NEW YEAR'S DAY in 1896 opened with an alarming ringing of Imperial telephone-bells. Two days before Dr. Jameson, Administrator of the British South Africa Company, of which Rhodes was managing director, had made a raid into the Transvaal in the hope that English Uitlanders would join him and force President Kruger to grant them the political rights which had been hitherto denied them. Chamberlain, as Colonial Minister, Rhodes as Prime Minister at the Cape and Sir Hercules Robinson as Governor of Cape Colony denied having had any fore-knowledge of the raid, and orders were sent to Jameson to retire. He refused to obey, the Uitlanders did not join him, and on January 1, 1896, he was defeated by Boer forces and surrendered.
The Queen's eyes were very troublesome and the telegrams which poured in must be read to her, but her only complaint was that they were not sent to her more expeditiously. She had seen one night in the evening paper a telegram about this crisis which did not reach her officially till next morning. That was very wrong, and Mr. Chamberlain must, see to it: otherwise he was acting firmly and prudently. * But there was one telegram that had passed over the wires, not Governmental, which had to receive her very special attention. As soon as news of the failure____________________