The English surname Rhode, found chiefly in Yorkshire, is a topographic name for someone who lived in a clearing in woodland. The name may also be a locative name from any of the places named with this word. These include: Rhodes near Middleton in Lancashire; Rhode (Hill), north of Ashton-under-Lyne; Rhodes (Bank) near Oldham; and Rhodes (Green), north of Wakefield in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The first written reference to the name is in 1219 when Hugh de Rodes is registered in the "Assize Court Rolls" of Yorkshire. Cecil Rhodes (1853 - 1902) was a British colonial financier and statesman in South Africa. As Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (1890 - 1896), he helped to extend British territory almost throughout Africa and the country “Rhodesia”, now Zimbabwe was named after him.