South African Historical past On-line
Unesco declared Robben Island in the Western Cape a World Heritage Site in 1999. Robben Island is situated in Table Bay, some 6km west of Bloubergstrand, and stands some 30m above sea stage. Robben Island has been used as prison and a spot where individuals had been remoted, banished and exiled to for nearly four hundred years. It was additionally used as a submit office, a grazing ground, a mental hospital and an outpost.
Initially the island was inhabited by a variety of wild life, together with birds, penguins, seals and tortoises. Its title “robben” is derived from the Dutch, which means a seal. It additionally had a plentiful provide of contemporary water obtainable from a number of springs. Batolomeu Dias, the Portuguese explorer, ‘found’ the island in 1488 when he anchored his ship in Desk Bay.
Before 1652, In place of dealings with the indigenous residents on the mainland, most visiting ships to Table Bay most popular to land on Robben Island to replenish their provides of contemporary water and meat. Consequently it also grew to become a significant level for the trade of mail, where letters from an outgoing ship would be left underneath an inscribed stone for collection and delivery by a house-going vessel. This continued after Jan van Riebeeck arrived at the Cape in 1652, as he had to settle a station where ships that have been travelling from Europe to the East Indies, he didn’t need to stop on the mainland, may get contemporary food and water. There were loads of seals, tortoises and penguins for hunting. The Dutch additionally started to make use of the island as a grazing station for sheep and cattle.
Prisoners lined up on arrival at Robben Image source
Nevertheless, the islands potential as a convict station didn’t go unnoticed, and in about 1671 the Dutch began to position their convicted criminals upon it. It was only a matter of time earlier than this courtesy was prolonged to political prisoners and different “undesirables” banished to the Cape from other Dutch colonies. In fact the Dutch authorities sent kings, princes and religious leaders from the East Indies to Robben Island as prisoners because they didn’t agree with the Dutch rule in their country.
When the British annexed the Cape in 1806 they continued this follow. During the first British occupation of the Cape, from 1795 to 1802, whaling actions were begun in Desk Bay, and after their return in 1806 a whaling station was positioned on Robben Island. Stone Island Shirts Nonetheless it quickly became obvious that this offered convicts a straightforward escape route, and it was closed down in 1820.
In 1812 the primary try was made to use the island as an asylum for the mentally unwell, and in 1843 the Colonial Secretary, John Montagu, put forward a plan to make use of it as a colony for lepers, paupers, the mentally unfit and the chronically ill. The plan also provided for the removal of the penal colony to the mainland the place convict labour could be used extra productively on authorities initiatives, corresponding to highway-building. This plan was accepted and by 1845 the island had turn into a house for the Colony’s undesirable and unloved, these deemed to be ‘mentally in poor health’ in those stone island beanie amazon days could embrace the homeless, alcoholics, people who have been to sick or outdated to work and prostitutes with sexually transmitted diseases. Those unfortunates have been usually subjected to treatment, which was unhealthy and inhumane even by the requirements of that point, and situations on the island turned the subject of constant complaint from progressive clergy and medical employees. Although some enhancements had been implemented over time, the island’s lazaretto was only closed down in 1931.
The lighthouse on Robben Island was commissioned in January 1865. The circular tower, designed by the Colonial Engineer, John Scott Tucker, was in-built stone quarried locally, and stood 18m excessive. The 1875 census indicated that Robben Island had a inhabitants of 552. In 1891 this number had risen to 702, and by 1904 it stood at 1,460.
Aerial view of Robben Island with Desk Mountain within the background.
After 1931 all the ‘patients’ were sent to hospitals within the Cape and the island began to be used as a military outpost before WW II. Guns had been saved there and the government built roads, a energy station, a new water supply and homes.
In 1961 it started being used as a prison again. During apartheid many Black folks have been stored on Robben Island as political prisoners. Former President Nelson Mandela was kept there. The prison internationally notorious for its harsh situations and when the political prisoners of the apartheid authorities had been launched Robben Island grew to become a symbol of the energy of the human spirit.
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