List of governors of British South African colonies (Redirected from Governor of Natal)

Map of South Africa in July 1885, prior to the Second Boer War. It is showing British possessions and protectorates, the two Boer Republics (ZAR and Orange Free State), besides German South West Africa and Portuguese Mozambique.

This article lists the governors of British South African colonies, including the colonial prime ministers. It encompasses the period from 1797 to 1910, when present-day South Africa was divided into four British colonies namely: Cape Colony (preceded by Dutch Cape Colony), Natal Colony, Orange River Colony and Transvaal Colony.

After the colonies were disestablished as a result of the creation of the Union of South Africa, the area was divided into four provinces of the Union: Cape Province, Natal Province, Orange Free State Province and Transvaal Province.

Cape Colony

Map of the Cape Colony (orange) within South Africa (yellow).

Governors

Flag of the governor of the Cape Colony (1876–1910).
Tenure Portrait Incumbent Notes
Governors
5 May 1797 to 20 November 1798 George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney Known for the 1793 Macartney Embassy to China
20 November 1798 to 9 December 1799 Francis Dundas 1st time, acting
10 December 1799 to 20 April 1801 Sir George Yonge, 5th Baronet
21 April 1801 to 20 February 1803 Francis Dundas 2nd time, acting
Commissioner-general
21 February 1803 to 25 September 1804 Jacob Abraham de Mist Represented the Batavian Republic
Governors
1 March 1803 to 18 January 1806 Jan Willem Janssens Represented the Batavian Republic
10 January 1806 to 17 January 1807 Sir David Baird, 1st Baronet Military governor, acting
17 January 1807 to 21 May 1807 Henry George Grey 1st time, acting
22 May 1807 to 4 July 1811 Du Pre Alexander, 2nd Earl of Caledon
5 July 1811 to 5 September 1811 Henry George Grey 2nd time, acting
6 September 1811 to 6 April 1814 John Cradock, 1st Baron Howden
18 October 1813 to 7 January 1814 Robert Meade Acting for Cradock; son of Theodosia, Countess of Clanwilliam
6 April 1814 to 5 March 1826 Lord Charles Somerset
13 January 1820 to 30 November 1821 Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin Acting for Somerset
5 March 1826 to 9 September 1828 Richard Bourke Acting
9 September 1828 to 10 August 1833 Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole
10 August 1833 to 16 January 1834 Thomas Francis Wade Acting (for D'Urban from 10 January 1834)
10 January 1834 to 20 January 1838 Sir Benjamin D'Urban
22 January 1838 to 18 March 1844 Sir George Thomas Napier
18 March 1844 to 27 January 1847 Sir Peregrine Maitland
Governors and High Commissioners for Southern Africa
27 January 1847 to 1 December 1847 Sir Henry Pottinger
1 December 1847 to 31 March 1852 Sir Harry Smith, 1st Baronet
31 March 1852 to 26 May 1854 George Cathcart
26 May 1854 to 5 December 1854 Charles Henry Darling Acting
5 December 1854 to 15 August 1861 Sir George Grey
20 August 1859 to 4 July 1860 Robert Wynyard 1st time, acting for Grey
15 August 1861 to 15 January 1862 2nd time, acting
15 January 1862 to 20 May 1870 Sir Philip Wodehouse
20 May 1870 to 31 December 1870 Charles Craufurd Hay Acting
31 December 1870 to 31 March 1877 Sir Henry Barkly
31 March 1877 to 15 September 1880 Sir Henry Bartle Frere Known for initiating the Anglo-Zulu War and the First Boer War
15 September 1880 to 27 September 1880 Henry Hugh Clifford Acting
27 September 1880 to 22 January 1881 Sir George Strahan Acting
22 January 1881 to 1 May 1889 Sir Hercules Robinson 1st time
30 April 1881 to August 1881 Sir Leicester Smyth 1st time, acting for Robinson
25 April 1883 to 26 March 1884 2nd time, acting for Robinson
7 April 1886 to 7 July 1886 Sir Henry Torrens Acting for Robinson
1 May 1889 to 13 December 1889 Henry Augustus Smyth Acting
13 December 1889 to 30 May 1895 Henry Loch, 1st Baron Loch
14 January 1891 to 1 December 1892 Sir William Gordon Cameron 1st time, acting for Loch
May 1894 to July 1894 2nd time, acting for Loch
30 May 1895 to 21 April 1897 Sir Hercules Robinson 2nd time; from 10 August 1896, Hercules Robinson, Baron Rosmead
21 April 1897 to 5 May 1897 Sir William Howley Goodenough Acting
5 May 1897 to 6 March 1901 Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner
2 November 1898 to 14 February 1899 Sir William Butler Acting for Milner
6 March 1901 to 31 May 1910 Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson
17 June 1909 to 21 September 1909 Sir Henry Scobell Acting for Hely-Hutchinson

Prime Ministers

Tenure Portrait Incumbent Party Notes
1 December 1872 to 5 February 1878 John Charles Molteno n-p
6 February 1878 to 8 May 1881 John Gordon Sprigg n-p 1st time
9 May 1881 to 12 May 1884 Thomas Charles Scanlen n-p
13 May 1884 to 24 November 1886 Thomas Upington n-p
25 November 1886 to 16 July 1890 Sir John Gordon Sprigg n-p 2nd time
17 July 1890 to 12 January 1896 Cecil Rhodes n-p Resigned in the aftermath of the Jameson Raid
13 January 1896 to 13 October 1898 Sir John Gordon Sprigg n-p 3rd time
13 October 1898 to 17 June 1900 William Schreiner n-p
18 June 1900 to 21 February 1904 Sir John Gordon Sprigg PP 4th time
22 February 1904 to 2 February 1908 Leander Starr Jameson PP Leader of the Jameson Raid
3 February 1908 to 31 May 1910 John X. Merriman SAP

Natal Colony

Map of the Natal Colony (orange) within South Africa (yellow).

Governors

Flag of the governor of the Natal Colony (1905–1907).
Tenure Portrait Incumbent Notes
Special Commissioner
10 May 1843 to 31 May 1844 Henry Cloete
31 May 1844 to 4 December 1845 direct rule by Cape Colony During this time, Sir Peregrine Maitland served as the governor of Cape Colony
Lieutenant-governors
4 December 1845 to 1 August 1849 Martin Thomas West
19 April 1850 to 3 Mar 1855 Benjamin Pine 1st time
5 November 1856 to 31 December 1864 John Scott
31 December 1864 to 26 July 1865 John Maclean
26 July 1865 to 26 August 1865 John Wellesley Thomas Acting
26 August 1865 to 24 May 1867 John Jarvis Bisset Acting
24 May 1867 to 19 July 1872 Robert William Keate
19 July 1872 to 30 April 1873 Anthony Musgrave
30 April 1873 to 22 July 1873 Thomas Milles Acting
22 July 1873 to 1 April 1875 Sir Benjamin Pine 2nd time
1 April 1875 to 3 September 1875 Sir Garnet Joseph Wolseley Acting
3 September 1875 to 20 April 1880 Sir Henry Ernest Gascoyne Bulwer 1st time
20 April 1880 to 5 May 1880 William Bellairs Acting
5 May 1880 to 2 July 1880 Henry Hugh Clifford Acting
Governors
2 July 1880 to 27 February 1881 Sir George Pomeroy Colley
17 August 1880 to 14 September 1880 Henry Alexander Acting for Colley
27 February 1881 to 3 April 1881 Sir Evelyn Wood Acting
3 April 1881 to 9 August 1881 Redvers Buller Acting
22 December 1881 to 6 March 1882 Charles Mitchell 1st time, acting
6 March 1882 to 23 October 1885 Sir Henry Ernest Gascoyne Bulwer 2nd time
18 February 1886 to 5 June 1889 Sir Arthur Havelock
1 December 1889 to July 1893 Charles Mitchell 2nd time
July 1893 to 27 September 1893 Francis Seymour Haden Acting
28 September 1893 to 6 May 1901 Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson
13 May 1901 to 7 June 1907 Sir Henry McCallum
2 September 1907 to 23 December 1909 Sir Matthew Nathan
17 January 1910 to 31 May 1910 Paul Methuen, 3rd Baron Methuen

Prime Ministers

Tenure Portrait Incumbent Party Notes
10 October 1893 to 14 February 1897 Sir John Robinson n-p
15 February 1897 to 4 October 1897 Harry Escombe n-p
5 October 1897 to 8 June 1899 Sir Henry Binns n-p
9 June 1899 to 17 August 1903 Sir Albert Henry Hime n-p
18 August 1903 to 16 May 1905 George Morris Sutton n-p
16 May 1905 to 28 November 1906 Charles John Smythe n-p
28 November 1906 to 28 April 1910 Frederick Moor n-p

Orange River Colony

Map of the Orange River Colony (orange) within South Africa (yellow).

Governors

Flag of the governor of the Orange River Colony (1902–1910).
Tenure Portrait Incumbent Notes
23 June 1902 to 1 April 1905 Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner Simultaneously served as the governor of Transvaal Colony
2 April 1905 to 7 June 1907 William Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne
7 June 1907 to 31 May 1910 Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams

Prime Minister

Tenure Portrait Incumbent Party Notes
27 November 1907 to 31 May 1910 Abraham Fischer ORU Later served as the Minister of the Interior Affairs of South Africa, from 1912 to 1913

Transvaal Colony

Map of the Transvaal Colony (orange) within South Africa (yellow).

Governors of the Transvaal

Flag of the governor of the Transvaal Colony (1904–1910).
Tenure Portrait Incumbent Notes
First annexation
Administrators
12 April 1877 to 4 March 1879 Sir Theophilus Shepstone
4 March 1879 to 8 August 1881 Owen Lanyon From 6 April 1880, Sir William Owen Lanyon; acting for Wolseley 29 September 1879 – 27 April 1880
Governor
29 September 1879 to 27 April 1880 Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley
Second annexation
Administrator
4 January 1901 to 23 June 1902 Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner Simultaneously served as the Administrator of Orange River Colony
Governors
21 June 1902 to 1 April 1905 Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner Simultaneously served as the governor of Orange River Colony
2 April 1905 to 31 May 1910 William Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne

Lieutenant-Governors of the Transvaal

Tenure Portrait Incumbent Notes
Second annexation
Lieutenant-Governors
29 September 1902 to 4 December 1905 Sir Arthur Lawley Appointed Governor of Madras
23 March 1906 to January 1907 Sir Richard Solomon Acting for Selborne 4 December 1905 to 2 October 1906

Prime Minister of the Transvaal

Tenure Portrait Incumbent Party Notes
4 March 1907 to 31 May 1910 Louis Botha HV Afterwards served as the first Prime Minister of South Africa, from 1910 to 1919

See also


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