Troubles around the world, as seen by The Graphic in London in 1867

Morosi's stronghold

Morosi’s stronghold


On May 17, 1879, The Graphic, an illustrated weekly newspaper from London, had its sights on: rascals in Basutoland; supplying horses to the Zulu War; football in Afghanistan; what isn’t cricket; mobs in Manchester; and Don the dog – a badly wounded survivor of Isandlwana.

If you have the time please try the links which clip together the old with stories from more recent press articles. 


BASUTO LAND is a rugged tract of country lying between Natal and the Orange River Free State.  Some trouble has lately been caused in this territory in consequence of Morosi, the Basuto chieftain, taking up a hostile attitude towards the British.  Our engraving (which is from a sketch by  the Rev. W. T. Greive, 1, Golden Square, W.) represents Morosi’s stronghold, taken looking N.N.E.  It is about 6,500 feet above the sea, and 1,100 feet above the Orange River, which flows around its base.  This mount is said to represent Magdala, in Abysinnia, and in European hands would be almost impregnable.  At the time our informant’s sketch was made, there were said to be 500 men on the mount, and numbers of horses, cattle and goats, stowed away in caves.  The enemy showed little during the day, but at night was wont to roll down immense rocks on the besiegers.  Since this drawing was made the colonial forces made an unsuccessful attempt (on April 8th) to carry the stronghold by storm, and lost twenty-three men killed and wounded.  Morosi is the chief of a tribe called Bahuti, a mixture of refugees and ill-doers from other tribes, and is said to be a clever fellow and a great rascal.  He has seventy sons.


Horses arriving in Cape Town

Horses arriving in Cape Town

INDEPENDENT of the ordinary casualties of war, the horse-sickness which apparently prevails throughout the eastern seaboard of South Africa, has cause much inconvenience to our cavalry.  Practically it is really more serious than the tsetse fly, whose ravages are confined within certain well-defined limits, and “salted” horses as they are called – that is, horses which have undergone this malady and have survived – command high prices.  To repair the waste, horses and mules are being brought from all parts of the world.  Our sketches, which otherwise sufficiently explain themselves, represent the shipment of remounts from the Spain, in Table Bay, Cape Colony.


The first game of football in Afghanistan?

The first game of football in Afghanistan?

“THE match in question was played,” writes Mr. J. F. Irwin, of the 59th Regiment, to whom we are indebted for the sketch from which our engraving is executed, “at Khelat-i-Ghilzais, by the 59th Regiment, and was I fancy the first occasion on which the game has ever been attempted in Afghanistan.  Every one turned out to see the fun, and even the native ‘Ghilzais’ sent representatives, who seemed to enjoy the game as well as the music of the band …”

IMG_0918CRICKET.- … At the annual meeting of the M.C.C. the report of the sub-committee, deprecating “gentlemen” receiving any payment beyond their legitimate expenses in playing any match,  was unanimously adopted.  It is to be hoped that this expression of feeling will put a stop to the reprehensible practice which has gained ground of late years of “gentlemen” making a profit out of their play.

IMG_0929The juvenile population of Manchester seem to be of a very bellicose disposition.  On Sunday two bands, each numbering about 500, engaged for some hours in street fights in different parts of the town, to the imminent danger of the passers-by, belts, sticks, stones and other weapons being freely used.  About half-a-dozen of the lads were arrested, and have been sent to prison for varying terms, and a number of warrants have been issued against others of the ringleaders.  The cause of the strife is not stated.

Don - survivor of Isandlwana with two assegai wounds on his back. His British master was killed.

Don – survivor of Isandlwana with two assegai wounds on his back. His British master was killed.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2018

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