Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Shippard, Sidney Godolphin Alexander

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SHIPPARD, Sir SIDNEY GODOLPHIN ALEXANDER (1837–1902), colonial official, born at Brussels on 29 May 1837 and sprung of a naval family, was eldest son of Captain William Henry Shippard of the 29th regiment (son of Rear- Admiral Alexander Shippard [q. v.]) by his wife Elizabeth Lydia, daughter of Captain Joseph Peters. Educated at King's College School, London, he obtained an exhibition at Oriel College, Oxford, in 1856, but next year migrated to Hertford College on winning a scholarship. He graduated B.A. in law and modern history in 1863, and became B.CL. and M.A. in 1864. Studying for the bar, he was called of the Inner Temple on 26 Jan. 1867, and soon afterwards he went out to South Africa. He was admitted to practise as an advocate of the supreme coxirt of the Cape Colony in 1868.

On 25 Jan. 1873 Shippard was appointed acting attorney-general of Griqualand West, which had some two years previoiisly been proclaimed a part of the British dominions, and had been attached to the Cape Colony, but under a practically separate administration. Shippard was formally appointed attorney-general on 17 Aug. 1875. In 1877 he acted as recorder of the high court of Griqualand West. Coming into collision with Sir Bartle Frere [q. v.] and Sir Owen Lanyon, he resigned his post. In 1878 he was in England, and took his D.C.L. degree at Oxford. On 20 April 1880 he was appointed a puisne judge of the supreme court of the Cape Colony.

From February to September 1885 Shippard served as British representative on the joint commission which sat at Capetown to determine the Anglo -German claims in respect of property acquired before the declaration of the German protectorate over Angra Pequena and the West Coast (see Blue Book C. 5180/87).

On 30 Sept. 1885, when a protectorate was formally proclaimed over Bechuanaland, Shippard was appointed administrator and chief magistrate of British Bechuanaland, and president of the land commission which was charged with determining the complicated claims to lands between the natives and concessionaires ; the result of his labours is embodied in a Blue Book (C. 4889,86). This position he held for ten years; and amongst the more interesting episodes of his administration were his expedition with a small escort in 1888 to visit Lobengula, whose attitude he changed from hostility to compliance, and discussions with the chief Khama on the liquor question. By the former he paved the way in some measure for the Charter of the British South Africa Company. He retired on pension on 16 Nov. 1895, when British Bechuanaland was annexed to Cape Colony. On his way home he was at Johannesburg just after the Jameson raid, and threw all his influence on the side of peace.

Shippard, who was made C.M.G. in 1886, and K.C.M.G. in 1887, became on 21 April 1898 a director of the British South Africa Company, and rendered the board wise and loyal service at a time when the development of the company's territories was at an anxious and critical stage. He died on 29 March 1902 at his residence, 15 West Halkin Street, London. He was buried at Nynehead, Somerset.

Shippard married, first, in 1864, Maria Susanna, daughter of Sir Andries Stockenstrom of Cape Colony (she died in 1870, leaving three children); secondly, on 18 Dec. 1894, Rosalind, daughter of W. A. Sanford of N3mehead Court, who with four children survived him.

Shippard, a man of culture and refinement, with a taste for music, acquired a high reputation as a Roman -Dutch lawyer. He published 'Dissertatio de vindicatione rei emptse et traditione' (thesis for D.C.L. 1868), 'Report of Case of Bishop of Grahamstown [v. Merriman) '(1879), and several legal judgments in 'Buchanan's (Cape) Reports' (1880-5).

[The Times, 31 March 1902; South Africa, 5 April 1902; C.O. lists, 1875-1895; official blue books; Who's Who, 1901; Anglo-African Who's Who, 1905; information from Lady Shippard.]

C. A. H.