'Logan's Golden Age': Cricket, Politics and Empire, South Africa 1888-1910

  • Dean Allen

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Cecil John Rhodes is on record as saying he had only met two creators in South Africa, one being himself and the other James Douglas Logan. The orchestrator of the 190I South African cricket tour to England, J.D. Logan was born in Reston, Scotland on November 26, 1857. The son of a Borders Railwayman, Logan had emigrated to South Africa where, with an entrepreneurial mind, he quickly made his fortune within South Africa's burgeoning colonial society. Affectionately referred to by the South African press as the 'Laird of Matjiesfontein', after the small Karoo town he had developed, Logan's deep affection for cricket undoubtedly helped to popularise the game in South Africa. An important figure culturally as well as politically, Logan's life and contribution to the game is the focus ofthis socio-historical study. In order to explore the processes and events that shaped South African cricket between 1888 and 1910, a wealth of original data was collected from archives in the United Kingdom and South Africa predominantly. A range of secondary sources were also used. The study examines the links between the development of the 'empire game' in South Africa and the social and political environment of the time, with particular reference to the role of James Logan. In many respects, Logan's involvement in politics and the early cricket tours reflected wider processes at work in South Africa's colonial society. This pugnacious Scotsman epitomised the process of cultural imperialism forged between Britain and Her far-flung colonies. His is a story of sport, politics and opportunity and is a distinctive contribution to any history of cricket and colonialism in late nineteenth century South Africa.
Date of Award2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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