Basutoland was a British Crown colony that existed from 1884 to 1966 in present-day Lesotho. Though the Basotho (then known as Basuto) and their territory had been under British control starting in 1868 (and ruled by Cape Colony from 1871), the Cape Colony was unpopular and unable to control the territory. As a result, Basutoland was brought under direct authority of Queen Victoria, via the High Commissioner, and run by an Executive Council presided over by a series of British Resident Commissioners.
Colony of Basutoland
|Status||Crown Colony under partial local rule|
|Lerotholi Letsie I|
|Nathaniel Griffith Lerotholi|
|Simon Seeiso Griffith|
• 1960–1966 (afterwards as King of Lesotho)
|18 March 1884|
|4 October 1966|
|30,355 km2 (11,720 sq mi)|
|Today part of||Lesotho|
Basutoland gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 4 October 1966 and was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho.