oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Title to land and loss of land in the Griqua captaincy of Philippolis, 1826-1861

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



In 1825 a group of Griqua lead by Adam Kok II settled at Philippolis at the invitation of Dr John Philip of the London Missionary Society. Fifteen years after, in 1840, Adam Kok III claimed a large part of the Southern Free State as Griqua territory. In the Anglo-Griqua treaty of 1843 negotiated by Sir George Napier and Adam Kok III, and that of 1846 negotiated by Sir Peregrine Maitland and Adam Kok III, Griqua claims to land to the north of the Orange River were recognised. During the time of British Sovereignty in the Free State, from 1848 to 1854, the Griquas were dispossessed of much of their land, and circumstances were created which facilitated the loss of the land of which they had not been dispossessed. The result was that twenty years after Adam Kok III claimed the land, the Griquas had lost it all and in 1861 they embarked on their historic trek to Nomansland (Griqualand East). In this article, answers are sought to the question as to what the legal means were by which the Griqua people were deprived, during a period of British administration, of land which the British had but a few years before in formal treaties recognised unreservedly as being theirs.

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