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Papers of Charles Richard M. O'Brien

 Single Item
Micr. Afr. 431

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Copies of letters, in diary form, 1900-1902, including regimental experiences, South African War, January-June 1900, as President of the Military Tribunal in Johannesburg, June 1900-April 1901, the Johannesburg Civil Police, May 1901- May 1902; with illustrations, photographs and press cuttings.


  • 1900-1902


1 item

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. Micr. Afr. 431].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


Micr. Afr. 431

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 3521

Biographical / Historical

Sir Charles Richard Mackey O'Brien (1859-1935) was educated at Felsted and Sandhurst. In 1878 he joined the 30th Cambridgeshire Regt. as 2nd Lieut., rising to the rank of brevet Lieut.-Colonel in 1902, serving in the South African War, 1899-1902 with the East Lancashire Regiment and as President of the Military Tribunal, Johannesburg. He was Deputy Commissioner of the Transvaal Town Police, 1901-1908, Acting Commissioner of Police, 1903-1907 and during the strike on the Witwatersrand. He served as Colonial Secretary, Gambia, 1910-1912 and Acting Governor, 1910-1912. He was Governor, Seychelles, 1912-1918, Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Barbados, 1918-1925, and Special Government Commissioner, Sierra Leone, 1926. From 1929-1930 he was a member of the Colonial Films Committee. Awarded the KCMG in 1920, he was married twice, to Christina Mary Harrison, 1884-1899, with whom he had two sons and one daughter, and to Selina Beatrice Elphinstone from 1902, with whom he had two daughters.

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. 747 in Manuscript Collections of Africana in Rhodes House Library Oxford, by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1968).

Existence and Location of Copies

Original papers were retained by Lady O'Brien.

Related Materials

Correspondence with the Colonial Office relating to appointment as a Special Commissioner in Sierra Leone, to inquire into the affairs of the Freetown City Council; with published report and issues of local newspapers, 1926-1927 (MSS. Afr. s. 1977).


  • The Rand at war 1899-1902. the Witwatersrand and the Anglo-Boer war, by Diana Cammack (London, James Currey, 1990).
Papers of Charles Richard M. O'Brien
Paul Davidson
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom