The ten imperial commandments


An exciting, rare piece of war memorabilia has recently been posted up on the bidorbuy site. It is a list of ten imperial commandments, which relate to, but depart from the moral platitudes of the Decalogue. Written in the year 1900 during the middle of the 2nd Anglo-Boer war, it is a testament to the cynical outlook held by the Afrikaans forces as regards the British Empire of Queen Victoria. The commandments are highly critical of imperialism, and heavy with sarcasm. They are listed below, translated (with thanks to the seller) into English:

1) I am the Lord your God “Englishman” whom you have followed since 1795 until now.

2) You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them, but to me, your Queen. Because I have been your Queen for centuries, the willing Queen, for all my children right up to the Zambezi. I shall show mercy to all those whom I adopt.

3) You shall not take the name Victoria in vain, for no court will  hold him guiltless who takes my name in vain

4) Remember my birthdate, and labour all the days of your life for me without end. And you shall not neglect your work,  nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For I am the salt of this earth, and will reign over everyone forever.

5) Honor  mother Victoria, not your father, that your days may be long upon the land which the she has given you.

6) You shall not kill anyone except those who threaten what is mine

7) You shall not commit adultery except in those small and defenceless Republic’s

8) You shall not steal but may take.

9) You shall not bear false witness against anyone unless it is necessary as to reach your goals.

10) You shall not desire anything but what I desire, for my desire is that you shall follow me blindly, without any questions, until everything belongs to me.


The item is of huge interest to collectors and the document is available on bidorbuy.

You can also find a range of other war memorabilia on bidorbuy.