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Name: PALMER, Charles

Nationality: Anglo-Indian

First Date: 1892

Profession: Eurasian, IBEA Co. Accounts Dept.; Customs & Shipping Dept 26/6/1895; Appt. direct to EAP Asst. Supt. Customs; wife working for EAP as

Area: Mombasa, Nairobi

Married: Olive 'Dolly' Grey, common law husband

Book Reference: North, Playne, Nicholls, EAHB 1904, Mills Railway

General Information:

North - At the funeral of Capt. F.S. Dugmore Nov 1898 Mombasa; cutting timber for Railway Feb 1901; Mombasa Sept. 1901; Proprietor of the "East Africa & Uganda Mail" with Olive Grey as editor Oct 1899; Common law husband of Dolly Grey; Partner with E.W. Grey in firm of Palmer & Grey, Nairobi 1902; EAM closed and applied for bankruptcy, Mombasa 13/7/1904; declared bankrupt 25/7/1904; 'A most intelligent and active officer' (Cave, FO 107); 'I believe Palmer & Grey are, or rather were, a couple of bad eggs' (Mcregor-Ross, RH)
Playne - Mapumulu Farm - Where the children can go, there the only really permanent settlement can be made. It is pleasant to hear that the district in which Mapumulu Farm lies is most healthy and that children do very well there. The Stanton brothers came from South Africa in 1906, and bought the farm from Mr C. Palmer. It is about 5,000 acres in extent, and about 4 miles from Molo Station. There is plenty of water all over the farm, and the rainfall is about 50 inches per annum. It is 8,500 feet above sea level, very hilly, and an ideal place for sheep. ........... Both Mr H.A. and Mr A.A. Stanton speak hopefully of the future.
Nicholls - the East Africa and Uganda Mail begun by Olive Grey in Mombasa in 1899 but discontinued in 1904. Olive Grey had been Major Grey of the Salvation Army in India, where she wore Indian dress, and then she moved to Australia where she was known as 'Guanapoo'. She lived with a Eurasian, Charles Palmer.
EAHB 1904 - Mombasa & Kilindini Residents - Palmer, C. - Ndia Kuu
Mills Railway - At the beginning of 1901 Ainsworth issued a summons against Charles Palmer, alleging "the indiscriminate cutting and burning of valuable timber tree", although Palmer was operating within the Railway zone and fulfilling a contract with Whitehouse. {Ainsworth lost the case}
Old Africa - 18-11-13 - Christine Nicholls - Olive Grey - Now there appears another man in her life – Charles Palmer, an Anglo-Indian. It is not known if Olive and Charles were married, but they lived together. Charles had arrived in East Africa in February 1892, working for the Imperial East Africa Company customs and shipping department. When the British government took over IBEA he continued to work for the government, as assistant customs collector and deputy governor of Mombasa prison (1898). Apparently he was sacked and we find him cutting timber for the Uganda Railway in 1901. The following year he started up the firm of Palmer & Grey with Ernest Grey, who had returned to India and married again – to Eunice Adelaide Powell, in Bombay, in 1902. Then back came Ernest to East Africa and resumed the surname Griffin; he worked as an auctioneer in Mombasa and he and his wife had a daughter in Mombasa in 1904 – Ethel Gladys. Eventually they were to have six children. Ernest was joined by his father William Griffin in 1905 and brother Sydney Gordon Griffin, who worked for the East Africa Syndicate and lived at Naivasha, in 1904.
Olive and Charles decided to start the first East African weekly newspaper in 1899 in Mombasa – the East Africa and Uganda Mail. It is sometimes said that the Taveta Chronicle was East Africa’s first newspaper, but in fact it was really a parish magazine, produced only intermittently. Olive was the Editor of the East Africa and Uganda Mailand she proved to have an acerbic pen. Some members of the European community took against her – she ‘lives with a black man’, said Frederick Jackson, referring to Palmer’s Anglo-Indian heritage. ‘I believe Palmer & Grey … were a couple of bad eggs’, said McGregor-Ross. While in India in Karachi Olive had dressed as an Indian lady and was known by the name Gaunapoo. Palmer also crossed the powerful Indian businessman A.M. Jeevanjee, becoming a rival for him on a railway oil contract. Olive used the Mail to castigate Jeevanjee, and so provoked him that in 1901 he started his own newspaper, the Standard, which morphed into the East African Standard. The Standard won a case of libel against the Mail, and soon it began to outsell the original newspaper.  Finally, in 1904 the Mailwas declared bankrupt and ceased publication.
See Olive GREY entry
Gazette - 7/4/15 - Liable for Jury service, Nairobi District - C.W. Palmer, East African Standard

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