About this Famous Person

Cecil John RHODES

English Cecil John RHODES

English-born businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa

Source :  Alain GARRIC

Born: on July 05, 1853 in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England
Died: on March 26, 1902 in Muizenberg, South Africa


Rhodes was the fifth son of the Reverend Francis William Rhodes and his wife Louisa Peacock Rhodes. His father was a Church of England vicar who was proud of never having preached a sermon longer than 10 minutes. His siblings included Francis William Rhodes, who became an army officer.

A sickly, asthmatic teenager, Cecil Rhodes was taken out of grammar school and sent to Natal, South Africa because his family thought the hot climate would improve his health. They expected he would help his older brother Herbert who operated a cotton farm.

After a brief stay with the Surveyor-General of Natal, Dr. P.C. Sutherland, in Pietermaritzburg, Rhodes took an interest in agriculture. He joined his brother Herbert on his cotton farm in the Umkomanzi valley in Natal. When he first came to Africa, Rhodes lived on money lent by his aunt Sophia.

In October 1871, Rhodes left the colony for the diamond fields of Kimberley. Financed by N M Rothschild & Sons, over the next 17 years Rhodes succeeded in buying up all the smaller diamond mining operations in the Kimberley area. His monopoly of the world's diamond supply was sealed in 1889 through a strategic partnership with the London-based Diamond Syndicate. They agreed to control world supply to maintain high prices. Rhodes supervised the working of his brother's claim and speculated on his behalf. Among his associates in the early days were John X. Merriman and Charles Rudd, who later became his partner in the De Beers Mining Company and Niger Oil Company.

Source :  © Copyright Wikipédia authors - This article is under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 .

See Also :

- Category British Politician