Book Description

John Robert Dunn (1834-1895) a South African settler, hunter, and diplomat of Scottish dissent his love of hunting took him regularly into Zululand. An influential man in the area, Dunn became a close and respected friend of the Zulu chief Cetshwayo being given tracts of land in Zululand and having a number of Zulu wives. The diary begins with the party leaving Falmouth on March the 12th. They sight Table Mountain on 13th April There are various observations and episodes of the journey including shooting Porpoises Albatrosses etc. They meet with a Captain Watson 11th regiment who is planning to come up to Dunns country with them, “a great bore but cannot be helped, I fear we shall be to many guns on the ground”. The party leave Durban on the 29th receiving a letter from Captain Walmesley the government agent that he would join the party at the Tugela river on the 4th. There are various references to equipping out the expedition getting guns’ powder, wagons etc. “Setting out on the 6th May and crossing the Tugela river and leaving our horses on the Natal side as the river is running to fast JD is waiting to greet us and welcomes us to Zululand. Dunn reflects on how the land abounded with game 15 years ago and tells us the best shooting will be at the end. We spend time in the area shooting Buck plains game etc. We meet our first Zulus on the 24th “a primitive people”. On the 26th we leave for new Buck country, Dunn goes to his place some 27 miles away and to see Ketowayo (Cetshwayo).” There are various encounters with Zulus recorded including a visit to a Kraal and how Kaffir hospitality is very poor. On Saturday 4th June we cross the Umbelozi (Umfolozi). Much shooting of Koodoo waterbuck Wilde beast Gunu etc recorded. A typical entry Fri 10th after Rhino walking through bush an old Rhino jumps up fire 4 barrels at 15 yds., but she goes off. On the 15th I shot my first Rhino” shot him in the chest at 150 yds. he drops dead “also shot a Klepspringer possibly the smallest and largest beasts we are likely to get. A great deal of shooting for seacows (Hippos). We cross the Nyalazi on the 23rd the next day we watch the Zulus hunt and hear about a Dutchman 6 miles away who is expected to die of fever. There is a party of Dutch hunters who had spoiled our hunting on the Umfolozi. Various hunting episodes taking place, we pass Baldwin’s camp where only 2 out of his party of 7 survived “but the climate has altered since”, (In 1860 Baldwin’s 1st safari after Hippo, 8 of his 10 white companions died of Malaria). From now on there is a great deal of hunting recorded and observation a large number of Rhinos being shot and numerous plains game. It is remarkable how many animals were wounded or badly shot and not retrieved. Many near misses for the guns and their kaffir boys being charged by rhino’s. On the 16th we move camp I saw W nearly a mile off, he arrived covered in blood after shooting a lion and thinking it was dead he advanced and was attacked by the lion. The following day I go off with D where the lion was. D shot at a lion and I give it a barrel Dunn shouted at us not to run in, the lion was from yesterday it was hit 3 times by W the lion was skinned and the meat eaten by the kaffirs. Sunday 30th I chase on horseback 2 rhinos shot both 1 dropping like a rabbit, F shots 5 in 1 day. The diary continues in the same vein hunting every day. On Saturday the 12th August we move camp Esmonde slept out that night. Here the diary ends with “I shall not keep this diary any more tho we expect another month & some fun with sea cow.” At the end of the volume is a 10-page game register giving the game shot by each member of the party. And a total breakdown of the head shot overall, which include 27 Rhinos 39 hippos 67 Gnu . Reading the diary, you become aware that a great deal of game was wounded and not picked, including many Rhinos I am assuming these are not recorded in the register. An important and early hunting diary particularly being in Zululand with John Dunn. Dunn in the late 1850s strove to bring peace between Cetshwayo and his half-brother Mbuyazis the carnage was horrific and it lived with Dunn for the rest of his life. Cetshwayo becoming King at his father’s death in 1872. After this Dunn became possible the second most powerful man in Zululand becoming Cetshwayo advisor and confident.
Author .
Condition The diary consists of 126 full manuscript pages + a 10-page game register. Clearly written in ink with date shown in most cases. Spelling of names may differ to today’s equivalent i.e. Hippopotamuse

Price: £3400.00

Offered by Hereward Books

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