95pp., map, illus., paperback, Pretoria, 2021
English aristocrat Christopher Bethell arrived in southern Africa in 1878 as a "remittance" man, sent to the colonies to avoid a scandal at home. He worked as a hunter, trader, British official and emissary to Chief Montshiwa of the Ratshidi-Barolong, who were fighting to maintain their independence from the Transvaal Boers and their Rapulana allies. Bethell's insistence that the British intervene in the area, his willingness to take up arms in defence of Montshiwa, and his marriage to Tepo Boapile, a Morolong woman, alienated him from official opinion. He was killed on 31 July 1884 in an encounter with mercenaries from the Transvaal. His death was a trigger for British intercession in what became British Bechuanaland.
Andrew Manson is a Research Fellow in the Department of History at Unisa. Previously he was Research Professor in the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences at North West University.