For some 2,000 years the island was ruled by a local kingdom.
In 1517 the Portuguese founded a fort at the port city of Colombo and gradually extended their control over the coastal areas.
In 1638 the Dutch made a treaty with Rajasinghe II, the king of Kandy, to get rid of the Portuguese.
By 1660 the Dutch controlled the whole island except the kingdom of Kandy and it was not until 1656 that Colombo fell.
In 1796 Great Britain occupied the coastal areas of the island (which they called Ceylon).
In 1802 the Netherlands ceded the parts of the island they still occupied to Great Britain.
The remainder of the island, the Kingdom of Kandy, was occupied by Great Britain in 1815 and the native king of Kandy was deposed and exiled.
Ceylon became an independent country on 4 February 1948.
On 22 May 1972 the name Ceylon was changed to Sri Lanka.
History of Sri Lanka
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
for a much more detailed History of the island
In 1798 the Dutch opened five post offices in the districts under their control. In 1799, they published the first postal regulations and postage rates.
The Dutch East India Company operated the Postal service, which was not meant for the public but for official use.
The first postmaster was appointed in 1802 and handstamps were first supplied in 1813.
The first stamps were issued on 1 April 1857
Ceylon joined the UPU in 1877
Philatelic Societies for Collectors of Ceylon Stamps & Postal History
The Ceylon Study Circle of Great Britain For collectors of postage stamps, postal history, postal stationery and postcards from Ceylon/Sri Lanka.
Publishing the Ceylon Study Circle Bulletin and specialist books.
Cancellations on the Postage Stamps of Ceylon 1857 – 1892
by Geoff F Oxley, published by the Ceylon Study Circle of GB, 1996, ISBN 0952814900 A study of the introduction and use of the letter and numeral cancellations for the period from 1857 until 1892. The post offices that were
allocated these cancellations are listed with opening dates including those that were re-allocated.
Ceylon - The Camps for Boer Prisoners of War 1900-1902; Their Postal History
by Richard Stroud, published by the Anglo-Boer War Philatelic Society, 1989
Ceylon: The Three Cents Postal Commission Surcharges of 1888-1890
by P C Montgomery Stainer, self published, 1989
Ceylon Postal History 1857-1902
by Obré J Sanders, 1999
The Encyclopaedia of Ceylon Postmarks, King George VI
by David Horry, in association with the Ceylon Study Circle of Great Britain, 2010
The Fiscal and Telegraph Stamps of Ceylon
by C S F Crofton, 1911
H W Cave & Co Colombo
by J G Winters, ISBN 0952814927 The history of the well known Colombo company of Cave & Co is linked with the philatelic material that it produced. From the handstruck
name overprints on stamps to perfins; postcards; printed stationery and material connected to the Boer War camps primarily at Diyatalawa.
The Perfins of Ceylon
by A Ellis, Ceylon Study Circle Bulletin, September 1981
The Postage Stamps, Envelopes, Wrappers, Post Cards, and Telegraph Stamps, of British India and Ceylon
by the Philatelic Society, London, 1892
The Postal Commission Stamps of Ceylon 1888 – 1890
by J G Winters, ISBN 9780952814931 These surcharged stamps were in use for a short time, their purpose, printing and the varieties that were produced are explained.
All known types are fully illustrated in colour and forgeries are also included.
The Postal History of Ceylon
by Edward B Proud, 2006, ISBN 1872465390
The Postal History of Ceylon 1795 – 1857
by Geoff F Oxley, published by the Ceylon Study Circle of GB, 1996, ISBN 0952814919 This study explains the working of the postal services and the postages prepaid or charged and to list the handstruck markings found on the mails.
It covers the period from 1795 at the end of the Dutch occupation and the beginning of the British who established a postal service for the Island.
Rodrigo's Catalogue of Ceylon/Sri Lanka Postal Stationery Part I - Air Mail Letter Sheets, Dr Chandra Rodrigo
by Chandra Rodrigo, 2008
Rodrigo's Catalogue of Ceylon/Sri Lanka Postal Stationery Part II - Postal Cards, Letter Cards, Letter Sheets, Wrappers, P.T.P.O. Wrappers
by Chandra Rodrigo, 2010, 224 pages, ISBN 978-955-50-8901-2
The Travelling Post Offices of Ceylon
By Derek Walker, published by the Ceylon Study Circle of GB, 1990