The first Europeans to reach the Cape of Good Hope were the Potuguese, led by the explorer Bartolomeu Dias, in 1488. In 1652 the Dutch East India Company established a supply camp in the area which later became Cape Town.
In 1795 British forces invaded and took control of this area till 1803. In 1806 British forces returned and again occupied the territory. Under the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 the territory was ceeded to Britain.
It then remained a British colony until it was incorporated into the Union of South Africa, as the Cape Province, on 31 May 1910.
The first stamps to be issued by the colony were the Cape of Good Hope Triangulars on 1 September 1853. From 19 August 1910 till 31 December 1937 stamps of Cape of Good Hope were valid for use in any part of the Union of South Africa.
Selected pages on Cape of Good Hope Stamps and Postal History
Cape & Natal Philatelic Journal
Quarterly Journal of the Cape & Natal Study Circle The Cape and Natal Study Circle is a group of philatelists and historians who are passionate about the stamps, postal history and historical events of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal and Zululand.
The Army Post Office Corps (M Company 24th Middlesex Volunteers) were mobilised and set sail for Cape Town on 14 September 1899 aboard
the Dunnotar Castle. On arrival in Cape Town the Base Army Post Office was established in the newly built Cape Town Post Office building.
Books on Cape of Good Hope Stamps and Postal History
Cape of Good Hope: its postal history & postal stamps
Gilbert J Allis, 1930, 118pp
Cape of Good Hope with Mafeking and Vryburg
by Fred J Melville, 1913, 96pp
The handstruck letter stamps of the Cape of Good Hope from 1792 to 1853 and the postmarks from 1853 to 1910
by A A Jurgens, Cape Town, 1943, 140pp
The post offices of the Cape of Good Hope 1792-1910
by Franco Frescura, 2003, 825pp
Postmarks of the Cape of Good Hope: the postal history and markings of the Cape of Good Hope and Griqualand West 1792-1910
by Robert Goldblatt, 1984, 267pp
The Postal Stationery of South Africa. Part 1. Cape of Good Hope, Natal, New Republic, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Zululand
by W J Quik and Dr G H Jonkers, 1998, 158pp
The Triangular Stamps of the Cape of Good Hope
by D Alan Stevenson, publ H R Harmer Ltd, 1950, 142pp Details the history of the production of the stamps by Perkins Bacon, the woodcuts and the De La Rue printings. Full details of the quantities printed, cancellations, essays and proofs, bibliography.
The book was described as a "mine of information" in a review by Stanley Phillips in 1950. The author, David Alan Stevenson FICE, was awarded the Crawford Medal in 1951 for writing this book