British South Africa Company, a corporation founded in 1889, with a royal charter, by Cecil Rhodes and others, for the purpose of controlling, settling, administering, and opening up by railways and telegraphs, etc. certain territories in Central South Africa. Mashonaland was first settled, and, in 1893, Matabeleland was annexed and settled after the defeat of King Lobengula. In 1895, North Zambezia, in British Central Africa, was added, as well as a strip of territory in the Bechuanaland Protectorate. This territory has been called Rhodesia, or British Zambezia; area, about 500,000 square miles. In consequence of the filibustering raid of Dr. Jameson, an officer of the company, near the close of 1895, Rhodes resigned his connection with the company in 1896, and a joint administrator of the territory was appointed by the British Crown. See RHODESIA.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.