7 - 8 April 2004
RHODES, Cecil John (1853-1902). Autograph letter signed to 'My dear Archbishop' [the Archbishop of Capetown], Muizenberg, February 1902, 6 pages, 8vo.
RHODES' LAST THOUGHTS FOR HIS OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME.
'I have been looking into the scheme and have an amendment to make. I find £250 per annum is sufficient for Oxford but then the young fellow spends six months with his people. Our young South African ... will have to pay for himself for twelve months as against the ordinary undergraduate who lives on his people for six months. I think therefore we must increase the scholarship to £300 per annum ... I am thankful to you for undertaking the experiment, which is a scholarship for a combination of mental, moral and physical qualities. Who knows it may be the grain of mustard seed which produces the largest tree'.
A letter written within weeks of Cecil Rhodes' death, and mentioning the public school at Kimberley. He sends a cheque for £1,800, anticipating that when it is used up the provisions of his will would be in force.
Rhodes' instructions for the use of his wealth to create scholarships at Oxford were enshrined in his will and provided that those elected for scholarships should not be 'merely bookworms', but should also be successful in 'manly outdoor sports', and show qualities of moral character and leadership. While his first concern was for South African students, the scholars were to be drawn from all the British self-governing colonies, and from the United States and Germany. While it never achieved his ambition of creating an imperialist confraternity, the scheme came close to creating an international elite, encompassing many future members of the academic and political world, and the public services in the countries to which it was extended.
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