The Rudd Concession, a written concession for exclusive mining rights in Matabeleland, Mashonaland and other adjoining territories in southern Africa, was granted by King Lobengula of Matabeleland to Charles Rudd (pictured), James Rochfort Maguire and Francis Thompson, three agents acting on behalf of the politician and businessman Cecil Rhodes, on 30 October 1888. The concession conferred on the grantees the sole rights to mine throughout Lobengula’s country, as well as the power to defend this exclusivity by force, in return for weapons and a regular monetary stipend. Despite Lobengula’s retrospective attempts to disavow it on the grounds of alleged deceit by the concessionaires regarding the settled terms, it proved the foundation for the royal charter granted by the United Kingdom to Rhodes’ British South Africa Company in October 1889, and thereafter for the Pioneer Column‘s occupation of Mashonaland in 1890, which marked the beginning of white settlement, administration and development in the country. The Company officially named the territory Rhodesia, after Rhodes, in 1895, and governed it until 1923.
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