Important Dates in South African history : 1850 - 1899

[Up to 1799] [1800 - 1849] [1850 - 1899] [1900 to present]

1850
Wesleyan Settlers arrive in Natal
1850
Dutch Reformed Church parish founded in Namaqualand
1850's
First Afrikaans book written by an imam (Muslim prayer leader) of slave descent
1850-53
Eighth Frontier War
1851
Sugar first produced from cane in Natal
1851
Dutch Reformed Church congregation founded in Knysna
1852
17 January - Founding of the Transvaal Republic after the signing of the Sand
River Convention
1852
16 March - Reconciliation between Andries Pretorius and Hendrik Potgieter
1852
The Transvaal Republic established
1852
Dutch Reformed Church parish founded in Middelburg
1852
The New Church (Congregational / Presbyterian) established in Port Elizabeth
1852
Copper mining begins at Springbokfontein (Namaqualand) - migrant labour on small scale
1852
Wreck of the Birkenhead
1853
Settlement of Queenstown and Seymour
1853
Dutch Reformed Church congregation founded in Oudtshoorn
1853
Union Steamship Line founded
1853
Hopetown established
1853
Nicholas Waterboer succeeds as Griqua Captain
1854
23 February - The Republic of the Orange Free State came into being after the signing of the Bloemfontein Convention
1854
Freestate Vierkleur (four colour - flag) hoisted for the first time in Bloemfontein
1854
Dutch Reformed Church parishes established in Montagu and Queenstown
1854
Boers defeat Ndebele at Makapansgat
1854
First elected parliament of Cape Colony
1854-??
George Grey (1812-1898), Portuguese-born British colonial governor
1855
Pretoria is founded
1855
20 miners arrive to work in the Namaqualand copper mines
1856
17 December - Founding of the Boererepubliek Lydenburg
1856
The Anglican St. Paul's Church in Port Elizabeth is founded
1856
Dutch Reformed Church parish founded in Murraysburg
1856
Natal becomes a separate colony
1856
Approximately 3000 Crimean War veterans (German Legionnaires) settled in Kaffraria, later joined by 2700 German civilians
1856-57
Self-destruction of Xhosa tribe by cattle-killing
1856-62
Approximately 700 juveniles arrive from Holland
1857
Approximately 157 Irish girls arrive on the ship Lady Kennaway, settle in British Kaffraria
1857
First Legislative Council in Natal
1857
First mail contract with Union Steamship Company for regular mail service between Britain and South Africa
1857
Moffat completes Old Testament Bible translation into Setswana
1857
Xhosa enter Karoo following Eastern Cape Cattle Killing
1857-62
Assisted immigration schemes bring about 12 000 settlers
1857
6 January - Induction of M W Pretorius, first President of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek
1857
Transvaal Vierkleur (four colour) hoisted for the first time
1858
Circa 1858, Jewish congregation founded in Port Elizabeth
1858
The Anglican Holy Trinity Church is built in Port Elizabeth
1858
War between Orange Free State and Basuto tribe
1859
Dopper Church leaves the Dutch Reformed Church
1859
First railway in South Africa commenced in Cape Colony
1860
Indians arrive in Natal to work on sugar cane farms as indentured labourers
1860
Between 1860 and 1911 about 52 000 Indians arrive and about 50% stay
1860
First telegraph service in South Africa, between Cape Town and Simonstown
1860
Start of penny post in Cape Town
1860
Work began on Table Bay Docks
1860
The Catholic St. Augustine's Church is established in Port Elizabeth
1860
Circa 1860, the first Baptist Church is started in Port Elizabeth
1860
Boer republics north of the vaal unite South African Republic, Pretoria is chosen as capital
1861-2
Griqua trek under Adam Kok III from Philippolis to Nomansland
1862
First railway opened in the Cape
1863
The Hill Presbyterian Church is founded in Port Elizabeth
1863
North End Cemetery established in Port Elizabeth
1864
St. George's Cemetery established in Port Elizabeth
1865
War between Orange Free State and Basutos
1865-66
Economic depression throughout South Africa
1865-66
Albania Settlement Scheme
1866
India stops sending Indian labourers to Natal
1867
21 April - 25 carat diamond found near Hopetown
1868-69
Korana War along Orange River
1869
Railway from Port Nolloth to O'Kiep
1869
The Star of South Africa diamond discovered
1869
Gold and diamond rush starts
1870-71
St. Peter's Anglican Church started in Port Elizabeth
1870
Opening of Cape Town Docks
1870
Galeshewe of Tlhaping born
1870-84
Xam prisoners at Cape Town interviewed by Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd
1871
Discovery of diamonds on the farm Vooruitzicht, later to become New Rush and then renamed Kimberley. Griqua claim to Diamond Fields recognised and Waterboer seeks British protection. Diamond mining stimulates migrant labour on unprecedented scale. Two thirds of black workforce comes from Limpopo valley and beyond
1871
Gold discovered in Eastern Transvaal
1871
Britain annexes the diamond fields of Kimberley and Griqualand West
1871
First mail from Cape Town to the diamond fields
1873
Griqualand West proclaimed as a British colony
1873
Gold discovered in Lydenburg district of Transvaal
1873-75
Approximately 3 300 men, women and children arrive as agricultural settlers or labourers for public works
1874
College founded at Stellenbosch (later Victoria College, today University of Stellenbosch)
1874
Railway line opened from Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage
1875
14 Augus
t - formation of the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners at the home of Gideon Malherbe in Paarl
1875
Black Flag Rebellion by white diggers at Kimberley
1876
First railway line in Natal
1876
Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje born
1877
Ninth Frontier War
1877
12 April - Shepstone annexes the ZAR (Transvaal) for Britain
1877
10 May - Paul Kruger leads a deputation to Britain to demand the freedom of the ZAR
1877
"Native Locations" for Tswana established in Griqualand West
1878
14 May - Paul Kruger leads second deputation to Britain to demand the freedom of the ZAR
1878
Walvis Bay proclaimed British territory
1878
Telegraph service between Natal and Transvaal
1878
Koegas atrocities
1878-79
Griqualand West Rebellion and Korana War coincide with similar conflicts elsewhere in South Africa
1879
1 September - Zulu War starts, battles at Isandhlwana, Rorke's Drift and Ulundi
1880
First legislative Council in Transvaal
1880
Formation of De Beers Company
1880
Formation of the first branch of the Afrikaner Bond
1880 December - First shot fired in the Eerste Vryheidsoorlog (First South African War of Independence)
1880
Griqualand West annexed to Cape Colony
1881
28 January - Battle of Laing's Nek
1881
27 February - Boers defeat Britain at Battle of Majuba
1881
21 March - Declaration of peace with Britain at the house of O'neill in Northern Natal
1881
Britain recognizes South African Republic (ZAR)
1881
Signing of peace Agreement between Z A R and Britain
1881
Jantje Mothibi of Tlhaping dies
1881-82
Tswana-Kora wars with white mercenary involvement
1882
Abraham September (freed slave) begins Orange River irrigation
1882
9 Mei - Induction of Paul Kruger as President of Z A R
1882
Approximately 4645 settlers arrive
1882
South End Cemetery in Port Elizabeth started
1882
Use of Dutch recognized in Cape Parliament
1882-83
Stellaland and Goshen mercenary republics
1883
Rev Gwayi Tyamzashe, last black man to hold a claim in Kimberley mines, loses his claim
1883-90
Germans occupy South West Africa and German East Africa
1884
The Anglican St. Cuthbert's Church built in Port Elizabeth
1884
Barberton goldfields opened
1884
16 Augustus - Formation of the Republic of Vryheid in Natal
1884-85
Warren takes over Stellaland and Goshen, establishes Crown Colony of British Bechuanaland and Bechuanaland Protectorate
1885
Railway line from Cape Town reaches Kimberley
1886
Discovery of gold bearing rock at Ferreira's camp, later to become Johannesburg
1887
2 June - Pres Paul Kruger authorises the construction of the railway line to Delagoabay
1888
British South Africa Company founded
1888
C.J. Rhodes amalgamates Kimberley mining companies as De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd
1888
Rudd concession' signed by Lobengula
1890
Pioneer Column of Rhodes's British South Africa Company departs from Kimberley to occupy Rhodesia
1890
Railway line reaches from Cape to Bloemfontein
1890
First railway line in Transvaal, from Johannesburg to Boksburg
1891
December -Inauguration of the Paardekraal Monument
1892
Railway line to Johannesburg completed with connections from Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London
1892
Mankurwane of Tlhaping dies
1894
2 November - Railway line between Lourenco Marques and Johannesburg opened
1894
Glen Grey Act passed in Cape to control African labour and land
1895
29 December - The Jameson Raid Jameson led a force of about 500 men in a raid into the Transvaal. It was resisted by the Boers and on January 2,1896,at Doornkop, Jameson surrendered
1895
British Bechuanaland annexed to Cape Colony
1895
The Pretoria-Delagoa Bay railway line opened by the South African Republic
1895
16 December - Railway line opened between Durban and Johannesburg
1896
Rinderpest epidemic spreads through Africa and causes big loss of cattle
1896
Montshiwa of Rolong dies
1896
Matabele Rebellion - Southern Rhodesia
1896-7
Bechuanaland Campaign/Galeshewe's War begins at Phokwane and spreads to Langeberg
1897
Zululand incorporated into Natal
1897
Railway line opened between Cape Town and Bulawayo
1897
Luka Mothibi killed in Langeberg
1897
18 March - 5000 Boere decide to resist the British Annexation.
1899
Anglo-Boer War. (Second S.A. War of Independence) The people who suffered the most were the woman and children. Over 25 000 died in the worlds first concentration camps
1899
12 October - First shot of the Second Vryheidsoorlog - by Coetzee at Kraaipanstasie
1899
13 October - Boers invade Natal
1899
14 October - Sieges of Mafikeng and Kimberley started
1899
20 October - Battle of Talana
1899
21 October - Battle of Elandslaagte
1899
30 October - Siege of Ladysmith started
1899
23 November - Battle of Belmont
1899
25 November - Battle of Graspan (Enslin)
1899
28 November - Battle of Modder River (Tweeriviere)
1899
8 December - Battle of Lombard's Kop
1899
10 December - Battle of Stormberg
1899
11 December - Battle of Magersfontein
1899
15 December - Battle of Colenso
1899
Battle of Dundee
1899
Imperial Penny Postage adopted by Cape Colony