. S. J."
In response to an inquiry Fleischack explained that Wolff was "a Dr. Wolff of Johannesburg in charge of the stores." He also testified that a telegram dated November 25th had been found in the black box; it was in cipher from Dr. Jameson, Cape Town, to Major White, Mafeking. The cipher had been found - a sheet of paper with cipher words written on it - in a volume of MacNeil's general telegraphic and mining code. The Attorney-General explained that the telegram had been translated thus:
"There are at the British Bechuanaland police stores equipments for a number of men, as we have already written you by Dr. Wolff. Remember B. S. A. Company's police, and the B. B. P. we took over are already fully equipped. Send the equipment out quietly to Pitsani. I see there are 147 military saddles. Send them all out with their fittings."
From Robert White to Col. Rhodes, Johannesburg, Dec. 8th, 1895: "Your cable, dated yesterday, received. Hope no delay. Don't alter unless obliged. According to original understanding, all right, therefore any delay would be most injurious."
This concluded the work of the morning, the consideration of other messages relating to horses and ammunition being resumed after luncheon. One from Dr. Jameson to Major White was as follows:
"All men after to-day must be able absolutely to ride. Send no more after Dec. 12th. How many do you expect by then? Date fixed is December 28th."
There was also an order by wire for "salted horses;" these, it was explained, were the only ones that were equal to a 300-mile march. There was in addition to this an order for 200, instead of 100 Lee-Metford rifles at first ordered. A telegram from Dr. Jameson to Robert White to be transmitted to Mr. Stevens, Cape Town, ended the reading for that time.
"Send following message," it ran, "to Frank. Begin, Grave suspicion has been aroused. Surely in your estimation, do you consider that races (sic) is the utmost importance. Prepare. Immence risk of discovery. Under circumstances it will be necessary to act prematurely. Let J. H. Hammond inform weak partners more delay more danger. Dr. Wolff inclined to precipitate rather than delay action."
Tracings were then produced of Troye's map of the Transvaal indicating the roads and streams-another evidence of systematic and careful preparation, which still further discredited the pretence of a spontaneous uprising in defence of the imperilled lives of women and children. There were five of these maps, all of which had been prepared with the utmost accuracy, and they were compared to the original and then passed to the Judge and the counsel as the letters and telegrams had been.
The last testimony of any special consequence was that of Frederick Tossel, which was heard the day after the telegrams and letters had been submitted. Tossel was chief of police for the district of Klerksdorp and Potchesfstroom in the Transvaal Republic. The narrative began in the most interesting and promising manner, but was cut short by Sir Edward Clarke who objected to the witness dilating upon matters which he desired should be stated concisely, and in direct response only to such questions as were asked, and to no others. When Tossel went upon the witness-stand to be sworn he held up the index and middle fingers of his right hand while the oath was administered, as all the Boers witnesses had done. And like them, he, too, was extremely composed and spoke distinctly and with quiet emphasis. He stated that he had been the chief detective of the South African Republic and was stationed at Johannesburg. On Monday, December 30th, he saw unmistakable signs of disturbance. The Solicitor-General, Sir R. Finlay, who was conducting the examination asked:
"Before that day had life and property been in danger?"
Sir Edward Clarke interrupted this query with some curtness, remarking:
"It is always in danger. That is the reason for the existence of a police force."
This provoked a good deal of laughter but it did not embarrass the witness who maintained his self-possession.
"Had there been any reason to apprehend disturbances in Johannesburg before that day ?" was the next question, put by the Solicitor-General.
"Not the slightest," was the reply and Tossel's eye was turned upon the double row of defendants, finally fixing itself upon Dr. Jameson who, for once, appeared to be listening with some interest.
"There was ordinary crime in Johannesburg," the witness added, after a moment's pause. "But with that," he continued, "the police force was able to cope. At that time they succeeded in making several important arrests, and crimes were unusually few."
Here Sir Edward Clarke again interposed pointing out that "none of the defendants had been in Johannesburg on that day."
The defendants, with the exception of Dr. Jameson, smiled broadly at this assertion, and the witness was requested to confine his replies to the questions asked by the Solicitor-General. He had evidently come into the court brimming with information and prepared to tell a very edifying story; but, thus cautioned, he condensed his statement to the mere fact that armed men had been seen going about the streets of Johannesburg, December 30th. There was other evidence which showed that stores had been erected at various points in the Transvaal and were well stocked with provisions and spirits. Five additional telegrams, three addressed to Dr. Jameson's brother, S. W. Jameson, were read after Tossel's testimony was concluded, which related to men and ammunition.
"Dr. Wolff, Johannesburg, Dec. 18, to Bobby White, Pitsani :-Would suggest that you at once instruct Major Raleigh Grey forward as soon as possible 200,000 surplus ammunition to Gardner F. Williams. There is not likely to be postponement."
"S. W. Jameson, Johannesburg, Dec. 26, to Jameson, [-260-] Pitsani :- It is absolutely necessary to postpone flotation through unforeseen circumstances altogether unexpected, and until we have C. J. Rhodes' absolute pledge that authority of Imperial government will not be insisted on. Charles Leonard left last night to interview C. J. Rhodes. We will endeavour to meet your wishes as regards December, but you must not move until you have received instructions so please confirm."
"Jameson, Pitsani, Dec 27, to S. W. Jameson, Johannesburg :-Dr. Wolff will understand the distant cutting. British Bechuanaland police have already gone forward; guarantee already given; therefore let W. H. Hammond telegraph instantly all right."
"Hays, Johannesburg, Dec. 27, to Jameson, Pitsani:- Wire just received. Experts report decidedly adverse. I absolutely condemn further developments at present."
"Starr (i. e. Jameson) Pitsani, Dec. 28, to Wolff:- Meet me as arranged before you leave, nine Tuesday night which will enable us to decide which is best destination. Make Advocate W. A. Leonard speak. Make cutting tonight without fail. Have great faith in J. H. Hammond, A. L. Lawley and miners with Lee-Metford rifle."
This concluded the hearing of the documents submitted in evidence.
The proclamation of the Foreign Enlistments Act in force at the Cape was submitted by the Solicitor-General, with a copy of the Order in Council assenting to the act, given by the Queen. The Solicitor-General stated that there were many other official documents relating to the territory, a list of which with copies of those of which he might not have duplicates would be furnished the counsel for the defence. Sir Edward Clarke expressed a wish to see them as soon as possible that he might satisfy himself particularly as to whether the requirement in the Foreign Enlistments Act, under which the proceedings had been instituted, had been fulfilled, and he gave notice that he would deal with this question when the court convened again on Monday. The Attorney-General announced that all the evidence which the Crown would submit had now been offered and when Sir Edward Clarke had cross- examined some of the witnesses whom he desired to question further, he would indicate the course he intended to pursue. Sir Edward replied that he would designate the witnesses required and called attention to the third clause of the Enlistments Act which it was shown came into operation in British possessions only upon the day of the proclamation of the act by the Governor thereof; this point, he gave notice, he would especially consider. The Attorney-General replied to the effect that "it would assist his learned friend to find in the bundle that had been given him a copy of the proclamation act dated Nov. 11, 1895. It had also been published in the Cape of Good Hope Gazette, Nov. 12, the following day. Sir Edward Clarke replied that he was under the impression that this was not the question, which related instead, to the existence of a proclamation legalizing the Foreign Enlistments Act in the territory. Thereupon he was once more informed by the Attorney-General that a document had been furnished him which fully covered this point.
"There is also," he added, "the annexation of British Bechuanaland to Cape Colony with the provision that the laws of Cape Colony should apply to British Bechuanaland."
To this statement Sir Edward replied warningly:
"Then I may say at once, that if the documents stop there I shall submit that there is no jurisdiction and that the statute has not been complied with." The court then adjourned until Monday, June 16th, when the hearing for committal terminated.
The trial had ceased to attract spectators in the street and the men arrived in cabs, driving up to the door of the police court comparatively unobserved. The day was excessively hot, for London, and the Magistrate, barristers, defendants and onlookers appeared to be rather languid and oppressed by the temperature. The doors into the corridor were left ajar and, but for a stray breeze that stole through now and then, it must have been extremely uncomfortable, the swarthy Africanders being the only persons who appeared not to notice the heat. The ladies on the bench and in the body of the court room were arrayed in summer muslins and lace-trimmed hats and bonnets; they fanned themselves energetically, chatting and dividing their attention between the defendants and a surreptitious study of the fashions in the conspicuous examples about them.
As the Attorney-General had given notice, the evidence for the Crown had all been submitted and no other witnesses were to be examined by the prosecution. Sir Edward Clarke also deferred the cross-examination which he had said he would conduct, so that the business for that day lay between the Attorney-General and himself. In a concise manner Sir Richard Webster stated that the point of objection which would be raised by the counsel for the defence was the validity of the jurisdiction of the court in connection with proclamation of the Foreign Enlistments Act in British Bechuanaland. He was led to believe that this point would not be argued by Sir Edward Clarke but that he would present it in the form of opinions deduced from official documents in his possession, to which he would call attention. •The proclamation of the Foreign Enlistment Act in Cape Colony, which was dated Sept. 28, 1870, was already in evidence. The point to be argued rested upon the annexation of British Bechuanaland to Cape Colony, which, according to an act of the Cape Parliament occurred Oct. 3rd, 1895, and from which date all laws and enactments were in force throughout the annexed territory. By the proclamation of the act, the laws of Cape Colony became the laws of Bechuanaland. After making this explanation the attorney said that he would hand into the court copies of the proclamation relating to all territories mentioned thus far in the investigation and these were accordingly turned over to Sir John Bridge, the Magistrate. Sir Edward Clarke replied to the effect that the Attorney-General, as he had promised, had supplied him with a full list of the documents upon which the Crown would base its argument; he said further, that he would not at that moment argue the point which he proposed to raise which was of serious importance and must be considered in the higher tribunal which would deal with the case. Mafeking and Pitsani-Potlugo, had been mentioned as starting points of the expedition, and the question concerning them was very different. He admitted that Mafeking was a part of British Bechuanaland and proclamations issued in September, 1885, might have made it a legal part of British possessions; the real question involved, however, was whether the proclamation of Nov. 16, 1895, annexing Bechuanaland to Cape Colony operated as a proclamation of the Foreign Enlistment Act in respect to British Bechuanaland. With the latter construction of the act the proceedings against the defendants would be a violation of the act. The question turned upon the effect of the proclamation which brought into force the act for the annexation of British Bechuanaland to Cape Colony. He was cognizant of the fact that at the date upon which the act went into effect, many incidents recounted in the evidence had taken place at Mafeking and it applied to those defendants who had started to Mafek ing and to the preparations which they had there completed. With regard to those who had started from Pitsani-Potlugo, the point with which the Crown would have to deal, was that it had never been a part of the British dominions but lay within the Bechuanaland protectorate, and without the area known as British Bechuanaland annexed to Cape Colony. It would be held that nothing occurred at Pitsani which could be construed as a violation of the Enlistments Act, which was in force only in British territory. It was stated, finally, that it would be convenient to include this argument in the notes of the case, but in view of the gravity of the questions to be considered he would not submit any formal argument in that court. The Attorney-General objected to Sir Edward Clarke's geographical assertions and disputed the proposition that Pitsani was not a part of the British possessions. He also said that he did not desire to argue the point at that time, but, as counsel for the prosecution, would state that he meant to ask what should be done in the case. When the fifteen defendants first arrived in England neither he nor the counsel for the defence had any facts or materials that would enable them to discriminate between their respective cases. The story gathered from papers submitted to them since, was, that all the defendants had taken part in the expedition and had been captured by the Transvaal forces. They had been sent home that whatever might be deemed the right course should be pursued in their prosecution; until during the past week he had been in no position to draw any distinction between degrees of responsibility attached to the defendants. He had been of the opinion that those responsible for the fitting out the expedition, and inducing persons to join it, were the persons who should be prosecuted, and he would show at once that there was a line to be drawn between them. The entire force captured was 500 men, and if merely joining the expedition would be sufficient grounds for prosecution, it would be impossible for the Crown to differentiate between the leaders, subordinate officers and troopers. With the assistance of Mr. Rawlinson, who had obtained valuable evidence in the Transvaal, representing Her Majesty's government, he was able to present to the court the line of demarcation to be drawn, and would ask the committal of six of the defendants, upon evidence of their being prominently engaged in the scheme, the preparation and the fitting out of the expedition, and inducing others to join it, for the present, whatever the court might decide subsequently, must be regarded as unlawful. These six principals were Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, Major Sir John Willoughby, Col. the Hon. Frederick White, Col. Raleigh Grey, Major the Hon. Robert White and Major the Hon. Charles John Coventry. As these names were pronounced there was a suppressed excitement which, however, did not approach a marked demonstration. Dr. Jameson's ready blush asserted itself and, as he had done once or twice before during the prosecution, he changed his position somewhat nervously; Coventry was unabashed, but the remaining four were not perceptibly impressed by what he seemed to consider the humour of the situation. Those whose fate was yet in abeyance listened with the rest and with an apparent determination to betray no surprise, whatever the decision of the Attorney-General might be. After the murmur which followed the announcement of the six names had subsided, the Attorney- General declared that he would be personally responsible for whatever might result, as he, individually, had selected the defendants to be held for trial, his decision being prompted by the very serious nature of the evidence against them. For their subordinates there was evidence to show that they had taken part in the expedition, but there was nothing that would justify him in asking the court to hold that they had been engaged in the preparation of the expedition, or had done more than obey the orders of their leaders at the last moment. He did not wish to minimize the responsibility that rested upon men and officers of Her Majesty's army who took part in such an expedition as this; but he felt bound to draw a distinction, as it was his duty to prosecute those who, if he might use the expression, were really responsible; not those who were simply led, possibly by their folly, want of judgment or impetuosity, to participate in it. He, therefore, asked the court to commit the six first named, but did not ask the committal of the remaining nine. There was another murmur at this announcement, the defendants with the exception of Dr. Jameson, smiling as before - the liberated nine, with rather rueful countenances, as if they were not willing to desert the others whose fate they preferred to share. Dr. Jameson, alone, gave no sign that he had heard the Attorney-General's decision. He sat in his accustomed attitude, with averted eyes, supporting his cheek upon his hand; he seemed to suffer, notwithstanding his assumed indifference, and drops of perspiration stood out upon his forehead.
There was an instant's hum of whispered comment, which the Boers present heard with an indifference which matched that of the English themselves; if they were dissatisfied and disappointed they were too reticent and too respectful to the court to betray any feeling. This had been their attitude from the first. The only hint as to their sentiments was shown by the manner in which they kept together, sitting or standing in groups by themselves.
With the fine courtesy, which, without a single exception had characterized the entire proceedings, from the manner of the learned counsel toward each other and toward the witnesses, to the gentleness and dignity of the Magistrate himself, Sir Edward Clarke replied that he desired to recognize the way in which the Attorney-General had fulfilled the promise he had made to him, in the earlier stages of the proceedings, that he would endeavour to discriminate in the case of the defendants originally submitted, if the facts, which were ascertained in material submitted to him, justified it. With regard to the six gentlemen held for trial, he recognized that there were statements in the evidence which prevented his learned friend, at that moment, from saying that he had no case against them. He did not propose, at that time, to comment upon the question of committal based upon the evidence which had compelled his learned friend to ask for committal in the case of some of the defendants. Although at that time he had been unable to pursue any other course, he still hoped that, when the case was concluded, the action in regard to the nine who had been released might be somewhat further extended. The desire was to bring to justice those who really were responsible for the expedition whose history and circumstances had been inquired into. He spoke upon personal instructions torn Dr. Jameson himself, which he hoped Sir Richard Webster would realize when he came to examine the evidence, that it was Dr. Jameson's responsibility alone which was to be found in the matter.
When this statement was made, which was somewhat theatrical in intent and effect, Dr. Jameson looked up quickly and searchingly at his counsel and then turned away. The strange and inexplicable magnetism of his personality, marked at all times, had never been more pronounced than at that moment. His confederates did not smile, but glanced at him with an expression of sympathy and admiration, which seemed to imply that if other expeditions were contemplated he might count upon them to follow him again to the bitter end. The women on the bench also looked their admiration; the only persons apparently unimpressed were the Magistrate, the counsel for the Crown, the Africanders and a small and unimportant minority who had not been able to participate in the general hero-worship, the outburst of sentimental enthusiasm; or to forget the gravity of Dr. Jameson's offence and the air of meretricious romance that had invested it from the first, in the unthinking public mind. Sir Edward Clarke, who may not have been conscious that he carried his audience with him still continued to concentrate the responsibility upon the shoulders of Mr. Cecil Rhodes' luckless scapegoat. "He (Dr. Jameson) was the administrator under the charter of the British South Africa company," he said, "and under the orders in council which gave that company power to have an armed company under his control and authority. He desires me to say here, that all who acted with him, acted under his control and dictum and if there was any breach of law committed by those who planned and organized the expedition that breach of law was committed by him; so far as the others were concerned, any violation of the law committed by them was only in loyal obedience to orders which they thought they had a right to obey."
This constituted a really effective rhetorical climax which, in a modern melodrama, would have carried the gallery off its feet. There was another audible murmur of approval, which was suppressed only by a timely warning from the clerk, but it was with some effort that the more emotional and demonstrative remained silent. When Sir Edward Clarke had finished and sat down, Sir John Bridge concurred in the opinion of the Attorney-General and said that the distinction made seemed right and proper. The nine gentlemen mentioned were to be discharged. When soldiers under orders committed illegal acts, they were not answerable for those acts. Therefore to pursue a prosecution where there could be no real punishment would be an idle and improper thing to do. His first duty, therefore, and it was a pleasant one, was to discharge the nine defendants, John B. Stracey, C. H. Villiers, K. J. Kincaid Smith, H. M. Grenfell, C. P. Foley, C. L. D. Monroe, C. F. Lindsell, E. C. S. Holden and Audley Gosling.
The applause could no longer be restrained and broke out, with moderation, it must be acknowledged, and with only a brief disturbance of the excellent order that had been maintained. It was speedily checked by the Magistrate who remarked ominously:
" Wait till it is all finished."
He then resumed: "I must next charge Leander Starr Jameson, John Christopher Willoughby, Henry Frederick White, Raleigh Grey, Robert White, Charles John Coventry." They were thereupon informed that they would be permitted in the ordinary way, to make any statement in reference to the charge brought against them. There was a pause and the kindly glance of the Magistrate rested upon them, but all were apparently satisfied, - and none were disposed to demur at the decision of the court. These proceedings had occupied less than an hour and there was an adjournment until four o'clock, in order that the six defendants held might procure bail which was fixed in the sum of £3,000; £2,000 personal ball and £1,000 security, as the English law required. This was furnished without delay, all the formalities having been complied with when the court reconvened in the afternoon, and the trial for committal came to an end.
HIGH COURT BEFORE THE LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.
THE trial of Dr. Jameson and his five confederateswho had been held to answer at the higher court before the Lord Chief Justice and the Associate Justices, began on Monday, July 20. In the interval since their committal the public mind had been engrossed with the events of the season and the progress with the war in South Africa. Hostilities had broken out suddenly in the Filibusi district, seventy-five miles southeast of Bulawayo on the 25th of March, and before the natives were finally subdued over 400 white settlers had been massacred; men and women living on lands remote from towns and villages were surprised and cruelly murdered and their dwellings burned; many were forced to flee for safety and seek refuge at Bulawayo and elsewhere. All this served to lessen the general admiration that had been felt for Dr. Jameson, and forced the public to some just perception of the case, which they were at last beginning to regard in its true light.
The trial in the higher court differed in every way from that of the lower; it was far more formal and ceremonious, although, but for the coming and going of spectators and witnesses during the sessions, the proceedings in the Bow street court had been conducted in the most admirable manner. The rule as to admission was even more strictly enforced in the higher court, which was termed the Queen's Bench division, and there was no admission except by ticket, which it was even more difficult than ever to secure. The trial was conducted in what is known as the High Court of Justice. The court room, itself, was small, and plainly furnished. The chair in which the Lord Chief Justice sat occupied the centre of the bench, with those of the Associate Justices to the right and left; before them was a desk strewn with papers which were frequently consulted. Behind the chair of the Lord Chief Justice against the panelled wall, were the arms of Great Britain carved in high relief, and to the right and left of this, reaching to the floor a long and somewhat faded plush curtain. Below the bench was a table which was heaped with books, maps and legal documents at which sat the clerk of the court and his assistants. The seats on the main floor were arranged in tiers; those in front, at the right, were occupied by the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, Mr. H. Sutton, Mr. Charles Mathews; Mr. H. Avory representing the Treasury. To the left were the counsel for the defendants, Sir Edward Clarke, Sir F. Lockwood, who has since died, Mr. Carson, Mr. Lyttleton, Mr. C. F. Gill, Mr. Roskill and others. Behind these, two benches extended the entire width of the court room which were crowded with young solicitors and barristers, a limited number of whom were permitted to hear the proceedings each day. Still behind these were the seats for the representatives of the press, who had been furnished with no conveniences of any sort for writing their reports. Their blocks of paper were balanced awkwardly on their knees, and they had great difficulty in sharpening their lead pencils; the stenographers fared better, being supplied with small desks attached to the back of the bench in front of them, in a convenient corner. The last two rows of benches, with a small gallery opposite the bench, and what is called a "form" - a bench without a back-constituted the accommodations furnished the public.
Dr. Jameson, Col. White and Major Willoughby had spent the month that had elapsed since their committal fishing in Norway: all were tanned a ruddy brown, and Dr. Jameson seemed much improved in health and spirits. They were dressed in the extreme of the London fashion, and came into the court room apparently fresh from the hands of their valets.
There was no door marked "For Prisoners;" they entered unattended, quietly and almost unobserved, and took the front seat which had been reserved for them. There had been an announcement that no women would be permitted to sit upon the bench as they had been allowed to do in the lower court, the little gallery and the two rear benches having been set apart for them. One, however, was bold enough to defy even the Lord Chief Justice, and, wearing a becoming gown of grey, she sat placidly waving her fan, only partially hidden by a pillar. As before, there were among the spectators many distinguished personages - men and women of high rank and well known in fashionable society, one or two of whom had been somewhat prominently identified with Dr. Jameson since the beginning of the preliminary proceedings.
Prior to the arrival of the counsel, a number of clerks appeared with heavy bags of books and documents, while others went about placing upon the desks slips of paper, and all this as solemnly as if they had been distributing prayer books in church. At eleven o'clock a black-robed official cried "Silence!" the whispering ceased, and every one rose-counsel, barristers, defendants and spectators. Then the Lord Chief Justice entered with Justice Hawkins and Justice Pollock; each wore a gown of brilliant scarlet with cuffs and collar of black moiré, with white linen bands at the throat, and plain wigs, unlike those worn by the barristers. The Lord Chief Justice bowed to the bar, then to the jury upon the left hand and took his seat, after which the court and the audience were also seated. The jury appeared to be a sufficiently intelligent body of men, although two of the twelve seemed' rather young to judge the merits of so important a case. Two were of the pronounced Semitic cast of countenance, three at least appeared to be Irishmen, while the remainder were probably English clerks or tradesmen. The witness box here was a space enclosed in a railing on a level with the bench, facing the jury.
The entrance of the three justices in their robes of office, the grave decorum of the bar, also in their wigs and gowns, made a very picturesque spectacle. Lord Russell of Killowen, the Lord Chief Justice, was a man of imposing appearance, of dignified carriage and of very commanding presence. His features were irregular and massive, with a prominent nose, straight lips and keen, piercing eyes, and he bore a marked resemblance to the Stuart portraits of Washington. He is an Irishman and a Roman Catholic. Justice Hawkins was a round-faced rosy man with what seemed to be a somewhat grim sense of humour. Justice Pollock was his direct opposite, and was thin and slender with an angular face deeply seamed with wrinkles. When he laughed he closed his eyes and compressed his lips, and then in a twinkling assumed his ordinary expression. While Lord Russell unbent occasionally and laughed heartily and naturally, he was ordinarily very reserved. Nothing escaped his close attention and it became at once evident that he would permit no trifling with his official dignity. His voice was mellow, though rather low, and his enunciation was pleasing and perfectly distinct. His comments as the case progressed were more frequent and emphatic than those of Sir John .Bridge, in the lower court, and his questions were put in a manner which implied that the briefest and most straightforward reply was the part of wisdom.
The first proceeding in this second phase of the case, which had been essentially dramatic throughout, was that of the Master of the Rolls who read from his lists the official title of the cause: "The Queen versus Jameson and others." In an effort to quash the indictment Sir Edward Clarke took exception to its wording - the jury not having yet been sworn in. His objection was based upon the interpretation of the Enlistment Acts, and an argument ensued which prompted the Lord Chief Justice to decide that, as the question disputed appeared to be somewhat complicated, time was necessary for its sufficient consideration; the court accordingly adjourned. As the jury was ready and waiting, this unforeseen delay was very disappointing.
The burning heat of Monday held through Tuesday when the court re-convened, and, if possible, was intensified; the distinguished justices and barristers sweltered and perspired in their stuffy wigs and gowns.
The Lord Chief justice spoke for half an hour in tones that were nearly inaudible, delivering a decision of which the substance was that he had found it impossible to accept Sir Edward Clarke's motion to quash the indictment. While he spoke, the most profound silence prevailed; and every one listened with the deepest attention. It is hardly probable that Sir Edward Clarke had built much hope upon the expedient that he had employed, and if he and his clients were disappointed they concealed their feeling. The decision of the bench being delivered, the jury was sworn in-a formality that had been postponed twenty-four hours, to no purpose, by Sir Edward Clarke's motion. The twelve men were not what in the United States are called professional jurors, it being possible that such a class does exist in Great Britain. Several were noticeably reluctant to serve. One man - a Mr. Spinnett - complained that he had done jury service in the Temple within a fortnight.
The Chief Justice was not disposed to accept this as an excuse, but he finally relented.
A man named Gordon promptly informed the court that he "was a friend of one of the defendants," and he, also, was excused.
Another, apparently taking it for granted that his sanity would be questioned, confessed that he was a theosophist, and was surprised that this did not disqualify him from duty. The requisite number was at length secured and sworn, taking their places, four men in each seat arranged in three tiers, one above the other.
The case for the Crown was opened with a speech by the Attorney-General which was, in substance, a review of the relations of England and the Transvaal, agreed upon in conventions and affirmed in treaties; the authority of the Protectorate was explained with that of the Chartered Company, extending over British Bechuanaland, Mashonaland, Matabeleland and Cape Colony. He repeated his charge that every detail of the raid "had been secretly and carefully thought out by men in prominent and reputable positions." The disputed Foreign Enlistments Act of 1870 had been in force ever since British Bechuanaland had been annexed in 1885, and was in every mile of territory acquired by Cape Colony or the Chartered Company which became a possession of the crown. Sir Edward Clarke objected, now and then, with a good deal of spirit, questioning a fact or a figure in the lengthy review, but failed either to annoy or disconcert the distinguished speaker. Once, Sir Edward Clarke, assuming that he had caught his antagonist napping, asked him if he really meant to say that "Pitsani was a part of the Queen's dominions."
"I do not say so, was the reply.
At this, the Lord Chief Justice wished to know if there were two places, Pitsani, and Pitsani-Potlugo, and was informed by the Attorney-General that there were. They had been obtained from a native chief, Montsioa, in securing right of way for a railroad which was being constructed through the territory. The land was ceded to the Chartered Company and, therefore, became a part of the Queen's Dominions.
Harry Lambert, a clerk in the colonial office, then testified as to the official position and responsibility of the defendants in South Africa.
Major Panzera, the engineer, who had testified at Bow street as to the topography of Bechuanaland, corroborated a statement that Pitsani-Potlugo had been ceded to the Chartered Company by Montsioa and that it was, as had been stated, within the Queen's dominions.
Comparatively little evidence was re-heard in the higher court, the proceedings at Bow street including the evidence, having been printed and copies furnished the justices, jurors and counsel. The last of the evidence was submitted on Thursday and Friday; the post-master of Mafeking, Henry Hamilton Flowers, described the cutting of the telegraph wires, and said that, in addition to this, the instruments were taken from the office at Pitsani and the wires, which had been in perfect working order Dec. 29th, having been connected by a switch.
Trooper Lawler of the Matabeleland mounted police who went with the troop from Bulawayo to Pitsani, Dec. 29, testified that the wires at Malmani had been cut, and that he had passed a trooper of the Bechuanaland police with an axe in his hand. They were in laager Jan. 3rd.
"We had better have that translated," said the Lord Chief Justice, turning toward the witness who, thus advised, explained that the term "laager" meant "the formation of troops for rest." Wednesday morning he had seen a man in civilian's dress, not attached to the troops, talking to Col. White but he could not recall the conversation. When urged, he finally admitted that he had heard the man tell Col. White that the road was clear to Dornkoop and that there was a force of Boers there.
Lawler was asked if he remembered anything else and replied:
"Yes," he said, "there were men at the mines who were anxious to join us, and Col. White had replied that he could mount sixty men.
In the midst of the brief cross-examination the Lord Chief Justice asked,
"Could you say whether he was an Englishman ?"
The witness hesitated, and then replied,
"I do not think he was Dutch, my Lord."
The remainder of the cross-examination pertained to letters and messages delivered to Dr. Jameson.Rowland, the bicyclist, repeated his story and. he mentioned the message from the Reform Committee which he had delivered to Dr. Jameson.
"I call for those dispatches," said the Solicitor-General who was conducting the examination, turning to Sir Edward Clarke, who remained silent.
The dispatches not being forthcoming, the witness gave the substance of them - at the Queen Battery (the mine) there was an obstacle; in the second dispatch something had been said of 2,000 men who were to be sent out from Johannesburg to meet Dr. Jameson's forces. He could not remember from whom the dispatches had come; there was also one in which it was stated that Johannesburg remained quiet. He gave Dr. Jameson a translation of the dispatches that had been given by the Boers which stated that Commanders Malen, Crouje, Trichard and Erasmus would join Potgeiter at Krugersdorp in the afternoon. There were other men with Dr. Jameson at the time these dispatches were delivered and they were surprised that no rioting had taken place in Johannesburg. Rowland informed them that the Boer police had been withdrawn, the residents armed, the shops barricaded, the town having been well policed by the Reform Committee. It was arranged that if the messenger returned in safety they were to bring out the 2,000 men which while it was thought that they would not be needed, "would make a bit of a show." On their return Rowland and Cellier, his companion, had been arrested, as he had stated before. The young man, even in the presence of the Lord Chief justice retained his perfect self-confidence and fidgeted without ceasing, as he had done before, folding and unfolding his arms, and swaying back and forth against the railing in front of him. Sir Edward Clarke read from the printed evidence that "there was very great alarm in Johannesburg about the women and children."
The Lord Chief Justice who followed the evidence with close attention, read after him the printed copy upon the desk under his hand, and reminded Sir Edward that the exact words, as printed, were "much alarm," a correction which was accepted.
The only incident of note throughout the re-examination was furnished by Tossel, the Chief Detective of the South African Republic. He again took the oath after the Dutch custom, holding up the index and middle fingers of the right hand.
There was some indication that the evidence might be discredited which Tossel had formerly given, to the effect that the Boer police had been withdrawn because a collision was feared with the towns-people in Johannesburg; that the order was as good there as in other places, there being only a few desperadoes, such as may be found in other town's. lie was then asked if his name was May or Tossel. This question was unexpected and the man was much embarrassed; he turned to the Lord Chief Justice and asked appealingly:
"My Lord, must I answer that question ?" His lordship replied:
Tossel then admitted that he was an Englishman and told a somewhat remarkable story. He said that his real name was May, and that he had enlisted when he went to Cape Town in 1881, but was dissuaded by his brother from remaining in the service, and secured a substitute to whom he paid £10; they exchanged names, the substitute being known as "May," and he as "Tossel." May, the substitute, got into trouble and had some difficulty with an officer named Major Bowen. Hearing this, the real May went to Major Bowen, who acknowledged that he had never seen him before and did not know him.
"Have you ever been tried?" asked Sir Edward Clarke, in a somewhat tantalizing tone.
"No sir; not till now," replied Tossel with a great deal of asperity.
At this unexpected retort, by which the learned counsel for the defence was rather-taken aback, there was a good deal of laughter in which the Lord Chief Justice and his two associates joined very heartily.
Tossel then continued his story and gave an account of his connection with the Johannesburg police in 1895. When he had finished, the Lord Chief Justice asked that "the mystery of the change of names be cleared up, which no doubt was done satisfactorily, as nothing further was heard of it.
Lieut. Eloff repeated the evidence he had given concerning the fighting at the mine. He spoke somewhat brokenly, but intelligibly, though in so low a tone that the Lord Chief Justice had to say repeatedly, though with no impatience, "Speak up! speak up," and finally asked the witness "to face the jury." Eloff's manly bearing again made an excellent impression.
The famous dispatch boxes were once more brought into the court and were again identified, and, after a little, Sir Thomas Sanderson of the Foreign Office produced the original of two conventions with the Transvaal, showing that friendly relations existed between England and the South African Republic, "no license having been issued by the Queen, previous to Dr. Jameson's expedition. The signature of President Kruger, Dr. Jameson and his officers were again identified by Fleischack and the incriminating letters to "Dear Bobby" were read - those enjoining secrecy and deprecating the fact that one Foley had been talking too much, "not intentionally but idiotically;" that some one "had been blabbing,'' and that the almost certain date of the expedition had been fixed for December 29th.
This practically closed the case for the prosecution, although it was announced that there was still a mass of documentary evidence which would have to be submitted, since it was to furnish the gist of the plan for the defence which was, that the Foreign Enlistments Act violated by the raiders had no force in Pitsani, or Pitsani-Potlugo, where their operations had been largely carried on, and which had been ceded the Chartered Company by Montsioa. Friday was devoted to this reading, and order in council, followed order in council, dull, technical and a little bewildering to all but the justices and the counsel, but necessary and important as evidence. Though singly and collectively they set forth the authority of the Crown there, as elsewhere, in South Africa, Sir Edward Clarke perseveringly endeavoured to prove the contrary. A portion of the documents had been worded rather ambiguously and, in emergencies were consequently confusing and misleading. Availing himself of the privilege of the doubt wherever it was possible, the counsel for the defence continued to assert that the act was not in force either at Mafeking or Pitsani-Potlugo, and that such an act could be legalized only by direct legislation within British territory itself.
The Lord Chief Justice replied to this in his coldest, most judicial and sardonic manner, that "indictments under the common law were not impossible when there had been a lawless effort to embroil England with friendly states."
Indeed, throughout the entire reading of these documents, with copies of which he also had been supplied, Lord Russell displayed the most extraordinary knowledge of the case, even in its minutest and apparently most unimportant details; correcting the counsel when they read carelessly or not quite accurately, now reminding them that "Mafeking was in British Bechuanaland, but that Pitsani-Potlugo was outside it, farther north ;" now informing Sir Robert Finlay, the Solicitor-General, that, "the original charter of the British South African Company, granted Oct. 29, 1889, included all operations in British Bechuanaland."
Sir Edward Clarke rose once to observe that "the charter excluded the authority of the Crown within the limits of the Company's foreign jurisdiction act."
He was informed by the court, and rather sternly, "that full power was reserved by the Secretary of State" and when the learned counsel for the defence attempted to point out certain apparent inconsistencies in the wording of the charter, the Lord Chief Justice turned toward him and asked in a tone still more rebuking:
"You don't suggest that the company assumed sovereign rights ?"
At this Sir Edward replied earnestly and apologetically:
"O no, My Lord !"
It was agreed that the speech for the defence by Sir Edward Clarke should be postponed until Monday the following week, July 27th; that body being quite worn out, several of them noticeably drowsy with the heat and fatigue of listening to the long and intricate discussion, interlarded with technical quotations from charters, orders in council and proclamations.
On Monday, therefore, at eleven o'clock the audience and the court re-assembled in anticipation of the great forensic effort, which it was certain that Sir Edward Clarke would make.
The six defendants were late in arriving, and Dr. Jameson did not appear until several minutes after the court had convened. He then came hurrying in, flushed and disturbed, but much more cheerful than he had appeared to be at any time during the trial; he doubtless felt that the long strain was almost over, and that the verdict would be a relief from the protracted suspense which he had endured.
Sir Edward Clarke rose and addressed the jury without any preamble. His voice was pleasing in the extreme, his manner easy and graceful and he showed himself to be a master of finished rhetoric; his gestures were few, though effective, and he possessed the faculty of holding the attention of his hearers to a degree that surpassed the Attorney-General. Sir Richard Webster, on the other hand, was less polished in point of delivery; he occasionally fell into a negligent attitude; he spoke rapidly and not always with perfect enunciation, which made it difficult to hear all that he said. At the same time, whatever he may have lacked in manner was more than atoned for, intellectually; he proved himself a logician of logicians, and, in the simplest and most direct language, without a superfluous word, in his masterly review of the case with its mass of evidence, that of the witnesses, of the heaped-up documents, of the significant maps dated Oct. 8, 1895, he dealt the defence blow after blow, demolishing their arguments one after another.
Sir Edward Clarke gave notice that he was there to represent "four gentlemen of honor, of repute, unquestioned loyalty, and of high character, now charged with a criminal offence. He said that he made no appeal for sympathy, for that would be unworthy of his clients. He turned to Dr. Jameson who, he said with much feeling, had desired to accept the entire responsibility for the acts that had led to the present proceedings. He then endeavoured to prove that the condition of affairs in Johannesburg, the safety of women and children being involved, had inspired Jameson to go to their defence. The Boer police had been withdrawn, and the witness, Tossel, had shown that there were dangerous desperadoes in the town. He dwelt with some emphasis on the surprise that Dr. Jameson had manifested when he learned from Rowland, the bicyclist, that there had been no disturbance in Johannesburg; he asserted he had gone on a peaceful mission, and secrecy was necessary because it was known that the Boers would send them back if their intention to intervene were suspected; the expedition had failed, life had been sacrificed, complications had arisen through an error of the heart rather than of the reason. What would have been said had there been dire need of such a rescue-and that the women and children had been sent away certainly pointed to this-and the men had failed to respond? He then reverted to the old contention-British jurisdiction in the disputed territory, the prerogatives of the Chartered Company, the authority of the Imperial government and the provisions of the vexed and vexing Foreign Enlistment Act, all of which was once more presented at some length. Dr. Jameson believed that he was going to the aid of his friends, but Sir Edward failed to explain away the cold facts of Maxim guns, Lee-Metford rifles, abundance of ammunition, pre-arranged stores, and careful and accurate maps that ante-dated the raid by more than two months. He said, in conclusion, and not without effect:
"I believe that when a soldier has been convicted of a military offense and condemned to die, and when the firing party has been told off, some of the rifles are loaded with blank cartridges so that each man may comfort himself with the thought that 'perhaps it was not I who put an end to my comrade's life.' A jury has no such resource. Your verdict must be the verdict of each and all of you, and on each the responsibility rests, and I have put before you such a view of the motives, the conduct and the acts of the defendants, that when the question is put to you you will be able to say in all honor and conscience that you do not believe them guilty."
The speech occupied something over two hours. Sir Frank Lockwood followed with a special appeal for Major Coventry and Sir John Willoughby. Its leading points were a corroboration of Sir Edward Clarke's argument which was frequently complimented. He spoke less than half an hour and concluded thus:
"My learned friend well pointed out to you what would have been the reproach these gentlemen would have rendered themselves liable to had they not set out to take the part which they were bound, as men of honour, to take on behalf of those to whom they were attached by the ties of honour and kinship. I have done all I can for them, and am conscious it is not much; but this further I can do-and that is, to claim on these general grounds that they have a verdict from your hands. They await it with anxiety, perhaps with apprehension. It is a matter of vast and vital importance to them and to those who hold them in high regard. I do not seek to minimize in any way your verdict when I say that even should it be an adverse one, and their liberty become forfeit, they have this consciousness; that they have acted as they have always acted, as brave and honourable men."
In delivery, in rhetorical finish, the Attorney-General, who closed the argument for the defence, was surpassed at every point by his chief opponent; but in the greater essential of the summing up of evidence, and the comprehensive interpretation of the law, the fluent and brilliant oratory of Sir Edward Clarke seemed the merest child's play. Throughout the long trial, unavoidably delayed through four months by frequent remands, the Attorney- General had given the counsel for the defence every assistance that lay in his power; everything in the nature of documentary evidence that he required had been promptly and generously supplied by the representatives of the Crown, who could not be blamed if the defence were not armed and equipped at every point. But each line of argument that Sir Edward Clarke sought to present, every fact that he brought forward, every extenuating circumstance that he proffered as an excuse for his clients, was swept aside by the relentless logic of the prosecution. The Attorney-General resorted to no tricks of oratory; he made no appeal to sympathy, but based his plea solidly upon the facts as they had been reviewed from day to day. It affected the emotions as little as a mathematical problem, but it commended itself irresistibly to the intelligence and the reason of his hearers.
Lacking Sir Edward Clarke's magnetism, nevertheless he commanded an undivided attention from the first word he uttered, and maintained it without effort to the last. He said by way of preface, addressing the jury!
"Everything has been urged in behalf of the defendants that could be urged before you to-day, and it would be impertinence in me to comment on the speeches made to you. You are qualified to appreciate their force and weight. I confess it was a little difficult to reconcile, however, some of the epithets of Sir Edward Clarke with the stern facts proved in evidence in this court. We are told that the expedition-into the doings of which we have to inquire-was unselfish, patriotic and humanitarian. It is not denied that Mafeking is a part of her Majesty's dominions, and that it has been since 1895, and made lawful by proclamation. It is not denied that for fifteen years before that the Foreign Enlistment Act was the law of Cape Colony. It was, therefore, an unlawful act for the defendants to take part in an unlawful expedition, as they must have known that was against Cape Colony law. When Bechuanaland was united to the Cape the fullest validity was given to the orders."
And thus the summing up proceeded; the jurisdiction of protectorates was defined, and he quoted, as he took pains to explain, a learned writer who had declared that "Protectorates are, at the start, a vague notion, so far as they involve sovereign powers, but they harden into sovereignty." Every step of the raid was reviewed, from its first deliberate inception to its inglorious finish, and the theory that it was a peaceful expedition, undertaken for the relief of imperilled women and children, was clearly disproved in the secrecy that was maintained, the stores previously provided, the equipments, the drilling of troops, the orders for the disposition of scouts and pickets; he scorned the belief that the women and children of Johannesburg were in any manner of danger. In regard to the Boers he said: -
"With reference to the action of Dr. Jameson at Pitsani, there is no word about desperadoes in the letter from Johannesburg. It is the well-armed Boers who are supposed to be imperiling the women and children there. There has been, at times, strong feeling excited between [-287-] Great Britain and the Boers; but I submit to you that these defendants did not believe that the Boers, armed or unarmed, would be a danger to the women and children of Johannesburg. The latter was perfectly inconsistent with the view now put forward. If the fear was that the desperadoes of Johannesburg were going to fight, one of the most obvious means of preventing that would have been to let it be known that such an expedition was approaching; but the wires were cut, not to prevent the desperadoes from getting warning, but to prevent the Boers from getting warning. There are two or three incidents that confirm what I have suggested. One of the first remonstrance’s against the expedition was that of the commandant of the Marigo district, to which Dr. Jameson replied that he was going to assist the residents of the Rand in their demand for justice. Do you think if he was going to protect Johannesburg against the desperadoes that he would have said so? From whom, and from whom alone, could they demand that justice but from the government of the Transvaal? Again, before a shot was fired, when warned on behalf of Her Majesty's government against this violation of Transvaal territory, and ordered back, the leader and organizer of the expedition has an opportunity of stating that he is only going to protect life and property and keep the peace at Johannesburg, and his reply to the bearer of the message is: "Tell your superior that his orders will be attended to." It is impossible to suppose that such an answer would have been sent by Dr. Jameson, if the case had been as my learned friends suggest. So with regard to the answer to the message from Sir Jacobus de Wet. The afternoon before he shelled the Queen battery he knew that there was no fighting in Johannesburg, and if the suggestion of Sir Edward Clarke was right his duty was clear. He should have admitted: 'I have made a mistake' and marched back. It might be humiliating, but it would have shown that the story, as told in this court was the true one. But, instead, he fires upon the Boers' entrenchments before any shots were fired from there."
The jury were then reminded of the stores provided, of which Dr. Jameson was cognizant, of the perfect understanding between him, Major White, Col. Willoughby, Major Coventry and Col. Grey, and the Attorney-General said finally:
"My duty is to ask you to come to the conclusion that they are guilty. It is my duty to point out what the consequences will be. If you feel that there is something other than the causes, reasons and objects which I have indicated to you, which are at the bottom of the expedition, and, if you reconcile them as being inconsistent with the Foreign Enlistment Act, then I join with my learned friend in saying it is your duty to acquit these men. The responsibility of making out the charges rests with the Crown. I caution you against adopting any excuses for the illegal action put forward for the defendants. I think it is not difficult to anticipate the terrible consequences that may be brought about and involved in an action of this kind. Here are men holding the highest positions in this country, taking part in and employing men of the Chartered Company in this expedition, and I believe no man can exaggerate the evils that may happen. If, however, you can find any excuses consistent with the defendants not having broken the law, you must give them the benefit of it in the interests of peace and justice, but if you only draw the inferences I am bound to point out to you, you will not mistake for one single moment what is your duty."
The court adjourned when the Attorney-General had concluded, with the understanding that the following day would see the conclusion of the final act of the Transvaal drama, so far as it came within the jurisdiction of that court.
Fortunately, the heat had moderated and Tuesday, July 28th, the closing day of the great trial, dawned cool and cloudless. The interest was intensified, if possible, but there was a general feeling of relief that the end was at hand. The court was to sit at half past ten, and an hour before this the doors of the court room were unlocked and the waiting crowds poured in more eager than ever to get their places. The Lord Chief Justice had hitherto faced the counsel; on this occasion he turned his chair and sat confronting the jury, whom he addressed exclusively, as if there were no other persons present. The closest attention was given when he began to speak, and it was uninterrupted during the six hours which he occupied in his tremendous summing up. The rustling of a dress, the creaking shoes of the newspaper reporters coming and going, or a stifled cough, seemed terribly exaggerated. Fortunately the Lord Chief Justice was neither petulant nor nervous, and these slight sounds did not disturb him.
In his introduction he said that, from the nature of the case, the responsibility of the Judges was greater, even than that of the jury, many grave points of law being involved which it devolved upon them to interpret. It was a criminal case."But," he exclaimed with strong emphasis, pausing to be sure that he commanded the entire attention of the twelve men before him, "if the law had been violated, the law shall also be vindicated. In most criminal cases," he continued, "the consequences of the criminal offence usually ends with the facts and with the direct consequences of the acts which constitute the crime. But in offences of this kind, unhappily that is cot so. The commission of such a crime may entail consequences, the end of which no one can foresee. As in all criminal cases, it is [-290-] for the prosecution to establish the charge by evidence which will bring home to the understanding of the jury the conviction of guilt. If, after considering the evidence and giving weight and effect to the direction of the Judge or Judges who try the point of law, doubt remains in the mind of the jury, it is not a matter of grace on the part of the jury, but it is the right of the persons charged that the jury should give effect to that doubt. But it must not be a doubt conjured up; it must be a doubt such as would effect you in any important concern in life. It must be a doubt which reasonably and naturally and honestly presents itself to your minds."
He then described the men indicated; Leander Starr Jameson, Chief Magistrate in Mashonaland, in September, 1891, Administrator of the British South Africa Company, receiving his commission as resident commissioner for the territories of Ikanning and Montsioa in 1895; Major Willoughby of the Royal Horse Guard, seconded for the service in the British South Africa police in May, 1890; Robert White, a Captain of the Royal Welsh Fusileers, seconded in 1894 for service in the volunteer force of British South Africa, and in September appointed a magistrate for the Salisbury district- a servant of the Crown appointed with the approval of the Queen; Raleigh Grey, the Hon. Frederick White, the Hon. Charles John Coventry, parties with the others "to the preparing in the Queen's dominions of a military expedition against a friendly state, within the meaning of the act of 1870."
In the most solemn manner he reviewed the disaster that had ensued, the loss of twenty lives, the wounding of many men, the political complications that had arisen amounting almost to open hostility with one of the great powers and the end had not yet been reached. The character of the expedition was fully analyzed:
"It was an expedition of trained troops," said his Lord-ship, "fully equipped and disciplined, officered by military men all of whom had the honour of holding the Queen's commission. It had ammunition, was accompanied by Maxim guns, •and other engines of destruction and marched as an army in military order. I think, therefore," he continued, "so far, there is no possible room for doubt, as I have described the character of the expedition. The essential point, and the point to which the able arguments of able counsel have been addressed to you is: was it an expedition prepared in order to proceed against the dominions of a friendly state - that state being called the South African Republic? Again, you can have no doubt that the marching into the Transvaal was an act which violated the peace of that friendly state. Was it a peaceable march into that friendly state? Was it intended that, if the march was resisted it would meet the resistance by force? We know that it did so. Was it so intended? There were scouts with it, an advance guard, and flanking parties, and does not all this show that force was in contemplation and measures were taken to resist force by force? So far, these are matters in which you must form your own judgment; but I have again, as always, with the concurrence of my learned friends, to give you specific directions on the point of law as to what is a military expedition within the meaning of the Act. Take the fact of the case with this definition: I direct you, in point of law, that an expedition is not less an expedition against the dominion of a friendly state if it was not aimed at overthrowing the government, or if it was prompted by philanthropic and humane motives. If the expedition was designed to enter the Transvaal with the intention, either by a show of force, or by action interfering with the Transvaal laws, or the administration of those laws, to substitute for any class in the country others by force or a show of force; or, if it was intended to join with others [-292-] in or outside the South African Republic in overthrowing the government in order to get a change of the laws, it was an expedition against the dominions of a friendly state. If these things were done by the authority of the Queen, or by the authority of any other sovereign power," he exclaimed, raising his voice and striking the desk with his clenched hand, "it would be an act of war, and if done by unauthorized subjects of the Queen it would be an illegal and filibustering raid."
Then, from a great heap of documents many pages in thickness, he read numberless extracts relating to the charter of the South Africa Company. Upon the delicate point of protectorates he said with much earnestness:
"Protectorates vary, unfortunately. There are instances of very ancient protectorates which amount to no more than this: That a powerful state says: 'This state which adjoins me and in whose welfare I am interested is under my wing. * * * .' Such an arrangement leaves the protected state untouched with complete and absolute internal autonomy. Another, and a most common feature of these protectorates, is a prohibition which prevents the so-called protected state from entering into treaties with other states without the authority of the protecting state. That is the case in the relations of Great Britain toward the South African Republic. The Republic is not bound to enter into relations with any other state without the assent of the Queen, but its complete and independent autonomy is in no way interfered with or crippled. The story is too recent, perhaps, to justify us in referring to it as a notorious record; but we know enough of the history of dealings with territories to know that this territory differs essentially from those to which I have been referring."
His opinion was, that the legal attitude of Great Britain toward the Transvaal had intensified the crime of the defendants, the South African Republic having been attacked by the subjects of that sovereign from which it had a right to expect not only friendship but protection. The evidence was then laboriously reviewed with orders in council, charts, letters and cipher telegrams. The fact of secrecy, the cutting of telegraph wires and the fore--thought that had been shown in the management of all the preliminary arrangements were pronounced suspicious.
In criticizing the ostensible motive for the expedition the Lord Chief Justice said scathingly:
"How absurd-how mean - but I am loath to use that word in this place - how absurd," reverting to the first term he had employed, "to make this suggestion of going to the relief of women and children." He said finally:
"I have now to put to you certain definite questions."
At this point Sir Edward Clarke arose and said:
"My Lord, will you hear my objection now?"
He was informed rather sharply by his Lordship that no objection had been taken, and he intended to direct the jury that they might answer the questions and return a general verdict. Sir Edward again endeavoured to speak, but Lord Russell again reminded him that he could permit no discussion at that time. He then informed the jury that he had prepared the questions which he requested them to answer, at the same time informing them very clearly that they were at liberty to refuse and that if they declined to answer them, no power could force them to do so against their will. They were also told that a precedent existed for such a course and it was cited.
The questions were:
(1) Were the defendants, or any and which of them, engaged in the preparation of a military expedition to proceed, and with the intention that it should proceed, against a friendly state-the South African Republic?
(2) Did the defendants, or any and which of them, [-294-] assist in the preparation of such an expedition, or aid, abet, counsel or procure such preparation?
(3) Were the defendants, or any and which of them, employed in any capacity in such expedition?
The same questions concerning Pitsani Potlugo were also put, and the jurors were told, that if they decided all were engaged in such an expedition that the answer should be "all," if none, the answer should be "none," and, if not all, those who were participants should be named.
The jury were informed, further, that if they agreed to answer the questions which were read to them, they were to write after each question, either "yes" or "no," according to their decision.
The foreman, a pale, slender man with dark hair and moustache, rose in his place and asked:
"Suppose we do answer them in this way, My Lord, is the alternative a verdict of guilty or not guilty ?"
He was informed that in the case of refusal to answer, a direct verdict of guilty or not guilty must be rendered as an alternative. An officer of the court then took them to a place where they should be "locked up without fire, light, food or drink until they agreed upon a verdict," and they were at once conducted from the court room.
It was twenty-five minutes past four; the defendants also went out, Dr. Jameson with them; he had sat much of the time throughout the day with his face buried in his hands, apparently exhausted, his former depression having returned, as the hours wore on.
A loud buzz of conversation immediately broke forth which continued with animation for an hour; no one but the Lord Chief Justice, the two Associate Justices, the counsel, the defendants and a few of their personal friends left the court room. The suppressed excitement was intense and asserted itself in the nervous manner, the alertness, the start at every movement about the door, on the part of those who remained waiting. At last there was a faint tinkle of a bell, far off, and every voice was instantly hushed. In a few moments the Lord Chief Justice, Justice Hawkins and Justice Pollock returned, then the defendants, and last the jurors. Several of the jurors were smiling, but their expression was a little anxious, though they appeared relieved that their difficult duty was finished and seemed satisfied with whatever verdict they were prepared to render.
The defendants looked at them steadily, but with some apprehension, Coventry for the first time being pale and anxious. He had at this stage of the trial ceased to find the proceedings amusing and Dr. Jameson, himself, was scarcely more downcast and dejected.
When all were seated, in the midst of death-like silence, the Master of the Rolls asked the foreman:
"Are you agreed upon a verdict?"
The foreman, standing, replied distinctly: "We are," an affirmative which it was shown, presently, was hardly justified. A slip of paper was then handed the Lord Chief Justice with the answers to the three questions which he had put to them. These answers, which he read silently, proved to be in the affirmative, the vital admission being made that "the Queen's sovereignty did extend over Pitsani and Mafeking." The Lord Chief Justice announced firmly that this "constituted a verdict of guilty." The foreman then rose and said with some reluctance:
"My Lord, we have answered your questions categorically, but we wish to add a rider - the jury consider that the state of affairs in Johannesburg presented great provocation."
"That is a verdict of guilty," repeated the Lord Chief Justice sternly, with increased emphasis, disregarding the rider.
The foreman, as if he rather liked the word, insisted that "His Lordship's questions had been answered categorically."
While this discussion was going on Sir Edward Clarke rose rather inopportunely and began:
"My Lord, I wish to say-"
Already nettled by the indecision of the jury, the Lord Chief Justice replied with severity:
"I cannot at this moment allow any interposition."
"Surely, My Lord-" Sir Edward persisted; but he was again peremptorily silenced by the Lord Chief Justice, who said:
"At this moment I am addressing the jury, and I cannot allow it." Then he turned to the jurors and said authoritatively:
"Gentlemen, with these findings I direct you to find a verdict of guilty against all these defendants."
During this interval the increased nervousness and apprehension of the defendants was very manifest. In this interval, too, was displayed that trait of the English character which is so marked and, in the face of existing social customs and distinctions, so difficult to comprehend. While showing the utmost respect to the high official whom he was addressing, the foreman, an ordinary British householder of ordinary position and intelligence, though perfectly aware of the dissatisfaction of the Lord Chief Justice, replied with great firmness:
"There is one objection to that, My Lord. We have answered your words categorically" - using the term for the third time - "but we do not agree absolutely upon a verdict of guilty or not guilty."
The eyes of the Lord Chief Justice kindled, and his voice which had never once faltered from the beginning to the close of his six hours' speech, trembled with indignation. He said in tones that brooked no denial:
"This is a most unhappy state of things, gentlemen. If there are any of you who differ from the rest, you ought to consider the point. These questions, answered as they are, amount to a verdict of guilty, and nothing else. The answers are capable of no other construction. Therefore, I direct you - and I direct my observations particularly to those who may disagree with the rest - that you ought to return in accordance with these findings a verdict against the defendants."
The jury thus unmistakably instructed whispered together a few seconds and the foreman rose and said obediently:
"We are unanimous in returning a verdict of guilty."
It was a critical moment, and for a brief instant, it seemed as though justice would miscarry, and the whole laborious and painful business must be gone over again; but the unyielding will of the Lord Chief Justice prevailed.
His procedure in no way resembled coercion; it was simply a demand for a verdict based upon facts, all of which had been carefully and plainly laid before the jury; the doubtful aspects had been clearly explained and simplified, both by the Attorney-General and by the Lord Chief Justice, himself, in his summing up.
The verdict having been thus rendered with reluctance and delay, Sir Edward Clarke was permitted to give notice that he would make a motion for the arrest of judgment until he could enter a motion for a new trial. This was granted and Monday was fixed as the day of hearing.
The Lord Chief Justice, with the Associate Justices, then retired a second time, sending in a messenger presently for a slip of paper that had been forgotten and left upon his desk. When they returned, the court rising with the usual formality until the Justices were seated, Sir Edward Clarke again asked to be heard, and said that in the interval the defendants had decided that the arrest of judgment must not be proceeded with, and .that they were prepared to accept the sentence of the court without demur.
This decision rendered at that moment had the same theatrical effect which Dr. Jameson's avowal of personal responsibility for the raid had produced; an effect which, either studied or involuntary, had seemed conspicuous in the attitude of the chief defendant throughout the proceedings. There was an impulse of subdued applause which in that solemn place seemed a shocking breach of decorum and was instantly silenced.
The defendants were then ordered to stand, and, for the first time, were addressed as "prisoners." While the Lord Chief Justice's remarks were severe, they were not ill-tempered. He spoke with great gravity reminding them of their high social position and the official responsibility which they had betrayed.
Dr. Jameson was then sentenced to fifteen months imprisonment without hard labour; Sir John Willoughby to ten months; Major White, Col. White, Col. Grey and Major Coventry five months each without hard labour.
The men were very pale, quiet and self-possessed, though very serious. The term "prisoners," addressed to them by the Lord Chief Justice for the first time, seemed to have wakened them to a consciousness of their position, men no longer attempting to justify their acts, but, after a fair and honest trial, condemned and held responsible for their defiance of the law.
It is, of course, the merest conjecture, but it seemed almost certain that the decision of the men to accept the sentence of the court had mitigated its severity. As soon as Sir Edward Clarke announced the fact that the motion for an appeal was withdrawn and had sat down, the Lord Chief Justice conferred briefly and inaudibly with the Associate Justices and then passed his pen through certain words written upon the slip of paper lying under his hand, after which the sentence was immediately pronounced.
It was followed by a stillness that continued for several seconds after the Lord Chief Justice ceased to speak; then the people breathed again, and the great trial was over.
The men were conducted to the prison without delay. In the eyes of the rabble, and of multitudes who were not rabble, they were heroes to be applauded to the last. As they drove away they were followed by cries of "God bless you - God bless you Dr. Jim," and they were regarded, not as criminals, but as heroes suffering martyrdom for their patriotism.
The Lord Chief Justice was warmly commended by the English press and by the more intelligent and disinterested people of all classes. The sentence and punishment, however, seemed strangely inadequate when the magnitude of their offence and its terrible consequences were borne in mind; a friendly territory had been invaded by an armed force; a people with whom closer relations were the only means of bringing about reforms which Dr. Jameson desired, had been alienated, and hostility aroused which would survive for generations; twenty lives had been lost, the government had been notified that heavy indemnity would be demanded; a native uprising had resulted, in which many lives and much property were destroyed, owing to the distraction of the public mind and the withdrawal of troops from territory where their presence was required. For all this, a sentence of fifteen months without hard labour to the leader, and seven months to his confederates would have been merely a nominal sentence, even had it been carried into effect. But Captain Coventry, who was deprived of his commission - a penalty in which the others shared - was pardoned almost immediately by the Home Office. The others, having been sentenced simply to imprisonment without hard labour, were not required to clean their cells, or wear prison garb; they were permitted to receive their friends by whom they were supplied with many comforts and luxuries, and Dr. Jameson spent much of the time writing and reading. He was unquestionably in ill health, but he had so strenuously expressed his desire to bear the entire burden of responsibility, including whatever penalty that the court might see fit to inflict, that it was a little disappointing, even to his admirers, that he, too, availed himself of the clemency of the Home Office. He was sentenced July 28th, released from Holloway Jail Dec.2nd, having been in prison less than five months, and returned to South Africa. There were apparent grounds for the belief that, for once, influence in high places had interfered with the administration of the law, or that the law itself had been strangely ineffectual.