Basutoland

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
1884–1966
Royal anthem: God Save the Queen (1884–1901; 1952–1966)
God Save the King (1901–1952)

StatusCrown Colony under partial local rule
CapitalMaseru
Languages
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
Resident Commissioner 
 1884–1894
Marshal Clarke
 1961–1966
Alexander Giles
Paramount Chief 
 1884–1891
Letsie I
 1891–1905
Lerotholi Letsie I
 1905–1913
Letsie II
 1913–1939
Nathaniel Griffith Lerotholi
 1939–1960
Simon Seeiso Griffith
 1960–1966 (afterwards as King of Lesotho)
Moshoeshoe II
History 
 Established
18 March 1884
 Disestablished
4 October 1966
Area
 Total
30,355 km2 (11,720 sq mi)
Population
 1875
128,206
 1904
348,848[1]
Currency
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Cape Colony
Lesotho
Today part ofLesotho

It was divided into seven administrative districts: Berea, Leribe, Maseru, Mohale's Hoek, Mafeteng, Qacha's Nek and Quthing.

Basutoland gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 4 October 1966 and was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho.


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