History of Utrecht
Utrecht's history started shortly after the
British annexation of Natal in 1843. After that impacting event, many of
the Boers, almost two thirds, decided to leave the area and move more
north and deeper into Africa. From those who left the colony, three small
groups of Trekkers chose to settle beyond the Buffalo River. This was in
The Zulu King Mpande, who defeated Dingaan (Dingane
gave verbal agreement to the Voortrekkkers to occupy a piece of land
alongside the Buffalo River in 1852. The arrangement was officially signed between
King Mpande and three Voortrekker leaders, C. J. van Rooyen, A. T. Spies
and J. C. Klopper as an written treaty in 1852.
Van Rooyen, trusted by
the Zulu king, because he performed the
ceremony of proclaiming Mpande King of the Zulus in 1840, concluded the signing of the document. Van Rooyen was an excellent
Zulu linguist and witnessed the Utrecht agreement event between the
Voortrekkers and the Zulu King. As part of the treaty the Voortrekkers
gave Mpande 300 head of cattle for the right to use land between the
Blood and Buffalo rivers. Two years later
on 8 September 1854, the three
Voortrekker leaders again approach Mpande and traded the same area for
another 100 head of cattle. That bill of sale can still be viewed in the
Transvaal archives. The following persons signed as witnesses: C. J. van
Rooyen, J. C. Klopper,
A. T. Spies, P. W. Jordaan and J. G. Herbst. That region now legally
belonged to the three Voortrekker groups.
This territory was one of five early Boer
settlements that came into existence in 1850.
It became a republic but
was also know as the "Buffelriviersemaatschapij" in other
words, the Buffalo River Society.
The frontier community of Utrecht was
established in 1853. The settlement soon grew into a town and a few
years later in 1856, the town name became Utrecht in honor of the well know
Dutch city of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
In 1858 Utrecht became part of the Republic
of Lydenburg and shortly after that it became part of the
Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek in 1859.
Anglo-Zulu War (1877) the town of
Utrecht was used as headquarters by the British Armies. Utrecht served as British HQ for both
Commander-in-Chief Lord Chelmsford and Colonel Evelyn Woods' famous
Utrecht was the first Transvaal Republic
town to be annexed during the Anglo-Boer War (1899 to 1902).
After the Anglo-Boer War (1899 to 1902) the
region was incorporated into the colony of Natal, as part of the war
Historical Places in Utrecht