Jagger House

Student Assistants:
Mzi Mangi 
Cuan Junkin


Click here for the Jagger House Boarding Information Booklet


History of Jagger House

Jagger House is so named to commemorate John William Jagger who generously provided for a bequest of ten thousand pounds to Kingswood in his will.

This House, completed in September 1904, was constructed to relieve the boarding pressure that suddenly and unexpectedly built up during the years of conflict of the Anglo-Boer War. When it started there were 51 Boarders in the School. By April 1902 there were 97. School House was designed for only 80. It, however, remained unnamed for 30 years. The exciting boarder "gains" turned to boarder "losses" as the post war depression set in, and before it was completed, the need for the House vanished.

Jagger's bequest could not have arrived at a better time in the College's history. Three years previously W.H.S. - known then as Walton High School for Girls - had closed down due to the depression. At the time it was feared that Kingswood would follow suit as the College was over twenty thousand pounds in debt. One can easily understand how welcome this bequest was to the College Council.

Kingswood came to be included in the Jagger Will through the good offices of Col George Morris (1895). He was a scholar here in the "Tin University" days (1894 to 1896) and he captained the 1st X1 and played for the 1st Rugby XV. He was included in the Albany Cup winning teams of 1895 and 1896, and also represented the Grahamstown and District XV against the British Isles team that made the first rugby tour of South Africa.

John William Jagger was born in Yorkshire in 1859, educated at a Grammar School and came to the Cape in 1880. Three years later he founded the firm that bore his name and which soon grew to be one of the largest wholesalers in the land. He was a keen student of economics and rose to become the mouthpiece of commerce. 1903 saw him elected to the Cape Parliament. Later he took part in the National Convention that resulted in the Union of the four provinces into one country. In 1921 he became Minister of Railways in the Smuts Government of the day. Throughout his life he gave liberally to the cause of education and, as at Kingswood, the Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town commemorates the memory of this generous man. He died in 1930.

The fourth structure that was built at Kingswood has had a varied history. It has housed students before there was a men's residence at Rhodes. Probationers in training for the Wesleyan Methodist Ministry spent their College days here. It was also the first boarding house of Kingswood Prep with a warden in charge called Rev James Robb - father of Muriel who for 30 years was the Headmaster's Secretary.

This independent Hostel, run by James Robb, L.B. Dold and Restall Stocks, was eventually taken over by the Council in 1919 with Mr and Mrs A.T. Williamson in control after Robb resigned. In 1929 - a year after he had played on the wing for the Springboks against the All Blacks - Jack Slater and his wife, Rene, took over. At the end of 1934 the preparatory boarding establishment moved to Jacques House, and the College Council formally named this "Jagger House" and put Captain and Mrs C.O. Rich in charge. Finally, it is of interest to note that Captain Rich, Jack Slater and Charles Dacam, who with Esther his wife, took over Jagger when Captain Rich was promoted, all became Headmasters of Kingswood - in that order.

H.F. KIRKBY Note: The information on J.W. Jagger was culled from the "Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa" by Eric Rosenthal. All other information from College Magazines and Council Minutes.


Jagger House 1948

............AND NOW

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