Stuart Watt, Part II

Stuart Watt, Part II

A very interesting book has just been published, telling the story of the coming of Goans to East Africa. Many of you will remember Goan clerks, but how did the group obtain a monopoly of such positions, and what else did they do? The answers lie in A Railway Runs Through: Goans of British East Africa, 1865-1980, by Selma Carvalho. Matador, 2014, £10. Available from:  email: books@troubador.co.uk This month we discover the fate of the missionary Stuart Watt, whom I discussed last month. The Fate of Missionary Watt and his Children In April I described the life of the missionary Stuart Watt in Kenya, wondering how he could put his family into such danger in the 1890s. Watt attempted to sell his Ngelani farm in 1903 in Rochdale, but seems to have failed because the family returned to Kenya in November 1904. By now he seems to have been more of a land speculator than a missionary, for he also took up 1,000 acres on the Lukenya side of the Mua hills. He had been granted a certificate of occupation by John Ainsworth in 1898 and he managed to convert this into a freehold title in 1905 (Kenya Land Commission evidence). In 1908 ‘owing to failing health and the necessity of providing a home for their family, most of whom are at school, Mr and Mrs Watt have been obliged to give up their work in Africa,’ reported the Advertiser of East Africa on 24 April. Watt sold 1,000 acres to Northrup McMillan for £1,300, even though no improvements had been made to the land, and Lord Delamere bought the fruit farm, which...