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Early Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) Pre-1964

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Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) Pre Independence

Image Right - Coat of arms of Northern Rhodesia (1939-1953) created by User: NikNaks - taken from Flag of Northern Rhodesia Public Domain, Wiki Commons

Northern Rhodesia was a protectorate formed in 1911 by the amalgamation of the two earlier protectorates of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia. It was administered at first by the British South Africa Company (BSAC), a chartered company on behalf of the British Government.

From 1924 it was administered by the British Government as a protectorate under similar conditions to other British-administered protectorates, and the special provisions required when it was administered by BSAC were terminated.

The object of this project is to link the profiles of early residents and settlers of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, - encompassing those who were born or died there before Independence in 1964. Note living profiles cannot be linked to projects.

It embraces people who were of importance in the country prior to Independence.


// Northern Rhodesia from the settlers' point of view

Image from Northern Rhodesia courtesy of Stephen Luscombe

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The following people are of interest regarding Northern Rhodesia before 1964
Bold links are to Geni profiles or projects. Others are to external pages.


  • David Adamson (United Free Church of Scotland) 1875-1932. A Carpenter and builder. In 1909 married Annie Roder Chalmers, a teacher. In Northern Rhodesia, at Lubwa and Mwenzo, 1914, 1921-1927
  • Frederick Stanley Arnot, (1858-1914) was the first Christian missionary to settle in Northern Rhodesian territory. Member of the Plymouth Brethren. Arrived in Durban in 1882 from Glasgow. Arrived at Sesheke 1882. Lived in Lealui from Octoberrt 1882 until May 1884


  • Sir Arthur Benson (1907–1987) Governor 25 May 1854 to 22 April 1949


  • John Harrison Clark (Changa Changa) - Changa Changa set himself up as a chief in the Luangwa Valley, flying the Red Ensign at his palace Algoa, and extracting taxes from his subjects. He claimed to have eradicated slavery from the Luangwa Valley and its surrounds. He was removed from power by the British South Africa Company (BSAC) and moved to Broken Hill (Kabwe) where he stayed for the remainder of his life. One of his last jobs was as a labour manager at the mine in Kabwe, Chanaga Changa is still used as a word meaning 'Boss' in the local vernacular and there are many places called Changa Changa in present day Zambia.
  • François Coillard, After David Livingstone, he was perhaps the most influential European missionary to live within the boundaries of modern Zambia. Coillard was born in France in 1834 and, as a youth, decided to join the Paris Missionary Society. In 1884. With the aid of a respected trader, George Westbeech, along with the recommendation from chief Khama, Coillard and his party entered Barotseland, and in March 1887 opened a school at Sefula.
  • William Collier - One of the early mineral prospectors in Zambia, he was sent into Lamba country in 1902 by the Bechuanaland Exploration Company . Near Chiwala's village, he and Jack O'Donohogue were shown the ancient copper workings, which they called Bwana Mkubwa . With the aid of a local guide, Collier traveled a little northwest and found a rich lode of copper ore and named the area Roan Antelope mine, several days later he also found the Chambeshi deposit.
  • Robert Edward Codrington – colonial administrator of the two territories ruled by the British South Africa Company (BSAC) which later became Zambia
  • Father Jean-Jacques Corbeil – Canadian missionary and ethnographer of Bemba culture
  • Dan Crawford – missionary pioneer


  • Thomas G. Davey - An Australian mining engineer, employed by Edmund Davis identified the deposits that became Broken Hill Mine (Kabwe) in 1902. He and a guide, looking for some old workings, became lost and stumbled upon the mine by accident. He named the area Broken Hill after a similar geological configuration he had known in Australia.
  • Sir Edmund Davis - Born in Australia in 1862, this noted financier and mining tycoon dominated the Northern Rhodesian mining industry. In 1897, he formed the Bechuanaland Exploration Company and Northern Copper Company, whose prospectors first claimed, in 1899, the Kafue Hook deposits that became known as the Sable Antelope and Silver King Mines, the first, if short-lived, commercial copper holdings in the territory. He also sent out Thomas Davey, who discovered ore deposits at Kabwe. Further south, near Bulawayo, Davis developed the Wankie Colliery, which, after the railway was completed in 1909-1910, supplied coal and coke to the Northern Rhodesian and Katangan copper mine refineries. A long-time associate of Cecil Rhodes, Davis acquired a seat on the British South Africa Company board in 1925 and, in 1930, lobbied persistently for making Broken Hill (Kabwe) the new capital of Northern Rhodesia. He died in 1939.
  • Bishop Joseph Dupont – missionary pioneer



  • Philip Fischer b.1907 Latvia, died 1978 Bulawayo.
  • Stanley Fischer( b. 1943) Vice-Chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • Henry Fosbrooke (10 October 1908 – 25 April 1996); Head of the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute (RLI) from 1956, the first local anthropological research facility in Africa and notably RLI anthropologists have since been lauded by some as "liberal, anti-racists," furthering the cause of African independence.


  • Abe Galaun Abe Galun was a very successful Lusaka businessman at one time owning a large number of farms
  • Valdimar Gielgud - A British South Africa Company official in Southern Rhodesia, he and A. C. Anderson were sent to Lenje chief Chipepo's territory in the Kafue Hook in 1900 to report upon local conditions and to provide security to the Northern Copper Company's employees in the region. From his station at Muyanga, he used his 20 Ndebele Native Police to harass the Mambari slave traders and to impress hostile Ila, Lenje, and Soli villages. His and George Grey's complaints about the slave traders brought Colonel Harding and his Barotse Native Police to patrol the western side of the Kafue River in 1900-1901. By 1901-1902, he had opened a station at Mwomboshi and soon thereafter became an agent for the Rhodesian Native Labour Bureau.
  • Richard Allmond Jeffrey Goode (1873–1953) Governor 25 July 1927 - 31 Aug 1927
  • Stewart Gore-Brown (1883-1967) Soldier, pioneer white settler, builder, politician & supporter of independence in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Called Chipembele by Africans




  • Harry Johnston (1858 – 1927) - sent by the British Government's colonial office. He was an explorer who travelled widely in Africa. Botanist, artist, colonial administrator and linguist who spoke many African languages. He published 40 books on African subjects and was one of the key players in the Scramble for Africa that occurred at the end of the 19th century.


  • Kabwe Man - the earliest known human skeletal remains in Southern Central Africa were found in 1921 by Tom Zwiglaar, a Swiss miner. during mining operations at Broken Hill (Kabwe) Mine. The skull, with its trepanation (drilled) holes and decayed and abscessed teeth, bears the distinctive, double-arched brow ridges, low cranial vault, and occipital "bun" of the Eurasian Neanderthals. Kabwe Man, once referred to as Homo rhodesiensis is considered to be representative of archaic Homo sapiens and currently assigned to Homo heidelbergensis.
  • Mwata Kazembe – Chief of the Kazembe-Lunda
  • Dr. Kenneth Kaunda (KK) - First President of the Republic of Zambia, serving from 24 October 1964 to 2 November 1991, as leader of the United National Independence Party (UNIP).


  • Alice Lenshina – leader of the Lumpa religious sect
  • General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck – leader of German East Africa forces of World War I
  • Lewanika – Litunga of the Lozi
  • Dr David Livingstone (1813–1873) Missionary and explorer. He was the first European to see the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River on 16 November 1855 and gave them their name, the local name is Mosi-oa-Tunya meaning "The Smoke That Thunders" (although in the Lozi language musi-oa-tunya means the smoke that rises, tunya is the effect caused by rising dust or smoke, lumela means to thunder). He died from malaria and dysentery on the 1st of May 1873 at Chipundu, near Chief Chitambo's village near the Bangweulu Swamps while searching for the source of the Nile. His heart was buried beneath a pundu tree nearby and his preserved body was carried to Bagamoyo on the East Coast of Africa by his servants Chuma and Susi, who then accompanied it to London. His body is buried in Westminster Abbey. A monument marks the spot where the pundu tree stood and a memorial marks the spot of his death in Chipundu, Zambia.
  • William Marston Logan (1889–1968) Govornor 9th April 1941 - 16 October 1941


  • Michael Mataka – first native Zambian to become police commissioner
  • Sir James Crawford Maxwell (1869-1953) Governor 31 Aug 1927 - 1st December 1932
  • Sir John Alexander Maybin (1889–1941) Governor 1st Sept. 1938 - 16 October 1941 (Died in office)
  • Sir John Smith Moffatt, - A great-grandson of the famous missionary, Robert Moffat was a government official and political figure in Zambia for over four decades, he was born in Nyasaland in 1905.
  • Major José Monteiro - A Portuguese army officer stationed at Tete, Mozambique, he and António Gamitto led the 1831-1832 expedition to Lunda chief Kazembe seeking a commercial treaty. Their report after the expedition discouraged future traders.
  • Mpezeni – warrior-king of one of the largest Ngoni groups of central Africa
  • Mwene Chitengi Chiyengele – Mbunda chief who led his tribesmen from north-eastern Angola to Bulozi, western Zambia around 1795


  • Harry Nkumbula – Nationalist leader who assisted in the struggle for the independence of Northern Rhodesia from British colonialism
  • Annie Elizabeth Norval (1880-1964)



  • Sir Ronald Prain - Born in Chile in 1907 and educated in England. In 1936 he became director of the Anglo-Metal Company and played an important and unusual role in the Federation's politics and eventual demise. Having supported the Federation at its inception, Prain quickly reassessed the Federal project and concluded that its expected benefits had failed to materialise, and that a new political orientation was necessary for Northern Rhodesia, his companies' host country. Whereas expatriate business interests were often ‘weak’ political actors during decolonisation, Prain, through pragmatic readjustment, evolved a forward-thinking strategy of accommodation to the rise of African nationalism, and to the corresponding eclipse of settler power. Adapting with unusual success to political change, he became actively involved in the political developments which led to Zambian independence in 1964.



  • Sir Gilbert Rennie (1895–1981) Governor 19 February 1948 to 8 March 1954


  • Sebetwane – Basotho chief who fled from Shaka Zulu, eventually conquering and settling in Western Province
  • Sekeletu – Makololo King of Barotseland in western Zambia from about 1851 to his death in 1863
  • Sir Alfred Sharpe – British administrator and agent for Cecil Rhodes
  • Sir Herbert Stanley (1872-1955) Governor 1st April 1924 to 15 July 1927
  • Robert Christopher Stafford Stanley (1899–1981) Governor 16 October 1947 - 16 February 1948
  • Sir Ronald Storrs (1881–1955) Governor 1st Sec 1932 - 7th Jan 1935


  • Joseph Thomson - A noted East African hunter and explorer, Thomson, like Alfred Sharpe, was hired by Cecil Rhodes in 1890 to collect concessionary treaties for the British South Africa Company, and to take Katanga (Shaba Province) away from Belgium by obtaining a treaty from Yeke king Msiri.




  • Sir John Waddington (1890-1957) Governor 16th Oct. 1941 to 16 Oct. 1947
  • Lawrence Aubrey Wallace - British colonial administrator of North-Eastern Rhodesia from April 1907 to January 1909, administrator of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia from January 1909 to August 1911, and administrator of Northern Rhodesia from August 1911 until March 1921
  • Sir Roy Welensky – leader of white trade union and settler politician
  • George Westbeech - was an English hunter and trader who spent 26 years in southern Africa, much of it as a semiofficial commercial agent for the Lozi. Arriving in Natal in 1862, he soon traveled in Matabeleland, where he established a business relationship with George A. Phillips that lasted over 20 years. Westbeech would dominate trade in Barotseland, while Phillips controlled trade in Matabeleland. They gained the confidence of the old Ndebele chief Mzilikazi and his successor, Lobengula. Westbeech gained the personal respect of Lozi kings Sipopa and Lewanika, allowing him extensive trade and hunting privileges. In turn he helped many European hunters and missionaries to travel to Barotseland. The Reverends Arnot and Coillard, for example, owed him a great deal for smoothing their way with Lewanika. Westbeech opened up and improved wagon routes and established a trading community at Pandamatenga, south of Victoria Falls, in the tsetse-free no-man's-land between the Lozi, the Ndebele, and the Tswana. The upper Zambezi River became his personal highway, as he exported vast quantities of ivory and brought in items for trade. He died of liver disease July 17, 1888, in the Transvaal.
  • Alexander Thomas Williams (1903–1984) Governor 8 March 1954 to 25 May 1954



this project is in HistoryLink