- Counter-Currents - https://counter-currents.com -

The Shadow of Lionel Terry, Part 3

[1]3,275 words

Part 3 of 4

An Appraisal

While Terry wrote numerous poems, and a play, The Making of a Madman,[1] his only published work, in both prose and verse, was The Shadow. Because the shooting of Joe Kum Yung has overshadowed all else about Terry, his cogent analysis of imperialism and capitalism expressed in The Shadow is little known.

For the Left, Terry’s arguments are beyond the pale because of his exposure of multiculturalism and immigration as important ingredients of what is today known as globalization.

It can be seen from The Shadow that Terry’s opinions were formed primarily by two first-hand experiences:

  1. Terry’s participation in the infamous Jameson Raid against the Transvaal
  2. Terry’s involvement with the Miners’ Protection Union in British Columbia at a time when Asiatic immigration was a major issue that threatened secession

When he joined the abortive Jameson Raid, Terry had clearly been an enthusiastic British imperialist, believing in the world mission of the Empire, an attitude common among such English gentlemen. His sojourn in South Africa had alerted him to the monopolistic forces whose financial hegemony had been imposed over much of the world with the prestige of the British Crown and the blood of British soldiers. Terry’s play, The Making of a Madman alludes to a conversation the young soldier had with two older comrades, in which it is remarked by one of the elders that Britain had not been a true monarchy since the execution of King Charles followed by the assumption of Cromwell,[2] the power behind the throne being “Plutocracy, directed by the Jews.”[3]

When Terry wrote The Shadow, he was a staunch defender of the Empire, but as an expression of the interests of the “British race,” and not those of corrupt rulers, princes, bishops, lawyers, politicians, and capitalists who were serving interests that were far from “British.” It was the “labouring classes” that constituted the “very life of the Empire; without them the British Empire becomes non-existent.” Terry saw the presence of “alien races” within the Empire, which were being used by capitalist interests, as the primary threat to British interests within the Empire as. Alien races would subvert British culture, manners, and morals, undermine the concept of patriotism which is based on kinship, and act as the “chief cause of the poverty, crime and general degeneracy existing throughout the Empire.”

The British Empire, because of its multiracial character was violating the “laws of Nature,” the result being “death.” The task of saving the Empire fell upon the laboring classes, since the ruling classes are in the pay of alien finance, and have “leagued themselves with the forces of Mammon, for the protection of the alien – the slaughter of the Empire.” The “Government of the British Empire is Jew-ridden and corrupt.”[4]

Of this contention, Terry applied his observations from South Africa. He stated that members of the House of Rothschild have been for many years the private advisers to the British Cabinet and that,

. . . The De Beers Diamond Mines Robbery, the Jameson Filibustering Expedition, the Boer War, and the now pending importation of Chinese labour into South Africa, are all attributable to the secret instigation of the Rothschilds, who are deeply interested in South African mining and land securities.[5]

The British Empire was operating as a “colossal’ commercial enterprise using “fraud, robbery and murder.”

The power of the company is unlimited – its chief forces include the British Army, British Navy, and the British Parliament, all of which, being supported and paid by the labouring classes, supply their services free of cost to the company.[6]

What are the verifiable historical circumstances behind Terry’s claims?

Historian Thomas Pakenham argued that both the Boer Wars and the Jameson Raid were ultimately the responsibility of the London branch of the Rothschild dynasty. He based his claim on the records of Eckstein Company, a Rand subsidiary controlled by Alfred Beit, and the diary and letters of Lord Alfred Milner, British High Commissioner for South Africa.

In 1886 Barney Barnato, originating from London’s East End, joined his South African mining enterprise with that of Cecil Rhodes in running the DeBeers mining empire, which controlled 90 percent of the world’s diamonds. Alfred Beit, head of Wernher, Beit & Co., also joined with Cecil Rhodes, all of these being backed by Lord Rothschild, who was Rhodes’ personal banker. These were the “secret allies” of Alfred Milner, as Pakenham puts it.[7]

American historian Carroll Quigley states that the influence of the “Rhodes-Milner Group” over British imperial affairs and foreign policy, “although not widely recognized, can hardly be exaggerated.”[8]

With financial support from Lord Rothschild and Alfred Beit [Rhodes] was able to monopolize the diamond mines of South Africa as De Beers Consolidated Mines and to build up a great gold mining enterprise as Consolidated Gold Fields.[9]

In 1895 Rhodes et al. sought to overthrow the Transvaal Republic “by an uprising in Johannesburg, financed by himself and Beit, followed by an invasion of the Transvaal by a force led by Jameson. When the Johannesburg uprising fizzled, Jameson went ahead with his abortive expedition anyway, and his 500 followers were easily captured by the Boers.”[10]

This was the expedition in which Terry participated.

Using the grievances of Uitlanders (Outlanders), the non-Afrikaner fortune hunters with no loyalty to the Boer republics, the controlled British press whipped up war hysteria. Meanwhile, Wernher, Beit & Co. was covertly funding an Uitlander army that grew to 10,000. Pakenham notes, “The gold-bugs, contrary to the accepted view of later historians, were thus active partners with Milner in the making of the war.”[11]

As embarrassing as it now is for the Left, the support for the Afrikaners came from the labor movement. Justice, the newspaper of the Social Democratic Federation of H. M. Hyndman stated in 1896 that, “Beit, Barnato and their fellow-Jews [aimed for] an Anglo-Hebraic Empire in Africa stretching from Egypt to Cape Colony.” Since 1890, the Social Democratic Federation frequently exposed what it termed the influence of the “capitalist Jews on the London press,” and when the Anglo-Boer War broke out in 1899, Justice stated that the “Semitic lords of the press” had propagandized Britain into a “criminal war of aggression.”[12]

No member of the House of Commons spoke out more vigorously against the war than John Burns, Labour MP for Battersea, an ex-member of the Social Democrats, who stated in the House in 1900 that, “Wherever we examine, there is the financial Jew operating, directing, inspiring the agencies that have led to this war.” [13]

So Terry, far from expressing a paranoid delusion, was in line with the views of the labor movement in regard to the forces behind the Anglo-Boer War, and is also in accord with the latest scholarship on the subject.

The other seminal influence on Terry was his experience in British Columbia as secretary of the Miners’ Protection Union. Here the Chinese problem was the most acute in Canada.

Terry stated that Canada was particularly conducive “for the production of a healthy and vigorous white population, and her resources can only be described as magnificent.”[14] However, Canada’s politics was rotten; the corruption second only to that of the USA.

Terry referred to the “lock-out of British workmen who were kept on the verge of starvation throughout a whole bitter Canadian winter in order to compel them to work for Chinaman’s wages.” He referred to the “poor Scottish coal-miners who were enticed by false pretences to emigrate to British Columbia by the then Premier of that province, and who, when they discovered the cruel trick that had been practiced upon them, with true British pluck had preferred to wander penniless into a foreign country rather than work with Chinamen for wages upon which they could barely exist.”

He referred to the Frazer River Fisheries dispute, “in which the military authorities were prevailed upon by a capitalist-worshipping provincial government to protect the cherished alien from the white man driven desperate.” Now instead of “a sturdy, healthy colony of white fishermen . . . there exists on the banks of the Frazer River a vast conglomeration of dark, dirty hovels, haunted by the outcast of Asia.”[15]

While it is easy today for bourgeois liberals and champagne-socialists to pontificate about the “insane racist murderer,” Terry had seen much that had driven him to desperation as to the plight of the British workers, stating that “it becomes almost impossible to write dispassionately of such monstrous outrages” that were depriving the British worker of his “livelihood and birthright.”[16]

His answer to the predicament was “revolution.” Although the Dominion Government had called a Royal Commission into the racial situation in British Columbia, Canadian Premier Sir Wilfred Laurier had stated that whatever the findings of the Commission, there would be no restrictions on Japanese, as this would conflict with British imperial policy.[17] Several years after Terry’s departure the situation did indeed reach revolutionary proportions, with the threat of British Columbia seceding.

Coolie labor had been brought to British Columbia by coal mining and railroad magnate Robert Dunsmuir, the coolies working for wages 75 percent lower than that of whites. Efforts at legislation restricting Asiatic immigration had little effect here as elsewhere around the world, because the Imperial Government would not allow immigration policies based on race, and stop-gap measures had to be undertaken in the form of poll taxes and literacy tests.

When Terry arrived in BC and assumed his role a union secretary, Asiatic immigration was particularly high. The lines of “class struggle” were demarcated between Big Business and the labor unions and small business, the Victoria Labor Congress declaring that coolie labor would retard the progress of Canada, but that if a decent wage was paid it would attract European settlers who could build their homes and raise their families to form a stable and prosperous community.

Terry had left BC before the formation of the Asiatic Exclusion League in 1907 by unions and small businessmen. By that time, Asians had replaced most of the white workers in the mills. On September 7, 1907 the Asiatic Exclusion League called a “Stand Up for White Canada” march through Vancouver, attracting 30,000 along the way to the City Hall. With such popular sentiment, there was fear that British Columbia would secede from Canada unless effective measures were enacted to restrict Asian immigration.

Mackenzie King, a future Prime Minister, who had visited BC to report back to the Government, and who had noted that the Chinese were demanding $650,000 in reparations for property destroyed in race riots, including that of seven factories manufacturing opium, recommended immigration restrictions. With a change of Government, a law was enacted in 1910 to prevent Asian immigration into Canada, and stood until 1970.[18]

Terry noted the same situation in South Africa, regarding which British Colonial Secretary Lyttelton had stated in reply to protests from New Zealand and Australian Governments, that there would be no interference in the importation of coolie labor by mining interests on the Transvaal.[19] When the Transvaal mine owners submitted their plan to bring in coolie labor, New Zealand’s iconic statesman, Premier Richard Seddon was the first of the Dominion leaders to protest to Britain, and was joined by British labor leaders. Seddon cabled the other self-governing Colonies, and repeated his views at a speech on the West Coast (South Island of New Zealand):

If as a result of the Transvaal being brought under the British flag, hordes of Chinese were to be introduce to work into the Rand mines, it would be a standing blot and a grave reflection of the administration and would be bitterly resented by the self-governing Colonies who had made great sacrifices [in the Anglo-Boer wars].[20]

In 1904, the year Terry had published The Shadow, both Houses of Government in New Zealand passed resolutions deeply regretting “the introduction of Chinese labour into he Transvaal without the expressed and direct sanction of the whit population by vote having first been obtained.” By this time, 20,000 Chinese were working on the Rand.

Terry concluded his “Introduction” to The Shadow with an indictment of capitalism, with its worship of Mammon. In the governing circles of the British Empire, “God is Gold.” Capitalist interests are protected by imperial troops, with the “labouring classes” as their cannon fodder. A “merciless” “commercial warfare” was taking place throughout the white world, where men, women, and children are being slowly tortured to death by “a universal sweat shop system.”

It is a thousand times more merciful to kill a man by stabbing him with a knife, or shooting him with a gun, than to kill his spirit, to crush out every spark of hope that is in him, and to render him a mere soulless, aimless derelict, with no feeling save one of burning hatred against his murderers’ with no home but slums, and with no object in life save drink or crime. Yet this is the effect of the sweat shop system.[21]

However, it was the “labouring class” who propped up the whole system, and by reducing them to penury “the foolish disciples of Mammon” were destroying their own edifice.[22]

Terry warned that the Chinese and Japanese had a desire for rule, and alluded to the Chinese and Japanese millionaires “springing up within the British Empire,” creating a situation in which “thousands of British-born people are dependent upon the alien for their daily bread.”[23] He warned that the old Chinese Empire did not only conquer by sword and spear, but

At times its people would be commanded by the Emperor to enter peacefully the land of their enemies and to bow down to them and to become their slaves, tilling the soil and tending their sheep and oxen, building them great temples and places wherein they might dwell in great comfort. And in due time the people of that country, having violated the laws of Nature by neglecting and abusing the functions bestowed upon them by Nature, became weakened by luxury and idleness and by the vice and crime which are the offspring of luxury and idleness, so that their men became weak as women and their land became a portion of the mighty Chinese Empire.[24]

How restrained Terry’s warning now seems. Further comment on the prescience of that prophecy would be superfluous.

The second part of The Shadow comprises a lengthy poem, tracing the history of the British Empire from its birth in majesty to its rot under the control of Mammon; where once none dared cross the Briton without honor being swiftly pursued by the imperial fleet. But now the Empire stood depraved:

Britain! Glance backward through the mists of time!
Glance backward through the blackened clouds of crime!
Dost see thy people – happy, strong and free –
Rejoicing o’er thy glorious victory?

Where once Britons stood strong whether in “noble hall” or “cottage small,” whether dancing in merriment to some remnant of pagan festival or ringing the toll of the Church bell. But now,

O shame! O bitter shame!
The noble hall doth boast an alien lord.
Thy sons are dead, or outcast of the earth;
The land they loved, the land that gave them birth,
Unconquered by the sword,
Hath yielded, shameless, to the foeman’s gold!

The second part of the poem is entitled “AD 2000: A Condemnation and a Prophecy.” Now Britain’s name would be a warning through the ages “for a mighty future race” of how an Empire declined and died; from the glory of a noble and robust race, which

. . . didst take upon thyself the Brand of Cain
To satiate a horde of grasping gluttons.

Interestingly, Terry next condemns the Empire for having come into “heathen lands” to preach Christianity behind the façade of which stood avarice, and the exploitation of “children of nature, chivalrous and bold.”

Because they were black thou didst assume
Thyself superior, entitled to condemn them;
Because they trusted thee thou didst presume
To look on them as fools, and scheme to rob them.

It is therefore typically simplistic for our contemporary Left and liberals to condemn Terry in righteous indignation as but nothing but a crazy “white supremacist” (sic), using contemporary terminology that means nothing in a historical context. Nonetheless, Terry’s view that the gospel was preached as a prelude to colonial exploitation is still largely held by the Left, the crucial difference being that Terry had a real insight into the nature of capitalism and imperialism, contra Marxists and liberals:

And thou at length dist set abroad the news:
The gospel had been preached, the savage tamed.
Then all the pest-holes of the earth did vomit Jews,
Their base and treach’rous minds with greed inflamed!

And the foreign monopolists, the Beits, Sassoons, Lord Rothschild, et al. swore “allegiance unto thee” – the Monarch – “And in thy name went forth to cheat and steal.” Hence, under the flag of Britain, in the name of the Monarch, and with the protection of the British army and Fleet, these new “Britons” amassed “great wealth” and contrived

To gain possession of the land by stealth
Yea, thou didst prosper in thy base conception
To cheat the innocent and bond the free . . .

Those who had trusted the honor of the Empire, “poor fools,” ended under an “iron rod,” their land “turned into a hell,” sealed to “thy own great golden gold.”

The final part of the poem, “To The King: An Exhortation,” addresses in respectful tones a King whom Terry later wrote off as a “bastard.” Terry exhorted the King, “guardian of our ancient race,” in the name of “sons of those who fought before.” Terry laments to the King that his Empire had “sunk dishonoured to the grave,” the Kingdom rampant with “foul corruption;”

“Gainst the ruthless greed of Mammon, mighty Britain cannot stand.” The primacy of commerce had strangled “manhood, conscience, truth and honour, just and right,” and alien races were brought to the British domains to serve as slaves for Mammon, to displace the white worker; where slums arise instead of the homesteads of brave, trusty and strong Britons; whilst the Empire, like a harlot is “steeped in shame.”

The exhortation is for the King to rise and “purge thy country, drive the alien from thy shores!” because the strength of Britain is “Britain’s blood.”

Strike! And be thy nation’s Saviour, King of Britain evermore!
Strike! And reign in all the ages! Strike, if ’tis thy latest breath!
Strike! O King! ’tis God or Mammon. Strike! O King! ’tis life or death!


1. Frank Tod, Appendix 3, pp. 193-213.

2. For an insight into the manner by which Jewish rabbinical authorities saw their world influence at the time of Cromwell, read Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel’s letter to Cromwell, “To His Highnesse the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland,” “How Profitable the Nation of the Jews Are;” 1655; Paul R Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz (ed), The Jews in the Modern World: A Documentary History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), pp. 9-12.

3. Terry, The Making of a Madman: A Play by Lionel Terry, Frank Tod, pp. 199-200.

4. Terry, The Shadow.

5. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.

6. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.

7. Thomas Pakenham, The Boer War (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979), pp. 86-87.

8. C. Quigley, Tragedy & Hope (New York: Macmillan, 1966), p. 133.

9. Quigley, Tragedy & Hope, p. 130.

10. Quigley, Tragedy & Hope, ibid., p. 137.

11. Thomas Pakenham, The Boer War, op. cit., p. 88.

12. C. Hirshfield, The Boer War and the Issue of Jewish Responsibility (1978), pp. 5, 15;

13. John Burns, House of Commons, February 6, 1900; C. Hirshfield, pp. 10, 20

14. Terry, The Shadow, op. cit.

15. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.

16. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.

17. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.

18. Paul Fromm, “White Workers’ Revolt Saved Canada’s West Coast from Asiatic Take-Over,” C-FAR, Canada, n.d.

19. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.

20. “Chinese Labor,” The Colonist, Nelson, NZ, Volume XLVI, Issue 10924, January 15, 1904, p. 2.

21. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.

22. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.

23. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.

24. Terry, The Shadow, ibid.