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Revised: March 28, 2017 ** Hersien:28 Maart 2017

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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 1847.

The Zulu King Mpande, who defeated Dingaan (Dingane kaSenzangakhona) 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.

During the 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 "Flying Column".

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 costs.

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