Important Dates in South African history : Up to 1799

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

1488
Bartolomeu Dias reaches beyond Mossel Bay, named Angra dos Vaqueiros - Bay of Cowherds - with reference to Khoekhoe herders seen on shore
1497
Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape on way to India
1503
Antonio de Saldanha lands at Table Bay
1652
6 April - The first white settlers, led by Jan van Riebeeck arrive at the Cape on board the Drommedaris. The Cape is governed by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) until 1795
1654
Asian convicts brought to Cape as slaves
1656
Catharina Anthonis, a slave born in Bengal, was the first slave to be freed, because Jan Woutersz wanted to marry her
1657
21 February - First white Freeburghers, nine men received grants of land along the Liesbeeck River (now Rondebosch)
1657
Slaves imported from Madagascar and Java
1658
28 March - 38 male slaves and 37 female slaves from Angola, arrive in Table Bay aboard the Amersfoort
1658
May - 228 slaves from West African coast arrive in Table Bay aboard the Hassell,about 80 are shipped to Batavia
1660
Almond hedge planted to protect the settlement from the Hottentots (Khoikhoi)
1660's
First horses arrive at the Cape from Batavia
1660's-70's
Expansion of Cape settlement
1661
Rumours noted at Cape concerning "Briqua" - later known to be Tswana
1662
May - Jan van Riebeeck leaves the Cape for Malacca
1662
9 May - Zacharias Wagenaar appointed Governor
1663
Outposts set up at Saldanha Bay and Hottentots Holland
1665
The first Dutch Reformed Church congregation founded at the Cape and the first minister Rev. J van Arkel appointed
166??
24 Oct - Cornelis van Qualberg appointed Governor
166??
18 Jun - Jakob Borghorst appointed Governor
1666
The foundation stones of the Castle, built to replace the existing Fort, in Cape Town were laid
1666
Settlements in Saldanha Bay and Vishoek (Fish Hoek)
1666
First Calvinist church built in Cape Town
1667
Indians arrive at the Cape
1670
2 Jun - Pieter Hackius appointed Governor
1671
1 Dec - Coenraad van Breitenbach appointed Governor
1672
23 Mar - Albert van Breugel appointed Governor
1672
2 Oct - Yobrand Godske appointed Governor
1672
Second Dutch-Khoekhoe war
1676
2 Jan - Johan Bax (van Herenthals) appointed Governor
1678
Settlement of Hottentots-Holland
1678
29 Jun - Hendrik Crulax appointed Governor
1679
14 Oct - Simon van der Stel appointed Governor
1679-88
Simon van der Stel serves as governor of the Cape with orders to expand colony
1679
Stellenbosch founded
1679
Castle in Cape Town is completed
1679
First farmers settle along the Eerste River
1685
Commissioner Hendrik van Reede (VOC) decrees that male slaves may buy their freedom for 100 guilders on reaching the age of 25 years, provided that they have been confirmed in the Dutch Reformed Church and can speak Dutch. The same conditions apply to female slaves, who can buy their freedom at age 22 years
1685
Simon van der Stel visits Namaqualand
1686
Dutch Reformed Church congregation founded in Stellenbosch (seceded from Cape Town)
1687
Settlements along Berg River (Drakenstein, Paarl)
1688
April - The first 22 French Huguenots arrive at the Cape
1688-89
Approximately 200 French Huguenots arrive at the Cape, settle mostly in Fransch Hoek
1690's
Trekboer class emerges
1691
Dutch Reformed Church congregations founded in Drakenstein and Paarl
1698
Settlement of Wagenmaker's Vallei (Wellington)
1699
11 Feb - Willem Adriaan van der Stel appointed Governor
1700
Settlement in Land van Waveren (Tulbagh)
1700's
VOC slave trading in Mozambique, Zanzibar and Madagascar
1701
Cattle raids by Khoisan commence against Dutch
1707
3 Jun - Johan Cornelis d'Ableing appointed Governor
1708
1 Feb - Louis van Assenburg appointed Governor
1711
28 Dec - Willem Helot appointed Governor
1713
Smallpox epidemic in the Cape, introduced from India by visiting ships, decimates Hottentots (Khoisan), kills many whites
1714
28 Mar - Maurits Pasques de Chavonnes appointed Governor
1717
System of freehold title to land ends, by which time about 400 farms granted
1720's-40's
Western Cape Khoekhoe reduced to labouring class
1722
Groot Constantia is built
1724
8 Sep - Jan de la Fontaine (provisional) appointed Governor
1727
25 Feb - Pieter Gysbert Noot appointed Governor
1728
24 Apr - Jan de la Fontaine (provisional) appointed Governor
1730
8 Mar - Jan de la Fontaine appointed Governor
1730
The VOC imports slaves from Mozambique and Zanzibar
1730
First Boers reach George area, trek inland into Langkloof
1732
Annual rental of a leningsplaas doubled to 24 rix dollars
1732
Quitrent system of land tenure introduced
1734
Great Brak River proclaimed eastern boundary of Cape
1736
14 Nov - Adriaan van Kervel appointed Governor
1737
20 Sep - Daniel van den Henghel appointed Governor
1737-43
Short-lived Moravian mission to Khoekhoe
1743
First recorded Trekboer loan farms in Roggeveld
1743
Dutch Reformed Church congregations founded in Roodezand (Tulbagh)
1745
Dutch Reformed Church congregations founded in Swartland and Swellendam
1746
Swellendam is founded ???
1750
1 Apr - Hendrik Swellengrebel appointed Governor
1754
First recorded |Xam San resistance to Roggeveld Trekboers
1755
Smallpox epidemic in the Cape
1755
Foundation stone of Old Town house in Cape Town is laid
176??
30 Mar - Ryk Tulbagh appointed Governor
1765
112 slaves from Madagascar arrive in Table Bay on board Meermin
1760
Jansz, Coetse with Klaas Barends and others cross Gariep River
1761-2
Hendrik Hop travels to Gariep River
1770's
Mothibi son of Molehabangwe of Tlhaping born at Nokaneng
1770s-90's
Intensive Khoisan resistance to Trekboer occupation
1771
Clashes between Trekboers and Xhosa begin as trekkers cross the Gamtoos
1771
Cape boundary crosses Gamtoos River
1771
12 Aug - Joachim van Plettenberg appointed Governor
1774
General Commando mounted against San: 503 killed, 241 captured
1778
Great Fish River becomes eastern boundary of Cape. Boundary extended to Buffels
1778-9
Hendrik Jacob Wikar and Robert Jacob Gordon meet Khoekhoe, Geisiqua and Tswana groups along lower and middle Gariep which Gordon names Orange River in honour of the Netherlands Stadtholder
178??
Pieter van Reede van Oudshoorn - died on passage to the Cape
1780
First Frontier War between Xhosa and whites
1782
First issue of paper rix dollars
1785
14 Feb - Cornelis Jacob van de Graaff appointed Governor
1783-92
Le Vaillant and Van Reenen travel in Namaqualand and north of Orange River
1786
Graaff-Reinet founded
1789
Merino sheep imported from Holland
1789
French Revolution - republican sentiments spread
1789-93
Second Frontier War between Xhosa and whites
1790's
In documented raids on "Bosjesmen" 2000 - 3000 Khoisan are killed
1791
29 Jun - Johannes Isaac Rhenius appointed Governor
1791
2 Sep - Abraham Josias Sluisken (Commissioner)
1792
Dutch Reformed Church congregation founded in Graaff-Reinet (seceded from Tulbagh)
1792
Moravian Mission founded at Genadendal
1795
Revolt in Swellendam and Graaff-Reinet
179??
29 January - Republiek Graaff-Reinet gestig
179??
12 November - Britain takes Republic of Graaf Reinet by force.
1795
18 June - First Boer revolt against the Dutch East India Company (V O C) - Republic of Swellendam formed.
1795
16 September - First British occupation of the Cape on behalf of the Prince of Orange. Slaves outnumber European settlers at this time
1795
September - J. H. Craig appointed Governor
1796
Pieter Pienaar murdered by Jager Afrikaner at Hantam. Afrikaner becomes frontier leader
1797
23 May - Duke (Graaf) van MaCartney appointed Governor
1798
First Post Office
1798
Liquidation of Dutch East India Company (VOC)
1798
First mosque in southern Africa established in Dorp Street by Tuan Guru
1798
22 Nov - Lt Gov Dundas appointed Governor
1799
Fort Frederick built in Algoa Bay by British soldiers
1799
Third Frontier War between the Xhosa and whites
1799
18 Dec - Sir G. Young appointed Governor
1799-1802
Eastern Cape Khoekhoe revolt
1799
First London Missionary Society (LMS) station - to Xam - on Zak River