NATALNatal, under a temporary arrangement, was inaugurated in 1862, and a seven years' mail service contract with the Natal government was concluded in 1865 . In 1873 the House of Commons refused to ratify a contract which the government had entered into with the company for an extended mail service; the company, however, carried out its intention to extend its service to Zanzibar . But in October 1876 a new mail contract with the Cape of Good Hope government was entered into for a fortnightly service between Plymouth and Table Bay, the length of voyage not to exceed twenty-six days .
During the Zulu War this company rendered considerable services to Great Britain .
In 1878 three ships were employed, and after Isandula they conveyed reinforcements, the Pretoria " being the only mail steamer to carry an entire See also:REGIMENT (from Late Latin regimentum, rule, regere, to rule, govern, direct)regiment, the 91st Highlanders . It was on this company's s.s . " Danube " that the prince imperial sailed, whilst the old s.s . " German " took out the EmpressEugenie when she went to visit the See also:SCENE (Fr. scene, Lat. scaena, Gr. oflvil, a tent or booth, a stage or scene)scene of his death . The direct service with the Cape, Natal and Zanzibar was in 1881 discontinued, and in February of that year operations were extended to the Continent, a service from Hamburg was commenced, runningevery twenty-eight days, which for a time proved highly successfub A branch service to Antwerp, begun in 1882, was discontinued for a time, but subsequently resumed .
At the time of the See also:PANJDEH, or PENJDEHPanjdeh scare in 1885, when hostilities were threatening with See also:RUSSIARUSSIA (Rossiya)Russia, two of this company's steamships, the " See also:MOORMoor "and the Mexican "were selected to act as armed cruisers for the See also:DEFENCEDEFENCE (Lat. defendere, to defend)defence of South Africa . The former was the only See also:MERCHANT (O. Fr. marcheant, modern marchand; from Lat. mercari, to trade, merx, goods, merchandise)merchant vessel on which the See also:PENNANT, THOMAS (1726-1798)pennant was actually hoisted .