A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

British Bechuanaland

1887 Scott 10 1/2p vermilion "Victoria"
Black Overprint on Great Britain Scott 111
Quick History
Although Bechuanaland Protectorate is in the Big Blue album, British Bechuanaland, the sister territory, never was, so here is a brief history.

British Bechuanaland existed between September 1, 1885 and November 16, 1895  as a Crown Colony, when it was absorbed by Cape of Good Hope Colony. The Capital was Vryburg. It had a population of approximately 84,000.

1885 Map - Bechuanaland Protectorate & Stellaland
Prior to creation of British Bechuanaland Crown Colony
In 1882, two secessionist Boer States, Stellaland and Goshen (Capitals Vryburg & Mafekeng respectively) were established. This upset the British public, and a force of 4,000 British regular & irregular troops, led by Sir Charles Warren, first occupied Vryburg, then Mafeking, by April 8, 1885. The Boer Republic of the United States of Stellaland (then including Goshen) collapsed without bloodshed.

By the way, the stamps of Stellaland ( 1884-85- six major Scott number stamps) are somewhat to very expensive CV wise ($20+-$4000), and I don't have any at the moment.

British Bechuanaland 1887
(Incorporates Stellaland)
Stellaland was absorbed into the new Crown Colony of British Bechuanaland, which had the Molopo River as the northern and western boundary.

Meanwhile the Bechuanaland Protectorate ,"at the request of the native chiefs", was set up by the British on March 31, 1885, and administered the lands north of the Molopo River, with Vryburg (until 1895), then Mafeking as the administrative headquarters. Both headquarters for Bechuanaland Protectorate were actually located in British Bechuanaland.

Of interest, the stamps of British Bechuanaland were also used in the Bechuanaland Protectorate from 1890 until 1897. This is because the Bechuanaland Protectorate and British Bechuanaland came under one postal administration in June, 1890. Consequently, one should look for postmarks from the Bechuanaland Protectorate area on British Bechuanaland stamps of that era.

For additional perspective on British Bechuanaland/ Bechuanaland Protectorate, see Stamp World History.

Into the Deep Blue
Stamps were introduced for British Bechuanaland on December 3, 1885. The 1885-87 eight stamp output consisted of overprinted 1871-85 Cape of Good Hope issues (CV $10+-$190).

Correspondingly, Bechuanaland Protectorate stamps were first issued/used on August 9, 1888. I will have more to say about the stamps of the Bechuanaland Protectorate with the next post.

The 2011 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for British Bechuanaland 1885-1897, 42 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 3 (or 7%) are CV $1+. Raising the CV bar to $10+, yields 23 stamps, or 55%. If the WW collector will spend more, a decent collection of British Bechuanaland can be obtained.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
1887 Scott 10 1/2p vermilion "Victoria"
Black Overprint on Great Britain Scott 111
Note the barred oval numeral cancel No. 638? This was in use from the opening of the Mafeking Post Office in 1885 until absorption by Cape Colony in 1895.

The 1/2p Great Britain vermilion, from the 1887 Queen Victory Jubilee Issue, was overprinted as shown and released as a single stamp on January 19,1888. (Scott's "1887" attribution appears to be inaccurate.) CV is $1+.

I should mention that this overprinted 1/2p vermilion for British Bechuanaland was further overprinted "Protectorate", and introduced as the first stamps in 1888-90 for Bechuanaland Protectorate.

Prior, as mentioned earlier, there were eight stamps from 1885-87 released with overprints on the stamps of Cape of Good Hope ("Hope" seated). CV is $10+ for three stamps. I don't have any at the moment.

1887 Scott 16 1sh green "Victoria"
Also, on January 19, 1888 (not "1887" as Scott states), a twelve stamp issue was released using three designs. The second design for the five middle denominations is shown here. CV is $2+-$10 for six stamps.

If these designs look to you like they should be fiscal or revenue stamps, you are correct.

These stamps were produced by overprinting "Unappropriated Die" designs originally intended for use as Great Britain fiscal stamps.

Remember I said that British Bechuanaland  stamps can be found used in the Bechuanaland Protectorate between 1890-1897?

Well, the (MA)CLOUTSIE post office, which is the postmark on this stamp, was actually located in north-east Bechuanaland Protectorate, and was active from December, 1892-1893.

There is a great PDF file about the Macloutsie post office and the postmaster available at the www.bechuanalandphilately.com site. (This link downloads the PDF file.)

1895 Scott 39 2p bister 
On Cape of Good Hope  Scott 44 
Overprinted in Black, Reading Down
In December, 1893 to 1895, a two stamp overprinted issue - "Reading Down"- was released using the Cape of Good Hope Scott 43-44 1p rose & 2p bister stamps. CV is $3 for each.

Of note, the same stamps were earlier released in November, 1891 with the overprint "Reading Up". (CV $3+-$10+).

1891 Scott 33 1p lilac
Stamps of Great Britain, Overprinted in Black
Between December 1, 1891 and 1894, a five stamp issue was published using the stamps of Great Britain overprinted in black. The overprint is as shown.

1891 Scott 34 2p green & carmine
Stamps of Great Britain, Overprinted in Black
CV for the five stamp issue ranges from <$1 to $10+.

Of note, Cape Colony took over the responsibility for providing  postal service on April 1, 1893.

On November 16, 1895, British Bechuanaland was formally absorbed into Cape Colony. They ceased, then, to have their own stamps. But the stamps of British Bechuanaland continued to be in use in the Bechuanaland Protectorate until 1897.

At the same time, the Bechuanaland Protectorate was serviced postally by Cape Colony, then South Africa, until 1963.

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner), for British Bechuanaland 1885-1897, has three pages, and all the major Scott numbers have a space.

1922 Map showing Bechuanaland Protectorate
& British Bechuanaland Area that has been annexed by 
Cape Colony, and then Union of South Africa
Out of the Blue
Wow, this area is quite interesting from both a postal and historical perspective!

The next post will look at the stamp issues of the Bechuanaland Protectorate.

For those interested in more, I suggest checking out The Bechuanalands and Botswana Society website- www.bechuanalandphilately.com .

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Bechuanaland Protectorate - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!

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