1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/King William's Town

KING WILLIAM’S TOWN, a town of South Africa, in the Cape province and on the Buffalo River, 42 m. by rail W.N.W. of the port of East London. Pop. (1904), 9506, of whom 5987 were whites. It is the headquarters of the Cape Mounted Police. “King,” as the town is locally called, stands 1275 ft. above the sea at the foot of the Amatola Mountains, and in the midst of a thickly populated agricultural district. The town is well laid out and most of the public buildings and merchants’ stores are built of stone. There are manufactories of sweets and jams, candles, soap, matches and leather, and a large trade in wool, hides and grains is done with East London. “King” is also an important entrepôt for trade with the natives throughout Kaffraria, with which there is direct railway communication. Founded by Sir Benjamin D’Urban in May 1835 during the Kaffir War of that year, the town is named after William IV. It was abandoned in December 1836, but was reoccupied in 1846 and was the capital of British Kaffraria from its creation in 1847 to its incorporation in 1865 with Cape Colony. Many of the colonists in the neighbouring districts are descendants of members of the German legion disbanded after the Crimean War and provided with homes in Cape Colony; hence such names as Berlin, Potsdam, Braunschweig, Frankfurt, given to settlements in this part of the country.