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Name: DICK, Andrew 'Trader Dick'

image of individual

Nee: bro of David Dick

Birth Date: 1861 Glasgow

Death Date: 27.11.1895 killed by Maasai in Kedong Valley

Nationality: British

First Date: 1889

Last Date: 1895

Profession: Served with the IBEA Company, conducting trading missions from the Coast into the interior. Once Chief Accountant of the BEA Chartered Co. at Mombasa

Area: Mombasa, Limuru

Book Reference: Gillett, Leys, Best, Hobley, Ainsworth, Genesis, Permanent Way, Boyes, Rainsford, Matson, EAHB 1905, Women 1/96, Hut, North, IBEA, Ansorge, EAHB 1906, Nicholls, EAHB 1904, Chandler, Mills Railway

General Information:

Leys - from the Blue Book - In November 1895 a large caravan consisting of some 1400 Swahilis and Kikuyu was cut up by the Masai in the Kedong Valley............ Nearly all the Swahilis lost their lives but a fair number of the Kikuyu escaped and reported the incident to Mr Gilkison, the officer in charge of Fort Smith. Mr Ainsworth, the Sub-Commissioner .... together with Mr Jackson conducted an inquiry into the matter, at which it was established that the Swahilis were the aggressors, the headman having taken two girls from a Masai kraal. These had been handed back as a result of representations made by the Masai, but a renewed attempt to capture them had been made the following morning before the caravan started on its journey. This attempt was unsuccessful, but a shot was fired in the village which killed a cow, and the Masai attacked the caravan as a retaliatory measure. Mr Andrew Dick, an English trader, who was travelling in the neighbourhood ... attacked the Masai, and succeeded in capturing from them a number of cattle, but he was killed by the Masai in his retreat ... As a result of the inquiry into these two incidents it was held that the Masai had been acting under such provocation that no great punishment was necessary. They had lost a considerable number of men in their encounter with Mr Dick, and the only punishment that it was considered necessary to inflict was the confiscation of the cattle that had been captured from them by Mr Dick, which cattle were paid to the relatives of the Kikuyu who had lost their lives in the massacre as compensation for the loss sustained.  (Leys - The details of the story as given in the Blue Book are not wholly correct. Mr Dick was a charming but troublesome person whose adventures among the Nandi were the cause of the first Nandi 'expedition'. The choir stalls in Mombasa Cathedral are dedicated to his memory.). ........…..  
Best - 650 porters killed - Armed with a Remington, it seems Dick put up a strong fight and killed a great many warriors - estimates vary from 17 to more than 100, probably because no one was counting, before his rifle jammed. For a few desperate minutes thereafter he continued to jab the useless weapon at the advancing morans, until eventually they closed in on him and cut him down.
Hobley - About 1896, a white trader named Dick appeared at Mumias and complained that a herd of cattle which he had sent up in charge of his headman had been looted by the Nandi while crossing the Plateau, and he demanded an inquiry and redress. I carefully examined the members of the escort, and as far as the evidence went it appeared that the cattle had been stampeded at night by lions. The trader was very annoyed at this verdict and left for the coast, at the same time arranging for an employee of his named Peter West to visit the Nandi country and trade for ivory. About ten days later a few survivors of West's party, including an old cook of mine named Paul, staggered into Mumias with gaping spear wounds and reported that the Nandi had attacked their camp at night, spearing the wretched West in his tent, also killinmg most of the porters and looting all his goods. ...........…..   
Ainsworth - (detailed description of Kedong massacre).  
Genesis - story of massacre p. 245-6  
Boyes - Kedong Valley - While out shooting one day in the valley, one of my porters showed me the spot where he said a trader named Dick, with five or six hundred of his men, had been murdered by the Masai. Dick himself had shot 17 of his assailants before he was killed. I went to examine the ground, and found it covered with so large a number of skulls and bones that I was inclined to think that the boy had used less than the usual native amount of exaggeration in telling the story.
Rainsford - another version of Trader Dick's death - substantially as above. Says Dick's grave is on the hill nearby ?  
Matson - Peter West was in partnership with Andrew Dick who was establishing a chain of stores and transport posts from the coast to Lake Victoria. West's past history was typical of that of many other pioneer traders. A very poor account was given of his conduct in SA, where it was said he was 'always drunk and was expelled from the Cape Mounted Rifles for gun running.' In July 1893 he was cutting 'boriti' poles for export at Chuyu, in the coastal district of Shimoni, and 2 years later D.J. Wilson reported that 'Shimoni is almost deserted owing, I hear, to Mr West's extraordinary conduct.' After joining Dick, West established a store at Nzoi in Ukambani without reference to Ainsworth or Mombasa, an act which Ainsworth regarded as 'part of Dick's general policy of antagonism to the Company's authority.' From Nzoi West took a caravan of contract goods to  Mumias where he did local transport work for Hobley.  
EAHB 1905 - IBEA Co. General Africa Staff - appointed 10th October 1889.  
Women 1/96 - Article by Enid Dawson - Andrew Dick came to BEA in 1888 to be Chief Accountant at Mombasa for the IBEA Co. with whom he worked for 2 years. He was a tough, courageous and adventurous man and in 1890 he started off on his own as a trader using the old caravan routes into the hinterland. His bravery became legendary and the Smith Mackenzie records state that he was 'regarded as one of the most fearless men who ever marched between the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria'. In 1894 Smith Mackenzie embarked on a joint venture with Andrew Dick trading through EA. As a result of Andrew Dick's interest in the country his brother-in-law bought land as soon as it was available in 1903. This land was on the Kinangop and by 1906 Andrew Dick's nephew, John Dawson, had arrived to develop the four farms that comprised Kenton Estates: Fortuna, Heddon, Kijabe Hill and Karati (or Kenton Farm), but the 1914 war saw John Dawson enlisting in the EAMR and he was killed in the ambush at Seki Waterhole. John's brother then came out from Scotland in 1920, closely followed by his wife and 2 children with another child appearing some years later on. Of this family the middle boy, John Alexander Dawson (better known as 'Jock') is still in Kenya with grandchildren here making the Fifth generation of the family in the country. This is possibly the European family with the longest record in Kenya.
North - IBEA Co. Accountant; Zanzibar 1/12/1890; Resigned from IBEA Co. to become independent trader 8/12/1890; Mombasa June 1893; Dep. Machakos for Uganda 26/27/7/1894; Mombasa at Jan 1895; Dep. Kikuyu for Lake Rudolf 26/11/1895 - 'At the time of his death he was in an absolute state of bankruptcy' (F.J. Jackson FO 2)
IBEA Co. - Nominal List of British Born Subjects resident in IBEA Territories within the Sultans Domain, 30 April 1891 - Andrew Dick, Scotland, Asst. Administrator
Ansorge - ….. A trader, Mr Dick, was on his way up-country. A French scientific mission, also on its way to Uganda, arriving at the Fort, two of their number, military men, volunteered to recall Dick. [after the Kedong massacre of 1895] They found him; but instead of persuading him to return with them to the security of the Fort, he persuaded them to accompany him across the Kedong. What were the motives which prompted the trader, no one will ever know. According to some, he wanted to pay out the Masai for the horrible and wholesale butchery they had just perpetrated; according to others, he thought it a good pretext for capturing their valuable herds. He did seize a lot of cattle; for several hundred head were brought in by the Frenchmen to the Fort. I met these gentlemen a few weeks later in Uganda and, as I knew Dick personally, gathered from them some particulars of the fight. They told me that Dick fought most fearlessly and bravely and, being an excellent shot, dropped one Masai after another. He went to pick up the shield and spear of a Masai he had just slain, when the enemy made a desperate rush, and at a critical moment Dick's rifle jammed. He turned round to his men to get another, when a Masai rushed forward and speared him through the back, killing him on the spot. The Frenchmen killed Dick's assailant, but fighting against overwhelming odds, they were compelled to retreat to the Fort. In a couple of days they returned to the scene of the fight in order to bury Dick. They found the body stripped naked, and buried it on the Kedong escarpment. They erected a wooden cross over the grave, which I saw still standing when I last journeyed that way. The inscription simply states, that the cross was erected by his comrades in arms to the memory of the deceased, slain by the Masai. One of these two Frenchmen has died since; he suffered from fever on his way down the Congo; broken in health he reached Paris, and died. Poor Dick! I felt sorry for him. He was a most energetic and resolute man, so that the Swahilies had dubbed him "Simba uleia," which means "the lion of Europe." He was too independent a man to get on well with everybody. I was able to render him a slight service, when he was down with fever; and as I declined to accept payment, he sent all his men, 200 of them, to work for a couple of days at the place which I was then having cleared for the erection of some Government buildings.
Nicholls - 1896 - Dick was a 34 year-old Scotsman well known in his youth as an athlete - he had been one of the founders of the Clydesdale Harriers and a leading spirit in the formation of the Scottish Harriers' Union. He had been seen off at Glasgow railway station in 1889 by 600 people waving him farewell as he departed for a new job with IBEAC in Mombasa. After a period as an accountant in the Company's service he resigned and began trading in the interior on his own account.
North - Resigned ('discharged', Portal, FO84) to become independent trader, 3 months notice 8/12/1890; 'A great loss to the Company' (Sir Francis de Winton, Mackinnon Papers); Many errors found in Company accounts, Dick's account in debit for 1728 Rs. June 1891; arrested at Mombasa for not handing over a slave boy taken from the Scottish Mission at Kibwezi 8/7/1892.
Mills Railway - a private caravan operator named Andrew Dick was in camp {at Fort Smith}. Dick had joined the IBEA Company as chief accountant in October 1889, but did not last long with them, possibly because he was extremely short-tempered, although very popular with the porters when he went into the caravan business, with a man named Peter West. .….….….…..
It is probable that Dick was buried in one of the unmarked graves in Fort Smith cemetery, but he has a memorial in the Cathedral at Mombasa, where several pews were installed in his memory by PRD whose identity has not been traced.
Mombasa Cathedral plaque: :these stalls / were erected by / P.R.D. / in memory of / Andrew Dick / killed by Masai / 1895

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