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Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Table of Contents
Garden making in Uganda
Wage labour and the desire for wives among the Lango
The last days of Bishop Hannington
Note on the Sudanese corps in Mexico (1863-67) and on Fort Magungu
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
THE ORGAN OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY.
VOL. VIII SEPTEMBER, 1940. No. 1.
GARDEN MAKING IN UGANDA.
by A. S. Thomas.
WAGE LABOUR AND THE DESIRE FOR WIVES
AMONG THE LANGO.
by T. T. Steiger-Hayley.
THE DEATH OF BISHOP HANNINGTON.
(with Map and 2 Illustrations).
NOTES ON THE SUDANESE CORPS IN MEXICO.
by H. B. Thomas, o.B.E.
by J. M. Watson.
A GUIDE TO
THE SNAKES OF UGANDA
Capt. Charles R. S. Pitman, D.S.O., M.C.
Corresponding Member of the Zoological Society
Game Warden, Uganda.
The above work which appeared serially in Volumes m. IV and V of
the Uganda Journal is now on sale.
While the book is a complete guide to Uganda snakes, it also has a
much wider interest and importance, for it deals with species of snakes that
are found from the East to the West Coasts of Africa, and from the Sudan
to the Union of South Africa. It is, in fact, the most comprehensive and
authoritative work on African snakes that has yet been published.
Of the greatest value are the 23 splendid coloured plates which give a
complete and accurate pictorial record of the snakes of Uganda-some 80
species in all. Not only are the heads, lateral and ventral sections of adult
snakes shown,but the differences of colouring and markings of young snakes
are also depicted. The book is further illustrated by 18 plates of line draw-
ings, two diagrams and two maps.
Another feature which increases the usefulness of the book is its index-
or rather indexes. Of these there are three-an Index of Scientific Names,
an Index of Popular Names, and an Index of Vernacular Names. There is
also a List of Contents.
The Foreword has been contributed by Mr. H.W. Parker, Assistant Keep-
er of Zoology at the British Museum.
The edition is limited to 500 copies, each one of which is numbered.
Post Quarto. 362 pages, illustrated with 23 fine Coloured Plates,
x8 Line Drawings. 2 Diagrams and 2 Maps. Half Bound
Published by THE UGANDA SOCIETY, KAMPALA, UGANDA,
from whom copies may be obtained.
THE BIRDS OF KENYA COLONY AND THE
By Sir FREDERICK JACKSON, K.C.M.G., C.B.
Completed and Edited by WILLIAM LUTLEY SCATER, M.A.
These three volumes represent the life's study of a great African
Explorer and Administrator, and the "father" of East African natural
history. The late Sir Frederick J. Jackson spent thirty-four years in East
Africa, and during all these years all his spare time was occupied in the
study of the Wild Life of this region, and particularly in the observation of
the habits of the birds.
Volume I. Struthionidae to Psittacidae, pp. 1-544. Illustrated with Io plates
in colour and 115 text-figures.
Volume II. Coraciidaee to Sylviidae, pp. 545-1136. Illustrated with 8 plates
in colour and 65 text-figures.
Volume III. Hirundinidae to Emberizidae, pp. 1137-1558. Illustrated with 6
plates in colour, 61 text-figures and i map.
Extra Royal 8v. Pages LXVIII + 1596.
Three volumes. Price L4: io:- net per set.
Postage: Home i/-, Abroad 5/3.
"...To the ornithologist accustomed mainly to the birds of a temperate
climate the extraordinary number and the beauty of the species of this
region will make a tremendous appeal."
"...The illustrations by two well-known bird artists, Mr. G. E. Lodge
and Mr. Gr6nvold, alone are enough to make the book a noteworthy
one." Manchester Guardian.
"...The appearance of the late Sir Frederick Jackson's long awaited
work on the birds of Kenya and Uganda is an important event in the
ornithological history of East Africa."
GURNEY & JACKSON
LONDON: 98 GREAT RUSSELL STREET, W.C.
EDINBURGH: TWEEDDALE COURT.
Kenya and Uganda Railways and Harbours
CIRCULAR RAIL AND
LAKE STEAMER TOURS
Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika
and the Belgian Congo
Occupying from 6 to 38 days
CAN BE ARRANGED AT
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
FULL PARTICULARS ON APPLICATION TO ANY STATION
Messrs. THOSE COOK AND SON LTD., NAIROBI AND MOMBASA
"A GUIDE TO THE SNAKES OF UGANDA"
(By Captain C.R.S. Pitman, D.S.O., M.C.)
Revenue Account for the year ended 30th June, 1940,
To Stocks on Hand
,, Binding Expenses
,, Postages & Packing
,, Bank Charges
,, Discounts, Commissions & Allowances
,, Donations & Free Gifts
,, Advertising Expenditure
,, Review Expenditure
,, Net Revenue to General Incorre
& Expenditure A/c.
,, Issues at cost:-
,, Stocks on Hand
2428.00 Shs. 4115.00
THE UGANDA SOCIETY.
GENERAL INCOME & EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT for the Year ended 30th June, 1940.
To Publication of Journals
Packing & Postages
General Postages & Telegrams
Salaries & Wages
Stationery & Printing
Lighting & Lighting Expenses
Reserve for Doubtful Debts
Depreciation of Fixtures & Fittings
Excess of Income over
Expenditure for the year
By Members Subscriptions:-
,, Advertising Revenue
,, Interest Receivable
,, Sundry Revenue:-
Sales of Journals &
,, Net Revenue Pitman's Snakes
BALANCE SHEET as at 30th June, 1940.
SUNDRY CREDITORS:- Pitman's
io.oo SUBSCRIPTIONS paid in advance
o.oo ADVERTISEMENT REVENUE
paid in advance
LIBRARY FUND RESERVE:-
Donation Received to 30.6.40
7.14 INCOME ACCUMULATIONS
ACCOUNT as at 17.39
5o.oo Additions to Fixtures & Fittings
9.48 Excess of Income ovei Expendi-
ture for the year.
(Signed) CHAS. R. HALL
KAMPALA, i4th August, 1940.
2000.00 CASH AT BANK on DEPOSIT
1387.14 CASH AT BANK on CURRENT
A/C. No. i
... CASH AT BANK on CURRENT
A/C. No. II
... CASH in Hand
... ELECTRICITY DEPOSIT
... Add: Interest accrued to 30.6.40
369.75 SUNDRY DEBTORS:- Pitman's
Less: Reserve for Doubtful Debts
STOCKS ON HAND: Bound Volumes
FIXTURES & FITTINGS
as at 1.7.39.
Add:- Additions to 30.6.40. 1365.oo
Less: Depreciation (@s 1/o to 30.6.40 196.50
ELECTRIC LIGHT INSTALLATION 260.00
Less: Written off to 30.6.40. 60.oo
REVIEW EXPENDITURE 136.00
Less. Written off to 30.6.40. 136.oo
I hereby certify that the above Balance Sheet is properly drawn up so as to show a true and correct view of the
state of the Society's affairs at 3oth June 1940, as shewn by the books of the Society and information supplied to me.
(Signed) S. G. MARSH. Hon. Auditor.
KAMPALA. 22nd August 1940o.
THE UGANDA SOCIETY.
Annual General Meeting, 1940.
-: o :-
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in the Society's room in Kampala
at 7.0 p.m. on Tuesday August 27th 1940.
There were present Mr. N. V. Brasnett, President, in the chair, and twelve
other members. Apologies for their inability to be present were received from Mr.
Steven Wright, from Mr. Sebley. Librarian, and from Mr. G. C. Turner.
I. The Minutes of the last General Meeting on August 30th 1939, having
been printed and circulated to members, were taken as read and were confirmed.
II. Annual Report for 1939-40. The Committee's Annual Report was read
by the Honorary Secretary.
Arising out of the report Mr. Lukyn Williams asked to be informed of the
reasons for the committee's de-ision to retain the page size of the Journal as at
present, and remarked that the size of the Journal varied from time to time. The
Chairman replied that the size of the printed page had not, in fact. ever varied;
and that the printers had already been asked to keep to a standard size of paper
to facilitate binding.
Commenting further on the report, the chairman said he thought the Society
might well congratulate itself on the progress that had been made, under the
circumstances. He emphasised the unique position held by the Society among
institutions in Uganda, as a centre of cultural interest without restriction as to
membership, and stressed the importance of encouraging Afri:ans to join in greater
numbers and to take a more active part in the affairs of the Society. He pointed
out how fortunate the Society was in the succession of honorary officers it
attracted to its service-no sooner was one lost than another stepped with equal
energy into his place. He thanked those concerned for their service during the
Mr. Brasnett went on to refer to the lecture meetings and drew attention to
the wide variety of the subjects dealt with during the year. Finally he referred
to the valuable assistance to the library which the Society had received from the
King George V Memorial Trust, and expressed the Society's gratitude to the
Trust for their encouragement and support.
On the proposal of Captain Pitman. seconded by Mr. Lukyn Williams, the
adoption of the Report was carried unanimously.
III. Finance. The Chairman called upon the Honorary Treasurer to report
on the Balance Sheet and Accounts for 1939-40, copies of whi:h had been
distributed to those present. Mr. Hall explained a number of points and showed
that the financial position as revealed in the Balance Sheet was better than it had
ever yet been in the history of the Society.
The adoption of the balance sheet and accounts was moved by Mr. A.V.P.
Elliott. seconded by Dr. M. M. Patel, and carried unanimously.
IV. Honorary Vice-President. The Chairman referred to the long association
of Mr. E. B. Haddon with the Soziety, and to his work on its behalf in England.
On behalf of the Committee, he mo\ed the election of Mr. Haddon as an
Honorary Vice-President under Rule XV (e). Captain Pitman seconded the
motion, which was carried unanimously.
V. Officers for 1940-41. The following were elected:
President. Captain C. R. S. Pitman, proposed by the Chairman, seconded
by Mr. Snoxall.
Vice-President. Mr. S. W. Kulubya. proposed by the Chairman, seconded
by Mr. Elliott.
The following nominated by the committee, on whose behalf proposed en
bloc by the Chairman, seconded by Mr. Godinho:
Honorary Treasurer Mr. S. G. Marsh.
Honorary Editor Mr. R. S. Snoxall.
Honorary Secretary Mr. A. V. P. Elliott.
Honorary Librarian Mr. B. E. Sebley.
Honorary Auditor Mr. C. R. Hall.
The Brightest Spot
I'HE ORGAN 01 THE U(GANDA SOCIETY.
SEPTEMBER, 1940. No. 1.
Garden Making in Uganda.. .
Wage Labour and the Desire for Wives among
the Lango .. .. .. ... 1
The Death of Bishop Hannington ... ...
(with Map and 2 Illustrations).
Notes on the Sudanese Corps in Mexico. ...
Correspondence, Book Review, Etc.
... A. S. THOMAS.
H. B. THOMAS, O.B.E.
J. M. WATSON.
There are no restrictions as to membership of the Uganda Society. Member-
ship is open to all races and to Institutions and Clubs. No entrance fee is im-
posed. The annual subscription, which is payable in advance on 1st July of each
year, is Shs. 10 for single membership and Shs. 15 for double members. The
double membership is introduced for the convenience of families and entitles two
members of a family to all the rights and privileges of a full member except that
they receive only one copy of each number of the Journal.
The Uganda Journal is usually published quarterly, but during war-time
half-yearly, and is issued to members and Institutions on payment of the annual
subscription. Back numbers may be obtained on application to the Honorary
Librarian at prices as advertised on the cover.
All communications relating to the Journal or the Society should be addressed
to one or other of the Officers at the following address:
The Uganda Society, Private Post Bag,
NOTICE TO CONTRIBUTORS
The Uganda Journal is intended for the publication of literary, historical and
scientific matter relating to Uganda and its peoples.
Material sent in for publication should be addressed to the Honorary Editor
at the Society's address. The Editor is always pleased to advise as to the suit-
ability and arrangement of manuscripts. Short notes are particularly welcomed,
as well as longer articles. The Society reserves the right to publish all papers
read before it.
Each contributor is entitled to six separate copies of his article free of charge,
and may obtain additional copies at a cost of 25 cents each if he informs the
Editor of his wishes at the time of submitting the manuscript.
THE UGANDA SOCIETY.
SIR PHILIP MITCHELL, K.C.M.G., M.C.
CAPTAIN C. R. S. PITMAN, D.S.O., M.C.
OWEKITIBWA S. W. KULUBYA, M.B.E.
SIR ALBERT R. COOK, KT., C.M.G. THE RT. REV. BISHOP E. MICHAUD, M.B.E.
E. J. WAYLAND, ESQ., C.B.E. H. B. THOMAS, ESQ., O.B.E.
DR. H. H. HUNTER, C.B.E. E. F. TWINING, ESQ., M.B.E.
H. JOWITT, ESQ. R. A. TITO WINYI II, C.B.E.,
H. R. HONE, ESQ., M.C., K.C. OMUKAMA OF BUNYORO-KITARA.
JOHN SYKES, ESQ. E. B. HADDON, ESQ.
N. V. BRASNETT, ESQ.
Miss E. P. CLARK.
NORMAN GODINHO, ESQ., M.B.E.
E. B. HADDON, ESQ.
G. H. E. HOPKINS, EsQ.
OMW. C. M. S. KISOSONKOLE.
OMW. B. K. MULYANTI.
DR. M. M. PATEL.
S. H. H. WRIGHT, ESQ.
A. V. P. ELLIOTT, ESQ.
S. G. MARSH, ESQ.
R. A. SNOXALL, ESQ.
B. SEBLEY, ESQ.
C. R. HALL, ESQ.
----: 0 :-
Members may well believe on receiving their copies of the Journal that it is a
good deal later than ever and may feel some interest in the excuse offered which is
that with the appearance of Vol. VIII No. 1. a decision has been taken to publish
the Journal only twice a year and that it appeared better therefore to suspend
publication until after the Annual Meeting. It is hoped that even though the
number of issues has had to be curtailed the amount of reading matter provided
will not be greatly affected and there is no occasion as yet to feel apprehensive
about the stocks of paper. We feel certain that members will appreciate that it
was unfair on our printers who are called upon at present to undertake much extra
work to continue to expect the usual number of issues which would inevitably have
It is pleasant to be able to report the response of the trustees of the King
George the Fifth Memorial Fund to the Uganda Society's appeal for assistance
with a generous grant of 300 to the Society's library and a promise of a grant
towards the same purpose of 50 annually. This has enabled the society to
purchase a number of valuable books which were available at the time and which,
with delay, might well have been withdrawn from the market. The Librarian is
anxious to hear from members who have suitable books for disposal and who
perhaps might wish to realise cash on them at present which they could devote to
Uganda's war effort, thus satisfying themselves that they were helping two deserving
objects at the same time in extremely appropriate ways. A sub-committee has
been appointed to deal promptly with matters affecting the library and will shortly
be evolving a scheme to make possible the borrowing of books by members of the
society who reside far away from Kampala but this matter will be found more
fully dealt with among the remarks of the Honorary Secretary which appear in the
annual report of the committee elsewhere in the issue.
Fortunately the editor need not harp unduly on his usual theme of lack of
contributions, but we feel that perhaps it may be an added inducement to would-
be contributors to remind them that the society has a clerk and typist who is at the
disposal of members for the typing of manuscripts which they may wish to submit
for publication. The Society still continues to be wonderfully served by its
honorary officials, who of course provide the typist with a considerable amount of
work which must take precedence, but it is still possible for the typist to undertake
such work as that mentioned above and it is hoped that members will not be
reluctant to avail themselves of this facility which the society can now provide,
It is with deep regret that we allude to the death on 22nd June of G. L. R.
Hancock who had for many years shown a deep interest in the society's affairs,
had contributed to the Journal and had served on the committee. We feel that his
death has deprived us of many years of his keen interest and assistance for he was
always ready with help and encouragement as well as sound criticism and his
research work compared with what he wished to do was only just begun.
An attempt is being made by certain members of the society to write up the
mammals of Uganda for publication in the Journal and photographs are required
for illustrations. Should any member have in his possession good photographs of
any species, which he is willing to offer for publication, the Editor will be glad to
receive them. Any photographs published will be duly acknowledged. Members
are particularly requested to construe this appeal as embracing not only the larger
types of mammals but also the smaller species which do not always possess such a
reputation as their larger kin.
GARDEN MAKING IN UGANDA.
By A. S. THOMAS.
The word garden means literally an enclosed space, but by usage it has
come to signify much more; to us it conveys a plot of land, usually near a house,
which has been developed to serve for ornament and use-a place in which to
work, a place in which to rest; a place to which we return with peculiar pleasure,
because we ourselves have decided where each plant shall grow, where the flowers
are brighter and the vegetables more succulent because they are our own. Of
course, many gardens contain no vegetables; and many gardens contain no
flowers-the large formal gardens which were fashionable in Europe in the
eighteenth century sometimes were composed of beds of brightly coloured earth,
surrounded with closely clipped lines of box or other dwarf shrubs; while the
whole elaborate system of Japanese gardening depends on the skilful use of rocks
and water, sometimes aided by shapely trees-any flowers are purely incidental.
In many regions of the world, a local system of gardening has been evolved-
there are English gardens, Italian gardens, Chinese gardens, Japanese gardens:
even in Uganda there was before the coming of the European, a special type of
garden-the lusuku or banana garden which appeared so attractive to the early
travellers; Speke, the first European to visit Buganda, in his Journal of the Dis-
covery of the Source of the Nile, made frequent references to the smiling country-
side and well kept gardens. In these days some of us tend to forget how very
pleasant a well kept lusuku can be, with the play of light and shade on stems and
leaves, and what an admirable setting it can make for an African house-far
more pleasing than the small copies of European gardens which are now becoming
The type of garden that has been evolved in each country has been determined
largely by the climate and the types of plants which have flourished there. Uganda
lies on the equator and therefore has little variation in temperature throughout the
year, while there are two rainy seasons and two dry seasons in each twelve months.
If there should be three weeks or a month without any rain near Kampala or
Entebbe, our gardens suffer and we all sigh about the drought; but we forget how
fortunate we are in comparison with other African countries, where droughts of
three months or more may be expected each year. Our total rainfall is relatively
small but it is so well distributed that the natural vegetation around Kampala and
Entebbe, if it were not for the influence of man, would be evergreen forest, with
occasional patches of grassland. At the same time, the altitude of about four
thousand feet enables us to enjoy relatively cool conditions and to be free from
the steamy heat of the equator at sea level.
On account of this peculiarly even climate-never very hot, never very
cold, never very wet, never very dry-a great number of plants can be grown in
Uganda; almost all tropical species flourish here and so do a great number of
those of temperate regions. Of course, there are not yet in cultivation in Uganda
a great many plants which would be valuable in our gardens, but it is up to us
to make the best use of those that we know we can grow-not to envy our
neighbours in the highlands of Kenya their delphiniums, their primroses and their
daffodils, but to be proud of and utilise all the tropical plants which flourish here
in the open ground, but which at home are grown at great expense in glasshouses.
Not only do we tend to devote too much attention and thought to growing
temperate plants but also we err in attempting to make copies of European
gardens out here; this criticism can be applied to most tropical countries-it is
only in a few places that people are beginning to realise the need for definite
tropical schemes of gardening. One striking difference between the vegetation of
temperate and tropical zones lines in the ratio of numbers of species of herba-
ceous plants and woody plants-in the tropics the woody plants make up a much
higher proportion than in temperate countries: this difference should be reflect-
ed in our gardens-it is impossible to grow here a herbaceous border to compare
with those of England, but we have at our disposal a wealth of flowering shrubs
and trees which are much more spectacular than those of temperate regions.
Although we may see many decorative flowering plants in the higher grass-
lands of Uganda, yet around Kampala there are relatively few and the whole
landscape tends to be a mixture of various shades of green. The lack of colour
in tropical vegetation is compensated by diversity of form-by the great wealth of
plants such as the palms, the cycads, the ferns and the bananas which are beauti-
ful in habit and foliage. In tropical countries where there is a classical type of
architecture, such as plants are used often in formal schemes to make a setting
for the buildings; in Uganda we might make more use of these foliage plants and
seek less to obtain a blaze of colour. Most of us realise that on account of the
vivid tropical sunlight, more subdued colours may be used for interior decoration
of our houses than would be suitable at home, and I think that the same
consideration applies to our gardens-under our blue skies there is less need for
bright flower beds than there is under the greyer conditions of Britain.
Another respect in which tropical gardens should differ from those of England
lies in the question of shade; at home there are, alas, relatively few days when
shade is essential for comfort out of doors; but a tropical garden without shade
is no garden at all. I have read that more than half of a garden in the tropics
should be shaded: this proportion seems unnecessarily high here, near the lake.
but the drier the conditions, the more valuable does shade become-even if the
ground is parched and bare, a shadow falling across it produces a restful feeling.
In addition to the climate and the plants, two other considerations should be
of great importance in determining the plan of a garden-firstly the site and,
secondly, the type of house which it is to frame: if the garden is regarded as an
extension of the house, it will be on formal lines-if it is to be part of the land-
scape, it will be informal. In this part of Uganda the countryside consists of
rolling green hills, affording for the fortunate ones good views over the lake as
blue as the sea. Obviously it is a great mistake to obscure the views by in-
judicious planting, for even a glimpse of the lake is of great value in producing a
feeling of coolness; and, personally, I consider it better that the garden should
harmonise with the sweeping green lines of the landscape-that too much terracing
is also a mistake.
Of course, you need some flat ground just in front of the house, and level
spots in which to sit; badminton courts and croquet lawns must be flat and if a
small separate garden, for example a rose garden, is needed that should not be on
a very sloping site; if your garden is on a steep hillside you must terrace if you
want to plant much, but if the gradient is gentle I am sure that a large sweep of
lawn is preferable to a series of flat patches, intersected with sharp, more or less
There are comparatively few houses in Uganda of such striking external ap-
pearance as to require a large formal garden as a setting, although this type of
garden is well adapted to a rectangular level site, without striking views. The
long low lines of our bungalows seem to me another reason why terraced gardens
often are not effective out here, for the houses do not provide sufficient contrast
to the lines of the terraces, and contrast as well as harmony must be considered
in garden design: at home many of the most striking formal terraced gardens
are attached to large houses of considerable height and in Italy, where terraced
gardens make such good settings for small houses, a strong vertical element in the
design is secured by towering cypresses. Similarily, in Uganda, bungalows often
look their best when framed by large trees, whose tall trunks and rounded crowns
are in contrast to the horizontal roof line of the houses.
But all the theory of garden design is of little value if the finished product is
not convenient and sensible, so let us get down to practical points and suppose
that we have moved into a new house, surrounded by a plot of land in the con-
dition usually produced by building operations.
What part should we attend first? The hedge, I think, if we are in a town-
ship. But it is no good to plant the hedge too quickly-the ground should be dug
for a space five or six feet wide and eighteen inches or two feet deep, to get out
all the couch grass and to break the pan of hard soil that often is found in this
country at a depth of about nine inches. This careful preliminary digging is
essential if a good hedge is to be obtained quickly-a hedge planted on unprepared
soil will be gappy for years. If it is possible to dig in a dressing of manure, by
all means do so; for the richer the soil is, the better.
The choice of the plant used for a hedge depends largely on individual taste-
it should be something ever-green, fairly quick growing, that can be pruned to
make a thick hedge and (a very important point in small gardens) which has not
too rampant a root system. No plant is ideal-Cassia siamea is quick, but needs
careful pruning to keep it from becoming thin near the ground, while its roots
are hungry; Cupressus macrocarpa and Cupressus lusitanica grow quickly and
thickly but their roots will prevent any flowers from growing well within several
feet of them: and in our warm climate they are not long lived but are liable to
die suddenly, leaving gaps. Panax is a good quick growing erect hedging plant,
and makes an excellent screen provided that it is treated properly-it is no good
merely pruning the top but the stems must be cut back in rotation in order that
there may be a succession of young shoots bearing leaves close to the ground. Of
all the hedging plants used extensively in gardens at Kampala and Entebbe, Hibiscus
seems the best: it is slow to start but when established it grows rapidly, it is easily
pruned to form a smooth dense hedge of a pleasing dark green, it does not
harbour pests and its root system is not very spreading.
Variegated shrubs such as Acalypha seem definitely wrong as hedging plants-
the sharp coloured line emphasises the boundary of the garden, whereas the
whole aim of planting should be to conceal the boundary and a coloured hedge
forms a bad background to the flowers inside the garden.
In the cooler parts of Uganda such as Fort Portal and Kabale, Hibiscus is
very slow growing, and Cypresses are longer lived and make one of the best
garden hedging plants: the native Podocarpus (P. milanjianus) might be used
more in such places-it is almost as good as its relative the Yew at home for
clipping into a tall dark hedge. But we must not forget the voracious roots of
both Cypress and Podocarpus-if the hedges are to be backgrounds for flower
borders a space should be left in which a trench can be dug to cut the tree roots
each year and thus to prevent them from robbing the flowers of food and water:
if there is room it is better to separate the hedge and the flowers by a path,
which will also make it easier to cut flowers at the back without treading on the
In the hotter, drier parts of Uganda, Cupressus is even more unreliable than
near Kampala; the small yellow flowered Cassia bicapsularis makes a bright green
hedge and is drought resistant; so is Thevetia neriifolia and so also is Bougain-
villea, which might be more used as a hedging plant in this country, for it is easily
trained into a dense evergreen impenetrable hedge. In Egypt good tall hedges are
made of small leaved species of Ficus-some of our local forms might be useful
in that respect; and another native plant, Duranta repens, makes a good large
hedge, though it may be attacked by Lantana bug. The white Lantana and the
dwarf yellow form both make quick growing helges, but should be avoided as
they are sure to become infested with the bug (Orthezia insignis) which spreads
into the other plants in the garden.
When the hedge has been planted, the next consideration should be the
general layout, of which the drive is an important feature. The drive should be
on the most gentle gradient that is possible, it should allow for easy turning-
either by backing once only or, preferably, by a loop of as large a sweep as
possible-it is far better to have a fairly narrow drive around a large plot than a
wide drive around a small bed. If you do not want to have a space for cars to
pass on your drive, a width of ten or twelve feet will be enough: if you wish to
allow for two lines of cars. the width should be eighteen feet in order to diminish
the risk of scraped wings after parties. Some people like to have a drive up to
the front door, while others prefer to reduce dust in the house by having a stretch
of lawn outside; and if possible it is better to arrange the drive away from the
windward side of the house. Once the lines of the drive have been decided, the
top soil should be removed and put on one side for use in flower beds, while all
the litter of broken bricks, tiles and concrete that will be found in the plot should
he dumped there to make a foundation before any gravel is laid down.
When the situation of the drive has been decided, we can arrange the
remainder of the garden-lawns, flower garden, vegetable garden and a drying
ground; it is quite a good idea to combine the two latter-vegetable garden and
drying ground-in a small plot, surrounded by a hedge, for the vegetables benefit
from shelter and clothes are not a decorative feature in a garden. Flowers for cutting
also, may be included in this separate plot, as they too benefit from shelter and,
if they are grown thus, it saves all the trouble of deciding how much to cut and
how much to leave for general decorative effect in the flower garden.
It is at this stage that the question of terrace or no terrace must be consider-
ed-if your garden is on a steep hillside you will have to terrace, not only from
the point of view of gardening but also to avoid the discomfort of walking on
slopes; beds which are going to be frequently cultivated for vegetable or flower
growing must be level and, if you wish to have beds in a formal design, they
should not be placed across a slope. But, as mentioned before, a large stretch of
sloping lawn is more pleasant to look at than a series of level ones divided by
steep banks and it is possible to plant shrubs and trees on fairly sloping ground
without bad effect, provided that the beds do not stretch far up and down the
slope and that the ground is kept covered by a mulch of grass.
If you are going to terrace, take care that your top soil is not buried in the
process; start at the bottom of the slope, taking off the good soil, put it on one
side, and construct the terrace out of subsoil: this bottom terrace may then
be covered with the good soil from the site of the second terrace which, after it
has been excavated, is covered with the soil from the site of the third terrace:
when you have made the top terrace, the good soil from the bottom is carried up
and spread over it.
If the flower beds on terraces are made on the inside, additional excavation
will be required, but it is well worth while, for the plants will get more moisture
than on the outside and as they grow up will help to conceal the bank or walling.
A wall of brick or ironstone, sloping slightly inwards, gives a much more pleasing
appearance to a terrace than does a bank of exposed murrum or earth
Next comes the question of trees-trees on the lawn to provide shade for our-
selves, trees by the drive to provide shade for cars, trees to shelter our flowers
from the wind, trees to screen us from our neighbours' eyes and from the noise
of their servants. The proper placing of trees is one of the hardest parts of lay-
ing out a garden and cannot be quickly decided; it is better to put sticks in
places where groups are to be planted and to look at them from all angles, trying
to picture how much space the trees will occupy when grown; from the main
rooms of the house, lest they obscure the view and block out the cool night breeze.
from the places in the garden where we may sit, in order that they may screen us
from the road and the boys' quarters, and from the drive, so that the whole
garden may not be exposed to every casual visitor. It is far better to start off
by planting too many trees-they can always be cut out later if they are too close
and, for general effect, groups of trees are usually preferable to single specimens,
however symmetrical they may be. For anything but a large entirely formal
garden, do not plant your trees in straight lines, either as screens or in avenues:
sooner or later one or two may die or we may want to cut out a few-nothing is
more unpleasant than a gappy line.
What kinds of trees should we plant? We all want large trees quickly, so
that all too often there are put into gardens vigorous fast growing kinds, which
may be excellent for fuel production, but which are quite unsuited for small plots
of ground. People often speak of plants not growing in the shade of trees, but
seldom realise that it is not the shade which is causing the damage-often in the
tropics it is beneficial-but the tree roots, with which smaller plants cannot com-
pete. So we must remember that if we have a tree whose branches are growing
rapidly in the air, often its roots are growing rapidly in the earth, rendering a
large place infertile-far beyond the ground shaded by the tree. The gum trees
(Eucalyptus), the Cedrelas and the Casuarinas are especially bad in this matter-in
large gardens they may be useful, but there is no room for them in the usual plot
of about an acre-if we plant them near the boundary where they do not cause
much trouble in our own garden, their roots may spoil the hedge and ruin a large
part of our neighbours' land.
If we want quick growing trees, there are species which can be planted whose
root systems are not very greedy-such as Albizzia stupulata which is used for
shade in coffee plantations-seedlings of this tree at Kawanda have grown twenty
feet in nine months-and the orange flowered Erythrinas, which -soon form
shapely trees when they are not too badly attacked by stem-boring caterpillars.
Then we have fast growing native trees-to provide quick shade why not plant
large poles of the native bark cloth figs (Ficus Thonningii)? They root readily and
provide dense shade, are almost evergreen and, while some varieties are rather stiff
in habit, other make very picturesque trees. The Umbrella tree (Musanga Smithii)
is one of the most unusual trees in the world-it grows very rapidly and yet other
plants will flourish near it.
Some of our native flowering trees are very quick growing-Cordia Holstii,
with its large rounded leaves and bunches of white flowers, in two or three
years will form a good specimen; while the Flame tree (Spathodea nilotica) in
countries where it is not wild is regarded as one of the most decorative of all
quick growing trees. Why do we not pay more attention to our native trees?
The first time that I saw a Kiirikiti (Erythrina abyssinica) was in a wonderful
garden in Madeira, with a choice selection of plants from all over the world, but
the greatest treasure was the Kiirikiti: I little thought that I should come to a
country where so beautiful a tree would be so common that very few people would
plant it in their gardens: yet it has many virtues-quick growth, but without
rampant roots, picturesque shape, vivid flowers and, incidentally, an excellent bark
on which to grow orchids. Even the Lusambya (Markhamia platycalyx) is con-
sidered in other countries to be a decorative tree-there was special mention of the
first time it flowered in a greenhouse at Kew-and it also has the faculty of not
interfering too much with other plants-on the Sesse Islands there is an old coffee
tree, branching at ground level, with a big Lusambya growing in the middle of it.
yet the coffee tree still flourishes.
When we are choosing trees for our own gardens we tend to lay too much
emphasis on their beauty of flower and not enough on their beauty of habit: for
many trees-for example the pink Cassia (C. javanica) which is so popular in
Uganda-are in flower for only about a month of the year. Some trees combine
great beauty of habit with glorious flowers-for example the Flamboyant (Delonix
or Ponciana regia) is a magnificent tree whether in flower or not. But there are
other species whose flowers are not very striking, yet whose foliage is so beautiful
that they deserve a place in gardens, such as Castanospermum australe, a large
dense rounded tree and Adenanthera pavonina, a small tree with graceful habit and
Once again I would like to refer to the garden value of some of our native
trees-I have already mentioned the bark cloth fig trees and the Musanga Smithii,
but there are many others. The Mvule (Chlorophora excelsa) is a most state)
tree-how often is it planted in gardens? The Mwafu (Canarium Schweinfurthii)
has such an enormous spread that it could not be fitted into a small garden, but if
space can be found, it is a magnifi-ent tree; the Kirundu, (Antiaris toxicaria) with
its towering trunk, the quick growing Musizi (Maesopsis Eminii) all are stately
trees-and none of them have hungry roots. Strangely enough it is some of the
native trees with delicate spreading foliage which have the most marked root
effect: the lovely Mpewere (Piptadenia africana) so common near the lake, the
Nongo (Albizzia zygia) and some of the Acacias are bad in that respect.
One group of striking foliage trees, the conifers, do not seem to fit in well
with the landscape in this neighbourhood-their dull grey foliage is too funereal;
and they have the great drawback that they are shallow rooted and liable to be
blown over by wind-this fact I know to my cost for at Entebbe there was a
magnificent clump of Cupressus, and the whole lot were blown down like ninepins
in a short storm. In cooler places such as Fort Portal, conifers look more fitting
and at Kabale, where few indigenous trees remain on the bare hillsides, they are
excellent for garden effect.
In the hotter parts of Uganda many trees, such as the Flamboyant, grow more
rapidly and flower more profusely than they do near Kampala, while there are
many native trees-Tamarinds, Figs and Albizzias, which are well suited to gardens
in such districts-far better than the dense dull mangoes and drab grey gum trees
which all too often have been planted. And in all districts, it is as well to re-
member that many of our fruit trees, such as Avocado Pears and Citrus fruits,
combine utility with ornamental value.
After the main grouping of trees has been decided the details of the garden
can be considered-the position of paths, of lawns and of flower beds. In Uganda
it is advisable to get as much of the garden as possible under grass to provide
the best setting for our plants, to avoid the reflection of too much light from
exposed earth or gravel and incidentally, to lessen the cost of upkeep-it is cheaper
to keep a lawn cut with a mower than it is to weed and renew the surface of the
same area under gravel. In an ordinary private garden here all the paths may
be of grass, but they should not be less than five or six feet wide; the grass will
not stand the treading if all the walking is concentrated on a narrow path while,
in the tracks which are much used, for example that leading to the boys' quarters,
a narrow strip of bricks (eighteen inches or two feet wide) may be laid level with
the grass, to take the wear. If the drive does not come up to the front door of
the house obviously it is essential that a path of gravel, bricks or concrete should
be made for dry walking.
Even in a small formal garden, the paths should not be narrow-it is far better
to make a simple design rather than to have a multiplicity of small beds and
paths; for when the edges are trimmed the beds become more and more irregular
and the paths narrower and narrower. The beds also should not be made too
narrow, for the root effect of the grasses will stretch into them for several inches;
nor too wide, or it will be necessary to step on the beds to pick flowers. In
ordinary flower beds the most convenient widths are from five feet to seven feet--
those in which the flowers are grown for decorative effect, not for cutting, may
be wider. Very large circular beds should be avoided-if there is even a slight
slope they become lopsided from soil wash and on level ground they are depressing
when not fully covered with plants.
I suggested before that gardeners in Uganda tend to devote too much atten-
tion to annual flowers; a far more constant show of colour and a great reduction
in the labour of upkeep may be attained by the use of shrubs. If you are living
constantly in your house, attending every day to your garden and can ensure that
the annuals are watered when necessary, they will be very successful; but there is
nothing more annoying than to return from safari to find that the rains have failed
and that your annuals have dried up before they were full grown. Another point
of great importance is that if you wish to grow annuals year after year in the same
beds, you must manure each year: just as the trees grow more quickly here than
at home so also do the millions of microscopic plants in the soil and the biological
and chemical processes are so rapid that the effect of any fertilisers is of much
shorter duration than in temperate countries: even if you fill your beds with rich
soil, most of the nutrients will be used in one or two years, the plants will become
more stunted, more affected by diseases and pests. One of the best ways of
helping to maintain the fertility of a garden is to bury in trenches all the kitchen
refuse, ashes, vegetable peelings etc.-but even if large amounts are dug in, it is
surprising what small traces will remain after six or nine months. This system
of trenching is best suited to the vegetable plot, whose soil can be constantly en-
riched, and this is one of the reasons why I recommended that the annuals which
are grown mainly for cutting-for example Sweet Peas, Zinnias and Asters, all of
which benefit from heavy manuring-may be planted there.
However skilled a gardener you may be and however much trouble you may
take to raise a succession of plants, there are bound to be gaps at some times of
the year in a border of annual flowers: therefore it is better so to arrange such
borders, that the usual view is along them, not directly at them, or the gaps will
be more evident. Some people hold that all colours in flowers blend, others prefer
to grade them into harmonising shades: some prefer to have the pale colours at
a distance, claiming that thereby a sense of space is increased, but personally I
would prefer to have the soft shades, especially blues and lavenders, near at hand
and to put the vivid yellows and reds further away as they show up so well
against the blues and greens of distant views. Some like a patch of annuals,
comprising a range of shades, such as are obtained when a packet of mixed seeds
are sown, but personally I prefer a blotch of one colour. For a good effect it is
safer to plant annuals in groups, not in lines, but if you do want a row of short
annuals, such as Dianthus, as an edging to a bed, it is definitely preferable that
they should be all of one variety.
A well planted and watered bed of annuals should be in good condition for
three or four months: by planting in both rainy seasons a show of colour may
be obtained for at least six months in the year. This time compares unfavourably
with the months of blossoming of many shrubby plants, which are in flower almost
continuously and which therefore give much better results for landscape effect:
many of them, such as Plumbago, Russellia and Barbados Pride (Calsalpinia
pulcherrima), are invaluable for cutting in the dry season. In fact it seems only
logical that in our climate we should regard the shrubs as the mainstay of the
garden, both from point of view of a show of colour and as a source of flowers for
As with annuals, so with shrubs, it is far better to group, rather than to plant
in lines; very large shrubs may be grown as specimen plants but the smaller ones
look far more happy when massed in beds than when isolated on a lawn. Planting
and upkeep also are simplified when a few large beds and not a series of small
ones are made-there is less trouble in cutting the edges of the grass and prevent-
ing its roots from encroaching into those of the shrubs; a mulch of dried grass
is a most beneficial cover to the ground under shrubs and this is much more easily
maintained in large beds-when put on small ones it tends to be blown about.
To achieve a bold garden design it seems essential to have large groups of
shrubs, rather than one specimen of each of many kinds: most of us, however,
have a jackdaw complex and desire to have as many kinds of plants as possible
growing in our garden. Therefore one must make a compromise between general
effect and specialised interest: the most feasible way is to have groups of shrubs,
massed roughly according to colour-vivid shades in some beds and pastel shades
in others. If there are large groups, foliage shrubs such as Crotons or Acalypha
may be introduced sparingly: if the coloured foliage is too abundant the effect is
depressing-as one standard book on gardening states "Persons of refined taste
prefer a landscape made up of plants having the normal green foliage."
When the main groups of trees, the beds of shrubs and flowers have been
determined, there still remains the question of the lawn, the framework and setting
of a garden. We soon tire of looking at bare earth and usually are all too im-
patient about getting a cover over it-the land is roughly levelled leaving the
roots of Couch Grass (Digitaria scalarum) in the soil, a quick growing grass such
as French Grass or Masindi Grass is planted and we are delighted with our
quickly made lawn. After a few months the snags appear-the ground settles
forming bumps and hollows; the grass loses its vigour and becomes weedy-if it
is Masindi Grass it may die out in patches; while if we plant any trees, all the
Couch Grass of the vicinity grows in among their roots, stunting the tree growth-
however often we dig out the roots of the Couch, there will be a fresh invasion
from the lawn around.
French Grass and Masindi Grass belong to the genus Cynodon, a group of
grasses which seem to require large amounts of Nitrogen if they are to be kept in
good condition: if you are prepared to weed, topdress and manure your lawns, a
turf of Cynodon may be maintained for years in good condition. If however, you
desire a lawn which will keep in fair condition for years with a minimum of trouble
you will have to use other coarser grasses: of all the kinds that I have tried at
Entebbe, Brachiaria decumbens (a native grass which naturally forms a large con-
stituent of the lawns at Fort Portal) and the introduced Paspalum notatum are the
only ones which have lasted. The Paspalum is the better; it has a very strongly de-
veloped root system and is able to compete with most grasses and weeds; it is
rather slow to spread and if you want a lawn quickly it may be planted in mixture
with French Grass; for the French Grass soon forms a cover over the soil and
when it commences to lose vigour the Paspalum spreads through it, instead of leav-
ing the ground bare to be colonised by weeds.
None of these grasses is ideal; and I am always on the look out for better
material for lawns in Uganda: two more species are under trial-Digitaria swazi-
landensis from South Africa and Centipede Grass (Eremochloa sphuroides) from
Australia, but it is too soon to say of what value they will be. I have also been
making tests of the value of beans as a nurse crop-they are planted at the same
time as the grasses in order to provide some shade over the soil and to help to
hold it in place until the grass has grown: it seems that a quick growing crop, such
as Sunn Hemp or beans, would be or distinct value in preventing soil wash when a
lawn is planted on a slope. Whatever grass you select for a lawn, I would advise
you to prepare the site as thoroughly as possible before planting the grass and to
give the land time to settle: it is ten times cheaper to clean and level the ground by
hoeing and raking when it is bare than to weed by hand and to carry on soil to fill
in the holes after it has been planted with grass.
The Paspalum grass has so strong a root system that it can crowd out other
kinds of grasses and weeds-this root system also is capable of competing with
young trees, stunting their growth. Therefore the Paspalum, or indeed any other
grass, should be at least two and a half or three feet away from these trees: the
space around the tree can be planted with annual flowers for a year or so, (they will
grow poorly once the tree has developed a good root system), or preferably with
bulbs. Bulbous plants are especially useful at this time of the year,* for most of
them flower during or at the end of the dry season when other flowers are at their
scarcest. Some of the native plants with bulbs or corms are of great garden value-
the different varieties of wild Gladioli, the Crinums, the Haemanthus with its cherry
red ball of flowers, the red and yellow climbing Gloriosa. The native orchids that
grow in the grasslands also are well worth trying: when they are brought into culti-
vation their growth is sporadic-after a year or so, when you have decided that
they have quite died out, they may produce fine spikes of yellow, brown or purple
flowers. If you are trying to dig any of them out of the grassland, do so very care-
fully, as the shoots are easily broken off the flat underground tubers. Of all types
of plants, bulbs look most unhappy when they are planted in rows-they should
always be grouped: if they are not put round the bases of trees, as I have suggest-
ed, then they may be planted in patches in a border of shrubs.
Climbing plants also are valuable because usually they flower most freely
during the dry season: in fact, they provide a more constant show of colour even
than the shrubs. Some kinds such as Bougainvilleas, Petrea volubilis and Allamanda
grandiflora may be grown as spreading shrubs, but others such as Corallita, (Anti-
ganon leptopus), Thunbergia grandiflora and Golden Shower (Bignonia venusta)
must have some support, and the construction of a screen or pergola may be
For one reason, a pergola that leads from nowhere in particular to nowhere,
always looks somewhat out of place and isolated arches in the middle of a lawn are
especially incongruous, and for another reason, it may be difficult to obtain poles
stout enough to last for more than a year or so-termites eat them at the base and
the climbers produce such a heavy mass of stems and leaves that the whole struc-
ture is easily blown down in a storm. Treating the base of the poles with some pre-
servative will help, but it is better to obtain poles of Lusambya (Markhamia platy-
calyx) or Lukindu palm (Phoenix reclinate) which resist the attacks of termites.
Large poles of figs or of Erythrina may be used to support climbers in the form of
pillar plants in a shrub border-such poles will root and grow, providing a large
area of branches over which the climbers may spread-for a sheer blaze of colour
there is little to equal a cascade of Bougainvillea in bloom, but it is preferable to
grow it on a tree such as a fig with inconspicuous flowers, to avoid violent clashes
with other tints.
If one has the money and the space, a pergola with brick or concrete pillars is
a great addition to a garden-when the plants have grown it will combine a show
of colour outside with shade inside. But, as I said before, care must be exercised
in placing a pergola-it should cover a definite path, or it may be used in a formal
scheme. The construction of gardens on formal lines is again becoming popular in
England and might be more attempted out here-for, as I pointed out before, we
have a great wealth of handsome foliage plants which might be used in such
schemes. There are, however, a few points of importance about formal gardens
which should be remembered-firstly, keep the design simple; secondly, arrange the
garden symmetrically with the house, or with a doorway-do not make a pattern of
beds away from the house, unless it is in a small separate garden surrounded by a
hedge or by groups of shrubs-it looks quite all right to have a garden grading from
formal lines near the house to informal planting on the outskirts, but the reverse is
unpleasing; and thirdly, if the garden is near the house, keep the centre open. I
suggested before that a pergola should be placed over a definite path, but it is a
great mistake to have it over a long path leading away from the house-thus divid-
ing the landscape into two halves: either make a very wide path or a lawn the cen-
tre of your garden, then have beds of low plants and frame the garden at the sides
or ends w;th pergola or pillar climbers, or with taller shrubs and trees.
Whatever type of garden you make, try to ensure that it is suitable to the site-
do not impose your own ideas too forcibly on the landscape. Before planting any
trees or shrubs or making new beds, put in some sticks to mark the spot and ob-
serve how they look from a distance, especially from the windows and doorways
of the house-a pattern of beds may seem very pleasing when you are among, them,
yet may appear quite unsuitable when viewed from the rest of the garden. When
you realise that you have made a mistake, do not hesitate to dig up the plants as
soon as possible, before they are too large, and replant them in their right places.
If you have a dry stony bank, why not use it for succulent plants? We have
many striking native species of Aloes, Sansevieries and Euphorbias, such as are be-
coming very fashionable as pot plants at home. Incidentally, if you dig up any na-
tive succulents, dry them off by leaving them in full sun for some days before plant-
ing-they are less liable to rot in the soil, and do not water them much for the same
reason: if this care is taken most species root rapidly-but I have not yet been
able to establish the lovely crimson flowered Aderrium from Karamoja at Entebbe
-although I have two or three times brought back plants with their large swollen
roots almost intact, yet they always rot.
If you have a dense group of trees, why not make their growth seem denser
by planting climbing plants like the Peppers and Pothos aurea on the stems and use
the shady ground beneath for ferns and forest plants?
Plants grow so rapidly here that you can soon achieve a forest effect: people
talk of the patch of virgin forest by the spring in the Botanic Gardens at Entebbe
but photographs show that about twenty years ago it was a group of Raphia Palms
If you have only a small plot of ground near your house, why not specialise in
pot plants? In other tropical countries, often a great feature is made of small paved
courtyards near the houses, with large specimens of ferns, Begonias, Arums and si-
milar plants. There are a few enthusiasts of orchid culture in East Africa and this
is a branch of gardening, with endless scope, which may be prosecuted in a small
My remarks have been applied especially to gardens around Kampala-for
other parts of Uganda they would need modification. If you live in Fort Portal or
Kabale, you can indulge in the luxury of pretending that you and your garden are
in England. If you live in the hotter, drier parts of Uganda your gardening should
depend more on trees to provide pools of shade and on shrubs and bulbous plants
to give colour: when irrigation is impossible, it is a mistake in such places to
make large flower beds-it is far better to concentrate your attention and your
bathwater on a small enclosed garden shielded from the drying winds by walls or
You may feel that my remarks about careful preparation of the soil and about
planting shrubs and trees are not suited to conditions of life in Uganda, where we
may occupy a house for a tour, for a year, or only for six months and where in con-
sequence we must grow annuals if we want some flowers. But I am sure that the
standard of gardening in Uganda cannot reach its proper level unless our horticulture
is put on a permanent basis-conditions are now so settled here that when we shift
into another house, or even when we return to the same one after leave, it should not
be necessary to reclaim the surrounding land from tropical jungle; if flowering
trees and shrubs were more generally planted in soil free from Couch Grass, our
gardens, even if neglected for a few months, would contain some permanent fea-
tures. One great factor in the impermanence of our gardens is the deplorable local
custom of raiding them whenever a house is empty-plants are pulled up, leaving
most of their roots behind and as, in many cases they are too old to be successfully
transplanted, there is a great wastage. It is all so unnecessary-many plants may
be grown from seed and a considerable variety is distributed from the Botanic
Gardens at Entebbe; while there are in East Africa several plant nurseries, whose
stocks are most creditable and whose prices are most reasonable, when one consi-
ders the very limited public for which they cater. Cannot public opinion be organis-
ed to regard this purloining of plants as comparable to any other form of stealing?
I hope that I have not talked too long and that you have not been bored, or
that you consider that I have been too definite in expressing my views on what
should not be done; I have endeavoured to mention some points of practical im-
portance in garden making and I trust that some of my suggestions may be of value
to you. But, as I said at the beginning of the talk, a garden is a very personal affair
-a place in which sentiment as well as logic is important; it is a place in which by
the arrangement and the choice of plants we may to some extent express our indi-
viduality-and therein lies one of the greatest charms of a garden.
WAGE LABOUR AND THE DESIRE FOR
WIVES AMONG THE LANGO
By T. T. STEIGER-HAYLEY.
The institution of chaporo is now a thing of the past. It meant, "To engage
oneself as a pawn to someone". Should a boy have been so poor that he had no
means of obtaining a wife, and neither his Clansmen nor his mother's brother's
family (Neo) were able to help him, there was only one recourse left open to him,
that of chaporo. The boy would go to a man and bind himself as a pawn to
him. Several coils of iron wire were twisted round his neck as a sign of his con-
dition and he would be made to work very hard for a year or two. All my
witnesses emphasised the arduous nature of the work the boy would have to
perform. After this his master, if satisfied with him, would give him a cow. The boy
would then take the wire off his neck and go home. On his arrival home his Clans-
men would assemble and perform the ceremony of kiro (sprinkling with water) to
purify him. The cow would be put into the cattle kraal and form the nucleus of
the herd with which he would later be able to marry.
This institution was very common in the past and its abandonment is due to
the new means by which wealth can be obtained as a result of the introduction of
a money economy.
The new recourse open to the boy who cannot obtain a cow from his Clans-
men or Neo is to earn money by means of hawking or wage labour. With the
modern economic system, the Lango father is becoming progressively less inclined
to help members of his Clan, other than his own sons, to find wives by providing
them with cattle or money. The result is that there are many more individuals
than formerly who must built up their own resources without the help of their
Clansmen or Neo. A great amount of work is done in Lango by these individuals,
each of whom is spurred on by the desire for a wife. When he obtains his wish,
he retires with his wife to cultivate the fields, leading the sort of life that he really
considers to be worthwhile.
The following list of pursuits that I have collected is not exhaustive, nor do
I vouch for the accuracy of the figures; which I have recorded as they were giver
me by each Lango witness.
1. Cow HIDES: The Lango trader goes round to any village from which
news comes that a bull is to be killed. He buys hides from the Lango at -/50 to
2/- and sells them to the Indians for 1/50 to5/-. These hides are exported by
2. GOATSKINS: The Lango trader buys skins from the Lango at -/50 and
sells them to the Indians for 1/-. These are also exported, but the demand is not
3. GHI OR CLARIFIED BUTTER (mo dyang): This is made by placing milk
in a calabash (opoko) and leaving it for a day. On the second day the opoko is
shaken(pwoio) until butter forms. This butter is boiled for half an hour or so
and all the impurities sink to the bottom. The oil left will keep for years. The
Lango trader buys mo dyang from the Lango at 2/- a gallon and sells it to the
Indians at 2/50 a gallon. They retail it locally.
4. SIMSIM: There are a few simsim stores about the country and simsim
is exported by the Indians when the price is good. But it is usual for a Lango
trader to go to the remoter villages to buy simsim for resale to the Indians.
5. COLOBUS-MONKEY SKINS (Dolo): These are obtained from the hills
north east of Kitgum in Acholi country-Agoro, Tereteinia, Longili. The Lango
trader goes by cycle along the road Kitgum-Musini-Madial-Ukuti-Kiten-Naam. He
buys skins at about 6/- apiece and sells them to the Lango, or more especially
to the Kumam, for about 10/- each. It is an illicit trade. The skins are worn
round the waist at dances.
6. GIRAFFE HAIRS: This is an illicit trade, since the killing of giraffe is
prohibited. The cyclist goes to Rom, east of Kitgum, ostensibly for some other
trading purpose. He probably takes clothing or domestic utensils with him. The
people round the Rom district kill giraffe secretly in the bush, and the Lango
trader buys tails for 10/- to 30/- each according to size. He returns to Lango,
carefully concealing his wares, and continues to the Teso country. There he sells
each hair for -/10 to -/30 a piece according to size. Since each tail is composed
of thick bundle of these hairs, a very large profit is made. The giraffe hairs are
worn by the Teso round their waists or necks strung with beads. Watch straps
made of woven giraffe hair are sold to Europeans in Kenya.
7. BICYCLES: Should our Lango trader have collected a little money at the
more modest trades, he might invest in a new bicycle from one of the Indian
shops. This he will ride to the villages and exchange for cattle. The cattle he
will resell at one of the monthly cattle auctions organised by the Government. and
so he will be able to invest in more bicycles, until he has made enough for his
[Bicycles, second-hand or Japanese, are also brought from Buganda by the
Jo Nam over the Namasale ferry. They are traded for cattle, which are taken
back to Buganda in the ferry.]
8. FISH: These are sold by the Jo Nam (people of the lakes) for grain.
The Lango are very fond of fish. In the Kyoga district the fish are bought by the
Lango, dried and resold at Kaberamaido and Lira. The same is done in Atura,
where the dried fish may reach Gulu in the Acholi District. The trading area of
this dried fish is limited by the fact that it goes bad in four days.
9. GOATS: These may be bought in exchange for a cow or a bull and then
have to be taken round the country to be sold for money. Goats fetch from 2/- to
5/- according to size. The exchange value of livestock depends on the size and con-
dition of the animals, but I was given the following rough scale of values:-
A cow that is bearing is never sold at all
A large bull = 2 heifers.
A small bull = 1 heifer.
A first-born bull when big = 10 goats.
A first-born bull when still small = 6 goats.
A large heifer =20 goats.
[The Government holds cattle auctions in each Saza (county), if the people
want to realise money for taxes etc. These auctions, which take place in a different
Saza each month, are very popular. Buyers come to them from all over Uganda.].
10. SPEARS, BELLS AND KNIVES: These are made by local smiths and sold
for money. Hoes are bought from the Indians.
11. POTS, BASKETS, CALABASHES, PESTLE AND MORTARS, WINNOWING-MATS:
These are all made and traded locally. The pots of Kyoga are particularly good
and have a wider distribution inland.
[All local trading is done for money, food or goats.]
12. HONEY: This may be traded locally for money.
13. MILLET AND SIMSIM: Both these may be grown in excess of personal
requirements for local sale, especially to the various Government servants, who
have not so much time to cultivate their own crops.
14. COTTON: This is the chief economic crop, upon which the whole
prosperity of Lango depends. Everyone cultivates cotton to be able to pay his
poll tax. Anyone who is trying to raise enough wealth for marriage, will be able
to buy cattle with the proceeds of his cotton crop in excess of the Government's
15. PORTERS AND SHOPWORKERS: Finally there is that type of labour,
without which the Administration, the Missionaries, the Cotton Ginners and the
Indian traders could not function. These workers are usually classed as porters.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find porters, although a good wage is offer-
ed. Those, who do this work, are predominantly of the class who are too poor
to marry. As soon as they have saved sufficient to enable them to marry, they
leave the odious work of a porter for that of a farmer. Those who have served
in the Indian shops may be tempted to set up shops of their own. These are call-
ed "poloti" from the fact that a rent is paid to the Government for the "Plot" on
which the shops stands. Every Gombolola (Parish) has one or more of these polo-
tis run by a Lango. Very few of them are successful as the owner smokes all
the cigarettes himself and gives most of the things away on credit, so that he is
The abandonment of the chaporo institution and the rise of a group of traders
and wage earners in its place is a striking result of the new economic system. The
two systems may not appear to be similar, and the change is certainly not
apparent to those who are most affected by it-the Europeans and Indians who
require indigenous labour. The connection between chaporo and wage earning or
trade is that of incentive. In both cases a great amount of economic work is
produced, and in both cases it is the desire for a wife that provides the incentive.
As soon as that desire is satisfied, the worker leaves his arduous duties for the
more congenial life of a married farmer. There are some who find the work they
have adopted as a temporary expedient sufficiently satisfying for them to keep to
it permanently, but this is rather exceptional. It may be pointed out here that
attempts to prevent the size of the marriage goods from increasing will further
restrict the reservoir of wage labourers, (') unless new wants are created which the
individual prefers to satisfy by working for a wage.
(i) Vide Uganda Journal Vol. VII p. 159.
The above are photographs taken on the occasion of the un-
veiling of the Hannington Memorial in Busoga and show a group
beside the Memorial, which includes the two Protestant Bishops of
Uganda and the Upper Nile, and below a photograph of the actual
THE LAST DAYS OF BISHOP HANNINGTON.
By H.B. THOMAS, O.B.E.
For some time past the Uganda Government has been engaged in the
identification and marking of sites of historical interest within the Protectorate.
On 29th October 1939, the fifty-fourth anniversary of the death of Bishop
Hannington, the Rt. Rev. E. C. Stuart, Bishop of Uganda, and fifth in succession
from Bishop Hannington, dedicated a bronze tablet and monument erected on a
large natural boulder close to the scene of the tragedy. The tablet bears the
met his death
29th October 1885
Thou hast turned my heaviness into joy.
The text is from Psalm XXX, verse 12 (Prayer Book version). In almost the
last entry in his diary, written perhaps within a few hours of his death, Hannington
records that he "was held up by Psalm XXX".
In a moving address to a large gathering for the most part of Basoga Bishop
Stuart, speaking to this text "Onfulide okunakuwala kwange okuzina", stressed
the spirit of reconciliation evidenced by the erection of this memorial to one whose
death had proved to be the gateway of life for succeeding generations.
James Hannington was a muscular curate when, in June 1882, he first came
to East Africa as the leader of a party of reinforcements for the Victoria Nyanza
Mission in Uganda. He suffered previously from dysentery and, having reached the
south end of Lake Victoria, was compelled to return to England after an absence
of about twelve months.
A need for the organization and supervision of the expanding work of the
Anglican missionaries on the East African mainland led to the creation of the
diocese of Eastern Equatorial Africa and, as its first bishop, Hannington was
consecrated in London on 24th June 1884. His mind was soon set upon that most
encouraging field of work in his diocese-Uganda.
The only route open to Uganda at this time was from the Coast opposite
Zanzibar through the present Tanganyika Territory to the south of Lake Victoria.
But in 1883-84 Joseph Thomson (who had James Martin as his caravan leader:
see 'Uganda Journal', Vol. I, p. 145) had been the first European to make his way
direct through Masai-land and the Kavirondo country-which is now Kenya
Colony-to Lake Victoria. At his most westerly point, on the shore of Lake Vic-
toria near the mouth of the Sio River (llth December 1883). he was close to the
confines of Busoga and so Buganda. He records that Mutesa's warriors had raided
as far east as this point. He had achieved the objective of his expedition; and he
gives, in the first edition (1885) of his book "Through Masai Land", as reasons for
turning back, an attack of fever; a shortage of trade goods; and "I had reached
the western boundaries of Kavirondo and the people beyond were at war with the
natives of the latter To gain a little by going further I might run an
imminent risk of losing all."
Thomson had arrived back in England on 20th June 1884 within a few days
of Hannington's consecration. The directness and better climatic conditions of his
route through Masai-land naturally attracted attention. Thomson was asked to
attend a meeting of the Church Missionary Society, at which he spoke so emphati-
cally against the use of the Masai route that the meeting concluded that the time
had not yet come for its adoption.
Hannington left England for his new diocese on 5th November 1884. Two days
previously he had spoken at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society at which
Thomson told the story of his adventurous journey.
A few weeks before, an event of critical importance had occurred in Uganda.
On 10th October 1884 King Mutesa died and was succeeded by his son Mwanga.
As the months passed, the little band of Anglican Missionaries in Uganda-
Mackay, Ashe and O'Flaherty-grasped the full measure of the change thus
wrought in their circumstances-the substitution of Mutesa's long-headedness and
tolerance by Mwanga's irresponsibility and suspicion.
Hannington reached his headquarters at Freretown near Mombasa in January
1885. His eyes quickly turned to the advantages of the Masai route and he seems
soon to have told the missionaries in Buganda of the trend of his thoughts. They
wrote at once to warn him of the dangers of his attempt, in the prevailing political
situation in Buganda, to enter by the 'back door' of Busoga. These warnings reach-
ed the Coast a fortnight after Hannington had started on his last fateful journey,
but were not sent after him.
Thus the full significance of the new situation in Buganda was not realized by
Hannington. Knowing that the brethren in Uganda were being sorely tried, he
considered only how he might most quickly come to their aid. His ardent spirit
discounted the obstacles which might have caused one less courageous and less
UGANDA JOURNAL. 21
impulsive to ponder. He received some measure of encouragement at the Coast--
from such as Sir John Kirk, General Lloyd Matthews and James Martin-and
without awaiting the approval of the C.M.S. Committee in London he decided to
essay the Masai route.
In the standard 'Life of James Hannington' (1887) by Rev. E. C. Dawson is
printed Hannington's letter to the C.M.S. Committee setting out his reasons for
the decision to attempt the Masai route. In a later edition of his book 'Through
Masai-Land', which appeared after the publication of Dawson's 'Life', Thomson
states that Hannington's letter contained a paragraph-not printed in Dawson's
'Life'-begging the Secretary not to refer his project to Thomson again as his
opposition was a foregone conclusion.
Thomson regarded Hannington's death as a confirmation of his warning.
Nevertheless it is but fair to say that Hannington appears to have surmounted
successfully those dangers, primarily from the Masai, which Thomson had visualiz-
ed; and that his untoward end arose from quite other circumstances upon which
neither he nor Thomson had calculated. When Thomson issued his warning,
Mutesa was still alive-and no one with a knowledge of that enlightened monarch
would have credited the possibility that he would order the death of a European
visitor. Mutesa would probably have directed Hannington in Busoga to repair to
the south of Lake Victoria there to await his permission before entering Buganda;
he would not have killed him.
Hannington's real error of judgement was that he did not adhere to the
arrangements set out in the letter in which he finally advised the missionaries in
Buganda that he intended to follow the Masai-land route. In that letter, which
arrived towards the end of September 1885, Hannington outlined his plan of ad-
vancing only as far as Kavirondo, where he asked that the mission boat should
meet him, so that he could proceed to Buganda by lake. Charles Stokes (at that
time C.M.S. transport leader at the south of Lake Victoria) actually took the
'Mirembe' to the north-east corner of the Lake early in October, but, hearing
nothing of the Bishop, left after two days. Relying on the Bishop's letter, Mackay
had assured Mwanga that Hannington would not pass into Busoga. Thus his arrival
at Luba's had every appearance of calculated deceit. In going forward from Kavi-
rondo with only a small escort, instead of sending messengers ahead to Buganda
to obtain permission to proceed, Hannington had clearly no proper appreciation of
the seriousness of the step which he was taking; and Sir Frederick Jackson ('Early
Days in East Africa') voices the opinion of prudence and worldly wisdom when
he speaks of Hannington as a sadly misguided man.
By normal standards Hannington may well be adjudged headstrong and
opinionated. In his armoury were few of the weapons of the scholar, of the
mystic, or of the diplomat. An age which finds sensational gratification in efforts
22 UGANDA JOURNAL.
to demonstrate-often with a careless regard for truth-that public idols are sup-
ported by feet of clay, has not saved harmless a personality so human and so
vulnerable as that of Bishop Hannington. In this world it is success which trans-
mutes rashness into splendid daring; but another tribunal may yet hold that Han-
nington's failings and failure weigh as nothing against his unquenchable zeal for
the service of his Master.
Harnington left Rabai, the mission station near Mombasa founded in 1846
by Dr. Krapf, on 23rd July 1885. His caravan of 200 porters was not a large
one for the undertaking before him. With him were the Rev. W. Jones (') and a
Goan cook, Pinto.
They succeeded in passing through the Kikuyu and Masai country, though
with a fair share of difficulty and annoyance; and, on 8th October 1885, reached
Kwa Sundu on the eastern bank of the Nzoia River, near where stands the present
station of Mumias.
Though almost lame with a swollen foot, Hannington's restless spirit persuaded
him to resume his march with a small party of only 50 porters on 12th October,
the greater part of the caravan remaining with Jones at Kwa Sundu. He spent
that night at Mtinde's village and the next day, marching westwards, camped at a
large village to the south of the Samia hills.
On 14th October, the Sio river was crossed and after a long march, on climb-
ing a hill, Hannington had a first view of Lake Victoria and found that he was
to the west of "the deep Sio Bay". He had thus passed some miles inland of the
present Mjanji port and had perhaps reached the neighbourhood of Lumino Gom-
bolola. Camp was made in a village at some distance from the lake shore. The
Baganda had recently ravaged the Samia coast and the people had fled. Moving
on next day the party entered deserted country and camped by a muddy pool of
On 16th October the first Basoga, people of the chief Wakoli, were encounter-
ed and passing through a densely populated country, the night was spent in a
village. Next morning they continued through well populated country and at 10
a.m. found that they had run out onto a headland in the lake. An enormous
market was in full swing and on the shore were many canoes from the islands.
It is probable that they had reached the head of Macdonald Bay. They were led
back eastwards for an hour and camped in a chief's village. Hannington records
that during the day he caught sight of Mount Elgon "perhaps thirty-five miles
(I) 'Fundi' Jones was a Yao. As a child he had been a slave but was rescued by a
British cruiser and was placed in the C.M.S. asylum for released slaves at Nasik in India.
His first training was as a blacksmith, but he was later sent to Freretown as a catechist
and had recently been ordained by Hannington.
distant" to the north-east, and the south point of the Samia range to the south-
east "scarcely twenty miles distant", an indication that he was aware that he had
been led over a circuitous route during the past four days. They must have pass-
ed well south of Wakoli's headquarters then at Namukoko, some miles south of
the present county headquarters of Bugiri.
On Sunday 8th October they remained in camp, but on the following day
struck westwards and encountered a mob of Baganda raiders some of whom knew
Mackay. The fertile country was devastated, hundreds of banana trees having
been hacked down. An uncomfortable night was spent between the Baganda
army and its victims. On the 20th good progress westwards was made and on the
morning of 21st October 1885 after only half an hour's march, they reached the
headquarters of Luba, the principal chief of the area then situated about four miles
east of the summit of Bukaleba hill.
To-day, the scene of the last act of the tragedy can be reached with little
effort. An all-weather road (about 40 miles) connects Jinja with Ikulwe (Bujebira)
the headquarters of Bunya county, whence a track, passable by cars only in dry
weather, leads for some four miles south-westwards. The lush greenness of ba-
nana gardens is succeeded by the all-enveloping savanna bush of elephant grass
and stately muvule trees, until, in a clearing hemmed in by the bush whose oppres-
sive monotony is broken by red splashes of erythrina blossom, the pilgrim comes
upon the memorial cairn not far from the site of Luba's enclosure. Nearby is a
rocky kopje crowned with trees-Kiando hill; while rising above the bush and
cutting off any distant view is the barrier of the Bukaleba ridge, which, on its far
side, has looked down on yet another tragedy-the murder of Major Thruston and
his companions by Sudanese mutineers in Luba's Fort on 19th October 1897. Fifty
years ago this area had the appearance of a sea of bananas and supported a dense
population. Sleeping sickness and famine in the first years of the 20th century
converted it into uninhabited jungle-naturam expellas furce tamen usque recurret.
Only of late years has settlement begun to push forward to occupy once more this
As we have seen Hannington reached Luba's headquarters in the early
morning of 21st October 1885 (2). He was not cordially received, and agreed,
(2) For the following reconstruction of events I am greatly indebted to Mr. C. W.
Switzer, District Comr'issioner, Busoga, who, with Omw. S. N. K. Bagenda (of the Bu-
soga Native Administration Treasury Department, and chief of a mutala near the scene)
spent some time on the ground in April 1939. Mr. Switzer has generously placed his notes
at my disposal, and these have been collated with the evidence of the 'Life' and 'Last
Journals'. Though there may be room for some difference of opinion as to details, it is
improbable that his identifications can ever be improved on.
perhaps perforce, to stay, because he thought Luba might, by sending him in
canoes to Mwanga, save him a long march. His camp was probably pitched near
Luba's enclosure and he soon set off to climb Kiando hill. "I climbed a neigh-
bouring hill, and to my joy, saw a splendid view of the Nile, only about half an
hour's distance, country being beautiful; deep creeks of the Lake visible to the
south" ('Life' p. 433). In fact the view to the north-west is of the arm of Thrus-
ton Bay which runs up to Buluba; the "creeks of the Lake" are the northern
reaches of Hannington Bay towards Lwanike. To the westwards any view of
Buganda is obscured by hills and it is sad to realize that Hannington was deceived
in thinking that he had set eyes upon the land to reach which he had ventured so
Anxious to encourage his Swahili followers who had begun to doubt the
existence of the Nile, he later asked his headman, Brahim, to come "to the point
close at hand whence I had seen the Nile". They set out accompanied probably
by a few of his men, but they were followed by a boisterous party of Luba's
people, one of whom pretending to show Hannington a better view led him apart.
Suddenly he was violently set upon; "they forced me up and hurried me away, as
I thought, to throw me down a precipice close at hand"-which suggests that they
were near the summit of the hill, where there are several steep rock pitches.
Dragged along the ground, pulled this way and that, wet through and with
clothes torn, the Bishop was taken to Luba's prison on the kisoko of Buyoka,
about a mile as the crow flies due north of Kiando hill, where was the settlement
of Luba's warriors under his Mujasi or officer-in-charge. Between Kiando and
Buyoka is a depression in which water lies in the rainy season (as would be the
month of October) and it was perhaps in crossing this that the Bishop got wet
as he relates in his diary.
He found himself confined to a hut surrounded by a fence. Towards night-
fall he was joined by his cook, Pinto; and his bed, blankets and Bible were
brought to him. He now learnt that Luba had sent messengers to Mwanga for
orders, and that meanwhile he was to remain a prisoner. His porters though in
close confinement were safe with most of the loads.
In these sordid surroundings he remained for the following days, weak and in
pain and suffering frequently from fever, cooped up with drunken guards, and
tormented by vermin. After the second day's confinement he was allowed to
sleep in his tent which was pitched in the cramped space between the hut and the
fence: and two of his men were sent daily with his food from their own place of
detention apparently some distance away and probably at Hannington's first en-
campment near Luba's enclosure. At last on the evening of 28th October after
seven days imprisonment he learnt that three soldiers had come from Mwanga, but
he could hear no news,
It is clear that Hannington added to his diary at different times of the day,
and thus it may be accepted that the final entry headed "Thursday, October 29th"
was made in the course of the morning of that day, which was to be that of his
death. "I can hear no news but was held up by Psalm XXX which came with
great power. A hyena howled near me last night, smelling a sick man, but I hope
it is not to have me yet."
From the local story (which differs somewhat from that recorded at second
hand by Ashe and Dawson) a vivid reconstruction of the last scene is possible.
That afternoon the Baganda messengers with some of Luba's chiefs went to the
Bishop's prison and told him that Mwanga had sent them to bring him to Bu-
ganda. "Towards 5 p.m." ('Life' p. 418) he was led up the valley which extends
towards Mauta hill. In the bottom of the valley may still be seen a rock, Kaku-
babwala, (said to mean that when you clap your hands the stone throws an echo)
some nine feet high and resembling a slanting haycock. Here he was stripped and
robbed and in a clump of bushes near by his Bible was afterwards found. He
was hustled along the valley for perhaps another 300 yards and, here, near another
isolated rock (upon which the memorial has now been erected) he was finally
despatched. All modern evidence affirms that he was speared, and this accords
with the information given to Jones at Kwa Sundu by one of the Swahilis who
escaped ('Life' p. 418).
That night the Bishop's Swahili porters having come to hear of his death
broke out of their camp and reached the rocky hill, Biemba (Buyemba). Here at
dawn they were over-taken by Luba's warriors, were dragged to Nawankoko, a
recognized place of execution off Luba's land, and were there massacred. The spot
may reasonably be identified as being near some exposed slabs of ironstone at the
edge of a swamp about a mile south of Ikulwe, and here a pile of stones has been
erected. Of the fifty men who had accompanied Hannington only four were spar-
ed or escaped to make their way back with the news to Jones at Kwa Sundu
where they arrived on 8th November. A Swahili boy who accompanied the
caravan was also spared. He grew up in the neighbourhood to marry a Musoga
woman and he and his children have only recently died.
There is conflict of evidence as to the disposal of the bishop's body. A current
story is that it was left where it fell in the hope that it would be devoured by
hyenas. At night a Kavirondo man, named Nandogambi, who though not one of
the Bishop's party, was well disposed towards them, came and cut off the Bishop's
head, wrapped it in a skin and gave it to some Kavirondo who had accompanied
the Bishop's caravan. By them it was borne eastwards to Wakoli's where it was
seen by Yusufu Balita, until his recent retirement the county chief of Bunya, who
was then a boy at Wakoli's. By Wakoli it was placed in a pot. The remains of
the body had disappeared by the morning following the murder, and it is thought
that it was taken and hidden by some of Luba's men. So much for the current local
What happened to these relics during the next four years or so is a matter
of conjecture. But if we follow Sir Frederick Jackson's report which is referred
to below, they must have passed in due course to Chief Tunga, who lived between
Busoga and the Sio River, and with him remained for the greater part of this
This brings us to what is undoubtedly the authentic story of their recovery as
related by Jackson ('Early Days in East Africa').
On 10th March 1890, being the day before Jackson left Mumias for Uganda.
a small Kavirondo boy arrived in his camp with a basket containing the Bishop's
skull (identified by gold fillings in the teeth) but without the lower jaw, the soles
of his boots, a rubber hot-water bottle and the basin lid of an Army and Navy
canteen. There was also a small narrow skull, probably Pinto's. This boy had
accompanied Hannington to Luba's, but had been spared in the massacre. Famine
had followed the murder; the witch-doctors spoke. All the Bishop's remains were
collected, neatly tied in banana leaves and placed in a basket which the boy was
told to take to Mumias. He had for a considerable time been held up by Chief
Tunga, an old-standing enemy of Mumia. But Tunga, hearing of Jackson's ap-
proach, had feared that further detention of the boy might be regarded as a casus
belli, and had told him to clear out and take the basket with him.
Jackson placed all in a tin-lined box which was buried secretly in the corner
of a mud-walled shed inside the Company's camp at Mumias. On his return to
the Coast he was able to give Bishop Tucker directions which enabled him-with
some difficulty for the box had been tampered with-to recover the remains when
he passed through Mumias towards the end of 1892 (the Rev. A. B. Fisher who
is still alive was one of his party). They were re-interred with impressive ceremony
on Namirembe hill on 31st December 1892.
Mwanga was at the graveside.
The Rev. E. C. Dawson's "James Hannington. A History of his Life and
Work 1847-1885" London (1887)-the standard 'Life' and in its day a 'best seller'-
furnishes the most accessible account of the last days of Hannington's life. The
same author 'The Last Journals of Bishop Hannington' appeared in 1888. See also
the contemporary files of the 'Church Missionary Intelligencer'.
UGANDA JOURNAL. 27
On his last journey Hannington kept two diaries; in the one he noted only
information likely to be useful to those who might follow the same route-such as
anthropological and geographical facts and prices of provisions; in the other is a
detailed account of each day's events ('Last Journals' p. 3). With other loot from
the Bishop's caravan they passed into Mwanga's hands, and were retrieved by
Mackay at different times "the Bishop's diaries which have since been sent
home, one by one, from the centre of Africa" ('Last Journals' p. 1). It was
apparently the first of these which Mackay had got hold of before 23rd December
1885 ('Mackay of Uganda' p. 277), and which is referred to at a meeting of the
Royal Geographical Society on 24th May 1886, as having already reached Eng-
The latter-the detailed diary-was recovered by Mackay together with the
Bishop's writing case (Ashe. p. 186) on 19th June 1886, and reached England on
25th October when the 'Life' was already in the press, ('Last Journals' p. 4).
The opportunity was, however, taken to rewrite the last 60 pages of the 'Life' and
to incorporate some extracts from the detailed diary before first publication. Jones,
who had left Mumias on 8th December 1885 and reached the Coast on 4th February
1886, had given such information as he could procure about the circumstances of
the Bishop's death, and this is to be found in the 'Life'. Ashe's 'Two Kings of
Uganda' (1889) and 'Mackay of Uganda' (1890) are other source books giving such
account of events as could be gleaned by the missionaries in Uganda.
Dawson 'doctored' the diary for publication in a manner which does not
always earn Ashe's approval ('Two Kings' Cap. XVI); and the originals might re-
pay critical study.
NOTE ON THE SUDANESE CORPS IN MEXICO
(1863-67) AND ON FORT MAGUNGU.
By H. B. THOMAS, O.B.E.
The articles listed below were found in May 1939 by Mr. G. V. Vane,
District Officer, and by Mr. P. B. Ridsdale of the Church Missionary Society,
Hoima on the site of Fort Magungu, on the south bank of the Victoria Nile below
the Murchison Falls, and have been presented to the Society. They were recovered
from a shelving beach which may have been a landing place, downstream of the
memorial cairn which has lately been constructed bearing a bronze tablet inscribed-
MAGUNGU EGYPTIAN STATION 1876-79.
No authoritative identification of this material has been made, but it is doubt-
ful if any of it is of great age.
4 large bullets 1 small cartridge case with bullet
1 Bari iron hoe 1 small native iron knife
1 half of large bead 1 tanged iron arrow head
1 small green bead 2 tanged iron spear heads (or double edged
1 strip lead Sudanese knives)
1 nail I (half) stone jar stopper
2 cowrie shells 2 pieces native pottery
2 button backs 1 iron bangle or anklet
The button backs are marked respectively 'N. Robert Lyon' and 'H. D. H. &
Co. Superior'. The former may be attributed with some certainty to the period
of Egyptian occupation of Magungu, 1876-79, and perhaps provides a link with
the Sudanese battalion which had campaigned in Mexico, 1863-67, and was
probably furnished with French equipment. There are a number of references in
contemporary literature to the presence in Equatoria of veterans of the Mexican
'H. D. H. & Co' cannot be identified by the Crown Agents for the Colonies
or by the War Office, and probably ante-dates their present records. The only
occupation of Magungu after the Egyptian evacuation in 1879 seems to have been
for a few days by a force under Major Thruston in 1894.
Years of constant revolution having reduced Mexico to a state of chaos and
to a repudiation of international obligations, the French were induced in 1862 to
interfere in the internal affairs of the country. Said Pasha, the Viceroy of Egypt,
agreed to furnish the Emperor Napoleon III with a Sudanese contingent; 450 men
embarked at Alexandria on 28 December 1862, and in due course reached Vera
Cruz. In a short time many, including the commanding officer, Yabrit Allah,
succumbed to typhus, yellow fever and dysentery. The battalion accompanied the
French leader, Marshal Bazaine, (later the ill-fated commander of Metz), when he
entered Mexico City on 7 June 1863, taking part in a number of engagements both
before and after the fall of the capital.
A Council of Notables, under French influence, offered the crown of Mexico
to Ferdinand Maximilian, Archduke of Austria (born 1832), a younger brother of
the Emperor Francis Joseph. This offer he solemnly accepted, and, in June 1864,
he entered Mexico as Emperor.
Everywhere the Sudanese acquitted themselves well and they were accorded
the honour of firing the salute of welcome to the Empress Charlotte when she ar-
rived at Vera Cruz. But Maximilian's policy of reconciliation met no success:
Juarez raised the standard of independence and in 1866 Napoleon had to con-
template the withdrawal of the French troops. The Empress, a daughter of King
Leopold I of Belgium, went to Europe to enlist support for her husband, but in
vain: and under the grief and disappointment her reason gave way.
Napoleon desired Maximilian to withdraw with the French troops. But
Maximilian felt bound in honour to remain and share the fate of his adherents.
The Sudanese, now hardened veterans, left Mexico with the French army and
returned by way of France. In Paris they were feted, and received a liberal
distribution of decorations, a number being awarded the ribbon of the Legion of
Honour. On 28 May 1867 they had returned to Alexandria where they were re-
viewed by Ismail Pasha, Said's successor. (1). Maximilian met his end only a few
weeks later. After the French evacuation he had, at the head of 8,000 men, made
a brave defence of Queretaro against a Liberal army. But he was betrayed; tried
by court martial; and shot on 19 June 1867.
When Sir Samuel Baker reached Khartoum in January 1870, he found among
the troops allotted to him for the projected occupation of the Equatorial Province
"the black or Soudani regiment" containing many officers and men who had
(i) See, 'Americans in the Egyptian Army' by Pierre Crabites, London. 1938, a disap-
served in Mexico. Some of these became members of Baker's bodyguard-the
In January 1872, after many delays, Baker moved out of Gondokoro for the
advance to Acholiland and Bunyoro, with a picked force, which included a number
of veterans of the Mexican campaign. Officers who had served in Mexico were Ma-
jor Abdullah, Captain Morgian Sherriff, Captain Abdullah, Lieutenants Morgian
and Ferritch. Captain Morgian Sherriff had recently distinguished himself during
the attack on the Belinian Bari (30 August 1871). During Baker's final advance
to Bunyoro (March-July 1872) Major Abdullah remained in command of Fatiko
Fort, where the hostility of the slave-traders placed him in a critical position.
After Baker's departure from the Sudan in 1873 this Sudanese regiment remain-
ed to garrison the Acholi district; and when, in May 1874, Colonel Chaill6 Long,
despatched by General Gordon on a mission to King Mutesa of Buganda, passed
through Fatiko he received a warm welcome from Adjutant-Major Abdullah, the
commander of the post. He refers to the cleanliness and discipline of the troops
many of whom on parade wore their decorations for the Mexican campaign, while
Major Abdullah displayed his ribbon of the Legion of Honour. Later in the same
month, Long crossed the Victoria Nile to the Egyptian fort at Foweira, where he
found more veterans of the Mexican campaign under Adjutant Major Baba Tuka
who also wore the decoration of the Legion of Honour. Long commends these
black veterans, the auxiliaries of Bazaine, for their soldierly bearing, which they still
maintained though they had already been several years in 'this fearful climate'.
Their camp was a model of neatness and order. Three months later Long, following
his visit to Mutesa and his discovery of Lake Kyoga, returned, in desperate straits,
to Foweira, where he received unstinted kindness from Major Baba Tuka. For
nearly a month Long remained here to recuperate and he records the pleasure with
which he listened to his host's stories of the Mexican campaign and of his short
Samuel Baker and his wife had reached the village Magungo (2) at the end of
March 1864 in the course of their discovery of Lake Albert and the Murchison
Falls, and had thus made known something of the topography of the mouth of the
Early in 1876, as one of the steps in the projected Egyptian advance to Lake
Victoria, Gordon ordered Muhammad Wat el Mek (he who had received Speke and
(2) So spelt in most contemporary references.
Grant at Faloro in December 1862, and now a Government employee) to establish
a fortified post at Magungo. Here he was met, early in April 1876, by the Italians,
Romolo Gessi and Carlo Piaggia who had made the first passage of the Albert Nile
from Difile to Lake Albert in two steel life-boats and brought with them stores for
the new station.
Gordon came to Magungo in the s. s. Nyanza on 28 July 1876 and after a
week's stay, set off to survey the course of the Victoria Nile to Foweira. Marching
overland direct from Mruli he returned to Magungo, accompanied by Emin (later
Pasha) on 24 September 1876. It was now a well established military post with a gar-
rison and landing place. A few days later Gordon left for Egypt and England.
Colonel Mason began and ended his (the first by steamer) circumnavigation of
Lake Albert at Magungo in June 1877; while Emin spent some time at the station
in July 1877 and in April 1878 and records many details of the surrounding people
The Church Missionary Society's party-Litchfield, Pearson and Falkin-sent
by the Nile route to Uganda reached Magungo by the s. s. Nyanza on 23 December
1878. They found a well-built town surrounded by a strong earthwall and a moat
ten feet deep. The site of the fort established by Gordon's orders was, however, be-
ing washed away and had been abandoned, and thus, the new Magungo fort, was si-
tuated a few miles further up the Victoria Nile.
The Mudir, Murjan Aga Donesura, (3) was one of the officers with Mexican
service mentioned by Baker (Felkin met him later at Fatiko in June 1879). "The
appearance of the soldiers was excellent and their spotless white uniforms contrast-
ed well with the gorgeous attire of their officers." On Christmas Eve the whole
party had a picnic by steamer to the Murchison Falls, and on the 25th, the Mudir's
wife gave them a sumptuous Christmas dinner.
Thus the records of the Egyptian posts in Acholiland and Bunyoro with their
element of old soldiers of the Mexican campaign leave a clear impression that, for
these few years, they constituted little oases of civilization and discipline. It was
the defect of the Egyptian system that they were but oases and had little or no
influence beyond the perimeter of the forts.
In November 1879 Emin again visited Magungo, to arrange, by Gordon's ord-
ers, for its evacuation with that of other Egyptian posts in Bunyoro-Mruli, Keroto,
(3) Before the threat of the Mahdists, Murian Aga was appointed by Emin to be com-
mandant of Amadi, and was killed in a sortie shortly before the post was evacuated, March
1885. (See Junker's Travels, Vol. III).
I cannot identify any of the Sudanese serving under Emin at the time of the evacuation
of Equatoria in 1889. as having had Mexican service.
32 UGANDA JOURNAL.
Foweira-and any beneficent effects from the Egyptian occupation thereafter
Magungo was not, it seems, again visited by Europeans until May 1894, when
Major Thruston, escorting the remains of Emin's soldiers under Ahmed Ali from
Mahagi into Bunyoro, camped for a week within the entrenchments of the old fort.
Sleeping Sickness reached this area early in the twentieth century. In 1909 the
considerable population was removed and the area has since been incorporated in
the Bunyoro-Gulu Game Reserve and remains completely uninhabited.
J. M. WATSON.
The site of Lake Mutukula between the hills of Kyomya and Biko at about
mile 64 on the Hoima-Kampala road appears first to have been associated with
Kalemera, the son of Chwa and grandson of the great Kintu. It is said that this
young prince set out to visit Bunyoro in connection with the purchase of hoes,
but on reaching Lake Mutukula he met, by chance, Wanyama, one of the wives
of Wunyi, King of Bunyoro. The merchant prince appears to have been a man
of singular charm for, despite the punishment attached to the crime of adultery, he
persuaded Wanyama without much difficulty to live with him on terms of con-
siderable intimacy. However, as the unlovely lines of pregnancy became all too
evident in the unfortunate qqeen, his uneasiness increased, until finally, craven with
fear, he left the presence of the King for his own country. He was never to see
his home again however as he died on the borderland of Buganda.
How Wanyama was saved from the executioner by the machinations of the
court magician, how the child was rescued from the clay pit and reared by Senda-
gala and Mugema and how finally the infant became Kabaka Kimera of Buganda
are all well known episodes in Buganda legendary history.
Lake Mutukula appears to have been the shrine of the god Kadumutukula,
presumably one of the Bunyoro deities but later owing to its association with
Kimera it was adopted by the Baganda.
As to its divine importance, it is difficult to estimate but it is known that it
had a medium and priest of its own to minister to its wants while the Kabakas,
adopting a policy of appeasement, supplied it with human victims. A constant
watch was kept on the colour of the waters of the lake and whenever they assum-
ed a blood red hue, a message was sent to the King to inform him that the time
of sacrifice had drawn nigh. Shortly after the advent of this news at the Capital,
a motley crowd of guards, executioners and victims left the town for the distant
lake. Some of the victims were prisoners condemned to death by the court while
others were just tiresome people who had offended the King personally by, possibly,
coughing in his presence. Undoubtedly jerry walkers, litter louts, and road hogs
would have been included in this category.
Though they may have displeased a mortal King during their lives, that they
were to please an immortal god by their deaths may have afforded them some
consolation as they marched to their watery grave through the pleasant land of
On arrival at Kabamba (mile 61), the source of a spring which once fed the
lake, the prisoners were prepared for execution. They were presented each with
a draught of medicated beer and then, after undressing, they were slaughtered by
a blow at the base of the skull and their bodies cast into the lake. While this
melancholy scene was being enacted, the other members of the company rested, be-
fore the weary march back, under the tree Kawumulo.
During the reign of Mutesa it is said that Kadumutukula actually went so far
as to trouble that already much troubled monarch by appearing to him in dreams
and demanding his quota of sacrificial victims.
During the reign of Kalema, the Mohammedan son of Mutesa, the lake dis-
appeared but reappeared in the latter part of Mwanga's reign. Then about 1913
the waters again subsided and finally in the middle of November 1939 a party of
hunters found one of their favourite hunting grounds inundated with water, and
with the final disappearance of the drowned vegetation, Lake Mutukula once
again revealed itself.
The above notes for the most part are derived from a talk given to me by
an old Muganda living near the lake and kindly translated into English by Messrs.
Wamala, Kaumi, Kijambu and Kyagaba. Roscoe has also been consulted. He
mentions Mutukulu on Lake Wamala as a place of sacrifice. Could he have been
confused with Lake Mutukula?
Meteorites in Uganda.
Below we publish a graphic letter from the District Officer, Kitgum, and are
prompted to do so some long time after the event by the appearance recently in
Kampala of another natural phenomenon which had such similarity with the
events reported from Kitgum that possibly the two incidents may arise from the
same combination of atmospheric conditions and meteoric appearances.
The manifestation to which reference has been made above, occurred at
Kampala about 3.30 p.m. on the hot and sunny afternoon of Friday 3rd May 1940
and my attention was first drawn to it by Mr. Malyn who had observed several
Africans and Indians looking high into the sky with great interest outside the
offices of the District Commissioner.
High up in a clear blue sky there appeared to be at first sight a brilliant star
at an eleven o'clock position from a small thin white cloud. After looking more
carefully at the "star" I became more and more convinced that it was round in
shape and it even appeared to be like a brilliant spherical captive baloon. Mr.
Lattin also witnessed this phenomenon which was all the more striking in that it
appeared in a clear blue sky. and the event was also reported in the UGANDA
HERALD of May 8th.
It would be of interest if any members could throw any light on the relation-
ships, if any, of the like events or explain the appearance of such phenomena.
Copy in L.O.M.P. 2950.
No. M. 56.
District Officer's Office,
10th. December, 1939.
I have to confirm my wire of 7th instant as follows-"No. 56. Have you re-
ceived any report meteorite falling South Puranga five thirty p.m. fifth aaa three
meteorites seen aaa explosion could be heard about thirty miles away"-and duly
received your reply that no reports had yet reached you.
2. On Tuesday 5th, instant I was at Bolo near Puranga and at about 5.45 p.m.
I heard a very loud explosion. I can only describe the noise as a crackling and
rumbling of thunder on the ground which lasted for about one minute. It appear-
ed to come from the Gulu or Lira direction. I cannot estimate the distance away
of the sound of the explosion. I called my Interpreter and twenty or thirty other
natives who were wondering what caused the explosion, (the whole population of
Puranga heard it), and my Interpreter said as follows:-
"I was in the Dispensary compound when happening to look into the sky
I saw three white balls two in front about the size of a football and one behind.
They came over the compound and disappeared in the direction of Lira. I tried
to make the other natives see them but they did not look in the right direction and
the balls disappeared too quickly. The balls were of the colour of the bottom of
a glass and I thought they were about 1 mile to one mile in the sky."
3. I sent out a search party to try and find the site of the explosion but was
4. On returning to Kitgum, I stopped at Pajule and asked the Indians if they
had heard any thing. They told me that at the time and date mentioned one
large white ball passed at great speed over Pajule and that before it went out of
sight it split up into three, shortly afterwards they heard the explosion.
5. The Deputy Provincial Commissioner informs me that Mr. Rogers, District
Commissioner, Lira heard the explosion and that the Chief of Adiland and many
of his people heard it. It appears therefore that the explosion was heard over an
area of 40-50 miles.
6. The day in question was hot and still, without a cloud in the sky.
7. I do not know if it is desired to search for the site of the explosion with
a view to collecting any fragments of terrestial matter which might be found.
Sd/ R. MacGill.
District Officer, Kitgum.
The District Commissioner, Gulu.
The District Commissioner, Lira.
The Land Officer. Entebbe.
Mutesa's Letter to Gordon.
The Hon. Editor,
On page 12 of Volume IT of this Journal is quoted a letter from Gordon in
which he comments on a letter from Mutesa, the purport of which is stated to be
a proposal to fight Kabarega and a wish to go to Bombay. Mr. J. M. Gray's reading
of the letter (Vol. I, p. 33) is that Mutesa "warned Gordon to keep his hands off
Bunyoro and further warned him that, if he continued in his purpose, there would
be an appeal to Bombay. If the Bombay Government did not intervene, Mutesa
would enforce his request by some 'other road.' If Gordon wished to keep on
good terms with Mutesa, let Bunyoro be treated as a buffer state." But the actual
text of the letter has been printed in the Journal (Vol. 1, p. 36) and a careful reading
of it convinces me that Mutesa neither wanted to fight Kabarega, nor to go to
Bombay, nor to appeal to Bombay, though Mr. Gray's reading of the letter is much
more in accordance with the text than Gordon's version.
Mutesa's letter starts with a plea that Gordon should not fight with Kabarega
because the Banyoro "know not what is good and what is bad" and because he is
the Kabaka and claims that Kabarega is his Governor in Bunyoro and "if you fight
with governor you fight with the King." He then suggests that it should be possible
to find some other way and his reference to Bombay is merely a simile and might
be paraphrased as:" if I wanted to go to Bombay and the Government of Bombay
refused to allow me to go, would I not go somewhere else?", which I read as a
broad hint that there are other ways into central Africa than through Bunyoro. The
rest of the letter seems somewhat in contradiction to the first part at first
sight, but I read it to mean: "But if you insist on fighting Kabarega, wait until you
have answered this letter and I will attack Bunyoro on the east and south while you
invade it from the north and west, with ships on the Nile". In view of subsequent
events and of the contents of the first part of the letter it seems probable that Mu-
tesa had not the remotest intention of really making war on Kabarega but was
merely seeking to cause delay in Gordon's attack, in the hope that something would
happen to prevent it. He doubtless realized that if Bunyoro fell it might be Bugan-
da's turn next. Mutesa's fear of the Egyptian Government is evident throughout his
dealings with Gordon, Nuehr Aga and Emin.
This reading makes Mutesa's letter perfectly consistent. He is attempting to
avert the threatened attack on Bunyoro by three lines of defence: (i) an appeal to
Gordon to abandon his purpose on the grounds that an attack on Kabarega is an
attack on Mutesa, (ii) a suggestion that the road through Bunyoro is not the only
one and that Gordon might well take some other route*, and (iii) if nothing else
will serve, an offer of co-operation intended to cause delay.
There is one other point. Facing p. 68 of Vol. V of this journal there is a fac-
simile reproduction of a copy of Mutesa's letter which the Editor notes was kindly
lent by G. C. Ishmael, Esq., and it would be of much interest to know the exact
status of Mr. Ishmael's copy. Is it the original, or a copy retained by Mutesa, or a
copy of later date? Perhaps Mr. Ishmael could enlighten us on this point. Apart
from a few repetitions which are omitted in the printed version (Vol. II, p. 36)
there is one other difference, of little importance and not affecting the sense of the
letter: according to Mr. Ishmael's copy the word "Majesty" is misplaced in the
printed version and the last sentence of the letter should read "Let God be with
your Majesty even you all Amen," which makes better sense.
I am, Sir,
G. H. E. Hopkins.
The Agricultural Laboratories,
4th May, 1940.
With, doubtless, the mental addition "one which does not lead to Buganda"
The Hon. Editor,
Might I be allowed to question the statement by Mr. C.W. Chorley in his
interesting notes on "Some Birds of Prey of Lake Victoria" (Uganda Journal, Vol.
VII, p. 123), that the osprey is a "rare and seldom observed bird" here?
During the months of October to January last I used to see one or more of
these birds nearly every week when sailing in Murchison Bay. They have been
seen near Bulingugwe Island, near the mainland on both sides of the bay, and
further out over the open water. Once we watched one from the club house as it
plunged down into Kazi Bay. Since February, however, I have not seen one.
While it is true to say that the osprey seldom breeds here, it is a frequent visitor
on migration. It may be that a greater number than usual came here on the last
Identification should not be difficult to anyone familiar with the fish eagle
(Concuma vocifer). The fish eagle is heavy though very imposing in flight, and the
bold colouring of the adult is conspicuous. The osprey is a smaller bird, more
energetic, quartering a stretch of water with steady swinging flight, and its plunge
into the lake is a swifter and more finished performance. The underparts of the
osprey are light in colour, and in build it is quite different from the fish eagle, for
it is the relative length of its wings which is conspicuous, rather than their great
breadth as in the case of the eagle.
A word as to the distribution of the fish eagle. To one accustomed to this
bird against the background of the Uganda Lakes, its high echoing cry seemed
curiously out of place when heard on Elgon, along the narrow mountain streams
of Sebei. One naturally associated its presence there with that of the trout, with
which these streams are heavily stocked.
I should much like to know whether the arrival of the bird dates only from the
introduction of the trout there, or whether the aquatic life of these streams has
always been sufficient to attract and support a fish eagle population. Or were the
fish eagles I saw and heard there isolated wanderers upstream from Lake Rudolf?
I am Sir, etc,
A. W. Williams.
THE INDIGENOUS TREES OF UGANDA. By W. J. Eggeling B.Sc., Ph.D.,
Entebbe, Government Press, 1940. 10 x 81 inches (royal 6mo); xxii plus 296 pages,
43 photographs, 145 line drawings, 1 map. Foreword by Sir Arthur Hill, Director
of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 15/-.
Dr. Eggeling claims that his monograph, for which he was awarded the
doctorate of philosophy at Edinburgh University, is to be a practical guide to the
forester. This object has been more than adequately fulfilled; the "Indigenous
Trees of Uganda" will be of inestimable value not only to the forester but to all
who take a natural interest in the features, which go to make up the African land-
scape. It does not require a man of science to use this work; there is a glossary
of technical terms used, an index of synonyms and native names of trees, keys to
genera and species, which are simple and complete, and numerous photographs
and line drawings. Dr. Eggeling is too modest about his line drawings, which by
their omission of superfluous detail are of the type most valuable for easy indentifi-
Anybody can with a little trouble identify the trees and shrubs described in
this book. It is essentially a practical guide, and as such of far greater value than
a work, whose arrangement and detail of reference to type species and authorities
might please better the pure botanist and systematist. Such a book has been an
urgent need of the field worker for many years.
Dr. Eggeling gives generous acknowledgement to his publishers, and the
Government Printer may well feel satisfied with the results of his labour. The
printing and producing are quite excellent and compare favourably with many such
works, turned out by the leading printing houses. Every detail has been given
careful attention, even to the inclusion of blank pages for the purpose of recording
notes. Since this book will be a constant companion on safari, it is, however,
unfortunate that insecticidal materials were not used in the binding; but the covers
are of stout material and should prove reasonably resistant to the ravages of insects.
"The Indigenous Trees of Uganda" is essentially a Uganda production. It was
written in Uganda, printed in Uganda and published in Uganda; the Uganda Gov-
ernment too has been generous to Dr. Eggeling in the matter of expense, as shown
by the large numbers of photographs and line drawings, which have been reproduc-
ed. In work of this nature, Uganda has set a lead, of which other territories may
well be envious. For so small a country to have produced such fine works as Dr.
Eggeling's, Captain Pitman's "Snakes of Uganda", Combe's "Geology of South-
West Ankole" and Combe and Simmons' "Volcanic Area of Bufumbira" is a
record of which we may all feel proud,
R. N. F.
Annual Report of Committee, year 1939-40.
War broke out a few days after the last Annual General Meeting.
At that time the Society had just settled into its own premises, and having
attained a record membership, was on the threshold of further advance and
development. In the circumstances of the early months of the war, your com-
mittee decided that an endeavour should be made to consolidate the progress made
in the previous year, and to continue the publication of the Journal and the
lecture meetings on a normal footing for as long as practicable.
An open invitation was issued to Officers and Men of the Kenya Regiment,
while stationed in Kampala, to attend lecture meetings. Copies of the Journal are
being sent to Bombo for the use of the troops.
As is usually the case, some of the officers elected last year were unable to
complete their term of office. Mr. Lee. Honorary Treasurer, and Mr. Shackell,
Honorary Librarian, left on long leave in May. and the war has since deprived the
committee of the services of Dr. Wachsmann. Mr. Hall, assistant treasurer, took
over full charge of our finances from Mr. Lee. Mr. Sebley offered his services as
Librarian in place of Mr. Shackell and was nominated to this office for the rest of
the year. There has again been no paid business manager.
We have continued to employ an African clerk, and a typewriter has been
purchased. A boy has been employed jointly with "All Saints Church" and Toc H
This room has been open on weekdays every morning from 8.30 to 12.30,
and in the evenings (except Saturday and Sunday) from 5.0 to 7.0 p.m. In July
last electric lighting was installed and has greatly increased the usefulness of the
room. Further help has come from Mr. Norman Godinho, who has provided a
committee table and chairs, a bookcase and other tables. We are grateful to him
for this generous assistance.
The finances of the Society are in a most satisfactory state. The Hon.
Treasurer will report in detail in submitting the balance sheet and accounts. The
committee has been fortunate in being presented with regular financial statements
each quarter, a business-like state of affairs which we hope may long continue.
All the Society's old records and correspondence have been sorted out and
filed accessibly for reference. The postal address of the Society remains "Private
Post Bag, Kampala" and all correspondence should be addressed to one or other
of its officers at that address.
Recent legislation affecting the status and finances of the Society has been
given attention-the Trustees Ordinance (1939) and the Income Tax Ordinance.
Incorporation of the Society under the Trustee Ordinance has not been under-
taken. While this step might perhaps add to the prestige of the Society and to
the permanence of its constitution, it would also involve a certain loss of elasticity
not altogether desirable at this early stage of our development.
An application has been made under clause 15 (2) of the draft Income Tax
Ordinance asking that the Society be placed outside the terms of this Ordinance, as
a cultural and educational institution. Correspondence with Government on this
There has been a further increase in membership, and this in spite of the
resignation of some 50 of last year's members. At the end of the year there were
533 ordinary members, 17 student members, 32 institutional members (of which
19 are outside E. Africa), and 20 exchange members, a total of 602 which is the
highest figure we have yet attained.
The ability of the Society to survive the war period, and to recover, will
depend upon the continuance of subscriptions. Some falling off in numbers is
inevitable, but every member who possibly can is asked to renew his subscription,
and when opportunity arises to secure new members. We especially invite more
Asians and Africans to join.
At last a library is taking visible shape. During the year an appeal to
members for books was made, and a Library Fund was opened to which donations
totalling 7.10.0 have been received. An application was made to the Trustees of
the King George V Memorial Fund for an annual grant towards the purchase of
books and the maintenance of a reference library. In response to this appeal an
immediate grant of 300 was made, and the Trustees have informed us that they
will be prepared to consider subsequent contributions of 50 per annum for
development and maintenance of the library.
The generous support of this Fund is a very great encouragement, and brings
within practical reach what has always been one of the aims of the Society-the
establishment in Kampala of a reference library on African subjects, particularly
relating to Uganda.
Books have been presented by several members, by the executors of the late
Captain Maxted and by the Secretariat library. Government has placed the
Society's name on the distribution list for departmental and official publications,
and the library continues to benefit by receiving the periodicals of learned Societies
in exchange for the Uganda Journal. During the year all complete volumes of
such periodicals have been bound, and steps are being taken to secure missing
Should any member wish to dispose of his books on retirement or for any
other reason, he is asked to give the Library first refusal. Two members have
already done this, and we have been able to purchase some 60 worth of important
books in this way.
The cataloguing and housing of the books is being proceeded with and will
soon be completed. It is intended that members resident in or visiting Kampala
should have the use of the library for reference purposes. Notice of the conditions
under which books may be issued on loan to up-country members will be given in
the Journal. Within the limits of what is practicable, the librarian is prepared to
assist members by supplying references and abstracts, and members may have
typed copies made of passages or articles. Application should be made upon all
matters connected wtih the library to the Honorary Librarian at the Society's
A year ago it was hoped that it might be possible to place the printing of the
Journal in the hands of an English Firm, but this is out of the question during
wartime. Meanwhile we are indebted to the Uganda Printing & Publishing
Company for their services continued often in circumstances of considerable
difficulty. We gratefully acknowledge also the help of the Government Printer,
Entebbe, in a consultative capacity.
There has been no shortage of contributions, and the editor has been enabled
to provide four numbers for volume VII. Again he asks for more short articles
and notes-a form of contribution which is invaluable in bringing to light informa-
tion which might otherwise be lost, and of which there must be a great deal in
the possession of our members. Reviews in Volume VII have included notices
of several publications by members. The Editor is always glad to assist would-be
contributors by having drafts and manuscripts typed for them in the Society's office.
Some criticisms of the size and the cover of the Journal have received the
attention of the committee. It has been decided to retain the page size as at
present, but to revert after volume VII to a simple cover resembling that of volume
I. A cumulative index is to be issued after volume VIII and thereafter with
every fourth volume. Publication during wartime is to be reduced to two issues
A decrease has to be recorded in the revenue from advertisements, attribut-
able to the war.
Captain Pitman's book, "A Guide to the Snakes of Uganda" continues to be
in demand. Altogether 172 copies have now been disposed of, out of the 500
printed. This figure does not include sales by our London agents, details of
which have not been received. Favourable notices have appeared in the Scientific
and Medical press during the year.
It has not been possible to obtain a lecturer every month. We are grateful to
those who, in spite of the extra demands and preoccupation of wartime have found
time to lecture. We record gratefully, also, the kindness of the committee of the
Kampala Club in allowing us the use of their Ball Room without charge for lecture
meetings. The following were the lecturers and subjects:
July 19th. 1939.
February 21st. 1940.
The Rev. Clifford H. Smith,
"Shakespearean tragedy and its application to the life of
Professor Van Riet Lowe,
On Uganda Stone Age prehistory-demonstration at
The Rev. Father Hughes,
"Sixty years in Uganda"-an account of the history of the
White Fathers in Uganda.
Mr. N. V. Brasnett,
"Modern Trends in Forestry"-with particular relation to
Uganda. Presidential address.
Mr. A.S. Thomas,
"Garden Making in Uganda".
Captain C. R. S. Pitman,
"Would you believe it?"-an account of some of the
more curious of the birds, fishes, and smaller reptiles and
mammals of Uganda.
Mr. George C. Turner,
"On bringing up children-a bachelor's view".
Dr. K. A. Davies,
"Uganda's Minerals, and the uses to which they are put".
From August 16th to 19th 1939 an exhibition of Uganda Stone Age Prehistory
was given in Kampala, by Mr. E. J. Wayland and Professor van Riet Lowe, under
the auspices of the Society. The exhibition was of outstanding interest and the
Uganda Society was indeed fortunate in being privileged to undertake it. The
exhibition was noticed in the London Daily Telegraph, and a short account appear-
ed in the Journal, Volume VII No. 2.
We record with regret the departure from Uganda of Mr. E. J. Wayland and
Mr. H. B. Thomas, and the death on June 22nd of Mr. G. L. R. Hancock.
UGANDA JOURNAL. 45
Mr. Hancock was an early member of the Society and had served on th.
committee. As a biologist he had wide experience in East Africa, and had much
yet to contribute both to education and to research here. He was the author of a
paper on Cotton Pests in the Journal and had secured and given assistance in
contributions by others.
Mr. Wayland was one of the founders of our forerunner the old Uganda
Literary and Scientific Society in Entebbe, and was responsible with Mr. Twining
for its revival in Kampala in 1933. He was President of the Society in 1934-35,
had lectured many times and contributed a number of papers and notes to the
Journal, and we hope will continue to do so.
The services of Mr. H. B. Thomas were recognized by his election last year as
an Honorary Vice-President. He will be greatly missed for his wise council on
the affairs and constitution of the Society. The editor feels his departure acutely,
for his papers on Uganda history have been among the most valuable and interest-
ing contributions to the Journal. We greatly hope that they will not altogether
cease with his retirement from Uganda.
27th August 1940. A. W. Williams. Honorary Secretary.
VITHALDAS HARIDAS & Co., Limited.
General Managers for
Uganda (Kakira) Sugar Works Limited.
(INCORPORATED IN UGANDA)
KENYA SUGAR LIMITED.
(INCORPORATED IN KENYA)
Nile Industrial & Tobacco Co., Ltd.
(INCORPORATED IN UGANDA)
Sugar, Cigarettes, and Tobacco Manufacturers, Ginners
and Cotton Merchants, Importers and Exporters.
Kakira Sugar Works :-
Holding about 14,000 acres of land mostly under cultivation.
At Mile 8 Jinja-Iganga Road. Employing about 6,000 Africans,
300 Indians, Europeans, Mauritians. About 30 miles of Light Railway.
Water supply to the Factory by means of pumping plant on Lake
Telephone: Kakira Factory 125.
P.O. Box 54, JINJA (UGANDA).
Kenya Sugar Limited-Works and Plantations:-
At Ramisi Estate (Digo District) near Mombasa.
P.O. Box 158, MOMBASA.
Gazi Sisal Estates.
TOBACCO FACTORY at Kakira-(Jinja).
i. Bukoboli 5. Mbulamuti 9. Kabiramaido 13. Chagweri
2. Busowa 6. Kakira o0. Pilitoki 14. Batta
3. Bubinga 7. Kabiaza it. Amaich 15. Jaber
4. Kamuli 8. Butiru 12. Aboki 16. Kalaki
Ruvu and Kiberege.
Other Plantations totalling about 4000
acres Freehold land.
i. Bukoboli 2. Busowa 3. Bukona 4. Bubinga
Uganda Sugar Factorg Ltd.
N \NJI KALIDAS \IEHTA, Esq. I.B.E.
PIONEER SUGAR MANUFACTURERS
& SPIRIT DISTILLERY OWNERS
P.O. Box I.
" -`~~~ ~~ `---~-~ ~I-~---------
THE UGANDA SOCIETY.
Back Numbers of the'Uganda Journal' may be obtained
from the Honorary Librarian at the following prices,
(members are entitled to a reduction of I 5 per cent);
Vol. I No. i. at Shillings 6/-
No. 2. Out of Print.
Vol. II. Nos. x, 2, 3, and 4
at Shillings 5/- each.
All subsequent issues at Shs. 3/-
Vol. I. Out of Print.
Vol. II. Shillings 24/-
Subsequent Volumes Shillings I6/- each.
The Honorary Librarian, The Uganda Society,
Private Post Bag,
Published by the Uganda Society and printed by the Uganda Printinz and Publishing Co., Ltd., Kampala