Their leaders were Adam Kok II and Andries Waterboer. In 1813, at the instigation of Rev John Campbell, the ‘bastaards’ renamed themselves Griqua, and the place called Klaarwater became Griquatown.
Disputes between the two leaders led to the Kok faction leaving Griquatown for Philippolis and Kokstad. When diamonds were discovered the Griqua were one of the parties claiming that the Diamond Fields lay within their territory.
The Keate arbitration awarded the area to Waterboer, who immediately sought Crown protection. This led to the colony of Griqualand West, which was later to be annexed to the Cape Colony. The first council chamber of the Griqua, and the execution tree where Waterboer hanged criminals, can be seen in Water Street. Griquatown is known for its semiprecious stones, tiger’s eye and jasper. The town is a centre for stockbreeding.
Two cannon, ‘old Niklaas’ and ‘old Grietjie’, gifts from Queen Victoria, are guarding his resting place.
The building dating from c1826, was a mission church. The museum was named after Mary, daughter of Robert Moffat, who married Dr David Livingstone. A pulpit used by Moffat, Waterboer and Livingstone, can be seen here.
See feature on Witsand Nature Reserve
The Town Clerk Tel 053 343 0019