A letter about the Boer War from Timothy Morgan Owen to W.E.H. Lecky

10th April 1901

Dear Sir,

You are doubtless
aware that I have been invited as
a graduate of
the University of
Dublin to join in a Banquet
to be given in honour of Lord
Roberts & to help forward a
Presentation to him.
I beg leave, therefore, to
state that I am unable to do
so, because Lord Roberts
came back home before
finishing the work he was sent
out to South Africa to do.
His magnificent successes
& his brilliant marches
have been made – more or less –
obliterated by his mistaken
views of the Boers. It would
seem that he was of the
opinion that his conciliatory presence & his benign
treatment of these people
would, peradventure,
inoculate them with a species
of his own splendid disposition.

Hence, forgetful of the fact
that the Boers naturally indulge
in acts of remorseless savagery
& lack cunning & devouring

cupidity (vide Livingstone’s letter plus
our own experiences at Majuba
Hill & elsewhere), he allowed
those who have since fought
against us again & again
to return to their homes.
Certain it is, that some
un-wonted influence attuned the
ears of our Government to
listen to expressions of
flabby sentimentality uttered by shoddy Britons
& caused its Members to indulge
in futile attempts to “treat” with the enemy.
“Treat” with the enemy,
forsooth! It will be
time enough to “treat” with
them when – with unthwarted
courage & determination – we have
thrust them into their proper
I could not, (while the blood of
massacred natives & treacherously
slain white people cry aloud
for vengeance) sit at a
Banquet where their ghosts
would not yield to the cry:-
Avaunt! & quit my sight.
I am
Dear Sir,
  Yours sincerely
    T. Morgan Owen

The Right Hon.
W.E.H. Lecky, M.P.