12 March 1868
Moshoeshoe is credited as "the father of the Basotho people" as he was responsible for the creation of Lesotho (The Basotho Kingdom), and the drawing together of scattered Sotho peoples who had been driven apart by Zulu and Ndebele raids. In 1867 and 1868, most of Moshoeshoe's land was overrun by Boers from the Orange Free State. He appealed to the British for protection, and on 12 March 1868 his country became a British protectorate, and the current borders of Lesotho were established. Most of their previous territory was lost, specifically fertile farming area west of the Caledon River, which was ceded to the Boers. After his country became a British protectorate Moshoeshoe wrote: "The whole of my tribe, all the Chiefs of Basutoland, and myself more than anyone - we are all glad. It matters little to us to which Colony Basutoland is to be annexed, so long as we are under British protection and rule". Basutoland, as the Kingdom was called at that stage, fell under the rule of the Cape Colony for a period of time. This state of affairs led to increased tension, and in 1880 the Gun War broke out. The result of the conflict was that Basutoland came under direct rule from London, where it remained until its independence in 1966.