South Africa: 1820 Settlers

In 1795, the British occupied the Cape for the first time, and after losing it to the Dutch again in 1803, seized it as their own in 1806. With the British occupation came the impoverished 1820 settlers, who were sent to help wrest land from the Xhosa in the Eastern Cape and the Zulu in KwaZulu-Natal.

One of the better-known of these settlers to cross the racial divide was Henry Fynn, who befriended Zulu King Shaka and fathered children by many Zulu wives. Other English names which crop up regularly in the history of the Wild Coast, traditionally the home of the Pondo, are King and Cane, explorers who lived among the local tribes.

Shipwreck survivors through the centuries have also produced many a blue-eyed black child in the area. In his book "The Caliban Shore", Stephen Taylor describes the meeting of survivors from The Grosvenor with an escaped Cape slave who had made his home on the Eastern frontier, an indication of other possible influences in tribal ancestry.

Inter-tribal marriage was another influence, as Shaka absorbed smaller tribes in his quest for dominance.

With British rule came the banning of slave importation in 1807, but boatloads of "prize negroes", slaves secured by the government from illegal slave ships, were still introduced into the colony as cheap labour. A number of British settlers married Madagascans and Mauritians imported in this way.

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